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Top Execs Make the Case for Not Using E-mail

Got e-mails? If you’re constantly checking your in-box throughout the day, you’re not alone. Sure, experts have said you shouldn’t respond throughout the day because then you’re not tackling what really needs to get done but maybe this will build a stronger case for you. It certainly did for us.

A piece on BusinessWeek points out Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig told SportsBusiness Journal he has never used e-mail. And he “never will.”

He’s not the only one to live and successfully work without¬†Outlook. According to the piece, Janet Napolitano has said she never uses e-mail either. The secretary of the Department of Homeland Security told reporters, “I think e-mail just sucks up time.” Read more

CEO of TheLadders Talks About Its Top Ranked Job Search App

Last month, TheLadders released its native iOS app, “Job Search by TheLadders.”

In merely one week it rose to the top spot in the free and business categories in the App Store. We knew they had to be onto something so we sat down with the CEO to get the scoop.

Alex Douzet, CEO and co-founder explains the significance of job searching via a mobile app: “What’s the last thing you do at night before you go to bed? You turn off the light and intend to look at your phone.” Read more

Ouch: Canadian ‘Community-Powered News Organization’ Has Its Bank Accounts Frozen, Owes Freelancers

Luckily, the individual amounts in question are only a few hundred bucks in most cases, but even a hunsky owed is an annoyance at best and a hardship at worst for the unpaid freelancer.

The startup in question is called OpenFile, and it operated in six Canadian cities before it stopped publication in September. Readers would suggest story ideas, and then OpenFile would assign reporters to them. But on Sept. 28, the company went “on pause.” It’s now November and not only is OpenFile not unpaused, but freelancers still haven’t been paid, the editor-in-chief has found a new job, and auditors have physically removed the company’s books so the founder doesn’t even know the extent of how many people are owed money, MediaShift reported.

Founder Wilf Dinnick still says the company will return in 2013 and that everyone will get paid. He also said that “running a startup is like being punched in the face every day.”

The below video shows how OpenFile should work on a good day. Here’s hoping that blue skies and sunny days are indeed in the future for this as-of-now beleaguered organization.

About OpenFile from OpenFile on Vimeo.

The Atlantic Expected To Be Profitable Third Year Running

Say what you will about the death of media (we know you will whether we give you the opening or not), The Atlantic is one property that has seemingly cracked the code on digital.

Minonline reports that the company is expected to be profitable for the third year running, thanks to increased digital revenues (up 33 percent!) from TheAtlantic.com and the company’s spinoffs.

TheAtlantic.com’s traffic rose 45 percent over the year, the company said, and Atlantic Wire’s more than doubled to 4 million uniques in October. The smaller Atlantic Cities saw a 197 percent traffic increase, for 917,000 unique visitors.

Year-to-date digital sales are up 34 percent, the company said, and in October alone, The Atlantic ran nine custom projects for big brands like Bank of America, Fidelity, IBM and Mercedes-Benz.

The company turned a profit in 2010 for the first time in a decade by “pretending it was a Silicon Valley start-up that needed to kill itself to survive,” a New York Times article said back then. At the time, the company employed about 100 business and editorial folks, and hitting 4.8 million monthly uniques was considered a coup.

This October, the site registered 12.5 million visitors.

Have You Seen The New LinkedIn?


This happened *before* Zombiecane struck, but since people don’t tend to check their LinkedIn profiles often, you may have missed this: LinkedIn has put out a major update to its profiles.

The new profiles, according to LinkedIn’s blog, have a more visual-forward design that “helps you make a powerful first impression and showcase your skills and accomplishments.” The profiles also show you “rich and visual insights on the people and companies in your network” as well as moving contacts’ status updates higher on the page.

To request that your profile be converted over to the new design, visit this link. The new profiles are definitely prettier, but we wonder how LinkedIn’s purportedly staid, traditional audience will take the changes.

Marissa Mayer Reviews Resumes of Serious Candidates at Yahoo

Now that Marissa Mayer’s in charge of Yahoo as the new CEO, similar to Google’s co-founders, she’s reviewing every new hire before they walk in the door.

According to Business Insider, she reviews every serious candidate’s resume. One insider told the site the new change going all the way up the food chain isn’t exactly expediting the hiring process.

The source explained,¬†”It’s gotten a little frustrating.” After all, according to the site he lost two candidates due to timing.

He added, “I can’t say that I blame her.”

But maybe the change shows that executives really care about who walks into the door as a new employee? Previously it sounded like people weren’t too jazzed to work for the company. “I mean nobody gave a s— to come to Yahoo.”

So, technically he would follow Mayer’s footsteps if given the shot. He pointed out, “I’d want to review all the talent that comes in the doors, too.”

Blogging’s Evolution: Blogs Now Homes For High-Quality Photos, Content

This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the rise and decline of blogs over the past few years but it’s interesting to see how blogs have changed.

Where once they were places for quick updates (because they allowed you to make changes to content without rebuilding your whole site), they’re now homes to long, thoughtful pieces (because social media is now the home of quick updates).

A Photo Editor points out on his blog that this new care taken with blog posts extends to images too. Example? Mashable is hiring a photo editor “to help take its on-site images to the next level.” A blog hiring a photo editor. This is a far cry from blogging’s beginnings where blog owners were entrepreneurial, jack-of-all-trade powerhouses, doing the writing, photography (or stock image sourcing), and backend management all themselves.

