Industry News

Online Businesses Profit From Big Business Losses

In a time when countless retail giants are cutting costs, laying off and closing their doors, many small business owners are left wondering whether they’ll be next. It’s easy to see that the economic down turn has forced consumers to rethink their spending habits. Though the media tends to focus more on large corporations, small businesses across the country are getting hit just as hard.

In Austin, Texas people are saving money by waiting longer to get their hair cut. The Austin American-Statesman staff interviewed hairstylist Deborah Schrimpsher, who said that her customers now average only one haircut every two months, instead of one every five weeks, and that many people are choosing to color their hair at home.
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All A-Twitter for New Features

If you thought Facebook and YouTube held court over the social media community, don’t forget that Twitter is also rapidly growing in popularity. For anyone out of the Twitter loop, the program is a free social networking service based around user updates, or “tweets.” Users can both create and read these tweets, which are limited to 140 characters. If you’re already a member of that community and want to maximize its benefits, check out some of these user-approved Twitter tools.

TweetWheel: Although the end results end up looking somewhat like a virtual spirograph, the application is actually quite interesting. Every one of your “followers” is placed on a circle and differently colored lines connect who knows who.
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Change Moves Viral

Running on a campaign of change, President-elect Barack Obama took the election in an electoral landslide. (Pause for cyber cheers and cyber boos…) And while people are generally used to politicians backtracking on their election platforms, Obama has already made good on his continued promise to enact change. And it came in the form of the newly launched website Change.gov.

The interactive website is just one more way Obama is harnessing the amazing power inherent in the internet. He used it to great success during his campaign, finishing the story of triumph that looked to be Howard Dean’s in 2004. That is, had he not done this.

Enacting a viral campaign, Obama won over the youth vote and organized masses of people in unprecedented numbers. He even hired Chris Hughes, better known as the co-founder of Facebook, to coordinate his social networking campaign. Under his direction, My.BarackObama.com served as the social networking hub where all the supporters could congregate online. This far exceeded any online efforts from the McCain camp.
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You Better Not Cry, Cyber Monday Is Coming to Town

Most holiday-crazed shoppers are familiar with the term “Black Friday.” But for those out-of-the-loop consumers, it’s the first Friday after Thanksgiving, and it marks the official kickoff of the holiday shopping season. Not as many people, however, are familiar with the altogether newer term “Cyber Monday.” While Black Friday demarcates the beginning of shopping in brick and mortar stores, Cyber Monday – the Monday following Black Friday – is an indication of when online shopping picks up for the season.

And whether you’re a shopper or the founder of an online business, here’s what to expect from Cyber Monday:
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Blogging Killed the Newspaper Star

In 1979, the Buggles informed the world that video killed the radio star. Now, the question facing our generation is whether blogging will kill the newspaper star. As the catchy pop song taught us, the golden age of technology past is inevitably swept away for the glitz and glamour of the new.

In terms of print newspapers, this is beginning to ring eerily true. Even some of the most established newspaper conglomerates aren’t immune to the effects of online news sources. The New York Times, for example, has experienced a series of layoffs, increased prices at the newsstand, decreased readership, and stock market woes.
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Online Market Dominated by 30 and Under Crowd

Multi-million dollar businesses usually conjure images of men in power suits wheeling and dealing with the aid of brandy and cigars. But Armani suits may just have to make way for Abercrombie denim, because the online market has forever changed the face of high powered business endeavors. As we move further into a technological age, the 30 and under crowd continues to dominate some of our most well-known companies.

If you don’t believe it, look a little closer at the faces behind Facebook, YouTube, Mozilla, WordPress, and Digg. What do they all have in common? For one, each company has a net worth over $30 million. But a more telling similarity is that each entrepreneur has yet to see 31 birthday candles. And they’re not the only examples. Check out the Top 50 Entrepreneurs Under 30.

Right now, no one believes more in the moneymaking power of the internet than Johns Wu. He recently sold his blog, Bankaholic.com, for $15 million. And at the age of twenty-two, Wu is just one example of how the internet has opened entrepreneurial opportunities for web savvy youngsters.
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Political Relevance Depends on Internet

During election years, we all know people who magically become “political experts.” And with the constant inundation of debates, scandal, and mud slinging, it’s no wonder politics has become the constant fodder fueling our water coolers. But is politics the topic de jour only because it’s an election year? Or is there more to it? A recent list of the 25 most influential people on the web seems to suggest there’s a whole lot more.

Ranking in this list are both Arianna Huffington and Jon Stewart. Huffington is the mastermind behind the hugely successful political blog the HuffingtonPost.com, while Stewart is the host of the irreverent news show and associated website TheDailyShow.com.
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When Blogging Kills

Blogger TombstoneThere is no limit to just how much the internet has revolutionized our world. Not only has information become an immediately accessible commodity, but it has also changed the way people all around the world are working. Especially in the world of blogging, people are able to transform their homes into offices and effectively become their own bosses. While this sounds like every worker’s dream, for many people, home offices quickly become little else than digital sweatshops.

The internet never sleeps, and that means blog workers can’t either. Working in an entity that has no regard for time zones or exhaustion, bloggers constantly feel the pressure to report on the latest and greatest. That means even at the expense of personal health.
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Google’s New Browser – Google Chrome

Google ChromeIt wasn’t a quiet Labor Day over at Microsoft, that’s for sure. Online sources began reporting early today that Google would be releasing a new browser, dubbed Google Chrome to directly compete with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. The download will be available tomorrow in as many as 100 countries worldwide. The Google Blog officially announced the launch today at 2:10pm PST.

Chrome is an open-source browser running on WebKit, the same engine that powers Apple’s Safari and Google’s own Android mobile platform. WebKit is known for its speed, reliability and smart memory usage. Because many online applications are being run in browsers, Google is tailoring Chrome to that market specifically. Obviously, this is a direct attempt to garner some of Microsoft’s share of the browser market, of which they currently have a 74% hold, with second-place Firefox at 18% and Apple’s Safari at 6%.
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