Industry Buzz

New Themes Are Here! Introducing Journey and Clean Lines

The Weebly Blog -

Today we are pleased to introduce Journey and Clean Lines, the first in a series of exciting new themes scheduled for release over the next few weeks. We hope these new themes will inspire you to do even more with your website, blog or online store. The themes themselves represent several different trends in modern web design – but they all share one goal – to showcase and celebrate your unique voice.  Journey A light and fresh theme that lets your content take center stage, Journey’s full width header image keeps visitors immersed in your message. The subtle navy and light blue color palette ensures that your content appears crisp and professional. You can give Journey a spin right now by switching themes. Clean Lines This universal theme is designed to support your content with elegant and subtle visual elements. With three separate sets of black and white palettes you can leverage Clean Lines’ minimalism and mold this theme into your own individual style. Clean Lines is available in your Site Editor under Design > Change Theme.Did You Try One? You Could Win a Prize!If you update your site with either Journey or Clean Lines you’re immediately eligible to enter our next Before & After Contest. All you have to do is fill out the form located in this blog post!Just like the first Before & After contest, which featured some amazing winners, the rules are simple: Use the form below to upload a screenshot of your site before and a screenshot of your site after an update with Journey or Clean Lines. Don’t forget to include your site URL! The winner will receive a free year of Weebly Pro, limited-edition Weebly schwag, and a dedicated blog post showcasing their work. Before and After Contest: Journey and Clean Lines Name * First Last Before Image * Max file size: 20MB After Image * Max file size: 20MB Site URL * Submit We hope these new themes give you the inspiration to update your site, or even start something completely new. Look for more releases over the next few weeks and don’t forget to share your feedback on the new themes with us in the comments.

From Student to Teacher: Empowering Youth as Part of My Job at LinkedIn

LinkedIn Official Blog -

When I was in college, I was really active in extracurricular activities – from being a mentor to local students to helping to solve my region’s social challenges. As I began my first job at LinkedIn, I didn’t expect my work experience would be expansive enough to include similar activities. To my pleasant surprise, I was wrong. As part of LinkedIn’s Global Sales Organization University program – a sales rotational program for recent graduates — leading these types of initiatives is encouraged. LinkedIn’s culture of transformation encourages employees to pursue their passions at work and to contribute to LinkedIn’s vision of economic opportunity beyond our day-to-day jobs. This week, I had the opportunity to host 50 Bay Area college and high school students for a day at LinkedIn for a “Be A Changemaker Bootcamp” event. The students worked alongside local professionals and social entrepreneurs, learning about our region’s toughest challenges and designing venture ideas to help solve them. I led this event in partnership with Ashoka’s Youth Venture, an organization that supports young people in developing “changemaker” skills of teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and empathy, because I was looking for a different way to support my local community. I wanted to give back to students and education on a deeper level, and become a part of the problem-solving process for addressing social issues in the Bay Area. Early in the day, I was reminded that no matter your age, these problems are not easy to solve. Everyone at the event struggled to see clear solutions to big, systemic problems like homelessness, inequality, and the environment. However, I left the event blown away by the passion and capabilities of the students attending the event. They jumped into issues with gusto and fresh perspective, asked “why not?” with an open mind in response to their peers’ ideas. The day-long bootcamp concluded with a lightning-round pitch competition where students shared their ideas in front of a seriously charged judging panel including LinkedIn’s VP of Global Sales Brian Frank, Associate Director of Health Quality and Outcomes at Boehringer-Ingelheim Debbie Lin, and Miguel Sossa, Accenture Sustainability Strategy Consultant. The students came up with remarkable ideas to reduce incarceration rates for young men through international community service projects and increase internship and research opportunities for community college students by partnering with local businesses and four-year universities. I was so inspired by these students’ heartfelt pitches, and their passion to make social impact a part of their future and the future of their communities. What was most inspiring to me is that just one year ago, I would have been sitting in those students’ seats in the boot camp. Today, I’m living and working in the Bay Area where I have the privilege and opportunity to help students who want to make a difference in the world find their passions, determine the problems they want to solve, and start acting on them.

