3 Reasons Why Open Source Is On The Rise

,

This post was authored by Martin Yan and originally appeared here on Liferay.com

Has open source software now become the preferred choice for enterprises? According to a Black Duck Software report, over half of all enterprises will utilize or contribute to open source in some manner in 2015.

What was once considered on the fringes of technology circles, reserved for pockets of developers or small businesses, has now become a strong selling point for businesses across all industries. Increasingly, companies as well as individual contributors have opted to implement open source technology into their main system infrastructures.

What would explain the dramatic rise in open source interest? Perhaps we can point to the financial crisis in recent years, which has forced companies to reevaluate their purchasing budgets and operative costs. With greater savings and arguably much higher ROI potential, open source software serves as a more practical choice.

But there are several other good reasons people are gravitating towards the Linux’s and Firefox’s of the world:

  1. More security and reliability

The logic here kinda works backwards: the open source code is available for all eyes to see, which allows users to address more potential issues. (This is kind of like a surveillance society, though in this case it really is for your good.) In fact, hidden code tends to lead to more security vulnerabilities. Open source communities tend to respond more promptly to vulnerabilities, which in turn means a more stable and reliable product.

  1. No vendor lock-in

You don’t have to be stuck using one single software or company to develop a project. For the most part, open source software is compatible with other products that are developed with similar standards, open or closed, regardless of vendor. This means you aren’t limited to using the technologies from the same companies, which could result in expensive purchases of entire product suites or integrations. (In other words, FREEDOM!!!)

  1. Easier to customize and adapt

Open source software adapts to the needs of various users and sites. Certainly, having to modify the source code can be quite costly due to maintenance fees, so developers tend to build a product with baked-in extensibility. The more flexible it is, the easier it is for you to keep up with whatever your site demands.

These reasons, and many others, are contributing to the growth of a vibrant marketplace that is only expected to make room for more challengers and visionaries. And as well-known organizations like NASAGoogle and Facebook adopt and invest in open source, you can expect more enterprises to entrust their future projects to open source.

——————————————

For more articles from the Liferay community, visit the Liferay Blog.

CPRS Toronto recognizes Veriday for “New Product or Service Campaign of the Year”

,

TORONTO, MAY 21st, 2015 / – The Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Toronto chapter honoured the Greater Toronto Area’s best public relations (PR) practitioners last night at the annual Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Awards Gala.  The ACE Awards are synonymous with innovation, skill and excellence, recognizing outstanding work and distinction in the practise of public relations.  Attended by over 300 practitioners, the ceremony at Arcadian Court celebrated the accomplishment of PR professionals.

Veriday and Manulife were nominated for ”New Product or Service Launch Campaign of the Year” which recognizes a new product or service launch that generated awareness and product/service recognition through the use of strategic public relations planning and execution. Veriday and Manulife are honoured to have been awarded Silver in this category for the implementation of Digital Agent, a digital marketing platform that has empowered Manulife’s Advisors to take control of building their online presence. Digital Agent has provided Manulife’s Advisors with the flexibility to create their own unique websites with their own content while ensuring it meets Manulife’s branding and compliance standards.

————————-

The Canadian Public Relations Society is a national professional organization focused on establishing and upholding educational and ethical standards in Public Relations. CPRS Toronto is one of the largest local societies with nearly 600 members. For more information, please visit:http://www.cprstoronto.com.

Secrets of Content Marketing: How Advisors Can Get The Most Mileage Out Of Their Content

,

If you are constantly looking for new content ideas and blog topics with which to engage your target audience, you could try digging a little closer to home. What many Advisors don’t realize is that they have valuable, ready-to-use content right at their fingertips. We all know that content marketing can take a considerable amount of time.  It isn’t always possible to be pumping out new content on a daily basis. Fortunately, great content can be repurposed into something new and different, and extend your content’s longevity while also maximizing the reach of your content’s idea.

