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Inside Deals A hand-picked selection of products, deals, and ways to save money. Interested in sponsoring a newsletter? Inside Books New releases, author news, and bestsellers, delivered straight to your inbox. Winston has a thriving practice as counsel to food and beverage industry companies as well, representing Beef Products in its historic defamation suit against ABC, Diamond Foods and other companies in consumer "mislabeling" class actions, and TreeHouse Foods in corporate deals.
The firm has recently grown through extensive lateral hiring. In Winston brought in a group of lateral partners from eight different firms to open a new Dallas office. The founding partners in this office have long served as advisors to Fortune companies, private equity funds, and billionaires, including Mark Cuban.
Fortitude in the face of billions in damages paid off for Winston client Panasonic and its lead lawyer Jeffrey Kessler when the Northern District of California refused - for a second time - to certify a consumer class alleging price-fixing of lithium ion batteries. All of the other defendant manufacturers had previously settled, but the Winston team "made [Panasonic] look like the smartest of the bunch for continuing to fight…" noted The American Lawyer in naming Kessler a "Litigator of the Week.
Law also featured two Winston patent infringement trial wins - a jury verdict for the defense involving methods for automated pharmaceutical dispensing and a jury verdict for the plaintiff involving garage-door opener technology. Partner Talbert Navia, who recently moved with his team from Chadbourne to Winston, advised on the deal. Winston has hired the very best people to train, develop and retain the very best people.
After bringing on nationally recognized talent strategy expert Sue Manch in May , the firm elevated its game in September by adding sought-after career coach Diane Costigan, diversity and inclusion "dean" Sylvia James, and professional trainer Julia Mercier to round out the talent team.
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Internet Researcher and Writer for a Report on Search Engine Optimization, January - February A well-established web company contacted me to put together the latest information on search engine optimization. For many years, its rankings had always been respectable, but all of a sudden, they took a big hit and revenues began to slump. The company then hired a series of SEO experts, all of whom had different ideas, opinions, and costly steps for the company to take to solve the problem. Instead of spending any more money and changing everything on its site one more time, they decided to find out which SEO best practices were presently being employed and what results they could expect.
I did a series of interviews with SEO experts, read the most recent reports and books I could find, visited Internet forums specializing in SEO, and searched the web for value-added information. I put all pertinent findings into a white paper. The client required a list of human-based clinical studies and research papers.
The deliverable was a highly condensed summarization with copies of the research papers and clinical trials attached in the appendix.
Some of the questions I tried to answer were: If so, what sort of pheromones? Artificial or animal derived? Can the human body increase attraction with an increase in pheromone production from the inside? There are nutritional supplements available on the Internet that make such claims. Is there any research to substantiate this claim? She needed help with researching, writing, and editing to take her ideas and turn them into an article.
When you look at the research habits of NextGens, a couple of things become pretty obvious: Motivation, Critical Thinking, and Learning Theory. Almost every academic database has a different interface, a different set of search protocols, and different full-text retrieval engines, meaning access to these resources is less than transparent.
Before conducting a search, LexisNexis forces the user to select different source areas, while the best way to search Factiva is to make use of its subject directories to narrow searches. Some provide full-text articles, while others, only the bibliographic information and perhaps a pointer to where an article can be retrieved. Even experienced researchers become confused when faced with multiple procedures.
It takes quite a bit of expertise to navigate digitized information systems and use them well enough to get the best available information. That is why it is important, if not crucial, to offer sufficient support when students are first being introduced to research tools in an academic setting.
Support from librarians is a key component, but web-based tutorials are also critical because they tap into the independent and tech-savvy nature of NextGens and are also cost effective. Students could benefit from having basic explanations of elements found on search results pages, definitions of commonly used terms, and simple contextual maps to explain the basics of information retrieval for the wide array of databases found in academic libraries.
Researcher for a Real Estate Marketing Company, December - February A company that provides innovative, web-based marketing systems and software for both real estate agents and mortgage brokers contacted me for research help and the creation of content for their marketing files containing local-based information. I eventually researched approximately topics, including many in the area of financial services. I also wrote a series of articles for their monthly newsletters which cover a variety of subject matters.
