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Chamber Seminar: Email Marketing

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

When: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 800am - 930am
Where: The Orchards
What: Email Marketing Seminar
Who: Berkshire Direct (Kevin Ellingwood, Jeff Stripp, Allen Jezouit)

Local marketing firm Berkshire Direct will deliver a 90-minute seminar on email marketing strategies and tactics. Whether you’re a for-profit business attempting to drive ecommerce transactions on your store site or a non-profit seeking to engage your donor base with ongoing messages, this seminar is for you. Please RSVP by contacting Judy Giamborino at 413.458.9077 or via email at info@williamstownchamber.com.

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That didn't take long

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

Well, it sure didn't take Google long to respond - with actions, not words - to the New York Times story that came out last week about JC Penney's alleged "black hat" SEO techniques. According to today's Wall Street Journal, Google has modified its search engine algorithms to prevent websites from using JC Penney's techniques to game the system. (See Google Revamps to Fight Cheaters, Wall Street Journal, Monday, Feb. 28, 2011).

It will be interesting to see just how effective Google's changes are, and how much they impact the page ranks of sites that heretofore had relied upon "white hat" SEO techniques. If you rely on your site for new leads, new business, etc. (and who doesn't these days), you need to pay careful attention to your site's rankings over the next few weeks to see if there are any changes resulting from Google's algorithm mods. Our guess is that the more extensive your link building efforts, the more likely this will effect you.

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Holy cow!

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

Talk about some scary stuff! Evidently you don't need a genius IQ and a ton of expensive hardware to be a cyber security threat anymore. That means all of us need to be on our guard. Unsecured wi-fi networks - like in coffee shops - are pretty scary places. Your personal information is evidently not safe there in the least.

A recent New York Times story, "New Hacking Tools Pose Bigger threats to Wi-Fi Users" (Kate Murphy, Feb 16, 2011) provides some startling info.

"You may think the only people capable of snooping on your Internet activity are government intelligence agents or possibly a talented teenage hacker holed up in his parents’ basement. But some simple software lets just about anyone sitting next to you at your local coffee shop watch you browse the Web and even assume your identity online."

Read the entire story here.

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JC Penney and "black hat" SEO

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

Really interesting story this past week about JC Penney's SEO results appeared in the New York Times. I would highly recommend giving it a read if you are at all interested in SEO and getting your website found online.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/13/business/13search.html

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Easier and easier

Allen Jezouit, @BerkshireCountyBusiness

Technology marches on. I am regulary blown away by how simple things can be when super smart software engineers figure out ways to take advantage of big picture opportunities.

We have built several ecommerce stores for clients on the BigCommerce platform. We just love it. BigCommerce has recently created functionality that allows a store owner to have a "Shop" tab on their Facebook page. We setup a few of these in the past week. One is for local maple syrup producers and alpaca farmers Sweet Brook Farm. You can check out the shop tab on their Facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/#!/SweetBrookFarm?sk=app_342349437729

The other one is for a former local non-profit now located in Boston, the National Patient Safety Foundation.  You can check out the shop on their Facebook page here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/National-Patient-Safety-Foundation/197731443331?v=app_342349437729&ref=ts

Creating the Shop pages in Facebook was a simple 3 step process.

1) Install the BigCommerce app on the Facebook page.

2) Tell the BigCommerce app the URL of the store's home page.

3) Click save.

That's it. BOOM! You're live with a fully featured shopping page embedding into your Facebook page. Unbelievable how slick and simple this is to work with.

Love that technology stuff ...

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