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Blog Business World

Blogs in business, marketing, public relations, and SEO search engine optimization for successful entrepreneurs

Friday, June 30, 2006

 

Overcoming groupthink: Invite creative ideas



You are probably familiar with the concept of groupthink. It's where all members of a meeting, a task force, or even an entire company hold the same opinion on a topic. While maintaining a solid front and sense of purpose may often be a good thing for a business, very often that monolithic point of view held is the wrong one.

The difficulty isn't always with the decision and its subsequent execution. The problem is usually a result of the decision making process itself. Groupthink ideas are often the result of pressure, either from above from superiors, or peer pressure from other members of the team. While many times the general opinion may be correct, all too often it's wrong entirely. Because of the imposed limits on new ideas and solutions that vary from those of the group, many ruinous business disasters are the expected result.

The process is the problem. The business ownership or top management calls a meeting to allegedly discuss ideas for moving the company forward. None too subtle hints are provided as to the direction desired and the method to reach that destination. Should a member of the team suggest a different approach, that idea will be squashed, regardless of its merit. Very often, pressure is placed on staff members to not speak up at all, out of fear of dire personal consequences. The result is groupthink. Everyone accepts and internalizes the predestined management plan; whether for the good of the organization, or not.



Should the inevitable problems arise, staff members will be assigned to treat the symptoms. Scapegoats will almost always be targeted and perhaps even removed from the company altogether. Individuals with creative ideas are not the problem company illness. The real disease is the company culture of imposed ideology and a lack of welcoming to fresh ideas. The nail that sticks out in those types of organzations will soon be hammered right back down again. Better to go along with the general consensus than risk unemployment.

To counter groupthink in your business, it's important to always remain open to new and creative ideas. While time proven methods will work on many problems, it only takes a few crises where they fail to sink the company. When meetings are held to brainstorm ideas, keep the judgement out of the initial idea creation process. It's essential as well to prevent a chosen management plan from taintig the creative process. If the team gets a clear message that their superiors prefer a certain course of action chosen, their idea generation process will be short circuited. Groupthink will set in and top management will get its way.



It's important to understand that the preferred decisions of senior management are not always the wrong ones. Often, they are the right way to go to achieve success. Where the process becomes dangerous, for the health of the company, is when no new ideas are welcomed, and where their advocates have their careers stalled or ended.

Decision making works best when everyone has a share in developing the final business plan. That means that unpopular ideas and objections may arise. Listen to the dissenters. They may be the bringers of wisdom and guide the company on a more successful journey.

Don't hammer down the creative thinkers. The strength of an organization is its people, many of whom have ideas that may not be part of the current company culture. As a result, they might seem like they are simply rocking the boat. Welcome their dissent and avoid the trap of going along with the crowd. Those strange sounding ideas might be what makes your company a success.

Avoid groupthink. It doesn't pay to be a lemming as stepping off that cliff only leads straight down.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 197 at Lil Duck Duck



The 197th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at Lisa's family, children, and ducks blog known as Lil Duck Duck.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, humour, technology, business, and ducks.



I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "The Global Village: Making a difference" where I discuss how Thanks to the ease of using blogging platforms, and taking advantage of available internet technology for marketing and distribution of the message, anyone can become a citizen publisher. Building personal relationships, with like minded people on a global scale, has never been easier.



To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.





Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at Sterling Hunter's business and economics blog known as The Business of America is Business.

In the meantime, head on over to the Lil Duck Duck hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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Decision making: Plans into action



Every day we make decisions. In fact, we make so many choices that we lose count of them and of their results. While many of the decisions we make are small ones, like whether or not to have another cup of coffee, many are large and crucial to our businesses and our lives. All too often, the choice is made to do nothing.

Whether we know it or not, doing nothing at all is a decision. It might be inaction due to time constraints or neglect; or it could be the result of believing that doing nothing is better than making a mistake. In most business related cases, however, any action taken on a problem is better than ignoring the issue entirely. Always keep in mind that taking no action on a problem is an action in itself. Doing nothing is very often the resulting decision for many business people. Usually, it's the wrong management choice.

For many people, making business decisions is a very difficult task. Torn by fear of making a mistake and blindly hoping the problem will go away by itself, no action is taken at all. It's a difficult concept for many people to grasp that doing nothing may also be a mistake. From an early age, people are taught that the only mistakes are ones made through activity. Errors of ommission are much more common, but are less likely to be thought of as what caused the disaster. The lack of action is often more about lack of personal responsibility, self preservation, and ego than about making any sort of positive contribution. No one can blame anyone if they didn't actually do anything is usually the mistaken rationale.



Instead of being intentified with making a wrong and often highly visible decision, many people have conditioned themselves to place doing nothing at all as their default position. That mind set has to change, for the benefit of the company, and for a person's non-work life as well. It's time to change those default settings to a more advanced mode of thought and action.

Practice making decisions and putting them into action. You may start small with relatively harmless choices that maybe only you notice. You might make a few errors, but experience will show you that in most cases the mistake was less costly than letting the issue slide. The good results will almost always outweigh the bad, boosting your confidence that you can choose wisely.



After you become more comfortable with making decisions and acting upon them, you can move up to more visible problems. Since you now understand that a wrong choice of action is still better than none at all, your level of confidence will improve as well. Work with other members of your management team on solving many of your commpany's more pressing issues. Once a decision is reached, set up an action plan, develop a time table for activities, and create a followup mechanism to ensure everything decided upon was completed as planned.

