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Thursday, April 24, 2014

04/25/14 Week Recap: What You May Have Missed

The sun is shining here in Pittsburgh and another week flew by. We have all of your tech news from contributions to open source to the dark depths of the internet. Get ready to catch up.

Tech Giants Pay Their Dues
We love open source software for a few reasons. First, it is typically great, because so many different minds get to work at it. Second, it is free. We love that anyone can edit it and anyone can use it. The problem is most people use it and very little people donate. The Heartbleed scare opened eyes to the desperately needed funding that goes into the great software that so many companies and government agencies use for free. The Linux Foundation is launching a project to support our open source software.

Read the full article here.

Lyft Passes Uber
We recently saw an increase of cars sporting brightly colored mustaches here in Pittsburgh. It is the new car service that requires you to use an app to book a ride. It is cheap, fast, and booming to the point that it just passed up Uber in availability. If you aren't in the 'burgh, you can expect it to be coming to you fast.

Read the full article here.

FCC And Net Neutrality
We enjoy video streaming, and we do not want massive corporations to sink their claws into our precious internet. The FCC attempted to compromise by writing in a few more points, but the wording seems a bit too flexible for most people in support of net neutrality. We will be sad when our favorite small businesses' website loads as if we were running dial up.

Read the changes here.

Google Time Travels
Google maps are now offering street view that may be up to 7 years old. You can stay nostalgic and talk a walk down memory lane with a simple click of a mouse.

See the features here.

The Dark Market 
The feds busted down the doors of Silk Road which opened some eyes to the idea of the deep web, a sketchy place where you can pretty much buy anything from hard drugs to weapons to passports. Silk Road may be gone, but the Dark Market is soon taking its place. It is noted as a "Safe, untouchable market place for the planet earth." Don't go rushing to your computers for all of your illegal goods just yet; this is still in development.

Read the full article here.

This week was full of tech happenings. You can donate to open source, catch a Lyft, fight the FCC, reminiscence on Google Maps, and see what illegal things are going down on the internet at Hackathon. Stay tuned for next Friday's recap!

Barbie Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Why You Should Be Using Twitonomy

You can get Twitter analytics by promoting your tweets or handle. However, if you want to just see how everything else is going, or how well another user's account is going, you can use Twitonomy.

The Basics
The set-up is pretty simple with Twitonomy. You can log-in using your Twitter account. This will open the doors to a slew of different information involving your account and your followers.

What you can monitor:
  • Your handle
  • Your competition
  • Hashtags
  • Topics

There is also a premium version that gives you access to download the information. The rest of it is free, though.

Your Analytics
This is a great way to keep track of how your tweets are doing. In terms of business, this tool is a gold mind.

Check out what is going out on your page using the dashboard.

Have access to: 

  • How often you tweet per day
  • How many links you’ve shared
  • How often others mentioned you in their tweets
  • Who you retweet most often and who you reply to the most
  • What hashtags you’ve used the most
  • Which of your tweets were retweeted the most
  • Which of your tweets were favorited the most

See more features here

If you are considering promoting a handle or a tweet, this will give you great insight on what is most successful. 

Here is a preview of our top ranked tweets 

You can find everything you need to know on the "profile" and "mentions and RT" tabs. 

Your Competition 
Twitonomy has a feature that most analytics do not offer. You can also monitor your competitions' accounts as well as various topics. You can only do this for people who follow you.

To find the information:

  1. Click "Followers"
  2. Select a handle you want to review
  3. You will now be able to see the same analytics that are visible for your handle
The Dashboard

You can set up monitoring panels for a variety of keywords, users, or lists. You can also interact with the tweets all from the Twitonomy dashboard.

After upgrading to premium, you will also have access to the "search" tab which allows you to look for topics or hashtags to monitor.

Read more about the competition analytics here.

For more information on social media, contact a Blue Archer Professional.

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Friday, April 4, 2014

04/04/14 Week Recap: What You May Have Missed

You missed a ton this week, but don't worry, we always have your back! Microsoft has an announcement, Mozilla gets controversial, FTC starts cracking down, Amazon reveils a new device, and FireChat walks without the internet! Stay caught up and read on!

Microsoft Announces Cortana
Microsoft finally took a page from the Apple book and created a feature much like Siri. It performs many of the same things that Google Now does. Cortana is powered by Bing. Turn on your devices and start chatting!

Read the full article here.

Mozilla CEO Steps Down
Brenden Eich showed support for anti-gay legislation that would ban same sex marriage. He showed this support by donating a large sum to proposition 8. His employees were the first to ask him to step down. OkCupid got involved by asking users to switch browsers.

Read the full article here.

FTC Cracks Down on Pinterest
Cole Hand was targeted by the Federal Trade Commission by being misleading on Pinterest with the "Wandering Sole" contest. The contest was motivated by a $1,000 gift card. The FTC considers this advertising on Pinterest while trying to pass it off as organic boards. Watch your contests, folks.

Read the full article here.

