5 Projects That Are Pushing The Creative Boundaries

In this video, that I found thanks to Mitch Joel, Clay Shirky describes five student projects that he thinks are pushing the creative boundaries – from interface design to how people cluster to build new work.
He ends the talk with an interesting take on the rules of creativity… Continue reading “5 Projects That Are Pushing The Creative Boundaries”

Quality Content Pays Off Over Time [STATS]

First – Make sure to read the tips I shared on how to increase online visibility.

Second – Keep in mind it all takes time.

Yes…the most important thing is to remember that nothing happens overnight.

How does this work?

People search on Google solutions for their problem and they find your content. If it helps them in satisfying their needs, people will then happily share your content by either blogging about it or recommending it to friends in their social networks. This will increase your authority and the authority of your content so you will show up higher in the search results that Google will offer to those who are searching for solutions. But this will only happen in the long run. To prove it I conducted a test here on my blog.

One year ago I wrote a very informative post on how to use Google Calendar as a project management tool. Here’s what happened:

Content - visibility growth

After the first spike related to the launch of the post, the traffic decreased to then constantly increased in the long run. These are some numbers that will help you to get a better idea:

Content - visibility growth

Conclusion: Google will trust you as more people trust you and to reward you it will give you, and obviously your content, a higher authority. So follow these tips and be patient. It will payoff in the long run.


8 Tips to Increase Visibility Online

How do I increase visibility online? This a question that people and organizations ask me quite often, so here’s a list of basic tips that will set you on the right path to increase your visibility online:

  1. Create good quality content (detailed, informative, slim, no jargon, etc.)
  2. The content must be relevant for your target audience.
  3. Optimize the content syntax.
  4. Tag the content properly.
  5. Promote the content in the right digital venues (social networks where your target audience lives, etc…).
  6. Tailor the content promotion for the digital venue in which you are sharing it (links for twitter, photos/videos on Facebook, etc…).
  7. Share it at the right time (during the day, on specific weekdays, before/after a product launch etc…).
  8. Nothing will happen overnight. To get Google’s “soul” to trust you as a relevant source on information you need to be patient. Results will come in the long run.

There are also more advanced SEO tactics that my team and I utilize – they change according to the nature & objectives of the projects we are working on. So go ahead and have fun testing out the tips I shared, then if you need some help or if you have more specific needs feel free to get in touch with us. We’ll be happy to help 😉


Communications Report for November 19th 2010 – AndreaVascellari.com

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A New Place for Communications Juice

Episode: VMC #229 – A New Place for Communications Juice
[right click to download the source file – ‘Save the link as…’, video-player available below]

Join & Like my Facebook Fan Page, from now on that’s the place where I’ll share all the most interesting news & insights that I find on strategic PR, marketing, social media and communications. See you there!

Subscribe to the show on YouTube!

Show Notes & Credits: Powered by itive.net, get all the communications juice on my Facebook Fan Page, twitter.com/missrogue, horsepigcow.com

[Communications Report] for September 17th 2010 – AndreaVascellari.com

Do you want to get these report-updates in real time? Subscribe to the live-report RSS feed! This feed includes only report related items. It’s not a substitute but a complement to my main RSS feed which still remains the official one that brings you all my blog posts.

