Technically Speaking

Rex Dixon – Professional BlogCaster

Archive for September 3rd, 2006

Blogging and Social Networking

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

Well I decided to change the Technically Speaking blog to this WordPress site. I was on the blog.com site, but it just didn’t serve my purposes (the free version). I couldn’t seem to add anything to the site that I wanted to add such as links, other blogs, promotion, etc… Hopefully from what I have seen so far, WordPress will serve me better and I won’t have to change blog sites again.

I guess I should have done more research before going with a blog service. I liked the look of blog.com when I first viewed it (my sister uses it), and it looked great. I guess though she must be using some of their “pay services” to blog and have the blog look nice like her’s.

Blogging is big business, and business seems to be good for all blogging services – blog.com, wordpress.com, livejournal.com, etc… Then of course there are those blog services that are attached to social networking sites such as – myspace.com, tribe.net, free-association.net, hoverspot.com, etc… Everywhere you go on the internet in your search for something new to read – you will find a blog! Anytime you feel like you need some new friends – you can find a free social network!

Social Networking. That is a whole other article that could be written. First and foremost, none of the above services I have mentioned have really ever generated any profit. Aside from one that I know of (free-association.net), they are all in it to make some money at the end of the day. I would love to take a look at their actual profit and loss statements.

Yes, myspace.com was bought for like $583 million dollars. That doesn’t equate to any profit it has actually generated. It’s just that myspace has over 70 million users; probably closer to 100 million by now. Someone once did some math on how much each user was bought for, and using the above rough numbers it appears to be anywhere from 8.3 millon to 5.8 million dollars per user! How do you justify spending that much money on something that hasn’t generated one dollar?

I believe the people who buy the social networking sites such as myspace.com and put more money into older social networking sites (something called venture capital recapitalization; venture recap for short)such as tribe.net really need to take a look at where they are spending their money. What I am saying is – investors beware! Maybe it all lies in the smoke and mirrors presentation from each of their marketing guru’s that does the trick? I have no idea what gets into these venture capitalist’s minds (maybe lot’s of tequilla?) to spend such amounts of money on the only thing they are generating. What is that thing? — Millions of FREE loading, FREE signing up – USERS!

How does a social networking site capitalize on the great user base? From what I am seeing, it’s just tons of ads that basically are like throwing darts at a dartboard. Sometime you’ll hit the numbers you need, other times, you reset and take your next turn.

It’s the tequilla shots and free dinners! It has to be! What would inspire you to take say $70 million dollars and reinvest it into a social networking site that generates $0 in revenue? Tequilla, Free Dinners, and lots of smoke and mirrors!

I find that blogs are the pulse of our society today. What you read on a blog is probably more relevant then what you can read on the news sites that are out there. The news only reports what is politically correct, the blogs report everything that is the story and not just the one that will appeal to masses.

Social networking I find is great for just that – socializing, networking amongst people with common interests, meeting new people, etc… The things you use to do before the internet. I don’t see social networks ever generating money beyond some “click now” ads that they are littering their sites with in order to make some money.

I am going out on a limb and predicting that the next wave of social networking will have to be subscription type of services. I’ve been around this crazy thing called the internet since back in the day where it use to be nothing more then privately run BBS’ (bulletin board systems). Those (BBS’) were not even considered the internet, as it wasn’t, but that was what there was before the internet took off in mass appeal and affordability. Near the end of their run, the “good” BBS’ were all pay type of places. The ones that made any money at least.

Search the internet and I’m sure you will find a blog or social network (or 3) that appeals to your sense of purpose in life, at least Technically Speaking.

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Spam Fry Friday – original post date – 9/1/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

SPAM, yummy stuff if you fry it up in a pan and then cover it in baked beans. What I use to do is actually cover it in beanie weenies. This was eons ago when I was first out of the Navy and working for a government contractor back east in Maryland. Now of course, I’m sure you didn’t tune in here today to read about SPAM receipes right?

The spam I refer to of course is that dreaded stuff we all get in our e-mail. Why do people even bother to spam? Well that can be easily answered as we all know it does work a small percentage of the time. You can’t blame the internet for this. Spam has been around as long as the US postal service started delivering mail. When those marketing genius’ out there said “Why not just send a ton of junk mail to everyone?” Someone eventually answers that one piece, and there you jusitify the cost for it all. Spam or junk mail in your snail mail. The same holds true for Email, a small percentage of people actually end up buying some penny stock, or getting their Zoloft, Viagra, Vicodin, etc. from the spammers company.

The most preferred method that spammers use is called spoofing. You can read a great article at cert.org telling you exactly how that works. Basically, you just hide your e-mail address from the people you are sending it too. You end up looking like you could very well be – vice_president@whitehouse.gov – sending you the message. It’s fun stuff to do if you want to pull tricks on your friends. What is not fun is the fact that spammers have been using this above method that you can read in depth at this URL here for years now. Probably as long as there has been spam, there has been spoofing/forging of Email addresses.

