Archive for May, 2011

Get your daily Kick Up The A*** to keep your business moving

No matter how successful you may be, it is easy to neglect certain aspects of your business whilst you focus elsewhere and that’s when you need Kuta.

What is Kuta???

Kuta are daily reminders send directly to your phone or inbox promting you to spend a few minutes on those little jobs you often forget about or put off for another day.

How can I get Kuta???

Simply use the below form to sign up, just tell us which channels you require Kuta for and how you would like to receive Kuta.
 

KUTA will be free until 1 July 2011, give it a go right now!!!

I don’t often promote services other companies offer, but I’ve just spent some time on the phone speaking with entrepreneur Lara Morgan and not only do I find her really engaging, but she has some neat ideas too.

Kuta is one of them. We know we all need a nudge sometimes to keep on top of what we need to do to keep our businesses moving in the right direction — and that’s exactly what Kuta offers.

I’ve signed up and I sugest you take a look. Link above. Let us know what you think of it by adding a comment below.

26/05/2011 at 12:39 pm Leave a comment

MyCustomer.com: WeCanDo.Biz launches new sales leads tool for Twitter‎

twitter_logo_black.jpg

WeCanDo.Biz has created a tool to pinpoint and present Twitter-based sales leads on a single web page in order to make it easy for small businesses to follow them up.

The Sales Leads tool works by automatically filtering out tweets that contain a specific request for a product or service or express a given requirement in order to identify potential customers. Examples might include ‘we need a local accountant’ or ‘can anyone recommend someone that prints brochures?’

Ian Hendry, WeCanDo.Biz’s chief executive, said that Twitter was producing sales leads every day, but the current challenge was finding them amongst all of the noise.

“Our Sales Leads tool pinpoints the opportunities and presents them all on one page so they can be easily progressed and tracked. It takes small businesses straight to the person with the need for what they offer. We expect small companies to use it as an alternative to expensive advertising or cold-calling,” he added.

Hendry also claimed that the offering had discovered more than a quarter of a million sales leads for customers while it was in beta testing. It is able to undertake location filtering, includes reply and connect options and is free to use. An enhanced version, which incorporates more lead discovery options, costs about £60 plus VAT for 12-month’s use.

The company has also re-launched its website to enable small businesses to create their own social profile in order to act as a business card for potential customers and to join location- and industry-specific online communities in order to communicate with peers.

The site is likewise offering member benefits such as free and discounted banking, insurance and other services.

Some nice coverage from the great guys at MyCustomer.com of our version 2 launch with, unsurprisingly, quite a lot of focus on our Twitter Sales Leads tool.

I was at Business Scene’s London Connections event last night near Liverpool Street and got to speak to some interesting people, but what struck me most was the interest in what we are doing to help identify leads on Twitter. There seemed to be universal agreement that it can be tough making sense of some social media platforms for business, but our new tool really helps!

It’s free to use so come and get stuck in at <a href="http://www.wecando.biz/sales_leads.php.

http://www.wecando.biz/sales_leads.php.</p&gt;

26/05/2011 at 9:55 am Leave a comment

SYSTEM UPDATE: Check your newsletter sign up forms if they link to WeCanDo.Biz Social CRM

WeCanDo.Biz Social CRM changes mean that some email newsletter sign-up forms may no longer be working.

Binb_sign_up_form

If you use WeCanDo.Biz Social CRM you may be using the forms we provide you to put on your own website which collect details from visitors and sign them up to email newsletters.

As we have been moving our site from the original version to the new Version 2, so it would seem that some of the forms may no longer be working.

They’re easily fixed, so we suggest you try the forms on your website immediately and if you’re getting a 404 error to download NEW code from Setting section of WeCanDo.Biz Social CRM:

New sign up form code
New Data Capture code

If you get stuck with either then just raise a support ticket

25/05/2011 at 7:25 am Leave a comment

XING kills applications — so what for OpenSocial, LinkedIn and Facebook apps?

Germany’s XING won’t be supporting existing OpenSocial based application in its forthcoming redesign. Have applications on social networks failed?

Xing_applications

It feels like a long time ago that I last wrote about OpenSocial, an Open Standards based approach to embedding applications within other websites.  So long ago that I can no longer find the blog article, but if I recall correctly I was commenting on how OpenSocial, backed by Google as it did its bit to support technology that could be widely used across the Social Web, didn’t seem to be getting much adoption.  Certainly from Facebook (itself a lot smaller and less significant a player back then than now) and the many thousands of applications developers writing to its proprietary platform.

There were a few exceptions and XING, Germany’s answer to LinkedIn, was one of them.  It leapt on the applications bandwagon but made a thing of how it was supporting OpenSocial and Open Standards.  Well, a couple of years further on it looks like it’s had enough.  With the new site redesign coming June 2011, applications will be discountinued: “Unfortunately the demand for applications within a business context has not developed as promising as we had hoped, so we have decided to stop offering applications on XING” explains the XING team in a news update to users.

Goodbye Slideshare, Huddle and a few other applications.  Well, if you want to use them on the XING site anyway.  Access will still be available on the vendors own sites, but the point of putting them into XING was that so you share and collaborate with your network of contacts.  Which people don’t seem that interested in doing.

This announcement got me wondering when it was I last heard anything about OpenSocial, a standard that was all about easily sharing applications and associated data between Social Web sites and users.  Er, not recently.  So I did a Google News check and found not many recent articles, with few vendors talking about OpenSocial other than SAP (which is far from leading edge when it comes to the Social Web).  Is it dead?  Well, if it’s not dead, it’s resting…

But this comes as no suprise because when we started looking at embedding applications to our own WeCanDo.Biz website, OpenSocial seemed like a lot of hard work with dubious benefits, other than tthe ability to say we’d be doing our bit for Open Standards on the Web.  That wasn’t good enough so we built in WeCanDo.Biz Social CRM using proprietary APIs.  I don’t think uptake amongst our users would have been any greater if we’d gone the OpenSocial route.

No, it would seem people may not be quite as interested in integrated applications as we all thought.  Ask youself, when was the last time you saw someone sharing a presentation through Slideshare on LinkedIn?  Or inviting you into a Huddle workspace there?  OK, I use LinkedIn’s Twitter and WordPress integrations to include my latest tweets and blog articles on my profile, but I set them up once and have never touched them since, so you can’t say I actually use those integrated applications.  How long will LinkedIn continue to support applications for as they develop their site with the fresh cash injection a recent IPO has brough them?

Does Facebook buck the trend?  Well, a bit.  Apps have been all the rage there since they were first introduced, especially gaming apps.  But people grow tired of games and amongst my friends, at least, the craze of adding a new This or new That seems to have waned.  With FBML now retired, Facebook is seeing more and more companies just embed pages from their own websites into iframes in Facebook pages.  This is a much simpler approach than developing applications which have to meet complex Open Standards or — as has been more typical on Facebook — specific to only Facebook and which could stop working at any time as Facebook changes its core code without telling anyone.

So we may be witnessing the death of social applications as we knew them.  But does that make us any less keen to share or collaborate?  Is the actual issue that we don’t want to do as much with our social contacts as vendors believed we would?

What do you think?  Share your thoughts below.

24/05/2011 at 4:58 pm Leave a comment

LinkedIn share price nearly doubles on debut — and even drags Germany’s Xing up with it

First US social networking company to test market’s appetite sees suggestion of magic Dot Com Boom days.

Media_httpfarm1static_neecs

Image credit: Adriano Gasparri on Flickr

Reuters is reporting that business focused social nertworking site LinkedIn has seen its shares surge 90% on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today, with scenes that are “reminiscent of the heyday of investors’ love affair with Internet stocks in the late 1990s,” the news agency notes.

The shares rose to $85.18 during the day, up from a starting price of $45 in a floatation that values the US company at $8 billion.  No, that’s not a typo.

Now, I have written on this before when the IPO was first mooted — was LinkedIn really worth $2.5 billion (as suggested at the time) when Germany’s Xing couldn’t even scrape $300 million in public trading?

Well now that valuation seems even crazier, although it is interesting to note that Xing’s share price has also increased today by about 8%.  Xing was one of the first so-called “Web 2.0” companies to go public.  Is it riding on LinkedIn’s coat tails as the markets appreciate its value now there is something else to compare it to?

