Save money with Fuze online meetings

Everyone is talking about online meeting options.  There is a new kid on the block called Fuze Meeting and from now until April 24th, 2010 – you can get a free $25 Itunes card in addition to the normal 30 day free trial.  Click here to activate the Itunes deal.

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Fuze Meeting lets you:

HD content
Upload videos, imagery and documents in high-definition. Zoom in on details without losing resolution.
Desktop sharing
Keep everyone on the same page – share your screen with the whole group in real-time synchronization.
Intuitive interface
Control your meeting from an easy-to-use dashboard. Chat, send email invites, fetch attendees and more with enterprise-level security.
Annotation and Whiteboarding
Record the session, make comments and edits as you go, then send a visual slidedeck to participants with all the mark-ups.
Mobile meetings
Host or attend a meeting from your iPhone, BlackBerry or any Wi-Fi enabled device.

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Download Fuze Meeting for your Blackberry
If you have a Blackberry Bold, Storm or new Curve, click the link above to download the latest version.

From the makers of Web Messenger comes Fuze Meeting for BlackBerry – a beautifully simple and secure way to host and attend web meetings from your BlackBerry Bold, Storm or new Curve. Invite and “fetch” attendees for audio conference, IM with co-workers and more, all from a single, intuitive interface. Fuze Meeting for BlackBerry is available free and offers a range of features, including:

  • Mobile web conferences – host audio conferences with full dashboard controls, and attend video conferences – all from a single, intuitive interface
  • Live desktop sharing – view files and presentations in perfect sync with the web conference presenter
  • Participant “fetch” – dial in missing audio conference attendees in a single click to keep meetings on schedule
    HD-quality content – unlike other web conferencing solutions, FuzeMeeting lets you view video, imagery and documents in crisp high definition
  • Universal Contacts – Start meetings immediately with access to your address and personal IM contacts from multiple networks like Microsoft OCS [beta], Gmail, LinkedIn. Yahoo!®, AIM®, MSN®, and more

Get Three for Free
Download Fuze Meeting for BlackBerry and you’ll automatically be registered for free access to online meetings for up to three participants. You can access your Fuze Meeting account from your office PC, your home or your smartphone with a single login.

April is Alcohol Awareness Month

National Headliner Comedian Joan Fagan to Entertain at a Local Benefit Dinner.

WARREN, MI – Local addictions treatment center hosts dinner comedy show to benefit women and women with children treatment scholarship fund.

“I am pleased to announce an exciting recovery event …the 6th annual Spirit of Compassion Dinner. The event is a celebration of women in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction. This year Sacred Heart is proud to present Recovery Comedian Joan Fagan to entertain the attending community.” says Grady L. Wilkinson, Chief Executive Officer of Sacred Heart.

Joan performs regularly at The Improvisation at Harrah’s in Las Vegas, The Reno Improvisation, The Comedy Stop at The Tropicana Hotel in Atlantic City and appeared as a regular character on The Drew Carey Show.
This year’s event will be held on Friday, April 30th, at 6:30 p.m., at Renaissance Unity Church, 11200 East Eleven Mile Road, in Warren. Proceeds from the event are used in support of our specialized services for women, including our FOSH Treatment Scholarships.

Tickets are available for $50 each and include dinner and a comedy show. Tickets can be ordered by contacting Tammy Murray (810.392.2167, extension 1319) or tickets can be purchased at the Renaissance Unity Events Counter. If you are unable to attend but would like to purchase a ticket to donate to a woman in treatment or in a domestic violence/homeless shelter, Sacred Heart will be happy to do so. For more information, visit the Friends of Sacred Heart Facebook event page or www.iamafosh.org.

Sacred Heart is a non-denominational, non-profit charitable service corporation. In addition to the specialized residential services for women and women with children and pregnant women, Sacred Heart offers adult detoxification and co-ed residential treatment for addictive disorders at its main campus in Memphis, outpatient care in 8 locations, supportive independent living, prevention services and HIV/AIDS Care.

Tools for DIY Online Marketing and SEO

I don’t think there is any industry (online or offline) that resembles the wild west more than SEO and related online marketing fields.  Even Social Marketing results in comparatively short term results when compared to traditional SEO. Raven Tools SEO Tools

Have you ever looked for a quote to obtain organic listings for your website?  We have.  We’ve asked for quotes for small business websites, ecommerce sites and mid-size business websites and have gotten alarmingly different quotes for the same requirements.  Send a RFP out to 10 random online marketing firms for the same website and you will get quotes from $500 flat rate to $10,000 per month.  No joke.

DIY Search engine optimization and organic search engine placement is a necessary evil for many small businesses in Michigan’s economy.

Raven’s DIY internet marketing suite includes the following (click on a title to learn more):

There are a number of SEO management tools on the market, but only Raven has created the perfect mixture of ease-of-use and functionality that we have found.  As low as $19 per month with a 30 day free trial – this DIY suite may be able to do wonders for your website rankings.

Planning your next event has never been so easy!

