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Internet focus of ABM regional conference

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Chicago—American Business Media held a regional conference Thursday at Google’s Chicago office to explore numerous ways business publishers could make better use the Internet.

James Lecinski, managing director of Google and the conference’s keynote speaker, offered five ways that businesses could “do more with less” in the down economy. One of the ways, he said, is to “start basing every decision on data,” which is certainly readily available when assessing Web site performance.

The conference included a panel discussion of social media strategies, during which panelist Tom Chaffee, CEO of ePublishing, said the main way publishers can use social media sites, such as Facebook, is for audience development.

A second panel pondered search and content optimization strategies. Panelist Cia Romano, CEO of Interface Group, said that too few business media companies do enough research to find out how users interact with their Web sites and what they truly want from an Internet experience.

The conference’s final panel examined content development strategies. Panelist Bruce Plantz, VP-director of content at Watt Publishing Co., said his company has converted to a “Web first” publishing model. He said the title of the PowerPoint presentation introducing the model was “Change or Die.”

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