Good Bye Wordpress, hello Squarespace!

After playing around with the thought for more than a year I now finally made the jump and moved my site from Wordpress over to Squarespace. And if you can read this, the switch seems to have actually worked! So far, so good... 

Squarespace is a hosting service for everyone, who might know what a CSS stylesheet is, but doesn't want to learn how to write one, just to widen the width of a sidebar. Through some Ajax magic Squarespace provides a user interface, which makes changing and updating your website as easy as using Apple's Pages. There are a lot of similar services, which promise similar things. But so far Squarespace is the only one I really like. Take a look at their guided tour. Yes, these things do work as advertised!

Only draw back: I am now sitting in a square box - literally. Gone is the flexibility of Wordpress plug ins.  If Squarespace doesn’t provide something natively, chances are you don’t like the options you are left with. I already ran into a few dead ends, where this could become a real headache. But we will see how this plays out. 

So now that I no longer have to worry about Wordpress updates & security issues, lets hope I finally find the time again to use this site for what it was meant to be in the first place: BLOGGING...!?

P.S.: The layout isn't final yet. Although changing stylesheets is easy in Squarespace, you still need a professional designer to build a template and I am currently on the look out for someone, who could help me with that. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment. Thx.

Job Trends visualized

Job search engine indeed.com has launched a cool new feature called Job Trends. It lets you chart the percentage of all jobs that mention certain words - like viral marketing:

Jobgraph

Simple but compelling ! And it's probably a good buzz marketing tool for indeed, too ! Btw, I haven't heard about indeed before. Certainly because I am not really interested in US job offerings. But I do like their Google-like approach to job search. Do we have a similar service like this in Germany ? (via Micropersuasion)
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Auf der Suche nach einem Praktikumsplatz ?

Der Deutsche Direktmarketing Verband (DDV) sucht bis zum nächsten Montag (25. Juli) 20 junge Grafik-Designer und Texter für ein sehr interessantes Praktikumsprogramm - die Young Talents Agency Tour:
Das Besondere an der Young Talents Agency Tour ist der Ablauf: Jedes der 20 ausgewählten Talente absolviert sein vergütetes 30-Wochen-Praktikum in fünf Agenturen einer Stadt bzw. Region (Hamburg, Frankfurt, München und Köln/Düsseldorf). Sie bleiben jeweils sechs Wochen in einer Agentur und werden direkt vom jeweiligen Geschäftsführer Kreation betreut. Nach Abschluss des Praktikums erhält jeder Teilnehmer ein Zertifikat des DDV. Auf der Microsite www.youngtalents.ddv.de finden Interessierte nicht nur alle Informationen zur Young Talents Agency Tour, sondern auch das Bewerbungsformular. Noch bis 25. Juli 2005 können sich Hochschulabgänger (Grafik-Designer, on- und offline, sowie Texter) und Quereinsteiger bewerben, die eine Karriere in der Kreation von Dialogagenturen anstreben. Praktikumsbeginn ist der 1. September 2005.
Interesse ? Dann los...
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Is your Campaign ready for Word of Mouth Marketing ?

During his keynote address at the WOMMA Summit Emanuel Rosen - author of Anatomy of Buzz - gave 10 questions, marketers should ask themselves before their next campaign, if they want to make generate word of mouth (via Brand Autopsy):

1. Does the product lend itself to WOM?
Is the product remarkable?

2. Are we reinforcing the concept and the message behind the product?
Are we implementing stunts to grab fleeting attention? Or are we implementing meaningful and compelling activities that are captivating?

3. Can we release information gradually?
How often can we give customers new chapters to the story we are telling them?

4. Are we giving our customers something to talk about?
Are our tactics interesting to get customers interested?

5. Do we give customers an opportunity to get involved?
What can we do to allow customers the opportunity to co-create with us?

6. Are we making it easy for customers to spread the word?
What simple mechanisms are we giving customers to tell others about the product/service?

7. Can we stimulate interaction among customers?
Are we enabling customers to bond with each other? And are we fostering the spirit of community with our customers?

8. Can we identify network hubs by category? By their activism?
Have we properly identified our customers by their like-minded passions?

9. Are we seeding the network?
Have we located and appealed to the uber-mavens across multiple social network hubs?

10. How is this campaign going to affect our reputation?
Is this campaign a brand credit or a brand debit?

Btw, if you are interested, there is a German summary of Rosen's book available !
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VBMA launches Viral Marketing Manifesto

Yesterday at the Great Viral Marketing Debate in London’s Science Museum, the Viral + Buzz Marketing Association (VBMA) officially launched their first manifesto:
VBMAlarge.jpgThe manifesto was created after gaining input and feedback from the vast majority of the VBMA's members. It defines what all our members do and states the fundamental, unifying principles that underpin our members' work. It will help us all to further develop, validate and promote our industry within the parameters of a positive set of guidelines. (...)
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Viral & Buzz Marketing Association launched

The Viral & Buzz Marketing Association has been formally launched this week:
The Viral & Buzz Marketing Association (VBMA) is an international group for the development, validation and promotion of consumer-oriented marketing trends and techniques. Our members are viral and buzz marketing practitioners and academics who specialise in consumer-focussed marketing. We aim to create international collaborations, swap case studies, develop best practice and dispel the myths surrounding viral and buzz marketing in order to help it become more widely accepted as a credible, key part of brands overall marketing activities.
A really great idea !! If you work in this field, you should consider to become a member !
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...will Advertise for Food !

The Seattle Times reports about a strange new form of advertising (via Adrants):
Homeless serving as billboards Peter Schoeff, a 20-year-old homeless man, woke up in an abandoned house and planned to spend his day Dumpster diving and asking for spare change. "We dig in trash, but usually, you can't find anything good in the trash," he said. "Just half-eaten sandwiches, cold French fries, crumbs in a bag of chips." So a slice of hot, fresh pizza dripping with cheese seemed like a good deal ? especially since all it required of him was holding a sign for about 40 minutes. The sign said: "Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money." In what advertising industry watchers said is a first, a Portland pizza-by-the-slice company has hired homeless people off downtown sidewalks to take part in a guerrilla marketing campaign. They are paid in pizza, soda and a few dollars.(...)
First I thought, this must be a hoax. But apparently it is not !? At least it is more credible than the motives of the owner of this "caring" company. Of course, he only has the best interests of the homeless at heart:
"People don't have to feel guilty, while still appreciating the person is homeless. It's a gesture of kindness more than anything," said Jehan, sitting at an outdoor table at one of his downtown Portland restaurants. (...) The homeless were a new advertising vehicle ? and an opportunity to help, Jehan said. He's proud to see Pizza Schmizza's name associated with helping the homeless, he said.
Well, call me Old-Europe, but I hope, this is not becoming a big, new trend in Guerrilla-Marketing. It probably also doesn't have the desired effect. I could be wrong, but isn't such a "billboard" sending a message like "Hey, come to Pizza Schmizza - the supercool hangout for homeless people..."
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