Industry Buzz

International expansion for the Twitter Certified Program

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

We launched the Twitter Certified Program in 2012 in order to partner with the leading products and services that help businesses thrive on Twitter. Today, we’re pleased to announce the addition of five new companies to the program — our first international class. Twitter is already a global platform — some 77% of active Twitter users are outside the U.S. And as Twitter usage around the world increases, we’re seeing an increased demand for products that enable businesses to better connect with this international audience. It’s our hope that this new group of partners will provide brands around the world with the measurement and reach, ad management, customer engagement, and content curation tools they need. Spanning Europe, Latin America and India, the new Twitter Certified Partners are: Conversocial is a cloud solution that enables businesses to deliver customer service over social media at a large-scale. SocialBro is a marketing platform that gives you the tools to analyze and act on Twitter data to grow, engage and monetize your audience. Socialmetrix helps brands understand consumer sentiment and opinions, providing actionable insights to their day-to-day activities. Talkwalker is an easy-to-use and powerful social search, analytics and monitoring engine, used worldwide by brands and agencies. Unmetric works with leading brands and agencies to help them establish benchmarks for their social media activities. Through the Twitter Certified Program, we will continue to identify the best products and services for businesses. If you have an innovative product you believe will benefit from being a Certified Partner, you can review the requirements and apply here.

New Testimonial: So Curly So Kinky So Straight Salon

1&1 Online Success Center -

Salon owner Monica Green is the first to admit that the idea of creating a website for her Cleveland, Ohio based salon So Curly So Kinky So Straight (, was intimidating. However, with the ease of 1&1 Internet’s MyWebsite product, website creation and management has never been easier or more beneficial for Green’s entrepreneurial venture. “In terms of running my business, the smartest tool we could have invested in is our website. As a start-up, I knew that having a website would be vital to our business, but I knew that I couldn’t afford the services of a professional website developer. Before purchasing 1&1 MyWebsite, I thought that websites were expensive and really difficult to create. I was intimidated as I am not a technical person and knew that it was beyond my capability. Being a professional in the beauty industry—in this day and age—means having a Web presence,” Green continued. “We use our website as a way to connect with our customers. Whether it’s by giving them the capability to schedule their appointments online or letting them know about upcoming events, specials, and discounts. MyWebsite was so simple and SO easy to use – It was like using Microsoft Word.” To learn more about So Curly So Kinky So Straight visit their website. For more information on how you can get your site up and running today visit 1&1 MyWebsite.

These Industries Are Getting the Most Reach Using Facebook for Business

Post Planner -

If  you ask 3 Facebook experts about organic reach on any given day, you’ll probably hear 3 different claims: Reach is up Reach is down Reach hasn’t changed a bit So, which is true? Well, it depends on your page, niche, location, ad budget, etc. To get an accurate picture of how reach has changed over the past year, you’d have to access 1,000s of pages — which is exactly what our friends at AgoraPulse did. They examined about 7,200 Facebook pages to see if organic reach is in decline. The pages came from various industries & niches, including: Personal website TV channel Actor/Director Radio station Computers/Internet website Athlete Recreation/Sports website Jewelry/Watches Games/Toys Food/Beverages Cars Hotel Wine/Spirits And the results might surprise you: These Industries Are Getting the Most Reach Using Facebook for Business These numbers came from pages that use the AgoraPulse Facebook Page Barometer. You can get a pretty decent perspective on the website as a whole from these 7,200 Facebook pages. Summary The study showed that organic reach for some Facebook pages has increased. Many companies are still very successful at using Facebook for business. >> Click to Tweet << But for others, reach has dropped. Entertainment-based pages in the categories of personal website, TV channel, actor and radio station saw increases. Reach dropped for pages focused on: cars food games jewelry hotels beverages Pages that post lots of entertaining, interesting content, rather than just pushing products all the time, saw their organic reach increase. >> Click to Tweet << Has this trend held true for Facebook pages you manage? The post These Industries Are Getting the Most Reach Using Facebook for Business appeared first on Post Planner.

Two-factor authentication now available for your SiteGround account!

