August 24th, 2011
No one and no organization is safe from judgment on the Internet. The world’s most open communications portal has the power to make or break an individual’s or a corporation’s reputation with just one click. To cope with this formidable but threatening tool, you need to be proactive. Consider the German cleric community’s positive move forward: In the wake of revelations of grotesque clerical sex abuse in the Rhineland area of Germany, priests’ reputations suffered greatly. But one group of clerics wasn’t going to let the actions of a few wicked men tarnish the good name of the entire pastoral community. They set up a ratings website, Hirtenbarometer, or “Shepherds’ Barometer,” where people can rate their local clergymen (from numerous denominations) on a scale of 1 to 6 (6 being the highest). Around 8,000 religious leaders have signed up to allow the public to rank them on their service performance, work with youth and the elderly, credibility and ability to stay in touch with modern life. Such a rating system builds trust between the preachers and their congregations. Thus far, Pope Benedict XVI has rated 3.82 out of a possible 6.
To learn how you and your firm can emulate the purpose behind this idea and build trust with your audience online, take a look at the following links:
August 18th, 2011
Once upon a time, official lamplighters wearing stilts attended to street lamps at dusk every evening to brighten their city’s throughways and avenues, but the dawn of electricity rendered the lamplighters’ careers obsolete. The court jester, the cooper, the town crier – all jobs of the past. But job extinction is not a phenomenon of the past. Improved technology, the proliferation of globalization and outsourcing, and societal changes forebode extinction for many more careers. If you are a cashier, a milkman, a telephone operator or a photograph developer, be afraid – or at least be retrained. As Robert E. Kennedy and Ajay Sharma, the authors of The Service Shift, have highlighted, even radiology, a service many would consider to be safe, is undergoing outsourcing.
How can you protect your job and career in this unstable environment? To learn why certain careers are becoming extinct – or outsourced – and to protect your job from that fate, read these summaries:
August 16th, 2011
Digital downloads are so passé. The music industry’s fastest growing format is not MP3s, or even CDs; it’s vinyl. In 2010, vinyl sales grew 13.6%. Music aficionados bought 2.8 million new vinyl records last year – the vinyl industry’s highest sales figure since 1991 – and vinyl sales accounted for 1.2% of all new album sales in 2010. And the sale of second-hand vinyl records is booming – just check your local flea market for evidence. Vinyl’s resurgence is linked to many factors: the growth of the indie rock industry, better sound quality, the nostalgia associated with setting the needle in the groove, and so on. Last year’s top 10 best-selling vinyl albums illustrate the eclectic mix of tastes that are helping to bring back vinyl’s popularity:
Vinyl records are not the only trends making a comeback: 1980s fashion is back in vogue, and movie producers are remaking cult classics Footloose and Dirty Dancing. For ideas on how you can profit from retro trends, take some advice from brands that have written the rules on nostalgia marketing: