What can Totem do for the Enterprise?

Totem is meltmedia’s solution for Continuous Deployment (CD). If you’d like to learn more about CD and how Totem handles that workflow, go get some background in this previous article. If you’re ready to dive into how Totem can work in an enterprise setting, read on!

Totem is more than an automated workflow that takes your code, builds it, and sends it to a server for execution. It eliminates all sorts of problems enterprise IT teams face every day and pulls people out of day-to-day administrative and support tasks. It provides a single source of truth for infrastructure, developer, quality assurance, database, product management, project management, and support teams. It reduces deployment and infrastructure costs, saves time, centralizes logging, and also makes waffle fries!

In a former life, I managed a team of application administrators at a company I’ll call, Very Large Enterprise Company. Our job was to deploy applications to all the various servers for a couple dozen internet-based products. We were the team that took down the application in the middle of a Friday or Saturday night, made changes on servers in various data centers and worked with database and system administrators as they made their changes, etc.

automation

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Is Your Site Mobile-Friendly? It Better Be!

Beginning April 21, 2015, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, its ranking on Google will suffer (<<< shock value). Frankly, I’m surprised it took Google this long to implement the algorithm change.

It was recently announced on the Google Webmaster Central blog that “mobile-friendliness” of sites will be expanded as a signal in their ranking algorithms. This means your phone or tablet will receive more relevant and higher quality search results.

Mobile-Friendly Search Rankings

Google also announced that they are now using information from indexed apps on your devices, for ranking when you’re signed into their services. Here’s a link to a step-by-step guide on how to get your app indexed: App Indexing for Google Search.

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Solving for Continuous Deployment: Totem

Heads up! It’s about to get deep in here, in a technical way. So if you’re into topics like Continuous Deployment, read on. If not, please share this article with your favorite geeks.

Despite our 60-ish team members and 15-year history, meltmedia faces a lot of the same problems as many other technology organizations. We have a distinct advantage though: We can move quickly to fix these problems with new tech and innovative ideas. Following is an example…

Totem: Continuous Deployment

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Geeking Out Over Why.AZ

In August 2013, we (some present and past meltmedians) launched a website called WhyAZ in an effort to attract and keep great tech/business/design talent in Arizona. The site went viral and we received tons of visitors and shares. The excitement around WhyAZ was great, but there was no reason to return to the site because content updates were few and far between. Additionally, WhyAZ employs use of fancy new stylesheet technology to draw all the images dynamically instead of a standard image file. This makes development and updates less trivial.

WhyAZ has more pages!

After the launch, we saw lots of success with the #whyaz hashtag on Twitter. We realized that the best way to capture this magic was to incorporate it directly into the site. I spoke with Jake Heun, one of our Senior Front End Developers, and asked for some detail around how and why the changes came about.

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Ryan Craver on Why iBeacons Matter to Retailers

iBeacons/Bluetooth Beacons have come a long way in 2014. This year, more retailers started implementing these tiny devices into their marketing strategies. The first retailer to go large-scale with beacons, Lord & Taylor, deployed beacons utilizing the Swirl platform to all US and Canada stores in July. Shortly after, Macy’s launched a beacon deployment with Shopkick in 4,000 stores just in time for the holiday season.

This Friday, we will chat with Ryan Craver, former Lord & Taylor executive, and the man behind the largest beacon rollout in the US. Craver will answer questions around the success of the beacon deployment and how he sees the future for iBeacon retailers.  Join us Friday, December 19th at 1PM PDT / 3PM EDT for #iBeaconChat with guest host Ryan Craver.

melt_blog_beacon_chat_hash

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Moozart App is now free, just in time for the Holidays!

Good news music fans! We’ve released a children’s music app, Moozart. Well, we released it in 2010 and thousands of people paid to download it, BUT, thanks to changes in iOS over the years, a few new bugs needed to be worked out.
For the holidays, we’ve released an update to Moozart that fixes audio issues on iOS 8, provides retina graphics, stops intermittent crashes some people have encountered, provides stereo audio, and has better music. And we are now offering it for free! Get it now in the App Store.

