Archive for July, 2006

The spirit of entrepreneurship is striving after all :)

New Nationwide Study Finds Nearly Half of U.S. Adults Eying Their Own Business

The new survey conducted by Harris Interactive was commissioned by Register.com, Inc. (Nasdaq:RCOM), a leading provider of global domain registration and Internet services, in tandem with Small Business Week and the Small Business Administration’s SBA Expo ’05 (April 26-28, 2005). Survey results show the strength of the entrepreneurial spirit in the United States.

The survey revealed several interesting results, including:

31% of U.S. adults have crafted a business idea
24% have researched his or her idea online; 26% plan to do so
21% have already formulated a business plan, and 27% anticipate doing so in the future
9% have already built a Web site; 17% plan to in the future
7% have sold product directly through online channels, while 13% plan to do so

“With almost half the nation’s population wanting to start their own business or supplement their income, this study speaks volumes about the health of the entrepreneurial spirit in America,” said Monica Hodges, general manager of Retail for Register.com. “It also underscores what a powerful force the Internet is for today’s aspiring entrepreneurs. Whereas the Web was once the turf of large enterprises, today it can help to level the playing field for small business owners.”

Full article here www.dnjournal.com/columns/smallbizboom.htm

The next breakthrough in online publishing…

You’d never expect another form of web publishing can herald a new era right after blogs. It’s not pervasive yet, but we can smell its breakthrough will come very soon.

Answer: Wikis

Essentially, wikis contain a core web technology which allows more than one person to access, edit and update a web page in real-time. You may have heard of Wikipedia. For example, a long time ago the very first person created a page on the biography of Tom Cruise, but his knowledge is limited. Subsequent people chipped in to contribute their own set of knowledge, thereby expanding the biography to great length.

Collaborative publishing enable people to contribute for the greater, common good. The point is, any form of collaborative technology or business model that is designed rightly and used precisely can create successful communities of trust to keep the momentum and participants going. Online networking sites like Friendster is another example. You can say Yahoo! Groups too, or some mailing list directories. These sites with an orientation towards communities and groupings naturally tend to draw lots of visitors (and thus business) to patronize them.

We want to introduce a new service called JotSpot. It is starting out in the do-it-yourself publishing arena with Wikis, but the long-term ambition is to organize groups of people and share information much more effectively than is possible via messy e-mail forwarding. There is a need to streamline and clear up the current inefficient way of online information distribution within organizations regardless of their size.

You can read this interview with Joe Kraus, a co-founder of JotSpot.

How To Boost Your PageRank Through Social Bookmarking

SEO professionals are constantly searching for ways to get sites ranked and indexed better. We all know that backlinks are “life blood” that get a site ranked higher in the search engines. The latest technique is using social bookmarking to get one-way backlinks.

What is social bookmarking?

Social bookmarking is utilizing a web service, where users create a public repository of bookmarks pertaining to sites that they like.

The concept of social bookmarking dates back to 1996 with the launch of itList, followed by services like Blink Search and others. But the popularity of Social Bookmarking increased with the advent of the most popular bookmarking site to date, del.icio.us.

To the uninitiated, these bookmarks may seem like geekspeak, but from an SEO standpoint these can build you a massive amount of backlinks which seem to originate from authority sites.

So how does one go about utilizing these social bookmarking services?

You simply sign up for an account and then post your URLs. Each post requires you to enter the URL, a title for the anchor text, a short description and of course the tags under which you want your link bookmarked.

A tag is a keyword which acts like a subject or category. Each user ‘tags’ a web page or image using his own unique tag. An image or web page may have multiple tags that identify it. Web pages and images with identical tags are then linked together and users may use the tag to search for similar web pages and images.

Most of these services give you a personalized bookmark page that has all your bookmarks displayed, and though when you start out the PageRank of your personalized page might be zero, it slowly builds up over time.

An additional important point worth looking at is that each tag page on the site has a PageRank which gets passed on to your site.

For example the page for the tag “advertising” has a PR of 3.

Below is a list of various services that you can utilize to boost your PageRank:

1) del.icio.us: This one of the most popular of all social bookmarking sites and has a huge PR of 8.

2) Digg: Digg, with PR of 7, is a technology news website where users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do.

3) Reddit, PR 7

4) Blinklist, PR 6

5) Simpy, PR 6

A great way to get visitors to your sites to bookmark your website is using Socializer. This service provides a small snippet of code that when added to your site creates a special link on your site. When any visitor clicks on this link they are provided with a large list of social bookmarking sites which they can add your site to.

To make it simple for blogs:

1. Use this button: Socializer
2. Created your custom URL: http://ekstreme.com/socializer/?url=http://my url&title=my title
3. Use the image and URL to create a bookmark to your own blog.

A WordPress plugin called Sociable also enables social bookmarking in case your website is a WordPress blog.

Thus, using social bookmarking you can improve the ranking of your website and gain valuable PR.

Why some companies succeed and some don’t…

Consider 2 companies: A and E. One of the companies lost its investors more money than virtually any business in the world. The other made its owner more money than virtually any company in the world.

