September, 2008

September 30, 2008 | Jon Gilbertson: Putting Customer Care Above All Else Leads to Success for

Earlier this month, was awarded the inaugural “Gartner & 1to1 Customer Awards’ Users Choice Award.” The award is given to companies who show exemplary Customer relationship strategy and excellence in providing customer experience. “’s attention to the customer experience as a leading way to significantly grow their business” was stated as a deciding factor in his decision said, Adam Sarner, principal research analyst at Gartner.

September 30, 2008 | Greg Ness: Insight, Foresight, and Ideas

Here’s an interesting, 10-minute lecture delivered to students at the Wharton School by Kevin Roberts, the CEO of Saatchi and Saatchi. He covers a lot of ground in a short time, but I like the way he ties data, insight, foresight, and ideas all together.

September 29, 2008 | Greg Ness: Welcome To The Social Media Age

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According to Universal McCann, we have gone from the Pre-Media Age to the Mass Media Age, and we are now in the Social Media Age. That is just one of the conclusions on the effects of social media in this extensive research report titled, “When Did We Start Trusting Strangers?

September 28, 2008 | Greg Ness: If The World Had An Electoral Vote

Here is another engaging interactive infographic: Global Electoral College. According to The Economist, if the world had a chance to vote in our presidential election, it would be a landslide. However, as Buzzfeed points out, “not sure if that will help him [Obama] or hurt him with US voters.”

Of course the world doesn’t get to pick our president. We do. The latest Gallup poll gives Obama a 50% to 42% edge, but you can see from this graph, it has been a seesaw battle for the last three weeks. Yahoo’s prediction market based scenarios already have Obama a projected electoral college winner (if the election were held today). Others report the electoral map is too close to call.

September 28, 2008 | Greg Ness: 2008 Blogging Report

Technorati recently released its 2008 State of The Blogsphere report. Blogging continues to grow from a number of different perspectives:

1) The number of blogs (approximately 184 million blogs worldwide and about 26 million in the U.S.)
2) The number of blog posts (now approaching one million posts per day)
3) The number of blog readers (77% of active Internet users read blogs)

September 26, 2008 | Ron Lee: Facing the Fear Index

image If you’re following the rollercoaster ride of major financial indices such as the Dow, NASDAQ Composite and S&P 500, add to your bookmarks the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) Volatility Index® (VIX).   Also known as the Fear Index, the VIX is a key measure of market expectations of near-term volatility, as conveyed by S&P 500 stock index option prices. Investors and marketers, take note.

September 25, 2008 | Darin Livdahl: OtherInbox: The Answer to Email Overload?

If you are like many Web users who have signed up for numerous online newsletters, subscriptions and social networking sites throughout the last few years, you may experience email overload in the form of seemingly unmanageable messages within your work or personal email inbox.

Released earlier this month, OtherInbox beta, currently an invite-only Web application, offers free automated email management for Web users to fight spam and organize email messages such as notifications and solicited email marketing.

September 24, 2008 | Dean Froslie: National Punctuation Day: How Will You Celebrate?

Alert your favorite proofreaders, writers, editors and other grammar geeks: today is their day. National Punctuation Day has returned for its (not “it’s”) fifth year.

September 24, 2008 | Greg Ness: Zig vs. Zag

imageLate yesterday astute investor Warren Buffett’s firm, Berkshire Hathaway, bought $5 billion in Goldman Sachs stock – a move that many will no doubt see as reckless or foolish. One of the things that has made Buffett the world’s richest human being is that he zags when the rest of the market zigs. The scared are running for safety. The savvy are looking for gains.

Smart companies that zag when other companies zig can reap similar benefits. Many firms would say, “There is a downturn; we need to cut our marketing budget.” Yet business pundits have suggested for decades that increasing your marketing and advertising during a recession –when everyone else is hunkering down – is one of the fastest ways to increase market share.

September 24, 2008 | Erik Uetz: Learning to Love <b> and <i>

Since the great Web Standards revival, we web developers have sworn off presentational mark-up. Strict HTML 4.01 and XHTML 1 have exorcised presentational tags, such as <font> and <center>, completely out of the spec. Now, we bold with <strong> and italicize with <em>. There doesn’t seem to be a need for <b> or <i> anymore. So why are they still part of the spec?

September 23, 2008 | Mark Sjurseth: Android Lives!  T-Mobile G1 Official Announcement

If there was ever any doubt that Google could breath life into the new mobile platform Android, today’s announcement should put the debate to rest. T-Mobile held a press conference this morning in NYC to officially announce the release of the world’s first handset powered by the Android platform. The simply named G1 will be in T-Mobile stores around the world on October 22nd selling for only $179. The two data plans mentioned at today’s event appear equally affordable at $25 for unlimited data and limited messaging or $35 for unlimited data and messaging. Factoring in the required voice plan put this phone at a similar price to the iPhone and other smartphone options.

