Have you witnessed the latest trend? Consumers can now pay for products/merchandise by using smartphones and tablets. The other day I went to the Apple store to look at some accessories and asked where I could find the check out. To my surprise, the attendant informed me if I have a PayPal account (a leader in web transactions for mobile-payment) I can check out with it. How cool is that! No more lines! Many of us are familiar with PayPal while making transactions on Ebay. It can make transactions fast, easy, and safe. It is simply amazing how everyday technology is becoming more and more a part of our lives. It has a stake in almost everything we do everyday.
Any sports fans out there? Anyone follow World Cup Soccer or the Olympics? Well in this day and age we get to follow any sport at any time no matter where you live through Social Media. Let’s discuss the 2012 Summer Olympics in London since it’s currently in the media. International sporting events have become synonymous with lacking the same appeal for Americans because we tend to know the score even before it has aired on TV. Am I the only one that cringes when I log on to Facebook, for example, to find that a sport super-fanatic friend of mine has already posted the real time results of the swimming finals? As a result, I tend to lose all interest and it ruins the anticipation. Sometimes I just want to say “Hey friend you just ruined it for me”, but can you blame someone that is simply feeling excited? So here is a question for my sports fans: how do we avoid seeing sporting results? Does this mean we need to stay home and disconnect from society? But is Social Media truly to blame? Maybe not, because I remember a time, long ago, and far away, back before the internet, when the news report or the local newspaper would do the same darn thing. I guess the solution is if you want to keep the suspense going, don’t go online or check your phone until you’ve gotten to see the match yourself.
As a small business owner you wear many hats. But at the end of the day you think of yourself as “the boss”, am I right? Do you ever ask yourself if you’re an effective leader? Many owners fail to recognize that just telling people what to do is only a small percentage of the big picture. Pay attention next time you find yourself lecturing you staff. More likely than not, you will see that employees don’t respond to constant criticism and/or micromanaging. Think really hard: have you given your staff the freedom to make their own decisions? Empowering people gives them a sense of being a part of your business. You should build a relationship with your employees and learn how to trust them. Make a list of responsibilities for them and watch how that will grow into ownership. Turn an employee who just gets by into someone that will go above and beyond their call of duty for your business.
Do you ever think about how the Internet has changed the way we do things? I often think about how crazy it is that the telephone books and yellow pages I used as a kid are no longer relevant. In today’s society, whenever we need to find a place to eat or to read reviews about an electronic gadget, we go to “the Net”. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance for businesses to have websites, and that the websites provide the proper information. I regularly meet clients whose websites have errors, such as poor grammar, missing information (like testimonials), or is simply outdated. Information is the most valuable resource to the consumer. Citing company history, staff bios, product descriptions, and even directions through Google Maps can make the whole transaction a simple process that turns into profits. Please share your experiences of Websites that made you think twice about buying their products or using their services!
For the past few weeks the public has been bombarded with headlines from every news agency imaginable about the impeding end of the World (Wide Web) as we know it. The so-called Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) are controversial reforms that threaten to hinder innovation and free-market. The purpose of the bills is to stop non-US sites from propagating pirated content online by attacking websites operating within the country. In other words the bills will prevents US-based ISP’s, search engines, online payment groups, etc. from working with, indexing and making payment to non-US entities if deemed to host illegal content. The reason for the uproar is that these bills favor censorship, akin to the Chinese government. In reality, the bills are designed to allow copyrighters to sue ISPs that host websites with illegal content. Non-compliant sites will be shut down if they are unresponsive to the ISP’s request. After the unprecedented protest from websites such as Google and Wikipedia, as well as outraged consumers the bills have been stifled on the road to the Senate. Some lawmakers who initially favored the legislation have changed position while others remain unshaken by the turmoil. The battle for stronger anti-piracy regulation has waned but the lines have been drawn for the war over free speech.
Do you support the SOPA and PIPA bills? Please share your opinions in the comments section below.
