Author Archive

Teenagers and Facebook

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Facebook has made some recent changes as of late. One of which now allows kids from the ages of 13 to 17, to publicly gain followers. Before this change, users of this age group were only able to share their personal content with friends and custom groups. Now, they too, have the freedom to be able to gain followers and spread their posts to a wider audience.

Techno-Born

As we find ourselves amidst the age of all things digital, the impact has been immense. Children born from the 90’s onward fell straight into a life that’s all things digital. From playing “pick-up-sticks” to rocking GTA on a portable Playstation, technology has dramatically impacted the concept of childhood. More importantly, the way we socialise has also been impacted.

On many nodes, online platforms such as Facebook or Myspace, make life easier. You are able to access details about others lives which you wouldn’t know. And in this hectic life, between work, school or college, there isn’t always time to be actively socially engaged.

A Thought to Ponder…

Although, how many would agree that this is a good idea? Do children between that age group have the knowledge, wisdom and responsibility to utilise an online platform? Do they understand the repercussions to which their say could inflict?

Technology Tragedy

On 15 October 2013, a report from America shocked the world. A young teen, 12 year old Rebecca Sedwick committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. What is the connection you ask? She was a victim of online bullying. Online bullying is real and its consequences are dire.  14 and 12 year old girls were arrested and charged with felonies of aggravated stalking.

After bullying Rebecca and telling her to “drink bleach and die”, the victim of this online bullying succumbed and committed suicide. Once the bullies found out of her untimely death, they posted “I know Rebecca killed herself but I don’t give a f___.”

So… With Facebook’s recent allowance changes, how many teens are going to be able to use this online media profile responsibly? Would it just be more of a platform for online bullying? We’ll have to wait and see…

The Power of Social Media Prevails Once Again

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Much to the Detriment of Renowned Store Woolworths

Woolworths Hummingbird Scandal has taken South Africa’s social media world by storm. Almost everyone has heard about it, and majority have spread the word via personal Twitter and Facebook profiles. It cannot be stressed enough the power of social media and the damage that can be done to a company’s online reputation if the social broadcasts are of a negative nature. Social Media liaison officers need to be in tune with social marketing principle in order to salvage their status.

What’s the Story?

If you haven’t heard by now (highly unlikely), the breakdown is as follows. Woolworths is being accused of using a local designers’ sample of a Hummingbird design, after meeting with her and turning her design down for manufacturing. The designer, Euodia Roets, spoke out on her blog, after stumbling across W Collection scatter cushions with her Hummingbird design printed on it.

Social Murder

Woolworths then found themselves in yet another social media storm. South African’s slandered the company in light of Roets’ blog post and the past few days, Hurricane Social Media pretty much destroyed Woolworths online reputation. Seeing as this isn’t the first incident, think here of the Frankie’s Olde Soft Drink saga, as well as the “Halaal Hot Cross Buns” tale, Woolies is no stranger to the negative effects of social media outbursts. However, one would think that this would ensure they would know how to deal with such PR calamities. Check out their official statement on the Woolworths website here.

Woolworths responded avidly to comments on Facebook and Twitter with generic responses that users picked up on and commented on.

woolies

 

woolies2

 

Businesses should always remember the fast-paced environment of the social media world. By responding to messages on such a level, is it better to stay away from generic answers and just release a official statement? No doubt Woolworths have found themselves in a sticky situation. Social media is powerful and can cause serious damage to your brand. If you didn’t already know this, Woolworths SA is a tragic example to witness it first-hand.

Welcome All, Windows 8.1…

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Windows_8.1For those of you who have installed Microsoft’s latest offering, the Windows 8 software package, you would be interested to know Windows 8.1 is now available. The switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8 was quite radical. Having made changes to the layout, the entire operating system indeed takes some time to get used to. One thing Windows 8 users were frazzled with was the disappearance of the infamous “start” button.

What’s New?

Windows 8.1 offers users several new and enhanced features, along with the return of the “start” button. This makes it easier to navigate and find your programs without having to hover around looking for your desktop.

Why The Change?

Windows 8 reinvented Windows operating system for all touch devices. Organisational tools enabled users to have access to an enhanced global search, as well as better overall multi-monitor support.

New Features of Windows 8.1

Enjoy the convenience of the Start button, which now acts as a global search button, powered by Bing. For example, type into your start menu a specific topic, Mariah Carey, and get her Wikipedia page along with music videos and latest news from the songstress.

No more do users need to manually update their apps. Windows 8 automatically downloads updates when they’re available, always ensuring you have the latest of everything.

Available to all Windows 8 users, version 8.1 is easily attainable through the Store App.

Google Throws another Curveball for SEO Fundies.

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

How to master Google’s New Hummingbird Algorithm.                            Hummingbird

Google, yet again, has thrown web content writers and SEO strategists another obstacle. Although this is great news for Google searchers worldwide, it is yet another algorithm adjustment for us web folk to get used to. Introducing… Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.

Having been implemented over a month ago, if you are finding your site still at a good ranking, you have probably been untouched. However, to make the most of your website and optimise your site to the maximum, it is important to work according to all of Google’s new changes.

The Hummingbird, as it’s now known, deals with Google pulling web ranks according to content. Content that is based with answers to conversational queries. This newest algorithm catches users actual search intent and pulls websites that have content which answers the intent in the best way. Conversational phrases are now where it’s all at.

So now my fellow SEO content writers start thinking along the lines of how your target market would search for your product. Think of examples such as:

  • “How to…”
  • “Where is the nearest…”
  • “Where can I get…”

Adapt your keyword strategies specifically for answers to conversational queries. Use these 3 different approaches to classify your keyword strategies.

  1. 1.       Informational

When users are interested in finding information about a specific topic.

  1. 2.       Navigational

When users are looking for a particular website.

  1. 3.       Transactional

When users are searching for a product within their area.

SEO folk now need to try and determine all conversational phrases related to their specific product or service, and classify into the 3 above approaches. Writers and strategists, start thinking about creating educational content for the informational search phrases. Push your brand name, product name and business name for navigational searches.

Another trick of the Hummingbird trade is to expand your keyword research. It is now important to start paying attention to related keywords, acronyms, synonyms and spelling variants (UK, US, South African). Remember to use these for anchor text and back-linking purposes too.

All in all, this new Hummingbird Algorithm is no train smash. It increases Google’s usability, and even you as a Google user will find the results more satisfying.

 

More Than Just a Watch…

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

Samsung_GearTechnology never ceases to amaze. We have found ourselves smack in the middle of a time where the age of digital is upon us. Technology advances have been immense over the past few years. Most of it is technologies that we hear of, not experience. With the exception of advances such as the smartphones, tablets and such, most exceptional developments have been behind the scenes.

No longer is that the case. Now it’s brought closer to us than ever before. So close in fact, it’s made to be attached to your body. Introducing… The Samsung Gear.

 

 

 

Specs:

  • 800MHz Processor
  • 1.9mp Camera (Located on the wristband)
  • 4gb Memory
  • 1.63 Inch Touch Screen

What Does it Do?

Where to start? It’s a digital watch that acts as a smartphone. Attempt to wrap your head around that. The movies where people spoke into their watches to call the command base, has now become a reality. This Samsung Gear smartphone watch allows you to respond to text messages by simply speaking to it. This wristwatch will convert your speech into text. By saying a simple command- Your text is sent. Find yourself on the street and witnessing something extraordinary? No need to scratch around for your phone. Simply say the word “camera” to your Samsung Gear Wristwatch and snap away with your 1.9mp camera on the wristband. Ever had the feeling that you were about to do something but forgot? We’ve all been there. Now simply say what you are doing and what needs to be done and your all-powerful wristwatch will auto record for your convenience.

Featured Applications:

Samsung.com gives you a range of apps for your wristwatch that add to the attraction of this handy little contraption. Here we have a few selected apps to show you just how magnificent the Samsung Gear is:

  • eBay:

Complete all transactions on eBay through your watch, in real time.

  • MyFitnessPal:

This app tracks your nutrition and exercise.

  • Triplt:

Organise all your travel plans.

  • Vivino:

This wine scanner allows you to take a picture of any wine and get to know everything about it instantly.

Interested? Take a trip down to your nearest Samsung store and go try it out for yourself! Available in a range of colours, this functional accessory is definitely one not to be missed.

