Monthly Archives: January 2011

Jan 31

Gmail Display Ads

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

About a week ago, Google started placing display ads (ads with images) in Gmail messages.  According to Gmail Help, these ads are very similar to regular Google ads, and are related to the content of your email messages.  They also reassure that this is completely automated and that no one is reading your emails.

I just went to check my email and didn’t see any ads.  Then, I read that right now they’re still experimenting, so not all Gmail users will see these ads.  Since regular Gmail ads were introduced in 2004, it doesn’t really surprise me that display ads were the next step.

If you use Google AdWords, yet think your ads could benefit by adding images, then these new display ads might be your next step as well.  We all know that different advertising works on different people, and it’s quite obvious that people are more distracted by pictures than just words.  Think of any advertising anywhere, really.  When thinking about that company later, do you usually remember the words or the image?  I know, more often than not, I remember the picture.

Do you think this will help Internet Marketers?  Or do you think people who are checking their mail will be too focused on the email to notice the images to their right?

Jan 31

Bad News For Facebook Advertisers

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

According to Mashable.com, “Ads on Facebook cost more but got fewer click-throughs in 2010 compared to 2009.”  Todd Wasserman, writer for Mashable, talks about a study done by Webtrends.  They looked at more than 11,000 Facebook ads.  The click-through rate in 2009 was .063%, and, in 2010, it was .051%.  This is half of the industry standard of 1%.

What does this mean for marketers?  We all know how popular social media marketing is nowadays, especially with Facebook.  But with numbers like these, marketers who use Facebook as their main way of marketing might be losing money and wasting time.

So why aren’t people clicking?  Maybe the ads aren’t good enough?  Maybe Facebook members aren’t really interested in what they say they are, so they just don’t care enough to click the links?  Maybe there’s too much competition?  Or maybe people are just annoyed by the ads and can’t X them out fast enough?

What do you think?  And how can this be fixed?

Photo Cred: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jan 31

Bad News For Facebook Advertisers

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

According to Mashable.com, “Ads on Facebook cost more but got fewer click-throughs in 2010 compared to 2009.”  Todd Wasserman, writer for Mashable, talks about a study done by Webtrends.  They looked at more than 11,000 Facebook ads.  The click-through rate in 2009 was .063%, and, in 2010, it was .051%.  This is half of the industry standard of 1%.

What does this mean for marketers?  We all know how popular social media marketing is nowadays, especially with Facebook.  But with numbers like these, marketers who use Facebook as their main way of marketing might be losing money and wasting time.

So why aren’t people clicking?  Maybe the ads aren’t good enough?  Maybe Facebook members aren’t really interested in what they say they are, so they just don’t care enough to click the links?  Maybe there’s too much competition?  Or maybe people are just annoyed by the ads and can’t X them out fast enough?

What do you think?  And how can this be fixed?

Photo Cred: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Jan 28

Facebook Bolsters Security For Data Privacy Day… One Day After Mark Zuckerberg’s Fan Page Is Hacked.

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook fanpage was hacked. Today, not one but two new security features have now been implemented. Now, as impressive as it would be for Facebook to come up with and implement two new security measures in just 24 hours, the timing of the release of these measures are purely coincidental.

As it turns out, January 28th is International Data Privacy Day; a date that stands for, as dataprivacyday2011.org puts it, ‘an international celebration of the dignity of the individual expressed through personal information.’ It’s a day set aside to create awareness to the various ways personal data can be intercepted and misused. Thousands of corporations and high profile websites have been rolling out new ideas for better security in preparation for this day, and who better to serve as a paradigm of personal data security than Facebook…

Kidding aside, the security measures are actually quite interesting. Starting today, you can experience facebook entirely through the safety of a HTTPS secure connection. HTTPS is generally reserved for when you enter passwords to login to sites, purchase items through a shopping cart, pay bills, bank online, etc., but since so many of the general facebook population’s actions often give out private information at the drop of a hat, allowing this security feature to be applied to the entire browsing experience rather than just the login experience.

However, this newfound data security does come with a slight price: Encrypted pages will take longer to load, and most third-party applications are not supported by HTTPS. Luckily, it is a completely optional change. If you want to activate encrypted facebooking, go to your account tab, select account settings, and click the change option next to account security. Most accounts should see this option (click to enlarge):

I say most accounts because some (like one of mine) will not see the update yet.

