Tag Archives: Website

4 Common Causes of a Sluggish Ecommerce Website

Posted by Mark Sweeting and Diego Cardozo, Principal Performance Engineers

The speed and overall performance of ecommerce websites has become a priority for businesses, as the patience of customers dwindles. An online store must offer a fast experience or you risk losing conversions and perhaps future earning opportunities.

Countless things can cause ecommerce performance problems, but there are a few we come across frequently as performance engineers. The issues we address here should be the initial points on your checklist if your site is lagging. Some of these problems can be resolved without the expertise of a developer – business users rejoice!

Content delivery network not enabled

A content delivery network, or CDN, stores a cached version of your web store content on servers around the globe. This dramatically reduces load time because it improves latency, which is the time it takes for a page asset (e.g., an image) to load after being requested. That’s because these CDN servers are much closer to most consumers than the origin server, so the bytes don’t have to travel as far.

Most people understand the importance of a CDN. However, it’s common to turn the CDN off when someone is making changes to your site so this work-in-progress version is not cached. But people are forgetful, and they may not remember to turn the content delivery network back on. This is more common than you think.

So how can you check if the CDN is working correctly on your website? CDNPlanet is a tool that allows you to see if you’re using a CDN, though it will not reveal the source of the problem. For instructions on figuring out why the CDN is not working and enabling it, take a look at this article on our developer site. Enabling it may be as easy as checking a box on the back-end of your ecommerce platform.

Unnecessary content creates delays

You know your site is sluggish, but what is slowing it down? There’s an easy way to find out with a tool called WebPagetest. Simply enter your website and run a test to get a visual representation of how long it takes each piece of a web page to load and see if anything is taking an unreasonable amount of time.

WebPagetest also provides a pie chart that breaks down load time by images, fonts, CSS and more. Unnecessarily large images are the most common source of delays. Use a program like ImageOptim to downsize them and you will see an immediate improvement in load times. There’s no reason for your site to carry needless extra weight.

Third parties impede page rendering

The valuable features of WebPagetest do not end there. Running a “visual comparison” test will provide a filmstrip view of how a web page looks in one-tenth of a second increments. It displays the percentage of the page loaded at each benchmark, as well.

Slow page rendering is often the result of third-party requests that you may not even realize are part of your website. If this is an issue, you can block those individual requests or domains using the “Block” feature built into WebPagetest and re-run your test to see if there is any progress.

troubleshooting 4 Common Causes of a Sluggish Ecommerce Website

Note that every test in WebPagetest has a unique URL, so you can bookmark your tests for future reference. That’s really handy if you want to test at a later date and compare results!

Heavy fonts are another common source of sluggish page rendering. If you think speed is deterring buyers from visiting your site, ask yourself if you can make do with the standard fonts built into all web browsers.

Slow time to first byte

Content on single-page applications (SPA) is generated by the JavaScript single page application. Though SPAs are generally faster and have other benefits, search engine crawlers cannot always understand JavaScript, so they don’t know how to index your website. This is why you need a tool that translates JavaScript into HTML that the search engines can crawl, something known as an SEO page generator. The SEO page generator ensures your web store is indexed properly in the all-important search rankings.

However, sometimes an SEO generator can create a high time to first byte, which is how long it takes for the first piece of incoming content to reach a customer’s browser. Here’s what you can do to figure out if this is the problem:

  • Add ?seodebug=T&seoprerender=T&preview=201806151215 to a URL on your site (example: http://www.example.com/some-page?seodebug=T&seoprerender=T&preview=201806151215).
  • Replace that string of numbers at the end with the current date and time to avoid cached results.
  • Open the page source in Google Chrome by clicking on the three vertical dots in the top right corner, then selecting More Tools à Developer Tools.
  • Once in the source code, make sure the main DIV tag is not empty, then do a control-F for the words “error” and “status 502” (a failed request).

If you find any red flags, it will help a developer pinpoint and resolve the problem.

This is a basic overview of common triggers for slow online stores. For a more technical explanation of website performance issues, check out Nine Key Areas to Look At When Troubleshooting Ecommerce Performance. Your development team will find it extremely useful.

Posted on Thu, July 12, 2018
by NetSuite filed under

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SEO Tips: How Your Ecommerce Website Can Move Up Google’s Search Rankings

Posted by Diego Gallo, Digital Experience Manager

Best practices for search engine optimization (SEO) are always changing, and it’s tough to keep up. Customers who have an ecommerce website often ask what updates they should make to their online store to climb up the ladder of the all-important Google search rankings, so I wanted to offer some recommendations.

In the brief history of the internet, SEO has been through a few stages of evolution. Early on, websites simply needed a lot of content to show up in search engines. Then keywords became the driving force, and companies focused on ranking for terms that drive sales. Today, the best SEO strategy is to build individual pages around a specific topic, with one main topic and multiple subtopics.

Keep in mind that these SEO recommendations are specific to Google, which owns more than 70 percent of all searches worldwide and 90 percent of mobile searches, according to Net Market Share.

Let’s start with what’s new in 2018:

Mobile-first indexing: Google will now crawl and index the mobile version of your website first, then move through the desktop version. If you maintain a separate mobile site, this will have a major negative impact on your rankings.

Google started rolling this out in March 2018 as part of its push to make every site mobile-friendly as more and more users search on tablets or smartphones. The best solution is to have one responsive ecommerce website that auto-adjusts to different devices and browsers.

HTTPS is a ranking factor: Google recognizes that people are more concerned about the security of their personal information than ever before, which is why the search engine giant will penalize any sites that lack HTTPS encryption. This has had a small impact on rankings since 2014, but now it´s become a more relevant ranking factor.

In addition, starting July 2018, anyone using Google Chrome will see a “Not Secure” warning in the address bar when they’re on a site without HTTPS.

Site speed matters: There has long been a correlation between fast sites and high rankings, but it becomes official in July. At that point, slow sites will not earn high rankings (this is especially true for mobile queries). It’s important to note that a minor improvement in page load time – three milliseconds, for example – will not improve your ranking.

Those are the latest changes, but they should not be your only concerns. The old rules still apply, and I think it’s important to review them.

Here’s what is not so new but still critical:

Relevant content: Google’s goal is to make search results as relevant to users as possible. If someone is searching to buy, the product page on your web store may be one of the first listings. However, if someone is looking for information, a category or product page will have lower SEO value. And content doesn’t just mean text – it also includes videos and images, which may rank higher if the search engine thinks they are more relevant to the query.

To find out what content is relevant for different keywords, enter the term into Google and see what is on the first three pages. Is it primarily informational or does it feature product pages?

Keyword and topic focused content: Structure your content in a way that makes sense to both your audience and Google. Just like with your content, keywords (the topic) should satisfy user intention. If Google detects that you are “cheating the system” with keywords that don’t match your actual content, your rankings will slip fast.

Good on-page SEO: This is where metadata and schema markup comes in. Metadata text describes the content of a web page while schema markup helps search engines figure out what your data means. Schema markup allows you to show a more detailed description of your site – the who, what, when and more – directly in the results page and can improve traffic and rankings.

Now more than ever, the metadata and schema markup should be written for users rather than stuffed with the keywords you want to rank for.

Technically optimized:
Optimize your site to be crawlable and indexable. Make sure you are allowing Google and other bots to crawl your site by checking your robots.txt. Also make sure you do not include a “noindex” tag on the pages that you want to get indexed.

Optimizing your crawling budget will help you get the most important content indexed while leaving behind the content that will not help your SEO efforts. Make sure you disallow non-SEO relevant pages from being crawled, through robots.txt.

Keep these guidelines in mind when selecting an ecommerce platform and when building your SEO strategy. Certain ecommerce software will provide features like responsive design, HTTPS and other tools that help improve your rankings out-of-the-box.

My hope is that these best practices will help you prioritize different aspects of your SEO strategy. And if you follow this path, your ecommerce website will see results that get you one step closer to long-term growth.

