Followup on Influencers

What makes a tweet influential? New HP Labs social media research may provide answers

Today, Dr. Bernardo A. Huberman, the director of HP Labs’ Social Computing Lab, released research on the nature of user influence on social media networks such as Twitter. After analyzing 22 million tweets, Dr. Huberman and his co-authors calculated a novel measure of influence for individual users and developed a corresponding algorithm that automatically identifies particularly influential users.

PDG wrote about Twitter user influence scores here.

WordPress editor has an iframe glitch

If you have been trying to paste in Amazon product iframes, then you will discover that the WYSIWYG editor in WP (provided by TinyMCE) strips out the entire Amazon html snippet that you’re trying to embed.The editor does not know how to show the iframe, so it strips it out. Argh.

WordPress configures TinyMCE (i.e. the Visual Editor) to strip IFRAME tags. So it’s not a bug per se. It’s just terribly inconvenient for those wishing to embed a product from, like this:

One way to stop this is to keep the post in HTML view/editing mode. Do NOT switch to Visual mode, ever, for that particular post. But this is a hassle.

A blogger posted a solution in this WordPress Forum post. It involves editing your Theme’s functions.php file. I tried it and it works well; just be careful if you every update your Theme; it likely will be overwritten.

You can also install the plugin TinyMCE ADVANCED by Andrew Ozz — it has the option in its Settings config to allow iFrame tags. Go to:

I don’t prefer solving the problem by using this plugin, however. The TinyMCE editor is heavy already; adding 17+ new buttons and features will slow the page load times even more.

Recommendations: edit the functions.php file with the easy fix by Chip Bennett. It is:

function mytheme_tinymce_config( $init ) {

// Add IFRAME to list of valid HTML elements (so they don't get stripped)

	$valid_iframe = 'iframe[id|class|title|style|align|frameborder|height|longdesc|marginheight|marginwidth|name|scrolling|src|width]';

	// Add to extended_valid_elements if it alreay exists
	if ( isset( $init['extended_valid_elements'] ) ) {
		$init['extended_valid_elements'] .= ',' . $valid_iframe;
	} else {
		$init['extended_valid_elements'] = $valid_iframe;

// Pass $init back to WordPress
	return $init;
add_filter('tiny_mce_before_init', 'mytheme_tinymce_config');

It works great for this blog.

Statistics every marketer should know

Here’s some stats (gathered by HubSpot) to think about in the fast-changing marketing world.

Give it a quick read to keep up with trends.

PDG takeaway:

ecommerce:  product pages are just as important, if not more important, than a company’s home page. E-commerce sites need to have their product pages just as optimized as the rest of the site. Some users may never even see the home page.

Finding Premium WordPress themes

We recommend creating a business blog using the self-hosted version of the blog software WordPress.

This publishing CMS is widely used, and features thousands of useful plugins to solve almost any need.

We usually choose a free theme, or visual appearance, then customize it with your organization’s logo and corporate style. We can also create a completely custom wordpress theme if needed.

Sometimes, however, a premium theme is a quicker way to fulfill the project requirements. In this case, a new directory has become popular:

ThemeSorter helps us find premium WordPress themes from different sellers. In a bazaar twist, it features  coupons and deals.

Does Your (Early Stage) Startup Need a PR Agency

Gregory Gomer from wrote recently:

If you are an early stage startup and you are paying for a PR firm, it really might not be worth it… you have more dire things to spend your money on than someone out there sending emails and networking on your behalf – like making sure your product is so badass that it is impossible for the media not to write about it.

I agree mostly with his assessments… despite my friendship with an excellent PR guy. My comments are inline below:

He describes 7 ways to do your own PR.

Leverage Your Network: Dig in to your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts.

I would add, join relevant groups (not too many, at most 5) with active discussions, and contribute ideas and tips, and ask for feedback when you get a feel for the quality of the group’s members.

Comment on Industry Specific Blog Posts: If you are a startup focusing on mobile payments, then you’d better know every mobile payments blog out there and read them every day.

This is a great point — it is difficult to make time to comment on other people’s blogs, but one or two comments you contribute add up over time. Seriously, do this. It will pay dividends.

