Sunday, December 14, 2008

Click: Unexpected Insights for Business and Life

Overview
Click is an insightful well written book that gives us a window into the world of online data research. Click was written by Bill Tancer who is a researcher at Hitwise, an online competitive intelligence company. Bill analyzes the data of what people do on the internet. Hitwise has one of the largest samples of aggregate internet behavior data. It’s hard to think of online data research as exciting, but this book will open eyes as to how interesting and important it really is. We used to tell our secrets to our friends or maybe our hairstylist, now our closest confidants are Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Tracking what people are doing on the internet tells us a lot about the people. The book is part business and part social trends. Internet behavioral data is explained and how it can be used by advertisers and marketers. Social behavioral trends are also looked at which can really give us insight on what matters to people.
The Main Points
How data is gathered and measured is changing. We used to rely heavily on surveys and polls to tell us what people thought about different things. This has proven only somewhat effective. While taking surveys we are limited by sample size, cost, and cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance, for these purposes, is basically that we may tell people what we want to be true, or if we do not feel good about a particular behavior we may skew what we really do. We never lie to Google though. We can use sample sizes in the millions at little cost, and there is no lag time between the event and the gathering of the data. We can get answers almost immediately. By following click streams and looking at the demographics of who is searching for what we can learn a lot as a marketer.
We can also learn a lot about people in general. The best way to figure out what people are thinking about is to figure out what they are searching for through search engines. We are more likely to ask a search engine how to overcome our true fears than we are to admit to someone our true fears. When a celebrity dies of lung cancer do we work harder or try more to quit smoking? All of this can be gleaned by looking at what we are searching for and when we are searching for it.
It’s not only important to know what people are asking or looking for, but who is doing the looking and what behaviors they are exhibiting as they move though the click stream. Are people clicking through to something else? What exactly are they looking for? Where the people come from is important to know as well when trying to understand trends. Are they from a rural area or an urban one? Even economic status should be looked at. Low income rural males my exhibit different behavior patterns than middle income urban males. The author also looks at the different types of people and what behavior patterns they show, such as the early adopters as opposed to the early majority. If we can determine who the early adopters are and what they are looking at or doing we may be able to better predict what the next big trend is going to be.
Conclusion
Click is a book that will appeal to a broad audience. People in the business world will appreciate it and gain insight in how they advertise and how effective their marketing is. Casual readers will be interested in the social behavioral trends and will enjoy the examples and stories. Click was a difficult book to put down. It draws you in with all of this amazing information. After reading this book it’s hard to see how any business would be able to compete for long without paying serious attention to online data research. Our minds, our fears, our wants, our needs, all told though the click of a mouse. Bill Tancer said it best “If you want to understand the new connected world and how we choose to live in it, look no further than our Internet behavior; after all, we are what we click.”

Thursday, December 11, 2008

e-preneur





This book is a very good book for those who want to get their present business or a future business on to the web. He explains how to appeal to the “crowd”. If you can achieve this then you will have a successful business. He even explains how to get the funding to start up the business online, such as lenders to go to and what to do to get them to invest. The book is a fairly easy read; there are chapter summaries at the end that help with recap, or quick referencing. Goosen has a lot of experience in this field, so you know you are getting accurate and good advice. He has helped many get their businesses started on line. He has really good examples in the book of actual companies, and they have used the concepts in the book, and how it helped them. If you are looking to start a business online, or just a business, but also having a website, through which you use e-commerce, I would highly suggest this book.
Definitely the user’s guide to starting a business online!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Make Money with MySpace


How to Make Money with Myspace accurately describes the process of setting up a Myspace account, and then how to manipulate it in order to market your current business. From first glance, this book looks very appealing to those that are like myself, who are on Myspace a great deal of time. Myspace has become a networking website in which you can find old classmates, friends, and network with people who share similar interests as yourself. Myspace has also become a place in which many businesses promote their services and products that they sell. Notice how I used the word “promote” because it is illegal under Myspace rules to physically sell any services or products on the website unless in the specified categories. So as a small business owner like myself, this book caught my eye for the fact that I figured it would teach me how to promote my small business through Myspace and enable me to become more profitable not only here in Colorado, but around the world.

Personally, I see this book as being more of an informative, instructional, and step-by-step type of book. It’s informative for the fact that it informs the reader on how to create his or her own personal Myspace. It’s an instructional and an step-by-step book in the sense that it goes from telling you how to register yourself for a Myspace account, to teaching you how to add music, videos, and advertisements to your Myspace. It goes as far as telling you how to choose who to add as your friends and who to ignore, and how to promote your business in a number of different ways through Myspace. Similar books to this book by Prince include, How to Make Money using Facebook, How to Make Money with your Blog, and Myspace Marketing. I feel these are all similar to this book for the fact that they are all beginners books in making money by marketing your business through internet networking websites. But as far as competitive books, I did not come across any who directly impose a threat to Prince’s book because his is really the only book who goes step-by-step in how to create your own and market your own Myspace page.