By the way if you want to apply for the Mashable position, it’s posted here.

Is Shake Up Coming to MSNBC.com?

As reports indicate NBCUniversal is in talks to buy Microsoft Corporation’s 50 percent stake in MSNBC.com, what does this mean for media folks who work on the site?

Adweek indicated it’s “not clear at the moment” what will happen to MSNBC.com employees.

Initially the site was launched as a joint venture between NBC and Microsoft but in 2005, NBC bought most of Microsoft’s stake in MSNBC. In 2007, NBC fully owned MSNBC but the site hasn’t been fully taken over by the peacock network.

Considering NBC hasn’t previously taken over Microsoft’s portion of MSNBC.com, it’s still technically a joint venture and reflects content from NBC News and Today, but also includes more generic news content.

One possible outcome, according to the piece, is launching a separate NBC News site and then MSNBC.com’s content would more fully reflect its television shows. Plus, if a deal is reached perhaps personalities Rachel Maddow and Chris Matthews will have a stronger Web presence. If so, perhaps the so-called shake up at the site would reflect the need for more opportunities and therefore, more content taken from the shows.

An In-Depth Review Of Pressfolios, The Newest Portfolio Site For Journalists

Earlier this week, sister blog 10,000 Words wrote about a brand-new site that allows journalists to easily gather their clips in one place without any fuss, without having to know the first thing about coding, and without any design knowledge.

I got an invite code to check Pressfolios out (it’s currently in closed beta, but co-founder Marc Samson tells me that people aren’t having to wait too long to get their invite codes).

Here’s how it works (with help from Pressfolios’ own Tumblr).

After signing up, you can add stories simply by pasting their URLs into the site.

The site automatically determines the headline, news outlet, and image associated with the story. Ok, sometimes it gets the news outlet wrong. But it takes about five seconds to manually edit it. It also seemed to get the wrong photo or no photo for most of the stories I uploaded. But changing the photo is surprisingly easy–I did it in about three clicks without leaving the site. (I imagined I’d have to click on the article, download the image to my hard drive, and re-upload it to Pressfolios. Luckily, this isn’t the case.)

The site doesn’t yet get the date from the story, which is unfortunate, because it has to be manually entered each time. I assume this is on Pressfolio’s punch list of things to fix before the site goes into open beta.

Once you’ve added a few stories you can arrange them:

And you can tag them, which will create separate tabs on your main Portfolio page. You can also create an About page (which is also showing its beta-ness in that some of the fields that you can fill in on your profile don’t actually display anywhere on the public-facing site).

Here’s what it looks like when you’re done:


Neat, yeah?

If you’re logged in, you can also download a PDF of each clip from your Dashboard, a handy option.

So here’s what the site can’t do yet. It can’t batch-import clips. Freelance marketplace Contently, believe it or not, will find what it thinks are all of your clips from a given site in one go. (Contently’s mission is not to provide journalist portfolios–that’s just a side benefit of membership there–so it may not be surprising that for now, the visual appeal of Contently’s portfolios is a bit lacking.)

You also can’t change the layout of the portfolio. Everyone’s looks the same: square images, white background, etc. It doesn’t hurt that this is an attractive look, but design is one of the improvements Samson notes his company is working on. I’d like to see an array of pre-designed templates for users to choose from, as well as the option to change the colors of said templates. Best might be something that presented more text–though humans are a visual species, I suspect editors really do want to read a prospective journalist’s clips, not just look at how pretty they are.

So, okay, Pressfolios is clearly still a beta product.

BUT. With all that said. The old way of making a portfolio site sucked. Either you just pasted text links, as do most of my freelance colleagues, or you had to manually cut and paste headlines, blurbs, links, and possibly images. I’m not gonna lie. It didn’t take forever, even if you knew no HTML. But it wasn’t fun either.

If Pressfolios rockets out of beta with these minor issues fixed, it might not change the world. But it will make a lot of journalists’ lives easier. And isn’t that good enough?

Pressfolios is currently free; once out of beta, the core features will remain free, Samson says. Go sign up for an invite code and try it out for yourself.

It Takes A Village To Run A Time.com Blog

A large crowd gathers [at Madison Square Garden?] during the 1933 New York Dressmakers Strike.  A sign in the background reads: "...Makers Union ILGWU."

Jim Romenesko notes that Time has launched a new sports blog, Keeping Score. Columnist Sean Gregory will helm it, but assisting him, according to the memo, will be:

  • Contributing writers Ishaan Tharoor, Hannah Beech, Nick Carbone, Bobby Ghosh, Tony Karon, Adam Sorensen, Glen Levy, Alice Park, Feifei Sun, Nate Rawlings, Josh Sanburn, Tim Morrison and Bill Saporito
  • Project boss Shanta Speller
  • Developer Micah Ernst
  • Assistants/producers (their actual titles are unclear in the memo) Katie Rooney and Christine Lim
  • Photo assistant Jared Miller
  • Editor Megan Friedman
  • Producer Nick Carbone (who will also be writing)
  • and top editor Daniel Eisenberg.

Uh…..PHEW!

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