Text a group easily with Twitter's Fast Follow
Send a text message to any number of people with a single tweet.
I belong to a couple of riding clubs and sometimes we need a way to cancel a ride when the weather is questionable. In the past we used email or even a hotline -- a phone number riders could call for the latest updates. These methods were unreliable because some members wouldn't check their email before leaving home.
Twitter has created Fast Follow. It allows anyone in the US with a cell phone to receive a Tweets even if they haven't signed up for Twitter.
For example, let’s say you want to get Tweets from New York City’s office of emergency management (@NotifyNYC). Just text ‘follow NotifyNYC’ to 40404 in the US.
If you are the club, or whoever is doing the notifying, you’ll need to create a Twitter account. You can do this easily at Twitter and it's FREE.
One word of caution, have a Twitter account that is used strictly for these last minute notifications. Otherwise some of the followers will get annoyed and stop using Fast Follow.
Million Dollar Consulting
Million Dollar Consultingby Alan Weiss
This book provides a remarkable overview of the business of solo consulting. Weiss' book neatly packages objectives, strategy and tactics in a way that inspires and provides direction. There is lots to be learned by consultants at every level of experience. For some it will open their eyes to a new way of thinking and doing business, and for others it will reinforce and validate their current practices.
Highly recommended. A reminder, this book has no value sitting unread on a bookshelf. If you buy it, make a commitment to reading it twice. Once to enjoy and understand his message, and then a second time to consolidate the information and make notes on the actions you need to take.
Leap! 101 Ways to Grow your business
LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Businessby Stephanie Chandler
"LEAP! is an extraordinary guide to growing your business. LEAP! 101 Ways to Grow Your Business is loaded with practical strategies that you can use immidiately to grow your business no matter whether you are a start-up or already established.
LEAP! has four sections: Leverage, Execute, Accelerate, and Prosper; you will learn how to:
- Develop a business-growth action plan.
- Automate your business.
- Locate business capital.
- Identify powerful marketing strategies.
Also included are inspiring interviews with successful business owners who have made grown their business, along with advice from dozens of industry experts.
The author includes cross-references to the source of the strategies that she is recommending. With that additional information plus a reading list of the books most often cited by successful entrepreneurs this is a "must-have" book for your professional library.
New Rules of Marketing and PR
New Rules of Marketing and PRby David Meerman Scott
The author provides an overview of how the web has changed marketing and public relations activities, and he explains all the different tools that are available for online marketing: everything from web sites to Twitter. These sections were basically a review for me but I'm sure that business owners outside of the IT industry would find them helpful.
For me, the best part was the third section which discussed the action plan for harnessing the power of the new rules. He spends a couple of chapters talking about the benefits of press releases. This is something that I wanted to explore further for my small business.
David Scott provides a list of the most popular press release companies. I chose Business Wire and PRNewsWire to explore more closely. Nothing is mentioned on either site about pricing for their service. I registered for both and was required to provide my business address along with the usual contact information.
Nothing in either website provides pricing information. I chatted with PRNewsWire and was told
"to distribute a news release using PR Newswire, the cost will depend on where you want us to send out the release in addition to the length of the release. Our domestic newslines range in price from $250-$715 to send out a release that is up to 400 words long."
I am in the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. PRNewsWire has options to reach specific cities or states so I could release to just my city or state.
In the book, Mr. Scott describes how frequent press releases will improve your website ranking in search engines. To me, this would be the real benefit of having press releases on my website. Getting quoted by journalists, bloggers, or even interviewed on the air would just be a bonus.
When generating press releases the rule of thumb is "Big news is great, but don't wait." Your goal should be to announce pretty much whatever your company is doing. Whether it is a new product, client, service, idea, etc. write a press release.
Joomla! Bibleby Ric Shreves
The book covers a broad range of Joomla! topics. Comprehensive is how it is described and I think that is accurate. The text is most suitable for webmasters and site owners who are looking for a reference book. Hardcore programmers and web designers will want more specialized texts. While the book covers a lot of topics, few of the advanced topics are dealt with in detail, but I don't find that a problem -- it can't be all things to all people. It is a reference book for a specific software package (Joomla), not a guide to custom development in PHP or web design in general. We will be using this at our studio as documentation and training material for our clients who buy Joomla! websites.