Land claims ‘could be settled by 2011’

first_img“We have to note that these outstanding claims are difficult to settle as a result of the nature of the challenges that affects the claims, such as opposition from some of the land owners who are disputing the validity of the claims, exorbitant land prices, claims that have been referred to the land claims court, family disputes, as well as boundary disputes involving traditional leaders,” Mphela explained. “This has benefited 289 937 households and about 1.4-million individuals across the country,” Mphela told a media briefing in Polokwane in Limpopo province this week, adding that by the end of June the government had allocated over R16-billion for all settled land claims. Since its establishment in 1994, South Africa’s Commission on Restitution of Land Rights has settled 74 808 out of 79 696 land claims lodged at a cost of R16-billion. Acting chief land claims commissioner Blessing Mphela says all outstanding claims could be settled by 2011. “For land to be productive, it requires the full participation of relevant role players from the public and private sector,” Mphela said. “If the processes are not aligned, including the alignment of white agriculture and emerging black farmers, then we will have a problem.” While earlier indicating that it would take at least another five years to settle the outstanding claims, Mphela this week said that the commission was committed to settling the remaining 4 888 outstanding claims by 2011. He said that in June alone, 2 621 households had received back 81 050 hectares of land worth R186-million as part of the commission’s efforts to fast track the delivery of land in commemoration of the 95th anniversary of the promulgation of the Native Land Act of 1913. The Land Claims Commission was initially given a 2005 deadline to settle all the claims, but the deadline was initially extended to December 2008, and now to 2011. In addition, the commission has asked Cabinet for an additional R18-billion to settle the outstanding claims, while also urging the Department of Agriculture to have a mechanism that links new land owners to all services and infrastructure available to larger commercial farmers.center_img Source: BuaNews “The dual role of investigating and settling claims on the one hand, and providing development support on the other hand coupled with the nature of challenges that we have encountered along the way, has had a negative impact on the commission’s ability to finalise the settlement of restitution claims within the timeframe earmarked initially for that purpose,” he said. 1 August 2008 He said one of the challenges encountered in providing settlement support relates to the issue of governance and institutional support from other government structures. Development support He pointed out that the commission had stepped in to fulfil the function of the beleaguered Land Bank in providing post-settlement support to emerging farmers had resulted in the commission’s resources being thinly spread.last_img read more

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The argot of the aces: Common terms for the big data enthusiast

