Monday, November 30, 2009

Marketplace take on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

I love marketplace on NPR . I have been reading the releases by the various organizations on how Black Friday performed and here is the Marketplace take on CyberMonday.

Which city had the highest searches for Cyber Monday ?

This is a Google trends snapshot on Nov 30th 2009 at 4.50 p.m. Look at the cities and see if there is any logic behind the pattern? What are your theories?
Did the French really search for Cyber Monday? See the regions graph above.

Will people travel more this Holiday season ?

The retail and travel industries are crossing their fingers for a prosperous holiday season. CNBC interview with Stephen Hoch, of Wharton, and Steve Kaufer, of Trip Advisor, share their insight.

I love tripadvisor and have used it several times to plan trips and found agencies in the local places to save money. Some examples- Car Service in London and Punta Cana. Travel agency in Peru Kuoda Tours.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Black Friday Average shopper spent $343.31

Ylan Mui of the Washington Post wrote a great article that will come in tomorrow’s paper about Black Friday 2009.

The National Retail Federation released their Black Friday Verdict.

Top takeaways:

  • More people joined in the post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza this year, but they spent less money and hunted down bargains
  • 195 million people visited shopping malls and online retailers Thursday through Sunday, up from 172 million consumers last year
  • department stores ranked as the top Black Friday shopping destination, with 49 percent of shoppers visiting at least one. Discounters, which have typically claimed the No. 1 spot, fell to second place with 43.2 percent of shoppers, according to the NRF survey.

Comscore on the other hand headlined their release with

Black Friday Boasts $595 Million in U.S. Online Holiday Spending, Up 11 Percent Versus Year Ago

Top Takeaways:

  • Over the years, the online channel has become an increasingly influential driver in offline shopping behavior. Before making purchases in brick-and-mortar retail locations, consumers have become adept at doing their research beforehand. The array of sites doing round-ups of Black Friday deals are becoming more popular than ever.
  • Amazon Sites was the most visited retail property on Black Friday, growing 28 percent from the corresponding shopping day a year ago, followed closely by Walmart, which grew 22 percent. Worldwide Sites (up 39 percent), Target Corporation (up 2 percent) and Best Buy Sites (up 24 percent) rounded out the top five.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Pew Report talks about Teens as Digital Natives

The Pew Internet & American Life Project, Pew Research always has very interesting studies and I wanted to share this with you. The slide presentation is below delivered by Lee Rainie Director Pew Internet project and heare are some findings that I found very interesting.

  • 97 % of teens play video or computer games
  • 75% of teens have a cellphone but only 60% have a desktop or a laptop
  • 14% of teens have blogs and post regularly while 54% read blogs
  • 93% of teens are online and of these 73% use social networking sites
  • 40% to 50% Tag content ( I wonder what the ratio is for adults )
  • 50% to 60% post photos online
  • 8% use Twitter

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tony Hsieh CEO Zappos inspiring companies to deliver happiness more than products

Notes from the presentation at Pubcon

Zappos Keynote at PubCon – Tony Hsieh CEO Zappos
• Zappos wants to own the three C’s: clothing, customer service, culture.
• Zappos labels their products “happiness in a box”. Delivering that experience through both digital channels and a tangible product.
• Zappos has grown gross merchandise sales from $1.6M in 2000 to over $1 billion in 2008 by focusing relentlessly on customer service – a potent digital marketing tool
• #1 driver of Zappos’ growth is from repeat customers and word of mouth. Put a focus into the customer experience, create something that is worth talking about. Let customers do the marketing for you through digital (and physical) channels.

• Customer service: What customers see first on the Zappos website:
o 24/7 1-800 number on every page
o Free shipping
o Free return shipping
o 365-day return policy
• What customers experience:
o Fast, accurate fulfillment
o Most customers are “surprise”-upgraded to overnight shipping (creates a WOW experience)
o Friendly, helpful, “above and beyond” customer service – even directing customers to competitors if they are looking for something Zappos doesn’t have
• What Zappos does internally:
o No call times, no sales-based performance goals for reps
o Run warehouse 24/7
o Inventory all products (no drop-shipping)
o 5 weeks of culture, core values, customer service and warehouse training for everyone in Las Vegas office
o Customer service is not just that department, it’s everyone
o Culture book – all employees contribute a few paragraphs. Except for typos, it is unedited. Everyone reads it.

