Tag Archives: online

People+Company Connections

I’ve been playing around with the social web for a while now. One of the things I’m interested in is how people are connected through organisations. For examply take the Australian Stock Exchange, there are about 1800 companies listed on the ASX all of which have a board of directors. Many directors sit on more than one board. So how do I find out who sits on what board?

I’ve maintained a private database in the past but I’m thinking of making it publicly available, in which case I should then wiki-fy it so that people can update it.

One place to build it is Cogmap which lets you create and share organization charts in a wiki-like manner. Alternatively there is Jigsaw a collaborative people and business directory with social media elements (invites and points).

I’m not sure which way to jump, but I want to seed my data and then let the users improve it. Then open the data further with to allow interesting and unplanned uses to emerge – like draw a map of 500 most powerful/influential board members in a country ranked by the market capitalization of their companies. This is sort of like They Rule without the Marxist-Leninist slant. They Rule allows you to create maps of the interlocking directories of the top companies in the US in 2004.

I definitely will build this. If you have suggestions I’m all ears.

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!