Developing Business with Social Media Marketing

Twitter is an online social networking and  microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, known as “tweets”

 
 

“the qualities that make Twitter seem inane and half-baked are what makes it so powerful”

Jonathan Zittrain, Professor of Internet at Harvard Law School

 
 

Twitter for Companies

According to Forbes, US companies love Twitter, and many of them have frequently updated Twitter accounts. European companies, however, rarely do and many European CEOs don’t even know what Twitter is.

Translated, it pretty much means the following: US companies have PR and media experts who told their CEOs “You thought that blogging was stupid, and look where it’s at now. You don’t want to miss the Twitter train, because Twitter is the next blog.” European companies either don’t have these people, or they simply don’t care.

Loic Le Meur, founder of Seesmic, told Forbes that “if European CEOs think it is a waste of time to Tweet, it is arrogant and a wrong step in their company’s strategy. Twitter is an efficient way to get closer to your clients.”

 
 

Use and Social Impact

Twitter has been used for a variety of purposes in many different industries and scenarios. For example, it has been used to organize protests, sometimes referred to as “Twitter Revolutions” and which include the 2011 Egyptian revolution, 2010-2011 Tunisian protests, 2009-2010 Iranian election protests and 2009 Moldova civil unrest. The governments of Iran and Egypt blocked the service in retaliation.

And in May 2008, The Wall Street Journal wrote that social networking services such as Twitter “elicit mixed feelings in the technology-savvy people who have been their early adopters. Fans say they are a good way to keep in touch with busy friends. But some users are starting to feel ‘too’ connected, as they grapple with check-in messages at odd hours, higher cellphone bills and the need to tell acquaintances to stop announcing what they’re having for dinner.”

By Rusdi, Rusdi


Project Management – Can Software Solve all of our Problems?

The right Project Management Software

When you search the web for information about Project Management Software (PMS), you’ll find plenty of Software providers that offer, as they say, the best program on market. Surely, all of them aim to implement something extraordinary and matchless in their application but that extra feature shouldn’t be the decisive argument for a purchase. Rating agencies like TopTenReviews and forums like Bright Hub zero in on discussing software in order to provide potential customers with a good resume of the respective program. To eventually understand these summaries and to find the program that suits most, it’s inevitable to acquire a deeper knowledge of the problems that may occur and to know what project management software does to solve or minimize the issues. Project Management Software 2

There are far more than a hundred problems that are likely to occur and cause a project to fail, if certain aspects are neglected or even excluded when starting a new project. I, personally, set priorities, only writing about the potential problems that I consider to be the most significant ones. If we structure the process of a project, we can simply use 3 time periods: Firstly the “preparation-period” when requirements, time frames, objectives and steps are set and evaluated. Secondly the actual “execution” and lastly the “revision” of the project, when success is evaluated through a nominal-actual comparison.

1)

Prepare your Project carefully! Project Management Software

Steve Yager, CEO Artemis International, claims that the first problem that may cause a project to fail is the fact that it can’t begin on time and has vague requirements. To avoid these issues, he suggests to start the project, no matter what’s additionally going on, even if you only start out by breaking down tasks. “The project scope must be narrowed enough at the outset to provide a clear path to the end. Before moving forward, project managers should establish reasonably stable metrics”, Yager writes. He admits that project management software can easily help you by enabling you to create a schedule and set priorities. Based on your needs these programs even provide you with realistic projections to help you manage your resources.

The  Strategic Alignment

Managers want to make sure that they start the right project. Lack of strategic alignment is another indicator for failing. When you’ve reached a point where your current project does not anymore correspond to the objectives you’d set, it’s already too late because you’ve been investing tons of time and money. Yager therefore recommends to ensure that “each project charter contains and explains the rationale for undertaking a project in the context of the current business drivers of the organization.”

2)

 Don’t´Ignore First Stirrings of Failure

When the execution of the project has been started, it’s still likely to fail if you don’t pay close attention to approaching disasters. If there is any sign of failure, you may want to take it seriously and start trying to fix the issue instead of ignoring. Software, in this respect, helps you by reminding you when you’ve reached limits of your resources. It also illustrates the amount of days you’re lagging behind your set time.

