Thu, 03 Jan 2008 13:44:34 GMT
What type of operation?
Should you become a Brick and Mortar, E-Commerce, or Brick and Click Operation?
The Blogtrepreneur has a great entry showing some of the pros and cons of each of the different ideas and gives you examples of each.
One thing I would say is that your only true options are E-Commerce or Brick N Click. Any retail operation no matter how small today needs to have a online presence and should have ecommerce capabilities.
Now saying E-commerce to some peoples scares them to death. They think of big expensive servers, lots of techies running around and a system very complicated run. Actually there are many web hosting services and many of them included E-Commerce options. The only thing you will have to learn is the software to design the website but there are many easy to use options.
If the concept still scares you take a class on building a website. Most Community Colleges have them and often will have them at night in order to meet your schedule.
So Bricks N Click or E-Commerce, it's your choice.
Posted by: John Dornoff Read more Source
Fri, 28 Dec 2007 14:32:18 GMT
Venter Interview in SD Union Tribune
There''s an interesting interview with Craig Venter in the San Diego Union Tribune. In the interview, the sequencing maven reflects on being a scientist. There''s a lot of things about Venter that I didn''t know, such as his having served as a medic in Vietnam.
Venter writes, "I was feeling lucky, that I had escaped with my life. I had seen so much death, 19-and 20-year-old boys maimed and killed, that I felt I had been given a second chance to do something with my life."
Perhaps this is why he has little patience for roadblocks and is often described as a "maverick".
Venter is, of course, one of two humans to have their entire genome sequenced (Jim Watson is the other). Celera Genomic''s race with the National Human Genome Research Institute is the stuff of legend. Venter''s company sequenced the genome for far less money than the government, and accomplished it in approximately the same amount of time.
However, Venter seems disappointed with the progress made since the human genome was published.
"I think it''s because we''re dealing with humans, and that paralyzes things. The government, which has the deepest resources, is increasingly unwilling to fund research if it involves human genetics. Government research is becoming irrelevant. Instead, the work is being left to private groups who have less money and maybe conflicting agendas."
Venter also expressed disappointment with the state of science in America when questioned about the anti-evolution stances of some presidential candidates (Brownback, Huckabee, Tancredo) and reports of another (Kucinich) to have seen a UFO.
"I saw those debates. It''s a disturbing phenomenon. People simply aren''t making decisions based on evidence. I don''t object to people believing in God, but our thinking has to adjust to new facts and discoveries about the universe. We''re past the age of Galileo. As a modern society, we are now 100 percent dependent upon science. It''s not optional."
It''s a sobering interview. Venter sees that "We''re at a critical juncture in human existence. I just hope we haven''t screwed things up so much that there''s no real chance for the future."
I agree. The evidence is out there. Do we have the courage to take off the blinders and see the world as it really is?
Hat tip to Moselio Schaechter.
Posted by: Dennehy Read more Source
Thu, 27 Dec 2007 16:07:04 GMT
Today is the tenth anniversary of the coining of the term “weblog.” Happy Blog Day!
I was disappointed, though, to see that the guy who coined it has such a narrow and dogmatic view of its application:
1. A true weblog is a log of all the URLs you want to save or share. (So del.icio.us is actually better for blogging than blogger.com.)
2. You can certainly include links to your original thoughts, posted elsewhere .... but if you have more original posts than links, you probably need to learn some humility.
3. If you spend a little time searching before you post, you can probably find your idea well articulated elsewhere already.
But “log” sounds so much more masculine than “journal,” doesn’t it? Captains keep logs; journals are for wimpy writers. People who are arrogant and presumptuous enough to think they have something new to say, and that the world might care if they do.
As it happened, I started the day by cutting up a white pine tree that had blown down across the driveway. I was singing the log song the whole time! O.K., not really. But I did enjoy my walk back up the hollow through three and a half inches of new powder. And with close to two inches of packed sleet underneath that, the sledding was excellent, as I discovered this afternoon.
Coincidentally, it’s also Via Negativa’s own fourth birthday. That’s a lot of water under the, um, log.
RSS and email subscribers: Please click through to view the Log video.
Posted by: Vianegativa Read more Source
December 20, 2007, 9:34 PM CT
Big City's Life on the Line
A "New York minute," slang for "a very short time," refers to the common feeling that life is faster in big cities. This perception was recently borne out in studies that show how urban indicators, which include "social currencies" such as wealth creation, innovation, and information, but also crime rates and how fast people walk, vary with urban population size.