  • Seven ways social nets like Facebook and LinkedIn are ‘truly evil’ – Something to keep in mind…
  • How to Unleash Your Human Potential | Fast Company – Allow your workers to experiment, and make their goal to please the customer–not the boss.
  • The Science of Retweets on Twitter – One of the most actively discussed aspects of Twitter is the art and science of retweets. Retweets, in my opinion, are one of the most sincere forms of recognition and validation, empowering users to pay it forward through the recognition of noteworthy content
  • American Express launches interactive campaign with Mark Ronson – The interactive campaign will be hosted at www.channel4.com/mylivestory, and will encourage consumers to celebrate their most memorable live music moments by submitting photos or videos of their favourite gig online.
  • Crowdmap – Collect news, aggregate and visualize on a map. Crowdmap is designed and built by the people behind Ushahidi, a platform that was originally built to crowdsource crisis information. As the platform has evolved, so have its uses. Crowdmap allows you to set up your own deployment of Ushahidi without having to install it on your own web server.
  • Developer Release – This is now a community project and development is open to anyone with the technical expertise who shares the vision of a social network that puts users in control.
  • Don’t Think of It As Piracy, Think of It As Marketing – Most video-game developers — along with most musicians, writers, movie producers and virtually every other kind of content creator — see digital piracy as an enemy to be fought with every weapon at their disposal. Not Markus Persson. While the Swedish developer of the indie game Minecraft says he isn’t happy about people copying his game illegally, he sees it as a necessary part of doing business in a digital world
  • Facebook Creates Multiple Account Dashboard for Advertisers – As Facebook becomes more of a force in the online advertising space, it has to also step up to the plate with analytics and reporting.
  • “The Social Network” Interactive Trailer Is All Up in Your Facebook – Anticipation is rising for the October 1 debut of The Social Network, the film that explores the history of Facebook and how it was founded. With just two weeks left before its debut in theaters, the film is launching its interactive trailer, chock-full of Facebook-y goodness.
  • Google’s troubles recruiting and retaining | Econsultancy – Recruiting and retaining ‘the best and brightest’ is the goal of most companies, and that explains why, for most companies, doing so is a tough job.
  • The Colors of the Web’s Superbrands [INFOGRAPHIC] – What colors do the web’s most powerful brands use to distinguish themselves from others? The folks from COLOURlovers decided to find out…
  • Levi’s launches online fitting service for women – Brand Republic News – The new digital offering is based on the figures of 60,000 women worldwide, and is meant to be a step towards ending the frustrations in the “search for a perfect fit”, according to Levi’s.
  • Top 3 Reasons Traditional Marketing Will Fail – Traditional marketing methods and overall approach will undoubtedly fail in today’s communications climate.
  • Twittelp.com | Help in the blink of a tweet. – Twittelp is a mobile application that provides to its users a quick way to ask help on the twittersphere. Every of your follower will be able to see that you need them, moreover you can define up to 5 follower (suggest your best friends or familiar) that will be mentioned inside the help request. (Thanks to Giuliano Iacobelli)
  • BBC News – What your social network profile picture really says – Nina started a Facebook page for her experiment, gathering over 3,500 members, who shared their reasons for choosing their profile pictures…
  • The Desert of Community Building | Geoff Livingston’s Blog – It’s important not to deceive one’s self about the significant effort and time one will invest to build a community, and then continue to invest in order to sustain it. The Fifth Estate requires continued interactions…The time and human resource commitments are real and significant. Have the patience to see it through, from start to finish, and the deserts that lie between moments of great interaction. Knowing this from the start helps.
  • 5 Compelling Reasons to Readjust Your Information Diet, and How to Do It – “One of the effects of living with electric information is that we live habitually in a state of information overload. There’s always more than you can cope with.” Marshall McLuhan
  • The Implications of Consumers Spending More Time with Facebook Than Google | Forrester Blogs – The difference between the two companies is that Facebook has a unified offering that people find compelling, while Google has a collection of sites that people find very useful–Google search, Gmail, YouTube, Google News and the other Google destinations are largely separate consumer experiences. This is a problem, and the solution may be Google Me, the rumored and expected social offering from Google.
  • Q2 2010 State of Social Meda Sponsorships – Good stats.
  • Seven Important Social Media Trends For The Next Year – Social media changes from month to month. Trends come and go quicker than the seasons change. Having said that…it should be an exiting year ahead in social media and these should be seven of the main trends…
  • YouTube Starts Testing New Live Streaming Platform – YouTube has announced it will start a two-day trial of their new streaming platform, which enables broadcasters to stream live video directly into YouTube channels.
  • How Newspapers Should Embrace Social Media – Some of the opportunities for socialised news or newspapers.
  • 30 Awesome B2B Social Media Resources – Marketers are currently in a state of transition. As social media and online marketing are integrated with traditional marketing channels, marketing teams need to learn more about the nuts and bolts of B2B social media. This list is designed to help marketers fill in the gap as well as provide resources for those in all phases of the B2B social media adoption process.
  • TubeMogul: People Watch Facebook Videos Longer, And Click On More Ads – On average, people who click on a video from Facebook are more engaged. They tend to watch longer than viewers who arrive from other sources— 1:45 minutes per view versus !:32 for Google (Twitter users are almost the same with 1:44 minutes per view). Roughly 40 percent of Facebook video ads, give or take, are watched all the way through across different video ad types. On the Web in general, video ad completion rates hover around 25 percent.

