Monday, March 25, 2013

Well Water Contamination And Safe Drinking Conditions

Read The Full Article On Green Building Elements

After living in an older house with a well, I can say with a certainty that well water contamination happens more often than one might think. While water bills and payments are non-existent, maintenance and upkeep is much more of a chore to keep my available fresh water contaminant free. While I have the luxury of living in a modern country with utilities and available options for cleanliness, the vast majority of the world's water is still unsanitary and unsafe for drinking. Millions across the globe lack water access let alone a clean supply for consumption. Even in the United States and on government provided utilities there are still cleanliness issues. The NY Times reported that within the US, over 20% of the water treatment systems had key violations. Understanding warning signs and then how to effectively fix water contamination issues are incredibly important to maintaining one's health. 

"According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 15 million U.S. households regularly depend on private ground water wells. Although this water can be safe for the most part, minor maintenance neglect can result in major problems. If even just a small amount of polluted ground water is consumed, it could lead to illness and other health complications.

Seepage is the number one cause of groundwater pollution and can come from a number of different sources. These sources include landfills, failed septic tanks, fertilizers and pesticides, underground fuel tanks and runoff from urban regions. Because of the high risks involved, experts recommend regularly checking your ground water wells to ensure the safety of the supply."

Read The Full Article On Green Building Elements
Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Using Social Media For Good Healthcare

Read the full article on Business 2 Community

Social media has been pigeonholed as only appropriate for certain industries, when it's uses could serve a much greater purpose.
Yes social media is an excellent way for clothing, entertainment and food brands to stay connected to their fans, but that only scratches the surface of social media's capabilities. With the power to connect with millions of users online in an instant, there are infinitely better  uses for the medium than tweeting out humorous photos. Revolutionaries use twitter to organize movements in unison. New breaks faster now and comes directly to each individual in their pocket. Why not translate that system to people's health? Without breaching HIPPA regulations and revealing too much personal information, social media can help individuals with medication and reminders, lowering costs and creating a more personal touch between physicians and their patients. 

"Hospitals can take advantage of social media, just like any other company can. It’s an excellent way to market to their geographical audience and keep the hospital name in front of a wide range of people on a regular basis.  It can also benefit those in the community who are connected to the hospital. For many reasons, social media is the perfect way for a person to feel connected to their caregiver in between visits. How can such a big, regulated organization get in on all the sharing and liking? Here are just a few ideas."

Read the full article on Business 2 Community
Monday, February 11, 2013

Stop Trying To Game Social Media

Read the full article on Social Media Today

There are no shortcuts in the business realm, and that translates into social media marketing
If you hired a business to do anything for you, let's say to come in and clean your office; if they told you that they were just going to make your office appear as though it were clean to everyone else outside of your company, while not actually doing the job, you would laugh in their face. Who can honestly justify trying to take shortcuts for mere appearances? Well unfortunately a large portion of social campaigns and, "social media experts," are selling just that, a product which doesn't actually connect with users online and simply maintains the appearance of engagement. Social media marketing has been getting a bad rap lately because of the way it is being utilized, not the medium itself. If done correctly, people can engage with companies and traffic can again become relevant without spamming or buying fake followers.

"For those who sell things online, social media seems like any other game of Monopoly; a vast community of users with property for sale that you want to occupy with your product. Unfortunately though, the easiest way with social media marketing is the wrong approach and effectively gaming the system is equivalent to rolling doubles three times in a row. It’s no secret that the old cowboy days of optimization meant a lot of lawless tactics. Subverting the system was the best way to maximize search results, and who was keeping score anyway? Those hoping to translate their mastery of algorithms to a new type of site quickly learn though that things don't work the same way. Instead of a blind algorithm that can easily be fooled, you’re now dealing with real people who have more intelligent reactions to your efforts. Don’t buy utilities, understand railroads are risky, and know that shortcuts in the game of Social Media will get you sent to jail. The only way to succeed is to play the master of the house’s rules, and these days, the master is the average user. "

