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  • SMBs - why your cloud partner is one of the most important partnerships you'll make

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Friday, August 30, 2013

    Cloud4SMB exoiThis week at Cloud4SMB Expo in Las Vegas, there was a lot of talk about what's now and what's next in cloud computing for small business. Among the sessions was a talk by CloudSigma CEO, Robert Jenkins, and our own VP of Development, David Longnecker, about how small businesses can make better informed choices about cloud hosting.

    As reported by Rich Steeves, TMCnet Managing Editor, migrating to the cloud is one of the most challenging decisions that small businesses can make. As a SMB owner, you might realize that the cloud can offer you speed, cost and scalability benefits, but it's probably unclear which provider to choose, much less which program to select within the provider's offerings.

    That's why we hope that our experience as shared in the Cloud4SMB session and in a case study with CloudSigma will help other startups and small businesses with their own cloud evaluation process.

    Our main reasons for choosing CloudSigma were: flexible computer resources, open software systems, perfect provisioning, all-SSD storage (solid-state drive storage) five-minute billing increments, scalability and very importantly, 5X faster performance with a 350% cost savings. 

    CloudSigma

    Plus, CloudSigma's stellar team has seen the transition as a collaborative experience. They've helped us decide which programs would be best for our growing platform needs and helped make the migration as smooth as could be. Their customer service was the best we've encountered in the industry, which can be almost as valuable as savings for startups. We're very confident in our choice to migrate to CloudSigma and we'd recommend them wholeheartedly to other SMBs.

    Read more about why Tracky chose CloudSigma to host our scalable collaboration platform in this CloudSigma case study.

  • Lessons from SXSW V2V – Conference Goers Do Indeed Care, Smiles are Good & 12-Year-Olds Can Code

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Monday, August 19, 2013

    SXSW V2VWhen you’re on the conference trail as an attendee or exhibitor, it’s easy to get a wee bit weery and “overdone” when it comes to yet another convention. So when SXSW V2V arrived on the scene, we were still buzzing from the deafening hoopla that was SXSW in March and intitially weren't convinced we should exhibit. Yet, there promised to be something a little different about V2V that begged our attention.

    First of all, Las Vegas was its home. Score a big point for making it more economical for a Vegas-based startup. Second, its slogan promised a focus on innovation, visionaries, ventures, VCs and productive conversations. Well played. Third, we’re suckers for startup spotlight-type events. Such as: SXSW, CES, DemoVegas and TechCocktail to name several we've attended. Fourth, VegasTech friend Gabe Shepherd and V2V Community Liaison encouragd us to join the festivities. OK, so VegasTech at SXSW was a hit, so score another for "yes."  Plus, when a conference is innovative enough to feature a 12-year-old developer and his father in a session, you know good things are in store.

    David & Jennifer Gosse at V2VBeing the resilient startup folks that we are, we dove head first into the opportunity to exhibit at the Startup Spotlight last Monday and to take out an ad in the inside back cover of the program booklet. Despite those wins, the quiet cynic in me didn’t expect much from a summertime conference-going crowd inhabiting one of the most party-notorious hotels in the world. Nonetheless, I brushed those notions aside and showed up with the best intentions and a smile on my face.

    As the start of the spotlight rolled around at 3:00pm, the registration lobby went from eager startups setting up shop to a trickle of fresh-faced attendees, quickly escalating by 3:30 to an eager flood and ending in a roar, well after the 6pm closing time. (Perhaps the adjacent open bar should be credited for helping the spotlight to end on such a high note). Regardless, any doubt about the spotlight's viability for a startup was squashed. And that was just one event of the week’s mega-schedule. It was an important one for us, though, as we publicly debuted our stop giving away your contentcommunity publishing product to attendees via the ad and the spotlight.

    What was truly refreshing was the authentic interest in what Tracky does that the majority of our booth-goers showed. An exhibitor can get a little self-conscious about their pitch when it’s delivered hundreds of times to folks that are probably more interested free swag or a novel game rather than learning about a productivity and publishing platform. We were pleasantly surprised by the smiling faces, intriguing questions, patient onlookers, sincere well wishes and legitimate leads that came out of the event.

