Web 2.0 Burnout?

squidoo-small.gifHere’s a riddle for you, what do you get when you cross a traditional website with Web 2.0?

The answer? A whole new ballgame.

Squidoo.com (a project with marketing guru Seth Godin at the helm) calls their new ballgame a lens – aimed at providing easy searches, low-maintenance and affiliate/PPC advertising incentives. According to the Official Squidoo Lens,

“We believe that when you go online, you don’t search. You don’t even find. Instead you are usually on a quest to just make sense…There ought to be a way for you to talk about what matters to you, what 10 things matter to you, without the pressure of keeping it up daily (like a blog); and you ought to be able to make some money if someone buys something because you recommended it.”

Interesting concept – I signed up for my first lens last week. Although it’s still in its infancy, you can check it out by clicking here.

Zude.com is scheduled to launch May 1st. Its main feature is the ability for users to “drag and drop” modules to create their own pages. Zude’s creators hail it as the “next generation and ultimate evolution of web interaction.”

Regardless of the tool, one thing is clear – Web 2.0 has increased the demand for user-friendly, intuitive online interaction. And yes, these sites do provide branding value and the potential for passive income.

But how much is too much? Is it possible to suffer from Web 2.0 burnout?

Personally, I think so. Between my website, blog, myspace, meetup, technorati, squidoo, dogster, livejournal, my yahoo! and the countless other sites I belong to – it can become overwhelming. And with the plethora of new tools on the horizon, users may not be as eager to jump on board as they were a year ago.

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

Joost.com – Inflated Viral Marketing

Joost Beta InviteLooking to build buzz about your business? Take a hint from Joost.com – a new online TV service from the founders of Skype that’s sure to knock the socks off traditional cable. Through a deal with Viacom, Joost.com offers name-brand channels like MTV, VH1, BET, and Comedy Central. And negotiations with other networks (like CBS) are happening as we speak.

In order to participate in Joost.com beta, users must receive an “invite” – which is a brilliant way to boost buzz. People will always want what they can’t have. Bloggers sense scarcity and post their desired demand.

It’s no surprise some holders are looking to capitalize on their invitation’s value by posting them on auction sites like eBay or joostswap.com (where bidders offer everything from web hosting services to Belgian chocolate and beer)

This is a similar concept to the crazes of toys such as Cabbage Patch Dolls, Tickle Me Elmo or XBox 360. Low supply + High Demand = Lots of Buzz & Inflated Value

So what does this mean for Joost.com? Blog posts are tangible evidence of demand – which is a big chip to play when negotiating with networks and advertisers.

Only question is – will the product live up to the hype? Bloggers are posting about their desire for the concept – not the product itself. This can be a risky move. It opens up the gates for competitors if Joost.com doesn’t meet the high expectations they have set for themselves. We’ll just watch (if I get an invite) and see.

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

No more text-n-drive!! Jott.com introduces hands-free emailing

trafficIt happens every time.

I’m sitting in the car on the DC beltway and *smack* – an idea. Out of nowhere the perfect solution to a problem or a fabulous tagline for a client will magically appear out of thin air. Only problem is – I’m going 85 mph and there’s no way I can write it down (that is without risking a 47 car pileup).

Never fear – jott.com is here.

Since I subscribed (for *free*) to jott.com I can now call a toll free number from my cell phone (I have it set as number 8 on speed dial. That’s how much I use it). I say my idea into my phone and *poof* – my words are transcribed and automatically sent to my e-mail.

Fabulous!

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

Advertising: No results? No charge.

My first job out of college was selling advertising space in a low-quality lifestyle magazine that has since dissolved (we all had to start somewhere). We were trained to sell on the basis of our ridiculously high distribution and that our CPM (cost per thousand – a standard way to evaluate the true cost of your advertising) was very low compared to our competition. High distribution + Low cost = Value.

The problem I faced when I went into meetings is that people saw right through it. One person actually told me, “There’s no way I would look through this magazine. It’s garbage. I don’t care how much it costs – it’s not worth it.” Even though the metrics were compelling, once you saw the product it was understood that the results simply would not exist.

Many people face this delima when looking at pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – a popular “ad” on a page (maybe you have some on your blog) that once someone clicks – the advertiser is charged and the publisher is paid. One issue with PPC is the heightened potential for scams called click-frauds where clicks are made with the intention of getting a payment rather than purchasing the product.

