A Periodic Table Guide to Google’s APIs [Infographic]

first_imgThe periodic table is often used in this kind of context. It’s a classic information visual. Some find it cliche. Others take offense. Here’s what one commenter said about the Google periodic table on Hacker News:Whenever I see “Periodic table of,” I remember of this blog post by Rob Pike: http://commandcenter.blogspot.com/2010/08/know-your-science….“Another sort of abuse is comedy periodic tables: periodic tables of the vegetables, period table of the desserts, periodic table of the presidents, and on and on. There are zillions of them. I believe the vegetables one was the first widely distributed example.What’s wrong with them? Again, they miss the point about the one true periodic table, Mendeleev’s periodic table of the elements. In fact, to put things with no structure into a periodic table not only misses the point of the periodic table, it misses the profound idea that some things have periods.Pike goes on to say that the use of the periodic table as a cultural artifact cheapens science. The periodic table is not some artistic layout of letters, it’s science at its very best, one of the great results of the 19th century and the birth of modern chemistry. It doesn’t honor science to take, say, typefaces and put them in a funny-looking grid. That just mocks the idea that science can predict the way the world works.Science is not arbitrary. Making arbitrary cultural artifacts by abusing scientific ideas is not just wrong, it’s offensive. It cheapens science.Do you agree? I am more of the opinion that this use of the periodic table actually helps make some sense of Google’s numerous API offerings. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Tags:#cloud#cloud computing alex williams Sometimes a picture is the best way to see what a service offers.That’s certainly the case with an infographic that shows Google’s APIs as a periodic table.The different APIs are organized by color category. Hover over the category and the table shadows the correlating APIs.Each API in the table has a link to the page that details the API. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

How to Solve the Problem That Is Your Inbox

first_imgLook at the emails in your inbox right now. I don’t have to see your inbox to know that you have a problem with email. We all have the same problem.Some large number of the emails that show up in your inbox each day are commitments that are being made for you without your consent.Provide Information: Many of the emails you receive are requests for information. You did not agree to provide the information, and even if you have a duty to provide it, you haven’t agreed to a timeline. But you feel a psychological duty to respond to that request in real-time.FYI: Some emails were sent to keep you informed. The commitment being made for you is that you will read the email and be aware of something. But you didn’t commit to read what the sender sent you, and you haven’t agreed to the time by which you will read it. Because it is in your inbox, you feel duty-bound to read it, and maybe you should.The first thing you need to do to take control of your inbox is to change your beliefs about your priorities and your commitments. Email is a place where other people share their priorities. The fact an email landed in your inbox doesn’t necessarily make it your priority. You haven’t made the commitment to respond to every email in real time.Create a filter for client emails. Create a filter for VIP emails. Use these filters to stay on top of the emails that you are likely to need to respond to quickly.Create a filter for anything where you are cc’d or bcc’d. You can read and review these emails on your own time.Use a service like Sanebox to automate some of the work of deciding what is worth your attention.last_img read more