SiteGround Blog -

If you have gone through the anguish of having your personal information exposed to theft and abuse, you probably already realize that even the best password is not always enough to protect your data against unauthorized access. There are many ways how you can find yourself exposed: lost/stolen electronic devices, electronic fraud (phishing, scam, etc.), and hacking of popular service providers have all become widespread. Two-factor authentication has become the weapon of choice to add an extra layer of security and in recent months we have had several requests from customers to integrate it with our services. True to our commitment to the security of users’ data, we have now made available this option for all SiteGround customers. What is two-factor authentication? Two-factor login improves your account security by adding another password which is dynamically generated and changes every few minutes. In order to use it, you need a smartphone application where you will be finding the code you need to log in each time. Two-step login greatly improves the security of your account because it combines two unique factors: something only you know (your password) and something only you have access to (your smartphone). Even if one of those gets compromised (we hope not), having the second layer of security still protects your account from unauthorized access. How to enable two-factor login for your account? Two-factor authentication can be enabled from the ‘My Details’ section in your SiteGround User Area. The process to turn it on is explained in the User Area but if you need further guidance, please check out the Two-factor Authentication Tutorial we have created. Please remember, that once you enable two-factor login, you will need your smartphone every time you want to access your SiteGround account. Even if you share access with other people you can still use two-factor authentication by adding your SiteGround account on multiple devices. What if you lose your codes? It happens, we know. A lost or stolen phone or a sudden reset with all data lost. With two-factor login enabled, there is a small chance that you might lose access to your account. If something like that happens we have provided you with two backup options to turn off two-factor authentication: a verified phone number to send a disabling code to, and a pre-set backup code. Both are configured during the activation process. We hope you find two-factor authentication useful and convenient. In case you experience any difficulties setting it up or using it, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. As always, we are ready to listen to feedback from our customers and looking for ways to improve our services.

