Get a Twitter account and link it to your web page. It will improve your SEO tremendously if used correctly. Post company updates, links to press releases, or even random thoughts.
Set up a Facebook fan page if it fits your target market.
Start a Blog. Wordpress and Blogger are free blog services.
To make sure that all this is working use Google Analytics. Find out what keywords and track how many people visit you, from what locations... See if they come from your Twitter account or your blog. In addition to Google Analytics, use AWStats or WebLog, which most companies provide for free.
Safe traveling requires to keep protected your data, and that is not an easy task.
The NYT has written an articlewith useful ideas for that. I summarize it in ten bullet points.
Before using computers in cybercafes and hotels, check if their security program is up to date. Avoid any banking business and entering of your credit card number. If you have to user your e-mail, when you get home, change your password.
Know that these public computers are notorious for having malware on them, including "keylogger" programs that record users' keystrokes and capture screenshots to collect log-in information. They could even have physical keylogging devices fitted onto the back.
Public Wi-Fi networks are full of sniffers that capture and view traffic. Even, a hacker could infiltrate your PC by making his computer appear to be a legitimate Wi-Fi hot spot.
Therefore, use a firewall -they are included free in recent versions of Windows and Mac laptops- and make sure information you send is encrypted.
Get online using cellular services or "tethering" with your mobile device, though that may increase your data fees.
Consider using a removable privacy screen ($20 to $60 for laptops, $5 to $15 for iPhones and Blackberry) to make it harder for neighbors to sneak a look.
Back up your laptop's data. Laptop loss and theft at airports are rampant. Take it into the bathroom avoiding to entrust it to a complete stranger; do not put it in checked luggage. And consider buying a laptop lock ($20 to $50) to use if you leave the computer in your hotel room.
Using a password to lock your computer provides little protection; someone with know-how can bypass it in minutes. It is more effective to use a password manager to store and encrypt your passwords.
An even better idea is to use full-disk encryption. You can get quality software free (BitLocker in Windows Vista and 7 and the open-source tool TruCrypt for Windows, Mac and Linux).
If you do lose your laptop, a service like LoJack for Laptops (starting at $40) can help you track it down or remotely delete your data.
Connecting your smartphone to Wi-Fi hot spots, the security issues are the same.
Turn it off your Bluetooth if you don't use it. Intruders can use it to read contacts, text messages and other data stored in your phone.
iPhone users with MobileMe service can use the "Find My iPhone" feature to locate their device on a map, set a password lock remotely, display a message on the screen, make the phone ring even if the ringer is off and erase all content remotely.
People with Windows Mobile can do the same, at $5 for each function.
RealNetworks has released a new version of its RealPlayer SP for Windows (a Mac update is scheduled for later this year), that comes with some basic video editing features. Users are now able to trim a video and save only a selected part on their hard drive.
In addition, video clips can be shared via Twitter, Facebook, Myspace and YouTube.
Various conversion options, including the ability to convert into MP3, make it easier to save clips on a number of mobile devices.
After testing it, you realize that the player does a good job when downoloading clips from various web sites, including YouTube, where it grabs the Flash video file (meanwhile Miro makes it possible to save MP4 videos from YouTube).
These saved videos can be trimmed with the basic video editor. It allows users to select start and end points and save these clips on their hard drives. For now, there's no option to combine multiple snippets into a new clip.
In this economy, there are tech companies who are being sold on eBay.
Take Open Box Technologies, with about 100 paying customers. Founded in 2005, it raised $2.5 million, and later run out of cash. Now it has gone up for auction on eBay, along with its white-label video publishing platform SesameVault. Starting bid is $500,000.
(Update: No one made a bid. Company says it used this action as a lead generation mechanism, and it got six potential acquirers.)
However, this is not the first case. In 2006, web calendar firm Kiko put itself up for sale on the auction site, and was bought by Tucows for $258.000.
Vancouver Winter Olympics' big sponsors are seeing that ad dollars work better when using social media.
For example, Visa will dedicate 40 % of its Olympic marketing funds to digital ideas, four times the past share.
They have spent months creating strategies to expand their brands online.
“Every piece of our Olympic marketing has a social and mobile component,” says Coca-Cola’s marketing chief.
Here is a quick list of some of their ideas, according to USA Today:
Visa: Its six Olympic spots will be seen on its YouTube channel before aired on TV.
Coke: The brand has created a virtual snowball fight for consumers to share via social media. It also has an iPhone app with NBC that has sounds of cheering, air horns and a Coke being poured. Coke-sponsored athletes will tweet about their experiences.
McDonald’s: It has created a virtual scavenger hunt: How Do You McNugget?
GE: It will launch a program for better health. 25 experts will tweet about things folks can do to be healthier. It also will offer advice on its Facebook and health-related videos on YouTube.
It is worth noting that the most memorable and talked-about commercials have been created or suggested by consumers -or produced internally by the sponsors -rather than the work of agency professionals.
The winners, according to a cascade of surveys, have been the Doritos commercial -created by consumers- and the Google spot -created internally.
Should the brands fire their agencies and have users create campaigns?
YouTube continues to grow its Spanish-speaking audience in the U.S.
Last week, the video site launched the Univision channel, where visitors can find programs from Univision, TeleFutura and Galavision. "The launch marks the first time Univision programming will be made available on the web outside of Univision's properties," YouTube's official blog explains.
Last year, the online video site had seen 80 percent growth in Spanish-language visitors, growing to 6.5 million per month.
At least 34 million Americans speak Spanish at home, according the US Census Bureau.
Hacking for Fun and Profit in China Underworld. The NYT posts this revealing story about a community of hackers who exploit flaws, steal valuable data (mainly, bank accounts) and sell it for profit.
Internet security experts say China has legions of hackers. They are behind an escalating number of global attacks to steal credit card numbers, commit corporate espionage and even wage online warfare. There are independent criminals, and there are shadowy groups who are back by the People's Liberation Army -the so-called patriotic hackers.
They either use or write viruses and malicious code that allow them to take control of people's computers, while taking care to cover their tracks.
This is interesting. You may be able to amass 1,500 friends on Facebook, but your brain cannot handle them.
Humans' brains are capable of managing a maximum of only 150 friendships. Our neocortex -the part of the brain used for conscious thought and language- limits us to managing social circles of around 150 friends, no matter how sociable we are. Social cohesion begins to deteriorate as groups become larger.
This is what Robin Dunbar, professor of Evolutionary Anthropology at Oxford University, says after conducting a research.
Broadcast-live-video-from-desktop business is getting crowded.
Ustream is the last company launching a new desktop client. It is called Ustream Producer, and it includes high-video quality and editing tools to for live streams.
We are not talking about broadcasting via your web browser, using Flash to access your PC's webcam. We are talking about more complex broadcasts than a single stream. You can have simultaneously two streams or more.
With a desktop client like Ustream Producer (see picture below) you can stream in HD and H.264.
Will the iPad encourage users to pay for online news contents? Honestly, nobody knows it.
Consumers are used to spend money using mobile devices, contrary to what happens when using computers.
In the last decade, while people downloaded music illegally to their desktop computers, they paid small amounts of money on their cellphones to download ring tones and send text messages. Later on, the iPhone has proved that the economics of the mobile devices are unique: the Apple App Store will generate $1.4 billion this year.