Researcher, December My client was looking for a list of public relations companies that were founded by women and who have their primary offices in Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. I also read background information on the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries as preparation for my work. I then created a series of summaries on a large number of topics and events so that my client could more easily write the book, without having to stop every day to do more research.
Sentenced to death at the age of five by King Stephen when his father refused to surrender, William Marshal had a notorious beginning. But his father, John Fitz Gilbert the Marshal, had other ideas. But William had three brothers and a young mother. He said his youngest son was of far less value than his castle at Newbury.
King Stephen had every right to hang the boy, but William was not executed and went on to become an important bodyguard for Eleanor of Aquitaine and a courageous knight. Over his life, he served four kings: Researcher, Editor, and Analyst for a Real Estate Strategy Consultancy, November - January I was hired to read, review, and edit five strategic plans that my client had written for various commercial real estate projects.
The typical document was pages. I edited, filtered, and condensed the reports into three templates to serve as base documents for future reports. I found that some things were stated more clearly in one report than another. My client needed the best of each report standardized and applied to three different templates for three different types of real estate projects i. I also analyzed cities, regions, states, and then produced market overviews for projects that my client was working on.
The number of businesses in the downtown core, daytime work population, traffic statistics, total number of hotel rooms, square footage of office space, rental rates, retail sales, job growth, downtown residential population, etc.
Typically, a ten page report provided a good overview. I also supplied my client with a write up of the overall national real estate market with overviews in housing, hotels, office space, apartments, and retail. Researcher and Writer for a Study on Recession-Proof Industries, November An American college was intrigued by the idea of developing new diploma programs based on the premise that the courses would provide recession-proof jobs for graduates.
When jobs are scarce and the economy is going through a downturn, many people go back to school to upgrade their skills. Why not offer them programs that could keep them employed long into the future?
No career is truly recession-proof, but discovering the high-demand jobs of the future and updating your skills accordingly, can go a long way in offering economic security. Emerging fields such as geographic information systems, green energy, and specific healthcare occupations are currently receiving a lot of attention. The most important part of this project was the futures research I did for it. Every year we are surprised by social, economic, and technological upheavals that appear to come from nowhere.
Predicting which jobs will still be vital a decade from now is not an easy task and must be made using some of the principles of scenario planning. Key to preparing for the future is making better decisions today. We can do this by highlighting large-scale forces that push the future in different directions. The work I did was summarized into a report and given to the provost for evaluation.
Researcher for a Washington, DC Non-Profit, October - November This research project is part of a multi-prong initiative that looks at how politicians are using the Internet and if it changes the way they govern. I looked at politicians from many countries, not just the United States. I basically used the Internet for all of my research, collecting information on different politicians and parties, and on how they are using the medium to transform the democratic process.
I put all my findings into a report. Clinton has even held press conferences at her virtual headquarters. UK politicians are increasingly using blogs and are responding to the posted comments.
Blogs have become extremely important, with millions reading both local and national blogs daily. The British Conservatives have launched their own Facebook pages to attract new support.
Facebook is a really fast growing way for politicians to communicate with constituents. European politicians are using podcasting, vlogging, blogging, and other Web 2. Social networking sites had a huge impact on the United States Presidential elections. Barack Obama credits social networking and Web 2. He won every important caucus state by using these tools because he was able to move thousands of people to organize. Obama used the Internet to organize his supporters in such a way that would require an army of volunteers in traditional campaigns.
The Internet also allowed him to run a campaign for much less money. Also, the ad material they created for their YouTube channel is currently being watched more than ten million hours, something that would cost tens of millions of dollars on broadcast television.
And, unlike direct mail, the Internet costs nothing in comparison. Photographic Researcher, October My job was to find images of gods and goddesses associated with knowledge, learning, wisdom, writing, books, and libraries. Hermes was the Greek god of knowledge and invention; Vidya Lakshmi is the Hindu goddess of learning and rational thinking; Lono is the Hawaiian god of learning and intellect; Seshat Sashet, Sesheta, Safekh is the Egyptian goddess of writing, historical records, accounting and mathematics, measurement and architecture to the ancient Egyptians.
