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So You Think You Know WordPress

2014-15-August-My-Name-Is.jpgYou’re ready to develop your website. You're looking for a web CMS that’s secure, cost-effective, easy to maintain and customizable for your business. You wouldn’t consider WordPress, right?

This stigma has plagued WordPress, especially when compared to other available tools like Joomla and Drupal.

Fast, Flexible, Innovative: Why Networks Thrive

Social Business, 2014-15-August-Networks.jpgVienna, September 1901. A man you’ve probably never heard of, Ludwig von Bertalanffy, was born. A man whose theories are helping to shape the future of how you do work. Ludwig von Bertalanffy, let’s just call him LvB, is the forefather of evolutionary systems thinking — something you’d usually find described in dry university textbooks — but he has had a radical effect on how we depict and predict interactions in systems in biology, physics, anthropology and social sciences.

Why does this man born more than a hundred years ago make a difference to you now, sitting in your cubicle or reading on your tablet? Because LvB originated general systems theory that demonstrates why thinking holistically is critical to surviving and thriving and why reductionist perspectives lead to extinction.

Get Executive Buy-In for Digital Asset Management

2014-15-August-Picture-Taking.jpgWe live in an image rich world. We take thousands of pictures on our personal devices with ease. And brands are committed to visual storytelling now more than ever.

Like many organizations, you may find yourself at a crossroads between how you’ve managed digital content up until now and how you plan to address future digital asset management (DAM) needs.

Microsoft Extends a Hand to 10 Emerging IoT Firms

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Microsoft has just announced the 10 start-ups it has selected for its home automation accelerator program. Before you yawn, consider this: home automation technologies are providing one of the cornerstones of the emerging Internet of Things (IoT).

These companies have been developing IoT technologies that specifically target the home, with the emphasis on products that are user-friendly and affordable.

IT Should be Gardeners, Not Gatekeepers

Information Management, 2014-14-August-Deluge.jpgIt’s a deluge, you’ve been told. It’s a flood of biblical proportions. Data on your customers is more abundant than ever and the internet of things is only going to make it sky rocket. From terabytes to petabytes in 60 seconds!

You’ve probably also read that big data analytics tools and next generation customer information management systems mean that you, the competent but non-expert marketing analyst, can analyze these gigantic and mind-bogglingly complex datasets at the drop of a hat.

But then you look around your own company and see that customer data isn't standardized and has legacy issues, the analytics tools your company employs are beyond your comprehension and your IT department is cautious about allowing you to purchase tools for your own department.

It’s a common set of frustrations and it means that business users in departments like marketing, sales and operations have begun to take things into their own hands and are independently downloading user-friendly, efficient tools that get the job done.

Let DAM Do the Dirty Work

DAM, 2014-14-August-Washing.jpgCreating unique digital experiences aren't easy. If we look at how organizations address the challenges of content creation and management, it quickly becomes clear that we're struggling to match our content production capabilities with the speed of the market. If an organization is slow to collaborate, unable to share digital assets, or labors to fully utilize its content technology and tools to be productive, it will be slow to deliver digital experiences at the right time, place and channel. Here are three quick tips to improve collaboration and reenergize creative and marketing.

How SMBs Can Tap Into Big Data

2014-14-August-Big-Top.jpgBig Data isn’t as big as Big Data Hype. Yes, big data is doing some pretty cool stuff out there. But things are getting frothy. Can big data cure cancer? Will big data destroy privacy? Big data will yield millions in revenues! It is easy to feel like you have to jump onto big data now or you’re likely to get left behind.

Here’s the rub: big data won’t do any of these things. Highly skilled clinicians and biochemists will cure cancer. Bad privacy policies and poor data security will destroy your privacy. And skilled business people will find ways to capture millions in revenues. Yes, big data will help. But the machines can’t do it alone.

Make Your Global Email Marketing Hit the Target [Infographic]

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Are some common mistakes turning your global email marketing into a world-class mess?

