10 Things You Should Know About Pinterest

Fellene<br />
s Pinterest BoardPinterest is growing by leaps and bounds and is quickly becoming one of the most popular social media sites around. Here are ten things every business owner should know about Pinterest.

  1. If Facebook is like passing notes to friends in class, and Twitter is like sending text to the universe. Pinterest is like a bulletin board where you post pieces of visual content sorted into categories. Consider it a scrapbook of your favorite things.
  2. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social media sites around. From July 2011 to July 2012 it grew by 5124%, quickly overtaking Google+ and gaining ground on Linked In.
  3. What is it good for?
    Visual content — photos, infographics, maps, and websites. Recipes are very popular on it, as are Decorating, Crafts, Shopping, How to and DIY
  4. What about the copyright issues?
    1. There is some potential, but Pinterest is being proactive in trying to address it and I could not find any instances of  ongoing issues.
    2. My advice is to pin content you know you have rights to or are from a reliable source. Pinning graphics from websites is a good bet. Pinning someone else’s facebook content that has been shared  and seen repeatedly is not a good bet.
  5. How can a service sided business use Pinterest?
    1. Share pins of products you love or that coordinate with, enhance, or complement your service.
    2. Pin websites that feature handy tips in your field of expertise.
    3. Use pins to share and show the lifestyle of your target market, cool products, design ideas, places to go.
    4. Get ideas for other services and products from pins.
    5. Designers — it’s a great way for your clients to share their design likes and dislikes with you. Thanks for teaching me that, Computer Diva!
  6. Give your company personality by sharing company culture.

    1. Pin photos of the team at work and play. When a staff page is a part of a corporate website, its always one of the most popular pages.
      Share Employee Profiles, featuring volunteer work, hobbies and personality.
    2. Pin photos of company events, showing your firm as friendly and fun to work with.
  7. You don’t need an invite any more. Pinterest has opened subscriptions to anyone who wants one. Simply sign up.
  8. Use the Pinterest goodies to make pinning easy.

    1. The bookmarklet lets you add websites to your collections quickly and easily right from your browser nav bar.
    2. Get the smartphone app to save photos to your account by phone.
  9. Get Pinterest buttons for your websiteto encourage pinning and following!
    1. Put a follow me on Pinterest button on your website to link your accounts.
    2. Add a pin it button on your webpages to encourage pinning of your content. This allows you to determine which image is shown on Pinterest, even if its not one on the page.
  10. Bloggers take note — always include an image that can be easily found and copied when pinned on Pinterest. I’m sure you’ll always be using only legal imagery, so there should be no problem there. Be on the lookout for visual content and take photos that illustrate ideas or concepts to create a visual library for blogging.

For future reference, I will be adding new links to both my bookmark list and my Pinterest for Business Board. Check back now and then to see what else I’ve discovered!

  • Follow my Pinterest List on Sirius Media’s social media page for my latest discoveries about Pinterest. I’ll be adding new finds to this list as it occurs and want to share them with you.
  • Check out my Pinterest for Business board on Pinterest.

Watch What Others Are Doing with Pinterest.

The growth of Pinterest is yet another way we share our passions with others online. I expect it to become a significant player in the social media marketplace. Smart businesses will take note and incoporate it into their marketing matrix to get the full advantage of it’s strong market growth.

 

 

 

What to Do When a Page is Broken

One of the challenges of both creating and owning a website is that sometimes it can stop working. This can happen to a page or the entire site for any one of a number of reasons.

Often your first reaction is one of panic and then the second is to call your web developer to let them know. That’s good — it’s what we’re here for. Every web designer I know is understanding and eager to help you fix issues with your site. We love to play detective and  solve problems.

Remember to breathe. It’s not the end of the world. There’s always something we can do to get the site back to normal.

Submit a Bug Report. Debugging is a part of the programming process and requires collection of data we’ll need to know before we can address the issues on your website. Please answer at least the top 4 questions. It really helps if you answer all of them.

  1. What is the nature of the problem? Are images missing, does the page not load? Are you seeing error messages? Error messages contain useful clues, so be sure to pass them along.
  2. Send a screenshot if you can. On a PC, use Alt+PrintScr to save a screenshot. On a Mac, use Command+Shift+3. Then paste it into an email and send.
  3. What browser are you using and what version? Were you using Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera or another browser? Version information is usually found under the Help menu under About.
  4. What type of computer and operating system are you running? To replicate the error, your developer may need to mimic the environment it came from.
  5. What page where you on? Send the link if you can.
  6. What link did you click on the page, if any, when the error happened?
  7. Do you have problems accessing the internet or using any other sites? Be sure other sites are working for you as well.
  8. Has anything changed on your computer since the last time you used the site successfully? Has any new software or hardware been installed?

It can be daunting to have to come up with some many details, but to fix the issue, the first task is to determine where the problem is.

Problems can be caused on your internet host’s server, your internet provider’s connection, a browser quirk, missing files or pages on the site, compliance or scripting issues, security software settings, or browser settings.

Most site errors are due to browser variations. Despite progress made in the last decade with internet standards there is still some variation between browsers.

