Thursday, October 28, 2010

Executive Shift at Twitter

Evan Williams is the co-founder and chief executive of Twitter.  Williams has decided to step down and lead product strategy of the company.

Dick Costolo is currently chief operating officer.  Costolo will succeed Williams.

The company is at a period of rapid growth and is starting to build an advertising business.
The changes were effective immediately with Williams wanting to be more involved with the product.
Costolo should be a good fit for his new job title.  Costlol has experience expanding the company and is a three-time chief executive of other company’s.
The shift at Twitter should bring new and welcome changes to the company and its publics.
The shift at Twitter should not negatively affect the company due to loyal followers.  Twitter followers are loyal to the company’s brand.  This means followers will likely always give the company a chance to evolve unless the changes become overwhelming.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

HarperCollins Issues Apology for Errors

Jonathan Franzen has apologized for printing error that left dozens of spelling and punctuation mistakes in the first edition of his new novel.

            Spokeswoman for HarperCollins, Susanna Frayn, said about 8,000 copies of the first edition containing the errors were sold before the mistakes were discovered.
            The first edition of the book “Freedom” will be rushed to reprint.  After correction, customers with the flawed edition will get the corrected version.
            This mistake makes the publisher look bad as well as the author.  Franzen and HarperCollins have done a good job trying to correct the situation.  Hopefully readers will not look unfavorably upon the author.  HarperCollins is correcting the issue and appeasing customers with the wrong version. I believe the error is small enough to be resolved and may increase the books sales due to publicity over the errors.

Customer loyalty has been shown to increase when a company apologizes for its mistakes.  I think in this case, HarperCollins did a good job of explaining what happened, admitting fault and describing how they plan to fix the problem.

Source: New York Times-Franzen's British Publisher Apologizes for Errors-by:Dave Itzkoff

New Allegations Against Tour de France Winner

Three-time Tour de France winner, Alberto Contador, has tested positive for a banned drug.  Contador failed his first test at the Tour de France last summer.  The latest test was given by the International Cycling Union.

            This test detects a chemical called plasticizer that is found in plastic IV bags.  This positive could be the use of blood transfusions to increase endurance.  The World Anti-Doping Agency bans blood transfusions and intravenous infusions, except in medical emergencies.
            A test performed from the Tour de France showed high levels of a chemical that signifies doping.
            Contador released a statement saying he tested positive for clenbuterol, a weight-loss and muscle building drug.  Contador said he tested positive for clenbuterol from his consumption of tainted beef from Spain.
            Contador denied allegations of doping and said he knew nothing about the latest test.
            The problem with these allegations is the test to detect plasticizers from IV bags.  The test has been around for more than a year in anti-doping, but it has not been validated for use.  This means an athlete could easily question its validity.  Another problem is the lack of official confirmation.  The information concerning results has come from an anonymous source with knowledge of the test results.
            Contador’s press agent, Jacinto Vidarte, said his client has done nothing illegal and denies receiving any transfusions.

Contador’s endorsement deals with Sidi could be negatively affected by the allegations of doping.  If Contador looses favor with the publics Sidi appeals to, he could loose his contract.

Source: A Second Failed Test Puts Heat on Contador-New York Times-by:Juliet Macur

New Licensing of AIDS Drug May Start Patent Pool

The National Institution of Health became the first entity to license its patent on a new AIDS drug to an entity affiliated with the World Health Organization.
            This move has given official American backing to the controversial idea of a “patent pool.”  Even though N.I.H. has the rights to the patent on the drug, darunavir, it does not mean generic-drug makers will be able to make it cheaply for poor countries.

            This move does put increase pressure on drug makers to follow suit and allow licensing to patents.
            Many companies have been reluctant because they may fear loosing profits and control over the drugs quality.  Bad drug manufacturing by a company that buys licensing could damage a company’s reputation because they are still affiliated with the drug.
            “We ask that companies step up and collaborate so we can quickly see more affordable, easy-to-use pills getting into people’s mouths,” said Nelson Otwoma, head of Kenya’s Network of People Living with H.I.V./AIDS and a Unitaid board member.
            The companies are smart in thinking of possible problems that could result from releasing the patents to generic drugs.  The drug companies would have to make a continuous effort to make sure the drugs remain a quality product if they did decide to allow licensing to patents.

Source: New York Times-National Institutes of Health Licensing Its Patent on a New Drug for AIDS-by: Donald G. McNeil Jr.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

More Twitter Terms

Bigger Twitter: An app that can be used to post tweets longer than 140 characters on Twitter. Bigger Twitter works by placing a link in the tweet.
Direct message (DM): used on Twitter to let you send a private message (direct message) to a person you are following.
EMA: An acronym for "e-mail address" used on Twitter.

OurBlook Update

During the past few weeks my OurBlook group has met and discussed how we hope to increase traffic to the web site.  We have come up with great ideas but I think its best to keep things under wraps for right now.  In the meantime visit OurBlook.

To be continued…