Monthly Archives: April 2016

Google Tests Feature That Lets Media Companies, Marketers Publish Directly to Search Results – WSJ

Google is experimenting with a new feature that allows marketers, media companies, politicians and other organizations publish content directly to Google and have it appear instantly in search results.

The search giant said it began testing the feature in January and has since opened it up to a range of small businesses, media companies and political candidates.

Fox News has worked with Google to post content related to political debates, for example, while published posts related to the Oscars in February. Earlier this week, HBO published “news” articles related to fictitious characters in its popular show “Silicon Valley” to promote the season 3 premiere.


A content carousel for HBO’s Silicon Valley on a Google search results page Photo: Google for The Wall Street Journal

Google has built a Web-based interface through which posts can be formatted and uploaded directly to its systems. The posts can be up to 14,400 characters in length and can include links and up to 10 images or videos. The pages also include options to share them via Twitter, Facebook or email.

Each post is hosted by Google itself on a dedicated page, and appears in a carousel in results pages for searches related to their authors for up to a week, a Google spokeswoman said. After seven days, the posts remain live but won’t be surfaced in search results. Rather, they can be accessed via a link.

“We’re continuing to experiment with the look and feel of this feature, including exploring other potential use cases,” according to a statement from Google. A Google spokeswoman said the feature doesn’t yet have an official name.

On Thursday morning, searches for “Jimmy Kimmel” returned a carousel featuring multiple posts created by the show’s producers, for example. One of those posts, published Monday, featured a YouTube video clip of Mr. Kimmel naming babies live on his show.

Cricket-focused sports site Cricbuzz appeared to be extremely active on the feature, posting to it around every 10 minutes on Thursday morning.

Source: Google Tests Feature That Lets Media Companies, Marketers Publish Directly to Search Results – WSJ


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Consumers To Learn Of Risks In Wearables, Connected Objects While At Work 04/28/2016

security1Consumers not aware of security implicationsof IoT technology they wear or bring into their homes may start to learn about it at the office.

Surveys have shown that many consumers are not concerned about security breaches through theirwearable devices, like smartwatches or fitness trackers. The same is true for home smart things, such as connected thermostats.

However, business execs see wearables as the top securitythreat, based on a new study.

The study is based on a survey of 440 company technology executives in North America, Europe and the Middle East conducted by Spiceworks, a network of technology professionals.

It turns out that much of the connected technology at work is pretty much the same as at home and that’s where consumer education is likely to rub off.

Forexample, tech execs at work see security issues in wearables, connected appliances and thermostats, the same types of devices consumers are dealing with personally. Here are the IoT devices seen asthe most likely source of a security threat or breach, according to the study:

  • 53% — Wearables (smartwatches, fitness trackers)
  • 50% — Video equipment (security cameras)
  • 46% — Physical security (smart locks)
  • 45% — Appliances
  • 41% — Sensors (RFID readers, badge readers)
  • 39% — Controllers (smart lighting, thermostats)

The good news for consumers and marketers is that businesses are taking it upon themselves to help employees learn of the risks involved. Of the execs preparing for the impact of IoT in theworkplace, 64% are focusing on educating employees about risks.

This is positive for marketing, since consumers are likely to learn how to better control access to and through their connecteddevices and also how they can allow communication from brands they trust.

The Internet of Things does not live in a vacuum. The people learning about the ins and outs of their wearables andother connected technology at work are the same people marketers will be targeting, mostly when they’re not at work.

Source: Consumers To Learn Of Risks In Wearables, Connected Objects While At Work 04/28/2016

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Adobe Sets Triggers For Programmatic Messages 04/28/2016

AdobeAdobe will release a remarketing tool Thursday that automatically triggers an email, mobile text message or other event based on behavior, encouraging the consumer to complete the purchase,Search Marketing Daily has learned.

Marketers will find the feature in Adobe Campaign supported by data and Adobe Analytics. Through the platform, users gain live-stream triggers withpropensity scoring, according to Nate Smith, senior product marketing manager for Adobe Analytics.

The triggers aim to improve reaction time and avoid common pitfalls of traditionalremarketing. Marketers will have the ability to calculate the likelihood of a visitor returning to a Web site to make a purchase, and then trigger a remarketing like email or text message encouragingthem with discounts or coupons to complete the sale. For example, when someone abandons an online shopping cart, it will trigger a text message to the consumer. The message might offer 20% off theirnext purchase.

