Managing Your Company’s Reputation on Google Place Pages

It’s an inescapable fact of modern business that the public’s impression of your company will be shaped in large part by what they find about you on the search engines, particularly if you are a small business. A couple of negative reviews or a few people venting on a Ripoff Report can deter customers from your business for months or even years to come. Up until recently, many of the channels for voicing your opinion were catered to the consumer, but Google is looking to even the playing field for those on the business side of things.

This problem has been an acute concern for locally based businesses in particular—such as restaurants and service companies—that pop up in a section of Google Maps known as Place Pages. Essentially, this works as an online directory, complete with directions, reviews and details about the company. Traditionally, customers have been able to post reviews and comments at will, but there has never been a formal avenue for a response from the company. Google recently announced that businesses will be able to respond to these comments, offering an opportunity to manage their public image.

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Founder of Blip.tv Shares Business Strategies for Entrepreneurial Success

Just five years ago, Dina Kaplan co-founded a video sharing platform for independent web shows called Blip.tv. And during these five, short years she watched as her business blossomed from a small niche of professional video bloggers to an online hotspot where thousands of users now host their own TV shows and upload self-produced videos.

Needless to say, Kaplan has learned a tremendous amount about what it takes to make a business flourish. In fact, her website has scaled to 96 million video views per month and payouts to content producers have increased a whopping 77 percent just from quarter one to quarter two of this year.

Below, thanks to Mashable.com, Kaplan has put together five essential business tactics to live by as an entrepreneur.

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How Will Your Business Use Social Media in the Future?

With the fluidity of social media, it’s difficult for anyone to effectively predict where the future lies. What is for certain, however, is that social media is incredibly popular and will be around for some time to come. According to a new Nielsen statistics, internet users now spend about one-quarter of their time on the web visiting social networking sites, more than double the nearest competitor (online games).

Part of the reason for this trend, at least in my opinion, is the immense breadth of social networks. Not only are there networking giants like Facebook and Twitter, we also have a litany of smaller, niche sites offering a specific service. These types of sites allow people to personalize many aspects of their online experience, eliminating the need for many traditional channels, such as e-mail, search and general entertainment sites.

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Enhance Your ‘Tweets’ with Twitter Audio Messaging

Twitter emerged as a new-age social network (a peculiar concept in itself as social media is still considered a modern technology) in 2006 with a bold and enlightening concept of mini-blogging – 140 characters or less, to be exact.

Today, Twitter’s booming popularity has inspired the development of new avenues to enhance social interaction among users, including the sharing of music files. However, Twitter’s most recent advancement allows tweeters to share audio files.

So, whether your fancy is to make the punch line of a joke more vibrant, an apology more sincere or even sing happy birthday to a friend, Twitter is now the place to be seen and heard!

Check out these five different outlets, thanks to Mashable.com, to capture audio messaging on your next Twitter post.

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Personal Data from Millions of Facebook Accounts Published in Torrent

Up until recently, concerns over Facebook’s privacy settings and policies have been largely hypothetical, but that all changed today when Ron Bowes, an internet security consultant, uploaded a torrent to the web with personal information on 100 million users. Facebook has come under severe scrutiny in recent months for holes in their privacy settings and policies, and this recent divulgence of data exemplifies the amount of personal information that many Facebook accounts make readily available.

It should be noted that Bowes simply used information that was already open to the public by only including searchable Facebook profiles. So the information in his list could be acquired through a simple search engine query. The purpose of releasing the information was to raise people’s awareness of how much personal information they make available online, Bowes said.

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New Report Shows Women Dominate Social Media

Last week we reported on women’s role in the ever-changing field of social media, and a recent report by comScore provides quantifiable evidence that women are making their presence felt through myriad social networks. “Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet” is a comprehensive report with statistics on social media usage, search activity and online shopping, among others.

