The Marketing Companion (social media marketing)

In this episode hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster review all-new talks they delivered at Content Marketing World: Content marketing lessons from the world of politics and how the future of corporate branding may be personal branding. And then of course you won't want to miss the Burt Bacharach tribute ...

Direct download: TMC_New.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 9:33am EDT

It seems like everywhere you look the news is bad for the ad industry. In just the last few weeks, the news has reported ...

  • The stock value for many large agencies is in decline as company billings fall.
  • Traditional ad impressions are down almost everywhere as newspapers, radio, and magazines struggle to survive.
  • Many of their customers -- the big CPG brands -- are cutting ad spending as their most valuable products struggle to be relevant to today's digital consumers.
  • Ad blocking continues to rise in developed nations (Ad Age called it an "apocalypse")
  • Many companies are bringing the rising areas of influence and content marketing in-house to save costs and maintain direct relationships.

Like I said ... a mess. What's the future of Madison Avenue and how does it turn things around in this rapidly changing world? That would be a fun discussion to have ... which is exactly what Tom Webster and I do in this new episode of The Marketing Companion. You won't want to miss this scintillating analysis!

Resource mentioned in this episode WSJ article on advertising decine Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro.

Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

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Direct download: 112.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:03pm EDT

In this very personal episode of The Marketing Companion, hosts Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster reveal their own best marketing successes and failures. Learn why desperation may be a key to success, how money is made in the margins, and why a dial-up internet connection destroyed a great business. Mark and Tom also announce plans for the first human-powered self-driving vehicle!

Direct download: Personal_marketing_successes_and_failures.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:45am EDT

Starting a new social network is a perilous prospect. The battlefield is littered with companies that had big ideas and little results ...

  • Meerkat
  • Ello
  • Path
  • Google+

It's a tricky business. A new social platform needs to solve a unique customer problem or find an under-served niche and then avoid assassination by Facebook (by having intellectual property and a huge war chest to protect it).

It has been so difficult breaking into the pantheon of elite social networks that in the past five years there has only been one new entry (Snapchat) that is attracting significant advertising dollars.

Until now.

Amazon Spark is news

This month Amazon launched its own social network, Spark. Amazon Spark is available through the mobile app and is sort of a mash-up of Instagram and Yelp. And I think it's going to be a hit for several reasons.

It passes the Schaefer sniff test: It occupies a unique niche and Amazon has the war chest to do it right. Also, unlike Google, which seems to use its best customers as guinea pigs as it tries to "fail fast," Amazon is more methodical. When it introduces something new, it is usually done right.

Another reason I think this is going to work is because it is addictive. Since you get to tailor your experience, you only see posts about products that will delight you. It's like flipping through an Instagram account of awesome products and how people are using them.

It's early days. Will it work? Who knows, but as a marketer, I am certainly paying attention to ANY significant new effort from Amazon and I think this is a winner.

And there's more.

In our new episode of The Marketing Companion, Tom Webster and I discuss this new social network and more. We also get into:

  • Projections of augmented reality dominance
  • YouTube versus Netflix in the video wars
  • Lessons in customer service (or the lack of it)

Also, Tom and I experiment with "Chipmunk Speed." You'll have to hear it to believe it. You won't want to miss this!

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity.

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: Amazons_new_social_network.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:00am EDT

Google search goes away?

You might think this title is ridiculous. Maybe even sensational. But traditional web search is changing dramatically and it's a real concern for marketers and traditional SEO. Let me explain ... As consumers, we depend on a reliable list of products and references from Google to get through our daily lives, find the right dress, or answer a question in an argument. Google now processes 40,000 search inquiries every second of the day! On the business side, we want to be the answer. This is the heart of the digital marketing battle -- Whether organic or paid, we want to be at the top of the search results. This is the penultimate goal of content marketing - to earn our way to the top of that list of Google content recommendations. But what if there was no longer a list of results? What if there was just one answer ... And it wasn't coming from Google.

