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Gamification and Rewards Programs Utilizing the IoT Download Slide Deck: ▸ Here Most people haven't heard the word, "gamification," even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is "the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation." Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics - rules, constructs, processes, and methods - into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid Data, discussed how wearables, analytics, and geospatial technologies can be combined to transform the world into the ultimate game board. Organizations can grasp consumer, employee, or client intrinsic interest by setting up cool, collaborative, and rewarding systems using the IoT. Download Slid... (more)

When is Your Small Business Ready for an ERP System?

A common question small business owners ask themselves is when their business is ready to implement an ERP software application that will replace their existing small business software. Fortunately for the small business owner, there are a number of small business ERP software solutions on the market today that serve as a viable replacement for QuickBooks, Peachtree, and other small business accounting software packages. In my experience, there are three telling signs of when a small business is ready to migrate from its existing small business software to a more sophisticated ERP system. First, the small business is operating in a multitude of software packages based on a given department within the organization. Accounting personnel make journal entries in QuickBooks; warehouse managers enter data into Excel; sales representatives use ACT, Goldmine, Salesforce.com,... (more)

Don’t Keep Your Web Visitors Waiting and Guessing

It’s Not Visual. It’s Doesn’t Get Quickly to the Point. It Doesn’t Show How It Can Help When much of the web was experimental and Web surfing was still recreational, it might have been okay to have a website that was creative for its own sake–even when it was unclear about its purpose.  Not so today.  We face three key realities that must shape our thinking about a good versus bad website Websites are our most important marketing tool. They will increasingly replace most traditional marketing.  Therefore, you have to get it right. Your prospective online buyers are pressed for time and won’t waste it trying to figure how they will benefit from what you do.  You have just one chance to influence your prospective buyer.  If they are not impressed, they will mosey on down the Internet. A video company: The website that works poorly Our supplier of video services shall r... (more)

Mobile Coupons & Google Local Business Listings Change Coupon Industry

Local business listings have become a significant local marketing tool that is showing the demise of the traditional yellow pages and equally the traditional coupons. The famous Stars Wars quote comes to mind “This will be a day long remembered. It has seen the end of Kenobi, and will soon see the end of the Rebellion. – Darth Vader” With the onset of mobile devices and mobile applications becoming a more useful tool to the local consumers, we have to wonder how this will affect the traditional coupons that are printed and cut using scissors. The impact we are discussing comes in three forms and we’re not talking about the convenience to the local consumer. The first is the cost reduction for the local business from having to pay for their coupons to be printed and distributed. The cost reduction goes down to $0 (zero)! The second is the impact upon companies whose ... (more)

Daughter of Instant Replay Inventor Launches TenThousandBrightIdeas.com to Gain Exposure for Great Ideas From Around the World

CLEARWATER, Fla., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- The daughter of the inventor of instant replay, which revolutionized sports television, has launched a site to help inventors, businesses and entrepreneurs gain exposure for their great ideas that would otherwise not be acted upon. Laura Betterly, who watched her father invent and then first place instant replay equipment at horse tracks in New York state, realized that tens of thousands of ideas which could change the world weren't being acted on by the people who thought them up. Betterly, using a state of the art Internet tool called a "tag cloud," will showcase up to 10,000 of the world's best ideas on her site aptly named TenThousandBrightIdeas.com (http://www.tenthousandbrightideas.com/). "In the last twelve months I have noticed some great ideas like MillionDollarHomePage.com come out of nowhere, because of the Internet... (more)

Three Generations of SEO (Part II)

This is part II in a series of posts on SEO-driven businesses. Part I is here. I see three generations of SEO optimization in the wild that build upon each other. Below are their distinguishing characteristics. SEO 1.0: human-driven SEO. This is primarily about people tweaking content and linking structure. The main distinguishing characteristic of an SEO 1.0 company is that there are people on staff who spend a portion of their time optimizing content for SEO. The best example is probably About.com, with its 750+ experts and dozens of editors. The experts and editors choose which topics to write on and know how to write to drive rank. They know how to format titles and what words they should avoid and what’s the “right” length of an article, etc. They also know how to build a strong link internal structure, albeit mostly by hand. Our own TechTarget and THCN are pre... (more)