Smith said marketers can set up as many triggers as they would like, but believes that realistically, most will begin with less than 10 and increase the number as they gain anexpertise with the tool.

The data is viewable on tablets and mobile phones. Marketers can also build trigger reports within Analysis workspace because it is responsive. The tool learnswith time. Part of the propensity score is tied to previous consumer behavior to determine the best trigger event to use that will gain the most favorable response.

Source: Adobe Sets Triggers For Programmatic Messages 04/28/2016

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Press Release: Penton Launches The IoT Institute — First Horizontal Franchise Applies To All 14 Company Verticals With Audience of 10MM – Publishing Executive

San Francisco, April 20, 2016 – Penton today announced the launch of the IoT Institute, a new business unit focused on the rapidly-growing world of the Internet of Things (IoT). The IoT will unleash $6.2 trillion in new global economic value annually by 2025, with $2.3 trillion coming from the global manufacturing industry alone. While most coverage of IoT centers on the hype around wearables and other consumer applications, the largest market will be in industrial application.

According to McKinsey, the largest growth segments for IoT ahead are Smart Cities and Manufacturing. Penton’s IoT Initiative is squarely focused on these two segments, and the business decision-makers who are now confronted by the challenge of practical application.

Penton Group President Paul Miller clarified: “IoT is now as relevant to non-technical professionals running companies and projects as it is to the technology community. The IoT Institute will focus on sharing best practice between technologists and line executives in order to drive practical and measurable results.”

The IoT Institute franchise encompasses information services, learning, research and live events. The IoT Institute launches with:

  • A digital community ( enables cross-industry and cross-job function learning to drive IoT market value and results.
  • IoT Emerge, scheduled to take place in Chicago this Fall, will offer real-world insights and demos, cross-functional peer-to-peer networking, advice and lessons.
  • Breaking industry research focused to educate and drive business performance with IoT.

Penton has a unique ability to rapidly scale this new business, as the topic applies to virtually all of its 14 verticals. Some examples of Penton markets with very high application relevance include energy, buildings, automotive, aviation, municipal government and infrastructure, agriculture, waste, IT & data-centers, and engineering. “Penton can apply a layer of intelligence around IoT that ensures the topic is relevant to the nuances of each of our markets. This ensures our insights will be practically applied, and lead to tangible results for our users and marketers,” said David Kieselstein, Penton’s Chief Executive Officer. He added, “With a target audience of 10 million professional users we plan to quickly establish what will be the largest professional IoT community.”

Source: Press Release: Penton Launches The IoT Institute — First Horizontal Franchise Applies To All 14 Company Verticals With Audience of 10MM – Publishing Executive

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Consumers Tap, Talk, View Their Way Into The Internet Of Things 04/27/2016

Consumers are going to interact and connect tothe world of the Internet of Things in many ways.

The current main connection to that world is primarily via the smartphone, since many smart devices still need somewhat of a central control point.

Fitness trackers, for example, collect and aggregate activity information and quickly and neatly send that info to smartphone screens, thanks to Bluetooth. Consumers also will interact directly through devices they wear, which is where virtual reality (VR) comes in.

Virtual reality hardware is projected to skyrocket this year, with 10 million units shippingglobally, according to International Data Corp. (IDC). In terms of revenue, this translates to $2.3 billion to be spent this year. And by 2020, a combination of virtual reality and augmentedreality hardware shipments are projected to pass 110 million units.

Source: Consumers Tap, Talk, View Their Way Into The Internet Of Things 04/27/2016

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Tennessee Campaign Uses Data, Video Clips To Personalize Real-Time Ads 04/27/2016

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development worked with global marketing agency VML to create a campaign using data to serve personalized pre-roll videos with a vacationtheme. The message changes in real-time, based on data from online behaviors, likes and interests.

In the time it takes between page load and pre-roll play, Tennessee Tourism’s VacationMatchmaker campaign analyzes millions of data points, such as the type of music consumers stream to reservations for dinner and magazines or newspapers to which they subscribe.

The campaign,which targets consumers on publisher sites within driving distance to the state, creates more than 100,000 different combinations of videos to personalize each, Kevin Triplett, commissioner forthe Tennessee Department of Tourist Development, told Media Daily News.

Since the campaign launched on April 1, 2016, hopeful travelers have watched the collection of videos more than26 million times, nearly 234 hours of video, Triplett said. The campaign will run through the month.

Source: Tennessee Campaign Uses Data, Video Clips To Personalize Real-Time Ads 04/27/2016

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A Neural Network Playground

Um, What Is a Neural Network?

