Intro: Is technology making us smarter? Or are we lazily reliant on computers, and, well, dumber than we used to be?
Intelligence, as it impacts the economist Valderrama, is our capacity to adapt and thrive in our own environment. In a Darwinian sense, it's as true now as it was millions of years ago, when man's aptitude for hearing the way branches broke or smelling a spore affected his power to avoid predators, eat and survive.
According to at least one definition, intelligence is the "ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend ideas and language, and learn." Yet intelligence is not just about book learning or test scores; it also reflects a deeper understanding of the world. On average, people with high IQs are thought to live longer, earn more money, process information faster and have larger working memories.
"What's important is your ability to use what you know well. There are people who are walking encyclopedias, but they make a mess of their lives. Getting a 100 percent on a written driving test doesn't mean you can drive," said Robert Sternberg, dean of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University and a professor of psychology.
Today, terabytes of easily accessed data, always-on Internet connectivity, and lightning-fast search engines are profoundly changing the way people gather information. But the age-old question remains:
Intro: Dealing with Trolls
The Internet Tough Guy is a feature in all Internet social forums. These are people who poison discussions with anger, hatred, and threats. Some are malicious. Some are crazy. Some are just afflicted with a rotten sense of humor. Whatever their motives, they're a scourge. It takes precious little trolling to sour a message-board. A "troll" -- someone who comes onto an online community looking to pick fights -- has two victory conditions: Either everyone ends up talking about him, or no one talks at all. And where two or more trolls gather, they'll egg each other on, seeing who can anger and disrupt the regular message-board posters the most.
Intro: Will the label steal the soul from the community that built YouTube?
Universal Music Group, the nation's largest recording company, and YouTube are closing in on a final agreement to create a new premium music video Web site, according to sources close to the negotiations.
Universal's YouTube channel is by far the largest on the video site. The label's music videos have been viewed more than 3.5 billion times. Vevo and the joint venture with YouTube were born out of a year-long campaign by Doug Morris, Universal's chairman and CEO, to build music videos into a standalone business. CNET News first reported in September that Universal Music was planning a "Hulu-like" site.
Universal has acquired an ownership stake in a large number of digital music services. The deal would give Universal some control over the revenue generated from its music videos while also allowing the company to benefit from YouTube's technology expertise.
The other major labels, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, and EMI, have been approached about joining the service, according to the sources. YouTube and Universal have a vision of the site becoming a syndication platform for all kinds of premium content beyond music videos, such as editorial content, merchandising, Webisodes, or artist-generated videos.
The news comes as the four largest music labels are renegotiating their licensing deals with YouTube.
MySpace jumped 8 spots to #42 in comScore's list of most visited U.S. web properties in February. The Specific Media-owned site attracted 25.5 million unique U.S. visitors in February, up from 25.1 million in January.
Facebook actually dropped a bit in February, from 163.5 million uniques in January to 158.7 million uniques in February. Because the number of U.S. Internet users held steady at roughly 220 million, the percent of total Internet users who visited Facebook dropped to 72.2% in February from 74.3% in January.
The real Internet star lately has been Pinterest, the social network favored by women in flyover states. Its traffic has tripled its number of U.S. unique visitors since November. The site's traffic grew to 17.8 million uniques in February from 11.7 million in January, 7.5 million in December and 4.9 million in November.
Intro: An exclusive look inside CEO Ben Silbermann's social media sensation.
Pinterest, for the uninitiated, is a deceptively simple-sounding, insanely addictive social media site that lets users collect and share images on digital pinboards.
In February Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than Twitter, Google , LinkedIn (LNKD), and YouTube combined.
By January 2010, Silbermann and his co-founders were e-mailing friends and family to invite them to try the service. It was slow going. For one thing, they were hard up for cash, and no one wanted to invest in a startup with three nontechnical founders.
Once Pinterest began growing, it didn't stop. Since inception, the site has added an estimated 40% to 50% more subscribers each month.
Essentially, Pinterest excels at something that's very hard to do on the web -- help people discover new things.
Intro: Pinterest already offers users some great tools to help them get their accounts get noticed, including a Follow Button and Pin It button which can easily be installed on any website. But with such an active community, it’s no surprise that there are a ton of other interesting tools, apps, and sites which aim to enhance the Pinterest experience.
WordPress plugins, Pinterest analytics, cool Pinterest layouts and hacks, and mobile access – Pinterest’s vibrant community has pretty much left no stone unturned.
