Tag Archives: social-media

Racing Towards Retailization: WishKnish and InstantAccess.io Bring Down Usability Barriers to True Blockchain Adoption

Washington, DC, USA, 2018-Jan-08 — /EPR INTERNET NEWS/ — What does the average retail user think about blockchain technology? A few words that frequently come up are: confusing, abstract, scary, complicated, overwhelming. Not exactly wide adoption territory. But one innovative company hopes to change that.

Any great technological revolution goes through stages, each with its own unique challenges. Blockchain technology is still in its infancy, and yet it’s already rearing to change the world. However, before it can “grow up”, it has to be accepted by the harshest audience of all: the average retail consumer.

So, how does one make the average consumer fully understand blockchain tech? If you ask Alisa Gus, CEO of WishKnish (https://wishknish.com) – you don’t.

“When you get into your car in the morning, do you need to understand the principles of internal combustion in order to get your engine revved up? I don’t think so,” Alisa says. “Neither do you need to understand how SSL encryption works in order to make a secure e-commerce purchase. Any great technology has to fit transparently into your routine so that you use it successfully without thinking. That is what needs to happen to blockchain tech before it can be fully embraced.”

WishKnish, the social, gamified marketplace platform startup based out of the Washington, DC area, has been making great strides in bringing much-needed usability improvements to the often complicated process of obtaining and transacting in cryptocurrencies – virtual tokens encrypted using a secret hash and decentralized across multiple distributed “ledgers”.

Last month WishKnish announced a key partnership with UK biometric security firm BioSSL to replace the convoluted and oft-problematic “private key” used to unlock cryptocurrency wallets, with army-grade biometric security measures and other layers of authentication.

Michael Kapoor, former managing partner at Propeller Venture Capital and newly minted COO of WishKnish is no stranger to untangling the usability struggles commonly encountered in this nascent space. “If you’ve ever lost your private key, your tokens are as good as gone,” Mr. Kapoor says. “This level of risk is simply unacceptable for the average user. This is just one example of the evolutionary challenges we are addressing with the WishKnish platform.”

Now, the ambitious team is staring off 2018 by partnering with InstantAccess.io, a usability startup based out of Berlin, Germany that helps users save time filling out form online by maintaining their own private, secure repository that can be easy tapped into with a single click. Previously stored form fields can be updated across the entire network, making changes easy.

“It’s as simple as logging in via Facebook or Twitter – just click the icon, authenticate, and the necessary data will automatically be sent to the app,” explains Eugene Teplitsky, CTO of WishKnish and Alisa’s partner. “Since our goal is to accommodate a wide range of storefront communities, we anticipate a broad need for information that users could potentially exchange with them, from the mundane – like shoe size or dietary preference – to more complex, harder-to-remember details – like blockchain wallet addresses. InstantAccess.io will save users a ton of time, and shave off another layer of usability barriers between blockchain technology and full adoption among retail users.”

“We are super excited about the partnership with WishKnish as we believe blockchain technology is becoming widely adopted by everyday users”, says Rick Chen, director at InstantAccess.io. “Our aim is simple, we want the InstantAccess app to save users time, make their life easier, especially in adopting new and exciting technologies like blockchain.”

The future for retailization of user-facing blockchain marketplaces has never been brighter.

About WishKnish Corp.
WishKnish (https://wishknish.com) offers businesses, affiliates, and non-profits a decentralized marketplace platform for launching gamified, socially-engaged storefront communities equipped with the tools to turn regular users into super-fans and evangelizers while streamlining coin-agnostic e-commerce and fulfillment, as well as offering advanced blockchain-as-a-service tools to meet enterprise clients’ needs.

About InstantAccess.io
InstantAccess is an app that saves all kinds of user information/preferences securely and privately. Users can then re-use this information online and offline with just one click. From emails to shoe sizes to blockchain wallet addresses, InstantAccess makes it easier to access services.

Contact-Details:

WishKnish Corp.,
P.O. Box 2160, Reston,
VA 20195
(202) 800-2663
info@wishknish.com,
https://wishknish.com

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Zoli’s Virtual Fans Catapult New Single “Like A Star”

Hungarian pop sensation ZOLI launched his latest single “Like a Star” this week on the shoulders of virtual fans across the globe.

