August 7, 2012

Have decided to change the share this buttons by removing the written words i.e Facebook.  It doesn’t look neat and looks better as symbols anyway.  Here is how it’s done.  In “Dashboard” go to “Settings” then go to “Sharing”.  In the Sharing Settings window scroll down to “Button Style”  then click on the drop down button next to “Icon + text”.  Now all you have to do is click on “Icon” and all the buttons should change over.  You can see what it looks like by looking at the “Live Preview” section above it.  Notice how the icons have now changed.  Hope you enjoyed this tip.

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Posted in Journal

Can Healthcare Industry Control Health Apps?

Microsoft, Google and the Health Care Industry

Microsoft, Google and the Health Care Industry (Photo Credit: Chris Pirillo)

Can the Healthcare industry control health apps?   Their solution isn’t an answer.  People have taken to health apps and the industry bodies have noticed.  With apps for blood pressure, sugar levels and diets to name a few.  There are apparently over 40,000 apps for mobile devices at this stage and it will grow rapidly.

With more apps to come, the industry bodies and government want to control the channels.  The United States’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA)is attempting to regulate apps that claim to diagnose medical conditions or offer medical advice.  These guidelines means apps must prove they’re safe and effective before being sold.  Soon other healthcare authorities in other countries will follow suit.

English: Logo of the U.S. Food and Drug Admini...

English: Logo of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (2006) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This solution has drawbacks.  Firstly, it can stifle industry innovation through the rigid regulatory structure by alienating developers due to the expensive and time-consuming nature of this process.  Secondly,  government and professional bodies take several months in the approval process.  With the rate of technological change, this process can’t handle the speed, flexibility and innovation the industry needs.

In Australia and England, there is no such body that regulates healthcare apps.  However, medical negligence lawyers in Australia have suggested that app creators and distributors could be sued if something goes wrong just like manufacturers and distributors of drug or medical devices.  No cases so far.

Health Care This Way

Health Care This Way (Photo credit: InertiaCreeps)

The solution isn’t about control, but greater transparency by the healthcare industry.  They need to embrace social media and apps.  So how do they do that?  A solution is to build their own apps for their industry so that people have free safe apps.  If they aren’t willing to build it, then they need to work with developers to produce it.  People are going to “self-diagnose” themselves with technology because the profession isn’t listening to their needs.  The government, professional bodies and developers should come together to develop regulations for mobile health that’s flexible to the speed of technology for the good of the community.  There will also come a time when medical practitioners will recommend apps for their patients health and welfare.  Do you think the healthcare industry should control apps?  Should the healthcare industry create their apps?  Will medical practitioners recommend apps in the future?

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Posted in Software, Trends

Can Publication Businesses Generate Digital Revenue

Reinventing the publication industry for digital revenue?  Many media companies around the world can’t stop print sales declining and increase digital revenue.  The old model of costs and revenue streams don’t work in social media for readers and business needs.

Fairfax Media

Fairfax Media (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The recent announcement of job cuts to Fairfax Media and News Corp separating into entertainment and publications businesses are the start.  News Corp’s publication side is now fending for itself and shedding jobs will happen.   How can they fund high quality journalism through digital revenues?

According to Colin Morrison’s blog Flashes and Flames, there are several media groups leading in this race.  These include New York Times Media Group, Axel Springer, Schibsted Media Group and Gossweiler Media.  They have provided innovative approaches to generate revenue for digital publication.  Here are some of the ways  that they are doing it.

English: Berlin - side view of the Axel-Spring...

English: Berlin – side view of the Axel-Springer-Haus (Axel Springer building) Deutsch: Berlin – Seitenansicht des Axel-Springer-Hauses (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Expanding Online Classifieds – job boards, Ebay like, local community, etc
  • Digital Alliances – businesses sharing content
  • Increase Search Ranking – businesses in classified areas
  • Micro-newspapers – papers read in 10-20 minute
  • E-commerce & coupons
  • Information Warehouses
  • Digital Production – producing content, articles, etc for small & medium businesses
  • Multimedia hub – has tv, magazines, classifieds, e-commerce, communities, etc
  • Online Advertising – businesses subscription for base sites and extra charges for prominence (peak reading times, hot articles, etc)
  • Digital Subscriptions – weekly ($1-2) or monthly ($5-7) reader subscriptions for base sites and extra charges for premium sites

