Industry Buzz

If Making Money in the Cloud is So Easy, Where’s My Pot of Gold?

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

We are all sitting on a gold mine, or so we’ve been told. Source after source tells us about the importance of web presence to small business, the explosive growth of cloud services and the success stories of companies making millions selling SaaS, IaaS, PaaS, DaaS, and half a dozen other newly minted acronyms. We hear that Wix has 40 million users and growing, that DigitalOcean topped 1 million droplets in only a year and that Amazon is well on its way to ruling the world. For many hosting providers, though, it’s all talk. “Where is my growth?” many hosters ask. “Why has it gotten harder and harder to reach the numbers that seemed easy several years ago?” At HostingCon, you can expect to hear hard questions like these discussed by the panel titled, “Are We Still Selling the Same Old Stuff?” moderated by Liam Eagle, industry analyst and former Editor in Chief of the WHIR. Parallels will participate  in the discussion and as product manager for Parallels Plesk, I’ve been asking this question of both our partners and our internal teams. We’re also challenging ourselves with an additional question: what can we do to help our partners make the change and create success stories of their own? It’s been said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. HostingCon, Parallels and our partners are taking the opportunity to tell the world – we’re doing it differently. Are you next? Join Parallels, Hostway, Verio, DreamHost, Veloxsites and HostingCon Moderator Liam Eagle at the panel discussion “Are We Still Selling the Same Old Stuff?” on Monday, June 16 at 11 a.m. For all the latest HostingCon news and information, visit HostingCon - Premier Industry Conference and Trade Show for Web Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

What makes .CO the best choice for Startups & Entrepreneurs?

BigRock Blog -

In a sentence, its the dedication, the innovations and the amazing Membership Program that sets .CO apart from all other TLDs If you’ve read our previous article on .CO – you’ll know that these folks LOVE startups. They’re amazingly dedicated to help entrepreneurs grow and evolve. The .CO Membership program is a testament to their rocking dedication to help you grow. When you buy a .CO domain you’re not just another happy customer, you are a “CO-er”, part of their ever growing community, part of the movement. Their amazing Membership program has been designed exclusively, keeping in mind the needs of their CO-ers. They’ve got some pretty amazing goodies and perks lined up for you, starting from discounts at Stockphoto websites to free access to some of the top resources for entrepreneurs. They’ve got the hook up for pretty much everything that you will need to execute all the amazing things you’ve wanted to do with your business. We thought we’d give you a taste of all the goodies that are in store for you, so brace yourself: * 25% discount at Mobile Roadie: Thinking of creating an app for your business? look no further for this brilliant app creator is the answer to all your prayers. Trusted by giants like Verizon, TED and Universal Music – this app brings all the features you will need to creating a rocking app. * Access to Amazing Events: They’ll get you access to some of the best start up events across the world. For us, desi folks, they’ve plenty of options including the awesome Startup Weekend. * 15% off at iStock: As a business, you know the importance of stock images. Everything from the look of your website to your marketing collateral use stock images. As a proud CO-er get the best stock photos a cost to boast about. * $100 Credit on Google Adwords: Do we even need to highlight why this is so awesome? * FREE MOZ Subscription: One of the best online marketing analytics software outthere and as a CO-er you get it free for 3 whole months. Now that’s epic! We could on and on about the many amazing perks they’ve got for their CO-ers but we think this gives you a jist of how amazing this membership program truly is. Frankly, we’re so amazed by all that they have to offer, we just had to share it all with you. If you’re looking for a domain name, we’ll recommend .CO for more than one reason but the Membership program is more that just a Cherry on The Cake. If you already have a .CO domain then head over to: http://i.go.co and get yourself signed up. If you’re considering buying a new domain name, we’ve just given you a Very Serious reason to consider .CO as an option.