It’s Time to Go Back to Conversation Streams

A recent twitter conversation with Dan York got me thinking.

The increasing pollution of the web with meaningless content made bloggers move towards higher quality blog posts. This led many bloggers, including me, to gradually reduce the frequency of released content. Blogs lost that dynamic conversation and vibe they used to have back in the day.

Did all this interaction disappear? No, not at all. It just shifted to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Buzz etc. The only problem with it is that people started to rely too much on these external platforms/environments… read this great post by Bernie Goldbach to understand more about what I mean.

Back to Dan and me. A few days ago, Dan sent out a tweet with a simple question and a link that was redirecting to a really short post on his blog. Initially I thought “why didn’t he choose to have this conversation just on Twitter?” But after a second that blog post brought back to my mind the early days of when I started blogging around 2002, when we owned our content, when we were the hosts of our conversations, when people loved to comment on posts because it was like sitting in a cafe’ and talking with some good friends about topics we cared about the most. In 2002, we probably weren’t talking about streams yet, but that was the feeling and I believe we should probably get back to it. We still need our digital homes, we can’t live like digital nomads.

As long as the quality of what we share is good, meaningful or it represents a good conversation starter I think we should still invite or leave the door open to our friends to have a cup of coffee in our digital living room to sit and talk. Worried about what people on the outside are saying? No problem, there are a bunch of tools & tech (i.e. backtype) that can eventually help us capture what the social web is saying about it.

I think this magic feeling is not gone, we just don’t need to forget about it…and this would probably help us avoid ending up feeling like Loic (@Loic it’s all good! Your name is not Brogan or Godin. You are Loic and that’s how you talk and engage with your audience. It worked well for you until now, just keep at it!).

What about me? Well, as soon as this intense period for the new launch of itive.net is over, I’ll get back to my regular posting activity… bringing back the stream feeling…or I’ll probably start right away 😉 I guess you’ll find out!

How about you? What’s your take? I’d love to hear your thoughts about this.


No Conflict Between Creator and Consumers

Today while I was searching for new interesting news to add to my next communications report I bumped into an interesting video produced by Simon Klose.

The crucial importance of the proper and improper use of copyright law is a key point in the future of markets in this digital era.

Click, play, think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this, here on the blog or via twitter @vascellari.


Talk by Jonas Birgersson
Animation by Finsta
Production by Simon Klose

[Communications Report] for June 28th 2010 – AndreaVascellari.com

Do you want to get these report-updates in real time? Subscribe to the live-report RSS feed! This feed includes only report related items. It’s not a substitute but a complement to my main RSS feed which still remains the official one that brings you all my blog posts.

