With the rise of 'open platforms' on the web, particularly on popular
consumer-oriented services like Facebook and Twitter, it's never been
easier for individuals and small upstarts to get their applications in
front of millions of consumers quickly and efficiently.
The appeal of open platforms is easy to understand: instead of having
to deal with the dreaded chicken and egg challenge most new consumer
internet upstarts have to contend with, you can leverage the existing
userbases of popular services.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. These are but a few of the services many of us have come to enjoy.
Yet there's one thing that seems anything but enjoyable about them: dealing with their customer service.
At some point, when you start a new business you come face to face with an interesting question: what the heck are we doing?
Chances are you had some idea of what you were doing before you started on your journey. You saw a problem. You thought you had a brilliant solution. You know the story.
The burgeoning interest in Twitter was evident yesterday when several hundred people turned out for a keynote panel session at Internet World. Here is a summary of the question-and-answer session, with some additional pointers which might also be helpful.
As much as I love buying things online, there's a lot to like about the in-store shopping experience. Being able to see, touch and try a product in person can play a major role in a purchasing decision. It also helps to have a member of the sales staff handy to answer questions.
But a startup that launched today is hoping to make the online shopping experience a little bit more like the offline one.
What is a 'social media expert'? What qualifications does one reasonably need before being paid to assist businesses with social media campaigns?
Despite the fact that there are plenty of self-proclaimed 'social media experts' out there, these are two questions for which we don't have good answers.
Econsultancy's third annual UK Search Engine Marketing Benchmark Report was released last week; it profiles the UK search marketing environment, and covers paid search, SEO and social media.
One of the trends uncovered by the report, produced in association with Guava, is that social media is becoming a bigger part of the marketing mix, with 91% of search agencies already offering, or else planning to offer, advice and services to clients on how to make the most of social media.
Here's an obvious but sometimes forgotten social media factoid: the most successful services of the past several years have been created by upstarts.
Microsoft, Yahoo and even Google? They haven't had much luck building a homegrown success. The big names in social media, from Facebook to Twitter and MySpace to YouTube, were all created by little guys.
As Facebook's unbelievable growth continues unabated, the company is increasingly finding itself scrutinized by critics who are asking a simple question: 'where's the money'?
Even though Facebook is generating hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, its costs are growing rapidly and there are various unsubstantiated rumors that the company is on a potentially disastrous financial path.
It used to be that you do a decent job of protecting your brand by registering the domain names that incorporate your brand name.
Not anymore. Thanks to social networking sites and other online communities, consumers are increasingly interacting on third party services that have become targets for brand hijackers, impostors and opportunists. Their MO: snap up usernames that are related to major brands (and prominent individuals).