Where Does Google+ Fit In?

The Google+ social networking project, at just over a month old, has grown faster than either Facebook or Twitter with over 25 million members. And unlike Google’s prior attempt at social networking with the Wave, the early reviews are generally positive.

So where does Google+ fit in for the business to business marketer? On first blush what intrigues me the most is what they call “Circles.” Circles is a feature that allows you to share information with a group that you define. Nobody knows what circles they are in so people can’t unsubscribe. It is a more subtle version of Facebook Groups and has a privacy aspect that I personally prefer and if handled correctly could be quite powerful.

But the real power in Google+ may simply come from the fact that it could allow for an easier integration of your work and personal lives on one platform. Whereas many of us think of Facebook for keeping up with friends and family and LinkedIn for work, Google+ has the technical flexibility and undefined brand position to be both. But can they attract the users fast enough? And will users stick with it? Only time will tell.

Are Superbowl Ads Worth It?

Every year, I host a Superbowl Party and analysis of the ads is almost as important as the game — that is unless the New Orleans Saints (my roots) or New England Patriots (my current home team) are playing. This year certainly tested my concentration skills as I tried to watch the game and serve up pounds of Jambalaya.

But as usual my guests enjoyed giving me very specific feedback on what ads worked for them. They loved the frantic chickens from Denny’s and thought the GoDaddy.com ads were never going to motivate them. What I found most interesting was how the 15-20 year-olds at the party visited the Web sites of several advertisers just  nanoseconds after the ad played on TV. So I wasn’t shocked to read that 75% of all Superbowl advertisers saw a  sharp spike in online chatter about their brands (according to research by Prophesee). Just one more tangible example of the integration between traditional advertising platforms and the Web. We’ve just scratched the surface on how best to build your brand virally.

Acritas’ Shines Light on Top Legal Brands

Acritas, a leading provider of research in the UK, Europe and the US, provided an insightful glimpse last night into what’s on the mind of global elite buyers of legal services. The final study will incorporate  1,000 interviews of an impressive cast of companies. The survey participants include public and private companies in all of the major rankings and stock indices including Forbes, Fortune 1000, FT 500 US, NASDAQ 100, NYSE Composite, AMEX 100, Dow 30 and the S&P 500.

The study will be a cold bucket of water for many major law firms. But bottom line it is information any savvy marketer would want to have at their fingertips. It can help you understand your competitive set and know how your firm is perceived. The amount of data that can be drilled down and analyzed is impressive.

Where Are We Headed? Legal Luminaries Opine

Many of my colleagues know that I have been restoring a rustic 1814 New England inn for the last several years. It is nestled in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and my ATT fancy iPhone still doesn’t work there. Plus our dial-up connection at 1995 speeds discourages the use of the Internet. So I do something novel when there — I mostly just think. It is a skill we are all getting rusty in as we spend most of our time in perpetual motion.

So recently I read with delight how many legal luminaries actually value the art of thinking. If you haven’t picked up Bright Ideas edited by Leigh Dance now is the time to do so. This collection of 26 essays from legal luminaries — in-house counsel,  law firm managing partners and service providers in the legal industry  — is a thought provoking book. Perhaps my favorite part is the book’s objective to advance the structure, management and transparency of corporate legal services. Learn more about the book at www.BrightIdeasGlobalLaw.com.

Google Sidewiki Chaos? Too Early To Tell.

Google launched a new commenting tool last week that has many folks up in arms. Google Sidewiki allows users to post comments about any Web page they visit by putting their thoughts in a sidebar right on the page. So let’s say you are on the home page for Epcot at Disney World — you can post a comment about your totally exhilarating ride to Mars on Space Epcot. It will appear on the side of the page if you’ve installed the Sidewiki tool. Or better yet, you can visit the bio page of your favorite M&A lawyer and comment on his responsiveness on your last M&A deal that went south.

There is a complicated set of ways that Google plans to monitor any disparaging remarks. And Web site owners will have some rights. If you haven’t checked out Sidewikis, we urge you to do so. It only takes minutes to install and it is quickly apparent that it will eventually prove to be valuable if managed correctly.