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Hey, Google+ and Facebook, pay attention! LinkedIn, after 3 versions (and countless sub-versions) of the most useless app in the history of Mobile Apps, including the “I Am Rich” app, finally released LinkedIn 4.0 – the latest edition of their Mobile App (link is at the end of this article).

Instant review? IT’S AMAZING! It’s everything an app should be. It’s quick, it’s user friendly, and finally, it makes LinkedIn somewhat useful.

Ok, I shouldn’t bash LinkedIn that much, I do use it frequently – but I do NOT use it everyday… until today.

The problem with the earlier releases of the LinkedIn app was that it only really let you check up on your connections. Which is great, if you’re into stalking your business connections. But LinkedIn was always so much more than just your connections – sure you could build a fantastic network of professionals, like yourself, and you could job hunt on the fly, and you could prove, using online channels, that you were a worthy candidate by skipping the hiring coordinator, the HR Director, and the board by jumping right to the CEO and “Connecting” with him or her. It’s great for talking yourself up beside the virtual water-cooler.

LinkedIn’s best feature is the groups – a way to connect with other, like-minded individuals. You could build your network by proving your worth in the groups. By talking about something relevant like the War in Afghanistan or the latest trends in Social Media Marketing. Your content wasn’t lost in the stream (as it so easily does on Twitter and Google+) and it wasn’t directed to your old High School pals (as it so easily becomes on Facebook).

But for the longest time, there was no way to access the groups feature directly from your smartphone… you always had to go and log into the web browser in order to get anything done.

Let’s break down the app a little, shall we?

The Home Screen:

Home Screen Image for LinkedIn App

The LinkedIn iPhone App Home Screen

Things are finally simplified on the Home Screen. Instead of having 9 (relatively useless) icons with much the same content, we now have FOUR streamlined boxes. “Updates”; “You”; “Inbox” and “Groups & More”.

Bringing up “Updates” you can see all of the most recent updates your connections have. Including the feature that shows when your connections have new connections. But this screen shows all of your LinkedIn Connections’ status updates and the fun stuff they share.

Under updates, we also get the “LinkedIn Today” news feed – showing us all of the hot news articles of the day – stuff that is relevant to you. I really like the hot news articles that LinkedIn deems is important to me – because it IS. It’s MUCH better than those paper.li news aggregators I never read. I can open the article right in the app, share it, and even get statistics as to where it is being shared the most.

Statistics

Where a News Article is Trending

Clicking on “You” will bring up your profile and give you the option to share a new update with all of your connections. This is one of the places that I see the app being very useful. You may find that you start sharing more and more relevant insights to your connections on whatever your topic of expertise is. It has become MUCH easier to share information with your connections – you no longer have to go through a timely experience to do so.

LinkedIn iPhone App Profile Page

My Profile on the LinkedIn App

Sadly there is no option to change your profile, only read it. I’m not sure why you’d want to read that much about yourself but… my ego isn’t as big as others’ it seems.

As I said before, status updates are made VERY simple and the UI is just gorgeous:

Status Update Screen Grab

Updating my Status using the App

The Inbox is what an Inbox should look like but the UI is absolutely phenomenal. The UX is streamlined, seamless, gorgeous. Everything is where it should be and your message windows are capped off in little boxes. It’s MUCH better looking (and better laid out) than the Mail App for iPhone. I’m not going to put in a screen grab of my Inbox for privacy purposes. Download it yourself and check it out. Just phenomenal.

Moving on to “Groups & More” – my app shows two separate menus, “People You May Know” and “Groups”. Under “People You May Know” (or as it is on the screen, PEOPLE YOU MAY KNOW – why the caps??) I have a list of recommended connections. It’s very easy to add people to my network, simply by clicking the little blue “+” sign. It automatically sends an invite to them. Almost too easy… I almost wish there was an “are you sure” button in case I had a slip of the thumb. Either way – it’s pretty great.

And here’s where things get juicy… GROUPS!

