Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ activation for Paris attack

Zuckerberg defends Facebook’s ‘Safety Check’ activation for Paris attack

However, some questioned why the social networking giant hadn’t also activated Safety Check following two suicide bombings in a busy Beirut shopping street a day earlier that killed at least 43 people.

Related: Social media and how the world reacted to the…

As Paris suffered multiple terror attacks Friday night in which at least 129 people died, Facebook took the decision to activate its “Safety Check” feature, a tool launched last year to help people caught in a crisis let others know they’re safe.

With more than four million Facebook members using the tool over the weekend to mark themselves as safe, and some 360 million notifications automatically sent out to let others know their loved ones were unharmed in the terror incident, Safety Check clearly showed its worth in the hours following the attack.

However, some questioned why the social networking giant hadn’t also activated Safety Check following two suicide bombings in a busy Beirut shopping street a day earlier that killed at least 43 people.

Related: Social media and how the world reacted to the tragedy in Paris.

The concerns were addressed by Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg in a message posted over the weekend.

The CEO said many people had “rightfully asked” why it’d turned on Safety Check for the Paris attacks but not for the Beirut bombings, explaining that until the incident in France, company policy had been to activate it only for natural disasters.

He wrote: “You are right that there are many other important conflicts in the world. We care about all people equally, and we will work hard to help people suffering in as many of these situations as we can.”

Zuckerberg said that after reviewing the situation, the company had now changed the policy and would activate Safety Check for “more human disasters” from hereon in.

In another post expanding on Zuckerberg’s message, Facebook executive Alex Schultz said the company was “learning to make the tool and policies behind it better as we go — and because Safety Check is a relatively new feature for us, we’re still understanding how it can best be used and in what instances.”

The executive said the company decided to activate the feature during the Paris attack “because we observed a lot of activity on Facebook as the events were unfolding. In the middle of a complex, uncertain situation affecting many people, Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones.”

The site also faced accusations of selective solidarity after it launched a French flag filter for profile shots, prompting one user with a graphic design background to offer a solution.

The One Biggest Red Flag When Choosing an SEO Agency

The One Biggest Red Flag When Choosing an SEO Agency

Choosing an SEO Agency can be difficult, especially because there are so many agencies out there that give the industry a bad name.

An ethical agency uses SEO techniques that are accepted and advised by search engines such as Google. Agencies using spammy techniques such as over optimising websites could put your business at risk of being penalised by Google. With this in mind, when choosing an SEO agency, it’s important to look out for certain warning signs…

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Nobody Should Promise Position #1 on Google

  • You should not trust an SEO agency that promises to get you to “position 1″ of Google. Google’s SEO Guidelines state that “No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.” As this is coming directly from Google, it is strongly advised that you do not choose an agency that claims they can achieve this!
  • Some agencies might promise to get you to the top of Google in a short amount of time. Improving visibility in search results will take time, as there are a lot of different factors that are taken into account by search engines, and there is no way of guaranteeing results in any given time period.
  • Search engine results are ambiguous. When searching a query at different locations the results can change, and this should be made clear by any respectable agency. Users with Google accounts will also get personalised results.
  • Appearing first in a search engine does not reflect the overall performance of a business’s success online. Factors such as conversions and ROI are more important than rankings. If the traffic generated from Google isn’t converting into leads or sales, then your SEO agency isn’t targeting the right keywords.

An Ethical SEO Agency Should Be:

Trustworthy – An agency should deliver what they have promised. They should also not be afraid to admit if they have made a mistake.

A simple step to understand who could potentially be managing your SEO is to look the company up on LinkedIn. Here you can check for personal recommendations on the consultant you have been assigned, and get a feel for the size of the company.

linkedin

Helpful – An ethical SEO agency will go out of the way to delight customers.

A list of questions should be sent to you prior to the initial meeting. This shows that they are trying to understand your business and its priorities. This is also an opportunity for you to ask the agency questions and gauge their knowledge and experience.

Professional – The use of Twitter is key for SEO professionals.

When researching potential SEO agencies it is useful to assess whether the team members are active on Twitter, and also who members of staff at your potential agency follow on Twitter. This will demonstrate that they are keeping up to date with industry trends.

The State of Firefox OS, What’s In Store for 2015?

The State of Firefox OS, What’s In Store for 2015?

2014 has been a roller-coaster year for Mozilla, starting with the backlash at co-founder Brendan Eich after becoming CEO. Following this was the implementation of video streaming DRM in Firefox. Last but not least, was the switch to Yahoo as the default search engine for Firefox after the deal with Google ended.

What might look like a big mess on the outside, is in fact a well planned strategy to leave space for Firefox OS, Mozilla’s mobile operating system to disrupt the mobile duopoly and penetrate the low-end market. Firefox OS (also known as ‘Boot to Gecko’) is a Linux kernel-based open-source operating system completely based on open web technologies. Since its launch in 2013, Firefox OS devices have received mixed reviews, but many forget that most Firefox OS devices weren’t designed to compete with their often 4x as expensive counterparts. Intex Cloud FX is the best example with a price tag of $33.

