Interview with Andrew from SongsToWearPantsTo.com – Music Genius

Contact: pantaloons [at] gmail.com
Twitter: http://twitter.com/andrewismusic
Websites: http://www.songstowearpantsto.com/
Career: Works random hours on Songs to Wear Pants to . com
Passions: “Music, for sure.  Gardening, nature, human and environmental rights,children, food.  I am passionate about passion!  I love to see people find and explore and develop their passions.”

A few weeks ago Yu-kai Gchats me with “Dude, I just found the most amazing music in life!”  Yu-kai doesn’t really listen to music much, so for something to really catch his attention must be very impressive.  He tells me about this guy who writes songs about Superman being better than Spiderman, and how all of his songs are created from his reader suggestions.

After listening to about 50+ of his songs, I have to say that this guy is a music genius.  His songs are witty, comical, fun, and moving.  Not only is he extremely talented, but he’s also a super nice guy.  He actually composed our Awesome Revolution music intro that freakin rocks!

In a lot of ways, Andrew reminds me of my younger brother: musician, love for plants and gardens, and a free spirit.  Right after our interview, I showed Andrew’s music to Jay (my brother) and he totally loved it. I think they would get along great.

Enjoy the vid!

Conversation Breakdown

1:20 – Tell me about the origins of SongstoWearPantsto.com

Andrew was looking for a way to make money during a summer, and he decided to post on eBay and auction off his musical talent.  You can bid on his auction, and the winner would win a complete custom song that Andrew built from scratch.  After realizing the potential of what he was doing, Andrew decided to make it a full-fledged site.

1:57 – What is the first song someone should listen to as an intro to what you do?

http://www.songstowearpantsto.com/songs/this-girl/

2:40 – There are so many people pursuing a career in music.  What advice can you give to someone who is too caught up in the mainstream?

Keep the focus on what you love.  As a music lover, it is very easy to get caught up in the business side of the industry.  The most important thing to remember is to have fun and stay true to your music.

4:01 – After going through music school, do you see any tangible benefits from attending music school?

The connections you make are big benefits; however, it is definitely not a requirement.  One can easily become fully enriched in music if one takes the time to read books, analyze all types of music, and keep an open mind.

5:08 – What do you do outside of music?

Andrew likes to garden.  He especially loves plants that he can eventually eat.

Best quote: “I think it’s magical and fun to take care of something from when it’s just a seed, to when it grows into something that can actually feed you.”

6:21 – Tell me about your recent marriage.  Did the music win her over?

His wife doesn’t care about his music!!!  She is very supportive, but music is not something that she is super passionate about.

This is such a great example of opposites attract.

7:52 – Where does the name “Songs to Wear Pants to” come from?

Back when Andrew was in high school, he was sitting in the living room with his parents and all of a sudden: “song to wear pants to” just penetrates his brain.  The title has stuck with him ever since.

8:31 – Can you share your musical talent with us LIVE

http://www.songstowearpantsto.com/songs/lonely/

10:14 – Can you put your creative thought process into words?

I’ve always been curious about the creative thought process of an artist.  Andrew tries to put his musical talent into words so we can see what he sees.

11:35 – Is there a special place you go to to get in your music zone?

Andrew is in his element in his studio.  The inspiration for a song can come from anywhere at anytime.

12:45 – What is in the future of SongstoWearPantsto.com?

Andrew does not think about the future too much.  He would like to switch to a royalty model which would allow him to scale his business a lot better.

Examples and Analysis of the Top Ten best Checkout Buttons in the world

The Checkout button must be clearly visible, large, trust-worthy, and attractive to encourage the shopper to take the final step toward making a purchase. Below you will find the top ten best Checkout buttons along with an in-depth analysis of what makes them excellent.

At the end of the page, we have included the .PSD to an optimized Checkout button that you can utilize for you eCommerce store.

1. Amazon

 

The number 1 retailer online should know a thing or two about optimizing for sales. The button is clean, easy-to-find, attractive, and to the point. Keep in mind, there is no “Trust” or “Security” marker on the Checkout button because Amazon is already to most trusted online retailer. Therefore, they don’t need to use extra space for a “Security” marker.

Our Analysis:

1. Color: Yellow

The color Yellow is used because it is the most attention-getting color. If Yellow is used in large amounts, it can fatigue the eye; however, when used in small amounts, it will draw the attention of the shopper. Therefore, Amazon uses Yellow to draw the attention of the user and get him or her to click the checkout button.

Yellow and Blue are on the opposite ends of the color wheel. When blue is used as a boarder, it provides an appealing contrast to the Yellow button.

2. Action word: Proceed

Amazon uses the words “Proceed to” to encourage the shopper to proceed to the Checkout.

If the button simply says “Checkout”, then the shopper understands that this is where the Checkout button is.

Because Amazon’s button says “Proceed to Checkout”, it acts as a catalyst to drive the user to click on the button and convert the sale.

3. Icon: Arrow

Similar to the action phrase, the Arrow Icon encourages the user to click and move forward to the Checkout process.

If the button only had the words “Checkout” and no Arrow Icon, then the user would see the button and understand that it exists.

The Arrow Icon acts as a catalyst to drive the user to click on the button and convert the sale.

2. Zappos

 

Similar to the Amazon Checkout button, the Zappos button is bright, large, easy-to-find, and contains an icon. Zappos uses a few different techniques that are worth noting.

Our Analysis:

1. Color: Orange

The color Orange draws the feeling of excitement and enthusiasm; it is also a bright color that draws the attention of the eye. Zappos is looking to catch the attention of the shopper while creating a sense of happiness and excitement when entering the Checkout process.

The goal is to make the shopper go, “Yay! I’m purchasing products that I’m really excited for!”

2. Action word: Proceed

Zappos uses the “Proceed” call to action exactly how Amazon uses it.

3. Icon: Cart

Zappos has chosen to use the image of a shopping cart rather than an arrow for its Checkout button.

Shoppers associate a shopping cart with buying groceries at a store. At the end of the shopping process, the shopper pays for her items, and walks the shopping cart back to the car to drop off the items. Zappos is looking to invoke this feeling of a vehicle that takes you through the payment process.

Though a shopping cart item is good, an arrow that encourages the shopper to continue is much better.

3. EB Games

 

We like Ebgames’ Checkout button because it is huge, and clearly encourages the shopper to continue and finish the shopping process.

It is important to take note that after a shopper adds an item in the Ebgames store, the shopper is immediately taken to the shopping cart. Most of the times this causes a negative affect with the shopper because you’re forcing her out of the store when the shopper could be adding to her cart by finding complimentary items. However, in the case of EB Games, most shoppers purchase only 1 item per visit; therefore, it is in their best interest to take the shopper directly to the Checkout page.

Our Analysis:

1. Color: Green

Unlike yellow, red, and orange, Green does not capture the attention of the eye. The purpose of using Green for the Checkout button is to associate the button with the word “Go”.

Green is used as the symbol for “Go” in stop lights; therefore, humans have been trained to see green and feel that it is safe to move forward. Coupled with the word “Continue”, EB Games is fully committing its user interface to get the shopper to move forward to the checkout process.

2. Action word: Continue

As we detailed above, EB Games is looking to drive the shopper from adding to the cart, immediately to checking out. They do not want any breaks in between that may cause the shopper to lose focus and leave the site. The word “Continue” fits perfectly because it causes the shopper to feel like she is continuing with something that she is supposed to be doing.

