All Google engineers are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time (one day per week) on projects that interest them. Some of Google's newer services, such as Gmail, Google News, Orkut, and AdSense originated from these independent endeavors. In a talk at Stanford University, Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of search products and user experience, stated that her analysis showed that half of new product launches originated from the 20% independent project time.
It seems to have worked for them… perhaps your company should try it too!
Anyway, here are some cool features worth checking out:
Blog Search – Find blogs on topics that interest you.
Site Search – Type the word "site" followed by a colon will enable you to restrict your search to a specific site. To do this, use the site:sampledomain.com syntax in the Google search box. For example, to find recording information from AccuConfernece enter [recording site:www.accuconference.com.]
Package Tracking: Track your Fedex or UPS package just by entering the number in google.
Weather: Just type in the word “weather” followed by the region you live.
Movie Showtime’s: Type in the word showtimes and then enter your zip code to discover movies nearby.
by Jim Black
Because the blackberry outage leaves millions without email, could this be the day that some break their crackberry habit? I am not saying you will break the habitual email and net habit, I’m suggesting you make the move away from the Blackberry. I am addicted to my PDA’s, but I don’t use a crackberry.
First lets put into perspective of how addicted I am. I carry a Motorola Q on Sprint AND an 8525 on ATT. Why do I carry two devices? Because I liked the voice plans on Cingular but the data is better on Sprint. (I have now changed to voice on Sprint because the dropped calls got out of hand). I realize that I check my email and call page way too much, but I’m trying to cut back.
To be honest, I sometimes feel left out because I don’t have the cool games that other crackberry users have. For example, all I have is bubble breaker and I don’t think it’s the same. That being said, I find Windows Mobile more reliable and it can be used with various Pocket PCs, Smartphones, and Portable Media Centers. In addition, Windows Mobile does not rely on a lone email provider like blackberry.
Given the recent outage, my questions are:
- How much productivity will be lost on this business day?
- Will this be the end of RIMM?
- Will Motorola Q and the Samsung BlackJack be more popular now?
- Will there be less accidents on the road today because people are not typing and driving?
For those of you who rely on their handheld device, this is a catastrophic event. I’m not saying kick the habit, but kick the crackberry -- problem solved!
Jim Collins, author of the book “Good to Great” mentions that truly great companies are innovators who know how to utilize technology.
Audio & Video conferencing, combined with online collaboration, will revolutionize the way the world does business. Will your company lead the pack, or be left in the dust?
Consider how technology has changed so far:
Computers = faster
Internet = reliable
Electronics = affordable
Phones = mobile
What do these have in common? Conference calling of course!
Conference calls make it easier to keep-up with today’s fast-paced global economy. Sharing documents over the internet and collaborating online will soon become common- place. So don’t just use a conference call provider - utilize one.
April showers may eventually bring May flowers, but what does it mean for the workplace?
A survey of 6000 people conducted by Careerbuilder.com said:
10% said they were less productive on gloomy days
21% said rain was the largest contributor
32% said they tend to be happier on sunny days
21% said they have called in sick because of not wanting to travel to work in bad weather.
The article also suggests the following techniques to improve morale:
- Order-in a hot lunch
- Show a DVD in the lunch room
- Play some Team-building games
- Provide scooters to get around the office
We’d also suggest:
- Hire a masseuse
- Order Gourmet Coffee
- Set-up inter-office betting competitions.
- Write a blog about being productive on rainy days
Seth Godin points us to this article which says PowerPoint is bad for your brain.
To be fair, the problem is not PowerPoint itself, but how people use it.
This quote says it best:
"It is effective to speak to a diagram, because it presents information in a different form. But it is not effective to speak the same words that are written, because it is putting too much load on the mind and decreases your ability to understand what is being presented."
Companies spend a lot of time, money, and energy on business travel when they could accomplish the same goals with video conferencing. There are outstanding benefits to video conferencing -- some of which you may not have discovered.
The first benefit is that you save time. With video conferencing you can eliminate the time-consuming business travel process. Avoid searching for a rental car, hotel or flight and don’t waste time flying or driving to your meeting. Instead of spending an entire weekend away from your office or home, get it over and done with quickly.
The second benefit of video conferencing – reduced cost. Hotels, car rentals and flights can be surprisingly expensive, not to mention the other miscellaneous expenses like lunch and dinner. Video conferencing technology and equipment has become much more affordable in the last few years (whereas restaurants and traveling has become more expensive!).
Video conferencing is also better for your health. Why? Business travel can be stressful because you spend time away from family and you are forced to operate outside of your regular routine. This is also why video conferencing also make you more productive because you can work out of your own office, at your own computer, on your own time. Working out of your own office gives you access to important information the moment you need it.
Do you still need more reasons to start video conferencing? How about the fact that you can video tape and record your meeting for future reference? Or how you can enhance your meeting experience by using polling and file sharing features? Or the great impression you’ll make with your associates because you are utilizing cutting edge technology?
The next time you’re sitting in an airport for a three hour layover, or you’re in a hotel paying 25 dollars for internet access --- give us a call or visit our website for more information.
Roy H. Williams quoted Mike Metzger from the Clapham Institute as saying:
“You meet 4 kinds of people on the ocean of life:
Those who drift just go with the flow. The wind and the waves control their speed and direction. The drifter quietly floats along and says, ‘Whatever.’
Those who surf are always riding a wave, the next big thing. They stay excited until the wave fades away, then they scan the horizon for something new. Surfers don't usually get anywhere, but they make a lot of noise and put on a good show."
Those who drown seem to stay in the center of a storm. It doesn't matter how often you rescue them, they'll soon be in another crisis, crying, ‘Help me, save me, it's been the worst week of my life. I don't know what I'm going to do.’
Those who sail are navigating toward a fixed point. They counteract the wind and waves by adjusting the rudder and shifting the sails to stay on course. But without an immovable, fixed point in your life, there can be no sailing. There's nothing for you but drift, surf or drown.”
Are you drifting, surfing, drowning or sailing? What is your immovable object?
Seeing people on screen while talking with them by phone has its advantages, but consumers have been slow to take to the video technology and its often grainy images. But there are now better cameras and video services that can change all of that. There are also portable solutions which are very helpful, as discussed in this New York Times article.
So if you’re in the market for a new web cam, check out these web cam reviews at CNET.com.
If you’re like us, you’d rather not store a giant phone book in your glove box. Instead, try using a 411 directory service. There are many companies who charge for this but we’d suggest using a free service like 1 (800) FREE 411 or 1 (800) 373-3411.
You will be required to listen to a brief advertisement which is painless and certainly doesn’t outweigh the convenience of a free 411 service.
If you’re a professional on-the-go, you need to have the right tools to get the job done. Consider checking out our 800 call forwarding and international call forwarding services.
We’ve often talked about the importance of reaching a “live person” on the phone. But have you ever been connected with someone who was truly incompetent? Technology has made everyday tasks easier, but it has also enabled unskilled people to handle important jobs. So does this really make life better?
For everyday transactions, this isn’t so bad. But if you have a special request or need a problem resolved then a competent person is what’s needed most.
If you were to buy an item at a store, it doesn’t really matter if you receive service with a smile. What matters most is that you get a smile when you are returning the item and that they know how to do it fast.
It’s important to talk with a “live person,” but it’s even more important that they’re competent.