SEO business is a rip-off — well at least some of them.

I was asked by a company to advise them on their business processes and how to automate this and just create an more integrated online environment.  While I was meeting with them, they mentioned to me that they pay another company R2500.00 a month for a SEO report.  I asked to have a look at the report that was produced and what a rip-off.  This report is just taking Google Analytics data and represent it in some Word doc report form. 

This I think is not on.  How can somebody do this?  What value is added for this R2500.00 .. in my view, absolutely nothing.

I know there is other SEO companies that does add value by evaluating keywords, meta tags and other content to ensure that one ends up higher in search engine searches.  In this report from this company I could not find any recommendations like this.

I immediately advised then to get rid of this SEO company.  

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New challenges and change.

Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are, for what you could become.

They say that change is as good as a holiday.  Things are changing in my life and with it will come new challenges.

At work I have moved on to a new role (still within IBM South Africa) which will mean that for the next couple of weeks and months, I will be staying in Cape Town and working in Johannesburg.  I will be commuting between Cape Town and Johannesburg on a weekly basis and depending on the needs of the work, I will be in Johannesburg anything between 2 and 5 days a week. I cannot say much about the work I will be doing but when things are more finalized then I will post it here.

I will get to know the inside of airports, airplanes and hotels.  Made sure that my Voyager and BA Executive Club cards are up to date and make sure I stay in the same hotel group to benefit from Frequent Guest privileges.

This should give me a chance to pop in at 27dinner in Johannesburg.  Do they have Geekdinners in Johannesburg?

This will also give me the opportunity to see my Johannesburg and Pretoria friends more often.  Hey, one cannot live on hotel food alone.  So if any of my readers from up there want to meet, then contact me and we can make a plan.

I am sure I will build up a wealth of experience of how to commute across the country for one’s job.  From time to time I will share that here – what to look out for and what to avoid.  What the quickest way through an airport is?  Experience with hotels, rental companies and airlines.  I will also appreciate any comments which any of you might have on things to avoid or look out for.

To my Cape Town friends,  I will not leave this beautiful place anytime soon so you will still see me around.

How ironic?

As some of you might know, I will will working in Johannesburg mostly. over the following months and the plan initially is to fly up and down between Cape Town and Johannesburg on a weekly basis. This morning when I went to Facebook, this advert was there …

JHB-moving

Wonder if this is telling me something … :).

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Facebook and business

Having read a posting by Duncan McLoad, asking the question whether Facebook is a thread to business, I want to share my views and opinion. 

Facebook is a tool just like any other tool and cannot just be banned because some decision makers do not understand the technology and the value it might add.  Yes there must be controls and guidelines around the use of it and what employees may or may not publish on it.

I am fortunate to work for a company, IBM, that operates in this space and make tools and technology available in this Web 2.0 environment. We have a similar tool inside IBM called Bluepages which is of great value in finding people with particular skills.  IBM is now selling this same technology in the form of Lotus Connections.  However this tool provide for internal community building inside a business.  How does a company build communities with it suppliers/customers and this is where Facebook has a role to play.

And not all big companies is against Facebook.  I was in a customer meeting a week or so back where the CIO of this customer promoted the use of Facebook and other Web 2.0 technologies and tools like blogging.  In his opinion, via these technologies, companies can get an idea of the pulse of their workforce.  What is the morale of the people etc?  What are the employees talking about, what are their concerns?  Some might view this as spying, I do not.  Each and everyone decide for themselves what we divulge via Facebook and why should our employers not read this?

On a similar vain.  Facebook has also helped me to get in contact with a fellow employee in a crisis situation.  Being away from my office I could use Facebook to get the telephone number of this employee, yes he was part of my friends list and luckily for me he published his phone number for his friends.  In the end I was able to contact him and he was able to resolve a crisis situation with a customer.

I have used Facebook not just inside my company to build valuable networks but have also used Facebook to get in contact with groups outside my company to add value to the work that I do.

And lastly we must also remember that Facebook is a social networking tool and work/life balance should be important to each and every company.  Employees that have a good work/life balance also tend to be happy and more productive employees.  Facebook plays a role in the social happiness of people.

See you on Facebook 🙂

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Copenhagen, Denmark

Arrived in Copenhagen at the Palace Hotel very late yesterday evening after 18 hours on airplanes and in airports.  Was touch and go in Frankfurt when I had to get from one airplane to the next one in under 30 minutes.  Assisted by a security guard through some back allies we eventually made it.  The fact that my luggage arrived with me in Copenhagen was a miracle.

Also the take-off in Cape Town in that stormy weather is not something I want to experience soon again.  Talking of the weather, it is a great sunny 22 degrees here in Copenhagen.  Eat your heart out, Cape Town 🙂

I have taken some photos and will upload as soon as I have some time.  It is beer drinking time so until later.

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Trip to Denmark

My trip to Denmark has been postponed by 2 weeks. This is mainly due to the Danish embassy not capable of issuing a visa in a couple of days.  The good thing that came out of this is that I can now attend the 27dinner on Friday evening the 27th.  Now I can eventually meet people like Max face-to-face.

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IBM SA wins new contracts

Over the past couple of weeks IBM has won 2 major contracts in South Africa. One in access of R1 million with ABSA and another with SAB.

This is great news for IBM South Africa and shows again the value of IBM SA as part of the greater IBM worldwide.

I would have loved to see more of an Application Development component in these contracts since that is the area where I operate in and provide value to the bigger IBM.

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IBM Software Live!

Spend the whole of yesterday at an IBM Software Live! day presented by 2 of my American coleagues – Doug Spencer and Jeff Reynolds (Kelly, you probably know Jeff since he also originated from Rational)

As fairly new to IBM it was good to see the range of IBM software products and wow what a range .. Covered from Tivoli on the monitoring side, Lotus on the people side, Websphere on the middleware side, Rational on the development side and then Information Management on content/data side.

Also good to see IBM’s direction with Web 2.0 and products like Connections and Quickr.  And then the support for open standards and open source.

The venue was great (Mount Nelson hotel in Cape Town) and the food was great.  Oh and a customer of mine walked away with an Apple iPod Nano in a lucky draw. Good for you Simon. Yes, us IBMers were not allowed to throw our business cards into the bowl 🙂

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I am one of 355766

IBM must be doing something right if you look at the increase in employees.  At the end of 2006, IBM worldwide had 355766 employees with around 52000 in India alone. Wonder what the figures is for South Africa .. I would think somewhere between 2500 and 3000 and growing.

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