Buzz

6 Steps to Effective Web Design Planning [VIDEO]

Social Media Today - Thu, 2014-04-17 04:30
One of the toughest challenges that comes along with designing or redesigning a website is the planning. In order to make sure your project runs smoothly from beginning to end, you'll need to put together a solid strategy to achieve your goals. Today I'll take you through six easy steps that will allow you to set up an effective planning strategy.

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Categories: Buzz

6 Steps to Effective Web Design Planning [VIDEO]

Social Media Today - Thu, 2014-04-17 04:30
One of the toughest challenges that comes along with designing or redesigning a website is the planning. In order to make sure your project runs smoothly from beginning to end, you'll need to put together a solid strategy to achieve your goals. Today I'll take you through six easy steps that will allow you to set up an effective planning strategy.

read more

Categories: Buzz

Social Startups: PopNod Connects Your Spring Shopping with a Cause

Social Media Today - Thu, 2014-04-17 03:55
The crowdfunding startup PopNod puts all the spring shopping and charitable giving eggs into one basket. It gives access to nearly 300 popular stores online, including big brands like Nordstrom and Best Buy as well as small boutiques. Then it gives you a chance to turn cash back savings (typically from 1 to 10 percent) into donations to 100 charitable organizations.

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Categories: Buzz

How to Use Hashtags to Increase Your Social Media Presence

Social Media Today - Thu, 2014-04-17 03:47
Hashtags first started out on Twitter and have made their way onto all of the most popular social networks including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+. The use of a Hashtag in a strategic way can be effective when creating popularity around your brand or business. They will help you find relevant conversations and interesting people to follow.

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Categories: Buzz

Organic Reach Is Dead: Is Facebook Still a Preferred Medium for Brands and SMEs?

Social Media Today - Thu, 2014-04-17 01:37
Social media plays a major role in content discovery and Facebook leads the efforts. However the saying that the world’s most popular social networking site with more than 1.23 billion monthly users also helps you reach out to your audience organically, is no longer true.

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Categories: Buzz

An e-mail to cartoonist, Austin Kleon

Gaping Void - Wed, 2014-04-16 22:28

Dear Austin,

I’m graduating from college next year, so after seeing your book mentioned online (I haven’t bought it yet, but I really am thinking about it), I thought I’d ask you some questions:

1. What kind of pen do you use? What kind of ink? What kind of pencil? What kind of paper? What kind of eraser? What kind of computer software? If I can’t afford that kind of software, what other software packages would you recommend? What books should I check out so that I can teach myself to draw professionally?

2. Can you introduce me to you publisher and/or agent? A book deal would be awesome; plus I totally bet I would crush it as a bestselling author.

3. I’ve done twenty cartoons so far (though to be honest, they’re still kinda rough). How many more do I have to draw before I “make it”?

4. How much does it pay? What do I do if I don’t think the publishers are offering me enough?

5. If I set up a Tumblr blog, can you tell your network about it? Would you mind publishing some of my cartoons on your blog as well?

6. Do you have any other famous cartoonist friends that you think I should also write to? Link?

I need these answers by Friday, so if you can get on it, I’d be really grateful.

Thanks,

Hugh MacLeod

Categories: Buzz

Breathing Life Into Email Campaigns

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 22:19
Email is a must for B2C companies, due to its effectiveness and ROI in comparison with other digital channels. However, consumer expectations for email are evolving, and companies need to adapt and use new strategies to gain opens, clicks and conversions.

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Categories: Buzz

Facebook Has Made New Algorithm Updates: Spammy Social Marketers Beware!

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 21:11
Facebook has made an update to the News Feed algorithm that has been a long time coming. If you are like me, you are very tired of being asked to Like a photo to save a baby seal or seeing the same content over and over. This kind of content is NOT social media marketing.

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Categories: Buzz

Getting Real About Fauxthenticity

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 20:10
Fauxthenticity is how I describe the tendency some brands have towards assuming we’re all complete idiots. It represents a very deliberate and measured effort to manufacture transparency through not so clever copy, a monologic tone and the usage of yesterday's tools and resources (i.e. stock photos).

