Tag Archive | "huge"

Huge Volume of IoT Data Managed via AI Creates Real Value, Says Oracle VP

“What’s interesting is that IoT has been around for a long time but as companies start to enable it and start to leverage it more and more there’s just huge volumes of data that have to be managed and be able to analyze and be able to execute from,” says John Barcus, Vice President Manufacturing Industries at Oracle. “One of the technologies that is really exciting is this whole concept of AI. It really allows you to use that information and correlate it with a lot of different pieces of information.”

John Barcus, Vice President Manufacturing Industries at Oracle, discusses how technologies such as AI and blockchain are now helping companies manage huge volumes of IoT data in an interview with technology influencer Ronald van Loon:

Companies Are Moving Toward Selling Products as a Service

I think that (manufacturers connecting all the processes digitally) is the way that will differentiate them. It’s really the only way the companies will be able to survive into the future. There are all these business models and it has become significantly more competitive than it has been in the past. Companies have to work faster and they have to be more responsive to what their customer needs are. The only way really of doing that is to connect the various aspects of the business. They can’t work in silos anymore. That really will give you the whole value of the business.

One area that companies are moving away from is selling products. They’re going into selling more services which we’ve actually seen for some time. But what they’re now getting into is these new models where they might be selling products as a service. If you think about how do you sell a product as a service and the ability to support that it is a lot different than it was before. Connecting to that product and being able to anticipate activities, anticipate needs, anticipate failures, and to be able to monitor how it’s performing, how the customers use it and are able to expand on that to be able to provide a better outcome for the customer are important components.

Huge Volume of IoT Data Managed via AI Creates Real Value

What’s interesting is that IoT has been around for a long time but as companies start to enable it and start to leverage it more and more there’s just huge volumes of data that have to be managed and be able to analyze and be able to execute from. One of the technologies that is really exciting is this whole concept of AI. It really allows you to use that information and correlate it with a lot of different pieces of information. You can correlate with the data that might be in your ERP and your MES and other sources of information and actually provide some real value and provide the real outcomes. It can now do some predictions where it would be actually physically impossible for people to do the same type of calculations that they’ve been doing in the past with this huge volume today.

The second area where there seems to be a little hesitation at the moment is around blockchain. But the technology is there and people have been trying to identify how best to use it. Some of the use cases that are coming out now are going to be quite impressive. I think the little bit of a lull was deserved. People who looked at it anticipate a little bit more than what was possible and now they’re really starting to develop some good use cases. I think there’s a lot of opportunities in that area.

Huge Volume of IoT Data Managed via AI Creates Real Value, Says Oracle VP John Barcus

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Facebook Showing Huge Monetization Potential for Non-News Feed Apps

According to Rich Greenfield, media and technology analyst at BTIG, Facebooks is starting to show huge monetization potential for apps that are not the news feed. “The reality is that as you look out more broadly over the next few years Facebook has got a lot of different initiatives that are at the very early stages of monetization,” Greenfield said. “They are just scratching the surface of Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Watch, and IGTV, which is the Instagram video platform.”

Rich Greenfield, media and technology analyst at BTIG recently talked on Bloomberg about newer monetization opportunities on Facebook that may eventually even surpass the core news feed app:

Facebook is Dominating Mobile Time Spent

I think it’s less about this war between Apple and Facebook or YouTube versus Facebook, the reality is Facebook is one of the dominant companies in terms of mobile time spent. Despite all this fear that people are abandoning Facebook or not using its application, the reality is that there is a billion and a half people using Facebook every single day. Not all the other applications, but Facebook itself.

800 Million People Using Facebook Marketplace

There are 800 million people using Facebook Marketplace. I have never used the Marketplace tab and I don’t know anyone who has used the Marketplace tab, but they’re saying there are 800 million people using that Marketplace tab to transact. They actually highlighted cars as becoming a place of real transfer where people buying and selling cars.

There are just so many things that Facebook is doing that are not always obvious to someone in the US. There are places in the world like Indonesia where Facebook Marketplace is the default way that goods are bought and sold. There are really some big differences globally such as the use of Messenger versus iMessage overseas and not all of that is apparent to a US investor.

