Posts tagged Help
The latest large brand to be hit with a user generated content spam penalty notification is Sprint, the large U.S. wireless communications company. Similar to Mozilla’s penalty and BBC’s penalty, Sprint was penalized for user-generated content spam on a portion of their site that was…
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HIGH SCHOOL SWIMMING: Young Tae Seo, Heather MacDougall help …
Los Angeles Daily News
RIVERSIDE — Young Tae Seo concluded his Crescenta Valley swimming career Saturday as the most decorated champion in program history, but was left wanting more. Heather MacDougall delivered a historic performance by becoming the Falcons' first …
Disappointing final chapter for Crescenta Valley High swimming seniors
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If you want to know the most in-demand tech skills, that info is readily available. Want to learn the programming skills most coveted by employers? Done. But what are the skills and specialties that no one wants any more? What core competencies raise red flags instead of call backs?
A survey of 1,100 tech-hiring professionals by Dice, a job firm for tech professionals, offers some insight. Combining the Dice survey and other research, including an off-the-record conversation with an engineering VP who participates in hiring decisions, here are some of the outdated tech skills and withering technologies to be wary of putting on your resume:
1. Windows XP Admin/Help Desk
Many IT professionals, from engineers to help desk support workers to system administrators, have significant XP experience. Unfortunately, this may no longer be a useful attribute. Windows XP still holds the #2 spot for desktop operating market share (just behind Windows 7), but it’s fate is sealed. Microsoft ended XP license sales more than two years ago and plans to cease supporting it in less than a year.
2. Adobe Flash Developer/Designer
Web developers, app developers and designers have long relied on Adobe Flash to create interactive features. Yet Flash’s future, particularly on mobile – is quickly drying up. It’s now been three years since Steve Jobs created a stir when he posted his Thoughts on Flash memo outlining the reasons why Flash would not be part of Apple’s iOS. At the time, Flash was considered so dominant that many analysts wondered if Jobs’ decision would crush iPhone sales.
It did not.
Just over a year after the Jobs memo, Adobe announced it would stop developing Flash for mobile devices. Today, Adobe’s former CTO, Kevin Lynch, works for Apple. The future belongs to HTML5. Learn, write and build accordingly.
3. Software Support
The transformation of computing from desktop to mobile, and especially the transition of software and services into the cloud is limiting opportunities for traditional/packaged software support. Today, you need to know how to manage software services and software configurations in the cloud.
(See also Legacy IT Vendors Shoot The Sales Messenger.)
4. SEO Specialist
Google no longer has a Search group. It’s now called “Knowledge.” That should be a telling warning for all the search engine optimization (SEO) gurus and ninjas looking for work. Expect SEO work to be de-valued going forward. The explosion of smartphones, apps and real-time location information – and especially social media recommendation - is diminishing the importance of search results. Eventually, information may be delivered to us even before we search for it as our integrated, connected systems anticipate our needs.
5. Quality Assurance Specialist and Managers
Hiring professionals in the Dice survey placed Quality Assurance (QA) on the “low priority” side of the ledger. Do not expect this to change. These days, the tech industry seems to be following Google’s lead and turning everyone into beta testers. Users are the ultimate quality assurance staff – and they don’t get paid!
6. – 9. Mainframes, Voice Telephony, PC Support, COBOL
According to a recent story in the Austin Post, tech recruiters “recommended (that) a 40-year-old still working in COBOL reevaluate why they’re a coder.” Pretty harsh. But the fact is, technology continues to move forward with no time spared for sentiment.
If you are gainfully employed as a PC repair tech, a COBOL coder, or are working on any of several older technologies, such as voice telephony or as a PBX technician, say, good for you. But don’t count on keeping that job for the long-term, or being able to find another one like it.
10. Something That Seems Secure Today
The TIOBE Programming Community Index lists C, Java, C++ and Objective-C as the programming skills most in demand right now. But here’s the thing. In 2009, Objective-C was barely in use. The rapid success of the iPhone and iPad vaulted the language’s popularity. Now, however, just over three years later, it’s popularity is already stabilizing.
In today’s superheated technology environment, even the most popular, most secure seeming technology skills can suddenly become obsolete. That’s just the way it is. No matter how in-demand your current skill set, you can never rest on your resume.
