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Building online community for your business

“It’s not that SEO is dead or that links are obsolete, or whatever all that crazy talk is that’s been going around. It’s that there’s a way to integrate all the pieces into the big picture of building a better company by building an online community around it.” — Mackenzie Fogelson

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Mackenzie Fogelson is the founder of Mack Web Solutions and has been in the SEO and web design industry for 10 years. She’s passionate about integrity, user experience, and building community. We’ve been talking a lot about community on RedCert this week – and the value of communities as a tool for business owners is undeniable. WIth this in mind, I asked Mack the real key benefits to building a community for your customers.  

The full version of the piece below is available on Moz.com and on Mack’s own website – see the links panel below for details.

“It’s not that SEO is dead or that links are obsolete, or whatever all that crazy talk is that’s been going around. It’s that there’s a way to integrate all the pieces into the big picture of building a better company by building an online community around it.”

— Mackenzie Fogelson

There are lots of benefits to building a community around your company, but if I had to choose a few, here are my top five:

  1. It will help you weather Google’s algorithms

    Building an online community is one of the best ways to weather Google’s algorithms. If you’re continually chasing the algorithm, you’re putting all of your power in what Google’s going to do next. If you’re building a community around your business, you’re putting the focus where it belongs: on your business. Building a strong company and brand isn’t something that Google can take away.
  2. It will add equity and value to your business

    When you build online community, you have to do a bunch of stuff to better serve your customers like creating quality content and resources, enhancing your product or services, and improving your systems and processes. Doing these things adds equity and value to your business and attracts the right customers to your community.
  3. It will help you have purpose

    There’s a lot of effort involved in building a community around your brand, and it’s not just about creating content or being on social media just because everyone else is doing it. When you’re strategic about community building, it forces you to identify goals and put a solid purpose behind your efforts.
  4. It will help you stand out

    If you’re committed to the process of building a community, you are going to be doing a great deal of self-discovery (which often times can be pretty uncomfortable). During this process you’ll determine what you’re all about, what you love to do, and what it’s going to take to help you stand out among the competition.
  5. It will put the focus on goals, not tools
    Building an online community isn’t a bunch of fluffy stuff. It’s the seamless integration of tools like SEO, social media, content marketing, email marketing, and all kinds of other important stuff (like hard work and passion). But in order for the tools to be effective, they’ve got to be driven by a strategy that is rooted in the goals of your whole business.

In the last year, Mack Web has been working on building our own community (and helping our clients to build theirs). What we’ve found (through a whole lot of trial and error, joy and pain, sunshine and, well, you get the point) is that building community means building a better business. It’s a necessary online component for growth as it forges and fosters relationships that are essential to building a business online as you would in person.

A present for you
For the past several months, I have been writing a lot about community. How to build it with valuehow to identify it, and how to attract customers to it. And now, lucky for you, I’d like to share our process for how to build an online community for your business. 

What follows is a super awesome infographic and the play-by-play breakdown of each step in the process. I’m thinking it might come in handy (you can even listen to my webinar for the full effect).

Whether you’re building a community from scratch, or you’re working to grow an existing one, you can use this process to get your community rolling or optimize and leverage what you already have.

The order in which you attack this may differ depending on the size of your organization, your goals, and the stage you’re in as a company. I encourage you to take this process and meld it into what works best for you.

Here we go!


An infographic on How to Build an Online Community by the team at Mack Web Solutions

External links & references

  1. Follow Mackenzie Fogelson on Twitter
  2. Mack Web Solutions
  3. Mackenzie Fogelson @ MozWeb

Business

The Mc Ginn sisters on Newstalk: Down To Business

Grace, Sarah and Jennie Mc Ginn know fashion. They know it inside out and back to front: OPSH.COM then will make sense when you think about it. An aggregation platform for the female shopper, it will launch in September after a years work. A couple of weeks ago, the serial entrepreneurs joined Margaret E. Ward on Newstalk’s Down To Business to talk about how they got here, and where they’re going.

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Grace, Sarah and Jennie Mc Ginn know fashion. They know it inside out and back to front: in that context OPSH.COM makes perfect sense. An aggregation platform for the female shopper, it will launch in September after a years work. A couple of weeks ago, the serial entrepreneurs joined Margaret E. Ward on Newstalk’s Down To Business to talk about how they got here, and where they’re going.

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Why I’ll miss Vizify

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Build a personal website in seconds, that’s what Vizify’s strap line used to say. It caused a stir when it launched and people started talking about it: Use Vizify to monitor and improve how you use Twitter wrote blogger Brian Thomas Humek, while Andrew Couts wrote about how it knows (well privacy is history) everything about you.

