How To Build Your E-mail List

We’ve covered how to build an auto-responder for your business account.  But then the question hit us: where are you get all those e-mails?

1. Writing free e-zine and blog articles

Contrary to popular belief, people are reading more than ever nowadays.  Submitting an article to somewhere like Go Articles is a quick way to increase exposure.  Keeping up a blog and sending out articles on a regular basis helps a business appear current and stay in shape SEO wise.

2. Using Social Media

It is often said that social media is over-hyped.  However, it’s all about how you use it.  For example, answering questions on a LinkedIn group can help both break the ice and show how useful you and your product are.  Posting questions on forums can also include a link to page to sign up for your e-mail list.  People are always more willing to give something if they get something in return including good honest knowledge.

3. Creating Online Webinars

A webinar has a dual purpose.  Using tools like LinkedIn and other social media sites, you can get people to sign up and finally put a face to the company.  Services like GoToWebinar also allow you to record your session to use for later content.  Of course directly interfacing with your customers is always a good thing.

For more information on using technology to your advantage go here.

LinkedIn Endorsements: How do they work?

In today’s economy, plenty of perspective employees will look for any advantage to land that job. They may be elated to find an endorsement in their LinkedIn account.

What is an Endorsement?

When you fill out a LinkedIn account you also fill out any relevant skills.  An endorsement is when someone else gives you a “thumbs up” regarding any of these skills.  It’s essentially a shorter version of a LinkedIn recommendation.

Employers can look at a profile and relevant skills.  Any endorsements will also be visible.  They can then go to the profile of the endorsers and see how they connect with the perspective employee.

How are they managed?

If you’re an employer, you should know, that of the up to fifty skills that LinkedIn allows, only ten skills are allowed to have endorsements.

If you’re looking for a job, you can go to Edit Profile option and manage your endorsements under the skills and expertise tab.  It’s best to keep endorsements from family members and people only tangentially connected to you to a minimum.

Does it work?

Endorsements are part of a quick overview.  It’s a good way for an employer to glance over the strengths of a perspective employee.  If the endorsements match the needed skills then perhaps a deeper look is needed.  And a chance is what most would-be employees want.

LinkedIn Password Breach

Six and a half million users of the ubiquitous business networking site LinkedIn have apparently had their passwords stolen.

Online security experts say site members should change their passwords right away.

As of this morning, PC World reported, only a minority of the passwords appeared to have actually been exposed. A file containing the 6.5 million security codes showed up on a Russian online forum, but the codes were “hashed”—meaning they’d been encrypted. However, according to PC World, the algorithm used allows hackers to decipher simple passwords fairly easily because it does not include “salting,” or the addition of random characters.

The uploaded file did not include usernames, but experts say that doesn’t mean that whoever stole the passwords does not have those as well.

LinkedIn has said it’s looking into the reports. At 11:18 this morning, the company tweeted “Our team continues to investigate, but at this time, we’re still unable to confirm that any security breach has occurred. Stay tuned here.” However, many users are reporting that they’ve been able to find their own hashed passwords in the leaked file.

LinkedIn has a total of 150 million users worldwide, so ZDNet writer Zack Whittaker points out the breach appears so far to affect a small portion of the user base. However, Whittaker also notes that the breach could be a major blow to the site’s reputation.

The incident comes on the heels of a report that a LinkedIn calendar app on iOS operating systems sends information back to the company without explicit permission. LinkedIn responded that this is done only if users opt in and that the information sent is kept secure.

Facebook’s Impending IPO

One of the most talked about companies right now is Facebook. Their impending IPO is set to raise five billion dollars in capital. The initial brokering lead has been hired out to Morgan Stanley which will market the stock to high end clients that aren’t in the finance field. These clients, doctors and lawyers, like brand recognition. So there is only marginal concern that Facebook will not raise its target of five billion dollars. However, there is a lot speculation about whether or not Facebook’s stock is a sound long term investment. Although there is no foolproof way of predicting the way a stock will perform, we can look at how similar companies have fared. Two companies that have attributes similar to Facebook that have gone through an IPO are Zynga and LinkedIn. Facebook should take a cue from the way these companies.


Zynga is a gaming platform that partnered with Facebook. This company is the creator of such household names as Farmville…and Farmville. On December 16th, 2011, they had their initial public offering starting off at 10 dollars a share. Within 15 minutes of trading, the price had fallen to 9.50. In the past year, their stock value has fallen to as low as 7.97 dollars a share. However, at the time of this writing it was trading at 13.89 a share. It seems that at first, investors didn’t know what to make of this tech company and people fear what they don’t understand. Zynga’s many revenue streams come from the monetization of their games. Now, some might say that selling consumers a tractor in Farmville isn’t really, but it’s as real as an app sale for Apple. Zynga had a rocky start, but it seems to have stabilized.


LinkedIn, unlike Zynga, started its IPO at 45 dollars a share and ended the day at 94.25. It hasn’t been all champagne for LinkedIn. After an IPO there a locked-up period in which insiders, people who owned stock before the IPO, can’t sell their shares. When the 180 day period ended there was a selling frenzy. Stock value fell to 70 dollars a share. As of March 9th, 2010, LinkedIn was trading at 90.13.


Facebook probably has one thing that sets it apart from LinkedIn or Zynga. They are valued at about 8.9 billion and 7 billion respectively. Facebook is said to be worth more than ten times that at 100 billion. With that much value comes a lot of scrutiny. In 2011, its total revenue was reported at 3.7 billion dollars. What kind of company is worth 27 times its yearly income? That question alone may cause its IPO to go the way of Zynga. On the other hand, Facebook reported that it has 2.2 billion dollar data center operation. The IT services alone for such facilities is staggering feat. Investors can see that that’s a lot of data, personal data. Is the data of 845 million users worth 100 billion dollars? Maybe. If investors feel that Facebook is on the level, their stock may soar. However, a significant amount of stock is held by insiders. For example, artist David Choe was given stock as payment for painting murals at the origin Facebook office. If all holds up, Choe’s shares could be worth 500 million dollars. Imagine 500 million in shares just dumped on the market along with all the other insiders all at once.

Facebook’s IPO may be a rock star or flop.  It has many expectations to meet.  LinkedIn and Zynga have shown two paths that Facebook may take depending on how investors perceive it.  Or if Burton G. Malkiel, author of A Random Walk Down Wall Street, is to be believed then it might all be up to chance.