Tag Archives: TCC

We’re Just Starting to Comprehend How Social Media Breeds Shootings

We’re Just Starting to Comprehend How Social Media Breeds Shootings

The future of gun violence prevention depends on decoding how tweeted taunts send bullets flying.

We probably could have predicted Gakirah Barnes’s death

based on the stories she left on Twitter. By the time she was 17, the self-identified gang member allegedly shot or killed 20 people. Vernon is a well-known street on the Southside of Chicago, and Gakirah is identifying it as the boundary between her and any rival crew or clique. Her handle, @TyquanAssassin, is a moniker she adopted after her good friend Tyquan Tyler was killed in 2013. The devil and gun emoji indicate that crossing Vernon could lead to any transgressing rival being shot.

Chicago saw a 58 percent increase in homicides between 2014 and 2016, effectively negating two-thirds of the decrease in homicides the city had experienced since the early 1990s. Some city leaders, including Superintendent Eddie Johnson of the Chicago Police Department, have suggested that social media posts like Gakirah’s might be contributing to the surge. Their diagnosis may sound to some like an attempt to duck responsibility for the failure of the local law enforcement system to interdict more illegal firearms or do more to stop repeat shooters before they injure or kill again.

But having studied the phenomenon – known in the academic community as internet or cyberbanging – I can tell you that the frequency with which young people use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to hurl insults, taunt enemies, and brag about violent acts is playing a meaningful role in fueling retaliatory efforts between gangs and cliques in marginalized neighborhoods. It also has significant implications for gun violence prevention.

For the past four years, I have examined the relationship between Twitter activity and gang violence among young people who live in Chicago. Because of the complexity of interpreting social media communication, it has been important to develop an interdisciplinary team. I work with social workers to accurately decode what teens are saying, and collaborate with data scientists to detect patterns in social media communication that may lead to gang violence. The process often feels like an archaeological dig, carefully combing through Twitter conversations, studying emojis and hashtags, videos and images, to figure out the cues that often end with gunfire erupting.

In our rush to understand whether social media causes violence, we often forget what brings young people to social media in the first place: connections to other young people. Those connections were apparent in Gakirah Barnes’s tweets, even as she was becoming notorious enough to be dubbed the “Teen Queen of Gangland Chicago” by the Daily Mail. Unique in her status as a female shooter for her gang, Gakirah kept up a feed full of threats and taunts to “opps,” or members of oppositional groups. But after analyzing her social media communication, I noticed that Gakirah and other users in her network also used Twitter to collectively cope with losing friends to shootings.

A pattern emerged in Gakirah’s tweets. First, there would be a post expressing general loss or grief. Then, it would be followed by a more aggressive or directly threatening tweet. For example, at 10:53 a.m. one day, Gakirah turned to Twitter to grieve the death of a friend. Less than 10 minutes later, Gakirah posted a second message, vowing revenge. A scan of news reports from the time suggests that Gakirah’s friend may have died in a fatal confrontation with police, but it’s not law enforcement from whom she plans to exact retribution. Instead, she sends notice that she will be hunting gang rivals, squaring the ledger of loss by targeting a mutual foe of her deceased friend.

Jeffrey Lane of Rutgers University has identified a code of the “digital street,” wherein informal rules established in a brick-and-mortar neighborhood dictate how young people communicate with each other online. As this pair of tweets from Gakirah shows, online expressions of trauma take what would have been a moment of private mourning and put it on cyber-display. The code of the digital street then compels rivals to reply with posts disrespecting the dead. And from there, an obligation to strike back at the offending posters takes hold. One such “opp” replied to Gakirah’s tweet, baiting her to enter his terrority — so that then he would have a reason to retaliate against her crew. (Identifying information has been blocked to protect the identities of the users who are still living.)

Social media doesn’t allow for the opportunity to physically de-escalate an argument. Instead, it offers myriad ways to exacerbate a brewing conflict as opposing gangs or crews and friends and family take turns weighing in. The dynamic poses challenges to existing approaches to violence interruption, which treat shootings like a communicable disease that spreads through face-to-face interactions and can be prevented by steering one of the parties toward peaceful alternatives to armed response. Those programs, developed before social media became part of daily life, don’t have the capacity to keep up with thousands of users hurling endless insults at each other. Gakirah was shot on April 11, 2014, three blocks from her house. She died in the hospital. Her last original tweet (below) included her address. (TMB is an abbreviation for Trap Money Brothers or Boys).

After her death, many of Gakirah’s Twitter friends articulated deep pain. But there were also the too-familiar, unmistakable plans to retaliate, with other followers changing their handles to reflect intentions to avenge her killing. The future of gun violence prevention depends on a deeper understanding of how social media fills a need for disadvantaged communities hungry for connection, and when a hashtag or emoji is a signpost to the next exchange of gunfire. As research provides that understanding, the question will then become: What responsibility do tech companies bear for the shootings bred via their servers? 

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Inbound marketing is a proven methodology that helps turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

Inbound marketing is a proven methodology that helps turn strangers into customers and promoters of your business.

The Proven Methodology for the Digital Age

Inbound marketing has become the most effective marketing method for doing business online. Instead of the old outbound marketing methods of buying ads, buying email lists, and praying for leads, inbound marketing focuses on creating quality content that pulls people toward your company and products, where they naturally want to be. By aligning the content you publish with your customer’s interests, you naturally attract inbound traffic that you can then convert, close, and delight over time.

How to interpret this graphic: 

Along the top are the four actions (Attract, Convert, Close, Delight) inbound companies must take in order to obtain visitors, leads, and customers. Along the bottom are the tools companies use to accomplish these actions. (Note the tools are listed under the action where they first come into play, but that’s not the only place they’re applicable! Several tools, like email, can be essential in several stages of the methodology.)

What is Inbound?

By publishing the right content in the right place at the right time, your marketing becomes relevant and helpful to your customers, not interruptive.

Make marketing people love.

Inbound marketing is about creating and sharing content with the world. By creating content specifically designed to appeal to your ideal customers, inbound attracts qualified prospects to your business and keeps them coming back for more.

Major themes:

  • Content Creation – You create targeted content that answers your customer's basic questions and needs, and you share that content far and wide.

  • Lifecycle Marketing – You recognize that people go through stages as they interact with your company and that each stage requires different marketing actions.

  • Personalization – As you learn more about your leads over time, you can better personalize your messages to their specific needs.

  • Multi-channel – Inbound marketing is multi-channel by nature because it approaches people where they are, in the channel where they want to interact with you.

  • Integration – Your publishing and analytics tools all work together like a well-oiled machine, allowing you to focus on publishing the right content in the right place at the right time.

The Four Marketing Actions

1. Attract

You don’t want just any traffic to your site, you want the right traffic. You want the people who are most likely to become leads, and, ultimately, happy customers. Who are the “right” people? Our ideal customers, also known as your buyer personas. Buyer personas are holistic ideas of what your customers are really like, inside and out. Personas encompass the goals, challenges, pain points, common objections to products and services, as well as personal and demographic information shared among all members of that particular customer type. Your personas are the people around whom your whole business is built.

Some of the most important tools to attract the right users to your site are:

  • Blogging – Inbound marketing starts with blogging. A blog is the single best way to attract new visitors to your website. In order to get found by the right prospective customers, you must create educational content that speaks to them and answers their questions.

  • Social Media – You must share remarkable content and valuable information on the social web, engage with your prospects, and put a human face on your brand. Interact on the networks where your ideal buyers spend their time.

  • Keywords – Your customers begin their buying process online, usually by using a search engine to find something they have questions about. So you need to make sure you’re appearing prominently when they search. To get there, you need to carefully, analytically pick keywords, optimize your pages, create content, and build links around the terms your ideal buyers are searching for.

  • Pages  – You must optimize your website to appeal to and speak with your ideal buyers. Transform your website into a beacon of helpful content to entice the right strangers to visit your pages.

2. Convert

Once you’ve got visitors to your site, the next step is to convert those visitors into leads by gathering their contact information. At the very least, you’ll need their email addresses. Contact information is the most valuable currency there is to the online marketer. In order for your visitors to offer up that currency willingly, you need to offer them something in return. That “payment” comes in the form of content, like ebooks, whitepapers, or tip sheets — whatever information would be interesting and valuable to each of your personas.

Some of the most important tools in converting visitors to leads include:

  • Calls-to-Action – Calls-to-action are buttons or links that encourage your visitors to take action, like “Download a Whitepaper” or “Attend a Webinar.” If you don’t have enough calls-to-action or your calls-to-action aren’t enticing enough, you won’t generate any leads.

  • Landing Pages – When a website visitor clicks on a call-to-action, they should then be sent to a landing page. A landing page is where the offer in the call-to-action is fulfilled, and where the prospect submits information that your sales team can use to begin a conversation with them. When website visitors fill out forms on landing pages, they typically become leads.

  • Forms – In order for visitors to become leads, they must fill out a form and submit their information. Optimize your form to make this step of the conversion process as easy as possible.

  • Contacts – Keep track of the leads you're converting in a centralized marketing database. Having all your data in one place helps you make sense out of every interaction you’ve had with your contacts — be it through email, a landing page, social media, or otherwise — and how to optimize your future interactions to more effectively attract, convert, close, and delight your buyer personas.

3. Close

You’re on the right track. You’ve attracted the right visitors and converted the right leads, but now you need to transform those leads into customers. How can you most effectively accomplish this feat? Certain marketing tools can be used at this stage to make sure you’re closing the right leads at the right times.

Closing tools include:

  • Lead Scoring – You’ve got contacts in your system, but how do you know which ones are ready to speak to your sales team? Using a numerical representation of the sales-readiness of a lead takes the guesswork out of the process.

  • Email – What do you do if a visitor clicks on your call to action, fills out a landing page, or downloads your whitepaper, but still isn’t ready to become a customer? A series of emails focused on useful, relevant content can build trust with a prospect and help them become more ready to buy.

  • Marketing Automation – This process involves creating email marketing and lead nurturing tailored to the needs and lifecycle stage of each lead. For example, if a visitor downloaded a whitepaper on a certain topic from you in the past, you might want to send that lead a series of related emails. But if they follow you on Twitter and visited certain pages on your website, you might want to change the messaging to reflect those different interests.

  • Closed-loop Reporting – How do you know which marketing efforts are bringing in the best leads? Is your sales team effectively closing those best leads into customers? Integration with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system allows you to analyze just how well your marketing and sales teams are playing together.

4. Delight

The Inbound way is all about providing remarkable content to people, whether they be visitors, leads, or existing customers. Just because someone has already written you a check doesn’t mean you can forget about them. Inbound marketers continue to engage with, delight, and (hopefully) upsell their current customer base into happy promoters of the companies and products they love.

Tools used to delight customers include:

  • Smart Calls-to-Action – These present different users with offers that change based on buyer persona and lifecycle stage.

  • Social Media – Using various social platforms gives you the opportunity to provide real-time customer service.

  • Email and Marketing Automation – Providing your existing customers with remarkable content can help them achieve their own goals, as well as introduce new products and features that might be of interest to them.

A New Methodology

The new Inbound Methodology covers each and every step taken, tool used, and lifecycle stage traveled through on the road from stranger to customer. It empowers companies to attract visitors, convert leads, close customers, and delight promoters. The new methodology acknowledges that inbound marketing doesn’t just happen, you do it. And you do it using tools and applications that help you create and deliver content that will appeal to precisely the right people (your buyer personas) in the right places (channels) at just the right times (lifecycle stages).

