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Patrick Moore

Patrick Moore

Social media and blogging have gone from being an activity you did for just fun and pleasure, to serious business

If you mean business and need to market and/or monetize your company, a title="Why a ‘body of work’ builds trust in your personal brand&quo; hr" ta" re">pe"sonal brand, website, or blog to take advantage of the opportunities the social web has opened up, then you need the right tools, resources, and advice to guide you.

The explosion of websites, apps, tools, and resources online is often confusing. These are some of the resources that I use and recommend that I have found helpful with blogging and social media marketing.

Blogging

WordPress is what I use on my blog and is the #1 global blogging platform that offers flexibility, ease of use and a low-cost starting point. Selecting a WordPress theme is the quickest way to accelerate your blog design without starting from scratch.

 

Themefuse offers a wide range of WordPress themes that can get you up and running in a matter of minutes.

Prices start from $39

Hosting

WebHostingBuzz is the hosting power behind my blog and offers great price performance with excellent global customer service. I highly recommend using WebHosting Buzz for your first site and it will grow with you as your blog traffic increases.

Learn how to set up your first WordPress blog in 5 minutes.

Prices start from $4.95 per month

Social Media

Twitter

Twitter is often underestimated and you need to use tools to help you reach its potential. These are the tools I use and also that I recommend.

  • Socialoomph – Professional Edition: This allows me to do a range of tasks including scheduling, publishing recurring tweets, and auto-follow back which saves me about 40 hours a week.
  • Hootsuite: This is an essential tool for managing Twitter and other social networks by allowing you and your teams to efficiently track conversations and measure campaign results.
  • Tweepi: This is the tool I use to help me build my Twitter followers.
  • Twitterfeed: This tool allows me to share bloggers content I trust without having to manually tweet their latest blog posts. An awesome time-saving tool that adds valuable content to my Twitter stream.
  • TwitterCounter: Allows you to see at a glance how many Twitter followers you have added over the last month or even 6 months.
  • TweetAdder: This enables you to do Twitter marketing and promotion that works within the rules of Twitter

Facebook

Facebook is the largest social network on the planet. Here are some tools and resources to get you going places.

Facebook Tools

ShortStack: This App allows you to create custom Facebook pages without having to be a programmer.

Facebook Training

Facebook Influence by Amy Porterfield: I have learned a lot from her course and it is well structured with a multi-media format including video training, transcripts, summaries and a podcast.

Pinterest

Epreneur TV Pinterest ServicesTehmina Zaman is the brains behind this Pinterest training. She has made a huge difference to my Pinterest page and knows her pinning!

Blogging

ProBloggerDarren Rowse has been one of the leaders in authentic blogging. Here are 6 Workbooks to get you going for the beginner, intermediate and for the advanced.

Email Tools and Resources

AWeber: Are the email marketing and auto-responder that I use for my blog and has a large range of features that can be used by affiliate marketers, bloggers and website owners.

MailChimp: This is an easy to use email marketing platform that is cost-effective and easy to get up and running fast.

Exact Target: They have many features for the email marketer for the more advanced user. Their platform(s) include not just email but social media marketing tools for Facebook. 

Content Marketing

Content Marketing InstituteJoe Pulizzi has put together a focused resource and blog that will keep you on top of your content marketing needs

Hubspot: One of the original and still one of the best inbound marketing software providers and blogs on the planet. Their software helps over 9,000 marketers generate traffic leads and manage their online sales funnel. They were one of the primary inspirations for starting my blog.

Copywriting

Copyblogger: I have referenced this site for years and read it often. The Copyblogger name says it all. It started as website and blog about copywriting. Today it is much more and is a great portal for content marketing, SEO copywriting, email marketing, keyword research, and internet marketing in general.

Search Engine Optimisation

Tools

Google Analytics: This free tool should be loaded onto every website/blog to measure what phrases are currently driving traffic to your site.

 

Google Adwords Keywords Tool: This free tool from Google helps you determine what keywords potential customers are searching for, and the demand level for those words.

Resources

These two sites are where I go to on a regular basis to keep up to date on SEO.

– Search Engine Journal
– Search Engine Land

Product Distribution

When you have created and packaged your online courses and ebooks you need to get some distribution apart from your own website.

Resources

– E-Junkie: They provide a shopping cart and secure system to let you sell your downloadable products such as an eBook or an online course
– Clickbank: Helps you monetise your knowledge and audience and is one of the biggest on the planet

Photos

On a visual web, having striking images and photos are vital. Here are 3 sites that I use.

– Bigstock Photo: This is a paid service but has a huge library with many in high definition.
– Shutterstock: Again you will pay for their images but they have a library of millions of images and photos
– Flickr: This site is what I use to get access to free photos under the creative commons license that allows you to use photos with attribution.

Books

Here are some books that will provide some reading to inspire and educate you along the blogging business journey.

My book Blogging the Smart Way – How to Create and Market a Killer Blog with Social Media is available on Amazon in a Kindle format and is a good place to start.

1. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

Author: Tim Ferriss

This book inspired me to start my blog. I read this book by Tim Ferriss about 5 years ago when the future promise of the web was starting to become very real as social media took hold. Twitter was just starting and Facebook was getting traction. The book promises to take you from the drudgery of the day job to the dream of doing what you love doing and monetizing it on the web.

2. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

Author: Ken Robinson, PhD

Want to learn some of the secrets to taking your life to another level? This book by Ken Robinson I have read more than once. As I was a teacher in a previous life, it resonated with me. It provides an inspiring insight into how finding your passion and combining it with your innate abilities and talents can take life from drudgery to a masterpiece. He calls this intersection ‘The Element’. Included are examples of famous people that have found the element such as Paul McCartney, Richard Branson, and Arianna Huffington.

 

3. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die

Authors: Chip Heath and Dan Heath

This book by Chip Heath and Dan Heath is about ideas. If a book inspires you to write a blog post about it, then you know it has touched you. They outline the 6 Principles of ‘Sticky Ideas’ that I now consider when writing or communicating. What are those six principles?

Simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories.

If you want to improve your communication skills and make your ideas memorable, then this book should not be ignored.

4. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

Author: Stephen King

Stephen King is known more for fiction books than non-fiction. This book is part memoir (for the first 100 pages) and then he reveals in the last 200 pages the basic toolkit for becoming a good or even a great writer.

His passion for writing is obvious and compelling. His life journey is revealing. Three key messages impressed me: the importance of simplicity, starting, and persistence. That is just the start of what you will find between its covers. This book is not just about writing, it is about life.

5. Rework

Authors: Jason Fried and David Hansson

This book is written by Jason Fried and David Hansson who are the founders of 37 Signals which is a very successful software development company (ever heard of the software Basecamp?). What you find is a lot of ideas to rework your business that they have discovered from personal experience. If you are living in the 21st century and want to know how business is being reinvented that works in a knowledge economy then this is worth reading.

Short punchy chapters packed full of cool ideas and inspiration.

6. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

Author: Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek impressed me when I heard him speak. His core message is what makes leaders great and how that leads to companies that succeed and excel. He uses examples (stories) starting with the Wright Brothers, Martin Luther King and Steve Jobs.

Get the ‘Why?’ right and then the fun starts. It’s also about the art of influence.

7. The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly

Author: David Meerman Scott

I must confess I read it more than twice and hence it has a lot of coffee stains. What I loved about this book was its revelations on how to communicate and market in a digital world. I was tired of the old ways of marketing and selling and David Meerman Scott opened up my eyes to a new paradigm. It is about being authentic and talking plainly. It is also social media 101.

This book preceded the launching of my blog but it is woven into its tapestry. It should be sitting in your Kindle book list or parked on your shelf after it has been consumed and underlined.

 

8. The Millionaire Messenger: Make a Difference and a Fortune Sharing Your Advice

Author: Brendon Burchard

Brendon Burchard is like a ‘mini-me’ Tony Robbins. Don’t let that fool you. In this book, he reveals how to monetise your knowledge ten different ways and have fun while doing so while adding value to people’s lives. He provides a glimpse into what he has learned about presenting, writing a book, creating promotional partners (affiliates), promoting seminars, educating online and much more.

If you are an expert or thought leader and you don’t know how to package your ideas and knowledge and sell it, then read this book.

9. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Author: Steven Pressfield

If you want to learn more about the art, the challenges and the processes of the creative sphere then this book is packed full of insights. If you are an artist, writer, musician, business person or you are breathing and have a pulse (doesn’t everything involve being creative?) then read this book. It is about overcoming roadblocks and resistance in life. It is about doing the work that is congruent with your purpose and destiny.

10. Permission Marketing: Turning Strangers Into Friends And Friends Into Customers

Author: Seth Godin

Seth Godin is so visible in the marketing world that he is like a global beacon. I read this book while also reading The New Rules of Marketing and PR. This book flips the model of push marketing to attraction marketing. This book was also instrumental in starting my blogging journey. It is about people giving permission for you to sell to them. I thought that was a cool concept.

Want to see what is important about marketing in a web-centric world. Then read this book.

What about you?

Have you used any of the above tools or resources? What are your favorites?

What tools, resources, online courses, and training would you recommend?

Look forward to your insights and feedback in the comments below.

 Source: This article was published firebrandtalent.com By JEFF BULLAS

The most common sources of data collection in qualitative research are interviews, observations, and review of documents (Creswell, 2009b; Locke, Silverman, & Spirduso, 2010; Marshall & Rossman, 1999). The methodology is planned and pilot-tested before the study. Creswell (2003) places the data-collecting procedures into four categories: observations, interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials. He provides a concise table of the four methods, the options within each type, the advantages of each type, and the limitations of each.

We noted previously that the researcher typically has some type of framework (sub-purposes perhaps) that determines and guides the nature of the data collection. For example, one phase of the research might pertain to the manner in which expert and nonexpert sports performers perceive various aspects of a game. This phase could involve having the athlete describe his or her perceptions of what is taking place in a specific scenario. A second phase of the study might focus on the interactive thought processes and decisions of the two groups of athletes while they are playing. The data for this phase could be obtained from filming them in action and then interviewing them while they are watching their performances on videotape. Still another aspect of the study could be directed at the knowledge structure of the participants, which could be determined by a researcher-constructed instrument.

