In our philosophy class today, we will be discussing this existential question: What is the opposite of a Genius Bar?
In Jon Stewart’s view, it’s a group of senators attempting to fawn all over Apple CEO Tim Cook, instead of heating him up next to their goat steak and their veal sausages.
It was inevitable, perhaps, that Stewart might have an observation or two about Cook’s odd appearance in front of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. (I say “odd appearance” because he was wearing a tie.)
The “Daily Show” host was most taken by how utterly fanpersonish so many of the senators appeared.
Instead of giving Cook an earful these senators seemed to express: “I want to iF*** you.”
“Apparently there is nothing Apple can do to get us mad at them. They’re dodging taxes. They’ve got suicide prevention nets outside their hell factories,” mused Stewart.
Indeed, as far as … [Read more]
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A celestial conjunction viewed on December 3, 2009: the moon, Venus and Jupiter, captured at the ESO’s VLT observatory at Paranal, Chile.
(Credit: European Southern Observatory)
Triple planetary conjunctions are relatively rare in the night sky, but astronomers are about to be in for a real treat.
The three brightest planets in our solar system as seen from Earth — Jupiter, Mercury, and Venus — will be coming together in the sky, “dancing” around each other over the course of several nights, starting Friday, May 24.
If we’re lucky, we see a triple conjunction once every two years or so. The most recent was in May 2011; the next won’t be until October 2015.
Because the planets in this conjunction are so bright, the dance will be visible to the naked eye, even in densely populated areas. But if you have access to a telescope or binoculars, so much the better.
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Watch the planets dance in a triple conjunction
If you spend any amount of time on digital marketing blogs, you’ve probably noticed by now that content marketing appears to be the “hot promotional strategy” of 2013.
However, what you may not have noticed is that content marketing is more than a fad – it’s a shift in online promotional paradigms that’s here to stay. According to the Content Marketing Institute “2013 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends” report, 86% of B2C companies plan to maintain or increase their content marketing investments throughout the year, with 54% of B2B companies sharing the same opinion.
If your website doesn’t yet have a content marketing strategy, it’s time to create one. Here’s what your plan should include:
Element #1 – A detailed description of your target audience
The first thing you need to know when planning a content marketing campaign is who you’re trying to reach. The better educated you are about your target customers; the more likely it is that you’ll be able to develop content pieces that appeal to them.
Specifically, try to find out your customers’:
Age and gender distribution
Average annual incomes
Belief systems and personal priorities
Online habits and activities
Your website’s analytics data can provide insight into some of these topics, as can customer surveys or simply tracking the behavior of your followers on public social media sites like Twitter.
Element #2 – The content channels you plan to utilize
As you learn more about your target audience, you should be able to get a feel for how they spend their time online. Make note of the social sites on which they’re most active, as these key locations will provide the basis for your content promotion activities.
While you might think that it’s safe to promote your content on Facebook and Twitter and call it a day, you’re always better safe than sorry. If your customer research efforts determine that your target demographic is hardly active at all on Twitter and instead prefers a niche forum for online engagement, it’s better to find this out before you’ve committed to a new Twitter marketing plan!
Element #3 – The content types you’ll produce
Another important component in a good content marketing strategy is a publishing calendar that details the types of content you’ll produce and when you’ll release each individual piece.
As an example, your customer research might indicate that your target audience prefers to share infographics and list type blog posts with others in their networks, compared with videos or long form, editorial-style blog posts. As a result, you could create a publishing calendar that involves releasing one infographic a month and weekly blog posts that periodically utilize the list format.
Keep in mind that consistent engagement is critical when it comes to content marketing success. By deploying content at regular intervals, you’ll expand your brand’s reputation and keep website visitors coming back for more.
Element #4 – The resources needed to create your content
As you’re building your publishing schedule, be careful not to get too ambitious!
