Cramming for the Google Analytics IQ Test

I took the Google Analytics IQ Test last week and passed, which was sort of a miracle because I don’t actually have Google Analytics installed for this blog. It’s not actually possible to install GA on a free blog. What? Well apparently this used to be possible, but not anymore. You can however install GA on your own domain that uses WordPress. The only reason I can think of for this is that WordPress wants people to use their own built-in stats service, or to upgrade to a paid domain. Sidenote: One of the topics the Google Analytics IQ Test advised me to review based on my results was “Installing the Google Analytics Code”. OH REALLY? 

I forgot that Google owns Blogger (Blogspot), actually my whole class did, until about a month before the end of the quarter. Then I forgot that I had discovered this. I KNOW, I have terrible short-term memory. But then as I was cramming the night before the test, I suddenly remembered. And in my panic, I created a last-minute Blogger site so that I could get some practice in with the actual GA interface and some data.

Can you tell what my mental state was like the night before my exam?

Can you tell what my mental state was like the night before my exam?

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End of the Quarter Wrap-Up

It’s Dead Week here at WWU, which is the week before finals when professors are discouraged from assigning tests and students look kinda dead, ya know. That didn’t stop my digital marketing professor from scheduling our class to take the Google Analytics IQ Test on Tuesday or should I say, that didn’t stop me from passing the GAIQ holllaaaaaaa:

I passed the test!

I passed the test!

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From Tinder to Creeper: When Social Apps Go Wrong

One of the biggest faux-pas you can commit these days is coming off as a “creeper”. What exactly is a creeper and why is it seen as such a terrible act? A quick browse through Urban Dictionary shows dozens of definitions but I’ll add my own:

creep·er  [kree-per] — a person who gives off the impression of being too keen and undesirable in social situations

A creeper is not necessarily a person who is creepy, it’s much subtler than that. It’s one of those new slang terms, along with “hipster” or “bro”, that if you don’t understand it by now, I’m not sure you’ll ever truly understand it. :’) As you can imagine, social media has illuminated the problem of creepers. But it doesn’t just enable creepers, apps can become the creeper.

Is social media inadvertently creating new social issues? Continue reading

Growth Hackers: How Facebook, DropBox, AirBnB and More Became a Success

Growth hacking is the next biggest thing!—according to folks in Silicon Valley like Andrew Chen. There’s even a Growth Hackers Conference which was held earlier this month in where else?—Silicon Valley. This week’s blog post will attempt to answer some questions you may or may not be wondering already. Continue reading

Again, Facebook

Looking to spend more time on Facebook? (Probably not.) In 2012, Facebook remained the top social media site that we spend time on across PC, mobile app, and mobile web. (Nielsen) According to Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban over at his blog, Facebook is simply a huge “time suck” and shouldn’t aim for anything more. He criticizes Edgerank, Facebook’s maybe-dead algorithm. I really don’t pay attention to professional sports but maybe he has a point. The majority of people my age a.k.a. college students would probably describe their top activity on Facebook as “creeping”.

If you’re a business owner, you’re probably trying to figure out how to get users to spend more time interacting with your Facebook page when they are using the social media site. I must confess that at my current job right now, my main task if managing the company’s Facebook page, Twitter account and other social media. It’s been more difficult than I anticipated and some hard lessons are still being learned. Some of the obstacles we face are: 1) We provide support services, not a product or programming 2) We are attempting to consolidate information from a large number of sources 3) Seemingly apathetic audience at times. One guideline that really keeps popping up everytime someone asks how to improve social media performance is creating and posting quality content. Sometimes I can’t believe there are still some folks that don’t see the difference between trying to meet a quota vs. posting quality content. But after my own experiences I realized that even if people do understand, it can be hard to implement. It’s easier to fire away and be content with that.

So since I’m not well-equipped enough yet to give out advice, here’s some of my pet peeves:

  1. Don’t you dare use exclamation marks everytime you write.
  2. The more important the message is, the more concise you should be.
  3. Post a variety of content. Maybe a status update, then a link, then a photo. Status updates might get you to more newsfeeds quickly but other types of posts can be much more engaging for users. Who doesn’t like variety in their life?

Co-Creation in NPD is NBD

Long time no see. Today’s topic is product co-creation also known as consumer co-creation, where a business and consumers participate in new product development (NPD) together. Seems like no big deal (NBD) and it’s not an entirely new concept, but thanks to the Internet, e-mail and social media, consumers now play a greater role in the process.

First let’s look at what encourages co-creation:

  • Technology (the Internet) provides consumers with unlimited information
  • Internet also provides easier communication

What inhibits co-creation (mostly compared to a B2B scenario):

  • Large distance between business and its consumers
  • Strong intermediaries such as retailers
  • Large number of potential consumers
  • Lower levels of consumer loyalty
  • Rapidly changing consumer preferences

Perhaps you’ve already participated in co-creation online. For example, posting on a business’ Facebook page what you’d like to see next from them, or participating in a taste test survey, or helping to fund a Kickstarter campaign. Definitely threw that last one in on purpose, because Kickstart is one of those newer phenomenons that a lot of people have heard of by now. Kickstarter is basically your shining example of how the internet has revolutionized product co-creation. But it’s not just “the Internet” as I keep calling it, it’s this new culture where consumers feel comfortable telling businesses what they want to see next without any particular prompting.

I’ve flown down to LA to start off the long weekend early and the only way I can describe this is through hashtags: #scumbagstudent #senioritis #fangirl #lifepriorities


The Dawn of Mobile

This isn’t 2001, and you probably can’t call that year the “dawn of mobile” either but there’s no mistake that right now, we are looking at a major game-changer. Mobile phones—no, specifically smartphones, have rapidly changed how we go about our daily lives.

Up until mid-June of this year, I owned a Blackberry smartphone. Shocker, I know. Actually what might be more shocking is that I used my first cellphone, a Sony Ericsson model, for five years. That got a whistle out of the salespeople when I finally turned it in for a new one. Now, I’m on my third phone which is a Samsung Galaxy S3. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

The biggest thing that smartphones achieved was that it took the Internet outside of our homes and desktop screens. Sure, there might’ve been netbooks and laptops seen outside but smartphones make the Internet feel truly on-the-go.