In my recent post, Web 2.0 marketing opportunities, I offered to be your tour guide for some of the major features offered by this marvelous technology. I listed six features represented by the acronym SLATES: Search, Links, Authoring, Tags, Extensions and Signals. Last week’s post dealt with Signals (RSS – really simple syndication). In this week’s post we’ll deal with extensions.
What’s an extension?..
In the context of Web 2.0 features, extensions refers to software application extentions. Wikipedia describes them as “a file containing programming that serves to extend the capabilities of or data available to a more basic program. It is a kind of list of commands which are directly included in the program. This term often (mistakenly) coincides with the plug-in. When installing software, you may be instructed to take one or more steps related to installing extensions (or these steps may automatically be done for you). Extensions differ slightly from plug-ins. Plug-ins usually have a narrow set of capability.”
What do Extensions do?..
Extensions add new functionality to existing applications such as Internet browsers, for example. They can add anything from a toolbar button to a completely new feature. Extensions are different from plug-ins, which help the browser display specific content like playing multimedia files. Extensions are also different from search plug-ins, which plug additional search engines in the search bar.
What’s in it for me?..
Mozilla’s Firefox web browser. the second most used browser in the world, has a developer community which creates extensions as solutions for common problems and to take advantage of new features as they are developed. Extensions also serve to allow users to customize applications to fit their personal needs, while keeping keeping these files compact and easy to download.
Nice to know there are all these nice techie folks are out there working on our behalf to make Web 2.0 easier for us. That way we can focus on taking advantage of any new marketing opportunities as they come on-line.
Please feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking on the symbol in the upper left hand corner where it reads, “Subscribe To … (RSS orange icon) Posts”. Then you won’t miss any of my future posts regarding Web 2.0 marketing opportunities.
As always, you are invited to comment/contribute your thoughts and ideas to improve this blog post.
In my previous post, Web 2.0 marketing opportunities, I offered to be your tour guide for some of the major features offered by this marvelous technology. I listed six features represented by the acronym SLATES: Search, Links, Authoring, Tags, Extensions and Signals. Let’s start in reverse order with Signals – The use of syndication technology such as RSS to notify users of content changes.” RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. When I first heard the term I liked the sound of “really simple” but the syndication part? Not so much!…
Remember “Dear Abby”?…
As a freelance writer for the print media, I understand “old school” syndication. Consider “Dear Abby”, written by Abigail Van Buren, whose common sense advice column was syndicated in numerous, perhaps hundreds of newspapers across North America, becoming a household name. Abby wrote only one column, but she received compensation from many newspapers. A pretty good gig, if you ask me. Abby’s column, founded in 1959, is a still a good gig, carried on today by her daughter.
Back to the future…
Once upon a time, newspapers were delivered by subscription to your front door by your neighbourhood newspaper boy/girl. Today, Wikipedia tells us:
“An RSS document (which is called a “feed”, “web feed”, or “channel”) includes full or summarized text, plus metadata (I’ll cover this in a future blog post on Tags) such as publishing dates and authorship. Web feeds benefit publishers (bloggers) by letting them syndicate content automatically. They benefit readers (followers) who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. RSS feeds can be read using (free) software called an “RSS reader”, “feed reader”, or “aggregator”, which can be web-based, desktop-based, or mobile-device-based.
You got all that, right? What it really means is that RSS delivers, by subscription, blog posts into your email reader, in real time.
But, what’s in this for me?…
Just like newspapers, blogs can include advertising targeted to their readership. This is where the Web 2.0 marketing opportunities come in. You were beginning to wonder about that, weren’t you? As the Chief Marketing Officer of your business, you can profit from these advertising opportunities in several ways:
1) You can make an arrangement with an existing blogger, one who has a substantial following, to purchase advertising space on his/her site. As the blogger distributes his/her valued content, your advertising messages tag along on your behalf. Kinda like “old school” newspapers did!
2) You can start your own blog, build a substantial following, and include your own marketing messages in each of your blog posts. However, you need to be subtle about this, as blogs are not well received when used as electronic substitutes for direct mailers – blogs are expected to provide useful information to readers.
3) If you have your own blog, you can sell advertising space on your site to another (usually complimentary) business. Google AdSense is a free program that empowers online publishers to earn revenue by displaying relevant ads on a wide variety of online content, including: site search results, websites, and mobile web pages. AdSense provides targeted text and image ads on your blog. Google automatically chooses which ads to show, based on your blog content, and takes care of any ad updates on your behalf. You earn money each time one of your site visitors view or click on these ads.
4) If you have your own blog, and a substantial following, you can join Google’s Affiliate Network. With this program, you choose which advertiser’s links, images and/or ad copy appear on your blog or website. However, you are required to do the updating of text and ads, perhaps on a daily basis. Affiliate marketers receive a commission or percentage of the sale of items purchased by means of a “click through link” activated by visitors to your site. For example, your blog post contains a review of a recently published book which has a click through link to Amazon.com back to that book. At that point, if your site visitors buy that book you will receive a commission or percentage of sales. Neat, huh? (It is recommended that your blog contains a disclosure of your Affiliate marketing relationship, as opposed to letting your blog followers assume you are an independent book reviewer. It’s just the right thing to do!)
