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This week, we’re working hard to get ready for our upcoming annual conference, which promises to be our best ever. We’re also keeping an eye on the latest trends, news, and statistics related to ecommerce. Today, we’ll take a look at the recent announcement concerning the release of Timeline for Facebook business pages, and the emerging prominence of Pinterest and its applications for ecommerce. Facebook To Make Timeline For Business Pages Mandatory By March 30th Beginning this week, many Facebook business pages will have a new look. Facebook Timeline, which has been available for personal profiles on the popular social networking site for a few months now, has just been released for business pages.  As with Timeline for profiles, business page admins will have the opportunity to preview their business page with Timeline, customize the look of their new page, and opt in to Timeline before March 30th, the date when all Facebook business pages will be automatically converted to Timeline.  Facebook users familiar with Timeline will likely recognize at least some of the features being called the benefits of Timeline for business pages.  These features include the ability to include a large “cover” photo in addition to a smaller profile picture,  and the Timeline interface itself.  New, brand-specific features for Timeline include the ability to “pin” posts of interest prominently to a brand’s Timeline, and a new direct-message feature, which allows brands and consumers to connect directly via Facebook messaging. New, brand-specific features for Timeline include the ability to “pin” posts of interest prominently to a brand’s Timeline, and a new direct-message feature, which allows brands and consumers to connect directly via Facebook messaging. Increase In Pinterest Usage Among Online Retailers Increases, Copyright Concerns Raised As previously blogged, many online retailers are starting to take notice of Pinterest, and membership in the digital bulletin board has grown exponentially since its private beta launch in 2010. As of this story, there are approximately 12 million Pinterest users currently.  This number represents an increase of 11 million from July of 2011, an increase that has prompted some to call Pinterest “the fastest growing site ever.” Whether this is true remains to be seen, but it is true that users are pinning and repining (similar to sharing on FB or retweeting on Twitter) images of items that they like and find interesting, and businesses are taking notice of this trend. With this astronomical rise in users and popularity however, come some concerns relating to the copyright and fair usage laws of images pinned on Pinterest. Some sites, including Flickr, have disabled the pinning function because of image copyright concerns.  In an effort to calm copyright fears, Pinterest itself recently introduced a metatag NOPIN function that keeps Pinterest users from linking or pinning images on a site to Pinterest.  As issues of copyright and fair usage laws on the Internet continue to be raised, it remains to be seen whether the success of Pinterest will be eclipsed by these issues, or strengthened by its ability to respond to them in a straightforward, manner.  For now though, it is clear that Pinterest has value both as a social networking pastime and a powerful social networking tool for retailers.  
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How to kill time without your phone

posted by CNN.com - Technology @ 8:54 AM
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Here's a challenge: Make like our forefathers (or, you know, us, five years ago) when they had a spare moment and take a look at the whole damn world around you -- instead of where your ex just checked in on Foursquare.
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How to kill time without your phone

posted by CNN.com - Technology @ 8:54 AM
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Here's a challenge: Make like our forefathers (or, you know, us, five years ago) when they had a spare moment and take a look at the whole damn world around you -- instead of where your ex just checked in on Foursquare.
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It’s a great time for a new Windows 7 PC

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
The choices are better than ever. Answer a few questions to find just the right computer for you. Or browse our list of recommended PCs. And don’t forget to check out our special offers. Get started.
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10 tips to protect your laptop from theft

