Posts tagged Doing

Doing It Dave’s Way: 6 #Marketing Lessons From The Founder of Wendy’s #SEJBookClub by @dantosz

For the November edition of #SEJBookClub, we read “Dave’s Way”, written by Wendy’s founder and spokesperson Dave Thomas. The book was originally published in 1991 and chronicles Dave’s life through his childhood, military service, and all the way through building his very successful company. Although Dave passed away in 2002, his legacy is still going strong. Here are a few statistics about Wendy’s you might not have known:  In the first seven years, over 500 Wendy’s restaurants were opened! In 1999, Wendy’s was the third largest hamburger chain, but by 2012, Wendy’s squeezed Burger King out and took second place. As of November 2014, the company was valued […]

The post Doing It Dave’s Way: 6 #Marketing Lessons From The Founder of Wendy’s #SEJBookClub by @dantosz appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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12 Things You Should be Doing Right Now for Semantic Search by @searchlabs

Semantic search. You’ve heard of it, you’ve researched it and you’re probably wondering what to do about it. Black hat, white hat, and everything in between could soon be a thing of the past, as semantic search forces the industry to revert back to the question: What does the user want? It’s a simple concept, but one that has been lost in a whirlwind of advice, speculation, and see-what-sticks techniques. Semantic search gives the industry a chance to go back to basics and provide information rather than force it. Let’s take a look at how to embrace semantics. Think Like […]

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So That’s What The Feds Are Doing With Seized Bitcoins

What are the Feds doing with all that Bitcoin they seized from Silk Road last year? Auctioning it off to interested parties, as it turns out.

The US Marshals Service announced Monday that it’d be auctioning off 50,000 bitcoins, worth roughly $19 million, on Dec. 4. It is a silent auction, where potential bidders must submit their bids in advance with no prior knowledge of other bidders’ offers.

This is the US Marshals Service’s second Bitcoin auction, about five months after it first began to sell off the assets seized in last October’s Silk Road raid. (Last time, venture capitalist Tim Draper was the auction’s sole winner, taking home an amount of Bitcoin worth $19 million at the time.) This latest auction is for bitcoins the Feds found on a computer belonging to alleged Silk Road creator Ross Ulbricht. Ulbricht and prosecutors reached a deal in January that would allow these Bitcoins to be sold. 

See also: Former Bitcoin Exchange CEO Arrested In Silk Road Drug Trafficking Scheme

It’s a powerful reminder that, while Bitcoin may be a pseudonymous currency, there is nothing anonymous about it, and the Feds can find and charge any user they need to. Though the black market site Silk Road was located on the Dark Web and extremely covert, the Feds were able to find its creators by following the trail of the bitcoins exchanged.

There will be no concern, however, about tracing the bidders on these particular bitcoins up for auction. All bidders are required to register and prove their identities before being allowed to make an offer. They must also vow that they are not affiliated with Silk Road or its alleged creator in any way.

Photo by fdecomite on Flickr

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With Bethany Mota, YouTube Is Doing More Than Dancing With The Stars

Six weeks into a fierce season of ABC’s Dancing With The Stars, YouTube’s fashion wunderkind Bethany Mota is still going strong. Paired onstage with pro favorite Derek Hough (as well as off-stage in romantic rumors), Mota is currently ranked No. 2 in the competition’s average score chart. But as far as the Google-owned YouTube is concerned, she’s No. 1 in the video channel’s ongoing push to go mainstream. 

“Oh my God, LOVE HER, oh my God,” Taylor Swift tweeted with the hashtag #BAEthany soon after after DWTS’s 19th season premiered. If most of America hadn’t heard of Mota before DWTS, this single shoutout from Mota’s most famous fan, retweeted more than 15,000 times, was a fine introduction.

So how does a teen go from online fashion and beauty guru to competing in one of America’s most popular reality TV shows? It helps if YouTube has your back. The video-sharing site has undying faith in Bethany Mota. This is clear by how much and how fiercely the online video company is hawking the 18-year-old to mainstream media outlets; print magazines, name brand apparel, and now—reality television. 

Mota isn’t the only YouTube star to make the cross-over to reality TV, but she is the first to do it as an official YouTube brand.  

“We’re just getting started with YouTube and its potential,” Omid Kordestani, Google’s chief business officer said during the tech giant’s earnings call earlier this week. Along with Coke, General Motors and other major brands, the video-sharing site now has deals with the top five U.S. advertising agencies, Kordestani announced. The more eyes YouTube can get on its stars, the more ads that are seen by potential customers. 

The online video giant’s campaign to push its homegrown stars into mainstream media territory includes on and off-site ads to promote some of its highest subscribed and most marketable YouTubers. The site is also committed to funding the shows of some top content creators in an effort to make high production channels and videos they hope will be more accessible to the larger public. 

