FL | NYC SEO PPC and Internet Marketing Company | Empire Media http://www.ouest-etudiant.com SEO, Social Media Marketing, Web Design and more Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:34:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.5.23 Google Customer Match http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/google-customer-match/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-customer-match Wed, 07 Oct 2015 04:34:16 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=938 Google has remained a pioneer in search not only for the quality of the results they suggest, but also their ability to deliver great products to advertisers. They have just taken another jump forward with that second point by introducing a new concept: Google Customer Match. Customer Match isn’t an entirely original idea, but they way Google is implementing it is sure to shake up the advertising world yet again and demonstrate why Google is still the top dog in advertising.
The basic idea behind Customer Match is that Google is now allowing advertisers to use their internal email lists to condition their ad purchases. For example, if an advertiser has a list of subscribers, it can tweak its ad bids so that its own subscribers never see its ads. That way, they are only paying to advertise to people who are newcomers to the brand’s service.

The concept is very similar to ideas that Facebook and Twitter implemented recently, but Google’s broader reach of services makes it much more effective. Users of Twitter and Facebook are engaged on those platforms, but advertisers there don’t have a reach beyond social media. On the other hand, Google has many different services that hundreds of millions of people use every day. The Customer Match product is available across Youtube, search, and any other Google service that people use. As long as it involves a Google login, Google will allow customers to match Gmail accounts to their advertising bids.

There are a lot of potentially creative ways for advertisers to tap into Customer Match for much better targeting. For example, an advertiser that has a group of subscribers can decide to serve two sets of ads: one for current subscribers and one for non-subscribers. The ads for non-subscribers are designed to attract people to get engaged with the brand, and the ad for subscribers might show off a new product or service that the company is rolling out. These are two very different audiences, so it doesn’t make sense to show them both the same ads. Advertisers could do things that are more advanced as well. For example, they could use their own customer lifetime value model to assign a value for each subscriber or customer for which they have an email address. Then they could scale every ad bid so that the advertiser bids more for more valuable customers. Advertisers could also just use their own internal information about the people behind those email addresses to enhance their targeting. By knowing the gender and purchase history of the account owners, advertisers can set up different ads to serve to different kinds of customers.

It’s a good time to start moving towards individually targeted ads. Customers are less susceptible to advertising than they have been in the past due to overexposure. When people read a site or make a search, they have become accustomed to just ignoring ads of all kinds. To get them back into the habit of seeing that ads can bring them value, ads have to become more closely related to their interests. The great promise of the Internet was being able to reach a huge range of people, and the concept of Big Data has added on the idea that companies can harvest customer data and tap into it for better targeting. Until now, though, the possibility of individually targeted ads on Google was more conceptual than reality. Now, advertisers can actually make use of all the data they have collected, giving them an unprecedented level of control over who sees their ads and whether they can choose to display different ads to different people.

This is a very exciting development. Better ad targeting leads to better outcomes- that’s just common sense. But as ad-blockers and customer attitudes make reaching out with ads harder and harder, advertisers really needed the boost. It remains to be seen how exactly different advertisers will take advantage of their new powers to match ads to email addresses, but the fact that the option exists is enough to inspire all kinds of new ideas. This will allow marketers to concentrate their advertising dollars on campaigns that offer the best ROI simply by focusing on the customer information that they have on hand. Customer Match will be a boon to advertisers, and Google surely has even more ad products in the works for the near future.

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HTML5 Web Design http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/html5-web-design/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=html5-web-design http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/html5-web-design/#respond Thu, 27 Jun 2013 16:18:10 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=879 HTML5 is widely accepted as the new web standard for many browsers and devices, despite the fact that W3C says the language will not be “complete” and standardized until the end of 2014. Because of the wide and enthusiastic adoption across many platform, developers have begun using HTML5 in many of their projects — specifically those that would have required Flash in the past.

