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Cable Companies Looking at Contextual Ads

  Business Week has a story about how cable companies are on the verge of adopting AdSense like contextual commercial serving. Using set-top boxes to track channel surfing habits the companies can determine the demographic data for a viewer: By analyzing where a viewer channel surfs, Invidi says the system can figure out the age, gender, [...]

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Lessons Learned Playing CashFlow

by SMD · 2 Comments 

Last night the usual suspects got together for another game of Rich Dad’s Cashflow. It is always an interesting experience. While on the surface the game is about getting out of the rat race [having passive income greater than your monthly expenses], what the game is really about is re-learning the mental concepts that cause [...]

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Carnival of Personal Finance – Week 4

by SMD · 5 Comments 

Welcome to this week’s Carnival of Personal Finance brought to you by Smart Money Daily. I think you’ll find the offerings diverse and thought provoking.Saving: In the lead-off spot this week is FMF from Free Money Finance with his excellent story called You Can Save a Bundle Without Having a Large Income. The story has [...]

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Saving: The Budgeting Babe has an interesting story titled Cool savings, which is full of useful tips on how to cut energy costs in the summer heat.

Life Insurance: If you’d like a little taste of “no holds barred capitalism” then you may want to check out Road to Forbes‘ story called Playing with future dead people. Proceed at your own risk.

Jobs: K, who operates K’s Blog out of Road To Forbes’ back porch has a very informative and entertaining post called How NOT to Get My Ass Fired, about how to survive the unenviable compromise of being an entrepreneur and having to get a job.

Thanks to everyone who contributed articles and for linking to this week’s edition. Next week’s Carnival is being hosted by I Will Teach You To Be Rich. You can find a schedule of future Carnivals here.

[p.s. you're welcome to snag the Carnival logos if you want to use them to promote the Carnival or if you are hosting future Carnivals of Personal Finance.]

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Improve Your Look With Free Pictures

In a follow-up to my last story, Evaluating a Web Site’s Credibility, I wanted to share a couple image library sites that I found which have excellent quality images available for free download. You can use them to spice up you online articles or in business materials or presentations. I used one to create the Carnival banner in [...]

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Branding & Business go to Church

Churches have begun to re-invent themselves by using big-business models. ‘Franchising’, ‘branding’ and ‘the bottom line’ are becoming just as popular at the chapel as they are in the boardroom. This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to “plant” 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. “We have cowboy churches for people working [...]

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Evaluating a Web Site’s Credibility

by SMD · 2 Comments 

Thanks to my friend Bryant , who runs the very funny site Innocent English for sending me a head’s up about this excellent Stanford University  Persuasive Technology Lab study called How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?  The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For [...]

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, who runs the very funny site Innocent English for sending me a head’s up about this excellent Stanford University  Persuasive Technology Lab study called How Do People Evaluate a Web Site’s Credibility?

 The data showed that the average consumer paid far more attention to the superficial aspects of a site, such as visual cues, than to its content. For example, nearly half of all consumers (or 46.1%) in the study assessed the credibility of sites based in part on the appeal of the overall visual design of a site, including layout, typography, font size and color schemes.

You can check out the complete study here.

Here’s their overall analysis of credibility comments:

  • Design Look – 46.1%
  • Information Design/Structure – 28.5%
  • Information Focus – 25.1%
  • Company Motive – 15.5%
  • Information Usefulness – 14.8%
  • Information Accuracy – 14.3%
  • Name Recognition and Reputation – 14.1%
  • Advertising – 13.8%
  • Information Bias – 11.6%
  • Writing Tone – 9.0%
  • Identity of Site Operator – 8.8%
  • Site Functionality – 8.6%
  • Customer Service – 6.4%
  • Past Experience with Site – 4.6%
  • Information Clarity – 3.7%
  • Performance on Test by User – 3.6%
  • Readability – 3.6%
  • Affiliations – 3.4%

This summary list has been quoted from ebook-designer.com. Overall, this is a fascinating study. For a site that relies on AdSense I don’t think credibility is such a big issue [it may even be a detriment!], but for a more traditional business model, one in which you are building a relationship with your customer prior to selling, then it is obviously a huge factor.

It shouldn’t be a surprise really. It’s about the same as a real estate agent, the first thing on their business shopping list: a Mercedes, because it’s instant credibility. Same thing online. It’s a superficial world. The study goes on to say that as a result of this study that  Consumer Reports WebWatch must endeavor to educate people so they don’t make these kinds of decisions based only on perceptions.

Personally, I think they’ll have a difficult time with that one. Better to face reality and hire a good designer.

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The Step from Technician to Entrepreneur

by SMD · 3 Comments 

Darren over at ProBlogger has an interesting story about whether or not to get rid of or ‘prune’ underperforming blogs. The issue is where to put one’s time in order to maximize results [revenue]. Having a full time job and a few sites, I run into the same problem all the time. That is the primary [...]

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WebMasterRadio – SEO and Affiliate Info on the Run

I’ve been listening to my latest online discovery quite a bit the last couple days. If you have a website you’ll probably be interested in WebMasterRadio.FM. WebMasterRadio.FM’s shows are hosted by the most respected names in the internet business world; each show reaches out to a different part of the marketplace, meeting and addressing the [...]

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Carnival of Personal Finance 3 [And 4]

by SMD · 1 Comment 

This week’s Carnival of Personal Finance is now online over at All Things Financial. You can see the latest stories here. The current edition contains 15 entries and has a wonderful variety of stories. Also, I will be hosting next week’s carnival so please submit your stories. This link, will provide some guidelines, but anything even [...]

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Business is About the Process – Not the Result

by SMD · 1 Comment 

>>This series is based on Michael Gerber’s excellent book The E-Myth Revisited and the article The Business Plan That Always Works from E-Myth.com The most productive business planning is not about ends; it’s about experiencing means. It’s not the objective; it’s the process. It’s not about getting things; It’s about becoming more human. It’s not [...]

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Take my word for it, making money from pushing yourself is not worth it. Essentially, it is like going into debt emotionally, and life will demand payment in full.

Overall, the planning process, when done with the heart, can bring up intense emotions that range from joy and hope, to panic and fear. I have had a wild week diving into this planning process. Many time I felt that my situation was hopeless and that I would never make it and my ‘goals’ were a joke. There have also been moments of confidence and feeling empowered.

Mostly the sense is to get moving, dive in with a process in mind that can take you to the ultimate goal, but be prepared experience the tide and the waves that owning a business can be. I’m much clearer than I was a week ago about what I want my life to look like, and how I can create a business to support that vision.

If you’ve read the entire series, I hope it has been useful. Also, I’d like to thank Michael Gerber for his amazing The E-Myth Revisited book. Before I read it I was well on my way to duplicating the same business mistakes that cost me so dearly in my last business. Now I have, at least, and understanding of what a real business is and I have hope that this time I will do much better of achieving my goals on every level.

Business Plan Series: Intro, part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6, part 7

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