Google +1 Reporting Now In Google Webmaster Tools

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As expected Google has launched the +1 metrics within Google Webmaster Tools in addition to social tracking in Google Analytics. Google breaks down the +1 reporting within Webmaster Tools into three reports: (1) Search Impact Report shows you an idea of how +1‘s affect your organic search traffic….

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Visualizing Twitter Use During the Japanese Earthquakes

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Twitter’s role during, well, anything worth talking about has been pretty well defined. Whether it’s the Vancouver riots, natural weather disasters in Missouri and Alabama, discussing Dirk Nowitzki’s NBA Finals performance, or simply responding to a popular hashtag (rise & …

June 30th 2011 Social Media, Twitter, video

What WebOS Means To HP, Linux, And You

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In John’s review of the new HP TouchPad, he claimed that “WebOS is the real star of this show. The OS offers true multi-tasking and uses a system of “cards” and “stacks” to display active applications.” I think it’s worthwhile to remind everyone that WebOS is built atop the Linux kernel, and that has several interesting ramifications. HP has continued Palm’s dedication to user experience, and WebOS should make it abundantly clear that “Linux” need not be synonymous with “complex and arcane”. But there’s a lot more than just superficial window dressing to consider.

Read more…


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Screen Shots Of Google Analytics SEO Reports

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Google Analytics SEO Report MenuIt has been a busy week at Google. Google + launched, they rolled out the +1 button globally, launched a new design and then added +1 data to Webmaster Tools and social tracking to Google Analytics. But probably the most exciting thing I got from Google this week were not on these features.

The most exciting feature I received from Google was getting into the beta of the Google Analytics SEO reports! Yes, I am in.

I can see some really cool insights, such as impressions, clicks and CTR tied into the other reports. Now keep in mind, Google Analytics lets you do some fancy custom reports, so the SEO data can work with almost anything in Google Analytics. Let me show you some basic reports.

Summary of Impressions By Geographic Location:

Google Analytics Summary of Impressions By Geographic Location

Summary of Clicks by Geographic Location:

Google Analytics Summary of Clicks by Geographic Location

Summary of Impressions by Google Property:

Google Analytics Summary of Impressions by Google Property

SEO Queries Report:

Google Analytics SEO Queries Report

SEO Landing Page Report:

Google Analytics SEO Landing Page Report

Google emailed me instructions on how to set it up. I basically went to the reports within the new Google Analytics interface and then Google walked me through connecting Google Analytics with Google Webmaster Tools. Once I made the connection, it automatically populated the data.

These are very sweet and useful data points to have in Google Analytics, along with the social tracking metrics.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld and DigitalPoint Forums.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Google Teams Up With Virgin America To Allow Passengers To Test Out Chromebooks In-Flight

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Google just announced that it is teaming up with Virgin America to allow passengers to “test-fly” the search giant’s new Chromebook computers for free. Virgin passengers will be able to use the computers onboard their flight and at select airport gates from July 1 through September 30, 2011.

As an incentive, flyers who check out a Chromebook will receive a free WiFi session onboard Virgin America. Virgin says that at airport gates in San Francisco, Chicago O’Hare, Boston and in Dallas-Fort Worth will include Google “Chrome Zone” lounges starting this week, where passengers can learn more about the Chromebook and check one out for their flight. Google is also partnering with the Ace Hotel in New York to offer Chromebooks in hotel guests’ rooms.

Travelers will have to pony up their credit card info (for deposit purposes) and will then receive a Chromebook for use on their flights between SFO and DFW, ORD or BOS. he Chromebooks can be returned at the guest’s arriving gate. And Google Chrome Staff will also be on hand at the participating Virgin America gates to assist passengers.

This seems to be an extension of an existing marketing relationship between Google and Virgin America. Google has actually partnered with Virgin for the past two years to offer passengers free in-flight WiFi around the holidays. As part of last year’s partnership, Google was peddling its browser Chrome to travelers.


June 30th 2011 Google

(Founder Stories) Bre Pettis’ Ambition: “One MakerBot Per Child” (TCTV)

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Hi. My name’s Chris Dixon. I’m a co-founder of Hunch and Founder Collective. This is Founder Stories. Today we have Bree Pettis, the co-founder and CEO of MakerBot. Thanks for being here.

Good to be here.

I should disclose that Founder Collective is an investor in MakerBot. So what is MakerBot?