What can a great SEO strategy do for your business? Learn how NetSuite customer International Wine Accessories improved organic search to see a 49 percent increase in site traffic in this case study. If you have any questions, you can reach out to ecommerce@netsuite.com.

Posted on Mon, June 25, 2018
by NetSuite filed under

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Increase Your Website Traffic with These Killer Marketing Hacks

20171115 bnr killer traffic hacks 351x200 Increase Your Website Traffic with These Killer Marketing Hacks

Key takeaway. If you want to instantly drive higher engagement, more shares, and greater traffic to your website, maximize your impact by testing headlines that are focused on the impact to the reader.

Drive Traffic through Guest Blog Posts

A popular strategy for getting significant increases in website traffic is guest blogging. With this strategy, you identify influencers in your business, create relationships, and write high-value posts for their blogs.

For example, let’s say that you sell software that leverages the Internet of Things. Find influencers in that space who share your target market. These people may have large or small audiences, and both are good. Once you identify these individuals, you can start creating relationships, commenting on their content, and connecting through social media. You can pitch guest blog posts, which will allow you to get in front of their audience, present amazing content, and hopefully entice readers into learning more about your company ― usually through some type of lead magnet.

But let’s back up and first uncover how to pick the best influencers for your brand.

Finding the right influencers. Does your target market spend time on Twitter? If so, check out tools such as Followerwonk, which is an advanced Twitter analytics tool that allows you to search Twitter profiles and bios by keywords. You can also use tools such BuzzSumo, which can be used for finding the right content topics.

Pitch a guest blog post. Once you identify a list of the right influencers, check out their sites. Do they have blogs? If so, they may already have guidelines established for accepting blog posts, and they may be published on the website. If they don’t, send a quick email and ask. Once you find out, send a carefully crafted pitch.

Capturing maximum results through a lead magnet. Once your blog post is accepted, you will likely get a bio section, which highlights the author of the post. Don’t waste this space! Instead of linking to your site, set up a landing page with a lead magnet. This could be an eBook that addresses your target audience’s largest pain point, a great infographic, or some other high-value piece of content. The goal? Capture each piece of traffic that you get and start nurturing the visitor through the sales funnel. After all, once someone new arrives at your site, you don’t want that person to get away.

Similarly, you can also allow others to guest post on your website to drive greater traffic. When others create content, they share it with their audience, which helps you bring new people to your site.

Key takeaway. A guest-posting strategy can help provide large spikes of traffic to your website, but it’s also part of a long-term traffic-building strategy. The more content you post on related sites, the more traffic that will trickle into your site, even after that initial spike, which provides long-term results, leads, and sales.

Leverage the Power of Visual

Visual content is starting to get a lot of attention from marketers, and for good reason ― it provides a large impact. Check out these stats on using images, graphics, and videos in content:

  • 37 percent of marketers said that visual marketing was the most important form of content for their businesses.
  • Video content is expected to represent 74 percent of all Internet traffic in the near future.
  • Four times as many consumers report they would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

The data is impressive, but how does it relate to images and driving more traffic to your brand? Humans are visual beings and can absorb that type of data much faster and easier than other types of information. As a result, they prefer it ― and share it. This translates into greater interest and more website traffic.

A great place to start with creating visual content is developing infographics to share via social media. If you’ve started to forge relationships with influencers, you can reach out and ask them about what they’re working on. Then see if you can contribute an infographic that would make their next blog post stronger. As a result, they would likely share that infographic, which would be credited and linked to your site, driving greater traffic. There are some really fun tools out there that make creating video a both a snap and affordable: GoAnimate, Moovly, VideoScribe. Tools like Canva or Vizualize can help you make engaging visual infographics as well, for little to no cost.

Key takeaway. Examine your existing strategy and ask the question “How can I make more content visual?” Take a look at your existing content an see if you can just repurpose it into a different, more visual format. Then look for different strategies and tools to help you create those types of content and increase your website traffic.

