10 Sites I Can’t Live Without
By James Plouf
Last time I posted this list Facebook was around 100 million user. They are now close to 750 million and will probably make their next official announcement at the 1 billion mark. Many of the top 10 are the same with a few new ones. Anyway… here goes.
Not only does this stay at number one it’s probably more important than all the other 9 combined (slight exaggeration). Facebook is a gold mine for marketers. Facebook can make anybody famous in their field. If you are a business and you don’t have a fan page, well, you are missing something huge. Then there is Facebook advertising which I find much more exciting than Google Adwords. It really depends on what you are selling/marketing. A couple of years ago I used to give anybody that wanted to listen the “He who knows Adwords best will win speech.” Now I insert Facebook instead of Adwords. The ability to target by interest is extremely powerful.
With a Facebook IPO on the horizon early 2012, my prediction is that Facebook will be larger than Google in less than 5-years. I’ve been saying this for some time now but it seems clear now that this will happen.
Facebook’s asset is the Social Graph that you give them and that they know your interests. When they get into search and sprinkle some social aspects on the results that’s going to change everything. Brands are now sending traffic to their Fan Page instead of their corporate site. Why? Because it gives them the ability to continue the conversation. Ad spending has a much longer life cycle.
You’ve heard people saying: “There’s an app for that.” In WordPress there is “a plug-in for that.” For less than $10 a month (for a Godaddy account) you can have a blogging empire. But, vanilla WordPress won’t get you far. You have to learn about the plug-ins. I’ll save that for a separate post. If you want to expand your skill set then try and setup a Wordpres blog.
Email marketing. List building. Whatever you call it, Mailchimp has won my heart. I was a big Aweber (and Infusionsoft) fan for setting up mass email and autoresponders until I discovered Mailchimp. It’s super easy and has tons of powerful features. Plus, you got to love their monkey mascot.
For tracking clicks and shortening URLs bit.ly is still king. It’s free. It’s easy and it’s real time. I use it about 10 times per day.
Still the best free online password manager.
6. my iPhone
I am so dependent on this device that I am scared to go anywhere without it. I used to leave my cell phone at home and not worry about it. An iPhone is like a Swiss Army knife. Yesterday my mouse broke and I was unable to use my computer. Not a problem. I downloaded an app that allowed me to use my iPhone as a mouse. My addiction is so deep that I bought an iPad just to see if I was missing out on anything.
Youtube is now the second largest search engine. Google is obviously number one and it owns Youtube. The reason Youtube is so important is that Google search results really like putting video near the top of any search. I highly recommend Youtube for anybody doing marketing. It’s like free advertising.
This just keeps getting better and better. It now lets you make free calls, has a to-do list built in. Google calendar is the bomb and integrates with my iPhone. I’m actually getting kind of organized.
Twitter is not easy to get. But, once you do it’s addicting. My wife is the one who actually showed me the proper use of Twitter. The reason people love it so much is that it’s real time. It’s like working a cocktail party. If you want to get serious with twitter don’t use the website. Use tweetdeck or any of the top twitter clients. Without this the site is difficult to use.
This is an interesting company and one to watch. You’re going to see a battle between Netflix and Hulu and Youtube in the next few years. I love the on demand aspect of watching just about any show you want. I just wish they didn’t charge for viewing stuff on the iPad.