Google AdWords for Nonprofits: 10 Tips About Keywords

first_imgWith a content network that reaches over 75% of unique internet users in more than 20 languages and over 100 countries, Google AdWords can be a powerful marketing tool. Though the efficiency of the program continues to be debated, Google Grants could offer your nonprofit free ads and assistance setting up an account! It should be noted, however, that while Google Adwords is one potential source of advertising for nonprofits, the volume of response from its campaigns to date have been lackluster.Google provides the reach, but it is up to you to write an ad that pulls net surfers in. Just how exactly do you go about writing an ad with a low cost and high ROI? An article from SiteProNews, by Leighton James explains 10 costly mistakes to avoid when launching your AdWords campaign.We’ve taken this advice from SiteProNews and added a nonprofit twist. If you need more detail on what not to do, make sure to check out the article. Otherwise, read on for our modified list of the do’s and don’ts of writing an ad for Google AdWords.1. Create a short list of targeted keywords: Generic terms lead to high fees and low ROI. Instead of writing a long list, take time to identify your target group beforehand and think of terms that will appeal directly to them. Online strategist Riche Zamor highlights the importance of conducting keyword research prior to launching an ad. Though you can pay someone to do this for you, MSN and Google offer free tools to do your own research. Cross checking keywords with multiple search engines to see the number of results and types of ads that it generates is also a good idea. Another aspect to consider that may not come to mind is seasonality. Google Trends allows you to see how keywords fare over time and to pinpoint when during the year searches for the keyword are most popular.2. Identify what is unique about your nonprofit: Identify your marketing strategy and highlight what sets you apart in your ad. Conduct a competitive analysis of the organizations you will compete with using the selected keywords, and look into possible variations of your selected keywords until you find a combination that places you in the first several ads that appear. If you need ideas for related keywords, Google’s Keyword Tool allows you to search for synonyms and get new keyword ideas.3. Use keywords in your ad text: Good ads spell out exactly what they are promoting. Well-placed keywords in both the title and body of the ad ensure that when people click they know what they are getting.4. Direct users to the specific area of the site, not the home page: People want to find what they are looking for without hassle. Directing potential donors to your donation landing page makes it that much easier for them to give. Links to your home page can be helpful if you are working on brand name recognition, but otherwise direct people immediately to the relevant page that matches your ad.5. Separate ad groups: Split up your keyword buys into different categories. For example, you could have one ad group devoted to recruiting activists, and another for reaching out to recruit potential donors. This distinction allows you to better track the progress of each campaign.6. Take advantage of single ad groups: Keep everything organized by creating containers to hold related ad groups. Keyword buys that relate to each other can be grouped into logical categories that will help you organize, but more importantly that allow you to track the success of each keyword.7. Use various phrase keyword-match types: Selecting various keyword types allows you to either expand or refine when your ad appears.The negative keyword option lets you select keywords for which you don’t want your ad to appear.The phrase match option allows your ad to appear only when terms are searched in the order you have specified.Broad match is less specific and targeted, and can incorporate related or relevant keywords.8. Use the AdWords ad serving service: This provides a platform that displays ads with highest click-through rates more frequently than ads with lower rates in the same ad group.9. Track your results: Which keywords were successful and which didn’t get results? Take advantage of Google Analytics to get in-depth reports on various aspects of your campaign. Use it to assess and evaluate your performance. Was it successful? Did it meet or fall short of your goals? There are many ways to track success, some more sophisticated than others. Google’s Website Optimizer is a tool used to track your progress.10. Modify bids before entering the contact network: AdWords allows advertisers to set different bids on the content network then appear on the search network. By modifying bids you can potentially pay less per click while still getting the same amount of traffic.Source: Frogloop, Care2’s nonprofit communications and marketing blog: https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/B2046/IMG10635.jpg” alt=”last_img” /> read more

Old vs. New Marketing Haiku

first_imgAnd the winner of the haiku challenge is…Lorraine. Not only is she good, she’s prolific. I loved them all, but she takes the cake (book, actually). Here’s my favorite from her body of work:Old Marketing HaikuSuch a big, loud adCosts your client a fortuneWith no ROI.New Marketing HaikuWant to sell your stuff?Stop shouting at your buyers.Try conversation.Lorraine, email me your address for your free copy of Robin Hood Marketing!last_img

What makes for motivation

first_imgJeremy Gregg at the Raiser’s Razor blog asked me to answer the following question: What drives your philanthropassion? In other words, why have I, like you, chosen to be overworked and underpaid in the third sector?Part of the answer for me is, I spent a number of years working as a journalist in very poor countries. And the poverty and pain I saw on a daily basis was hard to simply witness, over and over. So I stopped reporting and started working to remedy what I was seeing. (This is not to say journalism does not do much to contribute to the social good or to right wrongs – it does. I just wanted to be more involved in the story.)So part of my motivation is based on need.But the bigger part of it is based on change. I saw enough good when I was reporting that I also grew to believe there was hope in most situations. And that, ultimately, is the most motivating thing of all.I started my book this way: We all have moments in life when we happen upon our calling, and mine was when I encountered a giant, smiling condom in Cambodia. I go on to tell the story of being inspired by the ground-breaking work of the nonprofit PSI to make AIDS prevention fun and hopeful (including via a giant condom balloon), to great success. I saw the good in the story and possibility in the future.I think ultimately, what makes for the most powerful motivation (at least for me) is not how bad something is now but rather how much better it could be.last_img read more

