26 March, 2015

What’s In and Out for Technology in 2015?

With technology advancements moving at a blistering pace, keeping up the latest trends can be very challenging. Unlike being current on the latest fashion and gourmet trends, public sector IT leaders need to keep their fingers on the pulse of what is happening – and direct their investments accordingly.

How Long Does It Take To Make An App?

Developing an app can be a lengthy process, but if you use AppMakr it doesn’t have to take any longer than necessary.

When you ask a developer the question, “How long will it take to build a mobile app?” you’ll most likely get is a vague response of, “It depends…” because it depends on many, many things, some of which they won’t even be able to start listing until they have an idea of what type of app it is.

Until you know exactly what type (and quality) of app you are trying to build, it’s impossible to accurately estimate how long it will take.

According to crispycodes’ infographic, which is based on a survey of 100 iOS, Android and HTML5 developers, 18 weeks is the average time it takes them to get their app to market. This does not include the time spent researching the market and coming up with an idea and/or problem to be solved by your app. And if you’ve never done it before you can probably look forward to some hiccups along the way, whether they’re problems with your outsourced developer or the learning curve you need to go through to build it yourself.


Things that affect the duration of your app’s development include the number and complexity of its features, the number of users you need to cater for, the number of platforms you want to support as well as the availability of your contracted developer’s time and yours.

The infographic shows that steps taking the most time in developing an app from scratch are all to do with backend development: at an average of 13 days each, the lengthiest aspects are data storage, user management, and data integration. The entire backend process is 10 weeks long. Frontend development is an 8 week process mostly concerned with developing the user interface (UI).

Time Is Money

Keep in mind the apps these developers are creating are most likely quite complex: not your average calculator app! An app like Twitterific, not an advanced app by most standards, took around 1,500 hours of labor and cost in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If 18 weeks seems like a short period of time to you, then you’ll be happy to know it’s possible to create an app in much less time using the AppMakr DIY platform, since so much of the process is automated and done behind the scenes. If you know what you need to do, then it’s possible to make your app in significantly less than 18 weeks!

So, if you need your app to be launched as soon as possible and for a very reasonable fee, then AppMakr should be at the center of your radar.

20 March, 2015

How IBM Will Help Brands Understand Tweets Better Using Analytics

Your tweets have more power than you think -- a lot more -- with a new service from IBM designed to help marketers and brands pluck out insights from the 500 million tweets that flow through Twitter on a daily basis.

As part of an ongoing collaboration with Twitter  IBM is putting tweets to work through its new Watson Analytics service so that businesses can tap Twitter's archives for business purposes such as forecasting demand, identifying ideal customers, boosting sales and keeping customers loyal. Watson Analytics, first launched in December, is a web-based tool that helps businesses make sense of their various data sets. Access to the newly offered Twitter data will cost $20 per month.

IBM has also added the Twitter data to its developer platform, known as BlueMix, where app developers can build, manage, and run their web and mobile apps.
"People are stepping up to the microphone to express their opinion on various things, so Twitter lends itself for looking to see what the trends are," said Alistair Rennie, general manager of IBM analytics.

IBM declined to disclose the financial terms of the relationship.

Rennie noted that Twitter's data are unique in that tweets are public, replete and they date back several years. "We think that there's a need for every business person to be able use this kind of market insight in their daily decisions."

For example, a manager of a grocery store could use Watson Analytics to look at relevant tweets and find the factors, or combination of factors, that are driving new customers to the store, Rennie said.

The addition of Twitter data to Watson Analytics marks some of the first publicly available fruits of IBM's partnership with the social network, cemented in October of last year. The arrangement provides the technology services company unfettered access to Twitter's entire digital warehouse of data. The pair aim to help marketers better understand current and prospective customers.

By passing the data on to IBM, Twitter gets in front of an important audience that, it hopes, will spend more money advertising on Twitter.

Twitter makes a small sum from selling raw data to analytics companies through its data partner Gnip (acquired for $134 million last year), but the social network is primarily in the advertising business. Twitter brought in $47 million from its data licensing business in the fourth quarter of 2014, which was less than 10% of total revenue for the quarter.

IBM, meanwhile, hopes the subscription offering will have wide-ranging appeal and support the growth in its business analytics business, which accumulated $17 billion in revenue in 2014, up 7% over 2013. IBM's total revenue in 2014 was $92.8 billion, down from $106.92 billion in 2011.

The mutually beneficial data relationship mirrors, in part, the newly crafted arrangement between Facebook (FB) and its data-processing partner DataSift. The world's largest social network is making available a new product called "Topic Data" to select clients through DataSift. The data processor is helping Facebook package opinion data from posts to provide marketers with a summary of how people are talking about products, activities, events, brands and industries.

