Industry Buzz

What Cloud Is Best For SharePoint?

The Rackspace Blog & Newsroom -

Here is an interesting number: 19,700,000. That’s the number of results I received when I did a Bing search on “Cloud Computing.” (For Google – there were 310 million results.) If you have read my blog for any length of time you know that my world is squarely focused on Microsoft Technologies and specifically SharePoint. What I’d like to discuss today is what cloud is best for SharePoint. There are three different types of clouds that we need to consider for SharePoint: Private Cloud Public Cloud SaaS Private Cloud A private cloud makes use of virtualization – but that virtualization runs on a server that only they use. That server would be called a dedicated hypervisor. The primary benefit to this configuration is that you get all of the resources of the hypervisor without having to share them with anyone else. The downside is that it is often more costly because you have to pay for the entire hypervisor. Public Cloud A public cloud makes use of virtualization as well, but the hypervisor it’s using is potentially shared by other companies or services. This server will run the same version of your operating system as a private cloud, but you will have to share the resources of the hypervisor. The result is you can’t guarantee the VM’s performance because you don’t know if it is going to be running another payload on that same server. SaaS Software as a Service is the model where the hypervisor and the VM are actually obscured from you and all that is exposed is the end application – in this case, SharePoint. Office365 is an excellent example of this. Here you are trusting the provider (Microsoft) to run the application is an “available and permanent” way. Here are Rackspace, we run our SharePoint payloads primarily on a private cloud (dedicated to each customer) and most times we use VMware as the technology provider of choice using EMC storage. EMC has proven to be an excellent technology provider with solutions that enable us to deliver to our customers the options they require. These options could be technical or  driven by price. Hopefully this quick primer into the different types of cloud will help you decide where to place you SharePoint workload. For more information on Rackspace and its relationship with EMC, come visit our booth (No. 256) at EMC World in Las Vegas this week. Check out where our Rackspace specialists will be throughout the event.

Top 10 Most Shared Facebook Photos from Popular Parenting Pages

Post Planner -

My 3 kids are all younger than 7, so I follow lots of parenting blogs & Facebook pages. I do this to get the latest news & advice on stuff like: craft projects vacation recommendations how to deal with a temper tantrum etc. The tips run the gamut! This week, I used Post Planner’s new viral photo finder to find the most shared Facebook photos from 11 popular pages about parenting. Viral photos from some of these pages surprised me. I show you at the end of this post how I found these popular photos & how you can too. Enjoy the pics! Top 10 Most Shared Facebook Photos from Popular Parenting Pages 1. Being Mommy >> Click to Tweet // Post by Being Mommy. 2. I Love My Kids >> Click to Tweet // Post by I Love My Kids. 3. Smart Parenting Magazine >> Click to Tweet // Post by Smart Parenting Magazine. 4. Parenting.com >> Click to Tweet // Post by Parenting.com. 5. Practical Parenting Magazine >> Click to Tweet // Post by Practical Parenting Magazine. 6. I Love Being a Mom >>Click to Tweet // Post by I Love Being a Mom. 7. I Love My Family (FamilyShare.com) >> Click to Tweet // Post by I Love My Family (FamilyShare.com). 8. Super Moms >> Click to Tweet // Post by Super Moms. 9. Honest Mom >> Click to Tweet // Post by Honest Mom. 10. Boston Parents Paper >> Click to Tweet // Post by Boston Parents Paper. BONUS! How To Be a Dad (for the Dad’s out there!) >> Click to Tweet // Post by HowToBeADad. Find Viral Photos to Share on Facebook Want to know my secret for finding the most shared Facebook photos on any page? I explain it all here: The post Top 10 Most Shared Facebook Photos from Popular Parenting Pages appeared first on Post Planner.

Mike Hultquist: chili pepper & jalapeño chef

Oh, How Pinteresting! -

Bored of bland food, Mike Hultquist needed to add some more flavor to his palate back in his college days. So, he decided to combine his love of pepper and spice and start his websites, JalapenoMadness.com. Today, he writes and creates culinary recipes for people brave enough to handle habaneros or those simply looking for just a little kick of heat. Come see how Mike uses Pinterest to share chili techniques, connect with other chefs, and even promote his new book! Mike, can you give us a quick peek into your background as a chef, writer, and spicy food blogger? I’ve cooking with chili peppers and have been a chili pepper enthusiast for over 20 years. I have a background in writing – novels, feature films – but have always had a huge passion for peppers and spicy food. I started the site JalapenoMadness.com to explore my love of jalapenos, and it naturally grew from there to ChiliPepperMadness.com where I expound on all things chili peppers, though I have a heavy focus on cooking. How did you get into experiencing, blogging about, and cooking with chilies? It started back around the college days when I had to learn to cook. I quickly grew bored of bland food and needed to spice things up. I realized an affinity for cooking the more I did it, mostly because of the passion for it. I use the blog and my sites as a way to share what I learn and what I am passionate about. I love to share my love of peppers and spice. We’ve been looking through your “chili pepper spicy food recipes” board and preparing our taste buds to try some recipes. How do you use Pinterest to discover a new side of spice? I use Pinterest as a way to share the visual side of what we do here. I blog with my wife, Patty, and she is becoming a heck of a photographer. Food is highly visual and we are working to improve that part of our work. People love the visual nature of Pinterest and it’s only natural for us to utilize such a great system. I also use Pinterest to explore what other cooks and bloggers are doing, as well for other non-cooking related interests, like design ideas for my new office. Follow Chili Pepper Madness’s board Our Jalapeno Poppers and Stuffed Chili Peppers Cookbook on Pinterest. I also have boards dedicated to books. For example, I produced a book called “Jalapeno Poppers and Other Stuffed Chili Peppers” and I have a board dedicated specifically to that here: With food being so highly visual, it is important to promote your work through photos, especially a cookbook. Pinterest also allows me to add photos that aren’t in the cookbook, which helps potential buyers to see the recipes or variations thereof. For someone looking to put a little spice in their meals, where do you begin especially now with Spring and Summer rolling around? With planting season upon us, it is time to get those seeds plants or get those seedlings in the ground, depending on your zone. Some people in the south are already harvesting, those lucky dogs. With access to fresh peppers, I say incorporate them into anything and everything. Freshly harvested peppers are incredibly delicious and can add both zing and heat to your meal. Consider roasting them for an even different flavor. With salsas, the possibilities are endless. So many fresh ingredients! It is fun to play with different combinations and cooking techniques, which I explore in the book. What do you recommend for someone who can’t handle spicy foods? There is a huge range of spice level in chili peppers. I like to cook with peppers of all types, even bell peppers, which have no heat, to poblano peppers, which have only a low level of heat, all the way up to the superhots. If you’re not used to spicy food, start low and move your way up. I started with jalapenos and used to think they were crazy spicy. Now I eat 4-5 at a time. I moved up through habanero peppers, which I LOVE, and regularly eat superhots like 7 Pots, Ghost Peppers, Scorpions and more. Also, keep a dairy product on hand, like milk. Chemicals in the dairy will help counteract the heat element in the peppers if you go a little overboard. Follow Chili Pepper Madness’s board Spicy Seafood Recipes on Pinterest. Do you have any advice for growing chilies in the garden? Same as with cooking. Check the Scoville Heat Units (SHU) on a particular pepper type before growing. The higher the SHU, the hotter the pepper. Jalapenos are about 5,000 SHU, while a habanero is around 300,000 SHU. The hottest is over 2 Million SHU. Whoa! Chili peppers are pretty forgiving when growing, but treat them with care. Be sure to pick often to keep them producing, and learn some simple preserving techniques so you can eat them throughout the winter season. Any crazy chili stories or adventures that added some heat to your life? When I was about 5 years old, my sister dared me to chomp on a chili pepper she pulled from the fridge. She knew it was hot, but I didn’t. I took a bit and felt the burn immediately, but wouldn’t give her the satisfaction of reacting. But when my eyes teared up, she laughed and laughed. Little did she know she got me hooked! Now, I think I’m the one who is adding heat to others’ lives. I’m known around the neighborhood and in the local restaurants as the guy who likes it hot. We throw a fiesta party every year and people look for my superhot blends or homemade sauces. When I walk into my favorite local Mexican restaurant, the cook automatically tosses peppers on the grill. I bring my own spicy chili powders when I go out for pizza and that always sparks a conversation. People often want to try the powders and get a real kick! My preferred powders is a blend of scorpion and 7 pot peppers. Quite hot! I enjoy encouraging people to bring chili peppers into their lives. They’re so great! One of Nature’s perfect foods. Thanks Mike for showing us how to add some spice into our lives with food! If you want to see more of how Mike is heating up his dishes, check out hiswebsite and Pinterest boards!

New Funding for Automattic

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

I’ll start with the big stuff: Automattic is raising $160M, all primary, and it’s the first investment into the company since 2008. This is obviously a lot of money, especially considering everything we’ve done so far has been built on only about $12M of outside capital over the past 8 years. It was also only a year ago I said “Automattic is healthy, generating cash, and already growing as fast as it can so there’s no need for the company to raise money directly — we’re not capital constrained.” I was wrong, but I didn’t realize it until I took on the CEO role in January. Things were and are going well, but there was an opportunity cost to how we were managing the company toward break-even, and we realized we could invest more into WordPress and our products to grow faster. Also our cash position wasn’t going to be terribly strong especially after a number of infrastructure and product investments this and last year. So part of my 100-day plan as CEO was to figure out what new funding could look like and we found a great set of partners who believe in our vision for how the web should be and how we can scale into the opportunity ahead of us, though it ended up taking 110 days until the first close. (Our other main areas of focus have been improving mobile, a new version of WP.com, and Jetpack.) This Series C round was led by Deven Parekh of Insight Ventures, and included new investors Chris Sacca, Endurance, and a special vehicle True Ventures created to step up their investment, alongside our existing secondary investors from last year, Tiger and Iconiq. (There is a second close soon so this list might change a bit.) There was interest significantly above what we raised, but we focused in on finding the best partners and scaled it back to be the right amount of capital at the right valuation. Deven and Insight share our long term vision and are focused on building an enduring business, one that will thrive for decades to come. WordPress is in a market as competitive as it has ever been, especially on the proprietary and closed side. I believe WordPress will win, first and foremost, because of its community — the hundreds of core developers and large commercial companies, the tens of thousands of plugin and theme developers, and the millions of people who build beautiful things with WordPress every day. Automattic is here to support that community and invest the full strength of our resources to making WordPress a better product every day, bringing us closer to our shared mission of democratizing publishing. But a majority of the web isn’t on an open platform yet, and we have a lot of work ahead of us. Back to it! You can read more about the news by Kara and Liz on Recode: WordPress.com Parent Automattic Has Raised $160 Million, Now Valued at $1.16 Billion Post-Money.

AWS Week in Review - April 28, 2014

Amazon Web Services Blog -

Let's take a quick look at what happened in AWS-land last week: Monday, April 28 We announced an Important Change for your AWS Secret Access Keys. We announced that Amazon SNS Now Supports Server Name Indication (SNI), Along With Other HTTPS Enhancements. Tuesday, April 29 We announced a New Location for the AWS Blog. We announced New CloudWatch Metrics for Amazon Simple Workflow. We announced a Price Reduction for AWS Storage Gateway, Along With Suppport for Symantec Backup Exec. The AWS PHP Development Blog announced the Release of Version 2.6.1 of the AWS SDK for PHP. The AWS .NET Development Blog published Part 4 of an series on Access Key Management for .NET Applications: IAM Roles For Amazon EC2 Instances. Wednesday, April 30 We announced Domain Name Health Checks for Route 53. Thursday, May 1 We announced a new feature that lets you Tag Your Auto Scaled EC2 Instances. The AWS Security Blog tells you What to Do If You Inadvertently Expose an AWS Access Key. Friday, May 2 We published AWS customer success stories from Baylor college of Medicine and Z2. Stay tuned for next week! In the meantime, follow me on Twitter and subscribe to the RSS feed. -- Jeff;

What is Softaculous?

