Free eNewsletter:

Archive for October, 2008

How To Track Online Industry Layoffs!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak


We are in the final days of October, a month that will be remembered as “the time in which the credit crunch came to a head not only for the economy as a whole but for the tech community in particular.” (TechCrunch) Everybody in my office has been either asking or answering a very important question: “How does the current economic situation specifically effect the online sector?” And now we have a better idea…
Small Business and Startup Companies are being pushed to cut and focus on increasing their profit margin through better processes. Their “plan-of-action”? Layoffs!! Lots and lots of layoff, which keeps their bank accounts lasting a tad longer, especially for web companies that require little physical capital. VC firms like Sequoia Capital are urging their portfolio companies to cut costs and increase capital, with layoffs as the solution.
One of my co-workers at AC Lion made a great point, that as a recruiter you need to understand people should be more willing to hear about opportunities – in fact, they’d be crazy not to keep their ear to the ground about upcoming opportunities. Layoffs are happening everywhere I look and I recently stumbled on a new site that effectively tracks these layoffs, company information, etc. – TechCrunch Layoff Tracker. They’ve begun tracking all of the relevant layoffs in the tech sector. They’ve mapped out…Total Layoffs: 92, andTotal Employees: 24,662l
*For a comprehensive list Click Here.
A the end of the day, it’s important to know who’s laying off and why, and TechCrunch Layoffs is a great source for tracking firings…BUT I DO HAVE SOME GOOD NEWS!! I found another site, Web-Strategist.com, where Jeremiah Owyang, Sr Analyst at Forrester Research: Social Computing, started this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Check it out, you may find your name on that list some day ;)

“Top 5″ Event Lists for Online Marketers!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
It is very important to stay up to date on local events if you’re in the Online Marketing space. One of my first jobs since my promotion at AC Lion was to create a targetted, detailed list of new york local and west-coast based events. These sites serve as potential advertising opportunities for events we hosted as well. Here are the best places to source for events if you’re in the Online Marketing & Advertising space:


#1: Gary’s Guide: GarysGuide.org

Garysguide is the #1 Events Calendar for Technology & New Media professionals. Their calendar is a comprehensive edited list of all upcoming events related to technology, web 2.0, social media, online advertising & marketing, software, hardware, digital video, new media, entrepreneurship, startups and much much more. They are currently live in 13 of the top tech hubs in the country including New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, San Diego, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Toronto, Las Vegas and the San Francisco Bay Area.


#2: Meetups: Meetup.com
Meetup.com is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. For Online Marketers, there are tons of tech related meetup groups including Online Video, Bloggers, SEO, SEM, Search, Buzz Marketing, Sales Executives, VC Elevator Pitch Groups, etc. They are loads of fun and are usually followed up with a drink.


#3: BtoB Magazine: BtoBOnline Events Calendar
BtoB is the magazine for marketing strategists, Published monthly by Crain Communications Inc. With 45,000+ subscribers, they also provide a detailed list of b2b related events. They currently hold events in New York, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. You can aslo opt-in for e-mail notification of future BtoBevents, by e-mailing BtoBevents@crain.com.


#4: MediaPost:Events Listing and Public Directory of Industry Events
A. Events Listing – A list of MediaPost shows in which you will find detailed information on each of their signature events. And don’t forget, as a MediaPost member, you are entitled to a special discounted rate to attend.
B. Public Directory of Industry Events – This is a publically submitted comprehensive calendar of upcoming events around the country. Florida to New York, Chicago to LA, Portland to Seattle…this listing has it all.


#5:Advertising Age (aka: AdAge): Industry Events
Advertising Age Events
Advertising Age (aka: AdAge) is the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities. They host their own events and provide a comprehensive calendar of Industry Events in LA, NYC, Chicago and more.


…The best way to stay on top of these events is by subscribing to their e-mail updates and event RSS feeds. One way that works for me that I use on my personal web site’s events calendar, is to create a Google Calendar and combine all your events RSS feeds into one big mashup. That way you can monitor every event in one AJAX driven and clean looking window.
Good luck and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming events!

