Customer Spotlight: Enterprise Rollout Across Gannett

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GannettGannett, the largest newspaper publisher in the United States, has partnered with Caspio. They own a total of 934 publications, including news giant USA Today, and 23 TV stations which reach 20 million households. According to Nielson, Gannett’s total U.S. web audience is over 27.1 million unique visitors. Read the announcement.

We have been working individually with over 50 of Gannett’s newspaper and TV sites since 2006, empowering them to roll out apps that increase traffic to their sites. It’s exciting to see them use Caspio to find new and innovative ways to generate community interaction at a local level.

Michael Jesse at IndyStar.com, one of Gannett’s largest newspaper websites, says: “You guys have the product we need right now, and you also have a great team of people behind it.”

IndyStar

Six Reasons to Syndicate Your Data

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Data syndication is publishing the same data on multiple websites. Data that is locked up in a spreadsheet or a database on your computer is not benefiting anyone but at best the local user. It becomes beneficial when it’s published on a website for a bigger audience, but even greater value can be achieved when it’s syndicated across many websites. Here is why and how:

1. Accessibility
By syndicating your data it becomes accessible to a large audience that goes far beyond the reach of your own website. Your data gains the potential to reach an audience not otherwise possible.

2. Widgetize
Widgetizing your data makes it possible for other websites owners to easily drop it on their own site. Rather than copying your database, they simply get a few lines of code that embeds an app that displays the data from your database. When the data is changed, it becomes instantly available on all syndications.

3. Monetize
Depending on the nature of your data, you might be able to monetize it. Typically a limited version of the data is syndicated across many websites with a link to the main site where people can pay and access the complete data.

4. Build brand
With or without monetization, you stand to benefit from branding the data with your name and logo. Every search result and every record can carry your name.

5. Generate traffic
Likewise, each record and search page can have a link back to your website. It’s one of the best ways to generate traffic for your website at a very low cost.

6. Improve your data through crowdsourcing
Depending on the nature of your data, you have the option of allowing others, from any of the syndications to add comments or even update the data. It’s the ultimate way adding value to your data at no cost.

There are many examples where Caspio Bridge is used for data syndication. US Census and FBI crime data are two examples of government data that is distributed through Caspio. RealtyTrac©, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties syndicates its data to hundreds of our media customers through Caspio widgets. Our customers have also used the platform to distribute their own data including bank rate information, business directories and real estate listings.

Contact the friendly staff at Caspio to see how easily you can give your data maximum exposure.

Data syndication is publishing the same data on multiple websites. Data that is locked up in a spreadsheet or a database on your computer is not benefiting anyone but at best the local user. It becomes beneficial when it’s published on a website for a bigger audience, but even greater value can be achieved when it’s syndicated across many websites. Here is why and how:

  1. Accessibility

By syndicating your data it becomes accessible to a large audience that goes far beyond the reach of your own website. Your data gains the potential to reach an audience not otherwise possible.

  1. Widgetize

Widgetizing your data makes it possible for other websites owners to easily drop it on their own site. Rather than copying your database, they simply get a few lines of code that embeds an app that displays the data from your database. When the data is changed, it becomes instantly available on all syndications.

  1. Monetize

Depending on the nature of your data, you might be able to monetize it. Typically a limited version of the data is syndicated across many websites with a link to the main site where people can pay and access the complete data.

  1. Build brand

With or without monetization, you stand to benefit from branding the data with your name and logo. Every search result and every record can carry your name.

  1. Generate traffic

Likewise, each record and search page can have a link back to your website. It’s one of the best ways to generate traffic for your website at a very low cost.

  1. Improve your data through crowdsourcing

Depending on the nature of your data, you have the option of allowing others, from any of the syndications to add comments or even update the data. It’s the ultimate way adding value to your data at no cost.

There are many examples where Caspio Bridge is used for data syndication. US Census and FBI crime data are two examples of government data that is distributed through Caspio. RealtyTrak, the provider of housing foreclosures syndicates its data to hundreds of our media customers through Caspio widgets. Our customers have also used the platform to distribute their own data including bank rate information, business directories and real estate listings.