A Few Last Words

The above strategies will help you increase your website traffic while advantageously planting seeds to continue to nurture that traffic in the future. But it’s key to remember that creating traffic is not a sprint ― it’s a marathon. Some of these methods, such as guest posting, will give you initial large spurts of traffic, but the longer you work at these tactics, the greater long-term traffic you’ll build.

Plus, it’s critical to keep in mind that, while having lots of traffic is excellent, when you let that traffic slip through your fingers, it becomes pointless. Instead, entice readers to take that next step, such as exchanging their email for a high-value piece of content. That way you’ll convert more traffic into leads and ensure that your business will thrive in the future.

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Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Posted by Nair Hid Ahmed, Sr. User Experience Designer

The first time customers arrive at your company’s digital doorstep, they make an evaluation of your brand unconsciously, in a fraction of a second. In that first glance, visitors judge the credibility of your site based on the design elements. They haven’t yet read any content, compared prices or seen your competitive shipping services — they form a gut feeling about your brand; and then, if they decide to stay on your site, they’ll look for ways to justify that feeling.

With so much riding on providing great experiences, why is website design often overlooked and undervalued in B2B environments? To make a great first impression, here are a few tips to keep in mind when designing your B2B ecommerce experience.

Tip 1: Don’t Make Me Think (Too Much)

In his book, “Don’t Make Me Think” Steve Krug writes that there are two types of cognitive load. The first is “intrinsic” load that comes from absorbing new information while keeping track of our own goals. The second, and this is the one that should be minimized through design, is the “extraneous” load. Those are the processes that occupy our mind but don’t help us understand the information, such as visual clutter, confusing color-coding, unclear call to action, grammar and spelling mistakes.

Your B2B customers will need to process a lot of information, given the nature of complex B2B business cases. One way to minimize the extraneous load is using progressive disclosure design. These design patterns will help show buyers what they need to see and when they need to see it, in a clear and concise way. Showing the key elements at first sight makes your content easy to scan, but also gives users the possibility to discover more information while interacting with the site.

Tip 2: Self Service – Empower Your B2B Buyers 

Even though it was fine doing business on the phone a few years ago, today’s expectation is that B2B customers will be able to do the same and more at their own convenience online. An empowered customer can perform dozens of self-service actions, making them feel you’re a company that values their time, while also being available to support them when they need a more personalized service.

By giving your customers more control, like choosing what to read and when, or providing the ability for buyers to check their account balance and pay invoices online, it empowers your customers to take care of these tasks when the time is right for them.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Tip 3: Speak to Choosers and Users

In a B2C environment, it’s usually the person choosing the product that will be using it. In B2B, that’s not necessarily the case. B2B buyers are not impulsive. Often, more than one person is involved in the purchase decision and validations need to be made to justify a purchase. Many B2B sites go wrong by tailoring their content to only decision makers or users, while alienating the other visitors.

For example, you can see that this page accommodates the technical questions a user might have regarding the artwork specifications, such as providing a template, print size and color format. This is probably more than enough to convince a user about this product.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design2 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

But for more complex or expensive products it’s recommended to also provide an “advocacy kit” with ways to justify this decision to the boss. These kits usual include brochures, templates, answers to questions that a decision maker might ask (price, ROI, reliability, success cases, how your product compares to others in the market, etc.).

Tip 4: Pricing Levels and Selection

Most B2C products have straightforward prices that stay the same from one customer to the next. However, B2B pricing can be very challenging to display because products may be heavily customized, have quantity discounts, or customer-specific discounts.

If you offer quantity discounts, showing the discount structure on your site is recommended.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design3 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

For more complex matrix item type of products, providing a worksheet where the product pricing depends on selected items simplifies the ordering process.

B2B%20ecommerce%20design4 Your Digital Doorstep: Website Design Tips for B2B Ecommerce

Tip 5: Provide real-time, reliable, updated information 

B2B websites need to support very complex content and functionality that can give any good web designer challenges. But it’s not just about functionality that will optimize and streamline the buying experience, it’s also important to have updated and consistent data.

