Category Archives: Business

Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Global Philanthropy

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

First of all, thanks to Aaron Brown for finding this awesome site! Not only a great musician, a great web hunter. Find him on Twitter: @mrvoxius

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be taking a look at a site that involves not one but TWO of my passions: wine and reading. Yes, they can be had simultaneously. And for such a good cause! Today we’ll be looking at Fledgling Wine.

From the site: “The Fledgling Initiative aims to make awesome wine for the benefit of Room to Read, a non-profit organization extending literacy and educational opportunities to children worldwide. Every case sold will provide approximately 60 local language children’s books and promote education in the world’s poorest regions.”

Find them on Twitter: @CRUSHPAD

Room to Read “….seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education. Working in collaboration with local communities, partner organizations and governments, we develop literacy skills and a habit of reading among primary school children, and support girls to complete secondary school with the relevant life skills to succeed in school and beyond.”

Find them on Twitter: @RoomToRead

Several noteworthy Room To Read programs include first and foremost their flagship program, Reading Room. “Reading Room, has established more than 7,000 libraries since Room to Read was founded in 2000. By engaging children with books in a fun and meaningful way, the Reading Room program helps children develop a lifelong habit of reading. ”

A global Andrew Carnegie.

Another initiative worth checking out would be the Local Language Publishing. The problem that a lot of children face in poorer communities are the lack of books written in their native languages. They not only have to struggle for access to books, but then face a language they may not know. “Books are often field-tested by our staff with local children, to garner comments on plot, character development, language and general suitability for the target age group. All of our local language books are printed within the respective countries, where we publish 5,000 – 10,000 copies per new title and distribute them to our network of schools and libraries, and to other non-governmental organizations.”

A third initiative addresses classroom overcrowding. “Room to Read established our School Room program to provide children in the developing world with better access to appropriate learning spaces. Our School Room program sets high standards and expectations while partnering with local communities to meet specific village needs in building primary and secondary schools, and in some cases, preschools.”

There are several other programs and iniatives that I encourage you to read about on the Room to Read Programs Page.

In order to increase support for Room to Read, Twitter and Chruspad have joined together to sell wine to support the non-profit organization.

You can purchase a lovely Pinot Noir.

Or, you could purchase a Chardonnay.

In closing I generally can be counted on to support any group, cause, or organization that supports libraries. Bringing the literacy of the world up is so crucial to the peace and understanding process that we need to support organizations that fulfill these rolls. And, as an added perk….wine! How could you possibly go wrong? Good luck, Room to Read!

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Tuesday Two.Oh! The home-buying edition!

I’m sorry, folks! Due to the fact that I’m buying a house, and turning 30 (yes, on the same day!) there will be no Tuesday Two.Oh! today. However, I will leave you with some real estate related 2.0 sites to check out.

In no specific order, please enjoy:

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From the site
: “We aim to be a delightfully smart partner when you are looking to buy a home. The smart part should help you find your dream home (or at least the dream home within your budget) and arm you with data and information about local real estate (without too much work). The delightful part should make you smile and keep you coming back.”

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From the site:”HotPads strives to build the most comprehensive, interactive marketplace of real estate and location-based services, presented with an innovative user interface and a memorable brand.”

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From the site:”Our roots go back almost 6 years but unlike many new “real estate technology” companies we are not trying to change the business model, but rather provide the technology to augment an existing one. Over the years we’ve worked very closely with agents and companies both large and small, providing the technology to support their core business, selling homes. Our goal is to “Empower the real estate professional” and as an extension empower the consumer. We don’t believe in placing additional barriers between the consumer and the agent.”

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From the site
:”Zillow.com is an online real estate service dedicated to helping you get an edge in real estate by providing you with valuable tools and information.”

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From the site
:”Homethinking is an online service that helps home owners choose the most remarkable neighborhood real estate agents to sell their house. We measure performance by monitoring real estate transactions to know which houses each real estate agent has sold, for how much and how long on average it took them to do so. There are also user reviews by home owners who have sold their house with the particular agent that helps determine the rank of them. If you’d like to know more, read our manifesto and why the decision to engage a real estate agent is possibly the most financially significant you will make.”

