Win For Small Business: Google Calendar Becomes Mobile

Typically I’m the first one to criticize Google about any number of things, but I also love to see new mobile apps. So I was excited to just read in PC World that Google has launched an interface for the Google Calendar for the mobile phone.

I don’t personally use Google Calendar, but I do understand, as a small business owner, how Google Calendar is an incredibly cost-effective way to have team members share calendar info. The alternative, of course, is using the Microsoft Outlook Calendar. To share calendars via Outlook, however, you must use Microsoft Exchange Server. In addition to calendar sharing, Exchange Server provides synching capability to your mobile phone. The downside for most small businesses is that Microsoft Exchange Server can be costly to setup and support.

The Death of the Small Guy

There is a powerful process at work in internet retailing that I call normalization. By this, I am referring to the tendency of markets to gravitate to a state where the profits go to the companies that deserve them while inferior companies fail.

This is not a popular subject and most of the online “gurus” deny this phenomenon. After all, they have to sell their marketing courses to people that believe they can start a website and get wealthy overnight.

I am asked constantly by friends what they can sell on the Internet. I always want to ask them why they think that I would share potential goldmines. My company has a software platform and system that can launch a sophisticated retail website within a few days. If I think of a good product to sell, I can be selling it by next week. The fact is that it is not so easy to come up with new products to retail online these days.

Getting Our Butts Kicked

I know that The Marketing Pilgrim podcast is only on its seventh episode, but does it really suck that bad?

Thanks to those that have voted for us!

BTW – I’ll be selecting the random Technorati winner later today and announcing the winner of the Wii, over the weekend.

Friday’s Pilgrim’s Picks

So much news, so little time!

European Union Investigating Google’s Privacy Rules

Google’s policy of retaining user information for up to two years, has become the center of an investigation by an EU panel, according to the AP.

EU spokesman Pietro Petrucci said Friday that the 28-member panel, which advises the European Commission and EU governments on data protection issues, wants Google to address concerns about the company’s practice of storing and retaining user information for up to two years.

“This group has addressed a letter to Google raising a number of questions,” Petrucci said, adding that EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frattini was backing the investigation.

Google only recently changed their policy on how long it keeps, and what it does with, personal data but has still faced investigation for its practices.

Google, of course, maintains they are doing every thing necessary to protect privacy.

Survey Shows 39% of Bloggers Publish Sensitive Company Info

E-consultancy has details of a new study by human resources firm Croner, suggesting that up to a third of bloggers risk getting fired due to posting damaging material about their employer.

Croner commissioned YouGov for a survey of 2,000 people which found 39% of bloggers admitted to publishing sensitive or damaging posts about their workplace.

Some companies are now issuing guidelines on employee blogging policy to safeguard against unwelcome disclosures, but the recent case of Petite Anglaise, an English secretary fired from her job as a PA in France for writing about her employer in her own journal, underscores the need for a structured approach.

Does your company have any guidelines about personal blogging?

MyBlogLog a Bunch of Schmoes?

MyBlogLog has introduced a new tagging feature which will allow uses to add their own keywords to blogs and profiles. On the surface, a welcomed addition.

However, in true “big search engine” style, they’re also using it as a Trojan horse to introduce a system for tagging spam. According to TechCrunch

The company is also asking users to help fight spam by tagging spammy sites with the word “Schmoe,” which they say stands for “Social Media Optimizer” (SchMOe). The team will review those tags and associated sites and take appropriate action.

Since when did social media optimization become spam? Isn’t MyBlogLog itself nothing but a network to optimize connections between social media sites? I mean really, how successful does MBL expect to be, if it doesn’t want the participation of those that know the value of building a social network for their site? I think this is crazy and I’m not the only one.