Tag Archives: IPhone

What’s open on your Smart Phone?

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Every once in a while, I see a travel web site or an airline in-flight magazine will run a story featuring what essential items some semi-famous traveller takes along in their briefcase or purse.

Today, I’m going to do the same thing except it’s going to be about what apps are always open on my iPhone.

Today these include:

• Apple stock market app
• Safari browser
• WordPress app for iPhone
• Hilton Hhonors app
-• Delta Airlines app
• LinkedIn app
• Facebook app
• Twitter app
• Radian6 app
• Kindle app
• Yahoo Fantasy Hockey 2014 app
• Gmail app
• iTunes
• Spotify app
• Trello app

No wonder my battery is dying all the time!

What’s open on your Smartphone?

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NLRB decides not to seek appeal on workplace notice posting rule

NLRB sends out press release on employee right to join or not join a union

This press release from the NLRB details their reasoning for not filing an appeal on a U.S. Court of Appeals decision that invalidated their proposed rule requiring most private sector employers in the United States to post a notice about employee rights to unionize.  The rule was opposed by the Chamber of Commerce and other business groups for being too one sided regarding the right to unionize, when the National Labor Relations Act clearly states that employees have a right to choose to be represented by a union for the purposes of collective bargaining, or to choose not to be represented.

The press release actually does a pretty good job of making that crucial distinction clear.  You can view the complete press release online here.

The NLRB’s Notice Posting Rule

January 6, 2014

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has decided not to seek Supreme Court review of two U.S. Court of Appeals decisions invalidating the NLRB’s Notice Posting Rule, which would have required most private sector employers to post a notice of employee rights in the workplace.

The NLRB remains committed to ensuring that workers, businesses and labor organizations are informed of their rights and obligations under the National Labor Relations Act. Therefore, the NLRB will continue its national outreach program to educate the American public about the statute.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stated: “[I]t is also without question that the Board is free to post the same message [that is on the poster at issue] on its website.” The workplace poster remains available on the NLRB website. It may be viewed, displayed and disseminated voluntarily. In addition, the NLRB has established a free NLRB mobile app for iPhone and Android users to provide the public with information about the National Labor Relations Act.

Under the National Labor Relations Act, most private sector employees have the right to:

  • Organize a union to negotiate with employers concerning wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.
  • Form, join or assist a union.
  • Bargain collectively through representatives of employees’ own choosing for a contract setting wages, benefits, hours, and other working conditions.
  • Discuss terms and conditions of employment or union organizing with co-workers or a union.
  • Engage in protected concerted activities with one or more co-workers to improve wages, benefits and other working conditions.
  • Choose not to do any of these activities, including joining or remaining a member of a union.


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Search tools for the cool

Search Tool Functionality Changing

Bing Videos.
Bing Videos. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am growing increasingly frustrated with the old school search tools we have to use every day.

Not because the tools we have available to us right now suck so bad, but rather because I have a feeling we are on the cusp of a pretty shift in the search experience of the average user.

There are some pretty cool tools coming out lately that offer the first hints of the new experience that is coming our way.   Check these out if you haven’t already done so.

Google Now

I’ve been playing with the Google Now app on my iPhone for about a week, and think it is really a kick ass product.   The app is Google’s play at creating a challenge to Siri, and other hands free search tools.  I still use an iPhone 4, and haven’t used Siri, so maybe my perspective is that of a tech luddite, but I dig Google Now.

It’s not the hands free part I like, as much as the way the app collects information that is useful to you and brings it together in one place in a way that makes it easy to use.  As someone who spends a lot of professional time doing Internet research, I’ve always been a big fan of tools that aggregate information.  Google Now provides a nice iPhone interface that does this in a way that I can use quickly, so I’m a fan.  It will be interesting to see where it goes in future iterations.  Here’s a good tech review of Google Now functionality.

Bing Video Preview

I have never utilized Bing as my primary search resource, but use it often as a secondary tool.  One of the things to like about Bing is that it typically offers better visual/graphical search views than Google.  Recently, they’ve started a nice piece of functionality for previewing videos that I find to be a nice time saver.  It’s a nice little time saver and works like this:

Finding the right video content can be extremely frustrating and that a single frame cannot tell the whole story. The new video experience in Bing includes a video preview feature that shows a short sample of the full video clip, including audio if available.

