Archive for December, 2012

CloudOn Productivity App Now Available on More Devices

Monday, December 31st, 2012

CloudOn, the free productivity app that gives users access to Microsoft Office on their mobile devices, just introduced a new version that works on a number of new devices and integrates more third party tools.

Until now, CloudOn has mainly been used on tablet devices, but version 3.0 of the mobile app is also available on iPhones, iPad Mini, and Nexus 7 devices.

In addition, the new app offers support for Microsoft SkyDrive, along with existing support for other applications and tools like Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive.

Of course, the main draw of CloudOn is that it gives users access to the Microsoft Office suite while on the go, so that editing documents, spreadsheets, and presentations doesn’t have to take place within the confines of an actual office.

The photo above shows the main dashboard on the iPhone app, as well as an example of editing an Excel spreadsheet in the app, which includes all the same Excel features you’re used to seeing on more traditional devices.

Cloud technology has made collaboration between team members infinitely easier. But the introduction of mobile technology into workplace culture has complicated things a bit, since not all of the same tools and applications are available on mobile devices as they are on traditional workplace computers.

So instead of just hosting files in the cloud, CloudOn stores applications there so that they can be used on a variety of different devices. But rather than introducing you to a new cloud storage solution or brand new applications, CloudOn specializes in giving you access to the applications you and your team already use.

This new version simply makes it easier for even more users to take advantage of the productivity app, meaning they can access tools and files from their mobile devices without having to actually upload the files to a new storage service or applications.

The app was originally introduced in January, when it was made available for just iPad users. To date, it has been downloaded onto more than 3 million devices. It is currently available for free in both the App Store and Google Play.

The post CloudOn Productivity App Now Available on More Devices appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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5 Reasons Writers Ignore Your Pitch

Monday, December 31st, 2012

As a small business, you’re always trying to win media coverage and build buzz about your brand. To do so you’re creating media and blogger lists to help you reach out to folks and let them know about what you’re up to.

But are your efforts falling flat?

Below are 5 reasons reporters may just be ignoring your pitch:

There’s No Relationship

The first time you reach out to someone shouldn’t be to ask for a favor or a mention on their blog. It should be to help them and address their needs. Pitching someone for media coverage when you don’t have some level of pre-existing relationship is going to be an uphill battle. This is why it’s so important to identify media contacts EARLY and then dedicate time to getting on their radar. Maybe you first reach out via Twitter in a way that solves their problem. Or you start strategically commenting on their blog. Or you give them a shoutout by highlighting their expertise to your readers. Taking the time to build that relationship before you need it is Rule 1 of online networking and will help ensure your pitch gets read.

You Pretend Your BFFs

If you have a close relationship with someone, it’s okay to reference that in your pitch email. In fact, it would be kind of weird if you didn’t. However, if you don’t know someone that well (or at all) don’t try to fake it in the email. Sometimes because we’re nervous or because we want to come off as “friendly” or “conversational” we take too many casual liberties when addressing someone. We call them by nicknames we see others using. Or we reference information we’ve stalked online. Or we simply don’t give them the respect they deserve. For a blogger or reporter, this is a serious turnoff and may actually cause them to believe you’re mocking them. Not a good way to start a new relationship.

Impersonal Emails

While you don’t want to pretend to be buddy-buddy, you also don’t want to send an email that reads like an ad in the Yellow Pages. Do your homework before you pitch someone so you’re able to target it as much as possible to their interests.

Take the time to:

  • Learn the reporter’s name
  • Get an understanding of what they cover on their blog
  • Learn their tone
  • Get to know their audience and who they are
  • Check for information about HOW they like to be pitched/contacted

Once you have all this information you can craft a message that is customized for them and speaks to their audience and interests. An email that is properly targeted will always win out over one that is not.

There’s No WIIFM

We’re all busy. For us to take time out of day we need to know WIIFM – What’s In It For Me? What will trying your product or recommending your service get me? How will it make me look like a hero to my audience? How will it make their jobs or lives easier? Because that’s what I’m after. I only care about your product when I know how it will benefit my audience.

When you’re laying out the WIIFM, don’t just list off the ins and outs of your product or brag about its latest and greatest feature. Focus on pitching the story. We don’t care that your oven cooks food 20 minutes faster than other ovens. We care that we can use those 20 minutes to spend time with our families or to read our kid a book. That’s the WIIFM. It’s not about the product. It’s about the story.

Insulting the Blogger

Be careful when talking to bloggers and other media to make sure you’re giving them the respect they deserve. You want to avoid things like:

  • Assuming you know their audience better than they do
  • Offering money for a post right off the bat
  • Offering an exclusive when you’re pitching other outlets
  • Belittling their professionally (accidentally or intentionally)

Often times these things happen accidentally simply because we’re not careful with our words or the phrases that we use. Take extra time to read through your pitch email to make sure you’re not stepping on any toes or writing something that could possibly offend.

We all need to pitch bloggers and reporters from time to time to help our brand build awareness. Taking the time to craft our pitches properly can greatly increase your odds of getting read.

The post 5 Reasons Writers Ignore Your Pitch appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Novinite.com & Novinite.bg Wish You Happy New Year!

Monday, December 31st, 2012

The Staff of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency) and Novinite.bg would like to wish a very Happy New Year to you, our readers from all over the world!

We wish you good health, lots of happiness, and tons of good news in 2013!

It is that time of the year again so we we ask you to accept our deepest gratitude for all of your support and interest in our work as we strived to bring to the most important events and developments from Bulgaria and the world in 2012!

We extend our warmest welcome all our new readers and subscribers who started following the website of Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency), The Sofia Morning News, and The Sofia Weekly, Novinite.bg, The Novinite Daily – as well as our newest project, yet to come in early 2013 – Novinite.ru!

Whether you are in Bulgaria or elsewhere around the globe, stay with us for exciting and in-depth real-time coverage of Bulgarian news and developments and global headlines all throughout 2013!

Once again, all the best in 2013!

Publishing, Editorial and Web Team

Novinite.com (Sofia News Agency)

The Sofia Morning News

The Sofia Weekly

Novinite.bg

The Novinite Daily

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1 Million to Meet New Year Dancing Gangnam Style in Berlin

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Over one million people are expected at the Brandenburg Gate New Year’s Eve party in Berlin, Germany, to dance Gangnam Style in an attempt to list a new flash mob world record.

The dance became extremely popular in Germany after the three times Formula 1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel performed it together with South Korean rapper Psy.

The idea was met with huge enthusiasm on social networks.

The Gangnam flash mob will be aired live on TV at 11.30pm. The previous flash mob record stands at 80 000 people.

At the Brandenburg Gate, the New Year kicks off with 6 000 rockets and eleven minutes of fireworks shot into the sky at midnight. Two million visitors expected in Berlin for New Year’s.

The show will feature international music stars, famous rock and pop bands as well as Loreen, the winner of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and singer of “Euphoria.”

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Crowds to Welcome 2013 in Bulgaria Downtown Squares

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Thousands of people in Bulgaria will celebrate New Year’s with events at downtown squares organized by local communities and authorities.

The open-air celebrations of the advent of the New Year with live music, wine, fireworks, and traditional round dances (”horo”) – in spite of the midnight winter cold – have emerged as a popular tradition in Bulgaria in the past couple of decades.

The largest New Year’s happening will be the show in downtown Sofia, which will be broadcast live on the Bulgarian National Television, BNT, and will feature a number of popular pop and rock performers.

BNT and the Sofia City Hall are organizing the celebration on Knyaz Alexander Battenberg square for the 14th time in a row. In addition to the concert, “The Stage under the Stars” show will include a carnival, circus performances, pyrotechnics, a DJ review, fireworks, light effects, and prizes. It starts at 10 pm Monday and concludes at 1 am on January 1.

Public transportation will run all through the night, but police have alerted they will up their presence to prevent incidents.

Many Bulgarian municipalities will treat those attending the community celebrations of the arrival of 2013 with New Year’s banitsa – traditional Bulgarian pastry with luck charms.

