• Google has done it again… and how! The new Google Chrome ad has everything – from the innovative concept that keeps you mesmerized to the music, which says more than a thousand words! If you want to capture the imagination of the Indian consumer, you couldn’t get it more right.

    I loved the way the ad begins with the logo made in Tanjore painting style. Then, of course, there is the concept, which is something like the Flintstones meeting the Jetsons. The ad puts across more clearly than any verbose debate could that technology and art need not be two mutually exclusive concepts. One can further the other, provide support, enhancements and greater reach.

    The ad beautifully integrates all applications and tools offered by the company. You see the search engine, Google Adwords, Gmail, Google Plus and more. You also learn how each plays a part in completing the picture – a picture as impressive as the quintessential Tanjore painting.

    If I had a rope to pull that put a +1 for the new Google Chrome ad, I would! Don’t take my word for it… see it for yourself!!

    Related Post- Google Chrome: Targeted Advertising at its Best

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  • Google has once again furthered its core competitive strategy of simplifying things for its users! It has made Google+ hangout an easy and fun way to start a new hangout or connect with the virtual hangouts available. A hangout makes it convenient to ‘hang out’ with friends and acquaintances in real time and do some real exciting things online. It enables you to create your own space where you can invite like-minded people to ‘hang out’ with you.

    Google Plus Hangouts

    Google Plus Hangouts

    Simple Steps to Start an Existing Google+ Hangout

    Following are the few ways of getting started:

    1. Initialising a hangout
    2. Initializing a Hangout is simple. Explore the Google+ window for ‘ start a hangout’ button. Once you click on the button, a chat window will open and you have to check your mic connectivity. If everything all right, you can click on “ hangout” again and you are all geared up to HANG OUT. You can choose to join an existing hangout or start your own.

    3. Joining an existing hangout
    4. Now as you are signed in, there will be some hangouts in your circles. You can choose to participate in the available hangout by just clicking on the ‘join this hangout’ button. The hangout shows you the ‘initiator’ and the people who have joined it.

      However, not more than 10 people can sign up for a particular hangout. If there are more than 10 already in one hangout, you will be asked to wait for some time and try again.

    5. Starting your own hangout
    6. Instead of waiting to be a part of a hangout, it is best if you start your own by just clicking on the ‘start a new hangout’ button. You can invite people you want to hangout with and get your hangout packed with people!

    By employing some creative application in your hangout, you can make it more exiting and popular among those who are already hanging out with you or wants to be part of your hangout.

    So if you are ready to start your hangout and enjoy!

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  • Wish to increase your traffic 100 times? All you need to do is to get your ranking from page 2 of the SERP (search engine results page) to page 1. Now, that is easier said than done. It can take you hours and hours of effort to accomplish this.

    The most common (and indeed most powerful) ways to improve your ranking include, listing on various search engines (like Google Places and Yahoo Local) and on smaller local search engines, creating blogs, listing in hundreds of directories and writing articles for article directories.

    While these are powerful ways to improve ranking, you are not the only one undertaking these activities. As the competition gets stiffer, having a presence on social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter has become even more important to improve ranking. In fact, Twitter marketing has gained importance over the years. Let’s have a look at how the bird can fly you to the first page of the SERP.

    Does Twitter Marketing Impact Ranking?

    Yes, it does. But why trust me. Well, you can hear it from the search engines.

    In an interview conducted by Danny Sullivan, both Google and Bing acknowledged the importance of social media on search ranking.

    Bing: “We do look at the social authority of a user. We look at how many people you follow, how many follow you, and this can add a little weight to a listing in regular search results. It carries much more weight in Bing Social Search, where tweets from more authoritative people will flow to the top when best match relevancy is used.”

    Google: “Yes, we do use it as a signal. It is used as a signal in our organic and news rankings. We also use it to enhance our news universal by marking how many people shared an article [NOTE: see the end of this article for more about that].”

    Ways To Improve Ranking Through Twitter Marketing

    Here are some things that your Twitter marketing initiatives can include to improve your ranking on search pages:

    Follow Industry Leaders: Find out the Twitter handle of all the people who are considered to be thought leaders in your industry. Follow them. Most of them will not follow you back. However, if you get lucky, and even one of them does follow you, you can reach out to a large number of people in your industry. If this industry leader retweets your message, you have spread your name among a large, and targeted audience. If the message that has been retweeted has a link to your website, then over time, your ranking will improve.

    Include a Share Button on Your Website or Blog: If people read your blog post or visit your website and like it, urge them to share it with their social network through the convenience of the share button. If others share your link, this helps to improve your ranking.

    Use Hashtags When You Tweet Something Interesting: Find out all the hashtags that are relevant to your domain. Then post interesting tweets and include the hashtags.

