Industry Buzz

Attention Minutes

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

Grist.org, the environmental journalism non-profit I’m on the board of, has received a Knight Foundation grant to “allow newsrooms to better measure audience engagement, beyond clicks and page views, by creating an open-source WordPress plugin that will measure ‘attention minutes’ to determine how long users are interacting with content.” I’m excited to see what they come up with, and that it will be open source, perhaps it’s something we can incorporate into Jetpack down the line. If hacking on that sort of thing and saving the planet is interesting to you, Grist is hiring WordPress developers.

When Users Die, Yahoo Japan Deletes their Account and Offers Funeral Arrangements

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

What happens to the content we store online after we die? This is a question that has become more relevant as we store more of our life's work and personal photos and memories in the cloud. The post When Users Die, Yahoo Japan Deletes their Account and Offers Funeral Arrangements appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.

How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility

Social Media Examiner -

Do you want more visibility on LinkedIn? Are you using the new LinkedIn publishing platform? Publishing content on LinkedIn Publisher can give your content and your reputation a boost. In this article I’ll share the best practices for publishing your posts to LinkedIn for more visibility. Why Use Publisher? Posting articles to LinkedIn with Publisher [...]This post How to Use LinkedIn Publisher to Get More Visibility first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Got Fake Facebook Fans? How to Protect Your Facebook Page

Social Media Examiner -

Do you have fake fans on your Page? Do you know how to tell? In February, Facebook announced that it had 1.23 billion monthly active users and up to 11.2% of those users are fake. In this article I’ll tell you how to spot fake Facebook fans and what to do about them. Fake Fans [...]This post Got Fake Facebook Fans? How to Protect Your Facebook Page first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Canvas Fingerprinting & AddThis

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

Propublica has a piece on canvas fingerprinting done by the ad service that uses the trojan horse of sharing buttons, AddThis: Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block. Regardless of the usefulness of this particular technique, which seems to not be effective enough to stick around, services like AddThis and ShareThis will always spy on and tag your audience when you use their widgets, and you should avoid them if you care about that sort of thing. That’s why we put sharing buttons into Jetpack that are much more privacy (and performance) friendly.

SoftLayer Adds InfiniBand to Offer High Speed Networking Performance in the Cloud

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

SoftLayer customers will benefit from faster connections between bare metal servers as the company announced on Tuesday that it has added support for InfiniBand networking architecture. The post SoftLayer Adds InfiniBand to Offer High Speed Networking Performance in the Cloud appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.

The Rise Of The Remote Workforce

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

A few weeks ago, we provided some helpful tips to make your business more mobile. We also hosted a free webinar, The Rise of the Remote Workforce: How to Better Communicate and Collaborate Across Area Codes. Presenters, Corey Prince, Microsoft Senior Industry Market Development Manager and I (Brooke Jackson, Rackspace Exchange Product Manager) lead an in depth discussion geared toward helping you better identify and meet the unique needs of remote workers. Topics included: Common challenges of improving remote worker productivity Assessing the needs of your remote workers Cloud-based solutions to help bolster productivity Best practices for productivity suite implementation and usage In case you missed the webinar, you can listen to the full recording here! If you have any questions regarding any of the productivity solutions at Rackspace, feel free to chat with us online or give us a call at 1-866-201-7852.

Greek Startup longaccess Launches deepfreeze.io for Long-Term Cloud Storage

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

Greek cloud storage startup longaccess launched a new company in June, called deepfreeze.io. Its service allows users to store files that they may not need immediate access to, but need to keep long-term. The post Greek Startup longaccess Launches deepfreeze.io for Long-Term Cloud Storage appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.

New Enhancements to the 1&1 MyWebsite Web App Catalog

1&1 Online Success Center -

1&1 recently made significant enhancements to the online catalog for its extensive library of Web Apps for MyWebsite. Web Apps are third-party applications that a user can input directly into their website to improve the functionality and capability of their online presence, and make a better experience for their customers and website visitors. Now, when searching through the Web App library, users can more prominently review user ratings, and receive recommendations for similar apps. This increased service allows website owners to more easily navigate and select the best Web App for their website. The Web Apps library encompasses several categories such as: Online Retail – Apps such as PayPal can be integrated directly on the website to make payment transfers easier. Social Media –Facebook or Twitter feeds can be easily added to a website to share and publish content. Multimedia –Instead of having visitors go to an external site to view a video, for example, they can view it on the website itself. Communication – These apps are helpful if you would like to allow your visitors to easily communicate with you through services such as Skype. Other Web Services – Applications like Google Maps help your customers easily locate and find directions to your business.

Free coffee, smart people and domain discounts #DOCC

Name.com Blog -

Some companies will do anything to get attention and more customers. All we’re doing is buying you pastries and coffee while offering up ridiculous discounts on domains, websites, and hosting. We also offer free swag and will bring your beverage to you. This is the kind of nonchalant whatevs attention we give the participants of the Denver Open Coffee Club. The #DOCC is a longstanding Denver/Boulder (there’s a #BOCC as well) tradition where people from all walks of life (tech, technology, computers) gather for an hour to share the latest news, job openings and Internet buzz. (For me, personally, the #DOCC is where I first heard about name.com.) If you’d like to come by and be steeped in the kind of welcoming conversation that makes people want to hug total strangers, then the meetup happens every other Tuesday (the next one being August 5, 2014) at Fluid Coffee Bar in Denver. That’s what it’s all about. And we’ll also shower you with discounts and feed you grapes. For those of you who were there this morning and promised a primer of the #DOCC discounts on domain names, websites and hosting, use the secret promo code for: 25% off New COM/NET/NINJA domains The basic Name.com Website Builder RapidPress, our one-click WordPress And with no promo code you can always get a free $10.99 domain with any annual web hosting package See ya at the next #DOCC.