Commodity Cloud Providers vs. Managed Cloud Specialists

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

If you type “cloud computing + commodity” into a search engine, you’ll see that in recent months, the two have become seen as virtually synonymous. Many industry pundits now sweepingly assert that all cloud services are akin to red durum wheat or West Texas crude. All are identical. All prices and profits will be pushed lower and lower and the biggest players will drive everyone else out of business. For example, an article this week in The Motley Fool — a site that I admire for its knowledge of investing (if not of cloud computing) — cited the price for a 15GB cloud server from Rackspace, at our basic service level. The article compared our price to the one for a server of the same size at a commodity provider. The commodity server costs 40 cents an hour less than ours for what the article’s writer assumed was “the same service.” The two services, however, are as different as an apple and an apple pie. For that additional 40 cents, the Rackspace customer gets 24×7 access to cloud engineers, including specialists in a host of complex technologies such as data stores and digital marketing platforms. The Rackspace customer gets architecture guidance, a security audit, and system monitoring and alerts — just to name a few value adds. Additionally, Rackspace engineers will log into the customer’s servers to troubleshoot and make fixes when needed. The commodity providers won’t do that. Now, let’s do the math to understand whether the Rackspace service is worth the extra cost, or whether you’d be better off renting the cheaper hardware and paying your own engineers to run it 24×7. At 3,504 hours in a year, our 40-cent-an-hour price difference would cost you, at most, an extra $3,456 a year. (I say “at most” because you probably wouldn’t use the server nearly that much, and you only pay for what you use in the cloud.) Now, let’s assume you are running 10 of these servers, which takes the Rackspace premium up to $34,560 a year. You could instead rent the cheaper hardware. But you’ll need someone to run it. Good luck finding even one engineer to be on call 24x7x365 for even three or four times the Rackspace premium. You could push the job onto your software engineers, but that would cost you even more by diverting your most precious resources from their most-valuable task: writing code and shipping product. Which is the better deal? You can decide. But one point is clear: the Rackspace managed cloud is a different deal than the one you get with unmanaged, commodity cloud infrastructure. I shake my head whenever I see the assumption that all cloud services are the same. Those making this assumption profoundly misunderstand the widening variety of needs and preferences among business customers in our market — and the difference between commodity providers and specialists. I also can’t help but smile at this line of thinking — because we at Rackspace have been hearing it ever since we launched our company 15 years ago. Even before the advent of cloud computing, when we provided managed hosting on single-tenant servers, the industry experts warned us that Verizon and AT&T and other giants would crush us with their economies of scale, their ability to bundle hosting with other services, and their price cutting. And yet we’ve grown from a five-person startup to a global company with nearly 6,000 Rackers (as we call ourselves) on four continents, more than $1.5 billion in annual sales, solid profits, and a strong balance sheet. How have we been able to do that as a relative pipsqueak up against giants in a “commodity” industry? Consider that all of our prices and those of our competitors are publicly available on the Internet. Any customer who is looking for a cheaper alternative to Rackspace can find it with a few keystrokes. So if what we sell is an undifferentiated commodity, why would more than 200,000 business customers in 120 countries pay us a premium price? Are they poorly informed? I don’t think so. I talk with customers and prospects every day. Most run fast-growing companies of all sizes and leverage an expanding array of complex technologies. They know that while many of the raw materials that we use in our business — datacenter hardware and software and bandwidth — are increasingly commoditized, the delivery of complex IT services is not. They know that while scalpels and X-ray machines are commodities, the services of a surgeon are not. They know that when you trust someone with your life or your business, you don’t just go for the lowest price. You go for the most-skilled, most-reliable practitioner that you can afford. You go for someone with specialized expertise. Reuben Katz, CEO and founder of Geeklist, a popular social-collaboration platform for developers, explains that his shopping among cloud providers “was less about pricing and more about quality and speed — and boy did we find it at Rackspace. We’re running fewer cores and less memory, yet our performance has skyrocketed. Our load times are way faster. Working with Rackspace, we get a team of infrastructure and support specialists that ensure we’re running at peak performance.” Is there a part of the computing services market that is commoditized? Absolutely. Millions of customers choose the vendors with the cheapest unit prices. The industry giants are duking it out over the commoditized part of the cloud computing market. Each of them has expanded into cloud computing as a sideline, from a legacy business built on massive scale and minimal customer interaction. Each is very good at the low-touch, high-volume game that it’s playing. That, however, is not the game that Rackspace is playing. We serve and lead a different segment of the market — the managed cloud segment. We’re the No. 1 managed cloud specialist. We target the fast-growing category of customers who want a trusted partner to manage all or part of their cloud. These customers want to focus on their core business — on building a great new application, and winning new customers. They want to stay fast and lean, rather than swelling their payrolls with engineers to run IT that doesn’t differentiate their business. Customers in this part of the cloud market seek exceptional support, including specialized expertise in complex tools and applications such as data engines and digital marketing platforms. They want experts in DevOps automation, and hosted VMware. These customers are skeptical of cheap unit prices, which they know can be misleading. They care more about the total cost of achieving the uptime and stability and consistency that their businesses demand, with the level of support that they want. Many of these customers are part of the trend toward use of hybrid cloud, highlighted in a recent Gartner report. They reject the notion, pushed by the commodity giants, that one size fits all; that every workload runs best on the public cloud. These customers want each of their workloads deployed where it will achieve the highest performance and cost-efficiency — whether on single-tenant or multi-tenant servers or a combination of those platforms; whether in our datacenters or theirs or those of a third party. Alex and Ani, one of the world’s fastest-growing online retailers, uses the Rackspace managed cloud to prepare for traffic peaks and achieve a high ratio of performance to total cost. The retailer’s expandable wire-bangle bracelets drove sales of $230 million in 2013 — up 280 percent from the previous year. “To scale for this growth,” said Ryan Bonifacino, vice president of digital strategy at Alex and Ani, “we selected an ecommerce platform on Magento Enterprise Edition, hosted by Rackspace.” The retailer uses a hybrid configuration of single tenant and multi-tenant cloud servers, including a powerful load balancing solution, monitoring, performance acceleration services, and separate environments to support non-consumer-facing solutions such as tools, inter-department collaboration, testing and staging. “We have counterparts at Rackspace who are digital marketing experts,” said Bonifacino. “They know how these solutions work. Rackspace is the specialist. That’s valuable to us and proves that hosted technology is not a commodity; the people and the experience are what make the difference.” Demanding customers such as Alex and Ani and Geeklist are the ones who ultimately define the shape of a market, and in our industry they are speaking quite clearly. They have decided that there are multiple market segments in the cloud: some commoditized and some quite specialized. The good news is that demand for cloud and hybrid computing is growing so rapidly — Gartner estimates that total spending on cloud services will increase from $110 billion in 2012 to $210 billion in 2016 (see “Forecast: Public Cloud Services, Worldwide, 2010-2016, 4Q12 Update” ) — that there’s plenty of business to go around. Not all of that spending will go to the vendor with the lowest prices. If price were the only factor that mattered, we’d all buy our clothes at Costco. Don’t get me wrong: I’m a big fan of Costco. Its apparel department serves a segment of the market that wants functional clothing at a great price. But there are many other customer segments that shop at Nordstrom or Carhartt or Zara or Filson. It’s the same in cloud computing. The technology evangelist George Gilder writes that every economic era is defined by “a great abundance and a great scarcity.” The businesses that prosper in each era are the ones that harness abundant resources to create scarce and valuable products and services. During the Industrial Age, the great abundance was of electrical and steam power. The great scarcity was of engineering talent to combine that mechanical power with raw materials and semi-skilled workers to deliver attractively priced goods such as clothing and hand tools. I would argue that the great abundance in our industry today is computing hardware and software and bandwidth. The great scarcity is of talented human beings who can get all those raw materials to work together — people with servants’ hearts and expertise in the ever-evolving technologies of the cloud world who take pride in helping businesses leverage the power of the cloud without incurring the pain of becoming fluent in every cloud technology. Our customers know those people simply as Rackers.

