Make New Friends But Keep the Old: The Pittsburgh Opera Changes Its Image

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

The Pittsburgh Opera has been working to appeal to a broader audience — and working hard. Most of the advertising and marketing this season features a cartoon image of a funky-looking gray-haired lady named Beth Parker, “The Opera Lady.” Ms. Parker turns out to be a real person — before and after opera performances she stands at an Opera Lady … Read More

Happy Birthday, dearest: The iPod turns five

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Today marks the fifth anniversary of the introduction of the most memorable brand of the last decade: Apple’s iPod. You’ll find articles in the San Jose Mercury News, CNet, Los Angeles Times, a whole section in the Washington Post, and more. But if you’re looking for clear, cogent analysis of why the iPod brand has been such a winner, be … Read More

Write here in Butler: New blog directory at ButlerBloggers.com

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

The regional blog directory Pittsburgh Bloggers has been a success thus far: It’s a great resource for finding and staying up to date with bloggers in the Pittsburgh area. One of my main goals in helping to found it was discovering how many bloggers there are in the area, what they’re blogging about, how the region is adopting and changing … Read More

What are you having? The Happy Hour Hotline

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

In the Bits & Bytes column of today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, way at the bottom, there’s a little item about my “sideline” as mixologist-for-hire. This service is my experiment with the web service Ether, which is an intermediary between experts and people looking for advice, conducted via telephone. (Their tagline: “Sell what you say.”) I wanted to see how well it … Read More

What’s in a (domain) name? Name unavailability leads to creativity

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Today in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Corilyn Shropshire looks at how companies deal with the problems of finding a great domain name (“Web is no bottomless pit for dot.com name seekers,” 8/16/2006): The World Wide Web is running out of names — or at least the most popular names that end with a dot.com suffix. Dot.net, dot.org and other suffixes still … Read More

The Future of E-Media: Intro to panel discussion

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Last week I participated in a panel discussion at the HOBY PA-West Leadership Seminar. The seminar participants were junior and senior high school students, all aspiring leaders (and a fun bunch as well). The panel topic: “The Future of Newspaper, e-Media, and Local News.” My fellow panelists included Tracy Certo, Managing Editor of Pop City Media; Kelly Tabay, Producer, WPXI … Read More

Warts and all: Watch an application being born on Bare Naked App

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Carson Systems, makers of web applications, are true believers using blogging as a conversation, and in the power of openness in attracting customer and community interest. How do we know? Because they’re documenting their application development process as it happens on Bare Naked App. The app they’re creating is called Amigo, and in the blog they’ve been candid about left … Read More

It’s for you: Better telephone customer service

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Not sure why it’s important to have actual humans giving customer service over the telephone? Check out Get Human, “a consumer movement created to change the face of customer service.”

Feed me! Easy steps to checking favorite web sites

Cynthia CloskeyGeneral

Feeds are excellent tools for managing the waves of information that the internet washes over us daily, but many people haven’t even heard of them. Eric Zorn of the Chicago Tribune provides a gentle introduction and detailed, step-by-step guide to setting up a feedreader account: The rest of you, who may have heard of “feeds” but been put off by … Read More