World Oceans Day in SA

first_imgThe great white shark, a protected speciesin South Africa. (Image: Brian Skerry,National Geographic) Gansbaai, on South Africa’s south-westerncoast, is a well-known shark hotspot.(Image: Chas Everitt)Janine ErasmusSouth Africa commemorated World Oceans Day and the declaration of 2009 as the International Year of the Shark by highlighting the country’s continuing commitment to shark conservation.Water and Environmental Affairs minister Buyelwa Sonjica hosted the commemorative event held on 8 June in Gansbaai (Afrikaans, meaning “bay of geese”) in the Western Cape, situated just south of Hermanus.The national theme for 2009 was “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future”, a message that highlights the need for careful consideration of the oceans in any climate change strategy.World Oceans Day falls in South Africa’s national environment month of June, which also focuses on climate change in 2009.The ocean and the atmosphere are closely linked, as the ocean generates oxygen and soaks up excess carbon dioxide – some experts say as much as 40% of all carbon dioxide produced by human activity. The ocean also provides millions of people with food and a livelihood, and its health and the future survival of all living creatures are inextricably bound.This is the first observation of World Oceans Day, which was declared by the United Nations as 8 June each year, starting in 2009 with the official theme of “Our Oceans, Our Responsibility”.Shark conservationSonjica described South Africa’s continuing progress towards a better understanding of the importance of sharks.“For several years we have committed to study these animals both for improving our understanding of their often secretive behaviour and for understanding our marine ecosystems,” she said. “South Africa, in addition to our research efforts, has also taken management measures to reduce the impact of fisheries on sharks.”Sonjica announced that South Africa is to terminate all pelagic shark fishing in its waters by the end of 2009. No new permits have been granted since 2005 and South Africa is currently in the final stage of phasing out the industry altogether.There are seven companies operating with special permission and the ministry plans to give these fisheries rights in swordfish and tuna longline fishing only, with sharks as a bycatch.The ministry has also reduced the number of right holders in the demersal, or bottom-dwelling, shark longline fishery to just six, and will monitor populations of the relevant species to determine whether further reductions are needed.Dignitaries at the event were treated to a cage dive, where they were able to see the sleek creatures at close range in their own habitat. They also learned about shark tagging and the numerous ways in which tagging helps scientists gather valuable information about the movement and population of sharks.Shark attractionCage diving with great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias) is Gansbaai’s primary tourist attraction, and the town is viewed as a major great white hub. Whale watching is another tourist drawcard, with southern right whales often seen in the waters around the town.Ecotourism contributes at least US$6.1-million (R50-million) every year to South Africa’s GDP. Sonjica added that proposals currently under consideration may soon see the shark, together with the whale, marketed as part of the big seven – that is, the big five plus the two marine mammals that bring so many visitors to South Africa’s shores.Dyer Island, 8km off Gansbaai’s shore, is a nature reserve for marine birds and a well-known site for shark conservation efforts.Protected speciesSouth Africa has always led the way in shark conservation. In 1991 the country became the first ever to classify the great white shark as a protected species and to ban outright the killing of the magnificent creatures within 320km of its coastline.South Africa was followed by Namibia, Maldives, Malta, the US, and Australia in introducing legislation to protect sharks. The great white is currently classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).Other sharks under threat include the black shark, the Chilean angel shark, the dusky shark, the leopard shark and the great hammerhead. There are over 200 species of shark on the IUCN Red List of endangered animals.A number of shark conservation programmes operate in South Africa, among them the White Shark Trust in the Dyer Island area, the White Sharks Projects based in Kleinbaai, south of Gansbaai, and Oceans Research based in Mossel Bay.The Natal Sharks Board has promoted the conservation of sharks for over 40 years. In mid-2008 the SOS Foundation (Save Our Seas) opened a shark research and education centre in Kalk Bay, south of Cape Town on the Cape peninsula.National plan of actionThe great white has gained an almost mythological reputation as a ruthless killer, a state of affairs perpetrated by the media, but the truth is that this predator does not specifically target humans.Experts believe many of the attacks happen through sheer curiosity, with the shark biting the unfamiliar object in the water just to see what it is. In most cases the shark releases the victim immediately, and the majority of fatalities occur through subsequent loss of blood.As predators, sharks also play a vital role in the balance of the marine ecosystem. However, the animals are threatened by wholesale slaughter of their numbers for shark fin soup, commercial longline fishing and the associated tragedy of bycatch, and habitat loss.South Africa plans to publish its national plan of action for the conservation and management of sharks, based on the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation‘s 1977 international plan of action, later in 2009. The international document encourages countries to draft their own national plans and contribute to the worldwide effort to save the shark.“This will place us as a world leader in shark conservation and management where we rightly belong,” said Sonjica, adding that strategies likely to be covered by the plan include research on sharks and shark attacks, marine protected areas and the protection of sharks within those areas, and collaboration with other countries in shark research.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Contact Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com.Related articlesSaving our vulnerable sharksSouth Africa’s shark whispererBig fish, big teeth, big bucksCagey crafts from cage divingUseful linksInternational Year of the SharkSouth African White Shark Research InstituteWhite Shark ProjectsWhite Shark TrustOceans ResearchDepartment of Water and Environmental Affairslast_img read more

