Updates from May, 2009 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • jeffswan 3:13 pm on May 1, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Brand, Name, URL, Website, Word of Mouth   

    Choosing a Good Website URL 

    What's in a Name?What’s in a name? You’ve heard this phrase before and probably have your own opinions. Online, your name is everything. It’s your brand, your tagline, your value proposition, and your marketing tool. Choosing the right URL can pay off more than you can even know when you’re just starting out. Take a name like Facebook. At first, I thought this was the dumbest name on earth. My friend told me about it and I said, “The Facebook? You gotta be kidding.” Then I realized how smart it is. Not too crafty, but it is catchy. It’s straight to the point, and you can get a good idea of what it’s about just from the name.

    To Be or Not to Be…Descriptive
    Although you don’t need to be too descriptive in choosing your website’s URL, it doesn’t hurt. The more you can describe your brand or service in as little as two short words the better. (think ‘Face’ and ‘Book’). By choosing a descriptive URL, you immediately tell visitors what your site is about. They don’t have to try to understand the purpose of your site. Also, for those who are interested in search engine rankings, the URL plays an important role in ranking for specific keywords. More on that in another post.

    Make it Catchy
    A catchy domain name is important too. You want people to be able to hear it, get it, and want to repeat it. A name like Squidoo is fun to say and is a good conversation starter. If people like your brand name, they’re going to share it. It will be linked to on their blogs, they will post it on Twitter and Facebook, and word will spread fast. So coming up with a fun and funky name is a real bonus in making your marketing efforts pay off.

    Easy to Say, Easy to Share
    One challenge I had with my first official ‘brand’ (GoGlobe) was that everyone I talked to thought I was from Google! Not that I didn’t want to be associated with the Internet’s number one company, but it didn’t help me get any members or sales. So take care to make sure your catchy tagline is phonetically unique and easy to pronounce. Considering the importance of word of mouth, you can’t afford for people to say it wrong on a regular basis.

    Bottom line is that a URL is not just your address on the web. It is an important marketing tool that can help or hurt your website traffic, search rankings, and repeat busines. By making it easy to say, descriptive, and catchy, you will make it easy for users to share your website/blog with their friends and family, while helping your site rank on search engines. In the Web 2.0 universe, the conversation is key. You can either be the center of attention, or left out in the cold. Start with a great URL and your website has a good chance of making a splash!

     
  • jeffswan 8:30 am on March 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Recreation   

    What an Entrepreneur Does for Fun 

    Us After We 'Won' First Place

    Us After We 'Won' Fifth Place

    Besides working all day and actually enjoying it, I like to unwind every now and then (once a week) with a recreational ball hockey game. Although it’s only my 3rd month here in Vancouver, I am lucky enough to already on my second season with the VYP Oilers in an Urban Rec league. I love it! Competition, friendships, and the occassional yelling match. Good times for all.

    I know that anyone who works for themselves has a hard time getting out. You feel guilty that you’re not working since there’s always so much to do. The thing is, if you don’t get out and enjoy life a) you’ll miss out on what makes life worth living and b) you’ll pretty much go insane and your work will suffer. Trust me, I know from experience. I’ve spent weeks not going out just plugging away at my website and losing my mind in the process.

    Lesson here folks is that you need to have a solid work/life balance in order to be a successful entrepreneur. Working all the time may feel like you are getting more accomplished, but actually taking some time off to free your mind has suprisingly positive consequences. You’re refreshed, happier, and your brain just seems to work better. Personally, since joining the VYP Oilers, I’ve been way more creative, productive, and determined to acheive!

    Notes on the Game:

    After finishing last season a dismal 5th place, somehow we got bumped up into the competitive league where the competition is leaner AND meaner. That said, the VYP Oilers came out on top for a solid first outing by beating (insert team name here) 5-3 in a hard fought battle. While it was an extremely physical game, it left the team hoping all future games are like this!

     
  • jeffswan 8:32 am on March 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Inspiration, , Thanks   

    Crisis Averted (Follow-up to “A Crisis of Purpose”) 

    I’ve been thinking a lot about my professional position lately and have come to the conclusion that it really doesn’t matter where you are or what you do as long as you work hard and stay focused. After receiving a series of supportive comments from friends and fellow ‘Tweets’, I realize that there will be a reward for all this hard work.

    At this time, I should note that we’re changing directions with our business and have decided to tackle a new challenge with the same ferocity as the last one but with much more knowledge. Starting fresh will allow us to shed the negative stigma we have for the old idea and focus on the successes instead. We learned so much with the last project that nothing, I repeat, NOTHING is holding us back this time.

    Thanks to all of you who support our entrepreneurial adventure. Without the confidence of friends and family this road would feel a lot longer. I’m really looking forward to the day where we can thank you all officially for the success of our ventures.

    Cheers!
    Jeff

     
  • jeffswan 8:12 am on March 23, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hard Work, Invention. Success, iRobot, Roomba   

    iRobot Roomba 535 Cleaning Up! 

    I recently came across a video about this iRobot Roomba vacuum product building hype across the Internet and selling out all over the place. The promise of never having to vacuum again is a big deal, especially for us young professionals taxed for time as it is. Now selling for under $250 it’s easy to see why they’re so popular.

    For those who don’t know what a Roomba is, it’s basically a vacuum that cleans on its own, much like a pool cleaner (you’ve probably seen one before). , I’ve added a demo video for the Roomba 560 to give you an idea of how it works.

