Office 365 Update Brings Smart New Tools to Word, Outlook, PowerPoint

Word is getting a new researcher feature to make essays a whole lot easier to write.

The researcher tool uses Bing Knowledge Graph to find appropriate content on the Internet and then adds it right to Word so you don’t have to leave your document to search for information.

Made up of a growing list of trusted sources and reference materials, the information appears to the right of your document. If you choose to use some of the material, Word will automatically create the citation in your bibliography.

 

Word is also getting a new editor with advanced proofreading skills. So, instead of just catching spelling mistakes and bad grammar, Word will suggest new words and phrases to beef up lackluster content.

Outlook

Microsoft is now offering a tool, dubbed Focus Inbox, to help keep your inbox more organized. It separates your inbox into two tabs: Focused and Other.

Although Focused Inbox was rolled out earlier this year for iOS and Android, it is now coming to Outlook.com and will roll out for Office 365 customers in early September.

E-mails from family and friends, for instance, would go to the Focused tab, while promotional e-mails would go to ‘Other.’ You will be informed about messages that go into Other and they remain easily accessible and can be switched between tabs at any time.

“Focused Inbox is not meant to take control of your mail, but rather work with you to prioritize what is important to you,” Microsoft explained. “What lands in your Focused Inbox is determined by an understanding of the people you interact with often, and the content of the email itself (e.g., newsletters, machine generated mail, etc.). If you need to fine tune your Focused Inbox, just use the “Move to Focused” or “Move to Other” options.”

PowerPoint

PowerPoint, meanwhile is getting a new Zoom feature that allows for interactive, non-linear presentations.

“Captivate your audience with smooth, effortless navigation in and out of any slide or section, starting from a single interactive summary slide,” Microsoft said. “Present your slides in whatever order makes sense based on your audience, without exiting slide show mode and interrupting the flow.”

Check out how it works below:

 


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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The art of link building: Why creating connections is the key to success

Columnist Ryan Shelley explains how good, sustainable link building is not just about getting a backlink, but about creating lasting connections that provide value to users.

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Amazon Now Testing Its Delivery Drones in Britain

Amazon is teaming up with the British government to test drone delivery systems.

A cross-Government team supported by the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has given Amazon the green light to test three forms of drone technology:

  • Beyond line of sight operations in rural and suburban areas;
  • Sensor performance to make sure the drones can identify and avoid obstacles;
  • Flights during which one person operates multiple highly-automated drones.

These tests will shed light on how to safely use drones in the logistics industry as well as identify what operating rules and safety regulations must be put in place to help the drone industry grow.

“The U.K. is a leader in enabling drone innovation – we’ve been investing in Prime Air research and development here for quite some time,” Amazon vice-president of global innovation policy and communications Paul Misener said. “This announcement strengthens our partnership with the U.K. and brings Amazon closer to our goal of using drones to safely deliver parcels in 30 minutes to customers in the U.K. and elsewhere around the world.”

“Using small drones for the delivery of parcels will improve customer experience, create new jobs in a rapidly growing industry, and pioneer new sustainable delivery methods to meet future demand,” Misener added. “The U.K. is charting a path forward for drone technology that will benefit consumers, industry and society.”

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced back in December 2013 that his company had plans to use drones for delivery of products within the next five years. The initiative, which has been dubbed Amazon Prime Air, will only be used to deliver packages that weigh five pounds or less. Flying under 400 feet and weighing less than 55 pounds, Prime Air drones will use a sophisticated ‘sense and avoid’ technology, as well as a high degree of automation, to safely operate beyond the line of sight to distances of at least 10 miles or more.

“One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today,” the company said in a post.

Prime Air will eventually work something like this:


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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Be careful and think before you click – The Keene Sentinel

Be careful and think before you click
The Keene Sentinel
Like email phishing and other scams, the distribution of false news stories has become more sophisticated as the Internet has grown. Sure, it's easy to spot and avoid links bearing the giveaway terms “this one weird trick” and “what happened next will

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Webmaster Internet – Google News

How to use device bid adjustments, straight from Google

AdWords will soon have the ability to set bids specific to each device type. Columnist and Googler Matt Lawson explains Google’s official POV about what that means when managing your campaigns.

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Google expanded text ads are live, and device bidding & responsive ads for native roll out

Standard text ads will no longer be accepted as of October 26.

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Use Power BI to supercharge your SEO

Columnist Chris Liversidge explains how to take advantage of Microsoft’s Power BI (Business Intelligence) rollout to collect and analyze more data than ever before — and find the SEO performance gaps you didn’t know about.

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Google Maps updates map design, highlights areas of interest and adds business photo carousel

Check out the new look for the Google Maps imagery and features. It is subtle but Google said it helps users navigate.

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AT&T CEO Vows to Lead an Anti-Robocall ‘Strike Force’

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson is ready to join the Federal Communications Commission in its fight against robocalls.

Stephenson will head up a ‘strike force’ whose mission it is to think up and develop tools and solutions to deal with robocalls. The group will also make recommendations to the FCC on the role government can play in the fight against robocalls.

The announcement from AT&T comes a week after FCC chairman Tom Wheeler fired off admonishing letters to the CEOs of major wireless and wireline phone companies demanding they offer free call-blocking services.

Wheeler, in his letter to AT&T, asked Stephenson to take charge of the group, which has since been dubbed the Robocalling Strike Force.

“Since giving consumers meaningful control over the calls and texts they receive will require collective action by the industry; I am gratified that AT&T will lead an industry strike force to develop an action plan for providing consumers with robust robocall-blocking solutions,” Wheeler said in a statement to the media. “Last week, I asked all the major phone companies to develop just such a plan; I strongly urge industry participants to join the effort and to produce conclusions within 60 days.”

AT&T said it will work together with the industry, the standards bodies and through the new task force on a “Do Not Originate” list to identify suspicious calls that originate from outside of the U.S. AT&T said it will also facilitate efforts by other carriers to adopt call blocking technologies on their networks.

“AT&T joins Chairman Wheeler and his staff in the commitment to bring the industry together to protect consumers from unwanted communications and to rid our communications networks of these unwanted and pernicious calls,” the company said in a statement.

The FCC last year closed loopholes in its robocall restrictions, including placing limits on calls to reassigned numbers. Wheeler, at the time, said he planned to use the 1991 Telephone Consumer Protection Act as the skeleton for new regulations which would close any loopholes on consumer protection from such unwanted contact.

Since Congress changed the law authorizing the FCC to limit the number and duration of robocalls to collect federal debts, the agency circulated rules to place limits on all robocalls. The proposal’s purpose is to limit the number of debt-collection calls allowed per month, ensure the right person is called, and allow consumers to stop the calls.

Wheeler said robocalls are currently the No. 1 complaint the FCC receives from consumers.

“Whenever and wherever Congress and the courts give us the authority, the Commission will push hard for strong, pro-consumer limits to robocalls and other unwanted calls,” he added.


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Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.

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Crafting Your Case for Content Marketing

Even if you know that content marketing is a valuable strategy, it’s not always as easy to convince other people of that fact.

Between the expense involved and the downright foreignness of content marketing to most marketers, it can be difficult to encourage other people to get onboard – especially when these people include your CMO.

Luckily, there’s a way around this difficult scenario.

By understanding how to build an effective case for content marketing and implement it accordingly, you can have your company creating custom content and reaping the benefits of this compelling form of marketing in no time at all.

Read on to learn more.

First Things First: Why Do People Still Resist Content Marketing?

Despite the fact that content marketing is so demonstrably valuable, many marketers simply fear what they don’t know.

Unless they’ve used content marketing or seen it in action before, it’s natural to expect that they’ll be wary and confused by the prospect.

What’s more, content marketing doesn’t offer the rapid, fast-paced turnaround many marketers want. Instead of being an instant gratification mechanism that offers immediate results, content marketing is a long-term strategy that drives a positive ROI over months and years.

Unlike many short-term strategies, though, it also maintains its value — for months and years.

Despite this fact, though, the adoption of content marketing makes CMOs do things they’re uncomfortable with. For one, it requires them to question their traditional beliefs about marketing, which they may hold dear even if those beliefs are no longer pushing results.

