Immerse yourself in Internet Marketing, mid-May in Dallas, Texas
After being involved with the Internet for decades, I have decided that there are basically two types of entrepreneurs I meet, those that think of the Internet as a cost center, and those that think of the Internet as a profit center. I'm also blessed to be involved in more than one group where there's a fairly high bar for inclusion and where everyone has already enjoyed a significant level of success, so I know a lot of people in both camps.
And after all these years, there's no question in my mind: to be successful you need to hang out with successful people and learn how they think.
You don't have to follow them - indeed, some of what my colleagues do to make money feels a lot more like squeezing blood from the proverbial rock and turns me off completely - but I have to admit that a few years ago when I went from having a Web site that cost me a few hundred per month to a site that was actually profitable it was quite an epiphany and did genuinely change my life.
And that's what I'll be talking about, along with a lot of inside scoop on findability, business blogging, focusing your business efforts, and much more, at two upcoming conferences in May, one in Dallas and the other in Chicago.
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Crisis management at Bausch & Lomb?
While it's clearly not quite as bad as the deliberate poisoning of Tylenol in the 1980s, the sudden withdrawal of Bausch & Lomb's ReNu eyedrops and product line present a similar corporate communications challenge, and one where it'll be very interesting to see how the company responds.
The facts are thus (from the Wall Street Journal):
"The Rochester, N.Y., company suspended of shipments of its ReNu with MoistureLoc contact-lens cleanser this week following a U.S. Centers for Disease Control review of 109 cases of an infection known as fungal keratitis. Some 26 of the cases were in people who used ReNu products.
"Bausch & Lomb's suspension of its ReNu contact solutions triggers a stock drop. The product that Bausch & Lomb stopped shipping contains MoistureLoc, a component designed to help lenses retain moisture. U.S. sales of the product were $45 million in 2005. Bausch & Lomb also sells other ReNu brands."
So far, Bausch & Lomb isn't managing this crisis very well at all.
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I wrote this entry five days ago!
If you've been working with a webmaster or company that manages your Web site, the comment that I wrote this entry five days before it appeared on the site isn't news. In fact, probably everything you do on your site has that sort of time lag, even if you don't want it to occur.
Wresting control of your site back into your own hands is a big win, obviously, so it can track exactly what's going on with your business or, as the case may be, in your life. But that has its own problem: if you know you're going to be out of the office but need something to show up on your site, how do you do it?
That's yet another reason why a weblog makes such a splendid content management tool. Given that best practices with blogging are to have at least two entries per week, a lot of people instantly conclude that they have to spend two days each week writing, but that's not true at all.
In fact, I'm writing this a week in advance to make just that point.
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TiVo misfires, while Apple has a banner day
With a huge cell phone conference, CTIA, just starting up in Las Vegas, I am up to my ears in press releases. Most of them are pretty boring stuff or, worse, so terribly written and rife with acronyms and industry jargon that I don't even know what they're about, but one that caught my eye was from Action Engine Corporation.
Their release might have caught my eye, but when I realized what they've done, all I could feel was a great sense of disappointment. Here's what the release stated: TiVo Mobile Powered by Action Engine.
TiVO Mobile? Sounds like a wicked utility, sounds like something that would let me watch pre-recorded programs on my cell phone, right?
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I'm fed up with the state of RSS readers
I'm somewhat of a skeptical early technology adopter, I think. I'm always interested in seeing what's new, but it has to pass either my "what's in it for my business" or "what's in it for my customers" filter before I'm interested in adopting it. So I realize that I'm not exactly the poster blogger for the "Web 2.0" phenomenon. Heck, I'm in the Microsoft Windows Vista beta group and still haven't installed the OS on any of my computers!
More and more, though, I'm recognizing how dissatisfied I am becoming with RSS and, in particular, with RSS readers. The promise of being able to assemble my own personal newspaper just isn't being realized and I fear that the entire world of RSS is starting to slowly sink beneath the waves of geekdom and bad interface design.
The tip of the proverbial iceberg is duplication of content, but as someone who has stood on stage and argued about the irrelevance of the "partial versus full feed RSS" debate with people like Robert Scoble, I have to say that I'm starting to see a much more insidious problem...
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