How to Effectively Integrate Your Marketing Efforts

HostGator Blog -

The post How to Effectively Integrate Your Marketing Efforts appeared first on HostGator Web Hosting Blog | Gator Crossing. As the Internet becomes a more commonly used tool for consumers to locate companies and products they are interested in, it is becoming more and more important for companies to effectively integrate their marketing efforts into the online arena. Many companies are still operating as if their online marketing efforts are entirely separate from the rest of their advertising campaigns. In fact, in the 21 essential for your company to integrate all of your marketing campaigns in order to ensure one cohesive message. Potential consumers are easily turned off by a lack of continuity across varying advertising platforms. Being promised one thing and receiving another proves frustrating for everyone involved. As a marketer, you should take steps to make sure that your efforts are helping your company realize its maximum potential. Organizing an effective and cohesive marketing strategy that includes both online and offline marketing doesn’t have to be incredibly difficult. Here are a few easy tips designed to help you effectively integrate your marketing efforts:   Define Your Focus A vast majority of marketing efforts today fail to focus on the big picture. A company that fails to inspire their employees to concentrate their marketing efforts will most likely encounter a lack of success when it comes to attracting potential customers. Today, the most effective integrated marketing campaigns usually come down to how well companies can brand themselves. Every company should take time to research how they want to shape their own brand, what is important to their customers when making a purchase, and what makes their company unique from their competitors.   Identify Marketing Channels Many people think about integrated marketing as a wide range of marketing messages that reach consumers on every channel possible. In reality, trying to reach every channel can actually result in fragmentation of your desired marketing message. The advertising arena today is incredibly saturated with messages from millions of companies around the world. Fragmented messages can actually limit the effectiveness of your communications in the channels that are most important to your company. Limiting your company’s message by trying to disperse it across every possible medium will simply result in your message becoming subject to the ‘needle­in­a­haystack’ syndrome. Identifying the marketing channels that will have the most impact on the customers you are targeting is essential to any successful integrated marketing effort.   Sync Your Efforts Once you have successfully identified the channels you believe will be most effective to capture customers, you need to take time to organize and coordinate all forms of your marketing communications. As mentioned above, companies who do not present a coordinated, cohesive message across all of their marketing platforms can easily discourage their customers. Every channel should have a message that focuses on the same positive aspects of your business.   Think Global, Act Local Companies in the 21st Century have a much greater potential to reach customers on a global level than ever before. The Internet provides companies with a simple platform that allows them to reach international consumers quickly and efficiently. Many businesses fall into the trap of excessively tailoring their messages to the local consumers that are interested in their products. Too much local focus can actually compromise a company’s ability to maintain consistent messages across various channels.   While tailoring niche messages will certainly allow companies to capture larger segments of the local market, companies must be careful to maintain consistent and reliable messages. Keeping your key marketing elements in mind throughout your integrated marketing efforts will allow you to remain consistent, and maximize your potential. web hosting

5 Facebook “Best Practices” You Need to THROW AWAY Today

Post Planner -

A lot of advice is being thrown around by “Facebook experts” these days. DO THIS, they say. DON’T DO THAT, they say. But sometimes you gotta ignore the advice & go your own way. Do what works best for YOUR page! Why follow what everyone else is doing when you can do something special to stand out? This post is about doing away with a few common & widely touted Facebook best practices. These conventional rules might be holding you back. And if you experiment with more unconventional ideas on your page, you might see more engagement than ever before. 5 Facebook “Best Practices” You Need to THROW AWAY Today Get out the rubbish bin! 1. Best Time to Post Every expert seems to know the best time to post on Facebook. So many have studied this, but I don’t think anyone knows the right answer — if there is a right answer. Every study shows a different time. This image charts when people post on Facebook: You’ll have to test different content at different times to see what works best on your page. On some of my Facebook pages, the posts that got the most engagement are published at 10 & 11pm. 2. Best Day to Post Is Wednesday the best day to post on Facebook? One of my recent articles was about a study that found that Tuesday was the best day to share content. >> Click to Tweet << Seriously? Ok, if your content is work related, I think it makes sense to post that material on a weekday.  And you can try posting the more personal stuff on the weekend. That’s always worked well on my pages. >> Click to Tweet <<  But you have to experiment to see what works on your page. I’m basing my advice on data from my Facebook pages — your fans might be different.   3. Photos Work Best on Facebook  Photos are the best type of content to share on Facebook, right? >> Click to Tweet <<  Socialbakers found recently that photos dominate the engagement landscape. But there’s other content you can post on Facebook too. For example,videos seems to get the most fan engagement on pages like TomorrowWorld.  On The Huffington Post page, many of the posts are links. Links may work best for them because people turn to the Huffington Post for news. And your fans may respond best to a mix of photos, links & text updates. Again, you’ll need to test & see. 4. Don’t Post More than Twice a Day Many Facebook experts will tell you not to post more than twice a day. We reject this advice on Post Planner’s Facebook page – where some days we post more than 6 times. And it hasn’t hurt our reach or engagement. // Post by Post Planner. 5. Keep Posts Brief  Some people say longer posts don’t get as much engagement from fans.  I think it depends on what you’re trying to share on your Facebook page or profile. I think if your content is more personal than professional, your posts can be longer. They should feel more like a story than a post meant to introduce a link.  Key Takeaway There isn’t just one secret to success when you’re marketing your business on Facebook. What works well for one page, may fall flat on the next. >> Click to Tweet << My advice is to look at the “expert” advice you get as general guidelines — not to be followed 100%.  There are just so many variables to consider! It’s up to you to test to see what strategies get the most engagement from your fans. The post 5 Facebook “Best Practices” You Need to THROW AWAY Today appeared first on Post Planner.

