Strategies for Improving Workplace Behavior and Performance

From Leadership Expert Dr. Diane Hamilton

Curiosity: The Inspiration for Innovation, Resilience, and Sustainability

In an age of distraction, with market volatility, and constant uncertainty, organizations face challenges to their ability to maintain a resilient workforce. Issues that impact sustainability in innovation include the environment, society, and economics. In constantly changing times, taking the ground most traveled and embracing the status quo is no longer a viable option. Truly resilient organizations must embrace robust transformation. Lengnick-Hall described organizational resilience as, “the capacity to act robustly in the face of environmental turbulence and to adapt to the ongoing environmental changes.” Organizations must look to ideas never considered when developing innovation that is resilient and sustainable.   That is where curiosity can play an important role.

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What Holds Us Back? 4 Things Holding Our Curiosity Hostage

We are often told to follow our passion.  Even if we determine our passion, some things hold us back from pursuing our natural sense of curiosity.  Curiosity has been called a sort of mental itch.  There are surprisingly few studies about curiosity because it is difficult to study.  Some people are more naturally curious than others. It can be important to have curiosity hardwired into us because it helps us grow and develop.  There are factors like stress, aging, drugs, genetics, etc. that could impact our level of curiosity.  Outside of medical issues or lack of financial capabilities, I have found four major things that hold people’s curiosity hostage including fear, the way things have always been done, parental/family/peer influence, and technology.

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Entrepreneur Startup Terminology

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Entrepreneurs have created their own vocabulary.  The Wall Street Journal recently posted some important terms that every startup professional should know: Continue reading “Entrepreneur Startup Terminology”

Professors’ Media Choices in Online Classes

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There is limited research regarding the use of social media or other types of media in online courses. In 2013, I surveyed 110 adjunct professors from a Linkedin group to determine if they added media (including social media) to already developed curriculum. Due to the prevalence of online classes, it might help curriculum designers to determine media preferences. This type of study may also demonstrate the flexibility of online courses, the perception of content requirements in online courses, and professors’ best practices.

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Entrepreneurs and Celebrities Use Kickstarter for Funding

 

Kickstarter has been a successful crowdfunding option for potential entrepreneurs to garner cash.  However it has not been without some issues.  According to The Wall Street Journal article The Trouble With Kickstarter, “The only thing worse than having to watch your friend’s arty movie is having to pay for it too.” Aside from the problems associated with pestering friends to donate, there have been some successful ventures thanks to this site.  The following list contains some of names of celebrities who have used the site:

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Millennial Student Entitlement Issues

 

The word Millennials is used to describe adults born between the years of 1980 and 2000.  They are also known as Generation Y.  Jean Twenge, author of Generation Me explained Millennials tend to be more self-focused and may expect to receive a lot of recognition. Sixty Minutes aired an interesting story titled The Millennials are Coming.  In this show, they explained how this younger generation expects good things and expects them with little effort. I have noticed that this sense of entitlement has carried into the online classroom setting.

Most of my students are very respectful. They follow directions.  They ask questions with the proper tone.  However, there are a few that are more demanding.  Although I have not formally studied the age group of the students who demonstrate issues with entitlement, I have noticed that my older Baby Boomer students seem to demonstrate more respect.

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Facebook Better for Following Blogs than RSS

 

Facebook has made it so much easier to follow just about anything.  RSS feeds and Twitter are still an option for many people. However, with Facebook, once someone “likes” a page, it shows up in their feed on their homepage whenever anything from that page is updated.  Unlike Twitter and RSS feeds, on Facebook, it is easier to see pictures and information.

It is simple to create a Facebook page that includes links to blogs like this one.  What I think is great about a Facebook page is that I can incorporate links to this blog, to my other blogs, and any other sites.  It is an all-in-one spot to access information. To see my Facebook page, click here.

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Changing the Way Students Perform Online Research

 

Google and other search engines have changed the way people locate information.  The problem is that online students think of Google as a proper tool to use to perform research for assignments.  Google Scholar may provide access to some scholarly research.  However, most online schools prefer that students use the school’s library search feature.  It is important that students consider the reliability of the type of content that is available on traditional websites.

Pew reported that the majority of students are not able to recognize bias in online content.  This has become frustrating for professors because these skills should be taught in first-year college courses.  Turnitin’s white paper titled What’s Wrong with Wikipedia, reported that in over 37 million papers submitted by students, there were 156 million matches to content found from the Internet.  This means that students use sites like Google Books, May Clinic, Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia, etc.  These are unacceptable sources to use for college-level courses.

According to Turnitin’s research, the following problems exist with student’s research behavior:

  • Problem: Students value immediacy over quality – Students use sites like Wikipedia to find quick answers.  Wikipedia may offer some valuable resources at the bottom of their site to support the content. Solution:  These sources are usually available through the school’s library search feature.  Schools’ search engines are quite easy to use. They access some of the best material available for free.  Students can easily mark a box for peer-reviewed studies.  This will ensure that their research contains quality information.
  • Problem:  Students often use cheat sites – Students may find sites that offer to write their papers for a fee.  Most of these papers are captured within Turnitin’s plagiarism detecting software. Therefore when students buy the paper and submit as their own, the software will detect it as plagiarized.  Solution:  The time it takes to find and buy a paper on the Internet could have been used to simply write an original paper.  Nothing is gained from submitted plagiarized work.  Students risk getting expelled.  Most assignments are not that long or difficult.  The point of writing them is to gain knowledge.  Students who attend school just to obtain a piece of paper will not be prepared for the working world.  They will spend money on a degree that will not help them if they have not learned the information.
  • Problem:  Research is not synonymous with search – Students may put a lot of faith in the information found on the Internet.  Just because a site allows people to ask and answer questions, does not mean that the answers are correct. Searching for answers on the Internet does not mean that the answers are based on actual research.  Solution:  Using peer-reviewed sources that are available through the school’s library ensures that the information in the article has been reviewed by the author’s peers.  These studies are actual research.

There are times when assignments allow for students to use websites like Apple.com, or other corporate or news sites.  If this is allowed by the instructor, students must be able to recognize if the site is highly regarded. An example might be The New York Times.  If students are in doubt, they should direct questions to their instructor for guidance.

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Advantages of Peer Interaction in Online Learning

One of the most important ways students learn in online courses is through peer-to-peer interaction.  In my experience with traditional classrooms, there were far more lectures and much student involvement.  The professors spoke “at us” in traditional courses. In online courses, there is more of a group discussion. Students receive the professor’s perspective as well as viewpoints from every student in the course.  In my opinion, this makes for a much more interesting and interactive classroom.

Not all students are fans of lecture-based learning.  MOOCs may experience high dropout rates due to their lecture-based format. According to the article MOOCs: Will Online Courses Help More Students Stay in School, “Critics of MOOCs are quick to point out their low completion rates (fewer than 7% of students complete the courses on average). They also note that the courses take the ineffective lecture format and make it the primary mode of learning.”

The types of online courses I have taught rely very little, if at all, on lectures.  The courses include more peer interaction and written assignments. The peer interaction revolves around discussion questions.  There are usually at least two discussion topics posted each week.  Students must respond to the initial question and respond to their peers’ postings as well.  This requires students to address the question, discover other students’ perspectives, and develop critical thinking skills.

Students’ responses to their peers must include substantive comments and well-constructed follow-up questions.  These questions often develop the conversation and create a dialogue.  Every student can see these discussions.  Every student can interject their comments.  It creates a pool of information that would not be provided to students in a lecture hall.  It allows for much more depth to the exploration of the topic.

In a traditional course, the professor may give their insight and opinions about a topic.  In an online course, this is possible as well. What is different is the amount of interaction required by the students.  Granted, things may have changed since I took traditional courses in the 80’s.  However, based on what I read and what I hear from my students, traditional college courses have not changed that much.  I believe that is why there is such an interest in MOOCs.  They add a new dimension that traditional courses have lacked.  However, MOOCs may not provide the peer interaction is the same way that regular online classes can.  The reason for this is due to the number of students in class.  MOOCs are massive.  Most online courses I teach include fewer than 20 students. When there are too many students, the discussions become overwhelming and no one takes the time to read all of the postings.

The best part of peer interaction is that students can learn from everyone’s experiences. Many online students have had decades of experience. This provides a wealth of knowledge that may be added to the professor’s perspective.  This allows everyone, including the professor, to garner important insight.

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Hiring Graduates Based on Personality Skills

HR professionals within organizations have given personality assessments to potential employees for many years. I was asked to take a personality assessment for a pharmaceutical sales job in 1987.  The changes I have noticed since that time include the type and frequency of personality tests given.  What also may be trending is the fact that leaders of schools have become more interested in personality assessments. In the Wall Street Journal article Business Schools Know How You Think, but How Do You Feel, author Melissa Korn explained, “Prospective MBA students need to shine by showing emotional traits like empathy, motivation, resilience, and dozens of others.”  Schools may be interested in these traits because organizations value these traits.  Korn also explained, “Measuring EQ-or emotional intelligence quotient-is the latest attempt by business schools to identify future stars.”

I find this trend to be particularly interesting because I teach business, I am a qualified Myers Briggs instructor, a certified EQ-i instructor, and I wrote my dissertation on the relationship between emotional intelligence and sales performance.  I have also witnessed that online schools have placed more importance on personality assessments. Many of my first-year students must take a Jung-like personality test.  Many of my undergraduate and graduate business students have to assess their EQ.

I think it is important for these personality preference and emotional intelligence issues to be addressed in online courses.  Some of the things that may hurt a graduate’s chance of obtaining is job include having poor self-assessment skills, poor interpersonal skills, and a lack of concern for how they are perceived by others.

When I was in pharmaceutical sales, they rated us each year on our concern for impact.  It was such an important part of what they believed made us successful in the field, that there were consequences to poor judgment and rude behavior.  In the book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, there is a chapter regarding concern for impact, as well as one for Myers Briggs MBTI, Emotional Intelligence, DISC, and many other personality assessments that may help young adults in the workplace. One of the universities for which I teach requires students to read this book in a foresight course.

It is important for online students to learn about these assessments because employers use them.  Some personality traits stay with us throughout our lives.  The MBTI is an example of an assessment that determines preferences that may not change.  This assessment may be helpful to students who are not sure about career paths.  Other assessments like the EQ-i determine emotional intelligence levels.  The good news about emotional intelligence is that it may be improved. Marcia Hughes has written several books about how to improve EQ in the workplace.  The savvy online students will work on developing their EQ and understanding personality preferences before they graduate.  By being proactive, students may have a better chance of being successful in a career that matches their personality preferences.

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Use of Media and Copyright Issues in Online Courses

Some students like to present papers with a bit of pizzazz. Many may add pictures or charts they have found on the Internet.  Unfortunately many of the things they try to incorporate into their work may create a copyright violation.  The good news is that there are sites where students can find media to share that is not protected.

The Creative Commons site is a good place to go to find content. According to their site, “If you’re looking for content that you can freely and legally use, there is a giant pool of CC-licensed creativity available to you. There are hundreds of millions of works — from songs and videos to scientific and academic material — available to the public for free and legal use under the terms of our copyright licenses, with more being contributed every day.”

Some famous sites like Google, Flickr, and Wikipedia use Creative Commons to access media. Wikipedia’s Public Domain Image Resources page also provides some great links to media that is not copyright-protected.  This site provides general as well as government resources.

Some students incorporate images they have found using the insert clipart function in Word. According to the Microsoft site, “The Clip Art and Media gallery provides a compilation of artwork. See the use terms for the description of permitted uses. If those terms do not meet your needs, our Clip Art partners at Office Online provide a variety of images you can license directly. Sample Art may be used for personal use only. You may not sell, lease, or distribute Sample Art, or any materials you create that use Sample images, for any commercial purposes.”

If students submit a Word document that has clip art obtained from Word, they may have questions about how to cite it in APA.  According to Owl Purdue’s site it is, “unnecessary to provide citation on a document presented via the Microsoft program for stock images that a specific to that software package.”

It may be difficult to find free clip art simply by searching for it on Google. Many sites that come up offer some free clip art that is usually not that great.  The better clip art usually requires a fee.  I am often contacted by people about the clipart used for my online education blog.  I have used a couple of sources that charge a fee, including Shutterstock and iStockPhoto.  The really good pictures like these usually require a fee.

When students insert pictures that are copyright protected, professors should explain this to them.  There are many students who assume they can copy and paste just about anything from the Internet into their assignments. Students may benefit from reading:  How to Avoid Copyright Infringement and Copyright Fair Use and How it Works for Online Images.

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The PayPal Mafia: What is a Serial Entrepreneur?

The PayPal Mafia refers to a group of individuals who created multiple companies that created a frenzy of growth in the Silicon Valley.  The entrepreneurs created PayPal before they set out to develop other multiple successful technology-based companies.  These men are serial entrepreneurs or individuals who, “continuously come up with new ideas and starts new businesses. As opposed to a typical entrepreneur, who will often come up with an idea, start the company, and then see it through and play an important role in the day to day functioning of the new company, a serial entrepreneur will often come up with the idea and get things started, but then give responsibility to someone else and move on to a new idea and a new venture.”

To learn more about some of the individuals associated with the PayPal Mafia check out the following members and how their initial success led to other serial successes:

For a more complete list of the PayPal Mafia members and their accomplishments, click here.

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Creative Disruption or Destruction?

Leaders often have to deal with the effects of creative disruption. According to CreativeDisruption.net, “Creative disruption intentionally brings the challenge or change right to the organization to force it to change and adapt in advance of a random, unpredictable challenge that will eventually reach the organization.” With the creation of innovation, there may be fallout in terms of lost jobs.  However, with loss, there may also be creation of new jobs.  A computer may replace work that was done manually.  At the same time, someone must run the computer.

Creative disruption may be necessary in order to remain competitive. If the competition embraces innovation, they may gain a foothold in the market.  The key is being able to recognize the type of innovation that will allow companies to grow.

Some ideas have actually led to the demise of companies.  An example is the invention of digital images and its impact on Kodak.  The invention of digital images occurred in a lab at Kodak.  This invention not only changed the industry but caused the eventual demise of the company.  Kodak tried to embrace changes, but lacked foresight.   Companies like Kodak may need to embrace new business models when faced with innovative changes.

According to the article Big Data and the Creative Destruction of Today’s Business Model, having a grasp on the importance of managing and understanding data is critical.  “Companies are increasingly experimenting with and implementing ways to capture big data’s potential for both short- and long-term advantage. The crucial success factors are to first think of data as an asset—as the foundation upon which to build propositions and business models—and then to diligently build out the capabilities necessary to capitalize on big data’s potential. And perhaps most importantly, embrace the creative destruction of today’s business models.”

Uber is Uber Cool

Uber is an app (iPhone and Android) that allows you to request a black Towncar or SUV rather than a typical cab in the U.S. and Canada.  When you use the app, it finds your location and allows you to order an “Uber”.  You can see all of the black cars in your area on a map.  You can simply pick the closest driver and the system will send you an alert on your cellphone to let you know the car is on its way.  The service alert includes your driver’s name and his cell phone.  You can even watch the vehicle coming toward your location on the map.

I spoke to a frequent user of Uber who told me that it normally takes about 5-10 minutes for the vehicle to arrive.  The driver opens the car door for you.  They usually have bottles of water, candy, gum, and other handy items. The price is a little more than a standard cab.  However, she felt that the few dollar difference was well worth it.

When you reach your final destination, you do not have to worry about having cash, tipping, or even dealing with negotiations.  Since your information is stored in the app, the receipt is simply sent to your email. They ask you to rate the drivers so that they can be sure they have excellent service.  I was told that drivers need to maintain a 4.7 out of 5 star rating in order to continue driving for the company.

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How to Use iPhone to Connect Computer to the Internet

If you are like me, you may want to use your laptop when you travel.  One way to gain access to the Internet is by using an iPhone’s Personal Hotspot feature.  The cellular data connection on the phone will allow you to connect your laptop or desktop to the Internet.

To use this feature, go to the settings on the iPhone (3GS version or later) and chose general and then choose Personal Hotspot. Turn the Personal Hotspot to the “on” position.  The Wi-Fi password will be listed on the iPhone under the Personal Hotspot area next to Wi-Fi password.  The wireless connection should now be listed as a choice on the laptop or desktop computer.  To connect to the iPhone, go to the Internet Access area on the computer and select the iPhone connection option. Then enter that password listed on the iPhone when requested.

When the personal hotspot is turned on it may incur charges so it is important to turn it off when not using it for temporary access.  The Apple support website states that the Wi-Fi hotspot will turn off when no devices are detected, but I was told by a Verizon employee that there may be charges.  I was also told that the phone could not be used when in personal hotspot mode.

According to the Apple Support site, “While devices are connected to Personal Hotspot, the status bar will be blue and will indicate the number of connected users.  The maximum number of supported connections may vary depending on your carrier or iPhone model.”

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Are QR Codes Successful?

 

I am currently reviewing a text about marketing.  Schools hire me to do this on occasion.  One thing that disappointed me was there was nothing in it about QR codes and some of the other newest marketing techniques. QR codes have been around for a while. If you have not noticed them, they are the little barcode-looking square that appears on newspapers billboards, flyers, and even cars.

While QR codes offer some great marketing opportunities, they have not been as successful as other techniques.  In the article QR Codes are Dead! Long Live QR Codes, the author stated, “One of the most popular Tumblr blogs of 2012 is Pictures of People Scanning QR Codes. If you click through to the site you will see that it is empty. The joke here? No one scans QR codes (short for Quick Response code). It is obvious that QR codes have a bad rep and haven’t gained much traction on the consumer end of the equation.”

QR codes have been utilized well by some companies.  I am currently reading the book Neuromarketology by Brian Fabiano.  He is a marketing guru who was wise enough to put a QR code at the end of each of his chapters with the note, “scan to learn more!” Other examples of successful QR code use include:

For more information about how to use QR codes, check out the following articles:

Entrepreneurs Replacing People with Tablets

 

One of the hardest parts of getting a new business off of the ground is to have enough funding.  Many entrepreneurs use family members as personnel in order to avoid paying wages.  It may be quite expensive to hire people to take orders or process requests.  The Wall Street Journal article Can the Tablet Please Take Your Order Now included some examples of how some small businesses have begun to use tablets instead of people in the customer-ordering process.

If customers can order through a digital device, it may not only be cheaper but faster.  There are app-building tools that entrepreneurs can use to create a way for customers to input their orders.  Some companies have used QR codes to speed up the order process. Using apps is another logical alternative. With talk of increasing the minimum wage, some small businesses are looking for ways to remain profitable.  If tablets become a popular way to order, it may impact many minimum-wage workers.  “In all, one-third of low-wage workers are employed by businesses with fewer than 100 employees, according to the National employment Law Project, an organized-labor-backed advocacy group for low-wage workers.”

Not only may entrepreneurs experience some cost savings by utilizing tablets and apps, there may be some other entrepreneurial opportunities for the app designers.  According to the Wall Street Journal article, “Some entrepreneurs see a promising market in selling technologies to small businesses that might help them to streamline operations.”  While this may cost some minimum wage-earners jobs, it may also be opportunities to train them for higher-skilled positions.

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Linkedin Endorsements Poorly Utilized

 

Linkedin has provided an opportunity for networkers to endorse the skills of people with whom they are connected.  This was meant to be a time saver for people who normally wrote full recommendations. The idea had promise.  However, it is not being utilized well.  When users sign onto their Linkedin profile, they are given a list of people in their network and asked if they want to endorse them for a particular skill. There is the option of being able to endorse all of the people that pop up as choices.  The problem is, many people are doing that.  People may receive many endorsements from people who have not witnessed some of the skills they have endorsed.  At that point, the Linkedin endorsements become meaningless.

It is far too easy to choose the option of endorsing people as it is currently configured.  If the point was to make recommendations easier, it is understandable that there should be some way to do that.  However, if everyone is endorsing everyone for everything, there is no value to the endorsement.

To find out more about Linkedin’s Endorsements check out the following articles

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Have You Been Retargeted?

 

If you have ever shopped online for an item and then later noticed an ad for that exact item on another page, you have been retargeted.  It may cause some problems for people who are trying to surprise others with something special. Consider the scenario of the man who has searched for engagement rings. If his future fiancé should suddenly have ads for rings show up all over their shared computer screen, the jig may be up!

To see what it is like to be retargeted, try going to the site:  GreatCall.  Once you are on that site, you will notice they sell a phone service.  You might then decide to go to a site like Dictionary.com.  Once you get to the dictionary site, you might notice that suddenly there is an ad for GreatCall.

Now take a look at the top right corner of that ad. There is a little sideways triangle that you can click that explains AdSense.  “The AdChoices symbol appears on web pages and ads to let you know when information about your interests or demographics may have been collected or used to show you ads – what’s known as interest-based advertising. You can opt out of interest-based ads, as well interest-based advertising from other participating companies by visiting the aboutads.info choices page.” Click on the following link to find out how to manage your ad preferences.

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Successful Virtual Teams

 

Teams may not necessarily occupy the same building or location.  This may create some unique challenges.  When I trained teams within organizations to be effective, we dealt with personality preferences.  Team members would take the Myers Briggs MBTI to determine their type.  Team members were more effective if they understood why people acted the way they did.

In virtual teams, it is still critical to understand people’s preferences.  However, there are some unique challenges.  Leaders may deal with loosely described job descriptions.  Members of a team may share similar roles.  If team members are in other countries, cultural differences may impact the speed at which decisions may be made.

Trust and communication are still critical.  However, influence may become affected.  According to the Forbes article The Four Keys to Success within Virtual Teams, “The upshot of all this is that managers with geographically scattered teams need a much broader skill set than those with traditional, co-located teams. More than that, they need the ability to switch between skill sets, based on the diversity of their team members and the distance between them. Welcome to a new virtual world of business.”

According to Virtual Team Builders, “80% of corporate managers work virtually at least part of the time; 40% of virtual team members believe their groups are underperforming; 1 in 3 executives agree that teams are poorly managed; 56% of poorly managed virtual teams experience misunderstandings as a result of cultural and language differences; and 70% of attendees multitask during meetings.”

For more information about virtual teams, check out the following articles:

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Top Business and Career Trends for 2013

 

Potential entrepreneurs often look for the next big idea.  With changing technology, it is important to have foresight.  It is not always necessary to be the first company to offer a product or idea.  Facebook is an excellent example of this. Sometimes an idea can be improved upon or tweaked.

Once an entrepreneur comes up with an idea, they must create a feasibility study.  After creating a viable plan, there are some unique ways entrepreneurs may obtain financing.  Crowdfunding and microlending are just one of the latest trends.  Check out the Top 7 Ways for Entrepreneurs to Obtain Funding.

Some experts have tried to predict the next big areas for innovation. There are even sites like Trendhunter that offer trend reports to help with predictions. For those interested in getting ahead of the game, check out some of the top articles on business and career trends for 2013:

  1. Top 4 Career Trends for 2013
  2. Consumer Trends for 2013
  3. Top HR Trends for 2013
  4. 2013 Trend Customers Will Be In Your Face
  5. Mobile Payments Trends for 2013
  6. Mobile Trends 2013
  7. 2013 Trends Affecting Businesses
  8. Biggest Trends in Business 2013
  9. Lean Start-Ups and Connected Economy Trends 2013
  10. 5 Business Trends to Ignore in 2013

The last article is an interesting one, because sometimes people look at trends as positive things.  That may not always be true.  An important point was made in that article.  Bringing value to customers should be a primary goal.

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Reverse Image Search with Google

 

There is a unique way to look for meanings behind pictures on the Internet.  By simply uploading an image into Images.google.com, the search engine can provide a list of places where that image was obtained.  There are several other ways to find out more about images if you don’t want to upload the file.  You can drag and drop an image into the search box, you can copy and paste the URL of an image and then click the camera icon on the Google images search line, or you can download the Chrome or Firefox extension and right-click an image to search for that image.

Think about going on a vacation, taking a picture and then uploading that image to find out more about the image.  That is one of the things that this site claims can be accomplished. When I put in my Gravitar image, it worked well. However, I uploaded several vacation pictures to see what it would display.  It did not give accurate information.

 

How Businesses can Maximize Online Presence

 

While business leaders may constantly hear they need to maximize their online presence on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites, there may be more that they could do to succeed.  Just having a Facebook or Twitter page is not enough. These sites need to be managed and constantly promoted.

Technology entrepreneur Alex Zhardanovsky was recently interviewed by Fox News about ways businesses can improve their online presence. He explained that Facebook can be used like a newsletter.  He stated, “The nice thing about Facebook is that if you spend money building a Facebook page, you have an audience that does not go away.” This gives businesses an advantage of the old style of having people click on a link and then closing a page where they may never return again.

Facebook allows for more of a conversation where businesses can reach customers on a consistent basis.  The best part is it is a free way to build a relationship with people that may later become paying customers. Facebook Fan pages are a very important thing for business to create.  Businesses can post interesting content so that people will want to interact on that page.  Facebook also allows companies to target specific demographics.

Zhardanovsky recommends using a company called AlphaBoost to help companies build better advertising.  This site allows potential advertisers see how the competition’s ads are performing.  They can see the likes, clicks and views of the competition’s ad. The thought process is that if the business is similar, they will receive a similar reaction to a comparable ad.  He explained that once companies get the “likes” from posting a similar ad, then that is when they can differentiate their business from the competition.

To hear more tips about Twitter and other social media platforms, check out the video interview by clicking here:  Small Biz Tips from Top Tech Entrepreneur

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Entrepreneurs Finding Unique Ways to Create Business Plans

 

Entrepreneurs are faced with many challenges when creating a new business.  One of those challenges is to create a feasibility study and business plan.  Entrepreneur.com had a very interesting article about how businesses could utilize some unique ways to help create a business plan.  In the article Should You Create Your Business Plan on Pinterest, author Tim Berry created a sample Pinterest business plan based on a bicycle shop business.  He used charts created by LivePlan.

Berry admits, “The images don’t really tie together, but if this were an actual business plan, they would.”  The point is to show that a plan could be created with the help of a site like Pinterest. He explained, “The complete plan should be a collection of interrelated modules that lay out the goals of the business, the steps to achieve those goals, specific tasks and responsibilities, important milestones and dates, and basic metrics, including projected sales, costs, expenses, profits and cash flow. The business plan’s function is to help entrepreneurs manage better, optimize resources and steer the business into the future. Its form is supposed to follow function, so if you’re looking for a collection of visual images that summarize the plan, Pinterest is a perfectly reasonable platform to use.”

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Texting Offers Latest Marketing Opportunity

As mobile phones have taken over the way people communicate, it is a natural progression for texting to become a marketing opportunity.  In the Wall Street Journal article Teen Stores Try Texts as Gr8 Nu Way to Reach Out, author Christina Binkley explained, “Like many parents who have turned to texting to reach their teens, some youth-oriented fashion brands like Charlotte Russe, Claire’s Boutique and Vans are finding that young people are most accessible by text.”

Texting now can include more rich content, pictures and video.  Marketers can send shopping passes, discounts, and offers.  Rather than merely being a vehicle for chat, texting now offers a way to get customers to opt in and avoid illegal lists or spam.  Customers can selectively pick who they would like to receive offers from, which leads to a higher chance of the sales message being received.  The article stated, “People are five times more likely to open a text than an email.  Five billion people text on mobile phones, while about two billion people use the Internet.”

This new form of communication has increased the speed of receiving offers and acting upon them.  There is immediacy due to the ability to send messages that state things like “get 10% off if purchased within the next 3 hours.”

One of the hardest parts is to get people to opt in to receive the texts.  Retails often post signs to ask customers to opt in by texting short codes.  For more information, check out Top Links Explaining SMS and Short Codes.

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The Ethics of Google

“Don’t Be Evil” is Google’s informal corporate slogan. The founders of Google claimed that this motto explained their culture that “prohibited conflicts of interest, and required objectivity and an absence of bias.” According to Google’s code of conduct page this slogan is, “about providing our users unbiased access to information, focusing on their needs and giving them the best products and services that we can. But it’s also about doing the right thing more generally – following the law, acting honorably and treating each other with respect.”

Can Google do business in an ethical manner if they allow for people to search for unethical content? Laws may decide what is legal, but who decides what is unethical or evil?

Every day someone searches for how to do something illegal and/or unethical through utilizing Google’s search engine. How much content should Google censor?  The following articles address Google censorship issues:

U.S. News reported, “The company is based in the United States, and thus must comply with U.S. laws. As a part of its policy, Google already censors things like child pornography, and complies with copyright infringement requests (a heavy volume of which come from videos uploaded on YouTube). Yet because services such as YouTube and Blogger are popular around the world, the company must decide to what extent it will remove content deemed illegal or offensive to foreign governments.”

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Marketers Use Retina-Tracking and Facial-Scanning Devices

 

The latest technological advances have allowed for marketers to perform experiments that used to be the things only considered in science fiction.   Shoppers may soon have their retinas and facial expressions scanned to determine their product preferences.  Although these scans are not available on the grocery store shelf, they have been used in product research.

The Wall Street Journal reported, “Kimberly-Clark’s researchers used computer screens outfitted with retina-tracking cameras when testing the newest packaging for its Viva paper towels in 2009. Their goal was to find which designs got noticed in the first 10 seconds a shopper looked at a shelf—a crucial window when products are recognized and placed in the shopping cart. They also wanted to know if the preferences held up on different count packages, from single rolls to multipacks.”

Researchers have found that they may obtain more accurate data this way than through the use of traditional surveys.  The retina-tracking devices are useful because the human eye can detect information very quickly.  It’s not just our eyes that can give marketers important information.  Some companies have used brain scans to determine product preferences.  Now with facial recognition software, even more customer data can be compiled as companies can “track involuntary facial expressions to gauge true emotional reaction.”

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10 Top Links to Explain Social CRM

 

Organizations use technology to keep track of customers’ information.  The hope is to build relationships with current and potential customers.  This is referred to as customer relationship management or CRM.  Social media has changed the way companies handle customer relationships.  The following is a compilation of some of the top sources that I have found regarding how social media has impacted CRM:

  1. How Social Media CRM Affects ROI
  2. Don’t Cold Call – Social Call
  3. Facebook is the Future of CRM
  4. Search Engine Marketing:  Effects on CRM and Online Exposure
  5. How Social Media is Changing CRM
  6. Connection Between Social Networks and Cloud Computing
  7. The Impact of Social Media on CRM
  8. Social Network Management Enhances Customer Relationship
  9. How QR Codes Affect Cloud CRM
  10. Empirical Study of Social Network Effects on CRM

As social networking changes and grows, organizations must keep up with those changes in order to remain competitive.  The company that does not create a Facebook page or is not on Twitter, may lose out to companies that have taken advantage of these sites.  There are unique ways to utilize these social networks.  British Airways uses online surveys for customer satisfaction.  Burberry launched a fragrance with Facebook, Salesforce.com and Twitter.

To find out more about social networking and CRM, check out a video by Salesforce.com titled:   What is Social CRM.  Paul Greenberg defines Social CRM as, “a philosophy and a business strategy, supported by a technology platform, business rules, workflow, process, and social characteristics, designed to engage the customer in a collaborative conversation in order to provide mutually beneficial value in a trusted and transparent business environment.  Social CRM is the company’s response to customers’ ownership of the conversation.”

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LinkedIn vs. Facebook IPO Success

 

LinkedIn’s recent IPO performance appears to have crushed the perception of big named company IPOs from Facebook, Yelp, Zynga, Groupon and Pandora. Based on their recent closing price, LinkedIn is up 141%. According to BusinessInsider Linkedin is, “the best-performing IPO this year by a huge margin. The next closest competitor, Bankrate, is up about 28 percent from its initial public offering.”

Timing may have been a factor for LinkedIn’s success. They have also seen consistent growth in unique visitors. Investors waiting for highly anticipated IPOs like Facebook may have helped increase the success of LinkedIn as well.

