Sunday, November 18, 2012

Do we really need to turn off electronics on planes?

Millions of Americans who get on planes hear the admonition: “Please power down your electronic devices for takeoff.”
And absolutely everyone obeys. I know they do because no planes fell from the sky. No planes had to make an emergency landing because the avionics went haywire. We were all made safe because we all turned off all our Kindles, iPads, iPhones, BlackBerrys and laptops, just as the Federal Aviation Administration told us to. Realistically speaking, I’m going to bet that a handful of people on each flight could not be bothered, or forgot to comply. 
Yet, no crashes were ever attributed to people using technology on a plane. You get the point
Surely if electronic gadgets could bring down an airplane, you can be sure that the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, which has a consuming fear of 3.5 ounces of hand lotion and gel shoe inserts, wouldn’t allow passengers to board a plane with an iPad or Kindle, for fear that they would be used by terrorists. Yet rules that are decades old persist without evidence to support the idea that someone reading an e-book or playing a video game during takeoff or landing is jeopardizing safety.
In recent studies, “There was no evidence saying these devices can’t interfere with a plane, and there was no evidence saying that they can.” I’m not arguing that passengers should be allowed to make phone calls while the plane zooms up into the sky. But, why can’t I read my Kindle or iPad during takeoff and landing? E-readers and cellphones can be easily put into “Airplane Mode” which disables the device’s radio signals.
The government might be causing more unnecessary interference on planes by asking people to shut their devices down for take-off and landing and then giving them permission to restart all at the same time. According to electrical engineers, when the electronic device starts, electric current passes through every part of the gadget, including GPS, Wi-Fi, cellular radio and microprocessor.
It’s the equivalent of waking someone up with a dozen people yelling into bullhorns.
As more and more people transition from paper products to digital ones, maybe it’s time to change these rules.
Michael Altschul, senior vice president and legal counsel for CTIA, the wireless industry association, said a study that it conducted more than a decade ago found no interference from mobile devices.
“The fact is, the radio frequencies that are assigned for aviation use are separate from commercial use,” Mr. Altschul said. “Plus, the wiring and instruments for aircraft are shielded to protect them from interference from commercial wireless devices.”
Mr. Dorr reluctantly agreed. “There have never been any reported accidents from these kinds of devices on planes,” he said.
What do YOU think?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

10 ways to pump up for Facebook fan page

I got these suggestions from Bob Baker:

1) Keep your content fresh. The key to an effective Facebook fan page is ongoing activity. So be sure to post something new on a regular basis. I recommend at least once a day if not more. Once or twice a week won't cut it. To make it rock, you need to have ongoing activity there. So post often.

2) Know your peak hours. Studies have shown that Facebook users are most active at 11 AM, 3 PM and 8 PM - with morning updates being the most effective. Of course, you must figure time zones and where your fans are into this equation. I've found I get a lot of responses during the early evening hours in my time zone, when people who work are home after dinner and before bedtime.

3) Encourage fans to tag themselves in photos. Take lots of pictures at your shows and post them to your page. Encourage fans to post their own photos as well. And ask them to identify ("tag") themselves in the photos, which will cause the images to appear on their personal profiles too - thereby spreading the word to more people.

4) Respond to comments, or at least "Like" them. When people take the time to leave a meaningful comment on your fan page, you will create a lot of good will by commenting back. At the very least, click the "Like" link related to the comment, which will appear in that person’s list of notifications. Find some way to acknowledge that you saw and appreciate the comment!

5) Share and serve, don't always sell. Nothing turns off a fan more than a constant barrage of sales messages. Use your fan page status updates to communicate with your fans - not just promote to them. Share interesting stories and links, new music by you and other similar artists, and other cool things you have discovered that they would most likely enjoy.

6) Show your personality. Share your sense of humor and quick wit (assuming you possess those qualities :-) Make your updates lively and engaging - not just dry announcements. Post photos of things you come across that make you laugh. (Like the church sign I saw in the middle of a summer heat wave. It read "The devil called, and he wants his heat back.")

7) Give stuff away. New demo tracks, live recordings, video clips, wallpaper, screen savers, you name it. Don't cling so tightly to everything you create. Loosen up and give a lot of it away. Generosity will go a long way toward making a connection with your fans.

8) Ask for feedback and pose questions. One of the best ways to encourage interaction is to ask for it. On a regular basis, ask questions on your fan page: What should we play at our next show? What's your favorite new artist? How should we celebrate the singer's birthday next week? Which of these three songs do you like best? Ask, ask, ask!

9) Thank your fans. The people who support your musical endeavors allow you to do what you do. They are your true dream team. Acknowledge the important role they play in your life. Thank them - and thank them often!

10) Make sales offers too. Of course, while you're delivering value, giving stuff away, engaging your fans, and interacting with them ... don't forget to make them aware that you do indeed have stuff for sale. Don't go overboard with sales pitches, but don't shy away from them entirely either. Strike a balance. Give your fans an opportunity to help and support you!
Check out the link to the site here: