Crowdflower and Skout: How Labor on Demand is a Better Moderator

first_imgIt looks like the startup trends of 2009 are getting the resources they need to become lucrative businesses in 2010. Labor on demand provider Crowdflower closed a $5 million dollar Series A this morning from Trinity Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners. ReadWriteWeb named the elastic workforce phenomenon a major trend in 2009 and we caught up with one of Crowdflower’s happy customers to see how the elastic workforce is helping startups thrive. Companies like Crowdflower save startups money by offering on-call labor at a fraction of the cost of on-site or contract workers. Tasks generally include data collection, content moderation and product grouping. Crowdflower’s crowning jewel is that employers only pay for tasks if they’ve been completed at a standard quality level. This quality assurance, coupled with the Crowdflower’s ability to help companies scale with its 125,000 member workforce, have allowed it to grow its business by 750% in the last year. Skout CEO Christian Wiklund recently transformed his company from a location-based social network to a location-based dating community. While many perceive labor on demand as a low quality work, Wiklund explains otherwise. “When we first received dating profile photos, we had two interns looking at grids of 100 photos at a time and they were still slow and couldn’t keep up with the volume. We didn’t want our users waiting 48 hours for content moderation. Crowdflower has three people look at every job and it’s a maximum of ten minutes for content review.” 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#start#startups Related Posts dana oshiro Since moving content review to the cloud, Wiklund has saved 20% on staffing and is considering Crowdflower for profile verification and spam moderation. Says Wiklund, “One of the advantages of cloud services is that you have enough workers 24/7. If someone calls in sick or doesn’t want to work that day, there’s always someone to get the job done. I’m not in the business of content moderation, I want to focus on my core content. Crowdflower does a great job of allowing you to do that.”To inspect Crowdflower’s work visit skout.com or to try the service visit crowdflower.com. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hostinglast_img read more

Undisputed champ: Crawford stops Indongo in 3rd round

first_imgSEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program MOST READ Chaos ensues as McIntyre wins NXT title in NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III Crawford (32-0, 23 knockouts) was in his home state for the fifth time in nine fights but for the first time in Lincoln, 45 minutes from his Omaha base.Indongo (22-1, 11 knockouts) was fighting for the first time in the United States after winning bouts in Russia and Scotland to win his titles.Crawford entered the ring to roars from the Pinnacle Bank Arena sellout crowd of 12,121 after coming down the steps from the arena concourse. He wore a red No. 140 Nebraska Cornhuskers football jersey, a nod to this city being home to the University of Nebraska.With fans on their feet and chanting his name, the 29-year-old Crawford seized control early. When his final blow took down Indongo, the decibel level increased even more, and Crawford jumped in the air in the middle of the ring in celebration.Indongo couldn’t get up.ADVERTISEMENT Terence “Bud” Crawford celebrates his victory by knockout over Julius Indongo in the third round of their junior welterweight world title unification boxing bout in Lincoln, Neb., Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)LINCOLN, Neb. — Terence Crawford stopped Julius Indongo in the third round Saturday night to become the undisputed world champion at 140 pounds.Crawford sent Indongo to the canvas with a right to the body in the last minute of the second round and just missed with a massive left hook before the bell. Midway through the third round, Crawford caught Indongo with a left hook to the body that put him down writhing in pain.ADVERTISEMENT “When he hit me, it hurt so bad,” he said. “When he hit me like that, my mind was gone.”On the undercard, 20-year-old Shakur Stevenson scored a unanimous decision over Argentinian David Paz in a super featherweight bout. Stevenson (3-0, 1 knockout) flashed superior speed and finesse throughout the six rounds and knocked down Paz (4-4-1) late in the fifth.Stevenson, of Newark, New Jersey, is considered a rising star in the pro ranks after earning a silver medal in the 2016 Olympics.“I feel like the competition stepped up this fight and I feel like I put on a good show, a good boxing display,” Stevenson said. “I was really trying to get the knockout, and I was trying to get him with a good hard punch. I was trying to hit him with my left hand and my hook. I do need to use my jab a lot more.”Light heavyweight contender Oleksandr Gvozdyk (14-0, 12 KOs) of Ukraine stopped Craig Baker (17-2, 13 KOs) of Baytown, Texas, at 2:40 of the sixth round. SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses The fight was the first four-belt unification bout since 2004, when Bernard Hopkins stopped Oscar De La Hoya to claim all the belts in the 160-pound division. Crawford came in with the WBC and WBO belts; Indongo, from Namibia, was the WBA and IBF champion.“It means everything,” Crawford said. “I’m the only one who can I’m the undisputed champion of the world. That’s big because there’s nobody else who can they’re undisputed in their weight division.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutPromoter Bob Arum of Top Rank said the plan is for Crawford to go with him to Australia for the expected November rematch between Jeff Horn and Manny Pacquiao. Arum wants Crawford to fight the winner.“I’m all for it,” Crawford said. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games View comments LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensionlast_img read more

Fernandez proud to see Red Lions match Pirates’ big heart

first_imgFor the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netEven with San Beda nearing another title after a Game 1 win, coach Boyet Fernandez refused to shed the underdog tag for his team.The Red Lions dealt Lyceum its first loss of NCAA Season 93, 94-87, and could wrap up the championship series next Thursday.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Read Next LATEST STORIES Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH “We only won one game and we haven’t won a championship yet. So we’re still the underdog,” said Fernandez. “They beat us twice and they’re still the best. If you total it, they’re 18-1 and we’re 17-2. So they’re still the favorites for this.”What Fernandez won’t take away from his boys, though, is the way they fought from behind and pulled away the victory.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSan Beda saw itself down, 62-45 early in the third quarter before Robert Bolick and Donald Tankoua buckled down to work and got their team back in the game, setting up the close finish in the fourth period.“I just give credit to my players today. We’re down by more than 12 points and they never gave up,” he said, applauding how hard the Red Lions worked to put the first dent in the Pirates’ armor. Nguyen knocks out Folayang for ONE lightweight title CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa More than anything, Fernandez is glad to show that his boys also have hearts as big as Lyceum’s in this title retention bid.“People said the heart of LPU is really big, I think the heart of my players are really big as well. So we just matched up on that.”However, with a chance to sweep the Finals series next Thursday, the multi-titled mentor acknowledged that San Beda must up the ante if it wants to close the series out on Game 2.“We’re happy to get this one because it’s my boys who really stepped up in this game. But we need more heart and energy and we have to match them. But it’s going to be our composure, especially the championship experience, which we have to bank on until the end.”ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:12San Beda, Lyceum early favorites ahead of NCAA Season 9303:46Lacson: PH lost about P161.5B tax revenue from big trading partners in 201701:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

Northants openers hammer Indian bolwers, reach 198/0 at tea

first_imgZaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs.Frontline Indian bowlers suffered a humiliating hammering at the hands of Northamptonshire openers as the home side racked up 198 for no loss by tea on the final day of the two-day warm-up game on Saturday.Right-handed Mal Loye (97) and left-handed Niall O’ Brien (85) were not separated at the tea break as the visitors went through their motions in the field.Northamptonshire trail by 154 runs with 10 wickets intact in their first innings. India had made 352 all out in their first innings.Zaheer Khan’s much expected return to action after his hamstring injury lasted a mere three overs before he parked himself in the pavilion and did not come out thereafter at all. By the looks, things do not appear too bright for the left-arm seamer ahead of the third Test between India and England at Edgbaston starting on April 10.Loye and Brien batted with authority and imposed themselves on the Indian bowlers even though leg-spinner Amit Mishra would feel that the umpire at his end was particularly hard on a couple of his genuine appeals.Pacers S Sreesanth and Munaf Patel were treated without respect by the Northants openers for 51 runs in their 10 overs each while Mishra conceded 44 runs from 17 overs. Part-timer Suresh Raina was punished for 21 runs from his five overs.As the end of post-lunch session drew nearer, Indians had begun to bowl no-balls and conceding byes off the errant bowling.Northamptonshire’s top order did not have a particularly good time at the crease this season so this success of their openers would particularly rankle the visitors.advertisement- With PTI inputslast_img read more

