Entries from blogs tagged with “local”
If you're currently looking for a job or thinking about a change in careers, don’t miss the the Northeast Kansas Marketplace Job Fair, Wednesday, March 16, at the Lawrence Holiday Inn Convention Center!
Admission is free and is open to the public
A job fair is a great way to get you past all the usual hurdles, introducing you to many new people, businesses and employment opportunities. You’ll meet face-to-face with local employers, trainers and support professionals who want to get to know you — all in one day and all in one place! Leave that day with new job leads, helpful contacts, and the information you need to make the next move.
You’ll also be able to take advantage of our FREE Resume 911 booth for an expert assessment and constructive advice on your resume
Northeast Kansas Marketplace Job Fair Wednesday, March 16 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Lawrence Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center 200 McDonald Dr Lawrence, KS 66044
Questions? Send us an e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (785) 843-1000.
You guys have submitted close to 200 Valentine messages so far and Lawrence is definitely feeling the love. We'll be posting them until about 5:oo today so it's not too late to send in your Valentine's Day message. And be sure to check out the page to see if someone left you a message at http://www2.ljworld.com/marketplace/valentinescontestwinners/ [Submit Your Valentine's Message]
Last week we wrapped up a terrific Valentine's Day contest and I gotta say it was really great seeing all the special Valentine's Day messages. Nice end last week sending off a dozen roses to each of the winners along with all the other great prizes.
I've gotta thank all of our sponsors: In Lawrence Englewood Florist, Owen's Flowers, Pachamama's and Salon Blush. In Shawnee: La Vita Bella Day Spa and Hy-Vee's flower dept., and in Manhattan Kistner's Flowers and Salon Essentials in Manhattan for all the great prizes. And a special thank-you to everyone who sent in a Valentine to a loved one!
: http://bit.ly/ljwluv / Submit your Valentines
The Super Bowl commercial featuring a young boy dressed as Darth Vader, who thinks he successfully uses the Force to start his dad's car, has tied for highest finish ever by a car ad in the Super Bowl in an annual USA Today Ad Meter poll of consumer panelists. In a field of sometimes funny (the Ozzy Osbourne/Justin Bieber Best Buy ad), sometimes sexy (the Kim Kardashian Sketchers ad) and sometimes tasteless (the mockumentary Groupon ad) the cute and cuddly ads won out with consumers. According to the Ad Meter poll, the top 2 viewer favorites both featured dogs (for Doritos and Bud Light) with 3rd place going to Volkswagen's adorable Darth Vader. But who is the kid behind the mask?
6 year old Max Page plays the little boy dressed as Darth Vader, who unsuccessfully tries to use his Force powers around the house until he points his power in the direction of the family's VW Passat, which starts up seemingly at Max's command. This is the first national TV spot for young Max, though he has appeared in other regional commercials and has a recurring role on the Young and the Restless. Reportedly, Max and his family didn't realize the spot was for the Super Bowl until after shooting had began.
But Max's story is also one of perseverance and strength. You see, Max was born with a congenital heart defect and had a surgery when he was just 3 months old to implant an artificial pacemaker. According to his Mom, he is still routinely at the hospital. Blue eyed Max was beaming with a vivacious smile as he made the media rounds following the success of the Super Bowl spot. Definitely an inspiration!
Last week, Google pulled the plug on its Goog411 service. As a frequent user of the service for the past 3+ years, this news is dismaying. Goog411 was fantastic, just dial 1-800-GOOG-411 and you had voice recognition Google results for businesses. Just say your city and state and the place you were looking for or some keywords and Google results were spoken back to you. You could then say things like "more results" to get address and hours information or say "call" to phone the business directly. Pretty handy on-the-go, though the voice-recognition software never really improved over time and it failed to live up to its original promise of eventually giving you the closest results or coupons based on your location. Still, the service was free and way more thorough than directory assistance.
Even more distressing than losing this great service was learning that Google maybe never intended it to last long term and that their real objective may have been in improving their voice-recognition technology for future applications, as uncovered in this New York Time's Article: Farewell GOOG 411 NY Times October 14th.
The real answer was one Google search away. Here’s Google’s Marissa Mayer, talking to Infoworld in 2007, when she was Google’s vice president for search: “If you want us to build a really robust speech model, we need a lot of phonemes, which is a syllable as spoken by a particular voice with a particular intonation. So we need a lot of people talking, saying things so that we can ultimately train off of that. So 1-800-GOOG-411 is about that: Getting a bunch of different speech samples.”
