October 28, 2021

‘NewsHour’ Appoints First Female Anchor Team

The PBS “NewsHour,” which was co-anchored for decades by the two men who created it, will soon be co-anchored by two women.

PBS announced on Tuesday that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff would take over the nightly newscast in September, putting an end to the rotating anchor format that has been in effect for several years. Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff will also share the managing-editor responsibilities for the program.

The appointments are another milestone for women on television and in journalism, seven years after Katie Couric became the first female solo anchor of a network nightly newscast. PBS noted in a news release that “this will mark the first time a network broadcast has had a female co-anchor team.”

The co-anchor arrangement harks back to the 1970s, when Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil founded the nightly newscast that was later named “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” The two men jointly presented the program until 1995, when Mr. MacNeil retired. Mr. Lehrer continued to anchor it until 2011, when he retired. Their company, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, remains in charge of “NewsHour,” and they were involved in the discussions that culminated in Tuesday’s announcement.

“If Gwen and I can be the team that Jim and Robin were, we will consider that a success,” Ms. Woodruff said in a telephone interview.

Asked what advice the two former anchors had given them, Ms. Ifill said in a separate interview, “They told us to stick close together and to stay friends.”

Ms. Woodruff and Ms. Ifill already are close, having crossed paths in Washington, where they both live, countless times, and having “appeared on endless panels together discussing women in journalism,” as Ms. Ifill put it.

Ms. Ifill, who is black, said that she and Ms. Woodruff were mindful of the broader significance of their appointment.“When I was a little girl watching programs like this — because that’s the kind of nerdy family we were — I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color,” she said.

“I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal — that it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all,” she added.

Ms. Ifill, 57, a veteran of newspapers including The New York Times, was a Washington correspondent for NBC before becoming the moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week” and a senior correspondent for “NewsHour” in 1999. Ms. Woodruff, 66, was the chief Washington correspondent for “NewsHour” in the 1980s. After a dozen years at CNN and some outside work, she rejoined the program as a senior correspondent in 2007.

Tuesday’s announcement was, among other things, an admission that a rotating anchor format is not preferable for an extended period of time. At the end of 2009, as Mr. Lehrer approached retirement, Ms. Ifill, Ms. Woodruff and three other correspondents — Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner — started to take turns anchoring the “NewsHour” with him. After he retired, this format remained in place, with two of the five in place each weeknight. “It was a way to give each of them a chance,” said Linda Winslow, the program’s executive producer, praising the lineup of “really powerful people.”

But the arrangement made production of the “NewsHour” unwieldy at times, and it confused viewers, at least some of whom expect to see the same face or faces every night.

Last year Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff were chosen to anchor PBS’s coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. “You never know until you’re elbow to elbow how well it’s going to work,” Ms. Ifill said. “It worked really well for us. We sat next to each other and had a ball.”

They teamed up again on election night. Ms. Winslow said “NewsHour” producers and PBS executives noticed the campaign-year anchor work, and “it just struck us that we were able to promote our product better when we had identifiable anchors.”

And “it wasn’t, to be frank, an unattractive feature that they would become the first female co-anchor team of a nightly newscast,” Ms. Winslow said.

The anchor change became final last week. It might have happened sooner, but “NewsHour” faced a serious financial shortfall earlier this year that resulted in a round of layoffs and the closing of its two bureaus outside the Washington area, where the program is produced. Ms. Winslow said the changes at the anchor desk were unrelated to budget issues.

Mr. Brown, Mr. Suarez and Ms. Warner will remain with “NewsHour,” now as “chief correspondents,” each with an area of expertise “that will also help define the program,” Ms. Winslow said.

In interviews, Ms. Woodruff and Ms. Ifill seemed realistic about the challenge ahead: to not just maintain the nightly audience for “NewsHour” — about one million viewers tune in each night, according to Nielsen — but to somehow expand it.

“This show is not going to be overhauled — we think it’s a treasure the way it is,” Ms. Woodruff said. “But we do want to do some tweaking. I think we have the freedom to do some experimenting.”

Both journalists said they envisaged opportunities for more fully integrating the Web and social media into the program, as virtually all news programs have sought to do in recent years. “We want to go where the viewers are,” Ms. Ifill said, “not think that they’re going to come find us.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/business/media/gwen-ifill-and-judy-woodruff-to-co-anchor-newshour.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff to Co-Anchor ‘NewsHour’

The PBS “NewsHour,” which was co-anchored for decades by the two men who created it, will soon be co-anchored by two women.