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Categories: Buzz

The Breakfast War's Hidden Battleground Is Snapchat

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 19:36
McDonalds and Taco Bell are duking it out across the web and television to be king of the breakfast hill. Much of the discussion so far has been focused on the commercial videos and the quick remarks on Twitter, but Snapchat might be the one gaining the most brand advocates' attention.

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Categories: Buzz

The Easiest Way to Decide Which of Your Social Profiles Need Work

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 17:51
If you’re like most social media users, you almost surely play favorites when it comes to certain networks. Maybe you adore Twitter, but only use Facebook because your business has a following on its page. Perhaps you’re very visual, and your Pinterest board and Tumblr blog are updated every day, while you only visit your LinkedIn profile once a month.

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Categories: Buzz

3 Talking Points for Facebook’s E-Money Endeavor

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 16:33
Like most people, I like making purchases over the Internet. When talking about the methods to do so, PayPal has to be amongst the most notable. It is so notable, in fact, that it seems like Facebook is inching closer to taking a piece of the figurative pie.

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Categories: Buzz

“Secular Prayers”

Gaping Void - Wed, 2014-04-16 16:07

[© National Gallery of Victoria]

Using old Japanese “Zen” scrolls as an example, The Philosopher’s Mail inadvertently does a fabulous job of explaining the philosophy behind motivational posters:

By making words physically beautiful – through the elegance of the script and the soothing texture and proportions of the paper – a Zen scroll becomes a piece of decoration that helps wisdom become a part of us.

The world isn’t short of wisdom: it’s short of inventive techniques for making the wisdom we do have more prominent, and more readily available to us at moments of crisis.

On a similar note, earlier today I came across a lovely site called Be Happy, which sells cleanly-designed, hipsterish motivational posters and swag.

And then there’s the stuff I do; it’s all very related, of course.

It got me thinking, what do all of us have in common?

Answer: We’re all in the business of making “secular prayers”, in our own way.

People say prayers, not just because we’re hoping to get an omnipotent deity to intervene directly on our behalf, but because it also helps us concentrate our minds on the stuff that actually matters.

Whether we believe or don’t believe in God or Buddha or the grey-bearded sky fairy, art is still very good for helping us to “pray” to the deepest part of our own selves, of our own lives.

And if you can create work that does a good a job of helping do that for people, eh, it’s not  a bad thing to spend one’s life doing…

Categories: Buzz

“Secular Prayers”: What ancient Japanese scrolls and motivational posters have in common

Gaping Void - Wed, 2014-04-16 16:07

[© National Gallery of Victoria]

Using old Japanese “Zen” scrolls as an example, The Philosopher’s Mail inadvertently does a fabulous job of explaining the philosophy behind motivational posters:

By making words physically beautiful – through the elegance of the script and the soothing texture and proportions of the paper – a Zen scroll becomes a piece of decoration that helps wisdom become a part of us.

The world isn’t short of wisdom: it’s short of inventive techniques for making the wisdom we do have more prominent, and more readily available to us at moments of crisis.

On a similar note, earlier today I came across a lovely site called Be Happy, which sells cleanly-designed, hipsterish motivational posters and swag.

And then there’s the stuff I do; it’s all very related, of course.

It got me thinking, what do all of us have in common?

Answer: We’re all in the business of making “secular prayers”, in our own way.

People say prayers, not just because we’re hoping to get an omnipotent deity to intervene directly on our behalf, but because it also helps us concentrate our minds on the stuff that actually matters.

Whether we believe or don’t believe in God or Buddha or the grey-bearded sky fairy, art is still very good for helping us to “pray” to the deepest part of our own selves, of our own lives.

And if you can create work that does a good a job of helping do that for people, eh, it’s not  a bad thing to spend one’s life doing…

Categories: Buzz

The New Backstage Pass Takes Center Stage: Performing Arts Is Now Tweet or Perish

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 16:03
In many endeavors seeing “how the sausage is made’ is a distinct turn-off. Performing arts are entirely different. Seeing backstage and before and after performances, getting to meet the artists themselves and living vicariously through them, adds richness and intensity to the entire experience.

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Categories: Buzz

Differences in Using Social Media Around the Globe

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 15:51
Silicon Valley (the home of many hot social media platforms) is not representative of the whole US but overall, the sentiment towards social media in the USA is overall positive. There are concerns about privacy and online bullying, but most businesses have embraced social media, especially Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to engage with their target audience.

