Tech Thursday Round Up – June 24, 2010

  • Happy Birthday Toshiba: Two New Products In Celebration
  • Elance Survey Reveals Majority of Small Businesses Prefer Hiring Online vs. In-Person
  • Marketing Email Click-Through Rates Increase 55 percent With Three or More Social Sharing Options
  • 7 Tools for Social Media eCommerce
  • Constant Contact Developer Challenge
  • Focus Interactive Summit – Mastering Lead Management – Tuesday June 29th
  • Upcoming events for growing companies

Happy Birthday Toshiba: Two New Products In Celebration
toshiba.gifThe Portégé R700 is the world’s lightest full-performance, ultraportable laptop and serves as the ultimate machine for business users. Starting off at three pounds, one inch thin and under $1,000, this device provides users with unprecedented performance and durability. A consumer edition, the Portégé R705, will be available exclusively at Best Buy. The press release can be found here and images are located here.

The libretto W100 is a next-gen ultra-mobile concept PC. This device offers a full Windows 7 experience that can be enjoyed across two seven-inch multi-touch touch screens. At a mere 1.8 pounds, the libretto W100 delivers a rich Internet experience, multimedia playback and the freedom to multitask – just like a standard laptop – but with the advantage of two screens to work, watch and play on. A limited number will be available for purchase later this summer. The press release can be found here and images are located here.
Elance Survey Reveals Majority of Small Businesses Prefer Hiring Online vs. In-Person
Shift to Online Hiring Seen to Enhance Competitiveness and Profitability for 87% of Small Businesses
elance.jpgMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — June 23, 2010 —Elance, the online talent marketplace, announced today the results of a new survey on small business hiring practices. The survey included Elance’s small to medium-sized business customers across the U.S. and reveals that businesses are increasingly distributing project work to online contractors as part of their growth strategies. Survey results show that the majority of businesses (64%) prefer online hiring versus the traditional model of hiring on site. These businesses not only prefer the online model, but 87% view it as a critical business strategy to enhance profitability and competitiveness.
“The majority of businesses report that while they are not adding many new employees on site, they are opting to hire and distribute work to online teams as a core strategy to help them do more with less. Elance provides these businesses with a full featured online workplace that enhances their ability to hire and manage talent and get work done,” said Ellen Pack, Vice President of Marketing at Elance.
Key findings from the survey:

  • Online hiring outpaces offline hiring: 86% have hired online in the past twelve months, while 32% have hired onsite employees in the same period.
  • Online hiring is here to stay: 64% of businesses will use a hybrid model of online hiring and traditional onsite hiring as the economy improves.
  • Quality trumps cost in online hiring: the top factor businesses consider when hiring online is feedback from previous projects; work samples ranked second, with pay rate coming in third.


Marketing Email Click-Through Rates Increase 55 percent With Three or More Social Sharing Options

GetResponse Analysis of 500M Emails Highlights Benefits of Social Media Sharing and Integration in Email Marketing
getresponse.JPGWILMINGTON, Del., June 21, 2010 — GetResponse, a leading email marketing provider for the SMB sector and flagship product of online solutions provider Implix, today announced the results of its “Email Marketing and Social Media Integration Report.” The study revealed that email messages that included a social sharing option generated 30 percent higher click-through-rates (CTRs) than emails without a social sharing option, and messages with three or more sharing options generated 55 percent higher CTRs. Emails with a Twitter sharing option returned over 40 percent higher CTRs than messages without any social media links, indicating the benefits of sharing may be vastly underestimated.
Founder of GetResponse and CEO of Implix, Simon Grabowski, commented: “The impressive 55 percent CTR increase achieved by adding social sharing options tells us it’s not enough to integrate campaigns with social media networks — the power is in sharing. For example, Twitter users are posting 55 million tweets per day.* And Facebook has over 400 million active users worldwide, each with about 130 “friends”.* Many of these millions of users are potential ambassadors of our customers’ brands. Imagine the impact on campaign results if every recipient shared a message with 130 friends, and so on and so on! The best part is that there’s no added cost to include social media sharing, so it’s pure ROI.”
7 Tools for Social Media eCommerce
3DCart makes software to help online retailers sell online. They have a lot of experience with social media and using these tools to sell more online and have provided a list of “Top 7 Social Media Tools for eCommerce”
Twitter & Facebook Updates
Without a doubt, the two biggest social media sites on the web today are Facebook and Twitter. With their social networking capabilities at your disposal, you can reach out to fans and friends in a scope that word-of-mouth advertising could never come close to. Use these capabilities to your advantage! For example, post a Facebook status update about your business and product offerings. Announce your promotions by way of a tweet and get your twitter followers (and their followers) to your store. Read the rest on
Constant Contact Developer Challenge
Thumbnail image for constantcontact.jpgConstant Contact, Inc. (Nasdaq: CTCT) today announced the Constant Contact Developer Challenge, which is designed to attract innovative, functional, and original applications to feature in the company’s MarketPlace, an online resource that connects small organizations with tools and services to grow their businesses. As a complement to its leading email marketing, event marketing, social media marketing, and online survey tools, Constant Contact recently launched the MarketPlace as the only online marketplace that focuses exclusively on the needs of small business and nonprofit marketers.
The awards will be judged jointly by Lauren Simonds, managing editor of Small Business Computing magazine, and Steve Strauss, USA Today small business columnist and Mr. AllBiz, as well as a panel of Constant Contact employees.
Prizes for the Developer Challenge will be awarded in three categories — Mobile, Contact Management, and Social Media — to participants who have developed and submitted a software application in accordance with the Official Rules and are chosen as winners. Participants must also leverage Constant Contact’s current API’s.
To see other apps for small organizations that have been created using Constant Contact’s APIs, visit the Constant Contact MarketPlace.
Focus Interactive Summit – Mastering Lead Management – Tuesday June 29th
focus_interactive.JPGFocus Interactive Summits are world-class online events that bring together top third-party experts from the Focus Expert Network to share methodologies, insights, and knowledge with an engaged audience of thousands of business professionals. Experts are chosen based on community contribution.
Scheduled Speakers:
Scott Albro – Welcome and Event Introduction
Carlos Hidalgo – Keeping Your Strategy in Lockstep with the Changing B-to-B Buyer
Brian Solis – Visualizing the Opportunity for B-to-B Marketers in Social Media
Ardath Albee – Scrapping Traditional for Content Marketing: Why You Can’t Afford to Wait
Mac McIntosh – 10 Best Practices for Lead Generation and Pipeline Acceleration
David Raab – Matching a Marketing Automation System to Your Needs
Howard Sewell – Getting Started with Lead Nurturing: 10 Tips for Success
Craig Rosenberg – Putting It All Together…Plus, The Top 6 Things I Learned Today
Sign up at Focus Interactive Summit: Mastering Lead Management
Upcoming events for growing companies
Be sure to check out our listings of events, conferences and webinars for growing small businesses and entrepreneurs every other Monday on

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Laura plans and manages Smallbiztechnology's live and virtual events, including the five-city Small Business Technology Tour, now in its third year. She also produces events for clients through her event planning company, L2 Event Production. Her popular roundups of events and competitions for small businesses is published weekly on and Small Business Trends.