Evan Thomas: Vegetarian and gluten-free foodie

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

Evan Thomas, a New York-based recipe developer for Stonyfield and General Mills is the man behind the popular vegetarian and gluten-free food blog The Wannabe Chef. In this week’s Pinner Portrait, he dishes on healthy hacks for homemade meals and the trick to better cooking. What was the first thing you ever made? Frozen pizza doesn’t count. Banana oatmeal cookies for a yearbook bake sale. They probably tasted awful, so I feel bad that people actually paid to eat them, even though they were only 75 cents. When did you start your blog The Wannabe Chef? I was a sophomore in high school and created it over the course of a weekend. In the beginning, I posted really simple recipes like maple-curry acorn squash. It sounds fancy, but only requires three things: Maple syrup, curry powder and acorn squash. You don’t need expensive ingredients to make something delicious—fresh food has all the flavor you need. What motivated you to focus on gluten-free and vegetarian meals? When I was a freshman in college, my weight dropped suddenly and I never seemed to have an appetite. I realized I was getting sick from gluten. As soon as I cut it out, I felt “normal” and more healthy. I focused on eating only naturally gluten-free whole foods like fruits, vegetables and brown rice. When I had cravings for pizza, bread or ice cream, I bought the gluten-free alternatives—they’re just as delicious. When I was a freshman in college, my weight dropped suddenly and I never seemed to have an appetite. I realized I was getting sick from gluten. As soon as I cut it out, I felt “normal”, more healthy. I focused on eating only naturally gluten-free whole foods like fruits, vegetables and brown rice. When I had cravings for pizza, bread or ice cream, I bought the gluten-free alternatives—they’re just as delicious. Follow Evan Thomas’s board My Gluten-Free + Vegetarian Kitchen on Pinterest.What about dairy? Without cheese, I’d have a hard time enjoying meals! But seriously, most of my recipes are dairy-free or include very little. Almond and coconut milk are great alternatives. I like the flavor, they’re shelf-stable and perfect in a pinch. When you switch things up, cooking gets really exciting. For instance, in a French risotto, I’ll swap the cream for coconut milk and add Thai spices. You have a board called Just Cinnamon Rolls. How do you spice up this breakfast basic? A good cinnamon roll should have lots of cinnamon and brown sugar, of course. Molasses, orange zest and vanilla are underrated flavors you can use, too. For a gluten-free version, Bob’s Red Mill makes a gluten-free all purpose baking flour. Follow Evan Thomas’s board Just Cinnamon Rolls on Pinterest.How do you discover new recipes? Pinterest is a big source of inspiration. We eat with our eyes first, so saving photos of recipes is like a feast. When I find something I like, I’ll make it as is or swap out ingredients to make it gluten-free or vegetarian. Follow Evan Thomas’s board Drool Over This on Pinterest.Have you created any patent-worthy food discoveries? Chocolate mug cake. It only takes three minutes in the microwave and the ingredients are simple: Cocoa powder, banana, egg and almond butter. It’s really popular in the Paleo and CrossFit niches. What’s next on your must-make list? A gluten-free peanut butter and Nutella tart with a pretzel crust. And the trick to being a good cook? There’s no trick. It takes time and practice. Take something you love and recreate it—that’s how you get better at any art (great advice from my photography teacher). As a beginner, follow the recipe step by step. The more you cook, the more comfortable you’ll be improvising and experimenting with different ingredients. Eventually, you’ll be cooking from your gut, not the cookbook. ………….. What’s your Pinterest story? Don’t be shy—we’d love to hear from you.

AppDynamics Raises $120M as CA Technologies Claims Company Misused IP

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

CA Technologies announced on Monday that it has filed counterclaims against AppDynamics, alleging that "significant portions" of AppDynamics code was written while its founders were employed at CA Technologies. The post AppDynamics Raises $120M as CA Technologies Claims Company Misused IP appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.

Big Data Update - New Blog and New Web-Based Training

Amazon Web Services Blog -

The topic of big data comes up almost every time I meet with current or potential AWS customers. They want to store, process, and extract meaning from data sets that seemingly grow in size with every meeting. In order to help our customers to understand the full spectrum of AWS resources that are available for use on their big data problems, we are introducing two new resources -- a new AWS Big Data Blog and web-based training on Big Data Technology Fundamentals. AWS Big Data Blog The AWS Big Data Blog is a way for data scientists and developers to learn big data best practices, discover which managed AWS Big Data services are the best fit for their use case, and help them get started on AWS big data services. Our goal is to make this the hub for developers to discover new ways to collect, store, clean, process, and visualize data at any scale. Readers will find short tutorials with code samples, case studies that demonstrate the unique benefits of doing big data on AWS, new feature announcements, partner- and customer-generated demos and tutorials, and tips and best practices for using AWS big data services. The first two posts on the blog show you how to Build a Recommender witrh Apache Mahout on Amazon Elastic MapReduce and how to Power Gaming Applications with Amazon DynamoDB. Big Data Training If you are looking for a structured way to learn more about the tools, techniques, and options available to you as you learn more about big data, our new web-based Big Data Technology Fundamentals course should be of interest to you. You should plan to spend about three hours going through this course. You will first learn how to identify common tools and technologies that can be used to create big data solutions. Then you will gain an understanding of the MapReduce framework, including the map, shuffle and sort, and reduce components. Finally, you will learn how to use the Pig and Hive programming frameworks to analyze and query large amounts of data. You will need a working knowledge of programming in Java, C#, or a similar language in order to fully benefit from this training course. The web-based course is offered at no charge, and can be used on its own or to prepare for our instructor-led Big Data on AWS course. -- Jeff;

