Klout Perk Review: Keurig 2.0

I recently received the new Keurig 2.0 brewing system via Klout as part of a Klout perk. While the instructions from Klout say that I’m under no obligation to review it, I will anyway. So, here goes.

The system itself has a larger footprint than equivalent current models.

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The simple buttons have been replaced by a somewhat intuitive touchscreen, though the navigation gets confusing when you try to brew a carafe rather than a cup. I intentionally did not read the manual, because not reading the manual best simulates my state of wakefulness prior to coffee.

The newest feature is the ability to brew a carafe with a significantly larger K-Cup than the single service K-Cup.

So, is the system any good? For the positives, it’s much quieter than the older table-top models. Instead of the loud buzzing sound it makes when drawing water from the reservoir, it now makes a quieter pulsing sound. If you’ve ever tried to brew a K-Cup early in the morning while not waking anyone up, the new machine is definitely quieter.

For the negatives, a couple of big sticking points. First, the new system incorporates what is effectively DRM. The system scans the top of K-Cups for the Keurig logo and if it doesn’t see it, it won’t work. I predict a cottage industry in taking used K-Cup foil seals and cutting out the logos to stick onto third-party cups to keep them working.

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Second, the new carafe feature is nice in concept but the results are poor. K-Cups already tend to be a little on the weak side – in order for me to get a cup of coffee that matches my tastes, I typically have to brew two 6-ounce cups of one of their bold roasts. The carafe setting has no ability to control how much water goes into the carafe vs. coffee, so you get a weak, watery pot of coffee. If you like weaker, watery coffee, then the carafe is going to make you deliriously happy. I, however, am unimpressed, which is a doubly bad state for me prior to coffee:

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The verdict? If you own a Keurig system already and it’s not broken, there’s no compelling reason to upgrade. Don’t spend the money for DRM that doesn’t benefit you, and a carafe of weak, watery coffee. Stick with the Keurig you already own. If you don’t own a Keurig, the Keurig 2.0 is a capable machine with tradeoffs. If you want to use your own coffee with a reusable filter, you’re out of luck unless you glue a used Keurig label on your K-Cup holder (and I’d recommend an Aeropress for that anyway).

As always, thanks to Klout for the Perk and to Keurig for the machine. It will be available for purchase in September. I don’t know how much use I’ll get out of it, but at least it’s pleasant looking.

Disclosure: I received this Klout Perk for free. No other compensation was given.


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Do content marketing reruns work?

I’m glad to be back from vacation after a week completely off the grid. Talk about a drastic change in lifestyle, going to a place where devices don’t even work (thus removing the temptation to “just check in”). I recommend it heartily.

Before I left for vacation, I thought I’d run an experiment using reruns on social media to power my social media postings for the week. Instead of my normal routine of a new blog post each day plus a welcome message (2 links back to my website per day), I went to five reruns plus a welcome message (6 links back to my website per day). Each rerun was a link back to a past popular post of mine from the past two years.

Now, going into this, the logical hypothesis would be a 300% increase in website traffic, right? I literally tripled the number of direct links back to my website. In fact, it should be even more, because my audience has changed and grown in a year. Last year on Twitter alone, I had 7,000 fewer followers:

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So with an audience that’s bigger and triple the number of links, let’s see what the results were:

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Cue the womp womp trumpet, please. Yes, folks, you read that correctly. I had 43% LESS traffic this year compared to the same calendar week the previous year. The traffic source that drove the loss? Organic search traffic, where I had half the visitors from last year.

It’s been shouted far and wide that Google loves relevance, freshness, and diversity of content. Re-runs with no new content paint a bulls-eye on your butt for freshness and diversity, and in the world of the content shock, someone will always be creating more relevant content today than content you made a year or two ago.

The bottom line? Re-runs didn’t work for me in this particular test case. My site took a beating on organic search traffic by my taking my foot off the gas for a week. Does this mean re-runs won’t work for you? Of course not – as always, you need to test for yourself. However, go into that test with a modified hypothesis, now that you’ve seen at least one test case where the result fell far short of the hypothesis.


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My blog is a selfie

I listened with interest to the most recent episode of Mark Schaefer and Tom Webster’s Marketing Companion Podcast (an excellent addition to your lineup if you listen to marketing podcasts) in a discussion about authorship and who we write for. A commercial, corporate blog doubtlessly has done its homework and designed personas for who the corporation writes for. I know we do this on the work blog I co-write for SHIFT Communications. This isn’t a corporate blog, though.

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But who is this blog written for? The short answer: me. I write down things here that I want to remember, write down little words and phrases that I want to save for the purposes of recalling later. I write ideas down that I eventually want to incorporate into talks and presentations. Yes, I could do this in Evernote (and that’s where many blog posts start) but you can’t Google your Evernote notebook. I can Google my site for the vague hint of an idea I wrote down a few years ago and find it more easily.

I blog here daily not for search traffic, not for a keyword list I need to hit, but because it keeps me sharp. My writing skills don’t rust. Blogging is like a mental workout every day. Can I come up with something new? Can I synthesize data into something coherent? Can I figure out what an announcement from a respected company or person means for me as a marketer? If you want to blog successfully for a long period of time, you have to write for yourself first and foremost.

I see selfies on Facebook of friends post-workout every day. This blog is my mental workout selfie, but the difference is that hopefully, you get a little stronger, too.


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