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Governor McDonnell Announces New and Improved 511 Virginia Traffic Information System

New system features mobile app, improved website and enhanced voice
recognition software

RICHMOND – Governor Bob McDonnell announced today that the Virginia
Department of Transportation launched the next generation of 511 traffic
information.  Motorists can download a free mobile app that will give them
real-time traffic information, visit the new 511 website with live streaming
video of traffic conditions or call the improved 511 phone system. 

“Virginia is a leader among state departments of transportation in
providing real-time traffic information and live streaming traffic images to
help motorists make the best travel choices,” said Governor McDonnell. “The
new and improved 511 system empowers drivers with the knowledge they need to
avoid congestion and take a faster route to their destination.”

The new system includes several features and enhancements, all
accessed via

• Mobile apps for Android and iPhone  featuring real-time traffic cameras,
travel times, electronic message signs and traffic maps
• New and improved 511 phone service with a better voice recognition system
• Website showing incidents, construction zones, electronic message signs,
travel times and traffic cameras
• The majority of traffic cameras stream video at 15 frames per second,
providing sharp and clear images
• Reach the Beach information that shows the fastest routes to the Virginia
Beach Oceanfront and the Outer Banks Expressway

“Another innovative component to this program is generating revenue
through sponsorships to help pay for the 511 service,” said Transportation
Secretary Sean T. Connaughton.  “New 511 signs have space for sponsorships. 
In return for the space, sponsors help offset costs for VDOT to provide
511.  The long-term goal is to break even.  That’s a significant win for
motorists and taxpayers.”

VDOT Chief of System Operations Constance S. Sorrell added, “For more
than a year, VDOT has been working diligently to enhance our 511 traffic
information system. These new enhancements are designed to improve the
overall 511 user experience.  I encourage all motorists to take full
advantage of the new features and free, real-time traffic information 511
Virginia offers.”

Since its inception in 2002, 511 Virginia has received more than 11
million calls and 8 million website visits. The 511 Virginia service
typically receives 200,000 calls each month. The system can be accessed by
calling 511 from any land line or cell phone in Virginia or visiting

Commonwealth of Virginia
Office of Governor Bob McDonnell

May 23, 2012

Contact: Jeff Caldwell
Phone: (804) 225-4260
Email: Jeff.Caldwell@Governor.Virginia.Gov


Google Tweaks Rankings, Hurting Some Firms –

Great info from SARAH E. NEEDLEMAN And EMILY MALTBY at Wall Street Journal:

Tips for Small Businesses That Count on Google’s Search Engine to Survive:

  • Stay informed. Keep track of changes to Google’s algorithms by following its Webmaster Central Blog.
  • Content is king. Make sure your website has original and accurate information. Google places the greatest value on sites providing the best possible user experience.
  • Perform check-ups. The search terms users enter most to find your business can change. Monitor traffic from Google regularly using free Webmaster tools and make refinements.
  • Use social media. Post links to content on your site from Twitter, Facebook and other social-media profiles. Your fans may repost the information.
  • Spread your wings. Don’t rely just on Google. Look for other ways to attract people to your website, such as by running special promotions or buying ads.
  • Seek help. If your site consistently ranks low, consider having it audited by an expert in search-engine optimization.

Bummer Dude. No More Pot Tourism in Holland Article: Bummer, Dude: No More Pot Tourism in Holland

A controversial law that will make it harder for foreign tourists to buy cannabis at the Netherlands’ famous coffee shops has been upheld by a Dutch court.

Full Story:


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The Right Inbound Marketing Plan Includes a Solid Mobile Strategy

inbound, unbound.

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The Right Inbound Marketing Plan Includes a Solid Mobile Strategy

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Berkshire Hathaway CEO announced Tuesday that he has been diagnosed with stage I prostate cancer.

“The good news is that I’ve been told by my doctors that my condition is not remotely life-threatening or even debilitating in any meaningful way,” he said in a letter to shareholders. “I received my diagnosis last Wednesday. I then had a CAT scan and a bone scan on Thursday, followed by an MRI today. These tests showed no incidence of cancer elsewhere in my body.

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Why Global Mobile Marketing Starts With Localized Apps

There are 7 billion people in the world, and 1 in 7 own a smart device.

Liz Elting is co-founder and co-CEO of TransPerfect, the world’s largest privately held provider of language and business services.

The world’s population reached 7 billion in Oct. 2011, and according to an IDC report, one in every seven of those people owns a smart device. By now, we’ve all heard, “mobileis the future.” What the IDC report should tell us is that mobile is already here.

Emerging markets such as Brazil and China are particularly key, with companies scrambling to reach consumers in these spaces. As companies do this, they should be aware that a one-size-fits-all approach will be ineffective in establishing a presence.

What companies should do is create localized apps in order to increase specific customer bases. To do this you must have a strong localization strategy. Here are four things to consider when getting started.

1. Appropriately Translate the Content

It’s exactly what it sounds like. The content should be translated into the language of the target market. Make sure to work with language professionals who can best identify regional dialects or slang terms that will resonate with the intended audience. These experts will essentially keep things from getting lost in translation, or cultural blunders from happening.

2. Localize the Content

Companies must localize their apps to the standards of each regional market. This includes cultural nuances, idiomatic expressions, images and the layouts of mobile pages. Whether it’s ensuring that proper sports terminology is used for athletic brands, or that luxury fashion brands maintain their image rights in foreign markets, the key focus is to provide a “local” experience for target market consumers.

3. Determine the Operating Systems

Localizing apps for various platforms, like iOS, Android, BlackBerry and Windows, depends greatly on the target market. In China, for instance, Samsung holds the largest market share, with Apple coming in fifth. Make sure to research this, particularly if your business must prioritize apps for specific platforms. Doing this will also help identify the necessary post-localization testing, verification and workflow creation. A consultant can help identify which platforms are ideal to focus on in each country.

4. Test

The final step presents one of the biggest challenges. Businesses must be sure to test apps on each platform for which the app is localized, in addition to the main mobile browsers. The testing process will show how an app works on various operating systems, and ensure consistency across all of them. It will also show whether the app needs to be adjusted to contain fewer graphics or media in order to load in a reasonable amount of time.

Flexibility is key when approaching the testing stage on mobile apps. Test apps directly on the devices themselves to ensure their compatibility. In other cases, apps lend themselves more to testing on emulators, which mimic specific mobile environments on a desktop.

Have you ever encountered an app that wasn’t localized properly? How did it affect the user experience?

Image courtesy of iStockphototedestudio

Why Global Mobile Marketing Starts With Localized Apps

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