Education Awards 2013

Education Awards 2013


Education Awards 2013

Education Awards 2013 – Business Awards               Langkos Spyros

Education Awards
Δημιουργούμε νέα πρότυπα!

Με γνώμονα 4 βασικά κριτήρια: τη βαθμολογία, το ήθος, τη συνέπεια και τον επαγγελματισμό κατά τη διάρκεια των σπουδών τους, ο Εκπαιδευτικός Όμιλος ΞΥΝΗ (ΙΕΚ ΞΥΝΗ & Mediterranean College) προχωρά σε ένα ακόμα καινοτόμο βήμα για τα εκπαιδευτικά δρώμενα, με… τα Education Awards 2013, δημιουργώντας νέα πρότυπα!

Ο μεγαλύτερος και πληρέστερος εκπαιδευτικός όμιλος στη χώρα μας συγκεντρώνει – για πρώτη φορά στην Ελλάδα! – τους καλύτερους σπουδαστές / αποφοίτους του, προκειμένου να διαγωνιστούν και να αναδειχθούν οι άριστοι ανάμεσά τους, που θα αποσπάσουν τα Βραβεία Εκπαίδευσης. Όλοι οι υποψήφιοι έχουν προταθεί από τους διευθυντές των ΙΕΚ ΞΥΝΗ Αθήνας, Πειραιά, Γλυφάδας και Θεσσαλονίκης, καθώς και από το Mediterranean College Αθήνας και Θεσσαλονίκης, ως οι καλύτεροι τελειόφοιτοι/ απόφοιτοι από όλους τους τομείς και τα προγράμματα σπουδών του Εκπαιδευτικού Ομίλου ΞΥΝΗ.

Πρόκειται για μια μεγάλη πρωτοβουλία των ΙΕΚ ΞΥΝΗ και του Mediterranean College, με στόχο να δημιουργήσουν νέα πρότυπα, μέσα από αξιόλογους νέους της χώρας μας.

Στις 27 Ιουνίου, στη μεγάλη Έκθεση Σπουδαστών των ΙΕΚ ΞΥΝΗ Αθήνας και Γλυφάδας στο DC Mansion, ανακοινώθηκε το πρωτοποριακό concept των Education Awards, καθώς και η έναρξη της ψηφοφορίας για την ανάδειξη των νικητών. Η ψηφοφορία θα λήξει αρχές Σεπτεμβρίου, σε μια λαμπρή γιορτή της Εκπαίδευσης, όπου θα ανακοινωθούν οι νικητές.

Όλοι οι νικητές – ένας από κάθε κατηγορία βραβείων – κερδίζουν, πέραν της τιμητικής βράβευσης και πλακέτας, την ευκαιρία να διεκδικήσουν μια θέση εργασίας σε κορυφαίες εταιρείες της αγοράς!

Η ψηφοφορία γίνεται μέσα από το ειδικό site που δημιούργησε ο Εκπαιδευτικός Όμιλος ΞΥΝΗ για τον εν λόγω θεσμό: το http://www.education–awards.gr, και όλοι οι υποψήφιοι μπορούν να καλέσουν φίλους και καθηγητές τους να τους υποστηρίξουν με την ψήφο τους.

Κάνε Like kαι Ψήφισε τον Καλύτερο!
http://www.education-awards.gr/business/54-%CE%BB%CE%AC%CE%BD%CE%B3%CE%BA%CE%BF%CF%82-%CF%83%CF%80%CF%8D%CF%81%CE%BF%CF%82

Λάνγκος Σπύρος
Mediterranean College Αθήνας – MSc in Marketing Management

“Ο Σπύρος είναι ένας από τους καλύτερους μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές του Business School στον τομέα του Marketing, σημειώνοντας με συνέπεια υψηλές ακαδημαϊκές επιδόσεις σε όλα τα μαθήματα του προγράμματος σπουδών του. ”

Ποιοι είναι οι λόγοι που σε οδήγησαν να σπουδάσεις την συγκεκριμένη ειδικότητα – πρόγραμμα σπουδών;
Πριν καταλήξω στο ποιο μεταπτυχιακό θα κάνω, σε τι τομέα, σε πιο φορέα, κτλ, μπορώ να πω ότι έκανα μια συγκριτική έρευνα αγοράς, όπου και διαπίστωσα ότι το Μεσογειακό Κολλέγιο ήταν για μένα το κατάλληλο περιβάλλον για να μου παρέχει το επίπεδο εκπαίδευσης που επιθυμούσα. Διάλεξα το MC για ένα πλήθος λόγων μεταξύ των οποίων: οι υλικοτεχνικές υποδομές, το κύρος του Ομίλου Ξυνή και του πανεπιστημίου του Derby, το πλήθος των αποφοίτων στην αγορά, η διασύνδεση με την αγορά εργασίας, το ακαδημαϊκό υπόβαθρο των διδασκόντων, η διεξαγωγή παράλληλων εκπαιδευτικών δραστηριοτήτων, το κατά πόσο σύγχρονο είναι το πρόγραμμα σπουδών, το αγγλικό μοντέλο εκπαίδευσης, το κόστος του προγράμματος, η ποιότητα του προσωπικού, τα εκπτωτικά οφέλη και οι εξωσχολικές δραστηριότητες.

