Blogs as online community management tools

Online community managers often find themselves in need of a forum for relating community news and information, according to Jim Lefever, author of the CommonCraft blog. In a recent post, he outlines how blogs can fulfill this need. Among his points: “With the community manager(s) having complete control of the weblog, they can use it to develop a stronger voice in the community without interfering with the discussions. The weblog becomes a representation of the manager?s thoughts and interests, which can help develop trust and culture more quickly.”

Lingering e-mails slow the pace of business

I routinely talk to employees at client companies who receive anywhere from 100 to 500 e-mails per day. Do they read them all? Don’t be absurd. They scan the subject lines for the ones they’ve been waiting for, then delete the rest. Among those deleted—or, at the very least, not acted upon are some that are asking for a decision or information needed to make a decision. Not answering holds up the process and slows the pace of business.

So says a study out of the UK commissioned by palmOne. Sixty-one percent of respondents said a delay in responding to e-mails delays business decisions.

It’s all about etiquette, according to the study.… Read More »

Here we go again

No business leader wants to hear that it’s losing money because worker productivity is dropping. When they read a statement from a respected organization that suggests one specific Internet activity could be costing US businesses $36.7 million a day, they tend to sit up and take notice.

That’s the figure released by executive recruiting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. The culprit: fantasy football.

Yup, you heard right. The amount of time employees spend playing fantasy football is costing business nearly $40 million a day in productivity. And some think Challenger’s estimate of 14 million people spending 10 minutes of work time a… Read More »

Pop-up ads do their job

Here’s one from the “blinding flash of the obvious” department. Wired News reports that pop-up ads and other annoying, intrusive, interruptive advertising—including spam—works. Well, yeah. I sorta figured that’s why they were still around. If advertisers weren’t making money off these aggravations, they would have vanished a long time ago.

The article notes that pop-ups generate 5 to 10 times the response rate of banner ads. Further, last year consumers spent $32 billion (with a b) on products advertised in e-mail messages.

This just reinforces my belief that the only way to put an end to spam and pop-ups is through a public awareness… Read More »

Work is social

More than 21% of Americans—about 11 million people—use Instant Messaging at work, according to research conducted by those hard-working folks at the Pew Internet and American Life Project. The increased use of IM in the workplace (and in general) is partly a reaction to spam, which has rendered e-mail less desirable than it once was.

But with workplace IM comes the inevitable productivity complaint. The Pew study found that 40% of those using IM at the office send personal messages to co-workers and 33% to friends and family, while only 21% said they sent both personal and work-related messages.

My profound reaction to this (and to… Read More »

Amazon’s blogcasts

The Web site includes a section called “Early Adopters.” Here, that small group of people who have to have the first release of gadgets, music, movies, or whatever can find out what the newest items are and satisfy that jones. Amazon offers early-adopter categories for electronics, hand-helds, DVDs, cell phones, books, tools and hardware, video games, cameras, and more.

Each of those category pages now includes a “blogcast”,  a roundup of items from blogs that focus on the category’s products. The blogcasts appear to be automated through the capture of RSS feeds, since some items in the blogcasts are accompanied by… Read More »

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