ASX Company Announcements RSS feed

Update 8 June 2011: The twitter feed of all company announcements is now at @mktbot which has an RSS feed. See goosmurf’s comment below for a Yahoo Pipes piggy back.

Update 31 July 2009: I may have a solution, stay tuned and comment below if you want this. Alternatively use my contact form.

Update 2007: This RSS feed has been pulled while goosmurf works out a different way to achieve this.

goosmurf has created a brilliant RSS feed of ASX Company Announcements where you can specify the company codes that interested you. So if you want to track just the announcements of, say, BHP Billiton (or your own portfolio) you can add the ASX codes to the feed address and just get just those announcements.

Now there are quite a few RSS feeds of all ASX announcements available elsewhere, but I don’t want to track all 1600 ASX-listed company’s announcements. This is the first RSS implementation I’ve found to let me track just the companies I want.

There are also web-based and email alerts out there, but I was looking for an RSS solution.

Retail KPI’s – the germination

Price Tag by Sarah Williams Brisbane, QLD, Australia via http://www.sxc.hu/photo/480217I’m developing a series of KPI’s for a retail operation. They own nine garden shed outlets and don’t currently track anything. It’s late and I’ve got a pile of notes, but I’ll document the process here.

One of the key elements is avoid collecting useless data, and reward the collection of useful data that reinforces the corporate values, empowers the store managers and is an aid profitability through performance measurement.

Obviously the store managers are going to have a say in the KPI.

Trade Show Strategy

I’m at a trade show in Cologne Germany. I’m questioning my trade show strategy. I race around all the halls and grab flyers or brochures only from stands that pique my interest. I then do some small talk, but really it’s just an introduction and “I’ll email once I get home and review your website”.

Interestingly I know people who want to sit down and place an order at trade shows. Unless they’re really experienced I can’t see how they manage their budgets or keep things straight that way. I’ve travelled with someone like that once. He basically ordered what he liked and cancelled orders after the show if he’d double ordered something (or found it on another stand at a better price). In a sense proforma invoices allowed and even encouraged him. He’d review it before the order was confirmed.

I wish I could do something like that. It seems more management by exception, or even following Getting Things Done.

From a Theory of Constraints perspective, I am the constraint. When I get home I have to pull out the brochures, write emails, review websites consider things again. Whereas my friend makes a decision and then it’s up to the supplier to do the work.

Damn I hate it when I have an epiphany like this on the road. Now I’ve actually got to change me approach.

Email Confidentiality Notices

Many emails coming to me have default confidentiality or commercial-in-confidence signatures. I think privacy aware individuals or organisations see them and adopt them without thinking through the issues.

Firstly if I haven’t specifically solicited a confidential email why should it be binding on me. Here is an interesting point from the abuse.net database:

IF YOUR MESSAGE CONTAINED A NON-DISCLOSURE OR CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: We do not solicit or accept confidential information for the contact database since the contents of the database are available to the public. Confidentiality notices are legally meaningless in the United States, where abuse.net is located, so such notices are ignored. If you accidentally sent something that you do consider confidential, tell us nicely and we’ll consider deleting it.

So think twice about blindly grabbing someone’s signature file and using it in your organisation.

That also applies to Privacy Policies and Terms of Trade. The number of businesses I’ve seen that have obviously borrowed their terms of trade from another supplier without thinking it through. Terms of Trade has implications for accounts receivable, collections and insolvency. At least get an advisor’s opinion.

What sells online?

Militia 04 secret photo by Bartlomiej Stroinski Poznan, wielkopolska, Poland, http://www.stroinski.pl/ http://www.sxc.hu/photo/236495 Flemming Funch at Escape Velocity posted in Ugly sells? and challenged Mark Daoust’s Site-Reference.com post The Surprising Truth About Ugly Websites.

It is not fancy, it is not exactly beautiful.

It’s one of the best-kept online secrets (and worst-kept direct marketing secret). It is possible to be too well designed or professional. Especially if that award winning design eats most of your marketing budget.

Once, before I knew anything about search engines, online marketing, seo (search engine optimization), I let a business friend talk me into closing a website “better no website than an unprofessional website” he advised. This guy was a marketing professional whose clients were all the big end of town. Big mistake many years later I realised it was popular with our customer base and drive enquiries to our sales team.

Another anecdote. I was meeting with a client last Tuesday to finalise a web marketing campaign, One of his marketing team wanted input to the website I am designing for them. Specifically the objection was precisely about the elements I use to get the fantastic results my websites generate in so little time.

What sells online is whatever speaks to the target audience. Banks and finance companies are expected to have slick, modern award winning design.

Online marketing demands function over form. Once the website gets attention, then you can add pretty features. Make sure the function of the website is clear obvious!

How to Get Inbound Links for Online Business

quickdraws photo by Cristian Galletti Casalgrande, Italy http://www.webgriffe.com http://www.sxc.hu/photo/16065 linksI’ve had two interesting meetings in the last week. Both were with other fathers whose kids attend the same school as mine. Both also run online businesses.

