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Simplify Your Work Life: 3 IT solutions that are a must!

It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the IT needs of your business. Why not simplify your work life with some handy dandy IT solutions? The three solutions below are recommended by our own IT staff and will help your business share secure files, collaborate, back up and protect your data.

 

 

Simplify Your Communications On The Go – Microsoft Office 365

 

One of the best ways to make your work life easier is to invest in Microsoft 365 for your employees. This software is great for small and midsize businesses. The software offers the best of Microsoft office and is powered by the cloud so it can be accessed from anywhere with Internet, from any device. At Fusion we view Microsoft Office 365 as the draft horse of business software. It gives users’ easy access to their documents and images, comes with calendar and email sync, and allows employees on the go to participate in web conferences so no employee is ever out of the loop! The best part is that Microsoft Office 365 comes with a 99.9% uptime guarantee. That means almost zero downtime.

 

Simplify Your Collaboration Internally and Externally – Microsoft SharePoint

 

SharePoint is another amazing Microsoft software that is beneficial to small and fortune 500 companies alike. We recommend Microsoft SharePoint for companies seeking centralized access on a corporate network, the ability to store or track documents and images, and also develop online communities. Additionally, SharePoint offers distinct features such as the ability to share dashboards, experience enterprise social networking with Yammer, discover insights and personalize search results. This is the perfect way to simplify your work life with improved organization, trouble shooting, and networking.

 

Simplify Your Data Archiving and Server Backup – Cloud Backup

 

Not only does cloud backup make archiving and protecting your business’ data easy, it also allows you to reduce your cost and staff needs by storing all of your data and information in the cloud. However, nowadays you hear too many horror stories about companies data being hacked (i.e. Target and Adobe), so just make sure that your backup provider has a military-grade data center that encrypts your data three times. That way you know that your data is properly protected.

 

This is not a complete list, but rather a starting point for making your work life less stressful with simple IT solutions. For more ways to simplify your work life, contact our IT team for a free consultation at 312.262.6200.

 

Adaptive vs. Responsive: which is better for my company?

“Siri, where can I get a…?”

 

By now most companies have heard the benefits, drank the Kool-Aid and know that developing a mobile strategy is important for their company; however, new statistics still continue to amaze us! Google recently released their mobile playbook and shared that out of all mobile searches 94% of smartphone users search for a company’s location information, 51% visit a store, and 48% call a store! That equals an incredible amount of opportunities for companies to convert searchers into customers, especially when you keep in mind that mobile search is expected to surpass desktop search in less than five years!

 

Right now there are two primary ways that you can optimize your website and send your information to your customers on their mobile devices: adaptive and responsive web design. Optimizing your website for responsive or adaptive design eliminates the need to zoom or re-position device screens to view your website. Additionally, since people are using touch screens and often looking for quick answers to their search inquiries, companies need to create a mobile friendly version of their website that addresses their searchers needs immediately. This means the text or images that your potential customers would consider most important need such as location, pricing, promotions, login, or services to be emphasized and easy to find on your mobile site.

 

But which is better for your company? And what are the pros and cons?

 

Responsive Design

Let’s start with responsive design. Responsive design implements the same code across desktop and mobile versions and then using CSS adjusts to fit the size of the viewing device. To echo Ethan Marcotte, “Fluid grids, flexible images, and media queries are the three technical ingredients for responsive web design”. It can be thought of as the flexible design component of adaptive design. It is the easiest and fastest way to optimize your website for mobile. Finally, it works the best if you design your website for responsive design at the beginning, instead of implementing it later.

 

Responsive design generally is good for companies with simple functionality where customers would interact with your website similar to when they are browsing on a desktop. Responsive design does not work well with sites that have lots of drop down menus or are text heavy.

 

Adaptive Design

Adaptive design on the other hand involves separate HTML and CSS code for certain devices. Adaptive websites identify what type of device wants access to it and then makes the website appear and function accordingly. Often developers will use three separate codes based on layers when creating an adaptive website for desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. This means that adaptive design takes longer to develop and is a little more complex than responsive design. However, adaptive design allows your company to market more effectively to different customers based on their needs and device behavior.

