The Internet Blackout: PIPA, SOPA, DCMA

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What does this alphabet soup mean to me? Today marks the first official day of protest against The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and its Senate companion, the Protect IP Act (PIPA) legislation that is currently under consideration. Both Jeremy and I are fairly close to this issue, Copyright Clearance Center as a client, whose sole mission is to broker license fees between content creators and users. The majority of their clients were large businesses who did significant research based



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Bluefish partners with KPM & Associates

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Good Web Typography?

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Here’s a really nice tutorial for using @font-face in your web designs:



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Content is still King

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We’ve been telling our clients for years how important good, quality content is on your website for lots of reasons. The first, common sense reason is that you need to actually have something to say once your website visitor gets to your site. Yes, as a web design firm, we love a great looking, well designed website and know that it is absolutely critical to getting people to stay and read, but what are you presenting for them to read?



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TCS International & Bluefish announce website launch

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Develop Your Site Locally

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If you’re not developing your WordPress sites on your local computer, you might want to consider it. There are plenty of tutorials tools out there to help you get started; and when you finally do it, you won’t believe you ever developed sites on a live server before. First you’ll need to get a server running on your local computer – using MAMP for Mac folks like us or XAMP for Windows people. Here’s a tutorial from the always helpful



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Secrets to Ford’s Social Media Marketing Success

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Social Media Marketing expert, Jeff Bullas has another great post giving us a great example of a large, old school company running very successful social media-centric marketing campaign. Ford ran a social media campaign for the launch of their Fiesta product, spearheaded by their Head of Social Media, Scott Monty. Ford allowed 100 “socially vibrant individuals” to drive the Fiesta for 6 months prior to official launch. The article is interesting for a number of reasons, including the following: Corporate



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Why did your Google PageRank drop?

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Google PageRank – the Holy Grail of website performance for many of us with a website, especially those in the eCommerce space. One of things I tell my clients is that checking your Google PageRank every day is a lot like trying to tell what time it is by only looking at the second hand on a clock. Sure it’ll give you a snapshot, but it doesn’t mean much in the big picture. A much more effective strategy is to



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Marketing like its 1989

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Are you marketing like its 1989? What I mean is are you still targeting large, broad groups of customers with traditional media buys? Chances are you’re being left behind. Sure Budweiser, McDonalds and Coke still get returns on their Super Bowl ads and prime time commercials, but guess what they’re also starting to do, along with a few other companies who are starting to take advantage of the new huge marketing opportunities that are the result of the new web



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WordPress Leads Open Source CMS Market

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According to a recent survey, WordPress continues to lead the pack in open source Content Management Systems, blowing away both near neighbors – Joomla and Drupal. More confirmation that our CMS of choice is the one asked for by name by most small to medium sized businesses looking for a highly customizable and easy to use website for their business. Read the full story at Read Write Web (will open a new window)



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10 Tips to Establish Social Media Credibility

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Most of us who have been in the branding business for a while now have a good handle on the characteristics that are important to building a strong brand. But do we know how to transfer those traits to the online and social extension of our brand? It might seem like we’re doing the right things, but at the end of the day, do they trust your online personality or do they know your digital/social personality is forced and disingenuous?



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Is your brand too needy?

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What message are you sending with your social media campaign? Did you ever consider that you may be coming off as too needy? We’re all so eager to jump on the bandwagon that we’ve forgotten some of our core branding principles. We want to make sure we have a presence in social media, but we need to be sure it doesn’t work against our core brand message. This cartoon and commentary by one of our favorite social media satirists, Rob



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Number 16 Recovery House Website Launch

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Don’t Forget About Facebook – 50 Facts you should know.

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Many times when we’re helping our clients figure out their social media strategy, we’ll counsel that Facebook isn’t necessarily the right place for them to spend their social media resources. For our B-to-B clients – Linked in, or even Twitter – can be more effective outlets, especial when those resources (read: time, money, content) are limited. Howver, Social Media Maven Jeff Bullas, has posted a list of 50 Fascinating facts about Facebook that serves as a stark reminder that it



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Social Media and the Christmas Brag Letter

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We all have friends and relatives who do it – the Annual Holiday “Brag Letter.” You get a refrigerator –ready picture of the perfect family, in their perfect outfits, holding their perfect babies and perfect pets in front of their (perfect) Christmas trees, etc. It’s usually accompanied by tales of how the family spent the past year curing cancer, saving babies, building empires, graduating Cum Laude, and generally improving the world as we know it. Back in the old days,



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Will Google Ban its Own Browser?

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Will it penalize Google Chrome for Sponsored links and Thin Content? As if you needed further proof that Search Engine Marketing involved at least some level of voodoo, Google’s new publicity campaign for its Chrome browser is making use of some of the very practices that Google has threatened to punish as bad SEO. A well-researched article by Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land points out that in its effort to promote Chrome, Google has actually purchased links, a practice



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CES and the Booth Babe Phenomena

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Demo dollies, booth babes, hostess, models…Whatever you call them. They are a staple at male-oriented tradeshows and have been around since the guy who stood on soap box to sell snake oil discovered his crowd grew with a pretty lady assistant. I had come back from CES with a bunch of cool blog ideas (blogging from there while working 19 hour days wasn’t going to happen). And while I may still post a lot of them, an interesting thing caught



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The State of Digital Marketing | 2011 Wrapup

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Digital Marketing. Talk to any marketing department right now, or over the past year and digital marketing is the the top agenda item. We’re all talking about it, but are companies actually making any money in this space, particularly in social media? Yes they are. Companies in the B2C and B2B space are reporting sales and revenue growth as a result of coordinated digital marketing, and many of those leads are coming directly from social media marketing Search – Search



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Ready for the New Massachusetts Privacy Laws?

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New MA Privacy Laws are Going into Effect. Are you Ready? If you hire, pay, or receive payments from anyone who lives in MA, you may want to check with the experts. The new Massachusetts Data Privacy Laws go into effect on March 1, 2012, and they may have a dramatic impact on your organization.  In no small way, these regulations are a direct response to the TJX data breach a few years back when thousands of credit cards #s



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Walking the Walk vs. Talking the Talk: The Importance of Integrating Your Brand Throughout Your Entire Organization

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Read a Fantastic article in Bloomberg Business Week Small Business section by Steve McKeee @SteveMcKee  on integrated marketing.  As an integrated digital agency, we may be a little partial to the idea, but the concept of integrated marketing is one that is often misunderstood, misrepresented or mistakenly misappropriated. And a lot of that has to do with what we in the agency world are telling our clients. As Steve writes in his article, “Integrated Marketing: If You Knew It, You’d



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Put Your Password on Steroids

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Joseph Bonneau, a computer scientist at the University of Cambridge, recently analyzed the passwords of nearly 70 million Yahoo! users.  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21871-over55s-pick-passwords-twice-as-secure-as-teenagers.html. And while technophiles may look down at those who use a pedestrian service like YAHOO (“Who doesn’t use GMAIL?”), the findings are still pretty interesting because Bonneau had unprecedented access to the passwords. Most other studies like this are based on leaked databases that are most likely impcomplete and/or compromised.  Apparently they used a security technique called hashing (way



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5 WAYS TO KEEP PANDAS AND PENGUINS FROM RUINING YOUR SEARCH

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Pandas and Penguins are happy little creatures. They inhabit animated children’s movies, not nightmares…unless you consider yourself a SEO expert. With every Google update, so-called “Search Engine Experts” go into full marketing mode to convince you that you need to use their latest and greatest technique to enhance your rankings. Panda, launched last year, and now Penguin, have the gurus out in full force. The truth of the matter is that Google is still looking for what it’s always looked



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Web Typography (Part 2)

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I’ve written before about typography in web design and how we’re no longer limited to the the basic font stack of old – Arial, Times New Roman etc. We never used the first generation of type tricks – image replacement technology because at the time it was generally considered to be bad for search, but with newer tools, we find ourselves opening up to newer fonts more and more. As designers, we’re excited about the progress that has been made



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Can’t Forget Our Roots

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We’re a small business. No question about it. From the telltale-brick walls on our store front office, to the fact that the guy running our our accounting department is the same guy running our copywriting department…we meet the SMB criteria. But as we continue to grow up and move up market with our clients (check back in late Sept. to see our latest client project), we need to be careful not to forget our roots. Eight years ago when I



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Whoops. Emailed the Wrong Person!

