Archive for August, 2010

EC Extends Funds for Bulgaria-Macedonia Border Areas

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The development of the border areas between Bulgaria and Macedonia is set to receive EUR 14.3 M, of them EUR 12 M, from the European Commission as support for their development.

The Memorandum for Understanding for the Program for Trans-border Collaboration between Bulgaria and Macedonia was signed Tuesday by Bulgaria’s Minister of Regional Development, Rosen Plevneliev, and Musa DzAFERI, Macedonian Minister of Local Self-Government.

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Bulgarian Power Utilities’ Audits on Their Way to Prosecutor

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The audits of the three Bulgarian power utilities have already been sent to the Prosecutor’s Office, the Head of the State Commission for Energy and Water regulation (DKEVR), Angel Semerdzhiev, announced Tuesday.

The audits, which found a number of violations on the part of Austrian-owned EVN, German-owned E.ON and Czech-owned CEZ, were prepared in the eve of the approval of new electric power prices in July 2010 for the next year….

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Construction of Bulgaria’n Highway Final Section to Kick Off

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Tuesday the Bulgarian government signed the contract for the construction of the last section of Trakiya highway set to connect capital Sofia to Black Sea city of Burgas.

So-called Lot 4, between the towns of Yambol and Karnobat in southeastern Bulgaria, has a deadline of 28 months for construction, which will kick off September 3.

Lots 2 and 3, joining Stara Zagora and Yambol, are under construction, while Lot 5 between Karnobat and Burgas is ready.

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Bulgarian Telecom Vivacom Launches Digital TV Services

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s Telecom Vivacom begins offering digital TV via satellite to be delivered directly to customers, Vivacom announced Tuesday.

The service will be available beginning September 1, all over the country, with three basic packages with different program lineups.

VIVACOM TV Start will cost BGN 9….

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Yelp Reviews Out of Google Places. What Else Ya Got?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

You know how I often recommend not putting all your eggs into one social media basket? Well, funny thing, because an interesting real-life example just presented itself–and it probably affects you and your business.

Last week Google announced that it had updated the Google Maps review policy. This update did many things, but the most the drastic thing achieved by the new Google Places content policy was that it removed Yelp reviews from all Google Place pages. Yup, all of them. Gone. Google announced that Yelp review content had been “reclassified” and will no longer reside as review snippets.

A Google spokesperson explained to TechCrunch:

Regarding the presentation of Yelp review snippets, neither of us was happy with the data as it appeared, so we reclassified results from Yelp while we reviewed our options. This means that, for the time being, Yelp pages may not appear as review snippets in Place page results, though relevant results from Yelp will continue to appear in the “more about this place” section, which shows pages about a given location. We are working with Yelp to more intelligently crawl and present results from their site.

The removal of Yelp reviews from Google Places is a notable change and comes as both parties were becoming increasingly frustrated with how content was being handled. But that’s for them to figure out. You want to know how Yelp and Google chasing each other around the playground affects you and your small business. And the answer to that depends – were you a small business owner who sought out reviews from a variety of different sources, or did you make Yelp your steady, assuming they’d always be there? If you did the latter, you have some make-up work to do.

Regardless, here are some tips for small business owners looking to manage reviews in a Yelp vs. Google world.

Direct reviewers to your Google Place Page: While Google and Yelp may have taken issue with how reviews were being aggregated, most small business owners did not. It meant that they only had to direct customers to Yelp to populate both sites with reviews. However, now you have to specifically encourage customers to leave reviews on your Google Place Page, and it’s important that you do so. Your Google Place Page is often the first point of contact a user has with your brand given how much weight Google Place Pages have in the SERPs and within Google Maps. That means you want to populate this page with lots of positive reviews and information about your business to build trust with users. Google recently opened up the option to let business owners respond to reviews left on Google Place Pages. You want to make sure you’re taking advantage of that and showing your best face to visitors.

