Google Health

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending October 29

I think we all know what the biggest story this week was. But just in case you missed or want to read more about what exactly is going on you can catch up through the Kloutastrophe roundup I posted on The Mini Mesh. That's two posts this week on the Klout changes, so I don't need to say anything more about it.

In general, I think reports on studies like this one are interesting to look at, but they rarely have an impact on my behavior. However, it was interesting to me that link placement in the middle of a tweet could get more click-throughs. I've tried it a bit, but I haven't tested it with tracking. There are so many variables that can affect when and why someone clicks on a link that I'm wary of trusting such assertions as hard and fast guidelines for why I do something. The other type of report I see at least once a week is one that outlines advice on the times to post to various networks to get the most engagement. Steve Olenski from The Star Group tells brands that after hours will net the greatest engagement, information that may come as a surprise to many (and goes against what I've personally experienced). Take these suggestions with a grain of salt. Test them with your audience to see what works best. Or these tools might help.

Do you have great ideas for video? There's never been a better time to expand to doing video. It's unbelievably popular and its popularity just keeps growing. And you can make money doing video (if you hit viral gold). When we made the decision to drop our cable over two years ago, I wondered if we'd be bored to tears. That hasn't been the case at all. Technology keeps us in touch with anything we want to see and I don't miss the cable bill at all. More and more are going to do this and it's forcing advertisers to think of new ways to get their message out. Just make sure that if you're going to start doing videos that you tell really cool stories.

QR (quick response) codes are taking off all over the place. It's a technology that is getting a lot of buzz, but not nearly enough users understand or even have an interest in it. The companies who are using QR codes often have flaws in their plan, but Starbucks seems to have come up with a creative use that will help their customers and enrich their knowledge and experience of the brand.

Now that Facebook has had a big overhaul, it looks as if Twitter is next. How do you feel about an expanded timeline with the ability to see conversation threads? Yeah, those are already available in third-party clients and since I rarely ever use Twitter on the Web, these changes don't phase me, but I do think it's a step in the right direction to make their Web access more user-friendly.

How many times has some new information repository started up that will "revolutionize your world" that made you a bit squeamish inside? One thing I clearly remember was 3-4 years ago hearing about Google Health, I think it was called. A place to save your entire medical history. Who wants to do that!? Then I read this and I finally get it. If you've never done a move that took you thousands of kilometers/miles away from home, you might disagree. I have. Digital medical records? Not such a bad thing. With seriously tight security.

A few items to be watchful about

We all know that the intersection of social media and work (for the non-social media worker) can be tricky. I've personally been at companies that had some relentlessly strict guidelines for social media usage outside of working hours. I think it's safe to say I wouldn't want to work for a company that's trolling Facebook to find out if I'm complaining.

Do you comment on public Facebook posts of your friends or those you subscribe to? Does your family? Be sure you want to comment badly enough for third-party apps, like Klout, to pick up on your existence. If you don't want it to happen, refrain from commenting on public posts and be sure to educate your family members too.

Did you know that employers are looking at social media? Who doesn't know that? Yet I see posts nearly every week about it. Now it's affecting law school admissions. What you say on social networks matters and yes, it can come back to haunt you too.

It's discouraging (as a U.S. citizen) to see that the government there has made nearly 6,000 requests for information from Google. Thankfully, Canada (1/10th the size of the U.S.) has made only 50.

The moral of the story? Don't post anything online ever anywhere that you don't want a future potential school administrator/employer/government to see. And don't be fooled by upcoming Facebook privacy updates because with 600,000 compromised logins per day, Facebook privacy still depends a lot on the strength of your friends' passwords. The best way to keep something private on the Internet is not to put it on the Internet.

A little bit of fun

Have you ever been to a site that had established linking guidelines? I think I'd leave and not come back, personally, but to each his own, I guess.

If you're anything like my family, you already have your (five) pumpkin design(s) in the works but these are fun to look at anyway. (What? You don't carve five pumpkins?)

It's not fair to include the pumpkins if I don't include the geeky awesomeness of these costumes! I really wish I'd seen this a few weeks ago - I would have totally used the cloud costume.

Speaking of Klout, what exactly is it again?

The Mini Mesh, which I referenced in the first paragraph, is my Tumblr blog that I try to post to on days I don't post here. Typically, the posts are much shorter and usually contain commentary on a news story or other social media commentary. If you're on Tumblr, I'd love to have you follow me!