Steam is powerful, hot, and painful. It can move trains, boats, and has driven minds crazy with the power of invention. And now, the power of steam has come to Linux. That’s right, Linux. Until recently Linux users were the most unloved members of the gaming world. They have been the outcasts, the rejects in the corner who preferred an operating system, which quite frankly, is the most logical of all of them. They are Linux users. And now, they have arrived.
Ok, enough with the dramatics; Portal is available if you’re running Valve’s Linux Steam client, you’ve got it. If you don’t have it, get it, because the Steam Box is coming. While PC, Xbox, Play Station, and Mac users have all had a gaming advantage, the love for Linux users has never been there. Until now.
Linux gamers now have access to Valve’s Half-Life,Half-Life: Blue Shift, and the just-released beta Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2). And that’s good news.
For all the mega super awesomeness that this news could potentially be, it’s not quite the best. Valve’s current catalog for Linux is still quite sparse. With only 13 titles as of this article, it’s barely a scratch against the wall of Mac and PC game titles out there, but hey, it’s a start. I mean, Portal is a game from 2007, and the original Half-Life was first published in 1998.
This padding of the Linux library is likely part of preparations for the Steam Box console, which is expected to run the OS. Valve’s entire catalog will probably be available for Linux before long. The question is whether any other big-name developers will follow suit. There are over 100 Linux titles on Steam right now, but most of them are smaller games from indie developers. The Steam Box may have to stream games from a Windows-equipped PC if it wants to offer a similar selection of blockbusters to next-generation consoles.
Now, Remember that Valve utilizes a Direct3D -> OpenGL layer for its ports. It takes the D3D9 with extensions and dynamically created oGL calls. Not only does have to call oGL but it also has to deal with that translation overhead. Despite that, it still ends up being faster than native DX where no translation is done.They still use d3d9 but go through live translation to oGL calls and still they outperform the native DX9 implementation despite having the same limitations. Faster than native despite having additional translation overhead is nothing short of impressive especially when you consider Valve had next to no oGL experience when they started this ( although then basically then hired an all-staroGL team to carry out the endeavor.
It’s hard to talk about the Linux OS without talking about the Steam Box, which, if you believe Valve head Gabe Newell, is the console killer. Newell has confirmed that Valve’s own Steam Box will come packaged with Linux. The OS is anathema to the walled gardens of Windows, being both free and open-source. It’s just as alien to the Xbox and Playstation front-ends. Where they curate content and load up with adverts, the Steam Box is as open as an average PC.
Newell says you’re free to install Windows on Valve’s Linux box, and download whatever you fancy. Imagine a console with Adblock. Imagine a console that isn’t hamstrung by its components half a decade down the line, a console that doesn’t force its creator to make a loss on each sale or to devote a gigantic chunk of budget half way through its life cycle to make its successor.
The Steam Box should scare console makers. 2012 was a monster year for PC gaming, the portents of doom that dogged the platform for years finally shaken off as the once dominant consoles felt their teeth grow too long.
With the upcoming Steam Box, and Portal and Left for Dead 2 coming to Linux, the rise of the few should be a concern to all.
Author Bio: The article is written by Jason Phillips, a freelance writer and an enthusiast. His passion about gaming inspired him to write gaming articles, blog about gaming and starting an online gaming site Zombie Games 365.
10 Steps to Evaluating and Measuring Your Marketing Strategy
When you are trying to market a product, the product or service is only as good as the potential clientele think it is. You need to get them to buy or use the item or service before you can tell if it really works for them. How can you go about evaluating and measuring your current marketing strategy?
Input vs. Output
Check your financial statements. Are you spending more money than you are making? In a strong marketing campaign, this should not be the case. You want to tweak your plan to make more money than you are putting into the project.
When you sell a product, include a survey along with it. Ask the customer to rate different qualities of the product that directly relate to the market. For example, ask them how they heard about the product and if the visual appeal of the item had anything to do with its purchase.
Distribute flyers, pamphlets and other coupon offers to people and see if they call back. You’ll know if the marketing works based upon how many people call. When they do call, ask what elements of the flyer or other item made them want to call you.
