IndianaNet and New Legislative Products to Keep You Informed

The Indiana Chamber provides its members and the business community an invaluable daily presence at the Indiana Statehouse. It also offers tools and resources that allow you to stay updated on legislators and Indiana General Assembly activities.

As always, the Chamber also offers the IndianaNet online subscription service, which provides regulatory information, legislative bill tracking, research and customizable reporting. IndianaNet maintains the documents and votes to all introduced bills and resolutions as well as maintaining regulatory information and much more.

For decades, the Chamber has published the Indiana General Assembly Legislative Directory, which includes legislator biographies, photos, committee assignments and much more. The handbook also provides contact information, including social media profiles, and a map showing where each legislator will be seated in the House and Senate chambers.

In addition to the handbook, the new Indiana Legislative Directory App will provide all of the same information in a mobile format. The interactive version will complement the printed guide, with additional real-time features (committee schedules, bills authored by each legislator and more) and updates available through the app. 

Also new for 2013 is the Legislative District Poster Set. The wall-size, color posters (one each for the House and Senate) will identify all 150 members of the General Assembly and the new districts in which they are serving. With 29 newcomers, 25 in the House and four in the Senate, the posters will be a valuable guide to the Legislature.

"All three products will really help anyone interested in  following the Statehouse and what goes on in our government," offers Glenn Harkness, Indiana Chamber technical marketing director. "There are a lot of new faces, a lot of new assignments, and it’s important to know who’s who and what they will be doing."

The directory handbooks start at $7 (bulk discount pricing is available). Poster sets are $29.97 (which includes tax and shipping) and the mobile app is $19.99. Pre-order or inquire (we’re not yet taking orders for the app, but you can notify our customer service team to request more information) online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885. The Legislative Directory app is in production and will be available shortly.

Two New Legislative Products to Keep You Informed

Your Indiana Chamber investment provides you with an invaluable daily presence at the Indiana Statehouse. It also offers tools and resources that allow you to stay updated on legislators and Indiana General Assembly activities.

For decades, the Chamber has published the Indiana General Assembly Legislative Directory, which includes legislator biographies, photos, committee assignments and much more. The handbook also provides contact information, including social media profiles, and a map showing where each legislator will be seated in the House and Senate chambers.

In addition to the handbook, the new Indiana Legislative Directory App will provide all of the same information in a mobile format. The interactive version will complement the printed guide, with additional real-time features (committee schedules, bills authored by each legislator and more) and updates available through the app. 

Also new for 2013 is the Legislative District Poster Set. The wall-size, color posters (one each for the House and Senate) will identify all 150 members of the General Assembly and the new districts in which they are serving. With 29 newcomers, 25 in the House and four in the Senate, the posters will be a valuable guide to the Legislature.

"All three products will really help anyone interested in  following the Statehouse and what goes on in our government," offers Glenn Harkness, Indiana Chamber technical marketing director. "There are a lot of new faces, a lot of new assignments, and it’s important to know who’s who and what they will be doing."

The directory handbooks start at $7 (bulk discount pricing is available). Poster sets are $29.97 (which includes tax and shipping) and the mobile app is $19.99. Pre-order or inquire (we’re not yet taking orders for the app, but you can notify our customer service team to request more information) online or by calling Nick at (800) 824-6885. Poster sets are expected to ship in early December with the Legislative Directory and the app available near the beginning of the 2013 session.

More People Relying Even More on Their Cell Phones

I’m currently looking into dropping our landline telephone (I know, really keeping up with the times). The reason is increased cell phone quality. There were just too many dropped calls previously in my basement cave of an office.

Enhanced cell phone quality is having additional impacts, according to a new report.

For many, the cell phone is replacing the computer for Internet browsing. The Pew Internet & American Life Project has identified a "cell-mostly" segment of the population, who read, Web-surf and shop online – chiefly on their phones.

Among adults 18-29 who use the Internet on their phones, fully 45% do most of their Web surfing on phones, while on any day, 41% of all cell owners are using their phones to go online at least once. Of adults 50 or older, 11% of cell Internet users now use their phones for most access, while 29% of adults 30 to 49 do the same.

Noting that the iPhone was introduced in 2007, Pew senior research specialist Aaron Smith observed that "within the space of five years, we’ve gone from basically zero to half the country, with a sizable percentage using cell phones as their main source [to go online]." Pew Internet Project began measuring this behavior in the spring of 2009, at which point, just 31% of cell owners used either the Internet or email on the devices.

The point is that, for all the noise around tablets and complaints around small screens, phone apps and phone-optimized websites are necessary to reach 45% of the 18-49 age group.  
   
 

U. of Evansville Student Finds Success with iPhone App

Indiana’s colleges and universities are constantly serving as hubs of innovation and pride for the state. Here’s a great story from the University of Evansville, as computer science major Jesse Squires’ iPaint uPaint finger painting app is gaining global attention.

“Touch-screen devices just beg to be scribbled on,” said Squires, a senior computer science major from Jeffersonville, Indiana. “People want to touch them and interact with them. It’s a childlike, mesmerizing thing.”

The App Store released Squires’ first app, iPaint uPaint, on January 11. It is available for 99 cents at the App Store; developers such as Squires receive 70 percent of revenue from sales of their apps. Just two weeks after launching, iPaint uPaint has been downloaded by iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users in 13 countries.

Squires developed the app as his final project in an iOS programming class, a new course taught by associate professor of computer science Don Roberts during the Fall 2011 semester.

“Since the iPhone and Android have been released, there has been a huge surge of developers for mobile devices,” Squires said. “The iOS programming class at UE taught me the skills I needed to become a successful developer — while still in school.”

Creating iPaint uPaint took nearly two months. “There were some days and nights of pretty intense programming,” Squires recalled. “I remember one day when I started working at 10:00 a.m. and finished at 7:00 the next morning.”

The result of Squires’ efforts is an app that allows users to create virtual masterpieces on the screen of their iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch. What differentiates iPaint uPaint from other finger-painting apps, says Squires, is the ability to connect with friends’ devices via Bluetooth and paint together.

Users can change the color of the background and brush, as well as the transparency and thickness. iPaint uPaint also features a “shake and erase” function like an Etch-a-Sketch. Users can share their finished paintings via Twitter, e-mail them to a friend, or save them to a photo album.

Squires plans to continue developing apps and hopes to attend graduate school after graduating from UE in May. As for his final project in last semester’s programming course. “I got an A,” he said with a laugh. 

Retail Sales Down? Try Getting Mobile

Ever since I stepped into the now, so to speak, and got a smartphone, I’ve been much more aware of the need for businesses to have mobile web sites. Even when I’m at home – why not use my Blackberry when my computer is all the way in the other room? (Some call it lazy; I call it resourceful.) At any rate, emarketer.com offers some food for thought that may help your retail sales climb in 2011:

Retailers without a mobile-optimized website may be missing out on sales. According to recent research from mobile and social marketing consultancy Brand Anywhere and Luth Research, 51% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from retailers that have a mobile site. But fewer than 5% of retailers have such a site.

Which retailers would benefit most? According to the study, the product categories most likely to attract mobile-commerce customers include auto dealerships (88% of mobile phone users); auto parts (65%); furniture (62%); florists (61%); jewelry, luggage and leather goods (60%); liquor (50%); sporting goods, books, hobby and music (49%); and clothing and shoes (47%). However, all categories in the study would benefit to some degree.

In February 2010, Multichannel Merchant found nearly 80% of multichannel retailers had no m-commerce presence at all, and April research from eROI showed fewer than one-quarter of marketers overall had a mobile-optimized website.

Ball State Students Not Enthused About Mobile Marketing

A release from eMarketer.com contends that Ball State University students who received ads on their mobile phones were not very enthusiastic about it. (I say if you want people to get jazzed about marketing again — especially on their personal communication devices — then it’s time to bring back The Noid.)

A Ball State University study of a primarily female group of college students found that a majority of them had seen ads on their phones, including 51.2% of smartphone or touchscreen phone users and 61.3% of feature-phone users. Text ads were most prevalent.

Their reactions to ads were highly negative. More than 40% were annoyed to get an ad, compared with just 1.2% who were pleased and 17.6% who were neutral. Even more dramatic, nearly three in 10 said they were less likely to purchase a product after seeing a mobile ad for it. Slightly fewer reported their purchase intent was unchanged, but only a small number said mobile ads encouraged them to purchase.

A substantial minority of respondents (44.3%) would not be induced to receive mobile ads under any circumstances, but 37% were willing to accept them for something free in return. Free ringtones and music were the most popular exchange. In addition, almost two-thirds of all respondents said ads would be OK if they got paid to see them, and the largest segment of that group wanted at least $1 in return for each ad viewed.

The Church of Facebook

I remember my church back in the day always had a moment to "pray for our shut-ins" — folks who couldn’t leave their houses to be there. Well now, via Facebook, those folks can actually go to church on their own. Or, I suppose they could just watch Joel Osteen on TV. But it’s an interesting concept nonetheless. PRNewswire reports:

If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world behind China (1.33 billion) and India (1.17 billion), and followed by the U.S. (307 million). Now, a new church is being planted in the "nation" of Facebook, bringing live worship to its 400 million-plus residents.

On Sunday morning, Northland, A Church Distributed will officially open the doors to its new Facebook app, which will allow worshipers to invite their Facebook friends to go to church with them – without leaving the familiar Facebook environment. Plus, even when live worship isn’t happening, the opportunity for worship is readily available because the previous week’s service will be posted and available for viewing 24 hours a day.

"We encourage people to be the church everywhere, every day, so it just makes sense to put resources out there that will help people to be that church," explains Nathan Clark, Northland’s director of digital innovation.

With a congregation of 12,000 worshipers meeting throughout Metro Orlando and worldwide via interactive webcast, Northland first began taking church out of the building in 2001 via "distributed sites" – live, two-way video connections between locations. Northland now operates four of these sites in Central Florida.

The church started webcasting live services in January 2006 and, 18 months later, launched an interactive webstream of its services that includes immediate access to an online pastor and the ability to chat instantly with other worshipers. Approximately 2,000 people use this venue each weekend.

On July 4, 2009, the church launched an iPhone Web app – offering not just videos of past services, but the ability to join live services as they are happening over 3G and Wi-Fi networks. Additionally, 200 of Northland’s congregants now serve as online missionaries, replying to emails from thousands of seekers around the world.