Shop Site of the Month
TMK Automotive - Gilbert, Ariz.
What's most important to a customer when he or she visits your Web site? A professional look and easy navigation, of course. TMK Automotive hits a home run with an attractive site that provides more than just the basic information for consumers. High marks go to TMK for an exceptionally well-written About Us page, too.
Web Wise: News, Notes and Other Surfing Observations
To say that I spend a great deal of time online is, at best, an understatement. I will log more than 40-plus hours per week on average, all to search out the latest, greatest ... and well, not-so-greatest on the Web. I'm constantly on the hunt for interesting Internet tools, sites and gadgets, but I can't always stretch out a whole column to tell you about one single item. So this month, I'm highlighting some of my recent findings in quick, bite-sized hits for you to digest:
• Bing.com: I'm sure you've heard about Microsoft's new challenge to the Google search engine. Regardless if you become a user, some of your customers will, and you should submit a local listing for your business. To check your listing in Bing.com, visit https://ssl.bing.com/listings/ListingCenter.aspx. From there, you can review your listing, if there is one available, and modify or submit data as needed.
• Hunch.com: Speaking of search engines, have you heard of Hunch.com? Instead of typing in your keyword(s), you first provide Hunch with the decision dilemma you are faced with and a profile of who you are through its personality test. The answers are based "on the collective knowledge of the entire Hunch community, narrowed down to people like you, or just enough like you," according to the site's About Us page.
• More Microsoft News: Microsoft announced in June it will make available a free anti-virus service for personal computers that will rival Symantec and McAfee products. Specific launch dates are still unavailable, though the product is in beta testing at press time. Visit http://www.microsoft.com/security_essentials/?mkt=en-us for updates on the product's status.
• Ted.com: Want to change the world? Check out the videos from people intent on making a mark on society. My personal favorites have been on the transformation of media reporting with social networking, but the topics appear to be endless on this site.
• Inc.com: The business magazine's slideshows provide an interesting concept in telling a story quickly and interactively. Check out "11 Ways to Land Media Coverage," in the site's Inc.TV section for inspiration, and then head over to ASA's Web site (www.ASAshop.org) and the PR Kit in the Members Only section to gather the tools you'll need to become a regular media source.
ASA Web Ways: Easy Money
Time is ticking and the deadline is looming for a $1,000 scholarship that could help pay your way to Automotive Service and Repair Week (ASRW). ASA, in conjunction with the Automotive Management Institute, offers five scholarships to ASA members and one to all professionals in the industry that help defray the costs of attending the International Autobody Congress and Exposition (NACE) or the Congress of Automotive Repair and Service (CARS), to be held in Las Vegas Nov. 4-7. Deadline to apply for scholarships is Aug. 14. Visit www.AMIonline.org or the Members Only section of www.ASAshop.org for details.
Forty-three percent of 30-to-39-year-olds are active on social networking sites, which more than double the 21 percent of the same group reported in a December 2007 survey.
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