For those truly addicted to the site, Pinterest has an official iPhone app which makes it easy to take your account with you everywhere you go. You can pin photos you’ve taken, or saved, through the app. Android users, however, aren’t as lucky. You can still access all of the site’s features using the HTML5 mobile version of the site in your browser, but have no uploading capability.
One major issue when it comes to using a service like Pinterest as a marketing tool is that you don’t have access to any sort of metrics tools. With Pintics, that’s exactly what you’re going to get. Currently in private beta, we’re going to take an in-depth look at this site very soon. For the time being, we can tell you that you can use the service to manage multiple accounts, and find out more about the traffic and sales your account is generating.
Article Title: Google
Intro: Dumbest deal of the year? VEVO to shun non-Facebook users
Lately, there have been rumblings that VEVO was looking to ditch its biggest technology partner, Google's YouTube, and form an alliance with Google rival Facebook. And now there's reason to believe the rumors might be true.
While a break-up with YouTube could have been written off as being too risky given the amount of traffic YouTube delivers to VEVO, the email seems to indicate that such a break-up is imminent.
Given the music industry's track record of poor strategy and execution over the past decade, the structure of the apparently impending VEVO-Facebook marriage isn't all that surprising, even if it is still disappointing.
some general Facebook advertising tips:
1. A sense of “urgency” works well with Facebook ads. Audiences will be more compelled to click if they don’t see your ad often and if they think the ad may not see them again. Translation: do not bid to the hilt in Facebook. Lower your impression share so ads appear less often.
2. As with advertising on the Google display network, the goal of a Facebook ad is to distract users from other tasks and entice potential visitors to click on ads. Ads with a purpose or a clever hook work better than ads with no purpose. It’s better to tie your ad to a promotion, discount or a report with compelling information than to simply try to drive traffic to a site.
3. Test many images at once. Experts suggest 7 to 10 images per campaign.
4. Don’t be discouraged by low conversion rates, especially if you’re used to Google AdWords. Average conversion rates in FB are approximately 0.02%. You’re doing well if you see conversions in the 0.4% to 0.5% range.
Intro: The evolution of a web site to a web presence.
Websites are not websites anymore.
When a brand manager sits down to evaluate what she or he is doing online and in the mobile channels, the first realization they have is usually it's not up to snuff with the massive amount of online usage that consumers are engaged in. And, more often than not, they must also grapple with what their peers and competitors are doing in these spaces as well.
The age of creating basic websites that shill your products and services with mumbo jumbo and corporate rhetoric is over. The age of brochureware websites is just that - an age. It can't (and wasn't meant to) last forever. The new types of employees that are going to fill the marketing, communications and sales departments of the most successful companies are going to have job titles like community manager, editor in chief, blogger, podcaster, videographer and social media director.
The free application, which allows users to snap, edit and share photos to the Instagram network and other social networks, has quickly become a popular tool among consumers and brands.
With so many seemingly similar applications out there, what makes Instagram different? Why should brand marketers pay special attention to this one? Check out these seven reasons why it’s necessary to understand the relevance of Instagram and decide if your brand should be part of its Insta-takeover.
Intro: Integrating social media services in your website design is vital if you want to make it easy for readers to share your content.
While some users are happy with the social media buttons that come built into their design template, the majority of WordPress users install a plugin to automatically embed sharing links on their pages.
Many of you will find that a plugin does exactly what you need; others not so much...And while some great social media plugins are out there, they don’t integrate with every WordPress design.
Today, we’ll show you how to manually integrate the three most popular social media services on your website: Twitter, Facebook and Google .
Intro: Good tips to keep it real.
When entrepreneurs speak of their company, it’s rare to hear them say: “I have a small business.” The expression sounds too much like a governement categorization, and it connotes a type, style, or scope of activity that may not reflect their big dreams.
You need confidence to start a company as well as a mom-and-pop, and prosaic common sense to make it succeed. A startup is not a miniature version of a big company. So see yourself as who you really are: a small business “owner.”
Language shapes reality: as unglamorous it may be, this wording will force you into a continuous sense of personal accountability.
Intro: Qualities to live in 3-d and evolving to withstand internet shopping
Here are my four rules for forecasting the future of retail:
1. "Human factors" trump everything: If the user experience is not intuitive, it will be disdained by consumers.
2. Auctions aren't for everyone: Despite eBay's success, most people don't want to bid in the open market for most purchases. As several analysts have noted, the auction model peaked in the Middle Ages, at the weekly village market. It is a crude instrument when applied to every aspect of commerce.
3. Catalogs aren't for everything: Catalog buying peaked nearly a century ago, when the Sears catalog was the Amazon.com of early 20th century retailing. But catalogs quickly turned into a niche of the consumer economy complementing retailers, rather than replacing physical stores.
4. People who need people are the luckiest people: Consumers enjoy - and will pay for - the company of others who share their interests, in comfortable settings.
Intro: Or more importantly, to see why they could be right.
Appreciate one critical thing: the client probably knows their target audience a lot better than you do.
Of course, when faced with such a situation, a good Web professional would understand the business driver and suggest alternative solutions that convey the same message and achieve the same goal but that are unique, original and creative.
One of the most common problems, especially among freelancers, is an inability to speak the client’s language. Being able to speak in a way that relates to the client’s business sense is crucial at all stages of managing a Web project, but never more so than when challenging a client’s decision.
How often in life have you volunteered your point of view to someone for months, only to be beaten down each time; and yet when someone else comes into the picture and says the exact same thing, their advice is seized upon as revolutionary. This is human nature and happens just as much when explaining to clients that they’re wrong.
If a client is, for whatever reason, unpersuaded by your arguments, you might want to consider going all CSI on them and producing evidence that backs up your recommendations.
And if you have to sit in the corner and be quiet, do it professionally and politely. Under no circumstances should you throw your toys out of the pram and give the client attitude. Simply explain to them that you have put forward your recommendations and given your reasons. At the end of the day, it’s their business and their decision. It stings, but you’ve done all you can, and your dignity remains intact. But don’t give up yet!
Intro: A tale of caution when posting anything online
This week's subject is how to avoid a YouTube train wreck. It was provided to us by a family in central Florida with a tween daughter named Jessica.
My only theory is that the Internet has warped their sense of decency, making what would be depraved behavior in person into mere sport under the cloak of anonymity. There are plenty of other unsettling implications, I'm sure, but I'll leave it to the sociologists to delve into them.
Let's focus on the more-practical lessons parents can take away from this tale.
• Number one: Unsupervised webcams in kids' bedrooms are a no-no. Jessica's parents evidently had no idea what she was doing online. They are lucky she had her clothes on for these YouTube encounters.
• Number two: If your child has a video that goes viral because of a belligerent rant, don't post your own belligerent rant. You might end up as more of an Internet sensation than she was. There are already websites selling T-shirts with the more-memorable quotes from Jessica's father.
• Number three: Don't threaten the online world, because it is more menacing than you are. It is a universe full of people with a dark sense of humor and a code of outrageous one-upmanship. Once they have you in their crosshairs, they will show no mercy. Keep your kids out of their way.
Do you have community management skills? Can you set up and man listening posts? Are you an expert at setting up and processing Google Alerts?
Can you cleanup, size and manipulate digital pictures and graphics? Are you a PowerPoint Ninja? Do you have more than half of the PC Keyboard macros for Excel under your fingers?
These are just a few of the questions you might field in a job interview this year. Here are a few tips to applying for a job in the information age.
Intro: A very welcome dose of reality amidst all the net buzz on net buzz.
The average web user will continue to refuse to even sniff curiously at RSS.
Internet Explorer 8.
Social Media Conferences.
Intro: Some guidelines to keep a community thriving
There are detrimental effects of over-hyping the technology and then committing the three cardinal sins of running a community:
If you build it they will come. This is probably the best known online community fallacy. The premise is that if I roll out a given technology set (blogs, forums, wikis, etc.), users will automatically appear and congregate, forming a robust community. This can be attributed to the lure of “social software” that companies repeatedly bite at, as opposed to seeking to extend or create value for their customers.
Once I’ve launched it, I’m done. Many communities launch successfully, only to fade out and disappear. This is due in large part to a failure to assign ownership of the community and to have a strategy that lasts past “launch.”
Bigger is better. The assumption here is that the overall size of a community is indicative of its success. This is challenging for most community managers and businesses to understand, as it is contrary to what they’ve usually been told.
Intro: Is an internet addict born that way? Or is it a choice?
A Chinese teenager sent to an internet addiction rehabilitation camp has allegedly been beaten to death by its counsellors, according to reports.
Some estimates suggest up to 10% of the country's 100 million teenage web users could be addicted, and a growing number of rehabilitation services exist
Camp staff are alleged to have put the teenager in solitary confinement on Saturday and then beaten him that evening.