Contact the friendly staff at Caspio to see how easily you can give your data maximum exposure.

Five Misconceptions about Building Apps in the Cloud

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Over the years since we first started Caspio in 2000, we’ve grown accustomed to hearing disbelief from new users when they experience how easily they can create their own web apps without coding or software. And even as cloud computing gains momentum and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) becomes more mainstream, it’s remarkable to still frequently hear so many common misunderstandings from new users and so-called “experts” alike. I’ll try to tackle some of them here, primarily from Caspio’s perspective.

Misconception #1: Only simple apps are possible without coding

Depends how you define simple. You can certainly create a massively scalable, multi-faceted, multi-user, highly-interactive app on Caspio and integrate it with several other online apps and internal systems and load it with millions of records. On the other hand, games and other intensely graphical apps are not as well-suited on Caspio’s more structured database-centric app platform.

Misconception #2: Cloud apps are a temporary Band-Aid

The idea being that to build a “real” app for the long haul, you should go back to traditional coding. Not so! While it’s true that application development platforms (including Caspio’s) have their own unique strengths and approach to solving business problems, by no means are Caspio-powered apps a temporary stop-gap. We have countless customers who have built mission-critical enterprise applications since 2001, when our platform first launched, and continue to expand their usage today.

Misconception #3: Hosted applications pose security and reliability risks

Security and reliability are a big deal as they should be. But if you do proper due diligence in selecting your platform,  you could be assured that the security and reliability achieved through your cloud partner is typically above and beyond what’s available in most companies. Caspio is known in the industry for its leadership in enterprise-grade security and reliability measures. Read about our specific measures and policies here.

Misconception #4: Long-term apps are most cost effective when built in-house

What many don’t realize is that once you roll out an app, someone has to continuously host it, monitor its uptime, update its security, back up its data, apply upgrades, and deal with feature requests whenever necessary. When you leverage a hosted platform like Caspio’s, you automatically benefit from all the built-in maintenance, upgrades, support and economy of scale … without even having to think about it. Once you put these expenses into your ROI analysis you see that unless you are willing to make sacrifices in post-development operational quality, running your app on your own is not more cost effective than working with a well chosen cloud partner.

Misconception #5: Non-developers can’t build powerful apps

After many many years studying computer science at school, the mere thought that a web-based tool could make my skills redundant is disheartening to say the least. But cloud platforms are not meant to be a drag-and-drop replacement to ingenuity … they are accelerators and innovators.


Platform-as-a-service offerings are much like point-and-shoot cameras. They are increasingly smart in that they automatically find your subject, zoom in on them, adjust the shutter speed and so on, so all you have to do is to push the button. The result is a fairly nice photograph. Now is it as good as one taken by a professional photographer? Certainly not. But most pictures don’t require professional photography skills to turn out delightfully beautiful. Furthermore, just by spending an hour learning your camera’s user manual to get down the basic features of lighting, framing and movement, you can improve your picture quality dramatically.
In the world of application creation, Caspio is that point-and-shoot camera. The truth is that Caspio doesn’t make anyone a programmer. However, it does provide an easy way to implement your ideas. The trick is in planning and architecting your app. For that, Caspio offers free project consultations, customer training and technical support. So when you combine an easy-to-use tool with an eager-to-help support team to back you up, you bet that you can build powerful apps without knowing how to write programs.

Point-and-click app building is here and it’s only getting better. We have been focused on this for the past nine years and have seen thousands of fantastic app ideas get implemented without a single line of code. There used to be a time that only professional typesetters could create nice looking publications. Nowadays, my elementary school child uses Word to create great looking documents. Similarly, you now can create web forms and apps fast and without programming. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should!

