Everyman Links for January 28, 2010

Content Marketing Concentrate. 10 Tips for Content Marketing Success is concentrated advice on how to best use content in marketing our business. Advertising is content. Content is advertising. Ensure all content passes the “So what?” test, or what should the reader take away, what benefit, why should they listen? Speed and agility count. Personality is essential. Tone is more important than perfection. Content should forge connections. Consistency is key.

Conversion is Job #1. This DZone post lists 10 key practices for optimizing conversion rates, like design credibility, good navigation, memorable slogan, calls to action, and so forth. A scan-through of the points is a good reminder that conversion should be a driving force behind everything we do online.

Foursquare, the game. The more I read about location-based social services the more I see their potential. This MarketingProfs post lists some of the ways businesses can exploit Foursquare. The Mayor dines for free, local businesses can team up for scavenger hunts, deals for first-time check-ins. Check-in four times and get coffee on the fifth visit for free.

Blog as Hub. The main theme of this piece is worth remembering. Blogging should be the hub of your social media efforts. An accompanying slideshow gives examples of how to maximize your blog in social media. Basic but still a good use of 90 seconds.

Smart mud. I heard about this on various media, including the Wall Street Journal today podcast, how a mixture of mud and water could replace plastic and all that that implies. “Takuzo Aida and his team mixed a few grams of clay with 100 grams of water in the presence of tiny quantities of a thickening agent called sodium polyacrylate and an organic ‘molecular glue’. The thickening agent teases apart the clay into thin sheets, increasing its surface area and allowing the glue to get a better hold on it. This means that, while the mixture is almost 98 per cent water, it forms a transparent and elastic hydrogel with sufficient mechanical strength to make a 3.5-centimetre-wide self-standing bridge.”

Geoengineering tonight. This is bigger than smart mud. Consider the potential of large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere. “Published in the most recent issue of the journal Science (sub. req’d.), researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands have discovered a copper-based catalyst that can literally pull carbon dioxide out of thin air.”

Rewarding best clients, but not with a Starbucks card. Pricing Strategies Gone Wrong describes Starbucks’ recent price increase of premium coffee drinks as a misguided pricing strategy, similar to the NYTimes plan to charge frequent readers. “NY Times executives ‘want to create a system that would have little effect on the millions of occasional visitors to the site, while trying to cash in on the loyalty of more devoted readers.’ Said another way, the Times wants to assuage infrequent users while gouging loyal readers.  This doesn’t make sense if the ultimate goal is to increase readership. It won’t be offering access to exclusive content, additional services, or any other value-added benefits for its fee.  It’s simply charging more for more usage.  Won’t this discourage additional usage?  Particularly when there are so many other sources for content? Why not, instead, institute a pricing strategy that encourages digital subscribers?  Make a digital subscription worth something and charge for it.”

The New York Times does growlers. The New York Times posts an article titled Growlers, the New Old Way to Tote Your Beer.  Now this is an article for which I would have paid to read!

The new community board. I liked this photo comparison of a traditional pinup community board to a TweetDeck screenshot. And you know the “TweetDeck community board” is going to evolve pretty radically in our future.

Top 7 Icon Search Engines. Because you can’t have too many icons.

Pitching the tent. The look on grandma’s face is the kicker to this Awkward Family Photo.

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A long time developer, I was an early adopter of Linux in the mid-90's for a few years until I entered corporate environments and worked with Microsoft technologies like ASP, then .NET. In 2008 I released Sueetie, an Online Community Platform built in .NET. In late 2012 I returned to my Linux roots and locked in on Java development. Much of my work is available on GitHub.