U.S. Education Department Releases Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies | U.S. Department of Education

The U.S. Department of Education released today Analysis of State Bullying Laws and Policies, a new report summarizing current approaches in the 46 states with anti-bullying laws and the 41 states that have created anti-bullying policies as models for schools.

The report shows the prevalence of state efforts to combat bullying over the last several years. From 1999 to 2010, more than 120 bills were enacted by state legislatures from across the country to either introduce or amend statutes that address bullying and related behaviors in schools. Twenty-one new bills were enacted in 2010 and eight additional bills were signed into law through April 30, 2011.

Out of the 46 states with anti-bullying laws in place, 36 have provisions that prohibit cyber bullying and 13 have statutes that grant schools the authority to address off-campus behavior that creates a hostile school environment.

"Every state should have effective bullying prevention efforts in place to protect children inside and outside of school," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "This report reveals that while most states have enacted legislation around this important issue, a great deal of work remains to ensure adults are doing everything possible to keep our kids safe."

via www.ed.gov

The Start-up Founder Needs to Learn to Let Go – Information Arbitrage

In my experience, exceptionally bright, driven, visionary people commonly share a particular attribute: a high need for control. These characteristics are also hallmarks of the startup founder, who brings maniacal focus, evangelical passion and a penchant for multi-tasking to the table. As they bring on co-founders and early employees, you can often find the founder speaking with investors, working on the product, writing code, recruiting, and spending time with early customers. This is the province of the Founder CEO and is the right way to be early in the game, both out of necessity and in order for there to be a “single point of failure” with responsibility for the early product and customer experience. However, as businesses scale, functional specialists are increasingly retained to drive specific aspects of the operation, e.g., VP Engineering, VP Sales, VP Product, etc.  This makes sense as the complexity of servicing a rapidly expanding set of customers explodes, while also continuing to iterate on the product and scaling the back-end to meet these challenges. In other words, it takes a village to ramp a start-up, and part of this necessarily means that the Founder CEO give up a measure of functional control in order to lead an integrated organization forward. But this is easier said than done.

via informationarbitrage.com

As a serial entrepreneur, I have learned and relearned this lesson a number of times. This is a good article for every startup founder to read and reflect upon.

The Power of Mom’s Voice Silenced by Instant Messages – Wired Science

Instant messages are ubiquitous and convenient, but something primal may be lost in translation.

When girls stressed by a test talked with their moms, stress hormones dropped and comfort hormones rose. When they used IM, nothing happened. By the study’s neurophysiological measures, IM was barely different than not communicating at all.

“IM isn’t really a substitute for in-person or over-the-phone interaction in terms of the hormones released,” said anthropologist Leslie Seltzer of the University of Wisconsin, lead author of the new study. “People still need to interact the way we evolved to interact.”

via www.wired.com

A very interesting study about the power of the voice in communications.

Parent-Child Cell Phone Contract | uKnowKids.com

What are the conditions of giving your child a cell phone? Whatever is acceptable for your child, it’s important to clearly communicate those rules in a parent/child cell phone contract.

As adults, we have to sign a “terms of use” agreement for pretty much everything we do. It lets us know what’s expected of us and what happens if we break our word. Kids who receive a cell phone from their parents need exactly the same thing. They’ll roll their eyes at the idea of having to sign a contract before they get their hands on a shiny new cell phone, but it prevents misunderstandings later on.

Whenever giving your child a phone, especially a smartphone with camera or wireless capabilities, work together to create a “terms of use” agreement that outlines how the phone is supposed to be used. Some things to consider:

via www.uknowkids.com

Another interesting uKnowKids.com article for moms and dads of digital kids.

How Kids Can Blog Safely | uKnowKids

Tweens and teens often spend hours grooming their blog or Facebook profile until it perfectly reflects their personalities. In fact, that is today’s teenager’s preferred form of self-expression. But is there a way for your kids to do it safely?

via www.uknowkids.com

This uKnowKids.com article provides parents with tips on how kids can blog safely. Good stuff for moms and dads of digital kids.

Troubled Times Ahead for North Korea? – Knowledge@Wharton

The death this weekend of North Korea’s Kim Jong-il, who ruled the country with an iron fist since his father’s death in 1994, had immediate repercussions throughout Asia and beyond.

The New York Times reports that South Korea — which has been at war with North Korea since the early 1950s — immediately put its military on alert, “boosting surveillance along the 155-mile border between the two countries, one of the world’s most heavily armed frontiers.” The tension between the two countries escalated during the past several years after North Korea demonstrated nuclear capability.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Asian stock markets took a dive in response to the news, “with South Korea’s stock market and the won tumbling to multiweek lows…. With markets already reeling from the European debt crisis and global growth concerns, Kim’s death has added a dangerous layer of instability to the Korean peninsula,” the Journal noted, adding that “many Asian neighbors [are] uneasy about the leadership transition phase in one of the world’s most reclusive regimes.”

That unease was further heightened by the announcement that Kim’s son, Kim Jong-un, has been named the country’s new leader, despite his youth (he is in his twenties), lack of experience and isolation from other governments.

via knowledgetoday.wharton.upenn.edu

A 27 year old kid with nukes. Pretty scary stuff.

Trust Is Critical When You Date, Bungee Jump and Sell Online – KickScore Research Shows

We all know how important trust is.

Some guy in a clean uniform and a firm handshake approaches you, you feel pretty good. Some creep in a sloppy uniform, tangled hair and blood dripping from a meat knife makes you cringe.

Your web site is no different. (See Ramon’s – 10WebSiteMusts.com )

When customers or prospective customers visit your web site they want to feel that they can trust what they are buying (or even just reading) from your web site. The more information you have online about your business the more comfortable shoppers will feel in buying from you. If you’re not a brand (an already trusted brand) like Amazon.com, WalMart or some other retailer – you’ll need to do a LOT to build trust, with each mouse click, with new visitors.

KikScore , a service which provides a reputation score to web sites, in a recent survey, found the following insight from the survey:

With the substantial increase over the last few years in online shopping, consumers have become aware of the constant threat of hackers, scammers, and identity thieves that operate online. Now consumers are increasingly searching for and hiring local service businesses such as contractors, lawyers, plumbers and landscapers. These shoppers and consumers that perform local searches raise growing concerns about the trustworthiness of the businesses that they find online. Increasingly, if shoppers and browsers visit a website and feel that it is not trustworthy, consumers will simply leave and go to another website. According to findings from the KikScore survey, the fear of being defrauded or being a victim of an online scam has led more than 90% of consumers that shop online not to complete a transaction.

via www.businessinsider.com

I founded buySAFE, the world's leading ecommerce trust and safety company, and so I have a deep appreciation for the high correlation between trust perceptions / conversion rates. KikScore's research illustrates this crucial ecommerce concept.

Well done guys.