Say hello to Holo; an app that adds 3-D characters to your pictures

Say hello to Holo; an app that adds 3-D characters to your pictures

There is a new app called Holo in the market, that will allow you to experience AR through your smartphone. Moreover, it will turn your normal pictures into sci-fi-like images. This Holo app can be downloaded from Google Play and App Store for free.

AR/VR company 8i is behind making the app. Thanks to this app, you will able to add animated characters and people to your pictures and videos. And they look kind of real as well. While the app gets stuck sometimes, considering the pros it offers, you can just ignore that. As for now, the app still needs some works done to it. For example, sometimes the characters don’t sync well with your picture.

So, in that case, you would have to find out a way to make it work. Now talking about the positives, you can download various characters from the in-app store and each of the characters comes with a specific animation. There’s more, 8i has said that it would update the app’s content on a regular basis by adding new 3D models, objects and effects.

The Holo app is compatible with iPhones that run on iOS 10. In Android, it will run on devices running on Android 5.0 and later versions.

Naturally, we are pretty excited about this new app. Maybe it is not perfect yet, still, it is a great app to pass your time. Hopefully, we will get to see more apps like this in near future. As we all know, AR is the future.

[“source-gizbot”]

 

A smarter way to protect your smart home?

Dojo by BullGuard. — AFP pic

SAN FRANCISCO, June 2 — As smart home products and connected devices grow in popularity, so will the cyber risks they potentially pose to their owners.

“A smart home can quickly become a fool’s paradise when IoT devices are not properly secured,” said BullGuard CEO, Paul Lipman.

However, if the typical home with a high-speed wi-fi network had enterprise-grade security protecting it, many of these security issues could be eradicated.

And that’s the idea behind the BullGuard Dojo, which officially launches Thursday. It’s a wireless device with a dock that connects to a network and monitors all activity on it, all of the time. It is capable of spotting and preventing certain types of activity automatically and when it spots a threat that it can’t take care of autonomously, it alerts the owner via an app so that they can take further action.

Its security capabilities aren’t its USP however, its simplicity is what the company is hoping will make it a hit with the average household. Although it runs enterprise grade applications, users won’t need a formal qualification in IT or cyber security to get the most out of it.

And as cyber criminals are constantly adapting their activities to exploit new digital loopholes or product and device trends, consumers also need to stay on their toes if they want to keep their digital lives protected.

“Many IoT devices are notoriously insecure and it is relatively easy for hackers to exploit their vulnerabilities,” said Yossi Atias, General Manager, IoT Security of BullGuard. “Dojo solves the IoT security conundrum and protects every smart home device to ensure security and privacy.”

It used to be that if your PC was running the latest version of Windows and a watertight anti-virus program that you were protected from many cyber threats. However, in recent years, there’s been a marked increase in cybercrime activity targeting smartphones and tablets as the devices have become cemented into the daily life of the vast majority of consumers around the globe.

Likewise, according to Norton, thanks to the proliferation of home wi-fi the average consumer’s network itself is becoming a prime target for attacks.

Therefore, it stands to reason that adding new, less secure wireless devices, such as smart thermostats or baby monitors to these networks could result in making your home and its network far too attractive to cyber criminals.

“We’ve seen major privacy breaches in recent months caused by compromised devices, including Mirai, the largest ever DDOS attack launched from an IoT botnet, smart TVs hacked by the CIA, and even smart Teddy Bears go from cuddly to creepy. Device manufacturers often sacrifice security for speed to market and consumers are unwittingly paying the price,” Atias said.

The Dojo by BullGuard goes on sale at Amazon and BestBuy in the US this week and will retail for US$199 (RM853.44) including one year’s free service. It is destined to launch in the UK later in 2017. — AFP-Relaxnews

[“Source-themalaymailonline”]

3 Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Image result for 3 Reasons Your Website Will Never Be Finished

Say, I’ve got some news for you: Your company’s website will never be finished. You will never sit back, breathe a sigh of relief, and say, “Finally! We’ve got this thing wrapped up; now we can move onto other things.”

That is, this will never happen if you’re doing all you should with your website. And this adds up to some good news because if you’re constantly updating your site, you’ll develop an advantage over your competitors who aren’t.

 

Here are three reasons you should never stop working on your website:

1. Web design trends are evolving. Compare websites designed within the past few months with those designed a few years ago, and you’ll notice some differences. Web design trends can sometimes be mere fads, but often they are driven by changes in technology. Two modern trends in web design are flat design and responsive design.

Gradients, drop shadows, bevels and elements designed to resemble real objects have no place in flat web design. Proponents of flat design eschew the fancy in favor of simplicity, clean lines, bold colors and a focus on content and usability. Flat design also means cleaner code, faster-loading pages (good for SEO) and greater adaptability, which factors into the next trend.

Responsive web design means that a site responds to the various sizes of screens that people use to view websites. Today someone might look at a site on a desktop monitor, a tablet or a smartphone, which come in different sizes.

Years ago, most companies had either a separate mobile site that would be displayed for users on a tablet or smartphone and a full website that would appear for desktop users. But this strategy was less than ideal because those websites were geared toward only two screen sizes. Responsive websites take into account all screen sizes and adjust to provide an optimal experience for every user. This leads to greater website-visitor retention. As a result, companies today are ditching the dedicated desktop and mobile sites in favor of a single, responsive website. (FlatInspire.com displays websites that are both flat and responsive.)

 

2. Consumer preferences are changing. Customers expect something different from your website now than did two, five or 10 years ago. When high-speed internet became widely available, users started to anticipate rich content, such as high-resolution photography and HD videos. As desktop screens grew larger and wider, consumers looked for sites that would take advantage of the additional real estate.

This year the number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to surpass 1.75 billion, prompting a toward a move toward long, vertical websites that scroll.

Today’s consumers don’t want to waste time. Everyone is busy and wants to get to the point as efficiently as possible. Many companies have understood this to mean that content should be clear and concise.

While brevity may the the soul of wit, consumers don’t always want webpages short on content. What they want is high-quality content that delivers real value. Sometimes the best way to do this is through long-form content. Basecamp performed an experiment with long-form content on its home page and found signups for its project management software rose 37.5 percent.

Design agency Teehan+Lax embraces long-form content in its portfolio section, in a post about working with client Krush. The segment delivers value, by helping potential clients understand what the process of working with the company would be like. Long-form content is also good for  SEO.

 

3. Search engine optimization rules. The premise of SEO is that if a company sells widgets and its site shows up No. 1 in a Google search for the term “widgets,” then viewers will be drawn to that corporate site. But it may not be the only company desiring to market widgets. Therefore, the company’s task is to convince Google that when someone searches for widgets, any user arriving at the company’s website will find it especially appropriate for the search term. If users aren’t happy with Google’s search results, that’s bad for Google.

It used to be that a lot of SEO firms would trick Google into sending traffic to their clients’ websites. But Google employs thousands of people with doctorates to systematically filter out search engine spam. Google’s search algorithm updates like Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird have forced websites to provide real value to visitors or see their rankings in the search engines fall and traffic dry up. Although some aspects of SEO can be done just once (such as ensuring that you have a credible web-hosting firm and solid code on your website so that it loads quickly), here are some ongoing activities that companies can engage in to get good search-engine rankings and drive traffic to their site:

  • Attract inbound links from high quality, relevant websites.
  • Create content that people enjoy reading and want to share.
  • Update the corporate website frequently with high-quality content.
  • Keep up with design trends to make the website fresh and attractive.

Creating new content and attracting links can mean updating a blog and press section, or developing valuable informational resource sections like tips, FAQs; or articles. It also helps for the company to become an expert in your field and engage in online PR. And yes, even guest blog posting is still a viable tactic for link building, as long as it’s of high quality.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

3 Ways to Maximize Your Content Reach on LinkedIn

3 Ways to Maximize Your Content Reach on LinkedIn | Social Media Today

Do you publish long-form content on LinkedIn? Are you looking for ways to get more views and engagement with your posts?

LinkedIn recently released its list of “top voices” from 2016, and in the process, they also shared what made those bloggers so successful on the platform.

As per LinkedIn:

“When we compare these authors to all members writing in 2016, the Top Voices have received, on average, 64x more comments, 52x more likes, and 24x more shares on their articles. That viral activity on their writing led to an average of 73x more views from LinkedIn members than typical pieces, and a huge growth in followers.” 

