Industry Buzz

A new free resource from General Assembly

The Twitter Small Business Blog -

As a small business owner or employee, you often wear multiple hats at your company, and your time and resources can be scarce. Today, we want to tell you about a new series of short videos from education company General Assembly (@GA). These videos offer a quick and easy way to learn the fundamentals of Twitter Ads, so that you can invest more time in driving results for your business. In these videos, you’ll learn how to: create an effective Twitter content strategy integrate Twitter Ads into your overall marketing mix connect with your target audience on Twitter bid effectively in the Twitter Ads auction use campaign analytics to optimize your ad performance To watch the series, visit the General Assembly website, and then tell us about your most successful campaigns by tweeting to @TwitterSmallBiz.

Why We Craft OpenStack (Featuring Software Developer Diane Fleming)

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

OpenStack Summit Atlanta is in the books. It was a great event that brought together thousands of developers, operators and users of OpenStack. There was a ton of excitement around the project. With that in mind, we want to dig deeper into the past, present and future of OpenStack. In this video series, we hear straight from some of OpenStack’s community members from Rackspace about how the fast-growing open source project has evolved, what it needs to continue thriving, and what it means to them personally. In the video below, Diane Fleming, Rackspace Software Developer and one of top contributors to OpenStack documentation, talks about how documenting OpenStack APIs– from Nova to Swift –helps her contribute to the community in a major way. “I love documenting APIs and I guess the reason for that is because it’s something I can figure out,” Fleming said. “I can look at the code. I can run the code. I can see the results. I can see when things are broken. And, I don’t know, it just makes me happy when I get things to work.” Be sure to check out previous installments in the “Why We Craft OpenStack” video series featuring Rackers Kurt Griffiths, Jarret Raim, Ed Leafe, Chuck Their, Glen Campbell and Anne Gentle.

Typepad 101: Don't Forget Your Typepad Profile!

Everything Typepad -

You may or may not know it, but your Typepad account comes with a free Typepad profile.  You can check out the Typepad Team's profile here. So, what should you do with your own profile? To start with, giving your profile a unique URL that reflects your name or brand is a great way to personalize it.  Right now, when you view your profile, the URL might have a long string of numbers. Not ideal, right? To change this, start by going to the Edit Profile page inside your account. There, look for the "Profile URL" section and replace the existing URL with the one you want to use. Then just scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to save your changes. That's it! One of the most important features of your Profile is that it allows you to share your blog activity and links to your social media accounts such as Facebook and Twitter. Adding those sites to your Profile is extremely easy. To share your blogs, just go to the Edit Profile page and look under Your Blogs. There, select the blogs from your account that you'd like to show. Activity from the selected blogs will show on your followers' Dashboards and in your Recent Activity stream on your Profile. The URL you use for your Homepage URL will be the site that's linked with your name when you comment on TypePad blogs. This should be your main blog or the site you want to promote the most. To share your social media accounts, click on Add an account to go to the Other Accounts page. You'll use the "Add an account" menu to add links to Facebook, Twitter, etc. We have full details about the Other Accounts page in our Knowledge Base. You can also make other changes on the Edit Profile page to personalize it.  This includes your display name, your bio, your location, and more. You can also upload your own picture to be used as your profile image. After you select the image, make sure to scroll to the bottom to save your changes. Now that you've got your profile more to your liking, you can add it to your blog's sidebar.  Go to Design > Content, look for the "About You" category, select the "Follow Me" option, and click the "Add this module" button.  You can then choose to display the following and followers count if you like.  Save your changes and your readers can now easily view your profile. You can read more about your Typepad profile and how to edit it in our helpful Knowledge Base.

Cloud Multi-Factor Authentication on the Rise as Organizations Embrace BYOD

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is now used by the majority of employees at 37 percent of organizations, and that number will reach 56 percent by 2016, according to SafeNet's 2014 Global Annual Authentication Survey released this week. Thirty-percent of organizations used multi-factor authentication in 2013.