PBS announced on Tuesday that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff would take over the nightly newscast in September, putting an end to the rotating anchor format that has been in effect for several years. Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff will also share the managing editor responsibilities for the program.

The appointments are another milestone for women on television and in journalism, seven years after Katie Couric became the first solo anchor of a network nightly newscast. PBS noted in a news release that “this will mark the first time a network broadcast has had a female co-anchor team.”

The co-anchor arrangement harks back to the 1970s, when Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil founded the nightly newscast that was later named “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour.” The two men jointly presented the program until 1995, when Mr. MacNeil retired. Mr. Lehrer continued to anchor until 2011, when he retired. Their company, MacNeil/Lehrer Productions, remains in charge of the “NewsHour,” and they were involved in the discussions that culminated in Tuesday’s announcement.

“If Gwen and I can be the team that Jim and Robin were, we will consider that a success,” Ms. Woodruff said in a telephone interview.

Asked what advice the two former co-anchors had given them, Ms. Ifill said in a separate interview, “They told us to stick close together and to stay friends.”

Ms. Woodruff and Ms. Ifill already are close, having crossed paths in Washington, where they both live, countless times, and having “appeared on endless panels together discussing women in journalism,” as Ms. Ifill put it.

Ms. Ifill, who is black, said she and Ms. Woodruff were conscious of the gender context of their appointment.

“When I was a little girl watching programs like this — because that’s the kind of nerdy family we were — I would look up and not see anyone who looked like me in any way. No women. No people of color,” she said.

She continued, “I’m very keen about the fact that a little girl now, watching the news, when they see me and Judy sitting side by side, it will occur to them that that’s perfectly normal. That it won’t seem like any big breakthrough at all.”

Ms. Ifill, 57, a veteran of newspapers including The New York Times, was a Washington correspondent for NBC before becoming the moderator of PBS’s “Washington Week” and a senior correspondent for the “NewsHour” in 1999. Ms. Woodruff, 66, was the chief Washington correspondent for the “NewsHour” in the 1980s. After a dozen years at CNN and some outside work, she rejoined the program as a senior correspondent in 2007.

Tuesday’s announcement was, among other things, an admission that a rotating anchor format is not preferable for a long period of time. At the end of 2009, as Mr. Lehrer neared retirement, Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff and three other correspondents — Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner — started to take turns anchoring the “NewsHour” with him. After he retired, this format remained in place, with two of the five anchoring each weeknight. “It was a way to give each of them a chance,” said Linda Winslow, the program’s executive producer, praising the team of “really powerful people.”

But the arrangement made production of the “NewsHour” unwieldy at times, and it confused viewers, at least some of whom expect to see the same face or faces every night.

Last year, Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff were tapped to anchor PBS’s coverage of the Republican and Democratic National Conventions. “You never know until you’re elbow to elbow how well it’s going to work,” Ms. Ifill said. “It worked really well for us. We sat next to each other and had a ball.”

They were teamed up again on election night. Ms. Winslow said the campaign-year anchor work was noticed by “NewsHour” producers and PBS executives, and “it just struck us that we were able to promote our product better when we had identifiable anchors.”

“It wasn’t, to be frank, an unattractive feature that they would become the first female co-anchor team of a nightly newscast,” Ms. Winslow added.

The anchor change was completed last week. It might have happened sooner, but the “NewsHour” faced a serious financial shortfall earlier this year, which culminated in a round of layoffs and the closure of its two bureaus outside the Washington area, where the program is produced. Ms. Winslow said the changes at the anchor desk were unrelated to budget issues.

Mr. Brown, Mr. Suarez and Ms. Warner will remain with the “NewsHour,” now as “chief correspondents,” each with an area of expertise “that will also help define the program,” Ms. Winslow said.

PBS also announced on Tuesday that Hari Sreenivasan, the anchor of the forthcoming “PBS NewsHour Weekend” program, would be a senior correspondent, reporting several times a week from New York, where the weekend program will be produced.

A specific start date for Ms. Ifill and Ms. Woodruff has not been determined, but PBS hopes for it to coincide with the premiere of “PBS NewsHour Weekend” on Sept. 7.

Ms. Woodruff will anchor all five nights a week, while Ms. Ifill will anchor Monday through Thursday, peeling away on Friday for “Washington Week.”

The two women seemed realistic about the challenge ahead of them: to not just maintain the nightly audience for the “NewsHour,” but to somehow expand it.