GMail For Mobile Phones is #1 Viral Video!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
“Viral Video of The Day” is part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, as provided by my friends at ViralVideoChart.com. They marked an interesting #1 video for today. So for all of you marketers and mobile junkies out there obsessed with your PDA and e-mail, you’ll love todays Viral Video of The Day:

Introducing Gmail for mobile 2.0

That’s right! A geekie video made it to #1…and with reason. For all of you using PDA’s, the proprietary email application can be quite plain (static, no html, courier new, etc.). Well, this is probably more applicable to “Blackberry Users”. Well, today’s viral video promotes Gmail’s Phone Application. The guy’s kinda funny in the video, in a geeky google kind of way. How this made #1 for the day, I’m not sure…

Dynamic E-mail Signatures for Gmail,Yahoo!, AOL & Hotmail

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
WiseStamp Signatures
This article is relevant for all of you who use the signature function in Outlook. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, ever notice when you get a professional e-mail, the signature will have a company logo, colors, links, etc. And until recently, the top 4 free Email Service Providers have been lacking such options. Until now, Outlook ruled the “signature” space…but not anymore!
This article is geared for Firefox users (b/c that is what I am using). I was on the hunt for an awesome Firefox Extension for Gmail Signatures, when a friend of mine told me there was an even better extension that worked with the big 4 ESP’s: AOL, YAHOO!, GMAIL & HOTMAIL! WiseStamp is a Firefox extension that enables you to easily customize & add personalized email signatures on any webmail service (Gmail ,Yahoo ,Aol mail, Hotmail).
WiseStamp is without a doubt, amazing! Very easy control over your email signatures, with granular level customization. Easily insert your Instant Messenger & Social services (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) The best part is you don’t even have to know HTML. It’s as easy as using Microsoft Word, with a library of premade signatures here, and the option for HTML is there. I suggest this for everyone. It increases your visibility with every e-mail, and in this space, transparency is necessary if you want to get your name out there.

Why We Blog? B/C Everybody Else Is!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak
eMareter.com Blogger Stats
Sticking to the theme of this blog, I feel it is necessary to explain why I even bother blogging. Technorati sponsored a survey of bloggers in July-August 2008 only to determine, as their CEO Richard Jalichandra says it best: “Blogs are now mainstream media.” So there’s your answer!
According to Paul Verna, Sr. Analyst at eMarketer.com, “Blogging has become so pervasive and influential that the lines between blogging and the mainstream media have disappeared”. ComScore Media Metrix found that blogs had 77 million unique visitors in the US in August 2008, nearly double the amount of Facebook’s mere 41 million!
1/3rd of the respondents found in the Technorati survey were contacted by a brand/agency = $$. Money could play a major factor in their decision making. There’s also the SEO factor. Companies small and large use blogs to their marketing traffic, offering value and drawing more traffic…
Marketing and Money? That’s more than enough of a reason for anyone to blog. But don’t expect the traffic to happen right away. It takes hard work, lots of content, and most importantly – “readers”. I know the rules and I’m patient and will keep sharing how I am going to get from 0-100, 100-500, 500-1,000, etc.
Let me know if you found this valuable or inspiring b/c at the end of the day, it’s you who I am creating value for. Good luck! Feel free to post a link to your blog below!

How to pick an ATS and CRM for your company?

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

My company, AC Lion, recently assigned me the task of finding a new Applicant Tracking System and Customer Relationship Management software. The ATS and CRM systems are a MUST for any staffing company of ANY size! Being that we are a niche market recruiting firm, our needs are particular to specific best practices and standard processes. Before picking out the correct solutions, I must define the two systems:

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a term applied to processes implemented by a company to handle its contact with its customers. [...] Information in the system can be accessed and entered by employees in different departments, such as sales, marketing, customer service, training, professional development, performance management, human resource development, and compensation. (Wikipedia)

Applicant Tracking System (ATS) is a software application that enables the electronic handling of corporate recruitment needs. (Wikipedia)

The rationale behind these systems is to improve how we track and also how we provide services directly to the customers. We use the information in the system for targeted marketing and sales purposes. One of the industry leading CRM’s is Salesforce.com, but my company decided on an ATS/CRM hybrid able to handle both candidate leads (B2C) and client-side relationships (B2B).
Another thing to consider is a web-based, also know as Software as a Service (SaaS).It really comes down to a few considerations. Cost of in-house servers and storage vs. a Tier3 network and fast internet connection. It really depends on your comanies budget and needs. We decided on web-based.
When it came time to conduct research, I read a very helpful article on ERE.net, on How to pick an ATS in 7 days – includes short review of 6 major vendors (LONG). This is a great way to organize your time and find the right fit in an effective manner in 12 simple steps.
I am still on step #5, Contact each vendor….Below is a list from ERE.net of which I can say 3 of my choices and our current vendor are inlcuded:

