Industry Blogs

I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips

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What I do to relax on a Sunday might surprise you. It usually has nothing to do with social media. I unplug from all my online accounts, brew a cup of coffee & do whatever I can to unwind. But last Sunday, I spent the whole day on YouTube — looking for lessons I could apply to my blog. I went to every channel I’ve subscribed to & watched as many videos as I could — and they weren’t all puppies & kittens! I follow hundreds of YouTube channels related to: Fitness Business Cooking Comedy News Sketch Movies Tech And I’ve been a fan of most of these channels for a long time. The people who run these channels have cracked the code when it comes to marketing their content. I was searching for blogging tips, so I revisited each channel to see what compelled me to subscribe in the first place. Here’s what I found: I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips 1. Entertain Your Audience The most obvious thing all these channels do is entertain their audience in a unique way. Each channel has its own: Voice Style Method of Presentation Personality I watched some of these channels for more than 15 minutes — and didn’t get bored. But “entertaining” is a subjective word. It’s impossible to entertain everyone — so don’t even try. The way to entertain your audience while blogging is to write conversationally — as if you’re actually speaking to someone. In other word, be YOU! I was told by somebody years ago that I shouldn’t be writing because my work wasn’t “business-sy” enough. He said my writing needed to feel more professional. I took that advice & nearly fell asleep writing my next article. I quickly went back to my original style — and haven’t looked back! 2. Publish Consistently Consistency is KEY! During my YouTube binge, I came across a video on a channel I didn’t recognize. That’s probably because the last time the channel pushed new content was over 3 months ago. I decided to unsubscribe. Compare that to Jimmy Tatro & Life According to Jimmy — he’s produced a video every Monday for the past 3 years. He doesn’t need to produce more than 1 video a week because I can count on Jimmy publishing something new every Monday — which keeps me coming back for more. The best bloggers on the web also maintain consistent content calendars. That’s how readers find your content & it’s why they return to your site. 3. Stay Focused I subscribe to some YouTube channels because they focus on specific topics. About a year ago, I subscribed to a channel dedicated entirely to hairstyles. But one day the guy running the program decided to start talking about relationships & love. Unsubscribe! If he kept discussing fashion I might still be a subscriber. But hairstyles & relationships were just too far apart — so I left. I was no longer interested in his content. It’s best to start a new channel instead of changing the focus of an existing, successful YouTube program. That’s what Epic Meal Time did. Their audience grew so much that programmers now have YouTube channels dedicated to video games & movie shorts — and they’re pretty good. This lesson also applies to blogging. Master 1 topic to get recognized in your industry, then branch out to other subjects. The expertise you gained in the beginning will help promote your new ideas. 4. Book Guests Many YouTube channels have regular appearances from guests — no matter the industry. This usually happens in 1 of 2 ways: The channel invites industry experts to appear & share expertise Channels partner to have guests appear on each other’s programs The same can happen on your blog. Invite industry experts to write articles for you while you seek opportunities to write for other blogs in your space. Guest blogging helps you gain exposure for your writing while also letting you share your expertise with new audiences. What Bloggers Can Learn from YouTube The most popular channels on YouTube entertain their audiences with awesome content. You should do the same on your blog!!! The success of top marketers on YouTube shows us we bloggers should: Entertain our audience Publish consistently Stay focused Partner with guests Will these tips help make your blog better? Please add your suggestions in the comments below. The post I Watched YouTube for a WHOLE Day and Learned These 4 Blogging Tips appeared first on Post Planner.

Should We Focus on Marketing to New Customers or Loyal Customers?

BizTechTonics -

Angela Prilliman posted an interesting question on American Express’s OPEN Forum: As a small business owner, the majority of your marketing and advertising budget should be focused on who: New customers or loyal customers? We know that there should be a balance of customer acquisition and customer retention marketing efforts, since both are important. But which way do you lean and why? Which brings you the most revenue? Although I gave a brief answer on the OPEN Forum (due to limited space), I believe this topic deserves a full answer. What Business Stage Are You in? While it is easy to point to reasons why one is superior to the other, to give a complete answer, we really need to look at the business itself, and specifically what stage the business is in, as the answer differs depending on certain factors. Startup / Growth Phase This phase should probably be all about getting new customers, and keeping those customers happy.  Where possible, you should encourage people to reorder, or order additional offers, but at this stage of the game, you need lots of new customers to remain stable. You don’t want a situation where an extremely profitable customer leaves, and it takes a giant chunk of your revenue.  The more customers you have, the more stable your revenue will be.  So new customer acquisition should be the priority. Unique or Innovative Product or Service Another situation where you want to focus on new customer acquisition is when you have something unique that is not offered in your market, or has limited availability.  You want to get as many customers as you can before someone copies your idea, and starts competing against you. There is a huge advantage to being first.  It may not be foolproof, but incumbents are always harder to unseat than a new business.  If you are unique and innovative, you have the opportunity to become the incumbent.  Take advantage of that. Looking for Investors or to Sell the Company Investors and people looking to buy your company are going to look at growth, revenue and profitability, among other things. If you already have a significant base of customers with significant revenue, then focusing on increasing profits by making additional sales to existing customers would be ideal.  You don’t want to neglect new customer acquisition, but increasing profits through repeat or addon sales may give you the boost you need to your numbers. If you do not have significant revenue yet, then you probably should take more of a balanced approach, to try to increase both the customer base and profitability per customer.  Basically, do whatever makes the numbers look better, and what works for you. Saturated Market If you are marketing in a saturated market, where the only way to get new customers is to steal customers from your competitors, then it is time to start focusing on making your existing customers more profitable.  It is much easier to make a sale to a satisfied existing customer, than to steal a customer away from your competitor. Also, increased marketing to loyal customers in a saturated market can help keep customers loyal, especially if you offer them special offers and deals only available to existing customers. Somewhere Between Startup and Saturated If you are somewhere in the middle, a more balanced approach may be best.  Your company would benefit from both strategies. Don’t Leave Money on the Table While you should spend time marketing to both new customers and loyal customers, new business should probably concentrate on new customer acquisition, while businesses in more saturated markets should focus on increasing the profitability of existing customers by increased marketing to loyal customers. But, either way, do not neglect one over the other.  Otherwise you are just leaving money on the table. Image courtesy of Sheela Mohan / FreeDigitalPhotoes.net.