Ποιοι είναι οι επαγγελματικοί σου στόχοι; Πώς βλέπεις τον εαυτό σου σε 10 χρόνια;
Οι επαγγελματικοί μου στόχοι είναι να ασχοληθώ με το κομμάτι του e-business και τα social media, κυρίως σε θέματα επικοινωνίας και ανάπτυξης εταιρικής στρατηγικής. Επιθυμώ να αναπτύξω την αναγνωσιμότητα και την εταιρική εικόνα των εταιριών στις οποίες εργάζομαι. Σκοπεύω να αναπτύξω όσο το δυνατόν πληρέστερα τις γνώσεις και τις πρακτικές μου γύρω από το digital marketing. Σε 10 χρόνια από τώρα θα ήταν ιδανικό για μένα, να έχω πάρει το GSAP, επαγγελματική πιστοποίηση από το Πα.Πει ως e-Business Consultant και να έχω ολοκληρώσει επιτυχώς ένα 2ο μεταπτυχιακό στο εξωτερικό ( ίσως Lancaster, Amsterdam, ή Middlesex) σε θέματα Information Technology ή International Business. Θα έχω έτσι την ευελιξία να απασχοληθώ μελλοντικά σε μεγάλες εταιρίες και σε διαφορετικά εταιρικά τμήματα (όπως η Accenture, KPMG, Citrine, Diageo, ATCOM, κλπ), διεκδικώντας μια διεθνή καριέρα, υψηλές απολαβές, ποιοτική εταιρική κουλτούρα και εργασιακό περιβάλλον.

Τι θα άλλαζες στην κοινωνία μας;
Δύσκολη ερώτηση! Είμαι σκεπτικιστής και δεν πιστεύω ότι οι Κοινωνίες αλλάζουν παρά μόνο αλλοιώνονται μέσα στο χρόνο, “χτίζοντας” πιο αυστηρές και ελεγχόμενες κοινωνικές δομές. Τα άτομα, ως υπό-σύνολα που δραστηριοποιούνται στην κοινωνία θα αντιστέκονται πάντα στις αλλαγές, εφόσον δεν έχουν ένα ενιαίο υπόστρωμα, αμοιβαία συναίνεση και κοινά συμφέροντα. Αν μου δινόταν βέβαια η ευκαιρία και συνάμα η εξουσία για μια μέρα, θα ξερίζωνα την λογική του κομματικού κράτους, θα έφερνα παντού διαδικασίες αξιολόγησης βάση προσόντων και κρίσεις βάση αποτελεσμάτων, ελέγχου και επιβολής ποινών για τους καταχραστές. Πρώτο και κύριο θα καταργούσα την βουλευτική ασυλία, το νόμο περί ευθύνης υπουργών και τη διάταξη περί βασικού μετόχου.

Πώς σου φαίνεται η πρωτοβουλία του Mediterranean College και του Εκπαιδευτικού Ομίλου ΞΥΝΗ να δημιουργήσει νέα πρότυπα, μέσα από τα Education Awards;
Πιστεύω ότι είναι ενέργειες που κινούνται στη σωστή κατεύθυνση και ελπίζω μελλοντικά να γίνουν επιτυχημένοι θεσμοί που θα απηχούν τις ακαδημαϊκές αξίες, τόσο του Κολλεγίου αλλά και της Ελληνικής Εκπαίδευσής συνολικά. Μέσα από τέτοιου είδους διαδικασίες ο φοιτητής αποκτά σημαντικές εργασιακές και εκπαιδευτικές εμπειρίες και αλληλεπιδρά με άτομα που έχουν ομοειδή επαγγελματικά ενδιαφέροντα, έτσι ώστε να αναπτύξει όλα του τα ταλέντα. Βοηθούν το σπουδαστή, στο να θεμελιώσει από νωρίς τους στόχους του, γνωρίζοντας ότι η προσπάθεια που κατέβαλε θα αξιολογηθεί μελλοντικά παρέχοντας του κίνητρα για να επιτύχει το καλύτερο δυνατό αποτέλεσμα.

Είπαν για το Σπύρο:

Μαρία Χαλκιά – Συμφοιτήτρια

“O Σπύρος Λάνγκος, μου δίνει την εντύπωση ενός φοιτητή που μοιάζει με ηφαίστειο λίγο πριν από την έκρηξη. Είναι δυναμικός, φιλόδοξος, φιλομαθής με πολλή όρεξη για δουλειά και δημιουργία. Είμαι σίγουρη ότι όταν όλη αυτή η συσσωρευμένη ενέργεια απελευθερωθεί μόνο επιτυχίες θα έχει σε όλα τα επίπεδα, πράγμα που του το εύχομαι με όλη μου την ψυχή!”

