The Blogsmith


  • Farewell

    When I started this column back in 2006, blogs were thought of as this somewhat quirky tool that few businesses considered important. Fast-forward almost five years and blogs are now an integral part of many companies online marketing strategy. Many…
    03.11.11

  • Sustainable business blogs

    It has been more than three years since our last review of sustainable business blogs. In the blogosphere three years is an eternity, and as you can imagine a lot has changed. Sustainable business is an even hotter topic now than it was back in 2007,…
    01.18.11

  • Gift blogs

    With this column, I am doing something a bit different. The holiday season is fast approaching, which means it is that time of year when we express our appreciation to our customers. Sure you can just send a holiday card or box of candy, or you can d…
    11.11.10

  • Trade Show Blogs

    Given the fact that our industry's largest trade show, Labelexpo, just wrapped up its Americas show in Chicago, I thought it would be appropriate to focus on trade shows with this column. Many converters will be including trade shows in their marketi…
    10.11.10

  • Bar Code Blogs

    The humble bar code has come a long way since the first UPC code was introduced in 1974. Today bar codes are on virtually everything. It is impossible to buy a retail product or concert ticket, ship a package or board a plane without coming across a…
    08.27.10

  • Printing Industry Blogs

    It has been several years since I have done a review of printing industry blogs and a lot has changed in the meantime. None of the blogs I reviewed for the January 2007 issue are around any more, but most contributing writers are still adding to blog…
    07.14.10

  • Marketing Blogs

    It was the 20th Century business icon Peter Drucker who famously said, "Business has two (and only two) basic functions: marketing and innovation. All the rest are costs." As we survey the business landscape today we see that marketing has changed dr…
    05.07.10

  • Small Business Blogs

    The label converting industry is still very much dominated by small players. The owner has a variety of hats he or she has to wear every day. This column is dedicated to these people: small business owners who are putting their livelihood on the line…
    03.30.10

  • RSS Readers

    I was chatting with a fellow label converter the other day and the conversation turned to blogs. He mentioned that he is now reading several blogs on a regular basis. I told him that was great and then I asked him what RSS reader he uses. There was s…
    03.15.10

  • Personal Productivity Blogs

    With this first edition of Label & Narrow Web for 2010 we are focusing on productivity. Personal productivity has come a long way from the mundane time management techniques popular in previous decades. There is even a new term for it now: life hacki…
    01.15.10

  • Package Design Blogs

    Most label converters work closely with package designers. Some converters will have design capability in-house, but even for those who don't, working with designers is likely a big part of their day-to-day operation. An understanding and appreciatio…
    11.16.09

  • Twitter for Business Really?

    Unless you have been living in a cave this past year, you have no doubt heard about Twitter. But like many people, you probably believed it is not a serious business tool and certainly not something the average label converter needs to think about. R…
    10.07.09

  • Top 5 Label Converter Blogs

    When I started writing this column back in 2006 there were virtually no blogs by any label converters anywhere in the world (other than my own company blog). Today it is a different story. From my count there are well over a dozen blogs by label conv…
    09.03.09

  • Human Resources Blogs

    This past year has brought a seemingly never-ending stream of bad business news. Most industries have been affected with millions of jobs lost, pay freezes or cuts and benefits slashed as businesses try to weather the economic storm. The department m…
    07.07.09

  • Accounting blogs

    I was chatting with my accountant the other day and he mentioned something that surprised me. He said he works with over 100 small business owners and around 95 percent of them have little interest in or understanding of accounting practices. Most of…
    05.08.09

  • Branding blogs

    Branding is something that we are all exposed to hundreds of times every day. But few of us think about it, unaware of how much branding impacts our buying behavior. As label converters, we are direct contributors to the power of branding, since the…
    03.31.09

  • Food blogs

    No, we are not discussing cooking blogs with this column, but rather the business of food. A significant percentage of the labels printed by converters every day end up on some kind of food product. But food labels have unique requirements that are i…
    03.09.09

  • Blogging India

    While their neighbor to the northeast, China, is a very challenging country to understand for westerners (both the culture and language), India is less challenging at least from a language perspective, due to their 19th Century colonization by the Br…
    01.14.09

  • Social media blogs

    Social Media. You have probably read about it, but what is it really? Wikipedia's definition is the best I have seen: Social media is really just a set of online tools that help people share and discuss information. Social media is really starting to…
    11.13.08

  • Blogging China

    You can't read a business magazine today without reading about China. Having staged a successful Olympic Games and endured a devastating earthquake, China has been in the news a lot this year. With the world's largest population and the second larges…
    10.08.08