Perhaps We Need a New Type of Business: Social Associations (S.A.)

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Most businesses are governed by their owners or investors.  This seems fair, considering the owners and investors are putting their efforts, livelihood and money on the line, especially when first founding the business.  But having the business only governed by its owners and investors often leads to decisions that raise the profits for the investors, but are not as good for the customers, employees or the general public. To counteract this, we have seen the rise of consumer cooperatives and credit unions, which are designed to give the consumers a say on how the business is run.  And we have also seen the rise of unions, employee-owned companies, and employee stock purchase plans to increase an employee’s say in how the company is run. A business’s true stakeholders include founders/owners, investors, employees, customers and the general public.  Why not organize a business so that it is governed by all the stakeholders, not just one set of stakeholders? Existing Types of Businesses Here is a list of common organization types.  There are many other variations, but these are the most common. Corporations – controlled by investors / stockholders. Consumer Cooperatives – controlled by the customers. Employee-Owned Company – controlled by employees. Government-Owned Corporation – controlled by elected officials, and ultimately the public. Network / Independent Agents – Parent company usually governed by founders/investors, but most of the business is comprised by independent business owners. What About a Hybrid? What if we took the concepts of a cooperative, where members own the business, and opened it up to multiple stakeholders. not just one class?  This is something I call a Social Association, abbreviated as S.A. This would allow all of the stakeholders to have a say on how the company should be run, with input from investors, employees, and customers.  With input from all, you are less likely to see one class abuse another class, and are also more likely to see a more lean company that understands the market, its customers and its employees. What do you think?  Is it time for a new type of business organization?

5 Simple Tips for Creating Boundaries on Social Media

Crystal Washington's Blog -

Photo by Andre Hayward With more than 73% of online adults using social media, the opportunity for users to connect with personal and business contacts is at an all-time high. Facebook is a great resource for staying connected with family and reconnecting with old friends. Sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook offer strategic opportunities to build relationships with hiring managers and learn about open job positions. While social media provides innumerable opportunities for relationship building, users often find themselves in uncomfortable situations with connections. Creating a profile can open users up to friend requests from strangers, undesirable postings on their profiles, and a host of other issues. Creating Boundaries The rules of engagement online are exactly the same as they are in-person. Similarly, just as we have to set boundaries with our ‘real world’ friends, we have to set healthy boundaries with our online connections. Set the tone on your profile Are you using a specific social network for business-only? Set the tone by using a polished, professional, profile picture. The language in your profile description should be business-focused. Your posts should center on professional topics. Don’t be a robot, but pictures of you dancing on a table with a margarita in your hand are a big no-no if your main focus is building a business network. By setting the tone on your profile, you are sending out the message to new connections that you are focusing on professional topics. Setting the tone does not simply apply to business profiles. As an example, if you don’t want connections to post gossip blogs on your wall, or tag you in a tweet with a link to one, don’t post them yourself. Be selective While the point for many in using social media is connecting with current and new potential contacts, you do not have to accept all friend/connection requests. The number of spamsocial media users paired with those that simply would not be a good fit dictate that the average user should approveless than half of most requests received. The following is an excerpt from my book, The Social Media WHY: A Busy Professional’s Practical Guide to Using Social Media Including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+ and Blogs for Business: Imagine being gifted a beautiful luxury home for free. You decide to let everyone in, no matter who they are. After a while, your home is dirty and stinks, plus you are tired of the fighting and crazy conversations going on in your living room. It is obvious the house is stupid and is to blame for your situation, right? Bottom line— you are responsible for the people you accept. The quality of your social media experience is directly related to the quality of the network your build. Treat your social media profiles like your home As demonstrated in the above tip, your social mediaprofile is a great deal like your home. Set rules and enforce them, when necessary. Just as you would not allow a guest to place his muddy boots on your coffee table, address connections who post inappropriate links and articles on your profile or tag you in them. Inappropriate is relative. If you do not wish to be included in political rants, it is okay to remove them or let the poster know that you should not be tagged. Also, like your home, other guests are watching you. If you allow one rude guest to verbally attack anotherguest or use bigoted language without correction, visitors will assume that you condone the behavior. Silence is an answer. Be sure to monitor your pages and profiles and, when necessary, take corrective measure or reroute conversations. ‘No’ is a full sentence There may be times when a friend/connection asks you for a favor out of turn. I have personally been asked for loans more times than I can count, often by peoplewho I’ve never met in person. I’ve been asked for business referrals by peoplewho I have no personal business history with. Someone may attempt to attach themselves to you in a way that makes you uncomfortable. The bottom line is that a simple ‘no’ is perfectly okay. You don’t have to explain yourself or go into more detail. If necessary, unfriend or remove contacts who repeatedly cross lines. Be of service Social media is about people, not technology. Remember that the purpose of connecting with people is to create mutually beneficial relationships. Be of service to your connections. Post helpful information, provide insight when possible and facilitate introductions betweencomplementary connections. When you focus on being of service, and you know that you are a giver, enforcing boundaries becomes easier as you will understand that you can give more to those you are called to help, by minimizing energy-sucking distractions. The post 5 Simple Tips for Creating Boundaries on Social Media appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Self-Censorship and Anonymity