Something very important to notice is that EB Games purposefully removed the word “to” from “Continue to Checkout”. They did this because the word “to” signifies that you are currently NOT in the Checkout process and that you must go to it to begin.

By removing the word “to”, EB Games makes the shopper feel that she is already involved with the Checkout process and that she needs to only complete the process.

3. Icon: Arrow

The use of the arrow is similar to how Amazon uses the Arrow Icon.

4. Comp USA

 

There is no Checkout button that is more large and in charge than the Comp USA Checkout button.

Thought we feel that the button catches the attention of the shopper because of its size and capital letters, it is unfortunately missing the Arrow Icon that would further encourage the shopper to proceed.

1. Color: Green

The use of the color Green is similar to how EB Games uses the color Green.

2. Action word: Proceed

Comp USA uses the word “Proceed” exactly how Amazon uses it.

3. Trust word: Secure

Comp USA is a large company that is well known and trusted. Even though it can rely on its brand for trust and security, Comp USA has made trust a top priority by including the word “Secure” in its Checkout button.

Comp USA doesn’t want any hesitation from the shopper to move forward with the Checkout process. By including the word “Secure”, Comp USA banishes the insecurities of some online shoppers (those that are worried about identity theft online and getting their credit card numbers stolen) and moves them forward.

5. FTD

 

1. Color: Yellow

The color yellow in this instance has a similar effect to how Amazon uses it; however, there is one key difference – there is no blue border. Notice that without the blue border, the Yellow fades into the white background and causes the button the be slightly less noticeable. We like the way Amazon has uses a blue border to make its button pop.

2. Icon: Arrow

FTD uses the Arrow Icon in the same way that Amazon uses its Arrow Icon.

3. Action phrase: “..now with credit card”

It is important for us to mention that there are two ways to Checkout in the FTD shopping cart: with PayPal and with a credit card. The purpose of using “with credit card” is to clearly differentiate which types of payment methods the shopper would like to use.

The word “now” is used to create an immediate action, like a command. FTD’s intent is to command the shopper to proceed through the Checkout process and pay them money. Though we understand the reason for commanding the shopper to continue to the checkout process and pay, we prefer the Action word “Proceed” much better.

6. Bass Pro

 

The Bass Pro Checkout button is the first red button on our list. It’s not as large as we’d like a button to be, but it is still eye-catching and easy to find. You’ll also notice that it has an Arrow Icon, but that it is placed before the phrase instead of after.

Our Analysis

1. Color: Red

Red immediately draws attention to itself. When you’re on a website, the first items or buttons that you’ll notice are those that are colored Red. Therefore, Bass Pro’s goal is for you to immediately notice the button so that you can proceed with the Checkout process.

The one bad thing about Red is that it is associated with the action Stop. Because we see Red everyday at the stop light, it may cause a slight feeling of warning, danger, or halt.

Ultimately, the color red has proven to be excellent for buttons.

2. Action word: Proceed

Bass Pro uses the word “Proceed” exactly how Amazon uses it.

3. Icon: Arrow

Though the Arrow Icon has been used before, this is the first time that it is placed before the phrase rather than after it.

Placing the Arrow Icon before the phrase draws attention to the phrase itself, rather than encouraging the user to proceed with the Checkout.

  • Arrow before phrase: “Look at the Phrase and do what it says”
  • Arrow after the phrase: “Move forward with what the button wants you to do”

We feel that placing the Arrow Icon after the phrase is best.

7. Buy.com

 

I was mistaken; it looks like Buy.com has the largest Checkout button amongst our top ten list. The button is large, the green stands out, and it encourages the shopper to move forward to payment.

Our Analysis

1. Color: Green

The color Green is used here similar to how EB Games uses it.

2. Action word: Proceed

The word Proceed is used similarly to how Amazon uses it.

3. Icon: Arrow Cart Thing

Notice how the Icon is place before the phrase rather than after it. It draws attention to the phrase itself rather than invoking the motivation to continue with the process.

The Icon itself is unique in that it is a mix between a shopping cart and an arrow. We feel that it’s an ambiguous Icon, and that the shopper is better served if she is clearly demonstrated an Arrow Icon.

8. Ebags

 

The Ebags Checkout button does not necessarily bring anything new to the table. It uses the color Green and the Action word “Proceed” to compel the user to move forward and it uses a shopping cart icon in the same way that Zappos uses it.

One key element to notice is that the phrase “Proceed to Checkout” is actually very small. We recommend increasing the size of the font in the Checkout button to make it clearly visible to the shopper.

9. Apple

 

Apple doesn’t have anything fancy – it’s pretty much direct and to the point. The Checkout button says, “Check Out Now.” The button is small, contains no icons, but is at least clearly visible in the shopping cart.

The beauty in the button is that it’s sleek, simple, and obvious.

10. PayPal

 

I personally wanted to place PayPal as number 1; however, we decided to reserve slots 1-9 for custom buttons (designed by the eCommerce store), and place PayPal as number 10 because we can all use it.

Our Analysis

1. Color: Yellow

Yellow is of course used to draw attention.

2. It’s from Paypal

The button says PayPal, so the shopper automatically trusts the Checkout process and feels secure.

3. It’s actually a lot smaller than the other buttons

We prefer a Checkout button that is large and in charge. This PayPal button is sleek, simple, and eye-catching, but it can be missed by non-tech savvy web shoppers.

The Best Checkout Button in the World

After our thorough analysis of hundreds of Checkout buttons, we feel that the Best Checkout Button in the World contains the following elements:

  1. Yellow background with Blue border
  2. About 250px in width and 35px in height
  3. Contains the Action word “Proceed”
  4. Contain the Arrow Icon

Social Media Case Study: Whole Foods

Whole Foods Facebook

I love using Whole Foods as a social media case study in my presentations.  Whole Foods is a first-mover that doesn’t wait to see what its competitors are doing; instead, it looks to constantly innovate and embrace new forms of media to build a closer relationship to its consumers.  From a sleek, professional blog, to a useful iPhone app, Whole Foods has noticeably made the effort and succeeded in engaging consumers.

The most impressive feature of Whole Foods’ social media campaign is its use of Facebook.  It not only has a central FB Fan Page where campaigns are run and conversations held, but it also maintains individual FB Fan Pages for individual stores.  Lets dive into the details of what has made the Whole Foods FB Fan Page so successful…

Structure

A page that truly stands out for Whole Foods is its Facebook Central Hub.  From this page, a visitor is able to view and interact with the following:

  1. Become a Fan
  2. Easily locate the main FB Fan Page and view the latest postings
  3. Find a local Whole Foods location and link out to the FB Fan Page (right sidebar)

When I google “Whole Foods Facebook,” you’ll notice that the Central Hub is the fourth link above the fold, giving Whole Foods the opportunity to rank well in the SERPs and get people on their main site when searching for their FB Fan Page.

Individual Stores

Maintaining 1 FB Fan Page for a large company is hard enough; imagine the organization needed to maintain over 200 FB Fan Pages!  Well, that’s exactly what Whole Foods has done and its right in line with their brand and messaging to its consumers.

