I get 10-20 pitches a week from companies or startups wanting me to write about their tools, services or sites. Most the pitches are at least moderately relevant to Social Media Explorer’s intent, meaning I think they could be at least moderately meaningful or interesting to you. Unfortunately, I don’t always have the time and sometimes don’t have the inclination to write about all of them. In fact, I probably only blog about one in every 25 pitches I get. Many aren’t relevant enough for me to spend much time on. Others fall through the cracks because as much as I hate the truth of it, blogging isn’t my full-time job.
So this is a new series I’ll toss out on occasion to remedy the situation a bit. I’ll periodically clean out the pitch folder and drop a few lines about new tools, sites or services I’ve discovered through the various blogger outreach efforts for which I served as the receiver. I may occasionally add some I haven’t been pitched, but have found. If I’ve had time to look into them, I’ll write more than a few words. I’ll also toss in my initial thoughts with a cursory look at the tools.
And if you’re interested in pitching me something, increase your chances and read the “How To Pitch SME” page.
My Pitch Log Mashup, Vol. 1
aMap – An argument or debate mapping platform that offers visualization of questions and subsequent user-generated answers. This was pitched to me by Adam Abu-Nab of Rubber Republic with a clever twist. The question to ponder was, “Should agencies launch their own products?” Rubber Republic is an agency and was launching their own product with aMap. Nice. It appears that you can create your own aMap for free and looks like a well-thought offering. I haven’t tried it myself but have it on the list of tools to potentially use.
Crowd Science – A service that provides detailed demographics for your website’s audience based on either a predetermined panel (meaning sampling) and/or a non-intrusive site visitor survey widget. I’ve looked into Crowd Science a bit deeper than some of these others and like it. But I’ve also offered them some push back on sampling (since I hate it) and questioned whether or not a site visitor would take a survey, even if it was, in fact, “non-intrusive.” I’m sure I came across as negative in my response to them, but honestly, I like their tool. One neat feature it has is the ability to cross-reference demographic details easily. For example, you can take the Internet usage results of a site (i.e. – How often do you spend online?) and cross-tabulate that information against gender to see differences in males and females. And you do it using simple drop-down menus where a simple click gets you answers. I’ll report back if they offer up something enlightening about sampling or non-intrusive surveys.
HYPick – This appears to be the next social news/bookmarking effort to try and offer Digg without the political B.S. of engineering votes. According to Oren Todoros, it’s founder, “I launched HYPick as an easy way to post and share information with others on various subjects such as News, Health, Tech, Sports, Style, Showbiz, Random and even some of the Not Safe For Work topics. You can have your say on just about anything that’s on your mind or link to stories from other websites and blogs. The top stories from each of the categories are featured or promoted to HYPick’s homepage based on activity. No good vote, bad vote system, just real people participation.” It’s certainly worth looking into.
Social Radar – The monitoring and measurement firms and wanna-bes love me because of my ROI of Social Media post from October of last year, my series profiling several firms from early last year and the fact I like to argue with Katie Payne about measurement. Social Radar popped up recently telling me how much better they were than Radian6. I found it odd they singled out a competitor, but began looking into them anyway. Their differentiator is they have archived content back to January of 2007. Great tool for trending and historical data. Most firms either don’t go back beyond six months to a year or charge an arm and a leg to do so. Alas, I asked them if I could check out the tool and judge for myself. They don’t do demo accounts. I don’t do hour-long WebEx presentations. Check ’em out. The tool sounds intriguing.
University of California San Diego Alumni Association – According to the outreach, UCSD is the first college or university alumni association in the country to crowdsource its members for ideas. I’m not sure this is 100-percent accurate, but they apparently put some effort into finding out, so if you know of others, let us know. Otherwise, I’m going with the Tritons. The site looks very cool. I wish my alma maters would do something like this to engage alumni. Lord knows academia should have been ahead of the curve on social media but will probably be fare enough behind that high school students start skipping college. Kudos to UCSD for innovating.
Wordstream – Not an unheard of company, but one that pitched me nonetheless. They’re a software-as-a-service company that provides essentially automation portions of a search engine marketing and optimization campaign, including keyword research and pay-per-click and paid search preparation. I’ve never used them, but know that for some, having portions of SEO work automated can be very helpful. Their pitch was about their search functionality, which uses log data to build a keyword database that is easily searchable, can be segmented and customized to your needs. Kat, David and I are digging deeper into them soon and will report back.
Be sure to check out the sites and tools above then come back to let us know your thoughts in the comments.