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How to Get SMS Alerts for Gmail via Twitter

How do you get SMS notifications on your mobile phone for important emails in your Gmail? Google doesn’t support text notifications for their email service but Twitter does. If we can figure out a way to connect our Twitter and Gmail accounts, the Gmail notifications can arrive as text on our mobile via Twitter. Let me explain:Twitter allows you to follow any @user via a simple SMS. They provide short codes for all countries (see list) and if you text FOLLOW to this shortcode following by the  username, any tweets from that user will arrive in your phone as text notifications. For instance, if you are in the US, you can tweet FOLLOW labnol to 40404 to get my tweets as text messages. Similarly, users in India can text FOLLOW labnol to 9248948837 to get the tweets via SMS.The short code service of Twitter can act as a Gmail SMS notifier. You create a new Twitter account, set the privacy to private and this account will send a tweet when you get a new email in Gmail. Follow this account …

How to Get Things Done with Trello

My work involves prioritizing, organizing and managing tasks, information and ideas. I have tried hundreds of todo lists and project management tools to get the job done but finally settled on using Trello. It is now my swiss knife where I do everything from collaborating with my wife on shopping lists to building products for my company to teaching students to writing a book.Trello provides a very flexible way to do this all and it has a whole ecosystem of apps and extensions to make your life simpler. If you are new to Trello, here’s a getting started guide that will help you understand the basics of Trello and how you can use the service to manage work and get things done.What is Trello and why I need it?Trello is like a todo list on steroids. At the core of it is a card which is the fundamental unit of information and it can be around lists. Here is a simple Trello card. It has a title with something I plan to do in the near future.What follows is more complex Trello card containi…

Snapchat’s First Sponsored Lens Features “Peanuts” & A Candy Corn Stream

360b / Shutterstock.com The brand invasion of Snapchat selfies starts on Halloween.Fox Studios has purchased the first “Sponsored Lens” to promote “The Peanuts Movie” set for release next week. Tomorrow Snapchatters who activate the Lens feature while shooting a picture or video of themselves will be able to overlay Peanuts characters on their selfies. Snoopy, Charlie Brown and Woodstock will make appearances and people will have the option to show an “endless stream of candy corn” pouring out of their mouths, modeled after Snapchat’s rainbow vomit feature. The animated overlays will be accompanied by the “Linus and Lucy” theme song.Snapchat introduced the Lens feature in September, giving its users a playful way to dress up their selfies with animated special effects.The Sponsored Lens feature is the second new ad unit Snapchat is rolling out this week. The new James Bond movie “Spectre” got its own Discover channel on Monday as Snapchat continues its push to monetize its audience of …

Marketing Day: Instagram Ad Updates, A Digital Marketing Quiz & LinkedIn Earnings Report

Here’s our recap of what happened in online marketing today, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Instagram Is Giving Advertisers Self-Serve Access To Carousel Ads
Oct 30, 2015 by Martin Beck
Starting in the next few weeks, the multi-image ads will be available in Facebook’s self-service ad dashboards.21 News Feed Updates That Have Changed How Pages Use Facebook
Oct 30, 2015 by Martin Beck
Maximizing your chances of reaching Facebook’s massive audience requires paying attention to algorithm adjustments. Here’s a roundup of the major tweaks Facebook has announced in the last 2+ years.Quiz: How Much Do You Know About The Latest In Digital Marketing?
Oct 30, 2015 by Pamela Parker
Do you know about Google’s new core technology? How about Twitter’s latest ad unit? Test your knowledge about what’s happened in the interactive marketing world in the past week and catch up on any developments you may have missed!Why iOS 9’s Ad Blocking Isn’t Dire Fo…

Instagram Is Giving Advertisers Self-Serve Access To Carousel Ads

Instagram has announced that it will soon allow advertisers to help themselves to carousel ads. Instagram will enable purchase of the ads through parent company Facebook’s Power Editor and Ad Manager platforms and the Instagram ads API in the next few weeks.“By opening up the way advertisers can buy, businesses of all sizes around the world now have more flexible targeting, call-to-action button options, and can customize their offsite links to help drive maximum return,” Instagram wrote in a blog post.Launched in June, carousel ads offer advertisers the chance to create promoted posts with up with five images that people can swipe through. Notably, carousel ads were the first Instagram posts that included links that people could click or tap on to visit sites off Instagram.Instagram said carousel ads have been working well, on average producing an additional 2.5 point lift in ad recall compared to single photo campaigns. And French retailer L’Occitane reported 58 percent higher lift …

21 News Feed Updates That Have Changed How Pages Use Facebook

It would be difficult to overstate the importance of Facebook’s News Feed to marketers. You can think of it as an epic quest to gain access to Facebook’s multitudes — a search for the holy grail of social media visibility.And Facebook is continually shifting the path — some would say adding roadblocks — by making adjustments to its News Feed algorithm, the complicated set of rules that controls what people see on the social network. Facebook’s aim, of course, is to create the most interesting stream of content possible, personalized for each of its 1.5 billion users. The “perfect personalized newspaper” is how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg terms it.In search of perfection, Facebook engineers constantly tweak the algorithm, using machine learning to study how people react and engage with content from friends and Pages. It’s complicated — two years ago the algorithm was said to weigh as many as 100,000 factors — and getting more so over time.For marketers, the effort to be a part of that…

Microsoft to Offer Windows 10 as an Automatic ‘Recommended Update’ Next Year

Windows 10’s initial release was a big bet for Microsoft, and in order to push it as aggressively as possible, Microsoft set up a reservation system designed allowing Windows 7 and Windows 8 users to upgrade for free. And it seems that Redmond has some similar plans for 2016, when it plans to offer Windows 10 as a “recommended update” in its Windows Update system.Thus, Microsoft hopes that it will convince users to jump to the most recent Windows OS. Basically, the Windows 10 upgrade process will download and start automatically if the user choose to install Windows 10. Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s head of Windows and devices, said that Microsoft will ask users this question only once.If you are on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 and you use a metered connection, then you will have to turn off automatic updates to prevent the Windows 10 installer from downloading automatically.If you’re looking to create offline media to upgrade your PC, you will be able to use the updated Media Creation Tool …

Tor Project Releases the Beta Version of its Anonymous Instant Messenger

Tor (the onion router) is a free software that enables anonymous communication, being used by millions from all over the world. And now it seems that the team behind the project wants to make their entry in the IM market, as well.Tor Project has released the beta version of its Tor Messenger, which, as you’d expect, is a chat client which brings anonymous, “off-the-record” chats based on Tor’s secure browsing system. The new Tor Messenger is actually based on Instantbird, an instant messaging client developed in the Mozilla community.The technology used to develop the app is built on Instantbird but all the traffic is being routed through Tor. The chat client works cross-platform and it supports a wide variety of transport networks, including Jabber (XMPP), IRC, Google Talk, Facebook Chat, Twitter, Yahoo, and others. The beta release was more than a year in the making, so this isn’t just a side project from the developing team. Speaking with Wired, Tor public policy director Kate Krau…

Why iOS 9’s Ad Blocking Isn’t Dire For Advertisers

Three, two, one… The ad screen countdown continues. Without even glancing at the dancing pixels before his eyes, the consumer clicks the “skip” prompt.With ads shown in nearly every nook and cranny of the real estate we affectionately dub “the web,” consumers are increasingly — do I dare say — ignoring the very message advertisers have worked so hard to share with them.What complicates matters is the continued increase in deployment of ad-blocking software — an uptick of 48 percent in 2015, accounting for an estimated $21.8 billion in lost revenue from unseen ads globally.Apple has taken notice of this growing trend and last month announced that iOS 9 will enable ad blocking for mobile through its default Safari browser. The news generated a firestorm of reports and opinions, with critics and consumers alike quick to share their rants and raves.By now it’s clear that blocking ads on the mobile web affects publishers, but not much has been said about the impact on advertisers.The Numbe…

What CMOs Need To Know About Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)

The programmatic display space is full of technological acronyms these days. In this column, I’ll explain the role of one of them — the Demand Side Platform or DSP — to help CMOs make critical decisions about their strategies.A DSP’s place in the tech landscape is to respond on behalf of advertisers to bid requests from Supply Side Platforms.Here’s how it works. A publisher page loads with an ad slot on it. That ad slot is a piece of code from the SSP that (as quickly as possible) reads factors from the page/user (content, domain, browser and so on) and shares them with the DSP. The DSP checks those factors against the criteria set by the advertiser and decides whether to bid and how much.This is complicated by the fact that each SSP connects to multiple DSPs and vice versa. So several parties will be comparing bids for each impression.When you also account for each SSP running on many publishers and each DSP running for many advertisers, you reach a point where every impression trigg…

MarTech Today: Next Penguin Update, Unmetric Predicts Social Posts & Call Analytics Platforms

Here’s our daily recap of what happened in marketing technology, as reported on Marketing Land and other places across the web.From Marketing Land:Google: Next Penguin Update Should Happen By End Of 2015
Oct 29, 2015 by Barry Schwartz
Google’s new real-time Penguin algorithm, version 4.0, will likely be released by the end of this year.SEMPO Releases State Of The Industry Report 2015
Oct 29, 2015 by Ginny Marvin
The industry report provides insights on how agencies and marketers are managing their digital activities across multiple channels.Unmetric Unveils Prediction Engine For Social Posts
Oct 29, 2015 by Barry Levine
Social intelligence platform inspired by Asimov’s “psychohistory” attempts to forecast engagement level of text-based posts.Milan-Based Company Launches Multi-Tech Device For Tracking Real-World Customers
Oct 29, 2015 by Barry Levine
Taggalo wants to go beyond what RetailNext, Quividi and others are doing to put brick-and-mortar store visitors inside analytics.Visualiz…

DSCO by VSCO Lets you Easily Make Animated GIFs on your iPhone

Whenever Apple comes up with a new feature, chances are that it will be mimicked by other companies, as well. Such was the case with the new Live Photos that we’ve seen recently being replicated by Instagram’s new Boomerang app. And now there’s another new app with pretty much the same functionality.The app is called DSCO (yes, it pronounced “disco”) and it comes from photography-focused startup Visual Supply Co., the makers of the popular camera app VSCO. The new DSCO app is entirely exclusive to iOS and is briefly described as a quick and easy way to make animated GIFs on your iPhone. This isn’t the first nor the last app with this functionality, but it stands out from the crowd thanks to its association with VSCO. As a matter of fact, the app is promoted as “DSCO by VSCO” on the iTunes store.As expected, the app comes with very easy to use controls, allowing you to capture, edit, and share animated GIFs. You can also make use of your favorite presets and easily share them to your V…

The Psychology of Colors: How Does Color Affect your Conversion

Have you ever wondered why Facebook is Blue? How color of a website affects reader experience? Be it a blog or an e-commerce site, the color of site makes a lot of difference.This guide is for all those bloggers, entrepreneurs & webmasters who understand that design thinking is the way to progress. You would learn how color affects sales of your site & how readers perceive certain colors.In a study conducted by Dr. Andrew Elliot at the University of Rochester, simply placing a thick red border around a photo of a person increased how attractive a stranger perceived the person in the photo? According to Psychologists, it’s because humans often flush red when they are attracted or interested in someone. In other words, red is the color of romance.It stimulates us unconsciously.Color has an enormous psychological influence on human brain and is the most powerful visual cue for drawing immediate attention. Scientists have long found out that color affects the mood, personality and…

Google To Combine Android And Chrome Operating Systems Into One

This afternoon the Wall Street Journal reported that Google will be “folding” Chrome into Android. What this means as a technical matter may be complicated; what it means practically is simple: Android has won.From a developer point of view it makes sense to combine the two operating systems to minimize fragmentation. Yet Google and its OEM partners have had considerable success with Chromebooks. But compared to Android, the globe’s dominant computing platform, Chromebook sales are meager.Some people have remarked that “folding” is a euphemism for “killing” Chrome. However the WSJ article asserts that Google engineers are creating a hybrid operating system:Google engineers have been working for roughly two years to combine the operating systems and have made progress recently, two of the people said. The company plans to unveil its new, single operating system in 2017, but expects to show off an early version next year, one of the people said.In a sense this combining of operating sys…

LinkedIn Beats Q3 Estimates With 78 Cents Per Share Earnings, $780M Revenue

George Dolgikh / Shutterstock.com LinkedIn reported a very strong third quarter in its latest earnings announcement on Thursday.The social network reported total revenue of $780 million, a 37 percent increase year-over-year. The company’s Marketing Solutions division saw annual revenue increase 28 percent, while Talent Solutions and Premium Subscriptions saw revenues go up 46 percent and 21 percent, respectively, compared to a year ago.The Q3 earnings per share of 78 cents was almost double the expected 46 cents, and was up from last year’s 52 cents EPS.Member Count Also RisingLinkedIn says it ended Q3 with 396 total members, and hit the 400 million member milestone just last week. That 396 million count is a 20 percent YoY gain. A good portion of the membership gains are happening in China, where CEO Jeff Weiner says the company now has 13 million members — up more than 300 percent since LinkedIn launched a local language version there in early 2014.The company also reports a 33 perce…