New Blog Series: #BizVoiceExtra

There’s a phrase most writers know (and loathe, even though we understand the necessity of it): “kill your darlings.”

While it doesn’t literally mean to kill anyone, the point is that you will write things that are so witty and smart and wonderful that you have probably lost objectivity on whether the words or phrases are useful to the reader.

The only solution is to kill them! Delete. Rewrite. Either way, make sure you’re not just writing for yourself – you’re writing for the reader.

I wish I had all the room in the world – or, within the pages of our bimonthly business magazine, BizVoice – to keep all my lovely darlings and every interview and nugget of information that I find fascinating when working on a story.

Side note: It probably causes my editor, Tom, a little heartburn when I say, “Can I have a little more room, pleassssssse?” (It happens nearly every edition. Sorry, Tom!)

But we have so many great stories to tell about the people and companies making Indiana a special place to work and live that I want to share as much of that with our readers as possible.

In an effort to tell more of those stories that didn’t get into the magazine, I’m starting a new series here on our blog (and this social media manager is giving it a hashtag, of course): #BizVoiceExtra. While it’s not a total workaround of “killing my darlings,” this means I can expand on some topics that readers also might find interesting.

Look here for stories and photos you won’t find in BizVoice from me and hopefully my fellow writers (they don’t know I’m going to rope them into this yet, ha!).

Our March-April edition of BizVoice drops this week! Keep an eye out for some intriguing stories focusing on education and workforce, Indiana Vision 2025 progress and a trip through Indiana’s political history with another entry in our yearlong Road Trip Treasures series.

I’ll have a few of the #BizVoiceExtra stories from our new edition in a few days. Check back soon!

Keep it Lean

It seems EFFICIENCY may be the name of the game in 2011. Businesses are running lean at the moment, and looking to get the most out of their new structures. An e-mail release from Robert Half Technology explains the top IT jobs in the coming year will be geared around streamlining efforts.

Finding a job may be high on many professionals’ list of New Year’s Resolutions. To narrow the search for those in the IT industry, Robert Half Technology has identified the hottest IT positions for 2011.  Among them:

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Technical Developer – Base compensation for these professionals is projected to increase 5.2 percent next year. ERP enables organizations of all sizes to improve efficiency and cut costs. Since no two companies are alike, developers are in steady demand to customize software according to specific organizational needs.
 
Business Intelligence Analyst – Average starting salaries for business intelligence analysts will rise 5 percent. Companies need analysts who can guide decision-making processes in a constantly changing business environment, and help reduce costs and better evaluate internal and external clients.
 
Data Modeler – As firms analyze more complex data and create custom applications, they require skilled modelers who can design methods for handling, processing and evaluating material. Data modelers can expect base compensation to rise 4.5 percent over 2010 levels.

The common thread among these jobs is that they help businesses improve efficiency and profits, and foster a more positive customer experience.

Image is Everything in a Greener World

So who’s the greenest of them all? If perception is reality, then AdvertisingAge has the answer. This report illustrates who’s done the best job of being — check that — appearing to be the greenest companies around.

Burt’s Bees and Whole Foods lead the 2010 ImagePower Green Brands Survey’s list of top 10 U.S. brands perceived to be the greenest, with Aveeno and Microsoft joining the list this year. The fifth annual study also found that in the U.S., people are more concerned about the economy than the environment, while in developing countries, such as Brazil and India, the environment takes precedence.

Making the top 10 brands list in the U.S. after Burt’s Bees and Whole Foods were, in order, Tom’s of Maine, Trader Joe’s, Google, Aveeno, S.C. Johnson, Publix, Microsoft and Ikea.

The survey, released this week, was done by WPP companies Cohn & Wolfe, Landor Associates and Penn Schoen Berland in partnership with Esty Environmental Partners, a corporate environmental strategy consultant. They did online interviews from Feb. 27 to March 24 with 9,022 people in the U.S., Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, U.K. and, for the first time, Australia.

The survey found that more than 60% of consumers around the world said they want to buy from environmentally responsible companies. In the U.S., though, 35% of those surveyed said they plan to spend more on green products, down 4% from 2009. That reflects the U.S.’ focus on economic worries. "Almost 80% of the [U.S.] consumers said they were more concerned about the economy that the environment. That’s the highest of any other country," says Russ Meyer, chief strategy officer for Landor, San Francisco.

In developing countries, however, the split goes the other way. Of those surveyed in Brazil, for example, 72% were concerned about the environment while 25% cited the economy. "India’s got a split like that, too—59% and 32%," Meyer says. "It’s interesting to see. There’s a bit of a Western bias that the West is further advanced in thinking about sustainability. India, China—those economies are already on their way to mending, and not so in Europe and the Americas."

Indiana INTERNnet Joins the Twitter Party: Great Resource for Students, Employers and Schools

Twitter is an online system for people to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of short, frequent answers to the question: “What are you doing?” At Indiana INTERNnet, we thought it would be a good way to communicate our latest internship postings and statewide internship activity. The New York Times says the system is one of the fastest growing phenomonas on the Internet and according to Newsweek, it seems that all of a sudden the world’s a-twitter. 

On our feed, we’ll post links to current internship postings from www.indianaintern.net, provide anecdotal internship testimonies, offer internship event information and do our best to elevate interest for Indiana internships. This will be an ideal resource for employers, students, and education faculty and staff.

Keep up on the latest Indiana internship news by “following” Indiana INTERNnet at https://twitter.com/IndianaINTERN. We’ll update frequently and look forward to Tweeting with you.