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The Hive is the New Network

The Hive is the New Network

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all started life as revolutionary networks that brought existing real-world relationships online. Today, they are aging utilities, powering an outdated version of the social internet.

 As social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram grow larger, they skew disproportionately toward supernodes—celebrity, meme and business accounts. An estimated 8% of of all accounts are fake spam bots. The average Instagram user posts 2.69 times a day, while the average user with over a million followers posts 8.58 times. 80 million photos are posted a day, but the average engagement rate per post is 1.1%. On Instagram, 50% of posts are generated by less than 3% of accounts. Facebook is a bit more stable because it has a cap on the number of friends you can have. Still, original sharing like posting photos to your Facebook feed or updating your status is decreasing 21% year over year.

Today it’s no longer enough to “connect the world.”

If you want to survive, don’t just build a network. You have to build a hive, and eventually a hivemind.

The Existential Crisis of the Network

Even though some social networks have grown to include billions of people, the ramp up in communication hasn’t increased proportionally. Even as you add friends or follow users, you can only talk to so many. Facebook users with over 500 friends only actively communicate with between 10 to 20 people. Similarly, Twitter users who have follower counts of over 1,000 share strong ties with fewer than 50 of their followers.

 Myspace’s rapid user growth precipitated an equally rapid decline. It’s a cautionary lesson that growth in the network doesn’t equate to growth in business value. Networks can’t just be neutral. They have to be instrumental.

 A network connects different people and gives them many points of contact for communication and transaction. A network is a neutral description of how connections between composite parts form a system. As networks mature, we’re starting to see something completely new emerge.

 When it comes to car travel,

Google Maps gives us the distance between point A and point B, but Uber moves us from A to B faster.

When it comes to socializing,

Facebook gives us a way to connect, but Messenger helps us to communicate.

When it comes to shopping,

eBay allows us to buy anything online, but Amazon Prime gives us what we want when we want it.

The value of being connected isn’t in being networked. It’s having an opinion and taking action toward an outcome.

The Hive

A single honeybee weighs around 1/10th of a gram. Add up all the honeybees in a hive, and you get around five to eight pounds worth of honeybees — but you don’t get a hive. The beehive is an 80-pound mass that includes every individual bee, but is much more.
The hive is a smarter, evolved network that is bigger than the sum of its parts. The hive:

  • Increases the frequency of interactions between nodes and creates more touch-points within the hive. It’s how the hive learns and makes informed decisions in response to a changing external environment.
  • Decreases friction between nodes and creates a higher level of synchronicity between members of the hive. This produces stronger ties between individual members and allows the hive to act collectively.

Because of the increased frequency of interactions, a hive behaves more intelligently, and because of the decreased friction between nodes, a hive can do more than transfer data. It responds and evolves based on that data. The hive isn’t just more networked. It’s more densely populated with organic, living components.

Though not obvious, the hive is becoming central to the way we think, behave and interact. The best way to understand emergent human hives is to observe how hives operate in nature.

Increasing Frequency of Interactions: Ant Colonies Move as Liquids and Solids

An ant colony is so in sync that a mass of them can stick together to form solids or melt into fluids as a single body. By simply holding onto each other or letting go, the viscosity of a cluster of ants changes. They’re able to do so because of the high frequency of interaction between ants in a colony.

For ants, communication is survival. If you apply pressure to a ball of ants, the ants nearest to the top will begin to act as though they are dead, increasing the fluidity of the writhing mass of ants. The harder the ants are pressed, the more fluid they become to absorb the pressure. The more ants there are linked together, the more pressure they can collectively withstand.

What allows ants to adapt so quickly isn’t the content of a transmitted message, but the way one ant presses against another triggers a chain reaction through the entire cluster. It’s how ant clusters can form rafts to avoid drowning and build bridges out of their bodies to cross gaps.

The fluidity of ants allows them to thrive in almost any environment. They’ve colonized every continent except Antarctica, making up 15–25% of terrestrial animals on Earth.

Consumerization of the Enterprise: Mass Alignment in the Workplace

Tools like Google Apps for Work, Slack and Github are making us more like ant clusters. They increase the frequency of interaction within an organization. People can communicate and switch tasks faster, make smarter decisions based on data and use smarter tools that talk to one another.

Rather than being individuals sitting alone in cubicles, we’re like a cluster of ants crawling and moving around and on top of each other with shared tools that everyone can access.

The image above on the left shows how email communication patterns follow organizational hierarchies at an HP research lab. The image on the right shows the pattern of developers collaborating over chat. With a network model like email, you have to jump from one person to the next to get the information you need. In a hive, real-time communication occurs seamlessly between people. 
The high frequency of interaction gets everyone on the same page and working in sync:

  • People to people interactions: With the hive, a higher frequency of interactions means that work can be assigned on an ad-hoc basis with a tool for real-time chat like Slack. People can switch jobs more rapidly based on what the hive needs. One study shows that the top 20% of developers were also the ones that chatted the most frequently.
  • People to data interactions: What was specialized knowledge accessible via technical interfaces is now common knowledge exposed through conversational interfaces. Think Lookerbot for analytics and internal company data.
  • Data to data interactions: The workplace hive gives us insight where we once only got reports. Tools that everyone in the company uses creates massive amounts of data, which helps people use tools more efficiently. This workflow data used to be valuable only as a system of record. Today, it produces actual business intelligence.