This is a webpage showing the images of the gods and goddesses I found. Here is the key that goes along with the photographs. I found an equal amount of information on both sides of the debate. Often when you are hired as a freelance researcher, the client is expecting you to deliver only information that supports the way they see a situation.
They want you to find information that backs up their viewpoint. In this case, that was difficult. Many of the reports and articles I read on the subject reported that there is very little to worry about when it comes to the potential health risks associated with exposure to microwave radiation. A number of experts stated that microwave ovens are more of a health risk than ISP towers because they leak radiation.
And, as they point out, cell phone towers are much more of a concern when it comes to health. In general, public health implications of wireless technologies is a relatively new phenomenon and it will be several more years before studies can reliably demonstrate and predict what exposure to all kinds of microwave radiation does to the human body and if it alters brain chemistry. Another part of my research was to find information on how Internet towers affect the value of homes located near them.
The information I could find points to the subjectivity of each case. For example, a home may decrease in value by percent in some areas, but in other locations, namely very rural areas, an Internet tower could be viewed as a positive by people looking to buy a home with access to high speed wireless.
The perception of the buyer is key. One of the questions that arose out of my research was how the locations for these towers are chosen. Particularly, why are they built anywhere near houses and people? One other interesting point was raised by this research: We found that entire rural areas of the United States are basically without reliable and speedy access to the Internet because local people have fought against towers. Without access to a high speed connection, you are invariably cutting people off from having access to a lot of important information.
The Internet has become a lifeline to rural communities. Think also of small businesses, the home schooled, and the telecommuters.
The Internet is a critical utility and is as important as telephone, electricity, and mail. Living in isolation, off the grid, is just not an option anymore.
The Internet provides too much opportunity. Even the off-gridders have Facebook pages these days, which is kind of funny. The Internet gives you access to the whole world and hundreds of years of knowledge.
For instance, the National Library of Wales is digitalizing everything printed about Wales and the Welsh people since the 16th century. And, every day, another service becomes available only online. Researcher for an Overview on Best Practices for Corporate Website Usability, Customer Experience, and Usability Engineering, September I was hired by a North Carolina consulting firm and directory to evaluate their website and online social communication tools.
After losing some of their ranking in various search engines, they decided that it was a good time to take a closer look at their online presence and find out if customers and visitors to the site were having a positive experience. Sometimes companies spend so much time and money on positioning themselves for search engine optimization that they forget the basics of customer service. The website also could not be read by the computers of visually impaired users.
Computers are unable to read text that is enclosed in graphics. People with disabilities were unable to navigate the site because it was built to be visually pleasing rather than informationally and structurally sound. Visitors were also unable to change the font sizes, which is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. I also found that users were unable to efficiently and quickly locate information on the site.
The interface design required people to guess where items were because the information was not well organized or properly labeled. A "breadcrumb trail" built directly into the navigation is a very helpful component of a site, as is using webpage titles and subtitles to indicate what section of the site a person is in. Researcher for a Study on the Portrayal of Male Librarians Throughout History, August - September I spent quite a lot of time researching male librarians, from the earliest documented accounts.
This project was multi-pronged and complex. The first thing I did was a literature review. I used a series of online academic databases to find good articles and books. My client requested that I highlight the most important points in each article and write a summary. After my initial research, I put all the information together and wrote a report that chronologically tracked librarians over time.
I also put the highlights into a simple timeline. Historically, the image of the male librarian has come full circle.
The profession was originally peopled by bookish men, although there are certain exceptions. Ancient librarians had high social status and were often scholars or priests. They were generally the only literate people in their communities. The chief Librarian of Alexandria was chosen by the king and was always a prominent scholar. In Egypt in the early s, Pachomius started a monastery and insisted that all resident monks read and write.
Many monastic enclaves emerged throughout the Roman Empire and most had theological libraries. Monasteries in the Middle Ages were centered on librarianship and libraries, housing monk scribes, with the head scribe often put in charge of the library. The Benedictines created libraries and the scriptorium became sacred. It soon became customary for monasteries to lend to other monasteries, giving birth to inter-library loans.
Prior to , public opinion was that librarians were introverted, mean, eccentric, and male. Early male librarians were seen as dusty old bachelors, and undernourished, weak and non-masculine bibliophiles. The masculinity of male librarians was never questioned when libraries were the exclusive territory of male employees. That changed when libraries were primarily the workplaces of women.
Male librarians were then stereotyped because they were seen to work in a female-dominated profession. He established a pool of relatively cheap female labour that transformed the landscape of librarianship over the next half-century. Once exclusively the domain of men, librarianship evolved over time to not just incorporate women, but to become a profession that is almost completely associated with them.
A review of American and British articles written prior to , shows that librarians were always referred to as "he. Men of that era tended to consider librarianship as better suited to women than men. His very identity as a man could be compromised by choosing to become a librarian. Because the workplace is dominated by women, male librarians find themselves associated with the stereotype.
Like male nurses, male librarians, have a fear of being perceived as homosexual since they work in a feminized profession. More importantly, what movies, comic books, and literature have said about male librarians is that they are typically effeminate, weak, nerdy, etc. When you research male librarians throughout history, homosexuality has not been one of the main stereotypes that comes up, not at all.
There is no substantial evidence to indicate that a large number of male librarians are gay, although surveys indicate that there is a perception that gay males predominate in librarianship.
According to a famous study by James V. Carmichael, the proportion of homosexuals and heterosexuals among male librarians is comparable to that in the general population. In reality, the majority of male librarians surveyed had a MLIS degree and were older married men. The stereotype that men in libraries are more likely to be gay is a myth. The homosexual image is only one of the stereotypes associated with males in the library profession.
Male librarians are often thought of as "the systems guy" who joined the profession because of its technological aspects and because they are seen as more technologically-savvy than women. Men who work in libraries are frequently seen as in charge, with patrons assuming they are managers or directors. Male librarians appear in many movies. In the Rose , Volker Prechtel played an anti-social male librarian; in Brazil Jonathan Pryce played a male librarian who was seen as a failure; in Offbeat , John Turturro played an anti-social male librarian, Neil Pepper; in The Spy Who Came in from the Cold , Richard Burton portrayed a male librarian characterized as a failure; in Ghostbusters , John Rothman played an anti-social male librarian; and In the Name of the Father , Alan Barry was socially-inept, archivist Jenkins.
This is a webpage displaying pictures of male librarians that I collected. Here is the key that goes along with it. Medical Researcher for a Study on the Effects of Candida Yeast, August Using a number of relevant books and academic articles obtained from MedLine, I provided my client with the latest information on candida yeast, its symptoms, the effects it can have on the body short and long-term , and treatments, including comprehensive cleanses to rid the body of the overgrowth of candida albicans yeast.
Researcher for an Entertainment Company, July My job was to identify all sport and entertainment venues with seating capacities greater than 12, in North America, South America, and Western Europe. Government documents were a great help for this project. Researcher for a New York City Research and Consulting Firm, July The firm assists organizations in optimizing their education and training resources, and teaches them how blogs might contribute to a learning environment.
The company retains the services of independent researchers to research and write on topics related to learning and development in large organizations. The topics I was hired to do were e-learning, learning technologies, leadership development, and measuring training-related performance improvement. Client and Market Researcher for a Nutraceutical Manufacturer, June The CEO of a small manufacturing company of nutraceutical products hired me to identify and research companies who may be potential customers for products he manufactures.
I also created profiles for the companies. Researcher and Writer for a Report on the Future of Life Insurance, May - July This project was a summary of insurance market activity for several countries. I was hired to do the research and write the report.
