Motor City News: Jeep’s Effort to Broaden Brand Reach

Auto enthusiasts around the world are buzzing about Jeep’s futuristic new look and nameplate. Not surprisingly, Jeep’s sleek new design and nameplate is causing quite the stir in social media, especially among loyal Jeep customers.

Photo by: Chrysler-Group

The new crossover vehicle represents a radical departure from the previous Jeep designs and is designed to broaden the Jeep brand’s reach. The brand’s nameplate, which dates back nearly 40 years, is a highlight that is hard to ignore and followers are not shy to voice their concerns about the new look.

Critics report via Twitter that the new design is “ugly” and that the vehicle looks too much like a sports car and not like a Jeep. While this change in design could potentially appeal to a new set of customers, various Jeep supporters feel that the company is making a mistake.

Photo by: Automotive Rhythms

Will all this social media hype surrounding the crossover’s debut help to market the 2014 Jeep Cherokee? One can predict that conversation about the brand will at least generate awareness, making it likely that people will check out the product and decide for themselves what they think.

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee makes its public debut at the New York International Auto Show this week and goes on sales at U.S. dealers late this summer.

Spring 2013 TED Conference

Our apologies for being silent about Spring 2013 TED Conference that happened 17 days ago in its hometown Long Beach, CA. We’ve just been busy a little bit, however, TED Conference is one of those events that cannot be missed or left uncovered.

4134981697_c5823b18d8Photo by matteopenzo

What is TED?

TED is a non-profit organization that nearly 30 years is bringing together the world’s greatest thinkers and doers. They present their ideas that are definitely worth spreading to more than thousand people who attend the event. TED Conference is the main event of the year, so if you consider attending it next year, you better hurry up, as it usually sells out a year in advance. But if tickets are far out of your budget, it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to attend. There is no live streaming, however, all talks are recorded and shared on TED’s website within short period of time.

Spring 2013 TED Conference Overview

5 days and more than 70 speakers made this spring event an unforgettable one. People from 3 different worlds – Technology, Entertainment and Design gathered together to deliver their views and ideas on very diverse topics: from poverty and mental health issues in Ghana to eco innovations and school learning, etc. One blog post won’t be enough to mention all great research topics and presentations that have been discussed at the event. However, there was one special talk, so inspiring and brilliant, that it won TED 2013 Prize.  “To build a school in the cloud” was a wish of the TED’s prizewinner Sugata Mitra – an educational researcher, the author of “Hole In the Wall” experiments. His idea to design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world might change the entire education system to something very different and unusual.

In the meantime, while listening to great thinkers about their views on “future everything”, you can contribute right now by learning and expanding your knowledge on everyday basis. Our eco-friendly tip for you: try to take maximum from everything in life – college, professional internship or a presentation you attended few days ago. And remember that learning is a lifetime process.

Michigan Jobs are Going Green

Good news for the Mitten: the state of Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for the highest number of clean energy and transportation jobs created in 2012.

Not only is Michigan making a difference in both the economy and the environment, the state is home to many companies promoting Green job growth. Based out of Ann Arbor, Ingenex Digital Marketing boasts an internship program designed to train students in Digital Marketing and create environmental awareness.

Image by ifmuth

The Eco-friendly Internship gives college students and recent graduates the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and direction from Derek Mehraban, CEO of Ingenex and instructor of Michigan State University’s New Media Driver’s License course, in addition to other well-established digital marketing professionals.

By providing college students and recent graduates with an opportunity to learn about digital marketing while focusing on sustainability, the Ingenex Eco-Friendly Internship is one of a kind here in the great state of Michigan. If you have a passion for all things digital and the environment or know someone who does, check out the Ingenex webpage for openings for new interns this summer.

Facebook Fatigue – Are You Feeling It?

Sick of Facebook? You may be suffering from what is now known as Facebook fatigue. As it turns out, many people are feeling the same way and are deciding to take a break from the site or deactivate their profile altogether.

According to a new study by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, about 61% of current Facebook users admitted to taking a break from the popular social networking site at one time or another.  Most people said they had taken time off from the social network to escape the drama, or because they find it just plain boring.

Photo by: Bark

Pew used Princeton Survey Research Associates International to conduct the actual telephone interviews with a representative sample of 1,006 adults in the U.S. About 27% of Facebook users said they plan to spend less time on the social network this year and 20% of all online adults said they had once used a Facebook, but are no longer members.