Understanding SSL Certificates: Protect Your Site and Give Visitors a Safer Experience

The Weebly Blog -

Many of you have asked about the benefits of SSL and whether it’s necessary for your website, blog or online store, so we’d like to shed some light on SSL and it’s value for both security and trust online. SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is used to encrypt information transferred across the Internet. This encryption protects your information from getting intercepted by unwelcome eavesdroppers (ever wonder who might be sniffing your data on the coffee shop public wifi?) and is enabled through an SSL certificate that allows visitors to navigate a website over a secure connection. But an SSL certificate can do more than just data encryption, it also serves as a powerful trust signal for your visitors, which can help increase sales, form submissions, or whatever it is you need your website to do.  Common SSL ApplicationsSSL encryption is absolutely vital when sensitive personal information is entered on a website, online store or blog. The most obvious case involves an eCommerce transaction, but any point where a visitor enters private information is an opportunity for SSL application. A form that requires phone numbers to secure appointment dates, or a poll where home location details are entered, are all points where SSL can be used to better secure data transmission. The Business Plan includes a free SSL certificate, allowing your customers to checkout directly from your domain. You can enable SSL for your entire site or just on checkout from the General tab in the Settings dashboard. Building TrustBeyond it’s primary data encryption functions, SSL promotes a healthy eCommerce ecosystem through a safe and security-centric web experience. Visitors who feel more secure are more likely to buy something from your store. SSL certificates are indicated in browser windows by https and a lock icon in the address bar. These visual cues ensure that visitors are aware of the secured connection. Most visitors to your site will recognize these SSL signals, helping validate that the experience comes from a trusted source.Clicking on the lock icon takes users to a screen with even more detailed information about the website and its owner. This can include information about cookies and stored passwords on the domain, further elevating the level of security knowledge SSL places in the hands of visitors. In order to enable an SSL certificate website owners often need to connect a real world identity to the domain, so SSL encryption not only protects eavesdropping on vulnerable data, but also fake websites from tricking users through impersonation of legitimate brands or people. Every new website that adopts SSL helps contribute to a more educated and protected web community, which promotes the trust necessary for healthy eCommerce transactions. With SSL enabled on your site, store or blog, you will not only protect your visitors, you will also make them more likely to complete your desired interaction. We hope this post helps shed more light on SSL and its application as a trust signal. Let us know if there are other technical topics you’d like us to cover!

Microsoft Adds Private Azure Connectivity in Five US Markets, Hong Kong and Singapore

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

Microsoft has added seven Equinix data centers to the list of locations from which customers can connect privately to its Azure cloud. Five of the new locations are in the U.S. (Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, New York and Seattle), and two are in Asia (Hong Kong and Singapore). The post Microsoft Adds Private Azure Connectivity in Five US Markets, Hong Kong and Singapore appeared first on Web Hosting Talk News.

Cloud Databases A Big Hit With Knowledge Base Provider HelpIQ

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

By Brett Ryckman, Founder and CEO, HelpIQ HelpIQ is a user-friendly, team-friendly product for building an online destination for your knowledge base, user guides, and documentation. Our focus is on usability and user experience. We make it easy for a company to create a branded, self-service help center. You know when you are on a web site and you see a “help” or “documentation” link in the top right? We power that documentation hub. HelpIQ powers the help centers for leading companies such as Adobe, Spirit Airlines, Accenture and many more. When we first launched in 2011, I knew we wanted to host in the cloud since it offered many benefits such as cost, time-to-market and scalability. Customer service was also important. We knew as we grew we would have many questions, so we wanted a provider that offered stellar customer support. After extensive review we decided to go with Rackspace and have been very happy. We started small and have grown into a multi-server setup complete with Cloud Load Balancers, Cloud Servers, Cloud Files and Cloud Databases. When we moved over to Rackspace Performance Cloud Servers from the previous generation, we immediately noticed a significant increase in performance. Load times greatly improved. And we’ve experienced cost savings despite larger instance slices. We are also really impressed with Cloud Databases. Our application is very heavy in reads/writes so we need a database that could handle our load. With Cloud Databases we instantly saw a significant performance increase. Customer feedback has also been very positive. We’ve gotten a great deal of unsolicited feedback about its responsiveness. Our customers are authoring thousands of articles per day so we need the reads/writes to be super fast. As a fast growing start-up, the plug and play nature of Cloud Databases has helped us save a lot of time and resources. We do not have any of the headaches associated with managing database servers, such as performing patches or backups. It is really worry free. As we continue to grow, I am confident that I can scale up with Cloud Databases. Using Rackspace Cloud Databases we get the performance boosts, a reliable cloud infrastructure and access to Rackspace’s Fanatical Support. To be able to quickly chat with a support rep has been very valuable. I know many of the support reps by first name now. I also like that I can tap into Rackspace specialists for advice on infrastructure and scaling. We are excited to be customers of Rackspace and know it instills a level of confidence to our customers.

22 Young Influencers Reveal the Secret to Marketing to Millennials

Post Planner -

All that’s sacred comes from youth. When Eddie Vedder bellowed these words in the 1990s, I was the same age as many of today’s so-called “millennials.” Born in the middle of Generation X, I was living in Seattle watching the grunge movement erupt & companies scurry to sell ripped jeans & $75 flannels to all the new Nirvana & Pearl Jam fans. There were grungy window displays at The Gap & the pages of Vogue smelled like teen spirit as designers rushed to capitalize on the latest trend. But something stunk. Kids didn’t buy the hype & the fashion craze dried up more quickly than retailers could say KA-CHING. Why? The marketing wasn’t authentic. Fans knew their favorite musicians didn’t shop at J.Crew. Businesses have a similar challenge today as they try to reach a new generation of consumers. The millennials were born between the early ’80s and ’00s and are the most technologically sophisticated generation in history. Some can’t remember a world without the Internet… or even Facebook! Social media is second nature & millennials are very comfortable building relationships online, which makes them very difficult to dupe. To woo a millennial a company must seem real. The marketing must be authentic & millennials have to connect with your product in a genuine way. Tall order, right? Where do you even begin? Facebook? Instagram? Google+? Before you rush out & join the latest social media website with hopes of attracting legions of young people to your brand, first get inside the head of the millennial: What do they value? What do they buy? What do they want in the future? These & other questions should be answered if you want to market to millennials in a meaningful way. With hopes of better understanding millennials, I reached out to some influential young people to see if they had advice for businesses that are struggling to reach this new generation of consumers. Many did. And I think you’re going to like what they had to say. 22 Young Influencers Reveal the Secret to Marketing to Millennials I asked each influencer two questions: Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? I also asked each person to tell me his or her favorite millennial. And they did, naming everyone from Miley Cyrus to Lionel Messi. 1. Danny Dover — Storyteller >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Absolutely! In fact, for businesses that don’t market to millennials, it might be the last mistake they make. Millennials, while certainly not perfect, are the future. They are using tomorrow’s successful marketing channels today and are building and taking part in the communities that are the targets of businesses worldwide. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? In order to successfully market to millennials you need to be uncomfortably open and honest. Millennials as well as other consumers of today are incredibly good at identifying lies and external motives. Millennials want to consume new technologies and content more than any other generation before but are highly sensitive to people and businesses that are not seeking a win-win situation. Favorite Millennial I am a big fan of the unorthodox lifestyle of Tynan. 2. Sierra Blair-Coyle — Professional Rock Climber >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Businesses should absolutely try to connect with and market to millennials. Millennials are a huge market and extremely connected through technology and social media. Not marketing to millennials is missing a key piece of the market. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? My advice for businesses trying to connect in a meaningful way with millennials is to make the marketed content interesting. People tend to like instant gratification, so content needs to be short and catch the viewer’s interest. Content must literally stick in the viewer’s head. Favorite Millennial My favorite millennial is Beyoncé.  She is awesome. 3. David D. Burstein — Author “Fast Future: How the Millennial Generation is Shaping Our World” >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Understanding millennials isn’t just about understanding young people, it’s about understanding the future. The values of this generation and the things they want from brands are not going to disappear from this generation as we age and in fact they will become the values of the generations that follow millennials. From the desire for companies to be more socially conscious to the desire to have a more customized interaction with each brand, millennials are putting in place these preferences for brands, and once they exist in the culture, the dial doesn’t turn back. If your company doesn’t invest in trying to connect with millennials you do so at your own peril, you may well get left behind as others move into the future. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Right now, and for the next decade at least, millennials will make up the largest consumer force and the largest employee force simultaneously. These employees are your greatest untapped resource for connecting with millennials. Harness the potential of your millennial employees and empower them to help make decisions about how you reach millennials and how you position yourself for the millennial era.  Favorite Millennial I’m going to skip that one. 4. Scott Cowley — Digital Marketing Strategy Instructor Arizona State University >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes, but with a caveat. Let’s assume you mentally categorize millennials as an age-based market segment. Companies deliberately target by age, race, and gender demographics all the time. As much as we hate to admit it, stereotypical approaches to demographic targeting can work. Do you realize how many pink tools are being sold on Amazon every day? Similarly, using product photography that emphasizes a certain gender, ethnicity, or age is effective at tapping into demographic identification. The powers of social influence are undeniable. But just as BIC found out when they marketed the Cristal “For Her” pen, painting a demographic with zero consideration for underlying consumer motivations and identities causes problems. BIC made no attempt to create a meaningful brand proposition beyond “this product is for those with XX chromosomes” and the results were ugly. If you attempt to create a product or service where the loudest selling proposition is “this is for millennials,” the market has every right to punish you. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Marketing to millennials should be less about youthful faces in advertising or improving mobile brand experiences and more about identity characteristics. Think about which aspects of culture or shared experience could be considered “native” to millennials that you wouldn’t find in other generational groups. Consider two cultural hallmarks. (1) This is a generation of networking and constant connectedness, to information and individuals. (2) This is a generation of “success conflict,” where a traditional route of education, career advancement, and stability is the norm for some, but many others are having to redefine success to incorporate more attainable and controllable aspects like value alignment, creativity, purpose, and fulfillment. These two norms create an environment where millennials are more conscious than ever about which people and companies they align themselves with. Perhaps this is why companies are putting more attention toward corporate storytelling, social responsibility initiatives, product sourcing and sponsorship decisions, etc. It may not be that millennials expect specific corporate values or product characteristics, but rather that they expect more assurances that companies care about their consumers, employees, and the shaping of a better world. Favorite Millennial My favorite millennial? The only acceptable answer is my wife. 5. Kelly Keiter — Multimedia Journalist >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? The future is uncertain. So many millennials are not seeing their dreams coming to fruition. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Businesses could reach out to this generation with solutions for building a more prosperous future, by focusing on what they can accomplish and becoming who they want to become, regardless of the current economic climate and state of the world. Favorite Millennial My favorite millennial is Mark Zuckerberg because he saw a need for people to connect and the influence of pop culture, and used them together on the Internet to connect the world. He is a perfect example of reaching out to millennials. He was in touch with pop culture and what millennials truly wanted, and used the knowledge he had of the intricate workings of the World Wide Web to create a portal for them to express themselves and connect with the world. That’s the true mark of a savvy businessman in today’s modern world. 