A Day in the Internet

A Day in the Internet<br />Created by: OnLineSchools.org

Infographic: A World Without Wikipedia

In light of this weeks 24 hour blackout against SOPA, we thought it would be a good idea to explore what the world would be like without WIkipedia. Check it out below:

 

Online World Blacked Out<br />Created by: Online University

 

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Free Wi-Fi: Am I Missing Something?

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Am I missing something with places that should, but don’t offer free wi-fi?  

Recently I have seen an increase in fast food restaurants offering free wi-fi; places like McDonalds and Wendy’s along with the traditional locations such as Starbucks and other coffee shops.  Denny’s Restaurants are now offering it free in some locations and using this as a tool to promote to potential diners.  This trend is going to continue as a method to lure patrons to a specific location over it’s competition. 

So, my question is; why do certain hotels, and hotel chains continue to charge $10.00 or more per day for Internet access at their properties?  I understand that the hospitality industry is doing all it can to keep and increase its profit margin, and that they have lost one of the major revenue sources; charging for phone access int their rooms; but come on!  More people use and travel with smartphones, tablets, and portable devices that use and require an Internet connection; but charging for that access is bound to make some travels search for properties that offer it complimentary.  Build it into the price if you need to, but not a separate charge!

While being worried about $10.00 per day for Internet access, the hospitality industry is about to be turned on it’s ear by AirBnB.com.  A site that offers rooms, homes, rentals and places to stay, directly from the owners of the properties, at reduced rates compared to comparable hotels.

Those are my thoughts; what are yours? 

Want to connect with me?  That is easy, I am always on!  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Privacy Online: It’s YOUR Responsibility!

It seems like social networking powerhouse LinkedIn has pulled a Facebook this week.  They opened up their 100 million + users to a default setting that allows names and images to be used  for third-party advertising.  Facebook did this several months ago, and now LinkedIn has followed suit.

Each time news breaks about one of these security settings or one of these social platforms choosing to opt it’s users in to something like third-party advertising, I shake my head.   As users of these social platforms, it is up to us, the users to police our own security settings!!  It is just like locking the door to your house and setting the security system.  These social platforms own your information; and, if you take the time to read most of their terms of service agreements that you agree to when signing up for the service, they state that they can use your information.  Most of them do provide you with methods to opt-out of the third-party advertising parts or allow you to set your own security, but you must do it yourself! 

Take responsibility for your own online reputation, appearance and what is shared or not shared about you!  Every month or every quarter, review these settings, change your passwords and be careful!  Most of this is common sense friends, so take control of your own security and please teach your children to do the same. 

Want to connect with me?  That is easy, I am always on!  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Putting the Social Back In To Social Media

By this point, most of us know what Social Media is; for those that do not know, here is the Wikipedia definition:Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information among human beings. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and “building” of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).Now that we ALL know what Social Media is, let me pose a question; do you work to keep the social in Social Media? As our definition points out, Social Media revolves around technology with words, video and audio; BUT our definition does not address the face-to-face social possibilities of Social Media.Social Media is just like every person that each of us know, it is about the relationship. But I think too often, we keep Social Media online and we miss the face-to-face opportunities. Folks, Social Media is about RELATIONSHIPS both online and offline!In order to help to promote Social Media and more importantly the In Real Life or Face-to-Face aspect of it, we have launched Meetup 2.0. I have been working with Jennifer Mills from Expressions-Lab and Marketing Helper as well as Nannette Saunders, Lynchburg Realtor Extraordinaire on our weekly Social Media meetings. In the Lynchburg area we meet every Friday at 9:00 AM at The Good Cherry in Forest to discuss Social Media and our most recent success in this media.We are very pleased to announce that beginning on Thursday, February 26th, we will have our first Roanoke Meetup 2.0 at Famous Anthony’s on Williamson Road/Brookside. If you love Social Media or just want to learn more about it, please join us on 2/26 at 9:00 AM at Famous Anthony’s!Hope to see you there!

Target Market

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What is Your Target Market?

Simply defined, a Target Market is the specific set of customers whose needs you are trying to meet. Another way to think about it: this is the audience, out of all those who might hear your message, for whom you design your marketing program.

Instead of trying to sell your product or service to everyone in the market, you should aim your message toward those who have the greatest potential need or desire for your product or service. Ask yourself this question, “Who are your customers? Who will buy your product?” I am often surprised that otherwise savvy small business people either have no idea who will buy from them, or they assume that “everyone” will. Assumptions like this can lead to wrong decisions, wrong pricing, wrong marketing strategy – and ultimately, business failure.

The most successful small businesses understand that only a limited number of people will buy their product or service. The task then becomes determining, as closely as possible, exactly who those people are, then “targeting” the business’s marketing efforts and dollars toward them. Businesses can build a better, stronger business, by identifying and serving a particular customer group – your target market.

One of the first things you should do is to refine your product or service so that you are NOT trying to be “all things to all people.” Become a specialist! Another thought is to find out where your target market hangs out.  Are they online?  Chances are, they do. Are they on Twitter or Facebook?  Has your target market embraced social media or is your target market offline?  Does your target market use referral marketing?  You need to find out! Review your customers, do the research, or hire someone to do it, and then focus your marketing efforts! 

Want to connect with me?  That is easy, I am always on!  You can Friend me on Facebook, Follow me on Twitter, add me to your Circles on Google+ and connect with me on LinkedIn.