Google fires a shot at Yelp; brings Hotpot recommendations to Maps

A screenshot of Google Maps running on Windows...

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Throwing caution to the wind and firing a shot over the bow of Yelp, Google has just announced that it has implemented Hotpot recommendations into Google Maps for your desktop. While it’s not yet perfect, according to the Google Lat Long Blog, “we’ll be building it out over time, making it even easier for you to keep track of your friends’ activities”.

Where will this get really interesting? Look at Google’s near-field communication that it has embedded into the Nexus S. Imagine going into a local venue and having your phone recognize where you are. You’re then given the chance to put a Hotpot recommendation into the system and your friends can immediately see what you think of the place.

Of course, that part is somewhat in the future. For now, it’s still a great recommendation system (and better in some ways than Yelp, even, by our standards) and well worth a try. Want to give it a shot, just head over to Google Hotpot and sign yourself up.

What do we want? A newly-updated version of Google Maps with Hotpot overlays, please.

This is HUGE. Ask me why… 😀

Ten Ways to Make Sure You Fail to Hit Your Goals

Twitter Fail Whale is back

Got any goals at the moment? Yep, me too. The problem is, a lot of big goals sound like pretty hard work – things like losing weight, getting fit, saving more money, quitting smoking …Perhaps it’s easier just to shoot yourself in the foot before you start. So here’s ten great ways to make sure that you fail to hit your goals. Manage three or four of these, and you’re on the fast-track to failure. Hit all ten, and you might as well not bother getting out of bed any more.

If you want to fail, be sure to follow the ‘via’ link and read all 10… 😀

Most Say No to Government Regulation of Search Engines

a chart to describe the search engine market

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Most Americans give high marks to Internet search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing and don’t think the government needs to regulate their responses.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 77% of Adults say there is no need for government regulation of the way that search engines select the recommendations they provide in response to search inquiries. Just 11% believe such regulation is necessary, while just as many (12%) are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here).

The most frequent Internet users are the least likely to think regulation is needed for search engine recommendations.

 

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2011 Trends Driving Rural Small Business

Go to the source to read the article: smallbiztrends.com

Two of my favorite points? “Small town people are carrying smartphones, playing location based games, and using Facebook even while out of the house. Visitors and travelers are using Google Local to find businesses in even the smallest of towns. Travelers and locals review small town businesses on sites like Yelp and Urban Spoon. All of this is happening now. Smart small town businesses are taking advantage of this, and 2011 should see more businesses in small towns offering coupons and deals through the established players like Google and Facebook. Mobile-friendly information and QR Codes will pop up, even in remote locations.” and “The wave of global outsourcing may have crested, and small town business can benefit by capturing more of these jobs through ruralsourcing. Rural service firms claim a number of advantages over global firms: shorter supply chains, better data security, intellectual property protection, cultural compatibility, and convenient time zones. Costs are lower than traditional urban firms, reflecting the lower rural cost of living. Those small town companies capable of partnering with large corporate clients stand to gain new business throughout 2011.” Smart rural economic development corporations, government leaders and business owners will pay heed…

A $38.67 investment that will change your year

Book Cover

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If it’s true that the first hour is the ‘rudder of the day’ than the next few weeks are the ‘rudder of the year’. If you lead an organization like I do, here are 4.5 books that will give you all the insight you need to chart a course for the year…

Here they are in their recommended order of reading:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. There’s a reason why this book is one of the most popular of all time. Read or reread it!
  2. Getting Things Done. Another book that has become so popular that people have forgotten why.
  3. Awesomely Simple. This one is new, but powerful enough to be a must read for me.
  4. Your Best Year Yet! Enough said.
  5. The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. What? Yes, read it. Franklin outlines his systematic approach to building new habits here.

Now for the how. Yes, I’m even going to tell you how to read them. Read them via Kindle. “What”, you say? “I’m not going to buy a Kindle just to read these books!” “Well”, I say, “you don’t have to”. Kindle software runs on Windows, Mac, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Windows Phone 7, BlackBerry and via web browser. It synchronizes wirelessly between devices creating a virtual library of all the books you download allowing you to use them anywhere at any time. So, if I’m reading a book on my Sprint Evo and highlight a section that I want to go back to later, when I get to my computer and synchronize my books, the same selection will be highlighted, along with any notes I’ve made, on my PC. Did I mention that most Kindle books are around $10 as well? Read more of this post

An Introduction to Net Neutrality

“As its name indicates, net neutrality is about creating a neutral internet. The basic principle driving net neutrality is that the internet should be a free and open platform, almost like any other utility we use in our home like electricity. Users should be able to use their bandwidth however they want as long as its legal, and internet service providers should not be able to provide priority service to any corner of the internet. Every web site whether its Google, Netflix, Amazon, or UnknownStartup.com should all be treated the same when it comes to giving users the bandwidth to reach the internet-connected services they prefer.” Read more here: An Introduction to Net Neutrality: What It Is, What It Means for You, and What You Can Do About It.