Browsing articles tagged with " viral-activity"
Jan
18

Links of the Week Vol. 4

Coke has made a great interactive game area called The Happiness Factory, where you enter into employment at Coke as four different types of alien like workers. Check it out!

If one of your new years resolutions is to be happier at work, check out these 25 ways you can improve your mood at work.

Virginia is passing laws against DWT (driving while texting), apparently a new state trend, in 2007 Washington, New Jersey and our very own city of Phoenix passed laws against DWT.

Interesting Daily Design Workout by one designer to continue to flex his design muscle. Each day he produces a new design every day within 30-60 minutes and keeps a nice lil calendar of his work so we can share his daily design.

One hundred people from the ages one to one hundred playing the drums.

Inspiring post by Seth Godin regarding the passionate worker and his hobby job. Definitely captures how I feel about what I do.

If you like short cartoon silliness, check out Glumpers, these lil blobs are funny!

Looking for your 32 pieces of flair? Check out Prickie.com for awesome designer buttons for your fetish.

Do you think you know what great web design looks like? Hone your skills at CommandShift3, it’s like Hot or Not, but for websites.

Does your new years resolution have something to do with better health? If so check out a Cambridge University study on four steps to increase your lifespan by 14 years!

Bringing bad design to justice. It’s the design police!

Dec
21

Links of the Week Vol. 2

By april.holle  //  art forms, links of the week, viral marketing  //  No Comments

Ever work with glitter and wonder if you’re ever going to get rid of the stuff? If so, you need this poster.

Everyone is trying to do something viral for Christmas this year, Tattoo Santa is by far the best I’ve seen.

Dec
9

THE Brian Shaler

Brian Shaler

So I got to sit down with Brian Shaler yesterday during the Phoenix BarCamp and really pick his brain regarding his recent boost in popularity on the net.

I’ve been on a big personal branding kick and I’m trying to talk to anyone who’s someone to ask them how they “did it”. Not necessarily to find the best way “in” but to be able to at least assess my possibilities and think of it another way. So when I heard Brian was getting some SERIOUS digg attention and had over 6k followers on Twitter… I started to wonder if he was my next brain-sucking victim in the quest to become immoral. Sounds kinda creepy when I put it that way eh?

Anyhow, when Chuck Reynolds and I finally hog tied him and tossed him into the back of the van, after HOURS of threating to toss him into a vat of scorpions, THE Brian Shaler gave up his secret to his AMAZING popularity rise.

When he first found Twitter, he realized the growth potential of seeding the popularity contest that is viral marketing. How you ask? It’s brilliant really. You follow people… doesn’t matter who really, the more active the better I suppose. Lets say you start following… 3 thousand people… then all the sudden, even HALF of those people return the favor by following you. You instantly have a captured 1,500 user audience in which to broadcast yourself and things you want to become known. Once you have a decent size user audience, communication back and forth can continue the viral campaign, since every @brianshaler twitter statement someone makes is broadcast to all the users twitter followers as well, and these people start to ask, who is this person they’re talking to? Perhaps they too will start following you. All the sudden you have over 6 thousand twitter followers just like Brian Shaler.

He uses this captured market as a launching pad for things to become viral and tracks every link he sends out to this base group so that he can track the SEO effects of his experiment in viral activity. So, lets say… he has a site that he wants to promote. He sends out the link to his twitter followers saying, “Hey check this really cool thing out…”. Because of his extensive research on the SEO traffic produced by his Twittering alone, he knows that he can pretty much rely on about 100-300 click throughs from his Twitter followers alone. So perhaps his twitter followers actually think that this thing that he has sent them is a great idea, so they send it to a friend, two friends or three friends. The viral exponential factor already starts working its magic… but lets say that someone submits it to StumbleUpon or Digg, and the their own viral patterns start to build on top of this small 100-300 base click throughs. Suddenly you have created a mountain out of an ant hill.

The craziest thing about this, is that due to the way the internet naturally is a sharing device, people who will never ever meet Brian are now his number one fan. During the BarCamp we were recording and streaming the presentations. A Brian Shaler follower from Germany found out about the web broadcast and came into the web chat, this follower actually asked Brian to tell his friend (who was also a Shaler follower) that he had flown to Phoenix and had actually hung out with Brian. Crazy eh? Off of merely creating a viral platform to toss things out on, Brian has actually become internationally famous.

Besides creating that viral base for yourself, Brian also seriously recommended building your own brand of yourself. As cocky as this may seem, it really helps promote the idea of “he is someone” much like personalities such as Oprah or Michael Jordan. Then using this identity for everything that you toss out into the sea of the internet, or even in real life. Brian actually has business cards that just say “Brian Shaler” on them… on both sides, nothing else. Why? He says, “If you can’t contact me in 30 seconds using the information on that card, don’t contact me.” This very small piece of printed material just adds to the effect that Brian really is someone you should already know of.