What’s more, it can be difficult for inexperienced CMOs to understand how content drives value and why it’s so wise to take a highly customer-centric approach to marketing.

Thanks to all of these factors and many more, it’s up to you to create a compelling case that demonstrates the benefits, value and importance of content marketing.

Here’s how:

Crafting Your Case in 5 Simple Steps

Whenever you pitch someone with a new idea, it’s critical to be as organized as possible. Introducing the concept of content marketing to your CMO is no different. To ensure your content adoption talk goes as well as possible, follow these five steps:

1. Arm yourself with the facts

Imagine this: you sit down with your CMO and say, “Hey, we need content.”

Is he or she impressed?

Probably not.

What if you did this, though: “Hey, did you know that 85 percent of consumers consult expert content before they make a purchase?”

While the foundational message of the two statements is similar, the delivery is incredibly difficult.

By arming yourself with the facts before you sit down for this conversation, you set yourself up to succeed and change minds.

2. Shine a light on widespread adoption trends

Sometimes, CMOs are hesitant to make big changes because they believe that nobody else in the industry is doing it.

When it comes to content, though, this simply isn’t true.

Right now, 75 percent of all marketing leaders report experiencing increased loyalty and reduced marketing costs thanks to content marketing. This is why CMOs continue to make large investments into content marketing and why the trend shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.

When your CMO understands how popular content marketing truly is and what hefty investments other companies are making into it, it’s much more likely that he or she will agree to adopt the strategy.

3. Demonstrate the cost-saving potential

One of the greatest motivators in the world is money. While many CMOs mistakenly believe that content marketing will be more expensive than their current marketing strategy, this simply isn’t true.

Unfortunately, marketers who have never used content before often need help seeing this.

Tell your CMO, for example, that content marketing is a fantastic way to lower the costs of advertising across the board. While it does cost money to produce content, these costs are often substantially less than the costs associated with producing traditional advertising material.

There are bonus points available if you can demonstrate how much, exactly, content creation will save your company.

4. Bring in some case studies

To convince your CMO of the value of content marketing, you might have to demonstrate other prominent companies that have adopted it successfully. One great way to do this is to bring up some prominent case studies.

Take GE, for example. Recently, GE entered into a partnership with BuzzFeed to create custom content. While GE wasn’t at that point as a company widely perceived as intuitive or innovative, customers exposed to the custom content the brand created overwhelming ranked GE as a “Creative” company.

This perception resulted in a huge boost in GE’s brand recognition and the positive feelings customers had about the brand.

While one case study may not be enough to convince your CMO, proving that other prominent companies have adopted content is a fantastic way to start implementing it in your company.

5. Drive home that content marketing offers high ROIs

In the late part of 2015, a Fortune 500 company working with NewsCred started measuring the ROI of its content marketing efforts. What it found was shocking.

When the firm compared the ROI of its content versus its paid banner advertisements, it found that the funds allocated to content marketing were 2.73 times as effective as the budget allocated to banner ads. What’s more, the content the company created produced 1.53 more leads per dollar spent.

While the perception is that content marketing is expensive, showcasing the ROI potential for this simple and amazingly effective form of marketing is often exactly what hesitant CMOs need to see.

Implementing Content in Your Office

While it can feel frustrating to try to convince a hesitant CMO of the value of content marketing, the potential payoff is well worth the work. In addition to the fact that content marketing is more effective than traditional outbound marketing, it’s also less expensive and more valuable to consumers – which can provide a huge boost of recognition, engagement, and sales for your company.

While it may take some time for your CMO to see the many benefits of content marketing, putting in the effort to demonstrate it is a worthwhile battle.


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Julia McCoy is a writer and entrepreneur. She created three businesses and wrote a book at 16; at 20, she dropped out of nursing school to teach herself online writing and start Express Writers. Today, her content agency has more than 70 writers and thousands of worldwide clients. Julia hosts The Write Podcast and #ContentWritingChat, and is the bestselling author of So You Think You Can Write? The Definitive Guide to Successful Online Writing. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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