On Aug. 8, ZOLI concluded a Facebook contest where fans voted “Like a Star” to the first of three singles released – a unique, fan-focused approach that is paying off.

ZOLI’s work is a soulful pop-fusion. A trained jazz singer, classical pianist, songwriter, and a pop idol in his native Hungary, ZOLI formed his own record label, Z Music Entertainment, in 2012 and works with an international team, including noted LA-based mixer Rudy Haeusermann (K$esha, Hanson, En Vogue and Tupac).

“Making music has to be a fun process,” ZOLI said in a recent interview. “And using tools like Facebook (www.facebook.com/zolimusic), my website (www.zolimusic.com), Jango, electronic polls, online contests and email to include my fans was very new and exciting.”

“Admittedly the hardest part of this kind of development is trying to keep the personal connection in a virtual world,” ZOLI said. And while it is the reaction of live audience that inspires him, social media and the Web transcends borders and brings ZOLI’s work to the wider world with this latest release.

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Youzzers secure social network. Intelligent, educational and interactive

Steven Hori, a Swiss Internet and network specialist, is launching Youzzers, the first social network which is 100% secure and totally protects its members’ personal data. Thus when an account is deleted, the totality of all personal data is deleted. Youzzers is also available on iPhone, Androïd and notebooks.

A network that provides a large range of features and services.

Youzzers is both a professional social network and an interactive one. It provides a wide range of features and services. All of these are regrouped on a single platform and are managed at will by the user. It offers a higher level of confidentiality in comparison to other competitors. Ergonomic, simplified and secure, Youzzers does not require any particular skills to be used.

E-learning
Youzzers offers a network to schools and universities which allows them to make their courses available online. The network users can take these courses starting from the modest sum of 1 to 2 €.

Safety Box
Directly incorporated into Youzzers, this function offers the storage of personal data which is protected by a security encryption ranging from 128 to 256 bits so that it is only accessible to the user himself.

Mailboxes
Youzzers allows one to create an e-mail address my-email@youzzers.com to send/receive e-mails to/from members and non-members. It allows a POP connection on additional mailboxes, the sending/receiving of mail by SMTP, all of which is protected by antispam and anti-virus.

Personal multimedia albums
Youzzers accepts all formats (Photos, Audio, Video, Documents) on a simplified interface for better management of albums. They can be configured to be visible or secured and are available on mobile phones and notebooks.

Live meeting (audio/video)
Youzzers also includes an instant messaging service with incorporated whiteboard. This system allows “multiusers” to work together with bridges to MSN, AIM, Yahoo, ICQ, software.

Presently, Youzzers is available in French, English, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Turkish, Dutch and Arabic will be available by May 15th along with other features.

Youzzers also provides news, e-commerce, creation and consultation of ads, forums and surveys.

The site is open: www.youzzers.com.

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Beyonce’s Baby Bump, Justin Bieber and Tigerblood: What the World Tweeted in 2011

A recent industry survey has revealed the most popular subjects for Twitter users last year, but what does this mean for 2012, ask QueryClick.

With 2012 just beginning, new online industry figures have revealed the topics that dominated Twitter throughout 2011 – and the results are rather surprising. The results, which were put into an infographic by the financial advice website, FrugalDad have revealed that 2011 was truly the year of the celebrity on Twitter, with events such as the singer Beyonce Knowles announcing her pregnancy at the MTV Music Awards generating an incredible 8,696 tweets per second.

Christopher Liversidge, Managing Director of the UK SEO agency, QueryClick comments: “2011 really was a very interesting year for Twitter, as a number of breaking news stories, such as the Japanese tsunami in March and the revolution in Egypt, were widely reported on using Twitter,in fact the hashtag #Egypt was the most used hashtag last year. However, celebrities dominated Twitter throughout most of 2011, with Justin Bieber’s tweets being the most retweeted, with 5 million retweets on average, compared to Barack Obama’s tweets receiving an average of 250,000 retweets.”

