Thursday, February 6, 2014

2014 Business Intelligence Trends

5 Big Business Intelligence Trends For 2014 (via InformationWeek)
Cindi Howson Visual data discovery, cloud computing, and mobile lead the BI trends to watch in 2014. Take a closer look. What's in store for business intelligence in 2014? In some respects, 2014 will echo themes heard in 2013, but the message is getting…

Friday, January 31, 2014

Narrowly Defined Geographics + Untethered Creativity = Magic

Through my recent reunion with my early career mentor Scott Cohen of The Lifecube Project in Downtown Las Vegas I had the opportunity to spend some time in the Fremont East District which is home to the Downtown Project funded and spearheaded by's Tony Hsieh. The whole experience was very cool for me and I immediately felt "at home" in a way that's hard to describe but when you feel it, you know it without question. The last time I felt so in tune with a vibe of a community within a narrowly defined georgraphicphysical location was when I moved into the Urban Abode in the Roosevelt Row Arts District in Downtown Phoenix where my "tour guide" at that time was the inimitable Barry Schwartz this and see if this explains it better.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2013 SGB Media Group's Article Highlights

RSS The Start Up Review Journal

RSS Boardroom Advisory Services

RSS Niche Social Network Development

Friday, January 3, 2014

eMail Marketing Tips from MediaPost

Facebook is facing a class-action lawsuit from users who claim that the company is profiting off of data gleaned from private messages. “On Monday, Matthew Campbell and Michael Hurley filed suit against Facebook with the Northern District Court of California,” CNet reports. “The men accuse Facebook of scanning private messages with URLs in them ‘for purposes including but not limited to data mining and user profiling.’” ...Read the whole story
Direct Marketing News has implemented eCommera's Big Data solution DynamicAction to help make its marketing more targeted. The retailer, who is still in the middle of its busiest period, is using the tool to gather, and analyze third-party search and email data, as well as its own first-party purchase data. For instance, the company is now able to look at which products had high conversion rates, but low page-entry rates in order to redirect consumers to landing pages with high conversion rates. ...Read the whole story
Security experts are warning about a spam email campaign that appears to be coming from Discover. Discover card holders should beware emails that look like they are coming from the bank asking them to renew their account information. The emails are coming from addresses such as with the subject line "Please update your Discover Account". The links connect to phishing websites which are being used to steal customer data. ...Read the whole story
CBS News
MailDeck is a new app that has entered the crowded iPad email client arena. The free app is designed specifically for multiple users, knowing that sometimes people share iPads. It supports multiple profiles and lets users passcode protect their accounts, so that only the intended user can access the email. The tool lets users view their inboxes in varying ways and lets users turn emails into tasks. It also helps users manage attachments. The app currently supports Gmail and IMAP, but not POP or Microsoft Exchange. ...Read the whole story
New York Daily News
There is a spam virus going around the country today that tells recipients that they are due in a local court. Court officials warned about the virus after getting more than 100 complaints from citizens around the country. The emails claim to be from a clerk, informing the recipient that they are required to appear in court and use the names of legitimate law firms to make them seem real. ...Read the whole story
Displaying your email address publicly is a surefire way to get yourself onto the email lists of unsolicited senders. To help address the problem, Mashable has created a list of tips for releasing your email address publicly without having to give out the actual address. The tech blog suggests using phone numbers, Twitter accounts and form submissions among other ideas to give out your contact on your company's website without risking your email address ending up on a spam list. ...Read the whole story

Thursday, December 19, 2013

eLance & Odesk Merge!