A bit of magic will also happen for the benefit of the business, and for you personally. Some of your management actions will net some very positive results. Higher sales, better production, positive customer service, and many more profitable and public image improving rewards will appear. Instead of fear of mistakes, your mind will look for possible problem solutions. Rather than sit back and let things take their own course, your choice now will be to make some positive changes.

Good things happen to people who take action on issues.

Make some decisions and act upon them today.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Financial Methods



This week sees an investment approach to the travelling business show, recognized by one and all as Carnival of the Capitalists makes a visit to Michael Cale's (pictured below left) stock market news and investment blog known as Financial Methods.

This week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists highlights some of the best bloggers writing on the internet today.

Blogging topics presented include entrepreneurship, management, market trading, internet commerce, marketing, the national and global economies, and technology.



As you would expect from Financial Methods there are many discussions of business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and investment.

It's always great to read and discover the many high quality blogs out there in the blogosphere.






We don't always get to them all, and this edition of Carnival of the Capitalists has introduced many of us to some brand new ones.



I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Capitalists as well.

My post is titled "E-mail newsletters: Inbox marketing power" where I discuss how your e-mail inbox probably receives several of them each day. Some you open and read, while others are deleted, without a second thought. They are e-mail newsletters, and they remain one of the best, but often most misused marketing tools available, for the internet marketer.



If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.



If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending an entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate regular Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will be at the personal finances, investment, business blog known as My Money Forest.

In the meantime, click that mouse over to the Financial Methods. hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

If the great posted entries don't convince you to click, or the possibility of finding some brand new blogs to read doesn't do it, then Carnival of the Capitalists certainly will offer some ideas on investment and making your money tree grow. (groan)

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Monday, June 26, 2006

 

Blog Squad shares blogging secrets - free teleseminar


Got a Loser Blog? The Blog Squad to the Rescue!




Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff, better known as The Blog Squad from Build A Better Blog are the special guests on a free teleseminar hosted by Catherine Bruns of Balanced Life Coaching BLC on Monday, June 26 at 5:00 pm Eastern Daylight Time. The topic for this telephone conference call is blogging and how blogs can work for your business.

Denise and Patsi answer the following questions:

How a blog is different from a website

How a blog can boost your credibility factor

Three ways to make money with your blog

How to use a blog to promote your book, products and services


Spaces are limited and are certain to fill up very quickly.

Don't miss this opportunity to learn more about the power of blogs and blogging for your business.

Register now and learn from the experts - Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006

 

The Global Village: Making a difference



How can one person make a difference in today's complex and technological world?

You’ve probably heard these concerns expressed before. You might even have voiced them yourself. You think that one single voice is likely to be drowned in a sea of background noise. Everyone is wrapped up in their own lives and really nothing can be done to change anything at all. Problems become so many that they seem to blend together into a form of indistinguishable white noise blaring in the background.

As society and interpersonal relationships grow ever more distant, many people share that sense of being unable to connect with others. They feel the opportunity for real communication between people is a thing of the past. They look back wistfully at what they believe to be a simpler time, where there was more interaction on a personal scale.

As the Twenty-First Century opens, there is little doubt that technology is advancing at breakneck speed. Sometimes, people feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. Their voices seem lost, and they experience a sense that no ideas can be shared.



They couldn’t be more wrong.

Advances in technology can be employed for many purposes, including those for sharing ideas with others. One such technology breakthrough, that benefits the average person, is the blogging platform.

In the past, publishing was entirely in the hands of major corporations. Large scale publishing and media remains in the hands of a few large companies today. The difference today is the playing field is becoming more level as citizen publishing appears on the internet. The citizen publisher arrived in a blog.

No longer does anyone require intensive computer programming skills to have an internet presence. The easy to use blogging systems of today enable almost anyone to publish their thoughts and ideas in a matter of minutes. Anyone can now become a media outlet overnight.

Along with the convenience of pre-programmed blogging technology is the power of instant communication. People who are literally on opposite sides of the world can be sharing ideas in seconds. The ability to connect with others has never been so easy. Blogging technology has made the global village a reality.



Sharing ideas with other people having the same interests has never been easier at any time in history. With the establishment of a blog, anyone can be a publisher. Not only does the blog provide a print format for delivery of the message to visitors, the addition of RSS (Really Simple Syndication) blog feeds sends the message around the world even faster.

Simply setting up a blog and hoping visitor traffic will arrive, might work in the movies, but not on the multi-billion page internet. A bit of good old fashioned marketing is required. Fortunately, the technology of the internet works well for promotional purposes. Blog traffic can be added by understanding a bit about how the internet works.

Millions of people use the internet search engines, including Google, Yahoo, MSN Search, and Ask Jeeves every day to locate information sources. As a blogger and citizen publisher, your information is included in the search engine indexes. It simply needs to be found by search engine users.

The good news is much can be done to help a blog achieve high search engine rankings. The very nature of the blog ensures that probability. The process of gaining high search engine placements is called search engine optimization, or SEO for short. What SEO means is understanding that the search engines value fresh content that is relevant for the search being undertaken by a user.

Blogs almost appear to have been designed with the search engine ranking requirements in mind. Once again the technology of blogs forms a powerful complement, to needs of the search engine computer programming, enabling citizen publishing to flourish.