    Do Not Market Yourself Too Aggressively: While you do want to share links to your website or blog, do not include links in all messages. Try to share informative, interesting and/or entertaining messages. This will increase the chances of someone retweeting your messages.

    Increase Your Followers: Follow people and request them to follow you. Having call to actions in your messages will help in this respect. Having a large following adds to your Twitter profile and boosts your ranking.

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  • The world is quickly waking up to the power of the Indian customer base. The new Google Chrome ad on TV is a case in point. When Google Chrome first launched its marketing campaign in India, it started with an ad that seemed to be a generic version of what the West sees as the quintessential Asian consumer. It seemed that Google quickly realized that to make in-roads into the Indian mind space, it would need to revamp its campaign. And it did so with élan.

    Today, the Google Chrome advertisement talks to the most powerful decision maker in the Indian home – the woman. It tells the woman that regardless of where her talents and interests lie, she can reach out to the world and find a place for herself through the rapidly growing internet community in India.

    Brilliant piece of advertising. Straight in-line with what we at Veda have always believed in – the power of the online space in reaching out to a very specific target audience! That being said, you need to see it for yourself and marvel at Google Chrome and the think tank behind this ad.

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  • Did you know that students receiving education online tend to outperform those receiving face-to-face instructions? This has been proven by a study conducted by the US Department of Education in 2009. Let’s delve into some more interesting facts. Approximately 80% of companies use social media for recruitment and out of this almost 95% of them use LinkedIn. Furthermore, Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S. To honor the evolution of virtual social web Mashable organized the World Social Media Day on June 30.

    The 2011 World Social Media Day

    This was the second time that Mashable celebrated the World Social Media Day. Thousands of people came together to celebrate the massive evolution of social media which facilitates connection with friends and increases acquaintances across the world. Mashable invited users to connect with fellow web enthusiasts by hosting this Social Media Day Meet up at San Francisco. Games, such as dodge ball and basketball took place along with offline networking throughout the night. Friends whom one usually met online were present at the San Francisco venue, which had a capacity of 500.

    This grand event was celebrated in six continents across the world. The evening witnessed 7000 attendees meeting up friends and folks at 1400 meet ups. The Social Media Day also saw many eminent social media personalities hosting shows and enjoying themselves with their audience. For instance, in Los Angeles, Adam Ostrow, the Editor-in-Chief of the What’s Trending show, was present as the celebration took place at the rooftop studio of CBS News. He co-hosted the evening with Shira Lazar.

    People all over the world are using #SMDay hashtag on Twitter to mark the evolution of Social Media.

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  • Google conducted a webinar on June 14, 2011. The event was hosted by Amit Singhal, head of Google’s core ranking team. Other experts also helped us understand better what the search engine giant has been up to lately. Here are the highlights:


    Search is about breaking barriers to knowledge. Quest for knowledge is eternal. Desktop search data does not depict this. However, the mobile explosion has proved this. Mobile searches actually increases during the weekend, lunch hour and in the evenings! Unlike desktop searches, with mobile searches there is no summer slump or Christmas break. Mobile searches are outperforming desktop searches. While Google has been obsessed with speed, simplicity has become extremely important for mobile phone searches. Google is continuously customizing its search engine for mobile devices.

    Continue reading »

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  • Cloud computing has emerged as mainstream technology and a non-linear growth engine for enterprises,thanks to its ability to help enterprises better manage their business processes and stretch their IT infrastructure budgets. More than 23% of the companies in the US are beginning to plan and test the use of cloud computing applications as part of their 2020 vision.

    For a small company, for instance an early-stage firm developing iPhone applications, cloud computing provides the freedom to scale the business without the need to procure and maintain servers. For a midsized company with an already existing IT infrastructure, cloud computing applications can complement IT investments. For large organizations, cloud computing applications can maximize operational and economic efficiencies by managing core business processes such as payroll, billing, disaster recovery, customer relationship management, and enterprise resource planning.

    A September 2009 study by Avanade, a business technology services provider, revealed that senior executives and IT decision makers in 17 countries reported a 320% increase in the testing and planned implementation of cloud computing applications, as compared to nine months earlier.

    Below, we discuss some real test cases in cloud computing and new technology development in the industry.

    Amazon

    Amazon has partnered with Lawson Software to make Lawson’s ERP software and other cloud computing applications available on Amazon’s Web Services. In addition, Lawson is launching a “test drive” service in May 2010 that will enable its customers to test its services on Amazon for up to two weeks. With the Amazon deployment scenario, customers will be able to set up new application instances quickly and add system capacity during hours of peak demand.