Bing’s video preview is activated whenever you hover over a thumbnail. Search for Sydney dust storm then hover over the thumbnails that look most interesting to see a preview.

Take a look!


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The Power of Apps – 10 Apps to Help Organize Your Small Business

How to Organize Your Small Business Information

apps (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

(Cross-posted on Sanera Camp on 5/15/2012)

One of the toughest things for a small business owner to manage is the flow of information, whether it is business or personal.  If you aren’t careful, you can swiftly get lost in a swamp of personal contacts,  vendor payment information, IRS forms, and human resources transactional information like home addresses, number of dependents, and more.  Throw in all the calls from everyone about getting your business on social media platforms, and things can suddenly look really overwhelming.

The good news is that most business people also carry a very powerful resource around in their pocket. This would be your mobile phone – which you can transform into a powerful information management tool by simply downloading some simple low cost  programs.

10 Must-Have, Small Business Apps

Here’s a list of  ten very powerful, mostly free tools that will help you keep your life and business information properly sorted . The apps on this excellent  list , as well as one of the apps listed here were gathered by my friends at Projections, an Atlanta-based company specializing in creating employee communications programs.

  1. Dropbox is a free service that lets you  share files, photos, documents, and videos anywhere, even across several devices.
  2. Evernote is an easy-to-use, free app that helps you remember everything across all of the devices you use. Stay organized, save your ideas and improve productivity.
  3. HR At Your Fingertips is must have for any small business owner or HR professional. This app contains a glossary of HR terms, Federal laws and how to create an employee handbook.
  4. Jobvite Facebook App for Recruiting allows you to effortlessly publish jobs to Facebook and reach a new audience with the Work With Us app.
  5. Direct Report  makes tracking and recording employee feedback easy. You can use Direct Report whenever you need to instantly keep track of and support your employees.
  6. Upward Mobility creates high end professional educational content for management development and test preparation, and makes it available through mobile apps. Our goal is to keep learners engaged with a mix of wit, humor and actionable takeaways while meeting our customer’s specific educational needs.
  7. Rypple Mobile  can help make your team agile. It is the first social performance management platform you can access from anywhere.
  8. Labor Stats application from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)- Download this App for your Android phone or iPhone and you’ll get immediate access to the DOL’s latest published numbers. You can track certain statistics and get the news releases about the numbers. Plus, you’ll be able to open the releases in browser and PDF format.
  9. Wunderlist mobile app for iPhone and iPod Touch will boost your productivity. Organize your to-do lists on the go and synchronize them with your free Wunderlist account.  Access your tasks anywhere, anytime
  10. Labor Insider app from Projections allows you to get daily labor news and National Labor Relations Board petition info on-the-go.
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Great sex and social media, it’s all about the response

Customer services
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How to make your social media more responsive

I’m sitting in the “gas station” Starbucks in Lakeland this morning working, and listening to four other people, who are very loud and discussing tech related topics and brands as follows:

  • Amazon
  • Kindle Fire
  • American Express
  • Delta
  • Starbucks
  • Apple
  • iCloud service
  • iPad
  • Target

Ten major retail/consumer brands mentioned at one table in a little less than ten minutes.  Also, a ringing endorsement of the Kindle Fire as a low-cost and useful substitute for an iPad, especially if you already have an iPhone.

Why does this interest me?   Since I have started working in social media, listening to the conversation of business and brand wherever it takes place is the most important thing I do every day.     We pay a lot of attention to listening to the organic social media conversation around our brand at work.  We are still figuring out how to tackle the full-blown conversation that takes place outside of our Facebook wall.   This means that much of that conversation remains in the wild, not managed or responded to.   This bothers me every day, but we aren’t ready to go wider just yet for  several  reasons, including staffing and other limitations in available resources.

