The latest and greatest from the continuing saga of the App store and its capricious, inconsistent decision-making.

So let me get this straight: An app featuring every episode of Stephen Colbert’s “The Word” is fine and dandy (and I do agree with that), but an app featuring Fiore’s Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoons is not??

Yep, there’s a word for that app: hypocritical.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

Advertisements

1. Use the “site:” operator to limit searches to a particular site. I use this one all the time, and it’s particularly handy because many site’s built-in search tools don’t return the results you’re looking for (and some sites don’t even have a search feature). If I’m looking for WWD posts about GTD, for example, I could try this search: GTD site:webworkerdaily.com.

2. Use Google as a spelling aid. As Rob Hacker — the WWD reader I profiled last week — pointed out, entering a word into Google is a quick way to see if you have the right spelling. If it’s incorrect, Google will suggest the correct spelling instead. Additionally, if you want to get a definition of a word, you can use the “define:” operator to return definitions from various dictionaries (for example, define: parasympathetic).

3. Use Google as a calculator. Google has a built-in calculator — try entering a calculation like 110 * (654/8 3). Yes, your computer also has a calculator, but if you spend most of your day inside a browser, typing your calculation into the browser’s search box is quicker than firing up your calculator app.

4. Find out what time it is anywhere in the world. This one’s really handy if you want to make sure that you’re not phoning someone in the middle of the night. Just search for “time” and then the name of the city. For example, try: time San Francisco

5. Get quick currency conversions. Google can also do currency conversion, for example: 100 pounds in dollars. It only has the more mainstream currencies, though — if you’re trying to see how many Peruvian nuevos soles your dollars might buy, you’ll be out of luck. If you would like to convert minor currencies, be sure to be specific about the country. So, if you want to find out how many nuevos soles your dollars might buy, you could try: 100 dollars in Peruvian nuevos soles.

6. Use the OR operator. This can be useful if you’re looking at researching a topic but you’re not sure which keywords will return the information you need. It can be particularly handy in conjunction with the “site:” operator. For example, you could try this search: GTD OR “getting things done” site:webworkerdaily.com

7. Exclude specific terms with the – operator. You can narrow your searches using this operator. For example, if you’re looking for information about American Idol but don’t want anything about Simon Cowell, you could try: “american idol” -cowell

8. Search for specific document types. Google can search the web for specific types of files using the “filetype:” operator. If you’re looking for PowerPoint files about GTD, for example, you could try: GTD filetype:ppt

9. Search within numerical ranges using the .. operator. Say, for example, you want to look for information about Olympic events that took place in the 1950’s, you could use this search: Olympics 1950..1960

10. Area code lookup. Need to know where a phone number is located? Google will let you know where it is, and show you a map of the area, too. For example: 415

What are your favorite Google search tricks?

Copyright 2010 GigaOm. All Rights Reserved.

GigaOm is an independent blog network. Read More »

Geez. All these years of using Google and I’d never heard of half of these. Worth bookmarking.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

“I read the news today, oh boy.”
– Lennon & McCartney

Hoping this isn’t an April Fool’s joke (dateline April 1), I’m heartened to see results from this McKinsey study showing adults under 35 have increased by nearly 20 percent their consumption of news since 2007. Moreover, a greater proportion of them “profess a growing interest in getting news from print newspapers.”

As the spouse of a print journalist and a long-term believer in the value of: (a) the value of local/state newspapers in democracy; and (b) the value of being able to hold something of a decent size in your hand (as opposed to my beloved iPhone) whilst eating breakfast in the morning, this news about news butters my bagel, indeed. Until medical science cures how human eyesight changes with age or the iPad becomes reasonable enough for everyone to have, hold and carry around with ’em, print newspapers should be a critical part of our lives. I love the Web and am a techno geek, to be sure; but until Web news can support the kind of journalism that keeps citizens informed about local school board decisions and tax rates, ferrets out corruption and serves as an objective watchdog of government, business and society, the continued health and well-being of newspapers in our democracy must be a societal priority.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

McKinsey Survey: Some Hope for Newspapers in Greater News Consumption by Young

By Mark Fitzgerald

Published: April 01, 2010

CHICAGO A new survey of news consumption in Britain should comfort newspaper publishers everywhere, according to McKinsey & Co. Adults under the age of 35 have significantly increased their consumption of news in the past three years — and they profess a growing interest in getting news from print newspapers.