Don’t be intimidated by Web 2.0. It’s providing new and better marketing opportunities for those brave souls not hung up on “The good old days”. The good old days were never this good!
This is the symbol which indicates you can subscribe to an RSS feed. Please feel free to subscribe to this blog by clicking on the symbol in the upper left hand corner where it reads, “Subscribe To … (RSS orange icon) Posts”. Then you won’t miss any of my future posts regarding Web 2.0 marketing opportunities.
As always, you are invited to comment/contribute your thoughts and ideas to improve this blog post.
A new marketing decade dawns…
Hopefully. this new decade we have just entered will inspire us, as business people, to open our minds to the abundance of new marketing strategies which are available to us via Web 2.0.
“Web 2.0? OMG (Oh, my God) what’s this, a new marketing buzz word?” you ask…
Not exactly. A Web 2.0 Wikipedia search reveals “Although the term suggests a new version of the World Wide Web, it does not refer to an update to any technical specifications, but rather to cumulative changes in the ways software developers and end-users use the Web. Examples of Web 2.0 include social networking sites, blogs, wikis, video sharing sites, hosted services, web applications, mashups and folksonomies.
In terms of the lay public, the term Web 2.0 was largely championed by bloggers and by technology journalists, culminating in the 2006 TIME magazine Person of The Year (You). That is, TIME selected the masses of users who were participating in content creation on social networks, blogs, wikis, and media sharing sites. In the magazine cover story, Lev Grossman explains:
“It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before. It’s about the cosmic compendium of knowledge Wikipedia and the million-channel people’s network YouTube and the online metropolis MySpace. It’s about the many wresting power from the few and helping one another for nothing and how that will not only change the world, but also change the way the world changes.It’s a story about community and collaboration on a scale never seen before.”
“OK, but what’s in it for me?”, you ask…
How about an opportunity to convert your static Web 1.0 website (the proverbial digital company brochure) broadcasting your marketing message AT potential consumers, to a Web 2.0 website, engaging your potential customers to contribute TO your marketing message?
“How can that possibly work?” you ask…
As marketing VP of our own businesses, we entrepreneurs must embrace these new tools and techniques, or risk getting left entangled in cobwebs of Web 1.0. Again, Wikipedia tells us that, “Web 2.0 websites include the following features and techniques: Andrew McAfee used the acronym SLATES to refer to them:
Search – Finding information through keyword search.
Links – Connects information together into a meaningful information ecosystem using the model of the Web, and provides low-barrier social tools.
Authoring – The ability to create and update content leads to the collaborative work of many rather than just a few web authors. In wikis, users may extend, undo and redo each other’s work. In blogs, posts and the comments of individuals build up over time.
Tags – Categorization of content by users adding “tags” – short, usually one-word descriptions – to facilitate searching, without dependence on pre-made categories. Collections of tags created by many users within a single system may be referred to as “folksonomies” (i.e., folk taxonomies).
Extensions – Software that makes the Web an application platform as well as a document server. These include software like Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash player, Microsoft Silverlight, ActiveX, Oracle Java, Quicktime, Windows Media, etc.
Signals – The use of syndication technology such as RSS to notify users of content changes.”
“Yikes, TMI (too much information)!”, you say…
Stay with me, and I’ll take you on this journey to Web 2.0, one step at a time, in future blogposts. Next, SUBSCRIBE TO…POSTS (the RSS orange icon in the upper left hand corner of this blog) so you won’t miss a thing.
As always, you are invited to contribute comments on this post, and/or suggestions for future posts to improve this blog.
A reader tells me….
I received an email recently from a self-employed business person in response to my recent post Your 2011 Marketing Plan in 7 Easy Steps
The entrepreneur said, “I have no time to work on my business, I’m too busy working in my business – producing the products. So where is the time supposed to come from for me to create a marketing plan?”
As I said in that previous post (and it’s been proven time and again), “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Upwards of 75% of new start-ups succumb from failure to plan. Lacking a well thought out overall business plan, which should always include a marketing section, is the number one culprit in the demise of most new businesses.
I know it’s tempting to want to “shoot the messenger”, but the reality is that it’s a question of setting priorities. What I said to the entrepreneur is, “You are your own Vice-President of Marketing and if you are not doing it, then who? What’s going to happens when all those products you are so now so engrossed in producing are all gone? Where will the consumer demand come from for your next set of products?”
My advise to the entrepreneur was, “Set aside a block of time on your weekly calendar for marketing. If you can’t spare a big block of time such as five hours out of one single day per week – then how about setting aside one hour each day, when you are not burnt out from producing your products? Could you manage getting up an hour earlier, before you start your “real work” and dive into that marketing plan for 2011? As soon as your plan has been fleshed out, use that same hour each day to implement the strategies you identified in your plan.”
I’ve learned this important lesson from experience in my own business. If I devote all my time to completing the current web design project at hand, when I’m done there will be no new projects lined up for me to start on. Being suddenly faced with an empty in-basket can lead to entrepreneur panic. Desperation can influence you to take on unsuitable and/or unprofitable projects to solve the immediate cash flow problem, further compounding business problems.
Only when I’ve taken time out of working in my business, to work on my business by actively prospecting for future projects, am I able to level out those undesirable peaks and valleys of workloads and cash flows.
As always, I invite readers to comment on this post, and/or to contribute their own strategies for scheduling time for essential business planning activities.