“This show is not going to be overhauled. We think it’s a treasure the way it is,” Ms. Woodruff said. “But we do want to do some tweaking. I think we have the freedom to do some experimenting.”

Both women said they saw opportunities to more fully integrate the Web and social media into the program, as virtually all news programs have sought to do in recent years. “We want to go where the viewers are,” Ms. Ifill said, “not think that they’re going to come find us.”

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/07/business/media/gwen-ifill-and-judy-woodruff-to-co-anchor-newshour.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Link by Link: Bubble or No, Virtual Bitcoins Show Real Worth

When Mr. Grinberg, now a lawyer in the financial institutions group of the Manhattan law firm Davis Polk Wardwell, first learned about bitcoins, they were selling for 10 cents. Now, after the latest price surge that began in January, the cost of a bitcoin on an exchange that converts them to dollars is something like $140, and the collective value of all bitcoins has passed a billion dollars.

That is a lot of coin in any form, and the billion-dollar milestone has turned the once-obscure online currency into a media sensation. Had Mr. Grinberg invested just $100 back then, today his investment would be worth …

Ah, but that way madness lies. “People are buying bitcoins because the price is going up,” he said in an interview. “That is the classic indicator of a bubble.”

The question of whether the increase represents real value or is simply evidence of a bubble is at the heart of the current media frenzy. Bitcoin began in January 2009, a project introduced by a programmer or group of programmers who worked under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

The project represented a breakthrough in using software code to authenticate and protect transactions without resorting to a centralized bank or government treasury. In that way, Bitcoin became a peer-to-peer system. That comes in pretty handy for people who do not want their transactions monitored.

In conversations about the project with scholars who study it, the word that comes up as often as “bubble” is “genius.”

For one thing, though bitcoins are software code, you can’t simply copy them like a music file. The process of creating the coins — “mining” them in the project’s allusion to something tangible like gold or silver — involves computer work that, crucially, verifies Bitcoin transactions.

“It is the most successful digital currency already right now,” said Nicolas Christin, the associate director of the Information Networking Institute at Carnegie Mellon University. “Even if bitcoins become worth nothing, it has succeeded more than any academic proposals for a digital currency,” he said in an interview from Okinawa, Japan, where he was attending a conference on financial cryptography that included a number of papers on bitcoins.

People buy the coins for cold hard cash on exchanges. Completing those purchases, as well as cashing out, typically involves re-entering the world of traditional financial transactions, with fees and loss of anonymity.

But Bitcoin’s managers say the currency has proved so secure that despite the fact that exchanges and virtual wallets, where people keep their bitcoins, have been hacked, the coins themselves have not been forged.

So why the sudden run-up in value? Some point to the recent crisis over Cypriot banks, which made a currency beyond the control of governments more tempting. And as with a run-up in anything tradable — tulip bulbs, dot-com shares — there is also the hypnotic logic that says the price went up today, so that means it will go up tomorrow.

Some observers and investors also make the case that bitcoins are in fact undervalued. Their argument goes like this. The total value of the world’s economic activity is enormous. There are certain transactions that are ideal for bitcoins because the currency is relatively anonymous and does not need to be processed by a financial organization or a government.

If bitcoins become the dominant currency in some small niche of the world economy — that is, those people who do not want their transactions easily tracked or who want to send money back home from abroad — then they will become quite valuable indeed. This outcome has been neatly summarized by the financial blogger Felix Salmon as making bitcoins an “uncomfortable combination of commodity and currency.”

The price increase becomes a question of supply and demand. Unlike other currencies that can adjust the money supply depending on economic conditions, bitcoins have a supply that is fixed. The amount of new coins that can be minted was plotted at the outset with a finite number of coins at the end, roughly 21 million in the next century. Today, the rate is 25 new coins every 10 minutes; for the first four years, it was twice as many, 50 every 10 minutes.

The slowdown in the rate new coins are added, which was programmed into bitcoins, may also help account for the spike in prices.

So far, excluding investors and day traders, the main use of the currency appears to be illicit activity. There are the online gambling sites that use bitcoins. And the anonymous online marketplace Silk Road, which accepts only bitcoins, is “overwhelmingly used as a market for controlled substances and narcotics,” according to a paper on Silk Road written by Mr. Christin of Carnegie Mellon.

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/08/business/media/bubble-or-no-virtual-bitcoins-show-real-worth.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

You’re the Boss Blog: Reflections on the Third Anniversary of My Pink Slip

Searching for Capital

A broker assesses the small-business lending market.