I generally test for the top 90% of browsers used on a given site shown by site analytics when available. This does not include old versions of Explorer, mobile devices or tablet computers. IE6 is rapidly being phased out now that IE9 has launched, so Sirius Media no longer supports that browser. Currently none of our client sites are showing iPads or iPhones in the top 90% of site visitors, so we don’t test for them, either (unless this was a development requirement).

Coding is a delicate and difficult business. An extra space, single quote instead of a double quote or rogue period out of place is all it takes to break a page. This is made even trickier by the fact that some browsers may forgive an error while others won’t even load the page. Your average email would not pass the browser’s muster due to tiny errors we all ignore.

Essentially, web developers are trying to master a game that changes daily while we’re doing it. Don’t let that freak you out, though. We web coders just love to solve problems — that’s why we do what we do. So relax, give us the info we need to help you out and let us fix your page for you.

What Happens Next?

First, we try to duplicate the problem and see what conditions caused it. This is the easiest scenario. If I can’t, I may need to come see the bug in action on your system.

Second, I may need to contact the site host and see if there are issues going on there.

Third, if there seems to be a pervasive internet issue, such as email access, then following up with your internet provider may be necessary.

Fourth, enlisting the help of others to test the page will further identify any ongoing issues and ensure that the issue is solved.

Who Else Wants to Write Better Email Copy?

VerticalResponse Email Marketing Blog for Small Business: Who Else Wants to Write Better Email Copy?.

A great set of tips for writing marketing emails, including.

  • Use Bucket Brigade Words: Bucket brigade words help you move your copy forward. They include remember, and, but, consider, however, for example..and more!
  • Vary Sentence Length: It is important to vary your sentence length to hold your reader’s attention. And don’t be afraid to use sentence fragments – this isn’t your college English class!
  • Differentiate Between Features vs. Benefits: Features are what the product has. Benefits are what it will provide the customers. The customer will always ask, “What’s in it for me?” Be sure you tell them.

Ten More Steps to Becoming the Designer You Want to Be – design mind on GOOD – GOOD

1. Never stop learning

While I use most of my projects as learning vehicles, I find that this isn’t enough. You should never stop learning. What would you learn and how would your view change if you went to 1,000 meet ups? As designers, our minds need to be as flexible as possible. Learning something new helps us see more and more possibilities and make connections that previously weren’t there.

via Ten More Steps to Becoming the Designer You Want to Be – design mind on GOOD – GOOD.

A great list of reminders on what it takes to become a great designer.

10 Things I Learned at SearchFest

1. 2010 is the Year of Semantics.
It’s time to go beyond the search and think about user’s intent.  This involves looking at search history, real-time content possibilities, location, and the user experience. We have a firehose of information streaming at us now. It’s time to think about what to do with it.

2. Written content is still king/queen.
There needs to be enough written content on the home page to attract searches. Photos, and white space are elegant as all get out, and flash is sure fun, but they are empty space to your local search engine. Content should always on meeting web visitors’ needs, not pushing your message.

3. If it’s bad and it’s about you – ignore it.
Reputation Management is best achieved by ignoring bad reviews. If you get a bad review, don’t post comments to counteract it. That will only keep the bad review on top of the search results. Publish good information elsewhere and push that up in results. Use offense, not defense. Be proactive about providing new information to replace the old.

4. Keyword scores don’t count.
Don’t worry about keyword density scores. Focus on answering the user’s eternal question “What’s In It For Me?” Write for visual scannability with meaningful subheads and bold highlights to move the eye along.

5. If Facebook were a country, it’d be the 3rd largest on the planet.
If you or your business is not on Facebook yet, it’s time to join in and stake your claim.

6. Blog at breakfast.
Write when your thoughts are fresh, early in the day. Keep it light and on a topic your readers can understand. Use humor, quizzes, recipes, patterns, crafts, odd topics, frank opinions, share resources and other useful information.

7. Expand your search footprint to raise rankings.
Use subdomains (blog.sirius-media.com) rather than subdirectories (sirius-media.com/blog) to create a larger footprint for your site on search engines and increase ranking.

8. Establish search goals to measure effectiveness.
You need to establish search goals to be able to use search analytics effectively. What are you trying to accomplish on each page of your website? Include calls to action and measure the responses.

9. Take advantage of local business search listings.
Google’s local business listings are very powerful and free, but requires a business signup, not just a website.

10. Embed easy to use information with rich snippets.
Rich snippets are a way to include map information, business card, and calendar files on your website.

The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today | UXbyDesign.org

Poor Design

1. Illegible text. I can’t read that, it’s too small. And what on earth is that font called?

2. Busy backgrounds. Oh MySpace, why do you allow users to create profiles like that? My eyes hurt.

3. Obscure links. I’m confused, can I click on that or not? Oh I get it, you don’t want me to view other pages.

4. Flyouts that are too large. Holy crap Yahoo! This is a page within a flyout!

5. Drop-down menu navigation too many levels deep. OK, if I slowly move my mouse this way first… dammit Jim, I’m a doctor not a magician!

6. Complicated navigation. I just want to get to that page, the one over there! Oh I see, you want me to complete the maze first.

via The 65 Most Annoying things about the Web Today | UXbyDesign.org.

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