Content repurposing involves taking your work and adapting it to a new content angle or format. Incorporating this approach into content marketing can help to expedite production and increase audience reach and effectiveness. In addition to saving some time on content production, repurposing your content into different formats means being able to focus on different aspects of your content.  For example, a blog post may focus on explaining some concepts of a topic, while an Infographic may focus on a different angle of the topic such as stats or data analysis. Some visitors prefer visual over text, while some would choose eBooks over Webinars. Reformatting your content in different formats means appealing to more audiences and extending your reach.

Content repurposing also gives you a second chance at promoting your content and ensures that visitors who missed your content the first time around have a chance of seeing it in round two, or three.

In part 1 of this series, we will cover off three of the ways in which Advisors can repurpose their content in order to get the most mileage out of their content marketing.

Types of Content Repurposing

e-Newsletters

If you are not feeding your content into an e-newsletter, then you’re missing out on a way to save yourself a lot of work, while also extending your content investment along the way. Pushing out your content to your client and prospect list is a content marketing must.  E-Newsletters are one of the easiest ways that Advisors can repurpose their content in an effective and easy way in order to engage their audience and drive traffic back to their website.

Advisors can actually send out an e-newsletter full of already existing content. Advisors can provide their content in their e-newsletters in its entirety, or offer a quick summary with a link to the original article on your website in order to drive users to read more. E-Newsletters deliver high quality content right to your clients and prospects inboxes, while also driving traffic to your website.

Infographics

Visual content is not only easier and faster for the human brain to process, but it is also a great way to generate more engagement. An Infographic is a great way to present processes, statistics, and other content that lends itself to more visual presentation. If you have existing content that explains a topic in a step-by-step way, shows a process, or has some interesting statistics and analysis, think about how you can present this content as a visual story.

eBooks

Compile your blog content into an eBook – which is generally an in depth look at a topic.  You can create eBooks by compiling all of the blog posts you’ve written about a certain topic and adding additional components such as a cover page, table of contents, images, header and footer. Ebooks are considered to be high-value pieces since they usually include more detail then blog posts. When offering an eBook, you may be able to collect visitor information in exchange for access. Ebooks are a great way for Advisors to collect information from prospects visiting their website.

————————————————–

For more strategies on how you can repurpose your content, check out part 2 of this series.

 

Guide to Content Marketing

The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page

, ,

Website Optimizing is a phrase that describes the techniques and strategies used to effect the visibility of a website or web page in search engine results.

So, why optimize your website?  The fact is, if you aren’t optimizing your web pages, you’re ultimately losing business. Optimizing your website properly is crucial to getting your website seen and clicked on in search engines. Your website must be optimized so that your target market can find it, and use it effectively, even if they don’t yet know it exists.  Ultimately, optimizing your web pages will increase the quantity and quality of traffic you are getting.

In the Infographic below, courtesy of  SurePayroll, you will learn which elements of your web pages you should focus on optimizing, and what you can do to optimize them.

The Anatomy of an Optimized Web Page

So what do you think of the anatomy of an optimized web page? Let us know on Twitter @VeridayHQ

The Periodic Table of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

,

Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  We hear it all the time and know it has to be done to achieve better results on Google search.  But what is it, and what elements effect its success? There is a science to SEO.  The good news is that it is fairly easy to get a basic understanding of what it takes to improve your SEO.

The team over at Search Engine Land have put together the Periodic Table of SEO Success Factors to break down SEO and make it seem a little less like rocket-science. In their Infographic below, they include some of the most important ranking factors and best practises that can help your website to rank higher in search engines. It is important to keep in mind that no single factor guarantees top rankings, but many SEO elements working together can increase your website’s chances.

For a comprehensive guide on the SEO pitfalls to avoid during your website (re)design, you can also download our free e-book.

The Periodic Table of SEO

 

 

 

3 Opportunities for Employee Engagement

,

This post was authored by Shannon Chang and originally appeared here on Liferay.

————————————————————

Takeaways from intra.NET Reloaded Boston

Modern organizations are increasingly seeing the value of trading in their notoriously outdated and static intranets for social and collaborative digital workplaces, but the opportunity to greater facilitate employee engagement still exists. At the recent intra.NET Reloaded Boston event, attendees were asked to consider, “What is the single most important thing for employee engagement?”

