- Mashable Weekend Recap: 28 Stories You May Have Missed
- Twitter Reacts to Kim Jong-il’s Death
- Inside The Atlantic: How One Magazine Got Profitable by Going ‘Digital First’
- YouTube Cover Song Face-Off: Gavin DeGraw’s ‘Not Over You’
- 7 Free iPhone Apps that Make Shopping a Cinch
- 10 Funniest GIF Trends of 2011
- 4 Tips For Landing a Job in Social Media
- How to Influence Purchasing Decisions On The Web [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Steve Jobs: 20 Life Lessons
- Apple Uses Santa to Soft-Sell Siri [VIDEO]
- Facebook Adds Timeline Support to iPhone App
- Top 10 Tech This Week [PICS]
- A Guide to SEO Salaries By Market [INFOGRAPHIC]
- Is a Need to Please Hurting Your Business?
- Internet Justice League: Superheroes of the Online World [SUNDAY COMICS]
- The 10 Craziest Kickstarter Projects of 2011
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 03:59 AM PST
As the highly anticipated holidays drew ever nearer, over the weekend people were thinking about shopping, snowflakes, Santa Claus and parties galore. Amid all that chaos, quotable and notable Mashable things were happening around here, and we stayed on top of them for you.
For instance, Google strived to prove its allegiance to its “don’t be evil” mantra with a graceful and beautiful search query trick, while giving parents a chance to trick their kids with an ersatz call from Santa Claus. Meanwhile, we stayed busy findings tips, techniques and crazy Kickstarter projects for you to read about, leavened with a bit of levity thanks to dozens of pictures of crazy cats and animated GIFs galore. Yes, friends, we did stoop that low, but we liked it, and you probably will too. It’s the holidays.
Indeed, ’tis the season to be jolly, so while you got your jollies over the past few days, we gathered all the big Mashable stories together for you right here in one place. So go ahead, catch up and read all, some, or none of them here in our intrepid Weekend Recap, but most importantly, seize each day of this week, finishing out the home stretch of the year at your peak.
News & Opinion Essentials
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 01:23 AM PST
North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has died last Saturday while on a train trip, with his youngest son Kim Jong-un being named the new country leader, Reuters reports.
Kim Jong-il was known by the west as a dictator who helped turn North Korea into an extremely repressive, poor and reclusive state, and the reactions to his death on Twitter don’t show him much kindness.
Soon after the news of his death broke out, the term “Team America” started trending on Twitter. It’s a reference to “Team America: World Police,” a movie by South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, in which Kim Jong-Il is featured as an evil dictator trying to conquer the world.
Other reactions are mostly puns on Kim Jong-il’s name and jokes about his extremely self-serving personality.
Although the social media reaction to the Jong-il’s passing is lighthearted, the situation is North Korea is uneasy at the very least. Kim Jong-il’s son and heir, Kim Jong-un, is a mystery – even his exact age is unknown (he’s believed to be in his twenties).
Some experts even believe that Jong-il’s death might shake up North Korean’s regime.
“Up until tonight, if anybody had asked you what would be the most likely scenario under which the North Korean regime could collapse, the answer would be the sudden death of Kim Jong-il. And so I think right now we’re in that scenario and we don’t know how it’s going to turn out,” said Victor Cha, a Korea expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.
Image credit: www.kremlin.ru
For more Social Media coverage:
Posted: 19 Dec 2011 12:56 AM PST
The Atlantic’s James Bennet, Scott Havens, Bob Cohn and Justin Smith. Photo courtesy of Richard A. Bloom.
With consecutive quarterly growth in both print and digital advertising sales, The Atlantic has emerged as a vanguard in an industry harassed by declining ad revenues and falling circulations. And the credit, its executives say, belongs to the “digital first” strategy it embraced four years ago.
The Atlantic, a monthly magazine on politics, foreign affairs, economics and culture, made $1.8 million in 2010, its first profitable year in decades. In October, digital ad revenues topped print for the first time, up 86% year-over-year, but not at the sacrifice of print. In fact, The Atlantic sold more print ads in October than it had in any other month since David Bradley acquired the title in 1999. Traffic to its three web properties — TheAtlantic.com, TheAtlanticWire.com and TheAtlanticCities.com — recently surpassed 11 million uniques per month, up a staggering 2500% since The Atlantic brought down its paywall in early 2008.
Five years ago, no one could have foreseen that The Atlantic, a 154-year-old publication founded by a collective of New England intellectuals, would have become a leader in the so-called digital age. Even in 2008, digital only made up 9% of total ad revenues, says publisher Jay Lauf.
