Thursday, April 10, 2008

The place for ideas

I wanted to bring back this blog as a place to autopost from Diigo, my ideas. I plan for this to have a little more of a business focus than my Cool Cat Teacher blog with emphasis on IDEAS that make life better.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Learn from Lifehacker; Connectivity and Blogging

Marshall K posted an interview with the editor of super-blog Lifehacker over at Net Squared. It's titled "On the care and feeding of a techno-garden: an interview with Lifehacker's Gina Trapani."

Here are some great quotes I think everyone need to glean from this interview. For a transcript of the whole thing, visit NetSquared.

Gina on constant connectivity
  • The other lesson that many for-profits haven't learned yet is to avoid drowning your employees in gadgets and tech - like Blackberries, laptops, and weekend email sessions - because constant connectivity and an interrupt-driven existence can really degrade people's morale and productivity levels.
Gina on building an audience
  • On the editorial side, to build an audience, you need to post often. We update Lifehacker 18 times a day (between 3 editors); for the first 9 months I was doing 12 posts a day on my own. That rate is insane for a blog that's not an entity in and of itself (as Lifehacker is), but definitely update every day, if not twice a day. Your posts don't have to be long and thoughtful - though some should be - just summarize and point to a news item of the moment that's related to your nonprofit's area of interest. You want to establish a constant conversation about particular themes, and show that you're an authority on those themes, able to discuss them intelligently on an ongoing basis.
Gina on freebies

Technically, take advantage of every single free resource out there on the web to reduce costs and technical issues. Use Creative Commons licensed or public domain images (we like Host video at YouTube or the Internet Archive to avoid bandwidth costs. Odeo is perfect for podcasts. Use an open source CMS (like WordPress, or ask a hosting company like TypePad or to host your site for free in exchange for an ad.
Marshall K, you've done the blogosphere a favor with this incredible interview!

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Art of Customer Service

Guy Kawasaki is an essential read for today's businessman or woman. Here is his take on the Art of Customer Service:

The Art of Customer Service: "
This blog entry is a response to a topic suggestion by Douglas Hanna. It covers the art of customer service, a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

1. Start at the top. The CEO's attitude towards customer service is the primary determinant of the quality of service that a company delivers. If the CEO thinks that customers are a pain in the ass who always want something for nothing, that attitude will permeate the company, and service will be lousy. So if you are the CEO, get your act together. If you're not the CEO, either convince her to change her mind, quit, or learn to live with mediocrity--in that order.

2. Put the customer in control. The best kind of customer service happens when management enables employees to put the customer in control. This require two leaps of faith: first, that management trusts customers not take advantage of the situation; second, that management trust employees with this empowerment. If you can make these leaps, then the quality of your customer service will zoom; if not, the"...

Read his post!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

AdWords Referral Program Available for AdSense Publishers

Make some money with Google adwords.

AdWords Referral Program Available for AdSense Publishers: "Google has launched a new AdWords referral program for AdSense publishers where publishers can earn $20 when they refer a new advertiser to Google. While Google had a very limited referral program for AdWords last year, they launched a revamped program from within the AdSense control panel several weeks ago for a small list of select publisher countries before making it widely available to all publishers.

Proof the world has changed: Billboard to begin ranking ringtones

Billboard has announced plans to begin ranking ringtones.

The chart, dubbed Hot MasterTones, will be based on data compiled by Nielsen Mobile and represent the top 20 best-selling master ringtones for the week.

"This is really where the growth has been in ringtones," said Geoff Mayfield, Billboard's director of charts.

There is a whole new market here for advertisers and "jingle makers." Companies who don't consider bloggers, cell phone Net users, and the whole plethora of new web apps are missing the boat. It is more than an Internet presence but a presence of conversation about your product.

Never has buzz been more important in marketing and selling products.

As for ringtones, the article goes on to say:

The U.S. ringtone market is expected to exceed $600 million in sales this year, up from $500 million last year, according to BMI, a major performing rights organization that represents songwriters, composers and music publishers.

Billboard estimates global ringtone sales racked up $4.4 billion in 2005, up from $3.7 billion the previous year. Much of that growth was due to sales of master ringtones, according to the magazine.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

eBay adds RSS for search

It is essential for businesses offering dynamic content to have RSS feeds. Whether it is a blog or other information, to be found, one must be updated and served up via RSS. eBay has now joined in!
eBay adds RSS for search: "eBay started offering feeds for your searches last week. That's good. It'll help extend RSS even more. Plus it'll be nice for eBayers. It's just a shame they aren't using the proposed standard orange box, but instead the letters RSS in an orange rectangle.

But is RSS totally legit now or what? Rhetorical question, but I think this really is good news.


History for Sale

A German enigma machine is on sale at eBay. Current price: $13,000+ US dollars.

Just think, what people gave their lives to break and steal is now being sold to the highest bidder over the Internet!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The Power of Goals

Goal setting has always been very important to me. There was a study done a while back of achievement and it was "discovered" that those who graduated from a leading business school with written goals went on to accumulate a signficantly higher amount of net worth than those who didn't.

I've continued to teach my students about goal setting. This article is one of the best goal setting articles I've come across in a long time!

The Power of Goals: "I was not the most intelligent kid in school. I was not the smartest kid in class. I was not the best student ever. One thing I am sure of is I am the most ambitious person you can ever meet. As it turned out a few years after graduation I began to see the difference [...]"

Monday, March 27, 2006

Some great resources to read about Web 2.0

These three articles profile many of the services that I use including: bloglines and writely. Unfortunately, the top 25 on Business 2.0 doesn't include two of my new favorites: Airset (for calendaring and family management) and Odeo (for easy podcasting.) I also really like Talkr which takes my teaching blog and converts it to a podcast radio station for iPods.

Read these articles, they are important!

There are many new services that are free that are available including some great sales and marketing tools. (Read the Business 2.0 list, it does a great job of explaining the service in "newbie" terms.)