My Blog Year In Review

Even though I didn’t do much with my WordPress blog in the last year, their stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for me.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Have You Seen the New Yelp Interface?

What the YelpWhat the Yelp is going on?  After 9 years, Yelp has decided to test a new design for their review pages.  I only happened to notice because I manage a number of locations for a business on Yelp and am on their site several times per day.  One day last week I noticed that my Yelp interface had changed and was really perplexed.  While I liked most of the changes, I was really bothered that they changed the picture dimensions from rectangular to square which messed with several photos that had been uploaded to my account.

Since I am a paying customer of Yelp, I quickly emailed my Yelp Account Manager and expressed my dissatisfaction about not being told of the changes.  My ire turned out to be premature as Yelp is just testing the new design for now and only 1% of users can actually see the changes, so I guess I am luck in that regard.  In any case, I still wish they would have been proactive in notifying active users or managers of business accounts that something was up.

What is Yelp saying so far?  Officially, Yelp is not saying anything about the new interface.  Unofficially, here is some additional information sent to me by my Yelp Account Manager.

  • We are testing new ads and a more photo-centric look to profiles
  • By January 2014, the updates will be live across 12% of our user pages, before officially launching at some point in Q1
  • We are testing these so the features are changing each week. We are not officially discussing these today since the design may change between today and the roll out.
  • The roll out date has not been finalized but we hope to make the unveil in Q1.

If you are curious about what may change, I have copied identical pages from Ruby’s Diner – and a Yelp page I managed 3 years ago.  When I sign into my Yelp account and view any pages, I get the new Yelp user interface.  If I use another browser and don’t sign in, I get the old or current Yelp user interface.

What are the key changes?  The key changes in the Yelp interface can be summarized as:

  • Bigger fonts for headings
  • Pictures are bigger, and are front and center
  • Review highlights have also gained in prominence
  • Calls to action are better organized (“Write a Review, Add Photo, etc.”)
  • Summary business facts have moved to right navigation bar
  • Rating distribution has been hidden under Details (to right of review stars under business name)
  • Added more white space under the reviewer’s name and to the left of the actual review

So, do you like the new changes?  I like the idea that Yelp is finally addressing the issue of their ‘tired’ interface considering that all of their social media brethren have gone through multiple user interface iterations in the past several years.  I like some of the features and I am not convinced about some of the others.  Remember my earlier caveat – the final design may change between now and final roll out.  So, what do you think?

Here is the latest version of the new Yelp interface:

Yelp New Interface

Yelp New User Interface as of December 17, 2013 – Tentative

And for comparison, here is the current version of the Yelp Interface:

Yelp Current User Interface

Yelp Current User Interface as of December 17, 2013

AppleOne is a 2013 Best LinkedIn Company Page

10 Best LinkedIn Company Pages of 2013

Every year, LinkedIn recognizes the 10 best LinkedIn Company Pages, and the AppleOne Employment Services page was selected as one of the 2013 best pages.

I have been managing this page since March 2012 and in that time, we have grown the page from 4,000 Followers to over 21,000 Followers – an increase of 525%.  I am adding status updates on a daily basis and we average over 275,000 impressions per month.

Other companies receiving this honor in 2013 include:  Adobe, Commonwealth Bank, Dell, Four Seasons, HubSpot, Kellogg, Marketplace Home Mortgage, Mashable and NPR.

Is your company maximizing your LinkedIn Company Page?  You can view all 10 Best LinkedIn Company Pages along with tips for ramping up your own Company Page in the Slideshare below from the LinkedIn Blog:

Altimeter Group’s State of Social Business for 2013

The Altimeter Group recently pulled together data from four years of surveying digital strategists and have published the findings in a report The State of Social Business 2013.

The top findings include:

  • Only 17% of companies have self-described themselves as “strategic” in the execution of their social strategies.
  • 78% of companies have a dedicated social media team, at the division, corporate or both levels — only 22% of companies do not have a dedicated team.
  • Companies are committing more headcount to social media across all sizes of organizations.
  • 85% of companies have an organizational social media policy, yet only 18% of companies report that their employees’ knowledge of social media usage and the organizational policy is either good or very good.

The full report and Powerpoint slides are presented below.