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Using your laptop to get work done away from your office has become widely accepted. But this rapid growth in laptop computing has made portable PCs a target for theft. Use these tips to keep yours safe.
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The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” evokes thoughts of cherished memories, vacations, and milestones forever immortalized on film.  Since 1951, this week’s Store Spotlight, Berger Bros Digital Photography & Video has specialized in helping their customers find the perfect cameras, lenses, and related accessories, both in-store and online via their Miva Merchant-powered ecommerce store since 2001. “We needed a system that could offer rebates, sale items, and free shipping.  Not to mention wish lists, up sell capabilities, and ‘call when available’ option,” says Berger Bros Webmaster, John Mignogna.  “Additionally, these days, it is imperative that the shopping cart pages be found by search engines and have the ability to generate catalog feeds to shopping engines.” In addition to selling a wide variety of cameras, lenses, video cameras, flashes, and more, (approximately 5,000 products are available online) Berger Bros also offers several different photography instruction classes and private tutoring lessons, as well as a number of free tutorial videos. Berger Bros is also an authorized dealer of broadcast, night vision, and projector equipment supplies and accessories. Their brick-and-mortar store has been voted “Best Camera Store in Long Island” for three consecutive years.   “We have been able to create a very compelling site with a small staff and an even smaller budget,” adds Mignogna. “Miva Merchant offers a lot to customers in our position.”  
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Hands on with the new PS Vita

posted by CNN.com - Technology @ 8:27 AM
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
I spent a week testing out the Vita on a handful of games. My verdict: It's a powerful and promising device, whose ultimate success will depend on whether developers make enough worthy games for it.
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Are you as productive as you can be?

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The Microsoft At Work Productivity and Organization section has all types of advice to help you use your Microsoft software as efficiently as possible.
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Smoked by Windows Phone

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 19, 2012
At CES 2012, we bet visitors $100 that a Windows Phone is faster than other phones. See who got smoked.
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Store Spotlight: Favor Warehouse.com

posted by atalbott@mivamerchant.com @ 3:59 PM
Friday, February 17, 2012
Earlier this week, on Valentine’s Day, many people around the world proposed or were proposed to.  While exact figures on the number of Valentine’s Day proposals that occur each year vary, it is estimated to be about 10% of the total marriage proposals of any given year.  Once a proposal is accepted, a wedding is planned, which is where this week’s Store Spotlight, Favor Warehouse.com comes in.  As one of the first online wedding favor and accessory suppliers, Favor Warehouse.com carries a wide selection of unique supplies for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers, and many other occasions. Launched in August of 2003, Favor Warehouse currently carries over 10,000 products, including party supplies, favors, and accessories, and most recently, baby gifts, apparel, and stationary. “When we started out our needs were very limited in terms of shopping cart features,” says Favor Warehouse.com Founder and CEO, Dimitri Stefanopoulos. “Our main goal was to find a shopping cart that would be cost effective.  For us, the greatest advantage of using Miva Merchant has been the endless ability to customize and expand the platform.” Favor Warehouse customers can browse products by occasion, theme, packaging, and collection.  Wedding themes include Hearts, Las Vegas, Golf, Love, Asian, Murano Art Deco, and more. “When you build your site on the Miva Merchant platform you gain the added benefit of having a large community of third party developers that specialize in creating custom modules for Miva Merchant stores,” adds Stefanopoulos. “Miva Merchant isn’t just a shopping cart. It’s an active community of talented developers and fellow merchants that are always willing to lend a helping hand.”  
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Three boneheaded online dating moves to avoid

posted by CNN.com - Technology @ 3:46 PM
Friday, February 17, 2012
Ahh, yes, February 15, the joyful day when singletons can finally collapse in exhaustion after weeks of maintaining a nonchalant front. Finally, you think, finally, the incessant stream of hearts and cupids and reminders that romantic partnership is the apogee of human achievement will come to a merciful end.
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Three boneheaded online dating moves to avoid

posted by CNN.com - Technology @ 3:46 PM
Friday, February 17, 2012
Ahh, yes, February 15, the joyful day when singletons can finally collapse in exhaustion after weeks of maintaining a nonchalant front. Finally, you think, finally, the incessant stream of hearts and cupids and reminders that romantic partnership is the apogee of human achievement will come to a merciful end.
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Miva Merchant Visits UPS World Headquarters!

