October 2008

Are you Afraid of the Digg?

If you thought witches and ghouls were the scariest thing you were going to encounter this Halloween, some established companies might see it a little bit differently. For them, the most terrifying prospect is…a social networking site.

But why would anyone be afraid of a little site like Digg or Facebook? The simple answer is control. Companies fear social networking sites because they can’t pick and choose what is said about the company through these kinds of outlets. But this hesitation to move viral (and relinquish this control) shouldn’t be too shocking. Think of all the time, money, and effort that are put into carefully creating any and all company marketing campaigns. Commercials are screened by test audiences before they ever make it on the air. Heads of the company have careful speech writers and PR pros coordinating all company information before it’s divulged to the public. And with social networking sites, companies move out of this controlled environment into the wild, untamed world of everyday human interaction.
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iePlexus Blog Contributors

We’ve had pretty consistent growth here at iePlexus, and with that growth we’ve been contributing to our blog more often, expanding our coverage and discussing a wider range of topics. Our goal is to create a valuable, objective industry resource with our blog, examining news on blogging, social media, Web 2.0, and everything in between. With so much material, it’s become necessary to bring on additional writers to help ensure we report on the major developments in an ever-changing market. Also, we wanted to get various points of view and opinions, from the tech-savvy to the typical user, so our audience is well represented. We hope our blog is a beneficial addition to your reading list and invite you to subscribe to our RSS feed. Here are our current blog contributors and a little about them…
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The Facebook ‘Relationship Status’ Symbol

It’s not real until it’s on Facebook. At least that’s the case for nearly four million daily users of the popular social networking site. When does dating become a relationship? And, after a breakup, when should you reveal your status as single to let others know you are available?

Facebook and MySpace have become part of our daily lives. If we’re not busy accepting friends requests, we’re making them, and if we’re not doing that we’re uploading new photos and videos to show others. We may check our FB accounts 5-10 times a day, even while we’re at work. Most bosses won’t even notice because they’re busy checking their own.
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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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Blog Marketing for Business

I’ve talked before about the incredible adaption and utilization of blogs in the business world. From Fortune 500 companies and corporations to small businesses just starting out, blogs have made the business world stand up and take notice. In June of this year, I wrote about the BusinessWeek article that followed up on the original groundbreaking story that introduced much of the business world to blogs back in 2005. Business Blogs and Beyond talked about the significant changes in the marketing landscape, and how social media, blogs and other forms of Web 2.0 marketing have opened up the doors to advertising on all fronts, harnessing the ability to connect with customers on levels that were never before possible.

The articles and accolades for marketing with business blogs haven’t stopped. Instead, blogs have become the #1 necessity for business owners looking for affordable, effective marketing that can deliver even in a questionable economy. Recently, Entrepreneur Magazine published an article about getting your business noticed at a minimal cost. Their #1 suggestion was blogs. From the article: “Set up a blog … and begin writing interesting commentary that relates to your business, says Hager. To drive traffic, comment on other topic-related blogs and include links back to your own blog.” Further down the list, they mention “Exploiting the Web” as number 17. This suggestion includes utilizing social media sites like delicious.com and digg.com to advertise and market products or services.
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iePlexus Featured on KillerStartups.com

We’re proud to annouce that recently iePlexus.com was featured on KillerStartups.com, a “user-driven internet startups community.” KillerStartups reviews over 15 internet startups every working day and has featured the likes of Skype, StumbleUpon, and NetVibes, just to name a few. Entrepreneurs, investors, and bloggers are staying informed on up-and-coming internet startups using the KillerStartups blog platform, and their goal is to provide a community where we “will be able to spot the next YouTube, and in order to achieve this goal, are providing what we believe to be the right tools for this kind of discovery.”

Although we’ve been in business since 2005, we’re still a young company and very honored to be a part of a great idea. Please take the time to vote for iePlexus.com on the site!

Why Do We Blog?

Blogging seems like such an established part of the web experience that it’s easy to forget it’s only been in our lives for eleven years. If fact, if you’re on the hunt for the beginnings of the web log, you will eventually find yourself in April of 1997 at Dave Winer’s blog, Scripting News. By our eyes, jaded with eleven years worth of blog improvement, this first post looks unimpressive.

Impressive or not, however, it would prove the catalyst that sparked an online revolution. And, somehow, that first post (nothing more than a small string of words and links) became the precursor to the more established, higher tech blogs of today.

But there is still a fundamental question at the bottom of the phenomenon—what made this odd viral form of information exchange take off so quickly and so pervasively? In light of our busy schedules and the time commitment it requires, why do we sit down at the end of the day to blog?
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Blog Action Day 2008

Today is Blog Action Day. If you don’t know what that is, it’s when bloggers from around the world unite to talk about a specific subject that affects us all. The idea behind it is simple; if we can get enough people to to talk about a social concern, maybe we can do something about it and make a difference. Last year the topic was the environment, and this year we’re talking about poverty. Currently, blog action day has over 11,000 blogs participating with an estimated combined audience of over 12 million. We feel here at iePlexus that since we’re a big advocate of blogging, it was natural for us to participate in this great cause and encourage the same from our clients and readers. It’s important to sometimes take a step back from business and realize that we all have a social responsibility to help others and contribute to the greater good. As a business, iePlexus has also taken steps to reach out, providing no-cost services to community organizers and churches, and participating in charity events to benefit programs like Habitat for Humanity.
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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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