Café Guanaco’s Comeback

I have taken on the duty of assisting the restaurant, Café Guanaco. This award-winning El Salvadorean restaurant has enlisted (this is a dramatization) my help in order to catapult their business to the next level with the use of Web 2.0. I have studied Web 2.0 recently and have experience utilizing it as well; thus the timing for the task couldn’t be better. I will now propose five web tools I plan on using in Café Guanaco’s comeback, the advantage to each, and the risks of using each as well.

Instagram – Highly visual business meet your highly visual best friend. There’s a reason restaurants gravitate to Instagram early on and for very sensible reasons: people tend to “eat” with their eyes, the ease of finding specific content, and the high levels of interaction. Café Guanaco makes beautiful food (they specialize in the El Salvadorian staple of staples: pupusas) which makes Instagram the perfect platform because current and potential customers are able to see the action. You can show the world your new plates, locations, behind-the-scenes peeks, etc. It’s important to mention that this application allows for 25% more engagement than other platforms. Instagram is also partly responsible for the increasing popularity of hashtags which enable users to more easily find our businesses alongside location tags as well (#CafeGuanaco #CravingPupusas). Café Guanaco could greatly benefit from the ability Instagram gives them to illustrate their brand (or perhaps, “re-brand”) so that the public may better understand them.

Our proposed use of Instagram though, would not come without its risks/disadvantages. This Web 2.0 tool is within the most popular among businesses; thus, there is heavy competition which can be quite overwhelming to the consumer. Comments are easily seen by any person that travels to whatever post is made which may unintentionally plague the way the brand is seen by a member of the public because of a disturbing (and irrelevant to the brand) comment. We might post something about the new dish we’ve added to the menu and in the comments there will be a war of words on why Madonna is still relevant or some other ridiculous issue.

Facebook – I intend also to take Café Guanaco to the next level by maximizing on their presence within Facebook. Today, when people are looking for information on a business they love, they first do so in a casual arena that allows them to access the business in question just as they would information on individuals they know in person. People who have visited the restaurant and want to share to the world how much they enjoyed the experience are able to “like” our page which is an indicator to the world that they should visit too. Not only that, but Facebook also enables us to have one-on-one interaction with customers. If a person has a concern or compliment that they would like to share, we can (and should) reply so as to encourage their feedback. We can then take this feedback and also make adjustments to the business according to this. They want us to integrate desserts to the menu? Well, we can tell because “John” let commented this on Facebook.

As with any of the social platforms we’ll choose, we select them because they are popular which allows us to reach many people; but this can be the reason why our efforts will fail. Many businesses use Facebook and this often results in a slew of spam/negative content that will inevitably plague all social platforms to some degree. Also, because we are going up against many other companies (some which are admittedly much more powerful than us) our investments in ad bids for cost per click may prove to be unsuccessful. Finally, reaching out to the public as I’ve mentioned before to further engage with the public can be time consuming and can cause more problems if we are not on top of Facebook interactions. Individuals will grow irritated if we never reply and there’s a consistency we have to keep or we’ll lose our audience.

YouTube – When you think of a restaurant, you don’t really think of YouTube; but I think we could do great things with this application for Café Guanaco. Again, much like with Instagram, people would much rather see his pictures and videos than page after page of colorless words. The one advantage I want to highlight with YouTube is that we can profit from the desire people have to be allowed into the development of our business as it happens in realtime. With short video glimpses into our kitchens we can drive home the message that people are welcome and become a part of the family as soon as they walk in through those doors. There’s a popular wave of interest today in people in which they want to know how their favorite movies get made and how their favorite dish gets prepares too. With this Web 2.0 tool we can establish our brand more dimensionally than we could with any other.

art19295

This is an actual restaurant and you should all visit it. 500 E 2700 S – SLC, UT

Though YouTube is a great idea, it could also be the most tedious of all the platforms we will mention. Here, we create an entirely new branch to the business that captures footage, condenses it, polishes it, and then distributes it. Also, while people do rather see a picture or video, sometimes a very brief Tweet will do the magic that a three-minute clip won’t.

