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Online Reviews Gaining Importance

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Online Reviews Gaining Importance

There’s a new buzz term in the hospitality industry: “reputation management.”

Put simply, the phrase refers to customer relations, or how hotel and restaurant operators respond to what guests say about them, and in today’s Web 2.0 world, everyone’s a critic.

“Big customer is watching you,” said Dave Gerdes, regional director of sales and marketing for Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa.

According to Rubicon Consulting, word-of-mouth advertising is still king when it comes to information sources that influence purchasing decisions. Yet recent studies show that online reviews are in second place.

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The Condé Nast Portfolio Tech 25

admin » 23 February 2009 » In Uncategorized » No Comments

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The Condé Nast Portfolio Tech 25

They’re changing the way we do business (and not always for the better). Don’t miss features on Twitter CEO Evan Williams, Google’s gambit with the power grid, and an essay about CEO Steve Jobs’ leave of absence from Apple.

1. Eric Schmidt, Larry Page, Sergey Brin, Governing Tribunal, Google

Major Impact: Google towers over the internet era. It controls 64 percent of Web searches, and search is most people’s gateway to what they want to do on the Net. Google owns 57 percent of the market for placing ads on websites. The company operates three dozen massive data centers around the world—giving it, by some estimates, more computing power than any single entity on earth. As if that weren’t enough, Google keeps using its brand, power, and $15.8 billion in cash to stomp like colonialists into other companies’ businesses. Its Android cell-phone operating system encroaches on ­Apple’s and BlackBerry’s territory. This year, Google is expected to try to grab market share from Microsoft’s ­Internet Explorer with its Chrome browser and invest heavily in alternative-energy ­businesses. Wherever Google aims its guns, ­industries go on red alert.

Unusually, Google is run not by one person but three. Schmidt is officially CEO, and Page and Brin are the co-­founders. But they confer with one another on almost ­everything, so we could not separate them.

Achilles’ Heel: Google’s very reliance on search. Someday, a new invention will make search less important, just as the Web has made Microsoft’s PC operating systems less important, sapping Microsoft’s power.

Eccentric Project: They’re everywhere at Google. One employee wrote code so that people can search in pirate language. Another created a hidden joke: Try typing “Find Chuck Norris” in the search box and click I’m feeling lucky.

3. Steve Jobs
CEO, Apple

Major Impact
: Mobile communications

Such is his influence that Steve Jobs stays on the list even during his absence from Apple. He is to the tech industry in the 2000s what the Beatles were to popular music in the 1960s. The iPod changed the music business, and the iPhone and App Store continue to shake up the mobile-phone industry. Before the iPhone, the cell-phone business was all about the size and form of the device. Now the emphasis is shifting to software and what the handset can do.

For now, Apple has the momentum to thrive without its CEO, but the question is whether that can continue if Jobs does not return in June from his leave to deal with his serious health issues. Apple doesn’t seem on the verge of taking on another industry or coming out with a radical new product, and no one is sure whether it could pull off a new revolution without Jobs’ help.

Bragging Rights: Around 100 ­million devoted Apple customers worldwide, to whom it has sold about 15 ­million iPhones, 30 million Macs, and 125 million iPods.

Achilles’ Heel: His health ­- problems are more complex than ­originally thought.

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