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Cash Burnt On Greeting Cards

According to Wikepidia the average person gives 55 Birthday Cards per year. If you are a business or have a gigantic family hundreds of cards a year is not out of line. 


Cash Burnt On Greeting Cards

Well in our house with loving wife and three social butterfly daughters, it works out to a lot more than 55 cards per year. When you add in anniversaries, new arrivals & Christmas it gets down right expensive and time consuming at about $4 for store bought cards, postage and this doesn’t even consider the time, gas or additional items you inevitably end up splurging on every time you go shopping  .

So we did the math out of curiosity and although our Card Giving Chart below is approximate numbers we feel they are pretty darn close.

<><><><>Card Giving Chart
  Family
Birthdays 213
Anniversaries 9
New Arrivals 10
Christmas 50
 Total 282
 $4.00/AVG $1,128

Over $1000 a year in all honesty wasn’t really shocking. At this point I didn’t even want to dig into which ones went along with gifts at $20 to $40 a pop. That’s for another day!

So my wife and I decided to do some research and check out the online do it your self versions of the popular card manufacturers like Hallmark & American Greetings, versus services that also put a stamp and send out the cards for you like SendOutCards. Our question was, “Could we get the costs down and still send out a high quality card?”

WE NOW SAVE OVER $500 PER YEAR 

To our astonishment we were able to get the card cost down to a little over .44 cents per card and envelope; after postage we were coming in under a dollar. Even rounding the costs off to one dollar, we would still save over $500 a year and probably thousands on gas, unnecessary impulse buys and most importantly ‘TIME’!

We went with www.iSendOutCards.ca if you are ondering, the quality is great and at the end of the day we get more compliments on our cards than before because we are able to personalize them. Always happy to refer business to good companies, especially when it can save you hard earned cash! The fact that you can send a few cards for free to try it out is AWESOME!

XP & Vista Optimization- Don’t Buy A New Computer Until You Have Done This! Do THIS If You Have Bought A New PC!

My PC is slow? Vista Sucks! VIC 20 is faster than this damn computer which is about to get the wrath of a sledge hammer.

XP Optimization

Was talking  with my business partner Sam the other day and we both pretty much agreed for most people it is easier to buy a new computer than to get an old one working after even as little as 6 months of daily abuse. Although some days I am fairly technical, most people just don’t take the time to defrag their computer, run multiple scans for viruses, spy-ware, malware and useless cookies, downloads and more. Even after doing all the aforementioned fixes… hours later you computer may still be slow.

Even worse, you may have a brand new PC and because all of the crap that comes loaded on machines these days… it is 25x more sluggish than it has to be.

If this all sounds Greek or even if you are confident in your techie abilities then I am going to make a very bold personal claim.

“For VERY FEW dollars and a ZERO WORK you can double the speed of any computer old or new on your own! How do I know this? I Lee Raito, scouts honor, have done it…and if I can do it! SO CAN YOU!”

Fast PC Guide

I downloaded and used System Mechanic to rid my old PC of  thousands of bugs and tune up my machine. Now it did not increase my computers speed by 800% as they claim, but it sure as heck more than doubled it’s speed!

Also I do have FREE step by step guide if you don’t want to outlay any cash and are prepared to clean up your PC with a little elbow grease! In this guide, I actually show you how to optimize any Windows computer step by step.  ‘Even if you skip a few steps’, it will still work wonders. My other VISTA laptop (which doesn’t have System Mechanic) is twice as fast as it was out of the box, and another 3 year old $3000 XP Desktop is faster today than the day I bought it. If you want this guide free, just join my email list top right and shoot me an email saying you’d like the free Speed Up My PC guide.

Anyway, hope this helps you get a little more life out your PC that is probably perfectly fine, but just needs a little cleaning up!

PC Makes A Grown Man Cry

Please Back Up Your PC

It has been about two years since the incident and until now I have been unable to talk about it; literally.

You see… my hard drive crashed, and I hadn’t done any BACKUPS for a year prior. Way back when I was only backing up really important files to recordable CD. So I lost everything; family pictures, graphics and websites I had designed, books I had started to write, recordings of my precious little daughters voices, music, tax documents, software…. EVERYTHING!

I assumed the position, put my forehead in my hands….and CRIED like I have never cried before.

