at least not yet. As an avid scanner of technology related news feeds and headlines, its hard to not pay attention to the hype surrounding the apple iPhone
. Let me start by saying that this decision is incredibly unusual for me, an adoring fan of all things Apple
. Ive made a habit of emptying my wallet for these incredible products over the years. My iBook
got me through college and Im pretty sure Id suffer from withdraw headaches if I were to ever become separated from my iPod
Dont get me wrong, this latest gadget seems pretty incredible and has been marketed extremely well. I certainly wouldnt say no if one appeared in the form of an incredibly generous birthday present, but as far as my own shopping goes, Im holding my ground for a couple reasons.
First and foremost, I refuse to leave my current wireless provider, Verizon
. AT&T/Cingular can air as many witty commercials about preventing dropped calls as they want to, but I just dont buy it. Ive heard enough complaints and read plenty of blog posts expressing anguish over their sub-par services, and true or not, theyve left an impression. Say what you will about Verizon, but Ive been with them for 7 years with no complaints and have no plans to switch over.
On a different note, Ive discovered something about Apple over the years. They always produce incredibly fun, innovative, groundbreaking products
but they also typically go on to drastically improve and release an even better second generation product shortly thereafter. As much as I loved my first iBook and iPod, I love the newest ones a lot more.
I (hopefully) look toward a future that involves an iPhone
with a detachable battery, multiple service providers, and a smaller price-tag. All too often Ive shelled out the big bucks to be among the first to get a new Apple product, but with an expensive wireless plan on top of the $600 cost, Ive managed to muster the willpower to just. wait. it. out. In the meantime, Ill feel sorry for the rain-soaked fanatics that have been sitting outside of the Apple stores since Monday morning.
- Sarah Longhttp://www.cnn.com/2007/TECH/ptech/06/2 ... index.html
We're very proud of our client roster
here at SpeakerBox and we're always particularly excited when the hard-working in-house communications and marketing teams are recognized for their effort. That's why we were so happy to see our client Red Hat
and its tremendous internal PR team recognized
by industry trade pub PRWeek
For those unfamiliar, open source technology can offer some difficult-to-grasp subjects and the team at Red Hat has done a great job distilling the open source community's message into understandable and relatable language - one of the most challenging aspects of tech PR.
If you've never seen the stick figure videos
from the launch of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, they're worth a quick peek, as is the "Truth Happens" video
CEO Matthew Szulik unveiled several years ago during a keynote speech.
Congratulations to the Red Hat team for continuing to break the mold -- the recognition is well-deserved.
I was glad to see the recent OPM
study indicating that the barriers to telework continue to lower. While many have criticized agencies for not moving fast enough, as a former change management practitioner, I feel for organizations that are straddling the divide.
Organizations moving toward a model that makes room for telework - by addressing the technology and business process components of a remote (or, in most cases, occasionally remote) workforce - still struggle with the intangible issues surrounding telework, which mostly relate to organizational culture.
According to Federal Computer Week's
article, OPM finds barriers to telework lowering
, published this week, "About 54 percent of [OP survey] respondents said cultural resistance is still a problem, and 52 percent said management resistance accounts for the reason telework isnt as prevalent."
Many of the challenges to widespread telework adoption are cultural - and generational - in nature. For managers who came up though the GS ranks over the course of decades where face-to-face contact was a given, telework may seem like a new trend that will pass. But that's the same thing we said about e-mail . . . and the Internet . . . and blogging, right?
I applaud initiatives that support widespread training on telework and work through some of the additional challenges relating to security and employee tracking. I think these, combined with some good old-fashioned time, will help agencies get to the next level.
When I work with organizations struggling to navigate the issues surrounding telework, I remember my colleague Julie Buckley's mantra when she speaks about her long-time client, The Telework Consortium
. . . "work is what you do, not where you go". Check out The Telework Consortium's
Web site to hear more.
Meredith Bove, Account Director
Yesterdays Mother Jones Interview with Esther Dyson
, digital philosopher, got me thinking about technology and politics in an unexpected way. Strange parallel I know, but arent politicians and traditional retailers facing some of the same challenges in a Web 2.0 world?
