Cup of Joe: Come On Seriously, Are You Actually Making Money?

nullPeople on the internet like to talk a lot. And if you are in business or marketing you probably like talking about making money. I love talking about new entrepreneur ideas and what works and what doesn’t. But do you know what I have grown to hate?

Bullshit, that’s what.

You can call me a cynic if you like, but to me it seems like a lot of marketing bloggers or so called entrepreneurs on the internet spend more time spewing complete BS than actually making money. Chris Brogan has a new approach to this BS parade. He explains it like this on Google+:

I’ve started asking people with arrogant perspectives to demonstrate what they have done when arguing a point.

Inspiration Alley: Miracle-Gro Meets FarmVille

Miracle-Gro is the latest brand to add their logo to Zynga’s FarmVille and it’s probably the most natural tie-in we’ve ever seen (McDonalds?!?).

When you visit the Miracle-Gro farm, you’re prompted to visit their Facebook page. That action delivers a free, branded tomato plant and a bottle of Miracle-Gro Insta-Gro. It also makes you eligible for discounts and real-world rewards.

According to Zynga, 8 out of 10 FarmVille players enjoy actual gardening. Like the kind you do outdoors with real dirt and seeds. A very interesting stat and it makes me wonder about the people who enjoy games like Grand Theft Auto or Mafia Wars. But that’s another story.

Google’s Consumer Surveys Create Paywall Alternative

We have seen enough around the web about this innovative way of creating a “paywall” that is not really a paywall for publishers premium content. What’s that you say? A paywall that’s not a paywall.

It’s actually a viewing “speed bump” if you will. Google Surveys allow companies to gather market research as publishers require visitors to premium content areas to answer survey questions to get to the content. In theory it sounds at least interesting especially for publishers looking to create revenue streams without taxing their readers. The cost falls on the survey data collector who pays Google who then pays the publisher for each completed survey.

Here’s the video from Google’s Small Business blog.

The post explains further

Is Facebook Getting Serious About Search?

Facebook v. Google is no longer a David v. Goliath story. In fact, it is far from it except in one area: search. Search has been and is likely to continue to be the domain of Google. In fact, if Google is to truly survive it has to keep its position as the search king since many of their other efforts either fall flat or just kind of exist without truly impacting the market.

So if you are Facebook where could you grow and tap into a proven ad model like keyword driven PPC? Search of course. The rumor is that they know this and are moving forward to develop the idea. They are even using former Googlers to do it. Bloomberg’s Businessweek reports

Xbox Proves the Power of the Multi-Function Machine

Xbox has reached a milestone that speaks volumes about how we process digital entertainment. They reached the point where people spend more time watching video or listening to music on their Xbox than actually playing games.

The LA Times says that households now spend an average of 84 hours a month on the Xbox Live online service. Of that time, a little over half is devoted to entertainment options other than games. They say the average household spends 150 hours a month watching television so Xbox still has ground to cover but the strides they’ve made are huge.

Execs say that being an all-in-one entertainment portal was always the end goal. Now,  technology advances and Hollywood’s new found interest in digital presentation has helped them make it so.

LinkedIn Up, Twitter Down for Small Business Owners

How do you promote your business?

79% of small business owners told AT&T they rely on word-of-mouth. 63% said they use a company website and only 39% said they used social media.

The numbers come from the new 2012 AT&T* Small Business Technology Poll. Overall, the poll shows that small business owners are slowly moving into social media and mobile marketing. But mobile is becoming a big part of how they run their business.

Social

None of the social media networks saw a big rise in usage, but LinkedIn still came out on top going from 25% in 2010 to 31% in 2011. Facebook usage was at 44% up from 41% the prior year.

The losers? Twitter was at 19% usage to start and dropped to 18% in 2011. Location-based networks like Foursquare came in at only 9%.

77% of Consumers & 82% of Employees Trust a Tweeting CEO

A new study from BRANDfog (via eMarketer) might explain why employees are up in arms over (inflated?) reports that hiring managers are asking for Facebook credentials.

It seems that it could boil down to a complete lack of trust in any company executive that doesn’t “get” social media. According to employees surveyed, 82% of them have more trust in a CEO that engages in social media.

That would suggest that an open, transparent CEO–one who is not afraid to be in the trenches–lifts employee moral and also the bottom line:

The majority of BRANDfog survey respondents (77%) are more likely or much more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media to clearly define company values and leadership principles. And 94% said C-suite social media participation enhances a brand image.