I'm B.L. Ochman, and I've been helping blue chip companies incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm an accomplished and expert digital strategist, certified YouTube Channel Creator, president of whatsnextonline.com and publisher of What's Next Blog.

I'm CEO of Maximum-Plus.com Live-streaming event production & all things Google+, serving leading brands, associations and agencies.

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext. Find me on Google+

I'm also co-founder of the pet lovers' site and blog, Pawfun.com - where you can use favorite photos of your pets to create and send free Pawfun photo e-cards.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Twitter Makes Broadcast Deal With NFL

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10 NFL Games Will Stream Live

The deal allows Twitter to stream 10 Thursday night National Football League games. Tw.itter also controls some of the advertising inventory for the games

NFL games are America’s most-watched sport by a wide margin. Thursday night games attracted about 17 million viewers last season, according to BloombergTechnology.

Twitter’s $10 million bid for the package won against giants Facebook, Verizon, Yahoo and Amazon. Twitter’s payment one million per game was a bargain. CBS Corp. and Comcast Corp.’s NBC each paid about $45 million a game for five Thursday night contests each during the 2016 and 2017 seasons.

CNBC sources say Twitter’s victory is the result of a dispute between the NFL and Facebook.

CNBC says the NFL felt that Facebook undervalued its content rights and has a poor monetization model. Facebook streaming is not as developed as Periscope, they said.

Will the move help Twitter’s faltering stock? That remains to be seen.

BL Ochman | April 6, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Facebook Posts Business Resources

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Emphasis on Instagram, ads and mobile

Facebook-Business-ResourcesFacebook for Business is now featuring its marketing resources in a monthly blog post.

The first post, published March 30, shares all the major product announcements and resources that have launched since the start of the year. (And it includes that image, which seems a rather odd choice.)

New Facebook products & features

* Canvas, a new full-screen mobile ad experience, along with explanations of how it’s been used by L’Occitane and Carnival Cruise Line.
* New features for Leads ads, including new CRM partners and updates to make signing up for information easier.
* Updated features for Video ads, and examples from Taco Bell and Strongbow.
* Creative guidelines for the Carousel format
* The first five episodes of the Pub in Pub series, which this year is focused on brands using Instagram to connect with people.
* Nine new 15-minute Blueprint e-learning courses, with six focused on Instagram.

BL Ochman | March 30, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Project Literacy – A Global Movement to Combat Illiteracy

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By B.L. Ochman

Tools ranging from video to virtual reality explain the need for Project Literacy, a new multi-media global movement to fight illiteracy.

The largely invisible issue affects over 757 million people worldwide and there is a direct link between literacy and other global development issues, such as poverty, hunger and unemployment, gender inequality and access to basic civil rights.

The video is approaching three million views.

Experience Illiteracy in Virtual Reality

VR StoriesThe Project Literacy website also lets you experience the stories of illiterate people via Virtual Reality. So put on a mask and experience a frozen moment in the life of someone living with illiteracy.

Facts About Illiteracy

The ‘Alphabet of Illiteracy” illustrates the a new body of evidence suggesting illiteracy is the root cause of almost every major problem humanity faces, from A-Z.

Illiteracy is a truly global problem. According to Project Literacy:

* No country has ever achieved continued economic growth without having first achieved an adult literacy rate above 40%.
* Illiteracy costs the world $1.19 trillion a year.[8] It costs a developed nation 2% of its GDP each year and an emerging economy 1.2% of GDP.
* 32 million adults in the United States can’t read.[9] And one in four children grow up without learning how to read.
* More than 70% of inmates in American prisons cannot read above fourth grade level (typically 9-10 years old).
* 1 in 5 UK children leave primary school unable to read or write.
* In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of illiterate adults has increased by 37% since 1990.
* In India, 287 million people do not have basic reading skills.

Take Action

Convened by UK educational publisher Pearson and baked by more than 40 charities and educational organizations, among Project Literacy’s goals is gathering one million signatures on a petition by International Literacy Day on September 8, when they will present it to the United Nations. The petition asks the UN to put literacy at the heart of every action to advance the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

What you must know about your Google About.Me Profile

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By B.L. Ochman

Your Google About.Me Profile Impacts SEO. If you can find it.

If you’re not using Google’s new About.Me page you’re not alone. It’s practically a secret.

But it’s crucial for you to understand and use your Google About.Me profile correctly because it will affect both your online identity and your future Google search results.

Your About.me profile soon will also enhance your Knowledge Graph: a reward Google gives you for consistently creating Inbound Marketing content.

And when the mysterious new Google Posts goes live for everyone, it’ll reference your Google About.Me profile also.

The new Google About.Me page – hard to find and ridiculously complicated to update, to put it mildly — replaces any previous Google profile you have created on any Google platform.

About.me new page

If you already have any Google account (YouTube, gMail, Google Play, etc) your About.Me page will most likely already include your name, image, gender, birthday, work history and current place of residence, among other details. You can edit and erase most of that information, though VentureBeat notes that you’ll delete your Google accounts if you try to delete your name and photo.

About.Me will follow you around the web

Content from our new About.Me page will follow you around the web like the ad for the shoes you bought six months ago. The information on your new About.Me page will become all or part of your profiles in Gmail, Photos, Music, Google Play, Drive, YouTube and other Google platforms – except Google+. (In YouTube and Play, Google says your profile shows “alongside content you share” but I haven’t seen any examples of that.)

This new Google About.Me profile also isn’t part of the popular about.me social network that has been around for years and which allows users to share their personal profile and network with other members. Nobody knows why Google would usurp the name of a popular website. (But then again, when they renamed the company Alphabet, they had to buy it from the guy who already owned it for years.)

What Google+ Users Need to Know

The change is particularly absurdly complex for anyone who used or still uses Google+.

When Google massively overhauled the Google+ platform in November 2015 they detached many popular features including Hangouts, photos, YouTube integration, events, access to local business pages and business reviews — and your profile.

What your Google+ profile lost and how to get it back

Hangouts and Hangouts on Air now have their own landing pages, as do Google Photos and YouTube Channels and YouTube events. And your profile has its own landing page also – called About.me.

In what Google now calls “Classic Google+, you could use thousands of words and links and images and videos to describe yourself and explain why people should work with you.

You could format that profile to look pretty nice, but it’s all messed up now and can’t really be changed. It exists only in Classic Google+, which is probably only going to be around for another couple of months, and which will take that profile with it when it goes.

In what G+ now calls your Profile, you can still change your headshot and cover photo (both of which have new sizes), as well as what Collections and Communities you’d like to have displayed on your profile. But everything else about you is contained on and edited through your new ‘About.Me’ profile page. In the new Google+, this is all I can show in my profile:
Not your profile

Google’s About.Me support page – unclear as usual – says it lets you manage your various Google profiles from one place and control the personal information you’re sharing, via elaborate privacy settings. But that’s not entirely true. You can’t combine the profiles of your various Gmail addresses into one profile, for example.

Now, Google engineers continue to call one tab in the new G+ “Profile” – even though it does not actually contain information about you.

In their inimitable manner, they don’t explain on their “Help page” that none of your actual “About” information – like where you work, what you do, links to your online content and contact info – is included in the new Google+ profile.

Who you are, what you do, how you can be found online – now resides on aboutme.google.com, a separate page that is not part of Google+, but that is connected to it.

Google says,confusingly as usual:

“Profiles in the new Google+ have been streamlined and simplified. They include your Collections, Communities, and posts.” People using the new Google+ can only see your new Google+ profile

Drink This Alice!

Alice-drink-meThe truly serious confusion comes from the fact that there is a great big button on your masthead in the new Google+ that says “Edit Profile.” It sticks out on the page the way “Drink Me” sign stuck out to Alice in Wonderland before she fell down the rabbit hole. But that Edit Profile button won’t take you to your new about.me profile, Alice.

