Free will, AI, and vibrating vests: investigating the science of Westworld

first_imgOn Westworld, robots can be indistinguishable from people. John P. Johnson/HBO Free will, AI, and vibrating vests: investigating the science of Westworld HBO’s Westworld has returned for its second season at last, complete with bloodletting, espionage, and self-aware artificial intelligence (AI). After humanlike robots at a Wild West theme park started to gain consciousness and rebelled against their human owners in the first season, David Eagleman came on as the show’s scientific adviser.Eagleman, a neuroscientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, spoke with Science about how much we should fear such an AI uprising.This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Q: How did you get involved in the show?A: I was talking with one of the writers, and I asked who their scientific adviser was. Turns out, they didn’t have one. So that’s how I got on board. Then I went to [Los Angeles, California,] and had a long session with the producers and writers, for about 6 hours, maybe 8, about free will and the possibility of robot consciousness.I also showed them some tech that I’d invented. I gave a TED talk a few years ago on this vest with vibratory motors on it. That’s now part of the season two plot. I can’t tell you anything about it. The real vest vibrates in response to sound, for deaf people, but in Westworld it serves a different purpose, giving the wearers an important data stream.Q: What else did you talk about?A: What is special, if anything, about the human brain, and whether we might come to replicate its important features on another substrate to make a conscious robot. The answer to that of course is not known. Generally, the issue is that all Mother Nature had to work with were cells, such as neurons. But once we understand the neural code, there may be no reason that we can’t build it out of better substrates so that it’s accomplishing the same algorithms but in a much simpler way. This is one of the questions addressed this season. Here’s an analogy: We wanted to fly like birds for centuries, and so everybody started by building devices that flapped wings. But eventually we figured out the principles of flight, and that enabled us to build fixed-wing aircraft that can fly much farther and faster than birds. Possibly we’ll be able to build better brains on our modern computational substrates.Q: Has anything on the show made you think differently about intelligence?A: The show forces me to consider what level of intelligence would be required to make us believe that an android is conscious. As humans we’re very ready to anthropomorphize anything. Consider the latest episode, in which the androids at the party so easily fool the person into thinking they are humans, simply because they play the piano a certain way, or take off their glasses to wipe them, or give a funny facial expression. Once robots pass the Turing test, we’ll probably recognize that we’re just not that hard to fool.Q: Can we make androids behave like humans, but without the selfishness and violence that appears in Westworld and other works of science fiction?A: I certainly think so. I would hate to be wrong about this, but so much of human behavior has to do with evolutionary constraints. Things like competition for survival and for mating and for eating. This shapes every bit of our psychology. And so androids, not possessing that history, would certainly show up with a very different psychology. It would be more of an acting job—they wouldn’t necessarily have the same kind of emotions as us, if they had them period. And this is tied into the question of whether they would even have any consciousness—any internal experience—at all.Q: In Westworld and Blade Runner, programmers give androids vivid memories to enhance their humanness. Are such backstories necessary?A: Humans have memory so we can use our experience to avoid repeating mistakes. But memory is also what allows us to simulate the future, as studies have shown in the recent decades of neuroscience research. Memory allows us to write down these building blocks to construct our model of what happens next. One of the things that is often unappreciated about the famous amnesic patient HM, who couldn’t form new memories, is that he was also unable to simulate possible futures. If you take someone with a bad case of amnesia and you say, “I want you to picture your vacation to Hawaii next month and what it’s going to be like standing on the beach,” they’ll say, “I’m drawing a blank.” So one advantage of giving robots vivid memories, in theory, would be to steer how they put together futures.Q: Are there any moments of especially humanlike behavior in the show?A: In my book Incognito, I describe the brain as a team of rivals, by which I mean you have all these competing neural networks that want different things. If I offer you strawberry ice cream, part of your brain wants to eat it, part of your brain says, “Don’t eat it, you’ll get fat,” and so on. We’re machines built of many different voices, and this is what makes humans interesting and nuanced and complex. In the Westworld writers’ room, I pointed out that one of the [android] hosts, Maeve, in the final episode of season one, finally gets on a train to escape Westworld, and she decides she’s going back in to find her daughter. She’s torn, she’s conflicted. If the androids had a single internal voice, they’d be missing much of the emotional coloration that humans have, such as regret and uncertainty and so on. Also, it just wouldn’t be very interesting to watch them. By Matthew HutsonMay. 2, 2018 , 8:00 AMlast_img read more