The new way to search emerges

In 2015, voice search went from a statistical zero to 10 percent of all search results and ComScore estimates that by 2020, 50 percent of all searches will be by voice. While it won’t likely replace existing screen-based search, voice search is already enough of a factor that businesses need to understand strategies for being found this way. And a significant portion of those strategies will be new: No one I know of really has an existing SEO strategy for Siri! As evidenced by a new Smart Audio Report from Edison Research and NPR, smart speakers are becoming part of our daily lives, and at least at this point, the winner is Amazon Echo (better known as "Alexa.") Google has its "Home" product and Microsoft, Apple and other companies will have serious entries soon, but the biggest beneficiary of the boom in voice-controlled personal assistants and search has been Amazon.

An indispensable voice

This new home appliance is having an increasing impact in people's lives. Developing a "voice search skill" is like learning to type with your thumbs five years ago. Smart speakers are becoming part of the fabric of our lives:

  • 65% of smart speaker owners indicate they would not want to go back to life before getting their devices, and 42% say their device is now “essential” to their everyday life.
  • 70% of smart speaker owners say they are listening to more audio at home since acquiring their device – across news/talk, podcasts, audiobooks and music.
  • Among smart speaker owners, 45% expect to purchase another device – and, of the non-owners surveyed, more than half say they are likely to purchase their first smart speaker in the next six months.

Another important finding is that smart speaker owners are using the devices to manage their homes. Owners who make their home “smart” say they most often connect smart speakers to control home lighting, the thermostat, home security systems, and outdoor lighting and sprinklers.

Smart speakers are also particularly appealing to parents. Eight-in-ten parents say these devices have made it easier to entertain their children.

The economic on-ramp

From a marketing standpoint, the idea that fascinates me is that increasingly, these speaker will be the "economic on-ramp" for commerce, as Google search is now. However, Amazon will try to direct you to the Amazon eco-system and Apple will try to keep you in the Apple eco-system. This is where the real battleground will be. Who will "own" or partner with the Wal-Mart eco-system? Will we choose a car in the future due to the brand of smart speaker we like best? Will one part of our home be controlled by Google, another part by Amazon, while an Apple device plays out TV and music? What IS the strategy when Google search becomes less important, at least as we now know it? It makes for a fascinating discussion ... and in fact Tom Webster and I had one on a new episode of The Marketing Companion podcast. You won't want to miss this debate! Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available
 
The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!
 
CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.
 
BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!
Direct download: A_new_marketing_channel_emerges.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:37am EDT

Back in 2010, I wrote one of the most fun and fascinating blog posts of my life. A new trend was coming into view, led by a company called Klout. By analyzing millions of bits of social media data and the reactions the posts caused, the company proclaimed it could estimate your social media influence. At the time, it was a revolutionary idea. My post, which projected some of the implications of such an application, seemed to rock the social media world. It was shared more than 2,000 times and attracted hundred of comments, many of them harshly critical of this company and their bold claims. People lamented that they didn't want to be ranked and rated and that their social media presence was not something that could be assessed and dissected.

But there was something there ...

But I disagreed. I was intrigued by the idea. Using big data and algorithms to judge social media effectiveness made sense. Klout was a blunt instrument ... but it was also a start-up that I thought I was on to something. And, believe it or not, I was about the only blogger out there who did! I saw a huge potential in what I called at that time "social scoring." The term did not catch on, but Klout did, a forerunner to the many sophisticated social media influence measurement systems in the marketplace today. A few months after I wrote the post, I had a chance to meet the company's founder, Joe Fernandez, at SXSW. Joe was taking a tremendous amount of heat from the social media analysts and bloggers ... but I also learned that he receiving a lot of traction with some of the biggest brands in the world. Despite the fury in the world of bloggers, his idea was catching on. with corporate marketers. This was a new way to actually discover the passionate product advocates in the world, those who were gaining massive audiences through their independent content creation.

The cusp of a revolution

The world of power and influence was being flipped on its head. The traditional media editors and executives in the corner offices weren't calling the shots like they used to.  We were on the cusp of a marketing revolution, led by anyone willing to step up and let their voice become heard through blogs, videos, and podcasts. Most exciting to me, companies were actually enacting the first influencer marketing programs -- and seeing amazing results. While the social media world was pounding Klout, the critics were missing the bigger picture, the entire new influence trend! A frenzy was building to connect with these new media stars. Eventually my early interest in influence marketing helped me land a book contract to write Return On Influence, the first book on the subject of social influence marketing. The book came out in 2012 and at the end of the book I predicted that within two years this would become a mainstream marketing channel. And, it has.