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – in today’s marketplace, your content is your currency. Creating great content and then sharing it online is how you “purchase” the time, attention and interest of potential customers. It’s also how you build the critical “Know, Like and Trust” elements that are key to every successful sale and business relationship.

Remember, anyone can claim authority – creating great content that demonstrates your expertise, and helps others solve a pressing problem or reach a specific goal, is the real key to success in online sales and marketing.

Here are three specific tips that LinkedIn says can help set apart your content from the rest on the network.

1. Global Reach, Specific Topics

The beauty of publishing on LinkedIn is that it’s the place where your ideal customers and clients in the global marketplace are already hanging out, looking for news, online training, resources, vendors, employees and more.

But among that global group, there are some specific, regional trends of note, in terms of audience interests.

As explained by LinkedIn:

“In the USA, writers tend to focus on entrepreneurship and innovation. In France, the economy and macroeconomics drive readership. India cares about branding and advertising; Brazil favors anything that’s current.”

Such trends can help you better target your content to maximize performance within your target market.

But aside from those more specific, regional trends, LinkedIn did note one consistent theme:

“…across the world, the same formula worked to develop an audience: Consistency, depth and an authentic desire to create conversations (not just content).”

2. Facilitate Engagement

If you’ve nailed your topic with a well written post targeted at your ideal audience, the true secret to generating big reach on the platform lies in everything else you do to set up your posts, including timing, engagement and follow through.

“The Top Voices made 10x more replies to comments on their articles than did the average LinkedIn writer” 

Along with responding as quickly as possible to the likes, shares and comments your articles receive, you can also use other social media channels and your email list to drive traffic to your posts.

One of my favorite tactics is to also use LinkedIn itself – I leverage third party automation tools like LinMailPro to send a personalized, 1-on-1 note to targeted LinkedIn connections with a link to the post.

As long as your message is sincere, and your content useful to the connections you’re sending it to, you’ll get almost zero complaints from your connections when promoting your content via 1-on-1 LinkedIn messages.

3. Let LinkedIn Know

Another tip, which comes direct from LinkedIn, is to promote your LinkedIn post on Twitter and tag LinkedIn’s editorial team.

This can be a simple, “one liner” about your post, highlighting it to [email protected] to make them aware of your content.

A lot of people tag LinkedIn’s editors, so it’s not a guaranteed path to increased exposure, but it can help alert the relevant people, which, in turn, could see your post featured on LinkedIn’s Pulse platform.

Speed + Engagement = Going Viral on LinkedIn

When you do this – send traffic to your own LinkedIn posts, be it via LinkedIn messages, your email list or other social media channels – LinkedIn takes notice.

The faster your post picks up views and the more engagement that happens in a short time frame, the more likely it is LinkedIn will be alerted to that activity and decide to promote your post in more places on the platform.

Once that happens, watch out – your views and reach can increase massively through that additional exposure.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

 

How to move Windows 10 from your old hard drive to SSD

SSD

he move to a solid-state disk will make your Windows PC faster

One of the best ways of making your PC run faster is by installing a solid-state drive (SSD). However, moving Windows to an SSD is not an easy task.

The best way to move Windows 10 (or any other OS) onto an SSD is by using a cloning tool. This takes everything on the old drive and copies onto the new one. Of course, for a lot of people, this will be like trying to fit a pint in a half pint pot. With all your music, photos and videos, taking up a terabyte of space, you may find compromises will have to be made.

Before you move the Windows installation files to an SSD, you have to separate any other data (documents, pictures, music, videos) to another disc as these won’t be transferred to the SSD.

You will then clone the Windows OS onto the new SSD and move personal data onto the old disc. The great thing here is that you will get the benefit of running Windows from a faster drive while retaining the spacious hard drive for data.

If you are doing this with a desktop computer, then you will have little trouble fitting in both the new disc and the old disc as there should be space for both. Things get a little more difficult when it comes to laptops. At this point, you may have to remove the optical drive to fit in a second drive or spend more money on an SSD that can accommodate all the data present on the old disc.

What do you need?

