Social Bookmarking And The Small Business

A lot folks may ask, what exactly is social bookmarking? For starters, it’s part of a relatively new phase, or category of web sites, that are basically community-based, and wherein people can have their own page or section where they could store and classify their favorite links, which are tagged with relevant and useful keywords. They too are commonly called Web 2.0 sites. Thus because of this, their pages or sections can be shared among as many people as can find them.

Perhaps the most familiar and newest approach to re-finding or retracing information on the web has been through the use of personal bookmarks, supported by various Web browsers. Take for example, the Mozilla browser supports the creation of collections of URLs, which can be interpreted using keywords or free-form text, and then sorted on a variety of aspects, such as time last visited, keyword or location.

Social bookmarking lists can be made easily available to the public, or limited only to a specific network of sites. The list of links can be viewed in several ways; by tag, by category, or simply in a random order. They can also even be placed in a privacy setting created on usually individual bookmarks. The desire to locate and share information among small groups, teams, and communities has led to the development of a number of shared bookmarking programs.

Web users who visit social bookmarking services can search for any bookmarks that have been assigned with an association, and with a particular tag. The bookmark resources or sites are often ranked according to the number of visitors, who in turn have also bookmarked them. A couple of the more popular social bookmarking communities are to be found at sites like, http://www.folksonomy.org, del.icio.us, http://www.flickr.com, started with very few members at first, and then changed ownerships for millions of dollars once their social and financial importance had been recognized and deemed popular.

The emergence of social bookmarking systems

The recent phenomena shared bookmarking applications has prompted a second look at this kind of collaborative, or shared software. The del.icio.us social bookmark manager, started in 2003, was one of the first of its type and has enjoyed an early and large following of committed, regular users. These social bookmarking systems share a number of distinct features.

First, they allow persons to create personal collections of bookmarks and readily share their bookmarks with others. These centrally stored data can be accessed from any Web-connected machine. A second and equally important add-on to these bookmarking systems is the use of keywords, or tags, that are specifically entered by the user for each bookmark. The tags allow the individual user to organize and display the collection with meaningful labels.

Along with the tons of stuff available on the Internet, social bookmarking is also prone to abuse. Since a web page has a greater chance of being found the more times it has been tagged and bookmarked, spammers often seize the opportunity to make multiple bookmarks of a single web page using a lot popular tags. This has the effect of making it look that the page is a popular one. This, in turn forces the developers of social bookmarking sites to counter spammers by implementing stricter security measures.

“My Online Income System” by Kimberly Hoffman Product Review

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How To Earn With Social Bookmarking

If you’re hooked to the internet for hours without getting tired, wouldn’t it be great to earn some additional income without even stepping out of your home? Social networking has been fetching money for quite some time but what you do not know is that even social bookmarking can get you a decent amount of money.

Many online blog owners and webmasters are earning their money by driving traffic to the sites they want and stepping up their PageRank (PR) as well.

Social bookmarking sites are flourishing because most of them share the financial gains with the members who promote theirs sites via Google AdSense or other such popular paymasters. Indian pad is an excellent sit to start with. It allows the members to submit various stories and the popularity of the same are decided by votes. More votes ensure more income.

The best part is that they return the whole one hundred per cent profit back to the members. Simpy is a simple bookmarking site which again allows you to share the 100% returns without much ado. The only thing mandatory is to have a working AdSense account.

Friendtrain is another site wherein every micro blog link that you post is voted by others and you enjoy the returns. Totalpad functions little differently. This is a site that pays you for everything from videos to documents photographs and even Comments! They are all paid for. Tagfoot is another good bookmarking site wherein 50% of the revenue is shared with the members and you even earn on references also known as a Referral page. InfoPirate enjoys its popularity through its interesting content. It allows you to earn a decent pay too.

The real attraction of these sites is the content they display. If you have the talent for marketing and writing it can’t get any better than that. However, it is important for you to realise that quality content must be complemented by regular genuine updates. Do not post an article or send a link and forget about it. If you are not confident it is always better to pick an area of your expertise like fashion, politics, travel etc. and keep yourself in sync with the latest developments from not only your country but the world over.

Advantages of Non-Financial Performance Measurement Over Financial Performance Measurement

Financial Performance Measurement

The motive of every business is to achieve the bottom line of maximum financial benefits. In order to comply with the same, companies have come up with financial performance measurement techniques. The very idea is to ensure that no matter what the resources do and the way they function, they would have to show profits in the profit and loss statements. It is carried out generally in three different steps. They have been mentioned as follows:

Firstly, it encompasses selecting the goals of the organization.