Some Bulgarian municipalities – Veliko Tarnovo in particular – will provide free beer, wine, roasted pigs, banitsa and deserts.

Similar events will be held in most other major cities such as Plovdiv, Burgas, Blagoevgrad, Dobrich, Pleven, Ruse, Sliven, and Yambol, among others.

The show in the Black Sea city of Varna, will feature as its main star Joe Lynn Turner former Lead singer for Yngwie Malmsteen, Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, Deep Purple, and Fandango.

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Bulgarian Agri Min: Forestry Act Restricts Investments

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Bulgaria has one of the most restrictive Forestry Acts in the world and it hurdles investments, according to Agriculture Minister, Miroslav Naydenov.

This is how Naydenov commented on ongoing protests of residents and officials from Bulgaria’s top winter resort of Bansko, demanding the expansion of ski tracks and the construction of a new ski lift.

Speaking for the Focus news agency, the Minister stated it was normal for someone to hear these demands as well, not just the ones of the environmentalists against the amendments to the Forestry Act.

“You can see that there are protests for and protests against, and the Cabinet took into account the latter. I am speaking about the rallies at Eagles Bridge. I wanted to go talk to them, but I was told my presence would escalate tensions. So, their representatives came to see the Prime Minister, and we listened to them. There were then contra-protests in Bansko. We must hear these people as well. However, problems are not resolved through protests, but on the negotiations table,” Naydenov stated.

The Minister explained that his colleague, Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister, Tsvetan Tsvetanov, and the Speaker of the Parliament, Tsetska Tsacheva, attended the recent rallies in Bansko because they were in the area and this has been their own decision.

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Independent Workforce On The Up And Up?

Monday, December 31st, 2012

workforceIf you’re looking for work in this brave new 21st century world, the place to be is in the freelance space, according to a recent global business survey by Elance.

The survey, in which more than 1500 firms from around the world participated, contains quite a bit of great news for freelancers — otherwise known as nonemployer businesses.

When asked whether hiring freelancers online gives them a competitive advantage, 85% agreed that it did. Of them, 53% noted that online hiring reduces hiring costs for them, while other advantages included faster time-to-hire and access to a broader talent pool.

Perhaps the best news from this survey for the contingent workforce is that contract work appears to be here to stay. Evidently, the best thing about a virtual contract workforce from the business point of view is that it gives the business access to a talent pool that is as good as or better than (69%) what is available to them locally.

Between that and the fact that firms are not usually required to provide the same benefits to those contractors as they would be for permanent employees, it is easy to see why 73% of survey resopndents say they will have hired more freelancers in 2012 than they did in 2011. Of them, 27% have on-site freelancers and the remaining 73% use online contractors.

Businesses surveyed also noted that they anticipate having lots of work for programmers and developers (70% of respondents), graphic designers (61% of respondents), writers (38% of respondents), marketers (32% of respondents), and mobile app developers (28% of respondents) over the next six months. Looking further down the road, 57% of resopndents anticipate that more than 50% of their workforce will consist of online freelancers within the next five years.

Of course, this survey has some significant limitations. Elance did not indicate where its pool of respondents came from but, if it was culled from among their own clients, then the survey qualifies as a Kool Aid sales pitch from those who have already drunk it. It would be interesting to see the results of a similar survey conducted among a more random assortment of business owners and/or human resources managers.

That said, these survey results do make sense in the light of increases in nonemployer numbers in both 2009 and 2010, in spite of the limping economy — or perhaps because of it. For many firms of many sizes, lean is the name of the game in the information economy and contract workers can be experienced and highly skilled and extremely cost effective. For cash-strapped small businesses and cost-cutting larger ones, it doesn’t get much better than that.

In the meantime, however, the implications for the American workforce are worth pondering. I am not aware of anyone who is looking at these numbers right now but it appears that nonemployers, examined as a segment of the workforce, are somewhere between 25% and 33% of American workers.

That is a trend that is not likely to reverse itself anytime soon and it is a trend that needs the attention of economists and policy makers, as well as the business community.

