Local SEO Services | “The Best and Worst Thing to Ever Happen to SEO”

Source     : Wired Com
By              : Ryan Connor
Category :  Local SEO Services, Best SEO Company

In the space between art and science lies a discipline that’s been completely disrupted over the past 5 to 10 years — marketing. Like an awkward adolescent finally coming of age, marketing has finally been given the validation and direction it needed for businesses to make smarter investments. This is because decisions and resources are now, more than ever, being based on analytics, data and attributed sales. In the world of SEO, this translates into referring keywords, keyword rankings and organic user behaviors. Up until recently, it seemed as if SEO had finally become a science, with mounds of data and standardized industry processes for reporting. Efforts to shape content around search engine marketing objectives were fruitful, and the data-loving SEO’ers became a staple in the modern marketing team. All was well.

Then, seemingly without reason, Google began to cut-off the life blood of search engine marketing and started encrypting searches and withholding search referral data. In fact, by the time you read this, Google will have effectively cut off 100% of the search referral data that was so critical to the status quo. Notwithstanding the remaining PPC referral data, this tectonic shift by Google sent a lot of marketers back to the drawing board. It was worst thing that’s ever happened to SEO. Now, if you’re like me, you’re probably wondering why Google seems to have shot itself in the foot. While it’s easy to assume that’s the case, there’s actually solid rationale behind their decision making. For one, Google’s effort in encrypting searches for all users was a way for them to show good faith to consumers in the wake of the NSA spying scandal.

Secondly, it placed Google’s own Adwords advertising platform in a good spot because advertisements within the platform still pass on referring keyword data. And lastly, and perhaps most importantly, they were politely reminding marketers what their philosophy on content and SEO has been since day one…

   “…make sure that you’ve got high-quality content, the sort of content that people really enjoy, that’s compelling, the sort of thing that they’ll love to read that you might see in a magazine or in a book, and that people would refer back to, or send friends to, those sorts of things…”

– Matt Cutts (Head of Google Webspam)

The recent changes and historical stance by Google’s team embody their efforts in trying to shift the focus away from the Wild West that is search engine optimization and back to the consumers and consumable content. While SEO is clearly still relevant, many efforts are for naught because businesses are caught up with rankings and pursue less-than-ethical tactics trying to achieve them. Thankfully, Google has started penalizing those that game the system, and reward those that make customers happy.

So why is this shift the best thing that’s ever happened to SEO?

For starters, it makes SEO more about the users and the content, and less about gaming the system. In the past few years, Google has really thrown down the gauntlet with updates like Penguin and Panda, essentially saying that if you game the system, you’re risking your entire business (because Google has removed and will continue to blacklist websites that game the system). It’s the long-overdue coup-de-grace for grey-hat and black-hat SEO trickery. For the good of Google’s users, great original content will continue to separate the ordinary from the extraordinary and the front page rankings from the long tail.

As an avid Googler myself, I wouldn’t want it any other way.

I for one, see the future of optimizing for Google search as much more intuitive and straightforward. Much like how you don’t need map making skills to use a GPS, you shouldn’t need SEO skills to drive traffic via search engines. After all, it’s Google’s job to create the content and it’s our job to make it. However, until the day search becomes all knowing (I’ll give it 5-10 years), we still have to focus on making sure the information is provided in the right way for search engines to crawl and rank it. So be sure to keep up with the targeted keywords, site optimization, mobile and responsive readiness, personalization, redirects and so on. As search comes of age, SEO best practices will grow in importance as competition rises and the landscape evolves. If anything, (not provided) shouldn’t slow down your SEO, it should open up a wider conversion on the need for a more holistic, customer-centric strategy. Anything short of that is now snake oil.

Source : wired.com/insights/2013/12/best-worst-thing-ever-happen-seo/

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Local SEO Services Orlando | “CTIA Website Shows Mobile App Data Usage”

Source      : PC World
By               : Grant Gross
Category  :  Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

LocalSEO-Services-OrlandoA new website launched by mobile trade group CTIA shows smartphone and tablet users how much data is used by popular apps.KnowMyApp.org, unveiled by CTIA Thursday, allows mobile device owners to estimate an app’s data usage before it’s downloaded. This is the first tool allowing consumers to learn about an app’s data usage before downloading it, although there are tools available to measure an app’s data use after downloading, CTIA said.