Context Is Key: With DevOps Automation Our Developers Can Focus On Code, Not Servers

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

By Premesh Purayil, CTO, Ranker As a society, we love making lists. Who hasn’t played the game of listing out their favorite movies, books or albums?  At Ranker, we take those lists and allow the world to vote—resulting in a crowdsourced answer to any opinion-based question. We like to call ourselves the Yelp for everything else. I’m not merely talking about typical, “Top 10” lists like best action movies or the best laptop brands– we have those, but they’re not our bread and butter. We dig deep into lists such as the best apps for messing with someone’s life the NBA’s biggest floppers (I’m looking at you LeBron!) and the best websites to waste your time on. Sure, people can go to Google and search for the most talented leading men of Irish descent who have starred in sci-fi thrillers, but all of the results would be biased. We leverage the wisdom of crowds to provide a list based on the most user votes and responses – it’s not necessarily a perfect science, but it’s pretty close. We handle upwards of 5.7 million votes per month, then we have user-generated content. And from there, we leverage data to extract intelligence from it. For example (and to be clear, this is just an example and not scientifically proven), we can determine that a user who likes modern martial arts flicks digs remixes and mashups by The Melker Project, prefers Coke to Pepsi, dislikes Hondas and wears throwback Nike sneakers. That’s a great deal of intelligence and requires a top-notch product to power it. Our team of developers works tirelessly to improve our product. We have to stay one step ahead of the data we are creating. Our users demand real-time responses and the most up to date information. We’re always working on, testing and tweaking new features. It’s very fluid. We maintain a relatively lean team. We’re developers; DevOps is not our core competency. In the past, we constantly had top-level engineers doing configuration and maintenance of servers. It was a huge time suck – we spent about 10 hours per week keeping servers up to snuff. That’s roughly 40 hours a month taken away from  innovating and improving our product. Development is all about context. To have engineers digging into server issues and bouncing back and forth between developing and server management results in a huge loss of context. Developers require concentration and jumping from coding to fighting fires sets back progress. We could’ve hired a full or part time staffer to run our DevOps, but the time spent finding the talent and then budgeting for their salary would have been high. They would’ve had to be remote, while we’d want to keep them in-house. It just wouldn’t have been realistic. Roughly six months ago, we cut over from the public cloud to Rackspace Private Cloud, a move that’s going to reduce our infrastructure spend about 60 percent. And in January we signed on with Rackspace DevOps Automation Service to improve how we deploy and maintain our application stack. We now have the same company that is managing our private cloud handling our DevOps. One team has a deep understanding of how our software stack interoperates with our infrastructure and if there’s an issue they can easily understand it and fix it. Now, if we find an issue, we can get on the phone or submit a ticket and it’s fixed right away, as opposed to my team taking up to several days to get it fixed the old way. And it’s 24×7 – whereas if we hired someone it’d be a single nine-to-five position. Rackspace knows our Private Cloud and knows our systems. They’re the specialists. Prior to leveraging DevOps Automation Service we were all manual. We’d configure a server, take an image and reuse it. If we had to do that 10 times, the process may work four out of those 10 times. If we had to make changes to our front-end web stack – that’s 15 servers – we’d make changes manually and then update each server. With DevOps Automation, those changes and updates happen with the push of a button across all servers. It’s a huge time saver. What it ultimately comes down to is the confidence and comfort level with who is managing our infrastructure – with Rackspace Private Cloud and DevOps Automation Service we know that our hardware and our technology stack is taken care of and we can focus our energy on building a great product. This is a guest post written and contributed by Premesh Purayil, CTO of Ranker a Rackspace customer. Ranker is crowdsourced rankings of everything – topics both entertaining and practical. Ranker is also a platform for individual and fact-based lists, but its primary goal is to use the wisdom of crowds to deliver the best opinions possible about any topic where a list is the best answer.

