Oct11
Make Sure Your Business Is Listed On BizWiki

Sponsored Review 

Bizwiki%20Logo.gifThere are will always be new ways to spread the word about your company and its services. In this new information age, the Internet is one of the most important ways to make sure people can find information about your organization.

BizWiki.co.uk “is a free directory of businesses that anyone can contribute to and edit,” where you can list your UK business. In keeping with the philosophies of Wikipedia and the Open Source Directory, BizWiki’s goal is to become the largest directory of businesses on the internet.

You may be asking, why should I submit my business information to BizWiki? First of all, it’s free for those listed and for those searching. Secondly, if someone is searching for a particular business or service, yours will be among those listed. If BizWiki is to become the largest business directory on the Internet, it would not be wise for you to be left out of their business search. Furthermore, submitting the listing yourself is a great way to be proactive in controlling the messages that contribute to your business or organization’s image.

 

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Mar14
Getting Beyond Twitter's Hype

Twitter is seeing increased buzz and bloggers are enthusiastically advocating it's use to change our "attention field".

What exactly is Twitter?  Liz Lawley explains it best:

Twitter at SXSWTwitter is a site that allows you to post one-line messages about what you’re currently doing—via the web interface, IM, or SMS. You can limit who sees the messages to people you’ve explicitly added to your friends list, or you can make the messages public.

 Think of it as a blend of blogging and instant messaging.  Recipients of the information need not be online to receive your update, like they do in instant messaging, and previous updates can be read, like in blogging.

My first thought, like yours, is probably "who wants that kind of information?"  I certainly don't need (or want) to know what my fellow Know More Media bloggers are doing at every moment.  On the other hand, it would be nice to see what my husband is up to.  He is a landlord and active in local politics, which means he spends his days running all over the place.  We usually connect several times a day with a "what are you doing" phone call.  Twitter is a faster, more efficient way of conveying that information to people who need it.

In a business setting, delivery personnel could use Twitter to alert he main office of deliveries or delays, without multiple phone calls.  People working on a deadline could immediately communicate the completion of a task.  

There are several users (and I'm not currently one) who have blogged "best practices" posts.  John Edwards is using it to update his presidential campaign.

At first I was a little suspicious of Twitter, but now I can see the use of it - especially within a closed, very targeted network of "need to know" people. 

Feb 6
Syncura P2P File Sharing Releases 1.5 with 300 Bugfixes

Syncura (originally reviewed in Beta here), the P2P file and folder sharing application has released Version 1.5 which, the company says, contains over 300 bugfixes. 

The new changes are substantial and include faster synchronization, resumed file transfer when a transfer is interrupted, and better useability.  Syncura's pricing is as follows:

Syncura Pricing

I'm not thrilled about the idea of an ongoing yearly investment, but each user license includes permission to install on up to 3 computers.  When compared to some other file sharing solutions, Syncura is a bargain.

 

CollectiveX Initiates Added-Feature Pricing

CollectiveX, the networking site designed for groups or families, has updated its pricing model.  Basic services, which includes a discussion forum, shared calendar, member profiles and shared files, are all free.  Additional services are $9.00/month per service and include:

  • collx6feb07.pngGroup email blast - emails to each member of the group are also saved as a forum discussion.  There is the ability to direct email blasts just to site managers.
  • Permission controls - Controls who can post to the calendar, start a new discussion in the forum and upload files
  • Add an additional 3Gb of storage
  • Use SSL for more security
Users can even format the look of the site to their own organization's needs for a one-time $99 fee (although it looks like this price may increase in the future). 
Jan29
Using Blogs Inside Your Company

There is a great post on the Attensa blog about using blogs within an organization:

Types of Blog Based Worksites

If you are running a consulting company, you might have following Worksite types:
Project Worksites - these are used to exchange information about a specific project
• Client Worksites - these are used to talk about a specific client
People Worksites - these are like internal resumes that show who is working on what
• Practice Worksites - these are used to communicate amongst a whole team
• Focus Worksites - the only thing that resembles a consumer blog, these are written by a small group and are like internal e-journals dedicated to specific technical topics

 This is a very important topic, because this is where blogging shows its real power and begins to replace email.

You don't have to be a large company to use this.  A one-person show could have a single blog that updates their clients on project process.  Each client would log in and only be able to see "their" posts and any posts intended for everyone. 

Jan16
Etiquette and Instant Messaging

Stowe Boyd's post about instant messaging etiquette struck a nerve with me.  I use IM quite a bit with my clients, or I have in the past.  Unfortunately, most clients have seen this as a way to contact me at any time (regardless of what I say my status is) and get angry when I'm not available.