Search engines are merely very large and complex computers. The mathematical formula programmed into each engine, for calculating the most relevant search results, is called the search algorithm. It’s all simply arithmetic, but it is very favorable to blogs and their content.

Search engine algorithms crave fresh content that is relevant to the search at hand. While the details of the mathematical formula might vary, the basics remain the same. Content is necessary to rank well for any search. Blogs provide that relevant content in abundance.

Written on a very narrow range of topics, and updated almost daily, the amount of content generated by a blog ensures it a high placement in any search result. It’s said that on the internet that content is king, and blogs definitely fulfil that need.

A second powerful search engine ranking requirement is links from one blog or website to another. Bloggers are frequent and generous linkers. Blog owners link to other blogs and articles that interest them, and by extension, their readership. Links are highly regarded by all search engines because they are viewed as votes for the site or blog.

In the most simple terms, the more links to a blog, the more votes it has received. Heavily linked blogs are therefore considered important and relevant to the search. Links and content are related as well. Good content attracts even more links to the blog, building even stronger search engine rankings and developing an ever larger readership.

Links are not only important for search rankings, but they also help readers of one blog to visit other connected blogs, which share the same topics. Links build an entire network of like minded people stretching across the globe.



As a result of the SEO power of blogs, getting your message out as a citizen publisher has never been easier. Technology has made the one person printing press and media outlet a reality for almost anyone. Reaching and connecting with a regular reading audience builds friendships and connections never before imagined at any time in history.

SEO is only part of the blogging story. Blogs are relationship builders on that much longed for personal level. Building and establishing interactive communication with others, one person at a time, is the essence of blogging. Blogs are all about conversation, in the old fashioned way, of person to person. The only difference is the technology of the initial and subsequent contact. After the relationship is established, more traditional forms of conversation can take place via telephone or even in person.

Thanks to the ease of using blogging platforms, and taking advantage of available internet technology for marketing and distribution of the message, anyone can become a citizen publisher. Building personal relationships, with like minded people on a global scale, has never been easier.

One person’s voice has never spoken to such a potentially global audience before now. The ability to be connected to others with similar interests has been realized. Those relationships will only grow stronger and more numerous in the future.

The Global Village is powered by a blog.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006

 

Media interviews: Marketing by talking



If you are like most business people, you are constantly seeking new and different ways to promote and market your website. You want more visitor traffic, as potential customers and clients, but you’ve found that you’ve tried all of the usual avenues. Perhaps you should consider talking people into surfing over to your site. All you have to do is get yourself interviewed by the media, as an expert in your field.

Interviews provide widespread exposure for you and your website. When you are interviewed as an authority in your area of business, you gain status and credibility, that literally cannot be bought for any price. The endorsement, provided by the interviewing medium, can propel you and your website to the top of your business sector. It is certain to be one of the best investments, of your time and energy, that you can ever make.

The opportunities to give interviews are limited only by your imagination. Chances to talk about your area of interest include all forms of the media including television, radio, newspapers, and trade magazine articles. Don’t forget that expert interviews are highly sought after as internet articles and website content. Interviews are becoming a mainstay post for a growing number of bloggers. By way of the internet based interview, you can speak to a global audience. The question then becomes one of how to get that all important first interview opportunity.



Landing an interview

To be considered by the traditional mainstream media, and a growing number of online journalists, the first step is to think like an editor. You want to provide information suited the media outlet’s target readership market. That is what the editor demands and will expect from you. It’s up to you to make that information available, with yourself as the knowledge source. All you have to do is get your story into the editor’s hands.

Your online business has a newsworthy story. It may not be immediately recognizable, but there is news within your business. Every business has a story. You may just have to dig around for it a bit. Because your business activities have news value, you need to get your story out there to be written. The standard means is by way of a written press release.

Your first step is to find a newsworthy story. In the news business, that is referred to as the “angle”. To find a news angle, many people suggest thinking like a journalist. An even better idea is to think like an editor. The publication editor will always want to know the news value of the story and its angle. It’s up to you to provide it for them. Send them a press release.

Make certain that the interview topic is of interest to their target audience. If your discussion will be only about how wonderful your products and services are, they will see you as trying to gain a free advertisement, and reject you. Instead, offer useful information about use of the products, some industry news, and some thoughtful business insights.

Be sure to stress your availability to be interviewed on the subject. Make certain that your release contains all of your online and offline contact information. Always remember to make yourself available. The media have strict deadline times and you must adhere to them. If they can’t reach you for comment, they’ll talk to someone else.



Getting to the decision makers

Send your press release to the online and traditional offline media who cover news stories in your industry. If the news angle you have chosen has wider appeal, feel free to send it to other media who cover that news area. Avoid sending your release to media who would have no interest in your story.

While everyone imagines their story in the big city daily newspapers or on national television, they are only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t overlook small weekly newspapers, locally produced television and radio shows, and blogs. Their market is local, and their readers and electronic audiences are your potential customers. Often pressed for time and staff resources, yet with air time and print space to fill, they may contact you immediately to be interviewed

Many trade and industry publications, both online and offline, publish news stories in your industry and value interviews with industry leaders like yourself. These highly specialized and targeted publications are widely read by those people in your business area.



Honesty is the best policy

By sending out targeted press releases, to online and offline media outlets who cover your industry, you can receive valuable free publicity. By being the focus of an interview about business in general, and your business area in particular, you and your company gain immediate stature as leaders in the field.

