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I’ll be on the Hot Seat at the Austin Content Marketing Meetup on Friday, June 24 (noon, at the Flying Saucer in the Triangle). Several folks have asked what I’ll be talking about. This particular meetup isn’t a “talking about” kind of event — it has a much more interesting format. Basically after a brief intro the attendees can ask me anything.
I’ve been immersed in the online world since 1993, when I built my first websites. And I’ve been immersed in some flavor of marketing, social media, and content marketing since 1996, when I sold my company, Go Media, to Excite. I’m a generalist, so I know a little bit about a lot of things. Some of you might be wondering what might make a good question for me.
Here are some of the things I’ve done, and what they mean in the context of content marketing. Hope this gives you some ideas :)
I’ve helped 3 microbusinesses and 2 small businesses achieve national recognition in under a year.
Things I got really good at as a result:
multi-channel marketing strategy (get the word out in the right places)
Users/goals assessment, information architecture & wireframing (provide the right content for the right people in the right format)
Creative, organic traffic-building
I started a new blog, Queen of Points, a few months ago. After only 6 weeks I was appearing on the front page of Google for significant keywords and phrases.
What I learned/did right:
I SEO’d the shit out of this blog. Turns out it’s not rocket science.
Best practices for categories, tags, and meta-data
Best practices for using images to boost SEO
How to use Google’s tools — Keyword tools, speed test, webmaster tools
All sorts of great apps & plugins helped a lot
A few other areas I know pretty well:
Did I miss anything?
Looking forward to the Hot Seat tomorrow. I’ll take any and all questions :)
I was looking for an iPhone app that would let me use my voice to send text messages when I came across HeyTell. I was actually searching on behalf of a friend, so I was surprised and thrilled to come across an app that is changing how I use my iPhone and how I interact with friends.
HeyTell does one thing, and does it well. It lets you send instant voice messages to other users. Think of it as a kinder, gentler, warmer alternative to text messaging.
There are so many uses for Heytell:
Use it while you drive. Wait, no! Don’t! Um… We’ve all heard about the dangers of text messaging while driving, yet many of us (most of us?) still do it. HeyTell lets you send a voice message to other HeyTell users with the touch of one button. And if you leave the app open, you can hear the response without so much as a glance at your phone. Try it as a passenger, please.
Use it as an alternative to voicemail. Sometimes you know ahead of time that your going to get someone’s voicemail when you call. And you know you’re going to have to listen to an annoying, dispassionate voice give you directions for leaving a voicemail as though it were 1980. HeyTell is super-fast. Hold the button, talk, let it go, and your message is there.
Use it if you’re blind or visually impaired. Or if you have trouble with the technology or text size for any reason. You can even assure your grandma that this is not a scary app.
Use it to connect with your friends in other countries. Phone calls are expensive, and you can’t always manage a Skype call. With HeyTell you can leave a free voice message without having to worry about the time zone. You can leave a message for your mom letting her know you’re safe so she hears it before she wakes up and hears about the latest natural disaster or cultural revolution!
Use it as an alternative to texting to save money. Tired of sms overage fees? Don’t want to spend the money for your kid to have an unlimited plan? HeyTell is free. Really.
Use it because you’re all thumbs. Fat fingers? HeyTell is a graceful option :)
Use it for random acts of kindness. Make someone’s day. Leave a HeyTell message for your friend just before she has to go into an important meeting telling her how much she rocks. It’s a nice thing to do.
A few things to know:
HeyTell looks to your phone contacts for people to voice message.
You can connect it to Facebook. Almost scary note: when you invite a Facebook friend to use the app, it posts the invitation to their wall. It will look to you as though it’s public, but it’s not. Other users don’t see the post on your wall, nor do they see it on the invitees wall, even if they’re a friend.
You can opt to show your location to people you’re messaging. A toggle button turns the top half of your screen into a map. Be sure to turn this off if you don’t want to broadcast the location of your home, or of the place you happen to be at that moment.
When the app is open, you get a relatively unobtrusive “ting” noting an incoming message, and the message plays automatically. If the app is not open, or completely closed, you get the same ringtone as you get for a voicemail (This is on the iPhone. Might be different on Android)
HeyTell is free, and available for iPhone and Android. If you’re not convinced, go watch the ~1-minute demo on their website.
In-app extras for purchase at $1.99 each include Message Wipe, Emoji (extra icons), and Voice Changer. (Fun for kids. Yeah, kids. Ahem.) Group broadcast is also available for $2.99.
Be sure to check out the reviews. Then try it out — let me know if you think this could be a game changer too.
Thanks to Susan Price for the most enjoyable test session!
Type It! is a new iPad app that promises to turn your photos into beautiful typography.
I don’t believe you, Type It!
As a huge iPad fan and type geek, I’d normally buy this app without a second thought. Sadly, this epic fail of a promo not only lost the developer a sale, it flagrantly bolsters the stereotype of coders being inherently bad at design.
For starters, Brush Script?! Brush Script has to be one of the ugliest typefaces out there. Comic Sans would be an improvement! Ok, maybe not, but it wouldn’t make it any worse.
And what’s with the double primes instead of real quotation marks? On top of that, this slogan doesn’t need quotation marks. There was absolutely no need to make this typography 101 mistake.
The sample picture? This isn’t typography. There’s no way to make a painting transform into type. This is a photo with a bunch of typographic characters on it. I think. I don’t know what most of those characters are, but they’re not a typeface I’ve seen anywhere.
Lastly, “beautiful” and “typography” are not a proper nouns, and do not require capitalization.
