Internet worth £100 billion to UK economy, says Google

Internet worth £100 billion to UK economy, says Google
A report from Google released today says that the internet industry is worth £100 billion to the UK economy, more than the construction and transport industries.

The online economy is worth £100 billion to the UK, the study found. According to the study, conducted by US researchers Boston Consulting Group and commissioned by Google, online business represents 7.2% of Britain’s gross domestic product – and that share is expected to grow to 10% by 2015.

That would put the internet’s contribution to the British economy on a par with that of the financial sector (although perhaps with less danger of precipitating catastrophic economic meltdown).

About £60 billion of the total came from online shopping and the amount that consumers pay for their internet connections. And in further evidence of the importance of the internet industry to the UK, the research found that Britain is a net exporter of e-commerce goods and services.

The UK’s online economy exports £2.80 for every £1 that is imported – in contrast to the ‘off-line’ economy, which only exports 90p for every £1 imported.

The report says that 250,000 people are employed by e-commerce companies in the UK, and Britain ranks sixth among the world’s major economies in terms of an ‘e-intensity index’ – a measure of the reach and depth of the internet. That put the country above the likes of Germany, the US and France, but lagging behind Japan, South Korea, the Netherlands and the highest ranked country, Denmark.

 73% of UK households have an internet connection, the report found, and 62% of all adults – 31 million – bought goods or services online in the past year.

Paul Zwillenberg, partner with BCG in London, said: ‘The internet is pervasive in the UK economy today, more so than in most advanced countries. Whether they are driving international expansion, improving their interactions with customers or the efficiency of their supply chains, UK companies are increasingly embracing the internet’s potential.

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Virgin Media to Offer fastest UK Broadband

Virgin Media to Offer fastest UK Broadband
Virgin Media is set to turn up the dial on its cable network, offering users speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabits per second). It aims to provide the service to over 50% of the UK by mid-2012, beginning in December with 200,000 homes in London, the Home Counties and West Yorkshire.

It is the latest move in the race to bring super-fast broadband services to the UK and it should give new impetus to rival BT’s super-fast broadband rollout.

Neil Berkett, chief executive of Virgin Media described the service as “a significant milestone”.

“The world of possibilities that broadband will enable is set to explode,” he said.

The first towns earmarked for the super-fast service are Chelmsford, Farnborough and Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire. The service will be available as part of a telephone or TV bundle for £35 a month or £45 for a standalone broadband product.

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Monitoring Social Media

Monitoring Social Media
Came accross this article recently by By Murray Newlands, Director and Co-Founder, Monitoring Social Media… Who cares what people say about you?

You do a great job for your customers, and people who know you professionally and personally know that you run an outstanding company, right? Do you use Yelp? Why do you use it? Because what people say about you matters. Creating and managing an online reputation is an essential part of protecting your company’s brand.

Here are some tips for creating and managing your brand:

Create social media profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter that include your company’s name. Those social network websites rank well in Google, so when someone searches for your company, they see content that you have written and that you control. Secondly, if existing customers, potential customers, and press research your company they will see your online communities and recognize that you care enough about your customers to engage with them directly. (Note to self: Make sure these social media channels are active, otherwise it appears that you do not care to engage!)

Link from your company’s website to your LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles. Doing this helps to tell people where and how they can communicate with you. It also increases the likelihood of these sites ranking well on Google.

Engage with bloggers who blog about your company! Commenting on their blog posts, (thanking them, answering questions they may have raised, suggesting related products, etc.) can also create content that will show up when people are searching for your company.

Monitor what people are saying about your company. Staff, products and competitors can give you great insights into things you are doing well, things you are doing badly, and things that you can do and say differently. Suppose you do not know that people are calling your company names and no one tells you? How would you know you needed to do something about it? The simple way is to set up listening software, such as Google Alerts: www.google.com/alerts This software program will email you a notice when someone mentions your name or company. Google Alerts is free and easy to use. It does, however, have its limitations. Increasingly, companies want more reliable and sophisticated monitoring solutions that will be capable of monitoring social media sites, like Twitter and Facebook, in real-time. Several companies provide those real-time solutions. They are: Brand Watch, Constant Contact, Radian 6, and Marchex.

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Cyber Attacks & among top threats to UK

Cyber Attacks & among top threats to UK
Attacks on computer networks are among the biggest threats to the UK, Theresa May has said ahead of the publication of a new National Security Strategy.

Cyber terrorism was a “new and growing” danger, the home secretary said.

The BBC is reporting that there will be new money to bolster cyber security, focused on protecting critical infrastructure and defence assets. The strategy will form the background for Tuesday’s Strategic Defence Review, with defence cuts of 8% expected.

The National Security Council, set up by David Cameron in May, is publishing an updated approach to national security which identifies 16 threats to the UK.

The most serious – which they are calling “Tier 1” – comprises acts of international terrorism, hostile computer attacks on UK cyberspace, a major accident or natural hazard such as a flu pandemic, or an international military crisis between states that draws in the UK and its allies.

Speaking ahead of the strategy’s launch in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Mrs May said she was not prepared to rank these in order of gravity but acknowledged they were of a “different nature” to other potential threats.

On terrorism, she said the threat level to the UK had been at severe – which means an attack is likely – for “some time”.

“We are facing a very serious threat from international terrorism… we must all be vigilant,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

Rather than focusing on different areas in isolation, she said the security strategy had looked at the overall picture “in the round” and as part of the exercise, officials had identified attacks on government and business IT systems as as a “new and growing threat”.

The BBC’s security correspondent Frank Gardner reported that ministers were likely to announce £500m of new money to bolster cyber security, amid evidence that hundreds of malicious e-mails were already being aimed at government computer networks each month.

This would combat concerns that terrorist groups might be able to hack into critical infrastructure such as air traffic control networks and over cases of “cyber espionage” where rogue groups or even foreign states seek to break into computer systems to obtain top secret information.

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Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7 Smartphones

Microsoft Launches Windows Phone 7 Smartphones

Microsoft has launched Windows Phone 7, its latest attempt to break into the lucrative smartphone market.

Until now the company has failed to provide a credible challenge to rival operating systems from Apple, Google, Research in Motion and Nokia.

Mobile phone operators predict smartphones will have a 70% market share in just three years.

Microsoft says it has made Windows Phone 7 more user-friendly, rebuilding the operating system from bottom up.

The phone system’s experience is built around so-called hubs that aggregate content like contacts, pictures, documents, and music and video. The content on the phone is then synchronised both with storage services on the internet and the owner’s computers at home.

At launch Microsoft’s new phone system will be available on nine phones, and with 60 operators in 30 countries.

In the UK the phone will launch on 21 October, while the US launch will be in early November.

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