Neural Network

It’s a technique for building a computer program that learns from data. It is based very loosely on how we think the human brain works. First, a collection of software “neurons” are created and connected together, allowing them to send messages to each other. Next, the network is asked to solve a problem, which it attempts to do over and over, each time strengthening the connections that lead to success and diminishing those that lead to failure. For a more detailed introduction to neural networks, Michael Nielsen’s Neural Networks and Deep Learning is a good place to start. For more a more technical overview, try Deep Learning by Ian Goodfellow, Yoshua Bengio, and Aaron Courville.

Click here: Interactive learner on how neural networks work

Source: A Neural Network Playground

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Google Inbox Update Transforms Gmail Into Personal CMS Solution 04/21/2016

Google released a sleeker Inbox Wednesday, updating its email application by turning it into a personal CMS solution for Chrome users.

Google unveiled threemajor enhancements to Google Inbox that organizes web and mobile experiences via email. The release of streamlined events, and the ability to glance at newsletters and saved links seeks to minimizethe time email users take sifting through clutter.

“Life can get really busy,” states Pras Sarkar, software engineer at Google, in a blog post. “It can be overwhelming to stay on top of everything. And sometimes, you might miss somethingreally important amidst all the rest.” A tighter integration with Google Calendar allows Inbox users to view all emails and updates for a particular event in tandem, creating awide-ranging view of the upcoming activity in one easy-to-read location.

Inbox’s new Save to Inbox feature creates a new section in Google Inbox for all saved web pages or articles thata user may want to review again later. The technology giant also released a new Google Chrome extension that allows Inbox users to save online content via Inbox with a simple click of a button.

Google’s new newsletter feature is likely to be of most interest to email marketers, as it similarly groups all newsletters together by sender. A new preview feature also shows ashort snippet of the newsletter, which can then expand to include additional details once clicked.

Source: Google Inbox Update Transforms Gmail Into Personal CMS Solution 04/21/2016

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Apple iPhone sales by year – Business Insider


Apple reports earnings on Tuesday, and its quarterly revenue is expected to fall from the year-ago quarter for the first time since 2003.

That’s because iPhone growth has finally hit the wall. Ming-Chi Kuo at KGI Securities has historically been one of the most accurate analysts covering Apple, and he predicts the company will sell between 190 million and 205 million phones this year. As this chart from Statista shows, that will make this the first year of falling sales since the iPhone was introduced in 2007.

The iPhone did more to change the tech industry than any other product since the personal computer. It kicked off the smartphone revolution, which created and destroyed entire industries. And 200 million iPhones a year is still a great and incredibly profitable business. But Apple’s growth will have to come from somewhere else.

Source: Apple iPhone sales by year – Business Insider

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Why The Ad-Supported Model Will Destroy Online Publishing 04/22/2016

The online publishing industry is in a state of major turmoil; the relationships that bind advertisers, publishers and readers are increasingly tense and adversarial. I believe that the ad-supportedbusiness model is the root problem of online publishing, which will destroy online publishing as we know it today.

In most industries, you have two common business models:Business-to-business or business-to-consumer. A third model, the marketplace, involves three parties, one of which (the marketplace) brings together the other two (consumers and producers). In thereal world, stock markets and auction houses are examples of marketplaces. The marketplace model has been successful online, with examples like Etsy, AirBnB, Shutterstock and many more.

Ad-supported publishing is also a three-party model, but different from marketplaces: In this case, readers want content, advertisers want access to readers, and publishers want money to supporttheir operations. But unlike a marketplace, this model creates a misalignment of incentives that is the cause of the problems we are seeing. Let me explain.

The ad-supported modelerodes the quality of online publishing. Publishers are supposed to create content, but in an ad-supported world, their number-one goal is to attract readers. This misalignment ofincentives means that the primary function of content is to serve as bait, which lowers quality. In the print world, many publishers rely at least in part on subscriptions, which means they still haveto generate good content. But when all of your revenues come from advertising, content quality becomes even less important.

The ad-supported model has led to an explosion in thenumber of publishers. When it became apparent that you could make money online by generating traffic, wannabe publishers rushed to the Internet in droves. And because the barrier to entry isvirtually nonexistent, this led to an explosion in the number of publishers, which meant increased competition, which led to increased pressure to generate traffic, which further lowers quality.


Source: Why The Ad-Supported Model Will Destroy Online Publishing 04/22/2016

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