Angelique Kerber wins 8th match in a row, into Sydney final

first_imgBeautyMNL open its first mall pop-up packed with freebies, discounts, and other exclusives In men’s semifinals, Russian qualifier Daniil Medvedev booked a spot in the final by upsetting fourth-seeded Fabio Fognini of Italy 2-6, 6-4, 6-1.Medvedev will meet Australian teenager Alex de Minaur or Benoit Paire of France.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next SEA Games: PH still winless in netball after loss to Thais MOST READ Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games Hotel says PH coach apologized for ‘kikiam for breakfast’ claim Angelique Kerber of Germany celebrates her win over Camila Giorgi of Italy in their women’s semifinal singles match at the Sydney International tennis tournament in Sydney, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)SYDNEY — Angelique Kerber won her eighth consecutive match of the new season, coming from 3-1 down in the final set to beat qualifier Camila Giorgi 6-2, 6-3 to reach the Sydney International final on Friday.Kerber, a former No. 1 and the 2016 Australian Open champion, won all four singles at the Hopman Cup and now all four in Sydney en route to the final.ADVERTISEMENT PH military to look into China’s possible security threat to power grid ‘A complete lie:’ Drilon refutes ‘blabbermouth’ Salo’s claims She will face Ashleigh Barty, who beat Australian compatriot Daria Gavrilova 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 in the other semifinal.In a match that included 11 breaks of serve, Barty needed just one in the third set.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSBoxers Pacquiao, Petecio torchbearers for SEA Games openingSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hosting“It’s nice getting a bit of confidence going into our biggest tournament for us,” Barty said of next week’s Australian Open.Gavrilova’s frustration with her serving were evident in the ninth game of the set when, soon after leveling at 4-4, she double-faulted twice and received a code violation for smashing her racket. Saudi women to enter stadiums for first time to watch football ‘We cannot afford to fail’ as SEA Games host – Duterte Ethel Booba on hotel’s clarification that ‘kikiam’ is ‘chicken sausage’: ‘Kung di pa pansinin, baka isipin nila ok lang’ Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Do we want to be champions or GROs? – Sotto LATEST STORIES View commentslast_img read more

HubSpot TV – Inbound Marketing Explosion with C.C. Chapman

first_img Learn more about inbound marketing and how to combine blogging, SEO and social media for results.  Special Guest Vatican 2.0 inbound marketing kit 23000% increase in DVD sales since YouTube Channel launch!!! Blog vs. Podcasting what’s more fun? Whats more effective? USPS delivering mail 5 days per week Today Gov. Deval Patrick visited HubSpot because we tweeted so much! State of Inbound Marketing C.C. Chapman Marketing Takeaway – Fewer people are sending snail-mail which calls into question the long term viability of direct mail and the postal system.   Tell us how social media is like fishing. How long have you been blogging? podcasting? How did you get started? Cut your lead costs by 3x by using inbound marketing. Originally published Jan 31, 2009 2:15:00 PM, updated July 04 2013 Inbound Marketing Kit How do you find the time to create so much content? Bacon Explosion Inbound marketing means lower cost per lead – almost 3 times lower Myspace finished dead last – least useful for business Marketing Tip of the Week: About the same spending on inbound and outbound marketing The Advanced Guard Download our  Marketing Takeaway: Giving away free content does not decrease sales! (Show Length: 29 minutes 7 seconds)  Marketing Takeaway: Yes another reason why you should be doing more inbound marketing and less outbound marketing. Small businesses are the most aggressive inbound marketers – allocating bigger % of budget to blogging, seo and social media The Advanced Guard Episode #25- Marketing Takeaway: If the pope can be on YouTube, your old established company with lots of history and tradition can too. of Marketing Takeaway: Create delicious salty smokey content.  .  Inbound Marketing Closing HubSpot 1K Customers Party! Febuary 19th! Intro How to interact on Twitter – @karenrubin @mvolpe @cc_chapman Within social media, blogging is viewed as the most effective technique January 30th, 2009 Topics: Remember to subscribe in iTunes – Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

Why Most Website Redesigns Have a Half-Life

first_img Topics: Half-life is the period of time it takes for a substance undergoing decay to decrease by half, and is especially used when talking about radioactive decay. Free Workbook: How to Plan a Successful Website RedesignMany of you redesigning your website right now may be experiencing a half-life of your own, and one that might even be more dangerous (to marketing folks) than a radioactive substance.  This half live is the time that it takes for your own happiness with your website to decline by half. Most marketers and business people get tired of their websites way too fast, and because of this, they redesign their websites way too often.Your personal opinion of your website’s attractiveness has nothing to do with the need for a website redesign.   The goal of your website is to get found by more prospects, and convert more of them into leads and sales.  The only person you want to impress with your website is your prospect, and they are much more likely to want to find the information they want than to admire a beautiful flash graphic.  A more “beautiful” design or a new design may be more confusing to your prospects, and lower your conversion rate.Have you suffered from the Website Redesign Half-Life pitfall?  Free Webinar: Website Redesign for 2010 Website Redesign Originally published Jan 12, 2010 3:29:00 PM, updated July 28 2017center_img Learn how to redesign your website with an internet marketing strategy in mind with Mike Volpe, HubSpot’s VP of Marketing.Download the Webinar Now and learn how to turn your website into an internet marketing machine. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

3 More Critical SEO Mistakes You Are Making

first_img 1. Use, But Don’t Abuse Geographic Search Terms for your website, recall that your company’s name is probably your least important keyword. To start with, anyone who types your company’s exact name will be arriving at your site anyway. But more importantly, the words that you put at the front of your page title are the very first thing that someone will see on a search results page that includes you. If their search for “denver datacenter” sends them to a company’s name and not to a page that reads “Denver Datacenter” or “Datacenters near Denver”, they will skip over your result. Put your best foot forward with your potential visitors, and begin with their keyword. SEO Mistakes Last month, we page titles Topics: covered three of the greatest perils Finally, be careful of reusing those well-optimized page title names on many pages. Not only is it a bad geographic keyword placement Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack , but it will make it very hard to read your analytics reports later. Think back to last month’s article: Be thoughtful of which pages are optimized for what words, and that their content matches that keyword. If you have many pages around the same keyword, think about variations or other words that may fit better, or reword things so that you don’t have five pages with the same name. You’ll be more interesting to your readers, the search engines, and your analytics will be more legible. 2. Place Important Keywords Early In Page Titles This brings us to our next point: When planning thecenter_img . This month, let’s take on three more common mistakes that can come up in the process of doing great search optimization: Keyword stuffing and page titles. With this guide in hand, you should be able to confront these nasty website foes and walk into a world with a better-optimized website than ever before. SEO practice terms. Our well-intentioned efforts to optimize our website for lots of local areas can backfire easily: Think about what people search for when they look for your services locally. Then think about your website’s Our first great evil is keyword stuffing, especially of geographic search optimization . Do you have page titles or text on your site that reads something like “Windshield Replacement Boston Cambridge Somerville Everett”? Do you really want to rank for just “Somerville”? I didn’t think so. That’s how search engines are reading your string of stuffed keywords. 3. Don’t Reuse Your Page Titles, No Matter How Tempting Photo Credit: lars604 that confront modern websites that are trying to do healthy People searching for a town or city name are looking for local information – Like government, local news sources, and others. They don’t want their windshield replaced, their taxes done, or construction work. Optimize for strings like “windshield replacement boston”, not “Windshield Replacement Somerville Boston Cambridge Everett”. If you care about many cities like this, create content for each one. Have a page for each city you serve, and explain your relationship that area, or examples of jobs that you did there. Don’t be shy – it will increase the number of indexed pages on your site, and consequentially your search authority. Originally published Oct 14, 2010 9:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016last_img read more

