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How Safe is “the Cloud”?

26 Jun

When sensitive data sits outside the corporate firewall concerns abound over the security of the cloud. Recent articles set out to tap into this fear and provide insight into how secure cloud services really are. collected survey data to see how our peers view the security of the cloud…that info was gathered into this infographic.

cloud security“As more enterprise resources move to the cloud, it’s inevitable that we will start hearing more about cloud incidents. Minor breaches have already hit GoGrid and the Microsoft Business Productivity Online Suite, but we’ve yet to see anything on the scale of TJX, the VA, RSA or any number of other on-premise breaches.” (

An advantage in using a “big name” cloud service provider such as Google or Amazon, you know that their reputation is on the line if a data breach were to occur…therefore it is in their best interest to secure the environment.

The majority of companies agree that their most sensitive data should stay behind corporate firewalls…however, according to CIO this logic is flawed.

Carson Sweet, CEO of CloudPassage, discussed a client CloudPassage worked with (who prefers to remain anonymous) who had development servers in the cloud. A hacker placed a rootkit onto one of the virtual servers. When the developers noticed something was off with their servers, they brought them back behind the corporate firewall to re-image them. Unfortunately, they brought the rootkit in with them, infecting their entire network.

“Virtual machines can server as Trojan horses if you’re not careful,” Sweet said.

I can see the many benefits of using cloud services, but knowing my data is safe is important as well. Does the key to security lie in encryption? I would need an cryptographer to answer that one.


Tuesday is the BEST day to launch a Social Media Campaign

22 Jun

According to YesMail’s three-month study of consumer social engagement with online campaigns for 20 major retail brands including J.Crew, Abercrombie, and Forever 21 the title of this post is TRUE!!


best day for campaign

There is more to just posting a campaign on a Tuesday however…some other interesting findings from YesMail’s research include….

  • Fewer but very coordinated campaigns are successful

“When brands coordinate all the social media channels — Facebook, YouTube, Twitter — and their email campaigns, they see much greater engagement.”

  • Brands within the same corporation had wildly varying success rates

Example: Why is the Gap having less success than Banana Republic? “Clearly, there are some social media learnings that are not being adequately shared across the corporation.”

  • Surprising conclusions after analyzing YouTube

“The study suggests that factors increasing the success of YouTube campaigns include celebrity guest stars, incentivized user engagement (with prizes for commenting or posting in response), and interesting, odd titles that viewers have to click on to understand.”

  • Pay attention to your customers, you shouldn’t necessarily employ a campaign while you are at work

The best Facebook engagement was found in campaigns started between 10PM and 12AM Eastern. That was also the least-used deployment time slot. Part of the reason might be that many of these brands target college students, who tend to stay up later, and part of it might simply be the lack of other campaigns.

The best Twitter engagement was very different: The most engaging time slots for Twitter-based campaigns were 5AM-6AM and 7AM-8AM Eastern time. But over 84% of all Twitter campaigns went live between 9AM and 7PM Eastern — in other words, during regular work hours.

The point: Find good slots for your customers, not for you.


YesMail Interactive is based in Portland, Oregon, with offices in  Chicago, Atlanta, LA, San Francisco, and Omaha, as well as international locations in London, Singapore, and Toronto.



Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnels

30 May

The multi-channel funnels in Google analytics are a little over a year old and provide valuable insights to those with conversions that spread across multiple campaigns.

Using the Google Analytics MCF you can determine which areas of large spend, i.e. PPC, SEO, etc. are performing.

Here is a great article that goes into more detail about multi-channel funnels 🙂

This article describes how to get actionable data and discusses current challenges with MCFs in general.

SXSW 2012

21 Mar

 My experience at SXSW (without a badge)

First of all, I wouldn’t recommend traveling to  SXSW unless you have a badge/wristband or a couch to crash on. You will miss out on so many things with out a badge. Luckily, I had a couch to crash on so I went to see what all the fuss was about. Two words to summarize:


A word of advice, if you don’t have a badge consider investing in a service that will RSVP you to every event…it sucks to wait in a long line only to find out you didn’t RSVP.

