Thursday, May 23, 2013

Follow the Money: making money online is more than being 'liked'

"Follow the money"! Have you heard the catchphrase?
It was popularised in the film All the Presidents Men back in the 70's as commentary to the Watergate corruption scandal of the same decade.
We can use the same method to easily assess the success or otherwise of any online investment. It's a little brutal, however ultimately, any website, social media presence or app development will be measured by this blunt yardstick. "Money talks BS walks" to coin another catchphrase. Having a profile online and being 'liked' is only a start.

Though we understand that most businesses get online just to profile themselves, perhaps to list a few products and services and have their address and phone number published... just 'to be there' as it were. Yet in a maturing online space this is really not enough.  In other words your investment needs to yield some return. 

We read of super geeks making millions and home bound parents managing huge online stores turning over millions. We read too of bloggers replacing newspapers and teenagers selling their gaming accounts for more than their parents earn all year. A grain of salt should be applied to the most extreme stories. People do however make good money online. We have clients that have gone from zero to hero in 6 -12 months.

How? Connect your bank account!

So how on earth can "I" make money online, I hear you cry.  The short answer is that you need to connect your website, social media presence, app, video etc. to your bank account. It really is as straight forward as that. Not simple, but straight forward.
In our experience you need to make a plan and then work it.
It's worth talking to people that can help you professionally in this space, people that have done it before and know the not inconsiderable trapdoors. Find someone that you can trust to work up a plan and then give them the job of assembling the team and services that are required, in other words appoint a team leader. Don't fall into the trap of having different people do bits of the job for you and expecting them to work together seamlessly. They rarely will.

Most importantly you'll need to give yourself a budget for the project and empower your team leader to deliver on time and within budget for the investment. With the right team and approach you'll be able to follow the money into your business bank account without the fuss of a WaterGate :).

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is your CMS a hand brake?

Using a content management system of CMS to manage you organisation's web information is a no brainer, yet are yesterday's CMS really keeping up with your demands?
Content management is such an amorphous term these days, as is the case with so many tech terms CMS has become an anagram with it's own life. The CMS has joined such capitalised giants like OS , SMS, FTP & PC. The CMS used to do what it stood for, 'managing content', simple, easy to understand and a great step forward from direct coding of html. The CMS used to be a small miracle too, in that it opened up the editing of online content to an army of new players to use and publish. Content expanded massively as a result, as witnessed by blogs and wikis. Content production exploded! Indeed it could be argued that today's social media systems are simply great big CMS with some pepper and spice thrown in. Revealing the publisher's long held secret that people love news and  people love an audience, even if it's their own 'virtual' audience.
These days you can sign up and grab a free CMS from a myriad of open source or commercial sources. Weird and wonderful names such as Drupal, Joomla, DotNetNuke, Liferay and Moodle have established footholds in their geography of the internet. WikiPedia, itself a BIG CMS lists dozens of CMSs. WordPress indeed has become de rigour on the web as a open source industry in it's own right. With the ever promising 'template' producers selling a million look and feels (strangely never quiet what we're looking for).

Though as we've discovered over the years a CMS is only a starting point to an online strategy it's not an end point!

From humble CMS to Super CMS

A CMS can be also be a full business process re-engineering tool. It can be the basis for everything from customer feedback and reporting to an intranet style form replacement for tablet of mobile computing. More advanced functions that allow complex data flow or financial calculations can harness the use of cloud computing. Then a CMS can be used to closely integrate with your existing internal or external data systems.

Fast, Flexible Alternative to off the shelf

OI has been researching and developing it's CMS Syntara for 6 years as a alternative to off the shelf CMS packages. It's been built for extreme flexibility of use, enabling it to effectively become an innovation platform without the full expense of a pure coded application.

A team of developers and business analysts are constantly improving and developing Syntara through the latest technology research and feedback from the pool of trusted clients. What other system is improved on a weekly basis with upgrades and updates happening automatically? Features of Syntara include:
control: full add/ edit/ view/ delete control over all data records
usability: search, quick-find, backup and restore
integration: full import/ export capabilities, links into your existing website, can integrate into your current PC-based systems
website: full WYSIWYG editors, email, website and performance statistics, file upload and an image library
communications: integral email and SMS communications, post, scheduled communications, and complete transaction logs
administrative: reporting, concurrent users, multiple user permissions levels
calendar: with weekly and month activity views, transaction and activity logs, task and project scheduling
secure: firewall and IP restrictions, user passwords and definable access levels
invoicing: sending via email or post, scheduled and automated invoicing and payment reminders, recurring billing, and MYOB / Xero integration
Streaming video or video on demand integration
Full cross device interoperability - tablet, phone of specialist device.
Plus more… with much more to come.

If your CMS is not keeping up with your demands, it may be worth considering a transition to a secure, fast and flexible system such as Syntara.
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