I have been working part time in the UK for the past eight months, after a gap of some 15 years whilst living abroad. Finding work was a bit of a challenge, due to my age. There are a few companies that employ pensioners, however I was seeking an active outdoor job having formally been a sailing Instructor. I was interviewed for a water-sports vacancy, which would have been ideal but heard nothing and then I saw an advert for Go Ape Instructors in Sherwood Forest. I love teaching and sharing knowledge and being a former adventure racer saw the possibilities. After attending a half-day group interview, I was selected for training. I had some concerns as the supervisors were younger than me and fellow trainees might be fitter but as it turned out, my knowledge, adaptability and work ethics resulted in and employment offer..
Some fellow instructors did not know quite what to make of me and would step in and offer to help to assist me and I would stand aside, but as time went on I realised I was more than their equal in some areas and even in the physically activity of climbing zip lines I could hold my own.
I have always been the type of person who is reliable and on time and will look for jobs to do rather than stand around doing nothing. Looking after customers safety on the treetops course is paramount and on many occasions customers need encouragement to complete some challenges on the course. One thing I am good at is pushing people to their limits. Throughout the season, I helped many people overcome their fear of heights, with only one or two not being able to overcome their fears.
I ended up working a number of extra days as a result of people missing shifts, this was great for me. The company distribute a simple spreadsheet which show the start times or days that instructors are required to work, but often people forget to check with the result that those on shift have to work harder to cover the shortfall. This to me is a new phenomenon and I cannot remember this occurring in the past. When working work should come first, otherwise how else can you pay your way in life.
I will be working weekend only for the next month finally ending my contract on the first weekend in December and I hope that I will be invited back for a new contract next year.
Rather than sitting around during the winter, I am turning my attention back to my online business, which involves selling Diet Coffee. The product is excellent for people who love coffee and want to lose weight, just by replacing the coffee they current drink with another brand. ! have sold over 100 boxes since July.
is the only system that does not violate good email practices
Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost. (Forrester Research)
(Or, how to build an effective email auto responder campaign primarily attracting your outside leads via capture pages, to join through you in Markethive’s Social Network. Then we, as a team, continue to turn your leads into raving advocates and your best friends. Remember, Markethive is your partner)
What we are not and never will be
Let me explain what the traditional nurturing systems do and how we do not utilize their spying bad email practices. First, let me illustrate how traditional email nurturing works. A typical corporate inbound marketing email system uses hidden image pixels within their email that reports back to the server, the IP address, email address, geo location and when that email is opened and how many times it is opened and the dates and times it is opened.
Now what Lead Nurturing is really all about according to Markethive
Selling in today’s market isn’t for the timid or inexperienced marketer. Today’s prospects are researching according to their needs and on their terms, and they expect treatment accordingly and with respect. They are drawn towards companies and services that are personalized, friendly and timely. As marketers we must be ready to meet each prospective customer on their terms their way.
How can you make sure you are sharing the right information at the right time, and getting it to the right person? Markethive’s lead systems automate this process for you. As an entrepreneur seeking to attract likeminded entrepreneurs, Markethive’s Alpha Workshop systems, gently coach your leads (your children) through a learning and awareness program. This program rewards your “leads” (your children) to expand their profiles (IE: Phone numbers, Skype address, multiple Social Networks, keeping the email current, etc.) This process wields you to your leads, prospects (now you know why we call them children) for life.
Unlike the “other” traditional vertical systems, Markethive’s workshops, tools, and social networks, develop your prospects into well educated, integrated members of your own social network within the Markethive overall system.
When your “campaigns” bring in “leads” at the core of your custom Markethive auto responders, should always include an invite into the Markethive environment via your automatically “dripping” relevant messages to your leads over time.
The Markethive system can address various products of interest, pain points, common objections during the sales cycle, and more, depending upon your targets and goals, the number of campaigns you build the crossover of these campaigns and your eventual goal being to turn prospects into subscribers, subscribers into customers and those customers into lifelong friends.
With Markethive’s campaign systems, your system’s customers are placed on a track based on what we know about them. You’re learning more about your customers every day — as they learn more about you — so the nurturing process is a two pronged arena, both from your customized systems and the Markethive Social Network. Eventually all your leads become associated with you becoming your “children” or family for life, obviously you becoming the “parent”.
Stop wasting time.
If you engage a “child “lead too early, you have to spend a lot of time explaining what your solution does and pitching the value. Nurturing has the power to significantly speed up your connected cycle by taking care of some of that education before a lead even becomes active within the Markethive Network. It’s effective for both those actively evaluating your brand, and those who aren’t quite there yet — just make sure you use data to deliver the right message.
Markethive sees to it your leads are raised up effectively preparing them to embrace working with you and appreciating the power of the Markethive system and the incredible ease of the learning venture.
No longer deal with Dormant Leads
Today we are strapped for time and resources. If you’re balancing multiple priorities and doing everything manually, it’s easy to go too long without checking up on your leads. Markethive fills the gap with our constant offering and rewards for our automated and live marketing workshops. These workshops address all the power of the Markethive platform, turning your "lead“" (children” into virtual marketing warriors.
When you add your own flavor to this process, your “children” become loyal lifetime clients, friends and associates for life.
So it makes sense to add the invite to join your Markethive family to all your autoresponder campaigns with Markethive capture pages and widgets.
Building your own Campaigns to nurture your array of leads
Markethive’s core focus is building your portfolio of Markethive “children” leads into powerful allies joining you to improve your overall marketing effectiveness and reach.
Depending on the type of capture lead you develop; here are a few examples to build your capture page leads into members of your business, team, agenda, etc.
