Monday, December 30, 2013

Search Savvy To Be Discontinued at Year End

The New Year is bringing new changes for the Library's blogs. We are discontinuing The Inside Story, Search Savvy and Business Briefs blogs as of December 31st, 2013. Never fear! While there may be fewer blogs, you will get MORE content as we launch In The Know. This new blog  features the best information resources, apps, trends and news-you-need-to-know from inside and outside the Library.

We are excited about this new blog and encourage you subscribe to the RSS feed to ensure that you don't miss a single post!

As always, we appreciate and welcome any feedback on the new blog!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

5 Social Media Lessons of 2013

From 12/18/2013:

It was a big year for social media. If 2013 showed us one thing, it's that there's a growing global business in accumulating friends and followers.  We still have a ways to go in understanding and applying social media to the business world, but there was no shortage of lessons to glean from 2013.
Five Biggest Social Media Lessons of 2013
Social Media Can Move Markets
On April 23, the Associated Press’ Twitter account was hacked, sending a fake tweet that there were “two explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” In a matter of seconds, the Dow dropped 150 points. Witnessing a single tweet swing the pendulum of markets proved that social media is every bit as valuable to day traders as it is to newsmakers.

Social Media Is Increasingly Visual
In January, Twitter-owned Vine launched as a mobile service for sharing six-second looping videos. Then, in June, Facebook responded by enabling video on Instagram. We also saw the rise of Snapchat, a service that allows users to share photos and videos without the permanency of other social networks and Twitter added a preview thumbnail  that has made Twitter feel like a more visual and less-textual platform.

Social Media Isn’t Just for the Kids
From Warren Buffett joining Twitter to Jamie Dimon joining the LinkedIn Influencer program, 2013 showed us that global leaders are embracing social media.

Social Media Advertising Is Growing, Evolving
During the Super Bowl, the most talked about advertisement wasn’t a coveted 30-second TV commercial, but rather a tweet. After a power outage at the Superdome prompted a 34 minute break in play, Oreo responded by tweeting "No power? No problem" and an image of an Oreo with the text "you can still dunk in the dark." The tweet generated strong press and proved a turning point in the opportunities for advertising on social media.
2013 also showed how much money could be made from social media advertising. In the third quarter, Facebook reported revenue grew 60% compared with a year earlier, with a large piece of that from mobile advertising.

Social Media Could Be TV’s Best Ally
In October, Nielsen Ratings released an analysis showing a correlation between live-tweeting during TV and having a larger, more engaged audience. Social TV is still in the early days but with television as the home to coveted big dollar ads and social media as the venue for audience amplification and engagement, this could be the beginning of a long and beautiful relationship.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Free Shipping Day - Wed., Dec 18

On Wednesday, December 18th, 700 online retailers will offer free shipping on special purchases, with delivery guaranteed by Christmas Eve.

Participants include:
Radio Shack
Harry & David
And Many More!

View the complete list of participating merchants on Offer details will be revealed at 12:01 AM on December 18.

Launched in 2008, Free Shipping Day was designed to give last-minute shoppers the opportunity to get deals while avoiding crowded stores and allow merchants to extend the online holiday shopping season. In 2011 Free Shipping Day generated over $1 billion dollars in online sales.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Avoid Charity Scams

'Tis the season of giving, and many of us like to give back by making donations to charities. Unfortunately there are always scammers looking to take advantage of goodwill.  Before you give, review these tips on avoiding holiday scams, from the Ohio Attorney General's Office.

Warning signs that a charitable request might be fraudulent:
  • The charity’s name is similar to a well-known, nationally recognized charity.
  • Callers use high-pressure tactics to request immediate donations.
  • The caller is hesitant or unable to answer questions about the charity.
  • The caller offers prizes in return for a donation.
  • The caller requests that checks be made payable to a person instead of the charity.
Use these sites to research an organization before you donate:

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Best Free Apps For Kids

I was pleased to see that StoryBots Tap & Sing made Parents magazine's recent list of the Best Free Apps For Kids. My toddler (and his parents) love this app. Kids can play songs by touching the 'Bot that's waving at them, or choose autoplay and watch them do their thing.

Minions, Bill Nye, and the Electric Company also made the list of best free apps. As cold weather is starting to keep us indoors, I'm looking forward to trying them out over the next few weeks.

Best Free Apps For Kids (Parents Nov. 2013)
  • Sago Mini Sound Box - ages 1+, iPad
  • StoryBots Tap & Sing - ages 2+, iPad
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy - ages 4+, iPad
  • Tic Stac Toe - ages 4+, iPad, Android
  • Despicable Me: Minion Rush - ages 4+, iPad, Android
  • Match Blitz - ages 4+, iPad, Android
  • Minuscule: The Private Life of Insects - ages 6+, iPad
  • Kung Fu Robot - ages 8+, iPad
  • Electric Company: Lost on Prankster Planet - ages 6+, iPad, Android

Monday, December 2, 2013

Search the Web, Save the Planet

New search engine Ecosia donates 80% of its profits to a charity that plants trees in Brazil, allowing you to help the environment each time you search.

With almost 200,000 active users, Ecosia funds have planted over 125,000 trees, and are currently averaging 1 tree every minute.

Ecosia's revenue comes from ads. The company promises to be financially transparent and to keep user data private

Learn more about Ecosia and give it a try. I did, and was pleased. Results were quick and accurate and following links "eco-links" leads to even more donations to the charity. This is a free and easy way to do something good for the environment without going to a lot of effort. You can even use the personal tree counter to keep track of how much good your online searches have generated.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Tips and Apps for Cyber Monday

Condensed From: 11/28/2013
by Mario Armstrong

3 Great Apps for Cyber Monday

Retale is a new app and website that brings retail circulars to life digitally! Instead of sorting through hundreds of paper circulars looking for the best deal, you get to see them in an interactive format and you only have to check one place!
RetailMeNot does all the hard work behind the scenes to give you the best deals online and tell you where to go to make that purchase. When you see a deal you like, you can click the link and Retailmenot will take you directly to the site. If you are not sure what to buy, there's even great gift ideas and coupons for some of your favorite retailers.

Slice  is the best app to track all your online purchases by keeping track of all the payments, receipts, shipping dates and tracking numbers. Slice will also  notify you if there’s a price drop or a recall on something you bought.

More tips for savvy Cyber Monday shopping:  
  • Make sure to get an early start if you want something specific. Many sale items are limited in quantity.
  • Know the brand, the item and the site they are planning to shop for it ahead of time.
  • If you find a deal on a site you have never heard of, be sure to really check out the company BEFORE you place your order and give over any personal information. (Pro Tip: Ask on social if anyone has used the website!)
  • Make sure to pay with a credit card, NEVER a bank debit card. 
  • Check to see if the retailer offers free shipping, but don’t rush to spend more money just to qualify.
  • Check up on the rules on returns — sometimes they are limited and can be costly, other times they are very generous for the holidays.
  • Keep refreshing your Twitter account for search terms like #deals and, of course, #CyberMonday.