Monthly Archives: November 2009

Building Links for Bing

It’s easy for businesses to get caught up in Google’s expectations for their sites, when trying to market through search. That’s certainly a wise thing to do, considering Google dominates the search market by a huge margin. Still, there are other search engines that people are using, and it is also wise to make sure your site is performing to the best of its ability in those too.

I’m obviously talking about Yahoo and Bing, but Yahoo’s share is declining, while Bing’s is gaining. Furthermore, if the deal between Microsoft and Yahoo goes through, Bing search will be talking over Yahoo anyway.

Do you take Bing into account when optimizing your site? Comment here.

Rick DeJarnette We don’t hear as much about what Bing wants out of a site for rankings, but Rick DeJarnette of Bing Webmaster Center has shared some dos and don’ts of link-building for Bing. Not surprisingly, a lot of his advice for honoring Bing’s policy, does not differ too much from advice that Google would give you. It is, however, still always nice to see how they feel, just to clear up any possible confusion.

Like Google, Bing places great emphasis on quality links to determine its rankings. “Just don’t make the mistake of believing it will result in instant gratification. Successful link building efforts require a long-term commitment, not an overnight or turnkey solution,” says DeJarnette. “You need to continually invest in link building efforts with creativity and time.”

What Not To Do

DeJarnette shared a list of things that you should avoid in your link building efforts, if it is a good Bing ranking that you are after. Here is what Bing says will get your site reviewed more closely by staff:

1. The number of inbound links suddenly increases by orders of magnitude in a short period of time

2. Many inbound links coming from irrelevant blog comments and/or from unrelated sites

3. Using hidden links in your pages

4. Receiving inbound links from paid link farms, link exchanges, or known “bad neighborhoods” on the Web

5. Linking out to known web spam sites

“When probable manipulation is detected, a spam rank factor is applied to a site, depending upon the type and severity of the infraction,” says DeJarnette. “If the spam rating is high, a site can be penalized with a lowered rank. If the violations are egregious, a site can be temporarily or even permanently purged from the index.”

What To Do

DeJarnette also shared some tips for getting more quality links. Following are Bing’s tips for effective link building (paraphrased):

1. Develop your site as a business brand and brand it consistently

2. Find relevant industry experts, product reviewers, bloggers, and media folk, and make sure they’re aware of your site/content

3. Publish concise, informative press releases online

4. Publish expert articles to online article directories

5. Participate in relevant conversations on blogs/forums, referring back to your site’s content when applicable

6. Use social networks to connect to industry influencers (make sure you have links to your site in your profiles)

7. Create an email newsletter with notifications of new content

8. Launch a blog/forum on your site

9. Participate in relevant industry associations and especially in their online forums
  
10. Strive to become a trusted expert voice for your industry, while promoting your site

Most of the stuff DeJarnette shared is nothing any savvy search marketer is not already aware of. That said, there are clearly plenty of online (and offline for that matter) businesses out there that don’t have savvy search marketers on the payroll. It can be quite helpful when a search engine itself lays out what to do and what not to do to help webmasters get better rankings.

Courtesy of WebProNews.

Creating Links: How to add “link bait”

For years now, people have been buzzing about social media and the opportunity it provides to marketers to drive tons of traffic, brand awareness, conversions, and — most importantly — links. Even Matt Cutts, Google’s head of Webspam, has gone on record numerous times praising social media as a great opportunity to get links in a pure and natural way.

It’s no secret that so-called “link bait” gets a lot of natural quality inbound links, and that social media has the ability to garner massive visibility for your brand and its content. But just knowing that doesn’t mean it is easy to succeed with any link bait you create.

Creating a piece of link bait that will succeed in social media and score lots of links from authoritative sites takes a lot of work and experience. Following these seven tips will help you get started. Before you know it, you’ll be creating kick-ass pieces of link bait that will improve your chances at succeeding in social media, while garnering tons of high-quality, natural links.

Tip 1

Make sure your site is worthy of being linked to.

Believe it or not, people do care about how your site looks. The way it is designed, the effort you put into the layout, and whether it looks current — all these things say a lot about your company. No one wants to link to a site they think lacks quality. After all, linking is a sort of recommendation for that site.

So, if you want people to link to your brand’s site, make sure your site is:

  • Up to date: Use coding and design elements that make you look current and contemporary.
  • Focused: Don’t have a bunch of ads in the content area or distracting banners.
  • Polite: Don’t have pop-up ads, pop-under ads, audio ads, or offers that interrupt or distract people from viewing your content.

Of course, many business models won’t allow you to strip away all attempts to convert a user, so you may need to implement these changes for only the individual pieces of link bait you create.

When I first launched one of my side project sites, it had a basic default WordPress theme. I frequently noticed that when I would break a news story that would go viral, high-level authority sites would omit the proper credit link identifying my site as the source for the article.

It wasn’t until I re-evaluated the site and decided to invest in a custom, quality design that the good links really started rolling in. Now I get links from Wired, CNET, The Guardian, and many other highly authoritative sites.

Bottom line: How can you expect someone to take your website seriously if you don’t?

Tip 2

Make your link bait worthy of a link.

This seems like a no brainer, but you would be amazed at how many companies create and push mediocre pieces of link bait that really don’t deserve any links or success at all.

Just because you write a list explaining “10 ways to save on your taxes” doesn’t mean your content is any different or better than the 200 other tax articles people write (or repurpose) at the beginning of each tax season.

You need to make sure your content is:

  • Current: Think about any current events or news stories when writing your link bait. See if there is anything you can reference or apply your concept to that might help it relate to current discussions.
  • Unique: Try to find at least a few angles to your link bait that is unique. This ensures it is different from all the other articles on the same general topic.
  • Comprehensive: This is one of the biggest mistakes people make when writing link bait. You need to make sure your content is comprehensive and doesn’t leave people with unanswered questions or feeling like they took nothing away from the experience.
Tips 3 and 4 
Be visual and easy to read.

Of course you want people to read your content, but have you ever thought about making your content easy to read and digest?

  • Break up your content: When readers see a big block of content, they are often intimidated. They feel they must read an entire paragraph within one breath. Break up your content and make it easy to digest, even when it is not strictly required.
  • Choose the right font type and size: This starts to delve into personal opinion, but many times I come across articles where the font type and size has left me not wanting to read the content. Make sure your font is easy to read and inviting.
  • Be visual: Add images to your content to help drive your message. Everyone likes pictures, and they can make your content seem more inviting and exciting. Video can also be a great addition to an article.

Always go one step further.

Whenever you think your link bait is good, take it one step further. These days “good content” is really not good enough. To distinguish yourself from the thousands of good articles pushed in social media every day, you need really great content.

Once you feel your link bait is finished, review it one last time and consider whether there is any other aspect you can add to it. Look for a few more references, a related story or aspect, or any associated images and/or videos to add that would improve your existing content.

If you challenge yourself, you can always find at least one way to make your link bait a little better. In the end, that final touch can be the difference between a popular piece of content and a largely ignored piece of content. The former will be the one that scores all those quality links you want.

Tips 5 and 6

Be viral — really viral.

A lot of people get so caught up in their product that they forget what it means to go viral. Going viral with a piece of link bait is when you have everyone interested — even when they typically would not be interested in the topic you are pushing.

For example, interest in urinals is not widespread. However, if you were to write an article about the craziest urinals around the world, then almost anyone would be interested in taking a look.

So when you’re thinking about your link bait, try to think about how you can appeal to the broadest audience of people on the web and not just your particular niche.

Plan your campaign.

Each social community is a little different than the next, so make sure you do some research and consider the trends of the users in the social communities in which you want to succeed. You don’t really want to put Apple down on a site like Digg, where users tend to be Apple fans. So when considering your link bait topic, ask yourself these questions about the social community you want to succeed in:

  • What position do the users take on your specific topic? Are they typically for or against it? This will help you pick the right tone for your writing.
  • Is there a category that is lacking quality submissions? This might present an opportunity to write content around that category to increase your chance of success.
  • Has anyone done a similar article recently? If so, you might want to consider a different topic, since most users do not like to see the same general content again and again. There are only so many articles on how Windows 7 is better than Vista that someone is willing to read and support.
Tip 7
Make your link bait easy to spread and link to.

People love to share and tell others about great content. However, most people’s time is becoming more and more limited. Between sites like Facebook and Twitter, reading emails, and checking their favorite sites, online time is precious — don’t make it hard for someone to share your content.

Make sure you have:

  • A good title: Many times people have only enough space to share your link and the article title. So make the title descriptive and as short as possible. Don’t leave people trying to figure out the best way to describe the link they are sharing, as they will often give up. 
  • A good description: Having a good, yet short, paragraph near the beginning of your content will help people who want to submit your article or share it in other social communities. It can also help when it comes time for someone to link to your content through a quote on their own article or site.
  • A share button: It is a good idea to provide your visitors with the option to share your content on their favorite social community. I would avoid having too many buttons on your site and just include the ones that your visitors are most likely to use. 

Successful social media link bait is not always easy to create, but these seven tips should get you on the right track to churning out high-quality, link-worthy content. Just remember: The results of even one successful campaign can make it all worthwhile.

Courtesy of IMediaConnection.

Search = Social Media

All of the search engines are rushing to incorporate more social media elements into their interfaces. Examples of this are evident in things like Google and Bing’s deals with Twitter and Facebook. You can see it in Yahoo’s new Twitter tab for news results. You can see it in Google’s Social Search lab. Really you can see it in everyday search results.

Do you consider a social presence an important element to your search campaign? Discuss here.

A lot of Internet users spend a great deal of their time socializing or using social media sites in one way or another, whether that is to connect with others or simply to obtain information. Information is a key component of social media that often takes a backseat to communication in discussion of social media tools.

The fact of the matter is that more and more people are getting more and more of their information from social sites. That could be in the form of following a news publication on Twitter, following company updates on a blog or a Facebook page, or something as simple as a friend sharing a link.

Given that people are getting more info from social media sites, of course search engines want a piece of that, because their whole reason for existence is naturally to help users find what they are looking for on the web.

So, it stands to reason that if you want people to find information that you are producing, it can help a great deal to publish information and participate in conversations on social media sites. Never mind that users of those particular sites will have access to it. The general public will as well by way of search, regardless of whether or not they are a part of any particular community.

In an interview with WebProNews, Vanessa Fox, who used to work for Google, talked about reasons that businesses should be thinking about social media with regards to search. It’s about visibility. If you are having discussions out there about relevant topics, they could appear in search results not only in real-time search, but further down the road as well.

In other words, if you have a conversation with a peer on Twitter about some topic related to your niche, there is a good chance the resulting tweets of that conversation could appear in search results for that topic on Google, even a year from now, if that tweet happens to be relevant enough. That’s just an example (note: it’s hard to say at this point, just how tweets will impact search once the Google-Twitter deal starts showing results).

There are a variety of ways in which a social campaign can contribute to your performance in search engines, regardless of what these recent deals might produce. Like Lee Odden of Top Rank Online Marketing recently discussed with WebProNews, you can optimize your social content.

The web went blog crazy a few years back. Marketers found out that blogs were great for achieving search engine visibility because of the content and links that can come from them. It’s not that different with social media now. The web has largely moved into a social media-heavy phase, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Search engines obviously know this and care about it.

As Fox says in her interview, it’s getting to the point where more businesses are starting to realize that they need to be involved with social media. However, surveys still frequently suggest that many are reluctant, and even if they do engage to some extent, they are still holding back, and not reaching the potential they could be.

You know search is important to marketing on the web. Really, it’s important to marketing, period. If you operate on the web or off, your customers are on still online, as Fox noted. Social media is growing increasingly important to search. And search is only one aspect of online marketing. There are many more benefits to social media than that.

How important is social media to search?  Let us know your thoughts!

Courtesy of WebProNews.

8 Ways to Ruin Your Social Media Strategy

So you’ve set up a company fan page on Facebook and you’re letting your employees fire off messages to the world via Twitter — or you’re at least thinking about it. Well, congratulations! You’re part of the social-media revolution, which can offer unparalleled access to word-of-mouth buzz among those you most want to reach: your customers, current and future.

Hold on, though. While social media might sound simple, there are as many ways to screw up in this new world as in the old. More, in fact, because technology and online norms are both new and rapidly evolving, often in ways that are particularly challenging to deal with in a corporate setting. Here are eight mistakes to avoid as you make your way in the buzzing cauldron of grass-roots chat.

Mistake 1: Pretend you can do without it.

You may have already run into the Graying Skeptics, executives who can’t understand why they should devote employee time and company resources to social media, and who dismiss Facebook and Twitter as fads that amount to little more than a waste of time and money.

Well, social media is here to stay, and the rocketing growth of some outlets makes it foolish to ignore them. Facebook, the largest, recently reached 300 million users worldwide — roughly the population of the United States. And the largest demographic is the 35 to 49 set that most businesses are eager to reach. So listen to Sebastian Gard of social marketing firm Context Optional when he says bluntly: “You’re going to have a social-media strategy whether you do it or not. It’s not up to you.”

Monthly unique visitors Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn
“You’re going to have a social-media strategy whether you do it or not. It’s not up to you,” says Sebastian Gard of social marketing firm Context Optional.

Mistake 2: Play down the costs.

Sure, Twitter accounts, Facebook fan pages and YouTube channels don’t cost a thing. But don’t think for a second that you can do your social-media effort on the cheap. Getting the most out of these tools requires time, attention and skill — none of which are free.

Over time, however, social media does save you some money, since you can use these outlets for efforts you might otherwise contract out to PR firms, ad agencies or market researchers. Don’t expect to replace them all. Instead, think of social media as a necessary and powerful complement to your existing outreach.

 

Mistake 3: Act like you own the conversation

Social media is a conversation, and conversations — more so than ads — require tact. “It all begins with listening,” says Paul Chaney, an Internet marketing director who bills himself as The Social Media Handyman. Just as you wouldn’t walk into a cocktail party and start bragging about yourself, Chaney says, you shouldn’t “just jump into the conversation” in social-media channels, either.

So if your customers are talking about your stores online, don’t just start blasting them with canned sale promotions — unless, of course, you want to lose customers. Instead, get a feel for the vibe of the conversation, then ease your way into it, for instance, by answering general user questions, even if they don’t pertain directly to your company or its brands. Let your social-media mavens become resources for these customer micro-communities. Once your folks have earned some trust, they’ll have the leeway to advance your business goals.

Dunkin’ Donuts did this well when it set up a social-media presence last year on Facebook and elsewhere. “We wanted to have conversations with our consumers, who were already having these conversations themselves,” says David Puner, a communications manager at the Canton, Mass.-based company. “Once we got out there, people found us.” A year later, one million people are fans of the official Dunkin’ Facebook page. The brand has its own YouTube channel, and its Twitter feed, @dunkindonuts — which Puner runs — has more than 35,000 followers.

Mistake 4: Fear empowering your employees

“A client once told me they were nervous about letting customer-service employees speak to the public through Twitter,” says David Griner, social-media strategist for Birmingham, Alabama-based ad agency Luckie & Co. “I asked, ‘Would you trust these people to talk to customers on the phone or face to face?’ Of course they would. The key is to think of social media more like a call center than a press release.”

The online shoe store Zappos, now part of Amazon, has a reputation for personalized customer service and communication — and social media played a big role. Dozens of employees maintain blogs on the company Web site; hundreds have Twitter accounts. It’s not just Web-only companies that offer such empowerment, Dell, IBM, Sun Microsystems and Southwest Airlines do as well. The common thread: All have corporate cultures that value transparent relationships with customers.

 

Mistake 5: Assume you have little to learn

 

Dell, however, joined the social media revolution the hard way. When Jeff Jarvis, a prominent media blogger, did a series of 2005 posts on his horrible customer-service experience with Dell — posts that came to be known as “Dell Hell” — the company suddenly realized how powerful, and damaging, the voice of the consumer could be. Spurred by the public relations disaster, CEO Michael Dell blessed an effort to work his company into its customers’ conversations. According to a case study on Dell in the book “Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies,” the listening effort helped Dell figure out, for instance, that it needed to better coordinate technical support and customer service to quickly resolve customer problems.

 

Mistake 6: Take negative feedback personally

 

Look, this is the Internet, where there are always going to be trolls and other nasty individuals who delight in saying unpleasant things about your company. Don’t let it bug you. On the other hand, don’t overlook the opportunity to address real concerns head-on.

Comcast began to repair its dismal customer-service reputation several years ago by using Twitter to reach out to complaining customers, offering to troubleshoot problems or sometimes offering refunds. Frank Eliason, the director of digital care, originally manned the account, @comcastcares; it’s now staffed by a small platoon of Comcast employees. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Comcast’s score is inching upward. “It’s still not where we would like to see it, but we are happy it is heading in the right direction,” Eliason says.

Mistake 7: Fret about return on investment

Solid return on investment in social media is tough to measure. You can, however, evaluate your outreach efforts the same way you might a PR or advertising campaign.

You can start by looking at simple tallies such as your number of Facebook fans and Twitter followers, or how often people visit your company’s blog. Other metrics, such as the number of blog comments and the number of times consumers shared a link to your content, can show how engaged users are with your brand.

That said, many companies still take the value of social media largely on faith. Context Optional’s Sebastian Gard, who until June was a social-media manager at Microsoft, admits, “The only way I can tell you it’s effective [at Microsoft] is that they continue to do more of it.”

 

Mistake 8: Underestimate the power of seemingly small efforts

Embracing social media isn’t about achieving specific goals so much as it is establishing a real bond with your customers. Rick Karp, president and “keeper of the karma” for the San Francisco-based Cole Hardware chain, recently announced via Twitter (@colehardware) that the company would exchange a particular water bottle suspected of chemical contamination — no questions asked. Within two weeks, consumers returned about 1,000 of the bottles. “We lost money, but we gained so much [for our brand] by virtue of our doing it,” he says. “I will do a lot to build our brand, regardless of whether it pays off immediately economically or not.”

Time spent per month on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and LinkedIn
“We wanted to have conversations with our consumers, who were already having these conversations themselves,” says David Puner, a communications manager at Dunkin’ Donuts.

Courtesy of BNET and CBS MoneyWatch.

Add Video & Audio Content to Raise Your Search Engine Rankings

Take a look at these amazing facts about YouTube…

• YouTube is the second largest search engine on the planet

• If YouTube were a country it would the 3rd largest in the world

• YouTube gets 1 billion views a day

• 20 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute

For a marketer, these statistics are hard to ignore.  What’s even more interesting is that although YouTube is certainly the largest online video website, it’s actually only one of dozens of popular sites including MetaCafe, Viddler, Vimeo and more.  Add to that social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace that also let you upload videos and you can see that video is more popular than ever.

Savvy marketers have picked up on this trend and are using video marketing to drive enormous amounts of traffic to their websites.  And more website traffic ultimately means more sales both online and offline. 

Why is video marketing so powerful?  According to some studies, people remember only 10% of what they read and 50% of what they hear and see.  Additional research shows people are 3-4 times more likely to respond to video than the written word.

As if that information weren’t enough, according to a users view study done by Kelsey Group, after viewing an online video: 55% of consumers visited the web site, 30% went to the store and 24% made a purchase.  Can your other marketing efforts boast those type of results?  Most can’t and don’t!

And here’s the icing on the cake…I’ve seen video listings show up on the first page of Google in as little as an hour.  That is truley amazing!

What can you use video for?
• Testimonials – Cick here for some great examples of effective video testimonials
• An introduction to your website or company – Click Here for good example of a video introducing a website
• To explain difficult subjects in a way that viewers can see for themselves
• The ability to better demonstrate complex problems and solutions
• To answer frequently asked questions in a more personalized manner

The best part is that if you want a way to dominate page one on search engines like Google, then video is one the best, fastest and most effective way to do so.  And guess what?  You can upload videos to most of these video websites for FREE!

But hold on you say, if it were that easy, why isn’t everyone doing it?  There are main 7 reasons:

1. Most business owners don’t know how powerful video can be.  Now that I’ve shared some of the facts with you, consider yourself informed.

2. Many marketers familiar with other types of marketing are unfamiliar with how to make an effective video – one that is compelling enough to get and keep a prospect’s attention.  An easy place to start is simply answering some of the most frequently asked questions your customers ask

3. No call to action – One of the most important things that gets left off most videos is the call to action.  What do you actually want your viewer to do.  Be sure to include words like call, click or visit.

4.  Not optimizing your video so it gets noticed by the search engines – this is where it becomes as much art as it is science.  This is where you want to engage the advice of an expert.  Extensive keyword research, competitive analysis and various other methods are key.  If you want to really dominate page one this is a critical step.

Each page on Google has room for about 10 search results.  I have been able to capture as many as 6 out of 10 spots on page 1 for my keywords time and time again.  It just stands to reason that I now have a 60% chance of being clicked on than if I only had 1 listing.  Now that’s page one domination!

5. Not having a video marketing strategy – You need to decide what you are trying accomplish before you start.  Are you trying to drive traffic, sell something, brand a product or service.  If you start with end result you want and work backwards, you’ll improve your results dramatically.

6. Sending video viewers to the wrong place -  You can do everything right to this point and then sabotage your efforts by sending viewers to the wrong place.  You must strategically prepare your website before sending traffic there.  In simple terms, if you are selling apples, don’t send them to the fruit stand page, send then directly to the “apples for sale page”.  In other words, don’t send viewers to your home page and make them search.

7. Not utilizing or including social media marketing websites in their your video marketing distribution.  Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, MySpace and other Web 2.0 websites are great places to show off your videos.  These sites are not just for teenagers.  Your customers are already there so you need to be there too.