Amazon Unveils Media Streaming Device 
This new device costs a mere $99 and will allow you to access your internet from your television. Hulu and Netflix just got a whole lot better to watch!

Read the full article here.

FireChat May Change Our Connection
This messenger system is breaking ground by not requiring internet or a call signal to work. So, how does that work? Well this Apple only app uses Multipeer Connectivity Framework in iOS 7.

Read the full article here.

That is all we have! Tune in next week for more on your latest tech news. Enjoy the spring weather!

Barbie Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Monday, March 31, 2014

Content Marketing: Why It Matters

On an average day, you may be walking home from work, and pass a few massive billboards. Logos appear on every passerby's shirt, and even when you browse the internet on your phone there are more ads to be found. The bus stop and the bus are both covered in ads. We are over saturated with advertisements to the point where we can almost tune it out. Pop-ups ads, banners, commercials-- those all are just things to avoid. This is why content marketing is so important.

What is Content Marketing 
Content marketing creates something with substance.  It is tailored to the audience, and it is not just another call out to buy an item, but more so something interesting that will strengthen your brand by encouraging others to share it with their friends.  

We ignore ads and skip commercials, but we send funny pictures and links to our friends on social media, regardless if it is from a brand or a relative. This is what we need to keep in mind for content marketing. 

The Statistics
I love statistics, because they speak louder than words. Here are a few reasons why content marketing is the way to go. 

  • 61% of consumers say they feel better about a company that delivers custom content, they are also more likely to buy from that company 
  • Interesting content is a top 3 reason people follow brands on social media
  • Social media sites and blogs reach 8 out of 10 of all U.S. Internet users and account for 23% of all time spent online
  • Blogs give websites 434% more indexed pages and 97% more indexed links
  • 7 in 10 consumers prefer to learn about a company through articles, not ads

Read more about the statistics and see the research here and here

Whether you are on board or not, we know that content marketing is useful for businesses. You know what it is, who loves it, and now we need to figure out how to do it. 
  • Blogging: This is a great way to stay in touch with your audience, provide news updates, and give helpful resources. If you write a great blog, people will read it. If they really love it, they will share it or even quote it. 
  • Photos, info graphics, and memes: Nothing gets shared to the point of going viral quite like a good photo or meme. Most audiences love humor and inspiration. Info graphics, like the one above, provide resources and other blogs may use it or share it. 
  • E-Books and White Pages: This is helpful to provide educational resources for your clients or others in your field. Just like with info graphics, you never know who will quote your work or share it! 
  • Video: Whether it is instructional or entertaining, videos spread the same way photos do. This is why YouTube is essential for business. 
  • Podcast: This is the new version of the radio except you can download, link and share this content. Get your best voice ready and share some insight with you audience. 
People want something quality that they can relate to, learn from, or laugh about. If you give this to your customer base, they will spread the word. Best of all, it is typically free. Remember, if you pay it is advertising, if you inspire it is content marketing. 

Read about more ways to execute content marketing here

Who is Doing it Right
Some people are still shaky on it, and some people are doing it right. Let us review a few businesses that are great at content marketing. 

Magnolia started as a photography shop and later began selling electronics. This was a family owned business started in 1954. 

Here is where it gets interesting, though. The idea to start a mini magazine educating consumers on electronics, set up like a blog, took off. Best Buy later bought the company for $86 million. 

Foiled Cupcakes
This small cupcake shop did not have a store front and their website had a glitch. Customers couldn't even order the product. 

Everything turned around when the owner turned to Twitter. She went from 0 to 2,200 followers in 6 weeks which attracted national attention. This increased target sales by 600%, and the shop became a Chicago legend. 

Read more examples of businesses leveraging content marketing here.

If you decided content marketing is right for you, or you just want to find out more in general, contact a Blue Archer Professional.  

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist

Thursday, March 20, 2014

03/20/14 Week Recap: What You May Have Missed

The tech world is coming out with more apps, more changes, and bigger updates. Read on to see what you missed this week!

Google Penalizes Guest Blogging Network
Google went after a large guest blogging platform, this may affect ranks and SEO. The reason is due to spam associated with guest blogging. 

Read the full article here

Facebook Introduces Hack
Facebook's brightest have spent the last few years building a programming language. It is said to be set apart from all of the other new coming languages. Will this be our new way of coding?

Read the full article here

Twitter Opens its Archives
Happy birthday Twitter! For Twitter's birthday, they have opened up the archives. This means you can search for any tweet you ever tweeted, even your very first one! 

Read the full article here

Alibaba Buys Tango
Alibaba paid $215 million for the messaging app Tango. This now makes the app valued at more than $1 billion. The app allows users to send free texts or make free phone calls. 

Read the full article here

New Version of Sheets
Google is updating Sheets to now allow offline editing. However, it only works in Chrome. We should see the upgrade in the next few weeks. 

Read the full article here

Social media is making big progress with a new language and an open archive, Google says no to guest blogging, Alibaba buys tango, and Sheets lets you edit offline. Tune in next week for more tech updates!

Barbara Cline
Online Content and Support Specialist