Building Trust, Interoperability At OpenStack Summit

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

The OpenStack Summit is about relationships. As developers, we meet up twice a year at the Summit and then return home and resume communication via IRC and email. Spending time in person with other members of the community gives you the opportunity to form a bond and, more importantly, build trust – a community without trust can’t thrive. Over the past few weeks, I’ve had time to reflect on OpenStack Summit Atlanta. Here, I’d like to share some of my thoughts. One of the best things I’ve heard said about Rackspace Cloud Architect Troy Toman’s OpenStack Summit keynote was that he didn’t give a vendor or product pitch. Instead, he offered a rallying cry for the community; talked about how we can build a planet-scale cloud; and highlighted what needs to change about OpenStack to enable it. One of the key components of that is trust among vendors, developers and community members, especially as the number of OpenStack installs grows and the number of people who actively use OpenStack and are interested in keeping it up and running starts to outnumber the developers. Like a puzzle, the pieces of OpenStack need to fit together more closely. While we once had very few large pieces, OpenStack is now a collection of much smaller pieces needed to form an even larger picture.  How can we better mediate the growth of projects and clouds? Inside of OpenStack, there were several disparate discussions about the same thing: Eventing. How do the individual projects pass events between one another. Initially, it was just Nova passing events inside of itself. Then Ceilometer came along and gathered the Nova events for billing. Now Heat and Horizon and many more projects want events from each of the individual OpenStack projects… and users want this as well. Orchestration continues to grow more important for OpenStack users. In March, Rackspace launched the Cloud Orchestration API: the first public installation of Heat, the OpenStack cloud orchestration platform. Heat allows you to upload a template for the software install you want to see instead of requiring that you create individual servers, volumes, networks and software installations as a long sequence of manual steps. Any interested parties can submit tasks for discussions, but they need to be prepared to facilitate their session. Racker Randal Burt found himself facilitating many of the Heat sessions, joined by technologists from HP, Red Hat and eNovance. We’re looking to build even more layers of software. Now that OpenStack is incubating Solum to deploy software installs at a higher level and Murano as a catalog of installable applications; how do they fit together? We had long discussions about how to avoid re-writing the same feature in different OpenStack projects and where the boundary lines should be drawn. Furthermore, how does Heat need to change as people demand more from of it? Features that the OpenStack-on-OpenStack people require to roll out large hardware multi-hour deploys. Sometimes you realize that a hardware node has failed, which would require you to re-run a multi-hour deploy.  This is the same concern as what Rackspace Cloud customers need when they use Heat to not just deploy a configuration but to ensure that if the software you are deploying requires five database servers that you will always have five database servers, even after months of entropy that cause one of your database servers to crash. Instead of the current model where Heat generates a workflow and the workflow either succeeds or fails, we’re moving towards a continuous convergence-based model. In this model, the Heat engine repeatedly examines what still needs to happen to continue to converge your install towards the desired state. It also provides the ability to replace a failed hardware node in the OpenStack-on-OpenStack model and enables you to adjust the size of your auto scaled group as demand changes without waiting for the previous operation to finish. Troy talked about how we used to define OpenStack contributions solely in terms of code. As we grow, we need to value the contributions that enable code creation. Moving Heat to a convergence-based model is an effort across corporate and team boundaries. It requires the people involved to trust each other. The most impactful product produced at the conference is not the bits of coding dashed off between parties, but the trust that something we have kind of discussed already as a possibility is actually something that we are ready to build – it’s a reality. I’m excited to see what’s coming next for the world of increasingly intelligent OpenStack clouds.