Huge Monetization Potential for Non-News Feed Apps

The reality is that as you look out more broadly over the next few years Facebook has got a lot of different initiatives that are at the very early stages of monetization. They are just scratching the surface of Messenger, WhatsApp, Facebook Watch, and IGTV, which is the Instagram video platform. These are at the very early stages. What you do see is tremendous engagement across the family of Facebook apps and that creates a big long-term opportunity.

That’s what the Street is excited about, that they are just beginning to give hint of monetization of these things beyond the core news feed.

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Microsoft Announces Huge Price Cut for Azure Cloud Services, Now Just $100 Per Month

Microsoft Azure customers were pleasantly surprised today. The cloud computing company just announced that it has substantially dropped the price for its Azure Standard support to just $ 100 per month, making it the most affordable support package among the big three cloud computing firms.

The price slash of the Azure Standard support, which was previously priced at $ 300 per month, was announced in a post via Microsoft Azure’s website. Despite the drop, however, the company promised an even faster initial response time of 1 hour, which was previously set at 2 hours, for critical cases. The company also promised the continuation of the current package’s feature of unlimited 24/7 technical and billing support for the client’s entire organization.

The price cut is being offered to eligible Azure customers. These are customers who purchased the Azure Standard support package directly from the Azure.com site under the Microsoft Online Subscription Agreement (MOSA).

However, the $ 100 per month offer is not applicable to all regions. For still unspecified reasons, customers based in Germany are apparently not included in the price cut.

Azure’s drastic price reduction for its Standard support could start a price war among the big three players in the cloud computing industry. It is possible that competitors Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as Google Cloud Platform, might be forced to introduce price cuts of their own to make the pricing of their services even more competitive.

At $ 100 per month, the AWS Business plan costs as much as the new Azure Standard support. However, that is only the starting price because clients usually end up paying more for additional charges based on their monthly usage fees.

Meanwhile, Google is charging a higher monthly rate for its standard support at the moment. Basic support costs $ 150 per month and its response time for business critical issues is even slower at 4 hours compared to 1 hour for Azure customers.

[Featured image via Microsoft]

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Facebook Tightens the Noose on Local Marketers and this is a HUGE Mistake

As of this writing Facebook’s stock price is down nearly 4 percent today after its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that Facebook is going to deemphasize news and marketing posts in order to make the social platform more social. This is taking Facebook back to its roots of friends connecting with each other and not so much as a place where news is shared and local businesses promote themselves to whoever followed them.

Local Businesses Made Facebook $ $ $

Unfortunately, it’s local businesses that have made Facebook financially successful beyond even Zuck’s wildest dreams, not individual users. Once Facebook became the platform for communities to communicate Facebook started making money and the platform exploded with new users around the world. If Zuckerberg thinks that Facebook is primarily a place to share baby videos and to view Aunt Jane’s cruise ship photos he’s sadly mistaken. Facebook is much more than that! It is the primary platform in free countries worldwide for community sharing.

Facebook is the Platform for Community Sharing

Where and when is the local Farmers Market? I follow them because I want to stay in the loop and I’ll read the comments like an FAQ to get further details and I may even ask a question myself and it will be answered by someone who is in the know. Where else can this happen if not Facebook?

The local television station just posted a video about a car that crashed into a restaurant that I go to. I’m interested in that and want details. I not only watch the video and follow the link to a related article but I read the comments on Facebook from people who saw the accident. Where else but Facebook?

A bar regularly posts about their happy hour and next music act. I follow the bar to see these posts because I am interested and want their posts to appear in my newsfeed where I will see them, not buried 10 pages deep. The bar owner knows that his bars followers want this information. Because of how effective Facebook is for helping him reach his customers the bar owner pays Facebook to reach other non-followers with posts.

Additionally, the bar owner back in the day spent a lot of money on Facebook to help attract followers in the first place. It’s clearly not fair to the bar owner for Facebook to have taken his money to promote his bars followers to now make the bars posts invisible to most of them. Also, the bars followers want to see the bars posts and if they don’t they will unfollow.

