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So long, blogging, It was nice knowing you.
It’s not all bad news. Those over age 34 blog slightly more than they did in 2008, the report continues, and we shouldn’t forget that news blogging site the Huffington Post just sold for $315 million. But there’s little doubt that blogging isn’t the fresh young thing it was five years ago, back when having an RSS feed reader to track blogs was the height of coffee-shop sophistication. There are far fewer blog writers and readers.
So, what’s changed? It’s no coincidence that blogging is dying off at the same time as Facebook and Twitter have boomed. Both sites have been described as microblogging services, and that’s often used to explain blogging’s demise. Perhaps people have simply switched allegiances to an easier-to-use service.
But Facebook and Twitter offer far more than mere status updates. They’re truly social in a way that blogging simply isn’t. I’d argue that because of this, Facebook and Twitter offer much more value for business compared to blogging.
This makes me sound like a mad Internet evangelist, but bear with me while I explain.
I come across few blogs offered by businesses nowadays, but the ones I choose to follow show how blogging can be a powerful corporate tool, if used correctly. These blogs provide information about products, updates to existing lines, or important company information.
However, this is perfectly demonstrates how blogs are and always have been little more than a publishing platform. They allow businesses to climb onto a plinth and talk down to the public. The reason blogging is dying is because the trend right now is towards a more democratic, social media.
“Liking” and sharing are two of the most underrated features of Facebook. Although ostensibly trivial to Facebook users, they bond people to a product via a common interest. They make marketing a two-way process.
The act of “liking” a product gets reported in a user’s Facebook feed via a brief sentence, while sharing a product page is even better because pictures and words are highlighted within the user’s feed.
Liking and sharing are God’s gift to marketers. Essentially, they let customers market your products on your behalf to all their friends. And it isn’t even as if users think long and hard about liking or sharing. More often it’s done on a whim in a split-second before moving on to something else. From a product marketing perspective, Facebook is beautiful to behold.
Blog postings are like gum; once chewed over, they’re useless for anything else. But Facebook pages keep on giving.
And all the time Facebook offers data. Organizations can see how many people like their products. Facebook will even send them weekly updates showing rises and falls in visitor numbers.
Plus, all a Facebook product page requires in staff input, once it’s been created, is one or two pairs of eyes to watch it. It’s cheap and effective–two words all businesses like.
Above all, companies need to understand that online media is not just a platform from which they can announce things, which is why blogging is so weak. The instinctive response should be to engage with your customers, and to use social media in any way possible to allow this.
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Since the tax regulations were rolled out, Shiba Inu in India is losing its ground
Cryptocurrencies that share the doggy meme face have taken center stage in the realm of decentralization. Two of those famous memecoins, Dogecoin andThe Growth of Shiba Inu in India
Surprisingly, during festival seasons, Shiba Inu investment in India took a major turn. Similar to Indians’ investment in gold and other valuables, last year, they bought SHIB tokens. At the time of Diwali 2023, the Dogecoin competitor was positioned at the seventh position in the cryptocurrency market. Remarkably, Shiba Inu was experiencing a massive bull run at the time owing to the chúng tôi petition and FOMO. At the time when Shiba Inu was going to the moon, it took many early investors with it. Even people who bought US$8,000 SHIB tokens happen to bang on US$5.7 billion in mid-October. Several others who held the Dogecoin killer profited massively from their investments. Besides, it Dogecoin vs Shiba Inu fight in 2023 gave a major boost to both cryptocurrencies.The Short-Lived Prominence
Although Shiba Inu gained popularity in a short span of time, it managed to stay in investors’ wallets for the long term. Even when Shiba Inu and Dogecoin lost their position in the top 10 cryptocurrency list, Indian investors still held on to the token. Owing to its extreme volatility, investors believed that SHIB could give another boost to their investment portfolio.
Cryptocurrencies that share the doggy meme face have taken center stage in the realm of decentralization. Two of those famous memecoins, Dogecoin and Shiba Inu have become the favorite investment option for many Indian cryptocurrency investors. Although it initially started as a joke, SHIB ’s growth over a short span of time and its potential to make millionaires gave an edge to the token. Unfortunately, since the tax regulations became real, Shiba Inu in India is losing its ground. Dogecoin was created in 2013 as a pioneer doggy coin, imitating the famous meme at the time. Since its launch, DOGE was maintaining a low profile till 2023. Once Dogecoin became popular, many memecoins started emerging from the cryptocurrency sphere. Among them was Shiba Inu , which became famous in late 2023. SHIB token gained value and prominence soon after its launch. Especially, Shiba Inu in India has gained a lot of traction over a short span. When the cryptocurrency reached an all-time high in October, Indian investors saw big profits from its growth. However, SHIB is slowly losing its ground ever since the Indian authorities came up with the taxation rules. In February, the Indian Finance Ministry announced that cryptocurrency gains will be taxed at 30%. Even though many things seemed unclear at the time, Indian investors seemed to be enthusiastic. But the Ministry dropped another bomb two days back clarifying that loss in one asset can’t be set off against another. For people who thought their taxation can be evaluated based on their overall profit and loss, this came as a big shock. Since most of the cryptocurrencies are currently on the downfall, paying tax for the minimum gains seems unreasonable for investors. On the other hand, even cryptocurrency enthusiasts are suggesting investors to withdraw their Shiba Inu investment before it is too late.Surprisingly, during festival seasons, Shiba Inu investment in India took a major turn. Similar to Indians’ investment in gold and other valuables, last year, they bought SHIB tokens. At the time of Diwali 2023, the Dogecoin competitor was positioned at the seventh position in the cryptocurrency market. Remarkably, Shiba Inu was experiencing a massive bull run at the time owing to the chúng tôi petition and FOMO. At the time when Shiba Inu was going to the moon, it took many early investors with it. Even people who bought US$8,000 SHIB tokens happen to bang on US$5.7 billion in mid-October. Several others who held the Dogecoin killer profited massively from their investments. Besides, it Dogecoin vs Shiba Inu fight in 2023 gave a major boost to both cryptocurrencies.Although Shiba Inu gained popularity in a short span of time, it managed to stay in investors’ wallets for the long term. Even when Shiba Inu and Dogecoin lost their position in the top 10 cryptocurrency list, Indian investors still held on to the token. Owing to its extreme volatility, investors believed that SHIB could give another boost to their investment portfolio. Unfortunately, their dreams got shattered when the Indian government proposed to treat cryptocurrencies as financial assets while safeguarding small investors. When regulation on cryptocurrency taxation was finalized in February this year, Shiba Inu slowly started losing its ground. A couple of days before, the finance ministry has further clarified that India won’t allow offsetting loss on one crypto with profit from another. This came as a big blog to SHIB investors. With the Dogecoin competitor already losing value, compensating its fall with the gains from other cryptos was a good option. But since that too is unavailable, experts say that the investment in SHIB will fall drastically.
Farewell HomePod. It was probably Apple’s most misunderstood product, so it’s mostly unsurprising that Apple made the decision to discontinue it.
There was a huge chasm between what it really was, and what most people thought it was – and Apple’s marketing didn’t help …
Ask most people to tell you what a HomePod is, and they’ll tell you it’s Apple’s smart speaker. Refer specifically to the original HomePod, and they’ll say it’s Apple’s very over-priced smart speaker.
That would be true, if that’s what it was. As a smart speaker, HomePod was much more expensive than the competition, and less smart. I mean, if all you want is a smart speaker, you can pay less than 50 bucks to get an Echo Dot, and it’ll do more things than a HomePod. And now, thanks to the mini, if you specifically want an Apple smart speaker, $99 gets you one – with audio quality that satisfies most people.
But the original HomePod is not a smart speaker. It’s a really amazing value mid-range wireless speaker that is almost unrivaled in its price range. It uses audio technology that debuted in speakers costing tens of thousands of dollars, and was previously unavailable in anything costing less than four figures. Oh, and as the icing on the cake, it’s also smart.
For $349, and later $299, you were getting a speaker that outperformed ones costing $500. It should have sold at least as well as the Sonos Play 5 – which in my view it beat. Indeed, get a stereo pair for $600, and you had something that left the Sonos 5 in the dust.
So what went wrong?
I think for me it was two things. First, Apple’s marketing. Yes, the company did tout the audio credentials – but really only in passing. There was more emphasis on Apple Music (which most people considered inferior to Spotify) and Siri (which most people considered inferior to Alexa and Google Home). I’ve highlighted in bold the actual speaker marketing from Apple’s press release:
Second, the original HomePod, like the Sonos 5, sat in rather a niche slot. If you just want a wireless speaker, and are happy with audio quality in the okay-to-halfway-decent range, there are, well, endless options. If you want true hi-fi from major audio brands, then you’ll be paying four or five figures, and likely know what you want. A mid-range three-figure speaker sits between the two – which made it a product with a limited market. Mostly it seemed to be bought by people who had a hi-fi setup in their living room, and wanted good-quality speakers for other rooms.
