November 2008

Thanks For WordPress 2.7

Happy Thanksgiving from iePlexus! In the spirit of giving thanks, and as a bit of an early Christmas present, I thought I’d give a little sneak peek into something that’s been a long time coming. Our favorite blog development platform, WordPress, is on the verge of releasing the most recent upgrade, WordPress 2.7. This version includes some serious improvements to the open-source application that has quickly dominated the blog development community and continues to grow its market share. More than ever, WordPress has transformed from a simple publishing platform into a dynamic, powerful content management system.
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Learning From Blog Predecessors

If you’re looking to start a successful blog, you might find yourself a bit discouraged. Confronted with so many established blogs, an internet presence can seem like a difficult thing to establish among such stiff competition.

But before you get too down on yourself, let’s remember that there are a lot of ways to gauge the success of a blog. You can label yourself a success when you’ve secured an impressive list of subscriptions, a healthy amount of inlinks, or perhaps even the ability to follow trends within your niche topic.

Whatever benchmark you’re using to gauge success, don’t forget that every established blog has piggybacked and improved upon the blogs that have come before. With that in mind, here are a few tips and pointers to glean from trends among today’s most successful blogs.
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Search News Recap 11.24

We only scratch the surface of the search engines when it comes to news on our blog here at iePlexus, and I think we need to devote a little more time to such a broad and important subject. From here on out, I’m instituting a weekly search news recap, a place where we can review and discuss the most recent developments in search engines, ranking, optimization, and technology. Although we don’t directly provide search engine optimization here at iePlexus, it’s vital to consider the engines in any online marketing campaign, and news relating to that subject is just as significant. Also, with any social media advertising or web 2.0 marketing campaign, greater exposure in the search engines is often a byproduct of effective work, so it makes perfect sense to be stay informed. I’ve always been an advocate of a comprehensive, all-inclusive approach to internet marketing, so despite the additional work, I’m just going to have to create a new blog category and start sifting through the archives for relevant posts. Sympathy is definitely appreciated.
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Holiday Advertising Gets Shoppers’ Attention

As we count down the days before Thanksgiving and Christmas, many people are thinking about finishing their holiday shopping, and online business owners are scrambling for customers. With the current, shaky state of the economy, it’s no wonder that small businesses are focused on the holiday buying season.

Small business owners should be planning their holiday marketing campaigns in advance, as it’s not uncommon for holiday promotions to start as early as November 1. But business owners, just like shoppers, have hectic schedules, and often get a late start.

However, it’s never too late to start advertising for the holiday shopping extravaganza. If you’re running a business online here are some tips to help you prepare for this gift-giving season.
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Google Meets Life

As if Google hadn’t already completely revolutionized how we use the internet, it had to take it one step further. The latest news surrounding the uber-search engine is an announcement that they have recently partnered with Life magazine.

And what does this new partnership mean for eager searchers? About 10 million of Life’s archived images available by keyword search. The project holds special significance considering the fact that the vast majority (somewhere around 97%) of the photographs have never been previously released to the public.

The massive undertaking required that all of these images be scanned and catalogued into one database. The images range from 1750 to present day, and the end result is one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of online photographs to date.
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Respect Your Readers

People do read online. In fact, you’re doing it right now. Many past surveys have claimed that people don’t read content online, but they do, and web content writers, designers, and developers have no excuse for furnishing pages with meaningless blather. Creating evocative text takes longer than most deadline-consumed writers are willing to spend and costs more than most business owners are willing to pay.

The 2007 Poynter Institute’s Eyetrack study found that nearly two-thirds of online readers read all the text of a particular story once they begin to read it. About half of online readers are methodical. That means they start at the beginning of a story and read word-for-word through the end. The other online readers are scanners. The study also revealed that online readers were drawn to navigation bars and teasers, while print readers preferred large photos and headlines.

Word Cloud

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15 Minutes of Viral Fame

With President-elect Barack Obama’s recent use of the internet to organize and mobilize his campaign, it seems like everyone is discussing the power of having a strong viral presence. And while Obama’s internet popularity earned him a ticket straight to the White House, not every internet sensation has been so fortunate. With that in mind, kick back, raise your wireless mouse in a toast, and recall the faces of viral fame past.
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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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Blog Directories and Communities

There are many benefits to implementing a business blog for your online business. The additional credibility and visibility that comes as a result of consistent blogging can often eclipse that of traditional marketing efforts. If the business blog is setup to enable communication and posting to social networking and social bookmarking applications, the exposure potential is even greater, as these are some of the most popular destinations for people online. Having your business integrated into these new standards of Web 2.0 marketing can result in impressive returns. These are important steps to take when starting a business blog campaign, but when it comes to marketing, you aren’t finished yet…

Beyond the setup of your business blog and integration into social media advertising, you need to consider the blog community, or blogosphere. It’s vital that other bloggers are aware of your spot on the web, as they are probably the most active and knowledgeable online community when it comes to better search engine rankings and interactive marketing. Participation on your blog is necessary to start building a readership and making some waves within the community, not to mention the process of building relationships with people who can have quite a significant impact on your business success. Bloggers must remember that no blog is an island, and the real goal here is to create as many bridges in the blogosphere as possible.
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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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