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Showing posts from January, 2012

Will Résumés Become Passé?

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In 2010, I shared a news article about seeking jobs by playing video games. On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal reported that more companies recruit and select candidates without even asking them to submit a résumé. Will résumé become passé? 
According to my 2010 discussion, some companies, including Caesars Entertainment, have utilized social gaming to assess candidates’ professional skills. Candidates can win prizes if they are good. The best prize? It is probably getting the attention or a job offer from potential employers.  

The Wall Street Journal provided more examples. IGN Entertainment uses a similar approach of social gaming by posting a series of challenges online for candidates. In addition, candidates must submit a video to show their love of gaming and the companies’ products. 

Union Square Ventures, the New York venture-capital firm which invests in many technology companies like Foursquare and Twitter, requires candidate to provide the links of their online presence. The …

Are Traditional Media Dead? “Garden and Gun” Says No.

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In this week’s agenda for my class of HPM200 Managing Service Organizations in Social Media, we will discuss the impact of social media on TV networks, newspaper, and magazines. Statistics have shown that people rely less on traditional media for information than they did before. The viewership of TVs and printed media declined. Then, are traditional media dead already or will be replaced by social media soon? 

Garden and Gun, the magazine that was established by a New Yorker in 2007, dares to say no. As a matter of fact, the magazine is doing quite well in terms of subscriptions and industry recognitions.

What’s good about this magazine? Based on what I saw in this CBS News video, I contribute its success to the following factors:

It positions in a niche market. While there are many magazines and newspaper covering stories of either the Northeastern Region or the West Coast, there is a lack of attention to the “world” in between. It has a clear focus: the southern lifestyle --- “authe…

A MIT Dropout Became an Entrepreneur by Bridging Technology and Restaurant Service

We had a discussion about technology, college dropouts, and higher education earlier. This CNN News video shows us a start-up of bridging the tablet technology and restaurant service¹. The entrepreneur happened to be a MIT dropout².
Actually, using a tablet computer like iPad as a menu in a restaurant or in a hotel’s Concierge is not new. This start-up builds its service in a cheaper device, a smaller tablet. Currently customers can play games, view pictures of the menu items, order meals, and make a payment directly on the tablet, but this technology is not designed to completely replace wait service --- at least, not yet at this point. The start-up charges $100 to $200 per month for the service. There are about 300 restaurants in the U.S. that have already adopted the menu-tablet service. It seems that customers love this service; restaurant owners can probably save labor costs and increase sales with new service and a higher table turnover rate.

How do you like/dislike this servic…

Higher Education in the Age of Information Explosion

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I shared a YouTube video in my social media class today. It shows how fast technology and our knowledge evolve in this age. There are some seem-to-be-terrifying statistics related to higher education:  

The top 10 in-demand jobs in 2010 did not exist in 2004.We are currently preparing students for (future) jobs that don’t yet exist (today).Using technologies that haven’t been invented in order to solve problems --- we don’t even know (what) are (the) problems yet.For students starting a 4 year technical degree, this means that half of what they learn in their first year of study will be outdated by their third year of study.
If that is the case, what is good about high education? What should be taught in college? 
I believe that colleges and universities in general are the places to develop future leaders and that research institutes are designed to create new knowledge and innovative ideas. It is good that students can learn the latest technology and information. Accordingly, we should …

Will Roomkey.com Become a Game-Changing Site for Online Hotel Reservations?

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Hotels must love and hate those online travel agents (OTAs) like Expedia, Hotwire, and Travelocity because on one hand, OTAs bring more business to hotels and on the other hand, hotels have to pay commissions to every reservation made through OTAs. For years, Hotels have been making efforts to improve their own websites so that they can compete with OTAs. Many hotels now guarantee customers that they offer the lowest price on the hotels’ own websites.

According to the PhoCusWright survey reported in The Wall Street Journal, reservations through OTAs contributed 45% of all online reservations, representing $15.2 billion of hotel sales, up from $12 billion in 2009. Certainly, it is the hotels’ best interest of skipping the “middlemen” or at least minimizing their commissions paid to OTAs.
As a result of the competition, Roomkey.com was born, which serves as a search engine and will direct customers to the hotel websites that invested in Roomkey.com.  Now, Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt, I…

Some Considerations of Promoting Business on Group-Buying Websites

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Many consumers use group-buying websites like LivingSocial and Groupon to find deals nowadays. Certainly, these websites can help business draw traffic and bring in new customers, but I must say that promoting business on group-buying websites is NOT for everyone, regardless how effective this distribution channel may appear.

Why? --- That’s a great question. First, please allow me to share four examples of mine during my recent visit to San Francisco:

Example 1: City Segway Tours. The company promoted a 3-hour Segway tour at LivingSocial.com (50% off). The tour was fun, but the weather was foggy (fog is normal in San Francisco, right?). Because of the fog, the tour guy asked us if we would prefer to skip the Golden Gate Bridge and spend more time in the Palace of Fine Arts. Then, she added --- I hope you guys won’t post a negative comment online because of this, stating that “this tour sucks as we did not spend time observing the Golden Gate Bridge.” It turned out that we could bare…

ING Direct Café San Francisco: Adding Hospitality to Banking Services

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Yesterday, I visited the ING Direct Café located at the corner of Post St and Kearny St in San Francisco. ING Direct Café is an innovative banking concept, currently available in major cities like New York City, Chicago, Toronto, Las Angeles, and San Francisco. So, what makes this bank so special? 
There is big open space in this two-story “bank,” with free WiFi and many electronic outlets. Instead of counters or desks for tellers or bankers, ING puts a nice café that sells coffee, tea, and snacks to customers.The only ATM in the bank is “hiding” somewhere behind the stairs. There are professional bankers in the store, providing banking services if needed --- promoting the services offered by the bank and helping customers navigate the bank’s online banking systems. There are multi-purposed functional rooms in the basement. Customers can use the space with reservations. 
I like this concept. With more customers are using online and mobile services, companies need to come up with innovat…