Employment Related Business Models Online

I just had the pleasure of recently moderating the panel at Ultra Light Startups “Employment Related Business Models“. Hosted by For Your Imagination, the recent Ultra Light Startup, yet again, blew me away. I’ve attended their events since September ‘08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups. Here are a few of the recently covered topics:

  1. Web Analytics
  2. Revenue Model Workshop
  3. Monetization of Ads
  4. Outsourcing
  5. SEO/SEM
  6. Open Source CMS <-Popular Event!

This past month continued to bring in new faces as well as the “ULS Regulars”, and I was very surprised that a niche topic like “Employment Business Models” drew as large of a crowd as it did. Some of the topics covered included:

  • What are the most promising niches and technologies for employment-related startups?
  • Revenue-generating technology for bloggers and web publishers – job boards, services and related packages. An overview and comparison of platforms available to publishers.
  • Efficiency-enhancing technology for recruiters – social networks, requisition-sharing tools, etc. Which tools are essential for recruiters and why?
  • Innovative employment-related startups – TheLadders, Indeed, SimplyHired, JobScore, Doostang. Which niches and approaches are the most profitable and fastest growing?
  • Job search on social platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. How are these platforms changing the business of recruiting?

The reason I was picked to moderate this event was because of my background in the employment related online space. I recently co-founded  RezRedo, a vertical search engine for job experiences found in resumes. The first search engine of its kind, RezRedo is opening doors to new methods of resume writing and job related research. Prior to RezRedo, I was a recruiter at AC Lion and headed all online marketing and web related initiatives for the firm including: Blogging, Social Networking, Web Analytics, E-Mail Marketing, SEO, and exploring new advertising options. But most of this experience fails in comparison to that of the panelists:

Panelists:

Before the panel began, I had the opportunity to present a powerpoint presentation that helped break down the Employment Space. Take a look and see the presentation for yourself:

*Click here for a copy of the powerpoint seen in the video above.


This past month there were over 70 people listed. To get a feel for what types of entrepreneurs attend and present their ideas at this event,  take a look at some of the attendees:

Be sure to sign up for next months Ultra Light event: Monetizing Online Video. You can sign up on their website or via meetup.com.

(*If you are interested in reading more about this past event,  check out Ultralight Startups meet-up, March, 2009 by Corey Maass)

Posted under Events, Online Video, Ultra Light Startups

March 5th – Employment Related Business Event

I have been chosen to moderate next months Ultra Light Startups event, and after attending last months Ultra Light Web Analytics, I have a feeling this month will have a great turnout.

This Months Topic…

This months topic will be Employment Related Business Models. The topics are as follows:

  • What are the most promising niches and technologies for employment-related startups?
  • Revenue-generating technology for bloggers and web publishers – job boards, services and related packages. An overview and comparison of platforms available to publishers.
  • Efficiency-enhancing technology for recruiters – social networks, requisition-sharing tools, etc. Which tools are essential for recruiters and why?
  • Innovative employment-related startups – TheLadders, Indeed, SimplyHired, JobScore, Doostang. Which niches and approaches are the most profitable and fastest growing?
  • Job search on social platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. How are these platforms changing the business of recruiting?

The reason I was picked to moderate this event was because of my background in the employment related online space. I recently co-founded  RezRedo, a vertical search engine for job experiences found in resumes. The first search engine of its kind, RezRedo is opening doors to new methods of resume writing and job related research. Prior to RezRedo, I was a recruiter at AC Lion and headed all online marketing and web related initiatives for the firm including: Blogging, Social Networking, Web Analytics, E-Mail Marketing, SEO, and exploring new advertising options. But most of this experience fails in comparison to that of the panelists:

The Panelists

Allen Ackerman

Allen is founder of A-List Placement, a digital media recruiting firm, and recently launched I Have A Req, a private social network that helps recruiters collaborate on placements and share commissions through a ‘cloud recruiting’ model. Allen is also founder of MAD-G, (aka Mobile Application Development Group) which takes a progressive ‘consortium-based’ approach to providing its clients with cutting edge mobile solutions. Allen honed his skills as a software developer, creating applications for companies such as Goldman Sachs and Sony Music.

Charlie O’Donnell

Charlie is the Co-Founder & CEO of Path 101, a NYC startup that is revolutionizing career guidance though the mining of data from millions of public resumes. After funding VCs at the GM pension fund, and funding startups at Union Square Ventures, Charlie spent a year as Director of Consumer Products at Oddcast before starting Path 101 with Alex Lines. The founder of nextNY, he also teaches entrepreneurship at Fordham University and is the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at ITAC.

Jeff Stewart

Jeff is the founder of Urgent Career, a technology start-up seeking to revolutionize the way companies find, screen and assess sales talent. He is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and investor specializing in technology-enabled growth businesses through his angel fund, Urgent Ventures. Jeff has founded over a half dozen companies which if combined employ over 600 people. Jeff writes about start-ups at his blog, Urgent Speed.

Eric Yoon

Eric is the founder and CEO of JobScout, a daily email digest of great jobs in new york city for business development, product management, marketing and sales professionals. Formerly, he was a founder of JobThread and CEO since 2003. Eric has been in the online recruitment industry for the last 10 years in mainly product management roles (Product Manager at HotJobs, Product Development Manager at Bernard Hodes Group, Product Manager at The New York Times Digital for Job Market).

Event/Ticket Information

The event is going to take place on March 5th, at 6:30-9pm, at For Your Imagination. If you are interested in attending, it’s only $5 to attend and Pizza/Drinks will be served.  This is a great opportunity for recruiters, business owners, and publishers to network and grow their own businesses. The event page can be found on http://ultralightstartups.com/newyork/employment-related-business-models.html. If you are interested in reading more, check out the BusinessWeek.com article featuring Ultra Light Startups.

Due to growing number of attendees, an expectadly large crowd of ultra light entrepreneurs, I am looking forward to this event seeing you there!

Posted under Events, Job Search, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups

ULS Presents: “Ultra Light Web Analytics”

The recent Ultra Light Startup, yet again, blew me away. I’ve attended their events since September ‘08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups (Revenue Model Workshop, Monetization of AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and the popular Open Source CMS). I had a feeling this month would draw a larger croud due to the recent article in BusinessWeek.com featuring Ultra Light Startups.

This month presented yet another relevant topic drawing one of the largest crowds in Ultra Light history: Ultra Light Web Analytics. Topics included:

  • What is Web Analytics? – definitions, terms, objectives
  • Why is analytics so critical for a startup? What insights are going to justify the time spent on analytics?
  • Most analytics resources are written towards operators of very high-traffic sites. What techniques are important to know and apply at my startup?
  • What are the free analytics tools available and what is each best for? Will I ever need to buy analytics tools?
  • Practical advice for maximizing your web analytics investment
  • Startup success stories attributable to effective use of Web Analytics

With 4 sponsors (Sun Microsystems, J.C. Neu & Associates, TheHatchery and For Your Imagination) and a large venue, this month presented its attendees with a great opportunity to comfortably network and learn. As usual, entrepreuneurs were given 60 seconds each to pitch their businesses. Besides promoting my own startup, RezRedo.com, here are 5 other noteworthy ultra lights:

  1. BabyNameWizard – Baby naming expert network w/ proprietary technology
  2. Boomerater – Online advice for Baby Boomers.
  3. Groupable – Helps groups get sponsors.
  4. ProCompare – Review of business products.
  5. The Factionist – Clothing and products for the ethically conscious.

Some of the other businesses present included: Customizable shirts, plus sized clothing, cheap/simple web design, marketing agencies, raw chocolate importers…as you can see, a highly eclectic mix! In addition to the 60 second pitches, Allen Stern of CenterNetworks and CloudContacts shared his “Ultra Light Success Stories”. The crowd looked generally pleased with his presentation and Q&A responses.

Surprisingly, the pizza arrived on time this month, and the networking/card swapping/pizza topping session lasted a good 1/2 hour. I was busy setting up my video camera and as the lights began to dim, I was ready to go.  After everybone found their seats, moderator Maisha Walker (President of MessageMedium and Inc.com Columnist) gave a quick powerpoint presenation covering the backgound of web analytics and introduced the following panelists (2 of which were active board members of the WAA – Web Analytics Association):

I have prepared a shortened video version of the 45 minute panel and embedded it here. Check it out:

Be sure to sign up for next months Ultra Light event: Employment Related Business Models. I will have the pleasure of moderating the panel and, due to growing number of attendees, an expectadly large crowd of ultra light entrepreneurs.  I look forward to seeing you there!

(*If you are interested in reading more about this past event,  Sun Employee, Robin Goldfarb Wilensky (aka: Rockin’ Rob) also published a write-up. Check it out for more good words about Ulra Light Startups!)

Posted under Events, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups

BusinessWeek Features “Ultra Light Startups”

Founded 10 months ago by Graham Lawlor, Ultra Light Startups finally gains press coverage on BusinessWeek.com. I’ve attended their events since September ’08, taking pictures and submitting post event write-ups. (Revenue Model Workshop, Monetization of AdsOutsourcing, SEO/SEM, and the popular Open Source CMS.)

Heather Green of BusinessWeek.com titled the article,  Self-Help for Startups . “Ultra Light Startups is giving entrepreneurs—many of them newly laid-off employees—a chance to test their pitches on an audience of their peers.I really like to add how right she is! According to Heather, “The group has taken off partly because of the rough economy. Fifteen people showed up at the first session last April” and I think it’s very easy to agree with that statement. Many audience members were either laid-off or quit to pursue their startups. This economy helped propell those numbers exponentially.

If you’re interested in reading the original article, check out “Self Help For Startups” on BusinessWeek.com. My only concern is the fact that there was no link to the Ultra Light Startups website or Facebook page. There is some basic SEO value in keywords here, but I hope somebody lets BusinessWeek know that they should provide a link. That’s where the big hits come in. Besides that, congrats to ULS and for all of you interested, there’s an event taking place this Thursday night: Web Analytics. A solid panel, and a relevant topic for all internet based companies. Hope to see you there!

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups

This post was written by Joshua Russak on February 4, 2009

Tags: , , , ,

Using WordPress To Grow Your Business

Is there really a need to build small business sites from scratch anymore? As internet standards develop, there are “tools” that are becoming the basis of almost every site built. If you are a small business owner with a “limited” budget or simply a blogger, there are technologies out there that are both cheap and easy, yet 100% effective in creating a strong online presence.


wordpresslogoWordPress – The Ultimate Content Management System (CMS)

I was recently approached by HP to write about “Using WordPress to Grow Small Businesses” for their Logoworks: Inside Small Business blog . This is a loaded topic, which makes it all the more fun to write about! For those of you who don’t know, WordPress is  a very powerful Content Management Systems (aka: CMSa computer application used to create, edit, manage, search and publish various kinds of digital media and electronic text.“)

WordPress was originally designed as blogging platform, but WordPress’s community continued to expand and its uses continued to evolve. If you wanted to setup a portfolio, news/magazine, or e-commerce site – WordPress could handle the job. And best part? It’s Free!!  Steve Bruner, of Slipfire.com, built his entire business on creating WordPress websites.  “WordPress lets us get a full-featured website up and running in a fraction of the time it would take to build one from scratch” says Steve.  “The benefits of content management, built in SEO, easy feature expansion via plugins, a short learning curve for the user and one of the largest, most supportive communities on the web makes choosing WordPress a no-brainer”. An example of a few major sites that use WordPress:

For a complete list, check out the WordPress Showcase.  WordPress is a popular CMS for a broad range of businesses, meeting and exceeding their needs.


Top 5 Reasons To Use WordPress for Your Small Business

Just to give you a better idea of the demand for WordPress, last week oDesk (an online staffing marketplace and management platform) published What’s Hot? Skills with Fastest Growing Demand in 2008, and  based on job/project listings WordPress came out on top with a 427% increase since last year.

Don Campbell, founder of Expand2Web, says “WordPress is an ideal choice for small business websites.” With a background largely involved in Silicon Valley,  he started his company to help Small Business Owners build efficient and strong website and get a steady stream of new customers from Google/Yahoo searches. He  are his Top 5 Reasons To Use WordPress for Your Small Business Website:

  1. SEO – WordPress provides good search engine optimization (SEO) right out of the box. There are a few tweaks you need to make, but there are many seo benefits that WordPress provides for free. In fact Google’s own Matt Cutts says WordPress is “made to do SEO well” in this video: Matt Cutts gives tips to small business owners.
  2. Content – it is easy to update content on your website without knowing HTML.  Do you hate the idea of having to learn to use a complex HTML editor tool like Dreamweaver? Do you have to “ask” your webmaster every time you want to make a small change to your website? Well no longer – once WordPress is set up for you, you can easily create new pages or edit existing pages using a simple rich text editor.
  3. Extensions – There is a thriving ecosystem of developers creating themes and plug-ins – imagine free design themes, or the ability to extend your website with polls, contact forms, ratings or hundreds of other cool features without having to hire a web developer.
  4. Support – If you do have problems, or want to add very custom features, it is easy to find support and developers who can help you. There are literally thousands of WordPress developers out there. And there are so many people writing about WordPress that help is only a Google search away!
  5. One-click-installation – Quick installs are provided by many hosting providers, including Bluehost, 1and1 and GoDaddy.

Don Campbell and Steve Bruner use Worpdress for all of their clients because of these 5 reasons and more. The list goes on, but the point is simple: It’s Efficient and Effective!


Best WordPress Plugins

It’s important to elaborate on just how strong and vast WordPress Extensions are. Kieran Hawe, Sr. Director of Online Marketing at Folica Inc., (previously Director of SEO at MTV Networks) said it best: “The real value of using WordPress are the enormous amounts of plugins available to help you manage, promote and do just about anything else with your blog.”  He published a list of the Best WordPress Plugins covering anything and everything. I suggest you check it out. A few of my favorites include:

  • All in One SEO Pack: Optimizes your WordPress website for Search Engines. Automatically optimizes your titles for search engines, generates META tags automatically, avoids the typical duplicate content found on site. Override any title and set any META description and any META keywords you want. You can fine-tune everything, Backward-Compatibility with many other plugins, like Auto Meta, Ultimate Tag Warrior and others.
  • Lighter Menus: Lighter Menus creates drop-down menus instead of the regular admin menus of the WordPress interface, so that you can browse items with one click and work on your website in a much more usable environment.
  • Enhanced WP-ContactForm: WP Contact Form is a drop in form for users to contact you. In the message it sends to you it gives the page the user visited before the contact page, as well as the original outside referrer. It can be implemented on a page or a post.
  • Google XML Sitemaps: This plugin will generate a sitemaps.org compatible sitemap of your website which is supported by Ask.com, Google, MSN Search and YAHOO.
  • WordPress Automatic Upgrade: Usually you have to go to your hosting company in order to upgrade your site – not with this plugin which takes care of the upgrade automatically.

For more information on WordPress plugins and development visit Yoast.com.


Deciding if WordPress is Right For Your Business? Other CMS’s?

I recently attended an Ultra Light Startup group that put together a panel on Open Source Content Management Systems (CMS).  Experts representing different CMS’s, including WordPress, went head-to-head discussing the pro’s and con’s for small business using their services. I caught the panel on tape and if you need help deciding on a CMS, watch the video on YouTube. Even more noteworthy, the article I wrote about that event was picked up by the well know online publisher SmashingMagazine (<–They’re website is built on WordPress).

If you’re serious about WordPress for your Small Business needs, check out Don Campbells “WordPress for Small Business Websites” where he explores WordPress as a content management system for small business websites, including video tutorials on how to set up WordPress for yourself quickly to manage your small business website. You can also sign up for his free newsletter. Steve Bruner of Slipfire.com is another great person to contact if you’re considering WordPress. In terms of reading I suggest the blog of WordPress’s founding developer, Matt Mullenweg and also the WordPress Blog itself. By the time you’re done with all this reading, you’ll be a “WP-Pro”.

Feel free to contact me with any questions and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction. You can contact me from my blog MarketingBlog.NET (also built on WordPress). Now go, sign up for WordPress and create an online presence for your company!


Article Posted by Joshua ‘The Red’ Russak on HP Logoworks – Inside Small Business Blog:

*If you have questions about hosting, go here for hosting help.

Posted under Blogs, Online Marketing, Ultra Light Startups