A recent survey by a Waltham, Mass.-based Lionbridge Technologies of more than 570 people from 25 countries found many global email marketing efforts are falling flat. The reason: companies aren’t tailoring their messages for the unique global audiences they are trying to attract, don’t use a mobile-friendly format and are clinging to antiquated tracking methods.

Some may even be running afoul of local opt-in or privacy laws.

Enterprise Search Doesn't Fit in a 2-D Box

2014-14-August-Magic.jpgGartner's been getting a bit of attention lately. The Gartner Enterprise Search Magic Quadrant released in July resulted in criticism from Miles Kehoe, Stephen Arnold and Charlie Hull. Nuix heavily criticized the MQ on e-Discovery and Scott Liewehr has reservations about the Forrester Wave on Digital Experience Delivery Platforms. And now the lawsuit.

My own views on the Gartner Search MQ were a little less forthright. However the Search MQ raises issues which are much wider than whether the companies in the top right hand quadrant (Leaders) deserve to be there.

Intel, Michael J. Fox and Big Data: Fighting Parkinson's Disease

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You’ve been there. In the doctor’s office that is. You’re not feeling well and you want to tell the doc all about it, but he wants to ask you questions like: How would you rate the pain on a scale of 1 to 10? When did this start? How long does it last? How would you rate your sleep 1 to 10?

You answer the questions with what is, at best, a guess. And the doctor makes assessments based upon your answers. But is what he calls an “8” the same thing you call an 8? And what does “sleeping well” actually mean? (And, yes, we know there’s information like heart rate, blood pressure, lab work data to consider, but we’re putting that aside for the moment.)

Now forget about yourself and think of a Parkinson’s patient. Michael J. Fox or Intel’s Andy Grove may be the ones we “know” best, unless there’s someone in our personal lives who has been affected. Their doctors probably include some physical tests in their visits, like asking them to touch their fingertips to their noses or to walk a straight line by placing one foot in front of the other.

Patient performance on activities like these varies. We all have good days and bad. And treatments and research, especially for those who deal with hard-to-manage diseases are, on a large part, based on what a doctor observes during an office visit, what data a patient provides at a specific point in time and what existing medical research suggests.

This isn’t bad medicine. It’s everyone doing their best given the available tools.

Up until now, that is.

Discussion Point: How Big are Data Security Threats?

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You may have heard that some cyber criminals in Russia recently stole more than a billion user IDs and passwords — yes, that's billion with a "B."  

In the past year, online security and data theft has been making international headlines, as evidenced by huge security breaches at retailers like Target and Neiman Marcus.

How bad is it? With our lives becoming more digitally entwined, it makes sense that potential security threats are more visible. Think about how many times a day you exchange digital information using either an Internet connection or a mobile device.

Despite the security hysteria, experts say there are simple ways to take steps to tighten up your Internet security — whether for your own personal or business use. CMSWire reached out to a collection of Internet security experts to find what's going on.

The 3 Most Damaging Enterprise Social Network Myths

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It’s the summer of 2014 and enterprise social networks are as hot in the market as they were a year ago. But there remain a handful of persistent myths and half-truths that organizations still encounter on the path to “working like a network.” Like the Greek gods and loony theories about Jon Snow’s real parents on Game of Thrones, these myths never really die. Unlike those other myths, though, the ones around enterprise social can really hold you back from a successful deployment.

If you’re interested in truly achieving success with an enterprise social rollout, you'll need to tackle these roadblocks head on and have a strategy in place to accept, address and sometimes even outmaneuver them.  

Start Your Community Relationships with the First Hello

2014-13-August-Welcome.jpgIt’s the first day of your new job. You’re so excited that you barely slept the night before.

And then you arrive at the front desk.

The office manager doesn’t recognize your face or name, so phone calls are made to determine where you should go. Your new boss is travelling this week and the rest of your team has yet to arrive. You're sent to the waiting area, and sit reading outdated issues of magazines.

Does this look like the start of a healthy, long-term relationship?

What's the Value of DAM? Let Me Tell You a Story

Digital Asset Management, 2014-13-August-Puppets.jpgDigital asset managers often find themselves in the difficult situation of trying to explain or defend the arcane arts of DAM systems management to both business owners and asset creators. Business owners know they need DAM, but can have trouble justifying the resources to fully support it, let alone take it to the next level.