So Maker Bot…

We have one right behind us actually.

Yeah, so it’s printing out right here. It’s a 3D printer. It’s a machine that can make you almost anything, which turns out is pretty handy.

And so, when you say almost anything, what are some, I mean… Here you brought some examples which are kind of fun to show some of our friends in New York or whatever.

Yeah.

So there’s fun stuff you can print. But then there’s also practical stuff?

Yeah, so I brought fun stuff. These are busts of friends, and a heart that when you twist it it goes crazy.

Awesome.

And then, but when we have a new employee, they have to print out their own coat hook and those kind of things…

They have to print their own coat hook…

Yeah (laughs) – so it’s kind of practical stuff.

But also people are using it for like jewellery moulding… I mean, are there professional uses of it currently?

Yeah. You can use lost plastic casting and make something on a MakerBot out of plastic and then transform it and get it made in metal. You can do all sorts of stuff. If you have a 3D model of it, you can make it.

Yeah. So while this thing’s printing now can you explain a little bit about what its doing and..?

Sure. The green stuff at the top is the filament. That’s the raw plastic, it’s the same thing Lego’s made of.

Uhum.

And that goes into the machine and gets pulled in by a high-torque motor and then it goes out. It goes in kind of like spaghetti, and then it comes out like super super fine angel hair spaghetti that’s molten and sticky, and it moves it around so it draws with it.

So, right now this thing is building this rocketship, right?

Yeah so we’re about…

Just building the bottom of it. Yeah, so we’re about a third of the way through the rocketship.

And so, how does it, so where does the design come from?

So you have a few options with the design. If your somebody who likes to design things. You can design whatever you want.

And that’d be using some kind of CAD software on your computer or something?

Yeah, and actually, like, that whole area is blowing up right now. There’s actually, with webGL you can, like, design things in the browser. Super cool. And then we have a site called Thingiverse and people share their digital designs and there’s, like, more than 10000 things you can just download it and print.

Without having to design any of it.

It’s like a bottle opener. I think I ran into a bottle opener or something and then downloaded and printed it out on Thingiverse right?

Yeah, nobody with a MakerBot so you’d never have to buy a bottle opener again.

OK. And then, and so then, OK, so then you print the design, so the design is just sort of a standard 3D image. How do you get it on there?

There’s an SD card. So you just put your SD card in your computer and transfer it or you hook it up by USB.

So you either build it yourself, OK, so build it yourself or download it from the internet. And you can put it on there and then you need to buy, I guess, this material. And then how does it decide, like, so it’s, like, doing all these crazy patterns and things, like, how does just deciding to that.

Yeah. When you go in and print it, there’s a little slider. You can decide if you want to be totally solid or totally empty. I think we’re like 25 percent infill. You can choose whether if you want hexagons or circles or squares in there. And then there’s an algorithm that fills it out.

OK, cool. And this will take, so this thing printing will take like twenty minutes or something like that right?

Yeah. OK. So there have been 3D printers for, like, decades, right?

Yeah. So they, I mean, they first started coming out at the end of, in the late 80’s. So, they’ve been around for a while. But those machines were like mainframe, literally mainframe-sized machines. Like, bigger than your refrigerator.

Yeah. And used for what purposes? Primarily those machines are used for prototyping. So in design houses or engineering they’re, like, OK, we want to make a new phone. Let’s make a design. Let’s print it out. OK, now we feel like this is too big for my pocket. We can’t use this.

I see. Supposedly, like people with the new iPhone, someone’s carrying around form some of the exact same form factors to see if it feels good or whatever.

Yeah. Exactly.

OK.

But the Maker Bot kind of messes with that whole system because…

That was a sort of fairly big business that was going on.

Still is. Yeah.

And still is. And what other competitors like big companies, right?

Stratesis and 3D Systems are the big ones.

Okay. How much do these devices cost?

They make beautiful machines that are 20 thousand to a million dollars. So, they go really…

And your thing is how much?

1,299 dollars.

You mentioned mainframes, would you consider what you have sort of the PC to their mainframes in a way? Like this is 1978 or something?

I think it’s more like 1976 with Apple I, pre-Apple II days.

You still have to build it yourselves.

Altair, you have to put…

It’s still like hobbyists, or whatever.

Yeah. And the coolest people in the world are getting into it. You talk to the people who have an Altair 8800 and they went on to start crazy companies that are famous now.