 

Adaptive design is great for companies with lots of images, text, and drop down menus, because it simplifies your website. Think of it as a showcase for your company where only the important information to the customer “on the move” is shown. For instance, if you are a chiropractic office you customers might normally read about the benefits of chiropractic adjustments, your office hours, and your reviews online. However, on their phones the most important information that they will want is to schedule an appointment or look up your address.

 

Conclusion

In general, your customers’ uses, needs and desires while on their mobile devices should determine what type of mobile optimization your company uses. For more information about the best choice for your company, call our team at 312.262.6200. We are more than happy to give you a complimentary consultation on which option is better for your needs!

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: technology at the Winter Olympics gets mixed reviews

This year’s Winter Olympics has found some mixed reviews regarding the use of modern technology at Sochi. While the athletes continue to use new, innovative gear and training tools at the games, Russia struggles to reach Olympics standards for athletes and guests. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad, and the ugly of technology at the Sochi Winter Olympics 2014 so far.

The Good

Some of the coolest technology pieces featured at these Olympics are competition clothes. For instance, the U.S. speedskating team is wearing specially designed racing suits by Under Armour and Lockheed Martin. A recent article by SportsIllustrated.com says, “With a pinstriped artistic visual designed by Steve Chasezeyka to ‘embody raw speed and power’ found in America’s hotrod culture, you’ll actually see five different textiles over the course of the skin,”. The result is a suit that effectively reduces drag and increases speed for skaters.

speed skating

Image from http://bit.ly/1cqmEVX

Recent training applications like Coach’s eye are helping coaches coach better and athletes train more efficiently this Olympics. Coach’s eye is a qualitative application that allows coaches and athletes to record and then break down recordings frame by frame. Coaches can then take notes on the video frames and send electronically to athletes at the other end of the field or on top of a mountain.

coachseye_hat_256

Image from coachseye.com

Recovery technology has also improved significantly for these Olympic games. For instance, Adidas warm-ups for now allow athletes to keep their muscles warm in between warming up and their events. These warm up pants used by Great Britain’s team also use powerweb technology to restore energy to muscles. Some athletes that are looking for a more extreme recovery method are even using “cryo” chambers. An article from the smithsonianmag.com says that, “Cryotherapy, as it’s called, involves using liquid nitrogen to create conditions frigid enough to trigger the release of endorphins to relieve pain and calm inflammation.” However, at a freezing -256 degree Fahrenheit it’s amazing athletes even step inside.

adidas Team GB Sochi Kit 6

Image from http://bit.ly/1lYiLkT

The Bad

While Russia has been doing a great job of ensuring the safety of both athletes and Olympic game attendees, security still remains an issue for many. The Guardian reported that attendees and athletes will be under the heaviest surveillance ever known in the history of the games. The Russian surveillance system allows the Russian government to track specific keywords and every phone call and internet connection is being logged. This surveillance along with Russian hackers efforts leave many Olympic attendees susceptible to identity or information theft. PCmag.com recently published an article warning those traveling to the games to install security software and remove private information from all electronic devices.

identity-theft3

Image from http://bit.ly/1cqekp2

The other downfall in security measures is that Russia may be overstepping its privacy boundaries. Dmitry Kozak admitted to cameras in bathrooms while trying to defend Sochi’s housing arrangements and Olympics preparations. The statement was later revoked (the cameras probably stayed though).

The Ugly

On the ugly side of technology are the housing conditions in Sochi. Before the games even began, reporters flooded the media with images of shared toilets, rooms without doorknobs or heat, and electrical wiring dangers. Simple technologies like water filtration were not being met in some places and many asserted that Russia was not ready to host the games. Russian officials have countered negative media coverage by comparing Sochi before the renovations with the progress they have made so far and have framed the complaints as a matter of taste.

sochi-10

Image from http://bit.ly/1lY4S6d

 

 

What are the differences between websites, web applications, and mobile applications?