The net result is a vastly smarter organization aligned around shared goals. With more interaction between workers and tools, a business can transform from solid to fluid depending on the needs of the hive.

Decreasing Communication Friction: Bee Swarms Operate like Neural Nets

A swarm of bees on the move resembles the movement of neurons in the human brain. That’s how they’re able to colonize new nesting sites within hours of leaving their old one. 
This doesn’t happen through a centralized intelligence where the queen bee shouts down orders. Instead, it’s through the low-level communication of scout bees that reduces friction for the entire hive and allows for rapid and collective decision-making.
A hive has around three days to find a new nest site before it dies. Finding the right home means exploring possible sites in a one-mile radius of the queen. The queen can’t go out and look at sites on her own, and doesn’t have the bandwidth to process every possible location that the scouts find and make a good decision quickly.

Instead, scout bees — who represent 3% of the entire hive — are responsible for choosing the new hive. When it’s time for the hive to move, around 50 scouts are sent out to look for a promising home. When a scout finds one she likes, she does a “waggle dance” to signal the location to the other scouts. Scouts check out a variety of sites and dance around the one they think will help the hive survive.
 As soon as 30 or so scouts gather around a new nest site, the rest of the hive is already lifting off into the air. 
The decision-making process of bees reduces friction for how a massive collection of individual parts can evaluate a variety of inputs quickly and intelligently. Ultimately, 30 bees decide the fate for 10,000.

Mobile Messaging: The Formation of WeChat’s Hive

While networks like Instagram and Twitter are beginning to wear thin, messaging apps like WeChat are frenetic hives of activity that build economic empowerment. Like honeybee scouts, messaging apps decrease the friction of centralized nodes in the 1:1 communication between individual nodes and allow for emergent behaviors.

WeChat began five years ago as a messaging service. Today, you can use it to pre-order dumplings from a street-vendor, call a taxi, read the news, and even buy a house.

With WeChat, we see the evolution of a consumer product through the three stages of want, need and utility to the hive. At each stage, WeChat focuses on reducing friction by providing infrastructure for users. On WeChat, all it takes is a critical mass of people adopting new behavior to turn it into a utility that benefits the whole hive.

  • Want — 2011: When WeChat launched, it let you send messages, voice clips, photos and that’s about it. Over the next year, as China moved from 2G to 3G, WeChat gave users the ability to make voice and video calls. It automatically compressed videos people uploaded to save cellular data. People wanted to use WeChat because it allowed you to easily — and cheaply — talk to other people.
  • Need — 2012: WeChat users in China were often reluctant to download standalone apps because of high data costs. The launch of “official accounts,” or chatbots, emerged within these constraints. People could read the news or check bank statements via text message to an official account. Their needs were met entirely within WeChat’s platform.
  • Utility — 2013: The addition of mobile payments and WeChat Wallet provided a new layer of utility for users and drove the wide scale adoption of commercial behavior onto the platform. One group of Chinese students built a fruit delivery business on WeChat because other fruit stands on campus were expensive, poor quality and inconvenient. In an interview, one student points out that “WeChat is a bit more agile [than Taobao]. A small entity can still have its own brand.”

As WeChat grows, new utilities emerge on the platform. Each increases the time users spend on WeChat’s platform thus reducing friction between users. The latest progression of this is the launch of Applets, which will allow developers to build full HTML5 apps on top of WeChat. 
What drove WeChat’s growth wasn’t the launch of any one feature. It was the individual fruit vendors, taxi cabs, and mom-and-pop shops that WeChat made life easier for. In the long run, this might be the winning strategy.
In 2015, 12,000 new companies were born on platforms like WeChat every day. The hive isn’t created from access to new functionality. It’s how new functionality creates new economic opportunity.

The Transformation of the Network to the Hive

The increase in the frequency of interaction and decreased communication friction of the hive can be traced to a move toward synchronicity between people over history. Once, a story passed down verbally from father to son turned into myth after a thousand years. The invention of writing and the first spread of literacy allowed the transmission of the first written history.
As technology has advanced, the delay between the transfer of information has decreased. Paved roads allowed couriers to deliver messages, while cables wired along those roads enabled telegraphs and then radio broadcasts. Eventually, you got email, instant messaging, SMS, camera phones, all the way up to live video.

As information networks become distributed from giant data centers to cellular towers and the cloud, the amount of bandwidth available to the individual continues to rise. We’re no longer limited to a broadcast radio model, where one signal is received by many nodes. Today, we send and receive higher quantities of data at higher frequencies, through texts, photos and videos. We sync with each other instantaneously, and all the time.
This is what allows networks to converge into hives, from the individual to the organization.

Instrumentalizing the Social Network

The function of the social network is to connect people and to grow the size of the network. What originally came about through increasing connections is now focused on delivering a better, more immediate experience.
 Facebook in 2012:

Our mission is to make the world more open and connected.

Facebook in 2016:

Our top priority is to build useful and engaging products that enable people to connect and share through mobile devices and personal computers.

In 2012, Snapchat described itself on its website as:

Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment on iPhone — up to 10x faster than MMS!”

Today, the renamed Snap Inc.’s website reads:

We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate.

Facebook and Snap Inc. are both converging around how we communicate and share experience, and they’re doing it by building a family of brands.

From the beginning, Snapchat has built itself around the camera and user experience. As the company moved from 1:1 communications to a broader platform for sharing experiences, this has not changed. 
Facebook’s efforts to mimic Snapchat’s ephemeral messages as well as its initiatives on products like Instagram Stories and its move into virtual reality through the acquisition of Oculus Rift all demonstrate a move away from the network, and toward a moments-driven hive. 
The original experience of Facebook was more connected, but also a lonely experience. You put one version of yourself online and lived another one in real life. The original Facebook showed a version of you that you wanted to see.
Rather than alienating people, Facebook and Snap Inc. today are moving toward a vision of the future around creating real, shared experiences that actually bring people together.

Google, Uber, Tesla and Autonomous Vehicles

The map is possibly the most literal rendering of the network. A map connects physical locations together, and shows you how to navigate from one point to another. The autonomous car is built on top of the map, but it’s instrumentalized around actually taking you between points.

  • Autonomous vehicles can be imagined because they’re built on top of the information networks of Google’s Maps and Streetview, projects that Google undertook to organize the world’s information.
  • At Tesla, they’re building autonomous electric vehicles on top of their network of vehicle sales, service centers and Supercharger stations. Self-driving Teslas have already collected 100 million miles of autonomous driving data and 780 million miles of human driving data from the sensors it builds into each vehicle.
  • Meanwhile, Uber is moving towards autonomous cars through the ride-sharing marketplace it has built. Through the Uber app, the company collects 100 million miles of driving data each day. In contrast, the average American only drives 15,000 miles a year.

Why are all these vastly different companies converging on the autonomous car? That’s because for these companies, it’s about platform and hive, not just about roads without drivers.

Google’s 10-K, 2016:

From the start, the company has always strived to do more, and to do important and meaningful things with the resources they have.

Uber’s blog, 2016:

The old Uber was black and white, somewhat distant and cold. This belied what Uber actually is — a transportation network, woven into the fabric of cities and how they move. To bring out this human side — the atoms — we’ve added color and patterns.

For Google, the search giant, it’s about putting information to work. It is leveraging its massive data sets, of roads, driver behavior, and physical objects, and continuously feeding data back to the system. Uber, meanwhile, has evolved from a white glove black car service into a transportation hive. Through logistics and cleaner, cheaper interfaces, Uber directs human actions more efficiently through algorithms. The autonomous car was the next logical step.

By allowing cars to get from A to B more predictably, autonomous cars will reduce the number of cars on the road, and the number of deaths in car accidents, and even the amount of money for insurance. The hive is what gives us a shot at collectively solving these seemingly impossible problems.

The Future is the Hivemind

A network’s value is traditionally tied to the idea of more—this is what’s known as a “network effect.” The more people and things there are networked, the more possible connections there are between nodes, and the more valuable the network grows.

And yet, the world we’re moving to will be defined by the idea of more with less. Global warming and drought mean fewer resources to work with. At the same time, population growth is beginning to stall across America and Europe, and with it the “free lunch” economic growth that comes with a rising population.

A hive is more than the sum of its parts. Through the hive, a network of drivers and riders also work as a turnkey resource that other services can be built on top of. For companies that operate as hives, sheer quantity matters less than it did for older generations of companies. By increasing interaction and decreasing friction between nodes, they accelerate growth through virtually unlimited, real-time access to data and people.

Hives colonize instinctively as they grow, which is why we’re seeing so many companies converge around the similar trends. But the sequence that they grow in matters. The next big companies will have to do more than just pick the right trends. They’ll have to nail the right timing by moving in sync with their composite parts.

They won’t just be hives. They’ll be hiveminds.

Markethive has already reached this hive mind level. Interesting that others are suspecting this phenomena and here we are! The original and first Market Network.

Thomas Prendergast
Founder, Creator and CEO
Markethive Inc.

Thank yous and recognition for this article goes to (Arjun Sethi) and (Andy Artz) found @


WordPress meets Markethive

WordPress meets Markethive

At one point the decision or revelation became the foundation of the Markethive blogging system. Markethive would make WordPress better.

Let me explain. At one time we considered creating a blog software solution, (Blog Press) with templates that would compete with WordPress. I know, stupid. But at the time, there were many who thought it was a good idea.

The argument went like this, “Joomla, Drupal, Blogger, Typepad, etc.” offer others options so we should too. OK, I said, but then the list of competitors grew from WordPress to a much larger list, and not only did it make us another “ME TOO” company instead of an innovative cutting edge customer centric juggernaut.

I made the decision to “not” jump in as yet another standalone (CMS) blog platform like Word Press, but rather to create a powerful system to make Word Press and other CMS far more manageable, with the goal to make them better. Particularly functioning on making the world heavy weight Word Press even better by enhancing the WP platform with a supporting blog platform so multiple content could be constructed with partner contributors, so we could build a Broadcasting system utilizing literaly millions of members social networks, so we could build massive WordPress sites by many members in collaboration producing powerful SEO campaigns.

The whole idea has manifested as one of the most powerful blog collaboration Inbound Marketing systems ever devised, and that is Markethive.

Our roll being to fuse a powerful vertical targeted social network of Entrepreneurs, thereby making the Word Press and other CMS system powerful by the very spirit of the Rise of the Entrepreneur!