You can dive right into the groups, read posts, add comments, like posts and more! It’s absolutely incredible and the entire UI/UX is just seamless. I can’t find any gaps. I can get opinions on the fly, bring up discussions and more. The whole thing is just gorgeous and it FINALLY makes LinkedIn useful for people on the go!

Overview of LinkedIn Groups

My LinkedIn Groups

Overall the entire app is just fantastically thought out, it’s animated and it’s a lot of fun! Compare that now to Facebook and Google+… Google+ was just released and the UI is just so incredibly boring. Everything about the app is just lame and slow. LinkedIn, bravo. I’m giving you a 9/10 for this one.

Have you tried the LinkedIn app? What are your thoughts? Are you an Android of BlackBerry user? What are you finding are interesting features of your version of the LinkedIn Mobile Application? Comment Below!

Don’t forget to find me somewhere on the interweb! I’m on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+! Thanks for reading!

To download the new LinkedIn App, click one of the following:

iPhone

Android

BlackBerry

If you haven’t heard, Amy Winehouse was found dead in her London flat today at approximately 4PM. As a social media addict who has recently taken to loving Google+, what do you think the way I learned about/reacted to Amy Winehouse’s death means about the way I use social media (and web) channels.

1. Learned about the death from Facebook.
2. Ran a Google News search for confirmation.
3. Posted on Facebook
4. Posted on Twitter, read the trending tweets.
5. Spent some time on Wikipedia reading up on Amy Winehouse
6. Went to YouTube to listen to “Rehab”
7. Posted a “too soon” joke on Facebook
8. Poured a cup of coffee
9. Checked into Google+ and saw people are posting about it on here.
10. Edited my circles
11. Posted on G+
I really like Google+ but what does it say about my user habits that this was the last of my channels I checked into?

I should also add #12, I posted this article.

“What the hell is happening to the internet?”

This is a question you may have been asking yourself this week as two new features from the leaders on the world wide web unveiled major features this week.

Google released their latest attempt at social media with Google Plus. After the total failures that were Wave and Buzz (remember those?), it seems that “third time is the charm” with Google Plus… or G+… or G Plus… or Google + or + – whatever you want to call it.

Facebook also unveiled (in partnership with Skype) a feature that AIM, MSN, Yahoo Messenger, and ICQ users have had for 10 years – video messaging.

Let’s start with Facebook. They partnered with Skype and have effectively made every Facebook user a Skype user. A pretty big feat. Except for the fact that I don’t want to video chat with 99% of my Facebook friends. No offense Facebook friends, if I was going to video chat with you, you’d already be on my Skype buddy list.

In my first two attempts to use Facebook Video Chat, it failed. And I have not tried it since. Could it be that my computer sucks? Maybe… or maybe we just panicked and rushed the service into existence. Using it it supposed to be seamless and they have completely upgraded the Messaging UI (again) to make it “easy” to use. Well it is easy to use and I’m assuming it works. I just haven’t yet had a successful video chat using the service. I, for one, am not a fan of the new messaging and I hate that I can’t just click on the blue bar at the top of the chat to lurk somebody on their profile and that I actually need to interact with them or go through the effort of typing their name into the search bar to see their profile. Is this your intention all along Zuck? To minimize profile lurking. We’ll find a way!

Facebook Video Chat: Concept of making all of Facebook users Skype users? 10/10. Implementation? 0/10. Usefulness? 2/10. Final verdict? 3/10.

How about you? Have you used the new feature? Let me know what you think of it – did it work for you or crash completely when you tried to use it?

Google Plus!

Wow! How did this one slip by me for like 2 days. Well it was released and then quickly turned into “field trials” making it invite only. And then some more people got invites (me!) and I’ve got a few things to say about it (obviously).