Zappos Core Values

1. Deliver WOW through service
2. Embrace and drive change
3. Create fun and a little weirdness
4. Be Adventurous , Creative and Open Minded
5. Pursue Growth and learning
6. Build honest and open relationships with communications
7. Build a positive team and family spirit
8. Do more with less
9. Be passionate and determined
10. Be humble

Zappos examples of transparency about how they do business.
11. ( Every employee is encouraged to Twitter)
12. “Ask Anything” newsletter
13. Extranet for vendors
14. Tours and reporter visits to the Zappos office ( unsupervised)
16. Live events at

Alignment: it does not matter what your core values are .. as long as you commit to them
Vision : What ever you are thinking – Think Bigger . Chase the Vision , not the money
Entrepreneur : What would you be passionate about doing for 10 years even if you never made a dime?

Evolution of the Zappos Brand
• 1999 Selection ( Inventory of shoes)
• 2003 Customer Service
• 2005 Culture and Core Values as our platform
• 2007 Personal emotional connection with customers
• 2009 Delivering Happiness

Book recommendation
Peak – Chip Conley
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich

The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A DM is better than calling me ? Communication tools that help you stay connected

A DM is a direct message on Twitter. To send a DM you type d followed by a space and the Twitterid of the person example : d shashib stop stealing the doughnuts :)

Have you ever experienced the panic that hits you when you look at your phone and there is no signal. You are now disconnected from the world and all alone by yourself. For some strange reason this happens to me specially in hotels.

Don’t panic help is on the way. You will still be able to communicate with me :

a) If there is wi-fi you can be sure I am connected ( specially if wi-fi is free)

b) If there is wi-fi I probably have Skype on so you can call me “shashibonskype”

c) I check Twitter and so I can get your tweets and DMs

Now if you have wi-fi you can pretty much reach me by email too but then its sounds like so yesterday :)

On a recent trip to Poptech Michelle Riggin of Batch Blue gave me a tip to use web video conferencing to keep in touch with the kids who are thrilled to see parents even if on a computer screen. I need to find a deal this Black Friday to buy a nice web cam.

What are your tips when the cell phone is not accessible?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

INNOVATION: The Key to Pro$perity :Thursday, November 19 6-7:30 p.m: Johns Hopkins Rockville

INNOVATION: The Key to Pro$perity
Technology & America's Role in the 21st Century Global Economy

A Book Signing and Evening Talk with Aris Melissaratos
Senior Advisor to the President for Enterprise Development
Johns Hopkins University

Thursday, November 19
6-7:30 p.m.
Johns Hopkins University Montgomery County Campus
9605 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD

RSVP to:
Barbara Crews, or 301-294-7004

Friday, November 13, 2009

Social Networking: the Two Dirtiest Words in Gov 2.0 (a Sweets and Tweets event) by @debbieweil November 17, 2009

1052 Thomas Jefferson St. NW
Washington, 20007

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 from 7:00 PM - 8:15 PM (ET)

Register here

About the Event

The point of social networking on Facebook, Twitter, etc. is not about being social or frivolous or wasting time. Social networking is also about more than collaboration, a new "in" term in government-speak. Social networking can improve the process of government, according to Mark (aka @cheeky_geeky) who writes for O'Reilly Radar,Federal Computer Week, Mashable and many other publications.

Our sponsor is Neighborhood America, an enterprise software company that has been doing cool things in the Gov 2.0 space before it was Gov 2.0. Neighborhood America develops enterprise social media solutions for public sector, non-profit and Fortune 1000 clients. Their software powers the content-rich AmEx OpenForum, one of my favorite small biz sites. Neighborhood America's CIO Jim Haughwout will be on hand to answer questions.