The Growth of Digital Ad Spend

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Mobile ads are catching updigitaladspend

Over the last few years, the rumours of declines within the print industry have been no secret. It has been said that the stresses put on publishers and radio have been immense. However, in 2012, the combined ad space for newspapers and magazines outweighed that of the internet. That being said, it would be ignorant to ignore the fact that we are living in an age where digital is everything.

This post uses data retrieved by Zenithoptimedia, a company that aims on improving the efficiency of marketing spend. This ROI agency is focusing on the US because it is the biggest market for overall ad spends.

Fantastic Figures

Zenithoptimedia predicts that the year-end of 2013 will see digital ad spend being 22% in the United States, and mobile ads 3.7% of the total global spend. The global ad spend growth is projected to reach $503 billion. The figures are foreseeing that amounts going into digital ad spend are only going to increase.

The US has the single largest ad market. The digital ad spend in 2013 is 21.8% ($109.7 billion), growing from its 19% in 2012.

Though it is a growing trend, mobile still remains to be seen as a solid minority. US mobile ads make up 3.7% of all ad spend, equalling to $6.2 billion.

What is driving the most growth in advertising? This is easy to answer. It’s mobile. Mobile ad spend sees a growth by 81% this year in the USA, adding up to 8.4% of total ad spend across all borders. In comparison to this, the internet advertising market is growing by just 16% and sees to comprise 27.8% of total ad spend by the year 2015.

On a global basis, mobile ads have been worth $8.3billion in 2012. 9.5% of internet expenditure and with 1.7% of advertising across all media. Zenithopticmedia goes onto predicting the total rise calculating to $33.1 billion. This would be comprised of 25.2% internet expenditure and 6.0% all other expenditure combined.

The Rise of Mobile

The rapid growth of mobile ads should come as no surprise..  some are in the belief that due to the sales of tablets, it could possibly overrun the sales of desktop PC’s by the end of this year. Smartphones are undoubtedly becoming the primary manner in which people are accessing the net.  Zenithoptimedia does not disclose who is leading the change in mobile ads, but in the past Google has taken first place.

With the rise of Millenial Medias’ JumpTap, Twitters’ MoPub, Facebook Ads and Instagrams’ plan to launch ads, mobile revenues are sure to pick up, dramatically.

Welcome All: Augmented Reality, Say What?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

imagesThis innovative and technologically advanced trend is set to hit the world with a force. Augmented Reality Ad Campaigns are Hot Hot Hot! Big brands such as Toyota, Samsung and Heinz have taken to this new way of advertising.

What is it?

Augmented reality allows customers to interact directly with the brand through their smartphones or tablets. Think here of a printed advertisement. Simply point your smartphone at the ad and watch it trigger through your screen into a 3D, interactive video. Talk about futuristic. This advancement has the ability to change the advertising world forever! Riveting stuff, right?

This technology started around 2008, but has only recently hit it off as nearly every person has a smartphone. This mode of advertising, gives the brand an opportunity to directly integrate themselves within the digital and real world.

How Does it Work?

By downloading an app, here I’ll use the example of Blippar, the app uses your camera on your smartphone/tablet to recognise images which have components of augmented reality. It then triggers an automatic response to which is submitted back to your phone, allowing you to interact with whatever the ad campaign is all about.

Have a look at a few examples of this revolutionary ad experience!

Heinz

Maybelline

Toyota

Are you aware of your online rep?

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Online.RepThe time is over when companies could keep tabs on their reputation simply through one on one

customer relations. Thanks to the digital age, your company’s reputation is just as important online

as well as in reality. Whether your company is online or not, the important of Online Reputation

Management is real.

 

One of the biggest mistakes companies are doing today, is hiding from the World Wide Web. There

seems to be a mentality that if you’re not feeding your business with social news feeds, you’re safe.

Wrong! It doesn’t matter whether you’re on social websites, your companies name is out there, and

if you’re not careful, unhappy clients could be slandering your name, without your knowledge!

Reputation is so important in a business. Your customers create the success or demise of your

business. By not realising the impact of online reputation, your business is sure to feel the effects.

There are numerous sites on the web that allows clients to speak openly about their experience with

you. It is your duty to manage this and respond to messages that complain and rebuild your online

reputation which directly impacts your reputation as a business on a whole.

