A blog is a social device – a way for people to share an exchange of ideas and facilitate discussion. At least that’s what I thought until recently, when I was trying to promote an article. I was shocked at the number of blogs that provide exactly zero methods of contacting the owner. None! No email link, no contact form, no nothing. I’m assuming that for most of these people it was just an oversight, something they forgot to do when setting up their blog, but I’m sure that for at least a couple of them this must have been a conscious decision.

Your readers love you, so let them in! Here are the 5 reasons for having contact page (Or some other way for readers to reach you):

1. You don’t want to alienate your readers.
If you have no way to for your readers to contact you, they may begin to feel alienated. One of the main reasons many people visit blogs is to participate and feel connected. If they get a “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” vibe when they visit your site, they may feel less involved and begin to patronize another blog in your niche. If you keep people involved, they will continue to visit indefinitely.

2. So that potential advertisers can contact you.
What if an advertiser stumbles across your blog and thinks it’s a great fit for them to sponsor some ads on? The first thing they’re going to look for is a way to contact you to check your advertising rates. If you haven’t provided any way to get in touch with you, that money you’re never going to see!

3.In case of problems with your site.
This is less important on blogs that are updated daily, but some people don’t visit their blogs as often and may not notice problems right away. If a user notices something funny happening with your blog, but can’t locate any way to let you know about it, the problem is going to go unsolved until you have the time to check in. This may not be too bad with a small formatting bug or the like, but if it’s a major problem your site could be down for days before you notice.

4. Media Exposure
With the mainstream media so infatuaded with blogging recently, there have been many stories written about bloggers and their blogs. If you have no way for the media to contact you, you could be missing out on loads of great, free exposure that could take your blog to the next level.

5. Legal Proceedings
No one thinks that it will ever happen to them, but as blogging becomes more mainstream, I hear about more and more bloggers having legal problems. If you have no way for people to contact you, certain problems that could be avoided by communicating with other parties could be escalated more quickly into legal proceedings.

Via – Idle Profit

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The Natural Productivity Cycle

In your personal life, when attending to business or working on side projects, how often do you spend 8 consecutive hours in front of a computer? It doesn’t make sense because we lose the ability to concentrate effectively within a few hours.

Everyone goes through alternating periods of high and low mental acuity. There are days when I work on personal projects for well over 8 hours, but the time is always divided into multiple sessions. I might spend a few hours coding a design, a few hours writing, and a few hours reading feeds, moderating comments, and responding to email.

I work this way because it aligns with my mental energy cycle. Any more than 3 hours in front of a computer and my eyes start hurting and I become restless. I lose the ability to do my best work. Instead of forcing myself to continue, I switch to an activity that allows my mind to recharge. These breaks maximize productivity by eliminating down periods. It’s counter productive to force work when the mental energy isn’t there.

The Problem with an 8 Hour Work Day

A continuous 8 hour work day is a relic of the past. It makes sense for physical labor and manufacturing work, but with information workers it doesn’t account for the mental energy cycle. The ability of a factory worker to think analytically is irrelevant, he’s either cranking widgets or he isn’t.

In the case of the modern information worker, nearly all tasks involve creative or strategic thinking. The way someone answers an email or interprets a piece of information can differ drastically depending on his or her energy level. Nobody does their best work 5:30 in the afternoon after they’ve been sucking down coffee all day to stay awake.

I can’t speak for all workers, but I’ve observed that productivity levels generally peak twice a day — first thing in the morning and shortly after lunch. The most productive period is the beginning of the day. People are capable of creative tasks like writing and solving complex technical problems. After a couple hours of intense work, energy levels drop and workers downgrade to less demanding tasks like responding to email and tinkering with existing creations. Towards the end of the cycle, the mind is so cluttered and drained that workers resort to “work related activities” that appear productive but don’t contribute to the bottom line. The afternoon cycle is similar but the productivity peak isn’t as high. For different people the peaks and valleys will vary, but overall I’d estimate only 3-4 hours a day could be classified as highly productive.

