Lawn Gnome

A digital marketing blog by Daniel J. Donovan.











My name is Daniel J. Donovan. Welcome to my blog.
I write about digital marketing, technology, online strategy, communications and photography.


Creating Alerts from Twitter Searches

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 16th, 2012 · online marketing, social media · This post currently has no responses.

Last week, I briefly wrote about how I use Twitter. It prompted a co-worker to ask how I made use of it to “listen,” apart from the aforementioned Flipboard.

There are several tools — like Crimson Hexagon and Radian6 — that deliver comprehensive social media business intelligence. At a price.

If you are a non-profit or an SMB/SME, the price tag of a few thousand dollars a year probably puts such tools outside the range of affordability. Fortunately, Twitter’s free built-in search is actually pretty good.

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A Twitter Confession

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 12th, 2012 · online marketing, social media · This post currently has 3 responses.

I do not Tweet.

Being a good Tweeter requires an enormous commitment of time, one I doubt I will ever be ready to make, even if I suddenly become a lot more interesting.

However, this is not to say that I dislike Twitter. In fact, I love the tool and use it every day, mostly via Flipboard. [Read more →]


Facebook Acquires Instagram

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 9th, 2012 · social media · This post currently has 2 responses.

As Facebook’s IPO looms, Mark Zuckerberg announced today (via Facebook naturally) that they are acquiring Instagram: [Read more →]


Lo! For I have seen the future and it is made of Glass

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 4th, 2012 · online marketing, social media, technology · This post currently has no responses.

Trying to decide if I am excited or horrified. Mostly excited. Mostly.

One assumes that glasses will enjoy a big comeback.

Head wounds and other issues also seem inevitable.


iPad: Kindle Killer?

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 19th, 2010 · iPad, Kindle, technology · This post currently has 4 responses.

I have an iPad. I have a Kindle. Although it seems to be common consensus that the iPad will kill the Kindle, the larger question is, does Amazon care? The even larger question is, should you worry for the future of reading itself?

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iPad Reactions

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 5th, 2010 · iPad, technology · This post currently has no responses.

Along with some 300,000 other people, I bought an Apple iPad on Saturday. But before I say anything else, let me make one thing clear: I am no MacHead. I have not purchased an Apple product since my Mac Quadra 605 in 1994. I did buy a Power Computing Mac clone in ’96 and was thoroughly annoyed when Steve Jobs stuck a knife in the clone business upon his return as “interim” (!) CEO in 1997. So annoyed in fact that I went completely PC with my next purchase and never looked back (if you don’t count my iPod and I don’t).

Well, let’s just say that I am looking now. Believe the hype. The iPad is an incredible device.

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Apple iPad “Unable to join the network” on Verizon / Westell VersaLink Model 327W

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · April 4th, 2010 · iPad, technology · This post currently has 22 responses.

Although my desktop, laptops, PlayStation 3, and even my iPod Touch connected to my home network just fine, my new iPad would not. It (stubbornly and somewhat unhelpfully) simply said “Unable to join the network ‘(My Network’s SSID)'”. The options for troubleshooting on the appliance-like iPad are very limited and did nothing for me in any case. I could find nothing on Apple’s site or elsewhere so I thought I’d share what I did and maybe save you some time and effort.

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Improving Customer Experience on Your Site – Part 3 – Features vs. Benefits

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · March 30th, 2010 · customer focus / user experience, online marketing · This post currently has no responses.

As I mentioned in my last post in this series, the internet has moved the balance of power decidedly into customers’ hands. Some larger institutions have yet to realize that this fundamental shift has taken place. The focus of your thinking needs to move from inside-out to outside-in.

As we continue to try to piece together the tattered remains of our economy, it is more important than ever to understand what customers want.

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Played the @hunch twitter predictor game

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · March 26th, 2010 · Uncategorized · This post currently has no responses.

Played the @hunch twitter predictor game at http://hunch.com/games/twitter-predictor — it guessed right 91%. It was a fun distraction and worth a few moments of your time.


Improving Customer Experience on Your Site – Part 2 – User Registration

Posted by Daniel J. Donovan · March 21st, 2010 · customer focus / user experience, online marketing · This post currently has one response.

Jeffrey Zeldman posted an article the other day previewing Internet Explorer 9. More specifically, he rakes Dean Hachamovitch, Microsoft’s General Manager for Internet Explorer, over the coals for some of the language in his IE9 blog entry. According to Zeldman, Hachamovitch “brags” about the new features of the browser. He says that the writer should have adopted a more personal, down-to-earth tone.

I am not going to take sides. Myself, I think this situation is a good illustration of a writer (the MS fellow) not understanding his audience. Engineers and other technical types, even more than others, do not react well to bloviation of any kind. In Hachamovitch’s defense, the article didn’t seem that boastful to me, but after reading the comments at the bottom of the post, I’d say that I am not a typical reader of that kind of blog. Hachamovitch didn’t understand his audience. Or maybe he was edited. Who can say?

Anyway, understanding one’s audience is crucial.

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