Brian also chalks up his fame to some of the side projects he’s put effort into in the past, and believes that it’s better to have many sites to your brand with lower search rankings than one site with a high page rank. Why? Because different people have different interests and you can reach a larger, broader audience. He has recently broken out his blog from his personal portfolio site, widening his name sake that much more. But you can really see this effect in his creation crappygraphs.com. The whole site’s premise is crappy graphs that really don’t display accurate data at all, but more so a point. After creating only 20 crappy graphs, he decided to create a flash application on the site that allowed users to create their own crappy graphs and submit them to the site. After ten hours of intense manual labor over the course of one weekend, he now gave his crappy graph followers a way to really express themselves…crappily graphically. Crappy Graphs now has over a thousand graphs… why? Because of user submissions. These user submissions have been Dugg, StumbledUpon, and spread throughout the viral universe, and how did Brian accomplish this? By creating one, 10 hour application that allowed his users to express themselves.

So while the rest of us are trying to figure out the best way to market some silly viral ad campaign, Brian will be tossing links out into his twitter feed and reaping the click throughs, Diggs, and Stumbles.

** I was forced against my will to name the following links… part of the verbal agreement to be talked to by THE Brian Shaler. But do check them out anyhow. ;) You’re welcome Brian. **

For those of you who DON’T know you Brian Shaler is, check out his blog, his personal portfolio site, his famous twitter account (6k followers and counting), the ShalerJump and of course Crappy Graphs.

Nov
18

Quarterlife and Internet Television

By april.holle  //  art forms, new idea!, user experience  //  No Comments

So I got a recommendation from Erin Enriquez at Terralever to take up watching the new internet series Quarterlife. The premise is basically this intern writer decides to take up video blogging about her two roomates and the two guys that live across the courtyard whom are all friends. It’s a pretty decent concept, but some of the writing smacks of your usual sitcom plot drama, he loves her but she’s dating his best friend type stuff. What I think is interesting is the whole site really isn’t dedicated to the show at all, its dedicated to the young creatives that the show is suppose to emulate. Granted, I personally connect with Dylan (the shows main character), but I dunno if I need another social network out there. It’s awesome to give young creatives a place to muse and mingle, and some of the talent on there is pretty crazy. Take for instance the Etchasketchist, yes… he creates all his art on the old school etch-a-sketches. Funky eh?

Anyhow, I’m going to take this a step further. I was reading some of the forum posts on the Quarterlife site and came across a post regarding how internet series were going to be the end of conventional television. I don’t see this as being quite so true. We always thought that the internet would be the end of printed materials, and yet here we are years later with just as many (if not more) newspapers, magazines and books. The simple beauty of media is that it all works together, and every time a new media is created, it just adds to our ability to share information in more ways than were previously available. However, the internet is truly unique at this time given the ability to share video, text and audio at speeds and over social networks and gaps that were previously impassable. The fact is, people are simply used to getting their media in a particular way, there is a reason a particular distribution method has worked for decades, and that method will continue to work. Take for instance newspapers, the first real news sheet was created around 59 B.C. in Rome, but we still use it today. Why? Because of the delivery device, ease of use, cost, user comfortability, etc.

Rather than count the days until you no longer own a cable box, appreciate the connection between the two media sources. Enjoy the fact you can catch the episode you missed last night on the web or submit your votes for your favorite episodes online. I love being able to go onto a show’s website after a show and get more information on the story they just covered. After all, you can only cram so much into an half hour or even an hour.  Unfortunately, since it’s still very new the coverage is still spotty, sometimes you can’t find the show you wanted more information on, sometimes they even TELL you it’s going to be on the website, and you go.. and it’s not. Once more and more users expect that connection to be there and the networks realize that they need to feed the addition to their shows online, the coverage will pick up and it will become just another arena for them to be competitive in.

So until next time tune in, tune out and log on.

Nov
17

Facebook Developers Garage Recap

I keep forgetting my notebook at work, so eventually you’ll have some good quotes and stats to go along with this post, but I wanted to get it up here before the content became stale.

I attended the Facebook Developers Garage in Phoenix, AZ on Wednesday. Overall it was extremely informative. We’ve been on a big facebook app kick at work lately, so the timing couldn’t be better.

It was great to hear Dave Morin speak, it’s not often you get to meet a driving force behind a cultural phenomenon. The amazing growth that Facebook has encountered in the last year is remarkable. What is even more remarkable is the amount of return traffic they continue to receive, about 50% of their user base return. Also, the user base isn’t a set target market, it seems everyone is getting value out of the social graph. Dave stated that the 25+ population is seeing rapid growth. And there isn’t an age limit to Facebook users, Dave mentioned that in international terms 50-70 year old users are booming user base as well. Over 50% of the Facebook social graph is international users, and is the top social network in England. The facebook developers platform is a remarkable way to continue the interactivity of the website, making sure there’s always something new to do, add and get value from each time the user visits.