BizTechTonics -

Icon for censorship (Photo credit: Wikipedia) One thing that has always been great about the internet is the ability to be anonymous.  It allows us to be ourselves, sharing the most intimate moments of ourselves, both the good and the bad parts.  Some people were willing to share life enriching advice and share experiences with complete strangers because they were anonymous, while others decided to let their true, dark colors shine through by being a jerk to others, hiding behind anonymity. Lately there has been a big push online trying to force you to use your real names when you post.  This is good and bad.  If people are forced to reveal who they are, then they may watch what they say more.  But that is also the problem. If you are a business professional, or even just someone who has a job, any job, what you say online affects how people perceive you.  If you are a member of the wrong political party or religion, or if you have personal views that are not consistent with other people you have to deal with, then you can potentially be discriminated against. This leads to self-censorship, which means less political discussions, less religious discussions, and less dissenting views. People should have a choice on whether they post under their own real name or not, and there should always be venues where people can post under pseudo names and pen names for privacy and security reasons.

What if we Turned Internet Sales Tax on its Head?

BizTechTonics -

While no one really likes taxes, except perhaps the government, we are coming to a point where internet retailers are going to have to collect some form of sales tax.  With the pressure from the government, eventually it is going to happen. The Problem with the Current System The problem is that there are 50 different states with 50 different sales tax schemes and rate schedules, and the states can only legally require residents of their own state to pay the tax without some nationwide agreement. So in order for every business in America to comply with every state’s sales tax laws, they would have to charge 50 or more different tax rates based on where the customer lives, and then file 50 different tax returns, on a monthly, quarterly or yearly basis depending on their revenues. Europeans Want Their Share Too What is worse is that the European Union is also trying to force U.S. businesses to collect VAT for European residents.  So U.S. businesses will wind up having to file a tax return for 50 U.S. States AND collect 28 different tax rates for each E.U. Member State as well. And if we set a precedent that every jurisdiction can collect taxes in any other jurisdiction, what is to stop Canada from requiring U.S. businesses to collect VAT for their 10 provinces and 3 territories?   What about other countries? There actually is a simple solution to all this, that seems to elude almost everyone involved in creating the new laws. Redefine What Sales Tax Is and Create a New Tax Currently sales tax is defined as a tax on people’s consumption, that is collected by the seller.  Technically the seller does not owe the tax at all, the consumer does.  The seller is required to collect it, and is liable if they don’t transfer the funds collected to the state. In most states, the tax is due even if the seller does not collect it.  For example, if you buy something from an online retailer in New York, and you reside in Texas, you technically owe Texas tax on that purchase, called a use tax, which is the same rate as the sales tax. Thanks to court decisions and the U.S. Constitution, states can only tax people within their jurisdiction and cannot force sellers outside their state to collect use tax for its citizens.  New federal legislation is trying to change that. It would be better to redefine sales & use tax into the following classes. Traditional Sales & Use Tax Traditional sales & use tax is a tax on the consumer, and would stay essentially the same as it is now, with the only change being that it will not apply to internet transactions.  This will allow states to continue collecting taxes under its current scheme at local businesses. Internet Sales Excise Tax (ISET) On internet transactions, the state would tax the seller instead of the consumer. This would mean that a state can tax all transactions that occur within that state, as long as the seller is within that state.  So is someone in Texas purchased something in New York, the New York tax would apply since that is where the business is located.  Under this definition, it does not matter where the consumer is located.  Even international transactions could be taxes under this scheme, because it is a tax on the business, not the consumer. The internet sales excise tax would be at the same rate as existing sales & use tax rates. Sellers Located in Multiple States Rules would be needed for cases where a seller is located in more than one state, to avoid double taxation, but those sellers could afford to file multiple tax returns and charge different tax rates based on where people live. One way to solve this is to have a clearly defined location where the sales is said to take place, if that can be defined.  For example, if the sales office is in California, but the company happens to have a warehouse in Nevada, the internet sales excise tax would be applied where the sales office is only.  Since the warehouse does not take orders, it does not count. Another way to solve this is to make it so that sellers that are located in only one state and make more than $1 million per year be subject traditional sales tax, and must collect a simplified sales tax for each state, whereas businesses located in one state and/or make less than $1 million per year would collect the Internet Sales Excise Tax instead. Multiple scenarios would probably have to be worked out, to make the most sense. Take Action Regardless of whether you like internet sales tax, it is coming our way.  The time is now to act to ensure that a plan that makes sense is enacted.  Would you rather file 50 different tax returns, or would you rather file only one?  Better let your representatives know before its too late. Image courtesy of Stuart Miles & FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