There are 4 main features to Google Plus: Circles, Hangouts, Sparks, and Huddle (Huddle not yet available… at least for me) – for a complete tour, click here. Google Plus

Circles allows you to organize your social contacts into various groups. “So it’s a like a Facebook Group?” Well not really. You can decide on where to put individuals you find on Google Plus and what information you want to share with them. The Circles UI is very clean and polished and it’s as simple as clicking, dragging, and dropping. Simple! You can add contacts to lots of different circles.

Hangouts are (by far) the greatest (and most useful) feature to G+. Group video chatting and “hanging out” and collective online “doing” —- ready for this? FOR FREE. By far the best feature. Looking to reconnect with those backpackers from Spain, Montana, and Ottawa that you met in Bangladesh? You can all “hang out” together using the Hangout feature. One of your friends from Montana shot a great video of all of you together and posted it on YouTube? You can watch it all together at the same time.

The business applications for this are endless. Group meetings with shareholders from all over the world – collectively edit a Google Doc, share information on a white board, view each others calendars together… incredible potential here. Bye bye GoToMeeting.

Sparks is a sort of “custom search” where information that you like is fed to you using the Sparks feature. I haven’t used this feature too much and really it just seems like Google is data mining (which I have zero doubt they are). Neat feature, great for sharing articles.

Huddle is a feature that I do not yet have access to. Are you an Android and G+ user? Is it available to you? Comment below! I’d love to know what it’s like. As an iPhone user, I am unfortunately limited… but I’m seriously considering trading in my iPhone for a Droid just to use G+… doubt that will happen but we’ll see.

Ultimately there are still many bugs to be worked out on Google Plus… lots of folks are complaining about privacy settings right now (I can share a post written to a small circle but then others can share it, and so on and so forth giving the post more exposure than originally intended) and the fact that much of the UI seems clunky.

Other fun things about Google Plus – your friends aren’t on it yet and they wonder what the hell it is and why you’re on it. Just wait… it’s a fun little sandbox (filled mostly with early adopters) but when the doors open, they will open huge… and Google has a habit of setting standards (Wave, Buzz, Orkut all exceptions).

I kind of like the fact that it’s limited right now – it means that I get to reaffirm connections with some individuals who I haven’t really had a great opportunity to ‘speak’ to in a while. And Twitter’s 140 Character limit (which is supposedly ending imminently) means you can only do so much.

The verdict? I’m really liking Google+ and I can’t wait to see where it goes. That being said, I’m very nervous about what will happen – especially in terms of SEO. Rolling out the feature by completely redesigning the UI for every Google app is smart – complete and total integration into your entire Google experience? Not too shabby. And with Sparks, advertisers are going to have a field day. When Facebook introduced targeted ads, we were in heaven. This will probably ramp up your targeted ads even more – so get ready to start having more content thrown at you more and more.

Are you on Google Plus? Love it? Hate it? Don’t understand it? Are you avoiding it completely until you can’t avoid it anymore? What are your thoughts – I want to know – comment below.

While I’m on and liking G+ (I’m right here!), don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and while you’re there, shoot me a DM for a G+ invite (they’re currently open) and I’ll do what I can.

Adios world!

I really need to stop calling this a weekly round-up unless I can commit to actually writing a post once a week.  ALAS, It has been a month but it is time for a bunch of junk I’ve found on the internet that I really like.  And in a first, it’s ALL video.  (Let’s face it, the last one was mostly video).

First up, many of you know that I am from Ottawa.  And pulling through the archives of the blog at work, I came across this “Vintage Ottawa” video that I thought you may enjoy.  I specifically like the way the narrator says “Rideau,” pronouncing it “rid-oh” instead of “reed-oh.”

Next, I’m a tiny Star Wars geek… This is a pretty cleverly edited little clip.  As if Darth Vader could be more of a jerk…

An energy field indeed!

How do you feel about deep piano notes and a beautiful night sky as filmed with a time lapse camera in the Spanish hilltops?  Yeah, I love it too.  Crack a bottle of something red and be taken away… this is better than a bubble bath.