These are ways to mis-use instant messages courtesy of Anne Zelenka:

Disregard any presence indicators your colleagues use such as busy or away.

Instant MessagingClients know I am usually in front of my computer all day.  I use messages like "Not available", "On a Phone Call", and "Away" when I need to concentrate on what I am doing.  During this time I do not respond to IMs.  A certain few of my clients will telephone me if I don't respond to an IM right away.  While I love to talk to clients, much of what I do requires undivided attention - remember, the project you are interrupting could be yours!

Never check whether a person has time to chat. If he’s online and reachable, he’s all yours!

Just a simple line:  do you have time to chat?  If I don't, please don't get offended - I always offer a time that we can get together online or on the phone to chat.

Don’t set your own presence indicators when you’re busy or away from the computer.

Instant MessagingHey, sometimes I forget to set my indicator.  If I don't answer, don't have a fit.  As Stowe says:  "...IMs can always be ignored, so people shouldn't get their feelings hurt if someone theoretically available really isn't, or doesn't want to be."

Expect that IM conversations will always be like phone conversations, with a definite goodbye at the end.  But when you do pause, expect instantaneous replies.

IM in the business world is intended for brief, need to know, information. When you find out what you need to know - go away.  

 

Jan15
iPhone

I like the idea of the iPhone - a device that combines a cell phone, iPod, camera and wireless internet connectivity - and I'm sure this type of device is going to be standard in the future.

Essential to the usability of the device is the full featured internet - what you see on your computer you apparently can access on the iPhone, including maps.

iPhone from Apple

While I would love to have an iPhone, I am going to wait.  Why?  I'd like to see the bugs worked out by other people before dropping big bucks on a new device.  If past behaviour is any clue, Apple will be innovating and releasing updated iPhones at a regular, steady pace.

Another reason for waiting?  I probably don't need all the functionality at this point.  When I lived in Seattle and spent a lot of time running around, it would have been useful.  Now that I spend 90% of my time working in my home office, the features are "nice, but not necessary".  However, I'm still going to hold off a year before replacing my laptop (which crashed before Thanksgiving).  If an iPhone type device can be used to access Exchange or Sharepoint, it might make sense rather than buying a new laptop.

Jan 9
Wind, Wind, Wind

We are having a heck of a time here in the Pacific Northwest.  Yet another storm system blew through Sunday, giving us high winds and knocking out services for most of Monday.  Some areas north of us clocked gusts at 127mph!  Ours were half that, but still enough to completely lift off the roof to our shop at a trailer park we own and smash it into a couple of trailers.  Luckily, no one was injured!

windy.jpg

Power returned just in time for the evening news, where we were informed that ANOTHER storm is expected today, with more extreme winds. After that the temperature will drop into the single digits, which I don't mind - cold weather doesn't affect my internet connection.

I'm not just thinking of you, Dear Readers.  Without the internet I find myself suffering from intense withdrawals.  I actually was driven to clean my bedroom closet yesterday!

So, time to tie down the cats and dog, download all of the feeds I can and look forward to another day offline!

Jan 2
TOES and Social Applications

Ken Leebow's acronym TOES, which he uses to describe why online video is so compelling, could also apply to social applications in general:

 

  • Time - Online video breaks two television paradigms: Online video can be 4-seconds or 4-hours in length. It doesn’t have to fit into neatly packaged 30 to 60-minute segments. It also operates 24/7: No repeats!
  • On-Demand - While everyone raves about their TiVo/DVR, functionally, those technologies are obsolete. There’s a severe disk capacity limitation. Um, the Internet’s disk capacity is infinite.
  • Embed - “Good” online videos go viral and can easily be embedded into anyone’s Web site.
  • Searchable - Online video is searchable. So, if I want a song by Bruce Hornsby, I just search for it!
toes.jpg
Dec27
Welcome Back!

Thanks to our Know More Media leaders, some of us have been taking a well-deserved holiday break.  We're back now, with some great Christmas booty (a 30Gb iPod) and rested fingers for blogging.

Dave Lakhani Power of an HourA small teaser - during my hiatus, I attended a MindJet webinar with author Dave Lakhani that covered using MindManager with Dave's Fearsome Focus to get things done.  Amazing webinar - you can see it in the MindJet archives

I've only put a very small part of Dave's suggestions to work so far and it has made a huge difference in the amount of things I can get done during a day.

 

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