SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air: Driving phone traffic

Friday, September 28, 2012
Editor's note: This is our fourth post in a series on SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air, where experts on the AdWords support team are hosting short Hangouts on Air to walk SMBs through AdWords-related topics. Here on the Google and Your Business Blog, we'll be providing a wrap-up of the Hangouts. This particular post is cross-published from the AdWords Google+ page

AdWords Specialists Courtney Pannel, Adam Anderson, and Morgan Price hosted a Hangout on Air yesterday as the fourth installment of the SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air series.

During the Hangout on Air, we discussed features like call extensions and call metrics that can help drive phone traffic for your business. Here are some resources to check out on call extensions and call metrics.

We also chatted about the benefits of having a mobile-only campaign (keyword + ad optimization, mobile site destination URLs, metrics split from desktop performance, etc.). Here’s a nifty resource about mobile ads, complete with videos and examples.

Here's the full 25-minute Hangout on Air, from the Google Business YouTube channel:



To learn more about how to get started with AdWords, visit our Help Center, check out the AdWords Community forum, or call us at 866-2-GOOGLE if you already have an AdWords account.

And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout on Air at 11 a.m. PDT, October 11, when we discuss how to optimize your account to drive local traffic. Stay tuned!

Social that Adds Up

Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Cross-posted from the Google Analytics Blog

Earlier this week HootSuite Enterprise hosted Adam Singer, from Google Analytics, to share how you can use Google to measure social performance. With over half of people talking more online than they do in “real life”, digital social media is a critical platform for marketers, but how do we measure its impact?



Most marketers use platform metrics as performance indicators, but often they cannot be linked to sales. Engagement is the easiest and often the most measured social metric in terms of followers, fans and comments. However, revenue is often the more important (and more difficult to measure) metric that can help marketers determine an ROI for their social media efforts. Google offers two solutions that can help drive social media performance: Google+ and Google Analytics social reports.

Building relationships on Google+ may improve other parts of your marketing plan. Google+ is integrating social in all the Google products marketers already use, which can help them drive deeper engagement with their target customers, be more relevant by offering social recommendations when customers need them most and remain accountable by providing transparency of how their ad dollars are performing.

With Google Analytics Social reports you can tie your social media to metrics you care about. Here are some top tips Adam covered in the webinar:
  • Find something you can measure (micro or macro-conversions) and sprint in that direction. Focus on how separate channels can drive different types of site actions, which can be tied to a value you determine.
  • Measure success criteria directionally. Benchmarks are uncommon and do not necessarily translate across products, services or industries.
  • Create your social posts with a measurement goal in mind. Be sure to include a call to action to inspire your audience to act.
  • Understand and connect with your audience differently across the different networks. Try not to post the same thing on each platform, customize and use what works best.

Thank you to those who could join, if you have any questions feel free to reach out to +AdamSinger on Google+ or watch the webinar recording here.

Source: Socialnomics, 2009

Celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship with the new Google for Entrepreneurs

Monday, September 24, 2012


Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog

Startups and entrepreneurs have the power to build technologies and creative solutions that transform the world and move us forward. Innovation is happening everywhere: There are approximately 400 million entrepreneurs across 54 countries, and 69 million early-stage entrepreneurs offering new products and services. As Google turns 14 this month, we’re celebrating this creative spirit and officially launching Google for Entrepreneurs, the umbrella for our several dozen programs and partnerships around the world that support startups and entrepreneurs.
Our focus is threefold:
  1. Partnerships with strong organizations that serve entrepreneurs in local communities
  2. Google-led programs to bring our teams and our tools directly to entrepreneurs
  3. Placing relevant Google tools in the hands of startups as they are getting off the ground and ready to scale
We’re already on a roll, with current projects ranging from support for the annual journey of entrepreneurship through India by train, to partnering with a number of accelerator and incubator programs around the world, like iHub in Kenya and Le Camping in France. And, this week, we’re rolling out our newest partnership: teaming up with Women 2.0 to bring their Founder Friday events to more cities. These events bring together current and aspiring female entrepreneurs once a month to connect with mentors and one another to build community. We’re partnering to launch Founder Fridays in Detroit, New Orleans, Sao Paulo and Moscow over the next year.

