RSS hits big time… The ‘pink’ ceiling… Biodegradable milk bottles… Magic hurdle for success? $2 million!

RSS hits the big time

RSS – which means either Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary, depending on who you talk to – has been around for a while, but according to the Small business trends blog, the number of RSS subscribers has finally hit the big time.

RSS feeds work by sending you a message and summary when the content on the websites you have selected changes, allowing you to keep on top of all your favourite news and information without spending hours going from site to site. To collect the message you need an RSS reader, available free from the likes of Google and Newsgator.

Sites such as Self Made Minds and Frantic Industries have compiled lists of blogs with large numbers of RSS subscribers using statistics from RSS tracking service FeedBurner.

The rumor this week that Google is acquiring FeedBurner for $100 million cash puts even more emphasis on the importance of RSS. Obviously Google thinks RSS is going to be big if it is acquiring a feed tracking and management service for so much cash.

Here are the top five sites with the most RSS subscribers according to the Frantic Industries site:

1. TechCrunch – 416,000
2. BoingBoing – 406,000
3. Simply Recipes – 232,000
4. Interesting Thing of the Day – 150,000
5. 43Folders – 113,000


Discrimination for gay, lesbian and transgender workers

Many gay, lesbian and transgender workers suffer discrimination at work, despite laws to the contrary, reports the Law Institute Journal.

Almost 60% of 900 such employees surveyed for the “Pink Ceiling” report by Jude Irwin at the University of Sydney, experienced discrimination or harassment at work, even though 52% worked for organisations that tried to prevent such treatment.

People who had affirming workplace experiences said their company culture promoted all forms of difference, not just those based on gender identity and sexuality. Every state has laws preventing discrimination in employment on the ground of gender identity and sexuality.


Biodegradable milk bottles

Greenbottle is a biodegradable milk bottle that uses a smart two-part system to aid recycling, reports Springwise.

Designed and manufactured in Britain, the bottles are composed of a cardboard outer manufactured from pulped, recycled cardboard, which is lined with an inner sleeve of biodegradable plastic made from corn starch.

It seems so simple we wonder no-one has thought of it before. Perhaps it’s the cost?! The bottles currently cost up to 30% more than their plastic counterparts – but costs should go down once production steps up.

The plastic keeps the cardboard from becoming soggy, and the cardboard makes for easy transport, storage and pouring. Once the bottle is empty, the inner sleeve can be pulled out and will decompose in a landfill within six weeks.

The cardboard outer can be put out for recycling with other paper or thrown in with kitchen and garden waste for home composting.

Springwise says Greenbottle has tested at a British Asda supermarket, and the bottles sold out quickly.


Bigger is better

Hire lots of staff and get your turnover to more than $2 million. Sound risky? Not according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistic figures out yesterday.

They show that the survival rates for businesses operating since June 2003 was noticeably lower for businesses reporting turnover between $50,000 and $200,000. Meanwhile entry and exit rates were lower for businesses with turnover of more than $2 million.

Only half of the non-employing businesses that were started in 2003-04 were still operating three years later. But 80% of new employing businesses were still in business three years later. And exit rates were lowest for businesses employing between 20-199 staff.


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