19 March, 2015

11 Major Social Media Changes That Have Happened In 2015

Check out the top 11 major social media changes so far in 2015 in the list below.
1. YouTube Wants A Cut of Your Sponsorship Deals
The details around this are still pretty fuzzy but if you show logos or product placements from sponsors in your YouTube videos, Google is about to ask for their cut. Here’s the official company line from YouTube:
“We allow text-only title cards where there is paid product placement for the purpose of paid product disclosure only. Graphical title cards, including the use of sponsor logos and product branding, are prohibited unless there is a full Google media buyout on the partner content by the sponsor.”
Check out this article from Marketing Land to find out more

2. Facebook “At Work” App Launches
Mark Zuckerberg recently clarified his vision for apps in the Facebook world and he’s looking forward to the day when there’s a Facebook app to address every part of your life. The next incarnation in this journey is the Facebook At Work app, a work-friendly version of the social network catered to keeping business teams connected.
This new version of Facebook allows employees to have profiles completely separate from their personal accounts – so your boss doesn’t have to see your constant stream of selfies in their News Feed, of course.

3. New Features in Facebook Groups Improve Buy & Sell Experience
Facebook groups have become a very popular way to connect special interest groups inside local communities, including groups for buying and selling various goods. This latest change will improve that experience by offering a “sell” option next to your option to post inside a group.
Sellers will also be able to mark posts as “Available” or “Sold” and set a pickup location.
TDSM blog image 1
Image Credit: Facebook

4. LinkedIn Introduces Commercial Search Limit
Are you a recruiter or very active social seller that loves LinkedIn? If so, this change will likely affect you.
LinkedIn decided to create a limit to how many times you can use LinkedIn search each month before you hit what they call a commercial limitThey don’t explicitly tell you what the number is but they do offer a solution if it happens to you: LinkedIn Premium.
The odds are that the investment is well worth it if you are actually using LinkedIn enough to hit the commercial limit, plus there are some great features worth checking out that could make the recruiting and social selling process much easier.

5. Facebook Photo Posts Now Getting The Lowest Organic Reach
Remember those days when photo posts got the most action in the News Feed? A new report from SocialBakers has revealed that photo posts are getting the lowest reach out of any type of post for Facebook pages.
TDSM blog image 2
Image credit: SocialBakers
The data is consistent across big pages as well as small ones but the real interesting trend is how video is getting way more action than normal. Is this a sign of the larger role video will play on social media for 2015? We think so.
TDSM blog image 3
Image credit: SocialBakers

6. Unanswered Inmails Are No Longer Credited Back
As of January 15, any Inmails that do not get a response will no longer be credited back to the sender. Alternatively, any Inmails that do receive a response (including ‘not interested’ responses) will receive a credit back if the response happens in 90 days.
You probably aren’t too happy right now if you are a recruiter but I believe this change will be better for the overall experience on LinkedIn.

7. Snapchat Introduces “Discover”
I believe Snapchat’s new feature, Discover, could be a potential game changer. It shows original content from a handful of select major media players in a unique way that transcends any other storytelling experience on social media.
Watch this video to get a sense of what it’s about:

8. LinkedIn’s Home Page Gets a Refresh
Although it hasn’t rolled out to everyone yet, LinkedIn has a new home page with a refreshed look. I’m not crazy about it but the odds are that it will feel like second nature in a week.
Check it out…
TDSM blog image 4

9. Twitter Debuts Group Messages & Video
Twitter is really stepping up its game with the addition of two long awaited features: group messaging and video.
Group messaging allows you to have a private message with up to 20 people and the videos can be up to 30 seconds in length. Although I’m not sure why they decided to do it now, I’m glad that they did.

10. LinkedIn Adds “Your Updates” Page
Have you ever been frustrated trying to keep track of the updates you’ve made on LinkedIn without having to dive into your notifications?
The new “Your Updates” page under Profile is great for keeping track of how others are engaging with your posts, content and comments.
TDSM blog post 5

11. LinkedIn Shakes Up Groups, Removing Top Contributors
An official email from LinkedIn has revealed that groups are getting a major shake up to streamline the experience and improve overall participation.

Here are the key changes mentioned:
  • The cover image in forums will be removed to make it easier to read discussions.
  • Managers will now pick just one Manager’s Choice post so it’s easier to focus on what’s important. The post will be pinned at the top of members’ feeds, and you can set a new Manager’s Choice any time.
  • All groups will now automatically filter Job and Promotion posts. Also, when members flag a post as inappropriate, it will be removed more quickly.
  • Top Contributors will be discontinued to encourage more participation from all group members.
  • Settings can now be found behind the gear icon in the upper right. You can also find the group’s latest activity in your Search tab.