If you get a phone call from (618) 704-2766, beware. A modified recording answers and says if you’d like to confirm your Google 411 listing, please press 1. I did and a rather – how do you put it – less than crisp and professional voice on the other end started requesting information about me to verify a listing. This was a nice person – not saying he wasn’t nice – just a little less than forthcoming and clear about what the call was about.
Do not give information to people who randomly call requesting information about your business. Google does not make a practice of calling to confirm information about your business. There is more information about Google 411 calls here. Worst case scenario: you will be scammed of your information and talked into bogus SEO or online services.
People trust user reviews. In a recent study people ranked user reviews second only to suggestions from friends in terms of a source of information they trusted most about businesses.
Ranked lowest: Company blogs.
On Tuesday, July 8 a prominent blogger and web 2.0 “valley insider” – relative to most – by the name of Cyndy Aleo-Carreira posted an interesting article / blog post regarding her amazement and shock as to how much feedback, commentary and “coverage” she received for posting a blog post on how she put her 3 year old daughter to bed using a popular online video distribution system called Seesmic.
Carreira has distinguished herself in a variety of capacities online: “Cyndy Aleo-Carreira is a former web developer turned technology writer. In addition to contributing to The Industry Standard, she is also Editor at the Web 2.0 blog Profy, and discusses tech and start-up issues at Wife 2.0.”
You can read the two links posted above regarding the “story”, but she deemed the incident one of the most surreal days she has had online in over 15 years.
Why? I’m betting human…
Among other things this was very human story in a fray of online media and information – “the fire hose” – fraught with an over abundance of technical and business information, making this post stand out from the norm. This was a very human story behind a piece of “technology” that has a very real world and human application: in this case, putting babies to bed! Talking to people, explaining stories, showing the ‘behind the scenes’ aspects of life…or, I daresay…business.
She let us into her life with this story and it paid off huge dividends.
Today I attended a Web 2.0 media group.
The topic of blogs and whether to write about what you think v. facts came up:
“At my company, I propose we only write facts on our blogs – what we’re working on, what’s in development, etc.”
The spirit of the comment was that opinions can be ‘dangerous’. “Everybody has them – they don’t really mean much” to roughly paraphrase.
Facts are boring. Much like menu items, they’re necessary, but when leaned upon exclusively for safe content on a blog, it can be dry and hard to pull off in terms of creating a connection.
Tell your story. There is an art to this, but tell your story, your passion, your challenges, your trials and tribulations. Have some fun. Let it hang out there, just a bit. People will connect with authenticity and they’ll be impressed with hearing the truth – truth and facts that have grit, zeal and honesty.
Those are the facts people will come back to see again!