To celebrate both our birthday and the spirit of entrepreneurship that’s helped get us where we are today, we are hosting our first annual Google for Entrepreneurs Week, which will bring together more than 3,000 entrepreneurs and Googlers around the world. We kicked off over the weekend with a Startup Weekend event hosted at the Google Ventures Startup Lab in Mountain View, Calif., where Bay Area entrepreneurs came together to create their own startups in 54 hours. Over the course of the next week, Googlers in 28 cities across 13 countries will be hosting an event in their communities to bring their passion and expertise to local entrepreneurs. We’re teaming with a number of partners to make this happen, including the Idea Village in New Orleans, Communitech in Waterloo, Tetuan Valley in Wroclaw, the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship in Johannesburg and the Council Bluffs Chamber of Commerce in Iowa.

For more on these existing programs and to stay connected on upcoming events, visit google.com/entrepreneurs and follow us on G+.

The Business September 26th 2012, The "The Business is Back in Business" Edition



The Business has been Chris-less for some time now. NOT THIS WEEK! We’ve got not just one, but TWO! Both Garcia and Thayer have been in the land of dreams (and in LA) but they’re back and better than ever and they’re gonna be at the Business this week! Also, Alex has returned from being a road warrior Max Rockatansky-style and will be back in his business saddle again. That means all the regulars are assembling, forming a Voltron-esqe defender of the humorverse!

Chris, Chris, Sean, Alex, Bucky, Caitlin and Mike have made room for only one guest this week. Luckily, he’s a doozy.

“Jarrod Harris‘ act is an oddly comfortable mix of trailer-park filth, comic angst and hipster irony. While his style may fit into several categories along the comedy spectrum, his clever writing only fits into one: funny.” Noah Gardenswartz – Creative Loafing.

Over 20 million people have seen Jarrod’s popular Action Figure Therapy characters and most recently the series was named LA Weekly’s “Top Comic To Watch in 2012″. His character Jungle was also featured on the front page of the Huffington Post Comedy section in 2011. Jarrod has also been seen on TBS’ Lopez Tonight and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham. Campus Activities Magazine named him as one of the Hot Comics of 2009 and Top Comics to Watch in 2010. In 2009 Jarrod was final 4 at the San Francisco Comedy Competition and in 2010 was invited back for Detroit Comedy Festival’s “Best of Fest” as well as host of 2010/2011 Laughing Skull Festival. Jarrod spends his time in LA and is a regular performer at independent shows as well as the Improvs, Comedy Store, Laugh Factory, and in 2010 had the pleasure of hosting a Comedy Death Ray show.

It is a pleasure to welcome him back to The Business.

Come join us! We SELL OUT, so get there before 8 and nab a seat. BYOBurrito. (Bring 8 more to share with us.)

Help Desk Hangouts: Administrative Assistant Community

Friday, September 21, 2012
Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features. 

 In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we chatted with the folks who created the Administrative Assistant Community on Google. Administrative Assistants and other extreme users of Google Apps can trade tips and tricks about productivity, getting organized, and anything else. They’ve also got educational Hangouts (sounds familiar!) that highlight different Google products.

Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel.



Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown. 

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:

What was the inspiration behind creating the Administrative Assistant Community? 
After having worked with a number of Google Apps customers over the years, we realized that Admin Assistants are the real super users of Apps. They use Apps, and in particular Gmail and Calendar, in novel and exciting ways. This also means that they often come across problems or things that don’t work the way they need them to, and this will usually happen when they are under extreme pressure to get things done for their boss. So they are also a group that needs special attention and focus. There is already an internal Google Admin Assistant community sharing tips and tricks, and we thought it would be great to extend this into a more public facing community. Plus we aim to make the site itself a one stop shop for Admin Assistant related resources and materials.

Who can join the discussion? Is it limited to paying Google Apps customers, or “official” administrative assistants? 
Anyone can join. It is a free public website and community. Although it is particularly aimed at Administrative Assistants who use Google Apps, all are welcome to share tips and tricks!