By presenting yourself as available, reliable, and honest to your media contacts, you can also be interviewed and quoted as an industry expert in other news stories. Busy reporters, facing tight deadlines, will often call a person known to be accessible and with whom they have established a good working relationship.

Bloggers will often gladly interview business and community leaders who are involved with their blogging area of interest. Be sure to know the blogger's interests and blog post topics prior to contact, as a matter of courtesy. Read the blog on a regular basis before approaching a blogger for an interview.

Whatever you do, and wherever you have an interview, don’t use the time for blatant self promotion. Think of the audience first, and you will become a sought after business and industry spokesperson.

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Friday, June 23, 2006

 

E-mail newsletters: Inbox marketing power



Your e-mail inbox probably receives several of them each day. Some you open and read, while others are deleted, without a second thought. They are e-mail newsletters, and they remain one of the best, but often most misused marketing tools available, for the internet marketer.

Many of the e-mail newsletters received are simply mass mailed unrequested spam. Their effectiveness is very low, and damaging to any business reputation. The proper type of e-mail newsletter, for your online business, is the permission based newsletter. The recipient asks you to send them the information. It’s up to you to make it worth their while to ppen, read, and act upon it.

Despite the proliferation of spam, and possibly even because of it, a good permission based e-mail newsletter is a powerful way to market your business and products. The recipients will have self selected themselves as prospects. If done correctly, the e-mail newsletter will be eagerly awaited, and read completely. It will also result in many more sales for your online business, immediately and in the future.



Permission based e-mail

No e-mail newsletter should be sent to anyone who didn’t request it. Ever.

The proper method of adding names to your mailing list is by voluntary sign-up. On your site, a box requesting the e-mail address should be easily found, by the potential recipient. Requesting the person’s name is a good idea as well. The name enables the business, to send personalized e-mails to each subscriber, increasing open, response, and conversion rates.

Along with that box, there should always be a clearly stated privacy policy. The ideal policy, for collected e-mail addresses, is one where the names and addresses are never sold, rented, or given away to anyone. Ever. That trust must never be violated, or your reputation will be permanently blackened.

When a person provides their name and e-mail address to your business, a double opt-in approach should always be used. Upon receiving a new subscriber, an automated and personalized e-mail should automatically be sent to that person.

Upon receiving the e-mail, the potential recipient must confirm the newsletter subscription. That is the double opt-in process. The request is therefore made twice, in order to receive the newsletter. This method prevents charges of spam, and is in accordance with all anti-spam regulations.



Newsletter content creation

A good e-mail newsletter requires interesting and informative content. Simply sending out a sales flyer will not get good results, and will potentially destroy any goodwill, created with your customer base. The content of a strong e-mail newsletter is best split into 80% information and 20% sales material. Any more sales orientation, and the e-mail loses its value for the reader.

Finding articles for an e-mail newsletter is similar to adding useful and informative content to a website. The newsletter author can either write the content, or use articles written by other people. Many successful newsletters use both types of content.

Articles can include how to information, product reviews, industry information, and general stories surrounding your industry. The important thing is to provide fresh material, that is not readily available elsewhere. The articles should always link back to an articles page, located on your website. Getting the readers to your site is important for sales purposes.

Be sure to make a special subscribers only offer, and make it a good one. Provide a link to a landing page on your site, that repeats the generous offer. Make sure the landing page offers several links to click to make buying an easy process. Minimize the number of clicks required for purchase, to less than three.



Building your sales

To increase the number of recipients opening your newsletter, employ a tempting sales headline. Clearly identify the sender as your business, so your readers know it’s from your company. Keep track of the number of openings, the number of click throughs to your website, and the number of actual purchases. Test different combinations, one at a time, to improve those numbers.

To swell the number of newsletter subscribers, make a free offer. With every new name and address, offer a free e-book, a white paper, or a general informational booklet. Gift certificates and generous first time purchaser discounts also work well at adding new recipients.

Each e-mail should always include a link to send the e-mail to a friend, taking advantage of word of mouth possibilities. Always provide an unsubscribe link as well. When someone requests their name removed, do so promptly. It avoids any possible spamming charges, and removes a person who is not likely to buy at this time anyway. Remove their names promptly. It's a courtesy as well as good business.

Keep good records of your purchasers, and offer them additional incentives and frequent buyer rewards. Those best customers will also spread the word of your e-mail newsletter, and of your business.

Keep your e-mail newsletter interesting and informative, and a joy to open and read. It will pay off with more customers and higher sales results.

Set your business newsletter apart from the regular e-mail, and it will be welcomed by your subscribers.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 196 at Rethink (IP)



The 196th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at the intellectual property and law blog (or blawg, if you prefer) known as Rethink (IP).

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science, humour, technology, business, and law.



I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "Staff motivation: Keep people informed" where I discuss how staff motivation is both a science and an art. I like platitudes like that one that don't mean very much unless you look at them more deeply. A throwaway line simply won't get the job done; or more correctly, won't help your employees to get the job done.



To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.





Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at Lisa's family, children, and ducks blog known as Lil Duck Duck.

In the meantime, head on over to the Rethink (IP) hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

 

Marketing Sherpa Readers' Choice Blog Awards



The nominees for the Marketing Sherpa Readers'Choice Blog and Podcasting Awards 2006 were announced today.

