Monday, June 9, 2014

Research: social media - how it helps grow a business

Research: social media - how it helps grow a business
We’ve all heard about the importance of social media marketing. But if you think good social media eliminates the need for a great product, great customer service or other traditional marketing, think again.

Vaynerchuk helped grow his family business, Shoppers Discount Liquors in Springfield, NJ, from a $3 million retail store to a $60 million success story. And he says social media was only part, though a very important part, of the process.

As Vaynerchuk recalls, it didn’t start with a video blog or the trendy social sharing so often talked about today. It started with good old fashioned sales and customer service.

He explains:
“That was done through operations. That was me on the floor selling more. Then the website kicked in the momentum in 2000, 2001, 2002. Then search marketing 2002, 2003, 2004. Then kind of like just fixing, getting better at it in 2004, 2005. And then in 2006 started Wine Library TV which took it to the next place. And the reason it gets so much credit, even from me, is I went from spending millions of dollars, right? To spending no money, and using these new tactics, which is why I knew they would work for big brands.”

And herein lies the real power of social media, Vaynerchuck argues. Far from the only tool at an entrepreneur’s disposal, it is one of many, he says.

After spending plenty on rebranding, eCommerce, TV commercials and ads in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, social media was something new.



No, social media was not responsible for all the growth at Wine Library, Vaynerchuk says. But it was a way to cut costs even if it took more time. Because most entrepreneurs, he says, have more time than money.

Source: http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/06/value-of-social-media-marketing.html

Sunday, June 8, 2014

How much does a web site cost?

Pricing a web site is not as easy as going to  shopping for products at your local grocery store or box store.

In my web reputation consulting business I am regularly asked, “How much will it cost me to get a web site going?”  That question is similar to the question what is the best type of coffee to drink; there is not really a simple answer.

Here are the five reasons why a simple, concrete answer is difficult.

1. Web site design and development is a service and not a product.
A quality web site is something that grows over time. Technology is always changing, which means that in order for your web sit to stay current it needs to be modified. While it may be hard to believe, a web site is a service since it will require an ongoing effort to maintain.


2.  Building a successful web site is a complex undertaking.
There are the obvious parts of a web site like written content, images, store products, and the freebies you offer to entice visitors to connect with you. But there are also other components that are just as important as those, maybe more important. After all, what good is a web site, if it cannot be easily found by potential customers? Those other components include SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social networking, and some level of planing of internet marketing - even if it’s just a newsletter.

There are dozens and dozens of questions to designing the best web site for your needs. Are you willing to go through those? Are you willing to pay for the time to go through that data processing to arrive at your optimum site? Or, is it better to use a trusted resource, with a decent client reputation, who can reduce those questions and get your web presence up to speed for a fair price?


3. Web site quotes are very subjective.
There are numerous ways in which to build a quality and successful web site.  You can find this out by contacting five companies and getting a price from each one. The prices will be all over the road. I have been told by clients that they received quotes of $1,500 - $8,500 for the same work. How can this be possible?


4. The measure of success must be clearly defined.
The web site industry has lots of opinions and none are right or wrong. For example, one designer might think your web site should be built from the latest code, while another designer thinks your site needs to look like a piece of art, and yet another designer says to build your web site with a simple, direct approach that maximizes SEO and social marketing from the get-go. 

While there are many bells and whistles and features a web site can have, but the most important question is, “Is your web site fulling your business goals and objectives?”
The success of your published web site can be measured in terms of page rank or search engine results. It can also be measured in terms of simple numbers like page views and visitor statistics.


5. There are two ways to price a web site.
The only way to price a web site is 1) an hourly basis or 2) a project model.  In a project mode, or fixed pricing, quote you receive a set price of $3,500 for 12 months. And on a hourly price tag you would receive a bid for $80 an hour, for as longs as it takes to complete the project.  As a rule of thumb, a medium size web site, without a store, will take 30-35 hours to design and build the content.