Secondly, and also as the most important part, it is to consolidate the measurement of information with respect to the performance.

Finally, the required changes made by the managers so as to serve as a remedy over the weak links in the financial charts of the company. So, one can say that the financial aspects of performance measurement is basically sales driven. There are certain milestones that companies set for employees. A deficiency in being able to fulfil even a certain process can be harmful for the position. So, this method of performance measurement is also known to show certain insecurity for the employees. Hence, it might not give the most authenticated results. Business Performance Management is by and large measured by the financial aspects of performance measurement. The specific techniques for the same have been mentioned as follows:

Approaches to Financial Performance Measurement

Economic Values Added

This method deals directly with the economic profit of the organization that goes directly into the balance sheets. This method in other words can be used to measure the Net Operating Profit after Taxes. There are also certain adjustments that are made in the calculation of Economic value added so that the companies can make it more synchronized with the profit entry in the profit and loss statements. This method is generally used by lower stature companies these days. The reason for the same is that at the moment, the companies can afford to look at the business functioning only from the financial perspective. There is much more to achieve.

Activity-Based Costing

The fundamental law of economics says that management would have to make the most from the least resources that are available to them. In regard to keeping with the statement, the companies generally identify the processes that are in the system and then classify them as separate activities. Followed by this, the companies assign separate costs to each of the activities. This can be done in the form of direct and indirect costs.

Reason for shift from Financial to Non-Financial aspect

In other words, we can say that this is also a form of performance measurement on the basis of finance aspects. One can assign costs to each of the activities, but then there are always, restrictions on the use of the activities that are highly expensive. Once, again, this method would not be applicable in the long-run. The reason for the same is that this method forms a hindrance to the long-term investments. One must understand that an investment for a particular activity can lead to improvements of certain others in the long run. This can be with respect to work force as well as the equipments that are required to perform the activities. So, as a remedy, one has to switch to better methods that are of non-financial significance. (Activity Based Costing (ABC), 2010)

Non-Financial Performance Measurement

These are amongst the most widely applicable performance measurement techniques in the current scenario of the corporate world. We have seen the deficiencies of the financial aspects. The following methods tend to improve them for the betterment of the organizations:

Approaches to Non- Financial performance measurement

Six-Sigma Approach

The best approach for performance measurement is the six sigma approach. In this method, the companies try to identify the deficiencies in each of the processes that are a part of the functioning of the organization. These are then corrected by certain quality analysis tools. The companies also have special people who are only responsible for the same. As the name suggests, this approach makes the companies 99.99966% error free. As it has its long term accountability as well, it can be used over the financial performance measurement techniques.

Theory of Constraints

This theory deals with continuously helping the organizations in achieving their goals. The concept is more applicable these days because it identifies the constraints that lie in the path of the business. It is carried in a five-step process. This has been mentioned as follows:

* Firstly, identification of the constraints is done.

* Then, the companies decide the ways of constraint exploitation.

* It makes the entire system aligned as per as the decision taken.

* Then, a negative strategy is used to increase the capacity of the organizations to handle more constraints.

* Then, the companies’ see whether the constraints have been removed as a result of this. If it hasn’t then they go back at identification part. (Constraint Management, 2010)

Advantages of Non-financial aspects and Disadvantages of Financial aspects

The biggest disadvantage of the financial aspect is that it does not consider the broad view of the business. The companies have to give maximum regard to the available monetary benefits. If this is not reached, the management would not recommend for a certain activity to take place as a part of its functioning. There have been many companies in the past which have lost to great extents because of such a disastrous situation. One can take IBM for example. The company could not sustain the fact that it was not making immediate profits. As a result, they sold their laptop manufacturing and saw the other company making huge benefits.

An advantage of the non-financial aspect is that it allows the time for training. We all know that training is one of those areas which consume a lot of money in the beginning. The immediate profits associated with the same might not be as much as compared to the amount of money put into doing it. But, the non-financial aspect gives respect to the long-term advantages associated with the training. This is generally not given any attention from the financial point of view which considers only the short run.

The non-financial aspects build a reputation for a company. It helps a company take up strategies like cost-differentiation. These strategies are extremely helpful in making a company the cost leader in the market. The financial perspective might never give any room for the same. Under the dynamic environment of today, it become a must for companies to look for strategies like this.

