Is Google Plus Pursuing Social Advertising?

June 30, 2012

Something social this way comes, with a coin changer. Computerworld informs us that “Google+ Looks Poised to Roll Out Social Ads.” We knew this day would come, didn’t we? Writer Cameron Scott got a clue that the time may be upon us when he saw a Google+ job listing for a social ads launch marketing manager. The write up reveals:

“Google+ does not currently include any advertising. The company does deliver personalized advertising to users across its properties. Social advertising, however, generally refers to ads that are served to users based on their social contacts’ activities on Google+.

“Google will apparently first look to introduce the B2B ‘social features to businesses worldwide,’ according to the posted job description. The marketing manager will also help determine how Google will talk about the advertising at launch, focusing on ‘core features,’ ‘social ads’ and ‘analytics and platforms,’ the job listing indicates.”

Professionals in the field whom Scott interviewed speculated about how such business to business social advertising might work. Companies might pay for professional purchasers to click on “plus one” buttons all day. Ads might also look much like those seen on Facebook. It is unknown whether this marketing would be pushed on only the Google+ platform or spread across the Web. I’d bet on the latter.

Cynthia Murrell, June 30, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

SEO Tools Straight from Google

June 30, 2012

Here’s a useful list of tools one can use to dupe Google, at Search Engine Journal’s “55 SEO Productivity Tools We Use at Single Grain.” Notice that a number of tools are from Google itself. In fact, the number one item comes free, direct from the search giant. Single Grain‘s list specifies:

“Tool #1 – Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool

“Although the free Keyword Research Tool offered by Google’s Adwords doesn’t offer as many features as standalone SEO programs offer, this resource is a great option for checking general search, competition, and CPC metrics on the fly.  Be sure to check out the feature that allows you to brainstorm keywords by URL in order to uncover the keywords your competitors may be targeting!”

So, Google encourages gaming its system? It sure seems that way. Here’s another example, further down the list:

“Tool #6 – Google Correlate

“One final Google tool to take a look at is Google Correlate, which will help you determine if trends that exist in your target keywords’ search volume variation correspond with trends in the real world.  This can be especially helpful when understanding unexpected SEO behavior or when predicting the potential variability of search volume for future projects.”

These are just a couple of the numerous Googley items in the extensive account. Why is Google making it easier for search engine optimizers? We thought they brought in the Panda to make gaming their algorithm more difficult. Is it just us, or is the company is sending mixed signals?

Cynthia Murrell, June 30, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

Does Modern Life Keep Us Addicted to Stress?

June 30, 2012

Dopamine. That chemical is at the root of the problem described in the Pacific Standard’s “Manic Nation: Dr. Peter Whybrow Says We’re Addicted to Stress.” When you think of crazy entrepreneurs and MBAs, boy does this guy have a fresh angle on their behavior.

Dr. Whybrow, director of UCLA’s Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, has been applying behavioral neuroscience to social issues for 14 years. Reporter Mary Fischer interviewed Whybrow about the ways our brains deal with modern reality. It is an intriguing read, and I recommend checking it out. Fischer writes:

“‘The computer is electronic cocaine for many people,’ says Whybrow. ‘Our brains are wired for finding immediate reward. With technology, novelty is the reward. You essentially become addicted to novelty.’ We can’t stop because the brain has no built-in braking system. With most natural constraints gone, all we’ve got left is our own intelligence and the internal regulatory system in the frontal cortex, the most recent evolutionary addition to the brain. This ‘executive brain’ regulates impulse control and reasoning. But, Whybrow notes, ‘despite our superior intelligence, we remain driven by our ancient desires.’”

Ancient desires like the yearning to catch dinner, or to avoid becoming dinner. Our brains evolved to reward such accomplishments with a shot of dopamine. Unfortunately, this desert comes with a side of flight-or-flight response. This heightened state of anxiety was once appropriate to our stressful situations, which tended to be life-or-death matters. They also tended to end conclusively, allowing our minds and bodies to recover from the stress. Now, though, our stressful situations can continue perpetually, especially if we make no effort to counter their influence. This sustained stress, to put it mildly, is very bad for us.

How does Whybrow reduce his own stress? By actively choosing when he will interact with his electronic devices and the people on the other ends of them. He refuses to work at home, and he only checks his email once a day on weekends. That may sound crazy to many of us, but it may be that Whybrow has the key to staying sane.

Cynthia Murrell, June 30, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

Is the Internet Entering a New Phrase? Er, Phase?

