Social Networks for Writers

Regardless of genre, writers of all kinds can stretch their creative muscles, seek feedback from peers, and find a new outlet for their content with some interesting social networking sites for writers.

Writers-Network is a good resource for poets who are looking for a high number of readers. For writers who like to dabble in other genres, Inked-In is a great place to contribute to blogs and join Facebook groups. If you’re a journalist looking for a place to throw in your ideas and maybe scout out some freelance opportunities, Gather or Suite 101 are great places to start. If you are serious about developing your professional portfolio, Writertopia provides portfolio management, workshops, and reading.

How to Boost Conversions by Mastering QR Code Landing Pages

As people rely more and more on their smartphones for Internet access, it’s a good time to think about adding QR codes into your marketing campaigns. However, just integrating QR codes isn’t enough; you also need to focus on the landing page that those codes will direct visitors to.

Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure your landing page is built for mobile browsers — People will not want to take the time to resize the page for their phones; or will simply click away if the page doesn’t look good on their device.
  • Keep it simple — Feel free to make your page intriguing and dynamic, but keep the focus on the one most important element. It is easy to get overwhelmed on a small mobile screen.
  • Focus on conversion — Don’t be afraid to be blunt. Make it very clear to visitors that conversion is the whole point of your landing page, and make it easy for them to act.

On Tuesday, Over 760K Tweets Dedicated to State of the Union

A total of 766,681 tweets hit the Web Tuesday night during the President’s State of the Union Address, containing the hashtag #SOTU. Of those, 548 tweets were from members of Congress — 60% of them by Democrats, and 40% by Republicans.

The top topics for tweets were also the main focuses for President Obama during his speech. The top five were: #education, #energy, #jobs, #fairness, and #manufacturing. Also heavily mentioned were #taxes, #defense, #housing, #immigration, and #budget.

The number of tweets generated peaked at certain points throughout the speech, including mentions of Steve Jobs, college tuition, Obama’s “spilled milk” line, and energy.

Tips for Sure-Fire Email Deliverability

Now that people are becoming increasingly savvy about the Internet and marketing, and are getting used to the lightning-quick pace of today’s advertising, making your emails as relevant and deliverable as possible is more important than ever. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before you launch your next email marketing campaign:

  • Delivery rate boosters — Patti Renner says that maintaining a good relationship with major email services, selecting a reputable email service for your own use, and creating messages that don’t rely on images can all help your email get into that elusive inbox.
  • Subject lines — Avoid even the lightest flavor of spam, without sacrificing interest. Renner says that this can be difficult line to tread, but critical. “Subject lines that clearly communicate the benefit of the email consistently outperform those that lack clarity,” she says.
  • Know your customers — Understanding your target audiences and tailoring your approach to their needs has always been important to successful marketing, and emails are no different.
  • Data matters — Relying on external data from an outside source can put your email at risk. “Not only will data fall through the cracks (hurting potential ROI), but you also compromise your standing with customers by inadvertently sending them outdated or irrelevant messaging,” Renner says.

“Dont’ Be Evil” Tool Takes on Google

Engineers from Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace came together to start a website called Focus On The User and a tool that depersonalizes your Google search results. The enthusiastically named “Don’t Be Evil” tool bookmarks in your browsers and eliminates People and Places results, Google+ sitelinks, and Google+ suggestions in Autocomplete.

This should clarify many of your searches, but there is one downfall of the tool. Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land says that all of the information from the tool still comes from Google. This means that the tool cannot deliver a result unless Google+ at least suggests it first.

Google Search Showing Results for Punctuation Marks

Try typing a lone comma into the Google search bar. In the past, this would register as a blank search, but now you can learn anything you would want to about commas.

Not only does common punctuation register, so do symbols like the @ or #. Is this quiet change a step towards more context-relevant Google searches? Or is this simply to include the plus sign in Google+ for Google searches?

Image by LucasTheExperience, used under its Creative Commons license.

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