Despite the need to step away from the site at times, most people report that family member and friend connections keep them attached to the site. Even though most users don’t plan on quitting Facebook altogether, they are not visiting as often and are certainly not experiencing the same type of enjoyment as they once did, according to the research.

One reason for the decrease in popularity of the site is the rise in other social networks. People are adjusting their time on certain sites as they begin to accommodate new social tools, especially when they find ones they like better than Facebook. With busy schedules and new social platforms emerging all the time, web users are budgeting their time to get the most out of online connectivity.

LA2M Speaker C.C. Chapman

Please join us this Wednesday, February 6th at LA2M for a very special guest presentation by best-selling author and award-winning marketing expert, C.C. Chapman!

C.C. has years of professional speaking experience and offers insight on a variety of topics related to social media, entrepreneurship, and online marketing. His speeches are dynamic, energetic, and packed with information to consider for the future.

Author C.C. Chapman will discuss the concepts from his latest book ‘Amazing Things Will Happen’  which is his guide to living a happy and fulfilling life. C.C. is also the co-author of the best seller Content Rules, a book that showcases the value of “organizations as publishers.”

In 2007, C.C. launched his own marketing agency, The Advance Guard, which he sold in 2009. He’s helped create, manage and execute ambitious online and offline marketing campaigns for startups and multinationals. His clients have included American Eagle Outfitters, The Coca-Cola Company, HBO, Verizon and many others.

In addition to presenting during lunch at LA2M at Conor O’Neill’s in Ann Arbor, C.C. Chapman will also be speaking at the Motor City Casino Hotel on Wednesday night.

C.C. Chapman explains that the only way to be successful is to work hard to make your dreams a reality. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to hear from one of the best in the industry!

For more information, please check out C.C.’s website at http://www.cc-chapman.com/ and follow him on Twitter @cc_chapman.

When Networking: Think Locally!

Photo Credit: Graves Neal de Armond

When networking for a social media job, it is important to remember to not only “think globally”. I had been networking on Twitter for years and made many valuable connections, but most of them were living in different states and sometimes different countries than me. I also only met about a dozen of them IRL at a Tweetup in Salt Lake City, but it was for fun, not to further my career!

I started to see the error in my way and began attending local chapter meetings of the Social Media Club of Detroit (SMCD). It was there I met the person who does the social for Pure Michigan, who became a great mentor for me. He kept suggesting I attend an ongoing business networking lunch called LA2M, which was in my hometown Ann Arbor.  I always seemed to have a conflict on the day it was held, so I let months pass by without going.

Finally, one Wednesday my plans were expectantly cancelled so I took the opportunity to check it out. Wow. I was so glad I did. After listening to the speaker talk about mobile apps and eating a delicious lunch, I was able to talk to a lot of interesting people.

However, I have to say, the very best part was my chance to meet Derek Mehraban, the founder of LA2M and CEO of Ingenex. We chatted about my going to school for my Master’s in Public Relations and he mentioned he was looking for interns. I sat down for an interview with him the very next day, and was hired on the spot! He seemed impressed by my portfolio, but admitted it was like I had just fallen from the sky, he had no idea I existed until the day before even though I had built up a pretty substantial social media presence.  Again, my folly was focusing on a global level and overlooking the people that were doing what I was doing in my own town.

I also can’t stress enough the importance of networking with people face to face. Twitter is great, but nothing tops a personal connection with people in your industry, especially if you are job seeker. Job fairs, networking meetings, business workshops and seminars are all a great way to meet local people, in person. So make it a goal of yours to check out local networking opportunities, you may get a job out it.

Bacteria Key in Solar Power Breakthrough

The deep sea is taking a page from the eco-friendly intern book it would seem! Scientists are currently studying green sulfur bacteria, an eco-conscious source for modern power and technology. Green sulfur bacteria, which live nearly a mile under the ocean’s surface, use minute amounts of solar power efficiently. So efficiently that in some cases these bacteria are able to convert 100% of the solar power they absorb into electricity.

Scientists at the University of Cambridge are researching the bacteria’s light harvesting proteins to see what advances they could offer the field of solar energy. The green sulfur bacteria is able to move electrons through their system of photosynthesis until harvest without losing energy along the way, unlike other known organisms that engage in photosynthesis. Unraveling the mystery could be groundbreaking in clean energy, opening the door to the most efficient solar panels possible. Currently, “innovative” panels are able to convert approximately 28% of solar power into electricity and are much more expensive than the standard panels.