Google Adds Server-Side Encryption to Cloud Storage

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – Google on Thursday announced that it had added server-side encryption to its cloud storage platform – a move that provides users with an extra layer of security. “Our goal is to make securing your data as painless as possible,” stated Google’s Dave Barth, Product Manager, via the company’s Cloud Platform blog. “To help, Google Cloud Storage now automatically encrypts all data before it is written to disk, at no additional charge. There is no setup or configuration required, no need to modify the way you access the service and no visible performance impact. The data is automatically and transparently decrypted when read by an authorized user,” continued the post. New data via Cloud Storage has already been set to server-side encryption while the tech giant is expected to deliver the feature for older objects in the near future. Google also emphasized the feature “frees” users from having to managing their own encryption and decryption keys – something that sets aside both hassle and risk. The company’s Cloud Storage platform delivers on things like unlimited storage, “fast” data access along with what the company says is a “reliable” infrastructure. Google Adds Server-Side Encryption to Cloud Storage

eApps Offers ControlScan’s PCI Compliance

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – eApps Hosting announced the availability of PCI 1-2-3, a PCI compliance service offered by ControlScan®, an Approved Scanning Vendor & Qualified Security Assessor under the PCI Security Standards Council. The service is made possible through a partnership between eApps Hosting and ControlScan. ControlScan’s service is accessed via a web based portal that provides four major functions to minimize the pain incurred, and time spent, gaining compliance: > Self Assessment Questionnaire – a step by step, visual tool that guides the merchant through the process of determining the applicable Validation Type, as defined by PCI Data Security Standard (DSS) version 2.0 > Scanning – network, server, and web application scanning that clearly shows vulnerabilities and provides automated support for the resolution process > Policy Builder – a set of custom security policies, and policy templates which are automatically generated based on the merchant’s card payment processes > Security Awareness Training – on-demand training, delivered in layman’s terms and which satisfies the PCI DSS security awareness requirement The service also provides Breach Protection coverage up to $50,000 and is backed by a highly trained staff with expertise in PCI DSS. ControlScan’s PCI 1-2-3 service is available to all of eApps Hosting’s Virtual Machine in the Cloud, Virtual Private Server, and Dedicated Server customers starting at $220 per year per commerce site. For additional information contact eApps Hosting at +1-770-448-2100 USA or +44 (0)20 8133 6940 UK, Skype: eappshosting, or visit http://eApps.com for on-line chat assistance. eApps Hosting is a value-added provider of cloud hosting services for businesses and organizations, serving more than 5000 customers, hosting over 15,000 domains in more than 125 countries. The company offers “Virtual Machine in the Cloud,” a hosting service that allows precise selection and adjustment of RAM, CPU, disk and other computing resources using the Create-A-Cloud® tool. The Linux or Windows Virtual Machine is provisioned in minutes. eApps services are backed by a responsive in-house 24/7 technical support team available by phone, Skype, chat, and email. PCI 1-2-3 is a product of ControlScan®, Inc., Windows is a product of Microsoft Corporation, OnApp is a trademark of OnApp Limited. eApps Offers ControlScan’s PCI Compliance

Limestone Adds Enterprise DDoS Protection

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – In an age where distributed denial of service attacks have become common-place, it’s crucial to have access to advanced technologies that effectively neutralize these crippling activities. While simple filtering has historically achieved some degree of success, the present-day scale and sophistication of attacks has necessitated a superior solution. An important component of DDoS protection is the technique used to mitigate any attack. In evaluating appropriate solutions, Limestone Networks has chosen to use a more heuristic based approach. This method was preferred because of its greater effectiveness in mitigating zero-day attacks. Regarding this development, Austin Brace, Network Engineer for Limestone Networks commented, “The release of our enterprise DDoS solution allows us to provide a simple way for our clients to better protect their business, as well as maintaining the solid network that we are known for.” Additional details of the solution are as follows: Fully Automated Protection. Detects and mitigates attack traffic in 2 minutes or less. Adapts to attacker changes in real-time without analyst intervention. Anticipates the behavior of the attacker and proactively blocks malicious requests. In conclusion, while the frequency and severity of DDoS attacks are intensifying world-wide, Limestone Networks, and their clients, reside safely behind advanced DDoS protection. If you have any questions regarding this service, or any of their dedicated server products, please visit LimestoneNetworks.com or contact an Account Specialist at sales(at)limestonenetworks(dot)com. Limestone Adds Enterprise DDoS Protection

Tier 3 Expands with Self-Service Cloud Networking

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – Hosting and enterprise cloud provider Tier 3 on Wednesday unveiled new self-service cloud networking capabilities for its clients. The company says the addition helps enterprises in the area of cloud deployments. “We all read about ‘the cloud price wars,’ but precious little focus is given to the human cost of IT. The time and expense of highly skilled workers performing mundane tasks consumes far more budget than public cloud services for most enterprises today,” explained Tier 3 founder and CTO Jared Wray via a press release. He continued, “That’s why self-service features and the removal of these tedious functions are so important to our customers. These self-service networking tools will help them increase business agility, and more importantly, re-allocate human capital more effectively within their organizations.” For more information, view Tier 3’s press release here (Tier3.com). Tier 3’s solutions pertain to areas including IT management, business apps, ISVs, system integrators and more. Tier 3 Expands with Self-Service Cloud Networking

