Posts tagged Through

Delivering Experiences Through Growth Hacking With @morganb by @wonderwall7

I recently had the opportunity to interview Morgan Brown, the Head of Growth at TrueVault and Qualaroo and a speaker at the upcoming SEJ Summit in Santa Monica on February 24th. The conference ticket cost is being covered by our partner, Searchmetrics. Searchmetrics delivers enterprise SEO and content marketing analysis, recommendations, forecasting, and reporting for companies who want potential customers to find them faster. Want to attend? We still have a few spots open – so if you are in the Greater Los Angeles area and want to learn from Morgan (and other speakers like Neil Patel, Mindy Weinstein, Pamela Lund, Katrina Jefferson, and more), sign up for an […]

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Samsung: We’re Not Spying On You Through TVs, Promise

To anyone concerned about Samsung smart TVs surveilling you in your house, the company has one message for you: Settle down, people. 

Samsung is not spying on you, it promises—even if the language in the electronics giant’s privacy policy seems disconcerting.

A report from The Daily Beast last weekend headlined “Your Samsung SmartTV Is Spying on You, Basically” pointed out a rather unsettling tidbit in Samsung’s privacy policy: “Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

Sounds horrific, like something out of a dystopian sci-fi flick, except it governs the pricey big screen sitting in your living room. 

When Words Get In The Way

The previous language in the policy came off like Samsung was listening to your private conversations and handing them over to other people or businesses at will. 

Samsung denies eavesdropping or handing over transcripts of your private conversations. The third party referenced is Nuance, the maker of Dragon Naturally Speaking whose technology powers Siri. The system transmits the spoken user commands picked up the television’s microphone or the search terms uttered into a mic-equipped remote control, so it can be interpreted and translated into commands that the TV understands. Indeed, this is the way most voice controlled features—from Apple’s Siri to Samsung’s S Voice —works. (Google’s Google Now speech features rely on the company’s own proprietary technology.)

To set the public straight, Samsung has updated its language to offer a clearer idea of what happens to user data. A supplement to the policy now states:

To provide you the Voice Recognition feature, some interactive voice commands may be transmitted (along with information about your device, including device identifiers) to a third-party service provider (currently, Nuance Communications, Inc.) that converts your interactive voice commands to text and to the extent necessary to provide the Voice Recognition features to you. In addition, Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Samsung will collect your interactive voice commands only when you make a specific search request to the Smart TV by clicking the activation button either on the remote control or on your screen and speaking into the microphone on the remote control.

The company also states that its microphone-equipped television only listens for a specific set of basic commands, and the mic in its remote control only works when you’re hitting a button to, say, say a search term out loud. But, if that still creeps you out, you can shut off the voice features in the settings.

If anyone is at fault for whatever errant impressions there may be, it’s Samsung—not necessarily for the way its technology works, but for its troublingly vague disclosures. 

Private Eyes

Samsung’s methodology is actually common in all sorts of human-to-computer interfaces, not just voice. For example, since Apple opened mobile software to third-party keyboards last year, the company updated its policy to warn users to be cautious. Too bad most of them probably didn’t read it. 

The terms refer people to the third-party app’s policy. Here’s what the pop-up from Swype, a popular third-party iOS keyboard app, says:

Well, at least it’s better than Apple’s privacy policy for its own software, which doesn’t even mention Siri or voice features at all. 

Photos by Adriana Lee for ReadWrite

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Cut Through the PPC Clutter With One Simple Word

In addition to its many other functions, PPC can serve as inspiration for innovation. Take a look at how.

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Ustream’s Brad Hunstable Wants Everyone To Connect Through Livestream Video

ReadWriteBuilders is a series of interviews with developers, designers and other architects of the programmable future.

Ustream founder and CEO Brad Hunstable initially created his livestream video platform for a very niche market, and in the seven years since its launch, has seen the online video site explode to momentous proportions all around the world. 

Hunstable, a West Point graduate, entered the Army in 2001.  The Texas native observed that those in the military deployed across the world were missing some of the most important events in their lives—birthdays, soccer games, or just seeing the faces of their friends and families. For Hunstable, whose younger brother was in a rock band, it was witnessing one of his sibling’s concerts. 

That desire to build a video solution that could help people experience events around the world birthed Ustream, a video streaming service launched in 2007 and based in San Francisco that helps everyone from big businesses to the everyman broadcast live video online. 

