WMUR 9 Tech Talk Transcript From February 22, 2012

  • Great questions this morning! And thanks to Leslie Poston for answering them. You can learn more about where to find Leslie on the right side of this page.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 8:01 AM
  • I’d suggest having her host her own blog where she can take photos of her art and blog about it, then either link that to a store like Etsy or use PayPal, Dwolla or Square to sell her items herself from her own site with pay buttons, etc. Put a Pin This button on that site so folks can share her items on Pinterest, as well as other social share buttons. You can also use sites like Shopify to create an e-commerce blog (Shopify has some great Facebook plugins to bring your store onto Facebook, by the way). There are hundreds of options out there but keeping it simple and low cost is always a good plan for people who make things or sell their art. SmugMug and Fotki and sites like that are also an option, but you tend not to have as much control over how much you make on sites like that.
    by Leslie Poston 8:00 AM
  • I have a friend who is a very talented artist, which she does as a hobby. She drew a pencil drawing of my dogs in a portrait as a gift. I am trying to get her to set up a web based business to begin making money off her passion of her art. What sites do you suggest for her to do this? I know about Etsy. Any other great ideas?
    by Stephanie 7:55 AM
  • In the past you could use straight up old-school SEO tactics like meta tags and keywords and reciprocal links coupled with content written a specific way to handle this issue, but in the age of social, this has gotten more complex.Now you need to not only write with keywords in mind, but also create good, interesting content worth sharing on a regular basis (having a blog is great for this purpose).You also need to make it easy for people to share your content or site by placing share buttons around the site or blog that make it easy for folks to talk about you everywhere.Having social accounts for your business in places search engines look is also key now – post your blog posts to your LinkedIn company page. Link them on your Facebook company page (don’t use it to blog, though – Facebook owns anything you store there). Link them on your Twitter page and put your video blogs on Youtube – all of this will help you pop up more in search.

    As you get more and more people talking about you, and post regular content that is good and useful in your subject matter field, you’ll see your results improve.

    If you are a brick and mortar business, also claim your Google Place and your Plus page in addition to creating channels for your business on sites like Yelp and Foursquare. People online who are in your area will be more likely to see active businesses that are close to them first. If their social graph (friends, family and coworkers) are talking about your business, then that result is more and more likely to be you.

    by Leslie Poston 7:55 AM
  • How can I come up first in Google when someone searches for my business?
    by username 7:50 AM
  • There are a lot of great options out there for blogging. I personally recommend WordPress. If you can, host it yourself and get WordPress from wordpress.org. If you can’t – start off on wordpress.com and they host it for you. It is very versatile.Tumblr is very popular right now, as well, but WordPress does a bit more for business I think – Tumblr is more for individuals who want to share content from others or shorter thoughts on things. Tumblr is great for photobloggers – it makes it easy.There are a lot of options out there – even Blogger, a fairly old school one – still works well as a blogging platform.You can also audio or video blog using Cinch, Talkshoe, Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler, Qik and more (and all of these an be embedded into WordPress posts – another reason I like WordPress – it lets you do a variety of things).

    by Leslie Poston 7:44 AM
  • if i want to start blogging, what’s the best free site to use?
    by brian 7:38 AM
  • Technology and social media in education is a huge topic right now. I write about it a lot (most recently: magnitudemedia.net/2011/12/sea-change-in-knowledge-and-education/).There are some great educators in NH doing wonderful things with technology who are very accessible: John Herman (@johnherman on Twitter) and Hans Mundahl (@hmundahl) come to mind right away as people you should talk to in your field.I think emerging media will bring education out of the institutional model it is in now and make education something accessible and understandable to each person. I think teachers will become guides and sherpas of knowledge as we (eventually) move away from teaching to tests. I think we are armed with the knowledge and the technology to make fundamental changes to our educational system that can make us a better society overall.I like seeing things like iPads in the classroom (in fact, Hans is doing a seminar on that at New Hampton School soon – ask him about it) and think that is a great first step, but also have to remember that not all kids have access to tech at home. We have a lot of bridges to cross and gaps to close economically and with access before we can effect real change.

    Meanwhile, iPads and other tech in class enhances learning and brings the world to your students’ doorstep in school. I think that can only be a good thing.

