Join Lisa every Tuesday at 7pm Eastern for her live show on Facebook & YouTube.

What is SOPA/PIPA and why should you care?

You've probably heard about the controversy surrounding SOPA and PIPA, but if you're like most people you have no idea what it is, what it means, and why you should care.  SOPA stands for the Stop Online Piracy Act and PIPA stands for the Protect IP Act.  Like most things, they started out with good intentions but have dangerous implications for the future of the internet.

The goal of SOPA and PIPA is to give the government and copyright holders the ability to block access to "rogue websites dedicated to infringing or counterfeit goods," especially those outside of the US.  SOPA is supposed to protect against copyright infringement and would allow copyright owners and/or the US Dept. of Justice to seek court orders against anyone who facilitates or enables those who are infringing on copyrights. The key words are facilitates and enables - notice it doesn't say actually infringing.

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A Teachable Moment in Social Media

The other night we presented the first workshop in our Social Media Workshops series; in this workshop we presented an overview of social media, illustrated how it has always been used in society but the tools are changing, showed examples of successful campaigns, and talked about how social media should fit in your overall marketing plan.  As a part of the discussion we stressed that you should address negative comments in a way that is communicative rather than defensive and that you should not delete negative comments but should use them in a way to try to turn them into a positive. The very next day several local residents made disparaging remarks about the workshops in comments on a local newspaper's site, calling out our company by name and accusing us of being paid to present the workshops as a political payback for supporting a new local meals tax.

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Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling unveils logo designed by Glerin

We were recently selected to design the logo and website for a new regional economic development group in Virginia, the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance.  Last Friday, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling was in town to kick off the alliance and to introduce the group's new Executive Director, Leigh Cockram; the new logo was unveiled to the public at the event.

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Saving the High School Band builds math and computer science skills

Halifax County saved itself from going a huge step backward this week by announcing the hiring of a new band director and that the high school band would continue.  Music is inherently connected with math and helps kids mathematically without their ever realizing it, and it's not just me saying it.

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Gradual engagement - or It's not all about you.

Your site visitors care about one thing - how you can help them get what they want.  They don't want to read all kinds of long, boring prose about how great your company is or it's history, nor do they want to have to give you their name and email just to be able to view more information about your products or services.  Your visitors want a solution to their problem - whether they're looking to buy a product online, or whether they just want a good laugh from your joke of the day.  Don't scare them away by demanding information from them before they're ready to provide it to help themselves.

I thought the following pretty much went the way of the 90's, but recently I was researching a product and ending up on a major company's website, only to find that I couldn't even reach the product information page without encountering "let us know who your are!"  Well....NO!  I immediately left the site and returned to Google, and the company lost a sale to another site.  There are too many competitors out there for you to alienate potential customers by demanding information from them before you've earned it.

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