No Love for Facebook

February 2, 2008 at 2:59 am (blog, blogging, Facebook, marketing, photo, photograpger, photographer, photography, photrade, pictures, social media, startup)

As a part of learning about social media and effective “Social Media Marketing” strategies we had a brief foray into Facebook.  With the huge userbase and rapid growth, this seemed like a logical choice.

What we did

I’ll be the first to admit – our initial flirtation with Facebook was rather limited.  We created a group (called Photrade) and invited a bunch of people (mostly our friends, since 1. We don’t spam and 2. We didn’t actively stalk random people and ask them to join).

Postings into the group were initially fairly active (we posted the Photo of the Day and a few other random topics), however we failed to get any real interest from group members, and subsequently abandoned the idea.

Why it Didn’t work

The objectives of the facebook group were unclear, and probably inappropriate.  The group was just “About Photrade” and was a place to discuss releases, Photo of the Day, etc.  There really was no compelling reason for users to actively participate in the group.  The main reason that I categorize the objectives of this group as “inappropriate” is that really, all of this functionality exists on the Photrade Blog (which is probably the most appropriate place for it).

Additional Potential

Admittedly there is more potential for Facebook than what we explored.  Facebook also has potential through Fliers and specific advertising tools, which is not something that we have yet explored (nor have I seen any info on the effectiveness of these advertising mechanisms).

There are also Facebook apps, which have seen an explosion in growth recently. This brings up the question – how do you create an app that is meaningful to users to break through the”app” clutter and provide meaningful benefits to users.

Finally, there is potential to create more meaningful groups based on user interest (ie. Photography groups, etc) yet again, isn’t this the kind of stuff that we should host on our own site?

Thoughts/Ideas/Tips

Anyone out there with thoughts/ideas/tips on better ways to leverage Facebook?  As a marketer with a specific social media strategy I am often asked about our Facebook strategy, and I have to say, I’m not sold. What do you think – is the group worthwhile?  Do we keep it or abandon?  I just checked and it hasn’t been updated for 6 months!

If users are interested in discussing Photrade in this type of forum should we leave it in their hands to create their own group and community and plug-in to help?

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Today = Replywhore

November 20, 2007 at 11:30 pm (blog, blogging, marketing, photo, photograpger, photographer, photography, photrade, pictures)

So I spent a few hours today searching for all of the wonderful bloggers who wrote about Photrade.com and writing comments.  Shoemoney recommended finding all of the blogs that had covered us (and using the sweet google blog search that I didn’t know about) and engaging in the conversations.

 This exercise was amazingly insightful for a number of reasons:

  1. I had the opportunity to see what people were saying about us.
  2. I had the opportunity to thank all of the bloggers who were kind enough to write about us.
  3. I was able to engage in conversations about photrade.  I found out about some customer concerns and was able to actively participate.
  4. I saw some great and interesting blogs 🙂

This was a very valuable activity.  I wrote a TON of replies, found a TON of cool blogs and learned a TON about what people think about photrade.

This photo is from Timsdd (Tims Digital Darkroom)

Tim has lots of great photos on the site – check them out. 

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I am NOT a Photographer.

October 21, 2007 at 3:23 am (beautiful, camera, flower, images, photo, photography, photrade, pictures, sun, sunset)

I AM 

I am lots of things.  Marketer, Daughter, Canadian, Female, Blond (well, dyed), Fun, 28, Single…the list could go on forever.

I AM NOT

One thing I am not is a Photographer.  Seriously.  Then I started working at Photrade.  Talking to photographers.  Sounding like an idiot.  So, I thought, I should try to take some good pictures.  Maybe I’ll feel like less of a fraud (not that I ever claimed to be a photographer).

So, out I went, with my Canon Powershot in hand – and seriously – look at the results.

This makes me believe that ANYONE can be a photographer (OK, if you are a photographer please don’t kill me for saying that).  So, my photos are now posted on Photrade and hey – someone might even buy some.  I have some empty frames that I have been DYING to fill, so I think I’ll order some prints of the flower series……

Anyways, the point (if I can say I have one other than bragging about my pictures), is that ANYONE can take really great photos.  Ah the joys of technology.  Anywho, Photrade is invite only, but I do have a few invites hangin out in my back pocket, waiting for a rainy day.  So, if you post a comment I’ll share the the love back and hook you up with an invite.  Limited # though…….

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Don’t Diss the ‘Nati

August 11, 2007 at 6:27 pm (cincinnati, concerts, Friends, images, life, photo, photography, pictures, Uncategorized)

Seriously.  Seriously?  Seriously.

Its like, 108 degrees out.  And muggy.  And hot.  Maybe this is why I’m hot.

So I live in Cincinnati Ohio.  Yes, the glamorous, bustling metropolis of Cincinnati.  I moved here from Toronto.  Yes, the glamorous, blusting metropolis of Toronto.  When my company asked me to relocate to Cincinnati my exact words were “….well, in general I hesitate to use the word never but I am pretty strongly opposed to the idea”.  Good thing I didn’t say never.

OK, so the point.  Cincinnatians, and relocated Cincinnatians are always dissin’ the ‘Nati.  Really, it isn’t thatbad.  So, the reason for the diss – it’s in the midwest, its a little dated, extremely non-urban, awful downtown development…..oh, and did I mention its in the midwest.  And 108 degrees today.  And Muggy.  And this is why I’m hot.