If you’re weary of social media, here are a few tips to help you on your way

to having a good OR.

• Online Aid

Facebook and Twitter are amazing tools for your business- Use them! Customers with

queries or complaints can use your page to talk directly to you, and you have the power to

communicate directly to them on a social platform, to which others can see the issue being

resolved.

• Keep Your Cool

Remember the internet is transparent. Ensure you keep a cool cerebellum at all times,

no matter how much of a nuisance your customer may be. Deal with the matter in a

professional manner as you would face to face.

• Brand Ambassadors

As mentioned in point 1, complaints and resolutions are all transparent. Everyone can see

them. Turn your most monstrous client into a happy one and watch as he/she recommends

your business to all.

Online reputation management is real. Companies are now offering services to manage your brands

reputation. This service is one to invest in. Never underestimate the power of the digital realm. Keep

in the loop at all times, and never let your business suffer due to ignorance.

Clean Convenience On Your Car -The Road Shower

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

With spring around the corner, the avid outdoorsy types come out to play. For those of you who areRoad.Shower

into all the latest gidgets and gadgets, as well as being a lover of all things outdoors- this is for you.

Introducing…. The Road Shower!

 

This innovative product sees to it that you have a shower readily available for all those hikes

and camps you’ll be taking come summer sun. Made by Canadian, Joel Cotton, this Road Shower

creation consists of a pressurized tank that mounts easily on your vehicles roof rack. The tank is

made up of powder-coated aluminium with holds 19 litres of water. Whilst up on the roof in the

sunlight, the black paint aids in absorbing the heat, thus warming up the water for when you get

back to base. Fear not cold shower lovers, there is a handy radiator-inspired fill cap which relieves

steam should the water be too hot.

This handy apparatus is great for a number of purposes aside from the shower aspect. Use it to

rinse off your bikes after a few hours on the dusty mountain or haul it conveniently for easy water

consumption.

Keep an eye out for this Road Shower once it hits on a commercial scale.

Welcome all, Google’s New Keyword Planner!

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Keyword.PlannerSay farewell to Google’s Adwords Keyword Tool and how-do-you-do to Google’s new Adwords Keyword Planner. With the release of this new integrated tool, SEO strategists are left with a huge question mark on their foreheads. Some of the comments on forums haven’t been too welcoming, but let’s weigh up the options in a more enthusiastic manner, shall we?

First things first, let’s point out the new features of this Keyword Planner Tool.

  • One of the most NB features of this new tool is that Google has decided to incorporate mobile devices as part of the default search results. Previously, results were limited to desktop PC’s and laptops only. With the ever-growing technology, users are more likely to search for content through their mobile phones or tablets.
  • With this, numbers tend to be higher.
  • The Keyword Planner combines the functionality of the old Keyword Tool and the Traffic Estimator into a smooth and integrated workflow.
  • This new tool gives data for exact keywords. Users can now upload their own keywords and see how they perform in accordance to the data result.
  • Google is forcing users to identify themselves by having to log on to Gmail in order to use the Planner.
  • The tool divides keywords into suggested adgroups (this is mostly for PPC) but this also aids in assisting you to see which keywords Google deems topically related.
  • Hyper-local geographical search option. This means, not only do results of keyword planning show for say example, South Africa, but users can now narrow their search to more localized searches. So what keywords are Capetonians searching for?

So, how does this new Keyword Planner impact on SEO Analysts and Web Content Writers?

Well, with the new feature of being able to examine keyword research on a hyper-local basis, writers are now able to gain a better understanding of the volume and competition in the general geographical area they are targeting.

With regards to keyword research, Google is striving for users to learn their demographics. The Keyword Planner forces writers to focus on magnetic content, based on what your clientele are interested in and what they want to know about. A great tool to use for this is a social media platform. By providing valuable content, users are more likely to stay on your site for longer, keep coming back, thus improving your sites usability and increasing your websites ranking.

On an overall basis, one may say, “don’t fix what isn’t broken”. However, technology is on a permanent state of evolution and it is important for Google (and every online marketing team) to keep up. The Google Keyword Planner might not seem like a good idea to most, but we say give it a chance- It’s going to help not only you, but more importantly, your business.