With the Adobe’s announcement to discontinue Flash and many devices not supporting it, HTML5 has quickly stepped in as the replacement. With HTML5 replacing the Flash Player, developers are using it on both standard web and mobile projects. One of its most attractive features is that it is completely open and controlled only by a standards committee, rather than by one parent company.

HTML5 vs FlashOne of the most popular features of the new language are the HTML5 video tags. Now, video elements can be styled with CSS rather than in third-party programs or offsite. No more invalid embed elements! Instead, HTML5 incorporates the use of tags such as <video> and <audio> to make including multimedia on a site much easier. Scalable vector graphics also allow responsive design to be more elegant on all of the different screen sizes — and allows designers to breathe a little easier about Apple’s advances in retina display.

Even Adobe endorses HTML5 on mobile browsers. Many designers and developers were concerned about “bad” blood or cross-compatibility issues, but Adobe stays involved with several browsers and even Apple to help the user experience, and have given HTML5 glowing reviews.

Keep in mind that HTML5 is a new territory and must be done properly; this is why we recommend professional web designers with extensive experience in custom website design and development using HTML5. The language itself is several years in the making, but designers and developers have only added it to their arsenal within the last year or two, so it is important to work with someone who is well-versed and has experience in order to use the powerful benefits of HTML5 properly.

In all, the end goal of HTML5 and its predecessors (HTML5.1 has already begun development) are working to make design and programming language much easier. With so many browsers, mobile devices, and languages working in the world today, having a “fully integrated” language is becoming more and more essential. It works to be backwards compatible as well as opening new possibilities for future web developments. It is an exciting and ambitious approach that design and development desperately needs today!

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Do Search Engine Rankings Matter? http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/do-search-engine-rankings-matter/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=do-search-engine-rankings-matter http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/do-search-engine-rankings-matter/#respond Fri, 16 Nov 2012 12:45:28 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=773 Having a website used to be all it took to advance one’s marketing efforts. Establishing a solid web presence meant having a place where customers or clients could visit. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. Thousands of new sites are created everyday, but the vast majority of them are never seen. Save for the owner and a small circle of people around them, the traffic from organic search is absent. What does this mean? In simple terms, it means ranking high in search engine listings is imperative for marketing survival. The statistics don’t lie, and it’s about time we started listening.

SEO: The Key

The term is tossed around nowadays as if everyone is expected to know its meaning. business seo and why rankings matterThis is a good point though, because if you don’t know what search engine optimization is, then your website likely belongs to the mass of unknowns. SEO refers to the means in which a site is optimized for search engine rankings. There are a variety of ways in which this occurs, such as creating on-page and off-page optimized content, as well as link-building efforts. A quality SEO plan will incorporate many elements dedicated to launching a site upwards in page ranks, and the ultimate goal is to secure the coveted 1st spot for all of ones keywords. This requires diligence and constant maintenance, however, as search engines like Google are always changing their algorithms to influence search results.

The trickle effect

To shed some light on the importance of ranking high, it is imperative that we take a look at what search looks like. After an extensive study, Compete.com pulled some valuable data. It was found that 85% of searches are organic, or consumer driven. 53% of organic searchers selected the 1st link. As might be expected, the 2nd through 5th ranked listings received a sharp decrease in click through rates (Search Engine Watch). After this, the amount of traffic was very minimal. This is extremely important, because it demonstrates how valuable position is. The psychological effect of top-down listings makes people want to choose higher ranked pages. It could very well be the fact that the link at the bottom of the 1st page has what a consumer or searcher is looking for, but it will never be discovered due to poor SEO efforts. Regardless if a listing is advertised or organically optimized, it will stand a far greater chance of being selected than its lower ranked competitors.

 

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Google versus Politics http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/google-versus-politics/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=google-versus-politics http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/google-versus-politics/#respond Tue, 13 Nov 2012 11:40:04 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=766 Open up Google and type the words “completely wrong.” Chances are presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s name or a picture of him will show up. To those not knowing better, this might appear shocking. The truth of the matter is that the republican candidate brought this upon himself; but this in no way takes away from the power search engines can have. A few weeks ago, Romney called comments in response to his statement about 47% of American living well at the expense of taxpayers “completely wrong” (TheProvince).