CTIA has also aimed KnowMyApp.org at app developers, by giving them information about conserving data usage and minimizing impact to battery life, the trade group said. Visitors to the website can search by app name, operating system or app categories. They can learn now the app was tested, how much data is used when an app is downloaded, at initialization, during active run time and during background time.

The website also includes information about how mobile device owners can conserve data. KnowMyApp.org currently includes test results for the top 50 paid and free apps from the Apple and Google stores, and CTIA plans to add more apps each month. The trade group invites developers to submit apps to be tested. The tool was developed through the CTIA’s Application Data Usage Working Group, with members including Apple, AT&T, Ericsson, HTC America, Microsoft, Sprint and Verizon Wireless. Intertek developed the mobile app data usage benchmark testing using the AT&T Application Resource Optimizer, an open-source diagnostic tool that captures, analyzes and reports network app data usage to help developers create more efficient apps.

Source : pcworld.com/article/2083100/ctia-website-shows-mobile-app-data-usage.html

Local SEO Services | “Merry Christmas SEO Jingle”

Source   : Search Engine Journal
By       : John Rampton
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

Lyrics for the SEO Christmas song (Jingle bells cover):

Dancing through the SERPs,
keywords are on their way.
To the top we go,
is were we want to stay.
Sourcecode clean and smooth
H1 is in its place.
Let’s go longtail and begin on a new landing page

Analyze optimize,
need I say it twice?
Spam and black-hat cloaking
are not choices that are wise
Analyze optimize,
what is the grand price?
Getting tons of traffic,
oh you won’t believe its size

2)
You know what Santa says
that good content is king.
If you please your users
more traffic it will bring.
Yes Google+ is new,
but please don’t leave it blank.
Let’s get social and begin improving AuthorRank.

Analyze optimize,
we just want to rise
Traffic and convertions
reaching record-breaking heights.
Analyze optimize,
Begin to Googlize
Soon you’ll see your S-E-O
starts to monetize

3)
Be aware of Panda
pages cannot be thin.
If you build spammy links
you’ll get hit by Penquin
Fix duplicate content
although it seems complex
You may set meta-robots to nofollow, noindex

Analyze optimize
Santa never flies,
with his sleigh unless his route
with Google Maps complies
S-E-O never dies
just a kind advice
So have a merry Christmas and then start to optimize

Source : searchenginejournal.com/merry-christmas-seo-jingle/82481/#PmcUUfUSYM1QLzLJ.99

Best Orlando SEO Company | “62% Of Marketers Say Local Search Is Getting Harder”

Source     : Search Engine Land
By              : Myles Anderson
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

Best Orlando SEO Company

Best Orlando SEO Company

During the recent InsideLocal webinar series, I’ve had the chance to gather the opinions and feelings of the hundreds of search agencies, consultants, “in-bound” marketers and business owners who logged in to listen. We ran a number of on-the-spot surveys (or polls) during each webinar, which helped to complement the expert views provided by our speakers. In these polls, we addressed a number of issues ranging from “Is SEO getting harder?” through to specifics of “Review Strategy” and “Optimization for Service Area Businesses.” The following charts represent the results of these polls and provide some very interesting insights into what is happening among our peers in SEO-land!

Key Findings:

  •     62% said that local search marketing is getting harder
  •     Only 18% said that local search marketing is getting easier

Analysis:
The majority of respondents believe that local search marketing is getting harder. Certainly local search is becoming more complex and more difficult to stay on top of. Regular product updates, algorithm changes, and increasing mobile search usage (to name just a few factors) mean we work in one of the most fluid industries around. Yet, as Google closes the loop on various short-term, spammy SEO tactics, the strategy options available to local search marketeers are being simplified. Rather than chasing Google and trying to trick your way to better visibility, smart SEOs listen to what Google says they want from a business or site, and they have created solid, reusable and future-proof strategies that they can apply to each customer they work with.