Twitter Handles Dos and Don’ts (and eBook!)

first_img Good Twitter Handles: Use this type of handle if you would like people to remember the industry in which you work. This way people will always associate you with your specialty, and it’s a good baseline to develop thought leadership. 2) A name followed by random numbers (Joanne123) What’s in a Name? Topics: Unless there is a reason for the specific numbers, this type of handle looks juvenile by conjuring the old AOL chat room days. Many people do it because the name they want to use is already taken. However, it gives the appearance that you aren’t putting enough thought into your username to think of something unique. —and you do not plan to make a company Twitter account—this is a great way to represent you and your company at the same time. “How to Use Twitter for Business” 3) A combination of your name and your industry (MarketingJane) , to learn more important tips for optimizing your company’s social media presence! Twitter 2) A combination of your name and your company (CompanyJane) your company on Twitter Twitter Profile Check out our ebook, We believe the first step in optimizingcenter_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 1) Something completely random (TigerMan) This is a lost branding opportunity for you and your company and could spark confusion. It’s also unprofessional and looks like you’re hiding your identity. Bad Twitter Handles: Your 3) A handle that uses an underscore (PR_Max) Twitter for business Making your Twitter handle as close to your name as possible will make it easier for people to recognize you at a conference or event. It also treats your name like a brand. every time you tweet, you promote brand awareness for your name. handle is incredibly important. It’s true; you can change it later if you need to. But why not start best-foot-forward and be truly thoughtful when selecting the Twitter handle that will represent you or your business? Originally published Jan 12, 2009 8:54:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 starts at the very beginning: setting up your account. Joining Twitter is fun and exciting, but take the time to fully complete your account before you start using it. By ensuring everything is well set up, you will ultimately get the best results. Using an underscore won’t hurt you, but be aware that it generally is never done. Use at risk of seeming unaware of the “social norms.” 1) Your full name or a variation of your full name (JamesDean or JDean) If you will be the only person representinglast_img read more

WSJ Offers Great Marketing Advice, Then Fails to Follow It

first_img the Wikipedia entry go read it now Most blogs put comments right below their articles. That encourages participation because readers see them after they finish, and dive in. That’s not the case on The Journal’s site. After the article all you see are ads. If you want to comment on the piece, you have to go back to a comment tab at the top of the page. The authors encourage marketers to “Resist the temptation to sell, sell, sell,” yet by placing ads where most sites put the comments, The Journal is doing just that. (3) Ads Take Up Space Most Sites Devote to Comments — and Here’s what I mean: colleges after dozens of interviews with executives and managers. (whatever you say about Wikipedia, it is certainly a conversation). , written by professors from — “Don’t just talk at consumers — work with them throughout the marketing process.” That’s another one of the article’s excellent morsels of advice. Yet the authors fail to follow it. As of late Monday night, they weren’t participating in the comments, which means they’re talking at their readers. There is just one problem with the article: The authors and The Journal aren’t following their own advice. Bentley (1) Very Few Links What do you think? Does the WSJ practice what it preaches? Does HubSpot? Topics: , or, at the very least, Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack . inbound marketing If you haven’t read today’s piece in The Wall Street Journal about marketing on the social web, you should Inbound Marketing — The authors urge marketers to “Listen to — and join — the conversation outside your site.” Yet their entire article includes only two links, and even then they’re not links to related conversations. For example, since they offer a definition of Web 2.0, they should link to Babson Originally published Dec 15, 2008 9:02:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Tim O’Reilly’s seminal post on the topic (2) The Authors Aren’t Participating in the Comments It’s a great summary of many of the principles oflast_img read more

Twitter Adds More Context to Tweets With Twitter Places

first_img Twitter introduced Twitter Places yesterday Dedicated Place Pages: Google Places (formerly known as Google’s Local Business Center) , corporate Twitter account How Twitter Places Works: If you think Twitter’s new feature sounds a lot like Twitter Help Center Also seen in the above image, when users roll their mouse over a location associated with a person’s tweet, they’ll be shown a map. ) with your business’ place before you tweet about your promotions so it appears on your Place page. In an effort to bring more context to tweets and expand upon Along with the Twitter Places launch, Twitter is also releasing API functionality and Twitter Places functionality for more web browsers (Safari, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Firefox). Download the free webinar Twitter Want to learn more about using Twitter for Marketing and PR? Webinar: Twitter for Marketing and PR Twitter Updates Clicking “Tweets about this place –>” will bring the user to a dedicated page, or Twitter Place, for that location, showing recent tweets and check-ins (that’s right, it’s integrated with Foursquare and Gowalla!) associated with that particular place. Originally published Jun 15, 2010 4:40:00 PM, updated October 20 2016 account is associated with your office location before you tweet about your content, etc.  You can also ask some of your employees who are on Twitter to associate their tweets with your business’ location while they’re at work, enabling visitors to your Twitter Place to connect with your employees. Topics: So what can you do to help make their first impression a good one?  While you have no control over what visitors to your place of business will tweet, you do have an opportunity to own some the tweets listed on your Place page.  Is there a special promotion or discount you’re publicizing?  Make sure you associate your tweet (and your When users tag their tweets with a particular place (e.g. a local business, restaurant, stadium, museum, what have you), their subsequent tweets will be associated with that location (see image above).  Users will know the new feature has been rolled out to them when the “Add Your Location” link appears below the Tweet box. (For help, visit the What other ways do you think Twitter Places will be beneficial to businesses? , which allows users to associate tweets with specific places, and gives each place a dedicated Twitter page.  The new feature will be rolled out to users on twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com over the next week, so if you don’t have the new functionality yet, hang in there — it’s coming! Photo via Twitter Blog for tips and tricks to drive inbound marketing using Twitter. .) Hey marketers and business owners: has the light bulb gone off in your head yet?  Think about it, if people visit the Twitter Place page associated with your business, they’re going to check out the tweets and check-ins listed on that page.  If that person has no prior relationship with your brand, that feed is going to have an impact on his/her first impression of your business. Mapping: Tagging Tweets With Places: Are you a B2B company without a storefront?  Again, make sure your corporate The Meaning for Marketers , you’re right; there are definitely some similarities.  Right now, Twitter Places only shows the tweets/check-ins associated with a specific place, but Twitter definitely has an opportunity to take it to the next level by giving every business a home on Twitter, just like Google Places does.  By incorporating additional features such as the ability for businesses to build profiles on their Place page, Twitter could make their offering a preferred and much more functional alternative to Google Places for business owners. its location-based functionality API and Additional Browser Use: 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

