poelog: Commentary, thoughts and opinions on the web, ebusiness and marketing -- a web log by Rob Poel
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Saturday, August 31, 2002

BW Online: Planet Starbucks - Great growth story ... great cup of coffee (in fact, I'm drinking one right now).

Friday, August 30, 2002

Finally ...I can now host images and "multiple pages beyond the blog" thanks to Blog*Spot Plus!. At this point POELog has only one image (the header gif file). In the 16 months I've run this blog I've had multiple image hosting solutions, most of which were free hosting sites that stopped being free and wanted to charge for their space. I tried Geocities but they've somehow made it so that although you can host a site with them you can't have an image on that site pointed to from another server (can't say I blame them). My best (and most underhanded solution) was to host the site on a server at my company ... one where I already have ftp access. I just buried it within a directory. That plan got foiled when I was checking my referring URLs and found a referring URL from our corporate WebTrends reports. Turns out my image was one of the most accessed images on this particular domain over the past year so someone was curious where all the traffic was coming from. Eegh! I quickly removed the image from there at that point ... fearing someone from security was going to stop by my desk and fine or fire me for using corporate servers for personal use. Ahh ... but now, thanks to Blog*Spot Plus, my problems are solved. If I get ambitious you'll see other pages added to the site as well in the coming months.



Morningstar.com (on Yahoo): Keeping It Simple Isn't Stupid - As I write this, the S&P 500 index stands at around 900, the same level as in July 1997. November of 1997 is when myself and a couple of buddies started an investment club. Since November 25, 1997, our club's inaugural day of having funds in the market, the Dow has gained 11.63%, the S&P 500 has lost 3.5% and the Nasdaq has lost 15.83%. We bought Cisco at a split-adjusted price of $14 on June 10, 1998. At one point we were up over 300%. Yesterday Cisco closed at $14.20. A 0.71% gain (when you consider our trading fees). This article's advice is worth remembering:

When thinking about whether to buy a stock, there are only three main considerations:
  • Economic Moats
  • Margin of Safety
  • Your Time Horizon
  • So there you have it--three simple questions to ask yourself before buying a stock: Does the company have an economic moat? Is there an acceptable margin of safety? Am I willing to wait three to five years for the stock to perform as expected? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, it's time to buy the stock. If the answer to any of these is no, sitting on the sidelines is appropriate.


    Tuesday, August 27, 2002

    I'm back ...

    Addicting: Google Quiz

    Thursday, August 15, 2002

    Sorry for the lack of posts this month. Here I am and it's half-way through August and I've only posted twice. Things have been just crazy busy at work. Huge deadline looming in mid-September and I'm taking tomorrow off to head to Michigan's Adventure with my wife, son and another family. And then, next week, I'll be on vacation with my wife and son from the 20th - 25th visiting Traverse City and Macinac Island. I could definitely use some time off ... it's just amazing how all the work required to prepare for a vacation almost makes you think twice about going on the vacation in the first place.

    Friday, August 09, 2002

    MarketingProfs.com: Design for Community: An Interview with Derek M. Powazek - Some great nuggets of wisdom about community, web design and core truths about developing and running a web-based business. Here's a few of the highlights:
  • Web communities happen when users are given tools to use their voice in a public and immediate way, forming intimate relationships over time.
  • The biggest misconception is that community can be built at all. It can't. What you can do is build an environment that is conducive to social interaction. If people adopt it and make it their home, they'll call it a community for you. Community isn't built—it's grown.
  • The clear winners [in building online communities] are places like Amazon and eBay. Now, these aren't the community ideals. Let's face it, they're both about buying and selling at their core. But where other web stores failed, they succeed. In both cases, it's because they designed their sites around the strengths of the Internet: social connections.
  • The thing to remember is, the Internet is a big place, and there is indeed a community out there for everyone. But your community doesn't have to include everyone. The idea is to find the people who care about your product, service, or niche, and make a place just for them.
    (via Net Marketing).

  • Wednesday, August 07, 2002

    Don't Link to Us! - Stupid Linking policies. This is great. (via Daypop Top 40 Links).