In the last half of a year, there have been several compelling challengers to Microsoft Office. None of them will be as full featured, but desktop application Open Office will get you close. Now comes "Think Free", which is an entirely online version of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Fairly deep in features, compatible with office documents, run within a web browser, and integrated into many popular web apps like Flickr and Del.icio.us for easy additions of pictures and links. You get 1gb of free storage, can collaborate on files, and more. If you need to work from home but don't want to pay for Office, want to share a document between home and work, or collaborate on something, this can be a great way to go. First load takes a while while the java code downloads.
Technorati Tags: thinkfree, think free, open office, openoffice, office, microsoft office, excel, word, powerpoint
Facebook is gradually rolling out to companies, allowing people with Accenture, Amazon, Apple, EA, Gap, Intel, Intuit, Microsoft, Pepsi, PWC and Teach for America email addresses to register. The won't open it completely because their community nature is what makes them a safer environment (increasingly important for gaining advertising $$), but this is a step towards networking in the business/job sector. Supposedly they have an 85% penetration in colleges, so they need to keep growing to justify the $2 billion they want to sell for (which, as it looks, will never happen, and they may even not get the $750mm they were offered put on the table ever again). AOL is expected to come out with a competitor built into AIM, which will give them an easy method of acquiring users, and other challengers to the thrown are coming out every day, so this is a hard place to hold your place on time. If I were them I'd sell while they're sure they can.
Technorati Tags: social networking, community, social, myspace, facebook, aol, aim, job networking
"The traditional approach to corporate communications envisages a controlled process of scripted messages delivered by the chief executive, first to investors, then to other opinion-formers, and only later to the mass audiences of employees and consumers. In the past five years, this pyramid-of influence model has been gradually supplanted by a peer-to-peer, horizontal discussion among multiple stakeholders. The employee is the new credible
source for information about a company, giving insight from the front lines. The
consumer has become a co-creator, demanding transparency on decisions from
sourcing to new-product positioning.
Smart companies must reinvent their communications thinking, moving away from a sole reliance on top-down messages delivered through mass advertising. This is the Me2 Revolution. What is now required is a combination of outreach to traditional elites, including investors, regulators, and academics, plus the new elites, such as involved consumers, empowered employees, and non-governmental organizations.The most profound finding of the 2006 Edelman Trust Barometer is that in six of the 11 countries surveyed, the "person like yourself or your peer" is seen as the most credible spokesperson about a company and among the top three spokespeople in every country surveyed. This has advanced steadily over the past three years.
In the US, for example, the "person like yourself or your peer" was only trusted by 22% of respondents as recently as 2003, while in this year's study, 68% of respondents said they trusted a peer. Contrast that to the CEO, who ranks in the bottom half of credible sources in all countries, at 28% trust in the US, near the level of lawyers and legislators. In China, the "person like yourself or your peer" is trusted by 54% of respondents, compared to the next highest spokesperson, a doctor, at 43%.Meanwhile, "friends and family" and "colleagues" rank as two of the three most credible sources for information about a company, just behind articles in business magazines. Again, in the US, the "colleagues" number has jumped from 38% in 2003 to 56% in 2006. We facilitated the revolt by employees of Morgan Stanley against top management, soliciting opinions through their futureofms.com website, which then led to stories in traditional media. Why the change, with increased reliance on those you know? The Edelman Trust Barometer shows clearly the deep trust void facing traditional institutions including business, government, and the media.
Government scandals in the past year alone include the termination of Antonio Fazio, the Governor of the Bank of Italy, for passing confidential information on a merger, the Gomery Commission finding of illicit payments to ad agencies in Quebec, and the failure of the US government to respond adequately to the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.Business has also had several major issues, including the termination for cause of long-time AIG CEO Maurice Greenberg for alleged self-dealing, the conviction of Tyco CEO Dennis Kozlowski for cheating shareholders, and the spectacular collapse of Refco only four months after its IPO worth $2billion.
Beyond the lack of confidence in the traditional sources of information lies a more fundamental change, a yearning to move beyond the simple act of consumption of information to social networking. The rise of MySpace, Facebook, and Wikipedia is premised on sharing of content with a group of likeminded individuals. It is the wisdom of the crowd, with constant updating of content based on personal experience. Media companies like the BBC have already harnessed this powerful force - most notably during the horrific London bombings of July 7,2005 - to bring stories from citizen journalists on the scene to its BBC.com. There is sharing of content because now we can do it easily, quickly, and colorfully.The Pew Center for Media noted that 60% of US teens have created and shared content on the Internet.
How can companies embrace this future of empowered stakeholders? Speak from the inside out, telling your employees and customers what is happening so they can spread the word for you. Be transparent, revealing what you know when you know it while committing to updating as you learn more. Be willing to yield control of the message in favor of a rich dialogue, in which you learn by listening. Recognize the importance of repetition of the story in multiple venues, because nobody believes something he or she hears or sees for the first time. Embrace new technologies, from employee blogs to podcasts, because audiences are becoming ever more segmented. Co-create a brand by taking on an issue that makes sense for your business, such as GE's Ecomagination campaign where green is truly green.In 1850, author Ralph Waldo Emerson commented on the rising importance ofnewspapers to the young American republic. He said, "Look at the morning trains(with their commuters)...into every car the newsboy unfolds his magic sheets, two pence a head his brand of knowledge costs."We are now at the point of reinventing the experience of communications, the
essence of the Me2 Revolution."
