3 Quick-n-easy ways SMB’s can start listening right now

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Inspired by David Alston’s (of Radian 6) marvelous interview on Blog Talk Radio I thought perhaps I could provide, 3 Quick and Easy ways an SMB could start listening online to what’s going on in their space right now, and it will cost them nothing! So let’s do this!

1) On LinkedIn, there’s an application called Company Buzz which lets you tap into this information flow to find relevant trends and comments about your company. You can install the application and instantly see what people are saying. You can customize and topics and add new ones to watch.You can see historical charts to track buzz over time and you can get the top words associated with your topic and quickly drill into see related tweets. There is of course an assumption here that you have created a LinkedIn account. If you have not, do that first.

2) Google Alerts I can’t say it any better than Google here, so let me quote them:

    Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

    Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

    • monitoring a developing news story
    • keeping current on a competitor or industry
    • getting the latest on a celebrity or event
    • keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams

    The interface is simple, even more-so to set up and you are ready to go!

    3) I know you have probably heard of Twitter, but one way to dip the toe in the water to see what the buzz is about, is by listening first. You can do this by developing searches that speak to your search terms, industry, company, you etc. Twitter Search helps you filter all the real-time information coursing through their platform. Which is, undeniably, a lot!

    You can even take it to the next level by crafting your searches using their many advanced search operators, and you can also use the advanced search page to easily incorporate search operators into your queries.

    Boom. That’s it. You have just set up 3 ways to start listening and it may not even have taken you an hour. Got another that takes less time and is free? Share it!

      Your success is determined by one thing

      I know this is going to ruffle some feathers, but right now your marketing initiatives, your social media efforts, your email campaign, your DRTV campaign and more- all of it will rely on one thing in the end. Consider the following scenarios:

      • You are going to launch a new product. You build a website but how are you going to drive people to the site? How do they find it?
      • You launch a new product with a new company, that no one has ever heard of before, how will people find out more about you, your company, and your product?
      • You launch a new social network, how will it grow? How is it found? You start a new blog and you want people to read your kick-ass content? How will they know you’re out there? You join a new social network, how do you meet others?
      • You launch a new brick and mortar business, how do you drive business? Newspapers? Radio? Magazine? What is a person’s first knee jerk reaction to your advertising?
      • Your reputation? Where can you find it? How can you find it? Do you know if anybody is talking about you, your company and your product?
      • Your friends? Your family, How do they find you? Old friends? How do they find you?
      • You need a new job. How will you get your next one?

      I could go on. But I think you get the point. Everything. and I mean everything that you do revolves around…

      SEARCH

      Think about it.

      search-engines

      The art of search reputation management

      I was asked recently by a company interested in my skill sets about search reputation management and I essentially said it is all about listening. Knowing how to listen and knowing where to listen and knowing what tools to use to listen are all critical. The reason is, there are so many places where your company, brand, or name can be discussed, but trying to be everywhere at once is a challenge, so it’s important that you use as many monitoring sources as possible to keep as on top of it as is humanly possible.

       

      But more importantly, it’s also imperative to consolidate or use as many aggregators as possible. Here are some of the ones I use to listen and why I think they are important in just the listening aspect. Once I get past the listening, then I will show you the tools I use to specifically manage and drive down a negative online reputation. Your methods might be different and I understand that, but these are just mine.

       

      Google Alerts and Google News and Google BlogSearch– I absolutely love these because of the simplistic nature and the ability to tie it into igoogle/reader/email alerts.

       

      Another monitoring tool I have been using a lot of lately has been Filtrbox.  The results are not where I would like them to be on a consistent basis, but that might just mean I need to tweak and adjust them some.

       

      I’ve also used Trackur, it’s a pretty robust tool that can track any news mention of a particular term but… it also searches over everything from images, blogs, news sites, and videos. Great filters.

       

      Some others I’ve used are Blogpulse to track conversations but not as extensively, as well, I’ve obviously used Delicious to see who’s book marking our sites and Keotag for a down and dirty quick look to see who is tagging certain key words.

       

      Don’t discount the usage of tracking your reputation on forums and BBS sites. I met these guys Twing, at the Web 2.0 expo up in New York and they have a sweet product. Prior to meeting them, I had been using Boardtracker, which I still use from time to time.

       

      With the 10 tools/Sites I have mentioned you can have a pretty good handle on monitoring the online reputation of your company or business. If you desire more, then you can set up RSS feeds from other sources to pipe in the information that you desire. Speaking of Pipes, I’ve been playing around with Yahoo Pipes as of late but haven’t really formulated an opinion on it yet. Finally I’d be remiss if I did not mention Radian6, another monitoring type of company, but more on a social media level. I have done a few twebinars with them in which they hosted the event.

       

       My thoughts on this are simple: Identify the point or source of pain and then you can begin to treat it.

       

      By Listening, we can now determine the amount of management that will be needed to drive down the noise. In some cases the noise may be contained quickly and effectively with a few choice blog posts or articles or comments. But in some cases, it requires a larger and more concerted effort.

       

      Now To manage and drive down a bad reputation, there are certain things that are a must and if you have not done these things yet, then you are way behind the eight-ball so to speak. First and Foremost, I would like to see/audit your current website. Is the message working? Is the content serving the right purpose? Is there any content that’s worth it’s weight? Sure most will admit that having a website is sufficient, but a website that doesn’t work for you, for SEO, or for your customers is useless. Even more-so, if it’s with reputation management in mind. So lets see what we can do right off the bat that may improve your company’s web presence just by improving a website that might be hurting. In some instances, just optimizing a few more pages either better, or for the first time may be enough to at least drive negative press off the first page of the SERP’s.

       

      However, another way to continue to push down a negative reputation is to create a blog-site. A free one, no less. It doesn’t have to be a robust, busy, “chock-full of stuff” type of site. Just a site that has the right key-words, tags and page elements will do. And who knows, if you allow it, maybe it will become another viable channel of doing business for you? This effort is completely measurable as well because of the analytics associated with some of the Free services like Typepad and WordPress. Again blog sites are very search engine friendly. Speaking of analytics, you better have something in place, I’ll assume you do.

       

      Once the blog-site is done you have a couple more website options. You can create some micro sites devoted to your company, product, or keywords and or you can create sub domains. Either way, the more pages you can get out there that have more to do about what is right with your company than what is wrong, the better off you will be.

       

      The great thing about all of these suggestions is that they are completely measurable, can happen very quickly, and you can adapt or change your tactics on the fly. The proof is there for the client to see.

       

      Taking a cue from what social media has to offer, I would highly recommend creating a social media presence via LinkedIn, Ning and Facebook, Flickr or YouTube or a Podcast. Doing none of them is not a good thing. Of the group, obviously if we’re talking corporate presence I would go with Facebook first followed by Ning and Linkedin. Since LinkedIn is more of a personal networking, branding type of social site, I would rank it a tad bit lower.  With Facebook, you can create a group devoted to your company. With YouTube, Flickr, or a Podcast, you can create audio visual elements of photos, videos or audio, tagged with key words and company references which will all be search engine friendly and also increasing the company reputation.

       

      I’d also suggest creating a wiki devoted to your company as well. You could even created a wiki-how on something that your company might do. Search engines love wiki results.

       

      One thing that seems to work rather well, actually 2, are creating or writing articles that you can submit about a topic that can be linked backed to you and your company. This is huge in pushing down negative elements. The other is PR Press releases. There are at least 20 Free PR sites out there in which you can create a PR release that can become SE friendly quicker than you can say Widget.

       

      Speaking of widgets. If I wanted a viral reaction to my company, my product or my service, I would look into the creation of a widget that can be shared and virally spread to users. SpringWidgets allows you to create a Free widget which you could then drop on all of your social networking sites in which you have a presence. I know it might not be relevant to everyone, but when it comes to managing a bad reputation, I have to look at this challenge almost from a Guerilla marketing standpoint. Everything is fair game, in other words.

       

      One last option would be to create a Google page devoted to your company through Google sites. Google sites is a way to create CMS type of web pages that the public can actually see and that are searched on. Anything that originates through, Google, has to be Google friendly, right?

       

      In conclusion, managing and monitoring your reputation online are 2 very separate but equal acts that are uniquely joined at the hip. To ignore one for the other or vice versa is not highly recommended.