The differences between websites, web applications, and mobile applications can be confusing at times. They often look very similar to one another and perform similar actions in comparable ways. To make things more confusing, they are also often created using the same programming languages. For instance, the common programming languages for websites include HTML, CSS3, Java Script, PHP, and XML. Several of those same programming languages (HTML5, CSS3, and Java Script) are also used to create many web applications and mobile applications. So what are the main differences?

 

Websites vs Web and Mobile Apps

One way to differentiate websites from applications is in their functionality. If you are viewing something strictly for information and you are on a web browser, then you are looking at a website. On the other hand, all applications can be thought of as software, so web applications and mobile applications are used more for specific purposes and as tools.

 

Websites also differ from web and mobile applications in how information is presented to the user and actions are performed. An article in issue 217 of Web Designer called, “What is a Web App?” states, “Websites will use the client side html layer to present information to the user. When an action is performed it is sent back to the server where the action is performed. In a web app, typically actions are performed on the client, and often the data is stored on the client too.”

 

Web Apps vs. Mobile Apps

Web applications and mobile applications can be set apart by whether or not they need to be installed. Web applications are built to perform tasks for their users without needing to be installed. While this means that you need an internet connection and a web browser to use the application, you don’t have to worry about storing the information on your device since the data is stored on a cloud server. In addition, web applications not only can function on their own such as ebay.com or Amazon, they can also be incorporated into a website, such as employee portals and shopping carts. Conversely, mobile applications do need to be installed. But, they can still have components that use the internet along with the components that reside on your hard drive. An example would be the Kindle app that has the online kindle store along with your purchased books downloaded onto your device.

 

Another way to think about the differences between web applications and mobile applications is in what native device technology they can use. Even though web applications can use certain mobile features like location, they are still unable to use all mobile device technology. Furthermore, web applications cannot use the App store to push notifications, set up updates, or collect payments. However, web applications also do not have to worry about being tailored to specific operating systems like mobile applications do when programming for android versus ios devices.

 

Finally, mobile applications are often simpler applications compared to web applications. Their goal is to accomplish their designated task(s) as quickly as possible. A web application might instead have more complex features and options.

 

Summary

Overall, websites, web applications, and mobile applications can be created using the same programming languages and offer the user comparable experiences. However, websites are used to display information, whereas web and mobile applications are used as tools or for specific functions. Web applications and mobile applications also differ in several ways. Web applications can only be viewed in a web browser, while mobile applications need to be downloaded. Web applications also cannot use the full functionality of mobile device technology or profit from the app store like mobile applications. Finally, web applications do not need to worry about operating system issues like mobile applications, since they can be displayed on all devices with a web browser. In conclusion, we hope that when you are deciding on what they best way to connect with your audience is, that you keep these differences in mind.

 

 

 

FUSION TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS GROUP, LLC is a Chicago-based, Hispanic-owned consulting firm delivering innovative Enterprise-Network Infrastructure Services, high-end Internet Technology, and value-add Professional Services. We have the power to breathe life into technology in ways that can change how people live, work, and interact.

Fusion Renews DBE Program Certification

Last week Metra re-certified Fusion Technology Solutions Group, LLC, as a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). This certification allows Fusion to participate as a DBE in the Illinois Unified Certification Program for consultation in technology, web application development, and IT computer network services. The participating agencies in this program include the Illinois Department of Transportation, the City of Chicago, The Chicago Transit Authority, Metra and Pace. Fusion’s name will also appear in the IL UCP directory.

Great Web Design Trends for 2014

In 2013 we saw a lot of new trends in web design that helped company’s improve their user experience and brand creativity. This year we expect those trends to continue to grow and maybe even some new ones to appear. Below is a list of our team’s favorite web design trends that we think will continue to grow with the New Year.

 

Pedro’s Picks:

 

One of my favorite web design trends is simple color schemes. Colors are very important when you are trying to promote your brand, whether you are creating a logo, building a website or creating print materials. When you are designing a website it is better to work with a 5 color limit. From there you can create a variation of those colors. This keeps your branding more consistent.