The “gig economy” is growing up. Elance and oDesk just merged to dominate it (via Pando Daily)

By Michael Carney On December 18, 2013The staffing world is getting a major shake up this morning thanks to the announcement of a merger between freelance labor marketplaces oDesk and Elance. The deal is poised to create a giant in the online workplace…

Saturday, December 14, 2013

How To Be Successful In Content Marketing As a Modern Content Creator

First let me ask you something, would you ride your horse into a new town-with your products, cds, your art, your books, blog posts, or programs stuffed into the backpack strapped to your shoulders-and solicit your content door to door?
No. You wouldn't...
It would be random, borderline inappropriate, and the 1 or 2% of people that might purchase your content-wares would likely do it out of sympathy.
Despite the fact that many of us are inadvertently executing a similar strategy, there IS good news.
Just because your content marketing campaigns have failed to convert-doesn't mean you have a bad product, a poor service, or a curse from the universe!
It most likely means that your marketing funnel has failed to forge the connection and relationship needed to make the sale, even if the product or service is impressive and valuable enough to your prospect to consider purchasing your solution.
Regardless of what your selling, in the modern world, the "know, like, and trust" factor is more relevant than ever.
Just because you've got a product or service nestled away on a 3rd tier page covered in mediocre copy and checkout button, doesn't mean you have a functional marketing and sales funnel.
This is where the Content Marketing Process comes in to lend a helping hand and play it's part in taking your audience from interested prospect to loyal customer.
Content Marketing is how brands build an audience in the modern world. It is a CORE skill for Modern Content Creators, and if you are selling content of any type or format, your content strategy and your content marketing better be solid if you want to compete in 2013 and beyond.
Understand that content marketing may sound like a new or faddish term. A trendy wave here today gone tomorrow...
Although it's a buzz word bandwagon as of late, it is NOT a new concept, but the Modern World has leveled the playing field by providing the access and resources to accomplish what wasn't ever humanly possible up until just recently, and it's taken a little while for everyone to catch up to the "content as currency" concept.
However, there is a big difference between the approaches that are successful and those that are not.
Two Approaches
There are only two direct approaches to selling your content online. (art, products, services, coaching, knowledge, advice, etc)
1) Send cold traffic directly to an offer... The end.
2) Send targeted traffic to valuable content and build an engaged audience through adding more value and nurturing a relationship, and then at some point transform them into a loyal customer.
Route two is the name of the game.
That is the role of content marketing.
The 3 Shortcuts To Successful Content Marketing
Rather than point out where everyone goes wrong, I'll instead outline the highest leverage solutions, or the biggest shortcuts that you can integrate into your projects, campaigns, and processes to make your efforts more successful.
1) Mindset- The first shortcut is to approach marketing your content with the right mindset.
The mentality you need to embrace is that of the Modern Content Creator, and all that inherently implies.
A. You are an Artist/Creator AND an Entrepreneur. You do the work that's meaningful, aligned with your purpose, and serves your loyal audience.
B. Everything from your mission and purpose, down to each project or campaign-begins with Clarity + Focus. This is always the starting point. Roles and responsibilities are defined so that you can clarify and focus on your highest value activities, and then maximize them with the highest leverage.
C. You are story-teller AND you are a publisher. As a Modern Content Creator you are both the expert/journalist, AND you are the publisher of the magazine.
D. Content marketing is best thought of as a process. An ongoing conversation with your audience based on the creation and delivery of content that adds value to their lives.
E. Think simple yet sophisticated. He who can control and discipline his attention, will find an audience that gives them theirs.
F. The tools are only as effective as your ability to use them. I think we can sort of take for granted sometimes just how awesome the power we have at our fingertips actually is...
I often hear a lot of talk about what the next NEW "thing" is going to be...
Some super technology or social network that instantly takes the world by storm.
While continuous advancements in science and technology and the a cure for cancer are all exciting, spending time thinking about flying cars is a fruitless exercise.
It's not MORE technology we need, it's the need to use the tools we have BETTER.
Think in terms of mastery.
2) Message to Market Match
Content is relative, and being relevant is increasingly more difficult across our very noisy digital channels.
With the right mindset, your message to market match is the next most important thing you CAN'T get wrong.
Unfortunately, for some people it will be easier to speak your audiences language than others. But the essence of what it means to be a ModernContent Creator is the evolved understanding of being both Creator/Artist, AND Entrepreneur.
This means that you are making, creating, providing things that are meaningful to you, but also valuable to others! A lot of the further leaning creative types I work with have to be reminded of the fact that their is an entire skillset and suite of entrepreneurial responsibilities that must be integrated and well managed if you want to find that beautiful balance of endless freedom and fulfillment doing what you love.
... You need to love what you do, and you ALSO need an audience who loves what you do for them!
The inherent CREATIVE faculties for Artist/Expert and Personal Brands can and should most DEFINITELY be applied in finding this balance, but understand that an "if you build it they will come attitude is dangerous."
Gotta provide value. Real value. Gotta know what that value is. This all requires understanding the most essential aspects of marketing, which is really just effective communication to a defined target audience or persona.
This phrase and every imaginable permutation is littered across the web. Perhaps because it is so very basic, and so often mentioned that many of us simply gloss over the inherent implications to making that statement actionable and quantified.
You've got to be thoroughly researched and involved in your market place. Period. You need to know who's who at the greatest level of depth to manage that tricky balance of listening to what your audience is saying, and understanding where you can add to the party, in a meaningful and well positioned way.
  • You need to know the positioning of those already active in your space so you can define YOUR Unique Value Positioning.
It's a balance, and it's the key to finding your voice, whether that's as an authority, or as a reporter or enthusiast...
If you haven't done in depth market research, if you don't know the top blogs, names, forums, brands, gaps, in your market; than it's going to be MUCH harder to carve your own space effectively.
Blind stabs in the dark can sometimes pan out if you avoid the sharks, know the right people, and want to leave your career up to luck. I know that expert trainers/product creators who would consider themselves savvy to this and unconsciously point their nose up at those "ignorant artist/musician types," while they themselves don't even really understand their market at the level i'm talking about.
You do NOT need to go this deep with your market to be successful. No. But when you do, there is literally MANY options and routes you could pursue because at that point you can see all the gaps, you KNOW the market and who's in it.
Now, if you're already an expert, as are most of my clients, then it's more a matter of dialing into the conversations and writing about the most valuable issues, concerns, solutions, that exist within your community.
It's not just about your own ideas, or simply writing about what you feel like writing about... Ideally you'd bridge both so you are writing something meaningful for you, but that is first and foremost speaking to the persona you are intending to reach, and does so in a relevant and engaging way...
That sounds like such generic advice, but it's the name of game. As Brian Clark from Copyblogger illustrated very elegantly in a recent interview I heard, it's more about listening to your audience, than talking at them.
3) Integrated Content Strategy: - Build an Intelligent Marketing Funnel
Just about every single one of my clients, upon initial intake, come to me with the following:
They've put up their information product, art, book, program, CD or service on an inner tier page (2-3-4) with some decent though mostly generic copy and pictures.
Their web traffic is marginal, not tracked, and has a strategy that's typically very leaky-if effectively defined or designed at all.
Now, I hope none of them take offense to this; I'm not saying it to rag on them, but to better illustrate my point for you. (they're going to be all JUST fine;)
But this is NOT an effective marketing funnel.
However, after answering the basic yet vital questions for determining what to say and who to say it to, identifying the best communication formats, selecting the right distribution channels, it's just test, measure, and refine...
I think it can be difficult to think in terms of a marketing sequence for many, and it takes a substantial amount of effort and energy for me to draw the sequences out in my head, transfer it onto paper and then implement it.
But the missing link for the majority that I can see-is a lack of integrated strategy for thinking through and mapping out your marketing funnel and crafting the best, most effective USER experience you can.
This kind of visitor, comes from this place, is taken to this place, then reads through this page, etc. etc.
As I mentioned earlier, but find it worth repeating; think simple yet sophisticated.
He who can control and discipline his attention, will find an audience that gives them theirs.
In Conclusion
The fact is, there are a LOT of reasons why content marketing efforts fail. Failure in one of the these three areas are the most common problems I continue to see.
From overwhelm, mis-prioritization, skepticism, conflicting information, fear, doubt, distraction... It goes on and on.
The line between high value content and general noise is glaringly obvious, but much harder to create, and requires more savvy in utilizing the tools more effectively.
When in doubt be sure to review these factors to ensure that your mindset, your message to market match, and your marketing funnel are focused to give yourself the highest probability for success with content marketing.
After a decade of successful Content Marketing as a DIY Artist and Content Creator, and 3 years of specialized coaching and consulting for Expert, Artist, and Personal Brands, (Modern Content Creators) Jamie Leger ( continues to enjoy serving his clients and audience during the day, and creating music as well as insightful lessons and training at night.
The absolute BEST shortcut is to receive the most advanced training-built inside of a sophisticated yet simplified structure. Connect the dots guidance on how to truly use the tools of the Modern Content Creator/Marketer, and grow your brand with high value content that's leveraged to it's fullest potential.
To be apart of the next wave of thought leaders, bloggers, artists, experts, and high value content creators, I want to gift you with my $2,000 Content Masterclass, for free.
I want to remove all obstacles for you to receive the best training and support so that you can connect and contribute to us all in the way only you can.
I'd much rather give all the content away to the people who'll actually use it AND contribute real value to the global web, than the biz-opp seekers who'll pay for it, let it go to waste, and/or add to the noise.
It has taken me literally 13 months in actual production, a decade to acquire, and I'm proud to get to be able to contribute to the success of your brand in this small way.
Go to the Content Marketing Bootcamp for Modern Content Creators -