Although Facebook has had a lot of negative press regarding its IPO, CBS news reported that Facebook’s IPO was actually a success. CBS explained, “LinkedIn (LNKD) shares popped from the start in the professional networking company’s 2011 IPO and more than doubled in the first few days.”  Investment bankers made a bundle. This led people to think Facebook had been a flop. However, CBS author Allan Roth explained, “my definition of a successful launch of a new publicly traded stock doesn’t rest on how much money the investment bankers make. It rests on how close the offering price is to where the stock actually trades. The fact that Facebook shares closed at nearly their offering price tells me that that investors thought it was fairly priced. That’s pretty amazing, in my view, given all the hype over Facebook.”

Colin Lokey from SeekingAlpha explained that when comparing Facebook to Linkedin, fundamentals show that Linkedin is overvalued. Lokey warned, “Investors should of course, keep in mind that the fact that LinkedIn is far too expensive doesn’t mean Facebook is fairly valued at half of LinkedIn’s price.”  Prices have been affected by the recent Facebook IPO. Yahoo’s Finance writer Jeff Macke did not share Lokey’s opinion on pricing when he stated, “Linkedin stock has been dragged down over the last few weeks by the undercurrent of the Facebook Titanic.” He sees LinkedIn as a “screaming buy”.

Only time will tell how well LinkedIn and Facebook will perform. BizJournals recently quoted Linkedin’s CFO Steve Sordello about the importance of a company’s IPO results. “”An IPO is a one-time event, and what really matters is the long term. If it rains on your wedding day, you’re going to remember it rained but it’s not going to influence the marriage.”

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Self-Publishing with CreateSpace

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  I am interested in self-publishing a book.  Can you tell me about your experience with self-publishing and things you have done to market your books?

That is a good question and one that I often receive.  Check out my previous posting:  How to Publish or Self-Publish Your Book.  I used Createspace for self-publishing.  I had a great experience with them. They are affiliated with Amazon.  The site offers different options based on authors’ needs.  Some of those options included:

  • Do-it-yourself tools to design interiors and covers
  • Comprehensive design and editing
  • Expanded distribution options

I found that the company was very responsive to my questions.  They took my design ideas and gave me a couple of covers to choose from based on my input.

Createspace is not limited to book publishing. They also work with musicians and filmmakers.

Once your book is published, and available on Amazon, you will then have the ability to create an Amazon author page.  That author page can incorporate links from your blog. Authors also have the option of making their books available on Amazon’s Europe-based site.

There are plenty of books that can help increase your sales on Amazon’s site.  One book that I thought was pretty useful was: Aiming at Amazon.

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What You Should Know About Push Notifications

 

Anyone who has installed iPad or iPhone apps has probably seen the notification: “Would Like to Send You Push Notifications” (with the options of don’t allow or OK).  IpadAcademy.com explains, “Push notifications are a way for an app to send information to your iPad or iPhone even when you aren’t using the app.”  If you’ve noticed the number of email listed on your email icon, that is there due to a push notification.  That notification reminds you that you have mail without making you actually open up the application.

IOS (Apple’s system) is not the only one that utilizes push notifications.  Android and Windows smartphones also use them.  Check out:  Not all Push Created Equal.

Apple’s IOS system provides 3 types of push notifications.  To manage these notifications for an iPad or iPhone, you “Go to Settings > Notifications to choose the apps you want to receive notifications from. You can also select what form you’d like the notice to take – sound, badge, alert or banner, depending on the options the app includes.”  For more help, check out:  IOS:  Understanding Push Notifications.

Some push notifications may be very useful.  However, TheNextWeb explained push notifications need to be smarter.  Having the ability to adjust how they work may need to be adjusted.  Lifehacker explained that push notifications may not be the best thing.  In the article You Should Forget About Push Notifications for Your Email, author Adam Pash stated, “the vibrating pulse in your pocket indicating the arrival of a new email; the unpredictable “ding” from your desktop’s email notification; these things are killing your focus and destroying your ability to work to your capacity.”

Push notifications are an effective marketing tool. Check out the following video explaining why:

MobileMarketer warned that apps need to be pushy but not too pushy to be effective. “ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL is not an effective strategy in any marketing channel. An effective push notification strategy should maximize the likelihood of message relevance and a beneficial value exchange between brand and customer.”

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Entrepreneurs: Crowdfunding Options from Fundable

 

Crowdfunding is the latest buzz word in entrepreneurial lending. Fundable is a new company that offers “crowdfunding for startup companies”.  Crowdfunding occurs when people network through the internet to raise money to support other people’s ideas or interests. Fundable’s site allows entrepreneurs to raise capital through crowdfunding activities.  Fundable’s site states, “Startups create a funding profile that provides an overview of their company, their fundraising goals, and the rewards they are willing to provide potential backers. Thereafter, they reach out to their personal networks as well as the broader Fundable community to enlist their support.”

 

Backers may pledge money and/or offer assistance.  Fundable mixes Kickstarter-style and equity-based crowdfunding.  Fundable shares similarities to Kickstarter, in that the process involves all-or-nothing funding.  Goals must be met in order to receive the funds and there is no limit to the amount of money that may be raised. Scribd.com explained that there are differences between Fundable and Kickstarter.  “Fundable will seek to fund for-profit companies, while Kickstarter is all about creative projects, like literature, movies and the like.”

 

With the recent push for Obama’s Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act, Fundable may be able to take advantage of the crowdfunding law to solicit funds online from unaccredited investors.  However, Mashable explained, “Crowdfunding legislation is so new that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hasn’t set rules for it and Fundable needs to be approved by the SEC as a broker/dealer before it can handle investments. In the meantime, the company is focusing on offering rewards-based deals — which makes it look, for the time being, like a less-populated version of Kickstarter.”

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Facebook Advertising Appeal

When a company like Facebook goes IPO, there is a lot of discussion about future potential for income.  One area where Facebook may increase revenue is through advertising.  Facebook took a big hit this week when GM killed a $10 million advertising campaign deal. GM claimed that Facebook ads were ineffective.  DailyFinance.com reported, “Click-through rates are much lower on Facebook than they are on the internet generally, or on Google (Facebook: 0.051%, Google: 0.4%, Average: 0.1%)”

One way for an ad to be effective is for it to reach the target audience.  Understanding a company’s target demographic is important.

According to Statista, “This statistic shows the age distribution of Facebook users in the United States as of April 2012. During that period of time, the majority of local Facebook users were between 18 and 24 years old. Furthermore, the most popular Facebook activities of U.S. users were posting on walls and checking the internal newsfeed.”

According to Facebook’s advertising Q&A area, there are some limitations regarding how advertisers may reach a specific demographic.  Other than age and birthday-specific advertising, Facebook targets based on location, interest, education and connection advertising.  This differs from Google that allows targeting by interest, keywords, remarketing, location and demographics.

BusinessInsider explained the difference between advertising on Facebook vs. Google in terms of reach and revenue.  “Total reach for Facebook is 51% of all internet users.  Total reach for Google is 90% of all internet users.  First quarter revenue for Facebook is $1.06 billion, down 6.5 percent year on year and down 32 percent sequentially.  First quarter revenue for Google is $2.09 billion, up 1 percent year on year and up 0.7 percent sequentially.”

Facebook is hoping to use friendships to sell products and brands.  Check out the following video to find out more about this and the importance of geofencing.  According to Amos Content Group, “A geofence is a virtual perimeter around a real area as in within a block of a restaurant. Marketers can use this location-based service to target a passersby who has opted in to send deals or information to smartphones.”  Facebook’s friendship-based approach could influence geofencing.

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Using Giant QR Codes on Cars to Promote Business

 

QR codes may offer sales people a new way to advertise.  Real estate agents are known to put company and contact information on cars as a form of advertisement.  Agents have even begun using QR codes on the “for sale” signs. Interested buyers can scan information about the home instantaneously into his or her cell phone.

Now that QR codes are on just about everything, why not make them into a magnetic attachment for an automobile?  Chevy has already used QR codes on automobiles to promote car sales. “The vehicles are currently undergoing Southern California road testing, so the displayed QR codes will allow consumers to get a closer look at this vehicle even before it is available for sale.”

 

How big can a QR code be?  Check out the 10,000 square foot QR code made that can be viewed from 2 miles up in the sky.

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Brain Implants: Is the Matrix Becoming Reality?

 

Intelligence has been defined by many, yet completely understood by few.  In Jeff Hawkin’s book On Intelligence, he explained that the way computers process information is not the same way a brain may process information.  This led to his life-long desire to better understand what he referred to as real intelligence.  He explained that human intelligence is far different from artificial intelligence.

The transfer of data from machine to man is not as easy as movies have led the public to believe. In the Matrix, megabytes of data were simply uploaded into the human brain.  This data then allowed for increased knowledge and abilities. In the past, this was just fun science fiction.

However, now neural implants linking our brains to machines have become a reality. In a study published in the Journal of Neural Engineering, microchips were inserted into rats’ brains with wires threaded to their hippocampus. This has been a major study in the area of artificial working memory.

 

Samsung has also been working on developing a technology that strategically implants electrodes into the human brain called Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs). IMDs could monitor a person’s psychological and pathological state. It may even be able to notify emergency personnel if necessary.

Researchers are gaining new insight as to how the brain processes language through the use of a new technology that translates brain activity into words. The Guardian reported that “devices could transform the lives of thousands of people who lose the ability to speak as a result of a stroke or other medical conditions.”

While humans have used their brains to control prosthetic robotic arms, new technology used on monkeys has focused on gaining even more dexterity down to the finer movements at the level of fingers.  Scientists hope that brain implants can eventually be of great help to people with paralysis. The Daily News reported that recent studies showed that monkeys with electrodes implanted in their brains and arms were able to grasp and move the ball despite having had their hand anaesthetised.

While science may not be at the Matrix level yet, there have been strides made in research.  Hawkins predicted in his 2004 book, that this decade could be the time that truly intelligent devices/machines are created that may make an important difference for mankind.

Samsung thinks up mind-reading brain implant(news.cnet.com)

Today’s Organizations Embracing Virtual Business

 

Traditional brick and mortar businesses may become a thing of the past.  Today’s modern workplace has embraced the virtual environment.  In Managing Innovation by Tidd and Bessant (2009), the authors explained, “virtual organizations are increasingly a feature of the business landscape.”  In the article Virtual Organizations, the author noted, “The ultimate goal of the virtual organization is to provide innovative, high-quality products or services instantaneously in response to customer demands.”

Amazon is an excellent example of an organization that has pioneered virtual business.  Other successful organizations include:  e-Bay, Zappos, and Netflix.  There are some businesses that may not initially seem to be virtual organizations. Jet Blue is one of those companies.  In an article by Cisco Press titled, Defining the Virtual Business and Its Benefits, the authors explain how Jet Blue reduced inventory through standardization, reduced real estate expenses, and allowed employees to work from home.

In the book The Virtual Organization by Davidow, the author explained that virtual products may exist before it is even produced. “Its concept, design, and manufacture are stored in the minds of cooperating teams, in computers, and in flexible production lines.”

To find out more about virtual organizations’ background, characteristics, challenges, and future potential, check out Virtual Organizations.

 

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Facebook Recognizes Importance of E-Commerce

 

Companies are able to increase global reach through e-commerce (short for electric-commerce).  E-commerce occurs when products and/or services are sold over the Internet. Some examples of e-commerce include:  Online shopping, electronic payments, online auctions, internet banking, and online ticketing. E-commerce may be business-to-business, business-to-consumer, or consumer-to-consumer.

Facebook recently acquired Tagtile to grow e-commerce business. Tagtile is a company that is designed to keep customers engaged and motivated to continue to frequent a company’s website. This will help add to their strong advertising revenue. Zdnet stated, “Facebook needs to be able to bundle a solution to sell to brands who want to tap into Facebook’s store of data for closer customer connections. It needs to find an alternative revenue stream to keep its shareholders happy as it builds its e-commerce offerings post IPO.”

To find out more statistics about e-commerce, check out Statista’s site. Statista is a website that provides some important statistics available on the internet. Statista “provides business customers and academic institutions with an innovative and intuitive tool for the research of quantitative data, statistics, and facts.”

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Entrepreneurs: Funding Options from Kickstarter

 

Entrepreneurs often find that one of the hardest parts of realizing their dream is to obtain financing.  Some have tried microlending sites like Kiva.org.  Others have discovered a new lending platform called Kickstarter.  The site’s tagline is “a new way to fund and follow creativity.”

Kickstarter describes its site as the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects.  This unique site allows entrepreneurs to keep ownership and control over their work while tens of thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to help finance their creative ideas.  The idea must reach its funding goal or no money changes hands.  Entrepreneurs that receive their anticipated funds, can test concepts without risk.

Kickstarter’s Blog offers advice to those interested in creating a new project. The site allows for people to browse current ideas or to create their own.  To begin a new project dedicated to film, art, technology, design, food, publishing and more, creators can check out Kickstarter school.

Once a project is listed on the site, it displays timeline and pledge information including:  Percent Funded, Amount Pledged, Number of Days Left to Receive Funds.  The picture displayed below demonstrates some examples listed on Kickstarter’s site.  On the site’s curated page, it lists “projects curated by some of the world’s foremost creative communities.” The site also allows users to view projects by staff picks, most popular, recently launched, ending soon, small projects, most funded, as well as by category and location.

 

For additional help with the entrepreneurial process, check out the Top 30 Links for the Successful Entrepreneur.  

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What is a Meme?

 

There may be some confusion as to the meaning of the word meme (rhymes with dream).  John Gunders and Damon Brown, authors of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Memes, define it as, “A cultural unit of measure.  It can be a thought, a phrase, a style, or any other cultural expression that can be imitated by individuals.  More important, a meme is a replicator; that is, a particle of culture that strives to get itself copied as many times as possible.”

Basically it is an idea that is replicated through imitation.  There is a lot of that going around on the Internet.  If an idea catches on there, it may be referred to as “going viral”.  There is much more than just Internet messages that are memes.  Gunders and Brown explain that things like philosophy, sex, religion and politics also exhibit meme qualities.

It is a unit of culture such as a tune, idea, habit, that makes its way from person to person. It must be short enough to catch on and easily understood.  There are a lot of versions of the following meme that are based on different job occupations.  The template of what others think that the job entails is the same.  People have had some fun putting in their own ideas of the different perspectives of a job.  Here is one for a sales professional:

 

Examples of Memes:

  • Technological:  Rick Rolling – Promising one web site but redirecting to Rick Astley’s music video.
  • Musical:  The opening five bars of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.
  • Marketing:  Slogans like “Where’s the Beef?”  The trick is to have something be catchy, memorable and desirable.

The Players and How it Works:

  • The Creator:  Creates the Meme
  • The Hook:  The Enticement to Remember the Idea; Example:  Belief That Others Will Enjoy Idea or That Others Need to Experience the Idea
  • The Bait:  The Desired Result; Example: Positive Benefit of Meme is Realized
  • The Vector:  The Medium that Transports the Idea.  Example:  E-mail, Facebook, Youtube
  • The Host:  The Carrier of the Idea Who Initiates Delivery

Popular Internet Memes:

Popular Concept Memes:

Popular Video Memes:

Popular Picture Memes:

The following list are some websites that explain more about memes:

Brand Awareness: The Importance of Facebook

 

Youtube, Coca-Cola and Starbucks are just some of the most popular brands according to “fans” on Facebook.  Companies that have yet to embrace Facebook as an important marketing tool, are missing the boat.  Gourmet Marketing explained, “Businesses carve out an identity and following of customers through Social Media…none is more central than Facebook.”

Seattle Local Marketing’s article Tips on How to Find Fans for Facebook Fan Page stated, “Why is Facebook so useful? If you want to pull a lot of people to look and find out about your business then, the best way is Google since majority of these people use this search engines. However, Facebook comes almost as second in being one of the most accessed sites in the world.”

Social Media Today recently ran an article titled 15 Ways to Use Facebook for Business.  By creating a Facebook page, businesses can create a forum for discussion, facilitate word of mouth, research and test-market products, list press releases, and even hold contests.

Simply Zesty’s article Beer Company Generations $50.7 Million from 400,000 Facebook Fans demonstrates the impact on Facebook fan pages. New Belgium Brewing, “recently surveyed their Facebook fans and found that on average, their fans are spending $260 annually on the company’s products. This equates to $50.7 million in annual revenue, with 400,000 Facebook fans spread out across their products. Not a bad return on investment, given that the company had invested just $235,000 in 2011 in social media campaigns.”

 

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What is Typosquatting? When Misspelling is an Expensive Mistake

 

Typosquatting occurs when a website is created to prey on people who may have inadvertently typed in the wrong web address.  An example would be arifrance instead of airfrance.  Typosquatting is also referred to as URL hijacking, cybersquatting or brandjacking.

The registration of misspelled domain names is illegal. Sites like Wikapedia and Twtter have been shut down and fined $156,000 each.  Mashable reported that sites like these “are popping up on the web to trick unsuspecting web users into clicking on fake ads that claim the user has won a prize. In the case of these two sites, to receive a prize, like an iPad, people were asked for their cellphone number. The site sent a text with a pin and more texts with survey questions. Each time a person responded to the survey questions via texts he or she was charged.”

Alexa reported that some of the web’s most popular sites were typosquatted. Scambusters.org lists some helpful tips to identify typosquatting.  Some of the main uses for these sites include:

  • Revenue Generating
  • Transfer of Virus and/or Malware
  • Phishing Scams
  • Advertising Pay Per Click Scam

USA Today reported that, “most typosquatting domains lead to a bot network, used to steal passwords and obtain personal information such as financial or banking records. Bot networks aren’t obvious and can involve millions of computers.”  According to TGdaily.com, it is a good idea to get into the habit of bookmarking your favorite sites to be sure that you are landing on the correct page. Sixty Four percent of the typosquatted sites are US-based.  Bendelman.org compiled a list of popular domains and their typosquatted sites to compare number of daily visitors.  Click here for that report.

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What is Socialnomics?

 

In Erik Qualman’s 2010 book Socialnomics, he described how socialnomics exists “where consumers and the societies they create online have a profound influence on our economy and the businesses that operate within it.”

Social media is the new word of mouth.  Now that individuals look online to find out information about products from their peers, marketing has taken a new turn. Companies must create a social networking presence in order to survive.

Click here to see some examples of socialnomics in action.

The following video gives some interesting statistics about the social media revolution.

 

Top Links Explaining Texting (SMS) and Short Codes

 

Just as Twitter has grown to be an important marketing tool, texting is not just for stating LOL anymore. There are some very important uses for texting, aka SMS (short messaging service). Check out some helpful links to explain texting terminology and uses:

  1. Donate to Charity – Pew Research recently reported that almost 1 in 10 Americans donate to charity through texting.
  2. Search Sites Like Google – By texting GOOGL (46645), you can search Google without opening your browser. Check out:  Six Things You Never Knew Your Cell Phone Could Do. Word/number texts like GOOGL (46645) are called common short codes.  Check out:  Basics of CSCs to find out everything you need to know about common short codes.
  3. Send and Receive Email – To find out how to use SMS to access email, check out:  16 Things You  Can Do With SMS Text Messages.
  4. Check the Weather – By texting 4CAST (42278), you can access weather forecasts.  Check out:  Five Great Things You Can Do With a Text Message For Free.
  5. Check Calendar – By texting GEVENT (48368), you can access your Google calendar and schedule appointments.  Check out: Ten Terrific Things You Can Do With Text Messaging.
  6. Track Packages – Your SMS can track your UPS, Fed Ex, DHL and other packages through TrackThis.  Check out:  Run Your Life with SMS:  10 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do Via Text.
  7. Learn Texting Abbreviations – You may know LOL, but there is an entire site of information dedicated to explaining what all of those text messaging and online chat abbreviations mean and text message abbreviations.
  8. Text From a Computer – If you have a computer and someone’s 10-digit phone number, you can text them without needing a phone.  The following explains how to text people based on their carrier (i.e., Verizon, AT&T, etc.):  Text from a Computer.
  9. Create a Common Short Code (CSC) – You can create your own CSC campaign by leasing a code.  Check out:  Obtaining a CSC.  Remember the CSC is like GOOGL or 4CAST noted above.  Keep in mind that leasing the code is the first step. You’ll still need to negotiate agreements with each of the wireless carriers to activate your short code. To be part of the CSCA directory listing, click here.
  10. Enhance Business – Business can utilize short codes for contests, lead capture and more.  Check out:  Top 10 Business Goals Enhanced by Short Codes.

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Top 5 Secrets for Online Student Success

Online education is growing at a pace that far exceeds general education enrollment.  Because of the popularity of online learning, many traditional universities are offering online courses.  Forbes recently reported that MIT will soon offer free education for everyone. With all of the online options available, students may be confused as to where to go for helpful information.  There are plenty of sites available to help online students find schools, locate loans and even determine majors.  What is not as readily available is information about how to be a successful online student once he or she is enrolled.

The following is the top 5 list of things that can help the new online student succeed once they have already chosen their school and major.  Click on the blue links for more information about each topic:

  1. Learn Goal Setting – Read about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.  The acronym stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant (sometimes also Results-Based), and Timely (or Time-Bound).  Students should set S.M.A.R.T. education goals. Those that neglect to do this may find that it takes them longer to graduate, while they waste time and money.
  2. Learn Tools Offered – Most online universities offer some extremely helpful writing, editing and plagiarism-checking tools.  The school’s online site may also have helpful tutorials to explain how to use the software (also known as the platform) that delivers the classroom information.  Learning how to navigate in the online classroom may take a little time.  However, after taking the first class, many students feel more confident in their navigating abilities.
  3. Use the School’s Library – Students may forget that their university has an online library.  It is important that students do not get in the habit of searching for information using Google, Yahoo! and other similar engines. A well-written paper is supported by peer-reviewed articles.  These may be easily found using the school’s search engines located in their online library.
  4. Learn APA – APA stands for American Psychological Association.  For college students, APA refers to the format in which papers should be written.  While APA may seem daunting to the new learner, there are some very useful examples of APA papers online that can help explain the requirements.
  5. Learn How to Cite – Professors often require students to cite research in his or her papers.  Most often they must cite in APA format.  There are some helpful sites to help students learn how to cite correctly.  Students must also learn how to paraphrase, include in-text citations and avoid plagiarism.

Click here for more useful tips about how to be a successful online college student.

Related article:

Successful Students Use Plagiarism and Editing Programs

 

Students who do not use their school’s library writing centers are missing important, helpful information, and their grades may be suffering because of this.  Online universities offer some very useful tools that can help students to edit their papers, locate scholarly journals, and even double-check for plagiarism issues.  Some of the programs available to students include professional editing software like WritePoint, a database search engine like Proquest, and a plagiarism checker like TurnItIn.  Some schools may use different programs other than WritePoint or TurnItIn, but the programs function similarly.  Students should check their online library for availability of specific writing tools.

The successful student will do their research through the school’s library database search engines.  Once they have written their paper, and have double-checked that they have met all of the teacher’s requirements, they will submit it to the editing software (if available) and the plagiarism checker (required by many schools).  The following gives an explanation of how these three programs work:

  • Professional Editing Software – Example: WritePoint is a program that inserts comments directly into the student’s paper just like a professional editor.  The program will highlight grammar and spelling issues as well as other formatting issues including:  Capitalization issues, clichés, wording choices, use of second person, subject/verb agreement, weak or redundant wording, improper punctuation or hyphenation, and subject/pronoun disagreement.  The student will receive their paper back with comments. At this point, the student can make the appropriate suggested changes and then submit their paper as assigned.  This helps teach the student how to edit their own papers and dramatically improves their ability to get a higher grade.  This also allows professors to focus on the student’s content.  Not all schools offer editing software.

 

  • Database Search Engine – Example: Proquest is a program that offers over 30 databases of information including:  Dissertations, Newspapers and scholarly journals.  For students doing research that requires peer-reviewed scholarly sources, this can be a very helpful tool.  Students should use their school’s library search engine rather than researching through sites like Google or Yahoo!

 

 

  • Plagiarism Checker – Example: TurnItIn is the leading program that checks for plagiarism issues.  The program carries over 150 million archived papers.  There are a variety of websites where students can purchase papers.  Schools are very aware of these sites and programs like TurnItIn will catch these papers.  Students should be aware that professors will submit their papers to TurnItIn and will catch them if they try to submit work that is not their own.

Students may have had some initial training regarding these programs when they first entered school.  However, with all of the other things they had to learn at the time, many may have forgotten the importance of these tools. Students with questions about what his or her school offers, should ask their guidance counselor.

The top articles on this site that are helpful to a student’s success include:

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Could Augmented Reality Technology Inspire the Next Steve Jobs?

 

One of the biggest obstacles the new entrepreneur faces is coming up with a unique idea.  The Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerbergs of the world have raised the creativity bar.  By creating augmented reality phone apps, certain companies are getting attention.  Autonomy has developed a new technology called Arasmsa that may change how people interact with objects.  It works with a smart phone and can reveal some things that are not readily visible to the naked eye.  Check out the following video:

With the popularity of QR codes and now new technologies like Arasmsa, there is potential for some amazing app possibilities.  For example, you can now point your phone at a magazine and have an app translate the material from one language to another.  There are a variety of augmented reality apps already available on the market.  Check out 40 Best Augmented Reality Phone Apps and 2 Augmented Reality Technologies that are about to Change the World.

The question is who will be the next Zuckerberg or Jobs to create an idea that goes above and beyond what is already out there?  Perhaps they are listed in the article 8 Important Silicon Valley Innovators Not Named Steve Jobs.  Only time will tell.

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Top 10 Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big Before Turning 35

 

There was a time when it was unusual to hear about an entrepreneur becoming successful at a very young age.  With the technology boom, the story is becoming more commonplace.  The following list contains the top 10 entrepreneurs whose dreams came to fruition and made them very rich before they hit the ripe old age of 35.

  1. Apple – Creators:  Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.  Apple was established in 1976, the year Steve Jobs turned 21 and Steve Wozniak turned 26.
  2. Amazon – Creator:  Jeff Bezos.  Amazon was founded in 1994, the year Jeff Bezos turned 30.
  3. Disney – Creator:  Walt Disney.  Disney was founded in 1923, the year Walt Disney turned 22.
  4. Facebook – Creators:  Mark Zuckerburg and his college roommates Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes. Facebook was launched in 2004, the year that Mark Zuckerburg turned 20.
  5. Google – Creators:  Larry Page and Sergey Brin.  Google was incorporated in 1998 the year that Larry Page and Sergey Brin turned 25.  Google’s IPO was in August of 2004, the year the men turned just 31.
  6. Groupon– Creator:  Andrew Mason.  Groupon was created in 2008, the year Mason turned 29.
  7. LinkedIn – Creators:  Reid Hoffman and founders from PayPal.  LinkedIn was founded in late 2002 the year that Hoffman turned 35.
  8. Microsoft – Creators:  Bill Gates and Paul Allen.  Microsoft was established in 1975, the year Bill Gates turned 20 and Paul Allen turned 22.
  9. Twitter – Creator:  Jack Dorsey.  Twitter was created in 2006, the year Dorsey turned 30.
  10. Yahoo! – Creators: Jerry Yang and David Filo.  Yahoo! was incorporated in 1995, the year that Jerry Yang turned 27 and David Filo turned 29.

Click on the company names above to find out more details and top stories about these unique companies.

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Companies Rewarding Employees for Entrepreneurial Ideas

 

Gone are the old days of having a suggestion box at work.  Today’s modern company has set up some much more sophisticated ways of obtaining knowledge and creative ideas from their employees.  The following list contains some useful tools that employers have utilized that have even replaced their need to go to outside consulting firms:

  • Innovative Management Programs – Sites like Brainbank, InnoCentive and Spigit are just a few of the popular sites that companies use to allow employees to submit and vote on ideas.
  • Idea-Management Websites –  PriceWaterhouseCoopers created a company site to gather employees’ input about cost cutting, improving customer service and other ways to improve revenue.  These sites can be very successful.  IdeasAmerica, an association for suggestion administration, surveyed customers and found that ideas submitted by employees saved over $110 million or an average of $1256 per idea.
  • Set up KiosksBruce Power is one of many companies who have set up idea kiosks.  Resembling ATMs, these kiosks are easily accessible and allow employees to vote on ideas.
  • Create Financial IncentivesCompanies may give rewards for employees’ ideas that result in cost savings.  They may receive financial incentives or points to use toward rewards.
  • Set Up Idea ChallengesAllstate created an online challenge for its employees to come up with some good ideas about how to create their company app.

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Unusual Uses for QR Codes in the Classroom and Job Market

 

QR codes are those little barcode looking squares that are popping up everywhere.  They are an excellent marketing tool.  They have some unique applications as well.  The article 50 Great Ways to Use QR Codes in the College Classroom lists some unusual uses such as:

  • Using QR codes on name plates to find instructor office hours
  • Adding QR codes to the syllabus to link to classroom calendar
  • Adding to class announcements to create buzz for upcoming events
  • Linking QR codes to lectures, videos or answers to commonly asked questions
  • Linking QR codes to digital portfolios

These are just some of the unique classroom uses.  Click on the link above to read all 50 uses.

For more articles about using QR Codes check out:

Stand Out In Job Market with Mini Resume Cards

Combining a resume with a business card in a smart, easy to read fashion, is a great way to capture a future employer’s attention.  ResuMiniMe is a site that has done a nice job of creating such a card.  In just minutes, job-seekers can create a traditional-sized business card that promotes their strengths while serving as a nice ice-breaker for networking opportunities.  Prices start at $90 for 1000 cards.  Gift packages are available.  A free profile on LinkedIn is required. 

They offer two style choices for the back of the card.  A traditional standard style that lists education and experience is one option.  Also offered is the option to include a QR code on the back.  For more information about using QR codes to find a job, click here. 

The following are examples of the cards that can be created on this site.  The back of the card is shown vertically here for easy readability.

Front (although not listed here, a phone number may be included):

Back Traditional:

Back QR Code Version:

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Top Links for Help with Deciphering Web Analytics

 

Sites like Alexa, Compete, Google Analytics and Quantcast can give some important data about website visitors.  If these were the only choices available, it might not be so difficult to choose the best tools for web analytics.  However, there are a lot of sites out there.  They may also have some techy jargon. Some terms that may be confusing to some who are trying to decipher the data include:

To explain the importance of the type of visitor, check out the article: Total or Unique Visitors:   What is the Difference? While many people focus on unique visitors, in an article titled Unique Visitors are not Everything, Jakob Nielson was quoted as saying, “Chasing higher unique-visitor counts will undermine your long-term positioning because you’ll design gimmicks rather than build features that bring people back and turn them into devotees and customers.”

To try and keep it all straight and pick the correct site based on individual needs, check out the following top 10 links with information about web analytics, explanations of popular tools and what they measure:

  1. Web Analytics Demystified – Unique visitors ONLY come in one size.
  2. Alexa Analytics Explained – Take a tour of Alexa’s analytics.
  3. Compete Analytics Explained – Where they get their data and PDF of methodology.
  4. Google Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Google Analytics issues.
  5. Quantcast Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Quantcast Analytic issues.
  6. Top 24 Web Analytics Software Packages – Top software packages explained.
  7. 11 Best Web Analytic Tools – Includes Google, Yahoo, Crazy Egg, Compete, and more.
  8. Alltop Web Analytic News – News about all analytic issues.
  9. Web Analytics Review – Side by side comparison of top web analytic tools.
  10. Yahoo! Analytics Explained – FAQ for all Yahoo! Analytics issues.

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Online Classes So Important: Mandatory for Graduation

Times have certainly changed for high school education.  Alabama, Florida and Michigan are just some of the states that now require students to take at least one online course to graduate.  According to the article 10 Online Ed Trends Coming to a High School Near You, “Administrators believe that getting students to take online courses will better prepare them to work with the technologies they’ll face in college and the workforce.”

In Memphis online classes were increased due to an upswing in the desire by students to take these courses.  Online courses are available for both high school and middle school students.  An advantage for the schools is that they are less expensive.  In the article Online Class Required for Graduation in Memphis, the author points out that there will be some stringent requirements.  “The structure calls for accountability requiring students to log on, finish assignments, and participate in hour-long live chat sessions with an instructor and classmates. Teachers speak with students after each module to verify their identity. Proctored semester exams are administered on school grounds.”

