Downtown Magazine

Ideas and innovations for business and internet users, focusing on high-tech and social trends.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Rental Property Management in Ohio

With residential housing still in upheaval in many parts of the country, there exist many opportunities for homeowners or landlords to take advantage of exceptional conditions. Real Property Management can help you find a rental property or investment property that's right for you.

The fastest growing property management company in the country, RPM Midwest has received "Franchise of the Year, Honorable Mention" award. Helping owners rent their places quickly, RPM collects the rent and inspects the properties 3 times per year to ensure that the tenants are taking care of the property. By far the best property management company in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio, RPM Midwest has properties under management and references which interested parties can check.

Go to their website to find out how they can help you with rental income.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tight Credit? Try Factoring

People go into business for all kinds of reasons, and many of them get quite an education once they've begun the process, learning everything from employee relations to budgeting to crisis management literally on the fly.

Some become successful entrepreneurs, like the Steve Jobs and Bill Gates of our generation, while others succumb to the overwhelming pressure of being one's own boss and knuckle under, going back into the workforce.

The primary reason for small business failure is almost always either lack of sufficient start-up capital or lack of credit for continuing operations or expansion. In times like these, in which access to credit is key and very difficult to obtain, factoring accounts receivable remains one of the most underused and misunderstood mechanisms for maintaining cash flow and stability during stressful periods.

Smart companies have been employing factoring for many years. Essentially, factoring companies provide up-front capital against verifiable accounts receivable. This is especially effective for samll companies dealing as a supplier or vendor to larger firms, which often dictate terms of payment, usually net-30 or or net-60, causing, unwittingly, the small company to suffer a cash crush.

Factoring relieves the cash flow dilemma by providing financing against already completed, but unpaid, projects, and if used wisely, can save a business from failure or help one expand quicker than competitors.

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Is Now a Good Time to Invest in a Rolex?

With the recent economic downturn and many questions being raised about the efficacy of the stock market, investors and average folks are searching for alternative investments which may offer less volatility, more security and an ability to either appreciate or, at worst, retain value.

That's why many have turned to precious metals, gold, silver and platinum, as stores of wealth, but others are seeking opportunities in rarities, art, jewelry and selected collectibles. While the current rage is to melt jewelry into the base metal - which, in the case of gold is now over $900/ounce - may be a good idea for some jewelry, that is not suggested with a finely crafted high-quality timepiece, like a Rolex from

Luxury timepieces, watches and quality jewelry are prized and admired by everyone, and are an excellent store of value. A $5000 Rolex may not be worth $7000 in a year or two, but it certainly will not be valued at much less than original value, as opposed to stocks or other riskier investments, many of which have lost 50% or more over the past year.

A watch or piece of fine jewelry can also act as a hedge against inflation, much like gold or platinum, as most of these will have a generous component of at least one of the precious metals, and, in the case of watches, more than likely to have some gemstone value as well, in addition to the high degree of beauty and craftsmanship inherent in such items.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nice Photos for Bloggers

Free Pictures | acobox.comHere's a handy service that just about anybody who blogs can make use of. It's a simple idea, but very handy: pictures for your blogs that don't violate copyrights, can be sized to fit your blog and are available in a wide number of categories.

Spice up your blog with free pictures.

Your viewers will quietly thank you with more visits.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Made in America Plastics

One of the issues that's been raised recently in congress is the "Made in America" clause that's been included in the $790 billion stimulus bill which President Obama will sign into law on Tuesday.

It's important that Americans begin making the same kind of products that we were importing from China and other Asian nations over the past 10-15 years. If you're into hand-made toys or crafts with working parts or working with gears, collars and plastic tracks, there are any number of excellent American companies from which you can order these supplies.

"Buy American" has been criticized by Chinese and Indian government authorities for fear that such protectionism might spark a trade war and further damage the global economy. China and India probably have more to fear from this kind of development than the USA. Here in the US we are free to engage in any kind of business we desire, on a personal basis, for any amount of money. Creating inexpensive products with our own labor may be a direction toward a more sustainable economy.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Win a trip with

The world's most popular beverage, Coca-Cola, is a welcome way to quench the thirst of people around the world, but especially in North America - in the USA and Canada.

To applaud Coke's continuing excellence as the beverage of choice, the company has launched a contest in which Canadian residents can enter to Win a trip with to beautiful Atlanta, Georgia, the home of Coca-Cola.

