Showtheifing, it’s coming to your store…
Tue, Feb 11th 2014 9:00p Bob Balfe This is classic in my opinion. I just read this article where Amazon will be “making it easier” for people “scan” brick and mortar products and have that product automatically be added to your Amazon cart. I say scan because … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Tough Mudder and Wounded Warrior Project!
Sat, Feb 8th 2014 7:20a Bob Balfe I just signed up for the Tough Mudder Upstate New York event (check out the video below). I figure I would motivate myself by looking at my old Marine pictures and even including one in this post from long ago, … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Youtility – helping actually sells in the end
Tue, Jan 28th 2014 8:30a Bob Balfe I just watched a video by the one and only Jay Baer about smart marketing and it reminds me of the videos I create for technology and more recently specifically about Smarter Commerce for marketing people. Since I have been … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
The most impressive demonstration at NRF 2014
Fri, Jan 17th 2014 11:20a Bob Balfe I will admit that I did not see every demonstration or product at NRF and while the Intel booth had some great technology, I think the Watson + Fluid + Northface demonstration was the best. It was the best for a couple … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Rubber duck debugging or Rubber Ducking, meet Captain Crunch!
Fri, Jan 10th 2014 7:21a Bob Balfe How many of you do “rubber ducking“? How many even know what it is? Rubber duck debugging, rubber ducking, and the rubber duckie test are informal terms used in software engineering to refer to a method of debugging code. The name is a reference to a story in … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Why you should visit IBM at NRF
Thu, Jan 9th 2014 8:10a Bob Balfe 2013 was a great year for IBM in the retail and eCommerce space. In case you missed some of the analysts press releases over the past year, outside of me being there, here are a few more reasons why you … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: ibm
My new office mate
Wed, Jan 8th 2014 1:30p Bob Balfe To mark this cold winter I figured I would post something about it. To save money this winter we have been keeping the temperature at 65 degrees Celsius. It has saved a lot of money but since I work from … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: office
Meet the CoreMedia team at NRF next week!
Tue, Jan 7th 2014 5:30a Bob Balfe Retails big conference (NRF) is less than a week away. Make sure you get on the CoreMedia demo room schedule to see what’s coming this year. CoreMedia is pleased to collaborate with the IBM team in showcasing state of the … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: ibm
New video: Testing your site on mobile devices
Sun, Jan 5th 2014 8:43p Bob Balfe In this video I show how you can use the CoreMedia studio to test your site across different resolutions – specifically mobile devices like tablet (landscape and portrait) and mobile phones (landscape and portrait). You can learn more about CoreMedia and their … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: mobile
Peeking interest with a picture, mastering Tumblr
Fri, Dec 20th 2013 6:50a Bob Balfe In the past few months I have been automatically posting my blog articles to Tumblr. I started using Tumblr a few months ago pretty actively to read other blog posts solely based on their picture – I am very visual … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
This is a voice dictated blog post
Fri, Dec 20th 2013 6:20a Bob Balfe I am using my Mac voice recognition to type this blog post. While I think this technology is pretty cool, correcting mistakes still requires the mouse and keyboard. I am very surprised the technology works with my voice with no … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: mac
Rewarding customers with stackable promotions
Tue, Dec 17th 2013 5:20a Bob Balfe Some stores do this but I have not seen a lot of online stores that do this today and I really don’t understand why they don’t. The closest thing I have experienced to “stacking promotions” is the use of a … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Top 20 videos on my YouTube channel in 2013
Mon, Dec 16th 2013 6:40a Bob Balfe Compared to last year, my YouTube channel received 4,000 more views this year. With a total of 22,432 views I think I can say it was a pretty good year so thank you for watching! I learned a lot this year … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Xtify: Measuring my campaigns performance
Fri, Dec 6th 2013 10:10p Bob Balfe I have been running the Xtify reactor on my blog now for a few weeks. I have already seen a couple of the campaigns working well. For instance, the “Subscribe to my blog” message has received many clicks and a … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Getting and setting check boxes with jQuery
Tue, Nov 26th 2013 6:40a Bob Balfe Getting and setting check boxes in jQuery is a lot easier than setting radio buttons and we can thank the “prop” function for that. Here is the HTML, notice each check box has its own Id, that is the key … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
CKEditor comes to the Eclipse platform!