The number of states adding online requirements continues to grow.  Idaho has a tech-focused school reform program that will require students to take two online courses.  Indiana has also jumped on the technology bandwagon.  Indiana state superintendent, Tony Bennett, recently announced that students will be required to take at least one online course in order to graduate.  In the article United States High Schools Including Online Coursework as Graduation Requirement, the author stated, “Mr. Bennett explained his rationale for an online course requirement by stating that he felt like experiencing an online course would help to prepare Indiana students for the technology they will be using at colleges and universities, as well as in the workforce.”

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Top 20 TED Talks Not To Be Missed

 

TED.com contains some of the most inspirational, educational and entertaining videos on the Internet.  TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design.  The site shares video-recorded talks given by some of the most intelligent and interesting people in the world.  There are plenty of top TED presentation lists on the Internet, that are created based on people’s interests.  One of the most recent subject-specific lists I’ve seen is 20 Essential Ted Talks for Entrepreneurial Students.  This is an excellent list for potential entrepreneurs.

However, TED has far more than just entrepreneur-related topics to offer.  If you plan on getting lost on any site on the Internet, do it on TED. I try to view to as many TED talks as I can possibly fit into my schedule.  Of the ones I have watched recently, I have created my own top 20 list of TED talks that I feel should not be missed:

  1. Arthur Benjamin on Doing Mathemagic
  2. Alain de Botton on A Kinder Gentler Philosophy of Success
  3. Ted Pink on the Surprising Science of Motivation
  4. Deb Roy on the Birth of a Word
  5. Dennis Hong on Making a Car for Blind Drivers
  6. Oliver Sacks on What Hallucination Reveals About Our Minds
  7. David Bolinksy on Animating a Cell
  8. Anthony Atala on Printing a Human Kidney
  9. Stewart Brand on Does the World Need Nuclear Energy
  10. Adam Astrow on After Your Final Status Update
  11. Jeff Hawkins on How Brain Science Will Change Computing
  12. John Hodgman on Aliens, Love and Where Are They?
  13. Cameron Herald on Let’s Raise Kids to be Entrepreneurs
  14. Edward Tenner on Unintended Consequences
  15. Misha Glenny on Hire the Hackers!
  16. Gregory Petsko on The Coming Neurological Epidemic
  17. Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce
  18. Joshua Walters on Being Just Crazy Enough
  19. Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice
  20. Steve Jobs on How to Live Before You Die Speech at Stanford

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SitePal and Voki: Add Pizzazz to Your Website or Classroom

There are some fun sites that can be used to animate pictures to add pizzazz to websites or online classrooms.  One of these sites, Voki, is free and is available for non-commercial use.  For commercial use, SitePal starts at just $9.95/month.

Are you looking for a way to create content for an online classroom?  Consider adding a link to Voki.  “Voki enables users to express themselves on the web in their own voice using a talking character. You can customize your Voki to look like you or take on the identity of lots of other types of characters… animals, monsters, anime etc. Your Voki can speak with your own voice which is added via microphone, upload, or phone. Voki lives on your blog, social network profile and will soon be integrated in various instant messaging platforms. You will also be able to download it to most video supported phones.”

Click on the picture below to see what happens if you add a link to your Voki-created file.   Be sure to hit the play button to hear the message once you get there.

 

If you are looking for a way to stand out on your website, resume, email signature line, or other form of social media, consider SitePal. “SitePal is an easy-to-use service that allows you to create a speaking avatar for your website and empower your online communication.” Click on the picture below to see that animation.

 

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Famous Computer Geniuses with Asperger’s

 

 

In a recent TED.com talk by Misha Glenny, titled Hire the Hackers,Glenny noted at the end of his talk that many famous computer hackers have characteristics that are consistent with Asperger’s Syndrome.  He mentioned he discussed this with Professor of Development Psychopathology at Cambridge, Simon Baron-Cohen, who “confirmed Gary McKinnon who is wanted by the United States for hacking into the Pentagon suffers from Asperger’s.  Cohen explained that certain disabilities can manifest themselves in the hacking computer world as tremendous skills.”

 

This is not the first time that there has been mention of famous hackers having this disorder.  Adrian Lamo, once hunted by the FBI, was institutionalized and diagnosed with Asperger’s.  Cnet News recently reported, “Ryan Cleary, the 19-year-old charged in the U.K. on five counts of computer hacking activity, has Asperger’s syndrome.”

According to Wired.com, “There are no reliable figures on how many people have Asperger’s, but anecdotally a lot of them are drawn into the computer field, particularly the logic-heavy world of coding. BitTorrent creator Bram Cohen has diagnosed himself with the disorder, and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is frequently speculated to have it.” According to Businessweek, Bram Cohen’s disorder is, “a condition that keeps him rooted in the world of objects and patterns, puzzles and computers, but leaves him floating, disoriented, in the everyday swirl of human interactions.” In the movie The Social Network, some of the mannerisms that the Mark Zuckerberg character displayed may have implied he had Asperger’s as well.

Some other famous minds that have been noted as having Asperger’s include Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton.  The article, The Potential Genius of Asperger’s contains a long list of famous people who have been thought to have this disorder.

Dr. Simon Baron-Cohen developed an AQ test that measures the Autism Spectrum Quotient.  “In the first major trial using the test, the average score in the control group was 16.4. Eighty percent of those diagnosed with autism or a related disorder scored 32 or higher. The test is not a means for making a diagnosis, however, and many who score above 32 and even meet the diagnostic criteria for mild autism or Asperger’s report no difficulty functioning in their everyday lives.” To take the Asperger’s test, click here.

The following is Misha Glenny’s talk from TED:

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Facebook Now Allows Subscriptions to Your Site

Facebook announced a new feature that will allow for people to expand their exposure on Facebook.  People can subscribe to your feed if you set it up for them to do so.  This is a useful tool for companies who have a profile but not a separate Facebook page to promote.  Without having a page set up, the profile site previously required an acceptance by the owner for people to view the content. 

With the new subscribe feature, all that has to be done to allow others to view the profile, is for the owner of the profile to look for the word subscriptions under their profile picture.  By clicking on that, they can enable others to see their updates.

 

This isn’t the only change announced by Facebook. According to TechCrunch, “In addition to Subscriptions, Facebook is also making it easier to tweak the amount and types of content that show up your News Feed. Now, when you’re viewing a user’s profile, you’ll be able to hit a button and choose from three subscription settings:

  • All updates: Everything your friend posts
  • Most updates: The amount you’d normally see
  • Important updates only: Just highlights, like a new job or move

You’ll also be able to choose what kinds of content you want to see (for example, you could opt to block all game-related updates from one of your friends, but keep their photo updates).”

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Scary Things Doctors Do: New Investigative Tool for Patients

 

Most doctors do wonderful things. They take care of their patients and work very hard. I’m married to a fantastic doctor, so I know they exist.  However, having spent 15 years as a pharmaceutical representative, I saw some scary things out there.  It’s important to keep in mind that someone had to graduate last in their class.  Here is a list of things that I actually saw occur in doctors’ offices while I was in the field.

  1. Illegal drug use in doctor’s office – There was one office where the receptionist actually had her boyfriend shoot something (I assume heroine) into her arm while I talked to her through the glass partition that separated the waiting room from the doctor’s area.  The reaction she got from the medication made it clear it was some form of illegal substance.  The doctor walked right by and had no reaction.
  2. Doctors popping pills – There was one doctor I called on who would take Prozac while he chatted, bragging, “I take these things to lose weight.”  This same guy was always popping some form of pill, usually for an off-label use.
  3. Doctors committing fraud – Another doctor in my territory was arrested for charging the government for testing blood that he never actually tested.
  4. Doctors not using best medications to save money – I called on a doctor who once told me that he would not prescribe a drug that he thought he was good for his patients because, as he put it, “that comes out of my budget  . . . if they go to the ER, someone else pays for it.”  He had no problem telling me that he didn’t mind if his patients suffered if it meant he could make a few more bucks from the HMO.
  5. Doctors getting paid by pharmaceutical companies – It is not unusual for a doctor to get paid to speak for certain pharmaceutical companies.  I remember calling on a particular doctor who made it very clear that he not only spoke for a particular company but also had a great deal of stock in that company. Because of this relationship, he had no intention of using competitive products even if they were better.

The good news is that the Internet allows for patients investigate issues with their doctors.  According to the article, How To Find Out if Your Doctor and Drugmakers Are In A Relationship, “The nonprofit investigative journalism outfit ProPublica has a tool you can use to see how much money your doctor has received from drug companies.”  To find out if your doctor is profiting from drug companies, click here to go to the ProPublica site.

 

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Researching Apple: Top 10 Most Useful Links

 

The following list was created to put all of the most useful information about Apple in one easy to find location:

  1. When Was Apple Incorporated?  “Apple was incorporated in the state of California on January 3, 1977.”
  2. When Apple Went IPO Apple’s initial public offering was on December 12, 1980 at $22 per share. “The stock has split three times since the IPO so on a split-adjusted basis the IPO share price was $2.75.”
  3. Apple’s Mission Statement:   Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.  The Apple website officially lists their mission statement as:  “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork, and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced its magical iPad which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices.”
  4. How to Find Up to the Minute Price on Apple Stock Apple’s ticker symbol is AAPL – click here for 20 minute delayed price.
  5. The First Apple Logo Featured Isaac Newton Newton was sitting under a tree with an apple about to fall on his head.
  6. The Name iPod Came From 2001: A Space Odyssey “As soon as I saw the white iPod, I thought 2001,” Chieco told Wired in 2006. “Open the pod bay door, Hal! Then it was just a matter of adding the ‘i’ prefix, as in ‘iMac.'”
  7. Apple Lists Detailed Information About their Environmental Footprint:  The Apple site lists their total footprint including information from manufacturing, transportation, product use, recycling and facilities.
  8. Apple’s Annual Report  “Apple does not produce a glossy annual report. Apple’s Form 10-K is available on our website. If you require a hard copy, go to the Request Information form and select the Form 10-K.”
  9. Apple’s Dividend History:  Find Apple dividend and stock split information.  Apple has had three 2- for-1 stock splits in 1987, 2000 and 2005.
  10. Apple Press Releases: This link includes all press releases, including Steve Jobs’ Retirement Letter to the Apple Board of Directors.

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Social Media Presence Able to Continue Virtually After Death

Adam Astrow stated some interesting social media statistics in his recent TED.com presentation titled After Your Final Status Update. His talk was about what happens to your social media presence after you die and whether it can be saved in a virtual personality.

He cited some pretty interesting numbers for how much data is being uploaded to Youtube, Twitter and Facebook and claimed that that data could possibly be used to create a presence after one has passed away. 

He pointed out that there are already some sites and apps that can create postings for people post-mortem. There is an “If I Die” app can that can create video to be posted on Facebook after one’s death.  There is a site called 1000 Memories that states, “1000memories is a free site that celebrates the lives of people who matter most – our friends and family, past and present. We help bring the albums, scrapbooks, and photo-filled shoeboxes of our lives out of the closet and into an online, shareable space where they can be remembered and celebrated, together in one place.”

Although one may have passed on, their lives can be remembered indefinitely through the use of technology.

Have a Laugh from Site that Compiles Past Tweets

 

There is a fun little site called That Can Be My Next Tweet. It pulls information from your Twitter account and calculates what your possible next Tweet could include based on what you have Tweeted in the past.  Every time you push the “get your next Tweet” button, it comes up with a new jumble of words combined from your past postings.  I put in drdianehamilton and the first three times I pushed the button, I got the following responses:

  1. You are emotionally intelligent? 3 Answers: Consumer Trends to Target its 90 Million From Russian?
  2. Develop Socially You About Your Current Job Google and Psychological Bloggers and Business Review: How?
  3. Boomerang Generation: College Tuition Really Want This New Pew Is Your Current Job Google Using QR code!

It was fun for a few minutes.  I’m not sure it has lasting appeal, but it can be good for a few laughs. I put in a few personalities that can tend to be characters to see what their next Tweet might be.  Here is what it generated:

Charlie Sheen:  Sloppy TunaGet you’re going to Colombia, it’s my page & ! KH & RH RT!! Anger Management ANGER & coke round.

Ashton Kutcher:  I’m a joke. retweet to keep spending millions to people sounds funnier than astronauts.

Kanye West:  Chilling with my stress and I just threw some bassoon on Yeezy’s and the right thing but I know Howie?

BrianWilson (the closing pitcher for the San Francisco Giants):  Charlie Sheen is why. The Tux. Made of the Wharf. you enjoy choking on today’s run, upon reaching the 1st!

To check out: That Can Be My Next Tweet, click here.

Make a Free Easy App Without iTunes

It can be quite frustrating and difficult to create an app that iTunes will accept.  I found a quick little way to create a free app that is easily accessed through a site called ConduitMobile.  You need to access the site to create the app through Safari instead of Explorer though.  If you don’t have Safari, you can download that easily for free.  

Once on the ConduitMobile site, it is very simple to create a decent app that contains things like RSS feeds, websites, Youtube feeds, contact forms and more.  When you are finished creating the app, you can test it on your computer screen to see how it looks.  When you are happy with the app, you can simply pick the option of “Web-based App Open on Mobile Phone”.  This will generate a QR code that you can scan with your QR Reader.  You can have this QR code and link sent to your email address.

If you scan the QR code, that will open the page to your app on your phone.  At this point, you click on the icon at the bottom of your iPhone that looks like a circle with a pen in it.  At that point, it will ask you if you want to open in Safari.  Pick yes and this will open up the website on your phone so that you can save it to your home screen. 

To see how it works, scan this code into your reader or click here to see more about the code and app.  By scanning in my code listed below, you can have access to my articles, Youtube videos and more on your iPhone. 

An even easier way to get the app onto your iPhone is to just use the link that is sent to your email that contains the QR code.  The link for the one above is http://drdianehamilton.mobapp.at/.  Simply open the site like this one on your phone and save it to your desktop.  You can also go to that link and forward it to people by entering their email address.  Keep in mind though that, unlike an app you download from iTunes, this app will be web-based and will require an Internet connection to display the information. 

Watch the following video for step by step directions about how to create your free app without having to go through iTunes:

Best Apps for Students and Everyone Else

It can be hard to keep up with all of the apps out there. There are over 425,000 apps on Itunes now and that number grows daily.

In the article 48 Apps That College Students Love, they have listed some very important apps.  The apps are broken down the into the following categories:  Essential Tools, Education, Communication, Entertainment, Information Management, Organization, Budget, and News.

This article listed some of my own very favorite apps, including TED, which includes some of the greatest talks from TED.com.

There are also some fun ones like Rate My Professor. Check out Posting Teacher Reviews Online – What is Rate My Professor.

There are a few that I would like to add to the list, though, that I think are awesome apps:

HowStuffWorks – This app has all of their great podcasts including my favorite from Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant of Stuff You Should Know fame.

StitcherRadio – Great way to access multiple ratio stations and more.

GoogleCalendar –  Google’s Calendar is a great way to keep things organized.

Words with Friends – I like this version better than Scrabble’s and it can connect to Facebook as well.

How to Use QR Codes on Your Resume and Business Cards

QR codes are the latest thing in marketing.  They are in the newspapers, on billboards and on just about every kind of marketing material you can imagine. Now you can utilize this amazing new technology to make your business card and/or resume stand out from the rest.  This is an innovative way to show prospective employers that you are tech savvy.  It also can redirect them to important information on your website that you cannot include in your resume. 

Here is an example of how to put one on your business card. 

Anyone with a smartphone that has an app for reading QR codes can easily point their phone at your card and find out more information about you.  If you don’t have a QR reader app on your phone, they are easy to download from sites like iTunes and they are free.  I use QR Reader for iPhone.  Once you have the app on your phone, open it, and point the phone’s camera at the square on my card.  See how it directs you to a site. 

The QR codes are simple to create.  Check out this article:  how to create your own QR codes.

Here is an example of how to include them on your resume:

 
If you used your reader to scan these codes listed here, you can see they each will send you to a different site.  You may just want to send them to your LinkedIn page or some other website that showcases your abilities.  You could create a presentation in Google Docs or on YouTube that would make you stand out from the crowd.  If you have always felt that you could get that job if only they could see you, now is your chance.  Just be careful to create quality content on the site where you direct potential employers. 

To see QR codes in action, check out this video about how QR codes are changing the way people shop:

Neuromarketing: The Future of Advertising

In Morgan Spurlock’s movie, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, there is a scene where they discuss neuromarketing. Spurlock is put into an MRI machine and shown product images.  The information obtained showed dopamine was released when he looked at images of Coca Cola.  His desire for the product was actually visible on the brain scan. 

What is neuromarketing?  Tech.FAQ defines neuromarketing as, “a field of marketing that involves studying the way people react to marketing techniques and adjusting those techniques to maximize sales and inform the public about a specific product, idea, or campaign. Neuromarketing includes the use of biometric sensors, social studies, and subliminal messaging. While neuromarketing is a relatively new technique, it has been widely implemented in recent years and nearly every marketing agency and medium-large company in the world now uses it.”

Just less than a year ago the question was asked:  Is neuromarketing the future?  AdvertisingAge stated, “Neuromarketing offers a chance to get accurate, factual data about the buying habits of target markets.” However, they also pointed out that, “At the end of the day, neuromarketing is still in its infancy. A technology that is unproven outside of laboratory conditions, prohibitively expensive, and potentially a legal minefield is a technology that requires a lot of capital and a solid brand to experiment with.”

The future may be here sooner than anticipated.  Combining neuroscience and marketing may just be the next big thing available through the use of apps.  ThreeMinds reported, “large companies like Google, Disney, Microsoft and Chevron have already begun to dip their toes in the neuromarketing waters.  And research vendors have responded, recently announcing the availability of portable EEG devices that can wirelessly transmit brain scans to iPads, as well as “full-brain home panels” for original research studies.”

Marketing professionals may be able to use this technology prior to products coming onto market.  Currently researchers from Duke and Emery are studying how products appeal to the human brain

iTunes offers a free series of videos from the University of Warwick about neuromarketing. In these videos, find out how “Cognitive neuroscience has revolutionized our understanding of the consumer’s brain – a fact with huge implications for business and marketing…you will hear from practitioners, clients and academics at the forefront of neuromarketing. Hear how neuroscience is being applied commercially to research and develop new products and services, improve the effectiveness of communications and boost revenue.”

Facebook Making People More Empathetic

Several studies have shown that online communication has facilitated friendships, honesty and sense of belonging.  New research is showing that Facebook time may actually improve people’s empathy as well. The Wall Street Journal reported that, “The more time on Facebook subjects in a recent study spent, the more empathy they said they felt online and off.”

This information may come as a surprise with the number of reported cyber bullying cases. Internet Solutions for Kids reported that 17% of 13- to 18-year-olds were bullied online in the past year. However, this is low compared to the reported 40% in-person bullying.   

Fear of dealing with social settings has led many to online platforms like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. Some newer studies have shown that this form of online communication can be helpful for those who are shy or introverted and who may normally find social settings stressful.  The WSJ article noted, “In a study of New York University students who described themselves as either socially anxious or non-anxious, participants were randomly assigned to interact in groups of three, either in-person or through an Internet chat room.  Anxious students reported greatest shyness and discomfort than non-anxious students in face-to-face groups.  In the chat room, however, they said they felt significantly less shy, more comfortable and better accepted by their peers.”

The American Psychological Association (APA) reported some results at a Washington, DC conference this year from 1,283 people aged 18-30.  This group was asked about their time spent online and its impact on how much empathy they felt toward their online and offline friends.  The participants reported “a significant amount of empathy online, and that the more time college students spent on Facebook, the more empathy they expressed online and in real life.”

Young Adults and Unique Identity Theft Issues

As more people have embraced technology, more opportunities for identity theft have been created.  PC Magazine author Larry Seltzer interviewed a cyber-crimes expert and found that there are some unique new ways that people have their identities stolen.  One of the things that may come as a surprise is that misconfigured peer-to-peer apps like Limewire can share information from your “My Documents” folder.

While you may be hip to the Nigerian scams, you may not be aware of skimmers on ATMs that can read your credit cards. Seltzer explains, “These are devices which install over the reader appear to be part of the machine. When you insert your card the skimmer reads it and records the information on it. They are often used in combination with surreptitious cameras to record the keys you press for the PIN. Skimmers are especially popular on gas pump, but they are also being used on the smaller point of sale readers found in stores.”

CNN Money reported that the top consumer complaint is identity fraud.  “The Federal Trade Commission counted 250,854 complaints about identity theft in 2010, according to a report issued Tuesday. That was 19% of the 1.3 million total complaints the agency received, putting it at the top of the consumer complaint list for the 11th year in a row. The most common form of identity theft was through fraudulent government documents. Credit card fraud garnered the second highest number of identity theft complaints, followed by phone and utilities fraud.”

Many young adults are going back to school soon.  College students may feel they are invincible and not notice identity theft as quickly as they should.  They are less likely to track their bank accounts and credit card statements.  Mainstreet.com reported, “Studies have shown that it takes 18- to 24-year-old Americans twice as long to find out they’ve been the victim of I.D. fraud – which is usually too late to do anything about it.”

Wells Fargo has come up with tips for college students to safeguard their financial information.

Fraudpreventionunit.org also has listed 10 Tips for an Identity-Theft Free 2011.

Doctors’ Time Running Out To Meet HIPAA 5010 Requirements

Effective January 1, 2012 there will be a new HIPAA 5010 version that will be a required for doctors to use for electronic filing.  If physicians don’t use version 5010 for all HIPAA electronic transactions by that date, their claims will be rejected and they won’t be paid.  Doctors are feeling the pressure to get their systems ready for this change.  Many physican practices have not embraced the electronic age as well as other businesses have and are now behind the eight ball, scrambling to meet these new standards.

Medcost.com reported, “The purpose of 5010 is to facilitate the country’s ongoing goal of transitioning to an electronic health care environment by updating the current standards for electronic health care and pharmacy transactions. The updated 5010 versions replace the current versions of the standards and will promote greater use of electronic transactions. This change has been driven by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

There are some helpful resources to show doctors how to prepare for this transition.  GetReady5010 offers free webinars.  The AMA also has some excellent resources. Despite all of these free offerings, many physicians are not prepared for this change. American Med News reported, “Many physicians have not even begun to see if they are compliant with what are known as HIPAA Version 5010 standards. According to a survey released in March by the Medical Group Management Assn., 56% of practices have not scheduled any internal testing for 5010, and 61% have not scheduled any testing with their major health plans. The survey covered 349 practices with 13,290 doctors.”

What’s new in the HIPAA 5010 version? Some of the changes include:

  • Physicians must submit a nine-digit, rather than a five-digit, ZIP code
  • Physicians may distinguish between principal diagnosis, admitting diagnosis, external cause of injury and patient reason for visit codes
  • 5010 set will allow for the inclusion of ICD-10 codes

Nextgen.com listed the following frequently asked questions relate to HIPAA 5010 to help understand requirements.  Click on the links for answers to each of the questions.

  1. What is HIPAA 5010?
  2. Who will need to upgrade to HIPAA 5010?
  3. Why must I upgrade to HIPAA 5010?
  4. How is HIPAA 5010 different from HIPAA 4010?
  5. What are the key dates for HIPAA 5010 and what is the deadline for HIPAA 5010 implementation?
  6. What happens if I’m not ready by the compliance deadline?
  7. Is there a chance for a delay in the compliance date?
  8. What do I need to do to prepare for the upgrade to 5010?
  9. If I finish all of this work before the compliance deadline, can I start to use the 5010 transactions?
  10. What provider transactions are implemented with HIPAA 5010?
  11. Where can you obtain the X12 Technical Reports?

Importance of Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

Anyone who has taken a business course has probably seen the acronym CRM. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management and refers to ways of keeping track of interactions with customers.  However, it is much more than that.  Bain.com does a nice job of defining CRM:  “Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a process companies use to understand their customer groups and respond quickly—and at times, instantly—to shifting customer desires. CRM technology allows firms to collect and manage large amounts of customer data and then carry out strategies based on that information. Data collected through focused CRM initiatives help firms solve specific problems throughout their customer relationship cycle—the chain of activities from the initial targeting of customers to efforts to win them back for more. CRM data also provide companies with important new insights into customers’ needs and behaviors, allowing them to tailor products to targeted customer segments. Information gathered through CRM programs often generates solutions to problems outside a company’s marketing functions, such as supply chain management and new product development.”

Forward-thinking companies must learn to embrace CRM to remain competitive.  An article in BusinessBalls.com pointed out, “The ultimate purpose of CRM, like any organizational initiative, is to increase profit. In the case of CRM this is achieved mainly by providing a better service to your customers than your competitors. CRM not only improves the service to customers though; a good CRM capability will also reduce costs, wastage, and complaints.”

In the business world, Pareto’s Principle is often cited.   This principle states that 80% of effects come from 20% of the causes.   This has been translated to:  companies obtain 80% of their business from 20% of their clients.   As the BusinessBalls.com article pointed out this also means:

  • 20% of customers account for 80% of your turnover
  • 20% of customers account for 80% of your profits
  • 20% of customers account for 80% of your service and supply problems

In order to avoid wasting time and energy, relationship building is critical.  To develop these relationships, it is important to have a strong CRM system.  There are plenty of web-based CRMs.  A popular cloud-based CRM is available through Salesforce.com.  This popular system boasts ease of use stating, “Using Salesforce CRM is as easy as buying a book on Amazon.com. That means your employees will actually use it, so it will be a more effective tool for your business.”

Apps are popping up all over to help with CRM.  Salesforce.com has their own that is good for a sales-based industry.  SmallBusinessTrends.com did a nice review of some other top CRM apps that are useful for small businesses.

Value of Top Companies

The following is a list of the estimated value of some of the top companies in 2011.  They are listed in order of highest to lowest value.

Apple – TechCrunch recently reported that Apple’s value is now worth as much as Microsoft, HP and Dell combined.  Valued at over $300 billion, Apple continues to grow.  For more specifics, click here:  Apple Value

Microsoft – Recent estimates put Microsoft’s value at about $200 billion.  Skype – Microsoft’s recent purchase assessed Skype’s value at $8.5 billion.

GoogleGoogle’s value has been estimated to be $192 billion as of January, 2011.  For more specifics on this income including Larry Page and Sergey Brin’s net income, click here:  Google ValueYoutube – Recent estimates put Youtube’s value around $1.3 billion.  Google paid $1.6 billion for Youtube in 2006.

FacebookFacebook was valued at $82.9 billion in January and that number continues to grow.

Amazon – In January, it was reported that Facebook passed Amazon’s value.  Amazon still showed a $75.2 billion worth.  For more specifics, click here:  Amazon Value

HP – Recent estimates put HP’s value at about $72.8 billion.

Dell – Recent estimates put Dell’s value at about $29.3 billion.

Groupon – Recent estimates put Groupon’s Value at as much as $25 billion.

Twitter – It is suggested that Twitter’s value is around $7.7 billion.

Linkedin – Recent estimates put LinkedIn’s value at over $4 billion.

The Most Useful Articles about How to Use Twitter

As Twitter grows and develops, so does the need to understand how to use Twitter as an effective marketing tool.  Companies and individuals that still have confusion with understanding hashtags, obtaining followers or how to remove annoying followers, should check out this list of the top Twitter articles:

  • Best Twitter Articles of 2010 – Bloggodown.com gives an exhaustive list of everything you want to know about Twitter. 
  • How to Find Hashtags on Twitter – This article explain hashtags and joining conversations on Twitter.  Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.
  • The Ultimate Guide to Getting Twitter Followers – Dave Larson from Tweetsmarter.com explains the 6 ways to get Twitter followers including how to build a reputation, self-promotion, becoming a reciprocator, understanding automation, joining following groups, and avoiding spamming.    
  • Deciphering Twitter:   Twictionary Terms can be Very Intwesting – As Twitter grows in popularity, so does the number of terms that are associated with the site. Check out some of the most popularly used Twitter terms.
  • How to Block People on Twitter – One big difference between being on Twitter as compared to being on Facebook is that people can follow you without your consent.  That may lead to some situations that you find to be bothersome, including unsolicited contact or having to sift through a bombardment of tweets on your homepage. 

     According to AssociatedContent.com you can block people on Twitter by:

    • “Log into your Twitter account using your unique username and password. If you use a public computer, do not forget to mark the ‘Do not remember me on this computer option’ to protect your personal info.
    • If the user you wish to block is already following you, go to your ‘Followers’ list. Browse among your connections and click on the personal profile of the unwanted contact. Alternatively, just type the person’s Twitter name on the search box and click on enter.
    • While on the person’s profile, you will see a gear icon on the top center of the screen (next to the ‘Message’ box). Once you click on it, a drop-down menu will reveal the options ‘Mention,’ ‘Block,’ or ‘Report for spam.’
    • Click on ‘Block’ and you have successfully blocked the spammer. Moreover, a box ‘Blocked’ with a red line will appear on the user’s profile replacing the ‘Following’ box.

   What happens later if you decide you blocked someone that you would rather not block?  Check out  how to unblock Twitter followers.  

 

What to Know before Investing in IPOs like LinkedIn or Pandora

Is investing in an initial public offering (IPO) a good idea?  With the recent LinkedIn and Pandora IPOs and talk of future IPOs with Twitter and Facebook, this is a question that many investors may be considering.  Imagine getting in on the ground floor of a giant like Coca-Cola? It might have been a wild ride, but those that hung in there, had a nice payoff.  Joshua Kennon of About.com reported, “A single share of Coca-Cola purchased for $40 at the IPO in 1919, for example, crashed to $19 the following year. Yet, today, that one share, with dividends reinvested, is worth over $5 million.”

Kennon suggests that if you have the stomach for risking your investment, you might want to consider whether the company can grow at a rate high enough to justify its price, whether there are any patents or trademarks to protect the business, whether you’d want to hold onto this stock for 30 years and if it fell by 50% would you have the stomach to handle it?

DailyFinance reported some additional questions to ask before investing in an IPO: (1) Is there an attractive market for the product? (2) Does the company have a significant share of the market? (3) Is the company’s management team experienced? (4) Is the company growing and profitable?

The following list shows some more recent IPO original offering prices compared to their current price (as of July, 2011):

Google Initial Offering Price, 2004:  $85/share

Google Price July, 2011:  $530/share

Pandora Initial Offering Price, June, 2011:  $16/share

Pandora Price July, 2011:  $19/share

LinkedIn Initial Offering Price, May, 2011: $45/share

LinkedIn Price July, 2011:  $98/share

Many employees of companies like Google became wealthy overnight when their companies went IPO. The New York Times article Google’s IPO 5 Years Later stated, “When the offering finally happened, it turned an estimated 1,000 Google employees into millionaires, at least on paper. Since then, many more millionaires have been minted inside the Googleplex, the Web search company’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.”

Not all startups have been this successful.  Businesspundit lists the 25 Internet Startups that Bombed Miserably. MSMoney also warned, “Many investors fret they’ll miss the next big thing because they have no access to the IPO market, but study after study has proven that IPOs historically underperform the broader markets.” FIGuide echoed that same sentiment in their article Should You Invest in IPOs, stating that there might be better options.  “A seminal paper published in The Journal of Finance looked at IPOs from 1970 to 1990. During the five years after issuance, investors in these IPOs got average annual returns of only 5%.(1) By contrast, the overall stock market’s average annual return from 1970 to 1990 was more than double that figure, at 10.8%. To put this in perspective, $1,000 invested at 5% for 20 years would have generated $2,653, while $1,000 invested at 10.8% would have generated $7,777, almost three times as much.”

Reality of Being Seen Live on Facebook, Google+ and Facetime

Today Facebook announced its new integration with Skype that will allow video calling and group chatting. Zuckerberg is touting “ease of use” as one of the key benefits of this system. Facebook can now compete with Google+ and their video chat service named Hangout.

The question now becomes, do you really want to have the capability of having people see you? Recently I was having a conversation with my husband on my iPhone using Apple’s Facetime application. As my husband took his iPhone around the office and said, “say hello to so and so”, I realized that as I could see them, they could also see me in my jammies with no makeup, hair up on top of my head and wearing my reading glasses. It wasn’t glamorous.