And finally, last week, we big-time-fans of Chris Lilley‘s Australian Comedies (We Can Be Heroes – which supposedly became, or already was called, Australian of the Year; and the absolutely BRILLIANT Summer Heights High) were given the third in the series (at least in Australia) called “Angry Boys”.  I would say that after one episode it’s not as good as some of the classic Summer Heights stuff, which is why I was tickled pink when I came across this deleted scene between Mr G and Toby.  A word of caution, make sure your kids aren’t looking over your shoulder.

“I’m gonna have to have a word with mum.”

Well that’s it for this week (month, really).  If you have apps, blogs, videos, etc you think I should include in the next installment, please be sure to comment below or shoot me a mention on Twitter, I’m @peterfromottawa!

Aloha!

Ahoy!

It is with a renewed commitment to actually blogging that I am writing this post.  I’m going to make a better effort to start producing some more content including a weekly post called “Things I’m Likin!” – a weekly round-up of the things that I’ve been liking on the internet, in the app store, and beyond.  Full disclosure, this is basically a direct rip off of Mekanism‘s “Things trending at Mekanism this week” from their blog.

Ok so let’s get to it:

YouTube/Online Video World

So my friend posted this on Facebook and apparently this kid has been on Inside Edition as well.  Either way, he’s like pretty incredible… this is not his latest although you can view more of his videos on his YouTube Channel here.  You should also follow him on Twitter here.

Enjoy (also, note the Wedgie Pick at 1:09):

Ha!  So awesome.  You should also check out his edition of Born this Way by Lady Gaga.  Next, I want to see him dancing on the Genius Bar.

Speaking of the Genius Bar and Apple… here’s an oldie but a goodie from The Onion.

Oh what the hell, one more.  So Rebecca Black trended for almost three full weeks on Twitter because of her amazing (???) song, “Friday”.  No, I will not post a link.  However, two sens fans (Al Connors and Brad MacNeil) did their own rendition of it in front of thousands and thousands of fans.  Love it!  Well done gents.  (Shout out to Brad who just became a baby-daddy!)

Ok moving on to Apps

I’m a big fan of my iPhone… like seriously, a big fan.  And I managed to get to hang out with some of the folks from #Hashable last Friday.  Hashable is a great app to help you manage your connections.  There’s also a leaderboard so it’s like a little game as well.

Basically it lets you archive both your online (Twitter) and offline connections that you have made by using simple hashtags such as #coffee #lucnh #AMcommute #dinner, etc etc etc.  I am still getting acquainted with the app but I’d have to say that so far, the most useful feature for me is the #justmet hashtag where you can send a digital business card via Hashable that contains all of your pertinent information.  Platforms supported are Droid and iPhone (iOS), BB coming soon.  Cost? Free!

Next: you may have already heard about this one but there’s this great new app called LiveProfile.  Remember how the last time you got in the “iPhone vs. BlackBerry” debate, the BlackBerry user said “well I use BBM all the time.”  Congratulations, you can connect with other BlackBerry users and it’s free and you can find out whether or not they have read your message.  Well thanks to LiveProfile, BlackBerry users no longer have an argument.

LiveProfile works very similarly to BBM but works across BlackBerry, iPhone, and Droid users… so you can send and receive messages regardless of their phone type.  That’s pretty cool.  It still lacks group chat but that is supposedly coming soon.  You should totally download this app.  And it’s free!  (Also, I love the colour scheme… and the font they used for “LiveProfile”.. kinda looks like “BlackBerry” doesn’t it?)

So that’s it for this week.  How about you?  Are there things that you’re likin’ on the interwebs?  Let me know by commenting below and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @peterfromottawa!

As I make my way to Canada’s first official #usguys meetup/conference/dinner (#usguysEH) I am sifting through my Twitter feed and @samfiorella has requested folks to show off things that are quintessentially Canadian.  Whether it’s our Canadian identity being laid out by a Molson Commercial or the classic CBC signoff video from the late 90s.  Or knowing exactly what is meant when we are told to “keep out sticks on the ice”… alas there is something that is far more quintessentially Canadian, especially in spring time, often forgotten, frequently loathed, basically ignored… it’s the Canadian Election.

