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Editorial – A question of choice

first_imgAdvertisement NewsEditorial – A question of choiceBy John Keogh – October 2, 2015 873  THIS week the public representatives of Limerick city and county had the opportunity to call on the government to hold a referendum on whether or not to repeal the eighth amendment of the Constitution.This amendment, which was passed in 1983, introduced a constitutional ban on abortion.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Councillors were not asked to vote on whether or not they were in favour of abortion, but merely to ask the government to put the matter before the people of Ireland and let the electorate decide for themselves.This seems to have been lost on many of our public representatives, as the motion was voted down by 23 to 12.Regardless of their personal views on abortion, which they’re perfectly entitled to hold, the members of Limerick City and County Council showed a lack of understanding of the basic principles of democracy by failing to lobby for a referendum that many of their constituents would like the chance to vote on.Indeed, just three months ago, the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights recommended that Ireland hold another referendum on abortion.The last referendum was held 13 years ago in 2002, before many of the women of childbearing age in Ireland today were eligible to vote.They are the ones who will be affected by Ireland’s abortion laws, whether it is an 18-year-old student experiencing a crisis pregnancy, or a 30-year-old married woman facing a diagnosis of fatal foetal abnormality during a much-wanted and longed for pregnancy.Neither of them have had the chance to cast their vote on the matter yet.Nonetheless, one by one, 23 of the largely male and middle-aged members of Limerick City and County Council voted against asking the government to let these women have their say.One by one, the councillors spoke at length about their views on abortion, missing the point entirely, and missing the opportunity to give the people they represent the chance to express their own opinions through the ballot box. Predictions on the future of learning discussed at Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival Print WATCH: “Everyone is fighting so hard to get on” – Pat Ryan on competitive camogie squads Facebook Twitter TAGSabortioneighth amendmentlimerickLimerick City and County Councilreferendum WhatsAppcenter_img Limerick’s National Camogie League double header to be streamed live RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Vanishing Ireland podcast documenting interviews with people over 70’s, looking for volunteers to share their stories Limerick Artist ‘Willzee’ releases new Music Video – “A Dream of Peace” Email Previous articleLimerick: where east meets westNext articleBasketball – National Intermediate Cup Brings All Four Provinces Together John Keoghhttp://www.limerickpost.ie Linkedin Limerick Ladies National Football League opener to be streamed livelast_img read more

Google’s New Big Data APIs a Big Gift to Startups?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… The flood of news from Google I/O continues as the company has announced a pair of services available to developers that provide public access to some of Google’s internal data-analysis tools. BigQuery, a service for analyzing massively large sets of data, and Prediction API, an interface for utilizing Google’s prediction algorithms, are now available to developers in the Google Code Labs. To break down these heavy new tools, we spoke with former Apple engineer and big-data geek Pete Warden.Warden believes these new tools from Google could commoditize previously close-guarded technologies, allowing startups to quickly and easily leverage things like sentiment-analysis. “Assuming it does what it says on the label, this opens up a lot of technology problems to bootstrapped startups that previously required serious funding to tackle,” he told ReadWriteWeb. One of the advantages to BigQuery, which can analyze billions of lines of data from trillions of records in mere seconds, is that it is written in a simple SQL-like language. This makes BigQuery a “user-friendly way to harness the power of massively distributed computing,” much like the Hive interface to Hadoop, said Warden.“Both Hive and BigQuery are exciting because there’s millions of people who know SQL, though even a friendlier syntax doesn’t stop you from banging your head on the limitations of MapReduce,” he said.But Warden seems more interested in the new Prediction API, which “promises to open up a lot of Google’s proprietary algorithms to startups,” he said. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… chris cameron Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Related Posts “There’s a lot of meat in the list of examples they give, a lot of hard-to-solve problems that would previously have required an internal engineering team to tackle,” he said. “Imagine being able to get sentiment-analysis on all your customer emails at the touch of a button […] or integrating product recommendations into your small e-commerce site with almost no engineering effort.”With the new Latitude API announced earlier today, startups have a whole new slew of developer toys from Google with which to play. Warden says with the new BigQuery and Prediction API, Google is providing access to these services on a silver platter.“This is more than just Google opening up access to their infrastructure,” said Warden. “They’re offering something with intelligence about problem domains baked-in, which is much more valuable.” Tags:#start#tips last_img read more

Record-breaking Neymar says money not motive for joining PSG

first_imgAt a packed Paris news conference, Neymar found it “really sad” to be asked whether the riches on offer were the reason for his decision to swap one of soccer’s most illustrious teams — Barcelona has won every major honor multiple times — for a club yet to win the biggest competitions outside of France.“I was never motivated by money,” Neymar said at the PSG stadium. “What I think about is happiness. If I was following the money I would maybe be in some other country.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool starsThe move more than doubled the previous transfer record.“The fact I am the most expensive player is not a burden. I am 69 kilograms (152 pounds),” Neymar said through a translator. Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo View comments Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ LATEST STORIES Big firm products top worst plastic litter list — report PLAY LIST 01:45Big firm products top worst plastic litter list — report00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 Games MOST READ Kelly wary of ‘legend’ Boku in return fight to ONE FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congresscenter_img A record-breaking transfer leaves PSG having to squeeze every euro out of the signing — through sponsorship, merchandise and jersey sales — to ensure the club complies with European soccer’s financial regulations.Posters of the Brazilian — accompanied by the words “Welcome to a Paris Neymar Jr 10” — were unveiled to cheers on the front of the central Paris store where fans had been waiting for hours to get their hands on jerseys emblazoned with his name.“We look at Neymar as a brand,” PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said. “I don’t think he is expensive because I think (the transfer) will pay more than we paid.”With Neymar on board, supporters expect the team will achieve much more than just regain the French title from Monaco.The transfer could also elevate the 25-year-old forward to new personal heights as he emerges from the shadow of Lionel Messi at Barcelona.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games “He is one of the three best players in the world,” 21-year-old PSG fan Sacha Cope said as he waited in line outside the club store on the Champs-Elysees on Friday morning to buy a Neymar jersey.“He comes here to win the Champions League with Paris Saint-Germain. We are expecting that. If he can do that here, for sure he will win the Ballon D’Or. He couldn’t do that at Barcelona because he was with Messi.”It was unclear if Neymar would make his debut when PSG opens its league season Saturday against Amiens, a team making its top-flight debut.Philippe Chembon, a fan, flaunted a receipt showing he spent 623.50 euros ($740) on four Neymar jerseys.“This is a very big moment for PSG,” said the 63-year-old Chembon, who is older than the club.When word spread late Thursday that Neymar could be staying at Le Royal Monceau in Paris, fans started to descend on the hotel. They weren’t deterred from hanging around through the night, despite discovering Neymar wouldn’t arrive until the morning.“We think Neymar will help us to dream bigger and win everything,” 20-year-old fan Samy El Amrani Jorey said outside the hotel at 1:30 a.m., adopting the club’s motto.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet Brazilian soccer star Neymar speaks during a press conference in Paris Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. Neymar arrived in Paris on Friday the day after he became the most expensive player in soccer history when completing his blockbuster transfer to Paris Saint-Germain from Barcelona for 222 million euros ($262 million).(AP Photo/Michel Euler)PARIS — Neymar insisted that money was not a motivation in deciding to join Paris Saint-Germain and said Friday that he would not be burdened by his 222 million-euro ($262-million) price tag.The Brazilian star flew in from Barcelona on a private jet for his official presentation, arriving in a city whose soccer fortunes he is expected to transform.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

6 Ways to Screw Up Your Social Media Strategy

first_imgWe all make mistakes when we’re learning something new. That philosophy stands true for business people and school children alike. So what separates those who learn and succeed from those who learn and fail? Why, it’s the correction of one’s mistakes and seeking improvement, of course! Social Media Strategy integrating social media I won’t call anyone out specifically, but unfortunately, I see this a lot. (And I mean, a lot.) I applaud businesses that take the first big leap in How to Screw Up Your Social Media Strategy “I’m not getting social media results right now, so clearly it’s useless.” Whoa, there! Did you even give it a solid chance? When you go to a networking event, do you expect to develop strong business relationships with all 50 attendees that very evening? I imagine you understand it will take multiple weeks, perhaps months of meetups before you develop solid relationships with every person. Similarly, it takes lots of commitment and nurturing to develop a successful community through any social network, too. creating a Facebook Page Only marketing people can successfully represent your company, right? Wrong! By allowing all employees to tweet company content, discuss what they’re working on, or announce special news, your business’ reach just tripled… quadrupled. (You count your employees and do the math.) That’s very valuable, especially when you’re all-hands-on-deck regarding a specific announcement. ” 1. Set up your profile, and ignore it forever. 6. Give up after three weeks. At HubSpot, our social media policy is pretty simple: “Use Common Sense.” And we encourage others to adopt that same attitude. When you’re interacting through social media channels, the name of the game is fast and nimble. Unless you have a person dedicated to reviewing social media content who also has the response time of a tennis player, you’re shooting yourself in the foot. Create a list of the type of content you want published, and trust your employees from there. You’ll be glad you did.  4. Have management review all social media posts and responses before publishing. So what do you think? Are you guilty of making any of these mistakes? How have you improved? What other social media mistakes should businesses avoid? What do you think?last_img read more