Google “Shopping” Replacing “Product Listing Ads”

PacificHost Blog -

At the end of last year, Google announced their new Shopping Campaigns, which is a new campaign structure for product listing ads that offers a better way to manage the unique challenges of scaling Google Product Listing Ads (PLA). Shopping campaigns, which has several retail-specific features, presents a new phase in the development of Google’s feed-driven shopping ads. The new structure will present cleaner, more intuitive methods of building out campaigns across catalogs of all sizes for many advertisers. For experienced advertisers with sophisticated campaign structures already in place, some features may be limiting. If the advertiser builds the campaign correctly, Google Shopping Campaigns will afford more discoverable views of performance by individual products, brands and categories. Custom Labels and Product Groups Currently, PLA campaigns use “product targets” to organize inventory, that specify which products in the feed should trigger PLA campaigns to appear for related searches. Shopping Campaigns will use product groups instead of product targets. This will allow advertisers to be more precise and have more control with their targeting. Using groups gives advertisers the ability to segment their products using any of the attributes in the product feed including ID, product type, brand, product category and condition, as well as up to five custom labels. Custom labels allow advertisers to create even more precise groupings of their products, such as breaking out top performing or on-sale products. Custom labels and additional product details will be available in AdWords to tag and organize specific product traits. Advertisers will then be able to use these groups to subdivide their products up to five times within Shopping campaigns, creating highly-specific product groupings. All products that aren’t placed in these groupings will be organized into an “everything else” grouping. Shopping campaigns will also allow the ability to prioritize specific products or segments within the campaigns without having to make bidding adjustments or the need to adjust negative keyword strategies. This will be very helpful during promotional periods. Expanded Reporting While PLA reporting capabilities were somewhat limited in regards of precision, Shopping campaigns will also allow performance visibility by individual item ID/SKU, as well as product attributes or custom labels. Even if the advertiser has an “all products” campaign catch-all, Shopping Campaigns will have reporting on product level metrics. Competitive Insights Shopping campaigns offer more robust competitive insights than PLA campaigns, with Impression Share and CTR/CPC performance benchmarking data at the product group level. Impression Share data will enable improved budget and bidding strategies by showing advertisers how often they are showing in auctions for terms related to their products. Google is also releasing a bid simulator feature, to offer bidding and impression volume predictions, for bid changes against competitors who are competing in the same auctions. API Integrations Google is in the process of working with agencies and search management platforms to add support for Shopping campaigns. While timing has not been confirmed, integrations are likely to occur in the beginning of summer. Since these tools aren’t yet available, advanced campaigns would need to be constructed manually, or through the AdWords API. With API information just released in March, it will take time for bidding platforms to develop their offerings to support integration with shopping campaigns. Promotions Shopping campaigns allow retailers to add a promotional message to all of the products within a particular ad group. Shopping campaigns are a noticeable improvement over traditional PLA campaigns because of easier, more intuitive management of product groupings and exciting new reporting capabilities. With the simplicity of managing Shopping campaigns, it is expected that more advertisers will take advantage of PLAs. A retail-centric experience for campaign management may be more attractive to small and medium business advertisers who may not have robust product feed and campaign management capabilities. As new potential advertisers enter the market, there is a possibility of CPC increases due to new competitor volume. Despite the threat of rising CPCs, advertisers will have new layers of data in their toolbox for granular SKU level optimizations and on-demand competitive knowledge for more informed bidding and budgeting decisions. Google is also anticipating building more tools and features into the Shopping Campaigns to further improve PLA management.

Introducing 1&1’s New Domain Showroom and Eight New TLDs!

1&1 Online Success Center -

With so many new top-level domains (TLDs) being offered, 1&1 has launched a new Domain Showroom to make it easier for users to browse and select the most optimal domain name. The new Domain Showroom provides news and information about upcoming and recently released TLDs, as well as important information about the domain registration process. By using the more comprehensive search function, you can now easily find every TLD available for registration, including the eight that just launched this week! These unique domain extensions provide businesses with brand new opportunities to secure a relevant domain name, helping improve their online brand and marketing. This week, businesses operating in the travel and tourism industries have a number of new domain possibilities to choose from, with five of the new TLDs being relevant for them: .CRUISES .FLIGHTS .IMMOBILIEN .NINJA .RENTALS .VACATIONS .VILLAS .WIKI .CRUISES, .FLIGHTS, .RENTALS, .VACATIONS, and .VILLAS are all great options for travel and tourism businesses to consider. Customers searching for specific travel arrangements will recognize the website URL as a place to find information pertaining to travel arrangements and other vacation needs. Additionally, .WIKI and .NINJA provide website owners the opportunity to register a unique domain name for their website. For the first year of registration, .NINJA can be registered for $14.99; .WIKI, .RENTALS, .IMMOBILIEN and .VACATIONS for $19.99; and .FLIGHTS, .VILLAS, and .CRUISES for $39.99.

Picture Yourself: Harnessing the Passion of LinkedIn Members

LinkedIn Official Blog -

Today we launched Picture Yourself, a campaign that celebrates the accomplishments of our LinkedIn members and illustrates how they have realized their professional aspirations.  As the head of brand marketing I had the honor of working with some of our members as we captured their stories for the campaign. Hearing their stories and uncovering their paths to success was truly inspirational. As I reflect on these conversations there were several common themes that emerged. These themes are common not just among these nine members we worked with, but of members who have found their dream and in turn, professional success. Turning a passion into a profession: It isn’t by accident these members are doing what they love because the love for what they do came first. Each of our members worked to develop themselves in a profession where the foundation was a passion for their work. Take Abi Smigel Mullens, who grew up watching Jack Cousteau movies and turned her love for the ocean and photography into a business, capturing underwater photos. Making a splash: For these members, success is measured by their impact. Regardless of their field or discipline each of these members is making a big impact on the world around them and that is an important measure of success. For example, Mia Gorman consults with nonprofits to help them have a bigger impact thereby causing a ripple effect of positive change. Being great at what they do: When you mix exceptional skill with passion there’s a great formula for success. Each of these members has worked to hone their craft, and exudes a spirit of excellence in how they speak about their work. It is this spirit of continuous improvement that keeps them learning and exploring. Jeff Tarango took his career as a competitive tennis player and reinvented himself as a broadcaster for ESPN and BBC. Gracious and humble: I am always floored by how gracious some of our most accomplished members are. They are humble when speaking about their accomplishments and are quick to give credit to those that have helped them along the way. Anyone who has achieved success knows that you don’t get there alone and these members are quick to mention the people in their network who helped them get there. We hope that you are as inspired as we are by these members. We would love to hear your story, if you have one to share please let us know!

Pin to win: Take a poke at Pinterest for your business

GoDaddy Blog -

Visual content is everything in our picture-obsessed culture, so it makes sense to market your products and services on Pinterest® – the fourth largest traffic-driving site on the Web. Pinterest is like a virtual inspiration board that helps pinners (Pinterest users) organize and share pictures of things they like – making it the perfect place for businesses to showcase their products. Social media has transformed the way we learn about products – it’s like word-of-mouth marketing on steroids. But Pinterest is different than most social platforms because it captivates pinners and inspires purchases. In fact,  70 percent of pinners use Pinterest for shopping inspiration. That’s a substantial number, especially when compared to only 17 percent of people using Facebook® (the most popular site on the Web) for the same thing. Quite honestly, Pinterest is pretty darn simple, so now that you have the skinny on what it is, let’s dive into what it can do for your business: Boost referrals and website traffic With more referral traffic than LinkedIn®, Google+® and YouTube® combined, Pinterest is the ultimate money machine for small businesses. You can drive a consistent, valuable stream of traffic to your website by pinning (uploading) pictures of your products and linking the images back to your site. That way, when pinners click on your image, they’re directed straight to the page where they can buy it. Genius! Build your following Your business is ramping up for superstardom, but it needs a group of devoted followers to get there. People love to be inspired by images (and products they want or need), and when they find something that speaks to them, they’re hooked. Pinterest is a free social catalog for your product, and by honing in and engaging with its millions of users, you can turn pinners into loyal fans and unlock your business’s explosive online potential! It’s time you start winning by pinning. Pinterest has a ton of helpful content for small businesses poised for success. Best part is – most markets haven’t even tapped in to Pinterest’s power – so it’s a great opportunity to build credibility, establish relationships with prospective customers, and become an industry leader. What are you waiting for? It’s free, so get started today! The post Pin to win: Take a poke at Pinterest for your business appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Customize WordPress Admin to prevent dashboard overload