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

 

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

How to Build an Inbound Marketing Strategy in 24 Hours

                                                    

"I'm active on social media." "I'm blogging regularly."

"I'm using SEO best practices."

"I feel like I'm doing everything right, but I'm not seeing results."

Do any of these statements sound familiar? A lot of marketers and CEOs we talk to feel like they are doing all the right things.  But, they aren't achieving their goals. A recent survey from DM News confirms this is common. 46% of the executives surveyed, stated that a "lack of an effective strategy" was the biggest obstacle in achieving their inbound marketing goals. So why is everyone struggling? I'm not quite sure as to WHY, but in this article, I'll show you HOW you can overcome this obstacle…and overcome it in the next 24 hours.  Let's roll!

What is Strategy?

First, let's identify what strategy actually is. It really doesn't have to be that complicated.  Strategy is simply a plan of action designed to achieve an expected goal.  So, we need a goal to get started. For the purpose of this article, let's say that our goal is to generate 50 qualified leads per month for the sales team. A worthy goal. Now, we need a plan of action that will get us there. You may have a different inbound marketing goal, so just apply this same framework in order to backtrack from your goal to an activity plan.

Identify Audience

If we're going to generate 50 qualified leads per month for the sales team, we need to define a "quality lead". Let's pretend we're a software company that provides project management software for contractors like roofers, electricians, plumbers, etc.  The sales team says that if they can get a Demo Request, they consider that a quality lead. Okay, so now we've got an audience and we know what a quality lead is.  We're getting closer to being able to build our plan of action.

Action Steps for Identifying Your Audience:

  1. Nail down your target market. Target Market Example: Contractors located in the United States that are doing between $500,000 and $20M in revenue annually. 
  2. Talk to the sales team and establish what a quality lead is. In this case, we know we need 50 Demo Requests each month.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Honestly, this should be something you already know (your target market).  But give yourself an hour to talk to a few people inside your company, read through your messaging, and establish who you're really after.
  2. Give yourself another hour to talk to a few sales reps or the sales manager at your company. Or potentially, you're talking to the owner or president.  Make sure you find out exactly what will be considered a quality lead.

Identify Where Your Audience Lives Online

Once we know who our audience is and what our goal is, we need to locate our audience.  Where are they online?  You'll want to look at social media, blogs, websites, and forums.  Make a big list!  Here's what I might do if I were looking for contractors.  First, I'd dive into social media. I know LinkedIn is better for B2B, so I head there first.  There are tons of various groups, so I started looking for groups full of my audience. A quick search for "roofers" brings up 38 different groups.

I will continue my search for "HVAC", "plumbers", and "electricians".  After spending some time gathering a list, hopefully, I've identified at least 25 solid groups that have my target audience. Next, I'll explore other social media options to see if there is anything industry specific.  After spending some time on Google, I run across Houzz, a social network for contractors, builders, and remodelers.

Still further, I'll spend some time on Google again looking for blogs, forums and other websites where I might find my audience. At the end of this research process, you should easily have 50-100 websites (forums, blogs and other websites), groups (on LinkedIn or Facebook) and communities (on Google+) on your list. Now, we're getting somewhere! We're narrowing down the Web and locating the corners in which we want to spend our time and effort.

Action Steps for Finding Your Audience:

  1. Spend time looking at social media, websites, blogs and forums for your target audience.
  2. Create a master list with links to these places.

Time Estimate: 4 hours

  1. Don't shortchange yourself here.  Put in the time to locate your audience.  This step will serve you well for many inbound campaigns into the future, so spend about four hours doing your research.
  2. Create the list as you go along.

Identify Pains, Problems, Questions

Ok, We now know:

  • Our goal
  • Who we're targeting
  • Where they live online

Now, it's time to dig for pain. As you're doing your research and visiting groups, websites and blogs with your audience, start listening. What does that mean, really? How do you listen? What are you listening for? What you want to do is listen to the problems that your audience is expressing. You want to write down the questions they are asking.  Write down the things they are complaining about. You want to be able to speak their language. You'll start to see different discussion questions, comments on blogs, or frustrations. Here are a few sample discussion topics I pulled from a LinkedIn Group full of roofers.

What resources are a must do for hiring skilled professionals in contracting? Are you getting traction out of your website? After a long winter delay, business has finally started to boom again. How is your business doing? Have you conducted a direct mail campaign for your business? How did that go?

Obviously, you want to identify challenges and pains around the product or service you offer, but sometimes you can get some really powerful insight just by writing down any common questions or problems. You'll start to see some trends. As you'll see in the next section, we want to use these questions, pains, and problems in our content and messaging.

Action Steps for Identifying Pains, Problems and Questions:

  1. Go to 10-20 places on your master list and start copying and pasting your audience's discussions and questions.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. This should take you about 2 hours, but don't be afraid to spend 3 or 4 if you feel you're not seeing any trends.

Create a Content Calendar

Alright, now we're ready to create a content calendar. Most people want to rush into this step because it feels like you're accomplishing something. However, this step won't be worth much if you haven't dedicated the time to your research. There are articles that walk through this step in much more detail, so I'm not going to do that.  This will be a high-level overview.

Basically, now that we've got a sense for what our audience is dealing with, we can brainstorm some effective blog titles, maybe some webinar topics and definitely some e-book ideas. If we think back to our goal of 50 qualified leads per month, you might be asking, "How many blog articles should I be writing?" or "How many lead generation offers, like e-books, do I need?" You can make an educated guess, but this is always the unknown with strategy. (Strategy is a hhigh-levelplan to achieve one or more goals under conditions of uncertainty)  You make the best plan of action you can to achieve your goal, but you'll need to adjust your plan over time depending on how close you are getting to that goal.