Now some people will say that there is no good to spam whatsoever. I think differently. I’m writing this blog so you probably figured by now that I would say that, right? Here is why I think spam is good in at least one way that I can think of off the top of my head.

The main reason that I believe spam is good is the fact that it has created JOBS! Yes, if it wasn’t for spam, there would be some software programmers writing code for something that didn’t help people or worse – not even working as a programmer! Every single day there are currently employed programmers writing code on how to stop spam. In the same token there are hackers out there writing code to get past those spam fighting programs. All in all, people are coding around one issue and discovering more things that wouldn’t be found if it wasn’t for the need of spammers to guarantee a way for their spam to arrive at your inbox and not in your junk mail box.

One of the first things spam programs do is key in on keywords. Lately spammers have been getting around that with gooblygook. Some programs have yet to pick up on it. Most have figured out that easy scheme. There are times you get e-mail with total nonsense as either the address, or the subject. Better yet, some spam you receive the first line has something like – akaijhehjaks – in it. That is just one way to get around the spam catchers. Most of the current ones have figured that easy method out, some still are letting a few slip through.

How do you stop spam? Basically, you won’t. Have you stopped junk mail from coming in your snail mail? Nope. As long as there are advertisers, people selling penny stock, Viagra, or what not – there will be spam. Unfortuantely, if you think it’s all bad, reread the above paragraph on the reason I think it is good. It keeps some programmers who would be out of work – employed. I believe that still working in the IT industry is a good thing; at least Technically Speaking.

Biznik – business networking

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Beast Of Burden – original post date – 8/29/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

Beast of Burden

That song just happened to pop into my mind as I was formatting this blog in my head today. You know the song, by the Rolling Stones right?

Computers in general are a great way to make a living or use to make your living easier. What everyone tends to forget is that in terms that are not so nice – computers are STUPID! That’s right, as dumb as a box of rocks or I guess I should say as dumb as a box of circuits.

People seem to forget that computers are inanimate objects. In layman’s terms it’s nothing more then a piece of electronic gear that does some rather nifty things for you. The only issue that people seem to always forget is that it does *NOT* think! I say this from years of working with them, and people who believe that computers can think. They can not.

Annie get you gun.

Why did I just type that? It was done to obviously illustrate a point. Most people will read that and not think twice. They will visually insert the “r” where there is none. Some people will do that. Others will read it as is, and will go, “Ah, the person meant to say your and not you!” In either case, the computer usually will not catch that as an error.

Wear know mane has gone before.

Again, the computer won’t ever hit that last sentence. Does it make any sense the way it is written? No. Does the computer hit on it at all? No. You as a person, do you understand what it says? Yes.

That right there is the main difference between humans and computers in a nutshell. Computers in our society have become our own beast of burden so to speak. Most people rely on them daily in their workplaces or at home.

The point I’m trying to make here is that you must never remove the human element from your professional life. Anytime you communicate via a blog, e-mail, web site, instant message, or forum online you should strive to come across as a person that still knows how to use that one last human element. That of course is our ability to think. Thinking is what separates us as the more intelligent objects on this planet Earth, at least Technically Speaking.

Biznik – business networking

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RadiusIM – I like it! – original post date – 8/23/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

I found this site via one of the major blog players out there Tech something. Sorry, I am terrible at names! I guess I need to be more ready to blog – the site I refer to above is – http://techcrunch.com/

This site (radiusIM) is another IM site as you might already be thinking, but actually – it’s very well written, and you can use your other IM clients right on their site. Nice! Plus it’s so “new”, most corporate IT departments still haven’t blocked the access.

Give it a go – http://www.radiusim.com/You can find me on there as my usual persona – RexDixon

Biznik – business networking

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Business Golf – original post date – 8/22/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

When you think of golf in general, two things usually come to mind –

1. Tiger Woods, Jack Nicholson, Arnold Palmer, etc… THE PROS
2. A bunch of businessmen out on the fairways using golf as a way to make an attempt to do business or meet clients.

Even though the tool of golf and business has been here for ages, not everyone knows how to do it to potentially leverage your company in the marketplace. It’s more like a way to get out and play golf while writing it off as a company expense. Now you have a nice write off, but have you actually covered your write off with new business or an expansion of an already growing business? The answer to that question more often then not is “No, but I shot a great round!”

Isn’t it about time that you actually stopped just only shooting a “great game” and actually did some business golf? This is where Scot Duke comes in to help you close the gap. ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways… – goes into the details and little known simple “secrets” of how to take a good game of golf and actually potentially make it your main profit machine!

He is not a new kid on the block with a bag of clubs either. Scot has over 30 years of corporate experience in the big telecom industry to draw from in writing this book. He can guide you painlessly to the rights and wrongs of business golf, as well as tell you where all the great courses are! Scot Duke’s book – ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways… – will help bridge that gap for you without the pain of trial and error.