 How Does PMS Accelerate the Process?

James Clear addresses an additional issue. Slow communication. If you’re working for a client, an unsteadily communication may result in stagnation of the project. This might be due to the contact’s low interest in the project or communication issues. Project Management Software therefore allows you to easily share the progress with whoever you want and enables you to quickly communicate within the team or with outsiders. In consequence of this, Yager adds that it’s vitally important to make sure that other member can smoothly take over tasks in case of absenteeism. Applications enable managers to post tasks and member to accept or refuse them.

3)

Learning from mistakes!

After your project has finished, managers are expected to revise and evaluate the process and the project in general. The Natural Resources Management and Environment Department gives a clear statement referring to the evaluation:” The consensus is that evaluation, like monitoring, is important because it allows lessons to be learned, leading to improvement in future projects.” The feedback options are a efficient and easy way to revise your project and get feedback by the client, management etc. The project management software contains special columns to give feedback, which should already be used during the project to make sure you’re on the right track. In the end software gives you a clear view on how well you’ve used all of your resources to, as NRMaED writes, learn from it.

Is PMS my Savior?

Project Management Software if definitely a great way to help you manage and organize your project but it’s based on your commands, as a1tasks post on their blog:” Since project management software does not possess intelligence of its own, it cannot be expected to solve all problems.”

So it is still up to you to be aware of the problems related to Project Management and to not let them destroy our project!

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Cell Phones at Work


While I was writing my last post on “Why should companies give cell phones to their employees?”, I ask  myself about the pros and cons of using a personal cell phone to do some office work.

Going through this idea I did some research that I would like to introduce you, so let´s start off  with the positive side of this matter.

ADVANTAGES

  • The biggest advantage of having a mobile phone is that it becomes much easier to contact you, it doesn´t matter if you are on your way to work stuck in traffic, or if you just left for a business trip, your clients and colleagues will always be able to contact you anytime.
  • In the event of a critical problem, it can be communicated to you and a decision taken, without you having to be in the office.
  • They allow a whole network of employees or offices to communicate with each other no matter where they are.
  • Effective use of mobile phones can help improve both employer to employee, and employee to employee communications.
  • They are also so common that nowadays everybody expects you to have one.  Especially if your job takes place a lot outside the office, people will expect to have another number to contact you.
  • A mobile phone gives you more “time” to communicate, an important conversation can take place anywhere like for example on a train, or on your way to the airport if you are leaving for a business trip, which puts less restrictions on time.
  • It also allows you to confirm and check details quickly, or to get that information you might forgot before an important meeting.
  • It allows you to check your appointments.  You can communicate with an employee or with the person you intend to meet at any time to confirm.
  • Now because of the advance of technology, you can use your cell phone as a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), where you can set reminders and notes in the same way as a paper organizer.
  • With cell phones you can get also emails and your are able to answer them right away.

DISADVANTAGES

  • One of the disadvantages of being accessible from anywhere and at any time is that you might get calls outside of business hours.
  • Another disadvantage might be that if a customer sees a mobile phone number as the only source of contact, then most will automatically assume that the business is small and has no office or resources.
  • The biggest fear many employers have over using a mobile phone for business is that the cost will be so high as to damage their business, because there is a risk that some employees could misuse the phone, raising bills massively.
  • Some business charge their employees for the non-business calls, so they make sure bills charges are kept as low as possible.

These are the general pros and cons of using either a personal or a business cell phone at work.

In my next blog post I will go more deep into if companies should or shouldn´t let employees to use their personal Smartphones at the workplace.

Making Money with Piracy

In the Power of YouTube and the Money of YouTube I blogged about the legal way to make money in the internet. The possibility with videos and online marketing.

But we all know there is a “dark side” of the internet.

“The Piracy” or the “Black Market” Sites.

Here you can find Movies, Series, Music, Games etc. and they are all for free. A huge pain in the a** for all the Entertainment companies.

By the way I stumble about a study of the Swiss government about this subject, that i found quit interesting / funny.

But that should not be my topic for this blog post. This blog post is about a question my little cousin raised, a question that I never really sort about.

Why do they make that? Why people offers illegal data for free? Why risking been charged or anything like that?

Ellen Seidler wrote a nice and explaining blog post about this subject.