How to resell r1soft back up services to your customers

Pickaweb Blog -

        We have recently completed a free upgrade for our reseller hosting customers.  R1soft backup/restore is now available. We have found that lots of our resellers would like to offer backup services to their customers, so we have installed r1soft´s cPanel plugin. Giving your customers access to backups and the best part is […]The post How to resell r1soft back up services to your customers appeared first on Small Business Marketing, Domain Names & Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb. Related posts: Web Hosting Services with cPanel – advantages explained If you are looking around for web hosting services you... What is the difference between shared hosting and reseller hosting? We are often asked what is the difference between shared... Web Designer Hosting Options from Pickaweb If you are a web designer looking for the best...

16 Resources to Generate Leads With Social Media

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want to get more business through social media? Are you looking for new ways to generate leads? As marketers and business owners, you’re constantly looking for potential customers. In this article you’ll find 16 resources to help you generate leads with social media. How to Generate Leads Before you boost your social media lead generation, [...]This post 16 Resources to Generate Leads With Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How to Develop a LinkedIn Content Strategy

Social Media Examiner -

Do you have a LinkedIn content strategy? Do you want to maximize exposure of your content on LinkedIn? Reach LinkedIn users with professional, valuable content that stands out, and they’re likely a step closer to pursuing a business relationship with you. In this article, I’ll share four ways content on LinkedIn can help you meet [...]This post How to Develop a LinkedIn Content Strategy first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Amazon WorkSpaces Now Available in Europe

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Amazon WorkSpaces provides a desktop computing environment in the cloud. It gives enterprise IT the power to meet the needs of a diverse user base by providing them with the ability to work wherever and whenever they want, while using the desktop or mobile device of their choice. Today we are bringing Amazon WorkSpaces to Europe, with immediate availability in the EU (Ireland) Region. This new Region joins the existing US East (Northern Virginia) and US West (Oregon) Regions. The Amazon WorkSpaces Administration Guide contains the information that you need to have to get started as quickly and efficiently as possible. Within this guide you'll find a Getting Started Guide, documentation for WorkSpaces administrators, and WorkSpaces Client Help. -- Jeff;

