The Fight for Online Privacy

The Republicans in Congress just managed to repeal Obama administration’s bill aimed to protect online privacy. These regulations were adopted last October by the Federal Communications Commission and require Internet service providers to protect users’ privacy more than such popular sites as Google or Facebook.


According to Reuters, this new Republican bill is intended to ease restrictions, while angering many social media users.


In response, AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon have declared that they won’t sell browsing information of their customers.


“We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history. We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so,” stated Gerald Lewis, chief privacy officer at Comcast.


Meanwhile, Verizon’s spokesperson has confirmed that the company doesn’t sell personal browsing information and has no plans to do so in the future.


President Trump plans to sign the bill which repeals the rules imposed on Internet service providers that require them to obtain permission from customers to sell information using precise geographic location, health and financial information, children’s information, web browsing history, and other data.


When it comes to search engines, such as Google, or social media sites, such as Facebook, these already are subject to less strict rules about gathering and selling personal data about their users. This fact has served as a Republican argument for easing restrictions on service providers to eliminate rules that give unfair advantages to the likes of Google when it comes to harvesting personal information.


As it goes, the privacy rules get loosened rather than becoming more strict. The conclusion is that the lawmakers take the side of business interests rather than personal privacy. On the other hand, the privacy rules in the European Union are more strict, yet still allow for collections of personal data personal data, but only under strict conditions.


How to Find the Best Employees for Your Startup

If you have a startup business, you know how difficult it can be to get everything done. All of the goals that you have will take up so much of your time, and it may feel like you can’t keep up. This is generally where startup owners decide to hire new employees, but as you may assume, this process can be a challenge. Fortunately, the following tips and tricks should be able to help you find the best employees for your new business.


  1. Look for people with experience.


First, even though it may be tempting to hire brand new faces to the business scene, you don’t want to have to act as a teacher as well as a boss. Teaching your employees a little bit about how business works and how your company runs is okay, but your goal should be to look for potential employees who already have some experience under their belts. Check their resumes before inviting anyone for interviews. You’ll also want to back up their information online.


  1. Don’t be afraid of millennials.


Lots of professionals and business owners are nervous abut hiring new people, but they’re most nervous about hiring millennials. You shouldn’t be nervous about this generation. They get a bad rap for being selfish and lazy, but doesn’t every generation have a selfish and lazy crowd? Numerous millennials are hard workers and can do a great job for your company. One area where they especially excel is in dispersing your company’s message. They’re always active on social media, and that’s a good thing for you.


  1. Find employees with drive.


Finally, look for employees who have a lot of drive and are willing to put forth their all for your company. They should have a special interest in whatever it is that you do, and when you meet for them for an interview, make sure to ask them pertinent questions so that you can be sure that they’re all in.


As a startup owner, you may be nervous about bringing new people onto your projects. But if you use the tips above, you’ll be able to find the best employees for your new business.


How to Implement Social Media Marketing Into Your Business

Social media has been taking the world by storm by over a decade now. Not only is social media used by individuals, but it’s a resourceful tool for business owners. It allows new and older companies to expand to an online market, encouraging more revenue and sales by bringing in newer clients. In order for your social media marketing endeavors to be a success, you need to advertise in the correct way to prevent yourself from looking spammy. Don’t over-market your brand or you’ll risk scaring away otherwise potential customers.


When you create a business page on sites like Facebook or Twitter, you need to keep in close touch with your customers. If someone asks a question on your page or leaves a review, you should respond to them in a professional and caring manner. Remember that other people see your responses, not just the person who left the comment. By having a solid customer service base, you’ll attract more clients who will want to do business with you. When you make your customers feel special, they’ll be more likely to return when in need of your services again.


Facebook and Twitter have services that charge business owners to sponsor or advertise their ads on the front page. This is specifically done to a targeted audience that is within the demographic of your product services. While this sponsorship costs money to keep running, it is well worth the price of admission when you see you’ve attracted thousands of new clients practically overnight. No new company is complete without its own social media page and setting one up is quick, easy and free unless you choose to do sponsored advertising. Receiving valuable feedback from clients is another benefit to having your own social media page on some of the more popular sites.


The Top Ways to Improve Your Business’s Online Presence

If you own or manage a company or business, you have to be online these days, and you have to be online a lot. Many companies and businesses prefer to deal directly with their customers in brick-and-mortar stores, and this is understandable. You may even have a catalog order system.


With that being said, it all comes down to the Internet. Making sure that you have a strong online presence is essential when it comes to business in the 21st century. If you have been struggling with online marketing and making sure that your online presence is strong and continuous, the following guidelines can help.


  1. Get on social media.


You’ll definitely need to be active on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. This is where potential customers and clients will hear about your company and learn about what you do or make.


  1. Be active on social media.


You can’t simply have a social media site and not update it. Updating your site is a huge part of being on the Internet and social media in particular. Make accounts and consider hiring someone to update your social media as their full-time or part-time job


  1. Send out email blasts.


Make sure that all of your customers and clients know about updates within your company. The best way to do this is with e-mail blasts, which means that you’ll start need to start making a list of your current clients and customers and any prospective clients and customers that you think may do business with you.


  1. Have a great website.


Having a great website for your company or business is essential in the 21st century. This is a huge undertaking, so it’s something that you’ll likely want to outsource to a graphic design firm.


  1. Have a blog.


Finally, make sure that you have a blog on your website as well. This can be something that your update on a regular basis so that you always have new content on your website. If you don’t want to write your own blog posts, you can have someone else do it for you.


Snapchat Changes Its Name And Puts New Glasses On The Market

Snapchat is no longer called snapchat, although it’s new name, Snap Inc. is so similar that it will probably be continued to be referred to in its original name by the general public. According to Business Insider, the reason the company changed its name is because it branched out of simply a social media app to include a wider spectrum of online services. In addition, Snap Inc. is now selling something quite unique, a new pair of smart glasses to enhance the experience.


The glasses are only coming out in a limited distribution, so it may take a little time before they come to a store near you. But smart glasses are starting to become something more prevalent in today’s world, and perhaps with a little more promise than Apple’s smart watch. What users can do with these new Snap glasses is take photos, or shoot short 15-second videos when something catches their eye, and then send those videos to their phones to post on social media. Basically, Snap’s glasses are in an experimental phase to see whether or not they become a fashion-tech trend, or perhaps even a useful tool for everyday users. They will sell for about $129 and come in three colors.


What are the interesting dynamics that this new snap phenomena could bring? Well, the videos that users record with these glasses have a much broader view in a circular capture area, now accounting for more peripheral vision and a more 3D view, instead of simply a small area that traditional cameras have captured. But it’s interesting to think that a development that was once seen as purely science fiction, or perhaps linked to a James Bond gadget, may be on the verge of becoming mundane. It’s often said that now everyone has to be careful what they do because they don’t know who might be watching, well it just might be that the next average Joe you see walking by with a pair of sunglasses may not only be watching, but even recording through those lenses.


Prepare For Online Marketing Everywhere

We now find ourselves in a new year, and that means new developments in the world of online marketing. You might as well just expect that with each passing year things are going to get more and more complex. This year it is expected that a few new things that were not as prevalent as they were in previous years.


Augmented Reality


The augmented reality game “Pokemon Go” showed us all in 2016 just how one of these games could work and how serious people take them. As such, it is expected that the world of marketing is going to take this approach to what they want to do going forward as well. According to, at the peak of interest in Pokemon Go the game was able to earn up to $10 million in revenue per day.


Even though the clamor for the game has largely died down, the fact that it was able to generate this type of result as quickly as it did gave us all a peak into the future of augmented reality, and online marketers were sure to take note.


Live Streaming Gains Relevance


We saw glimpses into what live streaming can do for certain events. It enhances the event that is being viewed in a lot of ways. Consider for example how the Presidential debates were live streamed on social media websites and a lot of other places as well. This was something that encouraged more people than ever to watch these debates.


