As a primer, Mozilla recently debuted its Webmaker program in hopes of making it “easy for anyone to make something amazing on the web, learning skills as they go.” Webmaker Badges fit seamlessly with that purpose, throwing gamification and bragging rights into the mix.
Admittedly, at first look these badges feel like a novelty more than anything else, but Mozilla has an interesting plan: to integrate them into Persona identities (which we covered here). With it, Mozilla hopes that these badges will provide a “lasting record” of a user’s capabilities and achievements, so they can show off “their new skills to teachers, classmates, peers or future colleges and employers.” That’s an ambitious goal.
How the new badges work, according to Mozilla:
As users complete projects on Webmaker.org – like creating web pages, animated GIFs, or learning the fundamentals of programming — they can earn digital badges linked to their identity. This provides a lasting record of their skills and achievements, and shows off their new skills to teachers, classmates, peers or future colleges and employers, backed by Mozilla.
Mozilla believes these new badges, built atop its Open Badges project, will help foster “a new generation of digital creators.” Our question is, are badges lame yet, or do they still hold the power to motivate?
Are you a Code Whisperer? A DIV Master? Find out via the link below.
Two weeks ago, LinkedIn revealed its most in-demand employers globally in 2012…and technology companies featured highly, with Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook ranking in the top four. And now, LinkedIn has produced the same data but for Europe, with the UK, France and the Netherlands getting a look-in.
First things first, the data doesn’t represent the companies with the most employees. It’s based on desirability, with LinkedIn cross-referencing its data with survey responses to pinpoint activities that indicate familiarity and interest in working for a company. This covers connecting with employees, viewing employee profiles, visiting Company and Career Pages, and so on.
In the UK, Google and the BBC nabbed the top two spots, with Unilever, Shell and BP taking the next three positions. In terms of tech companies, Microsoft and Apple rank at number 6 and 7 respectively, with HP, ITV and ASOS also featuring in the top 20.
In France, L’Oreal scooped pole position, with Microsoft and Google taking the next two spots. In the Netherlands, however, the only ‘tech’ company to hit the top five was Philips.
According to the social network, nationality matters. “More than half of the companies on each of the rankings are headquartered locally, although US companies occupy most of the top 5 in France,” says LinkedIn’s Will Hamlin.
You can peruse the full in-demand employers’ list for yourself here.
Originally posted here: LinkedIn lists the most sought-after UK employers: Google and the BBC
A newly signed California law forbids employers and universities from asking employees and applicants for their social media passwords. The law was hastily developed in response to a string of reports last spring of employers coercing applicants to “voluntarily” allow businesses to snoop through their Facebook accounts as part of the interviewing process. The United States House of Representatives failed in an attempt to ratify a Federal ban, paving the way for states to take up the responsibility.
Universities and scholarships were also found with sophisticated procedures around monitoring current athletes and student applicants. The University of North Carolina handbook for sports explained, “Each team must identify at least one coach or administrator who is responsible for having access to and regularly monitoring the content of team members’ social networking sites and postings.”
Facebook responded to the media frenzy by reminding schools, governments, and businesses that giving away passwords was expressly forbidden by their security rules.
Hoping to help Facebook end the practice, the bill will go into effect January 1.
Editor’s note: This guest post was written by Dave Chase, the CEO of Avado.com, a patient portal & relationship management company that was a TechCrunch Disrupt finalist. Previously he was a management consultant for Accenture’s healthcare practice and founder of Microsoft’s Health platform business. He’s part of the White House Roundtable on Patient Access. You can follow him on Twitter @chasedave.
When I’m not writing for TechCrunch, my “day job” is working with healthcare providers the disruptive innovators who are reinventing healthcare and slaying the healthcare cost beast as a byproduct. In some cases, these are entrepreneurs. In most other cases, they are pioneers within existing healthcare providers fighting to make changes within otherwise slow-moving organizations.
