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What’s Dad Doing Here? 2.oh no

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Web2.0 as it is, claims to be new.  Many in the tech and web design industry claim truthfully that it is nothing new- I agree with this, sort of.  Honestly, clean style sites have been around for a very long time, ask Apple Computer.  The idea of a fresh clean page with little clutter that gets to the point in a way that speaks to a consumer rather than selling to the consumer is maybe where web2.0 may have a right to claim itself as new.  The “New Style of Professional Copy” is in and of itself something web2.o has given professionals  permission to just be themselvesThank God

Blogging today is explosive, there is no denying that in any way shape or form, and has many believing that it is the new way to tap into the growing market.  Add to that social networking sites that seem to spring up daily, and you get a sense that there must be some truth that we can somehow market to the new and newer 20-30 somethings using this platform.  The fact is, many come across as Dad at the college sorority party– this was pointed out recently in the latest copy of GQ magazine in reference to political candidates using the social networking arena to spew more politics.  Watching Hillary on a video being funny and herself has its advantages if the audience likes Hillary, but if they never liked her in the first place, chances are she will come across as Mom at a high school school dance. Yuk.

The stakes are high with mainly the 20-30 somethings being up for grabs, social networking could potentially retrain entire demos to do business in new ways and Realtors will want to be at that party as well as virtually thousands of other industries.  The problem is, how are you perceived?  Are you the elephant in the room?  Do you convey?  Do you speak their language?  Chances are you don’t.  A Realtor calling another Realtor a fat cat (using 70’s vernacular) is just another moron to a younger demo because the idea that you say fat cat somehow makes you cool and somehow relates to me is presumptuous- the plastic Realtor who is old and is trying to be younger comes across as old and trying to be younger, nothing more than another dork ignored at the party. The truth is, web2.o says be yourself, not someone else- why insult their intelligence?

It has always been my opinion that social networking sites are a fad, but will not go away, therefore you must embrace it. These sites will morph into something much greater, the way bellbottoms morphed into the tapered legged jeans some of you still wear.  1980s called, they want their jeans back– but anyway… It is advantageous for any and all business to get into the conversations buyers and sellers want to have.  It is also advantageous to understand the ideas web2.o present and what they do not or you may end up spinning yourself out of business because you’ve completely lost all credibility to all demographics.  Relating as it relates to conversation is just that, relating, not giving up who or what you are as a professional.  Inviting in and respecting a know it all consumer will only add value to your conversation because the perspective becomes grounded in reality- how it really relates. This makes this concept an exciting must participate opportunity for Realtors even if you aren’t quite sure how to fit in.

It is my humble opinion that blogging is also fad.  Believing that all humans want to broadcast their thoughts beliefs and emotions online or read yours is absurd.  However, what social networkers really do enjoy is the human interaction via technology- chat functions and the ability to wink at a cute girl from a distance without the fear of all out rejection.   This is where I believe the smart money will be spent- creating that human interaction functionality for a consumer to interact without actually having to step into the salesmans den.  A get to know you courtship by reading YOU, who YOU are, what YOU like, and what YOU stand for- developing a sort of personal connection that allows a real comfort zone for the consumer as well as the ability to join a conversation of personal interest. A webpage was close, but lets face it, it missed the mark in the sense that it actually made the business look bigger and not so approachable. 

Web2.o is old hack.  The new name begs a web-second-point-oh look at the internet, technology online, and the opportunity it gives to business and consumers is simply a cry for attention- RE-INVEST in us!  “The dotcom didn’t really bust, we just shed off the bloated and not so informed.”  Web2.o is a fashion trend, possibly a very expensive one over the long term with 2.o v2.3 beta soon to be released. But this 2.0 version is permitting  you to change your site to something a little more lose and baggy with less fringe.  It is also permission to change your copy to more of yourself or corporate philosophy as opposed to the professional jarg consumers have always heard- but as with any trend, it will change.  Colors will change, technology will change, information will become more fluid and ever changing, because now you’re blogging with the consumer shaping the topic and content- but the one thing that should not change is you.  You are the one constant from now until then and your reader wants to know you the product

So, are you the elephant in the social networking room?

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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15 Comments

15 Comments

  1. Austin Realtor's Wife

    June 6, 2007 at 9:54 pm

    This is my favorite RealtorGenius article so far. You’ve really captured what so many are missing in the blogosphere. It isn’t about teaching an old dog (or plastic smarmy Realtor) new tricks, it’s about giving a relatable platform to businesses in general.

    Great work!!!

  2. Jonathan Dalton

    June 6, 2007 at 10:10 pm

    My daughter set me up for a MySpace page. I never look at it. Yet I keep getting messages weekly from an agent who insists on weekend broadcast e-mails.

    Maybe it’s working. I dunno. I’m just too old to deal with it, to be honest. And I know it.

  3. B. R.

    June 6, 2007 at 10:17 pm

    lol I feel your pain…

  4. Loren Nason

    June 7, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    Well said.

