'Websites' Category

Can Technology Help Solve California’s Drought?

Posted by Neal Leavitt on July 26th, 2015 at 11:48 am

On April 1st, California Gov. Jerry Brown issued an executive order mandating a substantial reduction in urban water consumption compared with 2013 levels. One key element - a 25% reduction in urban water use to help mitigate the state’s worst ongoing drought in more than a century.
And while a number of climatologists and meteorologists have predicted a better than 50% chance of an El Nino winter – which means greater than average rainfall- there’s no guarantee that the desperately needed rain will arrive.
Enter the Internet of Things (IoT). The drought has spawned a welter of startups and innovative partnerships with public agencies and the private sector that utilize the IoT to find smart solutions to manage both water distribution and electricity use.
A few examples:
The Monterey Regional Water Pollution Control Agency (MRWPCA) has teamed up with Candi Controls and MC Engineering to install a system of low-cost, industrial-class IoT devices. By collecting data from connected sensors, the system is helping to optimize distribution of reclaimed water among farmers and everyday users; it also minimizes energy by tracking usage and power consumption.
According to Tom Kouretas, an MRWPCA engineer, the agency is able to mitigate some of the costs associated with... Read more

Search Engine Optimization During Your Website Redesign

Posted by Greg Kihlström on July 12th, 2015 at 4:15 am

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has many components, with some much more technical and others more based in content strategy and marketing tactics. While the discipline is often discussed in terms of how to optimize an existing site, this article is going to discuss how to plan for the launch of your new website and ensure that it is search optimized.
Your goal with a new site launch should be as minimal a disruption to your search rankings as possible. The following items should all be kept in mind and planned for as you prepare to launch your new site. Each topic could be discussed in its own article, as there is a lot of information and things you should know about each, but for the time being, we’ll discuss them all at a high level.
Content Strategy
Early on in your website redesign process, you will undoubtedly establish a content strategy that feeds into your site structure and page content. While this strategy will cover many aspects of the content you will create for your site, as well as the timing for updates and new content, make sure that it also includes a tie-in to your SEO strategy.
For instance, make sure that your... Read more

The Robot Swarm Is Upon Us

Posted by Neal Leavitt on June 28th, 2015 at 9:30 am

“Exterminate, exterminate.”

-Briefing warning from the Daleks before firing their extermination rays on various "Doctor Who” episodes

What is one of the most well-known catch phrases on the long-running BBC series, “Doctor Who,” might eventually be uttered by a robot greeting you at your front door to take care of your termites.
Farfetched? Maybe right now, but a robot may soon be coming to your home to spray pesticides, clean your windows, and perhaps even tutor your kids.
ABI Research expects the global market for consumer robots to top $6.5 billion by 2017. BI Intelligence says the market for consumer and office robots will grow at a CAGR of 17% between 2015-2019, seven times faster than the market for manufacturing robots.
And some other key takeaways from BI Intelligence in their ‘The Robotics Market Report’:
• Three distinct categories will dominate the consumer/office side: home cleaning and maintenance; telepresence (i.e., telecommuting to events or remote offices) and advanced robots for home entertainment.
• The ubiquity of smartphones and tablets is making it easier to develop robots for consumer and office applications. The report says mobile devices offer designers the opportunity to ‘outsource’ computing and user interface tasks to companion devices, allowing developers... Read more

'Like A (Super)Girl': 3 Ways CBS Could Do Some Serious Good This Fall (Video)

Posted by Rick Mathieson on June 20th, 2015 at 2:32 pm

Can a new TV show about a female superhero aspire to create positive messages for girls and women as well as (or better than) a certain viral video from a feminine products brand?
In just the last few weeks, Procter & Gamble's viral sensation "Like A Girl" won the GoodWorks Effie, which is designed to recognize marketers for effectively using their platforms for "purpose-driven' campaigns. That is to say, campaigns that accomplish some social good, beyond (just) promoting the brands behind them.
As most everyone in the world of marketing and advertising knows by now, the video, for P&G's Always brand, explores the meaning of the phrase "like a girl" - and how to redefine it. It's powerful stuff, and since its debut last summer, it has generated nearly 60 million views—and has been likened to some of the best work coming from Unilever's long-running "Campaign for Real Beauty."
Right around the same time, we also saw the release of a six-minute trailer for CBS-TV's new show "Supergirl" from Berlanti Productions—the team behind "The Flash," "Arrow," and the upcoming "Legends of Tomorrow" on CW.
Based on the character in DC comics, the series follows Kara Zor-El, the preteen cousin of baby Kal-El, as she... Read more

3 Spectacular Ways to Create Customer Service Disasters

Posted by Jeannie Walters on June 9th, 2015 at 8:08 am

Life can be full of disappointment.
As humans, we disappoint each other all the time! We let people down when we skip someone's big event, or when we do show up at an intimate dinner party without an invitation. We disappoint each other by offering unwanted advice or by keeping our helpful insights to ourselves. It's tricky, this human experience of ours!
It comes down to one thing: expectations.
What expectations are you setting for customers? If you don't deliver on them, you will most certainly disappointing customers. And with social media, they will share their disappointment in places you never imagined.
If you'd like a guide, here are three ways to make sure you disappoint your customers.
1. Set unrealistic expectations in your marketing campaigns.
We call this the Sea Monkey Syndrome.
Remember your expectations set by the cartoons of blissful humanoids frolicking in a tiny kingdom? The expressive creatures wore crowns and even sported jewelry! And then...you received the dehydrated packet of brine shrimp. They didn't have faces or seem to interact socially. They were ugly and boring. There was no way to construct a crown small enough for their tiny heads. Bummer.
Businesses of all types inflict customers with Sea Monkey Syndrome. We are promised... Read more