Outdated, static information on an ecommerce site will only lead to frustration and distrust toward your online channel and brand. A unified commerce platform provides a single source of inventory, order and customer data which can be used to enable better customer experiences.

Remember that web stores are your company’s digital doorstep, and first impressions matter.

It is important when selecting a B2B ecommerce platform, to consider how the platform helps you follow best practices, how it sets you up for success and provides for your customers’ needs even before you knew them. Think about the digital impact you wish to have and the type of relationship you want to build with your customers.

Posted on Mon, August 28, 2017
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Learn how to convert website visitors into customers with Dynamics 365

CRM Blog Learn how to convert website visitors into customers with Dynamics 365

Did you know that less than 12% of visitors to your website take any action? How do you leverage website visit data to engage with visitors and drive conversions? Join us to learn how.

Most visitors to your website have an interest in your products/services or they wouldn’t be visiting in the first place. If you are not using website visitor data in your marketing & sales efforts you are missing significant opportunity.

There are a number of ways to integrate your website with Dynamics 365 to convert visits to customers. During this informative webinar we will review the options for integrating your website with Dynamics 365.We will also demonstrate how to create a closed-loop process for harvesting website visitor intelligence and applying a sales process in Dynamics 365 to assure action is taken.

All attendees will receive “Top Productivity Hacks”, a valuable whitepaper with the top hacks used by some of the most successful business owners across the globe.

Click here to register for this free training

This free training is brought to you by Sträva Technology Group. We help businesses evaluate, plan, implement & support Dynamics 365 solutions. More information - www.stravatechgroup.com

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Translating Website Visits Into Quality Leads

Back in the day — like, 1993 — every company had to have a website because it was the thing you did! A website was something new, fresh and shiny, and it allowed the marketing team to reach more people than ever before. It was on the Internet, which automatically made your company seem cool. It was totally rad!

Within about 18 moths, though, everyone had a website and the novelty wore off. That was when marketers needed to assert why the website existed. There was a branding role, and an informational role — but the real reason to spend money on a website was to drive more leads.

That became somewhat lost as websites became mandatory for businesses. Building and maintaining the website itself became the objective — and too often, the mechanisms to gather lead information from the website were neglected.

A Buyer’s Journey

Marketers today have a far better grasp on the need to harness their websites’ power for lead generation. Unfortunately, the versatility of Web pages means they are responsible for a remarkable range of business duties: They convey news, they serve as a repository of business information, they offer gateways to other services for customers and partners, they promote products and events, and they deliver the business’ most important messages.

All these things are important — but they can steal attention away from the lead generation function. As a result, many websites function as “billboards” — flashing information at potential buyers who remain anonymous, because there’s no mechanism for capturing lead information.

That no longer has to be the case. With the right tools, businesses can gain a better understanding of anonymous visitors, tracking their progress and attaching it to their identities when, as buyers, they offer that information. This allows marketers to see the entirety of a buyer’s journey through the website’s content.

On a micro level, it equips sales and marketing with an understanding of what a particular buyer is viewing, and what level of understanding the buyer has achieved. On a macro level, it allows marketers to see the patterns buyers exhibit as they move through a site, and to use that information to change content and get better results.

It also allows the website to do some things to make visits more pertinent to buyers on repeat visits. If visitors are tracked, a dynamic site not only can employ some basic personalization, but also can refine what the visitor sees upon arrival, based on the content viewed during previous visits.

Easy on the Forms

Having a tracking capability for anonymous visitors allows businesses to avoid the trap of putting all of their content behind a registration form. While this is a natural tendency — you want to show the ROI of all content, and how better to easily generate the metrics than a form-fill? — it drives down the open rate of that content by creating a less-than-optimal experience for the buyer.

Numbers vary, but the general consensus is that a 3-5 percent form fill rate is phenomenal. To get that form filled out, be judicious in what you’re gating.