Not only was it a niche product, but the niche in which it sat was already well-served by Sonos. If you want to spend a three-figure (or low four-figure) sum on sound quality that is extremely good without getting into full-on hi-fi territory, Sonos had you well covered. Many of those who would otherwise have bought HomePods were already invested in the Sonos ecosystem, and it made more sense to stick to that.
Apple is not known for making niche products, and even less so for continuing to sell them when they don’t meet a strategic goal for the company. I said in the introduction that the decision to end sales of the full-size HomePod is mostly unsurprising – but there are a couple of odd things about it.
Timing. Why launch the HomePod mini, and then later discontinue its big brother? It would have seemed more sensible to announce that Apple had listened, and people said they wanted a smaller, more affordable speaker, and here it is – farewell old one.
My guess is that the company wanted to see first how the mini sold. Whether the problem was that people didn’t want a $300 Apple speaker, or didn’t want an Apple speaker at all. Demand for the mini has clearly shown it was the former.
AirPods Max. That too is a niche audio product, and Apple must have known it. Why launch one while discontinuing the other?
My guess there is that AirPods Max are visible: People see them in the street. Not many, admittedly, but enough to maintain awareness and interest.
So I don’t entirely blame Apple for the decision, even though the problem was partly of the company’s own making. But I do think it’s a sad day, and I’m glad I have my multi-room HomePod setup complete. Farewell, HomePod; long live the ones we already own.
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However, while many of these days have their perks ― who doesn’t love a day centered on doughnuts? ― only some will relate to your business. However, with careful thought and planning, national days can help you grab the attention of both loyal and new customers.
This guide offers tips for small businesses that want to identify the best national days for their marketing strategy and how to harness them. Read ahead for a sample of national days and how you can integrate them into your marketing calendar.
Editor’s Note: Looking for information on social media management services? Use the questionnaire below and our vendor partners will contact you to provide you with the information you need:
Did You Know?
National days are a great way to use social media for business to connect with customers on an emotional level.5. National Opposite Day ― January 25
Turn your world upside down and say the opposite of what you actually mean all day. National Opposite Day offers the chance to get silly and create a print, digital or email marketing campaign with fun, eye-catching content.6. National Thank a Mail Carrier Day ― February 4
We all rely on the hard work of mail carriers and businesses are no exception. Even if you don’t ship your products or use direct mail marketing, there’s a good chance you rely on the postal service to receive supplies and important mail. Use this day to publicly thank mail carriers for keeping business moving ― customers might appreciate the gesture and become more likely to buy from you.7. National Pizza Day ― February 9
Americans love pizza so much that we eat 3 billion a year ― 4 billion if you count frozen pizzas. On this scrumptious national day, pizzerias can offer print and digital coupons to incentivize customers to celebrate this momentous occasion.8. Global Movie Day ― second Saturday in February
This international holiday celebrates the wonders of cinema. Appeal to the film buffs in your customer base and drive engagement with a social campaign via Instagram that asks your audience to share their favorite movies.9. Galentine’s Day ― February 13
The most important relationships aren’t always romantic. Give your customers tips on celebrating the strong female friendships in their life the day before Valentine’s Day.10. National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day ― March 1
Peanut butter makes a great companion for various ingredients. If you’re in foodservice and peanut butter isn’t on the menu, spotlight your products that go great with the nutty spread.11. National Employee Appreciation Day ― first Friday in March
This national day acknowledges that no matter your industry, your business can’t run without your employees. This is an excellent day to publicly thank your team for their hard work and show customers you care about your people.
Celebrate National Employee Appreciation Day with a video livestream introducing your behind-the-scenes employees.12. National Dress Day ― March 6
From little black dresses to colorful summer numbers, National Dress Day salutes this fashion staple. This day is an ideal opportunity for clothing retailers to showcase their best dresses in-store or online.13. International Women’s Day ― March 8
International Women’s Day lifts up women’s accomplishments and raises awareness about gender inequality around the globe. Demonstrate your organization’s commitment to closing the gender gap by recognizing this important day.14. National Napping Day ― the day after the return of daylight saving time
Adjusting daylight saving time usually leaves most of us a bit tired, so what better day to celebrate the art of the nap? If self-care is central to your brand, this is a great opportunity to remind your customer base that rest is essential.