If you strip away the noise that surrounds local optimization, there are just a few pillars which make up a reliable, long term strategy:

  •     Verified and optimized Google+ Listing
  •     Correct, complete and well distributed business data (aka NAP, citations)
  •     Plentiful unique, relevant and engaging website content
  •     Positive reviews which are built up in a regular, steady manner
  •     Earned links from high quality and relevant websites

2. Which Aspects Of Local Search Do You Find The Trickiest?

Key Findings:

  •     32% say that review generation and reputation management are hardest parts;
  •     28% say that citation and link building are hardest;
  •     25% say Google+ Local optimization is hardest
  •     Just 5% say that on-site optimization is hardest

Analysis:

The results of this poll won’t surprise many search marketeers. On-site optimization and content creation is a time-consuming process but one that we have greater control over — so you wouldn’t necessarily describe it as “tricky.” Generating reviews, building citations and earning links are both time-consuming and difficult because we’re not in control of all the steps. There are plenty of pitfalls to contend with from clients who won’t implement a recommended review strategy through to directories which mess up our listings or refuse to reply to requests to update/merge listings. There are sore heads and dented desks up and down the country as people wrestle with these issues on an hourly basis. It’s interesting to see that even with the great strides Google has made to make Google Places/Local easier to manage, 25% of people cited G+ optimization as the trickiest task. Google still has a long way to go to iron out the bugs in its system and make claiming, updating and managing listings a much easier task.

3. What Are The 2 Biggest Frustrations / Issues With SABs?

Local organisations that operate without an official business address are known as Service Area Businesses (SABs). The loose definition of an SAB is a businesse which provides their service at the customer’s home or business location; examples of SABs are plumbers, gardeners, cleaners, movers and exterminators. In local search optimization, SABs face more challenges to gain visibility in SERPs because of this lack of a physical address.

Source : searchengineland.com/62-say-that-local-search-marketing-is-getting-harder-179604

Local SEO Services Orlando | “SEO Versus Content Marketing: What’s the Difference?”

Source     : Business 2 Community
By              : Ryan Kettler
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

Web marketing as a whole is confusing. There’s a ton of jargon and language that the average solomarketer may have difficulty understanding. That’s a given based on the fact that if everyone understood everything about web marketing, our industry wouldn’t exist in the first place. Two common terms that I see being mentioned a lot in the same context are “SEO” and “content marketing”. Let’s get one thing straight. These are NOT the same thing. Let me explain.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. Search Engine Land defines SEO as:
“…the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” listings on search engines. All major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing have such results, where web pages and other content such as videos or local listings are shown and ranked based on what the search engine considers most relevant to users. Payment isn’t involved, as it is with paid search ads.” SEO has recently gained a negative connotation because many business people consider it to be “gaming the system”, “keyword stuffing”, or “snake oil magic”. There is some truth to those statements, as SEO is more of a science than an art form. It’s always a cat and mouse game. The search engines release algorithm changes, we notice the differences in the search results as marketing professionals, and we report the differences en masse so you can edit your marketing strategies accordingly.

This is very different from content marketing.

What is Content Marketing?
CMI, the Content Marketing Institute, defines content marketing as: “…a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.” As you can see, this definition doesn’t contain the words “search engine optimization” or “SEO” anywhere. Instead, you see words like “creating”, “distributing”, “relevant”, “valuable”, “attract”, “acquire”, “engage”, and “action”. As you can see, the definition of SEO contains the word “relevant” as well. That’s the main connection between SEO and content marketing. Using relevant keywords in your content to optimize your articles for long-tail search queries. You have to find out what the best keywords are for your unique business. So how do you do that? Now that Google has gotten rid of their free keyword tool, you have to find a different way of finding search volume and competition levels for keywords you’re interested in. Sign up for a free BoostSuite account and add your keywords to your “Keywords” interface (Boost>Keywords>Add Keywords) and they’ll analyze them for you and show you which ones have the most opportunity for SEO and content marketing.Content marketing is more of an art form than a science, but you still have to take a scientific approach to it. You have to set an editorial schedule, find your best keywords, write, test, test, and test again, then refine your strategy based on your results. Are there any other key differences between SEO and content marketing that I left out that you can think of? Let’s hear them in the comments!