  • Does it make sense to gate content that’s aimed at educating the broader market? Probably not.
  • Does it make sense to gate content deeper into the funnel, at a point where a buyer may be compiling a short list or looking for technical content to influence other decision makers at his or her company? Probably.

It all depends on the content, the customers, and the nature of what you’re selling.

If the website is really effective, the buyer should have to fill out a form only once and then be recognized from then on. That creates a better experience for the buyer, and it also sets the stage for the buyer to spend much more time with your content.

That gives you a more complete view of the customer’s stage of readiness to buy, lets you know what content has been viewed in order to set up sales to deliver additional value that complements the buyer’s experience thus far, and allows the website to better fulfill its educational responsibility for potential buyers.

Repeated requests to fill out forms drive visitors away from the website. It’s more than annoying, as customers recognize that it’s no longer necessary, and it comes across as disrespectful of their time.

Tracking website visitor behavior doesn’t just generate more leads — it generates higher quality leads that come with context and with data that can help sales prioritize them based on the nature of their visits.

Marketers often apply lead scoring to website behavior, which is good for qualifying leads, but an understanding of the specifics of the behavior gives sales a secret weapon for delivering value in the sales process.
end enn Translating Website Visits Into Quality Leads

Chris%20Bucholtz Translating Website Visits Into Quality LeadsChris Bucholtz has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2009. His focus is on CRM, sales and marketing software, and the interface between people and technology. He currently serves as director of content marketing for
CallidusCloud and writes the Stevie Award-winning Lead to Money blog. Email Chris.

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4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

funnel 300x225 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

If you’re lucky enough to have so many leads you don’t know where to focus your attention, then lead scoring is for you. In a nutshell, lead scoring allows you to assign points to leads based on certain criteria, allowing you to focus your efforts on leads that have higher scores.

So how do you come up with a system for scoring leads? First let’s brush up on our sales funnel basics, then we’ll dig in.

If you visualize the sales funnel, it basically represents a state of sales-readiness for all your leads. At the top of the funnel, you’ll tend to have a big pool of “cool” leads that have done something to indicate their interest in your product/service, but are not really close to buying. Towards the middle of the funnel are “warm” leads that have shown an ongoing interest in your product/service, but still aren’t quite there. And at the bottom of the funnel, you’ve got leads that are “marketing qualified leads”—aka “sales-ready”—aka hot, hot, hot and ripe for the taking!

011217 1507 4StepstoPro1 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

Your goal is to focus your time and energy on those hot, marketing-qualified leads, and not waste your time on the leads at the top of the funnel. That’s where lead scoring comes in!

Many customer relationship management (CRM) systems have lead scoring capabilities or add-ins. For instance, PowerObjects uses the PowerPack add-on PowerScore to automatically dole out points to leads based on a wide range of criteria. You may have a different system. No matter what technology you are working with, the basic steps you take to determine how to score your leads should be pretty standard.

Step 1: Figure out what your goal is.

For most sales-type organizations/departments, the goals tend to be straight forward. Your main goal could be to identify which leads are “hot” by analyzing their behavior and/or characteristics to determine which are most likely to buy within a certain timeframe. For some organizations, the goal may be to sort out the leads who are most likely to be open to a phone discussion with a sales rep. For others, it may be just filling out a form on a website. The goal will be unique to every organization.

Step 2: Designate a score you want your leads to get to.

011217 1507 4StepstoPro2 4 Steps to Properly Score Your Website Leads

Step 3: Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.

Step 3. Determine your scoring criteria based on lead behavior.

Scoring can be based on set characteristics of a leads, such as how big the lead’s organization is, whether they are in a target demographic, if they fit a certain geographic region, or have a history with your business.

Scoring can also be based on the leads behavior, so think about the types behavior that indicate positive action in your leads. These are some things you can use to give leads scores through the PowerScore add-on:

  • Opening a page on your website
  • Opening an email you sent
  • Clicking on a link in an email you sent
  • Filling out a web form
  • Filling out a survey
  • Lowering lead score through activity or inactivity

Step 4: Profit!