Did You Know?
Some studies show that sleeping at work boosts productivity. National Napping Day might be a great day to test out the theory with your employees.15. National Handmade Day ― first Saturday in April
This national day elevates craftsmanship of all kinds. If you run a small business or Etsy shop with handmade products, highlight the love and care you put into every item with a video or photo series.16. National Siblings Day ― April 10
The bond between siblings is one of a kind. Use this day to highlight your story if you run a family-owned business or work with family.17. National Pet Day ― April 11
Who doesn’t love an excuse to celebrate our favorite furry friends? Pet-related social posts are already incredibly effective at driving customer engagement. Ask your followers to tag your products in pictures with their pets. If you’re a pet owner, spotlight your team’s furry friends on your socials or business blog.
National Pet Day is a great excuse to showcase your office pets if you allow them as a workplace perk.
Make a Snapchat geofilter and encourage patrons and nearby customers to share selfies that promote your brand.
April Fools’ Day is another great day to share your brand’s sense of humor with your target audience.41. National Sandwich Day ― November 3
Early November is the time to uplift this versatile lunchtime classic. Since there’s almost no limit to the ingredients you can use for a sandwich, this day can be relevant for a range of food vendors.42. World Kindness Day ― November 13
World Kindness Day reminds us that we can make the world a better place, even with our smallest actions. Emphasize the caring nature of your mission and urge your customers to commit random acts of kindness on this national day. Businesses can also commit to charitable contributions to demonstrate kindness.43. Black Friday ― the Friday after Thanksgiving
A huge sales day for retailers, Black Friday signals the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. With people on the lookout for bargains, this is a great opportunity to boost sales by offering exclusive deals and Black Friday discounts.44. Small Business Saturday ― the Saturday after Thanksgiving
First recognized in 2010, thanks to efforts from American Express, Small Business Saturday encourages customers to support small (and often local) retailers. Give your small business a boost and research campaigns early in the year to stand out when November rolls around.
Beef up your local marketing strategy as Small Business Saturday approaches to ensure you’re maximizing your chances of success.45. Giving Tuesday ― Tuesday after Thanksgiving
After a handful of shopping-focused national days, Giving Tuesday asks us to spend on a good cause. If your business partners with a charity or nonprofit organization, spotlight its important work. You can also demonstrate your commitment to corporate social responsibility and donate a percentage of proceeds from sales on Giving Tuesday.
Did You Know?
About 56 percent of Americans donate money to charities every year.46. National Bartender Day ― first Friday in December
Today is the day to thank your favorite mixologist. Bars and liquor vendors should note this day in their marketing plans ― and ensure they encourage customers to tip generously.47. National Cookie Day ― December 4
Cookies are already a big part of the holiday season, so it makes sense to give these classic treats a dedicated December holiday. This is a great day for bakeries to offer exclusive discounts. If you sell baking ingredients or appliances, consider a social campaign and ask your customers to tag you in photos of them enjoying homemade cookies.48. National Underdog Day ― third Friday in December
Everyone loves to cheer for an underdog, and it can certainly be argued that small businesses are underdogs in a large-business world. Target your customers with a video and tell a story about the history of your business. If your audience sees how much hard work you’ve put in, they may want to support and be part of your success.49. National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day ― December 16
Chocolate can improve many desserts or snacks so, naturally, there’s a day to praise all things chocolate-covered. Promote your chocolate-covered products or give customers some ideas on your ingredients that would pair well with cocoa.
Chocolates make excellent employee gifts and Secret Santa gifts during holiday festivities.
Set and measure the key performance indicators that best suit your national day campaign and use the results to inform future campaigns.5. Reassess the most important national days to target.
Like any marketing plan, your strategy for preparing for holidays will always be a work in progress. Prioritize reviewing the data you measured with each campaign and evaluate which campaigns are worth repeating ― and scrap what’s not worth the return on investment.Use national days to market when it makes sense
With so many national days to choose from, there’s likely to be at least one that fits your business and its message. Be mindful about which national days you mark on your calendar, then craft content that stands out. No matter where along your sales funnel you’re targeting, national days are a great chance to get creative and grow your business.
Bennett Conlin and Max Freedman contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.
