Broadcast Marketing for Everyone

In case you have been sleeping under a rock, there is a new social media platform that is taking a foothold around the world. Broadcasting live from anywhere you have a smart phone, two platforms, Meerkat and Periscope are competing for an audience. Celebrities, politicians, business people and average folks are competing for your attention with live, interactive broadcasts.

Meerkat

IMG_5151Meerkat launched at the South By Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW) just a few weeks ago and became an instant hit. Built on top of the Twitter platform, SXSW participants began streaming live sessions, bringing the conference to a broader audience.

Amateur broadcasters are transmitting from their homes, workplaces and out in public. Even professional broadcasters are providing behind the scenes looks at local news and entertainment. Many businesses have caught on to the phenomenon and are building a following and perhaps a client base that they have never had before. The diversity of the broadcasts are nearly infinite. Suddenly you have thousands of channels to choose from. Want to watch pizzas being made in Toronto, Canada? How about chefs at a restaurant in Sweden?  Watch a graphic artist work through a design? Ride along with a Lyft driver? Take a walk in San Francisco or New York City? Read and intelligently discuss the news everyday? Or just watch a girl eat breakfast in her underwear, there is a channel for everyones taste.

The Meerkat app, its broadcasters and content have quickly evolved in just a short period of time. The ability to schedule and subscribe to streams assist you in building an audience.  Meerkat can also be watched from your desktop or laptop by going to Meerkat Streams. If you use chrome, there is an extension that provides an “unofficial client” in your web browser.

One early adopter, Jeff Needles (@jsneedles) has even built a wonderful stats platform, Meerkat Stats. You can see who the top broadcasters are and view some insights into their audience.

Meerkat is currently iOS only, but an Android beta is available upon request.

Periscope

IMG_5152Periscope was the just another broadcast app until early March when Twitter swooped in and bought them out. In just ten days, the number of Periscope users topped 1 million. The advantage that Periscope has is the huge backing of Twitter. This enabled them to be launched and promoted to a much wider audience, including the Android platform right from the start.

Being part of Twitter itself, Periscope has the ultimate advantage should Twitter decide to cut off Meerkat completely from using its platform. Twitter has already blocked Meerkat from using its social graph just prior to SXSW.  This makes it more difficult for Meerkat users to find and follow their existing Twitter audience.

Out of the blocks, Periscope has a much more polished look and feel. In addition, being integrated with Twitter, you have the ability to view the audience and quickly follow a viewer if you find them interesting.

Periscope also allows your streams to “live beyond live”. After you stream, your broadcast is available for viewing for 24 hours. Where Meerkat currently has no option for this, there are services popping up that allow you to save your Meerkat streams.

This is where Periscope truly excels. You are not always available to catch your favorite broadcasters, but many of them make their streams available for viewing at your leisure.

The User Interface

While Periscope appears to be more polished, the execution of the broadcast interface is questionable. As seen here, the comments take up half of the screen.  IMG_5150Often times covering up the broadcast. In addition, there are hearts floating up from the bottom right corner. If you like the stream, you simply tap the Periscope screen to send the broadcaster an animated heart, which you can do repeatedly throughout the stream as a way of providing encouragement. In my opinion, these features distract the viewer taking away from the experience.

IMG_5155While Meerkat does not look as polished, the interactive text does not interfere or distract the viewer. There are heart and retweet button right on the bottom.  Once tapped, they disappear. No annoying hearts! The messages scroll up on the bottom third of the screen and do not interfere with the broadcast. You can also scroll backward through the comments in case you missed them. Meerkat also has the option to tweet or not tweet your comments.

The audience is displayed along the top, but since Meerkat is cut off from Twitter, there is no option to follow audience members.

Who Wins?

So who wins this battle?  Well, it is much to early to tell. Clearly Periscope has the backing and adoption, but Meerkat has its faithful. The Meerkat audience seems to be a more thoughtful audience. The trolls that tend to appear on every social media platform are abundant on Periscope. Meerkat seems to have an audience that squashes them out. Time will tell if this will continue as Meerkat builds its audience.

