What Is Growth Hacking?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Every once in awhile a new buzz word will start hitting the business world, and with online marketing and ecommerce now the big thing, it is usually within this genre that the most talked about become known. One suck word that has been making the rounds the past few months is ‘growth hacking’, a process many companies – and even experts – are still in the dark about.

Normally, I try to stay away from anything that looks like it is going to be a fad. This came onto the scene appearing to be in the same ilk as other forgotten schemes, but it has since began to prove itself to have staying power. Most often when this happens it is because it has been shown to be effective, at least in the short term.

If you want more proof that growth hacking isn’t your usual one-trick pony, companies are beginning to jump on board to find growth hackers themselves. While the argument could be made that they are just responding to the idea of snake oil pretending to offer quick growth, I don’t personally think this is the case here. Growth hacking seems to have something real and stable pushing it, and if used the right way I can see it having a lot of potential.

But What Is It?

The term was originally coined by self-professed growth hacker and startup marketing extraordinaire Sean Ellis. Probably the best and most concise definition I have found on the web comes from Aaron Ginn, however. He defines growth hacking as:

“One whose passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology.”

My own definition would be that it is the process of finding the right trick or ‘hack’ that allows for accelerated and accumulative growth. Used for awhile now by savvy marketers in the background of startups that have become the biggest names on the web, think of it as the first step to achieving growth, but not a process for continued improvement.

How People Do It Wrong

The biggest mistakes you are seeing with companies who use growth hackers fall under the header of unrealistic expectations. They think having someone who is growth driven in their corner is going to launch them into superstar status by using a magic buzz word that holds unlimited power. That might seem like an exaggeration, but the scramble by businesses to hire people on for this method speaks for itself.

Growth hacking is a great launching point. One of my favorite examples of how it worked by was LinkedIn, which found the ‘hack’ of keeping it centered on high end corporate networks instead of trying to give it a more mass appeal within the business world. By inviting only professionals to the site, founder Reid Hoffman managed to push interest to the exclusive minority who would generate enough interest to turn it into the powerhouse it is today.

You will notice that the example above is not a long term one. Growth hacking never is; eventually, you will need to change your strategy in order to take advantage of the changing user base and needs of your brand. Failing to adapt once you have found and exploited your hack will inevitably lead to beating a dead horse.

Conclusion

Growth hacking is demonstrably useful, and not a ‘fad’ in the ways you would suspect. Yes, it is a process that many people are going to drop before they get the full benefit of it. But that falls back into the lack of understanding of what it is meant to do for you in the first place. Those who find their hack and use it to get a burst of initial growth are going to swear by it, for good reason.

What do you think of the popularity of growth hacking? Have you found success yourself using the method? Let us know in the comments.

Image source: One way

Author information

Ann Smarty

Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the pro blogger and guest blogger, social media enthusiast.

The post What Is Growth Hacking? appeared first on SEO Chat.

What Is Growth Hacking?

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Every once in awhile a new buzz word will start hitting the business world, and with online marketing and ecommerce now the big thing, it is usually within this genre that the most talked about become known. One suck word that has been making the rounds the past few months is ‘growth hacking’, a process many companies – and even experts – are still in the dark about.

Normally, I try to stay away from anything that looks like it is going to be a fad. This came onto the scene appearing to be in the same ilk as other forgotten schemes, but it has since began to prove itself to have staying power. Most often when this happens it is because it has been shown to be effective, at least in the short term.

If you want more proof that growth hacking isn’t your usual one-trick pony, companies are beginning to jump on board to find growth hackers themselves. While the argument could be made that they are just responding to the idea of snake oil pretending to offer quick growth, I don’t personally think this is the case here. Growth hacking seems to have something real and stable pushing it, and if used the right way I can see it having a lot of potential.

But What Is It?

The term was originally coined by self-professed growth hacker and startup marketing extraordinaire Sean Ellis. Probably the best and most concise definition I have found on the web comes from Aaron Ginn, however. He defines growth hacking as:

“One whose passion and focus is pushing a metric through use of a testable and scalable methodology.”

My own definition would be that it is the process of finding the right trick or ‘hack’ that allows for accelerated and accumulative growth. Used for awhile now by savvy marketers in the background of startups that have become the biggest names on the web, think of it as the first step to achieving growth, but not a process for continued improvement.