Read the full article on Social Media Today
Thursday, January 24, 2013

How To Analyze Campaign Success Rates Through Landing Pages

Read the full article on Social Media Today
When looking at a digital campaign for any website, unique visits, time spent on page and the bounce rate can be incredibly revealing statistics. With a low bounce rate and the others being high, that means you're doing incredibly well, but in my professional experience this rarely happens right off the bat. Due to poorly written meta descriptions, keywords and content on page a visitor might think they're coming to your site for the wrong kind of information, hence the bounce. So how do you remedy the situation? 
"It's no secret that for companies with an online presence, bigger is better when it comes to digital campaigns. Sometimes, however, the results are not necessarily what the company expects or wants. What do you do at this point? Cry a little? Pull your hair out? No, you do some homegrown research to find what the problems may be and you learn how to fix them.
The best options for determining a campaign's success is by tracking your analytics and conversion rates through your final landing page. By interacting with users online, through social media, blogs, or any other community, you are establishing a relationship that needs to benefit their needs and concerns. Managing a successful campaign is all about understanding your targeted audience and finding the best ways to appeal to them. Get active in finding the best approaches to maintaining customer retention by understanding what pages and information yield the most positive results." --> continued 
Read the full article on Social Media Today
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Utilizing Localized Internet Targeting For Your Small Business

Read the full article on Business 2 Community

Small means agile, and using localized internet targeting can help with your business plan.
The big business push has come and gone, and now small businesses are returning to glory. Major corporations may have cheaper prices, but with that comes lower quality products that apply to a general populace of consumers. Small businesses have the advantage of remaining local and highly specialized, but a major set back is having to operate with higher costs compared to larger competitors. In the digital age knowledge is power, and connecting with your customers online can be simple for big businesses on a national scale, or a small local shop looking for customers in a focused area. It's all about knowing how to reach the right people. 

"Over the past few decades, American consumers have become very comfortable with big box stores. These are the Wal-Marts of the world, the one-stop shops that promise low prices, consistently stocked shelves and a sense of familiarity from one store to the next. This mentality has somehow managed to find its way into every aspect of American life -- we have chain restaurants, big breweries and even massive websites that dominate retail. Recently, however, there has been a big push for supporting local businesses. Somewhere along the way, consumers began to value the offerings of smaller, more focused retailers and the local economy has begun to recover from the invasion of the retail giant. What happened? Why the sudden shift? It would seem there's a major problem when it comes to the big box model and local businesses are finally finding solutions to help them compete again."

Read the full article on Business 2 Community
Monday, January 14, 2013

The Forgotten Aftermath Of Natural Disaster: Cleaning Up

Read the full article on Green Building Elements

Washed up debris in the Rockaways after Hurricane Sandy
It's arguably one of the saddest realities associated with Natural Disasters. First something horrifying tears through everyday life and leaves people stranded, to which we all respond in good nature and empathy, offering to help clean up and donate money to various causes. Then, a measly few months after the fact, disaster has been erased from our memory and we've moved on to the next fixation. The Gulf of Mexico is still recovering from the BP Oil spill. Tornadoes that have ransacked the south and Midwest still leave scars throughout communities. And, even closer to home, the wreckage from Hurricane Sandy still looms in some of the most populated areas in the US. What is involved in the process to clean up and return to normal from natural disasters like Sandy, past simply donating a dollar to the Red Cross?

"Hurricane Sandy came ashore late in the day on Monday, October 28, 2012. It is a date New York and New Jersey residents won't soon forget. The storm wiped out houses and pushed sand and water four blocks inland in some places. While many had evacuated, many others were left stranded. About 10,000 Air National Guard and Army forces came on duty round the clock in the 13 states that were affected by the massive hurricane. The nation tends to rally during the aftermath of a natural disaster. Something about the unequivocal power of nature and its indiscriminate path of destruction makes it easy to ask, “What if it happened to me?” Millions found their answer in the post-Sandy relief effort.