6. Alisha Self – Product Manager Thismoment Inc. >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Absolutely. While baby boomers are gliding into their savings-dependent retirement years and Gen Xers are financially rooted in their careers, millennials are on the cusp of their highest income-earning potential. Businesses that don’t create relationships with millennials will not thrive (and may not survive) in a socially-fueled, connectivity-centric world. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? What has worked in the past is not going to work in the present or the future. Millennials don’t connect with businesses or brands in the same ways as their parents and grandparents. A brilliant advertising campaign, when executed across traditional channels like print and television, won’t reach the typical modern millennial. To make a lasting impact, businesses must permeate the millennial consumer’s social and cultural bubble. Marketing for millennials must be innovative, provocative and potentially viral. Favorite Millennial I’m going to have to go with Lena Dunham. What she’s accomplished in 28 years continually makes me feel like an underachiever, but I love her for what she’s done. 7. Matthew Manos — Founder and Managing Partner VeryNice.co >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? When you look at studies you will quickly find a lot of common traits that (supposedly) connect millennials – we are optimistic for the future, we are less attached to material items and are more fond of experiences, we are narcissistic, we love taking selfies, we want to change the world, etc. When it comes down to it, in my opinion businesses should always first and foremost focus their efforts on the demographics that their brand was built for as opposed to steering in a direction that is popular. Never lose sight of who you built your brand for to be “cool” – stay true to the core of your brand and focus. If that means connect with millennials, go for it. If that doesn’t, no big deal! You will survive. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? You have to remember that my generation grew up with things like the Internet at our finger tips. Speaking personally, most of my most meaningful relationships were either discovered OR maintained online. In looking for a meaningful way to connect with millennials, the importance of connection and dialogue should be embraced. This isn’t the Mad Men era… you can’t put a clever line on a poster and expect my generation to read it – instead, you need to initiate a conversation and talk with us, not at us. Favorite Millennial My friends who are all making a mark in the world in small ways and big ways. 8. Shauna Haider — Graphic Designer and Teacher >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes, definitely. Businesses constantly have to evolve with changing tastes and needs to stay relevant. Businesses now need to put more focus and effort into social media because it’s now apparent that they can either reach a room, town or country with regular marketing tactics or the entire world with some savvy social media strategies. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Be transparent, stay honest and listen. Milllenials are extremely digitally savvy and if you have a skeleton in your closet, they’ll dig it up! If you do make mistakes, own up and apologize right away. Nothing’s worse than sweeping a total fail under the carpet and pretending like it never happened! Millennials also want to be heard. The more they feel like they’re being listened to, the more they’ll care. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves — find ways to get them involved in your business through social media, outreach and promo campaigns and they’ll be faithful to your brand. These days, marketing has to do more than just talk at you — it has to involve you in some way and evoke genuine emotion. Favorite Millennial Sophia Amoruso, CEO and founder of Nasty Gal. She doesn’t quite qualify as a millennial but her audience is mostly made up of them. I’ve been reading her new book, #GIRLBOSS and it’s all about having a renegade entrepreneurial spirit, ignoring the status quo and doing what you’re good at to make a living, even if other people don’t quite get it. She’s honest to a fault, a hard worker and still found ways to open doors when she was repeatedly told no. I think that millennials can gain a lot from the book. 9. Justin Orlick — Chief Creative Officer Mojo-Fashions >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes, I absolutely think that businesses should market and sell their products to millennials. The millennial generation is the most tech savvy and connected generation in history. They have access to multiple technologies and are influenced by social media in a big way. I think that despite what the media says that millennials are lazy and narcissistic, I think they are also very successful and will have the money to buy the products companies are selling. Because of how much and how frequently they connect, they can also influence other millennials their age to buy the brands they like. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? My advice would be to focus on the social media channels and to reach out to millennials by getting the most influential ones to endorse their brands. Companies have to be “cool” and talk about how their product will help a millennial be better or different. They need to focus on what is unique about their brand because millennials do not want to be the same as everyone else. They want to make a statement with everything from what clothes they wear, what music they listen to, to what food they eat. Favorite Millennial I think my favorite inspirational millennial is Demi Lovato. She is involved in music and fashion, she is her brand, and is someone who kids my age in particular admire since she’s admitted her weaknesses, overcome struggles, and become a stronger person because of it. I like that, even though she is famous, she can publicly talk about her flaws and challenges which helps make other people know they are not alone. 10. Jordan Kasteler — Senior SEO Manager Red Door Interactive >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes, but less traditionally and more with innovation. They should thoroughly research how their business can be a part of where they spend time online and how to communicate. Understanding what makes them laugh, what motivates them, and making messaging punctual. I’ve seen e-mail continue to die for targeting millennials while SMS/MMS has grown heavily. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Be authentic because millennials can see right through your fake attempts. Furthermore, millennials are avid researchers, since the Internet is connected to their hip, and can dig up dirt on you real quick if you’re not transparent. Favorite Millennial Miley Cyrus – Hah, I know what you’re thinking but, despite criticism for being seen in fur recently, she’s raised a lot of awareness on social media about animal rights issues. It’s refreshing to see millennials get behind causes. 11. Amy Schmittauer — Founder Savvy Sexy Social >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? I think it depends on the business and whether millennials are the demographic or avatar a business is looking to connect with or help spread the word. If so and if they do it correctly, they should be prepared for some of the most loyal advocates they could ever create for themselves. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Meaningful really is the key word because millennials care a great deal about what they do and how they do it. If they make a donation they want to know exactly where it goes. If they share information they want to do it because it contributes to how they want to help people. Be real and transparent with millennials. They want to see your truth so they can feel that connection so that the message they send is one they can own and be proud of. Favorite Millennial The small business owner who won’t let someone else (read: the “man” or the economy) decide whether they live a great life. 12. Tracie Heffernan — PR Manager Redhead Marketing & PR >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? It probably goes without saying that businesses should market to millennials. With the oldest baby boomers turning 68 this year, the spending power of this once-coveted demographic is starting to fade. Meanwhile, the oldest millennials are now in their 30s. And since this generation is waiting longer than ever before to have children, their spending power is reaching a peak. Millennials also have more power to promote than any generation before it, making them particularly attractive targets to companies that recognize this value. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Make the connection personal. In a social media world, every millennial is the center of his or her own online universe. The more businesses can make their brand experience feel personalized to each user, the more brands will succeed in ensuring their message spreads from the mouth pieces they are targeting. Favorite Millennial Jane Lerman, owner of L.E.R. PR in New York. Jane started her agency at the age of 23, and by recognizing the changing landscape of marketing and PR strategies to reach influencers among millennials, she has grown it into one of the most respected agencies in the city for fashion and hospitality.   13. Jen Austin — Television News Anchor >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? It would not make sense to me to change your marketing plan (if it’s working) to include millennials if that is not what your business is catering to. I know the power of branding and we tend to stick with the brands we know, thus the reason so many companies successfully target children knowing that as adults, they will stick with them. And marketing to millennials may seem like the “in thing” to do right now, so everyone is jumping on board. But you need a plan. Don’t target millennials out of desperation. Millennials tend to have a more fickle attitude than others so you need to make sure that marketing to them fits your business model. It would not make sense, for example, for an assisted living center to spend much time focusing on millennials hoping they plan that far in advance – because they don’t and they tend to move every two years or so. Millennials are not committed to one area or job, or even career. But it’s not a bad idea to plan to target them in another decade when they are helping their parents choose a comfortable retirement center. One area that would do well to shift their focus to millennials is media. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Millennials embrace change and like to stay connected. Years ago, successful CEOs were talking about networking with people and millennials have taken that to an entirely different level. But because of our fickle attitude, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. I haven’t touched Foursquare in a few years and I change my social media apps constantly – even giving up Facebook for awhile. We are not committed to something once it becomes unnecessary to us. You must continuously work for it, do not expect brand loyalty. Expecting this is lazy marketing. It is not millennials who are lazy – they are instead master multi-taskers. You need to be in all places but not in our face. We don’t like being bothered unless what you have to say is so amazing we will stop what we’re doing to share it with our vast network. To get our attention, first you need to be real. Do not market to us because you have to and don’t think millennials won’t see right through you if you look down on them. Have real conversations on social media. Don’t create a page and hope people will come there. You must engage, really engage, in conversation with millennials on social media and be involved. Favorite Millennial Did you really ask a millennial to pick just one? It’s a toss between Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone. 14. David Ryder — Photographer in Seattle >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes, businesses should of course try to connect and market to us. We have needs just like everyone else, but we are tired of traditional, out-of-date marketing tactics. I do want to know about new products and experiences that might interest me and that’s why I’d like businesses to connect and market to millennials like myself. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? I would encourage businesses to try to be innovative, funny, and original. Make something that will be shared on social media. If my friends don’t want to share the ad with me, then it is probably not an ad I will pay attention to. I trust recommendations from friends more than anything, so if I hear about your business through a referral, be it via social media or otherwise, I am way more likely to investigate your business. Favorite Millennial Lionel Messi. 15. Carson Ward – Online Marketing Manager Clearlink >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Businesses absolutely need to connect with millennials to survive. Many companies have been laser-focused on tapping the buying power of baby boomers. Those who have neglected the younger generation are now struggling – and sometimes embarrassing themselves – to connect with a generation that is skeptical of traditional advertising and marketing tactics. Unlike the smaller Gen X, millennials are a huge group that can’t be ignored. They’re the “echo” of the baby boom, and many of them are now moving into profitable careers with disposable income. We need to realize that millennials will reshape markets in their image within the next 10 years. We would also be wise to understand that they are very different consumers than their parents. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Millennials weren’t raised by parents who lived through the depression. They grew up with quick and convenient access to the Internet, which has fundamentally changed the way they make buying decisions online and offline. Customers are now experts and researching online and seeking feedback from friends on IM, chat, Facebook, etc. Convenient access to information in the hands of skilled users has changed the game forever. The one-touch sale is dead. If you’re trying to sell to someone who’s never heard of your product or service, you can safely bet your customer will close the door, turn the page, or click the back button. First engagements should instead be about building interest with millennials who can then research your product further. Be funny, be helpful, or be gone. Users might not be able to close a browser tab in every channel, but they do close a “mental tab” of attention if you’re not immediately interesting. Get to the point, drop the intro music, and make your case while making them laugh. Favorite Millennial Like all millennials, my favorite millennial is me. 16. Matthew Miller — Marketing Technology Professional >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? At the core, millennials are much like our parents and grandparents were at our age. We want our own identity, we want the world to be better in the future than it is today, and we want to be happy. These are all universal human desires. How we go after these desires is probably a bit different than those who came before us. Millennials have a highly developed sense of skepticism. I remember waking up on New Year’s Eve 1999 with a measured sense of fear over Y2K. All of the hype and conjecture leading up to it and ultimately nothing happened. It was the first time I recognized the dissonance between expectations, as put in my mind by the news media, and reality. Millennials have all had this experience, whether it was 9/11, the housing bubble, the student loan bubble, the war on terror, the Florida election recount, the war on drugs, marriage equality, GMOs, Monsanto, Black Fish; we live in a world where almost nothing is pure or genuine, and that’s what we crave the most. We’re skeptical of the posturing and positioning that attempts to mask reality, as if we can’t handle the truth. We’d rather get bad news that’s truthful than good news that’s a whitewash. All of these things cause us to be highly skeptical of the world, especially when the message is coming from someone on TV or printed on paper. Of course businesses should connect with millennials. Our buying power is increasing, and we generously reward businesses that successfully connect and build trust. We’ll pay a premium to companies who earn our trust. We value longevity, durability, and corporate responsibility. We are conservation-minded, and understand that what happens on the other side of the world affects us at home. We generously reward companies that share these values and act with integrity while providing us with great products. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Respect our skepticism. Be genuine and leave the hype behind. And beware that if you ever make us feel like you duped us, we will turn against you. Feeling exploited is a sore spot for us. When you make a mistake, own up to it. Tell the hard truth, we will respect you for it. We want the news without the bias.  