Thursday, November 29, 2007

ProfessionalProfiles-- Marketing

Last spring I submitted a project plan to Forbes for ProfessionalProfiles. The concept was based on a service I found on a women's site that provided unhindered access to the group's professional profiles.

What I liked about the service was that anyone could access the profiles, the ease in which it was to navigate the profiles and that the system worked. Often I have perused organization sites that do not offer public access to business directory areas or the service itself is problematic [lots of SQL errors].

A month or so later after researching several applications and functionality I chose Noahs Classifieds as the backbone for the service. I installed Noahs Classifieds on WingSix servers, my web host at the time. There were all sorts of problems installing the package on their servers so I abandoned the project for awhile not wishing to develop an entirely custom application.

Over the summer I switched web hosts and found that I had no problems installing Noahs Classifieds so I began development work. The service sits on a sub domain on my hosting site [Hosting-Q] and is currently the most popular area on the site. Over the last 30 days there have been 462 unique visitors with 541 pageviews to that area alone. This according to Google Analytics which I have found is very conservative when reporting traffic for my sites.



I credit a lot of the visits to my forum signatures, a promo I run in the header of Q's Wire... and a listing placed here.

The thing is-- there are only about 6 profiles-- to date. With the audience the site generates, I am researching why this is the case? I intend on correcting this problem. The listing fee is nominal and I promote the service quite a bit. For less than $10.00/year I work at putting your business and services before others that may need them-- and I have a proven track record.

I will continue to look for new ways to promote this service-- however it seems that even the very conservative numbers Google provides, should garner more interest than I am seeing. I was promoting QiSoftware on a shoestring budget. A forty dollar expense on the women's site when I had other priorities was not something I could justify. I could justify $10.00. I should be seeing more interest from those on a shoestring budget either wanting or needing to list.

I still like this idea and always thought it was a good idea. I will not get rich putting this service to good use nor will anyone else-- not unless a profile listing finds the right target. There should be more interest. Are you listed?

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

handout your business blog card instead

When your business cards were printed did you include your business blog url? For many of us, our business blogs have become the primary source of news for products, services and other business related issues.

Want to try out a business card with the blog url instead of the business site url? ooprint.com is offering bloggers and business owners 100 FREE business cards for trying out their service. The illustration is one of 32 card designs from which to select from.

To read more about ooprint.com see their blog. For their full line of products-- see the catalogue.





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Monday, November 26, 2007

Blogs Earning

I have started a new list on NS&J-- Blogs Earning. Be sure to bookmark the link and if you have others to add-- the topic will remain unlocked. You must register on the forum to post and I routinely delete registrations because of language or what appears to be spam.

I think everyone is interested in this topic and we should all be able to learn from the experts.



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Sunday, November 25, 2007

NS&J Forum Lists

Sometime ago I created a popular topic script [PHP] for the News, Software & Java [NS&J] forums.

NS&J popular topics include-- Blog Addons, Celebrity Bloggers, and not shown but offered anyway, Paid Blogging Services

There are some useful tools and services listed on NS&J and although I do not actively promote the forum, I do update the lists often.




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Thursday, November 22, 2007

CatalystOffice: Small Business Software [Review]

A new service recently launched that promises to connect company employees and project members via a virtual office. The small business software -- is an offering of CatalystOffice.



The service assumes most are using Microsoft [MS] Office products for business and collaborative efforts-- and since Microsoft Office Suite is one of the most popular and robust productivity suites available, this is a good bet.

Right now the service allows company employees to share documents, emails, calendar schedules and provides an IM interface.

The benefits? Things like company emails [non-specific employee] i.e., accounting@yourcompany.com can be reviewed by more than one company official. Those with access to the email account can also see who responded for the company.

Your question-- so why can't you do this on the company's website? Yes, more than one person with access to an email account on a company server can see emails-- and if all outgoing mail is saved, those with access can see if a reply was sent-- but you may not know by whom. With CatalystOffice you will know which company employee sent the official company response.

To set up the emails you will have to contact your email hosting service [if you also have a site-- this would be your web hosting service] and have the company email accounts that you want to use with CatalystOffice, remapped. I have a web hosting service and I have had problems having domains and email accounts mapped correctly so this is easier said than done. It is not so much that it is hard to do-- it resets without warning [I may have extenuating circumstances].

I like the idea of this virtual office for autonomous elements of the new small business landscape. Many today are freelancers working from home. Established larger firms [now and in the past]-- install productivity tools on local area networks [LANs] and office employees who need access, have it. Now that the Internet has become the LAN for many small companies-- services like CatalystOffice are going to be important factors in company communications and project collaboration.

My imagination ran away with me when I thought of the futuristic possibilities of a service like CatalystOffice. I can envision one day seeing a custom MS Access application running in a "browser" like environment for employees of a company-- provided by a service like CatalystOffice.

For right now-- collaboration is through IMs, emails, scheduling, and shared files that are uploaded when updated by company personnel. Microsoft tools currently make saving files, i.e., .doc, .xls, etc. to the internet very easy. CatalystOffice provides a means to have company employees accessing the same official versions of company documents at the same time. If an official document is being edited-- others reviewing the document will be aware of that.

The Internet has been the catalyst for many to start their own businesses. Small businesses and home offices are more common today and many are looking for ways to deal effectively with associates without the overhead of physical offices or local area networks. I think services like CatalystOffice are going to be very important to the "new" small business landscape.

CatalystOffice offers a 30 day free trial. You can also learn more about their services through the Catalyst launch blog.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Hosting-Q Rate Hikes

As discussed earlier, Hosting-Q basic plan rate increases have taken effect. A new campaign promotion will start with the new year. I am looking for small business owners and blogging clients that are serious about being online to promote their efforts.


Are Hosting-Q's plans competitive with other hosting services? We offer managed hosting without managed costs. You can find lower cost service, however the level of support will probably not be the same.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

ProfessionalProfiles: finding an audience

I have been promoting a new offering-- ProfessionalProfiles quite a bit. It appears my efforts are not wasted. Not only do I have the link in most of my online signatures-- it is also an ad in the header portion of Q's Wire my personal blog. Q's Wire is one of the most active areas on any of my sites. The promo renders on every page of the blog.



According to Alexa the sub domain where the service is located [pros.hosting-q.com], receives about 73% of the visitors as compared with other areas of the site.



Are you listed? I am promoting...

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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Online Forums & Networking...

I regularly use online forums as a means to network with other business owners and entrepreneurs. Here are some of the forums I use:


Another site I find useful as related to online forums is this forum ranking site.

I also belong to several social and employment networking sites, i.e., LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace, however do not consider these to be forums per se, although quite a bit of networking does go on amongst members.

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Monday, November 05, 2007

Disclosure Policy

This blog is a business blog written and edited by me, Regina D. Thomas– Owner at QiSoftware/QiSoftware.com. For questions about this blog, please contact qisoftware@gmail.com.

This blog accepts forms of cash advertising, sponsorship, paid insertions or other forms of compensation.

The compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space or post may not always be identified as paid or sponsored content.

The owner(s) of this blog is compensated to provide opinion on products, services, websites and various other topics. Even though the owner(s) of this blog receives compensation for our posts or advertisements, we always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences on those topics or products. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the bloggers’ own. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider or party in question.

The owner(s) of this blog would like to disclose the following existing relationships. These are companies, organizations or individuals that may have a significant impact on the content of this blog. We are employed by or consult with: Owner QiSoftware. We serve on the following corporate or non profit boards: n/a. We are active in a political party which influences our blog: n/a. We blog about people to whom we are related. The most interesting such people are: Extended Family Members. We have a financial interest in the following that are relevant to our blogging: Owner QiSoftware.