In other words, GOOG-411 was never intended to be a permanent exhibit; it was a phoneme-harvesting operation for honing Google’s voice technologies
The implication that Google's motives were more about improving their own technology for future monetization and that the usefulness of the service was simply a bi-product of that is not surprising, but I still feel let down a little bit duped.
Del.icio.us Leaves a Bad Taste for Yahoo!
Also burning through tech news over the past week were stories about Yahoo lay-offs and the possibility of social bookmarking site De.licio.us getting the axe. After around 600 Yahoo staff lost their jobs last Tuesday, stories started to appear in news outlets across the country that Delicious was on the chopping block, based partly on the lay-offs but more on the strength of a leaked Yahoo presentation slide showing the bookmarking site in the "Sunset" column of offerings that were being phased out.
Reportedly, requests for comment from Yahoo were met with vague and dodgy answers and the response by Yahoo's Chief Product Officer Blake Irving to chatter on the social networks was combative at best, as illustrated by his now infamous twitter post: "**Blakei** @bpm140 @joshu Really dude? Can't wait to find out how you got the web cast. Whoever it is, gone! Dec 16, 2010 11:28:49 AM "
About 24 hours later, Yahoo made a post to the Delicious blog how disappointed they were that the press got the story so wrong and that the site's future has yet to be decided. Hopefully, the internet giant says, Delicious will be moved to another company where " it can be resourced to the level where it can be competitive."
I'm a huge fan of Delicious and after reading the reports of a shutdown thought "I already lost Goog-411 this week, please don't take my Delicious!" I'm sure there are other great social bookmarking sites out there (any suggestions? :) and even if Delicious does inevitably go away, Yahoo has at least given me much entertainment with how adolescently it has so far handled the situation. Their blog post promises 3 times to communicate and share information and updates as things develop. But if they had simply responded in an up front manner to the direct questions about the fate of the product in the first place, they wouldn't have to be pointing fingers now.
Oh and yes, and the day this happened, Facebook crashed itself shortly after accidentally "launching" a host of new features that weren't ready yet. According to Wired, the site was taken down intentionally. Read an amusing account of the back and forth Wired reporter Sam Gustin had with Facebook here:Facebook Takes Itself Down
European countries have also opened their investigations into the Google cars that travel street to street with rooftop mounted cameras and the images they collect for Google Map's street views. France has ruled that the images collected amount to personal data and will go as far as to pull over a Google car if they think they're recording. Germany wants people to be able to "opt-out" while Great Britain has no problem with cars or the images they collect. Meanwhile Canada has ruled that Google did break the law but that it was a "careless error" on their part
Even though the case was closed, the Canadian sentiment is in line with most of the European one - that Google Inc stepped out of bounds and rather arrogantly assumed they could create their own definition of what types of information is private.
Privacy concerns have dogged Google since the inception of Street View. I personally enjoy the service and find it useful. It's fascinating to be able to take a virtual tour through a city or visit the Great Pyramids of Egypt from my laptop.
I do think that Google would do well to at least label their street cars.
On Saturday, the Game Nut video game, movie and dvd store celebrated its 5th birthday party by giving away $5,000 worth of stuff in drawings and prizes. Like Nintendo Wiis, ipods, xboxes, plus they served cake in the gaming loft (which is awesome by the way, you can pretty much play any game on any system ever while lounging in a great big massage chair.) I saw a grandfather playing an old Atari 2600 version of Donkey Kong on a giant high-definition screen. And I can't forget to mention the cupcakes done in the style of pac-man, power-pellet maze and all.
If you're downtown, you can't miss their window displays. Unveiled on Saturday, 'Rampage' - imagine king kong and godzilla duking it out in in the great big city.
A recent study found that 80% of coupon redeemers got their coupons from a newspaper. And close to 78% say they've printed out an online coupon at least once. Good article with some interesting information on coupon habits. The report speculates "These findings may indicate a lasting change in the psyche of consumers with regard to how they shop and spend as a result of the challenging economic times."
What kinds of coupons do you use? How do you get them (mail, newspaper, online)?
We are very excited to announce the addition of Ratings and Reviews to Lawrence Marketplace.
Along with the recently added social media features and sharing options, this brings a new level of engagement and involvement to our site for both Lawrence customers and Lawrence businesses alike.
To get an idea of how the Ratings and Reviews work, check out this great blog post from the wonderful Whitney Mathews. Lawrence Marketplace Adds Ratings and Reviews
Let's keep these reviews fair and honest and they will start to build a terrific resource for the community.