Today marks the third anniversary of my pink slip from corporate America. Three years ago, the bankruptcy trustees at the corporation where I had worked for close to a decade fired me. The next day, I started working on building my loan brokerage.

For some, anniversaries are a time of celebration. And while I do believe that keeping a business afloat and growing for three years is an accomplishment, I would rather use this milestone for some reflection and to share what I think I have learned.

I know that it’s a cliché (and one that’s a little strained right now, with all of our minds on Newtown, Conn.), but the closest analogy I can think of to building a company is parenting a child. Both come with constantly evolving challenges, demands, and highs and lows.

You can read the books, but more often than not, you react with your gut. You can plan a perfect outing for a day, but if your child is sick that morning you’re out of luck. You can think your child will go to Harvard, but he or she might have different plans. You will pick  activities for your children, but eventually they will start to choose for themselves. And no matter how hard you try, there will be times when you will like awake at night and second-guess your choices. You have to be flexible and adaptive. Most importantly, you have to be patient.

I think that companies are built in a similar fashion. You’re always trying to figure it out. You’re constantly experimenting with new things. You learn by trial and error, and sometimes you fail several times before you figure something out. But you don’t give up. I recently spoke to an M.B.A. class, where one of the students asked me what my five-year plan was. I wanted to answer that it was to try to make payroll next week. Instead, I told the class that my plan was to try to build my company at whatever the right pace was as long as it could hold true to it’s values and do right by its customers. I suspect that my answer confused some of the students.

And I don’t think it’s their fault. As a general rule, entrepreneurship is not thought of or taught as a journey. More often — especially at business schools, I suspect — it’s about how to get big quick, how to get venture capitalists behind you, how to become the next billionaire. It’s about planning your exit before you complete the launch.

Too often, I find that lenders don’t reward agile development processes – even though this is ultimately the best way to minimize risk. I think more companies fail trying to get big too quickly than being cautious and pragmatic. Too many companies try to build management teams before they know how to walk.

I am optimistic that when I look back in five or 10 years, I will be glad that I took the slow-growth approach. But the opportunity for reflection always passes quickly. Tomorrow morning — I am happy to say — the doors will open and the phones will ring again.

Ami Kassar founded MultiFunding, which is based near Philadelphia and helps small businesses find the right sources of financing for their companies.

Article source: http://boss.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/12/17/reflections-on-the-third-anniversary-of-my-pink-slip/?partner=rss&emc=rss

Bits: Facebook Unveils Timeline View and Media Partnerships

Nick Bilton/The New York TimesAndy Samberg, a comedian who plays Mark Zuckerberg on Saturday Night Live, opened the Facebook F8 conference.

1:56 p.m. | Updated Adding more announcements from conference.

Facebook’s F8 annual developer conference didn’t open with any new company announcements but rather with Andy Samberg, a comedian on Saturday Night Live who often plays Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s founder, on the show. After he spent several minutes poking fun at Facebook, the real Mark Zuckerberg appeared on stage.

Mr. Zuckerberg soon jumped into discussing new features on Facebook. He touted the growth of Facebook in recent years, noting that the company reached a milestone last week “when half a billion people used Facebook in a single day.”

Mr. Zuckerberg said one of the problems with Facebook is the profile page. Over the years, he said, the profile page has become difficult to navigate, and it is hard to find older posts. To solve this problem, Facebook is releasing a product called Timeline. Mr. Zuckerberg said Timeline “has three pieces: all your stories, all your life and a new way to express who you are.”

Timeline offers a highly visual view of a user’s Facebook profile and organizes content into photos, events and apps, all based on a timeline view that stretches back to the beginning of a user’s time on Facebook.

Timeline is designed to work on mobile devices too, offering a visually immersed stream. “It’s the story of your life,” Mr. Zuckerberg said.

Mr. Zuckerberg said the company was updating the Open Graph, the company’s developer platform. These updates will create “real-time serendipity,” allowing people to engage with their friends’ activities online beyond just “liking” something.

For example, if a friend updates his Facebook status to note that he is listening to a song on Spotify, the online music service, you will be able to click on the link and listen to the song together, at the same time. The Spotify track will also play directly within the Facebook page.

But the new developer updates go beyond music to include videos, gaming and news. Facebook has partnered with more than a dozen developers and music platforms including Spotify, iHeartRadio and Rdio. The company’s video partners include Netflix, Hulu and Blockbuster.

Check back for more updates from F8.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=3d4319a44d2f53ef12735c949a38d7ee

You’re the Boss Blog: Can Owners Handle the Truth About a Business’s Value?