The McKinsey survey, reported by Philipp M. Nattermann of the consulting firm’s London media and entertainment practice, says average daily news consumption in the U.K. increased to 72 minutes from 60 minutes three years ago — “an increase driven almost entirely by people under the age of 35.”

There’s also more urgency to get the news first in this group, McKinsey found, with about 40% saying they needed to be the first to hear breaking news. This need for immediacy is reflected in younger news consumers’ choice of media: they overwhelmingly prefer to get their news from television and the Internet,” the report says.

But newspapers remain the most trusted medium, with 66% of respondents describing the paper as “informative and confidence inspiring.” That compares with 44% for television and just 12% for the Web.

“This suggests that newspapers have further scope to go beyond news, to drive reader interest and advertising revenues at the same time,” Nattermann writes.

And “interest” in getting news from newspapers has grown, the survey found. Among people aged 16 to 24, interest in newspaper news grew to 64% from 53% in a 2006 survey. In the 25-34 cohort, interest grew to 61% from 51%.

There is an on-the-other-hand, though. This survey finds what countless others have: Little enthusiasm for paying for newspaper online content.

“We found that while there is modest potential to increase online revenues, they will be insufficient to compensate for the decline of print,” the report says. “Indeed, even in a hypothetical scenario where online-only versions of existing newspapers and magazines cost 75% less than the print versions, only 14% of news consumers said they would pay for the online content.”

McKinsey’s advice is for newspapers to use that trust factor to find revenue in transactions.

“The combination of editorial content, ads, and selected commercial offers — while clearly separated — benefits advertisers and is of practical use to readers,” the report says.

Mark Fitzgerald (mfitzgerald@editorandpublisher.com) is editor of E&

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

“When the whip comes down.”
– The Rolling Stones

"Whoa, Nellie!"

Question:  In 2010, how many buggy whip manufacturers were there in the Fortune 500 list?  How about the Fortune 1000 list?  Heck, I’ll spot you another 1,000 and bet my Beatles collection you can’t find one there either.  Why?  Because buggy whip manufacturers knew that things like Twitter and Facebook were just silly fads that would soon wear out their welcome.  And besides, those new companies were only for teenagers and other such unrefined persons.
Okay, that might not be exactly what they said, but the end result was the same.  Those captains of industry refused to recognize or respond to the massive shifts in consumers’ needs, desires and behaviors that swirled around them.  For whatever reason – whether they were blind, scared and just too set in their ways – they refused to believe that Hank Ford’s Tin Lizzy might just catch on with folks.

Oh and one more thing.  Split Enz, a 1980s band out of New Zealand that later morphed into Crowded House, once sang: “History never repeats, I tell myself before I go to sleep.”  I wonder what the buggy whip titans 100 years ago told themselves at bedtime.

We may shake our heads in wonder at their naivete today, but might we – or our clients – be guilty of the same thing?  I vote yes.  We need only look as far as our laptops and iPhones for confirmation.

Quite frankly, any company that serves consumers and doesn’t believe it needs to monitor and provide customer service through channels such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and others deserves what it gets.  In 2008, such a perspective may have been understandable.  In 2010 with the very public and very painful lessons we’ve seen, such a perspective is unbelievable (and unfair to its employees, shareholders and customers).  Attached below is a great post I came across in Business Week that explains this better than I ever could.  Take three minutes and give this a spin; it will be time well-spent, I can assure you.

Defeating the Dark Side of Social Networking

Companies can’t rein in the conversations happening on social networks and blogs, but they can respond to their most vocal customers

By Joseph Hughes and Chris Boudreaux

For all of its blessings, social media Web sites are vexing lots of companies. The instantaneous sharing of information and opinions about products on Twitter, blogs, and other sites is compelling companies to try to influence these conversations through technology and new ways of thinking.

Businesses don’t really need to worry any longer about losing control of what consumers are saying about them on the Web; that control is pretty much gone. Many companies are being victimized by social media rather than capitalizing on it because they’re too slow and ill-equipped to react to negative comments that can damage their brands. For example, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in 2008 had to apologize for an online ad for its painkiller Motrin after a backlash of comments from mothers in the blogosphere who objected to the advertisement’s tone.

To be sure, companies can generate sales leads and gain market share by promoting themselves through tweets and blogs. Dell’s (DELL) IdeaStorm site, which lets consumers suggest enhancements and fixes to products, is one prominent example. Nearly half of Internet users say they value information from other consumers more than information supplied by companies, according to Forrester Research (FORR).