Caspio Spotlight: The Herald & Review

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The Herald & Review in Decatur, Ill., wanted to add an interactive component to the already successful print coupon campaign being used by the newspaper. The idea was to offer something extra to advertisers and to boost page views on the Herald-Review.com Web site. So it used Caspio’s tools to create an online coupon page that delivered on both counts. Despite a scarcity of the sophisticated coding skills needed to create a database, the staff experienced easy going using Caspio Bridge. It let them do the job themselves to create an attractive and effective online application. All that work on their part is good news for you because the Herald-Review is willing to share the finished web app for free with other Caspio clients [Request the App]. That means no development time on your part, yet you can reap all the rewards by using an application that’s already been real world tested – now that’s a sure recipe for success. Or, if you prefer, you can easily create your own web app with Caspio’s leading do-it-yourself database platform. Caspio makes it easy for anyone by furnishing the right tools to do the job and plenty of real time support for the times you need some quick assistance.

Source: http://herald-review.com/coupons/

QUICKBITS: Bridget Sibthorp-Moecker, Webmaster, The Herald-Review

“We have a printed coupon piece we do four times a year. We call it ‘Top Ads.’ We wanted something to go with it that was interactive and that included the ‘e-mail to a friend’ functionality. Caspio provided the right tools to get the job done quickly and economically.

“We had one main goal with the coupon page – and that was page views. We started right off with 3,000 page views a month. That’s good for something we are just starting out. And as the awareness grows, so will the response.

“I really like using Caspio. And when I needed help in the beginning, I found that Caspio’s online chat feature was a very quick way to get answers to my questions. And, I’ll tell you; the people at Caspio are knowledgeable. We’ve been able to solve every problem we ran into using the chat function.”

Count on Caspio’s Track Record and Reliability in Uncertain Times

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Coghead customers must have been shocked when they learned yesterday that their platform-as-service provider is shutting down. Unfortunately this is how most venture capitals work. It’s all about their exit strategy. Nothing else matters much. I learned it first hand at my first startup Autoweb.

Self-funded companies like Caspio are driven by different objectives and hold other values. We have been building Caspio one small step at a time for nine years with our own money and hard work. For us, the customer is first, then employees and finally the shareholders. This is how we weathered through the dot com crash years ago while others were forced to shut down.

Today we are stronger than ever before. Our product is mature, our platform is highly-scalable, and our business is flourishing. We are proud of our large base of customers that range from one-person operations to Forune-500 companies, government agencies, universities, non-profits, and over 75% of the largest American newspaper websites.

Upon learning about the shutdown of Coghead, we gathered our team and quickly put together a transition plan for Coghead customers. It’s outlined here.

Caspio also has a fantastic reseller and affiliate program and I invite you to check them out on our website or by calling our partner desk at 650-691-0900 x703.

We are actively hiring! Look up our Bay Area positions on our site or on Craig’s List. Competitor employees are welcome to apply.

Finally, a heart-to-heart word. If Coghead’s investors have left you in the cold, make sure you don’t fall into the hands of another venture-funded company. The days when VC-funding was a positive force are gone. Avoid all the risks of a VC startup and find yourself a vendor with both track record and reliability. We hope we can show you we deserve your trust. Call us up … we’re ready to help.

Caspio Bridge – a fast yet safe route over troubled waters

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It’s been too long since we’ve talked here – but luckily it has been a busy time at Caspio and that’s kept me away from the blog. As I read through the entries again I was hit by how often I’ve talked about speed.

And I started to think about the paradox of speed – how necessary it is in business and how dangerous it can be. After all, moving fast can be the difference between an opportunity realized and one that is lost. But I also was struck by the difference between being fast and being recklessly hasty. You must move quickly, yet out-of-control speed can kill, whether it is on the highway or in the board room.

Some companies – in an effort to get speed from overworked IT departments – are tempted to trust the success of their idea to applications rushed to development with inadequate time for thinking. That often means a hurried up specification process. Here‘s more about that danger.

You don’t have to be a software genius to know the most important part of creating an application is carefully working out just what it should do and how it’ll do it. Yet, in a job rushed through IT, that dangerous corner is sometimes cut.

Blitz development is ripe with the opportunity for error or a poorly conceived application. At best, it can amount to an expensive way to do things. At worst? You spend time and money on an application that is doomed from the start.

