Amazing Space - Local Grace

by David L. Brown
Logion Web Design

One of the most important locations to be in for your business is just where you are - if you have a physical address - a "bricks and mortar" business - or at least an address that receives mail. This "amazing space" - your physical business address - gets some "local grace" with the free Google Places and Maps listing. However, to be at the top of this Places section is the challenge, and where SEO (search engine optimization) needs to be deployed. Out of the 10 million searches done every month, 20% are using local space from desktops and up to 50% from mobile devices. This is expected to increase.

At the top of many Google search result pages there is a section - below the paid ads which many people skip over - titled "Places". Occasionally there are web sites that are placed above these that are not ads....and that is the best placement for an organic listing. Here's a screenshot example of a client web site listing that shows above the Google Places.
More on this below.

Your Google Places free listing may or may not show up at the top of page one the Google search results page. However if it does, it may generate much more traffic to your web site than the regular listing shown below the Google Places section. Usually, it needs to have professional SEO services to rank high and compete with other web sites in the same search result.

In a "normal" Google Places display on a search result page you will see a similar placement:


Paid ads at the top, shown with a background color, then the top Google Places listing. This is another client that we have achieved top ranking for their main keyword phrase, and even above a national site. National sites have a disadvantage if they do not have a local address. PO boxes do not count, not do UPS store addresses. Google cancels those when they find out.

Optimizing a Local Listing

There are a number of methods to optimize a local listing. In fact, there are too many to list here and they are all a part of an SEO campaign that is targeted to help both the web site, Google Places, and a Facebook page if needed. One of important strategies is to be listed on as many free directory web sites as possible that allow a link back to your web site and a display of your local address. There are also paid directory listings and in some cases the link juice is worth the value of the listing. Google picks up on some of these and gives some "local listing" credit with their algorithms that calculate page ranking. The following is a list of some of the directory sites that will help optimize your local listing.

Insiderpages.com - It's becoming more common to see references from insiderpages in Google search result pages, so get a free listing here. Other sites to check out are the following:

David Brown is the owner of Logion Web Design and Development. Since 1999, Logion Web Design has evolved into a boutique of integrated solutions ranging from web site design and development, Internet and Facebook marketing, copy writing, blogs, news releases, and staying strong with customer support. Our advanced services include programming in Adobe Cold Fusion for Content Management and E-commerce web sites, advanced Facebook marketing, page development, and ad campaigns. We have experience in developing marketing plans, managing email programs, SEO or search engine optimization including top of Google page rankings in Portland, Salem, and Eugene for certain keywords. We also engage in market and competitor research, Twitter marketing, Google webmaster tools, Google Places, and current trends. Our recent upgrade to the Adobe Creative Cloud shows our commitment to use the latest cutting edge web design and development software for our clients. Creativity and inspiration are the cornerstones of our business.  While based in Eugene, Or, our target markets are Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Eugene, Salem, and Nationwide. > Facebook page

SEO Copywriting Revisited

by David Brown
SEO copy writer, webmaster

SEO copy writing is becoming an important planning tool for every web site, and most web sites have none. 

Copy writing itself - without the SEO - is important enough. Web site visitors need to be engaged, both visually, as well as with the carefully chosen words that engage and evoke response. SEO is search engine optimization - Google page ranking. Many business owners have heard of this by now and know that it is important to get found at the top of Google.

Content - the text and words in a web site or blog - are becoming a top priority for the best Google page ranking results. Online marketing is driven by fresh, updated content as the Google bots and algorithms are giving more credit to those who demonstrate authority and expertise in their industry reflected by certain keywords, and by articles and blogs.

A big challenge for business owners who either do not write or have time to if they did, or both. This is where SEO copy writing services come in and where SEO copy writers are in demand.

Social media thrives on new content and this is both a trend and a key to understanding the new marketing and branding that needs to be done to stay current with the trends.

SEO Copy Writing is more than just words.
Meet AuthorRank

With the addition of Google Plus to their arsenal of Products, Google has juts elevated the game of SEO copy writing to the next level. The author of the copy is also important, and for clients that do not have time to do their own copy writing, we represent them as their webmaster. This also reflects the fact that our services are titled "Internet management" rather than just SEO. Web site content, design, strategy, blogs and Facebook/ social media all need to be optimized and coordinated for maximum results.

With Google Plus we set up the free Google account and provide writing for the business as a webmaster or as a "ghost writer" for the business owner, so that full credit is given through the Google Plus profile and updated posts with links to the blog. As Google continues to refine its filtering and screening process, it wants to discern if the copy writing is from the business or from an external source, like an SEO copywritier not using the Google Plus profile of the business as the author of the content. Which would Google deem more trustworthy? Trust, reputation from reviews, social media activity, are becoming an important part of SEO. Google wants to meet the demands of the web searching public and provide better page ranking for credible and knowledgeable business owners or content providers. Using AuthorRank in their algorithm makes sense and we address that when we do SEO copy writing for business owners (who are way too busy managing their own business to have time to do it .    

