Carnival of the Capitalists – 2005-08-29

Welcome to this week's Carnival of the Capitalists. If you were here the last time, you might notice some changes.

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One of the biggest changes is our new sister site: CodeSnipers. It is one of CaseySoftware's contributions back to the software development community. We have ten great contributors writing on a variety of technology topics ranging from the trenches with ANSI Character Sets all the way up to a manager's perspective offering A Guide for Changing Programming Languages. Poke around, check it out and let us know what you think. Now on for what you're here for… the Carnival:
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We have some great articles to share with you this week across a variety of topics… off we go:

On the topics of blogging and what a blog can do for you, I have quite a few:

We all like seeing that hit counter go up, but how do we ensure that our blogs get attention by the people who they can help? Free Money Finance offers some great pointers on Best Practices for Driving Traffic with Blog Carnivals.

Crossroads Dispatches gives me flashbacks to a conversation I had this week in A Sense of Place: Brands, Authenticity, Blogs. As noted above, I believe firmly in the power of the community and have even created a group blog or two on my own…

Jim Logan over on Business Blogs asks the simple question of: Why Don't More Bloggers Participate On Other Blogs?

In Finding Your Blogging Voice, Random Thoughts from a CTO offers up an analysis on blogging and the goals of a blog.

From my own blog, I offer up The Markets have changed which is based on a late-night conversation I had with a customer last week. I'm convinced there are two types of people on the Internet right now. Those who see the distributedness of blogs, rss, open source software, etc and see huge amounts of value and education available and those who still believe that sharing anything only weakens your own position. I guess most people reading this are in the first set.

And for some general discussion, we have the Internet Market Research Adventures in Marketing who seemed to submitted a general link to their blog instead of a specific entry…

In the Business Strategy area, I have a few of interest:

Working Solo offers the completely obviously – yeet regularly overlooked – concept of Understanding Your Clients. Selling your customers what they want. Figuring out what they *really* want and making it happen is even better.

The Integrative Stream tries to decipher Google's IM Strategy. Since they're selling 14,159,265 additional shares – digits of Pi after the decimal point – soon, I think their overall strategy for complete information and focused advertising is becoming more apparent.

In Jane Reveals Five Ways to Get to Heaven, Lip-Sticking lays out some helpful tips to appealing to women online and closing sales. It's hard to get much clearer than this.

Chocolate and Gold Coins offers up some market analysis of Mexican and Indian Fast Food and tries to determine how Mexican food reached its current status and how Indian can do the same.

Over at The Art of Peace applies a bit of economic theory to the media and a Libertarian Think Tank. What happens when a new competitor enters your market?

Gongol offers another analysis in Causes of Media Bias and reaches a simple conclusion that I've been saying for years…

In the Marketing area, there are some interesting tidbits definitely worthy of further discussion:

With the advent of “paradigm shifting cutting edge synergistic methods”, I'm glad to see BizInformer take on the The Greatest Sales Mistake Ever Made and on the same note,JSLogan points out that Consultant Is A Completely Meaningless Title. If you mean something, just say it. If you want to know something, just ask it. Don’t leave anything implied. Don’t guess. In plain language, just ask, speak, tell, and explore.

In Nowhere To Hide, MobHappy offers analysis on how the availability of restaurant guides via cell phone is changing dining habits. What other areas will this affect?

WordLab offers us a discussion on marketing feminine hygiene products in Mum's the Word.

In our “The Sky is Falling… well, maybe not” Skewed News category, a few authors apply critical thinking to our economy:

If you listen to some columnists *cough*Krugman*cough*, you'd think that the end of society as we know it is on the way due to any number of facotrs. The distinguished gentleman of The Skeptical Optimist stops to apply a bit of economic analysis to the running news theme of economics doomsday in a post called Growing Economy Threatens Doomsayers' Credibility.

The Left's War on Home Ownership is the Part-time Pundit's analysis on what one side of the political spectrum is hoping happens. Wasn't there a presidential candidate that said “For everyone 100 points the market drops, we'll pick up another House seat”?

The American Mind takes on the concept of Peak Oil in “Peak Oil” Idea Demolished. Enlightening…

Being too young to remember the “Comparable Worth” discussion 20 years ago, I've had a crash course in the concept over the past couple weeks. Rip & Read Blogger Podcast puts that concept and more recent ones in perspective in Rip & Read Podcast: Media Rust Belt, Peak Oil, Vioxx, Comparable Worth. Poke around the rest of this blog, great stuff.

In the Economics 101 area, we see the disastrous effects of a lack of basic economics education:

After reading Paradise Lost? – Price Controls in Hawaii from Rofasix, I've become convinced that we need to hand out little cheat sheets describing how Supply and Demand work. When a “Big Oil” sees their margins go lower and eventually negative, what's the logical result?

Well, what do we know? The VoluntaryXchange asks this question directly in Gas Station Profits. So what DOES happen?

Then again, mad anthony convinces me that there are a few who still have a clue in Why I now have 4 copies of an MIS textbook, or how I learned to love “reintermediation”. Ah… there is hope.

Alright, so it seems someone else remembers creative destruction. In Chuck Schumer Comes Up Empty for Tupper Lake, Always Low Prices shares a look at a small community and the result of the largest retailer pulling up stakes.

IAM(also)CANADIAN offers us the logical conclusion of the combination of various policies in A New Conservative Powerbase? While not based on economics exactly, market forces are often compared to natural selection…

In the Investment and Budgeting area, there are a few interesting ones:

As someone who is looking for a home – or a townhouse, condo, or large cardboard box – in the super hot Washington, DC market, I found Searchlight Crusade's discussion of Levels of Mortgage Documentation personally applicable. I hear about some of these practices going on around here every day…

Hello Dollar offers us a Budgeting Series built from personal and readers' experiences. It's just getting off the ground, but it looks promising.

In How Much Will I Spend On Gas This Year?, Consumerism Commentary offers a quick calculation on how much he (she?) will spend on gas this year.

Kimsnider offers some deep insight and food for thought in an article titled The School of Hard Knocks – Literally!. It was definitely worth a chuckle, but the more I think about it. Neither sounds like a game I'd like to play.

In Focus Funds, the Real Returns blog points out a series of mutual funds that invest a large portion of the portfolio in relatively few stocks. If you're looking for some funds along these lines, I suggest you check it out.

In The Gorilla Trades Page, the Wealth Junkie reviews a stock=picking service and the aftermath.

Blog Business World in Business income: Find revenue sources tips us off that a business must always be monitoring, evaluating, and growing our revenue streams. All great points, but I'd extend this to indivudals too.

Over at SOHO Business Credit we have an informative post about Business Credit Reporting Agencies. As someone who has just gotten most of this stuff recently, it's great to have a synopsis of how it all works.

In the Personal Development is Professional Development Category, we have some some interesting ones this week:

Over on Pink Apple Connections we have a great post entitled: Networking Soapbox #2. She lays out some simple steps to make your connections valuable and the entire process enjoyable.

As entrepreneurs and small business owners, sometimes we get a bit myopic and forget that we can always get better. The Entrepreneurial Mind reminds us that A Little Outside Advice Can Help.

For an associate who has recently been successful, Big Picture Small Office has a question: Did he suddenly forget what got him to this place?.

Funny Business points out a major generational difference in language usage in Bitch, Bitch, Bitch. Where's the line? Is it age based, philosophy, or something else entirely?

Business Pundit points to something that many businesses seem to be missing in Good Business… Is a Joke. If you can make your customers smile, odds are they'll come back.. and forgive the small annoyances.

In Friends & Lack Thereof, Will Truman shares a difficult situation involving the lines between coworkers, friends, and the balancing act involved when you don't fit cleanly into any group.

In the Tax Policy area, we have some great submissions:

Roth & Company tells about a bit of a numbers game that an S Corporation tried and successfully defended in court. Read their discussion and realize that this is probably painting a bullseye on yourself…

Life's a Beach from the InsureBlog points out advances in health care have caused a catch-22 in our Social Security and Medicare systems that will have to be addressed one way or the other.

In the Energy vs Environmentalists area, there is some great discussion:

Interested-Participant shares a story from Ontario where the due to the rising energy demands, Ontario Needs New Nukes.

Econbrowser points out the fundamental problem with our current energy problems in Sweet and sour crude. If the solution requires a 10+ year lead-time on investment in infrastructure, what do we do?

In the Global Economics area, we have some great analysis:

First, The Prudent Investor offers up an article entitled: Iranian Oil Bourse Could Kill The US Dollar where he details some of the short term and long term effects of the current oil situation… good stuff.

Interim Thoughts brings us India, operating models and innovation where he describes the ways that technology is assisting otherwise disconnected rural areas.

And just to close out this entry and hopefully brighten your day:

Small Business Trends shares the Confessions of an Entrepreneur. Please read the article and know the signs. Don't let your child, friend, or family member become the next victim of this terrible affliction.

In Local genius finds solution to energy crisis, the skwib gives us hope for the future.

Satire brings us a pair of posts, first discussing the California Automobile Free Theft Agreement and then discussing Venezuelan President Offers Free Gasoline and 10% Discount On Brain Smog Check To Americans. Just as a warning, not all the images are Safe For Work.

[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]
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