Did You Receive a Thank You for Standing Up Against SOPA?

In a world with corporations that do not understand the value of a 1:1 relationship with their customers, customer service can be a trying experience. In the recent attempted hijacking of our Internet rights by politicians backing the SOPA bill, I was asked to take a stand. The request came from a number of big Internet juggernauts: will you sign a petition, write your congressman or congresswoman, will you stand up against this tyrannical power grab? My answer was yes so I wrote my elected representatives and signed petitions against SOPA. Of all of the organizations I supported with my efforts only one followed up after our stand. Only one took the time to write me a thank you email. Only one was smart enough to recognize the power of a simple thank you even if it’s a mass blast email. Best of all it wasn’t from the big juggernaut I thought even knew I existed.

Thank you Google!

Are You Prospecting Your Business Community?

Fortune magazine’s “The World’s Most Admired Companies” article focuses on companies that are the most popular workplaces. Most of these employees are paid well. Many of these employees are on the move so relocation is a constant for these companies. With all of these positives, have you ever thought to target these companies in search of business? But how would you start?

Top 10 Most Admired Companies in the World

  1. Apple
  2. Google.com
  3. Berkshire Hathaway
  4. Southwest Airlines
  5. Proctor & Gamble
  6. Coca-Cola
  7. Amazon.com
  8. FedEx
  9. Microsoft
  10. McDonald’s

Human Resources & Your Connections

If you are willing to put the effort into wooing employees from top companies then you should consider two places to begin.

  • Connections: list all of your personal connections to employees, executives are a great source, and begin to make contact with them. Consider a phone call then follow up postal effort
  • Human Resources: if you don’t have any personal connections to employees or executives in your target firm then contact the HR department. Ask if you can provide a free lunch and learn session for employees, provide free estimates, or provide free one on one consultations

20 Google Facts That Will Surprise You

FoxNews , Post Tribune, &  The Courier News published this deansguide article 9-8-09

Google is the most influential force behind the proliferation of social media. Yet many of us think we know everything or close to everything we need to know about Google. In an eye opening article by Search Engine People’s Ruud Hein “20 Things You Don’t Know About Google” you can learn something new and in most cases be very surprised at what you did not know. Here is Ruud’s list and my impressions.

20 Google Facts

1. Adwords accounts for 99% Google’s annual revenue; dg: that seems obvious but we are just warming up

2. Google’s advertising revenue in 2008 was $21 billion; dg: incredible and more than I imagined!

3. 1.35% of the US’ Adwords advertisers make up 80% of Google US ad revenue; dg: this goes beyond the 90-10 rule

4. Adwords as we know it used to be called Adwords Select. The top banner position was sold old school style through a program call Adwords Premium; dg: I did NOT know that fact

5. The first Adwords Select ad was in 2000 for live mail-order lobsters; dg: you have to start somewhere, a precursor to WebVan?

6. Google’s pricing mechanism where the winner pays the runner up’s price was devised to prevent super-inflated bid prices but the second-price auctions resulted in higher prices for Google right away; dg: brilliant strategy

7. In 2009 Google began showing ads based on their previous online activities. User patterns are segmented in 20 categories and roughly 600 subcategories; dg: this will continue to expand and be refined

8. In 2008, 80% of 80,000 typo-squatting domains in the US alone were funded through Adsense; dg: that is a bit alarming

9. Google’s query forecasting models are founded in their efforts to understand and predict Adwords pricing and click patterns; dg: again this will continue to be refined

10. Although it doesn’t like to talk about using user data, Google cross references everything. “We have temperature data, weather data, and queries data, so we can do correlation and statistical modeling.”; dg: this is part of the power and “secret sauce” that makes Google

11. In the last 10 years Google’s latency has gone from 1000ms to 200ms.

12. In the last 10 years Google has made seven major rearchitecture changes.

13. Compared to 1999 Google’s index is now 100x larger but they update it 10,000 times faster; dg: growth and speed continue to be a Google staple and it is another building block that keeps them ahead of the other search engines

14. Google cataloged its trillionth web page in 2008; dg: with one trillion cataloged web pages will any company ever challenge Google’s supremacy in the search industry?

15. To translate one sentence Google does a million lookups in a multi-terabyte data structure.

16. To punish itself for artificial link inflation (paid links) Google penalized itself in 2009 by lowering the PageRank of it’s Japan domain from PR9 to PR5; dg: why not across the board?

