Kalen Smith

Kalen Smith is the founder of Online Rookies. He is an Internet marketing professional and Internet researcher.

Protecting your smartphone from malware

Every day, millions of people all over the world flip open their smartphones and connect to the same Internet that they have used for over almost two decades. They are mesmerized by the way technology has evolved, but never stop and think about how little the Internet itself has changed. Is 2011 Going to be a Treat for Mobile Malware discusses how easily mobile phones may be infected and used to spread malware.

Owners of mobile phones need to be prepared for a potential attack on their new devices. Fortunately, there are a few guidelines they can use preceding the next stage of evolution in cyber terrorism.

Be careful about the apps you download

When the Internet became mainstream, one of the most cliche phrases was “be careful what you download, you could get a virus.” Somehow, mobile phone owners have become incredibly trusting of the apps that proliferate their new world. One Vietnamese hacker was able to exploit this trust and use a trojan in one of his bogus applications which was used to steal people’s credit card information.

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Will the Chrome OS be a flop?

Google has been the father of innovation in cyberspace. They have developed so many advanced web technologies that we have begun to believe that they would never develop a technology that wouldn’t catch on with the web community.

Google has recently developed the Chrome Operating System. The intention of this technology is to make traditional desktop operating systems obsolete. That’s a worthy goal, but the operating system may actually be Google’s first big flop. Google brags that the system is going to be fast, simple and secure. Unfortunately, many web technologists don’t find these cliche statements to be very impressive.

Chrome is not for everyone

If you were hoping to log into your Google account and download the Chrome Operating System, you are going to be out of luck. The OS is not going to be made available to the public. The open source Chromium software can be available to anyone for compilation. Many users are not happy to use an operating system they can’t download. Perhaps they need to adapt to the next generation of web technology, but there are larger concerns for web users.

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The iPad insanity continues

Many technologists felt that a product that was essentially a hybrid of a cell phone and a laptop couldn’t possibly take off. They have to hold their tongues now, as Apple’s iPad has clearly taken on a large following. In fact, it’s inception marked the largest turnaround for a major corporation in business history. The iPad has been so successful that Apple has racked their brains for every possible idea they can come up with to leverage those sales even further.

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Don’t take pagerank at face value in your SEO

If you are doing SEO for your own or someone else’s website, you know what pagerank is. You have heard people claim that they use pagerank as the primary or even the only basis for their ranking. They focus on building links from high page rank sites and use pagerank as one of the only aspects of their keyword research strategy.

There are a number of reasons why pagerank is not an effective way of measuring the competitiveness of a webpage. You can read more about it in Why Toolbar Pagerank is Worthless.

Pagerank varies significantly on the front page

If pagerank was the most important part of SEO, you would expect that all of the results on the front page would have about the same pagerank. As you would move from to the second and third pages, pagerank would decline and still be relatively consistent. A couple of experiments I ran showed different data. I used the Google Bulk Pagerank checker on the keyword “technology startup” and found that the pagerank values of the pages varied between 2 and 6.

I also conducted another pagerank test after using the keyword “social bookmarking.” A couple of the pages had no pagerank at all, while a PR 10 page (the page to the Add This! widget) wasn’t even on the first page.

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Facebook and Twitter are not destroying blogging

I just read one of the most ludicrous articles about the fate of blogging. Is Blogging Dead? claims that Facebook and Twitter are going to destroy the blogging industry. It claims that Facebook’s own blogging platform is going to completely replace WordPress and Blogger sites. I’d like to take a few moments to discuss why this article was completely off base.

Many people don’t trust Facebook

Facebook has had a bad reputation for abusing the privacy of its users. No one can be sure how accurate this is. However, whether it’s accurate or not isn’t relevant. People are afraid to write anything on Facebook that they think may be tracked to them or sold to advertisers. They would rather use an independent blogging platform.

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The new rules for marketing

Marketing has been used the same way for years. The strategy that marketers have used has gone something like this:

  • The company decides what they want the customer to think of their product.
  • The company yells to the customer to buy the product.
  • The company waits to see if the customer ever decides to purchase.