    V2V VineThere were some solid technologies at the spotlight and it was an honor to be among them. The buzz was nicely captured in this Vine that our #VegasTech startup pals at Alice Receptionist created. Their virtual reception system is an impressive Vegas-built product that we know is solving a real need for resources-strapped companies and large organizations, plus it’s a product that we believe will be very successful and around for the long-haul. Also in attendance was Vegas-based child care location assistance app,,Cubby Road.

    The rest of the show was well done, too. Much of our time at the Cosmo was spent networking so we didn’t get to as many sessions as we would have liked, but to all who planned, sponsored, spoke, mentored, attendees and exhibited – thanks for making SXSW’s first foray into Las Vegas a success!

    We would love to see more of SXSW and similar events happen here in Vegas. We’re looking forward to the Life is Beautiful festival in October, where I’m sure that more good intentions and pleasantly surprised responses will result.

    Thank you to all who made Tracky part of your V2V experience and who cared enough to stop and smile back at the big smiley mark staring back at you and the three humans who were thankful for your interest.

  • #SciChat Recap: What the Data Says About Social Visual Content Today

    • By jennifer
    • |
    • Saturday, May 18, 2013

    I love a good image in a social post, don't you? In fact, photography is one of my favorite art forms and in today's internet culture, I love a good meme. So if a picture is worth a thousand words, then should marketers write less and spend more time on expressing our message visually? That's what data scientists like Dan Zarrella of HubSpot are telling us.

    picture is worth 1000 words
    Photo by: Let Ideas Compete, on Flickr

    Today, during the weekly HubSpot #SciChat, social media scientist Dan Zarrella hosted a webinar with Tracky Chief Evangelist Sarah Evans. The webinar revealed HubSpot's exclusive data on visual content and proposed ideas on how marketers could better utilize it to engage their audiences. After the webinar, social media expert Brittany Leaning led a Twitter chat.

    A few of my key takeaways from Dan's data insights were:

    • Images significantly improve enagagement on social posts (via Sarah Evans).
    • Photos perform better than video, garnering 25% vs. 10% of likes.
    • Pinterest is largely an aspirational platform and therefore houses more buying activity.
    • Pinterest: larger images perform better. In fact, images that are 1,000 pixels or more get more repins. The max width should be 600 pixels. (Aim for vertical scrolling, not horizontal). 
    • Pinterest: repins rates are highest for descriptions between 100 - 200 characters. (Think: tweet length).
    • Instagram: including hashtags in descriptions get more likes. Reciprocity tags (e.g. #followforfollow) instigate the most likes. (But don't be spammy about this. Aim for quality follows, not quantity).
    • Instagram: the most repinnable words include food, e.g. recipe, chicken, minutes, bake, cake, etc. Takeaway - non-food businesses should sprinkle some creative in posts here and there. My tongue-in-cheek contribution using 11 of the top repinnable word: Bake up a #scichat chicken dinner in 30 minutes with a one step no mix cake recipe with chocolate ingredients included! ;-)

    For a recap of the #SciChat on Twitter, visit my Storify here. Questions by Brittany Leaning produced some interesting experiential comments by attendees.

    What about you? Do you love sharing images more than words?

  • Come say hi to us and #VegasTech during #SXSW 2013

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, March 5, 2013

    We’re gearing up for our trip to SXSW Interactive (#SXSWi) from March 8 through 12 in Austin, Texas. The Tracky team is part of the #VegasTechSXSW initiative and we couldn’t be more excited to show off the thriving tech community. And, Sarah Evans will discuss Toddlers and Technology on a panel with Fisher Price.

    Las Vegas is the first and only city represented at SXSW with the largest collective exhibition space on the SXSWi floor (12 exhibitors with 800 square feet of space). If you’ll be on the showroom floor, we’re taking over booths 835, 837, 839, 841, 934, 936, 938 and 940. Plus, we're going to party like it's 1999 with two major events, open to SXSW attendees.

