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Web Experience News & Analysis

TYPO3 Updates Open Source Web CMS Neos

Open source web content management (WCM) provider TYPO3 released a new version of Neos that officials there say improves the user experience for digital marketers in a "smoother" and more "time-saving" way. 

The Baar, Switzerland, open source vendor today releases Neos 1.2 that "offers many convenient new functions and significant improvements that make the everyday work of editors and developers much easier" for a more intuitive workflow.

The update comes a year after version 1.0 was released.

A Look Ahead: Community Manager Appreciation Day 2015

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What runs for 24 consecutive hours in late January?

No, it’s not the Super Bowl pre-game show -- although that certainly comes close. It's Community Manager Appreciation Day (CMAD), which will take place Jan. 26, 2015.

In a blog post that established the first CMAD in 2010, industry analyst and founder of CrowdCompanies Jeremiah Owyang called for the event to take place on the fourth Monday of January. The purpose, according to Owyang’s post, is “to pause, recognize and celebrate the efforts [of] community managers around the world to improve customer experiences.”

IDC Predicts Hard Times Ahead for CMOs

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According to Nils Bohr, Nobel laureate in Physics, “Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future.”

Nevertheless, every year since 2007, the forecasters of IDC gaze into their crystal ball (which contains research, surveys, interviews, etc.) and reveal their predictions, along with recommendations for how best to navigate through the probabilities they present. In its recent FutureScape, “CMO Advisory 2015 Predictions,” Framingham, Mass.-based IDC (International Data Corporation) gave a glimpse of what the future may hold for the Chief Marketing Officers of tech firms.

RIP Google Authorship: What It Means and What's Next

Back in 2012, AuthorRank was a hot topic among the SEO and inbound marketing sect.

Similar to PageRank, which aims to establish authority for domains and pages on those domains, AuthorRank was thought to be the key to measuring individual authority. Although Google never officially referred to it by that name, they patented techniques to use individual reputation as a search ranking suggested as much. Once awareness of the patent went public, the SEO industry quickly began talking about it as individual authority.

Author Authority would have made it much easier to rank people in different areas of expertise. It would reduce spam and scammy behavior, and push reputable content creators up the SERPs. What could possibly be wrong with that end result?

The excitement was nipped in the bud on Aug. 28, 2014 when, in a surprise move, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller announced via Google Plus that the Google Authorship program was coming to an abrupt ending.

Google Hangouts Just Got Smart (Suggestions) #LeWeb

Google Hangouts for Android are about to get smarter. Google announced an upgrade to the app earlier today which will include smart suggestions, 16 sticker packs, video calling filters and notifications of who is available to chat.

A Fresh Pair of Eyes Keeps Customer Experience From Going Flat

2014-10-December-Flat.jpg“Originality is simply a pair of fresh eyes.” -- Thomas W. Higginson

We all know the importance of a fresh pair of eyes. They can catch mistakes and spark inspiration when you're too close to your work. While the term usually refers to visuals, it can also apply to a more universal sentiment: the power of perspective.

Perspective impacts what we produce when it comes to customer experience. While we work to deliver top-notch experiences, most are designed with a certain time, audience and goal in mind. But if we approach this with a single unexamined perspective it will quickly become outdated. Just as the thrill of a new car fades over time, when a company does little to innovate or inspire, its customer experience can become stale and flat.

Emotions and Ecosystems Drive Customer Experience in 2015

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Companies that provide good customer experience (CX) will miss the mark in 2015, states a new Forrester report.

Instead, as companies strive to differentiate themselves based on the quality of their customer experience, only those that deliver great customer experience will come out ahead, according to "Predictions 2015: The Race From Good To Great Customer Experience Heats Up" ($499 fee).

Wizeline Partners with Salesforce to Deliver Intelligent Product Data

The two-second product pitch for the year-old Wizeline data intelligence platform would be "a new way of thinking about product development."

That's how Adam Sewall, director of marketing and partnerships at the San Francisco-based tech company, sees it.

To boost its data-driven approach to enhancing products, Wizeline yesterday became part of the Salesforce Partner Program and announced the availability of its new Product Tracker application on the Salesforce AppExchange.

