Top Story: Government Shutdown
Day four of the first official government shutdown since 1996:
- An estimated 800,000 federal employees have been furloughed, or put on temporary unpaid leave.
- Yosemite National Park spent its 123rd birthday alone as National parks and
- This weekend’s service academy football games were almost cancelled, including BC’s Homecoming game against Army.
It’s been a rough week for all.
In case you are still trying to make sense of why this is happening in the first place, here are the basics. It’s all about Obamacare, officially known as the Affordable Care Act.
The Democrats want it, but the Republicans don’t. Despite the fact that Obamacare was signed into LAW back in 2010, new Texas Senator Ted Cruz and Utah Senator Mike Lee decided to pick a fight anyway. They got Speaker of the House John Boehner to add amendments that exclude Obamacare in the federal budget bill knowing that if the bill doesn’t pass by October 1st (the start of the fiscal year), the government has no choice but to shut down due to lack of funds.
With a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Democratic president, the bill was never going to pass. Hence, the government is shut down until the federal budget is passed. Want a more entertaining recap? E!News explains it in terms of TLC’s reality series “Toddlers and Tiaras.”
How long will this last? Only time will tell. Regardless, things will only get worse if the two parties don’t get it together.
Tool of the Week: Lucidpress
Microsoft’s Powerpoint is easy to use, but limiting in functionality. Adobe’s Indesign is far more dynamic, but expensive and difficult to learn. Web-based app Lucidpress wants to be the Goldilocks of design and publishing software.
With an easy-to-navigate interface and drag-and-drop functionality, the app aims for a learning curve that isn’t too daunting for casual designers to start creating projects on. Another cool aspect of Lucidpress is its cloud integration, thus enabling real-time online collaboration as well as the ability to pull what you need from other platforms such as Dropbox, YouTube, Google Drive and Flickr.
Currently in beta test phase, Lucidpress is free for those interested in signing up. Eventually when the app is released to the public, it will initiate a freemium pricing structure.
“Lucidpress is taking on the big guys here,” CEO Karl Sun told VentureBeat. “To date, there really hasn’t been anything that serves the in-between and takes advantage of the possibilities provided by the web.”
Will you try it?
Under the Radar: Honda Takes on Snack Brands on Twitter
The social media team behind Honda was feeling particularly fearless lately. To promote awareness of the new Honda Odyssey with the world’s first in-car vacuum cleaner, the agency behind the brand began tweeting at snack and toy brands with threats to their imminent demise if found on the floor of an Odyssey.
Taking on brands like Burger King, Skittles, M&Ms, Doritos and Lego, Honda is really making a name for itself on Twitter.
Some brands took a jab in stride, while others weren’t about to let Honda get away unscathed:
What were your favorite responses? Do you like the idea of bringing other brands into your social campaign?
Around the Hub: BBJ Social Capital Panel
Yesterday morning, hundreds of Boston businessmen and women came together at the MCLE to learn tips and tricks from social media stars on how to step up their social media game.
Our very own Founding Partner AJ Gerritson led the discussion as moderator. The panel featured finalists from the Boston Business Journal’s Social Madness competition, an annual tournament of social savvy competing for charity. The panelists included Robert Bertsche, Partner at Prince Lobel Tye, Michael Hall, Director of New Media at NESN, and Jennie Moore, Director of Communications at Fisher College.
Right off the bat, the panelists proved themselves full of valuable insight, offering strategies and best practices from the perspective of their unique industries.
In case you missed it, here are a few (paraphrased) highlights from the panel:
- On how social media has changed his organization: “You can’t let others (legal, HR, management) drive the bus. You’re social team should be in charge.”
- On how to find social media success: “This is an area of risk and reward. You’ve got to be nimble.”
- On National Labor Relations Board’s memorandum on social media: “The NLRB protects the rights of employees – both unionized and non-unionized. This includes their right to say, ‘I don’t like my boss.'”
- On legal advice: “Just because it’s easy to copy and paste something online, it doesn’t make it legal. You have to get permission from the owner or the content is under fair use. When you get a letter asking you to take down their content, respond quickly!”
- On how social media has changed his organization: “Two pivotal roles: driving digital revenue and driving both viewership and engagement to our television products”
- On keeping on top of content creation: “Every person has full permission to post content without having to go through upper levels. We do encourage employees to tweet out links to content through the company account first and then retweet it from their own personal accounts”
- On posting content: “You have to customize your message to your platform. It is worth the effort.”
- On important metrics: “I don’t care about follower accounts. I care much more about inbound traffic.”
- On how social media has changed her organization: “We’re reaching [students] on a far greater scale which opens up opportunities to communicate and work with them like never before.
- On how to keep on top of content creation: “A content calendar is key.”
- On valuable tools every company should use: “Big fan of free. Facebook and LinkedIn both have built-in analytics, but I do like AgoraPulse.”
What do you think of their advice?