    NASA

    NASA, in 2009, developed a process for estimating the cost of new technology adoption that included uncertainty and an independent review of the estimate. The test methodology was based on parameters like cost influencers, development issues, impact on performance, and probability of success. As a test case, NASA engineers applied the methodologies to a set of autonomy software technologies for the Rover Autonomy Study for the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) mission. The test case was validated against a formula that determines at what point diminishing returns render the case inadvisable to invest in enhancing technologies to reduce its failure rate.

    Most test cases in developing new technology products and services are geared to mitigating potential failures, and reducing the complexities involved in each stage of the development process. Since the cost of technology and its subsequent adoptions cannot be predicted with pinpoint accuracy, test cases prove to be ideal to build a prototype and estimate the ROI with regard to performance in iterations.

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  • Competition in the enterprise management and business processes space is highly intense. Therefore, it is imperative for companies to develop and offer solutions that are scalable and cost-effective. StarPoundTechnologies, an enterprise solutions firm, has recognized the competitive landscape of open source BPM solutions and developed an on-demand hosted platform through cloud computing to enable companies of all sizes adapt web services and communication-enabled processes in a fraction of the time and cost.

    StarPound has partnered with Amazon to deploy applications on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud. By offering a cloud computing deployment model, StarPound’s customers can benefit from rapid and agile deployment and scalability. Their offering, “CORE”, is an open source BPM application that integrates voice and data in a single application, including live web/voice services accessible via phone calls, emails, EDI, and SOAP/REST, through software-as-a-service (SaaS). In addition, StarPound offers open source PBX and call center services through their private cloud.

    Benefits of Open Source BPM Through Cloud Computing

    StarPound’s customers have experienced a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership (TCO) in implementing and maintaining their on-demand application services. Some customers have experienced as much as a 90% reduction in their overall technology spend. According to StarPound’s CXOs, StarPound has realized cost savings worth $3-$5 million by leveraging Amazon’s Elastic Computing Cloud services.

    StarPound’s core competencies lie in developing cutting-edge voice applications and open source BPM applications. Its partnership with Amazon EC2 has helped the company tie up with many Fortune 1000 organizations to implement a wide range of infrastructure management and optimization solutions. The biggest benefit arising from the partnership with Amazon is that the Amazon brand gives StarPound’s customers an enormous comfort level. This synergy allows its sales and business development team to focus its discussions around solving customer problems, rather than trying to mitigate the inherent risks of cloud-computing.

    ‘s vision for the future includes an elaborate plan to expand into emerging markets and build a viable case for long term cloud computing adoption. Critical factors like redundancy, failover and disaster recovery will be on the agenda for StarPound in the medium to long term. According to cloud experts, the key would lie on tests on server sizing. Every company in emerging spaces, like cloud and on-demand computing, has to be sure of the transactions or users that can be seamlessly migrated or supported on various Amazon Elastic Cloud Computing server instance sizes.

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  • Traditional business applications have always been too complicated and expensive to deploy and implement. Whether it is office space, power, cooling, bandwidth, networks, servers, storage, software stack, or a team of specialists to maintain the applications, the complexities get multiplied when you have hundreds of apps to deploy and an equal number of production and failover scenarios to consider. Therefore, big and small organizations needed an alternate computing model to stay ahead of the competition, to constantly innovate and to streamline operational costs. This is the reason for the phenomenal growth of the IT concept called – “Cloud Computing”

    Cloud computing has emerged as a viable alternate delivery and acquisition model for IT related services, allowing organizations to leverage more on their actual competencies and optimize the overall IT cost structure. Cloud computing provides an infrastructure engine that helps an organization adopt an agile and lean approach in service delivery, regardless of whether it is to their employees, customers or partners.

    Understanding Cloud Computing

    Everyone in the technology space is talking about it. Professionals in business related domains are echoing similar sentiments and are asking the same question, “What is cloud computing, and what does it mean for my business?” Simply put, cloud computing is a computing paradigm that allows users to employ a subset of resources from a massive pool of hardware and network infrastructure managed independently, either within the organization, or externally by a 3rd party vendor. This computation capability is usually available as a “pay-as-you-use” basis, for example, as infrastructure-based, platform-based, or service-based, to deliver seamless, scalable business services.

    The Value Proposition of Cloud Computing

    Cloud computing thrives on the proposition of reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), enhancing business agility and the ability to build best in-class systems. The cost model allows organizations to allocate resources that can scale with the demand for peak loads, seasonal variations, fallbacks and just-in-time provisioning of alternate solutions.