5 Facebook Marketing Basics I Learned From Beauty Salons

Post Planner -

Do you run a small local business? You know that marketing on Facebook is the way to go, right? In this post, I provide some great examples of businesses in the hair & beauty industry using Facebook pages to connect with new customers. I quickly noticed 5 things these pages all had in common as I researched the article: Compelling cover images Storytelling Great contests Consistent posts Viral photos If you don’t own a salon, don’t worry, these tips apply to pretty much any small business. Plus, these Facebook pages are really fun to look at. 5 Facebook Marketing Basics I Learned From Beauty Salons 1. Compelling Cover Images The best Facebook marketers make cover images a top priority. This is one of your first opportunities to make an good impression on new fans. The Waldorf Barbershop is a vintage barber shop in Dublin. Customers are invited to step back in time to not only receive a great haircut but a special experience, too. This cover image instantly tells me the kind of experience I will have at the Waldorf. I love that the owners are featured in the profile photo so you instantly know who you’re dealing with. There is an immediate human connection. Use your cover image to tell fans exactly what your company offers. Tell them what they can expect if they Like your page — and do it in about 3 seconds. >> Click to Tweet << 2. Storytelling Facts tell & stories sell. I heard that at a BNI training event. And it’s so true! As a consumer, I’m more likely to connect with your business if you tell stories I can connect with. >> Build Trust As you can see, veteran Waldorf hairstylist Liam keeps a steady hand: // Post by Waldorf Barbershop.   And check out all those Likes & shares. Posts like these help humanize the company, tell me about Liam & reassure me that The Waldorf is the place to go if I want a vintage cut. >> Give Back A trip to London takes us to The Lounge in Soho. // Post by The Lounge Soho.   This salon uses storytelling really well. Emma had her beautiful long hair cut off for charity. So the business made a donation & shared a link to the charity in their post. Think about how your business can help those in need. It’s good karma & your fans will appreciate you for it. >> Click to Tweet << >> Meet the Team Introducing your team is a great way to build relationships between stylists & customers. // Post by Reba Hair and Beauty Salon.   The folks at Reba Hair and Beauty excel at that. A different staff member is featured on their Facebook page each week. Take it a step further by hosting discussions between staffers & fans. 3. Great Contests Changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm are making it harder to get customers to engage with your page. >> Click to Tweet << But everyone loves a good contest — as long as you offer a relevant prize that will attract the right audience. Timeline contests work great, but as Facebook cracks down on Like-bait, you may need to get creative with what you ask people to do. Here’s a Timeline contest from Reba Hair and Beauty: // Post by Reba Hair and Beauty Salon.   The call-to-action is really simple, the graphic is strong & the prize is something contestants would like to win. And check out all those Likes, comments & shares! This post wasn’t even promoted. 4. Consistent Posting Posting consistently on your Facebook page is essential. If you don’t update your page, fans will get bored & your competition will be happy to help! >> Click to Tweet << Maria Conneely of Platinum Hairdressing posts regularly on her page. Every day there are at least 2 posts with examples of her work, what she’s been up to & loads of before-and-after shots. Here are some ideas for cool stuff to post on Facebook: How to Tip of the Day Before & After 5. Share Viral Photos Knowing what works can be very powerful when you’re managing a Facebook page. As a business owner, it’s likely you’re short on time. Post Planner has a cool new feature called Viral Photos. For this blog post, I added several salon Facebook pages to the app. I was pleased with what I found when I searched for the most shared photos from each page. Here’s my favorite: // Post by Waldorf Barbershop.   What made this photo so popular? It’s human & tells a story from a happy customer. Key Takeaways Here are some key takeaways from this post: Use a compelling cover image that tells fans what you do Tell stories that build trust, showcase your work & provide an experience Run great contests with prizes relevant to your fans Post consistently Share viral photos What did you learn from this article that will help you be a better page manager? I learned that it’s all about being human, having fun & connecting with YOUR fans. The post 5 Facebook Marketing Basics I Learned From Beauty Salons appeared first on Post Planner.

