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Beanstalk's Internet Marketing Blog

At Beanstalk Search Engine Optimization we know that knowledge is power. That's the reason we started this Internet marketing blog back in 2005. We know that the better informed our visitors are, the better the decisions they will make for their websites and their online businesses. We hope you enjoy your stay and find the news, tips and ideas contained within this blog useful.


February 26, 2013

Google Chrome can point out ‘Noisy’ tabs..

Have you ever had a bunch of tabs open, decided to turn on your speakers/put on your headphones, only to find out that there’s something unexpected making sounds but you don’t know what?


Most annoying demonstration possible..

 
Viola! When you play HTML5 audio in a tab the browser animates the favicon to indicate this. (No, this doesn’t mean Chrome supports animated favicons yet, that’s still not working.)

Now I cheated and used a ‘canary build’ of Chrome to accomplish this, but really, other than working on cleaner animations/UI, this is a ‘must have’ option for all browsers!

I also took the time to show that it’s not ‘visualizing’ the audio in the tab (that would suck up too much CPU resources) but merely drawing on the favicon to indicate that the tab was recently attempting to play audio.

The new build of Chrome apparently also has an icon to indicate when a tab is recording, but I didn’t have any easy examples for demonstrating that option.

One of the things I stumbled on in the process of making this post was too note-worthy to not include in this post.

The ‘canary build’ of Chrome doesn’t use your default Chrome profile, and it can run side-by-side with your currently installed ‘stable’ version of Chrome with no cross-talk.

This meant that I was plopped into the YouTube TV/Movies when I went looking for a video to play, and I stumbled on this bargain:

Red Dawn in 480p for $20 CDN

Clearly YouTube needs to work out some pricing errors because I could get a blu-ray of Red Dawn for $20 brand new, and they go for $8 used online. Seeing that the HD version is $5 more really leaves me wondering how the error was made..

Patrick Swayze

Is it possible there’s a Patrick Swayze fan on the YouTube Movies team?

“Nobody put’s Red Dawn in the discount corner!”

UPDATE: Apparently someone DOES read this, and apparently I am not keeping up on movie releases. This is the 2012 ‘Red Dawn’, a REMAKE of the 1984 original, where the reds are North Koreans, and the plot involves an EMP attack that makes a ground invasion a ‘teeny tiny’ bit more plausible.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:27 pm


 

 

January 29, 2013

Feeling Old: Child of the 90s

Being a youthful person (aka: I never grew up) you could say I was a child of the 90s, but in all honesty, this new ‘Child of the 90s’ video promotion, from the marketing team behind Internet Explorer, just makes me feel old…


I’m pretty sure that generation YoYo came earlier & what’s up with that Apple II?

 
When I was young we had:
- 300baud vs. 56k
- 5.25″ vs. 3.5″
- monochrome vs. color
- Garfield™ vs. puppies
- Donkey Kong vs. Tamagotchi
- Handi-Snacks vs. Lunchables
- hockey cards vs. pogs

So it’s pretty close to my generation, but still makes me feel old.

Does it make me feel any affinity for IE, as if I can relate to it’s embarrassing past after remembering fanny packs?

Not really. It makes me remember when Netscape decided to put expiry dates on their browser so I was forced to install IE only for fear of support calls asking how to update Netscape.

Still, not a positive moment for IE, just being the browser that ’caused the least issues’, wasn’t much of a title?

How has that changed? Well now IE is, in my circles, the browser that that ’causes the most issues’.

So they grew up, but not the way we’d like, and until they expire all the old copies of IE laying around or break off to a new product name with zero ties to old IE issues, I thin IE is stuck with the ‘difficult child’ image.

When I was a kid..

When I was a kid we had electron guns we’d sit in front of, and the only thing between us and the gun firing electrons was a glass plate.

Child watching TVGun
People said it wasn’t good, told us to keep our distance..

 
Now with Samsung offering curved OLED screens they are urging us to get close, saying that the screens offer an immersive experience:

Child watching TV

 
OLED technology means less emissions, heat, and power consumption than almost any full color display technology available today.