Mon, Nov 25th 2013 8:33p Bob Balfe I am not sure if this is the first time the CKEditor has been ported to the Eclipse platform but today I noticed on the Eclipse.org marketplace site there is a new plugin for editing HTML files using the CKEditor. This … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: eclipse
Coremedia Part 2 – Image maps and site style!
Mon, Nov 25th 2013 6:03a Bob Balfe In this video I continue the kids micro-site story and I demonstrate how easy it is to construct image maps with Coremedia. We are going to create a new banner that has mouse over popups (image map) of products in … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Xtify is now running on my blog!
Thu, Nov 21st 2013 9:30a Bob Balfe So I am playing around with Xtify and I pretty impressed with this technology and I am even more impressed with management of the messages/alerts. Don’t know what Xtify is? Watch the video at the end of this blog post. … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
What do you think of YouTube channel trailers?
Thu, Nov 21st 2013 6:40a Bob Balfe I had a channel trailer on my Youtube channel for a while and I actually found it annoying. I don’t like click on a link or a page and immediately launching into a video with sound. It is similar to … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
A great advertisement example!
Thu, Oct 24th 2013 2:40p Bob Balfe How cool is this? I went on to the New York Times site and Ralph Lauren has a very cool multi-place advertisement for their The Dog Walk campaign that is a seamlessly connected video. The video is blurry because I … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Update on iOS Siri security flaw
Mon, Sep 23rd 2013 3:10p Bob Balfe So my phone has the IBM account settings on it which disables the use of Siri on a fully locked phone. My wife’s phone, which is running iOS 6, doesn’t even have a setting to disable Siri when the phone … Continue reading → [read] Keywords: ibm
Check out this very cool art
Mon, Sep 23rd 2013 8:30a Bob Balfe My step daughter just started posting her art into products online. She is very talented and is looking to pursue Art in college. Check out her work and help support her! [read] Keywords:
MAXCDN is now active!
Sat, Sep 14th 2013 1:30p Bob Balfe It will be interesting to hear if any of my readers abroad see a performance difference with my site. I just subscribed to MAXCDN and it already appears to be much faster. My hosting service is out of California so … Continue reading → [read] Keywords:
Will corporations move to fingerprint reading on devices for authentication?
Fri, Sep 13th 2013 7:20a Bob Balfe With the launch of the new iPhone 5s I am sure many IT security people are working to figure out whether or not to support fingerprints to get access to the device.
My company has a pretty stringent password policy for my mobile devices and most of my friends and family make fun of me having to enter such a long password every five minutes. I would love nothing more than to move to a fingerprint reader, however, I have some reservations about the technology.
This is clearly the way to go in my [read] Keywords: apple
New Video: Dynamic Merchandising with Custom Category Page Layout
Tue, Aug 27th 2013 12:50p Bob Balfe In this video I show how you can use template page layouts to give a custom experience for a book store that sells books for University classes. The video shows how you can have “landing pages” for courses to show the instructors picture, name, and biography along with the course description.
Then, instead of using a regular product listing, I use merchandising attributes to put course material and optional course material into two different eSpots. You can imagine the page could hav [read] Keywords:
IBM SupportTV – A great source of information for IBM products
Tue, Aug 27th 2013 6:20a Bob Balfe I received my weekly email from YouTube stating I would be interested in this channel called IBM SupportTV and the video was for IBM Extensions for Memory Analyzer to debug out of memory issues so I decided to check it out.
First off, I had no idea an IBM SupportTV channel even existed! I watched a couple of videos and I really like them. They are very similar to the way I do my videos on my channel. The channel looks like it spans a lot of different topics – BPM, WebSphere, Mobile Develo [read] Keywords: ibm
Coremedia plus WebSphere Commerce – an excellent integration story
Tue, Aug 20th 2013 11:20a Bob Balfe I happen to be engaged with a customer where we will be teaming up with Coremedia for some pretty amazing content management integration with WebSphere Commerce. Coremedia has been around for over 15 years and has a pretty large presence in Europe. Based out of Germany, Coremedia is starting to make grounds in the United States – see the video below for more information on that and make sure you check out their WebSphere Commerce page on their site for some key differentiation they bring t [read] Keywords: ibm
NBS Systems 2013 e-Commerce Benchmark – WebSphere Commerce still the leader!