Why its so tough:

Posting on a wall doesn’t seem that hard right?  Well, it’s not just about posting one item and then snoozing; the task of maintaing an active community on a FB Fan Page and moderating your fans takes a lot of work:

  1. The company must either assign and train a specific employee at each store to become the Community Manager or hire an intern specifically to fill the role
  2. A guide must be created so that the CM knows what content can be posted and what content must be avoided
  3. Moderation rules and guidelines need to be created in case there are any belligerent fans on the wall
  4. A FB post-tree is highly recommended to keep the CM organized and keep the content on the wall alive and fresh

Example of a FB post-tree:

  1. Mondays: Special recipes
  2. Tuesdays: Tips on how to stay healthy with your food
  3. Wednesdays: Career opportunities
  4. etc…

The result:

Some of the FB Fan Pages are highly active; others are not.

Regardless, the goal is NOT to hoard fans; rather, the goal is to provide a platform that allows the community to interact with their local Whole Foods.  As can be seen from the video below, the brand goal is to be “local.”  By having a FB Fan Page for every local store, they are keeping in line with their brand and fulfilling their promise.

An Open Approach

The greatest fear that the majority of large companies have when it comes to social media is letting go of control.  Sure they want the thousands of  Facebook fans, but they don’t want these so called followers and fans to leave negative messages on their wall. Furthermore, censorship of social profiles and the complete control of what your Community Manager does with the profiles inhibits creativity, deflates the authenticity of the message, and creates an operations nightmare.

Whole Foods truly understands that a censored, red-taped, top-down approach does not work in the digital age.  A great example of this is how they use their Facebook accounts.  Facebook managers understand the guidelines to which they must abide by and are fully immersed in the company culture, but are free to add their personality and creativity into each post.  Some FB Fan Pages share fun information while other keep posts strictly focused on business happenings. At all times, the FB manager is able to have fun in the process and feel they have the ability to fully engage with FB fans and provide them a personal service.

Why the amazing engagement

Whole foods interacts with consumers and provides them with relevant content.  News features like this one are posted on the Facebook Fan Page and receive more feedback and shares from the FB Fan Page than on the actual blog.  The FB Community Manager doesn’t just post the link and let it happen, the CM actually takes the time to write a descriptive paragraph describing what the post is about:

The recent Florida freeze is affecting produce availability – in particular strawberries, tomatoes and bunching greens. Check out this blog post from our produce folks for more details.”

Furthermore, Whole Foods has not linked the blog to the Notes feed of the Facebook Fan Page.  Instead, they only post highly relevant posts that their FB community would like to read.  By taking the time to make sure only FB relevant blog posts are featured on the wall, Whole Foods does not bombard its fans with constant content and makes sure that the community loves every single post.

Whole Food is also not afraid to link out to articles and content that was not produced by Whole Foods.  In an effort to provide relevant, high quality tips to its fans, the Whole Foods Community Manager linked out to this article through the FB Fan Page: http://eating.health.com/2009/12/22/10-resolutions-to-start-today/

Involvement with real employees

Whole Foods embraces transparency, and features real life employees in its videos to support the campaigns that it is holding.  Again, this is keeping in line with the “Local” brand and allows FB Fans to see the real people that make Whole Food happen.

This is my year to… Facebook App

 

This is my year to

The current campaign that Whole Foods is running is called “This is my year to…” in which a Fan is able to choose an intention to support a worthy cause. Each cause will receive a $10,000 donation from Whole Foods, with the winning cause receiving a double donation.  Fans are able to vote everyday and share their vote with their friends.

As of this posting, the race is very close with Non-GMO Project barely in the lead:

Votes

 

In Summary…

The most important takeaway is to stay true to your brand, and to deliver your brand message on every social platform.  If your brand is about being “local,” then you better provide local service to all of your customers.  Be bold, take risks, but ultimately, stay true to your brand and your social media campaign will have a high chance of reaching success.

The Top 10 YouTube Video Bloggers

One of the most popular sites today is YouTube.com and one of the biggest reasons for its huge popularity is thanks to video bloggers. While there are plenty of ‘all-stars’ when it comes to video blogs, we wanted to see who the top were. With that said, we have put together a list of the Top 10 YouTube Video Bloggers.

With some of those on our list first starting way back when YouTube first launched, it is no wonder that they have exploded in popularity. While some may consider them only ‘online’ celebrities, many have used their online influence to land roles on Television shows as well as becoming ‘household’ names. From getting your news to having a few laughs, these video bloggers are the best at what they do.

For our list, we analyzed the video bloggers based on 4 categories: 1. YouTube Channel Views, 2. Subscribers,  3. the number of videos they have and 4. how many months they have had an active YouTube account.  All traffic statistics were drawn from YouTube.com and are current as of August 29, 2009.

  1. Fred

    Description: Lucas Cruikshank or what he’s better known as, Fred Figglehorn, was one of the first YouTube video bloggers. Through his comedic videos which feature voice editing that creates his high-pitched tone, Fred’s channel was the first YouTube channel to gain over 1 million subscribers. Aside from his online popularity, Lucas has also made guest appearances on shows like iCarly as well as CNN and The Tyra Banks Show. Lucas has also launched his own merchandise for anyone looking to own their own ‘Fred.’

    Follow Fred on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 60,568,726

    Subscribers: 1,375,515

    Videos: 44

    Months Active: 46

    Total Score: 5.922

  2. nigahiga

    Description: No list would be complete if we didn’t include Ryan Higa (aka. nigahiga)! From his awesome rendition of Twilight in just minutes to bringing us the “Word of the Day – Pwned“, you don’t have to look far to figure out why people love his videos so much. He is also in an exclusive category when it comes to YouTube ’stars’ as he is #1 Most Subscribed User on YouTube of all-time as well as boasting over 1 millions views on each of videos. Be sure to  also check out his most recent work, Ninja Melk!

    Follow nigahiga on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 48,477,006

    Subscribers: 1,424,656

    Videos: 41

    Months Active: 37

    Total Score: 4.978

  3. sxephil

    Description: Since 2006, Phillip DeFranco or sxephil, has been lighting up YouTube channels with his entertaining video blogs. Currently the #8 most subscribed YouTube channel, Phillp DeFranco isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind and always has a fresh take on what’s current. Phillip also has a great website going where you can find not only his video blogs embedded, but also some great content. Be sure to check out PhillyD.tv

    Follow sxephil on Twitter!

    Channel Views
    : 20,619,754

    Subscribers: 595,943

    Videos: 353

    Months Active: 35

    Total Score: 2.935

  4. KevJumba

    Description: Inspired by Dave Chapelle and his love for stand-up comedy, KevJumba is one of our favorite YouTube video bloggers. Aside from his always entertaining videos, KevJumba uses his creativity to find new was to interact with his fans. From challenging Baron Davis on iBeatYou.com and setting up the JumbaFund (every month JumbaFund donates all the revenue earned from Youtube to a charity of your choice), KevJumba is the real deal. 