Pickaweb Blog -

Softaculous  is a very popular auto installer application that you get with your cPanel web hosting service. If you login to your cPanel web hosting control panel you will see an icon called Softaculous. If you click on it you will find tons of applications that you can install in just a few clicks.   […]The post What is Softaculous? appeared first on Small Business Marketing, Domain Names & Web Hosting Blog | Pickaweb. Related posts: How to Install WordPress via CPanel – Part 1 It is extremely easy to install WordPress especially if you... What is CPanel Hosting? We’re often asked what is CPanel Hosting. Cpanel is basically... Web Hosting Services with cPanel – advantages explained If you are looking around for web hosting services you...

Adding color to the web development process

GoDaddy Blog -

Continuous integration is a wonderful thing. In the domains group here at GoDaddy, we build our code on a continuous basis. Every time a developer makes a change, our code is loaded, built, tested, and any problems immediately noted long before anything “goes live” to the rest of the world. Each build is measured for quality, and any failures or defects would constitute what would be called a “broken” build. While we have a Web-based interface that shows this and gives us a lot of information about the failures, having a quick visual indication of how things are going is always good. Enter our “build lamps.” Our build server (a package called Jenkins) has a plug-in that monitors the state of every build and controls a Philips® Hue™  light bulb. Hue™ is a system of wireless-enabled LED bulbs that can glow at any color of the rainbow. When a build is running, the bulb is turned to blue. After the build is complete, the bulb will either be green (all is well), yellow (the build was successful, but there were issues) or red (the build simply failed). One bulb per project, a stylish lamp from IKEA®, and we have our build indicators. Since the bulbs are wireless, we can put them anywhere there is power and not worry about having to network them. The controller can handle up to 50 bulbs, so we could have these all over the entire office for all teams. And since they’re LED bulbs, they’re environmentally friendly. It’s always great to come in to work and see green lamps. And, of course, it’s easy to remember that you don’t leave if a lamp is red. The plug-in is open source, and we’ve already made a few enhancements that are on their way back into the codebase. Green means “all is well”:   The post Adding color to the web development process appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Boost Posts or Promoted Posts on Facebook: Which is Better?

Social Media Examiner -

Are you confused by Facebook’s advertising options? Do you know when you should use boost posts vs. promoted posts? Understanding the similarities and differences between boost and promoted posts helps you make better budget decisions. In this article you’ll discover the differences between the boost post and promoted post options, and how to choose which [...]This post Boost Posts or Promoted Posts on Facebook: Which is Better? first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

How to Present Your Social Media ROI Report to the Boss

Social Media Examiner -

Are you responsible for reporting on social media ROI? Do you need advice on what to share? ROI reports justify the resources allocated to social media campaigns. In this article I’ll explore four important parts of a social media ROI report that decision makers want to see. A Bird’s-Eye View of ROI Reports Social media [...]This post How to Present Your Social Media ROI Report to the Boss first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

Search engines: These spiders are your friends

GoDaddy Blog -

Going to the library is nearly a thing of the past, but do you remember asking the librarian to help you find a particular book? Well, that’s basically what a search engine does — they’re our modern-day librarians for the Internet. In our technology-driven world, we depend on search engines like Google®, Bing®, and Yahoo!® to find exactly what we’re looking for in seconds. (Can you imagine putting that kind of time pressure on a real librarian?!) Every search engine was built with a different system with unique preferences and features, making each of them beneficial in their own way. But they all have two major functions: they index content and turn over relevant results when a search is processed. Spiders and bots, oh my! The Internet is a complex place that houses billions of websites, documents, apps, you name it, and search engines help link all the information together like a giant spider web – everything’s connected! Through links, search engines use robots called crawlers and spiders to skim information, collect data, catalog content and make connections based on relevant information. As spiders gather together all this information, they break down, prioritize and sort related information using a process called indexing. (It’s like the Dewey decimal system, just a trillion times more advanced.) Snappy results and SEO It might sound easy to figure out, but search engines are constantly changing their algorithms – the criteria and processes they use to rank websites. Now, they’re focusing on a website’s content, relevance, popularity and appropriate keyword usage. Each search engine is unique and uses its own algorithms, but people try to figure out how they can better optimize their sites to improve their search engine rankings. We call this process search engine optimization (SEO) – and it’s revolutionized the process of website building and content creation. For more info, check out 8 SEO Best Practices. The post Search engines: These spiders are your friends appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.