17. Since January 2009 Gmail regularly beats YouTube in market share by US visits and is the 2nd most popular Google property; dg: very surprising considering Youtubes viral capabilities

18. The 3 largest traffic drivers for Gmail are Google, Facebook — and Yahoo! Mail…; dg: oh yea Yahoo helping Google is a bit like the Red Sox helping the Yankees–hard to understand

19. To encourage developer teams to move to new servers Google uses auctions where teams bid how many extra computers dedicated to their service it would take for them to move; the lowest bidding team wins.

20. In 2007 Google announced it will award $20 million to the 1st private team which builds a robot — and puts it on the moon; dg: my money is on Mark Cuban who is never shy about a challenge or the type of publicity this challenge would generate

Twitter’s Conversational Search: The Search Google and Facebook Seek to Emulate?

FoxBusiness.com published this deansguide article 3- 18-09

The new buzzword in the world of search, and a concept being posited as the downfall of Google, is “conversational search.” The idea being that searching within Twitter, Linkedin, or other social media network search engines is a more robust and valuable search strategy than utilizing Google search. The thought is that the search results on Twitter could lead the searcher to conversation(s) that provide more targeted information, possibility of immediate communication, and feedback.

The following is a retrospective look at our original Twitter case study that highlighted David Murray’s successful job search utilizing Twitter.com as his main tool. Within Dave’s strategy were 5 major tips that any job seeker can use to begin the process of delivering their value to their strategically targeted audience(s). This is a fantastic case study for the value of conversational search: injecting yourself into your desired conversation resulting in an opportunity.

The case study of David Murray written by David Meerman Scott is a powerful example of how to utilize Twitter in your employment campaign. The article “How David Murray Found a New Job via Twitter” provides 5 advanced tips that are very important to consider—if you plan to utilize this free broadcasting tool:

  1. Use Twitter: This sounds easy but the first step is to recognize that if you want to stand apart, you need to begin to utilize social media tools your competitors may not be using–yet.
  2. Create Keyword List: List all of the keywords for the company, industry, people, and niche you wish to “follow” on Twitter. An example of David’s keyword list: “Social media jobs”, “Online Community Manager”, “Blogging jobs”, “Hiring social media”, and other keywords that fit his job search criteria.
  3. Twitter Search: Twitter Search is an internal search engine that you will input your keywords into to find conversations by people who are connected to the industry, jobs, companies, and niches you wish to contact.
  4. Google Reader: David then pulled the RSS feeds of his keyword conversations into Google Reader and “made it a habit to check these first thing in the morning every day.”
  5. Introduce Yourself: David found conversations related to his job interests and he “took the liberty of introducing himself via Twitter.”

The Results: David was hired as “Assistant Webmaster, Client Services for The Bivings Group.” And as David states “Many times when inquiring about the open positions, the jobs had not been officially posted” and “How cool that on Twitter you can express interest in a job opportunity that hasn’t even been announced yet?”

Job Seekers and Entrepreneurs: Deliver Your Value First Through Social Media Revolution

Susan and I presented our workshop “Web 2.0′s Impact on Job Seekers: The Changing Roles of the Resume, Job Search, and Job Seeker” at CSIX this past Tuesday to a packed house of over 110 hopeful job seekers. As we settled into facilitating this workshop, we realized that for the first time we were about to present our complete thesis and theme.

Step 1

The most important step for job seekers and entrepreneurs is the understanding that you must deliver your value first, deliver it often, and deliver it to your strategically targeted audience.

“Hiring managers are using the Internet to get a more well-rounded view of job candidates in terms of their skills, accomplishments, and overall fit within the company”Rosemary Haefner Vice President of Human Resource Careerbuilder.com

We have been supporting blogging as a more powerful and proactive “living” resume since June of 2008. Yet Tuesday was our first opportunity to evangelize the emergence of a paradigm shift, where social media tools and Web 2.0 strategies replaced the resume, as a job seeker’s main marketing tool.

Web 2.0 Paradigm Shift in Communications

The decades of mass media dominance and stranglehold over the control and flow of information is waning. Today is the greatest time in human history for communication, connectivity, collaboration, networking, and delivering your message of value, expertise, and experience to your strategicially targeted hiring managers and companies.

There is a global conversation going on between bloggers, people networking and finding opportunities on Linkedin, resources and messages being broadcast on Twitter, and companies searching for human capital talent throughout the social media stratosphere.