Yeah.

It’s early days The cool thing about that is that all of our customers are these super-smart, really awesome people who are getting this because they’re into the bleeding edge of technology, pushing it farther than we can.

Yeah. And so how are you able to build these things for $1000 when it costs the other companies, I mean, is it just, I mean, presumably they have a lot of other features and it does things that yours doesn’t do, right, I mean?

Well, I mean, it’s interesting. We just came at it from a totally different place. You know, they’re servicing a market of, it has to work, it has to be perfect. It has to, you know, it has to be 99.9999% accurate. And we came at it from, like, OK, what’s the absolute minimum we can do to make it work.

Yeah.

And then let’s try that, and if it works, ship it.

I see.

And it actually turns out like we’ve been able now with our second machine and our six extruder, and the 25th version of our software, we’ve been able to, like, actually make it work pretty well.

Yeah. And, so, do you use, for example, off-the-shelf parts or something, like no.

Yeah.

That makes it cheaper and so you don’t have to go do machine tooling or something?

Yeah. Instead of having to, make it out of injection-molded parts, which requires tooling and that gets real expensive, and to make changes is difficult. We just use laser cutting and off-the-shelf parts. And with laser cutting, we literally just tell our laser cutter, okay, with the next batch, we want this little hole moved over here, you know, we have some little changes to make.

Yeah.

So it’s really easy for us to be iterative and then also to keep costs down and make it flexible.

Yeah.

And get something out.

In this episode of Founder Stories, host Chris Dixon takes a look at a 3D printer while talking to the maker behind the MakerBot, Bre Pettis.

If printing 3D objects sounds impressive, think about this. Pettis thinks “it’s early days”—drawing comparisons to early PC’s like the Altair.

About the size of a mini-fridge, the Makerbot ships for $1,299 and allows users to create their own objects via CAD software (or users can select from “more than 10,000 things” on Thingiverse says Pettis) and print them out in a matter of minutes. Products range from shower curtain rings and eyeglass rims to mini-buildings and movable plastic hearts. We actually tested the Makerbot in our studio and came away with a rocket (Dixon takes it out at the end of the series).

When Dixon asks Pettis how MakerBot is able to make and sell 3-D printers for under $1,500 when corporate models are priced between $20,000 to $1,000,000, Pettis responds, “We just came at it from a totally different place you know. They are servicing a market of it has to work, it has to be perfect, it has to be 99.9999% accurate and we came at it from like, ok what is the absolute minimum we can do to make it work, and then let’s try that and if it works, ship it.”

Picking up on their conversation below, Pettis discusses his background (former puppeteer), the competition and the future of home based 3D printing.  When Dixon asks Pettis what the landscape looks like “in 5 to 10 years” Pettis responds by saying he hopes to “get one in front of every kid, one Makerbot per child.”

Make sure to watch both clips for additional insights, including the new feature Makebot recently rolled out.

Past episodes of Founder Stories with Mike McCue, Dennis Crowley, David Karp and Soraya Darbi are here.

So just stepping back then, so how did you like, what’s your background and how did you, particularly, how did you get into this kind of interesting world, or whatever?

So, I’ve always been a tinkerer, and I got a, you know, I was a puppeteer, and then a school teacher, and then I made videos for MAKE magazine and worked at Etsy, and then started a hacker collective in Brooklyn called NYCResistor. And…

Can you talk a little bit about that?

Yeah. NYCResistor is awesome. It’s a, and now there’s hackers spaces. You know, when we started I think we’re one the first hackers spaces in this new wave of hacker spaces. And now pretty much every city has a hacker space. So like, and what it is is a club house, and that’s for geeks.

OK.

And we have all the tools we want and a community of folks who are smart.

So it’s particularly hardware and not software hacking, or both or?

You know, every space is different. Ours is focused on hardware hacking and making things, but there’s other spaces that are more software focused.

So like, what would people make there besides 3D printing stuff?

If somebody just made something for a classroom that is basically a like a telepresence robot, made out of like just junk we had laying around.

OK.

We have a laser cutter so there’s a lot of laser cutters basically gets used like 24/7.

OK, and so, so started that and then what happened?

You know, 3D printing is sort of a holy grail for tinkerers, because it is not just making things it is making something. It makes things so we really wanted one and we couldn’t afford one, so we started hacking things together. And we started in 2006, 2007 as a hobby for fun and then by 2009 we had one that almost worked, and so then we quit our jobs and started Microbots.