OpenStack Summit Atlanta: Where To Find Rackspace Specialists

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

OpenStack Summit Atlanta kicks off on Monday. Thousands of stackers will head to the ATL to hear more about OpenStack during keynote sessions, workshops, a design summit and much more. Rackspace will be out in full force hosting a number of speaking sessions, a keynote presentation from Troy Toman and a bunch of other awesome events. You can keep up with all of what’s happening on Twitter with the hashtag #rackstackatl. Here’s a full list of what we’re up to at OpenStack Summit Atlanta (May 12 through May 16): Keynote Presentation Monday, May 12 9:50 a.m. Just Rebels? Or A Rebel Alliance? (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Architect Troy Toman @troytoman) OpenStack’s remarkable progress, traction with users and vibrant community changed the course of computing. But that’s not enough to keep this thing going in the face of intensified competition and mounting complexity. Now we have to get big. That means extending what the cloud can be, embracing interoperability and engaging more diverse contributors. It means coming together to define what users need and making it strong enough to scale. Speaking Sessions Monday, May 12 11:15 a.m. Multi-Tenant Bare Metal Provisioning with Ironic (Featuring Rackspace Software Development Manager Russell Haering @russell_h) 12:05 p.m. So You Want to Be an OpenStack Contributor? (Featuring Rackspace Software Development Manager Rainya Mosher @rainyamosher, Rackspace Software Developer Iccha Sethi @IcchaSethi, Rackspace Principal Architect Egle Sigler @eglute and Rackspace Cloud Technology Instructor Angela Streeter @angelastreeter) Continuous Integration Testing for Your Database Migrations (Featuring Rackspace Software Developer Joshua Hesketh) 2:50 p.m. Laying Cinder Block (Volumes): Use Cases and Reference Architectures (Featuring Rackspace Technology Evangelist Kenneth Hui @hui_kenneth, SolidFire OpenStack Block Storage PTL John Griffith and Open Innovations Lab Principal Architect James Ruddy) 4:40 p.m. Troubleshooting Neutron Virtual Networks (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Technology Instructor Phil Hopkins) 5:30 p.m. Bridging The Gap: OpenStack For VMware Administrators (Featuring Rackspace Technology Evangelist Kenneth Hui @hui_kenneth and VMware Engineering Architect Scott Lowe) You Sir, Sir Vey (Featuring Rackspace Developer Advocate Everett Toews @everett_toews) Vagrant Up Your Rackspace Private Cloud (Featuring Rackspace Sales Engineer James Thorne @jameswthorne) OpenStack – QA Security Code Analysis (Featuring Rackspace Director of Software Security Engineering Jim Freeman @Drolaw) Tuesday, May 13 12:05 p.m. OpenStack Python and the Holy Grail: A New Proposal for Image Portability (Featuring Rackspace Software Developer John Garbutt @johnthetubaguy and Rackspace Cloud Images Product Manager Brian Rosmaita @br14nr) 2:50 p.m. Working with Security Groups (Featuring Rackspace Principal Solutions Architect Jacob Walcik) Automating Service Orchestration with Docker and CoreOS (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Solutions Architect John Yi @jyidiego) 4:40 p.m. Orchestration for Public Cloud: The Experience of Running Heat at Rackspace (Featuring Rackspace Senior Software Development Manager Keith Bray and Rackspace Senior Software Developer Randall Burt) Focusing on Developer Experience and Announcing developer.openstack.org (Featuring Rackspace Developer Advocates Jesse Noller @jessenoller and Everett Toews @everett_toews) 5:30 p.m. Your OpenStack DevOps Team: Encouraging Innovation with Open Source Development (Featuring Rackspace Development Manager Uma Goring, Rackspace Software Development Manager Rainya Mosher @rainyamosher, Rackspace Software Development Manager Toan Nguyen, Rackspace Cloud Engineering Manager Matt Van Winkle @mvanwink and Mirantis Senior Architect Mike Wilson) Wednesday, May 14 9 a.m. Saved By the Bell: Alerting, Logging, and Monitoring OpenStack with Open Source Tools (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Architect Jason Grimm, Rackspace Sales Engineer James Thorne @jameswthorne and Rackspace Enterprise Architect Vinson Rogers) 11 a.m. Chef for OpenStack Deployment Workshop (Featuring Rackspace Principal Architect Justin Shepherd and Chef Director of Cloud Integrations Matt Ray) 11:50 a.m. Product Development in the Open (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Images Product Manager Brian Rosmaita @br14nr) Using ZeroVM and Swift to Build a Compute Enabled Storage Platform (Featuring Rackspace Software Development Director Camuel Gilyadov @camuelg and Rackspace Director of Next Generation Markets Blake Yeager @Blake_Yeager) Scaling Out OpenStack Clouds in the Enterprise (Featuring Rackspace Technology Evangelist Kenneth Hui @hui_kenneth, Red Hat CTO Office Jan Mark Holzer, Piston Cloud Computing Head of Product Caroline McCrory, Blue Box CEO and Founder Jesse Proudman, HDS CTO of Intelligent Platforms Manju Ramanathpura and Mirantis CEO and Co-Founder Boris Renski) 1:50 p.m. From Infrastructure Administrator To Cloud Architect (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Evangelista Niki Acosta @nikiacosta, Rackspace Cloud Architect Jason Grimm, Rackspace Technology Evangelist Kenneth Hui @hui_kenneth and SolidFire Cloud Solutions Architect Aaron Delp) 3:30 p.m. User Experience in the OpenStack Community (Featuring Rackspace User Experience Designer Jacki Bauer, Red Hat Senior Interaction Designer Liz Blanchard, HP User Experience Designer and User Researcher Pieter Kruithof and Red Hat Technical Staff Member Ju Lim) Preparing to Deploy a Private Cloud (Featuring Rackspace Principal Solutions Architect Jacob Walcik) 4:30 p.m. Making Test-Driven Development [Somewhat] Bearable on OpenStack (Featuring Rackspace Operations Engineer Hart Hoover @hhoover) 5:20 p.m. Learning to Scale OpenStack: An Update from the Rackspace Public Cloud (Featuring Rackspace Linux Systems Engineer Jesse Keating @iamjkeating and Rackspace Software Development Manager Rainya Mosher @rainyamosher) Automation, Orchestration, Confusion? Taking the Discussion Up the Stack (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Solution Architect John Yi @jyidiego, Mirantis Platform Architect Georgy Okrokvertskhov, hastexo CEO and Principal Consultant Florian Haas, Red Hat Senior Software Engineer Steve Baker and GigaSpaces CTO Nati Shalom) Thursday, May 15 9 a.m. Getting Started with OpenStack (Featuring Rackspace Technology Evangelist Kenneth Hui @hui_kenneth and Red Hat Senior Software Engineer Dan Radez) Public Cloud on OpenStack: The Challenge of Knowing What to Push to Production and How to Keep it Running (Featuring Rackspace Cloud Engineering Manager Matt Van Winkle @mvanwink, eNovance Products Vice President Nick Barcet, DreamHost Cloud Vice President Jonathan LaCour and HP Cloud Services Operations Manager Topher White) 9:50 a.m. Federated Identity & Federated Service Provider Support for OpenStack Clouds (Featuring Rackspace Identity Product Manager Joe Savak @joesavak, Rackspace Principal Architect Jorge Williams, IBM Software Developer Steve Martinelli and IBM Distinguished Engineer Brad Topol) 11 a.m. Hands-On Heat Tutorial / Turning Up The Heat (Featuring Cloud Architect Jason Grimm, SUSE Linux Technical Specialist Rick Ashford and SUSE Linux Technical Specialist Cameron Seader) 1:30 p.m. Using Continuous Integration with an Open Source Code Base for Large-Scale Infrastructure Deployments (Featuring Rackspace Software Developer Brian Lamar and Rackspace Software Development Manager Rainya Mosher @rainyamosher) Designate: Interactive Workshop – Install and Operate (Featuring Rackspace Software Developer Emmanuel Ankutse, Rackspace Software Developer Vinod Mangalpally, Rackspace Software Development Manager Joe McBride @mejoe, HP Cloud Services Senior Software Engineer Graham Hayes, HP Cloud DNS Technical Lead Kiall Mac Innes, Red hat Principal Software Engineer Rich Megginson and EBay Inc. Cloud Engineer Ron Rickard) 3:10 p.m. Repose – The OpenStack API Filter (Featuring Rackspace Product Manager Felix Sargent @Antagonist) Neutron at Scale (Featuring Rackspace Software Developer Justin Hammond, Rackspace Systems Engineer Andy Hill @andyhky and Rackspace Systems Engineer Chad Norgan @chadnorgan) Demo Theater Tuesday, May 13 4:20pm  In the expo hall, we’ll host a Demo Theater during which Rackers Erik Carlin and Chris Kuehl will be demonstrate Rackspace’s hybrid cloud capabilities using the public cloud and RackConnect 3.0. #vBrownBag Rackspace is a sponsor of the #vBrownBag technical talks. At 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 14 Camuel Gilyadov, co-founder of ZeroVM, will showcase the latest and greatest projects at ZeroVM. Developer Discount As part of our continued dedication and support of the developer community and open source, we’re offering OpenStack Summit attendees something special: Sign up for a new Rackspace Cloud account and receive up to $50 in credit per month for six months on your cloud account. This is our way of saying thank you. Visit here for more information. Now go build something awesome! At Our Booth There are a number of activities going on at the Rackspace booth throughout OpenStack Summit Atlanta. We’ll host a Rackspace Cloud Code Challenge during which each attendee who participates and completes the task gets a Scottevest pullover. We’ll also have a lounge area for attendees to sit and complete the challenge. The booth will feature looping video with a list of speakers. We’ll also have copies of the OpenStack Command Guide cheat-sheet on how to get started with OpenStack. And a caricature artist will be on hand. Rackspace is also participating in the booth crawl on Monday, May 12 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We’ll be serving beer, wine and small bites to eat. Other Goodness  And if all that above wasn’t enough, we got some other awesomeness going on throughout OpenStack Summit Atlanta. ZeroVM (a Rackspace company) will have a booth in the expo hall as well (booth No. E55). Swing by and say hello. On Tuesday, May 13, Rackspace will sponsor the developer lounge. Rackspace recruiters will be on-hand throughout the Summit looking for top technical talent and OpenStack experts. Be sure to speak to one of our recruiters for more information. We’re hiring for a number of positions including Senior Python Software Developer, Python Developer (OpenStack Barbican), Software Developer – Test Data Warehouse and Private Cloud Solutions Architect. We can’t wait to see you all at OpenStack Summit Atlanta next week!

