Final Post!

April 6, 2008

Well guys, it’s been a fun course, but I’m afraid that this will probably be my last post. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’ve kinda become depressed when I read my RSS feed and realize that I don’t have to post on anything I read.

Therefore…… I’ve decided to make my own personal blog (woot, my first link!).  I’ll probably never write on it (like Dave), but I think it’s good to have one anyway. Here’s the link if anyone is interested, but it’s mostly just personal stuff, as apposed to being interesting like what we’ve talked about in class.

It’s been a good class and I hope everyone continues using what we’ve learned.

Cheers,

David McKenna

This may be a little bit of an overstatement, but from the talk of nearly EVERYONE over theFriendfeed Logo last two weeks, Friendfeed is the next big thing. So far I’ve noticed Robert Scoble, Dave Winer, Fred Wilson, and Techcrunch comment on it, and I’m sure I’ve missed or dismissed many other bloggers commenting on Friendfeed.

What my understanding of Friendfeed is, is a one stop shop for all of your information needs. Tired of having to check out your Twitter, RSS reader, delicious, etc. accounts to get all of the latest news? Now all you have to do is join friendfeed, which amalgamates all of your friends twitter/blog/everything else together so you can get updated on everything they are doing, but in the same spot.

Besides the incredible benefits and A-lister recommendations, why is Friendfeed so good? For many reasons really. One of which, is their commitment to the user. Fred Wilson had a little bit of beef with a few aspects on Friendfeed, and so created a list of things they would like changed. Shortly after he received an email from one of the founders of Friendfeed saying he had passed the list around to the employees of the company, and they liked them and immediately began working on them. Now that is customer service.

Also, Dave Winer has been very impressed with the fact that Friendfeed has done a lot of work, and relatively quickly, dealing with Twitter users on Friendfeed. Although Twitter may be an acquired taste, people who use Twitter demand that it works well on Friendfeed. Friendfeed has worked very hard in making this possible.

Thats all for now I guess.

Cheers,

David McKenna

Hugs are not free!

March 29, 2008

I guess I’m a little behind everyone else for the blog post about free, but I figure it’s about time I had my voice heard on the matter. I realize that probably no one besides Dave will read this due to too much free exposure to free, but here goes…

My first experience of free is when i got my first bank account. My mom and dad took me to Scotiabank to deposit money I had received for my birthday, and we put it in a bank account with an extremely low interest rate. About a year later, I received a notice saying that my account balance had gone up somewhere around the area of 1 cent. I was ecstatic. For some reason, the bank had decided to give me free money, for absolutely no reason (besides the fact that they had possession of my money for a year, but I didn’t know it then). I knew then that I would love free things for the rest of my life.Mob of people giving free hugs

On a different note, I’ve recently been reading Seth Godin’s blog post called Where to find great ideas and arresting images. In it, he quickly discussed how Flickr is a great place to get free pictures (such as the one to the right), as well as free ideas that can be used to put the picuture/image in context. Therefore, looking for inspiration, I searched over 500 images hoping for inspiration. I don’t know about inspiration, but I sure did see a lot of pictures about “Free Burma”, and “Free Hugs”.

In my search of free, I’ve realized two things. Nothing is ever free (including hugs), and people appreciate things more, if they aren’t free. I’ll touch on the second one first.

If a person’s greatest ambition is to purchase a new car, and they spend years saving every penny for this car, then when they eventually do get it, they will treat it like gold due to the hard work and sacrifice placed forth in obtaining it. If the same person were given a car for free, say like a student receiving a car from their parents, it is doubtful that this car will be treated with the same respect that it would have if they had personally purchased it. Free breeds disrespect for a product or service.

My second realization, nothing is free, I believe under every circumstance, must be true. Nothing would exist without someone putting forth an effort to create or obtain it. For the most obvious examples, technology, such as open source software, is not free. Even if it is free to the consumer, it cost somebody something. The developers of Linux give their software to consumers for free, but it costs the developers substantially in time and money. How do they make up for this cost? They charge people for the support of the software, like IBM does for Linux.

Conclusion, nothing is free. If one person gets something for free, another person (or company) had to pay for it. Hugs are free? No, they cost the person the energy and time to give that hug. Google’s search engine is free? No, Google makes billions in revenue as a result of having a search engine. Even if you find a $20 bill blowing across the road and pick it up, it is not free, because you had to expend the energy to chase after it and pick it up (as well as it cost the person that lost it by having $20 less, and having expending the energy in actually losing it).

At the very minimum, a product or service that a person receives for “free” cost someone time and energy. It is the amount of time or energy that a person puts into something that classifies it has free. At what amount of time or energy, is a product or service not considered free anymore? That is a question for the class, if anyone has indeed read this.

Cheers,

David McKenna

Hey everyone,

I apologize for polluting our course blog with spam, but I’m doing a teMaximus whey protein packagest for my marketing class and I don’t know where else I can post a blog entry. I’m doing a test to see if Google Alerts will find the words “Fortius Pharmedica” and “Maximus Whey Protein” and send it to my Gmail account. I’ll either update everyone in class or write a post about what I find.

