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Francesca loves to share craft ideas and projects on her blog Fall For DIY. She shares tutorials on making your own chic accessories with visually appealing photos to match. FOLLOW: Pinterest | Blog
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At the OpenStack “Juno” Summit in Atlanta this week, more than 4,500 people packed the convention center to learn, share and experience the awesome that is the OpenStack community.
The Summit kicked off with standing room only keynotes from OpenStack Executive Director Jonathan Bryce and Rackspace Cloud Architect Troy Toman. In the crowd, there was huge excitement about how far we’ve come since 2010, as well as the opportunities and challenges we face moving forward.
Here are my three key observations from OpenStack Summit Atlanta:
Observation 1: There are more users than ever. They’re big and they love private cloud.
Wells Fargo and Disney (and other household names) got on stage to profess their love for OpenStack and talk about how it’s helping them move faster as a business:
“Inside of Disney I’m trying to lead a revolution to empower people with technology” @clauney #OpenStack
— Scott Sanchez (@scottsanchez) May 12, 2014
“If you give someone enough ‘fast’, they can make their own ‘cheap’ and ‘good’ by shrinking dev cycle” @clauney #OpenStack
— Scott Sanchez (@scottsanchez) May 12, 2014
“Using #OpenStack to enforce best practices and security is great for us” @glenndferguson @WellsFargo
— Scott Sanchez (@scottsanchez) May 12, 2014
Being able to get the public cloud experience of “it’s fast, it’s powerful and it just works” inside your own data centers is very powerful. Until recently, only a very small number of large organizations had the mindset and agility to take advantage of what cloud could do for them, public or private. That’s changing, and it’s changing quickly. While walking the halls, I made it a point to sneak a peek at as many badges as possible, and it was incredible to see some of the company names in attendance: big banks, big manufacturing, big retail, big government agencies, big entertainment and everything in between. Many of these companies will be on stage at future summits like Wells Fargo and Disney were this week. They’ll talk about how OpenStack solves problems and helps their companies move faster!
Observation 2: Vendors aren’t the only ones contributing.
Big users are becoming major contributors to the project because it means they can move faster as a company. I’ve spoken at length about getting your business off of someone else’s roadmap, and OpenStack is the engine that helps you do that. Comcast has figured this out. The media and communications giant took the stage a few summits ago to show off what it’s doing with OpenStack, and has since become one of the project’s largest code contributors.
“Comcast has become one of the top 20 contributors to Icehouse release” @jbryce #OpenStack
— Scott Sanchez (@scottsanchez) May 12, 2014
And Comcast doesn’t just have one person working on writing code for OpenStack; it had eight in the Icehouse release, for a total of 129 commits, 4,789 lines of code, seven blueprints and 128 emails to the mailing lists. Instead of spending time trying to convince vendors to add features, and then putting its own business on hold waiting for those features, Comcast and many other organizations have realized that they can work with the community to add those features, and move faster as a business as a result.
Observation 3: The skeptics are switching sides.
Every summit so far has been met with healthy skepticism from industry pundits who were making bets and predictions about the demise of OpenStack. They’d say things like “there aren’t any users” or “their choice of APIs will kill the project” or “XYZ project has more traction.” To their credit, proving them wrong has taken four years of hard work from a community of thousands of people. And in Atlanta this week, I didn’t hear any of those comments or feel that vibe. I spent some great time with quite a few top tier analysts, and while they never stop asking the hard questions, it was my impression that those questions were salted with general optimism for the future of OpenStack. That was a first. It seems like the OpenStack questions clients are asking analysts have shifted from “why?” to “how?” and that’s a powerful switch.
Atlanta was my eighth summit. To say the community has changed is an understatement. For the first couple of years, the focus was mainly on recruiting companies into the young ecosystem. Those companies are now among OpenStack’s top 10 contributors. That’s exciting to see. Even more exciting is that the time we’ve spent bringing users into OpenStack is working. We see it at Rackspace in our private cloud business. We see it at local OpenStack meetups around the world. And we get to see it in a major way every six months at the summits.