Sweets and Tweets features leading voices from DC's diverse technology community talking about the use of social media by the public and private sector, from the White House and federal agencies to local startups. The event series is produced and hosted by author (THE CORPORATE BLOGGING BOOK) and social media consultant Debbie Weil. Previous events featured GeniusRocket's Mark Walsh on crowdsourcing and HHS's Andrew P. Wilson, who runs

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Breaking News :Magic at a pubcon conference panel #magic Really!

As I am blogging this David kelin is doing a magic trick with Mystic Joe of beside him. I attend a lot of conferences but this is a first and I have never seen this before.

Book signing by @greenhance - Greening Your Small Business Saturday, November 14, 1 p.m. at politics & prose DC


Book Signing by Jennifer Kaplan - Greening Your Small Business

Saturday, November 14, 1 p.m.
Jennifer Kaplan  Greening Your Small Business (Prentice Hall, $19.95)

For companies too small to hire a consultant to implement green policies and practices, this is an affordable, comprehensive guide. Designed to address every aspect of going green, the manual assists in basics such as recycling, reducing waste, energy efficiency, and reducing the IT footprint, as well as considering wider concerns such as green marketing and communications, green business travel, and green employee benefits.


Politics and Prose
5015 Connecticut Ave. NWWashington, D.C. 20008

Jennifer Kaplan is a well-respected voice in the green space. She is a founder of Greenhance LLC and Adjunct Faculty of Marketing at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Hear recording of my interview on KFNX 1100 :Marketing with Social Media 11-08-09

Subscribe Free  Add to my Page

It was great to be on the IMI Tech Talk show with Tom D`Auria and I have to thank my friend Gabe Goldberg who heard me speak at the CPCUG EIG meet at Clevland park and recommended me to Tom.

I got a chance on the show to show the immediate effects of Social media when I asked the question on Twitter for examples of Small Business using social media. Examples that we received  are : United Linen, BlueSmoke Salsa , @Sprouter , @FreshBooks , @Ben_Kwan; his family's restaurant, @AmazingChinese,

The Show website is

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Listen to me today on TechTalk on KFNX 1100 @ 5 pm EST | 3pm MST/PDT Nov 8th 2009

Every Sunday Tom D’Auria, discusses tech topics to help you run your business and your life. Today  I excited to be a guest on this show today. You can listen live if you live in the Greater Phoenix area on 1100 KFNX AM or online at  If you can't listen to the live show you will find the show as a podcast archive on the IMI Tech Talk website


Questions for Tom or Guest
+1 602.277.KFNX
+1 602.277.5369

Follow the show on Twitter : @imitechtalk and head over to the show's Blog for details of past shows.

Folks behind the show :

Production Staff Members (

  • Host - Tom D'Auria
  • IMI President - Terry Ruggiero
  • Executive Editor & Executive Producer - Matt Campagni
  • Producer & Senior Editor - Eric Johnson
  • Foreign Bureau Chief - David Brandin
  • Technology Bureau Chief - Jose Baptista
  • Reporter - Pei Chung Chiu
  • Reporter - Gilbert Williams
  • Online Editor & Production Associate - Adam Poe

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Interesting Nov Events from the CPCUG Calendar for DC MD VA Folks

[Wed., Nov. 18] 7:30 pm, Digital Video SIG, free
"We Remember Grundy"
Speaker: Russell Belcher, Arc Lamp Productions
Bethesda Chevy Chase Services Center
4805 Edgemoor Lane, 2nd floor, Room A
(southwest corner of Old Georgetown Road and Edgemoor Lane)
Bethesda, MD
Parking: Garage in building (small fee)
Metrorail: Bethesda Station, Red Line, 1 block away
Saturday, November 21
    * RSVP requested--send e-mail to *
1:00 pm, Entrepreneurs and Consultants SIG, free
An Overview of Free Open Source Software
Speaker: Tom Gutnick, Sunny Banana,
President and Chief Dragon Slayer
Cleveland Park Library
3310 Connecticut Avenue, NW, 1st Floor Large Meeting Room,
Washington, DC
(west side of Connecticut Avenue between Macomb and Newark Sts.)
Metrorail: Cleveland Park Subway Station on Red Line (1.5 blocks)
To RSVP--send e-mail to

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Tweetup Rockville Nov 9th at 6.30 p.m


Mike Neumann @mikeneumann and Lindsey Mastis @LindseyMastis are organizing a tweet up in Rockville. Mike is visiting from Austin and I had a chance to meet him at the #GrowSmartBiz meetup at Indique Heights on 29th October.

Gordon Biersch
200 East Middle Lane, Unit A
Rockville, MD

Nov 9, 2009

7pm - 10pm

Please RSVP here

Deadline for Chesapeake TechBridge Program and Showcases Nov6th

The Chesapeake Innovation Center, CIC, is currently conducting an active search for one of our Agency and Prime Contractor Partners.  A select group of companies will get a unique opportunity to provide an in-depth company overview presentation and demo  of their product and solutions to key senior staff at one of the Agencies and Major Primes (Northrop Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, ARINC, Alion, and others)  at the CIC TechBridge Showcase.  Slots are limited for the presenting companies.  Please urge your companies to apply today!

We are seeking to identify companies with developed and real technologies that are considered to be newest and/or  greatest that are revolutionary – faster, lighter, cheaper, less bandwidth, etc…  (please refer below for a list of targeted technology areas).  We are looking for companies that have clear AND significant advantage over their competitors. 

TechBridge Program and Showcases:GET nOTICED gROW fASTER

Target Technology Areas

  • · Secure wireless multimedia
  • · Advanced wireless security
  • · WiMAX
  • · Converging wireless and internet
  • · Cyber security and defense
  • · Collect/process/analyze voluminous data
  • · Self organizing networks
  • · Power, space, cooling  - IT
  • · Data security
  • · Distributed systems
  • · Airport Technologies
  • · Sensor Technologies
  • · Cloud Computing
  • · Embedded Systems
  • · Homeland Security
  • o Border Security
  • o First Responder Technologies
  • o Transportation Security
  • ·Communication Interoperability Technologies
  • · Chemical Detection Technologies

TechBridge Showcase Date · November 18, 2009

- Deadline for application is November 6th.  Very Few slots available.

· Next TechBridge Showcase will be held in February 2010.

Benefits to the Participating Companies

  • · Amazing opportunity to highlight themselves to the their potential customers and partners in the intelligence and government market
  • · Market Feedback – we solicit the feedback from the System Integrators  and Government Agencies and provide it back to the participating companies
  • · Potential business opportunities
  • · One-on-one coaching and preparations for their showcase

Fees for participating Companies


Discount: If the applicant companies mention your name in the “how did you hear about us?” box on the application (, they will receive a $25 discount.

To Apply:

We are currently reviewing companies and the deadline for submissions is November 6, 2009. Please feel free to forward this to any companies you see fit.   They can also submit an application at  Or…Please have the companies send me an e-mail with their product sheets and/or whitepapers by the deadline.

The companies that pass the screening test, will have a chance to present their technology to this Agency and other major Prime System Integrators at the CIC TechBridge Showcase to be held on the date mentioned above.  This is an invitation only event and will be closed to the public. 

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Listen in to the Word On the Tweet tonight Nov 1st

Word On The Tweet a weekly podcast for everything about Twitter. The show is hosted by @jeffparsons and @CostaVidaFred  and today I am one of the guests on the show too at 08.30 p.m EST. URL for the live show and chat is Hope you will join us.

Google Maps kicking GPS manfacturers on their shins @robpegoraro

Key message :That is not to say that Google is some reincarnation of the dot-com-era Microsoft. It has yet to engage in such hubristic excesses as co-founding a TV news network, and it hasn't trampled over the antitrust laws. Google avoids locking in users with proprietary data formats or protocols; last month, it set up a site ( to document and promote ways for users to take their data out of (and into) Google services.

Read the rest of the article and see how Google is a major presence in probably your lives

in reference to: (view on Google Sidewiki)

AI generated summary of 60 minutes AI edition

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on April 17, 2023, Google CEO Sundar Pichai warned that artificial intelligence (AI) is advancing rapid...