Archive for the ‘design’ Category

Casinos ban Google Glasses

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

gg_1370514260_540x540

Casino’s in several states of America are forbidding gamblers from wearing Google Glass, the tiny eyeglasses-mounted device. This device is capable of surfing the Internet, taking photos and recording videos.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement ordered Atlantic City’s 12 casinos to bar casino patrons from using the device this week.

Casinos in Las Vegas, Pennsylvania, Ohio Connecticut have also made the decision to ban Google Glass to prevent cheating in gaming such as poker and blackjack. Security workers at the famous Caesars Entertainment and MGM Resorts will be asking patrons to remove devices if they suspect that the person is using the device to secretly photograph or take video recordings.

“If these eyeglasses were worn during a poker game, they could be used to broadcast a patron’s hand to a confederate or otherwise be used in a collusive manner,” David Rebuck, the division’s director wrote in a memo to the casinos.

“Even if the glasses had not been used for cheating … their presence at a gaming table would lead to the perception that something untoward could be occurring, thereby undermining public confidence in the integrity of gaming,” he wrote in the directive.

In a statement, Google said, “We are thinking very carefully about how we design Glass because new technology always raises new issues.” It said its “Glass Explorer” pilot program “will ensure that our users become active participants in shaping the future of this technology.”

New Jersey casinos ask anyone wearing the glasses to remove them, and can kick out any customer who refuses.

 

Google will soon launch Google Web Designer

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Google Logo 2010

 

Google is said to be launching Google Web Designer, an HTML5 development tool for creative professionals. It will be aimed at users who have relied on Flash for banners, widgets and even entire sites.

 

The service will launch in “the coming months” and is designed to “empower creative professionals to create cutting-edge advertising as well as engaging web content like sites and applications – for free.”

 

Google shared the news in a side note in a blog post about its DoubleClick advertising platform this morning, hence the emphasis on ads. Web Designer is said to be a stand-alone product that will be aimed at creative agencies and designers.

 

“To help advertisers and publishers more seamlessly unlock the potential of cross-device programs, we are investing in a new HTML5 creative development tool – Google Web Designer,” Google explained.

 

Google’s only service for creating websites currently is Google Sites, allowing users to create basic sites from pre-built templates. Web Designer is expected to be a more sophisticated replacement for Sites’ editor.

 

Even if the tool is developed to be aimed at advertisers, it could be an interesting product. Its output could be integrated into any existing website or web app.

Samsung’s AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service goes live

Tuesday, May 21st, 2013

Free Wi-Fi service access available from 15 April 2013

 

Samsung Electronics have announced that their AlwaysOn free Wi-Fi service has gone live as of 15 April 2013. With more than 1,000 local AlwaysOn hotspots, consumers will be able to enjoy this free service at almost any favourite location.

 

Samsung WiFi Always On

Samsung WiFi Always On

If you are a Samsung user, on any Wi-Fi enabled smart device purchased after March 2010, you will be able to register  your device for this free service. This entitles you to 1GB of free AlwaysOn Wi-Fi data every month for 12 months, per Samsung device.

 

With the digital age and the need for Internet access at any given time, Samsung has come to the party by allowing consumers to enjoy and be in control even when they are out of the office or home. Samsung consumers get to sit back and enjoy the convenience of this premier Wi-Fi service, simplifying mobile connectivity.

 

To be able to use this service, Samsung users need to:

  • Locate the nearest AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Register on the AlwaysOn network
  • Connect your Samsung device to the AlwaysOn hotspot
  • Select Samsung Registration from the Free Sites menu option
  • Enter your details including the serial number of your device (dial *#06# or found on the back of your device)
  • Begin using AlwaysOn Wi-Fi!

 

Once the 1GB of data is depleted,  you may purchase additional data from the AlwaysOn Wi-Fi portal at standard rates.

