The Digital Vibes


Web tracking: Google Alerts
June 23, 2008, 11:09 am
Filed under: Social Media | Tags: , ,

Third tool in my web tracking kit? Google Alerts.

You can set Google Alerts to receive email notifications for results from web search, blog search, Google News, Google Groups and even Google Video, as well as a comprehensive alert that combines the results from three search engines (web, news, blogs).

This is a very useful tool to know what even your company intranet doesn’t tell you. I actually found out my ex-company’s deal with a Korean electronic powerhouse ahead of my bosses this way.

Setting alerts as-it-happens is useful if you want to monitor a specific event. especially when you have an issue or crisis at hand. However, if you fight a ton of emails on a daily basis, you may prefer to have your alerts emailed to you in a daily or weekly summary.

With Google as God of the Internet, this tool is possibly the best you can have for a bird’s eye view of your pet topic.

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Web tracking: Technorati
June 20, 2008, 8:00 pm
Filed under: Blogs, Social Media | Tags: , ,

Moving on to the second tool in your web tracking arsenal – Technorati.

Technorati is essentially a search engine for the blogosphere. It searches through blogs to find what you are looking for. This is therefore a good place to start to know what people on the web are saying about your company’s or your client company’s products, services, industry and reputation.

If you have a blog that you want people to know about, you can set up a Technorati account and claim your blog, for your blog to be included in Technorati’s searchable blog database.

To find out the buzz on the Internet, you can browse through Technorati tags to find the most popular tags given by bloggers to describe their blogs and posts. You can also find out which are the most followed, most searched and most authoritative blogs on the blogosphere, on Technorati’s page of the most popular blogs on the web.

Looking for blogs on a particular subject? Technorati even has a blog finder directory, organized by topic.

To keep updated on a topic, you can personalize your Technorati account with watchlists by adding a keyword, phrase or URL to the list and Technorati will track it for you.

All in all, Technorati is a great way to track various trends and topics on the web, if you can get past how spammy it sometimes can be.



Web tracking: Alexa
June 18, 2008, 11:34 am
Filed under: Online presence | Tags: ,

For those who have yet to create their arsenal of web tracking tools, this post will get you started.

Let’s start with Alexa.com. Alexa has a vast database of information about sites that includes statistics, related links and more. To access information about a website, including a site overview, traffic details and related links – simply type the URL of any site into the Alexa Search box. You can also compare a website’s traffic against that of its competitors like I’ve done with Google, Yahoo and MSN below.

Also check out the Global Top 500 sites and the Country Top 100 sites to know the most popular websites in the world and also in your target market. This will help you identify which websites you should invest your dollars and efforts in.



Jamie vs Nigella
June 16, 2008, 2:05 pm
Filed under: Online presence | Tags: , ,

I’m on a hunt for recipes, and instead of going to allrecipes.com or recipezaar.com as I normally do, I’ve decided to check out what’s on the websites of Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver today.

Jamie vs Nigella – who wins online?

Jamie Oliver’s website strikes me as very British in design. Not long ago I visited British organic food company Duchy Originals‘ website and it has the same feel to it with a large photo as a backdrop for the site. Back to Jamie’s site, it’s quite well-designed with a  good selection of recipes that carries comments and ratings from website visitors (web 2.0 brownie points for Jamie!), lots of food photos that look delectable against a background of white, podcasts, forums and blogs. The website’s interactivity is very suited for his target audience, a young web-savvy working crowd looking to put together easy, presentable dinners in his breezy manner.

Nigella’s website is so old-world web it does no justice to that pair of perennially manicured hands and her polished presence. I would have expected luscious raspberry maroons to whet up an appetite for her recipes, but instead what I got was a pasty shortbread-colored background, 50% screen real estate left-justified (even when viewed on IE) and a British monarch-type portrait of her on the homepage. How can a food website be devoid of food pictures on its landing page?  And frankly, asking her site visitors to “get your skates on” at the bottom of the homepage is incredulous, I not only wanted to skate on, I wanted to scoot off. I think her target audience of domestic goddesses, even if they spend too much time in the kitchen or painting their nails, would be sorely disappointed.  

Conclusion? Jamie wins the food fight online, (non-manicured) hands down!



Blogshops
June 13, 2008, 3:44 pm
Filed under: Shopping | Tags: , , ,

Are blogshops an Asian phenomenon? Check out these that I like:

http://www.shoplah.com

http://tutuswardrobe.blogspot.com

http://shsecrets.blogspot.com

http://shoppingempire823.blogspot.com

http://dressup2the9s.livejournal.com

No e-commerce engines, no sophisticated web designs, just a series of blog posts showing their latest fashion inventory. Technology cost? Nearly zero. Looks like a nouveau way for young Asian girls to make some extra cash.



Life is a videogame
June 10, 2008, 1:01 pm
Filed under: Random | Tags: ,

My epiphany for June 2008 – life is a videogame.

There are essentially a set of rules and a series of levels set by the game creator. Play by the rules, overcome obstacles and achieve goals to score points. The more you score, the higher you advance from level to level, giving you a sense of satisfaction and contentment with having done well in the game by beating the odds.

That’s life, isn’t it?



Solis on PR Secrets for Startups
June 3, 2008, 5:58 pm
Filed under: Online presence, Social Media | Tags: , ,

Techcrunch recently published a long post by Brian Solis, with 12 PR secrets for web startups.

You can follow the link above to read the full post, but I’ve taken extracted the 12 points below for quick reference:

  1. Understand You’re Not the Only Story in Town
  2. Pick the Right Person or Team to Lead PR
  3. Participation is Marketing
  4. Identify The Target Audience For Every Step Of Your Growth
  5. Don’t Launch on Mondays
  6. No Two Bloggers or Journalists are Created Equal
  7. Measure Success, Not Traffic
  8. Customize the News For Each Influencer to Make His Or Her Job Easier
  9. Get a Spokesperson
  10. Your Company Blog is More Powerful Than You May Think
  11. Blogger Relations Extends from the “A-List” to the Magic Middle
  12. Follow the Conversations and Join In

If you are a seasoned communications pro, I think the points serve as a good set of guidelines for your online marketing/ PR campaign. For those reading the post without marketing or PR experience, a DIY approach based on Solis’ recommendations may get you somewhere, but nowhere as far as good PR counsel can get you.

If there’s one thing Solis nailed spot on, it has to be this comment:

PR is now more than ever, something more capable and influential than simply writing and sending press releases to contacts generated by media databases. The media landscape has been completely blown open to not only include traditional media, but also bloggers and most importantly the very people we want to reach, our customers.