To learn more about the man – Scot Duke – Please feel free to drop by his web site – http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/ – or better yet – take a minute of your time to read his blog – http://businessgolf.wordpress.com/

“Golf is only a game, and business golf is smart business!”

Biznik – business networking

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Photograph The Planet – original post date – 8/20/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

Photograph The Planet – is a new site I found by chance via tribe.net this week. It’s in it’s start up stages, and if you are into photography; give it try. It has that “google” / “craigslist” look and feel. I think this is a very interesting twist on an already there concept of storing photos online with a new twist.

The URL is – http://www.phototheplanet.com/ – and since it’s very very new, you may be referred to an IP address still as the domain propagates worldwide.

Biznik – business networking

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Lack Of Communication – original post date – 8/17/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

That was the title of a song by the 80’s band Ratt off their Out Of The Cellar album. It holds very true in today’s business world. It seems the more ways we have to communicate, the more we do not. This won’t be a very long post, so please take a few moments to read it, as I think everyone is guilty of this at one time or another.

What do I mean by this? A good example I have is the person that has to be the bearer of bad news, or the bearer of no news. This person seems to be the worst offender of *not* communicating. Why? Yes, it’s not fun to have absolutely *no update* for your customer or client, or even worse *bad news* for the same. Whether you are in the midst of running a small business or on one end or the other of job seeking, bad news or no news just so happens to be something that comes with the territory. You should expect it more often then not. You should be comfortable with giving it and receiving it. What you should *not* do is go into some silent mode of no communication.

In today’s fast paced communicated and always on and connected society we live in, there is absolutely no excuse for a lack of communication. The internet alone offers many ways to communicate – e-mail, instant message, blogs, forums, etc… Then of course the mobile phone industry. In today’s world, without a cell phone you are pretty much on the minority side of things. If you are without any phone service at all, I guess you must live in a cave and couldn’t even be reading this! Even America’s number one nemesis Osama Bin “forgotten” Laden had a phone! He probably even had the internet up there in his cave! I guess that negates the sentence before last!

Why am I even discussing another common sense topic? Currently I’m dealing with 2 different organizations that I may be doing some business with, and neither one seems to have this simple task down. Yes, I agree sometimes the old adage of “no news is good news” may hold true. In the same token, when you specifically ask for “Update?”, and receive none, that can be quite frustrating to the person asking for that update. Namely that person would be *ME*. I try to give the person time to return calls and e-mail, but when it gets to a point of where I can actually count hours that turn into days, it’s almost like you start asking the question of “What can I do next to get this person to respond?”

If you are in a small business, or if you are actively seeking a new job or career, or even trying to market a book you just wrote and published for the masses – the bottom line as I see it is you have to communicate! This is a simple task that is required to be successful, and with the above mentioned ways of communicating, there is simply no excuse not to return an e-mail, return a phone call, answer an instant message, participate in a forum, etc…

In closing, this post seems like common sense. It’s almost like something that doesn’t need to be said at all. It should be something that we are all good at. Unfortunately too many deals have not been closed, too many customers or clients have been lost and business isn’t done. Basically use the abundance of tools that are out there and I think you will find it’s very easy to communicate. At least technically speaking it is.

Biznik – business networking

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Time! – original post date – 8/10/2006

Posted by rexdixon on September 3, 2006

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking … into the future…..

How many of you now want to fly like an eagle? I see a few hands going up over there in blog reading land!

It’s a great thought, but in the world we live in, everything is based on time. Playing music, it’s all about timing. When you are playing it as in a band situation or even if you are writing your own songs, it’s all about the timing. Time is also used in reference to *who makes it* in the business and *who doesn’t*. It’s all about being in the *right place* at the *right time*. Everything that relates to reality and the world as we know it is based on time and timing.

The thought of flying like an eagle may seem like the right thing to do. It would probably even be a blast to do, at the right time. Doing this at the wrong time could be a disaster home video in the making!

If for instance, let’s say you start your business on “Vegetarianism” in say, St. Louis, or Kansas City, or Omaha in the middle of summer (bbq season). What do you honestly expect it do? I can pretty much guarantee it’s failure. It’s not the right time or the right place to try that.

I’m sure that this seems like a common sense statement for most people reading this, but for argument’s sake, starting that same business in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco or Chicago is not a guarantee for success either!

It all comes full circle to the above – It’s all about time and timing. You can’t expect to succeed in business or life for that matter if you are in the right place and the *wrong time*. Again, this seems like just a bunch of common sense so why am I talking about this at all since everyone already knows this?

More often then not, the most common things are so overlooked when you are heads down deep creating your own business, music, or recreational event. It’s looking from the outside in sometimes that might give you a sense of what is wrong. You can have the right set up, the right clients, and the right product and yet you are not making headway at all. Stop for a minute and think to yourself “Is my timing off?”

Now for my own little project that I’m suppose to be working on; the one I alluded to last night. It’s now the right time for me to get cracking on it again, well at least .. Technically Speaking.

Biznik – business networking

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