Tag Archives: library marketing

4 Ways Text Messaging Can Improve Your Patron Communications

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A recent Pew study revealed that 80 percent of American cell phone owners use text messaging as a means of communication, sending or receiving an average of 41.5 text messages per day. For the 18-24 age group, 97 percent of cell phone owners text, sending or receiving an average of 109.5 texts per day.

One look at these numbers and you know instantly how to reach a majority of your current library patrons and an even greater majority of tomorrow’s library patrons: via text.

Text messaging is a fast and efficient means of communicating with your library patrons and there are many ways in which you can use text messaging to improve your patron communications. Here are just a few types of messages you can communicate to your patrons via text:

1. Circulation Notices Such as Holds and Overdues.

Emails today convey much less of a sense of urgency than they did a few years ago, especially to younger library patrons. To catch your users’ attention with important circulation notices, try sending them via text instead of email. This way, they can act on the notices immediately.

2. Promotional Polls and Contests

A great way to keep your patrons engaged is to link promotions to programming and other library events. Your library can have contests where you send out polls or questions via text for prizes such as first row seats to an upcoming speaker (ie. “The first three patrons to text us the author of Tender Is the Night win front row seats to our October Author Speaker Series Event”). You can also hold a text vote to choose between two programming possibilities for an upcoming date.

3. URLs to Newsletters or Other Library Publications

Does your library publish a monthly newsletter? A terrific way to get the newsletter into the hands of your patrons so they may have immediate access is to send them a short text with the URL right when it is published. Your patrons can be reading the newsletter that your staff worked so hard on literally within seconds of publication.

4. Programming Reminders

In today’s fast-paced and information-packed world, we need to be reminded of things. A great way to promote your library programs is to send your patrons text reminders of upcoming events, along with URLs linking to further information if available. This way, they can check their schedules on the go and even add the events directly from your text to their calendars.

Try these text messaging tips to improve communications at your library. We think your patrons will appreciate it.

10 Great Library Marketing Videos

Video

Librarians are known for their creativity and love of technology. And with today’s easy-to-use video-making apps and programs, librarians are using these twin passions to create some terrific marketing videos for their libraries. Below are 10 great library videos, everything from parody to patron endorsements to ghouls in the stacks.

1. The Research Games — Part One: You Learn or Die

This parody of the Hunger Games from Texas A & M Libraries draws you in immediately with its high production value and professional narrator. Throughout the story different aspects of the library are marketed, such as the reference librarians, the text-a-librarian service, the library’s holdings and the cafe.

2. Library Palooza: Innovative Library Marketing

This video details SUNY Albany’s Library Palooza, a welcome event held the day before classes in the fall semester. Librarians market the library using giveaways from their vendors, by partnering with other departments across the campus, and by creating a fun environment that includes photos with the school mascot.

3. Research Rescue | Episode 1 “Stuck”

This entertaining first episode of a multi-part series from the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University has plot, drama, and, best of all, librarians as actors.

4. Effective Library Marketing: Think Out of the Box

These video details Southeastern Louisiana State Library’s “Learn to Love Books All Over Again” day, a Valentine’s Day-themed event to celebrate reading and eBooks. What is the key to a successful library marketing event? “You have to serve food!”

5. Marketing Your Library Preview

The importance of directing your message to specific audiences to better meet your goals is emphasized in this library marketing video, which advises to “create specific messages, deliver them, and then measure your success.”

6. Brand Launch by Richland County Libraray

A great video that accentuates the service orientation of the library staff with endorsements from library patrons. A satisfied customer is often the best marketing tool for your library products and services.

7. White Plains Public Library: Transforming Lives, Every Day

This simple but very well-done video has the patrons, through their personal stories of how they use the library and why the library is important to them, market the libraries services and holdings — from databases to computers, reference help, tools for managing stock portfolios, computer classes, job search resources, and English language classes, there is a patron and a personal story for practically every service the library offers.

8. University of Maryland Gangnam Style Parody

This terrific parody of the song takes place in the university’s library. While none of the library’s services are mentioned, a video like this makes the library cool and just makes people want to go there. With over 190,000 YouTube views and counting, this is a marketing effort that will reap results for years to come.

9. “My Library” — ARY Campaign

This short but very effective ad for the Cedar Rapids Public Library is incredibly creative and well done, with kids voices at the end each claiming the library to be “theirs.”


