7 Things you need to know!

Over the course of the last year, we’ve been fielding increasing requests from people wanting to know about potentially joining a YouTube Network – Maker, Machinima, Revision3, to name a few. These networks can do a lot of things. Among their services are providing you with production support, helping link you as a creator with brands and finding brand deals, and an increased (usually flat rate) CPM. What they ask for in exchange varies – some ask to own your content, others ask to take a percentage of your revenue, and others may ask you to work with their other artists.

Online video “networks” bear striking similarities to the old Hollywood studio system in the 20s (Danny Zappin straight up says that’s basically what Maker is in this Fast Company article). Studios back then strove to do two things – first, to bring together a bunch of creatives and their means of production under one roof and own their content, and second, to control the means of distribution of that content. The same can essentially be said for how online networks are operating today – except that the control of the distribution is very easy for them (the studio system basically got sued trying to do that and that’s why theater chains aren’t owned by Universal Pictures or Paramount)

A good summary of these networks and what they do can be found here.

I consider what I’m about to say as essential advice for anybody who is approached by these networks or is interested in joining these networks. I am writing the following because I’m tired of seeing people get screwed by their contracts, or entering into legally binding relationships without fully understanding the implications of their actions. And most importantly – if we, the creators, band together and act as a unified front, we won’t be bullied by ridiculous contracts and business practices online – practices that have been, even by the standards of the entertainment industry, shockingly predatory.

Simply put, if we all follow the advice below, that means better deals for everybody.

Additionally, if you are not being pursued by a network or have no interest in joining a network, take a gander at this article anyway. We cover a lot of the mentality behind treating online video production as a business, and some of our tips may be helpful in a broader sense.

Before we begin, I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of Fisher and Ury’s Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. It’s an invaluable manual for how to conduct yourself in a negotiation (which is what you’ll be doing with these networks).

Please note, before we continue – the following does not constitute legal advice. It’s for informational purposes only. If you need legal advice, you need an actual lawyer, which I am most certainly not.

In the interest of full disclosure – the FreddieW channel is represented by Collective Digital Studios. We followed all our own advice when we talked about signing on with them, and because of that, we’ve been very happy with our relationship.


1. As a content creator, you have something these networks need. You have the power.

You have content. That content has likely already proven itself to a certain extent – you probably have built some audience, or have some viewership, or you are simply making really good work – and that’s what they need. Their entire business model of these networks relies on people like you to supply them with content, which in turn generates viewership. No views on their channels means no money. No money means no business. Your content represents, simply put, a business opportunity. Therefore, you need to treat your interactions with any network as a business.

They are not your friends. They will not look out for your interests if there’s no direct benefit to them. Anything they say that isn’t backed up in writing is meaningless.

We’ve had networks tell us that our exclusivity to them was something we could “back out of anytime we wanted to” and that they would “let us leave.” The contract says otherwise, and when push comes to shove, what’s on the page is what sticks.

At the same time, they’re not your enemies. There’s no need to be adversarial. They have a business to run and so do you. There is no need to be intimidated – remember:You have something they need.

They’ll help you so long as it helps them, so it’s good to structure your deal in a way that this is possible – you want them to want to help you. This usually means giving them a percentage of the business they bring you. This is win-win for everyone – for you, you’ll get more opportunities than you would have otherwise. You get to be associated with their (probably) more powerful brand. For them, since they only get paid when you get paid, it’s in their best interests to get out there and find work for you. This is a relationship that fully acknowledges that each party is self-interested and provides for that fairly. What percentage is fair? We’ll talk about that in a bit.

Never agree to a relationship where they are passively siphoning off your income if they’re not improving your prospects beyond what you normally have. Always weigh what you’re getting versus what you’re giving away, and make sure it’s fair. Granted, in some cases the benefit might be an immediate CPM bump from what you’re used to. Make sure you calculate exactly what that bump is – do the math. Is what they’re taking proportional to what they’re bringing you?

How do you know what’s fair? There aren’t any hard rules – what’s fair for someone in one situation may be ridiculous for another. Trust your gut.

2. Never sign the first draft of a contract. Lawyer up and change it up.

Here’s how a contract usually works. Party A drafts up what they believe is a fair contract and sends it to Party BParty B makes changes to that contract and sends it back. Party A makes further changes. They go back and forth until they arrive at a contract that both parties agree on.

The receipt of a contract is the beginning of a negotiation. You have every right in the world to want things changed, and you must communicate those changes by altering the contract and sending it back.

I’ve seen a lot of the contracts they hand people right off the bat and frankly they are absurd. They should not be signed under any circumstances. These companies have legal teams or lawyers on retainer. These lawyers are paid very well to ensure their client gets the best possible deal at all times. Unless you have some background in entertainment law, you are not equipped to fight these guys.

Your first step is to read and re-read the contract until you get a grasp of it. Your next step is to find an entertainment lawyer, pay them their fee, and have them review the contract with you point-by-point to make sure you absolutely understand what’s going on. This lawyer will likely suggest and notate changes, and you should have some changes of your own. You should also have questions ready (many of which probably begin with the phrase “What if I…” or “Would this contract allow me to…”)

If you’re considering joining a network, you’re taking things seriously. Whatever fee you pay that lawyer will be well worth it.

You don’t need to call the network and ask them questions about their contract. They’re under no obligation to warn you of any caveats, and based on our off-the-record conversations with some of these networks, they may straight up lie to your face about what you’re signing. Remember – your lawyer (who you are paying) is the only person you can really trust.

Incidentally, make sure you outline out exactly what you’re looking for with any prospective lawyer and get a sense of how much it’ll cost. Remember – this is pretty basic contract/entertainment law – this isn’t negotiating out the director fees for The Avengers and you don’t need the world’s top lawyers on the case.

I have heard of people afraid to challenge the contract because they fear the network will pass them up and they’ll lose out on an opportunity. Remember Rule #1 – you have what they need.

3. If one network thinks you’re awesome, odds are the other ones do too.

Remember – they all need content, and believe me – there’s not a lot of good, proven content out there. If they think you got what it takes, then the fact is, you got what it takes for every other network as well.

Strong negotiation requires a good “Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement” or BATNA (This is outlined in great detail in the book I recommended). The beauty of being a YouTube Partner is that your BATNA is very strong – you can continue making money as a YouTube Partner. The allure of the network might be that you can makemore money, but you’re probably not totally desperate to sign on with them. You can always walk away.

If you don’t like what’s on the table you should willing to walk away and approach another network directly. You may not be able to tell that other network what the first network was offering (if you signed a non-disclosure agreement), but you can say you’re fielding offers from other networks and wanted to see what they could do for you.

In fact, the moment you get approached, get in contact with every other network who will listen, send them your stats and an outline of your channel, and see what they’ll offer you. Let them know you’re being courted by the other networks, and let them sling mud at each other. When the dust clears, pick the best deal.

4. Flat CPMs suck.

From our research, the CPM (cost per thousand impressions) rates these companies offer range anywhere from $2 – $5 or more. These are flat rates for video views. At first that sounds like a great deal, right? It’s a guaranteed amount and it’s probably more than what you’re making normally.

As a quick side note – students of internet history will be interested to know that those CPMs are paltry compared to the tech boom hey-day. Back then, you could be getting $15 CPMs or more for freaking pop-up ads! That was a good time to have a popular website.

Networks take all their creators and lump their stats together. When considered as a whole, those stats are mega-super impressive. Millions or billions of monthly video views. They then take this aggregate amount and use it to sell to advertisers (“Look guys! Look how many people we have!”), who in turn pay them a lot of money to access those views.

For all online advertising, CPMs differ from quarter to quarter. In the early parts of the year it might not be much, but come Q4 (i.e. the holiday season), advertising revenue shoots through the roof. A lot of this has to do with companies advertising for the holidays, as well as departments needing to spend their budgets so they can justify asking for more the following year. If you’ve ever worked on commercials, you’ll know the end of the year is a time when you can book gigs left and right.

It goes without saying that the CPMs the networks can get when selling an aggregate of channels is far more than whatever paltry sum they’re offering you as a flat rate (they’re trying to make a profit, after all). A $2 CPM might seem like a lot, until you realize that they could be selling your content at a CPM of $20 or more.

We even had a network tell us once that their CPMs were so great that their company lost money most of the year on that. Of course, what they didn’t mention is that they make that up in spades come the end of the year.

Instead, what we should all be asking for is a baseline flat CPM, coupled with a percentage of anything they sell above that. If times are slow and they’re breaking even with your content, fine. Getting the base rate is fair. But if they’re getting $20+ CPMs, I don’t think it’s fair that your content receives only a tiny fraction of that amount while the vast majority goes to lining their pockets, do you?

5. This is the internet – Time moves faster.

Looking at a two year contract? Two years is a lifetime on the internet. Two years ago, we had the Old Spice guy ads. Two years ago YouTube looked like this:

Two years ago the “freddiew” channel didn’t even exist. In two years we went from complete unknowns to a top 10 YouTube channel. A lot can happen in two years.

As a starting point you should be looking at a contract term that lasts from six months to a year, depending on the deal. It should go without saying but never take a lifetime contract.

One note: the reason they ask for a long term is so they can reasonably sell you to their advertisers throughout the year. Q4 content gets sold early – it does them no good to say “Hey, we have this guy” and have you potentially drop out before the time comes to execute. That’s fair – whatever you sign should take you through the end of the year at least.

But consider this – if you ask a network, they’re tell you that everyone is happy and everyone loves being part of that network. If they’re so confident that you’ll be in that same boat, you’ll be happy in 6 months, so you’ll just renew right then and there no questions asked.

Yet somehow, six months is not ok. If they’re so confident that you’ll be a part of their network, why do they seem to assume you’ll abandon them the moment your contract is done?

What’s baffling is many networks seem to be hell bent on holding their creators to their contract terms. It does nobody any good to do this – if someone hates working under a network, what do you think the quality of their content will be if they’re forced to continue churning it out for another few months?

6. The entertainment industry has guidelines for percentages. Use them as starting points.

While the whole business of online video and networks is relatively new, the business of “organizations taking a cut from talent” is most certainly not.

In general, in the world of entertainment, agents take 10%-15% and managers take 10%-15%. So why should we treat what we do as any different? These entities often are similar to YouTube networks in that both are looking to find you work, so anything more than that and there better be a very good reason for it. They need to be really bringing something to the table.

What they bring to the table depends strongly on what you actually need. Brandon and I, for example, don’t really need much help in the VFX department, but maybe they’ll offer you things you do need – maybe you could use a team of cameramen, or actors, or writers. Whatever they offer, make sure it’s better than what you could do yourself. Otherwise, you’re just taking a step backward.

Always weigh the cost/benefit of letting a network step in and fill a production need, or simply using money to fill that need yourself. In the end, you don’t want to become so reliant on the network to be providing you with cameras and shooters and locations that, if time comes you’re no longer happy, you’ll be unable to leave them because so much of your business’ infrastructure is tied in with them.

One way to incentivize them to work harder for you might be to have different percentage tiers depending on how much work they bring you. That way, there will be some motivation on their part to bring you additional of work because that’ll allow them to take a bigger cut, which is totally fair. Sales Agents for feature films will sometimes do something like this – their rake might enter into a higher percentage tier after they’ve sold a certain amount.

Remember – there aren’t any rules or any “right” way to do this. If it makes sense, odds are it’ll probably work.

7. Do your research. Interview people under the network.

Any prospective network should have no issues whatsoever putting you in touch with people so you can ask them about their experiences. Find people of similar size to your channel. Take them out to lunch. Ask them how their experience has been. What, if anything, would they change? Get a real sense of the vibe of the place before you throw your chips in – this is very important. You might negotiate a great deal, but if you’re not happy there, it won’t be worth it.

You should have a sense of what you need and what these networks can provide for you. This is very important because your relative influence in this negotiation depends entirely on this factor – if there’s nothing they can offer you, you’re in a very strong position. If you would rely on them for a lot of stuff, you’re in a weaker position, and will have to negotiate accordingly.

Don’t compare yourself to the superstars of the network. Instead, look at the entire range, and see how everyone, as a whole, is doing. Try and get a sense of the bigger picture.

Finally, a special bonus 8th thing reserved for people trying to actively leave their contracts right now or are so unhappy they want to terminate it. Check to see if there’s a termination clause in the contract. If there is, invoke it to the letter. If not, there’s still hope – lawyer up and get their opinion.

After all’s said and done, we think networks can be a major boost for content creators, and can be incredibly beneficial, provided said content creator does the legwork to make sure they understand their deal and that it’s a fair deal to begin with. These networks are not your friends – they’re potential business partners. Never make the mistake of confusing courtship with friendship. They want to bring you in – so make sure you’re doing everything you can to get a fair deal.

That being said, in our experience, the vast majority of people’s experiences with joining networks have been very positive. Just make sure you cover your bases so that if something does go wrong, you’re not screwed.

Good luck! If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer them below, and I’m sure the rest of the RocketJump community can chime in on their experiences as well.

p.s. Never give up your Facebook or Twitter. That’s your first point of contact with your audience. You should have full approval of everything that goes through those.


Edit: List of Networks

Based on some feedback I’ve gotten, it sounds like it’d be useful to know what’s out there. here’s a list of networks that are out there (I’m playing loose with that definition – some of these are less “Networks” and more “conglomerations of channels” or “record labels.” Some of these are also subsidiaries of other companies on this list.) If there are any I’ve missed, let me know in the comments section below.