Facebook Friends are NOT More Important than Community Connections

Yes, Facebook will live and die on use by individuals but individuals want to see posts that are relevant from their community, not just their Facebook friends and long lost relatives. Facebook and Zuckerberg must realize that almost everybody has what are commonly known as Facebook Friends, which are people that the person never communicates with in person but they silently like posts and notice updates from on the Facebook platform. There is nothing wrong with a Facebook Friend but those friends who may account for 80% of a persons friends on the platform are not what the platform is truly about.

Facebook is about community connections which may be from your close friends and relatives, your local church group, your local business, your local charity and your local news organizations.

It’s a HUGE Mistake for Facebook to Disconnect it’s Users From Their Communities

I think it is a huge mistake for Facebook to disconnect us from our communities even if their goal is a noble one, connecting us with our friends. Our friends live with us in a community of geography and interests and we all go to the same yoga classes, gyms, bars, restaurants and stores. We help plant trees for charities and provide spare jackets to the homeless.

We connect as a community with Facebook and that makes Facebook important and that’s why businesses invest their marketing dollars on the platform… and that is good.

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Turn the web into a huge keywords generator

Author (displayed on the page): 

Keyword research can be an odd beast. There are loads of places that you can get keyword ideas (hint: Wordtracker is one of them), but a good place to find keywords that are already working well are pages that already exist.

This can be time-consuming, and there’s never been a tool that’s been particularly helpful in terms of dragging out keywords, sorting out how important those keywords are to a web page, and giving detailed competitive information about them.

Until now.

Scout first view

Wordtracker Scout is your one-stop shop for finding high-performing keywords on any web page – so you can look at a page and quickly ascertain what niche the page is targeting with which keywords – and find out what potential those keywords could have for you. You may even spot keywords that the page isn’t directly targeting that might be better than the ones they’re aiming to rank for!

So how does Scout work?

It’s an extension for Chrome, and as soon as you open it out, it starts gathering and showing information not only from the page you’re on, but also from our own database.

Where can I get it?

You can get Scout from http://bit.ly/wordtracker-scout – it’s not in the Chrome store yet, so you’ll need to take some easy steps to install it:

1 – Download the extension and save it to your hard drive (Your browser might give you a message saying something like ‘Apps, extensions and user scripts cannot be added from this website’ – dismiss it, it’s fine, it just means that the file is now in your downloads folder).

2 – Open Chrome, and head to Tools > Extensions or Settings > Extensions.

3 – Make sure you’ve got ‘Developer mode’ checked.

4 – Open your finder/explorer and navigate to where the downloaded file is.

5 – Literally drag your scout file onto the Extensions page.

6 – Click ‘OK’ to confirm installation

7 – erm…

8 – That’s it!

Ok, now what?

Head to your favourite web page and when it’s loaded, just hit the ‘W’ icon.
click the blue icon

For this post, I’m using Wikipedia’s very helpful Guitar page (which ranks #1 in Google for guitar), but you can check out any page.

The first thing you’ll see is a cloud of keywords – green ones are searched by lots of people, and red ones aren’t so heavily searched. All of the keywords in the word cloud are in the Wordtracker database, and we also look at how relevant each keyword is to the page itself, and the bigger the keyword, the more relevant to the page it is (see how guitar is the biggest word here?).

We’ll also show you the top five keywords in terms of relevance to that page (just scroll down a little to see that).

Page Summary

There are three tabs in Scout – Page Summary (which we’ve just seen), Key Words, and Insights.

(PS, if you’re not seeing the little question mark “help” icons, update your extensions in Chrome to see the most up to date version that has them).

Key Words

The Key Words tab tells us which words are most relevant on the page with a score by the side which reflects how important the page publisher feels those keywords are. We can also see what’s in the title, description and header tags, which is where search engines look first to try to establish what a page is about.

Key Words

(this tab tells us which keywords are most important to a page)

Insights

The Insights tab is another helpful view of the data that’s been captured from the page – it’s from the Wordtracker database, and includes a measure of how popularly searched each keyword is (the Volume), how much competition exists for each keyword (IAAT), and our very own bespoke Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI), which shows which keywords have the most potential for success when you optimise a page for them (remember, though, it’s a guide rather than a gospel truth). The higher the KEI, the greater the potential opportunity.

Insights
(this tab gives you a list of up to 50 keywords that a page is using, along with the Wordtracker metrics)

How is this going to help me?

Scout is the only tool in the world that you can use to effectively analyze a web page and find the useful keywords – and you can do this in seconds. Download here, and in less than a minute you can be identifying not only which keywords a page is using, but also which keywords you can target for your own pages.

Understanding what other web pages are doing to achieve their success should be a crucial part of your process – without it there’s a risk that you’re blindly working with just the contents of your own mind (which is going to be brilliant, obviously) but Scout can make you brilliant and informed. That combination is the one that can give you the real edge over your competitors.

Here’s the link to the Scout extension again: please let us know what you think about it. We’ve not finished improving it yet, and if you have any feedback at all – love it, hate it or want an orange one, I want to hear about it. Leave a comment, or drop a line to scout@wordtracker.com.

Update

A few people have come back to us saying that they’re not able to install the extension. It can be mildly confusing, but it’s always possible!. The video below will take you through the simple installation process.

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Email Is Still Huge, And That’s Where People Want To Be Marketed To

Email is thirty years old, and it’s arguably bigger than ever, despite other technological advancements in computing and communication. The number of emails sent per day continues to increase, and there are way more accounts than even Facebook has.

What has been more successful for you in your marketing efforts? Email or social media? Let us know in the comments.

This week, ReadWriteWeb interviewed “father of email,” Ray Tomlinson, who implemented an email system in 1971 on the ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network). The piece cites some stats from the Radicati Group, saying that 144.8 billion emails are sent per day, and the number projected to hit 192.2 billion in 2016. Another stat from the same source: there are currently 3.4 billion email accounts worldwide, and somewhere around 75% of them are actually individual people.

That works out to be over 2.5 billion accounts of individual users. Facebook recently announced that it had hit the 955 million active user milestone, with just 552 million of them accessing it daily.

In the interview, Tomlinson is quoted as saying, “Email has the time difference – that is, you send it now, you read it later – you don’t have to have someone sitting there and ready to respond like you do with instant messaging to make it work and make it effective. You can use instant messaging that way, but if they’re not there, nothing happens, and you gotta remember that there may be a message coming back to you and go back to the IM client and look for the response.”

He also said he expects email to be around for “a good long time,” adding that “We may find that these other forms of communication may be merged with email.”

We are indeed still seeing the merge of other online communication channels with email. For example, earlier this summer, Facebook started listing Facebook email addresses as the default email address for users, as even the world’s largest social network recognizes email’s importance to the communication landscape. Google+ and Twitter have both recently made moves indicating that they are relying more on email for user engagement.

Email is even making its way to Google searches. Last month, Google introduced a new way for you to search your Gmail account right from the Google search box, perhaps enabling users to access old emails when they’re at their most relevant. It’s only in limited trial mode right now, but this could become an important Google feature sometime soon.

In this article, I talked about why this could make email marketing even better for conversions. The point I was trying to make is that it can make marketing messages available perhaps when they’re more relevant to the audience, when they’re actually searching for something that you’re selling. Basically, it adds some search marketing advantage to your email marketing efforts, though perhaps not in a way that’s as visible as straight paid search. But hey, it’s free.

ExactTarget’s Jeff Rohrs said in a piece about email’s 30th anniversary, “In fact, an overwhelming 77 percent of all consumers surveyed prefer to receive promotional messages from companies via email compared to five percent who prefer text messages and four percent who prefer Facebook. Email is also one of the most utilized apps on every smartphone — right up there with the phone, text messaging and the browser itself.”

Emphasis is mine, because those numbers are quite interesting, given how much we see about Facebook marketing these days.