Who will be on stage in Paris in November talking about how OpenStack is changing their business? Stay tuned! J
Follow me on Twitter: @scottsanchez
We are on the last day of a series of profiles of successful small businesses that are also our customers at Yahoo Small Business in honor of National Small Business Week. We will be sharing some of our favorite success stories throughout the week and we that you suggest and contribute your own stories of small business success on our Facebook account.
More than half of all working Americans either work for or own a small business and small businesses create almost 2/3 of all new jobs. Here at Yahoo Small Business, we are proud to say that some of these businesses are our customers. We have already profiled Ranger Up, Strings and Beyond,BaconFreak.com and Langstons.com. Today it is the turn of Averill’s Sharper Uniforms, a business that successfully changed course online with the help of a redone website and some sharp SEO tactics.
Like many young people, Vivienne Harr’s (@vivienneharr) business experience involves a lemonade stand. Unlike most neighborhood stands, Vivienne’s “lemon-aid” is now sold in 200+ retail locations and became a global movement to end child slavery.
We asked this young entrepreneur to share her inspiring story, tell us about her next project with Make a Stand and offer advice to everyone who has thought about running a small business.
@TwitterSmallBiz: Tell us how Make a Stand came to be.
@vivienneharr: I saw a photo that changed my life. It was a picture of two boys in slavery. And I wanted to free 500 of them by raising $100,000.
After working for 173 days in a row, I reached my goal while I was in Times Square. My parents said, “Honey, you did it! You can stop.” And I said, “Is slavery done?” They said no. So I said, “Then I’m not done.” And I kept on going. I wanted to bottle Make A Stand “lemon-aid”. And that’s how my company came to be!
@TwitterSmallBiz: How did you know your idea could work?
@vivienneharr: I didn’t — but I knew my heart would lead me in the right direction.
Without Twitter, my “lemon-aid” stand would have stayed on our street. - Vivienne Harr, Make a Stand
@TwitterSmallBiz: What role does Twitter play in Make a Stand?
@vivienneharr: It lets you change the world with 140 characters or less. With Twitter you don’t have to be big or powerful to change the world. You can be just like me. Without Twitter, my “lemon-aid” stand would have stayed on our street. But with Twitter, it can go to every street!
@TwitterSmallBiz: What’s next for you and Make a Stand?
@vivienneharr: Ooh, I am so glad you asked this excellent question! With some great people, I am building a new mobile app that allows anyone to make a stand from wherever they stand. It’s called — you guessed it: MAKE A STAND.
I want anyone to be able to make a difference for whatever they care about, wherever they live and however old they are! No age limits. Anyone can make a stand just like I did, but in a really easy, simple way, right from their phone.
When I talk about our app, I like to say “make a stand from your hand!”
With the app, you can take a picture, or select one that really moves you (like the photo of the two boys moved me). Then, the app helps you choose the best charity for your cause. Then it uses Twitter to announce it to your friends. You can make a stand in 30 seconds or less. Small actions can make a big difference. The app comes out this summer — yay!
You can keep up with Vivienne and her powerful journey by following her on Twitter @vivienneharr. To stand with her against child slavery, make a donation on the Make a Stand website.
Transparency reports have become a new standard in the tech industry, according to an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) report released Thursday. The fourth annual "Who Has Your Back" report shows that 20 out of 26 top technology companies published transparency reports revealing information about government requests for user data.
The ideal length of a Google+ headline is less than 60 characters To maximize the readability and appearance of your posts on Google+, you may want to keep your text on one line. Demian Farnworth of Copyblogger studied the Google+ breaking point and found that headlines should not exceed 60 characters.read more
Last night we held the sixth annual WHIR Networking Event in the WHIR's home town of Toronto, Canada, at the Pravda Vodka Bar.
A lot of us have visions of escaping to a magical hideaway somewhere in the wilderness. This week, tree houses are trending on Pinterest and it seems like a lot of you are dreaming of what it’d be like to live or play high above in the canopies.
From recreational playhouses to isolated living in the forest, Pinners are letting their imagination run free with creative tree house inspiration. So for this week’s Pin Picks—and with a little help from our Pinners—we discover your dream tree house.
