Social media — a quick guide to doing it right

The folks over at the Search Engine Marketing Group have written a concise article on how to optimize your social media presence.

If you’ve made the first steps into social media to take control of your online appearance, or that of your product, service, or event, chances are you’ve been quickly overwhelmed and annoyed by all the work it seems to require. Post here, link here, comment here…and, face it, we all have real work to do! Which are these tasks are important for reputation and search engine ranking and which are just digital squirrel-caging?

Now, we have some answers.

Kristi Hines over at the Search Engine Marketing Group has written a concise article on how to optimize your social media presence. “How to Optimize 7 Popular Social Media Profiles for SEO” makes sure you know about the basics of social media and then gets very specific about what you can do with the SEO tools on Linkedin, Quora, Biznik, About.me, and more.

If your online presence is due for a facelift, you couldn’t pick a better place to start.

Working for Steve Jobs

Tonight I join the worldwide chorus to say, again, “Thank you, Steve.”

I joined Apple as a writer early 2000, just after the launch of iTools (later .Mac, now MobileMe, and soon to become iCloud). I left in 2006, after working on .Mac and the iTunes Music Store.

My favorite picture of Steve Jobs from May 2003, the launch of the iTunes Music Store.

I loved every day of that job, and left for reasons that had nothing to do with Apple but a lot to do with my family and my life in Seattle. (I’d been commuting from Seattle to Cupertino for one or two days every week, which wasn’t ideal.)

This story is about my last day working at Apple — or rather, the night before, which I spent at a hotel near the Apple campus. I went to bed that night feeling sad about leaving, and wondering if it were a mistake. In the early morning hours, I had this dream:

I dreamed I was at a games party, playing cards at a large table with friends from all parts of my life. The party must have been at Apple, because Steve was there, walking from group to group. He came by my table, stood behind me, and looked at my hand — leaning over me and turning the cards so he could see them.

This made me a little nervous. It wasn’t until Steve walked away that I realized that he’d somehow slipped an additional card into my hand.

I woke up from the dream and realized immediately what it meant: Apple wasn’t meant to be my whole career, but what I’d experienced there was going to help me with the rest of my work — and the rest of my life.

And so it has. Profoundly.

Tonight I join the worldwide chorus to say, again, “Thank you, Steve.”

Why you want to know about Quick Response codes

You’re seeing QR codes in more and more places these days. Here’s what these little square code boxes can do for your event or organization.

Did your last poster, flier, ad, or brochure have a QR (Quick Response) code?

If not, listen up and find out what these little square code boxes can do for your event or organization.

Let’s start with the great news: The (web-based) tools for generating QR codes are free. You can find out lots more about the do’s and don’ts of creating QR codes in this article from Search Engine Watch.

Now that we’re past that barrier — why would you want to add this extra step to your design process? Here are two of the reasons:

• QR codes are the vital link between print media and electronic information. They allow you to embed information — such as the URL of a web page — in a QR code (a 2 dimensional bar code). Anyone with a smartphone (with a free app such as Qrafter) can scan the QR code and translate it into text, a hyperlink, a phone number, an email address, etc.

• Think of all the things someone looking at your poster or ad might ask about your event that can’t be handled by the print version. What’s the hour-by-hour schedule? Are there still tickets available?

Chances are you’re seeing QR codes in more and more places these days. One of the coolest uses is business cards — instead of typing someone’s business card info into your electronic contacts program, or relying in a specialized smart scanner, you can scan a QR code that contains the contact information in vCard or meCard format.

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