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Can you project what Social Media will do for SEO?

In recent conversations with social media visionary Brent Csutoras, we discussed a question that I hear at least once every day when potential clients call:  Will a social media campaign help me rank better in Google Organic?  

As we hear more about Google Plus, the growth of mobile, and other changes in the digital landscape, many marketers are also asking themselves this question.  We all know that social signals are important, but the question is just HOW important are they, and will they become as, or more important, than links.

With 8 years of experience integrating Search with Social, Brent believes the answer is a definitive yes, although there isn’t a verifiable way to quantify the organic SEO value of social  – yet.

Let’s look at what we know directly from the horse’s mouth:

Matt Cutts (Google): It’s harder to fake authorship than buy links.

Maile Ohye (Google): “To rank well, provide an awesome product or service, then attract buzz: natural links, +1s, likes, follows, shares…”

Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt publicly stated that the true cost of anonymity is obscurity. Building brand authority is a must going forward.

Sources:  Matt Cutts Pubcon 2013 Video, SearchEngineLand on Authorship, Brent Csutoras on Slideshare

Some independent studies show that Google is already applying social signals as a measure of value and authority, but we don’t yet know how much or when Google will fully incorporate social as a massive signal.  We do know it’s just a matter of time, as evidenced by the fact that in 2010, Matt Cutts confirmed they were using Facebook and Twitter links already.

Expand your Vision

Instead of narrowly looking at the value of social signals for Google Organic, it’s fundamental to focus on Social Signals, Building Community, and Building Links as indicators of how users and search engines measure true authority and popularity.

As an example, here are some of the goals of our current social campaigns:

Building links:  Social gives you visibility so you can acquire earned links.  You also get social links (links from Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus) which may count within the current link-based algorithm.

Building community: Be where your audience is. If you are promoting a rehab center, wouldn’t you want to put up flyers at AA community meetings?

    Social signals:  These are important for authentication and as a measure of true popularity. As they continue to gain value, social signals will not only give you authority but will also create legitimacy to your brand.  As social grows and people increasingly become social consumers, using endorsements to make purchasing decisions, these signals will be leveraged more and become a fundamental part of the buying funnel.

    Measuring ROI Based on Goals

    How you measure ROI is based on your goals.  If your goal is organic visibility, your KPI’s will be based on increasing your rankings and organic traffic.  Examples of those KPI’s may be:

    Using Social Media to promote high quality content and encourage social shares & links

    Using Social Media to reach influencers to create opportunities for interviews and other types of link acquisition

    Promoting an infographic across social channels to increase traffic, links, and social shares

    If you’re looking for specific metrics, here are a few examples:

    Links acquired from social visibility (both links FROM social media sites themselves as well as links from blogs and news sources)

    Traffic from social visibility

    Audience engagement: time on site, pages visited, bounce rate, etc.

    Content is the Foundation of a Successful Social Strategy

    Successful social campaigns start with truly amazing content. We take this outstanding content and actively promote it across a variety of social channels to gain exposure, visibility, and traction. This may include 50 shares, 50 tweets, 25 +1’s, etc.

    Exactly how the content performs is relative to so many factors – what are we promoting? Where are we linking to? Is this a community that is actively engaged, or are they lurkers?  We know industry standards and have baseline measurements that we strive to reach for each campaign. As you may know from previous marketing efforts, each campaign is different and we can’t guarantee an outcome across social promotions.

    If you create content that appeals to authoritative sites and influencers, then place that content in front of them via social channels, the chances of gaining links are exponentially increased. Do it consistently and they’ll start to know, trust, and follow your content.

    As a secondary benefit, the more you become a resource in a community the more influencers will start following you and naturally sharing, endorsing, and promoting your content.

    Social for Earned Media

    To summarize, look at the debate around Paid, Owned, and Earned Media. Owned media is composed of your own content and assets that you are using to promote visibility. If you want to build links, the goal would be to use social and paid social to gain an audience that will then link to and share your content. Then, articles or links to your content are earned. They were influenced through social promotions but naturally acquired, which ultimately is giving Google what they’re asking for.