Key tech players create non-profit AI alliance

first_imgHow Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… Tags:#AI#Amazon#artificial intelligence#Deep Mind#Elon Musk#Facebook#Google#IBM#Machine Learning#Microsoft Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Follow the Puck Related Posts center_img Tech giants Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google’s DeepMind, Facebook have joined forces to create a non-profit alliance called Partnership on Artificial Intelligence to Benefit People and Society that will work to advance public understanding of artificial intelligence technologies (AI) and formulate best practices on the challenges and opportunities within the field.Academics, non-profits, and specialists in policy and ethics will be invited to join the Board of the organization.The objective of the partnership is to address opportunities and challenges with AI technologies to benefit people and society. Together, the organization’s members will conduct research, recommend best practices, and publish research under an open license in fr areas such as ethics, fairness, and inclusivity; transparency, privacy, and interoperability; collaboration between people and AI systems; and the trustworthiness, reliability, and robustness of the technology.The organization’s founding members will each contribute financial and research resources to the partnership and will share leadership with independent third-parties, including academics, user group advocates, and industry domain experts. There will be equal representation of corporate and non-corporate members on the board of this new organization.Eric Horvitz, Technical Fellow & Managing Director, Microsoft Research said:“We’re excited about this historic collaboration on AI and its influences on people and society. We see great value ahead with harnessing AI advances in numerous areas, including health, education, transportation, public welfare, and personal empowerment. We’re extremely pleased with how early discussions among colleagues blossomed into a promising long-term collaboration. Beyond folks in industry, we’re thrilled to have other stakeholders at the table, including colleagues in ethics, law, policy, and the public at large. We look forward to working arm-in-arm on best practices and on such important topics as ethics, privacy, transparency, bias, inclusiveness, and safety.”Who’s in…and who’s outInterestingly it does cialisgeneriquefr24.com not intend to lobby government or other policymaking bodies, yet members will presumably include legal professionals. After all, it’s likely that there will be significant challenges to the rule of law, at least in the developed world, as AI advances into all echelons of society and policy in a broad range of areas from health care to military analytics. The law in general has traditionally struggled to maintain pace with the rapid advancements of technological innovation.Notably absent are Apple and Open AI, the non-profit research think tank created by Elon Musk in 2015, though it’s possible they will be late additions. It’s foreseeable that as AI develops as the next industrial revolution, preceded by IoT, that a number of watchdog organizations will develop to respond to the challenges of AI particularly in regard to changes to the workforce in some sectors and the social challenges like robotic ethics. The next few years will be a time of fascinating research and discussions for all. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Cate Lawrencelast_img read more

Gin Kings keep Aces winless

first_imgSonny Thoss was just the third man in twin digits for Alaska with 11.Meanwhile, Star slugs it out with Rain or Shine on Sunday afternoon, looking to not only remain the only undefeated team but also to move closer to the first playoff spot at Smart Araneta Coliseum in Cubao.The Hotshots have a 4-0 record and will come into the 4:30 p.m. contest as the favorites over the Elasto Painters, who will welcome back Gilas Pilipinas stalwarts Gabe Norwood and Raymond Almazan.Coach Chito Victolero has been bracing for this game for quite a while now as it starts a tough stretch for his Hotshots, who will clash with Barangay Ginebra next Sunday before colliding with Meralco.Those are first-rate teams and Victolero got the jumpstart he was hoping for last week when Star ran roughshod over Phoenix Petroleum, 100-81.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief “The players are jelling well and are learning their roles,” Victolero said. “This (game against the Painters) will be very crucial for us because it starts a tough stretch for us.”A win would shove the Hotshots to within another victory of nailing the first quarterfinal slot, though Victolero has been very vocal about what the true target of his squad is.“Of course, we want to finish in the top four,” he said as the first four placers earn twice-to-beat privileges in the first round. “But we are taking it one game at a time and we cannot look past any opponent.”Grand Slam-seeking San Miguel Beer, after dusting off the rust in a 115-112 nipping of GlobalPort on Friday, battles rejuvenated NLEX at 6:45 p.m.NLEX has a 5-2 record and can claim the first playoff slot with an upset of the powerhouse Beermen. WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding From mall to medal: Journey on skates ends in gold Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:41RSA reminds Ginebra to stay humble after back-to-back PBA titles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games SEA Games: PH’s Alisson Perticheto tops ice skating short program UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspension Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses PBA IMAGESCEBU—It was hard to see anything that would say that Barangay Ginebra was coming off a 21-day break.With three men in its starting lineup finishing with double-doubles and Japeth Aguilar coming off the bench to carve one of his own, Ginebra plastered Alaska, 94-80, to win a fourth straight game and stay in the upper half of the PBA Governors’ Cup standings.ADVERTISEMENT Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games LIST: Class, gov’t work suspensions during 30th SEA Games The Gin Kings were dominant right from the start of the Petron Saturday Special Game at Hoops Dome here as they buried the Aces in an avalanche of baskets early to take command and eventually rise to 4-1.Alaska, on the other hand, still didn’t see an end to its franchise mark in futility, dropping to 0-6 overall after losing its 14th straight game dating back to the Commissioner’s Cup. And this one was the most lopsided in this tournament as the Aces simply didn’t have an answer to Ginebra’s game-long intensity.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutJustin Brownlee had 22 points and 10 rebounds, Greg Slaughter contributed 12 and 13, and Scottie Thompson missed a triple double by just two points after plucking down 11 boards and issuing 10 assists.Calvin Abueva, Alaska’s big contribution to the Gilas Pilipinas program, finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but import LeDontae Henton sealed his 10th point only inside the final minute when the game was all but decided. LATEST STORIES Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next View commentslast_img read more

UAAP Starting 5: Week 3

first_imgMOST READ Reigning MVP Ben Mbala returned like he never left and University of the Philippines showed it’s a force to reckon with after taking down defending champion De La Salle in a game that saw the Fighting Maroons hit a record-setting 16 3-pointers.READ: UAAP Starting 5: Weeks 1 and 2FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCenter: Ben Mbala (La Salle Green Archers) Ben Mbala. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAfter representing Cameroon in the 2017 Fiba Afrobasket, the MVP returned in style. Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients  Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. LATEST STORIES Read Next View comments E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad  Jun Manzo. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDesiderio wasn’t the lone Maroon, who posed problems for the Green Archers. After Desiderio lit up in the third quarter, Jun Manzo took his turn to finish La Salle off.Manzo had nine of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, scoring late buckets that kept the Green Archers down for the count. Honorable mentions:Ron Dennison (Far Eastern University)Ron Dennison. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThere’s a dilemma concerning Ron Dennison. As good as he is for FEU, he plays the same position as Ravena and that’s a tough competition to win considering that Ateneo has also remained undefeated. Still, Dennison is on a class of his own and his 15 points plus his defensive leadership against UST puts him on this seven-man list.Papi Sarr (Adamson Falcons) Papi Sarr. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPapi Sarr was decent in his first game in Season 80 as he put up 10 points and four rebounds in Adamson’s 88-81 win over UST, but it was in his past two games the 6-foot-8 big man showed his quality. The Adamson center, who is still trying to regain top form after suffering a groin injury before the season started, averaged 15.5 points and 14.5 rebounds against La Salle and National University. center_img BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Mbala averaged 33 points and 11 rebounds and although La Salle split its first two games with the menacing big man back, there was no better center in the league than him.Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University)Arvin Tolentino. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netRebounding and defense isn’t exactly Arvin Tolentino’s strong suit, yet he delivered when Far Eastern University needed a presence in the middle.Prince Orizu played on and off for the Tamaraws against University of Santo Tomas due to illness and Tolentino took it upon himself to provide the muscle. Tolentino put up season-highs in scoring and rebounding to lead the Tamaraws over the Growling Tigers with 15 points and 10 boards.ADVERTISEMENT In the three games prior to FEU’s match against UST, Tolentino only averaged exactly five boards a game and 9.6 points.Forward: Thirdy Ravena (Ateneo Blue Eagles)Thirdy Ravena. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netAteneo had just one game the past week, but boy did Thirdy Ravena make it worth watching.Ateneo currently owns the best record in the league with a 4-0 slate and it’s largely because of Ravena’s strong play.The senior wingman led the Blue Eagles in their 83-65 rout of University of the East with 21 points, on an efficient 7-of-12 shooting, while grabbing eight rebounds.Guard: Paul Desiderio (UP Fighting Maroons)Paul Desiderio. Photo By Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netThe legend of Paul Desiderio continues to grow.Desiderio was hell-bent on toppling the Green Archers and he did that by pouring in a career performance that made him Diliman’s most beloved person in a jersey.The senior guard unleashed 16 third-quarter points to post a career-high 30 and all the while keeping a straight face as La Salle searched for a way to stop him. Guard: Jun Manzo (UP Fighting Maroons) Corey Kluber gets 18th win as Indians beat Mariners Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. It had been quite a whirlwind week in the UAAP.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more

10.5-second goal sets Spurs on way to win over Man United

first_imgSuns guard Isaiah Canaan breaks ankle in gruesome injury MOST READ “Unlucky is a different thing than ridiculous,” Mourinho said. “And after that Tottenham has the game in their hands.”It was a damaging defeat for Mourinho’s team, with Manchester City allowed to surge 15 points clear of its second-place neighbor by beating West Bromwich Albion 3-0.United was second-best all night in front of a Premier League record 81,978 fans at English soccer’s national stadium, which is Tottenham’s temporary home while a new venue is being built at White Hart Lane.Tottenham set the tone with its explosive start, producing the third fastest goal since the Premier League’s inception in 1992.After the kickoff, Jan Vertonghen’s high, long pass from inside his own half reached Harry Kane who headed to Dele Alli and the midfielder flicked the ball across for Eriksen to finish.ADVERTISEMENT “We prepare that situation,” Pochettino said, “… and give the signal to the opposition that we want to play in the opposition half and dominate the game and put pressure on them.”United should have been more alert, based on its preparations.“After kickoff is ridiculous, especially ridiculous because the players they watched it before, we analyze opponents,” Mourinho said. “The players knew the long ball, they knew Harry Kane normally he is already inside, before the kickoff, he is already inside the opponent. We knew everything and then we don’t press the ball.”Mourinho broke down United’s shortcomings in detail.“One mistake, we don’t clean the ball in the air,” he said. “Second mistake, we don’t win the second ball on the ground. Third mistake, we don’t cover the fullback inside when Eriksen comes. Four mistakes.”It was timed at only 0.1 seconds slower than Alan Shearer’s 10.4-second goal in 2003 for Newcastle against Manchester City. Tottenham does hold the record, with Ledley King netting after 9.9 seconds at Bradford in 2000.“One of the criticisms of ourselves over the last couple of weeks was our slow starts, it was something we wanted to improve on and we definitely did today,” Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier said. “We were in control of the game from beginning to end, we came out and pressed them and didn’t give them any time. They suffered under it.”For a Tottenham side that couldn’t even beat fourth-tier Newport in the FA Cup on Saturday — drawing 1-1 — beating United so convincingly reasserted its top-four credentials.Tottenham is two points outside the Champions League places in fifth, and heads to third-place Liverpool on Sunday. Liverpool felt the full force of Tottenham’s formidable counterattacking potency in October when Juergen Klopp’s side lost 4-1 at Wembley but inconsistency has proved costly.“You can win a game if you’re ready to fight,” Pochettino said, reflecting on a third successive home win over United. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: 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 City LATEST STORIES Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was rarely troubled by one of the league’s most-expensively assembled teams, with only one save of significance required to block a shot from Romelu Lukaku.With the title appearing unattainable, United will have to settle with locking down second place for the team’s highest-place finish since Alex Ferguson won a record-extending English title in 2013 before retiring.“The distance to the leader was already considerable, even before this match,” Mourinho said. John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoisescenter_img Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers “It feels a bit weird to score from your first touch,” Eriksen said after Tottenham’s 2-0 victory.Jose Mourinho watched aghast. “Ridiculous,” was the United manager’s assessment after his conceded for the first time since Dec. 26.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut not quite as hard to fathom as the second goal.On a night when Mourinho’s side was outrun and new recruit Alexis Sanchez struggled to make an impact, United’s pitiful performance was summed up by the own-goal that sealed Tottenham’s win. Phil Jones inadvertently turned Kieran Trippier’s cross into his own net in the 28th minute when the United defender was under no immediate pressure. AFP official booed out of forum View comments Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen, center with back to camera, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United at Wembley stadium in London, England, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)ONDON — Watched by the Premier League’s biggest-ever crowd, Tottenham scored one of the competition’s fastest goals.Manchester United hadn’t even had a chance to touch the ball when Christian Eriksen put the ball in the net after 10.5 seconds at Wembley Stadium on Wednesday.ADVERTISEMENT Read Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PHlast_img read more