Master These 4 Facebook Marketing Skills and Watch What Happens Next

Post Planner -

Navigating the Facebook waters can be a challenge. Especially when you’re just getting started. If you read blogs about Facebook marketing, you’ll find a wide array of advice. It’s difficult to know whose advice to follow & which advice to ignore. In this post, I explain 4 crucial Facebook marketing skills: Maximizing Reach Knowing Your Audience Using Creative Images Staying Current If you master them, you will be amazed at what happens next! Master These 4 Facebook Marketing Skills and Watch What Happens Next Yes, these skills will help you get more Likes on your page. But if you put these skills into action, your fans will also share & comment on more of your posts. 1. Maximizing Reach Facebook Reach is a highly-debated subject these days. It’s a confusing metric that I see page owners either focusing way too much on — or ignoring altogether. The truth is that Reach is a fundamental Facebook metric — think of it as the foundation of your insights. >> Click to Tweet << You need to know if your posts are reaching your followers & at what times fans see your content. Granted, just because a post reaches lots of people doesn’t mean your fan engagement will be huge. That all depends on the quality of your followers & content. The Reach of each post is easily available on your page: Because this requires you to scroll through your Timeline to see each post, an easier way to view the Reach is to go to the Insights section of your page. The first view of the Insights will show you an overview of your Reach — breaking it down post by post as you scroll through: Clicking the “Reach” tab provides a graphic view of post Reach, Likes, comments, shares, the people hiding your posts & total Reach: Personally, I like the 1st view because I see how each post performed & can evaluate the performance based on post type. Looking at these numbers just once a week will give you a clearer picture of what types of posts get the best response from fans. >> Click to Tweet << 2. Knowing Your Audience Along with knowing your Reach, smart page owners also understand their audience. For example, what you post on a Facebook page for car lovers will be different than what you post on a page for moms. You also need to make sure you’re posting at the right times of day — when fans are most likely to be on Facebook. If your page targets school teachers, it wouldn’t make sense to post during the day while they’re at work. >> Click to Tweet << To find out what time your fans are on Facebook, visit Insights & click “Posts”: You can hover your mouse over days & times to see specific results. One thing you should remember is that even though this shows when your followers are on Facebook, it doesn’t necessarily mean these are the best times to engage with your fans. Jon Loomer found recently that posting in the middle of the night brought amazing results. You’ll need to test to see what works best for your page. In addition to knowing what time your fans are online, it also helps to know their ages, gender & locations. >> Click to Tweet << You might think your audience is mostly men, but then find that lots of women have Liked your page. Click “People” to see the breakdown: As you can see, most of the people who have Liked the Post Planner page are men — 59%. But don’t stop there. Click “People Reached” for a different perspective: Interesting. Our posts actually reach more women. Good to know! But who primarily engages with our content? Let’s check it out: Wow! 65% of the engaged users on the Post Planner page are women — even though women account for only 40% of the Likes. Knowing your audience is crucial, and should be a major consideration when determining what to post on Facebook. >>> Click to Tweet <<< 3. Using Creative Images Photos drive Facebook! Your fans love engaging, humorous, powerful images. To keep your Facebook fans engaged, you must create & share images that get your followers to Like, share & comment on your posts. But creating strong images is difficult. It takes time & a bit of know-how. The free Canva app will help. And you can read more about Canva here: How to Create Stunning Social Media Graphics WITHOUT Photoshop How to Create an Amazing Facebook Cover Photo in 5 Minutes or Less If you don’t want to create your own images, you need to find great photos someplace else. You could do what most of us have done for years — painfully search Google, Flickr, Pinterest & Tumblr… UGGGHH!!! Or try a new method that gets results like this: // Post by Post Planner. This image has almost as many shares as we have Likes on our page! Did we spend hours searching Google for this photo? Nope. We used Post Planner’s viral photo finder to locate the photo & post it to our page. Our algorithm determined the image had seen success on another page, which gave us confidence we could see similar results. Here’s How the Viral Photo Finder Works To try it, go to your Post Planner app & click the Viral Photos box on the right:   You’ll see 5 default folders: Awesome Quotes Engaging Photos Funny Photos Crazy Photos Beautiful Photos We added these to help get you started with some highly shareable photos from very successful Facebook pages. To search more feeds, add the URL of your favorite page by clicking “Add more Feeds”:   Clicking a folder like “Crazy Photos” brings up a long list of images you can share on your page. “Most Viral” is selected by default so you see the photos that performed best. The most viral photos are ranked based on the number of shares, the page’s fan count, and the age of the post. Select “Most Popular” to see photos ranked by the number of Likes. Clicking “Share this Photo” will add the image to your publisher: You have 2 options for sharing this photo: Share as Jimmy Chin’s photo — which shares the original post from the page Post as a Timeline Photo — which shares the image directly to your Timeline Both options work great. Choose the one that works best for you, then enter the text & schedule the time you want the image to post. If you choose the right images, you’ll see great results! 4. Staying Current No matter what niche you work in, you need to stay on top of new developments in your industry. >> Click to Tweet << You’re sure to get called out if you post old news to your page. Make sure your links are timely. I can’t provide resources for your particular niche, but here are some places to stay up to date about the world of Facebook marketing: Facebook Newsroom – Facebook moved their blog a while back Jon Loomer – Dude knows Facebook ads AllFacebook — These guys cover a ton of stuff about Facebook ShortStack –This crew constantly puts out great content Socialbakers — I like these guys for stats & research RazorSocial — Ian & his gang cover Facebook & all the other social sites Social Media Examiner – Their guest bloggers do a great job covering all aspects of social media Conclusion By now you’re probably asking: isn’t there more to Facebook marketing, Scott? Sure there is. But these 4 skills are simply the building blocks — the basics all Facebook page owners should understand. Maximize your Reach, get to know your audience, use creative images & stay current. Master these 4 skills and I promise — you’ll be amazed at what happens to your page! The post Master These 4 Facebook Marketing Skills and Watch What Happens Next appeared first on Post Planner.