Romney Completely Wrong

This response gained immense popularity at the time, and due to the magic of the web, the search for these words becomes instantly associated with the party member’s name. The kicker is that the results can be found in Google Images. It doesn’t take much to realize the irony in the matter. Ultimately, Romney set himself up for disaster without even knowing it. By promulgating words of defense, the end result has been a major backfire. When it was said, the election was just a couple of days away and it certainly does not look good to see a picture of Romney’s mug with the words “completely wrong” hanging above. Maybe this will serve as a lesson in how (negative) internet marketing works.

Though Google is working to make it more difficult for things like this to happen, they are doing so to prevent unwarranted attacks by those attempting to sabotage search results, it cannot do much to prevent individuals from bombing themselves, as is the case with Romney. We can just simply call this a bad campaign method. Had he been aware of the statistics, he might have chosen his words a bit more wisely. For instance, he probably did not know that Google gets roughly 5 million searches a day (Statisticbrain).

Numbers this high warrant attention, especially given the fact that they continue to climb at astounding rates. Google is the most widely used search engine, and Romney’s advisors should have known what the repercussions were going to be. The search is now viral, and users have made their own personal twist on the matter. The images that show up in the search range from images of Romney’s face to ones bearing catchy captions.

The point to take away from all of this is that search can be used in very good and bad ways. Knowing how to make it work is vital to securing potential viewers (or voters). Romney is not the only one that failed in this arena, as President Bush has his share of bombing in 2003, when the term “miserable failure” became linked to his name. A word of advice for future political candidates: choose your words wisely, because you never know if they will come back to haunt you.

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Would a Facebook search engine ruin Google? http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/would-a-facebook-search-engine-ruin-google/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=would-a-facebook-search-engine-ruin-google http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/would-a-facebook-search-engine-ruin-google/#respond Thu, 11 Oct 2012 12:14:32 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=754 We all know Google and we all know Facebook. Millions of users have pushed these websites to the top, and everything is in harmony with the world. Unless of course one of the big giants decides to start overstepping its boundaries, that is. This could very well be the case, as Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has recently stated that his popular social networking site may be producing a search engine. While the details have not been released, and it would certainly be awhile before such an endeavor will be implemented, the question as to whether Google faces a potential threat has come to mind. Does Facebook have the capabilities to outperform and thus outrank the industry search engine leader? Only time will tell, but here are some thoughts for consideration.

Google search vs Facebook search

Google is not alone

Google has become a household name for most of us. Anyone who’s anyone knows what “Googling” is, aside from those select few people that decide to cut themselves off from the tech world. Although Google has been around for many years and continues to rank highest for search engine queries, it is not the only search engine available. In fact, recent studies have shown that Bing has demonstrated its ability to deliver results to users. In a side-by-side comparison of common searches, the sites ended in almost a match (link – “Users input search terms and then pick the better side without knowing which engine generated those results, five separate times.”). Throwing Facebook into the mix would certainly disrupt the status quo, but the question remains, “to what extent.”

Is Zuckerberg tooting his own horn?

The popularity of Facebook cannot be overestimated. With a billion members and growing, the Harvard grad’s social networking site is a force to be reckoned with. According to Zuckerberg, “‘we’re basically doing 1 billion queries a day and we’re not even trying…’” (TechCrunch). No need to rub it in our faces Mark, or Google’s for that matter. The times are changing and the Internet is no different. To meet the needs of a rapidly moving market, search engines must adapt in order to survive. It has been said that if Facebook were to launch its own search engine tomorrow, although unlikely, it would instantly be in control of ? of the market (Daniweb). Although we believe that ? of the market may be a bit far fetched (just look at AOL and Yahoo search engines), we still foresee an easy conversion from regular Facebook user to searcher. The determining factor as to whether a Facebook search engine would ruin Google lies in the latter’s ability to maintain its support base and produce effective results. That is one of the main reason for Google to introduce Google+; it’s Facebook rival and most recent attempt to engage users in the ultimate Google experience (some other failed Google projects). In the end, a search engine, just as any other business, must be able to meet the needs of its customers (searchers).

 

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Technology & the 2012 Presidential Election between Romney & Obama http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/technology-the-2012-presidential-election-between-romney-obama/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=technology-the-2012-presidential-election-between-romney-obama http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/technology-the-2012-presidential-election-between-romney-obama/#respond Wed, 10 Oct 2012 16:43:00 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=726 Technology-Social-Media-2012-US-Presidential-Election-Obama-vs-Romney

How Technology is Influencing the 2012 Election

Since the inception of the internet, political parties and their members have made use of this venue for promoting their campaigns. The presidential elections have not been immune to this trend, and we are witnessing history in the making with the current one. Although media has long been utilized to promote and disseminate information, the internet is one arena that has the capability to reach millions of people instantaneously. Social networking and mobile applications have allowed candidates to connect to voters in a more direct and personal way, and it seems as if there are no signs of this new found method to be slowing down. The 2012 election is nearing ever sooner, and all eyes are now on Obama and Romney. How technology is being used by these party leaders and what are they doing to influence their voters is an important issue to consider, as it may help us understand what the future holds for technology and politics.

Who has the upper hand?

It is no surprise that Obama is leading the way in using technology as a tool for his campaign. In contrast to Romney, the democratic candidate has shown to be much more involved in this realm. Thinking back to the presidential election of 2008 rings similar bells, as many believe Obama’s use of the famous social networking websites Facebook and Twitter helped him gain a valuable lead over McCain. The goal of connecting and ultimately mobilizing the mass of young people throughout the nation has always been a goal of Obama’s, and via this method and an increasing number today, he has proved to be quite successful. Coined the “tech president” due to his far greater use of technology in contrast to any other before him, appears to be worth more than simply a title. The current electoral year has witnessed his rampant use of Twitter and mobile applications.

While Romney is certainly not in the dark in this area, he has not relied nearly as much on technology to influence his voters as has his rival. In contrast to McCain, however, who seemed to avoid the outlet altogether, Romney’s team has made use of social media by developing an Iphone/Android compatible application. The scope of the app is very limited, though, as its sole purpose is to provide up to date information on who the candidate will select as his VP. While this is an informative way of advancing his campaign and thus a means for him to keep in touch with his voters, it does not seem to be a very effective method for harnessing a campaign trail. Obama, on the other hand, has developed an app that goes to much greater lengths. His app keys voters in on important campaign information and other valuable data. Coupled with his adamant use of direct messaging via Twitter (where he has almost 21 million followers compared to Romney’s 1.5 million), it is clear that Obama views technology as an important means for securing his re-election. In the article, “How the presidential candidates use the web and social media,” (link) we are shown these images that depict the strong contrast between Obama and Romney’s uses:

Social Media - Obama vs Romney

Social Media – Obama vs Romney

Social Media Response - Obama vs Romney via Facebook Twitter YouTube

Social Media Response – Obama vs Romney via Facebook Twitter YouTube

As these images demonstrate, Romney may be working to hold his own from a social media standpoint, but it is Obama who has won this race. How effective these methods will be come November 6 is another story, but it has millions of us wondering. In addition, it should be noted that while Obama is busy writing up Twitter tweets and Facebook posts, he shares his rival’s tendency to not actively engage the purpose of these social media tools. Most of the contact has been a one-way street, which may or may not have a strong influence on either candidate’s chances.

Does technology matter?