How often have you wondered what the pixel measurement of a given image or space was on a web page? How wide is that column? How much room do I have for a banner?
Kevin A. Freitas has created a brilliant add-on that works with Firefox, Chrome, and Safari called MeasureIt. Once installed (in Firefox, anyway) you’ll see a small ruler-like icon in the lower left corner of the browser window. Click on it, and you get a crosshairs cursor that lets you measure anywhere within the browser window.
Figuring out web page measurements used to be a pain. If I wanted to know the size of an image, I’d copy the image and open it in an image editing program to check. If I wanted to know the size of an available space, I’d make an educated guess and do trial and error until I got it right.
Those days are gone, thankfully :)
Here’s an example – I went to Google and measured (roughly) the size of the Google logo.
Go get the add-on or plug-in or whatever your browser of choice calls it and give it a try. Then let me know what you think! Tweet
Be good to your customers dogs (or kids, or pet cause) isn’t just a nice thing to do — it’s also great branding.
My dogs can hear the UPS truck coming way before it arrives. They jump up in unison and run to the door, trampling anything that gets in their way. Kody, smart pooch that he is, opens the door for all three of them.
The UPS guy is their favorite visitor. Why? Because he brings them treats. He’s the awesome food-from-a-truck guy.
Kody & Tip wear electric fence collars, so they never cross the perimeter. Sadie, however, is well-behaved enough that I never felt the need to get her one. So she runs out and gets right up in the truck! Does he mind? Not one bit.
The USPS delivers here. FedEx delivers here. And UPS delivers here. Who do you think I choose when I have to send a package somewhere? It’s a no-brainer. I go with the company who’s good to my dogs. That’s great branding.
Welcome to Toolsday — posted every Tuesday, featuring small, helpful apps and sites to make your life easier. Know of a tool I should feature? Shoot an email to Toolsday [at] JulesSays [dot] com.
Where’s my damn phone?
I haven’t had a land line for years. The only time I really miss it is when I lose my mobile phone. I check every room, I check under piles of paper, I check the fridge (really), but I just can’t find it. I no longer let myself get apoplectic. Instead I turn to PhoneMyPhone. Type in your number, and PhoneMyPhone does just like the name says. It phones your phone. A few times, if you want, to give you time to run to the car and check there.
You could also use it to be sure you receive an important call during a boring meeting or a bad date. I’d never use it for that though. Never.
What’s your favorite handy tool? Or what do you wish there were a tool for? You never know, I might have a solution for you next Toolsday :)
I’m blogging from BlogathonATX, being held at Conjunctured Coworking here in Austin. It’s pretty clear already that this event is a big hit :) I’m in the Talkathon room at the moment, one of the two rooms people can go to for expert advice (the other is Techathon). The conversation is lively, there’s lots of laughter, and people are making all sorts of new contacts. The two Writeathon rooms are quietish, with writers hunched over their laptops blogging away.
Clearly there’s a demand for this type of event. It’s not quite a BarCamp — there are no presentations — yet, like BarCamps, it’s a free event and plenty of opportunities for attendees to bring up their own topics.
I’m a roving expert, wandering back and forth between Techathon and Talkathon, but one of the really cool things happening here is that pretty much everybody is an expert in something. An official Social Marketing Expert might need tech help, and a Tech Expert might need Social Marketing help. I ended up offering some advice as a Travel Expert, which I sure wasn’t anticipating, but kind of the nature of this event. Conversations are all over the place.
Ilene Haddad is our Ringleader. This is her brainchild, and I’m quite certain she’s astonished at what it’s become. She has done an absolutely fantastic job putting it together. It’s been a blast being part of it — I can’t wait for the next one :)
I’ve been using Evernote for over 2 years (I checked. I thought it was longer, actually, since it’s such a regular part of my work process). I only recently started using it for moodboards. A tweet from @Evernote asking if anyone used it this way caught my eye, I responded, we emailed, and voila!My thoughts are right there on the Evernote blog as part of their Creative Series. Nice!
If you’re a designer and are unfamiliar with moodboards, definitely give this a read. They’re a powerful tool to add to your presentation/process arsenal.
If you haven’t tried Evernote, you really owe it to yourself to check it out. It’s web-based, but there are also desktop, iPhone, and iPad apps that sync to it, and of course bookmarklets that make it easy to clip and save stuff to your notebooks. I’ve used it not only for moodboards, but for market research, read-it-later types of things, recipe collections, shopping research, wishlists, idea lists… the possibilities are endless.
Time Machine is a fabulous backup program. It’s easy, beautiful, and pretty much dummy-proof. If you’re a Mac user, there’s really no excuse for not doing regular backups any more.
But the hourly backups can get to be a bit much. The first few seconds of a backup can really slow down, or even interrupt whatever else you’re working on. And a particularly large incremental background can slow everything down.
I could never figure out why Apple didn’t include a scheduling feature into Time Machine. Every so often I’d think “they must have included it — I’ve just missed it” and dig around trying to find the elusive feature. But no. It’s not there.
Install this tiny program, turn off Time Machine, and set your backups to take place on a schedule that works for you. You can simply change the intervals. That’s what I did — I’m now backing up every 4 hours. It’s easy enough to tweak if I want something different. You can also choose to back up on certain days
and/or at certain times. Then move the slider to “on” and you’re all set. It works as seamlessly as the built-in Time Machine app. No fuss, no muss.
Oh, and it’s free.
I don’t know who wrote this gem. I couldn’t find any credits on the download page. Whoever you are — thank you, thank you, thank you!