Big Frame


ChannelFlip (Must have British accent)

Collective Digital Studios

Curse Network

DFTBA Records


The Game Station


Maker Studios

Next New Networks




Read more: http://www.rocketjump.com/blog/youtube-networks-7-things-you-need-to-know/5

The Last Days Of Windows XP


Windows XP, the zombie operating system that refuses to die, may be about to finally receive a killing blow to the head by the company that spawned it eleven years ago. So what will put XP out of its undead misery? Buyers of PCs running Windows 8 Pro will have the ability to downgrade to Windows 7 and Vista, but not all the way to Windows XP.

Downgrades Are Not New

This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered Pro users the capability to downgrade a new version of Windows – Windows 7 Pro users could also downshift to Windows Vista or XP if they wanted to. The downgrade feature is very narrowly available, too. Only the versions of Windows 8 Pro that come with new PCs allow users to choose to drop down to Windows 7 Pro or Vista Business. If you buy a retail version of the same software, you get Windows 8 Pro and nothing but.

Making this downgrade available helps new hardware buyers keep their corporate environments homogeneous whenever Microsoft pushes out a major new release of its operating system. It also keep PC sales chugging along, since business owners are most likely to buy the Pro flavor of Windows, but if all buyers of new PCs had to get Windows 8 – or shell out for a separate version of an older OS after Windows 8’s release on October 26 – corporate buyers might think twice about whether they really wanted to add new hardware.

What Will XP Users Do?

The effect of this new downgrade program, however, will be most felt by the many users still committed to using Windows XP and are not ready for any newer version of Windows.

According to an August 2012 survey from NetMarketShare, Windows 7 deployments have finally surpassed those of the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system. But just barely: 42.76% of desktop machines run Windows 7, just a tiny bit more than Windows XP machines, now reported to have 42.52% of the total marketshare. (Windows Vista use is still falling, down to 6.15% in August 2012).

Office 2013 Rejects Windows XP

Another club to the head to the XP zombie: the upcoming Office 2013 will not be compatible with Windows XP or Vista, either. In this context, even the option to downgrade to Vista Business is almost superfluous: if the latest Microsoft applications won’t be supported on Vista, why downgrade that far back? Heck, it’s hard to fathom why anyone would want to downgrade to Vista instead of WIndows 7.

But the real death-blow for XP remains the issue of what OS you can buy on new PCs. Retail versions and most pre-installed versions of Microsoft operating system do not have downgrade rights, only licenses purchased through the company’s Volume License program. In August 2010, Microsoft expanded its Volume Licensing program to include N-2 downgrade rights, where N is the most recent version of a given software, N-1 is the previous version, and N-2 is the one before that.

XP Will Soon Be N-3

At the time, that meant that Windows XP would be included within the Volume License downgrade path. But when Windows 8 comes out, Windows XP will become N-3, and therefore no longer available through Volume Licensing.

How Windows XP users will react to these clear attempts to finish off their operating system is a huge question that Microsoft needs to answer soon. When it’s time for them to upgrade their hardware, will they still try to hang on to their beloved dinosaur, or will they finally bite the bullet and upgrade to Windows 8? Or even Windows 7?

The future of second-largest OS user base in the marketplace is a disruptive wildcard.. Microsoft is counting on a lot of XP users to upgrade to at least Windows 7. Will it get them, will they go to a competitor, or will the XP zombie shamble on into an increasingly anachronistic future?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By: ·

Read more: http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/


YouTube’s New Strategy: Create a Network Of Networks


YouTube is now showing approximately 3 billion videos a day. A growing proportion of those are shown with ads—more than 2 billion a week—and YouTube as a business is expected to pass $1 billion in revenue next year.

But when it comes to making money, some videos do better than others. Professionally-produce videos attract the most ad dollars. These include videos from TV networks and major media companies, which is the low-hanging fruit, but also increasingly from Web-only video networks and studios such as Blip.tvMaker Studios, and Revision3. A big part of YouTube’s strategy is to encourage and promote these native Web networks. It bought one of the biggest ones, Next New Networks, and that team is now training other video producers how to replicate their results.

For YouTube, it is all about scale, and networks of loosely aligned online video producers scale better than individual shows and viral-video phenoms. In fact, there is a brand new department inside YouTube called Networks. The purpose of the department is to encourage the formation of these outside networks which then use YouTube as their distribution channel. (Update: YouTube denies the existence of this department, see below).

YouTube can then help sell advertising targeted at these more professional networks of Web series and shows, and that scales better than supporting individual YouTube producers. YouTube will keep doing that, of course, but you can see the beginnings of an organization that will help to further professionalize the Web video industry.

In this view, each network is like a channel, and YouTube is the new cable system or MSO (multiple system operator). The ABCs and Food Networks are welcome on YouTube, but Networks is very much an attempt to grow native channels on the Web. If YouTube gives them enough support and makes it profitable enough for the Web-only networks, they in turn will be able to pay more for native Web shows and series, and one day the best talent might even skip TV altogether. But first, baby steps.

Update: YouTube denies there is any new strategy or organization focused on Networks. A spokesperson says: “There are many networks doing great things on the YouTube platform, but there is no group inside YouTube called Networks.” Whether or not it is a formal department, executives in the online video industry refer to it as “YouTube Networks” and perceive a shift in strategy. That may turn out to be wishful thinking, although there is at least one YouTube manager overseeing these relationships.


Read more: http://techcrunch.com/

Local Hero (1983)

Local Hero (1983)

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don’t go as expected.

111 min  –  Comedy | Drama  –   17 February 1983 (USA)
Your rating: 

Ratings: 7.4/10 from 10,908 users   
Reviews: 177 user | 33 critic



Bill Forsyth


Bill Forsyth

Interview with Jack Krawczyk, Senior Product Marketing Manager of StumbleUpon

Interview with Bruce Polderman, Product Manager of Google/Blogger

What to Keep in Mind When Updating Your Online Content


Here is an amusing info graph from Business Insider that was released along with advertisements for their upcoming IGNITION conference, a 2 day conference exploring the successful and emerging business models of digital media.

The info graph makes some interesting connections between “online content that grabs us” and the rise of consumer willingness to pay for that content.

I like the graph because it is a good reminder of what to keep in mind when updating your online content, whether it be your company’s website, social media, newsletter, or other online communication.

>>Be relevant.  Provide readers, customers and window shoppers alike, with useful information.

>>Make your design attractive.  Choose a stylish theme and stick with that theme throughout.  Because you are dealing with a visual medium, your content should be visually compelling.  Pictures.  Pictures.  Pictures.

>>Allow emotion.  Attempt to make an emotional connection with your audience.  Include personal…

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The message is more than the product

Enemies of the Internet [Infographic]

A Rational Explanation for Apple’s Irrational behavior

The World According to Xenocrates

Fear is directly proportional to the size of the coward.


Are you frightened by crawling creatures? Does the sudden sight of a scurrying mouse startle you? Does the wayward flight of a random cockroach make you duck? Would the sight of a black spider resting on the wall across the room fill you with terror just after you turn on the light in your bedroom? If so, have you ever asked yourself why? Why would you, a human, the most fearsome animal on the planet be terrified of such tiny crawling creatures? Curiously, the same behavior exists in giants of religion (Christianity fears Atheism) politics (GOP vs. Democrats) and even technology (Apple Inc. vs Samsung et al). Why do giants fear dwarves? This post explores the psychology of giants like Apple Inc. Apple fan boys won’t be amused.

Read more…

■ Special Thanks to Stewart Panton (Twitter: @Stewpert) and…

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Is technology sapping children’s creativity?

Coppell Gifted Association

The Washington Post recently published an article on the impact technology can have on a child’s development of creativity.

The technology revolution has sparked a new debate about just how much parents should allow their young children to play with iPads, iPhones and other devices. Here’s a smart look at the issue by early childhood development expert Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Ma., when she won the Embracing the Legacy Award from the Robert F. Kennedy Children’s Action Corps for work over several decades on behalf of children and families. Carlsson-Paige is author of “ Taking Back Childhood” and the mother of two artist sons, Matt and Kyle Damon.

Read more by clicking here.

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Now, charge your laptop with USB


And Now Let Us Gasp In Astonishment At What Just Happened To The Newspaper Business
Over the past decade, lots of big newspaper companies have gone bust.

But when you take a look at what’s happened to newspaper advertising over that period, it’s a wonder they all haven’t.

Below, via Mark J. Perry and Bill Gross, is a chart we’ve run before. It shows inflation-adjusted newspaper advertising revenue over the past 60 years.

Thanks to the precipitous decline in the last ~7 years, the industry is now back to where we it was in 1950. And it’s only slightly better off when you factor in online revenue.

Journalism professor Jay Rosen of NYU observes that the peak year was the one in which blogging software first appeared

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Local Bussines Listings – Claim your site


These sites are great for building local authority, they’re also a factor in how search engines determine your local listing placement.

1.) Kudzu.com

This site was launched in 2006 and in February of 2009 integrated Facebook Connect onsite. The site boasts 4 million consumer reviews, over 27,000 local deals, and a domain authority of 78. Quantcast measures the traffic at an estimated 678,000 site visitors per month. Kudzu is a fairly well known site so it might already be on your radar, but if not it’s certainly worth a look.

2.) LikeList.com

Recently coming out of beta, LikeList.com is a “social-local referral service” with more than 510,000 business “like’s” in the system. LikeList has more than 2 million friend relationships on their current user base. NeatStat.com estimates their monthly traffic at about 20,000 visitors. Just recently the site launched Sharelists – “A collaborative list for groups of people with interests or tastes in common to share what they like and help each other”.

  • List Your Business for Free Here

3.) OpenList.com

Touting itself as “your local guide”, OpenList.com  was founded in 2003 in Seattle. Initially the site just focused on restaurants, hotels and attraction listings. Today it is open to all businesses. A domain authority of 44 and site traffic estimates from NeatState.com at 2.5 million a month, the site has seen incredible growth since 2003. To get on this site you’ll likely need to submit toLocaleze and eventually will get added to the site. Or inquire on their site here.

4.) MatchPoint.com

Helping users find the right business, MatchPoint.com has been around since 2007. In Vertical Measures’ post “10 Good Citations You Can Get Right Now” we featured MatchPoint in 2009, and the sites value still holds true. Quantcast estimates monthly traffic at 12,000 visitors, which in comparison to other sites is quite small. MatchPoint, however, offers free business listings and additional advertising options like most of the sites on this list so they are worth a look.

5.) Jayde.com

Jayde isn’t so much a local search site per se, it’s more so a B2B and business search engine that’s been around for many years. You’ve probably heard about it; the site has been around since 1996. Quantcast estimates traffic at 13,600 visitors a month, and domain authority on the site is 76.

6.) YellowBot.com

YellowBot lets you “do. tag. write. share.” since 2006. With an average of 744,000 visitors a month, the site stays active and is fairly authoritative with a domain authority score of 61. They also offer international versions of YellowBot for Canadians and users inBermudaTip: Add a variety of tags to your listings for better optimization.


7.) MacRaesBlueBook.com

MacRae’s Blue Book is America’s original industrial directory since 1893. Today with more than 1 million active users monthly, the site can help users find the industrial and manufacturing products and services they’re looking for. They have a wide array of categories your listing can fit into, and they offer free listings.

8.) Zidster.com

Helping online users find coupons and local businesses is what Zidster is all about. With an estimated half a million visitors a month (according to NeatStat.com), the site has grown in popularity since launching in 2007-2008.

9.) iBegin.com

iBegin provides businesses in the US and Canada with listings for free, and helps users find your businesses through their incredibly easy to use local search site. The site has been around since 2006, and since then has grown to an estimated 1.5 million visitor per month site (according to NeatStat.com).

10.) MerchantCircle.com

This popular site once talked about by many local search experts is still alive and kicking, allowing businesses to claim listings, respond to reviews, and create deals for their prospective customers. The site averages a whopping 5.8 million visitors a month. If you still haven’t found the time to claim your listing – do it today! Tip: Use the coupon functionality on MerchantCircle to get more traction with your weekly/monthly deals.

11.) MatchLocal.com

Get found online with Match Local. A fairly new site online, their parent company Matchbin has been around for quite awhile revolutionizing the traditional media industry. NeatStat.com estimates MatchLocal’s traffic at a few thousand visitors a month. While the site still has some growing to do, it’s yet another place to get a listing for your business.

Niche Local Search Sites

Do your due diligence when finding sites to add your business listing to. It might seem daunting, especially after you’ve added your listing to the hundreds of sites already out there. Tip: Set aside an hour or two hours a month to look for new sites to list your business on. Search for niche local search sites that are specific to your area.

Below I’ve listed a few that I’ve found that have a decent amount of traffic on a monthly basis and are fairly authoritative. Tip: Use advanced search commands like “local keyword directory” “city/state” “claim listing” or  “local keyword” “city/state” “submit business listing” to find sites specific to your location. Or –try these search commands in Rand Fishkin’s post.

12.)  WickedLocal.com

13.) Gazlo.com

14.) ShopCity.com

  • Over 8,000 local marketplaces including ShopPaloAlto.com, ShopBuffalo.com, & ShopCorona.com.
  • Over 35,00 estimated visitors per month
  • Add your business for free today!

15.) WebLocal.ca

  • Canadian specific
  • Estimated 1.7 million visitors per month
  • Signup today!

16.) Qype.co.uk

 17.) WeLoveLocal.com

  • UK specific
  • Signup today!

Industry Specific Local Search Sites

Additionally, business owners should look to place listings on sites that are specific to their industry. Whether you’re a local restaurant, doctor, hospital or even an accountant, there are industry specific sites your business should have a listing on. Tip: Use advanced search commands like “industry keyword directory” “city/state” “claim listing” or  “industry keyword” “city/state” “submit business listing” to find sites specific to your industry.

18.) HealthGrades.com

 19.) UrbanSpoon.com

20.) RestaurantRow.com

21.) Ratingz.net


I’ve received quite a few great additional suggestions via the comments, Facebook, and Twitter too. Thanks for your suggestions! Below are a few more sites to add to the list of little known local search sites:

22.) Manta

  • A local search site dedicated to small businesses.
  • Estimated 23 million visitors per month
  • The site has over 30 million business listings!
  • Add your listing for free today!

BY Kaila Strong

Read more: http://sem-group.net

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Steve Jobs’ Biggest Contribution (That No One Is Talking About)

Steve Jobs' Biggest Contribution (That No One Is Talking About)

Ask several people to name what they think Steve Jobs‘ biggest contribution has been, and you will get a variety of responses. Sure, he has brought us some amazing innovations, and millions of us own (or want to own) them. There’s the iPod, the iPad, and the i-everything else!

But when you get down to it, it really wasn’t Jobs who did it alone—it was his team. But Steve did do one thing that started a positive trend that will last for decades or longer. And that contribution is so big, so important, that by some divine guidance it was inserted into his name. Steve created jobs. And lots of them.

The foundation

Steve Jobs built amazing teams. It is the fundamental component to entrepreneurial success, and when done perfectly it is the component to grand economic success. Jobs is an entrepreneur through and through and he has built a company that has brought benefits to all consumers. (Shoot, right now I’m listening to music on my iPod, downloading music from iTunes, and I just got a text on my iPhone!)

With the combination of great people making great products, jobs get created. Lots of them. Steve’s own company grew from a startup to having over 7,000 employees by the time he left, the first go-around. Having 7,000 employees seems vast, but it didn’t stop there. When he returned to the company, he increased Apple to over 46,500 full-time employees. And that, my friend, is where the ripple effect in business can be so powerful.

Building buyers

Having nearly 47,000 full-time workers adds up to a lot of work. It also creates a lot of wealth for a lot of people who go on to consume services and products (they need Keurig’s and pool boys too, you know). But it doesn’t stop there. Think about all the people who support Apple products (beyond the Apple stores). Think about all the companies that formed to create programs for Apple devices.

In fact, Apple recently announced that they have topped 15 billion app downloads from the App Store. Their store has over 425,000 apps available, which have been created by a myriad of companies. And it doesn’t stop there, either. For example, Google shows that there are over 40,000 searches per month for the term “iPad sleeve.” Also, earlier this year, Random House made their entire catalog of books (all 17,000 of them) available in the Apple iBookstore. More people working…because of Jobs (double entendre intended).

These examples alone are enough to show how Jobs’ innovations have had a ripple effect, from those who work for him to those who have developed apps for his products—and are growing their own companies and fulfilling their own entrepreneurial dreams. There are countless people and businesses making a profit from his creations, including those selling sleeves, holders, accessories, stickers, you name it! Apple products create a wide variety of markets for those selling add-ons for those products.

From writers who cover stories about Apple’s technology and write books that will be sold to iPad users, to programmers who are busy developing new apps that keep people loving their iPhone, a lot of people are impacted by this company. A lot of people have jobs, that wouldn’t otherwise exist.

Rippling out

Jobs has done something that most entrepreneurs can only dream of achieving. But there is no doubt that others will be able to replicate it, in one form or another. Perhaps you will.

The goal is to create something that will touch a lot of people and put them to work, either directly or indirectly. That’s what he has done, thus giving work to many people and creating an empire.

The result of what he has accomplished is a company’s P&L that is now bigger than the economy of many countries. It is hard to find a lot of people downing Apple, because it is touching so many lives in a positive way. Either people are reaping great rewards by making money from the company or from ancillary products, or they are using the products themselves, or both. Jobs has create a jobs ripple effect. That is nothing short of amazing. Thanks, Steve!

Read more: http://www.webconnection.gr

The New iPhone 5

The iPhone 5 Review

And just like that, months and months of breathless speculation have finally come to an end. Apple’s Phil Schiller has just officially announced the new iPhone 5 at the company’s massive press event here in San Francisco, less than a year since its predecessor was unveiled.

Some of the news won’t come as much of a shock considering the sheer volume of rumors and leaks lately (even Apple let some details slip earlier today) — I’m going to resist the temptation to pontificate on every new feature as it’s revealed (for now, anyway), so let’s get right down to it.


  • We can finally put the debate to rest — Apple’s newest mobile juggernaut is called the iPhone 5 (despite actually being the sixth iPhone to hit the market). It’s 20% lighter than the iPhone 4S, 18% thinner, and crafted out of (what else?) glass and aluminum.
  • Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 will begin on Friday, September 14, and the device will ship to lucky consumers starting on September 21. As usual, the device will be available in 16, 32, and 64GB models, which will cost $199, $299, and $399 respectively with a two-year contract from AT&T, Verizon, or Sprint.
  • The long-rumored (and handsome) two-toned design is indeed legitimate, as is the new iPhone’s larger 4-inch Retina Display. And yes, that 16:9 display runs at 1136 x 640 with five rows of icons. According to Schiller, it’s “the most accurate display in the industry” because the touch sensors are embedded in the display as well.
  • As expected, Apple has also unveiled a brand new chipset for the iPhone 5: the A6, which Schiller says is a full two times faster than the A5 chip in the iPhone 4S
  • The iPhone 4S’s battery life wasn’t anything to write home about, but the iPhone 5 seems equipped to do much better — 8 hours of 3G talk time, as well as 8 hours of 3G and LTE web browsing to be precise.
  • The iPhone’s audio system has been bolstered with a smaller (but improved speaker). There are also now three microphones in the mix: one on the front, one on the back, and another on the bottom.
  • That oft-rumored miniature Dock Connector is real: it’s all-digital, has eight pins and it’s called “Lightning.” Yes, there’s an adapter for it, but no word yet on exactly what it will cost you.


  • It’s hardly a surprise at this point, but the iPhone 5 packs support for Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T’s LTE networks here in the States. What’s really impressive is that combined that LTE support with 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11n Wi-Fi onto a single “ultra fast” chip.
  • Despite what a handful of leaks pointed to in the weeks leading up to the event, there’s been no mention of an integrated NFC chip yet.


  • Smartphone cameras are really starting to give their point-and-shoot brethren a run for their money (think Nokia’s PureView and HTC’s ImageSense tech), but instead of running up the megapixel count, Apple has stuck with an 8-megapixel camera. That said, the backside-illuminated sensor is smaller, and features much better low-light performance (finally!).
  • App developers may be bummed to know that the camera now also has a built-in panorama mode. The revamped camera also supports 1080p video capture, and users can now snap photos while recording video at the same time. I wonder how HTC feels about that.


Read more: http://techcrunch.com/


What SEOs can learn from online journalists

Journalists have been frantically learning SEO and social media techniques over recent years, so they can stay ahead online. But now some of them are so skilled that SEO teams could learn a few things from them too. From writing clickable headlines, to using Twitter to network, here are all the journo skills that I’ve learnt by following (no, not stalking!) some of the best in the business…

Monitoring and Targeting

Like most blogs, news sites tend to cover a number of different subjects. For the main newspapers, these tend to be major topics such as politics, finance, property, jobs and so on. However, within those ‘channels’, similar stories often come up again and again – interest rates, house prices, unemployment figures, that kind of thing.

Journalists and editors use analytics programs to check how many readers are visiting each section and which stories are grabbing their interest. That means that they can give more coverage to the stories that really interest their readers, and move other stories further down the hierarchy. This also allows them to maximise click-throughs from their front pages because they know what stories get readers excited.


You can replicate this on your own blog or corporate site. Work out what content works best for pageviews, CTRs and purchases. Then ensure these most successful topic areas are well optimised, often updated and well positioned on your website.

Massively successful news resources like the Mail Online and the Huffington Post only reached where they are by endlessly testing and never being entirely satisfied with their websites’ click-through figures. You should do the same.

Using Twitter and Facebook to Research and Network

Anyone who’s used Twitter to any extent knows its power and reach. You can contact almost any other user, anywhere in the world, with a message of just 140 characters (or fewer) this is genuinely revolutionary. For journalists, it’s a whole new way of researching articles, and the #journorequest hashtag has become a first port of call for many when they’re looking for case studies or quotes from members of the public.

Most online news sites now tweet links to their major stories too. A single headline-worthy article can get a significant number of retweets, helping it to reach readers who might otherwise not have seen it. Add to this the Twitter conversations journalists and press representatives hold with each other on a daily basis. For journalists it’s a quick, easy but powerful way to network with other writers and to engage with their readers.

The lessons to be learnt for other webmasters and SEO teams are simple but worth spelling out – ignore Twitter, and your voice is missing from a global conversation. Make sure your best content is being tweeted, use hashtags to help get the message to people who don’t follow you, and aim to widen that audience still further. And don’t allow your Twitter feed to become mundane and overly-corporate. Stay fun and stay engaged. You’ll learn a lot about your customers and it could even help you generate ideas for blog posts and other content.

Although I hear a lot of negativity from SEOs about Facebook (some of them have already disabled their Facebook accounts), journalists use Facebook to engage with their audience and to reach out to a wider audience beyond the niche they operate within. Mia Aquino, The Huffington Post’s social media editor has set up an ‘interest list’ on Facebook of all their journalists so people could keep up-to-date with what their journalists write. Journalists such as Craig Kanalley, Jahnabi Barooah and Rosa Golijan engage with their Facebook subscribers almost at a personal level on a daily basis, thereby increasing visibility to their posts on user’s Facebook feeds.

Engagement and Relevancy

A good news site will pick out the most headline-worthy articles of the day, and give them pride of place on the front page (or main blog/magazine page). Think about this when updating your site – what belongs on your homepage (or main blog page)? And what can be moved deeper within your site?

It’s a rule of thumb that’s worth applying throughout your content – if a page is irrelevant to what you’ve got to offer, it’d be best to retire it, or update it so that it’s relevant to your audience and your business. By keeping a tight focus on the topics you cover, you can demonstrate expertise and relevancy throughout your site to search engines, helping them better understand what your website is about and the industry you operate within.

Make sure all your authors and bloggers have verified authorship on Google Plus. This will help Google’s algorithm distinguish the quality and relevancy of the content. If the blogger or author already possesses a high reputational score with Google, you will increase your site’s visibility and ranking ability for a greater number of keywords.

Opinion and Controversy

Not everyone can court controversy on their website, but blogs are a good place to express opinion and welcome conflicting comments from your readers. Again, take your inspiration from news sites – while many news outlets have a political agenda to push, they typically don’t do so (well, not too obviously…) in their main articles.

Legitimate news providers distinguish between their journalistic reporting and their editorial columns – and on any website, you can create a similar distinction between static content, opinion-based blogs and self-promotional press releases. It helps your reader to understand where you’re coming from, and why some pages might be more opinionated than others – and a little controversy can help to get some commenting going on your blog posts, too.

There is an important distinction to make between news site comments and those on a less formal blog, however. When somebody comments on your personal blog, it’s common practice to reply to them, to keep the conversation going. In contrast, news sites usually rely on interaction between their readers, rather than with the article’s original author – something worth aiming for on your blog, if you can get your readers’ activity levels high enough.

Catering for Fickle Readers

Online readers are impatient – they won’t wade through lengthy prose, even if they’re happy readingWar and Peace in real life. The internet isn’t the place people settle down to enjoy some timeless literature – in fact, they’re more likely to take ‘timeless’ to the other extreme and spend as little time as possible on your page.

Journalists understand this and are trained to use the ‘inverted pyramid’ model in their articles, with the most important information up top for those who don’t read to the end. For SEO it’s a particularly good approach, as the words and phrases you use up top will be given greater significance in choosing your page’s position in the search results.

The headline is a particularly important part of any page – whether it’s a news article or a static web page – as it highlights the main theme of your content. Make sure you’re picking out the key points in your headline, particularly if it doubles as your page’s HTML title and/or URL, as together these can all contribute towards the words and phrases the search engines associate with your page. Like in a news article, sub-headings also help to signpost readers to the sections of the page that include the information they’re looking for.

Remember, print came first, and while SEO has evolved over time much of it is still inspired by the early, print-like days of the internet. Classic page structures like news articles have left a permanent impression on the things search engines and people value.

Always on the Job

Finally, when you step away from your computer, it doesn’t mean your website ceases to exist. A good journalist will often carry around a notepad and jot down ideas for future articles, or make notes if he or she sees anything that might be worth investigating. You should do the same if you come across a timely and relevant issue that might earn you some extra search traffic if you blog about it or mention it on your website.

Many such ideas ultimately get forgotten by website owners, internet marketers and SEO teams, even if they seem unforgettable when you dream them up. By keeping a notepad – or even a note in your phone – handy, you make sure you remember your ideas. And it’s worth it. If you manage to build your online brand successfully enough, you might one day be making a few headlines of your own.

By Shaad Hamid

Read more: http://www.seoptimise.com

Greek Reporter – ”If Egin was in” campaign

ATHENS – After launching the international “I AM GREEK AND I WANNA GO HOME” independent movement for the repatriation of the stolen Greek sculptures and art, photographer and musician Ares Kalogeropoulos strikes again as an art editor of Alexis Mantheakis’ inspired concept “If Elgin was in …”
The series of pictures shows what would have happened if Lord Elgin had not only been to Athens but to plunder other cities of the world as well. The pictures aim at raising awareness among the public and the authorities about the catastrophe Lord Elgin wraught upon the Parthenon. The British diplomat removed 65 percent of the Parthenon marble sculptures in 1811, which are  housed at London’s British Museum.
The Greek artists are attempting to compare the Greek monument’s looting to what could have been inflicted on other major sites and statues around the world, if their most treasured possessions had been stolen. The last picture depicts the Parthenon in its current state and the caption reads “…but Elgin went to Athens”.





Pre-Orders for iPhone 5 to Start Friday, September 14?

OS X Developer

The iPhone 5 may be available for pre-order as soon as this Friday, September 14. This potentially exciting news comes from MacRumors, who notes that Apple is bumping up sales staffing to begin early Friday morning:

MacRumors is now hearing that pre-orders may not begin tomorrow following the media event and that they may instead start on Friday morning in a scenario similar to last year’s debut. We’re hearing that certain portions of Apple’s sales support team are significantly increasing their staffing levels beginning at 6:00 AM Eastern on Friday, with a major surge for the initial shift beginning at that time and a sustained level of high staffing for at least the remainder of the day.

As noted, such a timeline would be very similar to the launch and pre-order schedule of last years iPhone 4S model.

The iPhone 5 is largely expected to be released for retail purchases on September…

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Robotic Tentacles Have a Soft Enough Touch to Pick Up Flowers

memoirs on a rainy day


Typically, robotic hands have had trouble being dexterous enough and delicate enough to perform certain tasks, but robotics experts from Harvard University have been developing a series of soft robots, capable of accomplishing much more than previously.

Read more @ SciTechDaily

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State of the Social Network War

A little bit of this, a little bit of that

Facebook might be the biggest social network, but LinkedIn is clearly the stock market’s darling. 


While Facebook has been in the news recently for its dropping share price (which perhaps is not a fair reflection of future possibilities as I write in this earlier post), LinkedIn has been quietly going about its job. It has been announcing a slew of features. These include  new company pages, notifications, new mobile features, and Outlook integration.


Launching today is our new notifications feature, which will keep you notified in real-time when someone likes what you’ve shared on LinkedIn, views your profile, accepts your invitation, and much more.





On iPhone and Android:

  • Get notified: We will keep you notified in real-time when someone likes what you’ve shared on LinkedIn, views your profile, accepts your invitation, and much more.
  • Company pages goes…

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Has Social Learning Grown Up?

growing up too fast(Image credit: twinpossible.com)

Over 64% of organizations are leveraging social learning in some fashion, based on Brandon Hall Group’s recentrelationship-centered learning survey. This finding has dramatically increased from several years ago, when the use of social learning was in single digits. Social learning has come into its own and is now a common form of learning used by many organizations.


Even though the number of organizations using social learning has increased dramatically in the last two years, we often still get the question: “What is Social Learning?” Exact definitions vary, but as social learning becomes a larger part of the learning landscape, a definition is helpful to pinpoint the role this invaluable learning method can provide.

Brandon Hall Group has defined social learning in this manner:


“Social Learning is a form of learning in which the learner acquires information, skills, and knowledge from interactions with both formal and informal members of a set group. The learning is affected by the act of learning in a group environment, and the actual learning becomes greater than the sum of individual learning parts.”


The two important parts of that definition are “how” the learning is taking place and with “whom.” Social learning takes place through group interactions and the learning itself will change due to those interactions. Social learning is about building something new. Take the following interaction:


“I hear a great story about creating innovative work methods, and I add to the conversation – sharing how that idea could be implemented in my own environment. Another person hears this idea, and it sparks her to recall a research study she saw last year on this topic and she shares it with the entire group. A long term veteran shares how this idea was tried two years ago in the organization and adds how he feels it can be altered to fit the culture better today.”


The previous dialogue could either be a hallway conversation or labeled as a social learning experience. It becomes a social learning experience when the organization enables the learner to take action on the dialogue and interactions, and connects those actions to a learning outcome.


The one thing you’ll notice that is missing from this definition is any mention of technology. Somewhere in the last ten years the concept of social learning has been blended with the technology used to support social learning in our highly connected society. Many organizations believe that simply implementing social media tools or using an LMS with social features such as a chat board denotes that they are conducting social learning. In reality, If the intended audience has not actually leveraged these tools to hold group discussions that drive further learning and spark growing conversations, then social learning has not taken place.  Effective social learning can be done in any environment – with or without technology.


The role of technology is to enable social learning and enhance its value to both the learner and the organization. Social learning technology can support and enhance social learning by:


  • Connecting learners in multiple locations
  • Tracking the history and outcomes of the social learning interactions
  • Providing ways to rate and prioritize social learning interactions and outcomes
  • Helping to evaluate the effectiveness of the social learning efforts in relation to the learning and business outcomes


Social learning is not a fad – but it is also not appropriate in every situation. It should be evaluated as a learning methodology, like all other learning methods. It is not appropriate for learning requirements that are very specific, compliance driven, or with a clear right or wrong answer. However, it is appropriate and very valuable when the learning outcomes require increased engagement and building a shared understanding that is more valuable than the initial individual thoughts. Social learning has become mainstream and a part of regular learning portfolios in many organizations. Take some time and reflect on your own social learning practices, and make sure they meet your expectations and the needs of your organization.

Read more: BrandonHall Group

Brands Need To Treat Computer Screens Like TV Screens

By Steve Olenski

“Lord knows I am not the smartest person in the world, the brightest bulb, the sharpest knife or any other euphemism you want to trot out connoting intelligence. But one fairly smart thing I said (at least I think it’s somewhat smart) over the past couple of years was that ‘people need to start looking at their computer screen or monitor the same way they look at their TV.”

Not exactly rocket science when you stop and look at your monitor. Is it not a box-shaped item that is akin to your TV set? Of course it is.

And you don’t read TV, do you? Of course you don’t.tv

Well unless you count reading the now incessant scrolls that every news/sports network has on the bottom of its screen.

But by and large you don’t read TV, you watch it. You watch the images. You watch the video. You watch the film.

So why should your computer be any different.

Now, before I go on, let’s one thing perfectly clear. I am in no way espousing the belief that traditional TV is dead; that we’ll be watching TV on our computers in the near future and our current TVs will become antiques.

Nor am I advocating the removal of all text from all Internet sites as fast as humanly possible to be replaced by videos and/or pictures. Being a writer who makes his living off the writing of words which appear on computer screens, I would kind of like to see words stay for a while.

No, I am merely pointing out something I think that has been obvious for quite some time and is now coming to fruition. And that is that people, AKA consumers, AKA the folks who buy your products, services and wares Mr. & Mrs. Brand, prefer to “see” rather than “read” when it comes to the deluge of information they are bombarded with day in, day out on the information super highway. (Boy, that’s an old term, isn’t it?)

The folks at M Booth recently got together with SimplyMeasure to measure consumer engagement data on the Internet and social media networks.

Some highlights of the following infographic which is pretty self-explanatory. (NOTE: The infographic also includes a brief timeline of the “visual revolution” from just the start of 2012 alone.)

  • On Facebook, videos are shared 12 times more than text posts and links combined
  • Photos are Liked twice as much as text only updates
  • 42% of all Tumblr posts are pictures
  • Pinterest, the photo-driven social media phenomenon, is now referring more traffic than TwitterStumbleUponLinkedIn and Google Plus

So, Mr. Brand Marketer & Mrs. Brand Manager and anyone else who is responsible for hits the Internet airwaves – especially those that hit the social media networks, try and remember the computer/TV analogy and instead of “just” posting words, include and image or video to help tell the story.


Read more: http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-olenski

Social Marketing:

 It’s still… All About  Content!

Brands both big and small across the globe are looking for the key to social marketing success. The answer may surprise you: it’s STILL all about your content. In fact, it’s so important, we devoted an entire series of white papers to content marketing, delving specifically into four components of effective content marketing: content creationevent sponsorshipsocial media contests, and understanding Facebook EdgeRank.

After you’ve performed a social audit to find your customers and competitors on social channels, and developed your social goals, in accordance with your overall business goals, it’s time to think about developing content. When you think about the kind of content generation that will jumpstart audience growth on social channels, it’s important to focus on two distinct areas:

  1. Proactive Content
  2. Reactive Content

You will likely be managing content across multiple channels at once. In order to avoid feeling overwhelmed with platform management and scalable content creation by channel, consider proactively scheduling a portion of your social content. It can provide a solid base of content, providing you ample cushion to focus your limited resources instead on monitoring and responding to timely and relevant developments as they occur – or ‘reactive’ content. We’ll share how Starbucks has successfully implemented this strategy to amass a Twitter following of over 2.76 million users.


Proactive Content – 70% of Your Content

Although proactively scheduling 100% of your content will certainly fill your social channels with content, this is not a recommended strategy.  Scheduled content is not conducive to authentic, immediate audience engagement. While all brands share branded messages, like company updates and product offers, it’s not all your consumers are looking for. Promotional and evergreen content should be supplemented with engaging, real-time content to keep up with the ‘here and now’.


Best practices for scheduling proactive content show that 70% of content can be scheduled early in the week, which allows room for reactive content. In the example below, Starbucks spreads the word about their program ‘treat receipt’, in which a customer may bring a receipt verifying an AM purchase to a store in the afternoon for a discounted afternoon pick-me-up. This is a perfect example of a message that can be scheduled ahead of time.



Reactive Content – 30% of Your Content

The other 30% of content should, in turn, be reactive content focused on two areas: popular, timely topics and appropriate audience dialog. Staying abreast of trending topics allows you to leverage popular conversations to receive increased reach and engagement. Connecting trends to how they affect your audience will increase your opportunity for growth. The Nashville, Tennessee tourism board used the trending topic #tourismchat to prompt engaged chat users to plan a trip to Nashville.


ImageResponding to users who have engaged directly with your brand through content moderation is another component of reactive content. Responding to your fans and followers in a timely manner increases your ability to maintain an engaged audience. The key is offering quick, positive, and helpful responses. Starbucks makes a personal connection with a store visitor, who shared an anecdote from his visit. Starbucks took the time to respond, providing Josh a closed-loop social experience.


Successful social marketing requires strategy and planning. By scheduling a portion of content proactively, marketers can spend their remaining time focused on creating authentic, immediate relationships with their audience, either by responding directly to users, or being active in broader digital discussions. For a closer look at specific components of a content marketing strategy, check out our newest resources on content creation, event sponsorship, social media contests, and understanding Facebook EdgeRank.

By Mike Lewis

Read more: http://socialmediatoday.com


A CEO Speaks Out About…the truth outside the Web

Ronen Shilo is the CEO of Israel’s largest Internet company, Conduit.

“People are more interesting than companies

…so effective leaders are responsible for getting out there and spreading the good word.”

Here’s the paradox: I run a company that’s incredibly visible, but not that well known. Conduit has 260 million users around the world, but our brand isn’t top of mind. It’s not even mid-mind, to be honest. One of those reasons is that I had never made a personal effort to get out in front of the company and act as a public advocate.

That’s changed now. I’m becoming more visible, leaving many people wondering why I’ve decided to emerge from my cave. Have I developed a newfound urge for the spotlight? Am I jealous of Zuckerberg? Why the sudden availability?

They’re all questions worth answering. They’re questions that got me thinking as well.

Into The Spotlight

I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide it was time to become more visible. It was a process. But I can tell you that I always believed that the responsibility of a CEO includes getting out there, and I had been thinking for a long time that I should start representing the company more actively and consistently. Plus, I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by resisting the exposure.

I’m essentially a product guy. People at Conduit are bored of hearing me say that if the product isn’t right, nothing else matters. But I was also telling myself secretly that if the product is right, then nothing else matters either. In other words, a great product will speak for–and sell–itself. Anything else is just frivolous sizzle.

But I learned quickly that my thinking was faulty. There’s a marketing and media side to the success equation that’s really pivotal. And I probably used “it’s all about the product” as an excuse to stay behind the scenes because I don’t really enjoy the media whir.

Some people have asked me if there’s a right time for a CEO to become an active presence in the media.

Like most things in business, there is no one answer. It depends on the personality of the CEO, how competitive the market is, and how mature your product is, among many other variables.

But these are the key questions that can shed light on some answers: What are you trying to accomplish and how do you measure success? Do you want to raise awareness with opinion makers? Are you looking to raise visibility because you are, or will be, raising money? Do you want to attract new customers or consumers? Are you starved for talent and in need of improving your recruiting? Or does your giant ego need some stroking?

While all of these questions can be important, you need to figure out what’s most important to you, and how it all fits in with your objectives. Go deep before you go out. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, has done just that. He’s been terrific as a visible, sometimes in-your-face, evangelist for his brand. But often, I see a lot of CEOs working the media without a clear point of view about what they want to accomplish.

I realize now that I should have done this earlier, but I enjoyed taking the time to focus on product, on building the company. (And on family.)

As I look back, there wasn’t a burning need for anyone to know who I was in the beginning. We had a rapid uptake of our product by publishers, so I didn’t feel compelled to be visible. Soon after, toolbars–our primary business–began to get beaten up by the media. It was unfair, but so what? Life is unfair. Reporters didn’t really understand what we did.

I couldn’t help but think that if I had been out there more, I would have been able to push back. To strongly argue for our company and our brand. If I couldn’t change their opinions, I would have at least created a dialogue. I think we lost the opportunity to shift the perception of the toolbar. Now it’s too late to do that in any meaningful way. I’m not worried though, because I know there will be other opportunities to redefine our company.

So my advice to others is to be part of the dialogue sooner rather than later. It will benefit your company and your employees to do so. True, your product needs to mature, but it’s easy to hide behind the maturity excuse, particularly if you’re not really a media junkie at heart.

Visibility And Value

If I were hustling for an IPO though, everything would have been different.

There’s no question about that. CEOs and founders contemplating an IPO recognize that visibility translates to asset value. That’s actually why many Israeli companies hire an American CEO; they know that it will help achieve higher levels of awareness, whether for an IPO or an acquisition. But since neither of those is the case for my company, I had more reason to continue to operate Conduit under the radar. It wasn’t a conscious plan. Like many things, it was unplanned yet retrospectively, right.

Now, the more I get out there, the more I’m amused by the differences in global media. The American and the Israeli media are as different as a hot dog and falafel.

Cultural differences are manifested everywhere and they’re only heightened in the journalistic world. The media in Israel are tough. Compared with U.S. reporters, they’re even brutal. American audiences are much more generous. Some Americans may disagree, but having been exposed to both cultures, I can tell it like it is.

I remember being at a conference in the U.S. where a CEO gave a presentation that was not impressive, to say the least. In Israel, he would have been torn apart, whereas Americans are more polite. Your social rules create an atmosphere of friendliness. I guess that’s because we’re in survival mode all the time, and pleasantries are a luxury Israelis don’t get too often. Or at least they’re seen as one.

Last time I was in the U.S., a reporter began an interview by proclaiming, “I hate toolbars.” It was so unusual that I was really taken aback and felt for a second like I was at home in Israel. So forget media training. My advice to any American CEO is to come over here, expose yourself to some reporters, and get toughened up.

I’m also convinced that differing CEO backgrounds play a large role in how they relate to the media.

I once worked for a sales-driven CEO who started every day by asking everyone, “What did you sell yesterday?” He saw the media as one giant sales call. I’m from the product and engineering CEO track, not the sales or marketing side. This gives me the flexibility to speak about the product, the vision of the company, and how what we’re building delivers on that.

If a CEO gets out there too soon, especially when he or she is from the sales or straight marketing side, there’s a risk of overselling. Hype can make a fast difference, but in today’s world of media scrutiny, it has a dangerously short shelf life. It quickly starts to rot and smell.

Personal Brand Takes A Backseat

As far as the ‘Ronen Shilo’ brand, I don’t think about it much. My public brand is no different than my private behavior. Those who know me would agree that I don’t put on a mask when I speak to the media.

But I do want people to start to think of me and Conduit in the same breath. That’s a good thing. Whether it’s Bill Gates (before he started giving his money away) or Larry Ellison, or many others, the company benefits when it’s strongly linked to an individual. People are more interesting than companies. So it’s better for Conduit if I’m out there, and I certainly want to do what’s best for my company.

Except, you won’t see me making any speeches in the future. I like the intimacy of a one-on-one interview. For me, it’s important to look someone in the eye, to read body language, to be in tune with the conversation. If you get thrown a curve ball, you can handle it. And I like an environment where surprises happen.

One thing I really don’t like is a scripted speech. Once, when I was in the army, I had to give a lesson to a reserve group. They allocated an hour. Sixty minutes of air time! I finished what I had to say in five minutes. I was happy and they were happy.

The End Of The Media Hermit

After taking a breath of fresh air, I don’t think I can head back to my cave any time soon.

I have to admit that I can get energized by meeting with the press, particularly with really smart reporters who’ve done their homework. (When it’s the other way, and I have to educate a reporter who doesn’t have a clue about what we do, it’s frustrating. I’d never hire someone who hasn’t spent time studying us, so why should I waste my time with a reporter who didn’t gather any background information?)

At the same time, intelligent reporters can be challenging. They know the category and tend to ask some provocative questions that really get me thinking. They’re out talking to a lot of smart people, so they have a perspective I might not otherwise hear. Learning from a reporter, that’s something I never would have expected when I was in my media hermit period.

Come to think of it, I also never expected that coming out of my shell to answer people’s questions would, in turn, get a lot of my own questions answered.

MARCH 2, 2012

Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/

Mark Zuckerberg Says It’s Time to ‘Double Down’ on Facebook

McKinsey Weighs In on the Future of the Social Economy

McKinsey & CompanyDespite the popularity of social media with businesses, new research from McKinsey suggests that businesses are leaving value on the table, to the tune of billions of potential dollars. When McKinsey released new research this July on the changing face of the social economy dubbed ‘The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies’, we eagerly devoured it. We present some of the key takeaways from the report below:

Adoption and Benefits

The report revealed fascinating figures around social media adoption and business benefits realized. Consumers have adopted social technologies, defined as products and services that enable social interactions in the digital realm, at an unprecedented speed and scale. In fact, social technologies have been adopted at a faster rate than any other media technology. While it took commercial television 13 years to reach 50 million households and Internet service providers three years to sign 50 million subscribers, it took Facebook just a year to hit 50 million users and Twitter – a total of nine months.


However, while 70% of companies use social technologies, only 3% report deriving substantial benefit from this usage across all stakeholders – customers, employees, and business partners. More broadly, 90% of those companies who use social technologies report some business benefit from them. It’s clear here that businesses can better leverage social technologies to drive more value from their investments.

Influence on Social Commerce

McKinsey reports that up to 1/3 of consumer spending is subject to influence from social shopping. This growth indicates the almost primal appeal of social technologies, which bring speed, scale, and economics of the Internet to social interactions. Consumers can now rapidly search for, find and compare various offerings for their needs. Combine that information transparency with the ability to garner peer feedback on potential purchases and you develop a very attractive market for online shopping.

Economic Impact of Social Technologies: $900 Billion to $1.3 Trillion

McKinsey identified ten specific ways where social technologies can add value to businesses.  These value-added levers include:

  • Product development – Use social technologies to derive customer insights and co-create product
  • Marketing and sales – Use social technologies to derive customer insights; for marketing communications and interactions; to generate and foster sales leads; social commerce
  • Customer service – Use social technologies to provide customer care

McKinsey estimates that the use of social technologies can contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value (based on estimates across four industry sectors), with $500 billion added from marketing, sales and after-sales support activities. Specifically, consumer goods companies, with their dependence on brand recognition, can use social technologies across all value chain steps to recognize margin increases of as much as 60%. McKinsey cautions that simply shifting advertising and consumer insights budgets to social media will not suffice; advocating instead for well-planned and well-executed programs which incorporate non-social components such as mass media to capture the potential value of social technologies.

Truly capturing the business value will be a challenge for most enterprises, as they will have to transform their organizational structures, processes, and cultures to become “extended networked enterprises.” Extended networked enterprises connect both internally as well as externally with customers and partners. For these technologies to deliver value, enterprises must embrace information sharing and create cultures of trust and cooperation.

Business Opportunities

The McKinsey study also highlights areas in which business can use social technologies to improve. For instance, many companies have found these social technologies can generate rich consumer insights cheaper and faster than traditional methods. Companies are tapping into what consumers do and say to one another on social platforms, gathering unfiltered feedback and behavioral data (e.g. do people who like this movie like that brand of soft drink?).

Additionally, leveraging of social platforms provides the potential to tap the great “cognitive surplus” of society by using leisure time for creating content and collaboration, rather than consuming. McKinsey refers to the growth of self-publishers and video creators, who add their own content to the social sphere.

Beyond 2012

As we move beyond 2012, we expect to see companies further leveraging emerging social technologies to drive distinct and measureable business value. We believe marketers will use social marketing to identify new prospects based on sophisticated monitoring, profile collection and social scoring.


By Mike Lewis | September 4, 2012

Read more: http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/09/04/mckinsey-weighs-in-on-the-future-of-the-social-economy/


Socialnomic…are here to stay!

Trush House

Trush House

With glass gone weather is in, so along deterioration begins….

Richard Brannson – Famous…

Richard Brannson – Famous Quotes

Richard Branson Quotes

A business has to be involving, it has to be fun, and it has to exercise your creative instincts. 


Business opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming. 


I believe in benevolent dictatorship provided I am the dictator. 


Fortunately we’re not a public company – we’re a private group of companies, and I can do what I want. 


And you know, I’ve had great fun turning quite a lot of different industries on their head and making sure those industries will never be the same again, because Virgin went in and took them on. 


I was dyslexic, I had no understanding of schoolwork whatsoever. I certainly would have failed IQ tests. And it was one of the reasons I left school when I was 15 years old. And if I – if I’m not interested in something, I don’t grasp it. 


You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over. 


Like getting into a bleeding competition with a blood bank. 


I never get the accountants in before I start up a business. It’s done on gut feeling, especially if I can see that they are taking the mickey out of the consumer. 


Ridiculous yachts and private planes and big limousines won’t make people enjoy life more, and it sends out terrible messages to the people who work for them. It would be so much better if that money was spent in Africa – and it’s about getting a balance. 


With the casino and the beds, our passengers will have at least two ways to get lucky on one of our flights. 


You never know with these things when you’re trying something new what can happen. This is all experimental. 


We believe that within five years, 96 percent of British consumers will have access to the Internet, whether it be through a personal computer, a set-top box or a mobile phone. 


Right now I’m just delighted to be alive and to have had a nice long bath. 


My mother was determined to make us independent. When I was four years old, she stopped the car a few miles from our house and made me find my own way home across the fields. I got hopelessly lost. 


I cannot remember a moment in my life when I have not felt the love of my family. We were a family that would have killed for each other – and we still are. 


And obviously, from our own personal point of view, the principal challenge is a personal challenge. 


I wanted to be an editor or a journalist, I wasn’t really interested in being an entrepreneur, but I soon found I had to become an entrepreneur in order to keep my magazine going. 


The music industry is a strange combination of having real and intangible assets: pop bands are brand names in themselves, and at a given stage in their careers their name alone can practically gaurantee hit records. 


We’ve always had a pretty competitive and pretty ferocious battle with British Airways… It’s lasted now about 14 years, and we’re very pleased to have survived it. 

Samsung to Sue Apple over LTE Use on iPhone 5

24/7 Wall St.

Samsung, which has been locked in an ongoing series of high-stakes patent trials with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), has previously threatened to sue the iPhone maker if it were to release LTE-enabled products. Well, the new iPhone 5 is expected to be unveiled at a press event in San Francisco tomorrow, and the next-generation smartphone is reported to have long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity.

Samsung “has decided to take immediate legal action,” according to the Korea Times. The article quotes an industry source:

It’s true that Samsung Electronics has decided to take immediate legal action against the Cupertino-based Apple. Countries in Europe and even the United States — Apple’s home-turf — are our primary targets.

Industry insiders say Apple’s next iPhone will work with some but not all 4G LTE networks in the United States and other countries when it is released.

Taiwan’s HTC also is battling with the iPhone maker…

View original post 53 more words

Looking beyond the U.S. and Europe for renewable energy deployment

Moody’s Updates Outlook for U.S. Debt Rating

24/7 Wall St.

Moody’s said today that budget negotiations during the 2013 congressional legislative session likely will determine the direction of the U.S. government’s Aaa rating and negative outlook.

In the Moody’s Investors Service report, “Update of the Outlook for the US Government Debt Rating,” the agency indicated:

If those negotiations lead to specific policies that produce a stabilization and then downward trend in the ratio of federal debt to GDP over the medium term, the rating will likely be affirmed and the outlook returned to stable … If those negotiations fail to produce such policies, however, Moody’s would expect to lower the rating, probably to Aa1.

No surprise there. Moody’s notes the difficulty in predicting when Congress will conclude negotiations that result in a budget package. The debt limit likely will be reached by end of this year, and the government’s ability to meet interest and other expenses with available resources should…

View original post 113 more words

Λάθη στα social media

Ποιοί είναι οι 8 λόγοι για τους οποίους οι στρατηγικές marketing στα social media αποτυγχάνουν και πώς μπορούν να αντιμετωπιστούν αυτά τα σφάλματα…….?

Σε περίπτωση που εδώ και καιρό προσπαθείτε να εφαρμόσετε και να αξιοποιήσετε στρατηγικές marketing μέσω των social media και τα αποτελέσματα είναι πενιχρά, δεν θα πρέπει να απελπίζεστε. Κι αυτό γιατί αποτελείτε τον κανόνα και όχι την εξαίρεση – και μάλιστα σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο. Έχει παρατηρηθεί πως παράτη μεγάλη εξάπλωση των μέσων κοινωνικής δικτύωσης οι εταιρείες αδυνατούν να αποκομίσουν τα προσδοκώμενα οφέλη από αυτά. Η βασική αιτία, σαφέστατα, δεν μπορεί να είναι το γεγονός ότι τα social media αποτελούν άγνωστη λέξη για τους χρήστες, καθώς η αποδοχή που χαίρουν βαίνει αυξανόμενη με απίστευτα γρήγορους ρυθμούς. Στο συγκεκριμένο άρθρο θα προσπαθήσουμε να προβάλουμε τις 8 βασικότερες αιτίες που κάνουν τις καμπάνιες ανεπιτυχείς ή τουλάχιστον μη αποδοτικές.