I forget how I found Vizify, but I’m glad I did. I’m really not sure how I used it or how often, but it’s a remarkably simple to use tool thats not so much a personal website like About.me, but a social business card. And when I used it, it honestly made me smile, sort of HootSuite meets WayBack Machine, but in 30 seconds. . The stand out feature is the micro-video it creates from your social posts, adding royalty free music, your top interactions and connections, and to prompt self-reflection if your fitness tracker has failed yet again to go in to sleep mode for a week, a useful little chart of when you Tweet the most.vizify_001

So as a result of the Yahoo! acquisition, Vizify will be ‘sunsetting’ the service, so now new sign-ups or paid plans and the service sill archive your profile until September. On their website, they don’t talk about the specifics of how they’ll bring Vizify to Yahoo!, but it’s fair to assume the service will be reappear at Yahoo! powering part of your Yahoo! account in an animated portrayal of the social elements of your profile encompassing your college details (a la Rivals.com), your blog posts (Tumblr) and your images (Flickr). It’s a good acquisition for Yahoo! giving them a a tool to combine images : aesthetics : social in to a catchy little box that is made for mobile. So no more grim avatar in your friends profile photo, instead a rich, animated informative overview of who they are and who they talk to.

It’s a good day for Yahoo!, more components for the revival of the web’s biggest sleeper, it’s a good day for founders, former Monsoon Commerce colleagues, Eli Tucker, Todd Silverstein <http://toddsilverstein.com/> and Jeff Cutler-Stamm, and investor Jonathan Sposato  but I’m not quite leaping with joy. I’ll miss Vizify; those videos, the quick interaction overview and the shock of seeing when I Tweet most; the sun’s setting one of the coolest, sharpest little tools the web’s served up in a while. Hurry up Yahoo!.

External links & references

  1. Read the announcement at Vizify.com
  2. The state of information visualisation, 2014: Robert Kosara
  3. Yahoo! acquires data visualisation star : InfoWorld

Yahoo timeline image by: Yahoo : Review CC Licence

vizify

Vizify statement

As part of our transition to Yahoo, we will no longer be allowing new signups or purchases of paid plans. We will also be sunsetting the Vizify service.

What does this mean for me?

As an existing Vizify account holder, look for an email in the coming weeks with more details. But for now, to make the transition process easier on you, we’re taking a few extra steps:

  • For all bioholders, free and paid, we’ll be providing a way for you to opt-in to “archive” a snapshot of your current bio that will remain live at the same URL through September 4, 2014.
  • For those of you with a current paid plan, we’ll be issuing a full refund for everything you’ve paid Vizify.
  • For Premium customers who registered a domain through Vizify (like your-name .com), we’ll be providing instructions so you can assume ownership of your domain, free of charge.

What do I need to do?

You’ll be getting an additional email from us next week with steps you’ll need to take. In the meantime, see our FAQ.

– Team Vizify

For any bioholders who do not opt-in to archive their bio by April 7, 2014, the Terms of Service will terminate and all licenses granted to you will be revoked on April 7, 2014.

Vizify is a registered trademark. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. 812 Washington St. #800, Portland, OR 97205

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Building Information Modeling, this could be big. Honestly.

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Building Information Modeling is not a glamorous phrase that conjures up images of turbo-charged start-ups around the world, full of enthusiastic coders adding another million dollars of shareholder value with every keystroke. It is a sector though, that is attracting the interest of tech investors – and that’s generally a clue as to the importance of an emerging industry. Building Information Modeling isn’t a new sector, the concept has been around for almost forty years, but it was only a decade ago that BIM became an ‘industry’ following a publication by CAD company Autodesk. With BIM software you create models of buildings or facilities – but not just CAD images traditionally used by architects and builders, but models that display other characteristics of buildings, for example the functional characteristics of a site. So you add digital images or files that show the air-conditioning system due to be fitted but what if you could get the manufacturers of various air-con systems to give you digital files for various types and capacities of cooling system?

[funky_quote align=”left”]“Technology companies are becoming the bright spot in the economic outlook based on their increasing role within macro-economic environments, 2013 has demonstrated the sector’s vibrant activity and its contribution to the global economic recovery. ” — Alex Vieux, Chairman, Red Herring.[/funky_quote]The power consumption, physical and aesthetic impact of building facilities can be examined, or ‘modeled.  What if you could add images and accompanying technical information about the walls that will be erected inside the building, and on those walls you could digitally ‘paint’ the exact type of covering or paint to be used. With manufacturer information integrated into the design and modeling process you could end up knowing how a building will look, feel and sound when people are in it.  Data assisted decision making from concept, through design and construction right through the life of a building and how its eventual demolition will impact a landscape and community.

BIMobject®, a leading Swedish BIM software provider has announced it’s been selected as a candidate for Red Herring’s 2013 Top 100 Global award. which recognises the year’s most promising private technology companies and entrepreneurs, which will be awarded on November 20th.The inclusion of

External Links & References

  1. Examine products at BIMObject.com
  2. BIMObject : YouTube channel
  3. Red Herring Global 100 Awards
  4. National BIM Library : NBS
  5. BIM Working Groups : Saved Google Search
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