Tags: google

Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Integrate Google Docs Into Your Business & Benchmark Account

Beyond • June 22, 2015

Google Docs can’t save your life … but it can sure save your business! Not only is it a handy tool for work, school, and personal work, but it is the perfect tool to use in this era where everything moves lightening fast. Several businesses have greatly improved thanks to Google Docs. As digital media is now the number one source to receive the latest breaking news, this spelled trouble for traditional print newspapers and magazines. That’s why several publications had to make the move from paper to web in order to survive in the industry, but it was a lot more difficult that it sounded. Journalists who were used to their own method of reporting and writing had to completely revamp the system to keep with the time-sensitive and fast-paced nature of digital media. Bangor Daily News, a Maine-based news site, had to quickly incorporate a new tool in the workplace that allows reporters and writers to work with ease. Online editor, William Davis, shared: “We picked Google Docs purely for its ease of use and its collaboration tools. We wanted a place where reporters could work on their articles easily from wherever they are — we have quite a few bureaus, and our reporters often file from events. The collaboration tools are terrific and have really proved useful, for example, when we’re editing articles on tight deadlines or when reporters are working on stories together. On Election Day we had three reporters at different campaign headquarters all working in one doc, and it went very smoothly.” As for the process going from story idea to web article, reporters begin their stories into Google docs and then drop them into the appropriate folder according to its category. Then the editors would read it and then move it to a copy-editing queue. Then finally, a digital desk editor reviews it before sending it off to Wordpress. With this system, Google Docs work as an assembly line factory, where all team members of different positions can come to work, find what they need, and pass along when finish. Not only is this more time-efficient, but also much tidier and less chance of losing documents. Just one of the many examples of how Google docs is a basic necessity to run your company. Equally important is how you can take advantage of Google docs to increase your brand awareness and strengthen relationships with your audience. With the Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration, you can transfer all information (spreadsheets, documents, data) collected from Google surveys, straight into your email list! The speediness of Google docs and marketing power of email…what is better than that?


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Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration

Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration

Beyond • April 17, 2015

Imagine you are in an important meeting with a very important client talking about an extremely important business proposal. You have spent weeks putting together a masterpiece of a document on how your company can benefit theirs and what amazing opportunities lie in the future. You open your laptop to pull up the document but…it never saved?! No problem, you’ll just reach for your flashdrive … oh great, you left it at home. Is this presentation doomed for? Is the client looking ready to pack up and leave? Is this really the end of your job? If only you had utilized the benefits that Google Docs has to offer. It is nearly impossible to find a company that doesn’t use this app to conduct business, keep track of data and reports, instantly share with other team members, and most importantly, can be accessed through any devices. Pen and paper may be great for jotting down small notes or a to-do list, but with Google Docs, you don’t ever have to worry about losing your notes. All you need is internet connection! The main reason why Google Docs is a necessity for a company to do business is that it works in real time. If you just created a document and want to send it over to a member that is commuting from across the country, emailing might not always go over smoothly, with corrupted files, email hacks, or it getting lost in the shuffle with hundreds of other emails. With Google Docs, it is made available to access at anytime. For those working in an office together, the app allows several members to work on a single document as well! With all the information you have gathered, you can even do further with your business by incorporate it into your email marketing strategies. With the Benchmark Email Google Docs Integration, you can transfer all information (spreadsheets, documents, data) collected from Google surveys, straight into your email list! Log in to your Benchmark account Under the Lists tab, click on Create New List Choose the \"Import Contacts from a File\" option and click Save & Add Contacts Click the \"Click here\" link under \"Upload Your File\" Click the Google Docs panel in the list that appears and then click the Connect to Google button If you are not already, you will be asked to sign in to your Google account Click the Allow Access button Click on \"Import List\" and choose the document and worksheet number that you\'d like to import


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5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business Team