According to a recent study from Experian, email volume rose 10% in the second quarter, compared to the second quarter of last year. This is only a continuation in a trend the firm says it has seen each quarter for the past three years. Open rates were similar to those in Q2 2011. While click rates declined from last year, the pace of that decline slowed. Revenue per email fro multi-channel retailers increased from $ 0.13 to $ 0.14.

According to that study, the average click rate rose for business products and services in Q2.

Business Products and Services

42% of brands, the firm says, enjoyed a “statistically significant” increase.

Is email as effective as it used to be? More? Less? Let us know what you think.


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Huge Google Logo In Florence

Google Country Day - 6 luglio 2011




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The huge untapped potential of Q&A content for SEO

Posted by willcritchlow

Question and answer content has been around on the internet a lot longer than the web. From the early days of usenet (and before that, on prehistoric technologies that came before my time) people have been asking experts for answers. You can’t fail to have noticed, however, that it has resulted in some of the lowest quality content on the web. For far too many questions, the ranking answer is Yahoo! Answers (or similar) that looks as though it was written by someone who found writing YouTube comments too intellectually challenging:

Yahoo answers

Incidentally, note that there is a Yahoo! Answers API which can be a great source of data for keyword research and content inspiration.

There is a clear need and opportunity for this kind of content. Many users search in question format:

What is the longest one syllable word

unfortunately not quite enough to support the venerable Ask Jeeves that encouraged this behaviour

There are clearly a lot of commercially-oriented queries in there. You only have to look at many of the kinds of questions people ask on Twitter to see this:

Tom asking about android phones

You can see the attraction to search engines of indexing Q&A content. While they have made leaps forward in natural language processing, they are still dumb text query engines at heart and having both the question and the answer in plain text on the page clearly supports them in providing efficient answers to many natural language queries.

My favourite example of the right way of doing things is Stackoverflow. If you have ever tried to do anything related to programming, you will have hit annoying issues very early on. At Distilled we have labelled most programming as "copy, paste, swear, fix typo".

If you’re anything like me, RTFM might as well stand for JFGI these days and you will Just Google It(TM) straight away. As soon as you do this (certainly in recent months), odds are you are going to land on Stackoverflow. The answer you find there is likely to be helpful, authoritative and on you go. But how did it get that way? Stackoverflow is clearly good for search engines, but it got that way by being great for users. If anything, the experience of asking a question and getting it answered is even more impressive than just seeing the repository of brilliant answers that already exist.

Easy stackoverflow question answered with patience

Even really annoying basic questions get quick, patient answers

Lessons from Stackoverflow

So what did they do so right?

Avoid many versions of the same question

The issue of multiple almost-identical threads is so prevalent on most Q&A sites that Google has evolved a UX pattern specifically for this:

Multiple yahoo answers

Stackoverflow gets around this with a many-pronged attack:

  • Start with a culture of curation – when users know they are creating a reference, they behave differently to threaded forum discussions
  • Use great power wisely – with curation as a justification, Stackoverflow editors can edit, move, lock or close replies to questions to encourage desirable behaviours
  • Scale curation and editorial – I’ll write more about the gamification, but the increasing site editing ability that comes with the earning of karma enables a small core team to enlist the help of a large passionate team of editors
  • UX hints point people in the right direction – as you start asking a question, similar previous questions appear "google-instant" style encouraging browsing before submitting

Get good answers, fast

From what I’ve read the biggest KPIs for the Stackoverflow team are proportion of questions with accepted answers and the speed of answer. Indeed these are high on the list of metrics to consider before opening a bring q&a site out of beta. I love the data-driven attitude and transparency they show – this is a post about bringing the home improvement forum out of beta:

area51 home improvement beta kpis

It’s interesting to think about how they have designed a site and a community to achieve great results on this front. In my opinion, a large part of it stems from having nailed the incentives – in particular:

Gamification

It’s no secret that people love points, awards and power. The game mechanics built into stackoverflow bring all of these things:

  • Points - with evidence ranging from gathering twitter followers to foursquare points, we see that give people a number and they will work to improve it even without an obvious reward. The setup of stackoverflow rewards both quick answers (high # points / time) in general and correct / insightful answers to hard questions (that get voted up). This nicely aligns with the goal of "good answers, fast"
  • Awards - you get badges (see below) as you complete tasks around the site. These are nice for their own sake – especially if you get access to the rarer ones – but they also bring you:
  • Power - the points and badges you acquire unlock special powers ranging from the ability to rate other people’s answers all the way up to full admin rights to the site with the power to delete, move and edit pretty much anything. This funnel of power aligns user incentives very effectively

Stackoverflow badges screen

I’ve only got a handful of stackoverflow badges so far. Maybe I’m immune to their wily ways?