The first few years of Ustream’s life were laser-focused on content creators, media companies, and citizen journalism. The livestreaming company now caters to businesses, who more and more try to emulate media companies, and aids in video for enterprise use. 

See also: Flickr Co-Founder Caterina Fake: Making Art And Technology Work Together

Today, a large section of Ustream’s clients are companies that use the product to livestream internally and also to their own customers, managing high-profile events like Lady Gaga concerts, the Playstation 4 launch, and music festival Outside Lands

But when talking livestream video, Hunstable seems more enthusiastic about those recording events in areas like Ukraine or Ferguson, Missouri. Video relays passion better than any other medium, Hunstable tells me. And it’s his goal to get everyone involved. 

ReadWrite: What were you like growing up? Was video an area you knew you wanted to go into? 

Brad Hunstable: I was definitely more of a hacker as a kid. As a pre-teen, I coded and built a Bulletin Board Service (BBS – the Internet before there was an Internet) in Texas. Individuals around the country were able to call into my computer to download files, share photos, play games and chat. It was very much like today’s modern Internet. Terms such as Gopher, MUDs, Usenet and Sysops were commonplace.

This was the early days of consumer tech. It certainly was not “cool” to be a programmer back then and the many times I was called ”geek” were not terms of endearment.

RW: Did Ustream start small or was there funding from the get go?

BH: The original funding came from angel investors, Ross Perot Jr. being the first. This initial capital allowed us to build out the original engineering team and get a prototype product to market in the customer’s hands. Once we showed traction, we were lucky enough to have an amazing venture capital firm, DCM (based in Silicon Valley) take a bet on Ustream.

See also: Jibo’s Cynthia Breazeal: Why We Will Learn To Love Our Robots

RW: Can you tell me what Ustream is like today? 

BH: Ustream is one of the largest video solutions on the Web, and we are primarily focused on enterprises. We want to help businesses communicate more effectively with their two most important constituents— customers and their employees. 

What’s interesting today is that a lot of companies—like TechCrunch, Cisco, Salesforce, Sony—they all act like media companies. Today everyone is a content creator, not just us as individuals but companies as well. So we work with media companies, and we really want to be the video layer across enterprise. 

RW: Livestreaming has recently come into the media forefront with Amazon’s acquisition of livestream video gaming site, Twitch. What does this mean for the current state of livestream video? 

BH: It’s really hot, and it’s growing really fast. 

At Ustream we surpassed, earlier in the summer, our 2 billionth viewer hour consumed since we started the company. The curves look amazing, even on the business side. In the last year alone, in business, we had one billion hours of live video content, and that’s going to grow to 3 billion by 2017. 

Business videos could be a webinar, or a CEO inspiring a company through live communication from video, which is something that I do for our offices. I do them live, I take call-in guests. I treat it just like a media company. 

Video is reaching a point where it’s really becoming a foundation piece of the Internet. By 2017, according to Cisco, it will be 55% of the Internet’s traffic. It’s incredible. We did a Sony Playstation 4 launch a couple months ago, and it was 2% of the Internet’s traffic. 

RW: How does Ustream set to differentiate themselves from YouTube or other livestream competitors?

BH: Ustream is the leader in video that focuses on our platform as a business solution, rather than a consumer-driven vehicle. Our bandwidth and streaming capabilities also differentiate us from others in the space, allowing Ustream to broadcast major events to a global audience.

RW: How do you make money? 

BH: Our old model was more advertising based. We realized quickly that the better monetization path was going to be SaaS, software-as-a-service. 

Take the most recent Apple event. I tried to watch it. It was really unfortunate, but that’s a perfect example of a company acting like a media company, trying to do the technology themselves, and it doesn’t work. Most companies don’t want to do it themselves. Solutions companies like ours can solve that. Some of our broadcasts can have millions and millions of people tune in and watching simultaneously. 

Getting The President On Board And Going To Mars

BH: t’s not just a video getting a bunch of views, we’re talking live, simultaneous number of viewers. Some of them are in gaming, some of them are corporate in nature. We have really robust technology to pull that off, and that’s our solution. 

RW: How did the bigger name sponsored events come about? 

BH: Some of our biggest events include the Sony Playstation 4 launch (which received 8 million viewers), Verizon-sponsored Lady Gaga concert, Apple iPhone 5 launch and Dreamforce (from Salesforce, one of the largest broadcasters on Ustream) to President Obama’s presidential victory speech.