      19 things you should know about your world

      1. Did you know that China has over 253,000,000 internet users which amounts to about 17% of the world’s users?
      2. Did you know that China will eventually become the #1 English speaking country in the world? Or that
      3. The 25% of the population in China with the highest IQ’s …is greater than the total population of North America.  In India, it’s the top 28%.  Translation for teachers:  they have more honors kids than we have kids. 
      4. There are over 2.7 billion searches performed on Google each month.  Which speaks to a post I did about tech trends.
      5. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years.  For students starting a four-year technical or college degree, this means that…half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.  It is predicted to double every 72 hours by 2010.
      6. The U.S. Department of Labor estimates that today’s learner will have 10-14 jobs . . By the age of 38
      7. Predictions are that by 2013 a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computation capability of the human brain.
      8. According to the U.S. Department of Labor . . .1 out of 4 workers today is working for a company they have been employed by for less than one year
      9. More than 1 out of 2 are working for a company they have worked for for less than five years.
      10. According to former Secretary of Education Richard Riley . . The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 didn’t exist in 2004.
      11. We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist .
      12. The U.S. is 20th in the world in broadband Internet penetration.(Luxembourg just passed us.)
      13. 1 out of every 8 couples married in the U.S. last year met
      14. The average MySpace page is visited 30 times a day.
      15. The number of text messages sent and received every day exceeds the population of the planet
      16. More than 3,000 new books are published . .
      17. It’s estimated that 40 exabytes (that’s 4.0 x 1019) of unique new information will be generated worldwide this year
      18. The amount of new technical information is doubling every 2 years
      19. 47 million laptops were shipped worldwide last year

       

      Many thanks to  Karl Fisch  and Scott Mcleod  who compiled alot of this data, which in the end, really gives you a sense of how very large this world is and how very small you are.  

       

       

       The only constant in life is change. Don’t be static.

      5 huge tech trends that you can’t ignore.

      That’s it. Just 5. But why just 5? Because these 5 are rockin’ our world now and will continue to do so for the next 10 years. Do you remember the Gartner Hype Cycle? I blogged about it awhile back in regards to certain things we can be excited about over the next 5 years. Take a look at it real quick.

      Ok Now look at this next slide real quick:

       

      Ok, one more and I will let you off the hook.

       

       

      So the hype cycle pretty much lets you know where certain “things” are in their growth development. It’s a great point of reference and doesn’t take a long time to figure out. Samw with the next slide, what does it tell you? It tells you that music is important to us. Always has, always will be. Here’s a quick 1 question quiz: What does the MySpace business model revolve around? Music and social networking. Ok So there’s 2 trends that will not be dipping anytime soon. Awhile back I wrote a blog post about the top 44 music related social networks and to this day it still pulls traffic. I recently tweeted a question as to what brick and mortar industry has completely dried up but thrived online-answer: music

      Trend #1 Music will continue to thrive online and you cannot ignore it.

      According to Comscore  In August 2008, Americans conducted 11.7 billion core searches, virtually unchanged from July, as Google Sites extended its lead in core search market share by 1.1 percentage points.

      Search is, the gateway to everything that we do online. You may see some play in regards to trying to refine search into more of a niche based environment, but the bottom line is search will alway be the mainstay of any internet based activity.

      Google Sites led the U.S. core search market in July with 63 percent of the searches conducted, up from 61.9 percent in July, followed by Yahoo! Sites (19.6 percent), Microsoft Sites (8.3 percent), Ask Network (4.8 percent), and AOL LLC (4.3 percent).

      Americans conducted 11.7 billion searches at the core search engines, nearly identical to the number of core searches conducted in July. Google Sites handled 7.4 billion core searches (up 2 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 2.3 billion and Microsoft Sites with 977 million.

      In the comScore August 2008 analysis of the top properties where search activity is observed, Google Sites led with 10.2 billion searches, a 2-percent increase versus July.  That’s billion! Yahoo! Sites ranked second with 2.4 billion searches, followed by Microsoft Sites with 1 billion and AOL LLC with 839 million.

      Trend #2 Search ain’t going nowhere.

