We’re hitting our mid-week work groove here in downtown Chicago, as the weather gets cooler and our thoughts turn to all things Halloween. And digital marketing, of course.

Here’s a quick look at what the team at 435 Digital is reading this morning:


SEO specialists are making a lot of new friends lately:

In a joint study recently completed with Search Engine Watch and presented at Conductor’s C3 conference, 616 Search Engine Watch readers were surveyed about the state of the SEO industry. Our primary goal was to gauge the extent to which SEO is maturing in the organization.

Knowing how significant an impediment to improving natural search visibility organizational support has been, among other questions we asked respondents whether they were more or less enabled to make changes in the organization now compared to 12 months ago.

The data revealed that 71 percent of search marketers report they are “more enabled” or “much more enabled” to make changes or influence people to improve natural search visibility than they were 12 months ago.

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Other than the fact that we’ve started letting our SEO gurus become more actively involved in deciding where we go for lunch, there are other reasons for this perceived empowerment of SEO experts. For example, the study indicated a much higher level of executive buy-in to the importance of SEO in recent years.


Is magazine clipping making a return?

Maz, a startup that helps publishers design magazine apps for the iPad, recently launched a new feature to make it easier for readers to virtually cut out part of a page and share it to Pinterest, in addition to Twitter, Facebook and email.

With the new feature, called Clippings, readers can pinch any part of the page to select part of a picture or a chunk of text and post it directly to one of their Pinterest boards, without ever having to leave the magazine app. Some publishing apps on the iPad do let users highlight text and share it to social networks like Twitter, but Maz is the first to seamlessly integrate with Pinterest.

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Chalk up another victory for Pinterest. As more and more people move to pinning articles, rather than just images on Pinterest, a feature like this was a complete no-brainer. Once again, Apple is ahead of curve in figuring out how the iPad can integrate with other platforms.


Seeking a more tactile experience when your Facebook post gets “likes?” Do we have the perfect Christmas present for you:

There’s nothing like a bear hug from a loved one at the end of a long day. But if you live far away from your family, you now have a man-made alternative. Scientists at MIT have created a vest that inflates when your Facebook friends “Like” your posts, mimicking the sensation of a hug.

Dubbed “Like-A-Hug,” the puffy vest inflates so its wearer can “feel the warmth, encouragement, support or love that we feel when we receive hugs,” according to designer Melissa Chow‘s website. To return the hug, the wearer wraps his or her arms around the shoulders to deflate the vest, symbolizing the act of sending the hug back.

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Admittedly, this item does not come immediately to mind when thinking of inventions that would make the world a better place, but is it really any worse than the KC Double Down? Boxes of wine? Jersey Shore? After all, when you’ve posted something truly amazing, who DOESN’T want 200 hugs? It could have been worse, is all we’re saying. For example, it could have been a vest that slaps you in the face whenever someone “unfriends” you.


Have a great day.