What You Get Is Why You Give

first_imgThis is my new column for Fundraising Success.Soon after I was divorced, I heard a story on NPR that really got to me. I was driving home from work, half-listening to a profile of East St. Louis. It was about the area’s extreme poverty and the efforts of some extraordinary people to rise above their circumstances and make better lives for themselves and their families.The details are long lost, but I remember one person from the story perfectly. She seized my complete attention. She was a single mother working long hours to support her two daughters. She’d cobbled together the funds to send them to a good school, and she was doing all she could for their future. She kept going, against all odds, for those girls.As the single working mother of two daughters myself, I was amazed and humbled by this woman. Though my life is far easier than hers, I did have an inkling of just how much strength it took to do what she did. When I got to work, I tracked down the NPR reporter, emailed him, thanked him for the story and asked him to put me in touch with the woman. After he got her permission, he gave me her contact information. I told the woman how much I admired her and thanked her for inspiring me, and then I sent a small check to support her daughters’ education. While technically I was the donor in this relationship, there is no question that she did more for me than I could ever do for her. She gave me faith that the job of raising two daughters alone could be done, even in the hardest of circumstances.I tell this story because it illustrates something so important: that giving and receiving go hand in hand. Fundraising is not simply about what you ask of people, it’s about what they get in return. You don’t have an empty, outstretched hand. You have a lot to offer donors, and you should frame your ask accordingly.In crass marketing terms, we call this the benefit exchange. It is the answer to the question, what do I get for my money? If I’m manufacturing pricey anti-wrinkle cream, the benefit exchange might involve $100 as the price for hope I can regain my youth. If I’m fundraising, there are many possible benefit exchanges I can offer to my donors – faith in themselves, inspiration, a feeling of accomplishment, or – on a more mundane level — a plastic wristband or logo-laden coffee mug.Think about this formula the next time you ask for money. Remind donors of the returns of giving, which are precious indeed.Here are a few qualities of a great benefit exchange:IMMEDIATE: What will people get right away in exchange for doing what you ask, whether you want them to give money, volunteer or quit smoking? Some good causes deal with the immediacy challenge with a gift like a t-shirt, hat or wristband. These offerings provide the person that donated money or took some action with an instant benefit, for example, recognition. Other options? Show how someone can save a life RIGHT NOW. Demonstrate they can feel good by making a difference THIS SECOND. And above all, make it incredibly EASY to act, so people will believe they will get the benefit exchange pronto.PERSONAL: Our audience members need to believe from our message that the reward we’re offering for taking action will make something better for them personally. The private sector understands the importance of making rewards personal. They don’t sell you a car by explaining the way the engine is built; they tell you the car is reliable, safe, or fast, depending on who you are and your personal priorities. They take the attributes of their product and translate them into personally desirable benefits. That translation is easy to make for most products. It’s harder for good causes because we get swept up in the huge scope of what we want to accomplish. But remember, at the end of the day, it is always the personal connection, not the grand concept, that grabs our attention. RELEVANT: We can’t easily change what our audiences believe, but by plugging into their existing mind-set we unleash great power behind our benefit exchange and our message. The values of our audience may have nothing to do with our cause, but we can still use them. A famous, frequently cited example of the value-based principle at work in social advertising is the successful Don’t Mess with Texas campaign. The phrase has become so famous that many people outside Texas don’t even realize that this is not a state slogan but rather a long-running marketing effort to get people to stop littering. The young Texan men who were the target of the campaign didn’t care about littering, but they did care about their macho image, and no one doubted the fierce pride they had for their home state. By tapping into these powerful feelings with the Don’t Mess with Texas concept, which didn’t have a thing to do with trash, the ad agency that created the campaign (GSD&M) drastically reduced roadside litter.The bottom line? Doing good is not a one-way transaction. It’s an exchange – I give your cause support or dollars, and you give me some thing or some feeling that I want and value, right away. In my case, I gave to a woman in East St. Louis because she gave me faith in myself. And that is a benefit that not only compels a donation, it is also most certainly priceless.last_img read more

