May 032012
 

The financial news networks are abuzz with the news that Scott Thompson, Yahoo’s CEO may have lied on his resume.  The story goes (Source: Jay Yarow on Business Insider) that Scott Thompson overstated his credentials by saying he had a Computer Science degree.  Apparently Mr. Thompson said that he double-majored in Accounting and Computer Science but only has an Accounting degree.  Dan Loeb, a hedge fund manager and founder of Third Point LLC, discovered this discrepancy and wrote a letter to Yahoo’s Board of Directors thus blowing the whistle.

If this is true, this would result in a great deal of turmoil at Yahoo.  Executive credentials are included in a wide variety of documents collected by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and could lead to legal issues.  Plus, this would be just plain wrong.  People look to their leaders for honesty and integrity. Being fast and loose with your credentials (something easily checked) also shows a great lack of judgment.

I only hope that this isn’t true.  If it is true then we may see a new CEO in Yahoo’s future.  The lesson here is to always be honest in your business dealings and you won’t have to worry about such matters and let down the people who have given you their trust.

Apr 092012
 

Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/) is one of the fastest growing Social Media sites.  According to comScore (article here), Pinterest.com ranked in the Top 10 fastest growing Web properties and surpassed 10 million unique visitors in January. This growth is amazing considering it is still in beta release.  This means you’ll need a friend to invite you to join in the fun or request an invitation from Pinterest on their site.

Pinterest Logo

Fun?  Yes, you’ll have fun creating a visual pinboard with photos and videos of things that interest you. You can add the Pinterest “Pin it” button to your browser and use it to select images and videos from any Web site.  The site allows you to upload media directly as well.  Once uploaded you’ll need to place the images and videos into a pinboard organized by the subject of your choosing.  Of note, there is no nudity allowed on Pinterest so this should be a family friendly site.

As mentioned, to sign up and post your own pinboards you will need to get an invitation.  You can set it up to login using a Twitter or Facebook account.  Friends can follow all of your pinboards or just one of them.  They can also re-pin one of your images or videos to add it to their pinboards.  Users can also “like” your photos and provide comments as well.  By following you will be notified of new images.  By liking images the “pinner” will be notified that you like their image.

Pinterest provides tools to help promote your pinboards.  You can add a button to your Web site so that others can pin your images or simply follow you on Pinterest.  Pinterest works on all major Web browsers and there is a Pinterest iPhone app.  Other mobile devices can access Pinterest through their mobile URL: (http://m.pinterest.com/)

To learn more about Pinterest I would suggest starting here.  The jury is still out on how this site could be used for business. If your target market is starting to use Pinterest then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a business presence there to display your products or samples of your work.  The creative ways in which this new site can be used to share your interests seems to be endless.

 

Mar 162012
 

The only thing not so great about the new iPad is the name.  For a creative company like Apple to miss with the name is a bit puzzling.  Be that as it may, this a truly wonderful device.  The crowds lining up at Apple stores today must agree.

New iPad

Image via Apple

Well, what do you get with the “New iPad”?  Here is a quick summary of the new features:

  1. Retina Display (2048 x 1536 pixels, 44% increase in color saturation) – This display is so high resolution that your eye won’t be able to detect the individual pixels… stunning.
  2. Eye sight camera (5 MP with autofocus/white balance, 5 lenses, face detection) – A nice camera but nothing close to a digital SLR, still not bad.
  3. HD Video (1080P) recording capability with image stabilization – Fantastic in such a small device that does so much more than a camera.
  4. 4G LTE network capability for super-fast downloads – Great for the ability to download movies and watch streaming media as long as your carrier does not throttle your bandwidth.
  5. Voice dictation – Just like on the latest iPhone.

The new iPad will start at $499 which is the same price the iPad 2 was selling for.  Below is a summary of their pricing.  You do need to beware that you will pay a premium price to get the full 4G LTE capability.  Apple has dropped the starting price of their iPad 2 down to $399 and intends to keep it in their product line for price sensitive consumers and educators.

