Ken Savage http://kensav.com My long term test site Mon, 21 Jul 2014 03:37:53 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Microsoft Office 365 is Now on the iPad – Here’s My Full Review http://kensav.com/office-for-ipad/ http://kensav.com/office-for-ipad/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 09:12:31 +0000 http://kensav.com/?p=6108 Microsoft has just released Office for iPad, the first time you can download an official Office Suite of software from Microsoft just for you iPad via the iTunes app store. Office for iPad contains fully functional versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Now while anyone can download the apps and read documents or presentation PowerPoint […]

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Microsoft has just released Office for iPad, the first time you can download an official Office Suite of software from Microsoft just for you iPad via the iTunes app store.

Office for iPad contains fully functional versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Now while anyone can download the apps and read documents or presentation PowerPoint presentations for free, if you want to create or edit Office documents with these apps, you first have to be an Office 365 subscriber.

There are some benefits to that anyway. For example, it gives you both desktop and web access to the most current versions of the Office Suite and you can get that for up to five PCs or Macs. You can subscribe to Office 365 for $99 a year and you can do that at http://office.microsoft.com. Linda.com also has many courses on using Office 365 so you can start there if you want some more information. If you already are an Office 365 subscriber, there’s no extra cost to use these iPad versions of Office. To get started, it is important to know that each app has to be downloaded individually from the app store, so you can search for Word, PowerPoint and Excel right on their own.

Microsoft office is now on the ipad

I’m going to tap to get into Word here. Before I dive into some of the features of each app individually, here’s a general overview of how they’ll work because they all share a few user interface features. I’m in the main screen here and this is going to be the same across all the apps. At the very top left hand side of the screen, I can tap to access my profile. Here’s where I can sign out, I can connect my One Drive account to it and I can add a service such as connecting to Share Point if I use it from my office. If I tap New, here’s where I can see all the templates that I’m given and I’ll go into those a little bit more in each particular video. I can tap Recent to access any files I’m currently working on or anything that I viewed recently and finally I can tap Open and you’ll notice that my two choices are, I can pull file directly from One Drive or directly on the iPad.

I’m going to tap One Drive and I can then go into the document structure on One Drive, I’ll browse and choose a Word document. It’s going to download and open the file and the very first thing that you’ll notice is that the ribbon is here. This is going to be the same across all the apps, PowerPoint and Excel too. You can tap on each ribbon tab and you’ll notice that you get different choices and right away you’ll notice that it works very similar to the desktop version of Word. You can see that right away, but there are some more things that each app shares that are the same.
The first one is, in the top left hand side, I can tap a little document icon with the Refresh symbol on it and that’s going to bring me into the file properties.

If I tap properties, I can see things like when the document was created and when it was last modified. The two arrow buttons is Undo and Redo if I want to undo my last action or redo it. If we go way over to the right hand side of the screen, I can search for text and I can click the Person icon with a plus next to it if I want to share the file easily. For example, I can copy the link easily or I can email it. I can even email it directly from One Drive as a link to it or as an attachment in an email itself.

Finally, to get back to that main screen where I can open more documents or create a new one, all I have to do is tap the arrow on the very left hand side with a circle on it. That’s going to take me back to the main screen. Here’s where I can tap Recent again or New.

That’s a first look at the interface. Up next, I’m going to go into more detail into each of the three apps, Word, Excel and PowerPoint, to show you just how powerful they really are.

Microsoft Word for the iPad

I’ve got Word for iPad open. When I’ve signed in with my Microsoft account, I can tap to create a new blank document or I can use any of these fantastic built in choices. They’ve given us a wide range of choices here from flyers to invoices to resumes, even tear off flyers that you can print out. I can also tap Recent here on the left hand side to continue working on a file that I’ve accessed recently, but I’m going to select Open to choose a file I already have on my One Drive. I’ll tap One Drive and then navigate through my file system that I created on One Drive and I’ll pull up a Word document. It’s going to download and open the file and now I can start working on it.

The first thing that I can do is swipe up and down to navigate through the document. I can also work with text by selecting it. To do that, I can tap and hold and now I have the choice to select all or just tap Select. It’s going to select one word. I can also tap and drag with my finger to select multiple chunks of text. From here I can cut, copy or delete the text but I can also change to the home ribbon tab if I’m not already there and do things like bold face the text or italicize it. I can also change the font and the color just like I could on the desktop version. If I want to get rid of the keyboard at any time, on the bottom right hand side of the screen, I can tap away and that will get rid of the keyboards so that I can actually see a little bit more of my document.

I can also tap to place the cursor in my document and tap the Return key on my keyboard to bring it to a new paragraph. I can change the justification of it too. For example on the home ribbon menu, I can see that I can right align or left align text and even center it. It centers the current paragraph; you’ll notice that unlike the desktop version I don’t have to have the whole paragraph selected, and I can move it back to left justification if I wanted to.

I can also tap the color to change the color of the font and this is something that we saw on the demo today from Microsoft. You’ll notice that I can scroll to select colors. Because the keyboard is up, its made the screen a little bit smaller, but if I want to see all the colors at once, I can tap away at the keyboard and it will automatically expand the rest of the colors so that I can see what my choices are. I can tap away to get rid of that and I can tap off from the keyboard to get back to editing my document if I wanted to. I can also insert a picture.

That’s a little bit about how the home ribbon tab works. I can move down here to the end of my document, tap the Return key a little bit if I wanted to start working in some more places and now I’m going to tap Insert at the very top of the screen. This is where I can insert anything like a page break, a table, a text box even, but I’m going to tap pictures because here’s where I can choose photos directly from my camera role. I’ll tap to choose a picture and it’s going to insert it in. I can tap and drag on any of the points of the outer edges of the picture and I can even slide it around anywhere on the screen. I can make it a size that I’m comfortable with.