      According to Hitwise, MySpace.com received 67.54 percent of the market share of U.S. visits in August 2008 among a custom category of 56 of the leading social networking websites.  The market share of U.S. visits to the social networking site decreased 2 percent in August 2008 to 6.40 percent of all U.S. visits compared to July 2008. Visits to the category decreased 17 percent year-over-year. But check out the chart below:

      What do those numbers mean to you? It means that MySpace had 66 million visits in one month and Facebook had 28 million. The fact of the matter is that social media and social networks are interwoven into the daily fabric of our lives. I know, it’s not like it’s earth shattering, it’s just not a fad anymore. It’s legit. It will continue to evolve and the potential will always be there for someone to do something different and exciting and unique with the social media application. Could that be you? I hope so.

      Trend #3 Social networks will continue to evolve and grow larger and gain in importance.

      A recently released UN study indicates that by the end of 2008 mobile phone use worldwide will reach 50% of the earth’s population for the first time in history. Although the percentage of mobile phones in North America, Western Europe and most of Asia is much higher than 50%, in developing countries, a mobile phone is still considered a luxury.

      Mobile phone ownership rates have been rising significantly, almost at an exponential rate. Countries like  India, Brazil, and China are seeing crazy growth in the number of people owning a cell phone. In fact, China had an estimated one billion cell phone subscribers in 2007. At the current rate of growth, there will be over 3.3 billion cell phone subscribers worldwide by the end of 2008.

      So there’s no escaping the fact that cell phones are now-another essential part of our daily lives. Grab the keys, grab the wallet, the purse, the backpack and the cell phone. Ok so we get that. But now, pay attention.

      According to a recent online survey conducted by ABI Research, nearly half (46%) of those who use social networks have also visited a social network through a mobile phone. Of these, nearly 70% have visited MySpace and another 67% had visited Facebook. No other social networking site reached 15% adoption mobile adoption.

      So what are these consumers doing when they access their mobile social network? They’re checking for comments and messages from their friends, with both of these features registering above 50% for mobile social network users. Posting status updates also has proven popular, with over 45% of mobile social users letting others what they are up to via their phone.
      What we are seeing is a melding of 2 functions into one via the hub of the cell phone. Or is it the hub of the social network?  There’s no doubt that a social network is increasingly becoming a central hub for communication across online and mobile domains for a lot of people. Because it’s  allowing them to consolidate activities or processes. From text, to email, to chat, to phone calls, to exchanging of data, uploading images and downloading songs. The phone and the social net. allow thesee things to occur almost seamlessly. As a trend, the centralization of a consumer’s cell phone activities combined with their increased social network usage is only going to make adoption of mobile social networking more inevitable as we move forward.
      Trend #4 The growth of the mobile social network will be steady and exponential.

      Here is trend 4a for you as well:   comScore M:Metrics reports that in June 2008, 20.8  million U.S. mobile subscribers and 4.5 million European mobile phone subscribers  accessed search during the month, an increase of 68 and 38 percent from June 2007, respectively.  The U.K. had the highest penetration of mobile subscribers using search at 9.5 percent, followed closely by the U.S. at 9.2 percent.  That’s right, Mobile Search.

      Ok last one-And it’s a no-brainer. Check out the slide below. It’s from December 2007, but the message is loud and clear.

      Google Sites  ranked as the top U.S. video property in December with 3.3 billion videos viewed (32.6  percent share of videos), gaining 1.3 share points versus the previous month. YouTube.com accounted for more than 97 percent of all videos viewed at the property. Fox Interactive Media ranked second with 358 million (3.5 percent), followed by Yahoo! Sites with 340 million (3.4 percent) and Viacom Digital with 238 million (2.3 percent).

      In total, nearly 141 million Americans viewed online video in December. Google Sites also captured the largest online video audience with 79 million unique viewers, followed by Fox Interactive Media with 43.9 million and Yahoo! Sites with 38.2 million. So if you don’t already know it online video consumption is growing at a sick-ass rate.

      Trend #5 Online video consumption will evolve into an acceptable replacement for a TV.

      In conclusion, here’s the most interesting aspect of them all. The hub for all of the above trends can and will be centered on one thing, Your cell phone.

      Social Networks: The path you take is equal to the effort you make!

      So for shits and giggles the other day, I decided to do a search in LinkedIn for people with my name Marc Meyer. I think I found 13. I thought,  in their infinite wisdom, that maybe they would appreciate linking to me. There was a teacher, a sales rep, another techy person, someone in real estate, and a fireman to name a few. I only got 2 people who agreed to do it, probabaly because they either a) got a little freaked out and thought it was a glitch in the LI system or b) don’t use LI that much or c) were worried about ID theft? d) did not appreciate the irony of linking to themselves…

      Marc Meyer is now linked to Marc Meyer.

      Odd to think that there are lots of “us” running around out there. But this thought led me to Google where I subsequently “Googled” my name and did a couple of searches on Reunion.com and PeopleFinders and came to find out that there are about 46 of my likenamed brethren running around.  Before you say anything else, I guarantee that YOU have “Googled” yourself at least once. In fact, I am willing to bet that some of you have RSS feeds set up to notify you when your name is mentioned somewhere. Relax, it’s no big deal. I’ve done the former but not the latter.

       Back to my point on why this is relevant?

      I’ll tell you why. I have spoken on numerous occasions and in numerous blog posts and to numerous clients about what will happen in the social media space in the future. I have said that what you will see is the “nichefication” of the space. Where large social networks will splinter off into smaller distinct groups. It’s already happening, in fact if you look at the current number of networking groups within the social networking site of LinkedIn, you will see that there are currently roughly 24,000  distinct groups and counting! Thats smaller social networking groups within the environs of the larger ones.

      What does this have to do with me and my 46 counterparts?

      Well in theory, we all have something in common, in this case, my name. So in theory, it might be worth it to network with people who have my exact name. Maybe not, since I haven’t really thought through the whole identity theft thing. But what could a social networking group consisting of 46 people with the same exact name do? Maybe not much, but they do have something very in common and that is essentially how people are now coming together today, as we speak, in these groups. They find a common thread or link and they build upon it. Through these connections, things happen. Conversations are started and relationships occur. As I have said in the past, we all want to run with our pack, our brood, our peeps. There is a comfort level that is there with people of like minds and backgrounds, so what is more common a starting point than your name?

      So do I contact the 46 Marc Meyer’s? Maybe not, since the undertaking, the leadership and the roll out of something like that would fall on my shoulders. Perhaps I could start something on NIng and see where it might end up. But the bottom line is this, and this is what you need to be thinking about going forward: You need or rather you should try and find the group that best fits you and what defines you rather than settling for the stadiums or oceans that are the current state of social networks.

      So do you want to run with your own/ or be a part of this large melange of different kingdoms, phylums, classes, genus’s and species?

      Or this?

       

      And in the end
      The love you take
      Is equal to the love you make.

      I had to rework the quote “In the end the love you take is equal to the love you make”  which is essentially the Beatles closing statement. It is the last lyric on the last album they recorded. Let It Be.  Though it is certainly not the last line or epitaph for social networks and all that they have to offer, it can certainly define the future for Social Networks. So yes, “and in the end, the path you take, is equal to the effort you make.” Now more than ever, you determine you.

      10 random social media facts, lists and questions I have for our web 2.0 world

       

      According to Aaron Barnes , In 2006 the total marketing spend on social media was $350 million, the forecast spend for 2011 is more than $2.5 billion. A couple of thoughts cross my mind. 1-who is spending the money now and is the spend worth it right now given the fact that a lot of marketers are still feeling their way around in the dark. 2– by 2011, How many social networks will there be? 3– How much of that projected budget will go towards social nets that exist today?

      4-I had heard that there were currently 850 social networks and that within the next 2 years we might see upwards of 250,00!  5-Do you believe that?

      With that being said check out some interesting stats from september according to emarketer

      The most widely used social media strategy used by US businesses was Blogs for editorial staff at 78% of total respondents. Check out the following in order of use:

      Discussion Boards 76%

      RSS 57%

      Ratings and Reviews of articles or site content 47%

      Profiles of Social Networking 45%

      Photo Albums 39%

      Chat 35%

      Personal blogs 33%

      Video-user submitted 35%

      Podcasts 33%

      Social Bookmarking 29%

      Video Blogs 29%

      Widgets(deployed on FB, Myspace and Google) 22%

      Mobile Video/image text submission 16%

      Wikis 16%

      Citizen Journalism 12%

      Micro-blogging (twitter, Jaiku) 6%

      Virtual Worlds 4%

      Other 8%

      Couple of questions: 6-What constitutes other at 8%? and since this was done in September, 7-How much and in what directions do you think those numbers have moved for each that is mentioned? I have some thoughts but am always curious as to what other think. BTW, 8-How many of you do use what is mentioned? 9-How many of the list do you still use daily?, and 10-How much is for business use as they, say and how much is for personal use?