posted by atalbott@mivamerchant.com @ 3:02 PM
Thursday, February 16, 2012
As part of the recent Miva Merchant and UPS Ready Provider Integration® Miva Merchant President and COO Rick Wilson and Miva Merchant Marketing Manager Jesse Ness recently toured the UPS World Headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. Miva Merchant President and COO Rick Wilson and Marketing Manager Jesse Ness pose next to the first UPS delivery truck during their tour of the UPS World Headquarters You can learn more about the Miva Merchant and UPS Integration here.
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Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! In today’s ecommerce news briefs, we’ll, find out why February 14th is “like the Super Bowl” for some retailers, and examine a recent study that claims that ecommerce improves the quality of life of its shoppers. Valentine’s Day Ecommerce: “Like The Super Bowl?” How is Valentine’s Day like the Super Bowl? If you are an online retailer who specializes in flowers, candy, jewelry, and other romance-related gifts, February 14th is probably one of your biggest sales days of the year.  According to Internet Retailer, some ecommerce stores begin their Valentine’s Day planning in November, and open temporary fulfillment centers to deal with high order demand. In order to tap into the market of online Valentine-gift shoppers, and last-minute shoppers, many ecommerce stores also began offering free shipping, and other perks to their customers.  Internet Retailer reports that BlueNile.com offered free FedEx Standard Overnight shipping on all orders of $195.00 or more placed by 12:30 pm yesterday, February 13th. Several other stores mentioned in the same article offered similar promotions.   Ecommerce Improves Quality Of Life For Shoppers, Study Finds We all know that ecommerce has revolutionized the way that millions of people shop around the world, and that it is convenient and saves time, but does it improve the quality of the lives of the people who shop online? According to Website Magazine, a study conducted by Duetsche Post DHL says yes.  Of those surveyed, 44 percent of online shoppers in Germany say that ecommerce improves their quality of life by helping them to manage their time better, be less stressed, and have fun discovering and purchasing products online. The study also found that many of the shoppers surveyed enjoyed receiving the items that they had ordered in the mail, likening it to the excitement of receiving an unexpected gift. How happy are your ecommerce customers?  When it comes to the online shopping experience, it is often the little things that make the biggest difference. These can include clear and fair return policies, ease of ordering, interactive site features, and the ability to connect with a company via social media
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Are you at the Internet Retailer Web Design and Usability Conference 2012 (IRWD) this week? If so, then feel free to stop by Booth 209 and say hi to us! Stop by Booth 209 at IRWD and meet the Miva Merchant team! Whether you’re a current customer, or an ecommerce store owner who wants to learn more about Miva Merchant, the services that we offer, and our upcoming conference in March, we want to hear from you!  Come by and introduce yourself to our friendly Miva Merchant crew.
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6 ways to ensure your email gets read

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2012
If people can’t quickly identify the purpose of your email, they’ll probably delete it or leave it in the Inbox for “later.” Our expert offers six tips to ensure that your messages get the attention they deserve.
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Healthy computing tips from Microsoft

posted by Microsoft At Work @ 5:00 PM
Sunday, February 12, 2012
A little ergonomics knowledge goes a long way. Reduce your risk of repetitive stress injuries and improve your comfort at home and at work. Read these guidelines and tips for creating a healthier workspace.
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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and for some retailers, the holiday that is synonymous with love and romance is also one of the biggest sales days of the year.  Unfortunately, as we all know, with more sales comes the possibility of more returns. In a perfect world, no one would ever want to return anything that they purchased, or anything that was given to them, especially not something that they were given as a Valentine’s Day present.  In the real world, when someone does want to return an item, for whatever reason, here are three ways that you as an ecommerce store owner can help to make sure that this process goes as smoothly as possible. Be Upfront And Easy To Understand No one wants to have to wade through complicated legal jargon to find out what they really want to know: how can they quickly return or exchange items that they purchase from you.  While complex legal jargon is essential, and should be included on your site, you should always make sure that they most frequently asked questions (and answers) associated with your shipping and return policies are clearly displayed, easy to find, and easy for all of your customers to understand. Avoid Bad Surprises There are two kinds of surprises: the happy kind that we get when someone we love surprises us with the perfect present on Valentine’s Day, and the unhappy kind that we get when we get bad news.  Here’s an example: Good Surprise: Receiving a free gift item along with your order.
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