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Scam-Stoppers: Google’s Efforts to Protect You from Bad Ads

Let’s face it, there’s an element to online advertising that feels a bit sketchy — like Vegas before the Strip got cleaned up. Maybe it was all those garish flashing banners and tricksy popups of the 2000s that put us off, but there’s still something about an online ad that raises suspicions.

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Why You Shouldn’t Bother With Banner Ads

Since there has been Internet, there have been banner ads. And since there have been banner ads, there have been plugins to block or replace them with something else. Why? Users find them distracting and irritating, and those obnoxious “Dancing Cowboy” silhouettes that filled sidebars and flashed across the tops of pages in the mid-2000s didn’t improve anyone’s opinion on the matter.

Remember those? It’s not just me, right?

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Art Break: Complicate your Life with a Goldberg Machine

Art Break is back! This month I take a look at the ridiculously complicated Goldberg Machine, named after the artist and inventor Rube Goldberg.

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Connecting Brands with Content: Tumblr Launches Creatrs Network

These days, content is king. Content is the quickest way to get your brand in front of more people — and content can ultimately net you more clients.

But you can’t present just any old content. You can’t leverage something stale, outdated, repetitive, or benign. Marketing moves at 100 mph, and you’ve got to move at 150 — always ahead of everyone else.

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Super Bowl 2015: Hits, Misses, and Fumbles

Some people watch the Super Bowl for the football. But everyone watches the Super Bowl for the ads.

Like other years, there was a buzz of advertising anticipation leading up to the big game. But did this year’s ads deliver what they promised? Let’s see how they stacked up.

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Reach Nearby Customers with Facebook Local Awareness Ads

On October 7th, Facebook announced a new Facebook advertising objective on their blog called “local awareness ads.” This new ad objective is designed to make advertising for local small business owners “easier and more effective.” A promotional video for the new feature also appeared the next day on the Facebook for Business YouTube Channel, watch [...]

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Marketing in Motion: Vine for Video Branding Your Business

When Vine was first released, one of my friends asked me what it was. When I answered, she laughed. “Dang, I was hoping it was a social network for drinking wine,” she replied.

Social network? Yes. Wine? No — unless you count sipping a glass of red or white while you browse through your feed.

What is Vine? In short, it’s an app that lets you [...]

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Who Owns the Photos You Share Online? Part Two

Where we left off, Facebook-owned Instagram suffered a backlash last December when they introduced a new Terms of Service agreement whose wording led many users to believe that Instagram would now “own” their photos and as such could sell them to advertisers. That wasn’t true, but in response to the fury Instagram changed the wording again — and this time, it gave advertisers even more leeway with user photos.

Instagram was able to put the controversy behind them, but the incident underscored the growing debate over ownership rights for individuals who share photos online. And now, that debate is getting even more complicated.

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Who Owns the Photos You Share Online? Part One

Since Facebook announced its intentions to acquire Instagram a little over a year ago, everyone’s been on pins and needles to see what — if anything — would change.

We got our first big hint last December when Instagram released its new Terms of Service, scheduled to go into effect the following month on January 19.

What happened then? Well, in short: absolute bedlam.

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Facebook to Adopt the Hashtag?

You may have heard: hashtags aren’t just for Twitter anymore.

And you, like me, may have noticed their proliferation over the past several months — Instagram recognizes them, as does Pinterest and Google+. Flickr, in fact, has recently added hashtag functionality. They appear on everything from billboards, to television commercials, to news articles, to cola bottle labels — it truly seems that I can’t go anywhere, online and off, without seeing them anymore.

Their gaining traction across a variety of platforms proves that at some point, hashtags ceased being a way for people to aggregate and organize content on Twitter, and became a standardized way for people to aggregate and organize anything — at least on the Internet.

But there’s one place where hashtags haven’t been adopted, and it perhaps has the biggest reach of all…

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