Our newest member – Causeway Bay Hotel in Lansing is boasting great ameneties for your next function:
 
The Causeway Bay South/Convention Center is a 300 room, full-service convention facility with 26,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Located off I-96 at exit 104, the property is an ideal meeting site in the center of the state and minutes from Michigan State University, the State Capitol Building and other area attractions.
 

 

  • Largest Hotel and Convention Center in Lansing
  • 30,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space
  • 300 spacious guest rooms with refrigerators
  • 32″ flat screen plasma televisions, microwaves and coffee makers
  • Full service restaurant catered by our executive chef
  • Exercise room, whirlpool, sauna, indoor pool with sundeck
  • Free parking
  • Free wireless internet
  • Executive lounge (newly remodeled Valencia Club)
  • Executive 5th floor with all upgraded ameneties

 

 Click here for Map and Directions

 

Spring has arrived in Michigan – Gardeners Rejoice

Now that the winter weather is gone (at least it seems that way this week in Michigan) and the colorful blooms are just a few weeks away, it’s time to think about spring cleaning. 

While you are washing windows, scrubbing walls and dusting corners inside the house, don’t forget about  giving the outside some tender loving care, too.

Here are a couple of tips to start getting your backyard ready for the spring and summer:

  • Aerate. Heavy use throughout the year can cause soil to become compacted. Removing plugs of sod in the spring — aerating — loosens the soil and lets water, air and fertilizer get down to the grass plant’s root structure. For smaller yards, or for concentrated trouble spots in any size yard, consider using a manual aerating tool that removes plugs from the turf or get your exercise by walking around in aerating shoes or sandals. If you have a large yard, consider renting a power aerator.
  • Weed. Go after weeds early in the season before they have a chance to go to seed. Cultivating a healthy lawn is one of the simplest ways to crowd out weeds. Or, remove dandelions and other broadleaf weeds with an easy-to-use weeder. Ergonomic tools like the Weed Hound have helped make long afternoons spent weeding nothing more than a backbreaking memory. All you do is place the tool over the weed, step lightly on the footrest, and pull the weed up, root and all.
  • Give your tools a spring tune-up. Spend a few minutes in the garage or storage shed making sure your tools are in good working condition — before you need to use them for the first time. Consider taking your lawn mower in for an annual tune-up.  The dealer can replace the oil and spark plugs, sharpen the blade, and get it ready for the season.

PriceThatTool.com Launched for Tool Junkies & More

Recently we talked about a new Pet Product Comparison Engine that was successfully launched.  We were surprised at how many people contacted us to extend accolades and tell us about other comparison shopping sites that they like.  We are compiling a list of sites after we review each website –  to share with all of our visitors.

The first site that our editors reviewed and that they really liked was a Tool Price Comparison website called “Price That Tool.com”.  With an impressive array of participating online retailers like Sears, Farm General Store, Tool Barn and Tool King – our initial impression was extremely positive.

The website is clean and crisp, with an easy to use interface.  Minimal advertisers was a plus (we hate websites that are too cluttered).   The actual comparison used a combination of manufacturer id’s, UPCs and artificial intelligence to match up like products and the site always accurately depicted the lowest price available.

The downside was that not all products had matches.  It would seem that this vertical would be indicative of that problem due to the vast amount of products available and how scattered manufacturers of tools, hardware and parts are in relation to retailer’s territories. 

In addition, we were excited about the price comparison between new tools and reconditioned tools.  Case in point, the Dewalt Rotary Hammer – D25600KR shows reconditioned options as well as new options.

All in All – the website was a thumbs up and certainly a first-stop shop for all you do-it-your-selfers and handymans (or handywomens) out there.

Find the lowest price on the following:

Michigan Small Business Registrar for Domains – MIRegistrar.com

Rebuild Michigan – Online!

A Web address, or domain name, is an www address where you can be found online.   It can be used for offline marketing (painted on the side of your van) and used for directing online inquiries.  If you do not intend to sell products online, it can be thought of as an electronic brochure where you put your best foot forward to impress and draw in new customers. 

Start with www.MiRegistrar.com to secure your online identity.

Having a Michigan Business domain name can enable your business to express itself through email or a business website and it’s what customers think of when trying to find you.  MiRegistrar can provide the tools to get online fast.

There’s no better time than NOW to get online. Securing your web address or domain name is smart and easy.

If you’re not quite ready to start building a multi-page website, you can still establish your domain name and start promoting your company online today with a temporary page or a redirect to your MichiganBusiness.us listing (free with your domain name registration).  

A domain name can also be used to professionalize your email address; presenting a more  unified  image to your customers. Once you’re ready to put your Michigan business online, you can build a website (or have one built for you) and publish it for the world to see – or at least your part of the world.

If there’s a particular domain name that you want, it’s good to register it quickly. There’s no guarantee that a web address available today will be available tomorrow.

Search for a domain name today and get online fast and easy!

Blurs Between Shopping Comparison, CrowdStorming & Amazon

Niche Price Comparison by Petazon

Online shopping comparison engines, social networks and large retailers are all starting to blur together.  A few years back, it was easy to tell what a site really did.  Back when Amazon was Amazon. 

Now, Amazon is actually a conglomerate of retailers in a bid-war frenzy.  Would you call it a price comparison engine?  What about Kaboodle?  Some would call it Crowd-storming, but is it really just a super affiliate with retailers promoting their products.  We all have to agree that Kaboodle gives you no comparison shopping at all.

PriceGrabber and Shopping.com are the grand-daddies of the price comparison world  but are their costs pricing many retailers out of the game?   They charge retailers on a “per-click” basis – so merchants having lower prices find it harder to compete in this environment without raising prices.

What about Niche price comparison engines like Petazon Price Comparison?  They get revenue from the ads and in some cases get paid on a per action or performance basis.  Will these Niche engines get enough attention to survive alongside the big guys?

Have we all become wary of the big guys.  Is it a common occurance to click through at BizRate-type-site and shorthly thereafter find a lower price at another retailer that cannot afford to advertise on this type of mammoth engine.

Facebook and the social networks have comparison engines jumping on the application development bandwagon.  Case in point – GregRobert partners with SortPrice to launch their store on facebook.   Are the lines between social shopping, comparison shopping and just downright “shopping” become so foggy that we really don’t know what a good price is?  Does the greatest marketer win or the greatest price?

We think that the answer lies somewhere in the middle and can be predicted by the GrandMother of online retail – which is bricks and mortar.  There were many that thought 50 years ago that TV would all but extinct the small retailer – but as we know – that did not happen.

What we did learn is that people still want to deal with people and the winners in online will be a combination of pricing and personal service.

We are interested in experiences that our readers have had regarding social shopping sites, price comparison engines and combination websites that provide shoppers conveniences.  Please no retailer plugs.

Identity Theft Options are Growing Exponentially


#1 in Identity Theft Protection
I had never heard of “identity theft companies” until a few years ago.  Is the Internet the culprit behind the explosion of these companies popping up everywhere?  Or is the ease of credit card use and the ease of obtaining credit and credit cards?

Here are a few of the big names in the business with a comparison description to help you choose the right protection:

  • Privacy Matters Every year, Privacy Matters Identity helps people across the nation review their public and financial records, evaluate their risk of identity theft and reduce their chances of becoming a victim of identity theft.  Offers free help when issues arise.
  • Lifelock  LifeLock helps protect your identity – even if your information falls into the wrong hands. They provide early notification of identity threats, search the web for the illegal selling of your information, help cancel and replace the contents of your lost or stolen wallet, verify change of address requests and much, much more.
  • Veracity  Veracity offers you a total of 4 dispute investigation openings each month. Their service also offers you the benefit of personal consulting on other ways you can increase your credit score based on the information portrayed in your credit report.
  • Equifax Now offering thier most popular monitoring product with 3 more credit scores FREE, giving you a total of 4 scores per year. Stay on top of your score. –Credit Score Simulators –$1 million ID Theft Insurance –3-in-1 Credit Report –24 x 7 Customer Care
  • TrustedID  Only TrustedID scans millions of records in public and private databases to give you your Identity Threat Score – an easy-to-understand way to gauge your risk of identity theft.
  • FreeCreditReport.com Daily monitoring alerts you to key changes in your Credit Report that could be identity theft and should be investigated.
  • Identity Lookout  We scour the Internet for unauthorized use of your Social Security number, credit cards, and debit cards. Only ProtectMyID (parent company of Identity Lookout)  is backed by Experian- a world leader in protecting personal information.
  • Reputation Defender ReputationDefender was created to defend your and your family’s good name on the Internet. Our goal is straightforward: To SEARCH out all information about you and your family and fix it.  This is a bit different than the companies above – but worth mentioning.

Getting your identity stolen can be a stressful and immensly tramatic experience.  If you can afford a few extra dollars per month – we suggest using one of the above services.  Lifelock and TrustedID are our favorites.

eTailing News from a Michigan Company

55% of all households in the state of Michigan have pets – so listen up all you Michiganian pet owners! Petazon.com, a partner website with the Michigan Business Directory has diversified in to the pet shopping comparison world with the launch of a new price compare area on their website: www.Petazon.com/price . 

The Petazon price comparison engine compares the latest prices on pet products from major US retailer like Petco, Dog.com, JBPet and GregRobert Pet Supplies.  With it’s aim set at the cost conscious pet owner that  is interested in an easy to use, quick way to find lower prices on the web, Petazon has finally out did itself!

Prices are merged daily from the major US pet, garden and farm online retailers on products from well known, quality brands including 9 Lives, Farnam, Hartz and Woodlink. The site currently compares hundreds of thousands of products, priced from all sectors of the pet and garden verticals.

For example check out the prices for this memory sleeper orthopedic pet bed pictured to the right.

Petazon is an unbiased 3rd party delivery method of accurate pricing information on products that pet owners need. 

The shopping comparison portal allows pet owners to use keyword searches, browse by merchant, brand or pet product category to find the pet supplies that they are looking for.  

If you are a retailer interested in adding your products to the comparison engine, please fill the interest form located at:  http://www.petazon.com/index.php?nic=contact

Happy Shopping and congratulations to our  friends over at Petazon for a wonderful launch!