Archive for September, 2007

Ad revenues dropping like rocks for newspapers

Monday, September 10th, 2007

You knew that newspapers were losing a lot of traction because of the Internet, right? Well, the “news” is worse than expected, according to an article in AdWeek. And these changes to advertising revenue are expected to be permanent, not passing. A sample of recent dives:

  • Gannett Co. where USA Today ad pages fell 17 percent compared to last year, and real estate classifieds at its community papers plunged 20 percent.
  • Tribune Co., where help-wanted classified tumbled 19 percent, and real estate shrank by 24 percent. (Fitch has Tribune on a “Ratings Watch Negative,” anticipating a further downgrading of its credit.)
  • The McClatchy Co., where real estate collapsed by 26 percent, and automotive plunged 20 percent.
  • Dow Jones & Co., where ad volume fell 20 percent on a 75 percent tumble in technology-related ads.

This is one business trend you don’t want to ignore. Another is the business blog–it’s not a passing fancy, folks. Give me a call at 773.292.3294 if you have questions about how to get started.

Sort through the small-biz-info jungle

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

The Internet has facilitated the growth of small businesses, and the owners of those businesses have the Internet to thank for the incredible amount of information and the seemingly limitless amount of help they can find about running those businesses.

 But it can feel pretty overwhelming at times. Too much. Where do you turn? How do you sort through it all? Fortunately, just as the newspapers became the editors of our information a couple of centuries ago–and some would argue began to abuse the privilege–now the Internet is home to some very bright people whose whole business is sifting through the wheat and chaff and providing you with solid, up-to-the-minute information on everything about your business.

One such source, always reliable and timely, is Small Business Trends Radio. It’s run by a woman who’s a lawyer and a former CEO of a small Internet division of Bell & Howell. Her radio show and her website are loaded with the best available help for your small business. And now they’ve introduced a compilation area.

Anita Campbell knows how to interview so you get each person’s best knowledge on a topic.  Take a walk through this wonderland of expert advice – the Small Biz Podcast 100.  Oh, yeah, and check out our podcast with Anita on the site, too – Blogs – Cutting through the Hype with Barbara Payne.

Blogging about personal technology?

Thursday, September 6th, 2007

Blogging on your business blog about your personal technology? Perfectly legitimate. People who care about your company will be fascinated to hear how its leaders use technology in their personal lives. Here’s a bit about the portable office…

Have you ever considered the possibilities of being able to operate your email, your documents and your computer from wherever you are, at any time of day or night, without being at your desk, or even at a public computer? This has been a goal of mine–mostly an elusive dream, though–for three years now.

  • Imagine being on a bus or in your car on a trip without having to lug your laptop.
  • Imagine being able to type memos (instead of scratching them on bits of paper) and email them to yourself (or at least have them already typed when you get back to your office).
  • Imagine not having to poke with your fingernails at some tiny keys to input your email messages, your ideas, or your meeting agendas or notes.
  • Imagine being able to get your social networking done wherever and whenever.

Happily, the dream may be getting closer to reality for me since I recently traded in my old 650 for the Treo 700p (with the Palm operating system). I am now renewing my efforts to use the Palm Universal Wireless Keyboard with my smart cell phone.

Taking a functioning portable keyboard with you can transform your work life. I tried for over 2 years to get the earlier version to function reliably and encountered continuing episodes of frustration as the keyboard would work for a while and then unaccountably stop. In addition, the companion program on the cell phone, Documents to Go, was completely unreliable. It, too, would work for a while and then just begin crashing the entire phone whenever I opened a document. After a lot of frustration and wasted time, I finally gave up.

The trend in business today–for both corporate executives and small business owners–is toward ever-more-portable workspaces. I’m banking that this new phone-and-keyboard combination will begin shining a light brightly–and most importantly, consistently–on my ability to work in any environment. Time will tell.