Tuesday, May 20, 2008

HeyButler.com Search Engine Revolution

To: Kevin Trainor
From: Nathan Bair
Re: Topic Paper 1
Date: 20 May 2008

There is a new search engine on the block and it is specific to north east Ohio. It is called HeyButler.com. It is one of the first regionaly exclusive search engines.

HeyButler.com launched 01 January 2008 since then it has had over 5 million hits and its membership numbers are closing in on 120,000. It is locally owned and operated and it has already created quite a buzz that has attracted over 500 local business. The rates for this ad space is very cheap by search engine standards and gives a web presence to companies that do not otherwise have the capability to do so.

The reason that this is so important is because if a person were to search Google for something they would have to sort though all of the sponsored links for all over the world just to find a local company. HeyButler.com eliminates all of that. The search criteria only allow for companies to list that are physically located between Columbus and Cleveland. They also take an interesting look at getting consumers to come back on a regular basis. They have installed games that a site member can play that could allow them to win prizes, however they can only try their luck 5 times a day then they have to wait until tomorrow. This gives a person a reason to come back and view the site again even if they are not looking for anything specifically.

The other new idea that is featured on this site is the concept of “specialized butlers.” This is an engine within the site that compiles all of the like companies that all service a similar need; i.e. the wedding butler, the anniversary butler, the homecoming butler, the holiday gift butler, etc. There are well over 50 different butlers that cater to any specific need.

This is a revolutionary type of search engine. HeyButler.com will soon have many imitators but they will go down as the innovator of these concepts.


Microsoft Demos Zune Advertising Service (e-marketingclass)

Paper 1 on Microsoft and Advertising


The first link is to my summary and analysis on Microsoft's decision to expand its advertising efforts to various new forms of media. The second link displays the actual article that I used for discussion.

Stephen Caution

Game consoles contain environmental hazards, says Greenpeace

Ashley Gaffey 05/20/2008

Greenpeace, an environmental group, researched the toxins contained in many video-game consoles and many popular brands were found to contain hazardous toxins. Not one brand was particularly less toxic than the others. X-box, Sony PS3 and Nintendo Wii were all carriers of many toxic chemicals. These toxins, especially Phthalate, can have life alerting effects on developing children. Surprisingly, Europe recently mandated all gaming consoles manufacturers to eliminate certain toxins. Though, it was discovered that those laboratory testers may have missed a few toxic chemicals and the manufacturers were cleared. Phthalate is a toxin which affects the sexual development of males. This specific toxin was removed from all toys, though, a game console is not considered a toy, therefor, not subject to a mandate. There are gamers who are young children though, and this toxin is more than a threat to their development. The X-box is the only console to contain Phthalate though, and is prohibited from children's toys. Another toxin, beryllium, is hazardous if it is chewed on, for example, an infant or toddler chewing on the console. If that is not enough, if the console is buried in a landfill it can release toxic beryllium into the water and if the console (like many plastics) is incinerated it can release toxic chemicals into the air. Nintendo Wii, one of the most popular games, was found to contain high levels Bromine, also a very hazardous toxin.

This article is relevant to consumers because video-gaming is very popular and the main users of these games are children. Almost every child has played at least one video game, therefor, subject to these toxic chemicals. As well, many infants have probably chewed on a console after “big brother” left it on the floor once he was done playing. Since the scare of Lead in the many popular toys, such as Mattel Barbie, consumers have been weary of buying toys. Consumers want to be informed as to how the products are manufactured and what these products contain. This is another great example of an everyday products capability to contain hazardous elements. These manufacturers are aware of what elements comprise the final product and are not doing anything proactive to reconcile until they are caught. Comparable to many other gaming systems, Wii, contained the highest levels of Bromine compared to the others, and with its increasing popularity something must be done to ensure the toxins are squashed now. Furthermore, parents must be more aware of what infants place in their mouth, as it seems, most anything other than a pacifier could cause life-altering side effects.


Google Display Ads in Your Pocket

Joe Trbovich

It appears before long we will be viewing advertisements on web pages viewed from our mobile phones. Google plans to join Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and other major players to reach the next frontier in online advertising. More subscribers are switching to smart phones and flat-rate data plans. This will enable typical computer functions to become ordinary on the cell phone, including Google ads. New research suggests that mobile browser deployment will grow dramatically over the next five years, even if consumer usage of the new capabilities remains uncertain. Google will offer advertisers four ad sizes from which to choose, none with a file size larger than 3 kilobytes. Google is trying to keep file sizes small, so that the ads do not slow the load times of mobile Web pages. Google has said it will only show one display ad per page.

This form of online advertising is unique and creative. It will undoubtedly help bring in revenue to companies. But, at the same time this will be clogging up display screens and slowing download speeds at some rate. This will also undoubtedly bother some consumers.

Where's the Money in User-Generated Content?

Clinton Dugan
May, 20th 2008

In the world today, virtually everyone has access to the internet. Merchants and retailers are taking this access to the head and generating new ides. The internet is big business but its even bigger business when it comes to User-Generated Content or UGC. In the article, Where's the Money in User-Generated Content it, it describes how companies like Facebook, Myspace and YouTube are generating ad sales and had great success. Ad sales on USG’s aren’t the ones that appear on TV or radio. They often appeal to what users of the websites have on a personal page.
The users personal pages often contain keywords that spark ads, thus generating the ads on some of your pages today. For example, if you have running as an interest, an ad for Nike could appear. This is important to many advertisement companies, however, they aren’t interested on what your page looks like. The article states that “its not the content of the site, it’s the millions of viewers and users that we care about.”
“MySpace, YouTube and others may have huge audiences, but to some, they are still just vehicles for self-expression, a modern take on writing a letter to the editor of a newspaper.”
There is still some skeptics, however, the future is still looking promising for investors and new UGC websites. I think this is important because of how UGC’s are becoming more and more popular. Most internet users use one of the top three UGC’s websites (Facebook, YouTube, Myspace). This is important to making money for companies, but in most cases its finding more and more users. Theses are the users that generate more revenue and usages of these sites. UGC’s are relevant in ways that they will be around as long as the internet still exist. Sure, we might see the downfall of the websites, but there will always be new ones up and coming.
The internet is a powerful tool with a lot of money still to be made, and I have a feeling marketers are still stressing this fact.

This article can be found at: http://www.internetnews.com/webcontent/article.php/12221_3744306_2

The Business Reasons for Strong Search Engine Rankings

Ranking on the internet is one of a company’s best ways to increase revenue. If your company is ranked in one of the top 10 spots, you are more likely to get potential customer to buy merchandise, and advertisers to want to pay money to buy available space on your company website. Companies can make sure they have a top ranking by choosing good keywords to be searched by, therefore generating more traffic and moving there search engine ranking up. This allows the company to then be on the first page of results and hopefully be above the fold so that your company’s website is visible when the results come back. Company’s websites that don't have good keywords tend to be less frequently visited, which means they are missing out on sales because of there poor ranking. With a strong ranking it's possible to receive hundreds of thousands of visitors each month, but if you're website is not visible in the top 10 sites, or on the first couple pages, what chance will you have of obtaining new visitors that had not heard of your company or the products you offer?
You can think of it this way, for example search engines are available 24/7 and never stop marketing for your company. This is because your website will appear any time of the day or night under your chosen keywords and your website will do your marketing and sales for you if constructed properly.
For some companies that have yet to take that first step in creating there own website, creating a website with a good search engine might sound like an intimidating process. If you are devoted to taking the time to learn basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) principles, or by having someone on your staff that could be a SEO professional, your business could benefit greatly from this return on investment through the major search engines. This will create long-term positive impact on the success of your website and ultimately your business.
Having a constant marketer on the internet is going to allow potential companies to market their business in ways that billboards, newspapers, flyers, etc. could never do. This will let customers see if you have the product or service they need and then with no trouble either buy your product or service over the internet or allow them to go into your store knowing you have what they are looking for.

This article may be found at:

Evolution of Internet Banking: e-marketingclass

Since 2004, there has been a rapid growth in consumer internet users, and business internet users. We learned communication and information are the primary reasons why consumers use the internet. Because of these two reasons, and many others, banking has took a turn to the "internet bandwagon". For years, security has been the major issue of online banking; but recently in technology advancements, even small banks can rest easy.

For many banks, as stated in the article, as online banking rises, corresponding to it is the increasing fees to pay their outsourcers. Another downfall banks believed to be true in the past was the problem of no customer service. Customer service gains revolving customers, therefore they were scared of putting their bank at risk. "Better, faster, cheaper"; what every bank wants to achieve. Although the article focuses on many drawbacks of internet banking, the slogan defines what online banking is. Cost, control, flexibility, security, and performance are key components to many bank business models, therefor moving their plan to internet related selling must still include these components.