I was fortunate that I had access to a few insurance associations, which allow members access to timely statistics and reports. I was also able to make use of databases, such as Factiva and LexisNexis, and was able to get additional data from a few insurance experts working overseas. As the insurance industry continues to evolve worldwide, distribution becomes more of a factor. Tied agents and brokers, once the mainstay of the industry, dominated most markets. But that is changing at various rates, depending on the region.
Currently, the trend is towards the development of alternative distribution channels. In South America, distribution varies by country but many are experimenting with new sales channels such as drugstores, supermarkets, and malls.
Some countries in the region require an intermediary for any insurance transaction, a regulation that is preventing countries such as Brazil from developing alternative distribution systems. In , nineteen life insurers and twenty-four non-life insurers were operating in the country. Brokers and agents dominate the distribution channels in Colombia, but there too, company-employed representatives and banks are gaining ground. In Colombia, brokers dominate the group life market. In , 52 registered brokers were working in the field.
The individual life market is dominated by agents, approximately 10, of them. But it is the banks that are increasingly becoming a one-stop shop for financial services, since they have a better image than the insurance industry.
The last year has seen the German life insurance industry busy reacting to changes in the legal and regulatory framework. Introduced in May , the EU Insurance Mediation Directive IMD and the Insurance Contract Law, which came into effect in January , are regulations that have increased the complexity of the life insurance business model, leading to higher expenses.
Higher deferred acquisition costs and surrender values, and a change from "policy model" to an "offer-acceptance model" are two of the changes that are creating new challenges for insurers. Preliminary results for indicate a decrease of 7. Fitch currently believes that from , new business in Riester and overall, will slow down.
Fitch is forecasting acceleration in competition from within Germany as investment funds and banks try to benefit from the changed product environment given their experience in short and long-term savings products.
Increased competition is also expected from foreign insurers. The distribution landscape for German insurers has also changed dramatically in recent years. After the partial lapse of tax benefits for traditional endowment policies, the new life insurance products require a much higher degree of sales force competence, as product advantages are more complex to explain to the consumer.
This may spell bad news for direct sales. As in Japan, the South Korean sales force is primarily made up of women: These independent agents had little training, and as a result, the industry was marred by complaints of non-professionalism, mis-selling and low customer retention. Upon entry to the market, foreign insurers insisted upon a professional sales force and have done a lot to professionalize the industry.
ING Life Korea is noted as a pioneer in this area, and has a network of professional, self-employed full-time tied agents. This model has brought about fundamental changes in the insurance market landscape. What has traditionally been a female-dominated field is now attracting men to the profession. The ratio of men has more than doubled since when it was a mere 9. Researcher for a Non-Fiction Biography, May - June My client was commissioned to write a 80, word biography on a series of women political leaders.
I was hired to help with the research. I was given a two page document that outlined the book specifications in which the author made comments about the type of content she was looking for. The book specs included a list of in print "competition" books to serve as models.
I was expected to identify a list of relevant articles and books that the author could use to write the biography. I also had to create a working Table of Contents. I read all of them and extracted the sections I thought were most important for my client, who needed the information to write an article he could publish and to create a presentation he had to give at a professional conference.
At this point in the project, I suggested we develop a survey that could be sent to hundreds of librarians. I collected a large number of email addresses for academic librarians working in learning commons. I then put together a series of survey questions that were pertinent to our research question. My client provided feedback, we made some changes, and the survey was sent out. We got a very good response and my client was able to get more insight into the state of learning commons in universities and how reference service has evolved because of them.
Another component of the project was to find out how many graduate students work in learning commons and offer consultations to undergraduate students. The nature of learning is changing. A learning commons should recognize that the needs of the learner are paramount. This includes new learning pedagogies, a greater emphasis on collaborative learning, and a recognition that advances in technology have a major impact on how students now acquire, organize, and disseminate information.
The evolution of the information commons concept has been one approach to providing new and refined levels of service to academic library users. The concept can be readily adapted to the campus culture and the needs of individual institutions.