Cloud Expo Europe moves to ExCeL London

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(The Hosting News) – Huge surge in demand from some of the world’s biggest technology companies has led to the UK’s Best Trade Show*, Cloud Expo Europe, moving to ExCeL for its 2014 event in February. Following the success of the 2013 show at Olympia, which attracted more than 6,850 attendees, AWS, Dell, NTT and Outsourcery have already joined the growing list of exhibitors for the 2014 event, which will take place later than usual on the 26th and 27th February. The expansion to ExCeL provides room for new additions to the Expo, including a Software Defined Networking programme, dedicated Big Data content and a new dedicated programme for developers – all designed to attract more decision-makers from enterprises, service providers and the cloud ecosystem. An impressive range of speakers, headed up by Netflix CTO Adrian Cockroft, will also have the crowds flocking to the event. Confirmed panel speakers include Chris Kemp, CEO of Nebula and former CTO at NASA, Daniel Leabeau, Group CIO at GlaxoSmithKline, as well as cloud computing experts from eBay, PayPal, Vodafone, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, Philips and Citibank. Thomas Standley, Cloud Expo Europe Show Director, said: “The move to ExCeL is a really strong and positive move to build on the rapidly growing success of Cloud Expo Europe. Vitally, it means we now have as much room to grow as we need, all on one level and with our Keynote and other content hubs located right at the heart of the show, driving traffic to exhibitors’ stands.” “To accommodate the move we have also moved the event to the end of February. This will be welcomed by many, as show preparations have previously been disrupted by Christmas and it also allows us to run an even more effective campaign in the two months prior to the event.” The move has also been welcomed by exhibitors, including Omer Wilson, Marketing Director EMEA at Digital Realty, who said: “We have seen Cloud Expo Europe grow exponentially over the last couple of years and are excited to follow the show to ExCeL as it prepares to grow its visitor and exhibitor numbers even further as Europe’s leading technology event.” CloserStill has also announced that the event will take place alongside Data Centre World, the largest data centre event in Western Europe. Data Centre World, which was recently acquired by CloserStill, made the move to ExCeL earlier this year and attracted a record-breaking attendance, up 19 per cent on the previous year, and its biggest ever exhibitor line-up. Phil Nelson, Director of CloserStill, said: “The combination of Cloud Expo Europe and Data Centre World is a compelling prospect. Both events will retain their separate identities, entrances, content and audiences but the two events together, with over 300 exhibitors and more than 10,000 visitors, will instantly be the biggest IT and technology gathering in the UK.” Jonathan Brown, Marketing Director of leading Cloud Expo Europe exhibitor Interoute, also endorsed the co-location with DCW: “Relocating Cloud Expo Europe to the ExCeL Centre is a smart move, positioning the event in a world class venue. Running the show alongside Data Centre World should attract many more delegates to the event, boosting the conversations and interactions that have made this such a successful show for us in the past.” *On 21st June Cloud Expo Europe won the exhibition industry’s Blue Riband award, the Association of Exhibition Organisers’ Best Trade Show accolade for an unprecedented second successive year Cloud Expo Europe moves to ExCeL London

OnRamp Sponsors VMXpo 2013

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(Gawkwire) – OnRamp, a data center operations company headquartered in Austin, TX, announced today its sponsorship of VMXpo 2013, an event hosted by Whitehat Virtual Technologies. The one-day conference, set to take place on September 4th, 2013, at the AT&T Conference Center in Austin, is dedicated to exploring the latest in virtualization and mobile technologies. VMXpo will kick off with a welcome from Whitehat Virtual Technologies’ CEO Val King, and a keynote address from the Founder and President of DABCC, Inc., Doug Brown, a nationally recognized Citrix and virtualization expert. OnRamp will be in attendance to showcase its data center services which include colocation, managed hosting, private clouds, disaster recovery and high security hosting. VMXpo 2013 will feature a business track for executives and business owners, as well as a technical track devoted to virtualization and mobile technologies. With breakout sessions, contests and other special events for Small, Medium and Enterprise businesses, OnRamp will be joined by several well-known vendors from the virtualization space. They include: Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, Dell, AppSense, Frontline Performance Intelligence, Atlantis ILIO, eG Enterprise, NVIDA, PHD Virtual, Unidesk and Whiptail. As one of 11 virtualization vendors selected to participate in the conference, OnRamp will host a breakout session led by OnRamp Founder Chad Kissinger. Kissinger’s presentation, The Advantages of Using Data Center Managed Services to Improve Your IT Operations, will explore the benefits of utilizing data center service providers to add greater efficiencies to a business’s IT operations, and will highlight how OnRamp’s core competencies as a data center service provider can assist companies in deploying secure and highly flexible IT environments. OnRamp supports Whitehat Virtual Technologies, a Citrix Managed Service Provider and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure company, with managed hosting solutions to enable their IT operations. OnRamp’s managed hosting solutions provide everything needed to keep critical IT infrastructure running securely, reliably and effectively 24/7/365 from OnRamp’s state-of-the-art facilities located in Austin, TX and Raleigh, NC. OnRamp’s technical staff is experienced all the way up through the application layer and offer Full7Layer Support, going above and beyond routine requests to help customers where they need it most: inside their racks. For more information and to attend this free event, visit: http://whitehatvirtual.com/trade-show/registration/. About OnRamp OnRamp was founded in 1994 in Austin, TX. As one of Texas’ first Internet Operations companies, OnRamp’s history is rooted in providing reliable and secure connectivity that enables distributed computing. Today, OnRamp is a data center operations company that delivers a full suite of colocation, cloud computing, high security hosting and disaster recovery services backed by Full7Layer Support, to help customers build, deploy and manage data center operations at each and every layer. http://www.gawkwire.com/web_hosting/onramp_sponsors_vmxpo_2013.html

