FreakyFriday: Weird of the Day – Vine Gets Freaky


I guess this was to be expected; every emerging Web technology goes through its, uh, wild and irresponsible period.

Witness Twitter’s new video-sharing app, Vine, which allows users to post six-second videos for streaming. Naturally, the service found that most of the first week of its big launch was spent figuring out how to crack down on users posting porn and deal with the ensuing media attention.

Then the app experienced its first major outage within five days of going live.

That being said, I’m not ready to give up on Vine so easily. The service is already spawning third-party apps and extensions that allow users to embed videos into Tumblr feeds or search for cool content. And even in a few short days, users have embraced the medium in creative ways.

As any entrepreneur knows, things can get freaky fast when launching a new product. Here are my three takeaways when it comes to the weirdness that was Vine this week.

1. Give Vine time to grow.

Twitter seemed ridiculous too, at first. And while the micro-blogging site isn’t the right content delivery system for every business, few would question the cultural impact it has had since it first launched. Content platforms – and how people use and interact with them – evolve over time.

2. Vine can be used to make interesting business content.

The beautiful thing about Twitter is how it forces users to focus on their message. Now, this doesn’t work for all content, but you don’t have to be a marketing genius to recognize the potential of a memorable six-second video pitch. Vine will force marketers to be ruthlessly efficient – not to mention extremely creative – in how they deliver their message.

So, what’s your six-second pitch?

3. It’s OK if Vine isn’t for you.

I tend not to be a fan of social overload. A business doesn’t have to be delivering content on every single platform available. Not every business is built for, say, Pinterest, and that’s just fine. Actually, spreading content efforts too thin more often leads to weak or duplicate content.

Rather, it’s a good idea to focus on doing the best job possible on the social networks where you are active, and these should be the ones your customers are using. If video fits into that equation, by all means, start cutting some six-second clips.

The Blog Site Wars…

WordPress vs Blogger vs Tumblr

By: iCopywriter Blogger, Kimberly Crossland

As a small business, you probably already know that one of the most basic forms of content marketing is to have a blog. With the multitude of blogging platforms available, it can feel overwhelming to navigate between the crowd and determine which is the right platform for your business.

Here are a few comparisons and insights into WordPress, Tumblr, and Blogger – some of the most commonly used blogging sites by small businesses.

  • Unique daily visitors – WordPress continues to dominate the marketplace when it comes to unique daily visitors over other platforms. In the past two years, Tumblr has surpassed Blogger in terms of unique daily visitors, showing the growing popularity of this new site. Here are where the blogs stand today according to statistics pulled by Compete.

  • Social Engagement – While a blog may be visited more frequently over others, what is more important is how engaged the users are with the material that is posted on the blog. This is, of course, in large part in relation to the quality of the content that is published on the blog. But Tumblr and WordPress encourage engagement within their own community better than Blogger and Typepad. This is done by promoting similar blogs, inspiring a social community-type feel within the application itself. Tumblr has shown to do this best, as blogs on their site have more followers from other Tumblr blogs.
  • Customization of Themes - On each of these platforms, users can customize the look and feel of their site. WordPress has helped graphic designers earn some profit off developing themes for their site, but there are plenty of free themes that are equally as professional looking that are available. On each of these blogs, you can create your own custom HTML theme. If you do not have graphic design abilities, you can also choose from other options for customization within each blogging site. From my experience, WordPress seems to have the most variety of themes available to the average user who does not have graphic experience.
  • Statistics - Analytics are vital to the analysis and improvement of any marketing campaign. While each of these blog sites allows users to add their own Google Analytics code, WordPress has the most robust set of analytics tools offered within the platform itself, which is hugely beneficial to marketers.
  • User Interface – For most small businesses, spending time navigating through a difficult-to-use blogging system is simply not an option. For this reason, it is important to consider the ease of the user interface when logged in. WordPress seems to have the most user-friendly interface, making it as simple as possible for newbies to the blogging world. A close second, however, is the Tumblr interface which is also fairly intuitive even for someone who is new to the blogosphere. Blogger, however, is severely lacking in user friendliness making it a poor option for small businesses without tech savvy people to help set up their platform.

Overall, both Tumblr and WordPress have quite a bit to offer their users. While WordPress offers the overall package with statistics, plenty of theme options, and an easy-to-use interface, Tumblr is rapidly growing and with it, they are improving how they operate. For now, WordPress has proven to continue to win out over the other blogging sites, but this can always change depending on how quickly the other sites can catch up.

What has your experience been with these three forms of blogging platforms? We’d love to hear from you!

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