Mar 29, 2011
Comments Off on Google Analytics Dashboard Updates!

Google Analytics Dashboard Updates!

Beta testers of the new Google Analytics dashboard update are in for a treat,  multiple dashboards – up to 20 per profile (centred on different focused efforts, SEO, campaigns, site traffic, visitor demographics, etc.) are great ways to showcase different KPI’s.

The new dashboard is widget-based and highly customizable. Users are able to drag and drop metric visualizations into a three column layout. Here’s a sneak peek:

Try it out for yourself by signing up for the beta test group today.

Mar 25, 2011
Comments Off on Social Geotagging goes to School

Social Geotagging goes to School

Location-based service: Foursquare recently announced partnerships with over 20 schools with their new “Foursquare for Universities” service. Facebook “Places” (limited in Canada) has a similar feature, with similar student adoption on the University of Lethbridge campus.

From the Foursquare Blog:

“With foursquare, universities can help students explore their campus by sharing school traditions, information about classes and building hours, and insider tips. Students can now unlock new badges from an exclusive campus badge pack, rewarding them for their late nights at the library and attendance at sports games. Now, not just seniors will know about campus shortcuts, dining hall secrets, and the can’t-miss campus events.”

It isn’t clear what Canadian schools will be included in this program, but judging the student adoption on our local campus, it would be an asset to both potential student tours, and student life initiatives.

Foursquare for Universities aims to:

  • Encourage students to explore their campus and participate in campus events and student-run activities.
  • Communicate campus traditions and historical facts about the university as students experience campus life.
  • Direct students to campus facilities, such as computer stores, dining halls, and book stores by providing targeted specials and promotions.
  • Facilitate social connections by providing a tool to help students easily find friends and foster deeper school pride.
  • Mar 25, 2011
    Comments Off on Google Analytics: Conversion Funnels

    Google Analytics: Conversion Funnels

    Looking at Google Analytics report is an exciting ride. Much discovery around user demographics, technology choices, capabilities and referral sources help shape content and decision points for digital media efforts.

    One recent feature I’ve been looking a little closer at is “Conversion Funnels”, a quick visual way to understand transactions on your website, and the resulting conversion (traffic to dollars). In a ecommerce situation this could help expose flaws in shopping cart design or workflow challenges – in Universities it helps understands the pathway a user takes from awareness, contact and conversion (application / registration).

    This short video from Google shows off the reporting capabilities of simple goal setting in Google Analytics, worth a quick look:

    Mar 25, 2011
    Comments Off on Alumni Engagement with Social Media

    Alumni Engagement with Social Media

    Universities use social media tools to boost efforts with recruitment and retention as well a brand positioning, but what about alumni engagement and giving?

    The following article showcases various initiatives American colleges and Universities are using to reconnect, service and promote alumni relations.

    10 Ways Universities Are Engaging Alumni Using Social Media

    1. Helping Alumni Find Jobs
    2. Collaboration and Connecting With Students
    3. Fundraising: From E-mails to Tweets
    4. Training Alumni To Use Social Media
    5. Meeting Alumni Where They’re At
    6. Providing Tools To Spread Information
    7. Alumni-Generated Content
    8. Promoting Alumni Networks
    9. Mobile Reunions
    10. Connecting The Dots: Google Maps

    In addition, this slidedeck is a recent presentation around social media and university alumni relations, it’s worth a look:


    Mar 25, 2011
    Comments Off on Facebook Misconceptions from Jay Baer

    Facebook Misconceptions from Jay Baer

    The Social Media Examiner blog put together this interview with Jay Baer, co-author of a new book “The Now Revolution”, talks about why most business get Facebook wrong.

    sme_bw2010_jay_baer_v1 from Michael A. Stelzner on Vimeo.

    Mar 25, 2011
    Comments Off on New Enagement Rules for Facebook Fan Pages

    New Enagement Rules for Facebook Fan Pages

    Hot on the heels of a redesigned personal profile page, Facebook made another change to its layout – to Facebook Pages. The new Pages features now mimic the personal profile page. Page admins can “use facebook as Organization ABC”, instead of the admin’s personal account. This brand interaction allows Pages to comment on users walls and “like” other pages, people, status updates or wall posts.

    While this feature enables opportunity for brands to personally interact with their audience, it also opens the gates for companies to get a little too “direct” or pushy with sales messages and general social spam.

    The power granted to Page admins brings to light possible conflict of interest issues. Page administrators can “like” (endorse) any other entity on Facebook, bringing the halo-effect from one brand to affect the success of another. This potential issue needs to be addressed by social media guidelines and policy for organizations with large amounts of brand equity.

