Archive for Business & Economy

Using Instant Messengers at Conferences or Events

Using Instant Messengers at Conferences or Events
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Tech conferences and events are an exciting thing for tech geeks and nerds. You can learn a ton of new things and it’s a great opportunity to network with new people. You’ll get a chance to get your hands on the coolest new devices and services in the industry and its one hell of a ride. The recently concluded SXSWi was a grand success as expected.

A lot of journalists, bloggers, and marketing professionals attend these events to network and learn about the new trends emerging in the marketplace. In such a scenario using instant messengers can be really helpful for staying connected with their colleagues back at the office. You could be a blogger or journalist covering a live event or launch of a new product. Your colleague at the office needs quick updates on what’s happening at the moment. This is where instant messengers can play a crucial role.

small__917810014Additionally, you could report the latest happenings and news back to your colleague at the office. This could help him write an article or do a section for the live updates from the event. Even better you can send pictures from the event using your IM and share it on your blog article for your audience.

There are various other ways IMs can assist you at the events, such as having virtual meetings with your colleagues over a video call to discuss what things to cover next and deciding the strategy for the remainder of the event.

 

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Why a Retreat is a Great Idea for Professionals

Why a Retreat is a Great Idea for Professionals
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Retreats used to be thought (to some people) of as places for people to get over an addiction or to handle a personal crisis in their life. However, retreats of any kind can help business professionals in their career, as they hold many benefits that aren’t fully realized until the retreat is over.

Here is a list of some of the reasons why a yoga, meditation, writing, or silent retreat (or others) may be just what you need:

Increases Focus

When you are forced out of your daily routine of work and home (while trying to fit a social life in between), you can then start to work on the skills that can actually make you a better companion, friend, and parent. One of the great things about retreats is that they usually include workshops on improve focus and mindfulness, skills that can help you in any aspect of your life.

Lowers Stress

Another benefit of retreats is that they are usually held in beautiful places. This vacation atmosphere automatically makes most people relax, allowing them to soak in the experience since they are often so far away from home. Taking some days to focus on the purpose of the retreat can help lower the stress that comes with your career and family responsibilities.

Improves Self-Awareness

For many retreats, there are several intervals throughout the days that allow for self-reflection time or time alone, away from the group. This can be tremendously useful to professionals, as many of us don’t have the time to reflect on our own personal development. “Forced” silent time alone helps retreat-goers turn inward and make it possible to work out some of the personal and emotional issues that may have been affecting their work or home lives.

Additionally, group workshops, where participants often learn about one another, can allow for different perspectives to showcase experiences and ideals in a different way that you hadn’t thought of before. This makes group session an important aspect of self-awareness as well.

Creates Relationships

Because most retreats are more of a close experience, you really get to know the people in just a short time of the amount of days that you are there. Going through a retreat experience with others can help create a bond and friendship that is hard to cultivate almost anywhere else. While this could help you professionally, it’s important to go into a mindset of getting to know these people personally instead of hoping to further your business through them. A genuine interest in the person can help create those bonds that will last years after.

 

No matter the reason or location, retreats can be a great way to relax, pamper yourself, and learn a little bit more about yourself along the way. To find retreats that you are interested in, try searching the topic keywords and then the word retreat, or search for the country name you want to go to with the word retreat. You’d be surprised at what is available!

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Windows on Chromebook is now a Possibility

Windows on Chromebook is now a Possibility
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It’s a point proven; a lot of computers in the US still use traditional desktop applications that run on Windows. Not everyone has made a move to complete cloud solutions like the Chrome OS and it’s not going to happen in the foreseeable future because Windows still has a strong hold in major corporations and households across the globe. This has forced Google to team up with VMware and offer desktop virtualization services to its customers on Chromebooks.

Google’s selling plenty of Chromebooks but it’s still not mainstream because it lacks the tons of traditional Windows applications. With this move Google plans to offer you the best of both worlds. In practice this is how everything comes together:small_4170105491

  • Your IT department needs to install the Horizon Server which is a Desktop as a Service (DaaS) offering by VMware on your Chromebook. Buying server space on Horizon costs you money but Google estimates it’s still cheaper for organizations than to buy Windows 7 or 8 licenses.
  • Horizon runs Windows in a virtualized environment. All you need is to log in the server using Horizon view and start using windows on your HTML 5 compatible Chromebook.
  • You could still switch to the Chrome OS if you’re looking to run Google Apps.

