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Do we really need an International Women in ICT Day?

This item was filled under [ Business ]

As technology advances in the coming years, we can fully expect Britain to be pushing the boundaries of innovation. After all, we invented the World Wide Web, and ARM architecture, and the Dyson, and Heston Blumenthal. We've proved that the UK isn't just some adorable village in which vicars on bicycles deliver glass milk bottles to a post office run by the pig from Babe. We've been all fierce and modern. We've hosted the Olympics. We've got a train that runs to Paris under the sea. We're completely 21st-century.

So why are we now celebrating International Women in IT Day? Surely the UK, with all its forward thinking, has a completely balanced workforce with no barriers to entry for any person of any gender, race or minority? In 2014 womenkind has come a long way - we have equal education, have won the right to vote, the pill, and haven't been burnt as witches since 1727. So why are we even talking about the issue of proportionate gender representation at all?

Because despite how far we've come, we're not at the end of the journey yet, and IT is one industry where there still ...

Tocomail Debuts An Email Service Designed For Kids

This item was filled under [ Technology ]

Tocomail, a new iPhone and iPad application launching today, aims to be first email service for kids. The app was designed not only with children in mind, but also in collaboration with kids who provided input as Tocomail’s early adopters. But more importantly, Tocomail offers parental controls that allow mom and/or dad to designate who the child is able to email using Tocomail, and who they can accept email from in return.

The company was founded last year by Dennis Bolgov and Pavel Istomin, long time friends and former classmates at the Moscow Engineering and Physics Institute. Bolgov came to the U.S. back in 1998, and ended up working for a company called Lobby7, acquired by Nuanace Communications in 2003. He later went on to work on Nuance’s speech-enabled mobile interfaces – technology that has since made its way to other mobile applications and services, including Apple’s SIRI.

Read more: Tocomail Debuts An Email Service Designed For Kids

American Consumers in 2013 Most Upbeat Since Before Recession

This item was filled under [ Finance ]

American consumers in 2013 were more upbeat than at any time in the previous six years as views on the economy, finances and the buying climate improved.

The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index (COMFCOMF) averaged minus 31.4 for 2013, the highest since 2007, when it was minus 10.5. The weekly index fell for the first time since mid-November, dropping to minus 28.7 for the period ended Dec. 29, from minus 27.4.

An improved job market, higher stock prices and rising home values lifted sentiment at the end of the year and helped drive holiday retail shopping. Stronger wage and employment growth would help propel bigger gains in confidence and encourage Americans to boost spending, which accounts for almost 70 percent of the economy.

“Consumers were somewhat uneasy in the latest week, however, record stock market evaluations and increased job creation has bolstered confidence levels from relatively low levels,” said Richard Yamarone, a senior economist for Bloomberg LP in New York.

Other figures today showed jobless claims declined last week to the lowest level in a month. Applications for unemployment benefits fell by 2,000 to 339,000 in the week ended Dec. 28, according to the Labor ...

10 New Year’s Resolutions for Young Workers

This item was filled under [ Business ]

The first of January is quickly approaching, and many individuals have already drawn up their list of New Year's resolutions. Losing weight, exercising more, and even being nicer to people are popular pledges to begin the new year, but what about improving your career?

Each year, staffing firm Spherion conducts an Emerging Workforce Study, a survey of American workers designed to uncover trends in employee mindsets and employer practices, in the context of social and economic events.

"Throughout the last 15 years, Spherion has tracked and studied the changing attitudes of the American workforce and the resulting implications for U.S. employers," said Sandy Mazur, division president of Spherion. "​Our study reveals thoughts about topics such as recruitment, retention, work-life balance programs, job satisfaction, social media use in the workplace from both the perspectives of employees and employers. This research helps companies make more informed HR decisions that will positively drive employee engagement, productivity, retention and an army of brand influencers." [Business Idea: Human Resource Outsourcing]

As the up-and-coming generation of business leaders, millennials should be making concerted efforts early on in their careers to get the most out of their job experiences. Based on Spherion's 2013 ...

Moguls Rent South Dakota Addresses to Dodge Taxes Forever

This item was filled under [ Finance ]

Among the nation’s billionaires, one of the most sought-after pieces of real estate right now is a quiet storefront in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

A branch of Chicago’s Pritzker family rents space here, down the hall from the Minnesota clan that controls the Radisson hotel chain, and other rooms held by Miami and Hong Kong money.

Don’t look for any heiresses in this former five-and-dime. Most days, the small offices that represent these families are shut. Even empty, they provide their owners with an important asset: a South Dakota address for their trust funds.

Visual Data: Tax-Friendly South Dakota Shelters Out-of-State Billions

In the past four years, the amount of money administered by South Dakota trust companies like these has tripled to $121 billion, almost all of it from out of state. The families needn’t actually move to South Dakota, or deposit their money at a local bank, or even touch down in the private jet. Little more than renting an address in Sioux Falls is required to take advantage of South Dakota’s tax-friendly trust laws.

States like South Dakota are “creating laws that are conducive to a massive ...

