Archives for November 2011

PROskore – Businesses for Businesses

PROskore kicked things off in early October 2011 and ranks professionals worldwide. PROskore is a spin-off from former online business network Fast Pitch, which was launched in 2006. I heard about it after my friend Anise Smith had posted it on Facebook. It takes about 20 minutes to input your information and connect to all your networks. The networks include: Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Google +, and yes Klout. You can also link your blog. From what I’ve read there are many comparisons to Klout because PROskore, as the name indicates, does indeed give you a score. I think the score is the only similarity with Klout.

PROskore is about what you provide as a business, and what you need as a business. I work for an organization that provides IT Networking / Security, so when another user is looking for IT Networking / Security I’m alerted via a Leads box. It is up to me to contact them through a message via this process. One of the services “I am Looking for” is Web Design. So after I registered I received a handful of messages from other PROskore members that provide Web Design services. That is the crux of PROskore. You can see the value if you are providing or looking for services.

So I love the concept, and can identify the value. It’s just too quiet right now. The Sarasota, Fl based company has said there are over 125K users. My guess is a decent chunk of these users are dormant Fast Pitch participants. I’d be interested to see the active users (logged in last 7 days). The only other thing I would suggest is improving the search. It is clunky at best. Finding someone in another geographic location is not seamless.

I think PROskore has a lot of potential and would highly suggest taking 20 minutes to register if you provide or are looking for business services/products. PROskore is free, but does offer a $19.95 monthly PRO+ subscription. I went for the paid account last week and it better positions you to obtain leads, increases your score (by 8 for me), and improves your SEO (we’ll see). PROskore has received plenty of very favorable press in the last 7 weeks, including positive articles from Mashable and TechCruch. A list of these articles can be found here – PROskore Articles Keep in mind they’ve been PROskore for only 7 weeks. They appear to be doing all the right things to get the word out, and seem very interested in adding to the platform and really making it solid.

Loopfuse – Web Analytics and much more

So when I made the decision to launch this site, I searched for an affordable Web Analytics service. While I’m set up with Google Analytics, and it does provide beneficial data, I was looking for something a bit more robust. A friend had told me about Loopfuse that he was using for his business site. So I set it up for this site. The free version includes 25K pageviews, more than enough for me at this time.

The Four Core offerings are: Website Tracking, Lead Capturing, Email Marketing, and Salesforce Integration

Let’s spend some time talking about the Website activity which is called “Visiting Companies” – You’ll see it shows the the ISP or Direct Company name, the country of the visitor, what pages were visited, and how long they stayed on the site. All valuable information.

You can go deeper and see where the visitor originated. What was the search keywords they used or if they went in directly. While I haven’t set it up, this information can moved to Salesforce easily creating a solid lead database.

Loopfuse also includes:
E-mail Marketing platform which shows detailed opens, clicked links, Bounces, and Opt-Outs

Lead Capture Forms which you add to your website page with real-time information on captured Prospects and Lead Capture behavior.

Detailed automated .CSV and HTML reporting

If you’re looking for a great Web Analytics and Marketing System Loopfuse is the answer…

Facebook – Are your Kids ready?

Are your children ready for Social Media? While there are a ton of networks out there today, in all likelihood they would start with Facebook. That is still the cool place. So right from the Facebook, you must be 13 in order to sign up. Is that too young? Is that acceptable? As with most decisions as a parent, this should be specific to your own child. The table below shows the number of U.S. Users as of 2011 in 13-17 age category. Over 14 Million.

Some areas to think about and discuss with your child…

Privacy: You can leave it at the door. The moment your child signs up to any Social Network they are exposed. They’ve entered a new arena. Don’t ask Facebook or any network to be their keeper. Don’t be surprised if there information shows up elsewhere on the net. It’s just the nature of the beast no matter what your security setting. For most there will never be an issue, but if you’re highly sensitive to privacy, Social Media probably isn’t the best place for your kids.

46% of kids have given out personal information to someone they’ve met online
34% of kids have friends online they’ve never met in person

Cyberbullying: Bullying has reached new levels since I was kid. We’ve all heard of the tragedies over the last few years. One reminder is the story of Phoebe Prince. While this is an extreme case, cyberbullying is very real. It’s another potential pitfall of being online.

32% of all teens on the Internet say they have been a victim of cyberbullying

Social Media Positives: Undoubtedly you’ve heard or will hear, “but Mom and Dad all my friends are on it.” Social Media should be a fun and enjoyable experience. For most teenagers it has become another important form of communication. Some recent research uncovered some other positives.

Young adults who spend more time on Facebook are better at showing “virtual empathy” to their online friends.

Online social networking can help introverted adolescents learn how to socialize behind the safety of various screens, ranging from a two-inch smartphone to a 17-inch laptop.

Social networking can provide tools for teaching in compelling ways that engage young students.

As with most topics with our children communication is paramount. Keep this in the forefront, and your kids experience should be safe.

Demographic Source: facebook.com
Percentage Source: Family Online Safety Institute
Research Source : American Psychological Association