Welcome emails in response to a particular offer are highly anticipated, frequently opened, and simple to automate. By turning your welcome emails into a nurturing campaign, you can begin to establish a lasting relationship. In the initial email, remember to remind them why they converted, confirm their opt-in, and let them know what to expect from your program. Then, start providing them with light, educational content to build awareness and keep them interested. Be sure to keep it targeted based on the offer they converted on and especially invite them to join Markethive as your special member offering them the many incentives Markethive offers. Invite them to your Markethive blogs and Groups to join and experience the power and family of the Markethive experience.
The top-of-mind drip is designed to engage with your leads at regular intervals, preventing leads from forgetting about your company and getting swooped up by your competitors. This drip takes place over a longer period of time, providing sales with consistent touch points, and uses content primarily focused on value to the prospect. For early-stage leads, make sure to choose the right content. Start engaging them with interesting Markethive blog posts, helpful third-party content, and other content around related topics, and watch for key activities that indicate they are interested in learning more about your actual offering. Engaging in your blogs or joining your groups signals your leads are ready to upgrade to the culture of the Entrepreneur and join you in Markethive as a premium lead (we call them childen).
Have an old list on Aweber or another email service? Here is an idea. Not all of your prospects will make it through this process. But by consistently inviting your lead databases on the other email systems, to engage in your Markethive blogs, join your Markethive groups or come subscribe and experience the difference with the first Market Network called Markethive. Markethive’s workshops make your leads become family. And that makes for a loyalty program that lasts a lifetime.
As prospects progress through the sales process and begin to seek out more product-focused content, you’ll want to make sure they’re getting the right product information from your series of auto responders, instead of a competitor or biased third party. Focus on your prospects’ pain points, how your product can address them, and the key features and benefits that will help along the way. For this type of drip, you’ll want to invite them to Markethive Groups regarding the case studies, customer testimonials, data sheets, and more in-depth white papers found there. Be sure you have visibility into all touchpoints with your customers so that you can tailor your conversations based on activity history. Remember; produce auto responders that engage your leads to continue the reading via your Markethive blogs (In other words, do not tell the whole story in your email). This is where you will be able to convert many of your leads into raving maniacs!
This type of campaign focuses on differentiating your product or service from your competitors by highlighting the advantages of using your product, as well as the disadvantages of not using it (note: you’ll want to refrain from harping on the disadvantages of your competitors’ products, since this can come off as distasteful). Focus your content on the priorities of your prospects and the competitors that come up in deals with your company. A general differentiator campaign can be effective, but if you know that a customer is currently using or evaluating a particular competitor, you can really position your product to win. Invite them to a special Group that is being set up to evaluate the different products and reporting within that Markethive Group. Access to the Groups does require Markethive (free) subscription and this is exactly what you want with all your contacts. To work within the Market Network of Markehive.
Industry Expertise Drips
As prospects move closer to the middle of the funnel (register for a Markethive account), it becomes important to reinforce that your company is the right choice. Pass on any helpful press releases, industry reports, or high-traffic content as part of this drip to establish your company’s authority. For example, if your company was recently covered by an analyst report, be sure to share it with your prospects and put your own spin on the review. Make sure all relevant information is available in Markethive Blogs and Groups.
As your prospects near the purchase stage of the sales funnel, a well-timed promotion or special discount can be just the catalyst they need. (Markethive has numerous services to offer for this) Consider offering special pricing or additional features based on their individual needs, especially if you’re working with bigger accounts where closing the deal is critical to growing your business. This also works well for companies that use a free trial model. The right offer near the end of the trial can help encourage customers to commit. (Like I keep saying, with Markethive’s Hive Portals and other powerful services for free, building a huge organization of customers, clients, friends and advocates, is real easy)
Onboarding a new client will always be a high-touch and manual process, and rightly so. However, nurturing campaigns allow you to automate some of the more repetitive tasks involved in onboarding, like providing introductory training resources, a list of next steps after close, timelines for product kickoffs, and frequently asked questions. These helpful resources can help your new clients get started on their own, without having to wait on a customer service rep for assistance.
The upsell (or cross-sell) campaign is designed to capitalize on your existing clients. By providing your clients with information and incentives to expand the list of products they are using, you can drive more revenue with little effort. Just be sure to focus your message around the benefits of the new offering, and remember to use a tone that feels friendly and approachable to your customers.
Renewal nurtures can be a convenient way to remind your existing customers that it is time to renew their contracts. This drip can be triggered a month (or more) before the renewal date, send multiple reminder emails over a specified period of time, and notify the assigned account manager if no action takes place. This makes it far less likely that your clients will miss the renewals on their contracts, and takes the tedium out of the process for your service reps.
How Lead Nurturing Usually Works
The benefits of implementing a lead nurturing program are pretty self-explanatory, but how does nurturing actually work? Let’s take a look at some of the mechanics behind nurturing to see the steps involved in setting up a successful nurturing program.
1. Choose the type of campaign you would like to run. As discussed in the previous chapter, there are several different types of programs you can run based on what you want to accomplish. Are you hoping to revive inactive leads? Remind your current clients that renewals are fast approaching? Your next steps will hinge on this initial decision.
2. Choose the list you would like to nurture. Lists and segmentations are the reason that drip emails can be so highly targeted. If you want to nurture a specific segment of your database, sort these prospects or clients onto the same list. Need some inspiration to get your wheels turning? Try segmenting by specific locations, certain product segments, new users, or leads who have been cold for longer than six months. You can use logic rules to filter your prospects accordingly; this will also ensure any new prospects entering your database are evaluated and added to the campaign automatically.
3. Build up your flow and decide on your content.
Once you’ve decided which list to target with your campaign, you’re ready to develop your drip campaign and choose your content. There are several items to consider here:
• How often will you be sending drip emails to this list? This will depend on the type of campaign you’re running. If you have a long sales cycle and are targeting a list of inactive leads, consider spacing emails further apart. Other emails, like training emails or time-sensitive renewals, might be spaced closer together. As a general rule of thumb, we recommend sending emails between six and 30 days apart (to prevent sending more than one email in one week, or going more than a month between touch points).
• How complex do you want your drip campaigns to be? Your nurturing tracks can be as simple or as complicated as you want — it all depends on the drip logic that you create. Nurturing campaigns can be set up linearly, where prospects will progress through them in straight lines, offering different action points to different capture pages, groups, blogs, profile page to eventually bring them all into the social environment of Markethive where the ultimate nurturing occurs.
• Don’t forget Markethive. With capture widgets that can be embedded into blogs, capture pages, landing pages, etc. any auto responder can easily branch but should always lead to your leads (that are not Markethive Members) to become Markethive Members, where the extreme nurturing takes place.
• What will trigger each prospect to move to the next stage of the drip program? Lead nurturing is a type of trigger-based marketing, a technique that allows marketers to deliver highly relevant messaging based on a prospect’s response or reaction to an offer. Marketers can use many differing incentives to pull from your flat leads list (limited to a name, email), whether in Markethive, Aweber, Get Response, Mail Chimp, etc. to come into the extreme nurture environment of Markethive.
Markethive the ultimate Lead Nurturing environment:
You invite a list of customers to register for an upcoming webinar. Those who register are thanked and sent a related blog post. Those who do not open their email or respond are undetected. Markethive uses only good email practices. Put spying agents into an email to determine if it gets opened goes against our privacy policies and good email practices.
A prospect on an early-stage education nurture accesses your latest e-book offer, views several key pages on your Markethive blog, or registers into your Markethive capture page to view a video. Their value shoots up quickly as they finally enter into the Markethive environment! Email drips should always include invites to join Markethive Membership. You get the upgrade notification, and quickly connect with her, seeing her activity history so you understand exactly what she’s interested in.
Markethive invented Inbound Marketing. We did this back in the 1990s with a company called Veretekk. Our primary drive was we found spam, telemarketer calls and email violation (bad email practices) wrong, distasteful and not effective. Back then the standard procedure was to buy a database, spam them, cold call them and beat them over the head. This did not work, violated my “Do Good” policies in general.
In building the first Inbound Marketing, I focused on attracting traffic and offering them valuable services for free in return for their contact information. Once subscribed to a traffic portal we nurtured them to subscribe to the “whole enchilada” the Veretekk membership, where we trained and empowered them and most upgraded there to become paying subscribers and advocating zealots.
That was 20 years ago. A lot has evolved, but the underlying principles of integrity and good practices still remains foundational to Markethive.
Thus we built the Inbound Marketing platform (Markethive) to always result in the “lead, prospect” to ultimately enter into the Markethive community where true nurturing can occur in the social environment. We offer this alternative so we can avoid utilizing email sniffing techniques that in the opinion of email security companies like SORBs and IronPort are violations of privacy and considered bad email practices.
How does an email sniffer work? When an email is sent it will have a 1 pixel coded image that alerts a script on the mother server when it displays. All image displays draw upon the server and live a log footprint, IP address, date stamp as well as other information transferred that is found in that image name string.
This is akin to spying and is why email clients like Gmail default your email to NOT display images. The only thing an email sender should tract in an email is its deliverability or if it bounced and why. (ie: Spam, Mail Box Full. No such client “server to server codes”). And we do report that data in our system.
This is an example tracking image link:
Enough said? Markethive offers Good Practices and a better Lead Nurturing environment and solution. There are no shortcuts with Markethive. We always do it right.
At one point the decision or revelation became the foundation of the Markethive blogging system. Markethive would make WordPress better.
Let me explain. At one time we considered creating a blog software solution, (Blog Press) with templates that would compete with WordPress. I know, stupid. But at the time, there were many who thought it was a good idea.
The argument went like this, “Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, etc.” offer others options so we should too. OK, I said, but then the list of competitors grew from WordPress to a much larger list, and not only did it make us another “ME TOO” company instead of an innovative cutting edge customer centric juggernaut.
I made the decision to “not” jump in as yet another standalone (CMS) blog platform like Word Press, but rather to create a powerful system to make Word Press and other CMS far more manageable, with the goal to make them better. Particularly functioning on making the world heavy weight Word Press even better by enhancing the WP platform with a supporting blog platform so multiple content could be constructed with partner contributors, so we could build a Broadcasting system utilizing literaly millions of members social networks, so we could build massive WordPress sites by many members in collaboration producing powerful SEO campaigns.
The whole idea has manifested as one of the most powerful blog collaboration Inbound Marketing systems ever devised, and that is Markethive.
Our roll being to fuse a powerful vertical targeted social network of Entrepreneurs, thereby making the Word Press and other CMS system powerful by the very spirit of the Rise of the Entrepreneur!
The following lists have become our goal to support the top contenders with plugins, widgets and collaborative power and function.
But the video tells it all.
Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.
There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:
Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.
What features you’ll need.
The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer-friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.
The size of the software’s community.
If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.
The age of the software.
The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.
If you are planning on extending the blog.
If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.
The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.
Here is the list of the top 10 blogging CMS solutions:
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WordPress is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.
The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.
WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.
If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.
Alexa Rank (2,497)-17
Drupal isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.
Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.
Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.
Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing, Spread Firefox, The Onion, and Ubuntu and others.
Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.
Alexa Rank (2,689)-570
Joomla is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here).
Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions.
Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.
Alexa Rank (12,422)-2,466
ExpressionEngine is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.
You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.
ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download the core version of EE.
Alexa Rank (26,959)+3,284
Liferay Portal is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java and distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It allows users to set up features common to websites. It is fundamentally constructed of functional units called portlets. Liferay is sometimes described as a content management framework or a web application framework. It comes with certain portlets preinstalled. These comprise the core functionality of the portal system.
The reasons to use Liferay Portal for your website are simple: it provides a robust platform to serve your site to all clients, be they desktop, mobile, or anything in between; it provides all the standard applications you need to run on your site; and it provides an easy to use development framework for new applications or customization. In addition to this, Liferay Portal is developed using an open source methodology, by people from around the world. The code base is solid, and has been proved to be reliable and stable in mission critical deployments in diverse industries.
