General news and updates

1common Club - Tech and smart gadgets shop

1common Club, the shop for all tech and smart gadgets lovers

I’m proud to announce a newborn by Oltre.Digital!

1common Club is a brand-new collection of excellent tech devices, an uncommon club for everyone that loves useful technology. Not only prosumers but also people that want to improve their quality of life through the latest tech devices.

The staff carefully select best-selling tech gadgets and products, choosing among the ones with the best reviews, new arrivals from top brands and, obviously, the best prices in the market.

Users can find what’s trending, convenient, useful and cool, for themselves or as a memorable gift – they can also keep a wishlist.

Not least, there is a Smart Video Magazine with reviews about the latest technology trends and gadgets.

Visit 1common.Club now!

Italian food ecommerce

Discover Spaccio Italia, the e-commerce of Italian gastronomic excellence

I am happy to announce the launch of SpaccioItalia.com, an e-commerce platform that offers an accurate selection of Italian gastronomic products on sale in over 50 countries. It’s a new arrival by Oltre Digital.

We have chosen over 4000 excellent grocery products, almost all Made in Italy, with attention to nutritional aspects, as well as a mix of tradition, innovation and taste.

Discover the surprising products of Spaccio Italia and with them the flavours of authentic Italian cuisine.

e-scooter brussels voucher scooty felyx

Get one hour of free rides on electric scooter in Brussels – Felyx & Scooty vouchers

* IMPORTANT UPDATE *

Scooty discontinues its scooter sharing service in Brussels and Antwerp

Here’s the email sent on Monday 27th July 2020 by Scooty to all its customers:

It’s easy. I’m not talking of the kick scooters known in French as trottinettes or in Italian as monopattini. I’m talking of real scooters, like Vespa, but electric. Brussels offer many solutions of green mobility In Brussels there are a few companies such as Villò (heavy normal bikes, quite cheap, they can be linked to your Mobib card and can be taken and left only at their own stations) or e-bikes such as Billy (blue) and Jump (red, by Uber), available everywhere, despite frequent acts of vandalism. Then, there are a lot of kickscooters companies like Lime, Poppy, Dott. Some companies are already out of the local market, like Bird, the first kickscooter network in the city, that lasted only a few months (I was a charger, quite hard to find any around). Their fast proliferation is causing issues to the traffic. They aren’t that safe and some cities, like Milan, banned them.

The most popular e-scooters are Scooty – red color, it was the first to appear a few years ago – and Felyx, green colour, newest. Their mobile app and website are very similar, as well as the scooters. There are also a few Poppy – the company offers also kickscooters and cars.

Unfortunately, their speed is limited by law to 49Km/h, which is fine to get anywhere in Brussels in a matter of minutes. Still double speed than the kickscooters or a bike. The normal cost is around 25 cents/minute unless you decide to park and wait (in that case it’s just 7 cents/minute).

You can find the closest e-scooter on the map and book it. It won’t be taken for 15 minutes, the time you need to unblock it and start your ride. Scooty offers the possibility to block it for longer, up to 30 minutes, but the difference between the first 15 minutes and the limit of 30′ is paid at parking rate (7 cents/min).

Normally, they have two helmets inside, but sometimes you will find only one. Scooty has two sizes (M and XL) whilst generally Felyx has only XL.

Before parking check the area you’re going to. They can’t be taken or parked all over the city. Some communes out of the 19 that compose Brussels region aren’t covered.

Just register to the two services and you can receive a free credit of 30 minutes on each service using the vouchers below.

To benefit of the credit you have to register a brand new account clicking the links below and using the related coupon codes:

  • SCOOTY: eG32mwQA – service discontinued since 27/07/2020

  • FELYX: oju4PGqJ

Spread the voice among your friends in Brussels! 

 

Cold email software: MailRush

MailRush.io is a cold email software that optimise your flow saving time and making this technique more effective than doing it manually or with less performing solutions.

MailRush helps businesses integrate Email Marketing channel for customer base growth. We do this by automating best practices for sending Email Marketing and by providing effective tools and metrics for long term outreach campaigns.

Sales teams around the world are using MailRush.io Cold Email Tool to grow their Customer Acquisition. Our software is a complete suite of tools for prospecting, validating and automating B2B cold email marketing campaigns. This is a comprehensive list of the most relevant features.

