Archive for Technology

What is personal data?

Personal data can be observed, inferred and/or derived.

Personal data is a piece of information or assessment of it that can be linked to you as an individual. It includes name, personal identity number, address, telephone number, E-mail, iris pattern, credit card information etc.

Sensitive personal data includes information on race or ethnicity, political, philosophical and religious beliefs, health conditions, sexuality, membership in associations or criminal matters.

Observed personal data about your behavior like “What and how do you shop?” – “What do you watch on TV?” – “Where are you going?” – “What are you searching for on the Internet?”

Growth hacking

growthhackingGrowth hacking is a marketing technique developed by technology startups which uses creativity, analytical thinking, and social metrics to sell products and gain exposure. It can be seen as part of the online marketing ecosystem, as in many cases growth hackers are simply good at using techniques such as search engine optimization, website analytics, content marketing and A/B testing which are already mainstream.

Growth hackers focus on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing, e.g. utilizing social media and viral marketing instead of buying advertising through more traditional media such as radio, newspaper, and television.

Growth hacking is particularly important for startups, as it allows for a “lean” launch that focuses on “growth first, budgets second”. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, AirBnB and Dropbox are all companies that use growth hacking techniques.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs 1955-2011

The great visionary who brought us Apple and its ground breaking products has passed away. Steve Jobs (February 24, 1955 – October 5, 2011) lost his fight against cancer at the age of 56.

From the first Macintosh in 1984 until the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S today, Apple has been leading the evolution of personal computers. It has all been the vision of this great man. Steve Jobs will be sorely missed!

Here’s one of his great speeches, in 2005 at Stanford University:

Steve Jobs stepping down – will it make a difference?

Steve Jobs is stepping down, about time if you ask me. The man’s health has not been the best over the last few years, and it’s about time that he slowed down and looked after himself. Ok, so he’s not leaving Apple completely, I suppose it’s difficult to leave your brain child in the hands of other people. However, Tim Cook seems like a capable guy. I’m sure he will manage Apple just fine.

The big question is, will this make a difference? Is this the end of Apple? The simple answer is – No! The thing is, although Apple have been the most inventive and out-of-the-box tech company in the past, you don’t actually see many new and innovative products as of late. Although I’m sure we’ll probably see these in the future as well, I don’t think they’ll be as frequent as they have been in the past.

What Apple have to do now is to care for the products at hand, i.e. the iPhone, the iPad and of course the MacIntosh computers. They have to make sure to continue developing and improving their existing products, and I’m sure they will manage that just fine, even with Steve Jobs gone.

Thank you, Steve Jobs, for all you’ve done for Apple and the computer industry, and good luck Tim Cook!

Importance of Live Chat On Your Website

Because commerce is becoming centered in an online market, it is becoming more essential for businesses to consider having live chat on their websites. The benefits of online shopping include the ease and convenience at which items can be purchased. People no longer have to leave the home or office to buy products. In the ecommerce generation, consumers can have the products shipped directly to them or a store for pick up. Unlike storefront shopping, online shopping can take place at any time of the day. Unfortunately, the one thing that is missing from the online environment is a sales person that can assist customers with purchases.

Customer service is as essential as having a fluid ecommerce suite. Many online businesses are employing answering services and virtual offices continue to manage their sales & customer service lines 24 hours a day as well as adding live chat to their customer service strategy. Many times, the live chat is coupled with the answering service extending web chat hours to 24. Because of this, is now possible for online businesses to have an accessible sales person for their items at all times. Live chat is a way of making sure that customers can always get in contact with someone. Telephone communication is still a viable option, but live chat is great for quick answers, immediate response, and consumers who prefer a more passive method of communication.

This may seem silly from the business end, but many individuals no longer like talking on the phone if they do not have to do so. The use of text messages, emails, and video chat has greatly reduced the time that many people spend on the phone. Embracing live chat is not costly and it is adding an extra method of communication for the growing subset of the population who prefers typed communication. It offers a quick communciation because someone is there and ready to answer any questions without forcing the customer to leave the site or perform an extra task. Live chat is especially important for businesses that use email as the only form of customer service.

It can take a day or more for an email to be answered depending on the number of emails that the business owner receives. This can result in a loss of sales because this method requires customers to come back to the site at a later date in order to complete a purchase. Impulse shopping serves as a major source of initial online sales. If for some reason the impulse has to be halted while waiting for help, it is a possibility that people will not. An instant messaging service can help “close the deal”.

The use of live chat is a cost effective means of getting and retaining customers. Just as people are more likely to return to businesses with helpful sales staff, people are more likely to return to an online store where help is immediately on hand when desired. For 24 hour service, a live chat module can be combined with an answering service opening up around the click customer service.