September 22, 2008 | Sara Litton: Popcuts pays you for choosing music

How would you like to buy music online and make money for doing so? Popcuts, an innovative new online music store, offers such a deal. Recently launched, the Popcuts music site allows customers to pay 99 cents for DRM-free (digital rights management) music.  Once customers purchase songs, they subsequently get paid every time someone else buys the same song. Right now the company pays customers in store credit, but hopes in the near future to actually pay cash.

September 22, 2008 | Greg Ness: The Basic Laws of Old and New Media

The power of social networking – and why astute businesses need to learn to embrace it – is all in the math.

imageWhat governs the power of old media (broadcast or one-way communication) is Sarnoff’s Law. There is a proportional relationship. If a broadcast network doubles its viewers, it doubles its value.

What governs social networks is Metcalfe’s Law and Reed’s Law. These are exponential relationships. If a social network doubles its participants its value grows by the square of its increase.

Considering what companies and investors have been willing to pay for high-growth social networking start-ups, it appears Wall Street and Main Street believe in Metcalfe’s Law.

September 22, 2008 | Greg Ness: Hurricane Ike’s Aftermath


Like most Americans, I was caught up in the drama as Hurricane Ike approached and then hit the Gulf Coast last week. I have a daughter and son-in-law who weathered the storm in their home near downtown Houston. They got by with relatively minor damage in the scope of things, but their power has been out since the storm hit.

Yesterday, my other daughter who lives in Denver emailed me a series of photos showing Ike’s aftermath. I was astonished at the destruction. Here is a link to those 28 photos (and 5424 comments) showing the incredible challenge people in the path of this storm will have to deal with in the weeks and months ahead. My heart goes out to them. If you want to help, a donation to the Red Cross is a great place to start.

September 18, 2008 | Greg Ness: Infographics

The science and art of infographics is intriguing. An example of an infographic was Monday’s post on Soda vs. Pop statistics. The purpose of infographics is to give people a quick, visual shortcut to understanding the relationship and meaning of many numbers and/or statistics. The New York Times online had a disturbing, but effective interactive infographic yesterday showing the incredible change in one year of the financial sector’s total stock market value and the the carnage of major players involved in that change.

September 18, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: JavaFX Poised To Take On The Rich Internet Application Heavy Weights

JavaFX, a new platform and scripting language that can create rich GUIs using Java’s Swing, has created a stir in the development world lately, with its announcement at JavaOne earlier this year and the subsequent preview release of the SDK.

So what is it about JavaFX that has the java world buzzing?

September 16, 2008 | Greg Ness: Can I Get You A Pop…Soda…?


Billions of dollars are spent every year on soft drink advertising in the United States. With this large expenditure, you would think a national consensus would arise on the term we use to offer someone a soft drink. Nope. The map below above shows a county by county breakdown across our whole country of what term people use to offer someone a soft drink.

September 15, 2008 | Greg Ness: Who Spends What


The world’s free market economy still depends on spending to make the wheels turn. The New York Times had an interesting story and interactive graph recently that shows a visual comparison of spending by the world’s major (economic) countries. It makes you realize how large the U.S. economy ranks in five major categories:

• Clothing and footwear
• Electronics
• Alcohol and tobacco
• Household goods
• Recreation

September 12, 2008 | Paul Bourdeaux: StringBuilder vs StringBuffer

An excellent internal Sundog blog about the differences in StringBuilder and StringBuffer by Nick Hauschild..  Good enough that I wanted to share some of it with the public audience…

September 08, 2008 | Jason Gibb: Google Announces Chrome: The Pundits React

Last week, Google announced Chrome, a new browser based on WebKit, the open source Web engine that powers Apple’s Safari and iPhone. Chrome will either be a game changing addition to the browser wars, or another niche product such as Opera or OmniWeb. If nothing else, Google has set the blogosphere abuzz. Read on for some of my favorite quotes.

September 08, 2008 | Greg Ness: Winner: World’s Best Presentation In The Technology Category

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The winner in the technology category in Slideshare’s World Best Presentation Contest was us•able. You can see all the category winners here.

September 05, 2008 | Sara Litton: eBay’s going internationally green- isn’t it a nice shade?

eBay launched a new site this week called The site features products made of recycled, natural, organic, and environmentally-friendly materials from around the world. The goal of the site is to let consumers make purchases that have positive social and environmental impacts globally.