Pricing by the hour means you are going to see a weekly report on what was accomplished and how long it took to get ‘er done.

In both instances you will be working on a time line with expected completion dates for the tasks being discussed in your meetings. 

As a third party reference, you can review the average salary of a web designer at http://www1.salary.com/Web-Designer-salary.html


6.  The web site industry has few Standards.
Because this industry is relatively new, there is no deep collection of set practices in place. As I mentioned before, there are many ways to build a web site, there are many features and services associated with a web site, and there are multiple programs available to build a web site. Since web technology is constantly evolving, the scope of web site methods will likely increase.

In the end, there is really no meaningful answer to the question, “How much will it cost to build my web site?” And, when you understand the subjective foundation of the question, you have a more informed approach to moving forward with your web site. 

Steu Mann is a web reputation consultant with over 10 years of working with businesses in build quality web systems to achieve specific business objectives. Send him an email - click here.

Research: internet users in 2014 in USA

Research: internet users in 2014 in USA
These represent users who may be using a computer, mobile device, or an email account.

Who uses the internet in USA?

87% of all adults (both males and females)

Age Group

18-29:  97%
30-49:  93%
50-64:  88%
65+:     57%

Click here to view all results.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Research: The Internet in 2025


research - internet in 2025
Internet experts and highly engaged netizens participated in answering an eight-question survey fielded by Elon University and the Pew Internet Project from late November 2013 through early January 2014. One of the survey questions asked respondents to share their answer to the following query:

As billions of devices, artifacts, and accessories are networked, will the Internet of Things have widespread and beneficial effects on the everyday lives of the public by 2025? Describe the evolution of embedded devices, "wearables," and "scannables" by 2025 - where will commercial and social applications of the Internet of Things most commonly and vividly be felt? What social and political difficulties will accompany its rise? Pleasediscuss what you believe the barriers are to the spread of the Internet of Things and the benefits that are claimed for it. Bonus question: Consider the ways in which people will most commonly interact with the Internet in 2025 and tell us what you think the fate of wearable connected devices such as Google Glass and the Samsung watch will be. What do you think of the future prospect that people will interact via their thoughts or other bodily signals such as eye movements?

These technologists, including the majority of the expert respondents here, predict the Internet of Things will be evident in:

- Bodies: Many people will wear devices that let them connect to the Internet and will give them feedback on their activities, health, and fitness. They will also monitor others (their children or employees, for instance) who are also wearing sensors, or moving in and out of places that have sensors.

- Homes: People will be able to control nearly everything remotely, from how their residences are heated and cooled to how often their gardens are watered. Homes will also have sensors that warn about everything from prowlers to broken water pipes.

- Communities: Embedded devices and smartphone apps will enable more efficient transportation, and give readouts on pollution levels. “Smart systems” might deliver electricity and water and warn about infrastructure problems.

- Goods and services: Factories and supply chains will have sensors and readers that more precisely track materials to speed up and smooth out the manufacture and distribution of goods.

- Environment: There will be real-time readings from fields, forests, oceans, and cities about pollution levels, soil moisture, and resource extraction that allow for closer monitoring of problems.

Read more: http://www.elon.edu/e-web/imagining/surveys/2014_survey/2025_Internet_of_Things.xhtml

Research: Social Media Update 2013

Social media update report 2013
42% of online adults use multiple social networking sites, but Facebook remains the platform of choice.

Some 73% of online adults now use a social networking site of some kind.1 Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in the number of users, but a striking number of users are now diversifying onto other platforms. Some 42% of online adults now use multiple social networking sites. In addition, Instagram users are nearly as likely as Facebook users to check in to the site on a daily basis. These are among the key findings on social networking site usage and adoption from a new survey from the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project.

