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Social Media Mergers
Vertical Response just made available to its customers the new social media tools that it acquired with its purchase of Roost, a company founded in 2007 to supply real estate professionals with Facebook tools, specific to their marketing. The Vertical Response ad formula is Email + Social = Success.
Interestingly, Salesforce also just announced that it acquired Rypple, a web-based social performance management platform that has a Facebook-like interace and a social environment to improve employee performance and recognition.
Rypple on Crunchbase
Vertical Response Landing Page on Roost: Email + Social = Success
Responsive Web Design
These days, WordPress, an open source, database-driven content-management engine built with PHP and MySQL, is capable of managing entire corporate websites. Many Search experts (SEs) particularly love WordPress because it allows them to selectively mix and customize search optimization plugins specific to their client solutions.
The SE can then set content authors loose on the site, knowing the search tools are automatically churning behind-the-scenes, supporting their search strategies.
The newest version of WordPress, dubbed “Sonny” in honor of jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt, was just released this week. In addition to slick navigational tools, it now has drag-and-drop image insertion and improved widget handling. Plus, it also now contains the entire jQuery library, opening the way, I’m hoping, for some super-fabulous “Responsive Media” attributes built directly into future versions of WordPress. Hint, hint, hint.
Responsive Media, what’s that all about, you may well ask. That’s where the website is constructed so that it scales automatically to any-size screen you happen to be using, from mobile to tablet, to wall-sized movie screen. Not only does the website scale itself, it does so beautifully and that means your site’s content is readable, breathtakingly gorgeous and, yes, oooohh-lahhh-lahhh awesome, EVERYWHERE!
Under current technology, this means web designers and developers build sites manually using @media queries in their CSS3 — definitely a fun-thing for some, but comes with a learning curve. Another alternative is using Responsive Themes and Responsive Plugins developed specifically for WordPress. More and more of these tools are being offered across the web, providing an attractive solution with many options for design customization and unique branding within WordPress.
Ethan Marcotte, Technical editor at A List apart is said to have coined the term, Responsive Web Design in his May 2010 article.
Tablets of the Future
Forrester Research projects tablets of the future will evolve from five “form factors:” wearables, embedded devices, surfaces, flexible displays, and mini-projectors.
Electronic surfaces as thin as paper are already being produced by E Ink Holdings, a spin-off from MIT Media Labs. They’ve developed a thin-as-paper surface that functions like a monitor, is nearly as light as paper and is touch sensitive. Plus, you can roll it up like a scroll, for easier carrying.
Send your company newsletter to the “Electronic Surface Making Shop” rather than the printing press and save 95 million trees plus 98 million tons of greenhouse gas each year, says the E Ink website.
These new surfaces are now being manufactured into eBooks, eNewspapers, eTextbooks, watches, smartcards, electronic shelf labels, battery/memory indicators and signage. The next wave of tablet is upon us and it brings a revolution. Check E Ink out on their website, follow them on Facebook.
Laptop or Tablet for xMas?
I love my clunky, withered, monitor-scratched Powerbook G4, it suits me like pumpkin pie and whipping cream. But let’s be realistic. Four years+ TTL is a rich, fertile stretch for one of these ole macBeasts, and software updates just don’t bother with that kind of antiquity.
Which brings me to the replacement question: laptop or tablet? Mini-van or Prius, that’s the sort of question this is. On the one hand, a tablet is hot, trendy, and primed to burst forth with even more glorious options in the next 6 months to a year. The laptop, on the other hand, has settled into its middle-age spread, relaxed fit, easy-to-please.
My Dad always says if you have trouble deciding something, probably you don’t want to. Put-it-off is what I’ll do, at least when it comes to the tablet. Spunky hotshots may already have a slick and spiffy tablet, but just wait ’til you see what I get in June or so, you’ll be sooooo green!
G-Apps Primary Domain Name Change
Changing a primary domain name on G-Apps can be a nightmare. Here are some tips we discovered when we recently helped one of our arts organization clients do just that. As simple as you would think this should be, it was not. For anyone who has tried it, you know you can’t just click away and, voila, Google-Apps lets you login to your new domain name to get mail.
Although deleting or modifying your primary domain name is not a simple G-Apps option, Google-Apps does provide you with the capability of adding names and aliases that will point to and from your primary name. The draw back is that now your users log into one domain to send and retrieve their email, but use another domain name in their to/from communications. That is often confusing for them and, the alias system sometimes malfunctions.
The only permanent solution involves a series of steps, creating a new G-Apps account using the new primary domain name, reapplying for all of your Business and Education level upgrades, the re-provisioning all accounts. Finally, each copy of email is migrated to the new user account. There are several ways to accomplish this file migration.
One method involves a series of POP/IMAP setting changes to transfer all data from the old G-Apps account to a local computer email client, and then back up to the new G-Apps account. This method deletes any label structure the user had implemented, pours the whole archive of messages into the new inbox, and changes the date on the migrating messages from the original date to the upload time and date. It is a time-consuming process, tying up the local computer for hours and days at a time, and this method is prone to file errors and transfer stalls.
Of all the methods we tested, the quickest and easiest solution was to use a migration service. In this case, we employed MigrationBox.com. They were excellent in every way, responding to our needs immediately and completing the migration overnight. Our client was able to perform all work as usual while the transfer occurred in background on MigrationBox’s equipment. We recommend you talk to them if you are considering a domain name change involving G-Apps.
Rapid Webhosting Consolidation
Endurance International Group has been aggressively acquiring independent hosting companies since it changed its business model in 2001, post-2000 tech-bomb. Recently it scooped up the spunky Los Angeles based Dreamhost, formerly an employee-owned company, increasing EIG’s portfolio to over a hundred thousand customers.
Spry and VPSLink were acquired by EIG in May 2010, after which EIG merged the former Spry/VPSLink Seattle and New York data centers into EIG’s Boston facility. The transition was rocky for many Spry customers, particularly because the VPS (Virtual Private Server) product that Spry offered was attractive to many small and medium sized web-dev businesses who focus on managing many sites and clients under VPS hosting products.
In 2008, EIG was acquired by private equity group, Accel-KKR whose sole focus, according to Crunchbase, is investing in technology businesses with revenues in the $15 to $150 million arena. EIG’s preference is to work with the existing management teams of the businesses they acquire, though they did not keep on the Dreamhost team. Compare the photos from either corporate website to get the gist of the cultural differences between the Dreamhost and EIG.
Dreamhost, on the one hand, is made-up of casually-dressed, hairy males in their late 20s to mid-30s. Accell-KKR and EIG teams are also all-male, but in their mid-thirties to early forties, and definitely SUITed.
Sadly, no women on any of the tech teams, executive management, special advisors or board of directors, pre- or post-merger.
The EIG acquisitions list, according to Dreamhost, includes all of the following and more:
Dreamhost blog entry: http://bit.ly/giFlN3
WordPress Plugin Mania
WordPress plugin mania is catching and testing them can become an ever constant source of entertainment given the huge open source directory of them on WordPress.org; you can occupy yourself for an entire weekend or more. This one is by Joost de Valk, a CrunchBase widget. He’s created a tag abbreviation system to look up company data and post the most current stuff to your blog. Here’s what is does:
Page Speed vs Relevance in Search
Google Webmaster Central says Google is obsessed with website page loading speeds. Increase how fast your site displays and you get a big, sloppy, golden kiss from Google. But, page speed vs relevance in search, what’s more valuable from a searchers point of view?
Suggested ways for increasing site loading time include serving resources from a consistent URL and minimizing references to images housed on other servers. By deduction, this would include YouTube embeds. Especially YouTube embeds. Who hasn’t sat impatiently waiting for s.ytming.com to do whatever it’s supposed to be doing (YouTube thumbnail image domain), wondering where in grandma’s name the internet went. Lunch, coffee, anxiety attack?
Facebook Connect and Social Plugins are another source of huge time hogs, along with many flash movies and flash players. Ironically, Google recently announced it is coming out with the Facebook ‘Like’ equivalent, called the ‘+! button.’ Use it and you will be penalized based on its slowness?
Research with non-purchasing intent and you’re sure to retrieve disappointing SERPs. Who wouldn’t tolerate a little waiting for quality returns containing key bits of critical information? Dreadful is being shuffled off to an unrelevant fast-loader with little to contribute but a whole lot of something else to sell. Dam Google, just gimme what I need.
Social Media Bit Search in the Butt.
comments by Ann J Warman
Most of my work over the past several years since last posting here, has been going on over at http://BainbridgeArts.net and on Facebook at BainbridgeArts and BainbridgeArts.Announcements, as well as behind the scenes in search optimization research.
On the watch list as the next several quarters unfold, is just how social media will continue redefining search priorities, and how search engine optimization tools and open source content management, in particular, will evolve to address social media interconnectivity. The new seamless options offered by Facebook, along with the healthy batch of stable new plugins now available for WordPress blogs, makes adding blogging tools to the company’s main website the next best step for improving site traffic.
