Relocation to shiny new digs

September 16, 2009

We’re happy to announce that Staff in the Know has moved to a new home:

Details to follow…


Morningstar offers investment information for stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds. Find information by Ticker Symbol, Company Name, or by constructing a search with the stock/fund screener.

Look in the Help & Education tab for an investment glossary, primers on specialized investments, and online tutorials in Morningstar’s Investing Classroom.

Learn the basics of finding information in Morningstar:

PDF Quick Guide (1 page)
PDF User Guide (20 pages)

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Go to the Databases page and find Morningstar.
  2. Look up a company by name or ticker symbol. Search suggestion: Caterpillar
  3. Locate the star rating for the company’s stock.
  4. Locate the different printing options.

uconnseton@Peabody Twitter for emergencies. Got it. But I still don’t see why a friend would care if I’m at Bongo Java.

@Stella I watched the UConn game at a sports bar last week. No one cared when UConn was down, but I could commiserate with friends on Twitter.

@Peabody Instead of just sending eight separate text messages to eight friends, you sent one tweet to all your friends with Twitter?

@Stella Right. And my friends tweeted back – 8 friends talking on Twitter. And my buddy Dan came to watch the 2nd half because of my tweet.

Twitter is a good way to keep up with friends

Last week we talked about how Twitter could be used during an emergency. But Twitter is also useful for casually keeping up with your friends and family.

For instance, you wouldn’t email all your friends just to say you’re watching basketball. And you’d feel foolish emailing all of your friends to tell them you’ll be in Kentucky for the weekend. But your friends might like to hear about the little things that are going on in your life. These little things help us feel connected in between times when we can talk to each another.

So, my brother might tweet “Headed down to Bongo Java for some coffee and cake.” That’s not really worth a phone call or email to 30 people, but it is a fine thing to mention in passing. And who knows, maybe a friend is up for some cake. Because of Twitter you could have an impromptu meet-up, much like we used to stop in when we saw someone out on their front porch.

Twitter is a great way to spread the word

Twitter is a way to know what’s going on outside your own circle. Say you’re on the bus headed for work and you overhear someone talking about the rumored Keith Urban video shooting downtown. You might know one person who’s a Keith Urban fan, so you could email your friend. Or you could tweet the news to your circle of friends on Twitter. Now, anyone you know who has a friend who likes Keith Urban can spread the word to their friends. Without Twitter, the news may have spread much slower in your circle.

With emails, blogs, or texts, we message people we know – our audience is limited. Twitter lets to spread the word to an entire circle of people who can then spread the word to their circle of friends.

Twitter is great for businesses and organizations

If you’re wondering how a business might use Twitter, Comcast is one of the the best examples we have seen. Visit the ComcastCares Twitter page and you’ll see what we mean. You’ll see dozens and dozens of @ replies where the Director of Digital Care it talking to customers who have tweeted to @ComcastCares. If you’ve got a problem with your Comcast service, just tweet a message to @ComcastCares and the Digital Care rep will tweet back and try to help. It is simple, direct and personal.

Starbucks also reaches out to customers through Twitter. Wondering if you should store your coffee in the freezer?  Curious to know a coffee similar to the seasonal Christmas Blend? If you have a coffee question, tweet it to @Starbucks and Brad will get back to you.

H&R Block used Twitter to respond to tax questions. Amazon and Dell often post special deals on Twitter. These are just a few of the ways companies can reach out to customers through Twitter.

You’ll even find the library experimenting with Twitter. If you haven’t checked it out yet, visit the Nashville Public Library Twitter page. You’ll see tweets about upcoming events and even questions about the very first Online Book Club pick. Who knows where it will go from there?

What do you think of all this Twittering?

Do you tweet? Do you follow anyone on Twitter? There’s no activity on this one, so just share your thoughts in the comments.

Twitter can help you broadcast important news

Last Friday afternoon, hundreds of people used Twitter to report on the severe storm in Middle Tennessee:

3429072089_d4a56a34d4_o#mboro – tornado touchdown on broad at 840. take cover.

Reported Tornado Touchdown in Murfreesboro, TN

Emergency services are responding to reports that people are trapped in Murfreesboro, Tenn. after tornado hits; homes destroyed.