5 Ways to Add Qualified Techies to Your Business Team

Beyond • November 4, 2011

Your website is the business face you present to the online community: thinking about having a lift? Hiring and retaining talented tech employees to your team is essential to improving your technological operations, but it can be tough to bring the best and brightest in when applicants aspire to auspicious positions at HUGE, Microsoft and even Google. Luckily for business owners, economic uncertainty has created a buyer’s market for HR departments: droves of recent grads and underemployed members of the tech profession are willing to cut their teeth in under the radar operations. Read on for five ways to make your office culture more tech team member friendly and add new tech members to your team. Pony Up. Sure, you could continue to hire freelancers and subcontract your tech needs to independent agents. It’s certainly less expensive. But by adding a tech team member to your staff at full time salary, you cause the person performing your tech operations to become fully integrated into your business: in short, you give them a reason to care about their contribution beyond a project-by-project basis.Can’t afford to add a new full-time member to your team? While you continue to work toward that goal, work closely with your contractors and work to build an opportunity for their potential with your business. If you want someone to be dedicated to your company’s goals and overall mission, you need to pay them to feel like part of a team, not just a project. Take Risks for Rewards. Business visionary Jim Rohn put it best: “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Leaving room for failure in pursuit of great things is paramount to innovation in an office environment. Chances are, you hired a tech team member because their resume fit your needs, but you also recognized their potential to help your company grow. Their ability to innovate comes at a cost – namely, your willingness to take a risk on their ideas and contributions. You have to be willing to assume that responsibility to reap the rewards. Raise the Bar. Many tech professionals are at the beginning of their careers, recent college grads or perhaps in their thirties: they want something to be passionate about and sink their teeth into, but as a business leader you can’t inspire great work with mediocre standards. So set the bar high, preferably just out of reach. Give them something to strive for and build confidence, team identity and an internal respect for your business operations. Build a Ball Pit. Google has nap pods; Microsoft caters daily lunches; Groupon has built a giant ball pit for employees to sink into when they need a break from their computer screens: what are you doing to make your office environment a fun place to work? While it’s not necessary to construct an adult playground in the lobby, there is something to be said for making the space you work in a pleasant place to be. Deconstructing the cubicle is one step you can take to promoting more unity and employee satisfaction in your office environment - not just among tech employees, but everyone. Don’t be afraid to paint or hang artwork; consider alternative solutions to the traditional seating structure; and take preferences into consideration. Above all else, add elements of fun. Happy employees are more productive employees. See the “I” in “Team.” Hire a tech team member because you recognize the unique talents they will bring to the community. Programmers and developers can make contributions beyond code, and knowing your employees\' individual strengths will help you match them to the most appropriate projects. By allowing them to use their distinct talents, you help to cultivate an environment where employees feel appreciated for their professional and personal individuality. When they know they are being seen for their strengths they will place more value on their position and retain more positive feelings about your organization.


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New Congressional Anti-Piracy Laws on the Way…