Pricing with network / memory configuration:

New iPad with 3G Network
($499 – 16GB, $599 – 32GB, $699 – 64GB)
New iPad with 4G Network
($629 – 16GB, $729 – 32GB, $829 – 64GB)

In case you were wondering, the battery life is going to be about the same for the new iPad.  You are going to get 10 hours of battery life from the 3G version and 9 hours from the 4G LTE version.  Also, Apple has released upgraded versions of their iLife applications including Garage Band, iMovie and iPhoto). Many other vendors are releasing upgraded versions of their applications to take advantage of the new capabilities.  Apple says that all your old iPad apps will work just fine (backward compatibility is very nice) except have a greatly improved display.  Some hard core Apple enthusiasts may be a little underwhelmed by the new features but Apple and the late Steve Jobs always set such high expectations.  I believe most people will fall in love with the new iPad.

 

Dec 302009
 

This is the time of year that everyone’s calendar is full.  Between work, family and all the organizations that everyone belongs to it is hard to keep things organized.  If you aren’t familiar with Google Calendar then you should check out this great tool.  It helps you to keep and share your calendar with work, family and friends.

About Google Calendar

Google Calendar can also be integrated with your Web site.  One of my clients, Lee McCready with Kart19.com, uses Google Calendar to share his Kart Racing team schedule with his family and friends.  People can sign up to get calendar event reminders in their email.  This is a great way to promote any event that your company, club or organization is planning to have.  And this calendar is free!

Dec 222009
 

Losing control of your domain name can happen to anyone.  As was seen last night, Twitter.com, lost control of their domain name for a short while.  Someone calling themselves the “Iranian Cyber Army” managed to redirect the Twitter.com home page to a different page.   “How can I prevent this from happening to me?”, you ask.

You need to take care in not sharing your DNS (domain name server) user name and password with anyone.   The DNS setting tells the servers that make up the Internet how to translate your domain name to the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the host server for your Web site.  If someone changes these settings then your domain will display the home page of a different server and you will no longer have control of the content.

According to the Twitter.com Blog, this is exactly what happened last night.  The problem was noticed quickly and resolved within about 90 minutes.

You also need to choose a user name and password that isn’t easily guessed or discovered through trial and error.  You may not have a choice in the user name, but you can usually choose a strong password that makes guessing or using brute force methods more difficult.

Some tips for developing a strong password include using upper-case, lower-case, numbers and special characters, making long passwords and avoiding the use of easily discovered personal information or words straight out of the dictionary.  And finally, don’t store these passwords, memorize them if possible. For a more thorough list of tips please check out the US-CERTS  Web site.

Dec 092009
 

Cyber Monday, the Monday following Thanksgiving, proved to be strong despite the lackluster economy.  According to comScore, Inc., Cyber Monday 2009 had online sales of $887 Million vs. $846 Million a year earlier.  This represents a 5% increase since last year.  The number of online buyers increased 6% to 8.7 Million and similar results have been seen for entire holiday shopping season so far.

Internet retailers are drawing in buyers through convenient shopping and great deals.  According to Yahoo Search Marketing, online advertisers are beginning to master aggressive marketing campaigns that entices consumers to shop online.   Online sales promotions are largely handled through paid search advertising such as Google AdWords, Yahoo Search Marketing and Microsoft AdCenter.  Microsoft continues its efforts to improve its search capabilities with such innovations as the Bing.com search engine.

Savvy online marketers understand that paid search (aka pay per click) advertising works.  You are in complete control of the message, keywords, bid amounts (costs) and attributes such as geographical location to help in precisely targeting your audience.  The news continues to get better for advertisers as competition is starting to heat up with the announcement that Microsoft and Yahoo are joining forces in their search and online advertising technology to take on #1 Google.  Yahoo and Microsoft, just this past week, have worked out the details of their partnership that is likely to be approved by government regulators in early 2010.