Google Loves Twitter Bio Links

Apparently Google really loved my link to 8pmWarrior.com I had on my twitter profile.

This is what happened when I changed it from 8pmWarrior.com to help support our video portfolio at AttentionEra.com.  I thought you might find this interesting:

Despite the link remaining on the dedicated 8pm Warrior Twitter account, traffic from search engines has almost completely dropped off from almost 1000 views a week (even though I wasn’t posting much) to basically nothing.

A couple lessons here:

  1. Twitter matters if you want web traffic.
  2. Community size matters too.  Apparently 2200 followers on @8pmWarrior isn’t enough.
  3. Maybe there’s something about having two twitter accounts use one link as the Twitter bio link.
  4. I probably need to post more and let sharing be the traffic driver, not SEO.

 

Let me know if you have any other ideas.  I’ve never seen anything like this before.

Have a great night,

Aaron @Biebert

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When You Have Someone’s Attention: Don’t Waste It!

A couple quick thoughts at the end of the week.

Humans are no longer limited by a lack of information.  We’ve never had more Wikipedia articles, Google search results, emails, updates, and every other way we get information when we need it.

We even have Siri or other artificial intelligence like Big Blue to do the work for us.

Information is not the problem.

 

We are now limited by the amount of attention we have available.

When you earn someone’s attention, you shouldn’t waste it.  It’s precious!

 

Does your page respect people’s time?

  • Do you dominate Facebook with a ton of trivial posts?  We only have so much time and you’re wasting it.  We will unfollow or hide you.
  • Why are our comments awaiting moderation on your blog? You have a spam filter.
  • Are you deleting Facebook comments that are unfavorable to your brand?  You are asking for trouble.  Comments will go somewhere.
  • We won’t do business with you if you ignore questions or comments on your page.

 

Why are your customers waiting?

  • I spent 3 hours on the phone with AT&T yesterday.  Now I’m switching to Verizon.
  • My favorite grocery store has no parking.  I now have a new favorite.
  • Sam’s Club always has 10 people in every line.  I’m not renewing my membership.

 

How are you one on one?

  • Are you constantly checking your phone?
  • Are you dragging the conversation down by spend too much time on meaningless stuff?
  • Are you actually listening?
  • Do you spam your contacts with unnecessary emails or other deferred communication?
  • Do you say stuff just for the sake of saying it?

 

For the sake of humanity, we must stop.

 

The developed world is out of time.  Relationships are suffering.  People are overwhelmed.

If you want to keep people’s attention in the Attention Era, you must respect it.

It starts by not wasting it.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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YouTube Changes to Integrate with Google+, Twitter & Facebook Videos

YouTube is more than cute animal videos, funny stuff, and stupid stunts. It grew up today.

Ignore at your own risk.

Any 8pm Warrior trying to get their message out or sell a remarkable service should be using YouTube.  Video cameras are built into nearly every smart phone and nothing captures the personality of a business like video.  Nothing.

I’m sharing from experience as a producer of several online shows and video productions that were created to build community and sell a product in a social savvy way.  Video changes the game.

Here’s why YouTube matters:

  • YouTube is the #2 search engine in the world (think SEO)
  • It is the largest video-based social network
  • Google+ is now integrated even closer with YouTube for additional community building (more on the way)
  • YouTube is simple to use and even offers a free video editing feature
  • Video is perfect for the Attention Era

YouTube made widespread changes to their channel formats today and I think it changes everything.  In the past it was millions of chaotic channels with long lists of video uploads that were hard to understand or group together.  Email subscription was the best way to keep up.  It was barely social.

That all changed today.

In what was probably the biggest upgrade since Google bought YouTube, channels can be restructured to display videos in the form of a series, much like a television network groups their shows together for DVR or On Demand.  It even tracks which episodes you’ve already watched in a series.

Each YouTube account also has a news feed feature, much like other social networks. To make it more social, the new YouTube is even more integrated with Google+, Facebook, and Twitter.  This makes it much easier for interested viewers to subscribe and interact with brands or personalities that they enjoy.  It keeps each channel fresh, even when no new videos are posted.

It’s a lot more like TV now.  It’s how it should be.

I really like it.