The really neat thing about Word is that you can slide it up and it will automatically change where it’s located on that document. For example, on any one of these pictures, I can tap once to select the picture, but I can also tap and hold and slide my finger around and you’ll notice that it automatically rearranges the text according to where that picture is. It gives me a lot of flexibility to place my photos. If I don’t want a picture, I can simply tap and hold it and choose Delete. It gets rid of the picture.

Moving on, if I tap Layout, here’s where I can change the orientation of my document. For example, whether it’s portrait or a landscape, I can change the size of it. I can add a header and footer and I can even add page numbers to my document by simply toggling that option on. I can go to the Review tab and here’s where I can turn on changes if I wanted to track changes. I can see comments that people have made in my document and I can also very easily insert comments into the document. For example, if I tap anywhere in the document, I can tap on the very top left hand side of the screen, the green plus sign, to insert a comment right in that area.

It’s very easy. Everything is just a tap away. Finally, I’m going to go to the View tab because here’s where I can toggle on and off the ruler. For example, if I wanted more screen real estate versus having it look traditionally more like the desktop version of Word, I can toggle on and off whether I want spelling errors visible in my document while I’m typing and I can also tap Word Count if I want to see some basic statistics about my document, like how many pages it is, words or even characters.

There are a few more things I can do. At the very top left hand side of the screen, if I tap the Paper icon with the two arrows on it, I’m going to get some choices here. I can toggle on and off Autosave if I don’t want it to automatically save my document. If I’ve turned it off, I have to come back in here and manually tap the Save button to upload my changes back to One Drive.

There are some more things that I can do. I can duplicate the document, I can restore a previous version of the document and I can tap Properties if I want to see how big it is, when it was created and when it was last modified. When I’m all done, I can tap the circled arrow on the top left hand side and get back to that main screen so that I could tap New and continue working on a new document.

That’s your first look at Microsoft Word for the iPad.

Microsoft Excel for iPad

Like Microsoft Word, when I’ve signed into Excel with my Microsoft account, I can tap to create a new blank workbook or once again they’ve given us a great range of templates that are built in. Again, like Word, you can tap recent to continue working on a file that you already started, but in this case, I’ll tap Open to choose a file I already have on my One Drive account. Also, I could tap iPad to choose a file that I have directly stored on the tablet itself.

I’m going to go in and explore and pick an Excel file that I already have stored on One Drive. It’s going to download it and open it directly on the iPad. The first thing I want to show you in Excel for iPad is that you can punch and zoom with your fingers just like you could with any other app in the iPad to zoom in and out. This is a great feature for Excel spreadsheets when you’re dealing with lots of columns and you just want to see the big picture.

Navigating is very easy. Also, you can tap directly in any cell and see the data at the top just like the desktop version. You can also edit data this way by tapping on the data in the top row. It’s going to bring up the keyboard, you can make a change and either hit the Return key or the very tap right hand side of the screen you can click the green checkmark to accept it or the red X if you want to cancel the change. Tapping and holding a column header will allow you to insert or delete columns. You can also clear the data in a column this way too. You can autofit them also.

Likewise, if you do the same thing for a row, you can insert rows this way too. You can delete rows and you can clear the data in them also. On the home ribbon tab, you’ll see that you can change the font just like you could in Word. You get font options like bold, italicize, underline and you can just tap those to turn them on and off, but I’m going to move over and tap on the Insert ribbon. Here is where you can insert things like tables, charts and even pictures. You can tap on an empty cell, tap Charts and insert any of these types of charts that you want, but you can also tap recommended and let Excel put together the type of chart that it thinks you want. In this case, I’ll just tap the first one so that I can show you what it looks like when it’s inserted in. Here’s your chart and you can take it and slide it around and put it somewhere else on your spreadsheet. Remember, because you can zoom, you can easily see where it’s going.

Moving on to the next ribbon tab, lets go over to formulas. Here’s where you can very easily insert formulas just like you can in the desktop version. For example, I’m going to tap on a cell here, I’ll zoom in so we can see it a little bit better and I can see that I can type here and just like the desktop version, there is that function better so that you can start to put one in, but you can also tap the ribbon and insert a function that way in a formula. For example, I can type text and choose a particular function that I’m looking for. Here’s where I can put in either the text I want or a cell just like in the desktop version. For example, I’ll put in uppercase C20, hit the Return key, move out a bit and I can see that it’s made that change. It’s done an uppercase version of what’s in this cell. It’s very easy to enter in all your formulas.

Moving to the next ribbon tab, it’s the Review tab and here’s where you can see comments that other people have done especially if you shared this out to other people within One Drive. This is a very popular choice for collaboration, especially if you’re using One Drive; it’s very easy to work with other people this way. Don’t forget you can share it directly through Excel by tapping on the Person icon with the plus sign in the very right hand side. You can email links to this right in One Drive itself.

Finally, lets go over to the View tab. Here’s where you can customize the way it looks. For example, you can toggle to turn the grid lines of the spreadsheet off and on, you can hide the formula bar if you know you’re never going to use it and it’s taking up some screen real estate, and you can do the same with headings.

Finally, moving down to the very bottom of the screen, here’s where you can work with individual worksheets in Excel. For example, right now I can see that I’ve only got one sheet and it’s called Sheet 1. I can tap the plus sign and instantly get another sheet. If I want to delete it, I can simply tap where it says Sheet 2 and tap the Delete button. I can then confirm that choice and my sheet’s gone. If I tap Sheet 1, I can duplicate that sheet very easily by simply tapping Duplicate. I’ll be given an exact copy of the sheet.

Finally, like Word, at the very top left hand side of the screen, I can tap the icon with the two arrows on it to get into the file properties. Autosave is on by default but I can tap it off and manually save my document and I can duplicate the file, I can restore to an older version and I can tap Properties to see the file size and when it was created and last modified. When I’m all done, I can tap the arrow with the circle on it and it’s going to bring me back to that main screen.

