Monthly ArchiveMay 2010



Business and Economy &Entrepreneurs 26 May 2010 09:44 am

There is Always a Need to Evaluate and Evolve

Google has ruled the search engine market for quite some time and it still holds 65 percent of the search engine share. The emergence of Bing has created another search engine option but it only accounts for a little over 11 percent of searches in the United States. Although Google is firmly in control of the market, Bing has been accepted as a legitimate competitor, pushing Google to evaluate and update its product.

Google recently unveiled an edited version of its logo, new color scheme, the inclusion of images mixed with its search results, and most dramatically, a column appearing on the left side of search results. This column allows users to refine their searches, resembling Bing.

By continuing to evaluate itself, Google is positioning itself to keep a hold on the market. Google’s renovations may be necessary because BingHoo, a combination of Bing and Yahoo is expected to be unveiled later this year. The merger would combine Bing and Yahoo’s market share, giving it around 30 percent, putting it closer to Google.

Every business must recognize the need to continuously improve. There will always be improvements to be made and if you don’t make them, someone else will beat you out of the market.

Jaclyn Klein

Uncategorized 26 May 2010 09:18 am

Chinese Social Networking Site Biggest in the World

QZone turns profits from people, not ads
Model for social network sites

It’s time for Western internet users to say “ni hao” to the biggest social networking website on the Internet, QZone. (“Hi” or “hello” in Chinese).

If social media want to build revenue models for their businesses, they need look no further than the highly popular 5-year-old Chinese portal, QZone. It generated $1.2 billion revenue in 2009!

QZone is a Chinese social networking site (available only in Chinese) started by China’s largest Internet service portal TenCent just five years ago, in 2005. The website has more than 250 million reported users as of late 2009, according to Reuters. Some of QZone’s features include tools to interact with friends, online games, uploading and sharing photos and music as well as the wildly popular instant messenger QQ. It permits users to write blogs, keep diaries, send photos, and listen to music. most services are not free. A user pays for virtually every service he or she uses.

What makes QZone unique to other social networking sites, like the U.S. based Facebook and MySpace, is how QZone generates revenue. In 2008, QZone and TenCent was over $1 billion and only 13 percent came from advertising. The rest of QZone revenue come from virtual purchases.

Virtual profits are made up of any type of service or online goods for which users pay real money. This can range from subscription fees to buying virtual clothes for avatars and codes or boosts for games. As silly as it may seem to some to pay for accessories for a two-dimensional character or to cheat in a game, this technique has made online companies in Asia wealthy.

Whether Facebook and MySpace can employ the same technique with equal success is still to be determined, but for now QZone stands as the best revenue-generation business model for social networking.

Larry Eiler & Alyssa Eckles

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Business of PR &Electronic PR &Marketing &Marketing Communications &Public Relations Tools &Social Media 26 May 2010 09:14 am

Surprising New Uses of Social Media Found in Survey

The use of social media has revolutionized the public relations and marketing world. According to Facebook, its users spend 500 billion minutes per month on the site sharing more than 25 billion pieces of content. Other social media sites, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, have reported similar results. Re:NEW Michigan, a trademark of Eiler Communications, conducted a survey in April to further investigate the growing prevalence of social media sites among Michigan businesses.

The survey compared to a similar survey from December 2008. Not surprisingly, social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn all saw dramatic increases in usage in the time period between surveys. The biggest leaps came from Facebook and Twitter. Facebook saw a 28.5% increase in usage, and Twitter saw a 30.3% jump.

A more unexpected and enlightening trend was revealed by the results. Michigan businesses reported heavily using social media websites in seeking news and information.

This is most likely due to news sites directly posting on social media sites or links exist between these social sites and news sites.

Whatever the reason, survey respondents admitted to using Facebook, Twitter and blogs just as often as they use more traditional news sites such as CNN, MSNBC and The New York Times when they seek news and information. Many even reported using social media websites as their primary source of information.

This information poses the question of what the future holds for this evolving issue, both social media and news information websites. No answers yet, but here are some observations.

The benefits of using social media websites for seeking news and information are obvious. They provide the instantaneous results demanded by people’s quest for instant gratification of information. The large amount of time spent on these sites and the great amount of traffic to these sites is favorable for spreading a story.

But are social media websites sufficient in providing a business with all the information it needs, or are they simply being used to find leads that require further investigation? Do social media websites have the potential to make news information sites obsolete? Re:NEW Michigan plans to address these questions and others involving social media websites in our next survey in October.

Ecofriendly &Environment &Thinking Green 25 May 2010 03:40 pm

“Go Green”

While many individuals and companies are finding ways to “go green,” uncertainties remain surrounding actual environmental harm. Some people don’t understand why such a movement is necessary and many more don’t understand what can be done to preserve the earth for our children, grandchildren and future generations. As much as I as a University of Michigan student find the phrase “go green” a challenge, I understand the necessity of a green movement.

There is a fixed amount of natural resources and as the population increases, those resources disappear. An earth saving alternative exists for almost everything we do, although it may not be the easiest option.

Did you know?
For every ton of paper that is recycled, the following is saved: 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and enough electricity to power an average house for six months.

You can run a TV for six hours on the amount of electricity that is saved by recycling one aluminum can.

