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What's all the BUZZ about?

A brand new social networking site was launched several days ago by Google, called Buzz. Google Buzz is a new way to share updates, photos, videos, and start conversations about the things you find interesting. If you own a Gmail account, you’re already set up to follow the people you email and chat with the most. This new tool comes with many features that implicate dramatic change within the social networking/media arena. Over the past couple weeks, data shows that “over 160,000 Google Buzz posts and comments per hour.” But why is this social networking site so popular? How is Google Buzz different than Twitter or Facebook?

Here are some of its new features that distinguish Buzz from Twitter and Facebook:

Email

  • Integrated with one of the most widely-used email services on the planet.
  • One less browser window and one less login.
  • Email, chat, and social media functions are in one place.

Smart Auto-following

  • Auto-detects the contacts that you communicate with most and immediately follows them.

Instant Fullscreen Media Viewing

  • Shows pictures and video immediately viewable from the Buzz feed in fullscreen mode.

Choosing Media Associated with Links

  • Pulls pictures and video from the pages posted and lets you choose what media to post with the link.

Location-Based Posting and Results

  • Translates the latitude and longitude of your exact location into a place name and can identify if you are at home or at work.

Instantaneous Privacy Settings for Posts

  • Provides a simple dropdown box in the posting window that lets you easily change privacy settings for each post.

Recommendations

  • Identify posts from friends of a friend that may be interesting to you based on past behavior.  They are easily ignorable as well.

Relevancy Rankings for the Google Buzz Feed

  • Identifies the relevancy of each post based on what the post contains, who and how many people have commented on it and the location of the sender. If it is interesting, according to your taste (through likes and dislikes), it goes to top of news feed.

Article Reviewed:

http://mashable.com/2010/02/14/google-buzz-column/

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Changing the Face of Facebook

Another new layout? Seriously? After what feels like several thousand design changes, Facebook has yet again changed the layout of their website. This endeavor was set in motion to create a more “simplified design and provide easy access to your entire Facebook experience.”

Here is a list of some of its new and reorganized features

The Top Menu

  1. Icons for requests, messages, and notifications light up at the top left corner of the website so you don’t miss anything new.
  2. The Account Menu contains links to important settings pages. It’s also where you can go to find help or log out.
  3. The Basics — Search, Home and Profile — are accessible on the top right of every page.

The New Left Bar Menu

  1. Core Features such as News Feed, Messages and your Friends – are now nicely organized at the top of the left bar menu, making it easier to keep up with what’s new.
  2. Applications you’ve bookmarked have moved up the page for easy access. The new Applications and Games dashboards allow you to play to your heart’s desire.
  3. Friends Online provides quick links to chat with your friends, or quickly go online yourself to show others your ready to talk. Facebook chat options are on the bottom bar.

Source: www.facebook.com

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Corporate America, join the conversation or you lose.

Recently, I wrote two posts, one on FriendFeed the other on PicLens. Just for kicks I decided to let the companies know that I liked their product/service (…proservductice?) and I had written a post about them. I wasn’t expecting a shoutout on their blog or being added to some list, I just wanted to let them know I liked what they do enough to write a post raving about them.

Instead, what I got were two great examples of how companies should interact with bloggers. Here are their responses…

Great. Thanks, Blake.

Feel free to add your trackback and link to our new blog at blog.cooliris.com.

Kind regards,
#### & The PicLens Team

——————————-

Hi Blake,

Thanks for the email, and for taking the time to write a post about us!

– ### (FriendFeed)

——————————-

This is exactly what companies need to do. Engage and participate in the conversation. How easy is it for a company to give a simple thanks to a blogger who liked their prod/serv. enough to spend time writing a post about them?

Honest, impartial and critical, are what makes the posts we do here so much more trustworthy than a sponsored review. They can be much more valuable to a company than something they hired someone to write. The company essentially gets free advertising and legit promotion. It is the least they can do to give a simple thanks, yet most companies are so removed they miss out on some great opportunities to encourage discussion of their offering.

Recently Megan wrote a great post on PageOnce. Shortly after, someone from the company posted thanking her for writing the post and gave a link to access the private beta test.Plug Your Ears

A while ago I wrote a post on a great online storage solution, Humyo. I told the company about the post and they asked if they could forward it to their PR department and said they would hook me up with premium features to test. For a while, I was on page 1 of Google for “Humyo” and almost first for “Humyo Online Storage”. If I had written about how bad the service was, that could have had a serious impact on their company. If one of the first few results on Google for you is negative you’ve got a problem! Yah think?

Now it may be easy and necessary for these solely internet based companies to keep tabs on what is being said about them on the net, but what about companies primarily offline? I think that they too need to join the conversation or risk losing a significant opportunity. It is not hard to setup a Google alert for your name and see what people are saying (good and more importantly bad) about your company (or you).

Two lessons here:

  1. Bloggers (words) have power both to build a companies reputation and destroy it.
  2. Companies need to participate in the conversation online and not be silent.

What examples (good and bad) have you seen of companies joining/ignoring the conversation?

Update: Shortly after I posted this, PageOnce visited again (evidenced in the MyBlogLog widget in the sidebar) it shows what a close watch they keep on what is being said about their company. Props guys!

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Are you remarkable? Ditch the resume!

Marketing guru Seth Godin recently made a shocking statement…

Seth Godin’s blog“I think if you’re remarkable, amazing or just plain spectacular, you probably shouldn’t have a resume at all.

Go read his blog post and learn why you shouldn’t have a resume and the 4 things you can do to impress a future employer.

Quick tip: Seth’s blog is a really great resource for anyone who does anything remotely related to marketing (i.e. anyone in business)

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Online Resumes: Differentiate or be Unemployed.

Going off of Chris’s post and our class discussion, this post is about the problems facing students trying to find a job. And it’s also a continuation of my post on using your name as a website and protecting your reputation.

What can a student do to differentiate themselves from their peers?

What can you hand a potential employer that will make them say “wow!“?

What shouldn’t you do? Handing them a run-of-the-mill paper resume is certainly not going to differentiate you from the herd.

Here are some things I think are key to differentiating you

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