Based on my experience, without knowing how much traffic this hypothetical website is getting or how many leads it's currently generating, you'll want to be creating 2-3 blog posts per week. You'll also want to have at least two or three e-books that you can leverage to capture leads. In addition to the e-books, you'll want to create email nurturing campaigns that will move leads down the funnel towards the goal step of a Demo Request.  For a quick and effective guide to lead nurturing, check out this document here.  It will walk you through the steps of taking an e-book lead and moving it towards a goal like a Demo Request.

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

  1. Brainstorm blog topics, e-book and/or webinar topics.
  2. Map out how many blog articles you'll need to create each week.
  3. Plan your e-book creation.
  4. Plan your lead nurturing sequences.

Time Estimate: 2 hours

  1. Spend 1-hour brainstorming topics and titles.
  2. 15 minutes for mapping out your blog calendar.
  3. 20 minutes for planning out your e-books.
  4. 20 minutes mapping out your lead nurturing sequences.

Create a Promotions Plan

Your promotions plan is just as important, if not more important that your content plan and calendar.  Most marketers feel like once they hit "publish", it's time to start working on the next piece.  Not true!  Once you hit publish, it's time to go to work promoting that article. You spent time writing it, editing it, finding an amazing photo and placing a relevant call to action.  Now, it's time to zero in on our audience and share that content with them. This is how we'll drive people back to our content, they'll click on our e-books, receive our emails and ultimately sign up for that demo!

Creating your promotional plan will be much easier now that you've got a master list of where your audience lives. You'll be able to share your blog articles as discussions in exactly the right LinkedIn Groups. You'll be able to comment on other websites and blogs and reference your content in a super relevant fashion because you know exactly what your audience's challenges and pains are. You'll be able to craft blog titles that are irresistible to your audience because you studied their problems and pains. Your promotions plan should basically be the time you spend promoting your article to all the places on your master list. It might look something like this:

Blog Title: 5 Project Management Struggles Roofers Face…and How to Solve Them

Promotion:

  • Create a discussion in all 20 LinkedIn Groups and frame it with the question "What is your biggest project management challenge right now?"
  • Share article on Twitter using the hashtags #projectmanagement #roofers #contractors #HVAC #plumbers. Rotate hashtags. Schedule 10-20 Tweets over the next 30 days.
  • Jump into a couple of forums and find the discussions around project management.  Add value to the discussion and add a link to the blog post as a reference point.
  • Find individual contractors on Houzz or other websites and send a personal email with a link to the article.
  • Send out an email to all current leads in the database and share the article.

So, your promotions plan will have some activity that you'll do every time you create a blog post.  Then, for specific topics, you may have additional activities you'll want to add that make sense based on the topic.

Action Steps for Content Calendar:

  1. Write out all the possible promotional activities you might have for a specific blog post.   Each time you publish, go to that list and execute as many as possible!

Time Estimate: 1 hour

  1. Spend an hour brainstorming all the ways you could promote a blog post, e-book or piece of content.

Your Strategy

Phew!  There's a lot of work there, but you can do it… and you can do it in less than 24 hours!  The total time spent in this process totals 11 hours.  Obviously, it would be a long work day to push through these activities, but you'll be setting yourself up for success over the next several months, if not years. If you can't block off an entire day to do this, spend a couple hours each day for a week and you'll be all set. Your goals and strategy will change over time, but I wanted to break down a very simplistic way to create a strategy quickly and start moving forward. 

Just to re-cap what you need to do:

  1. What is your goal?
  2. Who are you targeting?
  3. Where do they live online?
  4. Develop your content calendar.
  5. Create a promotional list.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing ‘Beacons’ You Can’t Hear

Hundreds of Apps Can Listen for Marketing ‘Beacons’ You Can’t Hear

  

 There are plenty of privacy-invading marketing ploys

to worry about in life. Some examples are in your face, some are more subtle. And a relatively new kind manages to be outright invisible. In the most inconspicuous hustle of all, apps have increasingly incorporated ultrasonic tones to track consumers. They ask permission to access your smartphone microphone, then listen for inaudible “beacons” that emanate from retail stores, advertisements, and even websites. If you’re not paying attention to the permissions you grant, you could be feeding marketers information about your online browsing, what stores you go to, and what products you like and dislike without ever realizing it.

Ultrasonic Boom

There are certainly legitimate uses of “ultrasonic cross-device tracking” technology. Some apps are part of rewards programs that automatically offer customers promotions when they visit particular stores. Others facilitate ticketing at events like sports games.

But plenty of apps deploy it without so clear a use case, at least as far as direct benefits for the person who downloads them. In fact, research presented last week at the IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy found 234 current Android applications that incorporate a particular type of ultrasonic listening technology. That doesn’t quite constitute a widespread distribution, but the infrastructure to support it has landed in more and more apps every year. And there are many mainstream examples, like the Philippines versions of the McDonald’s and Krispy Kreme apps. That doesn’t mean these apps have the function turned on, necessarily, but they are ready to support it at any time.

Beacon technology is also showing up in more physical locations. While the researchers didn’t find any ultrasonic tones being broadcast out on a sampling of television programming from seven countries, they did find that four of the 35 retail stores they visited around Germany did have beacons installed. “It was really interesting to find beacons at the entrance of some stores in two German cities,” says Erwin Quiring, a privacy and Android security researcher who worked on the study. “It affects all of us if there’s some kind of privacy-invasive technique we don’t know about and which runs silently on phones.”

Sound of Silence

It’s also easy to accidentally submit to ultrasonic beacon tracking. All it takes is granting microphone permissions absentmindedly. And because device microphones can “hear” beacons even without a mobile data or Wi-Fi connection, the tracking can work even when you’ve disconnected your phone from the internet. Not only that, but because these apps could be listening for beacons all the time, there’s also a risk of incidental data collection. Most companies that develop and/or use this “ultrasonic cross-device tracking” technology say that they don’t store any records of audible sound, they’re only listening for particular high-frequency pitches. But as with any “always on” sensing technology, the door is open for misuse.

Fortunately, it’s easy to monitor what’s accessing your phone, and stay in control if you’re wary of all this dog whistlin’. Since you can’t stop beacons from emitting these frequencies around you, the best option is to reduce the chance that your smartphone can listen for them and feed data to a third party. The researchers suggest simply assessing the privileges you’ve granted your apps to make sure they make sense. Does Skype wants microphone access? Sure! An app for some clothing store? Probably not. Common sense works best here.

On Android 7, navigate to Settings, then to Apps. Tap the gear icon in the upper right, then tap App Permissions to see and edit the privileges you’ve granted each app. And on iOS 10 go to Settings, then Privacy, then Microphone to see which apps have requested access, and which ones you’ve granted it to. Separately, researchers have also developed a beacon-blocking Chrome extension and sample Android patch in an attempt to give consumers defense tools, and raise awareness of how operating system/browser developers could build protective features. But even without these measures, it’s important that beacon tracking not just be out of earshot, out of mind. By paying attention to what apps ask you for, you can figure out a lot about what’s happening behind the scenes.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Business Development Manager Public Sector In Hyderabad

Business Development Manager
Public Sector In Hyderabad

  

Would you like to influence cloud computing adoption in Public Sector?

Would you like to be part of a team focused on increasing awareness and adoption of Amazon Web Services by engaging with public sector organizations who are reinventing their IT strategy by adopting cloud computing? Do you have the business savvy, public sector industry experience and the technical background necessary to help further establish Amazon as a leading cloud platform provider?

As the Business Development Manager within AISPL focusing on the State governments, education and non-profit markets you will have the exciting opportunity to help shape and deliver on a strategy to build mindshare and broad use of Amazons utility computing web services (Amazon EC2, Amazon S3 etc). Your responsibilities will include helping to define key public sector market segments to target, building the necessary business and technical relationships with customers and partners to impact new AISPL business in those markets, and drive the day-to-day interactions with prospects in order to build long-term business relationships. You'll also work closely with the product/service teams to help them evolve the products/services and address issues, concerns, and requests from the field.

The ideal candidate will possess both a business background that enables them to drive an engagement and interact at a high level government officials and educators, as well as a technical background that enables them to easily interact with software developers and architects. He/She should have a consistent track record of consistent business performance. He/she should also have a demonstrated ability to think strategically and analytically about business, product, and technical challenges, with the ability to build and convey compelling value propositions, and work cross-organizationally to build consensus. A keen sense of ownership, drive, and scrappiness is a must.

Roles & Responsibilities:

Responsible for generating and qualifying leads at scale and close business. Serve as a key member of the Business Development team in helping to drive India government and education market and technical strategy. Participate in Government procurement process through tenders and RFPs. Position and empaneled AISPL services on rate contracts of state nodal bodies Help define the AISPL government, education, non-profit market segments, customer base, and industry verticals we target.

Set a strategic business development plan for target markets and ensure it’s in line with the AISPL strategic direction.
Execute the strategic business development plan while working with key internal stakeholders (e.g. business development teams, Capture team, service teams, legal, support, etc.). Identify specific prospects/partners to approach while communicating the specific value proposition for their business and use case. Fill the business development pipeline by engaging with prospects, partners, and key AISPL customers. Work closely with the AISPL customer base to ensure they are successful using the web services, making sure they have the technical resources required.

Understand the technical requirements of AISPL customers and work closely with the internal development teams to guide the direction of the product offerings for developers. Understand and exploit the use of tools and other internal Amazon systems. Prepare and give business reviews to the management team regarding progress and roadblocks. Develop long-term strategic partnerships in support of key markets. Grow the business to develop an independent territory. Handle a high volume of engagements and the fast pace of the cloud computing market.

Experienced with account management (Government, Education, Healthcare and Non-Profit) and solution oriented business development. Relevant technical knowledge such as fundamentals of cloud computing and virtualization, database systems, core distributed computing concepts, storage systems with the ability to go deep enough on technical aspects to differentiate between varied data storage services.

Salary: Not Disclosed by Recruiter
Industry: IT-Software / Software Services
Functional Area: Sales, Retail, Business Development
Role Category: Retail Sales
Role: Sales/Business Development Manager

Keyskills:

Strategic Partnerships Account, Management Public, Sector Cloud, Computing Business Development.

Desired Candidate Profile:

10+ years of business development experience in technology industry. Several years of experience of positioning cloud services to customers. Self-motivated with a great sense of urgency and follow-through C-level of engagement and communication skills. . Must have an understanding of government procurement and education contract procedures.
Excellent communicator who can quickly earn the respect of the team and customers. Must have the ability to work effectively across internal and external organizations. Acts in accordance with vision, mission, and established goals.
The right person will be technical and analytical and possess several years of business development in the enterprise.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Join our growing biz dev team: Steel Media is expanding into new areas!

Join our growing biz dev team:
Steel Media is expanding into new areas!

It's exciting times ahead for Steel Media,

the company behind PocketGamer.biz. After a growth year in 2016 and the biggest ever Pocket Gamer Connects event in January 2017, the company has revealed plans to branch out into VR, PC and other areas over the next 12 months. And to support our expansion, we're on the hunt for a Business Development Executive and a Business Development Manager VR/PC.

Both of these new roles with the biz dev team sit within the B2B side of the business and offer a great opportunity to play a key role in driving the company's expansion into new areas. As Business Development Manager, you'll be working on our new websites TheVirtualReport.biz and our upcoming biz-focused PC site, as well as associated events. As Business Development Executive meanwhile your job will be generating leads and closing deals for both our B2B events and media advertising business.