If You Want to Link to Rackspace, Don’t Visit Their Website

BizTechTonics -

I had an interesting experience this morning while researching Rackspace for an article.  Apparently if you go to their website, you automatically agree to a whole set of terms of use, including provisions that state that you can only link to their home page, and that you are prohibited from using their logo. Now, come on.  I know that it is in the best interest of any corporation to protect their intellectual property, and as a writer I fully understand the value of copyrighted works.  After all, that is my livelihood.  But to prohibit linking or using their logo.  Now that is a bit too much, in my opinion. Next thing you know, they are going to add to their terms of service that you can’t say anything negative about them either. Free Speech & Fair Use Basically what Rackspace is trying to do is getting you to agree to not use the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law, which allows you to mention a company or brand, and use its logo, for educational and editorial purposes. So if you write an article about them, you are not allowed to use their logo, despite it being allowed under fair use. Links are Addresses They are also trying to control how you link to them.  So if you have an educational or editorial website talking about them, you cannot deep link into their website to make it easier for your users to find information on Rackspace’s website. According to the World Wide Web Consortium Technical Architecture Group, “any attempt to forbid the practice of deep linking is based on a misunderstanding of the technology, and threatens to undermine the functioning of the Web as a whole.” In a court case between Microsoft & Ticketmaster, the court also concluded that URLs themselves were not copyrightable, writing: “A URL is simply an address, open to the public, like the street address of a building, which, if known, can enable the user to reach the building. There is nothing sufficiently original to make the URL a copyrightable item, especially the way it is used. There appear to be no cases holding the URLs to be subject to copyright. On principle, they should not be.” So basically, Rackspace is trying to get around U.S. case law stating that deep linking is allowed. Getting Around Their Website Terms Of course, what is interesting is that if you never visit their website, you have never agreed to their website terms of use, and you can do all of the things that you are allowed to do under the law, like use their logo when mentioning their company, or deep linking to their website.  All you have to do is make sure you use Google or Bing and other methods to find the information you need, and avoid clicking on their website for any reason. Web Page Terms of Use I doubt their website terms of use is actually enforceable on a one time visitor to their website, but just in case it is, here is my terms and conditions for reading this web page, which by visiting this web page or reading this article (online or offline), you fully agree to. Special Provision for Rackspace If you are an officer, employee, agent, representative or attorney representing Rackspace or its subsidiaries, affiliates and associates, you hereby agree that you will not sue me, this website, or any person or company I am associated with, nor will you compel or encourage another person or entity to do so.  Furthermore, if you break this provision and initiate legal action, you further agree to pay all our legal fees and pay $10,000 in damages for our inconvenience.  The damages shall be paid to me or to any person or legal entity that I designate. In addition to the above provision, you also agree that the Website Terms of Service on your website do not apply to me, this website, and any company, person or entity that I am associated with. If you are Robert Scoble, you agree to do the chicken dance while wearing Google Glass and post it on YouTube. Wait, What? Okay, okay, maybe I went too far.  But hopefully you can see my point that forcing someone to agree to a whole list of terms of use just to visit their website is absurd.  But these terms are as real as Rackspace’s terms.  You agreed to them.  No takebacks. I can understand if I created an account, or submitted information to them.  But to be restricted as a writer just because I visited their website once by provisions that are on an obscure page on their website.  I think that is going too far. Plus it makes it hard to write about them in a meaningful way.  I shouldn’t complain too much.  I did get an article out of it. P.S. The cool part of my terms and conditions is that Rackspace can’t argue that my terms of use are invalid, while still maintaining that theirs is valid.

Twitter Website Card: This Week in Social Media

Social Media Examiner -

Welcome to our weekly edition of what’s hot in social media news. To help you stay up to date with social media, here are some of the news items that caught our attention. What’s New This Week? Twitter Rolls Out Website Card: The Twitter website card “allows users to easily discover interesting content while giving [...]This post Twitter Website Card: This Week in Social Media first appeared on Social Media Examiner. Social Media Examiner - Your Guide to the Social Media Jungle