Beyond • November 3, 2011

In the beginning, the internet sprung fully formed from the head of Tim Berners-Lee… or at least that’s the urban myth. The reality is quite a bit different than the cyber-mythology, as the roots of today’s net harken back to the creation of ARPANET back in the late Sixties. It was not exactly a mature technology back then, as the first word to be transmitted was to be “login,” but the entire network crashed after “lo.” As the abilities of system engineers evolved, by the late Seventies there was a bona fide global connection, albeit not exactly the web as we know it today. It did take another decade for Berners-Lee to marry hypertext with TCP and domain names to create the actual world wide web, which its creator expected to be a way for educational, government and military institutions to exchange information. It can be confidently stated that The Tim did not foresee the gaming, porn, media and merchandising that has become the core of the internet in the 21st century. Legislators Trying to Rein in Pandora’s Box It can also be confidently stated that the web opened Pandora’s box and let all the evils loose on the world that legislators are now trying to rein back in. So far the web has thumbed its collective nose at any and all attempts to regulate it. When you have billions of people sharing copyrighted content of one form or another it’s a bit difficult to jail them all. That reality is not stopping both the US House and Senate from crafting their own bills that aim to choke off the websites that are providing the infringing media, such as music, books, movies and television programs. Which Side of Niagara Falls Are You On? Under the various proposed legislation, the Justice Department could seek court orders forcing ISPs in the country to stop rendering DNS for violating websites. That would mean that if you were in Niagara Falls, Ontario you could reach the particular website as usual, but if you were in Niagara Falls, New York, you’d get nothing. The NetCoalition, which includes Google and Yahoo, has called the legislation a “morass of legal and regulatory uncertainty which will compromise this vital sector of economic growth.” The Great Firewall of the USA If the Great Firewall of China is regularly circumvented via inventive proxyisms, these new laws will do little to stop a dedicated, technically savvy user from reaching any website they want to see, no matter how restricted. One of the easiest ways is not to type in the domain name but the actual IP address of a site, but the legislation seems to indicate that anyone who posts information on how to do that could face action by the Attorney General. In which case there is little choice but to inform the reader to kindly disregard the previous sentence! Leper’s Blacklist of Websites There are also provisions in the bills to cut off the financial lifeblood of the offending websites by prohibiting credit card companies, payment processors, online ad services and other income channelers from providing services to them. These acts would in essence create a leper’s blacklist of websites that no legitimate business in the United States could interact with, under severe penalty of law. The USA is not the world, however, and many of the infringing websites today already operate well offshore of American soil, mostly in jurisdictions where they are nearly impossible for US law to reach. Surprisingly, many of these sites are not located in the lawless, anarchic countries like Somalia but in developed countries with state of the art infrastructures whose enforcement efforts are non-existent. Eztv.it is a primary source of pirated American television programming, and although it’s in the European Union, which has the severest copyright regulations on Earth, it’s also in Italy, where enforcement is shrugged off by a government in perpetual crisis. Should these bills pass into law, American web users could find an internet very different from today’s. However, the jury is out on whether it would be an overall positive or a negative change.


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Google Real-Time Search Is Casualty in Social Media War

Beyond • October 27, 2011

The recent murder of Colonel Moammar El-Gadhafi brought the real-time search debate into sharp focus. Whether you were celebrating the death of the despot by dancing in the streets or complaining about the appalling lack of due process, there is no disputing the fact that it was an event that galvanized the world and sent millions to social media news sites to obtain the minute-by-minute breaking news. Ever since Google removed its real-time results “temporarily” in July, the feature has been absent on its omnipresent search pages, driving users who prefer to see the world’s affairs scroll in front of them as fast as they are posted to resort to extraGooglicular sources. Twitter-Google Deadlock The expiration of Google’s real-time search of tweets was precipitated by the deadlock between Twitter’s CEO Dick Costolo and the denizens of the Googleplex, who could not agree on an acceptable exchange of dollars, consideration and the other intellectual property currencies of the corporate online world that remain as mysterious to the lay person as the brand of Bavarian beer preferred by the Illuminati. (Weishauptbrau, anyone?) A Ferrari FF with a 60 Mph Limiter As the Mountain View juggernaut shifts most of its assets to a Google+ centric strategy, the real-time search that is missing from the search pages is alive and well on the social media side, albeit limited to what the dwindling number of users-with-a-pulse on that network are typing. Google+’s circles within circles strategy may be an essential limiting factor to the value of real-time search on the platform, as by their very nature posts that are set for distribution to specific circles of participants are not for public consumption. Paradoxically, Google+ encourages users to set up internal hierarchical segregations, while in turn segregating its real-time search only to the handful of public posts on the network, which is somewhat akin to buying a new Ferrari FF and then placing a 60 mph speed limiter on it. Adding 100 Features in 90 Days CEO Larry Page recently boasted that Google+ added 100 features in 90 days, which left some observers wondering whether the corporate behemoth’s next investment would be to launch Googleversities to teach users what they all are and what to do with them. Twitter’s inherent simplicity remains its hole card, as the interface is little more than click-type-post. With the deep integration the service now has on iOS 5 from the other central California titan, Twitter is set to keep attracting users as the number of tweets on every subject between the latest snack choices and the latest assassinations of heads of state continues to spiral to infinity and beyond. Sifting among the Twittertwaddle The access to real time tweets is not necessarily a boon to any search experience. With up to 10,000 tweets per second (TPS), sifting the relevant from the Sargasso Sea of tweetertwaddle can be next to impossible. To the difficulty in making sense out of the mass of data there is the added factor of the wildly varying English spellings of the former Libyan dictator’s Arabic name, which at last count totaled 648 published versions. A search for “El-Gadhafi” would not necessarily bring up references to Khadafy, Qadhafi, et al. When the rampant illiteracy and resultant mutant spelling applied by a number of Tweeters in their everyday posts, including the top celebrities (these stars graduated from where?) is taken into account, the value of the real time search of tweets becomes questionable at best. Twitter’s search page trumpets “see what’s happening right now,” so it is obviously not lost on Mr. Costolo that a primary driving force behind his service’s adoption by millions is its immediacy. When Steve Jobs expired or Beyonce sat on that infamous interview chair and her baby bump buckled as the plastic prosthesis that it is (or isn’t, depending on who’s tweeting) the TPS rate doubled. The market for real-time search is indisputable, so now the only thing that is left to determine is when/if Google is going to get on board. The company is not a stranger to targeting profitable niches so the best estimates are that it won’t be long.


