In the midst of AIM, Skype, Gmail Chat and heaven knows how many more competing instant messaging tools there are, Google's making moves to create one less program to keep track of. The company just released a feature that lets you chat with people using AIM from within Gmail. It's fully integrated with the Gmail Chat feature, so there's nothing to install. Click the triangle next to Set Status Here link, and choose Sign into AIM.
Even small universities can reach large student audiences through online learning programs. Take, for example, the University of Illinois, which has an exemplary online learning program and wants to reach 10,000 new online students by next year, according to a report this week by NPR.
- Almost 3.5 million students were taking at least one online course during the fall 2006 term
- The 9.7 percent growth rate for online enrollments far exceeds the 1.5 percent growth of the overall higher education student population.
At the Special Libraries Association conference in Denver, CO, last June, I heard the term "competitive intelligence" uttered more than "Who's giving away the free cookies?"
CI, as it's called, is not exactly in James Bond's arena, but even he would agree itâ€™s helpful to know what the competition is up to. It's an imprecise practice that consists of Internet research, networking at events and even eavesdropping in elevators to see what you can learn about similar organizations.
It's not a question of if it will happen, but when. For me, I lost all my data about two weeks ago when my hard drive melted down. I very nearly lost it all, and had to rebuild quite a bit of data. Thankfully, I have a network of little safety devices that cover up my natural human stupidity. Here are three friendly tools within the grasp of any small business or nonprofit, which will help avert disaster: