Coming Soon To Facebook: “USERNAMES”

According to the facebook blog, users will finally have the chance to create usernames for their profiles:

“From the beginning of Facebook, people have used their real names to share and connect with the people they know. This authenticity helps to create a trusted environment because you know the identity of the people and things on Facebook. The one place, though, where your identity wasn’t reflected was in the Web address for your profile or the Facebook Pages you administer. The URL was just a randomly assigned number like “id=592952074.” That soon will change.

We’re planning to offer Facebook usernames to make it easier for people to find and connect with you. When your friends, family members or co-workers visit your profile or Pages on Facebook, they will be able to enter your username as part of the URL in their browser. This way people will have an easy-to-remember way to find you. We expect to offer even more ways to use your Facebook username in the future.”

How will this change everything?

This really follows the whole idea of making the internet a more “Search Friendly” (ie: SEO Friendly) environment to help users find their way through all the crap being added daily. My question is WHY THE HELL HAS IT TAKEN THEM THIS LONG? LinkedIn and Twitter have been doing this for ages. In fact, most social networks adhere to the “user-name”.  Now, browsing for the correct user URL will be that much easier:

Room For Concern…

I am a bit concerned about the ‘you get 1 chance’ rule. They warn users to “think carefully about the username you choose. Once it’s been selected, you won’t be able to change or transfer it.” Now that’s just not fair! Why not step up their game and find a way to make it so you can choose multiple user names. Like “Keyword” for SEO, this will help expand the searchability of each individual.

Either way, this is a great move for Facebook and will definitely help them out in terms of increasing traffic and overall ease of use. Good job! As usual, I look forward to seeing a “We Hate Facebook Usernames” facebook group…though in this case, I’m not sure that will happen (though I wouldn’t be surprised).

Posted under Blogs, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on June 9, 2009

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“TwittErotica.com” – If Twitter did Porn!

twitterotica-logo

“Social networking was supposed to be the Net’s next rocket to riches. But many social sites are having trouble capitalizing on their audiences, and it’s looking like the convivial atmosphere that promised to boost the value of commercial messages may actually diminish it.” (Conde Naste)…but I have the solution! I figured it all out: How to make Twitter money?

Defining The Issue

I know this is a rather “racy” topic, but everyones talking about twitter. If you don’t know what Twitter is by now, let me sum up in 140 characters or less: Twitter is a social networking and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and read other users updates known as tweets of up to 140 characters in length. Sound crazy? Let the #’s do the talking:

  • November 2008 : Forrester Research –  Twitter had 4-5 million users
  • February 2009: Compete.com – Twitter is the 3rd largest social network
  • March 2009: Nielsen.com – Twitter is the fastest growing social network (1382%)

Yet at the end of the day, only 1 number really counts: REVENUE! The problem is, “Twitter makes a negligible amount of revenue from users that send and receive messages as SMS texts, and overall loses an undisclosed amount of money.” (Wired)

Solutions in Progress

So, it has been 3 years and Twitter finally serves up some ads…well kind of. On March 16th, as reported by Adrants, “Twitter, has finally incorporated ads on the pages of its website. The rather unobtrusive text ads are cutely marked up as dictionary entries and appear in a sidebar below a user’s stats and above their thumbnail mosaic of followed users”. 7 days later, the Business Insider (Silicon Alley Insider) points out yet another revenue stream. Twitter “will offer promotional space on Twitter.com to ExecTweets, a Web site that aggregates tweets from business executives, organized by ad network Federated Media”. It should look promising, but it still feels like Twitter is avoiding untapped potential. “Twitter — whose user base is exploding — certainly has many potential revenue-generating options at its disposal, including ads, premium accounts, corporate user verification, etc.” (Business Insider)…well, they couldn’t be more right!

 

My Solution? “TwittErotica.com”

In May 12th 2007, TechCrunch made a very strong statement:

“Usually the porn industry innovates first and key features make their way to more mainstream sites. But over the last couple of years, many of the new ideas around web applications, like user generated content, video sharing, etc., went mainstream first and are now hitting the porn sites.” (TechCrunch)

For the first time, porn geeks and horny affiliates were in the back seat. Some examples of this included a user-generated porn YouTube clone called Pornotube.com, as well as a few others like EroShare.com and ScrewTube.com. 2007 provided a year of innovation for online pornography.

“The Web has been a goldmine for pornographers — 2007 revenue from porn sites in the U.S. alone was more than $13 billion, and almost $100 billion worldwide.” (Morning Sentinal)

Compared to $2.84 billion generated in 2006, that’s almost 500% more than the previous year! So what’s stopping the porn industry from copying Twitter? If it worked for PornoTube, then it will work for “TwittErotica.com”. In fact, one porn-trepeneur has already started their own version in early 2008: Boobik.com.