As someone with less than 55″ inches of screen space curved around him right this moment, I’d have to say that this first screen will make it’s purchasers VERY happy once it comes to market and stops being a poster child for what’s coming.

Displays need to step-up indeed, what with all the 3d options coming out, including the very exciting Oculus Rift that’s been generating some interesting reaction videos (WARNING: Strong Language/Reactions):


Candid Anthony didn’t seem very impressed until he tried it..

 
So while folks were saying the next step in displays will be to plug into our brains, it appears that we are finding another step closer without the brain jack. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 1:30 pm


 

 

January 15, 2013

Journalist Freedoms: How to trample on a mouse and turn it into an elephant?

A mouse

What do you do when your paid columnist wants to write about a product that is the demise of your revenue stream, and give the product an editor’s choice award?

Well that’s exactly what happened over at CNet when the Dish Network’s ‘Hopper’ DVR w/Sling was picked for a ‘Best of Show – Editor’s Choice Award’ by CNet staff.

Apparently the fact that this DVR eliminates commercials entirely, and then lets you watch the recordings from almost any internet connected device, is a big concern for the large media companies.

At one point the new DVR had CBS saying they wouldn’t have anything to do with Dish network if they proceeded with taking this device to market.

It’s enough of a threat that CBS, along with many other ‘major media companies’, have taken legal action against Dish and it’s ‘Hopper DVR’. In fact, this legal action was prior to the addition of the Sling services which threaten to further trample on their corporate profits.

Given this legal action, and the potential risk to bottom line revenue that the DVR implies, CBS directly ordered CNet to remove the Hopper from the running and re-vote on the remaining devices.

This directive allegedly came right from the CEO of CBS, Leslie Moonves, and was given to Mark Larkin, the GM of CBS Interactive News.

Mr.Larkin fought the decision while he could, getting into conference calls with CNet and CBS heads to try and avoid censoring the product.

Ultimately he was forced, against his wishes, to deliver the decree to CNet editorial staff; A task that, according to The Verge, brought him to tears:

“Sources say that Larkin was distraught while delivering the news — at one point in tears — as he told the team that he had fought CBS executives who had made the decision.”

Not only that, but CNET was barred from issuing their own statement about the removal of the DVR from the awards, and had to use a prepared statement from CBS regarding the legal issues surrounding the Hopper DVR!

Here is that official statement:

The Dish Hopper with Sling was removed from consideration due to active litigation involving our parent company CBS Corp. We will no longer be reviewing products manufactured by companies with which we are in litigation with respect to such product.

Immediately, Greg Sandoval, a regular CNET columnist, offered his resignation and went public on his Twitter feed about the incident.

Greg Sandoval's Twitter Post

Lindsey Turrentine, one of the ‘heads’ in the conference call with Mark Larkin, and the Editor-in-Chief of CNET News, took a moment to apologize for the situation, and for not resigning immediately when she had the chance.

Lindsey defended her decision, stating that she didn’t want to abandon her team and she felt she could affect change easier from her current position than if she were to resign.

Her full post is over here (at least for now): http://news.cnet.com/8301-30677_3-57563877-244/the-2013-best-of-ces-awards-cnets-story/

So essentially they could have let the whole thing slip by, and tried to avoid adding fuel to the fire.

Instead CBS has lit a bonfire that can be seen across the world, and now everyone’s hearing about the Dish Hopper DVR.

In journalism circles we call this the Streisand_effect.

 

Gonzo Journalism

What if you paid a writer, who specializes in gaming topics, to go cover a Panasonic Toughpad press event and he decided to get drunk and channel Hunter S. Thompson?

Well that’s exactly what Grant from ‘LOOK, ROBOT’ did for his coverage of the Toughpad:

“[January 14, 2013]Panasonic are launching a new tablet computer for the business market. I am not a tech journalist. I have never done this before. I don’t know what’s going on.”

You can read the whole thing here, it’s a lot of fun, and if you’ve ever been to one of these events you should be able to relate to most of his observations in one way or another.