COTO Communications Forms Joint Venture with StratoComm

Alan Townsend, chief executive officer of COTO Communications, said his firm focuses on providing affordable business high-speed Internet services to rural and underserved communities in Florida. StratoComm has been delivering its communications services to developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia with positive results.  StratoComm recently selected COTO Communications as its first U.S. joint venture partner to meet the demand for reasonably priced high-speed Internet access and telephone services underserved communities.  Townsend said COTO and StratoComm’s joint efforts will focus on communities throughout the Southeast corridor of the U.S.  One of COTO’s first target areas is the riverfront community of Edgewater in rural Volusia County. “Many rural communities in the U.S., particularly in Florida, are underserved by the telecommunications industry,” To... (more)

Mark Shapiro Launches Internet Video Magazine on Ulitzer

Mark Shapiro launched today Internet Video Magazine on Ulitzer. Ulitzer content is grouped in 25 distinct subjects from "Aerospace and Defense" to "Travel and Hospitality." Each subject group offers an unlimited number of topics, and each topic may contain thousands of peer-reviewed feature stories, bylined articles, blog posts, news, reviews, commentary, and unique editorial content authored by top experts in their fields. Ulitzer is designed to replace Wikipedia with Its three-dimensional live content offerings and dynamic topic structure. "Facebook established itself as the new and improved tool for Myspace users and Ulitzer will establish itself as the new, much improved, dynamic, and  three dimensional version of Wikipedia with live content," said Fuat Kircaali, founder of Ulitzer, Inc. "Ulitzer is an original and unique tool for readers who seek quality content ... (more)

Top Ten Tips for Advertising Online in a Bad Economy

Content Marketing Journal Tough economic times are forcing many companies to shift their advertising from traditional print and television to less expensive, more efficient online media outlets. However, before companies dive in they should have a clear strategy to make sure they get the best return on their investment. The following tips from AdCommunal Inc., a leading online ad agency network, will help companies large and small as they venture into the world of online advertising.   Top 10 Tips for Advertising Online in a Bad Economy:   1.   Understand your audience. Choose an advertising approach that best suits your goals, and select an agency that can deliver to your goals. 2.   Pay for leads, not impressions or clicks. The best way to do this is through a performance-based program where you pay a set amount per lead generated; regardless of how many times the ad... (more)

Glasgow Web Company Bucks the Recession

Award-winning NSDesign is celebrating 10 years in business with ambitious plans to see the company expand further over the next decade. Managing Director Gary Ennis believes that surviving the original dot.com bust has stood him in good stead for facing the challenges of the year ahead. Speaking at the company’s 10th birthday celebrations Gary paid tribute to the team at NSDesign and told why he believes the firm would continue with its success despite the current recession. He said: “For a small company like NSDesign, reaching a decade in business is a real milestone. I have no doubts whatsoever that our success is down to the dedication of the whole team involved in the business. “When we started up back in 1999 the dot.com bubble was bursting and many companies didn’t survive. I think the reason we did is down to the quality of the service we provide. I think that in t... (more)

Research Confirms Twitter Is Bulls**t

A recent study confirms it: Twitter is the biggest BS of recent years, hyped by the mai stream media but no one understands why they are hyping it. Like Larry King of CNN. This man never touched a computer keyboard, has never seen a web page and yet he plugs his Twitter page every night at 9 PM. HubSpot released its June 2009 State of the Twittersphere (http://bit.ly/SOTblog0609) (Twitter hashtag: #SOTwitter) report, analyzing data from more than 4.5 million Twitter accounts over a nine month period to measure Twitter growth and report statistics on tweets, the Twitter user base and user geography. The study finds that despite obvious growth in the number of Twitter accounts, over nine percent of Twitter users are inactive. While the Wall Street Journal reports that the number of Twitter accounts has grown to 32.1 million from 1.6 million a year ago, the HubSpot State ... (more)