Cloudy skies are great for productivity

GoDaddy Blog -

Have you ever realized (usually with an embarrassed flush) that you left the contract, or blueprint, or project specs back at the office while you were out in the field, meeting with a customer? And you felt like a, well, you know. Any small business owner knows that a smooth-running operation requires attention to detail. Behind every storefront lies a complex system of paperwork, hands, and data that can make magic happen when all the parts come together like instruments in a finely tuned orchestra. When one of the players fall short, it can hinder the productivity of the entire company. An in-tune system is vital to small business success, and fortunately, today’s world of ever-clever technology offers a smooth path to harmony. Enter the Cloud. What is cloud-based file sharing? The idea behind this scalable, portable, and affordable solution is simple: upload files to a Web-based platform, choose your sharing preferences, and have access to all of the files you need from any Internet-enabled device, any time. Simply upload files — text, image, video, etc. — to your “cloud” from one computer or smartphone, and then you can access it on ANY computer or smartphone. Having that flexibility can protect against crashing computers, lost USB drives, coffee spills, and just plain old-fashioned forgetfulness. Working in the cloud makes it easy to get back to business. Now, when you’re away from your office you can still have the files you need at your fingertips. Upload a copy of each file to your mobile-enabled file-sharing system. If you’re an architect who needs to show your client a blueprint, or an artist who wants to show off your portfolio, you can quickly pull it up on your mobile device. Have to print a contract on the fly? Simply access it in the cloud and print it from any computer. One of the best things about cloud-based platforms like Microsoft OneDrive™, Google Drive™ and Apple’s iCloud™ is that there’s very little restriction on the kinds of files you can upload to them. That means you can utilize that storage space to address a whole range of issues. Sounds great. Where do you sign up? Well, there is a chance you already have a cloud-based system and don’t even know it. If you get your email via Microsoft® Office 365 from GoDaddy, congratulations, you’re already there! All of our Office 365 products come with access to OneDrive, a cloud-storage program tied to your email address. Simply sign into your inbox from any device with an Internet connection and you have access to every file you could possibly want to upload to OneDrive. It’s awesome. These super-cool cloud-based platforms, and standalone products like Dropbox, are changing the way small businesses optimize their performance. Imagine having access to all of your daily documents with a single sign-in to one secure platform. With a little foresight, you’ll never be caught without an umbrella  again. The post Cloudy skies are great for productivity appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Strap on Jetpack to make WordPress engagement soar

GoDaddy Blog -

When I was a kid, I wanted a jetpack. (Truth be told, I also wanted a flying car.) And, while there are some jetpacks available today of the type I envisioned while growing up, the Jetpack we’re going to discuss here is of a slightly different variety. Jetpack is a bundle of WordPress® plugins that pulls together a number of common extensions that are frequently used in extending a blog’s or website’s capabilities. In fact, the Jetpack bundle includes 30 common features, and has been downloaded more than 10 million times. There is a lot of stuff in Jetpack, and Julie Deneen over at Fabulous Blogging has written a stellar overview that outlines “Everything You Need (and Don’t) With the Jetpack Plugin.” If you want to get into the nitty-gritty, it’s the definitive place to start. There are two aspects of Jetpack, however, that warrant an explicit mention here. They both involve customer engagement: the sharing component and the subscriptions component. Sharing with Jetpack Creating great content is just the beginning. Its distribution can have as much, or more, impact than the content itself, according to Forbes, BuzzFeed, Forrester and others. Some people, like Derek Halpern of Social Trigger™, even apply the 80/20 rule here — spending 20 percent of their time creating content and 80 percent on promoting, marketing and distributing it. The Sharing module in Jetpack is an easy way to enable your readers and site visitors to distribute your (great) content on your behalf across channels including Facebook®, Twitter®, StumbleUpon®, Pinterest®, Google+™, LinkedIn® and others. Subscriptions via Jetpack You’re super busy, and so are your readers. Especially if you’re not able to post every day, letting them know when there is a new post available is both courteous and a great way to keep people coming back to your site. The Subscriptions module within Jetpack meets this need, alerting readers every time a new post goes live. The Sharing and Subscriptions modules are just two of the pieces of the Jetpack puzzle focused on engagement. As noted above, if you want a deeper look, check out the “Everything You Need (and Don’t) With the Jetpack Plugin” via BlogHer and Julie Deneen. Bonus video: For those who really do want to check out a newfangled take on the old-school jetpack, take a peek: The post Strap on Jetpack to make WordPress engagement soar appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Marketing Instagram Style: What Marketers Need to Know

Social Media Examiner -

Do you use Instagram for marketing? Are you wondering how you can grow an Instagram following that will build your business? To learn how Instagram can help you engage your audience, I interview Jenn Herman for this episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast. More About This Show The Social Media Marketing podcast is a [...]This post Marketing Instagram Style: What Marketers Need to Know first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Making site moves easier

