Archive for September 2011

Get Out Of The House

Working from home can be a blessing and a curse. Many in the world of social media work out of their homes; in fact, I’d be willing to bet that most blogs are written by someone wearing bunny slippers. But while sleeping late and schlepping around the living room in your underwear definitely have their merits, there are times when you want to feel more like … well, an adult—a professional, surrounded by other professionals, producing whatever it is you produce without the potential distractions of daytime TV, the cat, the fridge. Sometimes, too, you might need to take meetings, but your apartment is most definitely not suitable for viewing, and the idea of a noisy hour in Starbucks is simply no longer appealing.

Increasingly, young Internet entrepreneurs are turning to shared office rentals as an alternative to the home office. In addition to a professional work environment—with receptionists, IT assistance, coffee machines—these shared spaces offer access to like-minded people who, in addition to inspiring and motivating you, may actually give you solid business leads. Who knows, they may even want to date you! That’s not going to happen when you’re on your couch covered in cat hair and Cheetos dust.

So, if you are interested in getting some fresh air, adding structure to your workday, meeting new people and, most likely, increasing your productivity, check out a shared office space. Not only are they affordable and require little to no commitment, they now exist in nearly every metropolitan area, and the latest companies are targeting young Internet professionals just like you.

Take, for example, WeWork, which has three locations in Manhattan (including the hipper-than-thou Meatpacking District) and plans to open soon in San Francisco and L.A. Designed like the coolest boutique hotels, these offices offer all the business infrastructure you might need—including high-speed Internet, conference rooms, and mail service—as well as pool tables, Xbox lounges, and even happy hour parties. Just like you, they’re concerned about the environment: the offices have fair-trade organic coffee, purified water systems, bike storage, and discounts for Zipcar rentals.

So, it might just be time to take the plunge: get yourself dressed, and get to an office where you can network with your peers. Not only is it highly likely to help your business, it will almost certainly provide new fodder for your blog, your tweets, your Facebook page, and what have you.

For more about shared office rentals, check out this article on All Business: http://bit.ly/okY1Bg

Meanwhile, you will be happy to know, as I write this, I am fully clothed.

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How Facebook’s Changes Will Affect Brands

Facebook just announced a bunch of changes that will affect the visibility of brands and the engagement users have with brands. Here are some key elements to keep in mind.

Timeline
Facebook released an entirely new perspective on a user’s social profile called Timeline (https://www.facebook.com/about/timeline). Timeline is fundamentally a catalogue of the user’s whole life (at least as he may have uploaded it to Facebook) curated by the user. Users choose a cover photo and highlight life events (e.g, birth of a child, marriage, etc.) to tell their story. To make the whole timeline manageable, Facebook condenses the information that is displayed in the user’s Timline the further back in time you scroll.

What is most meaningful for marketers is that users can connect applications to their Timelines. Once connected, an app automatically loads information and actions into a user’s Timeline. The actions can be any verb and noun combination – listening to music, cooking a recipe – that the brand establishes for its apps. If it meets relevancy criteria (see GraphRank below) the auto-inserted information appears in the Ticker of the user’s friends. The insertion continues forever or until the user actively stops it – which is great for brands!. Important events also appear in the user’s News Feed. The Ticker drives social discovery of your app, and your brand, by the user’s friends.

GraphRank
For marketers, application and brand discovery have always been a problem on Facebook. To help solve the discovery issue, in addition to the compelling solution of the Timeline and the Ticker, Facebook has built a relevance filter called GraphRank. GraphRank promotes information based on the amount a user and his/her friends interact with an application and its content. More interaction – greater visibility, For marketers, this ups the ante to create and deliver applications and content that users want to, and do, regularly engage.

The above italics are quoted from Direct Message Lab‘s email newsletter. Nice write up!


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