That’s how easy it is to work with Microsoft Excel for iPad.

PowerPoint for the iPad

I’m in PowerPoint for iPad. Like Word and Excel, when I’ve signed in with my Microsoft account, I can tap the very first entry in the next screen to create a new blank presentation from scratch, or I can tap any of these choices to work with a design template and they’ve given me a lot of choices here. I’ll tap Open, I’ll tap on my One Drive and I’ll navigate to a presentation that I already have stored in my One Drive account. It’s going to download it and open it directly on the iPad.

We’ve talked about how you can see the ribbon right from the start and it always defaults you to that home tab. The first thing I can do is tap on each slide to access them. Once I have a slide open, I can tap and then double tap to start working with the text itself. Because I’m in that home ribbon tab, I have all the choices to work with the text directly. For example, I can bold face and italicize and change the font; I can also change the color. If I’m done, I can tap the keyboard icon in the very bottom right hand side of the screen and it’ll go away so that I can see the big picture of what my slide’s going to look like.

To insert a new slide, lets move to the Insert ribbon tab. From here, it’s just a matter of tapping New Slide. Now I can choose the layout of the slide I want. I can see all my choices and when I’ve made my choice, all I have to do is tap it. Now it tells me that all I have to do is double tap to start adding text to the bullet points. I can simply continue to type.

I could also add a picture directly from my camera roll. I’m already on that insert ribbon tab. I’ll choose Pictures. I can then go into my camera roll, choose a picture and now I can tap and drag from any of the diagonal points to resize it. I can move it around anywhere on my slide and tap off of it to see how it’s going to look. I can also add things like picture reflections. If I tap back into it, it gets me into a special ribbon tab called Picture. From here, I can choose picture styles such as oval shapes or adding frames to it. I can also tap and add shadows and even reflections.

Moving on, if we go to the Transitions ribbon tab, I can very easily start adding effect to all my slides. If I tap Transition Effect, I can choose the one I want and then I can simply tap Apply to All Slides and that particular transition has easily been added to all my slides for my presentation. I can reorder slides too. While I’m still preparing my presentation, I can tap and hold on a slide and shift it up and down to move it anywhere else in my presentation. If I let go, it’ll be moved to the new spot. I can also single tap a slide and copy it, delete it or duplicate it if I wanted to copy that same slide. In this case, I’ll tap Delete and it goes away.

Finally, at the very bottom right hand, it’s written very small, but if tap the word Notes, it’s going to bring up a screen where I can start adding speaker notes. I can tap and here’s where I can put in any special notes I want for my presentation while I’m presenting it that my audience won’t see. To do your slide show, tap the Slide Show ribbon item and here’s where I can choose whether I want to start the slide show from the current slide or from the beginning. If I tap From Start, it’ll start my presentation right from the very start. To move onto the next slide, simply swipe with your finger.

There are a few things I want to show you while you’re presenting. The first is the annotation pen. If I swipe down from the very top of the screen, I’ll get some options. If I tap the pen icon, here’s where I can annotate my slides for the audience. I can start drawing with my finger directly on the presentation. If my slides were red, that’s no problem. In the top right hand side, if I choose the pen with the gear icon in it, I can change the color of it so that it’s a littler easier to read. To stop using the pen, I just have to tap it again and swipe up to make that screen disappear for me.

There’s one more thing I want to show you. I also have the ability to use a laser pointer. I’m going to move on to another slide. If I tap and hold with my finger, I’m given a special laser pointer object and as I move my finger around the pad, it goes with me, so I can use this as a great presentation tool. I can swipe through my presentation and when it’s all done, I can swipe one more time and I’ll get back to the main screen. When I’m all done with my presentation, simply tap the arrow with the circle on the top left hand side of the screen and I can tap New again and I’m brought back to that main screen where I can select a new presentation.

That’s your first look at PowerPoint for the iPad.

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How to Avoid Twitter Mistakes That All Small Businesses Make http://kensav.com/twitter-mistakes/ http://kensav.com/twitter-mistakes/#comments Fri, 28 Mar 2014 19:22:57 +0000 http://kensav.com/?p=6084 Twitter is a great way to increase your followers and build up your name and brand. But it can be a disaster if you aren’t doing it right. Twitter is a viable tool and you can get a lot out of it, but you need to keep a few things in mind. I’m giving out […]

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Twitter is a great way to increase your followers and build up your name and brand. But it can be a disaster if you aren’t doing it right. Twitter is a viable tool and you can get a lot out of it, but you need to keep a few things in mind. I’m giving out these helpful tips so that you can avoid the same twitter mistakes that so many have made before you.
influence-chart

  1. The first thing you should never do is begin a twitter following with someone else’s username. This is one of the common twitter mistakes that so many make. Say someone tweets your blog and you want to give them praise for doing so. Don’t start a tweet with @username. This is going to prevent others from seeing the kindness and praise that the person gave you. They may have tweeted something about your blog, but others will never be able to see it. If you want to make the twitter name more viable and visible to others, use a period prior to the @username. If you don’t only the person who blogged your stuff and your other followers are going to be the only ones seeing it.
  2. Don’t just follow someone because they are following you. This is another common mistake that some make. Read this classic post from Matt McGee about Popularity vs Trust on twitter. I mean it’s nice to follow someone, but do it only if you liked what the person writes or blogs about. Following someone just for the sake of it is one way to send the wrong message. By following someone, you agree with pretty much everything the person is doing. So be careful when making the choice to follow someone on twitter. Someone may like what you are saying, but it doesn’t mean that you will like what they are saying. And following someone just because they are a celebrity and you like them, is not a good enough reason either. So be selective when following someone on your own timeline. Because if you are following the wrong person, strictly based on the fact that they follow you, is going to also send the wrong message to your followers. And you don’t want that.
  3. Another misconception about twitter is that you need to make the tweets long. Some people get in the habit of either writing a few hundred words or they write an entire book on twitter. This is not what twitter is about. If you want to talk for a long period of time, twitter is not the place to do so. Just stick with the short tweets. They are going to give you the higher engagement rates. They are going to give you the most followers.