25 Experts Drop Wisdom on How to Grow a Vibrant Online Community

Post Planner -

Want to grow a passionate community online? On Facebook?… on Twitter?… on your blog? Well you’re in luck! Because today ANYONE can build a loyal following on social media. It doesn’t matter if you’re an individual, small business or a brand. Okay, but how? I asked 25 community-building experts to share their secrets for building & nurturing a healthy online community. These folks come from all walks of life & are running businesses in many different industries. Here’s their best advice for growing a vibrant online community: 25 Experts Drop Wisdom on How to Grow a Vibrant Online Community 1. Dave Kerpen, CEO of Likeable Media Building a community requires providing a lot of value, and being responsive to that community. At Likeable we’ve tried to always provide help to marketers in our community, giving them articles, webinars and ebooks. Not everyone has hired us, but more than enough have to make it worth our efforts. >> Click to Tweet 2. Mark Schaefer, Founder of Businesses Grow Too often we forget that there is an amazing person behind every little avatar … a person who may be experiencing joy, pain, or frustration. They are giving you a gift of their precious time by leaving a blog comment. Isn’t that awesome? Tear down the digital divide and treat each commenter as a special person. Acknowledge the amazing gift they have provided to you through their comment, and look for opportunities to help them, support them, and engage with them at every opportunity. That’s what builds loyalty and trust. That’s what builds a community. >> Click to Tweet 3. Peg Fitzpatrick, Head of Social Strategy at Canva My advice for community building is to be giving, supportive and helpful without the expectation of a return. I feel if you are kind and giving that people will remember it and do the same for you when the time comes. People who spend a lot of time asking other people to share their content via direct message have failed in their community building and could be damaging their future community. This is especially true of those who DM things to share that don’t even interact with the person they are asking. Respect and reciprocation are earned bonuses from your community. >> Click to Tweet 4. Emeric Ernoult, CEO & Founder of Agora Pulse First things first, in order to create an amazing community on social media, you first need to have an amazing product (or service). If no one cares about what you do or sell, chances that they will engage with you on social networks are close to none. When you’re just starting your business, your product or service will probably not be awesome at the beginning, you’ll probably have to be patient to reach the point where it’s good enough to start getting a really engaged community. Second, the key to a healthy community is to consistently provide them with great content. Post Planner does a great job at that! But as they would probably confirm, this is a tough job. It takes time and resources, but this is key. We probably invest around $50,000 a year in our content, and that’s just a rough estimate that does not take my own time into account. But our content strategy is what has delivered the best result for us. Finally, be there for your community! Respond timely, be helpful and make sure they get a friendly response every time they take the time to engage with you. As a CEO, I do a lot of this myself, and you have no idea how people feel when they get a personal message from the CEO on Twitter or Facebook. It certainly doesn’t scale, but in the early days, it will make a difference! >> Click to Tweet 5. . CamMi Pham, Digital Strategist at Kwin Media To build a community, you will need to learn to become a digital shrink. Building a community is like running a company. The best way to make sure everything is running smoothly is solving other people’s problems, not yours. Always be there and listen and show everyone you care. Reach out to everyone and ask them how you can help them. There are a million companies out there doing great things — what is going to make you different? Here is the ugly truth, it is not your brilliant concept. Random acts of kindness can make a big difference. All you need to do is be there, listen, don’t judge and offer a hand. You have 2 hands: one to help yourself, the other is to help others. Start investing in people. >> Click to Tweet 6. Calvin Lee, Founder of Mayhem Studios Helping others and expecting nothing in return has always been my motto. I like helping by sharing useful resources on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and on other social networks. If there are links and blog posts that have good info, I will re-share them. It doesn’t matter if they are friends, brands or strangers. If the content is good, it will spread. Most of the time I share from a trusted list I have complied over the years. You will make new friends when you share others content, because people are grateful and feel you’re an expert in your field. They want to return the favor. That’s how friendships develop. The more you share, the bigger a community you will build. Why do you think I have so many friends on Twitter? That’s my little secret I used in my early days of Twitter to get popular people’s attention. >> Click to Tweet 7. Christel Quek, Regional Content Lead at Twitter A community is defined as a social group with common interests or imbibed with a common culture. As we know it, culture is an act — a manifestation of a belief system, a result of the values the members of the social group believe in. This is no different on social media platforms where digital communities can congregate and grow. It’s not enough to build sheer volume and invest in quantity when quality should be the goal. To invest in a community of quality, this should reflect a few key values:  So I present to you the Humanifesto for Community Building on Social Media: C — Collaboration (Collaborate, don’t control — remember that your brand story is getting shaped by your community and not just yourself) O — Openness (Be open and transparent in what you do) M — Mediation (Don’t antagonize, mediate when you run into crises) M — Magnetic (You need to be magnetic and charismatic to inspire your community to greater and better things) U — Utilitarian (Reflect useful and practical content your community can identify with) N — Nice (if you’re not nice, it won’t pay back) I — Integrity (Integrity should anchor your actions or your community will sniff you out) T — Tact (Be respectful, show some tact, don’t type what you will regret) Y — Yield (Your brand should put the yield of your community above the yield the brand might get) >> Click to Tweet 8. Ahna Hendrix, Co-founder of Share 4 Kids Foundation  My tips for building a community through social media:  Provide valuable content of all kinds — go for the unconventional, whether it’s video, pictures or articles. Share unique but relevant content. Treat people how you want to be treated. Respond to someone’s question, take the time to say hi, remember particular things about them and then use it to engage them in conversation, encourage people, offer advice and joke around. Be positive. One of the most important things I try to always be is positive. There have been many times when I want to be snarky or passive aggressive, but I don’t enjoy reading those updates from people. Being positive and encouraging your community, naturally draws people to you and opens the door for real friendship.  Give. Giving is the true undercurrent of social media — it’s the circle that keeps everyone together. Give advice, assistance on a project, your opinion, your smile, your time or your attention. In whatever way is possible, taking the time to help/give to other people is crucial.  Be yourself. No one will want to interact with you for very long if you aren’t genuine. It’s easy to look around at all the people doing really well in social media and want to imitate their personalities, thoughts or actions. >> Click to Tweet 9. Erika Napoletano, Owner of Redhead Writing When’s the last time you were able to describe yourself to someone? If you can’t do that, building a community is going to be next to impossible. It doesn’t matter if you’re a single person, small business, or behemoth brand, either. It’s about letting your audience know who you are, why you’re different, and why the hell they should bother paying attention to you in the sea of choices swimming around online.  