Politicians having trouble hearing the real messages from constituents are a lot like companies who collect feedback from customers, but who never actually analyze the data. Dyson says, It's not that [politicians] should necessarily do what the blogs tell [them], but [they] need to prove that [they] are listening. The best communications technology is the ear
Retailers competing in a Web 2.0 world have been forced to get creative in how they connect with customers and to show they are listening. Business Week
just did a rundown along these lines called Dealing with Angry Customers
, that provides a quick and dirty list on how companies navigate customer service snafus. Luckily, the Web 2.0 thats driven them to compete so hard is also what enables creative customer connection.
Enter the pop up survey. Lets think of it as an ear, okay? I used to think of the pop up survey as an annoyance I had to put up with as an online shopper. Id quickly hit the little X to close the survey as soon as it opened. No more. Companies taking the trouble to find out why I am leaving the site prior to purchase (also known as abandoning my e-cart) only want to make my online shopping experience the best it can be. My input about site navigation or the complexities of the checkout process will (hopefully) drive them to change the interface and processes. Who knows . . . if they dont get me back, they might make the next shopper stay. I think (hope) politicians are doing the same.
Meredith Bove, Account Director
Dont blink you might miss some big changes in mainstream media
at least thats how it has felt recently. First we learned about significant cuts at the LA Times
, San Francisco Chronicle
and San Jose Mercury News
. Then, this week: the Wall Street Journal shook up its editorial ranks
to fully combine online and print coverage, and publisher CMP Technology
dropped a proverbial bomb on tech media when it announced major changes
for its publications and over 200 job cuts. Among the changes in the CMP family?
, Network Computing
are merging under the InformationWeek title beginning in July with the new version to include three themed monthly editions with specialty content for different demographics (For IT, By IT; For CIOs, By CIOs; and Strategic Security).
will now be published two times each month instead of three, and VARBusiness
will publish monthly instead of bi-weekly. The editorial staff for these publications will be combined.
· EE Times
is combining its U.S. and European staffs, and Call Center Magazine
is moving to an online only publication in July.
These announcements are certainly consistent with the changes
weve been seeing in mainstream media. Consumption habits are changing. The Web is where its at. But this fact doesnt make the news any easier to hear. Some of the well-known journalists weve worked with for years are now looking for employment, and the magazines we were so accustomed to reading no longer exist. Nobody said the road to the new media landscape was going to be easy.
For those of you who arent too familiar with the SBX culture, let me give you some insight: were a competitive crowd. We work hard and we have fun while we work, but we have the most fun winning. We celebrate our victories on behalf of clients as a team. Youll see high fives around the office when we land huge placements and interviews but we get right back to work because were always searching for the next big thing.
Even outside of client work were usually engaged in some competitive activity or debate. Weve been known to divide the office for a good game of NERF H-O-R-S-E
. And come August, theres never any question about who supports which college football teams (Go Dawgs
I tell you all of this to set the stage for the latest in SpeakerBox competitions our own version of the Food Networks famed series, Iron Chef
. Battle Cupcake took center stage as our inaugural competition: eight competitors, eight cupcake varieties. Non-bakers served as judges, scoring our 100% homemade (no store bought mixes or frosting for us) cupcakes on three criteria: plating, creativity and taste. We researched, plotted and talked cupcake smack in the hallways during the days leading up to the competition.
And the results?
- 8th Place:
Jen/Chocolate cheesecake cupcakes
- 7th Place:
Mary/Chocolate chunk cookie cupcakes
- 6th Place:
Debbie/Heart-shaped chocolate cheesecake cupcakes
- 5th Place:
Piper/Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes
- Tied for 3rd Place:
Sarah/Ice cream cone cupcakes
and Seth/Strawberry cupcake w/ amaretto buttercream
- 2nd Place:
(39)- 1st Place: Grace/Chocolate peanut butter smorgasbord cupcakes (40.5)
Nothing against Graces chocolate peanut butter cupcakes the peanut butter icing was spot on, but my smores cupcakes were pretty dang good and I feel robbed. Theres no governing body to hear my appeal so Ill let Grace take the cake on this one but Ill be back.
From here on out, well be holding these challenges the first Thursday (or so) of every month. July is Battle Macaroni & Cheese. Homemade Mac & Cheese is an area where I dont have much (read:
any) experience, so Ill be spending my free time researching and battle testing recipes. If you have a killer/award winning Mac & Cheese recipe you think will help me steal the competition, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org