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Categories: Buzz

A German business model

Buzz Machine - Wed, 2014-04-16 15:11

You will never find a finer example of a certain German business model popular in the internet age than in an open letter to Google’s Eric Schmidt written by Mathias Döpfner, head of the conservative German publishing giant Axel Springer. (English translation courtesy of the all-seeing, all-powerful Google here.)

The essence of that business model, as practiced especially by German and sometimes French legacy publishers, is to stomp their feet like pouty kindergartners missing a turn at kickball, whining “that’s not fair” and yelling that everything wrong on this playground is the fault of another kid, then running to hide behind the skirt of the teacher. That is what Döpfner does here, demonizing Google (and Mark Zuckerberg while he’s at it) for numerous perceived sins I’ll explore below and — here’s the real agenda — demanding that the European Commission rescue the dinosaurs (his word) with regulation.

What a humiliating moment it must be for a powerful businessman to admit that he cannot compete in the marketplace. The entire letter struck me as an act of economic self-castration. It must also hurt for the head of a bastion of political conservatism in Germany — the publisher of the newspaper Bild, a Fox-News-with-boobs, and the leader of the company that constructed its headquarters ass-on the Berlin Wall just to extend a middle finger to the communists across it — to now beg government (the EU at that) for regulation. You’d think Döpfner lived in San Francisco and was a dancer in clown suit blocking Google buses. This is a call for big-government interference in the market we wouldn’t see even from the Guardian or The New York Times.

There’s history here. Döpfner and Springer led a fight by German publishers to stop Google from, in their view, stealing snippets of their articles on Google News — even though, as Eric Schmidt likes to point out, Google sends 10 billion vists to publishers every month. Here, too, the big boys of publishing ran to hide behind the skirts of government, getting a law called the Leistungschutzrecht passed. That seemed like victory until all the publishers went ahead and allowed Google to quote and link to them because, to paraphrase Woody Allen, they needed the eggs. Insert pouty foot-stomping here.

In the meantime, the antitrust forces of the European Commission investigated Google and negotiated an agreement. But this doesn’t go far enough for Döpfner. And, besides, a defanged, pacified, regulated, cooperative Google is no fun if you want to kick up dust on the playground and blame someone else for all your woes. Young Döpfner needs Google to be a big, bad bully.

So in his letter, Döpfner pulls out every last stop to demonize Google. He compares Google with the Mafia, complaining that the EC’s agreement with Google — stipulating the ability of competitors to buy ads on Google — smacks of “protection money.” (Would Springer’s Bild take ads from its competitors?) But that’s nothing. Döpfner says Mark Zuckerberg views on privacy could come from the head of the Stasi (I find this trivialization of an evil regime offensive); he says Google “sits on the entire privacy of mankind like the giant Fafner in the Ring of the Nibelung;” and then, giving up is last shred of subtlety, invokes Orwell. “Forget Big Brother,” Döpfner squeals, “Google is better!”

Döpfner complains about Google’s search-engine market share, not mentioning that German users — last I knew — gave Google its second-highest penetration in the world, and he also makes its success in creating great services in video, email, and mobile sound ominous. He complains about Google’s self-driving cars competing with Volkswagen and about Google buying Nest and entering our homes. Parody comes to life:

But Döpfner goes much farther in his effort to portray Google as a dark specter overtaking Europe when he frets about Google buying drone companies and allegedly planning huge ships and floating offices operating in stateless waters and wonders whether it will create a superstate floating free of laws. “One needn’t be a conspiracy theorist,” he says, “to find this disturbing.”

Then Döpfner makes a series of recommendations that I am confident he knows are absurd, for I know Döpfner and he is as very smart man. He asks that Google reveal the quantitative criteria behinds its search algorithm, though, of course, that would only enable every spammer on earth to game Google, making it worthless as as service. He asks Google to not store IP addresses and to delete cookies after every session, making targeted advertising impossible and also making Google and its advertising business worthless. He complains about Google and other companies — singling out Jawbone — collecting and using behavioral data to support free services, concluding that “it is better and cheaper to pay with something old-fashioned: simply with money.”