A Tough Decade
The Atlantic is headquartered in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Richard A. Bloom.
David Bradley, a seasoned entrepreneur who had acquired The National Journal in 1997, purchased The Atlantic from Mort Zuckerman for $10 million in 1999. In its first year, losses totaled $4.5 million. By the time Bradley relocated The Atlantic‘s headquarters from Boston to Washington, D.C., in 2005, he had lost some $30 million on the venture altogether, with losses soaring as high as $8 million in 2002 alone.
"Atlantic had so serially failed that it was overwhelmingly likely the next thing we would do was fail, and the next thing we would do was fail,” Bradley recalled in a New York Times interview last year.
Bradley says a succession of strategic hires in the last half of the decade turned things around for the magazine, however. Among them: James Bennet, the New York Times correspondent who became editor of the magazine in 2006, and Justin Smith, who became president of Atlantic Consumer Media in 2007 after leaving his post as president and publisher of The Week.
Bradley’s hiring antics are famous. In 2007, he lured national correspondent Jeffrey Goldberg away from the New Yorker by sending ponies to his house, charming his children.
“He’s incredibly persistent and makes you feel like you’re God’s gift to journalism,” Goldberg said of the incident. “The charm is incredibly disarming.”
Bennet was pulled in through a series of long conversations; Smith, through dinner and a three-page, single-spaced letter Bradley emailed the next day. It helped that Smith had recently gotten into a “significant disagreement” with The Week‘s owner over the need to invest more in digital.
“He said that he really needed someone to come someone help him with The Atlantic, which had been losing money for years,” Smith recounts of his discussions with Bradley. “I was just getting out of print media; I didn’t want to do more print media. But he said that, once we’d turned The Atlantic around … we’d use it as a platform to build a global digital media company. That proposition really drew me.”
Smith arrived at The Atlantic‘s offices in mid-2007. He worked doggedly his first few months, announcing in October that The Atlantic was going to adopt a digital-first strategy. “We decided to prioritize digital over everything else. We were no longer going to be ‘The Atlantic, which happens to do digital.’ We were going to be a digital media company that also published The Atlantic magazine.”
That must have been a frightening prospect for a number of people, I suggested in a conversation with Smith at The Atlantic‘s offices last month.
“It’s easier to be ‘digital first’ when your legacy business is not strong, when you have nothing to defend,” Smith explained. “At the time, all we had to defend was red ink.”
Breaching the Divide
The Atlantic’s three digital properties attract a monthly audience of 11 million.
The first step in TheAtlantic‘s newly minted strategy was to dismantle the paywall on TheAtlantic.com, which the company did in January 2008.
Smith says that no one expected the paywall to be disabled permanently, although the The Atlantic‘s content, including every article that appears in print, is still available freely on its website four years later. Rather, it was an experiment to see how big its audience could be. Even though the magazine continued to enjoy a prestigious reputation, its readership was small: At the time Smith joined, it had a circulation of about 450,000, and another 500,000 visited TheAtlantic.com on a monthly basis, he recalls.
At the same time, The Atlantic continued to build out a network of “big voices” for the web: recognizable personalities who would offer up analysis and opinion on the headlines of the previous day. Some, like Goldberg and James Fallows (a correspondent for Atlantic since 1979), bore more traditional print backgrounds. Others, including political writer Andrew Sullivan, who came to account for more than a quarter of TheAtlantic.com’s traffic by the time he left The Atlantic for The Daily Beast in February 2011, had been blogging for nearly a decade.
In some ways, The Atlantic was primed for web journalism. The magazine had been established in the mid-nineteenth century by a group that included Ralph Waldo Emerson and Harriet Beecher Stowe, prominent American intellectuals then in the prime of their careers. In its founding statement, The Atlantic (then called The Atlantic Monthly) pledged to be “the organ of no party or clique, but will honestly endeavor to be the exponent of what its conductors believe to be the American idea,” concerned with “Freedom, National Progress, and Honor, whether public or private.”
The Atlantic Monthly quickly gained a following for its discussions on abolition, education and other issues of national reform, as well as for its fiction and poetry. Although the interests of today’s Atlantic are further flung, both topically and geographically, its adherence to its original mission — that of being what co-founder Francis H. Underwood described as an “outspoken organ of opinion,” representing multiple sides of a debate — remains strong.
It’s The Atlantic‘s tradition as a “platform for voices” that makes it a natural fit for the web, says Bennet, who became editor-in-chief of the magazine at the age of 39. “We’ve never had a coherent ideology or a consistent sound the way a lot of publications do,” he says. “To some people’s minds that’s been a weakness in print. But strong individual voices get heard on the web.”
