Sunday, April 30, 2006

Golf Style: What Year Is it Anyway?

‘I love golf! I don’t know how to play, I just love the clothes”. Have you heard anyone say this lately? I have and it is getting a little disturbing since the people who are saying this are now heading to the golf course solely to be around other people who are there for the clothes, not the golf.

For a golfer, this can be dangerous. Why, well have you seen how tight the shirts are for the guys? They don’t come in sizes anymore they come with PSI ratings. And stretchy! A friend of mind is getting about five yards extra out of every shot just from the recoil from the shirt he was wearing. He is thinking of going to a higher PSI so he can get another yard or two from exhaling.

Most of the ‘I love the clothes’ remarks come from the ladies… And I am not sure why. Is it the colors are the very short shorts? I think it is the shoes.

A few years ago I hosted a golf school out in Las Vegas and two business associates join the school so they could get started playing golf since they heard golf courses were a great place to meet guys. That is another story, but their main interest of golf (outside of meeting guys) was the shoes and accessories. Now these ladies were beginner golfers and had never hit a golf ball their entire life. They took the list of items I told them they would need for the golf school to their local golf pro shop. They showed the Pro the list of things I told them they needed and he took them all over the store to get what they needed. When the ladies got to the shoe department that was the end of the journey for getting. They bought two pair of shoes each. As they were loading up all of their goodies the Pro at the store told them that if they really wanted to fit into the golf arena they should consider stopping by Celebration of Golf in Las Vegas. When they found out what they had to offer they booked their flight into Las Vegas a day early so they could stop by there.

Cutting to the chase, when they showed up for the golf school they looked like they were coming to play in the LPGA. Now this was a three day golf school and they came dressed in a different outfit each day. And after three days of golf school they finally were able to hit a golf ball about 20 yards. But, Man, did they look good when that happened.

I am not sure if golf can afford attracting the fashion conscious combined with the spring loaded golf shirts. I don’t think standing behind the ball when one of these golfers tees it up is even a safe place to be..

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com/

Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/business_golf/cb_order.html

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Who is Paying Who?

OK, there is a big stink going on in the online networking groups on the unnecessary placement of advertisements all over a person’s profile whether they want it or not.

Who is getting paid for this anyway?  I am not and I am drawing in traffic by the droves.  Nobody is saying anything or making comment but I see them and I appreciate it.  But what I do not appreciate is that viewers are not seeing anything of the profiles I am on, with the exception of my BizNik profile.  What they see are the ca-jillion ads popping up all over the screen for stuff nobody wants.  What impression does that give people of me?  Well it looks like I am a whore for the ads that are next to my photo.  I wouldn’t complain but I am not getting paid anything for it.

Being a business person I would not want my business to be advertised where these ads are being placed.   I am not sure I would want to get the ca-jillion hits to my site by all of the SPAM that these ads generate….

Think I will go back and get out of some of these groups that do not have a clue on what they are doing to their members.

 

 

 

Monday, April 24, 2006

Blackberry This: But Not In A Seminar

I have the fortune to have been provided over 46 credited hours of Time Management training at some of the top learning institutes in the country along with 31 years of application and training of Time Management and all of its positive attributes.

Enough said on why I can talk about this subject.

Now let me talk about why I am talking about this subject.

For the last 10 years there has been a real decline in people, both non-business and business people, who have taken the managing of TIME to a disrespectful level. And the disrespect comes from some people feeling that texting on the cellphone or Blackberry while in a seminar on learning how to manage their time is managing their time.

So what is the problem that is requiring people to have to manage their time to such extremes?  If you ask them they will tell you they have too much to do.  Too much WHAT?  Doing things that are a waste of time.  The problem starts when the people take on too much personally and professionally.  They want to be good parents and get their kids involved in every thing the kids want to do, plus a few the parents want them to do.  And on the business side of things they set an unreasonable goal of making some out of reach amount of money in a short time frame that only winning the lotto or the power ball would get close to accomplishing.

I’ll go down the parenting trap side of time wasted.  I am a big supporter of getting kids off the streets, out from in front of the X-Boxes, out of tattoo parlors and off MySpace.com and get these kids involved in something that will generate their ability to live long enough to get enough experience to rebut me on this thread.  But, parents have to make a decision on what and how much.  And, even limit that if they are going to take on a job.  That is the answer to the problem, but why.

I few years ago I was playing golf with a friend who asked me to help him figure out were he is wasting time so he could get out on the golf course more.  I remember that during the round my friend would stop and pull out his Blackberry to review emails.  He had five kids (at the insistence of his wife) he was trying to keep up with.  His wife held several degrees in something that would make her a million dollars and she wanted to continue the search for the buck.  He, also was every educated and trained for the business world, was somewhat successful, but had a 10 year plan that was in its 8th year towards retiring at 45 and was several million dollars from his goal.  They had the housekeepers (that they would have to hire and fire about three times a year) and the nanny (that they would have to hire and fire about three times a year).. I think you see a pattern here.   

He had to keep in touch with his kids through Blackberry, cellphone and one of his teenagers with GPS locators.   He has two in soccer, one in ballet, one in martial arts and twins who will not get out from in front of the X-Box any longer that what it takes to get online to find out the latest tattoo design they want to get, the knurliest new piercing they are going to get, and where everyone in the MySpace.com is going to gather after school.   His wife is also online with him and the kids from wherever she is in the world. So, if he misses an email he might loose track on who, what and when.   But I am sure you have met someone like this if you are not like my friend.