Yelp/Urbanspoon – Being that we are working with a restaurant, I find it crucial that we utilize those Web 2.0 tools that function specifically to the advantage of restaurants, food trucks, and an assortment of other diverse eateries. Yelp and Urbanspoon are similar in nature; hence the fact that they are grouped together in this proposal.

Both of these applications cater specifically to those businesses who center their work around food while it also connects those who like to consume food as they encounter all the options in their local community. As I just mentioned, it’s also important to note that Yelp and Urbanspoon are extremely important on the local level. Whether we’re serving someone who’s in town on business or who lives down the street, they can access these apps, write their thoughts, and others who see it will make judgments based off of that. Some professional reviews can be found, but the majority of them are offered up by “regular” people who make it easy for other potential customers to quickly relate and want to visit Café Guanaco (or not). This then, provides for us to make adjustments to the place of business in accordance to the feedback that we can find on these pages.

The disadvantages found in using Yelp or Urbanspoon have a lot to do with the aforementioned advantages. Because these platforms are heavily driven by the consumer, there is little control over what the reader will see regarding us because we ourselves won’t actually be “posting” anything. With this revamp of Café Guanaco I wish to rebrand so that we can capture the attention of a new audience which is enabled by these tools, but it also hurts because we have no control over what individuals will say.

Google – Though we may think we are prepared because we have a website and some social media pages set up for our business, there’s an important element that helps tie everything together we haven’t explored yet. Google My Business allows us to verify our company so that we can help current or potential future customers find us on Google’s (the top search engine in the world) internal applicationssuch as Google Maps. Once we’ve verified our business information, updates we make to Café Guanaco like contact details, description, photos, business hours, are eligible to show up on a plethora of Google properties.

In terms of Google + (Google Plus) there is a lack of customization they allow for both personal accounts and those belonging to businesses. This is always a disadvantage for us because it does not allow us to express extensively the message of our brand in all the ways that we might be able to otherwise. Allowing ourselves to enter the world of Google is also not always the most facilitating because we are limited to their applications. They certainly are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, entity on the internet today; but there are an array of other entities who we could benefit from participating in.

How To Use Facebook for Business

Disadvantages of Using Facebook for Business

30+ Ways to Use YouTube Effectively

Instagram for Business

How Will Yelp Impact Your Small Business?

^ JM

Match Made in the Cloud

picasaweb_google_plus_blogger

 

Picasa, derived from the Spanish painter Pablo Picasso, is an image organizer and viewer for digital photos.  It began in 2002 and merged, without notice to its users, as part of Google + in 2013.  

When introduced, Picasa came with 250 MB of free space. In March of 2007, a free upgrade to 1 GB was provided.  Since the merge with Google the structure, storage and cost goes as follows:

Google Drive

Anything you create with Docs, Sheets, or Slides won’t use up any of your storage.

Gmail

Attachments sent and received in Gmail as well as your email messages use your storage.

Google+ Photos

Photos bigger than 2048×2048 pixels use your storage. Everything smaller is free.

If you need or desire more storage you will pay $1.99 month for 100GB to $299 month for 30TB.

A concern using Picasa is you grant Google copyright to your uploaded images.  Another is  that people may have the opportunity to copy your images if gifted with internet knowledge. Google of course tries to do all they can to prevent this from happening including a password application that is helpful in making sure privacy and visibility setting are securely set.

Another aspect about Picasa is it does not store the photos on your computer and your original photos are preserved. When using editing tools in Picasa, your original files are never touched. The photo edits you make are only viewable in Picasa until you decide to save your changes.

Some interesting options you have using Picasa is you’re able to interact with your photos. You can view your photos in high resolution even when you’re offline. A fun benefit is the ability to stream your photos and videos to Apple TV from your iPad or IPhone using AirPlay. You may want to set up multiple accounts and search albums by name to find specifics. If invited, you can explore  friends’ albums and photos.