One of the challenges for any magazine brand in the fast-paced environment of the web is, of course, maintaining the polish and accuracy their print reputations are built upon. Bob Cohn, who left his post as executive editor of Wired to head up The Atlantic‘s digital operations in January 2009, remembers that he used to read every Wired story and photo caption five times before it went to print. “I learned early on that I couldn’t even read every story we posted on TheAtlantic.com,” he says. “You have to surrender to the chaos.”
Still, The Atlantic would rather be late to a story than cover a story poorly. “The Atlantic‘s brand stands for quality and intelligence, and our first obligation, even in the barely controlled chaos of the web environment, is to maintain that reputation,” says Cohn. “Being fast and being webby are essential, but quality is the most important.”
The Atlantic Wire
The Atlantic Wire was established as an opinion news aggregator in September 2009.
Cohn’s ethos was truly put to the test in September 2009, when The Atlantic launched The Atlantic Wire, an online aggregator for opinion news. A small team of full-time staffers were tasked to synthesize and analyze the takes from the U.S.’s leading commentators in rapid, pithy blog posts that liberally quote (and link to) their sources.
Scott Havens, VP of digital strategy and operations at The Atlantic Media Company, contends that The Wire is better described as a “contextualizer and synthesizer” rather than an aggregator. “We’re reading an original narrative through the piece, pulling different angles, contextualizing fragments. It’s aggregation 2.0 in some ways,” he says, and we agree: The Wire is smart, and as valuable for its commentary as for its curation.
Under the leadership of former Gawker editor-in-chief Gabriel Snyder, who moved The Wire‘s headquarters to New York when he came on board in early 2011, the site now does a fair amount of mainstream news aggregation and original reporting, as well.
The Wire has done two things for The Atlantic: It has further established its editorial team as curators, helping readers cut through the mass of content put out on the web and in print each day; and it has placed The Atlantic in the news game for the first time.
“The web is a news medium, and you can’t compete ambitiously on the web if you’re not in the news flow,” contends Smith. “[Before The Wire], TheAtlantic.com’s strategy had been to do next-day analysis. Now we are set up to do that analysis instantly.”
At present, The Atlantic Wire is in operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. ET, with an additional writer up for the morning shift (from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. ET), and another on the weekends. During primetime hours, Snyder edits every single piece that goes up on The Wire — and if he’s in a meeting, nothing gets published. Soon, Snyder says, The Wire will be a 24/7 operation, with a second editor to keep things flowing during the day.
As The Atlantic becomes broader and faster, it’s also going deeper. In February, TheAtlantic.com launched a redesign that divided its content into topic-specific channels: politics, business, culture, international, science & technology, national and food. (Culture and food have since been replaced by entertainment and health.) The Atlantic continues to staff up each of those channels, most recently bringing on Megan Garber of Nieman Lab to the tech channel, and Newsweek‘s David Graham to politics. TheAtlanticCities.com, a site designed to explore urban issues around the U.S. and abroad, was launched in September.
Community is another area of consistent development. In May of this year, The Atlantic Wire opened up its editing room to the public for a month, inviting readers to pitch stories and give feedback on existing articles, as well as observe the pitching and editing process between full-time staff. It’s something Snyder says he hopes to make a permanent aspect of the site, once he can identify a better technical solution to support it. (For the duration of the experiment, the editing room was moved to a public comments thread.)
In another community experiment that month, TheAtlantic.com launched 1book140, a monthly online reading and discussion club that spans the publication's presences on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, as well its website. 1book140 remains in operation.
The Atlantic runs three websites and publishes 10 print issues per year.
Of course, none of this expansion would have been possible without strong sales and marketing teams to finance it. The Atlantic‘s business operations have undergone digital revolution of their own in the past few years. When former Wired publisher Jay Lauf joined The Atlantic as publisher in March 2008, he made what was then considered a radical move: He told his sales team that they no longer had to meet separate targets for print and digital ad sales, a practice Lauf says many publications had put in place to protect their print revenues.
That’s not to say that digital advertising has been easy money. Digital has proved tough terrain for many traditional advertisers, who have been forced to compete against highly targeted search and display networks, such as Google’s. Lauf says his team has focused on putting together premium advertising experiences that span print, digital, events and (increasingly) mobile. Over the summer for instance, The Atlantic worked with Mercedes-Benz to develop a series of video interviews with speakers and attendees at its annual Aspen Ideas Festival.
“Advertisers see the value of being able to surround their target audiences in different platforms,” Lauf says.
