3rd Annual Asheville Van Life Rally Run Down

first_imgDo you remember your first wilderness experience? Or maybe your favorite wilderness experience? That’s what we were asking folks at the 3rd Annual Asheville Van Life Rally last week at the Wedge at Foundation. Adventure vehicles from all over came together for a night of cold beer, live music, art, and most importantly – van envy. We decided to do things a little different for this one. We joined forces with the crew from the Blue Ridge Outdoors Asheville office, and our friends from Crazy Creek and Nat Geo Maps to find out about attendant’s first or favorite time spent outdoors.Being outside is extremely important to us and everyone who is involved with the Live Outside and Play program. We wanted to celebrate the idea of being outside by finding out what the crowd had to say about their most memorable wilderness experiences. We came to the party armed to the teeth with Crazy Creek Classic chairs as prizes for those who stopped by to chat. The idea was to have the crowd talk to us about their most memorable wilderness experience, then we’d snap a Polaroid picture of them and have them pin it up on a large map of the United States provided to us by Nat Geo Maps. By the end of the night, our map was PACKED with polaroids of smiling adventure enthusiasts. If there’s one thing we’ve learned during our time on the road, it’s that people are very passionate about the outdoors and the gear that keeps them safe and comfortable while they are exploring the places they love. That was reinforced as we spoke to close to a hundred folks who shared fond memories of times spent in nature. We hear it all the time, participants shared their memories of their Crazy Creek Classic chairs that regularly last them 20+ years. All of the van life rallies that we have been a part of have been a blast. This one was no exception. The place was jam-packed with adventure vehicles in all shapes in sizes. There were Toyota Tacomas outfitted with rooftop tents, cross-country motorcycles, and vans, vans, vans! As the sun went down and the music played on, we couldn’t help but sit back and smile. It’s been a wild ride for us this year and as fall starts to take hold we couldn’t be more thankful for being able to attend events like this and for YOU who make it all possible. If you like the gear we’re reppin’, or what we’re wearing, check out some of the sponsors that make this tour possible: La Sportiva, Crazy Creek, National Geographic, RovR Products, Sea to Summit, Mountain House, LifeStraw, and Lowe Alpine.last_img read more

Canadian Credit Union boosts growth by starting a national bank

first_img continue reading » Meridian Credit Union has set—and achieved—ambitious membership growth goals, expanding membership by 8.9 percent in 2018. But even the largest credit union in the province of Ontario has had a hard time connecting with consumers who aren’t won over by the cooperative model of financial services, so it is now pursuing a novel strategy—launching a full-service digital bank with a national market.Set to open this spring as a fully owned subsidiary of the Toronto-based credit union, motusbank will offer the full suite of financial products and services, including an end-to-end digital mortgage origination and fulfillment platform, already available to Meridian CU members.“Our primary strategic intent has been to bring the Meridian value proposition to Canadians outside of Ontario,” says Bill Maurin, president/CEO of the $20.6 billion credit union serving 339,000 members. But motusbank is also developing a “softer” marketing plan targeting consumers in Meridian CU’s home province, where 43 percent of nonmembers say they would not consider joining a credit union and only 20 percent say they would. Those rates are, respectively, the highest and lowest in comparison to other provinces in a survey conducted by the Canadian Credit Union Association. ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

Medallion Hunt Clue No. 4 – Thursday, June 30

first_imgEditor’s note: There will be a clue on July 4. Clue No. 4 — Thursday, June 30These paths merge in the woods.Clue No. 3 — Wednesday, June 29You know, the bronze third place medal isn’t always bad.Clue No. 2 — Tuesday, June 28That Stinks! PU!Clue No. 1 – Monday, June 27Glad you’re with usWe’re 30 this year and excited to have you join us.Diana Page was a sponsor and co-conspirator of the Medallion Hunt for 15 years;this year’s event is dedicated to her.GO!Follow us on Facebook.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comments (2) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Julianne Young · 214 weeks ago What time do you post the clue Report Reply 1 reply · active 214 weeks ago +1 Vote up Vote down CueballSumnernewscow 94p · 214 weeks ago We will post a sneak preview at 6:30 a.m. but will take it down at 7 a.m. Then it will go up permanently at 10 a.m. Report Reply Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img read more

