Presented at Marketing Conference

As a marketer, you have to get out there sometimes and interact at events. I was fortunate to be invited to be a faculty speaker at ExL Pharma’s “The 3rd Pharmaceutical Search Engine Marketing Strategies Conference: Best Practices for Integrating SEM into a New Media Mix.” The conference was held in Princeton, NJ, which is a really inspiring location.

This was a smaller, more intimate conference, which was nice because you really got to engage with the speakers. In a larger room, you can sometimes get overlooked in the conversation. But here, we could really ask questions, get involved, and interact.

During my part of the conference, I discussed interactive content and how it affects search engine optimization and some of the latest SEO techniques. Of course, it was a pharma marketing discussion, so everything I presented was customized to the needs of the audience.

Here’s the actual description of what they had me present:

Demonstrating What Skills are Essential for Building a User-Friendly, Search-Friendly, and Persuasive Site

  • How To bring consumers to your site and convert them into customers
  • Significant changes/shifts in SEM for Pharma over the past 12 months: What is new right now?
  • Competitive SEM research: Search engine marketing does not occur in a vacuum of just your company. Learn what competitive data is out there and how to best leverage the information prior to launching your campaign or to optimize on an existing campaign

During my presentation, I really tried to engage the audience and invited them to participate. I used one of the core decks our agency uses to pitch new SEM business, but modified to to be more educational and less sales oriented. It was a good deal more colorful with larger pictures and fewer words.

There were several really impressive SEM/SEO presentations over those two days. And even though I do this full time, I found myself discovering new techniques and perspectives that helped me improve at my job. That alone was worth the price of admission.

Plus, it was really interesting to see how several micro-bloggers used Twitter to cover the convention for people who could not attend.

I need to offer special thanks to Jason Youner and Shawn O’Hagan for inviting me to participate at their event.

Here’s my  bio from the ExL Pharma event. Kind of cool to be called “faculty.” I like that. Makes me wish I had gotten an MBA or something so I could teach at the college level.

Flickr & Picasa Your New Photos

I’ve been posting more pictures these days to photo sharing sites. My two current favorites are Flickr and Picasa.

Picasa (owned by Google) offers some nice sharing features, including the ability to embed your photos inside your blog. It makes it easy to share a gallery…except on WordPress. (Unless I pay for a WordPress upgrade.)

At least I can embed a preview image that links to the Picasa gallery:

Random Photos by Buddy Scalera

Flickr (owned by Yahoo) is also a cool service, but it only allows you to insert a link to your gallery. That’s sort of old school, considering all of the cool things you can do with widgets and code.

Flickr has a really vibrant and engaging social network, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. I can join groups where I can share my photos and I can track photographers I like.  By comparison, Picasa’s social community is a little weak.

On the other hand, Picasa offers many cool features, including the ability to upload video and embed slideshows. For the same features, Flickr requires you to pay $24.95 to get the premium features, which include basics like the ability create multiple galleries.

If one of these sites offered the right package, I’d certainly be willing to pay. Of course, I want to pay according to my needs. So, I’d pay $12 a year for upgraded consumer services on Flickr. And if I wanted pro-level services, I’d be willing to pony up $24.95. With only two choices (free or $24.95), I’m sticking with free.

On the Picasa side, I’d like to see Google do a better job of integrating their other services. I already use many Google services, so I’d pay extra to have them synchronized. Again, give me some pricing thresholds, and I’ll choose the one that makes the most sense.

Flickr & Picasa Your New Photos

I’ve been posting more pictures these days to photo sharing sites. My two current favorites are Flickr and Picasa.

Picasa (owned by Google) offers some nice sharing features, including the ability to embed your photos inside your blog. It makes it easy to share a gallery…except on WordPress. (Unless I pay for a WordPress upgrade.)

At least I can embed a preview image that links to the Picasa gallery:

Random Photos by Buddy Scalera

Flickr (owned by Yahoo) is also a cool service, but it only allows you to insert a link to your gallery. That’s sort of old school, considering all of the cool things you can do with widgets and code.

Flickr has a really vibrant and engaging social network, which is one of the reasons it’s so popular. I can join groups where I can share my photos and I can track photographers I like.  By comparison, Picasa’s social community is a little weak.

On the other hand, Picasa offers many cool features, including the ability to upload video and embed slideshows. For the same features, Flickr requires you to pay $24.95 to get the premium features, which include basics like the ability create multiple galleries.

If one of these sites offered the right package, I’d certainly be willing to pay. Of course, I want to pay according to my needs. So, I’d pay $12 a year for upgraded consumer services on Flickr. And if I wanted pro-level services, I’d be willing to pony up $24.95. With only two choices (free or $24.95), I’m sticking with free.

On the Picasa side, I’d like to see Google do a better job of integrating their other services. I already use many Google services, so I’d pay extra to have them synchronized. Again, give me some pricing thresholds, and I’ll choose the one that makes the most sense.

CNET Says "Dek, Dek, Dek"

Got an email alert this morning from Cnet.com, as I do most mornings. Highlights, interesting tech tidbits, and other stuff I sip with my coffee.

Today, Cnet announced the Year in Review. Cool. Except…the headline was “SKELETON.” Hmm. Intriguing. Skeletons in the closet? Is Skeleton some new software? Skeleton trend?