3 Opportunities for Employee Engagement

Three themes stood out among the 80+ answers collected, reflecting industry challenges and moreover the opportunities to facilitate greater employee engagement ultimately leading to a successful intranet.

Employee Empowerment

“Of, by, for the people.” While a reference to the Gettysburg Address may seem a little extreme, it gives you an idea of how passionate the attendees are about “liberating” the traditional intranet and advancing it as a modern tool for employee engagement.

Whether creating a champion or rebel, empowering employees to become agents of change starts with:

  • Sharing knowledge by putting social tools in the hands of your employees
  • Allowing employees to use devices of their choosing
  • Creating emotion and a sense of belonging to promote culture

UX as the Key to User Adoption

The value of a productive and engaging intranet depends on user adoption, but is improving the user experience (UX) the answer? Some say yes.

L’Oréal proclaims to have devoted its energy and its competencies solely to one business: beauty. As Cara Kamenev of L’Oréal (@carakamenev) eloquently states, ”Every piece of content needs to be branded and beautiful.” When the UX reflects the culture of the organization, the digital experience becomes an approachable extension of the community that will drive adoption.

Content that Matters

“Clean out the ROT (Redundant, Outdated, Trivial) [content],” says Marcia Robinson (@MarciaRnyc) of Mercer. The cycle of improving productivity begins with making space for contextualized content that will actually help people make better decisions.

Employee Empowerment, UX as the Key to User Adoption, and Content that Matters sum up the inspired ideas resounding over the roundtable and three opportunities for employee engagement.

For more information on how to modernize your employee engagement with Liferay, check out: www.liferay.com/solutions/intranets

How Advisors Can Market to Baby Boomers: “Talking Boomer”

,

Between the years of 1946 and 1964, it is estimated that 76 million babies were born in America. Known as the baby boomers, many are reaching their retirement years in a drastically changing economy.  

One size does not fit all for Financial Advisors.  Attitudes, values and perceptions are shaped by headlines of the times, politics, economics, people, places, conditions and events. Both Baby Boomers and Millennials require knowledgeable Advisors who understand their own unique issues and can help guide them.  For a look at the Financial Tech Habits of Baby Boomers, check out Part 1 of this series before moving on.

 ————————————–

A common misconception is that baby boomers are not on social media. However, boomers are actually among the fastest growing groups on social media – particularly Facebook, which they consider less impersonal than Twitter. Social Network use among Internet users 50 years and older has nearly doubled over the past year. Social media use is just as strong for those in the 50-64-age bracket with boomers increasing their presence on Facebook by 80% between 2011 and 2014 (FastCompany, 2013). And lastly, the fastest growing demographic on twitter is the 55-64 year age bracket, which has grown 79% since 2012 (FastCompany, 2013).

This certainly points to the importance of having a social media strategy. Throwing more advertisements at baby boomers is an unlikely way to gain clients. Advisors need to stay consistently relevant, visible and valuable where Baby Boomers are spending their time online.  Let’s take a look at some of the most popular websites where baby boomers are hanging out these days:

Advisors should focus on quality content and creating an online social campaign that will capture the interest of the baby boomer demographic. One way for Advisors to do this on Social Media is to join communities, and follow and engage with the blogs, websites, and organizations, listed above, that baby boomers consider to be respectable, knowledgeable and credible sources. On their social media profiles, Advisors can amalgamate and share articles from these trusted sources to become a go-to online source for clients and prospects looking for useful information, advice, insights and resources. This will help Advisors to display their grasp of helpful thought leadership, to their clients, through surfacing the best content that baby boomers are looking for.

In a digital world of nearly infinite content, an Advisor’s social media presence can become a baby boomer’s one-stop shop for great articles, advice and insights into the Financial Industry.  This will help Advisors to build trust with their followers, and build relationships with others in the industry through sharing their content. Creating and sharing consistent valuable content on Social Media will help Advisors to gain credibility and authority in their industry or niche, which is important for online growth and visibility.

 ————————————–

Is your business marketing to baby boomers online? What strategies have been the most successful for you in reaching this demographic?

