ieplexus Tag

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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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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He Blogged, She Blogged

When it comes to men and women, who blogs better? Moreover, how do men and women approach blogging? People all have their reasons for engaging in social interaction, and when it comes down to it women are more likely to blog for social and emotional interaction than men.

A recent Entrepreneur.com article mentioned a study that found more than 36 million women blog every week. Almost 50 percent of those women said that blogs influenced their buying habits. Some women even said they were so committed to blogging that they would give up PDAs and alcohol to continue doing so.

More than half of all bloggers in North America are women. These women tend to write more and longer than their male counterparts. Strangely enough a recent study out of Great Britain noted that the most influential bloggers tend to be white American males. This study also found that women were more interested in the social aspects of blogging, while men care more about new information and opinion.
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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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Marketing On Facebook

Companies may actually be losing money when they block social networking sites like Facebook. Many companies block access to Facebook because they fear employees will waste time socializing, or share too much information about their company.

A recent global pole conducted by Sapphos estimates that about 50 percent of employees are blocked from or restricted in their Facebook use. MySpace, YouTube and LinkedIn are also commonly blocked.

These companies may believe they are gaining an edge on employee productivity, but what they’re actually doing is eliminating powerful marketing, advertising and recruiting mechanisms. Facebook is one of the most trafficked sites on the Web and smart companies are taking advantage of that. Social networking can easily segue into social marketing with the right techniques.
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Election Day ’08 – Pick Your Post and President

Around the nation, today is a very important day in politics. It’s also a landmark day in the history of our nation, as political, gender and racial barriers will be broken no matter what the outcome. Either the first woman Vice President or the first African-American president will be elected today, re-defining hundreds of years of American politics. It’s an exciting day for our country and a testament to the changes we’re undergoing as a young nation.

This election was very much an interactive, online affair. The amount of information and sheer volume of political commentary has eclipsed any news event in the brief history of the web. More people got their information from online sources than ever before, with MSNBC estimating 44% of us relied on these websites for our news, commentary and stats. This certainly highlights the profound ways the web has shaped many aspects of our culture and will continue to in the years to come.

In the spirit of today, iePlexus is running two different polls, or elections of our own. First, you can select which presidential candidate you voted for by participating in our poll (in the sidebar on the right). Second, we’d like to give our readers the opportunity to suggest future topics for posts. If you have a suggestion for a topic you’d like to see covered in our blog, leave a comment and we’ll take it into consideration.

Good luck to all the candidates today, and don’t forget to vote!

LinkedIn Isn’t Just ‘Pulling Your Chain’

The current job market sucks. Even the most educated and skilled workers are having a tough time finding work. The unemployment rate is the highest it’s been in five years and is expected to get even higher in the coming months.

In September, 6.1% of Americans were without jobs. This month the rate will likely top 7%. The forecast doesn’t get any better in 2009, when economists predict the rate to peak at over 10%.

Those out of work are frantic to find new employment, and those currently employed are preparing themselves for a time when they’re not so fortunate. At a time when many companies are cutting costs and axing jobs, “professional” networking sites, like LinkedIn, are cashing in.

LinkedIn, a social-networking website for the business community, has experienced a 25% increase in signups since the economy crashed late last summer. Since mid-September, the site has seen about 1 million new members every two weeks.
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