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Using Social Media To Promote Start-Up Businesses

If you are planning to launch a start- up business or have recently started one, you probably have encountered a wealth of information on using social media to promote a business. Though there are millions of social media users across the world, around 900 million of them, it is easy to get carried away by the numbers. Finding the right social sites to promote your business to maximise its potential is essential for business success, and this is where you should concentrate your efforts.
What Social Media Engagement Achieves For Business
Social media in essence is about engagement through sharing, which for business means targeting your product range, your articles, or your services at engaging a potential customer or client base. Collectively, products, services and articles are known as content, and it is through offering quality content that success through your channels can be achieved. Social media has around 900 million users globally, and covers every topic range you can think of. As well as engaging a potential customer and client base or readership, social media is also relevant to search engine optimization. Social media is a unique format as it helps you promote your content directly to your audience, and in turn it generates traffic via people sharing your content with others, and through SEO. Perhaps more importantly than this, however, social media with its online reviews helps a business build trust, and nearly every brand you can think of uses social media for this reason. Consider this: you come across two companies offering the same services; one has 250 Facebook likes, the other 43 - which one would you opt for? So regardless of whether you're an online retailer, an affiliate marketer, offer a service such as tuition, or run a news site, social media can help you build your business online. Google estimates that by 2015, UK consumers will have purchased £40bn of products and services online.
Popular Social Media Sites And Their Uses
Getting to get grips with the nuances of social media's role in promoting your business can cause more than its fair share of headaches. Here is a list of the most popular social media sites and their uses:
  • Facebook is predominately for sharing. This can be products, articles, or services. In a nutshell, it's for sharing your content with as many people as possible.

  • Twitter is about sharing news on any subject. Don't let the word news make you feel it does not apply for products. New product launches, new stock ready to be sold - Twitter is good for all of this.

  • Google+ is in part a combination of the two and has become important for search engine optimization if nothing else.

  • Blogging is a great way to impart news and expertise to your readership, customer and client base, or followers. It offers a good way to attract visitors on your site via search engines.

  • YouTube is about showcasing videos to a wide audience. It is being utilised by businesses all the time to sell products and services. As YouTube is owned by Google, videos tend to feature prominently on search engine results. You can also utilise the YouTube ads to make a secondary income stream.