All press is good press?

Well the folks over at Speed-Sew™ certainly seem to think they can get away with anything in promoting their products:

I also keep pulling out the same old tube of Speed-Sew™, pop the cap off, wonder if it’s still good, and then sniff it!

It doesn’t smell good, and it’s not like it gives you a ‘buzz’, it’s as illogical as smelling your shoes when you already know they are going to smell awful.

By doing something in their YouTube video that I can relate to, by making the video down to earth, and funny, I am now motivated to laugh and share.

I want to say this is brilliant social media/video advertising, but sadly it’s a bad example because it has yet to go viral (some adverts never do).

Let’s give it a nudge shall we?

SEO news blog post by @ 1:05 pm


 

 

January 9, 2013

Google Ad Words for YouTube Videos

Google has released a new service to promote your YouTube videos online, called AdWords for Video. Google has taken many of the familiar components from their popular AdWords service and successfully applied them to video in a new video campaign management tool that allows for quick video ad creation and better video ad reporting.

Google announce back in November of 2011 that they discontinue the original ads.youtube.com service. The new service is located at http://adwords.google.com/video. Existing users of Google AdWords can sign in with their current account credentials or sign up for a new AdWords account.

"If you have an ad or a video, YouTube is the only place where you can surround your brand with relevant content and YouTube makes sure that it is appropriate for your audience. With the millions of views that YouTube gets every day, they are certain to find a perfect fit for your message."

AdWords for Video screen shot

This new AdWords service allows users to easily promote their videos on YouTube and the Google Display Network. The GDN includes videos and content from thousands of websites and claims to allow you to access to 80% of the "online video content space."

Google AdWords for video allows you to:

  • Reach the right viewer at the right price
  • Pay only when the ads is viewed
  • Allows you to easily manage video ad campaigns

Users will get valuable information such as the number of views, video reporting, easy to setup targeting for your preferred audience(s).

For more information, see Google Support.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:09 am

Categories:Google,YouTube

 

 

December 11, 2012

Thinking of making an ‘App’ for the Apple Store?

You may want to re-think that decision, perhaps even focus on a ‘mobile’ provider for your site, or an Android app instead of one for Apple’s store.

Rotten Apple with bite mark

Why? Well lets list the reasons:

- Android OS is shipping on more phones currently than any other mobile OS
- 2013 should be the year that Android overtakes iPhone in subscriber #s
- A mobile ‘face lift’ should load on any phone/browser
- Apple is cracking down on all ‘Apps’ that generate revenue outside their store..

The last one is a real kicker, especially for Microsoft who is currently unable to update their SkyDrive app after Apple realized it was handling in-app purchases without going through the Apple Store.

Essentially Apple is rejecting all Microsoft app updates and 3rd party apps that communicate with SkyDrive until Microsoft has a solution to Apple’s need for a 30% cut of all transactions done through it’s App Store.

So if you made an Apple Store ‘App’ for your site, all you can do with the ‘App’ is browse information and provide free resources, since any attempt to engage in a financial transaction would require the Apple App Store to participate, at a 30% margin.

That’s just.. wait for it.. rotten.

Making Easy Money by Ignoring Copyright Infringement

A North Korean Won with Park Jae-sang's face.

On the surface, it may seem counter-intuitive to your profit margin, but not letting people steal your content could be what’s stopping you from getting rich.

PSY, the chubby Korean behind the most popular YouTube video to-date, is raking in the profits from his ‘Gangnam Style’ video, and it’s all because he didn’t censor his own work by chasing copyright violations.

If you look at TV commercials, ad revenue, product endorsements, and other direct revenue from his popularity, PSY is making over $8 Million in 2012 alone.

Clearly there’s a trade off between copyrights and profits that doesn’t favor always locking down your content.

I’m wondering though, once fame has taken hold, if next year we’ll have a story about PSY suing people for copyright infringements?

SEO news blog post by @ 12:59 pm


 

 

November 29, 2012

The Karaoke Web Standard

KWS Side bar image

Well Microsoft has finally managed to get a leg up on all the current desktop web browsers available today with it’s new Karaoke Web Standard.