You should not expect qualitative data collection to be quick. It is time intensive. Collecting good data takes time (Locke, Silverman, & Spirduso, 2010), and quick interviews or short observations are unlikely to help you gain more understanding. If you are doing qualitative research, you must plan to be in the environment for enough time to collect good data and understand the nuance of what is occurring.

Interviews

The interview is undoubtedly the most common source of data in qualitative studies. The person-to-person format is most prevalent, but occasionally group interviews and focus groups are conducted. Interviews range from the highly structured style, in which questions are determined before the interview, to the open-ended, conversational format. In qualitative research, the highly structured format is used primarily to gather sociodemographic information. For the most part, however, interviews are more open-ended and less structured (Merriam, 2001). Frequently, the interviewer asks the same questions of all the participants, but the order of the questions, the exact wording, and the type of follow-up questions may vary considerably.

Being a good interviewer requires skill and experience. We emphasized earlier that the researcher must first establish rapport with the respondents. If the participants do not trust the researcher, they will not open up and describe their true feelings, thoughts, and intentions. Complete rapport is established over time as people get to know and trust one another. An important skill in interviewing is being able to ask questions in such a way that the respondent believes that he or she can talk freely.

Kirk and Miller (1986) described their field research in Peru, where they tried to learn how much urban, lower-middle-class people knew about coca, the organic source of cocaine. Coca is legal and widely available in Peru. In their initial attempts to get the people to tell them about coca, they received the same culturally approved answers from all the respondents. Only after they changed their style to asking less sensitive questions (e.g., “How did you find out you didn’t like coca?”) did the Peruvians open up and elaborate on their knowledge of (and sometimes their personal use of) coca. Kirk and Miller made a good point about asking the right questions and the value of using various approaches. Indeed, this is a basic argument for the validity of qualitative research.

Skillful interviewing takes practice. Ways to develop this skill include videotaping your own performance in conducting an interview, observing experienced interviewers, role-playing, and critiquing peers. It is important that the interviewer appear nonjudgmental. This can be difficult in situations where the interviewee’s views are quite different from those of the interviewer. The interviewer must be alert to both verbal and nonverbal messages and be flexible in rephrasing and pursuing certain lines of questioning. The interviewer must use words that are clear and meaningful to the respondent and must be able to ask questions so that the participant understands what is being asked. Above all, the interviewer has to be a good listener.

The use of a digital recorder is undoubtedly the most common method of recording interview data because it has the obvious advantage of preserving the entire verbal part of the interview for later analysis. Although some respondents may be nervous to talk while being recorded, this uneasiness usually disappears in a short time. The main drawback with recording is the malfunctioning of equipment. This problem is vexing and frustrating when it happens during the interview, but it is devastating when it happens afterward when you are trying to replay and analyze the interview. Certainly, you should have fresh batteries and make sure that the recorder is working properly early in the interview. You should also stop and play back some of the interviews to see whether the person is speaking into the microphone loudly and clearly enough and whether you are getting the data. Some participants (especially children) love to hear themselves speak, so playing back the recording for them can also serve as motivation. Remember, however, that machines can malfunction at any time.

Video recording seems to be the best method because you preserve not only what the person said but also his or her nonverbal behavior. The drawback to using video is that it can be awkward and intrusive. Therefore, it is used infrequently. Taking notes during the interview is another common method. Occasionally note taking is used in addition to recording, primarily when the interviewer wishes to note certain points of emphasis or make additional notations. Taking notes without recording prevents the interviewer from being able to record all that is said. It keeps the interviewer busy, interfering with her or his thoughts and observations while the respondent is talking. In highly structured interviews and when using some types of formal instrument, the interviewer can more easily take notes by checking off items and writing short responses.

The least preferred technique is trying to remember and write down afterward what was said in the interview. The drawbacks are many, and this method is seldom used.

Focus Groups

Another type of qualitative research technique employs interviews on a specific topic with a small group of people, called a focus group. This technique can be efficient because the researcher can gather information about several people in one session. The group is usually homogeneous, such as a group of students, an athletic team, or a group of teachers.

In his 1996 book Focus Groups as Qualitative Research, Morgan discussed the applications of focus groups in social science qualitative research. Patton (2002) argued that focus group interviews might provide quality controls because participants tend to provide checks and balances on one another that can serve to curb false or extreme views. Focus group interviews are usually enjoyable for the participants, and they may be less fearful of being evaluated by the interviewer because of the group setting. The group members get to hear what others in the group have to say, which may stimulate the individuals to rethink their own views.

In the focus group interview, the researcher is not trying to persuade the group to reach consensus. It is an interview. Taking notes can be difficult, but an audio or video recorder may solve that problem. Certain group dynamics such as power struggles and reluctance to state views publicly are limitations of the focus group interview. The number of questions that can be asked in one session is limited. Obviously, the focus group should be used in combination with other data-gathering techniques.

Observation

Observation in qualitative research generally involves spending a prolonged amount of time in the setting. Field notes are taken throughout the observations and are focused on what is seen. Many researchers also record notes to assist in determining what the observed events might mean and to provide help for answering the research questions during subsequent data analysis (Bogdan & Biklen, 2007; Pitney & Parker, 2009). Although some researchers use cameras to record what is occurring at the research site, that method is uncommon and most researchers use field notes to record what has occurred in the setting.