 

The AlwaysOn Wi-Fi service is designed to move towards strong value-added offerings to Samsung consumers. Samsung combines product innovation with constant connectivity, allowing you to be connected at any time without additional expenses.

 

To find the AlwaysOn hotspot location closest to you, visit http://finder.alwayson.co.za

 

Once it’s out there, you can’t take it back.

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

What you say on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, Google+ and any other platform on the web) could potentially end you in hot water.

2

Not only is this a fact when it comes to issues of humanitarian aspects, racial commentary or general slander against individuals, but even more so against the corporate world, and especially the company you work for. More and more companies are monitoring their reputation online, and this online commentary has become easier to monitor, and pick up through a wide range of tools. Therefore the chances of negative (and positive) sentiment being picked up on the web is a reality, and increasingly so.

So what does this mean to you, the employee of a company, against which you have had or made a negative outburst? It’s quite simple, you can lose your job, and what’s more, even have legal action taken against you. Just by posting something on the web, in any form or any platform, you are governed by the same laws that govern publishing as a whole.

So, the next time you retweet someone’s negativity, or post on Facebook, or decide to just have your own negative outburst, think about the long-term impacts that this action could have against you

1

How to not suck at Twitter

Friday, February 1st, 2013

In the world of Social Media and community management there are some people who just “get Twitter” and some people who don’t.  So this is a fun, yet serious post that I feel is long overdue to help people who are just doing Twitter so wrong, do it a little better – after all Rome wasn’t built in a day, or in less than 140 characters.

1

So you have heard about this thing called Twitter, and you have opened yourself up an account and chosen a handle (which is what your name is called on Twitter), what do you do from here onwards? Well let me help you out.

  1. Start following people with the same interest as you:  You can find these people by searching keywords that interest you, in order to find other people who are talking about the same stuff as you, for example ‘running’, ‘fishing ‘, and ‘poetry’.
  2. Get interacting:  The most valuable thing I was ever told was “Interaction is Key” and it really is. How is anyone with a lot of followers supposed to know you are there and that you share their interests if you don’t try to talk to them? So get interacting
  3. Don’t over use #Hashtags: Your tweet has to get across what you are trying to say in under 140 characters. There is nothing more annoying than reading a tweet that goes along the lines of, “Wow, what a great run #Running #Fitness #WorkingOut #RunningTips #RunForFun”. Your tweet gets lost in the hash tag noise.  Tweet it like you would say it, and if you do need to add a hash tag, I would personally stick to 2 maximum.
  4. Don’t join #TeamFollowBack or beg for followers: Team Follow Back is to Twitter what Oil is to Water.  Granted you can put oil and water together but sooner or later they are going to separate and the result isn’t pretty. The same applies to #TeamFollowBack. Your Twitter experience will be diluted because they are following you and you are following them only because you are a number.  Rather have fewer followers who share the same interests as you and really enjoy the people in your community than having millions of people you don’t talk to but feel obligated to follow.
  5. Don’t be an arrogant idiot:  Ok we get it. You have a lot of followers. People may even call you “an influencer”, well guess what? The people who made you an influencer are still following you and can stop doing that at any time.  Respond to tweets, follow the ones trying to interact with you or interact back with them.  Be human. Calling yourself a Twitter celebrity is kind of like the homeless guy at the traffic light. Everyone knows you are there and can see you but only the ones who smile back will give you their spare change or a moment of your time

Good chat kids. Now go forth and tweet, but be ‘Twitter Friendly”

User optimisation vs. search engine optimisation

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

For most of us, the topic of search engine optimisation, is an old one. All you have to do is just Google the term, and the long list of SERP’s that follow will all kind of say the same thing. Most with a slight varying nuance in the ‘how’ to approach it. But all of that is rapidly changing. While up until recently, it was all about keyword density, increasing the number of pages on a site, or getting as many backlinks as possible. That’s all quickly coming to an end.

Google SERP’s

Why the change?