In terms of celebrities and Twitter, 2011 was the year that Charlie Sheen joined the social networking site, and broke the record for the fastest time to reach 1 million followers, as after joining on the 1st of March, Sheen hit an impressive 1.2 million followers in a mere 25 hours and 17 minutes. The second most popular hashtag of the year was Sheen’s infamous #tigerblood catchphrase, which was closely followed by the #Japan hashtag.

Christopher continues: “While last year was a very interesting year in terms of politics, international events and revolutions, it would appear that users are still using Twitter to follow their favourite celebrities. While this is probably one of the best ways to find out what famous people are doing, and stay on top of all the breaking gossip, it’s also a great tool for breaking news stories and other big events. Last year was a very important year for the social network, and while it has been dominated by famous names, we at QueryClick believe that in 2012 Twitter will be seen as a more reliable news source for users, and that it will will help them find out about important world events, which is a great use of this unique social network.”

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Facebook Founder Calls For Lifting Of Age Restrictions, A Smart Move Says SEO Company Queryclick.com

Following news that Mark Zuckerberg thinks children 13 years and younger should be allowed access to social networks, SEO experts Queryclick.com suggest he’s taking a logical stance.

Star of the social networking field Facebook has been at the centre of controversy recently, thanks to the suggestion from the CEO that age restrictions should be removed.

Founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, has said he believes children ages 13 and younger should be allowed to access the social networking site for the benefit of their education.

Speaking during the New Schools Venture Fund’s Summit in California, Zuckerberg said he expected education to become more social in the future, in the same way already seen in health, retail and finance sectors.

At the summit, which explored innovation in education, the Facebook founder explained he was passionate about education reform. Zuckerberg was relaxed as he spoke about the subject with interviewer, and venture capitalist, John Doerr.

He claimed that letting younger children interact with social sites could prove beneficial for them in the long term. SEO experts Queryclick.com said the young star of the social scene has a valid point, although he may find it difficult to win over his dissenters. “Social media has really exploded in the last few years, making it obvious to any doubters that the medium is here to stay,” said a spokesperson.

“Many young children are already very savvy when it comes to social networking, but many retain massive security concerns, which were born in an earlier era of the internet.”

As it currently stands, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) mandates that websites that collect information about users (like Facebook does) aren’t allowed to sign on anyone under the age of 13.

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Risks Of Using Social Networking In Business

Social Networking sites such as Facebook, Myspace and Youtube have gained popularity among the younger population. Sites such as LinkedIn, Plaxo and Xing have followed quickly in their footsteps to provide the business friendly social network opportunities.

More recently, companies large and small are exploring ways to use social network site to support and improve sales (Youtube), to find new employees and business partners (LinkedIn) or to monitor their performance and respond to critics (Yelp and increasingly Facebook and Twitter).

However, for information security experts commissum.com, businesses looking to embrace these social media channels and tools in their business need to understand and calculate the benefits and risks before engaging them.

To consider the risks of using social media for your business consider the following:

Be careful using social media for employment vetting purposes for the same reasons that employers should not ask about religion, preferences, age, race etc.

Once a business takes the step of using social media, they are opening up a channel that in most cases you have very limited control of; in fact almost handing over control to the public. How would the business deal with both fair and unfair criticisms and opinions expressed on social media websites and how could its reputation be affected?

Would your employees know what business information can be disclosed on social media websites and could the business therefore be at risk of involuntary information leakage?

Could information on the size, structure of the business and operational details such as IT infrastructure details be used for initial data gathering activities for targeted attacks?

Could the business IT infrastructure be vulnerable to malicious software downloaded from social network sites?

And lastly consider whether the business should monitor the activities of its employees to ensure that security is maintained and resources are not being wasted by social networking activities.

“The risks of using social media encompass all aspects of the business; legal, employment, technical, operational and reputation”, according to a commissum spokesperson.

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Google’s Decision To Include Social Media Updates In SERPs Is The Latest Move Towards A Greater Emphasis On The Social Sphere, Says Search Engine Optimisation Experts QueryClick

In true Google style, barely a month goes by without the search giant making a tweak here or a change there to its algorithm.

While some changes are kept under lock and key to prevent spammers and unethical SEO practices degrading the quality of search results, other tweaks are allowed to create something of a stir.

Google’s most recent announcement regarding its inclusion of social media results in SERPs was one such change that – quite appropriately – caused sites like Twitter to get all in a flutter.

Working by aggregating content from social networking sites such as YouTube, Twitter and MySpace, the move is yet another step towards a bold blend of search and social; all under one roof.

Commenting on Google’s decision to make its search results richer in social media-related content, a spokesperson for SEO experts QueryClick said:

“QueryClick’s SEO predictions for 2011 contained a big focus on the move to mobile search as well as a greater emphasis on social media so it’s not surprising that Google have taken the step to introduce more social media-specific content in their SERPs.

“In terms of the benefits of this change for search engine optimisation, there’s now improved opportunities for sites which are under performing or in highly competitive verticals, jumping onto the first page – albeit temporarily – if their social media output relates to search terms.”

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SEO Experts QueryClick Welcome The Rise In Professional Usage of Social Media

The consistent growth of social media interaction throughout society has been a central topic of technological discourse over the past few years. The more recent uptake of the platform as a base from which to broaden business, as well as social connectivity, has become the latest development in the evolution of the social media phenomenon.

A study published by Trendstream on Tuesday demonstrates the progressive adoption of social media by businesses as a key tool in their inventory, equipping them more effectively and further enabling them to better communicate their message. The research, as part of the wider Global Web Index project, purports to illustrate the evolutionary shift in social networking over the past 18 months.

It is now believed that approximately 60% of Fortune 500 companies have created a Twitter account; almost double of the figure for the previous year. At the consumer end, research by ExactTarget stated that 40% of a survey had expressed their approval of a company or brand via Facebook in order to receive promotions and discounts.

QueryClick.com spokesperson commented on the positive findings of the report:

“From the research carried out it is clear that the growing trend for B2C interaction via sites such as Facebook and Twitter has been bolstered at both ends by the behavioural modifications which have taken place.”

According to the findings of Trendstream, the advertising and marketing industry are leading the way in their involvement in real-time social media activity. Behind them – and by some distance – comes IT, retail, healthcare and the financial services, all of whom have embraced the business potential offered by social media activity.

Whilst the participation of the study respondents in real-time social networking and microblogging increased by some 20% over the time-scale, contribution and engagement with blogging and other static online dialogues decreased significantly. Blog writing has fallen by 4%, while forum contribution has undergone an 11% decrease.

The move away from the creation platforms (blogs and forums) to real-time networks mirrors the move into the world of immediate updates and constant communication by professional individuals and firms. One insightful statistic provided by the Trendstream report sheds further light on the connection between these factors: that the increase in links to company news stories was bettered only by the rise in the upload and browsing of personal photos.

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Yahoo Says It’s Focused on The Future, SEO Company Queryclick.com Says It Should Keep Searching

With the search sphere becoming ever more social, Yahoo’s CEO Carol Bartz promises the struggling company still has its eye on the future – despite falling profits and rumoured downsizing. SEO experts Queryclick.com claim Yahoo is wise to keep an eye on the future, but shouldn’t ignore search.

Last week, the CEO denied rumours that the company – whose stocks were lower at the close of business last Tuesday than they were at the beginning of the year – is considering merging with AOL. Instead she claimed that Yahoo is focused on the future, and that many of the issues the company faces are image based, and only a problem for technological and financial centres.

She said the average user, outside of Silicon Valley and New York, knew what the company stood for, and that part of her role was to educate people that the company is not a Google, it is a Yahoo.

A spokesperson for SEO company Queryclick.com commended Bartz for her stance, and suggested this was the right way for her to approach the criticism. They said: “Yahoo has been in what looks like a difficult position for a long time, but much of this is related to how well the company performs in comparison to Google.

“If you take the Mountain View giant out of the equation, you see a company that still has a lot of things going for it; brand loyalty, a search partnership with Bing and a lot of valuable user data.”

It could be these three areas that will see the company drag up its market value and re-establish its place among the big boys of the online world.

In the wake of the news that Facebook will launch its own alternative to email, Bartz also hit out at those questioning Yahoo’s ability to stay relevant in the face of the continuing online revolution. Speaking at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco, Bartz claimed that rather than simply follow in Facebook’s targeted-ad-footsteps – as while Yahoo has a lot of user data, it is not aggregated in the same way – Yahoo would be concentrating on making sure publishers were able to offer users the right kind of content.