    Follow KevJumba on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 19,313,232

    Subscribers: 629,408

    Videos: 49

    Months Active: 37

    Total Score: 2.624

  5. CommunityChannel

    Description:
    At number 5 on our list is the beautiful Australian born, Natalie Tran. Also known as the star of CommunityChannel, Natalie Tran has re-invented ‘multi-role’ skits. Taking on many different roles in her video skits, Natalie offers something for everyone. She is the #1 most subscribed YouTube user in Australia as well as the #3 most subscribed female in the world.Follow CommunityChannel on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 19,924,629

    Subscribers: 407,280

    Videos: 178

    Months Active: 35

    Total Score: 2.584

  6. itschriscrocker

    Description: One of the fastest growing names on YouTube is none other than Chris Crocker. Chris brought to us one of the most viewed videos on YouTube (28 million views + ), simply titled “Leave Britney Alone!” While some contest that it is all just an act, one thing is for sure: Chris Crocker is here to stay. Featured on numerous media outlets like Maury, Fox News and Jimmy Kimmel Live, itschriscrocker fans continue to grow in numbers with no intentions of slowing down.

    Follow itschriscrocker on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 21,414,204

    Subscribers: 253,348

    Videos: 131

    Months Active: 30

    Total Score: 2.394

  7. HotForWords

    Description: Coming in at #7 is probably the hottest video blogger online, Marina Orlova. So what is the key to her success? Aside from her good looks, Marina has turned learning into a fun and entertaining process. Her love for words and its origins led her to start HotForWords in 2007 where she teaches users about the origin of words. Since 2007 she has also launched her own website along with her new book entitled Hot For Words: Answers to All Your Burning Questions About Words and Their Meanings. Aside from her fame online, Marina can also be proud to say that she is the World’s #1 Sexiest Geek as voted by Wired Magazine in their  “Sexy Geek of the Year Contest” contest.

    Since people keep asking us what “Viralogy” actually means, perhaps this is a case for HotForWords!

    Follow HotForWords on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 14,547,899

    Subscribers: 254,056

    Videos: 483

    Months Active: 30

    Total Score: 2.322

  8. MileyMandy

    Description: It was only about time before Miley Cyrus joined YouTube and now that she has, it looks like shes on a path to #1. After just a year and a half on YouTube, Miley and friend Mandy Jiroux have grown almost astronomically in numbers since their first video. Aside from her hit TV show, Hannah Montana, and her pop music success, Mandy and Miley have brought ‘reality TV’ to a whole new level. From their homemade videos, fans can see a side to Miley that they never knew of.

    Follow MileyMandy on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 22,508,259

    Subscribers: 451,786

    Videos: 33

    Months Active: 18

    Total Score: 2.199

  9. WHATTHEBUCKSHOW

    Description: Winner of the YouTube award for Best Commentary in 2007, Michael Buckley has grown to become one of the biggest celebrity gossip video blogs online. If their is something funny in the world of celebs, you can be sure that Michael will be on it. While it may seem like all fun and games, Michael Buckley has found a way to make money from his extremely popular videos. One of the best parts about WHATTHEBUCK is also his ability to say it like it is. While most may not want to offend celebrities or make fun of them, Michael Buckley lets viewers know what’s on his mind.

    Follow WHATTHEBUCK on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 10,664,917

    Subscribers: 554,411

    Videos: 345

    Months Active: 27

    Total Score: 2.079

  10. VenetianPrincess

    Description: When it comes to music video parody’s, VenetianPrincess is one of the best. Since 2006, VenetianPrincess has been cranking out hit after hit and it’s all paid off. With good looks and a great sense of creativity, it is no wonder she is the #1 most subscribed female on YouTube (Approximately 53 Million YouTube Females) and also has won several awards for her Miley Cyrus video spoof, “7 Things (Guys Don’t Have To Do.)“Among the awards, they include being part of The Top 10 Viral Videos by PC World Magazine in 2008 as well as one of the most favorited videos on YouTube. Oh, did we mention she she won the title of Miss YouTube in April of this year?

    Follow VenetianPrincess on Twitter!

    Channel Views: 10,268,188

    Subscribers: 551,262

    Videos: 102

    Months Active: 35

    Total Score: 2.012

Social Media Tactics: Engaging Your Community Pt. 3: Frank Eliason

Website: Time to be Frank
Twitter:@ComcastCares
Bio: Frank Eliason is the Director of Digital Care for Comcast and handles all incoming requests to @ComcastCares on Twitter. He also runs a team of Comcast reps online including @ComcastDoug, @ComcastBonnie and @ComcastBill. Frank also writes on a blog called Time to be Frank, and speaks at events across the country.

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who has had a greater impact on new media marketing and customer service than Frank Eliason. While everyone else focused on themselves and on “what are you doing?”, Frank did a complete 180, asking “Can I help?” While hundreds of “social media experts” popped up, Frank prided himself on being a customer “service guy.” Comcast’s success in the new media space has come entirely from Frank’s social media tactics, those he’ll readily acknowledge aren’t “tactics”, but just being helpful.

Social Media Tactics discusses various ways social and new media users build relationships and add value to their audience. Each week, we will look at one social media influencer that has managed to use web marketing successfully. In Social Media Tactics, we’ll show you some of the best ways to enhance your own brand and social media presence while demonstrating how some smart users employ social media tactics.

The Social Media Tactics series can be found here.

By treating his network not as an audience for him to speak at, but a community that he connects with, Frank has gained critical acclaim just for helping others. Though everyone knows @ComcastCares is a branded Twitter account, it is the honesty and candor that Frank brings to Twitter that catches people by surprise and instantly changes people’s opinion of the brand and cable companies in general.

Though Frank is most well-known for his Twitter account, @ComcastCares, he also runs a blog and is an incredible public speaker. I had the opportunity to see him this month at an event in Seattle. During that talk, one of the most important points that he tried to drive home was that a corporate account on Twitter is about customer service. It’s not about marketing your product or listening to yourself speak; but it’s about paying attention to your users. If you provide your users with a superior experience, you win. Frank noted at the Seattle event:

“It’s not about being an expert, it’s about being yourself… I’ve never sought to be the Comcast Cares guy or the logo or anything like that. I simply related to people and that’s where the success is.”

How Frank Engages His Community

Twitter: As Twitter gained popularity, @ComcastCares became the face of a corporate success for the space. Though Frank helps Comcast connect through a number of different communities, Twitter is by far the most recognized. It’s important to note that the way Frank engages his community is different from the way that 99% of Twitter users will engage with theirs. Frank doesn’t need to do marketing for his company. There’s millions of dollars in budgeting going out in other areas for Comcast, not to mention the fact that Comcast has its own entire media arm as a cable company to market themselves. You, on the other hand, do not have that. Few of you have a marketing *team*, let alone millions of dollars budgeted to growing your business.

That said, Frank has found success by addressing a problem that people rarely address. Helping others. At the end of the day, your community cares much less about you than they do about themselves. The best way to get your customers to care about you is to show that you care about them first. It’s just human nature to reciprocate. If you try to make social media all about you, it’s much, much harder to succeed.

At first, Comcast responded to customers having trouble with service, waiting for a technician or unsure about outages by asking the simple question: “Can I help?” Though you likely do not have the same number of people asking about your brand, you can help others having trouble elsewhere. Are you a business card company? Search for people having trouble with your competitors and offer help. Are you a shoe outlet store? Find people who are paying too much for theirs. Even individuals can find problems to solve. I’m not saying you should disrupt every conversation on Twitter, but if you have an actual, *helpful* solution to a real problem, offer your assistance.