Source : business2community.com/content-marketing/seo-versus-content-marketing-whats-difference-0717393#Fbf4MlHllzdt7evI.99

Local SEO Search | “Tesla To Unveil Mainstream, Cheaper Model In 2015”

Source      : sustainablebusinessoregon
By               : Sarah Drake
Category : Orlando Local SEO, Local SEO Search

Electric car maker Tesla Motors will tap into the mainstream car market with a vehicle that could sell in the $40,000 range, and could become crucial to its future growth. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based company run by Elon Musk could introduce the new model in 2015 at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, though it wouldn’t be up for sale until 2016 or 2017, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Aside from building a lower-priced model that could make Tesla a household brand, increasing vehicle production will be important for Tesla’s future success, according to the article. Building a more affordable vehicle will require the company to find a way to combine battery size, capacity and cost with a 200-mile driving range.

Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S premium sedan starts at about $71,000, and its Model X sport-utility vehicle will debut in the same price range late next year. Tesla has a showroom in Beaverton.

Source : sustainablebusinessoregon.com/national/2013/12/tesla-to-unveil-mainstream-cheaper.html

Local SEO Services Orlando | “What Online Communities Can Learn From Twitter’s ‘Block’ Blunder”

Source     : Wired
By              : Derek Powazek
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

This week, Twitter changed its “block” feature so that people who were blocked by users could once again interact with the users who had blocked them. After intense backlash from users — including the lively #RestoreTheBlock hashtag — Twitter reverted the change, saying it “never want[ed] to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe.” What just happened, and what can other companies learn from this? This may have been one recent incident, but it’s not an isolated one — witness Twitter’s (and other social networks’) delay in implementing a report-abuse button, for example. These kinds of features aren’t just abstract; they have a concrete impact on individual users and the health of online communities overall.

First, the basics: In case you missed it, Twitter has a feature called “block.” If you block someone on Twitter, that user can no longer interact with you. But Twitter changed the feature from blocking to essentially muting someone, which meant that users wouldn’t see updates from the blocked person — yet they could still follow, favorite, retweet tweets, and so on. The change punished users, not harassers. That’s why the truth-in-humor analogies ranged from things like calling the police about an attack and being told “Well, what were you thinking, going out in public?” to bullying someone in a classroom and then having the teacher offer the bullied student earplugs (that was one of mine). In short: ridiculous.

In Forbes, Kashmir Hill said that Twitter “moved itself out of the role of controlling what users do on the site.” But when you run a community, you don’t get to just step down and leave your members to fight among themselves. When you start a community, you make a promise: We will take care of you. Abdicate that responsibility, and your community will eventually falter. Things worked out in the end, this time. But these are my takeaways for what companies need to consider and do differently in future — especially when changing features that affect user safety.

You Can’t Change the Rules in The Middle of the Game

Many Twitter members have spent years adding jerks, haters, and abusers to a carefully crafted block list. This ability created an agreement with Twitter: “I don’t want these people to interact with me again.” When Twitter changed that agreement without warning, it meant everyone in that blocked group could suddenly interact with you again. Worse, when those blocked people now interacted with you, Twitter would hide it from you. This meant that if someone was harassing you, your friends could see it … but you would not.

Now, had Twitter added a new feature called “mute” that operated the same way the new block did, alongside the current block, no one would have complained. What Twitter tried to do is change block (a tool that severs ties) to mute (a filter). The fact that many third-party Twitter clients have built their own mute tools is proof that it’s needed. Twitter should still add it natively without taking away the existing block tool. But to change the way an existing community tool worked — especially one so central to the safety and sanity of users — is to court disaster. Twitter changed block from something users did to others, to something users did to themselves.

People Always Notice

What made things worse was how the change was communicated to users. Which is to say, it wasn’t. Implementing the change with no warning created the appearance of Twitter trying to sneak something past its users. I’m not saying that was their intent. But the way the change rolled out made it seem more incidental than important. In fairness, the company did talk to media, explaining that it was trying to prevent retaliation behaviors, and it did update information on its site. But updating an FAQ and talking to industry press is not the same as communicating with your members. When a website, platform, social network, company, or other forum makes a change to a core piece of community functionality, it has to tell its users about it directly. In advance. Ideally even soliciting — and listening to — their feedback. Of course you can’t run every change past the entire community, but Twitter is a communication platform; it’s not like they have no way to talk to their members. And whether they like to admit it or not, they’re managing a community. Communities aren’t just companies beholden to their board and stockholders — they have a responsibility to their users. (Which is also why Twitter’s reverting the feature is a positive sign.)