  • SMTP INCLUDED
  • FOLLOW UP AUTOMATION
  • IP REPUTATION PROTECTION
  • LINKEDIN SALES NAVIGATOR EXTRACTOR
  • EMAIL LIST VALIDATION
  • SHARED IP OR DEDICATED IP
  • TEMPLATE BUILDER
  • CONTENT SPINNING

Watch out! Cold email can be annoying and spammy so use it responsibly, adding value rather than discounts, offering collaboration rather than pushing unwanted services and respecting people’s time.

 

Pasta Magic Formula

The pasta magic formula to determine how much quantity should be served per person

This is not a usual topic for me, however, it might be useful to some of the readers.

Pasta is undoubtedly the queen of the Mediterranean diet. Answering a question on Twitter, I have provided my ideal formula that I am glad to share it here with you.

Quantity per person = [(Weight / Height) * π] — Age

An example

For example, if the weight of a 35 years old person is 80Kg and his height is 1.75m, the ideal quantity will be 108 grams (I hope there was no need to remind that the mathematical constant Pi or π is 3.14…).

Try it here

After a few applications of the formula, the waist might be shaped like a perfect circle, aka lifebelt. If you think it’s the case, you can adjust the result by reducing by a certain percentage, corresponding to the difference between your current weight and the ideal weight you would like to reach.

The formula works only with the metric system so, if you use other systems, you have to convert the values into the metric one first.

The truth behind the formula? It’s been created for fun, but apparently it works quite well. No science, not to mention rocket science.

A final minor detail: despite my Italian nationality, I seldom eat pasta.

Buy the best Italian pasta online on Spaccio Italia

Best Digital Marketing Tools Opportunities

Interesting opportunities: DMARC

Here we publish some interesting opportunities spotted online.

 

Ever heard of DMARC? DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance) is an email authentication system that protects your organization’s domains from spoofing, phishing and other cyber attacks. It builds on the widely deployed email verification techniques, SPF (Sender Policy Framework) and DKIM (Domain Keys Identified Mail). Get back control of your domain.

Get your Free DMARC


 

 

digital marketing

Countdown to Chrome warning for non-https websites

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HTTPS is a secure protocol that helps defend your visitors’ info by encrypting knowledge traveling between the internet browser and the server.

SSL protocol

Google AdWords already recommends (and in some cases, requires) that every one URLs use the HTTPS protocol rather than HTTP to shield customers’ personal and money info.

As of April 2018, more than 57% of the Internet’s 137,971 most popular websites have a secure implementation of HTTPS (source: Alexa).

Starting from Chrome 68, expected to be released in July 2018, all HTTP pages will be market as “not secure”. This might cause a significant drop in traffic.

 

Not Secure website on Google Chrome

In terms of SEO, HTTPS is among the top Search Engine ranking factors.

If your website supports HTTPS and you run AdWords campaigns, make sure that the final URLs and mobile final URLs start with HTTPS – you can bulk edit this step wither on the platform, through Adwords editor or API.

If your website doesn’t support HTTPS speak with your webmaster or the CMS administrator and make sure that HTTPS is enabled on your server (double check with your hosting provider), then make sure that all internal links are HTTPS (on WordPress you can force them with specific plugins).

A free SSL service is LetsEncrypt, trusted and supported by the major hosting providers.

Any help? Get in touch!

 

education

Wireless.Education: learn anything, anywhere

Technology has increased the chances to learn many topics from anywhere. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) are an example of mass study, where prestigious universities given anyone the opportunity to access quality training for free or for a very little fee, usually needed to cover the costs and granting the chance to access a final examination with certification.

Wireless.Education is a website where you can find many quality tools to learn anything, anywhere, anytime, from foreign languages to exams preparation (such as IELTS, TOEFL, GMAT, GRE) plus the courses most in demand by the job market nowadays and the study techniques needed to excell (speed reading, learning how to learn, etc.)

Wireless-Education

 

Yahoo 1996

Yahoo! killed Aviate and sold Flickr

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I’m a proud user of both Aviate (Android launcher, the most useful amont dozens I tried, IMHO) and Flickr (image hosting, my account dates back to 2005 with over 7 million photo views).

Yahoo!, now owned by Verizon, acquired Flickr in 2005. Now it has sold it to the independent image-hosting company SmugHug for a price not known, probably it’s been a bargain.

Flickr has more than 75 million users and is well-known for being a free-service with unlimited storage. SmugHug instead is a small paid service, quite expensive considering alternatives. For example, you can opt for Google Photos that offer much more than just image-hosting.

Many users are asking if Flickr will remain free after the SmugHug aquisition and the aquiring company, already in charge of Flickr social network channels, is replying that free accounts won’t change “at this time”. At this time?!

Flickr

Yahoo!, one of the oldes internet companies, launched in January 1994, today has only 2.1% of global search market share (source: statcounter.com) vs Google that reaches more than 91%.

The company has a long list of failures and recently is getting quite slim. Clearly, it’s dying, and the Verizon acquisition is probably speeding up this process.

Startup founders age

Experience comes with age: on average, the founders of the most succesful startups are 45 years old

Experience comes with age. According to a paper published on April 2018, “the average age of a startup founder is about 41.9 years of age among all startups that hire at least one employee”.

Many observers and investors believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. Using administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade, the primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing startups is 45.

Source: “Age and High-Growth Entrepreneurship” by Pierre Azoulay, Benjamin Jones, J. Daniel Kim, Javier Miranda. NBER Working Paper No. 24489, issued in April 2018

Intro: Many observers, and many investors, believe that young people are especially likely to produce the most successful new firms. We use administrative data at the U.S. Census Bureau to study the ages of founders of growth-oriented start-ups in the past decade. Our primary finding is that successful entrepreneurs are middle-aged, not young. The mean founder age for the 1 in 1,000 fastest growing new ventures is 45.0. The findings are broadly similar when considering high-technology sectors, entrepreneurial hubs, and successful firm exits. Prior experience in the specific industry predicts much greater rates of entrepreneurial success. These findings strongly reject common hypotheses that emphasise youth as a key trait of successful entrepreneurs.

Read more: New research shows successful founders are far older than the Valley stereotype” by Danny Crichton on Techcrunch (11 April 2018)

Guido Barilla apologies

PR on SERP: why copywriters should work with SEO guys. Barilla epic fail

 

Guido Barilla apologies

Guido Barilla video apologies. Too late.


26 September, morning. Guido Barilla, co-owner of the famous Parma-based pasta maker, during a live radio interview (La Zanzara, Radio24), proudly claim that gay people would never appear on its brand advertisement because he and his company will always support ‘traditional’ families. After being provoked by the speakers on this topic, he replies that anyone who doesn’t agree with his view can eat other pasta. After few minutes twitter tags #boicottabarilla, #barilla and #boycottbarilla became trend topics (#tt) in Italy. A lot of criticism raise also on Facebook and blog comments. Few hours later images and video parodies start to populate the social environment and later expand on the web. In a couple of hours after his radio interview, Guido Barilla gain the home page of popular online newspaper and, consequently, the top news on Google News. Some direct competitors (e.g. Buitoni, Garofalo, Misura, Bertolli shown below, etc.) took the occasion to declare their open minded point of view and their ironic but strong replies got viral immediately. A double damage.

Bertolli after barilla fail

Bertolli is one of Barilla’s competitors that has taken advantage of Guido Barilla fail with an immediate viral reply.

Too late to repair. A couple of brief textual apologies on Facebook and on Twitter did not seem enough. Two days later (28/9) Guido Barilla recorded a short video (about 1 minute, in Italian, where he looks quite unsecure in comparison with his radio interview). He sent apologies to everyone that felt offended by his previous declaration, saying that he must learn a lot about the contemporary concept of family. Money comes before personal point of views.

Still not enough. What is the most immediate place where you can write something that must be there for everyone curious to read? You might think of twitter, a twitter cover, a facebook cover, your home page. No. It is the SERP (search engine result page). Many people search for the company to find out how it reacts. And SERP is a crucial area where to place a reply that will be immediately noticed by everyone.

How to communicate through SERP? Well, first of all you must do a great SEO to rank on top, possibly before your detractors that are not just competitors. After a fail everyone is potentially your enemy.

Barilla ranks number one and took the occasion to communicate through two SERP channels that are page title and description, as seen in the picture below.

PR through SERP: Barilla fail signals are everywhere.

PR through SERP: Barilla fail signals are everywhere.