The rise of influencer marketing

Five years later, I jumped at the chance to help Traackr, a frontrunner in the influence measurement space, to create a new piece of research aimed at determining the state of the art of the field from a B2B perspective. I interviewed leaders from Dell, Microsoft, Intel, Samsung and many other companies and discovered that the channel was maturing, and becoming quite sophisticated compared to those early days. In fact, today influencer relations is on par with how companies interact with the press or industry analysts. This marketing revolution became a fascinating podcast discussion with Tom Webster and I'm sure you'll love this episode.

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

The results don’t lie: Typeform has a 57% completion rate on surveys, against the industry average of 20% (according to Survey Gizmo). The difference? Typeform’s one-question-at-a-time interface creates a memorable user experience. Use images, animated GIFs, and even video to express yourself more fully. And Typform integrates with your favorite tools including Google Sheets, MailChimp, Airtable, and hundreds more. Remember: What you ask matters. How you ask is everything. Go to Typeform.com/companion to receive a special 30 percent off discount for our podcast fans!

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: Influencer_Marketing_grows_up.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 2:35pm EDT

Like many digital marketers, I look forward to the epic internet trends report produced each year by venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins. Better known as "The Meeker Report," the epic slide deck is an exhaustive summary of the relevant trends we need to be considering for our companies as the digital world moves forward. Over the past few years, Tom Webster and I have discussed this report on our podcast, The Marketing Companion, and it has always been one of my favorite episodes of the year. However, this year, my keen-eyed co-host (who knows a thing or two about research) noticed a pattern that arguably tarnishes the reputation of the report. Much of the report obviously features Kleiner Perkins' investment partners, its specific financial interests, and it even has a section sponsored by another company. Sponsored content in a research report? Over the years, I've read a lot of analysis of the Meeker Report and I've never heard another person connect the dots like this. Kudos to Tom for his sharp-eyed observation. In the new episode of the Marketing Companion, Tom and I begin by dissecting the report, culling out data points which may impact our listeners, but we also look at this from a content marketing angle. What makes this report important, effective, and distinctive ... and will Kleiner Perkins ruin it over time by catering to sponsors and its own self-promotion? We don't imply that Kleiner Perkins has done anything sinister. In fact, we like the report. But at the same time, it is not necessarily an "Internet Trends" report ... it is a report that supports KP's investment decisions. This is a unique analysis and an important new perspective about our industry's most notable annual research. Listen to this episode and let us know what you think ... Resources mentioned in the podcast episode:

Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

 

 

CoSchedule is the world’s number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

 

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: 106_Should_you_believe_the__Meeker_Report__.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 11:54am EDT

My Marketing Companion co-host Tom Webster told me that within a few weeks, three of his clients all came to him with the same question: How do we get our content discovered? The answer you typically hear in our space is "create quality content and it will rise to the top" but that does not work any more. Perhaps it never has. There are content discovery algorithms and bots working behind the scenes that hold us in our place. The digital world is presented to us in an ever-shrinking filter. Tom uses some examples from the music industry to show how content is starting to rise to the top through a never-ending popularity "loop." This reality  -- and how companies are dealing with it -- makes for an incredibly interesting episode of our podcast.

Content discovery strategies

Tom makes the point that in our digital world so much of the content we see is issued to us based on some popularity formula that we don't have the experience of surprise and delight we used to experience looking through a record store, a book store, or a magazine stand. Our options for discovery might are more limited in the digital sphere than in the "real world!" And that makes it harder for new content, new brands, and new ideas to be discovered. What we want is what we know, what is familiar. This implies that the goal for marketing in this environment is to create "habit," more than "loyalty." We also get into a great discussion on differentiation, segmentation, and lessons from a new New York Times blueprint to get their content discovered in the future through technology, quality and new content forms and new skill sets. You won't want to miss this!

In our show, we also introduce our new sponsor CoSchedule, the world's greatest marketing scheduling utility. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com, you can receive your exclusive Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

And, on the lighter side, I reveal to Tom surprising common business phrases I picked up on my recent visit to Eastern Europe. Ready? Here we go ...

