Industry Buzz

4 Tips for Getting More LinkedIn Leads

Crystal Washington's Blog -

I just received an email from one of my clients that his profile ranked in the top 1% of profiles for views on LinkedIn in 2012. I’m pretty stoked because this is precisely why he hired me last year to optimize his profile and teach him how to be more strategic on LinkedIn. Believe it or not, optimizing your profile for LinkedIn really is not rocket science. There are a few things that everyone can do to gain more leads. Optimize your profile for keywords. If a set of words are not in your profile, you will not come up in search when someone types them in. Think of all of the words, products, concepts a potential client may use that relate to you and PUT THEM IN YOUR PROFILE. Make sure your clients are on LinkedIn. Honestly, someone who has a clown shoe business could have a kick butt optimized profile and be extremely active, but still not get many views. Realistically, one’s ranking also has a great deal to do with the demand for their products/services. We should be most concerned with obtaining leads vs. strictly views. Someone with few views (due to low demand) could close extremely lucrative contracts. Be active. Post in groups and be of service. When you offer awesome solutions and insight into client issues in groups, group members will click on your name to check out your profile and learn more about you. Stalk people (a little). If you see that someone viewed your profile on the home screen, contact them to see if you may be of assistance. The post 4 Tips for Getting More LinkedIn Leads appeared first on Crystal Washington.

A Gift from the Heart

IX Web Hosting Services Blog -

You know, we’ve always said we LOVE our customers, but with February 14th fast approaching, we get to prove it! That’s right, Valentine’s Day is coming, and since digital candy doesn’t exist yet, we thought of another way we could spread the love and convince you to be ours. So, light the candles and open the red wine, because IX Web Hosting is going to woo you with some seductive savings this Valentine’s Day. Starting February 7th, on our popular Expert Plan, we’re taking 55% off our original price of $6.95. The lovely new price is a stunningly low $2.96! Not only that, but we’re offering almost 50% off all other shared hosting plans! That’s better than a mediocre dinner at the bistro and a handful of chalky heart candies, right? Just remember, this dreamy deal ends the day after V-Day (February 15th), so stop dodging Cupid’s arrows and check it out now. We guarantee it’ll be love at first sight. Keep us in your heart! Love,  IXOXO Web Hosting     

Turn Negative Yelp and Google+ Reviews Into Cash

Crystal Washington's Blog -

The fact that the Internet, specifically sites like Yelp and Google, allow anyone on the Internet to comment on a business is amazingly awesome scary. One question that I often receive from audience members who own restaurants or car dealerships is, “How do I control what people say about my business?” In short, you cannot. However, that’s not necessarily a negative. Random awesome posts can be a welcome pick-me-up. Plus, one bad review could be a reason to connect with your best customers and encourage them to write about their personal experiences. No matter what though, don’t do this- My mouth completely hit the floor when I saw this post yesterday. Imagine the horrible PR that could ensue if the name of the company making this request was leaked to the media. Additionally, Yelp now places and advisory, with proof, on the pages of those businesses caught with their hand in the cookie jar.   Three Actions to Take When You Receive Poor Reviews on Yelp or Google+ Calmly respond to the user without getting defensive. It is okay to state facts, but keep a calm and empathetic tone. Offer a solution with your contact information.  Not only will you look professional, but it will make the reviewer look irrational to anyone else reading reviews should he/she continue to complain vs. contact you to resolve the matter. Encourage, but don’t incentivize, happy customers to also post reviews. A bad review will definitely cause your overall numerical rating to take a hit, so it is important to get that score back up.   In 2010 one of my friends received a negative Yelp review from an extremely irrational client. I advised her to contact her best clients to ask them to post their experiences. The result, not only did her star clients post reviews, they also started sharing her information via social networks. Within 48 hours she had six prospects contact her from positive word of mouth! A negative review can be a huge boost to a company. If handled well, it can be a great way to energize past clients (brand ambassadors), generate referrals from positive word of mouth and build your online reputation as a mature brand that can manage conflict. The post Turn Negative Yelp and Google+ Reviews Into Cash appeared first on Crystal Washington.