Learning Is The Key
Will highlighting the wrong skill set to a recruiter brand you as out of touch – or too expensive to hire? Perhaps. But don’t expect anyone to tell you that’s what going on. More likely, they may just won’t return your call, or let your resume vanish into the ether. (There will probably always be a few legacy jobs in all these areas, but that’s about it.)
The only solution is to keep learning – and keep showing that you can learn. While the pace of skills disruption may well be increasing, learning new skills has never been easier. That includes formal schooling as well as free and low-cost resources like Khan Academy and CodeAcademy, for example.
Here’s the bottom line: Since so much technology is fairly new to everyone, why should a company invest in experienced candidates – rather than someone just starting out? Writing for The Wall Street Journal, business professor and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa, was brutally direct:
It may be wrong, but look at this from the point of view of the employer. Why would any company pay a computer programmer with out-of-date skills a salary of say $150,000, when it can hire a fresh graduate — who has no skills — for around $60,000? Even if it spends a month training the younger worker, the company is still far ahead.
(See also Vivek Wadwha in How A $20 Tablet Will Change The World [Video].)
It’s not just about the money, of course. To justify any salary, it’s not only about what you know – now – but what you can learn going forward. The key to a long career in Silicon Valley, or anywhere in the tech world, is showing that you can learn and adapt – and master – constant change.
Lead image courtesy of Flickr.
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Take Our Survey & Help Update The Periodic Table Of SEO – Search Engine Land
Search Engine Land
seotable The only constant in search is change. The Periodic Table of SEO was created in 2011 to summarize the major factors that comprise search engine optimization. But it's time to update the table, to review those ranking factors and make sure we …
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The only constant in search is change. The Periodic Table of SEO was created in 2011 to summarize the major factors that comprise search engine optimization. But it’s time to update the table, to review those ranking factors and make sure we’ve got the right combination. This year…
Please visit Search Engine Land for the full article.
When the goal is to attract larger audiences for your content marketing efforts, either to turn these visitors into new leads or just for the SEO value to be gained from earning links and social media shares, you need some heavyweight content bait.
View full post on Search Engine Watch – Latest
How to Create Effective Content to Help SEO & Sales: 3 Top Ideas
Search Engine Watch
idea-creativity Fact: As SEOs we have far more power than we realize. Especially now, most of us do a lot more than simply build links or worry about rankings. We have the added power to attract a large number of potential leads to our clients …
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I suffer from panic attacks. At least, I used to – I’ve not had a single one since I got my iPhone. And I’m convinced these two things are related.
You may not know this, but panic attacks are surprisingly common. According to a study backed by the National Institutes For Health (NIH), 1 in 8 Americans will experience a panic attack at least once during their lifetime.
Perhaps any smartphone would help, or even any device capable of creating both distractions and social connections. For me, though, having my iPhone always nearby, always on, its many features and functions ready to occupy my mind, my eyes, ears and fingertips, is often enough to reduce the onset of an attack. The device seems to draw out, bit by bit, all those fears, worries and repetitive patterns that used to conspire to throw me into despair, fear and then panic.
If it really is the iPhone that’s helped mitigate my symptoms, and I believe it is, then perhaps others who suffer from similar attacks – and own a smartphone – can also find some relief.
What Is A Panic Attack?
The Mayo Clinic defines a panic attack as:
A sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.
In a panic attack, the overwhelming sense of fear, as real as it is inexplicable, wreaks havoc not only on your psyche but on your daily contribution to the world. An attack can strike seemingly at random: at home, with friends at a bar, at work, standing in line at Starbucks; anywhere, anytime. That’s what makes them so debilitating.
Twice, I went to the hospital, convinced my symptoms meant an impending drop-dead heart attack. Both times I was told I was not having a heart attack. Eventually, I was diagnosed as suffering from anxiety disorder – which can lead to panic attacks.
To treat anxiety, doctors recommend exercise, meditation, more sleep and visualization techniques. For those who suffer full-blown panic attacks, professional help is suggested, as is medication. I was prescribed Prozac. Since getting an iPhone, however – though my case absolutly may not be typical – I have been able to gradually reduce my daily Prozac to its lowest available dosage. I expect to soon be off it entirely. I have also stopped seeing a therapist.
