Social Media Field Guide

EFF Questions US Government's Software Flaw Disclosure Policy

Slashdot - 21 min 49 sec ago
angry tapir writes: It's not clear if the U.S. government is living up to its promise to disclose serious software flaws to technology companies, a policy it put in place five years ago, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. They write, "ODNI has now finished releasing documents in response to our suit, and the results are surprisingly meager. Among the handful of heavily redacted documents is a one-page list of VEP 'Highlights' from 2010. It briefly describes the history of the interagency working group that led to the development of the VEP and notes that the VEP established an office called the 'Executive Secretariat' within the NSA. The only other highlight left unredacted explains that the VEP 'creates a process for notification, decision-making, and appeals.' And that's it. This document, which is almost five years old, is the most recent one released. So where are the documents supporting the 'reinvigorated' VEP 2.0 described by the White House in 2014?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Rangers protect three of the last remaining northern white rhinos in the world

Mashable - 24 min 27 sec ago

There is only one northern white male rhinoceros left on the planet. Its home is 200km north of Nairobi in Kenya, at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.

Joining Sudan, the male, are two female northern white rhinos. Together, they are three of the last five remaining northern white rhinos in the world.
The subspecies are on the verge of extinction, suffering greatly since poaching surged in the 1960s. According to The Guardian, a rhino's horn can sell at prices upward of $75,000 per kilo (2.2 US pounds), leaving them under great threat.

See also: Bison vs. hunter: Daily life in Yellowstone's crowded wild

So what is the solution? Unfortunately we lost the only other two males in 2014. In an end-of-the-world-like crisis, the future of the subspecies lies on Sudan. A team of conservationists and scientists are turning to artificial fertilization techniques in a desperate attempt to save the species. Sex cell samples will be collected and stored, while scientists run appropriate tests before they can attempt to use a southern white rhino as a surrogate Read more...

More about Photos, Photography, Animals, Conservation, and Africa

Armed militants hold prosecutor hostage in Turkey

Mashable - 26 min 51 sec ago

Armed assailants have taken a chief prosecutor hostage in his office inside an Istanbul courthouse. The militants are members of a banned leftist group in Turkey

State-run media outlets have identified the prosecutor as Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who investigated the death of Berkin Elvan, a teenager who was hit by a police gas canister fired during nationwide anti-government protests in 2013. The armed militants, who are threatening to kill the prosecutor, are reportedly demanding the arrest of the police officer who shot the teenager.

A video showing an armed militant holding a gun to the prosecutor's head surfaced during the siege. Read more...

More about Turkey and Us World

5 ways to support black-owned businesses

Mashable - 29 min 38 sec ago

Black-owned businesses need your support

In 2011, it was reported that by 2015, black buying power in the U.S. could reach $1.1 trillion. But that money doesn't always go back to the black community. If that's one of your priorities, giving back to black-owned businesses is a great way support black entrepreneurs.

See also: 8 things to do before launching a business this year

However, unless you live in Columbus, Montgomery or Atlanta, Georgia (the top three cities for black-owned businesses), it requires a little more effort to find and support these kinds of initiatives

From shopping online to trying out different apps, here are five ways you can support black-owned businesses. Read more...

More about Features, Business, Race, Social Good, and Small Business

When Did The Eiffel Tower Open To The Public? Today’s Google Logo Marks 126th Anniversary Of Paris Attraction

Search Engine Land - 30 min 39 sec ago
Built by Alexandre-Gustave Eiffel for the World's Fair, the now iconic structure opened to the public on March 31, 1889. The post When Did The Eiffel Tower Open To The Public? Today’s Google Logo Marks 126th Anniversary Of Paris Attraction appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

DARPA wants an army of drones to overwhelm the enemy

Engadget - 31 min 49 sec ago
US air warfare superiority is hardly a given anymore -- sometimes the nation's very pricey new fighter jets aren't even airworthy, let alone dominant. Even the military's science arm, DARPA, said that "US military systems today are often too expensiv...

Dive Deep on SEO, PPC, International Search, Display & Local Search – Check Out the SMX Advanced Workshops

Search Engine Land - 33 min 32 sec ago
Attending a workshop is the fastest way to get up to speed on specific internet marketing topics. At SMX Advanced you’ve got six workshops to choose from. Each provides: a full day of in-depth instruction on one digital marketing topic; an intimate learning and networking experience with a small...

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Where to buy HTC's One M9 in the UK

Engadget - 38 min 49 sec ago
This year's MWC trade show was unquestionably headlined by mobile heavyweight duo HTC and Samsung. Not only did they both have fresh VR headwear to show off, but they arrived in Barcelona with new Android flagships in hand, too. Samsung's Galaxy S6 a...

This organic, wheat-based kitty litter caused a nuclear waste leak

Mashable - 56 min 43 sec ago

If you're trying to stabilize nuclear waste, don't use organic kitty litter.