8 Clever Ways Brands Are Newsjacking the Election for Marketing

first_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 Why is this effective?7-Eleven likes to engage its customer and give them a unique experience. This campaign accomplishes just that, getting their customers involved as well as providing another way for them to show off their political support. 7-Eleven also does a great job of taking an integrated, multi-channel marketing approach, leveraging online channels such as its website, Twitter, and Facebook to promote the campaign in addition to customers’ real-life, in-store experience.8) Heaven Hill DistilleriesTo capitalize on the election season at the start of the primaries in January, Heaven Hill Distilleries introduced two types of bourbons: Red State Bourbon and Blue State Bourbon. Along with launch of its left wing and right wing bourbons, the distillery also launched two separate Facebook pages in support of each position. And for every Facebook like they receive, Heaven Hill Distilleries is also donating $1 to the Veterans of Foreign Wars. Newsjacking Originally published Oct 16, 2012 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 Wherever you turn, someone is talking about the upcoming presidential election. There are a ton of commercials on the air supporting the battle between the two main candidates, and every news outlet is reporting on the election — particularly the presidential debates (will you be tuning in tonight?). Furthermore, social media campaigns for both candidates are prevalent. So it only makes sense that other companies would take advantage of the country’s interest in the election by creating creative marketing campaigns to promote their own causes.We’ve talked before about the power of newsjacking as a great way to leverage the popularity of story/trend/meme to get some news coverage of your own. Breaking news is reported all of the time, but as a marketer, you have a unique opportunity to take advantage of these trending topics and create relevant campaigns that serve your own marketing agenda. So to give you some newsjacking inspiration, here are 8 companies who are using the popularity of the election season as an opportunity to capture the attention of the media and promote their own businesses.1) Pizza HutPizza Hut is certainly riding the political wave, running an election-themed marketing campaign called “The Pizza Party.” Pizza Hut is offering up a Big Dinner Box as its candidate, asking their customers to show support by signing up on their website.To add another element to the campaign, Pizza Hut is also offering unlimited pizza for a year or a $15,600 check to anyone who asks the presidential candidates if they prefer pepperoni or sausage during the next debate, which happens to be in town meeting-style format. While questions are screened ahead of time, there has been a history of participants asking other questions when prompted by other companies. Tune in tonight to see what happens!Why is this effective?By newsjacking the election, Pizza Hut has a great opportunity to market to families who might want to sit together and watch the debate on TV … maybe with a box of pizza. For parents who want to educate their children about the election, this campaign helps them do that in a fun (and yummy) way.2) JetBlueEvery election year you always hear Americans threatening to move to Canada or some other country if their preferred candidate isn’t elected. Well, JetBlue is taking those threats to heart, promising to fly 1,006 voters out of the country if their desired candidate doesn’t win.Participants simply have to visit the JetBlue Election Protection website, select their favorite candidate, and choose which destination they’d like to be shipped off to if their candidate doesn’t win. After November 6, the winners will be chosen. Don’t worry — the destination choices are a little bit on the warmer side than, say, Canada (no offense, Canadians).Why is this effective?JetBlue’s brand is known for its fun and creative social media campaigns to make customers happy. So it’s no surprise that the airline jumped on a unique opportunity that would engage and excite customers. As the entire country is talking about the importance of voting, JetBlue is also sharing that message, but at the same time encouraging U.S. citizens to vote with them as well. 3) PBS (Featuring Big Bird!)We found this election newsjacking example so noteworthy that we devoted a full article to it on our blog. Here’s the gist: After Mitt Romney proclaimed that, as much as he loves Big Bird, he is going to cut funding to PBS if elected, PBS took the perfect opportunity to ride the social media