Stanford Study: Teens Clueless On Distinguishing Sponsored Content

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A Stanford Study of 7,804 students from middle school through college illustrated that young people are clueless in knowing what is actual news versus sponsored content. This study comes on the heels of fake news hysteria that Facebook and other social media sites possibly impacted the presidential election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has said that this is crazy considering that there was so-called fake news about both candidates.

According to the Wall Street Journal, who first reported on the study, 82% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labeled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. The study indicates that most students didn’t look at the source of a news story, but were more motivated based on the actual content of the headline link or the associated image.

The study noted that after showing high school students images of deformed daisies on a photo-sharing site, 40% of them believed that was strong evidence of contamination from the Japan Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster, even though no source or location was provided.

I see that the Wall Street Journal and others reporting on this study link it directly to the “fake news” controversy, which literally has nothing to do with this research. They were looking at sponsored content and sponsored news links from automated ad serving firms like Taboola and Adblade, not individuals posting misleading news on social media.

Some people, even Harvard professors, can’t remove their own political biases when interpreting research.

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November 23rd 2016 Facebook, News, Social Media

Crunch Report | FanDuel and DraftKings Merge

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The FanDuel and DraftKings merger is confirmed, Amazon Prime Video goes global, Apple is looking into U.S. manufacturing, BuzzFeed is raising a $200 million Series G flat round and Sesame Street’s VC invests in Yup. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

November 19th 2016 News, video

Crunch Report | Tesla Acquisition of SolarCity Approved

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LinkedIn now blocked in Russia, Tesla acquisition of SolarCity is approved, SpaceX wants to bring internet access to everyone, AOL lays off 7 percent of workforce, Zesty replaces CEO and restructures. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

November 18th 2016 News

Crunch Report | First Hyperloop Will Be Built in UAE

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It’s looking like the first Hyperloop will be built in the UAE, Facebook is testing a job openings feature, Tesla plans to increase manufacturing automation by acquiring Grohmann Engineering, LeEco is hopeful that it can put the company’s finances back on track and Uber rival Karhoo shuts down. All this on Crunch Report. Read More

November 9th 2016 Facebook, News

Google added fact checking: Facebook, it’s your move now

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fact-check-google-fb Google yesterday announced it will introduce a fact check tag on Google News in order to display articles that contain factual information next to trending news items. Now it’s time for Facebook to take fact-checking more seriously, too. Facebook has stepped into the role of being today’s newspaper: that is, it’s a single destination where a large selection of news… Read More

October 15th 2016 Facebook, Google, News

Panoramio to Die on November 4, 2016

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Although I’ve never been a big Panoramio fan, (prefering Flickr), a number of my friends have put all their pictures on the service.

It’s time for those Panoramio fans to move thier pics, according to the following notice….

Back in 2014, we announced our intention to retire Panoramio in order to invest our efforts into improving photo-sharing experiences directly inside Google Maps.  In response to your feedback, we postponed these plans and worked to add features to Maps that better support the level of engagement that you have enjoyed with Panoramio. Today, with photo upload tools in Google Maps and our Local Guides program, we are providing easy options for you to share your photos with an active and growing community. As such, we’ve decided to now close down Panoramio. To make this transition easier, we’ll provide several options to continue sharing photos through other services. If you choose, you can also export all your data and take it somewhere else.

Because you have linked your Panoramio profile with a Google account, all your Panoramio photos will be copied to the Google Album Archive at full resolution after Panoramio goes away. These copied photos will not use any of your Google storage quota.  However, unless you upgrade to a Google+ account, your Panoramio photos will stop appearing in Google Maps.  This is because Panoramio nicknames will no longer be supported, and all other photos in Maps are attributed to Google+ user names.

After November 4, 2016, you’ll continue to have access to your photos in Panoramio for a year, but you will no longer be able to add new photos, likes, or comments.  Below, we’ve included resources to help you manage or export your data.  You can visit your Panoramio profile to see what photos you’ve added.  If you have already linked your profile with a Google account, your Panoramio data will automatically be saved.