Simply put, there is way too much pressure placed on people to meet some sort of standard of living that someone placed way back when, say 50 years ago when Color TV came out and Hollywood established a life style only about .0001% of the population can live.  But made everyone think that if they did not live at this standard they were not WORTHY.   And, yes, I, like the other 99.9999% of the population, am guilty of pursing that live style.  Hell, I live in Dallas for Pete’s sakes…

But I digress..  What has to be done and is what I did about 10 years ago was to look up the definition of the word, and started using the word, NO.  I said NO to my kids, they can’t join too many activities because if they want to live where they are living, I and their mother had to work.   So they could only join activities that were self sufficient or fit into the family scheduled.  I said No to work.  I did not take on the assignments that the bosses where handing down that were the result of bad management or the company’s greed to layoff people and make the remaining workforce do three people’s job.  I said NO to a lot of things until I got to where I was doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it.   And I did it still taking my kids to activities to keep them off the streets and moving up the ladder of the corporate world.  And play golf and take golf trips. 

I advised my friend what he had to do and it was going to be hard, but if he wanted to remain sane he had to attempt do it.

I saw my friend on the golf course last week.  I caught up to him in the grill for a drink to see where he is and he jump right into telling me that since he started using the word NO, he has started his own business, did some wheeling and dealing to get his family set up in a huge home that is nearly paid for, his wife also started using the word NO at work and was placed in a position where she works out of the house and still draws down the bucks.  His kids are now doing just one activity they got to choose, the tattooed twins finally saw their mistakes after getting an infection from one of the premier tattoo parlors and are now in college playing on the golf teams with full scholarships.  And, more importantly, my friend has dropped five strokes on his handicap. 

Yes, he still has the Blackberry, cellphone and GPS, but they are in the office or his golf bag in off position and are only used to call the clubhouse to have the beverage cart meet him with his favorite beverage.  

I am not taking the credit for making this change because my friend knew what he had to do before he did it.   The fact is everyone needs to look at what they are spending their time doing and the time they wasting doing something that someone else should be doing.  Don’t waste your life thinking that if you are not on your Blackberry with your Boss all day long he is going to fire you for not being worthy.  And don’t put your kids into everything so they can get looked at as being cool or that allows you to live vicariously through them.  Cut it all out; say NO to the boss on doing stuff that takes more than 6 hours a day to do.  If he can’t live with it he/she will soon learn that he/she is going to have to learn NO if they want to keep good people and stay in business.  Too many bosses are using 1940’s methods of managing by intimidation will be forced to go out of business or change to hire the appropriate number of people to produce a quality product or service.  Over committing to everything is what is casing the pagers and the cellphones to go off in my seminars and on the golf course and in order to hear what is needed to change all of this people are going to have to learn how to manage their time so they can hear what others have to say to help them live a better life.  So, Blackberry this…turn off the Blackberry!

 

 

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

 

Saturday, April 22, 2006

last digit missing: the real reason for typing in all lowercase

I am getting more and more emails and seeing so many people list their names on their online group’s business profiles all in lowercase. I would like to understand why. I am placing this issue in the same category with the issue for not placing a legitimate photo on their profile. But before I go off assume that there is a tremendous lack of respect amongst a growing group of people for the English language and for humanity entirely, I would like to gain knowledge on why they think they need to type everything in all lowercase.

Is it out of laziness to use all fingers when you type? Is it because you cannot use the keyboard that is on your Blackberry? Or, are you one of the millions of people texting with their cellphones and you filed out your profile while you were driving in rush hour traffic.

What about the emails I am getting? If it was just one and it was just a sentence or two, I would suspect that someone was trying to be efficient and Blackberry me, not knowing that there is a shift key (and a setting) to use to capitalize (at least) the first letter in every sentence.

Or is it that the human species is starting its evaluation change and there are people out there who type with one finger who have lost their small digit on each hand keeping them from hitting the shift key?

Whatever, it is, come on, hit the shift key and cap that first letter in every sentence so I can speed read these thesis’s that people are sending me on why I need a penal enlargement.

Anchor Your Customer & Employee Base

Posted to Tribe.Net CEO Tribe

I have been reading most of the threads on this site for a while to evaluate its worthiness to me and my clients who have hired me to find where the best places online should they invest their time in.

My evaluation of this site is out on my blog site so I will leave that for you to read for yourself.

The reason I am writing is to provide the members of this site, all alleged CEO’s (the leaders of business and people), some insight into a few things that every business is challenged with that if not gotten under control will make spending time here on this site worth nothing. And, this could explain why there is only an average of one interesting post to this particular site per month.

So here goes for those of you still with me and are really looking for help solving you greatest business challenges.

There are a number of challenges businesses face but the top five pretty much are what you are dealing with right now.

The fifth is Trust, you don’t trust anyone, your customers and employees don’t trust you.

The fourth is the evaporating market. You re getting competition from everywhere the market is saturated with copy cat businesses that thrive on not being unique leaving businesses that are trying to change the market sitting on this site trying to find a solution.

The third is the fear of NOT getting an ROI. The catch word of the 21st century. The generation X and the baby boomers demand for quick gratification on every investment of every dollar. The business colleges are pumping out MBA’s that focuses on this mentality.

The second is raising costs. Yes, the CFO’s and COO’s of the world rational for everything they can’t do is based on rising costs. The headlines are full of CEO’s and top executives changing to other company’s, why? They failed to find a way to control costs.

Then the number one and the first challenge that comes out of every CEO’s mouth that has to stand up in front of his stockholders on why their ROI is not higher is due to ……Falling Profits.

OK, I stated the problems, what is the solution. If you look at these there is one that if solved will make the others disappear. And that one is not the one you probably would pick. It is Trust.

The lack of trust or care from you customers to be loyal to whatever it is you are in business to provide is the cause of all of these woes. OK, what is the solution to improving trust?

First of all there are very few things you can to improve trust because you have to build trust. And to build trust you have to get personally involved. Trust does not come in a letter, a post on this site or an email. Trusts come from looking someone in the eye and finding out what they are needing so you can provide it. You will not solve the trust problem unless you take a personal approach. You do this and you can start securing your customer base.

Hey, I have 20 thousand customers how I get to all of them personally. You tape into that other important resource you need to secure…your employees. Everyone who works for you should be able to represent your business like you sales people. And if treated right they probably would kick your sales department’s ass.

OK, how do you do this? People there is one business tool that if used correctly would create an interest amongst your customers to want to stay doing business with you much longer and will keep you from having to keeping from training new employees because your employee base is not about to leave due to them being now loyal to your company.

The answer is not what you suspect and, s not something a traditional consultant will say is viable because they usually do not know how to use it correctly. The one method that goes about solving trusts is generally presumed to not be cost effective, due again because most people do not know how to use it correctly. But it works and if you got your entire company involved using it you would be out here posting your ass off because you now have time and reason to tell other people in leaderships rolls what worked for you. Just like I am doing.

What is it that solved all of these problems? Business Golf

OK, click away if you may, but I have gotten it to work and it will improve business. And the way I go about telling you how to do it is not like how you are using it today, if you are.

Anyway. Business Golf will bring in more business, keep employees and customers happen and make more people want to do real business with you.

Think about. What have you got to lose? A few pounds around the waste and a few ulcers from worrying about what to do?

Come on, I’ll see you on the first tee.

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com/

Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/business_golf/cb_order.html

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Business Golf Time!

It is golf tournament time.  I have written and now speaking on the benefits golf can bring to the awareness of your business.  The best way to do this is to sponsor and play in a golf tournament.  The charity golf circuit is the best way to get to meet other people who play golf, get the word out about your business to people who play golf and sets you up nicely to make a connection to go out and play Business Golf.    What is business golf?  Well, I will be traveling the country soon telling everyone who wants to know How To Play Business Golf.   So stand by..

 

No it is not just taking someone out for a round of golf and exchanging business cards and it is not pitching someone on you businesses product out on the golf course.  

 

Stay tuned, I’ll be back in a few weeks to give you the schedule on where my seminars will be held…  Meantime, sign up for my newsletter at www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

 

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

214 549-0306

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com

 

Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/business_golf/cb_order.html

 

 

 

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Golf: Got To Get After It

Wow! It is April and the Masters is already over and I have not played but 10 rounds of golf this year.

Why?  Well like most folks who are in business the time spent running a business and meeting the challenges of businesses today, just can’t find the time to play.  And that is a bunch of hog-wash.  I, like 90% of the other business people out there, do not get out playing golf very often because we don’t have a regular crew to play with. 

And, I, like 80% of the golfers out there is a member of a country club where there are hundreds of golfers playing everyday.

So, what is my and the 99% of the other golfers who are in business problem?  I don’t know, what do you think is the solution to finding other people to play golf with?  I have my thoughts, but I want to here yours.

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com

 

 

Monday, April 10, 2006

Blogging On Blogger: The Easiest Way TO Go

OK, I am back.  Where have I been?  Out looking for other ways to blog.  My report, stay with Blogger.  There are other sites out there for blogging and some might be just as easy as Blogger.  Why should you stay with Blogger?  Traffic. Or lack of it. 

This goes back to the reason you blog.  Some people have a lot of friends who are nearly surgically connected to the internet. And others, like me, are trying to meet new friends around the world.  And you have the people who don’t want friends and blogging to them is like masturbating.   

IF you are going to blog you want to make it easy.  Since Blogger lets you use Outlook to create your blog and email it to your blog site you don’t have to sign in, click some buttons to get to your posting, cut it to a word document to check spelling and then cut and paste it back to the blog site to send it.  Just write it and send it.  Easy.

Yes, there are other sites that do this also, but the point is, TRAFFIC.  There is no more traffic to Blogger that the other sites.  Traffic being people who actually going to see you blog and then read it.   If you are already set up on Blogger just stay there until there is technology that draws the search engine spiders to your site.  There are reports out there that there are tricks you can use to get the spiders heading your way, and soon as I find one I will let you know.

 

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

 

Friday, April 07, 2006

RSVP: Does Anyone Know What It Is Telling You To Do?

I find it real strange how parents are not teaching their kids , for more than two generations now, what you are suppose to do when you get an invitation and it has RSVP.  Most people think it means come if you want…

 

R├ępondez s’il vous plait  (French for ‘Please Reply’) 

 

It wasn’t until I started on this blog that I found out what RSVP stood for.  Now I know.  But I digress from my point

There seems to be something about people not RSVPing to an invitation.  When I found the French word I was reading the history about why the RSVP was stamped on invitations.  Back in the Victorian era and before there were some sever consequences to pay if you did not reply.

Hundreds of years ago, being invited to anything was rare.  People use to site around after they worked in the fields and look at each other.  It wasn’t until the Royalty of the age started doing things to stop the boredom so they would have parties.  But after having a party and probably the entire town came because they were bored they started sending invitations to just those few they wanted to come.  Eventually each person I the town would receive an invitation to a party since in the heyday of good times the King and Queen throw a party every night. 

On the card they would place RSVP.  If you did not reply you were not put on the guest list and you did not get through the gates.  And if you did not RSVP it was considered the worst form of disrespect to the people who were having the gathering. 

So, to make sure the RSVP was respected by all, the morning after the event they would send a town crier (the equivalent of today’s newspaper) to the town square and shout out for all to hear who did not reply to the RSVP’s.  For the public to hear this and to know who that person was, was a huge embarrassment since others would had died to have been given an invitation.  The public announcement would provide the public with permission to scorn the person for the disrespect, resulting in the person who did not reply to not get any business or worst have to move out of the community.