How to get your website noticed online

SEO Gears Blog -

When I went to FatCow for hosting, I wanted my website, The Lazy Gardener, to be in the top 3 rankings for Landscape Design in Westchester, NY. One successful strategy was buying an SEOGears search engine optimization package through FatCow. My account manager, Mr. Pedro Jane, took me through the various packages and helped me decide which words to optimize for. The results couldn't be better. I am often in first position for the big 3 search engines. Pedro answered my questions by email promptly and was always professional. I would not hesitate to recommend him and FatCow.   Catherine Wachs The Lazy Gardener High-Style, Low-Maintenance Landscape Design & Organic Garden Care Catherine Wachs 646-246-5022 31 Edgewood Avenue Larchmont, NY 10538 http://www.lzgardener.com http://twitter.com/lazygardenerny

Using Facebook for Business? You’ve Probably Missed Important Messages in Secret Message Folders!

Crystal Washington's Blog -

You probably check your Facebook Inbox for messages on a semi-regular basis but did you know that you are likely missing important messages? That’s because you have two other message folders—no joke—and most Facebook users don’t even know that they’re there. The worse part is that messages for legitimate contacts can end up in these folders! I posted a message about the additional folders—Other and Spam—this morning. Below are comments from some of my Facebook friends. And, it just might save you from having to get a new gym membership card. Where are these elusive messages, you ask? See below.   The post Using Facebook for Business? You’ve Probably Missed Important Messages in Secret Message Folders! appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Improving Your Ranking Generates Business

SEO Gears Blog -

Read about how our service was able to increase rankings and generate business from one of our satisfied clients. "I started a small Microsoft Excel consulting business 13 months ago and after much research decided to create and host my website on iPage. The main reason I went with iPage is that they offered great tools for building my website and appeared to have the strongest SEO support team with SEOGears. A year later I couldn't be happier! "I was able to build a simple yet effective website in only a few days, and while I was building the website Merrill Lawson was assigned to me as my SEO account manager. Merrill walked me through the entire SEO process, starting with target keyword selection, and explained each step along the way. "Shortly after my website went online my SEO campaign started, a couple of weeks later I received my first lead, and within two months I was near the top of the search engines. And whenever I have a question Merrill is just a phone call away. In just one year I have secured almost 20 clients through my website and have all the business that I can handle." Michael Souder MS Excel Solutions www.msexcelsolutions.com  

5 Social Network and Mobile App Resources for New Year’s Resolution Success

Crystal Washington's Blog -

What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2013? Are you going to lose weight, eat healthier, manage your finances better or work on professional networking? Chances are, whatever your New Year’s resolutions are, there are apps and social networks that can support you in your goals. Below are some of my favorites. Meditation and Focus Mindwave Mobile by NeuroSky with Meditation Journal- Is one of your goals to meditate more or increase your level of focus on projects and activities?  Meditation Journal keeps track of your meditation, attention, and brainwave recordings in a journal and presents them to you in a series of data charts and accomplishments. It comes standard with the Mindwave Mobile reading device which works with iOS and Android platforms and is also compatible with PC and Mac. Take Control of Your Finances Mint.com- Mint allows you to connect all of your financial accounts in one place and then automatically organizes your spending into categories. If you’re a visual learner, you’ll appreciate the easy-to-understand charts.  Once you enter your financial goals, Mint will then provide you with advice and automated reminders. Healthy Meal Plans and Cutting Fast Food OurGroceries- One of the most difficult parts of sticking to a healthy or cost saving meal plan is keeping the needed grocery items in stock at home, especially when family members have different plans. This free app easily allows you sync your grocery list with all of your devices (iOS, Android and Blackberry) and with multiple users. Weight Loss, Exercise and Meal Plans MyFitnessPal- I’ve been a fan of this app for a couple years now and have used it to track my daily exercise, weight levels and the amount of calories consumed per meal. Plus, this resource offers a community to support you with your fitness goals.   Time Management It’s impossible to recommend a single resource simply because time management needs vary from person to person. One person may want to manage the amount of time they spend on social networks while another may want to better manage the flow of information on industry-related articles. Here is a great list of 50 time management apps. Bonus- Grow Your Professional Network LinkedIn- LinkedIn is the only social network that all professionals should use, without exception. You may already have an account, but chances are you’re not fully taking advantage of the network. First, if your profile is not filled out 100%, you’re leaving off valuable information that could attract potential clients, hiring managers or joint venture partners. Next, start to use LinkedIn as a research tool. Did you get a Facebook friend request from someone you don’t know and you’re not sure if you should add him/her? Look them up on LinkedIn to learn more about them! Do you want to work for a specific oil and gas company? Begin “following” their company page on LinkedIn to see new open positions, as they are posted! Would you like to connect with the decision maker at an online retailer? Use the advanced search function to find the name of the person you’re looking for!   There are thousands of helpful apps and social networks that are great for supporting New Year’s resolutions. What apps should be added to the list? The post 5 Social Network and Mobile App Resources for New Year’s Resolution Success appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Platform Reporting Enhancements