Massachusetts’ Top Companies, Ranked by Search Engine Authority

first_img SEO Originally published May 21, 2009 8:26:00 AM, updated October 01 2019 Topics: Earlier this week The Boston Globe released its Globe 100 — its annual list of the top 100 public companies in Massachusetts, “ranked by composite performance score.” We pay close attention to our neighbors (particularly their inbound marketing needs and practices), so we thought we’d offer an alternative ranking: search engine authority. We took the The Globe 100, ran their websites through Website Grader, then sorted them according to grade. The results are below (the links will take you to each company’s Website Grader report).So what’s the big difference between companies at the top of the list, and those at the bottom?In a word: content. Top-ranked Progress Software has almost 8,000 indexed pages. As a result, they have a much better chance of winning the SEO lottery than last-placed MicroFinancial (9 indexed pages). You’ll see a similar gap between most top- and bottom-ranked companies. Progress Software Corp. (www.progress.com) 99.8Staples (www.staples.com) 99.5Raytheon Co. (www.raytheon.com) 99.3EMC Corp. (www.emc.com) 97.6Parametric Technology Corp. (www.ptc.com) 96.8Analog Devices (www.analog.com) 96.4Forrester Research (www.forrester.com) 95.5Iron Mountain (www.ironmountain.com) 95.5BJ’s Wholesale Club (www.bjs.com) 95.1Airvana (www.airvana.com) 95.1Pegasystems (www.pega.com) 94Sapient Corp. (www.sapient.com) 93Akamai Technologies (www.akamai.com) 93Zoll Medical Corp. ( www.zoll.com) 93NetScout Systems (www.netscout.com) 93Monotype Imaging Holdings (www.monotypeimaging.com) 93NStar (www.nstaronline.com) 92American Science and Engineering (www.as-e.com) 92Bitstream (www.bitstream.com) 92VistaPrint Ltd. (www.vistaprint.com) 91UniFirst Corp. (www.unifirst.co) 91PerkinElmer (www.perkinelmer.com) 91Sonesta International Hotels Corp. (www.sonesta.com) 91Hittite Microwave Corp. (www.hittite.com) 91Double-Take Software (www.doubletake.com) 91iRobot Corp. (www.irobot.com) 91Parexel International Corp. (www.parexel.com) 90Waters Corp. (www.waters.com) 90SeaChange International (www.schange.com) 90Independent Bank Corp. (www.rocklandtrust.com) 90 Millipore Corp. (www.millipore.com) 89Genzyme Corp. (www.genzyme.com) 89Aspect Medical Systems (www.aspectmedical.com) 89Eaton Vance Corp. (www.eatonvance.com) 89Aware (www.aware.com) 89Safety Insurance Group (www.safetyinsurance.com) 89CRA International (www.crai.com) 88Clean Harbors (www.cleanharbors.com) 87Thermo Fisher Scientific (www.fishersci.com) 87Varian Semiconductor Equipment (www.vsea.com) 86Berkshire Hills Bancorp (www.berkshirebank.com) 85Boston Beer Co. (www.bostonbeer.com) 85Skyworks Solutions (www.skyworksinc.com) 84Phase Forward (www.phaseforward.com) 84Harvard Bioscience (www.harvardbioscience.com) 84Brookline Bancorp (www.brooklinebank.com) 84Cognex Corp. (www.cognex.com)  83Cubist Pharmaceuticals (www.cubist.com) 82Sepracor (www.sepracor.com) 82Cabot Corp. (www.cabot-corp.com) 82Hanover Insurance Group (www.hanover.com) 82Chicopee Bancorp (www.chicopeesavings.com) 82L.S. Starrett Co. (www.starrett.com) 81Alkermes (www.alkermes.com) 80Five Star Quality Care (www.5sqc.com) 80American Tower Corp. ( www.americantower.com) 79State Street Corp. (www.statestreet.com) 78IPG Photonics Corp. (www.ipgphotonics.com) 78UFP Technologies (www.ufpt.com) 78Repligen Corp. (www.repligen.com) 78Beacon Roofing Supply (www.beaconroofingsupply.com) 77Hingham Institution for Savings (www.hinghamsavings.com) 77Affiliated Managers Group (www.amg.com) 77TJX Cos. (www.tjx.com) 75Interactive Data Corp. (www.interactivedata.com) 75Haemonetics Corp. (www.haemonetics.com) 75Altra Holdings (www.altramotion.com) 74United Financial Bancorp (www.bankatunited.com) 73Wainwright Bank & Trust Co. (www.wainwrightbank.com) 73Valpey Fisher Corp. (www.valpeyfisher.com) 72Starent Networks Corp. (www.starentnetworks.com) 71Biogen IDEC (www.biogenidec.com) 71Cynosure (www.cynosurelaser.com) 71 HRPT Properties Trust (www.hrpreit.com) 70Senior Housing Properties Trust (www.snhreit.com) 69Watts Water Technologies (www.wattswater.com) 69Datawatch Corp. (www.datawatch.com) 69 Mac-Gray Corp. (www.macgray.com) 68Century Bancorp (www.century-bank.com) 67Benjamin Franklin Bancorp (www.benfranklinbank.com) 67Enterprise Bancorp (www.enterprisebankandtrust.com) 67Analogic Corp. (www.analogic.com) 65Acme Packet (www.acmepacket.com) 65Arrhythmia Research Technology (www.arthrt.com) 64Westfield Financial (www.westfieldbank.com) 63Hospitality Properties Trust (www.hptreit.com) 62Legacy Bancorp (www.legacybancorp.com) 60Boston Properties (www.bostonproperties.com) 60Bruker Corp. (www.bruker-biosciences.com) 59Psychemedics Corp. (www.psychemedics.com) 59MKS Instruments (www.mksinstruments.com) 59Steinway Musical Instruments (www.steinwaymusical.com) 58CSP (www.cspi.com) 56Global Partners (www.globalp.com) 51Anika Therapeutics (www.anikatherapeutics.com) 46Tech/Ops Sevcon (www.sevcon.com) 45Chase Corp. (www.chasecorp.com) 43Franklin Street Properties (www.franklinstreetproperties.com) 41Atlantic Tele-Network (www.atni.com) 40MicroFinancial (www.microfinancial.com) 33Globe 100 Rank versus WSG Score Trend ChartSearch Engine Optimization Kit Learn more about how you can optimize your site to rank higher in search engines so you get found by more qualified prospects. Download our search engine optimization kit. 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