If you hate writing, you need to either focus your efforts on the kinds of content you enjoy producing or you need to hire an outsourced writer who’s familiar with your industry. Similarly, if you love writing, but don’t have the time to commit to drafting regular posts, you’ll need to make the same type of decision.
Be honest with yourself. It’s fine to be optimistic about your campaign’s potential outcomes, but leaving yourself without the resources needed to develop high value content pieces will doom your promotional efforts from the start.
Element #5 – A metrics-driven plan for measuring the impact of your campaign
Finally, be clear with yourself about what you want your content marketing campaign to achieve. If you’re going to be investing either your time or your money, it’s important that you have a way to determine whether or not you’re achieving a positive ROI.
Potential goals for your content marketing campaigns include:
More website traffic
Increased brand mentions
New social followers
Viral content shares
More email newsletter subscribers
Whatever general goal type you choose, be sure to create both target milestones and a method for tracking your progress. For example, don’t just say, “I want to increase sales through content marketing.” Instead, say, “I want to acquire 10 new customers each month through content marketing,” and then set up a system (as in, Google Analytics Goals combined with Advanced Traffic Segments) that will allow you to determine exactly which sales can be attributed to your content marketing efforts.
Use the information your tracking program generates to regularly assess the success of your campaigns and to make adjustments as needed. By continually measuring and reevaluating your content marketing initiatives, you’ll position your business well to see improved performance through this powerful promotional strategy.
Do You Have A Content Marketing Strategy?
A mockup of the PS4.
(Credit: Andy Gilleand)
When Sony has a secret up its sleeve, the company loves to tease. If you missed last week’s video enigma, Sony revealed very brief pictures of the mysterious PlayStation 4 hardware, leaving gamers in the dark about what the highly anticipated gaming console will look like.
Luckily, graphics guru Andy Gilleand has the imagination (and skills) to piece together Sony’s puzzle, and created a general conceptual rendering of the PlayStation 4.
While Gilleand’s interpretation will have most Sony purists crying foul, the render does align with the general shape and accents seen in the official teaser videos. It’s widely expected that Sony will finally show off the PlayStation 4 during a company press event at E3 2013 on June 10.
… [Read more]
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Oh, this hurts.
(Credit: Microsoft/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET)
Microsoft isn’t bothering to merely flex its muscles these days.
It’s opening fire in all directions, because what is there to lose? Oh, perhaps money. But apart from that.
So, in a further escalation of hostilities, a new Windows 8 ad sees Microsoft take Siri hostage, tie her up in a chair, and make her tell the truth.
The truth as Microsoft sees it, that is.
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A Craigslist ad is perhaps not the most subtle of ways to go about doing things, and that includes selling your Google Glass.
A photo from the Craigslist ad. Those sure look like Google Glass…
Violating a product’s sale terms is practically a rite of passage, from ripping the safety tag off a mattress to ripping CDs and DVDs. What makes this case unusual is that the Craigslister is clearly trying to make a buck: this pair of Glass, perhaps more valuable because of its rarity on Craigslist, is going for four times the market cost of $1,500.
A Google representative told CNET that the company wants Glass owners to use them as they see fit and that Google doesn’t “plan on bricking any Explorer’s device.”
With photos of the box and bagged Glass, the offering appears to be real. What’s not clear is whether the Glass are functional. This could also be a scam, aiming to reel in someone who just can’t wait for next year’s expected commercial release date for Glass.
… [Read more]
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What will the White House say now?
(Credit: White House Tumblr)
You thought it had been settled, didn’t you?
You’ve been practicing the new pronunciation (or the old one).
And now you’re going to have to think again.
Recently, the White House very presciently decided to open its own non-purple Tumblr account. It took the occasion to declare with seeming finality that GIFs — those very files that so many people find funny — are hard, not soft.
Hard as in hard “g.” Gif like “gift.” Not like “jiffy.”
Some giffers fell in line. Now they will have second thoughts. For the GIF’s creator, Steve Wilhite, begs to jiffer.
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GIF creator: It’s a soft ‘g’, Mr. President