Why We Love Shopping, Why We Buy, To Buy or Not to Buy, Addicted to Shopping, The Lucky Shopping Manual, Born to Spend, Shopping for Time, Not Buying It, Spent – all titles of books about consumer habits. Here are a few tools that may help you keep track of who and what your customers care about.
http://bit.ly/ shorten, share, and track your links
There are a couple of reasons to shorten a url and using this site might offer the main reason for doing so…I think the URL shorteners showed up as a response to Twitter’s 140 character limit but this site offers another reason. We learned from Dan Zarrella at the Southern Social Networking Summit that adding a plus mark (+) to the end of any bit.ly url will show the activity for that url and it is really valuable info. See how many times it was clicked, who clicked it, and where they came from. Again, this is data that booksellers would have had to pay big bucks for in the past. And it is all here. Amazing!
http://delicious.com/ social bookmarking
Okay, again, a wealth of info but be careful not to get sucked in to the home page where the most recent bookmarks are displayed. I got sucked into some celebrity news for a minute but now I’m back. This allows you to search anything and see what items folks have bookmarked and it let’s you collect your favorite sites as well. Again, learn a lot about readers and see who is making their mark on Delicious. I’m delighted that http://www.indiebound.org/ comes up regularly in book and bookselling and bookstore references. Your customers are there.
http://digg.com/ the latest news headlines, videos, and images
Okay, don’t get sucked in. Put in your search item and see the sites that have been sited. Once your search results come up, scroll down the page, and on the left you will see Advanced Search Tips that will assist you in getting even more info on who is talking about what.
http://mashable.com/ the social media guide
This is a great site for learning about social media. Lots of nerd news here. Valuable stuff about Facebook, Twitter, eReaders, all things online; from FourSquare to Phishing. Again, it’s easy to get lost in here. So try to use the search function or follow them on Twitter or Facebook, and just check out the things that impact you and your customers.
http://bloggernetwork.org who is in your area?
Okay, this might be a waste of time. Trying to find book bloggers to invite to SIBA and many of the blogs were no longer active or had not ever been activated. Searched for over an hour and found 6 potential southern bloggers. I think booksellers should connect with local book bloggers and create a mutually beneficial relationship. Just not sure Blogger Network is where to find them.