Getting Candid with the BigRockers – Basil Skariah

BigRock Blog -

We know you wanted to meet the next BigRocker after getting candid with Vivek Raval, the last time. This time too we managed to get hold of someone who is equally important to our team. World meet Basil Skariah. Basil Skariah is the product manager at BigRock and manages the Website Platform along with our team of awesome designers and programmers to ensure that our website is smooth and blazing fast to use. He is a travel buff and you will always find him making plans for his next big trip. Enough introduction, let’s start off with the list of questions to know him better. What is the wackiest thing you have ever done? I was in Kochi for Christmas 2012 and decided to take an impromptu trip up north to meet some friends in Jaisalmer. Because of last minute bookings in the middle of the holiday season, part of the journey involved me taking a 12 hour train ride, in the freezing cold, while standing next to a goat the whole time! I think that’s probably the whackiest thing I’ve done. If someone gave you a million dollars in cash, how would you spend it? Buy a house, then a car and then take a year off to travel! Given an option to change one thing around you, what would that be? The economic disparity in the country. What’s the best advice anyone has ever given to you? Put yourself in the other person’s shoes before you choose to respond. If you could have any one superpower, which would you choose? Reading people’s minds. What is the oldest thing in your refrigerator? I’ve had a sandwich in my freezer for about a year and a half now.. What’s the one thing you can’t live without? Knowing there’s a good bar around the corner.. If given a chance, who would you like to be for a day? Wolverine (without all the personal drama he goes through) What’s the one thing for which you can max-out your credit card? Travel. Hands down! What does BigRock mean to you? It’s my second home. So that’s Basil for you. If you do end up meeting him at one of his crazy trips, give him a high five, he deserves it. So if you want to know more about him drop a comment below and we will get him to answer you.

Build Apps for Amazon Mobile Devices with AWS

Amazon Web Services Blog -

My colleagues launched the new Fire phone last week and the reception from Amazon customers and the tech industry has been incredible. As a long-time user of an Android-powered phone I am looking forward to receiving a Fire phone of my very own sometime soon. Although I have yet to build an actual mobile app of my own, I am thrilled by the possibilities offered by the Fire phone. With features like Dynamic Perspective, Firefly technology, and an advanced camera system (my iPhone-toting wife is jealous), coupled with a fast, quad-core processor and exceptional audio, there is plenty of room for innovation and creativity. If you, unlike me, have the talent and the skills to build mobile apps, I believe that you will find the Amazon lineup of devices, services, and developer tools to be of great interest. In addition to all of the amazing stuff that you can find and access directly from the device, there's an equally amazing set of developer frameworks, app services, and web services. I'm writing this post to make sure that you have a full and complete understanding of the opportunity that's in front of you! Devices Let's start by taking a look at the range of devices in the Amazon ecosystem. As you read this and start thinking about apps to build, remember that you can build an app, submit it to one store, and make it available to the owners of tablets, phones, and televisions. The apps that you build and submit are stored in the AWS cloud, where they are easily accessible and can be downloaded at any time. First up, your app can run on Kindle Fire tablets. The HD and HDX tablets are available in 7" and 8.9" models and feature high-quality displays and fast processors. Second, your app can run on the new Fire TV. This streaming media player connects to your HDTV and supports 1080p video and Dolby Digital Plus surround sound. It runs many free and paid apps, with more coming all the time. If you are interested in building apps for the Fire TV, start here (but please, finish reading this post first)! Third, your app can run on the Fire phone. As I mentioned earlier, this feature-rich phone is jam-packed with awesome features. If you are ready to start building apps for it, you should start here. Finally, apps that you upload to the Amazon Appstore can run on hundreds of Android phones, tablets, and so forth. Start with our Amazon Apps & Games Developer Portal. Once your app is ready to distribute, check out Appstore Developer Select program and learn how to promote your application through the Amazon Mobile Ad Network. Developer Frameworks & App Services At this point it should be clear that the Amazon Appstore offers a strong, diverse market for your Android apps. Let's take a look at some of the developer frameworks and app services that we make available to you so that you can build cool and powerful applications. Before we dig in, I should note that all of these services run on highly scalable Amazon Web Services such as Amazon EC2 (virtual servers on demand), Amazon RDS (relational databases in the cloud), and Amazon Redshift to name a few. Here are some of the most popular and relevant services for mobile app and game developers: Monetization - The In-App Purchasing, Mobile Ads, and Mobile Associates frameworks will help you to convert users and usage into revenue. You can sell virtual goods within your games, participate in our ad network, and earn commissions from the sale of physical goods, all from within your app. Testing - History has shown that the feature set of many of the most popular and successful apps was driven by analytics and honed by A/B testing. Fortunately, we have the Mobile Analytics and A/B Testing services ready for you. Game Services - If you are building a game, don't waste time reinventing the wheel. Use Amazon GameCircle to implement achievements and scoreboards, and focus on your artwork and your game mechanics instead. Use GameCircle's WhisperSync feature to synchronize data between devices and across platforms, either online or offline. Device Messaging - Use Amazon Device Messaging (ADM) to send push notifications from the cloud to the Kindle Fire devices that run your app. Device Management - Amazon Mobile Device Management will help out with network configuration, device security, app management, device feature control, and device inventory. Maps - Build a location-sensitive app and display location data using the Amazon Maps API. Authenticate - Connect with millions of Amazon customers and personalize their app experience by using Login with Amazon. Promotion - Use Amazon Developer Select and the Promotions Console to promote your app, while also taking advantage of the Free App of the Day opportunity. HTML5 - Build a mobile web site using HTML 5 and the Amazon Mobile App SDK, then submit it as an app. All of these services are available to you at no charge! Last But Not Least Finally, I would like to make one final mention of the broad range of Amazon Web Services that you can use to implement a robust and scalable backend for your mobile app. As I mentioned earlier, EC2 gives you access to pay-as-you-go servers running Linux or Windows Server. You can use Auto Scaling to bring additional servers online at peak times and to shut them down afterward. If your app needs to store large amounts of data in the cloud, you have many options. Amazon S3 can store any amount of unstructured data. You can host a MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, or SQL Server database using the Relational Database Service, and forget about wasting time on administrative chores like patching, backups, monitoring, failover, and scaling. DynamoDB is the high-performance key-value store of choice for mobile applications, with easy scaling up to hundreds of thousands of reads and writes per second. You can access the AWS services described above (and many more) through the AWS SDK for Android. Already Have an App? Submitting your app to the Amazon Appstore is easy; 75% of the Android apps and games we've tested required no changes before going live. If you are interested in submitting your app, test it now and get feedback in seconds. Time to Build I hope that this whirlwind tour of the opportunities that are open to you as a mobile app developer has given you some ideas. You can get started by registering for a free AWS account and reading our Android SDK Tutorials. -- Jeff;

Ready for Your Next Career Move? There’s an App for That

LinkedIn Official Blog -

What if I told you that your smartphone has the power to change the trajectory of your career? It sounds like science fiction, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. With the release of the new LinkedIn Job Search app for iPhone, professionals can now take their LinkedIn job hunt wherever they go. With features like real-time job alert notifications, saved searches, and the ability to apply to jobs with your LinkedIn profile in a few clicks, it’s not hard to see why taking the job search mobile simplifies the job hunt process. And if you’re ready to find your next big opportunity, download the LinkedIn Job Search app from the Apple App Store. 5 Reasons Job Hunting is Moving to Mobile from LinkedIn