As mentioned before, for this project you will need your current hard drive (or spinning platters of rust), which you will migrate data from; your new solid-state drive which data will be migrated to; and a backup of all your data, as you can only clone the system files.

You will also need a cloning tool. In this instance, we will use EaseUS Todo Backup Free. Mainly because it is free and also because it is easy enough for most people to use. Also, the tool is good at cloning data from a large disc to a much smaller disc

Defrag your disk and back up your data 

As we are cloning a disc, it is a good idea to defrag the file system before we start anything. Click on the Start menu and type in defrag, when you see the option for Disk Defragmenter, click on its and run the tool to tidy up the disc.

Next thing to do is the back up ALL your data. An external drive is a good start or an online service such as CrashPlan is a good alternative, but the latter will take a lot longer to complete, even with a good internet connection.

 

[Source:- ITPRO]

The Power of Geofencing and How to Add it to Your Marketing [Infographic]

The Power of Geofencing and How to Add It to Your Marketing | Social Media Today

Thanks to the ubiquitous smartphone, there’s now an entirely new level of marketing available: Geofencing.

Geofencing is a location-based marketing tool that enables more active consumer focus. There are three ways to track a customer’s location: GPS, Bluetooth, and beacons, and each method finds and targets customers in different ways. And while it’s a relatively new technology, it’s important for marketers to be aware of- and understand – geofencing in order to help their company’s bottom line.

A solid 30% of the international population uses location-based services, and an overwhelming majority of them are open to receiving location-based alerts from businesses. This can help increase sales and loyalty, especially when paired with CRM data, because you can offer individual customers the messaging they need in order to make a conversion.

With 92% of U.S. smartphones capable of responding to geofencing, this is a powerful marketing tool that retailers and other location-based companies need to use.

[Source:- socialmediatoday]

Add Pre-Designed Buttons to Your Site with Butns.css

Image result for Add Pre-Designed Buttons to Your Site with Butns.css

Frontend frameworks, such as Bootstrap, come with their own button styles, but they don’t usually have much variety.

The free Butns library offers a slew of custom button styles without the whole framework attached. This is perfect for developers who already have a custom page design but don’t want to deal with crafting their own button styles.

You have practically limitless choices and combinations to pick from. Butns has over 30+ different background/border colors that you can mix & match for traditional flat buttons or pill buttons or even ghost buttons.

You can also pick between different gradient styles that mesh two different colors together. These gradient buttons look awesome with a drop shadow for a raised embossing effect.

Along with colors and shadows, you can also change the shape, size, and transparency of any button.

Everything is controlled via CSS classes, so you really have complete access to everything in the library.

What I like most about Butns is that you can easily switch between different styles just by updating one class name. There’s no overly-complex system of adding styles or editing a stylesheet. You just swap classes, and you’re good to go.

Although there’s no harm in overwriting some of these classes with your own preferences. That’s the beauty of the cascading effect in CSS.

To get started just download the .css file from the Butns home page or from the GitHub repo. They both link to the most up-to-date version so either way is OK.

Once that’s added to your web page, just append the class .button to anything you want to be shaped like a button. From there it’s a matter of adding extra classes based on the colors, size, and style of the button you want.

Take a look at the GitHub page down near the classes list. You’ll find a full list of all classes for customizing the color, button type, and display options like small/large or semi-transparent.

Butns.css is easily one of the most comprehensive button stylesheet on the web. You can add it to multiple web projects, and all of them can have a different look with this one library.

It also plays nicely with other frameworks such as Bootstrap since the classes don’t overlap. So you can merge Butns with almost any other frontend framework on the market with no hassle.

 

 

[Source:- Hongkiat]

Use Quantity Queries to Make Your CSS Quantity-Aware

Image result for Use Quantity Queries to Make Your CSS Quantity-Aware

Quantity queries are specially set-up CSS selectors that allow developers to make their code quantity-aware. In responsive design, we usually use media queries to adapt our design to different viewports. In some cases however, we may want to switch to a different layout or use other dimensions or aesthetics after a certain quantity of the same content type is present on the screen.