    I completely agree with you that Social Networking and Blogging is the new Fad and at the same time do believe it is here to stay. The hype might die down but it won’t die because social networking and blogging feed every humans desire to gossip about something.

    Yes its all gossip and I love reading it all. I actually have convinced myself that I learn something from all the blogs I read.

    I am addicted to blogs and i just signed up to yours.

    Loren

  5. B. R.

    June 7, 2007 at 9:04 pm

    Loren- Why thank you, it’s awesome to have you!

  6. john harper

    June 8, 2007 at 6:08 am

    First time here. Great post, to the point that I have subscribed to follow your genius for a while.

  7. Chris Lengquist

    June 8, 2007 at 9:10 am

    Exactly. I find my clients that come from my blog use the blog as a quiet stalker. They can peek in on me, my business beliefs and thoughts without actually having to talk to me. If they see I present no immediate danger and might actually know what I’m doing, they call. Works perfectly for both parties.

  8. Agent Scoreboard

    June 8, 2007 at 9:55 pm

    I’m don’t know quite how something can be a “fad” and yet be here to stay… but I think your point is made, however I don’t think we have any choice but to get a myspace page (here is mine: https://www.myspace.com/agentscoreboard/)
    and talk. I don’t think the Google generation is going to come to us.

    As a card caring member of the yahoo generation that has been developing internet applications for over 10 years I can tell you that more than just looks have changed in web 2.0. Never before have we been able to so easily create and share such rich content. I can RSS your whole blog and that of others to create a community of information that “I” want and that is important to me, I can find information about something and what others think of it. I can manipulate data from multiple sources in new and exciting ways and then convey that to my friends.

    What I think what is more interesting is the creation of media darlings based on their online presence like the ones I write about here https://www.agentscoreboard.com/blog/2007/06/05/do-you-know-allison-stokke/

    Good blog… I love austin…

  9. Kris Berg

    June 9, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Bravo! I see evolution taking place. We all have these blogs. Neat. We pulled it off. Now what the hell do we do with them? Turning the corner from hobbiest (like one who takes up golf because everyone else is playing) to business blogger is a tricky maneuver and our next challenge. Great post.

  10. B. R.

    June 9, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    Scoreboard…
    >It has always been my opinion that social networking sites are a fad, but will not go away, therefore you must embrace it. These sites will morph into something much greater, the way bellbottoms morphed into the tapered legged jeans some of you still wear…< Fads morph, they are further developed into greater things by consumer demand- point being, ignoring this will only put you further behind in the game. As for web2.o being more than... the basis for my comment is just that, the basis... this too has grown into so much more that you have no choice but to ride the wave. The objective is, not losing who you are or your message as a professional along the way. These are fast changing enviorns. Thanks for commenting! On my way to 6Flags! Thanks Kris, it is a pleasure to have you by! Don't be a stranger... BR

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Business Marketing

Snapchat’s study reveals our growing reliance on video

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Snapchat released a report that shows some useful insights for future video content creation.

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Snapchat is taking a break from restoring people’s streaks to publish a report on mobile video access; according to Social Media Today, the report holds potentially vital information about how customers use their mobile devices to view content.

And–surprise, surprise–it turns out we’re using our phones to consume a lot more media than we did six years ago.

The obvious takeaways from this study are listed all over the place, and not even necessarily courtesy of Snapchat. People are using their phones substantially more often than they have in the past five years, and with everyone staying home, it’s reasonable to expect more engagement and more overall screen time.

However, there are a couple of insights that stand out from Snapchat’s study.

Firstly, the “Stories” feature that you see just about everywhere now is considered one of the most popular–and, thus, most lucrative–forms of video content. 82 percent of Snapchat users in the study said that they watched at least one Snapchat Story every day, with the majority of stories being under ten minutes.

This is a stark contrast to the 52 percent of those polled who said they watched a TV show each day and the 49 percent who said they consumed some “premium” style of short-form video (e.g., YouTube). You’ll notice that this flies in the face of some schools of thought regarding content creation on larger platforms like YouTube or Instagram.

Equally as important is Snapchat’s “personal” factor, which is the intimate, one-on-one-ish atmosphere cultivated by Snapchat features. Per Snapchat’s report, this is the prime component in helping an engaging video achieve the other two pillars of success: making it relatable and worthy of sharing.

Those three pillars–being personal, relatable, and share-worthy–are the components of any successful “short-form” video, Snapchat says.

Snapchat also reported that of the users polled, the majority claimed Snapchat made them feel more connected to their fellow users than comparable social media sites (e.g., Instagram or Facebook). Perhaps unsurprisingly, the next-closest social media platform vis-a-vis interpersonal connection was TikTok–something for which you can probably see the nexus to Snapchat.

We know phone use is increasing, and we know that distanced forms of social expression were popular even before a pandemic floored the world; however, this report demonstrates a paradigm shift in content creation that you’d have to be nuts not to check out for yourself.

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Business Marketing

Technology is helping small businesses adapt and stay afloat

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Small businesses need to utilize digital platforms to adapt their businesses during COVID-19, or else they may be left behind.

