Archivos diarios: 31 marzo 2010

Read All About it! 18 Top Design, Culture and Technology Magazines


Keeping you up to date about the latest technology and software within your trade and industry, magazines provide insightful and useful information in an interesting manner.

There’s always something special about the smell and touch of paper fresh from the printers, be it from a glossy magazine, a newspaper, or even books. It’s always better to have something tangible to hold on to and read from. However, the Internet’s popularity is fast becoming a problem for all forms of print publication.

Magazine sales have been hit the worst as their circulation numbers continue to drop over the years. Why pay for magazine subscriptions when you can browse the net to obtain the same information? Searching for information online can save you money and allows you to be environmentally friendly and help decrease the demand of trees for paper.

Read All About it! 18 Top Design, Culture and Technology Magazines

Today’s magazine editors, contributors, content researchers and writers have a harder job to do to keep their audience coming back to them. As such, magazine content have become more than just boring facts and information. Today, magazine content has to be creative and innovative while providing the boring facts and information.

18 Top Design, Culture and Technology Magazines

Here are some design magazines that are worth spending your dime on. These design magazines have either a print or online version, but no matter how or where it’s published, they provide useful tips and good content that is current and informative. Read them on the bus. Read them while waiting for train. No matter where you are, these magazines are great casual reads that will both entertain and keep you well informed about the latest happenings in the world of design, culture and technology.

Web Designer Magazine

Web Designer is the premier magazine for aspiring online creatives and industry professionals. The monthly title offers cutting-edge practical projects spanning XHTML, CSS, Flash and WordPress as well as hosting features and interviews with the web community’s most influential people. Each issue also has a dedicated Industry section covering news and views from the trade, website showcases featuring the finest design talent and a free CD of valuable resources. The official blog site at webdesignermag.co.uk offers additional editorial, exclusive interviews, reader support plus a series of entertaining podcasts from the magazine team.

Web Version

Web Designer Magazine

Print Version

Web Designer Magazine

Digital Arts Magazine

Digital Arts – comprehensive coverage of the art of graphic design, 3D, animation, video, effects, web and interactive design, in print and online. Digital Arts addresses the needs of those within the exploding digital media market by providing relevant and forward thinking content, and by consistently running more exclusive reviews and features than any other magazine or Web site in the market. This magazine consistently delivers high-quality content, providing its professional readership with the latest news and reviews first. Sigue leyendo

Informe: Competitividad empresarial, desarrollo organizacional y gestión comercial de las PyME industriales


Publicado por Leonardo gargiulo

Comparto con ud. Síntesis Ejecutiva de un informe ESPECIAL realizado por el Observatorio Pyme sobre “Competitividad empresarial, desarrollo organizacional y gestión comercial de las PyME industriales”
Los datos han sido recabados por la Encuesta Estructural a PyME industriales 2009.

Me parece interesante el trabajo ya que nos permite comprender la realidad de las Pymes Industriales, sus características y problemáticas.

Síntesis ejecutiva:

I – Competitividad empresarial: Desarrollo organizativo y desempeño
*El nivel de competitividad de las PyME industriales se explica por su grado de desarrollo organizativo y su desempeño productivo -evolución de ventas, capital invertido, exportaciones-.
*A partir de la Construcción de un Índice de Competitividad se muestra que no existen PyME industriales con un alto desarrollo en su organización interna que hayan presentado un mal desempeño relativo durante 2009. Así como tampoco se observan casos de empresas con excelente desempeño y poco desarrollo en materia organizativa.
*Los problemas que enfrentan las firmas más competitivas son completamente distintos a los que preocupan a las de menor nivel de competitividad. Las primeras tienen dificultades para competir en mercados internacionales y para incurrir en elevados costos de logística, entre otros. Las menos competitivas, en cambio, perciben fuerte competencia en el mercado interno, tienen problemas por disminución en los márgenes de rentabilidad y aumentos de costos de producción.
*Las PyME industriales más competitivas se caracterizan por perseguir una búsqueda activa de mejor información sobre nuevos mercados y la situación general de su sector de actividad; diseñan estrategias de competitividad por calidad de producto, diferenciación de producto ya existente o por ampliación de mercados; participan en proyectos asociativos con proveedores o clientes.
*Por el contrario, las PyME industriales de menor nivel de competitividad empresarial sufren cierta carencia de información estratégica, adoptan estrategias de competencia vía precios, y participan poco proyectos asociativos.
*Más allá de las empresas, entre los distintos sectores de actividad industrial se presentan diferencias en términos de competitividad. En el caso de los sectores “Automotores y autopartes” , “Maquinaria y equipos” y la industria electrónica, a pesar de percibir una fuerte presión competitiva en el mercado interno por la importación de bienes, muestran altos niveles de competitividad empresarial.
*Otros sectores sufren la amenaza del ingreso de bienes extranjeros, pero no muestran un importante nivel de competitividad para poder afrontarla: “Textiles, prendas de vestir, cuero y calzado” , y “Metales comunes y productos de metal”

II – Desarrollo organizativo de las PyME industriales en Argentina

*El 82% de las pequeñas y medianas industrias muestra un importante grado de formalidad -están constituidas como S.A. o S.R.L.-*Sin embargo, el grado de desarrollo organizativo de las empresas es relativamente bajo: el 43% de las PyME industriales concentra la totalidad de las funciones en un área general y sólo la mitad de los empresarios manifestaron contar con un organigrama conocido por el personal con la descripción de sus actividades. Asimismo, apenas el 18% de las PyME dispone de certificaciones de calidad ISO y el 24% tiene alguna política de retención del personal.
*De todas formas, ciertos sectores de actividad muestran, en líneas generales, un muy aceptable grado de desarrollo organizativo, tales como “Sustancias y productos químicos” y la industria electrónica.

III – Gestión comercial de las PyME industriales en Argentina
*Las ventas directas al público y a comercios minoristas todavía representan una proporción alta del total facturado por las PyME industriales, lo que las ubica muchas veces al final de la trama productiva.
*Sólo un tercio de los industriales PyME manifestó contar con un sistema de monitoreo de satisfacción de clientes
*La proporción de pequeñas y medianas industrias afiliadas a alguna cámara empresarial es del 55%. El mayor grado de participación se observa para aquellas pertenecientes a los sectores “Productos de caucho y plástico”, “Aparatos eléctricos, electrónicos e instrumentos de precisión” y “Maquinaria y equipo”.
*Entre las estrategias de competitividad adoptadas por los industriales PyME predominan aquellas de carácter ofensivo: el 83% sigue una estrategia de competencia por calidad
*Sin embargo, el 42% de las PyME manufactureras sigue una estrategia de competencia por precios, que no resulta en mejoras de competitividad sostenibles en el tiempo. La mayor proporción de empresas con estas políticas se concentra en el sector “Madera, corcho y paja> ” .

http://www.leonardogargiulo.com/

The Impact Of Social Media In Asia


Asia: orthographic projection, based on :File:...
Image via Wikipedia

The fantastic thing about social media is the ability to connect with others without any physical barrier. I’m glad to have found Tom Smith on Slideshare while monitoring my Twitter stream. Apparently, 3 weeks ago, he uploaded a new slide entitled, “Global Social Media Trends – Asia Impact.”

In a previous report by Oreily, it was noted that Facebook has overtaken Orkut in India to be the largest social networking site. On top of that, in only a period of 12 weeks, there was an additional of 2.3 million users from South Asia who joined Facebook; tripling the total number of users from Asia in just a year.

The presentation uploaded covers the macro trends of social media in Asia using Wave 2 data, with a strong focus on China and the massive growth in consumer publishing. It sure makes a great read for marketers who are planning to expand in Asia.

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Pautas para evitar sorpresas al contratar una investigación de mercado -MATERIABIZ


¿Cómo se determinará la muestra? ¿Cómo asegurar la calidad del estudio? ¿Cuáles serán los costos? ¿Cómo diseñar el contrato? Aquí, un listado exhaustivo de los temas a considerar para no dejar nada librado al azar en la realización o la contratación de una investigación de mercado…
Por Mónica Kleiman

Con la mirada puesta en la importancia de rescatar la calidad de las investigaciones de mercado, la Cámara de Empresas de Investigación Social y de Mercado (CEIM) armó una lista de control para cotizaciones y proyectos de investigación de mercado.

Se trata, así, de una herramienta útil tanto para quien lleva adelante un proyecto, como para quien contrata los servicios de una empresa especializada.

Hay que tener en cuenta que las cuestiones que se enumeran en la lista no siempre son pertinentes para todos los proyectos de investigación. La idea, claro, es que se apliquen en el caso que corresponda.

El diseño de la muestra

1) ¿Cuál será el “universo”? ¿Qué secciones de la “población” serán representadas en el estudio?

2) ¿Cuál será la distribución geográfica? ¿Qué otras especificaciones importantes habrá en el diseño de la muestra?

3) ¿Cuáles son los procedimientos de muestreo que se seguirán? Por cuotas, de extracción probabilística, simple o estratificada, etc.

4) ¿Cuál será el tamaño de la muestra? En general, el tamaño se expresará como muestra “efectiva” (junto a la cantidad de contactos iniciales y a la tasa de respuesta que se prevé).

Hay que definir cuidadosamente cuáles son los casos “efectivos”, por ejemplo, la “cantidad de encuestados que completan todas las etapas de la prueba”.

5) ¿Cuál es la proporción del universo y/o mercado cubierto por la muestra efectiva?

6) ¿Cuál es el nivel esperado de deserción/desgaste de la muestra en paneles u otras investigaciones continuas/sistemáticas?

7) ¿Cuál es el nivel de precisión estadística que se atribuirá a los resultados claves, en investigaciones cuantitativas?

8) La provisión de listados de informantes no será exigible en estudios sistemáticos, ni en auditorías de mercado.

En otros casos, la entrega de los listados se hará solo para objetivos de supervisión, a menos que la identificación de los informantes sea requerida y acordada a priori entre el cliente y la agencia de investigación de mercado (y, en consecuencia, acordada previamente con los informantes).

Estos listados no deberían infringir, en ningún caso, el Código Internacional de Prácticas para la Investigación de Mercado y Social.

La recolección de datos

1) ¿Cuál será la técnica de recolección de datos primarios?

2) Si se utilizará información secundaria (información existente que no fue recolectada a los efectos específicos de la investigación), es necesario indicar cuáles son las fuentes que se utilizarán.

3) ¿Cuál será el lugar de la entrevista?

4) ¿Cuáles serán los filtros o mecanismos de selección? Es necesario especificar todo procedimiento especial de filtro o selección de los participantes que se usará.

5) ¿Cuál será la cantidad y la naturaleza de las revisitas?

6) ¿Cómo se registrarán los datos? Cuestionarios, planillas en papel, CATI, CAPI, grabaciones de audio, video, etc.

7) ¿Cuáles serán los incentivos para los participantes? Es decir, el tipo de recompensa que se ofrecerá a los encuestados y quién se hará cargo de ésta.

8) ¿Qué personas participarán en la recolección de datos? La conformación del equipo en cuanto a tipo y nivel de capacitación y experiencia, el tipo de dedicación, etc.

9) ¿Cómo serán la supervisión y los controles de calidad?