At the end of the day, the question worth pondering is whether this social media craze means anything. While we have certainly seen an increased involvement among the younger crowd, which is undoubtedly a very influential voting bloc, it is still up in the air as to how much of an effect technology will have. Is Obama going to win the election simply because his Facebook page has more fans? A glance at the current polls indicates this does not seem to be the case. Among the nation’s registered voters, the candidates are almost tied. Thus, although Romney has had a made a minimal amount of effort to influence his voters via the internet, he is commanding an equal footing. A more important point to consider is the long-term potential that technology holds. It is likely that this upward trend will continue, as social media outlets make for connecting to voters much more easily and effective. Ultimately, however, it appears that these channels are simply that, a means for transmitting messages. It is the message that matters. The internet is one way of getting the message across, but it alone cannot determine who will become our nation’s next president.

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Best Free WordPress Plugins 2012 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/best-free-wordpress-plugins-2012/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-free-wordpress-plugins-2012 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/best-free-wordpress-plugins-2012/#respond Mon, 04 Jun 2012 12:37:30 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=708 If you’ve never heard of WordPress, you better acquaint yourself quickly. It’s not a mandatory skill for most jobs, but keep in mind, as of March 2012, WordPress is on over 60% of websites around the world which makes it the most widely used and popular content management system (CMS) currently in existence. There are approximately 19,707 plugins freely available in the WordPress Plugin Directory which are responsible for 308,645,125 plugin downloads.

These plugins are for everybody even if you’re a newbie that just created a WordPress blog and needs some advice, or you’re a professional that uses WordPress as a business website; or better yet, you’re somewhere in between. Although we love these plugins, you don’t have to download them; don’t worry, we won’t be mad.

A little while back, we published our Top WordPress Plugins post and had much success, including having to add new plugins that were shared by users. This is the follow-up and therefore, does not contain the plugins in the 1st article (check both for a full list). If we’re missing some, please let us know.

Best Free WordPress Plugins in 2012

Adsense Made Easy
Creates a widget that allows you to add Google AdSense to any widget sidebar or area of your theme.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/adsense-made-easy/

Broken Link Checker
Checks your website/blog for broken links (links that go to websites that no longer exist) and missing images then notifies you on the dashboard and via email if any are found. This is great for SEO as broken links lower your website quality score.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/broken-link-checker/

Captcha
Plugin simply asks the visitor to answer a math question to determine whether the visitor is a human being and not a spam robot when posting a comment and when logging into the dashboard.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/captcha/

Category Order
This allows you to easily reorder your categories the way you want via simple drag and drop.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/order-categories/

Comments Switcher
Allows users to comment on your blog using their Facebook credentials instead of having to register to your site. We prefer this one as it allows for integration with the regular commenting system.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/comments-switcher/

Official StatCounter Plugin
Adds the StatCounter tracking code to your blog. We emphasize search engine rankings transparency and this plugin not only shows where a user came from, which search engine was used, but also shows the ranking of the keyword and the page it was linked to on Google.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/official-statcounter-plugin-for-wordpress/

Permalink Finder
Never get a 404 page not found again! If you have restructured or moved your blog, this will find the right post or page.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/permalink-finder/

Post Ratings
Rating system for your WordPress blog’s post and page that shows up on Google search results next to the link.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/post-ratings/

Pricing table
Easily generate pricing tables that actually look good.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pricing-table/

Related Posts Thumbnails
Shows related posts and their thumbnails under each post.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/related-posts-thumbnails/

Social Slider
Links to your social networking sites’ profiles in a box floating at the left side of the screen.
Link: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/social-slider/

Some other plugins can be found at our previous Top WordPress Plugins page, but there are still many other plugins available and we would love to hear your suggestions! Which plugin can’t you survive without?

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Product and How To Video Marketing http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/product-and-how-to-video-marketing/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=product-and-how-to-video-marketing http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/product-and-how-to-video-marketing/#respond Sat, 14 Apr 2012 12:28:05 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=677 Videos Make Marketing Magic

Technology has revolutionized the way businesses interact with customers. Access to Internet-ready devices that include smart phones have fueled the trend towards online digital video advertising. Networking provider Cisco Systems expects that video technologies will be a key element of business to consumer interface. Ninety percent of all Internet traffic will have used videos to aid their buying decisions by the year 2013 according to Cisco.