first_imgReadWrite Sponsors Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Small Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Follow the Puckcenter_img Big data is loaded with big words. Having a good grasp of common data terms helps you not only understand, but also join in and influence conversations around data initiatives. Check out vital discussions around data evolution and revolution at www.datamakespossible.com.Okay, let’s get started and demystify some terms you’ve heard before and introduce a couple that may be brand new.Data scientist Combining equal parts of science, business, and art, the Data Scientist uses knowledge of algorithms, tools, and processes to extract some value out of data. A data scientist will often run machine learning or artificial intelligence to mine, group, or analyze data sets. Heteroscedasticity and heteroscedastic data HeteroWHAT? This may be a new term for you, so let’s walk through a very basic example of what this means. Some data is constant and never changes. Yesterday’s weblogs are a constant. Until we invent time travel, you won’t be able to go back and change what someone did yesterday. The next level of complexity for data is linear. A queue or voicemail is an example of linear growth. If one worker can process ten messages per hour, then we’d need five workers to handle 50 messages per hour. Data that grows in quadratic fashion would grow at 4x (or greater) the rate. An example of this might be social media. When you write a post, 4, 10, 100, or even millions of people may read it. Those people may share your post, comment on it, or otherwise generate some metadata that changes every second. This is where we start getting into heteroscedasticity. It’s defined by high velocity (it moves and changes quickly) with high variability (i.e. no easy way to predict who comments, shares and likes a post, or what the speed of response will be).Another great analogy is cooking. When cooking a meal, we’re combining ingredients in different ways to try to create something that’s (hopefully) delicious. As anyone who’s tried to cook knows, any number of small changes—adding a little salt, cooking for 2 minutes too long, chopping the tomatoes too large or small—can have a profound impact on the outcome and to the convergence of the final recipe for that signature dish. Even if you’ve never used this term before, heteroscedasticity is something you’ll run into more and more with industrial IoT workloads. This is especially true when dealing with high-velocity data (like streaming), or frequently when dealing with unstructured, rapidly changing data like HTML pages that the Google web crawler traverses.Janet George, Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, Western DigitalMachine learning Machine Learning (ML) is a field of computer science that enables computers to recognize and extract patterns from raw data through rigorous training of data models. ML enables “the three C’s of big data” — classification, clustering, and collaborative filtering. Classification is the problem of identifying to which set of categories/ sub-categories or population/sub-population a new pattern belongs to training sets of data that contain that pattern or instances where the category is already identified and known. For example, classification might involve training an algorithm to say, recognize tumors in a set of MRI scans, then asking the algorithm to identify other scans that have tumors. Clustering involves grouping raw data points into sets or “clusters”. An example here might be an ML algorithm that runs over web logs in real time, grouping valid traffic (to allow) in one category and possible attacks (to block) in another. Collaborative filtering is just a fancy word for “recommendations.” An example is determining and displaying products that show some affinity with each other. Much of what we do in ML is called “shallow learning.” Deep learning is usually a component in true Artificial Intelligence. Artificial intelligence Artificial Intelligence (AI) encompasses and expands on ML by providing computers with the ability to perform a deep cognitive analysis. Whereas ML typically involves some sort of initial human intervention in the way of algorithm creation, tuning, or training (like feeding scans of tumors to the computer), AI enables the computer to select, tune, and train itself to perform some specific function. Ultimately AI uses deep learning to emulate human decision-making and learning processes.You might not realize it, but, AI is probably part of your daily life.  More on this in the NLP definition below.Virtual reality Virtual Reality (VR) allows users to step into virtual worlds that look and sound completely different from their physical surroundings. VR enables entertainment experiences like virtual roller coasters, but also has significant commercial applications. VR typically requires a digital display headset. Augmented reality Augmented Reality (AR) strives to overlay digital artifacts on top of the real world, enabling interaction. Recently, AR has become widely successful with the popularity of gameplay apps. Natural language processing Natural Language Processing (NLP) allows computers to parse and understand written or spoken human language. If you talk to your phone or home, you probably have experienced NLP. NLP is a great place to explain the difference between deep and shallow learning. First generation NLP (shallow learning) focused on breaking a sentence up into tokens (words), and then applying some rules to the tokens. Today’s deep learning NLP, however, looks at the whole context of a statement and reasons out the true meaning. Imagine a written web review. Shallow learning would simply look at a limited number of data tokens like “number of review rating stars” and basic “sentiment analysis.” This may involve counting the number of positive vs. negative words. These data points are fed through an often-brittle set of rules to arrive at a conclusion about whether the review was positive or negative. A deep learning engine applies more intelligence to this analysis—almost like what a human might surmise if they read the same review. For example, if a review had lots of “positive,” like five-star ratings, good positive to negative count ratio, etc., a shallow NLP engine might conclude it was a positive review. A deep learning NLP engine, however, might interpret (as a human would) that the review was actually negative upon reading “I will never buy this product again.” That sentence alone negates any positive sentiments a user may have provided. Image recognition Image recognition gives computers the ability to suss meaning out of a simple visual image. It is frequently bundled in a provider’s ML or AI offerings (along with NLP). Image recognition allows computers to identify objects like written language using Optical Character Recognition or OCR (text in billboards), tag objects (like “mountain”, “tree”, “car”, “skyscraper”) and even perform facial analysis (like drawing bounding boxes around faces). Image recognition is currently being taken to a whole new level by the automotive industry with their application of facial analysis to detect and alert drivers who may be feeling fatigued.Structured, unstructured, semi-structured data Historically, much of the data we worked with was heavily structured. This means it fit nicely into a row / column format (like databases). As a result, many computer systems were designed to ingest and generate that form of data. Humans are a different beast. We excel at generating and consuming unstructured data like free-flowing text, voice, and images like camera snapshots. All of this data inherently has no “structure” to it. We can’t “depend” on certain languages, words, intonations, etc. Semi-structured data sits somewhere in the middle. A good example is email. It has some structure like “subject”, “to”, “from”, “date”, but the main payload is a blob of unstructured text in the “body” of the email. Only in the last 10 years, have our computer systems become powerful enough to perform analyses on unstructured data.Data lake Any analytics engine, like Hadoop, will provide both storage and compute, often, in a tightly coupled arrangement. Every time you add more processing, you inherently add more storage. Many organizations however are sitting on mountains (petabytes) of data that they want to durably retain, but not analyze immediately. One reason for delay is the pre-processing and cleansing the data might need prior to analysis.A data lake provides a low-cost, highly durable, accessible-from-anywhere storage with limited compute. It allows for much greater retention of data than what is processed at one time. Looking at a recipe paradigm, a data lake is like your pantry of raw ingredients (vegetables, rice, bouillon). Only when you want to cook, do you pull out the right subset of ingredients, per the recipe, and prepare them for that meal. Database What we commonly refer to as “a database” is also known as a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) or an OLTP (Online Transaction Processing) system. Oracle, MySQL, SQL Server are all common examples of this. Many small “transactions” that (typically) come from end users characterize RDBMSes. Think of retail ecommerce websites. At any given moment, several hundreds of thousands of users are performing small reads (queries) and writes (inserts) when they browse for products, read reviews, generate orders etc. There is an expectation that these systems perform these queries very quickly.Data warehouse A data warehouse (also known as an enterprise data warehouse or EDW) is where the company runs analytics to answer several important business questions. What is our fastest growing product line? Which product categories have the best ROI? What are our worst performing regions, categories, salespeople, and so on?EDWs are typically only used by a handful (maybe a dozen or few dozen) internal users, running long-running queries on massive (possibly hundreds of TB or dozens of PB) datasets. VisualizationA visualization tool provides a visual front end to do complex analytics. Using simple drag-and-drop, even unskilled interns can build a good deal of complex reports like quarterly sales, bestselling products, growth, etc.These systems typically require that the engine you’re connecting them to have a SQL interface, which (not coincidentally) every RDBMS and EDW provides. If you’re like a lot of data analysts, 95% of your interaction with your systems will be via one of these visualization tools.Hope you’ve enjoyed this quick walkthrough of common terms we find in big data. Feel free to now impress the folks at the water cooler by discussing how the visualization of unprecedented data growth, the advantages of creating a data lake, unlocking the value heteroscedastic data through ML and AI is thoroughly changing the world. Curious about data’s impact on the world? Now that you speak the lingo, please join the discussions at datamakespossible.com. This article was produced in partnership with Western Digital. The author is Fellow and Chief Data Scientist, Western Digital, and is shaping, driving, and implementing the Big Data platform, products, and technologies, using advanced analytics and pattern matching with semiconductor manufacturing data at the firm.  Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Tags:#AI#AR#Hadoop#Internet of Things#IoT#Machine Learning#NLP#VR#Western Digital last_img read more