This number isn’t caused by slacking. You can’t force an information worker to be highly productive when the energy isn’t there. Workers can try their hardest, but the work just won’t have that creative edge. The low ratio of highly productive hours to total hours worked is the result of the continuous 8 hour work day.

When workers reach the low energy part of the cycle, they can’t recharge with a non-work activity. The only option is office purgatory. You can’t be highly productive because you’re mentally fatigued, but you can’t recharge because the 8 hour work day requires the appearance of constant productivity. The result is millions of unproductive workers trapped at their desks when they’d rather be doing something else.

Alternative Work Arrangements

The obvious solution to this problem is planning around the mental energy cycle by breaking the work day into multiple segments. The traditional office setting doesn’t accommodate this because there are few available recharge activities. People can’t do household chores, run errands, or engage in recreational activities without leaving the workplace.

Some companies have tried to make the work environment more accommodating by offering meals, fitness centers, and special areas for relaxation. Although these amenities are certainly an improvement, they’re expensive for employers and only partially satisfy employees.

The solution that makes the most sense is a remote work arrangement because it reduces employer costs and allows employees to adjust their work schedule to their mental energy cycle. When a worker becomes mentally fatigued, they can go off the clock and engage in recharge activities that are personally productive like exercise or relaxation. When energy returns, the worker can start working again at a high level, effectively cutting out the low productivity period of the cycle. Employers don’t pay for unproductive time and employees get to work in a more natural pattern that adjusts to their personal lives.

Why isn’t everyone doing this already? Many workers already are, and as commutes get worse and communications improve, the number will continue to increase. Of course there will always be a need for office workers in businesses (like doctor’s offices and law firms) that require daily customer interaction, but for most companies it really isn’t necessary.

There is also the argument that people need to collaborate in person. This is steadily becoming less essential. Most office communications are already done through email or instant messager. Face to face meetings are certainly necessary, but for the vast majority of lower and mid level employees meetings are the exception and could be conducted via phone/video conference or condensed into one or two days a week.

Another common objection is that employees will abuse remote work arrangements by slacking off. I’m inclined to believe that most adults value their employment enough that this isn’t a problem. In cases where supervision is required, web cams and other technology can used to monitor a worker.

I suspect the real reason remote work arrangements are still the exception is inertia. Companies are used to doing business in the office and are reluctant to change. There is also the presence of office politics. If one person is given a remote arrangement, jealous employees will complain. Doesn’t it make sense to give everyone what they want and save a boat load of cash on office space?

I may only be a kid in his 20’s, but I can tell when something just makes sense. I perceive an increasing number of people are noticing the same phenomena. Forty years from now we’ll be telling our grandchildren about the olden days when everyone’s mommy and daddy went to work in an office.
Source: Why 9 to 5 Office Worker Will Become a Thing of the Past


1. Jump to the next curve. Too many companies duke it out on the same curve. If they were daisy wheel printer companies, they think innovation means adding Helvetica in 24 points. Instead, they should invent laser printing. True innovation happens when a company jumps to the next curve–or better still, invents the next curve, so set your goals high.

2. Don’t worry, be crappy. An innovator doesn’t worry about shipping an innovative product with elements of crappiness if it’s truly innovative. The first permutation of a innovation is seldom perfect–Macintosh, for example, didn’t have software (thanks to me), a hard disk (it wouldn’t matter with no software anyway), slots, and color. If a company waits–for example, the engineers convince management to add more features–until everything is perfect, it will never ship, and the market will pass it by.

3. Churn, baby, churn. I’m saying it’s okay to ship crap–I’m not saying that it’s okay to stay crappy. A company must improve version 1.0 and create version 1.1, 1.2, … 2.0. This is a difficult lesson to learn because it’s so hard to ship an innovation; therefore, the last thing employees want to deal with is complaints about their perfect baby. Innovation is not an event. It’s a process.

