Recent Articles

The social graph. No other concept has so fluidly permeated the vernacular that it’s tough to decide which accolade Mark Zuckerberg will be remembered for first: founding the largest ‘social graph’ in the world or coining the term. The term, graphically represented by a sociogram, is applied to an abstract concept which maps and illustrates online connections and it’s a powerful tool that is used to great effect. Yet despite its assured potential, the social graph does have an Achilles Heel: portability.

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Social media plugins play an important role in connecting websites and web services to social networks. Social media services allow websites to engage with their visitors in a fresh and interactive way— and have become essential to the health and growth of a new web. This article outlines the top 10 social media plugins of today, why they’re so important, and why you should consider using them for your site.

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What is it?

For those not yet familiar with Social CRM (social customer relationship management), it refers to the process by which companies selling products or services build a relationship with their consumers.

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Social Media provides both consumers and marketers with an unprecedented ability to interact and form larger communities of discussion around specific industries and even specific products.  By properly embracing social media, companies can identify trends within these communities to improve the user experience of their customers and potential customers alike, resulting in increased sales and customer satisfaction.

Here are 10 things your company can do to improve your user experience by harnessing the power of social media:

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OpenID: Pro’s and Con’s

January 17, 2011

Just five years ago, the Internet was ripe to expose a perfect concoction of interactive design coupled with applications catering to the user experience. More people were discovering information, participating in discussions, sharing content and purchasing.  Yet just as we welcomed in the age of Web 2.0, there was something missing for the average user: a means of accessing the growing numbers of sites easily and securely.

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Long gone are the days where once you got a customer in the store you were pretty much guaranteed a sale. Now, with all ages sporting an iPhone or smartphone, they may come into your store but exit within a matter of minutes after an alert that the item they’re looking for is cheaper elsewhere. By the time they’ve made it to their car they are getting a confirmation email for their purchase done via text message, while the item they intended to buy from you still sits on your shelf.

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From time to time, you hear about new social networking sites cropping up, trying to be the Facebook-killer—the new, all-encompassing social network that promises to connect us to all our friends (and brands) in new and mind-blowing ways. But basically anything since the demise of MySpace has failed (Google Buzz, I’m looking in your direction). The fact of the matter is that 5 years ago, social networking was new, and only the most web savvy individuals saw any value in it. So we all messed around with a bunch of different platforms—Friendster, MySpace, Bebo, and others. But by the time we all figured out that MySpace had basically turned into a trashy hook-up spot for 14-year-olds with daddy issues, Facebook came along with its clean UI and easy-to-navigate profiles. And we were all hooked.

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Many companies are adding twitter to their Social CRM arsenal and if used properly can warrant a lot of success. It’s easy to see the value in Facebook and blogging, but some people struggle in finding the worth of 140 characters.

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Social Sign On (“SSO”) enables website and mobile application users to authenticate using their existing social network credentials from providers such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Most users have noticed this trend on sites like Answers.com or Fox News. Here are some of the benefits of social sign-on:

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In previous articles, we’ve talked about cool Facebook social plug-ins that were introduced last year by Mark Zuckerberg at the F8 conference. The Login plug-in is great for creating a better user experience on your website, and the Comments plug-in is great for helping build a community of brand followers. But what about plug-ins that create a better user experience on your website AND help you create a community? Voila! The Recommendations and Activity Feed plug-ins (Facebook is so cool. They think of everything).

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