Who knows.  This does all feel like the magical days of the Dot Com Boom, which I was very much involved in as I sold a company I started with £5000 for $6 million just 18 months later (I don’t have that now by the way… it was never real).  No-one knew the rules because they were made up as we went along.  But in almost all instances, the party didn’t last and reality set in for some investors the following day after debut; for the rest when people realised that there were no New Rules and that the maths had to stack up just like they do with any valuation.  The boom turned to bust as the whole market took a kicking in 2000 and sanity returned.

And so it prevailed until people started going loopy about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and silly amounts of money got poured into the companies before they had even turned a penny.  Facebook worth $30 billion?  I see only straight faces all round.  And some might be considering that a bargain now the appetite for social networking shares has been tested by LinkedIn, which in users is only an eighth of Facebook’s size.

What are your thoughs: are we seeing history repeating itself?  Or do social networking companies really represent the future?  Just add your comment below.

19/05/2011 at 4:19 pm Leave a comment

LinkedIn share price nearly doubles on debut — and even drags Germany’s Xing up with it

First US social networking company to test market’s appetite sees suggestion of magic Dot Com Boom days.

Media_httpfarm1static_neecs

Image credit: Adriano Gasparri on Flickr

Reuters is reporting that business focused social nertworking site LinkedIn has seen its shares surge 90% on its debut on the New York Stock Exchange today, with scenes that are “reminiscent of the heyday of investors’ love affair with Internet stocks in the late 1990s,” the news agency notes.

The shares rose to $85.18 during the day, up from a starting price of $45 in a floatation that values the US company at $8 billion.  No, that’s not a typo.

Now, I have written on this before when the IPO was first mooted — was LinkedIn really worth $2.5 billion (as suggested at the time) when Germany’s Xing couldn’t even scrape $300 million in public trading?

Well now that valuation seems even crazier, although it is interesting to note that Xing’s share price has also increased today by about 8%.  Xing was one of the first so-called “Web 2.0” companies to go public.  Is it riding on LinkedIn’s coat tails as the markets appreciate its value now there is something else to compare it to?

Who knows.  This does all feel like the magical days of the Dot Com Boom, which I was very much involved in as I sold a company I started with £5000 for $6 million just 18 months later (I don’t have that now by the way… it was never real).  No-one knew the rules because they were made up as we went along.  But in almost all instances, the party didn’t last and reality set in for some investors the following day after debut; for the rest when people realised that there were no New Rules and that the maths had to stack up just like they do with any valuation.  The boom turned to bust as the whole market took a kicking in 2000 and sanity returned.

And so it prevailed until people started going loopy about Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and silly amounts of money got poured into the companies before they had even turned a penny.  Facebook worth $30 billion?  I see only straight faces all round.  And some might be considering that a bargain now the appetite for social networking shares has been tested by LinkedIn, which in users is only an eighth of Facebook’s size.

What are your thoughs: are we seeing history repeating itself?  Or do social networking companies really represent the future?  Just add your comment below.

19/05/2011 at 4:04 pm Leave a comment

WeCanDo.Biz member Gavin Winstanley gets fired by Lord Sugar on The Apprentice

Not a good night for the Liverpool based accountant after failure on the BBC show.

Gavin

Gavin Winstanley, managing director of an online opticians and member of business networking site WeCanDo.Biz, got fired tonight from BBC’s The Apprentice after failing to come up with four of the ten items his team was assigned to buy for London hotel The Savoy, making him the third victim of Lord Sugar.

On BBC2’s after-show The Apprentice: You’re Fired the Liverpool businessman blamed the Yellow Pages, stating that is used to only one edition for all of home town Liverpool, whereas his team had to work with many of them to source the products they were asked to from within London.  Items they could not source in the alloted time, around eight and a half hours, included a stainless steel cloche and ice.

In spite of bringing smarmy Belgian Vincent Disneur and wallflower Zoe Beresford back into The Boardtoom, Sir Alan, with the influence of his sidekick Karen Brady, had already included that the fault lay with Gavin’s poor organisation skills.

So he’s back to selling glasses and looking for leads on WeCanDo.Biz for him tomorrow!

Incidentally, while the show we on we peaked with 75 people looking through Gavin’s profile on our site.

18/05/2011 at 9:14 pm Leave a comment

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