Archive for April, 2009

Apr 23

Posted by emily

Posted in Clients

Client News: Pogoplug named PC Mag's Editors' Choice

With their first wave of reviews out of the gate, Pogoplug has been getting some great attention from the press. Today, we got word that PC Mag not only wrote up a review of Pogoplug, but gave them their Editors’ Choice Award.  Congratulations Pogoplug for a job well done!  You can check out the whole article here or here’s our favorite part:

The Pogoplug makes setup a breeze, and using the device couldn’t be easier. Beyond that, the open API may well result in useful functionality extensions. This clever unit is well worth its $99 price tag (though I suspect that considerably more units of it would be sold if CloudEngines can get the price down a bit). The Pogoplug is a great start for CloudEngine, and it’s worthy of our Editors’ Choice award.”

-Mario Morejon, PC Magazine
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Apr 17

Posted by andrew

Posted in Marketing, Social Media, Stage Two

Squeezing the "juice" out of Twitter

Every PR person/NMD will tell you that should be taking part in the ‘conversation’, but as Mark Redgrave points out, the first ingredient to taking part in this conversation is listening. No service has more ears positioned against its doors than Twitter, our 140 character friend. The character limit makes it easy for consumers to spout off succinct complaints, praises, and questions (or status updates about lunch, changes in weather, and most recently tax hatred). The length also makes it easy for companies like @NYTimes, @comcast, and @biritemkt to listen to what customers are saying. Below you’ll find some advice about monitoring Twitter along with two tools we use to keep track of Stage Two clients like @boxee, @BugLabs, @Splashtop, @LegacyLocker, @Pogoplug, and @12seconds.

Searches

The first element of monitoring Twitter (and using the tools below) is constructing the right kinds of searches. The most obvious is just searching for the company name, but even that can be problematic. As an example, Bug Labs twitter search is ‘“bug labs” OR buglabs‘ (similar issue for Legacy Locker). On the other hand, boxee’s service includes the option to automatically tweet based on usage, so our search changes to “boxee -watching -likes -recommends“. Building effective searches can be quite a challenge, and you might even want to make specific ones regarding positive/negative feedback (for example, if you were in charge of monitoring conversations about Sony, I would set up this search).

Beware the mob…

One other tip on Twitter issues we’d like to share: beware the mob. Due to the rapid-fire nature of Twitter communication, there’s a certain degree of FIRE, AIM, FIRE, FIRE, AIM, READY? If something starts going wrong (ahem, Domino’s… Amazon…), it tends to go very wrong. How you react in these moments can either pour gasoline on the fire, or put it out completely. Like everything, there’s no specific “do this” or “don’t do that” when it comes to disaster control. But you need to be ready for when it happens and be ready to move quickly, before it has the chance to escalate wildly beyond control.

Tools

Tweetdeck LogoRather than spend all day at the Twitter Search web page, we use tools to passively monitor tweets in realtime. The tool we use most is Tweetdeck. Its columned layout lets you monitor a twitter account (including direct messages and replies), 12seconds videos, and multiple twitter searches on the same screen. Tweetdeck can also send tweets and record 12seconds videos.

I currently have a twitter search set up for each client, along with my twitter account (@academik), 12seconds account, and Facebook status updates (outside the realm of client monitoring, but worth mentioning). From the same interface I’m able to see everything that’s being said to me and about my clients, quickly answer questions and reply to complaints. It’s the swiss army knife of Twitter. My only complaint is that I can’t monitor two Twitter accounts (@academik and @s2) at the same time, but that’s also the number one request on Tweetdeck’s User voice page so I’m hopeful it’s in the works.

Sideline LogoWhen we need more robust search functionality we use Yahoo’s Sideline application. Advanced search options allow you to monitor tweets with “all of these words”, “this exact phrase”, “any of these words”, or from a specific person, to a specific person (tweet starts off with @name), or about someone (tweet mentions @name). You can combine these searches into one twitter stream and monitor it in Sideline or separate your searches into different tabs. I prefer Tweetdeck’s columned approach so I can see it all at once without having to switch between tabs, but for a single product Sideline’s search depth makes it a valuable complement to Tweetdeck.

Regardless of how and what you’re tracking, remember that while Twitter is now almost ‘mainstream’ (@Oprah!), your main focus should still be on the things that add value for your customer, of which Twitter plays only a small part (and despite media hype, is unlikely in our opinion to ever truly be used by the masses). A great customer experience starts with setting a consumer’s expectations, delivering a product that exceeds those expectations, and finally making sure their interactions with you over the phone, via email, in chat, in person, and lastly, yes via Twitter, fulfill their needs in a way that makes them an evangelist for you.

Apr 14

Posted by admin

Posted in Marketing

And Another Test

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Apr 09

Posted by David

Posted in Clients, Marketing

Client News: 12seconds launches a business model… hallelujah, cash at last

Our dear friends at 12seconds have decided that being Capitalists is not a necessary evil, and that making money is a good thing after all.  Hooray for making money.  But they haven’t sold out – oh no, far from it.  They’ve decided to bring in sponsors to pay for twelve second, tweetable commercials, newly dubbed: 12omercials.  These sponsored challenges will provide a huge level of engagement for big box brands with 12seconds users, and give them strong reach into Twitter’s user base as well (most 12ers link their 12seconds account to their Twitter accounts.)  LG is the first paying sponsor, and Xobni will be the second.   This is a big step forward for a small startup with no venture capital and (up till now) no business model.  We sincerely wish them great success – we agree that it could be a really positive win for everyone involved, including the users, the brands and 12seconds itself.

You can read all about the details on the 12seconds blog.   As usual we chose not to issue a press release, and instead announce the news via the blog.  While there is great value in press releases and we issue them on behalf of our clients on a weekly basis, there are certainly times when a well crafted, properly promoted blog post can provide ample attention. This is one of those times.

Happily, you can also read about it in the press. A number of great publications decided to cover the news, a running list is down below.  We will update the press coverage throughout the day.

Apr 07

Posted by David

Posted in Marketing, Outreach

Update: Legacy Locker is open for business

Some exciting news this morning from Legacy Locker.  As of 8AM PST, the service is open for business and ready for use.  As we noted last month, Stage Two’s own Jeremy Toeman and Adam Burg are the founders of Legacy Locker, a company incubated in-house here at our San Francisco office, and built and managed by a skilled external team. Last month we announced the company to modest (OK awesome) fanfare, and today anyone and everyone is welcome to visit the site and sign up for the service.

Legacy Locker Digital Assets PageAs a reminder, Legacy Locker is designed to help transition your online accounts (your digital assets) in the event of your passing.  The service ensures that access to all the sites and services you use online (email, social networks, and other websites) are safely and securely passed on to your designated beneficiaries.

The press release is now live, and we will update the coverage list throughout the day.

Apr 06

Posted by emily

Posted in Clients

Client News: Long Awaited Pogoplugs Have Shipped

Since their award-winning launch at CES, thousands of people have been dying to get their hands on a Pogoplug, a small device that allows you to access your external hard drive from anywhere.

Today, we’re happy to announce that Pogoplug is shipping and all pre-orders will ship by this time next week.  Pogoplug is a small device that allows you to access your hard drive through the web, with setup so simple it’s easily quicker than warming up a microwave dinner.  Since CES, they’ve developed new features, better sharing and included RSS feeds in their updated software, so we’re excited to see the response from the first wave of proud Pogoplug owners.

The first few reviews have also popped up on the web – you can check out their thoughts here:

-USA Today

-Gizmodo

-CNET

-CrunchGear

-Engadget

-Popular Science

-Geek.com

-LifeHacker

-Gadgetell