6 Ways to Capitalize on Twitter’s Promoted Tweets

first_img Twitter Marketing Topics: Originally published Sep 16, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 ClickZ recently reported that Twitter is rolling out an enhancement to its Promoted Tweets program that will allow brands to reach more Twitter users.  Promoted Tweets will soon be distributed into the streams of users across the entire Twitter network. Up until this change, Promoted Tweets had only been displayed to users who are following your Twitter username.Twitter is restricting the rollout of this program update to 10% of its global users until it works out all the kinks. Obviously, this change will drastically impact the dynamic of the Promoted Tweets program and increase its appeal. Not to mention what it should do for Twitter’s revenue stream.There is no better time than now to start using Twitter for business. And if your business establishes its Promoted Tweets account now, you’ll be ahead of the curve once it opens up these sweet new ad capabilities to all of its global users.If a tweet falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?Promoted Tweets make your tweets heard by hitting users at times when they are most likely to read your tweet, see your awesome comment or link, follow you, retweet, or even visit one of your landing pages. Also, much like you would pay for PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. you only pay for your Promoted Tweets when someone engages with your tweet. This means you are charged only when someone clicks, replies, retweets, or favorites your tweet. Twitter calls this a CPE or cost-per-engagement model.6 Ways to Use Promoted Tweets to Maximize Your Brand’s Twitter Reach1. Hit Your Followers at the Right Time: This is probably the most basic use of Promoted Tweets. You can set up campaigns that push your tweets toward the top of your followers’ timeline when they log in to Twitter. Set up Promoted Tweets that are targeted to your followers so you can ensure that your most important tweets have the best shot at being read, clicked, retweeted, favorited, etc.2. Target Relevant Keywords: A critical component of Twitter is its search functionality. Twitter’s search engine allows users to search for tweets using keywords and phrases so they can find other users who are talking about stuff they’re interested in. Promoted Tweets allows you to target specific keywords or phrases so your tweets appear in their search results. This is a great way to target people who are not yet following you.3. Find People Who Resemble Your Followers: Twitter’s latest enhancement will let you target users who resemble your current list of followers. Obviously, this is an excellent way to increase your follower base while ensuring that your tweets hit qualified eyeballs. Very cool!4. Use Geo-Targeting for Events and Local Businesses: You can also set up a Promoted Tweets campaign that is targeted to a specific geo-location. It will then only trigger your ad when a targeted user is in that location. This is great if you want to establish an event-specific hashtag or if you are marketing a local business.5. Promote Offers: Use Promoted Tweets to let your followers know about upcoming deals and offers. Better yet, create an offer that’s exclusively for them!6. Test Content and Messaging: Use Promoted Tweets to determine what sort of messages resonate best with your follower base. Maybe they only like syndicated content, or perhaps they are most interested in your latest deal. Use Promoted Tweets to identify which types of content and messaging get the most action. You can then also implement these findings in your normal Twitter activity.Also, don’t forget that Twitter offers analytics within its Promoted Tweets platform so you can track performance and optimize your campaigns for maximum engagement.Looking to take Twitter sponsorships even farther? Set up a Promoted Account. Promoted Accounts allow your Twitter username to show up in the “Who to Follow” section of other users’ Twitter profile pages.For more information on Promoted Tweets, you can visit Twitter’s Business Center.Have you started using Promoted Tweets in your Twitter marketing efforts? What kind of results have you generated? 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

Is Instagram’s New Pinterest-Like Web Platform Worth Your Time?

