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Archive for March, 2009

The Google Tax







magglasseye 300x251 The Google Tax
The FREE Internet!  Like FREE Tibet, it’s been a battle cry as well as the subject of a decade of discussion as competing forces promote the polar opposite concepts of a global free and open exchange of information vs. how to monetize the web.

As dazzled as any of us have been by the immense power of Google and its core service — search we are about to pay an ever increasing price.

I call it the Google Tax.

If your business has become dependent on being found on the Internet, paid search (PPC/Adwords) have become the price of admission.   However, paid search is not an area where you can expect dramatic increases in results.  In fact, you end up in a pool with all your direct competitors bidding up the price of a known set of key search words.  Your search terms, once refined, can only be tweaked at best.  Your PPC prices will only go up, thanks to you and your top five competitors.  Welcome to being at the mercy of Google’s (and others’) pricing structure.  They have no incentive to help you spend less.

I say all this to lead into a discussion of The Social Media channels which we are finding can provide dramatic increases in overall exposure and efficiency of your organic search.  There is equity value in organic search as it does not shut itself off and go away like a PPC campaign does when your daily budget is reached!

In addition, the Social Media channels offer you two-way brand discussions, the ability to form relationships, as well as have third parties speak on your behalf.

Right now my partners are I are on a mission.  We want to give all our Google using friends a TAX CUT and a path to search results that are dramatic, not just incremental.

What has been your experience in the Social Media space?  We’d love to hear from you, so leave us a comment.



Twitter Updates for 2009-03-19

  • Tonite I’m about to bask in the brilliance of a NEXTGEN leader in non-profit fundraising. Bet I learn something. http://tinyurl.com/d7qdvx #
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Twitter Updates for 2009-03-16

  • “Hope is not a strategy” sums up some very good advice from three top names in the development biz. Read more @ http://tinyurl.com/5qjm82 #
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St Patty’s Week

Enjoyed a pint at the Owl and Thistle (pre St. Patty’s Day) with our Fusionhappens’ friend Teresa Kenney. She’s one of the sharpest journalists in the market and a frequent collaborator.  We agreed that there is a swell of activity in the Social Media arena that can be good communications channel for saavy new home markets.  We are also amazed by some of the people from our pasts who have found each of us on Facebook.

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In The Market for a New Dog?

surfingdog In The Market for a New Dog?

Need a friend, buy a dog.

Bruce, Diana, Carleigh and I are in another session today with another of our Social Media team members. We love these brainstorming sessions as Fusionhappens continues to focus our attention on turning the Social Media and online social networking phenomenon into leads and sales for our friends who sell new homes.  We have to put out a word of caution.  Social Media does not mean simply adding a Facebook page.  The real poetry (and sensational results) come from true integrations of your entire use of the Internet across all available channels.

Integration of Internet efforts, including your natural search, pay-per-click, social media sites and blogging —if you’re brave enough— work together to increase tangible and measurable results.  What is is worth to boost traffic to your main web site?  How much can you reduce your pay-per-click costs by integrating the social media channel?

If you’re curious about hard-core marketing results, maybe we should chat.

And before you add that Facebook page, remember, if you just want a friend, buy a dog.

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Here’s a Must Read!

groundswell2 Heres a Must Read!We’ve been sending copies of Groundswell to our clients now for about two months. What’s been happening in the new home industry is a large burst of interest in what people are calling “Social Media” or “Networking” sites. Groundswell is such a good starting point for discussions around this topic because Groundswell provides an overview of a change of behavior among the general public from a management perspective. This is not a hands-on tutorial, or a “how to”, or even “Social Media for Morons” title. This book gives us all a quick fly-over of the whole scene from blogging to Twitter to Facebook to Flickr with a good look from a business point of view at why you should care, when you should get involved, and how to allocate your resources to make things happen. The part I like best are the short case histories of real companies facing the questions you and I face every day. Like what do I tell my clients to do with all those Facebook friends?  We have found that reading this book with our clients gives us a common ground from which to move forward.  Right now were starting some exciting new projects (of modest means) using what we call the Core Four of Social Media— Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn and Twitter. We’ll keep you posted on the results.

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Another Nice Friday Chat

Bruce, Diana and I just had a great time with Dave Porter formerly the Countrywide maven in these parts. He’s on to some very exciting new ventures and we wish him the most success. His passion for Green in all aspects of the New Home industry from lending, to sales, to construction is inspiring. We remember when Dave worked with us on the Puget Sound Energy Built Green Idea Home at Issaquah Highlands. Back then, green was just another color. —Al

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Seattle in Forbes “Top 10 Home Markets”

David Letterman has hooked us all on “Top 10″ lists! (By the way, did you see Bono U-2 all this week on Letterman?). Recently Forbes published their Top 10s for ‘best’ and ‘worst’ housing markets in the US.

New York City was #1 for best market with values holding strong!

Seattle squeaked in at #10.

Forbes’ source was the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, released Feb. 24, 2009. with the rate of home price increase or decrease was calculated by examining data covering the time period between November 2008 and December 2008 for month-to-month results, and December 2007 to December 2008 for year-over-year results.

I won’t repeat the entire list here, you can catch it on Forbes web site:http://tinyurl.com/cujnjl.

I will, of course, tell you who was # 1 in “Worst Housing Markets”. It was Las Vegas with a nearly 33% drop in prices. Is this the same city where they say “the house always wins!”

But, maybe not the “home”?

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