As I said, it has been two years, and I am now just getting over it. The question is did I learn from it? Well NO, up until today I had not performed another back up. Was I crazy? Yes. Was it sheer laziness? Absolutely! But something in my gut told me it was time to protect my hard earned data, and NO this isn’t a pitch for some online storage site. I simply went out bought a 120G one touch back up drive for $100, plugged it in and backed up my hard drives.

No more tears, no more pain… just a big freaking sigh of relief.

I’m making it my mission to tell as many people as I can this month, and so far of the ten people I talked with today, not one has recently backed up their PC. Its a shame really, as you don’t miss it until its gone… and it is enough to make anyone cry!

When is  the last time you backed up your PC?

Digg!

Classmates IPO

Classmates filed with the SEC today… Initial Public Offering is on its way.

Having at one point personally spent cold hard cash for an annual membership at Classmates.com, I can see the validity in owning stock of one of the largest and arguably the ‘Grandaddy’ of social networking companies online. Classmates was one of the true pioneers of social networking, and has built a huge registered data base of free users (Rumoured to be 50 million strong) and an impressive two million paying customers.

A concern for potential investors will be in the financials and the competition. On gross revenue of over 40 million, Classmates is still losing money on paper. Does that matter in the world of Internet stocks? In the short term no, but over the long term absolutely. Over the long term, they will compete with the likes of My Space & Facebook. One of the key reasons I no longer keep a paid membership at Classmates, is all my school friends are now using Facebook…

Either way the IPO is registered and official with the SEC, and will be one I will follow closely.

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Rudy Giuliani’s Daughter’s Facebook Scandal

Perhaps one of Rudy’s lesser life mistakes was not getting his 17-year-old daughter Caroline on board with his presidential campaign.

Carioline Rose G

Barack Obama has over 500 Facebook groups dedicated to his presidential campaign, and Rudy doesn’t even have a profile. Doing a search for Rudy on Facebook results in a few groups supporting him, but only one young college party animal who shares the Giuliani name.

Your daughter having different political views…understandable. Your daughter openly bashing your presidential campaign…. ouch! Social networking having an affect on politics…priceless!

 Sources: http://www.webware.com/8301-1_109-9755606-2.html  http://slate.com/id/2171730 

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Playboy Mansion Charity Event Next Week

Don’t even know what to write other than I’m going, and it is for an Internet Marketing event for charity.

With the recent events in the news surrounding the mansion, the earthquake not so long ago… its going to be interesting to say the least. My only concern is will people still network? I’m pretty sure they will. Internet Marketers from around the world will be flying in from many different countries, and no one does that just to see a mansion and little pink bunny outfits right?

Playboy Mansion map – Tagzania

Social Commerce Chapter

Here is the beginnings of the entire chapter… almost done. Any thoughts or comments are appreciated.

Social Commerce

 

Premise & Major Points: 

 

  • Traditional ecommerce, dinosaurs & dodo birds
  • What is social commerce and where is it headed?
  • Are the eBay’s, Amazons & Paypal’s of the world tuned into?
  • How can you use the Social Ecommerce advantage in your business?
  • Social Commerce at applies to your TuYu Social Network Site

 

1000 years ago when the Chinese first introduced spices to the Europeans you can imagine what type of trade commerce occurred. Two men sitting with the weirs, wine in hand and a huge desire to do business. The usual small talk ensued, discussion of value, benefits and building of trust in the shortest time frame possible to seal the deal. The thoughts that must have run though their heads are probably no different than the sales process that occurs all over the world today. A great fear that you may be getting screwed and of course the other major emotion involved in commerce…greed! 

Remember fear & greed, as this underlying theme is why Social Commerce will over take the traditional ecommerce model online, and will trickle down and eventually integrate with offline commerce as well.

 

Traditional eCommerce, Dinosaurs & the Do, Do Birds 

 It’s funny that we can call ‘eCommerce’ traditional in any sense of the word as it is less than 25 years old. Reality is that just like the industrial revolution massively and rapidly changed the world in the last century, eCommerce has matured even faster. With blinding speed eCommerce  has over taken ??? 3 cents of every dollar spent in the
United States alone.  Insert reference

So why then the reference to dinosaurs & dodo birds…extinction?

 

Quite simply traditional eCommerce will morph into Social eCommerce in the coming years, all but leaving digital footprints and electronic fossils behind.

 

Here is why?