  • cBizOne
    Easy to use and contains all core functionality of ATS. Very customizable. Can host data locally or remotely (on access or SQL server). Cool quick searching UI.
  • PCRecruiter
    Easily customizable and good performance for an ASP.
  • BullHorn
    Highly recommended and praised. Performance good for ASP, UI and usability are good. Integrated email with cool email tracking feature.
  • HireDesk
    Feature rich and very customizable. Awesome website integration where candidate can have custom job agents (most the same features candidates have on Monster) Large company, dedicated support staff and best support hours.
  • Sendouts
    Outstanding usability and GUI design. One of two hybrid solutions. Good performance and overall solid system.
  • MaxHire
    Its all Microsoft technology and the email integration and automation is very well designed.

I hope at this point you find yourself with enough information to get started. If you need further advice or a copy of my checklist, feel free to e-mail me at work – Red@aclion.com.

Affiliate Summit Social Media 2008: Valuable Facts!

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

I recently attended the Affiliate Summit Social Media Conference in NYC. It took place last Sunday, October 5th at Baruch College. It was a rather small venue compared the Affiliate Summit East in Boston, but their goal was clear: “Social Media Success!” And to be honest, I picked up mixed reviews from the affiliates in the crowd.
Don Crowther & Joshua Russak (Me)
The summit started off with Keynote speaker, Don Crowther, Social Media and Blogging Expert. His advice was very effective for Experienced and Beginners alike. In reference to Social Media Marketing: “If you do it wrong in this business, it can be a huge dissadvantage!” He went on to bring quite a few surprising key facts: Facebook almost equals the amount of Google pageviews, Myspace actually got more page views than google last year, YouTube almost doubled Google! Then he went on to discuss strategy. I wasn’t too happy to hear his opinion that Movable Type Publishing was better than WordPress because it had better search engine rankings. When asked why? “B/c it’s paid for”. Unlike WordPress, you pay for MTP which means better quality service. Well – according to everything else he was telling the audience – if you apply these social media tips, it won’t matter which platform you use! “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, just do it appropriately!” (~Don)
He ran a very interesting test. He took 5,000 of the top terms in Google (Money terms worth 50 cents or more for the #2 spot) and he found that “18% of all first page results were social media – 2 sites per page!” And he showed us quite a few examples where the social media site outranked the actual company. From this he derived that all a company needs is GOOD SEM on one side and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING on the other. And here are the tools he referenced: Squidoo, HubPages, WetPaint, Twitter, StomperNet.com, Google Keyword Tool, Last.Fm, Digg, and many more (MANY MORE!). As for Video, you should be doing Video Reviews, Video Blogs, etc. . He referred the audience to Camtasia and Screenflow. It’s the software you use to record your Desktop. Very applicable for training, powerpoints, presentations, etc. Also, bringing in Guest’s for interviewing creates amazing content. Then promote it in one of 2 ways. You CAN go to each video site and upload each video individually or use TubeMogul to do it all in one shot and manage your trafic.
One final warning from Dan. “Follow the Best-Practices: DO NOT USE AUTO-BOOKMARKERS, ONLY BOOKMARK YOUR A+ BEST STUFF, SUBMIT OTHER PEOPLE’S STUFF (6:1 ratio), DON’T COPY AND PASTE THE SAME DESCRIPTIONS”.
In my opinion, I could have easily left at this point feeling accomplished. But there was no way I was going to miss the next session: “Gain Friend and Infuence, With Video – Learn how to leverage video to increase brand engagement, time spent on site, and page views. Explore the tools and techniques to use when testing out video” Totally worth it. The session involved the following:

Not as valuable for me as the first session, but the audience remained hooked and interested as I looked around the room. I particularly enjoyed Melissa’s participation. I knew I recognized her. Besides acting as Director of Marketing for Buy.com, she is also Co-Host of the TV show, BuyTV, that airs weekly on G4. And I’ve seen Steve Rosenbaum at quite a few local events including the most recent Jeff Pulver Breakfast. To properly cover this one, I took down quite a few valuable quotes:

  • Steve: “I think you’ll see longer videos as time goes on”
  • Steve: “The advantage of short = you leave the audience wanting more”
  • Melissa: “If it’s not Rich Media, it’s not interesting!”
  • Steve: “There’s an enourmous amount of money out to find quality pre-roll!”
  • Steve: “YouTube is a failed Social Network!”