En estudios sistemáticos o cuantitativos ad hoc, tipo y nivel (número o porcentaje) de supervisión y de controles de calidad que se aplicarán en campo y en oficina (porcentaje de visitas supervisadas in situ / revisitas / verificadas telefónicamente, etc.).

10) ¿Cómo será la prueba piloto (investigación exploratoria) que se llevará a cabo antes del estudio principal?

11) ¿Cuál será la duración del cuestionario? En estudios sistemáticos o cuantitativos ad hoc, es necesario brindar indicaciones del contenido del cuestionario, su duración y el enfoque técnico a aplicar.

12) ¿Qué materiales complementarios se utilizarán en el trabajo? (listas, estímulos visuales, productos, publicidad, etc.). ¿Quién suministrará/cubrirá estos costos?

13) En cuestionarios de estudios ómnibus y cuando la información estuviera accesible, ¿cuál será la cantidad y naturaleza de las preguntas precedentes?

Análisis e informes

1) ¿Cuál será el alcance de la propuesta? Hay que aclarar hasta qué etapa comprende la propuesta.

2) ¿Cuál será el formato del informe? Sólo desgrabaciones, sólo tabulaciones, con un breve resumen, con conclusiones y recomendaciones, etc.

3) En el caso de estudios continuos, ¿cuál será la frecuencia de los informes?

4) En el caso de estudios sistemáticos o cuantitativos ad hoc, ¿cuáles serán las técnicas de análisis estadístico, modelos matemáticos u otros?

5) ¿En qué idioma se escribirá el informe?

6) ¿Cómo se presentarán los resultados? ¿Cuál será el número de presentaciones y en qué lugar se llevarán a cabo?

Los costos

1) ¿Cuál será el costo total del proyecto? Es importante detallar todos los posibles gastos adicionales (impuestos, por ejemplo) o costos no incluidos (suministro del producto, costos de flete, viáticos, traducciones, etc).

2) Cláusula abierta de costo. Si el costo final pudiera sufrir cambios, ¿cuáles serán los supuestos sobre los que se basan los costos estimados? (por ejemplo, tasa de contacto diario, proporción de contactos que se precisan para lograr una entrevista completa).

3) Costos por etapas. En algunos casos, puede presupuestarse el proyecto de acuerdo a etapas o secciones individuales.

4) Costo de todo trabajo adicional: ¿cuáles serán los costos de análisis adicionales, reuniones y presentaciones especiales, registros duplicados de la información, copias a color, etc.?

5) ¿Los costos son definitivos o provisorios? ¿Cuál es el período de vigencia?

6) ¿Cuáles son los descuentos o recargos que puedan estar implicados?

7) ¿Cuáles son las previsiones de ajustes de precios, por los que los costos puedan llegar a variar en el tiempo?

8) ¿Cuál será la forma y las condiciones de pago (plazo, moneda)?

Revisando el contrato

Además de los puntos mencionados hasta el momento, es importante dejar sentado todo aquello que esté relacionado con la investigación. No dejar nada librado al azar es la única garantía para evitar futuros inconvenientes.

1) Disposiciones, si correspondiese, con relación a la exclusividad (de las técnicas, los servicios, los contenidos, etc.). Esto incluye en qué medida pueden participar de este estudio otros clientes ya sea en la actualidad o a futuro.

2) Acuerdos sobre la posible publicación, total o parcial, de los resultados.

3) Responsabilidad por la seguridad de productos y por la provisión de instrucciones adecuadas para su uso (que corresponden normalmente al cliente), y seguro contra toda contingencia / reclamo que pueda surgir en encuestados o empleados, respecto del estudio.

4) Acuerdos y condiciones para modificar o dar por terminado el contrato, o las especificaciones del estudio, con posterioridad a la entrada en vigencia del mismo. ¿Cuáles son las obligaciones y responsabilidades del cliente y del investigador en tales circunstancias?

5) En caso de investigaciones continuas o sistemáticas, especificar la duración del contrato, y el período de notificación requerido para su modificación o cancelación.

6) Las partes se comprometen por escrito a cumplir con el Código Internacional de Prácticas para la Investigación Social y de Mercado. Algunos artículos de este Código se refieren en mayor detalle a algunas de las cuestiones tratadas previamente.

Consideraciones finales

Los tiempos: Hay que aclarar que la inclusión o no del detalle sobre las fechas para aprobación de la propuesta y cada una de las etapas posteriores dependerá de la demanda (“brief”) recibida por parte del cliente, que es donde se especificarán las fechas para comenzar y terminar con la recolección de la información, el anticipo del informe final, etc.

Subcontrataciones: Es necesario aclarar si se harán subcontrataciones. En caso de que se subcontrate personal para procesar, recolectar la información, etc., debe estar expresamente definido quién asume la responsabilidad sobre el control de calidad, el cumplimiento de los tiempos, y la entrega del trabajo final.

Reuniones de avance: Es importante especificar si habrá reuniones antes o durante la realización del estudio para entrenamiento, discutir el avance y los resultados, etc.

Traducciones: En caso de que corresponda, habrá que establecer definiciones acerca de la traducción de los cuestionarios, materiales del estudio, registros, etc., al o del idioma en que se realiza el estudio.

En definitiva, a la hora de realizar o contratar una investigación de mercado, este listado nos ofrece un panorama exhaustivo de las cuestiones a considerar para alcanzar los mejores resultados.

Mónica Kleiman
Presidente de la Cámara de Empresas de Investigación Social y de Mercado (CEIM)

http://www.materiabiz.com/mbz/estrategiaymarketing/nota.vsp?nid=45054

Springwise | New business ideas from around the world


For supercar fans, there’s already écurie25. Private jet users have long had NetJets. Now high-end motorcycle aficionados have a fractional ownership club of their own through Columbus Club, based in Cannes, France.