Among the various marketing categories are some excellent and very well written marketing blogs. Links are provided for your visits to check the blogs out for yourself. I found a few new ones that are very good indeed.

Among the nominees, I was absolutely shocked to find my very own Blog Business World nominated under Blogs on general (multiple topic) marketing. My thanks to the generous (and still unknown to me) person who nominated my blog for this very prestigious award.

If you scroll down the page, you will find the appropriate category, should you choose to vote for Blog Business World.

Thanks in advance for your support of my blog, and for all of the other tremendous nominees in this prestigious vote, selected by marketing blog readers.

It's an honour to be nominated.

Vote now.

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Monday, June 19, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists at Blog Business World



Welcome to this week's edition of the Carnival of the Capitalists.

It's Carnival time again!

Grab your popcorn and cotton candy and sit back and enjoy Carnival of the Capitalists: The Greatest Business Show in the Blogosphere.

That was a little long for a tag line. I'll have to work on improving that one. After all, a bit of creative thinking can't hurt, now can it?

One of the truly exciting aspects of hosting Carnival of the Capitalists is the wide assortment of bloggers who enter. Many of the entrants to this hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists are here for the very first time, while many familiar faces are continuing their regular appearances.

This is my third hosting of the Carnival of the Capitalists, and as usual my hosting is for the same week every year. I hope you enjoy the show.

Got your refreshments in hand? I'll wait while you get some peanuts and popcorn, a hotdog, and a cool beverage.

Let's join the midway where the fun and games are already underway.









Marketing

Josh Cohen at Multiple Mentality presents Not So Rewarding asks the universal question that's on everyone's mind. Just how much have you got out of your "rewards" card lately?

David Maister thinks about The Battle for Marketing posted at David Maister's Passion, People and Principles. David expresses some concerns about large consulting firms entering the marketing field.

Jim Logan waxes poetically about The Workhorse Of The Letter, The Opening Paragraph posted at Direct Response Works. Jim writes that most sales letters start with a story of some sort, an attempt to catch the reader’s attention and engage them with intrigue. The thought is you quickly paint a picture for a reader, grab their attention, and hold interest to read further. This is often done in the form of a problem – the common formula is problem, irritation, solution. Jim believes this is generally a mistake.

Evelyn Rodriguez at Crossroads Dispatches sends Bake Cause Marketing Into Product. Evelyn writes on the heels of this past week's Cause Marketing Forum. She challenges companies to do their good works from the inside-out, as a primary function, rather than merely a portion of revenues. She cites companies such as Honest Tea, Soneva Resorts, and Theo Chocolate as examples.

Wordlab presents Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt Baby T-shirt posted at Wordlab. Wordlab says the Kingsley brand T-shirt with the words "The Pots & Pans Band" across a skull and crossed spoons with a "pots and pans" drum kit, worn by Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt in her first official photo op, is all the rage.

Becky McCray shows us some Simplified marketing plans for the real world posted at Small Biz Survival. Becky points out that while every business needs a marketing plan, not every company has one. She provides some handy and practical tips for developing a successful marketing plan for your organization.

Entrepreneurship

Marcus Markou presents Being a Successful Business Owner posted at BOB - Business Opportunities Blog. Marcus presents a review of Michael Gerber's book The E Myth and relates how the book's advice is similar to his own business experience.

Yaro Starak at Small Business Branding presents You Will Be Successful…In 5 Years where he advises business owners to stick with what they believe in to be the right product or service. It will pay off in the end.

Jim writes about Sensible Diet And Exercise posted at Bizinformer. Jim concludes there are no shortcuts to business success; just hard work, dedication, honesty, and service.

Jeff Cornwall at The Entrepreneurial Mind describes in The Danger of Short-cuts in Writing Business Plans how tools to help write a business plans can be found in books, software programs, and on-line sites. While many of them have some good features to them, for many entrepreneurs these aids become a short-cut that leads to an inferior plan.

Yaro Starak at Entrepreneur's Journey asks the question Has AdSense Gone Too Far?. Yaro expresses concern, that gearing site content for Google AdSense, is having a negative effect on the value of website information.

Greg Manter of Retail Store Blog says that $1400 a Day from a Simple Website. Greg asks can a net entrepreneur make money. He asks how much money can you make from sharing your knowledge on the Net? Greg points out that Tim Carter makes $1,400 a day.

Steve King discusses an age old adage in Location, Location, Location (Part 1) posted at Caboodle! Toys ~ Blog. Steve advises when thinking about where to locate or relocate your new or existing business, one should first and foremost consider the current and future business model. This post lays out a theoretical framework for thinking through various location options. The author seeks feedback on ways to improve the work-in-progress framework.

Laurie Bluedorn presents PRMAMA: Marketing to Go! - This week's Feature Friday is Pete and Maribel Hernandez of APMFormulators. - Homeschoolblogger.com posted at PRMama. Laurie writes about a successful business startup company and the reasons for their prosperity.



Management

Pawel Brodzinski at Software Project Management offers a post on How to Communicate Information . Pawel describes the importance of maintaining good communications channels between management and staff.

Kevin Hillstrom of Mine That Data sends us a Business Review: Regal Cinemas. Kevin asks if you ever wonder why popcorn and a diet soda cost $9.00 at a movie theater? Without this high cost, the movie theater probably wouldn't be in business. Kevin's posting illustrates how expensive it is to run a movie theater.