bodHOST Revamps Website

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(Gawkwire) – bodHOST Ltd (http://www.bodhost.com), a leading Managed Servers & Cloud Hosting provider in the United States, today unveiled their new revamped website. The refreshed website boasts of a fine catalog of their products which also reflects the company’s focus on cloud computing technology. As per the company release, the new website has been categorized into two sub types; Cloud Hosting that features their flagship Cloud platform eNlight Cloud along with Public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Private Cloud while Traditional Hosting features Dedicated Servers, VPS Hosting, Shared Hosting and Reseller Hosting. In addition to these, bodHOST Ltd. also offers services such as DR as a Service, Desktop as a Service, SAP Hosting, Zimbra Email Hosting, SSL Certificates and Backup Solutions. “In order to achieve the desired growth, we are implementing and adapting to various new methodologies to compete in the U.S. market, which – at $15.8 trillion in 2012 translated into 25% of the total world market, the largest single market in the world. This statistic is almost equivalent to entire Europe which is $19.9 trillion, which comprises 48 countries and 730 million people. The United States is also a host to 27 of the world’s largest 50 companies. Taking these numbers into consideration, anything is possible in the U.S. if we have the right strategy, right talent, and right motivation”, says Probal DasGupta, CEO at bodHOST LTD. He further adds – “The new revamped website shows the balanced approach bodHOST, as an organization, is taking towards web hosting and cloud services. We understand that there would always be individuals or organizations that prefer the traditional hosting platforms, so traditional hosting platforms can never be neglected. Hence, we have clearly provided a direction to visitors on our website by keeping a simple homepage where the visitor gets a high level view of what we offer. Through the cloud computing section of our website, we have showcased some innovative, interesting and amazing features of eNlight that shall benefit organizations across the world.” Since the rise of cloud computing, the company has transformed into a provider of Cloud Hosting servers and the newly launched website truly showcases the direction company is heading to. On the traditional hosting side, bodHOST offers Shared, Reseller, Virtual Private Servers, Dedicated Servers and Enterprise solutions. Under the Cloud Computing umbrella, bodHOST offers Virtual Private Servers, Cloud Setups hosted on its proprietary eNlight platform along with the popular Hyper-V cloud. bodHOST is among the first few companies to offer automated services in the web hosting industry backed with 24×7 round the clock technical support. The presence of qualified support staff and customer service oriented personnel gives the company a very significant presence in the web hosting industry. To ensure quality of service and support, bodHOST customer support team (866-662-0909 & 302-294-5628) is available round the clock to answer or troubleshoot any queries one may have. The company’s seasoned system administrators possess vast expertise in their respective field which facilitates provision of highly secured Linux as well as Windows servers. About bodHOST bodHOST, established in 1999, was one of the pioneers in web hosting in the U.S., and today manages almost 2 million domains worldwide, and offers a wide range of hosting solutions, both Cloud based (eNlight, VMware, and Hyper-V platforms), as well as traditional solutions like Dedicated Servers, Virtual Private Servers, Shared Servers, Server Mirroring Solutions, Load Balancing Servers and shared hosting services to businesses, professionals, and individuals. BodHOST continuously innovates in technology, and its eNlight Cloud provides auto-scaling for true pay-per-consume model unique in the industry at this moment. The company’s latest foray is in the South American market with the establishment of a presence in Santiago, Chile. http://www.gawkwire.com/web_hosting/bodhost_revamps_website.html

What is Cloud Computing?

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – With so many businesses migrating to the Cloud, it has become a popular buzzword in the mainstream press. But what really is the ‘Cloud’, and why should your business use it? Cloud computing is the latest stage in the Internet’s evolution. As a scalable and virtualised form of web hosting, the Cloud offers a range of benefits over conventional hosting. The ‘Cloud’ itself is a pool of resources – the hardware, networks and storage that combine together to deliver the end user with a service that they require. As a method of outsourcing IT systems, Cloud computing enables users to access services over the Internet whenever, and wherever they need it. Essentially Cloud computing means that instead of your IT system being the equipment and software that you buy and own, it becomes a service that you pay for monthly and access via the Internet. Cloud computing has revolutionized and streamlined thousands of businesses. Users place the running and maintenance of their servers in the hands of the service provider, therefore businesses no longer need to maintain IT systems in-house. Cost-effectiveness is an overriding benefit of the Cloud, with users paying on a subscription basis to their service provider. This also means that businesses will have access to the latest and most up-to-date equipment and technology, as opposed to financing upgrades to hardware and software themselves. The Cloud also offers a great deal of flexibility and adaptability; it grows with your business. RAM and memory can be upgraded instantly with the Cloud, meaning that users can scale up their server capabilities as and when they require. The Cloud beats dedicated servers in performance as it uses fast virtual servers with optimum responsiveness, meaning that no costly downtime will occur. Additionally, with virtualisation software such as market leader VMware, users are guaranteed unbeatable performance and reliability, which can be a major pitfall of running your own hardware in-house. The Cloud’s versatility is most useful for businesses in its ease of access, particularly with data sharing. Documents and files can be stored in the Cloud and accessed via an Internet connection, which is ideal solution for businesses. Also in terms of data backup, the Cloud provides peace of mind with securing valuable data. Most providers offer flexibility within the Cloud by offering the main ‘as a service’ models, namely IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. With IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) the provider runs and maintains the Cloud infrastructure, which is then accessed over the Internet. With PaaS (Platform as a Service), the provider facilitates the running and development of software applications from a central platform. And finally with SaaS (Software as a Service), software is rented from and managed by the provider. Article submitted by Lucie Sadler, Editor at Hyve.com What is Cloud Computing?

Prolexic Helps Mitigate 1ink.com DDoS Attack

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – DDoS mitigation provider Prolexic recently stepped in to help 1ink.com’s e-Commerce Sites in the aftermath of DDoS attacks. 1ink.com provides replacement printer cartridges via its online retail presence. “The 1ink.com network was hit with the first of three DDoS distributed denial of service attacks that grew in size and complexity. The first DDoS attack brought down 101inks.com, one of the smaller 1ink.com e-Commerce sites, for more than a day,” described Prolexic via a press release. Prolexic noted it succeeded in mitigating the attack within just five minutes and said 1ink.com’s websites were most likely “mistakenly targeted.” Aside from mitigation, the company’s DDoS-related services include monitoring, intelligence and network protection. Prolexic Helps Mitigate 1ink.com DDoS Attack

Survey: Users Moving from Public Cloud to Hybrid

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(The Hosting News) – A new study from web hosting provider Rackspace shows more and more customers are migrating away from public cloud computing towards hybrid solutions. The company teamed up with marketing specialist Vanson Bourne to achieve their results. Out of all respondents, a large amount (60%) noted they had already moved or were considering a move either of some workloads or all. “The hybrid cloud is the future for many companies, our research revealed. Instead of a hybrid cloud approach being a stepping stone to public cloud; it’s the opposite: the public cloud is a stepping stone to a hybrid cloud. Sixty percent of respondents said a hybrid cloud is the culmination of their cloud journey – it is their future,” explained Rackspace’s John Engates via a company blog post. Meanwhile, more specifically, a larger sum of 72% noted that at least a portion of their application portfolio already leveraged hybrid-based cloud solutions. Rackspace also emphasized that many of its clients find that “one size does not fit all” in terms of which cloud solution is best suited for them. The company provides for things like cloud and managed hosting, email and applications. Survey: Users Moving from Public Cloud to Hybrid

Cologix Appoints Chief Sales Officer

Web Hosting Industry Review (WHIR) / Web Hosting Talk -

(Gawkwire) – Cologix™, a network neutral interconnection and data center company, announced today the appointment of Jay Newman as the company’s Chief Sales Officer. As Chief Sales Officer, Newman will be responsible for the sales organization, customer advocacy, the Company’s distribution strategy and will serve a key role on Cologix’s senior executive team. “We are very pleased to welcome Jay to the Cologix team,” said Grant van Rooyen, Chief Executive Officer, Cologix. “Jay has successfully cultivated distribution capabilities at companies in the data center space through transformational periods of growth. We are experiencing significant acceleration in our business – the time is right for Jay to join our team. He understands the industry and the needs of our customer verticals in both Canada and the United States which creates a strong fit with our platform.” Newman is an industry veteran who most recently served as Senior Vice President of Global Marketing and Sales at Peer 1 Hosting, where he oversaw significant growth across the United States, Canada and Europe. Prior to his position at Peer 1, Jay held sales leadership positions at Rackspace Hosting and EMC Corporation. Jay has also held entrepreneurial positions with several successful start-up companies. “I am very excited to join the Cologix team. Like many in the industry, I have been impressed at Cologix’s fast start, establishing the company as a major North American network neutral interconnection and data center provider in less than three years,” explained Newman. “The markets in Cologix’s platform are expected to see disproportionate growth as the edge of the Internet thickens. Cologix’s strategic focus on colocation and interconnection, demonstrated commitment to invest to meet customer demand, expanding customer relationships and attention to customer experience all signal an exciting phase of growth ahead, to which I am very much looking forward to being a part of.” With data centers in Dallas, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, Cologix provides one of North America’s largest neutral marketplaces where network operators and network buyers interconnect. Cologix offers more than 330 network choices, manages thousands of interconnections and has over 550 customers that utilize Cologix’s colocation and interconnection services to scale its networks’ needs rapidly and cost-effectively. About Cologix, Inc. Cologix, Inc. is a network neutral interconnection and colocation company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, that provides massively scalable interconnection services and secure, reliable colocation services in densely connected, strategically located facilities in Dallas, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. With more than 330 network choices and fourteen prime interconnection locations, Cologix currently serves over 550 carrier, managed services, cloud, media, content, financial services and enterprise customers. The company’s experienced team of communications infrastructure professionals is committed to providing its customers the highest standard of local customer support. For more information about Cologix, please visit the company’s website at http://www.cologix.com. http://www.gawkwire.com/web_hosting/cologix_appoints_chief_sales_officer.html