Put the pedal to the metal. I see. And right now when you order one, you have to assemble it, correct?

Yes.

I mean, is your plan to have one that is fully assembled and…

Yes, actually.

That definitely limits the audience, right ? Target market or whatever, having to assemble it?

Yes, up until now, you have to put it together actually. About a week ago we made it so that you could buy one fully assembled. It’s the same thing, just our technicians assemble it and actually they give you a call and then ask you what color LEDs you want in it, or what colour plastic, and then we make it and ship it out to you and they walk you through the process of getting it started, because it’s not hard, but it’s definitely something new and so it takes a little walking through.

And so you did mention that this is sort of like 1976 and you’re sort of Altair or something. When you think of it from a business point of view, how do you… I think Altair turned out to, I don’t know the exact story, but they weren’t big winners in the PC world.

No.

Do you see this first of all as like a movement the same way that the PC was a movement and there were forty companies that created it? And then software industries, and massive industries, or do you think it’s, that kind of scale? And, I guess, first question, and second question is if that’s the case, how do you avoid being kind of the kinda cool guys who helped kick it off, but then were surpassed by some marketing wonderboy or something?

Yeah, we want our next machine to be the Apple 2, not the Commodore 64.

Okay. I think that was a good machine too.

It was, but then it didn’t go anywhere. And when we started, there was just basically the RepRap Research Foundation, which was basically a bunch of folks making 3D printers with the focus of being able to make other 3D printers with their 3D printers. And we decided we wanted the machine that would just make anything, that would just be useful.

There’s a name – the RepRap machine is the machine that can build itself, right?

That’s it’s name.

And does the MakerBot qualify as a RepRap Machine?

It does now. So like a year and a half in, one of our users made a MakerBot, with this MakerBot.

So it’s not like you can print the whole thing, but you can print every piece of it?

All the parts except what we call the vitamins, which are like the nuts and bolts and metal parts, you can print on MakerBot.

I see. OK. Sorry, you were saying about the industry. So, yes, the industry is just going to get more and more interesting. It’s actually going faster than I expected when we started. I thought it would take like four years, five years to get to where we are now, and, you know, we’re just trying to keep up.

It’s going fast.

So, well, in five, ten years, you think people, everyone will have a 3D printer in their home?

You know, it’s hard to imagine now, but like when microwaves came out, it was super, super exciting and thrilling to have a microwave, and you went over and watched, it and you worried about sitting in front of it and stuff, and now its just like boring, like everybody has a microwave.

Well Bill Gates had this you know, it was considered radical when he said his goal was have a pc on every desk.

Right.

It was like wow that’s nuts. And now of course we have like four of them or something, I mean not just PC but some computer or whatever.

I won’t mind. One of my goals is to get one in front of every kid. ‘One MakerBot Per Child’ style, you know? Because if I was 10, and I had access to a MakerBot and I could take the things that I imagined, and just make them rather than having to like, take things apart and, feel it straining stuff.

But is it, is it all sort of round like kind of the fun, sort of toy like stuff or I mean, I guess, you know, I mean, you know, the PC I think started off, like I don’t know, I start off playing games on it. I think a lot of people who, you know, of our era or whatever who had Apple 2’s, and things did.

But, then eventually you had the spreadsheet and you had all sorts of other things and that’s when you really had a booming industry is when you kind of crossed over beyond just the tinkerers, right? I mean, do you see that as something that, like, I mean, like, what would that be. So, what would be like in the household of 2020 you know, would you just be printing all of your silverware and not buying anymore or how I mean, what do you use it for.

Or, do you like send somebody, like, you send, I mean, presumably, like you can have different materials and eventually you can have any material, I guess, or?

Yeah, I mean, the future looks interesting. We’ve got, like, like you say, like, right now most people are using it, just for their, like 95% of MakerBot use is just for satisfaction and enjoyment, puzzles and toys and stuff like that. But, then there’s stuff, like, when you have a MakerBot, and, you know, we had a user whose glasses broke, so he just printed new glasses frames.

Right.

We had a user who moved into his apartment and they were out of shower curtain rings and so he printed shower curtain rings. I mean, we hear stories like this of people just printing things that they need. So, when you have a MakerBot, you have like MakerBot goggles. And you just start seeing the world through the eyes of, like, well, you know, I need one of these, rather than just instantly think go shopping for it.