Companies Adopting Web 2.0 and Blogs: Tools to Promote Business

Our friend and blogger Ray Schiel, of globalsocialmedianetwork.com, has produced a massive resource page that outlines the participation of 105 major corporations in blogging, 64 on Facebook pages, 12 podcasting, 12 crowdsourcing sites, and 100′s of companies microblogging on Twitter.

Job Seekers’ Tip: These social media tools are being used by major corporations to promote their products, services, and business practices. If you want to connect with your target company, and they utilize social media tools, then this is a major opportunity to connect as well as demonstrate your understanding of their efforts.

Companies Monitoring Web 2.0 and Social Media: Screening and Hiring Practices

Not only are major corporations utilizing these tools for their own business practices, they are using them to find new talent and perform due diligence on potential applicants. Computer World’s “One in Five Employers Uses Social Networks in Hiring Process” outlines a Careerbuilder.com survey of 31,000 employers. The results are very compelling:

1.  24% of hiring managers “found content on social networks that helped convince them to hire a candidate.” In addition hiring managers said that “profiles showing a professional image and solid references can boost a candidates chances for a job.”

2.  22% of the 31,000 employers said they “peruse social networks to screen candidates.”

3.  9% more of the 31,000 employers said they are planning to do so

4.  A total of 9,600 employers are going to search for candidates and perform due diligence rather than rely on resumes to tell a job seekers story

Deliver Your Value First

The conclusion is that job seekers must deliver their value first before attempting to deliver their resume. Social media and Web 2.0 are changing job search. The resume is no longer a job seeker’s marketing tool. It is up to job seekers, in this very rough job market, to utilize these tools in order to stand apart and become memorable.

LandAmerica LES Victim Speaks Out: Victim’s Google Group

Another victim of the LandAmerica debacle, Vivian Hays, has stepped forward to lend her voice of warning. If you are new to the Ed Okun 1031 Tax Group swindle or this latest bankruptcy by LES aka LandAmerica’s Exchange Service, consider these stories a warning. Perform extensive due diligence before taking on any 1031 exchange investments. Good luck to all!

I am one of the latest victims in this unbelievable fraud by LandAmerica. I want to say thank you, thank you, to the author of the article “Okun victims speak out on LandAmerica”, for the concise, if depressing, assessment of the situation. I personally would rather be informed than befuddled, or deluded. I have circulated your article to as many of the other victims as I can find. If you are a victim and want to get in touch with others who are taking action got to: landam1031exchangers@googlegroups.com

People really need to be warned that anyone planning such a transaction is completely without protections or safeguards under any current law. Once caught up in purposeful fraud, or bankruptcy by the 1031 “accomodator”, you will likely never get your money back, or get pennies on the dollar. The victims of this blatant money grab are in for a huge, costly, gut-wrenching fight in a system they do not understand and cannot afford. Senators do not return phone calls, Congressmen are “not available” ( all but Senator Dodd, thank you very much!) the IRS has no answers, but attorneys are very happy to talk with you…for $300 to $500 per hour…plus expenses….so take warning and do not believe anything you are told by an exchange rep…they are probably lying to you and will not be held responsible even if they are. My money was taken in by LandAmerica 5 business days before they closed their doors. They did not even send me my paperwork, I have had to request it from the title company. These people were grabbing all the money they could and knew that they were going to declare bankruptcy, but we, their victims, will be held to contracts that they do not have to honor, and that the parant company supposedly fully guaranteed. My business is probably sunk, my health insurance, which I must have due to diagnosis of breast cancer will probably be lost, and I still have to try and pay a tax bill on money I will probably not ever see, and I may not even be able to write it off as a loss, since the claim won’t be in the same tax year. Mine is only one of the many, many sad stories. I guess I am about to find out if justice is really blind.

S.F. Chronicle 50% Price Hike: Strategy to Move Readers Online

http://www.iri.org/newsarchive/images/news-SanFranciscoChronicle.png

Courtesy www.iri.org/newsarchive/2008/2008-07-26-News-…

The continued downward spiral of print media advertising revenues has large American papers rethinking their strategy for survival. Unfortunately for consumers who prefer inky newsprint on their figertips and something to hold, the strategy of our local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is a massive price increase. The SF Chronicle, not bothering to announce the increase, raised their newsstand price from .50 to .75 a whopping 50% increase. Adding insult to injury, the paper is offering less information-for more.

Trend Away from Print

“Want Ad” Advertising for employment, real estate, and other consumer goods has been severely hampered by the influx of sites like Craig’s list, blogs, and other social media sites that provide more strategically targeted information and advertising for free.

