Archive for April, 2009

Top 100 jobs to consider outsourcing

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

elance

Increase your team’s skill set and complete your existing projects when full time employment is not an option. Hiring ‘remote workers‘ can make perfect business sense. ‘Too much to do and not enough time to do it’ is a phrase we hear many times. Elance comes to the rescue with their top 100 jobs to outsource and here’s our pick of the bunch. (more…)

The future of ‘Free’

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

I’ve been reading with interest lately about Chris Andersen and Freeconomics. His book  release and public speaking have raised a lot of debate about whether ‘Free’ is sustainable.

The problem here is that people are thinking of Free as just a marketing tool -eg i’ll give away content/product for free to hold these new pretenders at bay whilst still maintaing my old business model.

The reality is that Free is a business model. This is a subtle but very important difference.

If you want to give away ‘stuff’ for free and generate revenue from a small portion of paying users, then you need to have a cost base that allows you to make profit from this. You need to have expertise and business process in:

 

1. Acquiring customers for your free ‘stuff’ at very low (zero if possible) cost

2. Getting people to use your free ‘stuff’ so that they attribute value to it

3. Getting people to part with some of the value to you in the form of payment

4. Running your business to make profit whilst supporting all of the above

 

None of this is easy – many Web 2.0 companies that set out from day one to go down this route failed to make it work.

Its no wonder that large companies with established business models are fighting any transition to this model tooth and nail. The problem for a number of them is that customer expectations have been reset by new companies that can make this model work. This is the central argument of Freeconomics.

The incumbents have no choice now but adapt their business models, and embrace the freemium model. If they don’t they will die. Nowhere can this be seen more than in the media and publishing industries. As with any market transition it is painful and it takes time for value to be re-distributed in a fair manner.

Increasingly though this model is spreading to other industries. I was over in the Valley last week on WebMission 09 with some great Enterprise 2.0 companies, many of whom rely on word of mouth to replace big marketing budgets and web touch sales to replace travelling sales people.

They are fundamentally altering the cost structures and business models in that industry. More importantly, they are altering the customer expectation of how they buy services and what they pay for those services. Most of these companies are profitable, all are revenue generating and growing fast.

So is ‘Free’ dead – absolutely no. It is the other way around – ignore it at your peril.

I shall leave the last word to Chris Andersen:

“I’m not telling the apple to fall – I’m just telling that the apple will fall. That is what the laws of digital economics require. …you either compete with free or use free but fundamentally [it] is about how you make real money…”

5 tips for employers to gearing up for 6th April surge in remote workers

Monday, April 6th, 2009

In early May 2008 Gordon Brown announced plans to grant parents with children up to the age of 16 the right to more flexible working solutions. That could be an increase of 4.5 million applications. So what now for employers?

With business leaders originally claiming this could prove a “nightmare” for small firms, here’s five tips on how to gear up for possible applications and make flexible working work for your company. (more…)

Yahoo builds Twitter trend monitor as Sideline

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

sideline-yahoo-logoReal-time Twitter trend monitoring, custom search groups and an advanced search query builder, Sideline works as smooth as it looks. Sideline is the all-new Adobe® AIR™ desktop application from Yahoo. Built with the Yahoo! User Interface Library (YUI). It allows users to create and group custom queries by topics of interest in a stylish tabbed user interface. Watch a video demonstration… (more…)

Doomi a to-do list that actually works!

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

doomi-logoFed up of deleting old to-do lists after forgetting you ever created them? Why not set a timer on your tasks with the nifty little Adobe Air app named Doomi.

Doomi claims “Dead simple to-do’s. Designed to stay out of your way, easy to use and look pretty.” They’re not wrong! (more…)

UK newspaper drops paper and ink for Twitter

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

If we needed anything to underline the point we made about the need for companies to embrace online social networking, then this recent announcement from one of the UK’s major newspapers must surely be it:

The Guardian today announces that it will become the first newspaper in the world to be published exclusively via Twitter, the sensationally popular social networking service that has transformed online communication.

The move, described as “epochal” by media commentators, will see all Guardian content tailored to fit the format of Twitter’s brief text messages, known as “tweets”, which are limited to 140 characters each.

(more…)

5 reasons to use online meeting services every day

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

Why pay a monthly fee, only to use your online meeting service once a week or even once a month? Services such as Yuuguu offer a more collaborative way of working for remote teams, teleworkers or even working within the same building.

Saving powerful technology for scheduled online meetings is one use but make your monthly subscription become invaluable to the way you conduct business by taking advantage of the tools and features for everyday use. Here are my top five reasons for using online meeting tools everyday. (more…)