IBM Security: Beware the Social Login Hacker

2014-9-December-IBM social login security.jpgIBM security officials have detected a malicious attacker who intrudes into user accounts of those who log in to third-party websites via a social login.

We've all seen it -- "log in via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc."

Makes things easier.

But that, according to IBM, is the point where a recent attacker penetrates a relying website -- a website that relies on authentication assertions passed to it by the identity provider -- and abuses the social login mechanism.

IBM's security group -- called the IBM X-Force Application Security Research Team -- identified the vulnerability last week in LinkedIn, Amazon and MYDIGIPASS.COM login tools offered on vulnerable websites such as Slashdot, Spiceworks and NASDAQ, according to Diana Kelley, executive security advisor for IBM Security.

"We do not know how many websites are vulnerable to this attack," Kelley told CMSWire, "but given the size of the internet, it's hard for us to determine which are."

One-Size Fits All Selling Backfires with Small Businesses

2014-09-December-Too-Big.jpgThe sales process most B2B enterprise sales people follow is loosely based on a generic model of the customer decision journey for medium to large companies. The problem with that approach is this: Small businesses have their own purchase journeys and behaviors. To lump them together with larger businesses mean missed sales opportunities and increased churn.

While some small business purchase behavior is similar to their larger brethren, most B2B sales people don’t recognize they differentiations between how the “S” of SMBs purchase. That translates into frustration for the small to medium business owners, which means lost sales opportunities or a longer sales process with stops and starts for vendors.

Not a Rumor: Accel-KKR Invests in EPiServer

Say what you will, but sometimes the scuttlebutt that emerges through Twitter (and that we report on) happens to be the truth, or pretty close to it anyways. We can now confirm that Accel-KKR has made a “majority investment” in (and may very well own -- read on) EPiServer. This news comes to us direct from EPiServer, which says that it can’t provide further comment right now.

Hats-off to Martin Henricson, CEO of EPiServer, for letting his customers, partners, employees and anyone else who might be affected by the news know that there’s something significant going on.

Ektron: Good or Bad Software? Depends On Who You Ask

2014-08-December-Coin-Toss.jpgSale. Investment. No sale. No investment. Merger with EpiServer. No merger with EpiServer.

Whatever the heck's happening at Ektron, this is a technology company.

And the future of the Nashua, NH-based .NET Web CMS provider comes down to a simple question: Do people like its software?

The answer depends on who you ask. Some say its usability is poor. Others think the product's never been stronger. Some think its lifetime support model is its sweet spot. Others say that support's inconsistent.

"My take is that the product has never been stronger compared to older versions but that the competition in the CMS market is full of strong players that are rapidly expanding into the ‘content marketing’ world," said Chris Chodnicki, co-founder and executive director of strategic partnerships and alliances at R2integrated, a Baltimore-based Ektron partner. "If the funding means Ektron can integrate their product to meet the challenges we are seeing with clients and what other platforms are bringing -- and at a very accelerated pace -- then this will be welcomed news."

IDC's Look at the Future of Social Technologies

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It’s that time of year when everyone is looking back to see how they've done and looking forward to see how much more they can do. And according to Framingham, Mass.-based IDC (International Data Corporation), social technologies can be a major driver of organizational transformation in 2015.

Shep Hyken: A Guy Who Embraced Customers Before It Was Popular

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Anyone who knows anything about customer experience (CX) knows Shep Hyken.

Hyken is a go-to source for anything related to CX. He's also a professional speaker and bestselling author who works with companies and organizations who want to build lasting relationships with their customers and employees.

In addition to writing in hundreds of publications, he is the bestselling author of "Moments of Magic," "The Loyal Customer," "The Cult of the Customer," "The Amazement Revolution" and, most recently, "Amaze Every Customer Every Time." He is also the creator of The Customer Focus program, which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset.

Did we mention he's the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations — a company he founded in 1983?

Organizational Ego is Eating Trust

I had reason to visit the International Monetary Fund website recently. Based on its content, the IMF is an organization overflowing with ego. Dominating the homepage was IMF chief Christine Lagarde with a very large picture of herself. In imperious language we are told that Lagarde “welcomes the pledge by the G-20 group of advanced and emerging economies to step up efforts to boost growth and create jobs.” 

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