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 5 Questions to Ask, and 5 Ideas for How to Never Do it Again. I received this email today from the folks who run the Wyndam Rewards program. In case you can’t read it says … EVER EMAIL THE WRONG PERSON?   THEN YOU KNOW WHAT WE FEEL LIKE NOW.   Looks like we might have sent you the wrong email, Jeffrey.  So if you just got a message from us saying your account was about to expire, well, that’s our fault—and we’re



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The business card is dead. Long live the business card.

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Just today I read three different articles about business cards, mostly declaring the death of the business card. Now as a firm specializing in websites and social media, this might sound like something I would agree with and support. The truth is, however, that the business card is far from dead. Remember when email was going to bring about the paperless office?  Me too; it didn’t and the business card is not going away anytime soon, even in an age



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10 Second Pinterest Litmus test

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The 10-Second Test to See if Your Business Should Use Pinterest Most of the questions we’ve been getting lately about social media have something to do with Pinterest. So I apologize if its seems like were blogging a lot on it. But hey, gotta give the people what they want. When people ask us if their business should be Pinning, the discussion usually morphs into a bigger discussion around who are you trying to reach (see Social Media Platform Demographics



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Social Media Platform Demographics

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WHO’s WHERE, and WHY? Two out of three Americans is connected to some sort of social media platform. Below is a handy graphic that discusses the various demographic makeup of the users for the most popular social media platforms. Some of the things that jump out: The clear domination of Facebook with # of total users. At 845 Milion its nearly 3x more than Twitter, Google+ , Pinterest and Linked in combined. The gender differences in Google+ (70% men) and



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Where’s the O’utrage!

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Urban Outfitters make racially offensive shirts– and very few people seem to care. Let me start by saying that my background is Irish, Polish and German. These are probably the three nationalities that are still open season for just about any type of joke.  I’m also a straight, white, protestant male. So fire away– I get it – I’m a drunken Sgt. Shultz who’s too dumb to know who I want to fight. Urban outfitters (@urbanoutfitters) has pushed the taste



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More good SEO advice from Google

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Here’s Maile Ohye (from Google) with more advice on how to best optimize your site for search engines (Google). Watch this clip for the specifics from her, but it affirms what we tell our clients every day. Good SEO is the same as good business and marketing best practices. Maile spells out a handful of mistakes that they see many businesses making with their website marketing and SEO practices. Here’s our summary: 1. Have a real value proposition. In non-MBA speak



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Pinterest: Whats all the Fuss About?

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Pinterest:  Whats all the Fuss About?: Could 5 millions mid-west moms be the next trend for social media?   The latest craze in social media— Pinterest — had been on the top of everyone mind (or at least everyone who does social media and marketing for a living) for the past few months. What’s driving all the attention? Well Pinterest describes itself as “A virtual pinboard to organize and share the things you love.” Kind of an odd concept –



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ImpulsePoint’s New Website is Launched

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We’re happy to announce that our newest project is now live at Impulse.com. Read about our process and more about the project here.



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Have we Entered the Atomic Age for Marketing Data Collection?

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Major Retailers are getting taking consumer profiling to levels from which there may be no turning back  Last week, the NYT published an article about purchasing behavior entitled, “How Companies Learn Your Secrets” Not surprisingly, data from your online and in-store shopping habits is being  pooled and mined to by the big name shopping outlets you use every day to help “customize” your shopping experience. This is nothing new, of course. By now, I think most people realize that those



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Can Your Small Businesses Afford a Long Term Social Media Strategy?

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I set out to write a follow up blog to my Pinterest (one of many more on the topic over the next 6 mos. I’m sure)  when I came across this piece on Mashable. http://mashable.com/2012/03/07/pinterest-brand-marketing/ “Rather than using people for statistical gains, brands and marketers should focus on defining their voice and creating a community of dedicated followers with whom they regularly interact,” they advise. “The best practice is to think of each pin, each Like, each comment and each



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The Politics of Social Media

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Everyone has that friend. You know – the one who can help themselves but repost every stupid political joke, meme, or article from Drudge Report or Huffington Post. Aren’t they fun? I’ve recently challenged THAT friends to spend a whole week doing nothing but PROMOTING his guy, instead of tearing down the other guy. Apparently that isn’t nearly as fun or witty and he hasn’t responded and continues to post infuriatingly un-funny content on a regular basis. Wanting to see



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‘Tis the Season for Scamming: A Reminder about Phishing

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I almost fell for it. A phishing scheme came through my email this morning and it almost got me. The subject line came in “UPS Tracking #s” on my blackberry during a conference call.  Having ordered a few things on line yesterday, I was naturally excited to see that they shipped jumped on my Laptop to see a fairly official looking email with a set of numbers. I was, of course, curious about which products had shipped  and wanted to



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We’re Number 1-ish (or somewhere on the first page depending on where you live and what time you Google us!)

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After receiveing an increase in inbound leads and monitoring a decent spike in traffic on our site, we started to wonder –why all the interest? Talking to a prospect, they told us that we came up #1 when they Googled “Digital Marketing Boston.” [look for yourself — http://goo.gl/mX1YO  although we may be #2 or so based on where you live] We had to admit, we were a bit shocked. While we have spent the better part of the year doing



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Is it Natural?

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A Discussion about Content, from an Art Director It’s probably no surprise that one of the topics that we discuss on a daily basis here at Bluefish is website content, either amongst the team or with our clients. Specifically I’m talking about the words on the page, navigation items, headlines and body copy and how to best optimize that content for the web. We’ve talked about this before on our blog, but since it still dominates our conversations with clients,



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Putting a Price Tag on Friends. How does $175 a year sound?

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Just when you thought Facebook marketing was dead in the water, recently released research suggests that each “like” or “friend” that a brand gets on Facebook can generate some significant revenue. Each “fan” or “friend” generates about $174.17 for that brand. The number represents a 28 percent increase compared to 2010. Fans spent $116 on the brand company per year than nonfans Fans spent 43 percent money within that brands industry than non-fans as well. The study, conducted by Social



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Google doesn’t want your Press Releases. They are “Un-Natural” for SEO

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Google’s most recent update to their definitions of link schemes created quite a stir among the SEO, digital marketing and PR world – and in the process, completely screwed a lot of those who felt they were link building and Search optimization experts. Apparently, the 800lb gorilla of SEO is now too good for your lowly press releases and has declared them “unnatural” from a search perspective. This means that a lot of brands are kind of up the creek if their primary strategy



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Do Americans Trust Social Networks to Guard their Privacy? Nope.

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A recent study of online privacy (http://onlineprivacydata.com/) shows that Americans have little trust for social media. This could be bad news for brands who are looking to utilize social media as a way to connect to their customers and prospects. Many of us work really hard to make sure that our followers and friends see us as transparent and honest in our communication with them. Can this be undermined by their overall distrust of the communications media we are using?



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Putting a Price Tag on Friends (Part II): Fake it till you make it?