David Brown
Logion Web Design
www.logion.net

www.SeattleSEOWebDesign.com

Why Facebook Ads?


by David Brown
 The term social media was created to help define the phenomenon that is Facebook. Sure, there are other social media outlets such as Twitter, Linked In, and Pinterest, but Facebook is far and away the most popular. Since so many people interact with Facebook on a daily basis, it just makes sense that Facebook ads should be part of any serious business marketing plan. In addition, Facebook makes marketing even easier by helping you reach out to target demographics and see what sorts of ads are generating the best response with its ample supply of statistical data.
     Ideally, what you are looking for in any marketing campaign is a greater number of individuals interested in your product. It would be nice to have your product be recognizable by everyone in the country, or even the world, but in reality it is better to focus on precise demographics so that your product reaches those individuals that it is a good fit for. Hip hop music is probably not going to appeal to the older generation for instance.
     Facebook allows you to target your ads in very precise campaigns. You can target by age, location, and gender demographics, precise interests of the individual, by specific group, by education, by workplace, and even by the connections the person already has in place through Facebook. For example, you could target your ads to women aged 45-55 who live in the Portland, Oregon area. This targeted marketing is different than keyword marketing where you market to anyone who searches for a particular keyword. In Facebook ad marketing, you are focusing on the characteristics of a particular person and potential of that person to respond to your product.
    Facebook ad campaigns can be very cost-effective. You set the amount you wish to pay based on cost per thousand impressions or cost per click, whichever you decide. The minimum amount per day is only a dollar. You have complete control over your advertising budget. In addition you have complete control over your ad campaign, you decide when to start, pause, or delete ads entirely using Facebook’s ad manager. Since Facebook ads can be so inexpensive, it is easy to test market campaigns cheaply.
     When first creating Facebook ads, several ads should be created for marketing to several different demographics. In this manner, you can track the performance of individual ads and see how they stack up against other ads you have created. By doing this you will tailor marketing more precisely to your audience. You may be surprised to find that the ads your audience likes are not always what you thought would be liked.
     Facebook makes it easy to understand how your ads are performing. The audience graph details for you who your ads are reaching. The response graph tracks who is performing a certain response, whether that be a click or action within a certain time period of seeing your ad. The insights tab helps you to understand the size of your audience along with who your audience is composed of. Monitoring who the fan base is of your page makes it easier to streamline your marketing techniques to create content tailored to your fans’ interests.
A Facebook ad campaign can be tested to see if it has the right image and message to get a response. Once the right combination is found, then you know that it may have a similar response and can increase your budget. Ads appear on the right column, unless a sponsored story. The ad must be eye-catching and if possible offer something free, or a drawing to maximize response. 
Facebook ads are yet another tool in your marketing arsenal. Marketing to Facebook users should not be ignored as it is the most well-known social media outlet. Targeted, cost-effective, and easy to use, a Facebook ad campaign should be the next step in getting the word out about your service or product. 

SEO Copy Writing - Fresh Content for Page Ranking

by David Brown
webmaster
Logion SEO, Web Design - Eugene, Salem, Portland, Oregon 

One of the greatest challenges for business owners is to provide fresh updated content on their web sites or in a blog linked to the site. We have been advising our clients of the need for fresh updated content for some years now and Google is now requiring it for better SEO (search engine optimization) and page ranking.

The standard for best SEO used to stop at good content with keywords, title tags, h1 header tags, etc. That's not good enough for Google. They want to identify who has the best expertise as shown by the fresh updated content - that provides authoritative news and articles on their field.

This is not an absolute, as when I search for various keywords fresh content is not always there at the top of Google ....yet. It takes Google a while to fully integrate any new changes to their algorithms, although not as long as it used to.

To be safe we recommend that our clients either post their own or for those who we are working with to send us a blog to post every week to stay ahead of the curve. This can be demanding as for my own account I hardly have time to write my own blogs !

How can you leverage your fresh content? Post the links on social media such as Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Google + 1 and in a news release (such as www.PRWEB.com)  if it is newsworthy. Send out an email with the title of the blog in the subject and encourage people to review it and make comments on it.

Use Original Copy

Use your own original copy or have a copywriter prepare it for you. Do not use someone else's copy or article - there are easy ways to check it and see if it's not yours - and you can bet that Google does this and may even penalize you if you copy other content. This includes the "spin scams" out there that take someone else's article and spins the words in such a way that it "appears" to be original. Give me a break. Google has already cracked down on that scheme. The key is to be honest, straightforward, authoritative in your field, and to go ahead and use keywords in your fresh content, but sparingly, not stuffed into every sentence !

Set up a Schedule

What is the most important appointment that you have this week ? Make another just as important - a writing appointment that you honor and can use every week to make sure that you are getting the fresh content out there. I am taking my own advice and planning my next writing project for next Friday morning, a week from now.

Too busy? We provide SEO copy writing to clients who are too busy to write their own blogs. It's a solution that works and also causes us to always try to be creative with our writing approaches.

David Brown
Portland webmaster
Internet Marketing consultant

Logion Web Design and Development LLC





Keywords and Local Search

by David Brown
Logion Web Design

Both keywords and local search are important factors in SEO for a number of reasons. Keywords are those specific words or phrases that relate to your targeted search result for your business.