Google Webmaster Central Blog -

Webmaster level: intermediate-advanced Few topics confuse and scare webmasters more than site moves. To help you avoid surprises, we've created an in-depth guide on how to handle site moves in a Googlebot-friendly way. So what, exactly, is a site move and how do you go about moving a site correctly? Basics of site movesA site move is, broadly, one of two types of content migrations: Site moves without URL changes. Only the underlying infrastructure serving the website is changed without any visible changes to the URL structure. For example, you might move www.example.com to a different hosting provider while keeping the same URLs and site structure on www.example.com.Site moves with URL changes. Here, the URLs on the website change in any number of ways: The protocol: http://www.example.com to https://www.example.comThe domain name: example.com to example.netThe URL paths: http://example.com/page.php?id=1 to http://example.com/widget We've seen cases where webmasters implemented site moves incorrectly, or missed out steps that would have greatly increased the chances of the site move completing successfully. To help webmasters design and implement site moves correctly, we've updated the site move guidelines in our Help Center. In parallel, we continue to improve our crawling and indexing systems to detect and handle site moves if you follow our guidelines. Moving to responsive web designA related increasingly-common question we're seeing is how can a website move from having separate mobile URLs or dynamic serving to using responsive web design. To help you implement this configuration change, please see this new page on our smartphones recommendations site. And, as always, please ask on our Webmaster Help forums if you have more questions. Posted by Pierre Far and Zineb Ait Bahajji, Webmaster Trends Analysts

Eighteen awesome hours: The APICon/quest Hackathon 2014

The Twitter Developer Blog -

The team at ProgrammableWeb threw their first Hackathon last week, and we were happy to stay late, snack on pizza and help out some great contestants. After a flurry of API talks (including ours) given by the sponsors, contestants started digging into code and hacking through the night. When the dust settled the next afternoon, we were honored to see that Twitter was integrated into over half the entries. A few of our favorites: Twit Anonymous — An Android app that was billed as “Secret for Twitter” Allspark — Tweet or text to get an answer, like Siri for feature phones Twitter Insight — Mapping your social graph’s activity on Google Maps It was hard to pick a winner for the Twitter Social Prize, but we went with EventSense, by @drewcuth1, @ackrause, @nickolaswei and @ovedpathak, all students from the Hack Reactor program. Written in Node.js, the EventSense app helps busy event organizers run their social media campaigns by retweeting great mentions and escalating unfavorable ones. (Sentiment analysis powered by the natural language API, Wit.AI and sentiment for node.js.) More broadly, we saw potential for the technology to be used in a variety of customer support or customer experience applications. https://twitter.com/noonisms/status/471855312303972353 Finally, EventSense was kind enough to share their code on Github, so that others can learn how easy it is to build on top of the Twitter platform. You can fork it here. Thanks again to @dberlind and the great team at ProgrammableWeb for letting us sponsor this inaugural Hackathon. We look forward to joining again next year!

Three Nights — Three Choices (Including the 10th Anniversary Bash)

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

What else is happening in Miami Beach the same time as HostingCon? Of course, your prime reason for being in Miami Beach is to attend HostingCon, especially this year as we celebrate our tenth anniversary with a huge opening party extravaganza. What’s that about? The HostingCon 10th Anniversary Bash and Networking Extravaganza directly follows the Keynote on Monday, June 16 from 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Hop aboard a complimentary shuttle at the convention center and head to The Loews Miami Beach for the biggest celebration in the business, featuring great food and drinks, music, prizes, networking, easy access to the beach, and other surprises. Complimentary drinks and hors d’oeuvres courtesy of DHCapital and IBM will be available. Over the next two days of the event, a wide assortment of other activities will be offered by HostingCon exhibitors and sponsors. But what else special is happening in Miami Beach during the three days of HostingCon? Keeping to the theme of “three,” one of the following three events might be of interest. 1.  Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation Taste of the Nation is being held this year right in the HostingCon event hotel – The Loews on Tuesday evening, June 17th. With tastings of both wine and gourmet cuisine from more than 50 venues, the evening will feature live entertainment, both silent and live auctions, and a variety of other activities. Celebrity chefs and mixologists ensure that the atmosphere and the food and drinks are first-class. The event is in support of Share Our Strength’s No Hungry Kid charity that seeks to end childhood hunger in America. Tickets for the evening are $125 for general admission from 7-10 p.m., $250 for VIP admission starting at 6 p.m. A Black And Blanco After Party begins at 10 p.m. with an admission of $75. More details at the website. 2. Marlins vs. Cubs Major League Baseball It’s like it was planned this way – it’s HostingCon and the Marlins are in town against the Chicago Cubs for a three-game run on the same three days. The first game is Monday night at 7 p.m. but you’ll probably be at the HostingCon Tenth Anniversary Party right? No worries, because they also play on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. (and it’s Half-Price Tuesday with some tickets priced even lower). The final game is on the Wednesday at 12:40 p.m., but if you’ve already completed all your networking and exploration of the exhibit hall, you might make that game too. Marlins Park is just two miles from downtown Miami and sports a retractable roof. Check the website for more details and tickets. 3.  Miami Film Month June is Miami’s Film Month and given the area’s rich history in the film industry and its collection of Art-Deco theaters, a lot of the events planned are sure to be of interest to film buffs. Although the popular bus tours of the area’s film locations take place on Saturdays during the month, discounted pricing at participating art cinemas is in effect all month ($8 movie screenings). Participating theaters include the Bill Cosford Cinema, Coral Gables Art Cinema, Miami Beach Cinemathequei, Cinema Wynwood, Cinema Miami Shores, and the Tower Theater. Take a look at the website for details of which films will be shown. So there you have it — three other events that just happen to be planned for the same time as HostingCon. You’d best get lots of sleep before you head for Miami Beach and the non-stop action! For all the latest HostingCon news and information, visit HostingCon - Premier Industry Conference and Trade Show for Web Hosting and Cloud Service Providers

