Thoughts of Spencer Wade – Successful financial services manager who decided to go back to college, or had a midlife crisis (the debate rages on), to get an IT degree from WGU. Here you’ll find all my thoughts on the things I’m passionate about. Thanks for dropping by!

Social Media Marketing

Written By: Spencer Wade in Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing refers to the process of gaining website traffic or attention through social media sites. Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. A corporate message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself. Hence, this form of marketing is driven by word-of-mouth, meaning it results in earned media rather than paid media.

21st Century – Money Well Spent

Written By: Spencer Wade in 21st Century – Money Well Spent

Spending on Internet advertising in 1996 totaled $301 million in the U.S. While significant compared to the zero dollars spent in 1994, the figure paled in comparison to the $175 billion spent on traditional advertising as a whole that year. As the number of Internet surfers continued to rise, however, interest in the Internet as a mass-media vehicle increased. Online advertising grew to an industry worth nearly $1 billion in 1997. The Internet became increasingly popular in the late 1990s, and the viability of the Internet as a marketing medium emerged as more than mere speculation. Millions of surfers logged on to the Web each day, and many businesses were determined to reach this new audience. Web sites emerged for companies in nearly every industry, ranging from household cleaning products and cosmetics to electronics and automobiles. At the same time, many firms realized that simply creating a Web site wasn’t enough to create a solid Internet presence; they also needed to drive traffic either to their sites or to their specific advertisements.

A Computing History

Written By: Spencer Wade in Computing History

A computer is a general purpose device that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations. Since a sequence of operations can be readily changed, the computer can solve more than one kind of problem. Conventionally, a computer consists of at least one processing element, typically a central processing unit (CPU) and some form of memory. The processing element carries out arithmetic and logic operations, and a sequencing and control unit that can change the order of operations based on stored information. Peripheral devices allow information to be retrieved from an external source, and the result of operations saved and retrieved.

Databases and DBMSs: Making Data Your Friend

Written By: Spencer Wade in Databases and DBMSs: Making Data Your Friend

What is a Database?

The term database refers to any organized collection of data. This data is typically organized to model aspects of reality in a way that supports processes requiring this information. The term is correctly applied to data and the supporting data structures, but not to the database management system, or DBMS. A database data collection with DBMS is known as a database system.

It is implied by the term database system that the data is managed to some level of quality. This is usually measured in terms of accuracy, availability, usability, and resilience. The quality management seen in the database system is evidence of a general-purpose database management system. A general-purpose DBMS is a complex software system that meets many usage requirements to properly maintain its often large and complex databases.

Not Your Ordinary Cup of Coffee: Object-Oriented Design in Java

Written By: Spencer Wade in Object Oriented Design (OOD)

Object Oriented Design (OOD)

Object-oriented design (OOD) principles make up the core of object-oriented programs and systems (OOPS). It is the process of planning a system of interacting objects for the purpose of solving a software problem. An object contains encapsulated data and procedures grouped together to represent an entity. The object interface, or how the object can be interacted with, is also defined. An object-oriented program is described by the interaction of these objects. Object-oriented design is the discipline of defining the objects and their interactions to solve a problem that was identified and documented during object-oriented analysis.

There are innumerable ways that programmers use object-oriented design in software development. Many of these programmers tend to have a very one-sided view of OOD; especially when working with Java. Programmers often chase design patterns like Singleton, Decorator, or Observer without giving enough attention to object-oriented analysis, or following the core principles of using OOD with Java. There are developers and programmers of all skill levels who have never learned the correct design principles, do not fully understand the benefits a particular design principle offers, or are unsure of how to properly apply these principles when coding.

White Papers and Webinars: Free Information Fast

Written By: Spencer Wade in White Papers and Webinars: Free Information Fast

White Paper: An authoritative report or guide helping readers to understand an issue, solve a problem, or make a decision. White papers are used in two main spheres: B@B marketing and government. Many more white papers are produced for B2B vendors today than are produced for government agencies.

Webinar: The term webinar is actually two terms combined: web conferencing and seminar. The term refers to any service that allows conferencing events to be shared with remote locations. The service is made possible by TCP/IP connections on the Internet. It allows real-time point-to-point communications as well as multicast communications from one sender to many receivers. Voice, text-based messages, and video chat can be shared simultaneously across geographically dispersed locations.

Brand Spanking New Web Technologies

Written By: Spencer Wade in Brand Spanking New Web Technologies

Web Technology

The development of new web technologies is one of the reasons programming is such an exciting field. There are few things more pleasing than getting your hands on cutting-edge technology, and bending it to your purposes. New technology turns every day into Christmas for developers, and the gifts just keep getting better and better. This piece will discuss some of the technology that has been released to the programming community, and give some indication of the ways these breakthroughs are being used in the industry. Most of these are already available for commercial and private use, and they are definitely worth keeping an eye on in the coming year.

Programming: Abacus to Apple

Written By: Spencer Wade in Programming: Abacus to Apple

What is Programming?

Computer programming, often shortened to coding, programming, or scripting) is the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code of computer programs. The source code is written in programming languages like C++, C#, Smalltalk, Python, Java, etc.. Programming’s true purpose is the creation of instructions that tell computers how to perform specific tasks and exhibit desired behaviors. Writing code requires expertise in many subjects. These include knowledge of the domain, algorithms, and formal logic.