first_imgVintage is so in right now. There are apps that send in-real-life postcards, and rotary phone handsets that plug into your iPhone. And for a while now, there have been mobile apps like Instagram that recognize this nostalgic desire and give amateur photographers the ability to kick it old school with sepia-toned filters and scratch-ridden borders.While everyone is moving toward mobile, Instagram — who started as a mobile-only platform — is taking a step back and joining the rest of the world on the web, launching web-based Instagram profile pages.Ooooh, visual and social web content?! What a novel idea!Except that we already have Pinterest. So, what’s the deal with Instagram’s move to the web? Is it any different than Pinterest? Should marketers even bother setting up their Instagram profiles on the web? This blog post will give you the full breakdown of what’s going on, and whether it’s worth your while. Because the last thing you need is another social media presence to maintain.All About Instagram’s Move to the WebInstagram is not dramatically altering the way its flagship app functions. The mobile app will remain as is, but users will now have their own web-based profile pages. These profiles, however, are the only Instagram feature to move to the web. There is no uploading from the computer, no feed of those you follow, and no search function. Then, when a follower likes your photo on Facebook, this activity is posted on his/her page. Now you’re gaining exposure with not only your followers, but his/hers too. See what I mean by extended reach?It’s also important that you consider these web profiles as important organic search mechanisms, even though people can’t search for users or hashtags on the Instagram website. You want your profile to turn up in the SERPs, so optimize your profile with keywords, and use relevant hashtags with every picture. Besides, just because there’s no search functionality on the site now, doesn’t mean it wont show up in a later iteration. Might as well be prepared, right?Finally, you must remember that Instagram is still primarily mobile. That means:1) Don’t overload your audience with a new photo every 5 minutes.2) Don’t post pictures solely of the products you’re trying to sell.That kind of posting works on Pinterest, a place for users to do some virtual window shopping. Instagram, on the other hand, provides the consumer with a new lens to see a more complete digital picture of the brand’s personality. Post interesting content with the aim to drive engagement, not to annoy, overwhelm, or bombard with hundreds of photos of your latest product.Will you be using the web version of Instagram? Do you think it’s sufficiently different from Pinterest, from either a user’s or marketer’s standpoint?Image credit: jenni from the block So, Which Should I Use? Instagram or Pinterest?   It’s not so much that you should choose one network over the other, but rather that you should understand the different functions of each, and utilize them accordingly. As we told you a few weeks back, 21% of people with a Pinterest account have purchased an item after seeing it on the social network. It makes sense given that a brand’s Pinterest boards are set up like digital catalogs, displaying items that link directly to product pages. Pinterest targets users that are ready to jump to the actual point of sale — or at least who have some intention of making that decision. It remains to be seen, however, whether or not Instagram can produce this same kind of purchasing power. Companies like Chirpify, for example, are trying to make it happen by allowing users to complete a transaction by commenting “buy” on a qualifying Instagram photo.Simply Measured recently reported that while 63% of Interbrand 100 companies have Pinterest accounts, a close 54% (and growing) of those companies have also added Instagram pages to their social media strategy. Not only this, Instagram’s adoption rate has grown in the last quarter more than Pinterest, Google+, Facebook, and Twitter combined. According to Mark Zuckerberg, two year old Instagram now boasts 100 million users to Pinterest’s 11 million, a number that took both Facebook and Twitter over 4 years to achieve.The point here is simple: more and more brands and businesses are using Instagram every day, and if you have the visual content to back it up, it may be worth experimenting with the web platform to see if it yields and results. I mean … if you thought Pinterest was a joke and were then pleasantly surprised with the results, well, you might feel the same way after a few months using Instagram, right?If you want it boiled down to a simple either-or, though, I’d say that Pinterest may present a call-to-action that more directly impacts transactions — “click on this product to buy it” — while Instagram drives more audience engagement and helps you expand your social reach.How Marketers Can Use Web-Based Instagram EffectivelySo you want to give this new Instagram a try. How do you do it right? We’ve got a few tips for you.First, when posting to Instagram, make sure your brand’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are linked to your Instagram account so that your photos post seamlessly to all of your networks for extended reach. Unfortunately, you can only link your brand’s Facebook account if you are uploading from an iPhone. If you are using an Android, you won’t miss out on the web exposure completely — your web Instagram page will still automatically update with your latest photos, it’s just that your brand’s Facebook page won’t. Pinterest Marketing The layout of profile pages makes it obvious that Instagram and Facebook are related — remember, Facebook acquired Instagram a little less than a year ago. Similar to Facebook’s cover photo, the profile displays a large banner at the top, populated by a sleek grid of the user’s photos, softly transitioning from one to another. Below this, thumbnails of each photo are laid out in an organized grid. There’s very little white space, with lots of pictures and places for your eyes to wander.But Wait, Isn’t That Just Pinterest?Okay, so what’s the difference between Instagram and Pinterest? Here’s the basic breakdown of similarities and differences so you can keep these things straight in your head.Both Instagram and Pinterest allow users to post original content, “like” photos or pins, comment on posts, and follow specific users. The differences in the two are in organization and audience reach. Instagram photos are free-standing and cannot be shared or re-posted by other users. Pinterest, however, thrives on features like organizing pins into “boards” and sharing or “re-pinning” other users’ content. Make sense?The biggest difference between the two networks, however, is in how users treat the networks’ similar features quite differently. For example, clothing and home furnishing store Anthropologie has both an Instagram and a Pinterest page. Their Instagram photos tend to have up to 8,000 likes, whereas Pinterest pins barely hit 200 likes. Similarly, their pins produce a few comments at most, while their Instagram photos consistently have upwards of 20.On the other hand, Anthropologie’s pins have hundreds of re-pins, which means its ability to spread and share content far outweighs Instagram’s. And that content differs, too. Anthropologie’s Pinterest page has 1,710 pins, often of models dawning new collections; and their Instagram page has only 214 pins, including photos of jewelry-making workshops, office events, vintage-filtered bottles of champagne and, of course, puppies.center_img 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: Originally published Nov 14, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