Kidding (sort of). But really, once you’ve put in place the scoring rules, these “hot” leads that have made it to your goal score should, in theory, be the most valuable, and reward you with a higher close rate and/or a faster time to close.

Further Reading: Using Nurture Campaigns to Coax Your Leads Down the Funnel

Okay, so you know the goal—getting those leads to “sales-ready”—and you know what behaviors you want to score your leads on. Next you’ll want to think about ways to help your leads down the funnel. That’s where nurture campaigns come in! Check out our blog on how to develop compelling content that nurtures your leads and gets them to the bottom of the funnel!

Happy CRM’ing!

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The Internet Archive aims to preserve 100 terabytes of government website data… just in case

A little over a month since becoming President-Elect of the United States of America, there is an almost tangible tension in the air about what life will be like under a Donald Trump regime.

In some cases, there’s blind panic.

News emerged yesterday that environmentalists, academics, and climate scientists were frantically working to preserve U.S. government climate data in a Canadian archive. The reason? Well, let’s just say that Trump, and some of his team, have a track record of refuting climate change.

But while some are concerned about the preservation of data under Trump’s stewardship, there has been a campaign over the past decade that has sought to preserve the government’s website data as a president’s tenure nears its conclusion.

Introduced initially as George W. Bush’s time in office was coming to an end in 2008, the End of Term Web Archive is a collaboration between the Internet Archive, the Library of Congress, University of North Texas, George Washington University, Stanford University, and California Digital Library, among other libraries, and is designed to serve as a permanent record of government-related communications during presidential transitions.

By way of example, an estimated 83 percent of PDF documents on .gov domains vanished during President Obama’s first term in the White House.

PDFmissing 2 The Internet Archive aims to preserve 100 terabytes of government website data… just in case

Above: Missing PDFs: 2008 – 2012

The disappearance of online content from government websites isn’t always sinister — departments may merge, or projects and programs may simply become obsolete. It’s difficult to maintain millions of web pages. But with the impending Trump presidency, the four-yearly end-of-term archiving ritual perhaps takes on a greater degree of urgency, and this Saturday a team of volunteers will kickstart a guerilla archiving project to “save environmental data from Trump.”

The broader End of Term Web Archive initiative expands far beyond scientific climate change data, and will look to preserve key documents and data from across the .gov and .mil domains, alongside “federal websites on other domains and official government social media accounts,” explained Jefferson Bailey, director of web archiving programs at the Internet Archive, in a statement.

The Internet Archive, for the uninitiated, has been documenting the web’s evolution for two decades, letting anyone revisit the Apple homepage in 1998 or VentureBeat in 2006 by plugging their desired URL into the Wayback Machine. And part of that will involve preserving government websites, while the not-for-profit has other programs designed to record other government-related content — since its inception, the Internet Archive says it has preserved more than 3.5 billion .gov webpages, including in excess of 45 million PDFs.

But the End of Term Web Archive is expansive and specific in its purpose. In total, the Internet Archive and its partners will collect webpages from more than 6,000 domains, 200,000 hosts, and 10,000 federal social media accounts, amounting to “hundreds of millions of individual government webpages,” with the accumulated data expected to hit more than 100 terabytes.

“No single government entity is responsible for archiving the entire federal government’s web presence,” added Bailey. “Web data is already highly ephemeral and websites without a mandated custodian are even more imperiled. These sites include significant amounts of publicly funded federal research, data, projects, and reporting that may only exist or be published on the web. This is tremendously important historical information. It also creates an amazing opportunity for libraries and archives to join forces and resources and collaborate to archive and provide permanent access to this material.”

The Internet Archive’s political role has grown in recent times. It launched the Political TV Ad Archive in January to help journalists fact-check claims made during political campaigning. And last month, it revealed it was seeking to build a backup of its gargantuan database in Canada, to prepare for a web “that may face greater restrictions,” it said.

The End of Term Archive wasn’t built with Donald Trump in mind, but its existence will provide some comfort for those concerned about how data — scientific or otherwise — will be managed under a Trump presidency.