Link farms are out and quality content with relevant in-bound links are the new black.
eHeeeemmmm. Hello! I’ve been neglecting “THE BLOG” because of being in love.
That’s right, in love. Actually in love times two: Twitter and Facebook. Long hours with abandon, way into the night, posting furiously, conversing @-style, finding other SoMe nuts, just like ourselves.
The worst is, many of us nuts are starting to talk hiku, habitually. Twitter’s the hiku of all hikus. 140 words or less, you have to get to the point fast.
Which brings up a new term, “SoMe.” Some of the indoctrinated amongst us have been using this term but many of the aficionados have not. It’s a great text word, far fabber than SOCIAL MEDIA. Less thumb work. Metaphoric, yes?
In conclusion, I intend to come back here more frequently. Oh, but before we conclude, did I mention how I hate RSS feeds that pump blog text into Twitter? Yes, you can do it. Problem is, your Twitter and Facebook buddies want you, not some auto-blogger feed that cares not what friends are saying.
Automatic does look darn good on washing machines and automobiles. For SoMe, think William Morris, Arts and Crafts Movement, DEATH to the MACHINE.
Here’s where you’ll find us:
Have to admit, the new Wave concept is taking hold and it will seriously change the way we communicate on the internet. A desktop notification system, Wave bypasses browsers and brings messages directly to your desktop. When you think of it, email is riddled with problems. The chance of some intervening mechanism preventing message distribution is great, always leaving you wondering, did my email get there or didn’t it, and if not, why not.
What bliss life would be without email, phishing, and spam. Twitter is infinitely more fun than struggling for hours with a full inbox of email messages, subsequently sorting and filing it into folders. Tweets are realtime, short, to the point, giving you the option of linking (or not) to greater detail via simple link. Twitterfall is a blessing, so is Seesmic Desktop and the numerous other Twitter applications that have been emerging rapidly.
Wave capabilities are said to include drag and drop addition of attachments to messages and Wave can be embedded into your blog and social networks. Your editing shows up immediately across all live embedded Waves unlike Twitter. It’s possible to share and merge documents, useful in collaborative documents. Games can be constructed as Wave gadgets.
labs.adobe.com/WAVE>> Adobe WAVE
digital.venturebeat.com/WAVE>> Adobe WAVE
Just downloaded and installed Flock. This post is to brandUNITY blog using Flock blog editor while facebook is open. brandUNITY blog on http://brandUNITY.com/blogs
eMarketer reports that 25-26% of internet users have a blog they update at least once a month and the number will continue to rise. That’s close to 30 million blogs on the internet updated monthly. An estimated at 96.6 million Internet users read a blog at least once a month.
In other numbers, more women than men are internet users by about 7 million and online usage patterns vary significantly by gender. Men are more prone to using mobile devises, spend more time on busy sites, and make more use of search engines.
Take away — if the audience is women, make the internet experience less busy and cluttered than that targeted to males. For males, added more reading content, more diversions with advertising, and make provisions for mobile.
Review Models for Facebook Apps
Among the fastest growing companies durng this economy are social media app developers. The question is, will people playing Mob Wars on Facebook pay real money to get a virtual pistol or bag of cash, winning favors with the Godfather?
Facebook has grown to 200 and 250 million monthly users and earned $300 million during 2008. It has raised more the $400 million in funding and its largest investor is Microsoft at $240 million in 2007 for a 1.6% stake in the company.
Revenue streams come from advertisers. Developer revenues come from advertisers who pay them to create apps that will engage social media users with free games and utilities expressly to increase brand awareness.
One example cited by Money.CNN.com is Vancouver, WA based Papa Murphy’s. A Papa Murphy widget on Facebook gave free pizzas to anyone becoming a “fan” on the Papa Murphy Facebook page. Users clicked-thru using the widget to the Papa Murphy’s website to get their free pizza coupon.
Immediacy of Twitter
Twitter’s ability to distribute information in real-time is what fuels its potential to change the way we communicate. It is particularly effective at communicating immediate occurrences from a vast number of sources. Posted information could include situations that have local, regional, or worldwide impact.
Twitscoop is a third-party app, built by lollicode that collects twits in realtime, ranks them in frequency and by topic to reveal top discussion trends in the moment, and displays them in a word cloud. Software like this, collecting and organizing the realtime information that twitter yields, is a technology trend that is changing the internet and how we use it.