Speaking Engagements: One of Frank Eliason’s strong suits is his ability to speak in public. I have heard him speak at a couple of events and he has a great reputation for addressing an audience. Much like Twitter, though, he makes sure to engage the audience. Where Frank excels is his ability to understand the concerns of others, and offer honest, candid responses. This works even better in person than it does online. Plus, he has to spend less time dealing with trolls.

If you have a chance to listen to Frank speak about how he uses Twitter and other social networks, do so. He is one of the few corporate marketing folk with years of experience under his belt. He can explain how to best leverage programs like CoTweet and how to scale a business in social media. But one of the most surprising things that Frank does as a corporate marketer is to be honest. Rather than beating around the bush, he’ll explain how to best deal with trolls or handle a corporate legal team. It is that transparency that has created and continues to define his success in social media.

If there’s one lesson to be learned from Frank’s style in engaging his community it is this: marketing is not about you, it’s about your customer. If you help your customer to be happy, you’ll make the sale. Stop trying to act like an expert, and instead act like a friend.

Photo Source: Mr. Noded’s Gnomedex 9.0 Flickr photostream.

Jaremy Rich writes Techshots, a blog on technology, marketing and gaming, and has learned a great deal about new media marketing from @ComcastCares.

The Top 20 Food Blogs That’ll Make You Hungry Part I

Whether you’re looking for a new dish to make or looking for new ways to spice up your own, this weeks list is sure to help you out! This week we bring you a special treat with The Top 20 Food Blogs That’ll Make You Hungry. When I first started putting together the list, right off the bat I knew that this list was going to be jam packed full of great blogs. In response to this, instead of our usual Top 10, I decided to do a Part I and Part II to our list for a combined Top 20.

One of the great things you will notice about our list is the great diversity in topics that each cover. While the list focuses on the Top Food Blogs, each blog has its own unique personality and focus.

As usual in our rankings, we analyzed the blogs based on three categorizes: 1. Blog Site Traffic, 2. Technorati Authority, and 3. the number of linkbacks that the site had. All traffic statistics were drawn from Compete.com analytics.

As the title mentions, these blogs are not only the best of the best, but they also have the tendency to create feelings of hunger while reading them. While we couldn’t fit all our favorite blogs on this list, please feel free to tell us your favorite food blogs!

  1. 101 Cookbooks

     

    Description: If you are only going to read one food blog, 101 Cookbooks makes a strong case as to why it’s number one. If you want to find something absolutely amazing to cook, this is the place to start. 101 Cookbooks not only makes cooking fun, but also easy!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 285,064

    Technorati Authority: 1,171

    Linkbacks: 11,100

    Total Score: 252.57

  2. Chocolate & Zucchini

     

    Description: Chocolate & Zucchini is one of my favorites. Not only does it introduce some great dishes and recipes, it also goes in-depth on topics such as what time of year certain dishes are best to what occasions you should make them for. Be sure to check them out!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 42,027

    Technorati Authority: 1,116

    Linkbacks: 12,300

    Total Score: 269.38

  3. Serious Eats

     

    Description: You can’t say you know food until you’ve checked out Serious Eats. Once there, you can find everything you need to know about food. With new content always being released from various contributors, Serious Eats is a must read for food enthusiasts.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 555,173

    Technorati Authority: 1,422

    Linkbacks: 9,820

    Total Score: 238.77

  4. Smitten Kitchen

     

    Description: Through a combination of images and text, Smitten Kitchen brings a fresh new side to food. Smitten Kitchen is almost a sure shot at making you hungry and wanting to throw on an apron and cook something!

    Visitors Last Month: 181,467

    Technorati Authority: 1,595

    Linkbacks: 9,890

    Total Score: 234.25

  5. David Lebovitz

     

    Description: Started by ex-pastry chef David Lebovitz, his self-titled blog, David Lebovitz, takes a little bit of creativity along with an international touch and mixes into something special. From its international appeal to its high-quality images, this is sure to land on readers favorite list.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 92,689

    Technorati Authority: 713

    Linkbacks: 9,070

    Total Score: 197.99

  6. Simply Recipes

     

    Description: As its name suggests, Simple Recipes is just that. Here you will find some great recipes for every occasion. Finding that one recipe for that special occasion just got easier. Don’t forget to bookmark it!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 513,666

    Technorati Authority: 178

    Linkbacks: 8,580

    Total Score: 29.13

  7. Delicious Days

     

    Description: To say that Delicious Days is awesome might just be an understatement. Starting from its clean cut design, Delicious Days leaves its readers hungry and wanting more. Anyone looking to start their own food blog needs to check Delicious Days out!

    Visitors Last Month: 68,728

    Technorati Authority: 1,554

    Linkbacks: 7,030

    Total Score: 173.40

  8. Orangette

     

    Description: For those of you who call yourself “food aficionados,” you definitely need to check out Orangette. Orangette offers wonderful content as well as some tantalizing dishes.

    Visitors Last Month: N/A

    Technorati Authority: 1,240

    Linkbacks: 6,490

    Total Score: 154.6

  9. Chez Pim

     

    Description: Voted as one of The World’s 50 Most Powerful Blogs, it doesn’t take long to see why. Chez Pim is full of vibrant content and beautiful photos. As with any blog, content is king. At Chez Pim there is no doubt that it’s one of the best when it comes to food. Check it out!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 15,713

    Technorati Authority: 365

    Linkbacks: 6,920

    Total Score: 146.094

  10. La Tartine Gourmande

     

    Description: If La Tartine Gourmandie had no text and only had their photos left, they might still make our Top 20 list. That is how great this blog is. La Tartine Gourmandie offers savory recipes and eye catching images all in one place!

    Visitors Last Month: 17,867

    Technorati Authority: 325

    Linkbacks: 6,160

    Total Score: 130.148

The Top 10 Travel Blogs To Help You Travel The World

With the summer season underway, that means that it’s time to start planning. Whether it’s that weekend getaway you’ve been looking forward to or that trip to Europe, we’ve put together The Top 10 Travel Blogs To Help You Travel The World. From knowing when the best time to travel is to where the best surf is, the blogs on our list are sure to make your travels are fun and exciting.

While well known blogs Gadling, Gridskipper, and Jaunted did not make our list, it’s only because we wanted to focus our attention to the blogs that help make travel a little easier and that deserve some attention.

In our rankings, we analyzed the blogs based on three categorizes: 1. Blog Site Traffic, 2. Technorati Authority, and 3. the number of linkbacks that the site had. All traffic statistics were drawn from Compete.com analytics.

  1. The Cranky Flier

    Description: If you want to know all their is about airlines, airports and air travel, The Cranky Flier is where you should start first. The Cranky Flier offers its readers some great analysis on airlines as well as airport travel.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 12,186

    Technorati Authority: 127

    Linkbacks: 2,150

    Total Score: 45.938

  2. Travel Blog

     

    Description: This is definitely one of my favorites simply because the concept behind it is great! Travel Blog is a unique, free online travel diary for travelers across the world. From great articles about expeditions in the jungle to trips to the pyramids, Travel Blog has something for everyone.

    Visitors Last Month: 404,340

    Technorati Authority: 479

    Linkbacks: 1,020

    Total Score: 43.182

  3. A Luxury Travel Blog

     

    Description: Written by Dr. Paul Johnson, A Luxury Travel Blog focuses on topics like the finer aspects of travel as well as information on luxurious hotels and resorts. If you are looking to spend your travels in the lap of luxury, be sure to check this blog out!