Ιωάννα Τσόκα, PhD c. – Academic & Development Coordinator Postgraduate Programmes Leader Business School Mediterranean College, Αθήνα

“Ο Σπύρος είναι ένας από τους καλύτερους μεταπτυχιακούς φοιτητές του Business School στον τομέα του Marketing, σημειώνοντας με συνέπεια υψηλές ακαδημαϊκές επιδόσεις σε όλα τα μαθήματα του προγράμματος σπουδών του. Ταυτόχρονα εργάζεται ως στέλεχος σε ραγδαία αναπτυσσόμενη εταιρεία εξαγωγών και είναι πάντα παρών στις ποικίλες εκπαιδευτικές δράσεις του Κολεγίου, όπως σεμινάρια, workshops, εκπαιδευτικές επισκέψεις και λοιπά. Αξίζει να αναφερθεί ότι στο 1ο Employability Week του Κολεγίου συμμετείχε εθελοντικά ως υποψήφιος εργαζόμενος σε μία demo συνέντευξη εργασίας που παρουσιάστηκε από στέλεχος ανθρώπινου δυναμικού γνωστής ασφαλιστικής εταιρείας. Στο τέλος της συνέντευξης, η εταιρεία ενθουσιάστηκε από τις ικανότητές του, ζήτησε τα στοιχεία του και το βιογραφικό του και του πρότεινε μια πραγματική θέση εργασίας.”

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The Enterprise Value of Compounding Growth in a Startup


David Cummings on Startups

Albert Einstein said, “Compounding is mankind’s greatest invention because it allows for the reliable, systematic accumulation of wealth” (source). This statement is often used in the context of investing in public company stocks with a set-it-and-forget-it approach. Money compounding annually at a single digit percentage rate (e.g. 5%) will generate a significant return, especially in the context of decades (invest $100 at a 9% interest rate and it’ll double in value in eight years based on the rule of 72).

Now, for fast growing startups, the stakes are even higher. If the business is growing at a sustained 50%+ per year over an extended period of time (e.g. 5 – 10 years), the scale and enterprise value of compounding growth becomes even more dramatic. Want to see what crazy growth rates look like at super scale? Load up Google Finance for Apple’s stock and set the timeframe to…

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Rumor: Google Wants To Acquire Facial Recognition Startup Viewdle For $30M


Google, according to a report by Forbes, has acquiredViewdle, an augmented reality and facial recognition startup. Forbes says the price was likely around $30 million, but we are still trying to confirm both the acquisition and the price.

Update: Viewdle just returned our email: “We do not have any comment.” Google has not yet responded to our emails.

Viewdle, which won the 2008 LeWeb startup competition, previously received funding, including a $10 million Series B round, from numerous venture firms, including KCP Capital, Anthem Venture Partners, Best Buy Capital, and Qualcomm. The company was founded in the Ukraine in 2006 and is currently headquartered in Silicon Valley with operations across Europe and South America, including, of course, Ukraine.

Its apps, including SocialCamera and games like ThirdEye, are currently all available on Android, though the company is also currently testing an iOS version of its Face Recognition SDK. Viewdle also own a number of patents related to facial recognition.

Google previously bought at least two similar startups in the past. In July 2011, the companyacquired the Pittsburgh-based facial recognition company PittPatt and all the way back in 2006, itbought the Germany biometrics company Neven Vision.”

 

By: FREDERIC LARDINOIS

Read more: http://techcrunch.com/

Advertising Agencies & Concepts in Athens


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The Last Days Of Windows XP


 

Windows XP, the zombie operating system that refuses to die, may be about to finally receive a killing blow to the head by the company that spawned it eleven years ago. So what will put XP out of its undead misery? Buyers of PCs running Windows 8 Pro will have the ability to downgrade to Windows 7 and Vista, but not all the way to Windows XP.

Downgrades Are Not New

This is not the first time that Microsoft has offered Pro users the capability to downgrade a new version of Windows – Windows 7 Pro users could also downshift to Windows Vista or XP if they wanted to. The downgrade feature is very narrowly available, too. Only the versions of Windows 8 Pro that come with new PCs allow users to choose to drop down to Windows 7 Pro or Vista Business. If you buy a retail version of the same software, you get Windows 8 Pro and nothing but.

Making this downgrade available helps new hardware buyers keep their corporate environments homogeneous whenever Microsoft pushes out a major new release of its operating system. It also keep PC sales chugging along, since business owners are most likely to buy the Pro flavor of Windows, but if all buyers of new PCs had to get Windows 8 – or shell out for a separate version of an older OS after Windows 8’s release on October 26 – corporate buyers might think twice about whether they really wanted to add new hardware.

What Will XP Users Do?

The effect of this new downgrade program, however, will be most felt by the many users still committed to using Windows XP and are not ready for any newer version of Windows.

According to an August 2012 survey from NetMarketShare, Windows 7 deployments have finally surpassed those of the 11-year-old Windows XP operating system. But just barely: 42.76% of desktop machines run Windows 7, just a tiny bit more than Windows XP machines, now reported to have 42.52% of the total marketshare. (Windows Vista use is still falling, down to 6.15% in August 2012).