Channels Using the New YouTube Channel Upgrade

You can see screenshots of the new upgrades below:

New YouTube Channel Design

 

 

New YouTube News Feed with Google+ Integration

 

 

If you have any questions about the new YouTube upgrade, feel free to post the questions below, on the 8pm Warriors Facebook discussion forum, or on twitter @Biebert. I’ll do my best to answer or point you in the right direction.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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Attention Era: Why You Should “Like” What You Like

Something big is happening and it requires your attention. Literally.

We’re in the Attention Era now and we’ve got a million things coming at us. Actually, it’s more like a trillion.

Each year the world wades through:

  • 90 trillion emails sent
  • 1 trillion ads displayed on Facebook
  • 1.1 trillion videos watched on YouTube
  • 1 trillion websites indexed by Google

Wow, that’s a lot of stuff coming at us! There’s no way to keep up.

Luckily, websites like Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Gmail, StumbleUpon, and others are helping you sort through these messages to find what you want or need to see.  Other sites are learning quickly.

They need your help.

On Facebook, you have to click “Like” or comment on things you actually care about for the sorting to work well.  On Google+, you have to click +1.  All of these systems require something from you if they’re going to pull you from the overwhelming ocean of information we’re drowning in.

The next time you see something or someone great, do yourself a favor and click “Like”.

It’ll save you time in the long run.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert

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The Google+ Directory (add yourself here)

So you’re on Google+ and it’s so quiet you can hear a pin drop?  Do not fear, your fellow 8pm Warriors are here!

Since the search tool isn’t helpful for finding new people, I’m starting this Google+ directory to help us find each other.  This method might be the only way, a sort of #FollowFriday for this new network.Google Plus Logo

Want to help out and connect with others?

Just follow the three steps below!  I look forward to connecting!

Step One:

Post the link to your Google+ profile in the comment section below. Mine looks like this:

https://plus.google.com/115187953339340278872/about

Also, include some key topics in your comment so that others can easily determine if you’re a good fit for their network.

Step Two:

Share this directory. It will only work if we get enough people to contribute to it. Take a minute (literally) to share it with the share buttons on top or bottom of this post.

 

Step Three:

Take some time and connect with your fellow 8pm Warriors!  Enjoy!

If you still need an invite, I will continue to invite email subscribers to Google+ on a regular basis.

 

Have a great day connecting!

Aaron@Biebert

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+1 Reason Why Leaders Need to Join Google+ Now

This is a different take on why Google+ matters.

To me, it’s not about the features, Facebook, or anything else out there.  It’s about you.

Since my initial Google+ introduction and invitation on Wednesday, I’ve been researching, discussing, and thinking about how it can be utilized by businesses and leaders.  My goal was to write a definitive post on why Google+ matters and why my fellow 8pm Warriors should get on it. Google Plus Logo

Unfortunately, the more I researched, the more I realized it wasn’t the features that mattered.  There was a bigger reason to join…

There are many “Top Reasons to Try Google+” lists out there already, but given that both Facebook and Google have plans to continue changing things (Facebook adds Skype next week), these lists will be obsolete in a couple months, if not weeks.

For me, there is only one simple reason that you as a leader need to join Google+ and it goes to the heart of leadership itself:

Leaders must lead, not follow.

When there is a new frontier and a new opportunity to be a pioneer, leaders must lead.  They cannot wait for the rest of the world to decide if something is successful or not, they must beat the gold rush.  Being a first mover matters.  Slow leaders aren’t leaders at all in a modern era…they are followers.

I’m going to explain myself below.  However, if you’re still trying to figure out if Facebook is a fad, I don’t recommend reading any further.  I will be wasting your time.

Instead, I recommend reading this first:  Time for Sleeping Leaders to Awake

If you haven’t clicked off yet, I’ll assume you agree that the world has changed and social media isn’t a fad, but rather a fundamental and permanent shift in the way much of the world relates to the people and brands in their life.

I’m confident that social media isn’t going away, and neither is Google+.

Here’s why Google+ is here to stay:

I know that Google has screwed up several new attempts at social networking in the past (i.e. Buzz, Wave, Health, etc.), but this time it will be different.  If there is one thing that I’ve learned during my time reviewing the site and testing the features, it’s that they’ve finally figured out a way to bring all of their pieces of the social puzzle together.  Even though they aren’t all fully functional (i.e. Youtube for video and Picasa for pictures), it’s all but certain they will be soon.

Also, it’s going to be an effective alternative to Facebook.  Too many people dislike Facebook for whatever reason, and too many of us already use most of the pieces of the Google+ package (YouTube, Gmail, Picasa, Android, Google News, Google Chat, etc.).

Since we’re using most of it anyway, especially if you have an Android phone, it’ll be smart and easy to bring it all together into one social package, even if it isn’t your primary network.  That’s why Google+ will survive and may thrive.

You’re already using it!

Looking for more reasons why it’s a safe bet?  Read more here

Leaders need to try Google+ sooner, not later:

Let me start with my Facebook story.

Remember when most people thought Facebook was just a college kid thing?

I joined Facebook right when it opened to non-college students and immediately began building a network of healthcare people as part of the Clear Medical Network initiative.  Our goal was to prepare for a world of severe medical personnel shortages.

With that first-mover advantage, our team was able to build communities that served over 43,000 segmented groups of people.  Not only is that an asset for the future, but it helped us weather the job market crisis better than most of our competitors who are no longer in business.

Leaders starting now are way behind.  It’s so hard to build Facebook page communities now without expensive giveaways and advertising.  It’s a mature platform.

At the beginning, all it cost us was time.  Now with valuation of $100 per person, the network may be worth over $4,000,000 and growing as the demand for nurses and doctors moves towards a critical point.  All with no giveaways or advertising.

Why?  Because we were pioneers.

Lessons from the Pioneers

There are some things we can all learn from early adopters of tools like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Google+

New platforms are like frontiers.  There are risks, hazards, a journey, and rewards.

Interactions with pioneers are closer, more intimate.  It’s easier to make meaningful connections as most early adopters help each other discover the new world.

Consequently, early adopters have the advantage of forming larger and tighter groups of people.  If you are in a people business, this is something you need to be thinking about.

Where’s the Return on Investment?

Assuming you’ve agreed with me up to this point, you are still probably wondering where does the return on investment come from if you’re not in the business of social media specifically.

Here is where I see the ROI:

Brand pages are coming soon (think Facebook pages)

We all know how valuable they are to a business now.  This will be similar.  The sooner you get on, the better.  I guarantee your competitors will be there.  I will.

It will help with Social Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Part of Google+ includes a social bookmarking module that tracks the use of the new Google +1 social search system.  I believe that it will encourage users to use the +1 system and that future upgrades of Google+ will tie this feature in with the business pages.  If you learn the system now, you’ll be in a much stronger position to benefit from these SEO benefits as they arrive.

Good old fashion networking

I think it’s safe to assume that there is a certain ROI in simply expanding one’s network and ability to reach new people.  This is a new tool for that.

Final Notes:

I’ve tried almost every social network out there, including Google’s other social platform called Orkut, and my gut is telling me this has real staying power.  Of course I could be wrong, but that shouldn’t be a reason not to follow my gut.

Nevertheless, this is a new frontier and I feel like a pioneer.

Join me.

Have a great night,

Aaron@Biebert
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If you still need an invite to Google+, I’m inviting fellow 8pm Warriors from the email subscriber list as I am able. Subscribe to “Thoughts from an 8pm Warrior” via email by clicking here.

Tour of the New Google+ (with screenshots) and Invitation

In honor of National Social Media Day today, I spent yesterday evening digging through the test version of the new Google+ social network so I could share my experience and screenshots with you.

Basically, Google+ was created to win over three main areas of social media:  privacy, video conferencing, and content consumption.  One major complaint of Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and others is that our entire network sees every post, even though most of us have thoughts we’d like to share that some parts of our social network won’t care for. Consequently, we tend to only share watered down updates, pictures, and articles that won’t confuse, irritate, or offend anyone.

At least that’s what smart people do.

Facebook is like the dinner table with family, friends, and colleagues all together. Google+ aims to be the big house with different rooms (with thick walls) for the different groups of people you know.  You can share your sports talk with the friends, the work talk with coworkers, and the deeply personal conversations with your inner circle.