One major drawback to observation methods is obtrusiveness. A stranger with a pad and pencil or a camera is trying to record people’s natural behavior. A keyword here is stranger. The task of a qualitative researcher is to make sure that the participants become accustomed to having the researcher (and, if appropriate, a recording device) around. For example, the researcher may want to visit the site for at least a couple of days before the initial data collection.

In an artificial setting, researchers can use one-way mirrors and observation rooms. In a natural setting, the limitations that stem from the presence of an observer can never be ignored. Locke (1989) observed that most naturalistic field studies are reports of what goes on when a visitor is present. The important question is, How important and limiting is this? Locke suggested ways of suppressing reactivity, such as the visitor’s being in the setting long enough so that he or she is no longer considered a novelty and being as unobtrusive as possible in everything from dress to choice of location in a room.

Other Data-Gathering Methods

Among the many sources of data in qualitative research are self-reports of knowledge and attitude. The researcher can also develop scenarios, in the form of descriptions of situations or actual pictures, that are acted out for participants to observe. The participant then gives her or his interpretation of what is going on in the scenario. The participant’s responses provide her or his perceptions, interpretations, and awareness of the total situation and of the interplay of the actors in the scenario.

Other recording devices include notebooks, narrative field logs, and diaries, in which researchers record their reactions, concerns, and speculations. Printed materials such as course syllabi, team rosters, evaluation reports, participant notes, and photographs of the setting and situations are examples of document data used in qualitative research.

Source: This article was published humankinetics.com By Stephen J. Silverman, EdD

The company’s revamped app and browser extension will block ad tracking networks from companies like Google and Facebook

DuckDuckGo is launching updated versions of its browser extension and mobile app, with the promise of keeping internet users safe from snooping “beyond the search box.”

The company’s flagship product, its privacy-focused search engine, will remain the same, but the revamped extension and app will offer new tools to help users keep their web-browsing as safe and private as possible. These include grade ratings for websites, factoring in their use of encryption and ad tracking networks, and offering summaries of their terms of service (with summaries provided by third-party Terms of Service Didn’t Read). The app and extension are available for FirefoxSafariChromeiOS, and Android.

 

The ability to block ad tracking networks is probably the most important feature here. These networks are used by companies like Google and Facebook to follow users around the web, stitching together their browsing history to create a more accurate profile for targeted advertising. DuckDuckGo says its software will “expose and block” these trackers when it can find them. Although, in the cat and mouse game of advertising vs. privacy tech, it won’t always be able to catch them all.

DuckDuckGo has long been a small fish in a big pond (or should that be a small duck), but its pitch to users continues to prove popular. At the beginning of 2017, it celebrated 10 billion searches since its creation in 2009. This figure now stands at 16 billion — an increase of more than 50 percent in less than a year.

According to DuckDuckGo CEO Gabriel Weinberg, this shows the appetite for privacy online is only getting stronger. And, says Weinberg, the more people that use tools like DuckDuckGo’s, the more tech companies will be forced to reconsider their business model. “We’ll collectively raise the Internet’s privacy grade, ending the widespread use of invasive tracking,” writes Weinberg. It’s ambitious, to say the least.

Source: This article was published theverge.com By James Vincent

Thursday, 18 January 2018 11:42

How Does Local Search Work?

How does local search work? If you’re a small business owner, you probably wish you knew. All that time you’re putting into your product or services, your customer experience, your social media marketing and all the other things you do on a daily business to give customers the best of what you can do — what does it mean if they can’t find you in search?

We are here to help bridge that information gap. We’ll tell you what goes into local search and how you can harness its power for your business.

Let’s start with the ‘why’— specifically, why is local search important?

  • 82% of local searchers follow up offline via an in-store visit, phone call or purchase (TMP / comScore)
  • 74% of internet users perform local searches (Kelsey Group)
  • 61% of local searches result in purchases (TMP / comScore)

Think about that for a moment — three out of four people searching for a business are looking for something in their local area, and almost two out of three local searches result in a purchase. Local search is all about intent to buy. So if you want to catch those potential customers in their moments of need, your business needs to rank in the top of relevant search results.

 

Most people think search is just about the big name search engines (Google, Yahoo!, Bing, etc.) but that’s simply not the case. Discovery of local business through queries happens all over the internet.

Information about your business lives all over the web. Important details like your business name, address, phone number, category, services, hours of operation, and all the other information that matters to someone searching for a business can be found on hundreds of websites.

On average, people are almost three times more likely to discover information about a business on third-party intelligent services like Facebook, Google, Yelp, Foursquare and Citysearch than on the business’s own website. For restaurants, that number jumps up to almost 10 times!

So how does local search work?

In this video, I’m joined by my co-worker, Duane Forrester, VP of industry insights for Yext, who spent years working inside the search engine at Bing. He knows exactly how search works. I personally have spent years, not only as a small business owner but as an agency owner that worked with small businesses — helping them with digital marketing.

Duane and I discuss how search used to work, how search works now, what the future of search will look like, and best of all, what you can do to position your business for the best search engine results.

Source: This article was published smallbiztrends.com By Rev Ciancio

Reddit posts will appear in Bing's search results, and its data will be piped into Power BI for marketers to track brand-related comments.

Microsoft is bringing the self-proclaimed “front page of the internet” to the pages of its search results.

