Tech & Web

What’s a Cryptocurrency? How to get started with Blockchain, Bitcoin, Ethereum, and hype.

Tech & Web

“I’m buying some Bitcoin right now,” exclaimed the giddy lady sitting a couple tables away from me at a Washington DC falafel shop last Saturday night.

“Hold up,” I called out – “step away from the vending machine, I got this!” I’ve heard of these machines but never came across such a thing in person, I had to get a closer look. After settling a mild sense of disgust I explained to the lady that this Bitcoin vending machine was charging an outrageous premium and that she would be much better off using a reputable exchange. At the time, one bitcoin was trading at around $2,400 USD and this particular machine was charging well over $2,600 USD – that’s more than 8% of the transaction lost on a terrible exchange rate, and I didn’t even check to see if there were additional transaction fees. Lately, there has been so much hype about bitcoin, and as the first modern cryptocurrency, with good reason. But before investing in cryptocurrencies, you should know where they come from – so we begin with an introduction to blockchain.
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How to Define Product Benefits That Drive Inbound Demand: Prioritize & Simplify

Marketing, Tech & Web

First of all, buyers want to see “benefits” before they see “features” – so be careful not to jump into technical stuff before building a business case. This also means you need to prioritize the order in which each benefit appears on your website. Think of your top two buyer personas, the segments that are going to drive 80% of your revenue, and hit their specific pain points with the first benefits you list on your website. Hook them with the highest value problem-solution sets (benefits) and you can always offer a “read more” option for those prospects that are compelled to learn more…frankly, most aren’t. In fact, the priority problem-solution sets should be enough to move the prospect to click on the “get started” or “free trial” button.
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How to Use Video Content to Boost Demand Generation: Product Demos & Storytelling

Marketing, Tech & Web

Video is today’s most effective customer education tool. If you’re selling a SaaS product you need to break down product demos into bite-sized screencasts (no longer than 1 minute) that quickly and clearly reveal just how easy, convenient, pain-reducing, and time-saving your product is. No more long-winded 2000s-era comprehensive demos. In fact, no single video should be longer than five minutes unless it’s being stored in a “resources” section – at that point it’s less about marketing and more about customer success. Pro tip: use animated GIFs to bring text to life.
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9 Questions to Answer Before Automating Your Marketing

Marketing, Tech & Web

If you’re considering a new marketing automation platform, your business is at a point where it needs to scale while raising demand and maintaining high-quality customer relationships. Yet, your business is also unique, which is why I put together this list of nine basic questions you have to answer before you even start speaking with technology vendors.

Get in the driver’s seat: Prepared with answers to these questions you’ll be able to build a strong business case with your CFO and CTO, and get technology vendors to deliver a tailored solution rather than a standard sales pitch.

1) Budget: How much are you willing to spend on a marketing automation platform per year? (the technology acquisition cost, not including consulting or people costs)

2) Campaigns: On average, how many e-mail campaigns will you send out per month?
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Private Cloud Services Reduce Security Risk and Liberate Users

Tech & Web

When you use Google’s “free” services you give up a certain degree of control over the data you push and receive through those services. This is why you’ll see Microsoft take an opportunistic strike at Google with its well planned, multi-channel campaign called Scroogled. Very creative, essentially Microsoft took off their gloves and is now taking strong jabs at the methods Google uses to make revenue by utilizing your personal data. Your personal data is extremely valuable and when you use the internet you give up so much of that data by allowing websites like search engines, cloud e-mail accounts, and social networks to collect, compile, categorize, manipulate, code, and store your usage patterns and information you transact through those websites. Continue reading …

Sony Pictures Databases Hacked, User Account Credentials Exposed Globally

Current Events, Tech & Web

[Jump to update on 6/4/2011, sensitive accounts compromised] Today, Lulz Security (LulzSec) successfully hacked Sony Pictures’ databases using a simple SQL injection by exploiting a basic security gap. Last month LulzSec hacked Sony Music Japan using a SQL injection, soon after another group used the same method to attack Sony BMG Greece! The big deal with today’s hacking of Sony Pictures’ database is that at least 1 million of the 4.5 million records that were discovered in the database hacks contain sensitive user information – we’re talking passwords, e-mail addresses, street addresses and usernames. All this information is currently available to the world right now, and as long as the site stays up it’s on the LulzSec website. Too bad for you if your credentials are in those 4.5 million records – but don’t sit on your hands and wait around for something worse to happen (change your passwords because no one else will help you!).

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Facebook Spreads Virus, Corporate Management: 'Told You So!'

Tech & Web

Facebook Is My Day JobWith over 175 million users Facebook has become an ideal place to proliferate and spread ridiculously potent viruses.  The only solution is to completely block social networking websites from the workplace.  The newest of the viruses is the ‘Koobface‘ worm – it phishes its way onto user computers by getting users to open messages that appear to be sent from their Facebook friends.

Facebook in the Workplace
Facebook users and internet marketers have been pushing, often staunchly, for the privilege to use the social network while at work. Management didn’t really care about the harm to their IT infrastructure, for the most part they worried about the potential (and later observed) decline in productivity associated with allowing access to the website.

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Cause-Specific Websites: The Flood Gates are Open

Nonprofits, Tech & Web

Cause-Specific Social Networking WebsitesA couple weeks back I introduced the new nonprofit social startup Causecast.org. I have since learned of two great websites that put Causecast back in the ‘contender’ category – because they have been around a lot longer and both enjoy a substantial amount of members.

In fact, SocialVibe.com and Ammado.com share many of the same ’causes’ . Both websites provide visitors with a wide selection of nonprofits to follow. SocialVibe wins my vote as the most efficient, usable, and well-designed website. The website allows you to ‘join’ as many causes as you wish – once you join a cause you can contribute to the nonprofit’s SocialVibe community by submitting donations, uploading multimedia (photos, videos), writing in a cause-specific forum, and finally, you can share the nonprofit’s SocialVibe page on other social networks (MySpace, Facebook, etc.). The ‘One Laptop Per Child’ cause has a well-utilized page on SocialVibe.
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Youtube launches 'In My Name' video project for poverty elimination

Nonprofits, Tech & Web

Today, Youtube launches a new philanthopic effort aimed at addressing the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) to end global poverty. Starting today, through November 1st, site visitors throughout the world will be able to submit videos of themselves addressing a local and/or global poverty-related issue.

If executed effectively the ‘In My Name’ project will prove to be one of the most effective povert-related campaigns ever executed, both online and offline. Youtube’s massive reach (estimated 73.5 million per month) is the main reason for the campaign’s inevitable success. Today’s teens and young adults are spending more of their free time online than watching tv and reading magazines – if any youth-focused marketing campaign is to prove effective it must have a substantial online component. The youthful and tech-saavy demographic that accounts for the majority of Youtube’s daily audience is a huge plus on its own.
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