About Roger Dooley

Roger Dooley is the founder and president of Dooley Direct, LLC, a firm specializing in web marketing and online community building. Dooley's background includes direct marketing, publishing, and strategic planning. He holds a BS from Carnegie Mellon University and an MBA from the University of Tennessee. He authors several blogs, including Neuromarketing and the eclectic rogerd's notebook.
Google 411’s Impressive Debut

 Today, I was driving in San Francisco with a couple of other SEO-types and we spotted a prominent billboard for Google’s 411 service.

Web Community Social Roles

Every community operator knows that it takes different kinds of participants to be successful. Some people come looking for answers, others come to help. Some like to expound at length, while others say little. Some are lurkers, others are prolific contributors.

iPhone – Turning Off Fans

No company in modern corporate history has developed a more cultlike, devoted customer base than Apple. I’ve often cited them as an example of what other firms strive for, or should strive for, in bonding with their customers.

AT&T Tilt vs. Verizon XV6800
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“Release no smartphone before its time” seems to be the slogan of both AT&T and Verizon. My romance with HTC slide-style smartphones began all the way back in March of this year, when I tested the Verizon XV6700.

Taking Care of Your Community Members

Online community builders love to toss around gross numbers – twenty thousand members, two million posts, and so on.

Why Users Generate Content

A key aspect of Web 2.0 is letting users create or enhance a site’s content. This sounds great, but in practice can be hard to achieve. The Web is littered with dead forums, unreviewed products, spammed-out wikis, and other failed attempts to build user-created sites.

Marketers vs. Lawyers (Sears)

Every company is interested in online community and Web 2.0 functionality today, and retail giant Sears is no exception. After seeing a post by Bill Green at Make the Logo Bigger about the retailer’s first effort in this area, I can only conclude that Sears outsourced their community development to their corporate legal team. Signing up for the My SHC Community requires agreeing to an ultra-lengthy privacy policy that Green concluded didn’t offer much privacy.

Google Phone, New Ad Platform

The tech world is buzzing with rumors about a Google phone. The Wall Street Journal ran an article today, quoted at SearchEngineLand, that provides some details of the development process. Apparently, Google is taking a two-pronged approach: developing their own handset, but at the same time opening up the specifications to allow other manufacturers to offer compatible phones. And, unlike Apple’s iPhone, the Google Phone (GPhone?) should be available from multiple wireless companies.

Facebook Eating MySpaces Cafeteria Lunch

My fellow FutureLab blogger, danah boyd, wrote an interesting and controversial essay about the social network migration of high school students: Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace. (Boyd blogs at Many-to-Many and Apophenia about social networking and related topics.) She sums up her point:

It’s Official: Page Views Don’t Count

The pageview is officially on its way out the door as a web site performance metric – Nielsen is dropping page view measurement in its Web traffic reporting. Instead, they will report the time visitors spend at sites.

LinkedIn’s Facebook Application

Since Facebook opened up its platform for third party applications, there has been a lot of activity. The latest major provider to launch a Facebook app is business-oriented social network LinkedIn. The new app is a “My Company’s Hiring” function. A profile link leads to a list of positions for which one’s firm is recruiting. A “more info” link can lead to a full job description, an application form, etc.

Social Burnout: MySpace & Facebook

One question online community operators wrestle with is how many communities (social networks, blogs, forums, wikis, etc.) one individual can participate in.

The Coming Content Wars

A few days ago, a report showed that Internet advertising was up 35% last year, hitting almost $17 billion. It’s been almost a year since we reported, “Web Advertising Spending Too Low,” and it looks like advertisers are starting to close the gap.

Web Marketing the Old Fashioned Way

Lee Odden posted What’s Old Is New: Web Site Marketing Tips, and it’s a good read for Web marketers tired of chasing the latest social media trend. Some techniques date to the early years of the Web, but can still be effective if done right. Site announcements, surprisingly, can still generate traffic and links.

Social Sites & Age Verification

There’s a constant drumbeat of pressure on social networking sites like MySpace to implement measures to reduce the possibility of children being targeted by those who might do them harm. Recently, news broke that thousands of registered sex offenders apparently had MySpace profiles.

Direct Marketing Lives (Kind of)

In these days of email marketing, social networking, and other new millennium selling tools, it’s good to see that old fashioned direct marketing still exists. When I retrieved my mail today, I found an intriguing package that looked like a slightly lumpy Express Mail delivery.

Crowd Wisdom Versus Crowd Venom

Web 2.0 may sound like a utopia where faceless corporations morph into feeling, interacting entities composed of many humans who talk to other humans (like customers) via the Web, enriching both parties to the conversation. That sounds nice, but of course there’s a downside: sometimes, your company may get trashed on the Web.

Social Search – The Next Big Thing?

Search technology has been marked by a few big leaps in its history. What began with relatively crude algorithmic analysis of the content of individual pages was improved dramatically by Google’s sophisticated use of off-page criteria, notably PageRank and link anchor text analysis.

While refinements continue – Google now reportedly uses more than a hundred or two criteria in its rankings, held together by complex weighting schemes – the basic nature of search technology hasn’t changed much lately.

Trackbacks – Are They Dying?

Steve Rubel at MicroPersuasion thinks trackbacks are dying. He cites tests of news trackback features at CNET and Yahoo that didn’t last as indicators that enthusiasm about trackback is waning.

MS PR Firm Becomes The Story

Big corporations hire public relations firms to ensure that their message gets out as intended, to avoid embarrassing gaffes by staffers unaccustomed to dealing with the press, and so on.

Community and ROI

The firms I talk to about community building seem to fall into two categories – those that want a Web community right now, and those that question the very value of communities.

Google Phone Might Use Wi-Fi?

Google has grown by doing things differently than the status quo, and if they do introduce a phone they may buck current practice there, too.

How Does Google Rank Your Blog?

Google has filed a patent application for ranking blogs using measures of quality, and Bill Slawski at SEO by the Sea has an excellent summary of the key factors. The quality factors fall into both positive and negative categories:

Reputations for Sale

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