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SEO experts QueryClick Welcome the Decision to Create Real-Time Analytics Functionality for Social Media Giant Twitter

Following Twitter’s announcement that it will be launching a free analytics service as of the end of 2010, users will soon be able track and monitor their online activities and the success of their tweets.

With social media platforms becoming increasingly prominent in website promotion and customer engagement, the ability to track the success of Twitter-based activities has long been on the wish lists of everyday users and businesses alike.

UK SEO experts, QueryClick believe the arrival of a Twitter analytics dashboard is a further sign that SEO is increasingly affected by social media.

Discussing the matter, a QueryClick spokesperson said:

“Social media is one of the fastest growing sectors in web but for the past couple of year’s there’s been little evidence to support the likes of Twitter and Facebook holding much sway over SEO in terms of boosting back links and driving traffic in the long term rather than temporarily.

“Recent findings suggest that this could be about to change however so it’s increasingly important for businesses to get ready for the social media surge and track the successes and failures of their output in a similar fashion to Google Analytics.”

The decision to roll out a Twitter analytics package is also speculated to be among a number of measures that are already taking shape on the site.

A complete redesign of the site, for example, now features a split screen for multimedia content on one side and recognisable Twitter chatter on the other.

Clearly part of CEO Evan William’s desire to create “A better Twitter”, the redesign and new analytics dashboard is set to make microblogging a force to be reckoned with on top of the 90 million tweets that are currently posted daily.

SEO web designers QueryClick have been quick to warn businesses to make the most of Twitter’s analytics dashboard while it remains free:

“Should Twitter’s analytics dashboard take off, the chances are there will be a specific model rolled out for businesses and marketeers which will contain more advanced features and will most likely not be free.

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BookmarksHub – A New Bookmarking Site

Whether you are looking to promote your business worldwide, share interesting news and stories with your friends and associates or just keep up with what’s buzzing in the world today, BookmarksHub (www.bookmarkshub.info) is the place to be. BookmarksHub is an SEO friendly website that allows users to publish their own articles or read other articles and comment on them or share them with their friends and business associates.

Unlike other SEO websites, www.bookmarkshub.info applies the DoFollow technique for its search engine optimization, which gives maximum coverage to the web links on the website. This means that as a business person or affiliate trying to promote your business online, you not only get to publish and share your business related articles or press releases online, but Bookmarks Hub also allows search engines to popularize your website for free.

You can even create a group for your business and invite all your customers to keep them apprised of any offers, promotions and future developments. This makes Bookmarks Hub an ideal portal for online marketing and business promotion. Whether you wish to launch a new business or promote an existing one, sell a product or gauge response from already existing customers — as a Bookmarks Hub user, you get to promote your business for free!

Bookmarks Hub is also a great platform for voicing your opinion, sharing your ideas and getting yourself heard on the web. On Bookmarks Hub, users can create their own groups, add friends, and send and share messages with other users. Groups allow users to share articles with other members with a common interest in a topic. As a user, you can join a group to submit topical articles that other members would be interested in. You can also create your own group and share your knowledge and enthusiasm about your area of interest with other kindred fellows. Some groups may require membership approval before you become part of the group.

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Dating Website Wants To Pay Your Rent Or Your Wedding

How would you like to have your rent paid for a year or your Cinderella wedding fully paid for? New Dating website company, Gotham Dating Partners Inc., will pay a full years rent or a Cinderella wedding for any couple that is a member for one year and has gotten married as a result of being on our website.

Dating Website Wants To Pay Your Rent Or Your Wedding

Gothamdatingpartners.com is the parent website of niche market dating sites like: Prisonhookup.com, wealthypeopledate.com, Uglypeopledate.com, whitepeopledate.com, multimillionairedate.com and faithfullover.com.

We realize that our goodwill can lead to potential fraud by some members. In an effort to curb the tide of misrepresentation, we ask that a marriage certificate be submitted to verify the consummation.

Gotham dating Partners Inc. is an online social Networking company focusing on the single dating community.

