Friday, August 29, 2008
Biotechnology & Pharmaceuticals
Executive & Management
Food & Beverage
Industrial & Manufacturing
IT Data Management
IT Software & Development
Meetings & Travel
Purchasing & Procurement
Sales & Marketing
Small & Medium Business
Telecom & Wireless
Transportation & Logistics
Utility & Energy
With such an eclectic selection, there is sure to be a publication for most, if not all, of our clients.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Blogs & Blogging:
40+ Free Blog Hosts from Mashable.com
Trading Links - Any Real Value? by Gail Hornback
Copyright & Fair Use Overview: Website Permissions from Stanford University
Existing SBDC Blogs:
Clarion SBDC (PA) Knowledgebase
Hawai`i Business Research Library News Blog
Coastal Bend SBDC (TX)
North Country SBDC (NY) BizConnect Blog
100 Cool Things You Can do with RSS by Alisa Miller, Accredited Degrees
Choosing an RSS reader, Search Engine Watch
iTunes - Making a Podcast articles
Audacity – Free Sound Editor and Recorder
How to Create Your Own Podcast - A Step-by-Step Tutorial, About.com
Raritan Valley Community College SBDC
Shasta College SBDC
SBA Podcasts (Including several recordings from PA SBDCs)
All a Twitter: Want to Try Microblogging? School Library Journal
Psst! Are you Twittering yet? Federal Computing Weekly
SBDCs on Twitter:
Top 10 Business Applications for Facebook, Duct Tape Marketing
Why You Need to Make a Facebook Fan Page for Your Website Now, Search Engine Journal
SBDCs on Facebook:
LMU Small Business Development Center
Learn and Play:
Links related to various "23 Things" Web 2.0 learning programs, Stephen Abram
Go2Web2.0 - Web 2.0 Sites Directory
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
So when I saw the SCORE Template Gallery described in the J.J. Hill Library blog, I knew I had to share it: "When you're starting a new project, there's nothing more reassuring than a template. For guidance and first steps, you might think of a template as a roadmap."
Monday, August 25, 2008
Here's a website called BeyondMotherhood.com, a matchmaking site where employers and stay-at-home mothers can find one another. Founded by Shannon Davis, a stay-at-hom mother herself. The site was created originally to service northern Ohio, but is growing in appeal.
Its existence is predicated on the fact that there is a wealth of employable talent that companies can tap into. It offers a venue where mothers can still utilize their business skills, while finding a schedule that's flexible enough to give them the time they need with their children.
The site appeals to employers by reminding them that stay-at-home mothers are ideal candidates to fill a need on a quarterly, seasonal, or project basis, or who have expertise that is only needed a few times a year. Such women possess the necessary skills, education and experience to do the job, but don't necessarily want to be brought on as full-time staff.
For $75, a company can post a single listing on the site for 30 days. If there are more postings, then that price comes down. This might be a tool useful to some of our clients. Keep it in mind.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Five Rules of Style for the Business-Casual Workplace
Ten Ways to Upgrade Your Look
Dress for Business Success Video
How to Order a Custom-Made Suit
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Kid-Focused Businesses (Entrepreneur Magazine's Step-By-Step Startup Guides)
Gift and Bath Products
Educational Toys and Games
Plus Size Clothing
Ward's Motor Vehicle Facts & Figures 2008
Documenting the Performance and Impact of the U.S. Auto Industry
Retail Sales (cars, trucks, top selling, Canada, Mexico and Leasing)
Registrations (Cras and trucks and vehicles retired from use)
Automotive Trade (US Exports and world trade data)
Materials (consumption by material type)
Ownership (Population per vehicle, drivers, thefts)
Transportation Expenditures (inlcudes fuel and licensing taxes)
Automotive Businesses (Facilities, capacity, profits)
Environment/Regulations (fuel consumption, prices, taxes)
Traffic Fatalities (By state, characteristics, countries)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Etsy.com, “your place to buy and sell all things handmade,” has been in the news quite a bit lately. It’s an online marketplace, where artisans can set up their own shop, post an item for 20 cents, and pay a 3.5% commission when it sells. Just about everything you can think to make (and some things you’d never think of) are for sale here, and you can search in some creative ways (like by color.)
Ponoko, “is the world’s first platform for anyone to share, buy and sell product plans to make individualized goods.” Ponoko works in several ways. Designers can create and upload product designs, choose materials, and Ponoko will manufacture and deliver the final product. Or you can design it, and then display it in the Ponoko showroom, and someone else can buy it from you.
Ready to take the plunge to buy only handmade gifts? Check out the Buy Handmade Pledge. You can sign up and say, “I pledge to buy handmade this holiday season, and request that others do the same for me.” I know it’s a little early to be thinking of holiday gifts, but for those of us who don’t want to be knitting every spare moment in Decemeber, now’s the time to start planning : )
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Google, of course. To use my example, type: 1.279 CAD per litre in USD per gallon and click "Google Search". When I did it at noon on August 11, the result was "1.27900 (Canadian dollars per litre) = 4.58349234 U.S. dollars per US gallon". By the way, it doesn't matter if you spell it "litre" or "liter".