Social media strategies takes 2-5 years time to bear fruit.  It’s about channel building, identifying and refining areas of income.  The next  evolution step is print media being niche and media companies becoming an online multimedia hub.  Where design production, retail sales, information warehousing, business advertising (like Google’s AdWords), content generation, online television and subscription channels integrated to generate revenue.  Companies who delay will find it hard to survive.  What will the industry be like in 3-5 years?  What other ideas can generate income?  Who will survive?

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Posted in Business, Ideas, Strategy

3 Industries That Haven’t Fully Embraced Social Media

Social Media Cafe

Social Media Cafe (Photo credit: Cristiano Betta)

What industries haven’t fully embraced social media?  I can name at least three industries with social media presence but they haven’t fully embraced it.  Embracing means fully interacting with consumers where they are actually providing information, alternatives, customer interaction and actually helping to improve people’s situations.  Not the hard sell of self promotion and products.  Promote sparingly as people look at sites to add value to their life.  So which three industries?

news corporation

news corporation (Photo credit: gepiblu)

  • Newspapers/Print Media – Newspapers are struggling to adapt to the changing environment.  Many print media businesses can’t generate income from social media, they’re using an old business model in a new medium.  Recent announcement of News Corp splitting into publishing and entertainment, job losses at Fairfax Media and other newspapers closing around the world shows you why.  Others like “The Atlantic” are banned form platforms like Reddit for spamming.  However, companies like Axel Springer and New York Times Media Group have seen profits grow through different online strategies.  While “The Huffington Post“, an online newspaper, thrives on social media.
  • Financial – The financial sector  also fails in embracing social media.  Most business sites pretend to interact with consumers.  Others ignore customer interaction or make a limited effort to respond to customer service.  However, selling financial products is fine for them.  They’re missing the point.  They need to offer free information or ways to help people get out of debt.  Greater interaction and actually helping people.
English: Graph of social media activities

English: Graph of social media activities (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

  • Healthcare – A sleeping giant where there’s a lack of patient engagement, social media health strategies and digital pharmacovigilance (assessing and understanding the effects of medicine).  Many people use social media to find information on and treatment of issues.  The government, healthcare bodies, businesses and practitioners should be more involved in social media.

The sectors need to understand that social media is the next stage of the business model.  You’re building the next generation of consumers to your brand.  Content and interaction are the keys.   Devising your online strategy to reach people through different platforms and mobile devices is paramount.  Seek ideas from other businesses sites.  What other industries have failed to embrace social media?  Do you have a social media strategy?

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Posted in D'oh, Ethics

July 18, 2012

Woohoo!  I finally worked out how to get my menu on the black bar of the header.  In Dashboard, go to Appearance=>Menus.  Give the Menu a name and then Save.  Go to Pages=>View All on left side.  Select your parent templates and click Add to Menu.  Then go to Categories=>View All.  Select the categories that you want for subheadings and click Add to Menu.  Now comes the easy bit, rearrange the order of how you want people to navigate around your site.  Move subheadings a little to the right when it’s under the Parent template.  If done right, it should be indented by about 1cm.  Save it.  Go to Theme Locations and select the drop down box under Secondary Menu and choose the name of the menu that you just created and save.  If you need to make your menus Static then go to April 15, 2012 journal post.  I reckon it makes my site cooler.  Hope it gives you some ideas in designing your navigation menus for your site.  Cheers and enjoy.

Posted in Journal

Improving Customer Service with Social Media

Can social media improve customer service for businesses?  Growth of your business depends on how well your customer service is.  It’s really important that you give good customer service.  The fact is, people are using social media for customer service.

The most common reasons why people use social media for customer service.

  • seeking an actual response about a service issue from the business
  • they want to praise your business for the great service that they received
  • to voice or vent their frustration on the poor service that they experienced
  • asking other people about your service experience and recommendations
  • people want to communicate to the company and not some offshore call center
  • convenience
Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

With the current consumer uptake of technology, the demand for online customer service will grow rapidly.  Businesses’ be ready.  Here are some ways you can improve customer service on social media.

