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Three Reasons You Need a SlideShare Account


Whether you’re looking for eye-catching infographics or informative smart grid presentations, odds are if you’ve Googled it the lion’s share of the results came from SlideShare.

Never heard of it? Add it to bookmarks, it’s your new best friend.

SlideShare, in essence, is a massive global community and one of the largest repositories for presentations on the Web.

Reasons to like this dynamic content community abound, but for the sake of brevity we’ve listed some no-brainers to show why SlideShare’s worth its weight in PowerPoints.

Reason 1: Impressive Global Reach and Community Engagement

While SlideShare is great place to find helpful how-tos and exceptional thought leadership, there’s more than meets the eye.

Try these on for size: According to recent stats published by, SlideShare gets about 500 percent more site traffic from business owners than LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube combined.

Equally impressive, the community is ranked as one of the top 120 most-visited websites globally and, according to its site, sees an average of 60 million unique visitors every month.

You’re talking millions of global users, tuned in and ready to engage with your brand, your content and your services. Oh and did we mention it’s free to join?

Reason 2: Extensive Search and Site Traffic Generator

All SlideShare presentations are public and highly searchable, which can significantly improve the chances your content will be found through organic search.

To maximize this exposure, some of the best efforts can be including links to your website within your presentation and help drive visitors to your respective site.

Better yet, adding specific calls to action and direct links to specific corporate pages – say your services sections – can ensure new visitors get to the most important content first and, hopefully, drive some new leads in the process.

Reason 3: Exciting Insights and Influencer Portal

While there are a number of ways to market your content and drive traffic, global or not, one of the often over-looked advantages of SlideShare is its research potential.

You have access to global presentations, findings and insights from across the globe. Streamlining your search and helping you find the stats, sources and new ideas in one easy-to-navigate community.

Like LinkedIn, SlideShare also has a host of industry experts and includes presentations from recent conferences, giving you unfettered access to some of the best and brightest – without the expensive plane tickets.

What’s not to like?

Check out some of the most-popular presentations and get more inspiration through The SlideShare Blog.

Produce by: Gretchen Fitzgibbons

Dos and Don’ts of SEO (Startup Edition)


Tricks to Keep Search Simple and Still Get Results

The process of marketing your emerging brand can be fraught with uncertainty, especially without an effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategy in place.

The importance of an SEO strategy, and ranking well in organic search results, can’t be overstated. For instance, roughly half of all online website visits stem from organic searches, half of which were earned by achieving a #1 ranking.

To get you started, we’ve come up with a few dead-simple SEO dos and don’ts to take the guesswork out of your search strategy.


DO: Make your content friendly
One of the major challenges when implementing an SEO strategy is creating content that's both user and search engine friendly. Placing keywords within well-written and engaging content, however, helps bridge the gap.

While textual content is vital to the success of your website, images, videos and infographics can enhance that content, as well. In particular, videos can attract nearly 300% more traffic to your website than simply text focused content.

Maintaining a blog on your website is also a simple way to gain, and maintain, an engaged audience. For instance, developing weekly blog entries focusing on keywords relevant to your brand is a good way to keep your content fresh for viewers and search engines.

DO: Maintain your site health
Content might be king when it comes to SEO, but a healthy website is needed to make that content accessible. Ensuring your site loads quickly and doesn’t have major issues, like broken links, will increase your credibility with search engines and visitors.

By paying close attention to your website’s search health and on-going maintenance, your efforts (and investment) in content creation won’t go unnoticed.

DON’T: Get too graphic
Developing a website laden with complex graphics, videos and Flash, might be tempting, but it should be avoided.

It's important to keep in mind that search engines regularly crawl webpages and easily understand text copy, so while viewers may find your site attractive search engines may have trouble understanding it. For example, images are difficult for crawlers to read, so the proper formatting and inclusion of alt text to describe images is necessary to draw more viewers to your page.

Without significant text on the site, search engines may not rank your site well, decreasing the number of viewers your page or site might receive.