As mentioned by many, Firefox OS empowers feature-phone users to make the switch to smartphones, while not compromising their budget. Mozilla kept this promise by launching several devices in Asia under the $40 price tag, proving that there is still an unexplored market left in the low-end range. Another option is Android One, but there are many for whom $100 is still too expensive.

Let’s have a look at some of the milestones of the Firefox OS adventure in 2014.

Firefox OS is currently available in following countries: Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Macedonia,Montenegro, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela

Low-end, lower-end, Firefox OS

firefox-os

At Mobile World Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Mozilla impressed many by announcing the cheapest smartphone ever launched, the ‘Intex Cloud FX’. Following this, Cherry Mobile launched the ‘ACE’ in the Philippines with an even crazier price tag of $22 (does this qualify for a Guinness World Record of the cheapest smartphone ever sold?).

Firefox OS – not only mobile

Outside the mobile space, Firefox OS has found traction in other fields. As an alternative to Google’s Chromecast, Hong Kong startup Matchstick offers “a streaming stick that lets you fire up online content from a mobile to a TV” for only $25. Compatible with Chromecast 1.0 apps such as YouTube, Photowall, and This Week in Tech, Matchstick raised and surpassed its $100k funding goal on Kickstarter at $470k.

matchstick

It promises compatibility with Chromecast 2.0 apps, which means that developers can recompile an app after changing “only a few lines of code“, according to Matchstick.

Five Significant Components of Digital Marketing

Five Significant Components of Digital Marketing

In order to cope with increasing competition, companies across the world focus on digital marketing. It is undeniable fact that merely a website or an app is not sufficient for achieving a strong digital footprint.

Before moving further, let’s have some interesting facts:

  • Approximately 70% of marketers use Facebook to gain new customers (HubSpot)
  • Blogs are 63% more likely to influence purchase decisions than magazines (Optimind)
  • Americans spend 4x more time on mobile devices as compared to newspapers and magazines (Percolate)
  • Using videos on home pages can increase conversions by 86% (Optimind)

Such facts reflect the importance of digital marketing for the businesses.

Digital marketing strategy is essential to serve the following purposes:

  • Acquisition of new clients
  • Brand visibility, recognition, and loyalty
  • Revenue generation

Internet-Marketing

Without achieving objectives mentioned above, online marketing campaign cannot be considered as successful. Now, the question arises, which elements are necessary for effective and efficient digital marketing campaign that serves all the objectives? Following list is an answer to the question:

  1. Consider mobiles: Thanks to the latest mobile technology, iPhone’s new versions, and budget range of smartphones; sales figures of smartphones grossly overtake PC sales figures in 2014. Today, every aspect of online marketing campaign hovering around smart devices users.
  2. Organic search: Out of varieties of methods for finding information, search engine results method enjoys a dominant position. Proper optimization of a website helps the search engines identify the type of site and its relation to users’ requirements. Solid organic search strategy improves the visibility of sites within the search engines and helps drive more traffic to that site.
  3. Content marketing:Content is an important driving force. Fresh and relevant content through blogs increase site visitors and user engagement. Eventually, both will result in higher conversions. Proper content marketing strategy helps entrepreneurs establish their identity over the net.
  4. Social media:Companies cannot ignore social media platform for brand building and brand recognition. Social media marketing acts as a powerful tool for exchanging information and distributing content about the products and services. It provides an opportunity to connect and interact with both prospective and existing customers along with other people.
  5. Email:Email marketing strategy helps enterprises increase ROI. A survey shows that over 65% of consumers make a purchase under influence of a well-planned email campaign. The only thing here also to keep in mind that emails should be mobile-ready.
Chrome Launcher 2.0 : Inch Closer to Android Platform

Chrome Launcher 2.0 : Inch Closer to Android Platform

Chrome Launcher 2.0 : Inch Closer to Android Platform

The Internet giant Google gave the signals to launch the latest version of Chrome OS with embedded ‘Google Now’ platform.

On last Thursday, Google announced that upcoming Chrome Launcher 2.0 has ‘Google Now’ to enhance search feature on Android phones. As Google’s Executive Francois Beaufort said: Search has been enhanced to help you find what you are looking for faster, apps you most often use right have been put at your fingertips, and the power of Google Now has been brought to your Chromebook.

The latest Chrome Launcher 2.0 is coming this week, but still it is uncertain that when it would become available for a wider consumption.

Chrome-Launcher-2

Sync Enhances Android Experience

The upcoming Chrome version is said to be more traditional in appearance, and it comes up with own search bar. It is integrated with ‘Google Now’ to show the appointment, general reminder, flight information, and so forth. This version can be synchronized with one or two mobile devices to enhance user experience in Android phones.

Reports suggest that the new update will automatically remove the pop-up menu, which is used to hold the apps installed by the users on their Chromebooks.