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small businesses new tech

While many may not have imagined our present day back in March, and to what extreme we would be doing things “remotely” and via “hands-free contact”, we have to give some credit to small business owners who remain flexible and have pivoted to stay afloat. They deserve major credit on adaptations they have made (and possibly investments) in new technology (ordering online, online payments) especially at a time when their in-person revenues have taken a hit.

There are various marketing buzz words being used lately to say “let’s keep our distance”, including: curbside, to-go, hands-free, no contact, delivery only, order via app, social distancing and #wearamask.

The thing is, if you really think about it, small businesses are always in evolution mode – they have to pay attention to consumer consumption and behaviors that can shift quickly in order to stay relevant and utilize their marketing and advertising budgets wisely. They heavily rely on positive customer reviews and word of mouth recommendations because they may not have the budget for large scale efforts.

For example, we use Lyft or Uber vs calling an individual cab owner; we order on Amazon vs shopping at a local mom-and-pop shop; we download and make playlists of music vs going to a record or music store. Small business owners are constantly fighting to keep up with the big guys and have to take into account how their product/service has relevance, and if it’s easy for people to attain. In current times, they’ve had to place major efforts into contactless experiences that often require utilizing a digital platform.

If stores or restaurants didn’t already have an online ordering platform, they had to implement one. Many may have already had a way to order online but once they were forced to close their dining areas, they had to figure out how to collect payments safely upon pickup; this may have required them to implement a new system. Many restaurants also had to restructure pick up and to-go orders, whether it was adding additional signage or reconfiguring their pick up space to make sure people were able to easily practice social distancing.

According to this article from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, “Studies have shown that 73% of small businesses are not aware of digital resources, such as online payment processing tools, online productivity tools, e-commerce websites, online marketing and other tools, that can help them reach customers around the world. If small businesses had better access to global markets, it could increase the GDP of the United States by $81 billion and add 900,000 new jobs. During the pandemic, this could also mean the difference between thriving and closing for good.”

There are some larger corporate technology companies offering ways to support small businesses whether it’s through small business grants from Google, resources and grants from Facebook or Verizon giving them a break on their telecom bill. The challenge with this may be whether or not small business owners are able to find time from their intense focus on surviving to applying for these grants and managing all that admin time. Many business owners may be focusing on what technology they have and can upgrade, or what they need to implement – most likely while seeing a loss in revenue. So, it can be a tough decision to make new technology investments.

It does seem like many have made incredible strides, and quickly (which is impressive), to still offer their products and services to customers – whether it’s a contactless pay method, free delivery, or even reservations to ensure limited capacity and socially distanced visits. There are still some that just haven’t able to do that yet, and may be looking at other ways to take their business to a wider audience online.

We would encourage, if you can, to support small businesses in your community as often as you can. Understandably there are times that it’s easier to order on Amazon, but if there is a way you can pick up something from a local brewery or family-owned business, this may be the lifeline they need to survive and/or to invest in new technology to help them adapt.

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Business Marketing

There’s a shortage of skilled workers, so get learning

(BUSINESS MARKETING) COVID-19 may end up justifying training funds for lower-class workers to learn new skills. Skilled workers are desperately needed right now.

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skilled worker

The COVID-19 pandemic (yes, that one) has ushered in a lot of unexpected changes, one of the which is most surprising: An increased call for skilled workers — a call that, unfortunately, requires a massive retraining of the existing workforce.

According to the New York Times, nearly 50 percent of Americans were working from home by May; this was, reportedly, a 15 percent increase in remote work. The problems with this model are expansive, but one of the greatest issues stems from the lack of training: As employees of lower-class employment transitioned to working online, it became increasingly evident that there was a shortage of skilled workers in this country.

The Times traces this phenomenon back to the Great Recession; Harvard University’s Lawrence Katz points to some parallels and insinuates that this is an opportunity to elevate the lower class rather than regressing, and it seems fair to put the onus of such elevation on lawmakers and senators.

Indeed, Congress has even addressed the issue of skill equality via “bipartisan support” of a $4000 credit for non-skilled workers to use toward skill training. For Congress to come together on something like this is relatively noteworthy, and it’s hard to disagree with the premise that, given the invariable automation wave, many of our “non-skilled” workers will face unemployment without substantial aid.

COVID-19 has accelerated many trends and processes that should have taken years to propagate, and this is clearly one of them.

Supporting laborers in developing skills that help them work within the technology bubble isn’t just a good idea–it’s imperative, both morally and economically speaking. Even middle-class “skilled” workers have had trouble keeping up with the sheer amount of automation and technology-based skillsets required to stay competent; when one considers how lower-class employees will be impacted by this wave, the outcome is too dark to entertain.

It should be noted that non-skilled workers don’t necessarily have to scale up their training in their current fields; the Times references a truck driver who pivoted hard into software development, and while it may be easier for some to focus on their existing areas of expertise, the option to make a career change does exist.

If we take nothing else away from the time we’ve spent in quarantine, we should remember that skilled labor is integral to our success as a society, and we have a moral obligation to help those who missed the opportunity to develop such skills fulfill that need.

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