Please support our extraordinary sponsors.

Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

CoSchedule is the world's number one marketing calendar utility, used by more than 8,000 companies. The application allows users to build out their entire marketing strategy from one master calendar, collaborate with their teams, and streamline their entire execution process in one place. CoSchedule is the web’s most popular marketing calendar and the fastest growing startup in North Dakota. Ranked as the best business tool built by a startup on Entrepreneur.com. Get your Marketing Companion 30-day free trial by heading to www.coschedule.com/marketing-companion.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: EscapeVelocity.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:39am EDT

The inevitability of a business world dominated by artificial intelligence seems to be the headline of the day, and yet the notion for many marketers may seem distant and unreal. On our Marketing Companion podcast, Tom Webster and I have been toying with this subject for years and decided it was time to devote a full-blown episode to the topic. Artificial intelligence and marketing -- what's real, what's now, what's ahead? Our latest episode is a far-ranging discussion that gets into:

  • Customer service -- brighter days ahead
  • The incremental change that is happening now
  • AI as a source of innovation
  • The revolution in marketing technology ... it's more than automation
  • The impact on our jobs (Tom and I disagree on this point)

You won't want to miss this timely and important discussion. Please support our extraordinary sponsors. Our content is free because of their generosity. Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

 

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: AI.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 3:16am EDT

For decades, I've been a big fan of the sports channel ESPN. They have a great brand -- serious about sports, but not too serious about themselves. Their bold style of storytelling went far beyond the cable TV channel to web, print, apps, satellite radio, social media, and podcasts. They created exceptional content, bought into premium sports events, and seemed to be nurturing their brand as effectively as any company. From a content standpoint, they seemed to be doing everything right in the digital age. And they just laid-off 100 people. It just made no sense. ESPN is an iconic standard of multimedia content excellence. If they can't make money with their content, who can? What went wrong?

The content monetization challenge

When I dug into it, it became clear that the ESPN story provides a great case study about the bigger picture of content, branding, the expense of producing content, the success of Facebook and mobile ads, channel fragmentation, the transition from advertising to subscription models, "cord-cutting" in the television business, and more. It turns out that this is not just an ESPN issue. It's a content monetization issue. ESPN's parent company Disney said that interest in the sports network has never been higher -- it's just that the subscription audience has moved online where the content is free and ads have not caught up. This ad-industry fall-out may just be the tip of the iceberg. A recent New York Times article points out that TV ad spending is still probably too high and out of touch with the reality of where consumers are spending their time -- online and social media. Exploring the problems with ESPN reveals the rifts in the dynamic world of content and business today. And, it made a fantastic podcast topic! Please join me and Tom Webster as we dissect this case study, the content monetization challenge ... and the world's worst games. Ready? Please support our extraordinary sponsors.

Our content is free because of their generosity. 

Many thanks to our friend Scott Monty for the awesome show intro. Be sure to check out his amazing newsletter The Full Monty and his new podcast available here: fullmontyshow.com.

SaneBox is like a super-smart assistant who’s been with you for years and knows what’s important to you. It moves unimportant emails from the inbox into a new folder and summarizes them in a digest, where you can quickly bulk-process them. An average SaneBox customer saves 12+ hours/month. It works with any email provider, client or device. And we have a special offer for you. Simply go to sanebox.com/marketing to receive a risk-free 14-day trial and $25 off your initial subscription! With glowing reviews from TechCrunch, Forbes, The New York Times and emailers everywhere, you will fall in love with email again.

BuzzSumo is the world’s best way to discover, analyze and amplify your content. Run over to BuzzSumo today for a 14 day free trial. Beyond data, BuzzSumo offers priceless insights into content discovery, monitoring, influencers, and outreach, content research and planning, and competitor research. It is an indispensable application for content research, analysis and SEO. Find out why so many Marketing Companion fans are now hooked on Buzzsumo. Check out BuzzSumo’s powerful technology to look at the hottest content trends down to the hour!

Direct download: The_content_monetization_minefield.mp3
Category:Social Media Marketing -- posted at: 4:31am EDT