As a business owner you're able to respond back to any feedback or review that you receive. And as long as your contact email is loaded onto your Marketplace page you'll be notified each time a new review is left.
We've prepared this Best Practices for Responding to Reviews
that has some great ideas on how to manage both praise and criticism. Reviews can highlight superior customer service and really put the spotlight on the best of Lawrence.
Thanks! and let me know what you think.
Tell others what you think and share your experiences about your favorite places in Shawnee, KS. The new ratings and review feature lets you rate Shawnee businesses and see what others have to say.
Had great service or a good experience at a local Shawnee business? Reward that business by letting others know! Leave tips and suggestions for others in your community
We're really excited about this new feature and plan on rolling over to the Lawrence Marketplace site soon.
Deadline to enter our KuBall NBA Draft contest is NOON TODAY.
Where will Aldrich, Collins and Henry go in the NBA Draft?
Think you know - enter our contest and you could win a Paul Pierce jersey & blu-ray player from Kiefs Audio-Video:
Two new features have been added to Marketplace that allow you to link your Marketplace Business to your other Social Media Sites and that make it easy for visitors to share content like coupons, photos and calender events on their facebook, twitter or email!
Link to FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YOUTUBE or any other Social Site from your Marketplace business
Share stuff you like through EMAIL, FACEBOOK, or TWITTER http://worldonline.media.clients.elli...
A few days ago AT&T YellowPages launched an improved site, yp.com, with a better-defined assertion that they are contenders in local search. I'm finding, almost in spite of myself, that I really like a bunch of the improvements. But I'm still quite disappointed when it comes to delivering complete local results.
Clearly, YellowPages realizes that the mass shift of consumers to online and now social online is not going to slow down and if they want to be a legitimate contender in local, social and search they've got to step up to the curve.
The Stuff I Like
So first, the stuff I like. The new feedback feature works great and is easy to find. The information on the search pages is presented in a more organized way. The look and feel of paid spots, like sponsorships and ads for example, are finally distinguished from the rest of the results and less obnoxious than with the old site. The site is cleaner overall and they've minimized the traditional yellowpage yellow and black. This might not seem like a big deal, but I've often contended that one big strike against phone book companies when it comes to repositioning themselves to local online search is that they all use some variation of the fingers walking and a yellow and black motif. With so many different phonebooks, often in the same community, how can one of them stand out as the most recognizable name and lead the market?
What I Don't Like
But despite these improvements, I still find fault with their fundamentals. It's downright painful to see how incomplete the search results are for my local community. Some searches yield better results than others, but often there are businesses listed for my query that haven't existed for years and at other times there are some well established businesses I'd expect to find info on that just don't show up at all. (Search for "clothing" in Lawrence - where's Weaver's?? our oldest local department store). And then, why am I finding all of these outside my city businesses ranked in with my actual local city? I'm sorry but the trend is towards hyper-geolocation. Kansas City is local relative to Lawrence in a regional way, but if I wanted a plumber in Kansas City versus in Lawrence where I live I would have searched for it that way.
Another important thing that caused me much irritation on the old version of the site was that sponsored or paid results were mixed in with organic results, seemingly indiscriminately. I mentioned above in my praise that paid spots were better separated this time around from the regular organic results, but on closer inspection I'm wondering how far this holds true? I'm still seeing results that don't look local at all and maybe only belong because they paid to be included in my zone. What's with the toll free numbers and the same business listed over and over again "serving my area" ?
Still got a ways to Go
In short, this is definitely a step in the right direction But while some of the "local search" functionality is greatly improved it still feels like they're just paying lip-service in other areas. And they're still a couple years behind national trends even with these improvements to local search. This new offering doesn't seem to have gained much ground when it comes to utilizing social media tools.
I've just completed some traffic analysis for Marketplace and wanted to share how our site is growing.
In 2009, the number of visits to Marketplace has doubled over the previous year ! Some of this is attributable to the expansions made to the site over the last year, but it's also a testament to the fact that here in Lawrence, Marketplace is the best place on the web to find local business information for our community.
Expansions to other Local Communities
In the summer of 2009, we expanded our coverage area to include the communities in Eudora, Basehor, Baldwin City and Tonganoxie - and we did so in a way that not only kept the site local for each of these communities (Eudoramarketplace.com shows you just Eudora businesses, for example) but also allowed users to switch between these communities or view all businesses in the area.
Then, in mid-October of 2009, we launched Shawneemarketplace.com to cover local businesses in the city of Shawnee, KS.
