In the Spring of 2015 Facebook announced its Instant Articles, a partnership with publishers that would allow those companies to host their stories directly on Facebook and push it to users in Facebook's mobile app. The announcement created a lot of initial buzz, but then largely fell from public view-though many publishers have been participating in the program. Now, Facebook says it is gearing up for a new push on the Instant Articles front.
Posted Sep 24, 2015
About 40% of unique visitors to the website of the digital food brand Epicurious come from mobile devices, and 20% come from tablets. It would have been easy as pie to group these non-desktop users together when the brand overhauled its website last February. Easy, but a very bad recipe. After all, mobile and tablet users are looking at different screen sizes and possibly consuming content differently.
Posted Sep 21, 2015
In this age of analytics, marketers are data detectives. A/B testing can help resolve many of their quandaries related to online marketing. But, first, what is A/B testing? It is a process in which you choose the best-performing version of a webpage, by randomly displaying different versions of your site to visitors and assessing the performance of each variant against a desired metric (such as clicks or sign-ups). You can test by tweaking one page element (such as headline, call to action, or image) at a time, or you can test changes to several page elements all at once (the latter is referred to as "multivariate testing"). Thus, when you use A/B testing, you are not flying blind. You're letting data drive your design choices and decisions. Think of A/B testing as "the scientific method meeting online marketing."
Posted Sep 16, 2015
Several publishers have made headlines over the past few years as they battled Amazon.com for the right to set their own ebook prices. Amazon.com wanted to contractually obligate the companies to set the prices at $9.99 or less. Big-name authors got involved, as did Stephen Colbert-whose publisher, Hachette, was in one of the longest and most contentious contract negotiations with Amazon (which, for its part, tossed its weight around by taking pre-order buttons off of Hachette books, and purposely filling books for Hachette books late). But Hachette and other publishers, like Harper-Collins and Simon & Schuster-as well as the rest of the so-called "Big 5"-eventually won the right to set their own prices. But as the Wall Street Journal points outin "E-Book Sales Fall After New Amazon Contracts," that may be coming back to haunt the companies now, which have seen their ebook revenue fall.
Posted Sep 08, 2015
Two weeks after its 2013 launch date, Electronic Arts, Inc. sold 1.1 million copies of its "SimCity 5" game, with digital downloads representing half of all sales. President Barack Obama's 2012 campaign website increased donation conversions by 49% and, ultimately, raised an additional $500 million. And Amazon famously changed its checkout button 6 years ago, increasing site revenue by $300 million. What's the common denominator in all three success stories and in countless other case studies across the internet? Each conducted A/B tests, which produced phenomenal results. And they're far from the fringe minority: 75% of strategic phase marketers rely on A/B testing to learn about customer behavior, per MarketingSherpa's 2012 "Website Optimization Benchmark Report."
Posted Sep 02, 2015
Evergage, a provider of real-time personalization, unveiled Evergage Recommend, an integrated recommendation system that is a native part of a full testing, targeting, and personalization solution. This new offering builds on the foundational real-time personalization capabilities of the Evergage Platform, incorporating dynamic suggestions of pertinent products or pieces of content that will resonate with individual visitors.
Posted Aug 11, 2015
Adobe announced the general availability of Adobe Digital Publishing Solution (DPS), the next generation of its Digital Publishing Suite, offering new ways for brands to deliver high-impact content to mobile apps. Using DPS, corporations, universities, and media companies can repurpose existing content, empowering marketers, and designers to create immersive apps, without writing code. These apps can be targeted at internal audiences or made available, through popular app stores, for the general public.
Posted Jul 30, 2015
For the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, NBC wanted to introduce a new app that would make it easier for viewers on the go to connect with any one of the show's thousands of sketch comedy pieces. NBC turned to MarkLogic to make the app possible.
Posted Jul 24, 2015
Web publishers are getting more creative in finding ways to keep visitors on their sites for longer periods and to retain the people who come from social media sites. Infinite scrolling is a fairly new and increasingly popular way of making website users more "sticky" by providing a passively loaded, never-ending stream of content. Is pagination yesterday's news?
Posted Jul 20, 2015
Rabt, a content personalization startup, completed a $325,000 seed funding round, led by Abhi Anuket, founder of the strategic investment company Magnivia Ventures, and his partner Jan Vorstermans of Qunova, an early-stage venture capitalist. Several angel investors from the United States, Europe, and China also participated in this funding round. The investment will be used to scale up the IT infrastructure, to launch new B2B features, and to expand the team.
Posted Jul 07, 2015
With plans to better connect research technology into user workflow, Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, announced its certified status as a Google for Education Partner, and the integration of Google tools into Gale products. Users are now able to login to their school or library's Gale In Context resource using Google Account credentials and to download, save, and share articles using Google Apps for Education including Drive and Docs.