Yea…as you can see, they covered quite a few areas of video. And it was worth getting a picture in with Melissa as you can see in the flickr SlideShow at the top of this post. At this point there was a break for lunch and networking. I met up with Jim Kukral and found that to be quite valuable. He was one of the main reasons I took my blog in a new direction (as you’ll start to see in the coming weeks).
The sessions I attended after lunch included:
Where'd they all go?

…but at that point, the room was starting to clear out! I mean COME ONNNN, it was a Sunday! Half of the crowd was probably hung over form the night before. All I can say was that from what I attended, it was well worth it in terms of quality training and networking. Check out their next event in Vegas if you can make it!

Viral Videos Of The Week: Simpsons vs Movie Stars

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

As part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, “Viral Video of The Week” will become a regular thing. This week I’ve decided to include 2 videos for 2 reasons. The first reason is because it’s a “Friday” and that is self explanatory. The 2nd reason is because both videos have 1 thing in common: The 2008 Elections! Their popularity is due to their humorous approach to what the number 1 thing on America’s mind right now. All stats and info can be found at ViralVideoChart.com. According to them, both videos have been “spreading across the interweb like Wildfire!”…
The first Video, Homer Simpson Tries To Vote For Obama, was found to be the #1 Viral Video Of The Day according to ViralVideoChart.com.
  • Discovered 01 Oct 2008
  • 591,159 views
  • 283 blog posts


The 2nd Video, 5 Friends Uncensored, is #2 Viral Video of The Day:

  • Discovered 01 Oct 2008
  • 615,283 views
  • 340 blog posts
At this point you should be asking yourself, “How is #2 if it is has over 20,000+ more views and 50+ more Blog Posts than the Simpson video?”. I’m not sure either, but while I go ahead and contact ViralVideoChat, check out the video below:


I sent an e-mail to both Scott & Matt of UnrulyMedia, the creator of this site and this is their response:
“We rank videos based on linking and sharing on the web rather than views – similar to how google ranks sites on it’s search engine.
Partially we do this because it’s information that is standard across sites (the definition of a view varies from site to site) and is a bit harder to manipulate and partially because that’s the way we’ve always done it…
Hope that explains it!
Matt.”

So there’s the answer! Now go drink and enjoy your Friday!

Sarah Silverman gets “Grandma” to Vote

Article By: Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak (Red@aclion.com)
Joshua 'The Red' Russak

The Great Schlep from The Great Schlep on Vimeo.

2008 is a hip-year for voters. Besides the fact that the candidates have driven more intrest through YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn, Facebook and other social-media Web2.0 sites…there are so many 2nd tier efforts taking place on the side by companies seeking attention and results.

Actress and Comedian, Sarah Silverman took a brave approach with TheGreatSchlep.com As quoted directly from her site, “The Great Schlep aims to have Jewish grandchildren visit their grandparents in Florida, educate them about Obama, and therefore swing the crucial Florida vote in his favor. Don’t have grandparents in Florida? Not Jewish? No problem! You can still become a schlepper and make change happen in 2008, simply by talking to your relatives about Obama.” Just watch the video above and you’ll see what I mean.

This video inspired me to not only post a blog, but cover some other successful voting awareness and viral campaigns out there. At the top of the leader-board is obviously RockTheVote , a “non-profit organization founded in Los Angeles in 1990 by Jeff Ayeroff for the purposes of political advocacy. Rock the Vote works to engage youth in the political process by incorporating the entertainment community and youth culture into its activities” (Wikipedia). Year after year of support from political officials and celebs alike! It’s #1 go-to spot for voting encouragement.

A more “awareness” based approach was put foruth by Someecards digital greeting card company with their viral campaign, BotherVoting.com. They are increasing voting awareness..in a very entertaining way. Vulgur, to-the-point, & hilarious cards that you can post on your blog and share with friends

Another voting attempt came with the recent release of Swing Vote, starring Kevin Costner in a film where, “in a remarkable turn-of-events, the result of the presidential election comes down to one man’s vote.” It was a great attempt to capture the attention of soon-to-be voters and promoted the NEED to vote. Glad to see it got a wopping 38% on RottenTomatoes. Can you smell the sarcasm?

As for some failed/awaiting attempts, I’m not sure what happened to Puffy’s Vote Or Die campaigns this year. I haven’t seen much. Another one was hidden in cyberspace, but I managed to pull it out. NYC was planning to launch a viral e-mail marketing campaign, but nothing came out of it. Check it out here.

Can’t wait to see what comes out next…