Is Google Buzz’s Real Purpose To Be a Buzz Killer?

first_img Does Google not have more to gain than anyone by Twitter, Facebook and others going belly up?  Are they trying to kill the social media buzz? Another member of our team made the comment that he couldn’t even figure out how Google Buzz had made the connection to one of his personal blogs.  When we drilled in, it wasn’t mentioned on his Google Profile and we finally figured out that Google connected the dots from his Google Analytics profile.  I have a problem with a company connecting the dots like this and not telling us what other dots they are connecting or how our usage of their tools affects the greater good. In a recent blog post to learn how to get your company started with social media. Originally published Feb 15, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 97% of Google’s revenue comes from selling online advertising Download the free webinar Gmail has about 176 million accounts I will be upfront in saying this post is supposed to stimulate you to think about the monopoly known as Google. Webinar: How to Sell Social Media to Your Boss on the KeChange Internet Marketing blog, the question was asked if Buzz is just putting us this much closer to popping the social media bubble?  With another social media site to keep up with, it is a good question because at some point we are all going to throw up our hands.  Who wants to keep up with so many different profiles?  I would answer this question with another: Would Google not love more than anyone for the social media bubble to pop?  Before I go any further, let me just say to any marketer that Buzz doesn’t change the rules of the game.  You still have to create fantastic content, promote it accordingly and have obvious compelling offers to be successful.  At this point, Google probably knows more about you than the government does.  Okay, so maybe this is just me and you aren’t so transparent on the Web, but let’s talk about ways they potentially gather data about your behavior.  Google collects specific user behavior in ways including Gmail, Google Analytics, YouTube, AdWords, Google Search, Feedburner, and I really could go on for a while here.  If you watch and Karen Rubin Chew on this for a minute…  With people who “used” to visit your website now consuming your content not only through Google Reader but also now sharing and consuming it through Google Buzz, Google is collecting unprecedented amount of data on popular content.  How do we know that this doesn’t affect search results?  We know Google is starting to bend some of the traditional rules through personal search, but this potentially adds a whole new wrinkle to the equation.  Not only that, but it would be a little challenging to conduct a test to see if this is even the case. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack by Brittney Bush , and with the introduction of Google Wave and now Buzz I think it is time for a quick update.  Remember, Google is first and foremost an advertising company.  Brian Whalleycenter_img Is Google Killing Social Media Buzz? .  If you read any of the Twitter news (Really, who can avoid it over the last year?), then you have probably heard how Google has tried to purchase Twitter on a few occasions.  We talk a lot about social media and how real-time search is one of the next revolutions of the Web.  It is currently Facebook and Twitter who are actually leading this revolution, not Google.  It is hard to find updated accurate data, but it looks like about Google Buzz .  Karen made the comment on Friday, “Google knows enough about me to make an exact clone!”  She really isn’t that far off.  Social media guru Chris Brogan explains how to demonstrate the value of social media marketing. Couldn’t they have come up with a better name? Their historical biggest rival Yahoo already has a We even had a lunch pow-wow last week with some of the marketing experts at HubSpot to discuss Buzz.  I like to pretend that we have a few smart people floating around HubSpot, and even they didn’t fully understand the whole feature set.  Only Google could introduce an application like this and provide NO guide on how to use it besides a two minute video!  What is more shocking is this isn’t the first time that they have done it.  Remember Google Wave anyone?  Is this FriendFeed 2.0?  The signal to noise ratio in that network was unbearable, and I only used it for the RSS feed of my lifestream across networks. They Claim ‘Do No Evil,’ But Google Is Still Scary!   It was almost a year ago when I last wrote about .  Some would argue that they are a media company, but that is simply a technicality.  Yahoo Buzz! Miss Peacock In The Kitchen With A Knife you might recognize the name getting a grasp on Google Twitter has 75 million accounts HubSpot.TV Photo Credit:last_img read more