I’m pretty happy with what we are doing already, since it is better than what most major brands do.    Some new research was just released last week which takes a look at this:

Software provider Conversocial this week unveiled the results of a white paper exploring the ways in which the nation’s largest retail brands address the needs of their customers on Facebook and Twitter, in an announcement at the Social Media for Customer Service Summit held in New York City. The analysis measured how seriously US retailers are addressing the customer demand for reliable customer service on social media and how the use of this customer service channel compares to telephone and email.

You can take a look at the full story here

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

, but here is a summary of the major findings:

Specific findings of the research include:

  • Missing Customer Complaints and Questions: Missing genuine complaints and questions in posts and comments was quite high and represents a real pitfall for retailers in the sample. Walmart, the largest retailer in the sample, missed 40% of all customer service inquiries, while Costco, Kmart and Kroger missed 100%. Conversely, Safeway did well, missing only 5% of posts.
  • Response Times: Those retailers with a larger volume of complaints; Sears, Walmart and Safeway; were fastest in the list. While it may appear on first glance that those retailers with the heaviest burden of customer service issues are performing best, with quicker average response times, this conclusion fails to play out across the board.
  • America is Slower Than the UK: As a group, US retailers are generally slow at responding to their customers, with none of the ten averaging at under an hour, compared with 2 retailers in our UK sample achieving a quick average time.
  • Current “Solutions” Not Working: The paper explains why redirecting to email is bad social customer service and why customer service apps, like the one provided by Walmart, are not working.
  • Surprising Winner: Safeway was the best retailer in our sample in terms of dealing with the full complaint on the wall. Whilst they still redirect some complaints to a Facebook dedicated email and a Freephone number, a significant number of conversations about customer satisfaction are handled on social media outlets.
  • Incident Resolution: High volumes of issues are self-reinforcing, meaning companies can find themselves sucked into a vicious cycle and a complaints plagued wall, the longer they leave them ignored. This need for quick incident resolution could be a real downfall. Although some fast average response times may suggest that customer service is being tackled – like a singular message requesting the customer to email a standard customer support address – the issue itself hasn’t been dealt with at all. In this way, real customer service isn’t happening yet in social channels (apart from some progress from our leader, Safeway)

.This isn’t that hard to solve.   Treat your social media platforms like the communication channels that they are.  Be there – both listening and responding.  Don’t just sell there.  Fix the issues thrown at you when you can, or move them in to your other customer service channels, but let your customers see and hear you responding.   Build positive impressions, increase problem response times and case closure and your community will love you.

There is your social media ROI.    Full disclosure: the sex in the title was gratuitous, and solely included for SEO purposes)

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Blogging burnout need not apply

When is it time to quit doing something you once loved?

I’m not sure, because it is a very personal choice.

I was rather surprised to hear from my friend Jessica aka @blogging4jobs is considering giving up blogging. I understand the feeling, but I am not in favor of her doing that.  I think I have already found the solution she needs.

Here it is:

Don’t stop blogging, just blog when you feel like it. That”s what I do, and it works.

Or you can always just hire @Rayanne. Good luck whatever you decide!

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HR guy gone social: coping with a career transition

Smarty Pants
Image via Wikipedia

Career transition can be challenging

I had an interesting discussion with my buddy William Tincup earlier this week about going through a career transition.   One thing I have learned over the last year or so is that when William Tincup speaks, it is a good idea to listen.

William shared some of the learning he has experienced since he left Starr Tincup to start his own consulting firm.  The short version is that he underestimated the difficulty of transitioning from one business channel to another.  I placed a link below to the Drive Thru HR show where we talked about this if you would like to listen to the entire conversation.

I’m experiencing very much the same thing in my current job transition.

I know a bit about social media, but I am quickly finding out there are entire universes of stuff I don’t know about.  As I sit in meetings with people from creative groups and marketing agencies, listening to them talk about marketing to people using Facebook, I find they are throwing out stuff that is routine to them, but a little foreign to me.  Usually, I can get on top of what they are discussing very quickly, but it just points out what I don’t know, and need to learn.  Listening carefully helps to point me at what I need to pay attention to for future learning.