1) Keep your photos in Album Archive

Because you have a Google account linked with your Panoramio account, we will automatically copy your Panoramio photos to the Google Album Archive when Panoramio is retired in November 2017.

  • Copied photos will not use any of your Google storage quota.
  • If you activate Google+ on your account, then eligible images and your View Counts will be transferred into Google Maps and will be visible when you sign in to Maps and access the Contributions screen from the main menu.

2) Export your photos to a local zip file

Visit and follow the instructions there.

3) Become a Local Guide to keep contributing 

To keep adding photos to Google Maps and engage with a growing community of photographers,join the Local Guides program. You can earn points and unlock rewards for photos submitted with a Google account when they are linked to a point of interest or business. Many of your Panoramio photos may already be counted.

If you prefer to no longer share your photos with Google Maps, you can delete your Panoramio photos or your entire account at any time.  

  • You can delete your Panoramio account (and photos) immediately by logging in, opening “Settings“, and clicking the “Delete your account” option.  You can also navigate to this page directly by using this link.
  • If you delete any photos (or delete your entire account) before Panoramio is retired in November 2017, that content will not be automatically copied to the Google Album Archive and will stop appearing in Google Maps.

Please see our Help Center article for more information and the various options you have to save, transfer, or delete your content. We’ve appreciated your contributions over the years and hope you will continue to share amazing photos with the world.

Thank you,

The Panoramio team

MOVE your pictures people!

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October 8th 2016 News

7 Amazon Alternatives for Affiliate Marketers

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If you live in Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Rhode Island, or Vermont; you aren’t eligible to joing the Amazon Associates program.

Moreover, if you join the Amazon Associates program and then move to any of those states, you become ineligible to participate in the Program, and Amazon will terminate their operating agreement with you on the date you establish residency in that state.

So, what’s an affiliate marketer who lives in AR, ME, MO, RI or VT to do?

Well, they should sign up for merchants’ with a wide variety of products and affiliate programs which don’t exclude people from their states from joining.

Amazon Alternatives

Here are 7 alternatives to the Amazon associates program…

  1. eBay

    Affiliates in the Ebay Partner Network earn double commissions for the first 3 months after they join.

    For example, let’s say you drive a visitor to eBay, who ends up with a winning bid on a laptop with a total sale amount of $500 and revenue of $40. If the Electronics category rate was set at 55%, your earnings would be $22, or 4.4% of the total sale amount.

    According to eBay…

    With 162 million active buyers shopping, there’s no end to the great listings that you can share with your audience. We have 5 million sellers offering nearly $70 billion in gross merchandise annually. Plus eBay has global reach, operating in 13 countries around the world.

    Check out the Ebay Partner Network.

  2. Wayfair

    Formerly known as CSN Stores, Wayfair, INC is an American e-commerce company founded in 2002 that sells home furnishings and décor items.

    Apparently, Wayfair affiliates benefit from dedicated in-house management, 5% commissions, a 30-day referral period (cookie length), and over two million products available through their data feeds.

    I say ‘apparently’, because although I am a big fan of Wayfair and a stellar customer, they declined my affiliate applications.

    Try signing up for Wayfair’s affiliate program on the ShareaSale network.

  3. HomeDepot

    Home Depot’s current commission rate is 3% on products, mobile, and buy online pick up in-store orders and 5% on custom blinds. One day cookies.

    As posted on CJ, their EPC’s are as follows:

    3 month EPC: 15.96 CAD
    7 day EPC: 23.61 CAD and operate separate affiliate programs through CJ by Conversant.

  4. Overstock

    Earn up to 7% commission on’s broad range of products including: Apparel & Accessories, Books, Movies, CDs, Games, Electronics & Computers, Home & Garden, Jewelry, Sporting Goods, and Handmade Goods. Data feeds are available in both .CSV and .XML formats.

    Overstock’s affiliate program can be found at CJ by Conversant.

