Brad Hines is the founder of YumDomains.com the domain name brokerage, and of Hungrykids.org, a non-profit that is partnered with the United Nations World Food Program to raise world hunger awareness. He is a founding member and advisor to TeachGirls.org.
He is a business writer and Internet analyst, microblogging at @BradHines. He teaches how to conduct business–especially marketing and e-commerce–on the Internet.
So what is a focus group? Well basically, various companies that make or sell, whatever, use focus group companies to get "regular people" and their opinions on stuff. Typically you are in a group...Read more
Put up a Google alert for yourself, your brand, your products, and your services. The moment something negative gets indexed in Google, you are on top of it, ready for whatever action you need take...Read more
As a digital nomad and therefore someone who can work from anywhere in the world, recently I was curious about really "affordable" homes and what they look like, I am referring to under $20,000 affordable. Okay, "stupid cheap"...Read more
Atlanta based, local-anonymous social app Yik Yak has been growing rapidly, but with controversy, including a Change.org petition of over 70,000 signatures demanding to shut the app down. The company addressed concerns of bullying, with changes to their user experience in February. I spoke with co-founders Brooks Buffington and Tyler Droll prior to then.?...Read more
I've never liked new year's resolutions. It's always struck me as odd to use the first of the year to decide to become better. It has an aribrarty quality about it. Instead–and this is hardly groundbreaking of a thought– shouldn't we perpetually seek to better ourselves?...Read more
Recently I made an e-commerce website in one day, I hadn’t known I was going to that morning. I’m a Boston resident, and I took a walk through our Chinatown district two weeks ago, for the first time in years.. I was looking at all the kitschy and exotic souvenirs.. By the time I had got home, I knew I was going to make a website and brand where I sold oriental souvenirs in a cheeky fashion (mocking broken english and masquerading like it was a Chinese based company when really American.) By that night I had started Happy China Trading C ...Read more
Today, what is now attached to our hip, is actually in our hands or almost always not far from reach -- it is our handheld mobile device. Whether we are on our smartphone, tablet, notebook or laptop, these mobile devices will exceed the number of people on planet earth in 2014. ...Read more
After the recent Apple Developer conference, one question on many an Apple fan -- and shareholder's--minds is that of the potential success of the Apple Watch (yes I promise to not use any "time will tell" puns here). Having said that, it would seem that one of the coolest and perhaps most-groundbreaking aspects about Watch and the SDK for it, is going to be kinesthetic communication ...Read more
Apple picking as a day of fun is often so much more than just the harvesting of apples though, and has a lot more to do with what you make of the setting, and with whom you go. For me personally, apple picking evokes thoughts of scenic fields and vistas, maybe pumpkins, baby animal petting stations, artisanal homemade farm products, picnics with good food, tradition and all around good times with family and friends...Read more
As a personal shopper and IKEA furniture assembler on Taskrabbit, I am no stranger to purchasing and assembling the popular quasi-disposable-but-oddly-cheery furniture. Here are my conclusions, that I wish I'd known a long time ago....Read more
In recent years, the idea of small business owners using a virtual assistant to outsource daily business tasks has gained popularity. But many people don't know how to hire or benefit from one....Read More
Social media has become an increasingly complicated space; PR fiascoes can happen at the speed of a social media post, and brands are being mentioned in real time, sometimes at the rate of thousands of tweets per second...Read more
As someone running more than one business, I spend a lot of time using Gmail. Bucking the whole "email is a waste of time trend," I have actually figured out how to make this popular email program do a lot of my dirty work for me, thus earning its place in my daily business.....Read more at Entrepreneur.com.
Creativity in business is not a nice skill to have, it is outright an imperative. Creativity is an often hard to define concept, one that evokes thoughts of "trendy" people, black t-shirts and "uber-cool" vibe. While creativity can certainly related to "artsy" things, the late Steve Jobs put it best...Read more.
With endless troves of data/information, there is profitability to be had from curating and disseminating it efficiently, so automation in the digital age becomes a must. Sites like IFTTT and Zapier, the two leaders in the industry come to mind. With their "Recipes" and "Zaps" respectively, either of these sites can let you automate common Internet tasks, across hundreds of potential web apps that you might use regularly....Read more.
While the presence of a "glass ceiling" for women in tech is debatable, you can't argue with the facts: The ratio of men to women actually working in the industry is very skewed. But then there are women like Angie Chang...Read more.
We are in a funny time sexually and romantically speaking. Don't think so? Think about the difference between how people searched for romance, love, and lust; between today, and only ten years ago...Read more.
Do you ever really like a brand, but then you think to yourself "what a stupid name though!"? While a crappy name won't necessarily doom a company for success, it can be a hurdle to overcome. The art and science of great naming is absolutely about balancing a confluence of core concepts...Read more.
Too often the trend in our society is for people to be separated from either other, to be cut off from the great mass of humanity, and in doing so to be dehumanized a little bit more with each step...Read more.
Linkedin is the new resume and recruitment tool. Here are some tips from pros. Lori Ruff aka "Linkedin Diva" personally posts about three times a day, and urges everyone the benefits of SEO for company pages, by posting quality content daily...Read more.
