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Gartner Marketing Technology Map May 2016 — What’s The Big Data? May 15, 2016

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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Kirsten Newbold-Knipp, Gartner: Here are a few highlights from some of our 2016 marketing cool vendors reports as well as guidance on technology selection. Cool Vendors in Content Marketing: As content marketing grows up from its early tactical success to become a scalable program, marketers need to expand their content pipeline with high quality results. […]

via Gartner Marketing Technology Map May 2016 — What’s The Big Data?

Interesting visual on this topic.

Be a more effective Google User October 24, 2015

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Social Media.
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Every time we surf the web, we use a search engine at least once. Go to your favorite search engine web site, enter a phrase or two and select a result on what you are looking for. Typical scenario, right? A search engine might even be the default web site whenever you open up a browser. While the search engines have vastly improved and have been in use a long time, are you searching beyond the basics? Are you aware of ways to improve the results, hone your search technique? Maybe it’s time for a refresher on the ways to search.

Infogrpahic GooglePowerUserWhich calls for an infographic – love the use of these to convey lots of information visually. This is a great visual from the folks at daily infographic.

A few of the search tips to be a more effective user include:

Quotes – to search for an exact phrase, use quotes around that text as in “exact phrase“.

Search on a particular site – to restrict results to a specific site, enter the search word(s) then add site: as in site:this_site_only.com.

Search for a particular file type – add filetype with a colon and then the suffix. Example : filetype:doc

Search with keywords – Insert keywords such as define, translate or movies in front of the search term.

You can view the complete list of ways to use Google search as the Guide is a great reference. Refer to that page  for more on ways to make searching more effective. Part 3 of that guide talks about search tools specifically.

Once you start to use and master these techniques, your search results will improve and search time will be shorter.

Share a favorite or two of yours and I will post a summary. Maybe you will find this post in your search results.

Happy searching!


Ramblings on web design process October 26, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in E-Commerce, Project Management.
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You know the phrase “It’s great when a plan comes together”? It strikes me as odd that we are surprised when the results of planning using a consistent process yields what we expect. That’s the purpose of a plan. Perhaps from experience we know that a plan and process don’t always match reality.

I found this infographic a while ago and posted it to Slideshare (shameless unintended plug). It is a useful visual to show the end to end process in plan, design and build phases of a website. From project to project, the actual timing can vary widely from what is shown. Factors such as scope and complexity, cost and resources will drive the actual durations. This graphic is useful in guiding the conversation with teams and clients alike. During status updates, it’s useful to ensure everyone understand which phase we are in. It helps set expectations and also show what’s next.

However, I’ve found that some phases are not optimized, like reviews and approvals. Reviews and approvals tend to take much more time than we expect. That makes project management interesting. How do you account for extended review cycles without impacting the delivery date? What makes it more fun is some client adding new features during the reviews. Call it scope creep. I’m sure they realize it will change the end date.  Simple math, really. More features = more time.

Following the plan takes rigor and discipline. Flexibility also helps when reality hits. Keep your plan together. Sorting out the impact to the plan and getting everyone to agree can be a daily task for project managers. I always preface updates to clients with the phrase “I don’t make the news, just report it.”  So, don’t be surprised. Expect the results you plan on.

It is great when a plan comes together. That’s why you use a process to make it happen.

Ramblings on Car Sales Infographic January 21, 2013

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Miscellaneous.
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Just a few quick ramblings of 2011 car sales via an  infographic. Somewhat dated, I know but some insights worth noting. As the world population shifts from the old world, the new world and into the 3rd world, we now start to see the effect of a new ‘cluster’ known as BRIC.

That is the short version for the countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China. These ’emerging markets’ to many companies are an opportunity for growth in terms of sales, market share and of course, profitability. I’ve also seen references to the  growing middle class in both India and China. The economic impact of these world markets is already felt in banking, oil and manufacturing industries. Welcome to the global economy.

2011 Car Sales Statistics via Olathe Toyota Parts Center

If you are a global company, ignoring these markets can be a fatal mistake. As shown, GM is a big company. They are very aware of these markets as are the other well know auto manufacturers.