How to Write a Nonprofit News Release

first_imgDuring 20 years as a journalist, Jerry Brown worked for The Associated Press (he was assignment editor for AP’s Washington bureau during Watergate); daily newspapers in Little Rock, Fort Worth and Denver; the U.S. Information Agency; and two trade publications. Jerry’s been practicing public relations for the past two decades and is an accredited member (APR) of the Public Relations Society of America and a former board member of PRSA’s Colorado chapter. You can contact Jerry at [email protected] or visit his Web site at pr-impact.com.Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services. Article provided by PR Newswire’s Nonprofit Toolkit, an educational resource devoted to Non Profit public relations. Visit the Nonprofit Toolkit today and receive a waived annual membership ($195 value) and more than $2,000 in discounts and free services.Develop your agenda.Start with your objective. Why do you want to tell your story? Getting a “positive story” isn’t specific enough.Identify your audience.The first three steps are easy most of the time. Now it gets harder.Prepare your message. You need a primary message, the one thing you want to be sure reporters and your audience hear, understand and remember. You can include up to two other messages, but one message is usually better than two and two are usually better than three. If you have more than three messages for a single release, you aren’t focused enough. You should be able to state your message(s) in 10 to 15 seconds. If you can’t, it isn’t clear enough for reporters to understand it and get it right when they put it into their stories. And your audience won’t remember it. Sometimes stating your message in 15 seconds or less will be easy, but often it won’t be. Take the time to get this step right. It’s important. Develop messages that address your audience’s wants / needs. And target reporters who write for your audience.Gather the information for your story before you start writing.Write your release. Be brief, clear and above all interesting. You’re competing for the attention of people with a lot to do other than read your release. Focus on your message. People often leave their message out of their news releases. Avoid jargon, buzzwords and phrases only you understand.What to include in your press release:Headline. Goes at the top of the release, tells readers what it’s about and why they’ll care. Serves the same purpose as the headline of a newspaper or magazine article – attract interest. It may be all that editors or other readers see when reviewing a newsfeed. Give them a reason in your headline to open yours. Often the last thing I write.Lead paragraph. Like your headline, it should grab the attention of the reader. If you haven’t interested a reporter or editor by the time s/he reads your lead, your release is probably headed for the trash. The purpose of this paragraph is to interest reporters, editors and others enough to keep reading.Nut paragraph. Use a nut paragraph to frame your story. This is where you tell us the essence of your story. It’s often the second paragraph of your release, but not always. It can be your lead. It can be even be more than one paragraph. If you were writing a movie, this is where the plot thickens and the audience learns the basics of your story.Quote(s). Reporters love good quotes. I like to include one or two quotes in news releases. Make them quotable, if you want them to be used. Some organizations only quote executives. I like to quote whoever I want reporters to talk to if they call. That may be a subject-matter expert instead of an executive. With a few exceptions, reporters want to talk to someone who can help them with their story – not someone with a suit and a title. Make your quotes sound like quotes; i.e., like someone spoke them. Use contractions, slang and other conversational language.Background information. Once you’ve grabbed our attention, framed your story and added a quote or two, fill in the detail of your story. I like to limit news releases to two pages whenever possible. It’s not a rule, just a preference. If you need more space than that, consider putting some information into a fact sheet or separate sidebar releases that cover specific aspects of your story.Boilerplate. A closing paragraph describing the organization issuing the release. Tell us who you are and what you do. Skip the sales pitch. Reporters and others who see your release won’t like the sales pitch.last_img read more

The 5 funniest charts ever

first_imgAll I can say is OMG. You, dear bloggers and readers, have outdone yourselves. I asked you for chart fun for this Blog Carnival and you gave me chart brilliance. The best come from Jan Fonger and Kivi Leroux Miller who not only have a great sense of humor, they have razor-sharp insight. The three below are from the wonderful Janice. This could not be a better explanation of marketing in the nonprofit sector:Janice also offers her take on fundraising and candy corn. Kivi, who is right here in NC with me, hits the humor-insight sweet spot with this great piece on nonprofit reactions to web designers’ work and email. You must check them out.But wait, there’s MORE!!Jeremy Scheller presents Jeremy Scheller: Hyper-Blogging: Loud Message + Deaf Ears = No Communication posted at Jeremy Scheller. John Haydon presents How eNewsletters Can Kill Your Non-Profit | CorporateDollar.Org – Exceed your on-line fundraising goals with social media know-how! posted at CorporateDollar.Org – Exceed your on-line fundraising goals with social media know-how!. It’s not really a chart, but it’s a cool way to present numbers: Marc presents Cape Argus Aids stats – Osocio, Social Advertising and Non-profit Campaigns posted at Osocio Weblog. Thanks everyone for your creativity. And your smarts. And for making us laugh on (yet another) day when our 401Ks tanked.last_img read more

The totally annoying, often wonderful lack of control you have in the social web

first_imgI’m reading Dave Evans new book, Social Media Marketing in an Hour a Day. It’s excellent. Even though I consider myself somewhat knowledgeable in social media, and even do trainings on the topic, there is so much I’m learning. I highly recommend it, for everyone from beginners to intermediate social media folks. I also recommend Allison Fine’s book (“Momentum”) if you want more of the background on the social web.Here’s a key point Dave makes far more eloquently than I ever have: “You’ve got to give up control in order to gain a presence in the conversations that matter.”What he means is, you can’t control the conversation online. And that conversation REALLY matters. To be a part of it, you have to cede control and listen, then participate. And you have to do so honestly. Because disclosing who you are is key to building trust.I say this all the time, less succinctly, but I’ll admit this is easier said than done. When you experience this lack of control, it is not fun or easy. It’s often irritating. But you have to do as he says, and over time, you’ll appreciate the experience and its value.I’ll give you a personal example. A few days ago, you may have read my post, The Perils of the Pre-Ask. My point was as a marketer, you should always ask directly for something. You should not just talk about yourself or have “awareness” as your goal — you should always be focused on getting someone to act in some way. It got picked up in a few places. Peter Panepento of the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Prospecting Blog interpreted my post this way: that you should always ask people for money. Then a bunch of people understandably assumed this is what I was saying and that I don’t believe in cultivating relationships or asking for something other than money. This killed me, since I’m constantly telling folks NOT to treat donors like ATM machines. It was painful. It was annoying. I wanted to yell at Peter for starting the whole thing (sorry Peter, I’m your fan, but I’m just being honest and holding myself up as a case study.) But I didn’t. Because that would be wrong. He was taking my premise, riffing on it and generating a conversation, and that’s what blogging is about. Kivi picked up Peter’s pickup, adding her own comments, which made me happier.This is CONVERSATION.So I went onto Peter’s blog, identifying myself clearly, thanking the commenters, agreeing with some of their key points, and explaining the interpretation of my post was not what I was trying to say. (Sadly, I did this a day late because I’m behind on my day job, so that’s not best practice, but better late than never.)I also sent Peter an email personally (because I know him) and said thank you for the post — and clarified my point.Now I’m continuing the conversation here.That’s social media. I’m a participant, just like anyone else. So “all” I can do is to participate.The good news, while that being “just” a participant can feel powerless, it’s quite powerful. Honestly and directly and openly being a participant can have a really good outcome. Beth Kanter recently shared another example of this that I experienced. It’s a good read. Actually, everything Beth writes is good. So read her blog regularly if you don’t already.The moral of the story? Participate, in the good and the bad, openly. It’s powerful stuff. If you listen, you learn. Those folks have much to teach you, and much to share. And while it feels dangerous at times, it’s more dangerous not to participate. As Dave says:“On the social web, your absence is conspicuous. Failing to participate retards the advancement of trust. In fact, it can increase the likelihood of mistrust.”last_img read more