Google Keyword Tool
 If you want to optimize your web site and create an SEO campaign for certain keywords, then you will want to look at Google's keyword tool. The free tool allows you to put in a specific keyword and see how many average monthly searches have occurred on Google for that term, and also related words and phrases. For example I have optimized and continue to optimize for Portland webmaster. The keyword webmaster shows an average of 360,000 searches per month in the U.S. SEO web design shows 14,000 and this is has a smaller number of searches it is a keyword phrase that describes what we do at Logion Web Design. Finding keyword phrases that may not have as many searches also maybe easier to optimize as   there may not be as much competition. By using the keyword tool you can select which keywords work best for your web site and blogs.

SEO Web Design Portland SEO web design Portland is a keyword phrase that reflects how more and  more of the general public are learning the meaning of SEO and how important it is to have a good page ranking on Google if you expect any business from the internet. I added Portland at the end of this keyword phrase as I am targeting business owners in that particular city. I have had some recent results that shows that I am on the right track. I will modify my web site title tag, and include this term in more blogs and links to increase the SEO potential of this new keyword combination that I just found on Google keyword tool !

Local Search

Google Places and Maps has become a major focus for SEO professionals who want to optimize their clients sites for local searches. Google recently changed their display of local results and organic page rankings and we are seeing a hybrid of the two whereas before only the places would be on top under the paid Google Adwords.


Google will always provide the results that are most relevant to your search.The location used to customize your results is clearly indicated on the left side of your results page or in your search results. An auto-detected location is chosen based on some of the following factors:
 
Automatically detected location
To provide you with the most relevant results, Google attempts to automatically detect your location and customize results based on that detected location. An auto-detected location is chosen based on some of the following factors: The IP address, Google's toolbar My Location feature. If you see a location on the left side of the search result page then Google knows your location. You can change the location manually to see what a search result might be for another city. I use this a lot myself in my research.

There is a lot more to keywords and Local search and I will address some of the issues in another blog. For now, time is filled with client's projects, and I need to have this blog be shorter than originally intended.

David Brown
webmaster
Logion Web Design
Portland, Salem, Eugene
503-302-2333
541-953-3360
info@logion.net 

    


Facebook Tabs and Contests

by David Brown
Logion Web Design

Facebook tabs, combined with a planned promotion, can effectively increase fan engagement, improve fan loyalty, and  add some fun into your news feed.

One of the best solutions for tabs that we use for clients allows for app creation without needing to use the Facebook api and code. This frees up time to focus on the creative presentation of promotional banners that will grab the attention of fans on their busy news feeds and motivate them to click through to the app page to enter your contest.

Creating the Contest Banner

Since this banner will show up on your fans news feeds when posted on your page it needs to have a catchy image that will stand out and get attention. The word FREE is also added for this purpose and anything that is free in the contest will most likely increase the response of your fans and possibly encourage them to share with friends. The banner's size is large enough to be seen and includes the basics of the contest. The wording associated with the banner is also important and more details about the contest can be described with a link to the contest app page. Since this banner is posted on your business page when using Facebook as your business, it can also be "pinned" so that it remains at the top of your postings on your page.

Creating the Tab and the Contest Page


The next steps in the promotional campaign is setting up the tab and the contest page app. The tab is 111 x 74 pixels in size and can be placed anywhere after the Photos tab below the cover image. It can include the image of the contest banner for continuity with "call to action" text.  Since the tab is referred to in the post as well as in the banner, it should be recognized by fans who visit your page. By clicking the tab it is linked to the contest page app. The app creates a unique url or web address and contains all the information about the contest including Facebook required disclaimers and an entry form so that fans can enter their name and email address. In this particular campaign there was one entry per person and one drawing with three winners. An example of a contest page is shown below:
Insights and Winners

The insights in the admin area can provide important feedback as to the success of the campaign with likes, comments and sharing stats after the date of launch to the announcement of the winner.
A sharp increase is shown here in this screenshot of an insight graph. The stats show weekly information so the insights are best reviewed one week after the campaign launch date.

Summary
Facebook contests can be a fun and effective way to engage your fans, get more fans, and increase fan loyalty (watch for future contests). It's important not to spam too many contests too often. Even with free giveaways fans do not like their news feeds to be more cluttered than usual, especially when it comes to business promotions. For an expanded contest reach  it is possible to use Facebook paid ads with a catchy banner similar to the 111 x 74 px tab banner. Liking your page cannot be a requirement according to Facebook rules, but in the entry form and the redirect page which appears after they have submitted the entry there is an opportunity to like your business page when a like button is added.

For Internet and Facebook marketing strategies
contact David Brown, Logion Web Design
www.Logion.net   541-953-3360



Press Releases and SEO.


by David Brown, Logion Web Design and Development


We are living in the future of yesterday. It wasn't too long ago that ideas such as carrying computers in our hands, streaming movies from the web, and the "new" trend in social media, were considered far fetched. SEO, or search engine optimization, once an unknown term, has now become well known. Press releases, once confined to a much smaller distribution network, are now  accessible to everyone. A recent blog that was also posted on a major press release network had 14,000 impressions and 600 reads within a few days.

