The place to find hidden talent. The newly laid off are flocking to corporate alumni networks, says Ross Mayfield, the co-founder of Socialtext and one of the web's first bloggers. PeopleSoft has an alumni network that's registered as a non-profit, has 3,000 members and gets tapped by over 800 recruiters.

I'll take a tenth of that Super Bowl ad for $300,000, please. The going rate for a 30 second Super Bowl ad? $3 million a pop. That didn't stop unabashed publicity hounds Weatherproof Garment Co. from taking a shot at 3-second slice. They're not the first small company to make a play for those 97.5 million eyeballs. Inc. 500 alum Go Daddy, which helps consumers register domain names, has advertised in the past four games. Last year our experts voted Go Daddy's Danica Patrick ad one of the night's best. Definitely better than the SalesGenie pandas.

The Five Stages of Twitter Acceptance. By marketing guru Rohit Bhargava .

Rocco DiSpirito's faustian bargain.
DiSpirito was an obsessive and inspired chef, and his skill (core competency in business parlance) gave him entrée into the world of reality TV guest spots and corporate spokesmanship. Now, that's pretty much all he does. A cautionary tale on brand extension from the New York Times that we thought some entrepreneurs out there might be able to relate to. Yes, Gurbaksh Chahal, we're talking to you.

Slump-a-nomics. Quoting an Inc. story from earlier this year, Slate's BizBox discusses why downturns are a great time to start a company. Here's our full guide to starting a business during a recession, and check out this timeline of great companies founded during slumps.

Coupons that take calls. Two new startups are bringing coupons to your cellphone. Don't expect big savings, and right now only a handful of retailers except cell-based coupons.

LinkedIn founder takes back the reins. A shakeup at yet another Silicon Valley company: Reid Hofman is back as CEO of LinkedIn, the business oriented social network, Techcrunch reports. The 41-year-old founder, whose portfolio of angel investments includes Facebook and Digg, stepped down in 2007 and turned the reins over to Dan Nye. Things seemed to be going well at LinkedIn as late as this summer, when the company raised $53 million and began talking up a possible IPO.

"To get rich is glorious." The Christian Science Monitor marks the 30th anniversary of China's policy of market-oriented socialism with a profile of one of the nation's first entrepreneurs, a restaurateur named Guo Peiji .

No, like a real drill sergeant.
A former Marine who worked for Dell in marketing talks about the virtues of marketing discipline; reminds us of a somewhat similar cover story David H. Freedman wrote for Inc. a decade ago.

A Ticket To Ride?
The Private Equity Council has helpfully compiled a list of priorities for the incoming Obama administration. They love the idea of massive spending on infrastructure. As an aside, they'd also like for the country to deregulate mass transit.

Boom times for batteries. A few days back we told you about Intel founder Andy Grove's agitation for batteries. Now, the Wall Street Journal reports, 14 companies, including big companies like 3M and startups like Mobius Power, plan to seek $1 billion in federal loan guarantees. Last year, congress passed legislation setting aside $7 billion in guarantees for battery plants in the U.S.

Banks still stingy. Despite the Federal Reserve's dramatic rate cut earlier this week, credit is still tight for most companies. The New York Times reports that banks have brought back strict lending standards for small business loans—requiring a 20 percent down payment in most cases. A banker quoted in the article says, "Our banking sins are coming home to roost."