The Depth of My "Social Media" Experience

In a day and time when “social media” is just a word I’ve heard when things were being said, I think it is vital that anyone saying they are qualified to teach you how to use social media should be able to validate the depth of their experience as a successful user of new media…

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Federal Agencies That Regulate Cleaning Products

Yesterday, Kayla Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale (one of my sponsors) posted a useful summary of how household products, and cleaning products in general, are regulated in the United States. Her post points out one of the significant challenges to small and independent business owners when it comes to digesting and comply with regulations. Namely, that…

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Procter & Gamble Warned About Combining Drugs And Dietary Supplements

On October 29, the FDA sent a warning letter to Procter & Gamble concering their sale of combination over the counter (OTC) drug/dietary supplement products. Without making your eyes glaze over, the problem with this is that drugs must be approved by the FDA before they can be sold. Dietary supplements do not. The FDA’s…

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FDA To Host Hearings On Use of Social Media To Promote Regulated Products

Tomorrow and Friday, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold public hearings to provide an opportunity for what it calls “broad” public participation and comment on promotion of FDA-regulated medical products (including prescription drugs for humans and animals, prescription biologics, and medical devices) using the Internet and social media tools. The hearings will…

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Can't Wait To See Kaila Westerman At The Media Is You – San Francisco!

I am delighted that longtime IBN member Kaila Westerman will join us at The Media Is You – San Francisco! Kaila is the owner of TKB Trading, LLC, a San Francisco-based supplier of cosmetics colorants for use in toiletries, soap and cosmetics. Kaila also sells waxes, lip product bases, containers, lipstick molds, and associated products.…

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Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U!

Announcing The Media Is Y-O-U, a one-day intensive, hands on social media training workshop designed especially for Indies! If you’re an Indie Business owner, you know how important it is to use the Internet to spread the word about your products and services. Today, doing that is easier than ever with my one-day intensive, hands…

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Commentary And Analysis: The FTC’s Blogger And Social Media Advertiser Guides

Last week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (PDF). The Guides were issued pursuant to the FTCs authority, as granted by Congress in Section 5 of the FTC Act, 15 U.S.C. 45, to protect consumers from deceptive trade practices with regard to endorsements and testimonials…

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The Results Are In: Social Media Increases Sales

Earlier today, I suggested that social media is just media. Today, I want to share proof that, whatever you call it, it works! According to comScore, a digital marketing intelligence company, the graph below shows a marked increase in the number of discounts and special offers made by retailers on Black Friday (and ten days…

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Personal Care Products Council Charges $1,000 For Access to INCI Names

When I was a cosmetics manufacturer years ago, I joined the Personal Care Products Council (formerly known as the Cosmetic, Toiletries & Fragrances Association). At the time, I lived in Washington, DC and I enjoyed going to their offices from time to time to use their library. I also learned a lot from them about…

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Don't Get Caught Napping While Laws Affecting Your Business Are Being Discussed!

I read an interesting post today at the the CPSIA Comments & Observations blog. Maintained by Richard Woldenberg, chairman of Learning Resources, a manufacturer of learning toys and hands-on classroom educational materials, the CPSIA Comments & Observations blog tracks activity with regard to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) implementation of the Consumer Product Safety…

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Head of Interactive Advertising Bureau Challenges New FTC Rules

Yesterday Randall Rothenberg, head of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, published an open letter to Jon Leibowitz, Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission highlight what he calls “a grave concern” with regard to the new Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (PDF). In particular, Rothenberg says that the Guides are unconstitutional because…

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Announcing Indie Business Advocate.com!

UPDATE 2/12/2010: As of today, Indie Business Advocate.com has been closed. All small business advocacy and public policy posts can be found in the Advocacy Category at this blog. Thank you. For as long as I have served small and independent business owners, I have observed how challenging it is to have an impact on…

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4 Words To Transform Your Business In 2010

A recent segment of 60 Minutes was devoted to the life and work of Don Hewitt, the new magazine’s creator, who passed away in August 2009. As you may know, 60 Minutes is the longest-running prime-time television broadcast in the country. I enjoyed learning about Hewitt’s perspective on the show’s phenomenal success, which he says…

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YouTube Direct Supports "Citizen Journalists"

If you don’t already think The Media Is You, this will change your mind. YouTube recently announced YouTube Direct, a service that allows news organizations to customize YouTube’s uploader to receive video from people who want to share items of interest with the news organization’s audience. The potential of this new format is massive, both…

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It's Your Lawn. Mow It.

Small business owners often say they don’t want to be bothered with social media because the learning curve is too steep. Here’s what I have to say about that. Get over it. When isn’t the learning curve steep? Here’s an analogy. If you are a homeowner, you can’t let your front lawn grow wild. Not only…

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FTC To Host Workshops On "Journalism and the Internet Age"

On December 1 and 2, 2009, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) will hold two days of workshops on how the Internet has affected journalism. The workshops come in the wake of the release last month of the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising, which become effective on the first day of…

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Campaign For Safe Cosmetics: A New Report

[This post was originally published on my Twitwall on March 12, 2009. I think it is important for context to share it with you at this blog as well. You can see the comments on the original post beneath the post itself.] A 32-page report (PDF) entitled “No More Toxic Tub” has been released by…

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Should You Use Your Real Name Online?

Yesterday, I Tweeted my experience linking from a small business owner’s Twitter page to her website, and not finding her name anywhere. There was also no phone number and no address, yet her products were sold via a shopping cart at her site and her newsletter subscription form required subscribers to enter a first and…

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Top 10 Ways For Small Business Owners To Use Twitter Lists

[This post was inadvertently published yesterday. I recalled it, but not before Feedburner picked it up. I apologize for the inconvenience.] A few days ago, Twitter announced Twitter Lists, a great new feature that allows users to create pubic and private lists of people on Twitter. If you read Item #9 on Top Ten Actions…

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