Childhood memories - You don’t need to be secluded to have a private sanctuary. In fact, if you have kids, Lee Howard shows us how to build outdoor tree and playhouses in the backyard, even with salvaged materials.
Follow Lee Howard’s board Kids - Tree-houses on Pinterest.
Grown-up dreams - From design to architecture, Martin Salzmann shows us functional tree house ideas from around the world.
Follow Martin Salzmann’s board A Tree House for Adults on Pinterest.
Feline freedom - Claudette Darnell shows us how to build indoor and outdoor tree houses that allow our furry friends to climb and explore.
Follow Claudette Darnell’s board For the Home - Cat-friendly Decor on Pinterest.
A discreet hideaway - For those looking to escape into wonder, Amalya Haver shares tree house concepts that’ll let you slip into the sky without being bothered.
Follow Amalya Haver’s board Treehouse Getaways on Pinterest.
To live in the canopy - If you’re done with city life and looking for alternative living, Jesse Gaskins has boards with fully operating tree homes with bathrooms and libraries!
Follow Jesse Gaskins’s board Tree House Living on Pinterest.
If you have other ideas on how to have fun with tree houses, share them with us below! But even if you don’t plan on living in the trees, keep browsing Pinterest for more ways to celebrate. And of course, tune in next week for more Pin Picks.
—Pari Mathur, Content Guru, Currently pinning to Story Time
With the one-year anniversary of the PRISM revelations coming up next month, CipherCloud has surveyed European enterprises to understand their cloud adoption plans and how concerns around privacy and security have impacted them.
This week, we took OpenStack Summit by storm; shared our stance on the cloud price war; and heard about the power of human support from an ecommerce customer. Check out all that and more this week in the Rackspace digest.
OpenStack Summit Atlanta
Rackspace OpenStack specialists were on hand this week at OpenStack Summit Atlanta hosting informative sessions, a powerful keynote address and talking all things OpenStack. Check out all of our coverage from the event.
The Cloud Price War Versus The True Value Of Cloud
There’s been a lot of talk lately about cloud pricing. The perception seems to be that to tap the power of the cloud you need only acquire some low-cost infrastructure and you’re good to go. This is a false premise. Here, we discuss what we feel is the true value of the cloud.
Proactive Expertise, Hybrid Technologies Drive Ecommerce Growth
Dafiti is the fastest growing fashion operator in Brazil. Its ecommerce sites need to perform at their best, which is why Dafiti trusts Rackspace.
Where The Enterprise And DevOps Meet
Racker Chris Jackson recently attended the CIO Europe Summit, hosted by CDM Media. There was a first for him at the event: a CTO for a major global bank gave a 30-minute talk on DevOps to his peers.
Landing pages are a key aspect to any inbound marketing strategy. If you have landing pages on your site, but aren’t seeing any leads or conversions, you are doing something wrong. Here are the top five problems you may need to fix in order to get better results.read more
The fairly straightforward process of finding an employee usually goes something like this:
Post job listing in any number of places.
Review applicants’ résumés.
Make an offer.
You generally can take your time to choose that perfect employee. That’s often not the case if you’re a small business owner looking at hiring a contractor.
Because you’re likely looking for someone for a shorter-term assignment, it rarely makes sense to invest a lot of time and money in your search — but you almost certainly are looking for someone with a specialized skill set. After you write an amazing job description, here are few ways to find the perfect fit for your contract project:
Start with your own network
Choosing the right contractor isn’t just a question of finding a freelancer whose portfolio you like. Because you need to be able to trust a contractor to work independently, as well as generally take more responsibility than the average employee, you need someone who you know is able to to handle the work you’re handing to them. The more information you can get about a potential contractor in advance, the better.
A contractor who has already worked with someone you know and trust is far more likely to work out than a contractor you find in any other way.
Contact your fellow business owners to see if they have any recommendations. If you know of other companies that have recently needed similar work done, ask who completed the project and find out:
How reliable was the contractor in question?
What sort of budgets does the contractor work with?
How does the contractor communicate?
How quickly does the contractor work?
Does the contractor have any specialties?
