Some Excellent Thoughts on Using Facebook for Business from Social Media Examiner


Here are some of the best pieces of advice.

From their Editorial Guide
  • EVERY single wall comment gets a reply.
  • Break news or discuss controversial industry changes.
  • Delete anything that is self-promotional.
  • Post an interesting link to someone else’s article each day.
  • Make sure to post a link to our daily articles AFTER our email updates go out (to ensure email folks get the news first).
  • Regularly ask interesting (and sometimes fun) poll questions to get our fans engaged.
  • And a LOT more.

Why Facebook Works
For example, if you frequent a fan page, Facebook knows you care about that page and shows you popular posts and discussions from that fan page in your live feed, above others.  If done right, this is marketing gold!

When your Facebook page shows up in the live feed of your fans, it encourages rapid discussions and a chain reaction.  When your fans engage in those discussions, it shows up on their walls.  Their friends discover your page and your following grows.

In this regard, Facebook is like blog comments on steroids.  When people interact with your brand, you are building community.  This moves people from passive observers to advocates.  And that’s a powerful marketing weapon.


A Cherrywood Luas to Shankill Walkway, Cycle Way (and Busway)

As the crow flies, Cherrywood Luas Station is 1200 meters (that is three quarters of a mile and a brisk 10 minute walk) from Saint Anne’s National School in Shankill. However if you were to walk it the only way possible, it would be over three kilometers.

Not only this, but a major accident and emergency hospital, Saint Columcille’s in Loughlinstown is a mere 600 metres as the crow flies, from the terminus. That is a six minute walk  – but again the long way around is over three times that. This is illustrated on the right.

The problem is, of course, that the Shanganagh river valley is in the way and the only way to get to the other side, assuming you are not a crow, is via Wyattville bridge.
You may well wonder how we managed to build an an expensive piece of transport infrastructure all the way to the edge of a cliff, without at least considering the possibility of making it a bit more accessible to the far side of the cliff and a major hospital such as Loughlinstown, and a major population centre, such as Shankill. However, while you are wondering this, I suggest you also ponder how we managed to build the same Luas to within 600 metres of a Quality Bus corridor without going the extra six tenths of a mile to connect them up. (You may even conclude that what is missing is Joined Up Thinking.)

But anyway. Enough bemoaning where we are at and on with a rather elegant solution. The Shanganagh Valley Viaduct, built many years ago for the Harcourt Street line, is still intact, and elegantly bridges the Shanganagh River Valley. So why not create a busway, cycleway and walkway, from the Luas terminus over the viaduct as far as the hospital and then create a walkway and cycleway along the alignment of the old Harcourt Street Line all the way to Shankill village – or at least Stonebridge Road. This last part will require a new footbridge over the M11. The resulting walk from the Luas to Stonebridge Road at Rathmichael School would be 1.3 kilometres which is about 300 yards less than a mile. The hospital would be 700 or so metres walk which is comfortably less than half a mile. All of this is illustrated below.

So what are the objections. I must say that I find it hard to see many, but there is one that is worth considering and that I will propose an innovative solution for. That objection is the view that may be taken that a walkway and cycleway such as that proposed may result in anti-social behaviour. The proposed walkway and cycleway will indeed pass by the rear gardens of a number of houses. However, speaking as someone who lives near a similar walkway, that at the back of Shankill Dart between Corbawn Lane and Shanganagh Cliffs, incidents of anti social behaviour are quite rare. In any case, I would suggest the following approach to essentially eliminate any chance of this.

A part of this plan, encourage the development of mews houses in the gardens of those houses with back gardens backing onto the proposed walkway and cycleway. In order to do this, the walkway and cycleway would also be a cul-de-sac road to facilitate vehicular access. In this way objections from landowners will be minimised if not eliminated as they are unlikely to object to a plan that gives them a site at the end of their gardens. If you look at Google Earth, you will see that most of the gardens are fairly substantial and have plenty of room for a mews house at the end. I must say also, that the houses in question have all had their value adversely impacted by the criss-crossing of two motorways in the vicinity, so a bit of good luck on the planning permission front by the owners would probably be appreciated.

In any case, the Dun Laoghaire County Development Plan calls for the development of Mews Roads to be encouraged, as indeed for the general densification of development in the county. Densification is particularly encouraged near to good public transport.

My own view of allowing Mews developments on the walkway, is that it is likely to make the walkway and cycleway more pleasant and indeed safer and I think it is to be encouraged.

So to a little more detail on the busway. I would suggest that Bus Trams, similar to those in Figure 3, be used.  A bustram is basically a Luas on rubber wheels with similar carrying capacity. If you are interested in reading more about bus trams, I suggest you go to wikipedia and search for articles on Curitiba, the Brazilian city where the concept was pioneered.

I can envisage a bus tram running from the Luas terminus, over the viaduct and into the hospital, and from there via the Loughlinstown roundabout and Commons Road to Shankill Dart station. Thereby joining up two very expensive pieces of transport infrastructure.  Other buses could run to other points in Shankill, Bray, Greystones and beyond.This would of course give us a Joined Up transport system and indeed  – joined up thinking.

So what to do next. Well I suggest the simplest thing to do is to leave a comment of support, and of course, petition your TDs and consellors.

Depending on the reaction I might organise a public meeting or some such.

Shane Hayes

Paywall 2.0: Rationing Immediacy of Access to Drive Newspaper Subscriptions Rather Than Quantity

Here is my suggestion for those in the Newspaper industry mulling over new revenue models. Firstly forget about charging for News. It is a commodity. Try to make money off the ads surrounding the news. Analysis however is different. Some newspapers, such as the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal attempt to drive subscription revenue by rationing either the length or the quantity of free articles. However, there is another dimension that can be rationed, that I believe is more appropriate. That is immediacy of access.
It could work like this. Step 1. When a punter comes to a newspaper website and wishes to see an analysis piece, display a portion, say 25% of the article without asking for an email address. Step 2, if they wish to see the remainder, ask for an email address and display it. Step 3, if they wish to see another article, display the initial 25% but this time, when they ask to see the remainder, invite them to subscribe but tell them that they will receive an email link to the article for free, say five minutes later. Step 4, if they ask to see other articles in a defined period of time, repeat the process with ever lengthening time intervals. At some point, the user will decide that not waiting an hour or two for access is worth the price of the paper.
The beauty of this approach is that it overcomes the problem of newspapers hiding their light behind a bushel. The best advertising for the quality of the analysis in an article, is of course the article itself. The pay first, look at the quality later approach, is self defeating. A newspaper has to rely only on the quality of its brand (or a convoluted free trial period) to entice usage. With this approach, the article is always available to the user, albeit time delayed, so the user does not moan about paywalls, and gets to appreciate that quality analysis has a value.
A value that should be paid for.
Considering that most other models have not worked, it might be worth a shot.

A Smackdown Between the CEOs of Homeaway and TripAdvisor

The CEOs of Homeaway and TripAdvisor go at it over at Tnooz.

My favourite quote is from the CEO of Tripadvisor, Stephen Kaufer

“…it’s still a little on the risky side when you rent a property from HomeAway because you are sending a check off into the wilderness and you don’t have a lot of guarantees that you will have a great time,” 

Stephen, here at TripInquiry, we couldn’t agree more. So much so that we have reserved your very own TripInquiry email address for you. Just use the next time you inquire about a vacation rental and you too can experience simple secure vacation rentals.