10. Libraries Will Survive

Central Rappahannock Public Library staff and patrons singing and dancing to their own version of Gloria Gaynor’s “I will Survive.” It goes something like this: “Come on now walk, in our door, find inspiration and knowledge — how-to-books to ancient lore…”

Bonus! The Haunted Library

From a branch of the New York Public Library comes this spooky marketing video with a terrific surprise ending.

With today’s video-making apps and your creativity, there is no limit to the number of ways you can market your library’s services with videos. We hope you find some inspiration from the above videos to take your library marketing campaign to the next level.

5 Reasons You Should Have Ask-a-Librarian on Every Page of Your Website


To get the most value out of your library’s services and provide patrons with the highest level of service, it is important to make it as easy as possible for your patrons to connect with those services

The best way to connect patrons with your Ask-a-Librarian service is to have Ask-a-Librarian tabs, links or buttons on every page of your library’s website. Here are five ways that implementing such a strategy with your online reference will benefit your users:

1. All successful advertisers know that the key to getting a message across is through repetition and consistent branding. When your patrons interact with a consistent layout from page to page and see Ask-a-Librarian on every page, you have created the best possible ongoing marketing campaign for your service, with an important added bonus: It’s free.

2. While we can predict some user behavior, we never really know when and where on a website patrons are going to need assistance. A patron may be on a page where the information seems to be straight-forward to librarians, but to an uninitiated patron the information may leave questions. Likewise, a patron may be on one page but thinking ahead to another problem or the next step in his or her research process. Having Ask-a-Librarian immediately available from wherever the patron may be on the library’s website ensures that he or she will be able to connect to help when needed.

3. If a patron is interacting with the library’s website, encounters a problem, and then has to recall where to go to find the Ask-a-Librarian service, the library has not succeeded in making the most of the service’s primary benefit to users – the ability to connect them instantly with a library professional who can solve their problem.

4. Consistent placement of the Ask-a-Librarian tab on your library’s webpages makes marketing the service via social media or flyers much easier. When the Ask-a-Librarian tab is on every page of your library website, there is no need to place an easily forgotten URL (or URLs) on your marketing materials – simply state that the Ask-a-Librarian service is available from every page on the library website and where it is located (“look for our Ask-a-Librarian tab in the upper left-hand corner of any page on the library site”).

5. Each Ask-a-Librarian query that comes from a specific page can help you improve the overall content and design of that page. When you have an Ask-a-Librarian chat box on every page, and you are tracking which pages queries come in from, this gives you the great benefit of an ongoing focus group indirectly telling you what works and what doesn’t work on every page of your library’s site.

Responding quickly to queries will help you provide the top-notch customer service that will keep your library patrons satisfied and returning for more business. To make sure your patrons submit those queries whenever they need help on your library’s site, you should have ask-a-librarian tabs on every page.

 

Mosio for Libraries
Patron Support Simplified
http://mosio.com/libraries

Library News: Vast ‘Digital Public Library Of America’ Opens Today, Library System committed to humanities-based services, Libraries offer ‘Food for Fines’ amnesty

Book News: Vast ‘Digital Public Library Of America’ Opens Today

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The Rosenbach Library and Museum Merges With Free Library of Philadelphia Foundation

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Sneak peek: GVSU offers first glimpse of its new $65 million library

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Free to read library kiosk arrives in Heidelberg

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Music, book downloads free at library

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Library System committed to humanities-based services

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Public libraries play crucial role in American society

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Digital public library with vast archive opens

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Communities flourish with libraries’ help

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Why libraries are relevant in the Google age

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Libraries offer ‘Food for Fines’ amnesty

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How libraries stay vital in a digital age

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Today’s Launch of The Digital Public Library of America

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Libraries educate, inspire and entertain

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Library adapting to evolving future

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Geauga County Public Library upgrading digital catalog to Encore

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Park Hills Library goes wireless

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New Digital Public Library of America seeks to increase accessibility to treasured works

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Amherst Libraries now offering Nook readers for checkout

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Resident finds more than books at library

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Library Sought to Anchor New Reese Development in Bronzeville

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America’s new ‘digital public library’ brings millions of documents online

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Brooklyn Public Library Eyes E-Book Sales As New Income Resource

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Philly Free Library to Merge with Rare Book Specialist Rosenbach