Total viewership was in the tens of millions for the first debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A lot of these viewers were watching on screens that were live streaming the event.


Niche Markets Become More Important


The number of brands continues to grow year after year. Despite this, the attention span of the audience remains the same. Thus, brands must consider where their message will get out to the most people as quickly as possible. If they find niche markets of people who are legitimately interested in the messages that they are pitching to them, then they have accomplished their goal of getting people to pay attention. That is a goal that will become more and more important with each passing year.


Results-driven marketing strategies for online businesses

Digital marketing is one of the fastest and the most money making trends for advertisers today then they were a few years ago. In fact, according to the director of business development at Reptile, Jonathan Laberge, to initiate a data driven or result-driven digital strategy to day is the best possible solution to get a companies numbers up since it is solely based on metrics and analytics from a companies’ website. Additionally, initiating these long-term relationships with a company’s customers or clients can be critical for a result-driven digital strategy, Laberge claims in his Forbes article.


Top tech trends

Likewise, businesses need to be on top of the most advanced technological trends daily, especially if they want to have their customers returning. When consumers want the best product on the market, they are going to go mobile. With smartphones and tablets as two of the most convenient ways to find information, they’ll go to their mobile first.


Interaction; media channeling

With that said, the interaction of various types of “media channels,” it’s best that a company sees to it that they get what their customers are looking for online or on the market. What’s being suggested, in fact, by Laberge of Reptile is to figure out the results of a company’s ads according to the company’s result-driven digital strategies which work to bring in more sales to the company so as nothing will go to ‘waste’ in ad dollars. There was more than $4 billion on marketing and advertising spent on marketing in the past couple of years. It wasn’t result-driven or data-driven marketing which means that marketers world wide went in “blind” and relied strictly on “hits and misses.”


Target and hit; don’t miss

For example, when you efficiently create a target campaign as a result of sales attributions, than you’ll make those sales work for you as a result of various channeling. You’re advertising dollars will tag along with customers. If they go to a music online app store, then you’re targeting those music lovers’ by way of marketing music induced advertisements. Laberge claims in this strategy: “…Track how many people saw your online posts, how many people visited and purchased on your website, and how long a sales resource has spoken on the phone with a potential client…[it’ll] determine how to dictate your money.”


Laberge suggests when ‘you attempt to track your customers or potential clients’ online posts, for instance, you’ll be able to see what is being purchased on your company’s website. This strategy is “who purchased, what they purchased, and the time it took for that customer to get off the phone with your company’s sales reps after he/she purchased. In other words, results is what drives a marketer to advertise according to what the customer wants so there isn’t any time wasted on ads nor money being wasted in the marketing department. Analyzing the website metrics and analytics is key to data driven results.


Finally, knowing this data will be the ‘numbers or sales’ which are important in any marketing plan. And as Laberge suggests, it’ll determine ‘how to invest your money’ into your company’s marketing strategies for your digital online store or business, thereby allowing your employees to fully understand who and what, why and when it’s being sold.



A New Technology Company Focuses On Giving People Control Of Their Online Data

A technology company called Digi.Me is trying to give back control of people’s online information back into their own hands. Digi.Me, which was founded in 2009, has a very simple business model. It blocks all third party data collection that companies currently use to gather information about prospective clients. Instead, it offers the chance for its clients to choose which data to share with companies and which to withhold. It also gives people the option of withdrawing all information on the web completely.


So how does Digi.Me, which was founded in 2009, make money? The answer to that is by acting as a broker between the customer and companies that want information about potential customers of their product or service. Companies currently spend lots of money trying to collect information about people such as their habits, interests and hobbies. Part of that process involves bulk data collection. Unfortunately for these companies, this data is often incorrect, being wrong up to 70% of the time. This is money and time that could be much better spent and utilized.