8 Ways to Leverage Social Media Beyond Social Networks

first_img Originally published Jan 17, 2012 3:45:00 PM, updated February 01 2017 More and more marketers are recognizing the importance of incorporating social media into their marketing mix. And if you’re still on the fence, consider the facts that 41% of B2B companies and 62% of B2C companies that use Facebook have acquired a customer because of it. In addition, companies that use Twitter average 2x more leads than those that don’t.But are you considering all the various ways you can effectively leverage social media? If your social media participation occurs just within the walls of social sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+, you’re missing out on some great opportunities to benefit from social media in other marketing channels and efforts. Here are 8 great ways to start extending the power of social media beyond their individual websites.8 Ways to Leverage Social Media Beyond Social Networks1. Add Social Follow Buttons to Your Website: The first thing you’ll need to do maximize your social media presence is increase your reach. A bigger reach means a better opportunity to spread your content and reach more potential customers. While there are a number of ways to do this, one great resource at your disposal is your own website. Make sure website visitors know where to find you in social media by adding social media subscription/follow buttons to various parts of your website. Great places for these include your homepage, your blog, your ‘About Us’ page, and your ‘Contact Us’ page.2. Add Social Sharing Buttons to Your Content: Another great way to use your website to help leverage the power of social media and extend the reach of your content is to use social media sharing buttons. These buttons will allow website visitors and those consuming your content to easily share it with their individual networks, enabling you to reach people who may not have heard of you or your awesome content yet. Add these buttons to every piece of content you create — blog articles, ebooks, case studies, landing pages, and other website content.3. Integrate Social Media and Email Marketing: These days, including social components in your email marketing messages is simply a best practice. Adding social sharing and follow buttons to your emails will extend the reach of your email sends beyond the recipients in your email database, expanding the reach of your content and brand.4. Get Creative With Embeddable Tweets: Twitter recently launched the ability to embed tweets to your website, giving marketers a great opportunity to leverage the popularity of this social network directly on their own websites. Read this post to learn how to add embeddable tweets to your website as well as some creative ways to leverage them by curating content, showcasing customer testimonials, create a more social newsroom, etc.5. Use Facebook Social Plugins: Are you aware of all the different social plugins Facebook offers? These plugins enable you to make the most out of the most popular social network and add social proof to your own site. Take a look at the various social plugins available for Facebook, and consider adding the ones that make sense for your business. If you have a Facebook business page, you’ll likely want to install the Like Box on your website/blog to encourage website visitors to become Facebook fans, as Search Engine Land has done on its blog (see right).6. Leverage Your Existing Customer Evangelists: Your business’ current customers can have some serious leverage, helping to endorse your products/services and content, thus extending your reach. Make sure the customers you have are following you in social media so they can share content and help you generate new leads and customers. Simply draft an email to your customers to let them know about your social presence and explain the value in them following you there. And be sure to provide an obvious link to follow whichever social network(s) you’re promoting.7. Nurture Leads With Social Media: Email is what most marketers think of when you mention the term lead nurturing, but email isn’t the only way you can nurture your leads. And considering 50% of the leads you generate are qualified by not yet ready to buy, your marketing program will greatly benefit from lead nurturing. Provide a good mix of content in your social media updates, including top-of-the-funnel, educational content like blog posts and ebooks as well as more middle-of-the-funnel content and offers like links to your free trial or product webinars. Additionally, use your lead management software to gather some social intelligence about your leads. Are they on Twitter? Did a lead just attend one of your webinars? Tweet at them on Twitter and ask how they liked the webinar, or use marketing automation tools to do it for you.8. Use Social Media Intelligence for Sales Prospecting: Social media can still be a useful tool even after leads are passed off to the sales team. Empower your salespeople to use social media and social media intelligence as part of their processes as well. Teach them how to identify valuable information and social cues from their leads that will aid the sales process, and help them understand how they could use this information to help them engage with leads and close sales more efficiently.What other ways can you use social media outside of social networks in your other marketing channels and tactics? Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Social Media Strategy Topics:last_img read more

Which Marketing Analytics Should You Be Looking At?

