Sunday, February 27, 2011

Take a Look at Jacksonville Advantage - The Resource for Small Business

As a small business owner with limited time but a great desire to learn new things, I thought it might be helpful to share some information on sites that I’ve found useful on my travels through the web.  Hence, the beginning of weekly posts under the heading, Romp around the Web.  Each post, I’ll try to give you a quick, but honest, take of the site’s pros and cons. 

To kick off this segment, I thought it’d be fun to stay local.  Did you know that videos and podcasts are available at Jacksonville Advantage – The Resource for Small Business?  After landing on the homepage, choose workshop from the options across the top.  Then select either videos or podcasts.

If you’ve ever missed John Bryan giving his networking seminar or are curious as to how Jason Sandler monetizes his social media efforts, this is the place to go.  I have to say, I enjoyed being able to watch and listen to these presentations from the comfort of my own office.  The biggest drawback to these sessions is that they are filmed with a single video recorder from a distance.  Background noise can be an issue as can the lack of camera movement (i.e., can’t see Sandler’s slide presentation, can hear phones ringing and other noises in John Bryan’s presentation).  Also, in order to see the videos, you have to enter your email address every time.  Podcasts are also available but aren’t as exciting because you can’t see the people and they have the same sound quality issues as the videos. 

Overall, though, I’d recommend seeking out a few of these and watching.  It’s always great to see the local experts share their business knowledge.  So, kick back, relax, and pick up some insights that can be applied to your business along the way….for FREE!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Unscientific Study of Facebook

In observing those younger and more adept on Facebook, I’ve come away with several thoughts that I would like to consider implementing in my business.

Observation:  Everyone is their friend.  Some have more friends than the number of people I’ve managed to meet throughout my entire life.  Do they know them all? Certainly not.  They use “friend” loosely to define a wide variety of relationships.

Take-Away: What this teaches me as a business owner is to be open to all.  Accept friends of friends and acquaintances into my network.  Any one of them could become my biggest fan, promoter, or client.

Observation:  If alliances shift and there is a terrible, unfixable break in a key relationship, the original Facebook account is closed and a new variation is opened.  Some old alliance are sought, others ignored.  But, soon, they are back to having hundreds of connections, posts, and pictures.

Take-Away:  The lesson here, I believe, is the ability to reinvent oneself and rally after a devastating event or disappointment.  The need to change direction is completely acceptable.

Observation:  They post with seeming ease, often, and mostly without regard for spelling, grammar, or offense.  They allow their personalities to shine – funny, witty, serious, studious – in short statements that demonstrate their frustrations, knowledge, and excitement.

Take-Away The potential lesson to business owners is to promote a message, with personality, on a regular basis.  Without consistent presence, the company will get lost in the crowd.

Personally, I enjoy the glimpses into the minds of my younger friends.  I enjoy reading their perceptions and reactions to the world.  But, I am fearful for them too.  I wonder about their ability to establish meaningful relationships and the effects of endless self-promotion.  I worry about their safety with constant revelations about their comings and goings to such a wide group of loosely connected individuals.  They have lessons and insights to share though, to be sure.  And, in many ways, there is much to be learned from their ability to gain relevance and comfort in an age of social media.