Performance Cloud Servers Coming To Australia

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Underperforming servers and failure in the cloud can lead to overly complicated architectures, server sprawl and operational nightmares. When that happens, your architects end up spending precious development time compensating for cloud deficiency rather than building the next killer app. Six months ago we launched our most powerful model of cloud servers that are designed to provide an unparalleled level of application performance—and starting 13 May, our Australian customers can also leverage the reliability of Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers, from our Sydney data centre along with our US and UK data centres. Powered by OpenStack, Performance Cloud Servers inject performance and reliability to the public cloud at a price that doesn’t break the bank. Performance Cloud Servers create a powerful platform for a variety of workloads, ranging from basic web hosting to large scale NoSQL data stores like MongoDB and Cassandra. The first company to use these supercharged servers in Australia is simPRO, a trade professional software company that delivers ERP solutions to more than 1,900 customers worldwide. simPRO Enterprise is a suite of tools specifically designed for trade industry organisations, enabling consumers to operationalise their ERP by placing all the points of the trade process into a cloud-based application. The company originally managed a co-located environment but quickly saw rapid growth that required a much faster solution. They needed more agile performance, higher reliability and greater customer support—so they turned to us. From receiving the initial customer call through to the tradesperson invoicing the job, all documentation and transactions can now be completed in the cloud on Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers. Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers are designed with 100 percent data centre-grade, RAID 10-protected solid-state disks (SSDs), powerful Intel® Xeon® E5 processors, up to 120 Gigabytes of RAM, and 40 Gigabits per second of highly available network throughput to the host. These servers deliver more total performance over existing Cloud Servers, including: 4X more total RAM 2X more total CPU performance 132X more total disk I/O (input/output) 8.3X more total network bandwidth 2.6X more total overall performance Performance Cloud Servers are engineered to deliver speed, reliability, throughput and scale. And as always, our specialists are here to help you architect, build and operate your Performance Cloud Servers in the cloud.

AWS CloudTrail Update - Seven New Services and Support From CloudCheckr

Amazon Web Services Blog -

AWS CloudTrail records the API calls made in your AWS account and publishes the resulting log files to an Amazon S3 bucket in JSON format, with optional notification to an Amazon SNS topic each time a file is published. Our customers use the log files generated CloudTrail in many different ways. Popular use cases include operational troubleshooting, analysis of security incidents, and archival for compliance purposes. If you need to meet the requirements posed by ISO 27001, PCI DSS, or FedRAMP, be sure to read our new white paper, Security at Scale: Logging in AWS, to learn more. Over the course of the last month or so, we have expanded CloudTrail with support for additional AWS services. I would also like to tell you about the work that AWS partner CloudCheckr has done to support CloudTrail. New ServicesAt launch time, CloudTrail supported eight AWS services. We have added support for seven additional services over the past month or so. Here's the full list: Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) Elastic Block Store (EBS) Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Relational Database Service (RDS) Identity and Access Management (IAM) Security Token Service (STS) Redshift CloudTrail Elastic Beanstalk - New! Direct Connect - New! CloudFormation - New! Elastic MapReduce - New! Elastic Load Balancing - New! Kinesis - New! CloudWatch - New!  Here's an updated version of the diagram that I published when we launched CloudTrail: News From CloudCheckr CloudCheckr (an AWS Partner) integrates with CloudTrail to provide visibility and actionable information for your AWS resources. You can use CloudCheckr to analyze, search, and understand changes to AWS resources and the API activity recorded by CloudTrail. Let's say that an AWS administrator needs to verify that a particular AWS account is not being accessed from outside a set of dedicated IP addresses. They can open the CloudTrail Events report, select the month of April, and group the results by IP address. This will display the following report: As you can see, the administrator can use the report to identify all the IP addresses that are being used to access the AWS account. If any of the IP addresses were not on the list, the administrator could dig in further to determine the IAM user name being used, the calls being made, and so forth. CloudCheckr is available in Freemium and Pro versions. You can try CloudCheckr Pro for 14 days at no charge. At the end of the evaluation period you can upgrade to the Pro version or stay with CloudCheckr Freemium. -- Jeff;