KWS Logo

To quote the KWS wiki entry:

This specification defines a new API, focused on semantic language processing for two-way communication with a remote host. Eschewing typical binary protocols, this new interface creates a system-to-system forced sonic recognition on the receiving party.

The KWS definition page goes on to discuss key points like pending API access to the libation ES codebase, and encourages modification from the base parameters noting that each user has unique aptitudes in variety of related skills.

Indeed while some users, such as myself, have a low threshold for personal embarrassment (regardless of how many times a week I write these posts), I could possess high vocal aptitude that would mitigate a fond user experience if I were to stick with preset templates.

The spec deals with concerns such as bitrate, throttling, error mitigation, audio auth rights, P2P connectivity, and semantic packet delivery, but fails to touch on less favourable issues like hackers that implement auto-tuning modules.

Included with the announcement were two YouTube videos, one that explains the need for the new standard:

 
And a second video that focuses on presenting the new KWS:

 
Oddly the videos came along with a link “thebrowseryoulovedtohate.com” that’s got an extra ‘d’ in every instance?

Come back with my imaginary horse!
The theme is apparently along the lines of “Have you tried IE Lately?”, with the assumption that you’ll like what you see.

 
I’m personally assuming that next week someone on the IE marketing team will get a phat bonus for a spike in downloads that doesn’t correlate to actual user shift.
 

FireFox 64bit?

Waterfox Logo

In related news, FireFox has given up on 64bit development for now, listing a number of issues that make it a very wise decision, regardless of the folks that were ‘enjoying’ the struggle of maintaining a 64bit browser with very little 64bit extension support.

While a 64bit FireFox could theoretically run faster, the added expense of development was taxing the coders and holding back the progress of the browser vs. it’s competition.

If you MUST have a 64bit FireFox there is a build of FF with 64bit support, it’s called ‘WaterFox‘ and you can get it from Sourceforge.

Since I already had FireFox installed I grabbed the portable copy of WaterFox and it runs great, picking up most, if not all, of my FireFox profile/settings.

Personally? I’m using Chrome, and I am writing plugins for Chrome because I feel it’s going to win the browser war thanks to Android, Apple, and many other systems that use the WebKit engine by default.

SEO news blog post by @ 10:50 am


 

 

November 27, 2012

New YouTube Creator Space in LA

Google’s YouTube service has just launched it’s third Creator Space studio, this time in Playa Del Rey, Los Angeles.

Hughes H-4 Hercules Fuselage

The 41,000-square-foot aircraft hangar was formerly used by the US Army for making helicopters in the Vietnam years, and it was the assembly point for the famous Hughes H-4 Hercules transport plane in World War II.

Renovations to the facility have been extensive, with Google adding:
- professional-grade equipment
- green-screen stages
- motion-capture rooms
- screening room
- editing labs
..and more!

Have a look at the video from the UK version of YouTube’s Creator Space:

As you can see, this is a huge boon for aspiring entertainers, actors, producers, and even editors who want to learn the craft.

In fact it reminds me of the library in my Elementary school which had a full VHS recorder, camera, TV, and space to set up a stage. We would take the time to write scripts (bad jokes), dressup (do giant paper chipmunk teeth and thick rimmed glasses count as costumes?), and perform for camera.

While nobody ever watched what we recorded (this was during the advent of VHS), the recording was a popular affair and students would flock to the library when we were doing a show over lunch.

Likewise YouTube is hoping that they will encourage creators to mingle and ‘hang out’ in this space, granting them free reign to come and go as they please for the time period they are allotted.

Signing up for the UK space is done via this customized Google Docs sign up sheet.

There doesn’t appear to be any such sheet for the new California location, but the Creator Hub Website should handle all your inquiries.

