Author Archives: Bogdan Balcan

Why do you need Facebook for your business?

This might be a relatively simple question but the complexity of the answer might surprise you!

First of all, if you have a business and you don’t have a Facebook page for it, well, i’m sorry to tell you that you might be among the last ones which doesn’t. Forgotten are the times when not everyone were on this social platform and now, user concentrate on adding everything, from everywhere to it; this includes businesses, places, currents, events, personalities and many other daily-life aspects, all with the purpose of simplifying our actions.

People tend to be skeptical about the success of a business page but what they fail to understand is that even a small page with a small audience can make a difference. A research shows that merely six percent of all Facebook pages have more than ten thousand likes and that is not a problem. If given time the popularity of a page will grow and more and more users will be interested in the information provided by you. Another reason why people tend to avoid having a social media page for their business is that because it’s hard to keep it updated all the time. Although constant posts will keep your fans happy there is not a direct correlation between the posting span and the growth of the page.

On the other side there are plenty of different reasons that your business needs Facebook. What it boils down to, though, is that this is a free opportunity to reach out to your audience in their preferred environment, improve your SEO rankings and visibility, and show off your business in a way that people can relate to. This being said we want to familiarize you with TheWebMiner Facebook page were we constantly post technical news, updates about our tool or tips for our field of activity.

Smartphones Are Taking Over

One of the most important events on consumer electronics takes place these days Barcelona. Of course that I refer to Mobile World Congress where the most exciting latest technologies are being revealed. Manufacturers have to keep up with the demands of the market in producing more reliable and cheaper devices for everyday use.

Smartphones have one of the leading roles in this congress as their demand has grown unexpectedly in the last years. By the end of 2013 more than two thirds of the mobile subscribers in US had such a device and it seems that in few years conventional mobile phones will be forgotten.

Although smartphone penetration is pretty interesting to follow, a more interesting remark derives from it: the amount of time that people use to browse the web from their smart devices has significantly grew also, and actually in US it has already exceeded  the web usage on computers. According to a survey conducted by the average American spends 34 hours per month using his mobile and almost 27 hours on his computer. In Europe, the gap between the two has grown even further, with almost 42 hours spent by the average UK user on his mobile versus 28 hours on computer. The average Italian spends 37 hours on his mobile monthly and only 18 on computer, and the list can go on.

Not only are consumers spending more time using their phones but it seems that they are unable to put them down, the number of times a user accesses his smartphone throughout a normal day having risen from 5.5 times at the beginning of 2013 to 9 times in December.

Having all this information we can only predict even a larger growth of usage popularized by friendly interfaces and useful applications until gadgets will have minimized the interaction with our old trustworthy computers.

Experimentation is a Must

word cloud


This word cloud represents the answer to the question of which areas are you going to be experimenting most heavily in the coming year, given by more than 600 representatives of different online companies.

Experimenting is one of the key tools of marketing engineering, and although the results of test-and-learn approaches are more widely appreciated, establishing the most appropriate culture is what holds most companies back, if we neglect the fear of failure.

Continue reading

What are the most exciting opportunities for companies this year?

Hello everybody. Today I want to share with you a new research conducted by Adobe that we got our hands on these days. It’s actually a perspective view over the digital world and a briefing of what to expect from this field in 2014.If last year was about recognizing the importance of customer experience, this one is about actually doing something. For an optimal customer experience, various business functions and customer-facing touch points need to be working in harmony, from customer service and advertising to online user experience, content management and email messaging. For the question of which one area is the single most exciting opportunity for your organization (or for your client) in 2014 the responses were diverse but following a well defined pattern.

the webWe know the number of company respondents (980) and the one of Agency respondents (1202) and from this we conclude that organizations need to ensure they have the right data, technology and culture to act as the foundation for a great customer experience, with a focus on multichannel marketing and campaign management also required to underpin a successful approach.

The mobile part, the second most exciting opportunity in the eyes of client-side respondents and first on the list for supply-side participants has a well earned position. About this we’ve already written in another post few weeks ago and is no surprise at all.  Despite the importance of mobile and prominence of smartphones and tablets in our lives, many companies are still trying to work out how they optimize their websites for mobile, for example, whether they should go down the ‘responsive’ route or not.

A second figure that i’d like to discuss is not so much about the big picture and more about specific disciplines. The question is which three digital-related areas are the top priorities for your organization (or for your clients) in 2014?


It seems that marketers and digital professionals are clear on what the priorities are, and this has not changed markedly in the last year, knowing that the top five options are in exactly the same order as for last year’s survey, respectively content marketing, social media engagement, targeting and personalization, conversion rate optimization and mobile optimization.




Data Grants from Twitter

There is a lot of fuss these days because of the newest announcement made by Twitter on February 5. They encourage research institutions to apply until March 15 in what seem to be a scientific lottery, for a chance to the access of twitter’s data sets. Around 500 million Tweets are sent out each day and if they were to be scientifically quantified, studies like where the flu may hit,  health-related information or events like ringing in the new year could be analyzed from a statistical point of view and outcomes could be predicted.

Twitter acknowledges the difficulties that researchers have to face when they have to collect data from the platform and therefore it named this project the Twitter Data Grants, aiming for a better connection between research institutions or academics and the data they need. Also, along with the data itself, the company will offer for the selected institutions the possibility of collaboration with their own engineers and researchers, all this, with the help of Gnip one of the most important Twitter’s certified data reseller partner.

How to make your life easier with Google

Ok, maybe the title is a little bit too optimistic, but today I want to talk about one of the many Google products that makes our daily life better.  Everyone uses Google, either for personal matters or for business interest but how many have heard about The Google Prediction API?