wave that exploded after this announcement. People mostly tweeted their disappointment in Mitt Romney’s statement, which led PBS to purchase a Promoted Tweet on Twitter that was displayed when users searched for “Big Bird.” The advertised tweet led readers straight to the PBS website, that spoke about its value in an attempt to educate the audience about everything PBS does and stands for. Why is this effective?When it comes to newsjacking, timing is everything. Heaven Hill Distilleries launched this campaign as soon as the primaries started, which was a smart, strategic move on their part. This allowed the campaign to last throughout the entire election season up until November, and as a result it’s gained good traction: The Red State Bourbon Facebook Page currently has 1,157 Likes, and the Blue State Burbon Facebook Page has 540 Likes. It’s definitely proven to be a successful way to not only engage customers in-store, but to also engage them online.What other companies are newsjacking the election season for their own marketing benefit?Photo Credit: Walt Stoneburner Topics: Why is this effective?During the 2008 election, the Sarah Palin doll was successful in raising $19,000. The doll’s launch was not only a great way for voters to get excited about the upcoming election but also donate to a good cause that related to the election. After the success of the Sarah Palin doll, the marketers at Cabbage Patch were smart to create align their political dolls with the charity as well.7) 7-ElevenTo benefit from election season, 7-Eleven is hosting its own type of election called the 7-Election, through which customers choose coffee cups that are either blue for President Obama or red for Mitt Romney, with the votes tallied at the check-out counter. Every day, the results are calculated on the 7-Eleven website. Why is this effective?This opportunity may have fallen right into PBS’ lap, but the company had to act strategically and efficiently in order to newsjack Romney’s controversial announcement — and they did. PBS recognized that because the buzz was happening on Twitter, they should use that channel as the way to drive visitors back to their website. Considering the proper channels and immediately taking action while the story is fresh is vital for newsjacking success, and PBS executed on this brilliantly!4) Boston MarketTo capitalize on election season, Boston Market decided to launch “limited-time only” menu items alongside an election-themed campaign to promote them. The campaign, called the “Market Bowl Poll,” pits chicken (the left wing) against turkey (the right wing). As part of the campaign, Boston Market asks you to vote for the candidate you prefer, after which you’re rewarded with a coupon to redeem for money off the new dishes. Boston Market also created a video to go along with the campaign:Why is this effective?Restaurants introduce new dishes and menu items regularly. But what people will remember about Boston Market isn’t necessarily the fact that it introduced new menu fare, but rather that Boston Market participated in a popular event that its customers already care about. As a result, its promotional video has already accumulated over 25,000 views on YouTube. Boston Market is also finding other ways to leverage its campaign by engaging with Facebook fans and encouraging votes in the election in exchange for smaller prizes, including gift cards.5) FedEx FedEx took a very clever approach to newsjacking the election, using it as a great opportunity to promote the fact that all of your promotional materials can be printed using their services. And with all of the negative advertisements that get played during political races, FedEx decided to newsjack that negativity by asserting, “Competition may not always be professional, clean, or elegant, but at least your promotional materials can be.”Why is this effective?FedEx’s newsjack is funny and relatable whether you’re involved in election season promotion or not. While you may not need to print political marketing collateral yourself, people will always need to print something. So FedEx took a great opportunity to promote its products and services at a time when everyone is already thinking about the presidential race. And, of course, a little humor always goes a long way.6) Cabbage PatchThat’s right — even the toy industry is jumping aboard the election newsjacking bandwagon. Cabbage Patch has created dolls resembling Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Michelle Obama, Mitt Romney, and Paul Ryan. The dolls are scheduled to be auctioned off on eBay from October 30 through November 6, and the proceeds will go to Rock the Vote.last_img read more

