Terracotta Soldiers Invade Vancouver

Vancouver is at it again. Yes, the sculptures have been spotted all over town, this time it’s a full fledge invasion by the warriors of the Terracotta army. Check them out

Christmas in Vancouver

Wooohooo!  Christmas is here.  Some pictures from around town

Christmas in Vancouver

Garlick shows how to ward off competitors

Garlick is suppose to keep the evil away, yet there I was at Arik Sternberg’s Online Business Optimization group, listening to Bob Garlick present his social media marketing strategies.

Bob, an accomplished marketer and strategist, stressed the importance of content as a marketing tool.

Clients always ask me how to optimize their website for search engines and what latest Google factors they should consider.  And the answer almost always is good content written for their customers.

Rumours will tell you that Google have somewhere between 120 to 250 factors they look at when ranking a website, but two factors are most important, content and back links.  If you have great, useful content, you will get back links.  Build a resourceful website that is helpful for your target audience, develop content they will find helpful, and even your competitors will link to you.

That is not to say, that you should not pay attention to other factors, like website load time, but if you have to pick one factor to put most of your SEO resources on, that would be content.  Content, with the right keywords and keyphrases, will get you ranked better than you are ranking today.

And when you are considering content, it doesn’t have to be all textual, it can also be images, videos, webinars, tools, templates….anything your target audience will find helpful.

If you want to know what content can do for you, Google Bob Garlick and the first five pages is him.  No, not the first five results on the first page…the first five pages.  Now that’s just pure evil genius.  No wonder, this Garlick wasn’t able to keep me away.

For more on Bob Garlick, visit him at:

Garlick Marketing
Garlick Design
Bunker Project

Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce

Attended the Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce meeting earlier this evening at the Regal Beagle. Lively bunch of people, enjoyed meeting members and Chamber staff. Bart Zych, Chamber’s Director for Training invited me to the event., who I had met at the Social Media Week event at the UBC Robson Square’s campus.

Will be connecting with few of the people I met for possibly working together on projects.

Wave Good Bye

Last year at the Google Developers Conference, the Wave was launched with much fanfare and raving reviews. Those not lucky enough to be at the launch were dazzled by an hour and a half long video.

But today Google waved good bye to this most excellent of tools, blaming lack of user adoption.

I saw the aforementioned video which got me all tingly with excitement. When I received an invite to join the early beta, I donned by virtual wet suit and headed over to FireFox to surf the Wave.

But the Wave was a disappointing ankle buster and my high came crashing down immediately. What a bummer of an experience. But as with all things Google, I figure it will improve and I will give it another try at another time. Never did. And now its bye bye Wave.

Or is it?

According to Urs Holzle, Senior Vice President, Operations, some of the innovations from Wave are open sourced and can be used by customer and partners in their own projects. That is something to do the wave about.

Gap in the social media

Jumping on the bandwagon with both feet firmly in the easy fit jeans, Gap launched a Facebook Born To Fit campaign, driving off-line advertisement (print, tv, billboard, etc) viewers to their Facebook page.

With over 300,000 fans already, Gap would need to quickly learn how to handle the open social media platform.  Most of the comments on the wall are non-controversial and pro-Gap, like how much people love their jeans and what not.  But a comment from Eileen O’Brien:

“Should Gap Cos stop advertising on Fox which produces anti Obama shows like O’Reilly, Hannity and Glenn Beck? If so let them know now!”

How should Gap respond to that, if at all  Maybe the comment won’t get anywhere, but what if it does gets picked up by others and starts to grow into a campaign?  How should Gap respond to that?  Social media is a fun place that could very easily and very quickly turn perilous.

Companies need to have a policy in place on how to deal with these situations.  But I am happy to see Gap and other companies (big or small) embracing the internet and starting a conversation with their customers.

You know the new idea as arrived and matured when old-school wakes up and make the new idea their own.  Time for the youngster to create something else.  So what’s the next New?

80-8 rule

You may have heard of the 80-20 rule, but do you know about the 80-8 rule?  According to Bain & Company, 80% of the companies believe they deliver a “superior experience” to customers. But only 8% of the customers agree.

Ouch!

Do you believe you deliver superior service to your customers AND do your customers agree?  Here’s another question.  Do your competitors’ customers believe they get superior customer service from your competitors?

Seems like an opportunity for you to innovate and improve your service and gain bigger market share?

Is Lite the new heavy?

Speaking of Lite (as in Google Lite), Facebook got into the act and launched the Facebook Lite beta.  Don’t know what it is, but as usual plenty of speculation on the blogsphere.  For sketchy details, screenshot and plenty of debate by commentators, check out mashable.

But that’s not all the news fit to print on Facebook.  They also acquired FriendFeed and launched real time search.  Now even more reasons to glue your Face to the Book.

Sugar for your Caffeine

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I couldn’t figure out the difference between Google Caffeine and Google Regular.  Caffeine been out only a couple of days and there are already tools to compare the two.  Four at last count.

Facesaerch and CompareCaffine are similar in functionality, but I haven’t been able to compare since Caffeine is down for system maintenance.

But both Caffeine and Regular are too rich for my taste.  For now I will stick to Google Lite.

High on Caffeine, making Wave

Revealed by Google of a super secret project they have been working on for a few months, completely overhauling the underlying infrastructure that would change the way Google crawl, index and rank web pages.

Matt Cutts claims the search results will still be very close to what they have been in the past.  But believing it to be a big enough change, Google opened a sandbox for users to try the new architecture.  I did, couldn’t spot the difference.  Then again, I was never good at spotting differences.

Give it a spin and if you get bored, surf on over to the hour and a half video of Wave, that would knock your socks off.

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