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Online Dating Heavyweights In U.S Take Aim At Lucrative Australian Market

American online dating corporations have hit the Australian online dating market with full force. The emergence has sparked wide spread interest amongst consumers and singles with massive media coverage in a move that has set the scene for all out war amongst the opposing local and international dating companies.

Online Dating Heavyweights In U.S Take Aim At Lucrative Australian Market

Australia has gone against international economic trends in recent years fairing better than virtually any other country during the recession. Annalists are questioning if Australia was in fact ever in a recession. The strong Aussie dollar, an impressive inflation rate of around 2% combined with increasing retail sales at the check outs has forced the hand of the U.S dating giants to set up shop down under.

The online dating scene in Australia is dominated by only a handful of dating companies. While the search engines are seemingly saturated with online personals the majority are dating reviews that are affiliated to the dominant sites.

eHarmony have opened their doors to the Australian singles market and is making steady ground according to the latest hit analysis. The eHarmony brand is one of the biggest in America and combined with their financial muscle they are likely to gain a strong hold in Australia too.

With an active database of 17 million users, eHarmony looks well placed to derail the Fairfax-owned rsvp site stronghold which currently enjoys no major competitors. The eHarmony concept is based on a subscription model with an annual turnover of $200 million dollars. eHarmony is using prime time TV commercials for exposure and is in partnership with the neverblueads affiliate network.

Match.com, probably the world’s most recognized online dating brand has also commenced its marketing blitz on Australian television. New local competitors such as www.hookmeup.com.au are also continuing to challenge for market share.

Social media including Tweets and rss (real simple information) feeds are a huge leverage tool to get the word out for the dating sites who can create the biggest buzz. American run www.todaysdating.com is attracting plenty of interest and looks poised to make its mark in 2010.

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New York City Businesses bank on America’s Love Affair with Pets and Social Networking

What do Midwest Airlines, Loews Regency Hotel, Paws Pet Resort, Pet Express Pet Taxi, Wagwear, and Gavroche French Restaurant all have in common?

New York City Businesses bank on America's Love Affair with Pets and Social Networking

Well they are all New York City Pet Friendly Businesses that are banking on America’s love affair with pets and social networking to promote their services to the 71.4 millions homes that own pets throughout the US. And, YapStar has given them a creative way to get their message in front of the people that will listen through the YapStar Pet Holiday Contest at http://www.yapstar.com.

Red Magic won the YapStar Contest with 17012 Votes received from social networking activity and public voting from pet lovers in almost every state in the USA and from England, Germany, Australia, Canada, Norway, Portugal, and Mexico. With Magic’s sweet face and beautiful red coat it’s no wonder why he had fans cheering him on to be crowned “The YapStar”.

As sponsors of the Pet Holiday in New York City, these pet friendly businesses have put together a magical weekend of pampering for the YapStar Winner, Red Magic and Diana Dunigan.

Red Magic and his owner Diana Dunigan from Brunswick, GA, will be flying into NYC on Midwest Airlines through their Premier Pet Program which offers special pampering for “Red Magic”. To make sure they fly in style, Red Magic will be toting along his new “Bag on Wheels” from Sherpa Pet Products. Waiting at the curb on their arrival, Pet Express Taxi will whisk them away in their very own pet specialty cab to Loews Regency Hotel in Midtown Manhattan where they will be waited on hand and paw in first-class comfort.

Then off to the Happy Paws Pet Resort; where Magic will enjoy a “spa session” in order to look his best when they go out on the town for a shopping spree at Wagwear, a favorite among preppy pups and their fashion-minded owners. And what better way to end the day then at Pet Friendly Gavroche Restaurant, enjoying Camelia Cassin’s traditional specialties of the French country side under the stars in a garden out back where “Red Magic” is welcome. And, that’s not all! Red Magic will come home from his pampered holiday to a stunning pet portrait painted by Suzanne Berry.

About YapStar.com
YapStar.com at yapstar.com is a local search and review, social shopping and social networking community designed by pet lovers, for pet lovers and the pet businesses that serve them.

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FarmConnect.net – Social Networking for Farmers

A new social media site specifically set up for connecting farms and communities was launched a few days ago.