They’d heard I’d been in online businesses for years; was in the top 3% of worldwide sellers on eBay (more in a couple of days on that); and knew a thing or two about getting traffic and search engine results.

To compare the two, one was aware he could do better, expected to learn and grow his business over time – essentially in for the long hall. The second guy was scattered over four or five different technologies and business models, chasing the next big thing.

My system suits the first way. And I advised my second friend to be patient.
Both however needed more links to their websites both directly from their friends, but also from relevant, non-competing sites. Reciprocal links (where you link to me and I link to you) are a bit tricky with Google penalizing people who build link farms. Relevance and quality of the linking site is more important that just getting any old links.

So while I am always looking for suitable link partners, I looked at fast alternatives. I found Link Vault a free, text-link advertising network. This is a high-quality ethical way of growing inbound links and getting a share of the web mindspace.

Link Vault has a good reputation for fast lasting results. I’ve already rolled it out on some of the sites I manage and expect to implement it here as well.

quickdraws photo by Cristian Galletti Casalgrande, Italy

Web stats, log analysis and web tracking

I just got home from an interesting talk on corporate health management. More specifics on that later, but it matched with an email from a client.

Doctors use numbers to measure our overall and specific health, businesses have KPI’s. Webmasters, eTailers and eCommerce practioners live and die by their stats. But it’s amazing how many website owners ignore their stats.

Web logs get ignored until orders stop flowing

It’s a great quote, but it’s getting the cart before the horse. Logs give early warnings of problems and early pointers to success. Find out your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats sooner than later. It’s always better to have time to plan a response before it becomes critical.

But logs in isolation are useless, we’re after trends. Your traffic should be moving in the right direction, and that traffic had better be relevant. There is not point in say 12,000 unique visitors if it’s all unrelated or marginal traffic.

And seeing how people are finding a website is as important as the bulk numbers. Is a pattern emerging for searchers? Are they looking for particular information or products that you provide, or can easily provide. If your product is on say page 18 of Google and people are willing to dig through 180 websites to find it, then look at improving your ranking, either through organic search improvement or sponsored placement.

Gratuitous plug. If you want to improve your natural placement in search engine results pages and want a consultant get in touch. You’ll be amazed at how high our techniques will get you.

Disney offers free ABC TV

ABC network logoThe threat of internet TV downloads is met head on by Disney the owner of ABC network and Pixar. ABC will be offering their prime-time TV shows like Lost and Desparate Housewives for download via their MyABC portal at http://abc.com launching in May.

The Wall Street Journal has the story on the front page today.

DISNEY PLANS to make much of its most popular programming on ABC and other channels available free anytime on the Web. The move could speed changes in TV viewing and help revive the ad business.

The big news s they’re allowing these downloads for free. They will contain advertising and the ability to fast forward and rewind. The shows are already available for video iPod via iTunes, but ABC understands advertising business models, so they’re playing with their advertising to make an event of the launch. Should be interesting.

Great move, they’ve siezed the day and decided to grab the market before someone else eats their lunch.

It looks like Steve Jobs may be teaching them to unclench their grip.

A Thousand Dollars

A Thousand Dollars photo by Tracy Olson Victoria, BC, Canada sxc.hu 387599The psychology of wealth creation works on a subconscious level. It is hard to develop that radar in an environment where wealth is absent. So it’s hard to forget the plan with images of the goal all around.

That’s why dieters put images on their fridges. Images of them slim, somebody with a similar body type at the ideal weight, the treat they’ll have when they reach some goal — whatever.

Notice the image is different for each person. The image must be personally meaningful. One person’s motivational image is anothers de-motivator.

So when I found this image of a thousand dollars I thought “oh yeah!”. What images, totems, reminders do you have in your space of you goals. Give your subconscious the fuel it needs to serve your dreams.

I found the image at Stock.XCHNG, the leading FREE stock photo site. You can get a high resolution shot by clicking through to http://www.sxc.hu/browse.phtml?f=view&id=387599, and clicking the photo. It’s by Tracy Olson of Victoria, BC, Canada.

Web Candy, add to Google button

You may have noticed some buttons appearing in the sidebars. Yes I’ve finally joined the web candy crowd.

They’re for voting for WealthEsteem on various blog toplists. I’m experimenting with directory listings and raising the profile of the blogs I write for or manage. Unless you’re reading this on a RSS aggregator or reader, in which case you haven’t noticed anything. That’s ok I don’t mind how you access Wealth Esteem. But for those of you who want to use either the Google Reader or your Google homepage, here is a button just for you.

Add to Google

I’ll add more links later. I just found Chicklet Creator.

Update Oops! the code didn’t validate as XHTML 1.0 Transitional so I’ve pulled it. I’ll use the code as the basis of a validating list. I think I shouldn’t have selected every available reader.

Update: 11 May 2006 It is very important for an online business website to validate as compliant with the standard. As each website specifies what W3 standard it complies with, failing to meet that standard places unnecessary obstacles between my viewers and my website.