This was not easily done before.

Will it change social media forever?  Only time will tell.  Take a look below and see for yourself, then post your thoughts in the comment section.

 

Welcome Page

The welcome screen is fairly simple (click the image below for a full size version). Right now it highlights the three main Google+ innovations:  Circles, Hangouts, and Sparks. I’ll get into those in more detail below.

 

Circles Page

This section is the first of three main innovations that Google is hoping will put this project on the path to social media stardom.  Basically, it allows you to segment all contacts whatever way you’d like.  Family, friends, acquaintances are all standard, but I’ve gone even further and segmented the people I know by type of work they do. That way everyone gets relevant discussion.  My friends don’t have to hear my work talk and my colleagues don’t have to hear my family reunion plans.

Everyone wins.

The user interface is clean, simple, and uses a drag and drop type method to sort through contacts.  It was quite easy to use.

 

 

Hangouts Page

Here is their play at Skype.  The only difference is that Skype makes you pay for video conferencing, where as Google Hangouts does not.  It will allow up to 10 people at a time into a video chat.

This is the first major thing that leaders ought to look at.  You’ll be able to easily conference with remote staff members, clients, and others all on video.  All free.

(Did I mention that Google is desperate to get into social media?)

 

Sparks Page

The Sparks page is basically Google News that remembers your favorite topics and allows you to share them with whatever circle you would like.  It’s more like a public news feed than a social media channel.  I wasn’t impressed when I searched for a topic and 7 out of 10 articles were the same exact topic.  Until they fix that, I’ll stick with Twitter for news and reading material.

 

 

Profile Page

It’s simple.  It’s public.  It’s got a map.

Click the image to see for yourself.

 

Pictures Page

Fairly standard pictures page. Very similar to Facebook, however it’s worth noting that Google+ has an photo sharing feature from mobile phones that keeps all pictures stored on your Google+ photo section instantly. Nice.

 

Stream Page

Much like Facebook.  In fact, for a second, I thought I was on Facebook…just with fewer ads.

 

Google +1 Page

When signing up, they already had all the items listed that got a +1 click from me on Google search since the +1 service started.  This was intriguing and looks like an attempt to provide a social bookmarking service like StumbleUpon, Del.icio.us, or Digg.

 

If you’re interested, later today I’ll be inviting the 8pm Warrior email subscriber list to join me on Google+ and I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on it.  Come on back and share your thoughts.

Will you use this?

Will this beat Facebook in the long run?

Have a great night!

Aaron@Biebert
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Why Don’t You Know?

I always get a kick out of  comments like these in response to failure:
  • “I didn’t know that people don’t use phone books anymore.”
  • “I didn’t know that direct mail was a waste of money.”
  • “I didn’t know that spammers get 1 response to every 12 million emails they send.”

In the Post-Information Age (Attention Age), I am convinced that the “I didn’t know” excuse is obsolete.  With all the information out there, it’s hard for me to accept it anymore.  If you don’t know something, search it on Bing, ask on Quora, or poll your social network.

So why do so many still use that excuse?

Because they don’t care enough.  They may care, but not enough to spend their evenings reading, learning, and getting with the times.

During my years of leadership and consulting, I can’t believe how many times I had to beg people to follow the advice they paid me for.  I would provide reports, research, 3rd party support, and on and on and on and on….all to motivate them to make a change for the better.

You’ve probably had similar experiences.

The funny thing is that most of what I know anymore I learned from people like you, online, for free.  I don’t generally preach things that aren’t backed up.  I’m just not smart enough to be the first one to think of anything.

So why do people ignore good advice and then claim they “didn’t know” it was wrong?

In some cases, I think it’s easier to “not know” than it is to face the reality of an ever changing world.  It’s a lot of work to be the best. However, instead of saying “I didn’t know”, they should just say “I didn’t care”.

It’s much more accurate these days.

If you’re reading this blog (or any blog), I doubt you’re one of the “don’t knowers” I’m referring to.  If you have any ideas for the group on helping people “know”, please leave your thoughts below.

Have a learning night,

Aaron@Biebert
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