4. Don’t be afraid to polarize people. Most companies want to create the holy grail of products that appeals to every demographic, social-economic background, and geographic location. To attempt to do so guarantees mediocrity. Instead, create great DICEE products that make segments of people very happy. And fear not if these products make other segments unhappy. The worst case is to incite no passionate reactions at all, and that happens when companies try to make everyone happy.

5. Break down the barriers. The way life should work is that innovative products are easy to sell. Dream on. Life isn’t fair. Indeed, the more innovative, the more barriers the status quo will erect in your way. Entrepreneurs should understand this upfront and not get flustered when market acceptance comes slowly. I’ve found that the best way to break barriers is enable people to test drive your innovation: download your software, take home your hardware, whatever it takes.

6. “Let a hundred flowers blossom.” Innovators need to be flexible about how people use their products. Avon created Skin So Soft to soften skin, but when parents used it as an insect repellant, Avon went with the flow. Apple thought it created a spreadsheet/database/wordprocessing computer; but, come to find out, customers used it as a desktop publishing machine. The lesson is: Don’t be proud. Let a hundred flowers blossom.

7. Think digital, act analog. Thinking digital means that companies should use all the digital tools at its disposal–computers, web sites, instruments, whatever–to create great products. But companies should act analog–that is, they must remember that the purpose of innovation is not cool products and cool technologies but happy people. Happy people is a decidedly analog goal.

8. Never ask people to do what you wouldn’t do. This is a great test for any company. Suppose a company invents the world’s greatest mousetrap. It murders mice better than anything in the history of mankind–in fact, it’s nuclear powered. The problem is that the customer needs a PhD to set it, it costs $500,000, and has to drop off the dead, radioactive mouse 500 miles away in the middle of the desert. No one at the company would jump through those hoops–it shouldn’t expect customers to either.

9. Don’t let the bozos grind you down. The bozos will tell a company that what it’s doing can’t be done, shouldn’t be done, and isn’t necessary. Some bozos are clearly losers–they’re the ones who are easy to ignore. The dangerous ones are rich, famous, and powerful–because they are so successful, innovators may think they are right. They’re not right; they’re just successful on the previous curve so they cannot comprehend, much less embrace, the next curve.

Via: Guy Kawasaki


In the course of climbing the corporate ladder, or of just managing the little corner of the world you occupy, you have to communicate with people. It’s not always easy, but you have to do it.Some of this communication amounts to simple conversation, and it’s been dawning on me for a long time now that a great many young people don’t know how to have one. In fact, a great many older people don’t know how to have a conversation, either.

Ten Conversation Tips

Frankly, I don’t see how people can advance in their careers if they don’t know how to have a conversation. For most people, work — not investments — is their livelihood.

Here are few basic ideas on how to have a conversation with someone you just met.

1. Begin by knowing that the people you’re talking to mostly want to talk about themselves.

They want to talk about their lives, their tastes, their views. To the extent that you let them do that, you facilitate conversation and good feeling.

A simple way to begin a conversation is to ask a person the most basic question: “How are you today?” The person will usually give a cursory answer such as, “I’m fine. How are you?”

If your conversation partner goes off on a long tangent about what she had to eat that morning, what she bought that afternoon, and how her mother treated her that evening, you’re warned to simply terminate the conversation at once and go on to the next person.

Otherwise, you might continue by asking, “Where are you from?” This usually allows for the next rule of conversation:

2. Establish common ground.

For example, if your conversation partner is from Idaho, talk about how often you’ve been to Idaho and how beautiful it is there. If you’ve never been to Idaho, talk about how you’ve heard it’s beautiful there and how much you’ve always wanted to visit.

This helps to establish the next rule:

3. Say kind, generous things to your conversation partner.

Talk about how beautiful his home area is. Talk about how you have seen the mountains there and how fabulous they are. Talk about how bracing the air there is.

Or, if you can’t think of anything to say about the person’s home, offer compliments about something else. Talk about how nice her hair looks or how nice his suit is. People like to be complimented. If they don’t like to be complimented, they’re not well in the head and you ought to leave them well enough alone.

If they react negatively to compliments, again, move on to the next topic or the next person.

4. Keep your comments brief.

Don’t respond to a question about where you’re from with a long, detailed answer about all the places you’ve ever been. Talk about how you are that day in a short, punchy way. Answer in detail only if your partner asks in detail.

You know how you don’t like to be bored by long answers? Everyone else on the planet feels the same way. Brevity is a good way to make friends. You never want to be so brief as to be rude, but again, brief is good.

5. Get back on common ground again as soon as you can.

Ask what your colleague or neighbor does for a living. If he or she does anything at all, say how interesting that is. Ask for an explanation of what it is if you don’t understand.

I’ve had some of the most interesting, revealing conversations of my life just by asking people what they do. What does a “chemical engineer” do? Just by asking that I learned volumes about how the energy business works. What does a petroleum geologist do? What’s sedimentary rock and how do you get oil out of it? I learned all this just by asking people what they do and then asking for more explanation.

People want to talk about their lives, and you oblige them, make them like you, and learn from them by allowing them to talk.

This is especially true in job interviews. You want to allow your interviewer to do a big chunk of the talking. In so doing, you learn where to make your points, where to keep quiet, and how to explain yourself so you fit into the interviewer’s world.

6. Don’t brag unless you do it in a funny way.

Don’t tell people how much money you make. Don’t tell people how cool you are. No one likes a braggart. No one likes to feel small compared with anyone else.

Just be modest about your achievements. Even if the person you’re talking to brags, don’t brag yourself.

7. Unless you’re specifically asked about it, don’t talk about religion at all.

You’re very likely to make enemies and not at all likely to make friends if you bring up religion. Most people have different views about religion from yours, and you can scarcely conceive of a better way to alienate people than trying to press your religious views on them.

8. The same goes for politics.

You can hardly hope to meet someone whose political views exactly match yours, so you can easily offend by pressing your views on someone else. Just smile and listen quietly and go on to the next thing.

Unless you meet someone who says, “I know you and I totally agree with you,” don’t get into politics at all.

9. If you talk about current issues, do so in a genial, friendly way.

Don’t start fights about Hillary Clinton or George Bush or anyone else. Just smile and laugh about it, and if the person you’re talking to insists on saying provocative things, change the subject.

10. Make whatever points you need to make in a hurry, & then leave.

Don’t feel your time and your conversation partner’s time have no value. Time is everything in life, & you oblige people by saving their time.

In a job interview, for example, make whatever points — always complimentary — you care to make, answer questions, & then leave. But leave with a smile & a firm handshake.

You’d be amazed at how many people don’t know any of these rules. If you do, you’re way ahead of the game.

Source: Finance @ Yahoo


1. If you want to know if a person is a man or a woman and the name doesn’t help, do a search for the name.

2. If you don’t know the meaning of a word, the pictures may help you.

3. A better search for Flickr. Google uses information from other sites that link to Flickr photos, so you may find Google search better.

4. Find what’s interesting about a site, by looking at the pictures included. For example: wired.com.

5. Find a new wallpaper for your desktop by restricting your search to large images. You can automate this using an application.

6. Find random personal pictures, using standard file names from digital cameras.

7. Type the name of a painter and you can take an art class.

8. Install a Greasemonkey script so you can view the original version of the image directly by clicking on the thumbnail.

9. Find the color of a word. “Word Color is a windows program that uses Google Image Search to determine the color of a word or string of words. It goes out there, retrieves the top 9 images and loops through all pixels, calculating the average hue, which is later converted to a color.”

10. If you want to grab search results, GoogleGrab is a tool that downloads images from Google Image Search. It even supports batch search.


Are you an entrepreneur?

You might be. Inside you there just might be an entrepreneur waiting to tear out.

Here are the top 10 ways to know if you’re an entrepreneur. (And for those of you that are already entrepreneurs, you can nod your head as we go along…Or disagree with me! Or add your own points!)