Montas shines as A’s win 6th straight

first_imgCLEVELAND >> The 2019 A’s are beginning to look like the 2018 A’s, Part 2.“Obviously, you’re not going to win every game, but this is the type of baseball that we expect to play,” catcher Nick Hundley said after going 3 for 4 with a home run and double in the A’s sixth straight win, 7-2 over the Indians on Wednesday.“This is what we envisioned at the start of the season. It wasn’t what we were doing at the start of the season, but that doesn’t matter now. This is the team that we envisioned …last_img

Planet Recipe Cooked Up

first_imgJust add pebbles, stir, and get a planet. Is it real science, or just a game show?Eric Hand is on hand at Science Magazine to tell us how Jupiter and Saturn were born from pebbles:By Jove, they’ve done it! Planetary scientists have overcome a key problem in explaining the emergence of the solar system’s behemoths—Jupiter and Saturn. Previous models predicted too many gas giants. But a new study shows how just a few such monsters should emerge from a swirling protoplanetary disk of gas and dust.“We can now start with a pretty simple disk, pretty simple physics, and reproduce the outer solar system—and that’s never been done before,” says Hal Levison, a planetary scientist at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado, who led the study.Levison has worried about gas giants for a long time (e.g., 8/06/04).  Are his worries over with his new study published in Nature?  Remember that just last week (8/15/15), we cited several papers that presented unsolved problems in accretion theory. The history of planet-making theories is not encouraging: over the years, we’ve seen the death of the planetesimal hypothesis (6/03/03, 5/04/14), the tar-baby Jupiter model (8/11/04), Alan Boss with his heretical disk-instability model (3/21/06), the just-add-water hypothesis (3/19/08), Erik Asphaug with his hurry-up model (5/21/09), the use of miracles to evade the death spiral (8/21/09), the ‘need a whole new theory’ crisis (7/05/14), the dry Jupiter falsification (7/26/14), and more.In light of this history, it seems a bit audacious for Levison to leap over the accretion problem, as if that problem was solved years ago (8/30/07). That’s the spin Eric Hand puts on it: the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind:The model builds on a theory, called pebble accretion, that explains the formation of cores. Small dust grains can grow as they collide and stick together with static electricity. But beyond a certain size—about a meter—growth stops as collisions rupture the dust ball rather than add to it. This “meter-scale problem” was surmounted about a decade ago, when theorists realized that pebbles less than a meter in size are constantly moving in the wind of the spinning gas disk. When they encounter other pebbles, they clump together and take advantage of a wake in the wind of gas, like flocking birds. These clumps quickly reach a size where they are gravitationally bound to one another. “That solves the meter barrier—you go directly from pebbles to 100-kilometer-sized things, almost overnight,” Levison says. These “embryos” then coalesce and add more material until they reach the size of a core.In fact, Hand continues, the process is so efficient, you get too many embryos. Levison’s problem was an abundance of riches. He had to pare down the gas giants into a number that resembles our solar system.But in simple models, pebble accretion had its own problem: It was too efficient. In many simulations, dozens or even hundreds of Earth-sized bodies tended to form. So Levison says he initially set out to “kill” the pebble accretion theory. But he ended up advancing it further, instead. His team found that by tuning the model so that the pebble formation process takes a bit longer, there is more time for the large planetary embryos to interact with each other gravitationally. All but the biggest get kicked outside the plane of the solar system, allowing the few that remain to mop up remaining pebbles and become the cores of gas giants.Sweet. Works on the computer, at least. Just tune the parameters till the model doesn’t crash. He even gets ice giants out of it: like Uranus and Neptune, the puzzling planets he used to say shouldn’t exist (8/06/04). But to do so, he merely leapfrogs over all the difficulties. The paper shows what he assumes:We assume that an initial population of planetesimals, which follows the surface density of the disk, forms quickly and thus exists at the beginning of our simulations…. Pebbles either also existed at the beginning of the simulation, or are allowed to form over some period of time (again, a free parameter) starting at the beginning of the calculation. The evolution of this system is followed numerically and includes the effects of gravitational interactions, interactions between bodies in the disk and the gas (although nebular tidal migration is neglected), accretion (including enhancements due to the