Using data from hundreds of cities worldwide, a team of researchers, including two Los Alamos theorists, observed that social currencies increase per capita with population, while material infrastructure (the size of the energy grid, transportation network, etc.) grows more slowly than population. These findings apply to all urban systems studied, from the U.S. to China.
The scientists also introduced a new "urban growth equation" that relates urban population to the availability of resources and their consumption. The equation shows that, as populations grow, social life accelerates because a number of more contacts become possible between people.
Furthermore, the scientists observed that when urban development is driven by social interactions, the relative growth rate steadily increases, which leads inexorably to crises. Sustainable growth can nevertheless be achieved through periodic resetting of the growth trajectory via major adaptations, leading to successive growth cycles. Historically in the U.S., such adaptations have resulted from shifts in immigration, the Civil War, the Great Depression, and the result of urban interventions.........
Posted by: Ethen Read more Source
December 18, 2007, 10:13 PM CT
Childhood exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods
Childhood exposure to severely disadvantaged communities is associated with decreased verbal ability later in childhood, a lasting negative effect that continues even after moving out of the neighborhood, as per research that will be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Living in concentrated disadvantage decreases later verbal test scores by about four IQ points, which is roughly equivalent to missing a year of school.
The study was led by Robert Sampson, Henry Ford II Professor of the Social Sciences in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Harvard University, with Patrick Sharkey of New York University and Stephen Raudenbush of the University of Chicago.
For children, living in disadvantaged neighborhoods appears to contribute to a detrimental effect on trajectories of verbal ability. This is important because language skills are a proven indicator of success during the later part of life, says Sampson. What is surprising is the durability of the effect, continuing even when the child moves out of the neighborhood.
Over 2,000 children from the lower, middle and upper classes, who were ages 6-12 and lived in Chicago at the beginning of the study, were followed over a seven-year period starting in the mid-1990s as they moved in and out of neighborhoods in Chicago and to other parts of the United States. Extensive interviews with the children and their caretakers were conducted at three different periods and each time the children were also given a vocabulary test and a reading examination.........
Posted by: Ethen Read more Source
Sun, 16 Dec 2007 14:22:29 GMT
Austin-Healey Meets Bauhaus
You may be aware, if you've followed my efforts over the years for Creative Weblogging and About.com, that design and architecture are among my interests and that I'm supportive of automotive fine art. It is my opinion that if an automobile is the subject of a painting or sculpture, it is no less deserving of respect than the horses, dogs and carriages that appeared in the works of the "masters." Indeed, art deco and the Bauhaus fascinate me. Should you be skeptical and require proof of the automobile's association with these themes, take a trip to New York and view the Chrysler building, a lasting monument to Walter P. Chrysler. So I'm pleased to draw your attention to the CAR ART gallery. When Lawrence Crane, editor of the elegant magazine AUTO Aficionado, described CAR ART as "perhaps the best automotive art gallery in existence" I sat up and paid attention. Larry was, and is, an award-winning art director as well as an accomplished writer.
After perusing CAR ART's gallery I, too, am overwhelmed. A typical example of the gallery's stable of outstanding artists is their newest addition (and fellow Canadian) Alain Levesque, whose painting you see here . Alain was trained in graphic arts at the Universite du Quebec in Montreal in the 1980s, created stunning posters for the Americas Cycling Grand Prix and for The 1920s: Age of Metropolis at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Levesque's fascination with automobiles began in 1988 after exposure to vehicles from the 1920s and 1930s, whose forms inspired him. CAR ART describes his paintings thusly: "The unmistakable style of Alain Levesque is a conscious revival of several European art movements from the early 20th century such as Cubism, Italian Futurism and Bauhaus. From these influences he has developed a distinctive, abstract interpretation of cars that is unique in automotive art."
CAR ART offers originals, limited edition prints, and posters. Any of which would make a welcome Christmas gift. A comment, however, from this critic: While extolling the virtues of the artists I found the site itself to be lacking in the very style it recommends. Simple, uncluttered, easy to navigate? Sorry. Meaning no disrespect to gallery owner Peter Aylett, who founded Car Art, Inc. after a 25-year career as an automotive design engineer, I'd suggest that even in our Net World, the store window is the best entree to the goods displayed within.
Posted by: Philip Powell Read more Source
Sun, 16 Dec 2007 14:06:26 GMT
Effective Communication Techniques
I'm having excellent conversations wrapped around the concept that there are two communication styles: those on the stage and those in the audience and so I thought I'd follow up with a few additional thoughts.
First question: what if the person always on the stage doesn't realize they are on the stage - how do you encourage them to TAKE A SEAT so someone else can talk? Hmmm.