  5. Target

    You can earn 5 – 8% on apparel, accessories, home and outdoors goods, between 3 and 5% on baby gear and furniture and 1% on health and beauty products.

    They have a 7 day cookie and send a weekly newsletter with updates on promotions, contests, and sales opportunities.

    Target’s affiliate program is run through the Impact Radius network.

  6. Walmart

    Walmart has 3 separate affiliate programs, one each for the U.S.A., Canada and Mexico. Commission rates vary as follows:

    • USA – 4 % commission {For all products not covered in specific SKU Lists}, 1 % commission [WM Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo ], 1 % commission [MP Electronics, Video Games, Movies, Music, Books, Photo
    • Canada – 1 – 2%
    • Mexico – 4 % commission {For all products not covered in specific SKU Lists},5 % commission[Audio, Electrodomesticos, Electronica, Fotografia], 7 % commission[Hogar, Patio Y Jardin, Muebles], 8 % commission[Bebes, Deportes, Juguetes, Mascotas], 10 % commission[Accesorios, Libros, Salud Y Belleza, Papeleria]

    Makes you want to learn to speak Spanish, right? :-)

    Walmart’s programs are available through the Rakuten Affiliate Network.

  7. Best Buy

    Best Buy claims to be the #1 retailer and most trafficked website for consumer electronics. Their commission rates vary between 0% of sale on Gift Cards, Warranties & Apple Tablets/Laptops/Desktops/iPhone Hardware/Watches, to 0.5% of sale on remaining laptops & tablets and 1% of sale on All Remaining Categories.

    You can also earn a $10 flat fee (bounty) on Geek Squad SKUs and a $5 flat fee for mobile plans.

    Best Buy’s affiliate program is on the the Rakuten Affiliate Network.


Amazon isn’t the only game in town when it comes to having millions of users just primed to buy the stuff you want to promote!!

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September 7th 2016 affiliate marketing, News

Twitter Will Livestream CBS News’ Coverage of the Republican and Democratic Conventions

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Twitter and CBS News are planning to livestream the Republican and Democratic National Conventions later this month.

The companies announced plans today to run "gavel-to-gavel" coverage of each party's four-day event. First will be the RNC in Cleveland from July 18-21 and then the DNC in Philadelphia from July 25-28. Coverage also will be enhanced with convention-related tweets. 

"Twitter is the fastest way to find out what's happening in politics and to have a discussion about it," Twitter Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto said in a statement. "By bringing the live discussion of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions together with CBSN's live video stream of the proceedings, we believe we're giving people around the world the best way to experience democracy in action."

Twitter has been building up—and building out—its livestream capabilities with a number of high-profile events. Last week, the company debuted its first high definition TV event with live coverage of Wimbledon. This fall, it will stream 10 of the NFL's Thursday Night Football games, thanks to a $10 million deal announced in April. Twitter is also reportedly in talks with the NBA, MLS and Turner for other livestreaming rights deals.

Details of Twitter's advertising strategy for the convention have not been announced. However, if its playbook for the NFL games provide any hint, then the company could try to replicate its sales goal of $50 million in ad sales for the NFL slate. So far, Twitter has sold 60 percent of its inventory for the games, with brands like Sony, Bud Light and Bank of America signing on for a few of the dozen or so ad packages Twitter hopes to sell.

The partnership could help Twitter, which is struggling to grow its audience base at a pace fast enough to please Wall Street. In recent months, Twitter has increasingly focused on becoming more relevant during live events. The move into livestreaming could engage both the 310 million monthly used and the 500 million who visit the home page of the website to read "Moments" stories and other curated tweets.

This isn't the first time that the two companies have worked together on political content. In November, they partnered for a broadcast of a Democratic presidential debate, and in January, they did the same for a Republican presidential debate. Coverage from CBS included metrics, curated tweets and live questions submitted from voters for the candidates.

"CBS News will have the highest quality original reporting continuously throughout both conventions—we are very pleased that reporting will be so prominently featured on Twitter's live platform," according to a statement from CBS News president David Rhodes.