    by Leslie Poston 7:36 AM
  • Where do you see technology going in education? I already have been blessed to get a grant for 4 ipads for my reading classroom. The motivational component alone, really engages students and meets them where they are in technology. Do you see the future of online learning as just another creative alternative to educating our youth? It seems to me that we are moving in that direction if only as another alternative to traditional education in schools.
    by mskdog 7:31 AM
  • That’s a great question. One red flag are companies selling you a “system” for social media, or social automation. There are legitimate services out there, like Dan Martell’s Timely.Is, that allow you to pepper your social feeds with links you find interesting or things you discover to help you not have empty feeds while traveling, etc. but you can not have successful social media with automation – you have to have a human element.Another red flag are companies that promise you exorbitant numbers in a short time period. Of course it is always possible to purchase fans and followers or to join a circle of reciprocal followers, but these are empty numbers. You want steady growth from people who will engage with you and your brand, not vast numbers of bots who only a) expect you to reshare their marketing links or b) never talk to or about you at all.The SEO red flags are big ones also. If a company offers SEO as a specific service – check their numbers before you hire them. Make sure they are using no black hat SEO tactics.Check a company’s social numbers as well. Are they following 2000 people but have less following them back? Do they have 200 Facebook fans but no comments or engagement on their wall? Do they rely on empty scores based on noise like Klout that don’t tell you anything useful except that they willingly spam their followers for shiny prizes? Do you attend their talks and only get 101 information, every time, or old information? Do they have recommendations for their work? Do they give them to you to check out? Do they hop on any bandwagon to milk it for all its worth so they can be a “thought leader” (most recent of these: writing a million blog posts about how to monetize Pinterest, also recently Google Plus)?

    There are so many red flags you can look for that don’t fit here, but in the end – do due diligence. Don’t buy a bill of goods. Educate folks in your community what to look for and what these things mean.

    by Leslie Poston 7:29 AM
  • Hi Leslie! How do we help small businesses spot questionable social media/online business scams? Im seeing more and more multi-level/relationship marketing/ Amway style things that are more about the “downline” than the actual product, which often is ineffective anyway.
    by Whitney 7:21 AM
  • I’d recommend using Pinterest in a more organic way. People are trending toward blocking business that just use it for sales or marketers that just use it to market. Pinterest is a group about what’s interesting, and the users there can (and do) unfollow boards that are just there to market.That said, if you have decided to make it part of your strategy, a better way is to add a “Pin This” button to your site and then be interesting and post great visual images as part of your content – make sure you have the image rights.To find local pinners and things that are interesting on Pinterest, do a site-specific Google search on Google.com.
    First turn off Google’s Your World search by clicking the World icon in the search window (this broadens your search past “who you know”) and turn off the +1 search results in your search preferences.
    Then go back to Google.com and type “site:pinterest.com Portsmouth, NH” or “Site:pinterest.com 03801” etc (without the quotes) to look for Pinterest users sharing locally.Most importantly, have fun with it. That element of play and discovery is why people use Pinterest. The shopping is part of it – people tend to pin what they want to buy – but overall, they are telling you what they find interesting. Use it to learn, then be interesting on your blog so they share your stuff.

    by Leslie Poston 7:19 AM
  • Pinterest is all the rage lately. I’m planning to start my small business page on Pinterest today. I’ve figured out how to get the best SEO out of Pinterest, but am having a really hard time finding other Portsmouth NH businesses out there. The search tool really needs to be upgraded. Do you have any hints or recommendations?
    by Renee Vannata 7:13 AM
  • It sounds like you may need to add a password to your computer itself so that when you walk away from it people in the room can’t access it via windows you have open. Add it to the screen saver so that the screen saver starts right away when the computer is idle – no more unwanted log ins from people in the room.If the problem is coming from the computer, I’d be careful to check what applications you have allowed access to your Facebook account. Some of them are spam, and should be disabled as well as changing your password.It also sounds like you may have accidentally clicked a phishing link in the past. You might want to do a virus scan to make sure it didn’t leave anything behind, since changing your password regularly usually does the trick.Also, you can generate more complex, random passwords using a service like 1Password – that will help make passwords that are harder for people and computers to guess.

    Lastly, never use “God”, “password”, “1234” or similar passwords. If you can’t use a service to generate a password, try using 4 random words strung together that have nothing to do with each other but that you can remember (thinkhorseoceanpurple for example) or mixing it up with symbols and numbers in your password. Your password should always be more than 6 letters long.

    by Leslie Poston 7:12 AM
  • From Kendra on Facebook: How can I stop people from getting into my email accounts, or Facebook? Everytime I change my password, they figure it out and look at my personal information. I know who these “people” are. They are relentless and always trying to get into my private stuff.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 7:05 AM
  • I’d recommend doing a few things:1) Use LinkedIn to build an online resume and to connect with people who will be able to recommend you from your past work and education, connect with people you need to know to work in your field. Participate in groups there to showcase your knowledge and reach new connections. Don’t cross post from Twitter there.2) Use Twitter to find new people you know already and to alert those you do that you are looking, to ask for help in your search.3) Blog! Tumblr is popular right now, but I prefer WordPress blogs you host yourself – use your blog to show that you know your stuff. Use it to go more in depth on topics than you can on LinkedIn and Twitter. Link the blog to LinkedIn and Twitter

    4) Use social searches on all channels to find jobs being posted there by keyword. Keyword #job is popular, also #workwednesday and #hirefriday

    That’s just a few things you can start doing right now. You can also use it to check out possible new employers before you start work or interview to make sure it’s where you want to work (and remember, they can do the same back in most sites.)

    by Leslie Poston 7:04 AM
  • How can someone who is unemployed use social media to find a job?
    by dave 6:58 AM
  • Good morning! You can start asking your questions for Leslie Poston.
    by Kevin Clay/WMUR Staff 6:56 AM

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