One of the most interesting aspects of The Atlantic‘s digital success is the unexpected effect it has had on print. Although Smith acknowledges that tablets and ereaders are cannibalizing print newsstand sales, both magazine circulation and print ad revenues are up, “largely due to the brand impact that our digital strategy has had,” he says. “The dramatic growth in digital audience has in turn driven demand for the magazine, because so many more millions are now aware of it.”
James Russell Lowell was The Atlantic‘s first editor. Photo courtesy of Richard A. Bloom.
Although The Atlantic is enjoying the fruits of its success, the magazine isn’t about to rest on its laurels.
In addition to hiring more channel writers and pushing The Atlantic Wire into a 24/7 news cycle, the magazine is also planning to experiment with new paid models for its longform content. Smith says that its longer stories can sometimes cost upwards of six figures to produce, and although it could potentially be supported by digital advertising alone, he believes there’s an additional monetization opportunity for a premium, leanback reading experience for that kind of content.
“I think you’ll see us experimenting with metered models on the tablet and desktop for longer content,” says Smith. “It’s not a huge newsflash though; we might experiment with a meter for a couple of months and take it back down, and try something else. It’s all in the spirit of constant experimentation.”
Looking ahead, Smith also said the magazine is looking to international markets, particularly big growth markets in Asia, as expansion opportunities. Original web video, as well as reader-generated content, offer further opportunities.
I asked Smith where he thought The Atlantic would be in five years.
“I think absolutely we will still be in print,” he said. “And I wouldn’t be surprised if our print rate base stayed stable and our online audience doubled. And I don’t see why, given all the opportunities in digital and mobile and video and events, we wouldn’t be able to double the size of the business again.”
Given what we’ve seen, that seems perfectly feasible to us.
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Posted: 18 Dec 2011 09:03 PM PST
Each week, Mashable picks a popular song, finds 10 covers of it and asks you to vote for your favorite.
Gavin DeGraw is no stranger to having other people sing his songs. Remember “I Don’t Want to Be,” the karaoke favorite that has been covered in bars and on reality TV singing competitions across the world since 2003?
Well, now his biggest hit since then, “Not Over You,” is facing the similar fate of becoming a sing-along classic.
With dozens upon dozens of covers of the song on YouTube, we decided to round up 10 awesome ones for you. Listen to them and then vote for your favorite in our poll.
Mashup of "Not Over You" and "It Will Rain"
To listen to more covers used in past YouTube Cover Song Face-Offs, click here.
Dec. 4 Face-Off Winner: Christina Grimmie
YouTube star Christina Grimmie won Mashable’s recent most recent face-off with her cover of “It Will Rain” by Bruno Mars. Grimmie’s YouTube videos have been viewed more than 237 million times. She is finding success offline, too. Most recently, Grimmie snagged the American Music Awards trophy for Female New Media, which honors the woman who is most effectively using digital and social media to propel their careers and connect with fans. She also performed with Taio Cruz after winning an online competition to share the stage with him.
Here’s a collection of covers and an original song (video seven) from Grimmie.
"It Will Rain" Cover
For more Entertainment coverage:
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 03:35 PM PST
Compare prices and shop within the largest online warehouse right from your phone. This all-in-one app has the capability to scan a barcode, capture a photo and search and compare prices for your desired items. Create a wish list or check customer ratings to find whether your items are a good fit.
Today’s consumer culture faces constant temptation and visual stimulation. Therefore, it’s important to stay efficient and savvy when it comes to shopping.
Whether you’re looking for the best deal or want a better way to organize your grocery lists, these iPhone apps aim to make your purchasing life easier. Triggered by voice activation, barcode scan or snapshot, the apps make finding the best deals around town incredibly simple. Best of all? They’re all free!
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 02:53 PM PST
The Internet has always had a love-hate relationship with animated GIFs. Long a telltale sign of an archaic website (especially when multiple artifacts wind up on a single page), the bandwith-eating multi-image animations were a cause of annoyance rather then entertainment.
Well, the GIF’s reputation is changing. Since the meteoric rise of Tumblr, which boasts “GIF” as the website’s top tag, the animated images are snapping back into the mainstream and are becoming a popular form of shareable media. Users are flocking to GIFs to articulate their personal feelings, relive moments from their favorite movies and tv shows, and indulge in the rapidly expanding arena of shared references.
And where there’s digital media, there’s comedy. GIFs are becoming a popular way to spread humorous split-second scenes from real footage or popular media, whether it be a pratfall, reaction shot, or even a line of dialogue. We’ve rounded up the funniest trending themes and motifs of the GIF world and curated them into a shortlist of 10 major contenders. We also delved a little deeper to find the history behind the GIFs, and where you can find more of their meme-tastic entertainment.