 

The explanation lies in the root of the emotional underbelly of ‘Traditional eCommerce’. Unlike in offline commerce where a buyer and seller can do a physical, verbal and tactile sales process to gauge their level of fear and greed, in other words their comfort level. This just doesn’t exist in online traditional ecommerce.

 

In short there is no substitute for seeing someone’s eyes, the sweat on their palms or even hearing the shakiness in their voice over the phone. NO, Social Commerce is not simply adding video & audio interactivity to the web. Yes, this is part of it, but does not define “Social commerce”

 

 Traditional eCommerce fails to give the ‘buyer’ the ability to effectively reduce or eliminate their fears or gauge the greed level of purchasing from their prospective seller. In turn, two sellers selling the same widget online are nearly indistinguishable, even though one could be a total scam artist and the other the most honest business person in the world.

 

‘Social Commerce’ levels the playing field between buyer and seller, and allows trust based businesses to rise to the cream of the crop, and scam artists to get left in the dust.

So just like the dinosaur and the dodo bird, extinction is on the horizon for Traditional eCommerce… good riddance!

 

What is Social Commerce? 

Social Commerce is a trusted environment where friends, family and acquaintances dynamically contribute content to the referral and sale of goods and services though positive and negative feedback, reviews, ratings and testimonials regarding their experiences past & present. In short, social commerce is a trusted environment of which prospective consumers make buying decisions based on the advice of a network of friends and family, not strangers they don’t know or trust. Lee Raito & Sam Heyer www.tuyu.com  

Social commerce is not just targeted focus groups; it does not mean throwing up a community forum or taking your best clients to dinner.

 

You will note that Social Commerce has nothing to do with the type of electronic shopping cart, which payment provider is used or the type of product or service in question. It will however, change all of these things and morph every step in the flow of an online purchase from start to finish and beyond.

 

By simply applying the ‘Social Commerce’ definition to every possible life stage of a product or service, from creation, to production to sales and refunds, you can begin to see the infinite power of ‘Social Commerce’.

 

For example, if a car dealership where to ask the following question about the cars displayed on and the overall functionality of their company website, imagine the result.

 

Is our current website a trusted environment where friends, family and acquaintances dynamically contribute content to the referral and sale of goods and services though positive and negative feedback, reviews, ratings and testimonials regarding their experiences with our products and services past & present? 

 

Then they ask.

 

Is every customer contact point for our company a trusted environment of which prospective consumers make buying decisions based on the advice of a network of friends and family, not strangers they don’t know or trust. 

Shameless Plug:   

Any person or business can have their own Social Commerce powered website because of the technology we have created at www.tuyu.com   

 

When a fundamental business shift benefits both buyer and seller it will become main stream until such time somebody builds a better mouse trap. The industrial revolution created millionaires and billionaires. Until virtual reality become main stream, “Social Commerce” will become and remain the preferred method of transacting business online, and those who are at the forefront become millionaires and billionaires. Is that you?

 

“Social Commerce” is the preferred method of doing business offline already… we call it “Word of Mouth Advertising!” Social commerce so closely emulates word of mouth advertising the only distinguishable difference between the two is that one occurs online.

 

 

Where is Social Commerce headed? 

There was a hint earlier. Quite simply the only thing that will overtake Social Commerce is Virtual reality or Virtual Commerce. When you can visit a virtual car dealership with your dad (who may live on the other side of the world), test drive that new Ford-Honda-Hybrid Hover Car and let your old man negotiate an amazing deal, only then will Social Commerce morph. Elements of Social Commerce will remain until the day we plug in, instead of turning on our PC.

 

In the mean time as we are at the beginning of Social Commerce, there is a ton of progression and the future is unbelievably bright no matter what side of the equation you are on.

 

Here is the future.

 

Buyers will look forward to hearing their friends and family’s views on the products and services they all buy. Your darn rights they are going to check online to see what vehicles, BBQ, and books their friends are buying, as that saves them a phone call to the 30 people they truly trust.

 

In the near future this will be the preferred mechanism for searching products and services online. If there was ever a company that could make more relevant searches for products and services than Google. We believe TuYu Inc www.tuyu.com eventually will make searching for products and services 100x more relevant as you are searching for who, what, when & where your friends and families are buying. Google still remain the king for all other search… this goes undisputed. 

