Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tag Biz - Application on Facebook

I discovered this the other day - haven't had time to test drive it yet but I hear from business associates that it is worth looking at.

Tag Biz is designed to network for you saving you time and expanding your business network. Tag Biz automates the relationship networking and referral process by placing a custom business keyword tag cloud on your Facebook profile and on the Facebook profiles of your friends that are participating in your business network. You need to pick your keywords, invite your friends and then using Tag Biz you can build your own business network. Your business will automatically be listed in the Tag Biz business directory which has over 7000 listed businesses and in June 2008 received over 125,000 visits making it the largest and most active business directory on Facebook. Click here to sign up to add it to your Facebook page.

Let me know how it works for your business.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Commenting on Blogs

It is widely preached that commenting on other people's blogs is a good way to build a reputation as an expert and to drive some traffic to your own blog. However, even if you have your hot list of favourite blogs because they are relevant to your business you are almost certainly missing out on commenting opportunities.

So... what's to be done ?

Answer - download Comment Kahuna free of charge.

And what is Comment Kahuna ? it searches for blog posts that rank in Google for a particular phrase. Once you’ve typed in your keyword phrase it will locate up to 50 blog posts on the topic you’ve searched for that are ranking in Google.

Stumble Upon

For a really useful guide to using Stumble Upon to drive traffic to your website sign up for a series of F.R.E.E. lessons put out by Caroline Middlebrook. They can be found at Caroline is on Facebook and also has a very useful blog packed full of helpful suggstions and advice and refreshingly honest.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Social Media Espionage

I was taking the opportunity presented by a stomach bug to catch up on reading posts on my favourite blogs. This one from Rohit Bhargava entitled How to Avoid Social Media Espionage is worth reading. Your Facebook and Twitter friends and complete strangers could end up knowing enough to know what they should not know.I have copied the following verbatim:

Nearly 1500 people have a window inside my daily actions and thoughts by subscribing to my feed and following me on Twitter. Over a thousand can see updates on what I do through Facebook. There are Flickr photos from the events that I head to and I publish the cities that I will be travelling to on Dopplr. In a social media universe, living your life a bit in the open seems a bit unavoidable if you are really going to take advantage of all the social media tools you are signed up for.

Along with this openness, however, comes the danger of publishing too much information too publicly and unwittingly leading to the rise of social media espionage ... the act of obtaining information published on social networks or online presumed to be secret or confidential and using it for personal or business gain. Here's a step by step fictional example:

Entrepreneur and business owner tweets about heading to a meeting on the west coast from his home in Orlando with a friend (known to be his lawyer)

The lawyer updates Facebook independently about heading to a client meeting in Redmond, Washington

A business executive at Microsoft recently quoted in the media about having some "serious talks" with several companies in a certain type of business similar to what the entrepreneur does.

An engineer at Microsoft blogs about his efforts and cites a really innovative company out of Orlando

In four small updates from unrelated people, a smart social media surfer could get a very direct sense of a deal about to happen and some inside information unintended to be shared. It is only a matter of time before Social Media Espionage becomes a concern that some businesses will need to have a preemptive strategy to fight against. thinking

Posted at 12:18 AM June 30th 2008


What is RACI? At its most basic it is a way to examine a process step, task, activity, effort, decision or inspection to determine who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed.

RACI Benefits:

- Helps clarify activities and tasks in a process
- Determines ownership
- Clarifies roles and responsibilities
- Eliminates duplication of effort
- Identifies gaps ie steps in the process that are not owned
- Reduces misunderstandings
- Improves communication - make sure people are not 'left out'
- Provides a cross-functional view for all employees

R = Responsible - The person who performs the action/task.
A = Accountable - The person who is held accountable that the action/task is completed.
C = Consulted - The person(s) who is consulted before performing the action/task.
I = Informed - The person(s) who is informed after the action/task is performed.

Creating a RACI chart
Set up a matrix with major tasks/activities as the rows and key positions (or named individuals) as column headers. Cells are designated with an R, A C or I, as appropriate, to indicate the role an individual plays.

Analysing a RACI chart
A RACI chart should be analysed by looking at rows and columns. Here are just some things to look out for:

Columns- Each vertical column should have one Responsible, but can have more in some situations of shared responsibility.
- If a column has more than one R perhaps the task should be subdivided
- No empty spaces in a column - Does this person need to be involved in every step?
- No A's or R's - Should this role be eliminated from this process? Has the process changed over time where they may not be needed? Try to eliminate.
- many A's - Is this person a bottleneck? Can these tasks be shared or segregated?

- Too many A's in a row can be an indicator of impending confusion since no one will be sure who really had the task and each individual will probably have a different approach and/or expectation(s).
- No R's in a row - this is where gaps occur and a task may not be performed
- With too many R's in a row an overlap can occur.
- Completely empty row - Why was this function included? Are we missing including them when they should be? Can the function be correctly eliminated form the process?