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Google Tweaks: Gmail Upgrade & Reader Downgrade

Beyond • October 24, 2011

The news that Google’s Reader is about to have its social features retired caught many not decrying the neutering of a valid service, but asking “What’s Google Reader?” A feed aggregator introduced in 2005 when Facebook was only available on university campuses and Twitter was a twinkle in Jack Dorsey’s eye, Google Reader picked up a (small) number of dedicated users, primarily writers and news junkies who became addicted to the ability to combine all their favorite blogs and news sites into subscriptions to quickly scan through the latest releases. The Share button at the bottom of each post allowed Reader users to share items of interest publicly or to restrict access with sharing groups. If the last phrase struck a chord, it can be confirmed that it is true: Back in the stone axe days of social networking, Google Reader was already embracing the sharing segregation strategies that it incorporated eons later in Google+ Circles. Critical Mass or Critical Condition? When Bill Clinton was running for president, strategist James Carville hung a sign in campaign headquarters that read “It’s the economy, stupid.” If Carville worked in the Googleplex the sign might read “It’s the critical mass, stupid.” Google+ users have now reached 40 million, or at least it’s safe to say that 40 million people were driven into a frenzy by the initial unobtainium of the invitations to join Google+. They had enough time to take a look around, wonder where everybody was, and then leave never to return. Demonstrating that it isn’t just RIM, Netflix and AMD who have the Reverse Midas Touch, Google+ still doesn’t have any business pages. With traffic falling by two thirds and still plummeting, it seems that on the way to critical mass, Google+ seems to have lapsed into critical condition. It’s the Preview, Dense! While Google+ flounders, Google announced that Gmail was getting a redesign so that it would more neatly fit into the current Google aesthetic. The themes tab in Gmail Settings now has two settings for Preview and Preview - Dense (no correlation to Carville’s exhortation), which are present to eventually allow the dynamic expansion of the interface to suit not only the user’s preferences but varying screen sizes as well. Over 5 Years in Beta Even the Official Gmail Blog stated that the new interface has “a few rough edges,” admitting that some Labs features “look a little strange in the new themes,” but they plan to fix them as they go. Google has a habit of moving glacially on the provision of new services. Gmail was an invitation-only beta (ring a bell?) release on April Fool’s Day of 2004, which didn’t graduate to release status until five years and three months later. Although there is no doubt that Gmail turned out to be a rousing success, the jury is still out on Google+, which makes faithful Reader users even more nervous. Should the new social network go the way of Buzz, their favorite aggregator could be left in Googlelimbo. The Big Black Bar Was Rumored to Be a Mourning Armband The big black bar that suddenly appeared at the top of all Google pages a while back was rumored to be a mourning armband for Google’s social media policies, but it turns out that hope still springs eternal in Mountain View, California. It cannot be denied that Google has crafted a unique and comprehensive social network infrastructure. Even though some features such as sharing to a sub-circle separately from its larger circle require a Ph.D. in Googleology to master, Google+ is an extremely capable and sophisticated social network that incorporates the innovation and seamless integration to send Mark Zuckerberg’s creation back to the depths of Harvard from whence it came. Google is marching at its own pace inexorably towards the future, albeit on a quirky path that does not guarantee its domination of every online activity. Anti-monopolists can rejoice in that fact as it seems the only individuals capable of stopping Google from taking over the world are on the Google board.


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Costume Ideas, Google+, BlackBerry, The Weekly Wrap’s Got It All

Beyond • October 21, 2011

Have you decided what you’re going to be for Halloween yet? I may have a last-minute idea for you. Read this edition of the weekly wrap to find out what it is. In Memory of Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011) I can’t be the only one that saw the name Dennis Ritchie trending on Twitter and assumed it was Lionel’s brother. Right? Fine. I was the only one. Sue me (please don’t sue me). If you were as confused as I was and don’t want to admit it, read this post In Memory of Dennis Ritchie (1941-2011). Women in the Workplace: Has the Internet Expanded Opportunity? My mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Luckily, I’m not sexist and can tell you to check out this great post on Women in the Workplace: Has the Internet Expanded Opportunity? Benchmark Email Releases Free Manual on the Entertainment Industry Sadly, it doesn’t cover how to stop making so many knock offs, reboots and super hero movies. Maybe if they did better email marketing they could afford to make better movies. Better check out our Free Manual on the Entertainment Industry. 5 Timeless Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs #6: It doesn’t matter if you can count in Spanish if your name is Bono. Discover the other 5 Timeless Marketing Lessons Learned from Steve Jobs. DIY Websites: How to Create, Launch and Manage Your Own Site Channel your inner Martha Stewart. No, I don’t mean get involved in insider trading and spend time in jail. I mean learn about DIY Websites: How to Create, Launch and Manage Your Own Site. Netflix Drops Qwikster and Reincorporates DVD Service Sure, it could have been the thousands of other posts skewering Netflix CEO Reed Hastings that caused him to rethink his plan, but I’m going to say it was my take on it that made Netflix Drop Qwikster and Reincorporate DVD Service. Brick Joke: BlackBerry’s Self-Inflicted Tribulations I thought it was a fitting joke that at Steve Jobs\' tribute yesterday, Coldplay dedicated “Fix You” to BlackBerry. Chris Martin wasn’t the only one to tell a Brick Joke: BlackBerry’s Self-Inflicted Tribulations. Support Update: Facebook Integration with Benchmark Email You know the old saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it?” Well, Facebook broke our integration. You’ll need to reconnect your account to accept their new permissions. Find out how in this Support Update: Facebook Integration with Benchmark Email. Is Google+ Alive or the Walking Dead? So is it going to be this year or next year that someone dresses as Zombie Google+ for Halloween? Find out, Is Google+ Alive or the Walking Dead? iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade? The eternal child in me is screaming, “NEW TOYS! I WANT TO PLAY WITH SIRI!!” For now, the party pooper known as my bank account is acting as the voice of reason. Where do you stand on the iPhone 4S: To Upgrade or Not to Upgrade?


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Is Google+ Alive or the Walking Dead? Conflict in the Media

Beyond • October 19, 2011

When Google launched Google+ to the world back on June 30, it limited usage to a small community of users. Unless after dropping your name in the hat you were accepted outright by the search mogul itself, the only way you could get in was by receiving an invitation from a friend. That has all changed as Google recently did away with the invitation-only program and opened the new social platform up to anyone who wants to join. As it turns out, this was a wise move. Data from Experian Hitwise reveals that Google’s decision to open Google+ to the public resulted in a huge traffic spike over the one week period of September 17 to September 24th. To be exact, its research shows that the site enjoyed an unbelievable 1,269% jump in traffic. According to the Hitwise Social Network and Forums category, this put it as the third most visited social media site behind Twitter and of course Facebook. What’s so impressive about all this is that it doesn’t even account for all the people that visit Google+ through mobile phones or the notification bar that alerts the user of activity via other Google products. Extending the new social network to any and everyone seemed to momentarily pique the interest of the curious, but apparently it wasn’t enough to keep them around. Data compiled by Chitika Insight, the research division of internet advertising company Chitika, found that after experiencing that huge boost in traffic, the site’s traffic dipped by more than 60%. Losing Momentum? So what gives? Why are the traffic statistics on Google+ resembling such a turbulent rollercoaster ride, and why are some still hailing it as the next big thing while others are already shoveling the dirt and preparing for what they feel to be an inevitable memorial service? Chitika’s research team believes the reason is that despite having a few unique features here and there, Google+ does not currently have enough going to stand out from the competition. In the sense of providing a place for users to engage in a community setting, Google+ really is no different from the average social network. However, different is what it strived to be from the very beginning. The platform gave us a new approach to friends in Google Circles, in addition to group video chats with Hangouts. It wasn’t long before Facebook countered with Skype integration and, more recently, smart lists, to combat Circles. One could argue that Facebook has made Google+ less relevant all by its lonesome. If you have been tracking the progress of Google+, you may know that it is already on pace to be the fastest growing website ever. The site racked up 25 million users in less than two months, a milestone that it reached faster than MySpace, Twitter and even the mighty Facebook. The latest data shows that Google has roughly 43 million users, which is impressive no matter how you look at it. Will this number continue to climb? Some are not so optimistic. Paul Tassi, a contributor for Forbes.com, called Google+ a failure regardless of its record-setting performances in the traffic department. He actually used Bing’s lack of uniqueness in comparison to Google as an example of why it will never win the battle. Furthermore, the folks at Chitika Insights mentioned that the platform could easily get left behind if it can’t match the fast growing reputation and innovation of Facebook. No one really knows the fate of Google+, but if it wants to keep pace, it will have to find a way to keep the user base engaged for the long haul.


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Email Marketing Strategies for Your Hispanic Users

Beyond • October 13, 2011

In a recent interview with eMarketer, Marla Skiko, Director of Digital Innovation for full-service media agency Starcom Medivest Group’s SMG Multicultural division, spoke of how more Hispanic users are adopting the internet and digital technologies in general. Skiko’s insight is backed by research that highlights some potentially effective ways to market to digital-savvy Hispanic consumers. Create a Social Media Presence According to Marla Skiko’s chat with eMarketer, social media is currently a big hit with consumers in the Hispanic community. Aside from just being the in thing, Skiko believes that the reason for this is the tight-knit community aspect that embodies both social media and the typical family of Spanish and Latin-American descent. She believes marketers can garner positive results by using the social channel to engage these users with relevant content that sparks conversations. Use Google Search to Increase Visibility Probably no surprise here, but a recent report from ClickZ shows that 93% of Latinos use Google to conduct their searches online. There are other options of course, but Google appears to be the answer for increasing visibility and traffic with these consumers. Making the search giant the central focus of your SEO strategy is key to reaching this demographic via search. Develop a Mobile Strategy When it comes to targeting Hispanic consumers, research shows that tremendous marketing opportunities lie in mobile. According to a study conducted by Google, more than 40% use their smartphones for price comparisons and locating retailers. In addition, data from Experian Hitwise shows that Hispanics make up a sizable portion of iPhone users as they account for 24% of the population. With what we learned above, this could indicate that a strategy combining social, search and mobile could be the best way to market to these consumers. As more Hispanics embrace the digital landscape, it becomes clear to see that marketing to this demographic doesn’t have to be so hard after all. This segment of your email contacts are increasingly using the same channels and showing the same interests as the overall population. As with every segment, targeting them successfully is all about understanding the wants, needs and preferences of the individuals in the group, opposed to the group as a whole.


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