 Help Desk Hangouts are hosted on the Google+ Your Business page every other Wednesday. Don’t miss our next Hangout at 11a.m. PDT on Wednesday, October 3. Look for the topic announcement on the Google+ Your Business page.

Getting America’s businesses online

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Editor's note: This article is cross-posted from the Google Official Blog.

The web is where we go to find things—somewhere to eat tonight, someone to cut your hair or someone to come quickly to tend to your plumbing disaster. Ninety-seven percent of Americans who use the Internet—pretty much all of us—are looking online for local goods and services. Businesses need to be where their customers are. In 2012, that’s online.

Yet, more than half of all small businesses in the U.S. don’t have a website. Many of those businesses are completely invisible in the one place people are looking for them. The impact of being online is real: Businesses that make use of the web are expected to grow 40 percent faster and are nearly twice as likely to create jobs. Since small businesses make up half of the U.S. GDP and contribute two-thirds of all new jobs, the potential impact of getting these businesses (more than 15 million of them) online is enormous. We wanted to help spur a new wave of SMBs on the web, and change the perception that getting online is hard, expensive and time-consuming.

In July 2011, we went to Austin to get Texas businesses on the web. Texas Get Your Business Online helped any business in Texas get a free, easy-to-build website as well as a free, customized domain name and web hosting for one year. The tools and resources made it fast, easy and free for any business in Texas to get online.

The response from the small business community in Texas was tremendous—thousands of businesses started to get online at events throughout the state and on the web. So we decided to expand the program, going state-by-state to get businesses online. At the end of August 2012, we went to Alaska and Hawaii. These were our 49th and 50th states. Just over a year after our experiment in Austin, we’ve brought America Get Your Business Online to all 50 states, with help from ASBDC, Score, Intuit and over 500 local partners. We’ve had more than 20,000 small businesses attend more than 200 events throughout the country.


This is just the beginning of our commitment to get businesses on the web and succeeding online. Today, small businesses throughout the U.S. can get online for free at www.AmericaGetOnline.com. Businesses get a free, easy-to-build website as well as a free, customized domain name and web hosting for one year. It’s fast, it’s easy and it’s free.

If you’re a small business, get your business online today. Or, if you know a great business that is not online, use this tool to invite them to the web. Getting America’s businesses online may very well be the fastest, easiest step we can take to grow our small businesses and our economy.

Ocado whets users’ appetites through innovative Google+ features

Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Ocado whets users’ appetites through innovative Google+ features and content –uplifts in CTRs and video views are the icing on the cake! With its inherently digital focus, internet grocery retailer Ocado has established itself as an early adopter of new technologies, so it comes as no surprise that the company embraced Google+ as soon as it could – and has already started reaping some tasty benefits.



The opportunity for Google+ to contribute to improved search rankings was a convincing reason to launch the brand’s Google+ page. By adopting social extensions, Ocado ads became instantly more compelling, and click-through rates increased by 30%.

Hangouts are a clever way that Ocado has brought food-centric content to life. The company capitalised on its existing Great British Chefs initiative and used Google+ to produce a live event where the chefs cooked for customers. Ocado promoted the hangouts via True View ads on YouTube, which resulted in 167k engaged views. The Ocado YouTube channel views went from 50k to 230k in the space of a week thanks to the hangout, without including the people who live-streamed the event (which numbered about 60 individuals at any given time).

The experience has led Ocado to consider further possibilities for moving images. They are keen not to use text-based feeds as what they really want is to get people excited about food, and images are a great way of differentiating. In addition to hangouts and images, Ocado has embraced the Google+ badge which appears on the check-out page with the aim of making the shopping experience social through gifting and sharing.

In future, Ocado has plans for more hangouts on the Google+ page, as well as ideas for more video and channel-specific content. The intention is to deliver the sights and sounds – if not the tastes and aromas – of Ocado products straight to users’ screens. Find out more about Ocado’s recipe for success by reading the full case study here.

The Business September 19th 2012, The "Lil Rascals in the City" Edition

This week at The Business, Our Gang is welcoming a few Lil Rascals to San Francisco.