Given the rapid alteration of the collective information landscape, learning styles of customers, and the nature of library operations, usage patterns of library resources have steadily evolved. Many libraries and librarians have recognized these fundamental changes and some have further undergone a series of organizational developmental processes to adapt and cope with the new realities. Creating a learning commons is one of the ways in which libraries are responding. The learning commons is not just a concept, it is a place, and in many instances, it exists in the library.
Academic institutions are supporting a learning commons model because the faculty and administration recognize that students learn in dynamic ways. Learning commons are spaces with the technology and design that emphasize knowledge creation.
In the framework of the learning commons, the librarian as facilitator is emphasized. The librarian becomes a partner in the collaborative process on specific projects. The librarian is also responsible for marketing the learning commons and evaluating the outcomes. Another area that the librarian needs to coordinate is the increase in technical services to make sure that the tools are available and easily manipulated by users.
The challenge in this philosophy is striking the right balance between the need for supporting technology in the public computing area and providing traditional reference services. New patterns of service delivery are developed to better service the needs of students in this environment.
Most information commons are based on a partnership between the library and information technology services of the university with varying degrees of collaboration and integration between the two functional areas. In some cases, multimedia services are also involved. The emphasis on how to house physical collections, accommodate library staff, and seat readers has been replaced by a focus on user needs and expectations, and client experiences.
A key feature of the information commons is the help provided to users. The arrangement of the computers, the ease of moving between the desks, and the placement of the information desk all contribute to its success. Students are not always willing to leave their computer and approach a desk, no matter how friendly and helpful they know the staff to be, so it is necessary for staff to go to them. A primary aim of the information commons is to create an environment and a service that will give students the opportunity to develop information and computer literacy skills.
Library design should not be dominated by a concern for information resources and their delivery. It should incorporate a deeper understanding of the independent, active learning behaviours of students and the teaching strategies of faculty meant to support those. Staff should regularly rove around the commons. Researcher and Writer for a Presentation on the Future of Academic Libraries, April My role in this project was to identify important trends and challenges that will shape the future of academic libraries.
I used a number of databases to find relevant articles on the topic. I also searched the Internet for information, and interviewed a number of experts in the area of futuristic studies and libraries. My deliverable was a comprehensive report which my client used to build his presentation. The future of the academic library is a topic of continuing concern for the profession, particularly in view of advances in technology. Can libraries harness these new technologies to fulfill their mission in this new information landscape?
Academic libraries are changing faster than at any time in their history and have entered a period of enormous transition. Identifying relevant technologies to employ in libraries to support services is crucial, and considering the impact of social networking and mobile devices on users and their expectations is also important.
Libraries that integrate the interactive world of Web 2. Their expectations and attitudes have been shaped by the Internet and other types of digital media. What kind of information are they looking for and how do they want to access it? Recent studies have found that even researchers and members of faculty prefer to access information on their computers from home or the office, and visit the library very irregularly.
How can libraries make the information easier for them to access and use? Many students lack the basic skills to research online and often use Google to begin a search. They have difficulty establishing whether a website provides quality and accurate information.
They have grown up in a digital world that sanctions independent and self-paced learning and require library services that are structured to accommodate them. Libraries need to start taking lessons from business and workplaces to make quality information easily accessible to students like Amazon has done.
Visitors to the site can look inside many books, read reviews, and learn about similar books. Google Books is a great tool because you can search in all the books at one time. This is an invaluable tool for research. A key point to make here is that rather than providing new and exciting services created specifically for the digital age, libraries are taking the safe route by providing their users with the same old types of services wrapped around online technologies. Libraries should begin developing custom portals to allow easier search options for their collections.
Expensive, high quality information goes unread by a majority of students because they have no idea how to access it. Libraries should do whatever it takes to expose their digital collections, even if it means teaming with commercial players such as Google. If not, they run the risk of becoming irrelevant.
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Moya K. Mason is a professional freelance researcher, book researcher, research consultant, fact checker, writer, editor, information scientist, and project manager. What is Mobirise? Mobirise is a free offline app for Window and Mac to easily create small/medium websites, landing pages, online resumes and portfolios, promo sites for apps, events, services .