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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Create Buzz Has Moved

Well the site I use to blog, Blogger.com, has changed some things so that means I have to change with them. My new site will be innovationbuzz.blogspot.com. From what I am told this blog and my new blog will merge in the future. We shall see.

Side note Blogger.com is owned by Google.


$20.65 billion Spent Online in 12 Days - How Much Did Your Company Get

This years online holiday sales stats are pretty impressive and companies should take note. Companies that depend on the holiday season for huge revenues need to evaluate their online marketing strategies and allign them with where their consumers are buying. The first 48 days of the holiday season approximately $20.65 billion dollars were spent online. This is an increase of 25% over last year.
Top 12 Days of 2006 Holiday E-Commerce Shopping, November 1 to December 18
RankDateE-Commerce Spending (Millions)
1Wednesday, December 13$666.9
2Monday, December 11$660.8
3Monday, December 4$647.5
4Friday, December 8$638.2
5Thursday, December 14$634.4
6Wednesday, December 6$630.06
7Thursday, December 7$629.4
8Friday, December 15$623.9
9Tuesday, December 12$619.8
10Tuesday, December 5$612.3
11Tuesday, November 28$608.2
12Monday, November 27 - "Cyber Monday"$607.6
Note: Ranked by dollars spent, non-travel retail spending, excludes auctions and large corporate purchases
Source: comScore Networks

As a company you need to either bring an SEO/SEM (search engine optimizer / search engine marketer) person in house or outsource the work. As more consumers shift their buying habits online you need to be there when they search for your products.

A larger strategy for any business would be to incorporate your PR, traditional advertising and online advertising. A prime example of this is say you sell blue widgets and you happen to get mentioned on the Oprah's show or even something smaller such as an industry magazine. With 75% penetration of broadband in US homes a consumer wanting your blue widget will at some point go online to search for your blue widget. If you competitor comes up first in the search they may click on their site first. And purchase the blue widget from them.

Now lets say the blue widget buyer finds your site first but does not buy at that time but finds out one of your resellers is in his city and goes there to purchase the blue widget. Perfect! Now this type of sale is harder to track but not impossible.

In the end you need a strategy for your online marketing or you will be missing growth and missing sales.

Blogged with Flock


Friday, January 05, 2007

Google Talk and Music

Google Talk I recently found out that you can show your friends what music you're listening to via Google Talk. When you play a song in iTunes the track information is displayed below you name. This information is show normally were your status is displayed.

You have to download the stand alone version. The Google Talk within your Gmail does not support this but your track will be displayed within in your Gmail. After you download the software your name will appear at the top of the talk window with an arrow next to word "available" expand that menu by clicking on the arrow. Then pick show current music track. It only supports iTunes, Windows Media Player, Winamp and Yahoo Music Engine.

In a perfect world it would support Pandora b/c I tend to switch between Pandora and iTunes. It is a fun little feature for Google Talk. It more or less allows you to discover new music via your friends. The beauty of this is that it is built in to my instant messenger which contains most of my friends. I don't have some new program that is obtrusive that I have to convince my friends to use so I can see what music they are listening to.

One example of this is iLike which is an add on for iTunes. It is a good idea but not perfect. iLike also has put my iTunes on the fritz. Everytime I close iTunes it gives me an error.

Blogged with Flock


Thursday, January 04, 2007

AudioSnacks - User Generated Tours

Llama Header Ears

"Wouldn’t it be amazing if no matter where you were in the world, you had an “in” – someone to show you around and clue you in to the local knowledge?"

I recently met a great Chicago entrepreneur, Michael Salvatore, who recently launched AudioSnacks.com. AudioSnacks is a site that has audio tours for great locations around the world but with a twist. All the tours are user generated so if you have some cool hot spots in your hood then you could record a tour for people to listen to when they visit. All you have to do is upload it to the site. Plus you get cut in on the action. The writer of the tour sets the price and the prices are reasonable. Some tours are free.

I know the initial reaction is that some tours must suck but that is not the cas.  All content is reviewed and there are a set of guidelines.  To get a feel for it there is a Training Page that breaks it down.

I see AudioSnacks as the travelers cool friend that knows all the cool spots that your don't find in Frommers.

I have another post for the future about Michael's The Uncle John Project.  Which is a photography site with a unique story as to how the prints came back to life.

Blogged with Flock


The Next FireFox

Flock: The Social Web Browser.

I am obviously not a heavy blogger but if you are or you just want a browser that allows you to easily upload photos, easily blog, easily connect with other people then Flock is for you. This is my first post using Flock's built in blogging tools. It automatically signs me into my blogger account and lets me easily add photos to my post. Very simple. I am sure there are more tools but I just haven't had a chance to read about them.

The other tool I have used is the photo uploader tool for Flickr. It is a drag and drop function thats lets me bulk upload photos into my Flickr account but I stay in the browser and don't have to sign into Flickr. Because the browser does it for me.

The other nice features are similar to Firefox in that you can open multiple tabs, import your bookmarks, RSS feeds etc....

It is still pre- 1.0 but it appears to be stable and can only improve.

Blogged with Flock


Thursday, December 28, 2006

Chicago Startup Scene

The Chicago startup scene is growing and there are some great organizations helping these companies grow. Here are a couple of my favorites

Tech Cocktail is a fairly new organization, like the others listed here. They have had 2 events and the third is scheduled for January 25, 2007. These events usually consist of networking, some demos, giveaways and free booze. I attended the first event and a wine company provided free samples. The companies that attend are all over the place (Feedburner, Coastr, Grubhub, Gaperblock etc...)

Chicago Beta is self proclaimed as "...for founders, entrepreneurs, developers, revolutionaries, designers, and other people who are currently involved in (or want to join) a web 2.0 start-ups." I would have to say this is true. At each meeting companies can give pitches and at the last meeting some tips were given. Networking is the main thing that goes on at their meetings.

Lastly is Chicago POV. This site produces some great video journalism focused around the Chicago business scene. I met Mark Scheffler one of the guys that runs the site. He is a former writer for Chicago Crains and Chicago Tribune Magazine. Great guy and was truly interested in reporting on the Chicago business community that does not always get attention.


Friday, December 15, 2006

Web 2.0 What is Possible

I ask my developer friends what is possible with the new Web 2.0 features out there. I have gotten some very good answers but coming from the visual generation the best answer was Script.aculo.us.

As the wiki explains "script.aculo.us is a JavaScript library built on the Prototype Javascript Framework. script.aculo.us provides dynamic visual effects and user interface elements via the Document Object Model."

Script.aculo.us' motto is "it is all about the user interface, baby!" They offer a java script library which is a great reference for for all things Web 2.0. My favorite part is the demo section. This section is great for visually seeing what types of features are possible. As I brainstorm for new features for a site these demos are perfect to see what is possible. Most of the demo's you have used but it is good to see them all in one place.

I highly recommend Script.aculo.us for anyone looking to add some Web 2.0 features to their site.


Google Organic Search New Feature

Google has integrated their maps into their organic search. The example I use is searching for Gino's East, a pizza joint in Chicago. Click on this link and checkout the 3rd or 4th organic result

Map of 1321 Golf Rd, Rolling Meadows, IL 60008

Then click the + sign and a Goolge Map expands showing the location. This is a great use of Google Maps as well as provides some functionality without leaving the page. It is simple. This has not been integrated for every restaurant but I believe the feature was just added.

A great site that preaches simple design is 37Signals which has great blog called Signal vs Noise


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