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The Emory U Lecture – Every Business School Needs an Internet Marketing Course

by Ryan on October 7, 2010

On Monday, I had the privilege of guest lecturing in two entrepreneurship classes at Emory University’s Goizeuta Business School. Here’s video from the first lecture.  It’s about 1 hour and 20 minutes.  Please pardon the funky camera angle…

And if you’re still awake, here is the video from the first 30 minutes of the 2nd lecture, before the camera ran out of battery life…

During the 2 classes, when I polled the audience, here’s a run down of what they wanted to learn more about:

1.  Adwords / Paid Search – How’s it work?

2.  Monetizing a site with Ads, is tough, what other ways are there to monetize?

3.  How do you come up with good ideas?

4.  How to gain technical expertise – e.g. how the internet, search, and websites work?

5.  Social Me Me Media!  How do you use it to your advantage?

6.  How has a background in accounting helped?

7.  How to get started with a business.  What are the first steps?

8.  How can you attract customers and content providers?

9.  How much does it cost to make an iPhone app?

10.  How to keep content providers happy in the early stages of a business?

What stuck out the most from the experience was how interested the students are in learning about “How to Get Website Traffic“, a topic which I’ve blogged about here before.  This leaded me to believe that every business school should have a class on internet marketing, as an overwhelming majority of the discussion became geared towards paid search, organic SEO, and social media.

Another interesting discovery occurred when I asked the class “How many of you are on Twitter?“, to which only 1 student out of a classroom of around 40, raised their hand.  I’m not sure whether this indicates that Twitter has either (A) a lot of room to grow or (B) it’s peaked. I’m inclined to vote for (B).  When I asked the class “How many of you are on Facebook?”, the entire room nodded in acknowledgement.

During the discussion I provided a list of free resources to help get them started, including TechCrunch, This Week In, and my favorite entrepreneurial / VC blog, BothSidesOfTheTable.

Since the lecture, I’ve had a number of students follow up with me seeking advice.  I’m very excited by the opportunity to give back to the community by helping them get their businesses off the ground and on the right track. Thanks to Andrea Hershatter for allowing me the opportunity to speak to her class.  I am truly honored to have been a part of their business school experience.  It’s the least that I could do to give back the the institution that has help me so much in my own career.

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How Many Times A Day Do I Visit Facebook?

by Ryan on January 6, 2010

I post to Facebook and Twitter a lot.  I mean A LOT.  When I run into my Facebook friends in the real world, I’m often asked how many hours per day do I spend on Facebook?  The answer may (or may not) surprise you.  I spend, ZERO, absolutely zero hours on Facebook each day / month / week. The only time I go onto Facebook is to accept friend requests and check our advertiser and / or developer account at AudioMicro (AM integrates with Facebook).

Question: Then how does my Facebook account get updated 5 times per day (with an average of 4 shared articles and at one status update)?

Answer: RSS, more specifically RSS feeds viewed through Google Reader on my mobile phone with shared RSS items fed into Friendfeed, and distributed to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and just about every other social network on the web.

Ryan Born RSS

In 2009, a great deal of discussion has been going on regarding the death of RSS. Proponents of the death of RSS believe that services like Twitter and Friendfeed are replacing RSS. This is certainly true for the Average Internet User (AIU) because the AIU never adopted RSS.  Despite its simplicity, the AIU still finds RSS confusing. RSS often requires copying and pasting a feed and or clicking on an orange button that brings up a bunch of text, and the AIU does not know how to utilize this text by copying the feed sources, pasting the into an RSS reader, and using the RSS reader to organize and automatically update feeds from across the web. The idea that one must have another account to login to (their RSS reader) and visit through a web browser is far too complicated for the AIU. The AIU would simply prefer to load up Google, Facebook, or Twitter on their homepage and either search for news (in the case of Google) or be spoon fed news by their friends / followers (as in the case of Facebook and Twitter).   This works great for the AIU. RSS is dead to the AIU, but RSS is certainly not dead to more advanced internet users.

But what if you would rather be the one doing the spoon feeding?  i.e. The influential user that locates news worthy topics, shares this news, and drives traffic the the publishers that create content.  RSS is the answer for this and here is how you do it…

1.  Register for a Google Reader Account

2.  Subscribe via RSS to the publications of your choice (HINT:  Click one of those little orange icons you find on most blogs and web pages)

3.  Register for a Friendfeed Account

4.  Link you Google Reader Shared items to your Friendfeed Account (HINT:  Locate the feed URL for your Google Reader Shared items, and copy and paste this URL into Friendfeed’s Google Shared items feed)

5.  Link your Friendfeed stream to both your Twitter and Facebook Accounts (this is really easy to do once you have a Friendfeed account and you can also link to any other social media outlet that you are registered with – e.g. LinkedIn, MySpace, Plaxo, etc.)

6.  Now you are set up for one click mobile syndication.  Visit your Google Reader account from your mobile phone, iPhone, or web browser, find an article you like, click the “Share” button below any post you see within your Google Reader and this item will be automatically posted to your Facebook and Twitter.  If you set things up correctly, it will automatically title your post and shorten the URL’s through so that you can track how many clicks you get for each item you share.

My Personal Stats:

For every item that I share through Google Reader, I receive an average of 30 clicks.  The majority of these clicks come from any one of the 15,000+ twitter followers to the @audiomicro account.  A few others come from my Facebook friends and personal @bornryan twitter followers and a couple come from LinkedIn and a few stragglers from MySpace.  Pretty much what you would expect in terms of the influential sites where discussions are occurring on the web.  In short, I can drive 30 clicks to any article on the web, simply by clicking the “Share” button in my Google Reader account.  That’s not bad considering that 30 clicks could sell for $10 or more on Google if you were buying clicks through Google Adwords.

Would you like 30 new hits to your website? If so, just let me know and I’ll share a link for you.