Before you send a new item onto the market, have a test group to evaluate your marketing. For example, you might bring in a section of the company that has never seen the ad. Ask them what they think and if they would buy the product.
What about you? Try to separate yourself from the ad as much as possible. Imagine that you were walking down the street and saw this advertisement. Would you feel inclined to purchase it or use the service? What elements of it are captivating and visually appealing? What elements turn you away?
Of course, all of these surveys and questions are important; however, you must generate quantitative data from all of them. For example, calculate the percentage of people who learned about your company from the Internet, paper flyers, word of mouth, and so forth. Put the information into charts.
After you have put the information into charts, you should start comparing this year’s findings to last year’s findings. If you find that a larger percentage of people are using the Internet than last year, you will have gained valuable insight into the company’s advertising.
Targeting the Many…
Once you find where most of your patrons are coming from, work to keep up steady advertisements in that domain. If most people are finding your company through Google searches, maintain fresh SEO strategies throughout the year to keep generating customers in that manner.
…And the Few
Let’s say that very few people are finding you from paper advertisements in the local department store. If this is a new trend, give it another shot to try to keep those few customers that you have. If it’s a continuing trend, you may want to put that money into another avenue.
Keep It Up
Don’t let your evaluation and measuring strategies fall to the wayside. You need to keep using them to ensure constant success for your company.
Evaluation and measurement strategies can bring both good and bad news to you about your marketing strategy. Be sure to use all of the information to generate more positive outcomes.
Thaddeus McGregor writes about business, marketing & finance at
Top 8 popular WordPress plugins of all the time
The WordPress plugin repository has 54,000+ plugins. That’s like a lot. These plugins are used to complement the core WP installation. In other words, it improves a user’s experience on WordPress. They handle certain features and functionalities that WP cannot do by itself.
Choosing the correct plugin is vital for your website’s security, user-friendliness, and speed. Else you can take WordPress support from a good team.
We have listed down the top 8 popular WordPress plugins. Let’s discuss first what WP Plugin is.
WP plugin is defined as a software tool that is scripted in the PHP language. It includes additional features on your WP website. The plugin provides a simple process to add features to your website without writing a single code.
The API of the plugin provides an effective hooks’ and filters set. This robust set enables developers to modify or add new functions with WordPress.
8 Popular WordPress plugins
Search Engine Optimization is necessary to boost traffic to your website. Without any doubt, Yoast SEO is the best WordPress SEO plugin. It supports you to add Meta tags, connect your website with Google Search Console, etc.
The plugins provide you with a complete solution to improve on-page SEO. The features of Yoast SEO are as follows:
- Readability check
- Internal linking suggestion
- Access to create custom Description/Mets Header
- XML News Sitemaps
- Quickly build 301 directs with the Redirect feature
- Optimize for synonyms, keywords
- Update as per Google’s algorithm
The plugin makes sure that your site meets the top-most SEO principle. It provides the tools to optimize your content for overall readability and SEO.
Every day it is not easy to filter out spam that is either irrelevant stories or promotional links. Automattic developed a tool called Akismet.
It is known as the godfather of comment spam reduction plugins. The plugin works great to track back spam and filter out most comments. It reviews all your contact form submissions against their global spam database. This WordPress Premium plugin provides advanced security solutions along with spam protection.
To use the plugin, you will need an API key that is free for non-commercial use. It is beneficial if you receive at least ten comments daily.
The Automattic company built another top-most WordPress plugin called Jetpack. It is a versatile tool with numerous features. The plugin supports you with design, marketing, and security. Among its multiple features, you can perform the following-
- Spam filtration
- Malware scanning
- Find site analytics
- Login security
- Automatic social media posting
- Slow image loading
- Multiple WordPress themes and more.
How can we miss WooCommerce among the list of popular WordPress plugins? An e-commerce plugin enables you to sell anything on the web simply.
The plugin has an abundance of themes, easy customization options, and much more. Therefore, it stands unique among the list of WordPress plugins.
Wondering why WooCommerce is best for you? The plugin provides features such as adding product variation, extensive payment methods, etc. The developer community creates extensions to make online selling as smooth as possible.
WPForms is a fantastic plugin that allows people to create popular forms with simple and easy steps. The form is created by using a simple interface of drag-and-drop. This plugin enables you to create contact, subscription, payment, survey, and other forms. It doesn’t require you to put in a great effort, as you can create forms with just a few clicks.
Note that this plugin can integrate with all the primary payment and marketing platforms.
- Compatible with cloud flare
- Improve user-end browser caching
- Quick Load images while scrolling down
- Support WordPress Multi website
- Incorporate caching solution along with a CDN
- Load images on request
- Facilitate slow loading to boost page load time.
Page builder aids you in creating more complex designs as you don’t need to use coding. The most popular page builder plugin as per WordPress.org is Elementor. The plugin has quickly shot up the rank with over 1.2 million active installs. It offers a free package to build complex designs with a drag-and-drop interface.
You must think of installing this plugin on your website. This will support you to have full control over your design.
Migrate Guru is a specifically designed, fully automated plugin for WP migration. It offers you the fastest, easiest, and most reliable method to migrate your WordPress website. The plugin runs on an external server named BlogVault’s server. You can quickly transfer large sites without any issues.
There is a choice to save the migration setting and remove the unnecessary files during the migration process. This allows you to repeat the migration with a single click in the future.
The plugin has the following feature:
- No overload on the website
- No requirement for storage space
- Easy to use
- Build for large websites
- One-click migration
- Fully automatic, replace & built-in-search
Large images slow down the loading of websites. Therefore, it is crucial to optimize every file image to improve speed. Optimizing every image manually can be a tedious task.
For this, you can apply the Smush plugin. It is a simple way to compress and optimize your WP website images. The plugin compresses images all over your website automatically. You will need to upload images to your WP website media folder.
The plugin provides no interruption in your workflow and improves website performance.
A WordPress plugin helps you to quickly and smoothly run your website. It improves user experience and supports websites to reach a wider audience.
No need to get confused about which plugin is best for your website. We have mentioned 8 of the pre-eminent WP plugins of all time. These plugins are accessible in free as well as paid forms.
Jinny Sarah Jacob is a Sr. Technical content writer at 24×7 WP Support, a leading WordPress development company that supports WordPress themes, plugins, and errors. She is a passionate technology geek and loves to write blogs on marketing, technology, B2B, big data/analytics, business strategizing, etc.
Increase Traffic with Comments
We all want to read comments, especially if these comments praise us or show that many people value our posts on our blog. Therefore, those valuable comments you can have on your blog can generate a lot of qualified visitors in your blog traffic.
Your website, more significantly, your blog posts can generate traffic. if you can improve the search traffic, you have the help of the things below.
Learn ways – How to Increase Blog Traffic with Comments
- Ask or Request Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions tend to prompt a lot of engagement that includes comments. However, it only means that when you allow the recipients to express themselves, they will provide you with complete and meaningful answers.
One of the main reasons there are a lot of blog posts that are not generating loads of traffic with comments is because the questions they have are close-ended. These close-ended questions can only be answered by a yes or a no or with a direct answer that does not leave anything else that will run for longer and more comments.
- Write A Post On the Top List
If you wish to improve your search traffic and generate powerful comments about the user experience on your blog posts, you should consider writing a post that falls on the top list. Unfortunately, many people struggle to gain online transactions from when they first opened their blog until they have discovered the importance of having a content marketing strategy.
To gain comments, you should add keywords wherein people are searching for the headline that you have. It would be best if you did not try to sound like an English professor to have one. The things that you need to do are to make your headline appear relevant for it to attract attention, comments as well as a load of traffic.
- Do Some Influencer and Expert Name Dropping
Name-dropping is a term that refers to the practice of attributing names of famous experts as well as bloggers to your content. Using this strategy, your blog posts can generate a lot of comments that would, later on, create loads of traffic for your website.
Generating comments for each blog post is one of the best ways to get a lot of traffic to your website. This way, you can make your content more valuable because some people seem to appreciate the things you have written. Therefore, if you wish to gain loads of traffic for your website, you should first work on generating comments with the help of the tips stated above that are very easy to do for your content. This, in turn, will increase Blog Traffic.
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