Typepad 101: A few words about following

Everything Typepad -

We recently reintroduced you to your Typepad Profile, where we covered all the things you can do to customize your profile and make it your own. Now that you've had time to get to know your profile, we'd like to talk to you about the little green button you can see on the left here - the Follow button. Something we hear from our bloggers from time to time is that you want to find other Typepad blogs to read, but you're not sure exactly how. We want to make it easier for you to discover great blogs, keep tabs on your favorite bloggers, and to help you engage more easily (like with quick comment replies) with your readers, so we're here today to talk about Following people via the Typepad Profile. Once you've pressed that little button on a fellow Typepad blogger's profile and followed them, you'll start to see their activity right in your Dashboard. Your Dashboard helps you to know when someone you're following comments, follows another Typepad blogger, or adds a post to their Typepad blog. You'll also get a little alert when other Typepad bloggers follow you! Best of all, it’s fun! Being able to track what your most pithy and interesting commenters say and do is a great way to get inspired to be an even better blogger. "So, how do I find people to follow?" For a strong start, check out the Typepad Showcase! It's full of blogs on every subject from parenting to lifestyle to design to tech, and features some of the best bloggers on Typepad. Once you start following a few people, you can follow the people they're following, or you can also follow the people who've commented on your blog with Typepad Connect. Using your Typepad Profile and Dashboard is a simple, easy, and effective way to find great new blogs to follow, keep tabs on your favorite Typepad bloggers, and build your community at the same time! Not so sure you want that content on your Dashboard after all? We've got the skinny on how to unfollow and remove recent activity from other bloggers right here.

NCM Online Sets New Standards for Unbiased Web Hosting Reviews

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

Data-driven web host rankings utilize third-party speed and reliability test results. NEW YORK, June 4, 2014 -- NCM Online (www.ncmonline.com), a new leader in the publication of unbiased website hosting testing and analysis has published reviews of 20 leading web hosts. Critiques include page-load speed and uptime test charts, BBB Ratings, re...