Is there a GIF that tickles your funnybone? Let us know in the comments.
90s Characters Dancing
Whether it's AC Slater dropping it like it's hot on Saved by the Bell, Carlton busting his signature moves on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, or sitcom world's token middle daughter Stephanie Tanner swagging in Full House, 90s dancing caused major lols in 2011.
Propagated this past year in particular by a healthy crop of 90s nostalgia Tumblrs, expertly clipped moments of television royalty shaking their tailfeathers in a variety of goofy ways (did you forget the Urkel dance?) adds a heaping helping of humor to remembering the good old days of TGIF.
For more Social Media coverage:
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 02:11 PM PST
Whitney Parker is vice president for user experience at Brazen Careerist, where she co-hosts a bootcamp on how to create and implement a social media strategy.
It's no secret that jobs in social media are becoming more prevalent in nearly every industry nationwide and even globally. A quick search on Indeed returns nearly 30,000 openings in the United States alone.
But what might not be obvious is what, exactly, young professionals should do to position themselves for these emerging roles. And no, it's not enough just to have a Facebook Page.
During the last several weeks, I've talked with dozens of hiring managers who have recently filled these types of positions. Here are their top four tips:
1. Quantify Your Prior Results
If you really want to land an emerging role as a social media strategist at an established company, you need to demonstrate an active interest in the tools of the trade — as a business, not as a socialite.
"While it’s true that a best social media practice is to be focused on community and engagement, that alone won’t pay the bills for a brand unless activities are focused on a measurable outcome," says Tracy Brisson, who has hired several social media consultants as founder of One2Many Consulting and the Opportunities Project. That's why having an internship where you gain these tangible skills is essential.
Brisson says that when reviewing a resume, she starts by asking, “How did the social media community grow during their tenure at their previous jobs or organizations they worked with?”
"Any participation in an organization’s social media goals demonstrates that the person has the potential to do this work professionally,” Brisson explains. “In an interview, I’ll follow up on strategies and approaches used, but without numbers on a resume or LinkedIn profile, it would be hard for me to take an applicant seriously."
So how can you put your best foot forward? Make sure you quantify the impact you had during your prior internships. Your resume or cover letter could read, for example, "Increased engagement from an average of 24 comments per week to an average of 75 in a three-month period on our Facebook Page," or "Helped establish a two-fold increase in Twitter traffic to our product page, resulting in a quarterly revenue increase of 50%."
Your actual impact may vary, but get used to presenting it in the form of quantifiable data.
2. Walk the Talk
You should have a well-optimized Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or YouTube account, says Amy Porterfield, co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies: "When hiring for social media positions, businesses will want to see if you know your stuff and will first search for you online." She recommends pointing potential employers in the right direction by listing all of your social networks on your resume and in your cover letter. She adds that social media that works hand-in-hand with a distinct set of personal interests is a way to highlight both your skills and personality.
"For example, if you are an avid runner, set up a Facebook Page to give advice and create a community around the best runs in your local area,” Porterfield suggests. “Another idea is to set up a YouTube channel that is optimized with keywords to attract other avid runners and post your videos and others’ videos spotlighting topics related to running."
In short, you don't necessarily need to have a prior job managing social media channels professionally, as long as you can prove you've mastered the skills on your own.
3. Take an Online Course
Few applicants applying for entry-level social media positions have any direct experience at the business level in social media management, and there's not much that hiring managers can do about that in the short term. University marketing classes generally spend more time on the concepts and less on the newest online tools.
"I don't believe this is something that can be taught in school, so I don't look for any specific educational backgrounds," says Tracy Terry, president and founder of Trust eMedia.
One way to set yourself apart is to enroll in a professional training program that gives you a tangible skill to add to your resume and career portfolio. If you don't live in New York or San Francisco, chances are in-person training is hard to come by, so check out online opportunities like MediaBistro‘s online classes or HubSpot's Inbound Marketing University. Adding professional training to your resume will truly set you apart and give you a leg up once you get hired.
4. Don't Be Boring
When you apply for an open position, do more than just the minimum. Especially in the online world, it's all about your first impression, says Sarah Rapp, community manager at Behance Network. "Social media is all about personality, and if real passion for the field comes across, this is much more valuable in a candidate than relevant experience,” she adds.
This is a common theme among hiring managers looking to grow their social media team. Dave Brown, director of digital strategy for MKG, says that when he hired a new social media coordinator for his advertising agency, his first concern was personality: The right candidate would have a sense of humor, be supremely creative, passionate and a great communicator.