Aha. That is — or was — Springer’s business model until it failed at newspapers and sold most of them, except Bild and its ever-struggling Welt — buying digital enterprises to replace them. Döpfner would like to force the world into his model: People used to buy our content with money so they must continue. To invent new models, well, that’s just not fair, is it? Anything else should be stomped out by government protecting the incumbents. There’s his real agenda.

I find this more tragic than comic. Just as Germany is moving past its reputation for being skittish with entrepreneurial risk and failure, just as it is giving up its bad habit of copycatting American internet startups rather than inventing their own, and just as Berlin’s start-up scene — very near Springer’s headquarters in what used to be the East — is coming into its own as a real creative, technical, and entrepreneurial powerhouse, here comes a titan of old industry making his nation appear technophobic, uncompetitive, and even slightly anticapitalistic.

I don’t think Döpfner believes most of what he wrote, just as Springer and its fellow travelers really didn’t believe in their Leistungschutzrecht. I heard publishers there say that they pushed for the law just so they could strengthen their negotiating position with Google. Too bad for them it didn’t work. So now Döpfner continues to play, thinking that by bullying Google in the press and with government, he can get a pity turn at kickball. But he should beware the unintended consequences of his game, affecting the reputation of Germany as a source of technological and industrial innovation and inviting greater government regulation and interference in markets.

I am surprised you fear Google, Mathias. I thought you were stronger than that.

[Disclosures: Axel Springer flew me a few years ago to speak at its managers' retreat in Tuscany and I've also been engaged to speak at its headquarters. Google is flying me to its headquarters -- with no other fee -- in two weeks to speak to its privacy group. I own Google stock. I have always found Döpfner and the editor of Bild, Kai Diekmann, to be charming and smart and I've said much of what I just said here to them over wine.]

Categories: Buzz

A German business model

Buzz Machine - Wed, 2014-04-16 15:11

You will never find a finer example of a certain German business model popular in the internet age than in an open letter to Google’s Eric Schmidt written by Mathias Döpfner, head of the conservative German publishing giant Axel Springer. (English translation courtesy of the all-seeing, all-powerful Google here.)

The essence of that business model, as practiced especially by German and sometimes French legacy publishers, is to stomp their feet like pouty kindergartners missing a turn at kickball, whining “that’s not fair” and yelling that everything wrong on this playground is the fault of another kid, then running to hide behind the skirt of the teacher. That is what Döpfner does here, demonizing Google (and Mark Zuckerberg while he’s at it) for numerous perceived sins I’ll explore below and — here’s the real agenda — demanding that the European Commission rescue the dinosaurs (his word) with regulation.

What a humiliating moment it must be for a powerful businessman to admit that he cannot compete in the marketplace. The entire letter struck me as an act of economic self-castration. It must also hurt for the head of a bastion of political conservatism in Germany — the publisher of the newspaper Bild, a Fox-News-with-boobs, and the leader of the company that constructed its headquarters ass-on the Berlin Wall just to extend a middle finger to the communists across it — to now beg government (the EU at that) for regulation. You’d think Döpfner lived in San Francisco and was a dancer in clown suit blocking Google buses. This is a call for big-government interference in the market we wouldn’t see even from the Guardian or The New York Times.

There’s history here. Döpfner and Springer led a fight by German publishers to stop Google from, in their view, stealing snippets of their articles on Google News — even though, as Eric Schmidt likes to point out, Google sends 10 billion vists to publishers every month. Here, too, the big boys of publishing ran to hide behind the skirts of government, getting a law called the Leistungschutzrecht passed. That seemed like victory until all the publishers went ahead and allowed Google to quote and link to them because, to paraphrase Woody Allen, they needed the eggs. Insert pouty foot-stomping here.

In the meantime, the antitrust forces of the European Commission investigated Google and negotiated an agreement. But this doesn’t go far enough for Döpfner. And, besides, a defanged, pacified, regulated, cooperative Google is no fun if you want to kick up dust on the playground and blame someone else for all your woes. Young Döpfner needs Google to be a big, bad bully.

