This Week In Business

This Week In Business: The Roll With The Punches Edition

There are some weeks where it seems that you get a lot done but it all seems like small and unrelated things keep coming up for you to deal with? That was this week at Breaking Even Communications. Good news is it was all pretty manageable.

Here are a few things that happened this week:

Forgetting to do something finally made me try Basecamp project management software.

Project management is one of those things you always mean to do, like cleaning your bathtub. All it takes is one metaphorical slip to finally make you get on your hands and knees. Yup, I finally forgot to do something so it was finally time to manage the details of these different projects at BEC.

I’ve tried a few different free or cheap project management software options only to find something missing. I finally decided to try out Basecamp, which is one of if not the most popular project management software online that will end up costing me around $50 a month if I decide I like it.

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This Week In Business: The Mess Up Edition

Those on Facebook know that I went to a talk this week where one of the presenters implied that one person companies were less responsive and legit then larger businesses. I like to think I’m fairly responsive, but the death of my dog last week did slow my capacity greatly, so maybe he was a little right. My company limit is, at this point anyway, how hard I can work, but larger companies are also limited by how hard they can legally make their employees work. I think it all comes out in the wash; there are advantages to both large and small.
So it was back to full capacity at Breaking Even Communications this week, but I know I’ll spend the next few weeks catching up completely. Here’s what’s going on:

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Marketing Monday: Goop

Editor’s Note: Thank you all for your kind condolences about the death of my dog. I appreciate your compassion, and am happy to report that I am feeling much better this week. Many thanks.
Know an individual or business doing something cool to promote themselves online? Let me know about it and they might be featured as part of Marketing Monday!


Goop's front page. Flash driven and a little vague (bad) but graphic and simple (good).
I’d first of all like to keep this blog a positive one. There are so many people doing so many good things online, to promote their business or otherwise.
Today, I wanted to review Gwyneth Paltrow’s website called Goop. It’s mission is to ‘nurture the inner aspect’ and is supposed to be about things in Gwenyth Paltrow’s life.
Recently, her post about a New Year’s cleanse recieved some media attention at both Nerve and Huffington Post and just this past weekend, the site came up in conversation over lunch with two of my friends in the media.
The only reason this website seems to work is because it belongs to Gwenyth Paltrow. I haven’t found anyone who ‘gets it’.
Goop does not embrace internet terms.
A web magazine written by one person about their life is called a blog.
Goop can call its posts ‘articles’ all it wants but in doing so alienates itself from the blogging community. I could see the use of another term if this website was launched five years ago when blogs weren’t nearly as prevalent . But nowadays, bloggers are used as experts on television news programs and followed by media types on social media for story tips.
Bloggers are far from obscure and distancing yourself from a group of people also trying to create online content seems like a silly thing to do. Let’s not mention the fact that bloggers spend a lot of their time talking about and linking to other websites. Not one of them? That certainly makes it hard to become part of the community.
It’s unclear whether the site is compensated for the products it endorses.
A whole section of Goop is called ‘Get’ and seems to endorse cool products. No where on the site could I find policies about these products. Does Gwyneth Paltrow receive financial or other compensation for putting these products on her site? Does she personally use them? It’s hard to say.
As a reader of the site, I’d like to know. A simple ‘About’ section of ‘FAQ’ would do wonders at answering some small questions about the site and its policies.
Goop doesn’t link to other sites.
Not linking to other sites makes you 1) less connected with other web developers and 2) doesn’t help your search engine ranking. This is why all bloggers have a blogroll or list of links we like: because it’s good for us and good for the people we link to.
Not having many (or perhaps any) links off the site seems like a missed opportunity, not only for increased traffic to Goop but also for Paltrow to use her star power to help out smaller sites. You can’t buy the kind of good buzz that would create.

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div>In short, celebrities can get away with things the rest of us can’t.

Most regular people can’t get away with a ‘this is stuff i like’ blog, if only because most of us have a limited audience. There are probably 30 people in my life who would care about everything Nicole Ouellette likes in my case. I am not Oprah, and this is why my blog entries have an undercurrent of money and marketing. It is why most blogs have a topic or subject they are about: more universal appeal.
What is Goop about? Whatever Gwenyth Paltrow feels like needs to be covered that particular week.
As my Twitter friend Marc Pitman puts it, it looks like Goop is “trying to do WAY too much”. I agree.
Some people do like a website that covers a lot of ground though, but for those of us who like to know what to expect, it’d be great if there’d be a preview of what’s coming up. No doubt the staff that maintains this site plans ahead for content and letting readers in on the not-so-distant future offerings I think would lead to increased overall satisfaction with readers.
Also, it would be great if Goop engaged it’s readers in some way. Featuring helpful comments in the weekly newsletter or having reader guest bloggers would no doubt increase Goop’s appeal and further connect it to other cool things going on online.
While Goop has interesting written content and a clean design, the posts have no photos.
The posts on Goop are text heavy; it would be great to have some graphic elements to get the content more skimmable and make the website prettier. Perhaps this is a place where readers could contribute if they knew about the topic ahead of time. Just an idea…
In short, Goop is not the world’s most terrible website but it could further its mission with some thoughtful tweaks and increased reader engagement.
Want some other opinions besides mine?



This Week In Business: Hometown Holidays Edition

Happy Holidays! This is always a fun time of year where books are closing, final bills are going out, and businesses (and individuals come to think of it) are otherwise getting ready to begin again with a clean slate.
Here’s what’s been going on the last two weeks:
I am starting to draw a salary on January 1.
Since the official full time start of my business in May up until this moment, I have been living entirely on savings and income from my part time jobs (the inn this summer and very sporadic French tutoring in the present). I’ve been putting all business money into a business account (DBA) and using this account only on occasion to buy things for my business like web hosting or a new printer.

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This Week In Business: Eggs And Issues Edition

Nothing like coming home from a long weekend and not having the internet for a few days! It was a week of catching up here at Breaking Even Communications. Also, almost as if to drive me crazier, my computer hardware began failing me. First my printer, then my mouse, and finally my keyboard (well, the ‘5’ key) all bit it within 72 hours. Still, I managed to accomplish a few things this week.

Tweetdeck: the software with a dark background that's lighting up my life.
I installed Tweetdeck on my computer, and have been kicking myself for not doing it sooner.
To be fair, there is a lot of free software that I rely on almost daily: Google Reader, Feedburner, Joomla!, Wordpress… Somehow installing another piece of software to manage my social networking stuff seemed ridiculous.

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This Week In Business: Thanksgiving While Moving Edition

I haven’t had much time to write this week because I am still working my normal amount but also moving apartments on top of that. So I spent Thanksgiving packing boxes and not eating the celebratory Chinese food I planned on eating after because the restaurant was closed. Oh well!

I am now thankful for frozen burritos and an internet connection I can mooch off of from the neighbors until mine gets hooked up.

I have managed to accomplish a few things this week, aside from not breaking any glassware…yet.

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