The following lists have become our goal to support the top contenders with plugins, widgets and collaborative power and function.

But the video tells it all.

Choosing blogging software can be a scary process, especially if you are new to blogging. There are many different types of engines and content management systems (CMS) that could be used. Picking the software that you’ll need is not an easy task, given the wide variety and types on the Web today.

There are many different aspects to consider when choosing which blogging software to pick. For instance:

Programming language.

Many blog platforms run on either PHP or Rails, but you can find just about any flavor of programming language you are looking for.

What features you’ll need.

The type of software you might choose is very dependent on the type of blog you are going to run. Some blog software is geared more towards new users, while others are more developer and designer-friendly. It’s a matter of finding software based on the features you need.

The size of the software’s community.

If the software community is larger for one blogging system and much smaller and less active than another, the more active community is usually a better choice for software. More active users within the development community means more improvements on the code base, in a faster time frame.

The age of the software.

The age of the software shows the maturity of the blogging platform. Young projects are more unstable, and are more likely to have bugs.

If you are planning on extending the blog.

If you are thinking about adding things like forums, a store, or some other feature to your blog, some blogging software will be more suited to fill that need than others.

The blog software that you choose can have a big impact on your blogging. It’s important to choose the right software in the very beginning, so you can avoid the hassle of migrating to different engine later on. Here are the pros and cons of the 10 most popular blogging systems.

Here is the list of the top 10 blogging CMS solutions:

Alexa Rank (276)-45

WordPress is the most famous and widely-used blogging platform. It features a very intuitive web-based installer so anyone from skill level novice to expert can quickly install the software without any hiccups.

The WordPress community is a major asset to the blogging software. It has one of the largest and most passionate communities of developers and users, so one could find just about any theme or plugin imaginable. The possibilities for extending the software are endless, and many web sites and services have used the WordPress code base to build entirely different applications. WordPress also features integration with Akismet, one of the most effective spam protection systems for blogging software.

WordPress makes it easy for new bloggers to not only install the software, but also to download and install automatic upgrades to plugins with only one click. The learning curve for WordPress is fairly minimal, and if a new user runs in to problems, they can always check the extensive documentation. WordPress is perfect for the new blogger who wants to get his feet wet installing their first blog software, or the advanced developer who’s looking to extend the stable code into something entirely different.

If you are wanting to start a multiple-blog site, you can also check out WordPress MU. WordPress MU is the same code base as the mature WordPress single blog code base, with some added functionality.

2. Drupal
Alexa Rank  (2,497)-17

Drupal isn’t your typical blogging software. While it has an incredible community behind the code and many blogs use it for blogging software, it’s not just blogging software. Drupal is community software.

Drupal really shines as blog software for a blogging community. Performancing is a great example of using Drupal as a community of blogs. Whether you are wanting to power one blog to a 100, Drupal is an excellent choice.

Another strong point about Drupal is the versatility of the software. It comes packaged with a robust user system, but also a lot of community-friendly features like forums, books (for creating documents in a “book” structure) and a tracker which allows you to follow updates and content that other users have published recently.

Drupal also comes with a large community of developers and modules. With these modules, one could build any type of site or add nearly any sort of functionality to their Drupal installation. Many top-notch sites use Drupal to publish their multiple blogs and user communities. Performancing, Spread Firefox, The Onion, and Ubuntu and others.

Drupal is the perfect blogging software for anyone wanting to add a community to their blog with forums and extensions.

3. Joomla
Alexa Rank (2,689)-570

Joomla is a CMS that is similar to the community-friendly Drupal, and gaining traction every day. While Drupal is geared more towards developing community-flavored sites and blogs, Joomla seems to be geared more towards ecommerce (you can read more about the comparison between Joomla and Drupal here).

Regardless of their differences, Joomla is very much like Drupal in the fact that it’s easy to get anything from a simple site to a community blog in minutes. Joomla has a vibrant development community which has created many extensions.

Joomla is perfect for anyone wanting to build a blogging community site, or add ecommerce functionality to a blog.

4. ExpressionEngine
Alexa Rank (12,422)-2,466

ExpressionEngine is a very robust blogging platform, but isn’t free. The best feature about ExpressionEngine is the feature to publish multiple websites, either using different subdomains on a single domain, or across multiple domains.

You could use one code base to power multiple sites across multiple domains. The software features an extremely clean and simple backend that shouldn’t confuse the blogger. Designers and developers love ExpressionEngine for the fact that it’s quite easy to hand over a site and have the client update his own blog. It’s a solid all-in-one package.

ExpressionEngine is really geared for people who are trying to start a multi-blog site, but anyone can use the software quite easily thanks to its thoughtful and elegant design. A single license costs $99.95, but if you’re running a personal blog you can download the core version of EE.

5. Liferay
Alexa Rank (26,959)+3,284

Liferay Portal is a free and open source enterprise portal written in Java and distributed under the GNU Lesser General Public License. It allows users to set up features common to websites. It is fundamentally constructed of functional units called portlets. Liferay is sometimes described as a content management framework or a web application framework. It comes with certain portlets preinstalled. These comprise the core functionality of the portal system.