Never Make a Change That Punishes Victims

The most outrageous part of the recent block-unblock episode is that, despite Twitter’s claims to the contrary, they were basically fixing the problems of the people who got blocked — not of the people who were doing the blocking. Twitter, when faced with years of complaints from the blocked, capitulated to them by restoring access to the users who had blocked them. (While some argued the change better reflected how the block feature actually works, Twitter said it was because retaliation scenarios could spur greater abuse.) But I’ve managed or worked with many communities with tools like this, and you’d be amazed how common it is for people who misbehave and get punished to come crying to the admins. Once you scratch beneath the surface of their complaints, however, nine times out of ten they were the ones in the wrong: “Well, yeah, I did break the rules, but I still shouldn’t be punished!”

When making a core policy change like this, the company has to ask itself: Whose problems are we solving? And: What additional problems might that change create? Only then can a company avoid the mistake of an illogical and insensitive change.
Large Communities Need More Tools in Their Community Management Toolkit

Block is a necessary tool for communities to manage themselves, but it’s not the only tool a community of millions needs. As I’ve described it in the past, having only the block feature in a large community like Twitter is like “setting the dinner table with only chainsaws.” We need more humane, nuanced tools for people to manage their networks (and attention). Humans are weird and messy and therefore require a weird and messy set of tools. Here are just a few examples of more tools that companies should consider: Dismiss. People often block because there’s no other way to remove a tweet from view. If Twitter added this tool for any tweet (just like the one that exists for ads), there’d be less need to block right away.

Timeout. I’ve often wanted a tool that operates like block with a time limit: blocking another user for a day or a two and then unblocking. This would be a great way to short-circuit a hot argument without implementing a long-term block once people have cooled down. Spike. I also frequently use this technique, which I call a “spike”: blocking someone, forcing them to unfollow me, and then unblocking them again so there’s no trace. This is a workaround; I’d rather just have the ability to remove myself from someone else’s follow list without notification. It’s like leaving a party without saying goodbye.

Negative Feedback, Positive Reinforcement. Twitter should be monitoring accounts that get blocked a lot (or receive other negative feedback) for sudden jumps in activity. If a user gets carried away, goes off the deep end, or misses their meds, then Twitter could step in: “Hey, we’ve noticed you’re getting a lot of negative feedback today. Are you okay?” Sometimes just getting noticed is enough to calm someone down and defang vitriol. Block List and Redress. Twitter’s block is still incomplete. Where is the page that shows all the people I’m blocking? There isn’t one. How can a user send a polite appeal to a user to get unblocked? They can’t. Twitter should finish building the feature it already has before changing its core functionality altogether. I acknowledge that none of this is easy. But neither is creating a real-time, multi-platform messaging network that is used by millions, and Twitter has accomplished that despite the odds. They’re also not alone in facing such tradeoffs and challenges. So this is a teachable moment for those of us building, participating, and moderating online communities today — one that I hope the rest of the industry is paying attention to as well. As we live more of our lives online, we need to get this right.

Source : wired.com/opinion/2013/12/twitter-blocking-policy/

Best Orlando SEO Company | “4 Ways to Get Link Building Into Your Client’s DNA”

Source      : Search Engine Watch
By             : Peter van der Graaf
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

I always try to get link building integrated into the DNA of my client’s daily activities. Links as “votes of confidence” shouldn’t be requested, but earned. Being conscious about the activities that promote linking is the most important step to improve your ranking. That doesn’t mean you can’t actively hunt for links. In heavily competitive industries you need continuous link building to maintain your current ranking and additional boosts to improve your ranking on selected topics.

The following activities should be streamlined and mixed for best results.

1. Participate in the Online Community

Any media attention for your brand can attract links as long as you have additional background information on your website. Online mentions of your name without a link should be seen as a lost opportunity, so learn what background information is needed for each mention type. You should also make someone responsible for your corporate response to relevant hot topics and create an active role for your website within your field of expertise. Participate with insightful content contributions, clear opinion pieces, and openness about the challenges your company faces. Try to communicate through many platforms and empower ambassadors to promote your brand.