The more you know about a particular contractor’s process, the better equipped you’ll be to work with them. Once you find a contractor or two who you enjoy working with, ask them for referrals.
Look for work you like
Especially with creative projects, you’ve probably been paying attention to what’s going on in your niche or geographic area. You have an idea of the website design or marketing copy that you already like — so use that information to guide your hiring process. There’s nothing wrong with turning to the people who completed the work you admire.
You can also browse a variety of portfolio sites to get a feel for contractors’ work before diving into a business relationship with them. You can check out different types of design work on Dribbble, for instance, to fine-tune the feel you’re going for and help you find the pro to make it happen.
Consider contractor marketplaces
The Internet offers access to a wealth of talent worldwide, organized into marketplaces where you can quickly find contractors of all stripes. Many marketplaces even specialize in connecting you with specific types of contractors, and offer benefits like handling payments and providing escrow services that ensure that all necessary work is done before payment is released to a contractor.
Marketplaces are split between two approaches: either contractors will charge a flat rate for any work done through the marketplace or they’ll place bids on individual projects. Many of the largest online marketplaces are bid-based, in part because lower prices do make contractors more affordable for the average business.
However, you should approach marketplaces with some caution. Make sure you understand who you are working with and what you can expect before you agree to a project’s terms. Do your research: check contractors’ portfolios, talk to their previous clients, and write out clear project descriptions.
The post Hiring a Contractor: Finding the right fit appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
With International Museum Day approaching on May 18, let's browse the blogs of some museums on WordPress.com -- from premier art institutions to science and natural history organizations.
The post 5 Companies You Might Not Realize Google Now Owns appeared first on HostGator Blog | Gator Crossing.
Everyone knows that Google is a big deal. Each year, news of Google’s new acquisitions makes headlines across the world and across the web, stunning analysts and everyday consumers alike.
From little start-ups to longtime titans of industry, so many companies have been picked up that users often forget (or don’t realize) that their favorite app or software is now part of the Google machine.
For some, this just means better service, better quality, and better integration on mobile platforms; for others, watching a beloved site or service get stripped for parts and silently assimilated into the inner workings of Google’s infrastructure can be disappointing to say the least.
For better or worse, Google is making waves not just online, but in nearly every facet of our lives. Here are five companies you didn’t know Google owns and what that means for you:
Social networking, mapping, and up-to-date traffic, all rolled into one app? Sounds too good to be true, but that’s precisely what Waze is all about.
Waze helps drivers help themselves by providing an outlet for folks to warn other drivers of potential delays and hazards by means of tweet-like posts. This information then coalesces into a living map that shows drivers in the area just how long it will take to get from Point A to Point B, which roads to avoid, and even the location of speed traps.
It isn’t hard to see why Google would want to snatch these guys up. With close to a billion downloads of Google Maps from Google Play alone, adding the social networking power of Waze to the application gives users the unparalleled quality of Google’s navigation interface,
In addition, the benefit of sourcing information about travel times and level of traffic from drivers on location is hard to beat. And with the recent launch of Google Now, Waze data is seamlessly integrated into Google Maps’ auto-updates for an even more intuitive traffic alert system.
Home automation is still a relatively new concept for many consumers. The idea of sending a text message to your alarm system because you forgot to arm it on the way out the door—much less having your fridge text you when Timmy sneaks some cake in the middle of the night—still sounds like something from The Jetsons.
But Nest, founded by Tony Faddell and Matt Rogers, the same guys who brought us the iPod, is all about making your home smart, from thermostats to alarm systems. Nest was picked up in January 2014 by Google in its quest to branch outside the worldwide web and into your living room.
Acquiring Nest helps Google build their stockpile of resources for total home integration with Android devices that are already making everything from turning on the outdoor lights for a party to setting the timer on the sprinklers easier than updating your Facebook status. Expect big things from this merger: with Nest’s innovation and Google’s infrastructure, we are stepping into a brave new world.
Google almost acquired rival company Yelp back in 2011, but picked up Zagat instead after the deal fell through.
Prior to merging with Google, Zagat.com was a subscription-based service, offering its vast cache of knowledge only to those who paid a premium. Zagat membership is now free—as long as you sign up with Google+, that is.
