Daily Archives: November 12, 2012

Businessweek Ranks Schools on Girls’ Hotness

Business Weeks obviously went into the business of a dating magazine. Only for male students, though. The business paper is now ranking schools on female students’ hottness.

Everybody embarrasses him or herself as good as possible. Good job in that department, Business Week. By the way, I am looking for a job, are your female employees hot? 

Businessweek Ranks Schools on Girls’ Hotness.

Why did Businessweek think it was a good idea to poll its users about which college campuses have the hottest female students? Easy: It has done it before and no one noticed.

This year, however, coming just after an election season full of heated debate over the “war on women,” Businessweek’s decision to promote their survey with a headline and a tweet — which has since been deleted — asking “Which business school has the most attractive female students?” went over about as well as you’d expect.

Reaction to the tweet was swift and universally negative, with most reactions either of appalled horror and disbelief or smirking potshots. On the article itself, reaction was even more negative. Reader Rachel Sklar commented (cached link):

“Nothing says ‘We don’t take women in business seriously’ like ranking women based on their looks. This demeans every woman who works at your magazine, every woman you’ve ever covered, and pretty much every woman ever. And it is meant to. Know that this is intentional sexism. Whomever was responsible for publishing this knew exactly what kind of message it sent. That it got sent from BUSINESSWEEK makes it all the more stunning. Fix. This. Fast.”

Though the backlash was severe, it was slow to build, and Businessweek kept the article up for more than a day before deleting it without any further public comment sometime on Saturday. As for the tweet promoting it, that stayed up over the weekend, deleted only late Sunday night:

The poll was part of a new Businessweek feature called “Face/Off” that asks readers to vote on various short polls. Introduced just five days ago, the poll has already ground to a halt after the media outlet yanked its latest edition.

What were Businessweek execs thinking when they put up the poll to begin with? Probably that this year would be no different from the other three years they’d published similar rankings of colleges by hotness.

In 2009, Businessweek published an article called “Campus Life: A Report Card.”

“It’s important to understand what the universities that house the top business programs are really like,” claimed the article. The next year, they repeated the article, this time with a slide show purporting to list the “Fifty Colleges with the Hottest Guys, Girls, and Nightlife.” And by 2011, they were confident enough to declare it a yearly event.

The lists generated virtually no discussion. In 2010, a Huffington Post syndication of the list garnered comments about the drug scene on certain campuses, but little else. On the Bloomberg Businessweek website, comments were absent altogether.

How did Businessweek get its rankings? According to the 2011 report, “Every year Bloomberg Businessweek partners with College Prowler, which surveys college students throughout the U.S. and uses those surveys to grade each school on everything from academics to nightlife to off-campus housing.”

College Prowler does provide information on academics, scholarships, and other collegiate issues; but it also lets students rank colleges by factors like “hot girls.”

Basically, what RateMyProfessor is to teachers, College Prowler is to listees of future Missing Person reports. Here’s how the site measures attractiveness of students:

“Girls and Guys grades are both determined by student’s ratings of their peers based on the following characteristics: attractiveness, athleticism, creativity, friendliness, fun, geeky, hardworking, into partying, outgoing, smart, and stuck-up.”

Here’s what that looks like in action:

Though College Prowler definitely lives up to its name, it does offer equal opportunity creeping: Both guys and girls are up for scrutiny and statistical ranking. Though this poll was not actually affiliated with BW’s annual collaboration with the Prowler, tweets and comments suggest that it probably would have also had a “hot guys” component if it had survived that long. It’s likely that had Businessweek not chosen to make this poll specifically about hot women, the ranking would have continued to fly under the radar even though the “college life” angle has always been a disingenuous one.

“Businessweek, ranking the hotness of female students,” deadpanned Twitter user Millicent Somer. “Be sure to take them seriously in future.”

At press time, the website had issued neither an apology for the original poll nor an explanation for the retraction. Perhaps they’ve realized that while ranking a college may take more than a user-generated poll, ranking a news outlet may take only one tweet.

UPDATE: Nov. 12 at 2:40 p.m. ET — The Daily Dot has received the following statement from Businessweek:

“We regret issuing two online polls last week that asked our readers to comment on which business schools had the most attractive male and female students. The Face/Off polls have been taken down from businessweek.com. They were in poor taste and undermine the tremendous value our Business Schools vertical provides.”

Image courtesy of Flickr, prayitno

Source: Mashable.com

Social Media PR For Brands: How To Enter The Social Media World – Infographic

While this infographic is showing numbers for Australia, there is no harm done in taking in some of the rules for any other place on earth. 

Social media PR is a great way to drive traffic to a website and gain exposure for your brand. However, it’s not as easy as it sounds; the whole process takes time and the response may, in some cases, be unpredictable. Having worked in the online marketing space for the past 5 years, I have picked up some very valuable experiences and insights, a few of which I will now reveal to you.

Have Great Content Or Get Out!
The first, and the most important, lesson I had to learn was that without great content you’re not going to get anywhere – you might as well not even try. Many businesses tend to think their website is the most interesting thing on the Internet since Facebook, which of course is often far from the truth.

Many clients already know that they need an incentive in order to gain people’s interest, and most of them have already organized competitions on their website. For those who haven’t, it is definitely recommended to have one, as people love them.

Of course it is also important to ensure that the rest of your site is interesting and engaging. Do you own an online knitting yarn shop that has an informative knitting tip section for your visitors? – good. Do you have a financial services website with a great tool for your visitors to determine their money savviness, with the appropriate social media share buttons accompanying the tool? – even better.

The Shotgun Approach Doesn’t Work
The most time-consuming phase of the whole process is searching for the appropriate social media channels. These have to be highly relevant to the client’s business, otherwise you won’t get any interest. If you plan to email every blog, Facebook page and forum under the sun about your extraordinary pet tortoise beauty contest, it won’t work; a good portion of the recipients will feel that you do not understand and/or care what they’re about and will tag your email as spam.

Explain What’s In It for Them
When contacting the different channels via email, you have to be very mindful about the wording of your emails. It’s important to explain the benefits of sharing the client’s website to the recipient. For example, it’s likely that readers of an adventure travel blog would be very interested in a holiday competition and feel that it enhanced their experience of the blog. This is also a nice test for yourself; if you cannot justify to the recipient why they should share your message, then your message is probably not worth sharing.

Remember Your Manners!
It’s important to inform the recipients about your employer, what they are all about and give people the option to opt-out from any future correspondence. As with anything related to the Internet, the response from the recipients can sometimes be unpredictable.

This is partly because quite often PR people are not interested in paying for sponsored blog posts or banner ads, but are first and foremost aiming to offer interesting and relevant content that would benefit the channel, their readers, as well as the client. Some people misunderstand this point and advertise their media rates, and some people take offence and reply accordingly.

It is of course natural for blog writers to feel protective about their blogs because they seek to preserve their integrity and may find PR suggestions as something that invades their territory. Despite the odd negative reply, responses from people are mostly either positive or simply non-existent.

Regardless of the nature of the reply, it’s always important to reply politely to any emails. You are representing a company and have to be professional about it. Besides, this is the perfect opportunity to establish some relationships. Be it a reply from a Facebook administrator telling you that they would like to write about your client’s website or an email declining your idea, you should always send a reply either thanking them or asking whether it’s ok to contact them in the future. People appreciate this and are often happy to receive more ideas down the line.

Record Everything
All your actions and responses from people should go into an Excel sheet dedicated for each campaign, as it’s good to keep tabs on all the details for future reference. These lists are especially helpful when identifying ‘non-PR friendly channels’ and most influential channels.

The effects of the social media PR efforts are clearly visible in visitor statistics. Campaigns tend to cause a peak in the number of site visitors, with a sharp decline after a few days the message has been sent to the recipients. This phenomenon can be combated by contacting new channels every week and evening out the exposure a bit more.

All in all, despite the time and effort that go into each campaign, social media PR is well worth it. The work has truly opened my eyes to how different the online world actually is to the ‘meat world’ (=real world).

Source: Yoke

Understanding The Fiscal Cliff – Infographic

Millionaire Corner surveys investors to obtain insights into their financial needs and preferences. Research is conducted in partnership with Spectrem Group, the premier market research and consulting firm in the wealth and retirement industries. This educational infographic explains the “Fiscal Cliff,” and offers possible solutions.

Source: Millionaires CornerVisual.ly,

How To Survive A Brutal Thanksgiving Travel Season

How to survive a brutal Thanksgiving travel season – MarketWatch.

