jjhillLogo

2007 Lists – Here they come!

The Web is positively churning these days with end of the year lists, touting the best and the brightest of 2007. We’ll bring you word of the big lists throughout December here on the Hill Library blog, but what can you do with them?

You can use these 2007 lists to make a guess about what 2008 will be like – because what’s leading edge today is commonplace tomorrow.

So when Oxford University Press lists top words of the year you might assume that these highlight new ideas working their way into our everyday vocabulary.

When Yahoo lists 2007 search trends and Google announces fastest growing search terms, you can discover the types of topics holding our collective attention.

The things that spark our interest today just might charge our credit cards tomorrow. Can you use these lists to plan strategically?

Stay tuned for more end-of-year lists!

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Business Web Site of the Week – Ethnic Events

Targeting your marketing message to a particular group of people can be a powerful strategy, but also a daunting task. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get out into a community and just talk to folks, face-to-face?

With Ethnic Events you can find cultural events, festivals, and get-togethers in your area. Search by ethnicity, event date, and event location and then contact the event organizers and ask about sponsorship or the possibility of setting up a booth.

Multicultural marketing doesn’t have to involve a big advertising team and slick, expensive design elements. It can just be you, talking to people about how your product or service can help them. Ethnic Events can help you find those people.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Behavioral Targeting – Do you want to be targeted?

When Amazon recommends something to me based on what other customers have purchased, I think that’s a helpful service, and a more or less successful one.

When a public library says it will provide coupons to local businesses based on books I’ve checked out, that seems helpful too. But it does make me a little nervous. Who has access to my library records?

When Facebook says it can track what I do on sites that aren’t Facebook, that seems intrusive. And it makes me very nervous about where that information will go without my knowledge.

These are all elements of an emerging marketing trend called behavioral targeting. Behavioral targeting will be huge in the months and years to come – that much is clear. What is less clear is where the boundaries of this type of marketing should be drawn.

Are you okay with Facebook and Google and your public library knowing about your interests? Or are you not? 

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Are you thinking about coffee right now?

According to a market research study from Affinion Group, half of you are.

This study offers demographic characteristics of consumers of caffeinated beverages and ranks metro areas by caffeine consumption (including statistics on coffee, soda, tea, chocolate, and caffeinated pain relievers).

Find more coffee industry statistics and coffee market research with the Hill Library Special Issues Index. It is available for free on the BizToolkit (enter under Free Access and select Industry Research) and can also be found on the Custom Search page of HillSearch. Search for “coffee.”

I think maybe I’ll go search for coffee myself.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Business Web Site of the Week – Six Online Shopping Scams

There’s not much that can’t be accomplished online these days. Shopping especially has become commonplace on the Internet. But with this increased traffic comes an increase in scams, as well.

You can avoid the most common online thievery with these six tips from the SmartMoney site. Learn more about protecting yourself at auction sites, recognizing counterfeit goods, and avoiding fake Web sites.

Maintaining a certain level of protection while conducting online transactions is imperative whether it involves your business or your personal life. Stay protected and learn to spot the scams with help from this site.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Ho-Ho-Ho-ly Cow, We Buy A Lot During The Holidays

Raise your hand if you did a little shopping this past weekend. If your hand is in the air, count yourself among the more than 147 million shoppers who hit the stores, up 4.8 percent from last year. That’s according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation.

How many of you are doing a little shopping online right now, from your work computer? I won’t make you raise your hand, so you won’t get in any trouble. But if there were to be a show of hands, you wouldn’t be the only one with your hand up: a Shop.org survey suggests that 54.5% of office workers with Internet access will shop for holiday gifts from work. That’s at least 68.5 million hands in the air, depending on how many of you are so excited you’ve raised both of your hands.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) classifies total retail industry sales from November and December to determine figures for the winter holiday “season”. Any way you slice it, the holiday season means big business for retailers. The NRF is predicting 2007 holiday sales to be 4.0% higher than they were in 2006. If that projection were to prove correct, holiday sales this year would ring up to 474.5 billion dollars.

The NRF has prepared a 2007 Holiday Survival Kit that contains all kinds of statistics, including fast facts, historical holiday retail sales, holiday retail sales by sector, factors that influence sales, retail employment and loss prevention information. The kit can be found here.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Business Web Site of the Week – Top 1000 Blogs

There’s really no better way to keep on top of what’s going on right now than by staying on top of blogs. Blogs cover just about any topic, are written by people who are passionate about that topic, and are short and sweet and to the point. But there are a lot of them out there.

That’s where Bloglines comes in. Bloglines lets you select any number of blogs and then streams the content of those blogs onto the Bloglines site (via RSS) so you can read them all in one place.

This week’s site highlights the most popular blogs on the Bloglines site (Hill blog not yet listed), most of which are focused on technology, business, or marketing. Investigate these blogs – they’ll keep you up on what’s going on.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Scroogled

What if Google were evil?

That’s the tack blogger, journalist, and science fiction writer Cory Doctorow takes in this piece of short fiction, ominously titled Scroogled. In the story, Google controls immigration, homeland security, and the political workings of the U.S. And they do it using technology already in existence, by using data they already collect.

That’s fiction, but this is not: Google knows a lot about us.

If you’re interested in learning more, check out this research paper from an Israeli law school student: What Google Knows: Privacy and Internet Search Engines.

Paranoically yours,
A (Still) Dedicated Google User.

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

Goodbye, Landline — Demographics of Wireless-Only Telephone Users

When searching for business statistics, it’s useful to ask yourself who might be out there in the world that would have an interest in collecting the numbers you’re seeking. The answer to this question can guide you to the appropriate governmental body, industry association, or advocacy group.
So if you’re wondering how many people have given up their landline home telephone numbers in favor of exclusive use of a cell phone, where would you look? Maybe a government agency, such as the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau? Maybe a trade group, like the Wireless Association?

Instead, the interested party for this question would be, of course, the Centers for Disease Control.

It’s not clear why exactly the CDC would be the go-to group for this kind of data, unless the belief that a caller in Chicago can transmit germs over the phone to a listener in New York is making a comeback. But there it is: information on the number of households that don’t have landlines but do have wireless phones, broken down by age, sex, race education, and geographic region. Information useful to those in the telecommunications industry, as well as marketers, pollsters, and more. All courtesy of the white-coated doctors at the CDC.

Though I admit that one of the findings of the CDC study makes me a little nervous: “Wireless-only adults were also less likely to have received an influenza vaccination during the previous year.” What’s the CDC trying to get at here? Maybe I should be nervous about accepting a call from someone with the sniffles…

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

What do you know about your fishbowl?

Do you know how big it is? Is there room for you to grow? And will there still be at this time next year?

As a fish it’s important to know about your fishbowl. And as a person in business it’s important to know about your industry, because learning about your particular industry will help you define your particular situation.

And your current situation dictates your future actions.

If your current industry is trending downward, you should know so that you can adapt. If there’s a market opening, you should know so you can fill it.

Industry research isn’t difficult. It involves three simple steps. Find out what they are with this 3 ½ minute video (which may take 30 seconds to load).

Email this to someoneShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+
Continue Reading

IMPORTANT NOTICE:

We are pleased to announce the completion of our elevator renovation at the James J. Hill Center. This project was financed in part with funds provided by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the Minnesota Historical Society and the F. R. Bigelow Foundation. It will greatly increase our ability to serve patrons with accessibility needs.

Please access our ground floor elevator entrance via Kellogg Ave at the back of the building. Please ring the doorbell on the right hand side of door and a Hill staff member will assist you. If you have questions or concerns please call 651.265.5500. We look forward to having you visit our brand new elevator!

X