Remember, we’re dealing with Google engineers here. Clarity is not one of their strong suits.

To get to your About.Me, you need to click on the ridiculously small “i” that is directly next to the huge “Edit Profile” button.

Yes, you are correct dear reader: that makes no sense. But don’t give up yet!

The information you choose to make public on your new Google About.Me page is pulled into your description on the new Google+ and on all other products. How much of it, and where it’ll go is not clear, at all. But here’s how your About.Me Google profile will display on Google+ and all Google products that feature a bio -once you create or update it here:

Correct Google AboutMe profile

How to rock your About.Me google page

So much for the backstory. Let’s move on.

Everything we need to know about you is now housed at http://aboutme.google.com, which – confusingly enough – is still pulled to and from Google+. You now get the option of deciding which parts of your profile are visible to which of your circles, so you still need to pay attention to those (if you ever created any.)

You can change what other users of Google products see about you. For instance, when you connect with people on apps like Gmail or Hangouts, you can choose to share certain additional information with them, like your birthday and phone number.

Note: Your name and photo (if you choose to add one and elect to share it) will be shown to other users across Google products, including when you communicate or share content. If you don’t upload a clear headshot, people will just see a blue head with no face – surely not how you want to present yourself.

Love it or hate it – but don’t ignore it

As many marketers – including this one – have noted, it sometimes appears that Googlers have no clue how business people actually use their products.

I’m reserving my judgment because the new G+ is a Beta. It is in flux, with features coming and going, and it’s going to keep on changing until the Google engineers think it’s done.

But I’m paying close attention to my About.Me page and so should you if you want accurate information about you in Google search.

Google+ Daily

BL Ochman | March 6, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (4) | TrackBack (0)

Land’s End Drops Gloria Steinem, #HelpKenyaNotKanye

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Beyond Social Media Show #132

Co-hosts David Erickson and B.L. Ochman discussed Atlas the amazing new two-legged robot hero from Boston Dynamics; Indian villages banning girls from using cell phones; Land’s End drops Gloria Steinem in ham-handed PR gaffe; Google Docs’ excellent new Voice Typing; Facebook’s new emoji reactions; Indian villages banning girls from using cell phones; Google’s elimination of sidebar ads from search results; ISIS threats against Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey; Harry Shearer catches Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski pandering to Donald Trump; David Duke trending on Twitter; the brilliant #HelpKenyaNotKanye campaign; The Oatmeal’s Autocorrect Hates You; Donald Trump’s 199 top Twitter insults; plus great new apps and important stats and a whole lot more.

We did all that in 30-minutes on our award-winning podcast for marketing, advertising, PR and digital communications specialists.


The video is time-stamped. Click on a time in brackets to jump directly to that segment of the video.

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Shiny New Stuff

Read More…

BL Ochman | February 28, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Google Docs adds very good Voice Typing

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Voice TypingThe Voice Typing tool in Google Docs is new and improved. This week, Voice Typing, found in the dropdown Tools menu, added many new commands.

These include adding tables, punctuation, moving easily to different lines within your document, and formatting your document.

Here’s how Voice Typing works:

1. Check that your microphone works.
2. Open a document in Google docs with a Chrome browser.
3. Click Tools > Voice typing. A microphone box appears.
4. When you’re ready to speak, click the microphone.
5. Speak clearly, at a normal volume and pace (I find it’s best to wear a headset or earbuds.)
6. When you’re done, click the microphone again.

Note: This feature is only available in Chrome browsers.

I broke my arm, and am currently a one-handed typist. Docs’ Voice Typing is superior to Dragon Dictate, which stinks on a Mac, and Mac and Word dictation. Now if only WordPress had voice dictation!

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

The Oatmeal: Autocorrect Hates You

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As anyone who uses it knows, Autocorrect can lose you clients and friends. It’s an equal opportunity offender. Autocorrect hates you.

