July 14, 2019

Set up a sinking fund for future fun

Ever get that sinking feeling that you wish you’d saved up extra dollars to pay for a wish list purchase, overdue vacation, birthday present, or other special expense? It’s never too late to avoid such regrets and salt away money for a fun or needed goal. You simply need to set up a sinking fund.

What is a sinking fund? It’s simply a fund you create in which money is strategically saved over time that will be used to pay for one or more large planned purchases or expected expenses in the future. It allows you to salt away dollars, often toward things that you want — not necessarily need or have an urgency to purchase right away — ideally without stress or remorse.

Learn more about how a sinking fund can help you save for future expenses by reading my first article for new client AmOne.com, available here.

July 7, 2019

Cords and cables begone

If you’ve got spaghetti-like clusters of cords congregating in the corners of your home and wires snaking out from nearly every visible AC outlet, it’s time to admit you have a problem. And unless you get control over this cable clutter, your home’s esthetic appeal—and safety—will be at risk, say the experts.

Indeed, cord clutter can present a tripping hazard, fire threat, and overall eyesore. But you can get detangled with the proper strategies, say the experts. Learn more by reading my newest CTW Features article on this topic, available here.

June 30, 2019

2 kids + 1 bedroom = Design challenges for parents

Maybe your young’uns are scared to sleep alone. Perhaps you have twins who prefer to do everything together. Or more likely you lack space and don’t have a choice.
Whatever the reason, splitting up one bedroom among two children isn’t easy. But you can curb territorial squabbles—and your stress level as a referee—with the right planning, especially when it comes to furnishings.


You can read my article on this topic, recently published in The Costco Connection magazine, here.

June 23, 2019

Born to be wild about podcasting

In episode #12 of the Cineversary podcast, I'm joined by Barna Donovan, professor of communications and media studies at Saint Peter's, the Jesuit College of New Jersey; together, we take a cosmic trip (minus the hallucinogenics) back to 1969 and celebrate the 50th anniversary of "Easy Rider." Barna and I examine why the movie is worth celebrating five decades later, its cultural impact and legacy, what we can learn from the picture today, how it has (and hasn't) stood the test of time, and more.

To listen to this episode, click the "play button" on the embedded streaming player below. Or, you can stream, download or subscribe to the Cineversary podcast using Apple Podcasts, iTunes, Anchor, Breaker, Castbox, Google Podcasts, Google Play Music, Overcast, Pocket Casts, PodBean, RadioPublic, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn.

Learn more about the Cineversary podcast at tinyurl.com/cineversarypodcast, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/cineversarypodcast, and email show comments or suggestions to cineversegroup@gmail.com.

June 9, 2019

Loyalty builders

Businesses large and small can find it challenging to turn first-time clients into repeat patrons. But it’s well worth the effort, as merely a 5% rise in customer retention can generate more than a 25% growth in profit, and the success rate of selling to an existing customer is up to 70% versus as low as 5% for a new customer.

Want to keep your clientele happy and coming back for more? Prepare to shower them with more attention, encourage feedback, and provide incentives for their repeat business. These general approaches can be accomplished in a myriad of ways. But for more specific strategies that have proved successful, I interviewed three industry professionals on this topic for the US Chamber of Commerce's new CO site; you can read the full article here.

June 3, 2019

Robots in the newsroom

C-3PO as a nightly news anchor? Alexa winning the Pulitzer Prize? These silly scenarios sound like the stuff of science-fiction. But the truth is that automation is increasingly infiltrating the fourth estate and impacting how the press gathers and reports the news.

From transcribing to fact-checking and polling to tweet parsing, artificial intelligence has aided the newsroom for years. More recently, organizations small and large—including giants like The Washington Post, Forbes, AP and Reuters—are using AI and machine learning to actually compose content. And that’s got the industry and consumers sitting up and taking notice. Naturally, some journalists worry about being replaced by bots. But others embrace the technological advancements, seeing them as aids in the process of producing and distributing the news.

Intrigued? Read my newest piece for Digital Content Next, which includes interviews with major and minor news organizations and how they are increasingly adopting AI, available here.