Last week, Matt from 37signals wrote “[The casino experience](http://37signals.com/svn/archives2/the_casino_experience.php)” that analyzes a casino from a design perspective. Matt hits on points such as the fact that casinos have no windows, no clocks, and they are hard to navigate, which are all great ways to keep people gambling. From a marketing perspective you can actually take many of these principles that casinos use to help improve your conversion rate.
Communispace, a company that builds private communities for corporations, put out a press release for the 10 Best Practices for Online Customer Communities. Private label social networks and communities that are built around brands & products are starting to become more commonplace as companies begin to realize just how powerful they can be.
No, not really. But more than half of MySpacers are over 35 according to a study from comScore. That’s a wake up call. Although Pete Cashmore from Mashable thinks that statistic is irrelevant…
Sometimes in business you have competitors that love to mimic and copy all of your moves. The worst part about this is that it makes it hard to show your potential customers the benefits of your product compared to your competitor’s product. So what do you do when this happens to you? You can do something so drastic and unexpected that they have no choice but to stop copying you.
* [Google Buys Birthplace Garage](http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/061002-082355)
Google has purchased the garage where the company developed after its initial birth at Stanford University. Actually, they’ve purchased the home of Google vice president of product management Susan Wojcicki. Before she became a Google VP, Wojcicki rented the garage attached to her home to Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
The [Word of Mouth Research Blog](http://www.womma.org/research/studies/buzz_drives_two.htm) from [WOMMA](http://www.womma.org/) points to [an interesting study](http://hbswk.hbs.edu/archive/1956.html) from A McKinsey & Co. strategy consultant named Renee Dye which shows that buzz drives two-thirds of the US economy. The study is from back in 2001 and was published by the Harvard Business Review. Here are the key findings…
Does your company have a MySpace page? If so, are you “friends” with your customers? Did they friend you or did you friend them? If you do not own a company are there any companies that you would want to be friends with?
Many companies are starting to create company blogs because it is a great way to keep in touch with customers. There are some good company blogs out there, but many are ignoring their customers by blogging about things that do not really help their customers. One of these companies that I think is ignoring their customers is [FeedBurner](http://blogs.feedburner.com/feedburner/).
Yesterday [SEO Black Hat](http://www.seoblackhat.com) wrote [10 Steps to Guarantee You Make the Digg Front Page](http://seoblackhat.com/2006/10/02/10-steps-to-guarantee-you-make-the-digg-front-page/), which discusses 10 tips to help you get on the digg front page. Here are the tips he recommended.
[Steve Rubel](http://www.micropersuasion.com/) points us to this [Mediapost article](http://publications.mediapost.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Articles.showArticleHomePage&art_aid=48714) that reports Verizon is getting ready to launch an “all issues on the table” blog for consumers. First of all I think this is great because like [Steve says](http://www.micropersuasion.com/2006/10/verizon_plans_2.html)…
I was just reading [Search Engine Journal](http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3852) and I saw something quite interesting. A site called [User/Submitter](http://www.usersubmitter.com/) is providing a service that will help you get on the digg frontpage. If you are a user you can get paid 50 cents for each story you digg and as a submitter you are charged a base price of $20 and $1 for each digg you desire.
During the second week of September I wrote a post called [My 50 favorite design resources](http://www.pronetadvertising.com/articles/my-50-favorite-design-resources.html) that got traffic as a result of [StumbleUpon](http://www.stumbleupon.com), [digg](http://www.digg.com) and [del.icio.us](http://del.icio.us). The article received 11350 visitors from StumbleUpon, 8879 from digg and 2715 from del.icio.us. As a result here are my observations regarding the visitors and overall traffic:
Recently I was roaming around looking for computers and landed on [Dell’s website](http://www.dell.com). I noticed that their homepage had been [realigned](http://alistapart.com/articles/redesignrealign/) since the last time I saw it. Obviously, Dell.com gets a lot of traffic, so I started wondering why their homepage has gotten worse with this recent change.
Marketing is one of those things where it seems like everyone thinks they know how to do it. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people I talk to that are trying to become marketing consultants when they have no real experience. It doesn’t really matter who the person is, but everyone has an opinion when it comes to marketing, and it looks like VCs are no different.
I usually do not make off topic posts, but October is [National Breast Cancer Awareness month](http://www.nbcam.com/). Every year, breast cancer claims more than 40,000 lives. By the age of 90 roughly 1 out of 7 women will be affected by breast cancer and roughly 1 out of 1000 men will be affected by it. So if you would like to participate in the National Breast Cancer Awareness month you can [educate others](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Breast_cancer), donate money to the [Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation](http://www.komen.org/intradoc-cgi/idc_cgi_isapi.dll?IdcService=SS_GET_PAGE&nodeId=407), participate in [Pink for October](http://www.pinkforoctober.org/) or do something unique like [Derek Punsalan](http://5thirtyone.com/archives/666) over at [5ThirtyOne](http://5thirtyone.com/) has.
[Nissan](http://www.nissan.co.uk/) recently released a commercial for their 4×4 vehicles in Europe, but unlike most car commercials they did not waste time talking about how cool their vehicles are or all their great features they have. Instead they created a creative commercial that represented Nissan’s “natural” 4×4 ability.
People make mistakes in life all the time. It could be putting your shirt on backwards, mistaking a woman for a man or even kissing someone and then finding out that they are related to you. By taking these mistakes that happen in life and integrating them into commercials, you can create something that is both funny and memorable.
* [Micorsoft Digital Advertising Solutions](http://www.searchenginejournal.com/?p=3824)
Microsoft is announcing the launch of “Digital Advertising Solutions” and a media campaign to go with it. It’s an effort to bring together Microsoft’s various properties into a unified platform that gives advertisers ways to buy reach and audiences efficiently: Xbox, mobile, PCs and, maybe, TV.
Do you hear what your customers are telling you? Listening to the feedback from your users is important; the feedback that they can provide can prove invaluable to improving your business. It’s the real people that are actually using your products/services that are able to provide the best feedback. Your product, service or website directly benefits them, since they are the ones that are actually using it. This is especially important when you are launching something new and you do not really know exactly how things are going to go.
Many people have been using [digg](http://www.digg.com) and the [new Netscape](http://www.netscape.com) and think that they are exactly the same, but they are not. Both of them are community driven websites, but there are many differences between them that affect how well the stories you submit perform on them.