The internet now has over 2 million users worldwide. The continuing rapid growth of search traffic combined with the continuing innovations of distribution, are the main reasons why press releases can now be more effective then ever. Because of the search engines such as Google refining their results for keywords, and offering a news search as well as an "everything" search, news releases have a better chance of reaching a target audience directly. Even if one person does not read the news release, the added benefit of a news release published on a high traffic distribution site is that it still has a powerful impact on the SEO of a company's web site. With researched keywords and links to the target site or Facebook page, a press release is an integrated solution for providing fresh updated content, one of the requirements for an effective SEO campaign. "Press releases can announce a range of news items, such as scheduled events, personal promotions, awards, new products and services, sales and other financial data, accomplishments, etc. They are often used in generating a feature story or are sent for the purpose of announcing news conferences, upcoming events or a change in corporation." - PRWEB 

Content and Links-In
One of the most important strategies in SEO is to have fresh updated content and if it is on a blog or an external source such as a news release, to have a link back to the web site or Facebook page that will benefit from the link. Links are an important part of SEO if they come from a credible source, and if the source is a news release full of relevant keywords that are compatible with the target site, then the dual benefits of content and a link to the site are accomplished. Additional news releases with the same dynamics will stack over time providing a matrix of content linked in to the target site. 
Reputation and Social Sharing 
Once a news release is published it can add more credibility to a business by promoting the release on their Facebook page, through an email campaign, and by distributing it directly to local media. News releases these days have social sharing buttons next to them, allowing for readers to easily distribute the release to their own network with one click, and creating a geometric potential in distribution opportunities. On this platform of Blogger we use the dynamic templates option and you will see the sharing icons on this page. 

Distribution Channels

A strong and reputable distribution channel will promote your news release to a large number of media channels. These would include the major search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, who have their own news channel, news sites such as CNN, USA Today, Associated Press, BBC, industry specific sites such as manufacturing publications, Amazon, Thomas.net, and others, and news feeds of RSS subscribers to the distribution channel. These subscribers would include journalists looking for a story, bloggers wanting to be updated on specific topics, and other distribution channels. One distribution channel that we use regularly with clients is PRWEB. As a major distribution channel, PRWEB sends out a news release to 50,000 subscribers, 30,000 web sites, and 30,000 bloggers. Other distribution channels  channels such as BusinessWire and PRWire.
 

Case Study : Home Care
The recent release mentioned above that we published for a client on PRWEB, Home Care Industry Shows Strong Growth, had a national focus and also had a link back to their main site. We research and carefully prepare a news release both for reader interest and for SEO keyword integration into the release to provide better SEO for the client. Within a few days there were over 14,000 impressions and 600 reads. A few media picked up the story and ran it including on in Dallas, Texas. The existing Google page ranking of the target site was supported and fresh updated content would possibly be the first thing that the Googlebots would notice as they scanned the site and updated their algorithms.

Your press release can also be shared on Facebook, tweeted on Twitter, and if it is also on your blog, can be updated on search engines by pinging your blog using various free services. With credible content and links as two strong SEO strategies, press releases serve as a powerful weapon in your SEO arsenal.

 About Logion Web Design (established in 1999) - Publisher of Likes, Tweets and SEO
We are a full service internet management and marketing developer that offers integration of web-based strategies for small business. Our services include SEO copy writing and news releases to create the best page ranking impact for our clients budgets, as well as creative and innovative ideas for web site presentation and promotions.





SEO SPAM

With the internet becoming more dominant in our daily activities of searching and social engagement, and for businesses realizing that page one of Google is important; “SEO” or search engine optimization is almost becoming a household word. What it is, how it works, and how Google offers certain guidelines is important to sort out when you are trying to get a better page ranking on Google. Avoiding bad practices, also known as “black hat SEO” is important so that the search engines do not interpret what you are doing as SEO spam, or “spamdexing”.

Email Spam Offering SEO
 Spam is normally defined as unwanted email that may have the intention to “phish” or try to evoke a response to capture an email address to send more spam. In spite of the Anti-Spam Act it is becoming more prevalent as professional spammers change sender addresses and use more sophisticated methods to get their emails through spam filters.

One of the typical spam messages that I receive and many business owners receive is the SEO message. It may read something like this:
youremailaddress@yourserver.com
 (your email address may appear in the content of the email)
   :    

“Our company can put your web site in the best positions on the major search engines.  We will give you a complimentary site analysis and show you how you can change your placement immediately.  We have done this for thousands of companies.  Ask us to prove it.  And this won't cost a fortune.  Reply to us for your web site quote.  Don't forget to include how we can reach you.” 
Sincerely,
Jane Doe

Does this seem familiar?

First, the sender is someone I do not recognize and obviously a solicitation. The subject line of the email message is ****/Positioning SE Web Review ***** to catch the attention. There’s an offer and a name – it was not Jane Doe. There’s no company name, and no other identity. The email name was most likely a fake one to generate a unique address to get through spam filters. I assume that if it was rejected it would generate a different one.The sender web address was from @postaweb.com.  I Googled Postaweb.com and tried to get into the site. It was already on my banned sites list. My PC Tools program had already identified a prior spam and most likely added it. So I googled again “what is postaweb” and got a result from the About Us site (http://www.aboutus.org/PostaWeb.com) - this site shows that the domain name is registered in Spain to “Net Partnership SL”. I don’t need to go farther than this. I’ve made my point that SEO spam emails are most likely fake and may not even come from a legitimate SEO company.