"Yes, we know you’re a ninja on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare, and Mashable is your homepage — but tell us something we don’t know," he says. "Impress us."
The opportunity for job seekers is clear: Social media is trending as a career path for the next several years, and employers are ready to hire. Will your application make it to the top of the pile?
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
Image courtesy of Flickr, Franklin Park Library.
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 01:44 PM PST
When savvy consumers are in the market for something — a new pair of kicks, a sweet DSLR camera, hair pomade, a toaster — they turn to the web, knowing there’s a wealth of knowledge and information to be had. But where on the vast Interwebs do they look? Well, that depends on what they want to buy.
According to data from M Booth and Beyond, different product categories compel people to seek information and reviews from different sources on the web. Consumers tend to go the company website for electronics, they rely on search for travel and they go to discussion forums to see what people think about different car models. Consequently, consumer electronics companies better have a pimped-out website, travel brands ought to put some dough into SEO and car companies better pay attention to what people are saying about their vehicles’ performance.
The infographic below explains where consumers go for product information — suggesting to marketers that some aspects of digital marketing deserve more attention than others. Marketers, do these consumer behavior findings align with your experiences at work? And customers, do your actions mirror those in the study? Let us know in the comments below.
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Posted: 18 Dec 2011 01:24 PM PST
My feelings about Steve Jobs have always been a little mixed. I long admired his entrepreneurial spirit and business acumen and was in sheer awe of his natural instincts for what appeals to consumers. On the other hand I bristled at what I saw as his — and by extension Apple's — occasionally capricious and even contradictory actions (App store products in or out, inability to get in front of product issues, antennaegate) and super-secretive nature.
Now, having finished the 600-plus page Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson, I think I finally understand Steve Jobs. Like most of us, his personality had many sides. He could be aloof, super-intense, odd, gross, passionate, creative, driven, unfair, conciliatory and deeply introspective. He lived a rich and unique life.
As I read the tome on my Kindle, I highlighted interesting, surprising and relevant passages. Now, as I look back at them I realize that many help illustrate some of the larger lessons we can all glean from Steve Jobs' remarkable life.
When the young Steve Jobs wanted to build something and needed a piece of equipment, he went straight to the source.
Make Your Own Reality
Steve Jobs learned early that when you don't like how things are in your life or in your world, change them, either through action or sheer force of will.
Control Everything You Can
Steve Jobs was, to a certain degree, a hippie. However, unlike most free spirits of the 1960s-to-1970s love-in era, Jobs was a detail-oriented control freak.
Own Your Mistakes
Jobs could be harsh and even thoughtless. Perhaps nowhere was that more in evidence than with his first daughter. Still, as Jobs grew older and began to face mortality, he more readily admitted his mistakes.
While not always aware of how those around him were reacting to his appearance or demeanor, Jobs had no illusions about his own formidable intellectual skills.
Leave the Door Open for the Fantastic
Jobs was a seeker, pursuing spiritual enlightenment and body purification throughout his life. He wasn't a particularly religious person, but did not dismiss the existence or something beyond our earth-bound realm.
Don't Hold Back
Apple's founder was famous for his outbursts and sometimes over-emotional responses. In product development, things were often amazing or sh_t.
Surround Yourself with Brilliance
Whether he was willing to admit it or not, Steve Jobs could not do everything. Yes, he could have a huge impact on every product and marketing campaign, but he also knew that there were others in the world with skills he did not possess. Jobs’ early partnership with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak perfectly illustrated this fact. His early success with Wozniak provided the template for future collaborations.
Build a Team of A Players
Far too often, companies and managers settle for average employees. Steve Jobs recognized talent and decided that any conflict that might arise from a company full of "A"-level players would be counterbalanced by awesome output. He may have been right.
Steve Jobs was often so busy being himself that he had no idea how people saw him, especially in his early, dirty-hippie days.
While it's true that early Steve Jobs was a somewhat smelly and unpleasant person to be around, this same Steve Jobs also trained himself to stare without blinking for long periods of time and found that he could persuade people to do the seemingly impossible.
Show Others the Way
Jobs wasn't truly a programmer or technologist, certainly not in the way that Microsoft founder Bill Gates is, yet he had an intuitive understanding for technology and design that ended up altering the world's expectations for computers and, more importantly, consumer electronics.
Trust Your Instincts
I have, in my own career, navigated by gut on more than one occasion. Steve Jobs, though, had a deep and abiding belief in his own tastes and believed with utter certainty that if he liked something, the public would as well. He was almost invariably right.