Posted Jul 02, 2015
Through an exclusive partnership, Recorded Books and iVerse Media will offer libraries and their patrons access to a selection of more than 10,000 digital comics, graphic novels, and manga titles both inside the library and remotely.
Posted Jun 25, 2015
Discovery U.S. Hispanic, a division of Discovery Communications, and mitú, a technology-driven media brand comprised of a large group of Latino digital content creators and social media influencers, announced a multiplatform development agreement to produce a slate of original digital and television series around mitú's most successful social influencers. Programming will premiere on Discovery en Español and Discovery Familia, with complementing content across mitú's digital properties.
Posted Jun 25, 2015
In the publishing world, you want as many sets of eyes on your content as possible. Whether you're selling books or trying to get hits on your blog, you need eyeballs. Traditionally, you would prefer to "own" those eyeballs. This has been at the heart of tensions between content creators and companies such as Google for years. Publishers complain that Google is making money off of content it didn't create. Meanwhile, Google argues that without its search engine, no one would ever find the content that publishers are putting online. With the addition of social media to the mix, things have become even more complicated.
Posted Jun 23, 2015
Ebooks by Sainsbury's has relaunched its website. The new site, built in-house, features the complete catalogue alongside a redesigned user experience. The new site also offers new features.
Posted Jun 11, 2015
Boopsie, Inc., a mobile platform-as-a-service provider for libraries, announced the addition of Ratings and Reviews to its mobile platform. Users can now leave a 1-5 star rating and review for any title in their library's catalog. Reviews can be posted anonymously or through an alias.
Posted Jun 11, 2015
Brainshark, Inc., which delivers SaaS-based sales enablement solutions, announced Brainshark Live, bringing live presentation capabilities to the Brainshark Sales Accelerator. Based on Brainshark's SlideShark technology, Brainshark Live helps sales reps find and deliver the best presentation for every selling situation - right within Salesforce from their desktops and mobile devices.
Posted Jun 11, 2015
WD, a Western Digital company, and a world leader in storage solutions is expanding its apps offerings by introducing Plex, an entertainment app that can now be downloaded to and deployed on the My Cloud NAS series. Plex organizes video, music and photos from personal media libraries and streams them to smart TVs, streaming boxes and mobile devices.
Posted May 19, 2015
Content is everywhere. It's the lifeblood of business. But creating, managing, and delivering it are much bigger challenges than need be. That's because the most widely used content production methods are centered on a paper-based publishing paradigm that doesn't serve us as well today. Although we've made incremental changes during the past several decades, those improvements weren't optimized to address the rapid growth in customer touchpoints, distribution channels, devices, platforms, and constantly changing customer expectations.
Posted May 12, 2015
But the concept of "Europe" is so frequently bandied about that it bears closer scrutiny. In an age when companies and brands are promoting themselves globally, it's a significant issue. Is there such a thing as "Europe?" Of course, European countries are united by many ?cultural norms and practices. At the same time, there are clear, practical distinctions that challenge cross-European campaigns. Content that works in one national market will not necessarily have the same impact in a different country.
Posted May 05, 2015
Content is at the heart of every business. We spend a lot of time talking about content strategy, but very little talking about the reality of creating and managing it. When you have content being created by different people, at multiple locations chaos can ensue. Throw freelancers into the mix, and the picture gets even more confusing. A solid strategy must be in place for tracking assignments, billings, draft work, hours, and final product.
Posted Apr 24, 2015
Freelancer.com, a freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace, announced the release of Showcase -- a cross-platform design gallery of millions of portfolio items in a browsable format, allowing freelancers to show off their work to employers.
Posted Apr 23, 2015
On the fast-paced information superhighway--where speed rules and web wannabes drool--the spinning hourglass is as lethal a symbol as the skull and crossbones. Luckily for big and small content providers alike, the open and unfettered internet--where all data is theoretically treated equally and neutrally and consumers can access content quickly without fear of a site being deliberately blocked or choked off by broadband providers--has prevailed, thanks to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voting to preserve Net Neutrality in late February.
Posted Apr 20, 2015
The third annual "Following the Trends -Is Your Content Ready" survey found content developers have increased the range of tools they use to deliver technical content, and while they recognize the need to manage digital content across platforms and outputs, they struggle with resource constraints in meeting customer demands. The survey was jointly conducted by Data Conversion Laboratory (DCL) and the Center for Information Development Management (CIDM).
Posted Apr 14, 2015
Just as the elephant is grasped differently by each of the monks in "The Blind Men and the Elephant," you'll hear a different take on the Internet of Things (IoT) based on whom you ask. That's not surprising because it is really such a wide-ranging subject. Here is an attempt to distill the essence, providing you with a summary and a current snapshot of this behemoth.
Posted Apr 08, 2015