If a person directly decides they want to share some information or browsing habits of theirs with a company, then Digi.Me allows that to occur. Digi.Me allows people to share information with potential companies that could offer them a product or service they may like. In exchange for acting as such as a broker, Digi.Me will charge a small commission to the company and not the person for allowing the sharing of information to take place. This is how Digi.Me plans to make a profit.


It is important to point out, says Digi.Me founder, Julian Ranger, that his company does not sell any data. Instead his startup acts as an intermediary between a person and companies. His company acts as a secure and private medium of exchanging information. Customer have the ability to set which info they share. Companies have access to info that is almost guaranteed to be 100% accurate and reliable. Both sides in the business of marketing seem to benefit.


Digi.Me can have other positive benefits as well. Medical services, financial services, IT services and even healthcare service can then be better suited or custom tailored to people if they agree to give certain information to these sectors. The result could be better offers or deals that reflect the person’s interests. Digi.Me also allows people to store their online footprint and back it up.


Uber Legal Battle Heats Up

Uber is an on demand transportation network of private drivers that act as a taxi service. The private driver will pick the passenger up at their location and deliver them to their destination. The  Uber application that people download to their smart-phone or tablet makes this process extremely easy for people to get a ride. The service also provides a way for thousands of drivers to earn money, driving for Uber. However, a legal fight is heating up in New York over Uber being declared a legal employer of the on demand workers.


Uber Drivers

In the beginning, Uber claimed that their on demand workforce were simply independent contractors or private drivers that earned compensation for picking up passengers and delivering them to their destination. They did not work for Uber. However, a situation that is developing in New York might change the way that Uber views their drivers. A case is currently being heard by the New York State Workers Compensation Board about this matter. If the Board finds in the favor of the person filing the claim, Uber will have to dish out a ton of money to compensate claims that have been filed over the years.


Worker’s Compensation

The fact that Jorge Washington, a courier for Uber’s Rush and Eats delivery services filed a claim for workers’compensation is definitely going to change the way that a lot of on demand services operate. Consequently, Uber is definitely up in arms about the entire matter. They are struggling to make sure that the claimant does not get a second hearing about the compensation matter, because it might be approved by th New York State Workers Compensation Board. Uber has taken several steps to make sure that the second hearing is delayed or suspended. They’ve actually offered to settle with Washington. Washington would have to drop his compensation claim and end his contract with Uber to settle. However, it is reported that Washington rejected Uber’s offer.

Netflix’s Financial Fortunes Have Ups and Downs

Rumors have been swirling in regards to the success potential of Netflix. The company’s stock closed on January 13, 2017 with an increase of 3.5%. Further good news may be released on January 18th with the company’s earnings report. Things might not be perfectly rosy for the burgeoning media and entertainment giant. The company had suffered major losses not too long ago.


Netflix forever changed the business of home entertainment rentals. The company popularized the simple concept of renting a DVD via the mail. A monthly subscription service — a nominal one — was also instituted as part of the business plan. Giants such as Blockbuster did not know how to react to Netflix’s brilliant concept. Netflix soon put a lot of video rental companies out of business.


Netflix concept of online streaming programming is looking to challenge the broadcast and cable industry. Netflix has had more than a little bit of help from Marvel Comics. Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage allowed Netflix to ride the wild popularity of Marvel’s superhero films. Amazon and Apple clearly noticed the success and popularity of Netflix’s endeavors. Amazon has launched streaming programming. Apple will do so in the future.


These expansive projects do come with massive costs. Netflix surely picked up a tremendous number of subscribers thanks to its streaming endeavors. Are the costs being covered by the money infused by the new subscribers? Only the company’s quarterly earnings reports can answer that question.


Summer of 2016 revealed Netflix lost $6 billion in market value, a dangerously massive amount to lose. Netflix could reasonably recoup all that lost market share. Increasing company revenue streams and expanding its market would be required. Both are tasks the company’s executives are clearly working on. Likely, management is looking at cutting spending as well.