Advertisers Find Sneaky New Way to Make You Watch Commercials

first_imgI don’t know if this is innovative, annoying, or a little bit of both. (Probably a little bit of both, but let me know what you think.)I was buying tickets for Bruce in the U.S.A. last night through Ticketmaster. I was doing this because Bruce Springsteen isn’t touring in the U.S. anytime soon, and I needed something to tide me over til his next tour.But I digress.So, I was buying the tickets, and I get to the captcha part of the online ticket purchasing process that we’re all familiar with. It usually looks something like this:Confusing, but most of us can get it right on the third of fourth refresh. (We’re a highly adaptable species.) I didn’t see that familiar captcha this time, though. I saw this:And if you think it’s just a plain ol’ ad, you’re wrong — when you click on the copy to “reveal the security code,” a video starts to play advertising Cascade. You’re then instructed to “listen” for the security code, which resulted in me hunching down at my computer like an idiot to catch the secret phrase. My feeling of idiocy only multiplied when I looked at my screen and saw this:Heh. Triple Action Formula. Didn’t know you were just gonna slap it on the screen. Got it.What Makes This WeirdGood on Ticketmaster for finding a way to make a few extra bucks, I guess. But a couple things made me feel icky about this: 1) The phrasing makes it seem like you don’t want to help stop ticket scalpers if you don’t dream about Cascade Triple Action Formula, and implies that the folks at Cascade are personally fighting the good fight against scalpers.2) They trick you into listening to the ad instead of just looking for the code to type in.But you’re not really listening because, if you’re like me, you’re freaking out so much about not missing the secret code. (It’s a secret, after all! What if they’re hiding it in the commercial?!)But, I have to hand it to them — “they” found a corner of the internet to 1) sneak in advertising where it hasn’t been snuck before, and 2) sneak it in a place where you actually do have to pay attention to it.Kind of.Have you seen these ads elsewhere? (My colleague found one a couple weeks ago on Songza.) What do you think of them? Topics: Originally published Nov 14, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 TV Ads 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

