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Is your role functional or is it vital? Chances are, you’re kidding yourself.

As you can imagine, I get sent books all the time. It's one of the perks of being 'Mr Anthill'. Despite being a prolific reader, only a few ever capture my attention. And an even smaller number capture my imagination. Several weeks ago, I was sent the Australian edition of 'Become a Key Person of Influence' by Daniel Priestly. I read it in an afternoon. And, several weeks on, my imagination is still buzzing.

The 10 Essential Tools for Online Marketing

We've decided to dedicate 10 articles to 10 essential online marketing tools -- what we use, how we use them and how they operate together. Sign up to this campaign and we will exploit you. That's our promise. But, first, let me explain.

Let’s create a movement to remove the words ‘social media’ from the business lexicon.

Too often in the past, the term 'social media' has been peddled as a panacea for whatever commercial problems 'ail ya', with the zest of a spiritual healer or snake-oil salesman. Is it any wonder that 'social media' experts were so quick to adopt the descriptors 'guru' and 'evangelist'?

Five ways to create a gamified, viral marketing campaign… we’re calling it Anthill’s Inaugural...

Over the past 10 days, Anthill has experienced more technical issues and downtime than in its entire digital history. We won't bore you with the details. Suffice to say, it was hellish. Rather than take a long-weekend to lick our wounds and recoup, it wasn't a hard decision to attempt to turn this negative into a positive, and create a compelling 'living' lesson for Anthill readers instead.

Who’s in this year’s 30under30?

On Wednesday, applications will close for Anthill's 2011 30under30 awards. Given the high number of polite and cautiously curious enquiries we've received so far, about the types and volume of entries for this year's program, we decided to offer the following sneak preview.

Is Ricky Nixon a victim of reputational terrorism? (What Kim Duthie can teach your...

Vilified footy entrepreneur Ricky Nixon's latest, most abortive attempt at PR redemption this weekend provided several clear lessons about the new art of war on the PR and reputation battleground. The most instructive lesson from the interview was when Nixon sulked that he was being unfairly outfoxed and out-PR'ed by a teenager.

Is Internet access a basic human right? 7 out of 10 Aussies think so.

Nearly seven out of 10 Australians see access to the Internet as a basic human right, according to an online -- and not particularly scientific -- survey by Compare Broadband. But a basic human right? Really?

Six lessons from a collective buying newbie (what we got right, what we got...

On Friday 25 February, Anthill launched a group buying website for bsuiness owners, called Antmart. We promised, at the time, to share what worked... and what didn't. At this early stage in the site's development, our attention has largely been on aspects that didn't work. Here are six lessons from our first week.

How to beat bad behaviour online. Hit back with Haiku!

Sometime last year, Anthill's online growth triggered an unexpected and somewhat unwelcome side-effect. The size, reach and visibility we had worked so hard to achieve was attracting a new kind of reader, from the 'uncouth fringe'. Today, I am seeking your help. It's time to combat the trolls... in haiku!

Is this the best or worst piece of marketing you’ve seen all year? [How...

Is it just me or are the most brilliant examples of marketing invariably those commissioned to sell the most reprehensible, unpleasant or just plain awkward products and services? While I suspect that this creative piece of packaging won't win any industry awards anytime soon, it nevertheless prompts me to ask the question: Could this be the best (or worst) piece of marketing you've seen all year?

Spreets sold to Yahoo!7 for $40 million: What does this mean for online retail...

This morning, it was confirmed that Yahoo!7 has acquired Australian group-buying business Spreets for $40 million. The deal is the first of what is expected to become a consolidation of the Australian group-buying market. However, what's truly remarkable about this announcement is the short time-frame between Spreets' launch and its sale, after only 10 months on the Australian market.

Did Anthill’s “sponsored message from the future” outrage or delight you? [Case Study: pURLs]

Last week, Anthill emailed a 'sponsored satirical message from the future' to 9,000 members of its 14,000-strong eNewsletter database. The message informed recipients of their success winning a fictional award from the year 2012. Responses were mixed, ranging from "This is hilarious and very clever!" to "I WOULD PREFER NOT TO RECEIVE THIS CRAP!" So, is Anthill likely to run a campaign like this again?

Is it rude to use Facebook as a lead generation tool?

I have lost count of the number of times my friends, colleagues, and business partners have made the statement, “Facebook is personal. It is not for B2B! Try LinkedIn.” I understand their sentiment. Since its inception, Facebook has always been an intimate space reserved for friends and family, or very close professional associates. But it doesn't have to be that way.

Should Anthill adopt the Groupon model?

Last week, I posted a story that asked Anthill readers to suggest new revenue streams. The post was triggered by a theft (and the loss of some expensive equipment). The surprising flood of responses to this post, received by phone, email, tweets, Facebook messages and, of course, your comments had me both thrilled and alarmed. It also got me thinking.

Does this company deserve $100k in seed funding? Heck, yeah!

Australia's richest business plan competition, offering $100,000 for one savvy Australian business, reached its conclusion at the Queensland State Library in Brisbane last Wednesday night. Does this company deserve $100k in seed funding? Heck, yeah! Now watch the clip.

If you owned Anthill (the business), how would you make it more profitable (quickly)

Last week, Anthill was the victim of a theft. The loss was felt immediately, not simply due to its effect on morale but also because the loss involved some important documents and many human hours of productivity. Now, there are two things that we can do: (1) Sulk; or, (2) Devise a way to turn a positive into a negative.

The Commonwealth Games brand is ailing. Could Delhi’s struggles actually revive it?

Without the dramas over unstable structures and unsanitary accommodation, let’s be honest: who would really give a stuff about a tournament that’s perceived to be as marginal and obsolete as Britain’s decaying Commonwealth itself? Could Delhi be an unlikely saviour for the Commonwealth Games?

Creepy and underhand or viral advertising gold? Coco-cola brings back its Happiness Machine

We wrote about Coca-Cola's 'Happiness machine' when it first appeared in an unnamed US university campus in January. Indeed, we asked whether it could be the 'worst viral campaign' ever, simply because it seemed so contrived. However, the pimped-out vending machine is back. This time, in Europe.

Still waiting for a return on your innovation investment? Find the low-hanging fruit!

In his previous article, Roger La Salle challenged innovation practitioners to examine the rate of return on their innovation investment. Here, he explains how to set a time scale to obtain this return: "If you can have an early win with innovation then you can be sure more budget will be forthcoming and still greater achievements can be obtained." To find the low-hanging fruit (and the lowest risk) for your startup, the best place to begin is with Process Innovation.

Is Botox ruining the way we communicate?

Somewhere along the line it has become unappealing to let others see our emotions. More and more we rely on highly impersonal means – text messaging, social media and emails – to keep in touch but also to convey confidential information, conduct negotiations and build relationships. More and more we are talking at everyone but not really connecting with anyone.

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Three easy wins when using LinkedIn with David Hobson [FREE REPORT]

"If you’re pressed for time, I'm here to help." In this report, David Hobson will show you three quick wins - things you can do to pimp out your LinkedIn profile in 15 minutes or less.

FREE BUSINESS TOOL

HOW TO RECRUIT THE BEST PEOPLE with Sam Chandler

Plenty of recruitment agencies have tallied the numbers and found that the average dud hire will cost an organisation between $50,000 and $70,000, factoring...

INFOGRAPHICS

New Zealand’s Xero eyes US IPO, further disruption as subscribers increase...

Xero recently held its annual meeting in Wellington, during which the company revealed some interesting details about its future. As has been widely suspected, the...

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