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On his birthday, Mulayam reveals interest in Delhi

first_imgNot just Uttar Pradesh, focus on capturing power in Delhi as well: this was the advice Samajwadi Party (SP) founder Mulayam Singh gave to party workers and leaders as he entered the 81st year of his life on Thursday. While his public appearances have decreased over the past one year, party workers still look up to the Yadav patriarch as a guiding light and a potential prime ministerial candidate, especially as the crucial 2019 Lok Sabha election approaches.Mr. Singh has in the past made his PM aspirations known to all.“Yours eyes must be set on Delhi. Delhi is everything, keep that in mind… You must resolve to create such a situation that no government can be formed in Delhi without the SP,” Mr. Singh told a gathering at the party office on the occasion of his birthday.The SP founder even asked party workers to organise public meetings for him at the local level so that he could join in the campaign.Mr. Singh reflected on his career and how the SP formed the government in Uttar Pradesh four times and become part of the Centre twice, despite being underestimated as a “party of one district”.However, he said that “some leaders” broke away from the party after creating strife and causing damage, and now it was up to the youth to unite and strengthen the party ahead of 2019. Mr. Singh did not name any leader, though it could be speculated if he was referring to his younger brother Shivpal Singh Yadav who, after a long family feud, especially with his nephew Akhilesh Yadav, formed a separate outfit recently. Akhilesh and Shivpal, however, have been locked in battle to claim Mulayam’s political legacy. The patriarch has so far enacted a balancing game.While SP leaders cut a cake and celebrated his birthday at the party headquarters, his son Akhilesh, along with his daughter and son, called upon him to wish him, before he headed out to campaign in Madhya Pradesh. “He taught us all to walk on Gandhiji’s path of truth and non-violence and to follow Lohiaji’s principle that in order to defeat the evil, we must first recognise it, and that trust is the biggest asset of human relationships,” Mr. Akhilesh tweeted.On the other hand, Shivpal Yadav’s party organized a session on “Socialism and Secularism” in Lucknow, while he himself attended a ‘dangal’ (wrestling contest) organized in Safai as tribute to his elder brother. Mr. Singh is a former wrestler. Saifai is the native village of the Yadavs in Etawah district.last_img read more

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No. 1 Bucks: Milwaukee clinches top spot in the NBA

first_imgSEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte The Bucks have not won a playoff series since 2001, the longest current drought in the NBA. They have lost nine consecutive series.QUOTE OF THE DAY“We’ve got to make sure we take full advantage of the opportunity, take care of business and do what we’re supposed to do.” — Houston’s James Harden, the reigning NBA MVP, on the Rockets’ next two games against lottery-bound New York and Phoenix.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss View comments — Sacramento at Utah: The Jazz are 11-1 in their last 12 games, and still have a shot — albeit slim — of getting to the No. 4 spot out West.— Portland at Denver: This is the start of a home-and-home that will have a big impact on seeding. Nuggets’ recent schedule has been brutal.— Cleveland at Golden State: Technically, it’s a rematch of the last four NBA Finals. Cavs could harm Warriors’ plans for West No. 1 seed.— L.A. Lakers at L.A. Clippers: Doc Rivers with Clippers — six winning seasons in six years. Clippers pre-Doc — six winning seasons in 38 years.— Games with no playoff implications: Memphis at Dallas, New Orleans at Phoenix.CURRENT BRACKETFirst-round matchups if the season ended Thursday …East: 1-Milwaukee vs. 8-Orlando, 2-Toronto vs. 7-Brooklyn, 3-Philadelphia vs. 6-Detroit, 4-Boston vs. 5-Indiana.West: 1-Golden State vs. 8-San Antonio, 2-Denver vs. 7-Oklahoma City, 3-Houston vs. 6-L.A. Clippers, 4-Portland vs. 5-Utah.NOTE OF THE DAY No other seeds are clinched. Philadelphia will almost certainly be No. 3, but that’s not secure.It could play a role in which teams get the last three open spots. Milwaukee plays Brooklyn on Saturday, a big game for the Nets and meaningless for the Bucks. Toronto plays Miami on Sunday, big for the Heat, and perhaps meaningless for the Raptors. If Philadelphia has the No. 3 seed clinched by Tuesday, that could help the Heat out in Dwyane Wade’s last home game.WESTERN CONFERENCEGolden State’s easy win over the Los Angeles Lakers put the defending NBA champions two games ahead of Denver in the race for the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.Still, no seeds out West are clinched. Denver and Houston are vying for No. 2 — mathematically, there are other options, such as Portland getting past both of them for that spot, but in most scenarios the Nuggets and Rockets will be the ones fighting it out. San Antonio could get as high as sixth, but will likely be seventh or eighth.ADVERTISEMENT Milwaukee Bucks’ George Hill, left, and Sterling Brown celebrate during the second half of the team’s NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Philadelphia. Milwaukee won 128-122. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture, with six days remaining in the regular season:EASTERN CONFERENCEADVERTISEMENT Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Tired of losing, Eric Kelly determined to stop 5-fight skid in ONE: Roots of Honor Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess LATEST STORIEScenter_img DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew MOST READ Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess The road to the NBA Finals goes through Milwaukee. And the Bucks are the first team in the league to know exactly where they will be seeded for the playoffs.Milwaukee’s win over Philadelphia on Thursday night clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, and ensured that the Bucks will have home-court advantage for the entirety of the playoffs. It doesn’t guarantee anything, of course, but the No. 1 seed has made the East finals in 16 of the last 19 seasons.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logistics“It’s not just about Game 7. It’s about having the first two games at home,” Milwaukee coach Mike Budenholzer said. “Our guys have worked hard this year to earn that, but it doesn’t mean a whole lot at the end of the day when the playoffs start.”Toronto is now locked in as the No. 2 seed in the East, and still could finish as the No. 2 seed in the entire NBA — which would give the Raptors the home-court edge in the NBA Finals if they got there. Plenty of games Friday will affect the West race, with the Portland-Denver matchup likely carrying the most weight on the night’s schedule.FRIDAY’S GAMESThere are 11 games on Friday’s schedule with playoff implications.— Toronto at Charlotte: It’s almost win-out-or-bust now for the Hornets. For the Raptors, it’s get ready to host the No. 7 seed in Game 1.— Atlanta at Orlando: The Magic play their final home regular-season game. A win would help the odds that this isn’t the season home finale.— San Antonio at Washington: Spurs know they’ll start the playoffs on the road. Getting out of eighth likely avoids seeing the Warriors right away.— Boston at Indiana: Winner will hold a one-game lead in the race for the No. 4 spot in the East with two games left. The loser goes to No. 5.— New York at Houston: The Rockets could become the first team since Phoenix (in February 2009) to score 130 in three consecutive games.— Miami at Minnesota: It’s not a must-win for the Heat, but close. When Dwyane Wade plays, Miami has won seven straight at Minnesota.— Detroit at Oklahoma City: Pistons are fighting to get in and waiting for Blake Griffin to return, while the Thunder have lost seven of 10. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. last_img read more

