Monthly Archives: May 2012

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!

It’s Friday! Whoo!!

Riddle me this: Why is it that the short week after a holiday weekend always feels longer than a normal week? I’ve woken up every single morning this week thinking it’s Friday.

<TRUMPETS BLARE>

HEY PEEPS! It’s Good Idea day!

This good idea of the week is brought to you by Google Analytics. If you’re not already using Google Analytics to track your site, stop reading right now, call Application Support, and set it up. It takes about 2 minutes and it’s crazy useful. I’ll wait.

OK! Now we can talk. I could devote an entire blog to the fabulous uses of Google Analytics and in fact I highly recommend checking out Avinash Kaushik’s blog at Occam’s Razor for just that reason. If you’re just getting started with GA, there are many free tutorials on the Google site. For a comprehensive overview of Google Analytics, Lynda.com’s “Google Analytics Essential Training” online course is well worth the time and the cost of a Lynda subscription (and a Lynda membership is incredibly useful anyway).

Once you get a handle on the basics of GA, you can get really freaky and do nifty things like use Goal funnels (ooooohhh!! ahhhh!) to track how your members are navigating to your key pages and forms. You can even generate a pretty report right out of the GA site (eh hem… hey there boss person, check out this data report I “created” for you).

Anyway, I know some of you smartypants data geeks are already veterans to GA. So what’s your favorite Google Analytics trick?

Watch Out! It’s an Information Avalanche!

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It’s hard to stay focused these days. We’re constantly constantly constantly being hit  over the head with new images and ideas, and 99.99% of it has a very little direct impact our actual every day life. It’s just noisy, pretty, shiny, junk food for our brains. I won’t go on and on about Brain Cheetos, however, I highly recommend Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows” as a sobering analysis of what all this shiny stuff is doing to our ability to concentrate for more than a nanosecond.

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Mmmm… Cheetos.

But moving on.

Mitch Joel had an interesting post on his blog Six Pixels of Separation about what he calls “Less is More” marketing. And I think he’s on to something. He writes:

There’s no doubt about it. We’ve made a mess of things. Most brands have no cohesive brand narrative because they’re busy updating their websites with more pages, tweeting randomly on Twitter, working a Facebook page, experimenting on Pinterest, loading up videos on YouTube and more. They’re just throwing content at popular channels without looking at the holistic space and opportunity to extend a brand narrative. Even if they’re nailed that down tight, they still struggle with simplicity: making their websites (mobile, Web and touch) move quickly and efficiently. Google’s homepage looks the way it does for a reason (same with Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and beyond). They know that the simpler and faster they make their products, the less likelihood there will be for consumers to go elsewhere.

As much as people have a hard time putting down the Brain Cheetos, I think as a culture we’re shifting towards a real appreciation for simplicity. When it comes to our online engagement strategy, the “Less is More” philosophy can have an impact. Pick your goals (five at most), keep them simple and measurable, and be consistent. Sure, it’s important to be flexible and able to change your communications tactics when a particular approach isn’t working, but ultimately the more you can keep things simple, the easier it is for you and your audience to stay focused.

It’s Friday, so it must be time for a Good Idea.

Let’s just go ahead and declare every Friday “Good Idea Day”. Because really, who doesn’t love a good idea? I hereby promise to regularly post a good idea every Friday.

Ya know what? It’s my first Friday post so I’m going to throw in not one but two, yes TWO good ideas. That’s just the kind of gal I am. Always giving.

Good Idea #1: Directory Search Configuration

Yep. It’s a mouthful and it doesn’t sound particularly glamorous but let me tell you, it’s a good idea. DSC  (my affectionate name for it) allows you to pre-filter a directory search and auto-execute the list on a page. So when the 50th Year Reunion Class doesn’t like to go through all the effort of searching for each other in the main directory, just build the search for them and send them a link, VOILA! Happy alumni, happy class president, happy you. It’s a brand new functionality coming out in the May product release. Check it out and let me know what you think.

Good Idea #2: Homemade hummus

It’s fast, it’s easy, it’s 10,000 times better than the store-bought salty goo trying to pass itself off as hummus. Throw all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until creamy smooth. Delicious!

3 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 cup water

6 tbsp tahini

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 (14 oz.) can chickpeas

1 small garlic clove

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp ground cumin

Pinch cayenne

Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…

First! Blog post! Ever! <trumpets sound, flags wave, the crowd cheers>

So what’s this all about, this “iModules Insider” stuff? Who is this woman and what’s she up to over there? And why does she think the world needs YET ANOTHER BLOG ABOUT THE WEB??

All good questions, my friends. I can see we’re going to get along great. Let me answer your questions one at a time.

1. iModules Insider is a wonderful new blog created just for iModules clients. I’ll be over here writing about web strategy, web management, audience engagement, and using iModules tools to make web magic. You may also find me bloggering on things like: cats who sit on keyboards and change screen settings, Central New York weather, the mysteries of the toddler brain, indie music, iModules gossip, the stuff Danielle Dalton doesn’t want you to know about her desk,  and anything else that strikes my fancy.

2. My name is Jen McGee and I’m an Engagement Manager at iModules Software (more about that later), and when I’m not doing that I’m busy raising two little girls, wrangling two overly friendly cats, trying to fit some exercise into my day, and drinking coffee… lots of coffee.

3. It’s true, there are a lot of blogs about web management, BUT the world doesn’t have a blog specifically for iModules users does it? No it does not. Until now.

So thanks for dropping by and welcome to the conversation. Now don’t be a lurker over there. Play nice and say hello in the comments.