 

How to Drive Sales Using the Customer Buyer Journey

Using Visuals and Storytelling to Communicate Online

,

This post was authored by Marie Swift and originally appeared here on GuideVine.

————————————————————

Financial advisors that build successful brands online have incorporated their personalities along with their business perspectives. Increasingly though, the next level of success means going beyond text and links, to using images, infographics, multimedia and videos. People learn in various ways and giving them choices based on their mood and personal preferences creates stronger engagement.

Fee-only financial planner Carolyn McClanahan echoed this sentiment when, during a recent Fidelity Inside Track event, she said: “People want to know you’re human. Don’t be afraid to show a bit of your personal life and what’s important to you when sharing.” She suggested some of the most effective ways to achieve this are focusing on are videos and visuals.

Also, consider these compelling statistics from Hubspot:

  • Photos and images are 2 times more likely to be shared than text updates
  • Videos are 12 times more likely to be shared than text and links alone
  • 100 million users are taking a social action on YouTube each week
  • Over 60 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube each minute

So what does this mean for financial advisors today?

1. Social media is getting more and more visual

Consider the rise of Facebook and Pinterest. Both are highly visual platforms. Photos and memes (quotes and images shown as graphics) are their “currency”. Even Twitter, which focused on text-and-links, has built in ways to add videos, photos and graphics.

This reinforces the trend that people have become lazy readers, especially online. And for businesses, no matter what social platform, dry, boring commentary and overt self-promotion is frowned on. However, visuals and videos can help create interest, engagement and a more personal connection on websites and social networks. The good news is that visuals are easier to capture and share than ever before, thanks to smart phones and digital cameras.

2. A picture is still worth a thousand words

With the rising use of visuals, the ability for an image to tell an engaging story is more and more important. Perhaps you remember this advertisement in major magazines a few years ago:

A handsome, man sits tall on the back of a white stallion. His long-sleeved designer shirt is wrapped around his neck, revealing strong arms and a flat torso. His white slacks are held snug with a brown belt that matches the brown designer boat shoes balanced lightly in the stirrups. The ocean waves roll up onto the white sandy beach in the background. White billowy clouds look like cotton candy in the azure sky. A look of manly pride exudes from his eyes as a drop of sweat glistens on his brow. Perhaps he’s just rescued a damsel in distress. One hand is resting on his hip, elbow cocked, while in the other hand, raised up and toward the camera, is a bottle of Old Spice cologne. The caption of the ad reads: “Smell like a man, man.”

This well-staged image, with very little text, stirs curiosity and sparks the imagination. It says more than words describing it can ever say – and does so in a fraction of the time it takes to read the description. Advisors who can tell stories visually, and not just verbally, draw people in.

3. Building social capital is important

Social capital is accrued through positive interactions, both online and offline. Negative interactions and snarky attitudes deplete this “goodwill bank.” The best business leaders know that they must build goodwill before asking for anything.

Online, this takes the form of people “up-voting” by either sharing the content they like and/or agree with, or by unfollowing companies and individuals that become pests. Financial advisors that can reliably produce “sharable content” will see a corresponding spike in activity on their social media sites. Being boring can mean being ignored. Being negative can have unpredictable consequences.

This is yet another way that social media has changed the traditional marketing mix: now, in addition to the “earned” category (traditional PR and media placements), the “owned” category (digital assets that one builds, maintains and controls), and the “bought’ category (anything paid for, typically ads and directory listings), we now have the “shared” category (the process of people in a social network helping good content and ideas ripple out to their friends and colleagues).

4. Emotions make people want to share

Why do people share content online? In a nutshell, it is because they either have a relationship with the content’s author (or want to), or they are emotionally connected with the content being shared. So it all boils down to relationship and emotion, which is same as it ever was.

In addition, keep in mind that people are drawn to plain English and simple, compelling stories. More and more, people want not just information and education but to also entertainment as they become enlightened. So think of yourself as an “edu-tainer”.