GoDaddy Blog -

If you were to make a top-five list of the reasons you use WordPress® to build websites, I’ll bet it would look something like this: Easy to set up and customize. Oodles of themes and plugins. Clients can edit their Web pages. Clients can edit their Web pages. Clients can edit their Web pages. Clients don’t need to know HTML Am I right? Not long ago, the Web was made of flat-file HTML websites and homegrown CMS applications. If a dentist wanted to update the call-to-action on her home page herself, she would have to find a crash course in HTML, warm up to a plain text editor, and ask her cousin to explain FTP. O’Reilly books have some pretty cute critters on the cover but most dentists are interested in making beautiful smiles, not beautiful websites. WordPress can still be overwhelming Enter WordPress. Now we can build a beautiful website and hand over the content to our clients. Sort of. I know some of you cringe when I say that. Not that you don’t trust your clients; they know a lot more about teeth than you do. It’s just that WordPress can be a little overwhelming to the uninitiated. Our clients need something a tad more straightforward. When they log in to wp-admin, they don’t need to know what plugins are installed, if your installation is up-to-date, and what the latest WordPress news is. They need to know how to update the content on their website. Customize WordPress to work for your client You’re in luck. Making a custom WordPress installation for your client is just as easy as installing a theme and editing your WordPress preferences. As a bonus, you can create a branded CMS site that feels like their business. Happy clients, we all know, are the best kind of clients. Michelle over at Mommy Misadventures has a great tutorial that walks you through it and helps you lessen “dashboard overload” when your clients log in for the first time. From Michelle: “Branding your WordPress installation helps give your clients an immediate sense of ownership by putting up their logos in key areas. Furthermore, you can help lessen Dashboard overload by only showing them the essential menu items, and hiding potentially damaging options. This not only eases your clients into using WordPress more confidently, but helps to protect your hard work at the same time.” Follow her instructions and you’ll have a custom login, logos, footer, dashboard, and menus in no time. Winning So, the next time you hand a WordPress site over to a client, you won’t have to say: “Yeah, this is the dashboard. Ignore all this stuff.” Instead, you might try this phrase on for size: “As soon as you log in, you’ll see everything you need.” I know, I know, that’s almost as beautiful a sound as waves on a private Caribbean beach. You’re welcome. For more great tips, check out the GoDaddy Tool Kit on BlogHer.   The post Customize WordPress Admin to prevent dashboard overload appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

How to install Prestashop using Softaculous (part II)

Pickaweb Blog -

Ok so you´ve installed prestashop. That was the easy part, now comes the hard work. Prestashop is a very complete e-commerce application, it has lots of themes and plug ins available and setting everything up takes a bit of time and patience. What we are going to do today is put the shop in maintence […] The post How to install Prestashop using Softaculous (part II) appeared first on Small Business Marketing, Domain Names & Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb. Related posts: How to install Prestashop using Softaculous (part I) Prestashop is one of the best e-commerce solutions available and... What is Softaculous? Softaculous  is a very popular auto installer application that you... WordPress Install Part 3 – Changing a WordPress Theme In this video we will change the WordPress theme from...