So in his letter, Döpfner pulls out every last stop to demonize Google. He compares Google with the Mafia, complaining that the EC’s agreement with Google — stipulating the ability of competitors to buy ads on Google — smacks of “protection money.” (Would Springer’s Bild take ads from its competitors?) But that’s nothing. Döpfner says Mark Zuckerberg views on privacy could come from the head of the Stasi (I find this trivialization of an evil regime offensive); he says Google “sits on the entire privacy of mankind like the giant Fafner in the Ring of the Nibelung;” and then, giving up is last shred of subtlety, invokes Orwell. “Forget Big Brother,” Döpfner squeals, “Google is better!”

Döpfner complains about Google’s search-engine market share, not mentioning that German users — last I knew — gave Google its second-highest penetration in the world, and he also makes its success in creating great services in video, email, and mobile sound ominous. He complains about Google’s self-driving cars competing with Volkswagen and about Google buying Nest and entering our homes. Parody comes to life:

But Döpfner goes much farther in his effort to portray Google as a dark specter overtaking Europe when he frets about Google buying drone companies and allegedly planning huge ships and floating offices operating in stateless waters and wonders whether it will create a superstate floating free of laws. “One needn’t be a conspiracy theorist,” he says, “to find this disturbing.”

Then Döpfner makes a series of recommendations that I am confident he knows are absurd, for I know Döpfner and he is as very smart man. He asks that Google reveal the quantitative criteria behinds its search algorithm, though, of course, that would only enable every spammer on earth to game Google, making it worthless as as service. He asks Google to not store IP addresses and to delete cookies after every session, making targeted advertising impossible and also making Google and its advertising business worthless. He complains about Google and other companies — singling out Jawbone — collecting and using behavioral data to support free services, concluding that “it is better and cheaper to pay with something old-fashioned: simply with money.”

Aha. That is — or was — Springer’s business model until it failed at newspapers and sold most of them, except Bild and its ever-struggling Welt — buying digital enterprises to replace them. Döpfner would like to force the world into his model: People used to buy our content with money so they must continue. To invent new models, well, that’s just not fair, is it? Anything else should be stomped out by government protecting the incumbents. There’s his real agenda.

I find this more tragic than comic. Just as Germany is moving past its reputation for being skittish with entrepreneurial risk and failure, just as it is giving up its bad habit of copycatting American internet startups rather than inventing their own, and just as Berlin’s start-up scene — very near Springer’s headquarters in what used to be the East — is coming into its own as a real creative, technical, and entrepreneurial powerhouse, here comes a titan of old industry making his nation appear technophobic, uncompetitive, and even slightly anticapitalistic.

I don’t think Döpfner believes most of what he wrote, just as Springer and its fellow travelers really didn’t believe in their Leistungschutzrecht. I heard publishers there say that they pushed for the law just so they could strengthen their negotiating position with Google. Too bad for them it didn’t work. So now Döpfner continues to play, thinking that by bullying Google in the press and with government, he can get a pity turn at kickball. But he should beware the unintended consequences of his game, affecting the reputation of Germany as a source of technological and industrial innovation and inviting greater government regulation and interference in markets.

I am surprised you fear Google, Mathias. I thought you were stronger than that.

[Disclosures: Axel Springer flew me a few years ago to speak at its managers' retreat in Tuscany and I've also been engaged to speak at its headquarters. Google is flying me to its headquarters -- with no other fee -- in two weeks to speak to its privacy group. I own Google stock. I have always found Döpfner and the editor of Bild, Kai Diekmann, to be charming and smart and I've said much of what I just said here to them over wine.]

Categories: Buzz

11 Lessons about Digital Communities from Rome: A Photo Essay

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 12:39
It may be an ancient, bricks and mortar city, but the buildings, infrastructure and inhabitants of Rome offer many design insights into cyberspace, particularly when it comes to building, maintaining, and participating in digital communities. This post shares 11 lessons, organized into three feng shui-inspired themes.

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Categories: Buzz

Social Advocacy & Politics: The Counter-Revolution Will Not Be ZunZuneo'd

Social Media Today - Wed, 2014-04-16 03:59
One of the goals of the social network ZunZuneo was to learn who among the people of Cuba were receptive to dissident messages and counter-revolution opportunities by monitoring what they were posting. We can easily do the same thing by analyzing social media content around the world.

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Categories: Buzz
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