Today, people get invited to some many things that getting scorned for not RSVPing is looked at as a complement.  Parents today are finding it hard to get their kids to understand the RSVP.  They want to do the right thing and show their kids the things you do to formally invite someone, but it is not perceived that way when the parents of the kid that received the invitation throws it on the pile of invitations they got for that same Saturday.  People are busy (or want you to think they are busy) and they don’t want to be bothered and to forget an RSVP is no big deal.  Their attitude is, if you want anyone to come to your party you need to get over it. 

The respect for the person who is planning the event is void.

The other action that is also disrespectful is to RSVP the day before the event.  Today, people do not want to commit to anything until the last minute.  I take it that they are wanting to see if anything better is going to be going on before they commit to go to something they think is a hoax or stuffy.  Once they find out they are not getting a better offer the call goes out to apologies and to hope they can still come.  Is the person going to say no?  They should, but to be nice they say ‘the more the merrier’ and the problem is perpetuated for another generation?

The time has come that if RSVP is not a signal for them reply and the words Please Reply are still ignored, to put your foot down.  Call out that town crier and have them sit outside their house with a blow horn on Sunday morning after your Saturday backyard grill fest and let them know who did not RSVP.

Come people, just pick up the phone, email or if you want to be totally traditional send a letter.  But RSVP.

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Networking Groups: Pass The Business Cards

Have you played Pass The Business Cards game at Networking Groups? Or the PTBC as I call it.   Bless the group’s organizers and leaders hearts, they are trying to find some way to get people to connect and get to know each other, but the PTBC is not cutting it.

If you have not played this game, here are a couple of versions of the game I want to tell you about.

Generally the PTBC is used at the traditional Networking Group Luncheons where everyone sits around a large table, or in comes cases sit around a bunch of smaller tables.  Sometime before the One Minute Commercials (OMC) begin, each person takes a stack of their business cards (equaling to the number of people there). The first person passes their stack of cards to the next person.  Then that person takes one of first person’s cards (if they have not already gotten one) puts their stack on top of that and passes it on to the next person.  This keeps going on around the table or tables.  If there are a large number of people attending who know each other, or has gotten one of your cards before, by the time it gets to the halfway person he/she is dealing with a stack of cards that is very unmanageable.  Then when the stack gets back around to the person who started this game, they are dealing with a plate full of messed up cards and they are suppose to pick the cards they have not gotten, or they want, and take their extra cards back, then pass this mess onto the next person for them to do the same time. Now, what do you get out of this?  Do you need to learn how to jungle a plate of business cards while shoving a salad down your neck while visiting with the people on each side of you?  Because, that was all that happened in this PTBC game. 

Another variation of this PTBC Game is where when you sign-in at the registration table at the meeting you drop a business card in the fish bowl.  Then sometime during the meeting the fish bowl is passed around and each person is to blind draw a card. Then the card you drew is who you are to schedule a one-on-one meeting.  In most cases the drawing is in conjunction to some sort of rewards program that is given to the person who does the most one-on-one over a period of time.  What is promoted is that each person will get two meetings out of the drawing; one with the person you draw their card and one from the person who drew your card.  The fallacy of the fish bowl meeting connection method assumes that each person will make contact and scheduled a meeting.  In reality all that has happened is time was wasted by passing a bowl around with cards in it. 

What takes place in the Plate passing is that most groups only have a 10% new member attendance.   So passing 25 of your business cards to 23 people you passed them to last week and the two people who did not, is not very efficient.   The groups I have consulted have now adopted doing the card game differently.  They find out how many new members are attending, then at the meeting ask each senior member to fork over that many cards and the new members to fork over enough cards for everyone.  Then the leader provides the new person with a nice little packet of cards from everyone and then hands the new member’s cards to each senior member of the group.

What takes place in the Bowl Passing method is that the first person who gets to draw is the only person who gets a true blind draw.  After that the cards left in the bowl comes down to whoever is left in the bowl.  In some cases the last person to draw a card has drawn their own card since it was the last one in the bowl.  The major problem with the Fish Bowl is that you have to make sure that everyone present has put a card in.  In one of the groups I am in there is one business person who refuses to put her card in the bowl but insist on taking a card out so she can make a contact.  She does not want someone to contact her.  Yes, there are people out there that feel that if they give out their card they are going to get spammed.

What also happens in the bowl drawing is that some of the matches made from drawing cards results in two business people who have absolutely no interest in what each other do for a living or ability to help that person.  Like the Stock Broker who drew the city health inspector card or the sanitation worker who drew the CEO of a Software company.  Neither of these people are going to make the effort to contact each other.  SO, what took place at the bowl passing was again a waste of time and an excellent exercise in futility for a number of people.

So, what is the solution?  If the OMC is dead and the PTBC game is lame, the organizers have to get innovative in providing timely purpose to their groups or people are not going to come back to their meetings.  Here is what I suggest they do.

Each group knows who is attending.  There are a few that allow anyone to walk in off the street, which is a scary thought, but generally there is some sort of notice a person has to make to the group leader reporting they are going attend.

At that point the organizer needs to let that new person know that before they can attend the meeting they will have to provide a profile of their business with a photo.  I suggest that the organizer create a form to place the information on so the information is in a format to be used for all profiles.  Then, before the meeting, the organizer take all of the profiles for all people who are attending, attach them into a pamphlet and have one placed at each seat before the meeting. 

This kills the OMC and the PTBC, everyone can relax, enjoy being in the community and gravitate to people who look interesting or who they see in the pamphlet has a business they want to learn more about or have a lead for…. I call this passive networking… The Type A personalities hate this because it takes away the best tool they think they have, their over inflated ego’s.  It puts in writing information that is useful.  A unique concept in networking groups, where going to a networking group to learn what the group is about and who is in the group and you get something useful for a change and not a stack of business cards.