FarmConnect.net allows farms and those interested in telling agriculture’s important stories to get their own blog, create groups and discussion forums that are either public, private (by invitation only), or hidden (only viewable to invited members).

Farms who might have been daunted by getting their own website can easily set up a group with their farm name and easily keep in touch with friends, family, and their community.

If you are passionate about any aspect of agriculture, create your own discussion group on FarmConnect.net today and start sharing your passion.

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Bigmouthmedia Looks Towards A Pivotal 2010 For Digital Marketing

Bigmouthmedia predicts that 2010 will be a pivotal year for the digital marketing industry, with mobile and social media playing a significant role in a series of developments set to sweep through the sector.

Bigmouthmedia analysts believe that an evolving search landscape, the continued rise of social media and advances in mobile technology will combine to make the next year one of the most eventful in the sector’s history. With these and other factors blurring the boundaries between PR, marketing and customer care, the company also predicts that the shape of the search business itself will begin to change.

“Digital marketing has always been a dynamic industry, but the introduction of real time search, the continued convergence of devices and the apparently unstoppable rise of social media have all come together at the same time, and we expect this to have a major impact upon the search landscape in 2010,” said Andrew Girdwood, bigmouthmedia’s Head of Search.

“The industry has matured, and already we are seeing some of the more prehistoric SEO business models out there beginning to fail. Major clients increasingly require partners with international scale, and as the downwards pressure on costs continues, small-scale agencies are going to struggle to cope in what is likely to become an environment dominated by a handful of major players.”

Bigmouthmedia’s sector-by-sector predictions for the year ahead indicate that the digital marketing business could be facing one of the most challenging years in its history.

Retailers are expected to continue investing in social media strategies designed to monetise direct marketing channels like Twitter and Facebook while simultaneously expanding their mobile marketing activities.

In the travel business, operators seeking to offset a fall in revenues caused by the global recession will increasingly look online. Some 57% of travel marketing budgets will be spent online in 2010, while the majority of companies are also predicted to increase spend on Social Media & Online PR and Search engine optimisation as they attempt to come to terms with this evolving channel.

In the world of finance, the advent of the widely predicted new supermarket banking services look set to dominate the sector’s year. A scramble has already begun, meanwhile, to win over the significant increase in consumers expected to return online and begin shopping for services again in 2010.

“The search marketing business has weathered the economic downturn better than most, but there is no room for complacency. For every one of the opportunities these new developments bring there are technical and logistical challenges to be overcome,” said Girdwood.

2010: The Year Ahead in Digital Marketing is available for download from bigmouthmedia.

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Bigmouthmedia And Econsultancy Reveal Companies Plan Increased Social Media Spend In 2010

The Social Media and Online PR Report, published by Econsultancy in association with bigmouthmedia, has revealed that most companies are planning to invest more in social media next year but are struggling to find the time and resources to manage their activity.

The report is based on a survey of over 1,100 companies and agencies, and is the most comprehensive study of its kind around how companies are using online PR and social media for marketing and customer service.

The results showed that 86% of companies plan to spend more money on social media in 2010, and a further 13% are planning to keep the same level of budget. 54% cited their biggest barrier to better social media engagement was a lack of resources, with 90% of businesses stating that social media is taking up more time internally than a year ago.

“The growth of social media and online PR has been meteoric, but until now there have been very few hard facts available on precisely how UK business is using the new channel and what they’re getting in return for their investment,” said Phil Gripton, Managing Director of bigmouthmedia UK.

“These statistics – the most detailed yet available – show that while an increasing number of companies are embracing social media, many are struggling to effectively manage their engagement and are consequently failing to make the most of a potentially enormous opportunity.”

The research found that many companies are experimenting with social media without yet reaping any measurable benefits. Only a quarter of companies said that they have gained “real, tangible value” from social media whereas 60% said they had gained “some benefit but nothing concrete”. However, 52% of respondents who are heavily involved said they have gained real value, compared to only 13% of companies who “experimented but not done much”.

Michelle Goodall, Econsultancy’s social media and online PR consultant at Econsultancy, said: “Before they think about their strategy and the best tactics, companies need to go back to basics and think in detail about how online PR and social media can help them deliver against their business objectives.