In exchange for an annual membership fee, Columbus International’s Columbus Club provides priority access to a “dream garage of exceptional motorbikes.” Members need not worry about depreciation, insurance, servicing, maintenance or storage—the company takes care of all that. Rather, they simply pick a membership level and enjoy riding a variety of high-end bikes. Three membership levels cost EUR 2,000, 3,000 and 5,000 per year, respectively. In exchange, members are granted a corresponding number of credits for use on riding the bikes of their choice. A variety of models are available–all less than a year old, including the Ducati, BMW, Triumph and Hollister’s brands–with daily rates ranging from EUR 195 off-season to EUR 385 during the peak of the summer. Cannes-based Columbus also offers chauffeur service to and from Nice airport, camera-equipped helmets and personal guided riding tours, among other extras.

With its focus on transumers—who would rather experience products than own them—Columbus Club’s concept is one that could do well in any temperate, motorcycle-friendly part of the world. One to partner with or emulate on the scenic highways and byways near you…? (Related: Motorcycle hearses offer a (life)stylish final ride.)

Website: www.columbus-international.com/columbus-club/
Contact: discover@columbus-international.com

………………………………………………………………………..

The world may be waiting in breathless anticipation for the arrival of Apple’s widely hyped iPad, but Taiwanese AIPTEK has come up with a device that may well be a better choice for children. Its Story Book inColor lets kids enjoy a variety of illustrated audio stories without the risks or distractions of an internet connection.

With a book-like form factor including fold-back cover, Story Book inColor comes preloaded with 20 built-in stories including both illustrations and narration. A bookcase metaphor on the device simulates the feeling of choosing a book from a shelf, and page transitions mimic the experience of reading a real book. Many more stories for Story Book inColor are also available on AIPTEK’s site, including English, Traditional Chinese and Simplified Chinese contents as well as motion formats. The device’s 1GB of internal memory can store up to 45 titles, and more can be saved to SD/SDHC, MMC, MS pro and USB storage. After 20 minutes of reading, Story Book inColor even pops up an icon to remind children to give their eyes a rest. When not in use as an ebook reader, the device can serve as a digital photo frame. Pricing on Story Book inColor’s books ranges from USD 4.99 to USD 9.99. The device itself is available at a variety of Chinese retailers for TWD 6,900. In the U.S. it’s available online for USD 179.99.

AIPTEK plans to develop stores in the US and Europe, according to an article in the Taipei Times; one to partner with in your neck of the tablet-crazed woods…? (Related: Online platform for long-distance bedtime storiesPersonalized e-stories for kids on iPhone and KindleiPhone app narrates stories for young kids.)

Website: www.ebookincolor.com
Contact: en.ebookincolor.com/b52.php

Spotted by: Satyamadhav Mohapatra

http://springwise.com/

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The State of Linked Data in 2010


Written by Richard MacManus

In May last year we wrote about the state of Linked Data, an official W3C project that aims to connect separate data sets on the Web. Linked Data is a subset of the wider Semantic Web movement, in which data on the Web is encoded with meaning using technologies such as RDF and OWL. The ultimate vision is that the Web will become much more structured, which opens up many possibilities for “smarter” web applications.

// At this stage last year, we noted that Linked Data was ramping up fast – evidenced by the increasing number of data sets on the Web as at March 2009. Fast forward a year and the Linked Data ‘cloud’ has continued to expand. In this post we look at some of the developments in Linked Data over the past year.

Governments Get on Board

The most high profile usage of Linked Data over the past year has come from two governments: the United States and United Kingdom.

The U.S. was first to open up some of its non-personal data for use by developers, with the May 2009 launch of Data.gov. In January 2010, the U.K. government announced Data.gov.uk – with the help of Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the World Wide Web. At launch, Data.gov.uk had nearly 3,000 data sets available for developers to build mashups with. At the time it was more than three times as much data than the U.S. site offered.

Following on from the launch of Data.gov.uk, U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced a new British Institute for Web Science along with $45 million in government backing. The Institute will be led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and prominent researcher Nigel Shadbolt. This was great news for Linked Data, because according to Prime Minister Brown, the Institute “will help place the U.K. at the cutting edge of research on the Semantic Web and other emerging web and internet technologies.”

Commercial Applications

There have been commercial success stories too, such as OpenCalais for media, MusicBrainz for music and GoodRelations for e-commerce. There are also many commercial sites tapping into the general knowledge data store at dbpedia.org.

However it’s relatively early days for commercial applications of Linked Data. We’re beginning to see smart people explore potential use cases, such as this list for news organizations, but much of the early implementation is being done by publicly funded entities such as the U.K.’s BBC.


The latest version of the Linking Open Data dataset cloud, as at July 2009, maintained by Richard Cyganiak and Anja Jentzsch.

Just Get The Data Up There

To reiterate, Linked Data is data that has been marked up using Semantic Web technologies such as RDF (Resource Description Framework) or RDFa (a simpler variation). Minus the acronyms, Linked Data is simply structured data.

However one of the reasons the Semantic Web hasn’t yet been widely adopted, at least commercially, is that it’s often difficult or time consuming to mark up data semantically. RDF in particular has a reputation for being painful to code. With that in mind, the past year has been as much about prompting governments and organizations to put their data up on the Web in whatever form they can.

Indeed when I interviewed Sir Tim Berners-Lee last July, he told me that he’d be happy if governments “just put data up in whatever form it’s available.” He mentioned that “Comma separated values (CSV) files are remarkably popular.” He’d be much more happier if it was semantically marked up data, using the likes of RDF, but conversion can happen after it’s been uploaded to the Web.

