Review – Two and a Half Men – Sans Charlie

Well it’s about time I put in my 2 cents worth on the Charlieless season of Two & a Half Men.

I think I’m entitled.  Having been a regular viewer of the previous seasons (and endless reruns – it’s better than watching bad news isn’t it?).  Plus I’ve actually persisted in watching the new season.  Like a social experiment.

Here I go
Points FOR:-

  • Previous cast members (mostly) present – I miss Rose though
  • Ashton Kutcher’s possibilities
  • Jon Cryer is working his butt off trying to hold the show together.

Points AGAINST

  • Ashton Kutcher’s appearance – his character needs a makeover
  • Walden is pretty boring (considering he’s “tall, good looking and rich”), the writers need to make him a stronger character – not just churn out mindless smutty comments about his (supposed) physical attributes. Walden’s character has been dumbed down so much that he seems totally mindless.  He needs to man up!
  • The writing – the show still depends almost totally on Charlie’s influence (like turning Alan into Charlie). To me that reeks of desperation, it’s certainly not original, funny or clever.

One thing I noted – Charlies’ body was supposedly too minced up to identify – maybe that means the door open a small crack to allow for Charlie still being alive (and for Charlie Sheen to come back).

Maybe Rose is actually holding him hostage somewhere. She’s (nicely) nuts, obsessive enough and has the resources.  Now THAT would be clever!  I never figured her for someone who would push Charlie under a train anyway.

Perhaps the writing is bad cause Chuck Lorre is spending too much time in negotiations with Charlie Sheen and his lawyers.  Otherwise, I hope that all the cast members saved up some money, as I think the show will collapse up it’s own black hole.

Just saying!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Google Panda – Pandalicious or Not?

Is Google being evil?

The scenario – you have been writing a blog since 2007 (http://NaturalSuperfoodsBlog.com), you have tried to provide lots of free content, and of course in the process you’d like to make a little money.  That seems reasonable right?  After all, no money = no blog = no free information.  Plus factor in the learning curve anyone goes through when first learning about putting up a website and creating content. Believe me, if you don’t have any passion for the project you’ll never continue providing free content – that’s why there are thousands of defunct blogs out there. Sometimes, it seems to me, that Google expects people to be Uber experts at everything.  I’m not a big corporation, and the only actual training I’ve had in this complicated process has been trial and error and simply just doing it.  They say it’s all about taking action, there’s no doubt I’ve done that, and learned a whole lot along the way.  I think I’ve fulfilled my side of the bargain pretty well, but Google seems to demand “perfection”.  I have no problem providing a “good user experience”, but I wouldn’t mind some consideration in having a “good blogger experience”.  Oh well, back to the learning curve!

What in the name of Google is a Panda
Original Infographic @ What in the name of Google is a “Panda” / Provided by cognitiveSEO
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

What Is A Favicon?

It’s the (very) small image (16 x 16 pixels) which shows in the front of the URL on your browser bar.  I think it makes sites look more professional, especially when a customised favicon is created.

So how do you create a favicon?  I have used a free service from http://www.freefavicon.com to easily create mine.

Tips – use a simple image.  Pre-size the image to a square.

If you’re using a WordPress blog there are very simple ways (using plugins) to add it to your site.  If you’re not using WordPress, there are instructions on http://www.freefavicon.com

Original image – this is for my site http://Wu-YiHealthtea.com

Favicon image – I actually used the animated version.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Are You Invisible? – Why Businesses Need a Website.

What do I mean?

If you are in business and you don’t have a presence on the internet then you are invisible.  Who can see your business?  Just passers-by?  Or do you still use outdated forms of advertising like the phone book.

If that’s you then it’s time to get on the “net”.  See the infographic (created by Formstack) to see what small businesses are doing on the internet.  See why businesses need a website.Why Businesses Need a Website

Why Businesses Need a Website
Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Twitter – Why & How To Connect On Twitter

Still wondering what the fuss is about?  Think it’s too late to join Twitter?

This infographic might help you understand the connections you can make with Twitter, and more.

I found this Twitter infographic created by Cheryl Lawson on Party Aficionado today. Although we see articles written every day about how to use Twitter, I especially like this infographic because it lays out all the basics in a very simple to understand way. If you only have a short amount of time to learn how to use Twitter, you can pretty much get the gist of it from this. Enjoy!

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Ashton Kutcher’s Debut in “Two and a Half Men”

Well, it’s quite a good start.  If you like opening with a funeral, a particularly interactive one at that.

