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Start to curate in Cronycle: import OPML

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You can easily start to curate content using Cronycle: we let you import the standard file (OPML) from feed aggregators, import your Twitter contacts (Pro Trial, Pro & Enterprise plans only), get suggestions based on your Twitter activity and/or search for RSS feeds, Twitter handles and our automatically curated feeds on 50k Topics. We even have a Chrome and Safari extension to save single pieces of content or to grab RSS. This is an important start in our end-to-end workflow, to let you curate, organize and publish content.

This post is about importing OPML.

How to import sources using an OPML file

RSS aggregators let you export sources as an OPML file. This is a standard file format that consists of a list with structure and links. In the case of Feedly, the OPML file groups sources together, by feed.

In Cronycle, we have a source library to import and manage sources (in Feeds, find “Manage all sources” to the bottom left).

When you import an OPML file, you will see that all the sources appear in a list. Also, if you want to keep the same feed structure as in Feedly, you can filter sources by folder, select all, and click on Create Feed.

Then, you can name the feed, add or remove sources, and even start to add keyword filters. Save, and your feed is ready to check through!

A little work about source pooling…

Our Enterprise plan includes a unique functionality: the ability to pool sources across your organisation. All curators and admins within the organisation can see the same sources and build feeds.

We’ll soon have more news on this space, as we’ll make it more collaborative…

Receive your favourite newsletters in Cronycle

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We have some news in Feeds! You can now curate newsletters too.

Cronycle Feeds already lets you curate content from RSS feeds, Twitter handles and our own Cronycle Topics – Dynamic relevant feeds across 50k topics automatically curated from top influencers.

Now, you can receive all your newsletter subscriptions in a dedicated feed, so all your content can be collected in the same tool, ready to be filtered, selected, organised, enriched and published.

How does it work?

First, in Cronycle, go to Feeds. Click on Add Feeds. Near the bottom of the pop-up window, you will see a section called “Subscribe to newsletters”. Click on “Start Now”.

Simply copy the email address provided and use it to subscribe to your newsletters. You can close the pop-up.

As soon as the first email will be received, you will see a new feed in your feed list, named “Newsletters”. Note that this can take a couple of days, depending on the pace of your subscriptions. This is where all your issues will be collected, as well as address confirmation emails (so don’t forget to check it out!).

As an alternative, for subscriptions you already have, you can also auto-forward to the email address we provide from most email applications.

Currently, if you want to curate a link from a newsletter issue, you need to open the original content. From there, you can use our Content Clipper extension (available on Chrome and Safari) to save it to a board, where you can organise, enrich and publish.

Did you know? You can also easily create and send your own newsletters from your curated content, within Cronycle. Learn more here.

Our WordPress Plugin

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We recently did a total update of our plugin in WordPress. If you still have the old one, we recommend you read this detailed post and update it in WordPress. If you are new to this, please read on…

The Cronycle Content Plugin enables you to create news feeds on your website, using the content you curate on your Cronycle boards. Curated content includes articles, videos, Twitter conversations and Story Arcs (grouped content), with or without your commentary.

Our plugin has two features:

Board Content as Banner – Provide functionalities to generate a newsfeed banner on your website with certain Cronycle board content. It applies your default font.

Board Content as Draft post – Provide functionalities to fetch Cronycle board content and insert into the WordPress as draft post which can be edited and published to your website.

Create a free Cronycle account today to try it out, and follow our dedicated WordPress plugin guide.

Start using Cronycle for free

Newsletters made simple, by Cronycle

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In an age of exponential content production and social sharing, finding relevant content can feel like painstaking work. Among the options available for your audience to navigate information, curation has grown and is now standing out. Most people trust a few hand-picked curators to do at least some of the work for them. If you are reading this post, you are probably a curator (or a curator-to-be). And that’s what Cronycle can help you achieve, alone or with your team.

In this post, we’ll look at newsletters.

Newsletters are powerful tools to raise awareness of your brand and expertise. But until recently, connecting a myriad of tools to select, create and distribute issues made it a time consuming task many of you could not afford. And any change with one tool made this card castle crumble.

But this has changed, Cronycle made it simple – mostly because we integrate discovery, curation, organization and publishing in our integrated workflow.

Choose Topics of interest from over 50k Topics (and many more sources) and create feeds

Filter feeds with keywords to only get what is potentially relevant within the feeds

Pin content from the feed onto boards, or clip to your board from anywhere on the web using our Content Clipper extensions

Collaborate with your team to enrich the best content on your boards

Drag & drop the best articles within custom sections into our newsletter templates

Import & manage your newsletter distribution list, then send or schedule your issues.