Great Color Schemes

My second favorite website trend is Micro UX effects. User Experience is a very important component that you have to consider when you are designing a website. Therefore, you have make sure that you are translating your message to the user in a way that they can understand. If you fairly creative, you can implement different ways to achieve this. For example, you can use animations on your graphics, transitions, image manipulations, pretty much anything that the user can interact with. Since less people are using Adobe Flash, Micro UX effects are one of the best ways to create this interactivity using Jquery, Ajax or CSS.

Nike Store

Brittany’s Picks:

I think one of the best trends from 2011-2013 has been endless scrolling. Pinterest is extremely popular with users and so is the ability to scroll through as many categories and images as one’s heart desires. I think more companies with a large list of products (that can also produce beautiful photographs) should implement this type of web design.  It is a great way to showcase products and will keep your customers on your website longer.

Pinterest screenshot

 

My second favorite trend is new typography! I love that websites are starting to branch out with their typography choices. Artistic typography can take a website with limited imagery and make it stand out. It can also add to the creativity of a website.

 typography example hull hd

Eli’s Pick:

Mobile application development is one of the fastest growing web design trends that our industry is seeing. Whether the application is hybrid, native, or a web application, mobile applications are changing the way that people interact, share, and communicate. This trend has also done wonders for businesses that are looking for a secure way to do file sharing. Avast! Mobile Security is a great example of an application that delivers lots of security features and even an anti-virus system.

342804-avast-mobile-security

Why 3D printing is so much cooler than wearable technology

It seems like everyone is talking about Google glasses, smart watches, and new wearable fitness technology, but what about the real technology that is revolutionizing the world as we know it? 3D printing is appearing in industries from healthcare to oil, construction and even at NASA. And the things that businesses are creating with this new technology is simply astonishing.  

 

3D printing in healthcare

 

3D printing is transforming healthcare as doctors research ways to print organs. While there has been no long term success thus far, doctors are hopeful to create organs such as  windpipe replacements for patients suffering from throat or lung conditions. Furthermore, we are seeing 3D printers used to create artificial limbs. One man, highlighted in a NY Daily News article, creates printed hands and fingers for those that have lost them at a fraction of the cost for other artificial limbs.

 

3D printing in the oil industry

 

The recent article by Reuters in Voice of America, shows how 3D printing is being integrated into the oil industry at a rapid pace. The article states that GE Oil and GE Aviation have pushed 3D printing into commercial use by using these revolutionary machines to create fuel nozzles. Reuters says, “3D printing allows complex shapes to be built up in layers from particles of plastics or metal, enabling engineers to realize designs impossible to mass-manufacture before.” The 3D printers are also decreasing the time it takes oil companies to make prototypes for pipelines.

 

3D printing in space

 

NASA is going to take a 3D printer about the size of a minibar into space this fall for making spare parts and tools. Some of the tools they will be able to create include: sampling containers, extraction tools and CubeSats. Moreover, the 3D printer will allow space crews to create materials that they need without having to wait for repair shuttles.

 

3D printing in construction

 

CBS’ article, “3D printing could transform home building, discusses the future of 3D printing in construction. The article includes a video from contourcrafting.com that demonstrates how the building process of houses would occur with a 3D printer building everything from cement to plumbing to electrical to floors.

 

3D printing done fast

 

While 3D printing speeds up production for many companies, others still find 3D printing too slow when trying to produce several items a day. Fortunately, the program faBrickator, referenced in a recent Atlantic article, speeds up this process by allowing designers to selectively print the parts of the prototype that they need and substitute the rest with Legos. The program’s creator says that this greatly reduces development time.

 

Who’s with me?

 

As you have now read, 3D printing is breaking previous barriers for companies and speeding up production lines. In the future of 3D printing we will see its impact on our healthcare products, our space exploration, our home building, and our oil industry. It will touch almost every facet of our lives. Now that’s a lot cooler than answering your phone with your watch or taking a picture with your glasses…

 

 

To view 10 of the best 3D printers, watch the video below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrOt4R-kR2g

 

Organic SEO is still important. What your goals should be for 2014…

It’s a new year for SEO and web users are more dependent than ever on search engines to figure out who to buy from, where to eat, where to stay, etc. Mobile, local, and global searches continue to rise on mobile and desktop devices. Google alone is now used by 70% of the population. But more importantly, highly ranked organic search engine results continue to be effective and lucrative in generating new customers and sales for companies in all industries. However, a high search engine ranking is hard to achieve if your website and content are not properly optimized. So what can your company do and what should your SEO goals be for this New Year?  

 

First off, you need to make sure that your SEO campaign is adjusted to what Google’s new algorithm, Hummingbird, deems important, since Hummingbird signified a shift in SEO approaches. SEO is no longer only about keyword marketing. You also need to generate new, high-quality content regularly that gets shared and linked back to. Overall, your company should make your SEO campaign a combination of content generation, website optimization, marketing, social media, and public relation efforts. Google says that it uses over 200 factors when deciding your search rank for specific keywords (to view some on these factors check out this resource from searchengineland.com). Therefore, a more comprehensive approach is needed to achieve a high search engine rank.

 

We would like to stress five goals in particular for companies this New Year that will help them to improve their search engine ranking, number of impressions, and eventually sales.

 

1)      Update the content on your website so that it is well-written, well-organized, current, and interesting.

2)      Produce new content regularly, make it shareable by the public, and then share it on your company’s social media sites.

3)      Improve the overall structure of your website including your title tags, Meta description tag, headers, sub headers, and URLSs with the right keywords for each page’s content.

4)      Allow your website to be crawled by Google and the public. Do this by placing google analytics on all of your pages and creating a sitemap for the public.

5)      Have your website be responsive so that it is easily viewed on smartphones and tablets.

 

The last goal that we suggest for you company this year is to grow your Google + network.   If you have lots of friends on Google + or people that 1+ your posts, then their search results are more likely to include your company, even when they are using incognito web browsing. Your friend’s connections will also see what they share from your Google + page. Finally, since Google + is part of Google, your content is more likely to show up across all of their online services.

 

In conclusion, while including keywords on your website is still important for your overall SEO campaign, your company needs to focus on a more well-rounded and strategic approach this year. Your goals for this year should be to optimize your company’s website, optimize your content, and optimize your social networking. If you work to meet these goals on a regular basis, then you will begin to see results quickly on your search engine rankings and your sales numbers.

Why Google is Worth Over 200 Billion Dollars

Now used by around 70% of the online population, Google’s search engine not only has revolutionized the way that internet users search the web, but the data collection from it has also made Google into one of the highest valued companies of the 21st century. The company uses computer technology and algorithms, instead of traditional advertisement methods in order to generate jaw-dropping revenues. It has redefined how advertisers and companies interact with costumers with both its AdWords and AdSense. Furthermore, in recent years it has made important investments in YouTube, the Android system, eBooks, and is looking to tap into the television industry next. Google is constantly looking for the next way to bring people to its search engine in order to further advance its advertising system and think of new products and services. Google is worthover 200 billion dollars, because it answers the question about what advertising is effective and what is not, it strives for efficiency, accuracy and speed in all of its services, and is constantly expanding its brand equity with new services and products.

 

Google completely redefined advertising with its creation of AdWords. Before the creation of AdWords, neither advertisers nor their clients knew how effective or well spent their advertising was. Schudson quotes both Gus Priemer and F. W. Woolworth who said that they knew substantial amounts of advertising dollars were being wasted, because no one knew what was effective and what was not (1984). Advertisers had to rely on substitute methods like copy-testing that were proven largely ineffective in predicting sales in the Lodish study (1995). AdWords and AdSense changed all of this. Brin and Page, the founders of Google, wanted to find a way to eliminate the mystery in advertising and instead create well-placed ads that were not intrusive. Neither of Google’s founders had a background in business, so they had Salar Kamangar and Eric Veach work on their vision for a better advertising system (Levy, 2009). The Google team soon realized that 36% of their search queries were for products like shoes, refrigerators, etc. (W.R. Newman, personal communication, March 19, 2012). People were using Google to try to find where to and who to buy different products and services from.

