Monthly Archives: October 2012

barcamp tampa 2012 – new directions

barcamp fills the hunger gap with traditional food

This year barcamp returned to the University of South Florida’s School of Business Administration for a combined event with codecamp. More than 300 creatives, engineers, and coders from a broad range of backgrounds began lining up before 7:30 a.m. for name tags, coffee, donuts, and a presenting slot. view barcamp Tampa 2012 on flickr

To the average person who might find themselves marooned in this gathering by either a fussy Garmin GPS or a galactic wormhole, barcamp tampa surely comes across like Santa’s Little Helper on the Simpsons – blah blah blah blah blah. I’m no coder, so much of what enters my ears during each of the day’s 50-minute sessions finds me in full agreement with that cartoon greyhound. What does get through, though, is often priceless in terms of application and value.

from statistics to startups to plugins – what you can learn

Barcamp Tampa 2011 was my introduction to the network’s universe of mostly backend web and app design. This year, a shorter list of speakers meant a leaner menu of topics, spread across nine venues in six time slots that started at 8 a.m. and ended at five.

I finished the day with three solid seminars under my belt, leaving a couple of half-baked selections behind on the table. Even though overall the offerings were pared down, Beyond Netflix – New Frontiers in Algorithms, Harvesting Social Data, and WordPress Optimization added up to several hours of insight, information, and takeaways that would have proven elusive, if not impossible, to discover if not for barcamp.

quantity and quality – tough to choose from a broad list of topics

  1. Beyond Netflix – New Frontiers in Algorithms This presentation by USF faculty member Balaji Padmanabhan explored the future of preference aware software, using Amazon and Netflix models to demonstrate the value of sentiment analysis engines. In other words, knowing what you want before you do.
  2. Harvesting Social Data TAWLK engineer Lance Vick described the advantages of live tracking search and sentiment analysis simultaneously without having to open a separate window for each stream. The software, still in beta, uses keyword entry to filter results from whatever channel platforms are selected, including social, blogs, and other accessible content.
  3. WordPress Optimization Website host IT manager David Parsons laid out options and best practices for WordPress blogs, ranging from plugin strategy to security to graphic overhead that can slow down load times significantly.

social media: is powersports losing out?

powersports failing to engage huge segment of potential market

Start with a number: nearly 1.5 billion. While most – but surprisingly not all – powersports B2B media and distributors and B2C retailers have staked out claims on the most popular social media channels, actual engagement of this valuable real estate lags far behind potential. This infographic measures the reach and user engagement of the most popular trade event, distributor, and online retail vendors on Facebook and twitter. Click here for more on how powersports uses social media.

 

critic questions future of electric bikes

 

Zero's 2013 S model

(above) 2013 Zero S from Zero Motorcycles

despite eco-promise of evs, shortcomings still outweigh strengths

An article in last week’s New York Times, while leaving the door slightly ajar for the channel’s future, makes a reasoned case against a present marketplace that features electric motorcycles humming around the urban landscape in silent flocks of environmental uber responsibility. (See earlier post on Mercedes Benz plans for a 2014 market entry.)

Reporter Dexter Ford writes in the paper’s Automotive section about the challenges facing the nascent industry, not least of which is cost. Far cheaper conventional alternatives, eco-friendly and offering the same or better mileage per comperable fillup, are getting top billing as the major Asian motorcycle brands begin to flex their muscles in taking on not only high-end electrics but cheap, disposable Chinese scooters as well.

styling overhaul resets brand

Compounding the confusion over electric’s future is a same-day post on the NYT’s Wheels blog on Zero’s 2013 lineup just introduced at Intermöt. In what’s seen as a responsive reaction to marketplace concern, the Santa Cruz, CA, company is moving away from the mountain bike inspired initial design towards a more familiar traditional look courtesy of former Buell designer and now Zero’s chief technology officer Abe Askenazi.

Between the high performance Lightning, the gyro stablized LIT Motors C1, or the mainstream (for electrics) bikes from Zero and Brammo, interest isn’t going away. And neither is the significant cost differential, or the lingering comparisons to Segway’s marketing rationale.

Whether that same interest will translate into sustainable sales for complete bikes or morph into a niche industry of DIY builds sourced from frame makers, engine manufacturers, and battery suppliers might be the unanswered question.

google forces seo strategy upgrade

seo strategy a must as sophisticated algorithms become more selective

How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.

Trying to achieve page rank by relying on a domain name stuffed with keywords just got a lot harder. In an update unrelated to Panda, which puts more emphasis on well designed and written quality content, Google’s latest algorithm begins to make the practice of keyword-defined URLs obsolete and thus encouraging (forcing?) content managers to develop rank organically by adding meaningful content.

siebenthaler creative consistently earns page one rank

It works for me. Googling “powersports (advertising – marketing – pr)” usually results in page one rank for Siebenthaler Creative. In September 2012 screen grab below Siebenthaler Creative is the only SERP that doesn’t have “powersports” in the URL. This query returned two of my pages based on “powersports advertising,” more on subsequent SERPs. Bottom line: if the goal is to be seen by as many as possible, you need a strategy that doesn’t depend on shortcuts, and one that can survive and adapt over time.