As the face of YouTube’s efforts, Mota is the obvious choice. Her Macbarbie07 channel, which features videos fashion tips and Mota’s shopping purchases, has over 7 million subscribers. Each viewer bears witness to the lucrative advertising that accompany Mota’s videos. She’s also partnered with Aeropostale to create her own clothing line, and is the covergirl of Seventeen magazine’s October 2014 edition.

YouTube is “very happy for her,” a company representative told ReadWrite when we asked about Mota’s DWTS success. It seems an obvious understatement about its most popular cash cow. 

Reality TV, it seems, is the YouTube’s gateway drug to larger fame. What better a genre where YouTube stars to continue to capitalize on their natural charisma and good looks? 

In May 2010, before YouTube started financing the Internet famous, comedian Kevin Wu, better known as Kevjumba, participated in the 17th season of The Amazing Race with his father. The 24-year-old currently boasts over 3 million YouTube subscribers. 

Two other YouTubers, Strawburry17 (Meghan Camarena) and Joey Graceffa joined the 22nd season of The Amazing Race as a team, returning to join the cast of the show’s second all-star season in 2014. The two friends are both YouTube vloggers who make humorous videos about their lives. Camarena currently holds close to 800,000 subscribers, while Graceffa has over 4 million. Breaking away from reality TV, several YouTube content creators have also transitioned to scripted programs on cable. 

Comedian YouTuber Fred, also known as Lucas Cruikshank, has spawned three movies and a television show on Nickelodeon based on Cruikshank’s titular character in his YouTube channel, Fred Figglehorn. 

Comedy team The Fine Bros also have a television series premiering on Nickelodeon called ReactToThat, a show based on their popular web series Kids React. The two channels’ youthful demographics make them a strong match for channels like Nickelodeon. 

Mota’s demographic of tween to teen girls makes her a perfect fit as one of DWTS’s resident “young person” for the season. 

DWTS’s show’s calculated line-up of Retro Star, Athlete, and Reality TV Star From Another Reality TV show, is regularly rounded out by a Disney Channel or Nickelodeon celebrity to grab the kid demographic that couldn’t care less about ballroom dance competitions. This season, DWTS includes Janel Parris from ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. But the show’s choice of Mota suggests all involved expect her appeal to be as great as her kid-friendly predecessors. So far, they’re right. 

It is now no question whether or not YouTube can break its stars into mainstream media. With Mota’s major press blitz as of late, it’s clear they already have. The teen queen is in—and now the question is whether or not her fame will be sustainable in Hollywood. 

Images courtesy of Dancing With The Stars and Seventeen Magazine 

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Apple iPad Sales Continue To Tank, Though The iPhone Is Doing Great

Apple needs a serious update to its iPad line more than ever. True, it announced a perfunctory set of upgrades last week (although that included the utterly minimalist refresh of its iPad mini). But in the wake of miserable iPad sales for its July-September quarter, you have to be wondering if that’s anywhere near enough. 

See also: Don’t Bother Buying The iPad Mini 3

Quarterly iPad sales clocked in at 12.3 million units, a 13% decline over the year-earlier quarter. Over the trailing twelve months—from October 2013 to September 2014, a period that includes Apple’s traditional holiday-quarter bump—sales declined 4.3% to almost 68 million iPads compared to the year-earlier period, when Apple sold 71 million iPads. 

See also: What’s Apple Going To Do With All Those Loose Ends?

It’s hard to escape the impression that the iPad—sandwiched between iPhones with ever-larger screens and ever-lighter MacBook Air notebooks—is in free fall. Because iPad sales are falling in absolute terms while overall tablet sales continue to grow, even if that pace is slowing. Gartner, for instance, estimates that tablet sales will rise 11% in 2014. 

Any way you cut it, falling sales in a growing market is an unhealthy sign. 

Plenty Of Other Good News For Apple

Of course, Apple CEO Tim Cook would rather have everyone focus on its stellar Mac sales, which came in at 5.52 million units this quarter, not to mention its iPhone business, which continues to generate big sales and associated profits for the company. 

In the same July-September quarter, Apple sold 39.3 million iPhones, up 16% from 33.8 million a year earlier. Analysts had expected sales of 38 million units. 

Apple’s quarterly results included 11 days of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus sales. Apple’s new iPads, however, won’t contribute sales until later in the current quarter.

Given the dismal and declining consumer sales of its iPads now, it’s clear that Apple needs a change in strategy, if it wants to save its tablet business. The company may already have a plan underway: It appears to be aiming the iPad more squarely toward business. 

iPad Air 2, iPad mini 3

The company has already announced plans to offer more business-oriented tablet software. If its much-rumored 12.9-inch iPad sees the light of day, it would give business users a laptop-like proportion for the display. 