This setup is especially helpful for organizations that don’t want to get bogged down with license and administrative costs associated with managing every PC. It’s also a viable proposition for companies looking to upgrade from Windows XP as Microsoft will stop supporting it in April. Companies no longer need to worry about security because Windows will virtually be beamed to your device from VMware. This is a great solution as organizations can leverage the remote computing and cloud power on their low spec Chromebook and still get the job done on legacy windows applications.
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Instant Messaging Can Help the Deaf to Communicate

Instant Messaging Can Help the Deaf to Communicate
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Instant messaging has been viewed by many as a convenient and personal way to communicate and stay in touch with friends, family and colleagues. But there are different use cases for several people. One such demographic are the deaf or hard of hearing population. Sign language has been their preferred choice of communication. IMs can mean so much more to the hearing impaired than it can mean to you and me. It’s an entire new way of communicating for the hearing impaired.

small_193401260The technology deployed in Instant Messengers today can create a level playing field for the deaf community. The hearing impaired can now do tasks such as scheduling a meeting, interacting with friends and families with ease. Not only can they use chat functionalities available in today’s IMs but do so much more in terms of productivity with things such as Screen Share, Co-Browse and also interact with sign language using video calls. With the increase in Internet connectivity more and more hearing impaired users are finding IMs as their go to communication tool. Internet based IM also provides an opportunity for the hearing impaired to communicate with anonymity without having to disclose their disability, if they chose to do so.

According to a research carried out at University of Haifa in Israel, it was found that the hearing impaired teens generally feel lonely and suffer from low self-esteem as compared to hearing people. In such a scenario, Instant Messengers can be a boon for the hearing impaired in ways more than one.
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Conducting Video Interviews over Instant Messengers

Conducting Video Interviews over Instant Messengers
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Human resource departments in companies today conduct a lot of interviews on daily basis to match the right candidate with the right profile. Interview costs can be high for companies if they are looking to test candidates from far away states because it can include paying for air fares and accommodation.  With the increase in broadband speeds and technological advances in Instant Messengers, companies are now using Video calls to conduct long-distance or even international interviews at least for the initial round.

Video Interviews can really help companies save on transportation costs and setting up interviews is much quicker. With companies looking to hire global talent, video interviews are the way to go forward for initial screening. It’s even convenient for the candidates to interview from their home or office without having to travel long distances. Video interview can also be less stressful than in person interviews if the candidate is well prepared.

It’s important for Companies to use the right Instant Messenger for conducting interviews. Brosix with its comprehensive features can be a good choice for organizations looking to conduct video interviews. It’s essential for employers and employees to select a quiet place to do the interview because the microphone would pick up even the faintest of sounds. Common tips like dressing well, being active, confident and well prepared still hold true for video interviews.
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The Art of Lying on Instant Messengers

The Art of Lying on Instant Messengers
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New findings have shown that it’s now easier to predict if a person on the other end of the chat is lying or not. A Recent study concluded by Birmingham Young University shows findings that people are more likely to be lying when taking long to respond, making edits or having shorter responses. Lying on the internet and digital playground is easier because people can conceal their expressions while chatting.

The findings were based on a test of 100 students from 2 different universities who were asked to converse with the computer and answer 30 questions. Their responses and answers were analyzed and monitored which led researchers to conclude that it takes 10 percent longer to type a lie than a truthful and honest reply. This holds true for conversation on social media and instant messaging apart from text messages. Unfortunately, the human brain only detects a dismal 54 percent of all lies. It’s a bit easier to detect lies and edits on instant messengers because you can see when the user is actually typing in real time.

Having said all of this, Meservy and Jenkins who have collectively done the research say we shouldn’t automatically draw conclusions that a person is lying purely based on the time they take to respond because there might be other factors that play a role here. It is this very reason that in the next stage of the research they would be including sensors such as Microsoft’s Kinect to track human movements and how that connects to lying in the digital world. Till than the next time you know when to get suspicious if a person’s lying. We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.