SEO Gears Blog -

An early Happy New Year from all of us here at SEO Gears! Exciting news….starting in January we’re going to be expanding your SEOGears keyword ranking dashboard to include the past 3 months of results so you can better monitor the success of your SEO campaign. Also, we will no longer be emailing the .PDF version of the ranking reports since all of your SEO campaign data is in the SEOGears portal (rankings, status of your campaign, a list of the tasks we’re working on for you, and your Marketing Manager contact information). Visit your dashboard by clicking the link below to find out more information. Click here to log into your SEOgears account to view graphs just like the one below along with a lot of other valuable information about your marketing campaign.  The New Year is an exciting time for us as we enhance our marketing platform and work to provide you with more information and services than ever before via SEO Gears. We look forward to our continued relationship as we work towards helping you, Grow Your Business Online! Sincerely, SEO Gears Staff  

Webinar: DIY SEO Tools

SEO Gears Blog -

We just wrapped up the first webinar for our DIY customers! If you missed it and want to check it out here is the link to the recording: https://seowebinars.webex.com/seowebinars/lsr.php?AT=pb&SP=EC&rID=6160002&rKey=5be13a3d6305f46a   You can Download or Watch the webinar from the link above!

Google Adwords - Get Instant, Qualified Traffic to Your Site

SEO Gears Blog -

With Google Adwords, you pay Google to be listed along the right hand side of their search results and sometimes along the top of the results in the faint yellow “Ads” section of the Google results. In order to be listed in these results, you bid against your competitors and pay Google a varying amount each time someone clicks on one of your advertisements (as opposed to Organic SEO, where you do not pay for any of the clicks on your site). This amount is based on how much your competitors are currently paying to be listed and can vary from $0.10 - $150 per click based on your industry, though most businesses are able to purchase clicks for only $3-$6 per click. You can view a quick synopsis of Google Adwords below     In order to help you get started with Adwords, most of the hosting companies we've partnered with provide you with a free $100 credit to use on Google Adwords directly inside of your control panel. This credit is good only for new Google Adwords accounts, so if you've used Adwords in the past, you’ll want to make sure you create a new account to use the credit. Once you have created your Adwords account you’ll want to select the right keyword phrases for your campaign with the help of the tools Google provides you. We recommend running multiple Ad Groups within your campaign for different aspects of your business. Each Ad group will allow you to run various advertisements. We recommend between 2-3 different versions of each ad for the best results. This will allow you to monitor which advertisements are doing the best, and cycle your ad copy to ensure that you are getting the very best click through rate at the lowest cost possible. On average expect to spend between 1-2 hours per week managing your Adwords campaign doing things such as rotating advertisements, checking quality scores, adding negative keywords, and tracking conversion rates from each keyword phrase. With the help and training provided by Google’s team, Adwords takes minutes to learn and years to master. Many of our most successful clients run Adwords simultaneously with their Organic SEO campaign. This allows them to get immediate traffic through Adwords while we work on their Organic ranking to get Free traffic. Once they have earned strong Organic rankings, they then scale back the Adwords campaign accordingly. While we do not offer training on Google Adwords, we can run your Adwords campaign for you for a small maintenance fee and offer discounts if you already have an Organic SEO campaign running. This helps ensure that you are playing the lowest amount possible per click in order to get the most out of your marketing dollar. Feel free to give me a call if you have questions about our managed Adwords campaigns or would like me to get one setup for you.

Advantages of Blogging for Small Businesses

SEO Gears Blog -

Many people have heard the term “blog” thrown around but are not exactly sure what a blog is. A blog is simply a website where the owner writes articles, opinions, information, etc on a regular basis. In fact, if you’ve taken advantage of our free starter website, you’re already on a blogging platform called Wordpress! There are a variety of blogging programs available, as well as third party sites to host a blog on. We recommend installing Wordpress on your account for a few reasons. Most hosting companies we work with have an easy to use 1 Click Wordpress installation that takes care of all the setup and technicalities. Google knows how to easily read Wordpress and the easier you make a task for Google, the better you should rank. It’s fairly easy to learn the basics of Wordpress, and if you are struggling many of the hosting companies we partner with offer walkthroughs of the program. Wordpress has a growing community of users, making it easy to find a local designer if you need extra help on your blog. It's Free! Adding content to your blog is considered “blogging” and each piece that you write on the blog is considered a “post”. The most recent post will always be at the top of your blog and each time you add a new post the old posts will be pushed down the page. This is a big reason that blogs have become so popular; it’s very easy for a visitor to view the most up to date information about your business by glancing at the first few posts. Blogs have a slightly different feel to them, and allow for a much more casual form of writing. Where as with your professional site you want to keep your messaging as professional as possible, you can be more relaxed with blog posts. Think of your website as making a presentation to a group of business professionals, and a blog as sitting down for coffee with a perspective new client.  Since the purpose of a blog is to always show the most recent information about your business, it’s important that you make sure to post on the blog at least once every week or two. This will not only keep your customer’s coming back to the site frequently to read your latest posts, but it will also encourage Google to visit the site more often. The more often Google visits your site the quicker it will see changes and affect your ranking. Trying to write a post every week or two may seem like a daunting task at first, but there are a variety of things that you can add to a blog. Create posts that talk about new features of your business (Are you a bakery that just got a new oven, a plumber that just added a new vehicle to the fleet, etc…) Write about changes that are occurring in your industry and your opinions on these changes Offer helpful tips and how to’s Feature one of your products and go over it’s features Cover customer success stories Lastly, and perhaps most importantly having a blog on your site allows you to easily create lots of content on your site. Google likes to see updates to a site and they really like content / information. Adding more posts to your blog in conjunction with your SEO campaign will help you start to pull up under new keyword phrases which will drive even more traffic to your site, helping you get even more for your marketing dollar with minimal effort on your part. If you've started a blog for your business, or have any tips for other small business owners let us know in the comments below.