 

Then AdWords was created. AdWords is a constant online auction that allows companies to bid to be the first ad that comes up when people search specific key terms (Levy, 2009). Before advertisers used indicators like gender, age, and nationality to figure out whom to advertise to, but Google’s AdWords changed that because you would be advertising to people that were actually searching for the product or service that you have. AdWords determines its billing by costs per click so that the billing is based off actions by potential customers. AdWords also followed Page and Brin’s advertisement ideals, because they kept the search box unadorned and the ads generated from the search query related to specific key terms so they were more useful and applicable. The ads were short, about two lines with 35 characters, and were highlighted. This was also huge for marketing niches, or the long tail as described by Chris Anderson (2004). Google allowed searchers to filter through and find products and services that they might not normally find in stores, because there was just not enough space. AdWords is the core of why Google is worth 200 billion dollars. It is the reinvention of advertisement that is actually proven to work with its algorithms and billing based off of actual interactions by potential customers.

 

AdSense is the other way that Google profits from its new method of advertising. AdSense allows websites, with a lot of traffic, to put AdWords’ advertisements on their site and then get paid for each time that someone clicks on the ad. This system allows Google to get 1/3 of the income and the website hosting the advertisement to get the other 2/3 of the income that the creator of the ad pays per click. Combined AdWords and AdSense generate about 26 billion dollars in revenue per year (W.R. Newman, personal communication, March 19, 2012).

 

The final component to this new advertisement formula is Google’s privacy settings. Recently, Google has changed its privacy settings so that a person’s browsing behavior is recorded across their different services such as YouTube, Google+, Google Documents, and Gmail (Grobart, 2012). Google did this so that it could better track what kind of advertisements to show individuals. While some people have found ways around this like having different accounts for different services, many people are being exposed to ads relating to their personal, medical, and financial information (Grobart, 2012). Guynn says that protests are occurring in Europe, because authorities think that Google’s new privacy policies are violating the privacy of their citizens (2012). Therefore, while the new privacy policies may be positive for Google, because it may sell more ads and billable clicks, the policies may also hurt their brand equity because people could feel that their privacy is being violated.

 

In addition to its ingenuity in advertising, Google has also invested in many other services and medias in order to increase its market share. While Google’s search engine was a great success, it must also expand its branding in order to rev up its search engine. Google’s stock used to be $700 in 2007, now it is $1,116 a share. W.R. Newman says, “If a shark doesn’t move, it can’t breathe, “ (personal communication, March 19, 2012). This is why Google is willing to try anything and take some big chances in hopes of even bigger payoffs from improving existing services or new product developments.

 

One of Google’s worst profit making investments, but best market share investments was when it bought YouTube in 2006. A video website with mostly user-generated content that drew in 34 million viewers per month that fall alone (Auletta, 2009). The immense user traffic and its projected growth meant a huge investment for Google. Google knew early on that once it could monetize YouTube it would make back all of its investment. W. R. Newman said YouTube was losing about 1/5 billion dollars a year due to all of the broadband that it required (personal communication, April 2, 2012).  But in 2011 Google allowed in-stream advertisements on YouTube and on YouTube clips viewed on smartphones (Goldman, 2011). As Goldman noted, this meant companies like Vevo could profit from ad revenue and it made YouTube more video producer friendly (2011). This also meant more eyeballs for Google on YouTube and more eyeballs means a bigger chance to sell advertisements.