    The premise of cloud computing has won over the CIOs of some of the largest organizations across the globe. Many once skeptical executives never looked back after transitioning to a cloud-based model. Some of the benefits that cloud computing brings to the table for every organization are:

    • Easy and quick web services integration
    • World class service delivery with complete disaster recovery management and impeccable uptimes
    • No hardware or software to install resulting in less capital expenditure
    • Faster and lower risk deployment
    • Support for deep customization and application configuration

    Cloud computing is more than just buzz and “cost optimization engine.” It is here to stay and is expected to disrupt IT operations worldwide in a massive scale. From a VC perspective, the good news is that cloud computing is still far from maturity. There are many technology gaps that are not yet filled, especially in the areas of cloud enablement, management, monitoring, and security.

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  • With unlimited information becoming available with the click of a mouse, internet users have lost their patience, when it comes to waiting for a WordPress blog to load. If a page is taking too long to become legible, most internet users will move on to the next page that offers similar information, news, views, images or whatever else they are seeking. Therefore, if you want to capture your audience long enough for them to read what you have to say, you need to not only make sure that your blog is attractive to look at but that it loads quickly, before the prospective reader loses patience and moves on.

    The good news is that there are some easy tips and tricks that you can use to maximize the speed of your WordPress blog. Let me take you through a tour of the 20 best ways to speed up your blog. Some of these tricks are so simple that they might seem obvious to some of you but all of them work brilliantly when it comes to reducing the page load time.

    1.    Cache Fully Generated Pages – The reason why WordPress is slow is that it is a PHP script, which means that the page is dynamic and WordPress needs to execute all queries before the page can load. The best way to get around this problem is to use static pages. All you need to do is install a plugin called WP Super Cache, which will cache the fully generated pages that can be brought up quickly by users rather than waiting for dynamic queries to be processed. As soon as you install this plugin, you will find a noticeable decline in the load time of page, as well as more efficient usage of server resources.

    2.    Disable Hotlinking – Hotlinking is basically bandwidth theft, where other sites create direct links from their articles to the images on your page, slowing down your server load time. One person doing this doesn’t really matter. But the reality is that hordes of spammers hotlink and copy your write-ups and images. Even the best web hosting service will be adversely affected by this. Rather than looking for a cure, what you need to do is prevent hotlinking from being attempted in the first place. One way that you can do this is by placing a code in your root .htaccess file. You can discourage spammers further by replacing the hotlinked image with another image that makes the spammer feel stupid.

    3.    Choose the Right Web Host – When it comes to choosing a web host, it never pays to compromise on quality for price. Choose a reliable host who offers strong servers, even if it costs you a few extra dollars. It will all be worth it. Some of the better web hosts that are affordable include Blue Host, Super Green Hosting, Host Monster and Host Gator. You can do a little research online and create a list of potential web hosts and compare them for features and price before you make up your mind.

    4.    Create Small Pages – Even if you intend to create a huge resource of information that also includes many images, it is best to split up a long post into smaller pages with a few images. This way you will be able to increase your page views and get people to read long enough to want to know more. All you need to do is to use the WordPress admin panel to add the <!—nextpage> code at the end of each split page. Also, ensure that your template functions properly.

    5.    Use Excerpts on the Main Blog Page – Rather than showing full posts on the main page itself and burdening this page, you can display excerpts of up to 10 posts on the main blog page. For this, you need to visit the index.php and set a limit to the number of pages displayed through the WorldPress admin panel under the tab of Settings > Reading.

    6.    Optimize the MySQL Database – You can either do this manually or by using a plugin. In the manual method, you will need to access phpMyAdmin and choose your database. There will be an option for you to select the tables and optimize them. On the other hand, you could use a plugin called Optimize DB by Joost De Valk. This plugin will do exactly the same thing as you would have done manually but will minimal effort on your part.

    7.    Minimize external websites and scripts – You can avoid the use of external scripts, both directly and through plugins. Some plugins can take a long time to load and often lead to your page not loading properly, especially during times of heavy traffic. Also, displaying widgets on your sidebar will only slow down your site.

    8.    Use Expires Header for Static Resources – This header helps you specify the time period for which a visitor will be able to bring up specific static content, including CSS files, images, javascript, etc.) and thereby cut down on load time.

    9.    Remove All Unwanted plugins and PHP tags – If your page is using more than 15 plugins, look for those that can be directly integrated into your theme. At the same time, check whether you actually need those plugins or whether you can do without them. Also, look at your header.php and other theme files to check for php tags. You will find numerous redundant tags or unnecessary queries that can be removed without harming your site.

    10.    Compress All Java Script files – Regardless of the size of these files, if they are repeatedly loaded, they will use up huge server resources and increase load time. Various compressors are available that will help you save on resources an speed up your WordPress blog.

    Finally, remember to upgrade to WordPress 2.1, if you haven’t already. This itself will immediate improve the performance of your WordPress blog.

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