first_imgAccess to so much data has made marketing analytics overwhelming for many a marketer. We have traffic data, conversion data, lead data, email marketing data, social media data … the list goes on. Figuring out what data to pull, and when, is the tricky part.While no two businesses are alike, often they’ll find themselves facing similar problems, and unsure of how to use data to guide them through their decision-making processes.With that in mind, I tried to think through some common scenarios marketers find themselves in, and what data they’d want to pull from their marketing analytics solution to help guide their decision-making. Take a look, and see if you find yourself in any of these stages yourself.Scenario #1: You need brand awareness.Most businesses will get to a point where they need to think about brand awareness. The company could be an early stage startup creating their brand identity for the first time, or a more mature company looking to do a rebrand. You’ll ask yourself: Do people recognize their company and/or logo when they see it? What do people know about their company? What does someone think about when they hear their brand’s name? Analytics can help you get to an answer to these questions.Look at traffic.Increasing the amount of traffic to your website is important as you begin to gain more brand awareness. Take a look at the different sources that are sending traffic to your site to figure out what channels are the most successful. The amount of traffic coming from each particular channel can help you figure out how to tailor your marketing efforts in the future.You should also look at how much traffic is coming to your homepage, specifically. Traffic that comes to your homepage is branded traffic — in other words, they already know your company name, and are visiting you as a result. Compare this amount to traffic coming to other pages of your site, or through sources other than direct traffic. Look at how that number is changing month-over-month.If you’re a HubSpot customer, you can use HubSpot’s Source’s report to help you get this insight. Topics: Originally published Apr 21, 2014 11:00:00 AM, updated February 01 2017 Marketing Analyticscenter_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Look at search engine rankings.As your company creates more content to generate more awareness, you should see an uptick in your search engine rankings for keywords that are important to you. But if you’re focused on branding, you should look for an improvement in traffic driven from brand-specific terms, in particular.Create more content around keywords that you want to rank for on search engines, and drive site traffic for at a greater volume. This article will help you get started on your keyword research so you can create content that helps you do that.Look at social media reach.Finally, a wide social media reach can be a good indicator of brand awareness. Look at how big your following is across each social network, as well as how engaged that following is. If you don’t have a big social media reach, consider looking at how often your content is shared. Remember, just because you don’t have a lot of fans or followers doesn’t mean your content isn’t popular on social media, giving your brand more exposure as a result.Scenario #2: You need to grow your database.Sometimes a ton of visitors to your site isn’t enough anymore — branding aside, you need people to convert on your site and become leads in your database. Or, perhaps you’ve got leads in your database already, but you’ve nurtured them to oblivion and you’ve neglected to keep feeding the funnel.Either way, you have a hungry sales organization and database growth is critical. Here are some metrics to look at to help in this scenario.Look at blog visits.Creating more content on your blog gives you more opportunities to rank for relevant queries in search engines. Use your analytics to see if your blog is helping you achieve this — if your traffic is growing on your blog, it’s a good sign your lead growth could follow. If traffic is flat or declining to your blog, this will be the first thing to remedy in your quest for a growing leads database.Look at social media reach.Social media provides another opportunity for you to grow your leads database, and often can also help you grow that blog traffic (which will have an impact on database growth, as well).If social media reach has stagnated, start new discussions on different channels and start promoting interesting content more frequently — particularly your blog content. Look at landing page traffic and conversions.As your traffic grows on your TOFU channels, you’ll need to see whether they’re actually getting to your landing pages. That’s where the database growth actually happens, after all. Check your analytics to see if that traffic is viewing your landing pages and converting on them.If you’re seeing a ton of traffic to your landing pages, see where it’s coming from so you can optimize the source channels — whether that’s search engines, blog posts, social media, emails, etc. Additionally, it may make sense to compare the conversion on each page against each other to gain a better understanding of what your audience really wanted in terms of content; if certain topics or content formats yielded more conversions, it’d be wise to focus your content strategy there.HubSpot customers, you can check out your landing page analytics right from your landing page dashboard. Scenario #3: You need more qualified leads.Your business may be getting tens, hundreds, even thousands of leads in any given month. But does it matter if you get thousands of leads if only a handful of them are qualified?When I say “qualified,” I mean they’re actually interested in not only reading content and browsing your site, but they’re interested in becoming one of your customers.Are there any usual steps that someone takes before becoming a customer? Does talking to one of your sales reps make them a qualified lead? Does looking at your pricing page make them a qualified lead? Find out those things that make one of your leads qualified so you can replicate your success there. There are a few metrics that can help you with that.Look at call-to-action clickthrough rate (CTA CTR).It’s important to have calls-to-action in prominent, highly trafficked parts of your website as a way to help your visitors and leads take the next step in finding out more about your company — blog posts, web pages, etc. — as well as in your lead nurturing emails to help move people further down the funnel.But sheer volume of conversion on those CTAs isn’t always helpful if you’re looking to improve lead quality. To help with a lead quality goal, use your analytics to identify which calls-to-action bring in more leads than others, and which of those leads convert at a faster rate than others. You might end up finding certain locations of CTAs play a role in the quality of conversion (CTAs on the homepage might be better than a CTA on a blog post — or vice versa), or that the content behind that CTA matters more.If you are a HubSpot customer, you can use the HubSpot CTA tool to figure this out. This information will help you determine what types of content your audience is interested in and what subset of your audience is qualified to become a customer for your company.Look at landing page conversion rates.In addition to taking a look at your CTAs, take a closer look at the conversion rates on your landing pages. The conversion rate is the percentage of views based on a form submission. Comparing the conversion rates of different pages gives you a better idea of what types of content leads to higher conversion rates — and using closed-loop analytics, you can track the entire funnel to see which conversions actually turn into customers.You can also experiment with different format of your landing pages from the way the content is presented to the length or design of the form. Try segmenting your audience before sending them to certain landing pages and see how that performs. The conversion rates will give you a better idea about whether or not these experiments are successful in converting more opportunities, and how you can improve your landing pages for the future.HubSpot customers, check out your landing page dashboard to get better insight into the performance of your pages.Look at work rates.Your sales organization might be working certain leads more than others. For instance, an inbound sales organization will probably be apt to work leads that first converted on a blog post over leads that came in through PPC. See which channels bring in leads that actually get worked to identify which channels to put more muscle behind.You might find that your sales organization has a bias toward certain lead types that’s not data-backed — old habits die hard, you know. Be sure you use closed-loop analytics to get a full-funnel view of whether the leads being worked at the highest rate actually do correlate to more closed won. If rep productivity and closed wons remain high on those leads with the highest work rates, it’s a good sign your reps are working the right leads, and you should bring in more of those types.Scenario #4: You need to close more business. At a certain point, some businesses may reach a stage where they have a steady flow of traffic and leads to their site. This is great! But what if the funnel clogs there? What if they’re getting a good flow of traffic and leads, but these people aren’t taking the next step to become customers? You may need to take a closer look at your conversion rates and your lead-to-customer conversion rates to figure out how to keep the steady flow of customers month over month. Note that this isn’t only an issue that mature businesses can come up against — businesses of any size may need to take a closer look at these metrics.Look at lead-to-customer conversion rates.We talked about landing page conversion rates a bit before, but let’s dig into some things that may affect your lead-to-customer conversion rate. First, you’ll want to look at the effectiveness of your lead nurturing sequences. Are there certain workflows that have low engagement rates? To which segments are they going? And what content are those recipients receiving? Identifying underperforming lead nurturing workflows and optimizing them will help you help Sales move customers further down the funnel to the BOFU stage.Lead-to-customer conversion rate is also impacted by more soft metrics, though — like how Marketing works with Sales. Is your relationship agile, communicative, and high-touch? Is Marketing creating sales enablement collateral that’ll help close more deals? Is Marketing available to hop on sales calls to close deals not just at the end of the month — but throughout the month? These assessments of soft metrics are just as important to improving lead-to-customer conversion rate as the data that comes out of your analytics.last_img read more

