Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Pros and Cons of Google+

Last week Google’s social network, Google+, opened its gates to all after two and half months of closed testing.

Fiona presents her breakdown of Pros and Cons of Google+ from the perspective of a Google Enthusiast for Rocktime clients and Music promotion.


I really liked the simplicity of registering to join Google+ BETA. My attention was kept by the use of innovative circles of networks and the ability to assign users to multiple circles. I am still only testing and not using Google+ until Google+ for businesses is available.

I found the integration of my Google+ profile with many of the other Google products I use like Picasa, Google Places reviews, iGoogle, YouTube, Gmail contacts, Google+1 button etc was and will be very useful.

After years of keeping a relatively low online personal profile, I suddenly found that my contact details and my ‘real life sharing’ were about to be made public. That proposition seemed less inhibiting as there are plenty of privacy control features in Google+ and it has an attractive interface. Once users recognise how to engage in an online social network and decide on what ‘their tone of voice’ is, adding another network is just another channel for communication. Facebook has been a good learning curve to develop a profile on.

With Google owning Android and Android doubling their UK market share in Q2 2011, which now makes up 47% and according to Mobile magazine share and the fact that 41% of the UK population own a Smartphone there is a lot of scope to develop.

Paying for goods with the Google Wallet app on an NFC enabled phone is due to be launched in UK next year and I am sure Google will find a way to link Google+ to our buying power.

The public Google+ profiles are indexed and can be found for a name search. Google ‘owns’, in today’s gaming and urban dictionary, search. Google+ is starting to do some rather fun things with music like their recent Daria Musk Google+ Hangout Concert. A "Hangout" is a live 10-person video chat on Google+. In addition, Google launched Google Magnifier earlier this year, which is a service or ‘discovery site’ that lets you upload your personal music collection to the cloud and listen to it on the web or your Android phone, or tablet.


I promote an acoustic musician, so what I was really waiting for, was the ability to add a music band to Google+. Google states quite clearly in the joining process that a full name is required, not a company, brand or band. YET! It’s coming! There are already so many music specific profile sites I’ve joined like FanBridge, Reverbnation, Facebook BandPage, SoundCloud, Bandcamp and the rest but Google+ offers the widest potential reach. Google is looking at ways to adapt the social networking site specifically for business use.

An impressive 27m people have signed up for Google+ since it launched in June 2011 but then the recent stats indicate it is now declining in daily visits.
There have been some known issues with Google+ but they seem to get plenty of publicity and therefore Google tries to resolves errors quickly.

One of the other issues that’s been flagged up in several places is Google+’s real name policy. Unsurprisingly there are many internet figures who are better known by an online alias, or just users who want to separate their online and offline interactions.

I tease about ‘Google world domination’; I hope it is only a joke!

If you’re interested in learning more about Google products and what they can bring to your business, why not contact Rocktime’s Flashlight Team for more information.

Author: Fiona Anderson

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Twitter Releases New Web Analytics Tool

We heard about the news from Mashable that Twitter is soon to roll out their Web Analytics tool.

We are quite excited to see the interface. The tool will help online marketers and website owners understand more about the effectiveness of their integrated Twitter campaigns.

The above image and below snippet has been taken from this Mashable post:

“Twitter Web Analytics, explains BackType founder and new Twitter platform staffer Christopher Golda, will help publishers and website owners understand three key things: How much of their content is being shared on Twitter, how much traffic Twitter is sending their way and how well Tweet Buttons are performing“

As with most social media channel updates, the Twitter web analytics tool is open to just a selected few to start off with and will be rolled out to all by October 2011. We are looking forward to seeing the working interface.

Author: Sarah Griffiths

Thursday, September 15, 2011

YouTube Partner Programme

What is the YouTube Partner Programme?

The YouTube Partner Programme allows you to make money off your videos hosted on YouTube through revenue sharing, by allowing advertisements to be displayed on your videos. If you choose to have ad-supported videos, then ads are chosen automatically by YouTube’s system based on a number of factors (such as video category, etc).

Being a YouTube Partner also allows the user to stream videos in the highest possible quality; up to 1,080p HD. Partners can also upload long-form content with no size or file limit, inside a fully branded channel with additional design and interactivity options.

YouTube Partners are also given access to YouTube’s Content ID system (which can also be signed up for separately) which is aimed at users who hold exclusive right to the content they upload. It allows users to identify videos uploaded by others that are comprised entirely, or partially of their content and choose in advance what action they want to have happen, when such videos are found.

How can you join?

In order to join YouTube’s Partner scheme you need to apply through their site here. Your channel will be reviewed internally by YouTube to decide whether you fulfil the below criteria.

What are the requirements?

  • You must create videos that are suitable for online streaming
  • You must own or have express permission to use all of the audio and video content that you upload. NO EXCEPTIONS. Cover songs are not allowed unless the artist has obtained full synchronisation and performance rights.
  • You must upload videos regularly
  • You must have viewing figures in the 1000’s OR publish popular or commercially successful videos in other ways (i.e. online DVD sales)
Furthermore you need:
  • To have a YouTube User account
  • To not have any black marks against your account, you must not have violated YouTube’s Terms of Service.
  • To have an approved AdSense account.

Should you have a YouTube account and you would like to talk to the Flashlight Team on your future strategy plans, please get in touch with Rocktime Sales to arrange a meeting.

Author: Alice Cheetham

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Updates to Google Product Feed

If you have a Google Product account (which feeds your products into Google Shopping), you will have recently been contacted by Google to let you know that there are important updates needed to your company's “Google product search feed”.

Google has made changes to the way website owners/managers submit their product data to Google Product Search. Google has supplied the new product feed specification to allow our Technical Team to determine which elements of the data feed we will need to change.

For further information please view the announcement of the update here; Upcoming Google Product Search Feed.

For website owners which rely on traffic from Google Product search it is vital that the changes are made before the 22nd September, as Google state that Google Product accounts that do not comply with the new requirements may be suspended.

We have contacted all of our clients with an active, or non-active Google Product Search Feed in their Rocktime E-commerce shops, about making the necessary updates.

Further information on this change, can be found over at Google Ecommerce YouTube Channel. We have added useful links to some of their (long) instructional videos below.
You can also view the long list of the new Google Product feed specification here.

If you require assistance updating your Google Product Feed, please do get in touch with our Sales Team.

Author: Farah Khan

Friday, September 09, 2011

Geek Video of the Month

Geek Video of the month is going to Video Mash Up Artist Swede Mason.

We are simply loving his work. The above video mash up Masterchef Synesthesia is our personal favourite, and has become a viral phenomenon.
Last time we looked it has had over 2 million and a half views, so impressive. If you are a fan of Top Gear, make sure you also check out the Jeremy Clarkson Beatbox video.
Pure Video Editing Genius, we are looking forward to more mash ups from Swede Mason and finding out more about the guy behind the edits and how he finds the time to produce such impressive material.

Author: Alice Cheetham