The second security feature is the Social Authentication verification feature. If Facebook detects suspicious activity from your account, like being logged in from a computer in Russia two hours after you just logged out from a computer in Iowa, instead of asking you for a security question like most other sites, Facebook will try to verify your identity through their social authentication test. The test will instead you pictures of your friends and ask you for their names, the logic being that while you would surely know the names of your friends, the hackers wouldn’t.

Although it is a clever solution to the problem, there is one thing that comes to mind that could spell disaster for the legitimate owner of the account: While it would be assumed that a random stranger wouldn’t know who your friends are, do people really know the names and faces of every single one of their Facebook friends?

Say you are on a road trip and happen to log in at multiple stops along the way. Facebook detects multiple logins in different states, implements the social authentication feature, and chooses the following 5 people out of your friends list: That one guy you had one class with in college, your ex-girlfriend’s roomate, the chick you met at a starbucks, exchanged Facebook info, and never followed up on again, that dude on twitter you exchanged info with, and that random ‘friend-of-a-friend’ you met at a party that somehow got you to add him.

My point is, with just how many people we consider ‘friends’ on Facebook, I’d be surprised if I could actually put a name to the face of 25% of my personal profile’s meager 350 friend list, let alone anyone who has upwards of 1000+ friends. I could definitely see this security feature becoming a serious thorn in the legitimate user’s side.

That said, it is good to see Facebook taking steps towards better security measures for its massive audience… even if the changes came a day too late for Mark’s poor fanpage.

Think these new security features are pretty cool or pretty useless? Share your thoughts or prove me wrong in the comments below.

Jan 27

New Software That Predicts Leads

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Do you use Twitter to find leads?  If so, you might be interested in Viral Heat’s newest software, Human Intent.  Human Intent is a social analytics tool that can predict potential sale leads.  Instead of going through hundreds and hundreds of tweets to manually find possible leads to market to, this software can do it for you.  All you have to do is set up keywords and the software does the rest.

Once you set up the keywords, the software finds potential leads and compiles them together for you through Excel, Salesforce, or a preview right on the web page.

So, as an example, say your first keyword was fishing.  This program will find all Tweets that talk about fishing.  Now, say you are looking at the results and you see a Tweet that isn’t really about fishing.  This software is totally changeable, so you can click the, “This is not a sales lead,” button, and it will actually learn not to add Tweets like that one to your results.

If it works how it’s intended, this software can obviously save Internet Marketers time and money and become a tool that they use all the time.

There’s a free trial on their website and plans start at only $9.99 a month (for the most basic plan).  You can learn more by watching the demo video at www.viralheat.com.

Photo Cred: www.photobucket.com

Jan 27

Are The Netbook’s Days Numbered?

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

When the netbook was gaining popularity, there was much debate as to whether to buy a netbook or a laptop.  When it comes to the tech world and electronic gadgets, change happens faster than lightening.  It’s not because the users are bored of their toys and they want something different; it’s the environment around them that is constantly changing.  Laptops, cameras, phones, navigation systems, and other handheld electronics are constantly getting faster, stronger, smarter, and smaller.

It can get annoying actually.  Just when you think you purchased the top of line best computer available, you see another model come out a few months later that’s even better.  If you want the latest technology, the fastest laptop, or the most pixels in your camera, then you constantly have to upgrade.  You know trends come and go, so is the netbook coming or going?

When new devices come out, consumers cannot expect the new big thing to be the “end all be all” king of WIFI.  It is no longer a contest strictly between  hardware only.  I’m sure you heard the saying, “content is king,” and content seems to be more important than screen size.  Netbooks cannot compete with the power of laptops for content creation.  Netbooks also cannot compete with tablets for content consumption. However netbooks seem to be more popular than the media tablets.

According to ABI research, it is estimated that around eleven million media tablets will be shipped this year compared to forty three million netbooks being shipped.  After the IPad came out, sales of the netbook continued to climb.

Netbook Or Laptop?

A consumer has a lot of choices when it comes to buying a portable computing device.  But, in order to make the right decision that suits their needs, they have to understand the options. The main differences between netbooks and laptops comes down to several options.  As far as cost, netbooks are clearly much cheaper than laptops.  If size is a concern and you want something

smaller with a smaller screen and cheaper than a laptop, then the netbook is for you.

The mobile connectivity between the two is about the same.  Netbooks come with WIFI and most also offer Bluetooth connections.  The newer models may even include built in 3G.  The big difference between the netbook and laptop as far as

comparing mobile connectivity is that netbooks have low RAM.  They are great for surfing the web but when it comes to viewing videos or playing games, they don’t compare to laptops.  With low RAM, the picture may not be smooth and clear especially if multiple programs are running.  It also makes it difficult to do some graphic designing or editing pictures with low RAM.