The Forgetful Person’s Guide to Staying Organized at Work

first_img Topics: At some point in our lives, we have to just accept who we are. For me, I’ve had to come to terms that I actually love binge-watching terrible reality TV, I will always want applesauce on my mac n’ cheese (trust me, it’s delicious), and most importantly, I’m forgetful.I forget names pretty much immediately after I meet people. I forget where I parked my car. I forget what groceries I was supposed to pick up when I get to the store. I forget what I supposed to do after that really important meeting. In pretty much any setting, being forgetful sucks — but at work, it can have disastrous consequences. Being forgetful makes you look like you’re careless or just not good at your job, which spells bad news for your growth opportunities. Luckily, I’ve learned to compensate for my forgetful nature. Below are the five tools I use every single day to stay on top of projects, get back to people in a timely manner, and maintain my sanity. Hopefully, if you’re a forgetful person, they can help you, too. 1) Gmail’s Multiple InboxesThis one is a must if you use Gmail and manage a fairly complex inbox. Mine usually has emails that require all different types of responses — some need a reply, others contain information for pieces I’m editing, others are fodder for pieces I’m writing, and others are things I actually need to do. Without any sort of organization, it’s entirely too easy to forget that I got an email that fell into one of those buckets. I use a Gmail Labs tool called “Multiple Inboxes” and Gmail labels to stay organized. These allow me to figure out what to do just by looking at my inbox — and make important chains easy to access. Just look at how beautiful it is:Basically, any time I apply certain labels to emails such as “Needs Response” or “To Write,” these conversations get routed into the buckets on the right of my inbox. Any time I want to remove them from that section, I just remove the label.To make sure I don’t forget about any emails, I just label them as soon as they come in, and then the Multiple Inboxes feature routes them to the right sections. I’ve conditioned myself to use this method so I can stay on top of pretty much any email that comes in my inbox.Want to set this up for your own email? Here’s how:(Note: You need to not have Gmail’s Promotions/etc. tabs to make this work.)1) Create labels for each of the sections you’d like to have. (If you want to get extra organized, you can color-code them.)2) Click the gear icon in the top right-hand corner of your inbox, then select ‘Settings.’ 3) Then, select ‘Labs’ in the top navigation. 4) In the search box, type ‘Multiple Inboxes.’ When it comes up, click ‘Enable’ then ‘Save Changes.’5) Your page will refresh, so you’ll have to re-navigate back to your settings. This time, you’ll see ‘Multiple Inboxes’ in your top navigation. Click it. 6) Here, you’ll set which labels you want to appear in your inboxes and in which order. Under ‘Search Query,’ use the format “is:your-label-here”. Your queries should be all lower-case and use dashes in place of spaces.Then, you can put the name of the Panel. Usually, that’s the same name as your label. Next, choose how many conversations you want in each bucket and where you’d like it to appear in your window. Mine (pictured above) is the right side of the inbox.7) Click ‘Save Changes,’ and voila! Multiple inboxes. Now, just make sure you’re labeling conversations as they come into your inbox and pruning ones from the buckets that no longer need to be there. 2) Checker Plus for Gmail ExtensionWhen I’m editing or writing or just really focused on a project, it’s really easy to miss emails coming into my inbox. Most of the time, it’s fine for me to be a few hours behind — if people need more immediate responses, they can walk over to my desk or give me a ring. But sometimes, that very important and very timely email comes through — and I better not miss it. My solution? A Chrome extension called Checker Plus for Gmail. It’s a little icon that sits in my browser that sends popup notifications when I receive a new email. Bonus: I can click on the icon at any time to see which emails are in my inbox and read those emails, all without leaving my extension. It’s seriously the best Gmail notification extension I’ve found. 3) EvernoteI use Evernote to organize pretty much any creative or random task I need to do. My to-do list for the day. A random blog post idea to write. Interviews I’ve conducted that need to be turned into blog posts. Random HTML code I need to use in any post I edit. Ideas to bring up in our next Content Team meeting. Heck, even full blog posts themselves go in there. Evernote’s basically a notebook you can use in the cloud — which means you can use it on your work computer, your home computer, your phone, your tablet, or even that random computer at a hotel on vacation. And it’s the perfect solution for those of us who tend to have a random idea, then lose it, purely because we didn’t jot it down. Evernote can let you “jot” ideas down anytime you have them, and access them on any device. 4) Browser BookmarksBesides having email-related or creative tasks to do every day, I also have incredibly repetitive tasks to do. For example, I need to check out the backend of HubSpot blog approximately a bagillion times a day to make sure posts are properly scheduled and monitor the performance of recently published content — and of course, I can never remember the direct URL to enter. To avoid going a roundabout way every time I need to check on the status of a blog post, I just bookmark the URL in my browser. I do this with any site I visit on a regular basis — sites like Facebook, Twitter, our company wiki, and Pandora. I also created some folders to help organize specific types of tasks I do. You can see below that I have ones specific for the blog — I’ve bookmarked our goal tracking documents, our stock photo site, and even our beloved style guide.This way, any time I need any of these links, I don’t have to remember what URL to type in or go hunting for the URL in my email somewhere — the essential links I need to visit every day are all right within my browser. 5) CopyClipPretty much all of these other tools are proactive — I take extra precaution to get organized so that I don’t inadvertently forget something — but even with the best organization, some things still fall through the cracks.Lucky for us forgetful ones, there are still some tools out there that can help you when that happens — they’re a backup plan of sorts.One of my favorite backup tools is CopyClip — a clipboard manager. CopyClip is a Mac-only download, but there are other PC-friendly options. It remembers the past 80 (yes, 80) things I’ve copied, and I can access and paste any of those 80 items at any time. So if I’m jumping between editing a post, writing an email, and IMing with a coworker, I don’t have to worry about remembering to paste the last thing I copied before moving on to copying something else — I just copy what I need at the time I need it, then check through my manager later if I need the link. It’s an absolutely essential safety net for my forgetfulness.Are you forgetful? What tools do you use to stay on top of your workload?  Productivity Originally published Jul 29, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 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