While Facebook is popular across a diverse mix of demographic groups, other sites have developed their own unique demographic user profiles. For example, Pinterest holds particular appeal to female users (women are four times as likely as men to be Pinterest users), and LinkedIn is especially popular among college graduates and internet users in higher income households. Twitter and Instagram have particular appeal to younger adults, urban dwellers, and non-whites. And there is substantial overlap between Twitter and Instagram user bases.

Facebook and Instagram exhibit especially high levels of user engagement: A majority of users on these sites check in to them on a daily basis

In addition to being the most commonly used social networking platform of the five we measured,  Facebook also has high levels of engagement among its users: 63% of Facebook users visit the site at least once a day, with 40% doing so multiple times throughout the day. Instagram and Twitter have a significantly smaller number of users than Facebook does, but users of these sites also tend to visit them frequently. Some 57% of Instagram users visit the site at least once a day (with 35% doing so multiple times per day), and 46% of Twitter users are daily visitors (with 29% visiting multiple times per day).

More: http://www.pewinternet.org/2013/12/30/social-media-update-2013/

Google Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer as the most-used web browser

Google Chrome overtakes Internet Explorer as the most-used web browser
Google Chrome has officially overtaken Microsoft's Internet Explorer as the most popular web browser in the U.S. for the first time, commanding 31.8 percent of the combined desktop and mobile internet market, according to new figures.

A report released by Adobe Digital Index (ADI) analyzing the market share of web browsers has shown Google's freeware is up 6 percent year-over-year, trouncing Internet Explorer - once a lone internet leader - which is sitting at 30.9 percent.

The figures combine internet usage on both desktop and mobile devices, the latter of which has helped both Google and Apple exponentially thanks to the growing prevalence of phone internet use.

Apple’s Safari came in third with a market share of 25 percent, reported CMO.com.

Mozilla's Firefox browser—which consistently held a minor, yet steady, position—declined from nearly 20% market share two years ago to only 8.7% in April.

According to ADI, this decline is likely due to its lack of mobile presence.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2651645/Google-Chrome-overtakes-Internet-Explorer-time-used-web-browser-U-S.html#ixzz3407Iztzy

Monday, March 17, 2014

Report: The Power of blogging and social media to grow your business

What media has the highest potential to create influence ?
Report: The Power of blogging and social media to grow your business

Blogs were found to be the third-most influential digital resource (31%) when making overall purchases, only behind retail sites (56%) and brand sites (34%).
Report: The Power of blogging and social media to grow your business

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Research: More than 11m teens have left Facebook since 2011

Research: More than 11m teens have left Facebook since 2011
Over 11m teenagers and college students have left Facebook since 2011, an analyst claimed today.

Digital consultancy iStrategy Labs today released a study it says uses data from Facebook’s own Social Advertising platform to come up with the shocking figures.

Experts believe that young people are increasingly abandoning the site to turn to apps such as WhatsUp, Snapchat and others.

According to iStrategy, Facebook has 4,292,080 fewer high-school aged users and 6,948,848 college-aged users than it did in 2011.

Late last year Facebook shares went on a 24 hour rollercoaster after the company's chief financial officer admitted that teenagers are losing interest in the site.

Shares in the social network soared around 15 per cent to $57.98 (£36.16) following the site's latest quarterly earnings announcement, before suddenly failing to $47.40.

The dip was attributed to comments made by Facebook's chief financial officer David Ebersman about a decline in teenagers using the social network site.

'We did see a decrease in daily users, especially younger teens,' said Ebersman on a conference call with analysts, although added: 'Our best analysis of youth engagement in the U.S reveals that usage of Facebook among U.S teens overall was stable.'