Microsoft has struck a deal with Reddit to pipe data from the social network into Bing’s search results, as well as Power BI’s analytics dashboard, the companies announced on Wednesday.

Now, when people search on Bing, posts published to Reddit may be included in the search results. For example, if a person’s query asks something like “what were the best video games released in 2017,” answers may be sourced from comments left in Reddit’s “gaming” subreddit or topic-specific forum.

 

People will also be able to use Bing to specifically search for content from Reddit. Typing “reddit [subreddit name]” will return a link to that subreddit and a selection of top comments that have been posted to it. And typing “reddit AMAs” will return a collection of popular AMA (“Ask Me Anything”) sessions, which are live question-and-answer forums that people can host on Reddit. Additionally, if people search for the name of a person who has a hosted an AMA on Reddit, a selection of responses from the Q&A session will appear among the non-Reddit results.

In addition to bringing Reddit’s data to Bing users, Microsoft is also opening that data up to brands. Brands will be able to access Reddit data through Microsoft’s Power BI analytics tool, with options to specify the keywords to track and toggle the time frames to examine. As a result, marketers will be able to monitor what people are saying about their brand or competing brands on Reddit and have that information processed using Power BI’s sentiment analysis feature and plotted into data visualizations.

The deal with Microsoft’s Power BI is similar to one that Reddit announced with social marketing platform Sprinklr last week in terms of accessing Reddit data. Brands will be able to see which subreddits they are mentioned on and then buy ads targeted those audiences.

Source: This article was published searchengineland.com By Tim Peterson

Last month’s Brexit referendum taught me something about my social circle: I am Facebook friends with an astonishing number of experts in European politics and foreign economic policy. And here I thought they were mainly old classmates and colleagues. Among my social media circle, there seemed to be unanimous agreement on both the nature of the travesty and the measure of responsibility to be hung on its tinpot ringleaders.

This was the filter bubble: the place you end up when the reinforcing mechanics of web search and social media personalize what you see whether you like it or not.

 

When Guardian editor-in-chief Katharine Viner wrote about social media’s impact on the news last week, the part that jumped out at me was her mention of a well-known Internet activist’s desperate search for online “Leave” celebrations after Brexit. Despite the fact that roughly 52 per cent of voters had chosen this option, no one seemed to be very happy about winning the referendum. The only evidence I saw of anyone actually voting to leave was the story that they were all frantically searching “What is the EU?” within a day of voting to abandon it – a story that turned out to be wildly overblown.

Fast-forward a month, and we’re in the midst of a bizarre GOP convention that itself caps off a circus of a primary campaign. The spectacle is at times so shocking that if you are keen to be outraged online, it’s all that you will see. A moderate on one side ends up looking at a moderate on the other side through the wrong end of a telescope, even if on many issues they are close enough to touch hands.

 

 

The filter bubble deceives us because it promises to give us only what we want while concealing what we don’t. But does it really make good on that promise? What you see is tailored for you by what you’ve seen before, just as your life at any moment is largely the result of your cumulative choices. But does that mean your life in every moment is exactly how you want it to be? Maybe in our browsing, too, we should step out and explore another neighbourhood once in a while.

It’s okay to think that you’re right. Most people do, just as most people think they are as better-than-average drivers, like I am. From time to time, though, it might be beneficial to consider that we’re not quite as right as our news feeds would have us believe.

Source: This article was published news.nationalpost.com By Paul Taunton

The AUC kicked off the first-ever virtual session series at the Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, a conference call with professor Vince Gonzales, who is an investigative journalist, professor of professional practice at the University of South California, and coordinator of the University’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s masters degree programme in …

The AUC kicked off the first-ever virtual session series at the Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, a conference call with professor Vince Gonzales, who is an investigative journalist, professor of professional practice at the University of South California, and coordinator of the University’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s masters degree programme in journalism. He spoke to students about credible news-making on social media. It was a great discussion titled “Critical News-Making for Social Media.” The session was moderated by professor Dr. Hussein Amin, director of the Kamal Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism, and in the presence of guest of honour Mr. Brian A. Shott, press attaché at the US embassy.

 

The interactive session discussed how to maintain credibility, standards, and traditions that make media organisations look great and how traditional media organizations, such as the New York Times and CNN, had to change in the presentation of themselves and in their tone of journalism.

In understanding how to reach audiences, Professor Gonzales focused on how to maintain them and how to get them to deeper content, how to thread each piece of journalism through a complex maze of different sites and applications, which fundamentally changed the way newsrooms operate.

He also explained that the essential nature of journalism has not changed and that it is still about reporting stories, about being balanced, and adding perspective and context to help explain the world. But now it is threaded through a system built for scale, speed, and revenue.

Furthermore, highlighting the integration between the news business and social platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and Google and how those are significantly influencing the direction and practices of journalism.

He also discussed researches that proved that people like to spend more time with longer articles on their cellphones rather than with shorter ones as they need context, perspective, and sources they can trust.

Professor Gonzales emphasised and explained the central role of audience strategists and social platform editors at the United States. On the other hand, the strategy which should be followed by reporters in using social media is to understand the most common traps and knowing what to report to people through giving them the information they need—for example, not to tell them how to vote and for whom but telling them to go to the voting booth and be a responsible citizen.