That's the take-away of a 277-page report, just released by the Department of Energy (DOE), on a radioactive leak that occurred at the underground Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, on Feb. 14, 2014.

Investigators confirmed that a 55-gallon metal drum of nuclear waste burst open after it was packed with the wrong kind of cat litter, as had been suspected since last year

SEE ALSO: Nuclear security - best & worst countries (infographic)

Kitty litter isn't just used to absorb urine; it's long been used for industrial purposes, too. Traditional cat litter is usually made from inorganic silicates that can stabilize nitrate salts found in nuclear waste, James Conca explained in Forbes last year. Read more...

More about Radiation, Nuclear, Organic Products, and Us World

DroneDeploy Snags $9M As Its Drone Control Platform Soars Out Of Beta

TechCrunch - 1 hour 3 min ago
 DroneDeploy is on a mission to make drones accessible to industrial users who have a business need for conducting outdoor landscape mapping and monitoring. So, in other words, it wants drones to be put to work by people other than enthusiastic dorks with a gadget habit — doing tasks like helping farmers spot crop damage and disease. Read More

18 simple April Fools' Day pranks

Mashable - 1 hour 3 min ago

Grand April Fools' Day pranks, as impressive as they are, require careful planning. And though massive, meticulously planned pranks certainly gets a rise out of unlucky prankees, it's the subtle pranks that pack the most surprise

See also: 10 Easy Pranks That Take Less Than 5 Minutes

For those without the time or energy to go all-out, there are plenty of quick pranks that require only a few supplies to throw together. Just don't expect to be forgiven before at least mid-April

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments. Read more...

More about Pics, Lists, April Fools Day, Instagram, and Watercooler

Vodafone's mobile payment app to scrap top-ups with a new SIM

Engadget - 1 hour 10 min ago
If you want to make contactless mobile payments in the UK, your options are pretty limited. Apple Pay is only available in the US (for now) and Google Wallet is bound to Gmail transactions and Google Play purchases in Britain. Spotting the opportunit...

Senator Mike Lee Opens Investigation Into Google-FTC Antitrust Outcome

Search Engine Land - 1 hour 12 min ago
Secondary political motivations enter the FTC report controversy. The post Senator Mike Lee Opens Investigation Into Google-FTC Antitrust Outcome appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.

Star Wars villains get a moody re-imagining by Square Enix

Engadget - 1 hour 23 min ago
Square Enix, the gamesmaker that gave us the Final Fantasy series (alongside plenty of other games), also has a sideline in fancy high-end action figures. Its latest collection tackles the Star Wars universe, well, the darker side of said universe. A...

11 ways to de-stress based on how much time you can spare

Mashable - 1 hour 31 min ago


April is National Stress Awareness Month, thus a good reminder to breathe and relax

As humans, we face stressful events and situations every day, from traffic in our morning commute to deadlines we're rushing to meet — and it only seems to be getting worse. The American Institute of Stress reports that 44% of Americans feel more stressed than they did five years ago.

See also: 8 Not-So-Magical Secrets From a Former Disney Princess

In the United States, the most common causes for stress are pressures from one's job, worries of money and concerns for health Read more...

More about Health, Features, Stress, Lifestyle, and Health Fitness

12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results

Online Marketing SEO blog - 1 hour 33 min ago

Debbie Friez and Ian Cleary

Strategy gives you direction, but tools help you get there quicker, says Ian Cleary, founder, RazorSocial at Social Media Marketing World. Once you have a strategy, then you need tools to help you save time and provide value.

Twenty-six percent of marketers spend 6-10 hours a week on social media. Let’s explore twelve possible problems and the tools that can help solve those problems and make you more productive.

12 problems and the tools to solve them

1. People not seeing your content? Consider using PostPlanner, which was just a Facebook planner up until it recently added Twitter. You can –

  • Schedule content
  • Decide what type of content to share
  • Discover new content
  • Allows you to create a queue of content
  • Reschedule each post

2.  Not sure which posts will rank? Consider InboundWriter, which helps you determine the success of your topics before you put pen to paper. It will tell you what words in your title are important and suggest additional terms.

3.  Are you Twitter followers not growing quickly enough? ManageFlitter will help you manage your Twitter account. It can help you make it tidy, find relevant people to follow, do a super advanced search, save the search and then have it gradually follow people over a period of time. Cleary reminds us not to be creepy and follow hundreds of people at a time.

4.  Not enough followers on Google+? Consider Circloscope, which will provide a list of people in different communities. Cleary says, despite recent rumors, Google+ is going to be around for a long time.

5.  Video is becoming more and more important, and difficult to produce. You can easily create videos with Directr, which also includes tons of storyboards to help you organize your video.