Oatmeal-Autocorrect-Hates-YouMatthew Inman, creator of The Oatmeal – alternately hilarious, poignant, cringeworthy and adorable, sometimes simultaneously – compiled some of Autocorrect’s most riotous mistakes on his blog in a post entitled Autocorrect Hates You.

Guaranteed, you’ll recognize some of these.

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Look what happens when you click on TedCruz.com

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I reported months ago that Republican Presidential Candidate Ted Cruz does not own TedCruz.com They’ve had months to buy the name, but they apparently didn’t bother, even at this late date in the campaign. And TedCruz-2016.com is also up for sale. In the meantime, I bought TedCruz.mobi just for a laugh.

Here’s what you get when you click on TedCruz.com

BL Ochman | January 22, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
Categories: Politics

David Bowie’s Online Innovation, #NYValues; New Twitter Ads

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Beyond Social Media Show Episode 126


David Erickson and I discussed Crocs’ ham-handed David Bowie tribute; David Bowie’s remarkably prescient online innovations and foresight; Periscope live streaming in Tweets; a new kind of new Twitter ads; the short lifespan of a Peachy social network; Nazis for Trump; EA Sports NFL playoff trolling; the Bud Grant meme; newspapers as public benefit corporations; New York Daily News’ middle-finger “Drop Dead Ted” salute to Ted Cruz; how a taco joint mocking burglars went viral; plus great new apps and important stats and lots more.”

Worst Digital Cases

Best Digital Cases

Read More…

BL Ochman | January 19, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Why nothing else matters if your customer service sucks

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By B.L. Ochman

Rent-a-Kvetch-logoPre-Internet, I ran a business called Rent-A-Kvetch, in which I was a professional complainer who wrote to companies on behalf of customers who couldn’t get help with problems. The company was a hit because then, as now, most customer service sucks.

“Screw You” attitude prevailed

In addition to customers, Rent-a-Kvetch attracted international media attention.

Heck, I was even on Oprah: three times. That’s because it was hard for customers to complain in those days. Companies had the upper hand. An awful lot of companies would just ignore complaints – if you could even reach anyone who would listen to you. Well, that’s over!

Fast forward: Customer is Queen

Today, anyone with access to the Internet can use social media to cause an unpresonsive company pain and a direct hit to its bottom line. Examples abound, from United Broke My Guitar, Comcast, to scores of others that have gone viral, inspired “XYZ company sucks” and parody Twitter accounts and videos.

Nothing else matters if your customer service sucks


Yes, the customer can be wrong, and many are nasty, but most customers who get to the point of making online complaints have a point. Don’t ever ignore a complaint!

Here’s a little refresher course on what companies need to do:

1- Monitor social media mentions of the brand 24/7

2- Respond within 3 hours to complaints in social media (Internet time is like dog years: one hour is like 7 in Internet time!)

3- APOLOGIZE and say you’ll work to solve the problem. (From the hundreds of customer complaints I handled, I learned that what most people wanted most was an apology.)

4- Respond in a human voice (not corporate speak) in the platform where the complaint was posted. If it’s on Twitter, respond on Twitter; on Facebook, respond there, etc.

5- Do not say “You’re the only person who ever complained about this” because that just pisses off the wronged customer. By the time most people take to social media, the company’s representatives have already treated them poorly.

6- Do not try to take the conversation offline to email (as almost every big company does) because you think that’ll make it less public. It won’t. (Ok, to go to direct messages to get account numbers, phone numbers, other personal info, but then go back to public to resolve.)

An angry consumer will just post your offline responses in social media if they aren’t satisfied.

7- Over-deliver on the solution. Send a coupon, send flowers, but send something that makes the person feel better.

Your goal is to have the complainer say “I just got amazing help and service from XYZ Company”

The bottom line – make sure that someone who has the power to solve the problem is the one who responds, apologizes and then over-delivers on the solution so the customer walks away happy.

BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)
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