June 29, 2012

Akamai CEO Paul Sagan has declared that the ability to instantly deliver online is now make-or-break for businesses, ZDNet reports in “Akamai CEO: We’re Entering ‘Instant Internet’ Phase.” The executive shared his views at the recent GigaOm Structure 2012. The article reports:

“‘We’re about to enter a phase where we talk about the instant Internet,’ said Sagan, explaining we started with being extremely patient (on dial-up connectivity) with successive improvements over time.

“If you want to be competitive, Sagan warned, basically you must deliver on this concept or your business doesn’t have a chance.

“‘It creates big thresholds of challenge for us to deliver that experience,’ Sagan acknowledged. ‘We are promising our customers that we will deliver any content anywhere, anytime.’

“Sagan added security is the other catch here as ‘the bad guys are moving in.’”

All true, and important for companies to keep in mind. However, do these developments represent a whole new phase in the life of the Internet? I think not. Becoming faster and more popular is growth, not a shift.

Akamai‘s cloud platform helps clients build their online business presence while emphasizing security. The company’s data management technology is rooted in a challenge issued among MIT professors in 1995. The company grew from solutions to this challenge, and launched in 1999. Akamai is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and has offices worldwide.

Cynthia Murrell, June XX, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

IBM Combines and Expands Decision Management Tools

June 29, 2012

IBM has been working hard to build its technology treasure trove; it has acquired over 30 companies, captured hundreds of analytics patents, and made deals with over 27,000 business partners. Now Yahoo Finance reveals, “IBM Launches New Class of Analytics Software to Improve Decision Making.” So, it appears that after many acquisitions, we now have a new “class” of analytics. How can this be?

The recent release of IBM’s Operational Decision Management software combines the company’s Analytical and Operational Decision Management tools. The combination, the press release asserts, empowers the software to accurately suggest the next best action to its users and their employees. The write up emphasizes:

“In a single platform, IBM has combined the power of business rules, predictive analytics and optimization techniques through intuitive interfaces that allow users to focus on specific business problems.  The resulting decision can be consumed by existing pre-packaged or custom-built applications, including many applications on the mainframe. The platform also takes advantage of IBM InfoSphere Streams technology where big data can be analyzed and shared in motion, providing real-time decision making in environments where thousands of decisions can be made every second.”

IBM also added a new social network analytics feature which expands sentiment analysis capabilities. See the write up and other links above for more information on the software. We agree that these developments may be a welcome evolution. A whole new class of analytics, though? That may be a bit much.

Cynthia Murrell, June 29, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

Overcoming Common Challenges with a SharePoint Implementation

June 29, 2012

DachisGroup.com recently posted, “SharePoint 2010: Why after 2 Years is it Still so Hard?” The author points out that SharePoint has grown exponentially, gaining 125 million licenses in just over two years, but some users are still baffled thus stunting some adoption of the platform. The author explains,

Unfortunately, despite its ubiquity, SharePoint suffers from a host of worst practices for adoption.  In “Taking your SharePoint Implementation to the Next Level”, we discussed the reality that organizations have to stick with, and make SharePoint work, but that enterprise decision-making is focused incorrectly. There is too much focus on the needs of implementers which results in a punishing user experience that sabotages adoption.

The author argues that a user centered approach is needed to improve SharePoint implementations, and, in the article, a series of Webinars and blog posts focused on overcoming some of the common challenges of a SharePoint implementation is announced. It may be worth the bookmark if you are considering an implementation or are experiencing user adoption issues.

Asking the right questions will help ensure that limited project resources are spent on the key aspects rather than unnecessary functionalities that will only complicate the system. A third party solution, like Fabasoft Mindbreeze, can also help you connect the dots in your SharePoint adoption. Mindbreeze’s intuitiveness means less training required. They also have tutorials and wikis that are easy to use and more efficient. Here you can browse Mindbreeze’s support tools for users, including videos, FAQs, wikis, and other training options. Check out the full suite of solutions at Fabasoft Mindbreeze.

Philip West, June 29, 2012

Sponsored by Pandia.com

User Friendly Tools from Q-Sensei

June 29, 2012

Q-Sensei puts ease-of-use front and center with its latest announcement. Melodika.net reports, “Q-Sensei Announces First Set of Data Visualization Modules and Dashboard Page for Q-Sensei Enterprise.” The new tools help users get the most out of Q-Sensei Enterprise 2.0, a platform that pulls together data from a myriad of sources. The write up tells us:

“The visualization tools help end-users graphically understand and digest the unified data set. The dashboard page serves as a personalized portal of visual displays of user-relevant and user-defined data.”