Company A had thousands of MBAs working for it. Company E had none. Company A had all kinds of employee benefit programmes, stock options, pensions, the works. Company E never had stock options.

Company A had thousands of patents. Company E never invented anything. Company A’s product improved dramatically in this period, Company E’s product just sat.

Does anybody have any idea of which company was the great success, and why?

Both companies make products used everyday. They started as necessities, highly useful, nothing esoteric about either one.

Well, Company A was known as Company A because it was in agony. Company E was Company Ecstasy. Company A is American Telephone and Telegraph. At the end of 1979, it was selling for US$10 billion less than the amount the shareholders had either put in or left in the business.

If shareholder’s equity was X, the market value was X minus $10 billion.

Company E is Thompson Newspapers. It owns about 5% of the newspapers in the US, but they are all small ones. Its owner, Lord Thompson, started with US$1,500.

The telephone company had one problem: It kept tossing and plunging more money into the business. Lord Thompson, once he bought the paper in Council Bluffs, never put another dime in.

The newspapers just mailed him money every year. In fact, it was going to say on his tombstone that he bought newspapers in order to make more money in order to buy more newspapers. The idea was that essentially, he raised prices and raised earnings every year without having to put in more capital.

One is a marvellous business, the other is a terrible business.

Excerpted from a lecture by Warren Buffett at Notre Dame University in 1991. Source: www.tilsonfunds.com/BuffettNotreDame.pdf

Editor’s note: Wouldn’t it be nice if your tombstone says, “I bought e-books, software and websites in order to resell to make more money in order to buy more e-books, software and websites”?

On the other hand, if everyone’s so smart at selling, who’s going to create?

Can you tell blogs from ‘real’ news?

In case you haven’t heard about it, blogs will figure prominently in Yahoo! News search.

Some 750,000 blogs and other user-generated content will soon show up on Yahoo! News search pages, presented right alongside news from mainstream media. But is Yahoo! taking another big step in the blurring of lines between professional media and grassroots journalism?

The company is testing a new search tool that includes results from thousands of mainstream media outlets and a separate results column for blogs, its new My Web social search and pictures posted to the company’s Flickr photo service.

“Traditional media don’t have the time or resources to cover all stories,” says Joff Redfern, a director in Yahoo! Search. “We want to offer an alternative perspective on news outside of what the mainstream media has to offer.”

In a prepared statement, Neil Budde, general manager of Yahoo! News, says the company wants to fuse professional journalism with so-called citizen journalism to provide a fuller spectrum of content to its members. Still, Yahoo! is clearly sensitive to the dangers of blurring the lines between professional and amateur journalism.

Results from 6,500 of Yahoo!’s content partners (mainstream media) will be displayed on the left side of the page. On the right side, clearly demarcated, will be relevant blog-search results. Below that, MyWeb and Flickr results will be listed.

“We will make sure there is enough differentiation and demarcate where the [content] is coming from,” says Redfern. “Part of the goal here is to learn from consumers and publishers, he added, noting that blogs aren’t necessarily cannibalizing mainstream media. “Sometimes this stuff gets positioned as a zero-sum game, but it’s not.”

How will Yahoo! determine which search results to display in its blogs column? That’s a closely guarded secret. Yahoo! is loath to give content providers the tools that might help them game the system for better visibility. The company won’t discuss specifics but says that blog-search results are based in part on the popularity of the blogs within MyYahoo, as measured by a computer algorithm.

“If we’ve got more people subscribed to a blog, there is presumably more credibility to its reputation,” says Redfern.

That might be true, yet consider the Drudge Report’s huge numbers of readers but spotty accuracy.

Redfern says there is no human vetting of blogs, nor is there a specific minimum, in terms of page views or readers, that will admit a blog into Yahoo!’s index.

Initially, only blogs registered with the MyYahoo! RSS directory—there are about 750,000 today—will be searchable. Bloggers will soon be able to apply to Yahoo! Search to add their blog to its index, even if it’s outside the MyYahoo! universe.

Yahoo! has long been an aggregator of news content but has kept industry watchers and content partners guessing about its own ambitions since it hired Budde, a founding editor of the Wall Street Journal Online, to run Yahoo! News last November. Is the company planning to use its considerable resources to build its own news-gathering team?

For now, Yahoo! seems content to continue aggregating content from as many corners as possible. For example, it is also examining ways to search for podcasts and video.

Redfern would not discuss how the company plans to create revenue from its expanded search functions. But a bigger index of more diverse media types, regardless of their origin, inevitably means more ad dollars.

At the end of the day, ad revenue, not content, is what it’s all about.

News report by Lisa DiCarlo, extracted from forbes.com.

New book by Mark Joyner

“I’ve read every book on marketing printed in the last 150 years. This is the first breakthrough in over 50 years.” – Joe Vitale

Mark Joyner has written a new book, “The Irresistible Offer: How To Sell Your Product Or Service in 3 Seconds Or Less”. Mark explains such a powerful marketing concept in a detailed way that it makes the rest of your marketing fit into place…

Don’t take our word for it. Buy “The Irresistible Offer” and click here to claim your $397 worth of audio and software package.