This book overall is a great source if you are new to the Myspace community. Prince starts the book off with introducing the aspect of why it is important to market your business on Myspace. The first half of the book goes through how marketing on Myspace can improve the success of your business, but at the same time, it can destroy your businesses reputation if marketed wrongly. Prince goes into great detail about the biggest importance of creating a Myspace page, and that is making sure that your home page is not too cluttered and not too flashy. He explains that with making your home page too cluttered, it will take longer to download on most computers and rule of thumb is, if it takes longer than fifteen seconds to upload most lookers will just pass your page. The other rule of thumb is that if your home page is too flashy, it can detour lookers because the bright colors can “burn” one’s eyes. Both aspects are important in keeping visitors plentiful and making sure that they return more than just once.

After his discussion on the importance of your home page, Prince goes into detail over the next few chapters on how to customize your page to your liking. It’s important to be yourself, after all, that’s the main point of Myspace. But being too much of yourself can hurt your page and the marketing of your business. So Prince puts a limit on how much you should personalize your page and describes how to make your page appeal to the average Myspace user. If you’re already a Myspace user, these chapters are virtually useless but again, I feel like this book was meant for beginners. The remaining half of the book goes into detail on how to select your friends and begin the marketing of your business through Myspace. Prince tells that by choosing the wrong “type of friends” can actually hurt the marketing of your business. Though it is wrong to discriminate based off of one’s looks, personality, and their own Myspace page, he says it’s imperative because the wrong friends can attract the wrong crowd, as well as detour the right crowd. I believe Prince wrote this book to inform beginners how to create their own Myspace and how to successfully market their already formed business on Myspace. Again, this book definitely gives off the vibe that it was written for beginners and not for experienced users, and definitely for those who already have a business intact, not someone who is in the works of creating a business.

The biggest weakness of this book in my opinion was non-the-less, the title. It fooled someone like myself who was looking for a book on how to effectively promote their small or large business on Myspace. Rather, it was a book intended for Myspace beginners and how to effectively customize your own page to your own liking. Other than the misleading title, I felt the book was overall still a well written book. The pros definitely out weight the cons of this book. From a beginners mindset, the book was very informative on how to create your own Myspace page. It was very instructful on how to customize your page to your own liking, to your businesses liking, and how to customize it around promoting your business. Finally, it promotes the usage of marketing your business through the internet which ultimately, can help your business grow.

Finally, I would definitely recommend this book to others. But before recommending it, I would definitely make it a point that they knew that it’s a book for beginners and not novice users of Myspace. The book is very informative in how to create your own Myspace page, how to customize it around your own personal likings and your businesses needs, and finally how to promote your business online. However, if the person I was recommending this book to was a novice with the internet, especially Myspace, I would not recommend this book. If I had to grade it, five stars being the best it could receive, I would rate this book at only two stars.



Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The book that I choose to read for this review is called, Create Your Own Website: 6 Easy Projects. This book is written by Scott Mitchell, this is one of many book like this that Mr. Mitchell has written. I choose this book because I am really interested in building my own website that I can share stories and pictures with my family and friends. This book also goes in to how to sell products with an eBay store. This will allow me to learn more about how to effectively create and manage an online eBay store, this is something I have thought about doing on numerous occasions and when we had our guest speaker Jim Reeder from ConsiderItSold it sparked my interest more. Another thing that I hope to gain from this book is learning how to create a blog on my personal website so that I can share events with my family all across the country. Lastly I hope to gain the knowledge on how to share images with Snapfish with my family and friends. This book seems to have a little bit of everything for me to learn about using the web for my enjoyment.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to get familiar with using the internet to stay connected in many different ways. I will certainly be rereading this book a couple of times when I want to get my website up and running so I can make it presentable for my friends and family. I have already used it to customize my MySpace more to my liking. My mom has used the Snapfish website before but his book has shown both of us more of the tools that they provide to us to use on the website to share our photos.


Friday, November 7, 2008

Promoting Your Podcast


How are people supposed get updated information about their favorite topics when they are always busy and on the go? If only there was some technology that allowed people to keep informed and still keep up with their fast paced lives. Questions like these are easily answered with one word, podcasts. This amazing medium is used for many purposes nowadays such as; providing information, expressing opinions, sharing knowledge or simply complaining about the first thing that comes to one’s mind. The reason that I choose Promoting Your Podcast by Jason Van Orden was because I always wondered how someone would obtain an audience base once the podcast is established. I selected this book in hopes of understanding how a podcast owner could become noticeable amongst the copious number of already existent and constantly growing podcasts; also to learn the basic required tasks of maintaining a prosperous podcast.