How People Do It Wrong

The biggest mistakes you are seeing with companies who use growth hackers fall under the header of unrealistic expectations. They think having someone who is growth driven in their corner is going to launch them into superstar status by using a magic buzz word that holds unlimited power. That might seem like an exaggeration, but the scramble by businesses to hire people on for this method speaks for itself.

Growth hacking is a great launching point. One of my favorite examples of how it worked by was LinkedIn, which found the ‘hack’ of keeping it centered on high end corporate networks instead of trying to give it a more mass appeal within the business world. By inviting only professionals to the site, founder Reid Hoffman managed to push interest to the exclusive minority who would generate enough interest to turn it into the powerhouse it is today.

You will notice that the example above is not a long term one. Growth hacking never is; eventually, you will need to change your strategy in order to take advantage of the changing user base and needs of your brand. Failing to adapt once you have found and exploited your hack will inevitably lead to beating a dead horse.

Conclusion

Growth hacking is demonstrably useful, and not a ‘fad’ in the ways you would suspect. Yes, it is a process that many people are going to drop before they get the full benefit of it. But that falls back into the lack of understanding of what it is meant to do for you in the first place. Those who find their hack and use it to get a burst of initial growth are going to swear by it, for good reason.

What do you think of the popularity of growth hacking? Have you found success yourself using the method? Let us know in the comments.

Image source: One way

Author information

Ann Smarty

Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas

Ann Smarty is the pro blogger and guest blogger, social media enthusiast.

The post What Is Growth Hacking? appeared first on SEO Chat.

Microsoft Does Away With Flash Ban in Internet Explorer 10 Update

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Beginning today, Microsoft is enabling Flash by default on both Windows 8 and Windows RT — a drastic turnaround from its anti-Flash stance just two years ago.

After several months of testing, Microsoft discovered the majority of sites with Flash content “are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life,” Microsoft Internet Explorer group program manager Rob Mauceri said in a blog post.

The Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) update will block Flash content in the few sites that remain incompatible with Windows or depend on other plug-ins.

“We believe having more sites ‘just work’ in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers,” Mauceri wrote. “As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience.”

The immersive IE experience on Windows 8 will be updated as well as the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT. The update will be available to customers with Windows Update.

The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT because, generally, Flash is blocked when a site relies on plug-ins not available on Windows RT.

Microsoft banned Flash and all other plug-ins from the Metro version of IE10 in September of 2011, although it did ease its stance last May by including a special version of Adobe’s plug-in directly into IE10. The plug-in only worked on sites sanctioned by Microsoft.

“Our approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, we worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life,” Mauceri said.

“Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals. We shipped this optimized Flash component as part of Windows 8, and we service it through Windows Update. IE10 with Flash on Windows 8 enables people to see more of the Web working with high quality, especially compared with the experience in other touch-first or tablet browsers and devices.”

Developers building sites with Flash content can click here for further details about the criteria used to place sites on the Flash CV block list, as well as steps they can take to test their content in immersive IE and submit their sites to be removed from the block list.

 

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Microsoft Does Away With Flash Ban in Internet Explorer 10 Update

Microsoft Does Away With Flash Ban in Internet Explorer 10 Update

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Beginning today, Microsoft is enabling Flash by default on both Windows 8 and Windows RT — a drastic turnaround from its anti-Flash stance just two years ago.

After several months of testing, Microsoft discovered the majority of sites with Flash content “are now compatible with the Windows experience for touch, performance, and battery life,” Microsoft Internet Explorer group program manager Rob Mauceri said in a blog post.

The Internet Explorer 10 (IE10) update will block Flash content in the few sites that remain incompatible with Windows or depend on other plug-ins.

“We believe having more sites ‘just work’ in IE10 improves the experience for consumers, businesses, and developers,” Mauceri wrote. “As a practical matter, the primary device you walk around with should give you access to all the Web content on the sites you rely on. Otherwise, the device is just a companion to a PC. Because some popular Web sites require Adobe Flash and do not offer HTML5 alternatives, Adobe and Microsoft continue to work together closely to deliver a Flash Player optimized for the Windows experience.”

The immersive IE experience on Windows 8 will be updated as well as the immersive and desktop IE experiences on Windows RT. The update will be available to customers with Windows Update.