    If your tweet is between 100 and 120 characters, this is perfect. The ones with 100-120 word length are the ones who get responded to the most. So keep the tweets short and sweet and to the point. If you do, you will leave space for others to leave their comments. People don’t generally leave a comment on a blog that doesn’t leave room for one. It’s bad business.

    Looking at the charts, you can see that around 30-35% will respond more to those which are between 100-120 characters. Once you start going over that line, you will lose your audience.

  4. Some have gotten in the habit of tweeting the full url. It can be an easy and convenient way of doing things. But please avoid this at all costs. it may be simple, but it will be ineffective in the long run. How you may ask might it be ineffective? Every time you do this, you are missing out on the metrics of your click rate. This may not be a big deal for some of you, but for others it will be. it just depends on what you are using twitter for. So take that into account as well when you make the choice to leave the full url.

    Instead, you might want to try something else. Go into your tools menu and consider shortening your url link. That way you can still send the link, but also keep updated on who is clicking on your tweets. You can find out more by using Google and going in and making the link shorter. You can also log onto bit.ly and find out if this link has already been put out there and who has clicked on it. This is going to save you time and trouble later on.

  5. A final mistake that many make is setting the analytics up too late. If you are on twitter, you need to be looking into your tweets and followers on a regular basis. You also need to be looking into the growth of these numbers. Some don’t care about the numbers and their followers and that is what causes them to not succeed on twitter. So you need to check the number and be familiar with what is going on.

twitter-followers-growth
You also need to look into what your followers and audience wants and needs. You need to pay attention to this, it’s very crucial that you do. If something is not working for your audience, you need to be aware of this. To this end, you need to set up analytics that matter. Choosing settings that don’t function for you or your audience is not going to be a time saver.

Having analytics that work for you and your audience means that you spend that time tweeting and keeping up with your audience’s needs. Another good reason to keep an eye on the stats is that it will help to increase your followers in a big way. It will also help you by knowing what tweets are working for you and which aren’t. Certain tweets don’t work with certain demographics and you need to be aware of this. By knowing what tweets work and which don’t, you will find out the tweets that will drive your brand even more.

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The B2B Online Marketing Process: Keywords For the Conversion Funnel http://kensav.com/b2b-marketing-conversion-funnel/ http://kensav.com/b2b-marketing-conversion-funnel/#comments Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:19:44 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=2732 Online marketing and transactions have brought a new opportunity to marketing departments and planners, the ability to micromanage metrics. One of the difficulties that marketing managers have faced since the beginning of marketing time is answering the question “is what I’m investing in really making a difference?” That obfuscation of cause (or rather ad) and […]

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Online marketing and transactions have brought a new opportunity to marketing departments and planners, the ability to micromanage metrics. One of the difficulties that marketing managers have faced since the beginning of marketing time is answering the question “is what I’m investing in really making a difference?”

That obfuscation of cause (or rather ad) and effect was and still is a problem for offline marketers and their quest for more budget. Online marketing can solve that problem because everything online can be tracked and measured. But does this new ability to micromanage the process help? Can you truly rely on math instead of your gut to help guide your marketing spend?

In most cases the answer is yes.

In the online world marketers must manage their budgets with their eyes focused on conversions and metrics.

Executive management has come to rely on the fact that their online expenditures can be tracked almost in real time. And so the online marketer must keep track of their overall Pay Per Click (PPC) budget when building their SEM plan and their aggregate Cost Per Click (CPC) which incorporates their SEO numbers. These numbers and costs can be watched on a daily and hourly basis and used as a marker for a campaign’s return on investment (ROI). With all of these metrics and measurements available to the online marketer it is easy and common for them to become a cost silo all by themselves and it is important that they maintain a connection with the overall marketing objective.

Basically both offline and online marketing plans combine to make up the company’s ultimate marketing plan. So the key to establishing good metrics and goals for the online marketing plan utilizes the same process as that for the offline plan, start by planning backwards. By developing the online plan from the company’s overall marketing plan you can make sure that there are thoughtful and logical intersections between both offline and online messaging and communications with the customer.

In the late 1990s marketers were challenged with coming up with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) processes and many CRM software companies were born. The idea behind CRM was, and still is, to manage the customer touch point process and measure the conversions along the way. I call these mini, micro or intermediate conversions as they are steps in the overall conversion process. Usually these conversion metrics can be used to track single node to node flow such as with an online click action or the overall aggregate percentage to close that the potential customer is at in the process.

B2B Online Marketing Conversion Process

B2B online marketing conversion funnelAn online conversion process might look like:

  1. SSD-R-Us outbids their competitors for the search term ‘solid state hard drive comparison‘.
  2. CTO John wants to begin upgrading his server farm so he googles ‘solid state hard drive comparison’ and sees an SSD-R-Us ad and clicks on it.
  3. On the SSD-R-Us website CTO John sees a whitepaper on a comparison and reviews of solid state hard drives and a form he can download the report. He fills in his name, address and email to get it.
  4. Later that week CTO John gets an email invite from SSD-R-Us to attend a “Why Solid State Drives are the Way to Go” webinar, he clicks on the embedded link and provides his phone number and opts in to be contacted by a SSD-R-Us.
  5. An SSD-R-Us employee contacts CTO John to pitch a SSD of the Month club subscription.

That entire process would be captured in some format and hopefully tied back to CTO John’s prospect ID number and the campaign’s aggregate metrics would be used to measure efficiency and outcome of the campaign. The online marketer could begin to set up split or A/B tests to measure the whitepaper call to action or placement on the website, different types of communications such as email versus phone call or even incentives such as “buy 10 months and get 2 months free if you act today.”

With all of these online testing options available with real time data you can make decisions within days or weeks that can take an offline marketer months or years to decide. The online marketer needs to remember though that they are a step in the overall process and ultimate objective which is usually more sales.

The real objective of B2B Online Marketing metrics management isn’t to give you the look at the here and now (although it does do that) but really to focus on the future. This type of inward and intense look at conversions can also lead to other departmental efficiencies. For example you may uncover that the outbound telemarketing department for SSD-R-Us isn’t closing at a high enough percentage with the leads they are given and could use some additional sales training.

It is really all about providing the marketer and management with “what if” analysis tools to build budgets and expectations.

Later I’ll like to talk about how much that conversion was worth and how to track your online marketing spend. To get notified when I post that article, subscribe to this blog using the form below. :)

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My Success With PR, Online Marketing and Starting a Business http://kensav.com/my-success-with-pr-online-marketing-and-starting-a-business/ http://kensav.com/my-success-with-pr-online-marketing-and-starting-a-business/#comments Sat, 01 Mar 2014 00:17:22 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=3951 I’m often asked what I do for work and why am I out bike riding during the day or at the park with my son during his summer vacation. Many times I tell people I’m just unemployed and that satisfies them but really I have a few projects in place that make me decent money […]

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I’m often asked what I do for work and why am I out bike riding during the day or at the park with my son during his summer vacation. Many times I tell people I’m just unemployed and that satisfies them but really I have a few projects in place that make me decent money with very little to no “work” at all. So this is a post I’ve had in my head for about a year and I’m finally getting to writing.

Summer of 2010 I was laid off from a job where I was the online marketing manager for a great company called Metalogix. I was hired 2 years early at the start of the company. 2 of the founders of the company brought me in to improve the companies online presence and getting them selling more software. Great job and great people.

But after 2 years the industry changed a bit and so did the economy. Board of directors wanted to do things cheaper and cut expenses and go into different marketing channels. So I was laid off with a few other key people as well. I kept in contact with a few coworkers but oh well life moves on.

Time to look for the next project.

I decided to try the local marketing/web developer consulting gig lifestyle. Little did I know it was waaaaay more work and less pay. So much for the easy comfortable corporate days of salary and benefits. I now had to work even harder on my own to find clients and then report and give them what they expected on a timely basis. I got in a little over my head at the start and quickly started to fall behind on deadlines. Sorry Chris, Ivan and Chuck.

After fulfilling my obligations I once again decided I had to make a change where I’m not dependent on someone else or another company to make a living but truly go out on my own and make my own path in life. I was going to be an entrepreneur.

I kind of knew what the word meant but really had no idea what it was to be an entrepreneur.

I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and I want to have a little list or story about what I’ve done in this last year. I want to share real ideas, stories and numbers of what I did and a little on how I did it. Take it as bragging or take it as a big lie. Whateva!!! It’s my blog and you’re reading it so far so there’s got to be some interest so far.

3+ years ago I was at a point in my marriage where my wife cheated on me and told me she no longer loved me and I didn’t know what to do. I found a few resources online where people told their stories of failed or failing marriages but they were more like whiney stories that were just a place for them to vent and leave. After talking to a shrink and some good friends I was still mad.

I wanted to start an online resource where I expose how people were using Facebook and social media website to cheat and engage in infidelity. I wanted to talk about how I used technology and gadgets to catch my wife and share it with other people who were going through a similar situation like me. It hurts and I had a lot of passion about it. After writing up a whole lot of posts and articles on the site I started getting people commenting and telling their stories and asking for advice.

A light went off in my head and I started to pitch other websites to mention me and my articles so it would help their audiences as well. Soon after that I started email newspapers and radio stations saying that Facebook is so popular and after a few studies came out in the mainstreeam media about Facebook being mentioned in lots of divorces lately it would be a great idea for their readership or listeners to interview me and have me talk about my story.

After a few radio live interviews and a newspaper quote I started getting small magazines and then larger magazine like US magazine and eventually Vanity Fair. Those turned into the front page article on CNN.com and that in turn got me on the Larry King Live TV show, The View and ABC News and even a social media documentary. Lots of viewers to the website and lots more subscribers and commenters. Time for the payoff. Now how do I monetize all that?

The first thing I did was mention the gadgets I used and linked to an affiliate program that sold them. Next I tested out selling someone’s ebook on marriage and relationship counseling but took that down as it wasn’t all that great. Finally I turned to Google Adsense and monetized each page of the site with contextual ads. The site was making between $50 and $400/day depending on the traffic and what direct ads were being placed on the site as it got mentioned on more and more media outlets.

So I decided to do less press about the site and focus more on my experiences and how I can reach a larger audience both online and offline. I’m talking to 2 agents and publishers about writing a book. Sharing my story and giving some advice and talk more about the age of social media and how it plays into privacy issues and the issues of infidelity and deception.

Stay tuned.

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What is Palcohol and can you buy it yet? http://kensav.com/what-is-palcohol/ http://kensav.com/what-is-palcohol/#comments Sat, 22 Feb 2014 06:16:39 +0000 http://kensav.com/?p=6121 Consumers will soon have access to a more convenient way to have a cocktail. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has just approved Palcohol, which is a new innovative powdered form of alcohol. A man named Mark Phillips developed the original concept for Palcohol. Mark Phillips liked having a cocktail after a […]

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Consumers will soon have access to a more convenient way to have a cocktail. The U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau has just approved Palcohol, which is a new innovative powdered form of alcohol. A man named Mark Phillips developed the original concept for Palcohol. Mark Phillips liked having a cocktail after a hard day’s work or a gym session. However, he did not appreciate carrying heavy bottles. He worked with a series of scientists and created alcohol in a powdered form to reduce the inconvenience of carrying around bottles and cans. The world will soon have the opportunity to carry powdered alcohol in their purses, wallets, pockets and more.

Why Is It Called Palcohol?

Mark Phillips and the people who work for Lipsmark are fun-loving, witty people. They gave Palcohol its name based on its convenience. A consumer can carry a small packet of Palcohol around just like a packet of sugar or a sugar substitute. Technically, the Palcohol carrier can bring it to places where traditional alcohol forms might be prohibited. Carriers can possibly bring Palcohol into restaurants, stadiums, offices and other places. While company representatives do not suggest bringing the product into prohibited places, they still refer to it as the consumer’s “pal.” This means that the consumer can carry powered alcohol with him or her as if it were a very close friend.

How Does Palcohol Work?

Palcohol does not have complicated instructions. It works exactly like a packet of powdered sugar, except the needs to mix it with approximately five ounces of water. Alternatively, the person can add it to five ounces of Coca-Cola or orange juice. When it is used properly, one Palcohol packet has the same amount of alcohol in it as a mixed drink. The company is releasing two initial plain alcohol flavors: vodka and rum. It will also release four mixed drinks: powderita, lemon drop, mojita and cosmopolitan.

The Convenience of Palcohol

Palcohol provides a revolutionary solution to inconvenience and embarrassment associated with alcohol. Consumers can now discreetly carry their Palcohol and have drinks without anyone knowing. The company that created Palcohol has stated that its price will be only a fraction of the cost of traditional alcoholic beverages. The affordable price point will drive customers to Palcohol even more than the convenience will.

Who Can Buy Palcohol?

Palcohol will have some of the same regulations as regular alcohol. People who are not of legal age will not be allowed to purchase the product. Retailers that choose to sell Palcohol will have to have licenses to sell it. Additionally, the same laws will apply to underage drinkers, drunk drivers and the like. The only thing that will change is the bottle, which will start to disappear when Palcohol hits the market.

How Soon Will Palchol Be Available?

Palcohol has been approved, but the company is still waiting to tie up loose ends. Palcohol is expected to hit the market sometime in the fall. The company says that it will make the product available online and in physical locations. It is not yet known whether it will be available in restaurants and convenience stores, or if it will be restricted to standard liquor stores.

Will Palcohol Be Dangerous?

The Palcohol website encourages people to use the product properly. If people use it responsibly, then it will be no more dangerous than a bottled alcohol product is. Every product can be safe if it is used in moderation, and Palcohol is not harmful as it is. The company urges its future buyers to use Palcohol responsibly and legally when it becomes available.

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Jake’s First Game http://kensav.com/jakes-first-game/ http://kensav.com/jakes-first-game/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 02:14:08 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=6038 He made this game all by himself.

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He made this game all by himself.

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How to Find That $100k Job http://kensav.com/how-to-find-100k-job/ http://kensav.com/how-to-find-100k-job/#comments Sun, 01 Dec 2013 15:34:56 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=2506 Looking for a new job and want to make $100,000? You got to get past the recruiter and phone screener first. You met with a recruiter, but now she’s not responding to your e-mails. Maybe your background is perfect but you don’t make it past the phone screen. How could it be that you’re “not […]

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Looking for a new job and want to make $100,000? You got to get past the recruiter and phone screener first. You met with a recruiter, but now she’s not responding to your e-mails. Maybe your background is perfect but you don’t make it past the phone screen. How could it be that you’re “not a good fit” when you’re so clearly made for the position?

Job hunters tend to view recruiters as an unfortunate necessity in the search process, regarding them as the people who don’t respond and don’t really know what the hiring company is looking for.

It turns out that many job seekers have misconceptions about the most basic role of a recruiter. “They don’t understand that we don’t work for them,” said Greg Bennett, a headhunter at the Mergis Group in Cary, N.C. “We work for the client” — the hiring company.

Below are some typical scenarios in which job seekers may find themselves. We asked the recruiters what’s happening at their end.

Scenario One: You think you’re a perfect fit for the position, yet the recruiter isn’t responding to your application or your follow-up calls and e-mails. Potential red flags may include:

You’re not qualified for the job.

* Like it or not, your work experience may not fit the bill. It could be that the hiring company is looking for 10 years of sales experience and that your 15 years in sales is not attractive. It’s also possible that you didn’t read the posting closely, or at all. “When a job seeker ignores certain stipulations such as a listing that requests local candidates only or has degree requirements that don’t match, it becomes evident that they are answering postings without reading them,” said Sherry Brickman, a partner at Martin Partners, a retained search firm in Chicago. “This is a waste of time for everyone involved as well as frustrating for a recruiter.”

You’re a good fit but not an ideal fit.

* “[Third-party recruiting] agencies get paid a lot of money to find people that a corporation in need of staff can’t,” according to Michael Rosenberg, manager of sales, productivity and performance at TheLadders. “And with a 15 to 25 percent fee going to the recruiter, corporations want to make sure they hire the exact right person.” In plenty of cases, almost isn’t good enough, especially now that recruiters are pulling from a larger applicant pool.

Your recruiter — or the hiring company — isn’t effectively communicating the job specifications.

* Sometimes recruiters aren’t able effectively to express what their client is looking for, a result of their own limitations or their client’s lack of specificity. The larger the organization, the more red tape there is, according to Rosenberg.

Your e-mail subject line could be slowing down the process.

* Effective subject lines in e-mails should reference the position you’re applying for, rather than “Hello” or “Intro,” Rosenberg said. If a recruiter is sorting through hundreds of e-mails a day, it makes her life easier if she receives a cue about the contents of the e-mail.

Your resume may not be conveying your story at a glance.

* With so little time to devote to each resume, make it easy for recruiters to find what they’re looking for: your last employer and position, your tenure there, and the three most relevant bullet points based on the job you’re applying for. If a quick scan doesn’t yield a compelling career narrative, Rosenberg said it’s possible that your application will never make it beyond the inbox.

Misspellings of any kind turn off some recruiters.

* Typos may leave the impression that you don’t pay attention to details. Double- and triple-check your cover letter and resume. Better still, have someone with an eye for detail proof it.

A generic cover letter could be your undoing.

* Recruiters may read the lack of specificity as lazy and/or uncaring, Rosenberg said. Tailor each letter to the particular company, industry and position to which you’re applying.

Superlatives may be getting in your way.

* For instance, calling yourself the “best” or “greatest” CPA without supporting evidence can be perceived as cocky. “It suggests the job seeker is way too sure of himself and may be tough to work for,” Rosenberg observed. “A recruiter could build a story in their head before they even get you on the phone.”

What can you do? Not much if you’re not qualified, but applying for a specific job and making sure that you’ve dotted all your “I’s” and customized your cover letter will at least ensure you’re getting the attention you deserve.

Scenario Two: You didn’t make it past the recruiter’s phone screener.

Your general attitude could be a mismatch with the hiring company.

* For instance, your professional-yet-serious demeanor may not work in a setting where a sense of lightness and humor is considered a priority for managers, said Harold Laslo, a staffing specialist at the Aldan Troy Group in New York. Don’t take it personally. The longer a recruiter has worked with the hiring company, the better he’s able to evaluate your candidacy.

You didn’t listen to the questions.

* During phone screens and interviews, less is often more. Whether the cause is nervousness, self-absorption or other limitations, candidates sometimes provide far more information than a question warrants, according to Marian Rich, a recruiter with Bonell Ryan, a retained search firm in New York. Rich said she often asks candidates to give a quick overview of their careers, probing for details later in the process. “I’m always dismayed at how many candidates launch into an in-depth and very lengthy response,” Rich said. “It can put me off and will certainly raise the question of whether or not this candidate will interview well with a client.”

What can you do? Follow up with the recruiter to ask her why you’re not a good fit. She should be able to provide a concrete reason. If she can do that — and you trust her assessment — let her know you’d like to be considered for future positions.

Scenario Three: You met the recruiter in person, but now he doesn’t think you’re right for the job.

Your work style may not be suited to the position.

* For example, the recruiter may determine that you thrive in structured work settings, but the hiring company is looking for someone who functions best in an unstructured environment. Once again, recruiters who have placed candidates with the hiring company have a good sense of who would succeed there. It is well within a job seeker’s rights to ask how long the recruiter has worked with a certain company, said Laslo of Aldan Troy.

Your personality may not be a match for certain company or department cultures.

* For instance, you may think your ambition and assertive personality could only be an asset, but it could signal potential challenges at some firms. “If a candidate has career aspirations and I pick up that they may not have patience before they see advancement or will be badgering HR in regards to advancement, they may not be right for certain companies,” Laslo said, adding that small companies tend to be more focused on personality than large ones.

What can you do? Talk to your recruiter and find out exactly why you’re no longer in the running. Gather as much information as you can and ask if there’s anything about your personal performance that you could improve.

Scenario Four: The recruiter is being vague about why the hiring company doesn’t want to proceed with your application.

She may not have all the information.

* Recruiters agree that at each point in the application process your recruiter should be able to cite specific reasons why she (or the hiring company) doesn’t think you’re a suitable candidate for the job. But recruiters don’t always have that information if the hiring company is reticent to disclose it for legal or other reasons, said Rosenberg.

She may be reluctant to talk about personal quirks.

* If the hiring company is troubled by your lack of personal hygiene, for example, the recruiter may withhold the information if she thinks it’s not constructive.

What can you do? Strike a friendly tone when probing for details. Help the recruiter understand that you value his feedback and would appreciate any information he’s able to supply.

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How to Jump Start a Dead Battery http://kensav.com/jumpstart-dead-battery/ http://kensav.com/jumpstart-dead-battery/#comments Fri, 04 Oct 2013 23:24:21 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=5791 It was 20 degrees. I went to start my car and the battery was dead. Nothing worse than that. I had an important meeting with a CEO. I went to go start my car, turned the key, and all I heard was…. I almost died. A dead car battery happens to the best of us […]

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It was 20 degrees. I went to start my car and the battery was dead. Nothing worse than that.

I had an important meeting with a CEO. I went to go start my car, turned the key, and all I heard was…. I almost died.

A dead car battery happens to the best of us at the worst times. Fortunately, a quick jump start can bring a dead battery back to life. But it’s important to do it the right way.

To properly Jump Start a Dead Battery on your car, the first thing you want to do is park the working vehicle close to the one that needs to be jumped, but don’t let them touch.

Next, shut off the ignition on both cars. Be sure to turn off your lights, radio, and anything else that can drain power.

To connect the jumper cables, connect the red positive clamp to the dead battery’s positive post. You’ll see a plus (+) on the battery.

Connect the other red clamp to the good battery. Make sure the cables don’t dangle into either engine compartment where they can get tangled onto moving parts.

Now connect the black negative clamp to the working vehicle’s negative battery terminal. Once set, connect the other negative cable to any unpainted, metal surface on the engine of the dead car. Do a final check to make sure the cables are set and not near any moving engine parts.

Now start the working car. Let it idle a few minutes to feed juice to the dead battery. When you think it’s got enough charge, start the dead vehicle and let them idle together.

Once the dead car is running smoothly, disconnect the cables in reverse order. Be careful not to let the dangling cables fall into the engine compartment or touch each other.

Finally, make sure you drive the revived vehicle somewhere safe before shutting it off. And remember, always carry jumper cables. It will save you and your battery the next time you get stranded.