    Visitors Last Month: 8,359

    Technorati Authority: 37

    Linkbacks: 1,490

    Total Score: 30.813

  4. VagaBlogging

     

    Description: Written by Rolf Potts, VagaBlogging offers its readers a fresh new take on travel with awesome content! Anyone who reads this blog is sure to spend some quality time at his site. You can’t read just one post!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 5,995

    Technorati Authority: 90

    Linkbacks: 1,420

    Total Score: 30.396

  5. The Perrin Post Travel Blog

     

    Description: Great content with some amazing photos. While many people like to read blogs because of the great content, I enjoyed looking through The Perrin Post Travel Blog because of the photos. For each blog post, their is an awesome photo to go with it!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: N/A

    Technorati Authority: 217

    Linkbacks: 1,300

    Total Score: 30.34

  6. Upgrade: Travel Better

     

    Description: As its name suggests, Upgrade: Travel Better is for “the traveler looking to maximize comfort, style, and convenience, while getting a great deal.” This is a great blog because of the helpful tips it provides as well as updating its blog many times a week which keeps its readers engaged and up to date!

    Visitors Last Month: 31,555

    Technorati Authority: 95

    Linkbacks: 1,310

    Total Score: 29.13

  7. Travel Rants

     

    Description: Need to know where the best place to go during vacation season is? Or how about where you can find that last minute deal on plane tickets? Look no further than Travel Rants. Don’t believe us? Find out yourselves and join the fun!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 9,852

    Technorati Authority: 101

    Linkbacks: 1,300

    Total Score: 28.342

  8. Travel Post

     

    Description: Knowing where to stay or how long can be difficult for many, but our friends over at Travel Post have helped make our lives a little easier with their great hotel lists and tips/advice. Planning for a trip just got easier!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 372,450

    Technorati Authority: 18

    Linkbacks: 429

    Total Score: 21.101

  9. Traveling Mamas

     

    Description: When visiting Traveling Mamas you can’t help but love reading it! Traveling Mamas inspires women to get out there and explore the world. From tips on how to spend vacation wih the kids to finding time for those weekend getaway, you are sure to finding something useful and interesting!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 28,644

    Technorati Authority: 136

    Linkbacks: 586

    Total Score: 17.317

  10. Word Hum Travel Blog

     

    Description: At the World Hum Travel Blog, you will never miss a beat when it comes to travel news. Staying up to date with the world and how travel is changing is easy with the World Hum Travel Blog!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 75,937

    Technorati Authority: 0

    Linkbacks: 640

    Total Score: 15.279

The Top 10 Personal Development Blogs You Wish You Knew About Earlier

When people think of what the top personal development blogs are they commonly think of blogs such as the Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss or Zen Habits. While these are great blogs that offer some top notch content, their are plenty of other great personal development blogs that not everyone has heard of. We realized this and decided to put together a list of the Top 10 Personal Development Blogs You Wish You Knew About Earlier. While some people may recognize some of the blogs on our list, for those of you who still haven’t discovered them we hope you enjoy them!

One of the biggest reasons why people read blogs is because they want to get advice or information on a particular topic. Personal development blogs are extremely important to the online community because of the service it provides for many people. From teaching others how to maximize their efficiency, to helping others find what they are passionate about, personal development blogs are a great learning tool.

For our list we focused primarily on blogs that have the potential to be ‘household names’ in the blogosphere. Taking into account the blogs site traffic as well as it’s Technorati authority and the number of linkbacks that the site had, we were able to come up with our list. While our list only highlights 10 blogs, there are still plenty more out there for you to find!

  1. Life Clever

     

    Description: Life Clever is a personal development website geared toward designers. It offers great tips and advice on topics ranging from your career to your personal life. Be sure to check it out!

    Visitors Last Month: 38,442
    Technorati Authority: 143
    Linkbacks: 712

    Total Score: 24.17

  2. Marc and Angel Hack Life

     

    Description: At Marc and Angel Hack Life you can find awesome practical tips for productive living. With an original point of view on various topics, you are sure to find something useful and insightful at their site!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 43,805
    Technorati Authority: 163
    Linkbacks: 618

    Total Score: 23.68

  3. Life Optimizer

     

    Description: As the title implies, Life Optimizer is for anyone who wants to live life to the fullest. Life Optimizer has built a following around them by teaching people how to live life through personal development and growth

    Visitors Last Month: 25,679
    Technorati Authority: 195
    Linkbacks: 610

    Total Score: 20.82

  4. Illuminated Mind

     

    Description: We interviewed Jonathan Mead a while back and we knew that his blog was special. And we were right. At Illuminated Mind, you can find creative and entertaining blog posts that offer a new angle on personal development! If you don’t believe us, go check it out!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 26,228
    Technorati Authority: 181
    Linkbacks: 592

    Total Score: 20.28

  5. Productivity 501

     

    Description: One of the great things about Productivity 501 is its dedication to the quality of its’ content. Through original publications, Productivity 501 teaches it readers tips and tricks on how to increase personal productivity. With their goal to bring high quality content to their readers, it’s no wonder they made our list!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 17,737
    Technorati Authority: 122
    Linkbacks: 546

    Total Score: 16.62

  6. Litemind

     

    Description: What is the most powerful tool you possess? If you said your mind then you should definitely check out Litemind. At Litemind you will find new ways to fully develop your potential through a more efficient use of your mind.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 43,563
    Technorati Authority: 100
    Linkbacks: 321

    Total Score: 16.43

  7. Urban Monk

     

    Description: Urban Monk goal is to “provide a free companion in your personal development journey inwards into yourself and outwards into the urban world – modern life, entwined with ancient spirituality.” Urban Monk brings a fresh new outlook on personal development with a great message!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 10,865
    Technorati Authority: 88
    Linkbacks: 591

    Total Score: 15.58

  8. Jonathan Fields

     

    Description: Don’t know how to balance work and play? Then you have to check out Jonathan Fields blog to get all the best tips and advice on everything from entrepreneurship to your career.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 18,224
    Technorati Authority: 208
    Linkbacks: 295

    Total Score: 13.41

  9. Change Your Thoughts

     

    Description: To change the way you live and do things can be hard. At Change Your Thoughts by Steven Aitchison, he provides great ways to help make personal development easier. Some of the topics covered at his blog include: Finance, relationships, career, spiritual beliefs, and health.

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 15,459
    Technorati Authority: 53
    Linkbacks: 407

    Total Score: 12.04

  10. The Change Blog

     

    Description: One of my personal favorites, The Change Blog offers great advice and tips that everyone can relate too. If you are looking to make a change in your life this is a great place to start!

    Follow on Twitter!

    Visitors Last Month: 11,110
    Technorati Authority: 115
    Linkbacks: 336

    Total Score: 11.06

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk: Extreme Opposites

Tim Ferris vs Gary Vaynerchuk

(This post is written by Viralogy Founder Yu-kai Chou. To find out more about him, visit Chou’s Power Coaching Blog)

Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk have opposite Celebrity Styles

If you have been on the internet for awhile, chances are you’ve heard of Tim Ferriss, author of the best selling 4-Hour-Work-Week, and Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV.