aerodynamic drag on pebbles; see, for example, ref. 11), and collisional fragmentation.But those are some of the worst problems: accretion, planetesimals, tidal migration. Later, more assumptions are revealed:We assume that all of the pebbles are produced in 3 Myr. For simplicity, we assume that pebbles are randomly created throughout the disk according to the surface density, and the size of the pebbles is determined by the assumed τ, which is constant in each simulation, but varies between calculations.A computer program can work wonders with creative assumptions and tweaks. It can even spell out a Shakespearean phrase apparently at random. Whether such simulations correspond to the harsh realities of nature is a different question. The idea that pebbles grow in the windy wake of the disk was viewed as an ad hoc speculation when first proposed (8/30/07); Levison’s model just assumes it works.Supporters of core accretion have been battling supporters of disk instability for years, each claiming their rivals’ theories don’t work. Eric Hand says that Alan Boss thinks his gravitational disk-instability model is still a contender.Boss notes that some exoplanets far more massive than Jupiter sit in far-flung orbits tens or hundreds of AU from their stars. At those distances, it may be difficult for cores to form, because the population of pebbles is thought to die off with distance. The gravitational instability might explain those planets better than core accretion, Boss says. “I think there’s room for both mechanisms,” he says.Boss is using his NASA funding to tweak his preferred disk instability model, Science Daily reports. “Solar System formation don’t mean a thing without that spin” is the Dukey headline; that may be true in more ways than one. Jillian Scudder is more enamored with Levison’s trick. “How did Jupiter and Saturn form? The answer may lie with the humble pebble.” It may not be a perfect model, but it’s a “promising start” that “will be refined as time goes on.” Models can be very flexible in a computer. The problem is, one cannot experiment with real planets. Too big; takes too long.This is certainly not the only model out there (see another on Space.com), but the news media celebrated Levison’s new model as a great victory. In the text of Science Daily‘s coverage, though, one can see that problems are not so easily swept under the rug. “The timescale problem has been sticking in our throats for some time,” Levison admitted. But remember; for this new model, he just assumed that the pebbles were formed in the time required. “It wasn’t clear how objects like Jupiter and Saturn could exist at all,” he said, but his model was designed to produce them.Even so, he ignored the problems of rapid migration inward, so it’s not clear if this model is useful for explaining the “hot Jupiters” seen so often around others stars. He just assumes that migration was fortuitous to produce the solar system we see:There is another constraint that any model of giant-planet formation in the Solar System must satisfy in order to be considered a success. The distribution of small bodies in the outer Solar System indicates that the orbits of the giant planets moved substantially after they formed. In particular, Uranus and Neptune are likely to have formed within 15 or 20 au of the Sun and to have been delivered to their current orbits by either a smooth migration or a mild gravitational instability. Both processes require that a population of planetesimals existed on low-eccentricity orbits beyond the giant planets after the planets finished forming. This population must have (1) not formed planets, and (2) survived the planet formation process relatively unscathed. To evaluate this constraint in our simulations, we placed 5 planetesimals with radii similar to Pluto (s = 1,350 km) on circular, co-planar orbits with semi-major axes between 20 and 30 au. None of these objects grew in our fiducial simulation, and they all survived on orbits with eccentricities less than 0.07 (see Methods for how this behaviour varies with disk parameters). Therefore, the process of viscously stirred pebble accretion reproduces the observed structure of the outer Solar System: two gas giants, a few icy planets, and a disk of planetesimals into which the ice giants can migrate.Science Daily quotes him crowing, “As far as I know, this is the first model to reproduce the structure of the outer solar system, with two gas giants, two ice giants (Uranus and Neptune), and a pristine Kuiper belt.” With this self-congratulatory assessment in his pocket, he’s off to expand the model to generate the inner rocky planets. Note to Nature: Pluto is falsifying the “pristine Kuiper belt” notion (7/17/15).Methinks it is like a weaseled program, tweaked to get what he needs.Don’t they sound like kids playing Sim-Earth? They’re in Fantasyland. The real world is not a game. Do some critical thinking, reporters!(Visited 53 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