Using The iPhone To Improve My (Mental) Health
The potential for the iPhone to aid physical healthcare delivery and diagnostics is well documented. The market for smartphone tools that aid mental health is far less robust. But they do exist. For example, the iPhone app Viary, leverages traditional cognitive behavior therapy techniques:
Together with a therapist, Viary’s clients choose specific actions that will help them achieve a desired goal. For example a client may decide that exercising, eating healthier food, and listening to classical music makes them feel less depressed. Viary sets reminders for these behaviors – walk for 15 minutes every morning, take a vegetarian lunch, tune into some Beethoven etc, – and the app then collects data on these completed actions. Therapists or coaches can then monitor a client’s progress in real time and even respond.
For me, however, I’m convinced that simply possessing an iPhone has improved my mental health. No matter what symptom crops up, using the iPhone helps calm me down and makes me feel more connected. If I feel inexplicably worried, no matter where I am, no matter who I am with – and this is out of necessity – I pull out my iPhone and start texting. I later apologize to those I am with.
If I feel alone, I call someone. If I get angry, I play a game – preferably online, with friends. When I am bored, I read on my Kindle app. When I can’t get a song out of my head, I take to Twitter. If my breathing seems off, I make reminder lists of what I need to do for the day, the week, the rest of my life. If the feelings persist, I open Evernote and scroll through all the notes that have a “thankful” tag attached to them.
If I feel like I can’t leave the house, I check my Fitbit app, find out how many steps I’ve taken that day, then tell myself I will go outside just long enough to add 1,000 more to my total. This usually works.
Sometimes, when things get really dark, I scroll through my photos, which makes me happy. If that’s not enough, I make notes to myself of everything I am grateful for – then email them, knowing my wife can later access the account.
And when I feel good, good enough even to help others, I sit in the sun, pull out my iPhone and write a blog post. Like now.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.
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A picture can tell a thousand words. It can also help bring a criminal to justice. A group of Boston entrepreneurs know this and are trying to help. Six Boston startup founders have teamed up to create EvidenceUpload.org, a service that allows people to upload their photos from their smartphones to the FBI.
In the aftermath of the bombings at the Boston Marathon on Monday, the FBI and Boston Police Department asked everybody that had pictures or video of the scene to send them along for analysis. If you are not familiar with the finish line to the Boston Marathon, it is where the crowds bottleneck at the end of the 26.2-mile race, waiting for their friends and loved ones to finish the grueling run. Copley Square and Back Bay in Boston see tens of thousands of people filter through, giving hugs and hi-fives, eating bananas, wearing the weird silver blankets that runners are given after finishing and, yes, taking thousands of pictures.
The Boston Police Department called the crime scene in the middle of Boylston Street the most complex in its history. Considering that Boston is 383 years old, that’s saying something. A government official called the finish line the most photographed area in the country on Monday afternoon when two bombs went off, killing three people and injuring more than 170.
If you are the FBI, that is a lot of pictures to process.
The problem is that the FBI only accepts pictures via email. If you were on Boylston on Monday and using your smartphone to take pictures, you should send them along to the FBI. Yet, when you email a picture, much of the pertinent information that your smartphone camera grabs from it is stripped away, such as the time stamp, GPS data and other critical metadata. Also, it can be cumbersome to upload dozens of photos through email to the FBI, which can drain your data plan and take a long time.
Nine people are contributing to the project: Nate Aune, Jonathan Baudanza, Jeremy Gailor, Riley Guerin, Jared Chung, Keith Donaldson, Michael Ernst, Barrie Robinson and Steven Trevethan. The photos are being hosted by Filepicker.io.
The group issued this statement describing the service:
“EvidenceUpload.org lets a user painlessly up to 30 photos and videos from that day, and keep all of the metadata completely intact. EvidenceUpload will be making any images it received available to law enforcement. EvidenceUpload.org is not a business and does not charge or make money, it’s an endeavor by a group of Bostonians looking to lend their capabilities to help by tapping in to the great willingness to help of their fellow Bostonians. If you have potential evidence on your phone, camera, or computer, please use and share.”
Top image: Boston Harbor at dusk by Dan Rowinski
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We’d all like to get to know our neighbors and improve the places we live, in theory—but it’s frustratingly hard to connect in person, especially compared to the one-click ease of a friend request on a social network like Facebook.
This is where hyperlocal social networks come in—modern, friendly services that fit into our jumbled Twitter-Tumblr-Reddit-Instagram world.