This book is a very informative piece of work that serves as an excellent guide for any podcaster no matter their level of experience. The author provides numerous examples and detailed instructions throughout the book that help to alleviate the sometimes overwhelming amounts of information required to sustain a healthy podcast. The optimal audience is someone who already has a podcast or is just starting to create one. The author assumes that the reader has established their podcast purpose and intentions and therefore this book is not for someone who is looking to find help with creating a podcast, but rather help those with existing feeds develop into vigorous and fit podcast. Jason Van Orden proves himself to be a resourceful author and an informative writer. A former Microsoft employee Jason ventured off to pursue the life of podcaster and eventually a podcasting consultant. As the founder of Podcasting University, a prominent online podcasting resource, and the man behind three of his own popular podcasts Jason proves himself to be a skilled authority in the podcasting world.


The concept of podcasting has many different applications and is available to almost anyone interested. The ease of access and lack of start up expenses makes starting a podcast relatively easy. The only setback for some people could be understanding the functions and technology required to maintain a healthy podcast. The details that need to be understood can be quite a responsibility and sometimes overshadowing, but Orden does an excellent job of suppressing these overwhelming feelings by providing the reader with examples and resources that help one to grasp these vast amounts of information. Despite the reader’s knowledge of the discussed topics, Orden successfully creates an easy to read and understand book that does not overwhelm the reader with too much information.


After completing the reading I feel confident that if I ever decided to start up my own podcast, I would have a running head start on the game with this book being an excellent resource along the way. I would recommend this book to any and all podcasters whether they are just beginning or have been doing it for some time. Even the most seasoned podcast could benefit from reading this book as it provides many recourses for growing and maintaining a consistent audience.

The Everything Blogging Book


This is an informative book and also a hands-on book. It not only supplies a lot of information about blogging, but also gives you step by step instructions on how to write your own blog. When I looked inside it, I liked the format of the book. It has main topics written in bold letters, which makes it easy to read the main ideas in each chapter. It also contains useful boxes such as: e-facts, e-essentials, e-alerts, and e-questions, which give the reader hints, advice or just interesting information and facts.
The book takes the reader step by step through the blogging process, which includes planning your blog, finding a blog host, blog design, blog content development, popular blog topics, who is blogging, and popular blog tools. It also explains that blogging creates a culture and a sense of community, where people get together to express their opinions, exchange information, give each other advice, comment on other’s blogs or just read them. It mentions popular blog topics like news, politics, health issues, business and careers, family and relationships issues, travel and recreation, sports, arts and culture. The book was written to help people who don’t know much about blogging understand what blogging is, how it works and why people blog. “It was written as a guide into the world of blogs and blogging.”
A great benefit of this book is listings of links to different Web sites that can be found throughout the text. The resources section also provides many additional Web sites about blog hosts or providers, blog search engines, blog feeds, feed readers and subscription services and photo blogging resources, which are very handy especially for the beginners.

I would recommend this book to anybody who doesn’t have much knowledge about blogging and who is interested in learning the basics about the subject.

The Web Collection Revealed


“The Web Collection Revealed: Macromedia Dreamweaver 8, Flash 8, and Fireworks 8”
Authors: Sherry Bishop, Jim Shuman, and Barbara M. Waxer
Review: Scott Lawrence

I have been designing websites as a hobby/part time job since the age of 9. I had a running gag with my parents every year during Christmas where I would create a version of my Christmas list that was always improved upon the previous year. It got to the point where the items I wanted became irrelevant and I looked forward to Christmas simply to try and out-do my previous attempt and create a list that would impress everyone. Eventually I decided that a physical list would no longer suffice, and I opted to create a web version using the long since dead free hosting site, Angelfire.com. My first site was terrible looking, and obnoxious in every way and broke every rule of thumb for web design. Over the course of the next few years, I began to gather ideas on how to create a new and improved site, but had little knowledge of how to complete these great ideas. Out of necessity, I slowly began to teach myself HTML coding, JavaScript, and how to use editors such as Photoshop, FrontPage, and others. I eventually started making sites for $400 a piece for local companies or local bands that had absolutely no idea what HTML even was. Eventually I burned out and quit trying to keep up with the technology advances moving faster than any one person could learn.

I ordered this book from the internet because of my interest in the subject of Flash. When the book arrived I saw a note that was absent from the website, “Beginner to Intermediate”. Instantly I wrote this book off as a total waste of time. Fortunately I was wrong. There were clear gaps in my self-motivated web design education that this book finally was able to fill. Furthermore, there have been huge strides in technology advances since I hang up the web design towel only a few years ago. For the majority of this book, I found myself glancing at pages and skipping them as it went into vivid detail about how to create tags, tables, and other aspects of web design that have not changed and had become second nature of the years. However, the topic of Cascading Style Sheets shows up, a concept that was so new that most browsers would not support them at the last I had heard of such a thing. CSS is a way to create an outside source file that tells all of your web pages how to look, act, and position themselves, allowing large websites to be much simpler. As I read through a concept I knew practically nothing about, I found the authors explanations extremely easy to read and understand. These simple explanations were followed up by pictures that finally helped me understand what some of those buttons in Dreamweaver were actually supposed to do. By the end of the book I actually found myself saying out loud, “Wow I had no idea you could do that!”