In an effort to go to market fast organizations can put their projects in a downward spiral that amounts to no more than a major sinkhole for time and money. It’s interesting isn’t it? You have to go fast to take advantage of a tiny window of opportunity. Yet, if you ignore safety in the rush you can crash and burn.

Luckily, there’s an art to moving fast safely.

Caspio Bridge provides that elegant solution. Its inherent advantage of safe speed means – even on the tightest of schedules – that there’s plenty of time for the specification process. But that’s just the start of what it offers.

Since Caspio Bridge creates a prototype fast you have the luxury of using it as a real world test bed to fine tune even the best thought out ideas with a tiny investment of time and money. The prototype can be changed with a few clicks of the mouse making it is easy to test various approaches. Ordinary users, without help from IT, can try out ways to make it even better with no risk and little investment. If a new idea works, that’s great. If not, you can move quickly to the next approach without spending a lot of time and money.

The amazing fact is that your prototype is actually the final product and is good for production. You can roll it out to all your users instantly.

The need for speed is greater than ever. But so is the need to spend your development time and money wisely.  Caspio Bridge can be a bridge over troubled waters – giving you a proven platform that lets you move quickly and safely to grab an opportunity before it vanishes.

Speed as a key Differentiator

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iLoop MobileRecently I met Michael Becker, an Executive VP at iLoop Mobile, the leader in mobile content delivery and marketing. With his trademarked enthusiasm and energy, Michael told me stories of how his company has acquired major new contracts due to Caspio’s ability to complement iLoop’s platform for rapidly delivering complete solutions.

His point was simple and is applicable universally to business of all sizes. Your customer has more choices than ever and market opportunities that exist today may not be available tomorrow. Your ability to fulfill demands fast can be your key differentiator and propel your business forward. You need tools and services that help you execute fast and Caspio’s solutions are proven to enable businesses to do just that.

Speed of execution is a guiding light for Caspio. This is why I invite you to find out for yourself how Caspio can help your business bring ideas to market today, instead of tomorrow.

Google AdWords Advertisers Maximize Results with Fine-Tuned Action Forms and Lead Management

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As online advertising costs and demand for high quality keywords increases smart advertisers seek to get the most from their budget by:

  • improving ads to get more qualified clicks, and
  • improving conversions once visitors reach their site

Improving your conversion rate is a process. You need to study best practices, look at other successful sites, but above all do a lot of AB testing. This includes AB testing your landing pages, call to action, and even your forms.

With Caspio Bridge creating and tweaking web forms is simple. You can try different ideas with forms and play with wording of labels and questions, form length, colors, layout, styles, buttons and graphics.

Next is managing your leads but you don’t need to invest large amounts on a fancy CRM systems. While I cannot divulge names, a Fortune-500 company has recently dropped the leading on-demand CRM provider in favor of a custom Caspio-powered solution primarily because they found that the dizzying array of tabs, links and buttons in that CRM system were distracting their sales staff. Now all the clutter is eliminated in a custom solution built with Caspio. And since Caspio pricing is not based on seats, the saving is very attractive.

Every Caspio Bridge account comes pre-loaded with a basic lead generation form and management app. While it is for demonstration purposes only, many use it as the foundation of their own custom CRM solution.

Don’t forget that Caspio’s Solution Advisors are at hand to consult with you and help you get the most out of your advertising and IT budget.

One week with Caspio

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Nothing gets me more excited than seeing a customer succeed with Caspio Bridge beyond their wildest dreams. Fortunately, we run across such moments very often. Here’s a great example:

“One week ago we held our first “get acquainted meeting” with Caspio and came away impressed with the ease of service and terrific content possibilities. We then went through two training sessions and began gathering data. Today, one week later, we launched the wltx.com Data Center with 11 Caspio-powered searchable databases. The response from the public has been overwhelming and we can’t wait to build out more. Thanks to the entire Caspio team for making this seemingly overwhelming task, a piece of cake.”

Rich O’Dell
President & General Manger
WLTX-TV CBS Channel 19
Columbia, South Carolina
http://www.wltx.com/news/datacenter/

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