Sleep on it: Rest easy with help from these apps

GoDaddy Blog -

Here’s one for all you stats collectors: 44 percent of mobile phone owners report sleeping with their devices beside their bed so they don’t miss anything. The research doesn’t dig much deeper, but I’m willing to bet that many of these perpetually connected people are small business owners. So, in the interest of entrepreneurs and a good night’s sleep, we’ve compiled this list of smartphone apps that can make life a little easier for all you entrepreneurs. Save time with this trifecta Who needs a computer, scanner or fax machine in this day and age? This trifecta of apps replaces common office tasks: TurboScan. This app from Piksoft® allows you to scan a document simply by taking three pictures of it. It’s perfect for scanning a document on site with a client or quickly taking a scan of a signed contract. TurboScan allows you to save your scan to your device or email it in handy .pdf or image formats, too. DocuSign. Chomping at the bit to sign that contract or close on that business loan without further delay? DocuSign® allows you to program in your electronic signature and quickly and easily sign documents without the hassle of printing and scanning. Sign right from your phone! Printer Pro. Have you ever found yourself doing something rather silly, like emailing yourself a link you found on your phone in order to print it? Forget that noise with Printer Pro. It allows you to print straight from your iPhone® or Android®. Silliness averted, you’ll quickly recoup the $4.99 Readdle® charges for this nifty little app. Handle money with mobile ease A business without money is just a hobby. These apps help you manage the dollars and cents of your enterprise: Get Paid. This nifty GoDaddy offering, part of the Online Bookkeeping suite of products, allows you to accept any method of payment with any device. Client wants to pay you on the spot with a credit card? Check. And she’s on the phone with you because she’s halfway across the country? Check. …Or in another country and wants to pay online? Check, check and check. This useful app’s name says it all. Credit Karma. See your credit score right now, totally free, with this mobile app for iPhone or Android. If your finances are moving and shaking – for example, if you’re noodling over taking out a small business loan – Credit Karma™ will also allow you to simulate what your credit score might look like after a big financial move. Watch your score leap up and down after you simulate paying off debt or taking on a big financial burden. SmartyPig. Manage your savings with this free app for iPhone or Android. SmartyPig® allows you to set savings goals and share them with others – even to accept donations. Patient business owners can use SmartyPig accounts to save for necessities like taxes or a business-boosting purchase such as a new logo. Be sure to check out SmartyPig’s gift card and cash back options to make your savings go just a little bit farther. Collaborate with these three apps Our smartphones are the ultimate collaboration device. They can text, send videos and hey, they can even make phone calls. These apps help small business owners collaborate more easily from the office, coffee shop or open road: OneDrive. A storage app from Microsoft (included in Microsoft Office 365® from GoDaddy), OneDrive™ allows you to easily store and share documents, photos, videos and anything else you’d like to access anytime, anywhere, from any device. Never be without your PowerPoint® deck… or that video of your daughter singing “You Are My Sunshine.” This elegant yet no-frills conference app from LogMeIn® allows you to conference via phone or video, record meetings, and invite up to 250 attendees. Usefu for today’s increasingly global workforce,® has 40+ numbers around the world so you’re not nickel and diming your contacts with long distance charges. Skype. The mobile version of the well-known communication app is available on all major platforms. You can chat, talk or videoconference with clients and colleagues – no matter where they are in the world. (Just check the time difference!) You can now also send video messages and files more easily than ever. Plus, Skype™ is so ubiquitous you can be sure that most of your contacts will have it, too. It might not be possible to run your business entirely from your smartphone (yet), but these apps will get you one step closer to true small business mobility … and a great night’s sleep. Photo: amirjina via Compfight cc The post Sleep on it: Rest easy with help from these apps appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Better living through IFTTT