  • Pinterest and other bookmarking sites are very good at showcasing visual products. If your business is selling something online, albeit a product or service, ensure you are posting on Pinterest and as many bookmarking sites you can find.
Social Media And Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Good positioning on search engines is about unique quality content that is well shared and well linked to from other websites. By sharing your content on social sites, the more chance there is of people liking it on Facebook, retweeting on Twitter, or sharing the pin on Pinterest. Links are important for good SEO and posting your content on social sites provides a link from the social site to yours, and in every case this can be targeted to a specific web page. By web page I mean a specific product, service, or article. This also ensures Google indexes the web page. That is to say, it adds it to its database, ensuring it can be found on search engines.
Finding The Best Social Media Sites For Your Business
To find the best social sites suited to your business, think about what your business is trying to do. If your business sells products or services, then use social sites that showcase pictures and videos to sell the product. YouTube, Pinterest, Delicious and Instagram are all really good for showcasing products. If you're in the selling game, make videos of your products, take good professional photos and get them on these sites, and ensure you link the pictures and videos directly to the content on your site. If you sell on eBay or an affiliate seller, try to link directly to the product page where a potential customer can buy it. Also, put the products on your Facebook page, Google+ page, and Twitter. For service providers, a slightly different spin on social media promotion is needed as, more often than not, a service provider will sit in the middle of visual social media, and text-based social sites. This also applies to affiliate marketers. If you can, represent your services with a picture or icon, and publish the picture or icon on the visual sites. Use videos to showcase your services - if you can get testimonials from clients, well, that's gold dust. Publish regularly on your blog and tweet the articles, together with insights into the industry. This engagement will help build trust with your existing clients, showcase your skills, and help you to be found by people wishing to become new clients.
Social Media Advertising
If you have the budget for it, Facebook offers advertising on a click-through basis like Google AdSense, or it can be used to earn likes. It is often a case of experimentation. For affiliate marketing revenue streams, click-throughs will expose the user to your revenue stream, while a like will ensure every time an article or new product is published they'll be informed. It's trial and error and seems to work well for some businesses, but others have lost faith in it.
Saving Time
By now, you have probably guessed that updating social sites, especially if you publish a lot of daily content, is hard work. Larger businesses employ people to keep on top of it, something many start-up business don't have the budget or the time for. It is possible to automate your social accounts updating using automatic syndication sites.
A Social Media Strategy
Step 1: Create a Facebook Page, Twitter account and Google+ Page For Business
These have their uses regardless of the type of business, and all help considerably with SEO. Ensure you create business pages on Facebook and Google+. This keeps your personal details and indeed social media life hidden from your customers or clients, and it offers better options to promote a business.
Step 2: Identify Social Media Sites That Are The Most Important To Your Business
If your site sells products, make a list of all the online bookmarking and video sites you can find and create accounts. Ensure you use Pinterest and YouTube. If your business is for services, information, or is for an affiliate marketing revenue stream, you want to spread the word in as many ways as possible. Use blogging sites such as Tumblr, Blogger and to syndicate your blog posts and services, and try to create news content if you provide services to show your expertise in your field.
Step 3: Use Social Media Tools Such As 'If This Then That'
'If this then that' or automatically updates your social accounts. This is easy to establish and works by syndicating the information across a host of social sites automatically as soon as one site is updated. This, as you can imagine, saves a lot of time. Be cautions, however, and ensure social sites suited to the business, such as bookmarking sites for online retailers, appear just as you want them to be found. Automatic syndication has limitations and often links and pictures do not appear as you would like them to. Nonetheless, and especially for syndicating blog posts via an RSS feed, it is a very good time-saver for promoting your business via social media. Not all social media can be syndicated in this way, but the sites that syndicates to are well worth creating accounts on to promote your business. The more social media sites you post on, the better.
Step 4: Use #hashtags
Whenever you post your content, ensure you use accurate #hashtags. This will help users find your content when they search for it. So if I'm selling tyres on ebay, #tyres, #cartyres, #car, #tyres is good, and for sports news, #sportsnews, #football #cricket, and so on is good.
Step 5: Once It Starts
Once your content starts hitting the social media world, monitor your accounts for feedback. Concentrate on the sites you've identified as important to your business and respond to questions and comments. When responding, try to be helpful and non-abusive, even if the commentator is not pleasant. Professionalism goes along way.
Step 6: Participation
Twitter and Google+ show trending topics and these are popular subjects people are discussing. It is worth performing the odd Twitter search to see what people are talking about in relation to your business, and making a contribution to the discussion. This is a good way to make connections and hopefully achieve more success.
Step 7: Monitoring Success
Monitoring success has proven to be quite difficult for social media. Unlike SEO results, which can be measured on click-throughs and content engagement, it is not so simple on social sites for a variety of reasons. You may feel if you provide news that 10 comments on one story is a good sign of success, while 100 likes of a product video on YouTube with no obvious link to sales may not be immediately obvious as positive. It is worth remembering, however, that though people may not directly access your main site via social sites, it may prompt them to return later. Always keep in mind that social media is for sharing content, so any like, comment or retweet is positive.
Daughter, Sister, Wife, Mother of three, PR Consultant and Entrepreneur
Like many women on most days I seem to have to juggle all my roles. On other days just three or four. This is why I founded Homeforbusiness. I recognise what it takes to be a working Mum and how to set up an online business from home with all 'pulls' of everyday family life and work.
I have always been entrepreneurial and set up by first corporate communications company, EMA Productions, in my 30s working with big corporate clients such as Texaco, Rank and Boots. Whilst it was challenging and hard work, it was quickly successful. I could focus solely on winning contracts and meeting the clients needs without family distractions and with the support of a fantastic team and office.
I feel very passionate about HomeforBusiness as I believe that lots of people want to create a better work/life balance and work from home, either setting up a new business or working as a freelancer. There are hundreds of genuine opportunities for people but often people do not know how to start. I want HomeforBusiness to empower anyone who wants to work from home profitably. With a panel of guest experts I will share share genuine business opportunities, business ideas, advice on running a business, online marketing, and health and wellbeing tips. I have also put together my favourite free online resources.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Every Business has IP. Every business has potential Intellectual Property (IP) that needs identifying and protecting, even at the idea stage. IP is not just for tech businesses or inventors. Your name or product name, branding, and customer lists are all valuable IP assets and need protection.