Office 2013 Rejects Windows XP

Another club to the head to the XP zombie: the upcoming Office 2013 will not be compatible with Windows XP or Vista, either. In this context, even the option to downgrade to Vista Business is almost superfluous: if the latest Microsoft applications won’t be supported on Vista, why downgrade that far back? Heck, it’s hard to fathom why anyone would want to downgrade to Vista instead of WIndows 7.

But the real death-blow for XP remains the issue of what OS you can buy on new PCs. Retail versions and most pre-installed versions of Microsoft operating system do not have downgrade rights, only licenses purchased through the company’s Volume License program. In August 2010, Microsoft expanded its Volume Licensing program to include N-2 downgrade rights, where N is the most recent version of a given software, N-1 is the previous version, and N-2 is the one before that.

XP Will Soon Be N-3

At the time, that meant that Windows XP would be included within the Volume License downgrade path. But when Windows 8 comes out, Windows XP will become N-3, and therefore no longer available through Volume Licensing.

How Windows XP users will react to these clear attempts to finish off their operating system is a huge question that Microsoft needs to answer soon. When it’s time for them to upgrade their hardware, will they still try to hang on to their beloved dinosaur, or will they finally bite the bullet and upgrade to Windows 8? Or even Windows 7?

The future of second-largest OS user base in the marketplace is a disruptive wildcard.. Microsoft is counting on a lot of XP users to upgrade to at least Windows 7. Will it get them, will they go to a competitor, or will the XP zombie shamble on into an increasingly anachronistic future?

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

By: ·

Read more: http://www.readwriteweb.com/enterprise/

 

What SEOs can learn from online journalists


Journalists have been frantically learning SEO and social media techniques over recent years, so they can stay ahead online. But now some of them are so skilled that SEO teams could learn a few things from them too. From writing clickable headlines, to using Twitter to network, here are all the journo skills that I’ve learnt by following (no, not stalking!) some of the best in the business…

Monitoring and Targeting

Like most blogs, news sites tend to cover a number of different subjects. For the main newspapers, these tend to be major topics such as politics, finance, property, jobs and so on. However, within those ‘channels’, similar stories often come up again and again – interest rates, house prices, unemployment figures, that kind of thing.

Journalists and editors use analytics programs to check how many readers are visiting each section and which stories are grabbing their interest. That means that they can give more coverage to the stories that really interest their readers, and move other stories further down the hierarchy. This also allows them to maximise click-throughs from their front pages because they know what stories get readers excited.

 

You can replicate this on your own blog or corporate site. Work out what content works best for pageviews, CTRs and purchases. Then ensure these most successful topic areas are well optimised, often updated and well positioned on your website.

Massively successful news resources like the Mail Online and the Huffington Post only reached where they are by endlessly testing and never being entirely satisfied with their websites’ click-through figures. You should do the same.

Using Twitter and Facebook to Research and Network

Anyone who’s used Twitter to any extent knows its power and reach. You can contact almost any other user, anywhere in the world, with a message of just 140 characters (or fewer) this is genuinely revolutionary. For journalists, it’s a whole new way of researching articles, and the #journorequest hashtag has become a first port of call for many when they’re looking for case studies or quotes from members of the public.

Most online news sites now tweet links to their major stories too. A single headline-worthy article can get a significant number of retweets, helping it to reach readers who might otherwise not have seen it. Add to this the Twitter conversations journalists and press representatives hold with each other on a daily basis. For journalists it’s a quick, easy but powerful way to network with other writers and to engage with their readers.

The lessons to be learnt for other webmasters and SEO teams are simple but worth spelling out – ignore Twitter, and your voice is missing from a global conversation. Make sure your best content is being tweeted, use hashtags to help get the message to people who don’t follow you, and aim to widen that audience still further. And don’t allow your Twitter feed to become mundane and overly-corporate. Stay fun and stay engaged. You’ll learn a lot about your customers and it could even help you generate ideas for blog posts and other content.

Although I hear a lot of negativity from SEOs about Facebook (some of them have already disabled their Facebook accounts), journalists use Facebook to engage with their audience and to reach out to a wider audience beyond the niche they operate within. Mia Aquino, The Huffington Post’s social media editor has set up an ‘interest list’ on Facebook of all their journalists so people could keep up-to-date with what their journalists write. Journalists such as Craig Kanalley, Jahnabi Barooah and Rosa Golijan engage with their Facebook subscribers almost at a personal level on a daily basis, thereby increasing visibility to their posts on user’s Facebook feeds.

Engagement and Relevancy

A good news site will pick out the most headline-worthy articles of the day, and give them pride of place on the front page (or main blog/magazine page). Think about this when updating your site – what belongs on your homepage (or main blog page)? And what can be moved deeper within your site?

It’s a rule of thumb that’s worth applying throughout your content – if a page is irrelevant to what you’ve got to offer, it’d be best to retire it, or update it so that it’s relevant to your audience and your business. By keeping a tight focus on the topics you cover, you can demonstrate expertise and relevancy throughout your site to search engines, helping them better understand what your website is about and the industry you operate within.

Make sure all your authors and bloggers have verified authorship on Google Plus. This will help Google’s algorithm distinguish the quality and relevancy of the content. If the blogger or author already possesses a high reputational score with Google, you will increase your site’s visibility and ranking ability for a greater number of keywords.