But whether you subscribe to Zagat or not, Google has tightly and seamlessly integrated Zagat reviews and information into its standard Google search, so even casual users benefit. The novelty and prestige may have taken a backseat, but picking a restaurant for that special occasion has just become much easier.
A short-lived but popular gesture recognition program, Flutter was acquired by Google in October 2013. Due to its native integration with applications like YouTube, Chrome, Netflix and Pandora, Flutter was a prime candidate to springboard Google’s gesture recognition ventures moving forward.
Users of the original Flutter app need not worry that it’s merely been stripped for parts—the download can still be found here.
As with a few other apps, merging with Google bodes well for both Flutter veterans and newcomers alike. As Google engineers hone and develop gesture recognition for more and more programs, it will become a smoother, more universal experience across the board.
This is actually just one of about a half dozen or more robotics companies bought up by Google in early December 2013, along with Redwood Robotics, Meka Robotics, Holomni and others. Boston Dynamics is best known for the DARPA-funded BigDog, essentially an automated four-legged pack mule designed to carry gear for soldiers over terrain too rough for vehicles.
What does Google intend for these companies? It isn’t too clear yet, but whether they are planning on putting these firms to use in vamping up their manufacturing capital in preparation for the Google Car, or if they have bigger plans in mind (humanoid robots?), picking up so many robotics companies suggests that Google is gearing up for some big, exciting things.
Whether it results in overall better quality or if an app or service is simply assimilated into the infrastructure, Google’s acquisitions are taking tech in bold new directions. As its influence pervades every aspect of our lives, more and more companies are sure to follow. And whether we embrace it or not, this snowball-effect is pushing the boundaries of what we thought possible, and that’s a very exciting thing.
You have to experiment if you want to take your Facebook page to the next level.
Following all the Facebook best practices just won’t cut it.
Instead of copying everyone else, here are 8 ways to buck conventional norms & really get important data for your Facebook marketing strategy.
If you’re new to Facebook marketing, don’t worry — this advice is easy to follow.
But these tips will work wonders for the most seasoned social media marketer too.
8 Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies for Serious Pros
1. Segment Time for Different Content
The trick here is to post different types of content throughout the day.
Then take note of what works at what time.
For example, post a news link in the morning so your fans can catch up on what’s happening in the world.
Then publish something more light-hearted in the afternoon — like a meme, fun question or a quote.
Then do the reverse the next day & compare the results.
2. Experiment With New Content
Do you post enough variety on your Facebook page?
Would you like to test some new content but don’t know where to begin?
Post Planner’s new viral photo finder can help. The tool quickly locates the most popular & shared photos on any Facebook page.
I used the viral photo finder to find this post:
Post by Post Planner.
The trick here is to try posting stuff you’ve never tried before — maybe stuff you’ve never even thought to try before.
See how it works. Gauge the reaction & then try something new.
Think of each post as an experiment! And let Facebook tally the results.
3. Post the Right Content on the Weekend
Maybe people don’t want to read your blog posts on the weekend.
At least that’s what recent research from BuzzSumo says.
So try posting other stuff.
Instead of posting articles, mix it up on the weekend with more engaging posts like questions, quotes & photos.
>> Click to Tweet <<
But again — treat these posts as scientific experiments.
4. Post at Different Times of Day
So many social media experts think they know the #1 best time to post.
That’s because it’s different for every page & fanbase.
The only way to find out is to run experiments.
Ie. try posting at off-peak hours when there isn’t as much competition for eyeballs.
>> Click to Tweet <<
It worked for one of my Facebook pages.
We got strong engagement on content we posted after 10pm.
5. Test Post Frequency
You’ve also heard lots of advice about how many times you should post each day.
Just remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution for every page. The only way to find out what works best on your page is to experiment.
We post 6-8 times a day at Post Planner!
So it all depends on how engaged your fans are with your content.
Here’s a recent post from Post Planner that got more than 4,000 shares:
Post by Post Planner.
The posts that we posted 2 hours before & 2 hours after this post also got huge engagement.
So don’t believe the hype when experts tell you to post only twice per day!