See also: Apple’s Larger iPad May Be Delayed

Should Apple debut a snap-on keyboard for that monster iPad—which seems like a must for productivity’s sake—the iPad could become a bigger threat to PCs and low-end Macs alike.

Photo by Valery Marchive; product images courtesy of Apple

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Apple Yanks Fitbit—And Looks Like A Bully For Doing So

ReadWriteBody is an ongoing series where ReadWrite covers networked fitness and the quantified self.

We’re seeing an ugly side of Apple as it pushes deeper into health and fitness.

Apple’s retail stores are reportedly pulling Fitbit fitness trackers from their shelves. And Fitbit’s iOS app isn’t featured in the new “Apps for Health” section of the App Store, where rivals like Jawbone Up and Runtastic Me are now getting placement.

See also: Fitbit Users Are Furious Over Its HealthKit Diss

Some people are pointing to Apple’s upcoming Apple Watch, which will duplicate some features of Fitbit’s devices. But a more likely reason is Fitbit’s refusal, to date, to adopt Apple’s HealthKit software for sharing health data.

When Apple first revealed HealthKit at the Worldwide Developers Conference this summer, Apple executive Craig Federighi cited Fitbit as an example of the devices he hoped would use it. Instead, Fitbit took a wait-and-see stance, even as its users asked the company to support it.

Wait And See—How Apple Reacts

In retrospect, Fitbit looks very smart to avoid HealthKit. The software, and Apple’s accompanying Health app, are extremely buggy and deliver a bad experience for both consumers and developers. Fitbit users would have bombarded that company with complaints about software flaws and a lack of usability. 

See also: Apple’s Health App Is An Embarrassment

This is not theoretical: MyFitnessPal users have complained about HealthKit in large numbers, and MapMyFitness recently advised users reporting bugs that it was experiencing delays in responding to bug reports.

Fitbit has an estimated 70 percent share of the market for these relatively simple devices that track steps and sleep. That would make its burden in supporting HealthKit at this early stage that much higher.

This leaves Apple looking like a bully. Embrace its software, buggy and incomplete though it is—or risk getting left out of its powerful distribution channels, both its retail store chain and its digital App Store.

Fitbit will be okay. It’s sold in some 37,000 retail locations and has a commanding lead in consumer awareness—it’s practically a generic term for “fitness tracker.” But anyone thinking about getting into the health business with Apple should be aware that there’s risk as well as reward.

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You’re Doing AdWords Wrong (Here’s How to Make It Right) by @JohnathanDane

Growing up, I wasn’t the type of kid who knew how to fix things. I wasn’t into cars or building tree houses and I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why my Discman kept skipping (yes, it was because I was moving). But there was one thing I was amazingly good at: making Nutella sandwiches. Now that I’m older, I’ve realized that I do my best when I play to my strengths. Google AdWords is fortunately one of them. The other is making the occasional grocery store run in a highly effective manner. Let’s just say I still […]

The post You’re Doing AdWords Wrong (Here’s How to Make It Right) by @JohnathanDane appeared first on Search Engine Journal.

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To Apple, Copying Is Always “Stealing”—Unless It’s Doing The Copying

Jony Ive, Apple vice president of design, at the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit

You know that saying about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery? It’s total hogwash, at least according to Apple’s Jony Ive.

At the Vanity Fair New Establishment Summit on Thursday, the typically reclusive, but recently chatty Sir Ive fielded a question about tech maker Xiaomi and its rather Applesque product design: “I don’t see it as flattery,” said the executive, who’s responsible for the design of the company’s popular range of devices. “I actually see it as theft.” 

He was careful to say that those sentiments weren’t specifically aimed at the Chinese company, which denies replicating Apple’s look, but at any competitor that rips off his company’s products. 

Well, that’s nothing new. Apple has a long history of hating copycats—even as it’s built its own hugely successful business in part on designs and features that originated elsewhere.

See also: Apple Sends iPad Event Invitations For October 16

Hey, You Stole My Look

Xiaomi, a Chinese tech juggernaut, released the Mi Pad tablet—which is all Android on the inside, but rather Apple-like on the outside.

There’s a fine line between drawing inspiration from someone else’s work and Xeroxing their design blueprints. (There’s also a distinction between copying something and actually stealing it, in a literal sense. But let’s not split hairs.) 

Photographers, artists, musicians and fashion designers have known that for a long time. That’s why many professionals protect their works, to stop knock-offs from cutting off their livelihoods. Likewise for tech companies, imitators who swipe features and product designs can represent real threats.