Sellers & Service Providers who catch on early will no doubt benefit the most, as eventually all commerce will be socially driven. In social commerce the cream will rise to the top, and by providing a rich dynamic environment for customers several key things will happen. Evangelist customers will spread the word and effortless expand business, but more importantly you will see exactly what products and service are loved, hated, need changing or have become obsolete. There will be no more guess work.

 

Jack the owner and president of a plumbing company (employing 1200 plumbers nationwide) who was smart enough to shut down his traditional website, and open up a www.tuyu.com social driven network, see trends in his business in hours and days not years. He reviews comments from customers and their friends and family daily, and loves sending those emails and hand written letters to thank them. In fact, he spotted a potential disaster last week with a disgruntled employee on the east coast. This manager just didn’t care anymore, and obviously his lack of service was commented on by a recent customer rating their recent service low and . The customer was shocked because her sister was so happy.  Jack jumped on the situation right away and averted a disaster that could have take months or years to come to his attention. Most importantly he protected his company’s bottom line and reputation.

 

The future is in the business process. As Jack’s business is founded on a social networking platform such as www.tuyu.com, all of his customer pay him online. Part of his online payment process, which customer can do on his plumbers hand held PDA or on the customer cell phone, is a simple on click rating of the service. The client then receives requests to provide a comment like the friend who referred them, and appreciates the referral by giving their friend discounts on the next service the receive.             

$700 Million Happy Feet – Club Penguin Acquired by Disney

$700,000,000 Happy Feet Club Penguin

Thanks to Stephen Foley of the UK Telegraph for today posting an article about Disney’s acquisition of Club Penguin ($350 Million now and $350 Million later on certain user growth targets and metrics.) Club Penguin is a social network for kids, where parents pay membership fees for their 7-12 year old children to waddle around online and make friends. Never heard of it until today, but apparently a ton of kids have…not to mention Disney. They have posted the press release on their site here : The Walt Disney Company Acquires Club Penguin

 Stephen also asked the question is the social networking bubble about to burst?

No Stephen… it is not!

Social Networking is in its infancy, and as it morphs slowly into social commerce there will be winners and many losers along the way. It’s face will change a thousand times, but at its base application is to powerful to burst (ALA .com bubble).

Either way, I would imagine the three founders  Lane Merrifield, Dave Krysko and Lance Priebe, are doing a little dance right now… I think I can hear the ‘$700 Million Happy Feet’ tapping all the way to the bank.

Define: Social Commerce

The definition below will appear in a book that I am publishing this fall, along with co-author and co-founder of www.tuyu.com Sam Heyer. After a year of research and development, we feel it is about time for a standard definition to be used. Social Commerce will be just one amazing but all important chapter in our book. The definition below when applied to any website, product or service is truly powerful.

Social Commerce is a trusted environment where friends, family and acquaintances dynamically contribute content to the referral and sale of goods and services though positive and negative feedback, reviews, ratings and testimonials regarding their experiences past & present. In short, social commerce is a trusted environment of which prospective consumers make buying decisions based on the advice of a network of friends and family, not strangers they don’t know or trust. Lee Raito & Sam Heyer www.tuyu.com

This definition of ‘Social Commerce’ may be used as long as it is reproduced as it appears here. with our names and domain remaining linked.

Meeting Notes Magic www.CopyTalk.com

Meeting notes, sales follow up, and anything else you need typed up…but just never seem to find the time. We all know what this results in; lost sales opportunities, unhappy clients and if your in the financial or legal world it may even be a compliance or legal issue.

Enter the best thing for anybody in sales to debut in a long, long time ‘CopyTalk’.

Quite simply you dial the CopyTalk phone number (if your smart its on autodial) and dictate your meeting notes, quick follow up message or laundry list. Several hours later on whatever email addresses you indicate comes a neatly typed dictation of exactly what you recorded. No more slotting time in your schedule at the end of each day to type up notes, no more headaches because of missed opportunities, and definitely NO MORE EXCUSES.

Its not free, but then again what does not getting your notes done cost you every month? I would dare say hunderds if not thousands of dollars depending on your business.

I am in no way associated with CopyTalk, this a personal endorsement based on my experience with a service that I wish I had years ago.

If meeting notes are important to you or anyone you know I highly recommend www.copytalk.com

Cheers,

Lee Raito

www.leeraito.com