Snappy video presentations have captured the attention of Internet users ever since these were embedded on websites. Retailers and brand manufacturers have resorted to multimedia solutions in a bid to sell both product and image while educating and entertaining at the same time. The gamble has paid off and some. Video viewership has turned into a key component of the shopping process.

This phenomenon was examined in detail by e-commerce consultant and marketing specialist e-tailing group in conjunction with video producer Invodo.

Without a Doubt, Consumers are Watching

When consumers encounter product videos on websites, they take the time to click and watch 60-percent of the time. While not everyone would always stop to watch all of the time, about 36-percent of those that do have seen five or more videos in the last three months.

Interest in product videos is not limited to any single category. Video viewership was significant for websites dealing in automobiles, electronics, music and videos, toys and games and computer–related products.

Consumers are Viewing and Buying

Product and image videos engage would-be buyers in the decision-making process in such a way that consumers develop confidence in the product as well as in their buying decision. Videos that effectively inform the customer about core features and values of the product are well-received with one out of three customers spending at least three minutes to view helpful how-to videos.

Over 50-percent indicate that product videos bolster confidence in the purchase and decision to buy.

In truth, a well-informed customer is the best kind. About 66 percent of consumers report that videos presenting important product information merit repeat viewings of twice more or over. Interestingly, it was noted that buyers who watched a video to aid their buying decision are 52-percent less likely to return the product for a refund.

As a bonus, 45-percent of those who watched product videos tend to spend more time browsing the website with greater interest in the company. They are also more likely to be repeat customers.

Placement of Video Links

Even with the prevalence of amateur video presentations by real customers, 53-percent of video viewers expressed a preference for professionally rendered digital video. Informational presentations that make the effort to demonstrate and show important product features through simulation are especially valued. Apparently, high quality videos are more successful in encouraging customers to click on the buy button. More than 40 percent feel that professional videos are more reliable sources.

As to what makes the video viewing experience a positive one, 60-percent point to video quality as the top consideration.

It appears that consumers are more interested in the video itself rather than on its placement on the web page but prominent placement counts. Highest viewerships were noted for videos placed on the home page with 51-percent expressing such preference. About 47-percent favor the product page for informational materials. However, retailers have successfully integrated video presentations in other areas including gift centers and customer service pages.

Logically, retailers that clearly mark the clickable link will see higher viewership. About 64-percent of consumers indicate that this is an important consideration for a better buying experience. Thus, retailers who expect to boost sales through video presentations should consider prominent positioning of links as well as multi-placement across pages and other websites.

Placement in Social Networks

Consumers are spending more and more time on social networks proving that these sites have become powerful components of an effective marketing strategy. YouTube reports that as of May 2011, more than 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute. Likewise, Facebook reports similar numbers for both brand-oriented and product-centered presentations.

In terms of product video viewership, YouTube garnered 47-percent of the vote against 39-percent for Facebook.

Impact of Portable Devices

It is apparent that quality product videos are effective marketing tools in that they inform, entertain and round off the buying process. Videos will continue to play an important role in marketing with the proliferation of data-ready portable devices that include smartphones and tablets. Over 60-percent of smartphone users indicate that they have used the device to view product videos. The numbers are similar for tablet owners but it must be noted that tablets have greater potential when it comes to delivering product videos.

In any case, access to product videos at point-of-sale locations will certainly enhance the shopping experience…

 

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History of Social Media http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/history-of-social-media/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=history-of-social-media http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/history-of-social-media/#respond Mon, 02 Apr 2012 11:31:20 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=664 The History of Social Media
Over the last three decades, technology redefined social interaction. Internet connectivity demolished geographical barriers to communication. At the same time, new devices and greater access to more advanced computers and mobile phones certainly accelerated the process of bringing the world together, no matter how disparate the cultures may be.

