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My original article on Wikipedia’s history of controversial editing was labelled “Is Wikipedia Corrupt?” At the time the title was meant to only raise awareness, however, coincidentally since that article premiered the popular online encyclopedia has been thrashed by mainstream media for some highly suspect behaviour.

Case-in-point, the Register published an article noting how Wikipedia outright banned over 1000 homes in Traverse Mountain, Utah, and an entire company ( in an effort to quash a Mr. Judd Bagley who had recently stated on his own blog that Wikipedia editors were “using their powers to hijack reality.” The Register article (which I sourced that quote from) goes into 5 detailed pages of description on how this went down and I must say, I was very unimpressed with Wikipedia by the end of it all. For more information and background on this case please give it a read – it is well worth it. Read more…

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Successful Online Sales Approaches

Andy Beal’s Marketing Pilgrim has a great article today by Janet Meiners that discussed a couple of winning sales approaches that are definitely worth sharing:

  1. An offline social shopping experience at Bloomingdales that was chosen by Time Magazine as one of 2007’s best inventions. Created by IconNicholson this innovative concept highlights the use of text messaging, shared video, and virtually trying on clothes to aid shopping in the real world. This concept is extremely very interesting and I imagine there are ways to apply this concept to many different offline marketplaces. If you think of a way to adapt it to yours please keep me (ross at stepforth dot com) informed; I would love to see how it turns out for you.
  2. The article also noted some recent research from SellPoint that suggests audio/video tours of products can increase time spent on site and ultimately translate into more sales. SellPoint happens to sell services offering audio/video tours so I would take this info with a grain of salt, however, as a consumer I have to admit I am a huge proponent of these types of interactive product tours so I feel this data is worth passing on.

So there you are… just a couple of notes I thought I would share before I account for a couple of great seminars I attended at PubCon Las Vegas last week. Have an excellent evening!

Back in August I wrote an article called “Is Wikipedia Corrupt?” which looked at the concerns caused by controversial editing in the popular Wikipedia online encyclopedia. In the closing section of that article I stressed that Google needed to move away from highlighting Wikipedia in favor of increasing the diversity of its encyclopedic references. In that regard I would like to introduce a great introduction to Citizendium written by Russ McGinn, a Citizendium Editor and former participant at Wikipedia. Read more…

Friday, November 9th, 2007

Facebook Unleashes Facebook Ads

Tuesday, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerbook announced the launch of Facebook Ads. This new ad platform will allow advertisers to focus their precise target markets.

Facebook’s Ads consists of three major parts: “a way for businesses to build pages on Facebook to connect with their audiences; an ad system that facilitates the spread of brand messages virally through Facebook Social Ads™; and an interface to gather insights into people’s activity on Facebook that marketers care about.”

With the announcement of Facebook ads, a number of brand specific pages were released Tuesday to the tune of 100,000 pages covering the world’s biggest brands. Users can share information about businesses they like acting as a trusted referral, sending qualified and highly targeted individuals to the main businesses page.

Users can also write on the wall of the business, add reviews, and interact with the business based on the features the business chooses to install.

Twitter PosterSince finally getting in touch with the coolness of Twitter (thanks to Jennifer Laycock and Caroline Middlebrook)I have become rather addicted. I find it extremely powerful because I can see into the activities of many of my peers and catch fresh beta products that might have taken me a while to notice.

To that end, Jeremiah Owyang tweeted about (exactly 13 minutes ago) and I have to say it is a pretty cool little app. It shows the top Twitter personalities and in a very cool format that makes it easy to learn more about each person. More and more I am really seeing the vast marketing possibilities of Twitter… here is my Twitter profile :-P

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Tuesday, October 30th, 2007

Twitter Gets a Guide

My friend Jennifer Laycock suggested an article today that I am glad I checked out called “Twitter Guide Part #1” written by a blogging newcomer by the name of Caroline Middlebrook. It is a useful guide for an increasingly popular social property located at Read more…

Today comScore released the results of an interesting study that clearly identifies social networking environments as great places to advertise for leisure products and apparel. If you have ever wondered whether social marketing was worthwhile then this study should pique your interest.

A Facebook press release announced the following today:

Starting tomorrow (Weds), we are making limited public search listings available to people who are not logged in to Facebook. A public search listing provides, at most, the name and profile picture of any Facebook member that has their search privacy settings set to “Everyone”. It will show less information about a person than results of a search performed by someone logged in to Facebook. We wanted to give people who had never come to Facebook, or who are not currently registered, the opportunity to discover their friends who are on Facebook.

The news has caused a bit of an uproar from Facebook fans concerned about their privacy. In my opinion the risks are extremely low with the minimal amount of information provided but it is a vastly smart move for this popular social media website. Why is it a smart move? By opening the gates to spiders Facebook will amplify its impressive footprint by allowing search engine users to discover Facebook while they search for specific people. This all ads up to a hell of a lot more market share in the social media web space which is sure to make an IPO all the more tantalizing for investors.

One thing is for sure… Facebook nay sayers should definitely take a step back and reconsider their standpoint because I am in good company believing that Facebook is poised to be the Google of social media.

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

Read/WriteWeb, one of my favorite blogs, just posted an interesting article on a new site called Wikirage; a site that shows what topics are the most trendy (popular) at Wikipedia.

How Does Wikirage Work?
Wikipedia’s detailed traffic statistics are not available to the public so Craig Wood, the creator of Wikirage cleverly leveraged the editing statistics that are open to the public to create his statistics. As a result, Wikirage creates its popularity index by identifying the top 100 pages within Wikipedia that have received the most updates; a relatively accurate indication of the topics that are driving current trends.

Other Great Trend Resources

by Ross Dunn, CEO, StepForth Web Marketing Inc.
Celebrating 10 Years of Web Marketing Excellence

Well I am at Search Engine Strategies San Jose; the weather is beautiful, the company great and the discussions so far excellent. The following are point form notes from an interesting seminar that discussed how search can be used to aid in branding instead of just as a direct response sales vehicle. Each point, stat or anecdote is in itself intriguing but overall add up to a helpful overview of how to use search to brand. Please brace yourself, however, this discussion went to many edges of the marketing universe so this post will have gems from many disciplines. Read more…