2. Benefit From Regular Partnerships

Votes of confidence are logical when people are enthusiastic about your brand. Provide testimonials for the services of your business partners and request something similar in return. A clear description on what they like or dislike about your services is sure to be relevant and looks much more natural to Google than a site-wide footer link on their website. Promotional partnerships offer great link building opportunities, but most forms of advertising should be nofollowed to be safe with Google. Joint promotions and member discounts are situated somewhere between advertising and votes of confidence. That’s because bigger brands wouldn’t just risk their reputation by promoting supplemental services that they don’t fully trust. “Buy a Samsung interactive TV and get 6 months Netflix for free” will probably be accompanied with additional info on Netflix including a couple of links. Interesting joint promotions like this can be found in many industries and even bigger brands like Samsung link (dofollow) to their partners.

3. Continuous Partner Search

In the previous activities there shouldn’t be a clear focus on the ranking improvement for specific keyword combinations. Diversity is a much stronger signal of a broad-based authority to Google. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t focus on ranking.
For keywords in more competitive industries additional link building will be needed. This part of your link building effort should focus on groups of related keywords and the most relevant partners you can find for them. This starts by looking for well ranking sites and finding methods to convince them to link to you.  After having contacted the most relevant partners you keep broadening your search for partners until you’ve attracted enough links to outrank the competition. The anchor text and the text surrounding the link should be on topic, which can even make up for less relevant partners that have a great link profile.

4. Viral Boosts

In really competitive industries link building by requesting individual links just isn’t enough. You need messages that spread themselves and hopefully attract a lot of links from a wide range of websites (and social media). Viral link building is the best way to achieve this. Virals with product innovation, targeting weird niche audiences or research with a newsworthy outcome can all be used to attract links. It is important that your viral incorporates multiple storylines so everybody can find their own unique media fact in them:

  •     Is it funny?
  •     Can someone feel offended by it?
  •     Does it seem unbelievable?
  •     Is your type of company an uncommon sender for these messages?
  •     Is it interesting for a wide range of audiences?
  •     Is the topic controversial with both protestors and proponents?

These are just some of the questions that make a good viral. As long as your website holds a central role in the message, links are sure to follow. Use sites like BuzzFeed for additional inspiration. Highly competitive industries like dating, insurance, and gambling often provide the best examples of viral link building. Once you detect one, try to reverse engineer their strategy and learn from it.

Evangelism to get Everybody Involved

Link building isn’t just some activity you do. It should be an integral part of all your activities, even outside regular marketing. Awareness to detect chances and just some small changes to regular activities can make link building an automatic flow. That’s why 90 percent of your SEO effort should be to get everybody involved. Online mindedness can be taught, but it takes effort and a lot of patience.

Source :  Searchenginewatch.com/article/2306840/4-Ways-to-Get-Link-Building-Into-Your-Clients-DNA

Local SEO Search | “What Made Nelson Mandela great”

Source   : Edition. CNN
By         : John Battersby
Category : Orlando Local SEO, Local SEO Search

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela

Editor’s note: John Battersby served as a correspondent for The New York Times (1987-89) and the Christian Science Monitor (1989-96) before, during and after South Africa’s transition to democracy. He was editor of The Sunday Independent in Johannesburg from 1996 to 2001. He interviewed Mandela on numerous occasions and is coauthor of “Nelson Mandela: A Life in Photographs” (Sterling, 2009) and author of the afterword in the updated version of “Mandela: the Authorized Biography” (Harper Collins, 2011).

(CNN) — Nelson Mandela was always mindful that his leadership role in the liberation of South Africa from apartheid might not have been possible if he had not been imprisoned. “It is possible that if I had not gone to jail and been able to read and listen to the stories of many people. … I might not have learned these things,” Mandela said of the insights that he gained during his 27 years in jail. In an interview less than a year after he had stepped down as the country’s first black president, Mandela shared with me reflections of how prison changed him. He said that reading the biographies of great leaders who had been able to overcome their shortcomings and rise to do great things had inspired him. He said it also helped him to realize that behind every seemingly ordinary person lay the potential of greatness. “I have been surprised a great deal sometimes when I see somebody who looks less than ordinary, but when you talk to the person and they open their mouths, they are something completely different,” he said. Mandela said that prison gave him time to think about the times when he had failed to acknowledge people who had been kind to him.

