Older workers valuable… Introverts make great networkers… Advergaming takes off… CNN’s top tech companies

Older workers have a lot to offer

A report by The Oxford Institute of Ageing report for HSBC, “The Future of Retirement”, explodes the myth that older people are dependents whose care drains vital resources from nations struggling to cope with ageing populations.

In fact, through taxation, volunteer work and the provision of care for family members, HSBC has found that those in their 60s and 70s are the foundations upon which their nations build.

“In the UK, for example, HSBC calculates people aged between 60 and 79 contribute £5.5 billion each year in tax payments, £4.2 billion in volunteer work and over £50 billion in family care,” says the bank’s press release.

The report, which surveyed 21,000 individuals in 21 countries and territories across five continents, did not include Australian respondents.

But a local survey, reported in the newspapers today by the Diversity Council Australia, has found that older workers prefer a gradual transition to retirement. Its survey of 1000 people aged 45 and over found that more than 50% are interested in further study and one-third who are no longer working would consider returning to work.


Introverts can be great networkers

If you linger in corners at parties and can’t stand small talk, don’t despair, you can still be a good networker, according to a report in Inc.com. Ivan Misner argues you don’t have to be a people-person to network; you just have to listen.

He writes: “A common assumption is that a ‘people-person’ is the best type of networker. But this isn’t necessarily true. Actually, the only people who can’t profit from networking or referral marketing are those who don’t like people at all. But they aren’t likely to be entrepreneurs or involved in sales in the first place.

“Often, introverts eliminate themselves from networking because they aren’t good at initialising conversations. That’s unfortunate, because they’re actually better at the part of networking that’s more important to the relationship-building process.

“Networking is a two-part process. First, you have to meet someone new and share information about yourself. The extrovert may be better at this first part of the process. But the introvert is better at the second part — listening to the person he or she just met. The type of networking I recommend can actually be easier for an introvert because extroverts love talking about themselves, while introverts are better at listening and asking questions.

“A good networker has two ears and one mouth, and uses each proportionally. A good networker asks questions and gets to know the other person. And once you know the other person, it’s much easier to solve one of their problems or ease one of their concerns.”


Want to reach the Gen-Ys – why not try advergaming

Let’s face it, almost no one watches TV ads anymore – well, maybe granny does, but if you want to reach Generation-X or Y, forget it. Reaching them requires something interesting and fun – like advergaming.

BusinessWeek reports one of the ways advertisers are dealing with the problem is through advergaming: online computer games that are built around a brand. They’re fun and free, so people seek them out, and because they’re interactive they provide a powerful way to communicate information about a brand.

Advergaming first hit the scene in 1995, but access to decent broadband has seen it really take off, with big brands like KFC, Burger King, AOL, Ford, Nabisco, ESPN and Pepsi all getting on board the advergaming bandwagon.

As well as being online, advergames are also popping up on gaming consoles and mobile phones. Finally, advertising made fun.


Top tech companies

CNN Money.com Business 2.0 has published its list of the 100 fastest growing tech companies in the US. Here’s the top five:

  1. Akamai Technologies (AKAM)
    Rank: 1
    Employees: 1058
    Headquarters: Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Sector: Business services
    Why it’s hot: Online video and music has catapulted Akamai to the top spot. Internet traffic is surging, and companies like Apple and MTV Networks rely on the content delivery company’s technology to get the digital goods to their customers.
  2. iMergent (IIG)
    Rank: 2
    Employees: 303
    Headquarters: Orem, Utah
    Sector: Business services
    Why it’s hot: Mum-and-dad businesses are increasingly moving online, and iMergent’s training programs help it set up shop on the web. Taking its workshops abroad has helped drive new growth. Financial restatements have added to revenue gains.
  3. Palomar Medical Technologies (PMTI)
    Rank: 3 (previous rank 6)
    Employees: 225
    Headquarters: Burlington, Massachusetts
    Sector: Medical
    Why it’s hot: These days even 20-somethings are opting for a nip and a tuck. That’s spiked demand for Palomar’s six-figure gear, which uses lasers and light pulses to tighten skin, vaporise blemishes, and remove unsightly body hair.
  4. InterDigital Communications (IDCC)
    Rank: 4
    Employees: 340
    Headquarters: King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
    Sector: Software

    Why it’s hot: Mobile devices are hot, but InterDigital’s wireless software patents are hotter. More than half of the company’s 2006 revenue came from an intellectual property settlement with Nokia. Now it has Samsung in the crosshairs.
  5. CyberSource (CYBS)
    Rank: 5
    Employees: 247
    Headquarters: Mountain View, California
    Sector: Business services
    Why it’s hot: Online fraud has become a growth industry, to the tune of $US3 billion a year. That’s meant big bucks for CyberSource, with companies like Google and Yahoo using its secure payment services to protect themselves and their customers.


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