The Pros And Cons Of Rebuilding Your Environment During Migration

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

So you’ve made up your mind that you’re going to move workloads onto a service provider’s infrastructure. Now you’re faced with a big question: should I rebuild my environment while migrating to avoid more disruption later? Here are eight pros and a few cons to consider when making your decision. Pros: The Case for Rebuilding Your Environment You’re already going through the migration process. Migrating workloads requires an assessment, planning, and implementation process – as does rebuilding your environment. Doing both tasks at once is a two birds, one stone situation. It’s the better approach for the longer term. While it may be tempting to simply migrate over your workload, you aren’t solving the existing performance and administration issues. Rebuilding gives you a much better foundation for the future and provides you with better long-term flexibility. Interestingly, Forrester Research conducted a study and found that 83 percent of organizations feel their existing infrastructure is constraining their ability to modernize their applications. Performance, performance, performance. Rebuilding means you can use newer high performance hardware and upgraded OS capabilities. For instance, migrating from Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2012 R2 allows you to take advantage of enhanced security, configuration options, and website performance capabilities of IIS 8.0. You get a new configuration. Over time, your workload gets bogged down with bloated configurations and work-arounds, which can hinder performance, flexibility, and security. Wiping your configuration clean and starting over makes your post-migration life much easier. In addition, a recent study from an information security organization found that 70 percent of web applications suffer security vulnerabilities due to incorrect configurations. Allows you to address configuration issues. Your old environment may be preventing additional needed configurations due to difficulty or high risks of making them in your legacy environment. Fix stability and reliability issues. Legacy software and operating systems are notorious for stability and reliability issues. IT studies indicate organizations devote around 70 percent of their average budget to legacy software maintenance. Why migrate old problems? It’s the best path to software modernization. To reduce organizational risks, most modernization projects are done incrementally over a period of time. Rebuilding your environment during your initial migration provides a solid foundation for a modernization project. You only need to focus on the application server image. The migration will only need to focus on the specific application data image, not the entire server, so the new footprint will most likely be considerably smaller. Cons: The Case Against Rebuilding Your Environment It simply takes more time. A straight migration will always be faster than adding in a rebuild. Resources available or organizational time constraints are sometimes realities that you can’t overcome. It’s difficult to automate. Migrations and rebuilds run the gamut – many available automation tools won’t work. In addition, many migrations/rebuilds are moving the workload into a virtualized environment that requires a pristine image so it can be easily replicated for scalability and implementing disaster recovery. You’ll need to have a more hands-on approach, and that will mean more time. There can be serious configuration challenges. This depends on the quality of the available documentation for the legacy configuration. If the documentation is limited, then rebuilding the configuration will be a cumbersome process, with the potential to miss important aspects of the configuration. There can be skill or knowledge gaps. As a system administrator, you try to keep abreast of new technologies, but migration and rebuilding will inevitably get into areas you won’t be intimately familiar with. You can get stuck or do it wrong. This is actually quite common and a reality in today’s complex IT world. The new environment might require extensive testing. New hardware, OS, and configurations mean you’ll most likely need to conduct more thorough testing to ensure everything works at deployment. The organization risk is higher, and requires more resources and longer timelines. We Believe the Pros Outweigh the Cons Taking everything into consideration, we typically advise a rebuild of the environment in conjunction with a migration as the benefits usually outweigh the challenges. And the good news is Rackspace provides tools and resources to help mitigate the challenges of a migration and rebuild. How Rackspace Can Help Rackspace provides both DIY and supported resources for migrations and rebuilds. Reference Architecture Tool - Plug in your Windows requirements and this tool will provide you with a customized infrastructure reference architecture. Go to the tool. Download the Rackspace Cloud Assessment Tool - For Windows migrations, use the Rackspace  Cloud Assessment to help you determine your requirements Rackspace Migration Services - Rackspace provides complimentary migrations for like-to-like migrations and comprehensive support for complex migrations. Go to the Rackspace Migration for more information. Rackspace Partner Ecosystem - Rackspace has an extensive network of system integrators and partners who can work with you on the entire migration and rebuild process.