By recycling one glass bottle, you save enough electricity to power a 100-watt bulb for four hours.

The amount of wood and paper we throw away each year is enough to heat 50 million homes for 20 years.

About 110 million Americans live in areas with levels of air pollutants the federal government considers to be harmful.

Americans throw away about 40 billion soft drink cans and bottles every year. Placed end to end, they would reach the moon and back nearly 20 times

Eighty-four percent of a typical household’s garbage can be recycled.

Using recycled paper for one print run of the Sunday edition of The New York Times would save 75,000 trees.

If all the cars on U.S. roads had properly inflated tires, it would save nearly 2 billion gallons of gasoline a year.

As popular vacation ideas, cruises lines received letter grades of B- or less on their 2010 environmental friendliness. Friends of the Earth, an environmental group, evaluated the lines on sewage treatment, air pollution reduction, water quality compliance and accessibility of environmental information. Cruise’s are popular vacation ideas and are also extremely dangerous for the environment.

Jaclyn Klein

Media &Social Media 18 May 2010 02:34 pm

A new twist on the evolution of information-gathering habits?

Here is a breakdown of where respondents get their information according to a “Re:NEW Michigan®” survey April 15 -28.

Question: Where do you get news and information?

Comment: Are social media opinions and commentaries really capturing what these results show? Or do we remain in the “fad” stage where people are not discerning real news from opinions?

Looking at the substantial jump in the social media category, we would like to clarify this result a little better in our next poll in September. We think we uncovered something about how people’s information-gathering habits evolve. We believe that linking to news sites via Facebook & Twitter has become a “source” for many people online. The spread of news (case in point: Michael Jackson’s death or the recent oil rig disaster in the Gulf) became a trending topic over social media, where links to source material were shared.

“Re:NEW Michigan®” is a trademark of Eiler Communications (www.eilerpr.com), which periodically surveys a sample of businesses, healthcare and educational institutions, governmental and non-profit leaders on various topics of broad interest especially related to marketing.

Social Media 13 May 2010 02:35 pm

Re:NEW Michigan® Survey Affirms Use Of Social Media for Business Marketing

Many Still “Trying and Learning” SMM

Our new survey of social media clearly demonstrates expansion of two significant trends:

1. A decided upturn in continuing growth in use of social media for business marketing, even though a high percent of people say they are “trying and learning” social media marketing (SMM) techniques.

2. New and social media are being used by people all across the spectrum to get information from Internet sites rather than traditional information sites.

The Re:NEW Michigan® survey taken between April 15 and 28 compares to the older survey taken in December 2008. The next Re:NEW:Michigan survey of social media will take place in October.

74.6 percent of respondents to the April survey say that social media is either “very important” or that they are “trying and learning” about these forms of marketing for their businesses.

• Five specific social media have separated from the pack in terms of their use by companies. They are Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, YouTube and LinkedIn.

Four of them grew in usage in the period between surveys. Blogs dropped to 49 from 59.3% in the 2008 study.

Sixty-six percent of respondents noted Facebook, up from 37.5% in the December 2008 study.

58.4 Twitter vs. 28.1 in ’08.

49 blog, down from 59.3 in ’08.

43.3 YouTube vs. 37.5 in ’08.

LinkedIn rose from 34.1% in 2008 to 38.4% in April.

• Social media has replaced or augmented other forms of marketing in more businesses (50.5 %) than the number that have continued traditional marketing without any social media (47.4%). Of those businesses that have not employed social media, more than 80 percent recognize social media is important and they are “trying and learning.”

• In increasing growth rates, people get their information electronically through Internet news sources such as CNN, The New York Times Online and MSNBC.

“Re:NEW Michigan®” is a trademark of Eiler Communications (www.eilerpr.com), which periodically surveys a sample of businesses, healthcare and educational institutions, governmental and non-profit leaders on various topics of broad interest especially related to marketing.

Ann Arbor, Michigan PR Firm &Rescue &Wildlife 01 May 2010 01:03 pm

Clarise’s Ducklings

We arrived at the office yesterday to discover that the nest was empty. Just cracked eggs. I was terribly disappointed as I really wanted to see the ducklings. I was in the middle of the ivy, taking a picture of the nest. I hear peeping and look behind me to see four tiny ducklings underneath the ivy.
Clarise is no where in sight. The ducklings are non-stop noise and walking all over the patio. They finally huddle together and Larry has to shoo way a huge black crow. We keep expecting to see Clarise arrive. I Googled animal rescue to see if I could get some advice as to what to do. I found this wonderful resource Mallard Marsh. Carole tells me that if Clarise is not around, I should bring the ducklings to her immediately and to keep them warm. If there are any warm eggs in the nest to bring them as well. I gather up the ducklings and take them to Carole. This lady rescues 200-300 ducklings a year. My research told me that the ducklings would swim immediately. Carole will not let them swim for 6-8 weeks as they would get to cold. Apparently, a mother duck only lets them swim for short periods and then keeps them warm. Carole will keep them under a heat lamp. I was amazed at the dedication of this woman taking care of all of these ducklings for over twenty years. I told her that maybe I’d see her next year and she told me maybe this year as Mallards have two clutches a year. On her wish list was kiddie pools, so I mailed the one I had bought to her today.