Crowd Photo via Shutterstock

The post Independent Workforce On The Up And Up? appeared first on Small Business Trends.

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Serbia Recalls Its Ambassador to Sofia

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Serbian President, Tomislav Nikolic, has recalled the Serbian Ambassador to Sofia, Aleksandar Crkvenjakov.

The Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, reported Monday that the decree for the recall has been signed on December 28th and published in the most recent issue of the Serbian State Gazette.

Crkvenjakov has been Ambassador to Sofia since 2009 and was appointed by the previous president.

The name of the new Serbian Ambassador in Bulgaria is yet unknown.

Nicolic has also recalled the Serbian Ambassador to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and about 30 other diplomats around the world.

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Bulgarian Tourism Optimistic for Winter Season 2012 – 2013

Monday, December 31st, 2012

Bulgaria expects a large increase of visitors at winter resorts mainly from the important Russian and Great Britain markets, according to Economy, Energy and Tourism Minister, Delyan Dobrev.

Speaking for the BTA news agency, Dobrev noted that early reservations of tour operators show an increase of 9% for Russian tourists, while the percentage would end up being even higher due to the trend of last minute bookings.

The increase for tourists from Great Britain is 5%, again according to early reservations and planned charter flights for the airports in the capital Sofia and the second largest city of Plovdiv. There is also an expected increase of visitors from Poland and Denmark, while Bulgaria remains an attractive winter destination for neighboring Serbia, Macedonia, Romania and Turkey.

“Bulgaria continues to successfully establish and maintain its international ski destination image. A recent study in consumer centers in 27 European and North American resorts shows that Bansko has leading positions as an affordable location for winter vacations, which gives us reasons for optimism for winter season 2012 – 2013,” says Dobrev.

Regarding the 2013 summer tourist season, the Minister stressed the country would stay an attractive destination for foreign travelers, offering quality and variety of services.

Bulgaria’s Bansko resort is known as an affordable location for winter vacations, the sector minister inists. File photo

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Last Day to Avoid Fiscal Cliff in US

Monday, December 31st, 2012

US Senators are continuing to seek a compromise deal on budget deficit Monday to send to the House of Representatives as they have one more day to avoid the “fiscal cliff.”

Talks are still at deadlock and failure to reach agreement by January 1 could push the US back into recession. If the deal falls through, the country will face a serious fiscal crisis, known as the “fiscal cliff” because the Bush-era tax cuts are due to expire Tuesday, and automatic, mandatory across-the-board cuts to military and domestic spending will kick in.

This means taxes will rise for virtually every working American. Analysts say this could significantly reduce consumer spending, leading the US economy to fall off the “fiscal cliff”.

BBC reports Monday that President Barack Obama has blamed Republicans for the deadlock in their endless effort to protect tax breaks for the rich.

After the latest round of intense negotiations in the Senate Sunday the main sticking points reportedly include such key issues as the income threshold for higher tax rates and inheritance taxes.

Democrats say the Bush-era tax cuts should be extended for all Americans except the richest – those with annual earnings of more than USD 250 000. Republicans, who in general oppose tax raises, insist the deficit is a consequence of excessive government spending. They want the tax threshold set higher, at around  USD 400 000, and for revenue to be raised by economic growth and cuts in spending.

If no agreement is reached on Monday, senators are expected to be given the chance to vote on a fallback plan proposed by Obama, which would renew tax cuts on earnings under USD 250 000 a year and extend unemployment benefits, but does not address the spending cuts.

An attempt to tackle the government debt limit and budget deficit failed in 2011, and Republicans and Democrats agreed then to postpone difficult decisions on spending until the end of 2012.

BBC further informs that late Sunday, Senate Republicans have announced they were dropping their proposal to slow the growth of Social Security payments, which would have reduced the retirees’ and the disabled’s benefits, something Democrats strongly opposed.

In his Sunday interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Obama said the priority was to ensure taxes do not rise for middle-class families, saying that would “hurt our economy badly”.

“That’s something we all agree on. If we can get that done, that takes a big bite out of the ‘fiscal cliff’,” he said.

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