How We Shared Content in 2010: Still More Facebook, More Email Than Twitter, MySpace Lives On

first_imgFacebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro… Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification The link sharing service AddThis, which said this month that it’s now tracking the interests of more than 1 billion people across the web, has published an infographic breaking down the most popular destinations for content shared through its little widget. Sites with an AddThis widget (like ours, above) allow readers to send pages of interest to friends through 300 different methods. What’s the most popular way people share?Facebook. Now more than ever, AddThis reports that Facebook’s share of sharing grew from 33% last year to 44%. The company says that email, the second most popular method of sharing through its service, is 38% bigger than sharing on Twitter! And MySpace, though in sharp decline (down 27%), remains very popular. There are of course many different ways to share content, but these numbers from AddThis are quite interesting none the less. If you’re not making it easy for website visitors to share your content by email, for example, you’re probably making a big mistake.One of several infographics the company released this year is below, click to view full size. Absolute numbers on this would be nice, but the company is unlikely to offer a full break-out for competitive reasons. Consider this a colorful snapshot of a changing world of media distribution. Related Posts marshall kirkpatrickcenter_img Tags:#social networks#web A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videoslast_img read more

10 Business Intelligence Tools for the iPad

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… QlikTech is another well established BI vendor that was quick to market with an iPad app for its flagship BI product QlikView. Roambi klint finley IT + Project Management: A Love Affair MicroStrategy, a well established BI vendor, launched its iPad app in July. Last month the company announced it would be rolling out additional ways to visualize data on iPads and other mobile devices, including a new product called MicroStrategy Transaction Services which will connect mobile devices with transactional systems.PushBIPushBI focuses on creating clients that push BI data to users. It augments existing BI tools. PushBI offers clients for desktop and mobile environments, including Windows, iOS and Android.QlikView Related Posts 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Tags:#enterprise#mobile Like PushBI, Roambi offers tools to help enterprises mobilize existing BI reports, and has some of the slickest looking data visualizations available. Roambi partnered with SAP to provide smooth integration between Roambi and SAP and Carbon Disclosure. It can visualize data from several other sources as well, including Crystal Reports, Excel and Salesforce.com. TIBCO SpotfireTIBCO is a leader in real-time intelligence for financial services. TIBCO released an iPad app for its BI application Spotfire last November.YellowfinYellowfin is a business intelligence vendor that was founded in 2003. One of its distinguishing features is its GIS integration for location intelligence. It released its iPad app in November.Non-Native Support for the iPadSeveral cloud-based BI vendors offer support for the iPad versinon of Safari, including:JackBeJaspersoftSAP Business by DesignTableauRoll Your OwnBitzer Mobile, LeapFactor and Webalo all offer tools for mobilizing existing enterprise applications. For more information, see our articles 5 New Tools for Building Mobile Enterprise Apps and 3 More Ways to Mobilize Enterprise Applications. Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… Gartner predicts that by 2013, 33% of business intelligence functionality will be consumed on mobile devices. And it seems that these sort of forecasts are usually over-aggressive, our commenters seem to agree that Gartner’s forecast is a bit too modest. BI going mobile quickly, and tablets are leading that movement.Here are 10 BI apps that support the iPad right now. Some are existing BI products with iPad native apps, some are Web-based BI applications with iPad support and some are clients that can connect to your existing BI solutions.MicroStrategylast_img read more

The Need For Service: Transitioning From Old To New

first_img This is where things get tricky.  Technology providers like to automate everything and shift as much of the effort into a “do it yourself” model as possible.  This is not hard to understand.  This is how they make the most profits.  People, particularly competent people, are expensive.  That’s why most software vendors selling applications over the web simply want to sell you the software – but rarely the services you need to actually get value from it.  In the big enterprise market, this is not as large of an issue as it is conventional to My advice to small businesses: When selecting technology providers, make sure that they are easy to do business with.  Reward the providers that are willing to take lower profits on service in order to earn your business. ”.  It’s well worth the read regardless of whether you’re a small business, or seeking to provide technology to small businesses. (delivered by people) to make this happen. Transitional Services I think the lack of transitional services are a key reason why many small businesses are not able to make the technology leap.  Unfortunately, both parties lose in this process. Technology vendors lose because they miss out on potential clients and small businesses lose because they miss the opportunity to implement technology that would likely have improved their business. product.  My message is simple:  service is often necessary for the software to succeed. The solution, I think, is for technology vendors to spend some time thinking about how they can facilitate users moving from the “old way” of doing things to the “new way” of doing things.  This goes beyond simply being able to import data from some old software to some new software (like a database application that allows you to import your old Excel spreadsheets).  What about when your data is not even in Excel yet – but sitting on post-it notes or in your physical Rolodex?  If you’re moving to a new, powerful, interactive website that allows you to manage your content and create a blog, how do you migrate your old site? Unfortunately, many of these services can’t be automated yet and it takes good old fashioned Transitional services are “services that facilitate a user’s transition from one platform to the next – or at least ease their pain.” always way of purchasing their assistance or guidance in helping use So, my advice to the technology providers seeking to sell to me (and to other small businesses):  Make it easy to buy both technology I came across an interesting article by Michael McDerment today on a concept he calls “ have some services along with a software sale.  This is what is known as “solution” selling (basically software + service = solution).  In the small business market, the conventional wisdom is that you can’t charge for service.  I think the notion that small businesses can’t or won’t pay for services is a myth.  Sure, we as small business owners are not going to pay $250/hour to have our website migrated – but, the concept of paying for service is not that foreign to us.  It’s surprising (at least to me) that so few technology providers selling to small businesses get this.  Most don’t have service from you.  Charge a fair price, and I will pay it.  Don’t make it difficult for me to pay for your time and definitely don’t make me feel guilty for using your service when I need it.  If I’m willing to pay for it, I should be able to pay for it. service and their any Originally published Aug 25, 2006 2:56:00 PM, updated March 21 2013 Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlacklast_img read more