Transaction

Putting a price on business.

About two years ago I told a business owner a number of things she wasn’t ready to hear about the sale of her business. She was disappointed with our meeting, called later to tell me she disagreed with what I had said, then listed her business for sale with one of my competitors. I didn’t lose much sleep over it at the time. In fact, I happened to admire both her and her business, and I slept better knowing that I had told her what I thought.

After her contract expired with the other broker, her business still unsold, she called me again. What she said to me was something I’ve been told by other business owners in a roundabout way in the past. But on some level I had been waiting to hear the sentiment expressed in the exact words she used on the phone: “I appreciate you telling me the truth.”

There seem to be two camps when it comes to hearing unpleasant truths (whether it has to do with politics, relationships or business) — those who want you to give it to them straight, so they can roll up their sleeves and do something about it, and those who want none of it. Reality can be hard to accept, especially when it comes to your business. A recent article asked business owners to share their stories about a business that didn’t make it. One former owner couldn’t talk to the reporter when asked to contribute. “I don’t know if I could make it through your questions,” she said in the article. “I might just cry and cry.” It had been 10 years since her business had failed.

When my husband and I opened our business brokerage firm after selling our own business in 2006, I thought I’d be helping entrepreneurs achieve an incredibly joyous and lucrative milestone in their lives — the sale of their business. There would be high fives and hugs amid popping champagne corks. Unfortunately, this is not the case as often as I would like. Much of my time is spent on the less glamorous tasks of educating business owners on how the marketplace will view — and value — their business, and helping them set realistic expectations for the arduous process of selling. In short, I’ve had to learn the fine art of being a downer.

Along with the huge upside of cashing out and moving on, there can be many unpleasant realities associated with the sale of your business. Businesses tend to be valued at much less than the seller had anticipated, family members and employees feel betrayed, Uncle Sam takes a depressingly large cut of the deal, and even in the best possible scenario the seller can feel a deep sense of loss.

In the world of business exits there is something known as “the value gap.” This is defined as the dollar amount between what the seller wants — or needs — and what the business is really worth to a buyer. It’s a fairly straightforward, quantitative exercise to figure out what it would take to fill the gap. Figure out what multiple of earnings would result in the owner’s desired value, determine the corresponding increases in revenue and profit required, then plan the necessary operational changes to achieve those targets. But there is a mental and emotional component to this process that is harder to fill.

Because it’s so much easier to place blame, I believe that the media are partly at fault for creating this perceptual gap. All of those examples of the guy who started a fabulous business in his dorm room closet and sold it to Google for millions (without turning a profit) may be harmful. While I am as awestruck as any reader, these stories are far from the ham-and-egg reality of what most small-business owners go through when selling. Looking to those magazine headlines for any semblance of what it’s like to sell a business is like reading a romance novel for marriage advice.

Perhaps it’s human nature to want to be deceived. But denial in the business world can be costly. Selling a business is a high-stakes game in more ways than one. I asked that business owner — whose plans for the future had to be shelved for two years while she was stuck in her business — if there was anything I could have said or done that would have been helpful during our initial conversation. She said no, and admitted that she simply needed to learn a long, hard lesson.

In the meantime, I continue to try to close the gap between perception and reality when it comes to selling a business. And while some people walk away, I’m O.K. with that. Evidently, some of those people come back when they’re ready.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c71e31e59665c15520a8784e8eb807ea

You’re the Boss Blog: Can Small-Business Owners Handle the Truth?

Transaction

Putting a price on business.

About two years ago I told a business owner a number of things she wasn’t ready to hear about the sale of her business. She was disappointed with our meeting, called later to tell me she disagreed with what I had said, then listed her business for sale with one of my competitors. I didn’t lose much sleep over it at the time. In fact, I happened to admire both her and her business, and I slept better knowing that I had told her what I thought.

After her contract expired with the other broker, her business still unsold, she called me again. What she said to me was something I’ve been told by other business owners in a roundabout way in the past. But on some level I had been waiting to hear the sentiment expressed in the exact words she used on the phone: “I appreciate you telling me the truth.”

There seem to be two camps when it comes to hearing unpleasant truths (whether it has to do with politics, relationships or business) — those who want you to give it to them straight, so they can roll up their sleeves and do something about it, and those who want none of it. Reality can be hard to accept, especially when it comes to your business. A recent article asked business owners to share their stories about a business that didn’t make it. One former owner couldn’t talk to the reporter when asked to contribute. “I don’t know if I could make it through your questions,” she said in the article. “I might just cry and cry.” It had been 10 years since her business had failed.