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Any Time Communication Tool (ATCT)

Any Time Communication Tool (ATCT)
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Whether you’re commuting or at home, at office or at the gym, an Instant Messenger is the tool that keeps you connected with business activities. You can use Instant Messaging as a collaborative tool and have IM conferencing which would tantamount to virtual business meetings. Such collaborative conferencing would lead to faster business decisions and reduced costs. This would increase the overall enterprise decision making, and increase profitability.

Modern and encrypted Instant Messengers provide features such as file and screen sharing. You can scan a document from your Smartphone and send it over an encrypted connection of your IM client. Employees can have virtual meetings by sharing screens on their PCs, Tablets or Smartphone’s. Further more you can do brainstorming sessions with features such as whiteboards. You can deploy Enterprise IM clients for your entire staff. IT professionals in your organization can have complete control and flexibility of the admin panel. The feature list of some Instant Messaging solutions is so comprehensive that it’s not just meant to send and receive messages but much more than that.

You can also deploy some Instant Messaging solutions on your customer service websites which would help you service your customers in real time and save on costs at the same time.

Instant Messaging: Fast, Secure and Simple.

 

 

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Should You Fight via IM?

Should You Fight via IM?
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I know that confrontation is something that no one looks forward to. However, there comes a time when confrontation is necessary and can’t be avoided. Even then, instead of speaking to the person you have a disagreement with face-to-face, many people resort to other methods — phone, email, or instant messaging.

And when it comes to instant messaging, especially hosted instant messaging, confrontation and fighting over this method of communication isn’t always the best method to use. For one, if you are using a hosted or secure IM client to have your conversations, what you say may be recorded by the program and can be seen by the security administrator of the program.

Even if you aren’t using a hosted IM messenger, confrontation is best handled face-to-face. This way, what you say can’t be misinterpreted because the other person cannot see your face or the hear the tone of your voice. Sarcasm also usually doesn’t carry well over instant messaging conversations, and this may “fuel the fire” and make an argument become bigger than it needs to be.

fight via IMFace-to-face conversations also tend to be more productive because each person is solely focused on what is being said, instead of trying to multi-task during an IM conversation. Overall, if a confrontation arises, it’s important to handle it as soon as possible so it can be resolved and no more useless energy and anxiety is spent on it.

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Putting the Instant in Instant Messaging

Putting the Instant in Instant Messaging
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Making all of our communication instant, in text messages, emails, cell phone calls, and finally, instant messaging, has made us a society of expecting an answer right away. While sometimes this has made us more efficient, effective, and better communicators, it has also made us somewhat impatient.

If I see that a friend of mine is online, and their buddy name is marked as “Available”, I get irritated if I try to talk to them and ask them a question, and they don’t respond. This is probably the only communication medium where I feel this way. For text messages, emails, or phone calls, I don’t get antsy if I don’t get an immediate response.

medium_8519033527I guess that is why it’s called ‘instant’ messaging- the status messages are there for a reason- so we can mark ourselves as ‘Busy’, ‘Away’, ‘Available’  or a short message of what we are doing in case people wish to contact us. This is definitely not something we can do with text, phone calls, or emails (unless we are gone for a long period of time and can set an email auto-responder).

A important rule of thumb is to utilize your status messages- if you cannot talk or respond, then set your status message as ‘Away’ or ‘Busy’ with a time of when you’ll be able to talk again (if possible).

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Combining Social Media and Instant Messaging For Effective Customer Service

Combining Social Media and Instant Messaging For Effective Customer Service
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Social media and instant messaging have one major thing in common: they are both used to communicate with friends, customers, and loved ones online.

While there are some major differences to the two, combining instant messaging and social media in your customer service strategy can help you provide superior customer care and troubleshooting help to customers, however they decide to contact you.

There are several scenarios where social media and IM are easily combined. For instance, let’s say a customer complains about a DVD player that isn’t working on the company’s Facebook page. The Facebook moderator for the company can contact the customer and refer them to an instant messaging specialist, who will be able to speak with the customer in real time to solve their problem.

combining social and IMMany customers like communicating with brands online because they are able to multi-task while doing something else. This can give them the freedom to effectively solve two problems at once. They can figure out what is wrong with their DVD player (from the above example) while also answering emails from work colleagues about an issue with a project deadline.

Social media and instant messaging are just two examples of online communication platforms that can be used together effectively to solve problems.

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