12 Tools & Resources to Help You Create Better Buyer Personas

first_img Buyer Personas Originally published Mar 24, 2015 4:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 At first, creating buyer personas seems simple. They’re just semi-fictional representations of your ideal customers, after all. But when you actually get into the nitty-gritty of creating them, it’s easy to get tripped up. One of the biggest challenges you are likely to encounter revolves around actually gathering the information you need to construct your personas. When you need to be surveying your customers, gathering insights from your employees/coworkers, and diving into your marketing software, it can all become a little overwhelming. Here’s a list of some of our favourite tools that will help you create better buyer personas, broken down by the different parts of the persona development process.Interviewing CustomersIdeally, you’ll sit down with your customers and chat with them face-to-face to uncover things that will inform your persona development. Whether you decide to have a one-on-one chat or a larger focus group, sitting down and actually talking with people is one of the most important parts of your persona development process.However, it’s not always possible to be in the same physical location as your customers for your conversation. To make sure you’re still having rich and productive virtual conversations, here are two tools you can use:1) Skype2) Google HangoutsPro tip: If you can, you should record your calls. That way, you can concentrate on asking important questions rather than trying to jot everything down. (Just be sure you’ve gotten your interviewees’ permission to record the conversation!) Skype has a list of useful tools you can use to record Skype calls, and Google Hangouts are automatically recorded.Surveying CustomersSometimes, it’s not feasible or possible to have direct conversations with your customers. This situation is especially common in sensitive industries such as health or personal finance.One way to overcome such barriers is to send an anonymous survey. There are a number of great tools you can use to survey your audience. Three of our favourites include:3) SurveyMonkey4) SurveyGizmo5) Google FormsAll three of these tools have their own merits. SurveyMonkey is great for creating a basic survey that can be integrated with your marketing software, whereas SurveyGizmo offers some other advanced features, such as email auto-responders and client management. The latter also gives you total branding control, meaning you can make it look exactly like your website (which can be hard to do with other survey platforms).Google Forms are perfect for capturing quick opinions or feedback on certain topics. While they are quick and easy to set up, Google Forms lack the flexibility to run data analysis like you can with SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo.Pro Tip: Make sure you pre-test your survey, either among your colleagues or a small section of your target audience. This will ensure that you avoid any glitches or unexpected question interpretations when you send your survey to the larger group. Coworker CollaborationEven if you’re the one leading the charge on creating buyer personas, you’re going to need to collaborate with your coworkers to get a well-rounded view of your semi-fictional customer. To make collaboration easy, you’ll need the right tools. The following tools are particularly useful for collaborating — especially for companies that are spread all over the world.6) Trello7) Google DocsTrello is usually seen as a project management tool, but it can work really well as a collaborative brainstorming tool, too. How can you use it to create buyer personas? After you’ve reached out to your customers and prospects for interviews and/or surveys, you’ll have some good ideas as to who your personas are. In Trello, create a different list for each persona and add a card for each aspect of that persona. Within each card, create a checklist and have your team attach documents and add comments to the cards to help build out each persona.Google Docs can work in a similar way. For example, you could create a different spreadsheet for each persona, and put different aspects of each persona on different tabs within the doc. Send this around to your team members, and ask them to add their knowledge it.Pro Tip: Sometimes, it can be a challenge to get people on your team to make time to contribute to a collaborative project. One way to overcome this is to send a calendar invite for 30 minutes that’ll serve as a reminder to contribute to the project. Once something is blocked off in your team’s calendar, they are more likely to see it through.Lead IntelligenceLead intelligence is one of the best ways to learn insights and tidbits about your personas. After you talk with a few of your key customers about their pain points, you can use lead intelligence to see exactly how they found your website, what they converted on to become a lead, and how they’ve continued to engage with you since then. You should be able to figure this out in your marketing software. We use the HubSpot Marketing Platform for that — this information is available right with each person’s contact record.8) HubSpotPro Tip: When viewing someone’s contact record, you can easily search for your contact in Google. By clicking on the “Search in Google” link in the left side-bar, you will be redirected to a Google results page for your contact name and their company without you having to type anything. These results will usually give you an idea of what social networks your personas are typically on, what forums they are present in, and so on.  