Category Archives for "News"

CubeSocial and the OpenSSL HeartBleed bug

You have probably heard a lot in the last few days about the so called HeartBleed bug in the OpenSSL routine that is used by many web applications to secure communications. As a CubeSocial user you may be wondering if CubeSocial is impacted by this.

The good news is that CubeSocial does not use OpenSSL to terminate SSL connections. CubeSocial uses a different SSL library which is not susceptible to the HeartBleed vulnerability.

What this means

There should be no need to reset your CubeSocial password, unless you have used the same password on another website that is vulnerable to the HeartBleed bug.  In this case you should reset your CubeSocial password to a unique one that is not used anywhere else.

Entrepreneur Roadshow 2013

pic4There’s another chance to catch our CEO, Linda Cheung, give one of her acclaimed social media talks at next week’s Entrepreneur Roadshow.  Linda will be talking about her start-up journey, how that lead to the launch of CubeSocial, and what inspired her to launch our latest product, HonestyBoxx.

The event takes place on Thursday May 16, at ViewPoint building on Basing View, Basingsgtoke.  More details here: http://yesyoucanevents.com/.

Say Hello to HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx - Earn Money from Your Expertise

With all the other launch activities last week – we didn’t get round to making the announcement here – so let’s put that right…

As a small business providing services to clients, you’ll no doubt have found people contacting you asking for ten or fifteen minutes of your time to give them your expert advice… for free.

At the same time there are a whole host of other people who are put off seeking the advice of professionals by the expectation of high fees and long contracts, often turning to internet forums for guidance instead.

What’s missing is a simple way for people to get expert advice from trusted professionals at a fair price.

Meet HonestyBoxx

HonestyBoxx helps start-ups, small businesses and individuals access affordable expertise from lawyers, accountants, consultants and other services professionals, and helps professionals from across the globe find new clients.

When a small business adds HonestyBoxx to their blog or website they’re telling visitors that they are happy to answer their questions in exchange for a fair fee. By providing an easy way to collect questions and payment from website visitors, HonestyBoxx instantly provides a new source of revenue and a stream of warm leads for larger pieces of work.

HonestyBoxx WidgetWith HonestyBoxx the buyer asks their question and says how much they’d be happy to pay – just like the honesty box payment system you sometimes see at small stores. In exchange, professionals get to demonstrate their expertise and build trust so that when the buyer needs a larger piece of work, they’ll be the first people they think of.

HonestyBoxx CEO Linda Cheung said: “By helping buyers connect with professionals around the globe we’re changing the game for the little guy. Now small businesses, start-ups and individuals anywhere can get the expert advice they need to solve their problems and make informed decisions.

“And, by helping small businesses reach a new market for their expertise we’re providing them with a stream of warm leads and clients at a time when new business is at a premium.”

Duncan Johnson runs digital agency Yodelay. “I think the HonestyBoxx concept is pure genius.

“Small businesses can get instant access to expertise at a price they can afford and the experts are able to make their downtime profitable.

“The simple process of paying for quality information also helps small businesses to value the time of a consultant whilst not breaking their bank account.”

Linda added “The services sector has remained largely unchanged by ecommerce and the internet, but with the current economic climate we believe the time is right for change.

“Services firms have always won new business by demonstrating their expertise. These days the initial hook is provided by websites and blog posts. HonestyBoxx provides the next step so that experts can earn directly from their websites.”

More Information

Who is HonestyBoxx for?

HonestyBoxx is for anyone who provides expert advice or services to others. People like:

  • Lawyers
  • Accountants
  • Financial Advisors
  • Marketing Agencies
  • SEO Experts
  • Social Media Consultants
  • Professional Coaches
  • Advertising Experts
  • Architects
  • Business Consultants
  • Interior Designers
  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Pharmacists
  • IT Consultants
  • Vets
  • Photographers
  • Wedding Planners
  • Beauticians
  • Careers Advisors

And many, many more.

How does HonestyBoxx Work?

We give you a small snippet of code that you can paste into your blog or website. If your website runs on WordPress we have a WordPress plugin too. The HonestyBoxx widget then appears on your website allowing visitors to ask questions and make payments.

More info: http://honestyboxx.com/how-honestyboxx-works/

What does HonestyBoxx Look Like?

We provide two different styles of widget: inline and fly-out. View a live demo of either of the two available widget styles: http://honestyboxx.com/widget/

How much does HonestyBoxx cost?

HonestyBoxx is free to join and set-up. For each answer accepted, we take a small fee of between 12% and 30% of the question value.

Who’s Behind HonestyBoxx?

HonestyBoxx was developed by the team behind the award-winning social CRM, CubeSocial.

Still Got Questions?

Try the FAQ.

2 Valentine treats… with a CubeSocial orange tweak!

2013-02-14 09.37.51Happy Valentine’s to you, and Happy Birthday to us! Are you feeling the love today? We are… and we’re not afraid to show it!

Two years ago today we moved into our office, with our first hire, and explained what we wanted to build and be. What an amazing two years it’s been since then, and it’s all thanks to you! Please consider this a virtual Valentine card from all the team, packed full of affection and appreciation Smile  

2013-02-14 10.24.07You’ve done so much to help shape what we do, and how we’ve grown, and while we can’t share the specifics just yet, it’s thanks to you that we’re about to enter an exciting new evolution. How? Our conversations, your feedback, our working together… have highlighted something that’s missing for professionals. We’re busy building something for you to demonstrate and earn money from your expertise, to grow your business. A Valentine treat in the making. All will be revealed soon!

Apologies to those who think this blog post too gushing, or who are feeling a bit bah-hambug this Valentine’s Day. Please be our Valentine, join us in celebrating our birthday, and feel the love!

2013-02-14 09.16.322013-02-14 09.07.22PS. These birthday treats arrived yesterday, the book via a tweet from @dordje, the card via @AjeetMinhasGTB. Thanks David and Ajeet – how lovely, and appropriate that they were both via social media Smile

5 LinkedIn’s most viewed profiles for 2012 – spam or smart?

20130208 LI top 1pc emailLast Friday I received this congratulatory email from LinkedIn. I was initially flattered to be in the top percentile, then focused in on the reason behind the mailing – LinkedIn had “reached a new milestone: 200 million members”. Having done the maths, I shared a screenshot on Twitter and Facebook with the comment “Email from LinkedIn… Should I be flattered, or frightened?” The response was immediate and wide-ranging – a wonderful mixture of sincerity, skepticism and sarcasm!

It seems that there have been emails for 1%, 5% and 10%. People have been questioning the validity of the percentages attributed, and how special being one of 2 to 20 million really is. Spam? Or smart marketing?

Many have shared their top percentage on social media using the pre-typed messages provided alongside LinkedIn’s Senior Vice President of Products & User Experience’s letter (reached via “Read More” on the congratulations email)

20130208 LI top 1pc read more

and even when the congratulations haven’t been received in a sincere way, they have generated social media shares, competition and conversation

image

 

 

 

image

imageimage

 

 

Of course LinkedIn has a feature, only available to Premium accounts, which enables those paid members to see who has recently viewed their profile. Members with Basic accounts are frequently sends teasers to “Upgrade… to see the full list”.

By congratulating the most viewed, this campaign has generated reaction (be it pride, envy, or cynicism) and discussion about what it means to be in those top percentiles… highlighting the paid-for feature, and potentially increasing curiosity and conversions. I wonder if LinkedIn will reveal how successful this campaign ends up being in terms of upgrades. 20 million emails could suggest spam, but I’m going with smart.

Is Your Website Optimised for Smartphones and Tablets?

According to the latest industry data 13% of UK web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. More remarkable is the growth rate – that figure is up 70% from 12 months ago.

If you plan to do business internationally, some of the statistics from the emerging economies are astonishing. In India for instance, 53% of web traffic comes from mobile!

For us at CubeSocial, our data shows that around 25-30% of visitors regularly access cubesocial.com from mobile devices.

Something we’ve been planning to do for a while is update our website to detect the type of device you’re using and deliver an optimised experience, whatever the screen size. (The technical term for this is responsive design).

The good news is that our new, improved, responsive design is now live!

Take our main products page for instance, if you’re on a widescreen desktop or laptop, you get something like this:

image

Browsing from an iPad in portrait mode, you’ll see this:

image

On a smartphone, you’ll see this:

image

Pretty neat, huh? Whatever device you use, you get a layout that works for you. No need to zoom in on tiny text, or try (and endlessly fail!?) to click on miniscule links.

But what’s really appealing to us about responsive design are the social media and SEO benefits…

The old way of doing mobile web sites was to have a separate site, with a dedicated mobile layout. The problem with this is that there are different URLs for the same content on different devices.  This means two things:

  • SEO becomes twice as hard because you need to optimise for two different URLs.
  • If you are sharing links in social media that don’t work well in mobile devices, then you have a problem. (Because most people’s social media use takes place on mobile devices).

Have you had a look recently what your website looks like on a smartphone? If you’d like some advice or help optimising your website for mobile devices, get in touch.

Digital Disruption in Financial Services

Interesting new report from Deloitte called “Digital Disruption – Short Fuse, Big Bang”. The report looks at how digital technologies will disrupt industries over the coming years.  This chart caught my eye.

Six industries were singled out as the ones to expect a short fuse, big bang:

  • IT and Media
  • Finance
  • Retail
  • Professional Services
  • Arts and Recreation
  • Real Estate

Deloitte write:  Digital innovations are transforming the economic landscape far more profoundly than any other big shifts, such as deregulation, oil shocks or mining booms and the way companies operate and engage with their customers is already significantly different to how it was only a few years ago.

My copy is downloading at the moment. You can get yours here.

Safely Sharing Access to Your Twitter Account

With all the excitement about our recent redesign, we haven’t had the chance to explain some of the other new features we added to CubeSocial in the latest update. Time to fix that…

Let’s say you’re a marketing manager and you want to enable other people in your team to tweet from your company Twitter account. Or perhaps you have a personal Twitter account and you’d like your assistant to be able to Tweet from your account from time to time.

Until now the only option was to share your Twitter password around your team and trust them with full access to your account.

Delegate Access to Your Twitter Account

Now when you go to your CubeSocial Networks and Services page, you can click on the Actions button to delegate access to one of your colleagues.

image

Choose who you want to delegate access to and assign an access level. That’s right, not only do you no longer need to share passwords, you also can restrict access and, for instance, keep your private messages truly private.

image

Add as Many Twitter Accounts as You Want

The other change you’ll see on your Networks and Services page, is the Add New button on the top-right. If you have multiple Twitter accounts for your company, just keep on adding as many as you like.

image

We hope you find these new features useful. Let us know your thoughts below. Happy Tweeting!

5 How #youdrive ratings and advertising

imageShortly after spotting David Cameron’s first tweet on Saturday, I was intrigued to see #YOUDRIVE trending as a promoted hashtag. A few clicks later, I was being encouraged to “take part in a social media first”.

The Mercedes campaign featured three adverts to introduce the new A-Class to young professionals. The premise was a cat and mouse chase – UK rapper Kano was trying to get to a secret gig that the authorities were keen to close down, and viewers could vote via Twitter to steer the action real-time.

image

Viewers were given two opportunities to select outcomes during two ad breaks in Saturday’s The X Factor. The finale was shown during the Sunday night show – it recapped the first two episodes before the final reveal.

imageIn contrast to the live online reaction to David Cameron joining Twitter, the initial response to #youdrive seemed incredibly positive, especially with Mercedes’ target audience.

What particularly caught my eye were the tweets preferring the adverts over the programme that they were being aired in: “Only want to watch #youdrive advert tonight. Xfactor’s boring #switch”… “Hurry up, I just wanna see the adverts #youdrive”…

A year or two back, I rarely watched any entertainment programmes live. I would record and fast forward through the adverts. Now, some programmes just aren’t the same if I miss the live hashtag insights and conversations.

As with email, then mobile phones, Twitter is increasingly just one more way for us to talk. The popularity of hashtags such as #bbcqt (BBC Question Time), #scd (Strictly Come Dancing) and #xfactor make it clear that social media has already changed our viewing habits. How much will social media and campaigns such as #youdrive change how advertising evolves?

1 2 3 5