The reasons to use Liferay Portal for your website are simple: it provides a robust platform to serve your site to all clients, be they desktop, mobile, or anything in between; it provides all the standard applications you need to run on your site; and it provides an easy to use development framework for new applications or customization. In addition to this, Liferay Portal is developed using an open source methodology, by people from around the world. The code base is solid, and has been proved to be reliable and stable in mission critical deployments in diverse industries.

6. DotNetNuke
Alexa Rank  (32,058)-238

DotNetNuke is an open source platform for building web sites based on Microsoft .NET technology. It is written in VB.NET and distributed under both a Community Edition BSD-style license and a commercial proprietary license. The Community Edition is a popular web content management (WCM) system and application development framework for ASP.NET, with over 6 million downloads and 600,000 production web sites as of October 2010. More than 8,000 DotNetNuke apps are available for purchase on Snowcovered.com. DotNetNuke.com has over 800,000 registered members as of October 2010.

Major Features:

Distinguishes between community (common features) and enterprise (full set of features) editions. 
Various modules, and data providers.
Provides language packs for about 60 languages.
Customizable through skins and templates.

Alexa Rank (32,333)+1482

Modx is not just an open source CMS but also a web application framework. Raymond Irving and Ryan Thrash began the MODx CMS project in 2004 as a fork of Etomite. In 2008 MODx users created a new logo and branding for the project. Now MODx allows for full segregation of content (plain HTML), appearance and behavior (standards compliant CSS and JavaScript) and logic (PHP, snippets).

Major Features:

As with Joomla, modx officially supports only MySQL database.
Not just CMS but a PHP framework for Web.
Freedom to choose jQuery, Mootools, ExtJS, Prototype or any other JavaScript library.
Supports PHP 4.3.11 and above.
Complete control of all metadata and URL structure for SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
Unlimited hierarchical page depth.
Can create custom fields and widgets for templates.
Role-based permissions for the Manager.
Ability to customize the Manager on a per-deployment basis.
Ecommerce integration via Foxy Cart.
Extensions: 622, also known as add-ons.

8. concrete5
Alexa Rank (33,631)-292

Concrete5 is an open source CMS started in 2003 as a rapid-design approach to building the now-defunct LewisAndClark200.org, the official site for the Ad Council's National Council for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. Concrete5 is developed in PHP and is distributed under MIT software license.

Concrete5 features in-context editing (the ability to edit website content directly on the page, rather than in an administrative interface or using web editor software). Editable areas are defined in concrete5 templates which allow editors to insert 'blocks' of content. These can contain simple content (text and images) or have more complex functionality, for example image slideshows, comments systems, lists of files, maps etc. Further addons can be installed from the concrete5 Marketplace to extend the range of blocks available for insertion. Websites running concrete5 can be connected to the concrete5 website, allowing automatic upgrading of the core software and of any addons downloaded or purchased from the Marketplace.

9. Typo3
Alexa Rank (36,110)-8,334

TYPO3 is a free and open source CMS released under the GNU General Public License oriented to small to mid size enterprise-class users. TemplaVoila is an alternative template engine extension for TYPO3. A graphical mapping tool for creating templates is included, an alternative page module, the ability to create flexible content elements and an API for developers. New content element types can be created without programming. TemplaVoila facilitates more flexibility for maintaining web pages than TYPO3's standard templating, while making it possible to enforce a strict corporate design and allowing editors to work with content more intuitively.

Delivered with a base set of interfaces, functions and modules, TYPO3's functionality spectrum is implemented by extensions. More than 5000 extensions are currently available for TYPO3 for download under the GNU General Public License from a repository called the TYPO3 Extension Repository, or TER.

TYPO3 can run on most HTTP servers such as Apache or IIS on top of Linux, Microsoft Windows or Mac OS X. It uses PHP 5.3 or newer and any relational database supported by the TYPO3 DBAL including MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL, and others. Some 3rd-party extensions – not using the database API – support MySQL as the only database engine. The system can be run on any web server with a modern CPU and at least 256 MB RAM. The backend can be displayed in any modern browser with JavaScript. There is no browser restriction for displaying user-oriented content generated by TYPO3.

10. Alfresco
Alexa Rank (36,854)+2,483

Alfresco is an open source enterprise content management system for Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems. Alfresco includes a content repository, an out-of-the-box web portal framework for managing and using standard portal content, a CIFS interface that provides file system compatibility on Microsoft Windows and Unix-like operating systems, a web content management system capable of virtualizing web apps and static sites via Apache Tomcat, Lucene indexing, and jBPM workflow. The Alfresco system is developed using Java technology. John Newton (co-founder of Documentum) and John Powell (a former COO of Business Objects) founded Alfresco Software, Inc. in 2005.

11. b2evolution
Alexa  Rank (80,628)-14,427

b2evolution is another blogging platform that allows for a single installation of a blog, or a whole network of blogs, right out of the box. b2 probably has the weakest developer community behind it, with only a 200+ plugins (compared to Joomla’s 3,400+).

The software features a very easy-to-understand backend, ideal for beginners. b2 also has has a built in stats feature, which is something most blogging platforms don’t have out of the box. The software also features a post editor with a very minimal WYSIWYG editor, which is perfect for a beginning blogger.

While the b2 developer community may not be very large, it has a very promising code base and many people still use b2evolution to power their blogs and blogger communities.