“The reality is that most businesses understand how to listen, what to measure and where to engage but are struggling to define the value of engagement and reputation in social spaces.”

There view of the benefits of Twitter is mixxed, with 31% of respondents saying there are “tremendous opportunities” available, but half reported their companies are “open-minded but not fully convinced about the value to the business”.

The majority of organisations (62%) are using the micro-blogging site for publicising new content, with 54% using the channel for marketing or brand monitoring (47%). Only 27% of companies are using Twitter as a customer service tool for reacting to issues and inquiries, while 25% use Twitter as a customer feedback tool. 7% felt that Twitter is over-hyped and a fad.

Via EPR Network
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Bigmouthmedia Unveils British Business Top Social Networking Executives

A new bigmouthmedia survey has identified the UK market’s biggest business users of online social networking tools.

Following extensive research, Carnival Cruises’ John Heald and On Holiday Group CEO Steve Endacott have been revealed as the business leaders trading in Britain that have most readily adopted services like LinkedIn, Facebook and twitter as part of their essential marketing tool kit.

“Social networking may have become one of the most talked about trends in the online world, but until now there has been little hard evidence showing to what extent the business community has embraced these tools. Our research shows that while many leading executives are now deriving measurable benefits f r o m this rapidly developing channel, some of the UK’s most prominent organisations have failed to get to grips with this important trend,” said Lyndsay Menzies, bigmouthmedia Chief Operations Officer.

While the social media has been one of 2009’s most hyped phenomena, little evidence exists as to what extent businesses are deriving benefits f r o m the plethora of available services. In order to gauge real-world attitudes to the tools, bigmouthmedia assessed the online networking performance of 50 CEO’s & senior marketing executives selected f r o m the FTSE100 and the Sunday Times Fast Track 100.

Carnival’s Senior Director John Heald emerged as the clear winner in the FTSE100 category. He uses a combination of Facebook and blogging to reach out to past, present and future customers.

“The internet has changed the way that people want to communicate with companies, and even the FTSE100 has to come to terms with that. Customers have become accustomed to a certain level of transparency and informality in their dealings with business and even large-scale enterprises need to adjust their marketing strategies accordingly.”

Heald’s use of social media proved to be a relative rarity amongst the FTSE100 executives sampled. Only 25% of them engage in any form of online networking, compared to 80% of senior players f r o m Fast Track companies.

Topping the table f r o m the fast growth companies listed in the Fast Track 100 is On Holiday Group CEO and founder Steve Endacott. The former MyTravel chief employs a range of tools including Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter, Plaxo and Xing to promote his travel company and believes that they are an essential part of the modern business toolkit. “I believe that these are tools every business has to get to grips with. There’s a generation of consumers growing up with social media, and unless you truly understand the culture there’s a real danger of losing touch with them,” he said.

LinkedIn emerged as the senior executive’s networking tool of choice. Half of those surveyed use the service, while 80% of the FTSE100 managers that engage in online networking use it as their only application.

“Social media is simply about listening and interacting with your customers, using channels that many staff will already be familiar with, such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Digg. It is common sense, and it’s perhaps unsurprising that the majority of the FastTrack companies are ahead of the curve in this respect,” commented Econsultancy’s Chris Lake.

“What’s needed is a shift in mindset. Firms should embrace customer feedback and act on it. By engaging with customers you increase satisfaction, which is a proven way of generating repeat business and referrals. Why wouldn’t you want to do that? “

About bigmouthmedia 
Founded in 1997, bigmouthmedia is Europe’s largest independent digital marketing agency. With a team of over 200 staff located across 13 offices in 10 countries on 3 continents, the company maximises exposure for major brands online through a variety of fully integrated digital marketing channels: Search engine optimisation, PPC, Online Media Planning, Affiliate marketing, Social Networking, Brand Monitoring, Online PR and Web Analytics. The bigmouthmedia on Twitterbigmouthmedia on Mobile Twitter and bigmouthmedia on friendfeed services provide constant up to date digital marketing news to ensure subscribers are fully informed and aware of all industry developments.

Via EPR Network
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