My apologies in advance for my voice on today’s broadcast.  Had one of those Bronchitis attacks – but the show had to go on as I had two great guests and we introduced “CONVERSATIONS”. My guests today were Kathleen Ranahan. Kathleen’s expertise is derived from 20+ years of Business Operations from start-ups to Fortune 500 companies. Her knowledge base encompasses business and Organizational Development, Performance Management, Employee Relations, Talent Management and the proven ability to assist with the growth and development of individuals or corporations. John Mallen, founder and CEO of JMCPR, a Public Relations and Marketing Communications Company.



john Mallen





Conversations is a set of specialized communication platforms for local communities and businesses. It uses both traditional media and the social media toolsets. It builds the brand. It establishes its executives as a brand. It Aligns the executives brand to the company brand. It then deploys the executives as brand ambassadors in the social media channels.



The business world has a crippling lack of technology skills, and the cost to the U.S. economy is staggering. According to a Harris Poll commissioned by learning company Grovo last year, only one in 10 U.S. workers consider themselves proficient with the digital tools they use every day at work. And when you consider that “challenges related to working with documents” cost businesses 21.3% in total productivity, according to IDC, the lack of digital skills may drain over $1.3 trillion per year from the U.S. economy.
This penalty could be significantly higher in companies where employees are uncomfortable with social technology. Companies see social networks as the future “office” — a setting where teams can communicate, share documents, collaborate and work more productively, no matter where they are. The big tech companies recognize this demand and are racing to capture the enterprise market. Facebook, for example, is preparing to launch an enterprise social network called Facebook at Work, and LinkedIn, too, is piloting an internal social network for businesses.
At the same time, businesses view social networks as the future of marketing, selling and recruiting — the place where workers across all departments connect with leads, share content and generate awareness of their companies. So employees have to be equally comfortable on both internal and public-facing social media, yet it seems clear that the U.S. workforce doesn’t have the skills to use social technology effectively — yet. The question is, how should businesses respond to this dilemma?
In the short term, businesses can spend all their effort trying to attract the savvy 10% of workers comfortable with social tools, but they alone can’t transform the productivity of thousands of other employees. In the long term, it makes more sense to acquire the technology you want and then train people to use it. Training becomes a force for retaining talent, because people want to remain in an environment where their value and potential grows over time. Here are three ways companies can train their employees in social skills to improve productivity:

From Engadget, BGR, CNET


We’re still waiting for the final pricing details on the Apple Watch, but if recent reports that Apple plans to sell one million gold Edition units a month are true, Apple Watch could wreak havoc on gold prices and do who knows what to the global economy.
Josh Center at TidBits has done some math on Apple Watch and estimates that if production rumors are correct, Apple will be bidding for a third of the world’s annual gold supply to make enough gold watches to meet demand.
To put those numbers in perspective, Apple needs so much gold it could turn the all 7,000 metric tons of gold stored at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York — you know, the one from the plot of Die Hard 3 — into gold watches in less than a decade.

Assuming the Apple Watch Edition contains 2 troy ounces of gold (2 troy ounces equals 62.2 grams), Centers estimates Apple would need 24 million troy ounces of gold per year for its watches. Or roughly 746 metric tons. About 2,500 metric tons of gold are mined per year, so if Apple uses 746 metric tons they’ll need about 30% of the world’s annual gold production.
What if you could text a number and get anything you want?
That’s the ambitious goal of a new startup called Magic, a text-messaging-based concierge service that promises to pull strings, place orders, and schedule deliveries all so you don’t have to.
Magic doesn’t have a dedicated app. It instead exists as a phone number nestled inside your contact list, acting as your go-to “guy” for anything (legal) you may need.
It’s only available in the US for now, and you can sign up by texting 408-217-1721.

Once you text Magic with what you’re looking for, one of Magic’s operators will ask any follow up questions (when do you need those flowered delivered?) and then get to work to make it happen.
Magic operators are available 24/7, so while you might have to worry if your favorite pizzeria is still open, you won’t have to worry about texting Magic late at night.


Don’t buy a 4K TV right now. Ignore the deals and bargains, this is not a good time to buy a 4K TV. In fact, it’s one of the worst times to by a 4K TV. TVs you can buy now won’t be able to take advantage of significant next-generation picture quality advancements due out later this year. Some current TVs won’t even be compatible.

Right now the market is saturated by close-out 2014 models that seem like an incredible bargain. These TVs don’t offer what many of the upcoming 2015 models do. And trust me, you’ll want what these new models can do.

Picture Quality Improvements
TVs from 2014 and earlier, even the 4K models, won’t be able to take advantage of any of the picture quality enhancements coming out this year. Some won’t be able to even play the upcoming 4KBD discs at 4K resolution.
That’s right. Later this year 4K Blu-ray will become available. Expect expensive players and discs to start, but prices will fall (they always do). The above picture quality features are expected on many of the discs (though they’ll have to be created that way).

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