July 12th 2016 News, Technology, Twitter, video

8 Social Media Tools Every Website Owner Should Use

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Social media is a crucial source of traffic, reputation, and conversions for most websites. These platforms give you a chance to present your business in the best light and attract more potential customers to the main page. You get the picture: a strong social media marketing strategy is an inevitable aspect of your promotional campaign.

Inexperienced website owners think they only need to create profiles on few social media networks and start posting some links to their websites. Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Successful promotion needs a strategic approach, based on the right practices and tools. Did someone mention tools? We have a list of 8 social media tools you can use to boost the success of your website.

  1. Post Planner

When you’re managing several social media profiles at a time, it’s not easy to respond to all comments and develop an influential presence on different networks. That’s why you need Post Planner – a tool that lets you schedule posts on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

The post queue feature is really useful since it allows you to add status updates and set the time for posting. It will take less than two hours for you to set the plan the posts for the entire day, and the tool will automatically maintain your activity on social media. The only problem is – it can’t respond to comments for you. Of course, you’ll need to check your profiles from time to time to see how the audience receives your updates, but that won’t take too much time.

Post Planner is not just a scheduling tool; it’s also a social media engagement tool. It enables you to target a specific audience when scheduling your posts. With this app, you will discover content that skyrockets engagement, drives more traffic to your website, and boosts the reach of your updates. When you post the best content from the web in addition to the updates that promote your website, you will achieve higher levels of engagement on social media.


  1. Twitter Cards

This online tool lets you attach videos, photos, and media experience to tweets. We all know how fun short tweets are. Some people have the talent to nail the right argument in the right situation. Unfortunately, that’s not an easy thing to do when you’re using your profile for marketing purposes. Of course, you can tweet on popular hashtags, but that will bring more traffic to your website only when you establish a powerful brand. Until then, you need to use Twitter in a marketing-driven way.

If short tweets don’t allow you to present anything more than a title and a link where your followers can find the posts, then you need to start a different, visually-appealing format. You can create four types of cards with the tool: summary card (it contains a Twitter account attribution, title, description, and thumbnail), summary card with large image, app card, and player card (this is the one you can use to include video/audio/media to the tweets).

The best thing about Twitter Cards is that you can measure their reach. Thanks to the metrics like retweets, URL clicks, and app install attempts, you’ll be able to analyze the success of your marketing campaign and make the needed improvements.


  1. Social Mention

This is a search engine that helps you reveal the reputation of your brand among Internet users. Website owners and marketers can also use it to discover relevant topics that attract the interest of their audience. When you enter a keyword in the search bar, Social Mention will give you a list of user-generated content.

This is the most important reason to use the tool: you can find out what people are talking about your brand, website, or you as an owner. Just enter the needed search phrase and you’ll see how your brand is being discussed in social media. The mentions will be listed with a link, so you’ll visit those sites directly to see the context in which your brand is being mentioned.

The only problem with the tool is that it might launch a huge list with many old results among the new mentions, so it will take some effort for you to filter the list and discover the results that are relevant at the moment.

If you don’t like what you see through the reports you get with Social Mention, the problem may be in the content you produce. In order to start launching high-quality content that will get great mention across the Internet, you can start going through essay writing review sites, which will help you find a top-notch writing and editing service that will deliver the content you need.


  1. Viralheat

Here is another tool that lets you know what your audience thinks about your brand. Thanks to Viralheat, you can monitor relevant conversations across social media, and you’ll be able to use those insights for the growth of your business. The tool doesn’t filter out spam, so you might have to deal with some useless results if your brand is very popular. However, Viralheat does scan the Internet to discover all mentions, so it’s definitely a nice tool that lets you measure your reach and reputation.

There is no free version of this tool, but you can ask for a 30-minute live web demo if you want to learn how it can help you monitor, manage, and measure the social activities related to your business.

When you start using the tool, Viralheat will search for the keywords in any language. That fact may seem overwhelming, but it’s really useful when you want to know how your website is perceived on an international level. The tool won’t translate the results; it will only search for the mentions and present a language report.