The Joys of Google Grants, Part 2

first_imgIn part one of this series, I discussed the first steps the National Women’s Law Center took when we initially received our Google Grant, and some of the challenges we faced getting started. Now, I’ll go into more detail on how we’ve maximized the use of our grant, and some of the benefits we’ve seen from it.Refining the ProcessFiguring Out What WorksOver the first few months of our grant, we continued to experiment with our ads and keywords, and to monitor how each of our campaigns was performing. Of the ten issue-based campaigns we started out with, we noticed that two of them – the ones focused on child care assistance and child support enforcement – were outperforming the others. They were maxing out their allocated daily budgets of around $30. So we directed more of our budget to those campaigns.We also held more brainstorming sessions on those issues and added new keywords that came out of those sessions. For example, when we brainstormed for additional keywords for our women and poverty campaign, we added terms like “poverty level” and “poverty line” to our existing collection of keywords (“low income women,” “poverty in america,” etc.) – and now those are getting among the highest impression counts of all our poverty-related keywords. And for our general women’s rights campaign, we added new phrases using the words “equal” and “fair” in broad match combinations we might not have thought of originally, like “women fair” and “equality women.” We’re seeing high impressions on those, too.Lo and behold, the campaigns started maxing out on their new, increased budgets. Over the next few weeks, we moved more and more of our budget into those two campaigns, as well as a few others that were also showing above-average performance. Soon, we were coming very close to using our overall daily budget of $330 every weekday. Weekends and holidays were always lower, and, much to our chagrin, Google won’t allow us to move any of our daily budget from weekends to weekdays. It’s $330 a day, every day, period. (Grr.) So we tried moving more of our budget into certain campaigns on the weekends, then moving it back on weekdays – and that helped, too.Making the Most of the News CycleIn September 2008, NWLC launched a voter education microsite that included a register-to-vote widget, and we started running Google ads on keywords like “register to vote.” Visitors who clicked on the ads were encouraged to complete the voter registration form on our site, sign our Pledge to Vote form, and check out our educational resources on women and voting.Surprise, surprise, a lot of people were searching on keywords like “register to vote” in September and October, and we got our highest numbers yet. So we moved a lot of our budget into those adsDuring the pre-election season, this was the ad that performed best for us:Now that the election is over, we’ve moved most of our budget back to our standard programmatic ad campaigns. But we’re continuing to add new campaigns when our issues are in the news. For example, when NWLC’s Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights, Judy Waxman, was interviewed on MSNBC in a story about the failings of the individual health insurance market when it comes to women, we ran special ads on keywords we thought people might search for after watching the piece.Back to BasicsWe’re still keeping a close eye on the performance of our campaigns, and experimenting with new topics, ads, and keywords.These are our best-performing “evergreen” ads – the ones that aren’t tied to a specific timely topic:(A note on that last one – yes, we do run ads using our organization’s name, and its common misspellings, as keywords. Although sadly our unabbreviated name is too long to fit the 25-character limit on ad headlines.)The PayoffIn October, at the height of the election season, we managed to go over our Google Grants budget, spending $10,212 and earning a click-through rate of 6.43% and a conversion rate of 2.10%. By November, when things had gotten back down to semi-normal, we spent $9,108.57 and had a CTR was 2.17% and a conversion rate of 4.40%.Other BenefitsWe’ve been pleasantly surprised by the additional, less quantifiable uses we’re finding for our Google Grant. For example, NWLC’s website is undergoing a redesign, but right now, our site isn’t very well optimized for search engines. However, our Google ads offer us a way around that. People who are searching for issues that we work on might not find our website in their first page of organic search results, but they may well see one of our Google ads. Then, they might click through, sign up to join our e-mail list, and spend time exploring our site, using our resources, and getting to know the organization. They might even make a donation or two.We’ve also found that the ads are a great way to test new messaging. We’ll create three or more ad variations for each campaign, and Google will tell us which version got the most clicks. These results can help us determine what messaging to use in our other communications. For example, we discovered early on that “Find out if your birth control is covered by your insurance” generated more clicks than “Does your health insurance plan include contraception?”Looking AheadWhen we were first starting out, our goal was to use as much of our budget as we could. Now, our goal is to increase our conversions – the number of people who click on an ad and then sign up to join our e-mail list, or download a free resource, or take another action. We’re paying close attention to how we set up our landing pages, conscious of the fact that people searching for information on low-income families in the United States might have different expectations from our website than people searching for information on the history of NWLC.We’ll keep refining our ads and keywords, and we’ll keep following the latest news and tips from the Google Grants blog. And we’ll keep trying new things and seeing what works. Without a doubt, that’s the best advice I can give to anyone working with Google Grants – experiment, experiment, experiment. Source: frogloop, care2’s nonprofit communications and marketing blog – http://www.frogloop.com/care2blog/last_img read more