My main interest was in learning Flash, which I already own several books on the subject, but I have gained very little knowledge from any of them. What little I did know I had discovered by playing around with the software myself in my free time, like trying to make a ball bounce across the screen. There were amazing things such as “Shape Tweens” and “Text Animations” that I knew were available, but had no idea how to use. The book again clearly explained how to create a navigation bar instead of a simple animation. It demonstrates the main concepts behind Flash that were the essential reasons I was unable to utilize this powerful software to its full extent. I would greatly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in making powerful, engrossing websites but has very little core knowledge of how to do so. The more advanced users will notice that the book lacks any real explanation of Action Script, one of the most powerful aspects of Flash. However, for someone who has dabbled in web design, this book will help you start making websites like a pro in no time at all. Clear to the point explanations, plenty of images, a project guide included on the disc, and a straight forward approach to using the three programs as well as integrating them together makes this one of the best technical instructions books I have read. As you recall, I taught myself at least 3 or 4 coding languages, so I have read well more than my fair share of technical books, and this one stands above the rest.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


The book Mastering Online Marketing by Mitch Meyerson is a phenomenal book and toolkit for any up starting Internet business to read. Not only is this a great guide but also there are interactive charts, assessments and tables that the reader will do and it will help guide them in improving their marketing strategies.
Mastering Online Marketing is about marketing, specifically online marketing. It also has many tools as well as examples, in it to help its readers get websites started and how to get marketing online done right at the very beginning. The author of the book is Mitch Meyerson. He used to be a psychotherapist in Chicago. He has made a lot of money through his online coaching programs and this book teaches the readers how to go about improving their online marketing skills and driving people to their website.  Mitch is also an author in four additional business development books and three personal development books. Mitch partner, Jay Conrad Livingston created Guerrilla Marketing Coaching Program. With another partner, Michael Port he created 90-Day Product Factory as well as the Traffic School. All in all I would recommend this book to a lot of people starting off with a new website or wanting to enhance their current website to drive traffic to their sites. But I would also recommend that read other marketing books are researched and taken into consideration before any marketing idea/strategy is put into operation. This was a great book for a “How-To” book and it was an easy read. I enjoyed it and think it should be in any private website owners library.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

How to Use the Internet

How to Use the Internet to Advertise, Promote, and Market Your Business or Web Site with Little or No Money

By Bruce C. Brown

I chose this book because I wanted to learn more about promoting a website. Also it came highly recommended from other readers on Amazon.com.

About the book

This book is about promoting and advertising on the Internet. First it tells you the basics of what you need and how to get it, and then has information on where to find it for free or at a low cost. It helps define e-commerce terms, what you will need in creating a website, the importance of Internet advertising, how to generate more traffic to your website, and how to make it easier for you to run your online business with different types of software. Most of the ideas or topics mentioned have websites to go to get the software or application you need for little to no cost. It has clear steps on how to start a marketing plan that will work best for your company and how to implement the plan. Some of the ideas and techniques the book mentions are to:

Design an easy, well managed web site
Use Newsletters and e-zines
Try Google or Yahoo advertising- the book states that using Google is one of the smartest decisions you can make in advertising your business
Use Affiliate programs
Get Media Exposure
Use Automation for responding to customers and database marketing
Use your expertise to speak at functions or write articles

The book was written to help the reader find all the information in one source.

Recommendation

Yes I would definitely recommend this book. It was an easy read, not too complicating. It had great information and ideas. Ideas that you would never think of. It was a great book for anyone who is interested in promoting a website and doesn't know much about Marketing. I also loved how the book had recommendations on websites to use which most all of them where free or low cost. The only down side to this book is it was very repetitive. However, It was very thorough. If the ideas were used and implemented correctly I believe that you would have a very successful business that would be profitable.

BLOGOSPHERE by Michael Keren


Overview
The world of blogging has grown into a cult phenomenon with thousands of individuals posting their thoughts, stories, beliefs, and rampages all over the web for viewers to observe and discuss. In this book by Michael Keren, the stories of nine individual and very diverse bloggers are examined and analyzed through Keren’s dissection of the blogging community and the politics associated with it. In the introduction of the book, Keren discusses the importance of the “blogosphere” and how exploration in it can harm those who are not politically and socially knowledgeable enough to recognize the difference between a web log with factual and relevant information, compared with the ranting of a meaningless individual with mindless information flow. Keren gives us insight into the lives of nine twenty-first century characters and tries to merge the reasons why they, and so many others like them, choose to blog. The first story is of a web designer named Jason Kottke. Kottke’s assortment of blogs ranges from daily morning rituals and recommendations of local restaurants to technology and design. Megnut.com, or Meg.Hourihan.com, is the blog about a woman named Meg Hourihan who is known as innovator and an icon to women. . Hourihan’s online diary supports her conviction of female superiority and serves as an all-purpose blog. The third blog was created by an anonymous Iranian girl to inform the world about the ongoing condition in Iran and the problems that the women in Iran face on a daily basis. “Not a Fish” is a blog written by “Imshin” who was described in an online profile in June 2004 as a thirty-nine- year old Israeli working mother. This blog illustrates the daily life and struggles of a mother trying to raise her children. The fifth story is of a lady named Marn and her blog, "Marn's Big Adventure" has become the catalyst for this baby boomer to discuss her affection for her cats, her everyday rituals on a dairy farm in Canada, and her space to gossip on everything. The next blog is the story is of an American soldier, nicknamed Lt. Smash, serving in the Naval Coastal Warfare Group providing security to coalition ships unloading military cargo in the Kuwaiti Port of Shuaibaon. This online diary served as a means of keeping his family and friends updated on his adventures, and eventually he began engaging with thousands of citizens at home who sent their questions, comments, greetings, and blessings. Pamela Ribon is an author, TV writer, actor, screenwriter and the figure behind the popular pop culture blog, pamie.com. ). “A Mother in India” tells the tale of a woman living in India and her “experiences and challenges in getting help for her daughter who has been diagnosed with schizophrenia”. Lastly, the blog of a man named Rethabile Masilo. An African exile living in France. This story is an example of how blogging has a way of expressing an individual voice to have a justly liberating role.