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Big Data – VentureBeat

Have You Seen the Official Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Website?

Microsoft wants to keep you up to date.

According to Microsoft the Dynamics CRM roadmap website at http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/ “provides a snapshot of what we’re working on in the Dynamics CRM business. Use the roadmap to find out what we’ve recently made generally available, released into public preview, are still developing and testing, or are no longer developing.”

You can sort by product:

  • Dynamics CRM Online
  • Dynamics CRM On Premise
  • Dynamics Marketing
  • Microsoft Social Engagement

You can view by:

  • What’s New
  • In Preview
  • In Development
  • Postponed
  • Previously Released

You can also download the Release Preview Guide and check Availability by Language and Region.

As of September 2016 this is “What’s New” with Dynamics CRM On Premise and Dynamics CRM Online:

Dynamics CRM On Premise – What’s New

  • Azure service bus integration enhancements
  • Customer field on any entity
  • Interactive service hub enhancements
  • Quote, Orders and Invoices now on Mobile
  • Server-side sync enhancements
  • SLA enhancements
  • Windows Update support for Unified Service Desk

Full details of each feature at: http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/

Dynamics CRM Online – What’s New

  • Azure service bus integration enhancements
  • Community Portal
  • Company news timeline for mobile
  • Customer field on any entity
  • Field Service
  • Interactive service hub enhancements
  • Learning Path
  • Mobile offline enhancements
  • Partner Portal
  • Portal framework
  • Power BI Sales Manager content pack enhancements
  • Power BI Service Manager content pack
  • Project service automation
  • Quote, Orders and Invoices now on Mobile
  • Self-service portals
  • Shared resources and bookings across Field and Project Service
  • SLA enhancements
  • Social CRM: automation and enhancement
  • Windows Update support for Unified Service Desk

Full details of each feature at: http://crmroadmap.dynamics.com/

This site a great resource to keep up to date. But of course the best resource is your own Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner that can recommend which new features meet the needs of your specific business.

If you are interested in evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM or adding new features, contact AbleBridge, now a Crowe Horwarth company, at 877-600-2253 or www.ablebridge.com/contact.

By AbleBridge, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Gold Partner, now a Crowe Horwarth company. www.ablebridge.com

Follow us on Twitter: @CroweCRM

625X77forCRMBlog 2 625x77 Have You Seen the Official Microsoft Dynamics CRM Roadmap Website?

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CRM Software Blog

Censorship To Blame For VC-Backed Chinese Website Outage?

When a website goes offline, it’s often the result of a DDoS attack, forgotten domain name purchase, or bad programming. For a Chinese website backed by Sequoia Capital, the outage would be more ominous if it was located anywhere but China.

But in China, government intervention is common and is reported to be behind Fenda’s downtime.

Fenda, a Sequoia Capital-backed audio-based knowledge sharing platform, has been unavailable since last week, perhaps due to external forces beyond its control, says Chinese media reports. The external forces mostly likely refer to government intervention, as the Chinese media monitoring and control bureau often suspends operations of popular content platforms it deems harmful to society.

Since its launch at the end of May, Fenda has become among the most downloaded mobile apps in China after it invited celebrities to answer questions about their private personal lives.

A month later, Vision Plus Capital; Sequoia Capital; Wang Sicong, the son of Asia’s richest man Dalian Wanda Group’s chairman Wang Jianlin; and Chinese knowledge sharing platform Luoji Siwei invested US$ 25 million in a series A round in Fenda.

Since last week, the Fenda app has been offline. Its Wechat public account has also been unavailable. Where has it gone and what happened?

Fenda’s assistant chief executive Wu Yunfei told Chinese media that the company is upgrading its social media technology infrastructure, and the app will be back online soon without offering any details of potential date for the relaunch.

Earlier this year, a popular video series produced by a Beijing film student Papi Jiang was ordered to suspend operations and “adjust” its content. The video series was relaunched shortly after with cleaner language and “softer” content.

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