Michael Wade of Execupundit writing in The Anti-Personnel Department tells us why employees view the Human Resources Department with so much suspicion. Michael also tells us how the HR Departments earned their bad reputation.

Mark at SportsBiz reports on The Ultimate Fantasy Team. Marks says the Schaumburg Flyers, a minor league baseball team in suburban Chicago, has decided to turn over management of its games in the second half of the season, to its fans. Marks believes this should be a fascinating exercise in both group management and marketing.

David Foster of Photon Courier tells us that ICU Monitoring Goes Remote. David says some hospitals are adopting a system, that allows the monitoring of ICU patients, to be done by specialists who may be hundreds of miles away. Both cost and patient-care benefits are claimed.

My own entry from Blog Business World is Negative people: Find the positive where I discuss that instead of avoiding the negative person in your company, use their natural talents for criticism in a productive and innovative way. Let them help you avoid the pitfalls that await some hastily developed plan.

Economics and Public Policy

Brad Warbiany at The Liberty Papers enters A New Paradigm Replacing the Old. Brad believes that the internet has changed the way people do business. As a result, formerly profitable business models are being left behind, and replaced by online e-commerce.

Henry Stern, LUTCF presents A Slick Operation... posted at InsureBlog. Henry asks "Did ya hear about the guy who needed neck surgery? He went to Thailand! He says that'Medical tourism' is big business. The question, however, is will it save you or your company any money.

Michael McCullough at Stingray: a blog for salty Christians presents Al Gore and some inconvenient truths about global warming. Michael believes that if Al Gore had his way on global warming, we would lose capitalism in this country, and have to live under socialism.

David Tufte from voluntaryXchange writes in Business School Lunacy that business schools are starting to promote "peace through commerce". David says the curriculum sounds like it is very heavy on politically correct peace studies, and very light on anything that would help a business major.

James Hamilton of Econbrowser is seeking a real New Direction For America. The Democrats call it a New Direction for America. But to Econbrowser's James Hamilton, it looks like the same old same old.

Leon Gettler from Sox First discusses Business and climate change. Leon asks some provocative questions. How well prepared is business for climate change? How well prepared are insurers? It's going have a massive impact on bottom lines everywhere, warns a new Lloyds of London report. Leon warns everyone to get ready for some places being simply uninsurable.

Jack Yoest presents Kill Big Bird, Buy a Raptor posted at Jack Yoest. Jack says there's a war on. It's been in all the papers, and we all have to pay for it. Sacrifice somewhere. But Jack says not the liberals at National People's Public Radio. They demand continued tax payer funding...for Big Bird. When should entertainment have claim on the public purse?...That's Jack's tough policy question.



Stock Market and Investment

RJH Adams at Capital Chronicle isn't really being spooky discussing Triple witching, 16 June 2006: what does the historic data say?. The problem is the third Friday of March, June, September and December are all "triple witching" days. This post looks at how market indexes behave on such freaky Fridays, with Germany's DAX serving as an example.

Trent presents Don't hold your breath or GLW waiting for LCD panels to recover posted at Stock Market Beat. Trent suggests that you may want to hold off on buying that big-screen TV... or shares in Corning.

Einzige presents John Burley's 7 Levels of Investor posted at Die Eigenheit. The post is a critical examination of some of the promotional material used by "prosperity trainer" and real estate investment "guru" John Burley. Einzige compares Burley's 7 investor levels with advice from other financial advisors, and concludes that Burley's advice doesn't amount to much, in the end.

Byrne Hobart of Byrne's MarketView shares his thoughts in Peg Ratios: Nonsense is still in style. Byrne is firmly convinced that an unhealthy fraction of the financial innovations that experts share with audiences exist mostly to give them something to talk about. There isn't always something to talk about or something to recommend. When there is, Byrne tells us he'll say so. When there isn't, Byrne will complain about people who say otherwise... As a matter of fact, Byrne does just that.

Ed at Daily Dose of Optimism describes Japanese Interest Rates and US Equity Market Volitility. Ed says for those of you wondering why US and global markets experienced such rapid declines over the past month or two, let him draw your attention to some information you may have missed. Basically, the Bank of Japan indicated back in March that it planned to end its zero-interest rate policy.

Taxation

Don Surber at Don Surber holds the view that Fat tax doesn't work . Don says they just happen to have a soft drinks tax in West Virginia that covers those sugary drinks. The state had the tax since 1951 with the proceeds going to the WVU Medical School. Don states after 55 years of this nanny tax that West Virginia ranks third in adult obesity and third in adult diabetes.

Steve Faber warns The AMT – If You're Not Scared, You Damn Well Should Be! posted at Debt Free. Steve sees the AMT as a trap that will snare many citizens leaving them with an enormous tax bill.

Joe Kristan at Roth & Company, P.C. - Tax Updates sends us Wither The Estate Tax. Joe says that an estate tax could make sense - just not the one we have now. Joe discusses his ideas about what a sensible estate tax might look like.

HMIL at Teapot Tantrums presents Death Tax Debate. About the Death Tax rate, HMIL asks, and yhen answers, why should it mean anything to you when it doesn't apply to you? Well, let's put a face on it and then see how you feel.

Tom Hanna at Tom Rants points out the Federal Deficit Dropping Without Tax Increases or Spending Cuts. Tom says the story that the national media isn't telling this week is that the federal budget deficit is dropping, and fairly rapidly, without tax increases. In fact, it's dropping even as Congress continues what Tom calls its drunken spending spree...



Personal Finance

FMF at Free Money Finance posts about a College Saving Reality Check. FMF offers A spirited post, complete with interesting follow-up comments, on whether or not kids should pay for part of their own college expenses.

Dan Melson at Searchlight Crusade presents Legal Late Payments on Your Mortgage. Dan tells us that it's not in your best interest to be late with your mortgage payments, using the California laws as an example.

Blogs and Internet

Rob Sama at SamaBlog, in a post titled Gates Is Gone, speculates on what he believes may be the real reasons for Bill Gates' departure from Microsoft.

Jon Swift at Jon Swift presents The Retirement of Bill Gates from Microsoft Is No Big Deal . Jon says people seem to be making a big deal about the announcement that Bill Gates will be retiring to concentrate more time on his foundation and surfing the Internet, which he thinks might be really big in the future. Jon offers a few reasons why it really won't make that much difference, at least for a while.

Doug Mataconis at Below The Beltway talks about The Continuing Decline of Print Newspapers. Doug sees a day, in the not too distant future, when print newspapers could be a thing of the past.

Personal and Career Development

Adrian Savage at The Coyote Within sends us the advice to Lighten Up. Adrian suggests that most of us take our lives far too seriously, and set ourselves such ludicrously excessive targets, it's a miracle we aren't more anxious than we are.

Carmine Coyote from Slow Leadership says it's Time for Innovation. Carmine says haste, pressure, anxiety, tension and overwork are enemies of creativity or innovation. Paradoxically, the more hard-pressed people are, the less able they become to find new and creative ways to solve their problems.

Big Picture Guy at Big Picture, Small Office takes and deserves A Walk in the Dark. It seems that General Ledger is working late again. Because of the job's heavy demands, and his own incorrigible nature, he has missed holidays and birthdays. He has pretty well given up on the notion of off-days. Big Picture Guy attempts to be sympathetic.

David Lorenzo tells you to Face Your Fears posted at The Career Intensity Blog. Davis lists the most typical fears and how to overcome them.

Public Relations

Tam Hanna shares On unclear, long press releases posted at TamsPalm-the Palm OS Blog. Tam sends a little article on how one should NOT formulate a press release if one wants to do successful PR. He says they found a terrible example in their inbox. He decided to edit it, and post it online for all of you to use as a learning experience.

Nickel at fivecentnickel.com enjoys Hampton Inn's 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Nickel sings his praises for the Inn delivering on its Guarantee.

Next week's Carnival of the Capitalists will pitch the big top at Michael Cale's stock market news and investment blog known as Financial Methods.

Thanks for dropping by this week's edition of Carnival of the Capitalists. Be sure to take some time, have another hotdog and some more popcorn, and read the great posts on offer.

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Conversations with experts: Ruth Klein - Free teleseminar







Conversations with Experts: How to Build Your Business On and Off-line

How to Make Time to Get your Work Done Without Going In Circles or Insane

Wednesday, June 21, 2006, 8:30 p.m. ET (no charge, registration required)

Guest Expert: Ruth Klein, Ruth Klein: The Marketing/Time Source

What do you, Warren Buffet, Bill Gates and Katy Couric have in common? You all have 24 hours in one day. Ruth Klein will share with you how to turn insanity into clarity, overwhelm into focus, and energy into productivity. What you will hear in this interview:

The five biggest time robbers in your work day

Three ways to increase your daily energy for more accurate and focused productivity

The most effective way to prioritize calls, emails, tasks and errands

Finding the time to blog, create products, market your business and still have a life

How to identify your lifestyle motivation to exceed your business goals



Ruth Klein (pictured left) is a results-oriented Performance Strategist and "Action" Coach for small business owners, entrepreneurs, authors, speakers and consultants in the areas of Time Management and Productivity; Personality-Based Online/Offline Marketing and National Publicity.

Ruth has penned five books, the most recent can be found in bookstores and will be a PBS special in Spring 2007 - Time Management Secrets for Working Women (Sourcebooks). The Everything Sales Rep Book (Adams) will be coming out in the Fall 2006.

Ruth as well as several of her clients have been in the Wall Street Journal, Good Morning America, Larry King Live and other top publicity venues.

Register for this Conversation with Ruth Klein:

ConversationsWithExperts.com

If you missed any Conversations With Experts, you can become a monthly member of a private blog. As a member, you gain access to the entire Conversation With Experts audio series of guest experts, past and present.

Conversations with Experts is sponsored by Build a Better Blog System.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006

 

Carnival of the Capitalists: Last minute entry reminder



Carnival of the Capitalists will be right here at Blog Business World on Monday, June 19.

As your host for the third time, I am looking for entries from all of you on business, marketing, economics, personnel, sales, management, creative thinking, personal finance, investment, and everything else business blog related.

All you need to provide is:

Your Name

Your Blog's Name

Your Blog's URL

The Post Title

The Post Permalink

The Post Trackback if applicable

A brief summary of your post

Deadline for entry: 2:00 pm, Sunday, June 18

That's a fairly short list of requirements.



If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

Get those entries in by 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 18 to ensure their inclusion this week. I'm looking forward to a huge number of entries.

See you at the Blog Business World third hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

 

Negative people: Find the positive



We all know them. We've all met them. We've all worked with them at one time or another. They are the depressing ones.

You know who I'm talking about. They are friends, family members, co-workers, and business associates that are always in a bad mood, and have a negative attitude toward everything. Literally. No matter what the topic of discussion, or the idea, they see the downside; even if there isn't one. They never see the positive in anything. As a result, their attitude becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Things do always seem to turn out badly for them.

Why is that?

When they get an idea, instead of seeing both its positive and its negative aspects, they see only the downside. For them, there is no upside, no matter what the idea might entail in business or in their personal lives. They don't see the glass as half empty. The view the glass as bone dry. Because these people are so depressing, they are often kept out of the idea creation loop, and are kept from the management track upwards in the organization. While there are many examples of such people rising in the ranks, there are far more examples of positive people passing them by along the way.



Bad attitudes damage a career or a business venture. No one wants to around someone who is opposed to everything, negative about every idea, and little good to say about anything. The question for you, however, is how to utilize these people in a postive way for the better of the organization. While it might appear impossible on the surface, there are some benefits to be had from their idea of sober second thought.

When creating new ideas for the business, include the gloomy person in the planning and brainstorming session. Make it clear to them that all ideas, during the creation stage, are not up for criticism. The time for idea judgement will arrive later. Surprisingly, some of the most negative people will often provide the most novel ideas. After all, their life up until that point has been finding fault. They must have some concept of perfection hidden away as their guide.



When it's time for assessing the brainstormed ideas, they are at their best. Seeing the potential for doom and gloom is their chief stock in trade. With their hard questions, and mention of every conceivable disaster that could result, new ideas for preventing problems will be developed as well. Instead of an idea without a disaster plan, a double redundant backup system will now be in place. The negative force in the room has now become a partner in the planning and development of a new idea from start to completion. Perhaps even more importantly, fail safe plans are put into place in case things go horribly wrong.

Instead of avoiding the negative person in your company, use their natural talents for criticism in a productive and innovative way. Let them help you avoid the pitfalls that await some hastily developed plan.

No longer will that person be considered a problem employee, but rather an important member of the team. Their entire attitude toward their job and their life could be changed forever.

What could be more positive than that?

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Carnival of the Capitalists entries wanted!



Carnival of the Capitalists will be right here at Blog Business World on Monday, June 19.

As your host for the third time, I am looking for entries from all of you on business, marketing, economics, personnel, sales, management, creative thinking, personal finance, investment, and everything else business blog related.

All you need to provide is:

Your Name

Your Blog's Name

Your Blog's URL

The Post Title

The Post Permalink

The Post Trackback if applicable

A brief summary of your post

Deadline for entry: 2:00 pm, Sunday, June 18

That wasn't so hard was it?



If you wish to submit an entry to next week's, or any Carnival of the Capitalists edition, e-mail your entries to the new address:

cotcmail -at- gmail -dot- com

You can always use the handy entry form at Gongol.com where all you have to do is fill in the blanks. Talk about making it easy to be included!

Another brand new form for sending entries to all of the internet carnvivals is provided by The Conservative Cat. This is a great one stop entry drop, for all your blog post entries, for every blog carnival.

Note as well that Carnival of the Capitalists. has a new URL at http://thecotc.com/. Be sure to update your links and bookmarks.



If you are searching for new and exciting ways to expand your blog's readership, you should seriously consider sending a blog entry to Carnival of the Capitalists.

Merely being included in the company, of the first rate Carnival of the Capitalists contributors, will enhance the reputation of your blog.

The extra visitors sent to your blog won't hurt either!

The growth and staying power, of Carnival of the Capitalists, is beginning to catch the attention of people outside the blogging community. Each hosting, brings a fresh assortment of new readers, to the various blogs involved.

The visitors aren't only bloggers anymore.

Readership is expanding to include the mainstream media, various government and private organizations, many businesses, and other interested people from beyond the blogging community.

Many people are introduced to some tremendous blogs that they might otherwise have missed.

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Get those entries in by 2:00 pm on Sunday, June 18 to ensure their inclusion this week.

See you at the Blog Business World third hosting of Carnival of the Capitalists.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

 

Carnival of the Vanities 195 at Generic Confusion



The 195th edition of the longest running internet blog carnival, the well known Carnival of the Vanities appears at Greg's music, politics and eclectic blog known as Generic Confusion.

Carnival of the Vanities is the original collection of blog postings, assembling some of the best and wide ranging bloggers on the internet.

This week's Carnival of the Vanities entries include politics, literature, science,humour, technology, business, and sports.



I have an entry in this week's Carnival of the Vanities as well.

My post is titled "Business problems: Be prepared for change" where I discuss how there are few things that can shatter a person's view of the world like the discovery that all that was thought to be true no longer holds. To find out that everything one knows is wrong can be devastating news for many people. It doesn't have to be that way.



To participate in the Carnival of the Vanities, or any of the other blog carnivals, one of the easiest techniques is to use the all inclusive carnival entry form at The Conservative Cat.





Another participation option is to simply e-mail your entry to the new e-mail address:

cotvmail -at- gmail -dot- com

As I suggest elsewhere, hosting and contributing to the various internet blog carnivals is a great promotional idea for your blog.

Next week's edition of Carnival of the Vanities appears at the intellectual property and law blog (or blawg, if you prefer) known as Rethink (IP).

In the meantime, head on over to the Generic Confusion hosting of Carnival of the Vanities and enjoy the posts on offer.

You will almost certainly be introduced to some great new and interesting blogs.

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