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Library turned into a place of wonder and treasure

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Library News: America’s First Virtual Library Opens at Suburban Station, British Library sets out to archive the Web, Reach out and learn at the Library

libraryconsortium library consortium

America’s First Virtual Library Opens at Suburban Station

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County library eBook use grows, new technology expected

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Shelf Life: Library on board for digital literacy

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Reach out and learn at the Library

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British Library sets out to archive the Web

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Technology hub helps Columbus library connect with younger patrons

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Library technology worth hooting about

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Mahoning County’s libraries of tomorrow are focus of today

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Kitsap Regional Library now offering digital magazines

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Library brings small businesses, nonprofits together to talk technology

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Hack the humanities: The Digital Public Library of America is coming

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Prototype of Digital Public Library of America to launch in Boston this month

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Iowa City library begins digital history effort

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Fairfield County District Library to boast more items in online catalog through new deal

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Libraries to lend ebooks under new pilot scheme

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Philly Free Library Debuts Virtual Collection at Suburban Station

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New system at MHS Library to offer more selections

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Little Free Libraries

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Investing at the Library

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New library system highlights e-resources

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New Service Allows Mentor Public Library Patrons To Stream Indie Films

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Welcome to the Fox: best little library around

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New Illinois library system means more access for less money

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Free Wi-fi to be rolled out across West Sussex libraries

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Award just latest show of library’s excellence

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Found and listed by Mosio for Libraries – Patron Support Software for Libraries. All copyright belongs to original owners.

Text a Librarian Marketing – New Business Card Template

Text a Librarian Marketing - Business Cards Template

Hello!

We just had a customer ask for an updated business card template to market their Text a Librarian service, so we wanted to share it here. As always, there are a handful of digital assets and templates in the patron marketing materials section of your account, but here’s a business card template. It uses our Text for Instructions feature, which encourages patrons to engage with your service at the “point of experience” as they say in advertising and marketing.

For the template you can click on the big image above or here – Text a Librarian Marketing – Business Cards Template

Enjoy!

:)

“Text a Librarian? I didn’t know you could do that.”

We always wear our Text a Librarian T-Shirts (especially because we just got them in new colors). To work, on the weekends, whenever. Other than my “You Don’t Like Clowns?” tee from Headline Shirts, my Text a Librarian shirt starts the most conversations of any I wear. People always smile, some understand it immediately, some ask what it is and how it works, but the number one thing we hear is “I didn’t know you could do that!” Then, when we explain the context of it, being able to ask reference questions, see if a book is available and put it on hold, get notices about events happening in the library, the next thing always said is “what a great idea” followed by asking us which libraries offer the service.

Whether you use our service or someone else’s, we encourage you to keep letting everyone know you can Text a Librarian. More people will be pleased to know! :)

Experiential Marketing Ideas for Libraries (Guest Post by Andrew Loos from Attack! Marketing)

We saw quite a bit of buzz (positive and negative) about Seth Godin’s blog post The Future of Libraries, some saying he gets it and others saying he misses the point, again (we’re big Bobbi Newman fans here). An interesting post about the post by PC Sweeney mentions library branding and marketing, so we quickly reached out to experiential marketing guru, Andrew Loos from Attack! Marketing (Experiential Marketing Agency), asked him to do a quick brainstorm and guest post some ideas for us.

Experiential Marketing Ideas for Libraries
Ingesting information online is, for the most part, a visual experience.  Books deliver information to us visually, but in a more tangible way.  In a similar vein, its the palpable nature of a library that gives it a distinct advantage over info-fishing, researching or reading online.  If more librarians looked at this distinction as a marketing advantage, than a cross they’ve been chosen bear, they may see a resurgence in traffic.  Well… maybe.

This is not a “Let’s make Libraries cool to everyone!” post.   This is a collection of experiential ideas libraries could use (or may have used) to make them current, fun and generally approachable to more people.  Brands can always use more customers and libraries can always use more patrons. I suppose that makes this a “Let’s make libraries relevant to anyone who may consider them irreverent and dated!” post.  For best results, please print this and tape it to the first page of your favorite book before reading.