Thu, Aug 1st 2013 9:10a Bob Balfe This is an excellent analysis of the various eCommerce systems in the market today. I only viewed the shortened free version which I found extremely comprehensive and much better than the Forrester and Gartner reports – so great job NBS Systems! What is also interesting is NBS Systems actually does hosting for Magento and Hybris implementations.
I really like the “Turnover to consider solution” benchmark because this really is the struggle trying to convince a company to come [read] Keywords: interface
Recommend Promotions 101 in WebSphere Commerce
Wed, Jul 31st 2013 9:40a Bob Balfe One of the most challenging parts of a commerce site is having the technology to tie the front end advertisements to the back-end promotion engine. For instance, you don’t want to show an advertisement for 15% off an item or items in a category when the promotion is not applicable or not even valid at that time. In this video I show how you can tie promotions and web content together on your WebSphere Commerce site to insure the advertisements are only visible when the promotion is availab [read] Keywords: websphere
Three cool examples of dynamic segment rules in WebSphere Commerce
Mon, Jul 29th 2013 7:23a Bob Balfe I have blogged about dynamic segments in WebSphere Commerce a few times because I think they are extremely powerful and allow marketing to do all kinds of very cool things to make their site more interesting to a buyer. The InfoCenter has a really good page with three great examples for how the rules for dynamic segments can be constructed. Remember, this is in the Management Center and these flows are constructed with basic drag and drop gestures.
In the first example you want to categorize yo [read] Keywords: ibm
Adding the Pinterest “Pin it” button to WebSphere Commerce
Wed, Jul 24th 2013 12:50p Bob Balfe With social media becoming more and more popular many sites offer a “Pin it” button for their products to be posted on Pinterest. If you are working in WebSphere Commerce and modifying the Aurora storefront, here is a quick snippet of code you can put into the ProductDisplay.jsp to enable this functionality.
First thing to do is define the variables that will hold the image URL. I actually stole this code from the product display widget and modified it a little to construct a full U [read] Keywords: facebook
Leaders For Life International – a camp every teenager should attend
Fri, Jul 12th 2013 2:00p Bob Balfe I had the pleasure of going to the end of camp ceremony today for my daughter and I must say I was totally impressed with the outcome of this six-day camp.
Leaders for Life International empowers teens entering grades 9-12 to fulfill dreams and achieve success. – link
The camp has two locations, one at the YMCA in Colorado and one at Hamilton College in Clinton NY. It was amazing to hear how many kids absolutely did not want to go and at the end of the week how the camp literally changed [read] Keywords:
What is the one word that defines you?
Thu, Jul 11th 2013 9:20a Bob Balfe The other day I read this very interesting article by Dharmesh Shah, the Founder and CTO at HubSpot. I found the article interesting because any time I am in a situation and asked or told about another professional I hear the same old descriptions – which in the end mean nothing to me. I am going to start using some of the words Dharmesh identified in this article to start describing the people I know. Of course this also opens the door for argument because the word only has meaning in th [read] Keywords: linkedin
College hire interviews: Internships, personality, and drive
Thu, Jun 20th 2013 9:03p Bob Balfe I recently read the article about Googles position on GPA’s and Brainteasers in interviews. This is really a new college hire interview as a professional interview is vastly different from someone coming right out of college.
When I interviewed candidates right out of college while I was at Iris Associates and my early days of Lotus it seemed we only really got the double majors with a 5.0/5.0 out of MIT. I remember one year we had three candidates and all three of them had almost identic [read] Keywords: lotus
Getting the Pulse of the social world
Fri, Jun 14th 2013 6:00a Bob Balfe If you haven’t seen the “Pulse” area on Klout you might want to check it out. You can see the most influential people by many different categories ranging from Late Night hosts to Universities. [read] Keywords:
Congratulations to my son Nathan, best Fathers day gift ever!
Thu, Jun 13th 2013 10:22p Bob Balfe I don’t normally write much personal stuff on my blog but I was so proud of my son Nathan last night I have to put this on my blog so I will always have this here.
Last night my son had his “moving up ceremony” from fifth grade to sixth. This is a pretty big deal because three elementary schools merge to one school – about 240 kids total. What I did not know was what I was about to hear when the awards ceremony started. At all of these events I record as much as I can dur [read] Keywords: facebook
Product delivery date: An online shopping experience
Thu, Jun 13th 2013 7:50a Bob Balfe I have been in the process of remodeling my kitchen. I am not going to mention any companies here but you can imagine two very large home improvement stores in the United States and those are the two I will be talking about. Oh yes, and I also checked Amazon.