 

Google also invested in the Android system when it saw how big smartphones were becoming and it realized that it could get more advertisement sales by having more users interacting with Google through their phones.  Recent data shows that about 1/3 of U.S. adults own a smartphone and 40% of them use Google’s free operating system, the Android system (MacManus, 2011, & Manjoo, 2011). Manjoo says that while Google does not currently profit directly from the Android service it hopes that the fact that the system is free that Google can gather as big of a chunk as possible from the mobile market share (2011).  Google saw how much money Apple was making with the iPhone and wanted to take some of the market share from it. However, because the Android system is so similar to Apple’s system, Apple sued Google for copying its patented material (Manjoo, 2011). So while Google may be selling more advertisements and getting more people to use Google on their smart phones with the Android system, it may as W. R. Newman points out end up losing money and time that it could be investing in other new products and services (personal communication, April 2, 2012).

 

Google’s creation of Google+ shows how Google’s success comes from its constant drive for self-improvement. Farhad Manjoo argues that Google+, Google’s social network, was created to gather more data about user likes in order to enhance their existing services. In this way Google+ can be looked at less as competing with Facebook, and more as trying to improve itself and gather the data that they need to generate the next big product (Manjoo, 2011). Once again Google is constantly looking into the future with each new product or service that it introduces. Google+ can be viewed as a good example of how much of Google’s monetary value is in the user information that it collects. Therefore, Google+ supplements its search engine service by enhancing the interaction with users, their behaviors, and their likes.

 

In addition to its recent entry into social media, Google hopes to soon tap into the television industry. Right now TV advertising is not as personalized as Google’s online advertising that uses past searches and algorithms to create individualized advertising. Manjoo says that there is $149 billion in domestic ad revenue and cable-subscriber fees in the television industry (2011).  Sadly, when Google introduced it new service, Google TV, the service did not sell well when it entered the market (Manjoo, 2011). However, even though the Google TV prototype did not do well, the fact that Google is trying to enter the industry shows its intelligence in seeing where the Internet is moving. More and more people are watching TV online (a.k.a. Netflix and Hulu) and Google knows that if it can get into the industry and offer the best quality service, then it could greatly increase its value.

 

The final way reason why Google is worth 200 billion dollars is because it does not fear lawsuits. The first example is its eBook service. Several years ago Google started to digitize every book that it could in hopes of digitizing every book in the world. It made it so that you can see a portion of the book online or buy it for a fee (W.R. Newman, personal communication, March 26, 2012). This created a huge lawsuit, because many foreign countries like France and Germany thought that Google would create a monopoly and would charge high monopoly-like prices for the digitized books. As the lawsuit was pushed back and changed to different courts, Google continued to add books to its collection, receive profits from the eBook sales, and remain positive that the court would rule in their favor (Darnton, 2009). Another example is the Android system. Apple sued Google for copying its patented material for the iPhone. Google fought back by purchasing 19,000 patents compared to Apple’s 6,000 patents (Manjoo, 2011). Money was no problem to Google, because they knew that owning the rights to different hardware in the growing smartphone industry may become even more valuable than the money that they lost now. In each of these examples Google rushed into creating a new service or product without trying to secure permissions or patents first. This could be because Google fears losing money in lawsuits less than losing potential profits from staying current in its products and services. If Google had instead taken its time and made sure that it had the correct patents and permissions, it may have lost out of good portions of its market shares and the profits generated from those market shares.

 

In conclusion, Google is worth 200 billion dollars, because it has reinvented the way that companies advertise with AdWords, AdSense and its privacy policies. Google has also increased its market value by investing in many different media industries in order to increase its market share and generate more data on its consumers’ behaviors. Since it was founded in 1998, Google has made some really smart choices by taking a chance on YouTube and the Android system; however, it may also have made some bad decisions by mimicking so many other companies’ products. Currently its brand equity is still very high; however, many people are now becoming concerned with its recent privacy changes not to mention that Google is getting heat for trying to create a monopoly on digitized books and creating the Android system that is very similar to Apple’s operating system. If Google can continue to get the patents and permissions it needs to continue with the Android and eBooks services, then Google’s value will more than likely continue to grow far past its current 200-250 billion dollar value.

 

Resources Used:

Anderson, C. (2004). The Long Tail. Wired October.

