PacificNorthWest Outdoors

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What do you mean you have never heard of cost per click advertising?

  • How much do firms typically pay for a single click?

Before I go in answering the question, let me provide a little background information on what exactly cost per click advertising is. A website that uses CPCs would bill by the number of times a visitor clicks on a banner instead of by the number of impressions. Cost per click is often used when advertisers have a set daily budget. When the advertiser’s budget is hit, the ad is removed from the rotation for the remainder of the period. An example of this is if a website that has a CPC (Cost Per Click) rate of $0.10 and provides 1,000 click-throughs would bill $100.

Single CPC for top twenty keywords ranged from an astonishing $311.53 to $455.05. This figure is far above the average, which lies between thirty cents and one dollar. Studies show that big money law firms will often pay more for customer acquisition because their return is usually much greater.

I am currently participating in a collegiate DECA competition and my event is called Advertising Campaign. It just so happens that some of the different advertisements that we are running are on a cost per click system. It’s is our goal to find the most effective way possible to advertise for a certain company, our’s being Snoqualmie Ice Cream. We chose to go with cost per click advertising because it allowed us to set very specific limits on how many clicks we wanted and how much we wanted to spend. Here is a picture of our budget and it includes the cost per click of Pandora and YouTube.

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This type of advertising is quickly becoming the more popular option because you pay what you want and you can set limits on how many clicks you want the ad to have. With so much of marketing and advertising moving towards the Internet and different online advertising, this is becoming the new standard way of advertising. It is very friendly to the budget minded company and also enables the company to get their name out to many many people.

For more information about online advertising visit this link.

Can I set up my own Amazon Server… Yes I Can!!!

My first thought on doing this project was: How hard can it be? When I sat down and read the directions on EC2 For Poets, I thought that it sounded easy enough. Oh how I was mistaken.

When I first opened up Amazon AWS it requested that I put in a credit card just in case I included anything that wasn’t in the free version. How do I know if it’s in the free version or not?!? I just went along since other people had to do the same and so far, I have yet to be charged for anything. I hope that continues. When I navigated my way to the home page I noticed that things were different than what was being described to me on the tutorial. It was at this moment that I could tell that we were doing this on different versions. Now, I was on an adventure.

I sat down with my favorite cup of coffee from Thomas Hammer and decided to hammer this thing out,no pun intended… well maybe just a little. I went quickly through the steps including setting up key pairs and configuring my security settings. Then I reached the point where I was suppose to launch my server. This proved to be my most difficult part. As I read the instructions over and over, I just couldn’t seem to get what button to press or what password to enter. After a good nights sleep, I woke the next morning and all of a sudden it just clicked. I was able to launch my server and even install river2 on it to provide a news feed for my server. Here are some pictures just to show off some of my handy work…

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 10.47.05 AM  Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 9.43.28 AM

The like to my server is ec2-52-4-80-115.compute-1.amazonaws.com.

I have a very big sense of accomplishment after completing this project because I saw it go from nothing to something in a matter of hours. It was such a sense of pride and confidence to know that I can do this stuff, all I have to do is put my mind to it. I will have to say that this is probably one of the coolest things that I have done on my computer to date. I look forward to exploring what else the vast internet has to offer me.

The Untold Story of Blockly Games

On this evening of February 25th, I had the privilege of completing some of the challenges on Blockly Games. I decided to complete the entirety of the Turtle game and was one level away from completing the Maze game. I also completed the Puzzle game and completed a couple of units of the Bird Game.

I was a little skeptical at first if these games would be any fun but I was pleasantly surprised. I actually got really into them and when you complete a level, there is this sense of accomplishment that comes over you. It challenges your brain in a way that most aren’t use to because it makes you attempt to solve problems while creating different situations at the same time. You have to adjust in real time and if you fail, you just have to keep trying until you figure it out.

Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 7.08.54 PM

I especially liked the Turtle game because it was challenging and really fun at the same time. It posed a lot of the same elements of the Maze game, but with its own unique style about it. I thought it was cool how you were able to pick up in certain places and then put back down, with a different color, in a different place. Overall, I would recommend these games to anyone of any age because they are fun but education at the same time.

Another Reason The Pacific Northwest Is Awesome

  • What factors make the Columbia River region of the Pacific Northwest an ideal location for server farms?

For many centuries, people have grown to love the peaceful and beautiful settings of the Northwest.  Farmers have loved the fertile soil and fisherman have loved the abundant rivers. However, now there is a new reason to love the Northwest. The Pacific Northwest is quickly becoming a hotbed for tech companies to establish their server farms. The book lists the reasons: The land is cheap, the region’s hydroelectric power costs a fraction of Silicon Valley rates, the area is served by ultrafast fiber-optic connections, and the mild temperatures cut cooling costs.

Here is a great article about inside of these massive server farms.

There are so many tech companies that now have server farms in the Pacific Northwest such as Yahoo, Amazon, and even Google. These are just a few of the companies that have been attracted to the Northwest. Why shouldn’t other big tech firms look into the Northwest as well? Everyone should look into it. The Pacific Northwest is a beacon for clean energy and sustainability. There is nothing quite like driving up the Columbia Gorge and seeing the enormous wind turbines spinning. My advice for any companies looking into investing their next server farm in the Northwest region… DO IT! One of the biggest attributes of the area is how hard working people are and how much they take pride in their work.

Oregon Live posted a great article about server farms in Oregon and you can visit it here.

Could Amazon’s Fire Phone be the next gadget in your life?

  • What is Firefly, and how might it offer competitive advantage? How does mobile (in general) and Firefly (in particular) change shopping habits?

Amazon is mostly known for their success in online retailing and the competitive prices. In the last several years however, they have started to brach out with their line of Fire products. Amazon has come out with the Kindle Fire, Fire TV, and their latest addition The Fire Phone. There new Fire Phone has a technology that is unique to itself and that is Firefly. Firefly is a software that allows the user to scan an item with the camera and get information about that particular product. It can tell you the price of an item, the nutritional facts about the item, and even recommend songs based on what your listening to. This firefly feature even has it own dedicated button on the phone so even if you are on the lock screen, you are able to pull up this fast feature. This type of technology is new to the market and could have an impact on the way future phones are designed.

Amazon’s Fire phone is, as Techradar put it, “a shopping tool for amazon with some phone features baked in.” Even though it might bash the phone a bit, it is completely true. The phone is specifically made to put online shopping right at the users fingertips. The Fire phone, along with its software Firefly, make it so shopping is quick and convenient. If you realized that you were out of a particular item, all you would have to do is scan it and use the 1-click ordering and then its done. You almost never have to go shopping at a normal retail store again.

Although the phone may seem like a very cool phone with lots of new and innovative features, it still did very poorly in 2014. It couldn’t compare to mobile giants such as Apple and Samsung. I personally can’t wait to see what improvements amazon makes, if any, to this phone in order for it to compete with the leading brands.

For the Techradar review of the Amazon Fire phone see: http://www.techradar.com/us/reviews/phones/mobile-phones/amazon-fire-phone-1259146/review

Facebook vs Google: The Battle For The Dark Web

  • What is the “dark Web,” and why is it potentially an asset to Facebook?

A lot of people have never even heard of the dark web, or even those that have heard of it have no idea how to find or use it. The definition that they give in the book is in fact incorrect. What they are referring to is the deep web and not the dark web. The dark web is classified as a small portion of the deep web that has been intentionally hidden and is inaccessible through standard web browsers. A simple way to define the deep web is to think of it as the space that you cannot access through normal search engines such as Google or Bing. It is said that it is impossible to determine the size of the deep web but BrightPlanet, a web-services company, estimates that it is 400 to 550 times the size of the surface web. Thats a pretty good size if you can even imagine it. Just think of all the things that you can google and then realize that you have barely scratched the surface when it comes to the internet. The picture I have posted is a good representation of the distinction. You might be asking what this has to do with Facebook? Well very recently Facebook has launched its very own “dark web” site. Wired magazine says it perfectly when they write, “now the world’s least anonymous website has just joined the Web’s most anonymous network.” Facebook has published this site through the browser Tor, which is a software that allows its users to browse through this dark space anonymously. This is a huge step for a company this size and I think this will lead towards more companies of this size providing their services of the dark web. Maybe this is the new big thing?

For the entire Wired article visit: http://www.wired.com/2014/10/facebook-tor-dark-site/

In addition to the post above, I wanted to do a little more research on the dark web. I wanted to know why the two were mixed up so easy and why there isn’t more information on just the dark web. BrightPlanet has a great article about how the two are very different and how commonly the media gets them mixed up today.

The link to this article is: http://www.brightplanet.com/2014/03/clearing-confusion-deep-web-vs-dark-web/