Use the same board content to publish to your WordPress website, social media (via Buffer), RSS, Cronycle Curated feed, or to Slack.

Give it a try! You can sign up for free and you will get 28 days free pro trial to curate, assemble and send newsletters.

Publish content from your Cronycle boards onto your website

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The Cronycle Content Plugin enables you to create news feeds on your website, using the content you curate on your Cronycle boards. It publishes to WordPress your curated content, includes articles, videos, Twitter conversations and Story Arcs (grouped content), with or without your commentary.

Plugin has two features:

  • Board Content as Banner – Provide functionalities to generate a newsfeed banner on your website with certain Cronycle board content.
  • Board Content as Draft post – Provide functionalities to fetch Cronycle board content and insert into the WordPress as draft post which can be edited and published to your website.

Installation


  • Download, install, and activate Cronycle Content plugin from WordPress plugin store. You need a version of PHP of v7.2.8 or higher. If you have a free account on WordPress.com, you need to upgrade to business in order to install plugins, or transfer to WordPress.org. See how to do that here.
  • Login to your Cronycle account. Create board and pin content to it.
  • Then, click on Publish near the top of that board.
  • Switch on Publish to WordPress.
  • It will ask you to connect and generate a token. Copy the token.
  • Now, in WordPress, go to Settings / Cronycle Content, paste the token in the input field and press Save Token to connect the account.
  • Now you will be able to see your board content in WordPress (continue reading “How to Use?” below).
  • Back in Cronycle, on the Board Publish panel, you can adjust the type(s) of content you want to go through to WordPress, per board.
  • If you want to copy your token again, go to your profile page, in the Integrations section.
  • To send the content from several boards, you will need to switch on WordPress for each board, in its publishing settings.
  • When disconnecting, we recommend disconnecting from the WordPress Plugin Settings page.

How to use?


Board Content as a newsfeed banner 

This enables you to include a newsfeed banner on your website, with content from one of your boards. To do so, you can generate a shortcode from the banner shortcode generation options under the Banner tab in the plugin settings. Make sure you have switched on Publish to WordPress for the corresponding board in Cronycle.

Copy the shortcode and paste it into your page content.

You can also use menu options in the Classic editor block to generate and embed shortcode on to your page content.

Here are few examples of generated banners on our website. The banner is responsive, adapting to small screen sizes.

Board Content as Draft post

This feature allows you to pick board items and add them as draft blog posts. In WordPress admin dashboard, you can find your Cronycle board(s) content as draft posts under the ‘Cronycle Content’ menu option. From there you can edit and/or publish any type of board content as a regular WordPress post. You can retrieve content from all the boards you have switched on in Cronycle, in the boards publishing settings.

From the draft post tab in the plugin settings page, you can assign default categories for the content from each board, and turn on & off the transfer of tags used on your boards.

Note that the content from your Cronycle boards is imported only once to the WordPress plugin. If you modify the content on your boards (e.g. add an article to a Story Arc, or edit a summary), the modifications will not appear in WordPress. This is why we recommend using “editor approved” to filter content ready to publish. It lets you collect and refine your content on your board in Cronycle before sending to the WordPress plugin (or other publishing methods). To use it, you need:

  • A Pro or Enterprise account
  • To tick the Editor Approved box when the content is ready
  • To use editor approved as a filter in the publishing settings.

Troubleshooting

I get error messages on the WordPress login page

Although rare, it happens that there is an error following an update and interplay with other plugins. The solution is to:

  • Deactivate the Cronycle Plugin
  • Uninstall the Cronycle Plugin
  • Reinstall the Cronycle Plugin
  • Reconnect the plugin with the token provided in your Cronycle account
  • Set up again your preferences in Settings (default categories, tags, and / or banner shortcode)

Cronycle Topics & Influencer Communities

Reading Time: 2 minutesCronycle is an information workflow application, powered by Right Relevance (subsidiary of Cronycle), which is a topical information search and relevance platform. Topics and Influencers (per topic) form the backbone of the search and relevance technology.

    1. Topics (over 50 thousand) including metadata like related topics & semantics like synonyms, acronyms.
  1. Topical influencers (over 2.5M) with score and rank.

Topics are identified by algorithmically mining over 10M unstructured documents on the web and leveraging Wikipedia and Right Relevance topical graph neighborhood techniques. Relationships and semantics are derived from this process with manual corrections and injections for the last mile.