Delivering great video and audio on Twitter, made simple

The Twitter Developer Blog -

Video clips and audio streams have a special place on the Twitter platform thanks to the Player Card. By implementing a few meta tags on your website and following the Twitter Rules of the Road, you can bring your rich media to your followers and millions of other users across the globe. Two great examples below, courtesy of @codeorg and @SoundCloud: https://twitter.com/codeorg/status/438843699212988416 https://twitter.com/SoundCloud/status/459443749769453568 In response to feedback from developers, we’ve recently updated our online documentation to include sample code, case studies and clearer direction on how to implement a secure and beautiful media experience on Twitter. Check out the updated Player Cards documentation and pull our GitHub repo to get your hands dirty. And thanks again to all the developers who provided the input that helped make using Player Cards easier.

Email Hosting: The Road To Competitive Advantage [Infographic]

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Email is a critical business communication tool. It houses valuable intellectual property and business assets. Businesses need reliable email to maintain productivity, protect the organization from email-borne threats and reduce the frequency of unplanned downtime. The right hosted email partner can be a game changer for business by helping to maintain email accessibility and performance while keeping employees focused on the high-value tasks that drive a competitive advantage. The below infographic highlights some mind-boggling numbers related to business email.

Top 7 Mistakes in Web Design

Homestead Small Business Blog -

An attractive, usable web design will help users spend more time on your site and trust you and your business more. If you want your visitors to associate you with quality, set yourself apart by avoiding these top mistakes in website design.1. Poor NavigationHelp your users get around your site – or else they will leave and find the information they were looking for somewhere else. Navigation is expected to be on the top of the page below the header or on the left-hand side – if it is somewhere else, it needs to work harder to be noticed. Make sure each link is large enough that it is easy to click, and has enough white space around it to keep all the pages from blending together.Now that you can avoid a few common mistakes, your site will come across as being more authoritative and attractive. What are your pet peeves about business websites? Are there any small business sites you see as being examples of what to aspire to?2. Searching for SearchA huge portion of website users navigate primarily using search. Don’t force these users to take the time to understand your site’s organization. Search fields are often placed within the header, and impatient people might not look farther for it if it’s not there.Search results also need to be high quality, and presented in a readable way. Take your guidance from Google and Bing, because those formats are what most people anticipate when viewing search result pages.3. Mixed MessagesDo you have too many things going on with your site? Make sure each page has a specific call to action, instead of barraging your visitor with too many offers or details. This is not a reason to make moving around the site more difficult, but you should make sure different page elements are not vying for attention. Simply make your email, phone number, or sign up button presentable and clear.4. Complicated FontsTrying to decipher a new font could distract a visitor at best, and might even prevent them from reading anything on your site. And if they do not have the font you are using installed on their computer, the text might default to an unintended font that will be even more distracting because it doesn’t match. And if you want to brand your business name successfully, people need to be able to read your header.5. No Images – or No TextLanding on a page and being hit by a wall of text does not make a good impression. At the same time, images can’t go far without words. If your visitors want to learn about your business, they need to be able to both read about it and see it for themselves.An important factor for both images and text is leaving enough white space. Giving the eye room to rest instead of overloading the page with content is critical.6. 90s DesignIt’s not hard to figure out what kinds of designs look outdated. Repetitive or garish backgrounds, pixelated photos, and moving or flashing text are sure signs that your site has been around the block. Cheap HTML tricks or Flash movies can lose both your customers’ interest and their trust in your brand. And, please, no pop-ups or background music!An old design can also make users distrust the facts on your site. After all, if the design is still the same, people assume the content hasn’t changed, either – and no one wants to call a phone number that’s 10 years old.7. Too Many AdsYour whole site is an advertisement for your own business – don’t distract your users’ attention with advertisements for other products and services. Though ads might seem like a way to subsidize your website costs, every click you get paid for is a click away from your site. Plus, ads (especially text ads) are ugly, and can quickly discredit your site.

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