Even though they are both pretty famous online, they have radically different celebrity styles in terms of engaging and dealing with their fans.

Gary Vaynerchuk is known for his authentic, passionate and caring style, while Tim Ferriss is idolized by many for his demonstration of Lifestyle Design and making his own life as efficient as possible.

While I think there is nothing wrong with either one of their styles, I believe that Gary Vaynerchuk has the edge in terms of being respected on the internet.

Tim Ferriss’ book and ideas are incredible and I highly encourage all of you to get familiar with it, but I believe that people mostly care about how Tim Ferriss’ ideas can make their own lives better, while Garyvee fans really care about him as a person.

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Hotshot & Coach

One big difference between Tim Ferriss and Gary Vaynerchuk is that Tim acts like a hotshot, while Gary behaves like a coach.

It is well known that Gary Vaynerchuk will respond to you if you email him. Sure, his responses aren’t too long, but he demonstrates the mindset that since an individual took the time to type out something to him, he should respect that by putting in some time of his own too.

He also always helps his fans by teaching them how to monetize their passions. Here is one of his classic videos that demonstrates his style of helping people pursue their passions. In this way, Gary acts as a coach that tries to take care of everyone on the team and push them forward.

Tim Ferriss, on the other hand, acts like a Hotshot of a company or team. His style is more like “Look at the great results I am producing. You should try to be like me!” He would always tell you how he used the shortest time to accomplish the greatest things and how you can do it too. Yes, that link looks very appealing. That’s why he is so successful.

With his cool and cold personality, a lot of people idolize him and really do want to be like him, but when it comes to engaging him as a fan, he makes it very clear that he outsources his emails, he’s not going to follow many people on Twitter, and he would only respond to money making or prestigious opportunities.

Tim Ferriss’ “be like me, but don’t bother me” style is definitely radically different than that of Gary Vaynerchuk’s “it’s about caring and engaging your market!”

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Craft & Authenticity

Gary Vaynerchuk is well known for how authentic he is. He doesn’t like to edit out things in videos, he publicly criticizes what he thinks is wrong on the internet while giving credit for good efforts, and he always puts his personality out there whenever he can.

This is a classic example of it. Gary makes a comment about ESPN’s layout, and a “watcher” writes to him and tells him to “STFU” and calls him a “used douche bag.”

Being a respected celebrity on the internet, most people would delete this comment, ignore it, or address it with a very “crafted” message saying, “Thank you for pointing these things out. Either way, my points are still valid. And there is no need for you to be so rude.”

However, Gary REPOSTS this message as a new blog post so more people can pay attention to it, and responds with this:

“JAMES IS 1000000% right, I am super wrong, I didn’t know that this was a one day play and I feel awful, I just wish it was more obvious so I didn’t jump the gun, but like James said I am in the wrong for jumping the gun, Sorry Man!”

That’s Gary Vaynerchuk for ya.

On the other hand, Tim Ferriss is always about looking as successful as possible and crafting out a slick image. Sometimes when his blogposts are not as successful as he thought in terms of people caring and commenting, he would take it down. He wants everyone to only see his impressive results.

For the longest time, Tim also declared that he will follow 0 people on Twitter while having 5 digits worth of followers. He made it clear that Twitter was not a tool for him to listen to people, but something that allows his fans to stalk him better.

That way he really looks like a super-idol. After-all, it doesn’t look as “celebrity” when you are following 60% of the people that are following you.

Also, Tim Ferriss’ book says you could live a four-hour-work-week. But when people look at his life, they question how he seems to work way more than 4 hours a week. In fact, for that very book he has been hustling a lot, making friends with bloggers (and their family members) and writing all day when he says he hates writing.

He then defines “work” by saying it is “something you do for financial reasons or you would prefer to do less”. So supposedly the book does not apply to people who work 90 hours a week on a job they love doing. The whole concept is that is is much cooler to tell people “I only work 4 hours a week” so that everyone wants to be like you, instead of literally live a lifestyle where you only do four hours of work a week. His original book title “Drug Dealing for Fun and Profit” also stays true to that style of making things sound/look easy.

I can’t say which style is better in terms of being authentic or crafted. However, it appears that Penelope Trunk hates Tim Ferriss partially because of Tim’s style. Although it is also true that Penelope Trunk can write a long blog post about how she hates anyone. I would like to see her write a post about Gary Vaynerchuk actually.

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Fast Rise & Solid Advancement

How Gary Vaynerchuk and Tim Ferriss gain their popularity is actually a very interesting thing to explore too. Even though Tim Ferriss has been trying out numerous things in a few different countries, his rise to popularity was relatively fast considering his one book became an instant hit and brought him onto the celebrity scene.

Gary Vaynerchuk took a different route. He started Wine Library TV as the first video show about wine on the internet, and for a long time there weren’t a lot of people watching (I mean, I still don’t get how people watch a show just about wine daily. I’m just a Gary fan, not a wine fanatic). You can see his modest first show here.

However, even though it started off slowly, Gary persistently did it for a few years, and very slowly people started recognizing him and invited him to make keynote speeches about pursuing one’s passion and social media. That’s how he gained his status today.

This key difference is not very surprising, because Tim Ferriss’ always teaches about how to use the easy shortcuts to accomplish great things. He tries something, lets it go, tries something, lets it go, until something goes big.

And that’s actually smart for entrepreneurs. You want to throw as many things on the wall as possible and see which one sticks. As you can see, Tim Ferriss’ teaching is definitely very appealing for people who have no patience in slowly progressing in this fast moving world. AKA Everyone.

Gary does it another way. Gary says, “Do what you are passionate about. Keep doing it. Do it better than everyone else on the internet. And then money and success will follow.”

So in that sense, it is natural to want to be like Tim Ferriss, but it is easier to respect Gary Vaynerchuk.

Gary Vaynerchuk vs Tim Ferriss – Consistent vs Double Standard

OK, this is mean to say, but I want to point this out because it is very important in looking at Celebrity Styles.

Based on things I addressed above, Gary Vaynerchuk is very consistent with how he treats people. He obviously enjoys large opportunities, but he tries to care about and listen to everyone. More importantly, he works hard to hold the same standard for himself than everyone else. That’s why he can apologize when he says something wrong. That’s why he reciprocates time spent when people contact him. That’s why he is Gary Vaynerchuk.

Tim Ferriss on the other hand, takes the celebrity stance of “I am famous so I play under different rules.”  The respectable thing about him, is that he admits to that from the start. He pretty much says, “Yea, I am an asshole, and I choose to be one to make my life more convenient and efficient. But I have a lot to offer so people can follow me if they want.”

I actually really respect that compared to posers who try to tell people they care about everyone, but all they want is to secretly make their lives more convenient.

A lot of people would publicly say “Yea, I can help you with this and I can help you with that!”, but when it really comes down to helping, they pretty much ignore you. Tim Ferriss just says, “unless you have something valuable to offer, I will ignore you.” I respect that. The fact that I can write this post owes that to him.

However, besides the fact that he thinks having oversea workers schedule 20 dates for him close to his house in 3 days (note: this is outsourced date-scheduling, not outsourced dating as he claims) is not being inconsiderate of his dates’ time, there are times when he is plain out double-standard.