Patents are not the only Intellectual Property Protection. Many inventors understand patent requirements and process. However, patents are
not a necessity in every case and trade secrets should be considered for protection. Do not forget to consider the need to research any names for trademark purposes.

Not everyone will sign a NDA. We have all heard that everyone should sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) but some potential investors may not be able to sign. Consider giving enough information to explain your concept but not enough to have someone replicate your entire process or product.

Mailing an idea to yourself does not work. Envelopes can be steamed open or mailed empty with ideas inserted later. Your brilliant idea needs to be uploaded and time-stamped by an independent 3rd party, like a notary.

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone. When starting a business, growing or hiring, or raising capital, the first step is to know what you have by identifying all your valuable IP assets. Don’t wait until it’s too late,
especially with secrets, the time is now to discover what your valuable IP.

Applying for funding or pitching is daunting and difficult. Starting a business can be intimidating. You don’t know what you don’t know. Traklight makes it easy to get in the know about your intellectual property (IP) and protect your ideas. Started by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, Traklight transforms a once confusing, expensive process into easy, affordable steps, saving time and money with attorneys later. 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Infusionsoft CRM System

 Infusionsoft is a CRM system integrated into an email marketing automation suite. (View a Recorded Demo

Infusionsoft can help you:
  • Shorten your sales cycle (learn how)
  • Consistently follow up with prospects and clients (learn how)
  • Get more referrals from your customers (learn how)
When clients are investigating sales and marketing software they often have questions such as: 

1. How can I use CRM to generate more leads? 
2. How can I use CRM and Marketing Automation to automate my marketing? 
3. How can CRM make my Sales Reps more productive? 

Those are all great questions but I wanted to know what specific challenges you've been facing in your business that has you evaluating CRM/marketing automation systems. 

When you have a minute, please give me a call so we can discuss your personal M.A.P (Marketing Automation Plan).  What is a M.A.P?  Click here to learn more. 

If you're ready to see Infusionsoft in action, you can view a quick demo here

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Need to Publish a Press Release?

468x60 logo on right side and green

Here are some tips to consider:

  1. Make sure the information is newsworthy.
  2. Tell the audience that the information is intended for them and why they should continue to read it.
  3. Start with a brief description of the news, then distinguish who announced it, and not the other way around.
  4. Ask yourself, “How are people going to relate to this and will they be able to connect?”
  5. Make sure the first 10 words of your release are effective, as they are the most important.
  6. Avoid excessive use of adjectives and fancy language.
  7. Deal with the facts.
  8. Provide as much Contact information as possible: Individual to Contact, address, phone, fax, email, Web site address.
  9. Make sure you wait until you have something with enough substance to issue a release.
  10. Make it as easy as possible for media representatives to do their jobs.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Will be migrating this site off Posterous

With Posterous apparently being shut down after being acquired last year by Twitter it's time to migrate to another hosting solution. Our sites are spread out over a wide range of platforms to mitigate risk and to increase trafic and exposure but it's getting tiring keeping up with all the various changes so I'm going to thin the number of sites down from over forty down to around ten and most likely use self hosted Wordpress sites on one dedicated server on HostGator or JustHost. More soon~!