GoDaddy Blog -

You might not call yourself a developer. You might just be a designer or an entrepreneur or a markup hacker. But, I’ll bet you’ve developed a few applications in your day. You don’t have to pick up a book on Python or PHP and start figuring our arrays and variables to build an app. You started learning how to do it when you were a kid. Programming is simply a way to make stuff happen. When I push this button or type in this phrase, then something else will happen. Take dominoes for example. Now, I have no idea how to actually play the game of dominoes. I think some sort of math is involved. But, I do know a little something about stacking dominoes side by side by side to create elaborate mazes of plastic that, in the end, can turn on a TV set in another room. As a kid, I’d patiently line them up and test the design. Can I make a marble roll right? Left? How close do the dominoes have to be to make everything work? If it didn’t work the first time, I’d start over and debug the process. I think I spent an entire summer indoors building this contraption and wishing I had an Atari. Programming is a lot like this. It’s based on a simple idea: if I do this, then that will happen. So, imagine my excitement when I discovered a way to program the Internet the same way I lined up dominoes. If ESPN reports that my favorite team scored, then send me a text message. Or, even better: if ESPN reports that my favorite team scored, then send a taunt to my brother who doesn’t know the proper team to root for. Using IFTTT to work smarter, not harder IFTTT (If This Then That) makes this magic possible. If you haven’t played with IFTTT before, I highly recommend you check out this post by Julie Deneen. It explains how you can automate and track your social media activity using IFTTT, and how to set up your first few programs (aka recipes). What I love about Julie’s post is that it explains how IFTTT can help you get more done. It can help you curate content and find ideas that are relevant to your business. It’s like having a research guru on staff. And, once you start publishing and sharing content online, IFTTT can help you spread the word a little further. It can help you remind people what you have to offer. Automatically. Sounds rad, right? That’s some serious power. With this in mind, Julie leaves us with a warning that I think is worth repeating: Automation is no substitute for human interaction. As you can see, I’ve used IFTTT to make some of my redundant tasks easier. I’ve also used it to help me keep track of my own (and others) activity. But I do not use it to thank people and reply to comments, because I value the authenticity of a real human response. Keep this in mind. Automation is meant to free up your time to be human, not to be more robotic. Just because you can automate thank-yous and wishing your loved ones “happy birthday,” doesn’t mean you should. Trust me, I’m still feeling a little guilty for wishing my brother happy birthday — automatically. Here are some ideas to get you started So, there are thousands of legitimate recipes you can play with using IFTTT. A friend of mine can turn off the lights in his house via text message. I know a team that changes the color of their office every time they sell something. A woman I know tracks how much time she spends in the office, automatically, in a Google® spreadsheet. Need a creative reminder to stop eating after 5pm? IFTTT can do that. And if you’re like me and you’re like Julie, you can use IFTTT to keep track of articles and news stories you might want to blog about or share with friends. Connect IFTTT to popular news readers like Readability™, Feedly or Instapaper and every time you favorite an article, you can save the reference in a Google Doc automatically. Or, if you’re feeling a little more aggressive, you could automatically send out a Tweet or Facebook@ post. Or, publish to your blog. Or, send your mom an email. Or, send my mom an email. There are thousands of possibilities. Go. Play. Be smart.   The post Better living through IFTTT appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

4 Visual Content Tools to Help You Stand Out Visually

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to create more interesting visual content? Are you looking for new ways to present your message? Today’s marketers are using visual content to capture their readers’ interest and attention. In this article I’ll show you four of the best free tools you can use to create strong visual content for social media. [...]This post 4 Visual Content Tools to Help You Stand Out Visually first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

3 Facebook Targeting Options Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to lower your Facebook ad costs and increase conversions? What if you had hundreds of micro-targeting options at your fingertips? Meeting and exceeding your advertising goals rely on reaching the audience most likely to convert. In this article you’ll discover three Facebook targeting options that help you pinpoint the best audience for [...]This post 3 Facebook Targeting Options Marketers Need to Know first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Announcing network mediation for native ads on MoPub

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

Earlier this year, we announced the general availability of native ads for all MoPub publishers, enabling them to better monetize their ad inventory while providing a more seamless experience for users. Since then, we’ve enhanced our suite of publisher tools, and today, we are introducing mediation for native ad networks. Until now, publishers have had to either choose a single native ad source or dedicate resources to custom work in order to use multiple native ad sources in their apps. Today, publishers can manage multiple ad networks for native ads directly through MoPub with one SDK. We’re excited to introduce the first and only native ads network mediation solution for mobile app publishers today. To learn more about how to get started, read this post on the MoPub blog.

A new age of marketing at #CannesLions: Day 5

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

#CannesLions 2014 was an inspiring week! As we wrapped up in France, one thing became very clear: We have entered a new age of marketing. Unilever’s Chief Marketing Officer Keith Weed (@keithweed) put it best: Digital and social media have empowered brands to build meaningful, collaborative relationships with consumers. Here are some more highlights from @keithweed’s presentation: The Cannes Debate: Twitter, Viacom and WPPOn Friday, our CEO Dick Costolo (@dickc) and Viacom’s CEO Phillippe Dauman joined @WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell on the main stage to talk about what new platforms mean for media, consumers and clients. One compelling insight was the discrepancy between consumer time spent on media vs. advertising spend on media. Sir Martin Sorrell showed stats on how many advertisers are still focusing on legacy media even though consumer attention has shifted to new platforms like mobile. You can watch the entire session on YouTube. Introducing ‘Project #LIVE’As #CannesLions drew to a close, we premiered a documentary that’s been in the works for months. This 30 minute film explores how live storytelling is changing our definition of who and what is “creative.” It’s no longer the rarefied skill of a few people. Everyone can be creative nowadays, everyone is their own media company, everyone can participate in stories and ideas are constantly bubbling up from the audience.

