Next up: Google Shopping?
I've just spent much of the last few days discussing Google with a sharp reporter from Fortune Small Business. We spent most of our time talking about strategic directions for the company, asking questions about how free wi-fi, Open Office via Sun Microsystems, and the Google toolbar all fit together (and, yes, they do), but what's most stuck in my head is trying to figure out the answer to the question:
Froogle + Google Base = ?
For a long time I've paid close attention to Froogle, Google's shopping engine, waiting for the company to put some energy into really making it a full member of the Google family. But still, even with yet another facelift, it languishes and isn't discussed or used very much, as far as I can see. And yet compared to just about any other online "shopping engine'", Froogle has two fabulous things going for it from a vendor's perspective: inclusion in Froogle is free and Froogle = Google.
Continue Reading "Next up: Google Shopping?"
Interview With Experts: What's so cool about del.icio.us?
I'll admit it. I don't really get what's so compelling about the Del.icio.us shared bookmark service that has some of my colleagues raving and acting as evangelists for the company. Rather than live in ignorance, however, I decided to ask a few fans for their perspective, and am pleased that three true experts stepped forward.
I sent the same questions to Jeremy Zawodny (well-known member of the Yahoo! team and author of the interesting Zawodny's Blog), Stuart Maxwell (who is busy building The Louveture Project and running Seattle Real Estate Talk), and Jeff Barr (Web services evangelist at Amazon.com and founder of Syndic8.com, an RSS aggregation service).
Q: What IS Del.icio.us, and why is it so popular with some people in the blogging world while others have no idea what it is and how it works?
Continue Reading "Interview With Experts: What's so cool about del.icio.us?"
Your invitation to attend my upcoming business blogging workshop
[Executive Summary: BlogSmart one day hands-on business blogging workshop in Denver, Colorado, 10 December. Limited seating, please use code "blog" to save $25 on registration: register now at blogsmart.com]
Most of you reading this weblog (or its RSS feed) are very focused on maximizing your market communications channels and the future of business, but few of you have taken the plunge and learned how to create, maintain and build a truly world-class business blog. You know that you should, though, because you know that a well written weblog can really help you take your business or practice to the next level.
I've been in the trenches figuring all of this out for years now, and am now a nationally recognized expert on business blogging, with two of my weblogs in the latest Feedster 500 and frequent links from top sites like BusinessWeek, Fortune and even the BBC. Indeed, not a week goes by without a media query for an interview, on air or off. And all without a dime of marketing or advertising, just a steady focus on sharing my views and perspective on important business and industry discussions.
If you are interested in visiting beautiful Colorado as we move into winter (and yes, there's already some great skiing in the Rockies this year) then you'll be glad to learn that I'm offering a full-day business blogging workshop in downtown Denver on December 10th, and I'd love for you, my faithful reader, to join me!
There's limited seating at the venue (in fact, there are
Now, quickly, while there's still space left, register online for this workshop at Blog Smart.com.
Here's a bit more about the workshop, if you're still unsure whether it'd be the right step for your company...
Continue Reading "Your invitation to attend my upcoming business blogging workshop"
Rethinking Online Professional Networking
I recently had the chance to read through colleague Michael Pokocky's essay on The Collaborative Concentric Networking Model and when I chatted with him about it, was pleased to have him say I could reproduce it here on my weblog for others to read. If you are involved with online networking at any level, I think you'll find this a fascinating and thought-provoking read...
I have come to the conclusion, that in general, nobody really knows what networking really is. In fact it means different things to different people; and add to that, the multitude of current, and new networking communities available to choose from , and this is a recipe for disaster for both the individual and the community portals that are available to everyone.
People get stuck because they are overwhelmed by choices; choices introduced by trusted friends, which makes it even more chaotic, because at the end of the day, one finds themselves members of several virtual communities, and over the long term the truth comes out that most people are discouraged and this leads to the feeling that they are spending most of their time managing their networks instead of getting things done.
Continue Reading "Rethinking Online Professional Networking"
Is Open Source Hindering the Development of Commercial Software?