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Why Google Will Set The Record For The Greatest Monthly Market Cap Drop In Nov 2008

first_img If you were a search-only user of Google and you read a few reports saying that other search engines were better, why wouldn’t you switch to another vendor’s engine?  Basically, the question is, what is stopping someone from doing to Google what Google did to the original search leaders? The following are five reasons I think Google might be overvalued and why I think that when the stock price falls that it will not be a gradual decline, but rather a rapid loss of market capital.   I think the headline will look something like the one above. ranks on each of the major search engines when I query specific terms.  As you can see, Microsoft and Google’s results are not vastly different and I think both their algorithms are starting to “understand” this blog relatively well while I do not think Yahoo’s algorithm “gets” what we are up to at all. I use search engines a ton, so it is important to me that I use the best one.  I have been doing some informal testing between Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft to see if I could figure out whose algorithm produced the best results.  For example, here is a chart showing where Reverse Tipping Point Google has incredibly low switching costs.  As I sit here, I cannot come up with a single product with a lower switching cost than Google search (as a user).  Can you?  One of the few things Yahoo got right early was that it created some other applications with relatively high switching costs, like the My Yahoo portal, Yahoo mail and an address book.  I suspect much of Yahoo’s search traffic (= ad revenue) is a result of users of other applications searching because they were already there.  As you can see from this chart I borrowed from Yellow Pages or Search Engine? Switching Costs Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Quality Parity Google is a company I admire and I still use it constantly, but I am just wondering whether I should be buying the stock (at it’s hair-raising multiples) or shorting the stock…Are you seeing these same patterns in Google?  Do you agree/disagree?  Why? Topics: Google Updatescenter_img Some might argue that Google’s “brand” creates high switching costs.  Over time, I have noticed that Google’s results page has become more and more crowded with advertisements.  For example, I just did a search on “small business marketing” and I got 7 paid results (yellow page ads) and 3 organic results above the fold.  The same search on Yahoo produced 8 ads and 2 organics while Microsoft Live produced 3 ads and 3 organics.  I have seen varying numbers on it, but the vast majority of users prefer to click on an organic result when searching vs. a paid result, so I imagine that this approach would eventually start to wear a bit thin.  In addition, as the markets moves towards parity in the quality of results, I can imagine that there will be interesting pressures on Google (and its competitors) relative to the real estate they take up on advertising. If impartial, smart people were saying that Google’s results were no longer the best and there were very low switching costs, then the “more users” part of this reinforcing loop would break and the advertising revenue would start to go down.  This feels to me like the type of thing that happens quickly, not gradually. NOVEMBER 30, 2008:  GOOGLE Breaks A Nasdaq Record for Largest Market Cap Loss In 1 Month SmallBusiness 2.0 Disruptive threats Another potential issue Google has is that there are a number of new ways to search for things on the internet.  For example, I am a user of del.icio.us and when I search for information there, I often get very interesting results back.  What would constitute a real threat is if some of these new types of search engines avoided acquisition and started merging together in a couple of years:  Digg, del.icio.us, & Snap.com for example. I think it is widely assumed that Google’s algorithm is vastly superior to anything else on the market, but when I look at these search results, I am starting to think that Microsoft is catching up.  I can imagine a point in time where parity might be achieved and where several impartial and credible observers might comment to that effect publicly. Originally published Dec 4, 2006 11:50:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 , over 88% of Google’s traffic is generated from their vanilla search and image search. The thing that is so elegant about Google’s business model today is that they have a positive reinforcing system dynamics loop powering their growth.  The best search engine = More Users –> More Advertiser –> More users –> More advertisers –> etc. Don Dodge’s bloglast_img read more

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SXSW: Brian Solis – How Your Brand Can Succeed on The Web

first_img from the bottom-up within organizations. Social media gives businesses the opportunity to check perception and reality related to brands.  The social web democratizes the influence and how brands are perceived.  Solis referenced his FutureWorks suggests that you leverage features that have an impact on customers such as providing relevant tips, like social bread crumbs. If you are attending SXSW, be sure to check-in to Solis says . Today, at one of the first sessions of South By South West Interactive, Solis along with Jeremiah Owyang , Altimeter Group HubSpot’s Virtual Booth the opportunity to learn from its customers in order to improve its service. and check out our full SXSW content feed at Comcast The social web has changed how businesses interact with customers and has raised the bar for customer expectations. Solis believes that individuals are defining a new era of society and how we ultimately communicate with one another. The Web has brought a new level of transparency to business. Offline and online interactions combine to serve the overall brand of your business. by social media Comcast Solis brought panelists onto the stage with him to point out examples of companies using social media well to improve their businesses. Comcast Foursquare Originally published Mar 12, 2010 4:54:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 social media is causing corporate change Download the free video Solis highlighted research pointing out that women dominate usage on the social web and that they must be considered when marketing to and Dennis Crowley from Eliason : : than technology according to Solis. Understanding how people communicate with each other is a key to marketing success, and social media provides insight into what people care about and information they want from businesses.  People become fans of businesses online because brands offer and continue to provide value. Solis says that companies must have social media style guides to help the brand thrive on the social web. Having a clear voice online is important to engaging potential customers. Some companies using social media to market their businesses are missing an opportunity because they are driving people from social sites to boring static websites that don’t offer a valuable experience for potential customers. Frank from is principal of Video: How to Use Social Media to Attract More Customers and learn how to generate more business using social media. influencers Foursquare to illustrate the conversations that can happen on the social web. Engage gave key insights for businesses looking to succeed on the Web to a pack room of marketing and public relations professionals. http://blog.hubspot.com/sxsw Cases of Success addressed that social media gave as a place where people connect with people they want to meet in real life. As a marketer, : Social media is more about sociology and psychology . More than 1,500 businesses are currently providing offers to customers for visiting their business and using Foursquare by providing discounts and free goods. Dennis from Foursquare shared that by their one year anniversary, they now have 540,000 users. He defined Owyang FourSquare Jeremiah Comcast talked about the need to scale customer interactions for businesses. He noted that social media customer management software that will integrate social conversations into conversation prism , an award-winning new media marketing and branding agency in Silicon Valley.  He is also the author of the new book, punked Foursquare Learn how to use social media to attract more customers. Foursquare . CRM data will help companies scale online interactions. Customers don’t care about what department you are in; they want their problem solved. Jeremiah argued that customer support should report to marketing instead of technical services. He also mentioned a post he wrote about brands who got Brian Solis has 11 people on their customer service team to help monitor and address customer issues that are shared online. Frank points out that improving service can help to improve marketing and public relations because it has an impact on all facets of business. Measuring customer service should not be about the lowest handle time; it should be about solving problems. Frank says that companies need a chief customer officer to change the approach of how customers are prioritized within a business. . Companies need to get the organization ready from a policy and organizational standpoint.  Social media empowers customers not to make mistakes when making purchasing decisions, meaning companies need to pay attention to word-of-mouth.  Frank One example that was given: local businesses earlier this year started rewarding customers for using social network and helping information to spread online. Topics: Brand Management Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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How to Create a Killer Email Offer in 10 Minutes or Less

first_img What other advice would you suggest when creating successful email offers?  Learn how to generate more inbound leads using SEO, blogging, and social media. The title has to be succinct, but also crystal clear. Inbound Lead Generation Kit How many spam emails do you open that say something like “Free Yacht Just Click Here”? Probably very few, but I bet the email saying “Getaway in the South of Spain” grabs your attention quite a bit more often ( Jetsetter does a great job of this). 2) A Solid Offer (3 minutes) We recently found out that A common saying at HubSpot is that a blog article takes an hour to write, 40 minutes of which is dedicated to the title because without that, you’ve got nothing. Spend the most time of your 10 minutes around your sexy, clear title. 1) Witty Title (4 minutes) 4) Send It and Forget It (1 minute) Here is a great example and proof that the title caused me to open it: Make it personal and make it count. The more customization in the email itself the better, greeting by first name if your program allows is excellent. If not, don’t sweat it, focus more on what they find within the email body itself. When you get to the body trim the fluff and give just enough information for someone to know what they are getting. An example is one HubSpot launched last week for one of our webinars around lead generation; simple, sweet and letting you know what you will be spending 45 minutes on: sex sells on Facebook If you have the right methodology, creating a killer email offer can become less painful. Try Following the steps below the next time you sit down to create an e-mail offer. center_img for tips and tricks to drive more leads and business to your site. If you want a prospect to open your email then it all comes down to the right title. Originally published May 20, 2010 3:00:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 Photo Credit: This simple change can be incredibly effective, a recent customer of mine had previously never used landing pages or content on their site for simple email marketing. By taking an old white paper that was buried on the site and distributing it to a small portion of their database a lead goal of 3 was achieved in 2 minutes with nearly 30 leads coming in over 24 hours. Their lead goal was 50 a month and simplicity got them 30 in one day. sindesign 3) Make It Easy To Convert (2 minutes) , well we probably could have guessed that, but it is important to make your e-mail titles sexy and compelling. Download the free kit Topics: Opening the email to find an applicable offer inside should be said without being said, the key here is to make sure your e-mail links to a landing page that includes a few key elements. The most important element is a clear path for people to follow in regards to what the offer is, how it will benefit them, and what YOU want them to do, such as filling out a lead conversion form. Ron Popeil, the infamous infomercial rotisserie king, knew the way, you really do have to set it and forget it. It’s gone, so stop thinking about what you could have done differently or perhaps better. Instead, take a minute, step back and think about what you can do to improve future offers. Email Marketing Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

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A Year in Review: How HubSpot Grew by 82% in 2012