Topical Influencers mining is fully algorithmic and primarily graph based. The methodology leverages ML, semantic analysis and NLP on unstructured data at scale and involves a 2-level proprietary people rank (custom page rank for social graphs):

Stage 1. Global PR to reduce a ~300M nodes graph to ~6M (for now) globally ranked influencers. This is a first level reduction and we don’t expose the scores. It doesn’t have topical context.

Stage 2. Graph partitioning of the ~6M connected nodes from stage 1 across our ~50K structured topic space using unstructured data assigned to each node. This leads to ~50K per topic sub-graphs, where a secondary PR is applied to determine the topic score for each node in each topical sub-graph. This secondary PR score is normalized to calculate the Right Relevance topic score and rank influencers for every structured topic in our platform. 

Our custom PR algorithm is derived from google pagerank but is specialized for social graphs (instead of links/webpages) with many important differences applicable to social networks.

The RightRelevance score of an expert/influencer for a TOPIC represents the authority within the topical community say for e.g. ‘machine learning’ of that influencer. This measure of influence per topic is termed as ‘topical influence’ and the topical communities formed are termed as “Tribes“.

Once we have the scored and ranked influencers’ community for a particular topic (e.g. machine learning, behavioral science, big data, emergency medicine, oil and gas, angularjs,  social media marketing etc.) we mine the web for content. The numeric influence from topics and influencers is inductively applied to this content for measuring relevance and forms a critical part of the search. We download ~600K articles daily from ~2M websites every month. Topical content and information are available in the form of articles, videos and conversations.

Points to note:

    • We dampen followers count, tweet count etc. noisy signals and lay much more focus on the topical network itself.
  • Each influencer can be part of multiple topical sub-graphs aka communities and have a different score, and rank, within each. This is exposed in our apps via scored tags.
  • Other, non structured, topics work via free-form search but the relevance may not be of the same quality. This can be seen by the score ’10’, which, probably poorly done, means we didn’t find a community for the topic.

Both topics and influencer graphs are mined and built algorithmically at scale with ever-increasing quality after every iteration.

Event: mastering information in a Trump Twittersphere

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We are hosting an event at the Century Club (61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, London) to discuss how Twitter is gaining importance in financial markets.  We will show you how hedge fund managers and analyst are using Cronycle (www.cronycle.com) and RightRelevance (https://www.rightrelevance.com/search/articles?query=crude%20oil – on crude oil for example) to keep ahead.

Please RSVP at [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you there.

Date:  9 July, 2018

Tine:  6pm onwards

Venue:  Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Avenue

 

 

How Will Mobile Apps Make Business Easier

Reading Time: 4 minutesThe field of mobile apps is growing as we speak, mostly in two different ways. One way is the app development market that employs millions of people globally. The other way mobile apps affect the modern business realm is their use and application (sic!) for various business purposes. As new technologies are being developed, they’re also finding their way to mobile implementation. So, let’s read a bit more about the further potential of mobile apps in the world of AI, AR and other tech innovations.

 

1) Artificial intelligence and mobile apps

Smartphones, tablets, and wearables already function via smart software tools that can learn some of the patterns established by their users. However, this is only the tip of an iceberg. In other words, AI will change the market of mobile apps.

For starters, our living and work habits will be memorized and gathered by the means of AI. In turn, this will enable their creators and mobile providers to prepare various ready-made offers for our daily routines. Since many of our decisions and actions will be anticipated, all these tech innovations should lead to a more productive work day and well-organized free time.

Apart from that, app developers will have a chance to use these AI-collected data to do QA testing. As a result, they’ll save more time that can be invested in solving complex UX and functionality problems. AI features will be here to do the tiring coding tasks and analyze the UX-input gathered from customers.

Nevertheless, all these innovations could have negative effects on our privacy if our private data aren’t collected and stored in accordance with the legal guidelines. That’s why every app developer will need to take into consideration the GDPR act. Still, if you follow these rules, you’ll benefit from these tech innovations, including the AI-features.

 

2) Augmented reality in business apps

The growth of eCommerce industry has taken the global retail market by storm. Most renowned vendors already use apps, in addition to their business websites, to make their products available for shopping on the go.

Things are moving even faster today, especially with the introduction of augmented reality in eCommerce.

The greatest benefit of AR in this context is the ability to use its features to make shopping even simpler and less expensive for customers. For instance, Amazon has introduced AR-features in their app. What you can do here is simply project the item you’d like to buy on this website in the space you’d like to place it.

Similarly, car dealers are also taking the plunge into AR in their everyday work. Car buyers don’t have to go round countless car shops these days. They can simply use AR-features via dealers’ mobile apps to try new vehicles. Read more about these AR-trends in the article on The Drum website.

