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Author: Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is a web veteran and recovering expat working in the tech industry with an emphasis on social media, content marketing and SEO. Having worked as a products intern at Wired magazine, and subsequently in specialized fields of the communications industry, he has developed expertise in both hardware and software-related tech, music, media and more.

Specialties: Branding, identity, community building, community relations, market research, social media relations, user acquisition, web browsers, mobile, desktop software, social networking, web standards, open source, identity/OpenID, design, music, gadgets, blogging, SEO, content marketing

Image by Turkletom (http://www.flickr.com/photos/turkletom/)

Three reasons why digital marketers should revisit augmented reality in 2014

AR (augmented reality) gets a tough rap in digital marketing circles. To date, the technology is still most visible powering children’s games and providing 3D thrills that use your tablet or smartphone to layer digital information or graphics over real-world objects. 

With wearable tech exploding off the tradeshow floor at CES, and Google Glass finally infiltrating mainstream press, it’s time to take a serious look at augmented reality in modern marketing and the enterprise.

Here are three reasons why I’m betting on seeing more use of AR from savvy brands and agencies in the year(s) to come.


Three reasons to bet on commenting for marketing ROI

"Don't you think dreams and the internet are similar? They are both areas where the repressed conscious mind vents." Paprika -- 2006

I recently watched a 2006 Japanese anime called Paprika where the quote above comes from. After it was recommended to me, I learned that Christopher Nolan has cited Paprika as an influence on his 2010 feature film, Inception…so to say it was a bit ahead of its time is probably an understatement.

When the character Paprika (who is a sort of repressed personality herself, but I won’t say too much to keep from spoiling the plot) offers this viewpoint it reminded me to revisit a very important area for today’s web marketers to pay attention; that of social commenting.

While online commenting has to date been a very frustrating for all of us, not to mention brand agnostic, for the very reason offered in this quote, times are changing and marketers need to take note.


How to bring your PR in-house. Part four: tracking

In parts one to three of the this series on managing PR and blogger outreach in-house, I’ve guided you through: The Network, The Message, and Discovery/Dissemination, talking shop on tools of the trade to cut cost but still rock like a PR all-star.

In this final post on tracking, I’ll show you how to define clear objectives then get your reports together for the boss.


How to bring your PR in-house. Part three: discovery and dissemination

The PR game has changed, but putting personal relationships first and making sure you offer something of value to the influencers and journalists you pitch is more important than ever.

In this four-part series we are walking through best practice and some great PR tools anyone in your marketing department can use to stay on top of in-house PR activity. 

In this post: Discovery and Dissemination. We'll talk about how to find the journalists and influencers that are right for your message.

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How to bring your PR in-house. Part two: the message

Last week kicked off part one of this four part series on tools of the trade and best practice for in-house PR.

This week we will look into 'The Message' and some great tools for organizing around yours. Read on!


How to bring your PR in-house. Part one: the network

Looking to start some of your own PR or influencer relations in-house? Read up on tools of the trade and best practice in this four part series.

For years PRs (or publicists) operated in specific areas of industry with little fanfare or name recognition for the field. To find a job description, one would have had to look to the fashion, publishing and entertainment industry.

Large corporations kept public relations heads, but typically this role was a defensive position, rather than a proactive part of any marketing strategy.


The coming age of Twittervision

For over 65 years, the $70bn TV industry has been traded on one currency...now all that is about to change.

Twitter's Vice President Joel Lunenfeld recently appeared on a Bloomberg TV segment to discuss the findings of a study linking tweets to live TV, and more importantly for his shareholders, to announce a new partnership and ranking method devised with Nielsen.

The two behemoths want to make watching TV with Twitter (see:second screen experience) 'even better for you, the TV fan,' according to Twitter's blog post on the announcement.

What does this coming new age of measurement mean for marketers and what can you do now to prepare? Read on to find out.


Four examples of brands rocking Instagram video

Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo sharing site, announced the ability to upload video in June.

Now with recently announced version 4.1 anyone can upload video right from their iPhone/Android's local storage,  and the branded mobile video wars have officially launched.

Here are some of the better examples of brands doing smart marketing with Instagram video.


Start Me Up! A profile of Trapit

For many of us in online news and content discovery, Google Alerts simply aren't cutting it anymore.

Trapit, which has raised $6.2 million in Series A funding to address the need for content discovery, surfaces content using some of the same artificial intelligence technology involved with Siri on the iPhone, and comes to us as consumer-facing iPad app, or more recently, a B2B publishing suite.


SEO tips for Squarespace users upgrading to 6

Squarespace, a popular NYC-based company, has been providing a do-it-yourself platform for creative professionals, businesses, bloggers, and even web developers to easily create/edit/host a website since 2004.

A year ago this time, Squarespace announced Squarespace 6. As a Squarespace user who had not updated and an Econsultancy contributor, I decided to dive in and catalog a few SEO pointers from their great support staff in order to paint a picture of what it's like using 6, and with an eye for SEO.


Start Me Up! A profile of Set That

Social shopping is all the rage in our post-Pinterest world. Current industry darlings that combine a visual design with social and designers/merchants include Fab.com, The Fancy and Aha Life.

Meet new Aussie entrant Set That who want to become the next curation destination online where you can get paid to create and save sets of online products.


Start Me Up! A profile of Lookback

Mobile companies that thrive do so through great user experience. Jonatan Littke, Founder of Lookback, believes design has taken over technology and rightly so.

Yet for all its glory, a lot of design is still being created without knowing how it will be received.

Check out more about Lookback's solution in this Q&A and let us know what you think in the comments...