Conclusion

As most of the companies of today have further strengthened and even widened their visions, simply looking for the monetary profits as a part of the performance measurement criterion is not worth mush scope. As for example, technology has been advancing at a tremendous pace these days. This is because; organizations are putting in a huge amount of money in Research and development. If the companies follow the economic value added approach or the activity-based costing approach, they would not have the heart to invest to such large extents. In the short-term, they can have a good flow of cash with them, but as we have seen companies like Procter & Gamble advance to such great extents, success at the international level can only come through investment in technology.

So, the method of financial performance measurement is not viable in the current era. It is certainly better to use the non-financial aspects of performance measurement as we have seen. The reason for the same is that they aim for the development of the total quality of the products. In this era of completion where the product life cycles are dependent on the efficiency of the companies to be able to maintain their products in the market, companies need to focus more on customer satisfaction than anything else. This is possible to a larger extent in non-financial performance measurement.

The Role of the Machine Metaphor in Mixed-initiative Organizational Leadership

“Can This Marriage be Saved?” So reads the title of the cover story in the August 15, 2005 issue of BusinessWeek (businessweek.com). The article describes the seven-year (1998-2005) story of the merger of Daimler and Chrysler Corporation. As of this writing, the board of the merged companies decided to terminate the reign of the current chairman, Jürgen Schrempp. At the end of this year he will be replaced with Dieter Zetsche, the current head of the company’s operations in North America. The article identifies the following five critical challenges facing the new chairman:

1. Improving product quality and worker morale.

2. Securing union support to gain flexible labor agreements.

3. Impressing on company executives to promote flexible and productive operations in North America.

4. Developing and executing a more coherent partnership strategy in Asia.

5. Addressing investor pressure to break up the merger.

The five challenges listed above clearly show that more people related problems (i.e., social issues) will need to be addressed than technology issues. The new chairman must embrace a mixed-initiative leadership style with a proportionate focus on both the technical and social aspects of the organization for the company to survive. This leadership style demands some proficiency in the science of complexity (i.e., the principles of managing the organization as a complex adaptive system) and the machine metaphor (i.e., the routine aspects of modern organizational life–job descriptions, corporate policies, strategic and operational plans, etc.)*. Organizational leaders cannot afford to place disproportionate focus on the machine metaphor in a complex organization.

The Machine Metaphor

The machine metaphor takes an objective view of an organization in which the interactions among the elements are predictable and controllable. Given that premise, organizational leaders take a mechanistic view of organizational management. The mechanistic view considers the organization as a combination of manageable components with organizational charts, job descriptions, policies, operational plans, people, etc. The machine metaphor is based on an organizational management belief that effective management can be realized by managing all organizational components.

The Flawed “People Management” Mindset

In some instances, this metaphor is incorrectly applied to people management. In her advice column for the Twentysomethings in the July 17, 2005 issue of the Washington Post, Career Track section, Mary Ellen Slayter wrote about why young professionals resist the offer to move to management. “I am not good at managing people” is the reason provided by a 49-year old lady for resisting the offer. In defending the new Department of Homeland Security’s merit pay system, Clay Johnson III, the Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget asserts “The Federal government as a rule is pretty bad about managing people” (Washington Post, National News, July 19, 2005).

This mindset of people management is entrenched in our social and organizational systems. It is very important for organizational leaders to know that machine control techniques apply to things, not people. Except for the military, we manage things. We lead people. The role of a manager is to provide a rich and rewarding environment to enable workers to do their work. A human being is an agent in an organizational context. This agent’s behavior is unpredictable. The agent must interact with other human agents, within a team, whose behavior is also unpredictable. The team must interact with other teams in a department. Next, we have inter-departmental interactions, which can lead to inter-divisional interactions, and so on. The result of the interactions is a complex organization, which must adapt to its environment to survive, because the organization is a living system. As articulated by Richard T. Pascale, Mark Millemann, and Linda Gioja in their book: Surfing the Edge of Chaos, (Random House, 2000), as a living system, the organization must abide by “the laws of nature and the new laws of business”.

Whether managing a corner store or a global conglomerate, the manager/leader must always remember that an organization is a socio-technical system and the machine metaphor should be applied only to the technical or machinistic elements. To ensure the survival of the corporation, the leaders need to identify and understand those elements of the organizations that exhibit unpredictable behaviors, and those elements whose behaviors are predictable. They need to master and apply the management science of complex adaptive systems to the former and machine metaphor to the latter. These two approaches constitute the essence of a mixed-initiative perspective.

*(Plsek, PEP&A, Inc; Lindberg, VHA, Inc; Zimmerman, York University; 1997–Some emerging principles for managing in complex adaptive systems).