Yeah, I think glasses are interesting, I guess, because you can, you could completely tailor them to your face in a way that you could never before, right?

Yeah, I’m actually.

I have a super weird nose and I always have trouble finding glasses for example or?

Yeah, we could scan those, scan your glasses in and, like, move them part of them.

Yeah, so that’s actually how you got these people here, right? This is like Chris Poole from Canvas. It was…

Yeah.

Because I saw him that day and he was covered in powder. I said “What happened to you?” He said, “I was over at MakerBot getting scanned.” So you have this scanner over there where you scan any object and then…

Yeah, it’s a laser-scan, it’s a polhemus scanner, and we basically, you sit down and we cover you in corn starch. Well, just mostly your hair because the laser doesn’t see dark things, so we have to kind of lighten it up with some powder.

Yeah.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Flipboard 1.5 Integrates LinkedIn, Adds A Content Guide For Curated News Browsing

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An update to social news viewing app Flipboard goes live in the app store today, with a new souped up 1.5 version that optimizes the reader experience even further. Earlier this week we had the chance to sit down with Flipboard CEO Mike McCue and did a demo of the new features, above.

McCue tells me that the redesign focused on three core changes.

1. People can now navigate to an infinite number of feeds (previous limit was 21).
2. Navigation through content is much more efficient via a Content Guide.
3. Users can follow their LinkedIn graph through added LinkedIn integration.

The biggest shift from the previous version is the Flipboard Content Guide, which separates curated content streams like Science and Tech and Design to easily connect first time and repeat users with the topics that they’re most interested in, similar to competitor app Pulse’s curated streams.

Users can access the Content Guide by tapping on the red “More” tab at the top of the app and add frequently viewed feeds to Favorites by tapping on the “add” button. The Content Guide is curated and constantly refreshed by an editor at Flipboard, regularly adding new news sources like The New Yorker, The National Geographic and Wired.

Flipboard has also added LinkedIn integration with its latest build, allowing people to view what their contacts on LinkedIn are sharing in Flipboard mode. The LinkedIn integration is novel in that people can also view what people are reading on LinkedIn Today, which breaks down industry news into 37 verticals, useful when brushing up on small talking points before a meeting.

Other interface changes in this latest version include no delay “one-tap” into stories as well as highlighting the popular stores in each section and speed improvements. Content from partners like Wired is even further streamlined into a frictionless, speedy and magazine-likereading experience.

With over 2 1/2 million downloads and with 11.4 million “Flips” per day (which can be likened to pageviews), Flipboard, which just received and addition $50 million in funding, is a fortunate first mover in a space that may eventually be the way most people get their news, on a tablet.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Google Webmaster Tools With +1 Data

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Google Plus Metrics In Webmaster ToolsThe Google Webmaster Tools announced you can now get +1 metrics directly in your Google Webmaster Tools account.

Currently it only works with +1s and shows you three reports, they include:

  • The Search Impact report gives you an idea of how +1’s affect your organic search traffic. You can find out if your clickthrough rate changes when personalized recommendations help your content stand out. Do this by comparing clicks and impressions on search results with and without +1 annotations. Google will only show statistics on clickthrough rate changes when you have enough impressions for a meaningful comparison.
  • The Activity report shows you how many times your pages have been +1’d, from buttons both on your site and on other pages (such as Google search).
  • Finally, the Audience report shows you aggregate geographic and demographic information about the Google users who’ve +1’d your pages. To protect privacy, Google will only show audience information when a significant number of users have +1’d pages from your site.

Here is a screen shot:

click for full size

For more details on these reports, see Google’s help section.

Forum discussion at WebmasterWorld & DigitalPoint Forums.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

An Open Letter To Jeff Bezos On Terminating The Amazon Affiliate Program In California

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Danny isn’t happy that Amazon terminated all California affiliates over a sales tax issue.


June 30th 2011 Uncategorized

Why Dry July Will Change My Life Too

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I signed up for Dry July about a week ago without thinking too much about it. Raise money for charity and not drink alcohol for a month? It sounded so easy, I decided to give myself the extra challenge of not smoking for the whole month as well. Now that it’s almost July, I’m starting to worry. (more…)

June 30th 2011 Uncategorized