The curated CV list applies to IE on the desktop for Windows RT because, generally, Flash is blocked when a site relies on plug-ins not available on Windows RT.

Microsoft banned Flash and all other plug-ins from the Metro version of IE10 in September of 2011, although it did ease its stance last May by including a special version of Adobe’s plug-in directly into IE10. The plug-in only worked on sites sanctioned by Microsoft.

“Our approach to Flash in Windows is practical for Windows customers and developers. For Windows 8, we worked with Adobe to include a version of Flash that is optimized for touch, performance, security, reliability, and battery life,” Mauceri said.

“Adobe made substantial changes to the Flash player to align with the Windows 8 experience goals. We shipped this optimized Flash component as part of Windows 8, and we service it through Windows Update. IE10 with Flash on Windows 8 enables people to see more of the Web working with high quality, especially compared with the experience in other touch-first or tablet browsers and devices.”

Developers building sites with Flash content can click here for further details about the criteria used to place sites on the Flash CV block list, as well as steps they can take to test their content in immersive IE and submit their sites to be removed from the block list.

 

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Microsoft Does Away With Flash Ban in Internet Explorer 10 Update

U.S., China Continue to Trade Accusations on Cyberattacks – American National Security Advisor Calls for Constructive and Direct Dialogue

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

It has become a war of words as much as a cyber war as the U.S. and China trade accusations about who hacked who.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security advisor is calling on China to launch an investigation into the cyberattacks on the U.S. that are straining relations between the two countries.

“First, we need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses—to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations,” Tom Donilon said in a speech March 11.  “Second, Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities.  Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”

Donilon’s words sparked a response from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying today (March 12) at a press conference.

“Cyberspace needs rules and co-operation, not wars,” Hua was quoted by Chinese news outlet Xinhua. “In terms of Internet security, China is vulnerable and one of the most seriously attacked victims.”

“China has always urged the international community to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace and opposed turning it into a new battlefield,” she added.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was a little more blunt during a weekend news conference, saying the accusations being leveled against China are politically motivated.

“Those reports may have caught the eye of many people, but they are built on shaky ground,” said Yang, referring to a 74-page report by American security firm Mandiant Corp. that alleged a Chinese military unit has launched thousands of hacking attacks against U.S. companies and defense contractors since 2006 at the behest of China’s government.

The Alexandria, Virginia-based security firm, which went public with the report last month, said it traced the hacking to four large networks in Shanghai, two of which serve the Pudong New Area where a 12-storey building run by Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army is located.

China has been adamant that it is not the hacker but the victim, saying it is hit with about 144,000 hacking attacks per month, many of which originate from the U.S.

Xinhua reported over the weekend that China’s national Computer Emergency Response Team tracked the majority of attacks on Chinese public and private organizations this year to American IP addresses.

“What is black is black, and what is white stays white. Anyone who tries to fabricate or piece together a sensational story to serve a political motive will not be able to blacken the name of others nor whitewash themselves,” Jiechi was quoted by the China Daily.

He said it is wrong to “turn cyberspace into another battlefield, or capitalize on virtual reality to interfere in another country’s internal affairs,” adding that there has been enough political mud-slinging.

Donilon described cyber-security as a “growing challenge” to the U.S.’s economic relationship with China.

He said more and more U.S. businesses are voicing concerns about “sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies” through cyber invasions stemming from China at an unparalleled rate.

“The international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity from any country,” Donilon said. “As the president said in the State of the Union, we will take action to protect our economy against cyber-threats.

“From the president on down, this has become a key point of concern and discussion with China at all levels of our governments. And it will continue to be. The United States will do all it must to protect our national networks, critical infrastructure, and our valuable public and private sector property.”

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

U.S., China Continue to Trade Accusations on Cyberattacks

U.S., China Continue to Trade Accusations on Cyberattacks – American National Security Advisor Calls for Constructive and Direct Dialogue

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

It has become a war of words as much as a cyber war as the U.S. and China trade accusations about who hacked who.

U.S. President Barack Obama’s national security advisor is calling on China to launch an investigation into the cyberattacks on the U.S. that are straining relations between the two countries.