SXSW is still fun even if you don’t have a badge, but you won’t get all the perks. Watch out for events that over advertise…you won’t get in. For example, the Mashable House. You could get in for free even without a badge as long as you had an RSVP. Day of event, I was notified that I now needed a badge (wtf?). I went to check it out anyways. The line wrapped all the way around the building and we got there 45 minutes before the event started. We asked the doorman if we’d be able to get in…NADA. Found out later Mashable had 14,000 RSVPs…the event was in a Bar that probably held 300 max! Oh and VIP’s had priority over badges here. I assumed that even if I got in I wouldn’t be able to take advantage of mingling with the creators of Mashable.

Watch out for unorganized events…I’m talking about you Nike + Fuel! We got in line 2 hours prior to the doors opening for this event and didn’t walk in until 4 hours later, only to find ourselves listening to the last 30 minutes of Girl Talk at 1am. Here’s something to note…Austinites and visitors to SXSW like to cut in line  (found this out from a local). Oh and this event was advertised as RSVPs having priority access over Badge holders as long as you entered their secret code they announced via twitter (false). We eventually got in and ran into the winner of Top Chef Texas, that made it worth it!

While some events were disorganized that is not the case for all.  Examples being the Spotify house and Ray Ban Legendary visions house…both of which did not over advertise. We were actually able to enjoy those experiences. I especially enjoyed being in the front row watching Fun. perform an acoustic set with a free Heineken 🙂

Take advantage of all the South By has to offer by following SXSW on Twitter, make sure to save a search to follow those hashtags and keep informed of what’s happening. It’s imperative! 🙂

Overall, SXSW is an amazing experience, definitely worth the trip if you are interested in interactive, music, and or film culture. Next year I will try going with a badge. I don’t want to miss out on all the informative panels and discussions.

See you next year SXSW!


p.s. This is a picture of the Doritos stage for music guests…pretty cool

To Host your own Blog or Not to Host your Own blog…

9 Mar


This is a question that came up recently from a fortune 500 company, “can we host our blog on wordpress or should we host our blog on our CMS server?”. 

This answer applies to companies that range from small-extra large, not necessarily to individuals such as myself 🙂

  • You should definitely host your own blog on the CMS, otherwise any SEO benefits will go to the hosting company not your own site (like WordPress or others)

Advantages of hosting your blog on a CMS include:

  • less worry about security issues
  • A CMS withstands more visitors
  • more control
  • SEO advantage
  • Also, your own blog looks more professional then a blog that is hosted by an outside company like WordPress


Their next question was, should our blog be on a subdomain or a subdirectory?”

I think this question can be very confusing. To give a brief overview of sub-domains vs. subdirectories, the short story is to use a subdirectory (i.e. Do not host it on a sub-domain such as

Reasons being the following (in no particular order):

  • A sub-domain is used to separate out content that is different from the root domain, a blog does not fall into this category because it should have something to do with the website content
  • A subdirectory is easier for a user to remember, creating more direct traffic
  • Subdirectories inherit ranking benefits of the root domain, so it’s not as hard to grow traffic from an SEO standpoint
  • Inbound links that come into a subdirectory build more ranking value and link juice (definitely want this :))
  • Any social sharing would be passed to the root domain (
  • Subdirectories are easier to manage from a server perspective


Short answer: Host your own blog and put it on a subdirectory such as


Happy Blogging!!


Finally the Best SEO Checklist

13 Feb

I have been on the prowl for a great SEO checklist. Here is one that I found on LunaMetric’s website that is concise and easy, yay!!

Top 12 Google Expert Search Tips

7 Feb

Taken from Hubspot’s Blog

Here is a cheat sheet to help you perform Google searches 🙂

1. Explicit Phrase:

  •  example: “internet marketing”

2. Exclude words: exclude results containing certain words

  •  example: internet marketing -advertising

3. Site Specific search: search a specific website for information

  • example: “internet marketing”

4. Similar Words and Synonyms: include results that contain similar words or synonyms

  • example: “internet marketing” ~professional

5. Specific Document Types: maybe you’re only looking for powerpoint presentations?

  • example: “internet marketing” filetype:ppt

6. This OR that:

  • example: internet marketing OR advertising

7. Phone Listing: Look up a number using Google’s phonebook feature

  • example: phonebook:617-555-9139

8. Area code look up:

  •  example: 212

9. Numeric Ranges: use the X..Y modifier, this is useful if looking for a range of years, prices, etc.

  • example: president 1940..1950

10. Stock (Ticker Symbol):

  • example: GOOG

11. Calculator: just type in the expression in the google box

  • example: 54*89

12. Word definitions:

  • example: define:humanitarian
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