Before & After: How to Fix These 7 Horrible Headlines

first_img Originally published Nov 15, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Blog Headlines Crafting headlines is the hardest part of the entire writing process. You’ve got to be descriptive, yet concise. Attention-grabbing, yet factual. Seach-engine friendly, yet catchy. Oh, and alliteration works well. And you’ve probably overused the word “awesome” or “amazing” — so find something better than that. To top it all off, it should also fit in under 140 characters so it’s easy to tweet. Yup, that’s hard. It’s so hard that my teammates and I on HubSpot’s blogging team never publish a post without brainstorming a headline with each other first. And even then, we might not get it right. So when I see a horrible, terrible, no-good headline published, I feel for the author or editor who labored over publishing it … but that doesn’t mean we can’t learn from their mistakes to make our own headlines better.To make this a learning experience — not a finger-pointing-fest — I compiled seven pretty bad headlines into the post below. We’ll dissect them and figure out why they’re ill-advised, and then make mental notes to avoid them in our own writing.  1) “15 Fears Everyone Has and No One Talks About”That was the headline I clicked on when I landed on the BuzzFeed homepage. I’m a huge scaredy-cat, so I was excited to see what other common fears people secretly shared based on the headline. I landed in the post and immediately started scrolling — I want to have my fears validated! This is what I see:And then they kept getting weirder and weirder. The fear of being left handed. The fear of beards. The fear of chins. What the heck? I thought these were supposed to be “fears that everyone has” — that’s what the headline promised me would be here.Annoyed, I scroll up and confront the headline on the article page: “12 Things You Won’t Believe People Are Afraid Of.” That’s completely different than what I was promised.In your own titles, don’t pull the headline bait-and-switch — even if it’s unintentional. I like to ask myself one question before publishing: “Is that really what the article is about?” If yes, I hit publish. If not, I go back to the headline drawing board. 2) “Ryan Seacrest to Go Viral All Over Kids With New Nickelodeon Show”When I first saw this title, I laughed out loud — and that’s not because Ryan Seacrest will be hosting a new game show where kids will be competing to win prizes by watching viral videos. Nor is it the fact that the phrase “go viral” is in the headline.Take a look at what follows “go viral” … what the heck is “going viral all over kids”? I thought it must be a weird pun that would be addressed in the article, but it wasn’t. It’s just this random phrase tacked on to the end of “go viral” that no one says … ever. And now that it’s been added on to the end of “go viral”, the whole title sounds grotesque and inappropriate. When you’re writing titles, be 100% sure what you’re saying actually means what you’re saying. Certain words and phrases mean certain things in certain contexts. If you really need a gut check, IM or email a coworker with the title and zero context and ask them what their thoughts are. Better safe than sorry.3) “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens to Look to Celebrities for the Perfect Prom Dress Styles and Where to Turn for a More Affordable Choice”One of the best grammar lessons I learned was about parallel structure. Basically, if you’re going to have two phrases in a sentence, they should follow the same structure. It’s mostly about having the same verb tense, but you can get fancier by aligning other elements of the phrase. When you break the parallel structure rule, compound sentences end up sounding awkward … like really awkward. Take the above title from a press release, for example. Read it one time and tell me what the article is going to be about. Teens should take celebrity advice for prom dress styles? Teens should find someone to help them find a cheap prom dress? It’s super confusing because the article is supposed to address both.Here’s how I’d rewrite the title to get that dual message across: “MagicMomentsProm.com Advises Teens To Look To Celebrities For The Perfect (and Affordable) Prom Dress Styles.” Much clearer, right?You’ve heard this lesson for your entire life, and you’ll hear it again in this blog post: Grammar is important. It’s not the be-all-end-all of content creation, but it should be used to help clarify your message, not muddle it.4) “Under Investigation”I’m going to let you try this one on your own. The header above was the headline I saw, and here’s the context in which I saw it in the sidebar of The Huffington Post: What the heck is that post about? Who is under investigation? And what for? Glenn Greenwald? Maybe it’s just me being ignorant of what’s happening in the world, but I don’t even recognize who the man in the picture is.Here’s what the title is once I click through: UK Pursuing Criminal Investigation Into Guardian Leaks. OH. Now that makes sense!Lesson for us: Never sacrifice the meaning of your headline for being concise. I had no clue what that post was about and I definitely wouldn’t have clicked through unless I was writing this blog post about confusing titles. Don’t assume that your readers will just get it — I’d bet that 9/10 times, they’re going to keep scrolling. 5) “Facebook Like Button, Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites, Gets a Redesign”This title from TechCrunch isn’t one of the worst I’ve ever seen — it’s pretty straightforward and clickable. But it does have one pretty giant weak spot.Check out that descriptive phrase right smack dab in the middle of the headline: “Viewed 22B Times a Day on 7.5M Websites.” Yep, those numbers are impressive … but they’re describing Facebook, the biggest social network of our age. We don’t really need a qualifier to understand how gargantuan Facebook is — so cut it from your headline. If you’re adding data, adjectives, or any clarifier to your titles that don’t really need to be there, cut it out. Since you have limited space in your title for it to appear in search and social networks, use it wisely. 6) “California Pinots to Beat Blockbusters: John Mariani”Is this a spam post randomly compiling words together like the “What would I say app?” that’s been taking the internet by storm? And who the heck is John Mariani? This article is on Bloomberg — shouldn’t it be good? I was just really confused when I saw this.The main problem with this headline is that it comes across as quite randomly put together, and name drops someone who isn’t recognizable to someone who’s a big wine fan (cough me cough). Instead, Bloomberg should remove Mariani’s name from the title, and try to position the California Pinots as the underdog so that “beating blockbusters” makes sense — and makes you want to click. It also confuses a reader by having two recognizable names — “pinots” and “blockbusters” — close to one another but with no discernible relation. Are Pinots and Blockbusters in a fight? Why is wine fighting with an old video rental chain? The problem is compounded because “beat” can be used as both a noun and a verb. Are the pinots beating up the video store? Or are “Beat Blockbusters” a thing I should know about that lie on a spectrum which runs the gamut from “California Pinots” to “Beat Blockbusters”?If i was going to redo this title, I’d probably nix the word “blockbusters” entirely, as it takes the mind to another place that the article doesn’t intend you to go. (And it’s not the right place.)7) “Stop Wasting Away Your Workday With These Productivity Tools and Techniques”And of course, we couldn’t end this post without adding one of our own titles into the mix. Like I said before, it happens to all of us. So here’s a title of a recent post that flopped.It’s confusing … right? It seems like we were telling you to NOT use these productivity tools and techniques because they make you waste time, but in fact, we really wanted you to use them to save time. The reason it’s confusing is the word choice, “with.” Once we realized our mistake, we switched up the phrasing to say, “Productivity Tools and Techniques to Stop Wasting Away Your Workday.” Clearer, right?The lesson: Really think about your word placement — something as simple as switching the phrases in a headline can add clarity, or mystery, to your headline. If you’re straightforward yet compelling, you’re going to be set for any headline you write. Think about what you’ve said in the post (yup, I’m recommending writing your title after you write your post) — and think about how you’d get your buyer persona to read the article in five seconds or less.What terrible headlines have you seen, and how would you fix them? Share them with us in the comments.  Topics:last_img read more