Facebook did not release official figures about the current number or users who are teenagers or how substantial this drop was.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ex-DARPA Head Wants You to Swallow ID Microchips (video)


Former DARPA director and now Google executive Regina Dugan is pushing an edible “authentication microchip” along with an electronic tattoo that can read your mind. No this isn’t a movie script about a futuristic scientific dictatorship, it’s trendy and cool!  This has already been approved by the FDA according to the video.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

NSA can hack WiFi devices from eight miles away

NSA can hack WiFi devices from eight miles away
The NSA may have the ability to intercept data from around the world, but we now know that it has some impressive (and intimidating) equipment for snooping on nearby targets. Security guru Jacob Appelbaum told those at the Chaos Communications Congress this weekend that the NSA's big box of tools includes Nightstand, a custom device that can compromise WiFi networks for the sake of inserting spy software. The Linux-powered device can exploit Windows systems from up to eight miles away; it's unlikely that you'll catch agents wardriving in the parking lot. Nightstand may not see significant use today given that it dates back to 2008, but its existence suggests that the NSA also has newer, more advanced WiFi surveillance gear at its disposal.

http://www.engadget.com/2013/12/30/nsa-can-hack-wifi-devices-from-eight-miles-away/

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone with DROPOUT JEEP

How The NSA Hacks Your iPhone with DROPOUT JEEP
Following up on the latest stunning revelations released yesterday by German Spiegel which exposed the spy agency's 50 page catalog of "backdoor penetration techniques", today during a speech given by Jacob Applebaum (@ioerror) at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress, a new bombshell emerged: specifically the complete and detailed description of how the NSA bugs, remotely, your iPhone. 

The way the NSA accomplishes this is using software known as Dropout Jeep, which it describes as follows: "DROPOUT JEEP is a software implant for the Apple iPhone that utilizes modular mission applications to provide specific SIGINT functionality. 

This functionality includes the ability to remotely push/pull files from the device. SMS retrieval, contact list retrieval, voicemail, geolocation, hot mic, camera capture, cell tower location, etc. Command, control and data exfiltration can occur over SMS messaging or a GPRS data connection. All communications with the implant will be covert and encrypted."

The flowchart of how the NSA makes your iPhone its iPhone is presented below:

- NSA ROC operator
- Load specified module
- Send data request
- iPhone accepts request
- Retrieves required SIGINT data
- Encrypt and send exfil data
- Rinse repeat

Everyone knows that their iPhone is nothing but a gateway for the NSA to peruse everyone's "private" data at will. Which, incidentally, is not news, and was revealed when we showed how the "NSA Mocks Apple's "Zombie" Customers; Asks "Your Target Is Using A BlackBerry? Now What?"

How ironic would it be if Blackberry, left for dead by virtually everyone, began marketing its products as the only smartphone that does not allow the NSA access to one's data (and did so accordingly). Since pretty much everything else it has tried has failed, we don't see the downside to this hail mary attempt to strike back at Big Brother and maybe make some money, by doing the right thing for once.

Read more: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-12-30/how-nsa-hacks-your-iphone-presenting-dropout-jeep

Monday, December 30, 2013

Google 'heatmap' reveals New York, Rome and Barcelona as the most photographed places on Earth

From the Empire State Building to the Blue Mosque, plenty of people take photographs of iconic architecture when on holiday.

And now Google Maps’ Panoramio ‘heat map’ of the world allows people to see the most photographed travel destinations.

Three of the five most photographed places on the planet are in the EU, according to the popular service, which lets people tag photos of landmarks and scenery and upload them to Google maps.
According to the website’s heat map, New York City is the most photographed place in the world, or at least more images of New York landmarks and scenes have been uploaded via Panoramio than any other city.

Rome, Barcelona, Paris and Istanbul make up the rest of the top five most photographed destinations, suggesting the service is more popular in some areas of the world than others.

The map shows the most popular photographic locations in yellow, before fading to orange, pink and then purple for slightly less photographed places, making it easy to pick out popular holiday spots, cities and wonders of the world.

London was, unsurprisingly, the most snapped location in the UK and Ireland, followed by Dublin, Stonehenge, Brighton and Bath.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2530004/Google-heatmap-reveals-New-York-Rome-Barcelona-photographed-places-Earth.html#ixzz2ozJCvc1e