It’s a frequent issue with dynamic websites that we don’t always know in advance how many items will be on the screen. Think about tags at the end of blog posts, product-specific filters in the navigation of eCommerce sites, or on-site search results. This is when quantity queries can give us an elegant, CSS-only solution, and save us from the hassle of using JavaScript.

How quantity queries are composed

We can build three kinds of quantity queries:

  1. “At-least” queries when there are more than a certain quantity of the same content type on the screen.
  2. “At-most” queries when there are less than a certain quantity of the same content type on the screen.
  3. “Between” queries when there are more than a certain quantity, but less than another quantity of the same content type on the screen.

All three types of quantity queries are built by using the :nth-last-child CSS pseudo-class and the general sibling selector (~), while “at-most” and “between” queries also make use of the :first-child pseudo-class.

The :nth-last-child pseudo-class behaves similarly to :nth-child, however it starts the counting from the last child, while the general sibling selector (~) selects all elements that come after a certain sibling element.

“At-least” queries

The most important thing to understand is that quantity queries select all elements that belong to the same parent element, as the goal is to assign the same design to all the elements that meet the quantity criteria.

In the code snippet below, we select all <li> elements in an unordered list that contains minimum five list elements.

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/* "At-least" query */
ul li:nth-last-child(n+5),
ul li:nth-last-child(n+5) ~ li {
  background-color: orange;
}

As you can see, an “at-least” query is made up of two CSS selectors. The first selector, ul li:nth-last-child(n+5) selects all <li> elements that are at least five elements far from the last child. This style rule alone is not enough though, as it doesn’t make all the elements look the same—the last four elements will keep their original style. That’s why we need to add the second selector, that selects all general siblings of the previously selected elements.

To get back to our example code, it adds an orange background to all the elements of unordered lists that have at least five elements, while unordered lists with less than five <li> elements will keep their default (blue) color. You can test live how the “at-least” query works in the Codepen pen below.

“At-most” queries

“At-most” queries are also made up of two selectors, however they don’t only rely on the :nth-last-child pseudo-class, but also on :first-child. The example code below selects all <li> elements that belong to an unordered list that have maximum five list elements.

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/* "At-most" query */
ul li:nth-last-child(-n+5):first-child,
ul li:nth-last-child(-n+5):first-child ~ li {
  background-color: orange;
}

The first part of the first selector, :nth-last-child(-n+5), uses a negative value that swaps the direction of the selection—it still counts from the last child (which is the built-in nature of the :nth-last-child pseudo-class), however now it will select the last five elements (i.e. the elements that are not at least five elements far from the last child). This selector selects the last five elements of any unordered list, however we only want to select those that have maximum five elements (as this way all the elements will be selected).

That’s why we need to combine it with the :first-child pseudo-class that will select the first elements of the previously selected list elements, but only for those that are also the first child of their <ul> parent, which is only true for unordered lists that contain maximum five <li> elements.

Now we don’t have to do anything than to add the second selector, which will select the general siblings of the previously selected :first-child elements. And that’s it, our “at-most” query is done. Y ou can play around with the CSS code in the live demo below to see how it works.

“Between” queries

The “between” query combines the code we’ve used for the “at-least” and “at-most” queries. The code example below selects all elements of unordered lists that contain minimum five but maximum six list elements.

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/* "Between" query */
ul li:nth-last-child(n+5):nth-last-child(-n+6):first-child,
ul li:nth-last-child(n+5):nth-last-child(-n+6):first-child ~ li {
  background-color: orange;
}

To build a “between query” we concatenate the CSS selectors belonging to the appropriate “at-least” and “at-most” queries. The “at-least” query in our example is :nth-last-child(n+5), while the “at-most” query is :nth-last-child(-n+6):first-child, we simply join them with a colon.

 

 

[Source:- Hongkiat]

3 Ways to Use Twitter to Diversify Your Media Inputs

Social Advocacy and Politics: Twitter is Much Better than Facebook for Curating the News | Social Media Today

If you want to stay on top of the news – especially if you want to get your news from a wide cross-section of sources – then Twitter is an indispensable tool. Sure, Facebook has a larger user base and the news feed is filled with links to articles, but it’s designed to limit your exposure to other viewpoints. Twitter is not, and Twitter also makes it very easy to organize your feed by topic and by trusted sources.