  • 5 Tools to Track Twitter Trends – On any given day there are over 600 tweets per second on Twitter for a total of over 50 million tweets per day. With an overload of tweets daily it can be difficult to grasp what is really trending at any given moment. Use the tools below to quickly find current Twitter trends and trending conversations.
  • Social Media Measurement Should Focus on Outcomes, Not Output – It’s not about simply looking for opportunities to drop messaging into ordinary conversation, but about finding shared interests, shared benefits and shared rewards for others in the communities where your brand interacts.
  • 8 Steps to Creating a Brand Persona – In social networks, the brand and how it’s perceived, is open to public interpretation and potential misconception now more than ever. Without a deliberate separation between the brand voice and personality and that of the person representing it, we are instantly at odds with our goals, purpose, and potential stature.
  • Top 10 Clever Google Voice Tricks – The phone management app is great, but even cooler hacks exist just under the hood.
  • How I Use Gmail Multiple-Inboxes Lab Feature to Manage E-mail Overload – Useful productivity tips.
  • 15 more awesome social media infographics – Infographics that demonstrate a mixture of both hard data and strategy practices. Hopefully, they’ll also provide some inspiration or can be useful in helping you with presentations or pitches. As before, links to the actual graphics are in the headline titles.
  • 6 ways to find value in Twitter’s noise – A great example that shows how we can get insights from analyzing Twitter data.
  • Social Media is the 3rd Era of the Web [graph] – A search that compares the world wide search volume on Google for new media, web 2.0, and social media. What the graph shows is that we’re at an inflection point in the language we use to describe the macro trends of innovation on the web…it’s the indicator that we’re in the 3rd Era of the Web and it’s The Era of Social Media.
  • How The World Spends Its Time Online [infographic] – Millions of people across the world are constantly connected by the internet. Here’s a look at what everybody’s doing when they’re in front of their computer screen.
  • Is Social a Source for B2B Leads? – Terrific insights about B2B site visitors referred from social media.
  • Diesel Cam – Interactive installation at Diesel Stores in Spain, being the first store that allows users to share the moment of buying and trying garments on their Facebook profiles from the store. Consumers are able to make pictures, publish them and boast their new acquisitions with their Facebook friends.
  • The Fun Theory – A great Volkswagen initiative. #engagement
  • Teens and Their Mobile Phones / Flowtown – Have you ever wondered what teens were really using their mobile phones for? A recent study released by Pew Internet Research has shed light on average mobile
  • Public Media Joins Forces for One Big Platform – The country’s five silos of public radio and television are spilling into each other with a joint program that will allow them – and eventually the public itself — to build apps, stations, websites and other media services combining audio, text and video content from every public radio and television outlet in the country.

Wind of Change Blowing on Content Producers

Photo by Martin-Neuhof

“Hey Andrea! When will you release a new post on your blog? Can’t wait for it!”
I’m happy when I receive direct messages like this one. Yes I will keep blogging, I’m just going through an intense period that doesn’t leave me much space for producing ‘free content’ here on my blog.

In the last 6 months business exploded for my team and me at itive. We are taking care of several new projects and have new clients waiting down the line to work with us. This period in which I’m living now got me thinking about the time I spend creating and sharing free value VS payed work for my clients.

The good side of the free content is that it helps me to share snippets of what I do with people who find value in it and end up contacting me when they need help with their marketing, PR, web design, etc. This ultimately translates in more work for my team. Sharing free content on my blog also gives me the chance to exchange thoughts, ideas, and opinions with you. Learning from each other is priceless. I am and will always be thankful for what I learned and will keep learning from our conversations.

On the other hand, the client work I do with itive is what ultimately puts food on the table and pays the bills. So when new projects come, I have to take care of them.

I see many other friends and colleagues changing their relationship with the free content they produce. Here are a few names:

The balance between investments in free VS payed is my dilemma and it’s not something that I extend to the people I listed. Someone might be drowning in new tight schedules, others have less or nothing more to say so they are reducing the amount of time for producing free content to leave space for other activities that add more value at a personal level or for the organization they are working for. Priority is shifting.

I feel that we (content producers) all have arrived to a point in which we are evaluating more carefully where to invest our time, energy and experience.

Am I going to start charing for my content?
I don’t think this will happend anytime soon. Part of the what I produce will keep being released for free, but recently I’ve been thinking about if/how this will change in future.

There’s a wind of change blowing in our industry that is making me and many other content producers think. Do you feel it? What’s your take? And if you are a content producer how are you dealing with it?