Email Marketing 101

SEO Gears Blog -

Regardless of if you are a local or web based business, it’s incredibly important to keep in touch with current and past customers. Some people do this through Social Media such as Twitter and Facebook, but this can be time consuming for a busy business owner. I cover how to connect with your customer’s through Social Media channels in more detail in my "Plus 1’s and Tweets and Likes Oh My!" post. Email marketing has gotten a negative connotation in some circles due to some companies purchasing lists of email addresses and then sending lots of junk email or spam to them. Other companies will send emails every few days with little to no value which can be frustrating for their customers. The best practice for email marketing is to collect email addresses only from your own customers, as they are most likely to read the emails you send them due to recognizing your name. You can collect these email address by asking customers to sign up for your mailing list on your site, in your place of business, or when they make a purchase from your site. Be sure to let your customers know that you respect their privacy and will not sell / distribute their address, or spam them into oblivion. If you plan on offering deals and discounts via email, make sure you tell your customers this in order to entice them to give you their email address. A great way to keep in touch with your customers is through monthly newsletters. Depending on your business model, what you’ll include your newsletters will vary. I've listed a few ideas below to get you started: Provide helpful information and tips to your customers Inform your customer’s about new products or services that you've recently started offering Keep customer’s up to date with changes in the industry Cover success stories from your customers Interview a customer or industry expert to provide unique insight into a certain aspect of your business Have one of your employees write a “guest” newsletter where they cover a topic they are an expert in Another great use of email marketing is to advertise special promotions within your company. Be sure to send these emails a bit more sparingly as they can be viewed as spam from customers if sent to often and they’ll ask to unsubscribe. To accurately monitor the effect that your promotional emails are having, offer your recipients an email only deal where they have to mention the email, or a code from the email to receive a discount. You can also create a special page just for your email offer and direct recipients of the email to that page to take advantage of your offer. Many email marketing companies have tracking integrated into their systems that let you see how many people read your email or clicked on a link in your email, which can provide loads of valuable data. There are numerous companies out there that allow you to send mass emails to a mailing list and track your results, and the majority of them offer similar features. Most of the hosting companies that we work with have partnered with a company called Email Brain and they provide a free 30 day trail directly through your hosting companies control panel. This is a great way to try out the service and make sure it’s right for your business. In order to take advantage of this offer, log into your Control Panel and look for the “Email Brain” icon in the “Marketing Services” section of the Control Panel. Let us know if you've ran a highly successful email marketing campaign, or have found another service such as Email Brain that has worked well for you.

Hosting services managed by a new version of the Control Panel

WhopHost News -

We are proud to announce the launch of a new version of our Control Panel. With our new version we aim to simplify the user interface, functionality and a better client experience. All new clients starting August 31st, 2012 are directly introduced to the new version of the Control Panel, while the already existing ones are having the option to login in the new or the standard old panel.

How CloudFlare increases speed and security of your site

Hosting Nation Blog -

This is a guest post written and contributed by CloudFlare. CloudFlare makes it easy for any site to be as fast and secure as the Internet giants. CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, is excited to announce our partnership with Host Nation!  If you haven’t heard about CloudFlare before, our value proposition is simple: we’ll make any website twice as fast and protect it from a broad range of web threats. Today, hundreds of thousands of websites—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments—use CloudFlare to make their sites faster and more secure. We power more than 40 billion monthly page views—more than Amazon.com, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple and Bing combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through our network. Faster web performance CloudFlare is designed to take a great hosting platform like Hosting Nation and make it even better. We run 17 data centers  strategically located around the world. When you sign up for CloudFlare, we begin routing your traffic to the nearest data center.   As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic.  The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated.  By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly. CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money, and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, CloudFlare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers.  The overall effect is that CloudFlare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors. Broad web security Over the course of 2011, CloudFlare identified a 700% increase in the number of distributed denial of service attacks  (DDoS) we track on the Internet (see the chart below). As attacks like these increase, CloudFlare is stepping up to protect sites.   CloudFlare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections  against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the CloudFlare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped. In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the CloudFlare network. Signing up Any website can deploy CloudFlare, regardless of your underlying platform.  By integrating closely with Hosting Nation, we make the process of setting up CloudFlare “1 click easy” through your existing Hosting Nation cPanel dashboard.  Just look for the CloudFlare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud. That’s it! We’ve kept the price as low as possible and plans offered through Hosting Nation are free.  Moreover, we never charge you for bandwidth or storage, therefore saving you tons via reduced bandwidth costs. For site owners who would like to take advantage of CloudFlare’s advanced offerings, we also offer a ‘Pro’ tier of service for $20/month. The ‘Pro’ tier includes all of the ‘Free’ tier’s offerings, as well as extra features like SSL, full web application firewall and faster analytics. We’re proud that every day more than a thousand new sites, including some of the largest on the web, join the CloudFlare community. If you’re looking for a faster, safer website, you’ve got a good start with Hosting Nation, but the next step is to join the CloudFlare community.