Sorry for corrupting our class blog.

David McKenna

****************************UPDATE************************

Hey everyone,

Again, sorry for the unneeded spam on our class blog, but I’d like to pass on the success of my experiment.

I was wondering how our blog was being monitored on the web, even through our blog is relatively insignificant, and the web is so massive. Along my travels, I found that Google has two applications that will do this, Google Web Alerts and Google Blog Search.

For Google Web Alerts, you can choose to get e-mails sent to your account once a day, once a week, or the instant that your keywords/phrases are mentioned on the internet. I chose the instantly it happens, and was disappointed to discover that it took about a day for an email to be sent to my account.

Since I signed up for web alerts, I’ve received 3 emails from them that deal with my keywords/phrases. In each email, there are multiple times that the actual keyword is shown to have been used on the web, but only 4 have been relevant to my search. Even so, this is terrific results, because without it, I would never have even known that the company had been mentioned at all.

Another good thing is that I discovered that there is another company, called MaximusSport, that produces 100% Whey Protein, so I get all of their updates as well. Maybe the company could comment on these articles in support of their own product.

I’m very excited about this discovery, one because it will improve my marketing presentation, but mainly because of the power of using this new-found tool. When/if I start my own business, I know this will be a tool I use to monitor my reputation online and hopefully improve it and promote my product online.

Again, sorry for the unnecessary spam, but I think it turned out well worth it for the whole class.

Cheers,

David McKenna

Basketball Awareness Test

March 18, 2008

This is great.  I’m sure you’ve all already seen it because it was posted by Seth Godin and everyone loves Seth, but just in case you’ve missed it I think everyone should watch this video on awareness.

This is one of those posts that would be better off in the social network that Tasha made, but oh well, it’s on here now anyway.

Cheers,

David McKenna

UPEISU Elections

March 14, 2008

This is just a quick post because it affects UPEI.  Does anyone know what’s going on with the president elections?  Justin Douglas had the most votes, but it says online that he is disqualified and doesn’t give any details.  Z, Your in the student union aren’t you?  Do you know whats going on?

Cheers,

David McKenna

Sorry Mitch, I guess I’m going to be talking about the same thing as you. I had it half written when I noticed yours went up and I really don’t feel like choosing another topic and researching that one too. I guess if we have to write on the biggest news of the week there will be some overlapping anyway.

So the big news I’ve been hearing about is AOL’s purchase of the social networking website, Bebo. The price? $850,000,000. That’s a lot of zeros. Especially when AOL is slowly dying a painful and horrible *potential* death. I’ll go into a little more depth on both companies.

AOL (formerly America Online) was once mainly in the Internet Service Provider industry, with 30 million subscribers (down to 10.1 million as of Nov. 2007). Due to the dramatic decrease in dial-up (resulting in a decrease in their subscribers) the company has been trying to change their image to an Internet Content Provider rather than a service provider. As of February 2008, there was an announcement that AOL would split into two different sections: internet access and advertising. This is where the acquisition of Bebo comes in.

Bebo (Blog early, blog often) is a social media network (much like MySpace, Hi5, and Facebook) that has a substantial claim on the market. Although they aren’t quite as big as Facebook or MySpace in North America, it is extremely competitive in other countries, such as Britain and Ireland. It is actually the 66th most popular English-language website (MySpace = 5th, Facebook = 6th, Hi5 = 8th) according to Alexa Internet. *Sidenote: There are a few porn sites in the top 100, as well as Google having a bunch there too).

What makes this such a dangerous merger for other social networks is that AOL has the software that Bebo needs to grab top market share. AOL has the 10 million subscribers that could extremely benefit Bebo’s population, as well as the advertising software that Facebook has been struggling so much to make effective. With AOL’s AIM and ICQ potentially growing Bebo, and with Bebo a great site for mass advertising, this could be a great way for AOL to rebound and become one of the star online advertising companies.

A problem with this merger is that Yahoo runs the display advertising for Bebo in the UK and Ireland. If Microsoft is successful in the bid for Yahoo, what will be the outcome? Microsoft has put heavy support behind Facebook with their 1.6% purchase, so how can they justify a part of their company (if Yahoo is purchased) supporting the rival of their Facebook? Can Microsoft support two social networks?

Also, with Yahoo running the advertising display for Bebo, Google running the advertising of MySpace, and Microsoft running the advertising for Facebook, it makes the market pretty competitive. If Microsoft purchases Yahoo, then it gives Microsoft a great deal more advertising power, controlling both Facebook’s and Bebo’s advertising. Will this finally make Microsoft competitive with Google’s advertising power? I guess we will see in the coming months.

*UPDATE* Facebook has just announced that it will be having an instant message service built right into Facebook.  This is announced right after AOL has been talking about combining their AIM service to Bebo. *

Cheers,

David McKenna