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Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Today, Even Hermits Engage in Social Media

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Last night I went out with a couple that I would best describe as “my wife’s friends”.  This is a completely different blog topic, but have you ever noticed how rare it is that you and your partner like the same people?  It’s pretty universal that if you like someone, your significant other will not.  And what about an entire couple?  You’re more likely to win the Powerball.

To protect the identity of  the offensive couple, I’ll call them Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Brown (or DB and Mrs. DB for short…take a moment…yes, that was intentional).  So, this couple spent the entire dinner talking about how technology obsessed Americans are and that we really don’t need to be so connected.  That’s why they spent the last 6 months sailing…away from the trappings of modern society.  It went on and on.  Three drinks into the evening, after DB made snide remarks about the need for iPhones, DVRs, and steady work, I was done.  Unfortunately, the waiter decided to take a 30 minutes smoke break. 

Luckily the delay happened as it led to my favorite moment (only favorite moment) of the evening.  Here’s the set up.  In discussing the isolated places where they sailed (the DBs were in places where there wasn’t daily mail delivery!) they noted that they used a cell phone to call for a new engine and had to wait a week.  Ah-HA…cell phone is technology!  Then they drifted into the lack of internet coverage, and how it was hard to update their website and blogs (blogs…multiple blogs) in certain areas. 

I did my best to not “spike the football” about the need for these young idealists’ need to have a blog, but I didn’t resist that well.  Let’s just say the evening didn’t end with an attempt to set up another dinner.  Oh well.  That said, I did think it was very telling that an aspiring hermit need to have Internet access on his sabbatical and then to blog on multiple blogs to let the world know how isolated he was.

Please tell us about any other hypocritical stances you’ve encountered…or if you too have had dinner with DBs.

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Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Customer Reviews and Blogs: Do They Matter?

Monday, December 14th, 2009

There are a lot of websites and blogs that track the good and bad customer experiences with online sites and service providers.  The general notion is that these past experiences will help predict what future experiences will be.  The concept makes a lot of sense, but it presumes a few things to be true.  I just finished reading SuperFreakonomics, so I think I’m more than qualified to address these issues in a rigorous manner (did I mention that I am a scientist?  Yep, I graduated with a degree in political science, so you’re in good hands):

Sample Issues: The review sites and blogs are very much slanted towards those actually inclined to share their experiences, and those who actually know how to share them.   There is a large bloc of people not interested in telling the world about how they were ripped off by an unknown online seller (it’s called “loss avoidance” and most of us engage in it at some point…see I told you I was a scientist).  The sample of these comments are further vexed by the fact that some people don’t know how to voice their opinions (or which sites to do it with) — so the sample will likely skew towards more positive and be made by those familiar with technology/online industries.

Fraud: This is also a concern, and likely why most ratings skew overly positive…online sellers/service providers rate themselves (via fake accounts or their friends).  It’s not “fraud” in the sense of defrauding someone out of their money, but it’s not honest and defeats the purpose of customer reviews.  It’s similar to how I used to inscribe my own yearbook to make it seem like I had more friends.

Low Visibility/Little Negative Impact:  An online seller isn’t likely to promote their customer reviews unless  they are positive, so it takes a consumer extra effort to research the negative reviews.  And once you do come across those reviews, what do they mean?  If you’re about to save 20% on the new plasma t.v., it’s likely that you’ll take your chances — it’s likely the previous customers were just complainers. 

Time for the anecdotal: My wife bought a new light fixture online.  She receives it and finds out it can’t be used in a bathroom because of a potential fire hazard.  The contacts the owner of the site, he tells her “she should be fine putting it in the bathroom”).  After realizing she is not going to be able to return the item, she threatens to “blog about her experience”.  Of course, she has other things to worry about and in time she moves one — no negative review, no blog posting, no negative effect for the online seller.

Of course, we here at KikScore think we’ve solved the issue, but until we’re ubiquitous, we’ll have to determine whether customer reviews are helpful.  What are your thoughts?

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Posts Tagged ‘blogs’

Social Media & Your Biz: Open Up So You Can Close

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Though the Internet seems to be overflowing with blog posts, tweets, and Facebook updates, there are a good number of businesses that don’t use social media in any manner.  Initially, I wasn’t the biggest evangelist for social media.  In all fairness, others on the Team are much more sophisticated about how to properly use blogs and Twitter. My initial feeling on social media was “Why the hell would I want to read the thoughts of a complete stranger?”  The past 6 weeks, however, we’ve gone live with our site/service and my attitude has completely changed.  Initially, we did very informative, yet sterile, blog postings…ones that no one actually read.  My prejudice seemed to be confirmed.  We then became more candid and casual in our postings, linked them up to Twitter and Facebook and all sorts of good things started to happen:

1.  Our traffic and overall visibility to the site is growing exponentially

2. We have come across several companies that are reaching out to similar small business owners.  Two such partners are Shustir and MyBusinessAssistant — services that are helping small business grow faster and with less headaches.

3. We are getting direct feedback from the marketplace.

4.  Our customers have a good understand with whom they are doing business with — not just a slick website (though our site is pretty slick).

5.  I’ve been able to share my drinking stories and show pictures of my dog online under the guise of being helpful for small business.

We’re not just the only ones seeing the positive impact of opening up to social media.  One of our customers, www.17thandRiggs.com has a great blog and is active on Twitter http://twitter.com/RebeccaSM).  In under a year, Rebecca has transformed her site from a passionate hobby to a destination site for interior designers and those who want to keep up with the latest design trends (as well as a full-time business).  If you don’t like my anecdotal examples, do you prefer the Wall Street Journal’s anecdotal examples?  In a recent WSJ article, a featured small business discussed how her wedding planning business was significantly buoyed by using social media. 

Feel free to share your favorite social media success stories…or tips on using social media.

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