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Customer service must keep a place for paper

Research shows a third of businesses are filing away and ignoring customer queries that arrive on paper. Charlotte Marshall, Managing Director of Iron Mountain in the UK, wants to examine this problem and why the integration of paper and automated customer service management is such an issue for businesses today. By Charlotte Marshall.


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Every year is expected to be ‘the year of mobile e-commerce’ and yet it never is! However, with Branding Brand predicting that more than 53% of visits to the top 500 e-tailers in 2014 will be from smartphones, we think it will be an important year for m-commerce. This comes after research carried out by the IMRG and Capgemini shows that in 2013 the UK spent £91bn in online sales, with sales via mobile devices increasing 138% from 2012. By Lee Cash.


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Related Articles benefits from Google AdSense

Filed under: All Articles > Industry News
By: NMK Created on: February 10th, 2010
Bookmark this article with: Delicious Digg StumbleUpon operates from rural Norfolk and operates their Q&A Community free of charge for all users, making money only on advertising throughout the site. This method of business has worked well for Blurtit because rather than paying for someone’s help, it acts as a source of information sharing and therefore provides a strong community.

By Charlotte Bullock

Founded by Tim O’Shea and Chris Lee, is a totally free Q&A social community currently listed as one of the USA’s top 250 websites. is currently at position 239 on Quantcast - putting it hot on the heels of Yahoo Answers, and Answerbag. A great achievement for a team of 9 people, working in the small rural market town of North Walsham, Norfolk, UK that has launched and developed with no investment funding.

Blurtit has grown and survived the recession using a solely advertisement revenue business model rather than charging its users for the answers they are looking for (unlike some of the competition). The main strategy is to create a strong social community of users that are keen to share information and knowledge with each other.

In the past, Blurtit had tried charging users for an answer, but didn’t find it that successful. Chris Lee explains “We have tried operating on a pay per answer basis, but it just wasn’t for us. We wanted to be able to focus on the Q&A and our users to ensure they were getting the best service from us and removing charges to users saw us able to do that”.

Blurtit works to enable any user to post a question or answer onto and those contributions are available for any other user to respond to. Instead of charging for answers, the site uses Google AdSense to manage its advertisements which generate all revenue for the company. These advertisements appear more frequently to those users that do not register or sign into their accounts and the ad’s display on relevant topic pages. For example, an advertisement for pet insurance would appear on question pages relating to pets.

“This model works well for us because our users can see answers for free and often there are numerous answers and opinions to one question, giving the user the opportunity to assess facts given by other users to come to their own conclusion.” Chis continued.

Blurtit believes that value is added to website because it is free. Users appreciate that others are helping them out for no other benefit than being part of a strong social community.

Since first launched in June 2006, the team have worked hard to maintain a website that is very user friendly and interesting - with competitions and other rewards as contributions are added. Being able to operate on advertising revenue alone means that the business is able to spend time taking care of the community that the site has built and concentrate on developing the site to ensure users get a secure, easy to use site rather than worrying about making money. not only acts as a source of knowledge for it's users, but also enables users to make friends and keep in touch with other users from all over the world, sharing ideas, facts and opinion - more of a 'knowledge network'.

With competition such as Yahoo Answers and, Blurtit can hold their heads high for staying close behind these big players of Q&A social networks.

About the author

Charlotte Bullock works for Mindcom Internet Limited, focusing on the companies communications and marketing. See more about the Blurtit team on

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