- The number of Consults should be minimised so that the decision-making process is not slowed down
- If there are too many I's this can be adminsitratively onerous - possibly some people only need to be informed if exceptional circumstances occur.

Click here for an example of a RACI chart.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Build a blog with WordPress

Sorry blogspot !!! Perhaps not politically correct !! But...

I found the blog of Caroline Middlebrook yesterday and she has produced a great e- book on using WordPress to build a blog that can be monetised. Its downloadable and F.R.E.E.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Incoming Links

What is an incoming link ? each time you link from within your own site to another page of your site, it counts as a link. And each time you link from one of your sites to another, it's an incoming link.

Why are incoming links important ? Incoming links are one of the most important keys to good search engine rankings. You can’t have enough of them.

How can you check how many incoming links your website or blog has ? The easiest way is to use Link Type in your URL, then click - and you'll see links to each of the three major search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo). Click on each and all the internal links will be listed. Note how many the site has.

Check out your competitors by going to Google, key in one of the keywords from your own website. Note the UTLs for the top 5 websites that come up in the search and then type each one in turn into LinkPopularity. Note how many these sites have. Then you’ll know what to aim for.

Of course if you are already on the first page..... keep up the good work !!

Honesty is not lucrative...

... or is it ?

I bumped into a former colleague in town today and in response to his question about what I was up to I said not a lot as I had exited a mandate where there was a conflict of interest. He commented: "I admire your honesty but its not exactly lucrative is it ?". No but.... three buts.... as someone once said "My reputation is all I have and I must not damage it" and as the maxim goes "Honesty pays" - this client will come back to me and indeed has just hired me for a totally different mandate - Why ? because I was so honest. And the third but... I find that when one door closes another one opens and reveals a path that is very often a far better one to travel.

I would say honesty can be potentially lucrative....

Monday, July 21, 2008

Interior Design

For those of you wanting to sell your house and in need of someone to do your home staging or if you love your home but want to refresh it a bit then check out the website of one of my coachees :

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Elements of Sustainable Companies

I found this on - food for thought to all start-ups. According to Sequoia companies that do well have the following characterisitcs:

Clarity of Purpose
Summarize the company's business on the back of a business card.

Large Markets
Address existing markets poised for rapid growth or change. A market on the path to a $1B potential allows for error and time for real margins to develop.

Rich Customers
Target customers who will move fast and pay a premium for a unique offering.

Customers will only buy a simple product with a singular value proposition.

Pain Killers
Pick the one thing that is of burning importance to the customer then delight them with a compelling solution.

Think Differently
Constantly challenge conventional wisdom. Take the contrarian route. Create novel solutions. Outwit the competition.

Team DNA
A company’s DNA is set in the first 90 days. All team members are the smartest or most clever in their domain. "A" level founders attract an "A" level team.

Stealth and speed will usually help beat-out large companies.

Focus spending on what's critical. Spend only on the priorities and maximize profitability.

Start with only a little money. It forces discipline and focus. A huge market with customers yearning for a product developed by great engineers requires very little firepower.


TweetBeep: Like Google Alerts for Twitter!

Be the first to know who's twittering about you, your products, your company, or your website! gives you twitter alerts by email when a tweet matches your search! You can even check for mentions of your site, even if the link is shortened (like through TinyURL). And it's free!

TweetBeep is not affiliated with Twitter, but is a helpful tool for Twitter users. You can spend hours watching conversations or keeping up on RSS feeds so much simpler and time efficient to get an email with TweetBeep?

Click here to sign up !

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

If you use Gmail... some search tips

If you don't get a ton of mail, just typing in the words you're looking for usually does the trick. I can just type lisa in the search box and get all of the messages from my friend Lisa, southwest to bring up my ticket confirmations, or "bank statement" to help get my finances in order.

But the real power of Gmail search lies in search operators -- words that help modify your queries. Search operators work pretty much the same way within Gmail as they do for Google. So, if I want the email Lisa sent me with her flight information so I know when to pick her up at the airport, I type from:lisa SFO. Likewise:

A link from my co-worker Michael: from:michael http
A photo from my mom: from:mom has:attachment
That last chat I had with one of the Gmail product managers: keith is:chat
All messages from ebay that aren't outbid notices: ebay -outbid (the hyphen tells Gmail to return all of the messages that don't contain the word that follows it)
The messages in my inbox sent directly to me that I haven't read yet: to:me is:unread in:inbox

You can limit the scope of your search to a particular subject (subject:) or label (label:) as well. And you can get pretty fancy. Recently, I was trying to remember the date of my friend's April birthday. I always send her a birthday email, so I searched to:maya (birthday OR bday) after:2007/4/1 before:2007/5/1. It's the 19th.

Extracted from: How to find any email with Gmail search, posted by Arielle Reinstein, Product Marketing Manager, Tuesday, May 06, 2008 8:28 AM