Getting any place back to normal after a crippling disaster takes time, effort and millions of dollars. Though the response to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake shocked the world with its magnitude, the restoration is still happening nearly three years later. The Sandy cleanup effort has been called “military” by New York Times writer Eric Lipton, but one wonders just how long crews will be in restoring The Rockaways."

Read the full article on Green Building Elements
Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Growth And Prominence Of The Social Media Generation

Read the full article on We Are Social People

Children born from today forward will never know a world without smartphones or the internet.
When I was growing up, if you tried to explain to me what an 8 track player was, or a laser disk even, I would have probably laughed. The mere thought of it to me was hilarious; "A ridiculously large CD? Why would anyone buy that?" as I shoved my floppy disk into a desktop computer running Windows 95 (top of the line). These days the same mentality holds true. Dial up? AIM? Do you mean IM? Children born from today forward will no nothing of the pre-smartphone era, where social updates didn't occur every second and getting online meant kicking your sister off the home phone. It's astonishing how time flies, and yet what does that mean about this group of youngsters? Their mentality will be entirely different from the older generation, so how can we influence and connect with Millenials who see social media as common and even passe?

"The Internet continues to revolutionize modern life in a host of ways. Those who adapted to it as it grew and developed remember different times and ways of communication than many of today’s youth ever will. The most recent generation will grow up never knowing a time without smartphones, Netflix and Wi-Fi. While these digital natives are intimidating and hard to pin down, they will become the key to marketing for years to come. After all, without the Millennials, we wouldn’t have the all-encompassing term “social media” or the need to conduct social media marketing campaigns."

Read the full article on We Are Social People
Monday, January 7, 2013

Holiday Season Shows the Importance of Mobile Interaction

Read the full article on Bill Mullin's Tech Thoughts
Sales from tablets and mobile phones outperformed.
I can't say we didn't see this one coming. Mobile interaction and sales have been steadily increasing since 2009, some would even say since the advent of the smartphone. It's just common sense; people don't need to go home anymore to get on their computers and interact online, they have their own computer in their pockets. This applies to social media interaction, search, and most definitely shopping. Everyone and their mother has an application these days to help boost online sales, and this past holiday season was proof that it is a strategy worth investing in, especially considering the rising number of tablet users. 
"In 2012, shoppers spent $1.46 billion online on the Monday following Thanksgiving (also known as “Cyber Monday”). And more than 18 percent of shoppers used a mobile device to access retail sites that day. As mobile devices become more available – and as retailers designer their websites to be more mobile-friendly – the trend in online shopping is expected to continue.
Of particular interest to retailers is the fact that people who use mobile devices to shop online exhibit a slightly higher rate of conversion when compared to their desktop computer-using counterparts. That’s why it pays to develop a strategy for capturing this audience."
Read the full article on Bill Mullin's Tech Thoughts
Thursday, January 3, 2013

What Do You Want Your Website Visitors To Do?

Read the full article on Business Computing World

Do your visitors know what your site does, and then how do you convince them to convert?
If you are doing digital marketing right, then you are reaching the right audience online and effectively drawing them into your website. Great. Now that they are here though, how do you effectively portray your message and generate a lead? Is there a clear path for a visitor to take in order to go through the full process of realization of need, research, consideration and purchase? The conversion process is much more in depth than simply throwing the price of a product online and needs to be thought out carefully to maximize your outlets on the web. 

"Websites cannot remain static and effective at achieving high conversions. It's an either-or decision. Every company should answer the question: What do you want your site visitors to do? Your answer determines your conversion goals. Are you missing out on potential micro conversions by focusing too much on the macro level? Are you only tracking one macro conversion funnel?

You should concentrate on one overriding objective: Relevancy. Ask yourself if you're sending the right message to the right person at the right time? Converting your audience may require a combination of new calls to action, upgraded content and a new user interface. Your choice depends on how relevant it is to your audience."

Read the full article on Business Computing World