Finance

Online networking on the rise… ninemsn’s ads for mobiles… Car costs soar… The colour of safety… Businesswomen’s barriers…

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Networking? You only have to ask…

The latest in the current wave of online networking sites helps you to meet people by asking them questions. Wis.dm allows users to interact by posting and answering each other’s questions.

What kind of questions? Anything. It’s amazing the things people want answers to, from the innocuous (Do you dream in your sleep?) to the serious (Do you care what happens in the Middle East?) to the just plain bizarre (Would it be poor taste for cereal boxes to have collectable trading cards of serial killers as prizes inside?).

The rules of the site dictate that all questions must have a yes/no answer, although you can make a comment when you answer. Apart from that, the opportunities for question answering are essentially unlimited.

The payoff for the dedicated is a ranking page that lists the people who have received the most points, calculated on the number of questions posted, answers received and comments made. The current leader has 101,895 points from asking 791 questions, and has received 17,125 answers and 1679 comments. There are a lot of inquisitive people on the web.

Ninemsn launches ads for mobile phones

Ninemsn will deliver advertiser-funded content for mobile telephones through its new “mobilise” project by August, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Citibank is backing the service, which will feature content including film times, bars and restaurants, ninemsn’s popular messaging programs and content from magazines such as Cleo and Ralph. Ninemsn forecasts it will have two million regular users within two years

The cost of running a car soars

New figures show the cost of running a family car has jumped by up to 40% in five years, reports ABC news online.

Families spend almost a quarter of the average weekly wage on keeping their cars on the road, according to the NRMA’s 2007 Vehicle Running Costs report. It shows the cars with the biggest cost increases are sedans, including popular Australian brands. As a result many people are seeking smaller fuel-efficient cars.

What colour is your car?

Black cars are more likely to be involved in a crash, according to research linking road safety and vehicle colour.

The Vehicle Colour Study, conducted by Monash University Accident Research Centre (MUARC), confirmed the popular belief that white is the safest choice when it came to being visible and safe on the road.

Compared to white vehicles, black cars had a 12% higher crash risk, closely followed by grey cars with 11% higher risk. Silver vehicles were next, with 10%, then blue and red at 7%. While other car colours such as cream, yellow and beige ranked closely to white, no other colour ranked safer than white.

The MUARC research was supported by NRMA Motoring & Services and the RTA’s NSW Centre for Road Safety. Using on-road crash data, researchers analysed crashes between 1987 and 2004 that resulted in death or injury or a vehicle being towed away.

Barriers to women fulfilling their dreams

A Westpac-commissioned survey of 100 women business owners and financial decision makers nationwide with an annual turnover greater than $2.5 million found that 57% wanted to expand their businesses over the next two years.

Westpac’s head of women’s markets, Larke Riemer, told business lunch on Sydney yesterday that many lack the confidence to do it to expand their businesses.

Research firm TNS, which did the research, said that being passionate was not a vital reason among women who started a business.

Other key findings in the study:

  • The top three concerns of Australian businesswomen regarding expansion of their business are finding good staff (59%), sourcing sufficient resources/capital (37%) and insufficient time (15%).
  • 67% of women plan to use business cash flow as a means of accessing capital to finance business growth.
  • The growth services that Australian businesswomen want from their banks are business lending (55%), transactional products (28%), financial planning including superannuation and insurance (24%), equipment finance (23%) and investment loans (21%).
  • Westpac has launched a series of seminars and networking events to educate and support women owner and co-owners of businesses: Lead, Learn and Succeed

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