HubSpot’s 10 Best Conversations of the Year

first_img Want to learn more about publishing a blog on your business website? inbound marketing Originally published Dec 31, 2008 8:41:00 AM, updated March 21 2013 The list, posted below, surprised me. Eric Guerin shared this:  41  54 41 Webinar: Blogging for Business . Keep that in mind for 2009.  to find the posts that have generated the most discussion on the HubSpot Blog this year. 92 UPDATE: Why Leaving Blog Comments Is Not A Link Building Strategy to learn how to create a thriving inbound marketing blog. Did You Graduate From Link Building High School Yet? Inbound Marketing & the Next Phase of Marketing on the Web Number of Comments  What’s your blog’s best conversation of 2008? Share it in the comments below, and we’ll update this with our favorites later in the day. And Jeri Cartwright shared this:  Alexa Rankings Change Dramatically: Initial Analysis From 10,000+ Websites State of the Twittersphere – Q4 2008 Report 73 On this last day of the year, I thought I’d take a look at  They’re talking about  Top 10 Ways NOT to Spend $12 Million on Marketing 65  48 61 49 Layoffs Can Lead To “Scorched Ego.” Ten Steps To Heal And Thrive While Unemployed  Social Media Marketing Webinar Highlights Download the free webinar Topics: So You Call Yourself an SEO Guru? Figure This One Out. Still, there is one thread that runs through all of these articles: They’re all about getting found by customers, not finding and interrupting customers. That’s a big deal. People aren’t talking about finding customers with cold calling and direct mail. They’re talking about creating content, optimizing it and sharing it so that customers find them. Plan Your Internet Marketing Strategy Before Launching Your Website How Twitter Can Save the World BlogGrader Article  I thought it would be all posts about social media and Twitter. It’s not. It’s actually a good balance of conversations about SEO, blogging and social media. Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack 52 You Oughta Know Inbound Marketing Inbound Marketinglast_img read more