Review
Some of the stories covered in the book were very compelling and inspiring while others I found irrelevant and boring. Keren’s evaluation of the author’s I found to be judgmental and rude. There are thousands of individual “online diaries” on the web and these are the nine that Keren chose to write a review on. Not every blog is going to be politically correct or even valuable, not every blog has to be. The purpose of a blog is for people, real or imaginary, to create and manipulate their identities and remark on what they find to be important and to share it with others. It is not one’s job to criticize what is in someone else’s mind. I found Keren’s critiques to be unjustly and the handful of examples he chose to examine to be an incomplete sample of the world of “blogosphere”. I would not recommend the book, however, I would recommend taking a look at the individuals blogs discussed in this book.

On the Way to the Web: The Secret History of the Internet and Its Founders

By Michael A. Banks

Overview: This book shows how history was changed through the use of computers and the Internet. How everyday life now, relies on the Internet and the way we find information. The book talks about many of the start-up companies the Internet was founded on such as: Prodigy, GEnie, AOL, Apple Link, PC-Link, CompuServe, Lockheed, DELPHI, Apple, IBM and many more. Banks takes you through 30 years of the Internet and how it's developed and changed since the 1970's. The book has really good Appendix's that show the start of the companies and a great timeline. "This book introduces you to failed entrepreneurs, people who built empires out of little more than empty time, the innovators who laid the foundation for the Internet and the World Wide Web, the man who invented online chat, and the people who invented the products all of us use online every day!" If you want to know about the Internet and how it really started this is the book for you.

Recommendation: This book was very interesting because of all the information presented. The author, Michael A. Banks, really did his research for writing this book. No wonder he is considered an expert in his field. He gives very detailed information and a lot of it. It takes a little bit of time to read it because of all the names and companies he goes through. I liked that he included little subtext in the book of specific information that was interesting. I would not suggest this book for light easy reading unless you are really interested in the beginning of the Internet. It can be a little dry in some areas and can jump around very quickly. If you know nothing about computers this book can be a little difficult. Overall, I would not recommend this book unless you are extremely interested in the material.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Ultimate Guide to Google Adwords


Overview:
The Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords is a must read for any business owner that is looking to drive traffic to their website.  The book is a fairly easy read that uses a lot of examples and takes you on a step by step process through setting up, maintaining, and converting business off of internet.  It has helpful tips throughout as how to develop or improve your current AdWords campaign.  The book is broken down well into short chapters that have enough information with a good combination of examples and images throughout.  Overall it is a well laid out book that is helpful to the business owner that wants to get more traffic to their website.
Personal Review:  
Overall I think the book was written very well for the purpose that it was intended.  I could sit down and pick up this book and start from scratch creating an AdWords campaign, develop it, know how to test it, and also some of the things I may need to do once I drive the traffic to my website.  Even for someone that has been doing this for awhile the book does have some helpful tips as to how to improve your campaign and test it as time goes along.  The only individuals that would see no value out of this book is someone that already does a lot of SEO work.  Overall I would recommend the book!

The Google Story

Lisa Neal
"The Google Story"
by: David Vise & Mark Malseed

Overview:
The book “The Google Story,” written by David Vise and co-authored by Mark Malseed, is a in depth account of how the massive Google company leads the way in the search engine business, got its start in a rented garage in Silicon Valley. The book gives detailed accounts of every process Google went through to be the major success they are today, all the way from Stanford University were the two Google inventors Larry Page and Sergey Brin first met. I choose this book in order to understand how this company outperformed similar companies and overcame many obstacles to obviously become a very wealthy and unique business. I wanted to see the process that came about in order to produce such a radically different technology and who the unique and talented minds behind Google, who dreamed it up, were.