For Apple, it’s a touchy subject that goes way back. 

It’s no secret that deceased co-founder Steve Jobs thought Microsoft’s Windows operating system copied the “look and feel” of Apple’s Mac desktop software. Walter Isaacson’s biography on Jobs laid bare his frustration—especially in this passage, excerpted by Fortune, chronicling a face-to-face encounter between his subject and Microsoft’s Bill Gates in 1983:

Their meeting was in Jobs’s conference room, where Gates found himself surrounded by ten Apple employees who were eager to watch their boss assail him. Jobs didn’t disappoint his troops. “You’re ripping us off!” he shouted. “I trusted you, and now you’re stealing from us!” Gates just sat there coolly, looking Steve in the eye, before hurling back, in his squeaky voice, what became a classic zinger. “Well, Steve, I think there’s more than one way of looking at it. I think it’s more like we both had this rich neighbor named Xerox and I broke into his house to steal the TV set and found out that you had already stolen it.”

Today, the name of Apple’s blame game appears to be the same, only now one of the players has changed. Apple’s public enemy number one is Samsung. The iPhone maker alleges that the South Korean electronics giant’s Galaxy line of Android smartphones infringed on several of its mobile tech patents. 

See also: 8 Things New iOS 8 Users Should Do First

Apple, which won some rulings earlier this year, may be feeling pretty righteous these days. But if you listen closely, you might hear a *fwump* somewhere far off in the distance. It’s the sound of numerous Android fans slapping their foreheads. 

People In Sapphire Glass Houses … 

Plenty of Android fans think the iPhone’s software is the copycat, not the other way around.

They point to features that Google’s mobile operating system has offered years before Apple’s iOS software—including swipe-down notifications and multitasking (so apps can run in the background).

With iOS 8, iPhones have have even more Android-like features. These include predictive text, replaceable keyboards, voice-activated voice command and widgets—those software panels that display bits of live, updated information without forcing the user to actually launch an app. 

Alternative keyboard app Swype, a long-time Android favorite, running on iOS 8. 

Perhaps the most glaring example is Apple’s new mobile hardware. With the new 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus, the company has its very first phablet, a category of giant smartphones that Samsung’s first Note originated and made popular. 

Although those big devices can’t seem to save the South Korean tech company’s suffering mobile division now, that hasn’t stopped Apple from taking the phablet ball and running with it—all the way to the bank

Lead screenshot via Dailymotion video by Vanity Fair; Mi Pad graphic courtesy of Xiaomi; Bill Gates/Steve Jobs photo by Kay Kim

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Kings of Content: 9 Lessons from Brands Who Are Doing it Right by @DholakiyaPratik

Before content marketing became the thing to do for marketers of all shapes and sizes, brands already had blogs with established readerships, businesses created how-to guides and manuals to help users, and email marketing has been around for nearly two decades now. What has changed is all the various activities brands did other than advertising to promote their products and services, got clubbed under the umbrella term “content marketing”. Brands slowly began their shift from push based marketing strategies (as embodied by traditional advertising) and moved towards more pull based strategies – the foundation of content marketing. Today the smallest of businesses […]

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New Facebook Tools Let Developers See What Users Are Doing In Their Apps

Facebook has a new plan for helping application developers monitor the success—or failure—of their applications. And that’s true whether they’re developing apps specifically to work with Facebook or not.

On Tuesday, the company introduced two new functions in App Insights, a tool that lets developers monitor traffic and Facebook interactions for apps. The new capabilities give app developers more detailed information about user behavior and app performance.

App Insights requires the Facebook software development kit (SDK), but works for general mobile apps as well as desktop apps that are integrated with Facebook.

Developers can now categorize groups of people by using “label cohorts” that group individuals into specific categories based on actions they’ve taken in a particular app. This information enables simple A/B testing, in which developers introduce a change for a subset of users to see how they react.

For instance, mobile game developers can provide one group of people with a digital gift and then track that cohort to see if it leads them to eventually spend more in the game.

Facebook offers four preset cohort types. These include “action-based,” for groups of people who done something specific, like clicking a button or making a purchase, and “time-based,” for users who all downloaded an app at the same time. Developers can create their own unique cohort types as well.

The second update provides specific, time-based data on how frequently people use an application and what kind of action they take after downloading it. This data is available up to 14 weeks after the person installs the app, and can be found in Facebook’s new App Event retention charts.

These charts monitor different “events,” like installing the application or making an in-app purchase. Developers can use this data to find out how fast users get to a specific level in the game, or how soon after downloading an application a user makes a purchase. 

To start using the new tools, developers should install the Facebook SDK.

Photo courtesy of Facebook

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