Facebook, while very popular, presents a serious problem for democracies when it comes to curating the news. Democracies, as Cass Sunstein explained in Republic.com, depend on exposing citizens to viewpoints other than their own. This “marketplace of ideas” has its roots in John Milton, John Locke, John Stuart Mill and Thomas Jefferson. While coming at the concept from a variety of angles, they all felt strongly that rational, free discourse would ultimately produce the truth (and, therefore, good public policy). That makes Facebook’s news feed algorithm – which filters what you see based on your own viewpoints – very bad for finding truth and formulating good public policy, and the tendency for people to both be friends with others and Like pages that agree with their own perspectives makes Facebook doubly bad for keeping the electorate well-informed, and therefore doubly bad for democracy.

Twitter, by contrast, doesn’t limit what you see based on an algorithm that taps into your past engagement behavior – it feeds you everything from everyone you follow. And while there may still be bias in your timeline based on who you follow, Twitter offers a few very powerful tools to help you break out of your “filter bubble.”

Twitter Tools for Bursting Your Filter Bubble

1.Twitter Lists 

Twitter Lists are incredibly useful for monitoring groups of experts, journalists, policymakers, news curators and activists.

Whether you create your own lists or monitor lists created by other Twitter users you trust, you can use them to easily monitor what any group of people are recommending that you read.

If you want to follow the news media directly, try creating a Twitter list of your favorite (and not so favorite) media outlets. If you prefer to separate them based on whether you tend to agree with them, or not, that’s fine too – but be sure to create both lists to ensure exposure to the news from all perspectives. Similarly, you can create Twitter lists of the best reporters on any particular beat or from any set of media outlets.

One of the easiest ways to find reporters on Twitter is to look at the staff lists maintained by most media outlets on their main Twitter account – you can find the lists they maintain on their profile pages or by simply using this link convention: “www.twitter.com/[MediaOutletTwittername]/lists”.

If you want to create a list of reporters from multiple outlets who all cover the same issues, you can scroll through the lists from many media outlets and find reporters who list your issue in their bios (for example, Think Progress, Washington Post, New York Times, Fox News, and Bloomberg). Or you could just use one of the many reporter lists maintained by PR firms and professionals – for example, here’s a list I built of healthcare reporters.

If you want to build a list of policy experts, check out the Twitter accounts of think tanks like the Center for American Progress, Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, Economic Policy Institute, Peterson Institute, and the Institute for Policy Studies. Unfortunately, not all think tanks and universities provide such lists – if you find one that doesn’t, Tweet at them and suggest they set one up.

If you want to follow what Members of Congress are sharing, the House and Senate caucuses each maintain a Twitter list of its members: House Democrats, House Republicans, Senate Democrats, and Senate Republicans. Monitoring these lists makes it very easy to see much of what is coming out of Congress in real-time; what Members are thinking, what they’re reading and what they’re doing.

And many advocacy organizations maintain lists of their top activists for you to follow.

Whether you bookmark any of these existing lists from a trusted source and let them keep it up to date, or build your own lists, you can easily keep on top of what people you trust (or disagree with) are reading and recommending that you read.

3. TweetDeck

Tweetdeck is the glue that turns all your Twitter lists and keyword/hashtag searches into a valuable, real-time asset that won’t suck up all your time.

Instead of bookmarking all of the lists and searches you’ve set up or identified to keep you well-informed, you can feed them all to columns on Tweetdeck.com, a free tool provided by Twitter. You can keep TweetDeck open off to the side of your monitor (or on a side monitor, if you have one) just like you keep your email inbox open. This way, you can glance at it throughout the day and quickly see what’s rolling across the screen. If you see something worth reading, read it. If it’s worth sharing, share it, then move on to your next task.

If you need to take a deep dive into the news – generally or on a specific topic – you can focus on TweetDeck for a while and see what’s happening in the news, and from different perspectives.

This is why when people ask me what newspapers and magazines I read, I tell them without hesitation, “None.” But I do read a lot of the news, I just don’t focus on any particular publication. I read Twitter, and not just my general Twitter timeline. I read Twitter via my columns on TweetDeck. That means I read news articles from dozens, even hundreds of sources (depending on the timeframe). I rely on the curation of friends, experts and trusted organizations.