The Irrelevant Others

Alexa Rank (102,395)+10,174

Alexa Rank (104,671)-32,048

Alexa Rank  (116,439)-16,212

Alexa Rank (154,173)-43,687

Alexa Rank (174,802)-9,166

Alexa Rank (187,704)-45,048

Being Irrelevant,

Alexa Rank (8,419,219)-2,169,053

There is no other blogging platform, that integrates support for all Blog CMS systems, engages social networks so reaches high into the stratosphere, nor institute a learning environment so building competent content teams is easily achieved.

Markethive, It is that easy It is that powerful

Thomas Prendergast
Markethive, Inc.



Profile Pages: Online Branding and Building Authority

Profile Pages: “Online Branding and Building Authority”

What is the difference between online branding and building authority? Some would consider it the same thing, but in reality it can be two completely different processes. Online branding is a way to get more exposure for your brand on all levels of online marketing, especially search and social.

Building authority takes online branding to the next level by making each online presence for a brand authoritative. It goes beyond just about creating a blog or social media account. The following are ways you can build your online brand as well as your authority.

Everyone wants to be an authority.  READ: How to be an authority (Know Your Why First)

Start a Blog with Awesome Content

Blogs are beneficial for brands for three reasons. First of all, blogs help you rank well in search engines – Google loves fresh, unique content on websites that are constantly updated. If you’re looking to meet this goal, be sure to use Markethive’s blog platform and build a blog team in a Markethive group to assist in greater content and curation.

RE: WordPress Markethive’s technology super charges WordPress campaigns.

Next, blogs provide for great content to share on social media networks. It’s hard to get traction if your just sharing product and sales pages. But if you’re sharing informative blog posts about your industry, you’re likely to get a lot of traffic and social shares.

Markethive provides plugins and widgets and tech that allows visitors to subscribe to your blog from their Social Networks like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, thereby allowing your new Markethive posts to publish to their news feed automatically.

Finally, great blogs can help your brand build authority in your niche. This is where you go above and beyond cookie cutter posts that talk about your product to creating awesome content in the form of:

  •     Tutorials
  •     Infographics
  •     Videos
  •     Industry Interviews

Awesome content will show fans of your industry that you know your stuff and therefore are the brand to go with for their business needs. A great example of this is the blog you are reading right now – Markethive has Inbound Marketing technologies, the go to Social Network and infographics  that have been tweeted and liked over 10,000 times and posts that have been viewed on Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon over 100,000 times.

There are two great fears that brands have when it comes to blogging. One is that they won’t have anything to blog about, and this is a complete myth. Everyone can find something to blog about. You just have to expand your definition of the target audience. Imagine you had a body shop. You probably won’t get a lot of attention if you’re writing about paint booths and sanding tools all the time, but you will if you think about broader topics that would interest the people likely to visit an auto body shop. You can blog about the latest coolest Hot Rods at the coming Hot Rod Nationals show or the latest NASCAR winner to grab fans of those programs. Or you can blog about environmental issues and the Prious to grab environmentalists. Just think bigger!

The other fear is that they will be giving away “trade secrets” and lose their business. This one is especially common within industries like SEO, where a brand might feel like giving out ten steps to link building will give their customers the info they need to just do it themselves. But this just isn’t true. I have found that most of the time, if you give a complex, in-depth tutorial, a potential customer will see that your brand has the knowledge to do the service, but they won’t have the time or resources to do it for themselves. Hence, they’ll go with you because they feel confident that your brand has the expertise demonstrated in the content provided on the blog.

The key with your brand’s blog is to make sure that it is apparent who is behind the content. Whether you have your blog on your domain (yourbrand.com/blog), as a subdomain (blog.yourbrand.com), or as a separate site (yourbrandblog.com), be sure that it is matched to your brand. Check out Markethive’s site, blog, and subscribers profile pages, logged in dashboard and display variances on hand held devices. All are unique yet all are well branded and follow a conventional identity protocol (all on separate domains and different devices) as an example of great branding.

Guest Blog for Others (This is a major component in Markethive)

When it comes to blogging, you don’t want to keep the good stuff all to yourself. Guest blogging (join a Markethive Group to share content is that easy) is a great way to build your online brand presence and authority. The basic goal is to find a (GROUP) blog whose audience will be interested in your brand, and create a great piece of content for that blog.

Notice I said great piece of content. I would go so far as to say that the content you create for another (GROUP) site’s blog should be even better than the content you create for your own site. You want the content you create for another blog (GROUP) to rock. You want that content to generate additional social shares, comments, and traffic for the blog owner.

As you create GROUP posts for others, be sure to save the links to those guest posts for future reference. As you approach new GROUPs that you would like to guest post upon, you will want to include those links as examples of your successful guest posts in other Markethive GROUPS. If you can convince the GROUP owner that your post will be a perfect fit for their audience and will drive significant traffic and response, the GROUP blog owner will have a hard time resisting.

My main tips for GROUP blogging for your brand include:

1. Find the best GROUPs to guest post on.

When it comes to blogs you want to get a guest post on, your goal is to find those whose audience would be interested in your brand. The blog should get a significant amount of traffic and social shares as well – there’s no reason to post on a blog that has no visitors just because it has high PageRank or any other criteria – you want to get some brand exposure out of this! Use the Markethive GROUPs directory to start your search for blogs in your niche or industry.