Don’t play the games and waste people’s time by insulting them with mandatory OMC’s and PTBC.  Get on with what you are there for, making connections, building community and meeting people.  Anytime people gather together they are naturally going to find someway to get to know each other.  Providing them written information allows them to manage their time and review the pamphlet at their convenient to see who in the group, what they do and who would be able to help, and who would not.  It is kind of like having a program to look at while you are attending an art museum or an opera, or someplace where you get lost real easily.

If a networking group wants to remain in existence they are either going to have to go online or provide the same information that an online group provides or both.

Hope this information helps or at least it does not suck…

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com

 

Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/business_golf/cb_order.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

214 549-0306

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com

 

Author of: ‘How To Play Business Golf’, From The Boardroom To The Fairways…

The best investment you can make for your business…

http://www.innovativebusinessgolf.com/business_golf/cb_order.html

 

 

 

Networking Groups: Back To The Future

Today, there are only a small number of effective online network groups.  Some are for very small niche businesses and some are just for a particular industry.

But the true online Business Networking groups are few.  

There are many, many online group sites that have one or two groups that try to network, but there are very few online networking groups exclusive to making business connections, building community and relationships.  And out of those even fewer that are worthwhile and do not charge a membership fee.

This is the third part of the three part series on my report on Network Groups

The following is my review on a few sites I spent a lot of time getting involved with.  There are a few more I have heard of but not gotten much involved with and people want me to take a look at, which I will (nag, nag, nag), but I wanted to get this series of blogs out to the many people who are new to the online networking groups in hopes I can help them to learn what is out there and what to look out for. 

So here goes, put your rain slickers on the mud is about to fly…

LinkedIn.com

The big ka-who-na.  OK, this is the group that everyone I know is waiting for my review on so let me get this one out of the way…I will start off by being nice…LinkedIn has a great concept and is the largest mass of humanity in the universe.  That is about as nice as I can stand it.   This complete waste of bandwidth is failing miserably as being of any kind of worthwhile network group.  When you look up the word suck in the dictionary you will be given Linkedin’s URL.   Lots of bells and whistles and lots of being hit on by the ever present MLM’s, who call LinkedIn heaven.  If you have not been to this web-site it is worth you going and seeing what not to get involved with.  Several years ago, LinkedIn was HOT.  The greatest and a must join.  If you have been online for awhile you probably were like me, getting two or three emails from friends sending you an invite to join.  Truth is, it was LinkedIn sending you the email not your friends… Strike one.  

Just take a look at a member’s profile site… does that reflect on how you do business? I hope not. …. Strike Two.  

When I joined, all of the sudden I found my entire address book on their site and within one minute had received 15 emails from unreal people wanting to network with me. And fifty emails from my friends who are in my address book wanting to know what tha…?  Strike Three.   You are out!

Naturally, my first experience in my first online network group would result in me having to  deal with having to pull back what was taken from my computer and then go through a two day rig-a-ma-roar of getting my account deleted, all resulting in me having to get another email address….  Wish I was the only one that this happened to, but I am not. And it is still happening…  SO, great place to browse to see what sucks, but not to join.  Now for those folks that are out there and have had no problems, great, I have friends who are out there also and have had not problems, but, they are not building community or even finding anyone who will carry on a conversation.  So Moving on. Rapidly…

Bottomline:  Enough said. You know the bottomline; this site is producing a large vacuum it sucks so hard.

TRIBE.NET 

This is one of three Mega Sites that reports having millions of members.  A perfect example of how Quantity does not build Quality.  Tribe.net’s claim to fame is like most of the rest, trying to provide people the opportunity to form their on group or Tribe.  Once you form a group/tribe, you then have to find members to join the tribe.  Until you get three members in your tribe you are not listed on the tribe directory as a viable tribes…what tha?.  Not sure that nurtures community since the tribe not being listed on the tribe directory negates your efforts to building a tribe or group from the members of the other tribes.  In other words, what they want you to do is to being in a group of people who are not members of tirbe.net to be your tribe, then they turn you on to the rest of the network to see if anyone wants to be part of your tribe and hit on your friends or your members of your tribe.  Do I smell pyramid here?    Not very productive.  OK, the other option that Tribe.net offers, as do the others sites, is to join someone else’s group, or tribe.  Supposedly these tribes are created to interact with their members, but so far the five tribes I have joined since January have had absolutely no activity, other than the MLM’s sending their ‘I want TO Network With You’ message. Talking to the principles of Tribe.net about the inactivity of over 80% of their tribes, I got the pat answer that they have over a million members with thousands of tribes/groups and these groups produce over a hundred thousand discussions each day.  True, I saw conversations concerning the mixing of liquid nail with finger nail polish to form an adhesive that sticks to door handles and conversations on why someone is not getting a date, but nothing about how to increase profit margins or anything that had to do with anything of a business nature.  OH, yes, there was the occasional announcement on the latest penal enlargements products, but as far as being a viable place to create community and share common interest, those tribes who were formed to do that left back in 2003.

Bottomline: If you want to learn about the latest method of administering a tattoo Tribe.com is the place to go.

Google.group.com: 

Wow, here is a monster.  From the makers of Google.com, you can only imagine the traffic to Google.group.com has to be tremendous.  Another great concept and what would seem to be a great by product of Google.  But, the creators of the site must have googled so much that they lost their creativity and ability to produce any visual effect.  If you like White, on White with a touch of White to trim out the White background, then you are a Google.Group person.  Google.group.com is another user friendly but very sterile site that provides for the creation of a group.  With the million plus members they claim to have you can only guess the number of different groups they have and the subject manor for each group.  Again, the limitation of viable business groups that are actually active is really the shortcoming of this site.   The creators or principles for this group are far, far removed from knowing what exactly is going on in this site.  They probably do not care since the group is so large and the advertising bucks they are drawing from all of the ads on each page.  But the site is full of non-economic based groups that probe such intellectual issues as the number of places to effectively pierce your navel so the stud does not come out.  Not really the best place to ask for information on a great health or medical plans.