DO: Think like a customer
The success of your SEO strategy largely depends on identifying keywords to target in search results. While it might not be the most exciting part of building your brand, taking the time to research keywords will pay long-term dividends.

You can begin your search by thinking like a potential customer. Asking yourself what terms you’d look up related to your business and what motivates your search for those terms.

Once you have keywords in mind, use tools like Google’s Keyword Planner tool to pinpoint the ideal keywords searched most frequently that will yield the best results for your page. Ensuring that your keywords aren’t too general means that your website will rank well in organic search results relevant to your target audiences instead of struggling against much larger sites.

Additionally, make sure to regularly publish fresh content to pages, in order to increase the number of keywords available and help drive more visits to your site.

DON'T: Stuff your site
After your keywords are identified, you can incorporate them into your website’s content. However, be weary of keyword stuffing.

As it turns out, search sites aren’t big fans of this practice and your website can be penalized for using the same keywords repeatedly in a way that appears to be cheating the system.

Instead of stuffing your page, simply use keywords in page titles, heading tags and strategically within page content to reap the benefits of your earlier research.


DO: Meet prospects on their own terms
Taking the time to develop a strong social media presence can bolster credibility and engagement with your growing brand. It is not, however, a magic bullet.

As a startup without much of a following, the best way to gain an audience is to seek out your customers who are most active online. By posting on Twitter, LinkedIn groups and/or relevant trade blogs, you can promote interesting discussions and internal thought leadership, while driving awareness of, and interest in, your startup. It's subtle and can help build authentic relationships with prospective customers and partners.

DON'T: Neglect your networks
While developing a strong social media plan requires considerable investment, it’s an important step that shouldn’t be ignored. Bing and Google have acknowledged that social signals play a growing role in search rankings and a recent study has shown that consumers who are active on a company’s social media site contribute 5.6 percent more revenue than inactive consumers.

By using free management tools such as Hootsuite and carving out about 30 minutes to an hour a day, you can make regular engagement more of a routine and start to see quality growth on your channels.


DO: Plan well and give it time
Investing in an SEO strategy is more important now than ever before. With more than 10.3 billion Google searches every month and businesses spending nearly 80 percent of their time researching solutions to problems online, your website could miss the eyes of potential customers if it isn’t optimized.

Fortunately, even small changes can have dramatic results and help drive better ROI. For example, a recent report shared by Yahoo! showed blogging alone can increase brands' site leads by up to 67 percent.

Yes, initial implementation may take a few iterations, but if executed properly and given time to germinate, effective search planning can be a serious boon to your growing brand.

Produced by: Nick Bristol

Smart Grid Savings Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Smart Grid Savings Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

Highlights from SGCC’s Dead Simple Consumer Education Program.

What’s a major obstacle to wider smart grid adoption? Consumer education. Yes, there’s ample information available online, but few programs break smart grid technology down into plain English.

Enter the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) and their no-nonsense educational site: WhatIsSmartGrid.Org. The site not only serves up Smart Grid 101 and local energy resources, but showcases real-world success stories and benefits illustrated through a series of interactive graphics.

Throughout its arsenal of educational tools, the SGCC always goes back to the basics. Case in point this oft-cited definition of the modern smart grid, saying:

“The smart grid is the evolution of our current electrical grid, using new technology to optimize the conservation and delivery of power.”

The definition (like the site) is purposefully simplified, hoping to reach the over 50% of U.S. consumers who claim they've never heard of the smart grid.

Their mission clear, SGCC is setting out to educate the public, using the new site to make energy efficiency interesting and easy to adopt through options like their e-learning center or drop-down menus for state-wide smart grid programs.

To make the data more real and strike a chord with consumers, SGCC also channels more complicated energy projections into these memorable sound bites:

  • By 2030, the smart grid promises to improve the current system by 9%, saving roughly 400 billion kilowatt-hours each year in the U.S.
  • The potential efficiency improvements could save enough energy to air-condition 378,000,000 homes.
  • This energy savings generated could also power the entire city of Vegas, 207 times over.