10 Easy Ways to Supercharge Your Small Business’ Yelp Presence

first_img Don’t forget to share this post! AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to Email AppEmail AppShare to LinkedInLinkedInShare to MessengerMessengerShare to SlackSlack Originally published Mar 1, 2010 8:30:00 AM, updated July 28 2017 Yelp makes it really easy and cost-effective not only to start, but to maintain communication with these potential customers by using a free suite of business tools. Create a Yelp Business Owner Account to join (or start) the conversation about your business today. By unlocking these free tools, you’ll be able to update your business information, post special offers, announce upcoming events and, most importantly, communicate with your customers.2. Tell your storyInquiring minds want to know, and here’s your chance to give ’em the scoop, right on your Yelp business page. Once logged into biz.yelp.com, build out a rich profile under the “Business Information” tab. You can share the history behind your business and what you do best. Also, add a little something about yourself and your managers so that Yelp users can get to know you.3. Smile for the cameraGet photos of your establishment up on Yelp, pronto. If your business is a restaurant, add a picture of your menu. Own a boutique? Add a shot of your great new merchandise. It’s a simple, fun and effective way to illustrate your story. Finally, ensure a photo of your storefront is included so people know what to look for when they decide to visit you offline.4. Bring on the BlingGot a website of your own? Why not add some Yelp badges to bring awareness to customers about your presence on Yelp? Check out the variety of buttons we’ve created just for business owners, which can be found on Yelp’s Flickr page and downloaded for free. Once added to your site, hyperlink the image so visitors can jump directly to your Yelp reviews.5. Make an announcement!Let’s say you’ve just created a great new dinner menu. Or, you’re having a sale on all your summer merchandise. It’s easy to let current and potential customers know about specials and offers through the announcement tool . Simply create an announcement and publish it to your Yelp page. Not only will your message appear on your business page, but it will make you more discoverable within Yelp search results and on our popular mobile platforms. From promotions and discounts to unveiling a new location, announcements make it easy to get a simple and clear promotion out to Yelp users. To date, over 200,000 announcements have been created. What are you waiting for?6. Do let people know you’re on Yelp.Is adding a fancy Yelp button going to be enough to let customers know about your new Yelp page? While it’s a good start, there are a number of creative ways make sure your customers are in the know. One of our favorite methods was found at a coffee shop where the owners provide free wi-fi. When customers logged onto the Internet, they were immediately taken to the coffee shop’s preferred homepage: their Yelp business listing! Other business owners have proudly displayed favorite reviews in their offices or even at their front desks.7. Don’t ask for reviews or spam your page.While you might be eager to fill your page with positive reviews, we don’t encourage you to solicit them from customers. Positive feedback is best, and most accepted, when it comes organically from customers who have had a genuinely great experience with your business. Consumers are turned off by a business with fake-looking reviews, and Yelp’s review filter (a spam algorithm designed to maximize trustworthiness of Yelp content) weeds out most shills. Yelp users are a savvy bunch and come to Yelp for quality information to help them make purchasing decisions. While they often decide which opinions they trust on the site, our automated process helps filter out reviews from users that are less established on Yelp. It applies to both positive and negative reviews, and helps protect both consumers and business owners from malicious competitors, spam and generally less credible information.Our advice? Take the above steps to let people know you’re on Yelp and then just go with the flow. Remember, it’s all about quality, not quantity. Success is measured by the number of folks who view your page, not your review quantity.8. Respond, Engage & CommunicateWith a Yelp Business Owner’s Account, you have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue with consumers who have reviewed your business. While it’s a great way to build goodwill, it’s important to consider your approach and tone; your reviewers are your customers, more vocal than most, and though you may have good intentions, meaning can sometimes be misconstrued through the Internet. With your business owner account, you’re able to respond privately and publicly to customers who have reviewed your business. Private responses: For positive reviews, a simple thank you works best. Avoid offering freebies as gratitude, as this may come across as an ex post facto bribe, and try keep your message short and sweet. For negative reviews, things can get a bit trickier. First, take a step back and deep breath. Though it may hurt to hear negative things about a business where you work so hard, it’s important to consider your customer’s viewpoint and experience. Avoid getting defensive, making excuses, attacking or blaming the customer — this is your chance to establish a human relationship and make this situation better, even if it’s just to let them know you are listening and appreciate their feedback. When you take the time to acknowledge their personal situation and address their issue, it shows and may even help to change the customer’s perspective for good. Public Responses: Public responses are a simple way for business owners to add helpful commentary to any review of their business. It’s an easy way to show customers that you are listening and that you’re always looking for ways to improve upon their feedback. When it comes to positive reviews, a thank you is best communicated through our private messaging system. The public comments tool is best used to address how you’ve handled a specific concern raised by a reviewer, for example, to provide correct information if something is inaccurate or out of date, or to share your version of a difficult situation if you’re unable to resolve the concern through private messaging. In any of these instances, it’s important to remember that these comments will be viewable by everyone who comes to Yelp, including potential customers. That means you’ll need to avoid using public comments to make personal attacks on a reviewer, advertise or offer incentives. This will only lead to a negative perception of your business and possibly drive away potential customers. You’ll want to leave readers with a positive impression of your business, so take a diplomatic approach and stick to the facts. Customers appreciate it when business owners take the high road.9. Measure your word of mouthWith your free Yelp Business Owner’s Account, measuring your word-of-mouth is as simple as logging in to your account. You’ll be able to check on the number of page views your business has each day and each month, an important indication of just how much buzz your business is generating. You can also opt-in to receive email alerts when new reviews are posted and track your review distribution and rating over time.10. Lather, Rinse, RepeatOnce you’ve completed your business page, uploaded photos, co-branded your online presence with Yelp badges and posted an enticing announcement, stick with it! Keeping track of your Yelp business page and your reviews, along with responding in a timely manner to those who’ve taken the time to provide you with feedback, only takes a few minutes a week and doesn’t cost you a dime. By keeping the lines of communication open and being receptive to customer feedback — both positive and negative — you’re putting yourself and your business in a position of great visibility to the Yelp community and potential customers in your area. Be consistent, be positive and be engaging! Online Reviewscenter_img This guest post is by Leighann Farrelly , community manager of Yelp Boston.  In the following article, Leighann discusses 10 simple ways you can take advantage of your business’s presence on Yelp, one of the top user review sites on the Web today. 1. Join The Conversation Topics:last_img read more