Much is being researched and written about the many algorithmic changes that Google is making, and rather than slowing down, these changes are actually on the increase. We saw as many as 12 changes in 2012, compared to just 11 in 2011. And if that’s not enough, the latest Google Panda update #24, the first for 2013 was released on January the 24th, 2013.

So, why the change? It is widely documented that this is Google’s continued attempt to ‘clean up the town’ so to speak. For all too long, SEO companies, practicing in both the white and dark arts, have been ‘influencing’ the results found on Google’s SERP’s. And in retaliation, Google continually intervenes to keep the search results as pure and uncontrived as possible. Most of which can be dated as far back as 2003, when they first began to ignore the keyword tags on websites

So where is this going?

The real question is, where will this end? I personally can’t see it coming to an end. For Google to remain competitive, and continue to attract users to its search engine, it is imperative that it continues to clean up the results its users find while searching. What’s more, Google now looks beyond search. Much more emphasis is now being placed upon the users engagement factor. Things such as bounce rate, load speeds, and goal completions, can both positively or negatively impact on where your site ranks, more so then how you got them there in the first place.

Whilst pre Panda and Penguin updates focused on driving the click, these days the emphasis is more about post-click activity. The bottom line really, is if the user wins, we all win.  So much more effort needs to be placed on what happens after the click.

The conclusion

While this is rapidly becoming the new reality, it is still important to consider both sides when approaching your SEO rollout. While the new focus is around optimising the browsing experience for the user, increasing overall engagement, and retaining the user for a longer period of time, the old practices still apply to some extent. To put it simply, while it is becoming increasingly more important to keep your user engaged once he or she has found your site, you still need to get them there in the first place.

Graph Search: Providing greater access to your Facebook network

Monday, January 21st, 2013

There have been rumors flying around for a while now that Mark Zuckerberg and his very own “team awesome” have been working on a Facebook “search engine”. Well, it is here and its name is Graph Search: certainly an interesting utilisation of the social media platform.

Available, at the moment, only to English (US) audiences, this social search engine was not developed to index the web. Instead, Facebook is indexing their map which is growing by close on 1Million new profiles daily. Data such as images, videos and connections are used in searches to provide an accurate result. This offers Facebook users the chance to dive deeper into their network.

How do I use Graph Search?

The search may be done in the search bar at the top of your Facebook window. Facebook users will be able to search for anything from photos to people and even interests. For example: if you are interested in forming a running group in your area, you would search, “People interested in jogging in Rivonia”. Graph Search will then pull all related profiles from within your profile that match your search request. The search result will provide results in order of “friends” closest to you, right down to mutual friends and connections.
Having been built up as a “database of people’s lives” Facebook allows lives to cross and the world to become more open. Graph Search has been designed to provide users the tools they need to make the most of their close and extended network.

Why is it useful?

Facebook predicts that this search platform will become a useful tool. From recruiting right through to forming niche groups, doing market research and even dating, Graph Search has allowed us access to valuable information, at our fingertips.

What was once an online platform to interact with friends and family, Facebook is now an empire that in many ways has become an integrated part of both our personal and business lives.
When to expect Graph Search…

Facebook has announced that they will slowly roll Graph Search out and as it becomes a more commonly used tool, they will certainly expand on its functionalities.
Once again we are left with the question, “What is next, Facebook?”.

Digital Marketing Institute Launches in South Africa

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

The Digital Marketing Institute (DMI) officially launched in South Africa yesterday. The opening address was made by Mr. Ian Dodson, the CEO, in which he promised to ’build the digital economy one person at a time’

Present at the launch which was held at the Balalaika Hotel in Sandton, was a delegation of the Irish Trade Commission, and a number of South Africa’s top Digital Agencies. Also present was Blue Magnet, the 1st of 5 accredited training institutions that the Digital Marketing Institute has partnered with to roll out its wide variety of course material to the local market. With its flagship course being the Professional Diploma in Digital Marketing, they offer theoretical training with practical outcomes.