Where Can I Find Cuban Food During HostingCon?

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

With HostingCon 2014 taking place in Miami Beach, Florida, we couldn’t have picked a better location for those wanting to indulge in some traditional Cuban food (or even some Cuban-American takes on tradition). You could venture over to Little Havana in Miami proper, but there are a number of great options close to the venue hotel and convention center, and here are some details on a few good choices. 1. Sazon Cuban Cuisine 7305 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, FL Phone: Take Out, Delivery Service or for Reservations for 8 or more, please call 305-861-4727 Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. (Friday/Saturday until 11:00 p.m.) Prices: $15-$20; daily lunch specials Website: www.sazoncubancuisine.com Sazon Cuban Cuisine mixes authentic and traditional Cuban dishes with dashes of originality in offerings like their Sazon Pollo Enrollado and Sazon Palomilla. With a dining room and outdoor covered patio, it has a full bar and live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights. The menu also includes steak and seafood choices, including a variety of paellas. Takeout is available if you are just looking for a snack or coffee. Delivery and reservations for parties of 8 or larger can be arranged. 2. Abuelas Cuban Kitchen 1645 Meridian Avenue, Miami Beach, FL Phone: 305-763-8095 or contact@abuelaskitchen.com Hours: 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m., Cafeteria window open 24 hours Prices: $15-$20; Lunch menu slightly cheaper Website: www.abuelaskitchen.com Online ordering at http://eat24hrs.com/restaurants/order/menu.php?id=28780 This diner-style restaurant has seating inside and a 24-hour takeout window if you want to pick up some food to take with on a stroll. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it features a full selection of Cuban style dishes, from grilled skirt steak with chimichurri sauce to oxtail in red wine sauce or shredded beef and grilled onions. 3.  Havana 1957 405 Española Way, Miami Beach, FL 33139 Phone: 305-503-3828 Hours: 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 a.m. (2:00 a.m. Friday/Saturday) Website: http://havana1957.com/ Prices: $15 – $30 Reserve via OpenTable (2-20 guests) at http://havana1957.com/web/reservations-espanola-way/ Live Entertainment on some Fridays/Saturdays (check their website for details) If you are looking for a complete Cuban experience, head over to Havana1957, a new chain of restaurant/bars that immerses you in an atmosphere recreating a visit to Havana of the 1950s with music and memorabilia as well as cuisine. The Cuban Rum bar stocks more than 70 types of rum from all over the world and also features Cachaca, a unique cane liquor from Brazil, aguardiente, and an impressive array of mojitos. The menu includes the Havana 1957 Specialty (family traditional roasted chicken in a savory Cuban gravy served with white rice, black beans, salad and sweet plantains.) There is a wide variety of seafood plates and sandwiches/soup, along with appetizers like tostones rellenos (stuffed green plantains with beef or shrimp). 4.  Bella Cuba Hours: 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. (to Midnight on Thursday, Friday & Saturday) Happy Hour: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with $5 cigar specials Prices: $15-$25 Website: http://bella-cuba.com Bella Cuba is rather unique for a restaurant specializing in Cuban food, given that its original location is in Dublin, Ireland (where it is still the only Cuban restaurant in the country)! In addition to a great meal, at Bella Cuba you can indulge in a Cuban style cigar, sourced from a Central American manufacturer. With a modern tropical feel and classic Cuban ambience, the restaurant offers a wide selection of dishes that are typically Cuban, including Ropa Vieja (flank steak boiled with herb and red wine), Bistec de Cerdo a la Plancha (pork steak creole with yucca and moro rice), Lonja de Cerdo al Mojo (roast pork with yucca and tostones). Great food and a great conference — the two are definitely a dynamic duo this year with HostingCon, so don’t miss out on the chance to venture outside your culinary safety zone in Miami Beach. Registration is still open for the conference! For all the latest HostingCon news and information, visit HostingCon - Premier Industry Conference and Trade Show for Web Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

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