    If you want clean organic links to impact the current algorithm and quality social signals to stay future-proof, then social promotions of amazing content are the key to both organic visibility as well as an engaged audience who gives you social proof and authority.

    Do you already see an impact of social media on your organic rankings?  Please do share your thoughts!

    Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock

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    Minetech Search Engine Eliminates Random Search Queries

    MineTech, Inc. an international data solutions and marketing company, today announced the release of a new search engine which eliminates to need for users to query the endless streams of batched data delivered by popular “keyword”-based search engines like Google when conducting online searches.

    “The internet is both a blessing for the amount of information it can deliver and a curse for the way it delivers that information,” says Kenn Devane, president and CEO of MineTech, Inc. “Everyone is frustrated by the endless and random results generated by Google-type searches, which often pull up material that is irrelevant for users. While Microsoft, Yahoo and Google struggle to reinvent, personalize and localize their search offerings, we’ve developed a simple solution that greatly improves most search functions.”

    Next, the engine applies a pattern matching technique to assign a priority to the search results, based on the concentration of the data being searched. Finally, it displays the search results in an index, by subject. Users simply select the subject they are interested in and information relating to that subject is automatically highlighted within the document, web page or email.

    Search Incite works with almost every format of structured and unstructured data and all languages can be supported by simply translating the library. This means that it can read a document in one language and convert it to another. It can also automate the metadata tagging process via the index and the XML translation process to standardize data definitions.

    Devane explains that Search Incite can also be applied to a user’s email system to automatically read, catalog, respond or reject email messages, such as spam.

    “If you think of search engines as data vaccum cleaners, Search Incite is the filter that tells you what is inside,” Devane adds. “It’s like the index within a book, that tells readers where to find specific information. Great technology is fundamentally about simplifying manual work, along the lines of E-Z Pass, or E-tickets. How these technologies work is far less important than their ability to speed tasks, improve productivity and get the job done.”

    What’S Next For 5G In 2023 And Beyond?

    Robert Triggs / Android Authority

    Depending on who you ask, 5G is either the building block of a major shift in mobile networking or verging on a pointless and overly expensive upgrade. Despite the range of opinions, the industry is pressing ahead with improvements to the standard set to roll out in the coming months and years.

    With 5G now firmly embedded in a good portion of the world’s networks, if still somewhat regionally limited, what can we expect from the next stage of the standard’s development and rollout? Let’s dive in.

    5G in 2023 — the hunt for even more spectrum

    Following 5G developments isn’t a straightforward business; it takes a long time to revise, finalize, and implement the 3GPP Releases that make up the building blocks of networks and connected devices. Broadly speaking, though, we’re at the stage where the fundamental technical aspects are mostly set in stone and fall under 5G New Radio (Release 15) in 2023. This includes technologies you may be familiar with, such as mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency bands, beamforming, and the use of MIMO, all of which form the backbone of the first-gen 5G networks in use today. Upcoming and future releases are mostly, but not exclusively, focused on network feature enhancements.

    Unlicensed spectrum tests are expected later in 2023.

    However, unlicensed spectrum isn’t the free-for-all the name implies — there are regulatory and interference issues to overcome before carriers can deploy in these bands. The EU, South Korea, and the US have opened up the 6GHz region for use with outdoor networks, with some caveats such as automated frequency coordination (AFC) requirements in the US. T-Mobile is looking to test unlicensed 6GHz spectrum in 2023, so expect this to become a feature of many more networks once we enter 2023.

    Read more: What is Wi-Fi 6E and unlicensed 6GHz spectrum?

    What is 5G Advanced?

    Kris Carlon / Android Authority

    Release 17, which reached “functional freeze” in March 2023, is more ambitious from a feature perspective. On the hardware side, the revision aims to extend battery life for mobile devices, enhance features for MIMO coverage and URLLC, and scale mmWave spectrum to support between 52.6 and 71GHz and the 60Hz unlicensed band. Once again, the hunt for more bandwidth is a key component of the 5G roadmap.