The LA Times did a nice job of gathering some photos of the LA Creator Space into a gallery:

The new You Tube facilities in Playa Del Rey

Interestingly enough the same channel also has a really well polished video on YouTube Analytics that I’ve personally never seen previously:

 

Ernie Coombs / Mr.Dressup’s 85th Birthday

November 26th would have been Ernie Coombs’ 85th birthday, and Google Canada celebrated with a Google Doodle.

Mr.Dressup - A Canadian Childrens TV Show

It’s very amazing what one man, a puppet boy named Casey, a magical storage box full of costumes, and a puppet dog named Finnegan can do to engage an audience. When I was young I always wanted a tickle trunk, which really means I still want a tickle trunk because I’ve never grown up. ;)

Mr.Rogers on the other hand always seemed like a strange show, and I never really watched it, favoring our Canadian version, Mr.Dressup.

It’s interesting now to learn that Ernie Coombs, a US citizen, actually worked with Fred Rogers in Canada to debut ‘Misterogers’ which later on became the US children’s TV show, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood”.

In fact many of the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” set pieces, such as the Trolley, Eiffel Tower, the ‘tree’, and ‘castle’, were created by CBC designers during the initial 3 year run in Canada.

Mr.Dressup stayed in Canada, and became one of the longest running Canadian TV shows, running between 1967 and 1996 for a span of 29 years.

The actor may have passed on but our memories will linger for generations to come.

SEO news blog post by @ 11:31 am


 

 

November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

There seems to be a lot of spam vs. turkey this year, but we still have plenty to be thankful for!

In fact just today I was reading about how Google is thanking Maps contributors with ‘Badges‘!

If you login to Google and head on over to the Map Maker section of Google Maps you can get started on either reviewing changes that need to be approved/disapproved, or make your own.

The badges are apparently awarded as follows (stolen from IBF):

List of Google MapMaker badges

So Thanks Google, for being Thankful! This is going to work very well for trust factors on your G+ profile, which as we pointed out many times now, should also be the author link for your site content.

In Other News..

DuckDuckGo was trying to prove they could deliver better search results without learning anything about the user.

It would have been neat if it were possible, but I wouldn’t send a stranger out to buy me new shoes, and I don’t want a web search that doesn’t know me either.

At this point DuckDuckGo have been reduced to complaining about Google not selling them cool domain names like “duck.com”, and how many extra clicks it takes to change the search engine in Chrome vs. Firefox.

While I agree that making use of duck.com as a 301 to google.com is a bit ‘cruel’, my guess is that nobody offered Google a fair price for the domain, and it’s not bad business to improve the value by holding onto the name until a valid offer comes along.

If DuckDuckGo wants to disclose how much they offered Google, I may change my opinion, but for now this is just ‘big business’ vs. anything ‘anti-competitive’, and if this is the absolute worst mud that DDG can sling at Google then they have little to complain about.

Google Music Translate

While I have been eager to see someone like Wierd Al tackle the song Gangnam Style with some English lyrics, I am not sure I’m eager to see this ‘project’ come to life:


Heck this was meant to be a joke, but Google is so spooky with it’s tech that this is totally plausible?

Indeed some news sites this morning are actually getting flamed for discussing this as if it were a real service offered by Google.

Well ‘played‘ sirs.. ;)

SEO news blog post by @ 12:53 pm


 

 

October 3, 2012

Reeling in the Years: 30th Anniversary of the Compact Disc.

The compact disc is 30 years old today. If that doesn’t make you feel old, then youhere is something more relevant to your age: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justin_Bieber

Compact Disc Player circa 1982

The year was 1982 when the first compact disc revolutionized the music industry and industry profits for ever. While Billy Joel’s 52nd Street was the first compact disc to be officially released in Japan, technically the first actual compact disc that was created and tested was a pressing of Richard Strauss’s ‘Eine Alpensinfonie’. The honor of the first batch of compact discs manufactured goes to ABBA’s ‘the Visitors’.

Billy Joel "52nd-street" CD

Although they seem antiquated now and are regarded as throwbacks to prehistory by the younger generation, at the time CDs were a galactic leap forward in technology. Audiophiles from around the world rejoiced and marveled at the clarity the compact discs offered.