For years, this process may have worked. Companies just needed to get their message out more often than their competitors. However, in today’s world, customers are exposed to a lot of messages every day. A Google Answers thread shows that different sources have come up with different estimates. Some range as low as 247 (Consumer Reports), but the standard estimate is that a customer is exposed to 3,000 ads every day.

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Android phones are clearly the future

Many technologists believe that mobile technology is going to take over our lives in the near future.

Personally, I have a hard time seeing such small devices ever take the place of PCs only because they are a little more awkward to use. Nevertheless, if the inevitable mobile revolution takes place, most people are betting that the Android will lead the way.

Android phones are selling at a rate of 300,000 a day

An article that was just published on Mashable today, Google Exec: More Than 300K Android Phones Activated Daily says that Google is coming close to selling half a million of these devices every day. The Android became more popular than the iPhone in the beginning of 2010 and has been capturing market share ever since.

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Public Relations as an Entrepreneur

When you are trying to develop a presence in the marketplace, you will find that it is a long term process. We are often deceived by the advance of a new App that creates instant exposure for a business. The problem is that exposure does not equal success in business.

Conversions are about awareness and repetition

If you think back to the process of the consumer purchasing process, you can see why getting great exposure one time will not help you in the long run. Think about all the steps that a customer must go through before they make a decision:

  • They are exposed to the message
  • They actually see the message
  • They think about the message
  • They remember the message
  • They decide whether or not to act on it when the time comes

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Build your lists and direct marketing strategy

Most Internet marketers will define their marketing campaign by discussing their SEO or social media strategies. They have developed tunnel vision and have forgotten that they can sometimes pursue another promotional strategy that was been used long before the dawn of the Internet: direct marketing.

Advantages of Direct Marketing

There are two important reasons why you should pursue clients yourself. Rather than working diligently to attract your target customers to your site and deal with the ones who aren’t interested in your products, you can select the most appropriate ones yourself. You can also connect with them on a personal level and increase the chances of getting a response by tailoring your message to their needs.

If you cast a net and try to bring visitors to your website through links and search engines, you do not have much control over who is going to come to your site. Even if you chose to optimize for the right keywords, you are probably going to get a lot of visitors to your site who have no interest in what you are providing. When you monitor the information you get from Google Analytics and notice that you have a higher bounce rate, your first concern is that there is something wrong with your content.

This isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the problem is that you are spending your energy reaching visitors who just aren’t going to be interested no matter how great your product or service is. This is why you should leverage a marketing strategy you have more control over and decide which customers are going to come to you, rather than leaving it up to chance.

Your Direct Marketing Process

In order to sell customers directly, you need to build a list of target customers. List building is not difficult, but you can’t waste time following useless leads.

The success of any marketing program begins and ends with an understanding of your target customers. You need to make sure that you know which customers are going to respond to your needs and have a system for finding them. You also need to understand how their company works and how they are used to communicating. I have found forum groups and specialized networks are great ways to get customers. Also, once you have found a customer, always ask the customer for additional leads.

The process of finding clients is different, but that doesn’t change the way you go about getting them to purchase your products. When you are contacting your prospects, you need to make sure that you give them a link to a good contact page that allow them to contact you or sign up for your program easily, read List Building for Starters for more information. If you use a squeeze page for your website, you should keep it simple and effective.

The process for developing successful lists and using them to market your business is not difficult. You just need to think from the mind of your target customers and encourage them to do business with you. Another great resource if you want to learn more about direct marketing is Direct Marketing Strategies and Tips.

Choose a web developer carefully

A team of dedicated Developers
A Team of Dedicated Developers (source : Flickr)

If you were to poll a hundred serious business owners on the street and ask them if a website was a crucial part of starting a business, at least ninety would probably say it is. Yet, if you polled the same hundred people and asked what resources they put into their website, you would probably be shocked with the results.

If you think that your website is one of the most important elements to making your business successful, you should put some time and money into it. First of all, you need to be honest with yourself about your own web development skills. If your skills won’t cut it and you don’t have the time to learn, hire someone else. Period. You wouldn’t try to rebuild the engine to your car if you didn’t know how to change your oil? Why risk short circuiting your online image with a poorly designed website?

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