6.  Having problems selling on social media? Use Cart from Heyo, an app that automatically responds to a comment within a link to help people buy products on Facebook. It works great for low-cost products. People will buy if it’s a good product and you have a good relationship with your followers says Cleary.

7.  Blogging takes too much time. You need to have an organized process. Plan your content ahead of time with Coschedule. It allows you to schedule social media outposts within WordPress. And, don’t just share once, but multiple times so people will see your content. The app will show you your top posts from older content, so you can re-share them over again.

8. and 9.  You can’t find great content to share.

ContentGems will dig through the dirt and find great content for you to share. It also –

  • Integrates with Buffer
  • Expands your interest groups as defined by keywords and other search tools
  • Allows you to set criteria for each interest
  • Allows for added preferred and trusted sources you want to add

Nuzzle, for Facebook and Twitter, tells you when your friends are sharing a piece of content and emails you with the details of the latest posts.

10. Do you find it difficult to reach your Twitter Audience?

SocialBro will show how your followers online are interacting. Cleary is using it for direct message campaigns to let his followers know about webinars and other opportunities. He encourages setting up really good filters and finding the best people, because no one wants to be a spammer.

11.  Need help managing Pinterest? integrates with Canva, a graphics app. You can then schedule your post. It also includes very useful analytics.

12.  Not tracking your competitors? Check-out, where you can enter keywords or choose a category to see a list of popular articles in your area. It’s great for researching competitors and find out what’s popular. Once you find an idea from your competitors, you can write a better story on the same subject!

Buzzsumo is very similar and will also let you research your competitors, top subjects and compare your posts to those of your competitors.

Invest the time to find the right tools to help you get to where you need to help you optimize your strategy. And then, promote it correctly.

What tools help you meet your goals? Please share, so we can expand the list.

Gain a competitive advantage by subscribing to the
TopRank® Online Marketing Newsletter.

© Online Marketing Blog - TopRank®, 2015. | 12 Tools to Help You Optimize Your Social Media Marketing Results |

9 Productivity Tools I Use to Run My Company

Convince and Convert - 1 hour 33 min ago

Around here, we always have a lot of balls in the air. The Convince & Convert Consulting division provides digital business counsel to some of the world’s largest brands. And the Convince & Convert Media division provides digital advice to marketers and business owners via this blog (10 posts per week), our daily email (The One Thing), our 4 podcasts, ebooks, books, speaking and beyond.

Yet, our entire team is 11 people, with nine of them half-time. And, we’re totally virtual with team members located coast-to-coast.

How do we keep everything straight and the trains running on time?

Well, the real secret is hiring AMAZING people, letting them do what they do, and making sure you treat them well enough that they want to stay. In our nearly seven years, we have 0% turnover. I’m pretty damn proud of that.

But beyond great people, we use a bunch of technology to replace the meetings and b.s. that causes so many companies to waste time and leak effectiveness like a 1973 Gremlin dropping oil in the driveway.

The whole list of the tools we use routinely would be a VERY long post, as we have more than 50 pieces of software in our bag of tricks, but this batch of 9 are our most important contributors in terms of team interaction and efficiency.

1. Sococo

This is probably our newest tool and has quickly become indispensable. Sococo provides a virtual office layout that also includes IM, click to talk voice and video calls, status updates and more. It’s like an easier-to-use Skype with an office metaphor.

Here’s how our “office” looks today. (i’m writing this on Saturday, so nobody’s “in” their office) Soon, we’ll be big enough to upgrade to the next tier, and we can do more customization. And yes, our conference rooms are called Casa Yvonneka (the huge house in Mexico where we stage our annual planning retreat), and Thug Life (named after the hilariously brilliant – AND NSWF – Youtube collections)

2. Teamwork

Like Basecamp, but better (for us). Teamwork is our baby and our bible. It’s where all projects are set up, tasks and deadline are assigned, and files are stored. Anything we have due, for anybody, it’s in Teamwork.

We particularly like the ability to assign multiple people to a particular task, and to create job templates that can be easily replicated (keynote speeches, for example, or the Social Pros podcast).

3. CoSchedule

We love these guys so much, they are a partner and sponsor now. CoSchedule is the editorial calendar we use to manage this blog and the 10 posts per week that appear here. Super easy to use, great way to work with guest contributors, and automated social when new blog posts go live. Garrett Moon and his team there are also incredibly easy to work with, and are always innovating. We’re lucky to have them in our corner.

4. Buffer

Not only am I a very proud investor in Buffer, I use it every day. I do all my content curation in Buffer, both on laptop and mobile, and it saves me a TON of time. I read more than 33 blogs routinely, and I just click posts I like, and Buffer sends them out in social throughout the day. It is the easiest-to-use social posting and scheduling tool, and the analytics available just keep getting better. Plus, the company has a remarkable blog of their own, and the team at Buffer is widely recognized as leading the charge toward business transparency world-wide. I love them. Period.