It feels like it has been literally weeks since the last Canadian Federal election.  Well the last one was October 2008 so maybe it has been less time than I remember… or the three years I spent living in the US just went by a lot faster than they actually did.  Either way, it seems that “social media” (pundit buzz words of the year) has take over everything and now this is marked as “Canada’s First Social Media Election.”

What does this mean?  Well one would expect that every political leader and candidate will be tweeting their every step through the election, that Facebook fan pages will be ablaze with activity pitting one candidate against the next, and that every political advertisement in Canada will be showing off the candidate’s ability to “get it” by advertising their Twitter and Facebook links.

But they’re not.  If this is Canada’s first “social media” election, then the social media strategists behind the candidates need to get a good club upside the head.  If the candidates are going to truly embrace social media and the pundits are going to be able to get off by using those two words together, then the candidates need to actually commit to using social media as part of their overall campaign strategy rather than just dancing around it with the thought that they “should” be involved somehow.

I’m a public transit user.  In order to get to my bus station (which is next to a MASSIVE collection of public service employees), I must pass by a smattering of election signs.  They show the candidates name and the party they are representing.

And that is it.  No link to a website (not even the larger party site), no @CANDIDATENAME, no F for Facebook and T for Twitter icons, and no QR Code.  Leaving me, as a former political science student and current social media dynamo, to ask the question: WTF?

If this were really a social media election for 2011, these signs (traditional media) would have ALL of these things.  I should be able to snap a picture of a QR code without breaking stride on my way to work, and instantly be fed with a particular candidate’s views, their differentiation points, and the rest of their platform.

I should be able to easily follow a particular candidate on Twitter without going through twelve steps to do so.

I should be able to connect (easily) with these individuals and share my views using DMs and @mentions.

In short, these candidates need to be social.

So whom do we blame?  Well, for me, I’m going to jump out and blame the punditry.  In such an effort to be relevant in a dying industry, it seems that they’re all just throwing out buzzwords trying to get noticed.   And the biggest problem with all of this is that it seems to be working.

Despite my negative views on the punditry and the rest of the whole Canadian political election mess, there are a few gems out there.  A very neat website (built in a day) called PoliChat actually organizes all of the candidates who are on Twitter and shows all of their tweets.  The site is organized by party, shows a total tweet count, the top hashtags, and ranks the tweets by quanitity.  The developer, SilenceIT is currently making frequent tweaks to the site itself so it’s sure to grow.

Want to see people from your Poli Sci 101 class argue about issues?  Follow #elxn41 on Twitter.

Curious to see who you should vote for?  Check out CBC’s handy little “VoteCompass” where you can see which political leader has views most like yours.  It’s actually pretty great if you’re completely confused about why Jack Layton’s moustache looks like Michael Ignatieff’s eyebrows.

So to summarize: Canada’s first social media election?  Not so much.  Canada? Yes; Media? Yes; Election? (Sigh) Yes; Social? Nope.

For more on the election follow #elxn41 on Twitter.  Have suggestions?  Comment below.  Bored?  Follow me on Twitter @peterfromottawa.

P.S. – Sorry I haven’t posted in a while.  Things have been busy.  Thanks to free wifi and a 4 hour train ride to Toronto, I seem to have a little time on my hands.

Time and time again I follow brands on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs, etc. and you can tell when the “community manager” torch passes hands.  While these brands are posting as the brands themselves, there is always a human element to the posts and tweets that are going up on the world wide web.  That human element really defines the brand itself and is the active voice.  Many larger brands and companies can afford to hire their own independent community manager whose only job is to monitor and create these posts.  Small-medium brands use an employee who seems to know something about Facebook or has a rough idea of how to market and self-made folks tend to just do it themselves.  This post focuses on the small-medium brands who have an employee do it as part of their regular duties.