Email Journalists, Create Relevant Dialogue: …take the time to email the author and provide some insight on his/her post, and throw some compliments out and share it over social media to score some serious points.

Follow/Tweet at Journalists: Make sure you are following the journalists who specialize in your company’s industry and keep an eye on everything they are writing. Every once in a while give them a RT and add a little flare to it.

Again, one or two per day. Then get back to work.

Pitch Your Story, Not Your Company: When pitching to journalists on any medium, make sure your personality and founding story connects with them.

Who better to tell your story than the cofounders? Practice your story, though… get verification that it is not boring or dull. Tell the story 5 times to 5 different friends/colleagues. Get feedback. I learned this trick from Guy Kawasaki.

Target Your Prey, Plan Your Attack: If you are going to an event every night you should really evaluate the value spent at the event versus in front of your computer doing ACTUAL work.

When you’re in startup mode, one event per week is plenty; I was spending too much time going to events rather than meeting with advisors and customers.

Paul Gurney’s partnership in

Paul Gurney’s partnership in has been rewarding for many years. The three partners of bobdonpaul are Bob Manley, Don Manley (two brothers) and Paul Gurney. We created several high-end hospitality, resort and corporate websites.

Just this month we were recognized in Mashable for “5 Smart Social PR Campaigns to Learn From” by:

Leyl Master Black

Leyl Master Black

The article was titled “The BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel: Using Social to Share an Experience” and featured our InnBedded Resorter campaign.

Learn more at Resorter Blog, which we created to showcase the experiences of Alex and Luke, the 2nd “Inn-bedded Resorters”.

Useful Twitter tools – roundup

There are many desktop programs that make using twitter easier. Whether for managing multiple accounts or tracking comments across many social media sites, these apps and programs can make the experience of using twitter/facebook/tumbleupon etc. more efficient.

Here’s a website that scans your website/tweets for word frequency and creates art in the form of a “word cloud”. While not strictly useful, this site can be used to scan a web page and find the most popular words for SEO keyword purposes.

wordle image

Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends.

Another website, Appstorm, gathered together over 50 Mac twitter apps/programs/clients.

An important fuel to this fire is the remarkably open Twitter API which has allowed developers to create a plethora of beautiful and incredibly convenient desktop applications that connect with every facet of the service. This article is dedicated to all you readers who, like me, are completely addicted to two things: Mac applications and Twitter.

What is Foursquare, and should I care?

What is Foursquare?
Primarily a “location-based social networking service” for smartphones and mobile users. Users “check in” to places they’re at so that their friends know where they are. The most frequent visitor of a place (bar, restaurant, venue) can become the “mayor”, and users can also earn badges for completing special tasks.

The point of all this? The service posits that the world will really care about knowing the most popular, “hottest” places to be right now. Companies of course will hope their venue is just such a place and can advertise to the hordes.

One new service aggregates a group of services:

It gives a gestalt view from: Foursquare, Twitter, Brightkite, and graffitiGeo.

Essay: How “going viral” works by OK Go

This essay by the creative musical band OK Go has a well-written description of how “going viral” works. Here’s a quote from the original article:

Embedded videos — those hosted by YouTube but streamed on blogs and other Web sites — don’t generate any revenue for record companies, so EMI disabled the embedding feature. Now we can’t post the YouTube versions of our videos on our own site, nor can our fans post them on theirs. If you want to watch them, you have to do so on YouTube.

But this isn’t how the Internet works. Viral content doesn’t spread just from primary sources like YouTube or Flickr. Blogs, Web sites and video aggregators serve as cultural curators, daily collecting the items that will interest their audiences the most. By ignoring the power of these tastemakers, our record company is cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The numbers are shocking: When EMI disabled the embedding feature, views of our treadmill video dropped 90 percent, from about 10,000 per day to just over 1,000. Our last royalty statement from the label, which covered six months of streams, shows a whopping $27.77 credit to our account.

It’s a good read; check it out, and consider how your website’s content can be embedded in other sites and blogs, and whether it’s worthy of being shared.

Check out the band’s website at

OK GO promo poster
OG GO promo poster