Archive for the ‘Industry’ Category

Dear Companies: Run Your Business Like You Should Run Your Life

November 12, 2008

I am not one to tell people how they should lead their lives. I’d love to, but I don’t think I am quite qualified for that responsibility. The Dalai Lama, however can tell anyone whatever he wants. I was reading his 18 rules for living (which you can find below) and while I agree that would make anyone’s life more fufilling, all I could think about was how these rules, if followed by businesses, could lead to tremendous success, especially in a world that requires brands to be so transparent online.

Without explaining each and every point, I think a couple are worth emphasizing.

Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. This is crucial for a company to succeed. Of course, you need to evolve and accept new business practices, but do not lose your mission as a company. Consumers are smart and will notice if you are changing the core of your company.

Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. You have customers for a reason, they value your product or service, which makes you an expert to them. Share that information, everything does not have to be a trade secret. Your consumers will appreciate learning from you, and it will create a more personal connection to your relationship.

The Dalai Lama’s 18 Rules For Living Your Life

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson.
3. Follow the three Rs:

1. Respect for self
2. Respect for others
3. Responsibility for all your actions.

4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.
6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship.
7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.
8. Spend some time alone every day.
9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.
10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.
11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time.
12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past.
14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality.
15. Be gentle with the earth.
16. Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.
17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.
18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

Ok, I know what you are probably thinking, number 8 and number 10 are probably not the best business practices. I agree. These are points to just live your life by. Your business needs to stay transparent, saying nothing is rarely the best answer.

Gmail Video Chat – One More Step to Controlling the Internet

November 11, 2008

Google is rollling out its version of video chat via its gmail chat server today. The service allows g-chat users to connect with other who have installed the free plugin. Gmail video chat works very similar to iChat, with a small camera icon situation next to user-names of those with web-cam enabled computers. Currently, Google is in the process of rolling their new feature out to all Gmail users, so if you do not see if its not available yet, no fear, its coming soon.

What affect will this have on other similar services like Skype and iChat?

To me it seems like Apple and Google seem to be colliding more and more with their technology.  I am looking forward to seeing even more competitiveness between these two companies.

Check out the Google video introducing Gmail Video Chat.

This entry also appears on the MGH WOM blog.

Blogging: soooo 2004? – I’m not Convinced.

October 23, 2008

In a recent Wired Magazine article, the case is made that the days of blogging have long passed their prime. With flying accusations of cluttered blog space being overrun by professional bloggers, Paul Boutin argues that your blogging days should be over. In exchange for your witty takes on everyday life on your blog, he suggests relying on alternate media tools such as Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr to share your thoughts.

I, for one, am not about to jump ship on the blog-o-sphere. It is true though, that there is endless clutter in the world of blogging today. However, that doesn’t mean you should stop blogging, rather you should venture to offer better quality and more targeted content to your readers. By catering your blog to a specific niche market, instead of a blog about everything you have a better chance of standing out.

This is where tools such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc… can be a blogger’s best friend. I can not think of a better, more effective means of promoting your blog than reaching out to people who are already in your social circles. Chances are, these people share plenty of interests with you and would be interested in what you have to say.

Think of a blog like an octopus. Your blog is the body, and each social networking tool acts as one of the arms helping the octopus to thrive. It’s still worth taking the time to “craft sharp, witty blog prose” and then express yourself to your potential audiences on your social networking sites.

The days of blogging are not over. So go ahead, be as clever as you want to be. And of course, keep reading this blog!

This post can also be read on the MGH WOM Blog

Tip’d – The Financial Digg

October 23, 2008

I am going to break some news right now. Our economy is in poor shape! There I said it. Amongst all of the confusion and fear of a plummeting stock market and bail outs, people are searching for any information that will help them with their finances and give them an idea of the economic outlook. Enter Tip’d – the newest member of the famed social media club on the internet.On the surface, Tip’d appears to be just another Digg clone trying to capitalize on the exploding social media market. But, once you look a little bit deeper… who am I kidding, it still looks like another Digg clone. With that being said, I am not about to simply write Tip’d off. Tip’d is a niche social media site, “a community for financial news, ideas, and tips”.

Launched just 3 days ago, with the backing of Digg super user Muhammad Saleem, Tip’d currently has about 600 users and nearly 400 posts. The premise of the site is the same as any other social voting site. Users submit stories, which are then “tip’d” by other users who would recommend the story. Top rated stories are then “published” on the front page of the site.

The site shows promise, and could not have been launched at a better time considering the state of all things economic. The site is now facing the tough task of convincing people to use a social media site that still has a relatively low number of users in a niche market. Cue early adapters and their influence on their social networks.

This site is definitely something to check out and has already got me reading some more of the economic news that I tend to miss out on every day.

Feel free to add me as a friend on Tip’d – Username: Rwalters

This post can also be read on the MGH WOM Blog

No Need to Block YouTube Content Because of Copyright

October 23, 2008

I understand that most networks now have arenas on their own websites where users can go and stream programming, in some cases entire episodes the day after they are on TV.

But, I think it is about time that they stop worrying so much about their content being streamed through other popular websites such as YouTube. For example,  Last week’s episode of Saturday Night Live, which featured Tina Fey as Gov. Sarah Palin was a huge hit online, but within hours of upload, NBC’s attorneys were issuing take-down notices to YouTube.

In some cases, the exposure that these clips are getting on third party sites is even greater than what the actual broadcast received. Take for instance the recent episode of The Late Show with David Letterman which was supposed to feature Senator John McCain, but due to the budget crisis, and a McCain no-show, featured a 9 minute McCain slam-fest from Letterman. The video went viral on YouTube and now is pushing nearly 4 million views, over a million more viewers than the average audience for the broadcast of the show.

In addition to increased brand and show exposure online, it has been proven that videos posted on online video outlets contribute to increases in actual viewership of the show. In one example, after video clips were posted to YouTube, the The Late Show with David Letterman saw a 5% increase in viewers the very next day (see story). These numbers can obviously lead to more tangible successes.

I think CBS CEO, David Poltrack hit the nail on the head when he said, “When you have something the public really wants, the economic value in that is to come up with a way to satisfy the rights holders and serve the consumers.”

In my opinion, broadcast companies need to start playing the game a little bit more. For the most part, people are not re-posting these videos for monetary gains, but instead to share content that they think the rest of the world should be seeing, and maybe getting a gold star for posting the number one viewed video on YouTube for the day! Perhaps they should even look into enticing people to share this content. After all, how much is a video like this worth to the popularity of The Office? Just a thought.