Personal Review:
Overall, “The Google Story” is a must read for anybody who uses Google or is interested in their business strategies or who just are curious how they made it big. This book has more to offer than any of the competitor books on the same subject because it has a nice balance of history and technical information as well as interesting stories and facts and the authors are obviously more than qualified to produce this type of read. The depth of this book is really attention-grabbing, informative as well as entertaining. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of the technology and history behind Google as well as anyone who wants innovative ideas for the running of a business.

Starting an eBay Business


This book is demonstrating to individuals and traditional businesses how they can start an eBay business. It gives you information on how to price your products, and understand the costs associated with an eBay business and how to write compelling listings. There are so many people that try to sell products on eBay but they don’t have any success. There is several different ways of why you could sell on eBay including if you have a low-cost product, you are a manufacturer, hobbyist, collector, or you want to expand your traditional business. The Better Business Bureau wrote this book in collaboration with the Planning Shop, which specialize in creating business resources for entrepreneurs.


The book goes in to great detail regarding the different options of selling on eBay that are available to you. These include Standard Auction, Buy It Now, Best Offer, eBay Stores, eBay Express, and Want It Now. In addition the book covers topics such as how to plan your eBay business, getting started, pricing and profit, after the auction, and beyond the auction.


If you don’t know anything about eBay but have a desire to start an eBay business, then this book is for you. It tells you exactly what to do and when to do it. It covers everything from planning your eBay business to how to accept your payment and ship the item to the customer.


I strongly recommend this book for anyone with the aspiration of selling on eBay but who have not materialized their dream due to lack of knowledge and tools. This book will provide you with everything.

Monday, November 3, 2008

The Secret Power of Blogging




Matt Julsonnet
The Secret Power of Blogging
By Bruce C. Brown
MKTG 470 - Book Review

Overview of Book
The Secret Power of Blogging, or SPB, is an incredibility informative book that is written in the same fashion as the "For Dummies" style books, or any general "How-To" or "Do-It-Yourself" book. The writing style of SPB is very simple, explicit, and easy to understand. As the title states, SPB is a book about the "secret power of blogging." As it states in the subtitle, this book explains “How to promote and market your business, organization, or cause with free blogs.” This book gives readers a step-by-step introduction into how to create a blog. However, this book was not written with the idea of personal blogging in mind. The entire purpose of this book is encapsulated in its subtitle. The idea of the book is to simply help individuals and small organizations make money and create awareness through their own blogs.

Personal Review
On the whole, I thought that SPB was a relatively interesting and informative book. There is an abundance of useful information contained within its pages. In comparison with other books of this type, “How-To-Use-Computers” etc, I would highly recommended SPB. It is an excellent resource when establishing a blog for business purposes. Therefore, although there are a few weaknesses within the book, namely juvenile writing and some incorrect assumptions by the author, I would recommend the Secret Power of Blogging to anyone interested in learning about the art of blogging.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Start Your Own e-business: Your Step-by-Step Guide to Success



















This book was written to help both individuals and existing traditional businesses to engage in e-commerce. If you are interested in starting a successful e-business but have limited or no knowledge with reference to e-commerce, then, this book is for you. The book contains highly detailed information and provides a step-by-step approach regarding every aspect of developing a successful e-business, including web site building, web design, web hosts, domains, ads, affiliate programs, funding, and search engines.


If you are wondering how you build a web site and how you make it show up on search engines such as Google and Yahoo!, then wonder no more. This book will cover everything and even inform you of all costs. It will provide both the knowledge and the tools you need to develop a fully operational e-business.


The strongest aspect of the book is the Appendix containing the so called “e-Business Resources.” This is a section referencing companies and organizations which can provide tremendous information in every aspect of what is needed in order to start a successful e-business. The appendix contains resources for marketing research, financial status of existing companies, publications, statistics, web site building, and traffic report and ratings, among other topics. Organizations mentioned include: hoovers.com, thomasregister.com, bbbonline.org, and planetbiz.com. Additional sources are networksolutions.com and tophost.com. This appendix is invaluable not only in terms of research but also in terms of growing your e-business.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Online Ace

The reason I chose this book was because I wanted to know why so many people I talk to lose so much money gambling online. I have played online poker for a long time and always lose my money. I wanted to find a book that would explain why this keeps happening. 

This book gives a lot of good stratigies on how to win a lot of money, but the biggest point it made was to have a lot of bank roll to gamble if you expect to win a lot of money. Putting $20 dollars into your account will not win you to much money.

I would reccomend this book if you are a huge online poker fan, this book is not for people who do not want invest a lot of time and money into online poker. It was an intresting read, with a lot of good information.  If you are serious about online poker, pick up this book.

The Unofficial Guide to Starting a Business Online


I chose this book due to a personal desire and interest in running my own online business someday.  I created my first web page when I was in the 8th grade, so the interest has grown from there.  I hoped to gain some basic knowledge and really an outline of each step in creating an online business.  This book did a great job of giving unbiased information for both the beginner and the tenured business owner.  With that said, the book is basically broken down just like that.  The book starts out with the basics for the beginner and then transitions into the more advanced and tenured sections.  This book is a simple and easy read with nothing difficult or technical at all.  I really liked that in this book there are checklist given in a number of sections to allow you to stay up to date with your progress on creating your new online business.  The only weakness of this book is that it could include a bit more info for the advanced/tenured online business owner.  On a scale of 1-10 I would give this book a 9, just because I don't like to read books because they put me to sleep and this one didn't do that.  