The downside of AR is that it’s still expensive for many SMBs. However, this will change sooner than we might expect, which will enhance the productivity of smaller business enterprises.

 

3) Accounting benefits of mobile apps

Small business owners often have issues with accounting demands. From their in-house books to bank accounts, to tax returns, more often than not they omit to process some data. These mistakes can result in inaccurate accounting data and financial penalties from the tax authorities.

The good news is that there are literally thousands of accounting mobile apps that will make your business life easier.

Still, this large number of apps calls for caution. Naturally, the best way to avoid any risks in this field is to use the mainstream apps, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks. Both these tools have top-notch apps, plus they also have distinguished cloud features which makes them perfect for new business owners.

Apart from that, you can use modern accounting tools on your phone to simplify the payment procedure. In line with that, it’s wise to keep an online invoice maker at the touch of a finger. Every time you need to cope with larger orders or payments, you can issue an invoice in no time and speed up the purchase.

 

4) Increased productivity with mobile apps

Mobile apps have already improved our work productivity. Take only the accounting apps described in the previous paragraph. If you can use them on your mobile on the go, they enable you to deal with the business paperwork when commuting home from work or when you’re waiting in line in a supermarket.

Moreover, mobile apps enable SMB-owners and their workers to constantly communicate about their projects. What’s more, many project management tools come with mobile apps, as well. So, you have all-in-one solutions for work organization, time management and data share. Now imagine how advanced all these tools will get when AI, AR and other cutting-edge tech features become fully implemented in them.

Also, using mobile apps in various business ventures enables their owners and employees to collaborate remotely. This option opens an immense number of possibilities for employment, cooperation and better connectivity in terms of business productivity and operability. In the future, these features will lead to further improvements when it comes to work conditions and efficiency.

 

Conclusion

The number of mobile users is already counted in billions. The advancements in the production of smart devices and apps will lead to further growth in these figures. The improvements of mobile apps develop simultaneously with the number of mobile users. The combo of these two trends will produce a more engaging and inspiring work environment in the future, which will yield benefits for business owners, their employees, and, finally, the users of their services. That’s why we should all be looking forward to the app-enhanced business future.

 

This blog post was written by our guest,  Mark who is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus which you can also follow on Twitter

Prediction Markets- How Can They Affect Us?

Reading Time: 4 minutesEvery time you enter a contract where you have to buy something in the future, you are entering a ‘futures contract.’ Where you agree to sell an item in the future because you think it will be more valuable, that’s a prediction market. Lately, prediction markets have been on the rise in both stocks and cryptocurrencies, and different investors have had divergent opinions.

How Prediction Markets work

In the stocks and commodities industry and even with Bitcoin as well, prediction markets are standardized. Each prediction contract made is specific to all the parameters involved. In a typical prediction market, the contract must specify the following:

  • The unit being traded
  • How the settlement will be made
  • The currency to be used
  • The quality of items being traded and the amount being traded

In the cryptocurrency sector, futures have been changing the way investors approach the cryptocurrency. Prediction markets allow investors to predict Bitcoin’s prices without even owning it. While this may be good news for traders who want to avoid the hassles involved with owning the cryptocurrency, it lowers Bitcoin’s liquidity.

Cryptocurrencies naturally increase in value as their demand goes up. However, if investors are able to invest in a coin without ‘physically’ owning it, this means that Bitcoin is actually not having increased adoption.

Do Prediction Markets Affect Cryptocurrencies Negatively?

Bitcoin prediction markets became popular late in 2017 after the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) introduced the concept on their exchange. One day after the announcement, Bitcoin’s price surged by 10%.

Within two weeks, top cryptocurrency exchanges like GDAX, Kraken, HitBTC, and Bitstamp also introduced prediction markets, driving Bitcoin’s value upwards to hit an all-time high of $19,000. When the futures contracts matured, something expected happened: Bitcoin’s value dropped by 72% within the first two weeks of January 2018, settling at $6,000.

Today, Bitcoin’s price is valued at the same range it was prior to the introduction of futures, $7,700. The introduction of prediction markets may have driven Bitcoin’s value upwards, but the price later underwent a market correction.

Although prediction markets affected Bitcoin’s price and a correction later happened, forces other than futures seems to have more impact on the price of Bitcoin. Read this article to learn more about prediction markets in the cryptocurrency industry.