Tagged with: [ ]

The Reverse Guest Blogging Trend in 2014 May Be Huge: How it Works

This item was filled under [ Marketing ]

As Google moves toward a semantic approach, focusing more on the big picture of a search as opposed to keywords, producing creative content is going to be more important than ever. This is where the idea of reverse guest blogging comes into play, and it’s a big reason that I suspect this will be a huge business trend in 2014.

The idea behind reverse guest blogging is that you, the website owner, find guest bloggers and ask them to offer content to your site. Many small business owners often find themselves saying, “I have plenty of people reaching out to me to post on my site, I don’t need to spend my time trying to find more.”

It makes complete sense, but the idea of reverse guest blogging looks at it a different way. In fact, that reaction is exactly where so many potentially go wrong. To answer the question above, you aren’t necessarily finding bloggers for your blog because you don’t have enough, it’s because you want the highest quality bloggers (and therefore content) possible.

And chances are, the “highest quality bloggers” aren’t knocking at your door.

The Benefits of Reverse Guest Blogging

You Build Stronger ...

Business Networks 2014: Disrupt And Conquer

This item was filled under [ Business ]

Companies plugged into the Networked Economy en masse in 2013. And in 2014, they’ll supercharge their efforts. Leveraging business networks, they’ll harness the insights and intelligence of entire communities to break down the barriers to collaboration and enable new processes that drive innovation and competitive advantage. But these aren’t your father’s networks. They’re smarter, faster and more global than ever. And they promise to transform business in ways never thought possible. Here are five things you can expect from business networks in the year ahead:

1. Lurkers will get engaged. Plenty of companies took to the sidelines in 2013 and watched as innovative companies embraced business networks as a new model for business. In 2014, they’ll join the game and make collaborating via networks a priority.

2. Companies will get smarter. Networks are the most efficient, effective way to connect with a global network of partners and transact business. But their real power lies in what goes on inside them – all the interactions, transactions and commentary, and the massive amounts of insights and data that they generate. Companies will move beyond transactions and tap into these insights and data to drive competitive advantage.

3. Collaboration will drive ...

Tagged with: [ ]

10 Strategies for Surviving a Cash Flow Slump

This item was filled under [ Finance ]

Maybe you haven’t had the earnings you projected you would this year. Maybe some key invoices are still unpaid and you’re getting panicky.

Fear not — you’re not alone.

To learn how to navigate a cash-flow slump, we asked 10 entrepreneurs from the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) the following:

“What’s one strategy you used successfully this year to get through a cash flow slump?”

Here’s what YEC community members had to say:

1. Stay Motivated

“You need to be at your best when times are tough. Odds are that a solution to your problem will require a lot of creativity, communication and encouragement. Staying motivated while still being honest is a must if you’re trying to get to greener pastures. “ ~ Tyler ArnoldSimplySocial Inc.

2. Defer Founders’ Compensation

“In the past year, we had to ramp up our team, office and many other aspects of our business prior to landing the accounts that would pay for these costly improvements. My business partner and I gave up our compensation temporarily to make this easier on the company. We knew that the company would more than pay us back in the long run.” ~ Brennan WhiteWatchtower

3. ...

5 Tips for Changing Careers on a Budget

This item was filled under [ Business ]

Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out what you want to be when you grow up, and that’s OK.

Whether it’s a newly-discovered passion, previous job burnout or a change in location, workers across the country are itching for a career change. According to a recent survey conducted by the University of Phoenix, over half of working adults are currently considering changing career with 24% of respondents saying they are either "extremely" or "very interested" in switching careers.

But changing careers can come with a cost, especially when it requires breaking into a new industry or getting more training or education. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to find a new position without having to dig too deep into your pockets.

Consider a Career Counselor. Career counselors - or headhunters - can help advance your career, but they come at a price. That price tag can be worth the level of expertise and connections they bring to the table, but evaluate their services before committing to work with someone.

Talk with a several headhunters and compare their offerings to what you know you can do on your own via employment websites and job ...

Tagged with: [ , , ]

Is Your Small Business Getting All It Can from the Federal Government?

This item was filled under [ Business ]

I have a love-hate relationship with webinars. First, I love them because often they offer practical information in a time-efficient manner.

Then there are two dimensions to my hatred; and yes, “hate” is overstating it a bit. First, many of the best webinars are rather expensive and second, while the free webinars often include good information, they are usually trying to sell something.

That’s why I’m so excited about a long list of webinars—and other training materials—from the federal government.

You heard me right. Something our government is doing excites me, and it’s not the lurid details of a new scandal that’s plastered all over the front page of the New York Post.

Go Where the Money Is

Whatever criticism or praise you have about the federal bureaucracy, there’s one thing we can all agree on: It’s a huge money-spending machine, and savvy businesses, both large and small, find ways to get a chunk of their tax dollars back.

We’re going to take a closer look at two arms of the federal government that can really make a huge difference in the bottom line of any business: the Government Services Administration (GSA) and Small Business Administration (SBA).

Simply put, ...

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