Second question: what happens if you ANTICIPATE what the other is going to say/ask without truly listening?
Here's a little story from my ancient history. I went on a dinner date with a guy and it had been a while since I'd gone out and so I was a little nervous. I was having a really nice time and I thought he was too. He walked me to the door to say good night and I could sense that he was going to ask me out again. I knew he was going to ask "would you like to go out again?" I had my YES at the ready.
"Yes!" I said, enthusiastically. He gave me a strange look and said okay, good night. Perhaps I was too animated?
Days went by. Days turned into weeks and no phone call. Hmmm.
I replayed the conversation and realized that what he actually asked was this "Would you mind if I called again?"
"Yes" was not the correct answer.
Think about the number of times you greet someone and just assume they are going to ask "how are you?" You answer "fine" before realizing they've been creative and asked you something entirely different?
Give the person you are conversing with the opportunity to ask their question or make their statement BEFORE forming your answer. Often times I'll be talking with someone who jumps the gun and tries to put words in my mouth/thoughts/feelings in my head. After awhile it takes too much effort to correct them.
Don't let a business or personal relationship wane because of poor two-way communication.
My dad made a good point when talking about this subject: true communication doesn't occur until the sender's message is CORRECTLY heard by the receiver.
Lots to think about today. What do you think?
Deborah Chaddock Brown
Posted by: Deborah Brown Read more Source
Sun, 16 Dec 2007 13:59:11 GMT
Finding new customers
Do you need some new ideas to get customers?
Once again Laura from the Bootstrapper blog has a great entry with 52 Creative Ways to Find New Clients.
The first suggestion is pretty easy; make sure your website is working properly. Check all your links and make sure that they are still working properly and every page can be reached. My web hosting company provides a service to check links so if your company does make sure you are using it.
I have mentioned on this blog and my other blog that you need to have a blog of your own and that is idea two. It is really easy to set up a blog so be sure to do it and let people become more familiar with you and makes you look more accessible. One suggestion I heard at a recent conference was to use a service other than Blogger. There is several that look more professional and are just as easy to use.
The third suggestion she has is to have a strong presence on line. Not only do you need to blog but you also need to be on message boards, visit other Blogs and to be sure to comment on them.
Among the other suggestions she offers is making a you tube video showing what your company does and showing off your company in a creative way.
Another suggestion offered is to get in contact with your alma mater since many alumni associations have databases that mention what you are doing. Basically you should contact everyone you know both from your professional, personal, and school lives and let them know what you are doing now. Word of mouth is you're best marketing tool so be sure to use it.
She has other suggestions so take a look at them.
Posted by: John Dornoff Read more Source
December 11, 2007, 10:26 PM CT
Kids more active when playground has balls
Children play harder and longer when their child care centers provide portable play equipment (like balls, hoola hoops, jump ropes and riding toys), more opportunities for active play and physical activity training and education for staff and students, as per a research studyreported in the January 2008 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Scientists at the University of North Carolina School of Public Health examined environmental factors that encourage children to be active with greater intensity and for longer periods of time. Increased activity levels help children maintain a healthy weight, the scientists say, which is critical as obesity rates climb nationwide, particularly among children.
Childhood obesity is an epidemic that threatens the future health of our nation, said Dianne Ward, EdD, MS, director of the School of Public Health nutrition departments intervention and policy division and a co-author of the study. We know that about 57 percent of all 3- to 5-year-olds in the United States attend child care centers, so its important to understand what factors will encourage them to be more active, and, hopefully, less likely to become obese.
Scientists assessed the physical and social environmental factors thought to influence healthy weight at 20 childcare centers across North Carolina. Then they reviewed the physical activity levels of children attending the centers. Additional data were gathered through interviews and documents provided by the child care directors.........
Posted by: Ethen Read more Source
Older Blog Entries
Tue, 11 Dec 2007 19:13:31 GMT
Glass Window Security
If your home is similar to many other wired homes, you will have plenty of glass windows for ventilation and/or for letting the outside world into your home. With so much glass a home like this can have its own security issues. Enter the professional-grade security device that just listens for glass breaking.
This device made by HAI, listens for glass breaking. You already have windows and doors covered by a security system that detects when a door or a window is opened. But what about if a glass window is broken, the security strips do not work. Enter the HAI device which detects glass breaking.
From a radius of 20 feet this device is sensitive to the sound of a glass window 1ft or 2ft square or larger being broken. Installation is simple but it does need communication through a wireless/wifi system to the network.
Priced at just US$109 it is a very worthwhile investment to further improve the security of your home.
Posted by: Elwyn Jenkins Read more Source