April 13, 2010

I'd Love To Twitter You ON!


By Wendy McHale

We're asking all the bloggers attending ad:tech San Francisco this month to answer some questions that we know will be discussed at the show. They range from what they think about twitter to Facebook to blogging. As you might expect they all have opinions! Here are a few from AdAge 150 Blogger of craphammer.ca, Sean Howard; who (self-deprecating to a fault) said he enjoyed giving us his thoughts here, since it made it easy for him to find something interesting, versus his otherwise endless task of having to - in his words - sort through endless cr@p!

ad:tech Twitter Question: New tech tools like Twitter and Seesmic are making major changes in how people communicate on a personal level and are expected to do so like so many other next gen technologies that make it easy to shoot short text messages or videos in easily digestible forms. Have you joined the Twitter brigade? If so what's been the main benefit? If not, what do you need to know to make a decision whether to join the club. What do you think?


Sean: Twitter is overrated, sure. I'm on record calling it "instant messaging for 40 year olds" as it lacks granularity of control over segmenting your "followers". But like any service in this space, its value is in three things: the scale of the network using the service (how many people in the world), who is in your personal network, and how these "friends" in your personal network use the tool. To not participate is to ensure you are even further out of touch in 2-3 years when there is a more complex series of tools that allow you to control and manage your social connections to a finer degree


ad:tech Facebook Question: Are platforms like Facebook good as internal applications to help run a company? Once you strip the platform of silly apps, some top execs are coming around to the idea that it's better than sales force or outlook-based tools given the friendlier interface for as it relates to events, identifying groups, business content and ways to chat with their customers. Do you agree?


Sean: Facebook as an internal tool for companies? No, I don't agree. It's not about using any technology. It's about creating value for our customers. It's about content and services that provide utility in their lives. "The conversation age" is more than just communicating with people - it is a metaphor for two parties each taking value from a situation, each providing input and currency back to the other in different forms. If using Facebook by your company brings value to both parties, then go for it.


ad:tech SEO & Blogging Question: A majority of purchasers use the internet for research before a purchase is made. Blogging gives a company a lot of content containing a lot of keywords, and, with a lot of incoming and outbound links, that's SEO gold. Will this trend continue in an evolutionary process or do you think it will be leapfrogged by another format which will increase a shopper's research patterns?


Sean: There are a number of convoluted questions embedded in this one and I'm unsure how familiar everyone is with all the issues involved. Search Engine Optimization is generally a hoax. There are a few firms that do a reputable job, but most just charge outrageous sums of money and build fake pages with lots of links back to your site. This answer also comes back to utility and value. If we create something of value to our audiences, there will be links aplenty. Not from jus blogs, but from everything our audience has access to: journals, chat rooms, bulletin boards, blogs, twitters, SMS messages, etc.


If you want to learn more from Sean, don't be one of those black holes in Blackburn, Lancashire. Come out to ad:tech San Fran and we'll twitter you on!

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