So what is the purpose?

In Ellen Seidler opinion this whole piracy is driven by one thing

“…the thing that has motivated mankind since time began—the desire to make money.  “

And she states that with some good evidence.

Let me explain what I have learned from her blog post and with self experience. If you want to download a file on one of these special sites, easy to find on Google etc., you will always be getting a link to a file hosting service like Filesonic, Fileserve, Rapidshare, Mediafire, 7x.to, etc.

This hoster provides you than with the chosen file, which is called, if it is illegal, Warez.

But where is the money?

And now we come to the question >Where do they get money from?<

If you are an Uploader to one of this file hosting sides, you get money from downloads. So simple is that.

Ellen Seidler adds to that “Simply put, the more downloads you generate for your file, the more money you earn.”

But, why?

Because this hosting sides depends on traffic to make money. And with this money “reward” for the uploaders, they want to encourage their user to share their files.

So how do they turn traffic into money?

I will give you one simple word Advertising. With that they make the big money.

They also generate money from offering premium accounts, in which user has high-speed and parallel downloads and so on for a fee.

And that all brings me back to the sides, which provide this links. These sides are often relate to one of this file hoster, so that they promote, by often use their site to store warez contend.

This sides make also money, like the hosters, throw their advertisement.

Please feel free to leave comments, if you want to know more about this subject or if I let something out that raised your interests.

A Kind of Revolutionay Application!

On my last post I talked about why are companies giving cell phones to their employees.  This time I want to introduce you a cool application which could come handy while working.

BUMP

The application I want to show you is Bump, an application created by Bump Technologies for Apple iOS and Google Android operating systems.

This nice application allows two smartphone users to gently bump their phones together to exchange your personal contact information or from someone else, photos, music, calendars, apps, social networks and more.

This is one of the most popular free app of all times. And how does it really works?, Well before bumping phones, each user confirms what he or she wants to share with the other user, and within 5 – 10 seconds confirmation messages appears on your screen for you to accept, then automatically you receive the sent data on your phone and vice versa.

I found this app interesting because you don’t need a keyboard to type in the name and number of the other person, you just bump your smartphones together and done.

The idea for Bump was conceived by David Lieb, he felt that while entering contact information into his iPhone, the process could be improved, and that´s how Bump Technologies was founded.

For a small tutorial on how to use Bump look at the video.

The foundation

Wanting to dig into the reasons of creating an application like this one, I look up for more information about the creator.

On xconomy.com I found an interesting story about how David Lieb conceive the idea for Bump.

The idea was born during his first week at the University of Chicago´s Booth School of Business in 2008.  He found himself meeting dozens of new classmates and typing their names, phone numbers, and email addresses into his phone´s address book, one by one.  He thought this procedure was a waste of time and he needed to do something to fix this.

This obsession with the mobile-device data transfer problem cause eventually him to dropped out his studies at his business school.   Before he quits studying he won together with a classmate $25,000 in the school´s New Venture Challenge entrepreneurship competition for Bump – a software they created to instantly send data between any two iPhones.

After investing a lot of time and dedication, they create what is the actual Bump now. They just wanted to create something easy to use, that would save time to everyone.  “There´s no chance my mom could figure out Bluetooth, but if I told her just to bump her phone, she can do that”, explains Lieb.

David Lieb wants to “solve people problems in the real world”, that´s what he expects with his company, to create and improve applications to make people lives easier, according to an interview with Julie O´Dell at the VentureBeat studios.

I believe this is quite an useful application that was created to save us some time and make our lives a little bit easier, sadly only for those who have an Android or an iPhone.

Google competing with Amazon Prime

Amazon Prime is  a quite popular service for Amazon customers to order goods easily and get them delivered in just one day after the booking.

Obvious reasons

Internetworld points out that Google conceded about 40 percent of revenue by dealers. Scot Wingo, working at e-commerce provider ChannelAdvisor, assumes that Amazon Prime records a growing client base, which cannibalizes the sales of Google.

Therefore, more and more customers save the visit to Google and search as well as order directly on Amazon instead.  Amazon Prime promises for a one time annual fee of €29 in Germany or 79 dollars in the U.S. fast delivery with no minimum order value.