Alexa Rank (32,058)-238
DotNetNuke is an open source platform for building web sites based on Microsoft .NET technology. It is written in VB.NET and distributed under both a Community Edition BSD-style license and a commercial proprietary license. The Community Edition is a popular web content management (WCM) system and application development framework for ASP.NET, with over 6 million downloads and 600,000 production web sites as of October 2010. More than 8,000 DotNetNuke apps are available for purchase on Snowcovered.com. DotNetNuke.com has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.
Distinguishes between community (common features) and enterprise (full set of features) editions.
Various modules, and data providers.
Provides language packs for about 60 languages.
Customizable through skins and templates.
Alexa Rank (32,333)+1482
As with Joomla, modx officially supports only MySQL database.
Not just CMS but a PHP framework for Web.
Supports PHP 4.3.11 and above.
Complete control of all metadata and URL structure for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Unlimited hierarchical page depth.
Can create custom fields and widgets for templates.
Role-based permissions for the Manager.
Ability to customize the Manager on a per-deployment basis.
Ecommerce integration via Foxy Cart.
Extensions: 622, also known as add-ons.
Alexa Rank (33,631)-292
Concrete5 is an open source CMS started in 2003 as a rapid-design approach to building the now-defunct LewisAndClark200.org, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Concrete5 is developed in PHP and is distributed under MIT software license.
Concrete5 features in-context editing (the ability to edit website content directly on the page, rather than in an administrative interface or using web editor software). Editable areas are defined in concrete5 templates which allow editors to insert 'blocks' of content. These can contain simple content (text and images) or have more complex functionality, for example image slideshows, comments systems, lists of files, maps etc. Further addons can be installed from the concrete5 Marketplace to extend the range of blocks available for insertion. Websites running concrete5 can be connected to the concrete5 website, allowing automatic upgrading of the core software and of any addons downloaded or purchased from the Marketplace.
Alexa Rank (36,110)-8,334
TYPO3 is a free and open source CMS released under the GNU General Public License oriented to small to mid size enterprise-class users. TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. A graphical mapping tool for creating templates is included, an alternative page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages than TYPO3's standard templating, while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.
Delivered with a base set of interfaces, functions and modules, TYPO3's functionality spectrum is implemented by extensions. More than 5000 extensions are currently available for TYPO3 for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.
Alexa Rank (36,854)+2,483
Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web apps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology. John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005.
Alexa Rank (80,628)-14,427
b2evolution is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).
The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.
While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.
The Irrelevant Others
Alexa Rank (102,395)+10,174
Alexa Rank (104,671)-32,048
Alexa Rank (116,439)-16,212
Alexa Rank (154,173)-43,687
Alexa Rank (174,802)-9,166
Alexa Rank (187,704)-45,048
Alexa Rank (8,419,219)-2,169,053
There is no other blogging platform, that integrates support for all Blog CMS systems, engages social networks so reaches high into the stratosphere, nor institute a learning environment so building competent content teams is easily achieved.
But we are making WordPress better! Let me explain:
WordPress has established itself as the 400lb undisputed CMS (Content Management System). WordPress is taking over the Internet! And MarketHive is retooling to support and make WordPress better. Over 75 million sites now depend on WordPress. In the realm of self-hosted sites, WordPress accounts for over 19% of all websites. What is even more amazing is that over 70% of sites worldwide do not use a CMS.
22% of new US registered domains run on WordPress. Out of every 100 domains in the US, 22 of them will be run on WordPress. Considering that an average of 120,000 domains are registered worldwide per day, it's safe to say that WordPress is growing by leaps and bounds. That "18.9% of all websites" figure is exponentially increasing.
WordPress receives more unique visitors than Amazon! WordPress records an astonishing 126M unique visitors per month, while Amazon falls quite a ways behind, clocking in at 96M unique visitors per month.
6 New WordPress posts every second! That's right. Every second, close to 6 new posts are published on WordPress blogs. That averages out to 34.2 posts per minute. Just about 20,000 per day. And a grand total of 7.5 million annually.
Not only is WordPress.org the world's most popular self-hosted CMS solution, but the free version is also second in popularity on the list of free blogging platforms, with Google's own Blogger.com topping it.
29,000 WordPress plugins and growing daily. Without doubt, the number one feature that sets WordPress apart from any other CMS is their plugins. Plugins extend and capitalize on the functionality of WordPress, removing access to them would cripple WordPress users (and that's one of the reasons why WordPress falls second to Blogger).
Fortunately, nothing of the sort is happening. On the contrary, WordPress.org's database of plugins has recently hit 29k and a new one is added nearly every hour. In total, these plugins have been downloaded 286,000,000+ times. Give it a few more years and you'll be hearing "there's a plug in for that".
WordPress is most popular with business websites. Of the top one million sites, the number of business sites (most popular with WordPress) powered by WordPress is five times the number of WordPress-managed news sites (least popular with WordPress).
This statistic is not all that surprising, as online marketing circles will often discuss WordPress more than any other CMS out there. WordPress also ranks high as one of the most blogged topics in the online marketing niche and nearly all its keywords have very high PPC competition.
So the Point is clear:
Do we build a competitive option to WordPress? Or do we move forward with our abilities and our Blog platform to support and make WordPress better? Stupid question! The force multiplier ability of MarketHive's platform, the technology we already have, our very mission in fact, begs us to support and empower WordPress!
If you have yet to explore or utilize the tools we already have in our blogging platform, do it today. It is becoming a virtual gold mine for those entrepreneurs that have discovered how MarketHive can make your WordPress or many WordPress sites, effective, powerful SEO machines, including an exponential increase in Social Network sharing as well as massive legitimate engagement in the comments systems.