Identify Google-friendly review sites: Google has stopped aggregating reviews from Yelp, but they are collecting reviews from other sources. It’s your job to find out where. Take a place at several Place pages for your city + industry and note where Google is pulling reviews from. Which appear to be their favorite sites? Once you know, are you well represented there? If not, you may want to work these sites into your review efforts so that you’ll be replacing the reviews that you lost from Yelp. Just because Google and Yelp are taking a relationship break doesn’t mean you want to take a break from your customers.

Ask customers to repost reviews: When you’re soliciting online reviews, don’t be shy about directing users to certain sites or asking them to repost reviews on sites that are important to you (and tell them which ones those are!). If a customer left you a glowing review on Yelp, it may be worth an e-mail asking if they’d mind reposting on Google Places. If they were so happy with their experience that they’re leaving one review, it’s likely they wouldn’t mind reposting it somewhere else, as well. Educate them on your preferred review process.

Don’t forget about Yelp: Just because Yelp reviews will no longer appear in Google Place Page listing doesn’t mean you should ignore the site. Yelp remains important to your business because it’s still important to your customers. Your customers don’t care that Google and Yelp are in a tiff. They use Yelp to leave reviews, get information about your business, and to discover other places they may be interested in. Ignoring Yelp and new features like Yelp Deals is essentially cutting off one arm of your marketing efforts. Don’t buy into the knee-jerk reaction to ignore Yelp altogether.

You tell me: How are you dealing with Yelp reviews being removed from your Google Place Page? Are you angry about it? Relieved?

From Small Business Trends

Yelp Reviews Out of Google Places. What Else Ya Got?

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Bulgarian Socialist Leader Wants to Topple ‘Whimpering’ Cabinet

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party Sergey Stanishev vowed immediate start of consultations on a no-confidence vote for the GERB cabinet, thus upping prospects for an interesting new political season this fall.

This statement comes after co-leaders Ivan Kostov and Martin Dimitrov of rightist Blue Coalition, which has consistently supported the government, made scathing criticism of GERB’s economic policy Monday and Tuesday.

The socialist leader said his party will have consultations with all parties that do not support the cabinet, without specifying names.

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Bulgarian Vice President Sets Out on China Tour

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s Vice President Angel Marin will be visiting the People’s Republic of China Sept 1-9, the Presidency press office announced.

As part of his program, Marin will be meeting with China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping, who paid a visit to Bulgaria almost a year ago, in October 2009.

Marin will meet Xi Jinping in the city of Xiamen, where he will take part in the Second World Investment Forum of the UN Conference on Trade and Development; he will be accompanied by Bulgaria’s Deputy Economy Minister Evgeni Angelov.

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Bulgarian Vice President Heads for China Tour

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Bulgaria’s Vice President Angel Marin will be visiting the People’s Republic of China Sept 1-9, the Presidency press office announced.

As part of his program, Marin will be meeting with China’s Vice-President Xi Jinping, who paid a visit to Bulgaria almost a year ago, in October 2009.

Marin will meet Xi Jinping in the city of Xiamen, where he will take part in the Second World Investment Forum of the UN Conference on Trade and Development; he will be accompanied by Bulgaria’s Deputy Economy Minister Evgeni Angelov.

Source

Bulgarians Increased Trips Abroad in Q2

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The total number of trips Bulgarian citizens have made within the country and abroad dropped by 11% for the second quarter of 2010, according to preliminary data from Bulgaria’s National Statistics Institute.

However, Bulgarians made about 23% more trips abroad in the second quarter this year, in comparison to the period April-June 2009, while the trips within the country dropped by 17%.

According to the data, vacations and trips have been the most common reason for the Bulgarians to travel abroad.

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Second Rightist Leader Takes up Bear Metaphor against GERB

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Martin Dimitrov, leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, took up the all-out criticism against the economic policy of the GERB cabinet launched Monday by Blue Coalition partner Ivan Kostov.

This marks the start of the new political season, promising more pressure against the government by the ‘Blue’ rightists, who have consistently supported it in the past in Parliament, in spite of criticism.

Monday Kostov, leader of Democrats for Strong Bulgaria and former PM, used picturesque language regarding the state of the Bulgarian economy, saying “it is not only going to sleep, but rather like a bear it is retreating to its den, hiding in the shadow of gray economy….

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