Macromedia Flash Professional 8

video

As a college senior, majoring in business, I, probably like many of you, would like to start my own business sometime after graduation. Through all my classes and general ‘on the job’ knowledge I have learned that a well put together website can be a great marketing tool; a tool that can reach everyone. I have also learned that most new websites incorporate some type of Flash effects.
Knowing all of this, I chose a book that would teach me basic Flash techniques needed to create an attractive website. Macromedia Flash Professional 8 - Hands On Training by James Gonzalez turned out to be a very effect tutorial based book that is very easy to follow for the beginning Flash user.
I would recommend the book to someone who has no prior Flash knowledge, but not to anyone who knows general Flash techniques as the book may seem redundant.

The Long Tail by Chris Anderson

I’ve heard about this book for years. As a listener of countless podcasts, a subscriber of Wired Magazine—and with a job in marketing—the idea of “the long tail” has been drilled into me as a cornerstone concept for making the most of new media.

Yet I knew after reading Chris Anderson’s recent cover story on “Free!” (the basis for his next book coming in 2009) that I was missing out by not having read the book. This is a rich concept, and I wanted to fully understand how it affects all industry sectors today… and perhaps use the concept to sharpen an eventual business plan I intend to draft.

The Long Tail is about several interconnected subjects: marketing, product distribution, new media, the entertainment industry, and network economics. The book’s sub-title—“Why the future of business is selling less of more”—encapsulates the basic concept well.

It was written to inform media and business professionals of an overarching trend that affects fundamental aspects of what goods to produce, how to distribute such goods, and how to achieve success in fast-changing markets.

The primary value delivered by The Long Tail is an entirely new conceptualization of how markets have changed due to three combining forces: the democratization of production means, the democratization of distribution means, and the new connections between supply and demand.

Anderson knocks down many conventional business principles, such as the 80/20 rule, as he provides a picture of how audience participation has forever changed how people buy and sell. In the online world alone, The Long Tail give specific advice for five categories of businesses:
  • physical goods retailers
  • digital goods retailers
  • advertising/services
  • information aggregators
  • user-created communities


  • The Long Tail stands up very well to its competition. Perhaps its greatest “competitors” would be various business blogs and websites that contain some of the same information. Yet in book form, The Long Tail reveals a true intellectual and informational depth.

    Similar authors, such as Seth Godin, tend to be more philosophical and not rely as much on hard data. I appreciate that Chris Anderson does the necessary research, including source notes and an index, to present this revolutionary concept. I would highly recommend that every business, media and communications student read The Long Tail.

    Investing Online for Dummies


    Investing Online for Dummies

    There are many reasons to invest online; it saves you money from expensive commission costs, as well as gives you more financial flexibility. However, online investing comes at a cost which is a higher level of difficulty and risk. Author Matt Krantz, takes you through a step by step guide which aims at making you the successful individual investor.

    There are many tools that investing online presents; you are connected to powerful resources such as financial websites, you can see continuously updated, interactive graphs, and you have software available at your fingertips such as Microsoft’s Excel and Money, as well Quicken applications.

    Krantz does a good job letting you know the many opportunities of investing online as he walks you through several financial instruments. He covers debt and equity securities which include stocks, bonds, money markets, and mutual funds. He also helps you with concepts like options trading, currency trading, and asset allocation

    Instead of focusing and going into a lot of detail on any particular subject, Krantz is vague and gives you basic information and references to websites to learn more. If you are looking to learn a great deal about any one of these instruments, this is not the book for you. However, if you want a general overview of the whole market, you will probably find value in this how to guide. Overall, I recommend this book because it gives you websites with intangible info, and it explains a new concept of investing which breaks away from the traditional form with a stock broker.

    Strategies and Tools for Corporate Blogging


    Review:
    The book highlights (mainly) the need and key to successful blogger relations as it relates to corporate and customer interaction. It is an ideal supplement for an individual or team who is trying to implement a new corporate blogging tactic to their website or are struggling with readership or generating the right content from their blog. Although not a beginners book to blogging strategies, it highlights the need to transition to social media and how to best conduct dialogue throughout the process. Cass does a number of case studies to show why or why not a corporation might blog, and the struggles they have faced in doing so. He also gives insight on the customer's perspective and the future of social media. Altogether, the book should not be used as a start up guide for implementing a new corporate blog but should be consulted as a reference toward improving blogging relationships and following online guidelines set by the consumer.