Mandela said that at the height of the struggle against apartheid, he and other leaders were understandably angry at the humiliation and loss of dignity of those who suffered under the unjust policy. It meant their actions were driven by anger and emotion rather than by reflection and consultation. “But in jail — especially for those who stayed in single cells — you had enough opportunity to sit down and think,” he said. There was time to listen to the stories of people who were highly educated and who were widely traveled and experienced. “When they told of their experiences, you felt humbled,” he said. Mandela said that he had learned that when you had the moral high ground, it was better to sit down and talk to people and persuade them of the correctness of your cause. “If you have an objective in life, then you want to concentrate on that and not engage in infighting with your enemies,” he said. “You want to create an atmosphere where you can move everybody toward the goal you have set for yourself,” Mandela said.

Nelson Mandela: A man of many handshakes

In his twilight, Mandela was at pains to publish and acknowledge his weaknesses and shortcomings in his family life, in his relationships with women and his first wife, Evelyn. He was keen to dispel any notion of sainthood that might be bestowed on him. He also spoke increasingly about the importance of changing oneself.”One of the most difficult things is not to change society — but to change yourself,” Mandela said in 1999 at a tribute to billionaire businessman Douw Steyn who had made his Johannesburg residence available to Mandela as a retreat after his prison release in 1990. Mandela had given similar advice to wife Winnie in a letter written to her in 1981 after she had been jailed by the apartheid regime. Mandela noted that there were qualities “in each one of us” that form the basis of our spiritual life and that we can change ourselves by observing our reactions to the unfolding of life. Ten years later, Mandela said that it gave him a feeling of fulfillment to see that Douw Steyn had changed and had learned to share his resources with the poor. “It enables me to go to bed with an enriching feeling in my soul and the belief that I am changing myself” by reconciling with former adversaries, Mandela said. I believe that the essence of Mandela’s greatness was to change himself fundamentally during his period in jail and emerge as a potent leader and example for all humanity.

Opinion: Nelson Mandela saved my life

The reflections took me back to the extraordinary day of Mandela’s release. The day the legend became a man. Even now, the moment seems frozen in time. It was February 11, 1990, and the African sun shone from a clear blue sky on a windless summer’s day in Cape Town. About an hour’s drive from the city, the international media thronged around the entrance of a neat prison warder’s house to await the emergence of one of the century’s most iconic figures. I had arrived late at the prison and wandered unnoticed into the prison grounds where my slate-blue cotton suit coincidentally blended in with the uniform color of the South African police. That might have had something to do with the fact that I was not challenged when I strode confidently into the prison grounds. But to this day I do not know. An unscheduled wait of an hour while Mandela consulted an anti-apartheid delegation including his wife Winnie, who had arrived an hour late, seemed like an eternity. When Mandela, flanked by Winnie, finally emerged walking down the driveway towards the prison premise gates, I lost all sense of time and self and strode towards Mandela to shake his hand and congratulate him on his freedom. He recognized me from the photograph that accompanied my regular column I had written for the Cape Times, where I often analyzed the successes and setbacks of the anti-apartheid movement and the African National Congress in exile. His face broke into a broad smile as we shook hands and he continued his historic walk to freedom. At the time, I was the southern Africa correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor which was for many years the only international news publication that Mandela was allowed to read in jail albeit in a vetted form with pages and sections frequently removed. On his first visit to the United States in 1990, Mandela broke from his official program on Sunday, June 24 to pay an unscheduled visit to the headquarters of the Monitor at One Norway Street in Boston to the astonishment of the editor and staff. (Today the Monitor is online only. The newspaper ceased daily publication in 2009.) South Africa since apartheid: Boom or bust? I received an incredulous call from my foreign editor, Jane Lampman, on that Sunday asking me if I could guess who was standing outside the building with two bodyguards asking to see the editor. It was, she said, Nelson Mandela. I was astonished too. Mandela was intrigued that the founder of the newspaper, Mary Baker Eddy, also founded a religion. Mandela came to respect the Monitor’s sustained and fair coverage of South Africa during his time in jail.