Auletta, K. (2009). Googled: The End of the World as We Know It. New York: Penguin.

Goldman, D. (2011). How Google makes money off YouTube mobile. CNNMoneyTech. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2011/09/16/technology/you_tube_mobile/index.htm

Grobart, S. (2012). Google’s New Data-Sharing, and How to Deflect It. The New York Times, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/hottopics/lnacademic

Guynn, J. (2012). Google’s new privacy policy takes effect. Los Angeles Times, Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com.proxy.lib.umich.edu/hottopics/lnacademic

Levy, S. (2009). Secret of Googlenomics: Data-Fueled Recipe Brews Profitability. Wired 17(06).

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Schudson, M. (1984). Advertising, the Uneasy Persuasion. New York: Basic Books.

12 tips that will make your business more social media savvy for the New Year

Let’s make one of our New Year’s resolutions to have our businesses be social media savvy. Below is a list of 12 tips  for the upcoming year and each tip is paired with an image of that tip in action. The goal of this list is to help you learn how to make your social media initiatives more effective, interactive, and visually appealing.

 

1. Use #hashtags. Hashtags are used for events, for campaigns, for others to join in, for asking questions and  for helping you trend on Twitter, Google +, and even Facebook. A great example of how to use hashtags is in this YouTube video with Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake. Although they are using hashtags in everyday conversation, you can see how they would be applied online. Make sure that all of your tweets have at least one hashtag so users will be able to find you.

 

#Hashtag by Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake

 

2. Keep your tweets short and sweet. Don’t use all 140 characters. A great example of this is Best Buy’s Merry Christmas tweet. It’s short, simple, and includes a picture to boost its visual appeal.

 

short tweet example

 

3. Include links! You always want to try to get your audience to go back to your website. Here is an example of how our team used a shortened link on Twitter to try to redirect readers to our blog.

 

Good Tweet

 

4. Don’t ignore or delete negative comments on any social media sites. Respond to them. You are a customer service agent on social media. A great example of a company that does this well is JetBlue. They have been referenced in other articles about social media as well, but they are just so quick and good at responding to customer complaints that we had to include them as well. They are definitely a good reference in how to deal with negative comments.

 

jet blue new example

 

5. Content is what brings customers to your website/brand’s name so only publish newsworthy content about your industry. Our company is in the IT and web services industry so we focus our content around those categories. Here is an example of a recent blog post that we created on how to improve your existing website.

 

Newsworthy content

 

6. Ask your audience questions and showcase their comments. People want to feel like they matter and they are heard. Here is a great example of a credit union in Michigan that does an excellent job at engaging its members every week with a Winning Member Wednesday question.

 

Social Media Question

7. Be as transparent and as down to earth as possible. Include images and posts about everyday office life or your employees accomplishments. Customers want to know the people behind the service.

 

be real example

 

8. Don’t forget to keep your Google+ account for your company active. Google loves to include your Google + page in search results, especially for people who have interacted with your Google + page in the past

 

Google + page

 

9. Don’t make long YouTube videos. Keep them short and interesting. A mix of professional and home videos is best. A great example of a well mixed YouTube channel is fitness icon Zuzka Light. She uses a combination of professional workout videos, self filmed motivational videos, and recipe videos that she shoots herself.

 

youtube video mix

 

10. Keep your cover photos personal. If possible, avoid iStock photos and company information on images. A great example is Target’s cover photo on their Facebook page.

 

personal cover photos

11. Ask co-workers on LinkedIn to link articles, congratulate connections on new jobs, give recommendations, and make statuses about company events and promotions. Every time they like something or post a status on LinkedIn it gets shared with their professional networks (which is great for every company).

 

linkedin example

 

12. Our last tip is to seek out help from professionals when creating and implementing your social media strategies. Often times companies do not have the resources to dedicate one person or a team to social media or learn about how to market to each type of social media site. If this applies to your company, call 312.262.6200 or email support@fusiontsg.com to learn more about how Fusion can help your company improve your social media efforts.

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