Most of these truly smartypants people are younger than me, and have done this work for a few years.  They come to meetings with their iPads.  They pull out iPhones to check email.   In other words, this is the environment they grew up operating in, and this is their world of work.

None of this make me feel like an outcast or an interloper.  it just makes me feel like I have to hustle to catch up, and get on equal footing in the game.

Upping my social media game

Here is what I am doing so far to make that happen:

  1. Jumping into learning more sophisticated social media monitoring tools.
  2. Asking the smartypants people I meet for their Twitter handles and blog URLs
  3. Connecting with those same smartypants people on LinkedIn
  4. Checking out who they follow and their LI groups, so I can spend more time in their space

I also find myself shedding some of the HR sites and people  I can add additional social media resources into my personal “bandwidth”.   This feels odd, but necessary.

Anyone besides William have tips for this type of transition?   share them in the comments.

Disclaimer:   I hope smartypants doesn’t sound snarky.   The people I have met are skilled and smart, and I am having a ton of fun so far learning new stuff  from you, whoever you are!

Listen to internet radio with Bryan Wempen on Blog Talk Radio



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Punching in at work on your iPhone? Not quite yet, but the DOL has a new App

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Department of Labor releases a new iPhone App

The Department of Labor has released a new iPhone app called Timesheet.   Interesting concept.  Not sure how widespread interest will be.  You can download it from the iTunes store or check out a preview by clicking here.

Timesheet is an app designed to allow an individual to track their work hours, and ensure that they are being fully and properly compensated for all their wages.    It does a number of other things as well, including sharing information on how to file charges if you believe you have been shorted in earnings in any way.   This version doesn’t handle complicated earnings situations such as  tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials, or pay for regular days of rest.  It seems to me this is where a lot of the potential violations comes into play, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

Here is how DOL describes Timesheet on iTunes (Note the legal disclaimer, which I found amusing):

This is a timesheet to record the hours that you work and calculate the amount you may be owed by your employer. It also includes overtime pay calculations at a rate of one and one-half times (1.5) the regular rate of pay for all hours you work over 40 in a workweek.

This DOL-Timesheet does not handle items such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials, or pay for regular days of rest.

Disclaimer: DOL is providing this App as a public service. The regulations and related materials reflected in this App are intended to enhance public access to information on DOL programs. This App is a service that is continually under development and it does not include every possible situation encountered in the workplace. The user should be aware that, while we try to keep the information timely and accurate, there will often be a delay between official publication of the materials and their appearance in or modification of this App. Further, the conclusions reached by this App rely on the accuracy of the data provided by the user. Therefore, we make no express or implied guarantees. The Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations remain the official sources for regulatory information published by DOL. We will make every effort to correct errors brought to our attention.

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QR-codes are so 1990’s, and just right for HR!

A Japanese advertising poster containing QR codes
Image via Wikipedia

QR Codes – barcodes for the Web

This code was originally made by the Japanese company Denso in 1994 for the use in the car industries. By now the QR-Code has advanced to the Asian standard code for mobile tagging. In Japan it is tagged 50 million times daily.Mobile Tagging Blog, 2007

I have been playing with QR codes (Quick Response Codes) the last couple of  days.  These things have been around for a while,  (since 1994) and they are  frequently being used by retailers to let customers use their mobile phones to link to their mobile websites.  Think of QR codes as bar codes for a website that can be scanned, usually by a mobile phone.

The adoption and adaptation of this simple technology hasn’t really taken place in HR yet.   It may be time for us to catch up.

There are some new apps out there that are taking advantage of social media and LinkedIn that will make easier for you to do so.   Check out Jumpscan (h/t to Karla Porter) and PingTag for LinkedIn, which Chris Brogan just wrote about on his blog.

QR-codes can be used for virtually anything on line to provide access via mobile apps, from your blog to an event.   I have created several QR codes for some of the blogs I like, and for the HR Florida state conference.

To use these images, which are like a bar code, you will need to have a smartphone and an app that lets you take a picture of the image and sends you to the correct site.    Here are links for iPhone, Blackberry, and Android to get you started.  A search on Google, or in the relevant app store should yield many more options.  Here are some links to ideas on how QR codes would be relevant in recruiting and HR, including here, here, here, here, and here.  This link offers some other ideas on using QR from Mashable.