Right now Periscope has the user advantage, but in my opinion, Meerkat has better content.  I too will be broadcasting on Meerkat.  Follow me and my WordPress 101 series of broadcasts coming soon.

Is there a true winner?  Can there be two platforms?  Will Facebook join the fray?  Only time will tell.  Let me know your thoughts.  Who do you follow on each platform?  Whose has quality content?

Those dreaded three words..

As a freelance WordPress developer I scour the internet seeking opportunities to help digital creatives bring their works to life on the WordPress platform.  As I do this I am constantly faced with those three words that haunt me.

 

“MUST BE LOCAL”

 

If your company is of the mindset that you must have every individual work directly in your office or at least within the same zip code, this is how I imagine your office to be.  Yes, that is where your thinking is based.  In the past.

Without getting into how this mindset developed, lets just say that it is time to get over it.

There are lots of great companies that utilize a mobile and remote workforce to create wildly successful businesses. Speaking of WordPress, Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com and many other web technologies, HAS NO OFFICES!  All their amazing creations and contributions to the internet community are done by an amazing workforce located all over the world. The same goes for 37 Signals, the company behind the popular Basecamp, Highrise and Campfire collaboration software suites.

Have you ever flown JetBlue airlines? Their customer service and booking agents work from home.

To borrow a line of thought from Jason Fried, the best work and brainstorming is done when you are out of the office.

So now its up to you to bring the mindset to your workplace.  There is a lot of talent our there, and not all of them are interested in spending 8 hours a day where the forecast is “72 and fluorescent”.

 

Welcome to Guhru Studio

Today we have re-branded Studio ten69 as Guhru Studio!  We have a new look, a new logo and a new website.

Check out the new website, and our new look.

Keep coming back because we are not done remodeling around here.  There will be more services and more useful information available to help you look your best on the internet.

 

Spam, spam, spam, spam, email, spam, spam and spam!

To borrow one of the great Monty Python lines, today we are going to talk about email and spam.  In light of the recent email theft at Epsilon, the big email marketing firm, I thought I would revisit my thoughts on email and spam.

 

First off, if you have not heard yet, Epsilon, a very large email marketing firm had been hacked last week.  So if you use a bank, shop, sleep or eat, chances are your email address was in Epsilon’s database and was compromised.  So make sure if you receive an email from one of your trusted vendors that any link from that email takes you to an actual website of their own.


Now back to spam.


Spam filters are wonderful things, even if they prevent me from viewing all the male organ enlargement pills that might be available to me.  However spam filters are not perfect and sometimes they send the wrong messages to the junk pile.

 

Last fall I was attempting to look at the website of a friend of a friend.  I say attempting because the site was not viewable.  As a web designer and all around geek, I poked around to find out what the problem was.  I figured it out and determined that the problem could be easily fixed with a simple code edit.  I emailed the site owner, introducing myself as a friend of their friend, and told them about the problem.  I offered to fix the problem free of charge as a courtesy to my friend.  After all, I knew what the problem was and determined it would take a whole 30 seconds to fix if I stopped for a coffee break.

 

I mentioned my email contact to my friend so that he would be aware if an inquiry about me arose.  A week went by, I heard nothing.  Another week, still no response.  At the end of week three, I asked my friend if his friend ever contacted him about my email.  ”Nope!”

 

Checking the website, it was still broken.  I forwarded my original email to my friend and he forwarded it to his friend.  Finally I get a response.  They apologized and said that my email went to their junk filter.  No big deal, but how often were you checking your website?  Did you know it was not visible?

 

I only mention this because the website was attempting to market more than $6.5 million dollars in real estate and no one could see it!  If I have that kind of inventory, I am not only checking it regularly, I want to see who came to my site, from where, and what they looked at.

 

More recently I met a wonderful executive at a high technology company.  After their product demonstration, which was impressive, I mentioned that I had executive contacts at a couple businesses that might find their product useful.  My attempt to follow up with them to provide the contact information and introduction went unanswered.  I can only assume that my email is getting funneled to their junk mail box.

 

I check my junk mail box regularly and find stuff that probably should not be there.

 

Go ahead and check yours.  You may find a customer lurking in there or maybe someone who can help your business.