SpamDexing - Web Content and Links Spam
Another form of SEO spam are offers of thousands of backlinks, huge amounts of content, keywords stuffed into every page of your web site and then some, and automated feeds that can help your SEO. This is a big industry and sometimes it is hard to discern whether  “black hat” or only “white hat” SEO methods are being used. What is the best way to understand the difference? Google offers good information for you.

Google has been fine tuning their algorithm – the programming that determines relevancy and “SEO spam”. The most recent updates are designed to try and locate and filter out SEO spam so that web pages that are not using SEO spam can have a better chance at a stronger page ranking. Recent publicity of SEO spam working for a large brand – J.C. Penney – most likely caused Google to tighten up their algorithm even more, although I believe that they have been doing this all along. It’s just hard to enforce millions of web sites all at the same time.

The article that appeared in the New York Times – “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search” on April 2 reveals some of the main issues of why Google is tightening the search result process. “Black hat” optimization is a form of SEO spam that uses methods that try to bypass or fool Google’s algorithm process into obtaining better page ranking. J.C. Penney was getting top Google results for a number of various product searches in their inventory and after careful research by  Google spam expert Matt Cutts the site was subject to “corrective action” by Google. Corrective action is a polite way of saying punished, penalized, or banned depending on the severity of the SEO spam.

Google Webmaster Guidelines
Google has an excellent antidote and preventative to becoming the victim of SEO spam. They have published webmaster guidelines in which the elements of a web site’s content and marketing are spelled out to draw the line between what Google considers as quality content and marketing versus “black hat” methods. To view the webmaster guidelines you may need to be logged into your free Google account. The introduction to the guidelines spells it out very clearly. It is important that you or your SEO consultant follows these guidelines. The introduction is an excellent overview of the importance of avoiding spam action.

“Following these guidelines will help Google find, index, and rank your site. Even if you choose not to implement any of these suggestions, we strongly encourage you to pay very close attention to the "Quality Guidelines," which outline some of the illicit practices that may lead to a site being removed entirely from the Google index or otherwise impacted by an algorithmic or manual spam action. If a site has been affected by a spam action, it may no longer show up in results on Google.com or on any of Google's partner sites.” – Google webmaster guidelines

Whether you are trying to discern spam email that promises you the “top of Google”, or exploring searches for better SEO page ranking, I recommend that you read the Google webmaster guidelines and if you use an SEO consultant make sure that they abide by them to avoid any SEO spam or spamdexing that will affect your web site. 

David Brown
Logion Web Design
Copyright 2012

David Brown is the owner of Logion Web Design and Development LLC, a web development and SEO consulting service. He is the copywriter and publisher of  Likes, Tweets and SEO, a  blog for small business owners.

references:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spamdexing
Google webmaster guidelines
Link Schemes (Google)
New York Times "The Dirty Little Secret of Search

3 Reasons to Make Google's +1 a Part of Your Social Media Plan

For online marketers and business owners, Google’s +1 program has led to everything from excitement and inspiration to head scratching and even indifference. What does it mean? Will it still be around – and relevant – in a few months? And how should a company best take advantage of it?

These are all good questions, and the answers aren't completely clear. For one thing, Google has a habit of leading the way when it comes to online marketing. Not all of their changes and innovations stick around, however, and so it's difficult to know how serious they are about making +1 a priority. As popular as the "like" feature has been on Facebook, who is to say that it matters on search engines?

Still, there are a lot of reasons to give Google's plus one a try, and a few ways they can help your social media marketing plan. Here are three things you should definitely keep in mind:

1. Google +1 might eventually affect search results if it is not already. Although no public announcements have been made, Google has been on the forefront of integrating real-time social content into their search results. Tweets, Facebook status updates, and other messages are being used not only as search results themselves, but to influence which websites are listed first for different keywords and phrases. It seems possible – and maybe even likely – that Google will look to integrate its own +1 results into the rankings at some point in the future.

2. You might learn something from +1 responses. One of the toughest things about Internet marketing is that, even if you're using a high-end analytics package, it's difficult to know what buyers think of various pages, blog posts, and ideas. By embracing +1 and asking for feedback, your business might be able to shortcut that process. That's because there aren't many better ways to get direct input from potential customers. Information, even more than products and prices, is the lifeblood of an online marketing plan, so why not make the most of +1 opinions?

3. Google's +1 may ultimately look a lot different than it does right now. We have already mentioned that Google has a habit of adding and subtracting programs all the time, but what we didn't point out is that they go away altogether… instead they just become integrated into something different. With that in mind, there's no guarantee that the +1 you see now is the +1 we’ll all be talking about later – there might be other social features that are added, or that become more important. If and when that happens, don't you want to have a head start on your competition?

To Plus 1 this blog, there is an icon at the top of this page.

Logion Web Design and Development

"Mission Control" -The New Facebook Pages

by David Brown

Facebook just changed the rules for pages a few days ago. The new look is like the personal timeline although there are differences depending on what type of page is chosen during setup. Of course Facebook has many reasons for the having a uniformity in appearance for everyone and a functionality that mirrors their mission.

As Mark Zuckerberg stated after their recent launch of going public, we "build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationship" (Social by Design, the Hacker Way).