first_img Originally published Feb 22, 2013 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 Marketing Advice Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Topics: When we started HubSpot, we set out to transform the way the world does marketing. We believed then, and still believe now, that the marketing playbook is broken and that reinventing the playbook presents a great opportunity. The approach that will win the hearts and minds of customers leverages content and context to create marketing that intersects with a customer’s lifestyle, needs, and interests. By helping companies replace interruptive marketing across outdated channels with a more simple, measurable, and lovable mindset and methodology, we’re helping our customers reap the benefits of the new playbook we affectionately call inbound marketing.We have big ambitions for ourselves and for our customers. We believe that we have a unique opportunity to be a once in a generation company, and that we are fundamentally transforming how marketing is done around the world. As a result, it’s important to reflect on the prior year to see how we’re doing toward making our vision a reality. 2012 was a great year for HubSpot, but it was an even better year for our customers: after twelve months of using HubSpot, 92% of customers increased their traffic, and 93% saw an increase in leads. We’re proud that our customers and partners are benefiting from the power of inbound marketing, and we’re humbled to be a part of their success.Below we have summarized what we believe were some of HubSpot’s key achievements in 2012, along with a SlideShare that delves a little deeper into the details of what we experienced last year. HubSpot 2012 Annual Report from HubSpot All-in-one Marketing SoftwareHubSpot Growth & Key MilestonesIn 2012, the company experienced significant growth in revenue, people, and customers. But the growth that gets us excited to come to work every day is the growth our customers experience. 8,440 customers — 2,749 of whom signed up with HubSpot in 2012 — benefit daily from the intersection of software, services, and support our team provides. 92% of HubSpot customers saw an increase in traffic, 93% saw an increase in leads, and 38% of our customers doubled their lead flow in the first twelve months. The success of our customers and partners is truly remarkable, and we’re honored to be a part of it.Dan Moyle of AmeriFirst Home Mortgage captured inbound marketing as its core when he said: “we are much more purposeful and focused when it comes to our marketing. We now measure traffic and conversions, we test everything, and we know that traditional ‘spray and pay’ shout advertising simply doesn’t work for us.” Sonia Pelia of Thermo Fisher Scientific noted that the ease and simplicity of having all of your marketing and analytics on one platform makes her team’s life significantly easier, while Concentric Marketing in the UK quadrupled their retainer-based income as a Gold HubSpot Partner. We continue to be inspired by our customers and excited by the opportunity to make inbound marketing easier, more powerful, and more effective for thousands of companies worldwide.Another exciting milestone we marked in 2012 was our mezzanine round of financing, which brought $35 million in growth capital from a number of highly respected large institutional investors. These investors join a marquis investor team that includes Google Ventures, Salesforce, General Catalyst, Matrix, Scale, and Sequoia. We believe you’re defined by the company you keep, and we’re honored to have investment partners with all-star track records not just as investors, but also as innovators. With the most recent funding, we honed our focus on operating as a public company and hit the gas on growth. Our plans for the funds included investing aggressively in software development and product improvements, recruiting and training the world’s best inbound marketing and software talent, opening up to global markets, and generally expanding the business.Although HubSpot is a private company, we value transparency. We believe our entire community — customers, employees, partners, investors, and fans — benefit from knowing the problems we are tackling, the challenges we have overcome, and the opportunities we’re pursuing for continued growth. Consistent with our belief in transparency, we release our revenue numbers each year. In 2012, HubSpot’s revenues grew to $52.5 million, an 82% increase over 2011. In addition to making our investors happy, this number is a wonderful indicator of the power of inbound marketing. We believe this is just the beginning, and that 2013 will continue to demonstrate significant growth globally.Speaking of global, 2012 also marked the announcement of our European headquarters in Ireland. By year’s end, we hired and trained more than a dozen Dublin-based employees and sent many of our top sales leaders and consultants to spread the love for inbound marketing in Europe and beyond. HubSpot customers are located in 56 countries, and we have 100 partners and 600 international customers already. We expect the international side to grow as a percentage of our overall business in 2013, and are excited about Dublin providing the gateway to HubSpot scaling globally. 1+1=3 With HubSpot 3At our first annual INBOUND conference in August, we announced the launch of HubSpot 3 to the world, with 2,857 of our closest friends hearing the news in person. HubSpot 3 gives marketers all the tools they need to create a truly personalized experience for customers, including social media, blogging, landing pages, emails, and calls-to-action. We couldn’t wait to launch HubSpot 3, because we were able to give both new and existing clients the power to attract, convert, close, and delight prospects and customers in one easy-to-use tool. The value of HubSpot 3 can be summed up simply as 1 + 1 = 3: the ability to seamlessly integrate all of your marketing tools creates value well above the sum of the parts, if you were to solve for each marketing task individually. In the end, marketers benefit from the ease of use, while the end recipients of their efforts benefit from more personalized, lovable marketing.When we surveyed our customers about how they were using HubSpot 3, one of our customers noted: “HubSpot 3 has allowed us to market BIG on a small budget.” HubSpot 3 has enabled our customers to engage 46,133,635 contacts, send 555,125,987 permission-based emails, and track almost 2.5 billion page views. 49% of HubSpot 3 users reported a higher lead-to-sale conversion rate, and 20% said HubSpot directly shortens their sales cycle. HubSpot 3 combines power, ease, and results, and launching it this year was one of our biggest accomplishments. For the Love of MarketingAt HubSpot, we have always worked to maintain a culture where people have autonomy to solve problems that interest them, flexibility to design the work schedule that optimizes their time most effectively, and transparency to truly understand the business and vision. We all do what we do for the love of marketing: HubSpot employees know they are a part of the transformation that is happening in marketing and are driven to help customers and partners navigate that change.We added 125 HubSpotters in 2012, but most importantly, we did so without sacrificing the intelligence, passion, commitment, and quirkiness that has long defined our team. Sure, we added some serious bench strength in the form of seasoned executives, but we’ve also hired master content creators who helped produce 937 blog posts this year, launched a lunch roulette program to introduce new HubSpotters to company veterans, completed a CTO Swap with Kayak.com, and been recognized once again as one of Boston’s Top Places to Work. Fun HubSpotty Facts1) Many people know that we offer free beer, but we also offer a Free (As In Beer) Books Program. Anyone in the company can request a business book, and we’ll buy it for them. HubSpot employees have requested more than 81 books from the program. The most popular items? Steve Jobs, The Challenger Sale, and Quiet: The Power of Introverts.2) The most popular free snacks in the HubSpot kitchen were bananas, followed closely by Dove chocolate3) The HubSpot Charity Auction raised $14,894 for local non-profit organizations. Auction items included a custom rap (purchased by Mike Volpe) and a trip to launch a weather balloon with a built-in camera into space (purchased by Product Manager Anand Rajaram.)Lately, given our growth trajectory, it’s no surprise that we’ve gotten a lot of questions about our competitors in the space — who we view as our greatest competition, what we think of specific marketing technologies, etc. The short answer to all of those questions is that we simply do not believe anyone in our space is doing what we are doing — delivering a truly comprehensive inbound marketing system that gives companies all the tools they need to create marketing people love. Our product solves each variable in the equation, from social media to email to analytics, while everyone else is busy helping companies solve for one component of their marketing challenges. We think, act, build, and measure differently, and we believe our customers benefit significantly from that thinking.When it comes down to it, inbound marketing isn’t a tactic, a tool, or a trend. It’s a transformative way to think about marketing, better aligning sales and marketing and creating marketing (and results) people love. Looking back at 2012, we are grateful for the HubSpot employees, customers, partners, journalists, analysts, investors, critics, competitors, and friends who made this year a huge success. We showed the world that inbound marketing is the single most powerful way to grow your business and delight your customers, and for that we are proud, grateful, and energized.last_img read more

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A Look Back at 20+ Years of Website Design

first_img Website Design Examples Web design has come a long way since 1991 when the first ever website was published.Exclusively text-based, this first website marked the beginning of what would become a digital revolution. And while recollections of “under construction” GIFs and blinding background colors make me thankful for just how far web design has come, there are some historical web design choices that actually demand a nod of respect.Want to see what an old website looked like at any period since its launch? Enter a company domain name you want to see old versions of into the Wayback Machine. Then, select a date to see a cached image of an old web page from that time period.I took notes on my favorites, below. Here’s a fascinating look at old websites over the last 20 years, and how web design has evolved (for better and for worse).Early 1990s: AntiquityPrior to the late 90s, there was no such thing as “high-speed” when it came to internet connections. It was dial-up modems, or it was nothing. Therefore, websites from this period needed to be built for less-than-stellar connection speeds. They were largely comprised of text, and what we now take for granted as “design layout” did not exist.While later versions of HTML allowed for more complex design capabilities, they were still extremely basic, consisting mainly of tags for headers, paragraphs, and links. Visual considerations such as typography, imagery, and navigation were still things of the not-too distant future.21st Century Takeaways:While the function of these early sites was purely informational, there are some design elements from these days of antiquity that still apply today. These old web pages were very lightweight, optimized for that slow internet connection we all remember. These design considerations took user experience into account — something websites today don’t always remember, even with our faster connection speeds.Yes, today’s internet can handle media-rich websites … but it still has some limits. Large media files and heavy graphic design can contribute to high bounce rates when load speeds aren’t as fast as we expect. Keep your user in mind when considering complicated design, and remember to K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Stupid).Mid-1990s: The Middle AgesThe middle ages of web design were plagued by on-site page builders and spacer GIFs (better than an actual plague though, right?). By the mid-90s, web design had evolved both in terms of structure and appearance. Designers began to use table-based layouts to organize their content, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity. Sites were still quite text heavy, but this text could now be divided into columns, rows, and other navigational elements.Graphical design elements also quickly grew in popularity. Page hit counters, animated text, and dancing GIFs are just a few of the graphical elements that mark this period in web design.21st Century Takeaways:Today, there are plenty of reasons why table-based design is not the best choice for your website — the extensive markup, slow page-load times, and visual inconsistency are just a few of the pitfalls of this method. Regardless, this development was an important one in the evolution of web design. It was the beginning of a concerted move toward page structure. Different elements could now be positioned in different sections of a web page, so designers had to consider the best way to present their information to the user.Today, page structure remains important and becomes critical when thinking about such design elements as navigation, content, calls-to-action, and trust signals. The positioning of these elements will determine how a user experiences and interacts with your site. While these considerations might not have been at the forefront during the middle ages of web design, they are certainly important today.(P.S. If you want to learn more about usability, one of our partners, Callia Media, has an excellent ebook on the subject; specifically, how to align it with inbound marketing.)Late 1990s: The RenaissanceRenaissance. Rebirth. Web design has had its fair share of reimaginings, but one of the first occurred with the introduction of Flash. Developed in 1996, but made popular a couple of years later, Flash opened up a world of design possibilities that weren’t possible with basic HTML. It was the marriage of virtual graphics and interaction.While many of the same design elements of the previous period were still present, these were enhanced (and I use the term loosely) with new features such as color-changing navigations, tiled background images, neon colors, 3D buttons, and the ever-popular splash pages. It marked the beginning of visitor-focused design. Structure and navigation became important considerations and design began to zero in on appearance and usability.21st Century Takeaways:Seeing as Flash has been deemed one of the biggest SEO sins of all time, we’ll take this era as an example of what not to do. While the increased use of multimedia content was intended to attract more visitors, it likely had the opposite effect. Some of the biggest misuses of Flash today come from incorrect scripting. Making this mistake across an entire site is extremely detrimental to SEO, so you might be better off just avoiding it. If you still feel compelled to utilize Flash, however, do so correctly. Even better, opt for alternative applications such as JavaScript or HTML5 to get similar effects.Y2K: The EnlightenmentThe early 2000s brought with it an increase of support for CSS, which allowed for the separation of content and design. This gave greater creative freedom to both web designers and content developers — content could now be developed exclusively from design, and vice versa. This made websites easier to maintain (less code and complexity), more flexible (div tags are independent of one another), and quicker to load.Better understandings of color also saw the increase of whitespace and the decrease of garish colors, like neons. Links began to be attached to icons rather than just text, resolution and pixilation became more important concerns, and considerations over the placement of content also grew. Overall, it was a period when usability started to become more important than other design elements.21st Century Takeaways:People typically scan websites, looking only for the information they need — so any site that makes this job easier as a user gets a giant check-mark. A savvy web designer is aware of the fact that most users don’t read everything on a website, and understand how readers take in information.Therefore, intuitively placed information, visually accentuated links, and a straightforward navigation are just a few best practices today’s websites should adhere to. Always design with usability in mind!Mid-2000s: The Industrial RevolutionThe Industrial Revolution of web design begins with the birth of Web 2.0; it’s at this time things really begin to move toward the modern web. The growth of multimedia applications, the implementation of interactive content, and the rise of the social web are a few definitive features of this period.Moreover, these features largely dictated the way web design was … well, done. Aesthetic changes included better color distribution, increased use of icons, and greater attention to typography.More importantly, design became about content and, apart from that pesky Flash, content became about SEO. With the user now firmly at the center of design, selling products (at least explicitly) became the secondary function of websites.21st Century Takeaways:As mentioned above, the evolution of Web 2.0 saw the growth of SEO as a consideration. While these techniques have obviously been adapted over the years, thinking about your website in terms of SEO is still central to people’s minds today.SEO demands content, and content largely became the focus of web design during this era. Keyword optimization, inbound and outbound linking, authoring, tagging, and syndication technology such as RSS became natural design elements. While link spamming and keyword jamming soon exploited these techniques, these black hat methods are no longer effective and (I hope) have largely fizzled out.Web Design TodayToday, over two decades after the publication of the first website, web design has firmly established itself as an irreplaceable component of every good marketing strategy.In terms of modern aesthetics, we have seen the proliferation of minimalism, flat graphics (so long, 3D buttons!), blended typography, and large background images. In addition, UX has taken center stage, giving way to such design features as infinite scrolling and single-page design.The explosion of the mobile web has been another important consideration for site development. This recent digital revolution has given way to the popularization of responsive design and has called for a re-evaluation of the way websites are structured. This is one area of web design that still has a ways to go in its development, and I look forward to seeing how it evolves over the coming years.Regardless, there is one factor that has informed every single one of these developments — content. Every design element here has been adapted in such a way to bring the most relevant content to the user in the most efficient and effective way. Notions of accessibility, adaptability, and usability truly define this era of web design.Looking at how web design has progressed thus far, it’s exciting to think about where it will be in the next 20 years.Myia Kelly is a marketing assistant at Powered by Search, a Toronto SEO and inbound marketing agency. She specializes in content and social media marketing. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Jul 10, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated March 02 2018 Topics:last_img read more

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Not Generating Enough Leads From Your Website? Here Are 7 Easy Fixes

first_img Originally published Apr 30, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 In order to build a robust database of leads for you or your sales team that you can reach out to at any time, you need to get people to sign up for something on your website — an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, a newsletter, a blog subscription, etc. But there are certain mistakes you might be making that are keeping people from signing up.Here are the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make on their websites that are hindering their lead gen progress:1) You didn’t put your great offer behind a form.Have you ever poured your heart and soul into creating several ebooks or whitepapers, uploaded them to your website, and linked to all the PDFs from a single “Resources” page?Don’t pretend to look all innocent.Don’t worry — if this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. When many marketers first begin their inbound marketing journeys, they’re told to create remarkable content … but not what to DO with that content. So after you create your fabulous content, the next logical thing to do is to publish this content to your website. But once people download and enjoy your content, how will you follow up with them? How will you know how many people downloaded your content? How will you make sure they know what to do next on your site?You can’t do any of those things if you just give your content away willy nilly. If you’ve been doing inbound marketing for a while and have tons of leads, you can strategically give away form-free content at specific points in the buyer’s journey. But in most cases, you should make website visitors fill out a form on a landing page to get your awesome content. That way, you can follow up with them, know how many new leads you’ve acquired, and will be able to show them the next step to take via a confirmation page.2) You didn’t make your landing pages … interesting.You might think the ebook you slaved over for a month is a brilliant masterpiece with secrets that will revolutionize how your prospects think of your industry. And hey, maybe it is. But if your landing page isn’t interesting, your website visitors won’t care to fill out your form and bask in its brilliance.The worst landing pages are those with no images, dense paragraphs of text, and long forms. Think of how busy you are day-to-day. Do you have time to read tons of text and carefully weigh the pros and cons of filling out a long form in order to get … wait, what’s the offer again?You don’t have time. Your prospects don’t have time.Make your copy punchy and short. Add an enticing image of your offer. Keep your form as short as possible.3) It’s not obvious what the offer is on your landing page.There are certain elements of a landing page that should SCREAM what the offer is:The headlineThe image of the offerThe call-to-action text above the formGo to one of your landing pages in a new tab right now and check out these three elements. If any of them do not indicate what the offer actually is, or if any of these are missing, you have work to do.4) Your form is too long.If your form is too long, you’ll dissuade people from taking the time to fill it out, even if they genuinely wanted to get whatever you’re offering. Time is valuable, and people are inherently lazy when it comes to completing long forms. If you are offering something for people who currently know nothing about your business, perhaps First Name, Last Name, and Email Address are enough.On the other hand, you might have a good reason to include many form fields. You might get so many leads that you need extra fields to:Qualify leads. The answers in each field might help you determine lead quality, and which you should reach out to.Assign leads to reps. The organization of your sales team might depend on some of the criteria as determined by answers in your form fields, such as location or company size.Obviously, this is a good problem to have, but until you do get a high volume of leads, keep your forms short and let lead nurturing email campaigns do the lead qualifying for you.5) Your form is broken.Always test your form after you create your landing page. Always. So many times, I’ve come across landing pages that didn’t properly redirect to a confirmation page after clicking “Submit.” This also means that my contact information probably didn’t make it to their lead database. 6) You left “submit” as the submit button text.All text on your landing page is an opportunity to convince your visitors that they should fill out the form and get whatever it is you’re offering. Leaving “submit” as the submit button text on your form is a missed opportunity. You should customize this copy based on whatever the offer is.Here are some examples:Download this ebookSign me up for a demoShow me this presentationClaim your couponSave your seatThose are all much more enticing calls-to-action than “submit.”7) You forgot to add CTAs to your website.Your landing page may look fabulous, but it won’t matter if your website visitors can’t even find it! Here are some places you should include call-to-actions (CTAs) leading to your landing pages:Your homepageYour blog’s sidebarThe bottom of each blog post (possibly as a slide-in CTA)Each of your product/service description pagesYour about us pageYour pricing pageWant to share this post? Here’s a ready-made email:Click here to send this email to your colleagues now:Subject line: Are we making any of these mistakes on our website?Message: Check out this article I found: 7 Biggest Mistakes Keeping You From Getting Leads On Your Website – http://hub.am/1iuERDw Are we making any of these mistakes? What can we do to get more leads from our website? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Lead Generation Topics:last_img read more

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