Happy St. Patrick’s Day from Shore Branding! Don’t forget to take a look at our first “Pin of the Month” after reading through our Sunday Musings – the Pin is very fitting for this weekend.
Here are this week’s ‘Sunday Musings’ – the top five stories in branding and digital marketing from the past seven days. You can find past entries under the Blog-Sunday Musings tab at the top of the page.
#1 – “Google Reader Is Shutting Down; Here Are the Best Alternatives” – Lifehacker.com
Premise: Earlier this week, Google announced that its Reader tool would be shut down on July 1st of this year. Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives out there and you have a good amount of time to work with a few different options in order to become comfortable with a replacement. Lifehacker provides several options in this story for both web and desktop-based readers.
Thoughts: Google continues to cut bait with a number of its products and offerings. However, I’m surprised to see Google Reader as one of them. As a user of Google Reader, I wanted to quickly make a selection for an alternative to adapt to whatever style said RSS feed has. I’ve gone with Feedly, as I read my RSS feed on multiple devices over the course of the day. It does look very different from Google Reader, but it didn’t take long to adjust.
Note that there are over 100,000 signatures on a “complaint” to Google regarding their decision to shut down Google Reader. We’ll see if this holds any clout over the coming days and weeks ahead.
#2 – “Pinterest Launches Web Analytics For Brands” – Likeable.com
Premise: Pinterest has released its own web analytics platform for users of the site to better understand how others are using their site. The analytics provided will be free for users. Likeable’s write-up also provides you with the necessary steps that need to be taken in order to take advantages of the new analytics feature on Pinterest.
Thoughts: If you haven’t already, please go verify your web site on Pinterest. It should only take you about five minutes. Having just started leveraging Pinterest for Shore Branding, I’m intrigued to see how the page analytics will look and I’m glad that I will be able to track this from the very beginning to see how (or if) Pinterest is helping Shore Branding grow its audience.
#3 – “Vine’s Biggest Obstacle in Becoming a Great App” – Mashable.com
Premise: This Mashable op-ed starts with the early success of Twitter’s Vine app and how it has become the leader in video sharing apps on the market. However, there is a major obstacle for Vine according to the writer, and that is its “stickiness” – the frequency in which users upload content and/or check their feeds to see others work. There are two improvements offered up – improving the Editor’s Picks promotions (ensuring they are updated more regularly, with more recent clips being used) and allowing users to tag others in their videos to build engagement.
Thoughts: As you may have seen me write about in past weeks, Vine is only available through Apple’s App Store right now and is not on Android. I have briefly played around with the app on other people’s iPhones and iPods and like what I see, but haven’t had the ability to dig into the app. Even with those limitations, it is hard to argue with the writer’s recommendations for improvement. I see a lot of potential with Vine in the sporting world, music industry, and for brands that want to build engagement through a ‘new’ medium.
#4 – “Don’t Overlook Foursquare: Your Secret Marketing Weapon” – SteamFeed.com
Premise: The writer puts together a robust checklist of recommendations on how to better/best use Foursquare and build engagement with others on the site; from setting up your profile, to checking in, leaving tips, leveraging pictures, etc. Whether you use Foursquare for your business or as your own brand, there are a number of tips to adhere to from the author.
Thoughts: Foursquare has had its ups and downs since launching but remains the only location-based app I use. There are a number of good tips here from the writer to acknowledge and consider when using Foursquare for yourself or your business. Many of these are built around a single word that shows up a lot here on Shore Branding: engagement!
#5 – “Google Analytics Tips: 10 Data Analysis Strategies That Pay Off Big” – Kaushik.net
Premise: Avinash Kaushik, the author of the article, provides insight and perspective on ten of the most commonly used reports available in Google Analytics. He then takes you through how to think of each piece of the analytics from his point of view and leaves a bonus tip at the end of each for additional reading material, other clicks within Analytics to make, etc.
Thoughts: Similar to just about everything else you can find and read on Google Analytics, the depth and breadth of information available to sort through can be intense, but also incredibly helpful. This article is a very nice starting point for new users of web analytics. After reading through this and beginning to understand the wealth of information that is at your fingertips, you may consider looking into one of the detailed books written about best practices for using Google Analytics – like this one by Brian Clifton.
A good amount of news in web analytics this week. What caught your eye in these stories or in other news over the past seven days?