The, uh, awesome power of online reviews

No question about it  – technology’s ability to get instant user feedback on products and services is a powerful tool in driving business. After all, the customer is always right, even when he or she is wrong. Consider these one-star user reviews of some great works of literature sold on, gathered via Matthew Baldwin on The Morning News.

– Gretchen Schmidt

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KingJames Is in the House… and on Twitter!

So, the hysteria is finally behind us. LeBron James made his “Decision” on ESPN in front of a national TV audience Thursday night. In one bold stroke, he crushed the spirits of Cleveland Cavalier fans and lifted those of the Miami Heat. (Disclaimer: Considering that the AmericanAirlines Arena where the Miami Heat plays is only 400 yards from the Wax offices, we’re a little biased in our leanings toward his selection of the Heat as his new team.)

But, all fan allegiance aside, the amazing development – from a social media perspective – is the power of Twitter in all of this. LeBron James opened a Twitter account at 3:15pm on Tuesday the 6th under the moniker of @KingJames and with the following announcement:

“Hello World, the Real King James is in the Building “Finally”. My Brother @oneandonlycp3 gas’d me up to jump on board so I’m here. Haaaa”

Incredibly, by 9:00 Thursday – just minutes before his big announcement – @KingJames had over 350,000 followers on Twitter.  That’s every sports beat writer in America and at least a fair representation of the fan base from the cities he was choosing from. In checking back, at the posting of this blog, he’s now up to over 406,000 followers and growing. Incredibly, this following has been built on a total of five Tweets by KingJames with really nothing substantial to say.

Thus the moral of the story: Content is still king (no pun intended)! KingJames may have garnered 400,000 followers in his first few days on Twitter but savvy fans won’t be returning or signing up to follow LeBron if he continues to have nothing relevant or interesting to share. Just a little something to keep in mind when developing your own social media program…

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Twitter Taking NBA Fee Agency Real-Time

Ok. I’m a self-admitted sports junkie. I used to huddle over a transistor radio with other similarly stricken grade school buddies listening to the NFL draft between classes as early as the sixth grade. It was the only way to find out what our favorite team was doing while the draft was actually happening. It’s now nearly 30 years later (ok, I’m dating myself a bit here) and oh, how things have changed. The dissemination of real-time information is what it’s all about and sports fans are taking it to a whole new level.

The hysteria started a few weeks ago with a goal by Japan’s World Cup soccer team against Cameroon leading to a record number of “Tweets per second” for Twitter. That record lasted less than a week when the Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics for the NBA championship. These two events were just hot topics for sports fans to discuss amongst themselves. What’s happened over the last few weeks since then with NBA free agency has shown us just how much of an effect social media and Twitter in particular can have – not just from a user engagement standpoint, but as an actual reporting mechanism.

In case you aren’t as much of a sports junkie as I am, here’s the scoop. LeBron James is quickly becoming a household name. He’s only 25 years old but has already won two league MVP awards. He’s the most sought after basketball player in at least the last ten years and teams in all of the major U.S. markets are pitching for his services. This is where social media has hit overdrive. There’s not an NBA hoops beat writer in New York, Chicago, Miami, LA or Dallas who doesn’t have an active blog covering every move LeBron makes. Even more intense is the Twitter presence of same reporters. As we know, it takes a few minutes to write a blog. A Tweet takes seconds. Sports reporting has officially gone real-time.

In this new digital era, being the first to share information is the goal. The eventual “winner” in this NBA free-agency media game is going to be whomever first reports where LeBron is going to sign his next contract. The interesting part of this is that the person who does the “reporting” may very well be LeBron himself.

This is a continuing trend where athletes are becoming the newly empowered news breakers instead of the traditional media outlets. When the big announcement is made tomorrow, you can bet you’ll find it on Twitter before seeing it on ESPN at 9:00. The game is changing and even the media is scrambling to keep up. As for me, I’ll be on Twitter following every move that’s made with the same rabid enthusiasm as when I was a kid listening to the radio for the latest sports updates.  The fast-food era of communicating news and information is upon us and the fan inside of me loves every minute of it.

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Are we all a bunch of workaholics?

When you think about your lifestyle, do you live to work or do you work to live? If the idea of living to work resonates with you, and it does with many of us, then you might consider yourself a workaholic. Not only is workaholism unhealthy for your body, but it can be mentally draining simply because of ups and downs in the workplace. Here are some tips on how to focus on a more ‘work to live’ lifestyle.

-        Disconnect. I know this may make some people cringe, but once you learn to appreciate these times of disconnecting, you will realize how much you need them. Next time you go out to dinner or go home for the weekend, try to disconnect for at least a couple of hours by turning off your cell phone and computer. I know some people are concerned with possible emergencies, but consider this: the cell phone has only been about around 10 years. If people were able to manage then, they are certainly able to manage now.

-        Get a hobby. Many of us just like doing things to keep ourselves busy.  With a hobby, you will focus on something else you enjoy. There is no such thing as your job being your hobby.

-        Spend time outdoors. This is healthy for both your body and your mind, especially for those who spend hours in front of a computer. Take walks, go biking, even plan a getaway in the woods or by a beach.

-        Socialize with people outside of your work environment. Form relationships with people/family members who are disconnected with your job. This will help steer conversations away from work and focus on the relationship mainly.

To ‘work to live’ does not imply that you shouldn’t be passionate about your job. It only establishes a life outside of work, where you value your life before your job. Work helps us live, but work is not life in itself.

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LinkedIn Proves It’s Not the Weakest Social Media Link

Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn, oh my! LinkedIn might have taken a little longer to popularize than Facebook and Twitter, but it has proven successful in the professional realm.

According to a survey of 5,000 people, the top four reasons people come to LinkedIn is to reconnect with colleagues, manage their professional identity, see what colleagues are up to and to find new business opportunities.

Facebook allows for business promotion, but most people use it recreationally. LinkedIn is designed for business connections.

There are several benefits to staying active on LinkedIn: Continue reading

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