Click here for more on the psychology of sharing and lessons learned from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

5. Video can enrich the communication process

Remember the Hubspot statistics above? Video is 12 times more likely to be shared than text and links alone. Having videos on your website also improves search engine page rankings. Similar to visuals, these days videos are easy to produce and self-publish. Here are the four basic types, though some industry observers have mentioned that the cartoon and white board animations are overdone.

Financial advisors who want to learn more about visual storytelling and why people share will be interested in watching this 20-minute video conversation between yours truly and Craig Faulkner, CEO of FMG Suite: http://www.fmgsuite.com/market-in-motion/marketing-star-marie-swift

 

Visit GuideVine’s About Us page to learn more, and if you’re interested in joining the advisor network, Click Here.

 

book_button_contentwriting

How to use Jenkins CI to deploy Liferay apps (Part 1)

,

Who is Jenkins CI?

Jenkins CI is an open source continuous integration server we use at Veriday to automate our builds and deployments to various environments. It is used at various companies including eBay, GitHub, Facebook, Liferay, Netflix, LinkedIn and many more. You can run your own instance in your office like we do, or even use a Jenkins cloud provider such as CloudBees.

We started using Jenkins CI about three years ago to produce nightly builds of Digital Agent so that our team could review and test the latest build of our product. Today our environment has grown to about a dozen servers compromised of development / integration instances, staging / testing instances, sales / demo instances  and finally, our production servers. All of the deployments to these environments are managed by our trusted friend, Mr. Jenkins, making most releases “minor events” that take a couple of minutes, and provide us the safety net of being able to roll back a release with just a click of a button.

Automating Builds

It starts with defining “jobs” for Jenkins to perform. These jobs can be automated or manually triggered. A job tells Jenkins what it needs to do. For example a “Build Job” would contain steps like this:

  • Check out the latest from an SVN branch
  • Build the code
  • Deploy it to one of the Liferay development servers
  • Restart Liferay
  • Notify the development team of any failures in the above steps

Our “Build Jobs” are automatic and happen overnight so that when we come in the next morning, we can review the latest on that development server. This year, we will also look at integrating our Selenium browser test cases into Jenkins so that with each build our UI test cases are executed and compared against the previous build.

One issue that we ran into while setting this up is that our Java application would build okay on our local environments but fail on Jenkins. Remember, on your local environment you have access to Liferay and Tomcat libraries that Jenkins would not necessarily have. To get around this problem we have a project in our workspace specifically for Jenkins that contains these “system” libraries. This project also contains configuration files for each environment that would contain paths to the Liferay home folder, IP addresses, the Jenkins user account to SSH, etc. Each Jenkins job would then define what environment the job is for ex. “DEV1”, “DEV2”, etc.

Adopting continuous builds is extremely beneficial to any software development team. I noticed the following three things on our team:

  1. Nobody wants Jenkins to send an e-mail saying their code check in broke the build – especially since the e-mail goes to the whole team. To avoid that, the team now always runs the builds locally and verifies it at least builds.
  2. We run several branches of development at the same time. At any time, we need to be able to review the status of the branch against the committed to tickets, enhancements, new features, etc. With our nightly builds, we can be sure that each of our development environments is up-to-date as of that morning.
  3. In the case that Jenkins does report a build fail, someone on the team (usually the first person) will spot the issue and make the correction the very next morning. Because of point (1) this is now usually a result of other reasons outside of the build itself. Ex. Jenkins ran out of space, or the target development environment was unreachable.

In Part 2 of this series, I will talk about how we use Jenkins to deploy our app on to Liferay using a build that was already verified and tested on a development server, and then on a staging environment, before the exact same build is promoted to production.

Growing. Moving. Shaking. Big Things Ahead for Veriday!

,

Here we grow again!  In the fast-moving world of Technology and Digital Marketing, change very often paves the way for great things such as progression and growth. Our first four offices were great places to grow our team, and that’s exactly what we did. But, now it’s time for bigger and better.  We have great memories from all of these spaces but with Veriday’s progression and growth over the past couple of years, we are very excited to announce that we will be moving to a new office space.

But first, take a look at the infographic below to take a stroll down memory lane and Veriday’s evolution of office spaces which speaks to our growth over the years.

Here We Grow Again!