There’s been failure after failure in this space, from Backfence in 2007 to AOL’s money-losing Patch network to NBC’s shuttered Everyblock service, which closed in February.
Finally, though, there’s a credible contender: the newly well-financed startup Nextdoor, based in San Francisco.
Nextdoor writes in its mission statement—which comes in the form of a poem—that “we believe technology is a powerful tool for making neighborhoods stronger, safer places to call home” and “we believe strong neighborhoods not only improve our property value, they improve each one of our lives.” Amen to that.
So how does it work?
The Hyperlocal Facebook
Signing up for Nextdoor was the most unique social network sign-up process I’ve encountered. Where LinkedIn is concerned with your professional identity and Facebook wants to know who your friends are, Nextdoor is chiefly concerned with your home address. That’s meant to limit each neighborhood’s network to people who really live there.
There are several ways to verify your address. You can use a credit card (you’re not charged). If you have a landline phone, Nextdoor’s automated systems can call you. A current Nextdoor user can invite you or vouch for you. Or you can have a postcard sent to your mailing address. I chose the last option.
The postcard was in keeping with the design of the site: simple and clean, and mostly white with a splash of green. It was one more statement that Nextdoor really was a local network.
Checking the real-life mailbox for a website was a novel experience, and the increased security made me feel more comfortable sharing information about my immediate vicinity. (I never got into Foursquare because of the privacy concerns.)
GigaOm writer Mathew Ingram wrote that theses barriers to entry could be the key to Nextdoor’s future success, and I’d have to agree. It may slow down signups, but it makes you feel better about your interactions with Nextdoor users.
Nextdoor promises only your neighbors—those with verified addresses or proven connections to other residents—can see your posts. That should come in handy if you want to post your phone number in a message about your dog or cat being lost. Privacy concerns haven’t been completely eliminated, however: Nextdoor displays where your neighbors actually live on a map.
The site’s main function is to share news and information, sorted by seven categories which range from Review (for local businesses like Yelp) to Crime & Safety. Neighbors use these categories to post about yard sales, a meeting, or news affecting the neighborhood. Other site options include private messaging with your neighbors, a master list of all the neighbors who have signed up, and a calendar of events. It’s a good way to keep in touch with what is important to your neighbors.
A disclosure here: I may be more interested in local matters than the average digital citizen. I worked for various Patch sites covering the Chicago suburbs, as well as the Windy Citizen, a hyperlocal news aggregator and forum operator. I’ve also organized neighborhood cleanups and other local activities. But even if they don’t take it to my level, I feel like many people are interested in their neighborhood. They just need better tools to get involved.
Like most fledgling networks, Nextdoor’s main problem right now is the lack of active users, though my neighbors have been slowly signing up for the network as word spreads. In my Chicago neighborhood, many were former users of Everyblock, which was based in this city. But by the numbers, most people haven’t used any hyperlocal website. A 2011 Pew Internet study found most people—even those under the age of 40—still rely on TV news or newspapers for local information.
Even experienced users like me seemed daunted at having to rebuild their hyperlocal social-media experience all over again on Nextdoor. Some of the community organizations that got their feet on Everyblock—garbage cleanup groups, neighborhood beautification associations and anti-gang activists, among others—have dedicated Facebook pages.
Facebook Groups might seem like an obvious way to organize locally. Yet because it depends on existing social connections, it’s not a great way for neighbors to discover each other. Nextdoor’s address-verification system could give it an edge over broad-purpose social networks in this regard.
Creating the Perfect Hyperlocal Social Network
Everyblock’s core strength was its automated data streams. Public records like building permits and restaurant inspections were automatically indexed into a stream along with newspaper articles, blog posts and Flickr photos for each neighborhood on Everyblock. At the time, this was groundbreaking. But Everyblock took too long to add in contributions from users to capture those offline word-of-mouth conversations where a lot of local news is transmitted.
Right now, the content on Nextdoor is user-generated. But since there aren’t many users, the conversation often isn’t there. That’s discouraging for new users who sign up.
The perfect local site would weave automated feeds and social conversations to create a lively experience right off the bat. There’s a delicate balance where an urban streetscape tilts from loneliness to liveliness. Nextdoor could be on the cusp.
Photo by Ken Lund
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