The DMI promises to introduce a number of standards over the next few months. These are set around the standards in the industry and training of Digital Marketing, through the planned advisory council.

Globally, the DMI spends considerable time working with its partners around the globe to maintain these standards, formalise, and rollout education.

The DMI promises that through its dedication to educating professionals in the field of Digital Marketing, career growth and competitiveness in a global jobs market will increase.

“The Digital Marketing Institute spends considerable time working with our various partners at the Advisory Council.  This ensures that the syllabuses for our various courses are exactly what is required in order for you to further develop your career.  We get input from organisations such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Universities and other Educational Institutions as well as some of the world’s leading Advertising and Marketing Agencies” says Ian Dodson.

With online marketing being the core focus for businesses across the globe, DMI hopes to improve the current standard of quality within South Africa and worldwide. The focus on education and training means that we will be able to develop the digital industry in South Africa and through that, reach and target foreign investors.

CEO, Ian Dodson introducing the Digital Marketing Institute

How does Google+ affect SEO?

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

When Google launched Google+ everyone rolled their eyes at Google’s attempt to try and dominate not only search but Social Networks too.  At the time however there was talk of what Google+ would mean for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and how would it affect search results and website visibility in the long run.

Many SEO’s know that a link from a Social Media site has value when it comes to ranking, more so of late with Google adding social results to Search Engine result Pages (SERP’S).  There are many things to consider when we talk about how pages are ranked but Social Media and SEO should definitely be working together to affect page ranks.  Social Media is related to search results as Social Networking sites and the activity on them shows what content is favoured by people, it also drives queries and it is those very queries that influence ranking.  For that reason alone it has become increasingly important for companies to have a presence on social networks.

As we know a large part SEO is all about links, the better the links the better your content will rank in SERP’s.   Links from Social sites like Google+, Twitter and Facebook will help you get to the top of Google quicker as they carry authority.   Placing social sharing icons such as “+1’s” and “Likes” on content is important as social sharing affects SEO in that sharing carries weight when it comes to the Google Algorithm.  Sharing is important because it encourages interaction and the more interaction there is the more traffic the content will receive. This hopefully will result in an increase in direct relevant links.

Any inbound links to your website count as a vote, the same applies to social shares. The more people who like and share your content the more likely it is that Google will return it to the SERP’s.  Makes sense doesn’t it?

Google+ should not be ignored by companies just because it is not as popular as Facebook and Twitter.  Google Plus carries weight because Google owns it, obviously, which makes it very easy for them to track and measure social signals unlike on Twitter and Facebook.   Google has given their +1 a big advantage, if you are not adding +1’s to your content you will me missing out on a very precious ranking factor.  Google Plus certainly does affect your rankings. You need to be utilising it as part of your SEO in order to rank better.

 

Verify Your Pinterest Account

Monday, November 5th, 2012

On the 25th of October 2012 Pinterest announced the launch of a new feature that allows users to verify their accounts, and the good news is that it’s really easy to do too.

How to verify your Pinterest account

  1. Visit “Settings”
  2. Click on the “Verify Website”

You will then be directed to the following page: (This is what I saw while verifying Talooma)

If 1 and 2 in the above picture are too tricky for you to do, get hold of  your company computer go-to guy to assist you.

Currently Pinterest only supports top-level domains but they are working on supporting more options in the future.

When your website is verified ,  people will see a checkmark next to your registered domain (e.g. next to www.talooma.com) in search results.

Pinterest has always been open to asking for help from the community and even have a “Top Ideas and Featured Requests” option on their support site, where users can provide suggestions and improvements they would like to see on the site. This is a feature that neither Facebook nor Twitter can say they have – Pinterest has asked fellow pinners for any suggestions for different way to verify accounts.  This definitely means that the process will become more user friendly in the future. It’s great to see a social network making use of crowd sourcing to improve their service and their offering for the long run.  Nice one, Pinterest!