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GoSpaces, a Free Web Site Builder and E-Commerce Platform

23 Sep

Go Spaces (also known as Spaces) is a rather new Web site designer and host. It has a free design package that “Brings your business online. Get access to 15 free business tools. Branded Space. 3% per transaction + gateway  fees.” It also offers a premium package for $4 per month: “Take your business to the next level. Get access to 15 free business tools.Unbranded Space. 2.5% per transaction + gateway fees. Free custom domain name with annual subscription.”

According to ere’s what’s distinctive about GoSpaces:

“GoSpaces is expanding into 38 countries and 20 languages, making it accessible to more than one-third of the world’s population (2.7 billion people) in their native tongue. The platform will be tailored to each country’s needs regarding use of language and will include local payment gateways, full translations on the backend, and soon to come, auto-currency settings that will help international customers see how much products cost in their local currency.”

“Supported languages include Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, German, Korean, French, Turkish, Italian, Thai, Polish, Dutch, Czech, Swedish, Bulgarian, Danish, Finnish and Norwegian, its blog post says. GoSpaces touts the expansion as advantageous based on the fact that most E-commerce platforms are only available in English, even though English speakers make up just five percent of the world’s population.”

“Kasper Christensen, GoSpace’s co-founder, says the platform’s flexibility in language and payment options opens it up to audiences across the globe. He expressed his excitement in this quote. ‘Already we’ve seen creative uses that we never imagined, like tour guides advertising their services, restaurants posting their menus, and bands using it to sell concert tickets. “Now that we’re in 38 countries, I imagine we’ll see even more variety in the Spaces being created by our community.”

 

Click the image to view the firm’s blog.

 

Social Media Checklists: Part 1

13 Sep

In this first of two posts on social media checklists, the focus is on the activities necessary to best use social media. This comprehensive checklist from Sprout Social is divided by time frame — from daily to quarterly.

NOTE: Click on the image to learn more about each activity shown in the checklist.

 


 

How Effective Are Social Media?

9 Sep

With virtually every large company — and many mid-sized and small firms — now involved with social media in some question, one of the big challenges that remains is: How can we measure the effectiveness of social media? Yes, we can rather easily track the number of likes we get and generate reports on comments at social media sites. But how can we measure return on investment (ROI)?

To help address the effectiveness of social media, Duke’s Fuqua School of Business recently conducted a study of chief marketing officers (CMOs) at a number of companies.

As reported by eMarketer:

“Social media ad spending continues to grow in the U.S., with eMarketer forecasting the format will make up more than 20% of digital ad spending by 2017. Yet even as marketers’ social media budgets increase, many are still struggling to make sense of its overall impact on their business.”
 
“Based on an August survey of U.S.-based CMOs by Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, executives from across the business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sectors are still figuring out how to gauge the true effect of social media on their business. The problem is more pronounced for those in the B2B sector, where nearly half of respondents haven’t yet been able to show the impact of social media. Many in the B2C sector have had better luck showing the qualitative impact of social, although 60% or more of CMOs still they did not know the channel’s quantitative impact.
 
Take a look at the two charts on the Duke study from eMarketer. See what CMOs say their companies are doing to assess social media effectiveness.
 

 


 

What Generation Has the Best Future in Entrepreneurship?

8 Sep

As we noted in a prior post, according to the Pew Research Research Institute: “Millennials have surpassed Baby Boomers as the nation’s largest living generation, according to population estimates recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Millennials, whom we define as those ages 18-34 in 2015, now number 75.4 million, surpassing the 74.9 million Baby Boomers (ages 51-69). And Generation X (ages 35-50 in 2015) is projected to pass the Boomers in population by 2028.”

So, given the huge size of the Millennial generation, what are its prospects for producing successful entrepreneurs?

Bob Horton reports for Online MBA Page that:

“Millennials may end up being the greatest entrepreneurial generation ever. Just think about it for a moment.”

“Digital natives have the upper hand in our tech centered world. The on-demand, plugged-in, Millennial generation is influenced differently than previous generations and molded by global happenings in real-time. Smartphones have provided improved tech resources over the last 10 years. Ready-made distribution platforms allow for quick tests of ideas, e.g., Etsy, Ebay, and Amazon. ‘Crowdfunding’ has enabled entrepreneurs to raise capital from online sources, rather than relying on traditional sources like banks to grow their business.”

“Independence is more important than a corner office. 67% of Millennials report their goals involve starting their own business. Only 13% report their career goal is to climb the corporate ladder to become CEO/president. Creative freedom is the key to real happiness. Since 1985, entrepreneurship classes on the university level have increased 20X, so educational exposure is at an all time high for Millennials.”

“Collaboration and coming together around great ideas rocks. Making a difference in the world is HUGE. 79% of Millennial employees who volunteered through a com­pany-sponsored initiative felt they made a positive impact. 57% of Millennial employees want company-wide volunteer opportunities. There is purpose over profit.”

 

Do Millennials Make The Best Entrepreneurs? [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Scenario Planning Influences Strategic Decisions

31 Aug

Scenario planning involves planning for the future by understanding that different marketplace outcomes may occur in response to any strategy and that each possible marketplace outcome must be planned for to avoid the worst case scenario.

Here’s a simple example: Suppose that a major soda company introduces a new non-carbonated cola beverage into the marketplace. These are just a few scenarios that are possible:

  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations and do not cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues and profit rise.
  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations, but slightly cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues and profits rise slightly.
  • The sales of the new beverage meet expectations, but greatly cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues stay the same, and profits fall somewhat due to the investment in the new item.
  • The sales of the new beverage do not meet expectations and do not cannibalize the sales of other company products. Overall company revenues rise very little, and profits fall a lot due to the investment in the new item.

The premise of scenario planning is to anticipate the possibility of each of these outcomes occurring and have in place a pre-planned framework (contingency plan) to deal with each scenario.

Recently, Shardul Phadnis, Chris Caplice, and Yossi Sheffi wrote an article for the MIT Soan Management Review titled “How Scenario Planning Influences Strategic Decisions.” The authors reached three major conclusions:

  1. The use of multiple scenarios is not necessarily an antidote for overconfidence. One should not assume that simply using multiple scenarios to evaluate a long-range decision will help alleviate the negative effects of decision makers’ overconfidence in their own judgment.”
  2. Scenarios influence judgment — and their content matters. More than half the judgments in our studies changed after single-scenario evaluations. Scenario users became more favorable of investing in an element — either by increasing confidence in their original recommendation to invest, decreasing confidence in their original recommendation to not invest, or changing their recommendation to favor the investment — when they found the element useful in a scenario.”
  3. “The use of multiple scenarios can nudge executives towards more flexible strategies. Executives often choose strategies optimized for a particular environment. While such strategies may perform well in the environment envisioned at the time of their implementation, they may not be easily adaptable to new opportunities or in response to unexpected threats.  Under such circumstances, evaluating strategic decisions using multiple scenarios can help executives appreciate the importance of choosing more flexible assets or approaches — even if doing so is not the most optimal choice for present-day conditions.”

Click the image to access the article.

 

 

Ransomware: Even Worse Than the Name Implies

30 Aug

The term “ransom” has been around for hundreds of years and is best described as a way to redeem someone from captivity, bondage, detention, etc., by paying a demanded price.

Today, we have another destructive variation of the word ransom — that is “ransomware.” What is it and what can we do about it?

TechRepublic recently produced Ransomware: The Smart Person’s Guide, written by James Sanders. This is an executive summary quoted from the guide:

  • What is it? Ransomware is malware. The hackers demand payment, often via Bitcoin or prepaid credit card, from victims in order to regain access to an infected device and the data stored on it.
  • Why does it matter? Because of the ease of deploying ransomware, criminal organizations are increasingly relying on such attacks to generate profits.
  • Who does this affect? While home users have traditionally been the targets, healthcare and the public sector have been targeted with increasing frequency. Enterprises are more likely to have deep pockets from which to extract a ransom.
  • When is this happening? Ransomware has been an active and ongoing threat since September 2013.
  • How do I protect myself from a ransomware attack? A variety of tools developed in collaboration with law enforcement and security firms are available to decrypt your computer.

Sanders adds: “For those who have been infected, the No More Ransom project — a collaboration between Europol, the Dutch National Police, Kaspersky Lab, and Intel Security — provides decryption tools for many widespread ransomware types.


 
Here are a couple of informative infographics by LogRhythm:



 

Global Web Users: A Work in Progress

25 Aug

Recently, the International Communication Union, a UN agency conducted research on Web usage around the globe. Click here for a PDF of the highlights of its 2016 report based on this research.

Statista has devised an interesting chart from the ICU data. [See below.] And its Felix Richter  offered these insights:

“25 years ago, August 23, 1991, a British computer scientist made the World Wide Web available to the public. Tim Berners-Lee, who was then working at CERN, could not have imagined the impact his actions would have on the world over the next two-and-a half decades. Honoring this milestone in the history of the Internet, August 23 has become known as Internaut Day.”

“However, even 25 years after what some call its inception, the World Wide Web is not nearly as universally available as its name suggests. According to the latest estimates by the International Communication Union, a UN agency specializing in information and communication technologies, only 47 in 100 world citizens use the internet these days. While Internet access in regions such as North America and Europe has become a commodity not unlike electricity and running water, people in less-developed regions often still lack access to what has arguably become the most important source of information of our times.”

 

Infographic: The Not So World Wide Web | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista.

 

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