What you will need is the three-letter code for currency, which you can find several places, including here, one of the sites noted on this website.
More about Google's unit conversions here.
Tip of the cap to Arthur @ AmeriNZ, who mentioned this on his podcast.
Monday, August 18, 2008
However, in honor of the big race, check out the Center for Gaming Research. It's a website designed & operated by (where else?) the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. The site is geared towards three distinct groups of people:
* The academics, for whom a users guide is tailored for researchers of all ages (including us!).
* The media/industry guide helps those in the media and casino industry find the information they need.
* The "just curious" section, which is broad information aimed at those just getting started.
The information available is not just for the state of Nevada, so it's relevant to a blog being written in New York.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Although lauded by freedom of information individuals and organizations, the site is troublesome to state workers who do not enjoy having their personal salary and contract information open to the world. For more information, click here for an article from The Times Union and here for a blog post from Roger Green.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Polo Ralph Lauren to launch shopping by cell phone
By Martinne Geller
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
But for those of you that want more, here's a couple of freebies (thanks to the J.J. Hill blog for pointing them out)
Newspaper Association of America's Consumer Segmentation Snapshots
While there's a focus on newspaper readership, this site offers profiles of different consumer buying groups for finance, technology, buying styles, food/cooking, health, vacation/travel and automotive purchases.
From Claritas (a Nielsen company) - You Are Where You Live
Enter the zip code you are interested in and the "segmentation system defines every neighborhood in the U.S. in terms of 66 distinct lifestyle types." (Note: Clicking on the name of the lifestyle type will explain the group, but once you've seen this page and click the back button, your search will be unavailable. Try opening the lifestyle descriptions in a new window or tab to avoid losing your results..)
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
And here's the one for this blog:
Other sites that can generate clouds are Wordle and the Tag Cloud Generator.
Monday, August 11, 2008
I need more sleep. A fellow named John Medina would agree. He wrote a book called Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. In it, he puts forth his 12 rules for a better brain.
Most of the rules are pretty obvious: exercise more, eat better, get more sleep. However, he's built a website where he lays out the science behind each of them - how a portion of your brain is physically influenced by external factors. For instance, regular exercise stimulates a part of the brain related to the thalamus, which aids in memory. A lack of sleep hinders your attention span, promotes moodiness, and impacts your logical reasoning. Your brain will better retain new information if exposed to it repeatedly.
And so forth. I find this stuff fascinating (it, uh, provides mental stimulation). If you're at all interested in how people learn, and how customers do what they do, then check out this site. All of these rules are presented in both text & video format (again, repeated exposure to new information helps in learning . . . a tip for website designers).
Best of all, the author is a strong advocate of never scheduling meetings around the 3:00 hour, but instead believes we all ought to take a brief siesta to re-charge ourselves. I've been lobbying for that around here for years!
Friday, August 08, 2008
History of Federal Minimum Wage Rates Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, 1938 - 2007
Minimum Wage Laws in Individual States
Thursday, August 07, 2008
One of the sessions I listened to was about talking to employees about dress codes. It is interesting and talks to this team's approach to managing employees in general. For the purposes of this topic they discuss the ways managers talk to employees - making judgements versus offering feedback on employee behavior with an explanation of impacts. In this scenario, not criticizing clothes specifically, but talking to the choices employees make and how to separate the person from the behavior. They describe situations where a dress code is too specific and tries to codify clothes. The difficulty is where a person is not breaking rules but is making choices that creates less than positive results. The model works in most scenarios.
The object is not to focus on the past - what is right or wrong but to focus on desired future behavior.
They urge managers to talk to directs - If you want to change performance, change behavior. Delegating to others can backfire by not having the conversations happen in the best way and may end up aggravating an already upsetting situation.
4 steps to the feedback model
1. Ask: can I give you some feedback?
2. When you... describe behavior/statement of fact, without judgement
3. Describe impacts (A/B/C)
4. Offer positive or negative feedback
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
As described on by Alain Sherter on TheDeal.com:
"The database, which lists information on 492 VC firms and nearly 6,800 venture investors worldwide, is based on information from the National Venture Capital Association, supplemented by Winn's own entries. It provides links to firms' Web sites, email addresses, locations and investment parameters, including assets under management and minimum and maximum investment. In a nice touch, VCDB displays firms in Google Maps, which gives entrepreneurs an idea of their proximity to investors. Even more useful, it provides biographical info on individual VCs, along with links to their blogs, if they have one. The database is searchable by firm and VC, location, investment size and alma mater."
Worth checking out? Let us know what you think.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Q: There are women-owned certification programs, minority-owned certification programs, and small business disadvantaged certification programs,, such as 8(a). Is there a small business certification program? If not, how do those programs that require small businesses fill them?
A: According to my sources - the SBA and a very nice woman at the NFIB - there is no small business certification as such, as there are women, minority and small disadvantaged programs.
Wait, you say, so how do they get SB for contracts, etc.? They assume they are telling the truth, but then require documentation (payroll records, tax records, etc.) to make sure. Trust but verify.
BTW, it’s the same for veterans – no certification, but one will need to bring in the documentation at some point.