Why I Will Never Hire Unpaid Interns

Internship has become the new entry level job, and that’s not good for anyone. Companies like the one I’m trying to build with a 100 year outlook would never trade short term savings for such a sham.

Do yourself a favor and go read this long but interesting piece that has so many fractals in so many career paths…

Fear inhibits innovation. In expensive cities, people live in constant fear. A small wrong move can upend everything, so they conform, terrified of losing their jobs, apartments, health insurance.  They conform intellectually, and they conform in behavior. They cling to a career ladder with a drop-off to hell. I don’t judge them. People do what they need to do to survive. But when survival is an aspiration, society has failed.

via Why You Should Never Have Taken That Prestigious Internship – PolicyMic.

The Ministry and Drug Gang Economics

I’d argue the same is true for ministers and most any level of professional job given our current economic mega-recession and the tendency of those inside the core to overstay their welcome…

The academic job market is structured in many respects like a drug gang, with an expanding mass of outsiders and a shrinking core  of insiders.

Interesting piece with nice graphics on the PhD market…

via How Academia Resembles a Drug Gang | Alexandre Afonso.

Worlds Colliding

I’m a big fan of Pawn Stars. It’s the one “reality show” I can watch (when I’m in a hotel or via the History Channel app on my Nexus 7). So, I was apprehensive about clicking this given I also love Paul Thurrott’s podcast “Windows Weekly” on TWiT and knowing his…um… love for Chromebook since I’ve been listening for over 5 years. Click to read his reaction to the Pawn Stars / Microsoft mashup:

So I was happy to see a great new “Scroogled” ad appear from Microsoft this week featuring the guys from “Pawn Stars.” It’s worth watching.

via Great New Scroogled Ad with the Pawn Stars | Cloud content from Paul Thurrott’s SuperSite for Windows.

I use a Windows machine here in the office and love it as a “truck” to do things like Photoshop or intense projects.

However, my go-to device is a little Acer Chromebook that I love. Between the Chromebook and my Nexus 5, I can run my company on the go and “in the cloud” pretty effectively. I sometimes need to get to the office to use this powerful Windows machine (or if I need to play a graphics intensive game), but my computing work is pretty evenly distributed between the Chromebook and this PC.

No, I don’t think a laptop needs Windows and Office to be a “real laptop” as the ad calls out. I know Paul disagrees, but this just reeks of desperation and won’t be received well.

Microsoft should decide what to be and go be it rather than trying to point out what other competitors are and are not. That’s my $50,000 marketing advice to them heading into a very important 2014 for the future of their company. Embrace RT. Push us old “we want desktop!” users harder to the Modern UI interface. Lean forward into the future and make Windows (RT) the kind of polished product that the XBox One is on launch day. Be innovative. Make us smile again.

Oh, and stop making my favorite TV people talk smack about something I love 🙂

Got a call this morning from my hotel last night…

Very nice lady explained I had left my iPad in my hotel room when I checked out. I stumbled for a bit because I don’t have an iPad.

I asked her to flip it over and see if it says “Nexus.”

“Yes, it does!” she said, “what is a Nexus iPad?”

We had a nice chat about Android and iOS.

Fun tech convo thanks to my carelessness.

Stranger Than Fiction

This is just getting weird…

The truly amazing thing about this is just how pedestrian the NSA’s efforts are – according to NRC, they’re essentially running the same kind of phishing scams with false email requests that you’ll see from any other purveyor of malicious software. As an example, NRC points to how the British GCHQ used false LinkedIn pages to lure and infect Belgacom network employees. Just one more good reason to never click on anything sent from anyone ever.

via TechCrunch

Bringing Back the Blogs

I like this approach… I’ve been using it somewhat regularly here but need to be better about posting things like images or bookmarks here first and then letting them go out to the silos.

Networks like Instagram are still hard to do, but Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus are pretty easy.

POSSE is an acronym/abbreviation for Publish (on your) Own Site, Syndicate Elsewhere. It’s a Syndication Model where the flow involves posting your content on your own domain first, then syndicating out copies to 3rd party services with perma(short)links back to the original version.

POSSE lets your friends keep using whatever silo aggregator (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) they’ve been using to read your stuff.

It’s a key part of why and how the “IndieWeb” movement is different from just “everyone blog on their own site”, and also different from “everyone just install and run StatusNet/Diaspora” etc.

via POSSE – IndieWebCamp.

Commodified Authenticity and Social Media

Good read…

The demand for commodified authenticity is an expression of consumers’ nostalgia for a never-existing time when one had total control over the development of one’s identity. That sort of authenticity has always been a fiction, but the very real existence of goods that signify authenticity masked that fact. Consuming authentically could seem to prove fidelity to our “real self.”

via Google Alert for the Soul – The New Inquiry.