    What a fantastic idea from iRobot’s founder Helen Greiner, originally introduced in 2002. Now, years after the Roomba’s initial introduction, the company is receiving the rewards of their hard work. This is a classic example of an entrepreneur setting out to create something that people need, working hard to put it in their hands, and welcoming the success their hard work brings.

     
  • jeffswan 3:45 pm on March 19, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Challenges, , Resolve   

    A Crisis of Purpose 

    No one said it would be easy. Starting a business is not only hard work, but it’s a strain on everything in your life; your relationships, your bank account, and even your sanity. Last night I stayed awake for hours worrying about all the things that could come to pass in the next few months. What happens if my website doesn’t get any customers? What if my money runs out before I start making sales? These are questions that have been haunting me forย a while and I’m finding it harder and harder to stay the course.

    One thing that keeps me going is the resolve I’ve gained from my experiences over the past several months. I’ve been ripped off by shady developers, lied to by marketers, and had my funding pulled from under me at a crucial stage of development. It’s been a challenge just to stay motivated, nevermind alert and creative. Add to that the fact that I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in about 3 months and you’ve got yourself a recipe for insanity.

    A lesser person would have given up long ago, but I’m not letting it get to me. I started this business with a purpose and I aim to complete it. Habidoo.com is going to be THE place for people to find and compare home service providers if I have to sacrifice my sanity to do it. Now I just have to shake my head a bit and get back into focus and do whatever it takes to get back in the game.

    I believe that it is a part of being an entrepreneur that finds you constantly battling a crisis of purpose. You start out with visions of saving the world from monotany, then it morphs to you missing the small luxuries you had when you were making money, then it’s back to being more than driven again. I’m starting to think of it as an extended job interview for a stellar career. At the end of this long test will be the rewards you’ve sacrificed so much to achieve. All you have to do is prove that you’re worthy. I hope I am.

     
  • jeffswan 4:14 pm on March 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Circle of Influence, Connection, Meet-up, Revelation,   

    3rd Tuesday and the Circle of Influence 

    Staying Connected has a Whole New Meaning

    Staying Connected has a Whole New Meaning

    It’s amazing how easy it is to feel out of touch in the world of Internet Marketing. I visited a Meet-up yesterday at the Republic Nightclub in downtown Vancouver sponsored by the 3rd Tuesday Meet-up group. The speaker, Nate Elliott, was discussing the “Circle of Influence” and how it is not such a new concept as people think.

    While I was listening to the presentation, I noticed how involved the world is in their Blackberry’s, iPhone, Wi-Fi connection, and the latest craze – Twitter. Although I have been commenting on blogs, updating my various online profiles, and writing blogs for the past couple years (and yes, I’m on Twitter), I still find it amazing how connected people really are.

    Firstly, our event host draws attention to the blogger in the corner, barely looking up from his screen stating that he’s doing a ‘Live Blog’ on tonight’s speech. I’m intrigued when I find out it is one of my fellow Twitterers Trishussey!

    Then Nate polls the audience on how many members are on Twitter right now! Again, I was suprised at how many hands go up. I’ve never seen so many people diligently clinging to their Blackberry’s as if the people in front of them were only characters in their online story book called Social Media! Not that there’s anything wrong with being connected. It’s just a little daunting from a person who really appreciates the benefits of interpersonal (live) communication.

    Witnessing this event unfold made me sit and think about real connections and how important they are to each and every person out there. It helped that our presenter was discussing this very topic, but I had a tremendous revelation. People are so connected because they’re seeking authentic, personal experiences. They stay connected, share opinions, and blog like crazy in order to gain a glimpse of the reality the connected age is so diligently trying to supress.

    By becoming part of an online community, constantly connected to their ‘Friends’ and ‘Followers’, is a way for people to find value in their daily lives. The validation they receive from a positive comment on their blog works wonders for their self esteem and makes them feel like they belong. Truly, the Internet has given people a voice who would have previously disappeared into obscurity.

    As a marketer, I took this revelation as the first step in my new focus – my Mission. I will help these connected people find the validation they seek. My products and services will be dedicated to helping people connect in a meaningful and useful way. I will provide authentic and valued experiences for my user base as best I can through listening to user feedback and applying the necessary technologies to make it happen.

    Even though I’m not as connected as some people think I should be, I know I’ll catch up and maybe someday even buy a Blackberry or iPhone to fit in with all the tech-savvy marketers out there. Until then, I’m going to do my best to provide my customers with relevant, high quality products and services from the ancient confines of my laptop computer. Who knows, maybe next time I go to an event, Twitter will be passe and one of my projects can be the obsession of the hour. Here’s hoping!

     
    • Raul 11:04 pm on March 17, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Jeff,

      I was there at Third Tuesday. I am a big proponent of live (in person) interactions. Most of my friendships in the Vancouver social media scene arose from actually hanging out with them in the real world.

      Next time you see me, say hi! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • jeffswan 12:02 am on March 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      Will do Raul! Looking forward to the next meet-up. Btw, are you a member of any other groups? We may meet even sooner.

      Cheers!
      Jeff

    • Raul 7:29 pm on March 18, 2009 Permalink | Reply

      I’m the organizer of the Vancouver Bloggers Meetup ๐Ÿ™‚ and yes I am a member of numerous groups. Check my profile on Meetup.com

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