Bottomline: Great place to start.  It is safe and your really can’t get in trouble, but you can waste a lot of time trying to find anyone who is still using this site.

Ryze.com:

Now here we go.  Ryze.com is what happens when you try to approach online networking like a traditional business networking group but forget to set limits.  Ryze.com, one of the mega sites raped by the pornographic industry after the spammers strafe bombed the membership.  Like Tribes.net, a large number of the members who joined Ryze.com in late 2003 got up a abandoned their groups and their profiles.  The activity amongst some of the larger business groups is down to insurance agents blindly blitzing their groups with discounts on group’s rates.  Yes, that is exactly what I am looking for, aren’t you?

Seems Ryze.com had good intentions and their policies seem to attempt to enforce the member’s rights to not be bothered with useless information, but again, it also looks like the damage to their image has caused a very skeptical membership.  I sent a message through the site to one of their members back in February.  I just this week go a reply to my message. He apologizes and mentioned that he just ran across my message since he hardly uses Ryze anymore.  He was just passing by his site seeing if there were any changes to Ryze.  Seems that is what most of the members are doing.   Not a really good way to make a connection.

Bottomline: Again, no community, no conversation no interaction of personalities.

MeetUp.com: 

Close, but No Cigar.  MeetUp.com was one of the best sites I got involved with and it provided the most tools of any of the sites for people to use to create a group and create events for the group to physically attend.  This direction is where most groups online are venturing.  MeetUp charges a fee to create a group and makes it affordable by providing a 30 day guarantee.  Their services include automated interactive email reminder messages, an RSVP system that allows members to tell the organizer if they are coming to the event or not, or maybe and why.  Lots of interaction.  Lots of creativity.  Very innovative.  And yes, there are a lot of MeetUp groups that are into things that only someone who plays Grand Theft Auto all day would want to discuss.  MeetUp groups are set up for people to gather for a common interest and then get together locally for face to face meetings.  Truly, a valid attempt to build community.  One of the features that MeetUp offers that is really nice is that if the group is organizing an event for a MeetUp and there is some costs involved the organizer of the group can charge the members who are attending a fee to cover the costs and MeetUp has a merchant service account to collect the funds for the group. But not all is great at MeetUp. There are some groups that have made a valiant attempt to organize specialty groups and spent weeks of time building the group an attempting to get the members to converge at some locations to meet.  Thus, the name Meet Up., But groups like the Dallas Sushi MeetUp group that had a very energetic organizer who has energy, purpose and drive, threw in the towel and turn the group back to MeetUp because her attempts to get the members to MeetUp at a Sushi restaurant never was going to happen.  In talking to the organizer of Dallas Sushi I found that what was taking place in her group was taking place with other groups that leave their membership open to the public.  The Sushi group’s mission was to get together and visit different sushi restaurants and join in community of the group for their common interest.  What took place was people were signing up as being from Dallas, but in reality they were from all over the world.  She said most of them do it on purpose so they can be disruptive to the group’s purpose.  So when an event at a Sushi restaurant was booked the leader found out over a few attempts that the people who joined the group were not interested in going to eat Sushi, they just wanted to email in from India and other places around the world on their interest in Sushi.  So, this leader was out the group fee and had egg on her face with several sushi restaurants.  What MeetUp does have that would have helped in this situation was to designate your group Private and then everyone wanting to join the group would have to be interviewed.   A great feature that is used a lot in MeetUp.  I still consider MeetUp as one of the best online groups to easily form your own group.

Bottomline:  Check this group out so you can learn how this type of groups works.  It will pay off when it come time to get involved is a really good site that has this concept hammered out.

My Space.com: 

Good attempt, but not convenient  

Another one of the mega sites that gain notoriety recently as the place where some of the kids of Mexican heritage promoted the school walk outs across the country in protest for the needed immigration laws that are being discussed in congress.  In MySpace you have the ability to join the site and then join groups, or like the other groups, start your own group.  What seems to take place here is that there are thousands of groups that are all about the same thing.  Just in Southern California there are five groups, all have different names and with almost the same members, that all claim to be for Golf Lovers.  Now, I know that there are a lot of golfers in Southern California but it would seem logical that someone would have thought that just making one group for golf lovers would be better than four identical groups.  The same thing goes on in other sites, but it seems to be amplified in MySpace.  Again, MySpace is experiencing the same problems as the other sites when it comes to people joining a group for the wrong reason.  I applaud MySpace for it Private feature.  These private groups do self screening of anyone who asked to join the group.  I applied for one group of young business people and was declined.  It did not upset me because I wanted to see if they held up to their policy of having to be less than 35 years old.  Of course this was predicated that I put my true age on my profile, which can be changed at anytime.  But I didn’t and they rejected me, so I respected that.   I applied for membership into one of the private networking groups.  After getting an email from the creator, we visited over a couple of threads and then I got an email from MySpace congratulating me that I was accepted.  I am thinking of laminating the email and putting it on my wall.  The reason being is that in just the ten minutes after becoming a member of this private group I got a contact by a member of the group who wants me to speak to their groups in South Carolina.  How many times has that happen?

One of the aggravating aspects of My Space, as is with the other groups sites, is they do offer blogging but do not have anyway to link the blogs you produce from another site to your MySpace account.  So if you blog on Blogger or WordPress you cannot have those blogs automatically listed in your MySpace blog site.   You are back to cut and pasting your blogs…  

Bottomline: MySpace.com has potential, but only if you are interested in forming a private group.