1) “Love Thy Theater” (Co-Brand)
Since people are never going to just stop going to movies, the best thing libraries could do is collaborate with them.  A perfect opportunity to really illustrate that almost all movies start out as (drumroll please)… BOOKS! Whether this is in a literal sense where a film has been adapted from a novel or in cerebral sense where characters, scenarios, plot-points or just general ideas have been “borrowed” from a book, this is an opportunity to show kids that the majority of the movies they watch are actually derived from the “dead” papers (standby for a “NO WAAAY!” moment here).

Here’s how you make the experience meaningful – work with local movie theatres to give away movie passes to kids who read the book from which the movie was adapted (or within the same theme.  The idea here is to get kids reading books of the movies they already love.  By tightening the parallel between the two you not only get people reading more, you enhance the experience they have with the book AND the film.

2) Scavenger Hunt (Community Branding)
Millions of characters, locations and plots, mountains of cataloged information and all of it spread out in a single venue.  Let’s face it, libraries are the most natural place on the planet to have a scavenger hunt.  Bring in kids of all ages in the community, have them form teams and set them loose on a half day adventure around the library looking for clues, physical clues, of any subject matter in the world.  Not only is this a fun, interactive educational experience for anyone who participates, it gets them familiar with the lay of the land within the library.  Purposely take them on a hunt that leads them through every stack, by every reference desk and in front of every computer lab in the space.  They’ll know where everything is at and feel much more comfortable navigating their way through the next time they’re back.  And, yes, they will be back.

3) “Its all good” – (PR Concept)
An ongoing promotion where the library is willing to forgive-and-forget by paying all Late Fees to get people back in the doors.  It would be interesting to throw in a “fun-barter” element here, as well.  Overdue fees are paid if you come in and read to kids for an hour (promotes community involvement), take a tour of the new facility (Shows off new features and gives patrons a reason to come back and use them) – think of this as a reunion of sorts with people you have not seen in a very long time.  A light-hearted act, but one of kindness nonetheless – whether you feel your library needs to loosen up or not, this is a step in that direction. Sidenote: I don’t know how much money libraries make from late fees (I remember reading awhile back that it was 15% of Blockbuster’s revenues), so that amount of money might have to be weighed against the buzz generated for the concept.

4) Quiz Show
Add a gaming element by doing a weekly quiz show.  All questions are centered around one weekly showcased book.  Quiz questions, small but fun prizes (could be donated by local businesses)  – brings community together.

5) “Book Club Host Certification”
I realize many are doing this already, but it’s worth mentioning: Libraries should want to host as many book clubs, as possible.  It brings in new patrons, strengthens the relationship it has with existing customers and creates an aura of openness with the community it resides.  It is also to the library’s advantage to make book clubs as fun as experience as possible for those attending.  Through Attack!’s work on the Underground Book Club in recent months, I have had the opportunity to attend several book clubs.  I can tell you that these are not the same book clubs my Mom used to drag me to as a kid.  I witnessed attendees reading passages in character, many of them in costume as characters in the book.  I saw supporting games and contests.  I saw an INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE.  And I saw one important thing holding all of them together: a moderator.  A moderator who knew their members, encouraged involvement and lead the discussion and activities beginning-to-end.  If libraries want book clubs to stick, they need to “train” people on how to manage and maintain them in a way that keeps them interesting.  If the librarians could offer free “Book Club Training Classes”, complete with a “Starter Kit” and a time/place within the library to hold it, you’ve won.  You’ve empowered people to get creative, provided a venue and offered ongoing support to help it thrive.  You’ve built it, they will come.

 

About the Author:
Andrew Loos co-founded Attack! 2001 as a way to apply his passion toward the experiential marketing movement that was sweeping the marketing industry. In his current role as CXO, Andrew has built Attack! into one of the largest guerrilla marketing, field support and event staffing companies in the country. As a progressive force in the industry, he’s authored several articles in trade publications such as Promo Magazine and Chief Marketer, EXPERIENTIAL TO COLLEGE CLASSROOMS and was recently a guest speaker at Google for ForumCon 2011. He lives with his wife, son and two dogs in the Mt. Washington neighborhood of Los Angeles, all of whom agree that Andrew is equal parts awesome and amusing. Connect with Andrew on LinkedIn.

