Monthly Archives: June 2010

Social Media…The Other Word of Mouth

While watching movie trailers at the theater I was amazed at how many large companies put their Facebook and Twitter addresses ahead of their own website. And some of these websites are amazing works of art.

These businesses realize that social media is as close to word of mouth advertising as it gets. And pretty much everyone agrees that there is no better marketing than word of mouth.

Even if they have a website, there is absolutely no reason not to take advantage of social media.

The social media playing field is probably as level as it gets for businesses of all sizes to reach and connect with their current and potential customers.

So why are so many small businesses hesitating getting on social media?

Mobile Websites

If you have an online presence, do you have a mobile website? If not, you should.

Next time you are in public, glance around and see how many people are using a smart phone.

The U.S. Open golf tournament had over a 500% increase in traffic to their mobile site this year. Now think about this. Golf is not exactly a game for the kids, who were these people using their mobile devices to check on a golf tournament?

I love my iPhone, and the apps are great. But I think the mobile website gets more bang for the buck as it gives you visibility on more devices. And depending on what type of site you have, a mobile website is not that hard to do.

Online Passive Income

I have had several conversations lately about passive income. This is my favorite type of income and accounts for over half of my monthly online earnings. Am I making a million, nope, but I can say this. The Internet is my full time job and it is paying the bills. A matter of fact, the passive income pays my standard living costs. Which I have been real happy with. Except when I have to wait til the end of the month to get paid, lol.

So, what do I mean by passive. I mean income derived by means during the month that I do very little or no work for. For me this is typically from sites I have built and do not have to maintain on a regular basis.

The key to creating a site that will earn passive income is to remember what both search engines and real people want. They do not want blogs written about topics that the author is not an authority on. I always think of it this way. When I had cancer in 1992, if I could have searched the Internet and found information that looked great but was not written by a real authority such as a researcher or physcian, how much trust would or should I have with it?

What does work for passive income is inventory for sale. And there are lots of places to get inventory, Amazon and Ebay are probably the top 2. The downside to a site of eBay or Amazon items is there is no original content. Right?  All it takes is a paragraph of good original content to solve that problem. I have designed several different sites to do this with, from WordPress sites with one good page of content to a custom site that builds the content dynamically. Personally I have had more success with the dynamic sites since the data changes which helps keep the search engine crawlers coming back.

If you can find streams of data that can help create a dynamic site, and add just a little original content, you have a winner. Both search engines and people will be happy as you are supplying something that is real and useful.

WordPress 3.0 Upgrade has been upgraded to WordPress 3.0. The one thing that really stands out to me these days is just how easy an upgrade is. A couple years ago I had to plan a few hours out of a day to do an upgrade, today I just click a button. Of course that is after I backup my files first, but some things just have to be done.

Hopefully I can find some time in the near future to work on some of the excellent new features in this version of WordPress. I did place a small menu at the top of each page, but you knew I just had to play with something.

Twitter Authentication Switch to OAuth

If you use any API calls to Twitter you have until June 30th to make the switch to OAuth from Basic Authentication.

It will be interesting to see how this changes the data flow in and out of Twitter. See Twitter Blog: Switching to OAuth

Until recently I was still seeing a lot of Tweets being posted “from API”. Based on everything I have read these calls will quit working on June 30th.

I know from experience that making a call with the Basic Authentication from the API was a lot easier than connecting via OAuth. There are probably a lot of people that could make the API work but will struggle with the OAuth functionality. However, a lot of other Social Networking applications are now using OAuth and learning that technology will be very beneficial across the Social Graph.

So if you have not made the change yet, you only have 2 weeks left to get it done without interrupting your Twitter data flow.