Sound harsh? Good. Because people do business with people. Not logos, PMS or hex colors, or snazzy websites. Those things can’t make anyone feel anything. Only people have the ability to make people feel. So, it’s time to get hold of YOU and understand that your brand, whether it’s a single person or a collection of hundreds, has a voice — likes, dislikes, opinions. And if you’re afraid of people walking out the door because they don’t like who you are, then you’re not secure enough in who you are to have the balls to build a community. Communities require strength, direction, purpose, and shared values. It’s not about collecting sycophants. >> Click to Tweet 10. Francisco Rosales, Owner of  SocialMouths When we talk about community, we often think we “own” an established group of people when really, all we have is sporadic moments of attention from a group of individuals that have agreed, in the past, to listen to us. Community is not built, it is “earned”. A community is dynamic, it can grow or decrease its size and level of attention at any given moment depending on many factors. It shares its attention with other sources, it overlaps by also paying attention to other bloggers, leaders, brands. It comes and goes. Understanding how a community works and behaves online is essential. With that said, I’ll share what I think have been my 2 key learning points in building community: Get to know your community: Where do they hang out? Who else are they listening to? What is their biggest pain point? etc. The biggest waste of time and talent in community building is sending the right message to the wrong crowd. Be humble: You should be grateful that a group of people have given you the opportunity to serve them. Solve their problems, answer their questions and always say thanks. >> Click to Tweet 11. Mike Gingerich, Co-founder of TabSite Plain and simple: BE HELPFUL! You want to grow a community of raving fans?  It’s not really rocket science that people feel valued when you respond and offer them assistance.  The formula comes down to: THEY ASK x YOU ANSWER = HAPPINESS, LOYALTY & SYNERGY! Often businesses can get stuck on what type of content to create and they resort to being too “sales focused” in their social and blogging efforts.  Instead, create content that answers the most common questions your customers and contacts have asked.  Create a list of what they commonly ask, then create content that answers those questions! As you answer, be yourself.  Companies need to remember that ultimately business is person-to-person.  By being helpful and authentic a company can build an engaged and loyal fan base. Lastly, being helpful means being responsive!  Yes, you can have all the best answers out there to help users, but if they ask and it takes you 12-16 hours (or more) to respond, you’re not going to develop raving fans! Social Media has ramped up the “speed expected” and brands need to find ways to monitor their social and be ready to answer.  With smart phones and apps this has really gotten much easier to do, so there’s really no excuse! So, would visitors characterize your company and people as “helpful” online? >> Click to Tweet 12. Ravi Shukle, Social Media Specialist at Ravi Shukle If you want to build a successful community on social media there are 3 key ingredients you need. Consistency building a successful community is a lot like building your ideal home. You need to ensure your brand has a solid foundation and is working on building it on a daily basis. You want to ensure you are posting every single day with content targeted at your community and that you are there to engage. Create content that solves a problem. One of the easiest ways you can add value for your community is to solve the problems they are facing. There are many ways you can provide this solution, some of which include asking them directly via a status update, video, blog post, or simply being there to answer questions. By helping others, your business is able to increase trust and build a loyal community. Have fun! Often the most overlooked aspect of running a Facebook page — having fun is a great way to show your brand’s personality. We know people do business with those they know, like and trust, and showing that sense of humor can be a great way for you to connect with your community. After all, your fans are on Facebook to engage with their friends, so showcasing this friendly nature can help build that same association with your business if done correctly. >> Click to Tweet 13. Ian Cleary, Founder of Razor Social Here are 3 tips that will help build your community and increase your open rate! Be friendly – Every time someone subscribes to our mailing list our team sends a personal email welcoming the person. This personal email is a significant reason why the open rates are higher. You are starting to form a relationship with that person with this initial email. Yes, this takes time and effort, but it’s extremely important. Deliver content they want — Target the right audience and then deliver the content they are looking for. As part of our initial email exchange, we ask what content they are looking for. This research helps us deliver what they want! Be personal - In our weekly emails, we always share a bit about us and our life. We got the most responses to our weekly email when we mentioned it was our birthday. It helps build the relationship and shows you are human! >> Click to Tweet 14. Sarah Robinson, Author of Fierce Loyalty Many business owners just getting started on social media know they want to build a community but are at a loss for how to go about making it happen. If this is you, here is my very best tip for getting started: engage. I know that sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many business owners don’t do this. Instead, they use social media as just another way to push their message out. Social media is called “social” for a reason. Think of it as a cocktail party. You know that guy at the party who can only talk about himself, who uses every conversation to sell his widget? Don’t be that guy! Be the person who attracts a crowd because they are so intently focused on other people. Ask questions, help others spread their messages, participate in conversations that are already happening. Talk with others about 98% of the time. Talk about your business about 2% of the time. So next time you’re stuck on how to best use social media to build your community, just remember one word: engage. >> Click to Tweet 15. Zsuzsi Szabo, Co-founder of Antavo We see Antavo’s customers achieving great successes every day with their sweepstakes and contests. One of them is The Entertainer toy shop. Their draw app pulled in 4,500 new fans and grew their email list by 12,000+. You can run Facebook contests within a post and in an app. This latter one is a bit more complex, but it can capture email leads so you can engage in email and advertise targetedly. Go for quality over quantity so your contest won’t go wrong. These tips might help: Give away multiple, lower value and relevant prizes: instead of giving away an iPhone (unless you are Apple) you should give away prizes that attract the real customers instead of prize-hunters. More people go for multiple prizes as the chance of winning is higher. Allow public voting: let fans choose winners, but have a jury round too, so entrants with fewer votes will stay motivated till the end. Promote it! A contest without promoting is like a party without sending out the invitations. Make sure you inform your audience and use PPC ads. >> Click to Tweet 16. Sarah-Jayne Gratton, Best Selling Author of Follow Me Building an amazing community on social media begins and ends with personalities and the ability to ‘keep it real’ in a virtual world. My success is geared around connecting not only with interests but with personalities. So many people dive into social media wanting to be heard above the social static, instead of sitting back, listening and absorbing the conversations going on around them.  