Cameron Buchholtz is a stand up comedian based in Austin, TX. He is a regular at comedy clubs across the country, has done theater shows with the likes of Doug Benson and Todd Barry, rock clubs with Michael Ian Black and Neil Hamburger, and festivals such as FunFunFunFest and the Norman Music Festival. He is also the host of the laid back interview podcast 'CB Radio', where every week he sits down with some of the biggest
names in comedy and pop culture. He is proudly from Oklahoma. He is SO totally an Alfalfa.

Dave Child started his career as a senior officer of Emerson College's acclaimed sketch troupe: Chocolate Cake City. Dave co-wrote the screenplay: Will Triumph Fights Alone, which won the Film Artist Network’s Boston Screenplay Competition, was represented at The Cannes Film Festival and was later adapted into a comic book, illustrated by Death of Superman artist: Jon Bogdanove. Since then, Will Triumph has been optioned to ABC Family Channel as a one-hour drama. Dave came to Los Angeles to make comedy videos and web series for Warner Brothers Studios. He currently performs stand up all the country for the nation’s top clubs (The Comedy Store, The Comedy Studio, The Improv, etc.) and most popular alternative comedy shows: HOLY FUCK! (“One of the best alternative comedy shows in Los Angeles.”- LA Weekly), One-Two-Punch (a featured show in the LA Times), and What's Up Tiger Lily? (The Onion's "Comedy Pick"). He’s SUCH a Spanky.

Jono Zalay grew up in beautiful San Diego, where upon becoming a stand-up comic, he quickly grew tired of good weather and happy times. So he packed all his belongings and boarded a plane to Boston. His belongings boarded a plane to Philadelphia and were never seen again. In 2010-11, he became a staple at comedy festivals around the country, winning all of them in the “most fun” category that he made up. His unique and informed background brings a perspective to stand-up comedy unequaled by almost any PhD in Neuroscience. What a total Waldo!

Join our guests and the regulars, Caitlin Gill (total Darla), Bucky Sinsiter (BUTCH), Mike Drucker (like, completely Woim) and Sean Keane (man, wish the only two left weren’t Porky and Buckwheat… Can I just say Sean possesses Buckwheat’s impeccable comedic timing and Porky’s irrisitable charm? I DIDN’T JUST SAY SOMETHING RACIST OR CALL SEAN FAT, DID I?!?)

This whole darn show is just $5 measly dollars.  Remember! We sell out! Get there by 8 if you want a seat.

SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air: Optimizing your account to generate sales

Monday, September 17, 2012
Editor's note: This is our third post in a series on SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air, where experts on the AdWords support team are hosting short Hangouts on Air to walk SMBs through AdWords-related topics. Here on the Google and Your Business Blog, we'll be providing a wrap-up of the Hangouts. This particular post is cross-published from the AdWords Google+ page

AdWords Specialists Will Lindemann, Kaylyn Frazier, and Chad Baranik hosted a Hangout on Air last week as the third installment of the SMB Newbie Hangouts on Air series.

During the Hangout, we talked about using negative keywords to ensure your ad only shows to users looking to purchase. To grab the attention of those users looking to buy, we showed you how to optimize your ad text and expand your ad with extensions like sitelinks. To further differentiate yourself in the marketplace, we also talked about video ads and product listing ads and how you can use those more advanced formats to drive users to purchase on your site.

You can watch the full 30-minute Hangout on Air from the Google and Your Business YouTube channel here:



To learn more about how to get started with AdWords, visit our Help Center, check out the AdWords Community forum, or call us at 866-2-GOOGLE if you already have an AdWords account.

And remember to tune in to the live stream of our next Hangout on Air at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, September 27, when we discuss how to optimize your account to generate phone traffic. Stay tuned!

Social that Adds Up: Performance and Measurement

Friday, September 14, 2012
Cross-posted from the Google Analytics Blog

Join us for a webinar Tuesday, September 18th 11am PT, in partnership with Hootsuite, to learn how we can make better decisions based on performance metrics of social networks using Google Analytics social reports. Register today, it’s open to everyone!



Adam Singer, the Product Marketing Manager for Google Analytics, will go beyond the current social metrics of followers, +1’s, likes and others, to discuss the true impact your social media is making on your brand’s bottom line. We often are asked about how businesses can measure their social media and how they can capture the value they create for their consumers. Many of our current metrics allow us to measure the reach of our message, but not necessarily the ROI. What impact does social have on a company’s performance? Learn how to connect visits to your social pages all the way through to a sale or conversion on your website. It’s time to prove the value of social media with the right measurement metrics.

You’ll also learn how social media can actually influence other media performance and drive conversions. When you verify your Google+ Page, Google may show more endorsements for your business from your customers and supporters within the search results page. This can raise the social awareness of your business and increase its relevance. Because 77% of US consumers trust recommendations from their social media connections more than any other media source, seeing a +1, can help them make a purchase decision. On average, search ads with annotations have a 5-10% uplift in clickthrough rate. Some of our advertisers have seen even higher uplifts, H&M achieved 22% uplift, Cadbury achieved 17% uplift and Laterooms.com achieved a 9% uplift in clickthrough rates on their search ads.



Start measuring the value you’re creating through your social media campaigns!

 Sources: Google Research 2012; Google internal data 

 

Building your business online: Advice from the start-up community

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


Recently, Google took part in the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce's (NGLCC) annual Business & Leadership Conference in Chicago. Our involvement was focused on supporting the start-up community and helping small- to medium-sized businesses understand how to use the web to grow. At the event, entrepreneurs pitched their ideas to a panel of experts, including Google’s John Burchett, Director, Public Policy - US States and Local, Latin America and Canada, who gave feedback on how to get their ideas off the ground.

While each business and entrepreneur is unique, here are some general tips for entrepreneurs from John Burchett after the event:

If you can do humor well, do it. The winning team had a very down-to-earth charming video introducing themselves and their product. It really made you root for them. The thing that I was generally most critical about was the tendency of all of the contestants to oversell their product and the world-changing nature of them. Grandiose claims just make me skeptical. Stick to the new, interesting innovation that they provide, but don't overhype. The worst thing is to have the 'infomercial' aroma.

We also asked participating entrepreneurs Michael McCarthy (BudiBar, a focus-enhancing energy bar), Joe Cote (Capsule Pen, a pen-shaped pill case), and Jim Hohl (Tasklite, a project management software for teams) to weigh in on their experience, and share some advice for other entrepreneurs starting on their own business journeys:

What was the most valuable piece of advice you took away from the panel?

Joe Cote: The most valuable piece of advice that we took away from the panel was that when presenting our product, too much is too much! Since receiving this advice we have narrowed our focus and zeroed in on the exact models that will have the most traction in the market, and plan to let other features and design ideas come to the forefront over time.

Michael McCarthy: The most valuable piece of advice was to remove a selling point that people didn't believe to be true, regardless of it being true or not. Instead, focus on what they do believe and you maintain customer trust.

What advice would you give to other new entrepreneurs?

Jim Hohl: Take advantage of the vast pool of free and low cost resources that are available to you from Google and others, for one thing. For another, be sure you are ready for the plunge because it's a full time job with no salary, no benefits and unlimited working hours - if you don't have a cushion, it can be a bumpy ride. And finally, be fully committed to your vision but remain receptive to criticism. I've learned a lot by listening, even when it was something I didn't want to hear.

Michael McCarthy: Make sure you have a huge passion for what you're doing and make sure that passion is not money. Passion is the fuel that will get you through the ups and downs. Also keep a good set of friends nearby who will listen to your panic, soothe your fears, and celebrate your successes.

The Business September 12th 2012, The "TV’S Erin Judge Judy and Foxmeat News" Edition


New Business Logo courtesy of Dr. Foxmeat
Last week’s Members Only show was great fun, but it’s time we got some guests back in the Business. This week we have two of our favorites with their funnies.

Dr. Foxmeat began his comedy career with a soaring howl under a full moon. He has the sharp jokes of a seasoned comedian, and a furry beard that looks like it may contain fallen seasonings. He looks like he knows the value of a set of human teeth on an unsettled prairie, but also looks like he could roll you a doobie without using his thumbs. He has wandered down to SF from the wilds of Humboldt County for your entertainment. He is a doctor, he is a fox, he is meat.

Erin Judge began her career at the Comedy Studio in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and now she lives in New York and performs all over the world. Erin's first stand-up album, So Many Choices, was released by Rooftop Comedy in 2012. She travels with the Pink Collar Comedy Tour and co-produces The Afterlife, a weekly comedy showcase in New York City. Erin has appeared on Comedy Central, in Time Out New York as Joke of the Week, and in the pages of the New York Times.

(Any resemblance to Fox News or Judge Judy is purely coincidental.)

This is a $5 show. (JUST $5!!!) BYOBurrito, and remember, WE SELL OUT. Get there by 8 if you want a seat. No one turned away without a high five.

Manage your business on-the-go with Google Drive app updates

Monday, September 10, 2012
Editor's note: Google Drive is a place where you can create, share, collaborate, and keep all of your stuff. From spreadsheets of orders to meeting notes, Google Drive lets you manage all your business files in one place. Now you can do even more with updates to the Google Drive mobile app. This post is cross-published from the Google Official Blog

Every day, more and more people are choosing to live online and get things done in the cloud. Helping to make this experience as seamless as possible, Google Drive is one place where you can create, share and keep all your stuff. Drive is available on the web, as well as Mac, Windows and Android and iOS.

Updates for iOS 
Starting today, if you’re using the Drive app on your iOS device you can also edit Google documents, just as you can with the Android app. From your iPhone or iPad, you can create a new document, edit an existing one or format text. And, just like on your computer, you’ll be able to see other people’s edits instantly as they’re made.


You’ll also notice other new improvements to the iOS Drive app. For example, you can now view Google presentations on your iPhone or iPad, including speaker notes, full-screen mode and the ability to swipe between slides. You can also create new folders, move files into folders and upload stuff (like photos and videos) from your device directly in the Drive app.

Updates for Android 
We’re also updating the Drive app for Android phones and tablets today. You can now add comments, reply to existing comments and view tables in your Google documents. And you’ll have the same new abilities to view presentations and organize your stuff as your friends with iPhones do.

More to come... 
Looking ahead, we have plenty more planned for the Drive mobile apps—including native editing and real-time collaboration for Google spreadsheets. Stay tuned.



Get Drive in the App Store for your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch and visit the Play Store to get the latest on your Android phone or tablet. To learn more about Google Drive, visit drive.google.com/start.

Help Desk Hangouts: Visual Storytelling with Google for Nonprofits

Friday, September 7, 2012

Editor’s note: Each week on the Google+ Your Business page, we’re putting you in touch with Googlers and users who can help you as a business owner get the most out of our products and features.

In our latest Help Desk Hangout On Air, we chatted with the +Google for Nonprofits team about using visual storytelling to create great social content. We talked about using different types of visual content on Google+, from photos to videos to maps. The Google for Nonprofits team shared some of their tips, tricks, and wisdom about managing a successful and engaging Google+ page, and we talked about some of our own strategies for the Google+ Your Business page, too.

Miss the event? You can watch the whole thing on the Google and Your Business YouTube channel.




Check out the video description on the YouTube page for a minute-by-minute breakdown.

Some of the questions we answered during the Hangout:
Where can I find some resources business or nonprofits can use to create compelling visuals, like maps?
We’ve posted resources on our page last month and continue to do so. Our video tutorials can be found here.

What strategies and kinds of posts do you find to be successful on the Google for Nonprofits page?
Posts where we ask our community about themselves and their organizations tend to get a lot of engagement. We try to incorporate questions and opportunities for discussion in our posts every week. We also try to build momentum around a certain theme in our posts for example about a certain product or holidays or season.

Help Desk Hangouts are hosted on the Google+ Your Business page every other Wednesday. Don’t miss our next Hangout at 11a.m. PDT on Wednesday, September 19. Look for the topic announcement on the Google+ Your Business page.

 

A Second Slice of Social Media with King Arthur Flour

Thursday, September 6, 2012
Earlier this year, we highlighted King Arthur Flour's presence on Google+ and shared tips and tricks for small businesses to manage a great page. The 220-year-old company in Vermont keeps their flours classic but their online presence modern, using Google products like AdWords, Analytics, and YouTube.