This year Search Engine Journal will be attending Geno Prussakov’s Affiliate Manager Days in San Francisco on April 16-17. I would love to meetup with any Online Marketing gurus out there in the affiliate world. I had the chance to sit down with the founder of AMDays, Geno. We were able talk about what’s going on with Affiliate Management Days as well as the affiliate world and the top digital experts in the World. Here is the interview:
What is Affiliate Management Days?
What are the most common causes of channel conflict between affiliate programs and companies’ own SEM efforts?
What top digital marketing experts will be in San Francisco in April and what are they teaching?
Besides a plethora of affiliate marketing experts we’ll have a number of names that every digital marketer is familiar with. The conference will be opened with a keynote by Brian Massey where he will delve into the lessons we can learn from our best affiliates, while on day two we’ll have a keynote presentation by the godfather of web analytics, Jim Sterne who will speak on big data and how we can read and interpret it in the most meaningful way. We will also have Tim Ash hold his already-traditional “Live Landing Page Critiques” session, while Roger Dooley will share with the audience “Brainy Ways to Boost Conversion and Affiliate Loyalty.” Besides these, we’ll have digital marketing practitioners from such companies as Google Affiliate Network, Commission Junction, eBay Partner Network, AWeber, Deluxe, LivePerson and many others share their knowledge, case studies and practical lessons to improve the performance of our affiliate programs [full agenda here].
All SEJ readers are cordially invited to join me! Use discount code SEJ to receive 15% off registration.
If you’re attending please hit me up! I’d like to meet and chat PPC & SEO 🙂
Internet-connected intelligent gizmos had a big showing at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, and there is one common thread between many of them: Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant.
Lenovo has a new speaker featuring the assistant. Volkswagen and Ford are building Alexa into their cars. Plus, there’s a whole flotilla of other connected devices featuring Alexa, including a high-tech refrigerator from LG.
That’s not to say other virtual assistants aren’t doing the same thing, but Amazon is the clear winner by volume at CES.
So, what does that mean for the virtual assistant market, which includes competitors such as Microsoft’s Cortana, the Google Assistant and Apple’s Siri?
Those companies need to start doing the same things Amazon has done, Gartner Research Director Werner Goertz said.
There’s still room to compete, in part because Amazon’s dominance doesn’t extend beyond the connected home, Goertz said in an interview.
“But, the longer the other guys wait — specifically, the longer Cortana and Siri wait — the more insurmountable this obstacle is going to become,” he said.
Some of Amazon’s competitors took different approaches. Microsoft and Google each announced integration tools for their assistants later in the year and have kept third-party integrations available to consumers limited to a small number of partners.
Amazon’s early move helped it land the deal with Volkswagen, for example. A representative for the carmaker at its booth at CES called out Amazon’s early move with SDKs as a key reason for implementing it instead of something like the Google Assistant.
Another reason Amazon may have such a lead is that the Echo can serve as a smart-home hub without requiring gadget manufacturers to work directly with one another.
From Microsoft’s perspective, Amazon’s lead in numbers is at least somewhat by design. Ryan Gavin, the general manager for search and Cortana, said in an interview that the company doesn’t see this as a race to get the most integrations. Instead, Microsoft wants to promote integrations that fit Cortana’s mission of improving productivity.
But that’s almost what you’d expect the company to say, considering that Amazon is far ahead of them with the number of connected devices available for its assistant.
Google could have been in Amazon’s position but got lost in the weeds with Nest, the smart-home hardware company it acquired in 2014, said Patrick Moorhead, the president and principal analyst for Moor Insights and Strategy.
“Microsoft had more important things to work out, like other AI implementations,” he said in an email. “Cortana is world class, but doesn’t have a smart-home ecosystem to control. That is changing, of course.”
It’s worth noting that Amazon still has a long way to go when it comes to attracting users of Alexa. The Echo is only available in the U.S., which is an incredibly small user base compared with the 37 countries where Siri is available.
That’s not to say Amazon won’t be expanding its virtual assistant’s horizons, but just that its worldwide dominance is not assured. And it will have no shortage of competitors. LG and Sony each showed off their own virtual assistants at CES, while Microsoft and Google are hardly standing still.
For example, Moorhead expects Microsoft and Google to take the lead in making virtual assistants for PCs, smartphones and tablets.
It will be interesting to see how these virtual-assistant ecosystems shake out. Right now, each player has its own home base: Siri on the iPhone, Cortana on the PC, Google on its hardware and Alexa on the Echo. Over the next few years, it seems likely that they’ll try to cement their presence on other platforms.
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