Many people use these video calling services when they are at home. Do we really want to see what everyone looks like when they first wake up in the morning? As we start opening up our homes to people with our video capabilities, we may also be showcasing things that may be better left unseen. Think about the dirty dishes in the sink or the unmade bed. Now more people than ever will know everyone’s dirty little secrets.

Prezi Presentation about Education That Blows PowerPoint Out of the Water

Prezi is a presentation software similar to Powerpoint.  Check out this very interesting use of Prezi “Future Proof Your Education” from Maria Andersen where she explains “How do you prepare for uncertain career paths where technical knowledge doubles every two years? You pay attention to the skills that surround the content: Interact, Flex, Learn, Explain, Analyze, and Focus.”

Andersen does a nice job of incorporating the “Did You Know?” video into her presentation while showing how to utilize Prezi to its fullest.  Click on the presentation below to find out more about choices and how knowledge and skills can affect career paths.   Particularly fun is the “Little Billy” video showing what happened to Billy and others when they entered the workforce and experienced information overload syndrome.

If you have ever wondered how to make the most out of using Prezi, this presentation can show how to do this.

 

Top 5 Things to Know to be a Successful Entrepreneur

The typical entrepreneurial personality has the drive and ambition for success.  Like anything in life, though, it is always harder to do something the very first time.  This can discourage many new entrepreneurs from taking that initial leap and to start their own business. 

I teach several entrepreneurial courses and have put together some important articles that I recommend to my students.  The following list contains many of these articles and some of the most important things that entrepreneurs should do in order to be successful:

  1. Read Success Stories and Attend Lectures:  An excellent way to be inspired and learn from other entrepreneurs is to read their success stories.  Onlineuniversities.com recently came up with a list of 20 Biographies Every Serious Entrepreneur Should Read.  These books include important success stories from Ben Franklin to Sam Walton.  Another very important article to read is:  50 Excellent Lectures for Small Business Owners.
  2. Learn the Truth About Failure:  Many entrepreneurs are stalled in their pursuit of success due to their fear of failure.  Even some of the most famous entrepreneurs met with failure before success.  To find out more about this, check out:  50 Famous People Who Failed Before Becoming Successful. Also see:  Famous Business Failures: Is it as Gloomy as it Sounds? Also see:  10 Famous Product Failures and the Advertisements That Did Not Sell Them.
  3. Learn the Truth About Finances Required:  Not all entrepreneurs come from wealthy families.  It can be challenging to come up with the funds required to begin a business.  Find out how some very famous entrepreneurs became successful in the article:  Famous Entrepreneurs Who Hit it Big With Humble Beginnings.
  4. Learn How Women Have Become Successful Entrepreneurs:  Some very successful entrepreneurs have been women.  Check out:  Most Inspiring Entrepreneurial Women.
  5. Learn How to Network:  One of the best ways to get a product or company known is through social media.  Part of an entrepreneur’s success is through finding their customers and their niche.  Check out:  5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses.

Once an entrepreneur has developed a strong idea of the direction they want to take, they need to work on their feasibility study.  Investors will want to see this to be sure that their idea is sound. Another important aspect of creating their new business is deciding on a vision and mission statement.  Check out The Top 10 Mission Statements in 2011. Once an entrepreneur has received enough funds to get their new business off the ground, they may want to consider whether or not to go IPO.  Many companies like Facebook have waited and not gone this traditional route.  Find out Why Companies Are Not Going IPO due to fear of the past dot com crash.

Top Universities Increasing Online Degrees Programs to Meet Needs of over 5 Million Learners

Arizona State University is just one of many major universities that have started to increase the number of online courses they offer.  Within the next decade, ASU expects that 25% of their students will be exclusively taking virtual classes.  ASU and other schools are keeping up with their learners’ desire to take online courses. 

The Sloan Consortium, also known as Sloan-C, is an institutional and professional organization integrating online education into mainstream education.   The consortium is committed to quality online education.  The Arizona Republic reported, “According to an annual Sloan Survey of Online Learning at 2,500 colleges and universities, 29 percent of students took at least one course online in fall 2009, up from nearly 12 percent in fall 2003.”

In a recent webinar I created and delivered for Sloan-C, there was strong interest by educators to learn how to deliver effective online courses. There is no mistaking the popularity of online education. Even Bill Gates praised online learning in his 2010 Annual Letter stating, “A lot of people, including me, think this is the next place where the internet will surprise people in how it can improve things.” According to a recent survey by the Sloan Consortium, more than 5.6 million students took an online class last fall, which translates to about 30 percent of college students.

The days of thinking that online education is somehow inferior is changing.  Arizona’s three main universities are all embracing online learning.  ASU is ramping up their online program. University of Arizona (U of A) has nearly 30 degree programs exclusively available online; many of these programs are graduate-level.  Northern Arizona University (NAU) has 63 exclusively online programs and anticipates a 10% growth increase per year.

Arizona universities are not the only major universities to get on board with online education. Some other very prominent universities that also offer online courses include:   

If you or someone you know is considering taking an online class, it is important to understand the terminology, the process and the tricks to being successful as an independent learner.  For help, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student

Generation of Haters Hiding Behind Social Media Anonymity

We’ve all seen the areas on Youtube, blogs, and other news areas where people make their anonymous comments about the topic at hand.  It has become very easy for people to make comments that they might not otherwise have made should they have had to have their name or face associated with their remarks.  Many comments are made by children under 18 and some of those comments may be just dismissed as immature.  However, as more news stories surface about children killing themselves from cyber-bullying, there is growing concern about society accepting this kind of behavior.  (For 11 facts about cyber-bullying click here). Cyberbullyingprotection.net reported that 75% of students have visited websites that bashed other students.

Many blogs, including this one, allow screening of posts before allowing them to be exposed.  This is useful to avoid the deluge of spam that comes across from people trying to sell their unsolicited products.  However, it can be reassuring to know that “haters” can’t just post anything they want.

Why are there so many angry people out there that want to write negative comments?  Part of the issue that these people have, other than immaturity, is a lack of emotional intelligence (EI).  Emotional intelligence may be defined in many ways.  One of the easiest ways to think about it is to define emotional intelligence as the ability to understand one’s own emotions as well as those in others.  People who write these posts have little consideration of the feeling of others.  This shows a lack of interpersonal skills.

It brings forth a question as to whether any specific demographic has more issues with emotional intelligence than others.  Rueven Bar-On, creator of the EQ-i emotional intelligence test, found that his model, “reveals that older people are more emotionally and socially intelligent than younger people, females are more aware of emotions than males while the latter are more adept at managing emotions than the former, and that there are no significant differences in emotional-social intelligence between the various ethnic groups that have been examined in North America.”

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be improved. Authors like Marcia Hughes and others have written several helpful books about how to increase levels of EI.  Author and psychiatrist John Gottman discussed helping our children’s emotional development in his book, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child.  Some of the things Gottman suggests are to:

  • Listen to our children with empathy.
  • Help your children name their feelings.
  • Validate your child’s emotions.
  • Turn their tantrums into teaching tools.
  • Use conflicts to teach problem-solving.
  • Set an example by remaining calm.

By helping our children develop emotional intelligence, perhaps we can see a future of less “haters” and cyber-bullies making anonymous hurtful comments.

 

 

Using QR Codes to Get a Job or Promote Your Business

You probably have seen QR codes and don’t even realize it.  Perhaps they were on a marketing ad or a flyer someone handed you.  You might have seen them on a promotional piece or on a poster at a local store.  It may have looked so under-stated that you probably passed right by it and didn’t give it a second thought.

Start looking for them.  You’ll be surprised at how many places are using them.  What are they?  Think of them like a bar code that lists a lot more information and can direct you to specific websites.  Companies are creating these codes to be used with smartphone apps.  This is an example code that I created for my book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality:

It’s really simple to make one.  You can go to a site like Qurify.com and type in the information you want to be encoded.  It may be something as simple as a website address.  You can go to the Qurify site and type in your website URL address. If you don’t have a website, consider putting in your Linkedin profile page.   Click on the Qurify button and then download the image it creates as a jpeg file.  Now you can take this file and put it on your business cards, on your resume, or on any other information you create. 

Anyone who has a QR Reader app on their phone can simply start the app on their phone and point it at your code.  When they do that, they will be directed on their phone to the URL address you entered on Qurify.  It couldn’t be easier. 

This can really make you stand out from the rest in the job search.  Just having that code on your resume will make those that don’t know what it is, look into it why it is on your resume.  For those that do know what it is, they will appreciate how technologically you savvy are.

If you have your own business and want to promote different parts of your website, these can be useful as well.  To show examples, I created several of these QR codes for Dr. Robert Spies’ plastic surgery site.  To see how they work, first download a free QR Reader app onto your smartphone.  Then open that app and point it at the codes listed below.

This code directs you to information about facelifts:

This code directs you to information about tummy tucks:

 This code directs you to information about breast augmentation:

 By having different QR codes like this, you can customize your marketing material to direct people to the appropriate websites.  For companies like a plastic surgery practice, this can be a very effective tool to target people that have a strong enough financial background to own a smartphone as well as those that are interested enough to point their phone at the code for more information.  It is a great tool to specifically target the appropriate population. 

To find out more about how these codes work, check out information from the guys at how stuff works technology podcast. 

Marketers Target Impatient Customers through Smartphone Quick Response QR Codes

 

Quick Response or QR codes are the latest bar code system that allows customers to use their smartphones to obtain discounts, gather information and even order products ahead of time so that they are ready upon their arrival.  For an instant gratification generation, these new codes can connect customers to products faster than ever before.

Companies are putting these codes in their advertisements and on their products so that customers can scan them with their smartphones and gather more information, find out about discounts or even order the product.  Although these codes aren’t that new, companies are starting to use them more due to the increased frequency of consumers using smartphones.

It’s simple to install an app on a phone. In fact some even come with the app pre-installed.  Wall Street Journal reported, “Scanby Inc., a New York company that develops and manages QR codes, estimates that 30 million people in the U.S. have a code-reader app on their phone.”

Companies like Ethical Bean are taking advantage of the code to get their coffee products into their customers’ hands more quickly.  Customers simply need to order their coffee through the use of these apps and it will be ready when they arrive to pick it up.

These apps can also give more information about the products being purchased.  Customers can find out recipes, ingredients and more.  The Wall Street Journal had some statistics about the use of these codes:

  • 32% of consumers in a recent survey said they’ve used a QR code
  • 70% plan to use QR code again or for the first time
  • 53% are motivated to use it by getting a coupon, discount or deal
  • 52% are motivated to use it by getting more information

How to Find Hashtags on Twitter

 

Hashtags are a popular way to start up a conversation about a specific topic within Twitter.  By putting the # sign before a subject, it creates a conversation that others can join.  For example, if I wanted to tweet about plastic surgery, I could include #plasticsurgery within my tweet and it would list my comment on the discussion being held within Twitter about that topic.   As you can imagine, a recent popular hashtag topic was #royalwedding

The challenge comes with finding all of the conversations you would like to join.  One site that is helpful is called What the TrendMediabistro.com reported, “What the Trend shows you the top hashtag and non-hashtag trending topics. It lists the 10 top trending phrases at any given moment on Twitter, along with a short description of each. Just underneath the written description is how long ago this phrase started trending, and when it received its description. What the Trend also shows you the top trending topics in several geographic areas. You can also view all of the trends from the past 24 hours, and sort by verified trends, explained trends and much more.”

Trendistic is another site that can tell you just how popular a hashtag is on Twitter.  If you type in the hashtag phrase into their search, it can tell you not only the most recent conversations about that phrase but also how active it has been for the last 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days, 90 days and 180 days. The site also gives embedding information so that you can put their charts on your blog or website.  Check out the right side of the main Trendistic site to see a list of the top trending topics.

Fear of Past Dot Com Crash: Venture Capitalists Only Interested in Consumer-Targeted Companies like Facebook or Groupon

 

The dot com crash has had a big impact on how venture capitalists invest in the current market. To understand why, it is important to know a little history about the impact of the Internet and why these investors are leery.

The Internet became commercially popular in the mid-1990s.  By 1995, there was an estimated 18 million users on the net.  This led to the creation of online businesses which led to speculation about how big these companies could grow.  The problem came with how much these companies were actually worth vs. how much they were perceived to be worth. 

What causes a bubble and eventual crash?  When people get excited about a company stock, it can drive the price up but if it inflates to an unrealistic point where investors get wise to the fact that the company can’t be worth as much as they hoped, people bail, sell the stocks, the price drops, and the company crashes. 

The pain of those dot com crashes are still felt today.  Venture capitalists now may be more hesitant to invest.  Tom Abate with SFGate.com said that venture capitalists in 2000 made about 8000 investments valued at $100.5 million.  “In 1999 and 2000, Wall Street invested in 534 venture-backed initial public offerings.” Those, who cashed in early, made a lot of money.  As large amounts of money were being put into the market and speculation was growing, the bubble was forming.  NASDAQ hit its peak on March 10, 2000 at 513252, only to lose 78% of its value by October, 2002 when it dropped to 11411.

In 2001-2002 while a lot of companies were over-valued and going bankrupt, people found their stock purchases were not such a great investment.  So now when Facebook and Twitter are considering going IPO it has some potential investors concerned.  This is especially true in the case of Twitter that has yet to publically show their business plan. 

What has the effect been on venture capitalists investing?  An article in Investopedia stated, “In the year 1999, there were 457 IPOs, most of which were internet and technology related. Of those 457 IPOs, 117 doubled in price on the first day of trading. In 2001 the number of IPOs dwindled to 76, and none of them doubled on the first day of trading.” SFGate.com reported, “In 2008 and 2009, a total of just 18 venture-backed companies went public.”

Investments have picked up for the consumer-oriented companies like Facebook and Groupon.  However there has been a venture squeeze for companies with business products.  Wall Street Journal reported, “In the first three months of this year, venture-capital investment in consumer tech companies nearly tripled to $874 million from $310 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, investments in tech firms with business products rose at a slower rate to $2.3 billion from $1.9 billion a year earlier.  The shift away from business-oriented technology start-ups has been gathering steam over the past few years. Venture investment into such companies was $11.9 billion in 2010, down 35% from $18.4 billion in 2006, according to VentureSource. The overall number of financing rounds these companies received also dropped 18% to 1,261 during that time.”

Inspired by One Tweet: Quakebook’s Creation is Helping Japan Raise Money

An expatriate in Japan, Our Man in Abiko, sent out a call with a single Tweet to social media contributors that eventually led to the creation of an e-book called Quakebook.  “The idea was to share the stories and experiences of people actually on the ground during the earthquake,” claims Quakebook.org. “In just four weeks, the 2:46 Quakebook project has turned an idea first voiced in a single tweet, into a rich collection of essays, artwork and photographs submitted by individuals around the world, including people who endured the disaster and journalists who covered it.”

Quakebook is available on Amazon for $9.99.  Amazon stated the intentions of the editor who created the book, “is to record the moment, and in doing so raise money for the Japanese Red Cross Society to help the thousands of homeless, hungry and cold survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. ONE HUNDRED PERCENT of the price you pay (net of VAT, sales and other taxes) goes to the Japanese Red Cross Society to aid the victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. ”

The book has the title 2:46 Quakebook because it begins by showing the effects at 2 minutes and 46 seconds after the quake hit.  There are over 30,000 words of accounts and over 200 people who have chipped in for this project.  This whole project was completely volunteer-oriented and the e-book became available in only one month after the disaster.  Quakebookorg stated, “The contributions in 2:46 Aftershocks have come from a wide variety of sources, and include photographs, personal accounts, drawings; each telling their own tale.”

Click here to read some excerpts from 2:46 Quakebook:  Aftershocks Stories from the Japan Earthquake. To follow on Twitter, check out #Quakebook.

How to Teach Online Classes

I’m testing doing some radio podcasts.  This initial show has issues with the music in the first few seconds but it is just a test . . . Anyone interested in learning how to teach online courses may want to listen to this for helpful information though. Click on the picture to hear the podcast or click here.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/btrplayer.swf

Listen to internet radio with DianeHamilton on Blog Talk Radio

Importance of Facebook Like Button: Millennials and Women Likely to Hop On

Businesses are increasing their presence on Facebook in hopes that users will pick the “Like” button about their company, product or service.  This is becoming today’s “word of mouth” through technology. 

A research brief from the Center for Media Research claims, “Apparently a consumer approval on social media trumps other messages when people want to show their support for local businesses. Leading ways that users show support are:

•75% of people tell their friends

•20% of people say they “Like” it on Facebook to show their support, compared with only 13% who write a review

•Millennials and women are even more likely to hop on Facebook

•40% of people under 35 “Like” a business; 49% in the 18-24 group, versus 18% who said they would write a review

•25% of women hit the “Like” button, versus 11% who write reviews”

This does not mean that Facebook will capture all business.  “The study also showed:

•52% of adults under 35 visit more than two websites before checking out a local business

•63% of respondents under 35 head to Google

•24% visit Facebook;

•21% look at reviews sites and

•17% clicked on the first link on the search results page

•8% of people said a deal is the number one thing that influences them to try a local business”

Facebook and Twitter Getting Free Advertising through Redirection

Have you noticed lately how many companies post somewhere in their advertisement that they have a Facebook or Twitter page?  Perhaps you have seen wording like:  “Follow Us on Facebook” or “Follow Us on Twitter”.  Imagine if your company was mentioned like that on everyone else’s advertisements and you didn’t have to pay for that.

This is something that is new in the advertising world.  In the past, you would see companies listing their websites to direct their business to their own companies.  They still do this, of course, but now they are also directing business to Facebook and Twitter to get people to come to their website indirectly. This redirection may have implications on web analytics, making it more difficult to know how many customers are seeing the company’s message.  However, the advantages for using sites like Facebook for advertising can be significant.  Tnooz.com reported, “With one in every 13 people on the planet using Facebook, the potential exposure that Facebook advertising offers can be massive, costing a fraction of what a TV advertising campaign might cost.”

This redirection of business is something that is growing.  It can be easier to get people to go to Facebook or Twitter initially due to their popularity.  Sites like bit.ly allow links to be shortened and more information to be included in a tweeted message.  This can also be useful for redirection to mobile devices.  Webupon.com reported, “Facebook and Twitter are two of the most user-friendly sites on the mobile web – and that’s great news for those who are going mobile with their websites, because it means people can right-click on bit.ly links in Twitter – and be automatically taken to a mobile version of your site, if they’re accessing it from Twitter.”

Sites like Facebook are helping increase what used to be called word of mouth advertising by allowing people to pick “I like” on a product page.  Trendwatching.com refers to the F-Factor involved here, meaning Friends, Fans and Followers on Facebook who can influence purchasing decisions. Check out an article by Converge2003.com that suggests there are 10 tactics to increase your number of Facebook likes.   For more information about adding a Facebook Like Button to your site, click here.

Millennials Actually Utilizing LinkedIn Rather Than Just Having an Inactive Profile

Linkedin has a lot of people with profiles. Quantcast reports “Linkedin has 21.4 million monthly unique U.S. visitors and 47.6 million globally.” However, that doesn’t mean they are all taking advantage of the site.  Dynamic Business reported, “According to the 2010 LinkedIn Career Trends Research, a staggering 60 percent of professionals surveyed on LinkedIn do not use social media channels when it comes to advancing their careers – despite 87 percent believing an online profile will help their professional identity and career progression. This mirrors results for business adoption of social media, with only 28 percent of small businesses surveyed using social media despite a similar number believing it would help their business.”

That may be changing.  The day of looking for a job in the classified section has gone. Millennials are moving away from newspaper ads.  SMH reported results from I Love Rewards and Experience Inc. that showed, “28 per cent say they will use LinkedIn to find a job, compared with 7 percent the previous year. Newspaper ads are moving in the opposite direction with 28 per cent saying they would turn to newspapers, compared with 34 per cent for the previous year.”

Millennials have been shown to have unique expectations in the working world.  Mashable reported more information from this study showed, “Millenials about to hit the workforce don’t care what size company they work for and that 64% of them plan to stay at their new job for two to five years. Another 24.1% say they plan to stay with their employer for more than 10 years. However, the average tenure for millennials is actually 1.5 years, according to the Department of Labor.”

Google and Facebook April Fool’s Day Jokes

On April Fool’s Day the Internet is full of contributors trying to play on our gullibility.  Facebook has its share of people listing today as their birthday or reporting unusual updates.  The following is Google’s attempt at playing the game:

Facebook Depression: Report of How Social Networking Can Affect Our Youth

 

A report released today (March 28, 2011) by the American Academy of Pediatrics has come up with a syndrome they call Facebook Depression.  This report is titled:  Clinical Report—the Impact of Social Media on  Children, Adolescents, and Families.  Although Facebook allows people to remain in contact with friends and develop relationships, there can also be a downside.  MyHealthNewsDaily reported, “heavy use of Facebook, as well as other risks of the online world such as cyber bullying and sexting, can have serious consequences, so it’s critical for parents to stay involved in their children’s lives.”

This is not the first time social media has and its impact on young adults has been studied.  Livescience explained, “A big chunk of kids’ social development now takes place in the online world, according to the report. A study released in February 2010 found that 70 percent of wired American teens and young adults use social networking sites. A 2009 poll conducted by Common Sense Media found that more than half of teens use a social networking site more than once a day.”

The good is that there are some “benefits of children and adolescents using social media including:

  • Opportunities for community engagement through raising money for charity and volunteering for local events, including political and philanthropic events
  • Enhancement of individual and collective creativity through development and sharing of artistic and musical endeavors
  • Growth of ideas from the creation of blogs, podcasts, videos, and gaming sites
  • Expansion of one’s online connections through shared interests to include others from more diverse backgrounds (such communication is an important step for all adolescents and affords the opportunity for respect, tolerance, and increased discourse about personal and global issues)
  • Fostering of one’s individual identity and unique social skills–Enhanced Learning Opportunities”

For the complete report click here.

Japan Breach Danger Increases: Explanation of What This Means

There is a lot of fear of radiation due to the nuclear reactor damage in Japan’s recent earthquake.  Many people fear what could happen should the facility not be able to be kept under control.  AOLNews reported an update today claiming, “Two weeks after an earthquake and tsunami triggered a crisis at a nuclear plant, the facility is still not under control, and the government said Friday there is a suspected breach at a reactor. That means radioactive contamination at the plant is more serious than once thought.”

Just the words Nuclear Meltdown can bring panic.  The podcast “Stuff You Should Know” with Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant includes an excellent explanation of how nuclear meltdowns work.  An interesting thing they point out in that podcast is that the earthquake was not as damaging as the tsunami that followed.  For a written explanation of How Japan’s Nuclear Crisis Works, click here.

Google, Twitter and YouTube Helping Japanese Earthquake Survivors Find Loved Ones and Shelter

Google’s person find is an online tool dedicated to helping Japanese earthquake survivors find their loved ones.  This tool was developed after the 2010 earthquake in Chile and was used in the New Zealand earthquake as well. Bloomberg reported, “The Google Person Finder service, which collects information about people’s locations and their safety status, is intended to help users find out if their friends and families are safe,” Visit the Google Person Finder 2011 Earthquake site here.

Google reported, “Searching the Internet on sites such as Google, Twitter and their local variants has become more effective in finding loved ones than sifting through wreckage following Japan’s devastating tsunami.”

Youtube has also set up a channel to help victims communicate.  This channel contains messages to help survivors find shelters and others affected by the earthquake. 

Blog Overload: Who Has Time to Read it All?

There is no question that the blogosphere is growing.  According to webdesignerdepot “WordPress has statistics for both WordPress.com (15.1 million blogs and counting) and self-hosted WordPress installations (17.4 million active installations), which gives part of the picture. There are more than 10 million tumblogs on Tumblr. Blogger doesn’t offer any public statistics on how many blogs they host. Technorati is currently tracking more than 1.2 million blogs. And there are likely millions of other blogs out there hosted on other services like Movable Type, TypePad, Expression Engine, and other CMSs.”

There is no shortage of blog search engines to find blogs that contain information of interest. There are also lots of articles by sites like Forbes and others who occasionally list their idea of top blogging sites.  Google and Google News features can be incorporated into an iGoogle page, and can be another way to keep up with topics to follow.

With all of this information out there, who has time to read it all?  Bloggers know it can be good form to make comments on others’ blogs.  However, finding the time to not only read these blogs but formulate insightful comments may be difficult. Even if people find a good blog to follow and subscribe to their RSS feed, as sites continue to be added to the feed, the feed reader may have more information than people have time to visit.

There has been speculation about when blogging popularity will die down.  The latest discussion is whether Facebook will replace blogging and company websites.  Cnet reported, “Even if Facebook doesn’t somehow supplant lots of Web sites, though, there’s no denying the social network is becoming more important to marketing, and it’s adapting to the idea.

 

Bloggers and Social Media Junkies: 5 Tips to Improve Your Writing

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane:  What are some things I can do to improve my blogging and writing skills?

The Internet has turned lot of people into writers.  Bloggers and social media junkies may have great ideas to share but may lack some writing skills that could help improve the message they want to convey.  I know I make a lot of mistakes when I write.  I try not to, but when you blog as much as I do, it is inevitable.  I never intended to be a writer.  However, I found that I liked sharing information, so writing became a means to an end.  When I write my books, I use a professional editor.  Not all of us can be editing experts. It could be very expensive and inconvenient to have to use an editor for every blog and social media posting.  However, there are some simple things that can help to improve writing skills. 

1.  Don’t End Sentences in Prepositions. The problem is that many people have no idea what a preposition is.  Susan Thurman, author of The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need, claims there is a trick to helping recognize a preposition.  “Look at the last eight letters of the word preposition; they spell position.  A preposition sometimes tells the position of something:  in, out, under, over, above and so forth.”  My seventh grade teacher suggested we think about a box.  For example:  in the box, over the box, and so forth. The following are the most common prepositions according to Thurman.  Try to avoid ending a sentence with any of these words:

  • About
  • Above
  • Across
  • After
  • Against
  • Along
  • Among
  • Around
  • At
  • Before
  • Behind
  • Below
  • Beneath
  • Beside
  • Between
  • Beyond
  • But
  • By
  • Concerning
  • Despite
  • Down
  • During
  • Except
  • For
  • From
  • In
  • Inside
  • Into
  • Like
  • Of
  • Off
  • On
  • Onto
  • Out
  • Outside
  • Over
  • Past
  • Since
  • Through
  • Throughout
  • To
  • Toward
  • Under
  • Underneath
  • Until
  • Up
  • Upon
  • With
  • Within
  • Without

2.   Learn to Spell without Spell Check. If you rely too much on a spell checker, you may find that words you meant to write are replaced with words that have entirely different meanings.  I can’t count how many times that a student has sent me a note saying to “please excuse the incontinence”.   It is best if you take the time to learn to spell correctly so that you don’t have to rely on a device that may change your intended meaning. The following are fifty of the most commonly misspelled words according to author Gary Provost of 100 Ways to Improve Your Writing:

  • Acceptable
  • Apology
  • Appetite
  • Architect
  • Assassinate
  • Autumn
  • Calendar
  • Changeable
  • Conscious
  • Correspondence
  • Criticism
  • Deceive
  • Discernible
  • Embarrass
  • Eminent
  • Existence
  • Fascinate
  • Grateful
  • Hygiene
  • Imaginable
  • Immediately
  • Irrelevant
  • Jewelry
  • Judgment
  • Lovable
  • Miscellaneous
  • Mischievous
  • Mortgage
  • Necessarily
  • Occasionally
  • Occurrence
  • Omission
  • Orchestra
  • Potatoes
  • Professor
  • Pseudonym
  • Quarrelsome
  • Religious
  • Reservoir
  • Rhythmic
  • Scissors
  • Syllable
  • Tragedy
  • Umbrella
  • Vanilla
  • Vengeance
  • Weird
  • Wholesome
  • Youthful
  • Zealot

3.  Vary your sentence length.  Some of my students like to write in either really long run-on sentences or overly short monotonous sentences.  Try to vary your sentence length.  Notice how the first sentence in this paragraph was longer and more complex.  That was followed by a shorter more succinct sentence.  It makes your writing easier to read if you vary the sentence length and mix it up a bit. 

4.  Ask yourself some questions once you have finished your draft.  Does the initial paragraph let the reader know what your paper, blog or article is going to contain?  Do you have needless repetition of ideas?  Is your tone and tense consistent?  Does one paragraph advance to the next in a smooth fashion?  Does each of your paragraphs contain a topic sentence that conveys the thought you have developed throughout that paragraph? 

5.  Work on expanding your vocabulary.  Rather than learning overly complicated words to express what you want to say, try varying the way that you say things by using a thesaurus.  If you are talking about a house, perhaps refer to that house as a dwelling or a building in the next sentence.  If you find that you are using the same word over and over, check out some alternatives words in a thesaurus to add dimension to your writing.

I know I am guilty of making some of these mistakes.  Through practice, we can all improve our skills. 