Another disadvantage of the netbook is that they don’t have an optical drive. So, if you want to use a CD or watch a DVD you will need a separate hard drive that you can connect through the USB port.  If you want to watch movies, burn CD’s, or play games, then you may not want to purchase a netbook.  Netbooks are not built to handle multitasking and can really slow down when running multiple programs.  Laptops have a lot more RAM and can run many applications at the same time.  Additionally, laptops can run any operating system while netbooks are usually limited to Windows XP or Linux, which can limit the programs that can be installed on the netbook.  I personally would prefer the laptop for its power.  Light weight, smaller gadgets like

netbooks and tablets don’t do it for me.

Netbook VS Smartphone

Smartphones today have become so much like mini laptops that it makes you wonder, should you get a netbook or a

smartphone?  Again, the consumer has to decide what his/her needs are and then go over the options.  Smartphones are being designed so powerful, almost as powerful as a netbook, however their use is limited due to their size. The smartphone provides you with an Internet connection, email, texting, chat and many other applications, but its size is what limits it.  It is not nearly as versatile as a netbook.  The netbook can provide just about anything a smartphone can except for the exclusive applications,

and it provides it on a much larger scale. The netbook is not as big as a laptop but it has a huge benefit over the smartphone because of its screen and keyboard size.

I would prefer a netbook over an expensive smartphone for the simple facts of easier viewing, more multitasking, and more of a comfortable user experience.  But then I wouldn’t be able to call my mother. With a smartphone you have to pay monthly fees to remain connected, and if you’re not connected then there isn’t a whole lot you can do with its offline features.  If you have

netbook, you can connect to the nearest WIFI without paying any monthly subscription.  So what do you do, get a netbook and a cheaper phone or go with the smartphone?

Netbook’s Future

The netbook’s main criticism is its ability to perform compared to the laptop.  But, if netbooks and media tablets continue to gain in popularity especially after the iPad came out, then maybe it is the laptops days that are numbered!  Netbooks remain popular for productivity tasks at a lower price point but for now, laptops will probably still be on top.  Will the netbook continue to grow using its lighter weight and lower cost as leverage?  Or, will it slowly fade out due to its processing and storage weaknesses?

Netbooks and tablets are both slowly being adopted on the enterprise front.  However the enterprise market for tablets and netbooks as a replacement for laptops and smartphones is extremely thin.  If netbooks and tablets continue to be in demand and grow, then maybe a radical change will happen in the adoption rates of both netbooks and media tablets with the netbook having an advantage.

The netbook in the near future could feature traditional I/O (keyboard, touchpad) to enable productivity tasks at a lower cost and become more portable.  But, it still will mostly likely be second seed to the laptop.  When traditional productivity and enterprise technology suites persist, so will the full featured laptop.  Laptops in the next few years may become smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper, and tablets may become more powerful.  But, netbook manufacturers are also looking for advancements in features and quality.

Consumer demand will push the level and pace of netbook adoption.  The tablet grew in popularity and support tremendously based on iPad sales. Netbooks could achieve more strategic dispositions if stakeholders demand it.

So what do you think the future holds for the netbook?

Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Jan 27

Are The Netbook’s Days Numbered?

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

When the netbook was gaining popularity, there was much debate as to whether to buy a netbook or a laptop.  When it comes to the tech world and electronic gadgets, change happens faster than lightening.  It’s not because the users are bored of their toys and they want something different; it’s the environment around them that is constantly changing.  Laptops, cameras, phones, navigation systems, and other handheld electronics are constantly getting faster, stronger, smarter, and smaller.

It can get annoying actually.  Just when you think you purchased the top of line best computer available, you see another model come out a few months later that’s even better.  If you want the latest technology, the fastest laptop, or the most pixels in your camera, then you constantly have to upgrade.  You know trends come and go, so is the netbook coming or going?

When new devices come out, consumers cannot expect the new big thing to be the “end all be all” king of WIFI.  It is no longer a contest strictly between  hardware only.  I’m sure you heard the saying, “content is king,” and content seems to be more important than screen size.  Netbooks cannot compete with the power of laptops for content creation.  Netbooks also cannot compete with tablets for content consumption. However netbooks seem to be more popular than the media tablets.

According to ABI research, it is estimated that around eleven million media tablets will be shipped this year compared to forty three million netbooks being shipped.  After the IPad came out, sales of the netbook continued to climb.

Netbook Or Laptop?