No longer were listeners affronted with hiss, cracks and pops associated with vinyl records. Initially the astronomical price tag kept compact discs and compact disc players were too prohibitive and resulted in a slow adoption rate by consumers. There is still an ongoing argument amongst the vinyl-generation that compact discs don’t have the same "warmth" as an analog record offered.

Abba-The_Visitors_(1981)-CD

With all technologies, the CD was come and gone to be replaced by newer digital technologies. Those growing up today regard CDs with the same nostalgia as the previous generation regards vinyl records; with a quaint sense of nostalgia. In much the same way, digital music has also revolutionized the music industry.

Much to the chagrin of major record labels, the barrage of pirating and licensing issues has redefined the role of big record companies and given rise to a huge influx of indie (independent) recording artists that owe their fame to the like of YouTube and peer-to-peer file sharing networks and self promotion that seeks to redesign the whole industry.

For the first time in the history of the music industry, we have hit a technological plateau. The battle being waged over piracy, royalties and industry profits is creating a fundamental paradigm shift that will resonate for decades to come and will set the stage for all future generations of music lovers.

The Top 10 Albums of 1982:

Top 10 Albums of 1982

  1. JUDAS PRIEST – "Screaming for Vengence"
  2. BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN – "Nebraska"
  3. JOHN COUGAR – "American Fool"
  4. LED ZEPPELING – "CODA"
  5. RUSH – "Signals"
  6. VAN HALEN – "Diver Down"
  7. IRON MAIDEN – "The Number of the Beast"
  8. TOM PETTY & the HEATBREAKERS – "Long After Dark"
  9. ROBERT PLANT – "Pictures at Eleven"
  10. KISS – "Creatures of the Night"

SEO news blog post by @ 12:30 pm

Categories:just for fun,YouTube

 

 

October 1, 2012

Dying Online, Facebook and the Digital Afterlife

From time immemorial, countless people have looked at the stars and contemplated their existence and life’s greatest questions; What happens to us after we die? What will our legacy be? What will become of my Facebook account?

dying online

In an ever increasing digital world, this is a question that has been posed more than a few times between around the water cooler here at Beanstalk. With an ever increasing amount of users employing cloud based digital assets, and engaging in social media, many people are concerned not only for the protection of these valuable assets and intellectual property, but in preserving memories for friends and family for posterity.

A paper published law professor Jason Mazzone from the University of Illinois calls for federal government to interevene and to regulate what happens to digital accounts after an account holder’s demise.

Along with an ever increasing amount of people, Mazzone argues that social platforms and other online services have policies that do not adequately protect an individual’s intellectual property or privacy after their death.

"Virtually no law regulates what happens to a person’s online existence after his or her death," he said. "This is true even though individuals have privacy and copyright interests in materials they post to social networking sites."

In an absence of any legal regulations, social sites are unlikely to adopt any policies of their own accord that will do little to protect a users account or intellectual property. Presently there are very few regulations in place, and most sites are left developing policies on-the-fl, with little regard for the user’s data.

"It’s becoming increasingly common for people to have digital assets, and some of them do actually have value," he said. "Not only are such sites repositories of intellectual property, they also are important to family members and friends. Historians of the future will likely depend upon digital archives to reconstruct the past, which creates a real problem, particularly in an age when we don’t leave diaries, and, increasingly, people don’t write books."

Facebook’s policy is to "memorialize" the deceased’s account. All content that has been uploaded (status updates, photos & videos) are removed. The user’s wall remains intact so that individuals can express their condolences to the departed. However, the user data is not deleted by Facebook. Currently, the data is archived with the speculation that it will be held for posterity by Facebook until a such time where it can be re-purposed for historical records.

There is no system in place to state your wishes for your account after your demise (similar to a living will) and no regulations in place to appoint an executor of your estate. As the population of Facebook users begin to age, Mazzone is at the forefront of a growing movement to instill federally mandated regulations to protect the billions of Facebook and social networking users worldwide.

SEO news blog post by @ 12:43 pm


 

 

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