Any surprises with the  Top 5? I expect that most have an impression of who these manufacturers are in each region. So there is much press about China as a car market. Not so much with India but in 2011, it was in the top 10 in sales.

Does this changes your perception of BRIC? I will check for an update on 2012 sales. Updates may follow.

My Infographics Stack is featured on delicious.com April 9, 2012

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Cloud Computing, Trends.
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I have been using this site for several years now as an easy way to save web site URLs. By saving those links on delicious.com, I could easily access them  from anywhere, on any device. Ah, the benefit of using the cloud. In addition to saving URLs, delicious provides a way to organize them into  stacks.

I’ve been collecting infographics for a while and organized them in a stack. Similar to any URL saved to delicious, stacks can be marked private or public. The full list of public URLs I have is available via the  link titled ‘My  links on delicious‘ at the top of the blog.

Last week, I ‘published’ that stack by making it public. Soon after that, I received an email from delicious. They found my stack,  said it was deemed interesting by the staff and would be featured on their home page. Naturally, I shared this information with my Twitter peeps, LinkedIn network and Facebook friends. Since the weekend, there are over 640 views and 80 followers and counting. I am very happy delicious selected my stack and appreciate their attention. My family is so proud of me.

Here is the short URL to my stack. After the jump, you will see this page :

As stated, I have multiple topics listed here. I like the ability of infographics to provide a lot of information concisely and cleanly in a visual format. In short, they are ‘a better mousetrap’ to use in visual communications. Also, I think they are much more preferable to ‘death by Power Point slides’.  Disclaimer – I have yet to create my own infographic. I have mentioned in the past infographics are great for a 1 page representation on a given topic. There are several sites* that use these visual data summaries.

* A few sites that collect and share infographics include :

Daily Infographic

Infographics on Alltop.com

What’s your favorite source for infographics? Care to share your stack? Who knows, you might get featured also.

Seen any good infographics lately? November 7, 2011

Posted by Edwin Ritter in Grab Bag, Trends.
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Count me as a fan of infographics. I like these high level visuals. To partially quote a familiar bromide “A picture is worth…”. I’m sure you can finish the rest.  We always have appreciated visuals in the fine arts.  It started with paintings on the cave walls even.  Leap forward to the present and visual communications reasonate as well in the digital age. We share images more easily now than ever before. DC Metro Map

You find them in the real world. One common example in large cities is the layout of the subway lines, aka metro maps. When you see the image, you know how to use it. There is no learning curve. Quickly and easily, you can find the information you need and move on.

I have not experienced this directly but I can see where infographics will replace slide presentations in business meetings more and more. For myself, giving a presentation typically meant lots of preparation, critique from peers, adding speaker notes, making transparencies for the overhead projector as well as hard copies, and practice runs. I’m dating myself in order to emphasize the overhead involved. A rule of thumb for presentations was that each slide was good for 5 minutes of discussion. Thus, for an hour presentation, you needed a minimum of 12 slides. I have sat through many presentations that water-drip the information over 50 or more slides. I say “Enough” and evolve! Compare that to a well-designed infographic that can carry a full hour. Much easier to talk to, prepare and retain for your audience. That assumes you have the infographic already.

Here are two online examples of infographics. First for  SEO, a useful overview on Landing Page Optimization (LPO) and the second is on exercise myths.

I find infographics most effective while explaining new things to people. As an example, if you wanted to explain the term User Experience, how would you do it? I typically use a classic infographic such as this one.

Elements of User Experience

Classic UX from Jesse James Garrett

Using a web site is something we do every day. But, if you had to explain some of what happens behind the scenes, could you do it without confusing them via too much information? Using a visual is much easier for all involved.

I am drawn (no pun intended) to graphics while researching topics. In our short attention span world, I use the graphic to obtain a high level of understanding. Depending on my level of interest, I know I can find articles, reviews and expert commentary online.

If you find a good infographic, share it. No words are neccessary and Thanks in advance.