And while I do read news I find on Facebook, that news isn’t curated with any rhyme or reason. Sure, I have a friend who’s always messaging me on Facebook with fascinating political news and analysis, but my news feed is just one monster collection of posts from the friends that Facebook thinks I like the best (and not always correctly, I might add).

The bottom line is that if I want to get a great cross-section of the news, I always look to Twitter, and will continue to do so until Facebook 1) lets me organize my news feed and 2) lets me turn off its algorithm.

2.Hashtags and Keyword Searches

Keyword searches on Twitter will net a large number of tweets from a wide range of people, and among them are sure to be great recommendations for articles to read. There’ll also be a lot of bad recommendations. Monitoring hashtags, which are keywords that have been turned into keyword/phrase search query links and often aggregate highly interested audiences into conversation communities, typically yield a more informed set of recommendations, though still of varying quality.

Nevertheless, monitoring keywords and hashtags on Twitter is a great way to cast a wider search net for things to read. It’s a great way to discover new experts, reporters, policymakers and activists that merit being added to one of your Twitter lists. And actively casting this ideologically wide net and moving more people into your lists will help make Twitter an ever-more valuable curation tool to keep you a well-informed citizen.

 

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]

How to Make Your Website More Effective

How to Make Your Website More Effective | Social Media Today

Search “how to make your website more effective” and the winner of the search engine sweepstakes is…

5 Free Ways to Make Your Website More Effective NOW.

Good stuff – it’s a guest post on Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income site by Sarah Peterson of SumoMe.

Peterson says that to make your website more effective you should:

  • Reduce decision fatigue
  • Capture the audience’s attention with strong taglines, images, and specific language
  • Present social proof
  • Audit and optimize the technical stuff
  • Move your opt-in offers higher up on the page

These are good suggestions. Thanks Sarah and Pat.

Want to make your website more effective with design?

A strong post from Peep Laja at ConversionXL recommends:

  • Create a visual hierarchy based on objectives
  • Make the things you want visitor’s to click bigger and easier to get to
  • Use great visuals that comply to the rule of thirds
  • Use white space
  • Simplify

More good stuff and lots of cool examples and explanations of design principles.

Now I want to share my suggestion – just one, one big one.

The way to make your website more effective is…

Make your website more generous.

Simple, right? Be like Santa. Make a list and check it twice.

What goes on that list?

Like Santa’s list, it should contain the things your people want you to produce. They’re probably not going to write you letters or sit on your lap and tell you, but you need to find out what they want somehow.

You need to know precisely what challenges your audience face and give them solutions.

Give, give, and give some more and what you get is a more effective website.

What is an effective website?

Those ten tips I borrowed from Smart Passive Income and ConversionXL are good ones, but they focus strictly on conversion. They’re ideas for getting people on your website to take action, which is obviously something you want.

However, you also want more people on your website. As Andy Crestodina teaches, the formula for success is:

Traffic x Conversion rate = Success

So let’s look at some of the measures you can use to assess the effectiveness of your website. (I’ll also share with you how I’ve done this year with these.)

Domain authority

Domain authority (DA) reflects the ranking strength of your website on Google, as measured by Moz, which looks at your link profile and a variety of other metrics. It’s not from Google, like PageRank once was, but it’s the closest you’ll get to learning where your website stands for authority and is today’s best measure of how you’ll do on search for competitive keyword phrases.

It’s not easy to elevate your DA quickly, and it’s unlikely you’ll increase it at all unless you continuously publish useful content and increase its reach across the various digital channels.

This year, my website’s domain authority slowly climbed through the 40s, remained at 49 for several months, and recently reached 50 (on a scale of 1 – 100). While I often compete with more authoritative websites for search phrases, 50 is nothing to shake a stick at for a company of my size.

Alexa ranking

Your Alexa ranking is a number that attempts to report (it’s estimated) where you stand in the race for traffic against every website in the world. If your Alexa ranking is 5, it means only 4 websites get more traffic.

In the past three months (the window Alexa reports), my Alexa ranking has risen 103,904 spots to reach a global rank of 228,206.

