Your Life is an Open Book… Scanning the Social Grid

What if you could scan through the status updates of 500 million people to search for any key words you were interested in tracking? How about if you could split it by gender? What would you search for? says, “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life. Whether you want to or not.”

Created by Will Moffat, Peter Burns and James Home, Your Open Book was developed to demonstrate what they feel is wrong with Facebook’s privacy settings… that they are hard to find and even harder to adjust. The developers of Your Open Book  are proposing the addition of a simple privacy slider to each user’s Facebook profile page and they have created this free search tool to call attention to their proposal.

Meanwhile, I think their application can also be used in lots of different ways to connect and communicate. But, it’s a lot like joining the dark side, when you start invading the privacy of strangers. Nonetheless, you might use it to search for mentions of a brand name, a restaurant or a geographic location. The possibilities are endless.

The Recent Searches on Your Open Book are updated continuously and display something like the following typical example:

(3900 per hour)muslim terrorist skydive nipple ocs alberta NSFW obama liar ottawa “i had an abortion” i hate my boss ecstasy nigger feet drunk doctorate program asian partyhot pics cute redhead crackers

Want to see what people share on Facebook with the entire world — perhaps without realizing it? There’s a new site that makes this easy, Openbook.

Get Permission to Advertise… If Not, You Will Most Likely Be Ignored

“According to Forrester Research, 48 percent of consumers today now believe they have the right to decide whether or not to receive advertising.” – Bob Gilbreath in The Next Evolution of Marketing

Consider just exactly what that means as you sit there with that remote in your hand, as you turn on the pop-up blocker in your browser, as you skip past the commercials with your Tivo and put your phone number on the no-call list.

Now, a business needs to develop and nurture meaningful relationships in order to make sales and these relationships must be authentic. The public has actually grown hostile towards old-school snake oil sales-techniques like green-washing. And once that door slams in your face, it is very unlikely that it will ever open again.

Providing a way of “opting out” of any e-mail list is now a legal mandate so your content has to be of genuine value. As a business communicator, your message is now continually under evaluation. And your only hope in this day and age is to be about something… real.

And know the laws.

Doing good makes for good business. I am often accused of being too political, always speaking out about issues that affect me. There are two ways to approach this “condition” from a business perspective. One way is to try to present a well-crafted neutral “business face.” The other is to be honest and open about your beliefs and trust that you will attract as many people as you might “offend” by being about something that is possibly controversial.

Gilbreath says, “There are lots of compelling reasons why doing good makes good business sense, starting with an increase in sales.” He cites one 2008 behavioral research study that shows, “a whopping 87%  of consumers will switch from one brand to another that’s comparable based on its association with a good cause.”

Despite the fact that permission-based marketing may be a new concept to many,  Gilbreath says it’s so 1990’s – based on the theories of Seth Godin. Now it’s about Marketing with Meaning. If you are having a positive impact on people’s lives then, of course you will continue to be granted permission to co-exist in their social network. My next post will dig deeper as I read this great new book: The Next Evolution of Marketing.

Happy Birthday Monster-Baby! YouTube Growth Doubles in Less Than a Year!

At 5-years of age, YouTube’s growth curve is more like a moon-launch and network TV may one day be just as nostalgic a memory.

Most of my clients are quite ill-informed when I ask them, “What is the second most popular search engine, right behind Google?” They seem incredulous when I reply,” It’s YouTube.”

Here’s the first video ever posted on YouTube, seen more than 2.5  million times in 5 years.

Today, as a birthday salute, the BBC reports the following YouTube statistics…

  • December 2005 8 million videos watched a day
  • January 2008 10 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • October 2009 1 billion views per day
  • March 2010 24 hours of video uploaded every minute
  • May 2010…

YouTube hits 2bn daily downloads reports the BBC’s Maggie Shiels. She explains that TV remains in comparatively good shape when you compare average time spent on YouTube at 15 minutes vs TV’s 5 hours per day.

But, 15 minutes a day spent on any one Web site is quite a different story, one only out-performed by Facebook, currently clocking in at 55 minutes of average user-time per day. There are a wealth of statistics that demonstrate that video improves conversion rates, decreases returns, improves search optimization and even increases open-rates when embedded in e-mail!

We incorporate video production into all of our current client’s Web-marketing campaigns and the proof keeps coming in that having a broad social footprint – one that includes video – is key to reaching your audience. Does your marketing plan include having a YouTube Channel?


eCommerce Video Drives Conversion, Sales and Traffic While Reducing Returns reports on a wealth of documentedc statistics like…
Internet Retailer reports that visitors who view product videos are 85% more likely to buy than visitors who do not, based on results. (Internet Retailer, April 2010)

Videos embedded in email can grab attention or cause deliverability problems and rendering nightmares. Most marketers believe the latter, but a few say their data speak otherwise. See how in 2008, a marketer increased conversions more than 50% by embedding video in emails. Includes deliverability and subject line test data. Plus, what’s the best video length to use.