Introducing Longreads’ Best of WordPress

WordPress.com News -

Today we’re excited to launch a new series with Longreads, the storytelling community that recently joined the Automattic and WordPress.com Editorial family. And we need your help. We’re looking for the best long-form stories over 1,500 words, across all of WordPress—a quest that will span 22% of the Internet. It will include work from undiscovered writers, as well as the authors and publishers you already know and love. Help us find and share the best stories Authors and publishers: When you post something great that’s over 1,500 words, use the longreads tag on your post so we can consider it. You can also share a link to the story on Twitter: Just reply to @Longreads or include #longreads in your tweet. (If your WordPress site is self-hosted, Twitter is still the best way to reach us.) Readers: If you find something that you love, share it with us! Reblog a link on your own site and add the longreads tag, or share it on Twitter with #longreads. What we’re looking for Right now, we’re searching for primarily nonfiction. This can include the following: Interviews: It could be an interview with your grandparents, a Q&A with your best friend about their career, or a conversation with your favorite local business owner. Essays, speeches and big ideas: A personal spin on an important topic, or a transcript from a talk you gave at a work conference. History and research: We love learning about our collective experiences, and what it tells us about the past and the future. Share your personal, professional, or academic research about topics that interest you. Previously published book excerpts and magazine features: If you are the rights holder for a book or magazine feature—old or new pieces are both welcome—share it with the #longreads community. We’re looking forward to seeing your story picks! * * * Here are a few more examples of stories we’ve featured on Longreads from the world of WordPress: I Was a Teenage Narc (Michael Hobbes): Hobbes recalls being employed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board as a teenage informant who bought cigarettes and alcohol without an ID. My Reply to Alexander Nazaryan of Newsweek (Diane Ravitch): The public school crusader takes on a challenge from a Newsweek writer to tackle the problems with Common Core. Comedy and the Single Girl: An Excerpt from ‘Mary and Lou and Rhoda and Ted’ (Jennifer K. Armstrong): The story of Treva Silverman, and how she helped create some of the most iconic characters in TV history. You’re Probably Using the Wrong Dictionary (James Somers): What John McPhee and a good dictionary can teach us about writing. An Interview with My Mother, the One Who Stayed Home (Roxane Gay, The Hairpin): The author speaks with her mother about the decision to be a stay-at-home mom. Penny Pritzker’s Path from Family Tragedy to Business Success (Nina Easton, Fortune) How the Obama Commerce Secretary’s early family tragedies shaped her path to business and political success. The History of ‘Boy’ and ‘Girl’ Toys: A Veteran Toy Designer Wrestles With the Industry’s Gender Divide (Hunter Oatman-Stanford, Collectors Weekly): A look at the evolution of the toy industry, how Barbie changed the world, and why “girls” and “boys” toys are still so differentiated. A Cocktail Party In The Street: An Interview With Alan Stillman (Nicola Twilley, Edible Geography): How a famous restaurant chain got its start in New York City. Filed under: Admin Bar, Community, Reading, Tags, WordPress, WordPress.com

Scoring Game-changing Volunteers with the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace

LinkedIn Official Blog -

In the summer of 2007, I had a revelation that changed my life. I was a professional basketball player training during the off-season at a local gym outside Atlanta, when I noticed some youth playing around. School was out for the summer, their parents were at work, and these kids did not have activities to keep them constructively engaged in their downtime. Basketball has always been instrumental in my life because it provided me many opportunities and taught me about teamwork, accountability and respect, and I realized that I could use my expertise to provide at-risk youth with the opportunity to learn these lessons as well. I co-founded Back 2 Basics Kids Foundation (B2B) with the mission of providing inner-city youth the opportunity to discover and enhance individual skills through health and fitness awareness, teamwork, life skills, and expression. I understand personally the power of volunteering for good. This is why, as the Executive Director of B2B, I was inspired to leverage LinkedIn’s Volunteer Marketplace to find the skills and expertise we needed to strengthen our organization’s capacity. Through the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace, we found two skilled volunteers—an experienced social media manager who has grown our organization’s social reach, and a Board member who brings a strong finance background to advise us on key financial decisions. Like most executive directors of small organizations with big reach, I think about skills and resources quite a bit. With only two employed staff members and year-round programming, Back 2 Basics Kids Foundation would not be what it is today without our talented volunteers. Our new volunteer Social Media Strategist has made a big impact in a short time frame. She manages all of our social media marketing efforts for our Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn accounts, and now she’s creating newsletter templates to keep our supporters, clients, volunteers and donors up to date on our latest news and events.  She has made an immediate impact and created more public awareness about B2B. Our newest volunteer board member joined just two weeks before our second quarterly meeting and has brought tremendous financial expertise to the table. By joining our fundraising committee, he will help with our year-round fundraising efforts, create and oversee administrative and program budgets, and spread awareness about B2B through his networks. The LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace has made it possible for us to access a diverse and qualified group of professionals eager to give back so we could find the right fit for our organization. If you’re interested in using the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace to find skilled volunteers to manage your organization’s social media efforts as Yusef did, follow these simple steps: Click here for a pre-filled volunteer social media manager posting. Add in details about your organization to motivate professionals to apply. Post and share with your network. Or if you’re interested in volunteering your skills and expertise, explore opportunities in the LinkedIn Volunteer Marketplace.