Dave was clear in the honest reason why Facebook was created in the first place. To be able to share and communicate information through a one to many conversation platform. Being able to share information to a large group of people in your networks at the same time, allowing for communications to be timely and all inclusive to your network base. It’s interesting how the new platform and applications have twisted this exchange of information into all kinds of venues, from comparing your friends to sharing your interests and photos.

The real power of Facebook is the social graph, how people are connected through friends, locations, similar interests and other social networks. To make an amazing application it has to really link in and harness the power of that social graph, both in virility and  in activity. Users need to be able to easily share the application with friends and the more you have activity with friends the more chances you have to introduce the application for install. Chris Johnson cited in his presentation that for an application to exponentially become more popular you need to have AT LEAST a 1:1.1 install ratio. That means for every install you have one or two installs of the application. Facebook gives you many many opportunities to become viral, your application appears in the applications list, user profiles (in two different locations, the quick bar and the profile view), invite friend controls, notifications sent to friends when interactivity is created, mini feeds when the user uses the app, and news items if the application becomes a large enough force within the community. However, having these entry points doesn’t spell success alone.

You have to build virility into  your application, brainstorm ways your user base can connect with their social graph through your application. Share photos, tag friends, send gifts, link them together and create value through their communications. Give users a chance to share, compare and talk to their friends about the information your application provides. Again, this all comes back to communication, make sure you give your users a chance to communicate with their social network why this information is important to them. Not only is it important to be able to allow your base user to communicate to their network, it’s equally if not more so to support communication from their network BACK to the base user. Dave cited that to when a user receives feedback from their network on an application use, they’re TWICE as likely to reuse the application.

Reuse is extremely important!  Chris Johnson cited attrition by uninstall as the number one killer of application success. You must create your application with value to the user that is ever-lasting, something that they will want to continue to use not just install once and forget about it. Because when that other application comes around that DOES provide that value, yours will be uninstalled or hidden to make room on their profile for the other application. An uninstalled or hidden application isn’t very viral is it? So make sure you add continued value for your users.

Nate from Red Bull candidly showcased the Roshambull application during the his presentation. It was a great presentation that reminded us to not just make an application and forget about it. Do testing, ask users opinions, they’ll tell you how to make your application even better. It was great to be able to hear from someone about what they did WRONG about and application and how they made it better, instead of just praising how amazing it was. Your application should be constantly evolving to continue to add additional value to your user base. Also, the facebook platform is far from being finally evolved, so keep in the know about the new stuff that’s coming out, maybe you can leverage some of the new additions to the platform to make your application more successful.

In addition to the keynote, marketing, technology and case study presentations there were also five minute presentations from developers in the Phoenix community to showcase their upcoming applications and brand new ideas for applications still in the brainstorming phase. These were very interesting and I really liked the energy challenge application idea. It was an idea for an application that would allow you to enter in your monthly energy consumption and challenge your friends and neighbors to competitions to decrease your energy consumption. I think applications like this are a great idea and really allow for more important information to be spread throughout the social graph and really make a difference in the world, not that fluffy friends don’t make the world a better place.

Social networking has given the web an additional depth of value in communication in our every day lives. Connecting and communicating with your family, friends and new contacts couldn’t be easier these days. With the facebook platform and applications the sky is the limit of how communication can rapidly expand the knowledge base of the entire world.

So hop on and become part of my social graph by visiting my Facebook profile. ;)

Nov
6

Wanda Sykes: Spokesapple for Applebee's

By april.holle  //  advertising & marketing, flash, viral marketing  //  No Comments

Applebee’s has a new logo, and a new Spokesapple.  Brand New has a reveiw of the new logo, and most of the reviewers are as mixed as the logo elements themselves. Personally, I think the logo brings Applebee’s to the current design trends, but the offset of the apple illustration and the monotone between the company name and the slogan is a little bland. The font choice for the tagline is a bit much, perhaps too much serif going on here.

Identity aside, I like the way Applebee’s has introduced a viral marketing video as part of the rebranding. Setting up Apple auditions for a new Spokesapple. Some of the clips are pretty funny, including the pineapple, orange and pear who auditioned, or Alan the Karate Chopping Apple. Check out the auditions here.

When all auditions were through, Wanda Sykes is the new voice over for the new Spokesapple. I love Wanda, and I think she’ll really bring out the comedy in having a Spokesapple. She is fun, funky, and still very fresh.

Oct
28

Internet Stars are Viral Video

If you spend any time at all watching viral videos online or are into viral marketing, you NEED to watch this video!

The team over at Cakke has mashed together some of the greatest viral moments (online and off) into one amazingly funny video. It’s really interesting to note just how many of them you have personally seen. Sometimes we don’t even know we’re participating in a viral activity, but this video really drives it home how many times we’re touched by this marketing magic.

In fact, I’m virally promoting this video right now… weird huh?

What is this?

This little blog happens to be the personal ramblings of one April Holle - I'm female, outspoken, webbie, a community evangelist, and Principal of Made Better Studio. Check out the about section for more info.

What People Are Saying…