Archive for September, 2014

Bridging the Desktop/Mobile Divide: Understanding the technologies and tactics needed for success in a multi-channel world

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment

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Many brands today are facing a mobile gap: consumers are spending
more and more time on mobile devices, but brands haven’t kept up.
Despite accounting for 20% of US consumer time spent on media, mobile
receives only 4% of all advertising dollars.1

To strengthen relationships with their customers, and ensure continuity across all touchpoints, brands
should be doing more to reach out and engage their current desktop
users on mobile. Some brands, such as Nike, Ikea, and Audi, have embraced
mobile apps to engage users with their products, and have had great

Mobile websites are another way to make your brand available
to consumers where and when they choose to engage, even though
they do not see the same level of usage as mobile apps.
This paper outlines a cross-device retargeting strategy for linking desktop
and mobile users. Using this strategy will help you capture, engage, and
leverage your current user base as they spend increasing amounts of time
on mobile and move across devices and platforms

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The Multiplier Effect of Integrating Search & Social Advertising:

September 30, 2014 Leave a comment


Cross-Channel Marketing


Over the past several years, search and social advertising have become essential
ingredients of any successful marketing program. Both channels, though fundamentally
different, have proven to be highly effective and efficient for customer demand
generation and fulfillment. Search, with its ability to “pull” users into a brand’s
message and social, with its ability to “push” a message to a highly targeted audience
are capturing a greater portion of global advertising dollars every year.
According to Magna Global, more than 50% of total digital media spend was allocated
to search and social channels in 2013.1 In 2014, that number is expected to rise
substantially; more than 43% of marketers plan to increase spend on search and 46%
on social, respectively.

Leading the way in these two channels are Google and Facebook
which, according to eMarketer, are considered the two most important advertising
platforms for driving return on investment.

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“6 Tried and Tested Conversion Strategies for eCommerce Managers”

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment
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Human-Related Climate Change Led to Extreme Heat, Scientists Say

September 29, 2014 Leave a comment

A fan tried to cool off at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne in January. New research from several scientific groups placed blame for the heat waves that hit Australia in 2013 and 2014 on the human release of greenhouse gases. CreditNarendra Shrestha/European Pressphoto Agency

Five groups of researchers, using distinct methods, analyzed the heat that baked Australia for much of last year and continued into 2014, shutting down the Australian Open tennis tournament at one point in January. All five came to the conclusion that last year’s heat waves could not have been as severe without the long-term climatic warming caused by human activity.

“When we look at the heat across the whole of Australia and the whole 12 months of 2013, we can say that this was virtually impossible without climate change,” said David Karoly, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne who led one research team.

 Three other research groups analyzed the drought afflicting California, but could not come to a unanimous conclusion about whether the odds had been increased by human emissions. One paper found that they had been; two others found no clear evidence of that.
Researchers generally agreed, however, that regardless of the cause, the effects of the California drought have been made worse by global warming. That is because whatever rain does fall in California tends to evaporate faster in the hotter climate, leading to drier conditions.

Two dozen papers analyzing weather extremes from 2013 were published on Monday in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This look back at the prior year has become an annual event, as scientists increasingly try to answer the question many ordinary people are asking after every extreme weather event: Did climate change have anything to do with it?

For numerous events in 2013, they were able to rule that out. Even though the overall global warming trend has been definitively linked to human emissions in scores of papers, the new reports show that the frequent rush to attribute specific weather events to human activity is not always well grounded.

For instance, one research group found that the type of extreme rainfall that struck parts of Colorado last September had become less likely, not more likely, in the warming climate. Another group found no increase in the likelihood of heavy rains and floods that struck parts of Central Europe in June that could be attributed to global warming, even though such claims were made at the time.

Myles R. Allen, a researcher at Oxford University in Britain whose group conducted the latter study, noted in an interview that the science of attributing specific events to human emissions was still contentious and difficult, so any answers given today must be regarded as provisional.

 His group has found a measure of human influence on several weather events over the years. But with the science still emerging, he cautioned against the impulse to cite global warming as a cause of almost any kind of severe weather.

The new batch of reports analyzed extreme heat in 2013 not only in Australia, but also in Europe, China, Japan and Korea, with the researchers concluding in every case that global warming had made the occurrence of the heat extremes more likely.

 In the Australian case, computers were used to analyze what the climate would likely be in the absence of human emissions. They were simply unable to produce a year as extreme as 2013, and other analytical methods yielded similar answers.

But computer analyses that factored in greenhouse gases and the warming they are causing showed an increasing likelihood of extraordinary heat waves in Australia.

“Five reports all showing the same thing is a very powerful signal,” said Thomas C. Peterson, principal scientist at the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., a unit of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

In addition to the Colorado and central European rains, the 2013 events for which scientists were able to rule out a human contribution included a blizzard in South Dakota, heavy snowfall in the Pyrenees in Europe, and a cyclone that swept across northwestern Europe in late October.