Googles service

The Wall Street Journal reported recently that Google may attempt to launch a similar fast-shipping service to compete with Amazon Prime.

This service should be available for several online stores such as Macy’s, Gap or OfficeMax. So, Google won’t even sent the goods, but only wants to offer a consistent service to order products and deliver them via parcel delivery companies.

How?

According to The Wall Street Journal, Google intends to build the delivery service around its existing Google Shopping service. If the customer finds the desired product, the fast-shipment will be available to order.

When?

Referring to The Wall Street Journal, a pilot experiment will be launched in the region around San Francisco in 2012. The company did not comment on that information. Google and Amazon already compete in the business with music and videos on the internet.

We will see what’s gonna happen in the future(…)

The MONEY of

and how we all can make Money.

In my last blog post I showed you the two possible ways to use YouTube to promote your business.

Matt Smith from OnlineIncomeTeacher calls them the Affiliate Marketing, where you make “how-to guide videos” and Promoting Your Current Business,where you promote your name, service and your products all over the world.

But there is another opportunity to earn money.

How?  You can get money direct from YouTube.

How?  By advertising.

The Way to the money!

You need your own videos on YouTube and they need several thousand of views in a small space of time. If that happened YouTube maybe offers you a Partnership. And in that partnership, you get a part of what YouTube earns with the advertisement at your video. The more viewed you get and the more people click on adverts, the more you earn.

Matt Smith state here a very fitting conclusion to that

“So, if you can come up with a great idea and produce a very popular video on YouTube, you can potentially make a lot of money.”

A handful of internet stars turn video views into pay cheques.

For example Shibangi Das told us the story of Gayathri Vantillu who likes to cook. She just began to upload her home cooking videos to YouTube. And over 4 millions views and 290 videos later she earns about 40.000 Rs (about 600 €) in a month.

And there is Michael Buckley.

Michael Buckley is the host of the YouTube Show “What the Buck”, where he talks about celebrity and thus kind of stuff.  With that show he makes a livening. He told Brian Stelter from The New York Times that his online profits had greatly surpassed his salary from his day job, which he quit. He also said that he was earning over $100,000 from YouTube advertisements.

But no one can give exact numbers because YouTube declined to comment the amount of how much money, partners earn form the advertisement and the partners are also forbidden to comment that.

So there is only sunshine?

Not exactly. To become a partner is a hard and long way. And you see just a few make money out of that.

Michael Buckley quotes to this

“I was spending 40 hours a week on YouTube for over a year before I made a dime.”

AtTask – Project Management on a High Level!

Methods of quick communication

  • 1100 – smoke signals
  • 1800 – pigeons
  • 1900 – Telephone
  • 2000 – e-mail
  • 2011 – AtTask

Put out them smoke signals, AtTask welcomes you to the 21st century!

This week I got in touch with a great tool called AtTask. It’s an online project management software that helps companies better manage projects, people and ressources. Founded in 2001, by Scott Johnson, its headquarters is located in Orem, Utah with offices in Bejing, Tokio and Europe.

A stroke of genius as a business concept

The idea to create a software, that could help companies to increase efficiency by better managing projects and people as well as ressources was eventually the outcome of a quandary. A group of software developers were in an awkward predicament when they worked from different geographic locations on a variety of projects. They needed a reliable online solution which could aid in project planing and status report and in the end came up with what they named AtTask.

What exactly is AtTask?

AtTask allows its clients to individually set up a network for their projects. “It is easily accessible by anyone with an Internet connection regardless where one is located”, reports Finn Orfano and continues “[…]AtTask supports several languages – French, German, Japanese and Spanish. There is also the provision of inclusion of Dutch and Polish.” It’ works with all recent operating systems like Linux, Mac and Windows. According to toptenreviews the main unique feature is its collaboration capabilities. Everyone with the right of access is easily notified about the status and changes as they occur. Reports can rapidly and effortlessly be shared with clients or managers that want to receive an update about the process, even if they’re not part of your team. In addition, you are able to customize your own page to suit your needs and are empowered to decide on your own deadlines for different tasks. Rather than wondering who might be available and qualified for certain tasks, managers may simply post upcoming and available tasks with their individual deadlines, and team member can opt to accept them.