Three Tools to Leverage Your Client’s Brand

Crystal Washington's Blog -

Competition is steep in today’s business world. People are constantly bombarded with advertisements, solicitations, and other marketing messages. It pays (literally) to know how to cut through the clutter to make an impact. One of the best ways to outshine the competition and differentiate your personal and/or professional brand is through directly leveraging your clients’ brands. Most companies focus on creating branded brochures and mailing tchotchkes with their own logos on them. However, if you want to make a lasting impression with potential clients, do the direct opposite—send them items branded with their logo and colors on them. Three Tools for Sending Customized Gifts and Cards Cookie Bouquet creates customizable cookie gifts. As long as your client is not on a special diet, a cookie bouquet can be a great way to show a potential client that you value them. My personal favorite is the Team Spirit bouquet. I request my logo on the cheerleader bears’ chests and the client’s logo on the football player bears’ chests. It wows them every time! SendOutCards allows users to create customized cards online that they then mail on your behalf. You can even add gifts or gift cards to your order! Do you have any funny pictures with your potential client? Did he/she mention something funny recently? I not only use pictures of my clients on cards, but sometimes I reference their jokes via funny Photoshopped images. Touchnote is a mobile application available on iOS and Android that enables users to create customized cards from mobile phone photos. You can then mail a card or postcard directly from your phone! Did you meet a great new contact at an event? Follow up with them immediately by mailing a card with a picture of the two of you. These are simply three of my favorites, however, the possibilities are endless. If your potential client owns a trucking company, mail a remote control truck painted with their logo. Include cookies and a copy of the contract! Customizing gifts alone will not seal the deal. However, providing the best product/service solutions coupled with your having a strong appreciation of their brand and culture will go a long with in strengthening your own brand and client relationships. Do you have a favorite customizable gift tool that you use in business? Leave it in the comments section.   This post first appeared on Personal Branding Blog. The post Three Tools to Leverage Your Client’s Brand appeared first on Crystal Washington.

Three Tips for Handling a Social Media Brand Crisis

Crystal Washington's Blog -

One of the most amazing benefits of leveraging social media is the ability to gain momentum behind a concept or brand. The corresponding negative is damaging publicity and untrue information can also spread quickly and gain traction. Most professionals are wholly unaware of how to handle a social media crisis for their personal brand or even small business, yet in the age of social media—when even things from the past can even come back to haunt—all professionals should have a basic understanding of how to handle a social media brand crisis. Three tips for protecting your brand during a crisis Act quickly. Do not allow even a day to go by without directly addressing the situation. Use reputation management tools like Mention and Google Alerts to monitor discussions of your name or brand online. Note: When setting a Google Alert, select “all results” versus the default “Only the best results” or you could miss something important. Additionally, if the crisis is unfolding via social media, respond via social media, the same day. While there are many examples of how delayed (in the social media world, that means 24 hours) response has caused damage, I can think of no better recent example than that of Paula Deen. Paula’s decision to wait over 24 hours to release her YouTube video following the National Enquirer’s release of her deposition allowed the tongue-in-cheek hashtag #paulasbestdishes to gain momentum, causing brand partners (who later decided to sever ties with the southern cooking phenom) to take the heat. Be genuine and upfront. Oftentimes, dealing with the problem directly and sincerely will diffuse a situation. Sincerely is the key. The days of canned responses and obviously heavily prepared PR statements are gone, at least via social media. Know the main talking points, but be sure to deliver your message in a clear, concise, and heartfelt manner. Point out any misinformation and ensure that your tone is never defensive. Offer solutions and, in the case with unhappy clients, provide them with contact information in order to resolve their issue with a phone call or email. Note: It doesn’t really matter if the person is receptive to your offer (though it is ideal), the important thing is that your social media contacts see that you are offering a solution. Turn the crisis into an opportunity. After being put through the ringer, the last thing many professionals would consider is how to turn the negative experience into an opportunity. However, a wonderful example of a brand leveraging this tactic would be Kickstarter’s apology after allowing a project, deemed extremely offensive to women, to be funded using their site. After their sincere apology, they announced that the company would donate $25,000 to an anti-sexual violence organization. Kickstarter turned their own critics into brand advocates with that move and gained hundreds of shares via social media highlighting the “classy” way the company handled the situation. Remember: Responding to a social media brand crisis requires speed, sincerity, and forward thinking. Creating a plan now just may make the difference between brand destruction and growth later.   This post first appeared on Personal Branding Blog. The post Three Tips for Handling a Social Media Brand Crisis appeared first on Crystal Washington.

LinkedIn Connection Requests via Facebook Message?

Crystal Washington's Blog -

One of my mentors recently contacted me when she received a LinkedIn connection request via her Facebook inbox. Was it legit or spam? I decided to conduct a little experiment to see. Over a year ago, Facebook assigned users a Facebook email address. If you do not update your email address, your Facebook email appears under the Contact Information section of your Facebook profile. Your Facebook email address is your page’s URL at Facebook.com. For instance, mine is crystalwashington@facebook.com. I logged into LinkedIn and under Network> Add Connections> Any Email > Invite by Individual Email. I entered my own Facebook email address and pressed Send Invitations. Next, I went back to Facebook and saw the following message in my inbox: In summary, I sent myself a request to connect with myself on LinkedIn via my Facebook inbox. ***The earth exploded.*** Practical Business Application If you’re using Facebook for business, you’ll likely come across Facebook friends who you want to connect with on LinkedIn, to fully leverage a business relationship. In the event you don’t have a Facebook friend’s email address and it is not listed in her/his Contact Information section, you can still send the person a connection request via Facebook. I would suggest, however, that you follow up that request with a Facebook message telling your friend that you did indeed send the request and suggest that she/he log into their LinkedIn account before clicking on the button to confirm that they know you (otherwise, they may accidentally create a duplicate LinkedIn profile). The post LinkedIn Connection Requests via Facebook Message? appeared first on Crystal Washington.

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