  • be personal to consumers
  • respond quickly and generously give gifts or offer promotional products
  • offer Skype or live chat option with a person for sales, service, consultations, account enquiries, etc.
  • offer option for customer surveys and site suggestions to regular customers or site visitors
  • offer delivery service and create good return policies
  • customer engagement to allow booking for online meetings or appointments
  • provide information on products and common service problems with solutions
  • stock availability in stores or area
  • allow online lay-by & rain checks for customers
  • create loyalty programs
  • provide parking and transportation information to site
  • build online communities and forums for consumers and users to monitor and reward people
English: TICSS Customer Service Measurement Model

English: TICSS Customer Service Measurement Model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Businesses need to throw out the old model of ringing for customer service.  Why?  The old system needs to be reinvented to meet and exceed the people’s expectations.  Businesses can no longer funnel people through a channel.  You need a hybrid model of a funnel system and social media touch points (include mobile devices) for customer service.  You need to rebuild your customer service strategy to include all the ways people can interact with your business.  Include Sales, PR, Customer Service or Marketing to design a better customer service model.  Does PR, marketing or customer service members respond to online customer service?  What other ideas can improve customer service on social media?

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Posted in Social Media, Trends

Where is Google Search going?

Where is Google Search going?  Google recently announced the “Knowledge Graph”.  To fully understand what this means, we need to start at the beginning to see what the benefit will be.

Lance Ulanoff, Mashable‘s chief editor wrote interesting articles about this subject.  So here’s a summary of what has happened so far.

English: This is am image of Kyle David Kipp (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the beginning Google began as a keyword index to search for content.  Then the arrival of links allowed Google to base its search result on content and authority links.  It built a better search result over time by adding a host of signals about content, keywords and through our queries.

The developers realised that stringing different words together changes the meaning.  Something our human brain does naturally, while Google’s brain (Artificial Intelligence) didn’t understand what we wanted.  An example of this is “Lord of the Rings”, it would search for anything that contained “lord” and “ring”.  Google needed to solve this issue.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome (Photo credit: thms.nl)

Amit Singhal explains it as building a huge knowledge graph where all these connected entities link to all these attributes.  To build this world they needed to build or tap into these huge knowledge databases.  So, they invested in Freebase, Wikipedia, Google Local, Google Maps and Google Shopping to name a few.  It’s described as building the Star Trek computer.

The United States is using Google Knowledge Graph first, the rest of the world will follow.  Early indications show an increase in search activity.  Here is how it works.

Google Chrome OS on VMWare

Google Chrome OS on VMWare (Photo credit: berrytokyo)

People using Google will notice that when they type in words in the search field, Google brings up list of suggested topics that you might be searching.  This is due to the fact that Google monitors what you look for on the internet and gives you suggestions based on your habits.  This is why some websites load faster due to your previous visit.

If you search for the term “Andromeda” it will list on the right hand side the galaxy, television show or the band.  If you search for example Leonardo Da Vinci (entity) you’ll get a summary bio of his life, birth and death.  You could get art, inventions, science, renaissance as suggested searches (attributes).

Google Campus 2

Google Campus 2 (Photo credit: TedsBlog)

What impact will it have on SEO when  Google enforces its stance against poor content and keyword links.  Google’s eventual aim is to allow us to ask things like “what are the seven ancient wonders” and it will list all seven of them in order and which country they are in. You could also ask it “how do I make bread” and it’ll list the ingredients and the method of how to make it.

So where to next?  Several possibilities include Google increasing these knowledge databases.  Eventually, voice activation and Google Translate will play a key role in building the AI.  Also add in Google glasses as a delivery device for this service.  Content information and authority links are vital for Google’s success.  Is this the end for content spinners and sites that contain it?  Will people help build knowledge databases for free like Wikipedia?  What other features will Google add to enhance it?  Do you think we’re heading towards a “1984” or “Star Trek” world?

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Posted in Software, Trends

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© Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Christopher Seeto and Aqua Black Cat with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.
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