5 Fantastic Ways to Engage Your Social Media Followers

first_img Social Media Engagement Originally published Oct 13, 2011 11:00:00 AM, updated October 20 2016 I have been asked by many people why I prefer one brand over another and why I am so brand loyal. With Twitter and other forms of social media in the mix, there is no reason why you shouldn’t be constantly engaged by your favorite brands. Whether it’s JetBlue helping you out when your flight is delayed or CVS giving people who interact with them special discount codes, social media fans and followers should always feel like their voice is important and influential. The same should hold true for your own business. How are you making sure your prospective and current customers feel like they can get in touch with you and stay constantly engaged?1. Respond to Customers, Whether Good or BadIt is now often someone’s first instinct to go right to Twitter to complain about a product or brand. If a person is unhappy with a company, he or she wants everyone to know, and Twitter seems to be the right place to make that clear. It can often be frustrating for a company to constantly have to deal with this negative feedback, but it also provides a great opportunity for businesses to open up the conversation and show that they are listening. Customers who receive responses from companies on Twitter, even after they’ve said something negative about the company, are much more likely to use a product or service again. Knowing that their voice is heard goes a long way. Whether it is commenting on a Facebook status or responding to a tweet, make sure you acknowledge both the positive and the negative feedback.2. Start ConversationsThis is a great way to show you are a thought leader in the industry. Of course, you should be producing content and posting it to your various social media channels, but you should also be starting conversations. Ask your Twitter followers and Facebook fans what they think about a current event. Ask them what they think about a particular topic. Ask them what they think about a recent blog post your company wrote. This will show them that you care about their opinions and want to interact with them.3. Be Responsive Using Different ToolsSocial media engagement shouldn’t just come into play on one specific channel. A company fluent in inbound marketing will be able to use many tools to answer and address its audience’s concerns or questions. The Old Spice campaign engaged with customers on YouTube. Comcast engaged with customers on Twitter. Showing you are well-versed in multiple tools will not only reach more of your audience, but will also position your company as more digital-friendly. After all, even traditional marketing campaigns were executed using multiple channels.4. Ask Your Audience to Take ActionPeople are always interested in sharing content and highlighting their experiences with your company. At HubSpot, we asked users on Facebook to post pictures of themselves with the HubSpot unicorn, which we had distributed at an event, and we got a great response. Even doing something as simple as encouraging your audience to post pictures will engage your them and also give you an inside look into various ways your customers perceive your company.5. Think CreativelyVideos used to be the “latest” thing that people would create to get their audience’s attention. Before that, it was blogging. And before that, it was catchy print advertisements like “Got Milk?” Companies who are able to pioneer a “new” way to use a new technology or tool to reach their audiences are often the most successful at attracting attention for being innovative. Think outside the box on this one, and do something your competitors would never dream of doing.Marketing TakeawaysSo why is it important to keep up the conversation with your audience and make sure you are constantly engaging with them? Communicating regularly with your prospects, customers, and fans is not only a great way to generate feedback about your business, but it is also a good way to show your customers and community that you appreciate them and value their opinions. This is a core element to maintaining a healthy business environment with happy customers who also feel appreciated.What do you do to engage with your audience in social media?Photo Credit: Fanie! Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

11 Editorial Guidelines Every Business Blog Needs

first_img Topics: Many business bloggers have learned that their blog is one of their most crucial inbound marketing assets. Not only do companies that blog generate 55% more web traffic, but 57% of businesses have also won a customer through their blog. So if you’ve decided to give your blog content a little more love or you’d like to increase the frequency at which you post content to your blog, adopt the mindset of an editor-in-chief to ensure that you can scale without losing focus on quality.Plan your content for every persona and stage of the buying cycle. [Free Content Mapping Template]Even sans an editorial background, you can be your blog’s editor-in-chief by simply drafting some editorial guidelines to share with all writers and contributors. While some companies use editorial guidelines to cover stylistic and grammatical expectations, we believe in transparency, and thus extend them to also include strategic