Opinion and Controversy

Not everyone can court controversy on their website, but blogs are a good place to express opinion and welcome conflicting comments from your readers. Again, take your inspiration from news sites – while many news outlets have a political agenda to push, they typically don’t do so (well, not too obviously…) in their main articles.

Legitimate news providers distinguish between their journalistic reporting and their editorial columns – and on any website, you can create a similar distinction between static content, opinion-based blogs and self-promotional press releases. It helps your reader to understand where you’re coming from, and why some pages might be more opinionated than others – and a little controversy can help to get some commenting going on your blog posts, too.

There is an important distinction to make between news site comments and those on a less formal blog, however. When somebody comments on your personal blog, it’s common practice to reply to them, to keep the conversation going. In contrast, news sites usually rely on interaction between their readers, rather than with the article’s original author – something worth aiming for on your blog, if you can get your readers’ activity levels high enough.

Catering for Fickle Readers

Online readers are impatient – they won’t wade through lengthy prose, even if they’re happy readingWar and Peace in real life. The internet isn’t the place people settle down to enjoy some timeless literature – in fact, they’re more likely to take ‘timeless’ to the other extreme and spend as little time as possible on your page.

Journalists understand this and are trained to use the ‘inverted pyramid’ model in their articles, with the most important information up top for those who don’t read to the end. For SEO it’s a particularly good approach, as the words and phrases you use up top will be given greater significance in choosing your page’s position in the search results.

The headline is a particularly important part of any page – whether it’s a news article or a static web page – as it highlights the main theme of your content. Make sure you’re picking out the key points in your headline, particularly if it doubles as your page’s HTML title and/or URL, as together these can all contribute towards the words and phrases the search engines associate with your page. Like in a news article, sub-headings also help to signpost readers to the sections of the page that include the information they’re looking for.

Remember, print came first, and while SEO has evolved over time much of it is still inspired by the early, print-like days of the internet. Classic page structures like news articles have left a permanent impression on the things search engines and people value.

Always on the Job

Finally, when you step away from your computer, it doesn’t mean your website ceases to exist. A good journalist will often carry around a notepad and jot down ideas for future articles, or make notes if he or she sees anything that might be worth investigating. You should do the same if you come across a timely and relevant issue that might earn you some extra search traffic if you blog about it or mention it on your website.

Many such ideas ultimately get forgotten by website owners, internet marketers and SEO teams, even if they seem unforgettable when you dream them up. By keeping a notepad – or even a note in your phone – handy, you make sure you remember your ideas. And it’s worth it. If you manage to build your online brand successfully enough, you might one day be making a few headlines of your own.

By Shaad Hamid

Read more: http://www.seoptimise.com

Brands Need To Treat Computer Screens Like TV Screens


By Steve Olenski

“Lord knows I am not the smartest person in the world, the brightest bulb, the sharpest knife or any other euphemism you want to trot out connoting intelligence. But one fairly smart thing I said (at least I think it’s somewhat smart) over the past couple of years was that ‘people need to start looking at their computer screen or monitor the same way they look at their TV.”

Not exactly rocket science when you stop and look at your monitor. Is it not a box-shaped item that is akin to your TV set? Of course it is.

And you don’t read TV, do you? Of course you don’t.tv

Well unless you count reading the now incessant scrolls that every news/sports network has on the bottom of its screen.

But by and large you don’t read TV, you watch it. You watch the images. You watch the video. You watch the film.

So why should your computer be any different.

Now, before I go on, let’s one thing perfectly clear. I am in no way espousing the belief that traditional TV is dead; that we’ll be watching TV on our computers in the near future and our current TVs will become antiques.

Nor am I advocating the removal of all text from all Internet sites as fast as humanly possible to be replaced by videos and/or pictures. Being a writer who makes his living off the writing of words which appear on computer screens, I would kind of like to see words stay for a while.

No, I am merely pointing out something I think that has been obvious for quite some time and is now coming to fruition. And that is that people, AKA consumers, AKA the folks who buy your products, services and wares Mr. & Mrs. Brand, prefer to “see” rather than “read” when it comes to the deluge of information they are bombarded with day in, day out on the information super highway. (Boy, that’s an old term, isn’t it?)

The folks at M Booth recently got together with SimplyMeasure to measure consumer engagement data on the Internet and social media networks.

Some highlights of the following infographic which is pretty self-explanatory. (NOTE: The infographic also includes a brief timeline of the “visual revolution” from just the start of 2012 alone.)

  • On Facebook, videos are shared 12 times more than text posts and links combined
  • Photos are Liked twice as much as text only updates
  • 42% of all Tumblr posts are pictures
  • Pinterest, the photo-driven social media phenomenon, is now referring more traffic than TwitterStumbleUponLinkedIn and Google Plus

So, Mr. Brand Marketer & Mrs. Brand Manager and anyone else who is responsible for hits the Internet airwaves – especially those that hit the social media networks, try and remember the computer/TV analogy and instead of “just” posting words, include and image or video to help tell the story.

 

Read more: http://socialmediatoday.com/steve-olenski

A CEO Speaks Out About…the truth outside the Web


Ronen Shilo is the CEO of Israel’s largest Internet company, Conduit.

“People are more interesting than companies

…so effective leaders are responsible for getting out there and spreading the good word.”

Here’s the paradox: I run a company that’s incredibly visible, but not that well known. Conduit has 260 million users around the world, but our brand isn’t top of mind. It’s not even mid-mind, to be honest. One of those reasons is that I had never made a personal effort to get out in front of the company and act as a public advocate.

That’s changed now. I’m becoming more visible, leaving many people wondering why I’ve decided to emerge from my cave. Have I developed a newfound urge for the spotlight? Am I jealous of Zuckerberg? Why the sudden availability?

They’re all questions worth answering. They’re questions that got me thinking as well.

Into The Spotlight

I didn’t just wake up one morning and decide it was time to become more visible. It was a process. But I can tell you that I always believed that the responsibility of a CEO includes getting out there, and I had been thinking for a long time that I should start representing the company more actively and consistently. Plus, I realized that I wasn’t doing myself any favors by resisting the exposure.

I’m essentially a product guy. People at Conduit are bored of hearing me say that if the product isn’t right, nothing else matters. But I was also telling myself secretly that if the product is right, then nothing else matters either. In other words, a great product will speak for–and sell–itself. Anything else is just frivolous sizzle.

But I learned quickly that my thinking was faulty. There’s a marketing and media side to the success equation that’s really pivotal. And I probably used “it’s all about the product” as an excuse to stay behind the scenes because I don’t really enjoy the media whir.

Some people have asked me if there’s a right time for a CEO to become an active presence in the media.

Like most things in business, there is no one answer. It depends on the personality of the CEO, how competitive the market is, and how mature your product is, among many other variables.

But these are the key questions that can shed light on some answers: What are you trying to accomplish and how do you measure success? Do you want to raise awareness with opinion makers? Are you looking to raise visibility because you are, or will be, raising money? Do you want to attract new customers or consumers? Are you starved for talent and in need of improving your recruiting? Or does your giant ego need some stroking?

While all of these questions can be important, you need to figure out what’s most important to you, and how it all fits in with your objectives. Go deep before you go out. Brian Chesky, CEO of Airbnb, has done just that. He’s been terrific as a visible, sometimes in-your-face, evangelist for his brand. But often, I see a lot of CEOs working the media without a clear point of view about what they want to accomplish.

I realize now that I should have done this earlier, but I enjoyed taking the time to focus on product, on building the company. (And on family.)

As I look back, there wasn’t a burning need for anyone to know who I was in the beginning. We had a rapid uptake of our product by publishers, so I didn’t feel compelled to be visible. Soon after, toolbars–our primary business–began to get beaten up by the media. It was unfair, but so what? Life is unfair. Reporters didn’t really understand what we did.

I couldn’t help but think that if I had been out there more, I would have been able to push back. To strongly argue for our company and our brand. If I couldn’t change their opinions, I would have at least created a dialogue. I think we lost the opportunity to shift the perception of the toolbar. Now it’s too late to do that in any meaningful way. I’m not worried though, because I know there will be other opportunities to redefine our company.

So my advice to others is to be part of the dialogue sooner rather than later. It will benefit your company and your employees to do so. True, your product needs to mature, but it’s easy to hide behind the maturity excuse, particularly if you’re not really a media junkie at heart.

Visibility And Value

If I were hustling for an IPO though, everything would have been different.

There’s no question about that. CEOs and founders contemplating an IPO recognize that visibility translates to asset value. That’s actually why many Israeli companies hire an American CEO; they know that it will help achieve higher levels of awareness, whether for an IPO or an acquisition. But since neither of those is the case for my company, I had more reason to continue to operate Conduit under the radar. It wasn’t a conscious plan. Like many things, it was unplanned yet retrospectively, right.

Now, the more I get out there, the more I’m amused by the differences in global media. The American and the Israeli media are as different as a hot dog and falafel.

Cultural differences are manifested everywhere and they’re only heightened in the journalistic world. The media in Israel are tough. Compared with U.S. reporters, they’re even brutal. American audiences are much more generous. Some Americans may disagree, but having been exposed to both cultures, I can tell it like it is.

I remember being at a conference in the U.S. where a CEO gave a presentation that was not impressive, to say the least. In Israel, he would have been torn apart, whereas Americans are more polite. Your social rules create an atmosphere of friendliness. I guess that’s because we’re in survival mode all the time, and pleasantries are a luxury Israelis don’t get too often. Or at least they’re seen as one.

Last time I was in the U.S., a reporter began an interview by proclaiming, “I hate toolbars.” It was so unusual that I was really taken aback and felt for a second like I was at home in Israel. So forget media training. My advice to any American CEO is to come over here, expose yourself to some reporters, and get toughened up.

I’m also convinced that differing CEO backgrounds play a large role in how they relate to the media.

I once worked for a sales-driven CEO who started every day by asking everyone, “What did you sell yesterday?” He saw the media as one giant sales call. I’m from the product and engineering CEO track, not the sales or marketing side. This gives me the flexibility to speak about the product, the vision of the company, and how what we’re building delivers on that.

