Category Archives: web 2.0

Web 2.0: The Whuffie Factor

Tara Hunt‘s presentation at Web 2.0 was really fantastic. I love the presos that have just a few words per slide followed with pictures to illustrate concepts. Tara used that technique to her advantage as she spoke to a packed room — not only were all of the seats full, but people stood or sat wherever there was a spare pocket of space.

One of Tara’s key points was on reciprocity: if you want to be an influencer, you need to provide time and attention to the community.

Become part of the community you serve. Ask:
— what problem can I solve?
— what makes people happy?
Then, integrate the answers into your initiatives.

I took this concept as a reminder I can share with others when they bring up that social media is inexpensive — when planning social media projects, you have to plan for an investment of your personal time (lots of it!) as well as your budget dollars.

Tara also advised, look for opportunities to turn the bullhorn around because it’s impersonal otherwise–you’re just shouting. Further, worry less about stating your position than listening and responding personally to others to create amazing customer experiences.

Create amazing customer experiences
1. Dazzle with the details (e.g. Moleskine)
2. Go above and beyond (e.g. TED)
3. Appeal to emotion (Vosges black pear chocolate)
4. Inject fun into the experience (Google’s talk like a pirate day)
5. make something mundane exceptional
6. Let people personalize
7. Be experimental (threadless, iplai:
8. Simplify (37 signals)
9. Make happiness your business model
10. Be a social catalyst

Tara continued with more points about how you can build whuffie. Look for her slides on slideshare (site was down for maintenance just now). Or, for more you can check out her book, The Whuffie Factor. It’s due on shelves April 21, but if you click over you’ll find video clips, images and more info.

Web 2.0 Conference Notes

I attended the Web 2.0 Conference last week in San Francisco. Over the next few posts, I’ll try and upload some of my notes for you from the Web 2.0 marketing sessions I attended.

One of the Tuesday workshops I attended was SEO From Soup to Nuts, by Stephan Spencer. Stephan is president of Netconcepts, writes a column for Search Engine Land, and his blog is Stephan Spencer’s Scatterings.

SEO has become one of my interests over the past few months because a good SERP is one of the ways that I’m measuring the success of the various social media marketing projects I’m working on for Allstate.

Stephan held everyone’s attention. I’ve only been following the SEO buzz for a short time, but everyone listened to hear what the secret sauce is to getting good search engine results on Google. I’m sure there are a few secrets, but from everything I’ve read and heard, it really comes down to basic concepts like publishing good content, using good keywords and at the right keyword density.

Stephan pointed out the right keywords are ones that are relevant to your business and popular with searches. There are a number of good SEO Tools available to help you see your site the way a search engine would and to refine your keywords.

SEO Tools
Some of the tools mentioned include:
Google Suggest
Yahoo Search Assist
Woodtracker (subscription)

Much of the talk focused on keys to pagerank such as getting your site fully indexed, making sure your pages are visible to crawlers, and building good inbound links.

Please update your links for m2h blogs.
Speaking of building good inbound links, would you please check your links for me and make sure they’re still working? My site at “mwrites” died a while back because of problems with a domain host.

But back to the topic at hand — did you know that the length of time your domain is registered for is one of the ways authority and longevity is determined? I don’t know that it’s a major factor, but it was one of the things mentioned.

Stephan’s Top 3 Tips
1. Content – write good content
2. Architecture – publish flatter (1 level down better than 5)
3. Links – build inbound links with good authority

Another tip Stephan gave was how to add good anchor text to your website links on LinkedIn. it’s easier than you think to do, but it was a great final remark he gave as “homework.”

Are you on LinkedIn? View my profile and add me as a contact.

View Marcia Hansen's profile on LinkedIn

More to follow.


I noticed that RealGames has partnered with Beliefnet to provide games that “stimulate the mind, challenge the spirit, and soothe the soul.” It’s heavy on the marketing language, but I did click over to play their memory game. The non-digital version (back in the old days) — was it called concentration??

Where do I look for research along the lines of games and building awareness, generating engagement, and building loyalty?

Mapping the year

I’ve been working on a plan for what I want to accomplish with the forums this year. The mind map created by the International Online Community Management Association has really helped me think about all of the issues I need to consider. Actually, the map could work for a number of similar efforts when you’ve got a project or initiative you want to get off the ground. Check it out.

Tag clouds and bills Tag Cloud for Allstate
Here’s an image that shows the tag cloud for Allstate at It’s interesting to me that “bills” is one of the top tags. As a user myself, I hadn’t thought about creating one tag for all of the bills I pay each month and then using that page to click to each of the sites as I pay bills, but that is quite the productivity hack. Hmm…do I care if someone knows what companies I pay each month?

What is the top hit for “bills” at
Billshare – a free application for people who need to split bills and keep a record of it. If I had a roommate and needed to track expenses, it might be the perfect app.

The #2 hit — billQ also looks like a cool web-based app to keep track of your bills. I really like the reminder feature that users can set-up to send to their cell phone or email.

Forums are Live

It’s finally public. Check out the project that I’ve been working on: Allstate Community Forums. I’m really excited about this project. It’s a chance to listen to what people have to say and build relationships as we go.

Ogilvy created the design and Lithium is hosting the site. I worked with some really talented people from both organizations to launch this site. I just have to mention the cool icons Ogilvy created. If you register, you’ll be able to check them out. However, all of Lithium’s work is behind the scenes to keep the boards up and functioning as they should.

For me personally, given my research interest in networks, this project is right up my alley. I hope to learn a lot more over the coming months about how people communicate on the boards. By the way, if you have any community moderation and management resources to recommend, please be sure to leave a comment below.

One other thing I want to mention is the Terms of Use. Usually these documents are not much fun to read and we all agree to variations of these any time we register with a new site. However, I do have to say that I’m particularly happy with the Allstate Authorized Users paragraph because it requires Allstate employees to disclose their connection to Allstate. While this point may not add much to the legal provisions of the document, I thought it important from a social media perspective, and I’m glad I was able to keep it in the final version. And, now that I’ve disclosed my connection, and even though I’m not an Allstate employee, I’ll need to add a disclaimer to my sidebar to the tune of: “The postings on this site are my own and don’t necessarily represent Allstate’s positions, strategies, or opinions.”

You can also check out the User Guidelines. I think Item #1 about not posting specific insurance advice is the one that I’ll need to watch the most as conversations take place. Because of how the insurance industry is regulated, that is a key provision of the document and something I’ll need to monitor.

More topics are planned for the year, but we really want to see what develops. Check it out if you have time, and I’ll be interested if you have any feedback for me.