In his presentation, he also discussed targeting potential audiences and how to drive them to your broadcast, main site, or premier platform, as well as the importance of verification of what you see and read online as a fundamental step during the process of reporting, knowing when a short video can replace graphs and texts, and taking advantage of the thirst for news in breaking situations to reach new audiences.

An open discussion between Professor Vince Gonzales and AUC scholars covered several issues regarding media illiteracy in Egypt and the United States.

He explained the wide-spread belief regarding a strong political bias in the media with various notable newspapers having made endorsements of candidates in the 2016 US presidential elections and to some extent had a significant effect on shaping the voters’ views. There are organisations which now have political point of view, but 10 to 20 years ago these organisations were objective and not part of the political process. Nowadays, there is a shift in perceptions, political stances, and ways people operate in the media.

 

He stressed that it’s perfectly acceptable to create separate accounts for personal and professional uses. Many professionals open two accounts within the same social media site, one for each purpose. However, be aware that just because your students or audiences are connected to you through a professional account only, there is still a chance they could find and view your personal account. Sometimes when reporting on professional account, you get a response from people on your personal one. Unfortunately, when merging both professional and personal social media accounts, the pros and cons need to be considered.

Regarding the emergency law and the publishing of negative news, he said that the press’ watchdog role in monitoring the conduct of government officials is assumed to be vital for democracy. The effectiveness of this watchdog role is less clearly understood. The exact role of journalists is to examine the actions of the government and whether the government attacks them. The role of a journalist in case of emergency is not about attacking the government, but about preventing any violations or malpractices.

On a question about how to balance and promote your story, or in other words your brand, professor Gonzales asserted that they teach their students in the public diplomacy and public relations community how to present the information in a way that make their audience do not feel that they are pushing a certain message on them, but presenting it in the form of a good story.

 

Professor Gonzales replied to a question about the most creative way to cover the visit of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to Washington, that organisations such as CNN would not like it to be a non-traditional coverage; however, if you are just covering what everybody else is covering, that is not news. For example, Jimmy Breslin, one of the most famous columnists, wrote his most famous story by literally stepping away from what his peers were covering. For example, when the media was focusing on president John F. Kennedy’s funeral, Breslin followed Clifton Pollard, the man who dug the assassinated leader’s grave at Arlington National Cemetery, and came out with a better story than anyone else who was just covering the news. He explained that as a journalist, you have to cover the story from a different perspective and find voices which other reporters are ignoring and what deeper reporting you can do to present a very different view to the public.

Another question was raised by professor Dr. Hussein Amin on the use of visualisation in news reporting. Professor Gonzales explained that it is an important tool used in the US in which journalists are able to create their own interactive graphics and add visual components to their reports in order to engage users, to turn paragraphs into an interactive timeline with videos and photos. Some others use sound sites to augment their texts, by adding an audio for users to hear a longer version of the story.

I encourage you to watch the video of this informative presentation and discussion about the credibility of different social media platforms and latest trends in journalism and news reporting.

Source: This article was published dailynewsegypt.com By Marwa Azab

Friday, 19 May 2017 12:10

You’re Being Sold on the Internet

You’ve already read about the big data breaches at the DNC, retail stores, and even tech companies. Yet most people brush it off as if this is just a script for an episode of Mr. Robot or Black Mirror. The scary part is that it’s not. Someone on the Internet is stealing your identity right now, from health records to internet browsing history to credit card information.

We’ve focused quite a bit on security in the past few weeks (see Calum McClelland’s “ IoT Security – Why We Need to be Securing the Internet of Things” series or my summary of “Google’s Infrastructure Security Design Overview”), and we continue with that theme this week.

 

James Scott, a Senior Fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, published a lengthy report on data brokers, next-gen hybrid information warfare, and the terrifying future of our privacy. You can read the original 56-page report or read our key takeaways below.

Information is Power

For years, the brightest minds in Silicon Valley have been accumulating information from consumers to get them to click on ads. Unfortunately, this effort was not regulated at all. Consumers gave up all their privacy and allowed companies to collect all sorts of data, who banked on its potential value for predicting behavior.

As big data analytics and machine learning algorithms continued to advance, organizations who collected data and data brokers who resold that data profited immensely, while largely neglecting to protect the privacy of those individuals. Anyone wishing to buy data can gain access to one’s credit card information, health records, online purchase history, GPS information, and more on the deep web.

The worst part is that consumers often don’t know what privacy rights they are waiving and don’t know when someone buys their personal information online. For example, if you ever signed up for Uber, there is a chance that someone has your hacked username and password.

A mere $10 to buy a stolen Uber account.

Next-Generation of Hybrid Information Warfare

The author of the report goes on to highlight the potential of hackers using this information to target critical infrastructure and high-level figures. If someone with access to all this data has malicious intent, he or she could theoretically wage “information warfare attacks that leverage demographic and psychographic algorithm insights.” Just from the Uber account alone, a hacker may find out travel logs of key personnel and stage an attack using that information.

 

James Scott goes on to say that America lags behind global privacy initiatives. Consumers rarely take time to read the tedious “Terms and Conditions” and data brokers don’t have defined guidelines for data collection and protection. This is in stark contrast to those of the European Union, which has Fair Information Practices written into regulatory standards and laws.

Or $10 to buy the bank details of 10 people

Who are these Data Brokers?