If a CEO gets out there too soon, especially when he or she is from the sales or straight marketing side, there’s a risk of overselling. Hype can make a fast difference, but in today’s world of media scrutiny, it has a dangerously short shelf life. It quickly starts to rot and smell.

Personal Brand Takes A Backseat

As far as the ‘Ronen Shilo’ brand, I don’t think about it much. My public brand is no different than my private behavior. Those who know me would agree that I don’t put on a mask when I speak to the media.

But I do want people to start to think of me and Conduit in the same breath. That’s a good thing. Whether it’s Bill Gates (before he started giving his money away) or Larry Ellison, or many others, the company benefits when it’s strongly linked to an individual. People are more interesting than companies. So it’s better for Conduit if I’m out there, and I certainly want to do what’s best for my company.

Except, you won’t see me making any speeches in the future. I like the intimacy of a one-on-one interview. For me, it’s important to look someone in the eye, to read body language, to be in tune with the conversation. If you get thrown a curve ball, you can handle it. And I like an environment where surprises happen.

One thing I really don’t like is a scripted speech. Once, when I was in the army, I had to give a lesson to a reserve group. They allocated an hour. Sixty minutes of air time! I finished what I had to say in five minutes. I was happy and they were happy.

The End Of The Media Hermit

After taking a breath of fresh air, I don’t think I can head back to my cave any time soon.

I have to admit that I can get energized by meeting with the press, particularly with really smart reporters who’ve done their homework. (When it’s the other way, and I have to educate a reporter who doesn’t have a clue about what we do, it’s frustrating. I’d never hire someone who hasn’t spent time studying us, so why should I waste my time with a reporter who didn’t gather any background information?)

At the same time, intelligent reporters can be challenging. They know the category and tend to ask some provocative questions that really get me thinking. They’re out talking to a lot of smart people, so they have a perspective I might not otherwise hear. Learning from a reporter, that’s something I never would have expected when I was in my media hermit period.

Come to think of it, I also never expected that coming out of my shell to answer people’s questions would, in turn, get a lot of my own questions answered.

BY RONEN SHILO|
MARCH 2, 2012

Read more: http://www.fastcompany.com/

McKinsey Weighs In on the Future of the Social Economy


McKinsey & CompanyDespite the popularity of social media with businesses, new research from McKinsey suggests that businesses are leaving value on the table, to the tune of billions of potential dollars. When McKinsey released new research this July on the changing face of the social economy dubbed ‘The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies’, we eagerly devoured it. We present some of the key takeaways from the report below:

Adoption and Benefits

The report revealed fascinating figures around social media adoption and business benefits realized. Consumers have adopted social technologies, defined as products and services that enable social interactions in the digital realm, at an unprecedented speed and scale. In fact, social technologies have been adopted at a faster rate than any other media technology. While it took commercial television 13 years to reach 50 million households and Internet service providers three years to sign 50 million subscribers, it took Facebook just a year to hit 50 million users and Twitter – a total of nine months.

 

However, while 70% of companies use social technologies, only 3% report deriving substantial benefit from this usage across all stakeholders – customers, employees, and business partners. More broadly, 90% of those companies who use social technologies report some business benefit from them. It’s clear here that businesses can better leverage social technologies to drive more value from their investments.

Influence on Social Commerce

McKinsey reports that up to 1/3 of consumer spending is subject to influence from social shopping. This growth indicates the almost primal appeal of social technologies, which bring speed, scale, and economics of the Internet to social interactions. Consumers can now rapidly search for, find and compare various offerings for their needs. Combine that information transparency with the ability to garner peer feedback on potential purchases and you develop a very attractive market for online shopping.

Economic Impact of Social Technologies: $900 Billion to $1.3 Trillion

McKinsey identified ten specific ways where social technologies can add value to businesses.  These value-added levers include:

  • Product development – Use social technologies to derive customer insights and co-create product
  • Marketing and sales – Use social technologies to derive customer insights; for marketing communications and interactions; to generate and foster sales leads; social commerce
  • Customer service – Use social technologies to provide customer care

McKinsey estimates that the use of social technologies can contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value (based on estimates across four industry sectors), with $500 billion added from marketing, sales and after-sales support activities. Specifically, consumer goods companies, with their dependence on brand recognition, can use social technologies across all value chain steps to recognize margin increases of as much as 60%. McKinsey cautions that simply shifting advertising and consumer insights budgets to social media will not suffice; advocating instead for well-planned and well-executed programs which incorporate non-social components such as mass media to capture the potential value of social technologies.

Truly capturing the business value will be a challenge for most enterprises, as they will have to transform their organizational structures, processes, and cultures to become “extended networked enterprises.” Extended networked enterprises connect both internally as well as externally with customers and partners. For these technologies to deliver value, enterprises must embrace information sharing and create cultures of trust and cooperation.

Business Opportunities

The McKinsey study also highlights areas in which business can use social technologies to improve. For instance, many companies have found these social technologies can generate rich consumer insights cheaper and faster than traditional methods. Companies are tapping into what consumers do and say to one another on social platforms, gathering unfiltered feedback and behavioral data (e.g. do people who like this movie like that brand of soft drink?).

Additionally, leveraging of social platforms provides the potential to tap the great “cognitive surplus” of society by using leisure time for creating content and collaboration, rather than consuming. McKinsey refers to the growth of self-publishers and video creators, who add their own content to the social sphere.

Beyond 2012

As we move beyond 2012, we expect to see companies further leveraging emerging social technologies to drive distinct and measureable business value. We believe marketers will use social marketing to identify new prospects based on sophisticated monitoring, profile collection and social scoring.

 

By Mike Lewis | September 4, 2012

Read more: http://www.socialnomics.net/2012/09/04/mckinsey-weighs-in-on-the-future-of-the-social-economy/

 

China boosts economy with £99bn!


Stock markets across Asia soar on hopes world’s second largest economy will drive global recovery

 

China has announced a trillion yuan (£99bn) of infrastructure projects in a bid to revive economic growth, raising hopes that the world’s second largest economy will drive a recovery across the globe.

Stock markets in Asia soared on the news, with the main Chinese share index up 3.7% on the day. Markets were already buoyed by the announcement of the ECB’s plan to save the euro by buying up the bonds of distressed eurozone countries in unlimited quantities.

Over the past two days, Beijing has announced plans to build highways, waterways, urban rail projects and waste water treatment plants, estimated to cost more than 1tn yuan, some 2% of China’s total economy.

The Chinese government did not describe the investments as a stimulus package, but analysts said the approvals signalled a shift in policy. Zhang Zhiwei, economist at Nomura, said: “Apart from the large sizes of the projects, the announcements were all made in two days, which is very intense. It signals a change in policy stance, which is now much more proactive.”

He said the projects were likely to begin in the coming months and the impact could be reflected in fourth quarter GDP. Chinese growth slowed to 7.6% in the second quarter, its lowest in three years, and grim economic data out in the past few weeks suggests the slowdown could be even steeper in the third quarter.

The Chinese government has been expected to act to boost growth for some time, but has been wary of reinflating a property bubble and overstimulating the economy. It is thought the leadership has also been preoccupied with the once-in-a-decade leadership change taking place later this year.

Crucially, these new projects have been signed off by the central planning agency, meaning they are likely to proceed. Local governments in China have announced around 7tn yuan worth of projects over the past two months but analysts said funding shortages would scupper the plans. Once projects have Beijing’s approval, however, funding is seen as a formality.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/  

 

Pinterest’s Impact on Users and on Your Brand


We’ve mentioned Pinterest numerous times—enough to show we’re Pin-crazy.

But we’re not the only ones!

To back us up on our Pin interest, Compete has published charts about Pinterest’s growth and its impact on marketers.

Some quick stats:

  • Pinterest has grown from 700,000 to 20,000,000 unique users in the past year; that’s already almost half the number of Twitter‘s users.
  • It is cannibalizing other social media: Compete attributed a 3% decline in Facebook activity in June to users’ preferences for Pinning.
  • 1 in 4 users spend less time on other social media in Pinterest’s favor, with 15% of Pinterest users saying they don’t use any other social sites.
  • That number’s even higher, 23%, among those with an income of less than $30,000.

The food industry is a big Pin winner: 57% of users interact with food-related content on the site, which benefits other sites.Traffic from Pinterest to Allrecipes.com, for instance, was up 16% when Compete took a look. And Kraft captured an additional 4% share of Pinterest traffic in May.

But it isn’t just foodies building Boards: 25% of customers purchased a product or service after discovering it on Pinterest—with that figure rising to 37% among males!

Compete’s suggestions for marketers seeking to Pin down a profit:

  • Measure the difference in user engagement and purchasing behavior before and after exposure to specific categories, brands, or products on Pinterest.
  • Isolate differences in purchase and engagement behavior across given demographics, including age, income, and gender.
  • Compare how the engagement/purchasing behavior of users on Pinterest compares with Facebook.
  • Quantify the impact that exposure to Pinterest has on brand or product loyalty.

To start, we recommend checking out our tips for masterful Pinmanship, and three useful measurements for tracking Pinterest traffic.

The Po!nt: Knowledge is power. Using Pinterest lets you leverage user behavior in nuanced and positive ways. So determine who loves your Pins, and what Pins work best, to improve your long-term strategy.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/short-articles/2642/pinterests-impact-on-users-and-on-your-brand#ixzz269hJH4Vm

The State of Play in Biofuel Subsidies


Are policies ready to shift?

» Mark Halle, Nestlé, 2012.Video (60:00), copyright of: Nestlé

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeR8z8DK_G4&feature=player_embedded

 

June 19, 2012 – RIO DE JANEIRO – The GSI report State of Play on Biofuel Subsidies: Are policies ready to shift? was launched at a special discussion on biofuel subsidies organized by Nestlé S.A. on the Business Day at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20.

The video below is a record of the full event, including contributions of the following speakers:

The video concludes with a question and answer session and discussion amongst the audience and the panelists.

 

Source of Information