1. Έλλειψη ξεκάθαρων στόχων: Σε περίπτωση που ασχολείστε με τα social media προσπαθώντας να προβάλετε τις υπηρεσίες ή την ίδια σας την εταιρεία, χωρίς να έχετε θέσει ξεκάθαρους στόχους, τότε λυπούμαστε αλλά σίγουρα βρίσκεστε σε λάθος δρόμο και τα αποτελέσματα που αναμένετε δεν θα έρθουν ποτέ. Κάθε ενέργεια marketing -και στα social media πιο έντονα- απαιτεί μία ξεκάθαρη στρατηγική, από την εφαρμογή της οποίας αναμένουμε και ένα ξεκάθαρο αποτέλεσμα. Ανεξάρτητα από το είδος της εταιρείας ή του προϊόντος που επιθυμείτε να προβάλετε θα πρέπει να έχετε αρχικά αποσαφηνίσει σε τι ακριβώς στοχεύετε.

2. Υπέρμετρες απαιτήσεις: Η ύπαρξη ξεκάθαρων στόχων είναι σαφέστατα σημαντικότατος παράγοντας, όπως είναι όμως αντίστοιχα και η ύπαρξη ρεαλισμού στα αναμενόμενα αποτελέσματα. Θα πρέπει να κατανοήσουμε πως τα social media δεν είναι σε καμία περίπτωση η μαγική λύση σε όλα τα θέματα. Είναι απίθανο να καταφέρει μία εταιρεία να προσελκύσει εκατομμύρια χρηστών – πελατών από τη μια στιγμή στην άλλη. Τα social media είναι το μέσο από το οποίο κάποιος μπορεί να αποκομίσει κέρδος με μακροπρόθεσμο σχεδιασμό. Σε καμιά περίπτωση η χρήση μόνο των social media δεν μπορεί να προωθήσει ικανοποιητικά την εταιρεία, τα προϊόντα ή τις υπηρεσίες σας. Οι ενέργειές σας, για να έχουν τη μεγαλύτερη δυνατή αποδοτικότητα θα πρέπει να είναι συνδυαστικές και ελεγχόμενες ανά τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα.

3. Η αποκοπή από το κοινό που σας ενδιαφέρει: Πριν ακόμη ξεκινήσετε το σχεδιασμό μιας καμπάνιας για τα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης θα πρέπει να καταλήξετε στο κοινό το οποίο αποτελεί το εν δυνάμει πελατολόγιό σας. Θα πρέπει να έχετε απόλυτα ξεκάθαρη εικόνα για το ποιο είναι πραγματικά το κοινό στο οποίο απευθύνεστε, ποια τα ενδιαφέροντά του, ποιες οι προτιμήσεις και οι ανάγκες του. Η κατανόηση όλων αυτών των δεδομένων θα οδηγήσει σε μία ξεκάθαρη στρατηγική με πολύ καλύτερα αποτελέσματα.

4. Δεν blog-άρετε αρκετά: Η καρδιά κάθε σωστά δομημένης ενέργειας στα social media είναι χωρίς καμιά αμφιβολία το blog. Αυτό συμβαίνει φυσικά γιατί εντός του blog το κοινό μπορεί να διαβάσει, να αναζητήσει και να αξιοποιήσει χρήσιμες πληροφορίες που εσείς έχετε βάλει. Μέσα από αυτή τη διαδικασία αναπτύσσεται σταδιακά μία σχέση εξάρτησης με το κοινό που σας ενδιαφέρει το οποίο μετά από κάποιο σημείο θα επανέρχεται στη σελίδα σας σε τακτά χρονικά διαστήματα, αυξάνοντας σημαντικά και το κομμάτι της προβολής της εταιρείας σας. Σαφέστατα το περιεχόμενο που κάθε φορά θα επιλέγετε να προβληθεί θα πρέπει να έχει άμεση σχέση τόσο με την εταιρεία όσο και με τις υπηρεσίες ή προϊόντα που επιθυμείτε να προωθήσετε. Σημαντικό ρόλο όπως σε πάρα πολλά ζητήματα στην καθημερινή ζωή παίζει και ο τρόπος που παρουσιάζετε μια είδηση ή μια κατάσταση. Θα πρέπει να δώσετε προσοχή λοιπόν και στον τρόπο με τον οποίο προβάλλετε μια είδηση αλλά και στον τρόπο που αυτή εμφανίζεται στο κοινό που σας ακολουθεί. Για παράδειγμα, μπορεί να ακούγεται κοινότοπο αλλά ένας καλός τίτλος παίζει μεγαλύτερο ρόλο από μια καλή είδηση. Σε περίπτωση που οι συντακτικές δυνατότητές σας δεν επαρκούν ή στο τέλος της ημέ- ρας δεν παράγουν τα επιθυμητά αποτελέσματα, καλό θα ήταν να απευθυνθείτε σε κάποιον ειδικό για τη συγκεκριμένη δουλειά.

5. Δεν είναι υποχρέωση αλλά ανάγκη: Σε περίπτωση που η ενασχόληση με τα social media δεν είναι τίποτε περισσότερο για εσάς από μία συμβατική καθημερινή υποχρέωση, το καλύτερο που έχετε να κάνετε είναι είτε να μην ασχοληθείτε με το κομμάτι αυτό είτε να το αναθέσετε σε κάποιους άλλους. Κι αυτό γιατί έχει αποδειχθεί πως οι πιο επιτυχημένες καμπάνιες στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης προέρχονται από εταιρείες και ανθρώπους που πραγματικά ενδιαφέρονται και αγαπούν το συγκεκριμένο χώρο. Θα πρέπει επίσης να κατανοήσετε πως ούτε το κοινό των social media ούτε και οι εταιρείες που ασχολούνται με το συγκεκριμένο χώρο δεν είναι απρόσωπες και χωρίς αντίληψη. Ο χώρος των μέσων κοινωνικής δικτύωσης έχει ιδιαίτερα αυξημένα αισθητήρια.

6. Έλλειψη κατεύθυνσης: Η στρατηγική παίζει πολύ σημαντικό ρόλο όχι μόνο στην επιχειρηματικότητα αλλά και στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης. Σε περίπτωση που επιθυμείτε μία καμπάνια αποδοτική θα πρέπει να δημιουργήσετε ή καλύτερα να χτίσετε και μάλιστα βήμα – βήμα τη στρατηγική που ταιριάζει στις ανάγκες και το πελατολόγιό σας.

7. Ενημέρωση του κοινού εις το ενημερωτικότερον: Σε περίπτωση που αποφασίσετε να θέσετε σε εφαρμογή μια καμπάνια σας στα μέσα κοινωνικής δικτύωσης, θα πρέπει να ενημερώσετε παράλληλα και τους πελάτες και συνεργάτες σας για τις ενέργειές σας μέσα από την εταιρική ιστοσελίδα σας. Ιδανικά θα πρέπει να δίνετε τη δυνατότητα από κάθε μέσο με το οποίο επικοινωνείτε καθημερινά με την αγορά που σας ενδιαφέρει να γνωρίζει την παρουσία σας στα social media. Υπάρχουν μάλιστα, ειδικά τον τελευταίο καιρό, και πολλά νέα εργαλεία τα οποία δίνουν τη δυνατότητα άμεσης προώθησης περιεχομένου από ιστοσελίδες σε social media και το αντίστροφο. Με τον τρόπο αυτό εξασφαλίζετε ότι το κοινό που σας ακολουθεί, ακόμη κι αν δεν συνεργάζεται μαζί σας, σίγουρα κάποια στιγμή θα κάνει το πρώτο βήμα.

8. Έλλειψη αφοσίωσης: Σε περίπτωση που δεν ανταποκρίνεστε στα αιτήματα, στις ερωτήσεις και τις απορίες των ατόμων που σας παρακολουθούν μέσω των social media, τότε να είστε βέβαιοι πως τα άτομα αυτά θα στραφούν άμεσα και χωρίς περιστροφές αλλού. Μία ακόμη σημαντική λεπτομέρεια που όμως κάνει τη διαφορά είναι και το γεγονός ότι δεν χρειάζεται να διστάζετε να αναφέρεστε ακόμη και σε ανταγωνιστικές λύσεις ή προϊόντα προς το κοινό σας. Αυτό θα σας δώσει σίγουρα σημαντικό κύρος και πολύ μεγάλες πιθανότητες να αυξήσετε την αξιοπιστία σας.

Read more: http://www.advertising.gr/Article/4256/Ta-suxna-lathi-sta-social-media/

Φωτοβολταϊκά και τα ποσοστά!

Φωτοβολταϊκά: “ορατή” η πριμοδότηση του ελληνικού εξοπλισμού – Τα ποσοστά



Τον περασμένο Φεβρουάριο τέσσερις ελληνικές εταιρείεςπαραγωγής εξοπλισμού για φωτοβολταϊκά κατέθεσαν πρόταση θέσπισης συγκεκριμένων οικονομικών κινήτρων για τους επενδυτές που θα επιλέγουν εγχώρια προϊόντα.

Συγκεκριμένα, οι εταιρείεςExelGroup, Heliosphera, Alumil καιNOE/Aluset, είχαν ζητήσει υψηλότερη εγγυημένη τιμή στα έργα που χρησιμοποιούν ευρωπαϊκά προϊόντα σε ποσοστό άνω του 70%, σύμφωνα με το ιταλικό πρότυποπου προβλέπει 3 λεπτά επιπλέον ανά Κιλοβατώρα ενέργειας. Κι αυτό γιατί καθίστανται μη βιώσιμες εξαιτίας του κινεζικού ανταγωνισμού (διαβάστε περισσότερα εδώ).

Το αίτημα των ελληνικών επιχειρήσεων είχε λάβει θετική γνωμοδότηση από το δικηγορικό γραφείο «Μεταξάς & Συνεργάτες».

Πλέον, όπως αναφέρει το energypress, η εν λόγω πρόταση έχει κατατεθεί εκ νέου, στη νέα ηγεσία του ΥΠΕΚΑ και συγκεκριμένα στον αρμόδιο υφυπουργό Ασημάκη Παπαγεωργίου.

Το ποσοστό του ευρωπαϊκού εξοπλισμού θα πιστοποιεί, σύμφωνα με το νέο σχέδιο, ο Λειτουργός της Αγοράς.

Παράλληλα, την ευρωπαϊκή προέλευση θα πιστοποιούν φορείς μέλη του IECEE (International Electrotechnical Commission system of Conformity, Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components).

Σύμφωνα με το energypress, το σχέδιο της ΥΑ προβλέπει τέσσερις κλίμακες προσαύξησης επί των τιμών που κάθε φορά προβλέπονται για ηλεκτρική ενέργεια που παράγεται μέσω φωτοβολταϊκών σταθμών.:

-10% για σταθμούς έως 100kw
-8% για σταθμούς 100 έως 500kw
-6% για σταθμούς άνω των 500kw έως 2MW
-4% για σταθμούς άνω των 2MW.

Αναμένονται οι τελικές αποφάσεις του ΥΠΕΚΑ το οποίο φέρεται θετικά διακείμενο στις προτάσεις των εταιρειών.

—Ανακοίνωση του ΣΕΒΦΩ

Ανακοίνωση για το θέμα εξέδωσε και Σύνδεσμος Ελληνικών Βιομηχανιών Φωτοβολταϊκών (ΣΕΒΦΩ), ο οποίος διέψευσε την ανάθεση της γνωμοδότησης στο δικηγορικό γραφείο “Μεταξάς & Συνεργάτες”. Τάχθηκε επίσης υπέρ της θέσπισης μπόνους στον ευρωπαϊκό εξοπλισμό κάνοντας μνεία στα προβλήματα που αντιμετωπίζει ο κλάδος (μείωση εγγυημένων τιμών, κινεζικός ανταγωνισμός κλπ).

Αναλυτικότερα, ο ΣΕΒΦΩ ανακοίνωσε τα εξής:

Με αφορμή δημοσιεύματα σχετικά με την έκδοση Υπουργικής Αποφάσεως για την προσαύξηση κατά 10% της τιμής της παραγόμενης ενέργειας από φωτοβολταϊκές εγκαταστάσεις στις οποίες εγκαθίσταται Ευρωπαϊκός φωτοβολταϊκός εξοπλισμός, ο Συνδέσμος Ελληνικών Βιομηχανιών Φωτοβολταϊκών (ΣΕΒΦΩ) διευκρινίζει ότι ουδέποτε ανέθεσε στο δικηγορικό γραφείο «ΜΕΤΑΞΑΣ & ΣΥΝΕΡΓΑΤΕΣ» την επεξεργασία σχεδίου της Υπουργικής Αποφάσεως. Αποτελεί πάγια θέση του Συνδέσμου ότι η επεξεργασία του περιεχομένου Υπουργικών Αποφάσεων αποτελεί αντικείμενο της Πολιτικής Ηγεσίας ύστερα από οργανωμένο διάλογο με τους ενδιαφερόμενους φορείς.

Η ενίσχυση της Ευρωπαϊκής βιομηχανίας φωτοβολταϊκών και κατ’ επέκταση της σημαντικής εγχώριας βιομηχανίας που έχει αναπτυχθεί τα τελευταία χρόνια αποτελεί ζήτημα υψίστης σημασίας το οποίο πρώτος ο ΣΕΒΦΩ έθεσε υπόψη στην Πολιτική ηγεσία και υπεραμύνθηκε του μέτρου τεκμηριώνοντας το μέγεθος του προβλήματος και παραθέτοντας αντίστοιχα παραδείγματα που έχουν εφαρμοστεί με επιτυχία σε χώρες της Ευρώπης.

