Category Archives: Technology

Should Companies Embrace Facebook?

bivI was interviewed for a cover article that appeared in this week’s edition of Business In Vancouver. The story reads “Surge in Social Networking Rings Corporate Security Alarms” and talks about the rising use of platforms such as Facebook and the potential negative affects it could have on the workplace. Privacy and security are increasing concerns as more people congregate, share and communicate online. I don’t disagree, particularly when it’s employees of companies disclosing corporate information not intended for the public on a ‘company Facebook page’. This is particularly true with publicly traded companies. The same careful administration bestowed to a company website, should also be taken with a Facebook page or Ning community site or Myspace space.

But this shouldn’t stop your company from embracing these social media tools and platforms, which allow you to reach prospects and customers in a meaningful and massive way like no other. First, you’re reaching them where they go and on their terms. At Facebook, a user will only get updates on your company if they opt-in by becoming a fan. At Twitter, a user will only receive your messages if they become a follower. They also have the power to share it with their friends, fans and followers instantly, giving you some viral love in return.

And second, these tools aren’t trendy, they’re cultural. More and more people find these tools to be just way too simple and powerful to ignore. And the price is right. Our raw and primitive need to communicate and connect will never change. How we do, does and will. And technology leads the way in helping us serve that need cheaper, faster and easier. These tools and platforms are revolutionizing the way we communicate and connect, and businesses may as well learn how to use them to their benefit, and not their detriment. Below is an excerpt from the article:

While a company may not be able to control negative comments that are posted on the Internet, the web’s interactivity allows companies to respond to them. “There’s a whole etiquette to social networking that not everybody gets,” said Rajan Sodhi, vice-president of marketing at PEER 1 Network Enterprises Inc. (TSX: PIX). One consistent rule is to communicate openly, honestly and often.

Vancouver-based PEER 1 uses a number of social networking tools and has an employee whose sole role is to cultivate the company’s online presence. PEER 1 also monitors the Internet for content that mentions the company. “It can be positive or negative,” said Sodhi. “If it’s something [about PEER 1] they aren’t happy with, we acknowledge them right then and there.” As well as reacting publicly on a blog or network on which a negative comment was posted, PEER 1 will usually follow-up with a phone call.

“We’re a real believer that these social media tools and platforms are here to stay,” said Sodhi, who is the administrator of PEER 1’s Facebook site. “You can be fearful of it and not embrace it, but I think you’re going to lose one of the best tools for communicating and reaching your market.”

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Filed under Business, Communications, Facebook, Internet, marketing, MySpace, Ning, Online marketing tactics, Selling, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral

Cool Gadget Alert: The Flip Video Mino

The Flip Video Mino

The Flip Video Mino

Cool new point-and-shoot video camcorder called the Flip Video Mino by Pure Digital Technologies is the size of a small digital camera, but can record up to 60 minutes of video and publish straight to YouTube, AOL Video, and MySpace through its internal software. You can see a Flip Video demo here. It retails for $179.99 and comes with 2GB internal memory, rechargeable batteries, digital zoom, and a USB arm that connects directly to your laptop download your videos in seconds. I’ll be getting my hands on one soon and can’t wait to start playing around with it.This is a great tool for bloggers and Internet video aficionados.

At PEER 1, we have launched today a limited time promotion where are giving away the Flip Video Mino free to anyone who signs up for a managed hosting or dedicated hosting plan. If you are in the market for hosting, this a great time to sign up for a plan and to get your hands on this hot new gadget.

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Filed under Hosting, innovation, Internet, marketing, PEER 1, ServerBeach, servers, Small Business Marketing, Technology, video, youtube

Off Topic: Opening the TSX Quite a Thrill

My PEER 1 colleagues and I opening the TSX on September 30th, 2008.

My colleagues and I opening the TSX on September 30th, 2008.

Yesterday, at 9:30am EST, my PEER 1 colleagues and I were given the opportunity to open the market for the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) (on which we are listed under the symbol PIX). What a cool experience and one that I won’t soon forget. I remember back in university taking a course on corporate valuation taught by a former Wall Street insider. I found it fascinating and have been following the markets ever since. I’ve also seen many companies on television opening the market by ringing the bell, or in our case, pushing a touch screen button on a plasma (ah, technology). I can’t say I ever thought I would get the chance, but I’m very glad I did. The opening marks a significant milestone in PEER 1’s nine year history and I feel very fortunate to have been a part of it, and to have shared the experience with a tremendous group of people.

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Filed under Branding, Business, Co-location, Communications, data center, Hosting, Internet, It infrastructure, Managed Hosting, PEER 1, Technology

New Microsoft Ad Campaign with Gates and Seinfeld Launched

New Microsoft ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

New Microsoft ad campaign featuring Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld.

The much anticipated Micrsoft ad campaign (watch here) put together by hot ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky in response to the devestating Mac vs. PC campaign made its debut during the Giants-Redskins NFL game as reported by Techcrunch (and a nod to Tony for sending it my way). The campaign features founder Bill Gates and comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who was reportedly paid $10 million to be involved, in what looks like will be a series of ads that will run as a chronological short story. The debut has very little meat around Micrsoft Vista, which will likely perturb many in the tech community. Instead, it sets up a tone and conversation that hopes to have us all view Microsoft and its Vista product much differently.

Personally, I think this is a smart move. Vista has been plagued with negative press and reviews, from its massive delay in release to its lackluster debut, PC users have not taken to Vista the way Microsoft had hoped. Not even close. Having a debut ad that is “hard hitting” and dives straight into the features and benefits of Vista or slams MAC would come across as a “me-too” campaign, and would likely not overcome the stigma and feelings towards the product.

Setting a new tone, creating a new conversation, and using a completely different way of looking at it could help change the emotional barriers that consumers seem to have for the product. What do I think of the first ad? It made me chuckle and I’m very curious to see the follow up ad. So far… I like. What do you think?

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Filed under advertising, Branding, Business, Communications, Humor, marketing, Microsoft, Technology

Store Your Important Files on Drop.io Online Storage

Another cool online tool for small businesses. Drop.io lets you seamlessly store files online from your desktop through your Firefox browser (with the plugin), and then share them. The service is very cheap starting at $10 per gigabyte per year. If you have ever had your computer crash, you know how painful losing important files and data can be. Online storage is the best way to protect yourself and to ensure your files are always there and available, no matter what happens to your hardware.

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Filed under Business, cloud computing, Hosting, Internet, storage, Technology

Cuil Sets Its Sites on Google

New search engine Cuil has made no bones about it. They’re going after Google with what they believe is a superior search engine that searches for and ranks pages based on their content and relevance… and not on “superficial popularity metrics”. Ouch!

According to their site, Cuil searches more pages on the web than anyone else—three times as many as Google and ten times as many as Microsoft. Interesting enough, many of the executives are ex-Google people. Try it out and let me know what you think. Are they a real threat to Google, or are they just trying to use this positioning to generate some early PR attention.

http://www.cuil.com

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Filed under Business, Internet, Online marketing tactics, Technology

Structure 08 Conference a Big Success

PEER 1 headline sponsor of Structure 08I was invited by Techvibes to write a blog post about the first ever Structure 08 conference hosted by GigaOM, which I attended and my company PEER 1 sponsored. It was held on June 25th in San Francisco at the Mission Bay Conference Center:

Just got back from the Structure 08 conference hosted by GigaOM and headline sponsored by my company, Vancouver-based PEER 1. The sold out event was a tremendous success with over 600 people in attendance representing companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and VMWare. A third of the conference room was allocated to media alone.

Making the decision to sponsor Structure 08 was an easy one. It is so rare to have a room full of the brightest minds discussing and debating the latest technology impacting IT infrastructure. “Cloud Computing” was by far the topic of the day, a buzz term that seems to encompass anything related to virtualization or on-demand scalable web hosting, which is sometimes, well, cloudy.

The line up of speakers included Jonathan Yarmis of AMR Research, Mendel Rosenblum of VMWare, and a heated discussion that included panelists from Google, AT&T, GigaSpaces, Mosso, Joyent, and XCalibre. Read more

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Filed under amazon, amr research, at&t, cloud computing, Co-location, conference, data center, events, gigaspaces, Google, Hosting, Internet, It infrastructure, joyent, Managed Hosting, marketing, mosso, Om Malik, PEER 1, servers, Small Business Marketing, structure 08, Technology, virtualization, xcalibre