2. Find the GROUPs blogging policy.

If you see that a GROUP allows guest bloggers or outside contributors, the GROUP should have some page or post posted that describes their post policy. If they do have a policy page or post, then be sure to note any and all criteria.

3. Start building a relationship with the GROUP owner first. (Markethive Groups is excellent for this)

Now that you’ve found the blog you want to pitch an idea to, don’t just jump in and pitch them yet. Start by getting to know the GROUP owner first by following their Markethive blog posts, their Twitter and their Facebook fan page. Comment on some of their latest posts – make those comments valuable to enhance discussion and demonstrate your writing skills and expertise in the industry. CoPromote their posts using Broadcasting tools and widgets. Do this for at least a week or two before pitching content to them.

4. Research and pitch great topic ideas. (Join others in our live Markethive Work Shops)

Don’t create the content first and then try to find it a home. Once you’ve found the right blogs and started engaging with the blogs themselves, you’ll get a feel for the type of content they publish.

To get an even better idea of what content is successful for each blog, subscribe to them in your Markethive back office blog platform. Then you will be able to see the site’s latest traffic scores. The higher score, the more comments, tweets, Facebook likes, and other social shares the post received. Use these high-scoring posts as an indicator as to what content does well on each blog.

Now you can message via the Markethive message system or request to join their group saying that you have recently enjoyed reading their blog (as evidenced by your commenting & social sharing) and would like to contribute to their site as a GROUP member. After reading their guidelines, you would like to see if they would be interested in the following topics. Then add three to four great post ideas that you believe will fit their audience to choose from. And of course, if you’ve done guest posts elsewhere, include some of your best links. If not, just include some great links from your own brand’s blog.

5. Create Awesome Content.

Once you get approval from a GROUP, your next job is to create an awesome piece of content. Make sure it fits the theme of that blogging GROUP and that it has the overall feel / tone of the GROUP blog you are submitting to. Also be sure to add in relevant links throughout your blog post – not to your own properties, but internal links to the blog itself. This shows the blog owner you’re really giving it 100% for them and their audience and not just trying to promote yourself.

The self-promotion piece should come at the end with your guest bio. Check out other author bios on the blogs and create yours to match. This is where you can say you are John Smith, an industry enthusiast from ABC Company.

Again, be sure to consider the blog’s guidelines and previous guest author bios when deciding to add one or more links back to your brand. The blog owner ultimately reserves the right to edit it as they feel is necessary.

6. Support your GROUP post once it goes live.

It’s not over yet. After that guest post goes live, you should give it your unconditional love in the form of social sharing with your brand’s audience on Twitter, Facebook, etc. as well as coming by to respond to comments. That kind of response on your guest post will further boost your brand’s reputation as a great guest blogger as well as a confident authority in your niche.

Don’t Forget Blog Commenting

Blog commenting is a great branding and authority building exercise you can do on any blog in your niche. I would suggest subscribing to the top blogs in your industry in Google Reader, and each time there is a new post, be sure to read it thoroughly and add a valuable comment. Remember this isn’t about link building – this is about building your brand’s presence online as an authority in your industry.

Get a Disqus account as well as it is a sort of social network of people that comment.

You can use the blog’s previous comments as a guide as to how you should format yours. Some blogs require you to only use your real name, while others are a little more lenient in using your name – your company. I would suggest linking your comments to your blog as people are more willing to click through to a brand’s blog than their main website.

Your Online Branding & Authority Building Strategy Using Blogs

What is your brand’s strategy when it comes to building your brand’s authority using blogs? Be sure to share what you find brings your brand the best results in the comments!

Create a Consistent Brand Image for Each Profile

Have you ever visited a company’s social profile, and you were not sure that it belonged to the company? One of the most important parts of branding is keeping a consistent image across all of your online properties so that no matter what path a person takes from one property to the next, they will always know it is your brand. For example, someone might:

Find your fan page through a friend’s activity stream and then follow it to your blog, then website

See a tweet from someone they are following, visit your Twitter profile, and then continue onto your website.

Start at your website, then go to check out your social profiles to see if your company is engaging with fans. Engaging is fuel and grows awareness, authority and respect. Comment, recommend. Just drive by liking and endorsing does no one any good and makes you look like a tire kicking couch potato.

Just like you wouldn’t want pages on your website to be different themes, you will want your social profiles to do the same. Markethive also leads the way in doing it right as well:


Markethive probably does the best with branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube accounts as shown above. All five are branded with the honey comb logo, color theme and climbers ascending Mt. Everest in representation of the entrepreneurial social community of entrepreneurs helping each other achieve their agendas, so you can feel the consistency moving from one property to the next.


The above shows BMW’s branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles. Each online property uses the same color scheme and is currently focused on automotive technology. The logos are all consistent, and the auto focused in the pages is different perspectives, the coloring and themes are consistent as well


Bolthouse’s (organic farm fresh juices) branding between their website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube profiles as shown above uses the same color scheme, logo, and focus on their primary product, carrots and selections of juices. Excellent example of branding and consistency!