“First, we need a recognition of the urgency and scope of this problem and the risk it poses—to international trade, to the reputation of Chinese industry and to our overall relations,” Tom Donilon said in a speech March 11.  “Second, Beijing should take serious steps to investigate and put a stop to these activities.  Finally, we need China to engage with us in a constructive direct dialogue to establish acceptable norms of behavior in cyberspace.”

Donilon’s words sparked a response from Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying today (March 12) at a press conference.

“Cyberspace needs rules and co-operation, not wars,” Hua was quoted by Chinese news outlet Xinhua. “In terms of Internet security, China is vulnerable and one of the most seriously attacked victims.”

“China has always urged the international community to build a peaceful, secure, open and cooperative cyberspace and opposed turning it into a new battlefield,” she added.

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi was a little more blunt during a weekend news conference, saying the accusations being leveled against China are politically motivated.

“Those reports may have caught the eye of many people, but they are built on shaky ground,” said Yang, referring to a 74-page report by American security firm Mandiant Corp. that alleged a Chinese military unit has launched thousands of hacking attacks against U.S. companies and defense contractors since 2006 at the behest of China’s government.

The Alexandria, Virginia-based security firm, which went public with the report last month, said it traced the hacking to four large networks in Shanghai, two of which serve the Pudong New Area where a 12-storey building run by Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army is located.

China has been adamant that it is not the hacker but the victim, saying it is hit with about 144,000 hacking attacks per month, many of which originate from the U.S.

Xinhua reported over the weekend that China’s national Computer Emergency Response Team tracked the majority of attacks on Chinese public and private organizations this year to American IP addresses.

“What is black is black, and what is white stays white. Anyone who tries to fabricate or piece together a sensational story to serve a political motive will not be able to blacken the name of others nor whitewash themselves,” Jiechi was quoted by the China Daily.

He said it is wrong to “turn cyberspace into another battlefield, or capitalize on virtual reality to interfere in another country’s internal affairs,” adding that there has been enough political mud-slinging.

Donilon described cyber-security as a “growing challenge” to the U.S.’s economic relationship with China.

He said more and more U.S. businesses are voicing concerns about “sophisticated, targeted theft of confidential business information and proprietary technologies” through cyber invasions stemming from China at an unparalleled rate.

“The international community cannot afford to tolerate such activity from any country,” Donilon said. “As the president said in the State of the Union, we will take action to protect our economy against cyber-threats.

“From the president on down, this has become a key point of concern and discussion with China at all levels of our governments. And it will continue to be. The United States will do all it must to protect our national networks, critical infrastructure, and our valuable public and private sector property.”

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

U.S., China Continue to Trade Accusations on Cyberattacks

Facebook Likes More Revealing Than Users Realize: Study – Algorithms Often Accurately Predict Race, Religion, Political Leanings, Sexuality and Intelligence to Name a Few

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Fans of curly fries, thunderstorms and The Colbert report, tend to be highly intelligent while those who like Harley Davison, Sephora or Lady Antebellum are not quite so bright, a new study has revealed.

According to Cambridge University researchers, your Facebook likes may divulge more about you than you realize.

But can liking a friend’s post or a favorite brand really reveal your religion, political leanings, race, intelligence and sexual preferences?

According to the Cambridge researchers: Yes.

The study, released this week, proves Facebook likes can be used to dig up private information about almost any regular Facebook user.

Using an algorithm, researchers analyzed the data from more than 58,000 U.S. Facebook users, who volunteered their likes, demographic profiles and personality tests.

Using this system, researchers correctly differentiated between African-Americans and Caucasians 95 percent of the time and distinguished males from females 93 percent of the time.

Their predictions on determining religion (Christianity versus Islam) were accurate 82 percent of the time and they were able to distinguish Democrats from Republicans 85 percent of the time.

The algorithms even enabled the researchers to identify smokers, drinkers and drug users with surprising accuracy — 73, 70 and 65 percent respectively.

But what types of likes are giving people away? Researchers found gay men were apt to like Wicked The Musical, Britney Spears and Desperate Housewives while straight guys were more apt to like Wu-Tang Clan and Shaq. Predictions on male sexuality were correct 88 percent of the time. Female sexuality was a little harder to predict with researchers able to correctly guess 75 percent of the time.

The algorithms also revealed Facebook users who like the Hello Kitty brand tend to be young African-American Democrats with Christian backgrounds.

