One of the best and funniest explanations of what social media is in the slideshow below. If you’re not quite sure still what this umbrella term means or what impact it can have on your business, then do yourself a favor, and watch. Thanks for sharing Lance!
Tag Archives: website
Great post written on the value of using the free WordPress platform not just as a blog, but as a website. I’ve talked to many startups and small business owners that don’t have a website to just use WordPress for their site. So many advantages including the fact you can get something up in minutes! But, more importantly, there is so much functionality and control built into WordPress, along with it being very search-engine friendly, that it can’t be ignored. Here is an excerpt from the post “Why Settle for a Blog When You Can Have a Blogsite“:
Blogging tools have evolved significantly due to the tremendous popularity of blogging in general. Because of this evolution blog software has actually become one of the best ways for small businesses to easily build feature rich, simple to edit, search engine friendly web sites.
I would urge anyone without a web site or with a boring static brochure site to take a good hard look at free piece of software called WordPress. The current version of the software can be downloaded from WordPress.org (They have a hosted blog version at WordPress.com but you want the download from the .org site.)
You can use this software to create your entire website whether you have or want a blog or not. (But, of course you need a blog too.) One of the best functions of this set-up is that anyone in your organization with the proper login permission can update and edit the site including adding pages, text and images without any knowledge of HTML or web design software such as Dreamweaver.
On of the core elements of WordPress is something called a theme. This is essentially the design template that controls the look and feel of all of the pages throughout the site. There are lots of places you can get pre-designed templates for blogs, but recently designers have started creating themes for the type of web site implementation I’m talking about in this article. Using these themes your web site looks like, well, a web site, instead of a blog.
I was talking to a leadership consultant over coffee and we started discussing websites and blogs. He has a company site, but like many, it doesn’t get updated much and is used as the primary introduction to his business – an online brochure, more or less. I suggested he should start a blog. Then, I went as far as to say his blog should replace his company site. He seemed taken back. Then I explained.
A blog is the best type of site for a professional consultant. It’s tailor-made for their needs and what they have to offer: knowledge and expertise. A consultant can use the blog to continually share their knowledge, keep it regularly updated, cultivate a community passionate about the same field, and interact with an audience. How many company sites do that? How many even get updated unless for a change in an address or phone number. And you can save on the hosting costs with a free blog here at WP, complete with traffic and search stats. Add pages to the blog such as articles, bio and business info and you’ve got all the components of most regular sites, but a hell of a lot more effective and functional. If you’re a consultant and only have a company site because everyone else does, you’re not doing yourself much service. And chances are, your company site isn’t doing a whole lot to communicate your authentic voice – a key component when evaluating consultants. Start a blog and link to it from your site, or make your blog your main site.
This has got be the worst phone queue hell I have ever experienced. As I write this, I am exactly 2 hours into being put on hold by Expedia to make a minor change to my flight date for an upcoming trip. Why am I so stupid to wait this long on hold? You might be more perplexed that this is not my first time being placed on hold in the past two days, but my THIRD. My previous hold times were 1 hour 10 minutes and 1 hour 40 minutes, respectively – both which I ended to try a different course of action. Since Expedia is an online site, you would think I could make these changes over the net, but no, they require you to call their support line. After each of my first two attempts, I wrote them an email. Here is the frustrating correspondence that has left me no choice other than wait through the shrieking looping violin blaring out of my speaker phone:
- ME, Oct 13th, 2007 (through Expedia site):
Hello -I need to change my return flight on Alaska Airlines from San Francisco to Vancouver. Please let me know what the procedure is and how much the change will cost me. Thanks. Rajan
- EXPEDIA, Oct 15th, 2007, 10:17am:
Dear Rajan Sodhi, Thank you for contacting Expedia.ca regarding your reservation. Due to our high security measures, we ask all Expedia.ca members to call us directly and speak to one of our agents in order to change or cancel their booking. Please feel free to contact us if you have any further questions. Our Customer Support Representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Thank you for choosing Expedia.ca!
- ME, Oct 15th, 2007, 11:20AM:
I have been on hold for over an hour now. Please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX. Rajan Sodhi.
- EXPEDIA, Oct 16th, 2007, 10:00am:
Dear Rajan, Thank you for taking the time to write to us. We appreciate your thoughtful comments, and we’re sorry that your experience was not as expected. We rely on customers like you to provide us with the information we need to continue improving our services. We would just like to remind you that your time is of value to us, but we are experiencing an unusually high call volume at this time, and all calls are answered in a priority sequence. Due to high security standards, we do require you to call back, but cannot at this time give you a direct line to call. We thank you for your patience. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- ME, Oct 17th, 2007, 11:40AM:
I am currently on hold again and it has now been exactly 1hr and 40 minutes. Do you find this acceptable? I have been a customer of your site for at least three years and I find this appalling. Please provide me now with a direct phone number to an agent or call me at XXX.XXX.XXXX or XXX.XXX.XXXX – I cannot continue to stay on hold. Thank you. Rajan SodhiItinerary# XXXXXXXXXXX
1. Need to change return flight from SFO.
2. Received a notification through Expedia that a change was made to my flight. Cannot see it on site – prompted me to call you. Please clarify.
- EXPEDIA, Oct 17th, 2007, 12:17pm:
Dear Rajan, We apologize for the wait you had on the phone lines as we are currently experiencing an unusually heavy call and e-mail volume. Unfortunately, we cannot provide a direct line or have an agent call you as they are all working hard to reduce the call volume. We understand that you are frustrated and appreciate any patience in this matter. If you have questions regarding this matter or require further assistance, please reply to this email or contact our 24-hour support desk at 1-888-397-3342. Our customer support representatives are available to assist you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Ridiculous. And they have the nerve to refer to themselves in their recorded greeting as ‘customer care’ representatives. What’s the point of using witty terms and canned friendly email messages if the service doesn’t deliver. I used to recommend Expedia to everyone. I’ve been using their services for over three years and book 90 percent of my flights and hotels through it. No more. Crappy service like this makes me want to find a good travel agent.
Insightful post from Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion who questions the value of popular online marketing metrics “page views”, “unique visitors” and “time spent” – all metrics I currently use to measure our sites. The questions he raise are the same questions I continually ask myself when reviewing these stats – particularly how valuable a page view metric really is? We’ve done campaigns which have spiked our traffic but had little impact on quote requests coming through our sites, which is a metric I use to measure how effective our traffic is. Sites that use Ajax and Flash and that are highly interactive and could be delivering a better and more engaging user experience, don’t even show up as a page view. Steve mentions how Google Analytics (available for free btw, like you don’t already know) delivers a metric around events which measure the amount of interaction a user has within a page. As a marketer, this is more meaningful. High, meaningless traffic is useless for a business selling products and services to a targeted audience. Gaining a better understanding on how interested visitors engage with my sites, is much more meaningful. You can read more at Steve’s site.