staff

‘The Sad Moment Has Arrived’

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/tina-brown-daily-beast-firings-2012-12

Tina Brown

Newsweek is cutting a chunk of its editorial staff.

We still don’t know exactly how many in the Newsweek/Daily Beast newsroom will be losing their jobs, but an anonymous source tells The New York Observer that it’s a “bloodbath” that could annihilate half the jobs in editorial.

The Observer acquired the somber memo editor-in-chief Tina Brown and CEO Baba Shetty sent out to the staff.

Here it is:

To: All Staff
From: Tina Brown / Baba Shetty

The sad moment has arrived when we must go forth with the editorial staff reductions that we discussed in person with all of you several weeks ago. Employees in the affected positions will be notified today. Much of this has already happened on the business side, and today we will be letting staff on the editorial side know where we will be eliminating positions. This is a very difficult day, and one that we approach with enormous regret.

Anyone whose job (or job category) is affected will meet today with a senior member of the editorial team. No one will be asked to leave before December 31st (and many will stay at least into mid-January). Managers will be getting in touch later this afternoon with groups of affected employees to let them know when and where their particular meeting will take place. After the meetings with management, you should feel free to speak with Holly Antiuk or Lauren Strada for more specifics on all aspects of this transition. We are working to ensure that the process is handled as sensitively as possible.

Tina & Baba

S EE ALSO: The Most Iconic And Controversial Newsweek Covers Ever >

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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

How Public Policy Polling Hilariously Proved That People Lie To Pollsters

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/panetta-burns-plan-ppp-poll-simpson-bowles-question-public-policy-polling-2012-12

CIA Director Leon Panetta

Public Policy Polling, the firm that consistently asks the quirkiest and most provocative questions, offered in its latest national survey a revealing way to prove that, well, people will lie to make themselves seem more knowledgeable. 

PPP tested people’s reaction to the Simpson-Bowles plan to reduce the national deficit. It found that overall, respondents had a positive view of the plan, despite an overwhelming 60 percent that did not offer an opinion. 

To compare, the firm also gau ged the reaction to the so-called “Panetta-Burns plan,” which isn’t a real plan. It’s based on a mythical combination of Leon Panetta, the current Secretary of Defense and former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Conrad Burns, a former Republican Senator from Montana.

Despite the fact that there is no such thing as the “Panetta-Burns” plan, 25 percent of respondents offered an opinion on it. Eight percent said they view it favorably, while 17 percent said they do not have a favorable opinion of the “plan.”

This has led to a snarky Twitter hashtag, in which users speculate on the mythical proposals in “Panetta-Burns.”

Panetta Burns

Panetta Burns

Panetta Burns

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

How Public Policy Polling Hilariously Proved That People Lie To Pollsters

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/panetta-burns-plan-ppp-poll-simpson-bowles-question-public-policy-polling-2012-12

CIA Director Leon Panetta

Public Policy Polling, the firm that consistently asks the quirkiest and most provocative questions, offered in its latest national survey a revealing way to prove that, well, people will lie to make themselves seem more knowledgeable. 

PPP tested people’s reaction to the Simpson-Bowles plan to reduce the national deficit. It found that overall, respondents had a positive view of the plan, despite an overwhelming 60 percent that did not offer an opinion. 

To compare, the firm also gau ged the reaction to the so-called “Panetta-Burns plan,” which isn’t a real plan. It’s based on a mythical combination of Leon Panetta, the current Secretary of Defense and former chief of staff under President Bill Clinton, and Conrad Burns, a former Republican Senator from Montana.

Despite the fact that there is no such thing as the “Panetta-Burns” plan, 25 percent of respondents offered an opinion on it. Eight percent said they view it favorably, while 17 percent said they do not have a favorable opinion of the “plan.”

This has led to a snarky Twitter hashtag, in which users speculate on the mythical proposals in “Panetta-Burns.”

Panetta Burns

Panetta Burns

Panetta Burns

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Tuesday, December 4th, 2012 news No Comments

These Timelines Break Down Every Facebook, Twitter And LinkedIn Acquisition Ever

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/these-timelines-break-down-every-facebook-twitter-and-linkedin-acquisition-ever-2012-10

zuckerberg money

Everyone remembers when Facebook bought Instagram for a headline-friendly billion dollars last April. But what about the 10 companies it acquired after that? Or the 29 prior?

The social media landscape is in such a constant state of flux that it’s sometimes hard to remember who did what when.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and The Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc (JEGI) teamed up to take snapshots of what the social media ecosystem looks like right now.

Among other things, its report also breaks down the acquisition timelines for major digital players, including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce, and Google.