Top 50 Venture-Funded Companies for 2011

The Wall Street Journal had a couple of very interesting articles about start-up companies and their ability to obtain funding.  The following list of top 50 venture-funded companies for 2011 came from one of those articles.  Of particular interest to me was the ease that some young entrepreneurs are finding in terms of ways to obtain capital, should their startups be technology-based.  Everyone is looking to get in on the next Facebook or Google.  Entrepreneur Aaron Levie, 26, was able to raise $48 million in less than 3 weeks for Box.net, his online storage company.  Check out what WSJ.com claims are the top 50 start ups for 2011 below:

Rank Company Name Location Industry Why It’s Hot 2010 Rank Total Equity Raised in Millions
1 Castlight Health Inc. San Francisco Health Care As consumers pay more of their health-care bills, Castlight lifts the veil on medical costs. 14 $81.00
2 Xirrus Inc. Thousand Oaks, Calif. Information Technology Founder Dirk Gates previously took another start-up, Xircom, public and then sold it to Intel. 9 $80.25
3 Xactly Corp. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xactly’s partners include Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce.com, which invested last June.   $69.00
4 Recycle Rewards Inc. New York Business and Financial Services Recyclebank is expanding internationally and currently operates in 29 states. 25 $73.35
5 ExteNet Systems Inc. Lisle, Ill. Information Technology ExteNet raised $128 million in a January 2010 round led by George Soros’s investment firm.   $191.90
6 Cyan Optics Inc. Petaluma, Calif. Information Technology CEO Michael Hatfield previously founded Calix Networks, which held an IPO last year.   $90.83
7 Aster Data Systems Inc. San Carlos, Calif. Information Technology Aster helps companies analyze data to understand customer behavior and detect fraud.   $47.00
8 Glam Media Inc. Brisbane, Calif. Consumer Services Glam’s sites attract 198 million monthly visitors world-wide. 13 $154.20
9 Carrier IQ Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology The software sits on 140 million devices world-wide, providing data to Sprint and Vodafone.   $48.00
10 Imperva Inc. Redwood Shores, Calif. Information Technology CEO Shlomo Kramer co-founded one of Israel’s largest tech companies, Check Point Software.   $54.00
11 Vidyo Inc. Hackensack, N.J. Information Technology Vidyo powers Google Chat and bundles its software on Hewlett-Packard PCs. 35 $61.19
12 Etsy Inc. Brooklyn, N.Y. Consumer Services It’s profitable and in August it estimated 2010 revenue of $30 million to $50 million.   $51.25
13 RGB Networks Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology RGB acquired mobile-video rival RipCode in June.   $119.00
14 IronKey Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Founder and Chairman David Jevans helped develop Apple’s Internet strategy.   $50.30
15 Appia Inc. Durham, N.C. Information Technology Appia is moving to build app marketplaces for the likes of AT&T and Samsung.   $18.25
16 The Active Network Inc. San Diego Business and Financial Services Having raised at least $275 million, Active has made numerous acquisitions.   $272.44
17 Nimble Storage Inc. San Jose, Calif. Information Technology Nimble has built an appliance that provides primary and backup storage in one box.   $24.27
18 PatientSafe Solutions Inc. San Diego Health Care After raising $30 million in February, PatientSafe completed and launched its iPod Touch system.   $71.50
19 Glaukos Corp. Laguna Hills, Calif. Health Care Glaukos is developing a new medical-device treatment for open-angle glaucoma.   $117.55
20 Fusion-io Inc. Salt Lake City Information Technology Executive team boasts Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. 2 $111.50
21 Achaogen Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Has support from the National Institutes of Health and Department of Defense.   $103.00
22 NeuroPace Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Health Care Filed for approval of a system to monitor and stop epileptic seizures. 12 $130.30
23 Xoom Corp. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Two large, undisclosed public equities firms led its last $33 million round.   $81.44
24 Workday Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Business and Financial Services The latest effort from Dave Duffield is challenging his earlier creation, PeopleSoft. 16 $110.00
25 SpiderCloud Wireless Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Helps carriers meet the growing demand for mobile broadband on corporate campuses.   $54.10
26 Jive Software Inc. Palo Alto, Calif. Information Technology Financed by Google backers Kleiner and Sequoia, Jive Software brings social-networking tools to big business.   $57.57
27 Federated Media Publishing San Francisco Consumer Services Federated Media has made three acquisitions since August to bulk up its advertising and publishing network.   $57.25
28 Boku Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services CEO Mark Britto previously led Ingenio to an acquisition by AT&T and Accept.com to Amazon.   $38.00
29 Zoosk Inc. San Francisco Consumer Services The “social” online-dating company has more than 15 million active monthy users. 42 $40.10
30 EndoGastric Solutions Inc. Redmond, Wash. Health Care With $120 million total raised, EndoGastric is pushing to profitability.   $128.68
31 Chegg Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Consumer Services Chegg recently acquired two firms to expand into other student services. 32 $166.20
32 Everyday Health Inc. New York Consumer Services Everyday Health’s sites host 26.5 million visitors a month. In January, it partnered with AOL.   $77.20
33 Xsigo Systems Inc. San Jose, Calif. Business and Financial Services Xsigo’s board of directors includes Veritas Software’s Mark Leslie and HP’s chairman Ray Lane.   $60.00
34 Soasta Inc. Mountain View, Calif. Information Technology Soasta tests the mettle of online services prior to launch by simulating heavy traffic. 36 $21.05
35 Rally Software Development Corp. Boulder, Colo. Information Technology Rally was named the sixth best place to work in the U.S. by Outside magazine last year.   $49.25
36 Prosper Marketplace Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Prosper leveraged the credit crisis to build a service matching lenders and borrowers.   $54.24
37 Pivot3 Inc. Houston Information Technology It says bookings doubled each of the last four years.   $78.00
38 Suniva Inc. Norcross, Ga. Energy and Utilities One of the only start-up solar-cell makers in the U.S. that’s enjoying rising demand. 15 $130.50
39 Veracyte Inc. South San Francisco, Calif. Health Care Developing minimally invasive molecular tests to provide earlier cancer diagnoses.   $49.00
40 ExactTarget Inc. Indianapolis Business and Financial Services Exact Target scrapped an IPO in 2009 and has bought three companies in 17 months.   $155.50
41 OncoMed Pharmaceuticals Inc. Redwood City, Calif. Health Care OncoMed has shown an ability to attack cancer stem cells, which resist traditional chemotherapy.   $168.02
42 ExaGrid Systems Inc. Westborough, Mass. Information Technology ExaGrid’s technology is similar to that of Data Domain, the subject of a $2.2 billion EMC-NetApp bidding war.   $78.10
43 SeeSaw Networks Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Founder Monte Zweben previously founded Blue Martini Software and Red Pepper.   $19.59
44 Silver Peak Systems Inc. Santa Clara, Calif. Information Technology Silver Peak is growing quickly and taking on larger rival Riverbed Technology. 20 $59.80
45 Zilliant Inc. Austin, Texas Information Technology Zilliant uses scientific data to maximize profits by fine-tuning pricing.   $62.47
46 Yammer Inc. San Francisco Business and Financial Services Called “Facebook for business,” Yammer has been embraced by employees at large companies.   $40.00
47 Bivio Networks Inc. Pleasanton, Calif. Information Technology Its government contracts helped it navigate the recession better than most.   $78.30
48 TxVia Inc. New York Business and Financial Services CEO Anil Aggarwal has a decade of experience running electronic-payments firms.   $51.50
49 Service-now.com Inc. Del Mar, Calif. Information Technology Founder and CEO Fred Luddy was CTO of Peregrine Systems and Remedy. Former Documentum CEO Jeff Miller and Proflowers.com CEO Bill Strauss became directors last year. 45 $54.86
50 Aprius Inc. Sunnyvale, Calif. Information Technology Cofounder Peter Kirkpatrick hails from Intel and CEO Varun Nagaraj led NetContinuum.   $31.00

Source:Dow Jones VentureSource

5 Top Networking Tips for Small Businesses

 

Entrepreneurs are often looking for ways to promote their new businesses.  On March 18, the local YOB (Your Own Business) Fair will be a place where Arizona business owners can go to find out tips to help them promote their business.  I will have a booth there and I hope you will join me.  In the meantime, please check out some of the top networking tips that small businesses should be considering in order to succeed: 

  1. Find out where your customers are and connect to them through social networking.  It is important to network with as many people as you can, but remember to try and focus on those that have connections.  Spend some time looking through contacts on LinkedIn and Twitter to see who your friends and contacts know.  Get into groups on sites like LinkedIn and start threads about topics that would be of interest to people you’d like to target as customers.  Become an expert in the Q&A area on LinkedIn as well.  Create Facebook pages for your company and products.  Link your sites together so that your updates get posted to all of your social networking sites.  If you don’t know where to begin to learn how to social network, check out letsgetsocial.com for a reasonably priced series of videos to show you how to become social-networking savvy.  If you have the funds, you could hire a social media expert to do it for you.
  2. Give people something so that they will want to come to your site.  If you aren’t on Youtube, you need to be.  Create several short (3-4 minute) videos offering people something for free and post them on Youtube.  End your video with a link to your landing page to have them sign up for a free newsletter or some other free item.  This will allow you to capture their email address and get them on your mailing list in a legitimate way.  The videos do not have to be fancy.  A simple video camera can create all you need.  You can also make a PowerPoint presentation and then overlay it with Camtasia so that your file has your voice and presentation without necessarily having to have a video of your face if that makes you more comfortable.  You can upload the file to Youtube and also link to it from your website and/or blog. 
  3. Ask for word of mouth.  One of the best ways to get noticed is to have people talk about your business.  If you aren’t asking your satisfied customers to tell other people about you, then you are missing the boat.  Happy customers are usually more than willing to tell others about you if you ask them to do so.  Many just haven’t considered it until it is brought up.  Ask people if they know people who could use your service.  If they do, ask them if they will tell people about you and give them your cards or flyers to give to these people. Remember to ask people to do things based on assessing their level of comfort.  Part of connecting with others is to understand individual personalities
  4. Keep records of contacts you make.  If you have a software package like ACT! or Outlook, you can keep notes there.  Keep a record of everyone you meet and make notes about everything you know about them.  Every time you meet someone new, find out something about them that you can write down into your file and bring up later.   If you can figure out their birthday from Facebook, always send them a note saying “happy birthday”.  Find reasons to stay in contact.  Put notes into your calendar reminding yourself to drop a note, asking if the baby was born yet or how the wedding went.  Showing an interest in people draws them closer to you.  Avoid promoting your products and yourself in all outgoing messages.  Make it be about them or give them information that helps them and makes them want to come back to you.    
  5. Be a resource or mentor.  Find ways to offer your services for free to others and it will bring people back to you later.  On LinkedIn, you can answer questions in the Q&A room to help others and get recognized.  Join local groups and volunteer to do things to become noticed.  People remember kindness and are more willing to give out your name to others if they associate you with good things. 

Is Facebook and Twitter Keeping You Out of College or Helping You Get In?

Employers often use Google or other online research sites to find out about prospective job applicants. If there is embarrassing or incriminating information out there, it may not just be prospective employers that find it. 

Universities are also performing online searches on prospective students. According to Latimes, “College admissions officials look up applicants on Facebook and Twitter, experts say. Details revealed through social media can make or break a good impression.”

Keep in mind, social media can be a way to have employers and universities find out good things about you as well.  In the Latimes article the editor of StudentAdvisor “suggests following the school’s Twitter feed or “liking” its Facebook fan page. Students also can post a video resume on YouTube or blog about volunteering efforts or other extracurricular activities and provide a link on their applications.”

For more information, check out the Online Reputation Guide

Online Reputation Guide for College-Bound Students

Amazon Takes on Netflix Offering Movie Subscriptions

Those interested in immediate gratification have made Netflix a popular choice for movie viewing.  Amazon has now taken on the challenge of competing with Netflix.  Amazon’s “Prime” subscription program costs $79/year which includes their 2-day shipping on purchases.  Prime also includes more than 5,000 video-streaming movies and television shows.  Most of what they offer includes older television seasons and movies.

Netflix’s “Watch Instantly” program costs $7.99 a month and video-streams over 20,000 titles.  This brings their price to over $95/year.  Many of their movies are newer, but their TV shows consistent of previous seasons.

Amazon is entering this market in hope of increasing their digital business.  According to the Wall Street Journal, “The streaming-video offering could lead customers to buy or rent the 90,000 movies and shows that Amazon already offers on an a la carte basis.”

In an effort to compete, Netflix has entered into a two-year deal with CBS to provide television shows.  WSJ reported, “Netflix will pay CBS hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the nonexclusive, two-year licensing pact, which gives CBS the option to extend it for up to two years and add more content in return for higher compensation.”

How will this affect the cable and satellite industry’s relationship with TV networks?  That is something that TV executives must consider as more than $30 billion a year comes to networks from subscriptions.

Netflix is no stranger to competition.  Netflix’s competition with Itunes, led to their removing limits for streaming of video. PCworld reported, “Previously the amount of streaming content subscribers could access was dependent on their subscription level. For example, the $16.99 membership allowed for 17 hours of streaming movie content. With the new unlimited plan, all subscription levels, with the exception of the lowest $4.99 plan, will be able to stream as many Netflix movies and TV shows as they’d like to their PCs.”

Itunes has been tough to beat in movie downloads.  As Forbes pointed out, “ITunes already dominates the world of movie downloads. In 2010 the service accounted for 64.5% of all movie downloads and rentals.”

Top Branding Failures

Companies are always looking for that next Old Spice campaign that will become viral on YouTube and get people talking.  Effective branding is crucial for a company’s success.  The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of them intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of other sellers.”

Branding needs to be credible and motivate buyers.  According to MarketingAbout.com, “It’s important to spend time investing in researching, defining, and building your brand. After all, your brand is the source of a promise to your consumer. It’s a foundational piece in your marketing communication and one you do not want to be without.”

There have been many marketing blunders when advertising has missed the mark.  Bschool.com lists what they consider to be the 10 Most Ill-Advised Ads of All Time.  Remember those singing Quiznos rodents?  Some of us wish we could forget.  Check out the top 10 list by clicking here.

InMaps from Linkedin: Map Your Social Connections If You Can Get It To Work

Have you ever wondered what your network actually looks like?  With Linkedin InMaps, they claim you can get a map of colors to show your connections and how they inter-relate.  Colors represent groups within your professional connections.  It’s a way to see how you know people and visualize relationships.

It sounded very interesting so I thought I’d check it out.  I was unable to view InMaps through Explorer or AOL.  It suggested using Google’s Chrome or Firefox but it never worked with those applications either.  It just gives a never-ending processing swirl on the page.  I was curious if it had to do with Windows 7 so I tried it on my Mac with no luck either. Granted, I have a lot of connections on Linkedin, but the processing swirl never stopped. 

Perhaps they are just having problems with the site that will resolve.  If anyone has had good or bad things to say about InMaps, I’d be curious to hear about it.

The Future of Apple and Facebook: What Happens When Genius Leaders Pass the Torch?

With the recent absence of Steve Jobs, there is a lot of discussion about the future of Apple should he leave the company.  There have been examples of problems with successful companies when their founders or leaders step down. 

A classic example is the problem that Starbucks faced when Howard Schultz left.  As Starbucks became seen as too generic, he came back to rescue to the company. 

Do leaders like Jobs, Gates and others have a cult-like status?  According to Newsweek, “Michael Dell has cautioned about the importance of the founder not creating a religion around himself or herself—and he takes practical steps to avoid that. Dell says he works to make other stars visible with an institutionalized review process that exposes up-and-comers to the board of directors.”

Can companies like Facebook live without Zuckerberg?  Some companies have managed to survive without their visionary leaders and some have not fared as well. Some examples of the impact of leaders leaving include:

McDonald’s – Ray Kroc empowered his franchisees to be successful.

Disney – Walt Disney didn’t do as good of a job finding a successor. After two decades, the company did recover.

Walmart – Sam Walton  and his ideas have made Walmart still a dominating force today.

Visionaries have created some highly successful companies.  The key may be to have replacement leaders that are visionaries in their own right.  They will never be the founders but they may offer their own unique spin.

For now, the Jobs and Zuckerbergs of the world are showing us that there are shining star examples for people to emulate.  According to Newsweek, “we must realize that founders are not like the rest of us. We are so much better off with these creative brains than without them. After all, Sigmund Freud observed that society is changed by its discontents—the iconoclasts who challenge the status quo. They are more narrowly focused than many of us on an entrepreneurial dream, they have talents most of us lack, and they make superhuman sacrifices that benefit us all.”

Gainful Employment Rule: Effect on For-Profit Schools and Graduation Rates

 

For-profit education is beginning to feel the squeeze.  July 2, 2012 marks the day that the U.S. Department of Education rule goes into effect.  This rule restricts students from using government aid to pay for schooling that doesn’t include occupations that have a strong entry-level salary.  

This isn’t the only issue that for-profits are facing.  A loophole has been close that would allow schools to financially reward admission counselors for enrolling students.  This is one of the reasons enrollment is down at some of the major for-profit universities.  This has also led these universities to increase tuition to cover their losses. 

The programs that are considered not high paying enough to meet the Gainful Employment rule will be shut down.  The New York Times reported that accounts for only about 5% of these schools’ programs. What happens to the students already enrolled in them? The Arizona Republic reported  that they are allowed to continue with the program under the “teach out” rule.

Many for-profit universities are implementing new programs to help face their new challenges including:  orientation programs to improve retention, trying to bolster brand awareness, and finding ways to comply with the July deadline to meet the Gainful Employment Rule. 

Many of the guidelines that are changing now are to protect students and to be sure that they are graduating with degrees that will be worth their expense. Politics Daily reported that a study completed by the Committee of Health Labor Education and Pensions found “94.4 percent of students attending for-profit schools take out loans, compared to 16.6 percent attending community college and 44.3 percent enrolled in traditional four-year public schools. Much of that money comes from federal Pell Grants, which help low-income applicants attend schools of higher education, but is often never returned if they don’t graduate.”

It is important that students are able to complete their programs, not only to pay back the loans, but to move ahead in their careers.  The New York Times claimed, The report, “Subprime Opportunity,” by the Education Trust, found that in 2008, only 22 percent of the first-time, full-time bachelor’s degree students at for-profit colleges over all graduate within six years, compared with 55 percent at public institutions and 65 percent at private nonprofit colleges.

For now, for-profit colleges are making some needed changes. The Arizona Republic reported that Peter Wahlstrom of Morningsar, who tracks major for-profit education companies, stated, “What you are trying to do is create a solid program based on academic quality, which, in turn, helps with student outcomes. That helps with retention, that helps with enrollment, and that eventually helps with financial results.”

LinkedIn IPO May Be Sooner Than You Think

LinkedIn has already completed the first step in the IPO process.  With over 90 million members in over 200 countries and an estimated worth of $2 billion, its growth is undeniable. All Things Digital reported, “LinkedIn, the online business networking site, is likely to file regulatory documents for an initial public offering as early as today, according to sources close to the situation.”

Linkedin may not be the only big name going IPO soon.  According to All Things Digital, “LinkedIn’s entry into the public market is one that many expect will be followed by other Internet firms in the coming year, including Zynga, Chegg and, most anticipated of all, Facebook.”

CryoPreservation: Having Your Brain Preserved After You Die

Ted Williams help to bring to light cryogenics and the procedure of freezing a human head.  While preserving parts of us after we die may seem bazaar, there may be some things we can learn from brain preservation.

According to the Brain Preservation Organization, “Due to a series of recent scientific developments, human beings may soon have an inexpensive and reliable way to preserve their brains, including the molecular features that give rise to their memories and identities, in room-temperature storage after they die. This technology is called plastination (chemopreservation), or chemical fixation and embedding in plastic, and is a distant cousin of the process seen in such exhibits as Body Worlds. Today, “perfect” plastination is routinely done for very small amounts of brain tissue (one millimeter cubed), and soon it will be attempted for whole animal and human brains. Cryopreservation (involving very low temperature storage) is another, more expensive process that also deserves to be carefully evaluated for its ability to preserve the critical structures of our brains. Today, leading-edge neuroscience is identifying the synaptic structures that store and generate our unique memories and identity, and new imaging techniques are allowing us to verify when these special structures have been successfully preserved, starting with general synaptic connectivity all the way to the signal states of individual brain proteins.”

This organization is even offering a prize of $106,000 to those teams that can actually preserve a large animal brain.  Their hope is to preserve the human wisdom and diversity that dies with us along with our brains.

As one might guess, not everyone is thrilled with this idea.  For those with objections to such a project, this site has created a page for overcoming objections.

Their mission is to, “promote scientific research and services development in the field of whole brain preservation for long-term static storage. Through outreach to appropriate scientific communities, online activities, presentations and articles, directed research grants, challenge prizes, and other methods, we seek to explore the scientific hypothesis of whether a reliable surgical procedure exists that is capable of preserving the precise neural circuitry of the human brain at nanometer scale.”

For those interested in reading more about cryopreservation, chemical preservation or scanning and circuit mapping click here for more information.

Are Humans Getting Dumber as Our Brains are Shrinking?

Did you know that our brains are actually shrinking? NPR.org reported, “Cro-Magnon man, who lived in Europe 20,000 to 30,000 years ago, had the biggest brains of any human species.  In comparison, today’s human brain is about 10 percent smaller.”

The human brain is still an enigma is many respects.  Are there differences in the human brain that cause people like Einstein to achieve so much?  Studies were completed on Einstein’s brain and they actually found he had some differences.  There is speculation that due to the way that Einstein’s brain was missing a part of a bordering region, that this enabled neurons to communicate more efficiently.  

With all of the technological inventions, one might think that people should be getting smarter. However, in the NPR article, this decreasing in brain size may have a negative impact, “The experts aren’t sure about the implications of this evolutionary trend.  Some think it might be a dumbing-down process. One cognitive scientist, David Geary, argues that as human society grows increasingly complex, individuals don’t need to be as intelligent in order to survive and reproduce.” 

If this is true, the movie Idiocracy may be foreshadowing some frightening possibilities.  The movie displays what life would be like if people continue on their current path of finding entertainment in reality shows, tattooing, partying and enjoying other less than useful activities.  This movie seemed to play off of studies done by Lentz in 1927 that claimed the intelligent people were having fewer children than the less intelligent people.  This would lead to a society of less intelligent people.  The Examiner claims Lentz’s work has merit, stating “This conjecture has been confirmed by studies like that of Hernstein and Murray (1994), who demonstrated that in the U.S. females with an average IQ of 111 had 1.6 children, whereas females with an average IQ of 81 had 2.6 children.”

The Examiner claims that there is hope for improvements, though, due to something called the Flynn effect. “Even if genotypic IQ is heading towards a decline across the world, there is still phenotypic intelligence that has increased over the last few generations. This phenomenon, also known as Flynn effect, is attributable to advancements in nutrition, education, and a more intellectually stimulating environment. The Flynn effect has led to gains of 7.5 IQ points a generation, much greater than .43 IQ points decline in genotypic IQ.”
There is something called Spearman’s g that refers to one’s general intelligence that was postulated in 1904 by Charles Spearman.  g, written in lower case like, now refers to general intelligence. A neuroscientist named John Duncan explained Spearman’s work in his book How Intelligence Happens.  The Wall Street Journal explained, “Mr. Duncan makes a convincing case that these brain areas constitute a special circuit that is crucial for both Spearman’s “g” and for intelligent behavior more generally. But his book elides the question of whether this circuit is also the source of IQ differences. That is, do people who score high on IQ tests use the frontal and parietal areas of their brains differently from people who score lower? The answer, discovered by other researchers, turns out to be yes.”

It appears that our brains are decreasing in size, more people with lower IQ scores are having children, but we can increase our education and nutrition.  We can also learn more about how our frontal and parietal areas can be improved.  There is hope that we are not necessarily headed for an Idiocracy-like future.

Quora Confusion: How to Navigate This New Social Media Site

image via google.com

Quora is a social media site created by former Facebook employees.  It is designed to be an interactive question and answer site.  It appears to me to be like the Q&A section on LinkedIn where someone can ask a question and receive an answer in a more sophisticated way than a simple Yahoo Answers response.  Unlike Yahoo Answers, users must be a member of the site to view the discussions.  

I have received several notifications that people were following me recently on Quora, so I decided to give it another look yesterday.  Interestingly, this morning, the Wall Street Journal did a piece on Quora.  I was a bit relieved to hear that I wasn’t the only one who finds the site to be a bit confusing.  According to the WSJ article, “The site lacks instructions on how to use it; people just have to figure it out as they go. For example, a newcomer might not know that Quora answers can be voted up or down by seeing two tiny triangles that appear beside each answer. If I select the up triangle, this indicates I voted for that answer, and news of this vote is shared on the Quora home page of anyone who follows me. A number beside each answer indicates how many votes it has received so far. But unless you’ve used the site for a while, you wouldn’t know any of this.”

I like the Q&A section in LinkedIn and I think Quora has some possibilities.  I will have to give it another try.  I recommend reading the article in the Wall Street Journal to learn more about Quora and how to navigate within the site by clicking here

For now, I have answered questions on Quora including one titled: How do you know if you are emotionally intelligent?  If you are on Quora and want to see my response to that question click here.

50 Excellent Lectures for the Small Business Owner

Many are now just completing their MBA or considering starting their own small business. There is a great article from BSchool that includes 50 excellent lectures about entrepreneurship, practical tips, innovation, leadership, technology and the economy.  The courses come from sources like the University of California through UCTV.  The one I first watched was an hour long and had four accomplished entrepreneurs discuss the excitement and challenges of starting a business. It offered an insight into what to expect as a new entrepreneur and pitfalls to avoid.

These are excellent lectures. To see the complete article, go to BSchool’s link by clicking here.  Bschool.com is an online resource for MBA programs and top
online business schools. They provide thorough information on MBA subjects, specialty MBAs and business school rankings.

To see the the types of lectures, I have included an excerpt from the  bschool.com article:

Entrepreneurship

These lectures tackle topics in entrepreneurship, from appealing to the consumer to making great pitches.

  1. Entrepreneurs: Four entrepreneurs share their journeys to open a new business, and the talks inspire passion and excitement.
  2. Entrepreneurship and Society: This talk from UCTV is led by Tom Kemp, President and CEO of Centrify Corporation. He talks about what new ventures need in order to effectively appeal to the modern-day consumer.
  3. Women Entrepreneurs: Consider the differences between men and women as business leaders and owners.
  4. Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship: President Obama gives a talk to an international audience on entrepreneurship and realizing the American dream.
  5. Entrepreneurs: Then and Now: Guy Kawasaki compares the foundation of entrepreneurial strategy during the late 1990s and what’s popular and effective now.
  6. Leadership and Entrepreneurship: This lecture from MIT World features three business leaders from completely different fields but who have relied on their instincts and bold ideas to get their ideas off the ground.
  7. Whatever it Takes to Stay in Business: Frank Levinson encourages entrepreneurs to lose their pride, just like a baby, in order to please their customers and stay in business, whatever it takes.
  8. New Media Entrepreneurship: This talk is from 2008 but still has valuable tips on developing a good, emotional, factual pitch and going for the gold in order to move up in business.
  9. Behaviors of Successful Business Owners: Ron Finkelstein from Akris, LLC shares how entrepreneurs can make more money and develop productive employees, all with an efficient use of time.
  10. David S. Rose on pitching to VCs: In this TED lecture, serial entrepreneur David S. Rose helps you to pitch and prove yourself to venture capitalists.

Practical Education

From management to marketing, here are lectures that give you new ideas to help you build your business.

  1. John Gerzema: The post-crisis consumer: Learn how to appeal to the post-recession consumer here.
  2. Team Process Leadership: James Seferis’ innovative philosophy on business leadership and success involves active participation from all team members.
  3. Finding Gold: Hiring the Best and the Brightest: Watch this lecture from UWTV to build an invaluable team that’s focused, motivated and cooperative.
  4. Customer Relationship Management: Former Amazon.com executive Bill Price weighs in on customer relationship management.
  5. Marketing a Start-up: Learn how to develop a smart marketing strategy before attempting to sell anything.
  6. The Case for Sustainability: Sustainability isn’t really an option for new business owners in today’s society: it’s a necessity. Here you’ll learn how to develop a sustainable, environmentally conscious business that’s also attractive to consumers.
  7. The Naked Corporation: Learn how to be a more transparent and honest business owner, in an age when positivity is just as important as profitability.
  8. Talk to an Angel: Crucial Connections to Early Stage Capital: This group from MIT helps entrepreneurs find the right investors when they’re first starting out.
  9. Joseph Pine on what customers want: Writer and consultant Joseph Pine gives tips on selling authenticity to modern consumers.
  10. Choosing people — the ultimate talent?: Look over the transcript from this lecture given at Gresham College to choose the right senior people so that you have less managing to do later.
  11. Challenges of Managing: Firing People: Gajus Worthington is a proponent of firing employees in order to produce a healthy, successful business. This 22-part lecture series offers tips for firing and recruiting.
  12. Business Ethics: These lectures given by top business executives and professors will clue you into integrity, corporate responsibility, and ethical leadership culture in the business world.
  13. No Sweat Speaking: Whether you need to work on giving pitches or improving upon your networking skills, this public speaking lecture will teach you how to tell a good story, make use of the audience, and relax before speaking.
  14. Chinese Business Culture for Business Travelers: If you plan on doing business in the East or recruiting from China, watch this lecture.

Innovation and Leadership

Learn how to effect change and inspire your workers here.

  1. Leadership in an Age of Uncertainty: James Parker and Barbara Stocking discuss strategies for energizing and motivating all employees of an organization, from the top down.
  2. Bringing Creativity into an Organization: Ignore the classic MBA management strategies if you want to really cultivate creativity in your workplace, argues Robert I. Sutton.
  3. Building the Next Generation Company: Innovation, Talent, Excellence: Lecturer John Chambers came out of the last recession with big profits, and in this speech, he explains how you can beat the recession, too.
  4. Seth Godin on standing out: Don’t bury your creative ideas because they seem outrageous: those are the ones worth nurturing.
  5. Howard Rheingold on collaboration: Learn how to work with team members around the world with technology, new media and open culture.
  6. Richard Branson’s life at 30,000 feet: Notable entrepreneur Richard Branson is interviewed about his larger than life ideas, his major struggles, and his motivations.
  7. A Policy on Leadership: If your business is struggling — or you want to prevent a fallout — watch this lecture to learn how to create a fact-based analytical organization and good management teams.
  8. Values-Based Leadership: Strive to be a leader with character, and you’ll end up inspiring your employees to work just as hard as you do.
  9. Innovative Leadership during Economic Crisis: Let this lecture help you to think outside the box, no matter what kind of crisis is getting in your way. You’ll learn how to be innovative in three areas: with customers, people, and products.
  10. How great leaders inspire action: Simon Sinek’s TED speech uses examples like Martin Luther King, Apple and the Wright brothers to explain how the mark of a great leader is his or her ability to inspire action and change.
  11. Composing a Career and Life: Get inspired to take a nonlinear path when obstacles are tossed into your plan.
  12. Derek Sivers: How to start a movement: Don’t settle for selling goods or services. Learn how to start a movement.
  13. The case for collaborative consumption: Rachel Botsman’s lecture focuses on our natural desire to share, and how collaborative consumption is a powerful economic force.
  14. Gerd Leonhard: Find out why ego doesn’t have a place in business anymore, and what that means for your business plan.
  15. Video Player The Power of Competition: How to Focus the World’s Brains on your Innovation Challenges: Conversely, Fiona Murray believes competition is healthy, too, and asks business owners to embrace it in order to add a jolt of energy to the enterprises.
  16. Nurturing a Vibrant Culture to Drive Innovation: Here’s another lecture on inspiring innovation in order to nurture a talented, unique team that drives your business.

Technology

Become a smarter user of technology so that social media and other tools end up working for you.

  1. Technology and the Recession: how new technology is changing the way we do business: Consider technology’s new role in business.
  2. Craig Mod: Publisher and developer Craig Mod discusses the changes coming for the book publishing industry, but as one commenter notes, the questions raised are relevant to all business ventures.
  3. Why social network mess can benefit your business: Euan Semple’s talk should convince you to get involved in social media, even though it’s always changing.

The Economy

Discover how to work with the economy, even in bad times.

  1. Shaped by Booms and Busts: How the Economy Impacts CEO Management Style: On your way to becoming a CEO, find out how to make room for economic changes.
  2. Video Player The Economic Meltdown: What Have We Learned, if Anything?: Paul Krugman delivers this lecture to MIT to help us learn from our mistakes.
  3. Alex Tabarrok on how ideas trump crises: Consider the notion that free trade has opened us to global collaboration and an idea-sharing culture.
  4. Hanna Rosin: New data on the rise of women: Get statistics on the rise of women in the workforce, and their newly appreciated value in the economy.
  5. The Resilient Enterprise: Overcoming Vulnerability for Competitive Advantage: Here you’ll learn why it’s important to organize your company so that it can withstand catastrophe, from an economic downturn to an event like 9/11.
  6. Making Globazliation Work for All: Watch this lecture to learn how to make use of globalization without succumbing to immoral practices, like using sweatshops.
  7. Business, Knowledge and Global Growth: You’ll learn about the true impact that MBAs and business schools have had on the economy.

Top 10 Company Mission Statements

Image via n2growth.com

Companies often list their vision and their mission statements on their sites. The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future.  However, some companies tend to blend these statements.  The following are some of the top technology-based company mission statements:

Amazon:  Amazon’s vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.  (They list this as their mission as a combination mission/vision on their site).

Apple:  Apple is committed to bringing the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings.

Dell:  Dell’s mission is to be the most successful computer company in the world at delivering the best customer experience in markets we serve. 

Facebook:  Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

Google:  Google’s mission is to organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Microsoft:  Microsoft’s mission is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential.

Skype:  Skype’s mission is to be the fabric of real-time communication on the web.

Twitter:  Twitter lists its mission as “a work in progress” as it has yet to be fully developed.

Yahoo!:  Yahoo!’s mission is to be the most essential global Internet service for consumers and businesses

YouTube:  YouTube’s mission is to provide fast and easy video access and the ability to share videos frequently

Why Companies Are Not Going IPO: Are Skype, Twitter and Facebook Projected IPOs in 2011?

There is a new trend for companies to remain privately owned.  Why have mega-companies like Facebook yet to go public?  The New York Times reported recently, “An I.P.O. used to be a rite of passage for a company, a sign that it had arrived. But even before the financial collapse of 2008, some entrepreneurs and financiers worried that America’s markets were somehow losing their edge. That would be bad news not only for Wall Street but ultimately the entire economy.”

Investors are frightened due to the recent stock crash.  Will the economy suffer if there isn’t an infusion of new companies in the stock market?  The numbers are definitely down.  According to The New York Times, “The annual rate of I.P.O.’s peaked in 1996, when around 756 American-based companies went public, according to Dealogic. That figure fell to a low of 36 during the financial crisis in 2008. It picked up to about 50 in 2009 and, so far this year (2010), it is running at about 100, excluding G.M.”

