links for 2009-12-04

  • After conquering the search world, Google is now pushing hard to be a major provider of business software, tackling longtime dominator Microsoft over productivity and collaboration apps. But does this company, most famous for free consumer-oriented offerings like search and basic apps, have what it takes to be taken seriously by business? Can you really rely on Google Apps?

    Ken Godskind thinks so. The chief strategy officer at AlertSite moved his company's 45 employees to the Premier Edition of Google Apps in late 2008. He likes the fact that he gets not only e-mail but word processing, spreadsheets, a Web-based calendar, Web-based collaboration, Google Talk, and Google Video for $50 a year per user. That's a third or less of what he would pay to get the same from an internal, Microsoft-based environment.

    (tags: google apps)

  • Your friends and contacts are a key part of your life online. Most people on the web today make social connections and publish web content in many different ways, including blogs, status updates and tweets. This translates to a public social web of content that has special relevance to each person. Unfortunately, that information isn't always very easy to find in one simple place. That's why today we're rolling out a new experiment on Google Labs called Google Social Search that helps you find more relevant public content from your broader social circle. It should be available for everyone to try by the end of the day, so be sure to check back.

  • Like many shiny new technologies, Twitter hit the radar screen of small businesses in the past year with hyped-up expectations, much experimentation, some wins and some disappointments. Marketers looking for innovative ways to reach out to customers, prospects and the public started singing Twitter’s praises. Others expressed a high degree of curiosity toward Twitter.

    But like any new tool, there’s good and there’s bad. Let’s assess the current state of by examining 3 things that are “Not So Hot” about it – and whether those should dissuade you from using Twitter:

    (tags: twitter)

  • Think your kid is not "sexting"? Think again.

    Sexting – sharing sexually explicit photos, videos and chat by cell phone or online – is fairly commonplace among young people, despite sometimes grim consequences for those who do it. More than a quarter of young people have been involved in sexting in some form, an Associated Press-MTV poll found.

    That includes Sammy, a 16-year-old from the San Francisco Bay Area who asked that his last name not be used.

    Sammy said he had shared naked pictures of himself with girlfriends. He also shared naked pictures of someone else that a friend had sent him.

  • Saturdays at Billy Lowe's beauty salon in Los Angeles' trendy West Hollywood neighborhood can get pretty hairy. Lowe will see up to 10 clients on a Saturday in his personal chair. He never double-books (meaning he sees people from start to finish), so one late client can snarl everything.

    The stress quotient ramped up on a recent Saturday afternoon when one of Lowe's celebrity clients called to say she would be at least an hour late for her appointment. Lowe has styled camera-ready heads from Ellen Degeneres to the cast of Desperate Housewives. He didn't get to that perch without understanding the needs–and stroking the egos–of his clientele. He couldn't make these folks wait because one foul-mouthed starlet couldn't manage her schedule.

  • You want to spread the word about your business. But you also want to keep your innovative product or clever brand name safe from rivals, counterfeiters or rip-off artists.

    What to do? Safeguarding your company's intellectual property through patents, trademarks or copyrights will allow you to seek damages, a big deterrent to imitators. Here's a brief overview of all three types of protection.

    (tags: IP patent)

  • Apple (AAPL) is under fire from some developers for the way it vets applications that can be sold on its online App Store. Facebook developer Joe Hewitt goes so far as to say he's "philosophically opposed" to the very notion of a company deciding which applications can and can't be used on its hardware. The presence of "gatekeepers" in software development "sets a horrible precedent," he says.

    But in his first extensive interview on the subject, Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice-president for worldwide product marketing, outlines the many reasons Apple keeps close tabs on which applications can be downloaded onto the iPhone and iPod Touch. He also outlined ways the company is trying to become more flexible in its approval process.

    (tags: apple)

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