    The upcoming release also introduces a new class of NR-Light 5G devices, which support scaled-down bandwidth and antenna requirements for low-power gadgets like wearables, sensors, video cameras, and more. There’s also support for satellite-backed communication, expanded multicast features, and centimeter-level location accuracy for industrial applications where high-precision, on-site tracking is required. Satellite-based comms (5G NTN) are likely to be used to expand network coverage beyond the typical cell edge and to previously unreachable locations, as well as to provide blanket coverage for IoT projects. Combined with much greater bandwidth and side-link expansions, Release 17 is shaping up to support a wider range of use cases than what we’ve seen from 5G in 2023.

    Future 5G networks will support satellite communication and new ‘NR-Light’ IoT devices.

    However, given that this specification will only be finalized in mid-2024, these improvements won’t be making their way to networks for at least a couple of years yet.

    Standalone is on the horizon

    Specifications are fine, but deployment in the field matters most for consumers and businesses. 5G in 2023 primarily consists of Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, meaning they’re using the existing 4G LTE core to manage the network while boosting speeds with a 5G data pipe. With deployments now well established, carriers are beginning look to Standalone (SA) 5G network types to deliver on many of 5G’s (so far) absent promises.

    Read more: 5G Standalone vs Non-Standalone explained

    Vodafone Germany is flipping its 5G SA switch in Bonn and plans to move over entirely by 2025. The kingdom of Bahrain also has its SA network online through operator STC Bahrain. In the UK, EE is planning to enable Standalone services by 2023. Turning to the US, T-Mobile has already begun transitioning its network over. Verizon is looking to progress towards a 5G core later in 2023, while AT&T has no commitments and will transition “when the ecosystem is ready,” whatever that means. Many of today’s smartphones already support 5G SA, although AT&T did note battery life concerns as one possible reason to delay.

    The best 5G plans in the US: Which carrier is right for you?

    Search Engine Journal Merges With Search & Social, Llc

    I am very happy to announce today that Search Engine Journal and our client services division has taken a new direction, merging with Search & Social, the company founded by Dave Snyder & Jordan Kasteler, to form a new full service online marketing and media firm; Search & Social Media, LLC.

    Dave, Jordan and myself are now equal partners at the new Search & Social (here’s more about us on the S&S site), which offers complete and well rounded search & social media marketing services along with a new emerging network of media properties built around the Search Engine Journal media network.

    I’ve been waiting for a day like today and a partnership like this for a long time. Not only do we gel on a business scale and friendship scale, but our families also get along and share our vision, which is incredibly important to all of us.

    It was at IM Spring Break we decided to make it official, and blend all of our services, tools and media properties into one company and focused direction, under the new Search & Social Media, LLC. And I can honestly say, we now have a MAJOR portfolio of clients and the scalability needed for developing an all encompassing marketing firm, with a team of 10 in-house employees and an army of solid and trusted contractors (many of which are SEJ contributors), who we all know well and have worked with for years.

    Under the new Search & Social, our core services include :

    Social Media Marketing and Promotion across power accounts within Digg, Stumble, Delicious and other niche targeted social media networks

    Effective and targeted link building via blogger outreach, research, content contribution and other in-house methods

    Integrated social media marketing and targeted link building into one encompassing campaign (our specialty)

    On-site SEO which includes site audits by some of the best in the business and the restructuring of site architecture for search engines

    Paid Search Management and Online Advertising Media Buying from the S&S Team

    Management of Google Webmaster Tools and other search engine accounts

    Feed management amongst shopping search engines AND Yahoo Search Paid Inclusion

    Online public relations and blogger outreach, with an emphasis on search or “Web 2.0” related companies

    Content creation for traditional websites or content creation and management for business blogs

    If you are interested in our services, whether all or just a few, please feel free to call us at 1-888-420-4SEO or check out our SEO Services

    What does this mean for Search Engine Journal?

    There are going to be some major changes in store for SEJ! First and foremost, we’re about 3 weeks away from a major site overhaul and design relaunch. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time, but it is difficult for one man to steer the ship of SEJ and manage a search services firm, so now we have the power of three behind the site and have also brought on Ann Smarty, our Director of Media, to manage SEJ and our columnists.

    The new SEJ will also have many different social attributes which focus on open communication and the ability to have questions answered and seek help from our readers. We will be a much more open community spanning beyond the blog and onto different SEJ properties and social media destinations.

    Also, expect more contributions from our audience, industry professionals, thoughts from those outside of search and multimedia integration. The future looks very bright for SEJ 🙂

    For your enjoyment, here’s our official press release which is being sent out today :

    Search Engine Journal Merges with Search & Social, LLC

    Tampa, FL May 18, 2009 – Search Engine Journal Inc, parent company of chúng tôi announced it would be merging with search and social media marketing services company Search & Social today. The new Search & Social Media, LLC will

    be both a services and media company, looking to bring a new level of excellence to the industry in both areas.

    Loren Baker, the founder of Search Engine Journal, Inc and editor of chúng tôi said of the merger, “In David Snyder and Jordan Kasteler, I’ve found two trusted partners in search marketing that have complimentary visions and search marketing expertise. With the diverse and focused skillset behind the new Search & Social, Search Engine Journal will become three times as strong and together, Search & Social can offer more services to our portfolio of SEO & Social clients.”

    Search & Social is a leading search and social media marketing company founded by respected marketers David Snyder and Jordan Kasteler. “The addition of Search Engine Journal Inc. to the Search & Social family makes us not only a powerful media provider in the industry, it also allows us to add Loren Baker, who is one of the best link builders and online press strategists in the industry, and his team to our service offerings,” stated David Snyder.

    The new Search & Social will include state of the industry service offerings in areas such as social media marketing, viral marketing, search engine optimization, link building, and online press strategies. The company will also offer search and social media marketing news, analysis, and education through chúng tôi chúng tôi and its conference series, which includes IM Spring Break and Scary SEO.

    “We’re excited to partner with such a great team to bring more excellence to the Internet marketing community via our events and even more value to our clients,” stated Co-Founder of Search & Social Jordan Kasteler.

    About Search & Social:

    Search & Social is owned and operated by leading search and social media marketers Jordan Kasteler, Loren Baker, and David Snyder. The company offers both media and services related to search and social media marketing.

    Nine Projects Lifting Web3 Beyond The ‘Crypto Bro’ Norm

    Unfortunately, the gender imbalance as it was known in Web2 discourse will still be with us in Web3. For the last ten years, the space has largely been pioneered and dominated by individuals who gravitated toward it from the tech and finance sectors, two areas ripe for criticism on gender inequality.

    However, while NFT critics and Web3 natives often slam the space for its “crypto bro” reputation, the reality is that there are several women and non-binary individual-led NFT communities that are actively working to upend that image. These NFT projects and Web3 collectives are educating women and members of underrepresented communities on the potential of Web3, bringing them into the fold and showing them how they can make the space work for them. So today, we’re shining the spotlight on nine of the most notable women-led projects in the NFT ecosystem.

    World of Women Floor Price: 1.28 ETH

    Perhaps the most well-known women-led NFT project out there, World of Women is an absolute powerhouse of a community focused on empowering women and onboarding them to the Web3 space. Initially a 10,000 edition PFP project aimed at providing a place for women in an industry conventionally known as male-dominated, WoW has grown into a well-known Web3-based brand that continues to branch out into a spectrum of ambitious media endeavors.

    World of Women

    The project’s Co-Founder and artist Yam Karkai recognized the chance to spread a message of inclusivity during the NFT boom of 2023, pivoting to the PFP space in the process and giving rise to the original WoW drop on July 27, 2023. Incredibly, the collection sold out in 10 hours.

    In March 2023, Karkai and the WoW team launched World of Women Galaxy, a set of 22,222 WoW NFTs created using NFTs from the original collection. Utility for both collections includes access to exclusive airdrops, like the project’s August 2023 WoW Capacitors collection, token-gated events like WoW Gala, and participation in the project’s governing board, the DAWoW.

    In March 2023, WoW announced a partnership with The Sandbox to establish the WoW Foundation. The foundation will receive $25 million from the Sandbox over a five-year period, utilizing the funds to create opportunities for women in decentralized spaces. The initiative is based on four principles: giving back to charities, uplifting the ecosystem by supporting artists and funding projects, communicating to give more visibility to women-centric causes, and educating newcomers.

    Officially signaling the project’s ambitions to expand into IP territory, WoW holder Reese Witherspoon announced that her production company, Hello Sunshine, would partner with WoW to develop their universe into various IP-related endeavors, including feature films and a TV series. Since its inception, the project has been a bastion of inclusion and encouragement in Web3.

    Boss Beauties Floor Price: 0.11 ETH

    Boss Beauties has been busy this past year. Founded by CEO Lisa Mayer and released in September 2023, the women-led 10K PFP project has raised more than $350,000 for causes that directly benefit girls and women around the globe, collaborating with brands and organizations like Hugo Boss, the New York Stock Exchange, Barbie, and Rolling Stone in the process.

    In March 2023, the project partnered with Mattel Inc.’s Barbie to commemorate Women’s History Month via a unique Barbie NFT that was auctioned off to support the Dream Gap Project, Mattel’s annual charity fund that goes to groups supporting girls’ personal and professional development. The same month, Boss Beauties released its second NFT collection, Role Models, raising nearly $50,000 for women’s scholarships from primary and secondary sales. And in October, the project announced it would renew its partnership with the Barbie brand to release an upcoming NFT collection of 15,000 Barbie-inspired digital collectibles.

    Boss Beauties #782

    Officially marking its entrance to the world of animation, Boss Beauties revealed “Super BB!” in August, the project’s second NFT collection from Marvel and DC visual artist Meghan Hetrick. Using these characters, the team plans on developing at least two separate IPs for the big and small screens. The project also announced that it signed with WME, which will exclusively represent the IP in Web3, TV, film, digital, and gaming platforms and arenas. 

    Women And Weapons Floor Price: 0.04 ETH

    A project from Texas-based visual artist Sara Baumann (otherwise known as Sparky), Women and Weapons is a nostalgic throwback to a 1950s artistic aesthetic. The 10K PFP collection depicts women brandishing — you guessed it — various types of weapons, and donates five percent of all primary and secondary sales to The Malala Fund Charity to help women and girls across the globe gain access to education. The project also got a major shoutout from none other than Gary Vee earlier this year, which is never a bad thing.

    Women And Weapons

    In June 2023, the project released its second collection, Women And Weapons: Artirium Wars. The follow-up collection revolves around a narrative theme based on an alternate history of World War II. This month, Women And Weapons also released Nova, the project’s first digital influencer. Nova will create daily content for the brand across social media platforms like YouTube Shorts, TikTok, and Instagram Reels, marking the project’s expansion into animation and narrative storytelling.

    Women Rise Floor Price: 0.03 ETH

    Founded by artist and activist Maliha Abidi, Women Rise is a 10K PFP collection whose November 2023 release coincided with the Center for Global Women’s Leadership’s 2023 international campaign 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence. The collection’s traits are based on women activists, artists, coders, and scientists from around the world whose backgrounds and characteristics were used to generate the pieces in the collection.

    Women Rise

    The project began as an extension of Abidi’s work as an artist, using creative expression as a tool for storytelling and social justice. After a slow start to selling the NFTs in the collection, Gary Vee bought up 10 Women Rise NFTs in December, and alongside other celebrity buy-ins, helped raise the project’s profile substantially, and it sold out in January 2023. Having done so, the project donated 7.5 percent of primary sales to organizations like the Malala Fund, SOL Afghanistan, and The Girl Effect. Like other projects, Women Rise is now focusing on building out its brand beyond the NFT space.

    The Rebels  Floor Price: 0.006 ETH

    The Rebels NFT collection was born of tumultuous circumstances. In the fall of 2012, in Vilnius, Lithuania, Robert Kalinkin Fashion House put out an ad campaign that featured a man and a woman posing as Jesus and the Virgin Mary wearing clothing from the company’s then-upcoming fashion line. After a local religious organization filed a complaint against the ad campaign for insulting religious figures, the Lithuanian justice system ordered the fashion company executives to apologize. Rejecting the demand and taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights (who overturned the Lithuanian courts’ decision), Robert Kalinkin Fashion House Co-Founders Indre Viltrakyte and Robert Kalinkin decided to found an NFT community on the ideals of free creative expression.

    The Rebels

    The 10,101-strong PFP collection is based on the image of Mary that the two used in their original and now famous ad campaign. Viltrakyte wanted the project to reflect the strength and character of the archetype of the ultimate matriarch.

    “When we created the project, we wanted to create this character, this mother of mothers — proud and independent,” Viltrakyte explained earlier this year while speaking to nft now. The women-led project, illustrated by visual artist Adriana Vala, aims to become the first fully blockchain-based fashion house.

    The Flower Girls Floor Price: 0.06

    Award-winning graphic designer and illustrator Varvara Alay took four months to handcraft the more than 950 elements used for The Flower Girls’ December 2023 10K PFP release. Billed as a collection that raises the standards for fine art NFT collectibles, The Flower Girls’ traits are more numerous than most 10K projects. They include more than 145 facial features, 35 hairstyles, and 170 accessories randomly arranged to make up each NFT.

    The Flower Girls

    The project donates 20 percent of primary and secondary sale royalties to various children’s charities. To decide where those funds go, The Flower Girls’ team and Discord community select and vote on a shortlist of charities that allow ETH donations via the Giving Block platform. This Web3 platform has also done wonders in enabling people to donate crypto to organizations fighting for women’s reproductive rights.

    In the year since the project’s launch, the team has donated more than $582,000 to several children’s organizations, including St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the Malala Fund, Save The Children’s Ukraine Crisis Fund, and more. The women-led project has also shown a commitment to supporting young NFT artists, and dedicates five percent of project funds to buying children’s art on the blockchain through the FlowerGirlsArtFund.

    BFF Floor Price: 0.047 ETH

    In January 2023, Brit Morin and Jaime Schmidt (alongside more than 50 women leaders across various industries, including Gwenyth Paltrow and Mila Kunis) started BFF, a collective focused on building an accessible community that educates and connects women and non-binary people on the possibilities Web3 has to offer. The project’s broader goal is to become one of the largest decentralized brands on the internet.

    BFF

    In February, the collective dropped 8,444 BFF Friendship Bracelets, a priority access membership pass that gave holders eligibility for future drops, including the release of the community’s inaugural PFP drop, You. Artist Jade Purple Brown designed the 10K PFP collection, and holders are eligible for an ever-expanding and rotating selection of utilities and perks, like getting allowlist spots for other notable NFT projects, discounted prices for skincare products and clothing, and more.

    To better provide educational resources to their community, BFF hired journalist Caroline Fairchild as the organization’s Editor-in-Chief in May this year. Fairchild has been at the helm of the collective’s free newsletter ever since. In line with the collective’s mission, the organization announced the formation of the Belonging and Mattering Council (BMC) in July to better spotlight professional development opportunities for underrepresented communities in Web3.

    Riot Girls Floor Price:  0.04 ETH

    In February 2023, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova and OG NFT artist Gremplin teamed up to create the punk sci-fi feminist collection Riot Girls. In classic Tolokonnikova fashion, the project is simultaneously an unapologetically strident celebration of women and a condemnation of all things authoritarian and patriarchal. Billed as the first NFT project to represent women of all ages, Riot Girls is a collection of 666 NFTs that consist of both generative pieces and 1-of-1s.

    Crypto.Chicks Floor Price: 0.043 ETH

    A 10K PFP collection that began in September 2023, Crypto.Chicks aims to build a global community and brand that helps women navigate and succeed in the Web3 space.

    Crypto Chicks

    In February 2023, the Crypto Chicks collective became the first group to donate crypto to the International Planned Parenthood Federation. Crypto.Chicks CEO and CMO Elissa Maercklein made it a point to get in touch with the IPPF to help ensure the group would accept crypto donations in the future via the Giving Block.

    Opinion: When Will Ios Evolve Beyond The Static Grid Homescreen?

    Now that we’ve had our first look at at least an early take on iOS 8, what stands out most to me is how little the basic appearance of the iOS homescreen has changed over the years. On the left is iOS 1, on the right the recently-leaked iOS 8 homescreen.

    Seven years apart, yet still essentially identical in form: a grid of static icons. Looked at in one way, that’s incredibly impressive: that a user-interface that worked in 2007 still works today. But it does make me wonder at what point the iOS homescreen will move beyond this format? 

    Now, you can argue the question is unfair. Sure, Android may have its widgets and Windows Phone its live tiles, but one swipe down of your thumb in iOS opens up Notification Center, which is all live data.

    (You could also quite reasonably ask me what a complete flop of a platform like Windows Phone could possibly teach Apple – but in my view the failure of WP has nothing to do with the user-interface and everything to do with the fact that Microsoft took many years to notice that the world had gone mobile. By the time it finally woke up, it was too late.)

    Perhaps there’s no particular reason for change. Apple has a long history of cautious evolution rather than radical change, and the massive success the company has enjoyed suggests that’s what its customers like.

    I’d argue there are two reasons to consider it. First, and I fully admit this is rather trivial, but when you’ve unlocked your phone multiple times a day for seven years and seen essentially the same thing, it gets a bit, well, boring. Isn’t that reason enough to consider something just a little bit more interesting? Isn’t that one of the reasons some people choose to jailbreak their phones?

    Second, usability. Yes, iOS scores incredibly highly, which is one of the reasons so many people pay a premium for it, and I’m certainly not arrogant enough to suggest anything radical in the way of change. But let me ask a question.

    Think about all the times in the day when you pick up your iPhone. Of those, how many times are to check something and how many times are to do something? I’d suggest we pick up our phones to check a message or appointment or the weather way more often than we do so to open an app.

    So if checking live data is the primary usage, and using apps secondary, shouldn’t that be reflected in how the OS works? Shouldn’t displaying live data be the initial view, swiping that away to access our apps?

    My initial thought was that the live data should therefore be the homescreen. But that still requires a swipe. So perhaps instead the live data should be on the lockscreen. Switch on the phone and instantly see your next appointment, traffic to the airport, the status of your flight, a preview of your last text message … all the things, in fact, that currently appear in the Notification Center.

    That already happens in part, of course. We see the most recent notifications on the lockscreen:

    But there’s not room for many notifications there, and not all updated data gets displayed there. So here’s my thought …

    Put all the Notification Center data onto the lockscreen. Make it more visually interesting, and create a more efficient layout for that information, so we can see more of it at-a-glance rather than having to scroll. Especially with the expected larger display on the iPhone 6, there’s no reason we couldn’t fit a dozen pieces of data on there in a readable form. Then unlock your phone to get to your apps, just as now. A small change that would make a big difference to both usability and appearance.

    There are privacy implications to this, of course. We might not want all our alerts and data updates available to anyone who picks up our phone. But that’s just a matter of making it configurable, choosing what data does and doesn’t get displayed on it, exactly as we do with the existing Notification Center.

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