    Mar 25, 2011
    Comments Off on iPhone users add some Color to the Social Scene

    iPhone users add some Color to the Social Scene

    Has the iPhone App Store hit capacity with social photo sharing applications? A new startup headed by former Lala CEO Bill Nguyen and former BillShrink CEO Peter Pham (an all star team) bets “No”. With $41 Million in pre-launch venture funding (more than the amount awarded to Google at this stage in its lifecycle), Color for iPhone hit the streets yesterday with much buzz.

    Why all the fuss? Color goes beyond simple tagging and GPS metadata to images taken with the application. It listens to the ambient noise in the room to figure out distance from user to user. The result? group photo sharing based on proximity, not on a predefined list of friends.

    Imagine attending a conference or social event (wedding, dinner, etc), with event goers sharing a live stream of images based on their distance to each other. Each photo becomes part of the public domain, and users are able to favourite or comment on the aggregated stream of images that result.

    While this type of social asset sharing isn’t unique – the technical approach is. Users should expect an update to the application today that locks people out if the distance is too great between users, which is a common complaint in the app store reviews.

    Color Demo from Color Labs, Inc. on Vimeo.

    Jan 5, 2011
    Comments Off on Planely, the social network for flights

    Planely, the social network for flights


    I’m flying to Vegas tomorrow for CES. I need to pack. I’m missing socks. And according to Planely, I’m also missing the opportunity to meet strangers on my flight online. Then sit together. And talk. This is really weird.

    Planely bills itself as the “social flying revolution”—and sounds about as fun to participate in as the Industrial Revolution. It’s a website, routed through Facebook, that will find strangers who happen to be on the same flight as you, and put you in touch. So that, what exactly? I’m still not really sure.

    Planely from Planely on Vimeo.

    Ten seconds into their promotional video, Planely suggests to us, with a wide-mouthed Right? Riiiight?, that “We all know the experience of waiting at the gate during boarding, and checking out your fellow passengers, wondering who will be sitting next to you.” OK, perhaps I’m with you so far, Planely, but the next leap from here I am not onboard with—because as I look around while boarding, I am overwhelmed with feelings of please let me seated next to none of these people.

    Planely encourages you to not only contact these complete strangers in advance of your flight, but to carpool, meet for coffee at the airport, and even split a cab to your hotels, should be you staying at the same place. What person in their right mind would find this appealing, I can’t fathom—all that seems certain to me is that this sounds like less of a “social flying revolution” than a “easy way to find someone to strangle you in an airplane bathroom revolution.”

    In their about section, Planely, which clearly has a sterling business plan drafted, claims “In the future we will help you see if there’s anyone else around you already know through social networks, and all sorts of other things that we’re waiting for you to tell us you want to do.” If one of those “all sorts of other things” is ensuring that I am seated next to someone who has absolutely no interest in interacting with me during a stressful flight, then I will sign up. Otherwise this is just sort of creepy and frightening. [Planely via swissmiss]

    Shutterstock/Blend Images

    Jan 4, 2011
    Comments Off on Social Media in Plain English

    Social Media in Plain English

    Dec 14, 2010
    Comments Off on Using Social Media to Find Christmas Presents for Friends Mindjumpers

    Using Social Media to Find Christmas Presents for Friends Mindjumpers

    Still wondering what to get your best friend for Christmas? Stop worrying, and let yourself inspire by a new and interesting initiative by Etsy.

    What is Etsy?

    First of all, Etsy was founded in June 2005. Etsy is a community as well as a company, and their mission is to enable people to make a living making things and connect producers with buyers. Furthermore, the Etsy community spans the globe with buyers and sellers coming from more than 150 countries, and their sellers number in hundreds of thousands. Through the web, they therefore connect people from all over the world and make them engage in dialogue with each other, if they have any questions, for example.

    Find Gifts for Friends with Facebook Connect

    However, now they have made a new initiative which lets users find a gift for one of their friends by using Facebook connect. If you allow the application on Etsy to connect to Facebook, you then choose a friend for which you would like to present a gift. Hereafter, it will generate a number of gift ideas based on your friend’s “likes” on Facebook. Thus, it also requires that it is a friend who is active on Facebook stating “likes” and interest for the application to be able to search for a gift for this individual, though.

    I have tested it by choosing some of my closest friends, and the application actually comes up with some interesting offers. With one of them, it did not work quite as well, though, but I still got inspired! And the fact that the application makes use of the individual’s interests is a great thing. Then you can always take the idea further yourself.

    New and Interesting Use of Social Media

    Etsy offers a lot of unique and handmade things, so if you’re looking for something different, it’s a great page to visit. And their use of social media practice makes it even more appealing, at the same time as it gives their visitors a reason to explore their site further. Of course, Etsy also makes it possible to “share on Facebook”, so your friends can get to know about the application. And as we have seen a lot of times before, that is a factor that plays a big role in spreading the word and creating more traffic to the site.

    Give it a try, and see what you should buy for your friends! And of course, Merry Christmas!