Throughout his career, Steve Jobs took chances, first with the launch of Apple, then in walking away from it and then returning in 1997. In an era when most companies were figuring out ways to diversify, Apple — under Job's leadership — shed businesses and products, and focused on relatively few areas. He was also willing to steer the entire Apple ship (or at least some aspects of it) in a single direction if he thought it would generate future success.
Follow Great with Great
In everything from products to movies (under Pixar), Steve Jobs sought to create great follow-ups. He wasn't so successful in the early part of his career (see Lisa), but his third acts to Pixar and Apple proved he had the sequel touch.
Make Tough Decisions
Good managers and leaders are willing to do hard work and, often, make unpopular decisions. Jobs apparently had little concern about being liked and therefore was well-equipped to make tough choices.
Presentation Can Make a World of Difference
The Apple founder hated PowerPoint presentations, but perhaps somewhat uncharacteristically, believed elegant product presentation was critical.
Find a Way to Balance Your Intensity
It's unclear if Steve Jobs ever truly mellowed, but he did learn that a buffer between him and the rest of Apple could be useful.
Live for Today
Even as Steve Jobs struggled with cancer, he rarely slowed down. If anything, the disease helped him focus his efforts and pursue some of his grandest dreams.
Share Your Wisdom
Steve Jobs was not a philanthropic soul. He had a passion for products and success, but it wasn't until he became quite ill that he started reaching out and offering his wisdom to others in the tech community.
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 12:51 PM PST
Apple’s new iPhone spot does an unusual thing for an advertisement: It doesn’t mention the iPhone at all. In fact, it’s a commercial for the iPhone 4S’s digital assistant, Siri, but notice the word “Siri” isn’t mentioned, either.
Poor Santa — he has 3.7 billion appointments.
It must be nice to be able to sell your product without even naming it. Apple is indeed in a unique position right now. But after using Siri often when I first got an iPhone 4S, I find myself not using it much anymore. Do you think it has long-term staying power, or is it merely a gimmick used to sell new the iPhone 4S?
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 12:30 PM PST
Facebook has released an update to its iPhone app, with version 4.1 now giving you access to its new Timeline interface.
The timeline was available on iPhone before, but only if you accessed Facebook from its mobile site (m.facebook.com) on the iPhone’s Safari browser. Now you can download an update of the Facebook iPhone app, where it shows you a similar view to that of the mobile browser version.
It’s not quite the same as what you’ll get on a desktop browser, where instead of two columns of posts that you get in that larger view, on the mobile version they’re stacked on top of each other. Even so, you can still chronologically scroll through your life, and after you’ve gone through a month’s worth of items, it offers you a selection of the next month or previous years.
Besides that, the app feels slightly snappier, as Facebook mentioned in its release notes. An iPad version of this update not available yet, but Facebook says support for that is “coming soon.” The iPhone version is now available for download from the Apple App Store.
1. View All Your Timeline Content
Facebook's mysterious algorithm decides which stories will showcase on your Timeline.
However, it also includes half-hidden posts. Posts that are marked on your Timeline, but not displayed, are noted by a blue dot on the central line. You can view these posts by clicking on the individual blue dots.
A quicker method is to click on the three blue dots underneath each year. This gives you the option to view all stories within that year.
Mashable’s Complete Facebook Timeline Coverage
Facebook Timeline Essentials
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 11:16 AM PST
1. Lexus Concept
Lexus plans to roll out this concept car at the Detroit Auto Show next month, but the company's not giving a lot of details about this tantalizing picture. So all we have to go on is an ominous-looking headlight assembly along with an air intake that suggests there's some serious power under the hood of this crimson beast. Can't wait to see it -- it'll be in Top 10 Tech when we do. [via Jalopnik]
Light up your iPhone, peek at a future Lexus, slip on some self-cooling shoes and even harpoon a comet in the latest Top 10 Tech This Week.
We’ll blow you away with the best and brightest, the craziest and scariest, the most innovative and unbelievable technology introduced in the world over the past seven days. Strap yourself in, because it’s going to be a helluva ride.
Here are previous editions of Top 10 Tech This Week.
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 10:13 AM PST
Sometimes finding your dream job is like an Easter egg hunt: It’s not only how you look for jobs, but also where you look for them. It seems like common sense, but in order to hedge your bets and ultimately nab a high-profile gig, it’s all about location, location, location.
This handy map, researched and developed by Onward Search ranks the cities where SEO (Search Engine Optimization) positions are most clustered and breaks down average salary ranges by rank, from entry-level to the big boss. It’s unsurprising that the mantle for most available SEO gigs is New York City (with L.A. and San Francisco hot on its heels), but smaller markets like Atlanta are also willing to pay comparable salaries for top-notch talent.