If you can, build from a passionate community

In the case of Stackoverflow, they built from a bunch of overlapping groups of passionate users (as I understand it, based largely on the personal clout of Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood). In the case of the SEOmoz Q&A forum, it’s obviously benefiting greatly from the community on the blog etc.

If you want to read more about the intersection of Stackoverflow and SEO, they have had a couple of posts about it: one, two and a HN thread.

Great moderation

Stackoverflow solves the moderation problem in one way. Quora is tackling it in a different but fascinating way:

  • A quiz for new users (that wasn’t in place when I joined!) to ensure that everyone registering for the site at least understands the way that the business wants the site to end up structured
  • A whole bunch of product features designed to nudge people towards desired behaviours
  • An encouragement to "think in the Quora way" throughout – see the FAQ for a number of examples

You should want these benefits on your site

We have been doing a lot of thinking about the possibilities in this space – and what happens when you get it right. When Tom was at SEOmoz (before heading to NYC), one of the things he pushed hard was to add many of these features to the Q&A forum:

SEOmoz Q&A forum

Ask an Owner

I have also been working with one of our UK clients, Reevoo, on a new feature they call "Ask an Owner" that enables retailers and manufacturers to allow potential buyers to ask questions of those who already own a product. By allowing those retailers and manufacturers to expose that content to search engines, we hope to access some relatively untapped areas. Reevoo already provide review functionality for many top retailers and brands and they are seeing some phenomenal stats on the new Ask an Owner service in terms of questions being answered, % of good answers etc.

It is amazing how many relatively sensible questions still have no content indexed e.g. "Does the HP probook 4320s support skype video calling?" you can work out the answer from many of the resulting pages if you know what to look for, but wouldn’t it be great if there was a page with that title and body content including something like: "Yes. There is an in-built webcam that works very well in reasonable lighting conditions. As with many laptops, it’s built into the top of the screen which makes for natural conversations as you automatically look roughly at the camera as you speak. The built in microphone is also good enough in quiet conditions. For more serious use, you should consider a stand-alone microphone." That’s the kind of content that should be generated by "ask an owner" style functionality.

If you happen to want to know more about ask an owner and our general views on UGC in retail, you can check out the whitepaper I wrote on the subject (registration required).

Q&A and the investment community

The investment community got all excited about Q&A sites last year and pumped loads of money into Quora and the like. The reasons they got excited are similar to the reasons I believe there is untapped SEO potential here, but I also think there is significant value for many smaller businesses even in things that wouldn’t get investors hot under the collar.


Today is a US holiday and I’m also not in the UK office. As a result I may be slow to jump back into the comments below, but don’t let that stop you sharing your thoughts. I’ll join in when I can!


Hey everyone, this is Casey from the SEOmoz Marketin Team, I thought I would take this time and add some stats from the SEOmoz Q&A Forum. Below are the stats from March 28 to July 3, 2011:

  • Question
    • 4,256 Total public questions asked by 1,941 members.
      • 3591 questions are looking for a specific answer.
      • 665 questions are open discussions.
    • 18 Hours – the average until first answer was received.
    • 2,044 answers marked as helpful.
  • Traffic
    • 1,011,500 pageviews.
    • 5,254 keywords to 2,841 pages.
    • 14,656 unique vistors from serach traffic.
  • Members
    • 2,422 active members in Q&A.
      • 52,722 MozPoints earned.
      • 100 Users earned more than 100 MozPoints

Thanks to all our members who have spent many countless hours in the Q&A Forum answering quesitons for other members! The amount of knowledge that gets shared in there is amazing! 

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