Join the team

"Mobile remains our heartland," said Steel Media COO Dave Bradley, "but it makes sense now to explore the wider B2B ecosystem. So many of the developers we write about are exploring Steam, HTML5, VR and AR platforms this year. "We launched TheVirtualReport.biz six months ago and it covers the burgeoning VR, AR and MR industries. VR Connects tracks sat comfortably alongside PG Connects at our London event. We'll be growing that this summer and we're expanding the team with that in mind. And then we see an opportunity to cover our PC clients later in the year too." If you'd like to take up this exciting opportunity to come join the Steel Media family, you can read more about both roles and apply on our games industry job listings page.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Better Safe Than Sorry: Simple Effective Ways to Secure Your Cryptocoins

Better Safe Than Sorry:
Simple Effective Ways to Secure
Your Cryptocoins

  

Cryptocurrency is perhaps the safest instrument to transfer

value between anonymous parties. But storing and trading cryptocurrency can be a risky affair. As a digital crypto-asset, it does not have to worry about the many usual issues vexing paper money but faces challenges unique to fintech industry.

Storage

The most popular way of storing crypto coins is a software wallet. Digital wallets are easy to use and practical but how secure are they? If your hard-earned crypto coins are stored on your PC, then your assets are only as secure as your computer itself. Basically, protecting your software wallet is no different from safeguarding any sensitive data on your PC. You should be a bit extra paranoid when surfing the net and never store your passwords in an unencrypted file on the same machine as your wallets. Ideally, you should store your passwords offline or not store them at all (brain-wallets!) and install your wallets on a device you do not use for day-to-day browsing and downloading.

Another popular solution is Linux operating system, which is believed to be almost impervious to hackers and viruses. You don’t even have to install Linux instead of Windows, it can be booted on your PC when necessary from a USB stick. Then there is cold storage. Cold storage takes security up a few notches and basically means keeping your altcoins in an offline wallet, effectively restricting any attempts of unauthorized access to it. Cold storage wallet is usually created on a device that is never connected to the Internet, like an old offline laptop or a USB stick. Not many people know that a cold wallet can not only be maintained offline but can even be created offline. You do not need to connect the device to the Internet to install a wallet, generate keys and send the coins. Such wallets are perhaps the safest ones.

As far as offline wallets go, hardware wallets are the most convenient and secure solution. Hardware wallets are portable devices designed specifically for storing cryptocurrency. Basically, they are USB sticks with simple and secure software and several layers of cryptographic protection. Now cold storage is great for storing your assets, but sooner or later you will need to move your coins online and that is when you face some completely different security issues.

Trading and purchasing

Emerging crypto-shopping requires us to find a suitable way of keeping assets online and easily accessible. Many users create a “hot wallet” to take care of routine day to day transactions and a “cold wallet” to store the bulk of their assets, only occasionally accessing it. This approach was also adopted by many exchange websites. Even if you do not consider yourself to be a crypto-trader, at times you will need to exchange your cryptocurrency and dealing with exchanges is almost unavoidable.

Online wallets, processing systems, and exchanges all have their security issues. Professionals believe that there are a few security measures crypto-traders should be aware of when choosing what online services to use, but also to remember that certain user end measures are absolutely necessary and usually more reliable in the long run.

Svetlana Geller, CEO, says:

“Perceived safety and objective safety are two completely different beasts. Perceived safety can be reached by numerous account protection mechanisms. But in reality, this will mostly just hinder the account owner’s user experience. I believe google authenticator with just one IP in its whitelist (the VPN you use to access the exchange) will be enough. With this sort of protection, in place, your account will only be hacked if the perpetrator has full access to your PC and smartphone, which should be hard enough for an Internet-based criminal. You can slap 10 more protections on top of that but none will be nearly as effective.”

And of course, pay attention to your email’s security. “Always use unique passwords, protect your email with multi-factor authentication and so on, you know the drill”, Geller continues. “90 percent of all hacks are conducted via accessing your email and changing email in your account or attempting to recover your password. Also mind your smartphone, especially if it's Android with google authenticator installed. Ideally, you should buy a cheap smartphone specifically to be used for your financial activities and restrict your Google authenticator for exchanges to it. These two simple tricks will almost completely safeguard your assets from hacker attacks.”

Exchanges

Whether you frequently trade on the exchange or simply store some of your assets there to diversify risks, it is paramount to choose an exchange that will not only be convenient but also reliable and secure. Exchanges, mostly being centralized entities, can get hacked. And often are. Moreover, they tend to sometimes dissolve into thin air along with the clients’ assets. Many times we have seen crypto-exchanges evaporating or crumbling in a matter of days. There were signs of course, but inexperienced users did not read them.

To name a few examples, the abrupt resignation of William Dennis Atwood, the sole director of MyCoin, should perhaps have sounded some alarms but in fact, it went largely unnoticed by the community. A month later the notorious Hong Kong exchange collapsed leaving behind many disgruntled users. The downfall of Cryptsy was perhaps even more predictable. For years this exchange experienced numerous technical issues and introduced questionable administration policies. Early in 2016, it proclaimed bankruptcy as a result of the hacker attack that robbed it of $7.5 mln. The court case that followed has shown that the owner has probably funneled exchange’s funds to his personal accounts too.

So what are the dark omens traders should be on the lookout for? Apparently, the crypto world is all about trust and reputation so industry celebrities and personalities with good karma in the community disengaging themselves from a project should be an alarming sign. Frequent technical issues and fishy policies are another obvious one. But as professionals say, there are just too many ways to spot a shady exchange so keep your eyes peeled for anything that seems out of place.

Geller explains:

“There are just too many ways to spot a sketchy exchange given some of them employ very unsophisticated schemes. For example, an exchange suddenly crashes during intensive BTC price fluctuations and when it’s back up clients’ orders are mysteriously fulfilled at a disadvantageous price.”

According to Geller, Bitcoin withdrawal issues are always a huge red flag too. Altcoins might get stuck for months due to faulty nodes so their mobility is really not a relevant factor, but bitcoin’s low mobility is definitely a bad sign.

She says:

"‘Transparency is not always a clear sign. There has been quite a few fairly transparent exchanges that disappeared with clients’ money. On the other hand, there are numerous non-transparent exchanges that are well-respected and reliable, like BTC-e."

Slow response to user tickets is another sign, which while not being absolutely certain should still raise some alarms if frequent enough.” Another tell-tale sign of a shady exchange is a seemingly uncontrolled influx of highly questionable altcoins. Some exchanges even get involved in ICOs and initial emission. And every time a new coin enters such exchange there will be pump-and-dump cycles which will most likely rip a trader off unless he belongs to an insider group. Exchanges with heaps of dead coins on their roster should be avoided unless you absolutely know what you’re doing. Finally, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Sometimes bad things just happen out of the blue but at least you will be able to greatly decrease your risks by diversifying them.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Ripple Rising: Centralized Cryptocurrency Sees 30% Gain in One Day

Ripple Rising:
Centralized Cryptocurrency
Sees 30% Gain in One Day

Bank-friendly Ripple (XRP) still exists, to the surprise of many, the author included. Not only that, but it has continued its apparent strategic partnership initiative, partnering with Asian and Australian banks in conjunction with its stated goal of acting as a sort of Paypal mechanism for large interbank transfers. Four short weeks ago, the coin was sitting around a penny a pop. But with more enthusiasm building among traders, it has steadily risen, and today saw a spike of over 30%, rounding out just under 5 cents each.

Ripple has been getting a ton of attention

as of late, and not the negative kind like it once received for managing to get a $700,000 fine from the federal government and thereby underscoring the risk of having a known entity backing a cryptocurrency. Just a couple of examples of this are recent video in Bloomberg News and inclusion in a Bank of England program. Skepticism among more traditional cryptocurrency people still thrives. The centralization aspect and the inherent issue of being able to identify coin users as well as reverse transactions certainly is a specter of wrongdoing for many of us. But as one writer put it, “one man’s sh**coin is another man’s treasure.”

The fact that the Ripple project has continued to develop its platform and strategic partnerships continued to bring on talent, and continued to grow its community means that they are at least serious, not scammers looking for a quick buck. The “Paypal of banks” aspect is important, and paralysis in the Bitcoin community over a simple issue certainly gives any bank pause when it comes to partnering with cryptocurrencies. A recent report from IBM shows that over 90% of banks are investing in some form of blockchain technology.

Another factor of improvement for Ripple is the unofficial Swiss sector of its network. Something called PathShuffle has been introduced which aims to anonymize transactions in the same way that they are on the likes of the DASH network. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are both very young technologies, and the future is wide open. The first mover, Bitcoin, continues to have its share of problems, and as its drama continues it becomes easier and easier to envision a future where alternatives actually stand a fighting chance. The recent, impressive success of Ethereum is one example, along with  DASH, and perhaps Ripple will be up there with them, centralized though it is, serving its own corner of the market.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Cryptocurrency Exchange Review – Bithumb

Cryptocurrency Exchange Review – Bithumb

 

The Bithumb Exchange in a Nutshell

It is always good to learn certain countries have more exchanges than most people would give them credit for. Korea is not necessarily a region people would associate with cryptocurrency exchanges, even though there are quite a few of them active in the country. One of those platforms goes by the name of Bithumb, a platform providing Bitcoin and Ethereum trading options. As one would come to expect from a Korean cryptocurrency exchange, the platform only provides exchange appears against the Korean Won. This applies to both Bitcoin and Ethereum for the time being. Unfortunately, there is no BTC/ETH trading pair, although it is possible that may be added in the future. Then again, providing a fiat-to-crypto gateway is a good place to start as an exchange.

Based on the statistics provided by Coinmarketcap, Bithumb is generating a lot of 24-hour volume for both Bitcoin and Ethereum. To be more specific, Bithumb generated over US$44.29m worth of trading volume for the ETH/KRW pair. Additionally, the platform saw US$13.46m worth of trading volume for the BTC/KRW trading pair. Both are quite impressive numbers for an exchange a lot of people have never heard of, that much is certain. If Bithumb can keep these numbers up, they will quickly become one of the largest Asian cryptocurrency exchanges.

It is also worth mentioning Bithumb provides users with an option to buy bitcoin gift vouchers. These vouchers are denominated in the equivalent value based on the current Korean won value. It appears the minimum value for such a card can be 10,000 KOW, which translates to a value of US$8.78. A very odd number, although it will make a lot of sense for the company. Moreover, Bithumb will also purchase existing gift vouchers from customers and converts this into an appropriate bitcoin value.

Looking at the company information posted on the website, it appears the company is run by BTC Korea.com Co. Ltd. This company operates a bitcoin trading platform – this is Bithumb, evidently – headquartered in South Korea. It is difficult to find information about the people working for the company, though, as Bloomberg has no executive or board member information on their website. That is not necessarily something to be concerned about, although it is something the parent company may want to look into sooner rather than later. All things considered, Bithumb seems to be on its way to becoming a major cryptocurrency exchange in the Asian region. Although there is little information to be found about the platform, the company seems to be doing well so far. The high trading volume may raise some questions from industry experts, though. Always do your own research before trusting an exchange with your funds.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

OneGram & Dubai Trading Platform In $0.5Bn ‘Gold-Backed’ Cryptocurrency Venture

OneGram & Dubai Trading Platform
In $0.5Bn 'Gold-Backed'
Cryptocurrency Venture

  

Islamic financial services and technology company

OneGram is partnering with GoldGuard, a Dubai-based online gold trading platform, that is building one of worlds largest gold vaults inside the Dubai Airport Free Zone, to create the first completely “gold-backed digital currency” globally. Each token represents a gram of gold and redeemable. At the company is fully compliant with Islamic finance requirements. Advisers listed include amongst others Sheikh Abdulkader Amor, CEO of Al Maali Consulting Group and an Islamic financial adviser, Adam Richard, CEO of Volt Markets, and founder of the Houston Bitcoin Meetup.

Currently the Islamic finance sector is responsible for managing around 1% of global GDP and growing at nearly 20% per year. With there being an estimated 1.8 billion (bn) Muslims worldwide according to a study in 2015 – equating to around a quarter of the global population of c.7.5bn today – OneGram is seen as a “Sharia-compliant method” for them to keep gold in a digital format that is both secure and digitally transferable, including across borders.

And, given that the number of Muslims in the world is expected to grow to 2.2bn by 2030, the new joint venture between OneGram and GoldGuard was being outlined today at The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), in terms of its impact on “opening the doors for cryptocurrency trading to the Islamic world.”

Crowdsale Campaign

A maximum total of 12,400,786 OneGramCoin tokens (OGC) will be sold in OneGram’s upcoming initial coin offering (ICO) on May 21, with accounts able to be opened next week on May 8 when the gold can be purchased. At the current gold spot price, a sold out crowdsale would raise over $554 million (m), which would make it the largest cryptocurrency crowdsale goal in history.

Ibrahim Mohammed, the CEO of OneGram, commenting from Dubai said: “In recent years, the Middle East has seen incredible growth in fintech innovations including digital tokens and smart contracts.” He added: “With OneGram we are providing an opportunity for investors who care about Islamic financial markets and the security of commodity-backed investments to benefit from rapid technological advances in the blockchain industry.”

Islamic Markets & Cryptocurrency

Existing cryptocurrencies it should be noted have not been designed with Islamic markets in mind. Despite Muslims making up around 25% of the global population today, many Muslims simply cannot use cryptocurrencies due to their restricted legal status and high barriers to entry in many countries in the Islamic world.

According to OneGram, it aims to solve these issues by using blockchain technology to create a “new kind of cryptocurrency”, where each coin is backed by one gram of gold at launch. In terms of the joint venture, the team at OneGram team will manage the OGC protocol while GoldGuard will run the vault for physical gold.

Each transaction of OGC generates a small transaction fee, which is reinvested in more gold (net of administration costs), and thereby increases the amount of gold that backs each OneGram. Therefore, according to the pitch, each OGC increases in real value over time, and is touted as “making OneGram unique among cryptocurrencies.”

Gold Investments & Sharia Law

Historically gold investing has been problematic under Sharia law. While there is currently limited guidance for gold coins and bars, there is virtually no guidance on gold elsewhere in the financial sector. In most cases, trading gold futures contracts is forbidden by Islamic law as gold futures contracts are not backed by physical gold and one can end up paying or receiving interest on your trading account. The upshot is that most people who wanted to buy gold as an investment have purchased gold in its physical form through for example coins or jewelry

New Standard

Things are changing though. Back in December 2016, the Sharia Gold Standard, which OneGram complies with, was introduced by the Accounting and Auditing Organization for Islamic Financial Institutions (AAOIFI), the World Gold Council and Amanie Advisors. As a result of this new standard, Muslim investors will now be able to take advantage of an increasing range of gold-backed investment opportunities, which hitherto had been non-compliant.

OneGram's ICO

The OneGram ICO will take place on the GoldGuard gold exchange, which trades and regulates precious metals, and is licensed by the Dubai Airport Free Zone (DAFZ) in the United Emirates (UAE), and one of the fast growing Free Zones in the region. The DAFZ is the governing body, which administers trade licenses and visas to international companies wanting to do business from Dubai within the Freezone. In order for investors to participate in the ICO, the initial step is to register with GoldGuard and purchase gold at live spot rates. Then the gold can be redeemed for OGC for a 10% premium.

This premium is expected as by purchasing OGC, the investor is not only purchasing an asset that offers the spot value of gold but also the future value of additional gold to be purchased from transaction fees. The ICO in OGC tokens will end when all coins are sold or after a maximum period of 120 days. If all the tokens do not sell out, there will be a new total supply of OGC equal to the amount of OGC sold in the ICO. It understood that subsequent to that no more coins will ever be issued.

At any given moment, an investor in these tokens is able to see the amount of gold backing their coin in the official OneGram wallet app and through the GoldGuard website. Your coins for gold or equivalent fiat currency can be redeemed through GoldGuard’s platform. Following the ICO, OneGram Coins can be bought and sold through any cryptocurrency exchange that lists OGC.

The Roadmap

According to OneGram’s roadmap, next month on June 30 the test network for OGC transactions is slated for launch. Following that in early July the intention is to launch multiple implementations of OneGramCoin block explorers, being described “with complete REST and WebSocket API’s, allowing our users insight into transactions propagated on the blockchain.” On August 7, the main network for OGC transactions is set to be launched, before OGCs will be distributed to investors in the ICO and listed on popular crypto exchanges on August 15.

Ibrahim Mohammed, CEO, OneGram, along with GoldGuard and leading Islamic finance scholars including Sheikh Abdelkader Amor were speaking today at a press conference hosted at The Ritz-Carlton, DIFC, to highlight the joint venture. Follow Roger, who has penned various investment stories over the years, on Twitter, LinkedIn, ForbesGoogle+. He is involved with the Campaign For Fair Finance in the UK.

Chuck Reynolds
Contributor

Alan Zibluk Market Hive Founding Member

Be As You Are ….