Google is experimenting with a new type of advertising called “cost-per-action” that takes the PPC model one step further – you’d only pay for an “action” that you define (like a file download, purchase, registration, etc.) For a New York Times article explaining Google’s cost-per-action model, click here.

If the magazine I worked for had implemented this model I could imagine the changes that would need to take place. There would be a push for higher-quality, better research, and fierce follow-up on which campaigns worked. I applaud Google for this initiative because it removes yet another piece of the “sleazy advertising” stigma. Advertising is a viable way to get your message out to millions and soon, it may be more cost-effective than ever.

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

Freecycle.org – I love you!!!

Our mattress was terrible. I mean really bad. We talked about getting a new one for years and never quite got around to it. Then the other day I got my freecycle e-mail and saw someone was moving and giving away their brand new, still wrapped in the plastic, top of the line Ikea mattress. I emailed them, picked it up, and am now sleeping soundly.freecycle.org

This is the miracle of Freecycle.org – an online community where the term “trash to treasure” is brought to life. Freecycle works through Yahoo! Groups and basically has just a few rules. All items posted must be:

  • free
  • legal
  • appropriate for all ages

Another shining example of a Web 2.0 site that has turned information into an experience (and boy am I glad). I also love the name – it’s memorable, easy to say and accurately describes the services. Kudos.

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

Move over Google – ChaCha.com may become my new search engine of choice

Chacha.com logoIn a recent article by ClickZ.com Tess Wegert describes www.chacha.com -a new search engine that works with professional searchers (real people) or interactive guides. It’s kind of like if you threw a search engine, chat room and about.com together to help get the info most relevant to your search.

I just had to try this one out for myself. Here’s the conversation I had with my guide:

Status: Connecting …
Status: Looking for a guide …
Ring:
Status: Connected to guide: Deborah(23079)
Deborah(23079): Welcome to ChaCha!
Deborah(23079): Hello Welcome to chacha I will be helping you with your search
You: Hi. I’m trying to find the best price on fruit of the loom boxers for my husband
Deborah(23079): ok one moment while I search for that
Deborah(23079): Thanks for being patient! Rest assured I’m finding the most relevant results for your search. (this was posted after about 1 minute of searching)
You: great! thanks deborah. I think i found what i needed.
Deborah(23079): Is there anything else on this topic I can find for you today?
Deborah(23079): O you are welcome
You: have a great day. 🙂
Deborah(23079): well you have a great day and thank you for using chacha.com
Deborah(23079): bye now please come back to chacha for your next search
Deborah(23079): Please RATE ME. Thanks for using ChaCha.
Status: Session ended.

Deborah pulled up 3 very relevant sites within a matter of 2 minutes. Not to mention – its kind of nice interacting with a human being instead of an algorithm.

I don’t know about you, but when I have to do a complex search in Google, I’m almost always frustrated. Chacha.com was pretty easy and I can really see myself using it on a regular basis.

Looking for cheap pay-per-click or banner ads? Read the article from ClickZ as it outlines why chacha.com may be a good investment.

How long do you think it will be before Yahoo! and Google follow suit? I give it 6 months tops.

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com

Mac Ads – a witty response to Microsoft Vista

I’m a big fan of the ads that Mac has put out recently. You know – the ones where there’s a conversation between the “mac” and the “pc” Click here to view them all.

Why do I think they’re effective? Here’s a list:

  • Scripted in their customer’s language – like when PC say’s he’s going to listen to some “emo”
  • Effective use of metaphors and imagery – like when PC is having a camera installed
  • Mac does not speak ill of his competition, yet still points out his benefits – when they’re in therapy Mac tells PC “You’re a wiz with numbers and dress like a gentleman.”
  • Simple – you don’t need to “think” to understand the message

The latest ad talks about how the upgrade to vista is “sugery” – again an effective illustration.

Mac is even spreading their message to the UK. Click here to see the UK ads.

Kudos Mac!

***************************************************************************************

Andrea Morris is a marketing coach who specializes in helping visionaries, entrepreneurs, consultants and small businesses use high-ROI strategies to get the right message to the right people. For more information, please visit writeideasmarketing.com