In one of his articles, Tim Ferriss talks about how you can get anyone, including the CEO of Google or the US President on the phone (note how all these links are very attractive to click on). His method is pretty much to stay consistent, be bold, don’t give up, and sooner or later they will see your eagerness and drive and give you a chance. In the post it says, “You won’t believe what you can accomplish by attempting the impossible with the courage to repeatedly fail better.”

Good tips. However, in another post about How to outsource your inbox and never check email again, he teaches about how to get oversea workers to managed all your emails. He claimed that the key to making this successful is to have a very clear manual for the workers so they know how to behave with various situations. Again, good tips.

The double-standard part comes in here. In his “rules”, Tim tells his assistants that he would only respond to income or prestigious opportunities like from Harvard or top people in various industries. He then says that if people are declined and persist, the assistant should then “archive future requests” followed by saying “Some people don’t know when persistent turns into plain irritating.”

That’s clearly a double standard. You can contact people as much as you want and never give up, but when others do that to you, you should tell your assistant to archive it because they have no sense.

However, again, most celebrities are forced to have such double standards, and I give him props on being so open with it.

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Who’s more popular on the internet?

So with these drastically different styles, who is more popular on the internet and has more influential power?

As part of the Viralogy method, I used stats like Linkbacks, Compete Traffic (they should install our Viralogy script to get more accurate results), Comments per post, Followers on Twitter, and Retweets to get some insight on who is more influential and popular online.

I added those stats for Gary’s personal website as well as his Wine Library TV. Even though Tim somewhat has a personal site, it has almost no traffic so I mostly just considered his four-hour-work-week site.

The results were interesting. The Compete Traffic for both of them were almost identical, with Gary Vaynerchuk having 218,000 combined visitors last month and Tim Ferriss having 212,000. Not a big difference, considering Compete.com is not always accurate.

Both of their sites has tons of comments too. Tim Ferriss has approximately 150 comments per blog post. Even though Garyvanerchuk.com only has about 30 comments on average on his personal site, his Wine Library TV has gathered up to 190 comments on average. Overall, it looks like Gary’s crowd is slightly more engaging. It’s still not a big difference in terms of how popular they are though since it may just be the topic or niche.

When I looked at Link backs, I was slightly surprised. I really thought Tim Ferriss would win on this end because I hear people point to his articles all the time. However, a quick search reveals that Gary has 6940 linkbacks to his sites, while Tim has only 3240, less than half of what Gary has. There seems to be more people wanting to link to Gary than Tim.

Other than their websites, the most telling factor relating to social influence is Twitter followers. Tim Ferriss has an amazing Twitter Ratio of 230 followers for every person he is following. 41,000 people follow him, while he just follows 178 of the people he likes. Props to you if you happen to be one of the 178 reading this!

On the other hand, Gary Vaynerchuk’s Twitter Ratio is “only” 49 followers for every person he follows. With that said, he really brings home the crown with 410,000 followers, 10 times more than Tim Ferriss.

With all that factored together, Gary Varynerchuk’s “V Score” is a lot higher than Tim Ferriss’, making him the more influential person in Social Media in our books.

It seems apparent that more people are fans of Gary Vaynerchuk and wants to follow him as a respectable celebrity figure, whereas people like and want to learn Tim Ferriss’ tactics, but in comparison don’t care about him as a person as much.

Tim Ferriss vs Gary Vaynerchuk – Who do you like better?

Tim Ferriss or Gary Vaynerchuk. Who do you like better, and why? I look forward to the 41,000 Tim Ferriss fans to bash me in the comments. Maybe that’s another good way to tell who has more supporters.

Top 10 Political Bloggers

So I think I spent over 5 hours researching political blog posts!  There are so many; I couldn’t even believe the sheer number of them scattered across the internet.

Here at Viralogy, we focus on the individual and not the company.  Therefore, all company political blogs were automatically out, and I also decided to exclude any group blogs or those with multiple writer and editors.  I did not let party affiliation affect my rankings at all.  To narrow down the field further, I started selecting only blogs that had a Twitter account attached to their blog.  I did this for a while until I realized that many political bloggers don’t have a Twitter account.  I decided to include bloggers with or without Twitter account so that I could rank the best possible content up against each other.

In the end, I was left with 40 political blogs that went through the Viralogy algorithm.  The following are the Top Ten Political Bloggers that survived the rigorous Viralogy treatment. There were some amazing bloggers like Michelle Malkin from http://MichelleMalkin.com that were excluded from the list because her blog just eclipsed everyone elses.  You should definitely check out her blog though.

If you feel your political blog should be mentioned, and you are a solo blog with a Twitter account, then message me in the comment section and I’ll consider putting you in a revised version of this post.  Enjoy!

1. Oliver Willis – http://www.oliverwillis.com/

Total Score: 1,636

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 11,400
  • Average comments per post: 11
  • Compete traffic: 44,501
  • Twitter followers: 1,485
  • Following/Followers ratio: 2
  • Retweets in the past month: 98

2. Jeff Goldstein – http://proteinwisdom.com/

Total Score: 1,467

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 11,500
  • Average comments per post: 97
  • Compete traffic: 22,005
  • Twitter followers: N/A
  • Following/Followers ratio: N/A
  • Retweets in the past month: N/A

3. Scott Ott – http://www.scrappleface.com/

Total Score: 1,402

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 11,800
  • Average comments per post: 38
  • Compete traffic: 16,646
  • Twitter followers: 591
  • Following/Followers ratio: 296
  • Retweets in the past month: 0

4. Sistertoldjah – http://sistertoldjah.com/

Total Score: 774

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 5,940
  • Average comments per post: 3
  • Compete traffic: 15,914
  • Twitter followers: 351
  • Following/Followers ratio: 5
  • Retweets in the past month: 0

5. Jules Crittenden – http://www.julescrittenden.com/

Total Score: 733

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 5,100
  • Average comments per post: 5
  • Compete traffic: 20,647
  • Twitter followers: 1,107
  • Following/Followers ratio: .8
  • Retweets in the past month: 19

6. Neocon – http://neoneocon.com/

Total Score: 577

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 4,700
  • Average comments per post: 34
  • Compete traffic: 7,301
  • Twitter followers: N/A
  • Following/Followers ratio: N/A
  • Retweets in the past month: N/A

7. AKMuckracker – http://www.themudflats.net

Total Score: 560

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 1,410
  • Average comments per post: 103
  • Compete traffic: 29,949
  • Twitter followers: 418
  • Following/Followers ratio: 38
  • Retweets in the past month: 7

8. William Teach – http://www.thepiratescove.us/

Total Score: 397

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 3,390
  • Average comments per post: 2
  • Compete traffic: 5,526
  • Twitter followers: 72
  • Following/Followers ratio: 1.4
  • Retweets in the past month: 1

9. Eric Florak – http://bitsblog.florack.us/

Total Score: 148

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 941
  • Average comments per post: 1
  • Compete traffic: 5,333
  • Twitter followers: N/A
  • Following/Followers ratio: N/A
  • Retweets in the past month: N/A

10. Nisha Chittal – http://politicoholic.com/

Total Score: 91

Key Metrics:

  • Linkbacks: 224
  • Average comments per post: 13
  • Compete traffic: 2,632
  • Twitter followers: 1,256
  • Following/Followers ratio: 1.8
  • Retweets in the past month: 70