Ο συνεχώς εντεινόμενος από τις Ασιατικές βιομηχανίες ανταγωνισμός σε συνδυασμό με τα γεγονότα που μεσολάβησαν από τότε που θεσπίστηκε η δυνατότητα προσαύξησης των τιμών κατά 10% (Ν.4062/2012) μέχρι και σήμερα, ήτοι η πρόσφατη αναστολή αδειοδοτήσεων έργων ισχύος <1MW που δεν έχουν εξασφαλίσει Όρους Σύνδεσης και οι δραστικότατες περικοπές στα Feed in Tariffs που σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις προσεγγίζουν το 50%, καθιστούν επιτακτική την επαναξιολόγηση της καταστάσεως ώστε μέσω ενός οργανωμένου διαλόγου και στα πλαίσια της δημόσια εκφρασμένης βούλησης της Πολιτικής Ηγεσίας για τόνωση της εγχώριας παραγωγής και την επίτευξη ανάπτυξης να προκύψει τελικά μια Υπουργική Απόφαση που θα επιφέρει τα προσδοκώμενα αποτελέσματα.”

Read more: http://www.econews.gr/2012/09/11/fotovoltaika-prim-ellinikos-exoplismos/

IMF – World Economic Outlook Update

Further Policy Action Needed

In the past three months, the global recovery, which was not strong to start with, has shown signs of further weakness. Financial market and sovereign stress in the euro area periphery have ratcheted up, close to end-2011 levels. Growth in a number of major emerging market economies has been lower than forecast. Partly because of a somewhat better-than-expected first quarter, the revised baseline projections in this WEO Update suggest that these developments will only result in a minor setback to the global outlook, with global growth at 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013, marginally lower than in the April 2012 World Economic Outlook. These forecasts, however, are predicated on two important assumptions: that there will be sufficient policy action to allow financial conditions in the euro area periphery to ease gradually and that recent policy easing in emerging market economies will gain traction. Clearly, downside risks continue to loom large, importantly reflecting risks of delayed or insufficient policy action. In Europe, the measures announced at the European Union (EU) leaders’ summit in June are steps in the right direction. The very recent, renewed deterioration of sovereign debt markets underscores that timely implementation of these measures, together with further progress on banking and fiscal union, must be a priority. In the United States, avoiding the fiscal cliff, promptly raising the debt ceiling, and developing a medium-term fiscal plan are of the essence. In emerging market economies, policymakers should be ready to cope with trade declines and the high volatility of capital flows.

A better Q1, a worse Q2

Global growth increased to 3.6 percent (seasonally adjusted annual rate) in the first quarter of 2012, surprising on the upside by some ¼ percentage point compared with the forecasts presented in the April 2012 World Economic Outlook (Figure 1CSV|PDFTable 1). The upward surprise was partly due to temporary factors, among them easing financial conditions and recovering confidence in response to the European Central Bank‘s (ECB’s) longer-term refinancing operations (LTROs). Global trade rebounded in parallel with industrial production in the first quarter of 2012, which, in turn, benefited trade-oriented economies, notably Germany and those in Asia. For Asia, growth was also pulled up by a greater-than-anticipated rebound in industrial production, spurred by the restart of supply chains disrupted by the Thai floods in late 2011, and stronger-than-expected domestic demand in Japan.
Figure 1

Table 1. Overview of the World Economic Outlook Projections
(Percent change unless noted otherwise)
Year over Year
Projections Difference fromApril 2012 WEO Projections Q4 over Q4
Estimates Projections
2010 2011 2012 2013 2012 2013 2011 2012 2013
World Output 1/ 5.3 3.9 3.5 3.9 –0.1 –0.2 3.2 3.4 4.1
Advanced Economies 3.2 1.6 1.4 1.9 0.0 –0.2 1.2 1.4 2.2
United States 3.0 1.7 2.0 2.3 –0.1 –0.1 1.6 1.9 2.5
Euro Area 1.9 1.5 –0.3 0.7 0.0 –0.2 0.7 –0.2 1.2
    Germany 3.6 3.1 1.0 1.4 0.4 –0.1 2.0 1.0 1.8
    France 1.7 1.7 0.3 0.8 –0.1 –0.2 1.2 0.4 1.1
    Italy 1.8 0.4 –1.9 –0.3 0.0 0.0 –0.5 –1.9 0.4
    Spain –0.1 0.7 –1.5 –0.6 0.4 –0.7 0.3 –2.3 0.6
Japan 4.4 –0.7 2.4 1.5 0.4 –0.2 –0.5 1.9 2.2
United Kingdom 2.1 0.7 0.2 1.4 –0.6 –0.6 0.5 0.8 1.2
Canada 3.2 2.4 2.1 2.2 0.1 0.0 2.2 2.1 2.1
Other Advanced Economies 2/ 5.8 3.2 2.4 3.4 –0.2 –0.1 2.5 3.2 3.3
    Newly Industrialized Asian Economies 8.5 4.0 2.7 4.2 –0.6 0.0 3.0 4.4 3.6
Emerging and Developing Economies 3/ 7.5 6.2 5.6 5.9 –0.1 –0.2 5.8 5.9 6.5
Central and Eastern Europe 4.5 5.3 1.9 2.8 0.0 –0.1 3.8 1.5 3.6
Commonwealth of Independent States 4.8 4.9 4.1 4.1 0.0 –0.1 4.4 3.1 4.5
    Russia 4.3 4.3 4.0 3.9 0.0 –0.1 4.6 2.7 4.8
    Excluding Russia 6.0 6.2 4.5 4.5 –0.1 –0.1 . . . . . . . . .
Developing Asia 9.7 7.8 7.1 7.5 –0.3 –0.4 7.2 7.7 7.6
    China 10.4 9.2 8.0 8.5 –0.2 –0.3 8.9 8.4 8.4
    India 10.8 7.1 6.1 6.5 –0.7 –0.7 6.2 6.4 6.4
    ASEAN-5 4/ 7.0 4.5 5.4 6.1 0.0 –0.1 2.6 7.5 6.4
Latin America and the Caribbean 6.2 4.5 3.4 4.2 –0.3 0.1 3.6 3.5 5.1
    Brazil 7.5 2.7 2.5 4.6 –0.6 0.5 1.4 4.2 4.0
    Mexico 5.6 3.9 3.9 3.6 0.3 0.0 3.9 3.4 4.2
Middle East and North Africa 5.0 3.5 5.5 3.7 1.3 0.0 . . . . . . . . .
Sub-Saharan Africa 5.3 5.2 5.4 5.3 –0.1 0.0 . . . . . . . . .
    South Africa 2.9 3.1 2.6 3.3 –0.1 –0.1 2.6 2.8 3.7
European Union 2.0 1.6 0.0 1.0 0.0 –0.3 0.8 0.1 1.5
World Growth Based on Market Exchange Rates 4.2 2.8 2.7 3.2 0.0 –0.2 2.3 2.5 3.4
World Trade Volume (goods and services) 12.8 5.9 3.8 5.1 –0.3 –0.5 . . . . . . . . .
    Advanced Economies 11.5 4.4 1.9 4.2 0.0 0.1 . . . . . . . . .
    Emerging and Developing Economies 15.3 8.8 7.8 7.0 –0.6 –1.1 . . . . . . . . .
    Advanced Economies 12.2 5.4 2.3 4.3 0.0 –0.3 . . . . . . . . .
    Emerging and Developing Economies 14.4 6.6 5.7 6.2 –0.9 –1.0 . . . . . . . . .
Commodity Prices (U.S. dollars)
Oil 5/ 27.9 31.6 –2.1 –7.5 –12.4 –3.4 20.8 –7.7 –2.1
Nonfuel (average based on world commodity export weights) 26.3 17.8 –12.0 –4.3 –1.7 –2.2 –6.4 –3.9 –2.5
Consumer Prices
Advanced Economies 1.5 2.7 2.0 1.6 0.1 –0.1 2.8 1.8 1.7
Emerging and Developing Economies 3/ 6.1 7.2 6.3 5.6 0.1 0.0 6.5 5.8 3.9
London Interbank Offered Rate (percent) 6/
On U.S. Dollar Deposits 0.5 0.5 0.8 0.8 0.0 0.0 . . . . . . . . .
On Euro Deposits 0.8 1.4 0.7 0.6 –0.1 –0.2 . . . . . . . . .
On Japanese Yen Deposits 0.4 0.3 0.4 0.3 –0.2 0.2 . . . . . . . . .
Note: These forecasts incorporate information received through Friday, July 6, 2012. Real effective exchange rates are assumed to remain constant at the levels prevailing during May 7–June 4, 2012. When economies are not listed alphabetically, they are ordered on the basis of economic size. The aggregated quarterly data are seasonally adjusted.
1/The quarterly estimates and projections account for 90 percent of the world purchasing-power-parity weights.
2/Excludes the G7 and euro area countries.
3/The quarterly estimates and projections account for approximately 80 percent of the emerging and developing economies.
4/Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.
5/Simple average of prices of U.K. Brent, Dubai, and West Texas Intermediate crude oil. The average price of oil in U.S. dollars a barrel was $104.01 in 2011; the assumed price based on futures markets is $101.80 in 2012 and $94.16 in 2013.
6/Six-month rate for the United States and Japan. Three-month rate for the euro area.

Developments during the second quarter, however, have been worse (Figure 2:CSV|PDF). Relatedly, job creation has been hampered, with unemployment remaining high in many advanced economies, especially among the young in the euro area periphery.
Figure 2
The euro area periphery has been at the epicenter of a further escalation in financial market stress, triggered by increased political and financial uncertainty in Greece, banking sector problems in Spain, and doubts about governments’ ability to deliver on fiscal adjustment and reform as well as about the extent of partner countries’ willingness to help. Escalating stress in periphery economies has manifested itself along lines familiar from earlier episodes, including capital outflows, a renewed surge in sovereign yields (Figure 3CSV|PDF), adverse feedback loops between sovereign stresses and banking sector funding problems, increases in Target 2 liabilities of periphery central banks, further bank deleveraging, and contraction in credit to the private sector. The stabilizing effects of the ECB’s LTROs in periphery financial markets have thus eroded. On the real side, leading economic indicators presage renewed contraction of activity in the euro area as a whole in the second quarter.
Figure 3
Incoming data for the United States also suggest less robust growth than forecast in April. While distortions to seasonal adjustment and payback from the unusually mild winter explain some of the softening, there also seems to be an underlying loss of momentum. Negative spillovers from the euro area, limited so far, have been partially offset by falling long-term yields due to safe haven flows (see below).

Growth momentum has also slowed in various emerging market economies, notably Brazil, China, and India. This partly reflects a weaker external environment, but domestic demand has also decelerated sharply in response to capacity constraints and policy tightening over the past year. Many emerging market economies have also been hit by increases in investor risk aversion and perceived growth uncertainty, which have led not only to equity price declines, but also to capital outflows and currency depreciation. In global financial markets (Figure 4CSV|PDF), prices of risky assets declined during much of the second quarter, notably equity prices, while yields on safe haven bonds (Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the United States) retreated to multidecade lows (see also the July 2012 Global Financial Stability Report Market Update). With some of the capital flows into perceived safe assets occurring within the euro area, the weakening of the euro has been limited. However, sovereign debt markets in the euro area periphery remain unsettled.
Figure 4
Commodity prices have also fallen. Among major commodities, prices of crude oil declined the most in the second quarter—at about $86 a barrel, they are some 25 percent below their mid-March highs—given the combined effects of weaker global demand prospects, easing concerns about Iran-related geopolitical oil supply risks, and continued above-quota production by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) members.

Global growth weak through 2012

The baseline projections in this WEO Update incorporate weaker growth through much of the second half of 2012 in both advanced and key emerging market economies, reflecting the setbacks to the global recovery discussed above. The near-term forecasts are based on the usual assumption of current policies, with two important qualifications:

  • The projections assume that financial conditions in the euro area periphery will gradually ease through 2013 from the levels reached in June this year, predicated on the assumption that policymakers will follow up on the positive decisions agreed upon at the June EU leaders’ summit and will take action as needed if conditions deteriorate further.
  • The projections also assume that current legislation in the United States, which implies a mandatory sharp reduction in the federal budget deficit—the so-called fiscal cliff—will be modified so as to avoid a large fiscal contraction in the near term.

Overall, global growth is projected to moderate to 3.5 percent in 2012 and 3.9 percent in 2013, some 0.1 and 0.2 percentage point, respectively, lower than forecast in the April 2012 WEO (Table 1). In view of a stronger-than-expected first quarter outcome, weaker global growth in the second half of 2012 will primarily affect annual growth in 2013 through base effects.

Growth in advanced economies is projected to expand by 1.4 percent in 2012 and 1.9 percent in 2013, a downward revision of 0.2 percentage point for 2013 relative to theApril 2012 WEO. The downward revision mostly reflects weaker activity in the euro area, especially in the periphery economies, where the dampening effects from uncertainty and tighter financial conditions will be strongest. Owing mainly to negative spillovers, including from uncertainty, growth in most other advanced economies will also be slightly weaker, although lower oil prices will likely dampen these adverse effects.

Growth in emerging and developing economies will moderate to 5.6 percent in 2012 before picking up to 5.9 percent in 2013, a downward revision of 0.1 and 0.2 percentage point in 2012 and 2013, respectively, relative to the April 2012 WEO. In the near term, activity in many emerging market economies is expected to be supported by the policy easing that began in late 2011 or early 2012 and, in net fuel importers, by lower oil prices, depending on the extent of the pass-through to domestic retail prices (which is often incomplete).

