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Watching Chris Brogan of New Marketing Labs on stage for the first time at Izeafest 2009 made me pause. “Is this a conference about blogging, or have I been transported to a comedy club on ‘Best of Improv Night’?” I thought to myself. Even when “trying […] Read more »

Speaking at Izeafest, influential blogger Liz Strauss (@lizstrauss) of Successful Blog said that she considers authenticity her “extreme strategy,” both online and off. Strauss, who is a social media and web strategist based in Chicago and CEO and founder of SOBCon, thinks authenticity is key to […] Read more »

I’ve been a huge fan of Second Life since I first “rezzed” (logged into the virtual 3-D environment) in March 2007, and have previously blogged about my own Second Life. Despite all the limitations and downsides of Second Life (and there are many), it has been […] Read more »

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Aaron Brazell, aka @technosailor and founder and lead editor of, when he spoke at Izeafest 2009, shared his thoughts on what makes someone an “influencer.” The difference between being a celebrity and an influencer, he said, is that, “Being a celebrity gets you attention now; […] Read more »

I love my iPhone and am practically obsessed with downloading new apps every week. I gravitate toward communications and publishing applications, but if it helps me be more productive, access my work tools remotely, or connect to news and information, chances are I have it on […] Read more »

I’ve been working on the web — in one form or another — since 1994, and on the Internet since 1987, so I’ve had a number of years to learn some very tough lessons along the way. In trying to summarize my best advice to someone […] Read more »

How many times are you hearing the question, “Why should I engage in social media?” during your work week? I’m hearing it often, and it’s reminding me of 1995 and 1996, when clients — and colleagues — were asking “Why should I have a web site?” […] Read more »

I’ve been a little caught off-guard lately with some of the presumptions people seem to be making now on Twitter. Where did all these expectations, such as an expectation for a response to a retweet or a “follow back,” come from? Why are people coming to […] Read more »

Which do you prefer as a tool to let your visitors share your content with others: AddThis or ShareThis? What were the criteria you used to come to your decision on which one to use? Here are a few things you should consider when deciding which […] Read more »

Ask people what they think of meetings — especially virtual ones — and they’ll tell you that most meetings they attend are a waste of time. Why are they a waste of time? Some reasons meetings go bad include: The right people aren’t there to get […] Read more »

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Consider the following scenario: An employee leaves your company or a virtual team member moves on, and the circumstances have been less than ideal. What do you do to make sure that you keep your company’s (and your clients’) confidential information safe, when someone who is […] Read more »

There is no doubt that Facebook is the 900-pound gorilla in the world of social networks. But recently I read a post about Facebook being better than Twitter for business, and I don’t think that’s always true. Granted, I recommend Facebook Pages to my clients, swoon […] Read more »

As more and more companies and teams are going strictly virtual, there are a whole new set of issues to consider and challenges to address. Using my own virtual social media marketing team as an example, I’ve identified a number of needs that require some kind […] Read more »

With Apple’s recent banning of the Google Voice App from its App Store, some technorati are ditching their iPhones. The reasons given for switching from the device tend to be more politically-charged than practical. While I think it is important for us to understand the corporate […] Read more »

Recently, I wrote about WatchDox, the security application that allows you to secure and track the documents you send online. The company behind the app, Confidela, has just moved the app to a fee-based model (free accounts are no longer available). As of this week, you […] Read more »

We’re living in a social media world, and, like it or not, our avatar is often the first impression others get about us as we interact virtually on social networks, blogs, microblogs and other online communities. Our avatars are a representation of our brands — our […] Read more »

Twitter followers have become the status symbol of 2009, but how valuable are they, really? I think we’re placing too much importance on the numbers and paying far too little attention to the actual reasons why followers can be valuable to us.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t want to have a lot of followers. I’m saying that you don’t want to have a lot of the wrong followers. There is nothing to be gained by accumulating “empty” followers. Why? Because they are not listening to you! Your core followers — those you who actually listen to you and interact with you — are the real value of Twitter, and that’s why you should never, ever automate your Twitter account to increase follower count. Read more »

I’ve been struck by the recent proliferation of audio microblogging or micropodcasting (or micro audioblogging?) apps out there. In addition to Jott (read one of our reviews) and Utterli, there is now Trottr, Chirbit and AudioBoo, just to name a few. While micropodcasting hasn’t yet taken […] Read more »

In an interesting business move, Socialtext (previously covered on WebWorkerDaily) today opened up its enterprise organizational collaboration software to smaller organizations with its new Free 50 offering for groups of up to 50 people. Previously, Socialtext did not have a freemium model (just a free trial), […] Read more »

There was as much grumbling about the Twitter-style format of the 140 Character Conference in New York this week as there often is about 140-character limit in Twitter itself. Anything new or different can drive some people up the wall. Others, however, embrace the newness and […] Read more »

Need to embed a file into a blog post or web site in a tasteful document viewer? Increo Solutions has come up with, a simple and straightforward document embedding app. You may remember I blogged about Increo’s handy and elegant Backboard application for moving through […] Read more »

We have all learned that good news travels fast online, but bad news travels faster. Now, with social networks, blogs and microblogs, the speed with which bad news can travel online is staggering, as everyone can get in on the conversation almost instantly. What can any of us — individual, organization, company — do to handle a social media communications crisis? Read more »

Every so often, a new app hits my radar that gives me that “Wow! Awesome! Right On!” feeling. Launching into public beta today, WatchDox by Confidela is such an app. If you want to share a document securely with someone, WatchDox can do that. But it […] Read more »

I know, I know — it’s a bit presumptuous of me to think I can write the “10 Golden Rules of Social Media.” Then again, I’ve been online since 1987, consulting clients on the Internet since 1992, on the web since 1994, immersed in working on and speaking about the web since the mid-90s, so I do feel like I’ve paid some dues and learned some lessons along the way.

So here are my 10 Golden Rules of Social Media to embrace, debate, pass around and refine. Have at it. Read more »

Does your web work include video production? A major challenge for videographers is working closely with a client who knows what they want but doesn’t understand how to achieve it as they don’t know anything about the video production process. Clients also often don’t know when […] Read more »

Organize email? I must confess I use the term “organize” loosely. As I examine my own system for sorting and filing emails in Gmail, I cringe. For many years, I used Eudora as my email client. I loved it. I could back my emails up easily, […] Read more »

You are an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or owner of a company of one. What happens to your business, your income and your clients if something happens to you? If you haven’t thought about setting up a formal contingency plan to outline the steps you need to take now in case something happens to you, you could be jeopardizing your livelihood. Whether it is an accident or an illness, something unexpected could occur at any time that can put a strain on your work and life.

Here are some things you should think about when developing — and implementing — a contingency plan. Read more »

We’ve raved about real-time free file-sharing service before. The company just unveiled a new free, no-download web presentation system called The key to is simplicity. First you make a “drop,” which is’s term for storage space, and add any required media in […] Read more »

What is the obligation that companies have to their customers to listen to — and act on — the feedback they receive from customers? Well, if you are in the Social Media Age of 2009, the obligation is high, the pressure intense. No longer can developers […] Read more »

Despite all of the hype about Second Life, followed by the Second Life bashing, followed by some more hype, and now the latest “Second Life is dead” pronouncements, the 3-D virtual world owned by Linden Lab is still breathing. More importantly, I feel strongly — as do many others — that Second Life is an important, and often overlooked, aspect of social media marketing. Read more »

Reading Eric Berlin’s recent post about HelloTxt, I went back to some old files and opened up a presentation I gave last summer at BizJam Seattle and was treated to some entertaining content. At least, it was funny to me. I just had to laugh at the way I struggled to come up with compact, clear ways of categorizing and naming social media tools.

How easy it is to forget that everything we use and talk about every day now–just one year later–didn’t have a set of agreed-upon terms or even standards and, in many cases, still don’t. So I thought I’d share some slides from my old presentation to demonstrate the evolution of our social media vernacular in such a short time span. Read more »

The other day I noticed that someone had posted a quick poll on LinkedIn. I thought a poll like that might be a good tool to use for informal market research so I clicked on the link to create my own. However, I was met with a message saying that I needed to upgrade my account to access the polling feature. I perused the prices, then quickly determined I wasn’t going to upgrade.

This isn’t the first time I’ve considered upgrading my LinkedIn account and decided against it, which led me to start thinking about all of the “freemium” apps — basically free apps with premium upgrades — I’ve been using. I started feeling guilty about taking advantage of the “free” in freemium services, especially because I’ve had the opportunity to interview founders of these companies, many of whom confess to struggling over pricing. So what makes us decide to pay for an app? Read more »

I don’t often get to work on the road, but when I do, I do it in a big way. Recently, I went to South by Southwest in Austin. Because it was such a big trip for me to take from Tok, Alaska — seven hours […] Read more »

Inspired by my co-bloggers here at WWD, I’ve been thinking about the ins and outs of coworking in very rural locations. While I do travel more and more often, my home base is Tok, Alaska, the first pitstop along the Alaska Highway once you cross the Canadian border.

Darrell’s post “Coworking à Deux” was particularly relevant because, as of this posting, I’ve only identified one other web worker in my community, and she only does it part-time. While her day job is teaching at the local school, she blogs for half a dozen education blogs after hours. As far as I can tell, the two of us are the only two Twitterers in Tok. I know many residents are on MySpace and some on Facebook but web working isn’t part of their day job. Read more »

Laura Roeder heads up Roeder Studios, a boutique consulting and teaching firm headquartered in Venice Beach, Calif. She moderated the Are Women Taken More Seriously On The Web? panel at SXSW. Laura reveals why screencasting app Jing (previously covered here on WWD) is her favorite. Strictly […] Read more »

While at SXSW, I had the opportunity to meet one of the web’s founding fathers, Håkon Wium Lie. He’s the creator of CSS and a CERN alum, along with Tim Berners-Lee. He’s also the CTO of Opera Software and sang the praises of this underdog browser that, while often ignored, introduced some of the snazziest features in the browser world today. Lie and I discussed CSS3 and the upcoming Opera 10, currently in alpha, that will continue Opera’s tradition of innovation. Read more »

We spoke with the inventor of CSS, Håkon Wium Lie, at SXSW. Lie is a CERN alum, alongside the granddaddy of the web, Tim Berners-Lee. Lie is also the CTO of Opera Software, maker of the Opera browser, and works and resides in Oslo, Norway. Lie […] Read more »

Wagner James Au, aka Hamlet Au in Second Life, is author of “The Making of Second Life”, a GigaOM contributor and founder of New World Notes. For three years, starting in 2000, Au was hired by Second Life creators Linden Labs as an “embedded journalist” to […] Read more »

Amber is a blogger for her own blog The Amber Show and a podcaster with her own local show Hey Brooklyn, a weekly chat with the owner of a small creative businesses in the borough. She’s 26 years old, lives in Brooklyn, is married and has […] Read more »

Nichelle Stephens calls herself a “multiblogger, bookkeeper, cupcake enthusiast, and social media strategist.” She blogs about personal finance for freelancers at Keeping Nickels and co-founded and co-produces the comedy blog Chicks and Giggles. Stephens explains why she likes Twickie. What’s Your Favorite Web App, Nichelle Stephens? […] Read more »

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