To this day, Mandela’s weaknesses, his turbulent youth and his sometimes tempestuous relationships with women can still detract from the iconic status that Mandela achieved in his own lifetime. But, the responsible airing of his weaknesses — including his own acknowledgment — in fact humanized Mandela and focused on his extraordinary strength of character and commitment in overcoming both his weaknesses and adversity in his own lifetime. It augmented Mandela’s greatness.

Carrying on the work of Nelson Mandela

It is Mandela’s achievement as a universal icon that has always fascinated me most. He first conquered his jailers by convincing them that they were the ones imprisoned by their own unsustainable policies based on fear and racial injustice. And then he negotiated them out of power with the sheer force of his moral authority and belief in himself. Mandela’s example and actions in becoming the country’s first black president struck a mortal blow to racism worldwide and helped build confidence and pave the way for Barack Obama to pull off a similar feat in the United States. If Mandela has a global heir in the ongoing campaign against racism and the quest for human dignity it has to be Barack Hussein Obama. The power of Mandela’s leadership was rooted in the fact that at key moments in his life he acted independently of the movement to which he dedicated his life and to which he deferred as a “loyal and obedient” member. He did so when he decided in 1986 to begin negotiating with his jailers from behind bars not knowing where it would end. He did so in continuing to refer to former President F. W. de Klerk as a “man of integrity” long after it was less popular to do so in the ranks of the African National Congress. And he did so again when he went out on a limb within his own constituency after his release to support the overwhelmingly white South African rugby team in the World Cup in 1995. Mandela said that even if he wanted to he could not bind future generations to remember history in a particular way. The lesson of Mandela’s life is that he has no need to bind anyone to his legacy nor does he need any organization to do so. His actions in his own lifetime are his legacy and they will remain indelibly etched in history for generations to come as a living example to inspire the leaders of tomorrow.

Source : edition.cnn.com/2013/12/05/opinion/battersby-nelson-mandela/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

Local SEO Services Orlando | “Google Wants to Write Your Social Media Messages For You”

Source     : Search Engine Watch
By              : Jennifer Slegg
Category : Local SEO Services Orlando, Best Orlando SEO Company

Overwhelmed by social media? Google may have patented a solution for you, in the form of software that mimics the types of responses you make to update messages on various social networks. The patent, by Ashish Bhatia representing Google, describes a comprehensive social media bot, providing suitable yet seemingly personalized responses on social media platforms.

Essentially, the program analyzes the messages a user makes through social networks, email, text messaging, microblogging, and other systems. Then, the program offers suggestions for responses, where the original messages are displayed, with information about others reactions to the same messages, and then the user can send the suggested messages in response to those users. The more the user utilizes the program and uses the responses, the more the bot can narrow down the types of responses you make.

The key to this is the personalized reactions. We’ve all seen typical blog spam comments made to blog posts along the lines of “Great, keep up the good work” or “This was really insightful and made me think.” However, this program would generates personalize reactions and messages that continue to be tailored to the user and specifically to the messages being responded to. It also will automatically adjust the suggested messages that generates over time, so that you don’t get the kind of situation where you respond to every interaction with “Great!”

The present disclosure is particularly advantageous because it provides a system and interface that automatically generate suggestions for personalized reactions or messages. There is no requirement for the user to set reminders or be proactive. The system automatically without user input analyzes information to which the user has access, and generates suggestions for personalized reactions to messages. The suggestion analyzer cooperates with the decision tree to learn the user’s behavior and automatically adjust the suggested messages that are generated over time. The patent covers a variety of methods covering all steps of the program. The present disclosure also describes a number of methods including a method for initializing a message suggestion system, a method for generating suggested messages or reactions, a method for sending suggested messages or reactions, and a method for updating a suggestion analyzer.

This patent could revolutionize social media marketing, particularly for businesses and celebrities who want to ensure they are engaging with customers or fans, but might not necessarily have the manpower or the time to do it manually. While there are tools that exist to help automate some of these things, something that can analyze content and suggest appropriate responses that can evolve over time doesn’t exist.

Source : searchenginewatch.com/article/2309696/Google-Wants-to-Write-Your-Social-Media-Messages-For-You