This, as the most of their projects, comes to our help, by learning algorithms to analyze your historic data and predict likely future outcomes. It can be very helpful, especially in the case where big amounts of data are to be handled. You can also say that Big Data is not anymore the future, it’s now and you have to know how to take advantage of it.

Among the uses of Prediction API we can mention, separation of certain types of messages, considering the languages that are written in for specific answers, or spam detection, based on comparison to a lists of already marked spam messages. But maybe the most important use case that we can think of is the purchase prediction, the ability to understand the customer’s behavior and to decide whether or not he is going to make a purchase from your e-commerce business.

In the past, this would have been done using a regression model, being very time consuming and quite hard and this is why I believe that Google Prediction API is one of the tools that will make your life easier and increase profit on your internet business.

Facebook tomorrow!

There comes a time in each of our lives when we wonder ourselves either from curiosity or from perspective  what is going to be the next big thing, and because this is a blog dedicated to science we are gonna restrict to this area.

Of course we can’t know what is going to be the technology of tomorrow but we are going to tell you what is not going to be: Facebook!  According to Princeton’s engineers facebook it’s very likely to reach to an end in the next few years. They used for the research an epidemiological model, very similar to Gaussian bell but more complex in the way of describing the transmission of communicable disease through individuals. According to the model chosen, called SIR the total number of population equals the sum of Susceptible plus Infected plus Recovered persons. They chose this pattern because is relevant for phenomena with relative short life span, and after that they applied in the case of MySpace and they noticed that it fit almost perfectly.



We can easily see in this graph that the decline of facebook has already begun but it’s not as near as expected. Actually we can be sure that we will not exterminate it from our lives sooner than 2018 but also, internet can be a very unpredictable place and no one can exactly determine how it’s going to end.

Also we advise you not to take for granted this study because, as we found out, it was conducted by researchers based in the school’s department of mechanical and aerospace engineering. Not saying that they are not professionals but nevertheless not experts in such social studies.


What are you looking at?

When you open a new website, what do you first look at? Do you think is the same thing that i look at, or any other person? You may be tempted to say no, that we are different persons with different interest so we don’t look at the same things but science research tends to disagree with that affirmation.

Recently, more and more companies that study visitors behavior on web sites appeared, and one of them, EyeQuant, also affiliated with Google has just published the results of a study in which 46 subjects were requested to browse over 200 sites. The result came as a surprise, in the benefit of the company because it turns out what people are really interested in. First of all against the popular belief people aren’t that interested in faces or large font writings but rather in small sets of text and instruments that are available on the first page.

Also another interesting idea came out from the analysis of sites that were offering something free. Although economically it’s almost impossible to beat something free, it seems like people are not that interested in big adverts of free stuff.

So, in conclusion here is some important information that you shouldn’t skip if you plan on launching your own internet company. We’re not saying that otherwise you will fail but it’s always better to know your customers a little bit better than they know themselves!

The New Mobile Optimized Web Miner!

We all have to accept the fact that society is changing, and that we have to change too if we want to stay on top of any situation. Nowadays each one of us has a cellphone and many own a smartphone.

Because of the rush that we live in, we always have to be up to date with latest news and to be able to search, browse, compare and analyze websites right on the spot. But what do you do when a site fails to load on a mobile device, or has a very unfriendly look because of the desktop version unable to fit on a mobile screen. Well, i know for sure that lots of you will simply exit that website and search for an alternative mobile friendly solution.

It’s strange to see that companies fail to adapt to society and have their websites optimized for a better experience of the users. As facts, in 2013 the number of mobile devices connected to the internet exceeded the ones of the classic computers, and also, at any instance 30 percent of all internet traffic is generated from a smartphone or a tablet, and this numbers are only going to grow in 2014.

It’s easy to see the pros and cons of a mobile browsing experience and mostly the cons relate to the websites that don’t give useful information in the best way so that it can be received well. A bad mobile experience can even lead to damaging a company’s brand, not mentioning all the loses in the e-commerce branch that can survey for a retailer.

Starting a month ago TheWebMiner has implemented a mobile aware of the site for a better experience of the visitors and hopefully of the future partners. We hope that you will enjoy reading the latest posts of our blog on the go and that it will be much easier for you to find web scraping information for your company!

How website look on tablet

2014-01-12 18_55_37-TheWebMiner is a cloud data mining company

How website look on smartphone

TheWebMiner is a cloud data mining company - Google Chrome_2014-01-12_18-45-43



Today’s post is about something we’ve been wanting to write for some time. Although it is not related to web scraping it has to do with taking a decision without needing to use a very large number of resources, having proven its efficiency in a number of cases.

Guesstimation, a concept first used in the early 30’s (not quite new as we can see) means exactly the two purposes of the two words of which is made. On the one hand we have the word Guess, denoting a not very accurate way of determining things and on the other the word Estimation, which is the process of finding an approximation which value is used for finding out a series of factors. Altogether, the word regards an estimate made without using adequate or complete information, or, more strongly, as an estimate arrived at by guesswork or conjecture.

Guesstimations in general are a very interesting subject because of the factors that led to the result. Some examples of such rather amusing results given by Sarah Croke and Robin Blume-Kohout from the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and Robert McNees from Loyola University in Chicago. When asked how much memory would a person need to store a lifetime of events the answer was simply calculated at 1 exobyte on the assumption that the human eye works just as a video camera recording everything that happens around us.

Funny or not, guesstimations began step by step to be a part of our life through rough conclusions based on economy and used by the marketers.