Despite this being the month that the Supreme Court is supposed to rule on the Obamacare’s constitutionality, it is striking how the SCOTUS ruling rarely that comes up in discussions with healthcare providers. A HealthLeaders Media piece by Philip Betbeze described how “Disruptive Healthcare Innovations Trump SCOTUS Worries“ when he asked senior executives about their viewpoint regarding upcoming the Supreme Court decision.
But when you ask one question, you might get an interesting answer about something else entirely. That’s the way my sources for this off-the-record conversation surprised me. They agreed they are much more concerned about disruptive innovation than what nine people in black robes are going to say at an indeterminate date sometime this month. The roundtables, set up for me by the good folks at Premier Inc., which is holding its annual “Breakthroughs” conference here in Nashville this week, revealed that these leaders fear less what the government may do in response to whatever decision the Court makes, and more what nontraditional competitors may do to their resource and capital-heavy healthcare delivery systems.
They are rightfully concerned. The array of disruptive innovation activity underway or in the works is encouraging. Much of this is taking place in what I call the DIY Health Reform at the behest of commercial plans and employers. Even the items that were key parts of the Obamacare such as Accountable Care Organizations (ACO) are surpassed by private sector efforts. For example, more than 70% of the newly formed ACOs are driven solely by private sector efforts as opposed to government funded. The following are just a few examples of disruptive innovation in the DIY Health Reform movement:
[Disclosure: Some of the companies described in the linked articles are customers of my patient relationship management software company, Avado, which is why I have a view into their business results.]
When an entire health system shifts from a reactive to a proactive model as has been the case with the highly successful examples cited above, the backbone of that system is primary care, not hospitals. For example, Denmark went from 157 to just 21 hospitals as detailed in “Primary Care Spring” unleashed by IBM. It’s a more geographically concentrated country so the reduction won’t be as dramatic in the U.S., however it’s not inconceivable that we might have half the number of hospitals a decade from now.
As Philip Betbeze stated, “In their day-to-day-lives, it [the SCOTUS decision] largely won’t affect the 180-degree shift they’re making in reimbursement philosophy. For most systems, those changes are taking place largely at the behest of commercial plans and local employers.” The fee-for-value train has left the station. Woe is the health system that hasn’t made aggressive moves to reinvent themselves.
Unfortunately, some view “reinventing” themselves as simply automating the broken processes that have created the mess we are in today. The established health system leaders are rightfully concerned as the disruptive innovators aren’t shackled by old processes. Rather, they are building from the ground up that recognize value, not activity, as the core focus. While the federal reform was a catalyst, the DIY health reform movement has enough momentum regardless of the outcome from the 9 black robed folks in DC.
Assured Labor, a mobile-centric job networking startup that was founded at MIT four years ago, is breaking into another Latin American market. The company is launching in Brazil with a localized service called TrabalhoJá. This adds to its reach in Mexico and Nicaragua.
“Most of the job sites in Brazil charge job seekers, sometimes up to $50,” said Assured Labor’s CEO David Reich. “We’re totally free and job hunters don’t have to be extorted.”
Assured Labor is a feature phone-based service that helps job seekers land work. The company targets workers that might only have cell phones and lack personal computers or a broadband connection. You can kind of think of it like a LinkedIn for the developing world.
Workers often sign-up in Internet cafes and then the product texts them whenever there are relevant work opportunities that match their skills or what they’re looking for. The service also just started doing voice pre-screenings with candidates. That lets them answer some questions so that employers can vet them before bringing them in for interviews.
Reich started working on the company while in business school at MIT. The company started with a pilot in Nicaragua and then expanded to Mexico. It now has about 250,000 candidates and 5,000 employers and earns revenue from employers, who pay to reach prospective candidates.
The company has raised more than $1 million in funding from angels including former Skype chief executive and chairman Michael Van Swaiij, Kima Ventures and Nexus Venture Partners.
Read the original post: Assured Labor, The Mobile Job-Finding Network, Breaks Into Brazil