Actual traffic

Your traffic numbers come from Google Analytics. They’re not estimates. Theoretically, they’re accurate. A visit is described as a “session.” You can also look at “pageviews” or “unique pageviews.” I prefer the latter, which eliminates the factor of a single page being viewed multiple times in a session.

Traffic numbers for Feldman Creative:

  • I hit and passed the 10,000/month mark for the first time this year.
  • In the past 30 days, my website has logged 10,613 sessions.
  • For the year (to date), traffic increased by 14% vs. the prior year as measured by unique pageviews.

Traffic from search

The Google Analytics acquisition reports allows you to examine where your traffic comes from. Because a big portion of my efforts goes into creating blog posts that will rank in search, I like to monitor the number and, of course, see it go up.

  • Search traffic for the year 2016 increased by 28% vs. the prior year.
  • 25% of my site’s traffic comes from organic search, which is 2.5% higher than the previous year.

Engagement

Making your website more effective also requires engaging its visitors. The degree to which you’re accomplishing this is revealed in the “Behavior” section of your Google Analytics. Conveniently (and in alphabetical order), it appears after Acquisition (traffic) and before Conversion.

Metrics within this section include average session duration, bounce rate, and pages per session.

  • My session duration level stayed the same this year.
  • Bounce rate went down slightly, but I don’t pay this metric a lot of mind because as a blogger (a generous content marketer), I expect a large percentage of users to be one-and-done. I do monitor the bounce rate for my home page because a high bounce rate there is obviously a concern.
  • Good news came from my behavior analytics in that pages per session came in very close to 2, which is a 30% increase over the previous year.

Conversion

You can monitor conversion a variety of ways and I don’t plan to get deep into the topic in this post. Google Analytics allows you to setup goals which might be a transaction, pageview, and more. Content marketers aiming to increase the size of their email list often measure conversion as an opt-in, which is often useful.

I use GetResponse for email marketing and marketing automation and have a variety of forms and landing pages, each with its own conversion stats. A couple of recent offers or lead magnets are converting well:

  • A blogging eBook, offered via a pop-up is converting at > 3%, which is a nice number.
  • A “content upgrade,” a lead magnet promotion checklist available on two of my blog posts, is converting at > 5%, also quite good.

You’re unlikely to find a meaningful benchmark to use as an industry standard, so your conversion goals should be focused within. That is, you’ll want to measure how your offers compare to each other.

Benchmark and monitor website effectiveness

If you haven’t already, I propose you benchmarking all or some of these metrics.

Create a simple dashboard. Identify the effectiveness measures you care about and list them along one axis of a spreadsheet. Create a reasonable time interval for the other axis: monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, or annually. Longer intervals will probably deliver more meaningful insights to inform your content marketing strategy.

Website effectiveness is also about reach

I’ve hit the topic of measuring traffic fairly hard thus far and stressed the key is to be generous with your expertise.

You can do this by:

  • Blogging – Publish blog posts regularly. In addition to consistency, try to offer variety. Tackle a variety of topics related to your field of expertise and mix up the format or style of your posts: how-to’s, lists, roundups, interviews, stories, videos, podcasts, etc.
  • Lead magnets – Give visitors a reason to join your mailing list, come back for more, and tell their friends with awesome offers. Package your lessons as eBooks, checklists, cheat sheets, webinars, tools, templates and so forth.

Then promote the hell out of your content, both your articles and lead magnets. Far too many marketers invest heavily in content creation and very little in promotion. Some experts say you’ll achieve optimum ROI by putting 80% of your content marketing budget, be it time or money, or both, into content promotion.

  • Search – The majority of your content should trace to strategies based on keywords. Select keywords that (1) you know people search for and (2) you have a chance of ranking for.
  • Social media – Through some combination of the social media channels, your audience uses, you should share your content close to every day.
  • Email – Send an email notice or newsletter at least as often as you create new blog posts and lead magnets. Promote older ones from time-to-time and batch topically related content into email campaigns as well.

Cumulatively, all of these efforts will go towards making your site more effective and a better driver of traffic – and ultimately, revenue.

I hope these ideas help. In summary, if you want to make your website more effective in 2017, be a giver.

 
[Source:- Socialmediatoday]