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A regularly updated resource of information and news items.

Archive for October 2010

The World’s Fastest Supercomputer Now Belongs to China

Posted Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Mashable, 28th October 2010

Unveiled today at the Annual Meeting of National High Performance Computing (HPC China 2010) in Beijing, Tianhe-1A is the world’s fastest supercomputer with a performance record of 2.507 petaflops, as measured by the LINPACK benchmark.

Tianhe-1A was designed by the National University of Defense Technology (NUDT) in China, and it is already fully operational. To achieve the new performance record, Tianhe-1A uses 7,168 Nvidia Tesla M2050 GPUs and 14,336 Intel Xeon CPUs. It cost $88 million; its 103 cabinets weigh 155 tons, and the entire system consumes 4.04 megawatts of electricity.

Tianhe-1A ousted the previous record holder, Cray XT5 Jaguar, which is used by the U.S. National Center for Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratories. It is powered by 224,162 Opteron CPUs and achieves a performance record of 1.75 petaflops.

According to Nvidia, Tianhe-1A will be operated as an open access system to use for large scale scientific computations.


When Are Facebook Users Most Active?

Posted Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Mashable, 28th October 2010

We know that users are spending increasing amounts of time online on social networks like Facebook, but when exactly are users the most active? Social media management company Vitrue just released a study that identifies the days and hours users are most active on the Facebook channels maintained by companies and brands.

For the study, Vitrue analyzed Facebook post data from August 10, 2007 to October 10, 2010 from more than 1,500 brand streams — more than 1.64 million posts and 7.56 million comments in all. Shares and “likes” were not included in the study.

Here are some of the big takeaways:

The three biggest usage spikes tend to occur on weekdays at 11:00 a.m., 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. ET.
The biggest spike occurs at 3:00 p.m. ET on weekdays.
Weekday usage is pretty steady, however Wednesday at 3:00 pm ET is consistently the busiest period.
Fans are less active on Sunday compared to all other days of the week.


How Social Search Will Transform the SEO Industry

Posted Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Facebook and Bing announced last week an agreement that would allow Microsoft’s search engine to return results based on the FacebookLikes” of the searcher’s friends. Additionally, Google recently began including Twitter updates in its search returns. It’s a natural innovation that fits into the business models of both companies and takes the trend of individualized search results to its next logical level: results tailored to the searcher’s existing social footprint.

SEO insiders have wondered whether this new search innovation would affect placement strategies. And the simple answer is: yes. Yes, there will be changes to the way SEO professionals run their clients’ campaigns. Yes, this will affect the industry as a whole. And yes, we believe SEO professionals will have to adapt to meet ever-evolving needs.

Changing the Method, Not the Mission

But to think that this development is rocking the SEO world is to misunderstand the realities of the industry. In its roughly 15 years of existence, SEO has grown from being a small wildcat operation run by webmasters and content services to being one of the most dynamic, fast-growing sectors of the tech market. The reason for this rapid growth is because — not in spite –- of the constantly evolving nature of search engines.

Of course, as with any complex question about a dynamically evolving industry, there is a caveat. While the Bing-Facebook agreement and the recent updates to Google will change elements of how we do our business, the fundamentals will remain the same. As much as innovation shapes the day-to-day processes of optimization, the core foundations of the industry remain unchanged. The goal was — and still is — putting clients at the top of results pages, whether this is through organic search, paid search or social media.

Social media is nothing new in the world of online marketing. Facebook alone has 500 million users. We have already seen certain Twitter feeds included in Google search results. Before long, results may integrate other social networking sites, like Foursquare, Gowalla, Brightkite and myriad other sites that haven’t even been developed yet. For SEO professionals, this change highlights the need to integrate social networking if they haven’t already.

The Bing-Facebook agreement is indicative of the many changes that have taken SEO from a small-time game to a major, innovative industry. SEO is not about counter-punching, and it’s not about simply reacting to the changing search-engine landscape. Instead, it is about growing alongside search engines. It is about evolving with them to ensure that searchers get the results they need.

SEO Firms Must Become Digital Media Agencies

For years now, successful SEO firms have not been focusing their efforts strictly on organic search results. They’ve been steadily evolving along with changes in search engines: new Google algorithms, the emergence of Bing, the development of Google Local, instant searches, paid search, and searchable Twitter feeds. At mycompany, we believe that to be successful, SEO firms need to become something more advanced: Digital Media Agencies.

A modern DMA resembles an SEO firm from 2002 in the way that a Ferrari resembles a Model T. The basic elements remain the same, but sophistication and complexity have resulted in a better product. DMAs are about handling the many online representation needs of their clients. While top search engine placement remains the major goal, it is just one aspect of what they seek to do. A DMA also seeks to manage a client’s online reputation, create and maintain their social presence, and handle the many other aspects of a client’s online brand.

Will SEO professionals have to change their strategy in reaction to a new social media paradigm? The answer is yes. Their evolution into full-fledged Digital Media Agencies is imperative. And as the social and search industries continue to change, so too will DMAs need to innovate.


Third of UK small business ‘use social media every day’

Posted Thursday, October 14th, 2010

More than a third of the UK’s SMEs use social media as a marketing method every day, according to new research.

Simply Business, 8th September 2010

A survey compiled by publishing group Daryl Willcox suggests that 35 per cent of firms surveyed post daily updates on services like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Of those firms questioned, more than half said that they use social media. A quarter said that they use the tools “every few days”.

Some 60 per cent of users said that social media has had a positive impact on their business. Of these, 46 per cent reported an increase in brand awareness.

Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool for small firms with relatively modest marketing budgets. Many SMEs have enjoyed higher marketing ROI with social media, as a result of the increased ability to target activities.

Daryl Willcox, founder of the publishing group, said: “The number of companies participating in social media on a daily basis shows the growing importance of this marketing channel.

“The fact that 60 per cent have reported a positive impact on their businesses shows SMEs are becoming increasingly receptive to the benefits.”

LinkedIn proved the most popular social media platform, with 73 per cent of respondents saying it was their most commonly used tool. Facebook and Twitter were close behind with 64 and 63 per cent respectively.


Internet Explorer Lost Their Market Share

Posted Thursday, October 7th, 2010

The battle of the browser has been a long one, and shows no sign of relenting just yet.

Internet Explorer, the long-established leader of the browsers has competition for the crown. This month it was revealed that Microsoft is losing its market share, and chief rival Firefox is slowly but surely creeping up the chart. Although it seems not even Firefox is safe, as Google’s offering, Chrome, is rapidly gaining on them.

Microsoft stole the number one spot and killed off Netscape back in the day by illegally leveraging its monopoly over operating systems, and has remained at the top ever since.  Only two-and-half years ago Internet Explorer enjoyed an 80% market share, but over time this has steadily fallen to its current resting place of 49.87%.Firefox now claims over 25% of the market and that isn’t taking in to account last week’s upgrade.

Firefox has currently released 6 versions in order to keep up with the ever-developing war of the browsers. Firefox’s success has been based on its rich feature set and has seen its share steadily growing since November 2004. The next incarnation focuses on speed to counter the threat from the lightning-fast Google Chrome browser.

The steadiest increase has been seen from Chrome, although only with 7.98% of the market, it has gone from strength to strength since its release in December 2008. Initially the program faltered around at the 1% mark on immediate release but soon found its feet and has been increasing ever since.

It seems at this point it is anyone’s game, with Internet Explorer falling and Firefox and Chrome gaining, all bets are on. I suggest we just sit back and enjoy the impending digital tussle.


 
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