The Impact of Material Design

At this juncture, Google is about to introduce ‘Material Design’ only for the File icon of Chrome 2.0. In Android platform, as Google has implemented material design, the latest Chrome version will also look like other Android features. In other words, change in design takes a new version of Chrome 2.0 a bit closer to the other Android features in terms of appearance.

How to Access

Users can switch to the latest Chrome 2.0 version through following procedure:

Settings > About Chrome OS > More Info > Change channel

Word of Caution:

Applying link mentioned above, users can switch to the latest version. But switching back to the ‘present’ version will require resetting a smartphone. Users should take this point into consideration prior to switching channels.

To my mind, it’s better to wait until Chrome 2.0 comes in a “stable” form to avoid any technical hurdle.

That’s it. Let’s wait for the latest Chrome 2.0 Beta version and welcome it as it is significantly going to improve seraching experience.

5 steps to finding clients using LinkedIn

5 steps to finding clients using LinkedIn

Creative director Lance Evans gives some pointers on how to use LinkedIn for lead generation.

If you’re a securely employed creative (that’s perhaps about 12 of you), then you can be lazy and skip this article. But if you do freelance work or own your own shop, then getting new clients is a concern you live with on an all-too-frequent basis.

How one goes about finding new clients will depend on what you do, and who your clients are. If you do creative freelance for the advertising or publishing worlds, then obtaining lists of art directors and art buyers in these fields is doable, if potentially costly.

But what if your primary customer is the end-user, a business or manufacturer? How do you find and connect with such a wide range of potential clients? Depending on buckshot promotions and marketing can drive your small shop under financial water. So better targeting is certainly needed.

And this is where the business-to-business website LinkedIn can come into play. Unlike other social media networks, LI is geared for adults who do business. You won’t fine much on Kim Kardashian here, it’s all business. But because it’s still a social network, there is generally a nice friendliness and openness to be found among its members.

Warm sales call

This openness leads to what is often referred to as the ‘warm sales call’. In contrast to the classic cold call, the warm call is when the recipient – the target of a sale – has spoken with you before. Or perhaps there has been an introduction made by a mutual third party.

This same effect happens on LinkedIn for two reasons. The first is that merely being on the same social network breeds some level of camaraderie. And if the target is so moved to pre-qualify you first, they can easily bring up your profile and see who they are talking to. They can even see who you may both have in common, ie, your connections.

With all of this in mind, here are five things that successful LinkedIn gurus suggest you do in order to connect with your most desirable potential clients:

01. Make your profile shine

linkedin_Company

LinkedIn guru Brynn Tillman emphasizes that your profile is your best marketing tool for potential clients. She stresses that we need to see our own profile the way the potential client does:

“Pretend you’re on a desert Island looking at your prospect in a boat. You’re screaming ‘HELP, BOAT!’ But your prospect has a very different viewpoint. They’re in the boat screaming ‘LAND!’.”

Tillman says: “Get in the boat, and see your profile the way they do.” To this end, Brynn makes these suggestions:

  • Sub-heads count: Most people put their job title under the name. More interesting thought is what you can do for potential clients. What’s your value? “Marketing Director and Creator of Advertising that Sells.” That works!
  • Value throughout: Articulate the value your work brings to clients. And do this throughout the profile. “Drill down on your value proposition in your summary. Tell them why they should work with you. Give tips on how to achieve some common goals, use case studies, recommendations and include any press coverage.

02.Be the expert. Publish on LinkedIn

Veteran international publisher Jim S Hill has been a successful member of LinkedIn for many years. “I’m always looking for ways to push the envelope. This year LinkedIn gave me the perfect tool, the ability to publish articles.”

Hill has published a series of articles on one of his areas of expertise, outsourced publishing. “Choose a topic you’re an expert in, one you want to be known for. Break it down into smaller topics and publish a series of articles. It’s not unlike doing a blog, though the tone should stay professional.”

The results have been better than imagined. “I expected the articles would make me higher profile, but have to say I was extremely pleased with the way they were received. And with the number of connections they have opened.”

03.Engage in topic discussions

engage-topic

LinkedIn offers many ways to interact with other members. Join the groups that you might expect your target client to be a member of. For example, if you’re an illustrator you’ll likely wish to join a group of your peers.

But also join groups with art buyers and art directors. You may even become a star in those groups because you can share valuable insights to working successfully with artists.

04. LinkedIn connections reinforce real-world connections

We know it takes about seven exposures for a customer to recognize a new brand. So after you meet someone, reinforce your brand by connecting with them on LinkedIn, in addition to any traditional connections, like an email.

Not only does this reduce the seven-exposures to six, but it opens the door to put you in front of your target with profile updates, published articles, and other value-added communications.

05. Good communications

Melonie Dodaro is considered one of Canada’s leading LinkedIn gurus. She cautions us not to ever think becoming connected is the end-game. “It’s not enough to just grow your network. You need to actually build a relationship with your new connections. Send a sequence of value-based messages to your prospects.

“Always take the time to personalize each message appropriately before sending it. Use your connection’s first name and add any details that will improve the message and make it feel more personal. The more individualized your messages, the better the results.”

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