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Showing posts from June, 2011

Generic Top Level Domains: Three Reasons Why the New Rules Will Not Excite Marketers

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Today's announcement that the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will change the rules for Top Level Domains in 2012 might be good news for people who want to use other languages and scripts, but is it also good news for communication, marketing and branding people? I am not convinced and here are three reasons why:
FIRST: in today's world people are more likely to be following a link than typing in an address. Most of the time when I visit a company website it is because I have seen a link on a news aggregator, on a social media site or in a message from someone. Other times I am simply following links from paper publications using QR codes -- as in Richard Wiseman's book Paranormality where additional video content is embedded into the book using QR codes. I am not convinced QR codes have such a great future either but they are better than typing URLs.
SECOND: since web browsers integrate automatic searches and all competently-run companies take go…

Rogue Tweets: Where They Come From; How to Stop Them

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What do the American Red Cross, the US Secret Service and the Chrysler Corporation all have in common? They have all been embarrassed in recent months by rogue tweets, those unfortunate errors that often go viral and frequently cost someone their job.
Rogue tweets are caused by a variety of reasons. Sometimes it is an accident caused by software that automatically shortens content generated for other purposes, as in the time the BBC tweeted "HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, reports a 24% drop in annual profits for 2009 after writing down the value of ass." This has to be one of the funniest truncation errors ever.
Another classic accident is to confuse the tweet and direct message windows, the cause of many errors like the time when author Rebecca Skloot tweeted "My cell phone is xxx xxx xxxx, what's yours". Poor interface design is at fault here.
Sometimes it is the fault of someone scheduling a tweet with placeholder text that is never replaced before publicat…