Facebook, OkCupid, and the Ethics of Online Social Experiments

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Recently, two different social websites admitted they ran experiments on users who had no idea they were being experimented on. Facebook ran tests to see if they could affect users’ emotions, and OkCupid ran tests mismatching users to see if they would interact with each other differently.The impact of these social experiments was pretty small, but they raise important questions about the ethics of social experimentation. Why were people so angered by these tests, but most people don’t raise an eyebrow when it comes to A/B testing website design or calls-to-action?We’re All Part of These ExperimentsFacebook’s experiment was to figure out whether human emotion was contagious in online social networks. To do this, they chose almost 700,000 Facebook users at random, combed their friends’ posts for positive and negative words, and showed their chosen users either fewer positive or negative posts from friends in their News Feeds. Then, they measured whether it affected the positivity or negativity of those people’s own posts.In response to the subsequent media outcry about Facebook’s test, OkCupid co-founder Christian Rudder came out with a viral post on their company blog, saying not only does OkCupid conduct online experiments, but so does everyone — and it’s completely normal. “Guess what, everybody,” wrote Rudder. “If you use the internet, you’re the subject of hundreds of experiments at any given time, on every site. That’s how websites work.”Here, Rudder is referring to the small social experiments and A/B tests people run on their websites all the time, whether they’re testing ads, page layout, colors of buttons, and so on. “[None of us] use the ‘real’ Facebook. Or Twitter. Or Google, Yahoo, or LinkedIn,” wrote Josh Costine for TechCrunch. “We are almost all part of experiments they quietly run to see if different versions with little changes make us use more, visit more, click more, or buy more. By signing up for these services, we technically give consent to be treated like guinea pigs.”Facebook may have crossed the line, according to James Grimmelmann, Professor of Technology and the Law at the University of Maryland. “If you are exposing people to something that causes changes in psychological status, that’s experimentation,” Grimmelmann told Slate. “This is the kind of thing that would require informed consent.”What’s more, in Facebook’s case, we actually checked a box to give consent when we agreed to the site’s data use policy. But we didn’t know the parameters of any studies Facebook’s done to us. And, more importantly, we were never given the opportunity to opt out.”My objection is the lack of awareness or permission,” says Terry Manspeaker, D.C.-area business owner. “That’s probably what creates the discomfort. I think people like to feel they’ve been given the option to participate in a particular study.” But, Manspeaker admits, there is a risk of bias when participants are aware of the study — and doing a blind study reduces that bias. One could argue that online social networking research simply can’t be conducted reasonably if consent is needed from every potential participant.”Of course we all read the use policy, or said we did by checking that box,” says high school English teacher Ayres Stiles-Hall. “So we really only have ourselves to blame. It doesn’t really sound ethical, but on the other hand, we’re all spending hours and hours using a free product — except that nothing is free. If we’re really offended, it means we ought to be paying closer attention.”But anyone posting to Facebook or logging onto a website should be aware that their online behavior is traceable. “Whether it ought to be is both a moral question we as a society will have to answer through the legislative process, and a legal one based on our system of laws and liberties,” says Dr. Adam Irish, Mellon Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Political Science and International Relations at Wheaton College. “Lawyers on both sides of the internet privacy issue have primarily focused on our rights — many of which are, primarily, protections from government snooping.””But we are still determining what is reasonable, and in the meantime, if people use a company’s free services online, they should be aware that their data is likely being gathered, used, and possibly distributed.”Why Are Some Experiments on Users Okay While Others Aren’t?It might be easy to point fingers at Facebook because their experiment explicitly experimented with human emotions — as in, the word “emotion” was in the name of the resulting academic research paper: “Experimental Evidence of Massive-Scale Emotional Contagion Through Social Networks.” But what about all the other social and A/B tests Rudder and Costine were talking about? Don’t they alter our emotions in one way or another?”We tend not to think about how much influence a website can have on our feelings,” says Dan Ritzenthaler, HubSpot Product Designer and UX expert. And something as simple as your website copy or design can influence visitors’ behavior. “Changing a ‘Buy’ button to a ‘Buy Now’ button will influence how people interact with your shopping website,” says Ritzenthaler. “It might make some people more likely to buy since it’s more direct and demanding. It might also come off as bossy and rude to other people. Saying ‘Buy Now, Or Else’ might make too many people uncomfortable and reduce the amount of purchases.”But if certain words on buttons can change buying behavior, then why isn’t everyone up in arms about the ethics of A/B testing?Rebecca Corliss, Head of Customer Marketing at HubSpot, says it’s because people perceive social networks like Facebook and OkCupid differently than they do most websites and products. “Facebook is technically the same as any other product, but people perceive it as a social space that’s just for them and forget that a corporation is behind it. So the question is: Is that Facebook’s fault or is it the user’s oversight?”And while most A/B tests are pushing for business-oriented results like increasing usage or clicks or purposes, social experiments like Facebook’s and OkCupid’s weren’t conducted to make user experiences better. Instead, they were psychological experiments.The part of the Facebook study people were most upset about was that they affected users’ moods in a negative way: “When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts,” the study reads. But if Facebook had conducted a study to see if only positive posts lead to positive moods, and took out the negative part of the equation, people may have reacted more positively to it.All of this brings up a slew of ethical questions that anyone testing anything online needs to be aware of. Could the test you’re about to run possibly damage the people you’re testing, whether emotionally, financially, or in another way?”Ideally, Internal Review Board (IRB) review of any research is a good safeguard for individuals taking part in studies and our broader society,” says Dr. Irish. “I do think companies engaged in this type of research should play by IRB rules because operating outside those safeguards creates a risk of allowing harmful research to go forward.””That said, not every aspect of either study would have been rejected by an IRB review. It would have pressed the investigators to explain how their research would minimize any harm to participants and it probably would have required participants to signal their consent. Practically, Facebook and OkCupid are primarily constrained by their profit margins, so as long as people continue to opt in to using their services, we can expect future studies like the ones we’ve already seen.”While we wait for clearer legal guidelines for businesses, marketers should extend our personalization strategies to our A/B testing efforts. It’s up to us to treat people who visit our website as individuals, even when it comes to social experiments. Originally published Aug 1, 2014 8:00:00 AM, updated June 28 2019last_img read more