Life is an Echo!

I read a story today that relates a story that applies to everything we do and become in life, and the causes for it. It starts off with a boy and his father hiking through the mountains. The father gets a little bit ahead and the boy slips and bangs his leg on a rock and yells, “Ouch!” Almost immediately he hears “Ouch” coming right back at him. A little startled he yells out to the mountains, “Who are you,” thinking it was someone mocking him.

He gets the same response. He then yells, “You coward,” and just the same way it has been happening, he heard the same response! Getting more frustrated and about to burst into anger, he looks to his father and asks him, “What’s going on?” His father just smiles and says, “Son, pay attention!” He then yells back to the mountain, “I admire you, You are a Leader, You are a champion, You can do anything!” With each phrase he received the same response in return.

The boy looks and little confused so the father explains, “Son, people call this an ECHO but really this is LIFE. It gives you back everything you say or do. Life is a reflection of our actions!” If you want more live in the world, it first starts with creating more love in your heart. If you want more competence in your team or your employees, become more competent yourself. If you want more respect, give more respect. If you want all out massive success, help others to become successful.

This relationship applies to everything, in all areas of life. Your life is not a coincidence…it is a reflection of YOU!

Intelligent Businesses Use Echolocation!

In an environment driven by speed and dominated by growing uncertainties, businesses are expressing more and more difficulties to sustain and improve their competitive position. Mighty companies such as IBM, Apple, Yahoo, Microsoft or Nokia do know that business success is never an “acquis” and that any long-time leadership position can now get eroded within weeks and even days in some sectors.

Just some weeks ago, rumours were circulating about the collapse of the giant Eastman Kodak Company. The 131-year-old icon that brought photography to the mass and launched the first digital camera is forced to face tough realities of the new business world.

The K-brand company is another clear example that there are no definite winning rules in business; any competitive environment can be disrupted anytime. Rules of business games can now be reinvented and imposed by new entrants. It is no longer the privilege of the big or the mighty.

In this ever-changing playground, it is essential for companies willing to survive and thrive to understand their environment, track their competitors, critically review their position and never ever fall in the trap of complacency: this is the very concept of business intelligence.

A quick Google search pulls out millions of internet pages on business intelligence. Many of them associate this concept to information technology (IT). Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, defines business intelligence as “computer-based techniques used in identifying, extracting and analysing business data”. On the website searchdatamanagement.com, one can read “business intelligence is a broad category of applications and technologies for gathering, storing, analysing and providing access to data to help enterprise users make better business decisions.”

These definitions are wrong. Yes, IT is at the heart of business intelligence. No, business intelligence is not IT as some might claim. IT is just an enabler!

To define business intelligence and illustrate its importance for companies, a simple and natural technique used by bats (Yes Bats!) can be referred to. Bats emit, in the dark, high-frequency vocalisations through their mouths and noses as they fly. These vocalisations then bounce back to them as echoes, which enables them to form images of their surroundings in their brains. If their ears get injured or clogged, they are unable to receive any echoes and therefore lose their ability to locate themselves and move accordingly. This continuous process known as echo-location is a sine qua non for the survival of bats as it allows them to scan their environment, track their prey, devise their future movements and eventually feed themselves.

Business intelligence is echolocation for businesses. With the new dynamics of business games, it is vital for companies to echolocate themselves on a constant basis, to critically assess their position and adapt their strategic movements accordingly.

Entrepreneurs and business managers claiming that business intelligence is useless and that their flair and experience are enough to ensure their path to success are living out of this world. Sure, flair and experience help but without a proper understanding of their business environment and analysis of their competitive position, businesses are condemned to failure.

For those who want to succeed, keep this in mind: Intelligent Businesses use Echolocation!

The Echo Effect of Social Bookmarking

A short time ago, I was preparing an SEO Case Study using some recommended Web 2.0 strategies and I thought my notes might be an interesting read for someone on the same path of learning.

I have a series of five websites that are four months old. Each site has about 5-700 pages indexed in Google, some pages indexed in Yahoo, but almost nothing in MSN, according to the data at Marketleap. All of these sites were roughly built by following the business plan outlines and ideas offered by Rick Butts.

This experiment intends to combine the idea presented in an Internet Marketing Secrets Podcast, (to pre-schedule blog posts intended to take over the top search placements for details surrounding Big Public Events that are already scheduled to occur) and utilize methods of Web 2.0 marketing that are currently proving effective, (after posting to your blog, announce it on several web2 sites. Then bookmark your post and the announcement pages on social bookmarking sites).

The measurement of success will be – the number of people who sign up to download the ebooks that are offered along side announcements about the event.

As I’ve been carefully targeting a narrow set of niche keywords, I’ve been monitoring the resulting changes in the top 30 ranking websites.

Just as before, I’ve been able to quickly grab several of the top placements for my keyword phrases. Results are showing up where I own four of the top 10 and fifteen of the top 30 searches on my phrase – because I’m using a series of five blogs on WordPress, a series of five independently hosted websites and a blog on LiveJournal. In addition, I’ve been posting summaries of my blog posts to three document and news release websites like Scibd and Propeller.

After all these co-ordinated posts are completed, I’ve been following directions and bookmarking the articles and the article summaries with ten or twelve popular social bookmarking sites using Onlywire service to make it easier.

I started to see by blog posts appear in the top search results first – often within an hour. Soon these listings are overtaken by the new release sites. After a day or two, my hosted website pages begin to show in the top 20 to 30. To my delight and surprise, within another day or two, I begin to see even more top rankings because of the “Echo Effect” of Social Bookmarking.

The ‘Echo Effect’ occurs when the RSS feeds from these Bookmarking sites are picked up by other sites and blogs around the internet. Google is indexing these feeds, giving my campaign more top rankings and more links back to my original article, resulting in an echo effect of even more website traffic.

Of course… this gives me lots of new ideas for marketing in new Niches – and inspires me to continue building a complete list of web 2.0 sites that Google loves.

Here’s to Business on the Internet!