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September 22, 2015

Written by Bob Meyer, Editor of BarterNews

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From the desk of Bob Meyer... 09/08/2015

All back issues of "From the Desk..." can be accessed by clicking here.

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Message From UC:
New Software, New Logo, New URL! A Whole New Era!

Universal Currency has entered a new era with the August 2015 release of its own customized software designed by UC and Tess/BPS Technology.  UC also upgraded to a much fresher, more modern logo, and changed its URL to
UC and the International Reciprocal Trade Association (IRTA) are very excited about this launch — it is the first time in UC's seventeen year history that UC will operate on custom designed software specially tailored to meet the unique inter-exchange clearinghouse requirements of UC.
Based on strong member feedback and detailed research by the UC Software Committee, the system has been designed with an eye towards simplicity, ease of use, (including mobile devices), and an emphasis has been placed on multiple search parameters to maximize the search options. All these features are designed to improve UC members’ user experience and help UC to maintain its position as the industry’s leading inter-exchange clearinghouse platform.
The UC software version released this month is just the beginning of the system's development. Tess/BPS is committed to providing regular ongoing enhancements to assure the software will include the latest state-of-the-art technological advancements, (including an API system that will provide a set of common rails to allow participation by all exchanges, regardless of what software system they are on).  
UC, IRTA and Tess/BPS are already moving forward with the development of a separate and distinct white-label software product that will be offered to third party users by the end of 2015. 
The deployment of the new UC Software, coupled with the release of a scaled white-label software version for exchanges, will represent the fulfillment of the long stated goal of IRTA/UC to create a common set of payment rails for the industry in collaboration with a well-funded, and committed company like BPS. We believe this software initiative is a step-change opportunity for the industry, and has the potential to move the industry towards functioning at a robust and secure transactional level equal to that of transactions in the cash economy.
Ron Whitney, UC Administrator & IRTA Executive Director Patty Weston, UC International Broker & IRTA Project Manager

 IRTA - Cabo
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Entrepreneurs' #1 Priority Is Enhanced Through Barter

Reducing debt was the leading response among 413 business owners who were asked how they were capitalizing on the nation's strong economy. The choice beat out purchasing new equipment, adding products or services, entering new markets, and hiring new workers. It even received more votes than boosting owner pay.
The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Jersey City (NJ), conducted the survey in Texas, Florida, New York, California and Illinois. The preoccupation with reducing debt reflects the following:
•  The inherent conservative nature of many business owners.
•  The desire to finance their companies from earnings.

Reducing debt is considered by many to be a smart defensive measure, and utilizing barter enhances that. Every dollar saved through a barter purchase, when subsequently used to repay a loan, reduces debt. Which, in turn, means greater long-term economic freedom.

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Is your barter company's listing up-to-date?

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5 Things You Need To Know About Today's Generation To Succeed In Business
By Michelle Manafy

Between all generations lie gaps. Yet in the course of some generations, major events occur that cause tectonic shifts. The fact is that many individuals and businesses today face a massive and growing generation gap. As this digital native generation — which has grown up immersed in digital technologies such as the mobile phones, gaming and social networks — becomes our dominant employee and consumer base, those in older generations must learn to navigate a radically altered landscape in order to succeed in business going forward.
Here are five key insights into the digital native generation that will help you understand how best to leverage their distinct worldview to achieve your business objectives.
1. They live publicly online
Without a doubt, the notion of privacy didn't change overnight with the advent of the Internet. For better or worse (or for lack of a better word), we’ve seen an evolution of privacy. It was once the norm to keep one’s dirty laundry tucked away out of site. This gave way to a generation that would share from the relative privacy of a therapist’s couch.
More recently, we have witnessed the era of trash-mouth talk shows and reality television. However, with the digital native, businesses must address the expectations of a generation raised in social networking environments, in which they routinely share every detail of their activities and opinions with a potentially limitless group of friends.
Tip: Often, outdated notions of privacy hamstring businesses. They fail to recognize and capitalize on the digital native's openness. We need to understand the native's natural inclination to live publicly to guide these activities so that they are consistent with our business objectives. We can also build business models that leverage on this openness, both in the way we structure our employee activities as well as customer interactions. 
2. They share knowledge
Once we recognize that the natives are living their lives out-loud, we can begin to understand how this behavior is shapes all aspects of their lives. Despite a good deal of hyperbole about social media and marketing via Twitter and social networks, as many as 50% to 75% of organizations limit or ban the use of social networks while on the job.
What this demonstrates is not simply a fear of exposure through inappropriate use of social technologies, it shows a distinct lack of understanding of how to effectively manage and channel the knowledge sharing inclination of this generation.
Tip: Beyond crafting guidelines to regulate the appropriate use of social networks on the job, proactive use of socially-mediated open, collaborative ways of working can help companies capture otherwise transient knowledge assets. The old adage was that knowledge is power; for the digital native knowledge shared is power.
3. They believe transparency yields trust
Because digital natives live publicly and value knowledge sharing, organizations that demonstrate a similar level of openness will be the ones that attract and retain them as employees and customers. Digital natives make new friends, followers, and fans every day. However it is important to keep in mind that it takes a lot of work to maintain the kind of genuine relationship required with the digital native. If digital natives dislike your brand, they will make it publicly known. Luckily, the reverse is also true.
Today’s ultra-connected consumer — raised to share and monitor sentiment — may seem like a fickle friend, but that’s only if organizations don’t stay involved by listening, responding, owning up, and doing the work it takes to maintain a genuine long-term relationship.
Tip: Now when it comes to attracting and retaining this generation as employees, it is essential to recognize that today’s best employees are also monitoring opportunities and discussing employers online. For recruiting, this can provide insights into whom the best, brightest, and most social media savvy are. And for employee retention, employers can leverage these same tools and tendencies to make sure that they are competitive in the market, responding to concerns in order to attract and retain the best and brightest.
4. They are timely, not time-managed
While most people are painfully aware that the line between "at work" and "off duty" is increasingly blurred, for the native this will be taken to a whole new level. The digital native will move beyond what previous generations called a work-life balance to a new sort of work-life integration.
For the digital native, work and social activities are ever-present, they travel with the native anywhere and anytime. Digital natives may log more hours at their computers during the course of a day than those in previous generations, but switch back-and-forth between work and leisure in short bursts.
Though this may strike some managers as inappropriate, it helps to realize that while an older worker might head to the break room or a co-worker's desk to clear their head, natives are more likely to "info-snack" or catch up on a quick burst of Facebook updates.
Tip: Moving forward, companies that emphasize collaboration, learning and socialization will see key benefits in comparison to companies that focus solely on productivity. The native doesn't need to play all day to be happy. However, there's no reason that work inside an organization can't be constructively influenced by the expectations of our younger workforce.
5. They believe in interactions, not transactions
Social networking, social media — with all this socializing, one might begin to wonder how any business ever gets done. Suffice it to say, it does and it will continue to do so. However, organizations that develop good social skills will have a competitive advantage over those that remain socially inept.
One quality of this business that will be essential for business success going forward is recognizing that this generation is not interested in traditional transactive business model — which are based upon exchanges of money for goods and services. This is a generation that is interested in interactions.
Tip: Unlike a transaction-based system, an interactive one is based upon social currency. The fact is that all aspects of business will need to embrace interaction, from marketing and CRM to product and content creation. This generation doesn't just want to do business with companies it views as friends; it wants to do business with itself and expects to see its ideals and objectives reflected in the companies it chooses to do business with.
While there are many digital immigrants who are whole-heartedly adopting digital tools, it is not simply emerging technologies that must be mastered. A lifelong immersion has affected the mindset, behavior, and expectations of the digital native generation. To succeed in business with them, we must understand it and build models based on this new native culture.

Michelle Manafy is director of content for FreePint, Ltd. An award-winning writer and editor, her focus is on emerging trends in digital content and how they shape successful business practices. A speaker and dedicated mentor, she is the co-author of Dancing With Digital Natives: Staying in Step With the Generation That’s Transforming the Way Business Is Done. For more information, go to


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