If you have a WordPress site, join us. If you have already joined us, explore our Blog platform, build your teams, down load the plugins and watch your WordPress campaigns explode!
Now that is what Harvard business school calls a Force Multiplier!
MarketHive did not make WordPress but we make WordPress better!
Being an authority figure in the online space should really be the goal of any website. When you are an authority figure you have the power to socially influence through your actions and words which means you hold a great deal of power & trust in front of your audience. The Bing Webmaster Blog recently put out a great piece on being an online authority which I think everyone should read. Please keep in mind that being an authority figure does not come from slapping together a mediocre plan. It takes though and dedication to put together a fierce action plan.
“If a site is an authority in your industry, you can bet that it will be for Google as well. So if you’re a web designer, a link from Smashing Magazine or A List Apart helps, as a lot of other web design sites will be linking to those sites, thus causing those sites to be ‘hubs’ in the web design space.”
— Joost De Valk, Yoast
Being an authority online comes with huge benefits.
Increased rankings for individual website pages
Heavy online influence
Immense traffic spikes
Basically there is no down fall to being an authority figure in any industry but if you truly want to get there you have to lay out a path in the right direction to make it happen.
Here are some great ways to get on the right path to be an authority figure in your space:
If you are just getting started in your space you are not going to influence anyone overnight. Authority requires seasoning and experience in a space along with being able to present that experience in the right manner in front of your target audience.
Get Active in your Community
You absolutely have to get active socially in front of your community. If you want to be viewed as a leader you will have to engage with your audience on social communities like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. You also want to make your website a destination spot that promotes back and forth interaction. (important)
Be a Resource
You want your audience to come to you for advice and help. Once they start turning towards you for help that means they are starting to look at you in a whole new different light.
If you want others to share your material you are going to have to share their material as well. Encourage proactive content sharing so your audience can learn from not only you but from the people around you too. This will allow you to become a central hub which is really the focus of your efforts.
From Google: (again)
Its generally held that when an engine assigns deep links to the content of your website, you’re an authority. And while this is more or less true, the engine seeing you as an authority happens well in advance of those links appearing.
As you produce useful content, we try to match that useful content against queries. If the actions searchers take indicate they are pleased with your content as a solid resource, then we try you again the next time. This testing happens a lot. Hundreds of thousands to millions of times, depending on query volumes and content matches.
We watch the patterns of interaction and soon enough, those resources that searchers seem to be particularly pleased with start to float to the top. We’re not just talking click-through-rates here, either. We’re talking the entire signal-set that influences ranking at work here.
Do you have unique, useful content? Check.
Do you produce new content frequently? Check.
Do you have a solid history? Check.
Do you have trustworthy links pointing at your content? Check.
Do you have an active social presence? Check.
Do people retweet and like your social content? Check.
Negative Trust Influences
What can you do to your own site, or could a competitor do to you, that will nuke your trust and therefore rankings?
“I always think that links have a positive or negative value. Let’s say the BBC gives you a +10,000 and a spammy blogspot link gives you a -100, you still have a positive 9,900 score. The problems occur when the BBC get hit with a link selling penalty, if your backlinks have fallen into negative equity things go south quickly.
Get caught selling links and your link value could shift from a positive value to a negative value, so I re-visit my clients links monthly and check out what’s happening to the sites that link to them”
— David Naylor, Bronco
Buy and Sell Links – First is if you are obvious in your link buying, don’t expect to last long in the search engines. Mr Cutts is very keen on tracking down and destroying sold links. There are even some sites that are so “dirty” in Google’s eyes that a purchase in the right place and right time can nuke you over night. Don’t believe me? Ask the right people at the right conferences to show you the evidence. That’s all I am saying 🙂
Bad Neighbors – If your links are not paid but still associate you with the seedier parts of the interwebs, don’t be surprised if you are seen as guilty by association.
Comment Spam – Leave the spam up, get it indexed, and watch your results rocket to the bottom. It’s the “broken windows” theory of SEO.
Unnatural Growth Patterns – Google will look carefully at your link growth for any signs of unnatural acquisition. This isn’t to say that if you get on the front page of Digg and garner 20k visitors and as a result, 100 fresh links that you will be penalized. What is likely though is they will take a closer look if your brand new domain arrives out of the gate with one page of content and 10,000 links overnight.
Lack of Link Diversity – Are your links coming from friends and your own sites or are they arriving naturally because your content is awesome?
Thin or Spammy Content – Duplicate, scraped or feed content, or spammy gibberish is likely to get marked down. As you would expect, Google is aiming to promote the highest quality. They will use human checks, algorithms and watch the behaviour of their customers to see if what they are delivering meets expectations.
So the first element to emphasize is make your site evolve as naturally as possible!
“You can manufacture authority with a very intelligent link building campaign but more often than not it’s the natural growth of the site and links with other sites in the same industry that gives Google reason to trust the site.”
For starters, let’s quickly explain what Alexa rank is and why it’s important.
What is Alexa Rank?
Alexa rank is a global estimation of your website’s daily traffic. Alexa determines its ranking with a downloadable toolbar that tracks visits to your website. It’s a rough estimate of your website’s popularity online. Alexa rank is calculated using a combination of daily average visitors and pageviews over a 3 month span.
Currently, Google is the top rated Alexa website so it’s a pretty good indicator of website traffic.
Why is Alexa ranking important?
Here’s a couple reasons why you should pay attention to your Alexa rankings:
Increases social proof for your website.
Attracts advertisers and encourages them to spend more money buying ad slots on your website
Lists you higher up in directories and lists that rate websites based on Alexa rank
Increases your backlinks because lots of bloggers create top 100 lists based on Alexa rating
Helps you notice traffic spikes when your content goes viral
Sometimes, a high Alexa rank will open A LOT of doors for you and soon you will have people begging you to post their content, advertise their products/services or help you make more money through joint ventures.
7 Steps to Increase Your Alexa Rank
Ok, great! You probably are wondering how to improve your Alexa ratings quickly and easily. There’s lots of widgets, traffic exchanges, viral techniques and tips to increase Alexa rank but some are better than others. I’m going to show you exactly step by step how to boost your Alexa rank quickly.
Step 1: Install the Alexa Toolbar on your Web Browser
The Alexa toolbar tracks visitors and pageviews for every ranked website. Download the toolbar and Alexa will start tracking every website you visit.
Your Alexa rank will increase because you must visit your website often to write new content, make changes and respond to comments. This is the quickest way to boost Alexa rank for free.
Step 2: Add the Alexa Widget to Your Website
Not every visitor to your site will have the toolbar installed, but you can overcome this by adding the Alexa widget to your website.
Simply grab the code here or install the Alexa Rank Plugin if you use WordPress.
Step 3: Update Your Website Regularly
You need lots of repeat traffic to improve Alexa rankings so update your website on a regular basis. Weekly is the bare minimum while daily or even multiple times a day is best.
Everytime you make a new webpage, it’s like a new pathway to your website. The more pathways you have, the more changes someone will find your content useful and helpful.
Regular updates also increase search engine traffic, too. SEO is a great way to increase Alexa rank as well as overall visitors to your site.
Step 4: Buy Alexa Traffic
Check out this Fiverr gig for increasing Alexa rank. $5 is enough will boost your Alexa rankings fast enough to get you under the 1 million mark. If you want to improve Alexa rank even more, try a premium service like YourAlexaRank.
Step 5: Join AlexaBoostup
Next, you want a passive way to get real traffic to boost your Alexa rating over time. Sign up with Alexa Boostup and you can drive over 2,000 Alexa hits to any website for just $2.
There’s also a free traffic exchange option that requires you to keep a window open on your computer. If you don’t have the funds, then opt for the free option. I prefer fast results so just spend the $2.
Step 6: Create a Facebook Page and Optimize Your Website for Facebook Sharing
Facebook is the #1 social media referring website so you need to focus your efforts on driving lots of Facebook Traffic. If your content goes viral, you can get thousands of visitors for literally no cost. Add a social media plugin to your website or add the Facebook share button manually if you don’t use WordPress. You will see a big increase in Alexa rank and overall traffic once you get your Facebook page setup and start sharing your content on the world’s largest social network.
Step 7: Focus Your Efforts on Viral Content
After you implement these 6 steps, you will see a HUGE Alexa rank improvement in just a few days. But to go from top 100,000 to top 1,000, you need to focus your time on creating viral content or outsourcing content creation to a skilled writer or video editor.
Viral content is emotional, engaging content that you can’t help but talk about and share with your friends. Videos, infographics, stories, images and How to articles are great examples of viral content.
About The AuthorTarik is an SEO expert & internet marketer who operates several websites in various online niches. Ask about his SEO Services or contact Tarik.
The internet continues to grow and has become the default point of call for businesses and individuals searching for goods, services or information.
For businesses wishing to get that competitive advantage, a multilingual website now presents one of the most high impact means of expanding a client base and securing greater sales volumes.
The multilingual website will continue to become a necessity for businesses and organizations as the process of internationalization unfolds.
1 Shift Away from English Internet Users
The internet began as an English speaker's invention and as a result was dominated by English speaking users and sites. However, times are changing. With the growing numbers of people buying PC's and internet access available from Nigeria to New Zealand, English speakers will soon be in the minority when it comes to internet use.
Results of research carried out by Nielsen-Netratings in March 2005 described foreign internet markets as "low hanging fruit," i.e. if you have the will and foresight there are massive revenues to be found for relatively little effort. The results showed that internet use in the traditional strong holds of the USA, Germany, the UK and Sweden is flat lining. On the other hand countries such as France, Hong Kong, Italy and Japan are seeing substantial growth in internet usage.
As Kaizad Gotla, senior analyst at Nielsen-Netratings states, "The easiest opportunities are in countries where internet usage patterns and user/site relationships are less established. Acquiring users in markets that are currently in their growth stages will lead to a loyal user base that will pay dividends for internet companies in the future."
2 Cost Effective Marketing Tool
Having the ability to communicate to a whole new international audience in their own language will undoubtedly yield results not only in a financial sense but also in terms of marketing and creating awareness of your brand, service or product.
A multilingual website in the grand scheme of things is probably one of the most cost effective ways of marketing your company, capturing new users, building relationships with new clients and giving your brand an international outlook.
3 New Customers
Ultimately what a multilingual website brings you are new customers. By having your site accessible to potentially thousands of people you are showcasing your company across the globe. For non-English speaking users looking for your product or service, you automatically capture their attention.
With every language added to a website there is the potential for an increase of between 100% in sales. Even if a multilingual website is translated into a few of the major world languages, i.e. Spanish, French, German and Italian there is potentially a 400% increase in sales. There are few other ways to get such an increase for such little investment.
A multilingual website demonstrates you are thinking about the customer. That little extra effort shows you have thought and cared enough about them to offer the website in their language. As with anything in business, if the customer thinks you care, they will want to do business with you.
For many cultures there is an issue of trust when it comes to buying over the internet, especially if they feel it is in a language they are not fully proficient in. Offering them a language alternative allows the customers to feel secure in the fact they know what they are buying, how and who from.
7 Culturally Sensitive
A multilingual website, if designed properly, overcomes potential cultural barriers through allowing access in a native language. This automatically puts the user in a 'cultural comfort zone' due to their being able to navigate, understand and interact with the website.
8 Beat Competitors
To get the competitive advantage in today's environment you need to think outside the box. Many businesses try to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Look at your competitors – if they have multilingual websites then why don't you? If they don't, then why not lead the marketplace and establish your company or brand abroad before they do.
9 Shows International Nature
Image is everything. A multilingual website demonstrates you think, work and deal internationally.
10 Search Engines
Search engines lead people to your site. In countries such as China, Japan and France, Google, Yahoo and MSN are not the default search engines. Home grown search engines are emerging and they are proving successful because they work in native languages and are focused on the habits and needs of their users. Such search engines are a key to tapping those markets and unless they have access to a particular language through your multilingual website then you will not be found.
In addition, many of the key search engines, especially Google, are developing the capacity to run searches in foreign languages. Having pages of your site available in those languages ensures maximum potential for your site being picked up in searches.
Business continually sees shifts and changes. At present the multilingual website is still in its early stages, with mostly large multinational companies using them to secure an international foothold. However, the trickle-down effect will naturally occur and the multilingual website will become part and parcel of an internet presence. Whether people chose to invest now or later is the only choice they have.
The Alexa Toolbar: Why You Need this Piece of "%#*&%@#".
Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!
So you’re probably wondering why I have the Alexa Toolbar Installed on my browser and why I tell my fellow marketers, webmasters and SEO gurus to do the same.
It’s simple. The Alexa toolbar monitors all my surfing and collects information about what domains I visit. They don’t know that it’s “me” – they collect it as anonymous user data and use it to rank web sites. Not only does Alexa use this information for determining where people surf on the web but so does google. Let me repeat that fact so it sinks in:
Google Uses Alexa’s Information For Ranking and Indexing!
Installing the Alexa toolbar and surfing your own site will absolutely help you get your sites indexed by Google more quickly. I just started this blog today, and the googlebot has already come by without any inbound links!
Because the Alexa toolbar is such a pile, no one ever keeps it installed. So just by updating and surfing your own site daily, (assuming NO ONE else does), you can get your Alexa ranking from 5,500,000 or “no data” to around 300,000 in under a month and to 100,000 in 3 months.
Alexa Rankings and Google PR are two of the main factors uninformed people look at when considering link exchanges. (Page Rank is completely useless BTW we have a white hat PR 4 site that gets 20 visitors a day and unranked sites that get several thousand per day).
If you remember the Nielsen Company, famous for the Nielsen Ratings, you understand that what is put on television was once determined by what a minute fraction of TV viewers watched: The people with a Nielsen box on their TV Set – The Nielsen Families. Having the Alexa toolbar installed on your browser is like being a Nielsen Family for the web. Your surfing habits will determine what is most “popular” and what sites should be ranked higher in the SERPs.
That was reason enough for me to install the Alexa Tool Bar. Download it for yourself, and watch your Alexa Rankings Skyrocket over the next several weeks. We know Google looks at the Information, which means that Yahoo and MSN are probably looking at it too.
Alexa’s Toolbar is a Great POWERFUL SEO tool.
Just a reminder to make sure you have the Alexa tool bar plugin installed. It is an important tool among others. But I consider the Alexa tool the most important plug in for Internet Marketers.
What Does The Future of the Ad-Supported
Revenue Model Mean to the Internet and Technology?
An advertising-supported revenue model is a business approach that emphasizes the sale of advertising as a major source of revenue. This structure is most prominent in traditional broadcast and print media, as well as online media. Media businesses generally earn revenue from advertising, customer subscriptions or a combination of the two.
TV and radio shows, along with newspapers and magazines, generally serve to entertain or inform viewers or readers. TV and radio have traditionally been largely advertising-supported. While networks and TV stations do often earn revenue through subscriptions to satellite or cable television, much of their income is earned from advertisers trying to appeal to viewers. Similarly, magazines and newspapers charge subscription or purchase fees, but advertisers pay to place ads within these print media.
The emergence of the Internet in the mid-1990s has affected the advertising-supported revenue model. Newspapers, for instance, have tried to adjust to increased demand for online content and limited growth in print publications. Thousands of media websites have been born online, which often offer free access to content for users. This attracts users and enables the publishes to sell banner ads and advertorial ad spaces. Traditional newspapers have offered free content as well, but many are trying to figure out how to combine ad revenue with subscription fees as of 2013.
The benefit of an advertising-supported revenue model is that if you have an audience, you can almost always find companies that want to pay to reach it. This is especially true when you can provide specific details about the nature of your audience. When you operate with a 100 percent ad-supported model, you can more easily attract users with free content. Newspapers have long given away hundreds of copies to businesses and organizations in communities to drive up their circulation and readership, and subsequently, ad revenue potential.
The major drawback of an entirely ad-supported revenue model is the inherent lack of diversification. Businesses generally prefer multiple revenue streams when possible. In a down economy, advertisers might back off their investments, which can more negatively affect a medium that has no subscription revenue. Plus, print publications, and even some websites, have high costs. Even a small subscription rate can help cover some of these costs. Local newspapers charging, say, 35 cents per issue can't use that to cover all production costs, but the fees do help offset costs and allow revenue to build.
Facebook Reports Soaring Revenue, Buoyed by Mobile Ads
On Wednesday, Mr. Zuckerberg’s social-networking company, Facebook, reported another quarter of soaring revenue. The company said sales in the fourth quarter rose 52 percent from a year ago, to $5.84 billion, while profit increased to $1.56 billion, more than doubling from $701 million a year ago. For the full year, the company reported $3.69 billion in profit on $17.93 billion in revenue, an increase of 44 percent from 2014.
The numbers far surpassed Wall Street’s fourth-quarter expectations of $1.2 billion in profit on $5.37 billion in revenue. Investors welcomed the performance by pushing up Facebook’s stock more than 12 percent in after-hours trading.
The results were largely a result of Facebook’s enormous success in selling advertising on mobile devices, a business that the company was not even in just a few years ago. Mobile ads made up 80 percent of the company’s total ad business in the fourth quarter, compared with 23 percent in the same quarter of 2012.
“We have a Super Bowl on mobile in the U.S. every single day,” Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, said in an interview.