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In an earlier blog we discussed the estimated value of certain elements and actions (Follows/Fans/Likes/Retweets)  of social media to the brands that seek them. These numbers don’t take into take account the recent trend of buying fake (or at the very least, dubious) followers, particularly on Twitter. This dirty little secret became somewhat known in the mainstream during the 2012 election when reporters uncovered that Mitt Romney’s rather paltry Twitter feed gained 117,000 followers overnight in July 2013. During the



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Net Neutrality in a Content Centric World

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In an article today discussing the supreme court’s striking down of the so called Net Neutrality act, the Wall Street Journal references a “a longstanding discomfort in Silicon Valley with telecom companies treating some content as more equal than others.” Its not a secret that distributors of content (think Amazon.com or Netflix) who services rely on significant more bandwidth usage obviously favor level playing field for Web content — a principle known as “net neutrality.” For them, the clain it



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Your Mom’s on Facebook (But so is Everyone else): Demographics of an aging platform audience.

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Late last winter, we published a blog on the demographics of various social platforms . At the time, Pinterest was taking off and it became one of our most well read pieces as many of our clients were really trying to decide where they should focus their social media efforts. A new  report from BI Intelligence has recently come out that provides some updated information regarding the demographics of various platforms. What the media seemed to pick up most on was the growing



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Twitter: All the Kids are Doing It (Or are They?)

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Last week, we took a look at how Facebook continues to grow, particularly among older people. The next logical jump for a digital marketing genius is to assume that if you’re looking to target “the kids today,” you will find them on Twitter. (Having recently had a hip replacement, I am officially allowed to call anyone under 30 a “Kid”) This is both true and false. Lets discuss: The Numbers Don’t Lie Here’s just a few of the bazillion facts and figures



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And the Winner is – The Top 25 Least Secure Passwords for 2013

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Every January, we start to see a lot of year-end data showing up in press releases and a lot of “Top 20 of 2013″ type of lists begin to make the news. One of my favorites this year is a report published by security consulting firm Splashdata that reveals the top 25 worst passwords for 2013. The list was compiled from files containing millions of stolen passwords posted online during the previous year. The long standing champion of horrible passwords “password” has been knocked



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Bluefish Digital is pleased to announce that our digital marketing family is growing-

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Welcome our new Director of Business Development, Thomas Bartlett. Tom actually joined us late in 2013 and has been quietly learning our business while developing some partnership programs and defining new business opportunities. In addition to managing our outreach program, Tom will oversee lead generation, handle inbound leads and work with the team to establish partnership programs with IT and professional services vendors. A near maniacal networker, Tom’s a seasoned sales veteran with 20+ years of experience working with some of the world’s largest technology brands. Past honors



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Big Data Means Bigger Role for Digital Marketing

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As we at BFD have been preaching for years, the advent of big data and prevalence of analytics has given the Marketing function the ammo it needs to play in the sandbox previously reserved for the “hard numbers” guys in Finance and Sales. A recent study by  IBM of the C-Suite, confirms that CMOs are now wearing their big-girl pants and hanging out in the C-suite lounge. The study indicates that CEOs are increasingly relying on CMOs for strategic input: Chief Officers



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BLUEFISH DIGITAL EXPANDS ECOMMERCE PRACTICE WITH NEW SHOPIFY STORES | Launch new online stores for Capefish Clothing Company, Austin Jolene

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BEVERLY, MA – MAY 09 2014 – Bluefish Digital (www.bluefish-digital.com, @BluefishDigital), an integrated digital marketing agency, today announced that it is expanding its eCommerce practice to include projects built on the popular Shopify platform. For the past three years Bluefish Digital has been expanding eCommerce practice working with emerging retailers in the footwear and apparel markets. Bluefish has also continued to grow its relationship with Shopify. The Shopify platform is one of the fastest growing eCommerce platforms with more than 100,000



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Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform (part 1)

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Choosing the Right Ecommerce Platform As our ecommerce practice continues to grow, we are getting more and more attention. Venerable tech reporter John Moore writing for SearchIT reached out to us after hearing about us online and interviewed our Creative director/partner Jeremy France about advancements in the ecommerce platform landscape. In the article, “Developers Dig deeper on How to Choose the Right Technologies”, Jeremy (and other ecommerce developers) discuss the decisions facing developers (and our clients) when we choose ecommerce



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