On a personal note, I use internet banking weekly, and I am not handy with technology. Within 3 clicks I have my account balance, and my transactions. I check my bank information online tripple the times I actually drive to the bank, waste gas, and stand in line for a transaction. I would not choose a bank that presently didn't have online banking. I would consider them to be out of date, and not providing me with customer service by not knowing what I want. Online banking is now a commonplace, and provides banking in the liesure of ones home. Convenience is such a key as to why banks decided online banking would in fact rise their revenue, and help their customers. Instead of banks being open on so called business hours, they are now open 24/7; this is huge in terms of customer service. Banks also include help buttons, and phone numbers to call to extend their service online. The revolution of internet banking has skyrocketed recently, and done wonders for banks and their customers
Ashley Giannini
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3947/is_200112/ai_n9473568 _

Privacy Issues on the Net

The creation of the Internet has opened up the possibility for all types of strangers to look up people’s personal information at anytime they wish to. The article under review focuses on how more and more companies are using the Internet as well as the social networking website Facebook to find out more about prospective employees. The article questions whether this is an invasion of privacy, does it violate the right to privacy, and if so are there applicable laws stated in the Constitution to protect citizens against this type of invasion of privacy. According to a recent survey by Ponemon Institute, a corporation that researches issues dealing with privacy, 35 percent of hiring managers use Google to do background checks on job candidates. The survey also revealed that about one-third of those web searches lead to the rejection of candidates. Facebook has become more accessible over the past several years, making it easier for managers to see things such as pictures and information about candidates. A once private and limited social network intended for only college students, has now been made possible for anyone with an e-mail address and a name to log on to Facebook. According to a study by Adecco, a work force consulting firm, 66 percent of people in their late teens and early twenties were not aware that the information they put online can contribute to whether or not they get hired by a company. Although the word “privacy” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution, most people assume that privacy is a right given to all citizens. There is no actual legislation against using the Internet to make a decision whether or not to hire or pass on a job applicant. There are several ways that a person can protect himself or herself to ensure certain information that may damage their reputation will not be referenced by potential employers. The easiest thing people can do is to Google themselves and see what data is associated with their name. Another way is for people to be careful of what they actually post on the Internet, and to remember that information can be viewed by anyone at anytime. Everything on the Internet is becoming increasingly visible, including the once private Facebook. One can only attempt to protect her or him self from the world of technology or make a more concerted effort to use its power.

This is such an important issue because it is something that can affect many people in negative ways, without most people even realizing it. It affects college graduates more significantly because they are the types of Internet users who tend to use social networking websites more than others do. For instance, a recent college graduate who has just graduated with a degree in Marketing may be out looking for a good entry-level job. They may seem to believe that they have the perfect job lined up, having gone through a few grueling interviews. No matter how well they interview and how good their grades are, the potential employer is going to want to do a significant amount of background research on the candidate. If the employer finds some negative information about this person on the Internet then their view of the candidate may become tarnished, and instead choose someone with a clean history. While many people would view this as an invasion of privacy, there are no laws against it. It is not illegal to put racy photos, or writings on the Internet, so therefore it is not illegal for others to view that information. There may be no way to completely diffuse an invasion of privacy, but the best way to make sure not to be harmed by material viewable by others is to not put anything self-discriminating against yourself up to begin with.


Will Video Cripple Internet?

Jags Bains
May 20, 2008

Will Videos Cripple Internet?
Videos clips, movies, games, and social networks are becoming a problem for the existence of the internet. These fun features of the internet are doing as much harm as they are good. Of course they provide entertainment but at the same time are causing much of internet bandwidth problems that are happening. Videos and movies can use various amounts of bandwidth depending on the length of the video and the resolution it is in. A one minute video clip with medium resolution can use up to 2MB. If the same video is in another format, it could consume as much as 20MB. If there is a twenty minute long video, it could consume as much as 400MB. Analysts also believe that a single video-sharing site used as much bandwidth as the whole rest of the internet.
The problem lies where the users of the internet think that there is unlimited space when that isn’t the case. Research gathered last year states that by 2011, internet use will far exceed the network capacity. That raises the question of whether or not that will be the end of the internet. Internet researchers believe that the internet will still exist but will be slower and less enjoyable for users. It will also decrease the activities that could be done on the internet like the viewing of movies. Professor Andrew M Odlyzko of the University of Minnesota says that the traffic on the web is increasing by 50% per year. With that being said, the belief is that with the way technology is increasing today, the internet will survive the bandwidth problem. Another resolution to the situation is the metering of bandwidth space similar to that of electricity or water. That would just mean more money to spend on the use of what we thought was unlimited virtual space.

It is inevitable that people will continue to use the internet regardless of the bandwidth problems they may encounter. Part of the problem is that users of the internet do not realize that there are issues with the bandwidth that they are using. A possible solution would be to educate internet users of the excessive use of virtual space. If the internet users become aware of these issues, it could cause them to think twice before downloading movies or anything that uses excessive amounts of megabytes. In regards to the metering of bandwidth, I do not think it will ever occur. Technology is always making progress and will not allow for the decline of internet usage. Overall, I think we need to be more conscious of how we use the internet and what we download.

Savvy Online Marketers using Skins to break through Banner Blindness

Casey Thomas
Internet Marketing
May 21, 2008

It has long been popular for advertisers to place advertisements on websites that get frequent hits. It has been an effective way to make people pay attention to what a company is selling. This also helps to generate revenue as people may click on the ad and end up making a purchase. More recently however, there has been a new trend in online advertising that takes this to the next level.
Popular websites like PerezHilton.com and MySpace have been using advertising “skins.” These skins essentially take up the entire page of a website, but act as a background image. This has been gaining popularity among networks and movie studios that want to advertise new television shows or movies to an enormous population. MySpace gets 15 million logins per day and has over 75 million users worldwide. PerezHilton.com receives anywhere between 2 million to 7 million hits a day. With that many “eyeballs” looking at these two websites alone, the benefits that companies could receive from advertising on them is enormous. Skins give a new element to advertising however because users are forced to look at the picture because it is the entire background as opposed to just a small banner ad or ad on the side of a webpage. MySpace began using movies like The Simpsons and The Golden Compass as skins. The stunning graphics when you opened the webpage, not only created buzz, but made you interested in what the movie had to offer. PerezHilton.com frequently gets paid for advertisements for new shows such as Lipstick Jungle (http://www.bannerblindness.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/sp32-20080207-124547.jpg), Step It Up and Dance and other up and coming television shows.

I think this emerging trend of advertising will be a creative and different approach to attracting viewers to new television shows or to go see that movie. PerezHilton.com is especially influential in his taste of music, television and fashion and I think that will have a positive impact for advertisers on his site. MySpace is the biggest social networking site and has some serious influence over its users. Many times MySpace also offers contests to go along with the movie or television show being advertised. I think more websites, most that pertain to social networking and blogging will pick up on this innovative way to advertise and begin to follow suit. I think it’s a great way for not only these sites to make money, but it gives firms the opportunity to generate revenue from a demographic that can be difficult to target to.

Article link: http://www.bannerblindness.com/savy-online-marketers-using-skins-to-break-through-banner-blindness

Grocery Stores Using RFID

We spoke briefly about RFID (radio frequency identification) tags and how precise they are

with keeping track of products. Well grocery stores are taking it a new level by installing the

RFID tag into DVDs that can be rented and returned to self-serve kiosks. This provides the

grocery store with a huge advantage in increasing its DVD rentals. These kiosks can be placed in

the store or at remote locations like Laundromats, gas stations, etc.

The tags are monitored by the stores in charge of them through the internet. Tracking the

DVD rentals through the tags and the internet gives the store a more accurate count of how

many movies are in the machine and most importantly when a movie is rented and returned.

The tags are more accurate than a barcode, which you find most often, they don’t wear down

and fade.

This technology gives the consumer more locations to conveniently rent and return DVDs.

This makes the customer happier and will cause them to be repeat renters. This will make the

grocery owning the machine to more profitable and placing more of these kiosks at more remote


Marketers can now market these machines with, RFID technology; to make more stores

and possibly entrepreneurs to purchase and place more of these machines at different locations

to the make it accessible to the public. They can place a survey on the screen about the service

that the machines offer and can improve it if need be. Consumers using the machines can

market this as well by word of mouth. This will in turn benefit grocery stores to purchase more

of these.

This is the link to the article: