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BusINess » Technology

Archives for the ‘Technology’ Category

Bringing NWI online community offline

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

NWITweetup organizer Nat Finn checks his phone at the group's January meeting at Northwoods Restaurant in St John. (Photograph by Tim Hunt/The Times.)

Bringing the region’s online community together offline while helping local businesses learn how to use social media as an effective marketing tool is the goal behind monthly “tweetups” happening in Northwest Indiana.

The gatherings provide a stimulating meeting place for local marketers and designers, said NWITweetup organizers Kathy Sipple, and Dave Woodson and Nat Finn.

“Tweeting and social media in the region will grow with people’s understanding of it,” Finn said.
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Verizon iPhone debut greeted with short lines

The Verizon iPhone went on sale Thursday, but demand appeared to be tepid, with small or no lines at Verizon and Apple stores.

The launch of new iPhone models at AT&T Inc. every summer has meant long overnight lines.

Verizon Wireless may have satisfied most of the demand by allowing online pre-orders for current subscribers. The poor showing in stores, though, could be an indication that Verizon’s phone may not have much power to draw subscribers from other carriers, though freezing temperatures Thursday across much of the country could have played a role.
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Ford targets social media

A Ford F-150 is displayed Wednesday during the 2011 Chicago Auto Show media preview at McCormick Place in Chicago. Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday it will focus on social media and other new advertising strategies for 2011 vehicles. (Photograph by Thomas Quinn/The Times.)

A Ford F-150 is displayed Wednesday during the 2011 Chicago Auto Show media preview at McCormick Place in Chicago. Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday it will focus on social media and other new advertising strategies for 2011 vehicles.
(Photograph by Thomas Quinn/The Times.)

Ford Motor Co. announced Wednesday it will focus on social media and other new advertising strategies for 2011 vehicles.

Jim Farley, marketing chief for Ford, told the crowd at the Chicago Auto Show media preview that the only media that grew in 2009 and 2010 was online and mobile, and that information is changing Ford’s marketing campaigns.

“With 500 million people on Facebook, we can reach more potential customers in a more personal way,” Farley said.
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Times advertising campaign taken company-wide

A marketing and advertising platform developed at the Times Media Co. last year is being utilized at other newspaper properties owned by its parent, Lee Enterprises Inc.

Kathryn Hepko, online sales manager at the Times Media Co., said “Get It” marketplace was launched in May as a response to growing digital marketing demands of advertisers. She said the marketplace on The Times’ website provides an opportunity for local small and medium-size businesses to be found through search engines and have an online profile.

“The product is a multi-dimensional digital marketing platform that helps advertisers get found online when a potential customer may be searching for them, whether it’s in an organic search capacity or a directory,” Hepko said.
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New deal site offers steep restaurant discounts

Foodies have a new way to snag reservations at posh urban eateries—and enjoy them at a steep discount.

A six-month-old Web service called VillageVines is elbowing its way into the growing crowd of discount sites that offer everything from haircuts to yoga sessions for as much as half off.

VillageVines, modeled on a competing service called OpenTable, offers a 30 percent discount on restaurant tabs—alcohol included—at up-scale destinations around the country. Subscribers to the service pay $10 to make a reservation, and the discount is discretely applied to the check.
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On 10th anniversary, Wikipedia aims for diversity

Wikipedia, the online trove of assorted facts and trivia, is trying to be more well-rounded.

As the encyclopedia nears its 10th birthday on Saturday, its leaders are seeking a more diverse group of editors—specifically, women, people in developing countries and people with expertise in assorted disciplines.

Wikipedia is about to open an office in India and wants to expand further in Brazil, Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries. Today, 20 percent of the site’s pages are written in English, but the organization expects that to change over the next 10 years.
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Verizon big winner from having iPhone? Not so fast

Dan Mead, left, CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Tim Cook, COO of Apple, announce that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Dan Mead, left, CEO of Verizon Wireless, and Tim Cook, COO of Apple, announce that Verizon Wireless will carry Apple's iPhone, Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2011 in New York.
(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

Verizon Wireless would seem to be a big winner now that it will start selling the iPhone and break Apple Inc.’s monogamous relationship with AT&T Inc. in the U.S.

But for several reasons, the iPhone’s arrival to Verizon is poorly timed, and Verizon’s gains won’t be as clear-cut as one might think.

There’s no doubt a Verizon iPhone will attract millions of buyers, and it will give the country’s largest wireless carrier a chance to catch up with AT&T in attracting high-paying smart-phone customers.
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County joins regional broadband effort

Midwest Broadband Map included in a NWI Connectivity report by the Northwest Indiana Forum. (Image provided.)

Midwest Broadband Map included in a NWI Connectivity report by the Northwest Indiana Forum. (Image provided.)

The newly revamped Porter County Board of Commissioners agreed this week to take part in a regional effort aimed at expanding broadband Internet access.

At the request of the county’s redevelopment commission, the commissioners agreed to seek proposals from those interested in carrying out a feasibility study. The study is expected to cost about $50,000.

The study will be carried out as part of a larger effort by the Northwest Indiana Forum to expand access to broadband service throughout Porter, Lake, LaPorte and Starke counties, Mark Maassel said. He is president and chief executive of the Northwest Indiana Forum.
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New software can help you decipher the ‘tone’ of your emails

A few months after leaving a job, Kathy Fisher decided to check in with an old co-worker and sent an email that said “Hey, how are you guys doing?”

At least that’s what Fisher, of Whiting, thought it said, which was why she was confused when she got a reply back from her former boss asking why she was spying on the company and if she was now working for a competitor.

“It was totally misconstrued,” said Fisher, who said she had included emoticons in the initial email to convey her friendliness. “Sometimes (email) really does turn around and backfire.”
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Corporate data go mobile

Data on Indiana corporations now are as close as your Internet-enabled telephone.

Secretary of State Todd Rokita’s Business Services Division has launched a new mobile application that allows users to look up a corporation’s address, registered agent and officers, and view an up-to-date list of documents filed by the company.
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