Category Archives: media

Recommended Read: ‘Rain’ by Cynthia Barett

Environmental reporter Cynthia Barnett talks about the power of rain, its history, songs and poems written about it, and our relationship with it in her new book “Rain: A Natural and Cultural History.”

From the Amazon summary:

Rain is elemental, mysterious, precious, destructive.
 
It is the subject of countless poems and paintings; the top of the weather report; the source of the world’s water. Yet this is the first book to tell the story of rain.

Cynthia Barnett’s Rain begins four billion years ago with the torrents that filled the oceans, and builds to the storms of climate change. It weaves together science—the true shape of a raindrop, the mysteries of frog and fish rains—with the human story of our ambition to control rain, from ancient rain dances to the 2,203 miles of levees that attempt to straitjacket the Mississippi River. It offers a glimpse of our “founding forecaster,” Thomas Jefferson, who measured every drizzle long before modern meteorology. Two centuries later, rainy skies would help inspire Morrissey’s mopes and Kurt Cobain’s grunge. Rain is also a travelogue, taking readers to Scotland to tell the surprising story of the mackintosh raincoat, and to India, where villagers extract the scent of rain from the monsoon-drenched earth and turn it into perfume.

Now, after thousands of years spent praying for rain or worshiping it; burning witches at the stake to stop rain or sacrificing small children to bring it; mocking rain with irrigated agriculture and cities built in floodplains; even trying to blast rain out of the sky with mortars meant for war, humanity has finally managed to change the rain. Only not in ways we intended. As climate change upends rainfall patterns and unleashes increasingly severe storms and drought, Barnett shows rain to be a unifying force in a fractured world. Too much and not nearly enough, rain is a conversation we share, and this is a book for everyone who has ever experienced it.

Creating a Successful Brand

Over the years, branding has taken a turn and become more social media driven. Building a brand today isn’t about focusing on and around a companies products or services but more providing the target audience with content that they will connect with, that will ignite an emotion and that will push them to engage on their social media accounts. Kristy Ellington shares with readers the six things brands can learn about targeting their new demographic, the Millennial generation.

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Embrace branding through social media

 

Filling Sales Jobs is Becoming Harder

In 2012 sales reps who sold tech and scientific products had a median wage which exceeded twice that of all workers, according to the Labor Department. After 2012 with the U.S economy on the rise, companies selling technology and other services are finding it incredibly hard to fill their sales positions.

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Employers are blaming a number of variables for the lack of filling positions, but one of the biggest variables is that young workers are completely uninterested in sales, viewing it as a risky and driven by competition. Another variable that is hurting employers looking to fill sales positions is that a job in sales has a huge stereotype behind it that “sales isn’t a career, either anyone can do it or you’re born into it.”

Sales organizations today are more focused around teams with lower ranking members identifying prospects and developing an early interest, a team member running through specs and demos, while a third team member focuses on the field negotiations and closing of deals.

Please Do Not Leave A Message: Why Millennials Hate Voice Mail

The phone company Vonage reported a drop in voice mail retrievals over the past year. Many of those ignoring voice mails are millennials.

The phone company Vonage reported a drop in voice mail retrievals over the past year. Many of those ignoring voice mails are millennials.

This story is part of the New Boom series on millennials in America.

We’ve all heard that automated voice mail lady, telling us what to do after the beep. But fewer people than ever are leaving messages. And the millennials, they won’t even listen to them — they’d much rather receive a text or Facebook message.

“I did have at one point in time like 103 unheard messages,” says 31-year-old Antonia Kidd.

The New York Times reported in June that the phone service Vonage saw a significant drop in voice mail retrievals over the past year.

“Wherever we’re talking to them, we’re hearing the same things, which is: When it comes to voice mail, they’re just over it,” says Jane Buckingham, a trend analyst at Trendera.

Kidd’s main problem with voice mail is that it’s time consuming, and she’s tired of listening to butt-dials and rambling messages. If someone really wants to get hold of her, there are lots of ways to do it, she says.

“I guess I usually just assume that it’s probably not that important if you didn’t text me, and you didn’t send me a message on Facebook,” Kidd says.

Many 18- to 34-year-olds feel that way. But step inside the office, and the old rules still apply. There’s no escaping the beep.

“When you say, ‘Hello, my name is,’ smile when you say it, and also, sit up straight,” says Patricia Napier-Fitzpatrick, founder of The Etiquette School of New York.

She teaches college students and young professionals how to behave in the business world, including how to leave a proper voice mail.

“The fact that we have four generations in the workplace, and they’re going to be there for some time, the younger generations — the millennials, the Y generation — they’re going to need to adapt,” Napier-Fitzpatrick says.

But that doesn’t stop some millennials like 26-year-old Nick Sirianno from feeling that voice mail is clearly a thing of the past.

“It might evolve into something kind of special and exciting,” he says. “Like a telegram once was.”

Buckingham, the trend expert, says that millennials are just doing what works for them.

“Everyone criticizes the millennials for being the ‘me’ generation and being so entitled,” she says. “I don’t think they’re so entitled. I think they’re just incredibly pragmatic. So for them if a voice mail isn’t practical — which most of the time it isn’t — and there’s a more practical way of delivering the same information, they’re gonna go for that.”

Peter Thiel Thinks We All Can Do Better

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel; the entrepreneur, investor and the PayPal co-founder’s call for deep invention.

In this March 8, 2012 file photo, Peter Thiel speaks in San Francisco. (AP)

Silicon Valley’s Peter Thiel may, famously, be the most successful tech entrepreneur-investor ever.  A PayPal founder, ground floor at Facebook – you saw him played in the movie, “The Social Network.”  He’s in Space X and Founders Fund and Clarium Capital and on and on.  But Peter Thiel is not impressed with our technology age.  We’re actually in a tech slowdown, he says.  This techno-libertarian says the US, the world, has to surge forward, technologically, or flame out.  The way we’re headed won’t  cut it.  This hour On Point:  the techno-libertarian, Peter Thiel.

– Tom Ashbrook

Interested in reading the full article?  See the full article here.