Inside the email, SKELETON revealed to be “DEK DEK DEK DEK.” Huh. Cryptic. Some sort of insider tech talk? A Cnet digital chant?

On the website, things got even weirder…the DEK DEK DEK began to mix with the HED HED HED. Ah, got it. In 2008 DEK DEK DEK always gives you DEK DEK DEK.

If none of this makes sense, well, that’s because you haven’t look at the screenshots below.

Hey, if I don’t see you, have a very HED HED HED day. And don’t step in any DEK DEK DEK.

cnet-email-screenshot-2

CNet Email - Dek Dek Dek

CNET - HED HED HED

CNET - HED HED HED

Oh yeah, and be sure to check out “Tissot Thinks I’m a Dummy” too.

CNET Says “Dek, Dek, Dek”

Got an email alert this morning from Cnet.com, as I do most mornings. Highlights, interesting tech tidbits, and other stuff I sip with my coffee.

Today, Cnet announced the Year in Review. Cool. Except…the headline was “SKELETON.” Hmm. Intriguing. Skeletons in the closet? Is Skeleton some new software? Skeleton trend?

Inside the email, SKELETON revealed to be “DEK DEK DEK DEK.” Huh. Cryptic. Some sort of insider tech talk? A Cnet digital chant?

On the website, things got even weirder…the DEK DEK DEK began to mix with the HED HED HED. Ah, got it. In 2008 DEK DEK DEK always gives you DEK DEK DEK.

If none of this makes sense, well, that’s because you haven’t look at the screenshots below.

Hey, if I don’t see you, have a very HED HED HED day. And don’t step in any DEK DEK DEK.

cnet-email-screenshot-2

CNet Email - Dek Dek Dek

CNET - HED HED HED

CNET - HED HED HED

Oh yeah, and be sure to check out “Tissot Thinks I’m a Dummy” too.

I’m a Mac…he’s a Bill

You know, it’s not really fair. Those “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” ads are great and all…but so few people take the time to talk about those ads with Jerry and Bill.

Remember those ads? No? Hmm. Maybe it’s because they were good…they just failed to sell us on why we should buy Microsoft.

I mean, with the “Im a…” ads, you could see that they are definitely trying to get you to buy a Mac. And, quite frankly, the ads are very effective.

At one time, Mac had about 3% of the total market share in desktop computers. By some estimates, that’s up to about 21%.  Of course, much of that has been attributed to a halo effect around the iPod, but maybe some of it has to do with those ads.

Anyway, not to belabor the point, but the Microsoft ads dont really “sell” Microsoft, and maybe they dont have to. You get a few minutes in the adventures of Jerry and Bill. And tonight, that’s good enough for me.

Twitter’s Magical 140

According to Wired magazine, blogging is dead. Sad that the venerable blog post…which broke down barriers of publishing…may be on the way out.

In some ways, it’s true. Blogging was amazingly democratic. Anyone could be a published author, just by posting a blog. For a little while, media giants reacted to the voices of regular people, some of whom became self-appointed experts.

Over the last two years, though, the media caught up. Many top blogs are part of the established media network. Professional journalists and media channels are using blogs to attract, well, us. Now, that democratic blog landscape is being claimed by mainstream media, decreasing the ability of regular people to become key opinion leaders.

Part of the problem is that the blog post…usually pretty short…is just too long. Our attention span is waning to the point that a few paragraphs is too much mental lifting. See Me Read Book.

The predicted replacement? Twitter.

So, if I seem a little long winded to you, check out my Twitter account at http://twitter.com/BuddyWeb

Twitter posts (called Tweets) are limited to 140 characters. That’s about the length of one long sentence. For me, that’s usually two punchy, short sentences.

So, if you like someone’s writing, you can subscribe to their Twitter. Their random thoughts can be posted to Twitter. In best cases, Twitter posts are sharp, interesting, or funny observations. In worst, it’s agonizingly dull people sharing their banal lives.

And, as marketers see this shift, they are discovering new and interesting ways of leveraging the Twitter channel. Or at least as much marketing as you can do in 140 characters.

All hail the short attention span. Just do it quickly because we tend to bore easily!

Which 1,400 search engines do you use?

Okay, sharpen your keyboards, and get ready to search. Which of the 1,400 top search engines do you use?

What? You only use Google? Pfeh! You mainstream, conformist, follower. (Use Yahoo? Don’t gloat, it’s not exactly “indy.”)

By industry estimates, there’s over 1,400 search engines floating around these days. Really. Here’s the Top 100 Alternative Search Engines.

And that doesn’t even include http://www.cuil.com, which recently launched.  (It’s pronounced “cool.” Yes, really.)

Some of the others have equally creative names like ChaCha.com, Twerq.com, Twingly.com, Famhoo.com, and Mahalo.com.

So why so many search engines? Well, most engines have highly specialized search parameters. That’s a fancy way of saying that they narrow searches to a specialized audience.

Again, so why so many search engines? Well, if you’re Summarize.com, it’s for profit. Twitter.com bought the Twitter-only search engine Summarize.com for a cool $15M.

Search is big business and it’s getting bigger. Hey, I have a great idea. How about a personal search engine for everyone in the world? I’ll make billions!

What? Oh yeah, they already have that at Rollyo.com.

That’s clever web-speak for “Roll Your Own.” Oh…how cuil.