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Exploring Web Design

    About the Book

    Exploring Web Design is a book that covers various aspects of web-design and the web-design industry. The authors appear sufficiently qualified to cover the material presented in the book. The book covers the following areas of website design:
    • Introduction to Web Design
    • Website Layouts
    • Typography
    • Color Theory
    • Designing websites for accessibility by people with disabilities
    • Developing a career as website designer
    • Multimedia and Web Design Technologies

    The primary format of how the book is setup is that it presents a concept, provides an example and moves onto the next concept. The book's content is short, concise, and to the point.

    My Review

    Some of the strengths of this book are that it is simple/easy to remember and teaches the process of designing a website rather than focusing on how to do specific designs for specific situations. Some of the weaknesses of this book are that some of the technology referred to in the book is already outdated and there are some problems where black and white examples should have been in color.

    Overall I think that this is a good book for those who are looking to get a quick understandind of the fundamental concepts and principles of web design. Personally I learned more about some of the important aspects of web design as a result of reading this book.

    - Bill Ebersohl

    Internet Riches

    Today’s business world is such an exciting one, in which technological advance has almost revolutionized the way in which we conduct it. Not only has the internet been the number one reason for this revolution, it has allowed for people to create or expand business operations in ways they had never dreamed of. It is very ironic, as well, that in the past month or so, with the economic downturn, e-business has become much more attractive. The fact is, that if an entrepreneur wanted to receive a loan to bring a business idea to life, today’s market would present very high obstacles. The book Internet Riches touches the very foundation of small business creation on the web, which may be the only opportunity for aspiring capitalists in today’s fierce business environment. This book takes the technological novice through the entire process of formulating, launching, and maintaining an e-business. Never before have I read a “how to” book like this one, that presents e-business in an easy to understand way. I personally chose this book to further my knowledge on the art of e-business creation. However, I found this book to be much more. The book is very inspiring due to the fact that it does not just present theory to the reader, but also involves countless examples and interviews with regular people that have accomplished their dreams through e-business, and how.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Creating a Web Site with Flash CS3 Pro-Visual QickProject


    Jody Severance
    MKTG 470 – e-Commerce Book Review
    October 23, 2008
    UCCS – Professor Tom Gruen

    Author David Morris wrote this beginner “How-To” type book (2007) as an alternative to a massive technical manual that shows every possible function of the Flash CS3 Pro software. The format of this book is a step-by-step project that visually guides users to create a striking and impressive web site using the Flash software from Adobe. The author provides an example case, a home-based florist business, and a companion web site from which to download the files to create the case web site. Morris uses simple and clear instructions with pictures of real dialog boxes, and then guides the user to apply these processes to create a working web site and learn many of the needed techniques in Flash-based web site design.

    I selected this book because I am interested in web site design at the beginner level. I want to market myself to potential employers and my husband’s small business.

    Morris has been a graphic artist and web site designer for fifteen years. Since he was a product manager for several Adobe products, Fireworks and FreeHand, which are used extensively in web site design, he is familiar with the broad power and depth of the Adobe products. Yet, Morris writes this book for a beginner user who is attracted to starting with a simple project that can produce a simple web site by following a step-by-step process.

    The primary value of the book is the set of illustrations which directly relate to the case project. I realize that this type of book is aimed at my learning style: to first see, and then do. It is a tangible length of 148 pages, and it can result in launching an actual web site. Other strong aspects of the book include a companion web site with updated material and corrections to the text. Also, the author covers most of the seven C’s, which refer to the quality of the user interface with a web site. Morris illustrates how to incorporate: context, content, customization, communication, and connection.

    On the downside, the case exercise requires users to have Flash CS3 Professional software, which I do not have on my home computer. In fact, in the introduction that I read before I bought the book, there is a quote that states, “…on the companion web site…you’ll find all of the files you need to complete the project in this book.” Additionally, only five of the seven C’s mentioned earlier were featured. There are no instructions on how to include “community” or activate a blog, nor “commerce” by including the instructions for safe commercial transactions. To be fair, these web site characteristics are very complex, and again, this is a beginner web site design book.

    In the end, I do recommend this book as a beginner project to design a web site with Adobe Flash, and I do intend to use the book to create my own web site.


    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    Purpose of this blog

    The "Undergraduate Students Favorite e-commerce Books" will present a collection of reviews of books that were selected by each student as part of a course requirement for Marketing 470, e-commerce, in the College of Business at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs.

    For this assignment, each student selected a book of her or his own choosing with the following restrictions:
    1) the book must fit the course objectives (i.e., be directly related to some aspect of e-commerce)
    2) the book must have a 2006 or later copyright (there are some e-commerce classics, but the field changes so quickly, that students need to be reading current material)
    3) no two students can read the same book. So it's first-come, first served, or you snooze, you lose.

    In addition to reading the book, students must prepare a 2-3 page written review, and an 8 minute in class presentation. The blog postings are a condensation of the information the students put in their written reviews and presentations.

    The blog will have, at mimimum, a set of reviews of 25 books related to e-commerce, a set that reflects what interests a group of undergraduate students in Colorado.

    If you have come to the site and are not part of the class, feel free to make comments to the postings. I hope you find it helpful.
    -e-commerce prof