Archive for March, 2008

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Say It To My Facebook

March 29, 2008

Mac guys gone wild

So you’ve certainly heard of Facebook and you may even have a profile of your own. But why?

Let’s be honest with each other. You use Facebook to brag. You post pictures of yourself on vacation. You update your job history so you look like an important player and you ask everyone you’ve ever met to be your friend. If you don’t see them quarterly or you don’t talk to them in person every few months, why do you want to “friend” them?

It’s not because you care. It’s because you want everyone who has ever known you to realize how cool you are now and what cool things you’ve been up to. It’s because you stood in front of a rock star last summer or posed with attractive people who’s names you don’t know during spring break. And hell, the more people are friends with you, the cooler you are. I bet you haven’t spoken to 75% of your “friends” in at least a year. I also bet you look at other people’s profiles just to compare your life progress to the kid’s you met in high school, college or the guy across the office.

Do you miss the good old days bad enough to reacquire cliques and gossip on walls and show off pictures like you were trading your wallet-sized class photos back in the late 80’s?

Wait… you do have a Facebook account? Sweet, because we want to be your friend.

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1 x 1 x 1 = 1

March 17, 2008

iPhone

So I, like many, own an iPod, but it took me a while. I didn’t jump on the first round of 5 or 10 gig devices, or even the 20 or 40 gig product. I wisely waited until the launch of the video iPod, enabling me to save both photos, videos and music on one device. Then, of course, came the iPhone. This device not only does what my video iPod can, but swiftly browses the internet, facilitates multiple email accounts and, of course, serves as a telephone. If I pull the trigger on an iPhone, my $300 video iPod will end up in a drawer. However, streamlining my phone, computer and music onto one super-device would make a lot of sense.

Detroit automaker Chrysler faces a similar dilemma. Their brand is struggling badly, showing a 2007 loss of just under $3 billion. New owners Cerberus Capital Management is looking to turn things around. With an incredible track record of acquisitions Cerberus is looking to trim the Chrysler fat, eliminating small dealers and creating a more advantageous shopping process for consumers.

Your town or a neighboring one may have a popular Jeep dealership. But two towns over, there may be another Jeep dealership and in the next town, a Dodge store. Rather than make three area dealers burn money marketing against one another, Cerberus is encouraging smaller dealers to sell to the larger ones and create strong, multi-brand destination centers.

The idea is costly and controversial. Smaller dealers will demand top dollar to forfeit their operations in favor a merger. Cerberus is counting on the larger stores to open their checkbooks, anticipating that the out of pocket expense today may be high, but the long-term benefits of choosing store quality over dealer quantity will pay off. With a slumping economy and increased gas prices, consumers prefer shopping multiple brands at a single location.

If we can withdraw cash, drop off a prescription and buy groceries under the same roof, our lives are made easier. Bundling our land line, internet and cable television certainly makes bill paying simpler. So maybe it’s time for me to pick up that iPhone…

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Your Digital Identity

March 8, 2008

MC Escher

What does your online image look like? If someone knew your name, but wanted to learn more about you through information found on the web, what could they dig up?

There are hundreds of ways to enhance your digital reputation. The most common is to operate your own web site. For about $20 per year, you can own “www.YourName.com,” assuming no one has already scooped it up. Even if you aren’t ready to manage a web page, “parking” your site is recommended. This limits other web browsers with the same name as you from launching a project that may misrepresent who you are.

Another simple way is with Wikipedia. Wikipedia.org is policed by its users and updated by tens of thousands of members each and every day. However, obtaining a Wikipedia account is not immediate. Programmers want to recognize that you are a trustworthy user and will not smear or negatively alter existing content on the site. Once your reputation is established, write a brief statement about yourself and submit it to the Wikipedia programmers. When approved, you’ll stamp your name into the Wiki world and provide web browsers with a viable resource for learning more about you.

If you have other suggestions, be it basic or advanced, simply let us know. We’re excited to hear how you’ve made out.