The new reports come as scientists, responding to popular demand, are trying to speed up their analysis of extreme weather events and the role of greenhouse gases.

It used to take them years to come to a clear view of any particular event; now, papers are being published within several months. By sometime next year, researchers hope to reduce that to a matter of days, with three groups of researchers around the world training their sights on extreme events as soon as they occur, then putting out reports while the public is still discussing the aftermath.

“We want to get to this place where we can answer the question when the media are asking it,” said Heidi Cullen, a scientist with Climate Central, a news and research organization in Princeton, N.J., who is helping to lead the effort. “We want to give the first, best answer we can possibly give.”

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Three 16-year-old girls win Google’s global science competition with breakthrough project

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment


Ciara Judge, Emer Hickey and Sophie Healy-Thow working on their experiment

They started on the project after learning about the 2011 famine in the Horn of Africa. The girls came up with an experiment that resulted in seriously impressive results that are considered a breakthrough in crop yield technoology:

When a gardening project went awry, they discovered a naturally occurring bacteria in soil called Diazotroph. The girls determined that the bacteria could be used to speed up the germination process of certain crops, like barley and oats, by 50 percent, potentially helping fulfill the rising demand for food worldwide.

Using naturally occurring Rhizobium strains of the Diazotroph bacteria family, they carried out an extensive study of their impact on the germination rate and subsequent growth of the cereal crops wheat, oats and barley.Detailed statistical analysis of their results indicated that these bacterial strains accelerated crop germination by up to 50 per cent and increased barley yields by 74 per cent.

Such a cereal crop performance improvement could significantly assist combatting the growing global food poverty challenge and benefit the environment by reducing fertilizer use.

Not only could the project change crop yields, they earned some pretty notable rewards:

As the Grand Prize winners, Ciara, Émer and Sophie receive a 10-day trip to the Galapagos Islands provided by National Geographic, a $50,000 scholarship from Google, a personalized LEGO prize provided by LEGO Education and the chance to participate in astronaut training at the Virgin Galactic Spaceport in the Mojave desert.



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What’s the Most Energy-Efficient City?

September 27, 2014 Leave a comment

CA Energy Efficiency Model

September 19 2014

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy this week unveiled its first City Energy Efficiency Scorecard, which ranked 34 of the most populous U.S. cities on their policies and other energy-efficiency advancements.

SAN FRANCISCO — If saving energy was a contest among U.S. cities, Boston would reign supreme with San Francisco not far behind.Golden Gate Bridge and Fort Point

Boston had the highest ranking with 76.75 out of 100 points and scored particularly high in building policies that have adopted stringent building energy codes and requirements. The East Coast city also scored high in transportation policies, including investment in efficient modes of transit and energy-efficient freight transport.


Portland, Ore., was second, followed by New York City and San Francisco which tied for third with 69.75 points each. Seattle was fifth, followed by Austin, Texas. In PG&E’s territory, Sacramento finished No. 18 and San Jose was tied with Riverside for No. 21 on the list.

San Francisco scored high when it came to energy-efficient transportation but also tied with Boston for being the leading cities on utilities and public-benefit programs. According to the report, the cities have “productive relationships with their utilities on program implementation and access to energy data.”

In fact, PG&E’s use of SmartMeter data provides thousands of customers with Home Energy Reports. The reports are mailed to customers and show energy usage compared with similar-sized homes in their neighborhoods. Each report also includes personalized tips to help customers save energy.

And PG&E’s groundbreaking collaboration with the White House and other California utilities has led to the Green Button, which makes it easier for customers to share their energy data with the app developer community.

PG&E also works closely with businesses to help companies save energy and money.

The highest scores for Sacramento and San Jose, not surprisingly, also were for utility policies and programs.

The purpose behind the scorecard is to provide a kind of roadmap for any local government looking to improve its energy efficiency. And cities like Boston and San Francisco are leading the way.

Saving energy can be hugely beneficial for cities, the report said, by helping residents and businesses save money, creating local jobs, reducing the costs of infrastructure investments and protecting human health by reducing pollutants and greenhouse gases.

“Energy efficiency may be the cheapest, most abundant and most underutilized resource for local economic and community development,” the report said.

– See more at:

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To the Surprise of No One, Kochs Spend Big to Buy Access to Republican Governors

September 26, 2014 Leave a comment

A banner week in Kochville


The New York Times reported yesterday that the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government and ethics watchdog group, uncovered a treasure trove of documents exposing the major corporate donors to the Republican Governors Association. Names on the list include Walmart, Exxon Mobil, and – yep, you guessed it – Koch Companies Public Sector, a.k.a. Koch Industries’ lobbying arm.

While that isn’t surprising, it does shed some light on just what the Kochs and their big-money pals are trying to buy: golf outings, policy breakfasts, secret donor meetings, an “intimate gathering” with Republican governors and Republican VIPs (whatever that means), and the Republican governors’ ears. In short: Access. Influence. Sway.

These donors would be model residents in Kochville, the Koch brothers’ self-serving utopia where horrible things like the minimum wage, social security, and environmental protections don’t exist. And, for the low, low price of $100,000 – or two easy payments of $50,000 – the Kochs and their prospective Kochvillians get “the ability to bring their particular expertise to the political process,” which is code for tax cuts for the wealthy and cuts to education, among many, many other anti-worker and anti-middle class policies.

The truth is, this is a bargain compared to what the Kochs are spending on their extreme Senate candidates this year alone. The Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity plans to spend $125 million, and when you count the Kochs’ dark money donor network, that number rises to half a billion dollars.

It’s no question that too much money in politics leads to self-serving policies and self-serving politicians – just ask former Virginia Governor (and former chairman of the Republican Governors Association) Bob McDonnell, who was recently convicted of felony corruption for his misdeeds in office. And now nearly half of all current Republican governors are facing charges of corruption or other scandals. So as these governors sell their loyalties to their backers, they should remember that the Kochs and their pals won’t be there to bail them out when things go south because they’re just as self-serving as their agenda.

Welcome to Kochville! In case you missed it, American Bridge launched a significant online advertising campaign this week to hold extreme Republican candidates accountable for propagating the billionaire Koch brothers’ self-serving agenda. The online campaign, “Kochville,” will run both nationally and in targeted swing states, with animated videos depicting candidates proving their worth to the deep-pocketed brothers and pledging allegiance to the Kochs’ destructive, anti-working families political agenda.

First up in the series is North Carolina’s own Speaker Thom Tillis, whose “magic gavel” has proven quite the valuable tool to the Kochs as they attempt to turn the Tarheel State into a model state in the same vein as Kochville. Out of their enthusiasm for electing Speaker Tillis to the Senate, Americans for Prosperity North Carolina, the Kochs’ political arm in the state, went so far as to send incorrect voter registration information to hundreds of North Carolinians, including — get this — someone’s cat. But considering their affection for the Koch brothers, the nation’s ultimate fat cats, it’s hardly surprising that AFP is apparently confused about the illegality of feline voting.

Halfway across the country, the billionaires have also gone to great length to turn their home state of Kansas into a Koch utopia, and with the support of Governor Sam Brownback, they’ve notched several victories for their self-serving agenda. Brownback has become such a yes-man for the Kochs that he even sided with the billionaires in their attempt to repeal the state’s wind energy mandate, the Renewable Portfolio Standard, a measure which is overwhelmingly popular in the state and that Brownback himself once supported. The leverage the Kochs seemingly have over Brownback is hardly surprising, especially in the light of revelations from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) about Koch Industries’ support for the Republican Governors Association. We also have the scoop on CREW’s review of the most recent tax returns from the Kochs’ secret bank, aka Freedom Partners, and what they mean for the ever growing “Kochtopus.”

It was a busy week in Kochville, but we’ve got it all in this week’s Real Koch Facts roundup:

Brad Woodhouse
American Bridge 21st Century

Welcome to Kochville
Welcome to the wonderful world of Kochville! In the Koch brothers’ self-serving utopia, horrible things like the minimum wage, social security and environmental protections have been disbanded, and the Kochs’ hand-picked candidates are welcome. American Bridge’s new online advertising campaign is set to hold these extreme Republican candidates accountable for sharing the self-serving agenda the Kochs have been pushing for decades — an agenda that further rewards the wealthiest at the expense of working families. Watch the ads and learn more right here.

News & Observer: NC residents mailed incorrect voter registration information
According to a report from the Raleigh, NC News and Observer, Americans for Prosperity North Carolina sent incorrect voter registration information to “hundreds of North Carolinians – and one cat.” The confusion has resulted in hundreds of phone call complaints to the the State’s Board of Elections. …Read More

Gov. BrownNose (R-KS) Swaps Wind Energy For Koch Love
Sam Brownback has done the unthinkable: he’s made himself — an incumbent Republican governor in Kansas — the underdog in this year’s gubernatorial election. And he’s done it by giving his home state a terrible, horrible, Koch-fueled makeover, handing out massive tax cuts for the wealthy that have decimated the state’s economy, gutted education funding, and alienated his constituents across the board. … Read More

Freedom Partners creates more tentacles for the Kochtopus
Known as the Koch brothers’ “secret bank,” Freedom Partners is notoriously covert in its dealings and purposefully opaque about the flow of money in and out of the organization. Freedom Partners’ opacity is a hallmark of the many groups comprising the Koch network, known not-so-affectionately to some as the “Kochtopus.” Through what details are available, Freedom Partners seems to be quite central to the Kochtopus, if not the head. The Koch network and Freedom Partners continue to grow tentacles upon tentacles — way more than just eight — in a deliberate attempt to obscure their political spending activities. …. Read More

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