But seriously, there are TONS of pro’s if you are an open-minded person willing to try new things.  Tons of sports teams to play on (I now captain a flag football team and play like, 5 other sports, seriously), sports to watch (Reds and Bengals), cheap arts (opera, ballet, musicals, museums), great concerts (I’ve been to like 20 since moving here – so cheap and easy to get tickets to), fun bars (OK, not many, but enough), and its uber-cheap.  I have experienced more of the arts and gone to more concerts in my two years in Cincinnati, than in the entire time I lived in Toronto.  Crazy. Oh yeah – and I have met lots of really GRRREEEAAATTTTT people here 😉

Me and the ladies 🙂

Dressed up and chewin’ some dip at the Sweet Brooks & Dunn Concert (did I mention I don’t really even like country music??)

And the next night, dressed as “Disgruntled Youths” for the Fall Out Boy Concert.

Maybe I just don’t like to be negative (doubtful), but I really don’t think that Cincinnati is that bad.  Being open to new experiences and trying new things has made Cincinnati a great place for me.  Seriously.  Try it.  Wherever you live, find one new thing to do every week.  You’ll discover so much about yourself and the city you live in.  And don’t be afraid to go places alone.  Its scary at first, but very empowering.

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Your “Online Self”

July 28, 2007 at 8:45 pm (blogging, Friends, fun, images, photo, photography, pictures, Uncategorized)

Top of mind today is the whole notion of your “online self” or what information/pictures/data about yourself you allow online.

For me, this is a particularly difficult question.  I like to go out and have fun with my friends, and my friends and I all post our photos online.  These are photos of me, in my free time, having fun (and possibly getting a little out of hand) with my friends.

Now, since these photos are on the internet, they could theoretically end up anywhere. Hmmmm.  Scary thought.  Does it matter?  Well – maybe.  So, I thought I would search for myself and see what came up.  What could someone find if they looked me up?

Test 1 – Googling myself.  Wwwwweeeeehhhhh.  The only things that came up were some organizations I was involved in in college, a photo taken by a local newspaper at an event, and my involvement in photrade.  So, I safely passed the google search.  Awesome.  Passed test 1.

Test 2 – Social Networking –  (which will definitely have worse results) my myspace and facebook accounts.  On facebook I’m pretty safe, since I can control who has access to view my page, although there are some interesting photos where I have been tagged by others.  Myspace results…..hhhmmmmm……not so great.  My myspace page is primarily where I connect with my friends and there are a number of photos that are maybe not overly appropriate (and involve alcohal and low cut shirts), but would just show that I like to go out and have a good time with my friends 🙂  Hmmmm this is a half pass.

Test 3 – Triangulation.  So throught triangulation – between my blogs, social networks and other affiliations, people could probably 1) figure out who I am, and 2) view photos on multiple sites posted by me.  Not so good.  My photrade pics (which anyone can see through this link) vary in content, and I have actually had a few people comment on some of them (YIKES).  My NAME isn’t associated with these, but I think that people could probably triangulate to who I really am through this.  This test is probably failed. 

OK, so I kind of failed – in that there are photos (taken in good fun with friends) that could give people a less than favorable impression of me.

The next question is – does it matter?  Should I care?  So what if people can see pictures with me out having a good time and consuming adult beverages with my friends?  Who is going to look at this stuff and judge me?  Potential future employers?  Business Schools (if I ever want to apply)?  My family?  My coworkers? 

I think that a fact of life is that people will judge you based on anything they know about you.  Should I care?  Does it matter than strangers might judge me based on some random photo they find of me?  Probably not.  But the reality is that I probably need to care.  Not because I think that it is right for people to care or judge me based on these things, but because they inevitably will. 

Also I work for, (and therefore feel that I personally represent) a company.  Should they care?  Is it unprofessional?  I am professional in my work and my work relations, I produce strong results and conduct myself appropriately and professionally in the office and at work functions.  Why should what I do on my free time matter.

Hmmmm – I think that I need to go and set some of my photos to private (a great photrade feature lets you do this).I’d love to know what people think about this topic……..

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Homeward Bound – (Soon I hope)!

July 25, 2007 at 3:38 pm (Friends, fun, images, photo, photography, Uncategorized)

I haven’t been home since Christmas.  Its amazing how easy it can be to get caught up with life and all of a sudden, 7 months later I still haven’t made it home.  It always seems like a bad time to go (uber-lame excuse).  So, since its been so long, I have to admit, I’m feeling a little homesick.  What does that even mean? 

 According to Urban Dictionary – Homesick -Acutely longing for one’s family or home.  Interesting.  I will actually be returning in a few weeks for the “August Long Weekend” – A Canadian holiday, just a random excuse for a long weekend in August.

So, in honor of my feelings for the day, I wanted to share some pictures of Toronto…… I love Toronto – seriously, one of the greatest cities EVER.  I hope that you enjoy my photographs!

Photo of the CN Tower – (Americans often refer to this as “the giant needle thing”) – one of the great landmarks in Toronto.  I used to see this every day on my walk to work, from my apartment window and rooftop deck…..ahhhh…..the memories.

So apparenlty I have very few photos from Toronto on my computer.  I’ll have to take more when I’m home.  Stay posted in eary August for photographs of Toronto – then you’ll really understand why I love Toronto 🙂

Photo from when my Friends came to visit in May – I think it held my homesickness at bay for a little bit.  But now it seems so long ago.

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