What is Social Media
Social media refers to all web-based applications and mobile communications technologies that allow users to design and exchange ideas, often in real time. Essentially, social media facilitated the growth of interactive dialogue among communities of users regardless of their physical locations. Social networking services provide a way for users to find one another, then communicate with each other using email and instant messaging.

Social networking has become increasingly pervasive in recent years with smarter mobile devices and more accessible apps. But before there was Apple‘s iPhone and iTunes, Mozilla Firefox, Facebook, Twitter, and Yelp, there was a long history of non-integrated user to Internet experience.

Rise of the BBSs
In the 1970s, Bulletin Board Systems were online meeting rooms for like-minded individuals. Often managed by hobbyists, the central system was accessed through a modem connection for text-only downloads and to post messages for other members. BBSs were typically technology-oriented. Memberships were local because long distance charges applied to modem hook-ups.

CompuServe and Electronic Mail
At about the same time, business computer mainframes relied on CompuServe for communications. The service was expanded to include public access so that members could access current events, share files and exchange ideas in various CompuServe forums. CompuServe did not create email but they were the first to allow wider public access to the service.

America Online Amps it up
AOL began as an online service for downloading games through a proprietary modem that allowed offline access to downloaded media. It evolved to become the Internet of its day providing a platform for member-created communities to interface with each other. Searchable member profiles became the norm in AOL communities. Unlike CompuServe, AOL provided an accessible platform for those who were not tech-savvy, encouraging members to communicate with each other thus becoming the dominant player in the 80s and 90s. In 1997, with their platform came an add-on named AIM which propelled them to even greater heights.

The Internet Spawns a Marketplace
By the 90s, Silicon Valley was incubating the start-ups that would grow to be tech giants. Yahoo and Amazon were in place. Other start-ups focused on mass production and distribution of personal computers (Dell, and others), the device that is largely responsible for entrenching Internet dependence in today’s culture.

Reconnecting with Lost Connections
As Internet connectivity accelerated, interactions became more focused. Rather than seeking out random strangers with tenuous links to one’s interests, family and friends from the past became the object of searches through Classmates. Profiles were searchable and systematically grouped. It was well-received.

SixDegrees was a similar site that encouraged surfing other member profiles and establishing a connection to existing members while soliciting new ones. Spamming issues led to the collapse of SixDegrees but other services were quick to pick up the slack.

Friendster Takes Over
There were many social networking sites in the late 90s, with several of them targeting a specific demographic. However, Friendster stood out because it capitalized on the SixDegrees networking concept. It refined this strategy into the Circle of Friends network where member connections were defined along a path. It garnered three million users in its first year alone.

LinkedIn for Pros
Appealing to a more sedate crowd, LinkedIn was established in 2003 to provide a place for professionals to post their profiles and to create connections with others in and outside their industry. LinkedIn successfully adapted business networking to the Internet, facilitating user interaction with various connections in a more restrained atmosphere, one that prevails even today. However, BranchOut is now attempting to capitalize in using the Facebook network to draw users to their business professional social network.

MySpace Makes its Mark
In 2003, MySpace favored a younger, hipper approach to social networking. The interface was decidedly appealing to young adults who were into music, music videos and funky extras. It picked up disgruntled Friendster users and lorded it over other social networking sites for a while. Changing ownership a few times, Myspace is no longer regarded as the powerhouse it once was.

Facebook Becomes the It Place
In 2004, Facebook began as a social networking site for Harvard and other university students. By 2006, Facebook was opened to public membership and interest skyrocketed immediately. It has about 750 million members worldwide. Being the #2 site worldwide (Google remains #1), talks of the company going public has created an epidemic of individuals being defrauded into buying their stock before it became openly available to the public.

Twitter the Phenomenon
Twitter gave new meaning to concise communications. As a micro-blog that is linked to hand-held devices, it thrives on public interest in real-time updates from celebrities du jour. Many turn to Twitter when they want to know the most up-to-the-second information as it becomes available. In 2011, the Conrad Murray trial had many following it’s progress on Twitter.