A consumer has a lot of choices when it comes to buying a portable computing device.  But, in order to make the right decision that suits their needs, they have to understand the options. The main differences between netbooks and laptops comes down to several options.  As far as cost, netbooks are clearly much cheaper than laptops.  If size is a concern and you want something

smaller with a smaller screen and cheaper than a laptop, then the netbook is for you.

The mobile connectivity between the two is about the same.  Netbooks come with WIFI and most also offer Bluetooth connections.  The newer models may even include built in 3G.  The big difference between the netbook and laptop as far as

comparing mobile connectivity is that netbooks have low RAM.  They are great for surfing the web but when it comes to viewing videos or playing games, they don’t compare to laptops.  With low RAM, the picture may not be smooth and clear especially if multiple programs are running.  It also makes it difficult to do some graphic designing or editing pictures with low RAM.

Another disadvantage of the netbook is that they don’t have an optical drive. So, if you want to use a CD or watch a DVD you will need a separate hard drive that you can connect through the USB port.  If you want to watch movies, burn CD’s, or play games, then you may not want to purchase a netbook.  Netbooks are not built to handle multitasking and can really slow down when running multiple programs.  Laptops have a lot more RAM and can run many applications at the same time.  Additionally, laptops can run any operating system while netbooks are usually limited to Windows XP or Linux, which can limit the programs that can be installed on the netbook.  I personally would prefer the laptop for its power.  Light weight, smaller gadgets like

netbooks and tablets don’t do it for me.

Netbook VS Smartphone

Smartphones today have become so much like mini laptops that it makes you wonder, should you get a netbook or a

smartphone?  Again, the consumer has to decide what his/her needs are and then go over the options.  Smartphones are being designed so powerful, almost as powerful as a netbook, however their use is limited due to their size. The smartphone provides you with an Internet connection, email, texting, chat and many other applications, but its size is what limits it.  It is not nearly as versatile as a netbook.  The netbook can provide just about anything a smartphone can except for the exclusive applications,

and it provides it on a much larger scale. The netbook is not as big as a laptop but it has a huge benefit over the smartphone because of its screen and keyboard size.

I would prefer a netbook over an expensive smartphone for the simple facts of easier viewing, more multitasking, and more of a comfortable user experience.  But then I wouldn’t be able to call my mother. With a smartphone you have to pay monthly fees to remain connected, and if you’re not connected then there isn’t a whole lot you can do with its offline features.  If you have

netbook, you can connect to the nearest WIFI without paying any monthly subscription.  So what do you do, get a netbook and a cheaper phone or go with the smartphone?

Netbook’s Future

The netbook’s main criticism is its ability to perform compared to the laptop.  But, if netbooks and media tablets continue to gain in popularity especially after the iPad came out, then maybe it is the laptops days that are numbered!  Netbooks remain popular for productivity tasks at a lower price point but for now, laptops will probably still be on top.  Will the netbook continue to grow using its lighter weight and lower cost as leverage?  Or, will it slowly fade out due to its processing and storage weaknesses?

Netbooks and tablets are both slowly being adopted on the enterprise front.  However the enterprise market for tablets and netbooks as a replacement for laptops and smartphones is extremely thin.  If netbooks and tablets continue to be in demand and grow, then maybe a radical change will happen in the adoption rates of both netbooks and media tablets with the netbook having an advantage.

The netbook in the near future could feature traditional I/O (keyboard, touchpad) to enable productivity tasks at a lower cost and become more portable.  But, it still will mostly likely be second seed to the laptop.  When traditional productivity and enterprise technology suites persist, so will the full featured laptop.  Laptops in the next few years may become smaller, lighter, faster, and cheaper, and tablets may become more powerful.  But, netbook manufacturers are also looking for advancements in features and quality.

Consumer demand will push the level and pace of netbook adoption.  The tablet grew in popularity and support tremendously based on iPad sales. Netbooks could achieve more strategic dispositions if stakeholders demand it.

So what do you think the future holds for the netbook?

Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Jan 27

Asus Announces Impressive New Tablet – How Does It Match Up With The Rest?

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Photo Cred: www.freedigitalphotos.net

Asus, which is named after the winged horse Pegasus in Greek mythology that represents inspiration of art and learning, has entered the tablet market and announced its new 7 inch android tablet this year.  The “Eee Pad MeMO” is an interesting new tablet with a capacitive stylus.  For those of you who don’t know what that means, it means it works like a touch screen display when you use your fingers.  The electrical properties of the body are detected when tapping buttons.  The stylus has this capability and can be used in the bundled apps like media note and painter (two complimentary programs which enable you to draw).  Seeing a capacitive stylus on touch screens is scarce in the Android world.  This could prove to be very fascinating and a successful new maneuver.

