Facebook Hashtags and Your Business

Love them or hate them, hashtags have become a big part of the way we communicate with each other online. And they’re only going to become more pervasive thanks to the latest changes being made to Facebook.

There had been rumblings about Facebook fully embracing hashtags on their platform for a while now. And really, people have already been using hashtags on the site for a while. Facebook is just giving hashtags greater functionality, by making them searchable and turning them into clickable links. Once clicked, a hashtag will not bring up a feed of posts that have been used with that hashtag. Facebook has already started rolling out the changes, but they won’t be in effect for all users right away. Facebook will begin rolling out the changes today, but they won’t be in effect for all users.

This new development can help businesses in several ways. First, while Facebook hasn’t announced this feature, it’s to be presumed that they will be offering advertising space in the trending hashtags section. This will give businesses a chance to engage and be noticed by potential customers while participating in timely discussions. And secondly, it will give businesses the opportunity to monitor popular conversations and produce related, engaging content.

It will take a while to see just how big of an impact hashtags will have on Facebook, so stay tuned for more info.

Marketing By Zip Site Launch

3PRIME has recently launched the new website for Marketing By Zip(MBZ). MBZ is a marketing company which focuses on creating simple solutions and ideas for businesses. It’s always encouraging to work with a company that has similar values and we were happy to help their upgraded site come to fruition. The site that we set up at MarketingByZip.com is easy to use and a great example of functional and attractive web design. It features a CMS which will allow them to update content on the site as they see fit. This was important for MBZ because it allows them to communicate special deals and opportunities to their client base as they become available. Continue »

Your Website and eCommerce

There are some great options for adding eCommerce to an existing website but all involve a variety of considerations

1) How many products are you selling? If it’s just a few, you can skip custom cart development and use PayPal buttons. Make a great product page, and get the code from Paypal. No worries about security certificates and it’s easy to add new products just by adding new pages and generating new buttons. The major downside of this is that there is no “customer management” built into the website and PayPal’s merchant fees are high on a per-transaction basis. But it is by far the easiest way to set up eCommerce on a site. We also set up a payment page for consultants so their clients can pay online through their website.
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The Gamification of Science

Videos are somewhat of a recent phenomenon but anyone who’s a fan of them know that they’re really hard to stop playing once you get started. There are plenty of reasons for this, many are immersive and are the perfect escape from realty. Others feed off of people’s natural competitive nature with scoreboards and incentives like achievements, rewards and badges. The reason games are so appealing is rooted deep in human psychology and there has been a recent trend to take advantage of this called gamification.

The definition of Gamification taken from Wikipedia: the use of game design techniques and mechanics to solve problems and engage audiences. This is the idea behind Foldit. It’s a game which researchers have developed in order to enlist the help of gamers in deciphering the structure of a key protein in the development AIDS. It’s a structure which scientists haven’t been able to identify for years but now have thanks to the online game Foldit. And it only took gamers three weeks to come up with the answer. This is a great story of games being used to solve real world problems and you can read more about Foldit here.

WordPress.com Hacked

A few days ago WordPress announced that they had been hacked. Someone was able to gain deep access into several of the company’s servers which holds information of their VIP accounts. We’re talking the big boys like TechCrunch and CBS. The unknown hacker could now have access to sensitive information like Twitter and Facebook passwords. So you can imagine how much trouble could come of this.
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List of 8 food dyes linked with ADHD

The FDA has come a long way in making foods and drugs safer for America. A big part of their success has been the prevalence of the labeling of a goods contents. Some are proposing the FDA take their labeling a step further and start providing warning labels on foods that use the following dyes. It’s also interesting of note that these same dyes are banned in Europe.

Yellow #6
Yellow #5
Red #40 (Most Common)
Red #3
Orange B
Green #3
Blue #2
Blue #1

Its all because there have been claims that these dyes can cause ADHD in some kids. Check out the story on CBSNews.com for more information and to see what types of food these dyes are used in.

Hint: a lot.

Media companies rise to the S&P 500

Netflix and Cablevision are taking seats at the table of the influential S&P 500, one of the standards by which we (macro) measure American progress in general and day-to-day transactional news.

To free these seats, the following companies are being asked to quietly pick up their chips and move to a less infamous table.

  • Office Depot Inc
  • New York Times Co
  • Eastman Kodak Co

Newspapers giving way to cable distribution, no surprise given people have shown a definite preference for entertainment-news rather than traditional journalism.

And Netflix, one of my own darlings, taking the seat from an office supply chain that, I guess, can’t match Quill and Staples.

Or is Staples not long for the S&P either…

Why are social behaviors plateauing?

Interesting summary from Forrester:


I like the categories for social network behavior they use here, particularly Creators and Joiners. It is true that with the simplification of online publication, more people than ever are saying more of what they think, or what others think, on a consistent basis.

Their messages are also read by more people and archived in myriad manners, forcing us to recognize that the traditional reality of gateways of information to not exist as they once did.

Instead the gateways to information are defined by a coupling of which networks people are involved in and to whom they “connect” themselves within those networks.

So for those not so interested in sharing or Creating, there are added the Joiners, those who setup their profiles on the networks they deem indispensable simply so they are availed of the chatter of those more prone to create.

From these grow services that help Joiners aggregate their various profiles so that they can more quickly read and digest the Created “content”.

The main problem that I’ll mention here with this paradigm is that all of these services thrive because they are essentially free. This is also a root of the trouble we have with “news”, specifically that when all content is free, facts take a distant backseat to entertaining and gripping eyeballs.

Makes you wonder what’s really out there anymore. For us here in Connecticut, today, it’s rain, baby!

Stay dry folks!