Celebrating the inventor of Coca-Cola, John Pemberton, who created, in 1886, what became the world's most popular soft drink, is the internet destination on which Canadians can get Coke coins, spend Coke coins and enter to win a grand prize of a trip for four to Atlanta, Georgia.

The contest is available to Canadian residents only, and the entry requirements couldn't be much easier - 500 Coke coins.

Coke coins can be obtained by first purchasing specially marked Coca-Cola and Coke Zero products. Under the caps are PIN numbers. Once you have a cap and a PIN in hand, just go to and register your PIN. Each PIN is worth 500 Coke coins, so the more PINs you enter the more chances you have of winning.

Even if you don't win the trip to Atlanta, you can still qualify for minor prizes from Best Buy and Cineplex Odeon.

PINs can also be found on some other Coke products, such as scratch cards or fountain cups. Keep drinking Coke and collecting Coke coins and PINs. Maybe you will be the lucky winner to take your friends or family on a trip to Atlanta.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Blogging for Dollars Hits a Wall

There's been an ongoing debate over the value and ethical merits of blogging for pay over the past two years, and the one company smack in the middle of it has been pioneering startup Pay-per-Post (now IZEA) and their bizarre founder and lampoonish leader, Ted Murphy (right).

I've looked into the company's brief history, (here's a good summation) and actually was involved as a blogger for a while.

The company has gone through a number of grinding make-overs, each typified by failure to deliver on-time or on -promise. Somehow, I feel vindicated, having completely divorced myself from their services and removing most of the posts I did (and for which I earned money - small sums, totaling less than $1000).

What finally led me to separate my sites and blogs from them was the Google PR spanking which liberally rocked blogs - and in my case, my entire site - down to ZERO PR. While the beating by Google, led by their sometimes spokesperson, Matt Cutts, resulted in dropping my site from a 5 to a 0, I am happy to have found that the change was largely cosmetic, my site still passes Google juice, and is still indexed and slurped by all of the major engines, the Big G included.

Since then, I've taken a closer look at what IZEA does and have come to two unmistakable conclusions:

  1. The company will fail, eventually. Various VC firms have ponied up $10 in funding thus far and the IZEA staff has lost advertisers and bloggers galore, but with all that money, it may take some time before the firm eventually collapses.

  2. Ted Murphy is a complete fraud, a poser who has failed upward all of his life, though time seems to be running out on him.

All of this makes perfect sense. After having Google wreck their business, Murphy and his team did absolutely nothing to help out loyal bloggers, of whom Murphy himself always says, "I love our posties." When the Google crackdown became obvious to all (Murphy and his inner staff knew of potential problems months prior), Murphy's response was along the lines of "sorry, there's nothing I can do."

That was posted in one of IZEA's numerous blog posts, something I'm not about to waste time looking up. It's there, believe me. Murphy kicked thousands of bloggers who had (mis)placed their faith in him, unceremoniously, to the curb.

So, Murphy then went on his own PR campaign, responding to posts by Cutts, Andy Beard, TechCrunch and others, extolling the virtues of paid posting and bowing all the way to the wishes of Google, agreeing to use "rel=nofollow" tags, disclosure, and setting up a new system called SocialSpark, complete with its own ranking system, RealRank.

Those changes were announced to the little group assembled at PostieCon in Las Vegas last November, with a planned rollout date of mid-Janaury.

That passed, as did February, and now well into March, the whole shooting match seems to be bleeding cash, losing credibility and generally blowing through $10 million as quickly as a dotcom 2.0 can.

Meanwhile, the Tedster has reworked the discussion boards, largely abandoned SocialSpark, but managed to announce plans for another convention, PostieCon 2, I guess, September in Orlando.

That's the one thing Murphy and his team has been able to do in a less-than-half-assed manner, hold conventions, though this one surely will be sparely attended, though I may get down there as an advance on the much-anticipated wake.

It would give me a chance to call Murphy a loser, poser, liar and a cheat to his face, which I would have no problem doing.

Should we feel bad for the venture capitalists who are going to be out $10 mil? Not really. Take a look at some of the garbage Village Ventures, Inflexion Partners and Draper Fisher Jurvetson have funded. These guys burn millions for lunch.

Paid posting is not dead, but basing a company on a questionable practice as a business model, and then changing your focus every six months, is a certain sign of mismanagement.

IZEA is circling the drain. With any luck, Ted Murphy will get flushed along with it. The internet doesn't really want or need fake "revolutionaries 2.0" and deceitful operators like Murphy should be made to suffer severe financial pain.

Sorry to spread bad karma, but I'm just throwing it back at them.