November 2010

Ethics for Online Businesses: How Do You Decide What's Right?

Recently, I told you what my definition of business ethics is.

Defining business ethics doesn't seem that hard to me but apparently, I'm wrong. What part of ethical business practices do these executives not get?

So I'm revisiting the definition of business ethics with emphasis on business ethics online.

Chipping Away At The Iceberg: I'm Thankful For That

Sometimes we lose sight of the forest for the trees. Yes, climate change continues. Yes, we are still fouling our own nests with toxic chemicals, garbage, and excess consumption. Yes, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow.

Size vs Substance: Should Quantity or Quality Matter in Social Media?

A blog post by Geoff Livingston got Ventureneer's staff buzzing the other day. His premise: Online media rewards mediocrity, celebrity, and mindlessness. Size (thousands of friends) matters more than substance (thoughtful, additions to the world conversation.)

We respectfully disagree. As one commentator put it so well, the effort to simplify an issue tends to polarize it. Both size and substance are valuable and variable.

Buy Locally Is The Motto This Holiday Season

Next week – November 26 to December 5 – is "Buy Local" week nationwide. It's not about small towns; it's about small businesses. Even New York City is getting on the bandwagon with Small Business Saturday on November 27.

It's "... a day to come together in support of the small businesses we love, the shops and restaurants that employ our neighbors and reinvest our money close to home, the businesses that are the heartbeat of our communities and local economies," according to The 3/50 Project, one of its sponsors.

2 Keys to Stamina for Entrepreneurs: Network and Learning

It's not like Philip Kent Kiracofe is a new kid on the block. He's led successful ventures in real estate, venture capital, and online services. As to the usual entrepreneurial skills – ability to take risks, undaunted in the face of challenge – he may have extra, judging by his avocations of mountain climbing and Ironman competitions.

6 Social Media Tips Conan O'Brien Can Teach Social Enterprises and Nonprofits

Conan O'Brien may not be the first name that comes to mind when thinking about how to market and, yes, promote nonprofit causes or social enterprises. But he exemplifies a lesson value-driven organizations need to learn: Social media is a vital part of any marketing plan.

3 Keys to Nonprofit Success

Since the mid-'90s, Don Holt has been bringing things together: 

  • unused computers with people who need to learn how to use them; 
  • broken computers with people who want to learn to fix them; 
  • volunteers with work that makes them feel good; 
  • unused space with computers, students, and instructors;
  • people who need computers with computers refurbished by techies-in-training;
  • unmotivated teenagers with a realization that they, too, can own a business or land on the moon (sort of);
  • skilled workers and high-paying jobs.

The Best Gifts Don't Have Ribbons and Bows: Another Take on Holidays

Oh, dear! For the well-organized, it's time to think about holiday giving and getting. What does my sister want? And that colleague at work? Do I have anything on my own wish list that really matters?

Social Entrepreneurs Use Old Skills, New Approaches to Solve Social Problems

Some make change by using old tools – growing mushrooms or training bakers – other redesign the standard business model in order to change the world. 

Last week, I described the innovations of two of the Utne Social Ventures Network 2010 Innovation Award winners who are using the basics to change lives. Now let's look at tweaking the business model.