Facebook’s acquisition timeline:

According to the report, “Facebook has acqui‐hired talented staff f! rom a nu mber of companies in addition to its traditional M&A, focusing on enhanced content sharing/discovery (FriendFeed, Face.com), IP (Tagtile), location awareness (Gowalla), ecommerce/gifts (Karma) and mobile (Glancee, Lightbox).” 

Furthermore, Facebook is known to scoop up its competition for hefty chunks of change. When threatened by Instagram in the image and mobile space, Facebook bought the start-up for a cool billion dollars.

Twitter’s acquisition timeline:

Twitter’s acquisitions help boost user experience and its ad-based business model.

The report notes that “areas of interest include keyword bidding, social marketing automation, geo‐targeted ads, and social analytics,” which is reflected by recent buys.

LinkedIn’s acquisition timeline:

LinkedIn acquired SlideShare, a company that allows users to easily share business documents and presentations, for $119 in May 2012. Apart from that, LinkedIn’s acquisitions “have typically focused on tuck‐ins and tend to acquire businesses that are pre‐revenue.”

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Monday, October 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

9 Trends That Are Transforming The Retail World

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/9-trends-that-are-transforming-the-retail-world-2012-7

shopping-girls-bags

Retail is going through a period of flux. From big box stores to specialty shops to online vendors, everyone’s trying to figure out how to survive.

It has become all about the ability to adapt as technology transforms the retail landscape.

“As a shopper, your basic needs don’t change,” says Piers Fawkes, founder and editor-in-chief of PSFK. “But your behavior is dependent on the technology that’s around you.”

The PSFK consulting team’s Future of Retail report identifies nine major trends that are part of the “seismic shift” changing the retail world, and provides examples of companies that are making an impact.

Consumers want to be more informed than ever, and brands are fulfilling that demand

Retailers are training their staff to be experts in whatever field they’re in. 

In an effort to curb the impact of showrooming, Best Buy’s redesigned stores include multiple points of customer service and coaching — the Geek Squad Solution Center, a home theater design center and the Pacific Home & Kitchen section.

Retailers are letting customers make decisions for them

Take the Barclaycard Ring — a “community-powered” credit card service from Barclays. There’s a forum which lets members suggest features, and it also shares the card’s financial statements and performance numbers with the members so that they can see how the project is doing.

Personal data is being used to customize everything

Perhaps it’s a bit creepy, but when consumers decide to share personal data with retailers (like purchase histories and biometric fit profiles), they’re often using it to customize the experience for each customer.

Neiman Marcus, for example, has a “location-aware” app called NM Service which sends customer preferences right to its sales staff. A user checks in when they get to the store, letting staff give recommendations tailored for the individual.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Monday, July 16th, 2012 news No Comments

Google Has Hired A Bunch Of ‘Chrome Specialists’ To Sell Its Chromebook Laptops (GOOG, BBY)

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/google-chrome-specialists-chromebook-laptops-best-buy-retail-2012-7

new chromebook and box

Google is working with its partners, like Best Buy, to hired a bunch of salespeople called “Chrome Specialists” to sell their Chromebook laptops, Business Insider has learned.

Much like the “specialists” in Apple’s stores, it’s the job of these Chrome specialists to get shoppers to understand what exactly a Chromebook is, and why they should buy it over another laptop.

The Chromebook is a Web-powered laptop running Google’s Chrome operating system. It requires an Internet connection to power most of its applications, such as Gmail.

We got in touch with Google to confirm that it’s hiring specialists. Here’s what we heard back:

As you’ll have seen from our announcement last week, 100 Best Buy stores around the U.S. are now selling Chromebooks. With our partners,  we have hired and trained staff for these Chrome Zones in U.S. Best Buy stores.

Google wouldn’t tell us how many specialists they’ve hired, but given the number of stores Google is selling Chromebooks in, it does appear to be in the hundreds.

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Thursday, July 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Weather Channel Buys Crowdsourced WeatherUnderground

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5923016/the-weather-channel-buys-up-the-crowdsourced-weather-undergrounds-crowdsourced-accuracy

The Weather Channel Buys Up the Crowdsourced Weather UndergroundAfter 17 years on its own, the crowdsourced, user-favorite Weather Underground will become a member of the Weather Channel family. But what forecast lies ahead?

Both The Weather Channel and Weather Underground say we’ve got nothing to worry about—the acquisition won’t affect the services offered at Wunderground.com. The deal will actually afford the independently-minded WU the opportunity to produce new products and services down the line. According to a blog post by Co-Founder Jeff Masters, the two companies have discussed a deal several times over the years, but that due to a recent spike in WU’s popularity and staff, it finally makes sense now.

