It’s been a year of extremely fast growth at Shoeboxed and The National Spending Journal. With loads of new users, business partners and technology innovations, Shoeboxed has been able to organize a truly unbelievable number of receipts, continue growing during the economic downturn and, of course, bring (hopefully) interesting and useful information about small businesses, taxes and organization through this news blog.
As you can see, once the blog transformed into the National Spending Journal, traffic has increased significantly, and the number of people coming to the NSJ continues to increase, even during the holiday season.
Apple enthusiasts using iPhone and iPod Touches to access the Internet are making up a bigger portion of Internet users overall after spiking during the week of Christmas.
The iPhone’s browser markets share increased by 36% last week, according to Net Applications. Due in large part to the iPhone’s popularity as a Christmas present and the likelihood that veteran iPhone users browsed on their phones more while they were on vacation, this increase signals a victory for the mobile web, which took big strides in become mainstream in 2008.
Apple’s iPhone may be a big part of the increased consumer confidence in the mobile web, as it features a sleek interface, a relatively usable browser compared to other smart phones and a unique keyboard design. The BlackBerry Storm, which has touch feedback technology on its screen, just came out and promises to widen the mobile web usage in the United States as well.
The iPhone’s browser market share increased to 0.57% for the week ending Dec. 27, up 35.7% from a 0.42% share the week before. Competing against popular desktop browsers like Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, the iPhone still has not broken into mainstream usage, though these increase may point to increasing acceptance of the mobile web in the United States.
Alley Insider reports that they had a spike in iPhone traffic on their site on Christmas day, and many iPhone app developers reported spikes in sales on Christmas day, presumably as new users experimented with their new phones and the third-party applications available to download in Apple’s App Store. The National Spending Journal did not see a similar spike in traffic from iPhones or iPod Touches this week, however.
The government announced Monday that it will inject $6 billion into GMAC Financial Services, an automotive financing, insurance and mortgage firm seen as essential to the survival of General Motors Corp.
The Treasury Department will give $5 billion directly to GMAC for equity shares paying an 8% dividend. The Treasury will also lend $1 billion to General Motors to invest into GMAC, which was formerly the financing arm of the auto giant.
The money will allow GMAC to convert to a bank holding company and also to jumpstart its lending operations.
“The company intends to act quickly to resume automotive lending to a broader spectrum of customers to support the availability of credit to consumers and businesses for the purchase of automobiles,” GMAC said in a statement.
This money comes less than two weeks after President George W. Bush announced a $17.4 billion rescue package for General Motors and Chrysler. The president took that step after Congress voted not to fund an auto industry bailout, and after Ford declined any bailout funds.
GMAC is the biggest lender to GM’s 6,500 dealers nationwide. They provide financing for dealers to purchase inventory from the automaker. Without such financing, they would be unable to fill their lots with actual cars. If GMAC were to fail, it could trigger a complete collapse of the dealer system in place, crippling the auto giant.