So overall, Linked Data is still early in its adoption curve. However it’s undeniably become a solid on-ramp to the wider Semantic Web and world of structured data.

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Location-Based Social Networks: Delightful, Dangerous or Somewhere in Between?


Written by Sarah Perez

Are location-based social networks privacy disasters waiting to happen? Or are the supposed “dangers” simply being overhyped by those without a thorough understanding of what these new networks can and cannot do? Today, these questions are the subject of a serious debate among early adopters – the group of people who are first to sign up for and try out the latest technology innovations, testing everything from iPads to mobile apps.

There are currently a number of location-based social networks clamoring for your attention, including earlier contenders like Loopt and Brightkite as well as the later to arrive game-based networks like Foursquare and Gowalla. Even user review site Yelp is getting in on the action. So is Google. And so is Facebook, apparently.

But is sharing your location with your online “friends” asking for trouble?

Please Rob Me? OK! Says Burglar

Not too long ago, a social experiment called PleaseRobMe launched, displaying the aggregated real-time updates from Foursquare users who used the service’s social sharing feature to broadcast their updates publicly on Twitter. Although that site has since been shuttered, the point they were trying to make still resonates: sharing your physical location with a public network is a dangerous and really dumb idea.

Want more examples? How about the story of the Twitter user who broadcast his vacation only to find his house robbed when he came home. Or more recently, a women’s Facebook status update alerted a burglar that her home was empty and ready to be robbed. (The thief got away with $10,000 in stolen goods).

Social Networks and Privacy

However, the above incidents take place on a somewhat public stage. (The Facebook woman, for instance, had collected around 600 friends – surely not all of them were truly personal contacts?)

The new mobile social networking services allow for a bit more privacy. On these networks, you can control who you “friend” and, in some cases, who can see your exact location. Brightkite, for example, lets you choose to share updates with either just friends or with everyone. Foursquare lets you check in to locations “off the grid,” meaning checking in privately without letting your friends know where they can find you.

Redefining Friend

Unfortunately, the issue with all these networks comes down to how someone defines the word “friend.” Ever since the days of MySpace, it seems the goal has been to accumulate the most friends. This mindset has carried over to many other social networks, including Twitter, the social aggregator FriendFeed and Google Buzz, all of which publicly track and expose how many people follow you, an indication of popularity…and who doesn’t want to be popular?

The truth is, an online friend may or may not be worthy of the same level of trust as someone you know in real life. Sure, they might be – in fact, odds are they are lovely people – but without a history of interaction that extends beyond sharing a few links and comments on Twitter, you can’t possibly know that for sure.

Dangers to Women?

This is the point that Director of Partner Marketing for the Rackspace Cloud Michelle Greer makes on a recent blog post where she explains why she can’t get excited about geolocation. “I’ve had some not so pleasant experiences with someone who felt compelled to tell me that I couldn’t block him from certain circles of my life,” she wrote. “When I’d tweet that people should go to an event, he’d friend everyone involved. He was basically trying to be everywhere I was both online and off and it was very scary.”

Also frightening is the story from out-spoken blogger Harriet Jacobs. She discovered that Google had revealed her location with the launch of its social network, Buzz. It exposed what she believed were private comments on blog posts shared in Google Reader. Those who could now see these details included a group of anonymous strangers (aka “blog readers”) who had sent her threats over the years. Plus, her top emailed contact was none other than an abusive ex-husband. All this because Google mistakenly thought that your email contact list was – in all cases – your true social network. Google has since apologized for the blunder, but the damage was done.

Anecdotally, the fears of being socially stalked have been whispered behind the scenes ever since these mobile social networks launched. While some may claim (perhaps accurately) that these examples of the supposed dangers are fringe cases, the sad truth is that women are stalked and harassed more often than men – it’s just a statistical fact. Most won’t blog about it as publicly as Greer or Jacobs did, though – they simply won’t use a service that discloses their location.

You Can be Smart About This…but Can the Mainstream?

Now, granted, there are ways to maintain some privacy when using services like these, whether you’re worried about stalking, robbery or simply want to be left alone. Social networker extraordinaire Robert Scoble made a few suggestions in the comments of Greer’s blog post. His ideas: lie about your exact location, be more picky about your friends, change your name or check in after you’ve left. These are all tactics that would certainly work well, so now the decision users have to make is should they bother? Some may feel that’s quite a bit effort just to generate a badge collection or get a tip about a restaurant’s best dish. But others will find more compelling reasons to use mobile social networks. At big events, for example, these networks can help you find your friends. You may even save a few bucks on your meal thanks to a mobile coupon received upon check-in – and everyone loves saving money.

Still, if early adopters are still debating these risks and rewards, what will the mainstream think? They’re already terrified of the molesters on MySpace and the boss reading their Facebook status. And many of them are so technically un-savvy that they opted in to letting Facebook share their updates with everyone without even realizing it. Some of them don’t even know when they’re on Facebook or when they’re reading this blog. Are these people capable of using mobile social networks properly in ways that won’t put them at risk? Or will they add friends willy-nilly, broadcast their every move then be stunned when something bad happens?

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/location-based_social_networks_delightful_dangerous.php

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Got Roomies? Pay Your Bills With WePay, the Online Group Payment System


Written by Mike Melanson


wepay-logo.JPGIf you’ve ever lived in a house with multiple roommates, then you know the pain of collecting for the various bills each month and keeping track of who paid what and when. Add to that the frustration of one person paying cash while another only has checks on hand, and you’ll be ready to call it quits.

That is, unless you’ve found WePay, the online payment service launching tomorrow custom made to handle situations like roommates, teams, organizations or any group where everyone pitches in.