There are many facets to the Sony BMG Rootkit situation that are worth pondering, but I have to admit that I've been intrigued by one particular facet of the recent fracas: Sony's apparent use of open source application code in its digital rights management "worm". As far as I can glean, part of the Sony Rootkit code comes from Mike Cheng's Open Source project LAME, which is a "GPL'd" MP3 encoder. (GPL used to be "GNU Public License" but now means "General Public License", as explained at Wikipedia)
Sony's partner that built the rootkit is clearly in the wrong and violated the GPL license agreement under which LAME is released to the general public. That's been implied in various articles (for example, Did Sony Rootkit Pluck from Open Source) but no-one that I've seen has come out and said that Sony was wrong, that its violated the license, and that Sony needs to make amends of some sort.
And so we come to another company, a smaller firm that also says that it misunderstood the General Public License to mean that the software was freely available to modify and alter as needed for a freeware product: Vbuzzer. If you pay attention to this weblog, you'll have already read about my positive experiences with Vbuzzer, a VOIP solution for home and office (see VOIP for Small Business).
Continue Reading "Is Open Source Hindering the Development of Commercial Software?"
Further Discussion about the GM FastLane Blog
There's been a fascinating variety of commentary and feedback from bloggers and media folk about my recent article on whether the General Motors FastLane Blog is becoming defensive in tone as General Motors faces tougher and tougher times as a corporation.
Read about it here, then come back: GM FastLane Blog Gets Defensive as Company Withers Away
The main point I was trying to make was that if business blogs are run by marketing and PR departments, we'd quite reasonably expect them to either completely ignore corporate news or gloss over it as if it isn't an issue at all, but if the blog is a "new" and "unique" form of marketing communication, as some claim, then it should be free from the fetters of marcom and PR and be able to tell its own tale. Indeed, I believe that all business weblogs must have a position in this regard, one selected prior to problems or crises emerging (consider Sony's Perception Problems) and causing either the company to ignore the problem or flail and come across rather unprofessionally.
Debbie Weil took me to task on my criticism of GM's FastLane Blog, however, saying that she thought I should cut them some slack because blogging is a new medium and they're just figuring it out. My response was that GM is a huge company with a long history of market communication and unless you truly believe that blogging is totally unique and novel (which I don't) then saying that they need time to learn it is like saying Boeing needs a little more time to learn how to write press releases.
Let me take you, dear reader, on a whirlwind tour of how other bloggers and media folk have responded to my commentary about the GM FastLane Blog...
Continue Reading "Further Discussion about the GM FastLane Blog"
GM FastLane blog gets defensive as company withers away
It's tough times over at General Motors right now as the events of the world push our gas prices up and change the very face of the automotive industry. Pay attention and you'll see that GM is really flailing as it tries to figure out how to stay relevant and competitive in this new ecosystem.
Reuters is reporting this morning that GM To Cut 30,000 Jobs, just another sign of the impending corporate apocalypse in Detroit. Of course, the proverbial three horsemen are likely to be intercepted by the government (think Chrysler and its experience with financial woes) but it's still an extremely difficult phase in the life of General Motors and particularly its executive team.
Which is why it's darn interesting to read its GM FastLane Blog: GM is far more involved with the blogosphere than any other automotive company.
But how's it doing in terms of the real story about the company and its response to the evolution of the industry? Not so well...
Continue Reading "GM FastLane blog gets defensive as company withers away"
Three must-read books: Beyond Code, The Virtual Handshake and Pushing Water Uphill
There are tens of thousands of books published every year, which makes it darn hard to figure out what's actually worth your time and attention. I have the same problem, even in the smaller confines of business books: what's worth it, and what should be skipped? Certainly I don't believe you can rely on the best seller lists to separate the chaff from the wheat, because what you think is good is likely different to what I think is good.
That's why I try to cast a wide net when it comes to new books on the market, and that's also why I'm pleased to count many book authors as friends and colleagues, allowing me to receive review copies of many different titles, including the three that I'm recommending today. Are they right for you, dear reader? Well, read on and you'll be able to decide for yourself...
