My opinion is impossibly valuable or at least that is what my mom tells me.
Since a big chunk of my job has to do with online content creation, I have a bit of a passion for the actual words that show up on the web. I would venture to say I know what is good and I know what isn’t. Or at least I know what is good and I know what isn’t in terms of myself as a target audience.
If your ideal client is a mid-twenties single female with a passion for lolcats and without a car, then pay attention. The following is an official list of my favorite content on the interwebs to date and I’m calling it the Bronnies.
Favorite Website: Grouper
Grouper is the most amazing dating website idea since slicedBreadMeets.com. It hasn’t made its way to St. Louis yet, but when it does, you can bet I will be the most active Grouper user this side of the Mississippi.
Why is it the best website on the internet? The content. It’s simple. It’s catchy. It’s to the point AND it is perfectly integrated with the site’s design. A lot of websites spend too much time trying to explain exactly what a company does. You don’t have to do that. Content is meant to show, not tell. If you have to say you are the greatest dating website on earth, then you aren’t. If you can just pull an instagram feed of people using your service onto your homepage and I still can’t wait to give you my money somehow, then you’re doing it right.
Best Twitter Account: @KenJennings
The epitome of personal branding success, Ken Jennings has perfected a voice and nothing delights me more than hearing it. He snarkily interacts with followers, self-promotes when he wants to, and regularly uses Twitter as a platform to market himself. I’ll take things that make Bronwyn smile for 1,000 please.
Favorite Blog: BabeWalker
White Girl Problems is the grandest of blogs. With a solid voice of a rude, horrible, spoiled rotten post-collegiate female, there is no way not to become strangely addicted. The content doesn’t require deep thought. It’s basically the written equivalent of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, but you just can’t help but get lost in the fictional musings of a much wealthier and shallower version of your generation’s inner monologue.
Favorite Social Network: imgur
It’s technically an image hosting site, but with the ability to upvote and an UNBEATABLE sense of community, you can’t help but love this online equivalent of Discovery Zone. Whenever I’m feeling down, I head to Imgur. The shared jokes, the viral images, and the common appreciation for cats and memes create the best new space to make friends without leaving the comfort of the beanbag chair in your mom’s basement.
Favorite Thing Online That is Mainly Offline: The RFT
Truthfully, I love to hate The RFT, but I tell you what, they are consistent. The only reason they aren’t perfect to me is because I feel like they can do more. They seem to have a great grasp on their target audience, The Hipsters of St. Louis, but they seem to have underestimated how deeply we are all craving the content that the RFT supplies. In my heart of hearts, I want the RFT to be the underground guide to all things St. Louis. Why can’t it just be that? In the meantime I’m going to keep reading and grasping at the little nuggets they do toss out and hope that someone from the RFT reads this blog post and gives me a freelance job.
Favorite Internet Creeping Tool: CaseNet
Facebook stalking is for n00bs. Welcome to the next iteration of internet creeping: Case.net. Don’t get me wrong, if I feel like torturing myself with pictures of my highschool boyfriend on vacation, Facebook is still my go to. If I’m trying to get more information on a potential new hire for goBRANDgo!, LinkedIN is my first stop, followed by Instagram. But, when you’re feeling really creepy, Case.net is your best bet.
Favorite Social Shopping Site: My EndoShop
I personally use Pinterest to plan my wardrobe for next season and pretend like I will have the need to throw a Gatsby themed party sometime in the next 5 years. Can you imagine if (basically) every time you pinned to a Pinterest Board you got money? That’s kind of what MyEndoShop is like. Anyway, social shopping is the next big thing. You’re already doing it and you don’t even know it (Groupon/Living Social/Rating things on Amazon), so you might as well make a little extra cash while you’re at it.
Best Music Sharing Site: SPOTIFY
Favorite Obnoxious Emails To Get: Quora
In my opinion, eBlasts are a thing of the past. I actually have a whole fake gmail account set up so that I don’t have to deal with the sales going on at Nordstrom Rack this weekend unless I really want to. If I had it my way, we’d eliminate eBlasts as a marketing tool all together… However, there is one shining diamond in the rough of email marketing, my Quora Weekly Digest.
Quora is the attractive older cousin to Yahoo Answers. It is an amazing place to ask questions, get answers, and grow your personal brand. You can sign up to get an email digest on the topics that most interest you. If Quora told me I’d have bad luck for 15 years if I didn’t open their emails… Well… I wouldn’t have any bad luck.
Favorite Place To Look At Cats: CLICK ME.
No explanation needed.
Well that’s the first round of The Bronnies.
I do want to point that all of my favorite things have a few elements in common:
1) A solid voice: In fact, the tone of my favorite things is usually on the verge of obnoxious, but it is consistent and noteworthy.
2) The content is user oriented: It’s either tailored to appeal to a potential customer or allows the person digesting the words to pick what the words are.
3) Integration across multiple platforms: A brand does not simply live on the internet. It lives everywhere; from the stories people tell about you to your vanity license plate. The best thing about the Bronnie award winners is that they go beyond just their online home, bridging the gap between multiple mediums and online/offline communication.