Today one of our clients received a new kind of photo extortion letter. This one is for a back link.
Long before the snow even starts to cover the roofs of our houses and temperature drops to zero we are reminded to rejoice in upcoming Christmas time by commercials. Some find them too annoying, some think they create a certain holiday atmosphere. One way or another, there are commercials which are worth watching. Touching, funny, sweet, there are many of them, but no matter what genre, they all make us feel like celebrating Christmas whatever month it is right now.
I’m looking for a camera to shoot video at home and at work quickly, simply and well lately (comparative review coming). It’s taken me out to spend more time looking at gear sites. Horatio Tan runs a very unique site which primarily compares top of the line Leica gear (M9, M10, SL) with top tier Canon (5DR), Nikon (D850) and Sony (A7S, A73, A7R2, A7R3). His subjects are mainly very pretty Russian models out and about in Hong Kong. Gear cat nip.
Tan is a bit existential about his photography. In his post A Crisis of Purpose in the Age of Instagram, he wonders about how likes influence photography.
SoundCloud’s Shrinking Revenue, Real Estate and Headcount
SoundCloud had way too many staff members for what is a fairly simple website. Their headcount was 422 out of which 173 have been given their walking papers.
SoundCloud was also maintaining offices in Berlin, New York, San Francisco and London. For expensive real estate they only needed to add Paris and Tokyo for a perfect score. Fortunately, SoundCloud will cut back to Berlin and New York now. Someone needs to negotiate with the Americans (New York) while production and code and IT can all be done in Berlin.
There’s a need for some kind of design and marketing input from New York as Germans can be really clueless about marketing to anyone except Germans. Germans in a way don’t really believe in marketing, they believe in the product. I’m a German at heart that way myself. Heaven knows I could do a better job with the FV Player marketing1 while with Martin we’ve done a great job on the software architecture. While Mercedes no longer makes cars which run 400,000 km without major service (I owned one), many German products remain very high quality.
When Foliovision first got acquainted with Richard Silver back in 2013, we knew we were at the start of a very fruitful relationship. Richard was already a big star on the Toronto real estate scene, being a real estate agent for the past 35 years and an ex-TREB president. He came to Foliovision with his Richardsilver.com site, which was badly hurt by Google Penalty at the time and found itself at the bottom of Google search results.
Together we built Torontoism.com and produced hundreds of articles during the past four years. Torontoism grew, and today it is a team of five real estate agents supported by two customer relationship gurus, catering to both Torontonians and international buyers and sellers. Here is Richard’s and Torontoism’s success story.
It’s hard to stand out or even survive on the social media front today if you’re not using video in some way. Not all of us have time or resources to create our own videos and most social media operations consist of one person doing it all. Anyone who has ever been in this situation knows nothing tastes better than a free lunch, whether it’s a free design tool, free social media scheduler or a database of free high-quality photos.
But what about videos, where do you find free videos? Do they even exist?
As a matter of fact, they do.
In my last article, I wrote about how video is becoming everything everyone talks about these days. At least on social media. And the ones who know how to use it properly and to their own advantage, are the ones running the conversation.
Gone are the days of sharing songs and funny videos from Youtube. Today, everyone is a content creator, or wants to be one, but I’ll talk about that some other time. Since Facebook users are the ones creating their own content instead of sharing other people’s content, Facebook recognized this and moved native videos to the top of the news feed pyramid.
When I say native videos, I’m talking about the videos you take on your phone or your camera and upload directly to Facebook without uploading them to Youtube or Vimeo or any other streaming service.
But why should a simple Facebook user care about this? Well, they shouldn’t and probably won’t. But just because this change hasn’t disrupted an average Facebook user’s life, there are many people out there who’ve been affected by it.
Twitter has 99 problems and UX is one of them. The roles of Advanced Search, Analytics and Moments in its ecosystem are uncertain. Therefore, using them is complicated and confusing. In this blog post I am looking at each feature, its malfunctions and how they can be improved. Feel free to join the discussion.
I am not sure whether it is worth anything to complain about Twitter. At this point, it seems like talking to a brick wall (not that wall). The company’s financial results are as disappointing as is the average engagement. Yet, little has been done to overturn this.
Jan Rezab, the founder of Socialbakers, suggests pre-filtered feeds for sports, news, etc (this is something Facebook has been contemplating over the last year under the name ‘Trending Topics’). He is also against the notion the company should sell – because there’s so much room for improvement. And indeed, there is.
Video seems to be everything everyone wants these days. According to CISCO, video will account for 75 per cent of all consumer internet traffic in 2017 and that number will only continue to rise into the year 2020.
Let’s take Facebook as an example. If you publish a written update or a link to your blog post on your Facebook page, you will be unpleasantly surprised by how many people have actually seen your update. But if you turn your post into an image or you go even further and create a video out of it, you will most definitely increase the reach of the message.
Evernote caused an earthquake last year with changes to their beloved freemium model. Many users were forced to pay if they wanted to keep using the app on more than two devices and enjoy storage space larger than 60MB/per month. I was one of those who accepted the changes (with a bitter face), but not long after the company raised the pricing again. By then, Microsoft OneNote was promoting its free product and Evernote migration tool. I was convinced, but never very happy about the OneNote’s organization, and UI/UX.
I stumbled upon Milanote earlier today. It is not officially released yet, but after signing up for e-mail notification once it is out I was given the option to get on beta testing. All I had to do was tell them how I plan to use the app, and what similar app I can think of in a Typeform. Done and I was in (love).
While out on Twitter today, I visited the Facebook page of the company of a new acquaintance also in the marketing trade. Silvia had decided to cite Gary Vaynerchuk. Pretty compelling statement. I really agree with it.
There is more junk created and marketed on the internet than in world history (there were some pretty weird elixirs hawked in the newspapers around the turn of the century in America so marketing excesses in the favour of poor product are not altogether unprecedented).
In the past few months I have been playing around with a couple of social media tools to get better the results of my promotion and to improve the way I work. These tools are non-other than Hootsuite and Buffer. Before deciding on the winner, I tried free versions of both apps. Comparing them in their raw, naked state turned out like this.
AppSumo had a special offer on Quuu Lifetime licenses, so we decided to buy one and test it on one of our Twitter profiles.
Quuu is a third-party content scheduling tool for social media. Simply put, it posts random articles from all around the internet to your social media profile to make you look interesting, if you don’t have time to read articles and post them daily yourself.
This is the basic outline of the presentation I made at ReBar Toronto. Alec moderated and we fielded a lot of questions together about Google+ and Facebook after the presentation. Alas, we only have detailed notes from the opening presentation.
The first rule of tweeting the right way is to actually have something to say. No one can accuse you of spam if you share something that’s of real value to them. You should always remember that. If you are tweeting about something which you wrote or posted to your own website, make sure you would want to read it first before starting to promote it to other people.