Continue Reading "Three must-read books: Beyond Code, The Virtual Handshake and Pushing Water Uphill"
Are you heading to the Affiliate Summit in January?
I'm booked to attend the upcoming Affiliate Summit 2006 in Las Vegas early in January of next year, which makes sense since I'm actually going to be offering an information and insider-tip filled workshop on Exploding Your Business with Blogging! :-)
Here's how I describe the workshop:
Learn from a top-rated business blogger exactly what the blogging phenomenon is all about and how a weblog can help you gain control of your Web content, improve your search engine ranking and sales. This workshop will help you identify topics you should write about on your blog, how to identify and interact with other bloggers in your market segment, and how to write smart, effective blog entries and comments on other weblogs that will gain you attention and links. You�ll learn about all of the following:
• Why is your home page obsolete?
And much more, including dozens of blogging insider tips and techniques that will help you transform your business into a powerhouse in the new, content-based Web.
Continue Reading "Are you heading to the Affiliate Summit in January?"
Colorado Business? Maybe you need an "Extreme Makeover"
I just can't say enough good about Larry Nelson's great idea spun out of the recent Colorado Tech Week for an "Extreme Makeover for a High-Tech Business". Inspired by the spate of reality shows that people seem to enjoy so much, w3w3.com Media Network will choose a Colorado-based high-tech company and pour professional resources into it with the intent of helping the company leapfrog directly to its next stage of development.
In a graphic, here's how to think of the process:
Image © 2005 by w3w3 media network
The company to be selected must be at least five years old, in the high tech industry, have a meaningful revenue stream and be poised to go to the next level.
Continue Reading "Colorado Business? Maybe you need an "Extreme Makeover""
Etiquette for LinkedIn and the Professional Networking World
My friend and colleague Liz Ryan of WorldWIT recently wrote a piece that she entitled Ten Tips: LinkedIn Etiquette that I thought was excellent and wanted to share it with my own audience. Herewith, therefore, her ten tips for professional networking online...
After a decade (and for some of us, longer) online, we know all about Netiquette, right? Don't use all caps in your subject line (or, God forbid, the body of an email message). Don't send attachments to people who don't know you well. Don't we know pretty much everything there is to know about etiquette online?
Well, maybe not. Online networking sites like LinkedIn can challenge our ideas about what constitutes white-lace-handkerchief behavior online. In fact, if we've learned that it's important to be polite when using email, it's even truer in the social networking sphere. Here are ten tips for establishing yourself as a well-mannered online networker, when using LinkedIn:
Continue Reading "Etiquette for LinkedIn and the Professional Networking World"
The Denver Post almost gets it right with YourHub.com
I'd like to think of myself as someone who is friendly towards what us bloggers call "mainstream media" (or MSM), and I am certainly on good terms with writers from a number of different newspapers and magazines.
As a result, I sometimes am asked to check out new features or online areas on MSM web sites, so it was no surprise when Travis Henry of The Denver Post invited me to check out their new YourHub.com site.
The concept is certainly interesting: their plan is to feature the best of the community blog articles in an every-Thursday print supplement in both the Post and sister newspaper The Rocky Mountain News, offering considerable offline visibility for the best online writers.
But there's a flaw in the entire YourHub concept, a flaw that I think is a complete show-stopper, but they believe is just something to get to, when they can...
Continue Reading "The Denver Post almost gets it right with YourHub.com"
Blogs for Damage Control
One of the many mailing lists I'm involved with is the Linkedln-related list Linked In Bloggers. A primary focus of the group is professional networking, of course, but since it's a smart group of professionals, our conversation sometimes wanders a bit further afield.
The latest topic we've been exploring is Sony Corporation and its apparently surreptitious attempt to automatically install a digital rights management system onto computers via Sony BMG music CDs. Not only is the unauthorized installation of software reprehensible, but there's still an active public debate about the entire topic of digital rights management (or DRM), making Sony's move doubly disturbing. This incident also calls into question our belief that music CDs are benign information devices, but that's a more theoretical discussion.