A/B Testing for Mobile Websites Webinar

Split testing is incredibly important as all good marketers know.

A/B split testing on mobile is extremely important as more marketers are realizing in 2013 and definitely into 2014. I came across this webinar this morning and thought I’d share as it’s always a good idea to hear tactics from others to improve conversions (especially in mobile):

In one hour, you’ll learn:

How the right mobile strategy can accelerate your marketing ROI

Key mobile web design elements that improve conversions

How to use mobile A/B testing to drive conversions through the roof

via A/B Testing for Mobile Websites: A Crash Course Webinar | Mobify.

Pinterest Suggestions from Sony

Interestingly enough, Sony has been a great study for how businesses (large and small) can leverage Pinterest to drive traffic and revenue back to a site.

Sony has done a great job of not just community evangelization and using Pinterest as a place to engage current and potential customers, but they have also successfully cross promoted their own account there with promotional emails to existing newsletter subscribers.

The one thing many companies, especially in the performance marketing industry, look over when creating social media campaigns is the need to promote accounts via something like an existing newsletter subscriber base. By combining those two, there’s a great potential left on the table for many companies…

Pinterest Suggestions from Sony

1. Send a dedicated Pinterest email to showcase your boards and encourage following

2. Add the Pin It button next to product shots in emails to get people pinning

3. Create unique boards that appeal to different groups of people

via Sony: Making email more interesting with Pinterest | Pinterest for Business.

Twitter Rolls Out Great New Analytics Update

Twitter quietly rolled out a huge and needed update to its developing analytics offering for businesses using its ad system to promote tweets and accounts.

Google obviously rules the roost when it comes to advertising on the web, but as Google continues to try and find its own footing with the Hummingbird update to better encompass mobile user experience (which is an important and growing traffic segment, of course), Twitter really has a chance to grab and keep substantial traffic when it comes to mobile users. According to Twitter, there are 230 million users of their services globally, and 76% access Twitter on a mobile device. Unlike Facebook, Twitter has a real chance to be a dagger in Google’s side given its focus on the mobile experience.

If it can better deliver ads and messaging to those users, there’s a real income source for Twitter to be had.

By offering companies the ability to segment down to the mobile OS and device versions along with location, this could be a big deal for Twitter over the long haul.

BTW If you’re not reading the Twitter Advertising Blog, you’re missing out.

Previously, we offered advertisers the ability to reach our highly mobile users by targeting only their operating system. Today we’re announcing greater flexibility to this targeting capability: Now all advertisers can segment audiences on iOS and Android by operating system version, specific device, and WiFi connectivity. And we’re also introducing granular reporting analytics for these targeting types across all campaigns.

via Enhanced mobile targeting by device, OS version, wifi | Twitter Blogs.

How to Win on Price is Right Using Math

Make sure to check out the cheat sheet at the bottom. Math is pretty awesome when you use it…

Many contestants fail to win anything on The Price is Right, of course. But as I watched the venerable game show that morning, it quickly became clear to me that most contestants haven’t thought through the structure of the game they’re so excited to be playing. It didn’t bother me that Margie didn’t know how much a stainless steel oven range costs; that’s a relatively obscure fact. It bothered me, as a budding mathematician, that she failed to use basic game theory to help her advance. If she’d applied a few principles of game theory—the science of decision-making used by economists and generals—she could have planted a big kiss on Bob Barker’s cheek, and maybe have gone home with … a new car! Instead, she went home empty-handed.

via Winning The Price Is Right: Strategies for Contestants’ Row, Plinko, and the Showcase Showdown..

Pocket 5.0 Update

After being an Instapaper user and fan for so long, I held out on Pocket for as long as possible. However, over the past year, Pocket has become one of my most-used apps and a go-to place for my workflow.

While I’ve been using Feedly for something close to this new functionality, it will be a nice addition to an already slick experience…

Pocket is releasing an update to its app today that puts a new focus on helping you discover the best of the items you have saved, using algorithms to surface content likely to interest you the most. Pocket 5.0 searches through your saves to find articles that are trending, longform content, and items that you’re likely to enjoy based on your interests.

via Pocket update highlights the saves you’re most likely to enjoy | The Verge.

HP Chromebook 11 Now Unavailable

Weird.

Just bought Merianna one on Monday night and was planning to go pick one up for myself today…

Retailers everywhere have stopped selling the new HP Chromebook 11, effective immediately. Best Buy store managers were sent a memo which read, in part, “Stores should stop selling the HP Chromebook 11 effective immediately”. This removal from the retail space is widespread, with Amazon and other retailers also pulling the item from their product listings.

via HP Chromebook 11 now unavailable for purchase, no reason given – Android Community.