Celebrate 10 Years Of IRCE With Rackspace Digital

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

IRCE is one of the largest ecommerce events in the world, and 2014 looks like it will prove to be bigger than ever. IRCE is celebrating 10 years of bringing digital retailers together, and Rackspace will be representing in style. Our Digital Specialists will be talking all things commerce at booth No. 437. Learn about how our deep Magento and Oracle experience can optimize your ecommerce site for the customer experience. Some Rackspace Digital customers will also be sharing their insights and thought leadership during the conference. You can catch them taking about the following topics: “Building on Strengths: Why Data Should Change Your Marketing Plan Every Quarter” with Ryan Bonifacino from Alex & Ani “Staying Ahead of Mobile Shoppers’ Rising Expectations” with Ray Velez from Razorfish “The B2B Opportunity: Have you Thought this Through?” with Keith Haig from 3M Between sessions and panels, come relax with us in our Mimosa and Bloody Mary bar Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Rackspace Digital delivers the performance, expertise and reliability to keep ecommerce sites up and running. That’s why we’re the No. 1 hosting provider for the Internet Retailer Top 1,000. If you’re going to be at IRCE 2014, make sure to stop by booth No. 437 to learn how we can help power your digital strategy.

Rackspace Startup Program Spotlight On GMEX: A Metals Marketplace On The Rackspace Managed Cloud

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Global Material Exchange, known in the industry as GMEX, offers an online marketplace for industrial metal buyers and sellers to connect in real time. The startup aims to save companies time and money by delivering intuitive and innovative software for an effectively managed supply chain in the metals industry. Bottom line: GMEX, a Rackspace Startup Program member, automates supply chain for industrial metal buyers and sellers. And it does so across a host of industries including aerospace, oil and gas, mining and minerals, heavy machinery and construction. “GMEX was conceived in Houston, Texas as a solution due to the industry’s frustrations of purchasing industrial metal for some of the largest oil and gas equipment manufacturers,” explains GNEX CEO Jeremy Chapman. GMEX’s goal is to develop a community that fosters interaction between parties buying and selling materials within a trusted marketplace. GMEX’s search engine comprises sellers from around the world to offer an efficient and effective way to search and buy metals with no middlemen or commissions. GMEX – Global Material Exchange from GMEX on Vimeo. In addition to the marketplace, GMEX offers industry news, conversion calculators, a service center locator and a learning center for those who want to expand their industry knowledge and save time, money and manpower. Chapman says the Rackspace Startup Program has helped GMEX by allowing its technical team to experiment with different servers, applications and processing power. “Before Rackspace, we were using a shared-hosting solution that was not meeting our needs,” Chapman says. “We needed to have root access to configure applications and key files to control our environments. The Rackspace Startup Program allowed us to do everything we needed while testing multiple environments to reach optimal efficiency.” Chapman adds that Rackspace’s Managed Cloud enables GMEX to focus on its business, not its infrastructure. “We chose Rackspace because of the low learning curve when compared to AWS, the dashboard makes it easy to manage our servers, CDN, backups and server alerts,” Chapman says. “The Managed Cloud Servers have been there for us when we needed quick advice or help to fix, install or maintain our supported server applications and configurations.” GMEX boasts a dedicated team of highly skilled professionals, state of the art data-management technology, independent perspective and total commitment to providing its customers with superb service. The company aims the best resource through which distributors can acquire new customers, buyers can source their materials more efficiently and the metal industry can build a cohesive, lifelong relationship. “GMEX continues to grow our customer base and capture market share throughout the metals industry,” says Chapman. The Rackspace Startup Program was there to help Global Material Exchange (GMEX) bring its industrial metal services to market. Drop the Startup Team a note and let us know if you need help building your startup.

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