The process to get high-profile customers takes time. When you are a startup, you have no brand or reputation. The way to overcome this is by building an amazing product that customers need and begin knocking on doors, sometimes literally, to find those early adopters willing to take a chance. Success then breeds success, which brings you closer to higher profile opportunities.

RW: What are some of your best moments and accomplishments since starting Ustream? 

BH:  More people watched live the landing of the Mars Curiosity rover on Ustream than all of CNN and MSNBC combined. I think in many regions we nearly broke the Internet.

But there were many other broadcasts that demonstrated the power of Ustream, from President Obama’s Presidential Victory Speech and Charlie Sheen’s Tiger Blood streams, to many streams from the Arab Spring. In addition, 50 million people tuned in to watch coverage of the 2011 Japanese Earthquake on Ustream.  

We also started a non-profit called Ustream for Change. As we’ve moved towards enterprise, what I’ve realized is that our platform could still be used as a force for good. 

This non-profit is where we donate our platform, energy, time, and training to people who are doing really powerful things and who need the video to do it. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were donated to citizen journalists in Ukraine. 

We just announced a group that helps wounded soldiers get back on their feet. I think Ustream can be a mission driven company. What we have is so powerful—we can help with Internet freedom, emerging democracies, stability around the world. I think we have a moral obligation to do that.  

See also: Ouya’s Julie Uhrman: How We Unleashed A World Of New Game Developers

RW: What’s next for you and Ustream? 

BH: I’m a big believer that there’s going to be a company that can be a video layer across enterprise. Everything I’m doing today in terms of our product is really about helping businesses be more transparent to their customers, more transparent to their employees. We help them use video to build those relationships. 

The thing about video, it’s so powerful. It’s the only medium in the world that can build such a strong connection—that’s why the Ice Bucket Challenge worked. That’s why KONY 2012 worked. That’s why Jony Ive is in a room, apparently an all white room, and he talks so passionately about the product. Video can really relay that passion better than any medium, better than Twitter, better than photos. It is so powerful. 

In our mission, we want to bring that same thing to companies, to help them get more customers, and help them inspire employees to do good work. On the side we do really cool things like Ustream for change, which is continuing to have a major impact in the world. 

At one of the recent conferences we were at, one of the guys from Ukraine saw our logo and came up to us and said, you don’t realize the impact you’ve had on our country. In Syria, they would put the Ustream logo on their phones and hold it up. It would show that they were broadcasting live, and then others would walk away and leave them alone because they saw that logo. 

Photos courtesy of Brad Hunstable 

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Breaking The Glass Ceiling Of Search Through Acquisition

When you’re working on an SEO campaign within a particularly competitive niche, it can sometimes feel that for every step forward you take, your competitors are taking an extra two. This is particularly relevant when you come into a niche where there have been a select number of really…

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Apple Inc SEO: A Walk Through The Mystery Of

Even the world’s largest and best-known brands can make unconventional (and unproductive) SEO choices. Columnist Chris Liversidge dissects Apple’s handling of

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Apple Inc SEO: A Walk Through The Mystery Of – Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land
Apple Inc SEO: A Walk Through The Mystery Of
Search Engine Land
You'd think being head of SEO at Apple would be the easiest job in the world. You have 1.4 Billion backlinks to work with. You have constantly refreshed content featuring the most desirable products in the world. Your every utterance about even the

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3 Things You Can Do To Push Through Your PPC Plateau

Online advertisers are in it for the long haul, and like any long-term relationship, it takes work to succeed. If you’ve been working on a PPC account for a long time, you’ve been through the ups and downs together. You know what works and what doesn’t. You “get” the business, and you…

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3 Techniques to Boost Customer Loyalty Through Facebook by @marcushokh

What could be better than having more customers? How about having loyal customers who constantly buy from you! As business owners, most of us understand customer loyalty is important, as they can bring in a constant source of profit and income. Therefore, we are always seeking new ideas on how to boost customer loyalty. According to the research done by Customer Service Institute on customer retention, 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers. Furthermore, it is often cheaper to market to existing customers. It can cost 5 to 8 times more to attract a new customer than to keep […]

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Writers: Improve Your SEO Habits Through Artful Keyword Inclusion – Business 2 Community

Business 2 Community
Writers: Improve Your SEO Habits Through Artful Keyword Inclusion
Business 2 Community
Despite changes to Google's algorithms, keywords are still central to a smart SEO strategy. Good search rankings foster good business for your clients, which means that you should include keywords in your content. As a writer, you've probably spotted

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