We are very grateful to the local businesses that have helped make Marketplace the tremendous resource of local business information that it is today, and to the local community for embracing the site. As we look forward to 2010, we have a lot of new features and enhancements in the works (we'll keep you posted here!) and continue to appreciate all the comments, suggestions, and feedback that you provide us.
Two exciting Social Media events are coming up locally here in Lawrence!
Lawrence Chamber of Commerce Social Media Workshops
The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the World Company's Social Media Staff, will will host two community workshops on social media on February 10th & 17th. from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. You can read more about these workshops and get more information on our Social Media blog.
Free State Social
The first of its kind in this area, the World Company is hosting an important seminar and workshop that features some of the top minds in social media both locally and from around the country. The Free State Social will be held April 29-30 at the new Oread Hotel and is a "don't miss" opportunity! More details can be found here: The Free State Social.
As part of the new feature enhancements made to Marketplace, we've added a Coupon Feed that allows you to view all the latest Coupons posted to Marketplace.
You can look at everything for the entire site, or choose a category of businesses such as restaurants or heating/cooling, or look at the latest from an individual business. You can even set up a RSS feed.
To get in, just click on the top of the feed. I've circled it in an image below. In this example, we're looking at all coupons for the entire site. The coupons are arranged by the most recently added at the top. You can scroll down the list, or refine your bargain hunting to a category of business.
Lets say I wanted to know anytime a new offer was posted to a Shoe store in Lawrence. I could set up my feed for the Shoe category, or I could set up a feed for just Browns Shoe Fit or Francis Sporting Goods. Pretty neat, huh?
This works great for restaurants too, and in restaurants I can even drill down to cuisine. So, for example, I can see ALL restaurants, or ALL CHINESE or ALL PIZZA, even just new coupons from THAI HOUSE or WHEATSTATE PIZZA.
Lots more in the works to improve even further on this idea!
A question I hear quite often when working with businesses on their Marketplace pages is "Now, will you be able to tell me how many people visit my page?" The answer is, quite simply, yes. The Lawrence Journal-World uses Google analytics to monitor the traffic to their websites. Since Marketplace is a part of the ljworld.com website, our traffic is monitored as well. We can tell you how many times your page was loaded for any time frame you would like. This information is available to you at any time. You will just need to send an email to me at email@example.com, and I will send you a report of the traffic to your Marketplace page. We also have the ability to schedule emails to be sent automatically to you from Google. We can set it up to come every week, month or quarter. If you are interested in setting up an automated email of your traffic from Google, just send me an email.
In this post, I would like to go over the reports we use to monitor traffic to our sites. I will go through and show you all the different sections of the reports we send out, and what all of the different stats tell you. However, an important thing to consider when viewing this report, is your long-term strategy for using your Marketplace page. Setting a goal for your Marketplace page, and defining how it will help your business, is an important thing to have when evaluating these statistics. If you're goal is to generate traffic to your website, then there are certain statistics in this report that are more important. Or if you want to use this site as a place for customers to find coupons and discounts, then you will want to look at a different part of this report. Hopefully, this overview will answer some questions on monitoring the traffic to your Marketplace site. If not, I am always available for a one on one appointment. Email me or give me a call (785) 832-7259 to set a time.
Terminology: Pageviews vs. Hits
Before we go through and dissect what our Google Analytics reports tell you, I want to briefly go over some of the terminology that is often used when analyzing web traffic. Something I often hear when asked about web traffic is the term "hits." We monitor the number of pageviews a Marketplace site gets, not hits. Hits are the number of information requests received by a server. Or more plainly, the number of files that appear on each web page. So if you're looking at a webpage, and see there are 6 pictures on the page, each one of those is counted as a hit. Looking at one page can record a number of hits. Pageviews, which we use in our analysis of Marketplace pages, measures each time a visitor views a page on your website, regardless of how many hits are generated. So pageviews are the number of times a page, as a whole, is loaded.
Google Analytics Reports
When you request statistics on your Marketplace page, we will send you a PDF file that is generated by Google. It gives you a number of statistics about your site's traffic. It will look like the image below. http://worldonline.media.clients.elli...
In this image you can see that the time frame is in the upper right-hand corner. This report was for Septmber, 2009. And the first thing below that is a line graph. The graph shows you the number of pageviews on each day.
Below the line graph you see a line of statistics which is labeled Content Performance. I would like to take the different areas of this section one by one.
Google's definition of a pageview is:
The total number of pages viewed. Repeated views of a single page are counted.This number is a sum of the times all of the different pages of your Marketplace page have been loaded. Each time an individual photo, product, ad, event or video is loaded, that is counting towards your total number of pageviews shown here.
Google's definition of a unique pageview is:
The number of visits during which one or more of these pages was viewed.So this is Google's attempt to filter out people clicking on the same link more than once during their visit to your site. If someone comes to your Marketplace site and then clicks on an ad, then returns to your main page, Google is counting that as one pageview.
Avg. Time on Page
This statistic is pretty self-explanatory. It tells you the average amount of time a visitor spent looking at your webpage. You can see in the example business that the average person spent 28 seconds on their page. The thing to remember is that this is an average. So some people may have clicked on to your page to see your hours and then left. That would take about two seconds. Others may have stayed longer and looked through all of you photos. Each of these visitors received valuable information, but the two times would vary quite a bit.
Google's definition of bounce rate is:
The percentage of single page visits resulting from this set of pages or page
This statistic tells you how many people viewed only one page on your site and then left to another part of either Marketplace or ljworld.com. If you have a website that has a lot of pages to navigate through you would not want a high bounce rate. But with Marketplace, there is a lot of information a visitor can see on your main page. A visitor could click through all your tabs, see your hours, the ads listed on your page, and if you have a video set as primary they could watch the whole video all with only one pageview. So it is important to know the goal of your Marketplace page. If you want people to view a large selection of products on your page, then you would want to make sure your bounce rate is very low. But if you want all your information on the first page, or just want to send people to your website, then you may be alright with a slightly high bounce rate. It all revolves around setting your expectations and strategy for using your Marketplace page.
Google's definition of exit percentage is:
The percentage of site exits that occurred from this set of pages or page
Here Google is measuring the percentage of visitors that left completely left Marketplace and ljworld.com from your site. If someone were to come to your Markteplace site and then click on a link to your website, or go to a different website, that would count as an exit from your site. In our example business you can see that 17% of their visitors left our site from their page. Again, if your aim is to move people to your website, then a higher exit percentage would be welcome.
$ Index This statistic is not set up for our website. This value is used when people have e-commerce set up on their site, which Marketplace does not use.
The final section of this report is a breakdown of the different areas of your page. This grouping of statistics shows the same group of statistics as the Content Performance section, but it breaks down for each section of you page. So in our example business you can see that it is breaking down the sections of their page that has content. The second line show that their ads were loaded 93 times and 67 unique times. Their photos section was loaded 92 times, 60 of those unique. And then their videos were loaded 5 times, 4 of those unique. The first line is telling you how many times the main page of her site was loaded by itself. It is also helpful to see in this area the amount time people spend in each section of your page.
That concludes this little overview of Google Analytics and what it reports about your Marketplace page. If you would like to get a report of your statistics or schedule a time to meet with me to go over your Marketplace page please send me an email to
We presented an Internet Marketing Seminar for local business owners back in July and had a great turnout. We've received very positive feedback and we're planning additional seminars like this in the coming months. For those that have not had a chance to request their Free Internet Marketing Strategy Session, the offer is still available. Give me, Rhonda Crosby, a call at 785-832-7253 to schedule your appointment.
I'm posting the seminar presentation for you here so that you can review the stats and tips we shared during the seminar.
Slide Presentation from our Internet Marketing Seminar,
Get Found Online or Get Left Behind
It's time for the Lawrence Twestival at Jo Shmo's tonight!Jo Shmo's
10 September 2009 :: 6:00pm - 10:00pm
724 Massachusetts St, Lawrence, KS 66044, Lawrence ,KS
What is a Twestival you say?
As Ben Smith, the organizer of the event describes on the official Lawrence Twestival Blog, a Twestival is a joining together of Twitter users, connecting for a common cause and coming together for an offline event similar to a Tweetup. The big difference with the Twestival is that it is a fundraising event for a designated charity. For the Twestival Local each participating city designates a local charity who receives 100% of the funds raised. For the Lawrence Twestival, the designated local charity is the Lawrence Humane Society.
Check out the Lawrence Twestival Blog to get more details and order tickets.
Come join the fun and be part of a very special social media event!
Let us know how you like the new look!
We've launched some design enhancements today that make the site easier to navigate.
Now it's even quicker to find what you're looking for! Coupons, events, services, hours, menus and specials; if it's local it's on Marketplace.
Don't forget to check out the mobile edition too, very handy for on-the-go! http://m.ljworld.com/marketplace/