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Managers and Employees.

Tuesday Two.Oh! is not meant as an endorsement, but as an exploration of the tools that are out there. Click at your own risk. 🙂

Today on Tuesday Two.Oh! we’ll be talking about something I wish I had known about when I was a manger. One of the first things I did was institute a blog in order to facilitate communication across hours, since the departments I managed spanned from 7:30 in the morning until 2am the following morning. We needed to be able to post documents and talk when physical meeting was not an option.

Todays topic would have facilitated that quite nicely. In the vein of Twitter, let’s take a look at Co-Op.

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From the site: “Co-op makes it easy to stay connected with your co-workers without disrupting them. Your team can use it to post updates, ask questions, share links, and track time. Quickly share your daily agenda with your co-workers. Quickly scan your co-workers’ agendas. Then cancel your daily status meetings! As each team member updates status and tracks time, Co-op automatically records the transcript. You can go back in time to see what your team has accomplished each day.”

Signing up for Co-Op is extremely easy and fast. They will send you a confirmation email immediately, and once you have approved your account you’re in. The first thing you’re asked to do is either create a network or join one.

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The set up for your network is also quite easy. Pick a name, invite members, and choose a time zone, and you’re virtually done.

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Once you have finished these basic functions, your workplace social network has been set up. You will be looking at a screen similar to Twitter or any other instant messaging service you may have used before. You can update your status to let the rest of your coworkers know what you’re doing.

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On the sidebar, each member of their team can type in their daily agenda or send a group announcement. The sidebar also displays everyone elses online status.

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Take a look at the example provided by Co-Op:

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Updating your profile is simple, but I also found it frustrating. Co-Op seems to have strict limits as to the size of picture you can use, so make sure it’s 200×200 pixels before you upload it.

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The next few screen shots I am going to walk you through are from the site and show a more populated social network.

The most prominent feature of Co-Op is the “Work Stream.” Here you will see the updates of all of your cowokers in one “stream,” similar to what you would find on your Twitter stream.

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Co-Op would also like that the stream be used socially, where workers should feel free to post links or videos that are not work related. They call this feature the “Water Cooler.” Also, Co-Op includes time stamps so that you can see when people are posting their updates.

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And that’s it to set up a social network for your coworkers on Co-Op. It was so easy and fast, I was really impressed.

There are some tings that this site made me think about, and the main was was that terrifying word: MICRO-MANAGER! Constant updates by your coworkers or employees might lead a manger to become more controlling in their subordinates professional lives. That said, it might also boost a sense of competition which will lead to increased productivity.

When I did manage a small department, knowing what my employees were doing was key to our operation. At the time the private blog sufficed, but I can see the potential for an application like Co-Op. It’s possible this site could be used between professionals in a group, who do not necessarily work for the same institution. If there is a common project that has to be worked on, then having constant updates from the participants can’t be a bad thing.

If I were to come into another department as a manager now, I would likely try something like this. As with anything, though, I worry about overload and the old mantra of “yet another site” people have to look at. But if you make something a vital piece of your work flow, it could be beneficial.

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

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SlideServe Tutorial

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Language Lovers.

You should always think about what sites you sign up for- and if you don’t think you’ll use a site listed here, don’t sign up for it. These posts are not meant as an endorsement of any singular site or tool, but they are meant to alert you as to what may be out there to make your life easier. It’s your decision to follow any of these links.

Many of us would like to learn another language- or brush up on a language that may be getting a little rusty. There are a lot of tools out there that range from traditional classes to pricey services like Rosetta Stone. The tool we’ll be taking a look at today has some flaws, but is and interesting and potentially powerful 2.0 tool to aid those who would like polish up their language skills. Let’s take a minute to talk about:


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From Live Mocha: “Livemocha is an exciting e-learning Web 2.0 startup founded by a group of experienced and successful entrepreneurs based in the Seattle area. Livemocha addresses a $20 billion worldwide language learning market fueled by rapid globalization, immigration and travel. Livemocha is a first of its kind web based language learning solution integrating online instructional content with a global community of language learners. Livemocha is a venture funded company backed by Maveron, a leading Seattle based venture firm with tremendous consumer and e-learning expertise.”