Test it out for yourself!
6. Be Personal
The Facebook pages I remember best are ones that engage with me on a personal level.
They showcase the personal side of their business.
Try communicating with your Facebook fans on a personal level. Discuss a new product launch by showing your team working hard behind the scenes.
Facebook is a social network, so be social.
Here’s a great Mother’s Day example from Creative Market:
7. Highlight Current Events
Are there events in the news that may interest your fans?
If so, you can craft your posts around those events.
For example, if a big game is coming up & your page focuses on recipes, share recipe ideas before the game.
If you run a fashion page, ask for opinions from your fans about what celebrities wore to a newsworthy event like the Academy Awards.
The possibilities are endless.
Pool Supply World posted this on Star Wars Day:
8. Crowdsource Decisions
Are you launching a new product or service soon?
Why not let your fans weigh in with their feedback?
>> Click to Tweet <<
Let them help you make decisions like:
picking a new book cover
deciding on a title or headline
choosing a new logo
This is a great way to get fans to engage with your page.
Check out how my friend Chris Reimer crowdsourced his book cover:
Use these advanced Facebook marketing strategies to take your page to the next level.
The tricks could help you attract more followers & stay engaged with your fans.
Now it’s your turn…
Have you tried these tips? Is there any advice you’d like to add?
The post 8 Advanced Facebook Marketing Strategies for Serious Pros appeared first on Post Planner.
In the pursuit to create viral content, marketers have embraced the idea that using influencers to endorse a brand’s message will foster consumer engagement. As the tactic trends among the marketing community, brands are spending millions of dollars to hire influencers to serve as brand ambassadors.read more
Using social media is nothing new in the fundraising arena, but every once in a while a successful campaign stands out. Wabash College, a small men's school in Indiana, recently raised $465,421 in a single day. On 4/30/14, they launched their "Wabash Day of Giving," and quickly harnessed the power of social media to reach current and former students. read more
As a business owner, how can you get the most out of hashtags in your social media strategy? This is an excellent question. After all, how do you know which hashtag to use? Which hashtag will get you the most exposure? How do you register a hashtag for your business? This post has answers.read more
The evidence is indisputable. If you run a small business today, you know you have to use technology. The big question is: how nerdy do you have to get? And it’s a legit question. As a small business owner, you do what you do really well. Make cupcakes, sell homes, take photos. The last thing you want to figure out is how to set up and run an Exchange Server.
Unless, of course, you set up Exchange Servers for a living. You get my point.
And here’s the great news: you don’t have to know how to hack a server. The same technology, the same infrastructure, that big companies use to manage their business is available online and it’s easy to set up and get rolling. The Internet, aka the cloud, makes it possible.
Thing is, a lot of small businesses and nonprofits aren’t using it.
Microsoft® recently commissioned a survey for National Small Business Week that illustrates this point. From their recent article:
“It’s surprising that only 30 percent of small businesses are using cloud technology and 10 percent were not familiar with cloud technology at all. The power of cloud solutions like Office 365 is to provide small businesses with the same computing power as much larger companies, while addressing key concerns about upgrades, security and mobility, as noted above — Office 365 can alleviate these with automatic upgrades, built in enterprise grade security and access to mission-critical content from any location and any device — greatly easing the burden of doing it all on small business owners.”
Take Charles Town Now, for example. They’re a nonprofit trying to put Charles Town, W.Va., on the map and encourage economic development. Like a lot of other small organizations, they’re interested in using the same technology that big organizations use to make the business of doing business easy. They found that with Office 365.
“Office365 from GoDaddy has been a really powerful tool for us and has provided us with an incredible and affordable way to communicate with our people.”
~Van Applegate, Charles Town Now
For more information on how small businesses can leverage technology and compete with larger companies, check out the full article.
The post Compete with the Big Dogs: Office 365, the cloud, and mobile appeared first on GoDaddy Blog.
With an Internet population of 618M and counting, larger than that of the US and Western Europe combined, it’s becoming perilous not to become familiar with the platforms and technologies that drive this avalanche of upwardly mobile middle-class consumers. Here's a quick primer about the Chinese social web.read more