The company has been in private beta for the past six months and says that its testers have been giving it rave reviews. If it does what it says it does, we wouldn’t see why not.

So far, it has received funding from August Capital, Max Levchin (the founder of PayPal), Ron Conway (early investor in Google, Facebook and Twitter), Eric Dunn (former CTO and CFO of Intuit), and others.

WePay allows its users to set up shared financial accounts with varying levels of access for different users, giving them a way to manage group payments and finances. Asking your roommates to pay the monthly Internet bill doesn’t have to be a scrap of paper on the kitchen counter or a pocketful of unrolled coins, it can be an automated email and electronic payment.

The group accounts are FDIC-insured and can make payments by a WePay VISA prepaid card, paper checks and electronic transfers. Of course, the way WePay makes money in all of this is by taking a little bit of each transaction. According to the company, it collects “as little as 50 cents per transaction”.

On the other end of it, for the people paying into a group pot, WePay also offers some transparency, as they can watch where their collected funds are being spent. After having spent some years in cooperative living environments, this services sounds like a dream come true.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/got_roomies_pay_your_bills_with_wepay_the_online_g.php

Using Metaphor to Communicate in Zero Words or Less | ANidea – powered by the minds at AgencyNet


Our Capabilities section is a testament to the almost endless variety of talent within our Agency.

The section is responsible for communicating AgencyNet’s core service offerings. Each slide, designed by one of our talented designers, illustrates our twelve core capabilities with abstract, surreal, or literal visual representations.  Creating visually arresting designs is a common assignment here, but this particuar challenge was ambitious, even by our standards. It was our mission to design every slide such that the services could be understood without reading a single word of copy.

In my next few posts, I’ll pull apart a few of the designs I created for this section. The first one “SEO & SEM, is one of the most essential components the industry today. No matter the quality of any given web project or application, without properly executed SEO & SEM, it can become lost in the vast sea of digital content.

My challenge was to creatively and visually stress the necessity of this service. I wanted the viewer to feel the emotion of being stranded in a roiling sea of confusion and the relief of eventually being discovered — the metaphorical result of well executed SEO & SEM.

Being from the Bahamas, I’m what you call an “Island Baby,” I’ve had my share of moments when I was stranded for a nail-biting length of time on the open sea. Fortunately, a solution or vessel always came to the rescue right in the nick of time. Drawing a parallel from my own experiences, I gave the “SEO & SEM” text subtle life-like characteristics by placing it partially submerged and floating by a buoy.  The letters represent a floundering project, saved from disappearing into a vast, deep blue ocean (or cyber wasteland).

Change To This Theme

http://anidea.com/creative/using-metaphor-to-communicate-in-zero-words-or-less/

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7 Situations When Designers Outsource (To Other Designers) @ SmashingApps


Have you ever missed a client deadline because you were too busy?  Ever had a client request a type of design that you don’t offer?  One of the best kept secrets of successful designers and studios is ‘designer-to-designer’ outsourcing.  Designer-to-designer outsourcing involves one designer (such as a web design firm or graphic design studio) using another designer (often a freelance designer or sub-contractor) to help complete designs for their own clients. While there are scores of freelancers available (probably many in your own city), there are some emerging, and very powerful, online services that are setup specifically for designers seeking to outsource client projects.

For example, last month Entrepreneur.com featured DesignCrowd and its new Graphic Design Outsourcing Service that lets design studios outsource to other designers around the world.  Whether you use a service like DesignCrowd, or a freelance designer you find in a directory, outsourcing is an important part of a designer’s toolkit.  Here’s how design outsourcing works (using DesignCrowd as an example):

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OutsourceDesignProcess_SmashingApps2

Once you acknowledge that, in general, outsourcing is useful – the main battle for a designer is selecting the right project or task to outsource and the right person or company to outsource to.  This post focuses on the situations that a graphic design studio or professional designer should consider outsourcing to another graphic designer as well as some of the resources designers can use in those situations.

7 Situations Designers Outsource to Other Designers
Here are 7 specific reasons or situations where graphic designers will often seek to outsource to other graphic designers:

1) Preventing Client Loss (due to capacity) - if you find yourself turning away clients because you’re too busy – or (worst of all) find yourself taking on clients who become unhappy and then leave when you don’t meet a deadline – then you need to increase your ‘capacity’ to take on client projects.  Outsourcing is a good option in this situation as it can add design ‘capacity’ to yourself, your team or your business with minimal setup time.  For custom design projects, we recommend using  DesignCrowd’s online design outsourcing service. As DesignCrowd has around 10,000 designers and lets you use multiple designers on each project you run, essentially, they can provide access to unlimited capacity.

designcrowd-screenshot-small

2) Up-selling / Value-adding – outsourcing can also help you expand the services you offer clients. For example, if you’re a web designer and your client is a start-up business, up-sell them to a logo and then outsource it externally.  If that works, try offering them stationery design as well and maybe even some banner ad designs to help with marketing their website and business.  Doing this can help you offer services as a value add (and win clients that would’ve otherwise gone elsewhere) or simply make more money on each project by ‘up-selling’ (think the McDonald’s famous ‘would you like fries with that?’).

3) Completing Repetitive Tasks  – often times, larger design projects involve detailed, repetitive design work.  For example, if a brochure design project involves picture clipping of 200 bicycle photos then use an online picture clipping service.  If you’re a good designer trying to grow your business, your time is better spent selling to potential clients than doing time-consuming grunt work.  If you have a 50 page toy store website, and have the designs mocked up in Photoshop then a PSD-to-HTML conversion service like PSD2HTML.com is in order.