Picasa makes uploading multiple photos and videos in full resolution to your account easy. You have the option of to choose different image sizes. You can upload photos from cameras and DSLRs using the Camera Connection Kit. Auto Uploads backs up your Camera Roll photos to Picasa Web Albums. You can adjust the setting so your Photo Stream on your phone automatically uploads into the et Web Albums.

Manage your Picasa Web Albums photos and albums is a breeze. You can add, edit, and delete captions. Move and delete your photos and videos. Edit photos by making teeth whiter, blemish remover, color adjustments. Add, delete, rename, and adjust privacy preferences for your albums.  Export your photos to other popular photo editing apps if you prefer.

Share your Picasa Web Albums pictures by email, Facebook, and Twitter. The iPad becomes the perfect Picasa photo frame using the slideshow feature. You can save your Picasa photos in full resolution to your camera roll. Another great feature is the ability to create a photo collage inside Web Albums. Choose from a variety of frames in various aspect ratios like square and postcard sizes. Apply border widths, colors. Also, you can send to your own printer.

I have used Picasa for the past 5 years and have been pleased with the results.  The editing feature is far more simple then Photoshop and has yielded great results.

JB

The iCloud

The iCloud is a cloud system used for apple products and it’s contents. Every person that owns an apple device automatically gets up to 5 GB of free space. If you are the kind of person who loves to take tons of photos or is a social butterfly with an endless amount of contacts, that small space can be taken up quickly. If you want to upgrade, you have to pay a monthly fee for some extra storage. Depending on how much extra you want will depend on the price. For 20 GB it’s $.99 per month, 200 GB for $3.99 a month, 500 GB for $9.99, and 1 TB for $19.99 a month.

With this service, you can save countless items. You can save important things like photos, documents, apps, notes, and contacts. You also have the ability to share photos, calendars, locations, and much more with your friends and family. Also, you can save all this same info with multiple apple products. For example, you can have things stored on your phone and later have access to them on your computer.

On Apple’s website, they state that data from the iCloud is secure and privacy is taken very seriously. Data is secured by being encrypted when being sent over the internet. This entails that your stuff is protected from unauthorized access.

I personally own 3 Apple products and I love using the iCloud. I especially love how easily accessible things are from each device. One thing I don’t like is how little storage there is, and I am not about paying extra money for extra space. But, it works for the basic needs I have. It also saves me hassle when I upgrade between iPhones.

^GJ

Google’s Drive

We all know that Google is somewhere near the top of the internet totem pole; what may still surprise some is the fact that the site goes far beyond its search engine capabilities. Let’s explore the magic that is Google Drive, the company’s cloud service, and how it could maybe benefit you.

For starters—and this will probably delight the majority of readers—the use of Google Drive is  “free”. I say “free” because as you may very well understand by now, if a company is not selling an obvious product or service, well, chances are you are the product. Now, before I get sued for not going further into details I have to explain that there is a limit to the storage you may use before the service is no longer free. Users have 15 GB of free storage to share across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google+ Photos. If Google Apps is used at work or school, you have at least 30 GB of storage. If you run out of free storage, you can buy more by looking into Google’s various storage plans that they offer. The plans range from a monthly payment of $1.99 for 100 GB to $299.99 for 30 TB. It’s important to note also that Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, Presentations, Drawings, etc., do not count towards storage used. Man, these guys are really reeling me in.

You know how much it costs now, but… how safe it is it to use?

NENE

Cloud services are not immune to third party attacks as is the case with most internet services; Google Drive is no exception. There were some questions that had arisen when Google Drive was born and they still bother some skeptics to this day. Many people began to question, “Does Google own my files as soon as I upload them?”. Well, Google has since replied and in their terms of services states, “[users] retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that [they] hold…what belongs to you stays yours”. Phew! That’s a slight relief. Google has also inegrated the use of HTTPS on all of its services in addition to impementing ‘internal measures’ to look out for potential compromised login activity. But as Nene Leakes suggests in the gif above: proceed with caution. If a major movie studio can’t keep from getting hacked then who is to say your data isn’t next?