Amazon Leads the Way With Negotiation Option for Rare Items

first_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: It’s hard to call Amazon a trendsetter in this field, since eBay has done something similar for over a decade. Still, because of Amazon’s influence over ecommerce trends, we may be able to consider it groundbreaking. What’s this “new” thing they’re doing?Haggling.Sure, eBay is and auction site, where buyers try to outbid each other for anything from socks to one-of-a-kind art pieces. Amazon’s “make an offer” option is, for now, available only for rare pieces like collectibles and fine art. The basic idea behind the two is the same, though. By allowing buyers to make their offers, whether in an auction setting or a haggling scenario, these two ecommerce giants give buyers even more power.How It WorksAs you’ll see in the screenshot below, Amazon provides the option for buyers to either purchase the item at a set price or to make an offer. The offer is delivered directly to the seller, who can either accept that offer or make a counteroffer. The deal is done when the seller either accepts or both parties walk away.Just like haggling in real life, right?Why This Is Big NewsIf eBay has done something along the same lines for years, why is Amazon’s new negotiation option such a big deal? In truth, Amazon is a leader in the ecommerce world. The company has made buying online easier and less expensive than ever. When they break new ground, the rest of the ecommerce world follows.Sure, other websites out there probably haggled with buyers if those buyers were savvy enough to seek out the contact information. As far as a structured, easy way for potential customers to make lower offers, Amazon is leading the pack. They may have already patented either the idea itself or the technology used, but that won’t matter.As we’ve seen, using patented technology for ecommerce isn’t new. Amazon may have the 1-Click buying option, the whole “photos on a white background” technique, and even online gift cards locked down, but that hasn’t stopped others from developing their own versions.The more technology-savvy ecommerce companies out there could very well develop their own version of Amazon’s haggling option. And before they go through that trouble, they have the ultimate example to learn from. If it works for Amazon, we’re sure to see it crop up everywhere.Where It WorksIf you’re thinking that haggling just won’t work for a lot of ecommerce outlets, you’re right. The structure isn’t ideal for everyone, but it is the perfect solution for many. Antique dealers who haven’t considered an online outlet for their goods may find this particular buying option perfect. Fine art sellers could experience a higher number of sales if online shoppers felt they could make an offer. Vintage apparel stores could see a huge surge in sales if buyers had the option of haggling over that Chanel purse.Someone looking for a pack of socks, though? This model isn’t going to work. For that, you could still go to eBay.What do you think about haggling? Is this the future of ecommerce, or will Amazon only be able to use the model for a small selection of items? We’d love your thoughts, so leave a comment! Ecommerce and Amazon Originally published Jan 30, 2015 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017last_img read more