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4) Meeting a Tight Deadline - this is a specific type of capacity problem.  If you’ve got that sinking feeling you’re going to miss a client deadline, the solution might be a short term capacity boost – something to speed up that project.  If your deadline is 12 hours or less and you can’t get an extension, consider buying a template design.  Alternatively, use one an online service with a pool of international as they will A) have designers available 24/7 and B) you can potentially take advantage of timezone differences.

5) Enhancing Creativity - another genuine reason to outsource will be to keep your clients (whether they be regular or new) happy with the level of creativity and originality you’re producing.  If you, or your team, find yourself creating similar designs for multiple clients or similar designs for the same client maybe you need a third party to give you some fresh ideas or add some diversity to what you’re delivering!  In this situation consider running a design contest through a service like DesignCrowd (that pays designers participation payments even if you don’t use their design).  The design contest approach is particularly useful for projects that require concepts such as web page layout design and logo design projects.

designcrowd2-screenshot-small

6) Technical Work – if you’re a graphic designer who’s familiar with Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop but your project requires something technical (like website coding or Flash design), don’t knock back the client, consider taking it on and outsourcing the technical aspect.  If you don’t know someone who has the skills to do the work, consider using an online service like Rentacoder.com to find a provider.

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7) Outsourcing Components – where possible, consider outsourcing graphics components (such as photos, icons and buttons) of your broader design project.  Break it down your project as if it were a problem and solve it in parts.  There are loads of great stock photo and icon websites – Istockphoto.com is a good place to start.  If you need a custom design, consider one of the online services I mentioned above or look to use a freelance designer.

Summary: offer fries with that!
Designer-to-designer outsourcing can help you take on more projects and offer a broader set of services to your clients – both of which can help you earn more money.  The traditional approach to outsourcing design (using freelancers) can bring with it its own problems – for example, freelance designers can get busy with other clients; or they might be limited to a specific skill-set or style.  Graphic design services like DesignCrowd.com can help solve these problems and are great resources, not just for designers who are seeking work, but also for designers that need to outsource client graphic design work.  Remember, next time you’re pitching to a new client, don’t forget to smile and ask “would you like fries, a logo or a website with that?”

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/03/29/7-situations-when-designers-outsource-to-other-designers.html

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Woopra Is Becoming Another Feature Rich Alternative To Google Analytics @ SmashingApps


If you are a professional blogger or webmaster, there is a good change that you track your site’s traffic and analyze to learn how to better your website or blog. Such measures are an absolute must if you want your website to have a mark on the web. Most webmasters use Google Analytics for this purpose.

Although Google Analytics is the most popular application for this task and does a great job at tracking traffic, Woopra proves that there are areas in which Analytics falls short.

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Before I get into Woopra’s features, let me tell my readers that this tracking solution exists as a desktop application (for Windows, Mac, and Linux), an online application, and very soon will be usable on the iPhone.

Woopra has been declared better than Google Analytics by a number of sources, including the Washington Post What sets this service apart is its comprehensiveness.

Stats

This amazing service lets users not only track their traffic using a variety of tools, but it lets them do this in real time. Moreover site owners can have live chats with their site’s visitors.

Woopra also lets users monitor multiple websites. A one-stop service is created for monitoring all your sites. Through the quick site tabs at the top of the Woopra panel, you have one-click access to your registered blogs.

blogs

This traffic tracking solution comes in free and paid plans. Click here for details.

plans

If you have any questions about Woopra you can always check their FAQ page  or visit their homepage here.

Packing features clearly better then Google Analytics’, all webmasters should give Woopra a go.

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/03/30/woopra-is-becoming-another-feature-rich-alternative-to-google-analytics.html

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12 Coolest Web Apps To Simplify Your Business @ SmashingApps


This is one of the very best list of its kind where you can find incredibly useful and life saver FREE web apps that you probably never heard of and these would be great enough to bookmark or just for get in your knowledge. I hope everyone of you will like this list, you can try these whether you are an office worker, a manager, a supervisor, a student, a home user, etc.These are really amazing in respect to their features. This is the list of 12 Coolest Web Apps To Simplify Your Business (You Probably Never Heard Of). Just take a look at them and share your thought’s here.

You are welcome if you want to share more useful web apps that our readers/viewers may like. Do you want to be the first one to know the latest happenings at  smashingApps.com just subscribe to our rss feed and you can follow us on twitter , follow us on Google Buzz and do not forget to become our fan on facebook as well.

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YourAM

YourAM is a web based solution. There is no software to install. YourAM is built to automate your appointment management so that you can simply focus on your core business. This can be used for busy individuals or large organizations that need to automatically track, organize and manage appointments.

Meetifyr

Sometimes you just want to know which night in the next few weeks is best to meet up with friends. You don’t need a intergrated lifestyle tracking solution you just need to know when people are free. Meetifyr is the worlds simplest online shared calendar. You create a calendar, add your name and availability then send the link round to your friends to see when they’re free. It’s really that simple, try it if you don’t believe us.

BetaEasy

BetaEasy is equally useful for web sites/applications as well as for classic  desktop applications. This service helps you to built your own community of users who will cooperate with you and contribute to your website/software improvement. All feedback is collected in one place, priorities are clearly identified, feedback is turned to improvement. It’s really easy to get started.

Springnote

Springnote

Springnote is a great way for you to create notebooks for ideas, interests, multimedia, projects, and documents. It allows you to create pages, to work on them together with your friends, and to share files.

Preceden

Preceden is a free web 2.0 timeline visualization tool that lets you you make simple, powerful timelines for just about anything. This is perfect for autobiographies because our timelines lets you organize your life’s events into layers like relationships, location, education, jobs, etc. By organizing events in layers, you can see exactly how the important events in your life overlap.

Reddynote

Reddynote is a clear and comprehensive work platform, where all your tasks are being listed. Only a quick look on the platform allows you to see your status, tags (keywords) and progress of every single task you have.

