Twitter’s Getting Its Game On, We Hope; Amazon Buries the Hatchet with Hachette; Job Quitters Are Getting the Feds Excited

About that “strategy statement”…

Image courtesy of africa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of africa/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Twitter did its very best to impress investors by telling them all the new strategies it plans to implement to help the social media company rake in $11 billion in the next 5-8 years. I guess it worked as the stock went up by 7.5%. Twitter’s got all sorts of exciting plans mapped out. Among them are an instant timeline where you don’t even have to share to be a follower. How reassuring. Also really smart people are developing algorithms to figure what users would want to know. Then Twitter wants you to be able to “record, edit and share video.” A dream come true for so many. And because the social media site would hate for you to feel like you’ve missed out on anything, like for instance, today’s photos of Kim Kardashian – or rather, her backside –  then fear not, oh faithful tweeter, as there will be a “what you missed” function. How very useful. Now if Twitter could just figure out how to word a “strategy statement” that doesn’t exponentially exceed 144 characters.

Is that the library calling?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Because compromise is the hallmark of strong relationships, Amazon and Hachette publishers have finally done just that, ending a months-long fight over e-book pricing control. Hachette will now have control to price its e-books however it pleases, but apparently Amazon is going to provide the  publisher with enough incentives to keep those prices low. Which must be a relief for a bunch of its esteemed (and not-as-esteemed) authors, like Robert Galbraith a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, whose ebook, The Silkworm, was going for a whopping $14.99 on Amazon. The average price of a best-selling ebook hovers around $7.60. Sometimes they reach a $9.99 price point. That’s what I call “statement pricing.” Anyways, several authors took major fiscal hits from the feud. The whole “dispute” also got many people wondering if maybe Amazon has just a wee bit too much power over publishers. Hmmm.

I’ll quit to that…

Image courtesy of jumpe/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jumpe/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Americans are quitting their jobs at the fastest rate in six years and that is, in fact, awesome news. About 2.8 million Americans walked out on their jobs, which apparently means that they are confident that they will (or already have) new jobs lined up in time to make their mortgage payment. So I guess it helps that hiring rates are also up. However, jobless claims also rose by 12,000, to 290,00, a bigger than expected climb, but still under the the 300,000 mark, which is really nothing to worry about – except, of course, for those who need to pay their mortgage. Jobless claims, though, are at a 14 year low and Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen is loving (okay, not her exact words) the jobless claims number and “quit rate”  since they point to a recovering labor market. Besides, did you know that high quit rates are good for wages? It’s true, I tell you.

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GM Gets Whipped By Congress Yet Again, Washington Redskins Lose to US and Instagram’s Bigger Picture and

How would you like your GM grilled today?

Image courtesy of winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of winnond/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

GM CEO Mary Barra visited Washington today for her second congressional grilling. Even after GM conducted its own internal investigation dubbed “The Valukas Report,” Congress still isn’t buying what it’s selling  – and recalling. Congress is still perplexed as to how GM took so very long – 11 years – to act on safety issues that claimed at least thirteen deaths. And while GM paid the maximum $35 million fine and set up a victims compensation fund, Congress was still left wondering how its possible that only fifteen people were fired over this debacle. Barra tried assured the government that forty new people were hired as safety inspectors. But then the CEO was forced to admit those “new hires” were promoted from within. In separate GM drama, the auto maker was served with a $10 billion lawsuit. “Victims” of this lawsuit are upset that the ignition switch recall affected the resale value of their cars and trucks.

Don’t say my name…

Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of vectorolie/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Redskins didn’t score today and the season didn’t even start. In a 2-1 vote in the US Patent Office, it was decided that the the Washington Redskons had no right to trademark their name. They can still keep the name, which some experts say is offensive and disparaging to Native Americans. Native Americans, however, seem to be split on that issue. The team intends to appeal the ruling. In the meantime, this ruling poses some unfortunate fiscal consequences – namely that third parties can use the name and logo to make money without paying a cent to the team. However, some experts argue that won’t be that big of a problem. Certainly the Redskins must feel otherwise.

Smile and say profit…

Image courtesy of tungphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of tungphoto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Looks like Instagram isn’t just for furthering Justin Bieber’s career. Small businesses are increasingly relying on the social media app to help them grow their business, without even resorting to the ludicrous antics favored by ego-maniacal celebrities and reality stars. Followed by 200 million users worldwide, Instagram helps companies of all sizes by driving sales and picking up customers and clients. The app also helps foster brand development. Now who doesn’t love all that? Businesses have even been paying people to post pics of themselves with the companies’ products on their Instagram accounts. It’s free advertising for small businesses and Kim Kardashian! Just don’t follow Kanye West’s example and take four days to edit a picture. There’s nothing Insta about that.