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Black Friday is coming up soon, and a lot of eCommerce companies are doing everything they can to prepare. Elasticsearch has some handy under-the-hood features that can improve how much money your search engine can generate for your site. Whether you’re using Elasticsearch for an eCommerce site or not, it never hurts to know different ways to better tune your search results.

Say a customer comes to your website searching for “gloves.” Your search engine diligently goes off and retrieves every document with the word “gloves” in it. You could easily imagine there would be a multitude of listings. …


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“We need (random marketing or UX project) done. Why don’t we copy how (tech company z) did it?”

It’s a common way to come up with a solution to a problem you’ve never solved before. Just copy how another admirable company solved the problem. There’s no need for data analysis or user research. While this is expedient, it’s not a sound longterm decision.

Copying a piece of someone else’s solution is like running your car on parts from other people’s cars. If your needs are very similar to the company you are copying, then you’ll likely be fine. If they’re not, you’ll solve one set of problems while creating others. Compound this strategy over time, and you’ve ended up creating a bunch of problems you could have avoided had you just done things right the first time. …


TLDR: If you are a web designer who has never listened to sales calls, you likely don’t realize the pain you inflict if you insist that “no one reads the copy.”

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If you are a designer, you’ve probably heard other designers say that people don’t read copy. You may have even read stats that people don’t read copy.

It’s true. Most people don’t read what’s on your website. They may scan, or, they’ll bounce off the page without reading anything. All true stuff. But, remember this:

Your customers are not “most people.”

Think about being in your customers’ shoes. Say you want to buy a B2B tool to make your life easier, but it’s not cheap. First, you have to figure out if the tool is even the right one for the task at hand. Then, you have to convince your coworkers, your boss, and possibly procurement or legal. You might even have to convince your boss’s boss, a security team, or a CIO. …


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Coda Hale gave a speech at GitHub’s CodeConf that really stuck with me. There was one line that stood out, in particular:

“Do you think your solution is working, or do you know it’s working?”

While Coda’s speech was about using data to understand your application’s performance, I saw many applications of this mantra in marketing.

Drinking liquor and guessing about your customers can be fun, but is not necessarily effective.

Marketers often use data for more quantitative aspects of our jobs (KPIs, revenue, ROAS, etc), but what about the qualitative aspects of our work? Ask any designer, copywriter, or social media manager about how many people give them ideas for “what to put on the website” or “a new campaign idea or blog post.” People have all sorts of random ideas that might not always work together. …


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Every once in a while, a technology comes out that radically changes what developers can build for my fellow marketers. We hear about it at a periphery. Until we see the cool case studies though, it doesn’t mean anything to us. It’s just code and repos, which basically translates to “stuff that doesn’t help me meet my KPIs.”

I’m going to highlight a technology that allows marketers and web producers to be more creative and reach more people, IF we’re willing to part with our traditional tools and ways of thinking.

It’s time to lose your head.

Figuratively speaking, of course. It’s time to use headless content management technologies. This approach allows content creators and front end developers to use their own independent languages, tools, and workflows, rather than relying on a standard CMS or eCommerce platform. Content is simply delivered in a machine readable format called JSON. Designers and developers then gain a lot more freedom to use content wherever and whenever it makes sense. …


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Please join me in honoring the memory of Julie Gomoll, a true digital pioneer.

Julie founded Go Media in 1987. It became one of the first major digital agencies in Texas. The web just seemed to run in her veins. Even when companies asked Julie to create mailers, she’d build them a website. One day, I was fortunate enough to see Julie’s portfolio. One page after another, I saw another piece of Austin digital history. Dell. Whole Foods. The City of Austin. Julie helped pin these organizations on the digital map. …


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Ashton Kutcher received an earful when he suggested a series of questions about women in technology. To be fair, his questions did demonstrate a very surface level understanding of the problems women face. It seems like he just doesn’t talk to many.

Kutcher’s response to the outrage was humble and seemed genuine. He wants to host a live Facebook session tomorrow, so I’ve come up with a series of questions that could help:

  1. Although female led companies are often more profitable, investors often overlook them in their “formula for success.” What can we do to better spread this message?
  2. Women represent a bigger growth market than India and China combined. How can we get more women in the investment community, so that we can better tap into this? …


It’s everything I’d not hoped for…and more!

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I have the unfortunate privilege (ailment?) of having Ted Cruz as my Senator. Yes. Ted Cruz, the least popular member of the entire U.S. Senate.

Ted Cruz likely knows he is wildly unpopular, but doesn’t care because Texas Democrats struggle to get enough funding to challenge him. So instead of doing what a responsible Senator would do, Ted Cruz rarely does town halls with constituents.

A lovely friend of mine sent me an invite to one of Ted Cruz’s only town halls — an event with the Concerned Veterans of America. The CVA is perhaps one of the most conservative veterans groups. They are often unapologetically partisan, so it’s no wonder that Cruz would seek this safe space for his town hall. What was the focus? The issues impacting veterans and their families the most. My dad served in the United States Air Force for almost 30 years, and is a disabled vet. Sure. …


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Uber. Justin Caldbeck. Chris Sacca. Dave McClure.

The list of people and organizations in tech and venture capital that have shown hostility to women continues. Many of my male friends are shocked. They had no idea their friends and heroes could be so callous.

Guess how many of my female friends in tech have expressed shock?

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Let the #deleteUber movement teach us here. This wasn’t just bad press — this was an organized product boycott lead by a social media mob. It showed that consumers have values, which they voiced to shape the culture of a multi-billion dollar company.

VCs are not in charge. Technologists are not in charge. Ultimately, consumers are the ones in charge.

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And…wait for it….most …


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So many startup teachers say, “Don’t be afraid of failure.” There are inspirational blogs with quotes by important people. We’re constantly reminded of the “Two (graduates from Institution XYZ) Who Are Disrupting the (blank) Industry.”

By reading it all, you’d think you’d be a failure just for fearing failure at all. So here’s my question, “Is it really that irrational to have some fear that your startup could fail?”

I mean, you hire some people — generally young ones. They work insane hours on a project that burns cash. Customers work hard to promote your product to naysayers. Eventually you raise more money — someone else’s hard earned money. With the help of these people, your company could crush it. Or it could go belly up, and tons of people lose their jobs. …

About

Michelle Greer

Marketing and Comms Lead at Bonsai.io. Formerly at Heroku, Nexmo, and Twitter. Silly aunt to many. Occasional international spy.

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