Companies Slow to Respond

For the most part, though, companies are too slow to respond to the online flood of information being published about them by consumers. Since it’s easier than ever for customers to tell each other when service is bad, responding quickly is critical. Repeat buying is usually driven by positive customer service, not price, Accenture’s (ACN) research shows.

But many organizations can take weeks or months to react to negative conversations, leaving far too much time for damage to set in. Even worse, some companies don’t respond at all.

Let’s look at some examples of vendors that have taken the initiative in sorting, analyzing, and responding to the data pouring in through social media. These companies are taking steps to combine the sort of free-form information flowing in from blogs, e-mails, and tweets with data stored in traditional database software, in order to make judgments about where customers’ concerns lie.

Software maker Attivio is developing the ability to analyze both those kinds of data to help companies detect the social media buzz about them. Then its software helps companies feed that information into their customer management systems to react to those findings. Clarabridge, a maker of “text mining” software, makes tools that combine linguistic rules with machine learning techniques to help companies categorize customer comments and sentiments so they can react to them.

Note: This post originally appeared on Forge Ahead, the blog from Forge Communications.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

“Dig it.”
– Lennon/McCartney

Why don’t teens use Twitter?

Apparently because it’s lame, their friends don’t use it, they don’t understand it and it doesn’t help them do anything. That pretty much sums it up.

The question then is what implications do these findings hold for the future of Twitter and, in particular, marketing and business generation on Twitter? Well, while nothing — especially anything involving the Web — is ever crystal clear, one can be pretty certain that unless Twitter radically changes their business model and/or value proposition, it may not have a particularly healthy long-term future with this demographic.

Which, of course, can be just fine. As TechCrunch notes, the conclusion one can draw from these findings is “both obvious and heretical . . . maybe Twitter isn’t for everyone.”

And that points to one of the underlying rules of public relations and marketing — select the most appropriate channel for each specific audience. One size does not and will not fit all. If you think otherwise, then I’d suggest you redirect the budget you’ve assigned to the project. Buy a shovel instead, dig a hole in your backyard and toss money in it. Your efforts will likely be just as productive.

Talk about a blinding glimpse of the obvious.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm

“It’s a matter of trust.”
– Billy Joel

He'll be back

I really, really like this post from @mashable (Greg Ferenstein) about how to build trust in the world of social media.   As the article accurately points out, the rules — while certainly related to the non-digital world — are somewhat different in the Web 2.0 world (gosh, is anybody still using that term?).  The videos from Gov. Schwarzeneggar (thanking Twitterers) and Domino’s CEO (apologizing for the YouTube fiasco) are perfect examples of the article’s main thrust regarding authenticity, credibility and effectiveness.Ferenstein draws on the work of Professor Judy Olson, an expert in the psychology of trust, and applies lessons from that research to today’s digital conversation landscape.  Read this section of his article with Twitter, Facebook and YouTube in mind and see what bubbles to the surface:

People are willing to pass judgment, with or without good information. Where examples of one’s competence or reputation are lacking, people will construct whole profiles of another’s personality from what little information is available.

And, as Ferenstein points out, the keys to credibility in today’s communication environment are not far from our grasp:

Few, if any, educational institutes teach the art of proper digital communication. Most of us have simply made up an impromptu strategy and crossed our fingers in the hopes that disaster doesn’t strike. With a bit of help from our friends in the fields of psychology and information technology, we can apply the age-old intuitions of face-to-face conversation to whatever advances in technology come our way. [emphasis added]

When public relations is practiced correctly, it is an amalgam of communication theory, marketing, business, economics, psychology, political science, sociology, literature, history, science and a host of other disciplines.  Well-read practitioners who are students of human behavior and psychology hold the keys to the social media kingdom in their hands if they give themselves permission to let go of biases and stereotypes.

For anyone in the public relations business — especially the crisis communications field — this article is a must-read and one that is worth pondering.

Posted via web originally from Finding the Rhythm

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Very clearly, this is something that needs to be as much of a priority — if not a higher priority — than preparing for a conventional war or terrorist attack. A major attack, which is not a far-fetched possibility at all, could literally bring the government and virtually every business, school and hospital to a standstill. Not good. Let’s hope the powers-that-be recognize this and can generate the political momentum to take immediate steps to do what we can to prevent such an outcome.

Let’s also hope that this doesn’t become a partisan issue as pretty much everything else in D.C. these days. We as a country cannot afford the luxury of playing political chicken with this oncoming train.

Posted via web from Finding the Rhythm