Are you hungry for a position in the SEO world? Check out the infographic below to find the prime locales for getting your feet wet (or a leg up) in the job of your dreams.
Social Media Job Listings
Every week we post a list of social media and web job opportunities. While we publish a huge range of job listings, we’ve selected some of the top social media job opportunities from the past two weeks to get you started. Happy hunting!
More About: job search
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Posted: 18 Dec 2011 09:07 AM PST
This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.
When it comes to business, there's a thin line between “people pleasing” and good customer service. And these days, in crowded and competitive markets, anything less than a customer-obsessed strategy (as coined by Forrester Research) simply won't do.
That drive to wow customers, clients, bosses, and colleagues can set you apart from the rest. But can a relentless need to please actually be hurting your business and career?
It's not an easy question, but let's start with something simple: pizza. Think about it. When a group orders pizza, what role do you play in the process? Do you voice your topping preferences or sit back and think to yourself, "No problem, I can just take off those olives…." Do you give your opinion equal weight or do you politely defer to the group?
If you're wondering what the group dynamics surrounding a pizza order have to do with running your business, consider the following scenarios:
Do you feel in charge of your business or are your clients running the show?
Do you ever take on troublesome clients even though your intuition is warning you of all the red flags ahead?
Do you let your colleagues encroach on your time, even if you're stressed by a tight deadline?
Do you ever take on the grunt work or the least favorite task, rather than delegating it?
Do you ever hesitate calling a prospective client or other network connection because you don't want to bother anyone?
Any of these scenarios signal a 'need to please.' And people with this tendency often overextend themselves in the workplace and bend over backwards for others. But it's hard to achieve your own goals when you're constantly focused on trying to make everyone else in the room happy.
Let's consider the underlying feelings behind the action. Is stress or generosity motivating your behavior? For example, imagine a valued client asks for some small pro bono work for his or her spouse's non-profit organization. If you agree to help out, but are silently harboring negative feelings, chances are you were just trying to please. But if you feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose about the work, it was probably an act of kindness.
Understanding the stress/generosity distinction is key, as people pleasing is generally less about pleasing and more about fending off the rejection and disappointment of others.
By that token, you need to realize that people pleasing isn't necessarily the same thing as being nice. Niceness and kindness are wonderful traits, and ones that we need more of in the world and business today. However, it is possible to be nice while also expressing your own needs. Standing up for yourself doesn't make you unkind or self-centered; it just gives you equal footing with everyone else.
The need to please is linked to lower wages and poorer negotiation skills. And while people pleasing is often discussed in the context of women in the workplace, I believe the trait affects both sexes. In addition, continually working on someone else's terms may lead to frustration and dissatisfaction. These feelings can ultimately ripple through to relationships with customers and clients. As a consequence, always being nice can actually yield poorer customer service in the long run.
If any of the scenarios discussed above sound familiar, it's time to break the pleasing cycle and begin working or running your business on your own terms. While truly understanding what compels you to please may be more complex than the bounds of this post, here are a couple of tips toward breaking the pattern:
Most importantly, still be generous and kind particularly toward customers and clients. You can't get anywhere without being customer-obsessed these days. But be nice for the right reasons. And give your own opinions and needs equal weight as everyone else. After all, your business, your customers, and you are all worth it.
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Posted: 18 Dec 2011 08:18 AM PST
Illustration courtesy College Humor, used with permission
What if the titans of today’s Internet turned into superheroes? Here’s the Internet Justice League, a pantheon of superheroes infused with awesome Internet powers.
Too bad many of their superpowers are sometimes questionable. See if you agree with College Humor cartoonist Caldwell Tanner’s assessments of these Internet behemoths, their relationships with each other and their various archenemies.
Illustrations courtesy College Humor, used with permission
Posted: 18 Dec 2011 07:07 AM PST
Kickstarter’s prominent crowdfunding platform has made it possible for just about anyone to raise money and awareness about his project. We’ve seen a multitude of success stories — whether it’s a cool wristwatch, a great story or an entire web service.
We’ve gathered some of this year’s craziest Kickstarter projects, from a quirky toilet paper design to a grilled cheese sandwich that features Jesus’s face. Still other entrepreneurs are innovating new ways to look at technology, such as a virtual portal or a set of gloves that pantomimes music.
Here are the top 10 most eccentric Kickstarter projects of 2011. Which is your favorite? Let us know in the comments.
This project uses a box and an old monitor to simulate virtual reality. It is an incredibly cool project, but its Kickstarter backers shouldn't expect anything in return other than a "big happy thank you."
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