This case shows how social is the spark that triggers the fire (on the web). Social is immediate, fast, spread the virus easy and fast everywhere, potentially with no control and can disappear the same way through easy censorship operated by social media platforms (e.g. certain keywords, tags, images, songs, etc.)
The web is slower but slowly burn and can generate unexpected effects in the medium/long term. Predictions are difficult in both cases and correlations too, despite social and web are both integrated, they are two areas of the same environment.

Title, a typical SEO tool, can be used with the power of social for an immediate response, to enforce an official point of view against doubts rising on other channels. Therefore the few words allowed there (70 characters and 156 for description) must be used in the best way, not forgetting the brand that should be highly visible on title to remark the official site distinguished by the rest.

Copywriting and SEO should definitely help each other, in particular during critical times. Memes don’t come from nothing.

Google Databoard

The continuing r-evolution of Google services/tools and its benefits for the marketing industry: Think Insights & Databoard

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Google Databoard

Marketing paid services are struggling against the fact that Google offers the same tools at no cost. From analytical tools to tag management, from videoconferences to market researches, Google is offering to business a wide range of fundamental marketing (and web marketing) tools and services that improve day by day.

For example, Google Tag Manager has been launched silently in October 2012 and “is now (July 2013) serving twice the amount of traffic it was in April 2013”. At the same time, Google is planning to standardise one of GTM’s core features, the Data Layer, through a specific “Customer Experience Digital Data Community” Group born on the W3C site (source: Analytics Blog).

Whilst Google is closing down many services (among the others Wave, Buzz, Reader, Latitude) or reshaping functions and integrating tools – for example website optimizer integrated into Google Analytics, GA Conversions Goals can be imported into Adwords, Adwords remarketing lists can be done through GA and G+ gaining centrality on all aspects, from being considered a top SEO ranking factor to pushing communication through Hangouts – it keeps on launching new services whose strengths are: cool, free, easy, accessible.

A recent site that worth a visit, mostly by marketers and communicators, is Think Insights, a collection of market research for many industries. Among cool examples here’s a Japan-based English language school whose classroom are made through Google Hangouts.

It includes also the Databoard, that “lets you explore insights from Google research studies, share them with others, and create your own custom infographics”. Unfortunately at the moment data are available only for the US.

Through Databoard, as an example, I’ve made for you an infographic showing key facts about use of smartphones in the US (2013). It’s time for you to build your own infographic!

 

 

ALtavista UI

July 2013: goodbye Altavista and Google Reader

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ALtavista UI

One of the first Altavista UI.

After 14 years, starting from 8th July, the search engine Altavista will be redirected to its current owner Yahoo!.

Altavista used to be the top search engine in many countries until Google took over in 2001.

SE market nowadays is a restricted oligopoly in comparison with the peak of variety between 90s and 2000s but, inside the few ruling brands (Google, Yahoo!, Bing) social media users can gain an important influence for site rankings, based on reputation (something that doesn’t necessarily mean popularity: Panda rulez).

How many people use Google as entry point for other services like Wikipedia, Tripadvisor, Hotels or Bookings.com or your best recipe’s portal? Search engines have been loosing power on many fields but they still work as an entry point: they became a browser rather than a service (and Google Chrome was a great intuition on that sense… it’s weird to think of a Chrome user setting up Bing as standard search engine).

In the same month, another well known and quite popular service, this time in the Google family, closed down: Google Reader. Apparently it wasn’t as much profitable as Google expected but, IMHO, its closure is a move by Google towards big publishers that want to impose their paid channels rather than letting users choice their best blogs.
Google has launched Currents, an app to subscribe and read popular newspapers/magazines (webzine sounds too old nowadays that press became online-based). Other services, similar to Google Reader, are chasing the empty arena, starting from Feedly that took the highest share of users.

Someone still defending printed press risks to jump to a digital stage where feed readers are obsolete.

To find out more about destiny of old search engines read this interesting post by Dennis Sullivan on Search Engine Watch.

Apple iOS7 Home Screen

Does the iPhone battery last less than 2 hours with iOS 7?

In this video a guy is presenting the new iOS 7 whose beta has been released by Apple on 10 June 2013.

I find quite relevant the fact that when the video started, its iPhone 5 battery level was 63% and at the end, after just 10 minutes, it was already 55%. It means 8 percentage points in about 10 minutes which make 48% – let’s say almost 50% – in one hour.

Does it mean that with iOS 7 the battery last only about two hours? Ok, the guy might have an old battery, not fully efficient, but such data are quite scary considering that during the short preso no video have been recorded, no phone calls have been made, no games have been played.

Apple iOS7 Home Screen

Apple iOS7 Home Screen

Flickr reloaded: new look for the (former) most popular photo sharing platform

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Flickr in 2004

The first UI of Flickr when launched in 2004 by Ludicorp, before the acquisition by Yahoo!

On 21st May 2013 one of the most – if not the most – photo sharing site has been completely revolutionised on its appearance and few more aspects. After almost 10 years keeping more or less the same style, something new has just been revealed: think that until few hours ago Flickr seemed an extract of web archive!

Flickr was founded by Ludicorp, a Canadian software house, in 2004. It was just a small web tool aimed at putting in touch players of a Ludicorp online multiplayer game (GNE) that eventually failed. It basically had a chatroom and a real time image exchange service.

Ludicorp, founder and former owner of Flickr announced Flickr launches on 20 February 2004After the game was dismantled, the service was kept alive and, later, sold to Yahoo! that focused on its photosharing capabilities, adding a strong link with cameras and their producers. Ludicorp website has not been updated since, it’s still visible the last post dated 25th March 2005 where it’s announced Flickr acquisition by Yahoo!.

Flickr kept the fashionable “beta” mention close to its logo for years (it’s been cool for many earlier 2.0 websites) and moved to gamma only in 2007.

Here’s a screenshot of Flickr in 2004, you can see that it was owned by Ludicorp at that time… (find more about Flickr history)

Recently it has been suffered of being invaded by mobile shots published through Instagram. Twitter kept away Instagram, but Flickr found on that service a way to repopulate its store rooms that recently, with growth of mobile devices, suffered from having less traffic than usual. Few months ago, Flickr launched and strongly pushed a powerful mobile app to fight Instagram rising market share.

It’s important to notice that on the same day that the new Flickr appeared, its owner Yahoo! confirmed recent rumors about Tumblr acquisition. Well Tumblr is not just about images, but is a bit overlapping Flickr on some points, like Instagram, acquired by Facebook, was overlapping the most popular social medium. Here’s how they present the new release on the official blog:

In the beginning, Flickr innovated the way people share and discover photos. Today, we are shifting the photo-sharing landscape again. We’re releasing a Flickr that’s more spectacular, much bigger, and one you can take anywhere.

Biggr. A free terabyte of space

At Flickr, we believe you should share all your images in full resolution, so life’s moments can be relived in their original quality. No limited pixels, no cramped formats, no memories that fall flat. We’re giving your photos room to breathe, and you the space to upload a dizzying number of photos and videos, for free. Just how big is a terabyte? Well, you could take a photo every hour for forty years without filling one.

And yep, you heard us. It’s free.

Spectaculr. A new, beautiful experience for your photos

We want Flickr to be the most amazing community and place for you to share your photos. So, we’re also revealing a beautiful new design that puts photos at the heart of your Flickr experience, where they should always be. Whether it’s a sweeping landscape or a family portrait, we want every photo to be at its most spectacular.

Your homepage is now a gateway to everything you care about, and all the photos Flickr has to offer. Our new Activity Feed combines your friends’ recent uploads with activity on your own photos, and all in a beautiful design that lets you share and interact right on the page.

(…) posted on 20th May on blog.flickr.net

OK it’s mostly about graphic appearance. The only relavant news for non-pro users is the free TB of space which is enough to store a lot of photos. Before the change, the limit used to be maximum 200 photos for non-pro user. Some parts still remain as they were before though (e.g. personal profiles). Prehistoric tools like badges are not linked anymore but still indexed by Google.

Finally, what is going to happen with the magic interestingness thing, a kind of Flickr-Pagerank that used to determine ranking on the Explore page, giving a lot of visits and visibility to photographers? No news about such algorithm for years, but there’s still a way to determine the two criteria for classifying photos that are “relevance” and “interestingness” (the former closer to real meaning of the image and the latter closer to its name, title, tags, imaginative value).

I’m on Flickr since December 2005 and it gave me a lot in terms of great friends, photo techniques, inspiration, unexpectable achievements (about 2 million photos seen, not including stolen ones…) and, not least, a few business opportunity in the world of digital photography. Here’s my Flickr profile where very nice memories are stored: flickr.com/paolomargari