Is it me or have desktop PCs vanished from the face of the planet? All I hear about is the Ipad and its cousins and all I see are people on the subway train reading Kindles instead of books. Technology has advanced so much regarding these tablet PCs that it makes me wonder if laptops are next to get KOed. Portability has become the name of the game for the Y generation. Tablet PCs have given people the freedom to go anywhere, anytime, and basically do anything their creative mind warrants. Surf the net, take pictures , and talk to friends through a webcam to name a few features, which just skims the surface of these little gizmos. How can a something that weighs less than 2 pounds have so much power punching ability? I have some advice for the laptop makers out there – look out because tablet PCs are coming for you and it doesn’t look pretty.
Please share your thoughts on this new trend in technology!
It began with one tweet and then another retweet, and then another, and so on. Occupy Wall Street has become a phenomenon that has millions coming together all over the world: a revolution of sorts against the social, economical, and political system of America as we know it. These protesters are reaching out and gaining support through blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and Foursquare. The message is quite simple: “Stop corporate greed and corporate politics that influence the decision makers of our country”. Social media has given people a voice to convey a powerful message. Protesters are fighting to reclaim America as a country of the people, a “life which should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement” regardless of social class or circumstances of birth.
1. Library of Congress. American Memory. “What is the American Dream?”.
How do you feel about social media and its affect on Occupy Wall Street? Please feel free to make comments below.
I was asked to look over a website the other day for a company that provides a service to its customers. I was overwhelmed by the fact that this service company that uses its website as a resource for its clients had many issues. I understand that the economy is tough, and good web design can be costly, but a sloppy website can hinder your progress. If it looks too busy, contains misspelled words or redundant tabs, or utilizes hard-to-read fonts, it may distract your consumer, and make them doubt your ability to provide them with what they need. Let me say that again, throwing up just any website does not provide your target market with valuable information. Ask yourself “why?” Why should people come to your site and buy your products or use your service? Saving money is important, but don’t sabotage your success. You must be strategic in how and where you cut corners. Websites have become a strong medium for consumer purchase decisions. Tell your story in a clear and concise manner; it might make a difference in the long run.
We have come to terms with Facebook’s proliferation in the web. Privacy concerns continue to be a burden for users but the social media company continues to re-invent itself to stay relevant. The latest cosmetic change to the profile pages is the roll-out of Timeline which takes the status updates and creates a scrapbook of a user’s entire history on Facebook. However, it’s not clear how the Timeline feature will help brand pages; if at all. The biggest opportunity for brand marketers is the entertainment aspect of the feature which allows users to express their interested in music, TV shows, books and news. Marketers can analyze the feedback and open up a whole new way to target ads.
Google on the other hand continues to have a positive impact on the bottom line. Marketers carry on with Google and spend money to drive clicks because the search giant owns 66% of the U.S. search market. As search advertising continues to balloon to 78% over the next five years to a $33 billion market; Google will continue to drive results for brand marketers. Therefore the safe bet for advertisers will continue to be Google and with good reason.
Does the bulk of your company’s digital advertising budget go to Google or Facebook? Please share your opinions in the comments section below.
The recent “storm of the century” in America left people all along the east coast trapped in their homes with a lot of time to spare. It used to be that a simple card game would be a sufficient solution to beat the boredom. However, in the current social media era, with ever-present Internet access, people turned to Twitter and Facebook to share their experiences, along with dramatic pictures to tell their stories. Scenes of huge waves from hurricane surges and roadways covered by flash flooding gave people an understanding that this storm was to be taken seriously. Videos on CNN’s website tracking the storm’s progress, podcasts by New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg, and evacuation maps helped the tri-state area prepare for a hurricane that threatened to cripple the city. For the first time ever, the largest subway system in the country was completely shutdown. All the while, people stayed connected to each other, and to the pertinent information as it came in.
If you have any Hurricane Irene stories that you would like to share, please post them below.