Technorati Tags: corporate communications, edelman
Having not used AutoCAD, i'm assuming this program comes nowhere close. Still, if you want to design some basic 3D structures, plan out additions to your house, etc, Google just released Sketch-Up, a program that used to be charged for until Google bought their company a few weeks ago, rebranded it, and released it this morning.
Technorati Tags: sketch-up, google, auto-cad, drafting, 3d modeling, free
into Yahoo! Mail and click on "My Account" and enter your password if prompted.
- On the Account
Info page next to the "Member Information" header click on "Edit."
"General Preferences" click on the link next to "Language & Content" or "Preferred
Content" (mine says "Yahoo! U.S.").
- On the subsequent page in the "New
Setting" box choose Yahoo! United Kingdom, Germany, or France.
- Click "Finished" and then
"Finished" again on the next page.
- You'll be prompted to sign a new TOS and then you should get
an offer to join the Yahoo! Mail Beta.
To promote each show's pending DVD releases, Family Guy and American Dad have a Street Fighter like game out complete with special moves and finishing moves. Game play is weak, but whawt can you really expect; mostly worth it for the comic value - dialogue and finishing moves that animate out differently for each character.
Technorati Tags: family guy, american dad, street fighter, games, promotions, dvd release
A few weeks ago Google released a calendar program, Google Calendar. I wasn't sure at first how much I might find the thing useful, because I've looked at other calendars and I simply don't share that much of a schedule with the rest of the world. But Google Calendar is useful for the reason Google is useful - it becomes so easy to find information. Think you don't have that many things to keep track of? Maybe not personally, but in a breeze you can add layer after layer of information onto your calendar, searchable, customizable, and optionally visable very easily. In no time I added calendar layers that show the phillies/mets baseball schedules, american/jewish holidays, new york events, job programs, birthdays, and more. You can look for public information calendars across the web, import from outlook or yahoo calendar, and more. You can also add events on the fly by typing something like "baseball game monday at 7" and the calendar will inteligently add the event. It's also integrated with Gmail so that if someone writes a similar line in an email to you, there's an "add to calendar" option. You can do event invites, through email also. Finally, you can share or publish any calendar with contacts, or to other services.
Technorati Tags: google, calendar, google calendar, events, sharing
Google has a promotional program for "The DaVinci Code" the movie now running as an opt-in module for Google Personalized Homepage. It's basically a complex 24-day online puzzle adventure, which if I had the time for sounds really cool. If any of my roommates still reads this thing, i'm sure they'll obsess over it quickly. Oh and the internet spin - this is the first time an advertisement of any sort has landed on the Google hompage, personalized, opt-in, or otherwise.
Technorati Tags: google, the davinci code, start page, google personalized, module
Technorati Tags: tivo, echostar, lawsuit
Here's a program, PeerMind, that tracks what people are downloading using ED2K and Gnutella (with a promise to be tracking Bittorrent soon). The numbers, in quantity and quality are pretty astounding, showing just in a week what people are doing (and historical). Notice that the leading movie is Ice Age 2, which is currently in theaters, and Madonna has also been in the top 10 downloaded songs (probably number 1) for 19 straight weeks. What's interesting to note about this is that the most popular downloads don't necessarily reflect a computer tech-type, but more the mainstream, which means downloading has become so easy that everyone is doing it. What are the implications for the industry? Is the Fox and ABC announcement news that will affect this?
Technorati Tags: Fox, ABC, Online Video
Technorati Tags: espn, mobile, cell phone
Technorati Tags: paypal, savings, investment, money
Technorati Tags: apple, copyright law, copyright infringement, france
Technorati Tags: baseball, salary
Samsung's new Digimax digital cameras are a 6 megapixel camera first, with built in codecs for video playback second. They come with all the standard camera features, but then have headphone jacks and the ability to read and play xvid (a form of divx) files off memory cards. In the last year, cell phones have taken on more and more characteristics of almost every other portable technology, and now with this (and wireless capabilities) coming to cameras, we are starting to see convergence enter the camera market. It begs the question, is convergence really what we want - will companies work too hard to bring things together and not as hard at making the specific functions better? Not knowing what goes into this type of functionality, I'd rather see anti-shake, farther optical zoom, and other significant camera features hit ultra-compact cameras at lower price points, than to have something like video playback, which is likely to burn out the battery of my camera just before i actually find a picture i want to take.
Technorati Tags: digital cameras, cameras, pmp, video
Ballbug is a baseball news aggregator built in the same form of memeorandum (for politics) and tech.memeorandum.
These aggregators pull together the discussion around their respective
topics in real time, by tracking blogs and news sources that references
each other. Ballbug will pull together the most popular and timely
news sources in discussion form throughout the season.
Technorati Tags: baseball, aggregator, news
Technorati Tags: video, dvd, download, movie