This particular order was for a new faucet you see in the post. It is the Delta 9192T, it is very cool and can be turned off and on by touching the metal casing.
The two stores in question did not have this model “in stock” s [read] Keywords: connections
Using XPath API to figure out my stats post is now translated in Spanish!
Tue, Jun 11th 2013 8:00a Bob Balfe A bit back I was asked if one of my blog posts could be translated on a support page for a hosting company’s site. The post was originally put on this blog on 12/19/2012 and is titled “Using the XPath API to figure out my stats“. Here is a snippet of the translated post and link to the site:
Uno de los problemas principales que tengo con WordPress básico es que si bien hace un buen trabajo proporcionando tus estadísticas alrededor de las vistas (el número de vistas que obt [read] Keywords:
Introducing my new Commerce channel on Youtube
Fri, Jun 7th 2013 7:30a Bob Balfe I have a collection of videos on my YouTube channel and most of my recent ones are about commerce and more specifically WebSphere Commerce. The commerce related videos are similar to what we would show to a customer in a meeting or at a conference but in a smaller scope and generalized.
Since YouTube decided to make my channel pretty ugly and harder to find things I attempted to arrange my videos in sections by content type – I hope this helps. If you are looking specifically for commerce [read] Keywords: ibm
Sorting a HashMap in Java: SortedMap to the rescue!
Thu, Jun 6th 2013 8:50p Bob Balfe I recently had to populate a list and make sure there were no duplicates so I immediately thought of a hash map. While this worked great, I also needed the output to be sorted alphabetically. This is where SortedMap comes into play.
While I could have done this a few ways, I found this method very simple and straightforward. The hash map provides the unique values while the SortedMap provides the auto sorting I needed. I only had about 1000 records to sort so I didn’t have to worry about p [read] Keywords: java
The WordPress subscription feature is awesome!
Wed, Jun 5th 2013 7:30a Bob Balfe In case you do not use the Jetpack plugin for your WordPress site you might want to consider it. The plugin is packed with some professional features. One of those really cool features is the Subscriptions feature. Not only is it easy to subscribe on a WordPress site – see my home page on the upper right for an example, the administration of the subscriptions is basically seamless.
Many visitors land on your site once, never to return. Convert more visitors into regular readers by making i [read] Keywords: administration
Want to learn Dojo? Then check out this site today!
Sitepen - Development, support, and training from the makers of Dojo. [read] Keywords: applications
Book Review: jQuery Hotshot
Fri, May 31st 2013 8:10a Bob Balfe Did you ever go to a web site and think, wow, how did they do that? Or, wouldn’t that be cool to write? I know I do.
Well, this book is filled with 10 small projects you can use in real life. So unlike an API book where it focuses on the small granular API calls this book focuses on completed solutions.
Smarter Commerce: Having trouble putting the pieces together?
Wed, May 22nd 2013 1:50p Bob Balfe So you are at the Smarter Commerce Global Summit and you are seeing all kinds products and services from IBM and Business Partners. If you are asking yourself questions like this:
What value do I get choosing IBM for a specific piece of my Smarter Commerce puzzle?
What is the value of choosing IBM for multiple products?
What value is there in having these solutions integrated versus a competitor?
What business partner would you recommend for X, if any?
Why should I choose IBM for our eCommerce [read] Keywords: ibm
Subscriptions now enabled!
Mon, May 20th 2013 9:00p Bob Balfe So I had the pleasure of sitting next to and meeting Drew Neisser (@DrewNeisser), CEO of Renegade LLC on the plane to the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit today. We had a lot of great exchanges and he gave me a tip I should I have known already and that was having an email subscription form on my blog. I guess I thought that was “the old” way but Drew convinced me many people use his so I figured I would give it a try.
So in conference fashion you should see some pictures and p [read] Keywords: ibm
The insanity of the Marketing Technology landscape!
Tue, May 14th 2013 7:20a Bob Balfe A very interesting graphic from LUMA Partners (LUMAscape) was recently published. You will notice pretty much all of IBM’s recent acquisitions (in the last 3 or so years) are on this graphic. This is in my opinion a validation of the IBM’s Smarter Commerce strategy as their products become more and more integrated. Having a single company with best of breed technologies integrated and supported by one company makes this landscape a bit more consumable and less daunting.
Many of IBM [read] Keywords: ibm