CHICAGO (MarketWatch) – If you’re jumping on a plane for the Thanksgiving holiday, brace yourself for crowded flights, traffic jams and gnarly weather across much of the country.

“Get to the airport really, really early,” says George Hobica, the founder of Airfarewatchdog.com. And if you’re not already an airline-club member, splurge on a lounge pass. You’ll need it.

Nearly 24 million passengers are expected to board flights over the 12-day Thanksgiving travel period that begins Friday, Nov. 16, according to the industry’s largest trade group, Airlines for America. That’s a jump of 150,000 passengers over last year, when there were more flights and seats available.

“We’re expecting planes to be full,” says John Heimlich, the group’s chief economist. Don’t count on having a middle seat to spread out on or finding much room in the overhead bins. Heimlich predicts flights will be at an average of 90% capacity on the busiest days. That’s a record for the holiday and means that most flights at peak hours will be jam-packed.

As is usually the case, the Sunday after the holiday (Nov. 25 this year) will be the most traveled day of the year, with some 2.4 million travelers scrambling to get home. The second busiest day will be the day before Thanksgiving — Wednesday, Nov. 21 — when slightly more than 2.3 million consumers will take to the skies. Rounding out the top three days of travel masses is Monday, Nov. 26, at about 2.3 million. The “slowest” day over the holiday period? Thanksgiving Day itself, with an estimated 1.3 million fliers.

While those are higher than last year’s results, which were flat compared with 2009, this year’s Thanksgiving-rush total is still some 10% below the industry peaks in 2006 and 2007, tied at 26.2 million.

Prices are on the rise too thanks to what Heimlich called a “smaller air-service footprint,” and record fuel prices, which will swallow much, if not all, of the industry’s profit in the fourth quarter. U.S. airlines have been grounding and reducing the number of flights since the recession as a means of bolstering revenue. In turn, that boosts domestic airfares as supply shrinks, pushing them up 4% so far this year, the group said.

That’s ahead of inflation, which was up 2% in October.

“In travel, we have more inflation than the rest of the economy,” says Clem Bason, president of Hotwire.com.

If you’re flying out of Chicago O’Hare International or Los Angeles International you’ll be facing the largest crowds, Orbitz.com reports. O’Hare is on target to see the most passengers, according to the Orbitz Thanksgiving Insider Index, an analysis of booking data. San Francisco International, New York LaGuardia and Boston Logan International round out the top five busiest airports over Thanksgiving.

iPhone 5 Journey Before Ending Up In Your Hands – Infographic

Chances are, you didn’t travel very far to pick up the latest iPhone 5 from your local Apple store. But did you know that the smartphone had a whole other life before you even met it?

Mobile Madhouse tracked the worldwide journey an iPhone 5 makes to get all its necessary parts for assembly.

iPhones make seven stops around the globe — traveling approximately 20,096 miles — before heading back to Apple headquarters and getting shipped to you.

Check out the iPhone 5′s entire trip in the infographic, below. What do you think about its lengthy journey? Tell us in the comments.

Source: Mashable.com

Social Media In A High School Yearbook – Infographic

We all remember the cliques that made up high school — the jocks, the brains, the cheerleaders and the marching band. Each had their own interests and personalities that set them apart.

So let’s just call social media the high school of the Internet.

With Pinterest, LinkedIn, Yelp, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and dozens more, this high school has plenty of cliques to fight over lunchroom real estate.

Web design company Wix took a look at each social network and found out which sites were the popular gang and which ones were the high school gossips. They found that social media stereotypes were built on what we all were sharing.

Wix dubbed Facebook the high school quarterback because of the site’s reputation for instigating cyberbullying — In 2012, 52% of students reported being bullied on the site. And in 2011, the percentage of students who Liked “drugs” was up dramatically.

In no surprise, YouTube was the drama enthusiast, but Wix also said that YouTube isn’t rolling in dough. Though Google+ has its share of money, being called the “rich kid.” But Google+ isn’t so popular, according to Wix — 30% of people who write a post on the site never return to write a second one.

And in every school, there’s the “flirt.” Wix says Instagram takes that role, mostly because of the amount of semi-nude pics and “me” hashtags.

Check out the rest of the social media yearbook in the infographic below: