The Caveat of Crowdsourcing

CrowdsourcingCrowdsourcing is a form of project management that pulls from the time, talents, and resources of a large pool of workers. Crowdsourcing has been utilized across the globe in areas such as software development, image tagging, and transcription. And while the relative low cost of crowd-completed work may be appealing to a business on a tight budget there are many disadvantages.

Poor workforce

A typical crowdsource platform is an online interface that allows anyone, regardless of actual credentials, to qualify to work on one or more parts of a given project. Users must simply complete a very limited test in order to gain access to work and rarely undergo any prerequisite training. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Kiplinger Names Top Private Universities, Liberal Arts Colleges of 2014

Although it may seem more challenging than ever to provide a quality education while keeping costs low, many colleges and universities across the country are succeeding on both counts.

Based in Washington, D.C., Kiplinger is a publisher of personal finance advice and business forecasts, available in software, video, audio, online and print products. The company’s yearly list ranks the top 100 liberal arts colleges and 100 private universities. The total ranking points were divided by cost criteria (45 percent) and quality criteria (55 percent).

The colleges on this list exemplify the key attributes that students and parents are seeking in higher education, including student indebtedness, financial aid, cost, academic support, four-year graduation rates and competitiveness. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Airline Industry Suffers from Rising Fuel Costs, Shortage of Pilots

fuel-pricesIn a new report from the Government Accountability Office, there are currently fewer airplane seats and fewer flights available as compared with numbers from 2007.

Seats have declined 9 percent and flights 9 percent at larger airports, the study said. In smaller destinations, seats were down 18 percent and flights fell by 24 percent.

Only rural communities have avoided the impact of this trend. The study authors noted that many of the positive developments in the airline industry are a result of congressional efforts to keep small airports afloat. The number of flights serving Essential Air Service airports has increased about 20 percent since 2007, and the number of seats are up 8 percent. Of the 160 airports featured in the program, 43 are located in Alaska. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Philadelphia Earns Praise as the Number-One City for Small Business

PhiladelphiaA pair of new surveys reveal interesting developments about business creation in America’s leading cities.

Biz2Credit Hails the City of Brotherly Love as a Small-Business Mecca

A tribute to the city’s standard of living and relatively low operation costs, Philadelphia has the unique ability to attract startups and help enhance their profitability, according to Biz2Credit.

Biz2Credit is one of America’s leading business loan companies. Its annual survey, “Best U.S. Cities for Small Business,” examines early-stage businesses in terms of average credit scores, age of business and average revenue. Besides Philadelphia, cities near the top of the list included San Francisco, California; Denver, Colorado; Detroit-Dearborn, Michigan; and San Jose, California. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)

Google Street View Sinks to New Lows and Rises Above the Clouds

Everyone knows that bright and vivid images of Stonehenge, the great pyramids, and even the North Pole are just a mouseclick away thanks to Google Map’s Street View. But now Google, in conjunction with the United States government, is going under the sea to allow net surfers the opportunity to break the ocean’s surface and visit the reefs and shipwrecks off the Florida coast.

In 2014, scientist with NOAA will begin getting a “fisheye” view as they dropped cameras into the waters of the Florida Keys. The researchers will release much of their visual findings to Google in an effort to increase public awareness about and spur interest in the marine world. Google hopes the partnership will help national agencies find support in their aquatic preservation efforts and shed light on the ecological struggles of the Earth’s oceans. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +2 (from 2 votes)

Travel Expenses Impact Small Business

Business owners prefer face-to-face meetings but an increase in travel cost and non-compliance with corporate travel policies create challenges. There are solutions, however, that are simple and effective.

Problem: High Travel Costs

In a recent travel trends study, more than 84% of business owners cited ever-increasing hotel and airfare rates as a strain on their bottom line. However, many of these businesses also report a reduction in their travel budget. Despite higher cost and fewer miles per dollar, small businesses are spending more money than ever before on work-related trips.

A major cause for concern amongst travelers is difficulty during the reservation process. Many business travelers report that seat reservations on low-cost carriers are more difficult than ever to come by and ancillary services are challenging the book. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Young Americans Prefer Electronic Media When Seeking Customer Service

In a new study by messaging service provider HeyWire Business, over half of the 700 respondents were more likely to use texting as their main method of accessing customer support. The survey results indicate a significant interest of consumers in today’s tech-savvy world to use text as a way to raise awareness of customer service issues.

Among people ages 18-34, 53 percent of consumers seeking customer support prefer using some form of electronic media – text, Web chat, email or social media – instead of picking up the phone and making a call. With younger Americans using text as a primary way to engage with brands and businesses around the world, this trend is expected to increase in popularity. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Study: Businesses Loosen the Purse Strings to Cover Travel Expenses

expensesThe new Business Travel Expense Trends survey has revealed some interesting insights about the spending habits of many U.S.-based organizations.

Certify, the world’s leading cloud-based expense report management software provider,  developed this survey featuring 137 North American companies. Fifty-eight percent of respondents spent more on travel in 2013 compared with their 2012 spending.

Travel expenses are known as one of the most common work-related tax deductions.  The Business Travel Expense Trends survey shows that businesses are demonstrating a little more flexibility in terms of their operational expenses. In 2014, 49 percent of all survey respondents said they plan to spend slightly more on travel expenses. Thirty percent said their expenses will remain the same. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Facebook Turns Corner with Acquisition of Messaging System WhatsApp

3-14-14-FacebookIn a shocking move to outside observers, Mark Zuckerberg has given away approximately 8 percent of Facebook and forked over $4 billion to acquire WhatsApp.

The transaction occurs as Facebook experiences slower growth among its younger users.

WhatsApp, a startup company headquartered in California, offered Facebook ownership of the largest mobile messaging system in the world. It currently hosts more than 450 million users each month.  WhatsApp was created in 2009 by Jan Koum and Brian Acton.

Facebook is expected to pay $12 billion in Facebook shares, $4 billion in cash and $3 billion in stock units.

Unlike the leading social-media sites Twitter and Facebook, WhatsApp charges consumers for the services. WhatsApp currently has over 500 million consumers in 200 countries. For just 99 cents, users can send audio, video and other media messages, as well share their locations through an interactive map.

[Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)

Medical Reviews and Ratings Sites Expect Major Increases in 2014

Medical ReviewsThe Internet is transforming how medical practices go about their business.

In 2005, a mere 6 percent of physicians offered appointment scheduling online. Moving into 2014, approximately 20 percent of doctors’ offices provide the opportunity for patients to make appointment requests through online scheduling services or patient portal. However, 80 percent of consumers prefer booking their appointments over the phone, according to a recent Vitals Index report.

The increased availability of technology has made online scheduling an important element of consumer behavior. Just as the travel and entertainment industry has slowly moved towards online reservations, physicians will begin to do the same. The Internet offers patients the opportunity to schedule appointments at their convenience. Before people select a restaurant or hair salon, many access the Internet to read ratings and reviews in order to make a buying decision. That trend will continue in the medical industry for 2014. Physician ratings and reviews are expected to gain even more visibility over the next 12 months. In the same Vitals Index report, a majority of respondents said that 5-6 reviews can give an accurate assessment about quality of service. The most popular site for today’s online consumers is Vitals.com, with more than 3 million reviews to date. [Read more…]

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)