April 25, 2011

Social Media as Part of the Online Marketing Mix

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It is evident that marketing, online and conventional, is undergoing a transition all over the world. With the popularization of Social Media, many businesses are turning to the internet to facilitate growth.

Internet marketing, in the form of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay per Click (PPC) advertising, has been around for quite some time and has proven to be the most targeted marketing strategy with the highest return on investment by far. Now Social Media has been thrown into the mix, and everyone wants to get in on the action, but very few really know how, when or what Social Media marketing actually entails and how it should be used.

Social Media has evolved from experimental sharing of pictures and keeping up with family and friends to an integral part of the Marketing Mix. What many once called “a passing fad” has turned into one of the most powerful mediums to build your business brand, communicate with potential clients and market your business to the masses at a fraction of the cost of conventional marketing. The question now however is: “How do I integrate Social Media Marketing as part of my existing online marketing campaign?” read more

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April 22, 2011

What Bloggers Need to Know About Trademark Law

There are three major types of intellectual property law: Copyright, Patent and Trademark.

The distinction between the three can often be confusing and gray, but in general copyright protects artistic expressions (literature, movies, photos, music, etc.), patents protect ideas and inventions and trademark protects any “mark” associated with a business.

However, trademark is very different from other areas of intellectual property. You don’t run afoul of the law simply by copying the mark itself but, as a tradeoff, trademarks can protect a much wider variety of things that would not fall under any other area of protection.

Yet, at the same time, trademark often overlaps with copyright, especially when dealing with some logos, and there is a great deal of confusion between copyright and trademark in discussions online.

All in all, trademark is a thorny and often misunderstood area of intellectual property law that demands a closer look, especially if you routinely write about companies or use trademarks in your post.

So what do you need to know about trademarks? The basics are below.

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The Amazon Tablet Cometh

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Tablets are the hottest thing right now and very few can stand up to the iPad. While Samsung’s Galaxy tablet and Amazon’s Kindle trail the iPad in popularity, the latter company is working on an iPad rival that could change the tablet landscape.

Amazon working on a tablet has yet to be officially confirmed but has been talked about in tech circles. The tablet is purportedly being built by Samsung, destined for a summer launch and will be running a highly customized version of Android instead of version 3.0 Honeycomb. So what else will the tablet pack? Peter Rojas talked about the tablet’s purported specs:

Let’s start with a critical question about this tablet: What version of Android will it run? I think there’s an assumption that any Amazon tablet will run Android 3.0, Google’s tablet-specific version of the OS. However, given Google’s recent moves to tighten how OEMs can use Honeycomb, this might not be so likely. In fact, it’s entirely possible that Amazon’s tablet, like the NOOK Color, will use Android as a base upon which to build a totally customized experience that tightly integrates Amazon services. That integration would let Amazon charge a lot less for its tablet than it would otherwise. The reason Barnes & Noble has been able to price the NOOK Color so aggressively ($250 versus $350 to $450 for comparably-sized and spec’d Android tablets) is because they’re assuming you’re going to buy a bunch of books from them over the course of owning it.

The question is, does the world need another tablet, especially one that aims to go head to head with the iPad? Amazon may be banking on integration with its music and book services to boost revenue in those departments. Apple took the opposite approach of using digital stores to boost sales of the Hardware but since Amazon has an established media store, tablets that leverage those purchases may give it some ammo against other tablets.

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April 21, 2011

RockMelt Browser Launches iPhone App With Facebook At Center Stage

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RockMelt iPhone BrowserRockMelt has been available for Mac and PC desktop since November and now the cloud-based web browser is available for iPhone users.

RockMelt uses cloud-based services to provide social media integration with their browser, allowing users to control their social media profiles while browsing the web at the same time.

The browser looks vastly different on iPhone devices than the desktop version, including a forced Facebook sign-in when the application is first launched, ensuring that social media takes priority on the mobile version of the browser.

Users can also choose to hook up their Twitter account and RSS feeds as they deem necessary.

The browser allows users to save articles “offline” a perfect example when you’ll be in an area without data connectivity, such as during a non-WiFi flight.

Furthermore, since the program is cloud-based users of the RockMelt browser will be able to share there activity between iPhones and computers.

You can find the app in the App Store for Free! In the meantime you can check out the browsers functionality in the video below: read more

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Google Offers Launches, Promises 50% And More In Savings

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Google Offers Screenshot

Google Offers, a direct competitor to social coupon website Groupon was officially launched in “beta” form on Thursday.

The platform is currently in limited release, offering service in the following geographical areas:

Portland, Oregon; Oakland/East Bay and San Francisco, California: and downtown, midtown and uptown New York City. While those areas are all listed, only Portland is immediately offering beta offers and at this time no deals have been made available.

Google first revealed the program in January. The program works much the same way as Groupon and LivingSocial, however instead of needing to visit a website users receive a local deal each day directly in their email and then have a specific amount of time to act on that deal, more than like 24 hours in most cases.

It will be interesting to see if Google’s failed $6 billion buyout of Groupon will end up being a positive event for the company.

Here’s a video describing how Google Offers works: read more

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Major Social Media Sites Taken Down By Amazon Server Issues

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RedditIn the early hours of Thursday, April 21 various websites including HootSuite, Reddit and Foursquare were offline due to Amazon AWS server issues.

The issue involved Amazon’s cloud computing platform which was experiencing technical difficulties within several major services on the platform.

Sites that did not shut down completely were experiencing major latency issues or brief up and down periods. Also included was question and answer site Formspring.

Most issues occurred because of three Amazon platform issues; Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk and Amazon Relational Database Service.

All sites affected appear to be working correctly at this time.

 

 

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Obama Held A Town Hall Meet At Facebook To Generate Interest About The Web

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President Obama appeared today at Facebook alongside Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, House Leader Nancy Pelosi, a collection of journalists and 700 employees to discuss the future of technology in America.

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3 Million Checkins Were Made On Foursquare Day

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Foursquare LogoJust a little over two years ago Foursquare was a new startup that made its debut during SXSW 2009. Today at a little over 2 years old the checkin service celebrated an amazing 3 million checkins on Foursquare Day (April 16th).

The high level of checkins were a record breaker for Foursquare’s daily checkin count. To put that in perspective the 100 Millionth checkin was made in July of last year.
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April 19, 2011

Facebook Making Itself Hacker, Bully Unfriendly

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Facebook is once again making it harder for hackers to steal users passwords as the social giant is in the process of rolling out a second way for users to keep their accounts secure. read more

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Marketers Preparing To Spend Up To 10% More On Social Media In 2011 [Study]

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Social Media LogosWith successful social media campaigns from Kraft Mac & Cheese, Dell Computers, Pepsi and various other “big box” retailers, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that marketers in 2011 are looking to increase their social media spending, however what might surprise some users are the amounts being thrown around.

In a recent poll given to executives and marketers at big box firms including Colgate-Palmolive, Mini USA and Bank of America among others, executives said they planned on increasing their social media ad spends by more than 10% in 2011 on average when compared to 2010. The poll also revealed that of those companies polled, 70% said they would increase spending to those 10+% levels.

When compared to the 13% overall ad spend on TV ads (approx. $68.7 billion) the social media spending number is still rather small ($26 billion last year) however social media as a medium is still rather new and undiscovered and underutilized ad channels are still being implemented and tweaked for launch, which in turn will allow for a more rich marketing experience than what is current offered via TV ads. read more

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