It’s About Time, McDonald’s

mcd-wifiFrom Mashable, this headline:
McDonald’s Adds Free Wi-Fi to the Menu

Halleluia!

I wrote a post on this very blog (well, it had a different design at the time, and maybe a different name, but it had the same URL anyhow) nearly THREE YEARS AGO, laying out a case for why McDonald’s needed to get rid of its $2.95 wi-fi fee.  And, it appears the reason they switched is the exact reason I laid out in my post.  Here’s what Mashable says:

…McDonalds is hoping to become a hang-out spot of the coffee shop variety — it also plans to start selling frappes and smoothies mid-2010. And given the fact that coffee chains like Starbucks charge customers to surf while they sip, the idea doesn’t seem all that pie-in-the-sky.

…and here’s what I said in my post, On Wi-Fi Hotspots and McDonald’s, on February 10, 2007:

Free web access [...] would open McDonald’s to an entirely different set of customers. If you walk into a Panera Bread Company store in the middle of the day, you’ll see that it’s crawling with business people who are eating and getting a little work done. McDonald’s could combine cheaper food with free Internet, and draw a bunch of those businesspeople in. Parents could even get some work done while their kids catch syphilis from those hamster tube play areas.

It’s nice when a big company reacts to a reasoned argument from a PR guy like me ;)

The Twitter Numbers Game

old-man-twitterPlease pardon me while I sound like a grumpy old man for a moment.

I’ve become increasingly frustrated with Twitter.  I’m not going to stop using it.  It’s not THAT bad.  However, my frustration level is definitely rising.  There are two reasons for this.  The first is auto-direct messages from people who are thanking me for following them and at the same time trying to promote their website.  That’s a gripe for a different day.

The reason for the frustration I’m talking about in this post is the number of people who seem to think there are shortcuts to using Twitter.  These are the people who blindly follow thousands of people, or pay one of these “get thousands of followers in just a few days” services to do it for them.

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Europe Invaded by Furry Monsters

Ever walk into a situation that screams “this company is making a big mistake!”  Okay … well, maybe not, but I did this weekend.  My family and I visited Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA on Sunday, and I found that it has been invaded by furry little monsters and giant birds.  While fun, I think it’s a Big Bird-sized strategic error.

Allow me to give you a little background, in case you’ve never been to this theme park. There are two versions of Busch Gardens.  One is in Tampa and is a theme park based around Africa.  The other is in Williamsburg, and is based around Europe.  In Williamsburg, the park is broken into a handful of pieces — England, Ireland, Scotland, Italy, Germany, and France.  Each “country” has its own architecture and feel, with attractions that are based on things that might be found there.  I can’t speak for Busch Gardens Tampa (never been there), but I think Busch Gardens Williamsburg has done a very, very good job keeping “on message” with the Europe theme.  It’s also generally regarded as one of the most beautiful theme parks in the world.

Given all of this, imagine my surprise when I find that Busch Gardens Williamsburg has added a new section between Italy and England called Sesame Street Forest of Fun.

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WordPress Web Design and SEO Tip

Here’s a big tip if you plan to use WordPress as a CMS for your website, particularly if you’re working off of a fresh installation of WordPress:

As you might know, I recently redesigned the EndGame Public Relations website, moving it from being html-based to php-based and using WordPress as its content management system (CMS).  The site was ranking extremely well for the keywords I targeted, falling in the top five on Google and Yahoo for all of them.  Shortly after the redesign, however, I found that every time Google re-indexed my site, a few more of my pages would disappear from the rankings for my keywords.  I figured they would return shortly and made a few moves to speed up the process.

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Google Street View of My Neighborhood

Not really related to media relations or SEO PR, but I just noticed that Google has added street level viewing of my town in Virginia. Must be a very new thing because I use Google Maps fairly frequently and it wasn’t there last time I looked. Their photography stops within view of the entrance to my neighborhood. For example, I can see the grocery store that’s near my house. It’s interesting and kind of creepy all at the same time.

I did see that the gas at the station near my house cost $2.54 per gallon when they shot their photos.

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