“Graphs automatically provide dynamic ‘zooming’ for micro-level details on the data attributes straight from data points on the graphs. . . . Each user can select from a variety of visualization options to suit his/her needs — line, scatter or bar graphs on time-series analyses as well as quick-settings for one-, two- and three-year trending time frames.”

The story includes links to screenshots from the application: one showcasing the visualization tools and a shot of the dashboard.

Q-Sensei emphasizes multi-dimensional search, which it defines as combining full-text and dynamic faceted search with real-time content analysis. The award-winning company was created in 2007 with the merger of the German Lalisio and the American QUASM, and now has offices in both Brooklyn and Erfurt, Germany. Q-Sensei vows that its solutions make it easy to find what you need, even if you don’t have the proper keywords at your fingertips.

Cynthia Murrell, June 29, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

Data Management Solutions for Modular Architectures Needed

June 29, 2012

As an increasing number of companies implement data-heavy Modular Architectures for their product families, computer-aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) suppliers such as Modular Management are enhancing their solutions to support such complex systems.

The challenge in designing CAD and PLM systems that effectively integrate with Modular Architectures is discussed in Jakob Asell and Scott Jiran’s article “Modular Architecture is Gaining Focus among CAD and PLM Tools” that recently appeared on the Web site MCADCafe:

“There is a variety of information that must be monitored and manipulated in order to effectively deploy Modular Architecture for a product family.  The range of the product family is described in terms of the configurations of specific module variants.  This can be a static definition or one that is created dynamically at the point of sale.  Similarly, the product forecasts and actual demand need to be translated into a supply plan for the modules.  As a product family is launched to the market in waves, the development of modules’ variants needs to be closely coordinated to match the schedule.”

Inforbix is among those PLM developers up to challenge of providing cloud-based, customized, and scalable data management solutions that will enable its clients to easily find, reuse, and share product data, regardless of its complexity.

Tonya Weikel, June 29, 2012

Open Source BI Alternatives

June 29, 2012

Datamation has published a useful list, “50 Open Source Replacements for Proprietary Business Intelligence Software.” Writer Cynthia Harvey notes that recently, CIO’s responding to a Gartner survey cited BI and analytics as their top tech priority for this calendar year. That could mean paying big bucks for proprietary software, or it could mean choosing from a crop of open source options. The article notes:

“As the market for business intelligence solutions continues to grow, the open source community is responding with a growing number of applications designed to help companies store and analyze key business data. In fact, many of the best tools in the field are available under an open source license. And enterprises that need commercial support or other services will find many options available.”

The roster focuses on solutions that can directly replace existing proprietary tools. It lists spreadsheets; complete business intelligence platforms; data warehouses and databases; data mining and reporting tools; and enterprise resource planning suites with built-in business intelligence capabilities. It is a good list to keep for reference when it is time to add, expand, or upgrade BI capability.

But wait a second– we thought Datamation was a “real” news operation. With this list, it seems to be in the library vertical file business. Hmm.

Cynthia Murrell, June XX, 2012

Sponsored by PolySpot

Semantic Technology with a Reverse Twist

June 29, 2012

Semantic technology just got a little twisted, but not in a bad way. RolfROLLE explains multiple ways to look at semantics in his blog, ‘RECON 2012 Keynote: The Case for Semantics-Based Methods in Reverse Engineering’ on OpenRCE.org.

A bit of insight into Rolf’s view:

“The goal of my RECON 2012 keynote speech was to introduce methods in academic program analysis and demonstrate — intuitively, without drawing too much on formalism — how they can be used to solve practical problems that are interesting to industrial researchers in the real world. Given that it was the keynote speech, and my goal of making the material as accessible as possible, I attempted to make my points with pictures instead of dense technical explanations.”

The method behind the madness can be found in Rolf’s PDF Semantic based Methods, where he fine tunes his opinions with graphs and examples for visual aid. The presentation introduces a binary program analysis, as opposed to mathematical monograph and clarifies the difference between Semantics and Syntactic.

Setting mathematical equations aside and simplifying the results in layman’s terms shows us that semantic methods move slower, but are by far more detailed than syntactic methods. By providing the completeness of phase semantics, the referenced work strives to prove the correctness of trace semantics. When reflecting on the concept overall, it indeed shows semantic technology with an interesting new twist.

Jennifer Shockley, June 29, 2012

Sponsored by IKANOW

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