Effects of Prediction Markets in General

Short-term Rise in Value

One of the most consistent changes noticed after the introduction of prediction markets in any industry is that the value of commodities involved increase suddenly. When gold futures were introduced in 1974, the price surged from less than $300 for a kilo of gold to $400 in just three months. Three months later, gold’s value went down again, probably because people dumped the asset.

In nearly all markets, the introduction of futures almost always leads to more demand for the commodity. However, after investors sell their futures contracts, a market correction occurs.

Demand for Commodities

Prediction markets may be a specialty of the experienced investor, but they always tend to drive demand for commodities to a great extent. Investors love to make predictions, and if they are certain they could make money out of it, they will purchase the commodity involved.

Bitcoin, for example, was valued at just above $7,400 when rumors emerged that the Chicago Board Exchange would introduce Bitcoin futures. Within a week of the rumors, Bitcoin’s value had risen to more than $10,000. Many institutional investors, who previously have always been wary of cryptocurrencies, quickly adopted the cryptocurrency.

High Volatility

With extremely high demand for any product comes a market correction. This has occurred and reoccurred in different stock markets, commodities and with Bitcoin as well. Last year, when Bitcoin moved from just $7000 to $19000 in one month, its price suddenly moved down to $6000 in the next 30 days.

If today a cryptocurrency exchange announces that they will offer prediction markets for a less popular coin like Zcash, its demand will suddenly increase. However, once they buy contracts and they mature, the coin’s value is likely to go back once again, leading to huge profits or losses to those on the wrong side of prediction markets.

Greater Convenience for Investors

Prediction markets are a breath of fresh air for many investors. For one, futures are conducted in the most convenient manner for investors. If the markets are made for commodities like gold, investors only need to sign contracts using their cash. They don’t have to own physical gold to enter futures contracts.

With more investors feeling confident about trading, demand for the commodities definitely increase. In the long term, prediction markets tend to improve the liquidity of commodities and assets. However, as studies have often shown, they don’t have a great impact on any industry on their own. Traditional forces of demand and supply have the biggest impact on the prices of commodities and digital assets.

Disrupting Industries

Like most financial instruments, prediction markets keep on evolving. In sports and casino gambling, it’s now possible to make predictions of live events so that your contract matures within minutes or hours. For example, you can bet the outcome of a basketball game while it happens.

In the blockchain industry, prediction markets are evolving by eliminating the intermediary companies. Instead of making predictions on a website, different investors can predict the outcome of games, events or market prices directly on a blockchain platform. Their funds are held by smart contracts, and winners get their rewards automatically after the outcome of the event is determined.

Information Gathering

One of the most underrated impacts of prediction markets is their ability to influence people’s decisions. If a market asks people to bet against the outcome of a football game and 70% of the investors predict team A will win, other investors are likely to place the same bet.

If 80% of investors make a prediction that certain crypto will drop in value, a lot of investors are likely to short sell the same coin because of the influence of prediction markets. On a broader scale, prediction markets have always been used as the benchmark of making financial decisions by lots of companies, governments, and investors.

In Conclusion

Prediction markets, like any financial instruments, may have an impact on trading markets from time to time. However, on their own, these markets don’t have such a huge impact as to affect the long-term price movements of stocks, assets or commodities.

 

This blog post was written by our guest, Ronny Martelli from Exposureland.com

How AI Can Improve Customer Engagement

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How AI Can Improve Customer Engagement

Success in business can be measured in happy customers. Aside from your product or service offerings, showing consumers you appreciate them, hear them, and are interested in providing them with the best customer service possible, will not only help you retain current customers but also gain new ones. This, in short, is called good “customer engagement”. Various methods and tools have become available in recent years to best optimize customer engagement. The most recent game changer has come in the form of artificial intelligence. Because AI can provide tremendous benefits with minimal effort, businesses of all sizes, in various fields, are taking full advantage of what it has to offer. In fact, according to a Pegasystems survey on customer engagement, one hundred percent of top-performing companies are currently using AI in some fashion. For those interested in following that lead, we’re outlining ways in which AI can improve customer engagement.

Though the general public may not be entirely aware of it, use of AI is already incredibly common. While only thirty-four percent of people think they use AI, the reality is that eighty-four percent of us are interacting with some form of artificial intelligence on a daily basis. This statistic is good news when it comes to placating consumers who fear or negatively view the use of AI in business. Considering the technology can hugely benefit a consumer’s experience, education is key. From better product offers to faster response times and more relevant messaging, AI’s power to anticipate and meet customer needs is a win for us all.

Properly engaging with your customers begins with understanding them. Knowing the answer to a few simple questions such as: who they are, what they want, what they can afford, their pain-points, and what platforms they communicate on; gives you a running start to improved connections. Through machine learning and AI technology companies are capable of collecting and analysing enormous amounts of data that can provide the answers to these questions to create better customer experiences with each interaction.

An increasingly popular tool for bettering customer engagement is the chatbot. These virtual assistants go hand-in-hand with customer service as more and more companies recognize their value and begin implementing them.

Rapid Response

Unlike human customer service representatives, chatbots can work 24/7 and are capable of handling a high volume of requests without the need to spend time searching for answers. This helps reduce service time up to fivefold, improving customer support, and reducing operating costs by as much as sixty six percent.

Proactive Interaction

Typically, companies engage with customers passively, responding to inquiries rather than starting them. Chatbots reopen the gates of communication by beginning conversations on their own, and share useful information with customers. Things like new product offers, blog entries and so on. Over time, this leads to greater personalization as Chatbots take in personal information on a customer, and offer them more targeted suggestions.

Another aspect of improved customer engagement is hyper-personalization. Consumers today want to feel connected to the brands they buy from and you can meet that request by leveraging AI. Capturing data on prospects is nothing new for businesses, however with AI and machine learning marketers can analyze current and historical facts to perfectly structure the most relevant message to each individual. Knowing what customers are thinking and saying about your brand creates opportunities for engaging those consumers on the topics they’re interested in, while communicating through the platform they prefer.

Particularly with a younger audience, positive customer engagement is essential. Well-educated on technology, the younger generations know what businesses are capable of, and because of that, they expect authentic, meaningful, and responsive interactions. AI can help you meet these needs effectively and efficiently resolving complaints and inquiries 24-hours a day.

 

The guest post was written by Sara a.k.a. Digital Diva, Co-founder of Enlightened Digital who you can follow as well on Twitter.

What will be left of Bitcoin when the hype ends

Reading Time: 3 minutesThere is a great deal of real value in some cryptocurrency technology

There are a number of overlapping technologies involved in understanding cryptocurrencies. Currency itself is a concept which people deal with every day but may not have considered more deeply than the level required to transact a purchase. Behind cryptocurrencies lie blockchains, a second level of detail. There are now cryptocurrency phones, which connect to standard phone networks using standard data plans and can help you conduct your next generation currency trading from wherever you happen to be. These things are all happening at the same time as other technological marvels – from The Internet Of Things, to 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and beyond. It can hardly be a surprise when people turn off from considering these things, given the overlapping complexity they present.

Few doubt that much of the talk in the media and industry is based on hype around these new technologies. The question is, where does the real value begin. And sitting underneath Bitcoin and its competitors (the 1500 or so direct alternative cryptocurrencies that Bitcoin has.)

The real value when Bitcoin is done is in Blockchains

A Blockchain is simply a distributed ledger  a list of who owns what asset, which is stored in multiple places – on multiple computers – at once. The distributed nature of the chain is what give them their value. At a principal level, Blockchains serve many of the purposes that banks currently do, they provided a medium both ends of a transaction can trust to act fairly. They also neatly sidestep many of the problematic aspects of banking, however. They can perform a host of useful functions beyond recording who owns what Bitcoin. They are hard to hack, for example – because hacking them would require multiple parallel successful attacks (on every blockchain miner in the system at once.)

Blockchains can have intelligence and decision making built in to them, in a way that current asset ledgers do not. Since they are computer and therefore algorithmically based, ‘IF / THEN’ statements can be built in to them – so called ‘smart contracts’. For example, once a Blockchain received a reliable notification that ‘money has been paid’ and ‘identity is confirmed’, they could transact legal ownership of an asset such as a house. This sort of facility cuts out a collection of middlemen, within the housing chain, and provides transparently reasonable terms, which cannot be interfered with and with which everyone involved can agree, before the process starts.

Blockchains then are more useful than cryptocurrencies and are likely to be around long after Bitcoin has been relegated to the bubbles of history. Cryptocurrencies require a Blockchain to survive, but a Blockchain does not require a cryptocurrency to function.

Where could I invest in Blockchains?

Ripple is the most successful Blockchain company in the world at the moment. The publicly traded company has seen its share price grow even more than Bitcoin’s value, following successful trials of their technology. It’s not hard to imagine Ripple, or another Blockchain product being used to store and provide reliable proof of some of the most valuable and currently difficult to manage aspects of our lives.

A Ripple Blockchain could be used, for example, to provide proof of identity with a digital passport, digital birth certificates or digital driving license. Other assets, like car ownership, could also be stored in a Blockchain making them easier to transact and cheaper to administer. Governments will be particularly interested in lowering the cost of overseeing these key life documents.

Blockchains are not, however, a panacea. As they stand have one major drawback – the enormous amount of energy and reasonable amount of time required to transact something through them. Solutions are being worked on.

Bringing it all together

Even Warren Buffet has called Bitcoin ‘Rat poison squared’. Buffet is one of the world’s smartest and most consistently successful investors but he is saying something which is common sense. Cryptocurrencies essentially amount to private companies printing the sovereign currencies of the countries of the world. When Bitcoin sells $3bn of cryptocurrency, they are effectively adding that amount to the money supply. Bitcoins are also much harder to tax than existing currencies. Governments simply will not allow private companies to produce currencies which undermine their ability to usefully influence the

Given the huge profits made by many of the world’s banks, regulators in key countries are closely watching Blockchains to offer some long needed innovation in the field. Long after Bitcoin has crashed, Blockchains will be around and providing real, measurable value, to the economy and us.

 

This guest post was written by Ralf Llanasas from What Phone.

Publishing with Buffer

Reading Time: 2 minutesWe’re very excited about this new partnership integration which we have launched today with Buffer. For those of you know who don’t know Buffer is a social media management platform trusted by 6M+ people worldwide. We listened to our customers feedback about having scheduling content feature built in, but we thought we should link up with experts in their fields. Buffer was also the favourite choice amongst our customers so we didn’t need to look elsewhere.

By publishing and scheduling your content through Buffer, you are able to to do to so on the following social platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook (Profile/ page/ group)
  • Linkedin (Profile/ page)
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • G+ (Profile/ page)

Another speciality of Buffer which is close to our heart and values is, Buffer will only let you publish new content which you know absolutely what our mission as a platform by cutting through the noise and improving the way organisations discover, manage and distribute information and analysis. 

To get discovering, you can find this new feature within your board Publishing settings – Once you have connected your Buffer account, then you can easily manage what you would like to publish, whether it be articles, story arcs or editor approved only. The content will then be automatically added to your queue within Buffer and you can schedule as you normally would.

Feature_Buffer

Please note the feature mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here. In addition, your queued content may vary depending on which Buffer account you have.

 

The Death of Klout is not the end for Influencer Models

Reading Time: 3 minutesAmongst the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) first casualties, Klout stands out for the lack of sorrow at its demise. The premise was simple enough: distilling users presence across multiple social media platforms to give a single score. The (almost always) two digit number bears an eerie resemblance to the rather vague and sensationalist descriptions of China’s social credit scheme, Sesame Credit – albeit several years ahead of the Communist Party’s alleged plans.

The premise was flawed for several reasons. For one, there were concerns about the ethics of an opaque system for measuring social media influence, not least one boiling users’ influence down to a couple of numbers. Secondly, and perhaps more pressingly, Klout’s model was (for want of a better word), useless. Rather than showing anything meaningful about social media influencers, it did little more than aggregate scores (often woefully poorly). When a social media score did little more than  Even worse were its descriptions of influencers areas of specialism: as The Drum pointed out, Klout’s view of Pope Francis portrayed him as both an expert theologian and a leader on Marxism, warfare, and Miss Universe. Such profiles did not fill the world of marketing and PR with great hope for Klout, which is winding down on May 25th (the same day as GDPR).

Whilst the regulations undoubtedly played a role in the downfall of Klout (a service which almost certainly didn’t play by regulations in terms of data collection and processing), its failure to make a meaningful service was almost certainly at its core. That’s not to say that studying influencers is worthless for marketers, journalists, and communication professionals – just that smarter ways of studying influence are necessary.

One of these comes from Cronycle’s service. In addition to using Twitter data and network analysis to produce our Insight Reports. Cronycle keeps tabs on influencers across multiple topics through our Right Relevance platform across dozens of topics. Rather than giving users a single score, they receive scores for individual topics and sub-topics – this more granular approach is more valuable since it allows users to narrow down on the specific expert or influencer they want. It also builds up links with related influencers, creating networks which reflect underlying similarities and ties.

An image of top influencers on the topic of GDPR. The sliders on the right allow for users to narrow down on the group they are particularly interested in.

The service extends beyond Klout’s focus on numbers, though. At the broader end of the scale, Croncyle’s service gives a dashboard allowing you to search through topics, compare trending hashtags, look at the top influencers and domains, and see related topics.

The Cronycle Influencer and Topic dashboard for AI

Cronycle users can also search through articles by top influencers on their areas of speciality (as well as through related topics), giving both the tweets by the influencers and their articles. Domain searches are another feature, giving a list of top topics and top influencers for specific sites.

The final aspect is Topic Intel, which allows users to compare a single subject across time – an equally important comparison to that between different subjects.

Topic intel for AI and Machine Learning

Users can easily find how the top spots have changed – or not – for their subjects, as sorted by retweets or mentions (all Twitter activity).

Klout may be dying, but the influencer model is by no means moribund. Holistic approaches, like Cronycle’s, build on Klout’s work of showing influence through a numeric system but seriously ramping up the extra information required to make that useful.

Story arc and publishing

Reading Time: 3 minutesWe mentioned a couple of weeks ago on our blog about our Daily Digest feature rollout that we are introducing new features to help our clients with their enhanced curation needs. This release is packed full of three new features:

1. Adding summary to articles

This is an evolution of a feature that we had. Before you were able to add comments to articles, now you have the ability to add an intro summary to the article of up to 1,000 characters (screenshot below as an example). You will also notice a few other tweaks including up and downvoting change of icons, plus engagement scoring of articles symbolized by ∑.

 

2.  Ability to group articles and create a Story arc

Story arc (defined by Dictionary.com) The principal plot of an ongoing storyline in the episodes of a narrative; thecontinuous progression or line of development in a story

To us, a story arc is a way of grouping together articles/content which create their own theme or story. You can add summary descriptions to these arcs and have several arcs within the same board. We wanted to ensure you as a user, have a more enhanced and customizable experience with the content you have curated and selected. You can easily add to an existing arc or create several new arcs within the same board. In addition, if you want to remove an arc, you can simply delete it and the articles will remain as before on your board.

 

 

3. Publishing modes

Now for the publishing part of the feature – Once you have your story, we developed several different ways for you to get your voice heard:

a) Editor approved publishing mode

You may be working in a team whether it be with a Manager or as collaborators, where other people will have input as to what content you use or publish. This easy way with “editor approval” means the nominated person can approve the content with the tick boxes, which means you can publish the content only, which has been approved.

b) Content-type publishing mode

A different way of thinking about the content you are publishing, you can choose to publish editor approved only or from (and not limited to one) story arcs, articles, uploaded files. This applies for both the purposes of a curated channel and of a curated source.

c) Publishing a Board as a public feed

You may have a company newsletter or professional blog where you would like to have a stream of content for your audience to read. You can share this link wherever you like for external accesses. Articles only will be visible. The same applies, where you can allow your board to be visible to your organisation/ team as a feed, therefore, people will not have edit writes to change anything on your board but have “viewing” rights as such.

Please note some of these features mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here.

GDPR – Just one month to go

Reading Time: 2 minutesThe General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Europe-wide change to data protection, comes into effect on May 25th. Companies around the world who deal with European citizens’ data will be affected – we’ve already seen tech giants like Facebook and Google scrambling to save their business models, knowing that the fines which can be levied against them through GDPR are too big to ignore. But GDPR isn’t just about penalising the big players who have run roughshod over customers for years: small organisations will also have to become compliant.

Judging by the conversation which Cronycle monitors on Twitter, what being compliant means is still a subject many companies are struggling to work out. GDPR extends a lot of existing data protection regulations, giving provisions for consumers such as asking for their data in a portable format, limiting data hoarding, and attempting to ensure that both data controllers and data processors are kept in check. And we’re still yet to see all the national laws which will come into effect alongside GDPR, adding new levels of restrictions on data processing and handling.

If any of that sounds confusing, Cronycle has you covered. We’ve been monitoring the leaders and trends in the GDPR conversation for the past five months in our Insight Reports: with these, you can find out exactly what people are discussing when it comes to GDPR, and who it’s worth following for advice on the implications. We’ve recently added a new section, top articles, which covers the top 10 most influential GDPR articles for each month – these include news stories on big companies which are falling foul of data protection laws as well as guides and tips on how to stay compliant and on how to make the most of GDPR. We also ran a blog at the start of the year featuring five of the best guides on how to tackle compliance.

We also launched our GDPR Slack channel in February. Subscribers get key content, including both Insight reports and content from the top influencer identified by Cronycle’s algorithm. The channel is highly modular, so you can add on other topics of interest to keep abreast of developments in these areas. Finally, we’re hoping that the Slack channel will act as a community hub, so users can invite colleagues and friends to the channel.

Stronger regulations like the GDPR are key to ensuring that the sort of abuses which Facebook has been found guilty of come to an end – but implementation has to be balanced with a recognition of the risk to small businesses. Stay up to date with all the key points with Cronycle’s coverage.