A debate has been raging over the extent to which writing programs is considered an art, an engineering discipline, or a craft. The reality is good programming should be the measured application of all three, and the goal is producing an evolvable, efficient software solution. It is important to note that the criteria varies considerably when defining software as efficient or evolvable. The field differs from other technical professions in that programmers do not need a license or any other certifications in order to call themselves programmers or software engineers. Due to the fact the discipline covers so many areas, that may or may not include critical applications, licensing is a question mark for the profession as a whole. The field is self-governed in most cases by the entities that require the programming, and in certain instances this can mean strict working environments. For example, the military uses AdaCore and requires a security clearance to do any programming work. The debate is still ongoing in the US, but in many parts of the world portraying oneself as a “professional software engineer” without licensing is illegal.

SEM: The New Way to Turn Dollars Into Customers

Written By: Spencer Wade in SEM: The New Way to Turn Dollars Into Customers

What is Search Engine Marketing?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a blanket term used to describe all forms of internet marketing. SEM concerns the promotion of websites by increasing their visibility in search engine results pages through optimization (on-page and off-page), and through paid placement, contextual advertising, paid inclusions, and other advertising avenues. SEM can be a broad term for a plethora of website marketing techniques. These include everything from search engine optimization where a higher search result is gained through adjustment or rewriting of content to pay-per-click marketing where the focus is solely on the individual paid components of the marketing strategy.

What is the Market for SEM?

The market for SEM is growing at an exponential rate. In the US alone in 2008, advertisers spent $13.5 billion on search engine marketing. The fact that the technology involved is so complex means that a secondary SEM agency market has evolved to handle the workload. Many marketers find the complexities of search engine marketing difficult to understand, so they rely solely on third party agencies to manage their endeavors in the field. Google Adwords, Microsoft AdCenter, and Yahoo! Search Marketing are the largest vendors of SEM service. They expect SEM to grow much faster than traditional advertising, and even outpace other channels of online marketing.

Networking: Connecting the World One PC at a Time

Written By: Spencer Wade in Networking: Connecting the World One PC at a Time

The Internet is an amazing piece of human creativity and ingenuity. It allows computers to be interconnected, share data, and work in harmony with one another to accomplish tasks via a network. What is a network? That is a question with a somewhat complex answer. A network is, by definition, a group of two or more computer systems linked together. There are many types of computer networks. These include:

  • Local-Area Networks (LANs): The computers in a LAN network must be located close together geographically. Almost 100% of the time these computers are in the same building.
  • Metropolitan-Area Networks (MANs): This is a data network designed for a large city or town.
  • Home-Area Networks (HANs): Any network contained within a home that connects a user’s digital devices.
  • Campus-Area Networks (CANs): The computers are all located within a defined geographical location. This area constitutes the perimeter of a campus or military base.
  • Wide-Area Networks (WANs): Computers are located far apart geographically, and are connected by telephone lines or radio waves.

Network Security In A Nutshell

Written By: Spencer Wade in Network Security In A Nutshell

There are many questions one finds themselves asking when network security is the topic of discussion. The most obvious questions would be what network security actually is, how it functions to protect you, how it works, and what the benefits are for business. These seem straightforward and easy to answer, but a trusted IT partner should be consulted to answer these questions for you.

Most small and medium-sized businesses do not have the IT resources of larger companies, so network security is not always sufficient to protect these companies from threats. Larger companies can afford the sizeable budgetary concerns that arise from strict security protocols. This desire of major firms has had an excellent secondary effect on the industry. It has advanced the science of security and lowered the cost for technological defenses against outside threats. This means small to medium-sized businesses can now afford the same level of security larger companies have come to expect over the years.

Google Analytics: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Written By: Spencer Wade Google Analytics: The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Analytics is defined as the discovery and communication of patterns found in data. This is most valuable in areas saturated with recorded information, and relies on statistics, operations research, and computer programming to gauge performance. Google Analytics is the focus of this blog, and it favors data visualization to communicate its discovered insights.

The newest version of Google Analytics, released to users in phases from 2010 to 2011, is an excellent tool for analyzing data related to website productivity. It is made up of a plethora of cutting-edge features including an intelligence engine that is second to none, custom variables, expanded goals, mobile reporting, and many more. This blog includes some screenshots of the new and improved Google Analytics, and defines, to the best of its ability, the uses and benefits of the interface.

SEOmoz: A Path to Power in Search Engine Optimization

Written By: Spencer Wade SEOmoz

SEOmoz is one of the great names in SEO. Founded by Rand Fishkin, it has grown into the best website for SEO beginners. They have also developed online SEO tools that are possibly the best that can be found.

SEOmoz is an incredible asset due to the tremendous amount of free SEO information that can be accessed through their site. The SEOmoz blog is always full of SEO tips and case studies, and their Whiteboard Friday is an awesome resource.

The SEOmoz site offers a paid member option called SEOmoz Pro. This membership gives full access to the SEOmoz suite of tools, and, more importantly, gives members entry into advanced SEO training workshops and training courses. The company offers a 30 day free trial of SEOmoz PRO, so sign up and play around with it to see if it’s right for you.

“Effectively Manage Your SEO” is the caption found on the SEOmoz homepage. In order to facilitate management of your SEO, the site gives users the ability to create campaigns for the different sites you own. As a PRO member, you can create up to 5 campaigns. This will help you in many ways when dealing with SEO.