Go get an app and practice your QR skills with the images that I created with Zxing below.

HR Florida State Conference and Expo

From Drop Box

Welcome to the Occupation

From Drop Box

HR Tailgate

From Drop Box

The Cynical Girl

From Drop Box
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Bloggers helping Haiti

HR Carnival for Haiti is now open!

This is a special edition of the HR Carnival that has one purpose:  to focus a spotlight on agencies that are providing relief and aid in Haiti.  The intended approach was that anyone wishing to participate would select an agency that they wished to support or know more about, and using the skills you would use in HR to do a “background check” on your organization.   Once the profile was completed, it would be written up and posted on your blog, and the combined efforts of all participants would be aggregated in this Carnival edition.

We weren’t looking for money or donations this time.   The purpose of this Carnival was to share some good information and raise awareness of agencies from all over the world that are doing good work in Haiti right now.   Many of these same agencies may soon be headed to Peru, where ferocious rain storms has ruin essential crops, caused landslides, washed out bridges, and left entire regions of the country cut off from each other.   This story hasn’t really taken hold in the mainstream news yet, but you will probably be hearing more in the coming days.

Thanks to those of you who participated with this effort.  Without further ado, let’s get to the aid organizations and their profiles.

First up is Tammy Colson at Junkyard HR stays local with a profile of Free the Kids. which she thinks is doing some great work all around the world.

Jumping to the Midwest, Crystal Peterson also stays local when she profiles EDGE OUTREACH, an organization doing big work with fresh water over on the Criss Crossed blog.

Jill Elswick at The Same Old Cracks put a special effort into getting this profile of the work being done in Haiti by CHF International written at the last minute, and I appreciate her help!

Joan Ginsberg of HR University took this carnival effort to heart, doing some serious investigatory in her attempt to find what she felt was the best charity to support.  See how she would decided to “hire” Partners in Health.   She also made a donation.  Thanks for your work, and your generosity, Joan!

Most of us know Sharlyn Lauby, who is the primary voice behind the excellent blog  HR Bartender.   It seems to me as if Sharlyn knows everyone on the planet, or at least has their phone number in her iPhone.   So it is not suprising that was able to find one of us (hr peeps, that is!) who is doing something in Haiti.    It is also no suprise that it had something to do with drinks, in this case, drinking water and Watersafe.

Warren Heaps of the International HR Forum has done his research and recommends CHF International as his selection to provide assistance to earthquake victims in Haiti.

Chris Brogan was kind enough to share his thoughts on How NOT to Help Haiti with his suggestions on how to use social media effectively in supporting different causes.

Paul Smith of  Welcome to the Occupation does his background check on The International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC) a specific fund set up for SEROvie.  Nice work, Paul!

Lisa Rosendahl reaches out upon request to show us how many hands can make the load lighter.

Shauna Moerke aka the HR Minion tells us about how she combined her HR skills and her gaming geekiness to help out Hait via Gamers for Haiti.  Very cool!  Shauna was also very kind in helping me throw together this last minute special effort through the HR Carnival.

One of the regular readers over at Punk Rock HR asked to participate even though she isn’t an HR practitioner.  Any friend of Laurie is a friend of mine, so here is a two part contribution by Spaced Cowgirl.  My apologies for omitting them from the original post this morning.  Part I is called Choosing a Charity and part II is the profile called Engineers without Borders.    Thanks for taking part!

Jennifer V. Miller of The People Equation was the very first person to submit a link, and I also left her excellent post off this morning, while packing a bag to fly to Washington D.C. to attend ConnectHR.   Even though I suck due to this, Jennifer’s post does not!  Read how she feels about HR’s Helping Hand and her profile of International Aid.   Thanks for being #1, Jennifer!

I violated my own rules by coming with a big list of charities helping in Haiti for your review in addition to those so generously provided by our colleagues profiled above.   Thanks for stopping by to read the profiles.

Thanks to everyone who contributed, and even deeper thanks to everyone who is helping with this huge effort!

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