Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Beginning another journey through online digital resources class. The first activity, researching the business resources, has been tough just getting started...but with may 1st here, I got going. From Karluk, Alaska where the internet works well, I completed Assignment #1:

Discovery Exercises

Bolded material is my feedback.
1) Go to the Business Search Interface. Click on Company Profiles. Find the Microsoft Corporation company report. Open the Datamonitor Report. Who is the Chief Financial Officer? What did he do before coming to Microsoft?
Peter Klein is the CFO; prior to coming to Microsoft, “Mr. Klein spent 13 years in corporate finance in the Seattle area, primarily in the communications and technology sectors. This included senior roles at McCaw Cellular Communications; Orca Bay Capital, a private equity firm; and several startups, including Homegrocer.com, where as the Vice President and Treasurer.” (Microsoft Corporation, Key Employee Biographies, from the Datamonitor, Business Search EBSCO Host)
2) Visit the Small Business Reference Center. Do a search for handicrafts or crafts. Where could a person sell their work online? In person? Are there any books or book chapters on starting a crafts business? Search using words from a small business owner you've worked with recently. Anything of value in the results?
Most of the articles were from the journal, American Craft, and looking up selling handicrafts, I found an article about Etsy, bringing handmade goods to the internet. Also, in a general search for Handicrafts, in Dec. 2011/Jan 2012 isue of American Craft, a listing of shows to see by state, was included. That article, “Shows to See” included this link to a local show:
“AK/Anchorage Anchorage Museum Earth, Fire and Fibre XXVIII to Jan. 8  anchoragemuseum.org
One of Alaska's longest-running juried exhibitions, adjudged this year by ReadyMade former editor-in-chief Andrew Wagner. The biennial showcases Alaska artists working in conventional mediums, and in skin, bone, and stone, too.”
I found no books listed, but did find information on the 2011 Export Market, and other markets about selling specific crafts.
I searched for Lazy M Leather a small Alaskan business and returned no results

3) Staying with the Small Business Reference Center, find at least one item using the browse by category. What did you find? Use the browse by popular resource to look at one or two books. What did you find and did they look helpful to you and your patrons?
I browsed Green Businesses and found over 1100 articles, books and reports, when I narrowed the search to only books, 3 results were returned, and each one was referring to a specific chapter from books about starting or maintaining businesses. I thought one, Chapter 20: Going Green. By: Cohen, Sharon L.. 199 Internet-Based Businesses You Can Start with Less Than One Thousand Dollars: Secrets, Techniques & Strategies Ordinary People Use Every Day to Make Millions, 2009, p246-249, 4p, 1 Black and White Photograph” would be useful to patrons looking to start up a new, green business.

4) Visit the Alaska Department of Law Consumer Protection Unit. What are TWO responsibilities that a landlord has toward a tenant? What are two examples of frauds and scams? Where can you file a consumer report?
Two responsibilities a landlord has toward a tenant are (from Article 03 Sec. 34.03.070 of Landlord Obligationism –“A landlord may not demand or receive prepaid rent or a security deposit, however denominated, in an amount or value in excess of two months' periodic rent” and “All money paid to the landlord by the tenant as prepaid rent or as a security deposit in a lease or rental agreement shall be promptly deposited by the landlord, wherever practicable, in a trust account in a bank, savings and loan association, or licensed escrow agent”
Two examples of frauds & scams are
fake check scams or pyramid schemes.
A consumer report can be filed
with the State’s Attorney General’s office
5) Visit Alaska Regional Information. Pick your community from the places menu. How many female workers are there in your community? Who is your top employer?  
In the Kodiak Borough there are 2884 female workers. The top employer is in the Fisheries/Canneries, called “Meat, Poultry, and Fish Cutters and Trimmers” (Trident Seafoods) which makes sense as the top four employers are canneries. The data needs to be “mined” to find more extensive information. For example, I wanted to know the number of female workers in the educational field, on the first chart, Occupations, teachers or librarians aren’t listed, but teacher’s assistants are, I looked further and realized I had to look in the Borough, not the city of Kodiak, as that's the school district's govt. agency. I found there were 130 females working as Elementary teachers and “Teachers and Instructors, All Other”, no librarians were listed (of the 3 that we have).
6) Visit the Alaska Small Business Development Center. What are the stages of the small business cycle? Where can you find a checklist for starting a small business?
Stages of a small business lifestyle are: Think, Launch, Grow, Reinvent, Exit.
I searched checklist in their search field, and it returned the checklist for starting a business, the link tells me it’s in a folder called tools (a drop down menu from the heading). I like this website because of its clean lines and ease in locating information. My husband just started a new business and he & I will be using this site as we are in the Launch stage!

7) Visit the Institute of Social and Economic Research. What are two publications done about broadband in Alaska in 2011? Has Small Scale Modular Nuclear Power been considered as an option for Alaska? Do any of the Institute's research areas seem relevant to you?
In 2011, two publications about broadband were two by Heather E. Hudson: ID: 1447 Rural Broadband: Opportunities for Alaska  by November 2011 and ID: 1310 Defining Universal Service Funds: Are they accelerators or anachronisms?
Small-scale modular nuclear power has been considered in a report from ISER, presented at a “Brown Bag” (in Anchorage I assume). It looks as though it might be cost-effective in Fairbanks and Anchorage in the long-term, if electricity costs soar.
The institute’s research areas are of interest to me. Their mission, “ISER enhances the well-being of Alaskans and others, through non-partisan research that helps people understand social and economic systems and supports informed public and private decision-making” is general enough that there are many areas I could use. For example, a digital edition of the Alaska Native Language map is now available for download, their work is connected to the Alaskool site, which I used extensively while teaching Alaska History. Trends in salmon industry, social science issues and more are found here. Good resource for current data and research trends.

8) Do you see a need for business information in your community? If so, what kinds? Do you think the resources here can make some or all of your community’s business information needs?
I see many business resources here that are of value to the businesses, educators, and students in Kodiak. Useful sites include the Alaska Small Business Development Center and the Small Business Reference Center would be useful to someone researching starting a business; UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research and Alaska Local & Regional information from the State are valuable for researching trends and learning more about one’s community. While it may not meet all of Kodiak’s business information needs, it surely fills a niche, and could be basis for in-depth research.


  1. Looks like you did a thorough exploration of the business resources. I'm glad to hear they may be of some use in Kodiak. For the most part the other lessons should go faster.

  2. Yes, it does seem quicker as I've finished #2 tonight in under 2 hours!