Here is an article from Chris Connelly, a former student of mine, who is doing great social media work at Vanguard Communications.

Google Buzz: Communication Strategies and Applications

In my last post on Google Buzz, I promised to provide some applications for organizations seeking to take advantage of this new social network. As the service expands, people will undoubtedly find ways to use Buzz that we can hardly imagine right now. But as promised, here are four easy steps you can take right now to start using Google Buzz to advance your communications objectives:

1. Create a Google Account for your organization. Google Accounts have always given you access to a huge range of beneficial communications tools, such as Docs, Gmail, YouTube, and more. But Buzz gives you something new – it allows your account to broadcast your issues and priorities to a public audience. Think Twitter, but without the 140 character limit and with the ability to add photos, videos, audio, links and more. Create a Google Account for your organization, link your social media feeds and Google Reader to it, and begin sharing your message with the Google community. As with any social network, it may take awhile to build up your followers – but if you include links to your account on your other platforms and update with good content, they will come.

Read the rest…


Interesting short piece on social media from AcidLabs, a social media blog I found recently (can’t remember where or who sent it to me).

“What we found out should make the social media mar­keters give pause. Far from absorb­ing social media mar­ket­ing mes­sages, peo­ple are con­nect­ing with each other, build­ing trust net­works, and are quite sophis­ti­cated in their use pat­terns both for busi­ness and per­sonal use. As for mar­ket­ing mes­sages, they care lit­tle for delib­er­ate mar­ket­ing, rather, they turn to those they trust for recommendations.”

Meta ads?


Halloween 2 web adHalloween 2 is debuting a web ad campaign that plays with the familiarity of annoying web ads… Clever.   An ad that makes fun of web ads, but still sells their product. 
This dumbed-down WordPress interface won’t let me embed flash, but check out this, this, this, or this

What can we learn from this?  It doesn’t hurt to think about ways to play against expectations on the web in order to grab attention and create some buzz…

L.A. Times rebooted this week.  Interesting redesign:

LA times front page

The L.A. Times has a new look

Less clutter, with a more retro, monochromatic look.  Reminds me of the front page of the L.A. Times when I was a kid.  Very Atlantic, CAP-style nav…  tidy little sections with top features and headlines.   Not sure if I like the expanding/contracting boxes below the fold on the left, but an interesting approach.

All-in-all, it seems much better than the old site design. If they erred, they erred on the site of showing less, rather than more and simplifying the home page rather than trying to pack it with new features.

This is a great article on user interface design:

We should really think about this, in forms and interactives especially.

Email Wars has a cool post about effective thank you pages for after a user signs up for an email product. The key, as you can see in this example, is to not just acknowledge that a user has signed up, but to provide additional contact options and other ways to engage with a company’s products and content.  Seems like something like this is often an after-thought. and a quick, poorly implemented page on our end.  Check out the post for some ideas on how we should improve our own confirmation pages…

Use of social networks by people 35-54 is up from 21.3% a year ago to 43.1% Q2 2009. Among 55+. usage is up from 6.4% to 18.9%. This is according to a new report from

These big jumps make it clear that social networks are becoming an even more important channel for reaching traditional influentials, community/business leaders, and voters.