Carnival of the Capitalists

Greetings and welcome to this week's Carnival of the capitalists hosted here at the CaseySoftware blog (shameless plug below). As you can probably tell, CotC was delayed this week due to the July 4th holiday. For our US audience, I hope you enjoyed the long weekend, got to enjoy some time with family and friends, and maybe got a refresher on history. For our non-US audience, I'm sorry that you had to be at work yesterday.

Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to get drupal to use the Trackbacks, so the title tags and links are as descriptive as possible. If someone knows how to do it in Drupal 4.5.2, please let me know and I'll update as necessary.

Update: There were three entries initially missed on first publication. The first is called “Q2 ends – what now?” in the “Misc” category. And the second is “Mistakes lead to success” in the “Personal Development” category. Finally, the third is “A Gross Fallacy” in the “Fake But Accurate” category. My apologies to all.

Well, it's obvious that Debt is on people's minds this week. We got a great series of posts about various debt reduction principles (read: NOT schemes).

We have a simple online calculator for Political Calculations to show the details Paying Off Your Loan.

We have a plea from Searchlight Crusade about getting your documents together prior to getting your mortgage.

We also have a guy who's been there, done that, and has a paid-off T-shirt to prove it. Passed along from Free Money Finance, we have a story of a gentleman who wiped out $12000 of credit card debt in just over a year. Impressive demonstration.

One of the biggest sources of debt in the US is in the housing markets. Mover Mike decides to look into the “Housing Bubble” a bit and give some insight.

In the “Fake But Accurate” category:

Funny Business shares a very applicable quote with us that turns out to be about as real as the Easter Bunny.

Gongol raises some questions about Live 8 and asking the proper questions in Live 8 Team Claims Preposterous Number of Viewers. 3 Billion viewers, huh? With that many people working, African poverty should be gone within a week right?

On a similar note, Tim Wortall offers up A Gross Fallacy describing how off base one of the foundations for this line of thought is.

Next, in the “Personal Development is Professional Development” category:

We have a great article from Steve Pavlina about Working in Unsual Places and how changing the environment/distractions can make huge changes in how you focus. Some friends and I worked out a name for this years ago – Shower Thoughts. It's when you're standing in the shower with your eyes half closed and that epiphany hits you. Just remember: don't bother trying to write it in the steam. ;)

No one enjoys taking criticism, but at some point we have to get over it and ask the hard questions. Secrets of Going Solo has some some questions to ask yourself, your customers, and your industry.

Datum offers us a perspective on different leadership styles around the world in Attitudes towards leadership : Asia, America Europe and how the styles are interacting… or colliding. What is your leadership style?

Learning how to say Thank You to those special people in your life can be one of the hardest things to do. Jane does this in “Jane Gives Thanks to Dads” in a tribute at Lip-Sticking in honor of Father's Day and her father.

Chocolate and Gold Coins gives us some food for thought about how hard-working individuals are being hurt under our current system in a posting called On Moonlighting.

Update:

Blog Business World encourages us to get over ourselves, learn from our mistakes and realize that Mistakes lead to success. Painful, but often true.

Next, in the “Marketing is not a four letter word” category:

We have a great post from JSLogan called Read This Post And All Your Business Dreams Will Come True which describes how effective marketing begins with the title. You can't judge a book by its cover, but you can convince people to not give it a second look.

Most people think of marketing as something that can be done exlusively for a business, but Slacker Manager points out to us that a Full Frontal Personal Marketing Assault can make or break a job offer. He shares a great story describing a personal success in this area… immediately after failing to get the opportunity once.

I spent Thursday attending a conference and wish I had read Revenue Roundtable and come across To Booth or Not To Booth, That's the Question in advance. Jim raises some great tips about “going guerilla” to make and grow contacts without breaking your budget.

Many people out there are using blogs to give their company, project, or themselves a public face online. This doesn't do any good if no one reads it, so Marketing eYe has some tips on Marketing Your Blog. Now I have to add some of these to my ToDo list…

We have three posts hammering on the customer experience. Why do so many organizations not get this? First, Big Adventure Marketing points at it in a way applicable to everyone – online or off – in What's Your Story? And then Talking Story shares a similar frustration in Do it right, or don't do it at all. Finally, PhotonCourrier describes where “synergies” weren't very “synergistic” for the customers in The Costs of Synergy. One of the things you must consider when developing your blog or your business is: what is the customer's experience?

Don't believe that press releases, conferences, etc are the only marketing that you do. Guerilla Consulting reminds us that Proposal Writing is also a marketing experience in The “Seven Deadly Sins” of Proposal Writing.

Before you believe that a blog will solve all your marketing woes, consider Crossroads Dispatches' discussion on Buzzing Buzz: It's not Hype.

Finally, if you've been drowning in a deluge of content from your RSS Aggregator, Ripples passes along a post encouraging bloggers to start categorizing their posts around some basic categories. Makes sense… some people seem to have a Random Topic Generator for their blog and they just go on and on and on and on… Oh, sorry.

Next, in the “Maybe marketing should be a four letter word” category:

Multiple Mentality points out how the greeting card industry has created holidays out of thin air and now preys on our consciences to get us to buy the biggest and best card out there. I still remember dating someone ten years ago and not knowing what in the world “Sweetest Day” was.

In the International category, we have some interesting stories:

Have you ever applied for a Visa for another country? I have but it's never been like what Brian David Crane describes about his ordeal to get into Brazil.

