Great intro to the concept of Lean Startups by the man himself

The Science-ification of media

One of the smartest bankers in digital media is Terry Kawaja at Luma Partners.  He recently told me about this presentation.  Great stuff.  He is always provocative and prescient.   Take some time to look through it.

Five digital marketing tips for small businesses at the Crain’s Small Business Forum

This morning I am on a panel at the Crain's Small Business Forum in Chicago talking about how small businesses can use digital marketing generally and social media specifically to build their businesses.  I thought it made sense to use this blog to help think through what I was going to say, write it down and be able to refer people to it in the future.  

First, if you are like me and you always want to know more about the person providing the advice and what real experience they have, feel free to check out my Linked In profile. I have spent the last 15 years of my professional career building businesses that leveraged the power of the Internet.   Three years ago we took CoolSavings private and I founded Viewpoints Network so I am speaking both as a provider of social technologies but more importantly as a business owner who uses all range of digital technologies.

So without further ado….

Five digital marketing tips for small businesses

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Viewpoints Update – February 2009

Here we are again.  February 4th.  Two days after Ground Hog Day, three days after the Superbowl, ten days until Valentine’s day, seventeen days until my birthday and only forty five days until the first day of spring. Can you believe it? Are you ready? Can we help you get ready?

This e-mail is ostensibly an update about the all the great stuff going on here at Viewpoints. (Did I tell you monthly traffic has more than tripled in the last year?)  But rather than tell you about every new feature we released (did someone say iPhone app?), I personally think it is much more interesting to show you Viewpoints in action in a way that might even be helpful to you.  In that spirit and in keeping with our mission to help consumers make smarter decisions, here is my personal list of Viewpoints inspired ideas to help you make it through the dog days of winter:

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The largest Internet companies in Chicago


I spend a few hours a week meeting with people who are either a) looking for a job at an Internet company or b) looking to start one.  I always run through a list of both large and interesting (sometimes they are actually both!) Internet companies.  My definition of an Internet company is a company delivers the majority of their service and product over the Internet.  I will create a separate list of folks like United Airlines, Hyatt and Sears who are using the web in significant ways to drive sales. My bias with this particular list is toward the “consumer Internet” because I know less about the agency, consulting and b2b space, so please add some comments about who you would add.

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Viewpoints Update – December 2008

As we speed into the final two weeks of December, I thought this would be a good time to give you a quick update on the latest at Viewpoints and maybe even give you a few gift ideas.  I am pleased to report that last month we had 1.4 million unique users and we now have more than 150,000 registered members.   I am starting to get used to 25%+ month over month growth!

As you know Viewpoints is social media company focused on helping consumers making smarter decisions.  We are passionate (some might say obsessed) about finding ways to motivate consumers to tell us about their personal experiences with products, services and businesses so that we can in turn present all of this great insight back to the millions of in-market buyers who are using our site to make important decisions.  

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Top Ten Most Commented on Reviews on Viewpoints

I have to admit I love going to YouTube and browsing through the most popular videos. It really gives you a window into the service and tends to be very topical when you look at the most popular by different time frames. In that spirit, I had our tech team pull this list today. We are considering making this a full blown feature. What do you think?

  1. 88 comments – Read the fine print- product never arrived! Avoid $90 charge!
  2. 62 comments – Bye Bye Epinions–Hello Viewpoints!
  3. 61 comments 1000 Reviews and counting. The top 10 reasons I’m at Viewpoints
  4. 60 commentsBest Romantic Comedies: My Top Ten List
  5. 55 comments – Epinions: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly…..
  6. 54 comments –
    That song means WHAT? 10 songs I misinterpreted big time!
  7. 53 commentsWe’re official. Viewpoints kicks off with a great party.
  8. 43 comments – We must, we must, we must, we must firm our bust!
  9. 43 comments – I love my beautiful Irish Claddagh engagement ring & its story.
  10. 43 comments Humane for mice, heart attack inducing for me. *shudder*