Monday, July 24, 2006

So, What's Been Goin' On?

General Errata and a Change in Direction

I've been silent for a long time on this weblog, which is usually a sign that a lot is going on. Steve, over at Sciatica has even commented on my lack of posting. My son Sean is, of course, keeping me quite busy, but it's more than that. Work is ramping up as I get accustomed to my new role and responsibilities (which keep expanding). In addition, a number of side-projects have been keeping me occupied and out of commission for the last month or so since I graduated.

The family just got back from a week in Cancun. While we were away we got hardwood floors installed. This meant moving furniture out of the house the week before we left, and then spending the week afterwards moving it back. We took the opportunity to get rid of some old furniture and buy a new living room set. My wife and I also decided it was time to do away with our hip and fashionable, cinder-block and 2x4 deskset and get real office furniture. This has all been extremely fun and exciting but what I'm most proud of is something that has been going on behind the scenes...

Ed Gets a Consulting Gig

At the beginning of this year my sister left the corporate world and started her own gift company. It was an incredibly brave decision for her to make since she was a highly compensated investment banker with a stable job, as well as a few lucrative offers on the table at competitors and clients of hers to come work for them. She decided to chuck all of that and follow her heart and do something that she felt passionate about.

While she spent a lot of time getting set up and filling out legal forms, she was also working hard with web designers on putting together an e-commerce site. At one point during the initial stages she had expressed frustration that she was spending so much time on the "nuts and bolts" of the company and so little time getting in front of customers. I suggested that she consider setting up a blog and using that as a way to initiate contact with people that would be interested in her business and services.

After consulting with her for a few hours here and there and showing her the value of sites like Technorati, delicious, and flickr, she set up an initial weblog on blogger. I gave her a couple of pointers and she just ran with it. As the whole experiment has evolved, I've been working with her on honing the online strategy and blogging and social networks have become a much bigger part of that. It's been a lot of fun watching her get the nuts and bolts of RSS, weblogs, social networks, and a whole host of other technologies. It's been equally fun watching friends and family react as they realize how she's running a business that has ramped up to profitability in under a year, has several clients queued up in the pipeline, and is selling products online before her website even goes live!

The Value Add

Needless to say she's become a believer in this whole phenomenon. She's attracted several regular readers to her site ( and the personal site was so popular that she set up a separate blog on corporate gift giving. The sites have been a great way to prescreen clients, and have also served as a way for clients to get a feel for what to expect from her prior to ever meeting her. In addition, she's managed to reach people out of her local area that she would never have had the chance to meet otherwise. Finally, it's given her the opportunity to sell products on a limited basis online while her e-commerce site has been getting set up. In short, the blog has helped hone the business and vice versa. If you get a chance you should check out some of her articles on special occasion gifts to get some ideas for those special people in your lives.

That's It?

Well, not really. I've also been working on a couple of side projects that were neglected since I started school. I'll post more on those as they become more concrete. In the meantime, I intend to make a few changes around here...

A (Slight) Change in Direction

First, I expect the posts to get longer now that I have some time to actually search for content and post more stuff. Second, I think this blog is going to have more of a business focus. One of the things I've been mulling over a lot lately is the wide gap between management and the front-line employees, and making sure that every employee in the company is working to move the ship forward.

Having said all of that, I doubt that this place is going to be all work and no play, so even if you're not into "management speak" (or as one of Cote's buddies dubbed it, "econobonics"), you'll hopefully still find things around here that are worth reading.

At the very least, you can expect more baby pics :)

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Blogger blinding pain said...

Good to see you back posting again. I'd really be interested in your business related posts. I always enjoyed reading your posts on places you used to work for and their business practices.


10:05 AM  
Blogger Cote' said...

Yeah, it's good to have more posts. That blogging story is awesome: can we expect Ed getting invovled in more such ventures? I'd wager the H-town area is wide open for someone helping out with that.

Are you coming up to Austin anytime soon? Next time we're in the area, I'll see if I can carve away some time to see you guys.

11:17 AM  
Blogger egoodwin said...

Ha ha! Cote, as you've no doubt become aware, selling someone on the benefits of business blogging is a long, hard sell. Still, I'm keeping my eyes and ears open and would be willing to work with companies that I think could 'get it' eventually.

11:16 PM  

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