Data brokers collect information from a wide range of streams: government records, tax records, driver’s license, voter registration, census data, survey entries, social media, web browsing activity, email, healthcare forms, and even recreational licenses. The FTC groups data brokers into three categories:

  1. Marketing Products: Perhaps the most well-known, these brokers collect marketing information and analytics to predict consumer behavior.
  2. Risk Mitigation: These brokers sell fraud detection products to banks, government agencies, and others to confirm the identity of individuals.
  3. People Search: As the name suggests, data brokers of this type sell select fields of personal information about people to individual consumers, law enforcement, private investigators, and the media.

Despite the tremendous amount of data that these brokers have, the FTC only enforces data protection measures if the information is used for credit, employment, insurance, or housing purposes. Stronger measures have been proposed in the past (e.g. Data Security and Breach Notification Act to require data brokers to inform consumers of breached data), but all have been killed off by Congress since 2009.

 

Problems

  1. Little Consumer Protection: Most rational consumers understand that they provide some of their demographic and behavioral data in exchange for some service (e.g. search engine, social media, games). However, consumers don’t know how their data is being monetized or who purchases that data.
  2. Data Brokers are Negligent: Data brokers take little measures to encrypt, protect, and track data being breached or sold. It’s easy for cyberattackers to steal this information or even cross-reference multiple databases to crack hasty encryption protocols.
  3. Malicious Attacks: Given how easy it is for cyber-adversaries to either steal or buy insufficiently anonymized data, precision targeted attacks on critical infrastructure executives and organizations aren’t hard to imagine. The report details examples of attacks from China.

Or how about a full database for $800?

Conclusion

The report ends with a summary of how our data is at risk of being stolen and leveraged against us in a new age of information warfare. The author uses an alarmist tone to warn that both the average consumer and American key personnel are “just a victimization case waiting for an adversary.”

While no recommended steps are listed, I hope this spurs a productive dialogue about the need for stronger protection measures on a national level.

Source: This article was published iot-for-all.com By Yitaek Hwang

It only makes sense to start an SEO project by finding the exact keywords related to the products or services you offer.

After all, unless you discover what phrases your specific audience uses in search, you might end up optimizing the site for the wrong keywords.

But here’s the catch: most of those phrases are already highly competitive, with thousands of domains trying to rank for them in the search results.

If you run a small or newer website, breaking through the competition might prove too challenging.

 

In this post, I’ll show you three lesser-used ways to reach beyond your top industry’s keywords to expand your organic reach and increase the search traffic.

#1. Identify Semantically Related Keywords

Although the idea of semantic search has been around for quite a while, not many businesses focus on finding semantically related keywords.

And yet, semantic keywords offer a compelling opportunity for reaching a wider audience and expanding the search visibility.

To fully understand how to use them, though, we need to discuss semantic search first.

So, What is Semantic Search?

Croud.com defines semantic search this way:

“In short, the purpose of semantic search is to go beyond the ‘static’ dictionary meaning of a word or phrase to understand the intent of a searcher’s query within a specific context.”

Take the word “apple”, for example. Someone typing it into a search box might be looking for one of the three things:

  • Fruit
  • The electronics company, the makers of iPhone, iPad, and bunch of other stuff
  • A record label once owned by the Beatles

(Not a surprising search result, given my fondness for certain laptops and portable devices ☺)

 

Using the searcher’s past search history, location, the context of the query, and other data, search engines today can be more precise in their results.

Of course, there’s much more to semantic search than this. 

But What about Semantic Keywords, Then?

Since semantic search looks for the meaning behind a search phrase, it needs terms and phrases closely related to your main keyword that help communicate that meaning.

And that’s the role of semantic keywords, to provide that meaning and help the search engine understand what your content is about.

Using our example above, we already know that the word “apple” might refer to at least three separate things: a fruit, a technology company, or a record label.

So, how does a search engine knows which one your page relates?

You guessed it, by analyzing semantic keywords.

For example, it knows that if you wrote about fruit, your content could include phrases like delicious, grown, trees, cultivars, and much more.

For a technology company, you’d probably include words and phrases like iPhone, iPad, Cupertino, Steve Jobs, innovation, etc.

And that’s where your opportunity to expand the keywords list comes in.

By finding and enriching your content with semantic keywords, you can make it more relevant to specific searches, increase the number of phrases your page could rank for, and position it for a more relevant traffic.

How to Find Semantic Keywords

The process is quite simple. Nick Stoyanov lists four main ways to do it:

  1. Use Google’s instant search
  2. “Searches related to” results
  3. Bold words in SERP results
  4. Keyword research tools
seo keyword strategySEMrush SEO Ideas Tool

I recommend you read his full guide to finding LSI keywords to discover in detail how each of these methods work.

 

#2. Target Your Competitors’ Branded Keywords

Each day, customers look for your competitors’ brands and products online. They type their brand or product name into the search box, eager to learn more about them or even buy their products.

That is exactly the traffic you’d want to attract to your site!

After all, these people are already seeking the products or services you sell. Granted, they are looking for your competition, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t buy from you, provided they learn about you, right?

And that’s the premise behind the second strategy I want to talk about – using your competitors’ branded keywords.

Unlike the semantic keywords method, this one’s a little bit trickier.