But once the conversation turns to how we can support digital storytelling through integrated content management, we find that we can better align the role of DAM with the business vision. This is a better story to tell than droning on about the importance of metadata (and yes, metadata is still important!).

Customer Experience Is Everyone's Job

Customer Experience, 2014-13-August-Pitching-In.jpg“That’s not my job.”

You’ve seen or heard these words before, probably more than you’d care to remember. When a project is kicked off or a favor is asked, many people blurt out this phrase without hesitation. For those of us who work in the trade of customer and user experience, these words open the door to a much larger issue. They are a crack in the foundational values of good customer experience.

Improve DAM Creative Workflows First, CXM Will Follow

Digital Asset Management, 2014-12-August-Spin.jpgWhile I believe DAM belongs in the same sentence with customer experience management (CXM), “omnichannel,” “engagement” and “marketing automation,” I am also convinced that your creative professionals cannot be productive (and thus have more time to do “engaging” things) if they’re wrestling with how your DAM handles creative files, collaboration and creative workflows. You need to fix this problem before you jump on the Experience Management bandwagon.

Why BI's Late Movers are Big Data's Early Adopters

Big Data, 2014-12-August-Leading-the-Band.jpgThe explosion in popularity of new business intelligence platforms and data warehouse technologies throughout the 1990s was well documented. But while companies in a broad range of industries including financial services, high-tech and retail were quick to embrace the newfound ability to analyze past business performance, most universities, hospitals and pharmaceutical companies remained quietly on the sidelines.

Two decades later, another major wave of technological innovation is sweeping over the IT landscape in the form of modern big data analytics solutions. Only this time, the script has been flipped.

When 'Work Like a Network' Won't Work

Social Business, 2014-12-August-Godzilla-Swim.jpgHierarchy has become the bogeyman of the "future of work" movement. Listen to some commentators, and it sounds as if the honest worker in the corporation is being oppressed by power-crazed managers, hoarding information like Gollum with a hangover. Presumably some of these managers were promoted from honest worker level, so does hierarchy bestow power, which immediately corrupts?

Not so fast. There are definitely bad hierarchies, but like all organizational forms, they can be done well or done poorly. Hierarchy still has a role, especially in larger, more established businesses, and some scenarios exist where a networked approach would be detrimental.

Second Survey Finds Slipping Confidence in Tech Sales

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For months, the question asked softly around Silicon Valley has been: Is this another tech bubble?

With restaurants filled with well-paid tech workers and home prices soaring into the stratosphere, such doubts are usually shrugged off with a phrase that hasn't been heard much around the San Francisco Bay Area since the spring of 2000: "It's different this time."

Yes, it is different. Significantly, Silicon Valley giants, unlike the tiny start-ups of the dot-com era, are highly profitable, and some have billions of dollars in cash. However, the outlook for technology rests on a highly complex economic and geopolitical landscape, and that has been shaken recently by the potential for Russian intervention in Ukraine, the strikes by ISIS in Iraq, Israel's actions in Gaza and new fears about the debts of some European governments.

Since setting a new high a month ago, the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index, like much of the broader market, has fallen back in choppy trading. And, in just the past week, two independent studies have found new signs of doubt that technology sales, while still growing, will reach levels expected when 2014 began.

Is Your Brand's Personalization Really Customer-Centric?

True personalization makes brands competitive, but what does true personalization mean?

True personalization gives brands the opportunity to be wholly customer-centric at every point of engagement. Rather than just increasing conversion rates, personalization involves a continuous effort to improve your customer experience so that visitors will return, purchase and become loyal.

It's not about collecting mountains of data or testing based on legacy assumptions about visitors, but the actionable insights which improve customer experience and drive revenue. These insights don't come from a single A/B or multivariate test, but rather the evolution of how you understand your customer micro-segments. It’s a chance to develop a dynamic understanding of how visitors mature, and not just who they were during their last click.