  1. You’re passionate. Passion counts for a whole lot when it comes to being an entrepreneur. Without it, you’re dead before you even start.
  2. You’re always looking for opportunities. Entrepreneurs are opportunity-seekers. Everything is an opportunity. Failures are even an opportunity.
  3. You always think to yourself, “I can do that better.” You might know nothing about the retail business, but every time you walk into a big box store you have a thousand ideas on how to make it a better experience. Combined with your eye for opportunity, you can’t help but believe there’s a better way of doing things.
  4. You want to live your work. Work isn’t a means to an end. It isn’t a way of collecting a paycheck and going home. You’re dreaming of something more than that, where you can live and breathe work. Not because you want to work more, you want to work smarter. You want your work to mean something. You want to experience something more than shuffling to the office at 8am, leaving at 5pm and forgetting what happened for that day.
  5. You’re dreaming miles ahead while focused on what you’re doing right now. You’re a dreamer, but not a daydreamer. You’re dreaming a plan ahead while working constantly at achieving success on the details today. You’re a big-thinker but you don’t lack the ability to focus on details. Accomplish the little tasks is moving the ball forward for you…towards the big dream.
  6. You’re an ego-maniac. You look at your boss and shrug. You know things could be better, and you believe strongly in your own abilities. You’ve got a big, healthy ego. It’s not unwarranted, but it’s not proven just yet either. Still, ego is important – because it’ll help you take risks, power forward and succeed.
  7. You’re prepared to say, “I don’t know, but I’ll figure it out.” Your ego doesn’t preclude you from admitting that you don’t know something. Too many people fake their way through life, or duck their head when they don’t know the answer. Your response is to jump into it, learn what you can, move quickly and get some damn answers.
  8. You’re a strategist. You’re not just thinking about tomorrow. You’re thinking much further ahead than that. This is a trait you share with a lot of people – career ladder-climbers and “cover your ass” employees. The difference is that you’re also a dreamer, and strategy + dreaming is very powerful indeed.
  9. You’re a builder. You like to create things. You don’t care about recognition, praise from your boss, awards and money as much as you care about building something remarkable, and having others enjoy it and benefit from it.
  10. You want control. You watch the world spin, shake and bumble around you and want to harness that more. You watch your boss and co-workers shuffle around each and every day and you want to rattle some chains. You want control. Seth Godin calls them torchbearers. You want to bear the torch.

Via : Startupspark


We are going to use Gmail’s Mail Fetcher to achieve this goal.

Note:
(a) Make sure to ENABLE POP in your second Gmail account which will be accessed from the Main Gmail.
(b) If you are an advanced user or if you have tried this feature with no success then jump to 5th point directly.
(c) You can add up to 5 other gmail accounts by repeating these same steps.
(d) If you have too many messages on each of those accounts then it will take a good amount of time for your Main Gmail to retrieve all of messages from other account. For me it took 10 minutes – 144 messages.
(e) You can only retrieve messages from Hotmail, Yahoo to your Gmail, If you are using Paid accounts of those portal mailboxes. As POP3 support is only available to paid accounts.

1. Log into your Main Gmail account [ You will be able to check/view all messages of different accounts from this account ]

2. Click on Settings [ Top right ]

3. Click on Accounts [ Under Settings – Accounts ]
Click Add another mail account [ Also called Google Mail Fetcher ]

mailfetcher.gif

4. Enter your second gmail address which you would like to check in the Main Gmail account.

 mailfetcher-account.gif

5. Make sure to enter mail settings like this:-
– Email address : abc@gmail.com
– Username: abc
– Password: ********
– Pop Server: pop.googlemail.com  Port: 995
[ Note: By default Gmail will populate these entries pop.gmail.com and 995 ]
– Do not check ‘Leave a copy of message on server’ option. Instead forward your second mailbox messages to some another account just in case you want to backup.
– Check ‘Always use SSL’
– Check ‘Label incoming messages’ ………………
– Specify last option as per your choice. And then hit ‘Add Account button’

mailfetcher-account2.gif 6. Gmail will also offer to let you send mail from the new address.

 mailfetcher-sendmail.gif

7. Status can also be viewed at Settings – Accounts area like below picture

mailfetcher-status.gif