The main feature on the new page layout, which will not officially change until March 30th, is the cover photo, 851 pixels wide by up to 315 pixels deep. This large image can be a single photo or graphic, or a collage.The fan page apps are not allowed to be chosen as a default, so we all have the look and feel of the layout shown above on the Facebook marketing page shown above.

Facebook has it's own page introducing these new page features. The following resources are also available to learn about the new page design and functionality.

The new page breakout video (fmc 2012 Pages Breakout) done by two of Facebook's engineers describes the new page tools and features including the reasons and philosophy behind the new design. One of  the most amazing things about Facebook is how they have revolutionized the marketing studies of usability, user behaviors, interaction with brands and ads, insights into sharing, engagement, and relationships by gathering user data on billions of bits of activity. This research is light years ahead of the slow moving old methods of surveys and building data over time. It is this research that is behind the new innovations in page design and functionality changes.

Here are a few more resources from Facebook to help with this learning curve:

Facebook page overview (pdf)    |  A More Detailed Page / Product Guide | Facebook Marketing Solutions

If you review some pages that have already made the change, you will see how easily we all can adapt to these changes, and understand why Facebook has made these changes. There is a lot of buzz about the new ads and options. One of the key changes that I have read that reflects Facebook's main mission towards social sharing is that the difference between ads and shared content may not be as noticeable. In fact, it may seem like a seamless integration into the news feed. No longer will we be turned off by those ads that shout at us from the right side column. Rather, the new "ad story" approach will pull us in rather than push at us with the old "buy this" or "try this" method. Engaging the user will be more subtle, and seamless on some pages. The newest high end ad programs are only available to companies and brands that have a monthly budget of $25,000 or more. There will still be the self-placement ads that will not be as prominent and that may have messages that may be more like the shout out rather then the seamless. Eventually, the story may be the ad. Users sharing their experience of a product or brand may be the "ad". Advertising is user generated when liked and shared. In many cases it's all about how cool the brand is by what they present, which may not be as much about a technical description of the product. One example is the new Toyota cover photo.

There are other features such as the four visible image tabs that replace the tabs that were in the left column. The small drop down menu arrow to the right of those allows for more exploring by the user. The main body of the page is reserved for sharing in the news feed. These new changes, as a result of the research that went behind them, is causing us to re-think how we want to engage visitors to our pages, learn what the best standards and ideas are for this engagement, and take a fresh approach to the new "mission control" process.

David Brown
Logion Web Design and Development

Let's Talk Technorati

by David Brown

Technorati, established in 2004, is the top resource for information on blogs, and applies a series of calculations to give ranking relevance to blogs (known as Technorati Authority). Their "top 100" lists of blogs are followed closely by many fans in the major categories of social media, technology, business, entertainment, and politics.

By reviewing the top rated blogs listed in Technorati, you will be seeing blogs that have been given the most "Technorati Authority" reflecting their influence within a specific category. The calculations for this authority include information on a particular blog site such as linking behavior over a six month period, topics in relation to the "blogosphere", all the other blogs in similar categories, and relevant content. The authority is on a scale of 0-1000 with 1000 being the highest. The rank of a blog is the position given among the authority of all sites with 1 being the highest. The authority and ranking will change over a short period of time as the process reflecting ongoing changes in calculations and stats that occur many times every day (and every hour).

The blogosphere has been growing exponentially every year. Here's a few stats from Technorati's 2011 State of the Blogosphere report to give you an idea of  what happened in 2011. 60% of blogging in 2011 was from hobbyists who blog for fun, 18% are part or full time bloggers who are professionals that use blogging for partial income, 8% corporate bloggers who use blogging for various purposes including sharing their knowledge, increasing their reputation and attracting new clients. Entrpreneurs account for about 13% of the "blogosphere". They usually blog about their own company and the main focus is either business, sharing expertise, or attracting new clients.

The trends in blogging should see an increase of content-rich blogs as a result of the content-centric focus of Google for page ranking and relevance. I would expect that the percentages of entrepreneurs and corporate blogs will increase in 2012 in relation to the hobbyists and part-timers.

You can add your own blog to the Technorati directory and get a strong content-rich link back to your blog in the free listing. Technorati will need to verify that you are an author of the blog and provides you with a unique code to place inside your blog as a verification that you own the blog. The code must appear in the published blog post and it must also appear in your corresponding RSS feed once published. Once it is published, you need to use the "Verify Claim Token" button on Techorati to verify the claim token and have them do a final review.


I have found some of my favorite blogs and sources of excellent information from reviewing the top listed blogs such as Mashable, Huffington post,TechCrunch, Buzzfeed, and The Next Web to name a few.

Here's some links to several Technorati categories:
InfoTech
Business/Advertising
Social Media

This has been a brief review of one of the most fascinating web sites out there. The code shown below is for the blog claim process described above. Likes, Tweets and SEO is about to be listed in the Technorati directory. Let's get your blog listed next.

- David Brown
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Social by Design - The Hacker Way

by David Brown

Facebook's recent IPO filing was a milestone for the internet for several main reasons:

First, it was eight years in the ,making and during that time we have witnessed not only the phenomenal growth of Facebook but also of the social media industry and level of participation. One billion users is also a milestone reached last year by Facebook. How long did it take MacDonald's to sell that many burgers?

Second, the vision of Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, and the mission that drives their powerful share engine is explained in a recent letter to investors. The letter is reproduced in full below as it explains in detail why businesses will need to become more "social by design" and why the sharing aspect of Facebook through their social media platform will continue to innovate and move forward with more tools and development through "the hackers way" - an ongoing positive focus for change that meets the needs of our techno-culture (this seemed to be the protocol for Apple Computer and Steve Jobs with Ipad, Itunes and IPhone).

Third, the $ 5 billion initial filing for a public offering is just the tip of the iceburg. The value of this social network is estimated to be between $75 and $100 billion ! It could become one of the largest stock market offerings of all time. This is revolutionizing the financial markets view of social media and the potential for investors. (As I whisper in the ear of a major NY investment banker "It's not just a passing fad").

Questions will be asked for some time on how Facebook can manage it's growth, as well as its internal culture. Apple has done it and continues to maintain the momentum. Read the letter from Mark Zuckerberg, age 27, below, and watch what happens this year with Facebook and social media.

David Brown
Logion Web Design
web developer and marketer
______________________________

Letter to Investors, Shareholders, by Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook was not originally created to be a company. It was built to accomplish a social mission — to make the world more open and connected.
We think it’s important that everyone who invests in Facebook understands what this mission means to us, how we make decisions and why we do the things we do. I will try to outline our approach in this letter.
At Facebook, we’re inspired by technologies that have revolutionized how people spread and consume information. We often talk about inventions like the printing press and the television — by simply making communication more efficient, they led to a complete transformation of many important parts of society. They gave more people a voice. They encouraged progress. They changed the way society was organized. They brought us closer together.
Today, our society has reached another tipping point. We live at a moment when the majority of people in the world have access to the internet or mobile phones — the raw tools necessary to start sharing what they’re thinking, feeling and doing with whomever they want. Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries.
There is a huge need and a huge opportunity to get everyone in the world connected, to give everyone a voice and to help transform society for the future. The scale of the technology and infrastructure that must be built is unprecedented, and we believe this is the most important problem we can focus on.
We hope to strengthen how people relate to each other.
Even if our mission sounds big, it starts small — with the relationship between two people.
Personal relationships are the fundamental unit of our society. Relationships are how we discover new ideas, understand our world and ultimately derive long-term happiness.
At Facebook, we build tools to help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing this we are extending people’s capacity to build and maintain relationships.
People sharing more — even if just with their close friends or families — creates a more open culture and leads to a better understanding of the lives and perspectives of others. We believe that this creates a greater number of stronger relationships between people, and that it helps people get exposed to a greater number of diverse perspectives.
By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world’s information infrastructure should resemble the social graph — a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring.
We have already helped more than 800 million people map out more than 100 billion connections so far, and our goal is to help this rewiring accelerate.
We hope to improve how people connect to businesses and the economy.
We think a more open and connected world will help create a stronger economy with more authentic businesses that build better products and services.
As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives.
One result of making it easier to find better products is that businesses will be rewarded for building better products — ones that are personalized and designed around people. We have found that products that are “social by design” tend to be more engaging than their traditional counterparts, and we look forward to seeing more of the world’s products move in this direction.
In addition to building better products, a more open world will also encourage businesses to engage with their customers directly and authentically. More than four million businesses have Pages on Facebook that they use to have a dialogue with their customers. We expect this trend to grow as well.
We hope to change how people relate to their governments and social institutions.
We believe building tools to help people share can bring a more honest and transparent dialogue around government that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability for officials and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time.
By giving people the power to share, we are starting to see people make their voices heard on a different scale from what has historically been possible. These voices will increase in number and volume. They cannot be ignored. Over time, we expect governments will become more responsive to issues and concerns raised directly by all their people rather than through intermediaries controlled by a select few.
Through this process, we believe that leaders will emerge across all countries who are pro-internet and fight for the rights of their people, including the right to share what they want and the right to access all information that people want to share with them.
Finally, as more of the economy moves towards higher-quality products that are personalized, we also expect to see the emergence of new services that are social by design to address the large worldwide problems we face in job creation, education and health care. We look forward to doing what we can to help this progress.
Our Mission and Our Business
As I said above, Facebook was not originally founded to be a company. We’ve always cared primarily about our social mission, the services we’re building and the people who use them. This is a different approach for a public company to take, so I want to explain why I think it works.
I started off by writing the first version of Facebook myself because it was something I wanted to exist. Since then, most of the ideas and code that have gone into Facebook have come from the great people we’ve attracted to our team.
Most great people care primarily about building and being a part of great things, but they also want to make money. Through the process of building a team — and also building a developer community, advertising market and investor base — I’ve developed a deep appreciation for how building a strong company with a strong economic engine and strong growth can be the best way to align many people to solve important problems.
Simply put: we don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.
And we think this is a good way to build something. These days I think more and more people want to use services from companies that believe in something beyond simply maximizing profits.
By focusing on our mission and building great services, we believe we will create the most value for our shareholders and partners over the long term — and this in turn will enable us to keep attracting the best people and building more great services. We don’t wake up in the morning with the primary goal of making money, but we understand that the best way to achieve our mission is to build a strong and valuable company.
This is how we think about our IPO as well. We’re going public for our employees and our investors. We made a commitment to them when we gave them equity that we’d work hard to make it worth a lot and make it liquid, and this IPO is fulfilling our commitment. As we become a public company, we’re making a similar commitment to our new investors and we will work just as hard to fulfill it.
The Hacker Way
As part of building a strong company, we work hard at making Facebook the best place for great people to have a big impact on the world and learn from other great people. We have cultivated a unique culture and management approach that we call the Hacker Way.
The word “hacker” has an unfairly negative connotation from being portrayed in the media as people who break into computers. In reality, hacking just means building something quickly or testing the boundaries of what can be done. Like most things, it can be used for good or bad, but the vast majority of hackers I’ve met tend to be idealistic people who want to have a positive impact on the world.
The Hacker Way is an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete. They just have to go fix it — often in the face of people who say it’s impossible or are content with the status quo.
Hackers try to build the best services over the long term by quickly releasing and learning from smaller iterations rather than trying to get everything right all at once. To support this, we have built a testing framework that at any given time can try out thousands of versions of Facebook. We have the words “Done is better than perfect” painted on our walls to remind ourselves to always keep shipping.
Hacking is also an inherently hands-on and active discipline. Instead of debating for days whether a new idea is possible or what the best way to build something is, hackers would rather just prototype something and see what works. There’s a hacker mantra that you’ll hear a lot around Facebook offices: “Code wins arguments.”
Hacker culture is also extremely open and meritocratic. Hackers believe that the best idea and implementation should always win — not the person who is best at lobbying for an idea or the person who manages the most people.
To encourage this approach, every few months we have a hackathon, where everyone builds prototypes for new ideas they have. At the end, the whole team gets together and looks at everything that has been built. Many of our most successful products came out of hackathons, including Timeline, chat, video, our mobile development framework and some of our most important infrastructure like the HipHop compiler.
To make sure all our engineers share this approach, we require all new engineers — even managers whose primary job will not be to write code — to go through a program called Bootcamp where they learn our codebase, our tools and our approach. There are a lot of folks in the industry who manage engineers and don’t want to code themselves, but the type of hands-on people we’re looking for are willing and able to go through Bootcamp.
The examples above all relate to engineering, but we have distilled these principles into five core values for how we run Facebook:
Focus on Impact
If we want to have the biggest impact, the best way to do this is to make sure we always focus on solving the most important problems. It sounds simple, but we think most companies do this poorly and waste a lot of time. We expect everyone at Facebook to be good at finding the biggest problems to work on.
Move Fast
Moving fast enables us to build more things and learn faster. However, as most companies grow, they slow down too much because they’re more afraid of making mistakes than they are of losing opportunities by moving too slowly. We have a saying: “Move fast and break things.” The idea is that if you never break anything, you’re probably not moving fast enough.
Be Bold
Building great things means taking risks. This can be scary and prevents most companies from doing the bold things they should. However, in a world that’s changing so quickly, you’re guaranteed to fail if you don’t take any risks. We have another saying: “The riskiest thing is to take no risks.” We encourage everyone to make bold decisions, even if that means being wrong some of the time.
Be Open
We believe that a more open world is a better world because people with more information can make better decisions and have a greater impact. That goes for running our company as well. We work hard to make sure everyone at Facebook has access to as much information as possible about every part of the company so they can make the best decisions and have the greatest impact.
Build Social Value
Once again, Facebook exists to make the world more open and connected, and not just to build a company. We expect everyone at Facebook to focus every day on how to build real value for the world in everything they do.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. We believe that we have an opportunity to have an important impact on the world and build a lasting company in the process. I look forward to building something great together.
_______________________________________________