objectives for the blog. If you can adapt these editorial guidelines to your business blog, you’ll see less editing and proofreading time, better quality content from internal writers and external contributors, and as a result, a better reputation, a growing readership, and more leads coming from your totally rockin’ business blog.11 Editorial Guidelines to Enforce for Your Business Blog1. Explain the blog’s objective. Writers and contributors should know how your blog fits into your business’ overarching inbound marketing strategy. Is it a lead generation mechanism? Do you use it to drive traffic to other parts of your website? Does your blog help you gain more social media followers? It may seem obvious to you, but to those less familiar with your blog, it provides some much needed context.2. Explain the content’s objective. What you’re trying to achieve with the content on your blog is different than what you’re trying to achieve with your blog as a whole. Explain to bloggers what your content should provide to readers. For example, HubSpot wants every blog post to give actionable advice. That means each piece of content should have at least one takeaway that readers can apply to their business’ marketing strategy. List these content objectives out so bloggers know whether their blog post hits the mark.3. Describe your audience. Have you crafted specific marketing personas that describe your business’ ideal customer(s)? Explain who your target customers are so writers can create content tailored to the needs and interests of your blog’s target audience.4. Require topic approval. Ask new bloggers to run topic ideas by you before they begin writing. The best content begins with an awesome topic; if a topic is weak, no amount of editing can save it. When writers send you topics before they begin writing, you can tell them if their topic rocks, or if it needs some more work. Writers will appreciate this feedback up front, as it saves them time they would have spent drafting a blog post that ultimately would have been rejected.5. Provide examples of high-performing blog posts for reference. Provide your guest bloggers with a few examples of blog content that performed well and point out the strengths of that content so they have something to emulate while writing. You can also include examples of bad content and highlight that content’s weaknesses to further clarify the difference between remarkable content and snooze-worthy content.6. Explain your linking policy. Do you link to outside blogs and websites? If so, are there any competing publishers or companies that are off limits? Do you expect internal linking? If so, how do writers determine to which posts or landing pages they should link? Or, will you handle the internal linking for them after they draft the blog post? Can guest bloggers link to their own company’s website? How many of these links do you allow per post? Set all of these expectations up front.7. Share your photo expectations. Should writers include images in posts? Unless you plan on doing image research yourself, tell your writers where to get images and how to cite them, if necessary. If you have a subscription to a stock photo site, share that with writers if that’s where you prefer to pull images.8. Give style and formatting tips. Offer tips such as “write in short sentences,” “break up large blocks of text with bold headings,” and “bullet your major points.” Blog writing isn’t like writing a business plan or even a feature article for a newspaper, so depending on the industry your writers come from, blog writing may be a brand new beast. If you can teach new bloggers how to style their content, it will save you formatting time during the revision process.9. Help with headlines. Great headlines draw more traffic and generate more social media shares and click-throughs. Include examples of awesome headlines, and be willing to work with writers on titles since it’s not everyone’s forte.10. Explain your content review process. Quality content takes time to edit and prepare, so explain the length of your review cycle up front to writers and contributors. This explanation should include when you expect their content to be delivered, how long your review and editing process takes, how many revision cycles you go through, and the final publishing date.11. Be clear about your re-posting policy. Decide up front whether or not guest contributors and freelancers can re-publish their content on their own blogs. Be clear about when they can do it, and how they should link back to your blog if they re-post.To some people, such guidelines might seem a little strict, but think of it this way: if that’s how it seems, they’re not right for your blog. You may also find enforcing the guidelines is difficult, but it’s crucial not to waver on the standards you’ve set. Being steadfast with your editorial guidelines will not only improve blog performance, it will also save everyone time because you’ve provided clear directions on how to write killer content for your business blog.Have you written editorial guidelines for your blog? What guidelines have you included that help set expectations for writers and contributors?Image credit: rahego Originally published Dec 13, 2011 9:00:00 AM, updated August 26 2017 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Content Marketinglast_img read more

How Cluttered Is the Advertising Landscape, Really? [Timeline]

first_img Originally published Jul 3, 2013 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Airplane trays. Parking meters. Bathroom stalls. These are only a few of the unusual nooks and crannies that advertising has ineffably found its way into over the years. We know advertising is everywhere, and we know the media landscape is more cluttered than a house on an episode of Hoarders, but, like, just how bad is it? Lately I’ve been trying to wrap my head around this very topic: how much advertising are we bombarded with every day, and how did we arrive at a time where our patience and attention spans are more miniscule than milliseconds? Surely it wasn’t always this way, right?False. In my recent exploration of the entire evolution of advertising, I found out that way back in 1758 a scholar named Samuel Johnson wrote, “Advertisements are now so numerous that they are very negligently perused.” Advertising was so prevalent then that it was already getting ignored, forcing marketers to bedazzle their newspaper headlines to get an extra blink or two. People have almost always been tired of ads, but it was never as bad as it is today.Two main reasons why consumers just don’t have the time of day for marketing messages anymore: a long history of ridiculously deceptive ads, and a plethora of evolving technologies that allow them to skip past gobbledygook trying to sell the latest gizmo. There’s another biggie, though: overbearing information pollution thanks to multiplying digital media.To gain some perspective on just how much information we’re dealing with, I mapped out a timeline of when all the major forms of mass media were infiltrated with advertising over the past several centuries. A couple things became crystal clear. Even before a major communication channel comes of age, it is immediately invaded with advertising. And so much media has proliferated in just the last 22 years that it’s mind-boggling to think about it taking us nearly 400 years to emerge from a print-dominated media landscape, and 48 more years to emerge from period of pre-digital platforms such as TV and radio, to finally arrive at the disproportionately short two-decade span where digital now dominates most advertising budgets. Crazy, huh? Let’s try to comprehend just how cluttered the media landscape is with a few facts and figures.The Invasion of Advertising: A Timeline Once 1994 arrived and the internet boomed, websites, blogs, and social media sites cropped up in every corner of the internet and, shortly thereafter, were plastered with ads. Consumers became so hard to reach that social networks and major media publishers started trying to grab reader attention with native advertising.Putting the Ad Landscape Into PerspectiveNot only has the media landscape grown by type; each type has grown exponentially in volume. Nowadays there’s a magazine, TV channel, radio station, and a gajillion websites for every conceivable interest. And when we say “the internet” as an ad platform, that’s more than one trillion pages we’re talkin’ about. That’s one thousand billions, which looks like this: 1,000,000,000,000. Now take that number and multiply it by 6, because that’s how many display ads (only one type of ad) were shown across the internet in 2012, according to comScore. When you allocate that across the 2.4 billion internet-connected persons on the planet, it means there are 417 web pages and 2,502 display ads for each! It’s simply bonkers to think pumping more interruptive ads into the internet is going to work.Want some more reasons why? Here, lemme tell you:In 1920, there was 1 radio station. In 2011, there were 14,700.In 1946, America had 12 broadcasting TV stations. In 2011, there were over 1,700.In 1998, the average consumer saw or heard 1 million marketing messages – almost 3,000 per day. It’s even more than that now. Just imagine how many Facebook posts or tweets you scroll past every day. Each of those are messages, and now, oftentimes ads. Too Much Advertising Leaves Only One Surefire Way to Reach ConsumersWhen the traditional media landscape consisted of nothing more than a dozen TV channels, radio stations, newspapers, and magazines, advertisers could create one-size-fits-all campaigns. Besides, consumers didn’t know there was a better way, nor did they possess DVRs, Do Not Call lists, or pocket-sized portals to all the world’s information so they could circumvent brand promises that seemed too good to be true. Nowadays brands don’t find customers. Customers find brands. And it’s not as a result of a cold call that interrupted dinner, a TV commercial that distracted them from Mad Men, or a stack of direct mail stuffed in their mailbox.Among this splintered landscape and monumental information pollution, customers find brands through searching the web for information when they want it, and by gathering information from a trusted circle of peers both online and off. The only way to impact that behavior is to create marketing people love, and choose to interact with. Marketing that’s more about their needs than the brand’s needs. Marketing that’s trustworthy. Marketing that presents the right information to the right person, at the right time.Get your own printable timeline and explore how consumers won the war for their attention by downloading our story on The Evolution of Advertising. In 1922 and for the next 48 years, the world saw ads invade pre-digital channels such as radio, television, and home telephones.center_img From the moment printing became possible with the invention of the printing press way back in 1440, advertisers began plastering posters on walls and doors within their communities. The first poster ad in English is placed on church doors in London in 1492! Over the next 400 years, ads would find their way into newspapers, magazines, and other print media. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

How to Bulk Schedule Tweets Without Sacrificing Authenticity

first_img Twitter Marketing Originally published Nov 20, 2013 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Do you remember the day Old Spice and Taco Bell started trash-talking to each other on Twitter? It was soooo funny. How about the time a follower joked that bird poop could easily destroy a Smart Car and Smart Car responded with this? The best moments on Twitter are always the unscripted ones and embody what the social platform is all about.From eye-witness accounts of breaking news to genuine company-customer interactions, Twitter tears down the editorial filter and gives air to bursts of authenticity.But you can’t scale serendipity any more than you can manufacture it. So companies — many of which are short on time but long on respect for the medium, which has brought them closer to their customers — have taken to bulk scheduling social media content.For busy marketers, the ability to schedule some social content at the beginning of the week has been a godsend. Scheduling tweets not only enables you to build a consistent presence on Twitter, but it also allows you to test timing and publish your messages when they are most likely to attract clicks and retweets.The risk with bulk scheduling, however, is that your Twitter stream becomes robotic, predictable, and uninteresting — a fate no inbound marketer wants. Here are a few ways to avoid Tweet monotony while still keeping some sanity in your schedule.    Use monitoring to catch opportunities for interaction.The best approach is to pair scheduled tweets with a good monitoring strategy so you can catch opportunities for human interaction with your followers. You want to make sure you have a good balance of scheduled posts to interactions.We use HubSpot to elevate tweets from your customers above the masses so you can respond to them in a more personal way. (Here’s a guide for customers on how color-coding works in Social Inbox.) In the example below, I’ve set up email alerts for a tailored list of HubSpot customers who ask a question.If you’re not a HubSpot user, you can set up general keyword alerts in most monitoring tools to help you catch conversations that might be worth entering. Look for your company name and a question mark, as in the example above, to catch questions. Also, set up a monitoring stream by topic or geography, and figure out what mix of key terms works best for you. Mix up your approach to crafting tweets.Just because you’re using software doesn’t mean you have to act robotic. When compiling your tweets for the week, vary your writing approach. Even with the most interesting content “Statement: link … Statement: link … Statement: link” gets a little stale after awhile.To help add some diversity to your scheduled content, schedule in questions, pictures, shout-outs, videos, and even jokes to mix things up. For example, ecommerce site Etsy does a nice job of this, as it frequently interweaves quotes, images, and other approaches into its stream.Scheduling worksheets like this one will help you get a birds eye view of all of your upcoming tweets and a sense of how similar they are in nature. If you’re seeing too many common structures, try reframing a few. Remember that any blogs you auto-tweet are going to be in headline-link format, so use your other tweets to stretch your creativity.Repurpose your content, but avoid reusing tweets.In one second on the internet there are more than 6,000 tweets. In practical terms, that means no matter how brilliantly your 140 characters shine, at least part of your audience is going to blink and miss them entirely.On Twitter, and in inbound marketing as a whole, resurfacing content is fundamental. However, you don’t want your Twitter stream to turn into a stock exchange ticker repeating the same tweet again and again. Instead, plan to repost the link you want to share several times, but make sure you’re sharing it with a different message each time. In the example below, I’ve taken one post from our blog and planned to share it twice in the next few days using HubSpot’s Social Media Publishing tool. For the second post, I’ve tweaked the message slightly, choosing to highlight a detail from the post instead of the title itself.If you were going to share this out multiple times, you could shift the corresponding message in the following ways:Title: How to Bulk Schedule tweets without Sacrificing AuthenticityValue Add: It’s a good post on scaling authenticity on Twitter (we especially like tip 2).Quote: “Just because you’re using software doesn’t mean you have to act robotic.”Takeaway: It’s a useful worksheet for scheduling your tweets on this post. Stat: In one second on the internet, there are more than 6000 tweets. Here’s how to craft tweets that don’t get lost in the mix.  Be ready to push pause.Every company is part of a larger community. On Twitter, that global community intersects. We collectively celebrate moments of joy. We share the impact of tragedy. When a crisis strikes your larger community, pushing pause on your scheduled tweets should be among your most immediate steps.Before weighing a response, changing your website, and doing anything else, pause your scheduled posts. In crisis, Twitter transforms into a channel of mass organization and communication. It demands all of our attention, and disrupting it with marketing tweets is not only detrimental, but it can also lead to backlash.Marketing magazine The Drum captured examples of poorly handled scheduled tweets in an April post. Among the ugly ones were a pre-scheduled post from American Rifleman (an NRA publication) that said, “Good morning shooters! Happy Friday. Weekend plans?” which went out in the aftermath of the Aurora, Colo., movie-theater shootings and this tweet from Live Nation that failed to recognize that the Radiohead concert it was tweeting had been canceled due to a stage collapse.Pushing pause on your scheduled and promoted tweets also gives you the opportunity to clear your cache for a more meaningful response. For instance, during the citywide shutdown and corresponding manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspects in April, the Boston Celtics cleared its regular tweet schedule and instead used its reach to help the Boston Police Department spread pertinent information through retweets. This was a fitting response for the local sports team, which had a far larger local reach than the Boston Police (1.2 million vs. 200,000). Other companies appropriately tweeted a single heartfelt response and respectfully stepped away from the mic for the day so the Twitter feeds could be clear. Small but deliberate principles like these can help move your Twitter strategy from a conventional marketing stream to a feed that attracts and holds a highly engaged following.Take a look at some of the top brands on Twitter: Oreo, Dunkin Donuts, Innocent Drinks (wow, I must be hungry), Intel. Each of these companies is large enough that scheduling in advance is probably necessary, yet they manage to keep their feeds fresh and creative.  Let me leave you with a challenge: Take this planning spreadsheet and map out your Twitter shares for next week using some of the principles above. Repost links with different messages and make sure your approach is varied for each one. In addition, make a plan for how to respond personally to mentions of your company name on Twitter. And if you’re currently scheduling your tweets, make sure you have a crisis response plan to cease any automated posts in an emergency.You’ll never be able to automate the unscripted moments that make Twitter such an enthralling channel, but you can certainly make a few standard changes to make your Twitter approach feel a bit more human.Do you schedule your tweets days and weeks in advance using these or other best practices?center_img Topics: Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