Think about the most memorable times in your life. Maybe it was when you bought your first car, your high school prom, when you graduated from college or got married, or the birth of your child. Unfortunately, we have all suffered sad times, like the loss of a loved one...Read more.
Microloans help stimulate the economy of second and third world countries in a few ways. Basically, instead of being a “Band-aid” fix to an economy in struggle by dumping money on a problem, you, the loaner, are helping to create successful commerce/economy in a country, and therefore self-sustainment...Read more.
2014 more than ever before will be the year of advertisers seeking to use everyday people with influence. While it would be hyperbole to say that advertising is dead, it is safe to say that marketers are tired of both traditional advertising, and even the unfulfilling methods like Facebook sponsored posts and Google Ad words...Read more.
Online dating is an increasingly complicated web space, where women and men alike need to be cautious and use common sense. Women more so need to be cautious about going and meeting a person they don't know well, and yes, even men need to be careful...Read more.
Holiday spending takes a major whack at our wallet–gifts, travel, entertaining, and plastic Santas on the roof. Here's an incredibly comprehensive guide on how to "hack" the holidays for not only savings, but for more meaning as well...Read more.
Even if a startup doesn’t create any kind of a written road map for how they should form a social media plan, they should at least know what it encompasses so as not to overlook an imperative. I have outlined as such what, I believe to be the most important questions the company must ask iitself....Read more.
Let me set the scene for those of you who didn’t just win the Nobel Peace Prize: Sixteen year old Pakistani native, Malala Yousafzai, was shot in the head and neck point blank last year. She was shot by feared terrorist organization, the Taliban...Read more.
Are you suffering from information addiction? It’s a growing problem as people spend more and more of their time online—and while online tools are amazing, being addicted to checking them can steal most of your day....Read more.
There is a funny and perhaps scary disconnect behind the cliched premises of IPOs, and that of Internet startups: with an IPO, everything is “earnings, earnings, earnings” and with an Internet startup in particular the old joke is “we will figure out how to make money later” or “get the eyeballs first, monetize later”...Read more.
I have cultivated my network the slow and steady way for years, mostly using e-mail as the epicenter. Although nothing fully replaces in-person networking, I do recommend digitally doing so as well for its advantages like ease of finding relevant contacts, ability to initiate an introduction, "rolodex" keeping, and sharing information with those contacts. Here is an outline of exclusively digital ways to grow and expand your business network:...Read more.
Proper grammar and speech and writing is a must to be taken seriously, especially as a writer. Here are some of the most common "mixed doubles" as they are called–words that people typically confuse which to use in a situation:...Read more.
You've probably been asked to take part in a Kickstarter. If it wasn't a Kickstarter, maybe it was an Indiegogo, Appbackr, Crowdrise, Bolstr, Funadable, Tunefund, or one of many more with equally goofy names (no offense guys). These "crowdfunding" websites and people asking their friends and family alike to partake in them; seem to be all the rage. Is the concept getting out of hand?...Read more.
In our modern day of ripped jeans that cost over $200 a pair, people under dressing to live theatre and neglecting to shut off their cell phones, girls looking like they’re walking outside in underwear wearing tights that used to be worn as under skirts or pants; many of us are scratching our heads wondering "what happened to having class?"...Read more.
At last major count, Linkedin is over 225 million users deep. They have streamlined their interface (albeit still a bit convoluted) and made it more Facebook-like with its ability to post and share. The site is now also a major tool in any head hunter's arsenal from its ability to search for people of a given skill set. Linkedin is indeed becoming a force to be reckoned with...Read more.
I have lead two Lean in Collaborative Conversations to women in business in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area; one in April that was so popular I hosted another in June. I am a strategic consultant for women business owners and a speaker to women in business. I read the book and wanted to start conversations in our community about the ideas Sheryl Sandberg brings up without the limitations of her "Lean In Circles".Read more.
I think the best advice I ever heard was from one of my former bosses. She said that if everyone–within a company and externally–likes something you're doing (especially graphically) with a marketing campaign or collateral piece, it probably means it is so watered down that it won't make much of an impact. Some of the best and most impactful work usually isn't universally liked....Read more.
There is a peer to peer ride service that just came to Boston called Lyft. The recently $60-million-dollar-infused startup (courtesy of VC Andersen Horowitz) hopes to turn the Taxi service of Boston on its head by using the Peer-to-peer transportation model in order to reduce the cost and availiblity of a taxi ride by proliferating the amount of drivers, all of whom will be using their own cars and operating with no cab medallion..Read more.
The psychology of how people perceive different colors is something that has proven scientific evidence behind it. It is two-part: one is the immutable physics aspect to it, for example certain colors will reach your eyes first like red and yellow. Also, certain colors will be dissonant and vibrate next to each other like green and red....Read more.
Social media, for all its frequent frivolity like telling people you are shopping for curtains while eating a bagel, is actually incredibly useful during a natural disaster. In a disaster, communication is critical both beforehand and after. Increasingly in recent years...Read more.