Help People Find Your Profiles

I do a lot of competitive analysis in my line of work, and one of the most frustrating things I have to do is search for a brand’s social profiles. Don’t hide your social media presence – flaunt them! Be sure to:

  • Put Social Icons on Your Website – Let visitors to your website know that you are engaging with your audience on social media as well by adding social icons to your website design. The most common places to place them include the header / menu bar, sidebar, and footer. They don’t have to be large and in charge – BMW’s are none existent on their main page and Bolthouse are right up top left of center where they should be and get the job done..
  • Put Social Links in Your Communications – Do you send emails regularly? Add social links to your email signature. Do you send newsletters? Add social icons to them.
  • Make Your Profiles Search Friendly – If I Google your brand name + Twitter, I should get your Twitter handle in the search results. To make this happen, be sure that the name of your social profile (and the username if possible) matches your brand name. You might be tempted to keyword optimize your profiles instead of optimizing them for your brand name – this is something you need to resist. You can learn more about social media SEO on how to optimize for both effectively for search engines.

Another frustration is the direct sales industry.

Even though the size of this industry is huge by any comparison with a market measured in the trillions, even the top 100 fail miserable branding with social media. Do not be like them, rather show them a good example with your efforts. After several days of research I was able to find one such company that at least had the top 5 Social Medias registered with a similar array (not the same name) of usernames.  The super majorities only have a token Facebook page, even less with Youtube and Twitter and nearly nonexistent with a Google+ and for that almost none of them are engaged.


Team Beach Body with a yearly market of 250 million, struggles with social media but has managed to set up the top 5 social medias, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Linkedin and Google+, albeit, the account usernames vary, and across the media branding is seriously lacking. It becomes painfully clear this industry needs Markethive or at least their distributors seriously do.

Get Engaged with Your Followers, Fans, and Subscribers

You probably know that it is important to maintain an active account by posting lots of updates, and that it is best to do something other than blasting advertisements non-stop about your brand. So the question is, what should you be doing to stay active in your social networks? Get engaged with your audience, of course. Here are the top networks to get socially engaged in for your brand.

Twitter Engagement

If you’re goal is to build a strong presence on Twitter and demonstrate your brand’s authority in your industry, you need get involved with your following. Some ways to do so include:

Monitoring Brand Mentions – If you use Twitter itself, just do a search for your brand and save the search for future reference. If you use a Twitter management tool like HootSuite, create a keyword search column that will constantly update you with brand mentions. Anytime someone says something about your brand, whether it is good or bad, you should be responding to it if at all possible. This may mean adding some extra team members to your social media GROUP as a response staff. But over time, if people see that you are always on top of any discussion of your brand, you will gain trust and receive lots of great word of mouth marketing. People will tell their followers what a great response they’ve received from you and likely recommend you based on their satisfaction level.

Monitoring Industry Conversation – One of the best parts of Twitter is that you can jump into any conversation, anytime. So if you are a company providing Inbound Marketing services and technologies like Markethive, you can monitor anyone who talks about Inbound Marketing, SEO, linking, Entrepreneurial interests, and other related topics and just answer simple questions that anyone asks about those topics demonstrating your expertise.

Curate the Best Content – Even if you are the best content creator in your industry, people often like to see a second opinion. Find out who other authorities are in your industry and share their opinion on industry topics with your following. You will gain more relevant followers simply for sharing the best news.

Facebook Fan Page Engagement

There are several different ways you can engage with your fans using your fan page that will keep your current fans active and bring new fans to your brand. These include:

Updating Your Fan Page on Facebook – It’s tempting to use HootSuite and other automated programs to update your fan page. But it’s becoming more and more obvious that if you want your updates to show up in fan’s news feeds that the updates must be organic, or originating from your fan page itself. So take the extra time to disable all of your autofeeds and start updating your fan page manually on Facebook. And when people start engaging with your posts or posting directly on your wall, be sure to respond to them. If they know they’re getting response, they’re more likely to return. No one likes a one-way broadcast.

Try Out Different Types of Updates – Don’t just post links or ask questions. Spice it up – add some video updates and photos. Different types of people like different types of content – be sure to try to cater to everyone by mixing your content up!

Thanks to the last major update to Facebook fan pages, you are able to use Facebook as your fan page. This means you can like pages as your fan page instead of your personal profile and then comment on them as your fan page. If you can find pages that are not direct competitors but whose audience will be interested in your brand, you will want to get active on them. For example, social media consultants should be living on Social Media Examiner’s fan page to connect with other individuals and businesses looking for social media help.

LinkedIn Engagement

If your brand isn’t on LinkedIn, you are missing out. LinkedIn allows you to add a company page where you can post your products, services, job openings, and even send status updates to your company followers including your latest blog posts. But some of the best branding and authority building activities for this network lie in the activity of the professional profiles including:

Participating in Groups – There are lots of great, active groups on LinkedIn in a wide variety of industries. Find the groups that have your potential client base within them and start getting active in discussions and posting useful content. Just be sure not to do anything that the group moderator would consider as spamming!

Answering Questions – The next best area to build a great professional reputation and strong authority in your industry is in LinkedIn Answers. There are questions asked every day in topics ranging from administration to technology. The people who answer the most questions are also featured on the answers’ home page as the week’s top experts!

Gaining Recommendations – Last, but not least, is recommendations. You can get recommendations on both the company pages and the professional profiles of your employees. Imagine if someone is browsing your company’s page and sees that the top employees have a ton of recommendations. It will show that you have a lot of experts in the industry which will make potential clients even more confident in your brand!