Here's an excerpt from our previous case study:

Meet King Arthur Flour, America’s oldest flour company. Founded in 1790, King Arthur Flour is now an employee-owned company that offers everything from baking products to educational baking programs—all with the mission to “inspire, educate and bake.” PJ Hamel, King Arthur Flour’s resident writer, shows how Google+ helps the company share the joy of baking with people all around the world. Read More...

We're happy to share that they are opening a new facility — and they've put up an invite on Google+. If you're in the area, drop by and let us know how good it smells. Yum!



Google's solutions fit the bill for Fashion Week businesses

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Digital Media Rules the Runway at Fashion Week
For anyone with a passion for fashion, the most exciting week of the year is here: New York Fashion Week. But while the runway shows at the tents in Lincoln Center are still filled mostly with fashion buyers, bloggers and celebrities, with YouTube and Google+, businesses can grant everyone front row access right from their desktop, mobile phone or tablet:
  • More than 30 fashion shows are streaming live on the YouTube Live from the Runway channel, sponsored by Maybelline, giving you front row access from your living room.
  • Lucky Magazine’s Fashion Week Photowalk: +LuckyMagazine is hosting a Fashion Week photowalk. All week long, bloggers, designers and Lucky editors will be uploading exclusive, behind-the-scenes photos. You can add this public Google+ Event to your calendar.
  • On September 7th, +TeenVogue Director +EvaChen212, and LYST are hosting an exclusive pre-show Hangout with designer Rebecca Minkoff on LYST’s page.
  • Paris Vogue Fashion’s Night Out: +VogueParis will be posting “Live-GIFs” of the event on their +Page, where notable guests, models and VIPs will have their images turned into GIFs, ready to be shared across the web. This is in addition to their 3H YouTube live broadcast, available on the Vogue Paris YouTube Channel or on www.vogue.fr.



Searching for style
People are also turning to search to help them keep up with their passion for fashion. It’s perhaps no surprise that searches for [fashion week] are highest in New York City, but interest in the event comes from all over the country:
  • Young designers aspiring to make their fashion week debut are hitting the books. Searches for [fashion class] are up 10% in the last month, with most searches coming from California, while searches for [fashion school] are up 60% and highest in New Jersey. [SIDE NOTE: searches for fashion class are also up 15% year over year, fashion school up 10% year over year]
  • Fashion Week is about walking the walk. The nation’s next top model might from from North Carolina. Folks there searched for [modeling school] more than any other state this year, with searches jumping 35% in the last month.
  • Everyone wants to look top-notch for the runway, or rather, to watch the runway. Searches for [what to wear to a fashion show] have doubled in the past month. What’s the trendiest state? Folks from Illinois searched for [fall fashion trends] more often than those in any other in the past month. Searches have grown 60% in the last month.
  • Searches for [fashion week schedule] up 140% in the past month. Searches for [fashion designers] up 20% in the past month.

The Business September 5th 2012, The "LONG SETS WOLFGANG KILL THEM ALL" Edition

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


This week, the Business has called a private meeting of our Board of Directors. It’s all regulars this week, including our latest, greatest hire, Mike Drucker.

Sean Keane has the mind of a genius and the face of a newborn. His cheeks are like tea leaves, stare into them deeply and you will know your future. You’ll love him so much you will want to take his jokes home in your pocket, but don’t! They’re his.

Alex Koll is Awesome. The Awesome. Air Guitar HERO. And an impossibly talented filmmaker.
And a top notch writer. And a member of the legendary sketch group Boomtime, which means he can be appropriately described as the Bomb.

Caitlin Gill will make your dreams come true. Especially if you dream of really funny stand-up comedy. Or if you dream of homemade Twinkies. She can do that too.

Bucky Sinister is an irrepressible talent. A poet, author, and comedian who can also swing, snatch, clean, and jerk a kettlebell that weighs more than you do. Even though his arms could crush you, and one of them has a panther and a snake fighting on it, you will still want a hug.

Mike Drucker has written for SNL and the Onion, which are things of which you have totally heard. His jokes give comedians boners. Even the comedians with vaginas. BONERS. We are very pleased he has joined our fine organization.
Please keep in mind, this show sells out. Get there on time if you want a seat!