Posted via email from SGB Media Group

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Microsoft Releases Office 2013

Microsoft launched Office 2013 and Office 365!  Today we’ll be taking a look at the pricing options available for these products, and a few interesting features.  For a full breakdown of what’s new in Office 2013, check out Microsoft’s article on the subject.

First, let’s take a look at the pricing of Office 2013.
Office Home & Student 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
Office Home and Business 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
  • Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook
  • Cost: $219.99
Office Professional 2013 (1 Licensed Install)
  • Includes: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Publisher, Access
  • Cost: $399.99

If you are not wanting the entire package, there are multiple options available.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Edit PDF Documents using Microsoft Word, change the content, save them out as Word Documents or as PDF Documents again.
  • Add Online Video: Insert videos from online sources that readers can watch while reading the document.
  • Layout options appears as soon as you insert an image
  • Alignment Guides: Make it easy to line up items, charts, photos etc. (think Publisher lite)
  • Reader View: Makes your document open more like an e-book, hiding toolbars but allowing you to read as you will, and then still modify the document if you need.
  • Double click charts and images in reader view to make them larger to view.
  • Simple Mark-up: Shows where comments will be, along with who made the comment, and contact them directly without leaving MS Word, all within the comment column that appears in the Mark-up View
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Flash Fill will search for patterns in data and will complete full entries.
  • Quick analysis will add color and meaning based on conditional formatting, or sparklines (which are like mini graphs)
  • Live preview as you choose from the various formats.
  • Recommended Charts: Allows Excel to recommend charts based on the data you’ve inserted.
  • Once a chart is inserted, you’ll get the formatting button right away, where you can then edit chart information, color pallets, formats and more.  This is probably one of the most interesting aspects of Excel.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Default aspect ratio is widescreen (16:9)
  • Smart Guides allow you to align graphics and intuitively help objects line up.
  • Master Level Guides are color coded, fixed guides that you set while in the Slide Master View.  While working in normal view, you’ll still see the alignments, to help align content across multiple slides.
  • Motion paths now show you a “ghost” image of where the object will end up, rather than red and green arrows which you have to guess where your actual item will be.
  • Presenter View will allow you to see your notes, change font size, zoom in on specific areas of the presentation, and view and move between slides easily.
  • Auto Extend: automatically applies settings to match a projector or another monitor.
  • Give feedback and comment from inside PowerPoint for collaboration.
  • Sharing: Now allows you to grant only read, or edit capabilities based on a link you send to others wishing to view your presentation.
  • The Page Curl transition is now available, so your slide transition can look like a page in a book getting flipped over.
  • Cost: $69.99
  • Export snapshots from notebooks, or an entire notebook as a PDF.
  • Full page view will hide the OneNote interface (useful if working on a laptop)
  • Tables have been changed, add color shading and designate header rows, sort data just like in Excel.
  • Embed Excel files by using the dialog box (you must have Excel 2013 installed for this to work).
  • Embed Visio 2013 images/diagrams as well (assuming you have Visio 2013 installed)
  • Lync 2013 can be used to create a new meeting, and add notes for everyone to work from.
  • Created to work in touchscreen mode, makes commands larger and allows “Draw With Touch”
  • “Send to OneNote” to send screenshots , other documents, reminders to OneNote
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Cleaner interface
  • Glimpse calendar and to do lists with the “peek” view if you do not want to open the full view.
  • Works with Sharepoint
  • Tasks sync between Outlook and
  • Weather is included as a bar above the calendar view and is available for up to 5 cities.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Images are placed in a “scratch” area off to the side for your use by drag+dropping to your page.
  • Swap images by dragging an image from the scratch area into an area with pink outline.
  • Picture options allow you to format the picture with traditional options, previewing them by mousing over the options.
  • New text effects include additional reflections and more.
  • Cost: $109.99
  • Build an access App in 60 seconds that you can then share with colleagues.
  • Access will work on the back end to create tables and search various pieces of information for you.
  • Related items will show multiple rows of information, or summarize the views by field.