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Giant Shark Offshore of Boston Massachusetts http://kensav.com/giant-shark-offshore-of-boston-massachusetts/ http://kensav.com/giant-shark-offshore-of-boston-massachusetts/#comments Fri, 09 Aug 2013 08:29:06 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/archives/giant-shark-offshore-of-boston-massachusetts/ Fishing out on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary just outside of Boston Massachusetts on a perfect calm day we saw some action on the horizon and decided to check it out. As we approached we could see the dorsal and tail fin of a large shark. We thought it was a great white shark at […]

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Fishing out on Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary just outside of Boston Massachusetts on a perfect calm day we saw some action on the horizon and decided to check it out. As we approached we could see the dorsal and tail fin of a large shark. We thought it was a great white shark at first.

Typically a basking shark which are very harmless we came very close to observe it but at the last second you can see that this was not basking shark. Looked like a 12 foot great white shark that was sun bathing at the surface taking in the sun.

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Why Do Gas Prices Fluctuate? http://kensav.com/gas-prices-fluctuate/ http://kensav.com/gas-prices-fluctuate/#comments Fri, 02 Aug 2013 19:17:11 +0000 http://www.kensavage.com/?p=5751 If you own a car, you’ve probably noticed that gas prices change from day to day. They can rise or fall a penny or two per gallon, or as much as 30 cents overnight. This change in gas prices is a source of concern for many drivers. It’s impossible to predict, hard to budget for […]

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If you own a car, you’ve probably noticed that gas prices change from day to day. They can rise or fall a penny or two per gallon, or as much as 30 cents overnight. This change in gas prices is a source of concern for many drivers. It’s impossible to predict, hard to budget for and annoying to deal with. So why is it that gas prices fluctuate so wildly?

Distribution of Costs

When you pay for gas, the money is broken up and distributed among several organizations involved in the supply chain. This includes everything from the gas station to the refinery to the US Government. The cost mainly breaks down into four segments. For example, out of $1, here is how the money is distributed:

  • 12 cents go to taxes
  • 12 cents go to the refinery that produced the gasoline
  • 11 cents is distributed to those who ship, market and handle the gas
  • 66 cents (the majority) goes to cover the cost of the crude oil

OPEC and Crude Oil

The cost of crude oil is determined largely by OPEC, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC currently has twelve member countries. These are Algeria, Angola, Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

Crude oil is generally judged as either light or heavy, and as either sweet or sour – which has nothing to do with flavor – as ways to judge how easily it can be refined into gasoline and other products. Light, sweet crude is the easiest to refine, and most refineries are set up to process it. Unfortunately, it is also growing increasingly rare. Heavy, sour crude is much more abundant, but most refineries can’t handle it without expensive reconfiguration.

The price of a barrel of crude oil is determined by several factors. As OPEC produces more oil, the prices for each individual barrel go down. The quality of the oil affects refinery costs, which can increase the price of gas.

Demand and Distribution

Worldwide demand for gasoline is going up. It will not stop rising until an alternative energy source is found and made commercially viable for developing nations. As it stands, gasoline is an astonishingly powerful source of energy. Solar fields, wind farms and other green energy sources cannot compete with the power output of a gallon of gasoline. On the other end, nuclear power can, but is expensive to produce and maintain — not to mention dangerous and highly regulated.

As countries expand their infrastructures, more and more gasoline is required. India, China and other developing nations will continue to demand more gasoline until the price of a gallon becomes prohibitive.

At the same time, getting this gasoline to these locations around the world is an incredible challenge. Only a small handful of countries produce enough oil to export it, and it has to be shipped around the world. Shipping companies need to be paid, the workers need to be trained and it needs to successfully make the journey. Anything that affects the supply lines will affect the cost of gasoline.

  • Pipelines can break, like the BP disaster in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Ships can sink, such as the Exxon Valdez
  • Weather systems can interrupt shipping, as well as ruin distribution networks or gasoline storehouses – think Hurricane Katrina
  • Political instability among OPEC nations, or war that interrupts supply lines, also has an effect

Trading on the Mercantile Exchange

Even though oil is produced primarily in non-US countries and it is consumed worldwide, oil is largely traded on the world market using US Dollars as currency. This means the fluctuation in the value of the US Dollar affects the price of gas. When the USD declines in value, it takes more dollars to purchase the same amount of oil — meaning a general price increase per barrel.

Oil is traded on three main markets. The first is the contract market. The majority of the oil that is traded ends up here — companies, dealers, refineries and other groups trade and buy barrels of oil, fulfilling contracts and delivering product.

Spot markets work to fill the gaps. Some companies need more oil than they have delivered to them on contract, and other companies have more oil than they need. The spot market matches these two groups up and evens out the supply and demand for oil. These trades are not bound by contract, which means companies can make excellent deals on their purchases or sales.

The futures market is the most complex system of oil trading and is largely a form of speculation. Huge numbers of barrels are traded on the futures market, but very few of them are ever delivered. During one particular seven-year period, over five million barrels were traded, but only 31,000 were ever delivered as a result of the deals. Despite the low volume of actual deliveries, the futures market is driven by the fluctuation in every factor that influences the price of gas, meaning it is a good indicator of how gas prices fluctuate.

Unrelated Factors Why Gas Prices Fluctuate

Many people like to blame US Presidential elections for altering the price of gas. In reality, the president has virtually no effect on gas prices. Likewise, actual gas stations have very little to do with the change in gas prices. Only about five percent of the gas stations in the US are owned and operated by oil companies, meaning they have a relatively marginal effect on the price of gas at the pump.

Individual gas stations often have contracts to sell gas at certain prices, which limits the amount of profit they can gain from a given shipment of gas. As businesses, they want to strike a balance between the cost of buying gas and the price they sell it, but they can’t simply charge too much. If they tried, other stations could under-cut them and the loss in volume would negate their profits.

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