While the accuracy of such predictions might be good news for marketers — they can use such information to launch effective advertising campaigns — researchers say the ability to so accurately read people based solely on their social media interactions could be a serious threat to people’s privacy.

“The predictability of individual attributes from digital records of behavior may have considerable negative implications, because it can easily be applied to large numbers of people without obtaining their individual consent and without them noticing,” the study reads.

“Commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share. One can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual’s well-being, freedom, or even life. Importantly, given the ever-increasing amount of digital traces people leave behind, it becomes difficult for individuals to control which of their attributes are being revealed.”

Facebook is not the only site that can be used to discover personal details about Internet users, however.

“Similarity between Facebook likes and other widespread kinds of digital records, such as browsing histories, search queries, or purchase histories suggests that the potential to reveal users’ attributes is unlikely to be limited to likes,” the study reads. “Moreover, the wide variety of attributes predicted in this study indicates that, given appropriate training data, it may be possible to reveal other attributes as well.”

The findings come just a few weeks after Facebook announced its partnership with Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to improve targeted advertising on its network.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Facebook Likes More Revealing Than Users Realize: Study

Facebook Likes More Revealing Than Users Realize: Study – Algorithms Often Accurately Predict Race, Religion, Political Leanings, Sexuality and Intelligence to Name a Few

Written by: admin Date of published: . Posted in test

Fans of curly fries, thunderstorms and The Colbert report, tend to be highly intelligent while those who like Harley Davison, Sephora or Lady Antebellum are not quite so bright, a new study has revealed.

According to Cambridge University researchers, your Facebook likes may divulge more about you than you realize.

But can liking a friend’s post or a favorite brand really reveal your religion, political leanings, race, intelligence and sexual preferences?

According to the Cambridge researchers: Yes.

The study, released this week, proves Facebook likes can be used to dig up private information about almost any regular Facebook user.

Using an algorithm, researchers analyzed the data from more than 58,000 U.S. Facebook users, who volunteered their likes, demographic profiles and personality tests.

Using this system, researchers correctly differentiated between African-Americans and Caucasians 95 percent of the time and distinguished males from females 93 percent of the time.

Their predictions on determining religion (Christianity versus Islam) were accurate 82 percent of the time and they were able to distinguish Democrats from Republicans 85 percent of the time.

The algorithms even enabled the researchers to identify smokers, drinkers and drug users with surprising accuracy — 73, 70 and 65 percent respectively.

But what types of likes are giving people away? Researchers found gay men were apt to like Wicked The Musical, Britney Spears and Desperate Housewives while straight guys were more apt to like Wu-Tang Clan and Shaq. Predictions on male sexuality were correct 88 percent of the time. Female sexuality was a little harder to predict with researchers able to correctly guess 75 percent of the time.

The algorithms also revealed Facebook users who like the Hello Kitty brand tend to be young African-American Democrats with Christian backgrounds.

While the accuracy of such predictions might be good news for marketers — they can use such information to launch effective advertising campaigns — researchers say the ability to so accurately read people based solely on their social media interactions could be a serious threat to people’s privacy.

“The predictability of individual attributes from digital records of behavior may have considerable negative implications, because it can easily be applied to large numbers of people without obtaining their individual consent and without them noticing,” the study reads.

“Commercial companies, governmental institutions, or even one’s Facebook friends could use software to infer attributes such as intelligence, sexual orientation, or political views that an individual may not have intended to share. One can imagine situations in which such predictions, even if incorrect, could pose a threat to an individual’s well-being, freedom, or even life. Importantly, given the ever-increasing amount of digital traces people leave behind, it becomes difficult for individuals to control which of their attributes are being revealed.”

Facebook is not the only site that can be used to discover personal details about Internet users, however.

“Similarity between Facebook likes and other widespread kinds of digital records, such as browsing histories, search queries, or purchase histories suggests that the potential to reveal users’ attributes is unlikely to be limited to likes,” the study reads. “Moreover, the wide variety of attributes predicted in this study indicates that, given appropriate training data, it may be possible to reveal other attributes as well.”

The findings come just a few weeks after Facebook announced its partnership with Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to improve targeted advertising on its network.

Post from: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources

Facebook Likes More Revealing Than Users Realize: Study