Moozart Splash Screen

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#iBeaconChat: Owning a Beacon Network

It’s fun and easy to get a few beacons and develop a test app. But what happens when you need to deploy thousands of beacons across multiple countries and want to manage it all centrally? After all that time and effort, how do you prevent show-rooming from competitors while still enabling partners to use your beacons too?

In this week’s iBeacon Chat, Gimbal will answer these questions and more around ‘Owning a beacon Network.’ Whether you are a developer or mass retailer, you need to know the ins and outs of managing a network of beacons. Join us Thursday, November 13th at 10 AM PDT / 1PM EDT for #iBeaconChat with guest host Gimbal.

Gimbal tweet chat

What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. What are some things you should look for in a beacon platform to centrally manage deployment and maintenance?
  2. What are some things you should look for in a beacon for ease of deployment and maintenance?
  3. What are some things to look for in a beacon platform to centrally manage use?
  4. What should you look for in a beacon platform that prevents show-rooming?
  5. What Should you look for in a beacon platform that can enable partners?

When?

On Thursday, November 13th at 10AM PDT / 1PM EDT

Where?

Join us on Thursday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtag: #iBeaconChat

 

The Fall Fitbit Challenge Is Upon Us

In 2013, we started company-wide Fitbit challenges. As you likely know, Fitbit is a platform that gives you the tools, information, and motivation you need to reach your fitness goals. Sounds healthy, right? But put something like this in the hands of people like us and you’ve gone beyond fitness to a “questionably healthy” level of competition. Now we’re firing it back up again with renewed excitement.

Fitbit badge

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#iBeaconChat: Introducing Nearables

After a few years of evolving beacon technology, hardware providers are introducing a new generation of products into the marketplace. Estimote is doing this with Estimote Stickers, complementary to their standard beacons. Stickers contain an accelerometer, temperature sensors and an optimized ARM processor (with flash memory and a Bluetooth Smart controller). This is all inside a significantly smaller and thinner form factor. These stickers are designed to be placed on everyday objects, which brings us to the Estimote coined term, “nearable.”

By attaching a Sticker to an item, it turns into a nearable – a smart, connected object that broadcasts data about its location, motion and temperature. Estimote defines a nearable as an intelligent object linked by a smart beacon, with a rich SDK, to the cloud.

Join this week’s “Introducing Nearables” TweetChat, #iBeaconChat #nearables, with Estimote’s Roshan Prakash (Business Operations Manager) and Wojciech Borowicz (Community Evangelist) as we discuss why nearables matter and what they can do for you.

What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. What are nearables?
  2. What are Estimote Stickers?
  3. How do Stickers differ from enterprise grade Estimote Beacons?
  4. What are possible use cases for #nearables?
  5. How to create apps for #nearables?

When?

On Tuesday, October 7th at 8:30AM PDT / 11:30AM EDT

Where?

Join us on Tuesday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtags: #iBeaconChat and #nearables

#iBeaconChat: Beacons in the Real World

Companies are beginning to integrate Bluetooth beacons into their marketing plans. However, marketers struggle with getting the end user to engage with or download the beacon enabled app. Although a few large companies are seeing early success with beacon technology there are still missteps and common misconceptions.

Sound familiar? It’s time to begin chatting with fellow marketers and business owners who have started using beacons successfully. Join our “Beacons in the Real World” TweetChat, #iBeaconChat, with Anthony Garone (Director of Technology at meltmedia) and BKON Connect as we discuss how to market beacons in the real world.

melt_blog_beacon_chat_hash

What?

To prepare yourself for the chat, review the questions here:

  1. Have you experienced positive interactions with beacons in the real world?
  2. Have you experienced negative interactions with beacons in the real world?
  3. What are the ethical implications around privacy/micro-location?
  4. How long will it be until marketers and technologists can rely on beacons as a dependable tool for real-world engagement?
  5. Will Apple’s recent embrace of NFC have a profound impact on beacon adoption?

When?

On Tuesday, September 16th at 10AM PDT / 1PM EDT

Where?

Join us on Tuesday at http://twubs.com/ibeaconchat for the live chat! To join please use the hashtag: #iBeaconChat