A Beginner’s Guide to Choosing the Right Colors for Marketing Designs

first_img Topics: Monochromatic colors: A monochromatic color palette includes dark, medium, and light versions of a single color.Analogous colors: Analogous colors are located next to each other on the color wheel, which gives them a seamless, low contrast harmony.Complementary colors: Complementary colors are located on opposite sides of the color wheel, allowing for the most dramatic contrast of all color relationships.Evoke emotions with color. There are two types of colors on the color wheel: warm colors and cool colors. Warm colors are found on the right, and include reds, oranges, and yellows. These colours are great to create energy and emotion in your designs.Cool colors, ranging from blues and greens to pinks and purples, can be found on the left. Cool colors are considered more calm and soothing in nature.Compare the difference between the cool pink used by Benefit Cosmetics on its Instagram account and Corona — which use an iconic warm yellow filter over its images. The Benefit graphic is feminine and delicate, while the Corona graphic is warm and inviting.Create an effective color pallette.The first thing to know about choosing a color palette is not to choose too many colors — limit your selection from two to four. First, choose a single vibrant color that will stand out in your design. In this example, the dark green color is the most prominent. White and a lighter shade of green have been chosen as the additional colors, creating a low contrast harmonious palette.Make sure the colors you choose are relevant to your design subject. In this example, the olive green color matches the earthy tones of the photograph.Match color with images.To create visual harmony, match your text color with a prominent color from your background image. You can find the exact color using a color picker tool. See here how the vibrant pink color of the flowers matches the text.Explore different color schemes.When choosing your color palette, it’s a great idea to explore different color schemes. For example, if you’re creating a social media graphic for a ladies boutique, a pastel color scheme could provide a feminine touch. Here are two great color schemes for you to try in your designs:Use colors consistently for branding. Using the same colors repetitively is an essential skill for branding, as it helps create recognition. See how Tiffany and Co. has used its iconic turquoise color on its Facebook page. A bit of variation is great too — see how there are lighter and darker versions of the same color visible.Apply a color palette to everything in your design.When people start designing it’s not uncommon for them to think their color palette is just for their background and text. In fact, you color palette should be applied to everything in your design, including text, text holders, images, shapes, icons, and more.In the design above, an orange color has been applied to the transparent shape to match the clementine fruits. All of the text and the dotted line are also a light cream color to suit the style of the design.Create a mood board for inspiration. Whether you’re trying to find the right color for anything from a new brand to a social media graphic, creating a mood board is a great way to find inspiration. Consider these questions when putting together a mood board:What kind of images spring to mind when you think of your brand or design subjectWhat kind of feelings do you want to evoke?If there are other similar brands out there, what kind of colors do they use in their branding and marketing?Put these skills into practice.When used effectively, colors can evoke emotions and change the meaning and mood of your designs. Next time you create a marketing graphic for your social media page or even put together an original birthday card for a loved one, be sure to pay careful attention to the colors you use.With a little practice, you’ll be amazed at how quickly you can improve your eye for choosing amazing colors!  If you’re eager to learn more, check out Canva’s Design School! It has everything you need to learn design like a pro. Originally published Dec 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Applying color is one of the most enjoyable parts of graphic design, but it can also be incredibly difficult to get right. Which colors look good together? How many should I use? How do I create a color palette?These questions are asked all the time by people starting out with design. In this article I’ll take you through everything you need to know to start using colors effectively. Whether you’re choosing colors for a new brand or creating graphics for your social media pages, learning this essential skill will help you improve your visual strategy and create beautiful designs.Get familiar with the color wheel. The color wheel is an incredible tool you can use to apply different colors to your designs — from black and white, to the deepest and brightest greens and blues. There are two main aspects of the color wheel every beginner should know about: how to select different colors and how to identify them.When choosing different colors, the brightest colors can be found toward the outside of the color wheel. These colors are the most vibrant, and can be thought of as the most intense version of a color. Toward the middle are pastel colors, which are soft and neutral.Every color on the color wheel can be identified by a unique hex code. This is the six-digit code that appears underneath the wheel when you select different colors. Hex codes are incredibly useful if you want to reuse the same colors in multiple designs — which is an essential skill for consistent branding.Change the intensity of your colors using the brightness slider.The brightness slider is a tool which allows you to find lighter and darker versions of the same color. By moving it to the left, the color lightness will increase, while moving it to the right will make it decrease. Using this tool is a great way to different various shades of the same color.Explore color relationships.Ever wondered why some colors clash together and some just work? It’s largely due to the way that they’re related.Color relationships are determined by their position on the color wheel. These three well known color relationships can be a great basis for an original color palette:center_img Psychology of Color Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more