Small Business: Monitoring Online Reviews


“In order to get more reviews, you’ll need to make it as easy as possible for customers to review your business,” explains John McHugh, president of Brainstorm Studio, a Melville-based digital marketing firm. For one, make sure you complete your business profiles on review websites such as Google+, Yelp and TripAdvisor, he notes. The more professional it looks, the more likely a consumer is to post a review, he says. Place links to review sites from your company websites, he adds. Yelp and other sites will give you a badge to place on your website, says McHugh. Also, ask for reviews soon after the transaction, he notes. People are more likely to respond the same day or next day, rather than weeks later.
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That means a customer who walks into his shop can’t purchase any of the briefcases and satchels on display. They are just samples; everything must be custom ordered. “I am building my reputation one on one,” Marcellino said. “My brand is never going to get built if I come out of the gate mass-producing.” Another challenge is building a workforce. He has two part-time assistants and is working on bumping up production by training three apprentices in the studio adjoining the shop.
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Alright, What’s Up With That?

This morning we got this email from TPM Reader RN …


Hi Josh, I have been writing software for 35 years and have to say that these quotes from the NYT article are very suspicious
“One specialist said that as many as five million lines of software code may need to be rewritten before the Web site runs properly.”
“According to one specialist, the Web site contains about 500 million lines of software code.”
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Gallup: Sharp Decline In Confidence


… For the second consecutive week, the unadjusted Purchase Index was lower compared to the same week one year ago. … The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) decreased to 4.42 percent, the lowest rate since mid-June, from 4.49 percent, with points increasing to 0.44 from 0.34 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans. emphasis added Click on graph for larger image. The first graph shows the refinance index. The refinance index is up over the last four weeks as rates have declined.
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The timetable for hearings and a vote is uncertain. Ms. Yellen has been the Fed’s second-in-command since 2010. From that perch, she’s been a close adviser to Mr. Bernanke as he devised new easy money programs aimed at supporting economic growth.
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That’s up 12.8 percent from 5,612 such homes listed in August and up 60.5 percent from one year ago. emphasis added There are several key trends that we’ve been following: 1) Overall sales were down slightly from August, and down about 1% year-over-year. 2) Conventional sales are up sharply.  In September 2012, only 41.6% of all sales were conventional.  This year, in September 2013, 69.6% were conventional.  That is an increase in conventional sales of about 59% (of course there is heavy investor buying, but that is still quite an increase in non-distressed sales). 3)  Most distressed sales are short sales instead of foreclosures (over 3 to 1).  Both foreclosures and short sales are declining. 4) and most interesting right now is that non-contingent inventory (year-over-year) is now increasing quickly.  Non-contingent inventory is up 60.5% year-over-year!
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from Gallup: Weekly Drop in U.S. Economic Confidence Largest Since ’08 Americans’ confidence in the economy has deteriorated more in the past week during the partial government shutdown than in any week since Lehman Brothers collapsed on Sept. 15, 2008, which triggered a global economic crisis.
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Week 6 Football Predictions


Morristown East (4-1, 1-1 District 2-AAA) vs. Morristown West (1-4, 0-2): The Hurricanes haven’t won in the series since 2008 and are riding waves of confidence this season after having only won a game in 2012. Morristown West has a four-game losing streak but won’t simply fold to East. This could be a season-changer. Prediction: Morristown East 32, Morristown West 31. Central (2-3, 2-1 District 3-AAA) at Anderson County (5-1, 4-1): Who bounces back faster: Central from a loss to Fulton or Anderson County from its loss to Powell?
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27. Smith is the third-leading passer in PrepXtra with 1,619 yards. Area leaders Stats through Week 5 games. OFFENSE Rollins-Davis (Fulton) 72 1035 17 Long (Rockwood) 102 902 11 Fox (Anderson Co.) 89 901 11 Boyd (McMinn Cen) 111 792 9 Thomas (Farragut) 109 785 3 Stephenson (OSprings) 104 758 9 Bledsoe (Heritage) 79 704 5 Horton (Bearden) 87 681 7 Collier (T.
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