They go on to talk about how globalization led them to create a dynamic 2.0 site designed to aid people involved in international business. Traveling always dictates a basic understanding of a native language, but in order conduct business a deeper knowledge is required.

One of the most interesting things about Live Mocha is that hooks you up with people globally. If you are learning French, you will be matched up with native French speakers. And likewise, those learning English will be matching up with you as a native English speaker. As a member you can learn a language as well as help others learn yours- it’s a really dynamic and interesting tool.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll see if you decide to take a look at Live Mocha. Logging into Live Mocha is easy and will look like this:

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Once you have logged you will be taken to your home screen. Here you will be able to see an overview of your Live Mocha activity. Live Mocha assigns you points for each activity done, meaning if you complete a reading assignment you will be assigned points for them. Also, when you critique someone else’s work you also receive “teacher points” to show that you have helped another member. It will look like this:

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You will also have a box that will show you which language you are working on, how far along you are in that lesson, and will provide you a button which you would click to resume the lesson. It looks like this:

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Below these displays you will see your language connections on Live Mocha. You will see people you have already “friended” as well as suggestions from Live Mocha. These are the people that will be helping you learn your chosen language- you can chat with them and exchange messages. The display looks like this:

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Towards the bottom of this image you can see how many assignment submissions I have made, as well as those waiting for correction from my friends. I can click on those numbers and see what they have submitted for correction. If you choose to do this, you will go to a page displaying the submission. You will be able to rate the user on spelling, grammar, and content. You can leave a comment detailing the corrections needed, or you can leave it blank only rating the submission. It will look like this:

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What I would like to do now is share with you a brief video tour of Live Mocha. I am currently taking their Mandarin course, and this is my actual assignment and lesson.

In closing, most of us realize that our world is getting smaller- we share a global space but not a global language. Learning new languages is an important step in becoming a global citizen and understanding the thousands of cultures that exist across this planet.

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Tuesday Two.Oh! Tools for Business Students and Small Businesses

You should always think about what sites you sign up for- and if you don’t think you’ll use a site listed here, don’t sign up for it. These posts are not meant as an endorsement of any singular site or tool, but they are meant to alert you as to what may be out there to make your life easier. It’s your decision to follow any of these links.

For our first Tuesday Two.Oh! we will be discussing the community site:


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From the site: “LittleEngine is not so much a web presence as it is an online community that is driven by the very people that take part in it’s experience. The goal of LittleEngine is to simply replicate the very actions that people demonstrate on a daily basis: locating small businesses that can provide them with the products or services they need. We facilitate this by providing the resources to find and check out businesses that might have been unknown to consumers and business owners alike. LittleEngine provides the tools for business owners to reach out to consumers and consumers to find businesses that satisfy their interests.”

One of the interesting aspects of this site will surely be the local listings.  An easy search for “74403” lead to several listings of local (Broken Arrow) businesses that have joined the site.  You can search for any nation-wide zip-code here.

An example of a zip-code search:

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Here’s what the results page will look like:

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If a business has signed up to be a part of this web community, you can look at their profile page. If you are the owner of a small business you can sign up for an account and display photographs, a map to your location, your address, and many other tidbits that will entice new customers. Your profile page will look something like this:

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A search from the homepage can also hook a user up with local businesses within a zip-code. These businesses do not necessarily have to be “member” businesses. These non-member entities will only have a listing similar to what you might find at YellowPages.

A search for businesses involved in food in the 74403 zip-code will look like this:

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And the results will come back like this:

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In closing we might want to think about the networking potential with a site like this. Entering your business’ profile could potentially bring in new clients interested in patronizing local shops and stores owned by people in the area. This might also provide you with the importunity to meet other people who own small businesses.

Websites all depend on their users- if you join a site, make sure you are being represented in a way that is desirable to new clients.

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