There has been talk that IPOs will pick up in 2011.  There are some major companies that have hinted at going public in 2011.  Here is the latest on some of the most discussed possible entrants into the IPO market:

  • SkypeTMC News reported, “Skype originally filed an S-1 registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission back in August, but have made several major moves since that may have pushed back the company’s timetable.”
  • Facebook – Although it is possible they could go IPO in 2011, recent talk has indicated it will probably not happen until 2012.  ComputerWeekly stated, “Facebook is preparing to sell stock through an initial public offering (IPO) in 2012, according to a document published by the social networking company. The document revealed that the number of Facebook shareholders will increase above 500 this year, forcing the company to go public or disclose financial information.”
  • Twitter – Some have speculated Twitter would be going public but ReadWriteWeb reported differently.  “According to CEO Costolo, Twitter has grown quickly recently, with 100 people joining the company in Q4. While the company recently raised $200 million in funding, Swisher wondered what Costolo saw as the company’s future – would it sell or would it go public? Neither, said Costolo.”

Companies go public to get money.  There are other advantages.  According to Investopedia.com, other reasons to go public include:

  • Because of the increased scrutiny, public companies can usually get better rates when they issue debt.
  • As long as there is market demand, a public company can always issue more stock. Thus, mergers and acquisitions are easier to do because stock can be issued as part of the deal.
  • Trading in the open markets means liquidity. This makes it possible to implement things like employee stock ownership plans, which help to attract top talent.

There are some disadvantages to going public.  According to Findlaw those disadvantages include the following.  I recommend going to Findlaw’s link to read the full explanations behind each of these disadvantages:

  • Time and Expense 
  • Disclosure
  • Decisions Based on Stock Price
  • Regulatory Review
  • Falling Stock Price
  • Vulnerability

Millennials Replacing Baby Boomer Workforce: Meeting Their Unique Needs

Big changes are occurring in the current workforce.  The dynamic is shifting as companies are experiencing a shift toward millennials replacing baby boomer generations. According to Harvard Business Review /HBR.org, “The makeup of the global workforce is undergoing a seismic shift: In four years Millennials—the people born between 1977 and 1997—will account for nearly half the employees in the world. In some companies, they already constitute a majority.” 

The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, addresses the unique personalities and needs of the post-boomer worker.  For simplicity sake, these post-boomer generations are given the title NewGens.  It can get confusing when Gen X, Gen Y, Millennials and other titles are used.  The term NewGens encompasses all of these groups. 

Post-boomer generations have received a bad reputation at times due to their need for immediate gratification.  Perhaps they are different but different isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many have high expectations but are willing to put forth the efforts it takes to achieve their goals. HBR.org reported, “Millennials have high expectations of their employers—but they also set high standards for themselves. They’ve been working on their résumés practically since they were toddlers, because there are so many of them and so few (relatively speaking) spots at top schools and top companies. They’re used to overachieving academically and to making strong personal commitments to community service. Keep them engaged, and they will be happy to overachieve for you.”

image via hbr.org

This new group of employees has considerable knowledge that can be crucial for a company’s success.  Younger generations, unlike the boomer generation, tend to move around in their jobs more often.  They are less likely to remain in a single company throughout their career. 

Are companies doing enough to keep their current employees happy?  Workforce.com stated the following about the millennial generation, “Large companies don’t move fast enough for that generation, which is [switching employers and] looking to expose themselves to new and different things. Bureau of Labor Statistics data show the average American will have 10.8 jobs from age 18 to 42. Many workers have clung to their jobs amid the recession and high unemployment. Still, the overall turnover rate across all industries was 16.3 percent in 2009, according to a survey from Compdata.”

Part of keeping this younger generation interested in staying at their current position is to keep their attention.   Training must be aimed at their specific needs.  This is a technology-based group that likes to learn that way.  They also like to receive their information quickly.  Shorter, 3-5 minute training videos, can be effective.  This is the YouTube generation and employers must realize this and keep up with the trends. 

Aimglobal.org suggests the following guidelines for employers when dealing with millennial workers:

Ø Training. If you want a job well done, employers need to tell Millennials how to do it. However, don’t just give orders. Millennials want to know the reasoning behind them and the training offered to be successful.

Ø Mentoring. Partner your new Millennial with one of your veterans. The veteran can show the newcomer the ropes and conversely the newcomer can offer fresh ideas.

Ø Integration. Involve Millennials in a variety of projects, assignments, and career opportunities. Mixing it up keeps their interest.

Ø Team Collaboration. Millennials are comfortable in team settings. They like to collaborate with others especially on team-based projects and environments.

Ø Support Future Pursuits. During their employment at your company, Millennials will face decisions regarding the next stage of their lives including marriage, buying a house, having children, etc. Developing a guidance program around these changes demonstrates how your company will be there to support them.

For more complete information on post-boomer generations in the workplace and how to deal with their unique personality needs, click here

Facebook, Google and Bing: When Companies Become So Popular Their Names Are Used as Verbs

If a company has its name used as a verb, its popularity is undeniable but it may also be problematic.  Although Google is a company name, it is not unusual for it to be used as a verb, as in someone is going to “Google” something.   Google and Facebook are listed as verbs on Dictionary.com.  The official definition for the verb version of Facebook is “to search for (a person’s profile) on the Facebook website.”  In fact, there is actually a Facebook page titled When Did Facebook Become a Verb with an entry as early as 2006.

In 2006, CNet announced that Google had officially become a verb.  Google was not the first to be used this way.  Think about Xerox.  It used to be common to say that something needed to be Xeroxed instead of copied.  However, having the company name used as a verb can have its consequences.  CNet reported, “Becoming synonymous with an invention may hold a certain amount of historic glory for a company, but ubiquitous use of the company’s name to describe something can make it harder to enforce a trademark. Bayer lost Aspirin as a U.S. trademark in 1921 after it was determined that the abbreviation for acetylsalicylic acid had become a generic term. The trademarks Band-Aid, Kleenex, Rollerblade and Xerox have had similar issues.”

Is Bing the next company name to become a verb?  Bing has a nice ring to it like Ping did recently.  Perhaps the use of the phrase “Ping Me” has been played out and Bing is too late. It may also become complicated when dealing with past, present and future tense as noted in the following from a New York Times article:

QR Code: Why You Should Be Using It to Promote You, Your Business and Products

QR Code or Quick Response Code is a two-dimension matrix code developed in the mid 90’s in Japan.  Businesses are drawn to it because it offers an improvement over barcodes.  Wisegeek explains, “QR Code contains data in both vertical and horizontal directions, whereas a bar code has only one direction of data, usually the vertical one. QR Code can also correspondingly hold more information. QR Code is easily digested by scanning equipment, and because it has potentially twice the amount of data as bar code, it can increase the effectiveness of such scanning. QR Code can handle alphanumeric character, symbol, binary, and other kinds of code. QR Code can hold up to 7,089 characters in a single symbol. ”

QR Code has become increasingly popular with the use of cell phones.  I recommend checking out an article by Searchengineland.com to see some video demonstrations.  A code can easily be generated on sites like Kaywa.com.  If you are wondering if search engines like Google will be able to recognize them, “If you add them to your website, the search engines will see that your pages have changed, and that you are updating pages. The search engine will see a new image and index it accordingly. At some point soon, the search engines will likely recognize QR codes and possibly index the content in them.”

There are several recommended uses for the QR Code but one that I found to be interesting was that you could add one to your business card.  People would then be able to scan your information directly into their cell phone contact database.

Some other recommended uses may be to add them to media ads.  This simple little code could communicate product, contact, offer, and event information as well as coupons and social media links.

Related Articles:

10 Ways to Market Yourself as a Product to Get the Job

 

The following is from Anne McCauley’s article  for CareerConnectors.net.  To see the whole article and the 10 step process that was discussed at this meeting, go to the article by clicking here.

Do you feel overlooked by prospective employers?  Maybe you are and could consider Marketing Yourself as a Product.  This week at the Gilbertevent Dr. DianeHamiltonspoke to more than 100 job seekers about ten ways to market yourself to get the job.  Dr. DianeHamiltonis the author of several books including How to Reinvent Your Career and It’s Not You, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.  If you missed her presentation, borrow copies of her books from the local library; her presentation was based in part on her books.

Click here for the information from Dr. Diane Hamilton’s talk.

55 Important Technology Terms You Should Know if You Are Starting a New Job

Many people are starting new jobs right now.  Many of them are working with technology or using terminology that they may never have had to use in the past.  Managers and co-workers may toss around words that they assume people already know.  It is imported that people are prepared for this and be proactive in their learning effort.  The following is a list of some of the technology terms people should probably know. (For more terms, check out webopedia.com. That site contains a lot more “techy” terms than the average worker may not need to know, but their site is very comprehensive and a good resource to have.)

Affiliate Marketing – A marketing practice in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts.

AOV – Average Order Value.

Below and above the fold – Where an ad is displayed on the website and you have to scroll down to see the ad.

Blog Roll – It is a list of links to blogs that a blogger likes.

Bounce Rate – The percentage of initial visitors to a site who bounce away to a different site, rather than continuing on the current site.

CES – Customer Effort Score.

Cloud Computing – Sharing resources rather than having your own servers to do it.

CLV – Client Retention Rate.

Container Tags – Used to affect a certain portion of your material. Container tags operate on the material between the opening tag < tag> and the closing tag </ tag>.

Cookie – A message your web browser uses to identify you and remember information for each time the browser goes back to access the server that gave it the cookie/message.

CPA – Cost per action – the publisher is taking most of the advertising risk, as their commissions are dependent on good conversion rates.

CPC – Cost per click.  Advertisers pay for their ad when someone clicks on it.

CRM – Customer Relationship Management – Managing a company’s relationships with customers and clients.

CSR – Corporate Social Responsibility – Operating a business in a socially responsible and ethical manner to have a positive impact on society.

CTR – Clickthrough Rate – A way of measurer success of an online advertising campaign. Take the number of people who clicked on an ad and divide by the number of times an ad was delivered (also known as impressions).

CV – Curriculum Vitae – Used instead of a resume.  It is a written description of work and experience commonly used by professors and outside of the US.

Data Feed – Users receive updated data from data sources.

Day-Parting – Showing an ad at a specific time of the day.

DM – Abbreviation for direct message.

DMA – Designated Marketing Area (ties in with geo-targeting).

Dongle – A mechanism like a hardware key that only authorized users can use software.

DSPs – Demand-side Platform – DSPs centralized management of accounts and reporting and a central hub for handling data to help with the real-time bidding valuation.

Ethernet – is a family of frame-based computer networking technologies for local area networks (LANs).

Forum – An online discussion group.

HTML – Hyper Text Markup Language – Uses markup tags to describe web pages.

IAB – Internet Advertising Bureau.

iFrame – An HTML structure that allows another HTML document to be put into an HTML page – iFrames are set up as a window frame.

ISP – Internet Service Provider.

Jitter – Flickering on a display screen.

Modem – A device that modulates a signal so that you can receive data.

Nanotechnology – The study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale.

NPS – Net Promoter Score – Defines the loyalty of a customer relationship.

OEM – Original Equipment Manufacturer – Company manufacturers’ products are sold under the purchaser of that product’s brand name. The original company that manufactured the product is the OEM.

PA – You may hear someone say “talk to my PA”, referring to their Personal Assistant.

PC Suite – A software package used to establish an interface between Nokia mobile devices and computers that run Microsoft Windows operating system.

PING – As in Ping me back – Used a variety of ways.  Usually means to instant message or email someone back.  The word ping in the technology world is actually short for Packet Internet Groper, a utility used to check for network areas.

Plog – A political blog.

Quicktag – A button that inserts HTML in to your post.

RTB – Real Time Bidding.

ROAS – Return on Ad Spend.

ROI – Return on Investment.

Router – A device that decides where information should be forwarded.

RSS – Real Simple Syndication – If you want to receive information from a specific website, you can click on the RSS feed button and have updates from that site show up on your RSS reader such as Google Reader.

Sales Deck – Your sales presentation/slides you present to the customer.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Improving the ability to be seen on a website by search engines.

SEM – Search Engine Marketing – A form of marketing to promote a website through increasing visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).

Time Shifting – Refers to recording programming for later use.

Toggle – Toggling means to switch from one setting to another. It implies there are only two settings.  Think of a light switch that clicks on or clicks off.

Twaffic – Twitter traffic.

Twishing – The act of sending a message to a Twitter user in an attempt to obtain his or her name and password. Think Tweeting and Fishing combined.

URL – Uniform Resource Locator – The address of a file on the Internet.  Think – http://

View Throughs (also known as Post-Impressions)  – If an ad on a site influenced consumers to search, then purchase a product,  the referrer gets credit for influencing the purchase behavior.

WAP – Wireless Access Point – A device that allows wireless communication. It usually connects to a router.

Wiki – A website that allows a lot of people to add to the content for collaboration.  Think – Wikipedia.

XML – Extensible Markup Language.

There are so many terms; it is hard to just pick 55.  Please feel free to respond and add any words that you feel are just as important to be aware of in today’s workforce.

What is Your Favorite Celebrity’s Personality Type? See How Your Personality Compares to Theirs

Have you ever wondered if you shared a personality type with a famous celebrity?  While it is very important to learn about our own personalities, it can also be very helpful to learn about other people’s personalities as well.  By looking at famous celebrities and their personality types, it can help us recognize qualities that we may possess that can be helpful or hurtful to our own success.

People are often described as being introverts or extroverts.  How can you tell which one you are?  One way is to answer the following question:  Do you find that you often speak before you have had a chance to really think about what it is you want to say?  If so, you may be an extrovert.  Extroverts are often thought of as outgoing because they can be talkative. They can be talkative because they are processing what they are thinking out loud. You might think that Hollywood celebrities must be extroverts.  That is not necessarily true.

Think about how you prefer to process information.  If you think as you are speaking rather than taking time to process the information, you might be an extrovert.  If you are an extrovert, here are some famous people that share your personality type:

  • Matthew Perry
  • Tom Hanks
  • Oprah
  • Johnny Depp
  • Robin Williams
  • Bill Cosby
  • Jim Carrey
  • Jerry Seinfeld
  • Bruce Willis
  • Madonna

There are actually more extroverts in the world than introverts.  Introverts like to take their time to develop their thoughts before they speak.  If you prefer to process information this way, you may be an introvert.  There are far more introverts in Hollywood than you might expect.  If you are an introvert, here are some famous people that share your personality type:

  • Michael Jackson
  • Marilyn Monroe
  • Britney Spears
  • Brooke Shields
  • Ashton Kutcher
  • Julia Roberts
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Lady Gaga
  • Tom Cruise

There are a lot of different personality tests out there that give information about personality preferences.  The previous examples of introverts and extroverts are a part of what the Myers-Briggs MBTI personality test can explain about our personalities.

There are plenty of other assessments that can give insight to who you are.  A lot has been written about birth order, and how it affects personality.  Are you a first-born child?  Then you may be interested in learning that the following celebrities are also first-borns:

  • Jessica Simpson
  • Nick Lachey
  • Josh Hartnett
  • Sylvester Stallone

If you are a middle child, you share that in common with the following celebrities:

  • Elijah Wood
  • Bill Gates
  • Jay Leno
  • Princess Diana

If you are the youngest, you may be interested in seeing which celebrities were last-born children:

  • Halle Berry
  • Cameron Diaz
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Whoopi Goldberg

If you are an only child, you may relate to these celebrities:

  • Freddie Prinze, Jr.
  • Alicia Keys
  • Tiger Woods
  • Natalie Portman

To find out more about how to analyze your own personality as well as those in others, check out the book: It’s Not You It’s Your Personality.  Millennials and post-boomer groups should be able to relate to many of the examples in the book.  Some of the top personality assessments are explained, along with celebrity examples so that you can visualize the personality traits.  The following personality assessments are also discussed in the book:

You might have noticed that emotional intelligence is covered in the book. Part of being emotionally intelligent is having the ability to understand your own emotions and personality as well as those in others.  The book, It’s Not You It’s Your Personality, includes a fun way to develop your personality skills.  You can also learn tolerance of others’ personalities, while being able to compare your own traits to some famous celebrities as well.

Wall Street Journal Partners with Unigo to Create a Site that Offers Potential College Students Some Sound Advice

 

The Wall Street Journal has teamed up with Unigo’s student correspondents from more than 2000 colleges across America to produce a site they call WSJ on Campus.  If you are not familiar with Unigo, you can watch a video that explains what they do by clicking here.  Their system helps student match their interests and values with appropriate universities.  Their offer help to prospective students by providing reviews written by past students regarding the schools they have attended.  This information is used to help prospective students decide which school is best for them.

If you to go to WSJ On Campus, you will find that they offer the following information about getting prepared for college:

  • What matters when choosing a school
  • What it will really be like when you get to college
  • The perfect school for you
  • Are Ivy schools are really worth it
  • How to master the admissions essay
  • How to deal with school’s turning your requests for admission down
  • How to prepare for the SAT
  • What to do if you can’t go to your first choice school

They also offer the following information about what to expect once you get there:

  • How to choose the right classes
  • How to choose the right major
  • Who earns the most money
  • How to handle doing the assignments
  • Understanding academics
  • How to succeed in your Freshman year
  • How to get an A on your papers
  • How to use textbooks on your iPhone

 

I tried searching by online, online colleges, distance learning and other terms but found no information about online education on the site.  I even typed in some of the top online universities to see if they would come up and there was nothing.  It appears this site is very helpful if you are considering going to a traditional college but not so helpful if you want to use it to choose an online university.  Even if you do decide to attend an online college or university, you can learn a lot from their articles about how to be a successful student.

For more information about being a successful online student, click here.

10 Sci-Fi Predicted Inventions That Actually Made it to Market

 

image via techvert.com

It’s hard to look at my flip phone without thinking of the communications device on Star Trek.  There are many examples of inventions that used to be thought of as just science fiction that have now become a reality.  The flip phone is just one of them.  Here are some of my favorite inventions that came from science fiction:

  1. As mentioned, flip phones were very similar to the transporter on Star Trek.
  2. TV video phones have been seen in a lot of different movies and shows. Back to the Future featured these as well as a lot of other inventions that made it to market.  Click here to see the others.  Remember Marty’s cool shoe laces?  Yep. . . they have arrived.
  3. Earbud headphones were predicted in Fahrenheit 451.  Mashable has this example as well as many other very unusual things that have made it to market.  See that list of astounding prediction by clicking here.
  4. The Jetsons had a number of product predictions come to fruition.  One of those things is the tanning bed.  Check out a techvert.com article by clicking here to see a list of some more Jetsons inspired inventions.
  5. Remember the Jetsons’ robotic vacuum?  We now have the Roomba.
  6. Virtual reality was seen in many movies including Tron and the Matrix.  Cracked.com includes virtual reality on their list of seemingly awesome inventions that came to light in not so awesome ways. 
  7. Television surveillance was just a future possibility in Orwell’s 1984 classic.  Anyone who watches CSI knows that there are cameras keeping an eye on us from just about everywhere these days.
  8. Online Newspapers were shown in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  With RSS feeds, we can create our own online newspapers tailored to our unique interests.
  9. Credit Cards were envisioned in Edward Bellamy’s 1888 novel, Looking Backward.
  10. H. G. Wells wrote about automatic doors in his 1899 novel, The Sleeper.

Have you Googled Yourself Lately? Why LinkedIn and Google are Important for Your Job Search

If you are looking for a job, you probably have looked at getting on LinkedIn and some other social networking sites.  If you have created a LinkedIn profile, it should show up on Google’s search engine. 

In some recent talks I gave to job-seekers, I asked my audience if they had Googled themselves.  Surprisingly, not as many people as you may think have done this.   In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I discuss the importance of Googling your name to see what it displays.   You can be sure that employers will do this.

It is nice that search engines like Google can help people find you.  One way to help improve being found is to be on LinkedIn.  There are other benefits to being on LinkedIn. According to a recent article in WSJ.com, “One of the least recognized aspects of LinkedIn, says founder Reid Hoffman, is the fact that it allows people to help other people.” I personally like the Q&A feature of LinkedIn for this reason.  Not only can you ask a question, but you can offer your expertise and help others. 

According to Hoffman, Linkedin is an important part of the career search.  I agree.  He also asked an important question: “There are millions of other people out there. What do you do to put yourself in the right place for people to find you?”

I often give advice for things you can do to be found.  LinkedIn is high on my list.  However, if you are interested in finding out more ways to be found, check out some of my career videos

How to Get a Job by Understanding  Emotional Intelligence

How to Get a Job by Utilizing a SWOT Analysis

How to Get a Job by Utilizing Camtasia and Powerpoint

How to Market Yourself by Using Social Media

Product Placement – Is it Shameless or Just Good Business?

I teach a lot of marketing classes where we talk about product placement.  In a recent discussion we were talking about FedEx and the movie Castaway.  I read that the company didn’t pay for that mention.  I find that hard to believe but I guess it is possible.

Product placement is big business.  Recently BeBe launched a new line of clothes based on its popularity from 90210.

Here is a list of some very noticeable products placed in movies that you may remember.

  1. Taco Bell in Demolition Man
  2. Popeye’s Chicken in Little Nicky
  3. Reese’s Pieces in ET
  4. New Beetle in Herbie:  Fully Loaded
  5. AOL in You’ve Got Mail
  6. Several Dolls like Barbie, Mr. Potato Head in Toy Story
  7. Aquafina in National Treasure
  8. CNN in Contact
  9. Dr. Pepper in Spiderman
  10. Apple computers in too many movies to mention

Check out the following links for some more examples:

Movie-Moron.com – 10 Most Shameless Uses of Product Placement in Films

MetaFilter.com – Examples of Product Placement in Movies

Cracked.com – 10 Most Shameless Product Placements in Movie History

Listverse.com – Top 10 Blatant Examples of Product Placement in Movies

Wikipedia.com – The Complete Lowdown on Product Placement

How to Market You or Your Product Using Social Media

Today’s Ask Dr. Diane: I just wrote a book that is available through Amazon.  I’m just not sure about the best way to market it?  Any suggestions?
 
That is a good question.  The tips I’m about to give can also be used to market things other than a book. 
 
You could market it through several ways.  I would create a link to it on your site like I have links on my main website to Amazon.  If you don’t want to do that, you could offer it directly from you as a PDF through your site and charge them using PayPal
 
You might want to make a video (3-4 minutes at most) and put it on Youtube.  At the end of the video make mention of a free offer or newsletter and where to go for more information.  If they go to that site, it should be a capture page to get people signed up  to receive free newsletters (through a site like aweber.com) to get them interested in you and your book. 
 
You definitely need to be on Facebook and create fan pages like the ones I have for each of my books there.  See:
 
 
I would be on Twitter as well.  You can tie all of your Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc. accounts into one area on sites like Hootsuite . . . but I like to use Posterous a lot. It is like a blog but it has a great share information toolbar that you can get that and it also allows you to share your updates on multiple sites like Hootsuite does. 
 
If you want to learn about social networking and “how to do it” . . .for a reasonable price you can go to  Letsgetsocial and sign up to get their videos.  I watched them and they are really very informative.  They are designed to teach people how to be media managers but people who don’t want to do the job of media management can learn how to do their own media management from them. 
 
I gave a presentation yesterday to a local group here where others were presenting to career-seekers … they all agreed that Youtube is one of the biggest things you can do to get noticed. 
 
I watched a video a while back on Pitchengine.com about videos and they had some good information.  They are more costly though. You might watch their video for information.  If you are going to spend that kind of money, you need to have a major product to promote.  Books probably won’t have the return to support that. 
 
Talks are another great way to promote your book . . . so are radio interviews.   You can go to radioguestlist.com or other sites like that to find people looking to interview you.
 
Blogging is one of the best ways to get your name out there.   I like to use WordPress because it is free and uncomplicated. 
 
You can also release press releases on prweb or other such sites.  I am on wooeb who also has press releases that are not as expensive.  You can send out free releases on pitchengine.
 
You might check out some books . . . .I liked a book called Career Renegade . . . had some good ideas.  (on a different side topic . . .I liked the book The Happiness Advantage written by ex Harvard professor – very entertaining)

How to Get a Job Showcasing Your Abilities Using Camtasia, Powerpoint and Youtube

In my presentation yesterday at the CareerConnectors.Net workshop, I presented several different examples of how to market “you” as the product in order to get a job. If you are interested in learning how to use Camtasia with Powerpoint to promote your abilities and showcase them on Youtube, check out the following video based on information in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career:  Make Money Doing What You Love.  I am definitely going to be looking for a new video recorder though as this one crunched the screen, making it and me more compressed and wide.  If anyone has a good recommendation for a video recorder, I’d like to hear about it. . .

How to Get Free e-Books

Are you considering buying an e-reader but don’t have the money to pay for a lot of e-books?  You might consider going to the library.  Libraries are offering more and more electronic titles.  Keep in mind that certain libraries may not have the ability to download files into specific readers.  I am in Arizona, and the local library here cannot download files for the Kindle or the iPad.  They do offer titles for other readers such as Nook, Sony Reader, and Libre.  Even if your local library doesn’t support certain readers, you can still find sites on the Internet that do.

How do you get the titles onto your reader?   You will first need to download the Adobe Digital Editions software.  You can obtain this by Downloading the Adobe Products Digital Editions Software.    One that is downloaded you can then connect your e-reader through a USB connection to your computer and transfer the book to your e-reader.  Adobe’s site also allows you to download free sample e-books.

If you are looking for more free e-books, check out:

Free-ebooks.net  

Guttenberg.org has over 33,000 books that you can read on your computer or many other devices including iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, iPhone, iTouch, Android and more.

Barnes and Noble offers a free trial membership   

For a more complete list, read the following article: 20 Best Websites to Download Free Books

Suggested reading about e-books/e-readers:

Using e-calibre for Your e-Books Conversion Needs

What Kind of e-Reader are You?

Top 15 Articles to Help with Confusion about How to Choose an e-Reader and Application

e-Texbooks and iPad

e-Books vs. Traditional Books

Colleges to Offer More e-Books

5 Ways that e-Books are Better than Paper Books

YouTube Uploads 35 Hours Of Video Every Minute — InformationWeek

 

image via textually.org

You may already know that Youtube is extremely popular, but a recent article from informationweek.com really spelled out the numbers.  Think about this . . . according to that article:

In March, users uploaded more than 24 hours of video per minute, Hunter Walk, director of product management at the video social networking site, said in a blog. Within only eight months, traffic has increased by almost 69%.

“That breaks out to 2,100 hours uploaded every 60 minutes, or 50,400 hours uploaded to YouTube every day,” Walk said. “If we were to measure that in movie terms (assuming the average Hollywood film is around 120 minutes long), 35 hours a minute is the equivalent of over 176,000 full-length Hollywood releases every week. Another way to think about it is: If three of the major US networks were broadcasting 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year for the last 60 years, they still wouldn�t have broadcast as much content as is uploaded to YouTube every 30 days.”

to read the rest of the article, click here:  informationweek.com

WordPress To Introduce New Stats Features For Authors

 

Many blogs on WordPress are large enough that they have several authors writing for them.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see which author is bringing in the most views?  Well now you can. 

According to TimesoftheInternet.com, “Now, WordPress is introducing a stats feature which will allow the admin to see which posts are profitable and which authors are bringing in the most profit. This way, they can ask their authors to change their styles to bring in more profit for the site. This is one feature that is very useful for WordPress blog admins. They can easily manage their top authors from their dashboard and make necessary changes.This feature should be available very soon, probably in the next beta release of WordPress.  So if you’re running a WordPress blog, you could make good use of this feature which will help you manage your site authors.”

How Online Learning Compares to Traditional . . . Continuing the Debate

The New York Times recently reported, “An analysis of 99 studies by the federal Department of Education concluded last year that online instruction, on average, was more effective than face-to-face learning by a modest amount.”

However, in this same article, they noted that not all results have shown this to be true.  Mark Rush of the University of Florida’s researched students who watched lectures online vs. traditional students who attended regular live in person lectures. Their study showed more online students let the lectures pile up and got behind.  To find out more about this study, check out the New York Times Article.  

While I find this to be an interesting study, almost none of the online classes I teach include recorded lectures.  Therefore I don’t find this data to be representative of the online experience that I have witnessed in my over 5 years of teaching for many different online universities.

Although many people find the lecture experience a big part of education, not everyone finds this to be the most effective way to learn.  When I attended a traditional college, I personally did not enjoy having to sit through long lectures.  Perhaps that is why I was drawn to online learning later. 

I am more inclined to look at the 99 studies from the Federal Department of Education than one study that looks specifically at how well students keep up with watching lectures in determining the effectiveness of online learning. I personally think that people are drawn to the type of education that fits their needs.  For those that enjoy long lectures, traditional universities may be the best optino for them. For those who don’t, online has a lot to offer.

For those considering taking an online education, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual:  Everything You Need to Know to be a Succcessful Online Student.

Recommended Articles:

How Employers View an Online Education

Online Schools using Skype, Tinychat, Video Conferencing, Wiki and Other Technology

How are Online Degrees Perceived

What is the Status on Apple’s iAd?

Getty Images

Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs unveiled plans for the iAd service during a product event in April.

image via online.wsj.com
 

This summer Apple introduced iAd, its mobile advertising network for use with iPhone and iTouch.   Since I teach a lot of marketing courses, I was curious to see if this has been successful.  WJS.com reported that the service has gotten big brands interested in these ads.  

Some are complaining about the ad rates being high, with Apple requiring a minimum of $1 million in advertising commitments.  Although the service is only currently available on iPhone and iTouch, they will be making it available to iPad soon.

New Email Program is the Big Secret that Facebook has Been Keeping … Dubbed Gmail Killer

 

image via blogs.bgsu.edu

Dubbed the Gmail killer, Facebook’s new email program is to launch on Monday.  There has been talk about a secret product from Facebook and this appears to be the secret.  As people are jumping from the AOL ship, Google, Yahoo and other email providers are concerned that Facebook could take away their business.

Find Out How Much Jobs Pay

imagevia sixapart.com
In a presentation I gave the other night, someone in the audience asked if there was any questions you should not ask in the job interview.  One thing that many career experts will tell you is not to bring up money.  How then, are you supposed to know if the job is something you even should be considering?  There is a way to get an idea of what you can expect in terms of pay from a specific company.  The site is SimplyHired.  I used to use Salary.com quite a bit when I worked in loans and underwriting.  What is nice about SimplyHired, though,  is that it gives some more specific information about individual companies. 
 
I thought I would put it to the test by looking  AstraZeneca.  I chose that company since I worked there for so many years and was curious about the accuracy of SimplyHired.  This is what they showed:

Average Astrazeneca Salaries in AZ

 

astrazeneca

$65,000    

Average Google Salaries in AZ

 

google

$52,000    

For GoDaddy:

Average Go Daddy Salaries in AZ

 

go daddy

$20,000    
 
For Insight:

Average Insight Salaries in AZ

 

insight

$64,000    

 

Be Your Own “Dream Career” Advocate, Reinvent Your Social Network

Phoenix AZ—November 11, 2010— Guidance is a powerful thing and an important thing to seek from all sources when considering career change.  In her new book, How to Reinvent Your Career, Dr. Diane Hamilton does just that. She guides her readers through the process of self-promotion, something truly essential for landing that “dream” job.

Dr.  Hamilton has been advising her students regarding career opportunities for 5 years. She wants them to be marketable, relevant to the times and ultimately successful.  However, this isn’t any job hunt. This is a reinvention. Readers are using Diane’s tools to find complete job satisfaction.  The number one rule is when interviewing for a dream job is to understand the ability of how to show prospective employers   the benefits (not to be confused with features) that you offer.

Dr. Hamilton points out that Linked-in.com can be thought of as the Facebook for professionals. It is a way to get “connected” or “linked-in” with people online.   New users can create a profile showcasing their unique abilities and strengths. Some may see it as an online resume but it is so much more than that, as it can be tailored to emphasize your strengths and assets and be used to interact with potential connections.

“Networking is not contrived cocktail parties anymore,” says Hamilton, “The future is online—and that should not be a scary place. To stay current, you have to create your ‘brand,’ the heart of your profile, online.”

Once the profile is complete, it’s time to connect!  It must be continually updated to obtain the maximum benefit.  Just joining is not enough.  You must actively participate for optimal success.  Anytime a user gathers someone’s business card, it is crucial to connect with him or her the next day.  Linked-in is a way to keep a database of people who could be mutually beneficial contacts for the duration of the user’s entire career.

