Monday, November 23, 2009

How does the Internet see you? Mapping your digital history

Ever "Google yourself?" Aaron Zinman of MIT created a tool that analyzes all of the content surrounding your full name on the Internet and then tells you what "personas" you fit into. He makes the point on his site that "Digital histories are as important, if not more important, than oral histories." Wow, that's a pretty bold statement, but one that I'm starting to agree with more and more over time.

If you're not familiar with the concept of "personas" in marketing and user experience, here's a definition from Wikipedia:
Personas are fictional characters created to represent the different user types within a targeted demographic that might use a site or product. Personas are useful in considering the goals, desires, and limitations of the users in order to help to guide decisions about a product, such as features, interactions, and visual design.
Here's my persona profile generated by the tool. I have to say I agree mostly with the assessment.

You can get a lot more information on the MIT Personas Project here.

I imagine this tool works best on unique names, like mine. I think there's an Erin Eschen in Florida, but this one picked up on my content primarily. If your name is "John Smith," you're probably not going to get anything out of it. Additionally, if you're not one to put much out there publicly online, it isn't likely to give you much back.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Online and Social Media Marketing:A primer for Certified Public Accountants

I spoke at a CPA breakfast yesterday and wanted to share with you my slides. I recommended SEO and trying out Twitter, which would be my recommendation to all small businesses or independent professionals.

The focus of this presentation centered around three areas:
  1. Search engines >> index Web sites
  2. Local search directories >> index business listings
  3. Social media sites >> index conversations

Friday, November 6, 2009

Asked to present social media strategies at CPA Speaker Series in St. Louis next week

I received a call today from St. Louis Community College. They've asked me to present at a private breakfast for accountants in St. Louis. It's next Thursday.

I'll be presenting on how to leverage social media to grow your business as an independent professional-- a sort of "What is Twitter" or "How do I get a website?" type of presentation about the basics, but I want to make sure it provides real value, as this is a professional community in St. Louis for which I have a lot of respect and admiration. It will be tough to skim it down to 1 hour and accomplish that goal, but I certainly will try. I really enjoy speaking and educating about online marketing any chance I get.

From the info they sent me:
This series of breakfast lectures is designed to assist CPAs who are in private practice as well as those in corporate staff positions. The lectures will help CPAs achieve their required Continuing Professional (CPE) units. The topics will be relative to the interest and needs of CPAs and will be "taught by recognized experts."

-- Posted from my iPhone
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