THE NAMES MIGHT SEEM SIL.LY BUT THESE TEN TOOLS ARE SERIOUS.LY GENIUS

As a content strategist and online marketing coach, I am constantly reviewing affordable, effective and easy-to-use technology tools to plug into the online marketing and social media processes I build with small businesses, non-profits and marketing teams. As silly as their names may seem, many of these apps and software solutions make up for their names by providing great function and utility.

I currently use all ten of these tools and I have participated in Beta testing for several others — so it was hard to come up with my favorite ten. But, I describe each below and why I picked them. Plus check out the full “List of Recommended Ly’s” found on one of my favorites: List.ly.

  • Bit.ly— “The Power of the Link.” A free URL shortener service, Bitly shortens more than one billion links per month, for use in social networking, SMS, and email. Bit.ly makes my list because in addition to being a handy free shortening tool, it allows you to track clicks on links, to store and organize links for future use and to create vanity URL’s for brands and campaigns.
  • Calendly.com — “Simple, Beautiful Scheduling.” Say goodbye to phone and email tag trying to find the perfect time for an appointment, meeting, interview or call. I use it because it is a free tool that creates a personal scheduling page that looks highly professional and integrates with popular online calendars (like Google calendar and more).
  • Contently.com— “The Storytelling Platform.” Contently empowers journalists and brands to engage audiences with compelling content. I use it personally to create a portfolio for my writing work to send to clients and prospects. I use it with clients to find great, professional writers to help produce their blogs and written content.
  • Embed.ly— “Embed Anything.” Embedly delivers an easy-to-use system for creating richer sites and apps by allowing you to embed content into sites and extract elements out of sites for use on your sites or apps. I use Embedlybecause without a lot of technical savvy it allows bloggers to embed videos, images, PDF, and article previews from “any” source with just the URL.
  • Feedly.com — “Your News. Delivered.” Available as a Chrome Extension, or as a phone app for Android or Apple, Feedly is a Blog and RSS News Reader that allows you to organize, read and share what matters to you all in one place without having to hunt online. I began using Feedly when Google got rid of its Google Reader and as it turns out, it’s much easier to use.
  • Insightly.com — “#1 Online Small Business CRM.” Used by over 550,000 people worldwide. I use the free version to attach projects, opportunities, tasks and notes to particular company contacts, to be sure to follow up with contacts, and to keep projects on track. I also love that it’s extremely easy to sign up for, learn and use immediately.
  • List.ly — “Lists Made Easy + Social + Fun!” Lists = Ranking. List Posts = Traffic. Listly helps bloggers and brands curate, crowdsource, and engage readers via live embedded list content inside blog posts. I used Listly to make the “Recommended List of Ly’s.” and I have created resource lists that I can continue to update and share as a link and ask others to contribute to. Lists can be embedded on websites and blogs and are a great engagement tactic.
  • Recommend.ly — “Get Set to Spark a Conversation.” Recommendly is a content aggregator that helps you pick things that inspire you across the web, to share with the right people. I use Recommendly as an automated source for finding content to share with my own and my clients’ audiences.Recommend.ly aims to simplify social media management for busy Page owners and is targeted to reduce the time spent finding and posting relevant content.
  • Snip.ly — “Use Sniply to Drive Conversion Through the Content You Share.”Sniply lets you embed messages into every page you share. It’s the best way to promote yourself while sharing content. I just started using Sniply and it is the tool I am presently most excited about because, in addition to the value of sharing good articles with audiences, you can embed messages and actual call-to-actions into the articles you share for a direct conversion and it is so easy to do!
  • Visual.ly — “Original, Visual Content for Brands.” Utilizing a unique process and tapping their pool of world-class talent, Visually delivers high quality content faster and at a lower cost than ever before. I use Visually to help clients execute their online strategy when they don’t have the resources to produce engaging elements such as infographics, videos, presentations or micro-content for web experiences.

Made popular by the URL shortening service, Bit.ly, a growing number of startups, apps and technology platforms have names that end in Ly or Li or Lee (some with .com after and some that end in .li and .ly). DomainTyper.com reports among the top 1,000,000 domains worldwide there are 166 websites that end in .ly which is the top-level country-code domain name for Libya.

A naming consultant was quoted in TheWire.com article, The Pitfalls of a Clever.ly Named Startup, as saying the practice is “just lazy.” However, I am going with the less harsh analysis provided byTheNextWeb.com article, What’s in a startup’s name? Why the trend for misspelled words and -ly won’t go away,that coming up with a name that is memorable and meaningful is just plain hard. I will go further and say that in the case of the ten ly’s I picked, the companies were so focused on the genius of their solution they just didn’t have any creativity left over for naming.

Resources:

History of URL’s that end in .ly: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.ly

Official place to register (in Libya) for a .ly domain is: http://www.nic.ly/.

Originally published at www.linkedin.com.

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