Favorite Millennial I recently had the privilege to interview recent college graduates for a marketing position at my company. All of the female candidates were incredibly impressive. If I had the budget to, I would have hired each of them. I’m excited to see more female millennials in the workplace because there is so much untapped potential there. 17. Alyssa Vincent — Public Relations Professional >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? I think businesses should try to connect with and market to millennials because ignoring us would be detrimental. We’re a huge segment of the population. While our unemployment rate may be high right now, it won’t be forever, and our purchasing power is only expected to increase as we gain more experience in our careers and climb the corporate ladder. Besides, if you can win us over, we’re actually pretty loyal. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Be natural and sincere. If you’re trying too hard, it will stand out and your product or service will come across as phony. Don’t speak at us, converse with us. Nothing catches my attention more than when I mention a company on Twitter – either because I’m irritated or pleased – and they respond to me. It shows me that you care about my opinion, not just my money. Focus on actually making a great product, not just telling millennials how great it is. If you have an amazing product that we love, we’ll tweet about it all day. When it comes down to it, you have to market to us without us knowing you’re marketing to us. Favorite Millennial Lena Dunham – she’s hardworking, successful and tells it like it is. She’s not afraid to be herself or express her opinion, which is a refreshing change of pace in Hollywood. 18. Aaron Lee — Blogger at Post Planner >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes! Millennials are more likely to embrace and adapt to all things new. There is no question that millennials are the most digitally-connected generation that could carry brands forward. Businesses, however, need to realize that they are more open to transparency and are more likely to share their experiences about businesses – both the good and the bad. With this in mind, it’s easier to reach out to millennials through social media platforms. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Businesses need to understand that millennials don’t trust review sites or “expert opinions”. Instead, they trust opinions from their peers. In order to reach out to millennials, we need to market with them rather than market to them. One of the most effective methods is by working with influencers through brand advocacy. One of the best examples that I’ve seen was Pepsi’s partnership with several millennials in their Vine campaign for the Super Bowl. Favorite Millennial This is a tough one because I follow a large number of them. If I pick one, I have to go with Devin Graham because he’s partnered with Mountain Dew, Ubisoft, etc., to shoot commercial/adventure-type clips that are just way too cool — lol. He takes advertising to a new level. 19. Richard J. Lopez — Events Program Manager >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes. As business changes hands from generation to generation it is important to understand trends. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? What businesses need to understand is studies show that the age range is wide. Millennials are born into this generation as early as 1982 and as late as 2004. Which would make the age range between 10 and 32. Educating the public is the first step toward understanding. Tweens, teens, college students, young parents are all in the mix when we refer to millennials and we are not just 20-somethings. Favorite Millennial Mark Zuckerberg. 20. Lauren Galley — President Girls Above Society >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Absolutely! Millennials look for catchy visual marketing that is relatable. For example, millennials love the Doritos commercials because they are funny in a relatable way that connects with that target group. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Millennials are on the go, juggling many balls at once, therefore in order to catch our attention businesses should focus on how their product fits into our daily lives as well as being functional. There are so many choices these days. We can be more particular. Favorite Millennial My favorite millennial hands down is Emma Watson. I love that she is a great example for all girls. Education is important to her even though she is a movie star, which is a commendable and smart choice. The millennial generation is pretty cool. I’m always inspired by M’s that are passionate and never give up. 21. Cammi Pham — Digital Strategist KwinMedia >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Yes. Millennials make up a great part of the consumer base. This is the largest generation with lots of purchasing power. Millennials rule the Internet. They are extremely influential on the Internet and can do things experienced marketers can’t. You can’t ignore millennials. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Think like millennials. Especially on social media, you can’t connect with millennials unless you use social networks the way they do. It is very difficult to understand and connect with them unless you do things their ways. Before you try to connect with millennials, observe the way they do things and try to do it with an open mind. Great example is Snapchat. You cannot understand why millennials love the app unless you share silly moments in real time. Think like them. Favorite Millennial Aaron Levie. 22. Erin Lowry — Founder Broke Millennial >> Click to Tweet Should businesses try to connect with & market to millennials? Absolutely businesses should be trying to connect and market to millennials. We’re beginning or freshly established in our careers, therefore our earning potential is steadily increasing. Our shopping habits and preferences are far different from generations prior (thank you Internet), so it’s a different landscape for businesses. What’s your best advice for businesses trying to connect with millennials? Have an online presence and a way for people to reach your customer service quickly and efficiently. The rise of social media is a gift to companies for earning and retaining customers. If a company has great customer service, I’m far more likely to keep giving them my business. Favorite Millennial Anyone who helps prove millennials aren’t just over-indulged, participation trophy winners who can’t survive without the Bank of Mom and Dad. Key Takeaways Wow! Awesome advice from people who know — millennials who have been in the trenches. Here’s one thing from each of these pros that stood out to me about marketing to millennials: Be uncomfortably open & honest — Danny Dover Content must be short & catch the viewer’s attention — Sierra Blair-Coyle Harness the potential of your millennial employees — David D. Burstein Think about which aspects of culture or shared experience could be considered “native” to millennials — Scott Cowley Businesses could reach out to millennials with solutions for building a more prosperous future — Kelly Keiter Businesses must permeate the millennial consumer’s social & cultural bubble — Alisha Self The importance of connection & dialogue should be embraced — Matthew Manos Nothing’s worse than sweeping a total fail under the carpet & pretending like it never happened — Shauna Haider Reach out to millennials by getting the most influential ones to endorse your brand — Justin Orlick Millennials can dig up dirt on you real quick if you’re not transparent — Jordan Kasteler Millennials care a great deal about what they do & how they do it — Amy Schmittauer Make the connection personal — Tracie Heffernan Millennials are not committed to something once it becomes unnecessary to them — Jen Austin I trust recommendations from friends more than anything — David Ryder Be funny, be helpful, or be gone — Carson Ward Feeling exploited is a sore spot for millennials — Matthew Miller If you’re trying too hard, it will stand out & your product or service will come across as phony — Alyssa Vincent Millennials don’t trust review sites or “expert opinions” — Aaron Lee Tweens, teens, college students, young parents are all in the mix when we refer to millennials — Richard J. Lopez Millennials are on the go, juggling many balls at once — Lauren Galley It’s very difficult to understand & connect with millennials unless you do things their ways — Cammi Pham Have an online presence & a way for people to reach your customer service quickly & efficiently — Erin Lowry Well said, everyone. Thanks for the sage advice. The post 22 Young Influencers Reveal the Secret to Marketing to Millennials appeared first on Post Planner.

New For Beta Users: Widgetpalooza!

Everything Typepad -

Adding widgets is a great way to easily and quickly implement features on your Typepad blog.  With that in mind, we're very pleased to introduce several new and exciting features for our Beta Team subscribers: Take a look at our Sidebar Carousel widget, Spotlight Posts widget, and the Copyright and Introduction widgets! Let's break down what each of these features are: The Sidebar Carousel places a slideshow of the images from one category of posts to your blog's sidebar. These pictures will then rotate, based on the various settings you can choose.  It's a great way to highlight specific categories or images on your blog in an eye-catching way. You can even add more than one Sidebar Carousel if you'd like. Example of the Sidebar Carousel in action. To add the Sidebar Carousel to your blog, simply go to Design > Content, find the Carousel option under Widgets, select the options you'd like to use, and save your changes.  Easy as pie! See the Knowledge Base article to learn more about the available settings for the Sidebar Carousel. Next up is the Spotlight Posts widget.  It displays a list of posts from a category in your sidebar, and even gives you the option to show the thumbnail for the first image in the post along with the post excerpt. As you can see, it's a pretty nifty way to highlight a specific category in your sidebar.  This can be useful to highlight text, images, or both!  Finally, we have the Copyright and Introduction widgets.  When you add either widget, they'll come pre-loaded with some text that we think is useful: the Copyright widget contains the HTML code for the copyright symbol and your blog's name and the Introduction widget contains some simple text to welcome and invite users to visit your blog.  The text for both of these widgets can be edited as you like. Want to give these widgets a go but aren't a member of our Beta Team?  It's easy to join!  Just go to the Account tab, check the Beta Team option, and save your changes. Beta Team, we'd love to hear what you think about these features!  Please open a help ticket with your feedback so that we can make them even better.

On the Design Front Lines of LinkedIn’s Connected App

LinkedIn Official Blog -

You know those rooms in the movies where battles are planned and strategies decided? Well, imagine my surprise when, just weeks after my college graduation and fresh into my new job at LinkedIn, I found myself locked in a room full of seasoned user experience designers, developers and product managers mapping out our strategy for the design of LinkedIn’s Connected app for iPhone. For weeks, we spent endless hours looking at research, talking to our members and rethinking the way LinkedIn could help you better manage your relationships — and I not only had a seat at the table, but held an instrumental role in helping to shape what you see today. We created wireframes, lots of storyboards and prototyped numerous ideas – most of which never saw the light of day – but this room was where all the ideas started and biggest decisions were made. I’d like to take you behind-the-scenes today to share how the app came together and, particularly, how we embraced a design approach that is completely new for LinkedIn. Sitting among cluttered whiteboards and stacks of sticky notes, our discussions kept returning to the topic of “networking challenges” – the anxiety ridden first interaction with someone, or, months later, that all too common “do I wish him or her Happy Birthday even though we haven’t talked in ages?” when you see their Birthday pop up on your feed. Our brainstorms focused on ways in which we could take the work out of these networking moments. This focus became our North Star for what ultimately made it into the final Connected experience and we used three core design elements to help get us there. One person at a time: We developed a new card-based interface, a first for LinkedIn, to create an experience that is fun, light touch, and designed to facilitate “connecting.” Instead of bombarding you with content, we wanted Connected to be your go-to place for getting valuable insights about the people in your professional world. The card format we chose really encourages members to slow down, reflect, and reach out. Delight through motion design: Traditionally, animation or motion design is done as an afterthought, but given my motion design training at school, it was second nature for me to incorporate motion into my approach from the very start. Even in the early stages of the design process, I’d involve the use of animation to communicate ideas to the team. Connections that count: After many weeks of deliberating, crafting and fine-tuning, the final step was to test the app in a 2-week long study. One particularly impactful learning from our participants was the fact that the app, in its original form, was showing far too many cards in one sitting making the list feel endless and overwhelming. Now, when you open the app, you will notice that you see the top updates for any given day and, once you’ve swiped through them, we present you with a completion marker so you know you’ve accomplished your most valuable networking for the day. You can check an important to-do off your list in the few minutes you have while standing in line, riding the bus, or during your other on-the-go moments. The next time you’re swiping through your Connected updates, you’ll now know the countless design iterations, prototypes, and detailed decisions that went into the creation of exactly what you’re seeing. If you haven’t yet downloaded the new Connected app for iOS, check it out in the Apple app store.

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