May 29, 2009 by Aaron Rubman
Search engines like honesty.
If only one out of every three sites that Google returns on a search for Free Internet Consultation actually offers free internet consultations, it reflects poorly on Google, especially if another search engine can do better.
While it is certainly possible to stump the public with the truth (and the TV Show To Tell The Truth gives us plenty of examples), do you really want to convince your target audience that you’re exactly like the people who are pretending to do what you do?
Something Only an Expert Would Know
One of the things that the judges in To Tell …
May 27, 2009 by Aaron Rubman
Two weeks ago Google announced “Rich Snippets,” a new campaign on their part to categorize frequently sought items. The four main categories they are focusing on at this time are people, businesses, products, and reviews.
What Google recognizes right now is patterns of letters. It cannot be said to truly understand them as words, let alone understand how they interact relative to each other. Perform a search for “Marissa Berger” and you will get a mix of company websites and individual social media profiles from different Marissa Bergers all across the country.
Rich Snippets will eventually give Google the …
May 26, 2009 by Lindsay Gower
Last week I discussed how to get testimonials. Now let’s look at how to decline giving them.
The first rule of getting testimonials is: Ask for them from people who have already complimented you. They’ve complimented you in print, in an email or letter or a reference posted on a networking site such as LinkedIn, or they’ve complimented you aloud, during a phone call or face-to-face.
But now Joe, whom you’ve never complimented, asks you to write a testimonial for his business.
The first rule for giving testimonials: Because you’re putting your reputation on the line when you endorse someone else, decline …
May 22, 2009 by Aaron Rubman
Steven Wolfram’s new “knowledge engine” has launched to mixed results. While the tool is just as powerful as advertised in some areas (like the comparing stocks, answering physics questions, or performing complex numerical calculations), there are other areas where it falls short of the mark.
While Wolfram|Alpha can compare the 2008 season of the Oakland A’s against that of the San Francisco Giants, it still can’t figure out when the baseball season begins. Perhaps, in time, Wolfram Research will be able to work out the bugs. But for the time being it is still a very specialized tool.
Thankfully, Wolfram|Alpha does excel …
May 20, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Rich media is the result of combining text, still graphics, voiceover audio, background music, and video. These elements are combined to create dynamic motion that occurs over time or in direct response to user interaction.
Rich media is powerful because it engages the user and keeps him captivated more so than any other media. It draws users in and makes them part of the experience.
At MB/I, we use Flash, the industry-leading software for creating interactive experiences. We deliver presentations to audiences across platforms and devices. With Flash, we can add interactivity by customizing what each user sees and …
May 19, 2009 by Lindsay Gower
How to get them, how to use them
How to get them
Ask. It can be that simple.
- Ask when you complete a project for a customer. When they say how pleased they are, ask if you can use their name on your web site. If they email you a compliment, ask if you can quote them.
- Ask long-time customers. Call each up and ask if they would provide a testimonial for your web site.
Determine the text. You’re asking them to do you a favor, help them out! Draft the text yourself, based on remarks they’ve made to …
May 19, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Even though there are many other vendors who offer similar services, Constant Contact has become the preferred one for blasting out emails and online newsletters (ezines). At MB/I, we use Constant Contact for our own blasts and for those of our clients.
It is easy to use, inexpensive, and it provides all the marketing information we need to know. Business owners can choose a template and have a message up and running in no time. Or, they can hire firms like ours to design a template that matches their own sites and marketing materials and to prepare each subsequent issue.
May 18, 2009 by Aaron Rubman
While Google is arguably the largest data retrieval system in the world, it is not built like the physical retrieval systems that are familiar to most of us who work in office (and home office) environments.
Most of us employ some sort of grouping or filing system when we are given a document that we think we may need to find again in the future. This might be a Rolodex, a well maintained cabinet of hanging files, or even (perish the thought) ill defined stacks of paper where the most recently used documents tend to gravitate towards the top.
Basically, you know …
May 18, 2009 by Marissa Berger
At MB/I, we have partnered with Scott Stiefvater of Blue Sky Video Production to offer e-learning programs. We take a five-phase approach to producing e-learning programs: analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation.
Through a process of interviews and workshops we draw out and align the objectives of the various e-learning stakeholder groups within your organization. We also explore such things as the audience demographics, the learning environment, delivery options as well as budget and time constraints. From this research, we generate the requirements for the content, design and delivery of the e-learning program.
MB/I takes a “backward” approach to design. …
May 18, 2009 by Marissa Berger
At MB/I, we have partnered with Scott Stiefvater of Blue Sky Video Production to offer e-learning programs. Our approach involves three key areas: instructional design, user experience, and technology.
We see learning for what it is, a complex process. Our e-learning programs are developed with the understanding that they are just one part of that process. Yet, we are intentional about every element of the learning programs we develop so that the learner is motivated to apply the information, concepts, skills and attitudes they learn. To this end, instructional design calls for a vast amount of …