You see, if done well, targeting other brands could attract highly-relevant traffic to your site. Sure, these keywords probably have a low click-through rate. Since these people are looking for a specific brand, they aren’t as likely to click on a different one.

Still, they offer a chance to expand your visibility and reach a new, but relevant, audience with almost no effort.

This strategy could also lead to some unpleasant situations, problems with law and legislation, and will immediately put you on the competitors’ radar.

After all, as Evan Cummins says in this article on Wordstream:

“One serious downside to bidding on a competitor’s brand name is that you are basically starting a war. You are openly inviting your competition to bid on your brand name and start poaching some of your potential sales.”

So tread carefully, pick competitors whose brands you want to target wisely, and never cross the line.

#3. Use Trending Words and Hot Topics

Finally, you could also target widely discussed topics in your industry to find relevant keywords with less competition to drive more traffic.

 

Every so often your target audience gets excited about a new hot topic, idea, or a trend.

And they may spend crazy amounts of time searching for information about those topics.

That’s where this strategy comes in.
By knowing what’s hot in your industry right now, you can quickly create content targeting those keywords and position your site for new, relevant phrases.

And the best part is, finding those trending topics isn’t difficult.

Many dedicated tools allow you to monitor industries for trends and topics. For example, Ruzzit helps you scout the web for keywords to find the most popular content.

Reddit, and particularly subreddits relevant to your industry, can deliver great insight into what’s hot for your audience.

Wikipedia Trends and Google Trends allow analyzing the change in particular topic’s popularity.

And monitoring Google News can help you spot any recent developments before other websites catch on them.

By using these techniques and combining them with your traditional keyword research, you’ll earn more traffic to your website and introduce your company to a brand new audience.

What other less- common strategies do you use to increase your online visibility and gain new visitors?

Source: This article was searchenginejournal By Anna Lebedeva

Researchers measured the activity of neurons in people’s brains as the drugs took hold. Photograph: Suresh Muthukumaraswamy

Study records what appears to be the first evidence for mind-opening state experienced by users of LSD, ketamine and psilocybin 

 

Brain scans have revealed the first evidence for what appears to be a heightened state of consciousness in people who took psychedelic drugs in the name of science.

Healthy volunteers who received LSD, ketamine or psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, were found to have more random brain activity than normal while under the influence, according to a study into the effects of the drugs.

 

The shift in brain activity accompanied a host of peculiar sensations that the participants said ranged from floating and finding inner peace, to distortions in time and a conviction that the self was disintegrating.

Researchers at the University of Sussex and Imperial College, London, measured the activity of neurons in people’s brains as the drugs took hold. Similar measurements have shown that when people are asleep or under anaesthetic, their neurons tend to fire in a more predictable way than when they are awake.

“What we find is that under each of these psychedelic compounds, this specific measure of global conscious level goes up, so it moves in the other direction. The neural activity becomes more unpredictable,” said Anil Seth, a professor of neuroscience at the University of Sussex. “Until now, we’ve only ever seen decreases compared to the baseline of the normal waking state.”

Brain activity with (left to right) psilocybin, ketamine and LSD

 Brain activity with (left to right) psilocybin, ketamine and LSD. The red areas indicate higher levels of random brain activity than normal.Photograph: Suresh Muthukumaraswamy

The research, published in the journal Scientific Reports, appears 74 years to the day after the Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman went on the world’s first LSD trip. In one of the most terrifying examples of self experimentation in the annals of science, Hoffman ingested 250 micrograms of lysergic acid and had to be helped home on his bicycle by his lab assistant. After a local doctor reassured Hoffman that he was not about to die, the scientist began to enjoy himself, writing later about fantastic images surging in on him and “exploding in coloured fountains.”The scans found the most notable effects in parts of the brain that are known to be important for perceptions, rather than other roles such as language and movement. And while it is unclear how the change in brain activity affects consciousness, the result is what the scientists expected.

 

“I think people would have the intuitive idea that their experience on psychedelic compounds is a bit more random, a bit less constrained, that there’s a mixing of the senses, and all kinds of connections that are experienced between things that are previously unconnected,” Seth said.

Robin Carhart-Harris, a researcher at Imperial College who took part in the study, said the sudden increase in randomness in brain activity appeared to reflect a deeper and richer conscious state.

“People tend to associate phrases like ‘a higher state of consciousness’ with hippy speak and mystical nonsense. This is potentially the beginning of the demystification, showing its physiological and biological underpinnings,” he said. “Maybe this is a neural signature of the mind opening.”

Beyond confirming what scores of hippies learned more than 40 years ago, the research could help scientists to understand what neural activity corresponds to different levels of consciousness in humans. Another hope is that by understanding how people respond to the drugs, doctors can more accurately predict which patients might benefit from having psychedelic drugs to treat mental disorders, such as depression.

Carhart-Harris was among researchers who published a small trial last year into the use of psilocybin to treat serious depression. The results were promising, but more studies are needed before the compound can be considered for treatment, and the scientists warned people off picking magic mushrooms to treat their condition.

 

 

“The evidence is becoming clear that there is a clinical efficacy with these drugs,” said Seth. “We might be able to measure the effects of LSD in an individual way to predict how someone might respond to it as treatment.”

Source : This article was published theguardian By Ian Sample

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