MeMO Specs

Let’s take a look under the hood and see what powers this bad boy.  Unlike most other tablet devices, the Eee Pad MeMO is not running on a Tegra II processor; it’s equipped with a dual core 1.2 GHz Qualcomm MSM8260 processor.  It has a front camera with 1.2 megapixels and a back LED flash camera with 5 megapixels.  The Eee Pad MeMO will run on Android 3.0 Honeycomb.  This operating system will give the MeMO a wide range of capability plus entertainment software.  It also has a built in micro HDMI port which is evident this tablet may also hook up with an external display for true 1080p High Def video playback.

It has 512 MB of RAM, storage capacity up to 64 GB, and connects to 3G, blue tooth, and WIFI.  As far as speed is concerned, the MeMO performs impeccably.  The MeMO has a nice size screen of 7 inches, perfect for taking notes with capacitive stylus pencil.  The screen is a WSVGA screen that is very vibrant and sharp with a resolution of 1024x 600 pixels.  It has a 16 hour battery life and weighs 0.86 pounds. The MeMO’s construction quality is consistent with ASUS’s standards meaning the device is solid.

The Asus Eee Pad MeMO has a price tag between $499 – $699 and has been described as a smart phone and tablet combo

Will the MeMO be the next big thing in tablets or the HP webOS?  Which one would you considered buying if you were looking for a new tablet: the MeMO or webOS?  Or, are you waiting for the Ipad 2 to come out? Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Jan 27

[Video] IBM Celebrates 100 Years Of Achievement

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

IBM, Online MarketingIBM is getting a head start on their centennial celebration. The Computing Tabulation Recording (CTR) company was originally founded on June 16th, 1911 and was the foundation for what the International Business Machines (IBM) corporation would one day become.

To celebrate this achievement, IBM hired filmmaker Errol Morris to create not one, but two videos documenting 100 years of  computing pioneering: a 30 minute film about the people who came together to make computers what they are today (from IBM’s perspective at least) entitled “They Were There – People Who Changed the Way the World Works” and a shorter 13 minute film about 100 of the company’s most notable achievements over the course of the 100 years they have been in business titled “100 X 100 – A Century of Achievements That Have Changed the World.”

Both videos highlight the various technological advances that IBM brought into the world of computers, but are also interesting looks into the past to see how far computers have come over the years since they were but simple adding machines.

They Were There – People Who Changed the Way the World Works:

100 X 100 – A Century of Achievements That Have Changed the World

So what do you guys think of 100 years of IBM in the computer industry? Leave your comments below and tell us what you think.

Jan 27

Facebook Makes In-App Purchasing Easier

By mikefilsaime | Uncategorized

Facebook Credits- a new currencyWe’ve all heard the stories of people spending real life money on ebay auctions for virtual items in games like Everquest or World of Warcraft.  Now Facebook has made it a little easier to keep up with the virtual Jonses.

At the Inside Social Apps InFocus 2011 conference, Facebook announced that the company will be rolling out two new ways to use it’s virtual currency, Facebook credits— Buy With Friends and Frictionless Credits Micropayments.

Frictionless Credits Micropayments is like a teensy credit line from Facebook.  It will allows users to make purchases of a small number of credits without having to go through the approval and set up step.  Now buying that new tractor for your Farmville community is a simple click of the button without interrupting the your game.

From a marketing perspective this is fantastic for game designers.  Spending credits is now faster and completely within the game engine, so sales are more likely to convert.  It’s likely users will forget they are in the game and just make a simple purchase using coins.  A similar system is responsible for the success of online gambling franchises.

Buy with Friends is kinda like Groupon for in app purchases.  It allows users to announce that they’ve made an in-app purchase in their news stream.  Friends can then make the same purchases using the credit direct from the news feed, sometimes even at a discount.  So now virtual buying has become social too.

Currently the Facebook credits system only works for virtual items in-app.  I predict we’ll see more games being developed using Facebook currency as the games primary currency- to continue to make the game’s integration with real life as seamless as possible.  It also doesn’t take much of a logical leap to imagine this system working for physical goods.

And as a vast information consumer I also see an opportunity for in-app universities.  How easy would it be to spend 10 credits to unlock a video on how to roast a turkey or remove redeye from a photo.

How do you see the Facebook credits system impacting your business?

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