Now that you understand the power of video marketing, it’s time to get started dominating page one!

Courtesy of David Carleton’s Wise Guy Marketing.

6 Ways to Boost SEO

seo-blocksWhat Do Search Engines Look For?
Search engines index content on the web with computer programs called “bots,” which move through websites by “crawling” from link to link. In order to provide the most useful search results, search engines assess pages in terms of:

  • Relevance: The relevance of content on a site depends on how closely it matches a search query. A site’s content is considered more relevant when the queried terms appear in the title or headings of the content and HTML tags.
  • Popularity: A website’s importance is measured by the number of times other sites link back to it. These are called backlinks, and when they come from a highly respected site, like the New York Times, for example, they carry more weight.

Six Ways to Boost SEO
There are lots of ways to improve how high your site ranks on major search engines, and we’ve highlighted six to get you started:

    1) Add Unique Content to Your Site
    Brainstorm keywords that your audience might use to find you. Anytime you add content to your site — blog posts, product descriptions, an “About Us” section, etc. — it should be rich with those keywords. Unique, quality content also gives other sites reasons to link to you, and building backlinks is part of the popularity factor search engines pay attention to.
    2) Place Keywords in Key Places
    Those same keywords should appear in your page titles, headings and subheadings (in terms of content and code). However, that doesn’t mean you should cram them anywhere you can. Use them where they’re relevant, and if they aren’t relevant in certain places, replace them with words that are.
    3) Create a Sitemap
    Sitemaps can improve SEO by displaying links to pages on your site that search engine bots might miss otherwise. Structure your site’s pages from broad to specific, and try to keep them no more than three clicks from the homepage. Google Webmaster Tools, available via your control panel, explains how to create sitemaps and submit them to Google.
    4) Add Links with Strong Anchor Text
    When linking to relevant sites, tell your readers where you’re sending them. The anchor text (the wording displayed in a hyperlink) should closely match the URL you are pointing to. For example, here are two ways to link to http://www.ipower.com/
    product/googlewebmastertools.bml:
    5) Submit Your Site to Search Engines
    Included free with your hosting plan, SubmitNet’s SEO tools allow you to submit your website to popular search engines. Gold and Platinum plans offer competitor analysis, meta tag generation, and more.
    6) Call the Professionals
    Check out the SEO solutions included in My Marketing Services. My Local Website Traffic helps raise your rankings in local search results through professional keyword analysis and strategic link building. My Website Traffic maximizes SEO results at the national level.

Search engine optimization takes time, but sticking with it will help establish a strong visitor base for your site, or expand your online business through increased sales.

Courtesyof IPOWER.com

Did Business Schools Create This Problem?

bigstockphoto_Horrified_Businessman_2799199Business schools have created the crisis we’re in, says Dr. Peggy Cunningham, the new director of the School of Business Administration at Dalhousie University, Canada, in an interview published in Monday’s Globe and Mail. Having left a tenured position at Queen’s University, Cunningham wants to restructure the Dalhousie business school program around a core concept of responsible leadership.

In a Q&A with reporter Gordon Pitts, Cunningham lays out the problems as she sees them, and offers a new vision for future business leaders. Here are some nuggets from their conversation:

Business school have created monsters.

Too much focus on individual success and competition between companies makes people forget that they’re part of a larger social system to which they are accountable. As Cunningham says:

Business schools have to take a very hard look at themselves to see the kind of people we are graduating and take our responsibility very much to heart in terms of the models we use to graduate these people.

Wanting to get rich is fine, but it’s not sustainable as a sole motivation.
‘Greed is good’ may have been Gordon Gekko’s motto in the hit movie “Wall Street”, but Cunningham says, “If what it takes to make one person rich is to make two-thirds of the rest of the world poor, I don’t think that’s a sustainable model.”

Turning out more public administration grads is not necessarily the answer.

Citing the eight-year lag between the entrenchment of the Internet and the first legislation to protect online privacy, Cunningham is skeptical about the government’s ability to take the lead in new technologies. “Even though I might be very critical of business, business is going to be the engine that drives new technologies that will make business itself more sustainable.”

MBA programs everywhere have begun an era of introspection. Last week, the Wharton School announced that the keynote speaker for MBA commencement will be Dr. Muhammad Yunus, founder and managing director of Bangladesh’s Grameen Bank and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. More and more, business school programs are eager to point out that entrepreneurship can be about more than merely making money.