The results offer a bright spot in a tumultuous climate for many American technology stocks. Shares of Twitter, Facebook’s most visible social networking competitor in the United States, have tumbled more than 55 percent during the last year. Yelp, the local-review service, is down about 60 percent. LinkedIn, the professional social networking service, is off more than 15 percent.
Facebook is a much larger company than many of its peers, yet it is able to keep its growth rate high. The company has notched double-digit jumps in ad revenue and in the expansion of its user base. Facebook now has 1.59 billion monthly visitors, up 14 percent from a year ago. About 1.44 billion of those people visit the site on a mobile device; 1.04 billion visit Facebook every day.
That growth engine has given Facebook lots of room to play in different areas — like virtual reality, messaging and even building drones capable of delivering Internet service to far-flung places around the world — that seem to have little to do with Facebook’s core business of advertising.
Facebook is spending billions of dollars developing those projects, and Mr. Zuckerberg has repeatedly said the company has no plans to make money on them in the near term. In an earnings call with investors, David Wehner, Facebook’s chief financial officer, said the company projected that expenses would increase roughly 30 to 40 percent over the course of 2016 compared with last year.
One example of the spending is on Oculus, Facebook’s $2 billion bet on bringing virtual reality to the mainstream. The unit will begin selling its first headsets to consumers in March. Facebook has said it plans to sell the hardware, called the Rift, at a loss to help the technology catch on with a large audience.
“These are long-term bets, but we don’t think they’re particularly large bets relative to the size of Facebook,” said Ben Schachter, an Internet analyst at Macquarie Securities. “They’ve gone out of their way to say they’re not Google and going after health care, for instance.”
Other analysts said they also saw potential for profit in the hundreds of millions of people who regularly use Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, a messaging service also owned by Facebook.
They are also bullish on the potential for Instagram, the photo-sharing service that has more than 400 million regular monthly users, to become a significant source of revenue in the future. The company does not disclose what portion of revenue Instagram accounts for in Facebook’s overall sales. Ms. Sandberg said 98 of the top 100 advertisers on Facebook also advertised on Instagram in the last quarter.
As for Mr. Zuckerberg, he spent a portion of the investor call on Wednesday talking about his new role as a father to his daughter, Max.
“With a new addition to my family, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the legacy we want to pass on to the next generation,” he said, adding that he wanted Facebook to “continue to focus on solving the fundamental challenges facing the world, and bringing the world closer together.”
AI (Artificial Intelligence) and robots threaten to unleash mass unemployment, scientists warn
Intelligent robots threaten millions of jobs
Advances in artificial intelligence will soon lead to robots that are capable of nearly everything humans do, threatening tens of millions of jobs in the coming 30 years, experts warned Saturday.
"We are approaching a time when machines will be able to outperform humans at almost any task," said Moshe Vardi, director of the Institute for Information Technology at Rice University in Texas.
"I believe that society needs to confront this question before it is upon us: If machines are capable of doing almost any work humans can do, what will humans do?" he asked at a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Vardi said there will always be some need for human work in the future, but robot replacements could drastically change the landscape, with no profession safe, and men and women equally affected.
"Can the global economy adapt to greater than 50 percent unemployment?" he asked.
Automation and robotization have already revolutionized the industrial sector over the last 40 years, raising productivity but cutting down on employment.
Job creation in manufacturing reached its peak in the United States in 1980 and has been on the decline ever since, accompanied by stagnating wages in the middle class, said Vardi.
Automation and robotization have revolutionized the industrial sector over the last 40 years,
raising productivity but cutting down on employment
Today there are more than 200,000 industrial robots in the country and their number continues to rise.
Today, research is focused on the reasoning abilities of machines, and progress in this realm over the past 20 years has been spectacular, said Vardi.
"And there is every reason to believe the progress in the next 25 years will be equally dramatic," he said.
By his calculation, 10 percent of jobs related to driving in the United States could disappear due to the rise of driverless cars in the coming 25 years.
According to Bart Selman, professor of computer science at Cornell University, "in the next two or three years, semi-autonomous or autonomous systems will march into our society."
He listed self-driving cars and trucks, autonomous drones for surveillance and fully automatic trading systems, along with house robots and other kinds of "intelligence assistance" which make decisions on behalf of humans.
"We will be in sort of symbiosis with those machines and we will start to trust them and work with them," he predicted.
"This is the concern because we don't know the rate of growth of machine intelligence, how clever those machines will become."
The Pentagon has requested $19 billion for developing intelligent weapons systems
Will the machines remain understandable for the humans? Will humans will be able to control them? Will they remain a benefit for humans, or pose harms?
These questions and more are being raised anew due to recent advances in robotic technology that allow machines to see and hear, almost like people.
Selman said investment in artificial intelligence in the United States was by far the highest ever in 2015, since the birth of the industry some 50 years ago.
Business giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Tesla, run by billionaire Elon Musk, are at the head of the pack.
Also, the Pentagon has requested 19 billion for developing intelligent weapons systems.
What is concerning about these new technologies is their ability to analyze data and execute complex tasks.
This raises concerns about whether humans might one day lose control of the artificial intelligence they once built, said Selman.
It's a concern that some of the world's great minds have raised too, including British astrophysicist Stephen Hawking, who warned in a BBC interview in 2014 that the consequences could be dire.
"It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said.
"Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded," he added.
"The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race."
These questions have led scientists to call for the establishment of an ethical framework for the development of artificial intelligence, as well as safeguards for security in the years to come.
Last year Musk—the owner of SpaceX—donated 10 million to resolve such concerns, deeming artificial intelligence potentially more dangerous than nuclear weapons.
For Wendel Wallach, an ethicist at Yale University, such dangers require a global response.
He also called for a presidential order declaring that lethal autonomous weapons systems are in violation of international humanitarian law.
"The basic idea is that there is a need for concerted action to keep technology a good servant and not let it become a dangerous master."