 

OK, this brings me to my favorite,

BizNik.com

I hit this site at least three times a day just to see who has joined this group today and to see what their claim to fame is. And to see what is discussed for the day.   I keep going back to this group because I got in near their start-up and watched the steps the creators took in handling their rapid growth.  Interaction is the name of the game with BizNik.  When it comes to Networking in the BizNik group, it is more what you know (or in my case, don’t know) than what you are selling.  There are no cutesy animation advertising banners or critters crawling across the screen.  The creators are not into showing you their technological wizardry (Which they have more of than I have seen in any of the groups).   Matter of fact, there is no outside advertising on the site.  Does BizNik promotion an individual’s business, or existence on earth? Yes.  This blog is being featured on the BizNik Homepage.  So, I can only say, they thought enough of me to feature it, so yes, they promote their members.  And, yes there is a very diverse membership which balances the community nicely.  And speaking of community, this group is run by a very concern group of people who formed this group because they were tired of wasting their time in groups that ‘Suck’.  Yes, we are back to what sucks and what does not and BizNik does not ‘Suck’.  BizNik’s creators, founders, overseeing Gods, are concern with the problems growth will cause and they are open with their membership on what directions they want to go, which builds even a stronger sense of community amongst its membership.  Yes, they have members from all over the galaxy and a map of the world to show you where they are exactly located on earth.  Great places to take your fifth grader so they see why they need to study geography.  If there is any weakness, it would have to be where BizNik is today, on the threshold of making a change.   Not that there standing still, I know there are changes in the mill, but making those changes are going to be tricky in order to keep the integrity built into the first version of this group intact. BizNik has an a local Seattle presences as well as a solid international presence and they facilitates the interaction of the two groups very well though vivid profiling of their membership and through their BizTalk message board discussions.  For the local BizNik membership in Seattle, they are encouragement to gather periodically for the very important eye-to-eye; wine glasses rose to the toasting to success; get to know someone better, opportunity.  The other members, who fall in the Web-site member category, just get to read about it.  It is more of a jealousy factor than a real problem.  I see what BizNik has to offer and as an opportunity comes up to take advantage of my business’ national presences hopefully it will take me to Seattle.  There I hope to raise my glass amongst this group and toast to their group’s success.

So, the question is.

What is next and where is BizNik going? Well that will be up to the creators.  They are doing a good job keeping a finger on the pulse of the group and on other sites on a daily basis.  Very smart management.   It is not usually to hear from one of the principles of the group or have them sending out a though provoking and generally appealing statement or question for the group to discuss.  A rare sign of True leadership in today’s online networking groups.   To keep the group’s integrity; MLM’s beware.  Businesses that come in to farm connections for their multilevel marketing business are immediately detected and are ejected from the group.  A standing ovation is in order for this action.   This is another indication of the creator’s and founder’s protection of the membership and the focus on making sure there is a healthy future for the group.

Bottomline: I see BizNik setting the pace for other online groups to follow. 

 

Overview of Online Networking Groups:

All of them have similar uniqueness’ and similar problems.  The problems range from:

  • Creators and founders having a lack of control or care on who joins a group.
  • Over crowding of the site with socialites and disruptors.
  • Lack of Trust amongst its members because they do not know who they are dealing with.

 

So what will have to be part of the online groups of the future?

The creators of online groups of the future will have to find ways to safeguard their membership from problems. 

How can they do this?  It is amazing what happens when someone sees a photo of someone else.  It produces a sense of trust.  And if the online groups of the future want to build a site that does not suck and safeguards their membership from people who do, they are going to have to build trust.  So, requiring a legitimate photo for each member’s profiles would build a site that builds trust and should be vital part of what the future online networking groups mandate.

How do they do this?

Well here is a suggestion:

Require each group leader to validate the members of his/her group’s with a photo and not allow their members to be posted for public view until they validate a photo for each member. 

Again, how do they do this?

Well, there has to be some responsibility to the group being built and there would have to be some enforcement by the site’s management to actually check periodically on members with emails to show them that someone is watching out for the other members.  But one Fun way to secure valid photos is at the gathering of the group have a photographer there to take creative and unique photos that will be used on the member’s profiles.  (A Great way for photographers to show their craft) The creator of the group places the member’s photo on their profile so all know who they are dealing with.  The policy should be no photo, no membership. 

What is the future of Online Networking?

Within the next few months online groups that have placed safeguards and tools to control their site’s integrity will see more of the mainstream traditional business professionals joining their ranks.  This will bring in greater business opportunities and solid connections that will create a more profitable business network.  Yes, there is more to community that focusing on profit.  These more established business owners and executives, who shunned being involved in networking groups in the past due to the fear of getting unsolicited solicitations, will come in to find and build community more than business and to share interests more so than farming leads.  They will be looking for relaxation because most of the time they are wanting to get away from their profession for a few minutes and make new friends and see what else is happening in the world. 

Online Business Networking Groups of the future will look different with more private groups being formed and tools that will allow the global community to gather for a group toast to success.

How Do I Know This?  There is a large group of professional that wants to jump in and make a positive footprint in the online community by providing their advice to good hearted business people.  I will not disclose or identify the profession since I told them I wouldn’t, but I can say they are very, very, very image conscious and rightly and legally so.  This powerhouse of individuals holds the key to every level of the economy.  And they would be glad to help in a guarded community. Their guidance and what they have to offer to business people will be of tremendous value to the groups they choice to join.  In my opinion, it is high time this profession comes in force into the online networking groups. 

SO, listen up online business network groups (especially those groups that do not Suck), the next group of powerhouse business people are sitting at their terminals today (or in my case hiring me to set at the terminal for them) looking for the right group to join. 

Final Bottomline:  There is no way to put all of this in an OMC and there is no way I am going to try.  The catch line here is: If you are in business, then you need to let people know you are in business and the best way to do this is?  Well it is not standing up and giving someone your ‘One Minute Commercial’.

 

Hope this has helped, if not, at least I hope it didn’t Suck..

 

 

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com

 

 

Monday, April 03, 2006

Golf: No Other Game Like It!

Here it is the week of the 2006 Masters, Lefty is kicking butt, Tiger is lying back strategizing, Ernie is doing what Ernie does and the rest of the field, well they are wondering if they can hit the fairways that look like the edge of a razor blade laying between two rows of  towering Georgia pines.  What a great time of year.   For golfers, the Masters is the major of the major of golf events.  The Masters is where the professionals are hitting their strides of great golf and the amateurs get their first look of what they will have to conqueror if they turn professional. 

Unfortunately, the Masters is the time of year when Golf is brought into the mainstream of the public’s attention.  Which brings out the people I call the Target Shooters.  They see something they do not understand, so it becomes the target they shoot at with ridicule based on ignorance.

Every few days I have to deal with the cesspool of negative attitudes that boil up towards golf.  And it seems each year around the Masters is when the lid is blown off the septic tank full of people who are down on golf but have never even played, been to an event or even to a golf course for any reason.   Maybe listening to what they have to say with any interest would be easier to do if their remarks were based on any possibility of it being based on fact.

Since I am in a golf related business and on the cutting edge of promoting golf to businesses who want to use golf as a business tool, I am contently getting unfounded remarks shot at me all of the time.  Most of them are vain attempts to disavow golf as being a business tool, but if the true be known the remarks are out of jealousy from team sports fans, who for some reason, thing that if you are not stuck in an arena or motor speedway track with tens of thousands other people who like moshing together you are not partaking in a viable sport.   

Even through all of these slings and arrows, I try to provide them with explanation on what golf is all about.  Most of the time, to no avail.  Here is what I have to deal with…

These non-golfing men and women say Golf is boring; doesn’t allow people to express their emotions and show support to their favorite players; is nothing but a group of rich kids being pampered; and is for people who can’t deal with the real world. 

Well…Friend….. the 40 million golfers in this country and 100 million world-wide would have to differ with you.

Have you ever heard of the Ryder Cup?  No, this doesn’t have anything to do with what you put your beer in while driving a Ryder Truck.  It is a team event similar to the basketball, football, baseball and NASCAR Pit Crew teams.  But it is without the elbow throwing, cutback blocking, fiery car hurling through the air activities declared by the Bubba’s of the world as a sport and entertainment.  (No offense to Bubba Watson)  It’s not to say that there is not any moshing going on at the Ryder Cup.  The last few years the America galleries of fans have been, well, more Bubba Like… but none the less, the Ryder Cup is the All Star team event of golf.

As far as the remarks of golf being uninteresting and not allowing fan’s  to express their emotions….You must have never been to the 16th hole on the TPC at the FBR (or as I still like to call it, Phoenix Open).  Though it was calmer this year,  this one golf hole still holds the record for the largest crowd per hole, 75,000 people, and the highest decibel noise level from a crowd of hollering fans in all sports.  The super bowl does not even come close to this one 245 yard long hole that is less than the size of a baseball field.   No matter if it is Tiger or the player who is 250th in the world, these fans stand perfectly quiet and then at the sound of the ball being struck erupt into an earth shattering roar so loud and directed to one spot that you could no hear a 747 if it flew 50ft over their heads.  And you do not want to have your ears uncovered if by chance someone makes a Hole-in-one., which has happened once or twice.

Now, for golf being a sport for a bunch of rich kids, I don’t think it is anywhere as bad as baseball, football and basketball, with those ‘pay for no play’ contracts.  There are some kids on the PGA and LPGA tours who are living out of their cars just to live the dream of playing on the PGA or LPGA tour.  And they have to be placed in the top ten of an event to get any chance of getting paid…  There are not any rich kids in this situation..

As far as golf being for people who can’t deal with the real world, well, golf can’t be everything to everyone so I guess you got me there…but if feeling good about myself, feeling good about treating other people with respect and being honest to both, while walking down a manicured lawn dressed in my Sunday best is not being able to deal with the real world, Then leave me to my dream and you to your 1981 motor home parked at the motor speedway infield.

Yes, Golf has all for all, but only for those who understand.    I am not sure why golf is attacked as much as it is.  My answer is, I am glad that not everyone is interested in golf and especially people who have never played, gone to or taken the time to learn what golf is all about.  I would hate to get that crowd mixed in with the club throwing slow playing crowd that is already out there. Or maybe they already have mixed.

So, each to their own. 

But, let’s leave it with this…

Golf is not only the best sport played, but it is the only sport that can be played for a lifetime.  I don’t think you will ever see anyone in their 70’s or 80’s suiting up for any of the ball sports and though they probably can make it around the track, you will not see any grandpa’s taken turn three at 200 mph…  But you will see everyone one of them with a golf club in their hand and a smile on their face as they play the game of a lifetime… 

Come on, enjoy one of life’s joys and one of golf’s best events, The Master, and if after you have attempted to enjoy playing golf and gone to a golf tournament  like the Masters and you still don’t like it, I will accept all criticism you can deal out.   But there is one thing you cannot argue after experiencing golf is that, Golf: There is No Other Sport Like It…

Scot Duke

President

Innovative Business Golf Solutions, LLC.

scot.duke@innovativebusinessgolf.com

www.innovativebusinessgolf.com

 

‘My Blog’ http://businessgolf.blogspot.com