When my husband and I opened our business brokerage firm after selling our own business in 2006, I thought I’d be helping entrepreneurs achieve an incredibly joyous and lucrative milestone in their lives — the sale of their business. There would be high fives and hugs amid popping champagne corks. Unfortunately, this is not the case as often as I would like. Much of my time is spent on the less glamorous tasks of educating business owners on how the marketplace will view — and value — their business, and helping them set realistic expectations for the arduous process of selling. In short, I’ve had to learn the fine art of being a downer.

Along with the huge upside of cashing out and moving on, there can be many unpleasant realities associated with the sale of your business. Businesses tend to be valued at much less than the seller had anticipated, family members and employees feel betrayed, Uncle Sam takes a depressingly large cut of the deal, and even in the best possible scenario the seller can feel a deep sense of loss.

In the world of business exits there is something known as “the value gap.” This is defined as the dollar amount between what the seller wants — or needs — and what the business is really worth to a buyer. It’s a fairly straightforward, quantitative exercise to figure out what it would take to fill the gap. Figure out what multiple of earnings would result in the owner’s desired value, determine the corresponding increases in revenue and profit required, then plan the necessary operational changes to achieve those targets. But there is a mental and emotional component to this process that is harder to fill.

Because it’s so much easier to place blame, I believe that the media are partly at fault for creating this perceptual gap. All of those examples of the guy who started a fabulous business in his dorm-room closet and sold it to Google for millions (without turning a profit) may be harmful. While I am as awestruck as any reader, these stories are far from the ham-and-egg reality of what most small-business owners go through when selling. Looking to those magazine headlines for any semblance of what it’s like to sell a business is like reading a romance novel for marriage advice.

Perhaps it’s human nature to want to be deceived. But denial in the business world can be costly. Selling a business is a high-stakes game in more ways than one. I asked that business owner — whose plans for the future had to be shelved for two years while she was stuck in her business — if there was anything I could have said or done that would have been helpful during our initial conversation. She said no, and admitted that she simply needed to learn a long, hard lesson.

In the meantime, I continue to try to close the gap between perception and reality when it comes to selling a business. And while some people walk away, I’m okay with that. Evidently, some of those people come back when they’re ready.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=c71e31e59665c15520a8784e8eb807ea

Bits Blog: Half of America Is Using Social Networks

Social networks have crossed another milestone.

For the first time, half of all adults in the United States said they use a social networking site, according to a survey released Friday by the Pew Research Center.

That’s 50 percent of all Americans, not just those who say they are online. Six years ago, when Pew first conducted a similar survey, only 5 percent of all adults said they used social sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace.

It is a sign of how deeply and widely social networking companies have penetrated the lives of ordinary people and in turn, transformed the ways in which people communicate, authorities govern and companies sell things.

Parents use Facebook to vet nannies, car makers to launch new models, police to keep tabs on suspects. Federal government authorities are preparing this weekend to use social networking sites for hurricane preparation on the East Coast.

The Pew survey found that among adults who are online the rates of participation are higher: 65 percent, according to the survey, up slightly from 61 percent last year.

Not surprisingly, the sites are more popular among younger people: 83 percent of people surveyed in the 18-29 age bracket said they use social networking sites, compared to 51 percent of those in the 50-64 age bracket. The young are also twice as likely to use social sites every day.

The survey by the Pew Center’s Internet and American Life Project described women aged 18-29 as “the power users” of social sites, with 89 percent of them using social networking sites and 69 percent using them every day. Such a stark funding has obvious implications for advertising on sites like Facebook.

Neither income nor education seemed to have any statistically significant bearing on the use of networking sites. A separate study published by the Pew Center in June found that black Americans continue to be more likely to be on Twitter than whites: One in four African-American users of the Internet said they use Twitter “occasionally,” and 11 percent said they used it daily. Twitter penetration still lags considerably: 13 percent of those online describe themselves as Twitter users and the lion’s share of them use it on their smartphones.

The Internet is still more commonly used everyday for e-mail and search: 61 percent said they went online every day to check e-mail, 59 percent for search and 43 percent for social networking.

There are some signs that social networking is reaching its limit. Asked for one word to describe their social networking experience, the most common was “good.” However, one in five respondents sounded less upbeat: they used words like “boring,” “time-consuming” and “overrated” to describe their experience.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=90fe3f8821dd591c3df0ea831bd2ed9c