      Google Health

      I was reading John Battelle’s blog this morning and came across a really cool post about Google health,  In short, You can import medical records from other services, and explore the list of health services to link to your profile. Google writes, “When you link a website to your profile, you may authorize that website to read your Google Health profile or to automatically send and update information in your profile (such as medical records or prescription histories). You decide which permissions to grant when you sign up with each website.”

      Here’s a screen shot:

      Some would have you believe based on this article about Where does Google go next, that they are hurting. What do you think?

       

      10 sites to check out this week and pass on

      Wow, it finally it might be warming up in the Northeast. And we’re only mid way through April! With that being said, you’re still going to have some down time here and there since you might be bumming a little that Kristy Lee Cook finally got the ax on American Idol.  So as you peruse all the info that you can get your hands on regarding American  Idol, here are 10 other websites you might want to check out that may deliver more a bit more than Idol updates.

      Shout Out to Google

      First off let me throw some major props out to Google.  If there is one thing that I will not stand for, it is the exploitation of children in any way, shape, and form, and child pornography would have to be #1 on my list. The fight against child pornography is getting an assist from technology designed by Google to help identify copyright-protected clips on its YouTube video-sharing site.

      Four Google employees used their “20% time” — during which the company encourages them to pursue unofficial, out-of-the-box projects — to customize the copyright software for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s program for identifying children in sexually explicit photos and video.

      Software already has been used to match known images, but when new ones are submitted by law enforcement and service providers, analysts generally make identifications manually, often based on recollections. The center has recently employed facial-recognition technology to make those IDs easier, but with limited success.With the new Google tools, analysts can also seek matches based on other attributes, such as the color and shape of a couch or the wallpaper pattern in the background of a photo.

      Anything to stop this in it’s tracks, I’m all for, so right on Google.

      Next up is an Ad agency in Pittsburgh Called Smith Brothers I personally know these guys and they are a good bunch. They just received some major recognition out at the Adtech 11th Annual Awards Ceremony in San Francisco, The Brothers received top honors for Best Integrated Campaign for the Heinz Top This TV Challenge campaign – beating out hundreds of entrants from top advertising and interactive agencies worldwide Smith Brothers’ campaign featured the innovative use of messaging on the labels of millions of Heinz ketchup bottles and ketchup packets – combined with integrated support from print, TV and interactive advertising. The campaign invited consumers to visit TopThisTv  where they could create, upload, view and vote on the best consumer-generated Heinz TV commercial. To further promote and facilitate consumer participation, Smith Brothers formed a strategic partnership with Google and YouTube – and the response was unprecedented. The campaign received over 10 million views, 8,000 consumer-generated commercials and visitors to the site spent over 127,000 hours interacting with the brand while viewing and voting on the consumer-submitted videos Good job fellas.

      You Guys Rock

       

       

      On a side note that has nothing to do with Heinz or Smith Brothers, but plenty to do with branding, check out John Mayer and his ever evolving sleeve!

      John Mayer\'s sleeve

       

      I came across this site the other day, though I’m not sure how. It’s called the experience project  It seems rather cool and unlike “most” social network sites. Here’s the description”

      Experience Project is the first social experience website where you can anonymously share the experiences and personal stories that matter most to you. Quickly build a network of supportive new friends who understand your life, while exploring over one million life experiences told first-hand by people just like you. You can be yourself here.

       

      The experience project

      Awhile back, I had thrown a question out my Linkedin Network which asked whether social media sites were doing enough for the poor and underprivledged. The responses were interesting, but one of the sites that I was made privy to was a site called Kiva whose tag line is,”loans that change lives”. Essentially it is a social networking site that helps to put donors of cash in touch with 3rd world or developing nation entrepreneurs. A cool concept if you ask me. And it’s a way to give back through the power of a social network!

      Kiva

      Another site that caught my eye is called Friendfeed FriendFeed enables you to keep up-to-date on the web pages, photos, videos and music that your friends and family are sharing. It offers a unique way to discover and discuss information among friends. Hey anyway that I can keep the chaos that takes place on my desktop in some sort of order works for me, check it out and let me know what you think.

      Ok, the spring time means lots of things in lots of places. In New Orleans, where I grew up it means 2 things to me. One is the Jazz Fest and the other is Crawfish. If you have never been to NO then you need to go to the JazzFest, generally the weather is awsome though there might be the occasional sprinkle, and the combination of music and food over a 2 week period is ridiculously fun.  Check out this small snapshot of a line-up:The Neville Brothers, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Jimmy Buffett, Tim McGraw, Santana, Maze feat. Frankie Beverly, Sheryl Crow, Widespread Panic, Dr. John, Al Green, Diana Krall, Keyshia Cole, Robert Plant and Alison Krauss….Woooowheeee… Ok.. So if you can’t make it, then the next best thing might be a few pounds of crawfish. The above link will ship them right to your door. Live. You do know how to prepare them right?

      I saw this sight Rollyo and all I could think of…well never mind what I thought, but it has a pretty cool app when it comes to search. And remember folks, just because Google is the big dog, doesn’t mean that the other breeds of dogs are bad…So Check out Rollyo 

      This last site you will def have to bookmark. It’s called Workhappy. Hey, any website titled “work happy” is going to grab my attention. It’s sorta entrepreneurial based but I’m sure you know someone who could benefit from it.

      I came across this other day to and it seemed sorta interesting, let me know if you had any opinion of it, good or bad. It’s called Loladex and the tag line is, “Local picks from people you trust…” What if you trust no one?

      What do we search on? Matters of life and death

      The terms “pregnancy” and “cancer” were the two most frequently searched health terms in February, receiving 8.8 million and 7.7 million search queries respectively according to comScore. Which can lead us to 2 conclusions and 2 theories.  I think you can separate the 2 terms into two camps and 2 distinct demographics. The first demo is a younger generation that is worried about and curious as to what pregnancy is about, what it entails and what to expect. The next demo, is our aging boomers. They are as concerned about death as they are about prolonging life.  Think about it. Pregnancy and cancer are really, life and death. One is something you think about as you enter into the world as an adult, the other is what you are concerned with as you try to stay on this earth as an adult. As morbid as that may seem, it’s true. It’s as black and white as 2 distinct topics can be in regards to one’s health.

      As you venture into looking at other search terms, you can easily track what time of year it is, what state the economy is in and how those things affect your health. Health terms that were frequently searched in February include “flu” (1.8 million) which would make sense, since that is the height, generally of the flu season; and depression also (1.8 million). Depression it seems,  occurs as we fall into the long winter nights and misery that accompanies winter and perceived or real economic hardship. The next most searched health issues were diabetes (1.7 million) and addiction (1.4 million). Though not much can be said about diabetes being a surprise, since poor eating habits and lack of any physical excersize can ceratinly contribute to this, which America is definitely guilty of, it’s good to see that it is getting the attention that it needs. Addiction is the dirty little secret that permeates every family throughout the US. Everyone knows someone who is an addict, is a friend of a friend, or has a family member who is or was. A sad fact, but definitely makes sense in regards to search.

       Interestingly, “Pregnancy,” is searched 17 times more often than the most popularly searched prescription brand name, “Chantix.” The second most searched term “cancer” had 1 million queries specific to the term “breast cancer.”

      “It’s not too surprising that some of the most common health conditions, such as diabetes, depression and flu, have made the list, but it’s interesting that these terms generate fewer searches than significantly less prevalent conditions like cancer and pregnancy,” said Carolina Petrini, comScore senior vice president.

      “A reason for this may be due to life-changing nature of a cancer diagnosis or a pregnancy.”  Life changing…

      Most Commonly Searched Health Conditions
      February 2008
      Total U.S. – Home/Work/University Locations
      Source: comScore, Inc.
       
      Search Term                   Search Queries
                                         (000)
      Pregnancy                          8,841
      Cancer                               7,718
      Flu                                    1,824
      Depression                        1,807
      Diabetes                           1,758
      Addiction                           1,407            
      Herpes                              1,340
      HIV                                     976
      Anxiety                               910
      Stroke                                872
      HPV                                   861
      Bipolar                                861
      Cholesterol                          816
      Headache                            763
      Menopause                          667
      Hepatitis                              614
      Arthritis                               600
      ADHD                                 573
      Asthma                               569
      Fibromyalgia                        551