    We’d love to do a personal Tracky demo for you and introduce you to some of our #VegasTech friends, like:

    • 12-year-old Ethan Duggan (@lazyhusbandapp) who is most likely the youngest developer at SXSW and will be the ONLY pre-teen launching an app at the festival;
    • Switch and the inNEVation Center! Many of the folks traveling to SXSWi this year also share office space at co-working space, inNEVation, funded by Switch and Rob Roy. It is the first public and private economic diversification effort of its kind. They bring together entrepreneurs, business leaders, mentors, investors and government agencies. It's an amazing ecosystem that allows more people to get things done. Plus, Switch is the headlining sponsor that kicked this whole initiative off. Woot!
    • Alice Receptionist, a live interactive customer experience product. You'll get to interact with the hardware while chatting with VegasTech folks. Hey, they're even up for a "People's ChoiceAwards for SXSW's Hottest Showcasing Startup" with TechCocktail!
    • LaunchKey, your answer to never forgetting a password again! LaunchKey won Startup Weekend last summer and is well on their way to revolutionizing user authentication and killing passwords.
    • RollTech, a social bowling app: track scores, earn points and compete with friends globally. They recently released their app as well.
    • Team Tabeso. Launched on March 1, 2013, this team is making it easier to find and market events. They’re our office neighbors and we think they’re pretty swell guys.
    • docBeat. Secure messaging for healthcare that leverages smartphones and is HIPAA compliant and secure. 
    • UsedGearSale is a marketplace for outdoor enthusiasts who can use the site to come together to buy and sell slightly used, but still awesome, gear. 
    • Zuldi, a next gen payment processing system that integrates with restaurants' POS systems. It's an inventive system that is a win-win for restaurant owners and diners.
    • Ticket Cake. The ultimate resource for your events. It’s more than ticket registration, these guys are like your event's personal marketing service and they have the lowest service fees around.
    • Plus, mix and mingle with community supporters including: TechCocktail, DowntownProject, TBAN, Fuller Street Proeductions, UNLV, the Governor's Office of Economic Development and Vegas.com.

    VegasTechSXSW

    Still filling up your SXSW calendar?

    Come and hang with us at two, count them, two free, #VegasTechSXSW events:

    #VegasTech SXSW Lounge

    Sunday, March 10, 2013 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (CDT)

    Red 7, 611 E 7th S, Austin, TX 78701

    #VegasTech SXSW Party

    Monday, March 11 at 8:00 p.m. CT.

    #VegasTech Lounge, 222 East 6th Street , Austin, TX 78701

    VegasTech SXSW video

    We’re also cheering on our own Sarah Evans (@PRsarahevans) who is speaking on the Toddlers and Technology panel on Sunday, March 10, from 3:30 to 4:30 at the Hyatt Regency in Texas Ballroom 1-4.

    Hope to see you there! And, if you can’t be there in person, we’ll be sharing loads of content from our @Tracky Twitter and Facebook accounts.

  • Tracky gets entrepreneurs amped up at LaunchUp Vegas #launchupvegas

    • By sarah
    • |
    • Tuesday, October 30, 2012

    Last night I had the opportunity to meet and speak with the LaunchUp Vegas community. I. Loved. It. A free, 90-minute program for entrepreneurs to network and pitch their products? Right up my alley. Based in Utah and Las Vegas, LaunchUp was founded by successful entrepreneurs and is their “labor of love.”


    The program began with a 10 minute Amp! session, which I was lucky enough to score. Thanks, Stewart!

    I told attendees about my personal journey as an entrepreneur and, hopefully, motivate them to keep going when things get tough. Being an entrepreneur is the hardest and most rewarding work you’ll ever do. I challenged them to #reframe any negative thoughts and energy they have about themselves, their expertise or their business. And, I shared stories like how I decided to move to Las Vegas and join the Tracky team. It took, in large part, the support of my husband who was on board 100 percent. When he was asked about giving up his job and moving from Chicago? His reply was, “Let’s live this life!” It still gives me chills when I think about it.


    Next up attendees got to hear from the “King of Pitches,” (that’s my title for him) Andy White (@andywhite). He is a partner with the Vegas Tech Fund where he hears from hundreds of startups. Andy gave great advice on pitching best practices. What’s his favorite pitch of all time? One startup mimed their entire pitch and let the product speak for itself. Brilliant!

    And then came the startups. Each startup below had an opportunity to share what they’re working on and then interact with attendees after.

    Interested in attending a future event? You can grab the schedule, here.

    A special thank you to the folks at The Historic 5th Street School for donating the space. There’s nothing like the smell of hardwood gym floors!


    [PHOTO CREDIT: The photo of me speaking was taken by event organizer Stewart Christensen)

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