From The Prudent Investor, we have a post about China called Free Markets – Yes, No…Or A Bit Pregnant?.

Interested-Participant talks about the Internet access problems that rocked Pakistan last week. A few former associates of mine are huge on outsourcing and this one hit them hard.

Along the lines of doing business internationally, The China Stock Blog has some advice for anyone doing business in China

In the “Your Rights For Sale Here!” category, we have some commentary about our lovable black-robed overlords:

Accidental Verbosity shares a short description of Kelo and “Fair” Value point of view. How is a price defined without the market? Food for thought.

How would you like to buy shares of Google at $50/each and immediately sell them at the going value of $300? VoluntaryXchange shares a simple scenario applying Kelo to the markets.

As a secondary point, a friend passed along the proposed House Bill: HR3073 called the “Congressional Accountability for Judicial Activism Act of 2005″ which would allow Congress to overturn a SCOTUS decision just as they overturn a Presidential Veto. Read it yourself from Thomas: The Legislative Search Engine.

In all the uproar about Kelo, it seems that we've missed something else important. Going to the Mat points us to another decision made recently.

Unrelated to Kelo, but related to other fundamental rights and battles currently going on, the fine crew at Roth & Company shatters my hope about tax protestors in Adventurs in Wishful Thinking

In the “Intro to Economics 101″ category, we have some theory, some real world application, and a smackdown on display:

Liberty Cadre shares with us How eBay spreads understanding of markets, the importance of reputation, and other good things. While we can never have perfect information on the market, Ebay offers one of the closest approximations we've seen so far.

Catallarchy points out that many people seem to have Poor Economic Intuition. Be sure to read the comments below as the deeper discussion demonstrates this further.

Interim Thoughts points out an interesting scenario which is seeming more and more likely as time goes on in Lenovo now, America Tomorrow. He tracks the same model that numerous companies have used over the years to the logical conclusion…

Ideas In Progress raises the question of what Walmart's role is in a bigger economic sense in Heny, on Walmart. Is Walmart encouraging innovation and keeping inflation low?

Ashish points out what happens when your days are numbered in Marginal utility and time preference.

Have you ever noticed that when there are multiple lines, quite often one of them is significantly shorter than the others? Why does this happen?Big Picture Small Office tries to determine the economic basis for this in Wendy's Queuing Theory.

Bad Example shares some pointers on How to Buy a User Car without getting Screwed and demonstrates that not only can knowledge be power, but the appearance of knowledge can be power too.

Finally, Coyote Blog – one of my personal favorites – feeds New York Times' “economist” Paul Krugan to the wolves – er.. coyotes – over a complete lack of understanding of economics in Anyone Remember the Eighties?

In the Misc category, we have some interesting tidbits:

The Egoist shares with us some comments about Google and the size of their market cap. Wow.

Drakeview shares something that I'm in the middle of with Small business valuation. This is steadily becoming one of my favorite blogs.

Although blogs have caused a huge upheaval in the media, it seems that some people are deadset on creating a new blog aristocracy. Marketing Roadmaps shares a bit of frustration in Who's on top?.

Econbrowser points out that California energy regulators might be getting desperate yet still don't have a clue in Some like it hot.

In Wasted opportunity / looming problem, Lead and Gold describes MSNBC as a natural contender for cable news dominance and wonders why it gets decimated over and over again by Fox News & CNN.

Cash is King. Of course, when you're waiting on customers to pay, you might pull out your hair, lose some sleep, and generally be a bit tense. Facteon acknowledges that Cash Flow Pressure is something that nearly every small independent business faces.

Digital IQ shares an interesting story about a new project where Florida kids spend summer in front and behind the camera. Sounds like it's great experience and could be fun.

From Big Picture, we get a post called Strange things are afoot with GDP pointing out some oddities in the recent calculations, adjustments, and re-adjustments.

Updated:

It seems that some people have made a huge amount of money in energy speculation over the past six month… now the Capital Chronicle asks Q2 ends – what now?

In the “Not Work Safe (NWS)” category:

Just as a warning, some may find the bikini/lingerie/mud-clad images of women questionable and/or offensive – I got a number of posts from My Blog Site. I'm not going to post all the individual ones here because every single post since June 27th was submitted.

Some interetesting facts on the demographics and cash flow of Internet Poker. Wow, no wonder I see so much poker comment spam.

Finally, since this is a software company blog, I was happy to see some technology issues raised:

Have you ever heard the Words to Chill the Soul of a Web-Based Business? It's when you find out that the software package, web server, or even hosting company has a huge gaping security hole… and people are starting to get hacked. Who handles your updates? Do you have a plan in place?

The Stalwart points out that huge advances in healthcare have come from IT, yet industry-wide spending in this area is still tiny. In The Case for Healthcare IT some details are giving on why an increase may be necessary.

[shameless plug]
CaseySoftware is an independent software vendor utilizing tools from the Open Source community to build customized business solutions. We believe that there's no reason for small business to miss out on basic infrastructure when most of it is available in the Open Source community. We work with quite a few of the major components – Content Management Systems like Mambo, Drupal, and Exponent; forum systems such as phpBB; eCommerce solutions such as osCommerce and ZenCart; issue tracking systems like Mantis; and Project Management tools like dotProject – to find a best fit solution for our clients and minimize overall development and deployment costs. We are especially fond of dotProject as two of our developers are on the core development team and offer dotProject hosting services. Please feel free to contact us at webmaster [at] caseysoftware.com
[/shameless plug]

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