How CloudFlare increases speed and security of your site

Hosting Nation Blog -

This is a guest post written and contributed by CloudFlare. CloudFlare makes it easy for any site to be as fast and secure as the Internet giants. CloudFlare, a web performance and security company, is excited to announce our partnership with Host Nation!  If you haven’t heard about CloudFlare before, our value proposition is simple: we’ll make any website twice as fast and protect it from a broad range of web threats. Today, hundreds of thousands of websites—ranging from individual blogs to e-commerce sites to the websites of Fortune 500 companies to national governments—use CloudFlare to make their sites faster and more secure. We power more than 40 billion monthly page views—more than Amazon.com, Wikipedia, Twitter, Zynga, AOL, Apple and Bing combined—and over 25% of the Internet’s population regularly passes through our network. Faster web performance CloudFlare is designed to take a great hosting platform like Hosting Nation and make it even better. We run 17 data centers  strategically located around the world. When you sign up for CloudFlare, we begin routing your traffic to the nearest data center.   As your traffic passes through the data centers, we intelligently determine what parts of your website are static versus dynamic.  The static portions are cached on our servers for a short period of time, typically less than 2 hours before we check to see if they’ve been updated.  By automatically moving the static parts of your site closer to your visitors, the overall performance of your site improves significantly. CloudFlare’s intelligent caching system also means you save bandwidth, which means saving money, and decreases the load on your servers, which means your web application will run faster and more efficiently than ever. On average, CloudFlare customers see a 60% decrease in bandwidth usage, and a 65% in total requests to their servers.  The overall effect is that CloudFlare will typically cut the load time for pages on your site by 50% which means higher engagement and happier visitors. Broad web security Over the course of 2011, CloudFlare identified a 700% increase in the number of distributed denial of service attacks  (DDoS) we track on the Internet (see the chart below). As attacks like these increase, CloudFlare is stepping up to protect sites.   CloudFlare’s security protections offer a broad range of protections  against attacks such as DDoS, hacking or spam submitted to a blog or comment form. What is powerful about our approach is that the system gets smarter the more sites that are part of the CloudFlare community. We analyze the traffic patterns of hundreds of millions of visitors in real time and adapt the security systems to ensure good traffic gets through and bad traffic is stopped. In time, our goal is nothing short of making attacks against websites a relic of history. And, given our scale and the billions of different attacks we see and adapt to every year, we’re well on our way to achieving that for sites on the CloudFlare network. Signing up Any website can deploy CloudFlare, regardless of your underlying platform.  By integrating closely with Hosting Nation, we make the process of setting up CloudFlare “1 click easy” through your existing Hosting Nation cPanel dashboard.  Just look for the CloudFlare icon, choose the domain you want to enable, and click the orange cloud. That’s it! We’ve kept the price as low as possible and plans offered through Hosting Nation are free.  Moreover, we never charge you for bandwidth or storage, therefore saving you tons via reduced bandwidth costs. For site owners who would like to take advantage of CloudFlare’s advanced offerings, we also offer a ‘Pro’ tier of service for $20/month. The ‘Pro’ tier includes all of the ‘Free’ tier’s offerings, as well as extra features like SSL, full web application firewall and faster analytics. We’re proud that every day more than a thousand new sites, including some of the largest on the web, join the CloudFlare community. If you’re looking for a faster, safer website, you’ve got a good start with Hosting Nation, but the next step is to join the CloudFlare community.

‘Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25′ Is NOT the Way to Go!

Crystal Washington's Blog -

A few days ago, a young woman by the name of Cathryn Sloan created a bit of controversy with her post on NextGen Journal entitled, “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25.” In her post, Cathryn points out the she and her peers were in high school when Facebook and Twitter became hugely popular, which allowed them to grasp an understanding of how these networks operated. The truth is that I am not much older than Cathryn at 30.  In fact, we’re both Gen Ys.  However, we greatly disagree on who is best suited to manage social media. We were around long enough to see how life worked without it but had it thrown upon us at an age where the ways to make the best/correct use of it came most naturally to us. No one else will ever be able to have as clear an understanding of these services, no matter how much they may think they do. Oh really Cathryn?  While many young Gen Y’s are super-users of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, the fact is that it is not normally 40-somethings that post pictures of themselves dancing on tables with margaritas in their hands as profile pictures when they claim they are on social media for business purposes. Knowing how to use a tool and understanding how to “strategically” leverage that tool are two different things.  Managing social media is not strictly about knowing what buttons to push or even how to engage other users.  It also includes understanding how to respond to trolls, upset employees/customers and crisis control.  Those are skills developed through experience; something most 25 year olds lack.  At 25, most of us were smart, but not nearly as smart as we thought that we were. You might ask yourself, “What do I have to lose by hiring a young 20-something?”  Great question.  Just ask Red Cross’ Gloria Huang who in 2011 accidentally tweeted, “Ryan found two more 4 bottle packs of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch beer…. when we drink we do it right #gettingslizzerd.”  Luckily, Red Cross quickly discovered the error and issued a humorous apology. For another perspective, check out Augie Ray of SocialMediaToday’s post, “A Response to: ‘Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25′” The rules of engagement online are exactly the same as offline.  Users build relationships on social networks the same way that they would in the real world–over time and with follow-up; by caring about contacts; by sharing information and adding value. At the end of the day, being a young twenty-something should not exclude anyone from the opportunity to manage social media.  However, it is only fair to point out that a 25 year old will have limited real world experience, much less than a Gen X (whose generation INVENTED social media) or even a Baby Boomer. The post ‘Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25′ Is NOT the Way to Go! appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Shared Resource Management through CloudLinux

Hosting Nation Blog -

Last year we mentioned that we were looking at installing CloudLinux across our fleet of shared hosting servers.  We have finally completed that task. So what is CloudLinux, why is Hosting Nation excited about it and what does it mean to our customers? In a typical shared webhosting server environment, when a user is abusing the server it affects the rest of the users on that server. There are a few limitations that can be put on a hosting account such as disk quotas and PHP memory limits, but they don’t help when there’s a runaway script or huge database queries. CloudLinux will! CloudLinux is a commercially supported, RedHat based operating system that is designed for shared hosting environments. CloudLinux creates a lightweight virtual environment (LVE) for each individual account on a shared server and allows us to limit the amount of resources any single account can use. No more can someone take over the whole CPU on a server causing problems for other users and more support calls for us. When a website uses more of its CPU allotment, it slows down without affecting the other users.  When a hosting account’s limit on entry processes (web requests) website visitors will experience an error message “503 Service Unavailable”, indicating that the account has exceeded its resource allocation. When the website falls back beneath its limit, the site will resume function. Memory limits are also in place, that unlike PHP limits, cover all processes run by that user.  In the future will introduce IO limits, MySQL limits and limit defined by hosting package as these technologies become stable. As an end user, you also benefit from the lower server load and fewer interruptions of service. You also get a nifty little display in your cPanel  which shows useful stats for your account. Customers can determine their website resource status through monitoring of their cPanel logs. Under the “Logs” heading inside cPanel, you will find a “Resource Usage” icon. Clicking on this icon and reviewing the percentages of each resource used will give clear indication whether the website is abusing resources. But wait! CloudLinux does more! Using features called Cagefs and Securelinks, server security is beefed up with measures to prevent hacked accounts from accessing you account. A user can now only see the files in their hosting account guarding against some of the tricks hackers use to gain information about other users. So do you need to be worried about hitting resource limits? Probably not. Any legitimate site will run just fine. The small set of users that this might affect are the users that were causing the resource usage problems before. Any customer experiencing a “503 Service Unavailable” error or concerned about the numbers in their cPanel  should contact Hosting Nation support to analyze the usage and  review if the website has been hacked or requires an upgrade path.  

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