Now let’s take a look at Office 365. This program allows up to 5 PCs (or Mac’s) to have updated versions of Microsoft Office (That means when Office 2015 comes out, your update will already be paid), as well as 20 gigabytes of SkyDrive storage, 60 minutes of Skype calling each month for the next (you guessed it) 365 days.  Essentially, the idea is that you could be working from your home computer on a paper, save it to the Skydrive, then go to work and pick up where you left off, on an entirely different machine, even if that machine does not have Office installed.  This is called Office On Demand, and basically, it streams the actual Office application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) to whatever computer you’re working from, rather than only being on one machine.  This is not part of the 5 computer limit, it’s a temporary version of the application that you’re able to use as you need it (hence, On Demand).  It’s also great that Microsoft will include updates to your Office 2013 with this subscription (yes, it is a subscription based system).   The price for Office 365 Home Premium is $9.99 / month, or $99.99 / year, depending on which you’d like to use.

So that’s it, in a nutshell. All the pricing, new features (that I’ve found so far), software options and references for the newest version of Microsoft Office.
If you’ve purchased the full version of Office 2013 (not the Preview version), let us know your feedback.

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Google Modifies "Safe Search" - What Does This Mean?

Google SafeSearch Changes Hit the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and More [CONFIRMED] 

It's official: Google's fragmented, less-useful Image search has spread from the U.S. and is now affecting English-speaking countries all over the world. 

Google has confirmed that the previous SafeSearch changes that made it impossible for U.S. users to fully disable SafeSearch have been launched in English-speaking countries internationally. 

Although, it's unlikely that Google would describe the changes in that fashion. 

What do you think of Google's changes to SafeSearch? Do you want to be able to fully disable SafeSearch? Does it really matter to you? Let us know

Back in December, we told you that Google had made a change to its SafeSearch feature in the U.S. thatmade it impossible for users to entirely disable SafeSearch when searching for Images on the site. 

Long story short, Google has prevented users from disabling SafeSearch altogether in Image search. It's important to note that this is different from Google censoring NSFW content. That's all still there, in fact, it's just that users must now be very specific in their queries in order to access it. 

For example, a Google Image search for "boobs" will now yield SFW results, by default. In order to find NSFW results for that query, you must now add a modifier - let's say "boobs porn" or "boobs nude" for instance. 

Users used to be able to turn SafeSearch off, completely. There is a little box at the top right of SafeSearch that used to allow users to pick their level of SafeSearch: "STRICT," "MODERATE," and "OFF" completely. But now, Google only allows users to filter all explicit results. 

What's more, Google users are no longer given the option to turn off all types of SafeSearch filtering within the Search Settings. 

If all of this sounds a little confusing - that's because it is. Google has fragmented their Image search in an attempt to keep NSFW materials from popping up without a specifically explicit search. 

But here's the gist of it, in plain English: A search for 'boobs" in the U.S. (and other English-speaking countries) now yields SFW results, as Google Image Search is now defaulted to "MODERATE" level. Users are not allowed to fully turn off SafeSearch. In order to see those NSFW results, users have to be more specific with their searches. 

Here are your SafeSearch options for, Google Australia, Google South Africa, and Google New Zealand, etc.: 

And here are the options in Germany: 

Notice the difference? We've tested this for other non-English-speaking countries like France and the Netherlands and have seen the same results that we have for Germany. It appears that, at least for the time being, non English-speaking countries have not been affected by the changes. 

"We are not censoring any adult content, and want to show users exactly what they are looking for — but we aim not to show sexually-explicit results unless a user is specifically searching for them. We use algorithms to select the most relevant results for a given query. If you're looking for adult content, you can find it without having to change the default setting — you just may need to be more explicit in your query if your search terms are potentially ambiguous. The image search settings work the same way as in web search," Google told me back in December when we first reported on the changes to SafeSearch. 


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