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University of Michigan School of Information


Fun Size for 2/1/18: Best email opening lines

Ultimate convenience store
It might feel like shoplifting, but Amazon’s just-opened bricks and mortar store in Seattle, Amazon Go, lets customers walk out the door with merchandise without stopping to pay. Instead, hundreds of cameras and sensors track the items you’ve slipped into your bag and then bill your Amazon account.  Amazon knows everything else about you… why not what’s for dinner? The Chicago Tribune has the story
Not so fast...
Are consumers really willing to let retailers know so much about themselves? Marketplace talks with Joe Turow, author of “The Aisles Have Eyes” to discuss this growing trend toward ubiquitous surveillance.

Top 10 jobs for 2018
Tech- and customer-focused roles dominate the list of the most promising jobs for 2018, according to TechRepublic. But there’s also hope for the less technically inclined. Soft skills like communication, collaboration and time management never go out of style. (Still, a few techie skills couldn’t hurt.) 

Sign language
Thanks to a couple of Northeastern University professors and a lot of volunteers, over 6000 signs carried at Boston’s Women’s March in January, 2017, have been collated into an impressive digital archive sortable by concern, strategy and content. Want to find a poster on immigration with a call to action and an illustration? Yes, you can! Public radio station WBUR shares the background on the project.  

New education models for library science
School pride: This article in Ed Tech magazine on how librarians are re-inventing their profession in the digital age includes a new library science program at UMSI that will create education models that “define the library as a research lab” and help future librarians to support researchers. 

Practical travel companions
Cancelled flights, lost luggage, jet lag -- travel can be stressful, but there are ways to make it less so. BuzzFeed has 31 suggestions to get you from here to there and back in a better mood, like noise-cancelling headphones, translation and currency apps and a global wi-fi map. Now if they could just find an app to mollify that screaming baby.

Millennials learn to boil water
Millennials may lack basic cooking skills, but they love sharing photos of their food and may hunger to know more, says A new video network, Genius Kitchen, and several cooking shows have this desirable demographic in their sights, tempting them into the kitchen with simple recipes and integrated shopping lists. Oh, and macaron emojis.

You had me at hello
What’s the best opening line for an email? Boomerang analyzed over 300,000 emails to find which greetings had the best response rate. Turns out simple is best: “Hey,” “hi” or “hello” all do the trick. And which closings netted the most response? Well, “warmest regards” is a non-starter…er, closer. A simple “thank you” works best, according to another Boomerang study. Just like momma taught.   

Represent for finny friends
Mammals and insects constitute two-thirds of animal and nature emojis. That’s just not right, claim a couple of marine scientists, since most of the world’s biodiversity lives in the oceans. Their emoji candidate drawn from the briny depths is the anglerfish, according to Atlas Obscura. You know you want to see one.

News from UMSI
When your co-worker is a robot: What features or traits can be designed into a robot so that co-workers consider it trustworthy? That’s the subject of a study by two researchers at UMSI and Syracuse University. Read more