My advice to anyone wanting to connect in a positive social way that builds community is to ‘listen first, engage second’, to never get too big for your social media boots and to continually find new ways to add value within the social sphere. >> Click to Tweet 17. Carla Young, Founder of MOMeo Magazine Be consistent — Post consistently, and only post what is consistent with your personal brand. Know your audience — Find out what makes them tick (or even tickled or ticked off) and integrate that understanding into your social media messaging. Let them know you — Be yourself with all your quirks and faults. Creating community is about building reciprocal relationships. >> Click to Tweet 18. Michael Todd, Author of The 7 Pillars Book I have recently had the chance to find out whether or not I had built a community online. I was offline for 53 days as I was detained in Japan for suspected immigration irregularities. I returned to find that 169 people, only 2 of whom I had ever met and 4 I had ever spoken to and about 8 I had ever even chatted to, had donated a total of $5,700 for a lawyer. Completely unrequested. I also found that I had had literally thousands of kind and supportive messages. It was a very pleasant feeling to see all this. The key to this I think is giving some kind of educational value. In my case, my blog I guess. It is best to brand yourself by keeping to one niche. It is also important to publicly connect and promote people and to be constantly replying to and engaging with people. Publicly is best, as people will be drawn to you when they see you doing it. As much as I can, I focus on connecting connectors and support and promote connectors. People in their networks who resonate with you will become part of your community too. We all have a chance to do this with the tools social media provides. Keys are to be regular and consistent and to keep studying so that you can provide more and more and more value. Being yourself also helps, as people will identify with and remember you more easily. I had never thought that I had ‘built a community’, but I guess I have the makings of one. You can do it too. >> Click to Tweet 19. Jessica Northey, Producer & Host at Country Music Chat  First of all, define your cause or make sure you are in the right niche, and usually this is accomplished through goal identification. You will have to answer some questions about what you are trying to do: ‘I want to build an army of loyalists to my cause…’ can’t be done if you don’t know what you are about and what you are trying to do. You have to know your audience, what do they eat, think, drink, what kind of car do they drive, are they women/men, teens/tweens/retirees? Where are you trying to take them or what is your ultimate goal? More followers/fans… why and what is your selling point? In other words, what makes you more important than all the other choices they have out there?  >> Click to Tweet 20. Muhammad Saad Khan, Content Advisor at Cloudways Social media is all about relationships and when you nurture these relationships in a human way, they flourish like our friendships in our personal lives. I am a Muslim, and my religion taught me how to build strong relationships, which can ultimately bring back empathy and invaluable friendships. There is a very simple strategy: Honesty is the best policy as it will build trust Find people around your interests Find the BEST people who are flag bearers on the topic When you connect with leadership, it will attract all the other like-minded people to connect to you Learn about them before connecting — it will help you connect with them personally Appreciate their work, tweet their content, contribute to their lives with all your heart Give respect and get respect rule works the same here Create amazing content that can keep you intact with your relationships Greet people on daily basis and on occasions too, celebrate their birthdays, applaud their achievements You are what you say – so communicate clearly and concisely and always have an inclusive attitude >> Click to Tweet 21. Shelly Kramer, CEO of V3 Integrated Marketing Always remember that you get what you give — in life, in networking, in social media channels and in community building. Be genuine and human, support others, show them that you care about them and their goals and initiatives, create and share content that is meaningful, entertaining, helpful, informational. Serve your audience, not yourself. When you do those things, strong communities inevitably ensue. >> Click to Tweet 22. Sharel Omer, Founder of Commun.it If you want to build a community, the first question to ask yourself is — what is your community about? Even if you happen to be Justin Bieber, your community is always about something greater than yourself. Around what are you connecting with people? What matters to you and them, and what makes it worthwhile for you people to connect? There are no right answers here, but it’s important to ask yourself these questions. Having done the preparation and knowing what the community you want to create may look like, building a passionate community is all about long-term relationships. If you connect to people and cultivate the relationship over time, doing it from a real place — it will come back to you in a very positive way. The main challenges in building a social community is to have time to get to all the people who matter to you in a genuine way, to have the right context to communicate with each person, and to be on top of the engagements that make a difference. Persistence over time does the trick — you need to learn to scale your human touch. >> Click to Tweet  23. Misty McPadden, Co-Founder of PodJam.TV I have two tips that have helped me build my community on social media. Connecting people is one. Instead of just promoting myself and things I love, introducing people within my network is a great way to build relationships. It’s really important if you want to build your community on social media. For the people who follow us, my husband and I make sure that we share inspiring stories from people that have helped us grow personally and in business through our blog and podcast. We focus on their stories with the goal of helping others and adding value to the community in the process. I also believe social media is not meant to be a popularity contest. Don’t make the mistake of thinking Twitter, Facebook or Google+ is a numbers game. It is not the number of followers or fans you have that matters, it is the quality of sharing and interaction that is really important. I am not saying having a lot of followers isn’t good, it’s just not the most important priority. The quality of your interactions and your ability to build meaningful and lasting relationships is really the key to building community through social media. >> Click to Tweet 24. Ali Mostofian, CEO at Orange Marketing How to build a community on social media… well, first it must be something you’re really interested in! Something you understand and you care about. If it’s not, you have to learn first and do some research! You must know about your audience and how to talk to them. Another thing is that you’ll need time and have to be patient! I’ve built my personal connections over about 4 years over different channels like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+, and this helps me to share and build new communities and win more members, readers or followers! Another thing is the collaboration with amazing people you know and who share interests with you. Together you will have different views on things and different personalities will help to make a better job because communities are about people! At the end, all you need is to inspire and enchant people to build an amazing community! >> Click to Tweet 25. Dennis Heenan, Founder of Fat Burning Nation Utilizing social media is one of the most important aspects to building a strong community, especially on Facebook. When trying to build a community, why send people somewhere other than where the party is already at? If you want more engagement and a rocking community, I highly recommend running your forums and memberships right there on the Facebook platform. This is where your fans spend the majority of their time and it makes it easier for them to show support, comment, and share your content. Facebook has been by far the best place to run a membership or forum in my business. You simply cannot beat it! >> Click to Tweet Conclusion I can’t put into words how much I appreciate all the great people above who took part in this article! Taking time out of their busy schedules to share their best tips & connecting with our community of readers here — such a gift for us! So please share this post or forward it to a friend. But before you do that, let me know your ideas in the comments below! What do you think is the best way to build a community of raving fans? Who knows, maybe I’ll write about your tips next. The post 25 Experts Drop Wisdom on How to Grow a Vibrant Online Community appeared first on Post Planner.

Steve Jobs in 1983

Matt Mullenweg Blog (Founder of WordPress) -

I really enjoyed listening to this “Lost” Steve Jobs Speech from 1983; Foreshadowing Wireless Networking, the iPad, and the App Store. In the beginning he asks who is over 36 years old, and says those are the people who were born before the computer. He also perfectly describes Google Street Maps as an early MIT experiment in Aspen. Really fascinating from end to end, including the Q&A.

Hosting Nation has moved!

Hosting Nation Blog -

Hosting Nation has moved! Hosting Nation has recently changed locations. If you make regular payments using the postal service please be sure to update your mailing address to our new one. All of our support telephone numbers and systems remain the same so no updates needed. Our hosted data all remains the same as well since it is located in a data centre not in our physical office. Our new mailing address: PO Box 613 230 Bagshaw St. Parksville BC V9P 2G7 Thanks for your continued business, The Hosting Nation support team.

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