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Library Marketing Tips Using Google Buzz

Use the Buzz to Build One

Google’s new microblogging service, is getting a lot of, well, buzz. “Hello World!” has literally been replaced by “Buzz! Buzz!” by new people trying it out. If you’re not familiar with it, here’s the best way to explain it:

It’s all of the elements that one could think of getting out of Twitter (more than 140 characters, the ability to post videos and photos) packed neatly into your gmail account. While there are still some kinks to work out (you get an email every time someone you’re following posts or comments, which could get really annoying fast), Gmail’s built-in active user base of 176 million users is making it a clear force to be reckoned with.

In comparison, Twitter claims to have 75 million users and about 25% of accounts are reported to be inactive. Foursquare, known by some as “The Twitter of 2010″ is similar in that you “check in” using GPS on your phone and has been building momentum in it’s growth. David Lee King recently had a great post about it called “Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!” And I would agree, but it seems Buzz might be hot on the trail as it has the same built-in GPS/Geo-Location features and it works directly with Google Maps. Granted, it’s currently missing the fun “Mayor” game element Foursquare has, but this is a numbers game and Google definitely has numbers.

Library Marketing Tips for Using Google Buzz

Get signed up, get started and tell some associates.
Either for yourself or for your library, sign up for a Gmail account (which will give you a Google Buzz account automatically). If you have a Gmail account, but haven’t logged in lately, you’ll be greeted by a note about Google Buzz and can get started right away.


Videos + Photos = Exposure
Let’s be honest, many status updates just really aren’t that interesting unless you know the person doing them. That said, there’s now an opportunity (that shows up in Google results), to put more of the content you’ve created out on the web. Seemingly one of the best things about Buzz right now is your ability to post videos, videos, links and more than 140 characters to promote your library and the services you offer. If you’re already posting to Twitter or Facebook, make sure you add Buzz to your list and some would argue it should go on top with these mult-media adding abilities.


Follow, Follow, Comment
It’s only been around for a few days, but one of the elements that grabbed me quickly was my contacts showing up as people I was following. We use Twitter with some success, but instantly being able to see my friends buzzing around (most who don’t use Twitter regularly), opened up my eyes to the bigger possibilities of Buzz. It can work for you too. It might take a little bit for more people to start posting, but commenting on someone’s buzz gets their attention.


For example, my first buzz was geo-tagged by our office. This guy randomly calls me a nerd, then gives me double points for having a photo of a cat, offers to buy me coffe? A little creepy? Sort of, but also pretty cool. He got my attention and guess what? I checked out his website after he commented.
Google Buzz, a great place for making friends?


Have fun with it!
I’m not going to tell you how to have fun, I just think marketing is a whole lot better when you’re having fun doing it.


Make sure you’re listed on Google Maps
When someone is using the GPS function (currently only available on iPhones and Android), it will choose locations closest to them. If they’re at or near your library (or you are), make sure your library is able to be found. It’s an extra touch point/impression for the library when someone is buzzing either in your building or near it.
The best way to see if you’re on google maps is to search for your library’s name and then the city. If you see it, you’re there. If you don’t, visit http://local.google.com/ and click “Put your business on Google Maps.” You should be there, but make sure anyway.


Read this other blog post
It was literally just IMd to me as I was typing this, it’s great, from Jeremiah Owyang: “Web Strategy Matrix: Google Buzz vs Facebook vs MySpace vs Twitter (Feb 2010)” It breaks down all of the social networks into a matrix giving you various details and thoughts about each.

If you have any other ideas or thoughts, post them in the comments.

Happy Buzzing!

Update: Someone just Buzzed me this great post from AEXT.net entitled 12 Undocumented Tricks for Google Buzz, worth a read.

Audio and Video Messaging – GoldMail Offering Free Version (Sweet)

GoldMail announced today that they’re offering a freemium version of their audio slideshow messaging software. We’ve been a GoldMail customer for awhile now, thought of a great way to use text messaging for sales people to be able to “text a GoldMail” when out in the world and I’m happy to see them offering a free version. I think many organizations will benefit from it, definitely a great fit in sales, marketing, training or even just fun presentations. It’s easy, viral and extremely useful.

Videos grab people’s attention and there’s something about being able to easily add a personalized voice message to a slideshow (or powerpoint) that makes this technology a homerun. Add the email (or embeddable code) element and you have a product that literally sells itself. You watch a GoldMail to learn what it is, how cool is that?

If you’re in any business that needs to update content on a regular basis and benefits from a personalized message over a canned one (who doesn’t?), definitely check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.