Friday Five: 7/20-7/24

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of this week’s industry news.

Payments-tech companies like PayPal and Square are moving aggressively into lending and disrupting banks – Business Insider

Payments companies including PayPal and Square will now offer loans to small businesses. This will not only help small-and-medium sized companies advance their businesses, but will serve as an extra revenue stream for the payments companies. These programs are most competitive with credit cards and bank loans, and the BI Intelligence report thinks banks should be worried.

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Taking your study from good to great: The importance of identifying a news hook

Case StudiesStudies or surveys are a great way for companies to gain credibility and showcase themselves as industry thought leaders. But sometimes companies don’t get the results they want or have more data than they know what to do with. And as a result, they produce a not so stellar study or at least not a newsworthy one…so they think.

However, any study can be newsworthy—you just have to find the right hook. A news hook can be anything from a piece of data that illustrates a significant issue to tying data to topic trending in the news.  Having a news hook will not only make your study stand out, but will also give it more value.

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Friday Five: 7/13–7/17

The sun is scorching and it finally feels like summer. What better way to celebrate than with this week’s hottest tech news?

U.S. Program Will Connect Public Housing Residents to Web – The New York Times

Among a slew of recent political announcements, the Obama administration just unveiled the ConnectHome project, which will link thousands of public housing residents across the United States to the Internet. The low-price or free connection will benefit many children of low-income families, helping to bridge existing gaps in access to technology. “If we don’t get these young people the access to what they need to achieve their potential,” said President Obama, “then it’s our loss; it’s not just their loss.” And while not everyone has had luck with the Internet recently, the ConnectHome project is a great step toward a modern, tech-driven world.

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The Case for Outlines (and How to Draft Ones that Work)

Writing a piece of content without outlining first is like skipping breakfast. It dooms you to a drafting process filled with lethargy, bad eating habits and a general “woe is me” outlook on life.

Unfortunately, outlining is not something we’re naturally inclined to do. It’s a habit drilled into us by history professors whose lives depend on their students’ ability to produce well-structured essays on the Lincoln-Douglas debates, and countless other educators with similar missions.

If you suffered through these or similar experiences, maybe one of the mental vows you made upon exiting academia was “Never will I ever waste time on outlines.” Maybe you, like me, fell victim to the delusion that by putting fingertip to keyboard, the right words would flow automatically, that the only barrier between you and the Next Great American Novel was a senseless outline.

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Today, I’m ready to go where few Millennials have gone before and admit that I was wrong. Whether you’re embarking on a ninth attempt at a New York Times “Modern Love” submission or a white paper on the merits of SEO, outlining is one of the faster ways to ensure a stronger finished product. Here are a few tips to reintroduce the habit and develop outlines that work for you.

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Friday Five: 7/06-7/10

Happy Friday! Here’s a roundup of industry news for the week.

USWNT players share their World Cup celebration on social media – Yahoo! Sports

Anything boys can do, girls can do, too! Unless you were hiding under a rock last weekend, you know that U.S. women’s soccer team won the 2015 Women’s World Cup on Sunday in Vancouver. A plethora of celebratory photos and videos came after via the players’ various social media accounts. You can also view the tournament’s full social media stats here.

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