The plan is to make both wunderground.com and weather.com stronger, by sharing content and infrastructure. Many Weather Underground features, such as our Personal Weather Station data, WunderMap, and my blog, are scheduled to also appear on the weather.com web site in the coming months. My blog’s main home will continue to be wunderground.com, and I have been asked to continue to write the same variety of science-based posts on hurricanes, extreme weather, and climate change that I’ve provided since 2005. I enjoy communicating weather science, and am pleased I will be able to do this for both wunderground and The Weather Channel, which has an audience about three times as large as wunderground’s.

If everything goes according to plan this could actually be a great thing. We’re daily users of both Weather.com’s forcasts and WU’s WunderMap. But we also know that acquisitions like this can go horribly wrong. Let’s just hope WU’s weirdness is kept intact under the wing of its new overlord. [Weather Underground and BusinessWire via TechCrunch]

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Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 digital No Comments

Layoffs Underway At Two Of New York’s Biggest Flash Sales Sites, Gilt Groupe and Lot18

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/layoffs-gilt-groupe-lot18-2012-1


lot18

Last week BetaBeat’s Nitasha Tiku first reported impending layoffs at Gilt Groupe. We confirmed the rumor from a source who said 50-60 people would be let go in the next week or so.

Some of those cuts happened yesterday.  A source told Betabeat the experience was “super uncomfortable” and the “general atmosphere was terrifying.”

Gilt Groupe isn’t the only flash sales site that has been trimming some of its fat.  RueLaLa let go of many employees and Lot18, the one-year-old flash sales site for wine and gourmet food, also made cuts yesterday.

BetaBeat’s Adrianne Jeffries reported 15% of Lot18’s staff was let go after she spoke with co-founder Philip James. That comes out to about 14 people.

James called the layoffs “a natural part of the way a business grows and evolves.” James, like Gilt Groupe’s Kevin Ryan, indicated the layoffs were happening in places where the site was over-staffed, but said hiring would continue.  “We’re hiring heavily in areas that do make sense for us,” James told BetaBeat.

For Gilt Groupe, the layoffs seem to be a part of the plan to get to cash-flow break-even by Q2.  Best of luck to everyone at the companies.

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Sunday, January 22nd, 2012 news No Comments

The Owner Of Flash Sales Site Rue La La Is Laying Off A Big Chunk Of Its Staff

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-owner-of-flash-sales-site-rue-la-la-is-losing-up-to-half-its-staff-2012-1


rue la la

UPDATE: Rue La La has reached out to us to update the story with some additional information.

Rue La La just laid off 11 percent of its 500-person staff, according to the company.

The Boston Business Journal first reported the layoffs.

Site owner Retail Convergence is also shutting down SmartBargains.com, a discount shopping site, according to the report.

Some employees were offered other positions in the company, and everyone was offered some kind of severance package, a source close to the company told us.

“It was a mess upstairs. People were crying all over the place,” one unnamed employee told the Boston Business Journal. 

Rue La La operator Retail Convergence raised about $25 million from General Catalyst Partners and Breakaway Partners before being acquired by a company called GSI Commerce for $350 million, reports The Boston Business Journal.

eBay then bought GSI Commerce in 2009, and Rue La La got $500 million in debt and equity financing as part of the deal, according to the report. Retail Convergence, the owner of Rue La La and SmartBargains.com was spun out as part of that deal.

Here’s the full statement from Rue La La:

Since launching in 2008, Rue La La has transformed online shopping and has become a leader in the “private sale” shopping space.  In a continued effort to revolutionize off-price shopping, we have made the strategic decision to double down on our core business.  This heightened focus on our core includes the restructuring of our Rue Local business by outsourcing our sales force and consolidating SmartBargains.com into Rue La La. SmartBargains.com was originally launched 1999.  These moves unfortunately resulted in the elimination of some staff positions.  Rue La La has continued to see dramatic growth with nearly $300MM in sales in 2011 and similar growth planned for 2012 and beyond.

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Thursday, January 12th, 2012 news No Comments

A False Groupon Offer Ruined Christmas In This British City

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/groupon-uk-christmas-york-2011-12


york

A false Groupon offer for a Santa’s grotto in the English city of York has lead to the resignation of one of Santa’s elves, reports the Telegraph.

Groupon mistakenly sent out an email to parents saying that the grotto would be offering a festive train ride. It wasn’t, and when 2,000 families turned up with vouchers from the website and learned of no train ride, it wasn’t a pretty scene.

It is reported that the grotto’s staff received so much abuse from angry parents that one of Santa’s elves resigned, unhappy at the treatment he had been subject to.

It is thought that Groupon may have confused the grotto in York with another one in the nearby city of Hull, which did have a train ride.

The mistake comes as Groupon is under investigation by the British Office of Fair Trade with the company reportedly violating 50 advertising regulations this year.

The Telegraph reports that the company could be taken to court over the violations and may face both criminal and civil charges.

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Friday, December 2nd, 2011 news No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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