US Google's work from home extension could be a boon for rural America
Google's latest Chrome extension shows detailed ad-tracking data
Google has released a Chrome extension that can give you more insight into how you’re being targeted by advertisers. Called “Ads Transparency Spotlight,” it shows the number of ads loading on a page, the advertisers and ad tech companies present, and the personal data (demographics, re-marketing, interests, location, etc.) that is being used to serve the ads. “Our new Ads Transparency Spotlight (Alpha) extension for Chrome is part of our ongoing initiative to give people more visibility into the data used to personalize ads and more control over that data,” Google wrote in the description on its Chrome web store.
The recent news that Google will let their workforce of over 100,000 continue to work from home until July 2021 is a seismic shift - for rural America. As Google goes, so does the rest of the tech community, followed quickly by major employers around the country. Another year of being away from the office is beyond what most employers had been tracking, and major alarm bells should be going off in suburban and rural America.
This is an opportunity not seen before in our lifetimes.have been predicted for a migration out of urban areas, but our estimates are more modest, around 15 percent. That would be 23.5 million people and their dependents on the move, according to . These folks are looking for increased space, more affordable and less dense places to live, work, and play. The suburbs will likely draw some displaced workers, but my company's prediction is at least half will head to rural America, which has 97 percent of the land mass but only 20 percent of the population.
These 200 useful tools are available under Google's top-level domain ".new"
© Google whats.new screenshot: Google whats.new Google has its own top-level domains called ".new" and collects under it Shortcuts to all kinds of web services. This is not only practical, but also a treasure trove. About a year ago, Google set up an top-level domain with the extension ".new" . The idea behind it: collect all sorts of shortcuts to various websites and services.
Three months ago, the majority of employers were skeptical at best about employees working from home and using technology to do so. This changed virtually overnight., compared productivity rates of its employees prior to COVID and in July of this year to the same periods in 2019 - and the results were nearly identical, and in some cases slightly higher. Working from home isn't perfect, and it's not for everyone, but for at least the next 6-12 months it is a reality for many. I expect a large percentage will choose to continue to tele-work when the pandemic ends.
Google Assistant recommends your YouTube Music on Nest speakers
Over the last couple of years, Google has gradually improved YouTube Music with features like playback screen lyrics and an Explore tab. Now, it has unveiled integration with some of its other products, including Android TV, Google Maps and and Google Assistant. The first feature is recommendations via Google Assistant. To use it, you simply say: “Hey Google, play recommended music from YouTube Music,” and you’ll get personalized music suggestions, including favorite artists and genres, based on your listening history. Unfortunately, this feature is only available on newer Nest speakers and not Google Home devices. Google Music is also coming to Android TV.
More importantly, you no longer have to be tethered to a big city to work for tech companies and other high quality jobs.
The notion of the American job leading workers to where they will live has been receding over the last two decades as millennials frequently value quality of life over career track. This meant that "second cities" like Kansas City, Minneapolis, Nashville, Austin and Denver saw their downtown rents skyrocket and saturate. Today this trend is picking up speed in "third cities" like Des Moines, Boise, Madison, Raleigh, Memphis, and Birmingham.
As third cities pick up first and second city expats, so too will rural areas pick up a contingent. Many of these workers came from rural communities originally. Des Moines, as an example, has been. It's likely that many of the workers who have already fled urban for rural are tele-working and will continue to tele-work.
Trump to sign order aimed at boosting rural health care, telehealth
Trump’s announcement comes as his administration has rolled out multiple health care announcements in recent weeks.The order will focus on an administration effort to create new ways of financing rural health care, as well as propose a permanent extension for some telehealth policies that helped fuel virtual care’s explosive growth amid stay-at-home orders.
These migrations will likely come in waves. The first wave came when COVID first hit. The second wave is in process now, as hundreds of thousands of workers consider new options and debate where they are headed. A third and fourth will likely come in 2021 as the new post-pandemic reality begins to sort itself out.
Increasingly, people will begin searching for an alternative to high-priced cramped apartments - a higher quality of living that remote work will allow them to experience.
Rural communities need to seize this opportunity.
Not since the turn of the last century has there been another time when rural areas stood to gain such an influx of population. But how do rural communities - many of which are already struggling with infrastructure, housing, and broadband - make their case to this nomadic workforce?
Here are eight strategies rural communities can use to attract and retain talent:
- Market directly to these workers - know who they are, identify them - many likely left a rural area for work not that long ago. Make sure your online presence is enticing, like (population 829).
- Have basic infrastructure - especially broadband - in place, or have a plan to address it. As Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) told me:
- Develop your own unique branding - play to your strengths and have fun with it:
- Have the right amenities in place - or have a plan to bring about more cultural organizations, co-working and maker spaces, child care, restaurants, breweries and recreation - like how .
- Facilitate workforce development programs to train/upskill job seekers who want to remain rural but still work in a high-tech field. Look into coding academies like in New Mexico or in Mississippi.
- Ensure you don't have to drive 40 miles for health care, or install tele-medicine units like in Grass Valley, Calif., (population 12,914).
- Make sure your downtown is presentable like (population 17,831).
- Housing. Housing. Incentivize homeowners and builders like (population 15,130) which offers up to $10,000 to move there, plus a lawnmower.
Even with the challenges posed by the Coronavirus, rural communities should start working immediately to capitalize on the work migration that's beginning now and will continue as more companies follow Google's lead in letting employees work remotely.
, of Iowa City, Iowa, is the and head of at McClure. Mannheimer runs a team of 7 who use Creative Placemaking as a tool for rural revitalization, currently in 20 states and one province of Canada. He serves on the boards of Iowa Rural Development Council and Iowa Public Radio. He also hosts . Follow him on Twitter
White House not optimistic on near-term stimulus deal .
Trump administration officials sounded a pessimistic note Sunday on the chances of a coronavirus relief deal with congressional Democrats in the near future.White House chief of staff Mark Meadows expressed doubt there would be "a solution in the very near term" on any package."Yesterday was a step in the right direction," Meadows said on CBS's "Face the Nation." "I'm not optimistic there will be a solution in the very near term.""If youWhite House chief of staff Mark Meadows expressed doubt there would be "a solution in the very near term" on any package.