  1. Hootsuite

When you have multiple social media profiles to manage, it’s easy to waste your days browsing through the feeds, posting updates, and responding to comments. With Hootsuite, social media profile maintenance becomes easy, since the tool allows you to manage up to 100 profiles from a single feed.

The dashboard is more than a collection of posts from different social media platforms. It allows you to select a specific profile, post updates or schedule them for later publication, and compose messages. Hootsuite is not only intended for maintaining social media profiles; it’s also an analytical tool that offers reports in graphical form.

Unfortunately, the free plan is very plain, so you’ll need to pay for most of the cool extras. Although it might take you a little over budget if you want to use its entire potential, it’s definitely something worth trying.


  1. Onalytica

You can keep posting links and updates to your social media profiles, but those activities won’t lead to impressive results if you don’t get some engagement from influencers. We all have few influencers in our list of friends: we always read what they have to say, we like their posts, and we can’t wait to see what they recommend. You need to target those influencers and use them as a really effective marketing channel. If, for example, you’ve published a piece focused on the Y-generation, an influencer from that category can help you promote it much better.

Onalytica is a great tool that helps you identify the social media influencers in your niche. You only need to upload a piece of content or simply enter a link to a page of your website. Then, the algorithm will launch a list of 25 influencers whose interests your content meets. You’ll be able to monitor the activity of these social media users and understand their style before you try to reach them. Onalytica also provides you with data and insights that help you understand important online discussions.


  1. Narrow

Let’s be honest: Twitter might be the coolest social media network, but it can be a real mess when you try using it for your website’s promotion. It’s not that easy to start a profile, start posting tweets with relevant hashtags and build your audience in no time. With Narrow, you can build a targeted following base on Twitter by interacting with users who might be interested in your offer. You enter hashtags or keywords, and you allow Narrow to identify the target audience and start building your following.

The research tool also helps you understand your audience. The best part about Narrow is that it’s fully automated. It won’t present you with a list of potential followers and leave the rest to you; it will connect and engage with relevant users and give you some analytics to understand those activities. The Pro and Business plans are a bit pricey ($49 and $99 per month respectively), but you don’t have to use Narrow for a long time. You just need it to help you build the initial base of followers, and you can take over from there.


  1. Flare

If you want links to your website to be present all over social media, then you have to make it easy for your visitors to share the pages. Flare is a great sharing plugin for WordPress. It enables your visitors to share your content via social media with a single click, but it does more: it gives you reports on the total sharing activity across all networks.

Thanks to Flare, you’ll identify the type of content that gets attention from your audience. Maybe you’ll notice that infographics are more popular than traditional posts, so you’ll focus your future activities on crafting the type of content your audience prefers.

It’s really easy to add the Flare bar to your website and choose the interface that fits flawlessly into your design.


Website Promotion Is Easy When You Use the Right Tools

The above-listed social media tools allow you to promote your website in a simple but effective manner. All of them are focused on different activities, so you can test them to discover how they fit into your marketing campaign. When you start using the right tools, it will be easier for you to attract a great deal of audience, and you’ll finally be able to handle multiple social media profiles.



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June 24th 2016 News

Supreme Court Rules Against Google, Advertiser Suit Can Proceed

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According to Reuters, advertisers can move forward with a 2008 class action lawsuit claiming that Google put their ads on poor quality websites without permission. This class action suite was brought by advertisers who advertised on Google Adwords between 2004 and 2008.

The court let stand a lower court ruling which means that the suit representing hundreds of thousands of advertisers using Google’s AdWords program could go forward.

Plaintiffs claim that Google did not disclose that their ads would appear on sites other than Google’s own search engine.

They also allege that Google not only placed them on sites without their knowledge but put them on low quality sites like 404 pages and parked domains.

The post Supreme Court Rules Against Google, Advertiser Suit Can Proceed appeared first on WebProNews.

June 7th 2016 News, Search