CalendarFly

CalendarFly is the next generation free scheduling solution. CalendarFly is uniquely suited for school systems, sports teams, families, and any other organization because it automatically maintains and updates the schedules of teachers, administrators, coaches, parents, and students–making it easy for all of them to connect in real time and real places.

Bill4Time

With Bill4Time, you will always know where you money is going and how your business is performing. Monitor employee progress, client activity, unbilled time, and everything else you need to successfully manage your growing practice.

HiTask

HiTask

HiTask is a friendly and easy-to-use task management system that anyone can start using right away. It is designed to satisfy both sophisticated followers of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” methodology and anyone who just needs a quick and easy tool to manage their everyday tasks.

Needtomeet

You can use Needtomeet’s free and simple calendar to find a time that works for everyone. It will help you to see everyone’s availability at a glance. It is simple no-fuss way to find a time for your event. You dont need to download anything, no registration, and best of all, it’s free for everyone.

MakeSomeTime

MakeSomeTime

Tracking time has never been easier. Keep your times organised by clients, projects and tasks with MakeSomeTime. This is super easy and having simple user interface. No clutter. Just what you need to get your work done.

Fileshare HQ

Fileshare HQ is a great place to store and share files. You can upload files using the easy web admin, or you can use FTP and load direct to your account. You can use FileShareHQ from the web, or with your favourite FTP client, to upload files and share them with the team, clients or friends.

http://www.smashingapps.com/2010/03/30/12-coolest-web-apps-to-simplify-your-business.html

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Could You Sell a Red Brick? Try Us.


ogilvyone_contest

Our colleagues at OgilvyOne in New York have launched a global search for the “World’s Greatest Sales Person”.

Lucky finalists will win a fellowship at OgilvyOne and a trip to Cannes International Advertising Festival to pitch their ideas.

For more information and to enter, checkout the Ogilvy YouTube Channel!

http://www.asiadigitalmap.com/2010/03/worlds-greatest-salesma/

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Gmail implementa acceso OAuth para IMAP/SMTP | dolcebita


Google ha anunciado que incorporará en breve el protocolo OAuth en su servicio Gmail a través de IMAP y SMTP, ofreciendo una forma segura y fácil de que las aplicaciones externas puedan acceder a nuestra información del correo electrónico sin tener que facilitarles nuestra contraseña.

El protocolo OAuth nos permitirá autorizar a otras páginas web el acceso a nuestros datos de correo y hacer uso de esa información sin necesidad de que almacenen nuestra contraseña, simplemente tendremos que tener la sesión iniciada en Gmail. Uno de los ejemplos más común es permitir que una red social pueda acceder a tu libreta de direcciones para enviar invitaciones a tus amigos.

Esta implementación ya está disponible en muchos de los servicios que ofrece Google y con este nuevo paso aplicaciones no desarrolladas por Google podrán realizar operaciones en tu cuenta de correo de una forma más segura. Este es el caso por ejemplo de Syphir, una aplicación para el iPhone que realiza notificaciones cada vez que recibes un correo y puede realizar acciones para organizar tu bandeja de entrada.

syphir Gmail implementa acceso OAuth para IMAP/SMTP

Este protocolo de validación ya está en funcionamiento en varios servicios web como Twitter.

http://www.dolcebita.com/2010/03/gmail-implementa-acceso-oauth-para-imapsmtp/

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Google Chrome es el navegador más seguro | dolcebita


por Marcos Esperón el 30 Marzo del 2010 a las 9:36 am | Leído 59 veces.

pwned Google Chrome es el navegador más seguroActualmente el navegador web es una de las aplicaciones indispensables en los equipos de los usuarios. Mucha parte de nuestro tiempo la pasamos navegando y utilizando servicios web y redes sociales.

Por ello es fundamental que el usuario conozca las diferentes alternativas de navegadores web que existen y saber el nivel de seguridad y protección ante posibles ataques que infecten nuestros equipos de virus o accedan a nuestro datos.

Dentro de la conferencia anual de seguridad informática CanSecWest se celebra el famoso concurso Pwn2Own. Famoso porque se trata de poner a prueba la fiablidad de los navegadores web más conocidos e intentar hackearlos para hacerse con el dominio del equipo utilizando agujeros de seguridad que van encontrando durante el año.

Charlie Miller se llevó el primer premio de 10.000 dólares al utilizar uno de los 20 exploits que ya tenía listos para el navegador Safari, el primero en caer, y hacerse con el control de una MacBook Pro. En el caso del iPhone, pudieron hackearlo en menos de 30 segundos.

Posteriormente fueron Mozilla Firefox e Internet Explorer los siguientes en caer. Sin embargo, a favor de Microsoft hay que decir que se realizaron pruebas con Internet Explorer 8 y es mucho más estable que versiones anteriores y que otros navegadores que existen ahora en el mercado.

Finalmente Google Chrome quedó otro año más como el navegador más seguro al no caer ante ninguno de los ataques de los concursantes. El ganador Charlie Miller comentaba que aunque ha encontrado algún bug en el navegador de Google el modelo de sandbox que incluye lo hace muy seguro.

Y es que ese modelo de sandbox (caja de arena) es un mecanismo de seguridad que consiste en ejecutar la aplicación en un entorno aislado del resto del sistema. De este modo si un atacante logra encontrar vulnerabilidades en el navegador y poder ejecutar código arbitrario en la máquina, el mecanismo ayudará a prevenir que este código cause daño al sistema. Este sandbox también ayuda a prevenir que se modifique o incluso se vean los archivos o algún tipo de información del equipo.

http://www.dolcebita.com/2010/03/google-chrome-es-el-navegador-mas-seguro/

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