For more information on how to use HubSpot contact records to build your personas, check out this resource.Social Media IntelligenceWhile doing your online research, you should dive into social media to get some useful information. Below are a few of our favorite social media tools to use for buyer persona research.9) Facebook Audience InsightsIf you are active on Facebook, this is a great tool for getting data on the interests and demographics of your followers. Here’s how to use it:i. Click here to access Facebook Audience Insights.ii. You’ll be prompted to choose either “Everyone on Facebook” or “People Connected to your Page.” To do research on your existing network, choose “People Connected to your Page.” Note that you must have over 1,000 Likes on your Page for this to work. iii. You’ll be prompted to choose your Page on the left-hand side of the screen. Then, be sure to choose your country. From there, you’ll be given information on things like gender, age, job titles, education level, relationship status, what other Pages your audience Likes, amount of Facebook activity, devices used, and geographic location. For those living in the U.S., you will also get information related to household characteristics and purchase behaviours.10) FollowerwonkFollowerwonk has so many uses in inbound marketing, including growing your audience and reaching out to influencers. But did you know it also has a place in building buyer personas? Similar to how Facebook Audience Insights uncovers Facebook audience characteristics, Followerwonk helps you paint a picture of your Twitter followers.Here’s how:i. Log in to Followerwonk here.ii. Connect your Twitter account to Followerwonk. Click Analyze. Then, you can choose to analyze your own followers or the followers of other accounts. If you don’t have a large following, I’d suggest choosing the latter so you can analyze competitor accounts.iii. The analysis will give you insights into the times of day your audience is active, their location, your followers’ biographies, and how frequently your audience posts, among other things. With a subscription, you can also view extra specific data, such as how people in your audience structure their tweets and how much they retweet. (More retweets are generally a good thing, as it means this audience is more likely to retweet you.) All this information is super useful when you’re building out certain aspects of your personas, such as noting what times they are likely to be online.11) Twitter AnalyticsFollowerwonk can be a bit light on specific interest data, so it’s a good idea to combine that data with data from Twitter Analytics. Twitter Analytics has come leaps and bounds over the past year, and it presents some really useful information for enriching your understanding of your buyer persona.Using Twitter Analytics is really simple — that is, if you know how to access it. To get to your Twitter Analytics dashboard, click on your profile picture in the top right-hand corner of the navigation bar on Twitter.com. A menu will pop down. Click “Analytics” to be taken to your dashboard.From the Twitter Analytics interface, click “Followers” on the top navigation bar, and presto — you have a mine of information in front of you about your Twitter followers. Twitter Analytics presents information on interests, location, gender, and people your followers follow on Twitter.Pro Tip: There are so many options out there when it comes to social media analysis that it can be difficult to know where to start. If you suffer from this problem, remember to look over the research you have already conducted and look for some holes. What kind of information are you lacking in? Once you know what you are looking for within social media intelligence, the easier it is to navigate it.Buyer Persona Creation12) MakeMyPersonaOnce you have all your research completed, it can be difficult to figure out how to compile it all into one working document. We’ve created a free tool you can use that streamlines this process. All you do is navigate to MakeMyPersona.com and answer the questions using the data you’ve collected. We’ll then email you a customizable Word document with your answers so you can add to them over time. Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble getting some questions together to ask your customer base, you can run through MakeMyPersona before you start your research and make a note of the questions you need to ask.What tools do you use to create your buyer personas? Let me know in the comments!center_img Topics: 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