The benefits of buying locally

7 02 2011
Hipermercado Jumbo Portal Tucumán, Tucumán, Ar...

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about online internet printing…something that, in a sense, we offer, too, with our website and our online ordering and our online estimating. But I was thinking about why anyone would pick an online printer when they could pick us instead.

Is http://www.mybigfatonlineprinter.com going to pick up the phone at 7 p.m. when you are having a crisis? Are they going to work on Super Bowl Sunday because you have a big presentation on Monday? No. But here is the other thing. They don’t buy stuff from you. They don’t send kids to your schools. They don’t talk to you at the grocery store.

So what’s a local printer to do? For that matter, what’s the owner of any small, local company supposed to do when faced with larger or out-of-market competitors online?

For me, I decided to fight back… and I came up with a BRILLIANT plan. Ready? I’m going to offer you incredible service, incredible quality, and be incredibly responsive to you. Best of all, I’m going to do ALL of that at a fair price! I know — IT’S UNBELIEVABLE!

Okay, I’m at the office, and I’m waiting for your call!

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Social media sites are eager to answer your questions

28 01 2011
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Gotta question? Or maybe an answer? It seems more and more social media sites are listening. LinkedIn has long had a LinkedIn Answers feature, where people can ask business-related questions and get answers from experts in the community. Facebook added Facebook Questions late last year, and Quora, a relatively new kid on the block, is based entirely on questions and answers from members of its growing community.

Question and answer features provide an excellent opportunity for finding information and for setting yourself apart as an expert in your field. On Quora, for example, members can view questions based on topic, follow specific topics that interest them to see what others are asking, follow specific questions to see new answers as they appear, and rate answers, so the best answers work their way to the top of the heap. The Quora website is built on a structure similar to Wikipedia and uses moderators to ensure content is appropriate.

Starting out on any new social site can be a bit daunting. Before asking a new question on Quora, Facebook Questions, or a similar website, look for similar questions that have already been posted. With thousands of questions in place on virtually every topic under the sun, don’t be surprised if your question has already been asked and answered. As you become more familiar with the site, start answering questions that fit your area of expertise. Engage with other users who share your interests, and stay involved.

For more information about Quora, visit http://www.quora.com. To learn more about Facebook Questions, visit http://www.facebook.com/questions/. And to join the conversation at LinkedIn, go to http://www.LinkedIn.com/answers/.

Oh — and we answer questions here too you know…about printing and marketing and about color and paper and all sorts of things. Just drop us a line! www.eprint.us





The Nation’s Mood, According to Twitter

14 01 2011
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Researchers using data from Twitter, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Google Maps API have mapped the mood of our nation over a three-year span, based primarily on what we tweeted about during that time. A joint venture of scientists at Harvard and Northeastern universities, the study looked at 300 million tweets sent between September 2006 and August 2009. Here are some of the findings:

* Tweeters tend to be happiest early in the morning (around 6:00am) and later in the day (around 10:30-11:00pm). Moods dip to their lowest in the early afternoon, then slowly begin to rise again.

* Not surprisingly, weekends (Saturdays and Sundays) are the happiest days of the week. In fact, Sunday morning ranks the highest overall.

* Thursday — not Monday — sees the lowest dip, on average, of any of the days. Our collective mood bottoms out on Thursday evenings, apparently.

Tweets were scored against the Affective Norms for English Words (ANEW) word list to determine their overall “mood.” The researchers say they plan to continue their work into the future, with further breakdowns of weekday versus weekend moods.

More details can be found online at the study’s website:
http://www.ccs.neu.edu/home/amislove/twittermood/

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