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Giving Back to At-Risk Youth

December 23, 2010

I love to see companies give back to their communities and people in need.

In fact you may have noticed as of late I have become an advocate of smaller government with far less overhead and taxes; in-part so organizations and wealthy individuals can have more money to spend on causes they deem wealthy.

The alternative where higher tax rates are imposed and the proceeds used to benefit special-interest groups with voting power never has and never will make sense to me.

To me, the American Dream is to start from humble means and make a positive difference on the lives of others through continued success.

So when I heard Interactive Intelligence starting a foundation for at-risk youth, I couldn't help but smile.

It's worth pointing out other companies who are successful and have made a difference via charity include Google, Salesforce.com and Facebook.

During this time of holiday cheer, it is gratifying to see companies taking the proceeds from their success and using them to help others.

When you allocate your charitable contributions at year-end and beyond, you may want to consider this foundation.

Here are some details:

  • Funds raised by the foundation are distributed to a small number of not-for-profit organizations roughly commensurate with the Interactive Intelligence Inc. employee distribution in Indiana (66%), Non-Indiana U.S. (19%), and Non-U.S. (15%).
  • Monetary distribution decisions are made one time each year by the foundation’s board of directors.
  • Special emphasis is placed on projects that promote technology education amongst the targeted at-risk youth sector.
  • At the decision of the board of directors, a portion of the foundation’s funds may be directed at times to assist world crises or natural disasters.


















Callvine Simplifies Mobile Conferencing

December 19, 2010

Yesterday I was at a party where one of the guests was telling me about her job managing real estate for her family. I inquired about where her office is and she held up her cell phone and said my car is my office. This conversation reminded me about a recent conversation with Callvine Founder and COO Mark Dzwonczyk who tells me his company has found the secret ingredient to take conferencing to the mobile professional. After a couple of years of work, the company has an app which I tried on an iPhone (iTunes preview) allowing you to quickly set up groups which you can use to SMS and conference.

Finally Headsets Get Smart

December 10, 2010

You get a call, you pick up the headset and put it on your ear and then turn on the headset to connect the call.

One of these steps is not needed.

The Apple iPhone popularized the motion sensor/accelerometer and Sonos uses this technology to keep its remote control powered down until it is picked up.

Now headsets can join the motion sensing party and the latest one from Plantronics, the Voyager UC Pro which ships early next year will acknowledge the fact you have picked it up by switching the call to the device.

What could be better than a world filled with smarter devices, making our lives easier? Thanks Plantronics... This is a really good idea.

TMC broke the story earlier today for more on this new bluetooth headset.









Google Now Ranks Based on CRM

December 2, 2010

This past weekend I was fairly amazed to read about how a retailer of glasses with very high rankings on Google seemed to thrive on providing service which is extremely aggressive and even hostile. The site, DecorMyEyes.com has an owner who goes by an alias Tony Russo (his real name is Vitaly Borker) and threatens customers by calling them names like bitch and and does things like sending them pictures of their homes as an intimidation tactic.

The amazing thing about the story is it explained that the more horrible the customer service level, the more complaints were generated on high-ranking sites such as RipoffReport.com which in turn increased the ranking of the site.

So basically a viral loop was set up where customers were drawn into using the site because of high rankings and the more customers, the more chance of having poor service issues and subsequently more links were created to the site.

From a consumer standpoint this is a nightmare but from the perspective of the retailer it encourages them to give worse service - or at least that is what the owner of the company believed.

A Google spokesperson referred the reporter at the New York Times who wrote the story to speak with Danny Sullivan, editor-in-chief of the blog Search Engine Land who ended up calling Google cagey and explaining that the company does not use sentiment analysis. Moreover he said if the world's leading search engine were to do so, it may be impossible to find a link to the White House if a lot of people hate the President and say so online.

He continued:

Google doesn’t need sentiment analysis to help people like Clarabelle Rodriguez [referred to as a victim of the company in the article]. It could simply become better at incorporating consumer reviews on the main page of its search results.
David Segal, the reporter behind the story - deserves a raise because this is a great investigative piece.











Cisco Social Video Ad I Like

December 1, 2010

Last week I shared a video ad from Calabrio I thought was great and a as a result, Ross Daniels shared a Cisco ad which is quite good as well. For the decades as I have covered the communications and tech space, I have been amazed at how dry marketing and PR can be. I am thrilled to see human interest being injected into promotional messages - making them more engaging and potentially viral.

Check the Cisco ad out below

 


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