Top 10 Things the Internet Revolutionized

Whether you believe the internet is a societal blessing or a bane, it unquestionably makes tasks quicker and therefore more convenient.  The dawn of the Digital Age put communication and information at our fingertips, literally and figuratively.  It changed what we think about, care about, and know about.  The following is a list of the top ten features of modern life most dramatically impacted by the web. 10.  Banking The internet revolutionized how the world handles money– mainly by handling less hard currency.  Paperless billing and virtual payments instantly transfer funds, rendering hardcopy statements and checks near obsolete.  Person-to-person payments allow individuals to get and give money with just an email address or a telephone number.  Should you happen to receive a hardcopy check, you can now scan and deposit it instantly. The shift to online banking means fewer trips to local branches which are dwindling in number due to their costly overhead.  New, primarily web-based institutions are transitioning to a reliance on ATMs which quell what remains of the need for hard cash.  While this may all seem rather Orwellian, more banks competing at a reduced cost should theoretically translate to better interest rates. 9.  Celebrity While an internet sensation’s fame is typically fleeting, the web paved a new, nontraditional path to glory– the viral video.  YouTube allows the average Joe to become famous with just a camera and a few keystrokes.  Established stars also have a new venue to increase exposure and bloggers can be read worldwide. Causes also gain quick popularity on the internet.  Passing along social media pipelines from one set of friends to another,...

Should I Do Business on Facebook?

This is a question I get on a consistent basis and while the answer is often the same, there are some things to consider before making your final decision. Can you do business on Facebook?  Should you be “on” Facebook?  Is Facebook good for my business? The answer is yes and no. The reason is that Facebook is being viewed as something “new” when in fact, basic business principles should be used to ascertain whether the application can be used to further business objectives or not.  Once we start applying basic business concepts, it quickly becomes apparent whether Facebook is a suitable investment of resources or whether it is a waste of time.  Which it will be is going to depend on your individual business objectives and how well you use the tools around you, in this case Facebook. First of all, understand what Facebook is – it is not a business tool per se, it is an online social network.  Be clear about this, the primary word here is “social” – bringing your business into these networks is like a car salesman gatecrashing a party with the deal of the day.  Online social networks allow individuals to share information and keep themselves abreast of developments within their social circle, which may be a social circle dedicated purely to family and friends, or may be a circle of contacts which have a common interest or may be a network of business and professional connections.  Primarily, Facebook is a social rather than a business networking tool (for a business online social network look at LinkedIn), and as a business active...

Three Hidden Gems for Marketing Your Business Socially

Small businesses are seizing online social media as part of their efforts to establish a niche and engage a wider prospective customer base. Social media is not a fad – it is here to stay. The issue is how to gatecrash someone else’s party with a commercial message that doesn’t get you thrown out of the door as soon as you walk in! This is the conundrum which established, mainstream social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace are trying to address as they seek to monetize all those surfer eyeballs spending minutes, hours and days on the internet.  While this may seem like someone else’s problem, it is in fact every business’ problem – how to engage potential customers as part of their recreational time online. It is important for businesses to understand that while Facebook, Digg, Reddit, LinkedIn and the rest of the big players in social media, may be grabbing the headlines with multi-million dollar valuations and financing, they are not the only party on the block. So let’s take a look at three sites you may not have heard of, but they are bubbling under the top division in the social media league. Kirtsy Kirtsy (kirtsy.com) caters primarily to women and it’s a good social media site for businesses looking to attract women as their prospective customers. The site is primarily user-content driven with a substantial amount of third party content added by the users themselves for comment, education and simple fun.  Kirtsy focuses on female friendly topics and issues, but they do include forums and self-help groups for dealing with more than just relationships...

Seo Predictions for 2010

SEO Predictions for 2010 Another year of search engine madness is about to come to a close. In 2009 we have seen the Google search engine display many variances and ranking fluctuations. So before we put on the swami cap and bring out Nostradamus SEO quatrains into the light, let’s recap some of the major Google changes and initiatives. In 2009 The Google Search Engine: Put more weight toward the keywords in the domain. In fact, keyword-rich domains could achieve top 10 rankings in less competitive phrases just on the weight of the domain name and a few onsite optimization tweaks. We saw Google increase the visible space for the Adwords Sponsored PPC displays. The money maker for Google is encroaching more and more on the organic search results territory. We saw name branded companies get extra weight in the organic results, not from normal SEO algorithm enhancements and features, but from manual Google manipulation. Searchers’ IP addresses were instrumental in displaying Google Local results for major keyword terms in various 1 box or 4 box positions in the organic search results. Customized Search and IP captured-related searches made search results for the unknown more focused on what you have visited in the past rather then the “true” organic listings. The introduction of Caffeine by Google displayed more real time results from news, Twitter, Facebook and other sources and was displayed in various locations on the organic search results page. There were many other factors that changed in 2009, but the ones above are the most prevalent (in our eyes) and affect the potential customer click through rate. Now...

5 Reasons Twitter is Not Worth Your Dime or Time

It is no secret that Twitter is viewed as both marketing secret weapon and marketing bust. As a social networking tool, it has promise but what about Twitter as tool for increasing your business? With the recent news announcements that Twitter is worth in excess of $1 billion amidst rumors of potential takeover and flotation deals, let’s take a look at why Twitter may not be worth the dime your company is looking to pay for increased web sales and exposure. The internet and e-business is accepted as being a great way of doing business – costs are cut, geographical boundaries are overcome, new routes to market are uncovered and smaller companies are provided with fewer barriers to entry and get to compete with much larger companies on a level playing field. BUT…there has to be a but! The decisions you make when it comes to mounting marketing campaigns and establishing connections with customers and prospects, the established principals of offline, real-world marketing still apply. So is using Twitter the most effective use of your company’s marketing dime? TV Dominates the Internet in Ad Spend Traditional, “old” media still represent better value for money when it comes to turning marketing dollars into solid sales numbers. This may seem out of sync with our perception of the internet – the internet dominates the news, it is cutting edge and at the forefront of developing new markets and ways of doing business but let’s take a hard look at the underlying numbers. The average American adult spends almost 121 hours a month watching television but internet usage is dwarfed, coming in...