Men have traditionally been the primary internet users, but women are now responsible for the lion’s share of internet usage, a trend which many attribute to the rise of social media. According to the report, over three-quarters of women visited social media sites during May, compared to less then 70 percent of men. And the trend holds true across all countries, not just the US. In Japan, South Korea and even Russia, women are the ones dominating social media sites. On average, women spend 30 percent, or 1.5 hours, more per month on social networks than their male counterparts.

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How to Merge the Popularity of Facebook’s ‘Like’ Button with Your Website

Looking for a simple way to integrate social media into your web business? Thanks to a new technology developed by Facebook engineer Matt Kelly, e-commerce professionals can now fuse the legendary popularity of Facebook’s Like application with the homepage of their website.

Currently, more than 350,000 websites have utilized this social plug-in to encourage the same interaction, feedback and excitement garnered by the mega trend of Facebook Like. On a side note, however, the technology is not affiliated with the official Facebook name and is considered to be a personal side project of Kelly.

“The script makes it possible to have Like, Recommendations, and Activity Feed features on any Firefox page you visit,” Facebook told Mashable.com.

So, how can you obtain the Like script on your website? The necessary technology is a simple Greasemonkey extension that sets the Like bar atop any web page (expect Facebook.com). Facebook Like is compatible with Firefox – as long as the Greasemonkey add-on has been installed – and Google Chrome, while Safari requires a Greasekit.
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Afghan War Reports Leaked Through Wiki Site

When Daniel Ellsberg was trying to bring the information in the Pentagon Papers to light, it was difficult to find a viable means of disseminating the information to policymakers and the public. In order to garner media attention for the detailed, confidential war records, Ellsberg eventually had to turn the Papers over to the New York Times, who published the contents of the records in a series of articles. In an eerie case of history repeating itself, The New York Times, The Guardian and the German magazine Der Spiegel were recently given access to a significant cache of classified reports known as the Afghan War Diary.

But unlike Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, the source that brought the reports to public attention wasn’t a high ranking US official, it was a website. WikiLeaks, a website dedicated to publishing leaks while maintaining the anonymity of its sources, gave the three aforementioned publications access to the Afghan War Diary weeks in advance under the condition that they wouldn’t report on the information until July 25, the day WikiLeaks published the diary to their site.

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10 Quirky Truths You Probably Don’t Know About Facebook

While most social media users are at least somewhat familiar with the innovative origins of Facebook, many remain unknowing about a collection of quirky facts that stem from its beginnings. But before we discuss the peculiar truths of this phenomenal social network, let’s examine a brief history of how Facebook came to be.

For those who have evaded any biographical knowledge about Facebook, here are the key points to remember. Facebook was launched in February 2004 as TheFacebook.com by former-Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg as a project of personal interest. Within the few short months that followed its debut, Facebook emerged as a smash across campus dorms and then – just a few months after that – it was extended to the students of Stanford and Yale where it became widely endorsed.

Shortly after, Zuckerberg – joined by fellow Harvard-students Chris Hughes and Dustin Moskovitz – transformed Facebook into a national marvel of student networking. Then, Zuckerberg and Moskovitz dropped out of Harvard to pursue the Facebook dream full-time, dedicating their lives to the paramount project. In August 2005, TheFacebook.com officially became Facebook and the domain Facebook.com was purchased for a reported $200,000.

And now, thanks to Mashable.com, you’ll find the juicy truth about Facebook as a startup with 10 remarkable and little-known truths.

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Utilizing Social Bookmarking and Directory Submissions to Promote Your Business

One of the distinct advantages of an online business is that many effective marketing tools, such as social bookmarking and directory submissions, are free and easy-to-use. But manually submitting your website or blog posts to these sites can be tedious and time-consuming, especially if you don’t have a preconceived plan of attack; haphazardly searching the internet for every site that will accept your submissions definitely isn’t the way to go. If you are looking to expand your internet presence through social bookmarking and directory submissions, here are a few things to keep in mind:

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