For job seekers Linked-in is partially about staying current, but most importantly a way to show not only skills but benefits: the total package. When changing careers it is vital to self-promote, showing that you are more than a set of skills but an asset to the team at that “dream job.”

“Link-in” with Dr. Diane Hamilton: www.linkedin.com/in/drdianehamilton

PR Contact:
Rebecca Crowley, RTC Publicity
646-619-1178
rebecca@rtcpublicity.com


drdianehamilton.com

Google, Facebook, Zynga and Twitter Battle for Talented Employees

In an article in today’s WSJ.com, they discuss how there is a war going on within the top technology firms to attract the best employees. To read the full article, click here.   As noted in the picture below, Google has over 23,000 employees, Facebook 1700, Zynga 1250 and Twitter 300.  Note that percentage increase in employees is strongest for Twitter with a 203% increase, followed by Zynga with a 178% increase, then Facebook with a 70% increase and Google with a 19% increase since last year.

[GOOGHIREjp]
image via online.wsj.com

New Study by Krux Digital Shows Data Leakage on Popular Websites

 

Data leakage occurs when an external entity, often without a publisher’s consent, collects data about a user while the user is on the publisher’s website. Krux Digital has recently released information from their study that found tracking tools on major websites were installed without the company’s knowledge.

According to earthtimes.org key findings include:

  • 31% of all data collection was enabled by parties other than the publisher, often without their control or consent
  • 55% of all companies collecting data on a Web site also brought in other companies to collect data as well
  • 27% of all collection was conducted by parties that are potentially competitive to publishers in media or data sales
  • 167 different companies were observed participating in active data collection across just fifty publisher sites, few of whom appeared to be doing so in the publishers’ interest or at their request

To find out more about these results, click here.

Authority Pro: Promises More Than the Typical WordPress Theme Engine

 Authority Pro Review - WordPress Squeeze Page Plugin

 

Authority Pro has positioned itself as a theme engine unlike any other currently available for WordPress.  The intent of the engine is to maximize the ability to have content delivered as needed and to drive conversations.  They offer 24 customizable widgets to increase functionality.

I’ve been reading some reviews of Authority Pro since it debuts today.  

Promotedprofits.com stated, “The promise of Authority Pro is this: you get targeted traffic, and it’ll work to get you the very best conversions possible, on as many of your pages and posts as possible.  It can continuously split-test for you, so that you’re always finding better and more profitable ways of configuring your site. If you have low levels of traffic, Authority Pro might be critical for you, as you need to really maximize the ROI of each visitor that comes to your site.  If you get moderate to high levels of traffic, then it’s obvious that you have a lot to gain from Authority Pro.”  

Netmarketingcourse.net lists the following capabilities as part of Authority Pro:

  • Video Fake Out
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Website Optimizer (split testing)
  • Built In Squeeze Page Graphics
  • Multiple Squeeze Page Templates
  • Aweber & Get Response Intagration
  • Custom Exit Page Redirect
  • Custom CSS Coding

James Morgan at Articlebase.com claims he was skeptical about this product due to all of the hype, but found the product to be much more than a theme.  He stated, “It comes pre-installed with a bunch of different squeeze page templates that make your sites indistinguishable from the ones the pros spend thousands and thousands of dollars testing.”

They are offering this product for $97 and you can get it by clicking here.

If anyone has used this and wants to fill me in on their experience, I’d love to hear about it.

Celebrity Net Worth Site Knocked Offline by Daniel Tosh of Comedy Central

image via voxonline.com

I recently posted a blog about celebrities and their net worth.  To see that blog, click here.  Today, I’ve been getting an unusual amount of hits on that link.  It made me do some research. This is what I found out.

According to entertainment.gather.com, Daniel Tosh of Comedy Central and Tosh.O  mentioned the site to send it offline.  “Fans of the host congratulated him on the success of his mission via tweets on Twitter. On his series, Daniel Tosh talked about some of today’s most popular celebrities and what they are worth.”

As of this writing, the site’s server is still not working.  It’s interesting to see how much of an impact Tosh’s comments have made on their traffic.

Do you do a lot of Social Networking? Find out What is Different About Rockmelt’s New Browser

 

image via engadget.com

Marc Andreessen, Netscape founder, is backing a new startup browser called Rockmelt.  Rockmelt claims it “does more than just navigate Web pages. It makes it easy for you to do the things you do every single day on the Web: share and keep up with your friends, stay up-to-date on news and information, and search.”

The beta version is being made available today and is built around sites like Facebook and Twitter

After 2 years in product, their focus is for those who do a lot of social networking.  According to their blog, “Your friends are important to you, so we built them in. Now you’re able to chat, share that piano-playing-cat video everyone’s going to love, or just see what your friends are up to, regardless of what site you’re on. Your favorite sites are important to you, so we built them in too. Now you can access them from anywhere, without leaving the page you’re on. And RockMelt will tell you when something new happens.”

For more information, check out their video below.

What is a Monopsony? How does it Relate to Companies like Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Google?

Many have heard the word monopoly but have you heard the word monopsony?  This word is becoming more commonly used.  A monopsony exists when there is a market dominated by a single buyer, giving power to set the price for whatever is being purchased.  If there is no competition, the buyer can pay less for what they are purchasing.  Demand all comes from this one source.  This would be the opposite from a monopoly where the monopoly is about supply; the monopsony is about demand.

Some examples that have been given of monopsonies include major employers in a small town, universal healthcare, and the post office. Some very popular companies such as Wal-Mart, Microsoft and Google have also been called monopsonies. 

Can a company be both monopoly and a monopsony?  In a white paper about Google, it is suggested that Google’s has a monopolistic hold on search advertising, but also may be considered a monopsony, by restraining digital commerce. Click here to find out more about Google and its stronghold in the technology market.   

Check Out:

Monopsony As the Dominant Market Structure of Web 2.o

Monopsony Employers

Top 10 Ways to Find a Job or Have a Job Find You

With the current job market, people are looking for unusual ways to stand out in the crowd.  I recently gave a presentation at a local university where I explained the job searching tips I discuss in this article.  To see that actual live presentation, click here.

If you are not utilizing some of the following ways to showcase your talents to prospective employers, you may be missing the boat.  Here is my top 10 list of things you need to be doing if you are looking for a job.

1.  Research Top Career Sites like Monster, CareerBuilder, etc. Look for sites specific to the industry in which you want to work.  For example, there are pharmaceutical-specific sites like Medzilla or higher educational-specific sites like HigheredJobs.  Update your information with each of these sites and set up searches so that jobs are sent to you as they become available.  

2.  Utilize Camtasia and PowerPoint to showcase your abilities.  If you know how to create a PowerPoint presentation, then it can be quite simple to use a software package like Camtasia to have voice-over capabilities to make your presentation have more depth.  These presentations can be showcased on many different sites including your blog or website if you have one.  One of the best places to showcase your talents with the final presentation product is through Youtube. For an example of one I’ve made, click here.

3.  Utilize Youtube to present “you” as a viable product.  If you have created a video or a Camtasia/PowerPoint presentation mentioned previously, Youtube is the place to upload it for maximum exposure.  If you have a skill that is visual such as ability to work in Photoshop, you can create print screens of your work and incorporate them into your presentations. 

4.  Google Docs is very much like PowerPoint but it can be seen by people on the Internet as well as be imported into your Linkedin Profile. To see an example of one I have created, click here.

5.  Prezi is also similar to PowerPoint in that it is presentation software.  The big difference is how it displays your information. This web-based program can show things in a non-linear fashion.  If you haven’t had a chance to view a Prezi presentation, check one out by clicking here.

6.  Blogging is a great way to get your presence known on the Internet.  Sites like WordPress are free and easy to set up.  You can link your blog to several other networking sites to capture the attention of those on Facebook, Twitter and many more sites.

7.  LinkedIn is probably one of the best sites you can use to get exposure to people and showcase your talents.  Utilize their Q&A area to become an expert.  Sign up for groups to meet others that could hook you up with opportunities.  Import your Google Docs, WordPress blogs and other information to showcase your abilities.  Tie your status line into Twitter to get more exposure.

8.  Facebook is also an important place to network. You can create a professional page for your work or display your products that you are promoting. 

9.  Twitter can also be a useful way to have others learn about what you are doing professionally.  Be sure you tie in your other sites links to Twitter.  Use programs like bit.ly to shorter any web addresses to fit your message on Twitter.

10. Old Fashioned Networking is still important.  Always have your business card with you.  Talk to everyone you know and talk to people you don’t know.  If you are sitting by someone on an airplane or standing in line to buy something, you just might find that the person you meet has connections.  Have your business card ready!

For more articles to help you, see:

How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product

Click on the picture below to watch the video of Dr. Diane Hamilton’s presentation:  “How to Get a Job Marketing You as the Product”:

What is Prezi? How Does it Compare to Powerpoint

I use Powerpoint on occasion.  In fact, I used it for a presentation last night.  However, there is another program out there that could give Powerpoint a run for its money.  If you haven’t seen Prezi yet, I highly recommend checking it out. 

Prezi differs from Powerpoint in that it is a web-based program that allows you to create more of a canvas presentation instead of a sequential slide presentation. Think non-linear. It allows you to incorporate not only text and pictures, but videos and other presentation objects.  You can create your presentation online and then download the final product so that you don’t require an internet connection to display the presentation.

Students and professors can get this application for free.

Marketing Yourself To Get The Job – Career Workshop

CareerConnectors.Net Workshop
Nov. 16 – 9:00 – 11:30 am (Gilbert, AZ)
 

Marketing Yourself as a Product to Get the Job

Agenda

 

 8:45 am       Registration

 9:00 am       Welcome and Intro, Jessica Pierce, JobSeekersAZ

 9:15 am       Marketing Yourself as a Product to Get the Job, Dr. Diane Hamilton

10:15 am      Industry Intelligence, Mary Wolf-Francis, City of Phoenix Workforce Connections

10:30 am      Banner Health is Hiring, Miranda Kistler, Recruiter

10:45 am      Ajilon Professional Staffing is Hiring, Morgan Carlson, Staffing Manager

11:00 am      New York Life in AZ, Emelie Shriner, Recruiter

11:15 am      Closing and Job Leads, Jessica Pierce

11:30 am      Breakout Sessions:  Resumes, LinkedIn, Hiring Companies, Speakers

  

Our jobleads change often, check them out:  CareerConnectors.Net

Follow us on Twitter

Connect to our LinkedIn Group:  CareerConnectors

Friend us on Facebook

 

Facebook Not Just For Fun Any More: Why There’s Even More Reasons For You To Log In

 

Image via mashraqi.com

Think of why you check your Facebook right now?  Is it to see what people are talking about?  Is it to see if it’s your move on Scrabble?  Well, now you have a really good reason to check in.  Facebook just added a new service that will allow you to check for deals on products and services in your area.

Think about it. . . You’re walking along, realizing you need to purchase something.  All you will have to do to find out who is offering special deals in your area now, is to get your iphone or other internet-accessible phone out and check Facebook.

Who is offering the discounts?  According to WJS.com, “GAP, Inc. will be one of the first marquee partners, offering free blue jeans to the first 10,000 customers who check in to their stores on an unannounced date in the near future. Facebook said Starbucks, McDonald’s, Macy’s and Harrah’s will also be offering deals.”

Using Calibre for Your e-Books Conversion Needs

On their site, Calibre states that their product is a one stop solution to all of your e-book needs.  I have used Calibre to convert my books and PDF files for use on my iTouch and iPad.  I like their product.  It is a free open-source program that is used in over 160 countries.

You can download it for Windows, OS X or Linux by clicking here.   

I like that they have some easy tutorials that can show you how to convert your files. 

Features of their program include:

  • Library Management
  • e-Book conversion
  • Synching e-Books to Reader Devices
  • Downloading News from the Web and Converting to e-Book Format
  • Comprehensive e-Book Viewer
  • Content Server for Online Access to Your Book Collection

What is Blekko? Can the SlashTag Search Engine Compete With Google?

 

Blekko promises user-friendly search experience 

image via bigmouthmedia.com

 

Blekko has been in development since 2007, but it has only recently become available to the public. Blekko is a search engine that has its sights on Google’s business. To do this, they are focusing on what they can do differently.

The New York Times reported, “Rich Skrenta, Blekko’s co-founder and chief executive, says that since Google started, the Web has been overrun by unhelpful sites full of links and keywords that push them to the top of Google’s search results but offer little relevant information. Blekko aims to show search results from only useful, trustworthy sites.”

Out of curiosity, I ran Alexa web statistics on Blekko to see how they were doing. Over the last 30 days, their website traffic has increased 12.7%.  Alexa also had the following to report on Blekko, “Blekko.com’s three-month global Alexa traffic rank is 21,705. Search engines refer roughly 11% of visits to the site. The time spent in a typical visit to this site is about four minutes, with 43 seconds spent on each pageview. The site is located in the US. Compared with the overall internet population, Blekko.com appeals more to men; its audience also tends to consist of childless people earning over $60,000 who browse from work and school and have postgraduate educations.”

Blekko uses slashtags to help you get more accurate results. Some are calling Blekko the slashtag search engine because of it. If you are not familiar with slashtags, searchenglineland explains them: “Slashtags are a way that anyone can make a “vertical” search engine around any topic. For those not familiar with the term, a vertical search engine is one that lets you search in a specific area of interest, rather than across the “horizontal” spectrum of all interests. Google is a “horizontal” search engine that lets you search for anything. Google News, in contrast, lets you drill into one slice of interest, news content.”

Think of slashtags as something like this:  drdianehamilton/books.  By doing this search, it pulled up more specific information about my writing.  It can be helpful to make the search more specific.

Why the name Blekko?  Co-founder, Mr. Skrenta, used to refer to his personal computer in college by that name. 

For more information about Blekko, check out the following link from WJS.com.

If you would like to know what Blekko has to offer, check out the following video:

What is Ugly Meter? New APP Analyzes How “Ugly” You Are

 

Jo Overline, co-creator of the Ugly Meter app for iPhones, shows a scan. The app snaps a picture of a subject's face, analyzes the image for symmetry, ranks one's ugliness and flings an insult or compliment.

Image via azcentral.com

There is a new app available for Iphones that will allow you to take a picture of someone and then have it run a facial recognition, analyzing whether the person is attractive or not.  The app then makes a comment about their appearance . . . good or bad.

The app is very popular but it is causing debate as to whether this is a good thing to do.  Some see it as harmless fun, while others think it can be causing bullying, leading to psychological distress. 

The app, only 99 cents,  will assign a score from 0-10.  Ten being the least attractive.

How popular is this app? According to azcentral.com “About two months after its release, Ugly Meter has generated over 100,000 downloads, peaking at No. 3 on the most popular chart.”

How did a beauty like Angelina Jolie rate on their test?  How about Brad Pitt? Check out the results by clicking here.

The Ugly Meter iPhone App

image via dailymail.co.uk

Dr. Diane Hamilton – Tech Forum 2010

 

For those of you  atttending  University of Advancing Technology Tech Forum –  I will be giving a talk about “How to Obtain Your Dream Job And Make More Money Marketing You”  – See:  University of Advancing Technology – Tech Forum 2010.  The talk will be from 5:30-6:30 on November 4, 2010 at UAT.  For more information about the speakers at this seminar, click here.

What is an Intellitar? Live Eternally Through a Virtual Representation of You

 

 

image via intellitar.com

Have you heard about Intellitars?  Intellitar.com describes them as: An artificially intelligent representation of you, that you can carry on a real-time conversation, just like a real person.  Through your intellitar, you will be able to preserve and share your personality, life experiences, knowledge, wisdom, memories, in a way never before available.

For some interesting articles about Intellitars, check out: 

Virtual Eternity:  Leave Your Legacy Online With Your Own Digital Clone

Would You Like to Meet Your Ancestors?

A Lifelike Legacy

Some say the image is a bit creepy.  The voice still sounds mechanical when it speaks.  To check out a demonstration of an Intellitar, click here

What I found interesting was that the person who is having an Intellitar made of them must take a Myers-Briggs personality asssessment to gather information to develop their identity and inpart their personality.  For more about this, check out an article on Forbes blogs by clicking here.

11 Practical Business Uses for LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter: Business Collaboration News

Check out the latest article by gigaom.com.  It contains some very useful suggested uses for some of the more popular social networking sites.  It ties in nicely with what I wrote about in my book, How to Reinvent Your Career.  This article has to do more with businesses utilizing these sites.  These same tactics can be used for the individual looking to be noticed.

For more articles about utilizing social networking for self-promotion and career advancement, click here.

See Gigaom.com’s list of some basic ways to use LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for specific business activities.  To see the eleven uses, click here:  gigaom.com

What is Rapleaf and What Do They Know About You?

 

If you look at Rapleaf’s site, they describe their business in the following manner: “Rapleaf is a San Francisco-based startup with an ambitious vision: we want every person to have a meaningful, personalized experience – whether online or offline. We want you see the right content at the right time, every time. We want you to get better, more personalized service. To achieve this, we help Fortune 2000 companies gain insight into their customers, engage them more meaningfully, and deliver the right message at the right time. We also help consumers understand their online footprint.”

According to an article by Emily Steel from the Wall Street Journal, Rapleaf is building a database with all of our information in it.  They do this by tapping into voter-registration files and looking at our social networking, shopping and real estate purchases.  According to that same article, “Rapleaf says it never discloses people’s names to clients for online advertising.”

I’ve seen blogs that consider this “scare journalism”.  Are these articles meant to scare us or are they something we need to worry about?

Here is what The Wall Street Journal found:

  • Rapleaf knows your real names and email addresses.
  • It can build rich profiles by tapping voter-registration files, shopping histories, social-networking activities and more. In effect, it can built the ultimate dossier on you.
  • Rapleaf sells pretty elaborate data that includes household income, age, political leaning, and even more granular details such as your interest in get-rich-quick schemes.
  • According to the WSJ, Rapleaf segments people into 400 categories.
  • Rapleaf says it doesn’t transmit personally identifiable data for online advertising, but the WSJ found that is not the case. Rapleaf shared a unique Facebook ID to at least 12 companies and a unique MySpace ID number to six companies. Any sharing was accidental, the company said.
  • Politicians, both Democrats and Republicans, are using Rapleaf. It has provided data to 10 political campaigns

MTV Scratch to Connect with Millennials

 

According to their site, “MTV Scratch taps the power of MTV to connect with millennials in new ways.  Partnering with select brands to pioneer new business models, we deliver award-winning, multi-platform programming and creative, consumer insights, brand strategy, product development and design.”

I am interested in marketing and especially in the post-boomer generations.  Most of my students fall into that age-group.  In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I write about the unique needs and issues facing this generation. 

Because I teach a lot of marketing classes, I tend to look for differences in marketing techniques.  I found the tone of MTV Scratch to be interesting.  They are trying to market and appeal to the preferences of a younger generation.  In their FAQ, instead of having the traditional question and answer format, their responses are a bit different than what you see on most sites.  

Examples FAQ:

Question: Can I come work with you guys? 

Answer: Let’s make friends first, yeah? We’ve love to meet you.  Hit us here . . .

That is not the typical vibe that most sites project.  MTV has always been good at targeting their market segment.  I will be curious to see how well they do with MTV Scratch.

Find Everything Google Has to Offer on “Google New”

If you are interesting in learning more about all of the products Google offers, you need to check out Google New.  On this site, you can watch videos about all of their latest products.

What is Google zeitgeist? Searching for Trends and Popularity on the Internet

image via geeksmack.net

Google’s site defines zeitgeist “as, “zeit·geist | Pronunciation: ‘tsIt-“gIst, ‘zIt | Function: noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist (spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. “Zeitgeist” means “the spirit of the times”, and Google reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of search queries we receive every day. We have several tools that give insight into global, regional, past and present search trends. These tools are available for you to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for everything from business research to trivia answers.”

If you click here, you can reach the Google zeitgeist site.  Once there, you have access to the following search site links:

Google Trends  

Website Trends 

Insights for Searches 

Hot Trends 

I tend to set up the Google news search function in iGoogle to find out about buzz words and things I am interested in at the time.  However, these sites can help you find out even more about what people really are searching for on the Internet.  I like the “insight for searches”  because you can create lists of specific words to find out popularity of topics in different regions.  Hot trends can also be helpful to give you an idea of what is popular throughout the day.

Does the New Facebook Movie Imply Zuckerberg has Asperger’s?

image via nypost.com

There has been some buzz on the Internet about Zuckerberg’s psychological state for years now.  The release of the movie, The Social Network, only has added to the discussion.  There is one scene in which they show Zuckerberg sitting in a meeting where he is making continuous popping noises with his mouth. 

Those of you who have seen Boston Legal may recall a popping sound made the character, Jerry Espenson, played by Christian Clemenson.  The show’s character had asperger’s syndrome and was unable to stop making the popping sounds.  The portrayal of Zuckerberg in the scene where he “pops” may be implying there is something more going on with him. 

One could simply watch that scene and think he is just being rude.  It also could  just be something that Hollywood added to make the movie more interesting.  Whatever the case, it does open up some interesting possibilities about the true personality type or psychological state of Zuckerman. 

In our forthcoming book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I list many examples of celebrity personality “types”.  To find out more about Zuckerberg and his personality type, click here.

5 Ways to Get a Job Through YouTube

Mashable had an interest article about how to use Youtube to get a job.  To learn more about how to get noticed through sites like YouTube and others, check out:  How To Reinvent Your Career.  

Not only is it possible to use YouTube to get a job, but it’s becoming a more popular option, especially for the current crop of would-be-employees that grew up with web video.

 

Some argue that video is a more personal tool for job searching, acting as a digital interview, while others see it as cold and alienating, as it lacks the face-to-face element. But YouTube isn’t just about video resumes — there are a variety of creative ways to hop online and get hired.

Even better, YouTube isn’t just for Millennials. Web video can be useful for professionals of any age looking to expand their audience or pick up new clients. With a little creativity, honesty and hard work, you can utilize YouTube to create a more effective (and more interesting) professional and digital image, rather than just falling back on the ol’ resume (digital or not).

Read on for five ways to use YouTube to get a job.


 

To read the rest of the article and see the videos, click here:  mashable.com

Google Search Tips: Using Google’s Lesser Known Functions for Research

With the popularity of Google, odds are you have probably tried using their search engine a time or two.  However, many people are unaware of how to refine their searches using Google’s lesser-known functions. 

  • To find information about a specific website, try inputting something like:  “info:drdianehamilton.com” – be sure you type in the parentheses.
  • Utilize the asterisk function.  For example:  “Facebook * millennials” will give you results with only those words.  If you just searched by “Facebook” and “millennials” you may have words between the two in your results.
  • Google does not recognize short words such as the, a, and, it . . . Nor is it case sensitive. However it does differentiate between singular and plural as i the case of “millennial” or “millennials”.

If you are interested in some other search-related tools offered by Google check out the following sites:

Amazon and Facebook Create Fund to Help Start-Up Companies

LANewsMonitor reported:Amazon.com, Facebook and others on Thursday announced that they will be investing in a new, $250 million venture-capital fund which will target at start-ups and will be designed to better connect people online. KPCB partner Bing Gordon, who is also a former executive with Electronic Arts Inc., will head the social startup fund. This was revealed at Facebook’s Palo Alto, Calif., headquarters on Thursday.

Mark Zuckerberg said …

To read the full article go to:  lanewsmonitor.com

Top 10 Online Influencers

 
Fastcopy recently posted the list of top online influencers.  If you think you might recognize some of the names, you may be surprised.  According to a press release by HRMarketer, “Months ago, Fast Company magazine created its Influence Project in an effort to find out who was the most influential. Would it be media darlings like Oprah and Shaq? Or would it be more ordinary people whose influence may not be as great with more traditional media outlets but who exert significant influence over their Twitter followers, Facebook friends, and LinkedIn connections. More than 32,000 people registered with Fast Company to find out where they stood along with a chance to get their photo in the magazine this November.”

The top 10 on-line influencers according to Fast Company’s The Influence Project were:

1. Jeremy Schoemaker
2. Shefqet Avdullau
3. Tod Sacerdoti
4. Cory Boatright
5. Greg Clement
6. Frank Kovacs
7. Sebastian Saldarriaga
8. James Dunn
9. Richard Lee
10. Pace Lattin

To read full press release click here:  sfgate.com

Employers Using Skype for Interviews

If you are looking for a job right now, you may be surprised to find out that your interview could occur through video-related software such as Skype.  In order to reduce costs, many employers are doing more and more through the use of video.  It works out well for both parties.  The prospective employee may actually be able to do their job interviews from home. 

If you are going to be interviewed in this manner, be sure you are prepared.   For a great article on how to prepare for your interview on Skype, check out the following by e.how.com:

Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.

Succeeding in a Skype interview takes as much preparation, if not more, than a regular interview.
Skype.com
User-Submitted Article

With companies slashing expenses in every which way these days, many are now preferring to interview job candidates online using applications such as Skype. With face to face interaction still intact, hiring managers can eliminate the costs associated with flying out candidates while maintaining the considerable benefits of having a face-to-face conversation.

Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Instructions

Things You’ll Need:

  • A computer equipped with a webcam, microphone, and Skype
  • Appropriate interview attire
  • As isolated room with adequate lighting, lacking any distractions
  1. First, remember this is a REAL interview! Do not be tricked into thinking that preparation is not required since the interview will be done online. Though there are some tricks to Skype interviews listed below that are not available in an on-site interview, hiring managers will still be choosing individuals that they perceive as most qualified for the job. Thus, PREPARE for the interview in advance. Call the company or asking the hiring manager what would be the appropriate dress for the interview for you to best fit in with the company’s culture (if you do not know already).
  2. If possible, test out your computer set-up days before the interview is set to take place. If possible, use an ethernet cable to access the web; relying on Wi-Fi during an interview is a risk that should be avoided at all costs. Also, make sure there is plenty of lighting in the room, so that the hiring manager can clearly see your face. Free the room of any unnecessary distractions (for instance, a red umbrella or green coat hanging in the background), but it is okay for there to leave non-distracting objects up (such as a clock, a table, etc.). Test the call with another friend to make sure no minor details need to be adjusted (such as the distance between you and the screen).
  3. Try to get the computer’s webcam high enough so that it is eye-level with you. Some laptops naturally require the user to look down at the camera, and that look is typically not as flattering for an interview as the eye-level approach. This can be achieved by a variety of creative means, but if you have some sort of laptop or computer stand, that would be best.
  4. Get there early! Log onto Skype approximately 15 minutes before the interview start time. If the hiring manager is already online, they will be impressed that you have shown up for this virtual interview early. If not, they will still notice you were already online when they got on.
  5. Be professional, but be yourself! Don’t get nervous; demonstrating confidence can sometimes be one of the deciding factors to who the company chooses for the job. Try not to refer to notes (see tip below), however, feel free to write down anything the interviewer might say. Also, it is appropriate to look at the video feed of the interviewer while they are talking, however, it is imperative that you speak to them by looking at the webcam. This will give the impression of eye contact, which is a major selling point in any interview.

How to Check Your Retweets

As more people are entering into different areas of social media, it can be confusing to keep track of whether your message is being delivered.  If you are on Twitter, you can easily see who is retweeting your tweets.  Wow . . . that was a lot of T’s!

Once you are on your Twitter home page, if you look to the right side of your screen, under the home area, you will see a link about half way down the page that says retweet.  If you click on that, it will pull up a screen that looks like this:

If you click on the third tab, that will show you who has retweeted your tweets.  You should get a screen that looks something like this:

It is easy to check to see who is sending out your messages and which messages are getting the most focus.

Wealthy Individuals Use Social Media More Than Most Americans

 

There is no denying the popularity of social media.  There are so many sites, it can be difficult to keep track them all. It is interesting to see who is actually using social media.  When sites like Twitter came out, many were using it more as a means of chatting about their day.  Times have changed and social media is now a very useful tool for businesses.  Sites like Twitter and Facebook now have a strong business presence. 

Wealthy individuals are recognizing the importance of using social media.  Recent polls have shown the wealthy to use social media more than the average Americans. See the results of a recent poll by SEIC.com listed below.  To read the full article, click here.

OAKS, PA., Oct. 19, 2010 – A new Quick Poll from SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) today showed that 70 percent of high-net-worth individuals surveyed are users of Facebook and other social media sites. That’s considerably more than the number of daily social media users among the general populace. According to an August, 2010 report from the Pew Research Center, titled Older Adults and Social Media, 61 percent of Americans ages 18 and over have used a social networking site.

However, the Quick Poll results make it clear that wealthy individuals have a hard time squeezing in their social media time – just 17.4 percent of respondents said they use social media on a daily basis. While 38 percent of those surveyed by Pew had used a social networking site in the previous 24 hours.

SEI surveyed 46 wealthy individuals with more than $5 million in investible assets. Of those surveyed that use social media, 50 percent said they use Facebook. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they visit YouTube, while just under 35 percent use LinkedIn.

Social networking use continues to grow among older users

One in ten (11%) online adults ages 50-64 and one in twenty (5%) online adults ages 65 and older now say they use Twitter or another service to share updates about themselves or see updates about others.

The use of Twitter and other services to share status updates has also grown among older users—most notably among those ages 50-64. While just 5% of users ages 50-64 had used Twitter or another status update service in 2009, 11% now say they use these tools. On a typical day, 6% of online adults ages 50-64 make Twitter a part of their routine, up from the 1% who did so in 2009.

By comparison, social networking sites have gained a much larger foothold in the lives of older Americans over time. One in five (20%) adults ages 50-64 say they use social networking sites on a typical day, up from 10% one year ago. Likewise, 13% of online adults ages 65 and older log on to social networking sites, compared with just 4% who did so in 2009.

Email and online news are still more appealing to older users, but social media sites attract many repeat visitors.

While email may be falling out of favor with today’s teenagers, older adults still rely on it heavily as an essential tool for their daily communications. Overall, 92% of those ages 50-64 and 89% of those ages 65 and older send or read email and more than half of each group exchanges email messages on a typical day. Online news gathering also ranks highly in the daily media habits of older adults; 76% of internet users ages 50-64 get news online, and 42% do so on a typical day.1 Among internet users ages 65 and older, 62% look for news online and 34% do so on a typical day.

Social media properties—including networking and status update sites—are newer additions to the daily digital diet of older adults. Yet, the “stickiness” of the sites is notable. To look at the data another way, among the pool of adults ages 50 and older who use social networking sites, 44% used them on the day prior to their being contacted for our survey.

The pool of Twitter and status update users ages 50 and older is too small to segment, but the behavior of this limited early adopter group does suggest a similar tendency towards regular use of the sites.

By comparison, less than half of online banking users ages 50 and older visited the sites on a typical day and less than one in five older users of online classified sites reported use of the sites “yesterday.”

A Typical Day: Where social media use fits in

What is REMcloud? It’s Like a Twitter Site for Dream Sharing

Are you interesting in sharing your dreams?  A site created by Kim Muhota callead REMcloud allows you to post about your dreams in a Twitter kind of fashion.   You can also receive a response back analyzing the key words in your posting, giving you an explanation for what it all meant. 

REMcloud’s site states: “REMcloud is a social and information network that connects people all over the world around the most universally shared human experience:  our dreams.  REMcloud allows you to see what the world is dreaming at any time:  tapping into the world’s collective consciousness in real time.” 

They quote the following facts on their site:

  • When you dream, your body is completely paralyzed and you cannot move
  • Your brain is more active when you are dreaming than when you are fully awake
  • Many blind people can see in their dreams
  • Babies dream, even before birth
  • The Romans interpreted dreams in the senate as they were thought to be messages from the gods

They claim that through their technology you can have fun sharing not only your own dreams but comparing your dreams to those of others.  You can look for global trends and themes and follow people who have similar dreams or experiences.

Think of it as a Twitter for dream experiences.  At least that is probably the hope of the site’s creator.

Do you really want to know what others dream about?  Apparently a lot of you do.  They claim “more than a million global users are already engaging in REMcloud across its various outposts.”

To find out more about REMcloud, check out the following press releas:  REMcloud Launches Next Generation Social Network.

Are You in a Hurry? Average Wait Times Might Drive You Crazy but You Can Still be Productive

 

Anyone who knows me will probably tell you I am on the fast-moving side.  I don’t like to wait in long lines or in traffic.  I recently had a doctor make me wait over 3 hours just to see him.  Because this just happened, I found the following chart listing some average wait times to be interesting:

What’s the Hurry

A look at average wait times:

  • Hospital emergency room: 4 hours, 7 minutes
  • California Department of Motor Vehicles: 42 minutes, 32 seconds
  • Main security line at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport during Monday morning rush: 25 minutes
  • PRIMARY-CARE PHYSICIAN: 22 minutes
  • McDonald’s drive-through window: 2 minutes, 54 seconds

Sources: Press Ganey Associates; California DMV; Transportation Security Administration; QSR Magazine

via online.wsj.com

Before Ipads and other portable devices, it was a lot more frustrating for me to wait.  Now I can actually be productive while sitting in that doctor’s waiting room for 3 hours. I can multi-task and not simply read their latest copy of Fly Fishing. 

Many may think that some of these devices are too expensive and not worth the investment.  I think for some people, the cost of our time must be factored into the equation.  How much is your time worth?   Many people travel, carpool or do a lot of activities where they are just simply sitting doing nothing.  Some people like the downtime.  For me, I get a little antsy.

The beauty of having audio books, educational seminars, and access to the Internet, can not only make the frustration of waiting more bearable, but it is the ultimate way to multi-task, allowing you to actually learn something and be productive as well.  This can be important when you are forced to sit and wait and wait and wait . . . did I mention my doctor made me wait for 3 HOURS?

How Much Is Your Favorite Celebrity’s Net Worth? Fun Site Gives You An Idea

Celebrity Net Worth

Have you ever wondered how much an actor, musician, politican, businessman, athlete, rapper or someone else famous was worth?  Perhaps you wondered if Bruce Willis was worth more or less than Demi Moore.  There is a site called CelebrityNetWorth that can answer some of these questions for you.  The site is pretty easy to navigate.  You can ask questions like:  What rapper makes the most money?  Or . . . .Who are the richest people in the world?  You can even ask it how much a plumber makes . . .And  you can get some answers.  You can also input celebrity names and find out how much money they have.  I looked up a few that interested me but here are some of the most popular searches:

Some other names I noticed on their site included, Dr. Phil, Suze Orman ( worth $35 million), Huge Hufner, Mark  Zuckerberg (worth $6.9 billion) according to that site, and many more.  What I thought was interesting was there was a random celebrity button that, when pushed, would pull up random people that you may or may not have thought of in your quest for financial knowledge.

How reliable is the data?  According to their site, “All information presented on CelebrityNetWorth.com is gathered from sources which are thought to be reliable, but the viewer should not assume that such information is up to date or completely accurate or final. CelebrityNetWorth does not assume responsibility for any errors in the information it presents on this site.   All information on this site is based solely on public information and is subject to change without notice.”

If you are interested in finding out more about celebrity personalities like Chris Rock, Dwight Shrute, Ari Gold and more, click here

For more about celebrity net worth being knocked off line, click here.

For more information about increasing your own net worth, click here:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

Why Customers Subscribe and Unsubscribe to Facebook Pages

If you are trying to market your product or company on Facebook, you might be interested in why people decide to subscribe or unsubscribe to Facebook pages.  To read the entire article by Frank Reed at MarketingPilgram.com click here.

eMarketer reports on a survey conducted by DDB Worldwide and Opinionway Research in September tells the story that most Facebook brand followers are not researchers or self-starters.

The report also shows that Facebook brand attrition rates are at 36% and that number doesn’t include those who choose to hide brand updates from their Facebook newsfeed.

So why do people stop following brands on Facebook?

Website Helps Teens Prepare For College

 

Image via eduinreview.com

I am always interested in any technology that helps young adults prepare for college and beyond.  Arizona has a new website that is aimed at helping high school grads pursue a college degree. Check out this article by Eugene Scott at the Arizona Republic:

A new online portal to help high-school students prepare for college is part of a public-private education initiative aimed at boosting the number of Arizonans with a college degree.

The High School Portal, which is found at AZTransfer.com, streamlines information from all public universities and community colleges into a central source.

The portal is touted as a key tool to help students transition into college. It outlines steps that teens must take to attend college, begin earning college credit and figure out what careers may be best suited for them.

To read the full article, click here:  azcentral.com

Do You Need To Control Your Social Media and Build Brand Awareness?

There are many platforms out there that can help you manage all of your social media.  I personally like to use Posterous at times to share content due to their Share on Posterous toolbar option.  I think that Posterous is one of the easier ways to share things but you are still limited to the places where Posterous connects.  Check out my posterous site by clicking here

I know Facebook can present a bit of a challenge about when and how often to post.  I don’t want everyone of my blogs to post on Facebook and overwhelm my contacts.  I tend to treat Facebook as a separate entity because of that and only post specific things there. 

I also use some of the other social management sites like SocialOomph and Hootesuite.  I know a lot of people still go to each one of their social media sites to post separately which takes up a lot of their time.

I think the following article by Dana Kohlbeck on Postcrescent.com does a nice job explaining some of the platforms available that can help you manage a lot of your social media areas in one location.

Image via shoutmeloud.com

If you’re looking to maximize both time and reach within social media platforms, look to applications such as HooteSuite or SocialOomph. These tools allow you to update multiple accounts like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn from one platform, as well as pre-schedule messages for consistency and strategic time release.

According to a recent business.com study, 81 percent of marketers use social media to build brand awareness. What better way to spread the brand message than to customize your social media platforms to reflect that brand?

To read entire article, click here:  postcrescent.com

Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant, Stuff You Should Know Guys, Discuss Dr. Diane Hamilton’s Book

I am a huge fan of Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant who do a podcast called Stuff You Should Know from HowStuffWorks.com.  On a recent podcast, they mentioned my book, The Online Student’s User Manual.  For those of you who have read my book, you may have noticed they wrote a nice review that I included on the back where they stated:

“Here’s something you should know—Dr. Hamilton has provided the most comprehensive ‘soup to nuts’ book about online education on the planet. It’s a real hand-holder to get you started, guide you to a degree and beyond into the workforce.”  Josh Clark and Chuck Bryant  “Stuff You Should Know” Podcast

I try to listen to all of their podcasts. They recently did an excellent one about octupuses (and yes, that is one way you can say it according to their report).  I recommend listening to all of their podcasts though.  They are extremely informative as well as fun and creative.  You can hear the mention of my book at the 34:34  mark on one of their recent podcasts by clicking here.

To find out more about why Josh and Chuck’s podcast is so awesome, click here.

Do you Like the Old Spice Ads? Of Course You Do! But Have They Been Profitable?

It’s hard not to like the new Old Spice ads. I have to admit, when I think of Old Spice, I think of an older product that was around when I was a kid and associate it with older men or as a kind of cheaper product you’d find at drug stores.  Since I teach a lot of marketing classes, I was curious to see how those very fun and popular ads are affecting the sales of Old Spice.

As of July, Old Spice sales have increased 107%. 

 


 


 

images via mashable.com

In her new analysis of the Old Spice video push, Adweek’s Eleftheria Parpis has this summary: “According to Nielsen data provided by Old Spice, overall sales for Old Spice body-wash products are up 11 percent in the last 12 months; up 27 percent in the last six months; up 55 percent in the last three months; and in the last month, with two new TV spots and the online response videos, up a whopping 107 percent.”

For some fun short Old Spice clips, check out this compilation put together by adweek.blog

Also check out Mashable’s Top 10 Funniest Old Spice Guy Responses by clicking here.

Free Social Media Tools for Teachers

In my books, I often write about using social media tools.  I think they can be invaluable in the classroom.  I recently found a great article about media tools for teachers on Mashable.com.   I am a big Mashable fan.  They have wonderful articles about technology and every one of them is more interesting than the next. If you haven’t checked out their site, you really need to do so. 

In Sarah Kessler’s article 7 Fantastic Free Social Media Tools for Teachers, she point out some great tools that can be used in the classroom including:

  1. Edu 2.0  – site that allows teachers to share content
  2. SymbalooEDU  – site allows teachers to organize classroom resources,  school logos may be added
  3. Collaborize Classroom  – site allows for online discussions to remove intimidation factor
  4. Edublogs  – site is great for group projects, newsletters and more
  5. Kidblog  – good site for K-8 classroom
  6. Edmondo  – site is similar to Facebook but more controlled environment
  7. TeacherTube, SchoolTube, Youtube – TeacherTube and SchoolTube are alternatives to Youtube for teachers

 

 

To watch videos about each of these tools, click here to read the Mashable article.   

Mashable already had a really interesting article about the need for social media in the classroom.  Click here to read that article.

TweepML Makes It Easy Finding People to Follow on Twitter Lists

image via tweepml.org

Twitter allows you to pick lists of people to follow that have been created by other people.  There may be times when you don’t to follow every single person on that list or you want to follow the entire list of them directly rather than through a list.  The solution:  TweepML is a simple format to make it easy for people to share a list of Twitter users “Tweeps”. 

If you click here  you can look for lists. I can type in a word like “jobs” and it will show lists and tell how many users are on that list.  If I should pick a list, it will pull up the entire list.  I can look at who is listed and follow the ones I want easily by keeping the automatic X that is next to their name or removing it from the ones that I do not want to follow.  You can clear all of the X’s and pick one at a time or keep all of the X’s and remove one at a time.

You can add TweepML to your website to make it easy for people to follow everyone on it with a single click.

If you want to see what lists are popular, the main page  contains a list of the most popular lists.   You can create your own list and share it with the world by clicking here

When original owner of the site, Marcelo Carbucci, put TweepML up for sale earlier this year, I wondered what the impact would be.  Since then, I have noticed a lot more activity with people finding me through their site.  I am curious to see how this site will grow under new management.

Changing Careers: Get The Help You Need

With the recent release of my latest book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I’ve had a lot of people writing and asking me questions about how to make some career changes.  According to an article in the Independent.co, this is a big time for career changers. In that article, author Russ Thorne stated, “If you’re thinking about changing careers, you’re not alone: according to some recruiters, this is the busiest time of year for job changes, prompted by months of summer reflection. However, a total career change demands more than planning a valedictory leaving do: research, networking and training or voluntary work experience will boost your chances of standing on the other side checking out the color of the grass.”

I discussed a many of these ideas in a recent radio interview with Anna Banks.  It is very important to have a plan.  Probably one of the biggest mistakes I see people make is to not have goals written down with clearly measurable ways of attaining those goals.

One of the chapters in my book is titled “The Product Is You”.  I often write and speak about how you must see yourself as the product and market your skills.  Part of preparing to do that is to do a personal SWOT analysis.  For those of you who have not taken many business courses, SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.  Companies analyze these things on a regular basis.  I think individuals need to do the same thing. 

After self-analysis, you must also be sure to find ways to stand out in the crowd.  There is a lot of competition out there for the few coveted jobs.  I recommend reading some of the following articles to help you with social networking to get noticed and find your dream job:

How does advertising with Yahoo differ from Google?

[YAHOO]

image via online.wsj.com

I saw the above chart today from eMarketer and it surprised me a bit.  I hear so much about Google adwords that I expected their income from ads to be higher.

How does advertising with Yahoo differ from Google?  I found an interesting comparison from mybesttradingwebhosting.com that showed some comparisons between advertising with each of the sites:

Yahoo! Advertising

Yahoo! Advertising gives its advertisers custom solutions to choose from that allow for brand building and response drives.

The more popular solution is the company’s sponsored search solution. This program allows advertisers to control the overall marketing cost by setting a daily budget. Advertisers can also set the amount they wish to pay each time an advertisement is clicked and payments are only made for those ads clicked upon. Additionally, advertisers can stop specific ads and completely close out their advertising account at any time, no questions asked.

The Yahoo sponsored search solution has a reach of over 2.3 billion potential clients and customers. To even further narrow an advertising customer base, advertisers can utilize the company’s geo-targeting feature – allowing for very specifically targeted marketing. Created ads can also be rotated to see which message garners the most traffic. In-depth reporting is part of the program and offers the ability for advertisers to see results in real-time.

Google AdWords

Google AdWords allows advertisers the ability to choose keywords related to their business or service and create ads based on these selections.

Just like its counterpart, Google AdWords allows for setting a specified budget and advertisers only pay for actual clicks on their ads rather than any set daily or monthly amount. Advertisements can be placed on hold or removed entirely when it is found that some ads are garnering more traffic and customers than other ads.

As one of the most used search engines, Google AdWords can offer an extremely large base of potential customers. For local businesses wishing to target a more specialized and specific audience, Google AdWords offers the ability to narrow advertising regions to a particular region, state or even city. Customers can be targeted to within 20 miles of a business’ front door. Additionally, ads can be set to show a business’ location when searchers are seeking data within Google.com and Google Maps.

Excerpt only – to read the rest of the article go to:  mybestratedwebhosting.com

What is the difference between Vimeo and Youtube?

Youtube is always in the spotlight.  However, they do have some competition.  Vimeo is another site where users can upload, view and share videos.  As of March, 2010, they had over 3 million members.  Vimeo’s name comes from combining video and me together.  You won’t find any commercials on Vimeo.  I was doing some checking to see what people were saying about how they felt about the differences between Youtube and Vimeo . . .  here are some of the differences between the two sites:

Those who preferred Youtube, did so due to some of the following reasons: 

  1. Quality
  2. Links to Related Videos
  3. Embedding
  4. Larger Audience
  5. Higher Possibility of Going Viral
  6. Large File Size
  7. Good Playback
  8. Can have infomercials and self-promotion

Pocket-lint.com has an interesting article that explains some of the advantages they found for Vimeo.  Some of these things include:

  1. Ownership
  2. Content Allowed
  3. Copyright Issues
  4. Library
  5. Video Quality
  6. Uploading
  7. Promotion/Humiliation
  8. Community
  9. Downloadable
  10. Support
  11. Purpose

To read the rest of the article and find out about each of these 11 areas, click here.

6 Steps to Using Linkedin to Get That Job

I often write and speak to groups about how to use social networking to find a job and market one’s skills.  In my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career, I often write and speak about using social networking to find employment. In the marketing courses I teach, we discuss how to get that job you after graduation.  A very big part of obtaining that goal is to have a plan.  How can the recent college graduate, or anyone else, for that matter, utilize social media to find a job? 

I personally think LinkedIn is one of the best ways to get noticed.  Check out their latest series of videos at students to give them step by step guidance to learn how to set up their profile, build their network and find that job they love.

  1. Why should you join Linkedin 
  2. How to build your professional brand 
  3. Find your career passion 
  4. Build your network  
  5. Turn Relationships into Opportunities
  6. Nail the Interview

To find out more about finding a job and marketing yourself, check out: How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love.  

To find out more about online education and creating goals, check out:  The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online College Student.

What Kind of Return Can You Expect From Using Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin?

Have you ever wondered how your actions on some of the major social media sites are helping generate income for your business?  Eventbrite.com has published some findings from one of their studies where they tracked a set of metrics to quantify the value and impact of social media.

According to their report, “When someone shares an event with their friends through social media, this action results in real dollars. Our most recent data shows that over the past 12 weeks, one share on Facebook equals $2.52, a share on Twitter equals $0.43, a share on LinkedIn equals $0.90, and a share through our ”email friends” application equals $2.34. On an aggregate level across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and our email share tool, each share equals $1.78 in ticket sales. We’re seeing this number improve every week with the most recent four-week average equaling $1.87.”

If you are curious how they got these figures, click here.

How we did it
We use a custom suite of social analytics tools that we have developed entirely in-house. Our reporting lets us track and analyze not only which sharing options our users leverage, but where on our site each share action takes place. These tools also tie back into our conversion funnels, so we are able to attribute ticket purchases to the specific social distribution channel that drove them. So, for example, we can compare not just the value created by a Facebook “Like” vs. a tweet, but also the performance of shares initiated before or after a purchase.

Can Texting Damage Writing Skills?

 

I often talk to my students about whether they feel texting has caused people to have more difficulties with their writing skills.  I personally see a lot of first-year students who abbreviate quite a bit, lack punctuation skills and don’t write in complete sentences. 

Young and younger children are receiving cell phones. It may make parents feel safer knowing they can reach their children. Tweens are learning to type in text abbreviations which may affect their ability to write well.  WJS.com reported “The average 13- to 17-year-old sends and receives 3,339 texts a month—more than 100 per day, according to the Nielsen Co., the media research firm. Adults are catching up. People from ages 45 to 54 sent and received 323 texts a month in the second quarter of 2010, up 75% from a year ago.” 

Eudopia.org recently posted a survey asking the following question to see if text messaging is harming students’ writing skills:  “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” If you have no idea what that means . . . Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?” 

PiercePioneer.com asked, Mike Darcher, English instructor for 20 years if he felt texting was hurting our students’ writing ability.  He said he could not make the connection of bad texting habits being carried over into student’s writing. “In terms of writing skills, there is no way of measuring its impact,” Darcher said.

TimesDaily reported the results of a report of a study from Pew Internet and American Life Project. “The study was prompted in large part because of growing concerns over how text-based electronic communications affect the writing ability of students who are immersed in electronic media. Out of 700 youth aged 12-17 who participated in the phone survey, 60 percent say they don’t consider electronic communications – e-mail, instant messaging, mobile text – to be writing in the formal sense; 63 percent say it has no impact on the writing they do for school and 64 percent report inadvertently using some form of shorthand common to electronic text, including emotions, incorrect grammar or punctuation.”

Some linguists are mixed on the effect of texting on writing skills. There are those who think that this may not last and may just go the way of some slang words that are no longer used.  Some think that learning texting is just like learning another language.  As long as the students can keep them separated, then they see no problem with it. 

Texting may be a passing thing, but it is definitely here for now.  If you are trying to figure out what that text is or that abbreviation that someone sent you, you might want to check out the following list from the Vancouver Sun:

The top 10 commonly used abbreviations in texting — translated to plain English:

– 411 — All the information

– BBIAS — Be back in a second (also BBIF — be back in a few, and BBL — be back later)

– BFN — Bye for now

– ETA — Estimated time of arrival (used for deadlines and when to expect something/someone)

– FYI — For your information

– KK — Okay, okay (I understand what you’re saying)

– LOL — Laugh out loud

– OMG — Oh my God

– TTYL — Talk to you later (also TTYS — talk to you soon)

– UOK — Are you okay?

If you want to know what your kids are saying to each other, here are some common text abbreviations to watch for. Parent alerts include:

– PAW or 9 — Parents are watching

– POV — Parent over shoulder

– CD9 — Code 9, meaning Parents are around

– P911 — Parents coming into room alert

– PIR — Parents in room

– PSOS — Parent standing over shoulder

– KPC — Keeping parents clueless

– NP — Nosy parents (But this is also used as “no problem”)

Want to know your kids’ relationship status? Nothing to be alarmed about if they text:

– LYLAB — Love you like a brother

– LYLAS — Love you like a sister

– LDR — Long distance relationship

But you don’t want to see:

– 420 — Let’s get high/marijuana use

– LGH — Let’s get high

– LH6 — Let’s have sex

– LHOS — Let’s have online sex

– LIK — Liquor

How is their day going? Here are a few common indicators:

– 2MTH — Too much to handle

– ADIH — Another day in hell

– ADIP — Another day in paradise

– LTHTT — Laughing too hard to type

– HHIS — Head hanging in shame

– CWOT — Complete waste of time

– IMSB — I’m so bored

– BOOMS — Bored out of my skull

– 121 — One to one (private chat invitation)

If your son or daughter texts you a status report, you should be familiar with:

– BHL8 — Be home late

– CUL8R — See you later

– G2G — Got to go

– G2R — Got to run

– ILBL8 — I’ll be late

– TTYL — Talk to you later

Are You Using Wooeb’s Interactive Search Engine Platform?

If you haven’t heard of Wooeb.com yet, you need to check out their site.  Wooeb is an interactive search engine platform.  Rather than having to wait for search engines to pick up your information, they put it all together in one place. 

They did a nice job with with creating ads and banners.  This is an example of an ad they can create for you on their site.  You can also click on it to find out more about my book:  How to Reinvent Your Career.

They also offer press releases that you can incorporate on your wooeb site.  To see my site, go to: http://wooeb.com/drdianehamilton

Check out an article about the Top 5 Reasons Wooeb Boosts Your Online Presence by clicking here.  In that article they list the following benefits of using Wooeb:

1.  Everything is in one place

2.  You own your URL

3.  It is accessible to everyone

4.  Wooeb indexes search engines

5.  Messages boards are included to discuss topics with others

Search Engine War: AOL, Google, Yahoo, and Bing

I use AOL and I am a big fan of Google.  If you use AOL, you may have noticed the search screen says:  AOL Search Enhanced by Google. 

AOL and Google have a continuing relationship that they have extended for another 5 years.  Part of that relationship includes: 

  1. Google provides AOL with additional features and enhancements to improve their search function.
  2. Google provides AOL with ad formats.
  3. AOL and Google work together to focus on mobile apps.
  4. This relationship allows AOL to have a content partnership with YouTube
  5. This relationship improves the international scope of AOL’s audience.

I was curious to see if there was a big difference between the results by searching within AOL vs. going to Google to search. AOL included a few local addresses at the beginning but otherwise the results were similar.

I have to admit I don’t use Yahoo and Bing very often.  I noticed when searching for my press releases, that Yahoo and Bing do not pick up the information nearly as well as Google and AOL do.  However, I am interested to see if their future relationship may change things.  Today’s Wall Street Journal had an article about how Bing and Yahoo were going to join forces.  Google may have some competition with that.  WSJ stated, “With the integration of Yahoo’s and Microsoft’s search businesses now well advanced—Yahoo searches are using Microsoft’s Bing engine and its search ads will increasingly go through Microsoft’s adCenter platform—the duo have a better chance to take on Google.”  Google is hardly hurting though, “Digital-marketing firm SearchIgnite estimates Google’s share of U.S. ad spending rose nearly two percentage points to 80.2% in the third quarter, with Yahoo dropping two points to 13.4%. Bing had 6.4%.”

The search engine war and capturing unique visitors continues to be big business.  Check out the following chart to see how the search engines and social networking sites compare in terms of revenue per unique visitors:

chart of the day, revenue per unique visitor, google, aol, twitter, facebook

Facebook’s Growth: More People Logging In, Catching Up To Google

In a recent Windows: The Official Magazine article, they noted that Facebook has 400,000 active users and the average user has 130 friends, 3 billion photos are shared every month, 60 million status updates are made every day, and the average user spends about 55 minutes a day on facebook. 

Gigaom.com had some interesting facts about how people prefer to log in. According to that article: Most website users still prefer logging in with a Google account, but Facebook is a close second, according to new data from Janrain, a Portland startup whose software plugin makes it easy for websites to offer multiple login methods. The company’s latest survey looked at statistics from more than 250,000 websites and services that use its software, and found that close to 40 percent of users prefer to sign in with a Google ID, while 24 percent chose to login with their Facebook profile. Yahoo came in third with 14 percent of sign-ins, while Twitter and Microsoft’s Windows Live were tied at 5 percent.

To read more from that article, click here.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

What is Web Scraping?

A scraper site is a spam website that copies all of its content from other websites using web scraping. The purpose of creating such a site can be to collect advertising revenue or to manipulate search engine rankings by linking to other sites to improve their search engine ranking. 

There are now some sites that are working on finding out even more information about you through scraping.

Scraping for Your Real Name

PeekYou.com has applied for a patent for a way to, among other things, match people’s real names to pseudonyms they use on blogs, Twitter and online forums.

Read PeekYou.com’s patent application.

In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, they wrote about how scrapers broke into sites like PatientsLikeMe to find out information about patients to sell data about consumers to drug makers. To read this very interesting article, click here.

It is disturbing to think that people are in medial chatrooms pretending to be patients in order to find out what drugs are being prescribed.  That kind woman you are chatting with about your hot flashes just may be a guy keeping track of your medical history.  For information on how to remove some of your personal details from the Internet, check out wsj.com/wtk.

What is Mark Zuckerberg’s Personality Type?

 

 

Mark Zuckerberg’s name is mentioned just about everywhere these days due to the popularity of the latest movie about the creation of Facebook.  In our book, The Young Adult’s Guide to Understanding Personalities, Toni Rothpletz and I give a lot of examples of celebrities with different personality types based on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or MBTI

INTJforum.com recently posted that Mark Zuckerberg’s type would be an INTJ.   I’ve seen other chatrooms debate whether he was INTJ or INTP.  I think most people would agree that he is an introvert that is intuitive and creative so the IN part seems a no brainer.  The T part is also probable due to the fact that T personalities make their decisions based on facts and figures. 

The only part that seems up for debate would be the J or P.  The J personality is more structured and on time.  The P personality is more spontaneous.  In the movie, The Social Network, they portray Zuckerberg as more of a J personality.  However, that movie is not necessarily based on 100% fact and had some creative license in how the story was told.  This has been confirmed by Zuckerberg and the creators of the film.  However, based on other things I have read about Zuckerberg, I would go tend to go think he is an INTJ personality, as he does appear to be more structured.

To read more about personality types and their preferences for social networking, click here.  For more about Zuckerberg’s personality, click here.

Related Articles

 

Get a Job and Get Noticed By Taking Full Advantage of LinkedIn’s Capabilities

How to Reinvent Your Career by Dr. Diane Hamilton

With the release of my new book, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, I have been talking with a lot of people about ways for job seekers to get noticed. If you are currently in the market for a new job, don’t under estimate the importance of utilizing sites like Linkedin.  In a radio interview I did yesterday, talk show host, Anna Banks, and I discussed the value of Linkedin for the job seeker.  To listen to that interview, click here.  If you have not had a chance to take full advantage of what LinkedIn has to offer, take a moment to check out some of the links provided in this article to help you increase your exposure on their site to get noticed by prospective employers.

LinkedIn image
Website: linkedin.com
Location: Mountain View, California, United States
Founded: May 1, 2003
Funding: $103M

Southcoasttoday.com reported, “LinkedIn has become the new resume, so the importance of it from that regard cannot be understated for job seekers. Recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn as their primary research tool. Job seekers should ensure that their LinkedIn site tells their story well, uses key words that are likely to be searched, and includes a downloadable resume using a tool such as Slideshare, which is available on LinkedIn”

I personally also recommend considering importing presentations from Google Docs into your LinkedIn profile to showcase your talents.  To see how to do this click here

How big is LinkedIn?  According to Bakersfield.com “LinkedIn boasts of 80 million members in more than 200 countries. A recent post on Mashable.com notes the growing number of places recruiters are posting jobs, with LinkedIn at the top of the list. ”

If you are interested in reading more about Linkedin and ways to use it to find a job, check out some of these articles:

Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Using Keywords to Optmize Your Linkedin Site

LinkedIn’s New Signal Program

How to Find a Job on LinkedIn

How to Look Amazing on LinkedIn

Asking People to Join You on LinkedIn

The Top 5 Ways You Should Be Using LinkedIn to Find a Job

I am always on the lookout for articles about careers, social networking and education.   I hit the trifecta when I discovered Linkedin was offering Career Explorer for graduates.  TechCrunch recently a very interesting article they posted about the use of LinkedIn for students needing help with their career path.  The following is an excerpt from that article:

LinkedIn is launching a new data-focused feature, called LinkedIn Career Explorer, that provides college graduates with insights from other LinkedIn members to help them visualize a career path.

Career Explorer leverages data from the professional social network’s 80 million members to help students visualize and map successful career paths in a variety of industries. The product also shows college students job opportunities and salary information, the type of education and experience required, and will indentify people who can help them find these jobs.

So students can specify a type of job that they want to pursue or the company they want to work for and LinkedIn will show professionals who have succeeded in similar endeavors. Students can also access the best contact within their networks for certain fields or companies, and LinkedIn will recommend job openings.

The new feature will lead students to the Company Profiles (LinkedIn now has over 1 million profiles on the network), and encourage users to “follow” those companies to receive updates, including job postings, new hires and more.

Career Explorer is currently being rolled out to students at 60 universities in the U.S. and will eventually expanded to users from other educational institutions. The feature seems fitting for the platform and will no doubt provide a unique way for college students to see the career paths of those who have reached success in particular industries. Also, Career Explorer is a way to attract college students (and perhaps even ambitious high school students) as members of the community and perhaps gain loyalty among this age group.

To read the complete article click here.

What is Google Checkout? How Does it Compare to PayPal?

According to their site, Google Checkout allows you to:

Stop creating multiple accounts and passwords. With Google Checkout™ you can quickly and easily buy from stores across the web and track all your orders and shipping in one place.

Shop with confidence. Our fraud protection policy covers you against unauthorized purchases made through Google Checkout, and we don’t share your purchase history or full credit card number with sellers.

Control commercial spam. You can keep your email address confidential, and easily turn off unwanted emails from stores where you use Google Checkout.

If you want to hear testimonials from Google Checkout customers, click here.

Some of the things they are saying about Google Checkout is that it is:

  • Fast and Easy
  • Safe and Secure
  • Protects Personal Information
  • Helps Buyers Resolve Issues
  • Allowing Shopping With Confidence

If you would like to take a tour of or see a short video about Google Checkout, click here.

Once you sign up, they offer a deals page where you can find discounts from many different stores.

How does Google Checkout compare to Paypal?

Check out this excerpt article from an article on bestshoppingcartreviews.com:

Basic overview of Google Checkout vs. PayPal

There are some areas that can be used to determine which payment processor is best for you. This is a comparison of how they stack up in Google Checkout vs. PayPal:

  • How customers can make payments. With Google Checkout, customers can only use the credit or debit card. It is possible for customers to store this information in order to avoid entering it every time. PayPal, on the other hand, allows for credit card payment or deduction from a bank account. eCheck capability is also available. In this way, PayPal is more diverse.
  • Rate merchant reliability. For many online shoppers, it is important to know that you are reputable. Both Google Checkout and PayPal rate merchants.
  • International shopping. PayPal has a definite edge in this area. Google Checkout is only available for U.S. purchases. PayPal, on the otherhand, is accepted in 55 countries. In addition to the U.S. dollar, PayPal also accepts the euro, the pound, the Canadian dollar, the yen and the Australian dollar. Currency exchange is also available (for a fee).
  • Security. Both Google Checkout and PayPal offer SSL security on the same level that banks do.
  • Fraud protection. PayPal only offers fraud protection for sales of more than $50. Google offers 100% refund, but you must report within 60 days. There have been complaints about PayPal’s payment resolution process as well.
  • Fees for accepting payments on your business Web site. Depending on the level of you account with PayPal, you pay 1.9 percent to 2.9 percent of your sales, and sometimes you pay 30 cents per transaction. Google Checkout is 2% of sales, plus 20 cents per transaction. However, with Google, you can use your AdWords account to reduce the cost of your transaction fees. This arrangement does not exist with PayPal.
  • Customer service. It is worth noting that PayPal offers a customer service line with live people (you can call a phone number). It can be difficult to contact Google Checkout customer service in any way besides the forum provided or email.

One of the main advantages that Google Checkout has is its integration with AdWords. This means that you can get preferred pricing on a number of services – and even automatically pay transaction fees with earnings from your AdWord account. Additionally, when your ad is displayed on other Web pages and in search engine results, a shopping cart icon appears so that it is easy to see that you accept Google Checkout, offering a possible way to increase sales.

With PayPal business merchant account, a great many of the advantages come in the fact that more people use PayPal, and that there is a range of services and features available that include invoicing, statements, shipping and tax calculations and customer options.

You should carefully consider your needs before deciding on whether or not to go with Google Checkout or PayPal. How you run your business, and the kinds of features and services you want should be factors in which payment processor you use.

Are You Satisfied With Your Career Path?

[SATISFY]

image via online.wsj.com

Many people are in transition between careers due to the economy right now. A lot of them are changing original focus in life and switching industries.  In my book, How to Reinvent Your Career, I wrote about how people sometimes find that the career or education they received when they were younger, may no longer interest them as they age. 

I found an article in the Wall Street Journal that included the above chart to be interesting because it ties into something I wrote about in my book.  Many of the jobs and opportunities that are now available, were not available when many of us first began our career. 

The above chart shows that the MIS or Management Information Systems major was more satisfied than some of the other popular majors.  When I received