If you’re not convince yet, I’ll make it just a tad harder to say no to. Google Drive is available on mobile (but I mean, how surprising is that really?). Google Drive is actually the sole cloud service I use. It’s what I choose to use because you can access it from a computer at school or from your phone when you’re out getting coffee. You can also be working on a document, close it, and open it up elsewhere and it will be right as you left it. You can certainly survive without using a cloud service, but I mean… do you really want to? There’s no hard feelings if you blame me in the future for changing your life for the better once you start using Google Drive.

Dropbox

  1. How much does it cost?

Dropbox offers two options when signing up. You can sign up for the basic package that is free or you can sign up for “Drop Box Business”, which is $75.00 a month or $750.00 a year, per user.

  1. What kind of storage is available? (Is it just docs? Or can it upload media file, pictures, video)

Dropbox offers 2 GB of free space when you sign up. They also provide ways of earning more free space if you refer friends to sign up with drop box. You can upload all types of files with Dropbox, including; media, pictures, video as well as documents.

  1. How secure is it?

Dropbox uses something called “Secure Sockets Layer” to secure their data. Dropbox has the higher hand with all their information but state that a small number of employee have access to the files and data of their users.

  1. What features are available to the user? Is it desktop access only? Does it have mobile apps? Is it integrated into an already existing OS or digital ecosystem?

There are many features for the users of Dropbox. This system is able to be downloaded to your desktop main frame to make it easily assessable to share files. As a user you can access Dropbox not only on your desktop but on your mobile device.

  1. Why you selected this Cloud service to highlight.

I selected Dropbox to highlight because it is a service that I frequently use. I didn’t realize how convenient it was to use Dropbox to share lots of files until recently. I needed to share a large amount of family photos with my siblings and Dropbox made it incredibly easy for me as a user. I thought it would be interesting to learn more about this cloud service.  

Kaley West

The Rock from the ring to the big screen

There are two kind people who know name the Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. There are the fans who know The Rock. The Rock was a wrestling icon in the 90’s and early 2000’s as he took over the World of Wrestling scene as he became known as the “People’s Champ” to the millions, “AND MILLIONS” of fans who watched in the square circle each and every night he stepped in the ring to wrestle his opponent.

Recently, The Rock has changed is rout from the wrestling ring to the entertainment field of movies. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is name many movie goers know as he has been in many big hits on the big scene where in his latest stint he was in the Fast and the Furious series.

Now the People Champ has turned his attention to his millions of fans on social media, as he sits at 8.5 million fans on his twitter account. One thing I have noticed is that the Rock post his own tweets and he even tweets to some fans whenever he has time.

One of the things I find very interesting about The Rock is not his post on Twitter. If you follow him on Instagram he has found a new creative way to interact with all his fans that follow him on that social media outlet. For most people Instagram is posting pictures of what they are doing at the time or who they are with. Since Instagram has made the app able to take not only pictures, but now videos. Well The Rock is no stranger to the big screen and now he has taken his talents to the little screen of all his followers’ phones.

The Rock loves to interact with anyone he is with and you know The Rock runs his own Instagram account as he post all sorts of crazy videos that are very funny (in my eyes) he post videos of him off set after shooting a scene from a movie. He also loves talking trash and promoting what he might be on that week. For example, he was on the new hit show “Lip sync battle” and he talked some trash to his opponent who was Jimmy Fallon and helped promote the show because he was going to be on it.

I truly believe The Rock uses his social media accounts in a fun and interact way to get his followers to see what he is up to for his next stop and he wants his fans to know that he loves them for all the support them give him so I would think that it is pretty important for him to run his accounts instead of someone else who can’t be as active with all the fans that follow him.

I think Web 2.0 has really helped The Rock with getting his information out quickly as he can promote his next movie, or the next time he will be back for a wrestling event so his fans know when and where to tune in to watch their favorite celebrity. If he is going to be on a talk show on Friday night and be flying to another state for another interview the next night Web 2.0 helps him get the word of mouth out get his followers up to date on where he will be.

The Rock is a person who has never let back on his emotions of how he started in his career. Web 2.0 lets him share some stories of his life and put out quotes for others to follow his lead and show others anything is possible.

DW