5. Sprout Social

For our team, this is the more collaborative side of our social posting and engagement program. I post all of my own content on Sprout Social, our publicity manager Lisa Loeffler also stages a lot of social posts in Sprout, and she also used it to run our nights/weekends program where we retweet/repost very popular posts each night and weekend day. I like Sprout so much that we routinely recommend it to big corporate clients, and they are the exclusive sponsor of my Jay Today video podcast. A remarkable combination of power and ease-of-use.

6. Amy from

Ready to have your mind blown? I was lucky enough to get into the beta group for Amy from which is an artificial intelligence robot that SCHEDULES MEETINGS FOR YOU! Seriously, this thing is a game-changer. Here’s how it works. You know how when you want to schedule a meeting or a call you have to go round and round with someone playing the options game? How about Wednesday at 2, 3, 6, or 9? etc. Amy fixes all that.

You just cc Amy (the robot) on an email that says something like “Amy will work with you to get this scheduled” and the human-assisted artificial intelligence engine will email back and forth with the person with whom you want to meet; figure out the right time; and put it on your calendar. We’ve been using it for a couple months now, and NOBODY can figure out it’s a robot. It’s that good. It’s scary good.

7. Candidio

These guys are video wizards. I just shoot my Jay Today episodes on my iPhone, upload them to Candidio’s web-based platform, and they do the rest. Fast and easy, they add the graphics, clean up the audio, and make the videos better. Fast and easy. They are a sponsor of the Jay Today show, and I proudly recommend them in every episode (108 and counting!)

8. Canva

Force of nature. These guys went from approximately zero customers to nearly two million customers in one year. How? By filling a need and doing it with crazy ease-of-use and a super low cost. Social media is almost entirely visual now, and Canva IS that trend in many ways. Facebook, Twitter, G+, Instagram graphics + a lot more. Everyone is a designer with Canva. We use it to make the 10+ graphics we use every day to promote these blog posts and other stuff at Convince & Convert Media.

9. TripIt Pro

This one is exclusively dedicated to the speaking side of our business, but it’s probably the most important one to me personally. Every plane ticket, hotel reservation, rental car, sound check, speech, restaurant reservation and more goes into TripIt, just by forwarding an email to It totally organizes your entire travel life for you.

Plus, the PRO version alerts you to flight changes and other real-time drama, usually before you hear about it from the airline or other company. If you travel even a modest amount and don’t have TripIt Pro (web and mobile) you are making your life way harder than it needs to be.

Those are the nine we use most for time saving and collaboration. What do you use or like? Let me know on our Facebook page, Twitter, or beyond.


'The Voice' knockouts conclude with Christina's final steal

Mashable - 1 hour 44 min ago

Goodbye knockout rounds. The coaches finalized their teams for The Voice playoffs, as Christina used her final steal of the season and several artists were sent packing. As with last week, the female contestants continue to impress the coaches, but the men definitely came back swinging this week

Also important to point out — an extremely random, yet hilarious hashtag #VoiceBoop began to trend on Twitter during the episode, as viewers began to literally "boop" their television screens. Confused? Here's the best of them all:

@NBCTheVoice my @adamlevine #VoiceBoop is on point #thevoice

— Jenn Milazzo (@jennmilazzo) March 31, 2015

More about Reality Tv, The Voice, Entertainment, Music, and Tv

How it's made: The beautiful birthing process of Peeps

Mashable - 2 hours 3 min ago

Every year, the Peeps family welcomes roughly 2 billion marshmallow candies.

The production process has changed plenty in the last 52 years since the brand began making its strange candy. In 1953, it took approximately 27 hours to create a single Peeps candy using a hand-controlled pastry tube.

See also: 10 Weird Things to Do With Peeps So You Don't Have to Eat Them

Fast-forward to present day, and it takes just six minutes to birth one of these candies. Which means that 509 Peeps are hatched every eight seconds and that they will soon takeover the world

Here's a look inside the Just Born factory, where the intimate process takes place Read more...

More about Lists, Easter, Candy, Gifs, and Watercooler

LG likely to unveil new flagship smartphone on April 28

Mashable - 2 hours 7 min ago

LG will likely launch its new flagship smartphone on April 28, according to an invite sent to Mashable Tuesday

Save for one unfinished sentence, "see the Great...," the invite reveals very little. However, the stylized "G" in "great" makes it very likely we'll see the new smartphone from LG's G series — presumably the LG G4

See also: 25 Best Free Android Apps

No official details have been shared about the upcoming flagship so far. It's likely it'll play nice with the two smartwatches launched at this year's MWC in Barcelona, and it might have a curved screen, just like the LG G Flex 2 which premiered in February, but that's pure speculation at this point Read more...

More about Smartphone, Lg, Tech, Mobile, and Lg G4