Many times I will see companies start with nothing only to build a massive and engaged fan base.  I see great posts that encourage people to act – to spend money, to donate, to sign up for a service, to visit a website, etc.  These posts are gold!  Your tribe is engaged, they are feeling an emotional attachment and investment to your brand.  It’s some of the amazing power of social media.  The fans feel informed even when they are thousands of miles away from the head office.  They have a voice.  The media is social.

But then, your community manager decides to shift their career path and quit.  And your brand is left without a voice.  And now the bosses have to figure out how to fill the void of that person’s regular duties.  The problem?  Social media is usually left out of the equation.

Which means that all of the time and energy that has been spent.  All of the hours used to create the social media networks and your company’s presence is lost.  Your fans become disengaged, even enraged.  You lose your fans.  You lose out on business.

Make no mistake, bosses of today – social media presence should be a requirement for your job posting – ESPECIALLY if the staff member who just quit was also your community manager.  You must fill that void.  You must give your fans, who are hungry for updates, an update.  You can pass for a couple of days without a post, your fans will understand.  But after a while, they don’t care anymore, and you’re starting from the very beginning.

To equate it with some old school mediums.  Not having a social media presence.  Sorry, let me correct that.  Not having an active social media presence is the same as not following up on a phone call or ringing up an order at the cash register.  Your fans are hungry for content.  Give it to them.

Can you think of any brands out there who have lost their way when their CM switched?  Anything you’d like to add?  Comment below and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @peterfromottawa.

Honoring Across Generations

Today is Remembrance Day here in Canada, Veterans Day in the USA, and many other days across the world where we stop and pay tribute to those who gave their lives and who fought for freedom in the countless number of wars in the past century.

First and foremost: hats off to our vets.  My grandfather fought as a Tail Gunner (“gonner”) in the Royal Canadian Air Force and was a member of the Caterpillar Club (saved his life by parachuting out of the plane).  I never knew my grandfather (he did survive the war, by the way, just died young) but I’m most certainly grateful for what he did.  I’m struck by a passage that I will paraphrase from Randy Pausch’s “The Last Lecture”.  When complaining about the difficulties of University to his mother, she replied simply by saying, “just remember, when your father was your age he was fighting the Germans.”

That being said, I need to give another hats off to Veterans Affairs Canada!  VAC has created a truly engaging campaign and has really leveraged Social Media to reach out to “this” Generation.  Their “How Will You Remember” campaign used Facebook and YouTube to have users share how they will remember.  Today, the VAC Facebook Page has hundreds of posts with people sharing how they are remembering.  VAC has over 417,000 fans and many of them are SHARING and ENGAGING!  It’s absolutely incredible to see.  Encouraging people to make Remembrance something that “you do”, the VAC has provided stock footage and images and encouraged individuals to make their own mashups, upload them to YouTube and then send link them back to the VAC web page.  What a GREAT way to connect with this generation.

Bravo VAC!  Well done.

What do you think of the VAC’s commitment to encouraging today’s Generation to make Remembrance something you do, not just something you feel?  Comment below.

Alright I’m just going to come out and say it:  What the hell is going on over at the Gap?

I’m a fan of the Gap – their jeans fit me very well and I enjoy walking into their store and asking “interesting choices…”  I just spent over $200 on some (VERY COMFORTABLE) pants.  They have some good finds in a store full of nothing and it really reminds me of going shopping at Winners/Ross except for the fact that there’s less defects.  The point is – it’s a treasure hunt.  Finding a comfortable pair of pants that fits well is tricky.

However – when it comes to Social Media Marketing, the Gap sure does suck hard.  The logo unveiling and immediate retraction, the poorly advertised (especially internally) 10,000 jeans giveaway and a Facebook Page that FAILS to engage with its clients.  Who is the CM over there?  Who is doing PR?  Who is doing the Marketing/Advertising.  Fire these people.  Now.

Giveaway seems to be a new theme in advertising.  McDonalds is giving away a free small coffee every day for TWO WEEKS.  Walk into Micky D’s and pick up a coffee.  That’s INCREDIBLE.  Obviously they’re trying to branch out to the breakfast club and coffee is probably the healthiest, least-drug filled item on the McDonald’s menu.

That’s not the point of this article.  A few weeks ago, the Gap changed their logo.  For 10 minutes.  Then they changed it back to the old one after a MASSIVE public outcry HATING the new logo.  Ok, the new logo was pretty awful and spawned the (oh so clever) meme of everyone making their own.  “Sans serif in the key of blue” was the big time update for The Gap.  They unveiled it, the internet had a major outcry, and they retracted it with the biggest tail-between-the-legs press release ever.

New Gap Logo

The New Gap Logo

Hey people at the Gap: why did you retract it??  Ok – it’s TERRIBLE, it’s annoying, it’s generic, it’s unimaginative, it can be easily replicated, people complained.  But isn’t it more embarrassing to retract the logo?  And here’s the parallel: Facebook does a major update to their UI every once and a while and there is always a HUGE outcry.  How many groups and pages are formed after Facebook changes their UI protesting.  How many people threaten to pack up their tools and come in from their Farm(ville)?  How many people threaten to leave Facebook all together?  I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve seen “that’s it, I’m going back to MySpace!”  I can’t even count the number of times that I’ve said that in one of these groups or pages.  And what is Facebook’s response?  Do they retract, back down, stop their forward progress?  Nope.  They sure don’t.  In fact, they continue moving forward and they don’t even acknowledge the serfs who are complaining about the new UI.  The lack of response is a good ole “shut up, you’ll get used to it – there’s a bigger picture to this.”  And then we get used to the new UI and then they change it again and then there’s another outcry.

My suggestion to the Gap: you should’ve ignored the negativity.  The slacktivists who claim that they will “boycott” the Gap are people who may not even shop there.  If you want to get more customers out to shop, maybe changing the logo wasn’t the best plan.  I’ve got an idea: stop selling plain, generic, boring clothes.  Let American Eagle be American Eagle.  You be the Gap – sell clothes that fit well and don’t cost a fortune and look good.  Go for a simple, classic design that is stylish and trendy at the same time.  Take a page out of the books of Club Monaco or even your older brother, Banana Republic.  The point is this: do what you know how to do and do it well and don’t let the Internet logo snobs win.  Stick to your guns, pull a Facebook, tell them they’ll get used to it.

“Doesn’t that go against engaging content – a rule for social media?” A little… acknowledge the complaint, redirect, tell the complaining customer “I understand your frustration with our switch in brand identity but we assure you that it is all part of something new and exciting, stay tuned for more information.”  New line gets unveiled, back to basics, boom boom boom… done.

So to all you businesses about to change a logo and redefine your brand: don’t back down.  Facebook didn’t and they have half a billion users.

Am I right? Am I wrong?  What do you think? Post your comments below and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter – @peterfromottawa.

A Movember to Remember

November 1st is a big day.  Not only is it the day after Halloween, 7 days before my birthday and 2 months until the start of a New Year, but it is also the official kickoff for “Movember” – the campaign where men grow mustaches to support Prostate Cancer research.  Movember started in Australia in 2003 and has since gone global in a seemingly viral fashion.  For more on Movember click here.  For a quick look:

So let me get one thing straight:  I LOVE MOVEMBER.  I think it’s an incredibly fun campaign and that’s why people like it.  Similar to the bra colors and “where I put my handbag” for Breast Cancer on Facebook.

My problem with Movember is that I don’t think I can participate.  I’d love to, I really would, but I have a problem – my mustache always, always ALWAYS looks incredibly dirty.  And I’m unemployed.  While the job-hunt has been interesting to say the least, I don’t know if I can, in good conscience, put my “best foot forward” knowing that I look like Ron Jeremy.  So blog world, I’m need some advice.  Comment below – how will Movember affect my chances of getting a job?

Good Mustache:

My Mustache:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So there it is.  What to do, what to do?

 

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