The Best of 2011 Revisited



by David Brown, webmaster, Logion Web - Click title for full blog
(pictured left: from Beethoven Revisited -a Facebook fan page)

Since our prior post, there have been new additions to the "best" lists, so I am adding a few here. The notable one mentioned before as nominees, now has a finalist list :

So, the best of the best lists in my opinion are the winners of Mashable's 5th Annual Awards Winners.
Social Media - Best Social Network: Facebook (no surprise)
Technology - Best Smartphone - Iphone 4S
Entertainment -

Business

  • Viral Campaign of the Year: NOH8 Campaign
  • Most Innovative Use of Social Media for Marketing: Coke
  • Must-Follow Brand on Social Media: WWE
  • Best Branded Mobile App: Domino’s Pizza
  • Best Social Good Cause Campaign: Be A Star
Full blog/story
Updated January 1 2012
Other 2011 best lists include:
Mashable‘s picks for the "unbest" - most notorious reversals by tech companies in 2011
Best Web Humor 2011
YouTube Best Videos 2011
Sports and Social Media: Favorites of 2011
Mashable's 10 biggest stories of 2011
The Best Free Stuff in 2011 (Apps)
10 Best Spoof Twitter Accounts of 2011
The Top 10 HDTV's of 2011
The Five Best 3D TV's of 2011
The Best Smart TV Platforms of 2011
The Best (and Worst) Celebrity Technology Moments 
The Best of Google Maps and Google Earth  (PC World)
Top Twitter Trends 2011
10-best-commercials-2011 - Adweek
Best You Tube Videos
more updates to follow .....any suggestions?