Putting value on the social aspect

AtTask is based on a constant, internal team communication and therefore offers many ways to get in touch with co-workers and direct supervisors. The pattern remindes me of Facebook as every employee can spread news via status and comment on others’. This feature truly emphasizes the team spirit and lets others unproblematically know what you are working on and where help is possibly needed.

Uncertainty? Isn’t that waking up, not knowing what the day will bring?

“[…] capacity, resources and demand may be determined and monitored effectively“, mentions projectmanagesoft.com and refers to the implemented Resources Management. A capacity planer enables you to add new projects to a schedule and calculate if it’s feasible to accomplish within the set time period. “This feature compares the resources you have to the resources the project requires.” adds toptenreviews and indicates that this feature avoids overuse. Employees have a list of tasks and know exactly what to do until when.

You are your own boss!

The drag and drop system allows you to change the order of your tasks and by that to set priorities. You are notified if tasks are overdue or the management changed priorities. It provides you with an ample scope and offers you the freedom to choose individually on which task you like to work on.

Pricing, definitely a blemish!

If you go to AtTask’s website you’ll find lots of columns containing tons of information but the one thing you wont find is any information on pricing. That’s not for no reason. You can choose between several licenses which contain additional tools and also, since it’s individually adjustable, there are individual offers depending on what your company wants. Christopher Stordalen from the Global Programs and Strategy Alliance reveals some prices for the University of Minnesota (all prices per year).

  • Project Manager Enterprise – $650
  • Project Manager Professional – $395
  • Team Members – $250
  • View Only – $150

Just the fact that there is no information on AtTask’s website is in my opinion quite suspect. There is a free trial though which you can sign up for here.

What’s in it for me?

As a business you might wonder if this online software affects your benefits. Well why don’t you ask Apple, Adobe, CBS or HBO? All these companies are AtTask clients, as populicio.us states. They assumably use AtTask because of the reasons projectmanagesoft.com summarizes. According to their opinion AtTask impoves productivity and manages the workflow within the company. The planing tools help companies to identify problems faster and resolves issues more efficiently. Miscommunication is minimized and misunderstanding reduced. Both, employees and employers benefit from AtTask as it includes features that replace other, yet necessary, applications. It’s individually adjustable and a solution that grows with you.

AtTask is finally a software that demonstrates how businesses can be more efficient and businesslike by applying humanistic values to human resources.

 AtTask has received the TopTenREVIEWS Gold Award for Project Management Software, knocking Microsoft to second place!

Are you creative enough?

If you haven’t seen Prezi yet, and you really want to learn something new which is really different,  I highly recommend checking it out.

What is Prezi?

Prezie differs from PowerPoint, it is a web-based program that allows you to create more of a canvas presentation instead of a sequential slide presentation. Think non-linear. It allows you to incorporate not only text and pictures, but videos and other presentation objects.  You can create your presentation online and then download the final product so that you don’t require an internet connection to display the presentation.

and here is one opinion from Jay Ball, written on his WordPress blog :

In a nutshell, Prezi is a Flash-based presentation system that allows users to create incredibly dynamic presentations. Presentations where you can zoom in and out across a large area (no slides), create motion paths, embed images and video and do things that previously needed a pretty competent Flash developer and a whole chunk of time. It kicks traditional slideware way into touch.

Why do you have to choose Prezie?

There are so many reasons why you should use Prezi for your next presentation, and here are some of them :

  • Forces you to think about the relationship between the ideas you intend to present
  • Very flexible in what/how you can present.  Good with both pre-planned paths, on-the-fly path changes, and even a combination of both
  • End product presentation is sure to have WAY more of an impact than powerpoint or keynote

That said, that Prezi’s benefits easily outweigh any possible negatives. Invest some time getting to know this new tool, and you’ll be able to take your presentations to the next level

here’s a short video about Prezi

Business and conferences

As a presentation and public speaking medium, Prezi is frequently used an alternative to slide shows and PowerPoint.The product has been used by numerous leadering voices in business and politics to share and explore their ideas. Notably, The World Economic Forum is currently using Prezi as part of its presentation and media strategy.

Many TED Conference speakers have used Prezi, including TED curator Chris Anderson, who used a prezi for his acclaimed TEDGlobal 2010 presentation: How Web Video Powers Global Innovation. Michael Chasen, President/CEO of Blackboard, Inc. used Prezi to deliver the keynote their BbWorld 2011 annual users’ conference.

Are you creative enough to create your presentation on Prezi?

by Rusdi Rusdi

Tata Nano – Between Hell and Heaven

A month ago a friend of mine told me that he had just bought a brand new gaming computer which cost him around €2000. He’s the same friend that told me once, after he successfully got his driver’s license, that the money he had paid for driving lessons etc. was an investment for his future since he couldn’t afford a car in sound condition anyway. I didn’t know any better then but I do now. While recently doing some research I stumbled across an article that blew my mind.

A Comfortable Way to Carry Pigs and Geese

In my last entry, I tried to give a report on the African “mobile revolution” and the concomitant economic relevance for potential investors. I mentioned Spice Mobile and their intention to introduce what they call “The People’s Phone” in India. Andrew English’s article in The Telegraph however incentivized me to write about the Tata Nano also known as the one-lakh car, which was presented in 2009 as “The People’s Car”. As he states the Tata Nano was created to, first and foremost, serve India and China a low cost Car that, according to the income, even less fortunate people can afford. “The kind of people who previously climbed on a battered scooter, along with their entire family, a pig and a few geese”, English writes.

Specifications:

  • 2 cylinder SOHC petrol Bosch multi-point fuel injection
  • all aluminium
  • 4 speed synchromesh with overdrive in 4th
  • Length: 3,099mm
  • Hidth: 1,495mm
  • Height: 1,625mm
  • Weight: 600-635 kg

The World’s Cheapest Car

Tata Motors indeed came up with an approach that’s in a certain way comparable to the original function of the German Trabant only in another dimension. While the Trabant was supposed to serve 16 million people in the GDR, the Nano could firstly apply to up to 3620 million people in China, India and Africa. You might wonder how it’s possible for people that belong to the poorer half of our population to afford a car and Saveutasp.org provides you with the answer. According to its admin the Tata Nano got its name from the introductory “nano” price which was only about €1500 back in 2009 and due to the rise in production material has gone up to €2100 today. It’s considered to be the cheapest car in the world corresponding to Richard S. Chang.

What about Safety?

My first thought was: That car must be everything but safe. WRONG! Hank Green clarifies most of my doubts as he announces that the Nano passed the European Crash Test in 2009. In his opinion a lack of safety is a corollary of making cars smaller, lighter and cheaper but though the Nano is probably the nr.1 in all of these three categories, the results signify that it’s safe enough to be sold in Europe.

It’s not all Roses!

It may be “safe” but obviously not safe enough. Several fires have dominated the headlines and the “ex-wonder car” slowly turns out to fail its mission. “Quality issues are not new to Tata Motors,” says Abdul Majeed, auto practice leader, PwC and addresses an important point. Due to the increasing criticism, Tata Motors are in danger of losing its face and image. After an early hype the aggregated demand decreased reaching its peak in November 2009 when only 500 cars were sold in entire India, as Lijee Philip, ET Bureau quotes, a reaction of the Indian population to the recent problems.

Conquering New Markets

Nevertheless Tata Motors plans to expand its market to Europe and the US and has therefore made many efforts to revise the Nano in order to regain trust and success, not only in Asia but especially in the more critical western countries. Tata Motors also seeks to build a hybrid as well as a diesel version.

Another “Long-Tail-Story”

Like in my last post the case of the Tata Nano is applicable to the “Long Tail” theory which I explained back then. The idea of creating a low cost car that is affordable to poorer people but also meets all safety and customer requirements is highly profitable and far seeing. The second point might seem less important because electronic devices like radios, window motors are not needed in these countries but as you can see, neglecting safety requirements is a besetting sin that does not stay unpunished. I, personally, consider the Tata Nano as a first major attempt to create a people’s car in developed countries that so far has worked out quite well but could not totally fill the market niche. It’s been a sign for other though to invest in low cost cars and all the sudden you see plenty of low cost cars shooting out of nowhere.

The game is still on! Who’s going to build the people’s car of the world?