So, what’s next for these little buggers? After saving the planet and developing energy to efficiently power our homes, where will their next mission begin? Perhaps, and this is only speculation, they may make their way to powering our smartphones, tablets and more. Solar power is already being adopted into city infrastructure goals on streetlights, parking meters, and more, why not make solar power mobile and make the battery a back-up?

That step is further down the line, but maybe not as far away as we think. After all, as all eco-friendly interns at this digital marketing agency know, technology and eco-awareness go hand in hand.

What Does X Equal?

TEDxDetroit, a local variation of the popular TED conference and talks, took place this past October at the GEM Theatre in downtown Detroit. The day was full of great ideas and great presentations about the great things people are doing to make a difference in their community.

Take Tom Nardone, for example – he’s a pumpkin carving artist, (which is cool in and of itself), but he organized something called the “Mower Gang“, a group of people who get together to mow the grass at Detroit’s abandoned parks and repair some of the equipment, or Andy Diordosi. who saw a huge gap in Detroit’s public transit service. He wanted to fix it, so he founded the Detroit Bus Company to fill in where the SMART system and the People Mover might not reach.

The day was filled with a positive spirit, an overwhelming energy, and optimism for the future of Detroit and Michigan, and this video was made to capture that for you:

Ingenex Digital Marketing was on hand at the event volunteering to do all of the social media agency-type work, but this video was a sort-of collaborative effort. The music was courtesy of one of the day’s performing bands, I Love Lighting Bugs. Photos were courtesy of some fantastic event attendees – Erin O’Neill,  Brandon Ross, Carter Sherline, Derek Mehraban, Jay Singleton, and Robin Maghielse, and the event itself was possible thanks to a major part by Charlie Wolborg, the organizer of TEDxDetroit.

iPhone 5: iOS 6 Changes Worth it?

On September 19th, Apple pushed its new iOS 6 software live. With iOS 6, came five big changes: Maps, Siri, Camera, Mail, and Passbook. Out of these changes, the changes with iOS Maps App is by far the one that has the most controversy. Google Maps, which was a pre-loaded feature, has been completely taken off the home screen of the iPhone. Once re-downloaded, the iOS Maps, now controlled by Apple and not Google, is missing points of interest feature, Google transit directions and street images. To say that’s not enough change, the Maps gives inaccurate and incorrect destinations, for instance saying that a farm in Dublin was in fact an airport, which can cause major miscommunication dilemmas for pilots.

Though iOS Maps seems to have the most controversy, the other changes have a more positive note to them. Siri can now tweet, facebook, and make reservations for you. The new Camera feature is by far the most fun to play around with. Now, users can take panoramic shots of different places they visit to the people they are with.

The Mail App now allows you to attach photos and videos straight through the app, which was not possible before. Lastly, a new pre-loaded feature on the iOS 6 software is Passbook, which allows users to be more organized when it comes to storing, boarding passes, tickets, store cards, and coupons. But the Passbook app does not automatically transfer tickets and coupons into its app, users have to download the ticket vendor’s app, the airline company’s app, or the store’s app before they can start storing their information in this app.

The biggest changes to iOS 6, to say the least, give users a mixed feeling about them. Only users can judge themselves, if they like these new features are beneficial to them. It will be interesting to see how these new features affect internet marketing’s fast-paced life.

Why Mobile Payment Applications Like Square Are the Future

Jack Dorsey. If you’re anyone who’s into social media at all, I’m sure you have heard of him. Dorsey is a founder of both Twitter and Square. He currently holds positions as Executive Chairman of Twitter and Chief Executive Officer of Square. If you’re not familiar with the company, Square is a tool that gives merchants the ability use their tablets or smartphones to process customer credit or debit transactions. Currently, Square is used by two million merchants – most of them small businesses. Merchants can swipe a customer’s credit card on the Square device (given free to merchants) or manually enter credit card information. Merchants must pay 2.75% of every transaction to Square in order to be able to use the application. Square says that it will be successful because, overall, its costs are lower than traditional credit card processors.

Business Insider gives four reasons as to why businesses should be using Square instead of conventional credit card readers:

  1. The middle man is eliminated
  2. Flat fee – 2.75% per swipe or $275 a month
  3. Analytics are provided
  4. Fast processing

Personally, I think Square is an excellent use of the tablets and smartphones that most businesses and the digital marketing company already have. Using Square is even eco-friendly! Customers have the option of receiving an electronic receipt, which can cut down of vast amounts of paper. Using a tablet or a smartphone as a tool for making payments is a use for these devices that I would not have considered previously. Are there any other uses of tablets or smartphones that you can think of that are unexpected, but have worked out well?