Survival Tactic

Now readers who enjoy traditional print media will have to pay more for the privilege of buying a paper off the newsstand or from their local paperboy. The reason for this is the fact that online advertising revenue is taking over as the prime income stream for many newspapers.

The Strategy

Sfgate.com the online newspaper for the San Francisco Chronicle is a vibrant example of what many news agencies are beginning to realize. A news site like sfgate.com is a massive blog. News stories, advertising, want ads, and other media placed everyday makes for a massive SEO machine. The sheer volume of information placed on sfgate.com everyday makes it a high traffic blog-website that ranks high on Google.

The Results

The S.F. Chronicle has a solid path to advertising revenue via it’s sfgate.com site. The paper has a chance to survive as it moves it’s operations online providing a vibrant and viable news product.

The consumer wins because the sfgate.com site is the SF Chronicle paper. Everyword is online for any reader willing to go to the site. The win for consumers is that the online version is FREE. Consumers willing to read their paper online don’t spend a dime. Is that not what Web 2.0 is all about?

Yahoo Advertising Campaign Like Their Search Capabilities: Misguided At Best

Jerry Yang this past spring turned down what may have been the sweetest deal in negotiating a sales price for Yahoo during the Microsoft “take over” bid. In that scenario, as it has played out to date, Yang refused to sell Yahoo believing that the company was worth more than the nearly 50 billion being offered. In this case, Yang made an egregious error and his stockholders are now suffering the consequences with Yahoo stock price plunging to an alarming $12 per share.

Equally stupid, in my opinion, is the marketing campaign being pushed on Northern California radio by the mind trust at Yahoo. It seems in the information rich, human capital intelligent, internet savvy Silicon Valley, Yahoo is clueless to it’s audience. Why?

A Train wreck Marketing Philosophy: “Don’t get lost in all the links”

1. Taking on Google’s algorythim by hinting that Google confuses people by offering to much information in their search queries

2. Assuming the Public is too stupid to understand the basics of great search results offered by Google

3. “Ah Shucks” tone of innocence in attempting to sway the less than informed public

4. Bad Advertising ploy where Yahoo follows the old Madison Ave tactic where producing a very bad ad so enrages the public they talk about the product

5. “Less is More” in this case less is not more it is less information, less value, suspect results

Rule of Thumb

Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight. If you are going to take on the biggest advertising company in the world, you better have something to say that is worthy of the task. Trying to be Sarah Palin “folksie” only makes Yahoo look stupid and stupid doesn’t play in the Valley

Job Seeker’s Employment Campaign: Differentiate and Brand “You”

Courtesy dotdoubledot at Flickr.com

Reuters.com published this deansguide article October 8, 2008

Now is the time to take action in this challenging and changing employment environment. If you are a job seeker, a soon to be laid off ex-employee, or someone simply worried about your job security, this message is for you. Your greatest strategy to employment is to utilize Web 2.0 tools, network within the Social Media system, and join the global conversation by establishing your own blog.

“Blogging to Employment” is a hands on powerful workshop that provides the job seeker the tool to showcase:

  • Differentiating Factor: Stand out from the non blogging job seekers
  • Knowledge to Expertise: Showcase your business intelligence and assets
  • Employment Campaign: Chronicle your search strategies and answer the hiring manager’s question: “What have you been doing during the past (insert your timeframe) to find employment?”
  • Writing Platform: Establish the brand “You”, improve your writing skills through practice, and create content that hiring managers want to see
  • New Skill Sets: Learn to blog and utilize Web 2.0 Social Media Systems
  • Networking: Network globally, within your niche, and to your local market
  • Google Presence: Manage your search placement by populating your top 2 pages on a Google query of your name or business name
  • Reputation Management: Respond, correct, or defend against erroneous information about you online
  • “Living” Resume: Position your blog as an extension of your resume, a landing page where you send people to view your current activities

4 Strategies to Employment

  • Scenario Solution: take on a company’s challenge, posit your solutions, or review actionable steps that showcase how you might solve their challenge
  • Promote Linkedin Profile: Place a Linkedin widget on your blog that links to your Linkedin profile; place a link within your profile on Linkedin to send readers back to your blog
  • Profile Linking: Link all your profiles on each Social Media site to one another. Also link from these profiles back to your blog
  • What Are You Doing Now?: Promote and tell the world about your employment campaign and writing by placing links on Linkedin and Twitter. Linkedin has a message board and twitter is a “what are you doing now” message board

Related Blogging Services:

Business Blogging Basics

Business Blogging Strategies