The Carpenter’s House church in Murfreesboro is open as a shelter for those affected by the storm.

Thompson lane and Murfreesboro road area is shut down to all traffic

Yeah, there’s a LOT of damage in Murfreesboro, where i live…massive tornadoes here…but me and my family are safe 🙂

If you are in or around Murfreesboro, please stay off cell phones. Cell towers taken out and police need the lines.

My dad says his house in Murfreesboro is ok! Thank goodness.

Heard about the tornados in Tennessee. Are you safe?

Yep. I’m good.

Just heard from in-laws who live in Murfreesboro that it looks like they came through the storms without damage.

Glad to hear all my #murfreesboro bandmates and friends are ok after the #tornado

In emergency situations, getting the word out quickly is paramount. After the storm, the first concern is letting everyone know that you’re safe. Cellphones make this an easy task, but you have to make calls to a lot of people. Meanwhile, your friends and family are all frantically dialing all the same people. This is not ideal for keeping emergency communications channels open for rescue workers.

Twitter, makes spreading the news much quicker. One tweet from your cell phone can let all of your friends know if you’re okay. In turn, your friends can retweet your news to further spread the word among your peers. This frees up the communication channels and allows you to reach more people with one text.

Another unique thing happened: Twitter connected the online community to the event as it occurred. Eyewitnesses, local residents, media, and weather agencies, were tweeting information, pictures, and links. Twitter satisfies your curiosity to know what is happening. And it allows you to leverage the power of many people to find the information you need during and after an emergency.

What do you think? Do you see a future with this kind of communication?

And the winners are…

October 15, 2008

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like it when I enter a drawing and a) don’t get to see the drawing and b) never find out who won. We didn’t want to put you through that kind of misery, so we videotaped it!

Ten names were drawn – these staff members will be getting a spiffy new mp3 player.

We didn’t want to share this silliness with the world, so please head on over to the Intranet and see if you won.

And the winners are…

You could win one of 10 mp3 players!

If you’ve completed seven Staff in the Know missions (this includes Tenn-Share Learn & Discover activities) this summer, you’ve earned a T-shirt from the Friends of the Library.

If you’ve reported your progress, you have also been entered into a drawing for one of ten mp3 players!

What’s that? You did the activities and didn’t tell anyone? No worries – there’s still time!

To enter, Email Kyle Cook or Jenny Ellis and ‘CC’ your library manager. You MUST enter by 8pm on October 14th to be eligible.

Check Staff in the Know and the Intranet Bulletin Board for the winner! The drawing is October 15th.

Instant Messaging is so simple and convenient. I can talk to all of my friends just by chatting online! Well, it should be simple and convenient. But it isn’t. Here’s why:

My mom uses AOL Instant Messenger.
My brother uses Google Talk and AOL (to talk to mom).
My best friend uses Yahoo Messenger.
My sister-in-law uses Windows Messanger (MSN).

And the list goes on, with hardly anyone using the same service. What should I do? I cannot login to all of these at once. No way. Can you imagine what a pain that would be?

That’s why I signed up for Meebo.

Meebo is a Instant messenger site where you can use all these services at once, on one screen. It works online, so you don’t have to download anything. Once you sign up for the service and set your username and password for any IM network you’re with, you’re set. After that, one login to Meebo automatically connects you to all the other IM networks.

And, so what if I’m so happy that I sound like one of those product placement deals in the old TV shows? You know, where the mom turns to the camera and says “Jimmy, would you like some Choco-milk Powder?” And Jimmy says, “Gee, mom, that’d be great. It’s so tasty and I can feel my muscles grow with each swig.”

Meebo is that cool.

“Jimmy, would you like to chat with all of your friends online after dinner?”
“Sure, mom! Since we signed up for Meebo, it’s real easy to catch up with Billy, Sam, and Ronny. I haven’t missed a baseball card trade in weeks!”

Be like Jimmy. Try out Meebo.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:  

1. Visit Meebo. 

2. Login with any ID you already have: Yahoo, AOL, Google, MSN.

4. Take the survey.