Charlie has been neatly dispatched, well maybe that’s an exaggeration considering Rose’s description that his body “exploded like a balloon full of meat” . His collection of Ex’s had a chance to have a last dig. I thought the references to STD’s was unnecessary.

His mercenary mother had a chance to pitch the house to the funeral attendees.

Alan was left pondering his future, given Charlies mortgages.

Jake was just being Jake, not even attempting to cover a loud fart.

Berta was herself as well, no money, no work!

Enter Charlies ashes, in an urn, delivered by courier.

While Alan was thinking of the best way to dispose of Charlies ashes – enter an unexpected visitor – Walden Schmidt (Ashton Kutcher) – an unlucky in love internet billionaire (yep, with a “B”) who chickened out of a suicide bid because the water was too cold.

A stroke of genius having him enter via the balcony and landing, literally, in the midst of Charlies spilled ashes.

Walden’s uninhibited nature is immediately evident when strips off (totally) so the ever helpful Alan can dry his clothes. This no doubt gives us a hint of things to come.

Walden is revealed as a hapless, (but tall good looking and smart) non-drinker, however Alan manages to get him drinking at the usual bar, and his lovelorn sob story (“my wife dumped me and I want to die“) gets him two girls.  Revert back to the Malibu beach house, Walden is asked upstairs by the two girls.  Next morning he decides to buy the house.

Part of the episode is shown below.

It will be interesting to see Ashton Kutcher’s character develop and to see how Alan manages to remain in residence

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Facebook – Opportunities and Pitfalls

The Internet, as a medium, has opened the doors to a wide range of communication possibilities with customers. The interactive characteristic of the medium also makes it possible for a customer to publish his response to a vast audience. Social networking sites, particularly Facebook, which is getting increasingly popular around the world, have given customers an equal opportunity to communicate as loudly as you about your brand, in a public forum open to the whole world.

Click Here to Get more information here for the best Facebook training available.

On the brighter side, there is a great opportunity to acquire direct and unadulterated feedback from customers, without the need of expensive and time-consuming surveys and research processes. Directly redressing customer queries on the medium itself can help increase brand loyalty. However, as a brand owner, you need to realize the speed and potential of the medium to do good as well as harm.

Facebook Opportunity for Your Brand

There are enough reasons for a brand to be on one of the most happening mediums. A significant amount of conversation that happens on Facebook, or for that matter on other social platforms like Twitter, carries references to brands, with customer’s attitude toward these clearly seen through them.

The fact is that whether you are there on Facebook, it is very likely that someone or the other from your customer base may be making a mention about you. Your brand presence during such a situation is important to either thank the customer for any accolades or gracefully respond and address any grievances posted by the customers and win back their confidence in your brand.

On a proactive note, sustained brand presence on Facebook also helps you create your own band of customers, including those interested in you. This gives you one point access to disburse any firsthand brand information in a single click, without spending a dime more.

Today, brands – both big and small – have a presence on Facebook. Some of them use it with more innovation than the rest.

Brand Pitfalls on Facebook

Traditional marketers are used to broadcast, which is an extremely formal means of communication, where customers voices are barely heard back. Coming from this background, many a time, marketers find it difficult to adjust and converse in the language demanded by social networking sites, which are much informal in nature.

There have been instances where brand owners trying to enforce rules and guidelines of discussion on Facebook fan pages have faced the immediate wrath of users, which had an adverse impact on the brand.

The lesson from this is very clear, the brand must try to avoid any pitfalls on Facebook; marketers must know the responsiveness and energy levels of the users and be one among them, rather than one above.

Word of Caution – World of opportunity in Facebook

For every scary story of a brand goof up on Facebook, there are many cases of success, where even small household brands have grown in popularity through effective use of the medium.

Two golden rules to be followed while using Facebook, which can yield good results in the long run, are as follows:

  1. Do not be a big brother – be a cheerful friend to your customers. The big brother attitude, which worked fine in traditional media, can kill your brand on Facebook. Any showdown of brand arrogance or one-upmanship is given a bitter response by its customers in the same medium. For a brand to succeed, it has to be a friend, who is fun to speak with.
  2. Do not advertise, converse – Blatant advertising, or use of social networks for incessant spamming with interruptive advertising, is a sure recipe for disaster. You will find your brand page getting isolated on Facebook.

There are many ethics to be followed on Facebook and social media, which can be easily grasped through active participation in the medium itself. A company must ensure that its trained representatives have marked presence on Facebook and social networking avenues as true online custodians for the brand. For many companies, it also makes sense to engage a consultant who is experienced in handling brand reputations on Facebook and online avenues.

Click Here to Get more information here for the best Facebook training available.

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr

Facebook and Social Media – The Next Marketing Opportunity

Marketing is an activity is all about reaching out and matching the right customers with the right products. Demographics are important, so is being in the same space as your potential customers. The result outcome should be a win/win position. Delighted, loyal customers who are more than willing to open their wallets wide enough to boost your revenues. For many years, marketers stalked their target customers through various means and by trying to get their message across to spread awareness about their existence and their offers.

Traditional Means of Communication

Traditional marketing communications were conducted via print media, broadcast and through disruptive advertising, where advertisements appear in between the content of interest for the customer.

Traditional media does give a large reach to a marketer with its programming of mass appeal. However, the wastage is equally high, since a large portion of the audience would belong to a different segment than the one being targeted by the marketer.

Enter Social Media and the Internet

The revolution stirred by the internet as a medium took place because of the fact that it is highly personalized and provides more content on-demand than any other available medium. Social sites proliferated far and wide in their usage for a few simple reasons:

 The power to create and distribute content is equally available to every user, irrespective of him/her being a customer or a marketer. In the earlier forms of media, that power rested with the editorial staff of the channel or the advertiser, but hardly ever with the user.

The medium is completely personalized, and a user can create or join groups and further create content based on personal preferences.

People are open with their opinions. This is one reason why social media is of utmost concern to marketers, since buying decisions are no longer influenced by advertisements to the same degree. Word-of-mouth marketing has taken the lead on social networks.

Facebook – At the Center of Social Media

With 750 million (and tipped to grow to over 1 billion in the next year or so) unique users worldwide, Facebook is the number one social networking site. This especially true in terms of activity and subscriptions, with some people logged in at all times, and others logging in multiple time per day. What started as a garage initiative by Mark Zuckerberg has now become the biggest phenomenon on the internet.

A user interface that allows for quick communication and the ability to create Facebook pages (fan pages) and groups at the click of a mouse button are what make Facebook extremely popular, providing a venue for like mined people to congregate. Another important reason for its immense popularity is the wide variety of social applications that have been developed and made available within the Facebook environment.

 These applications can allow users and friends to do joint activities like playing games that run endlessly, sharing photos, videos, and web links, and many more.

How does this help a marketer?

Traditional media marketing include television channels, publications, or any other media that can grab maximum eyeballs and effectively reach a selected target audience. Of course, remember we all love to fast forward to skip the ads!

The science of segmentation and targeting can only become more accurate with the advent of social media.

 Within Facebook there are a wide variety of avenues to communicate with the audience, which opens up an entirely different world of possibilities to have a fruitful dialogue with customers (both existing and potential), and to develop a relationship with them. Some of these methods used popularly by marketers are:-

Advertising: The first opportunity, which is the most obvious one, is advertising on Facebook. The difference, however, is the fact that you can create your own advertisement in a matter of minutes and also be very specific in setting the details of your target group in terms of demographics and types of discussions where you want your advertisement to appear.

Fan Pages (or just Facebook pages): Facebook allows every brand, as well as individual users, to create fan pages for their favorite celebrities and their own homegrown businesses. Large brands have also created their official pages on Facebook that have a huge, immediate fan following around the world. The fan page has immense utility to convey first hand information about the brand and also to collect immediate and frank feedback from your customers. If done correctly, you will be able to build a list of your customers.

Branded applications: One of the most effective ways to engage a user toward your brand is by creating an application; this could be a game or a contest, with your branding coming across subtly through it.

What makes Facebook even more exciting is the way it allows you to target your communication specifically just to the customer segment you want to attract. It also provides analytics and page insights that give good feedback and measurement on the activity done.

The options provided by Facebook can be creatively explored and used judiciously for bringing about maximum benefits to any brand. Just use your imagination.

However, while doing all this, you need to be aware of the fact that customers have an equal say and have the ability to respond immediately to any of your actions with a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Availing the service of a social media consultant to work out a social media strategy may be required so that your efforts will not be in vain.  Please click on the image below  and “Like” my page.  – Thank you.

Get more information here for the best Facebook training available

Share and Enjoy:
  • Print
  • Digg
  • StumbleUpon
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Yahoo! Buzz
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • Live
  • Technorati
  • Tumblr