Administration Overload

I have a deep, dark secret. I like administration. I’m good at it. And when I speak about administration, I’m not talking secretarial duties. I’m talking business administration and the preparation of policy documents, business reports, executive administration and following up on tasks and even archiving.

However, after 4 hours of administration today I must say I’m heartily looking forward to a few hours of productive work. My 3pm meeting just got cancelled so I have the rest of the day to get about 16 hours of work done – probably crammed into about 9 hours. It’s going to be a long day.

Nevertheless, as a business owner, it is encumbent upon me to scan for good advice and new tips and tidbits. The following links represent today’s brief scan….

1. BestRealIncome has a primer on the SMART system of running a business. This isn’t remotely new, but it’s amazing how few business owners actually know the routine.

2. The blog entry in Wikipedia (including a link to Uses of Blogs) just got a whole lot bigger.

3. According to the Washington Post, the US Patents Office is going to open up patents for online review. This seems an unusually transparent but also possibly short-lived policy change, as I’m sure some opportunisitic entrepreneurs will try to take advantage of not-yet-patented devices for adaptation to their own interests.

4. This isn’t really a scan-based link, but in light of an interview I’m doing later today for the Derryn Hinch radio program on 3AW in Melbourne, I’ve been doing some research on the ethics of selling goods on eBay. This is the introudtcion to the eBay Code of Ethics (yes it does exist). The question remains as to whether the assumptions in the Code are still relevant now that the vast majority of the community have worked out that without an editor overseeing the vast, global trading post, you can sell some pretty horrible things online. In January, 24 year old Wollongong student, Nic Holt sold “his life” on eBay, and whilst the items on offer (including his former girlfriend) raised some complaints, the items still sold. In February, notorious Melbourne criminal, Mark ‘Chopper’ Read offered a 4 hour lunch with himself, involving a limousine pickup service. The item did, indeed, sell – and for a hefty A$1225. Now brother of INXS singer Michael Hutchence, Rhett (the rat), has sold a fax Michael once sent to Kylie Minogue for $400. The question naturally arises… do these people have a right to sell these ‘goods’? Is it ethically sound for people to capitalise on their notoriety, or that of the goods they offer? How different is it to sell goods on eBay when compared with selling a story to the press (usually for ‘an undisclosed sum’)? If eBay respond (as they appear to do) to complaints about goods available for sale, and determine the legitimacy of the item(s), then how differently are they responding when compared with a traditional auction house?

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