Social Media UsageThe World is a Web of Information
Social media has turned communications upside down and inside out. Newer networking sites like Google+ will continue to change the way information is exchanged and acted upon. Networking sites will rise and fall, but the impact of social media on all aspects of modern existence will remain ubiquitous.

Teens to grandparents are using social media for some type of networking. Teens use these outlets to communicate with friends and colleagues while parents use it to “watch” their kids and keep up on current work situations. Lastly, grandparents who are figuring out how to use social media networks and sometimes without even knowing that they are keeping up on social media!? Most use social media to communicate with old friends, see what current friends are doing, and watch the latest celebrity gossip and news in real-time.

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What is Google Play http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/what-is-google-play/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-google-play http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/what-is-google-play/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2012 12:16:30 +0000 http://www.ouest-etudiant.com/?p=659 Here Comes Google Play
As a company which has a corporate name that has entered the global lexicon as a verb that denotes performing a web search, Google has become ubiquitous in today’s technology-driven lifestyles. Google has grown rapidly to become an Internet behemoth, now valued at $169.92 billion. In its quest to systematize the world’s information so that it becomes accessible to everyone, the company recently rolled out Google Play.

Google Play Logo Before and AfterGoogle Play is a New Experience
Google has created the definitive digital entertainment hub in Google Play. This service provides seamless access to books, music, movies, apps and games using the web, Android devices and Google TV. Free and paid content can be downloaded using any of these three platforms. Content is immediately accessible on Web and mobile devices as they are constantly synced.

Google Play will centralize favorite digital content for Android and web users, eventually becoming the one-stop shop for all things digital. Google has ensured a smooth transition for subscribers of the Android Market and Google Music services. Existing apps, music and eBooks in members’ accounts will automatically transfer to Google Play. The Android Market icon will be replaced with a Google Play icon on Android devices.

Google Play Strengthens the Brand
Google honchos considered the Android Market name too restrictive to their efforts to provide an all-encompassing service to a wider market. Rebranding various services into Google Play will emphasize that digital content through Google is accessible through traditional browsers as well as Android devices. All content is stored in Google’s cloud, minimizing gadget storage issues.

Google Play versus iTunes
In essence, Google Play is a conglomeration of previously fragmented Google services into a comprehensive hub, much like Apple’s iTunes Stores that are already established as the source for books, movies, music and apps.

Google Play account holders will pretty much have access to the same services and content that were previously available under the Android Market, Google Marketplace, Google Music and eBooks. Integrating the content in one place will make it easier to access through an Android device or on the web at http://play.google.com (or the “Play” button in the navigation bar).

Google Play on the Nav Bar
Google has co-opted prime real estate on its navigation bar to entice Google users into the Play ecosystem. To make the placement even more prominent, the Play button is tagged with NEW for further emphasis, perhaps as an indication that the company is serious about boosting user interest.

Google Play Products
While Google began the roll out of its new service in early March, not all products are available in all locations at the moment.

As with the Android Market, free apps are available worldwide on Google Play. Paid apps can be accessed in 129 countries only. Available titles exceed the 450,000 mark as of current reports. App reviews in Google Play are now sortable by device and title.

Movies are currently available for rent in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. Movies can be viewed online, downloaded on an Android device or saved and viewed later by utilizing the Google Play Movie app. Rumors are rife that Google will use Play to sell movies to Android users.

Google Play’s library of eBooks are currently available in the US, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. About three million titles are free while thousands are in the pay-per-pay list. The eBooks can be perused offline using the Android app or online on the Play page.

As for music, Google has a large catalog of songs, thousands of which are free to download while the rest can be purchased for minimal fees. As a bonus, Play users can still store 20,000 of their songs in their account at no extra charge.

Google Play is expected to boost Google+, the company’s social network as it becomes easier to share favorites within member circles. In more ways than one, Play is looking like a marketing blockbuster.

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