The problem is, both Gawker and TechCrunch immediately coined it the “Twitter of Porn”, and I feel someone else could do a better job…and I think someone else is! Someone already bought the name TwittErotica.com. If you’re the owner and you’re reading this, “YOU ARE SITTING ON A GOLDMINE!” At first, I thought you may already be on twitter and it so happens there is a “@Twitterotica” username. Not sure if they’re related.

You’re probably asking yourself? Why is Joshua spilling the beans on a billion dollar idea? I really don’t know the answer to that besides saving my family name (Russak) from embarrassment. Though, I don’t think they’d mind once I have enough money to buy an Island in Dubai.

Posted under Online Marketing, SEO/SEM, Social Networks

Slideshare’s Smart Approach To Link Building

slideshare

I recently used Slideshare software to embed Guy Kawasaki’s Twitter Power Point presentation in my article (Twitter As A Tool For Social Media) last week. Similar to the concept video monetization, you upload and share your presentations and documents on SlideShare, and in turn, you can embed those presentations on your own website. You think Slideshare would be happy with the branding and occasional traffic from your site, but they go a step further…

Slideshare’s Smart Thinking

I got 2 e-mails from them last week. The first was titled “Congratulations! Your presentation is being featured on the SlideShare homepage”. At the end of the e-mail, after signing their names, I found a PS note that read the following: “p.s. Why not blog/twitter this and let the world know about this awesome masterpiece you have created? ” — Ingenious! Make me feel awesome about making the home-page and have me blog about Slideshare. Well as you can see, it worked! But I didn’t give in that easily…

I got a 2nd e-mail last week “Congratulations! Your presentation is currently being showcased on the ‘Technology’ page on SlideShare” and to make sure I got the point they added “It’s likely to remain there for the next 16-20 hours… “. Now this got me thinking “Maybe I should blog about that?”…and before I got in another thought I noticed a new and improved PS at the bottom: “p.s. Why not blog/twitter this and let the world know about your awesome creation? This might just get you some new readers (or additional pageviews) while the spotlight is on :-).” Now the pressure is really on! And to make things better, they even threw in the “T” word (Twitter).

Well, I’ve finally gotten around to blogging about my success and wouldn’t you know, I’m no longer on the homepage. But I somehow remain on the Technology page with a healthy 425 views and a few embeds. Not bad!

The Moral of This Story…

So what did we learn today? Think outside of the box. Don’t just settle. I give Slideshare credit for feeding my ego by giving me “home-page” status. In return for that value, I gave them a few additional hits and a good review. (At least, I hope it comes off that way.) I’m not going to come up with an equation…just follow Slideshare’s example and find a way to make it work for you. Oh…and don’t forget to link to this blog post!


Posted under SEO/SEM

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 30, 2009

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Funniest Twitter Satire…EVER!

As part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, it’s time for “Viral Video of The Week”. Before presenting this weeks video, take a look at last weeks Viral Video: “Extreme Sheep“.

Today’s pick: Twouble with Twitters

Brought to us by Emmy award-winning Current TV. This aired on “SuperNews!” An animated sketch comedy series airing on Current TV, every Friday night at 10pm. I just found this too hilarious to pass up.

Posted under Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on March 27, 2009

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Guy Kawasaki: Twitter As A Tool For Social Media

kawasaki-guy

Described by Wikipedia as a Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist (Garage Tech Ventures), Guy Kawasaki’s “in-depth knowledge of the high-tech industry combined with his years of management experience enable him to address a wide range of audiences.”  (SES) I had the chance to be part of that audience yesterday at Search Engine Strategies –  NYC.

An acclaimed author, investor and tech personality…it was only a matter time before he voiced his opinion on Twitter. Referring to Twitter as a tool that enables “democratization of power” for businesses and individuals alike, Guy Kawasaki prepared an assortment of tools and tips for using the social media platform for marketing –  Including a Twitter tool that measures the size of you p*nis – ePenis! (Hey Guy…you and I are almost the same size!)

My favorite quote followed his opening remarks: “If I do it, it’s clever marketing. If it’s done to me, it’s spam. It’s situational ethics”. Anna Maria Virzi of Clickz was to my left taking notes the entire time. Her article Advice from Evangelist Guy Kawasaki, does a pretty good job summing up the entire speech. Virginia Nussey, of the Bruce Clay blog, also provided a rather in depth coverage of the event. Outspoken Media was one of the first to blog about the event.

But it seems I’m the only blogger with the original PowerPoint presentation…AND a list of all the companies and tools Guy Referred tool. It goes hand in hand with his presentation- Enjoy:

Guy Kawasaki: Twitter As A Tool For Social Media

*Special thanks to Gina @ Garage Tech. View more presentations from JoshuaRussak.

I’m pretty sure that you’d find his new book, Reality Check, very useful. It is the super set of all Guy’s writing, speaking, and blogging. You can read about it here: http://adjix.com/j7v. You should also take a look at Guy’s company’s web site. It’s a “digital magazine rack” of popular topics. These might interest those who attended SES:  seo.alltop.com –  sem.alltop.com.

Posted under Events, Social Networks