Beautiful art at #CannesLions: Day 4

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

For our fourth day in Cannes, we wanted to spotlight the wealth of beautiful content on display around the Palais de Festivals, where #CannesLions is held each year. Here are a couple of highlights to get your creative juices flowing: Located right on the beach, the Palais had a number of outside installations. ‘Art 140’ from the Museum of Modern Art (@MuseumModernArt) and Possible (@POSSIBLE) caught our eye. It featured six well-known paintings, such as Van Gogh’s ‘The Starry Night’ — but what made it unique was a Twitter integration: Each time someone tweeted comments about the paintings using the hashtag #Art140, a printer behind the paintings printed their Tweet. The result was a dynamic banner that featured the artistic perspectives of people from around the world, updated in real time. Pretty amazing! Images used with permission of the Museum of Modern Art and Possible. Inside the venue we visited Getty Images (@gettymarcom) and their #RePicture installation. The gallery featured huge photos and interactive displays with pictures from photographers around the world. It was filled with beautiful, diverse images of everything from family portraits to a man with a bionic hand. This project also had a Twitter integration: Each guest was invited to write what they wanted to “re-picture” on a card. @gettymarcom then took their photo and tweeted it to them. Within seconds, each Tweet appeared on a monitor within the installation. Here’s mine: Instructions on the gallery wall encouraged people to engage with the project via social media. A day at #CannesLions wouldn’t be complete without the @dronie! Today we captured a bunch of “space #selfies” and also tried out a new #dronie360 shot. Here are just a few; head over to @dronie to see them all. To top off the day, here are two Vine videos of tonight’s #CannesLions Grand Prix winners. We hope you are enjoying our dispatches from #CannesLions — be sure to follow @TwitterAds and @dronie on Twitter to see more highlights from Cannes. Salut!

Getting creative at #CannesLions: Day 3

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

#CannesLions was in full swing today, with festival attendees crowding the streets and attending a myriad of sessions on marketing, creativity and storytelling. We live-tweeted three presentations this afternoon and heard from a great mix of speakers including musician Kanye West (@kanyewest), investor Ben Horowitz (@bhorowitz) and Coca-Cola’s SVP, Global Sparkling Brand Center Wendy Clark (@wnd). The first session was “Technology, culture and consumer adoption: Learning to read the cultural landscape.” Translation CEO Steve Stoute (@SteveStoute) and @bhorowitz were joined on stage by surprise guest @kanyewest. Next up was “Storytelling with story creators” hosted by the New York Times. Maureen Dowd (@NYTimesDowd) and Rebecca Eaton (executive producer of @DowntonAbbey) talked about the art of storytelling and what it takes to craft a memorable experience. Wendy Clark delivered the next presentation and shared great insight from her marketing experience at Coca-Cola. She also revealed Coke’s real time strategy and the activations they’ve launched to celebrate the World Cup. Check out the highlights from these sessions in the Tweet collection below: Meanwhile, back at the Tweet Suite, @dronie was taking in all the action from above! We wrapped up the day with another fun Vine video of one of tonight’s #CannesLions Grand Prix winners. That’s it for now! Check back here tomorrow for our update on #CannesLions, day 4!

Drone selfies at #CannesLions: Day 2

The Twitter Advertising Blog -

Bonjour from France! This is our second recap from the Cannes Lions festival, and today was filled with excitement as our @dronie activation took off in earnest. We have several drones flying high at Cannes this week, capturing unique video “dronies” (drone selfies) of festival attendees from above. Our drones are creating two types of clips: dronies with a wide view of Cannes and “space dronies,” which zoom in from outer space. Here are a few of our favorites from today: Wall Street Journal reporter Suzanne Vranica (@vranicawsj) starred in our first space #dronie along with Joel Lunenfeld (@joell) and Will Stickney (@willstick). We stopped by the Global SMG dinner and captured two awesome clips (click through to see the full videos). We’re also creating special Vine videos for the Cannes Lions Grand Prix winners. Here are two from tonight: Follow @dronie and @TwitterAds to see more #dronies and other highlights from #CannesLions. Bonne nuit!


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