The site’s central focus is providing consumers with a single resource to find and share information, as well as staying current on efficiency programs in their regions.

This approach is a good reminder to marketers, startups and smart grid advocates of the power of simplicity in messaging. SGCC’s goal: make the smart grid approachable. Their impact: promoting every-day adoption and spurring consumer demand for more smart grid initiatives in their area.

Find out more on the SGCC’s new site and scroll down their page to find smart grid management programs in your state.

By Gretchen Fitzgibbons

How Nest Labs, Uber & View Cleaned Up in 2013

How Nest Labs, Uber & View Cleaned Up in 2013

And what it means for cleantech investing prospects in 2014.

You could say cleantech startups started 2014 off with a bang – a big one – as Google shelled out $3.2 billion in cash for home automation company, Nest Labs. This deal isn’t just big news for Nest, it’s big news for home efficiency and green app companies who see it as the start of more promising investment in the New Year.

To see what lies ahead in 2014, we looked back at three cleantech companies who won big in 2013.

Nest Labs: Former Apple Innovator, Tony Fadel serves as CEO of the home automation company, known mainly for their eco-smart thermostats and smoke alarms. Nest’s programmable thermostats use auto-scheduling technology to learn users’ daily habits to modulate heating and cooling, while maximizing energy efficiency. The company secured over $80 million in investments in 2013 before striking startup gold with their recent acquisition by the guys at Google.

View: The Silicon Valley startup manufactures “smart windows,” capable of absorbing varying amounts of light to provide energy efficient thermal management. In early January 2014, View raised $100 million from private equity firm, Madrone Capital Partners (associated with the Walton family), in order to boost production of its patented View Dynamic Glass technology. What piqued investors’ interests? The new technology senses incoming light to automatically transition between four different tints, which reduce heat and glare. Over the past year, View has installed its smart windows into roughly 50 locations across North America including colleges, hospitals, and hotels.

Uber: The car-sharing mobile app, which allows users to hail rides from nearby drivers, secured $258 million in investments in 2013. The San Francisco startup has sparked controversy from legislators and taxi-drivers regarding its low-fares. However, last September the California Public Utilities Commission unanimously approved ridesharing services, marking a milestone in Uber’s development.

With the recent influx of green innovations (and new funding), 2014 is shaping up to be a breakthrough year for cleantech.

Produced by Remi Dalton

Sustainable data storage? The answer is within.

Sustainable data storage? The answer is within.Primary tabs

In 2011, we hit almost two trillion gigabytes of digital data and some say we’ll double that again next year.

Keeping all that information requires 500,000 data storage centers, chewing through 30 billion watts of electricity a year. It’s little wonder, then, that the information and communications industries produce as much CO2 as aviation. At about $300,000 per month, big storage centers are also expensive to run.

More efficient options would make a lot of environmental sense and business dollars. Enter George Church of Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Recognizing the masses of detailed information stored in our genes, his team is investigating how to harness that capacity for digital archiving.

They’ve already successfully encoded 70 million copies of Church’s book into a minute strand of DNA. Using similar techniques, they say we could download the entire Internet into just 4 grams of the stuff.

It’s an approach that would have massive energy implications because DNA doesn’t need to be plugged in to store information. Stable and sturdy, it’s able to survive 100s of thousands of years under any earthly conditions. That means no heating or cooling is required. Imagine if we could back up all the world’s data into a vial tomorrow. We may never have to build another storage center.

Admittedly, the process needs to be streamlined before it would be viable. Encoding Church’s book was an intensive process. They first digitized it into binary 1s and 0s then converted it into the genomic language of A, T, C and G. Finally, that had to be rendered into a 3D double helix. Reading the books requires a painstaking reversal of the process.

But if we can design purpose-built DNA writing and reading technologies, this could be a great way to save information and the planet.

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