The specific question isn't whether Sony should have done this or not, it's how Sony should do damage control in this situation, in particular, should someone from Sony be blogging or getting involved with other blogs? It should be no surprise that many in the blogosphere are abuzz with the debate, including my colleagues in LinkedInBloggers...
Continue Reading "Blogs for Damage Control"
Intelligent Design, Evolution and the Tech Industry
In the last week or so, highly connected members of the popular professional networking site LinkedIn have complained vociferously about waves of invitations to join competing networking site Doostang.
According to Mareza Larizadeh, co-founder of Doostang, the problem was that their utility that let people import their LinkedIn connection network was buggy and the excessive invitations sent were due to that improperly tested software subsystem.
Be that as it may, what most intrigued me about the discussion that ensued was how eerily it paralleled the societal debate on evolution versus so-called intelligent design. Upon reflect, I believe that the hype surrounding Web 2.0 also falls into just this same category.
Continue Reading "Intelligent Design, Evolution and the Tech Industry"
Listen up: A couple of recent podcast interviews
In case you haven't bumped into me at a conference, workshop or other event, I like talking about business, marketing communications, and, of course, business blogging. :-) It's no surprise then that I am often invited to radio programs, teleseminars and even podcasts to chat with the host or hosts about these topics and whatever else may come up.
In the last month or so I've been involved with a couple of these that I'd like to mention and point you towards, of varying length but all worth listening, I hope!
Continue Reading "Listen up: A couple of recent podcast interviews"
Staying in touch with the Colorado entrepreneurial community
Over the last few months I have spent a lot of time thinking about the differences between professional networking in an entrepreneurial hotbed like Silicon Valley and the networking opportunities available in the Denver/Boulder area of Colorado.
And yes, there's certainly a difference between them. When I was based in Silicon Valley, there wasn't a week when there weren't four or five great events going on, ranging from lectures at one of the research facilities (I recall that Xerox PARC had lots of good speakers) to evening events sponsored by Silicon Valley Association of Startup Entrepreneurs.
Here in Colorado, however, despite the best efforts of organizations like CTEK Venture Centers, the daVinci Institute, and the invaluable publicity efforts of w3w3.com, it's very rare that there's a good networking event.
Continue Reading "Staying in touch with the Colorado entrepreneurial community"
The Latest Issue of "Dave Taylor's Author News"
I send out mailings with the latest information on my books, speaking gigs, conference schedule and other opportunities for you and I to communicate, and another one just went out earlier this evening. Here's a copy of the message...
Hello everyone and welcome to another of my very sporadic issues of Dave Taylor's Author News!
Right off the top, I'm delighted to announce that all the behind-the-scenes delays have been overcome and my next book, a trade business title co-authored with IBM Senior VP Linda Sanford, is scheduled to come out next month from Prentice-Hall. It's called Let Go To Grow: Escaping the Commodity Trap and the very first wave of testimonials are quite positive:
"Let Go To Grow is a must-read for executives who are trying to use strategy and management practices to drive innovation..."
"Sanford and Taylor carefully analyze the global marketplace and offer a progressive new strategy for transforming an underperforming business... A pioneering blueprint for the 21st-century business."
Continue Reading "The Latest Issue of "Dave Taylor's Author News""
Managing my time with Executive Book Summaries
I'm trying an experiment for the next few months, rather than feeling powerless as more and more books arrive on my doorstep, just to languish in my "to read" pile as I find more and more of my time consumed by clients and family. I've signed on for Soundview's popular Executive Book Summaries program and I'll be able to download 20 minute summaries of two or three top business books each month.
This month, the selections are The Enthusiastic Employee, The Growth Gamble and Management Wisdom from the New York Yankee's Dynasty. This is a great selection for me because I wouldn't ordinarily pick up any of these three choices, so the summaries are expanding my horizons in a quite painless manner. Next month, the selections are The Next Global Stage and Winning With People, both of which sound terrific.
As a writer, though, I'm wrestling with the whole idea of third party summaries of longer works. How would I feel, I ask myself, if someone had a 15-page summary of my latest book, Growing Your Business With Google?
Continue Reading "Managing my time with Executive Book Summaries"
Elsewhere in my
Latest Entries at
The Business Blog