Growth is projected to remain relatively weaker than in 2011 in regions connected more closely with the euro area (Central and Eastern Europe in particular). In contrast with the broad trends, growth in the Middle East and North Africa will be stronger in 2012–13 relative to last year, as key oil exporters continue to boost oil production and domestic demand while activity in Libya is rebounding rapidly after the unrest in 2011. Similarly, growth in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to remain robust in 2012–13, helped by the region’s relative insulation from external financial shocks, and revisions to the growth outlook since the April 2012 WEO are modest.

Global consumer price inflation is projected to ease as demand softens and commodity prices recede. Overall, headline inflation is expected to slip from 4½ percent in the last quarter of 2011 to 3–3½ percent in 2012–13.

The global recovery remains at risk

Downside risks to this weaker global outlook continue to loom large. The most immediate risk is still that delayed or insufficient policy action will further escalate the euro area crisis. In this regard, agreements reached at the EU leaders’ summit are steps in the right direction. But further steps are needed, notwithstanding high implementation hurdles, as underscored by the very recent deterioration in sovereign debt markets. The situation in the euro area crisis economies will likely remain precarious until all policy action needed for a resolution of the crisis has been taken (see below). Other downside risks relate to fiscal policy in other advanced economies:

  • In the short term, the main risk relates to the possibility of excessive fiscal tightening in the United States, given recent political gridlock. In the extreme, if policymakers fail to reach consensus on extending some temporary tax cuts and reversing deep automatic spending cuts, the U.S. structural fiscal deficit could decline by more than 4 percentage points of GDP in 2013. U.S. growth would then stall next year, with significant spillovers to the rest of the world. Moreover, delays in raising the federal debt ceiling could increase risks of financial market disruptions and a loss in consumer and business confidence.
  • Another risk arises from insufficient progress in developing credible plans for medium-term fiscal consolidation in the United States and Japan—the flight to safety in global bond markets currently mitigates this risk. In the absence of policy action, medium-term public debt ratios would continue to move along unsustainable trajectories. As the global recovery advances, a lack of progress could trigger sharply higher sovereign borrowing costs in the United States and Japan as well as turbulence in the global bond and currency markets.

Downside risks to growth in emerging market and developing economies seem primarily related to external factors in the near term. The slowdown in emerging market growth since mid-2011 has been partly the result of policy tightening in response to signs of overheating. But policies have been eased since, and this easing should gain traction in the second half of 2012.

Nevertheless, concerns remain that potential growth in emerging market economies might be lower than expected. Growth in these economies has been above historical trends over the past decade or so, supported in part by financial deepening and rapid credit growth, which may well have generated overly optimistic expectations about potential growth. As a result, growth in emerging market economies could be lower than expected over the medium term, with a correspondingly smaller contribution to global growth. Also of concern are risks to financial stability after years of rapid credit growth in the current environment of weaker global growth, elevated risk aversion, and some signs of domestic strain. Among low-income countries, those dependent on aid face risks of lower-than-expected budget support from advanced economies, while commodity exporters are vulnerable to further erosion of commodity prices. In the medium term, there are tail risks of a hard landing in China, where investment spending could slow more sharply given overcapacity in a number of sectors.

On the positive side, oil price risks have abated in recent months, reflecting the interaction of changes in prospective market conditions and perceived geopolitical risks. Supply conditions have improved due to increased production in Saudi Arabia and other key exporters, while demand prospects have weakened and are subject to downside risks. With geopolitical risks to oil supply widely perceived to have declined, risks to oil price projections appear more evenly balanced now, while those around prices of non-oil commodities tilt downward.

Crisis management remains the top priority

The utmost priority is to resolve the crisis in the euro area. The recent agreements, if implemented in full, will help to break the adverse links between sovereigns and banks and create a banking union. In particular, once the agreed-upon single supervisory mechanism for euro area banks is established, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) would be able to recapitalize banks directly. Moreover, ESM assistance will not carry seniority status for Spain—an important step to support market confidence. In addition, the leaders re-affirmed a willingness to consider secondary purchases of sovereign bonds by the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the ESM.

But these measures must be complemented by more progress on banking and fiscal union. In addition, the periphery countries need to remain on track with their policy reform commitments, for which they need a supportive financial and growth environment that must be facilitated by the ECB and other euro-area-level facilities. These tasks require policy measures in several areas:

  • A credible commitment toward a robust and complete monetary union. By setting in motion a process toward a unified supervisory framework, the European summit put in place the first building block of a banking union. But other necessary elements, including a pan-European deposit insurance guarantee scheme and bank resolution mechanism with common backstops, need to be added. In the shorter term, timely implementation will be essential, including through the ratification of the ESM by all members. In addition, these steps would usefully be complemented by plans for fiscal integration, as anticipated in the report of the “Four Presidents” submitted to the summit.
  • The viability of the monetary union must also be supported by wide-ranging structural reforms throughout the euro area to raise growth and resolve intra-area current account imbalances.
  • Demand support and crisis management are essential in the short term to cushion the impact of the region’s adjustment efforts and maintain orderly market conditions (as assumed in the baseline projections).
  • There is room for monetary policy in the euro area to ease further. In addition, the ECB should ensure that its monetary support is transmitted effectively across the region and should continue to provide ample liquidity support to banks under sufficiently lenient conditions. This might require nonstandard measures, such as reactivation of the Securities Market Programme, additional LTROs with lower collateral requirements, or the introduction of QE-style asset purchases.
  • Fiscal consolidation plans in the euro area must be implemented. In general, attention should be paid to meeting structural fiscal targets, rather than nominal targets that will likely be affected by economic conditions. Automatic stabilizers should thus be allowed to operate fully in economies not subject to market pressure. Considering the large downside risks, economies with limited fiscal vulnerability should stand ready to implement fiscal contingency measures if such risks materialize.

In other major advanced economies, monetary policy also needs to respond effectively, including with further unconventional measures, to a much weaker near-term environment that will dampen price pressures. In view of somewhat weaker global growth, automatic stabilizers should be allowed to operate fully, while fiscal consolidation plans might need to be recalibrated if large downside risks materialize (see the July 2012 Fiscal Monitor Update). In the United States, it will be critical to reach transparent, bipartisan agreements to avoid a fiscal cliff in the near term and to raise the federal debt ceiling well ahead of the deadline (which will most likely be early in 2013). At the same time, both the United States and Japan need more credible plans to put medium-term government debt on a downward track. In Japan, a full Diet approval—after passage in the Lower House—of a gradual increase in the consumption tax rate is essential to maintain confidence in the authorities’ resolve to put public debt on a sustainable trajectory.

In emerging and developing economies, policymakers should stand ready to adjust policies, given spillovers from weaker advanced economy prospects and slowing export growth and volatile capital flows. That said, the need for and the nature of the desirable policy response vary considerably across emerging market economies because of differences in their cyclical positions. In some, recent growth declines have primarily reflected normalization to trend, and policies must thus avoid rekindling overheating pressures, with due consideration of risks that potential growth could be lower than expected. However, in economies where inflation and credit pressures have already eased credibly or where inflation expectations remain firmly anchored, further cuts in policy rates could be considered to help alleviate weakening economic conditions. In economies where inflation and credit pressures have not eased significantly, targeted measures could be considered should bank liquidity or funding pressures arise in the context of the current unsettled global financial environment. Economies with sustainable public finances and market financing at sustainable rates should allow automatic stabilizers to play fully, while those with large fiscal and external surpluses could consider fiscal support. Finally, with growth slowing and after many years of rapid credit growth, enhanced risk-based prudential regulation and supervision and macroprudential measures that address financial risks should take top priority.

The global competiteveness review 2012-2013

Global competiteveness review 2013

Pdf format:



Part 1: Measuring Competitiveness 1
1.1 The Global Competitiveness Index 3
2012–2013: Strengthening Recovery by Raising Productivity
by Xavier Sala-i-Martín, Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, Jennifer
Blanke, Roberto Crotti, Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz,
Thierry Geiger, and Caroline Ko
1.2 Assessing the Sustainable Competitiveness 49
of Nations
by Beñat Bilbao-Osorio, Jennifer Blanke, Roberto Crotti,
Margareta Drzeniek Hanouz, Brindusa Fidanza, Thierry
Geiger, Caroline Ko, and Cecilia Serin
1.3 The Executive Opinion Survey: The Voice 69
of the Business Community
by Ciara Browne, Thierry Geiger, and Tania Gutknecht
Part 2: Data Presentation 79
2.1 Country/Economy Profiles 81
How to Read the Country/Economy Profiles …………………………….83
Index of Countries/Economies ………………………………………………..85
Country/Economy Profiles ……………………………………………………..86
2.2 Data Tables 375
How to Read the Data Tables ……………………………………………….377
Index of Data Tables ……………………………………………………………379
Data Tables ……………………………………………………………………….381
Technical Notes and Sources 519
About the Authors 523
Acknowledgments 527

‘The financial crisis is an urban crisis’

David Harvey: ‘The financial crisis is an urban crisis’ – video


David Harvey, theorist and author of Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution, says that postwar capitalism can be understood with reference to the history of urbanisation and suburbanisation. Urban investment gets you out of a crisis but defines what the next crisis is going to look like, he argues. The emerging powers of the east are now in the midst of a massive urbanisation project and could fall victim to the same outcome.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/

China boosts economy with £99bn!

Stock markets across Asia soar on hopes world’s second largest economy will drive global recovery


China has announced a trillion yuan (£99bn) of infrastructure projects in a bid to revive economic growth, raising hopes that the world’s second largest economy will drive a recovery across the globe.

Stock markets in Asia soared on the news, with the main Chinese share index up 3.7% on the day. Markets were already buoyed by the announcement of the ECB’s plan to save the euro by buying up the bonds of distressed eurozone countries in unlimited quantities.

Over the past two days, Beijing has announced plans to build highways, waterways, urban rail projects and waste water treatment plants, estimated to cost more than 1tn yuan, some 2% of China’s total economy.

The Chinese government did not describe the investments as a stimulus package, but analysts said the approvals signalled a shift in policy. Zhang Zhiwei, economist at Nomura, said: “Apart from the large sizes of the projects, the announcements were all made in two days, which is very intense. It signals a change in policy stance, which is now much more proactive.”

He said the projects were likely to begin in the coming months and the impact could be reflected in fourth quarter GDP. Chinese growth slowed to 7.6% in the second quarter, its lowest in three years, and grim economic data out in the past few weeks suggests the slowdown could be even steeper in the third quarter.

The Chinese government has been expected to act to boost growth for some time, but has been wary of reinflating a property bubble and overstimulating the economy. It is thought the leadership has also been preoccupied with the once-in-a-decade leadership change taking place later this year.

Crucially, these new projects have been signed off by the central planning agency, meaning they are likely to proceed. Local governments in China have announced around 7tn yuan worth of projects over the past two months but analysts said funding shortages would scupper the plans. Once projects have Beijing’s approval, however, funding is seen as a formality.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/  


Pinterest’s Impact on Users and on Your Brand

We’ve mentioned Pinterest numerous times—enough to show we’re Pin-crazy.

But we’re not the only ones!

To back us up on our Pin interest, Compete has published charts about Pinterest’s growth and its impact on marketers.

Some quick stats:

  • Pinterest has grown from 700,000 to 20,000,000 unique users in the past year; that’s already almost half the number of Twitter‘s users.
  • It is cannibalizing other social media: Compete attributed a 3% decline in Facebook activity in June to users’ preferences for Pinning.
  • 1 in 4 users spend less time on other social media in Pinterest’s favor, with 15% of Pinterest users saying they don’t use any other social sites.
  • That number’s even higher, 23%, among those with an income of less than $30,000.

The food industry is a big Pin winner: 57% of users interact with food-related content on the site, which benefits other sites.Traffic from Pinterest to Allrecipes.com, for instance, was up 16% when Compete took a look. And Kraft captured an additional 4% share of Pinterest traffic in May.

But it isn’t just foodies building Boards: 25% of customers purchased a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest—with that figure rising to 37% among males!

Compete’s suggestions for marketers seeking to Pin down a profit:

  • Measure the difference in user engagement and purchasing behavior before and after exposure to specific categories, brands, or products on Pinterest.
  • Isolate differences in purchase and engagement behavior across given demographics, including age, income, and gender.
  • Compare how the engagement/purchasing behavior of users on Pinterest compares with Facebook.
  • Quantify the impact that exposure to Pinterest has on brand or product loyalty.

To start, we recommend checking out our tips for masterful Pinmanship, and three useful measurements for tracking Pinterest traffic.

The Po!nt: Knowledge is power. Using Pinterest lets you leverage user behavior in nuanced and positive ways. So determine who loves your Pins, and what Pins work best, to improve your long-term strategy.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/short-articles/2642/pinterests-impact-on-users-and-on-your-brand#ixzz269hJH4Vm

The State of Play in Biofuel Subsidies

Are policies ready to shift?

» Mark Halle, Nestlé, 2012.Video (60:00), copyright of: Nestlé




June 19, 2012 – RIO DE JANEIRO – The GSI report State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift? was launched at a special discussion on biofuel subsidies organized by Nestlé S.A. on the Business Day at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20.

The video below is a record of the full event, including contributions of the following speakers:

The video concludes with a question and answer session and discussion amongst the audience and the panelists.


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