Tag Archive | "things"

6 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Launched a Kickstarter Campaign

Crowdfunding is fascinating. Like many people, I have backed projects on Kickstarter. But I was curious about what it would…

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5 Things Successful Content Marketers Do to Make Sure Their Work Gets Read

There’s a lot of content created every day — and most of it gains almost no attention. In 2015, Moz…

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7 things you might not know about Google My Business categories





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What Are the Security Risks of the Internet of Things?

IBM Resilient CTO and security guru Bruce Schneier takes a look at the security risks of the Internet of Things in his latest video. He brings up an interesting and rather disconcerting point, IoT devices tend to do critical things like turn on and off power or drive your car, so preventing hacking is even more critical with IoT than typical computers.

During the writing of this article, I noticed that Bruce Schneier and other cybersecurity experts at IBM are offering a free webinar today on the overall subject of cyber security that you might also be interested in:

December 6, 2018, at 12:00 PM: The Resilient End of Year Review: The Top Cyber Security Trends in 2018 and Predictions for the Year Ahead

Bruce Schneier, CTO at IBM Resilient and Special Advisor at IBM Security, provided an overview of the IoT security threat in a recent IBM video:

What Are the Security Risks of the Internet of Things?

IoT devices are just computers so all the threats that we’re used to from the computer world get transferred into any IoT device. In addition, they tend to be low cost, not well designed, built offshore, so they have more vulnerabilities. They tend to be deeply embedded in networks and organizations so they have a lot of access. They often control physical processes.

They turn on and off the power, they drive your car, they’re medical devices, which means the effects of a hack can be much more dangerous. On the one hand, they’re exactly the same as computers. On the other hand, because of how they’re made and what they can do, they’re very different than computers.

How Will IoT Security Evolve in the Coming Years?

These are low-cost consumer devices in many cases and there’s not a lot of money or even market demand for security. I think two things will happen. I think there will be more security in some of the more expensive devices.

Of the cheaper devices, there will be other things that you could purchase to go on your network that will monitor them. We don’t really have them yet but I think that’s where the future is going. We have to assume there’ll be lots of cheaply made insecure IoT devices in every network. How do we get security on top of that? 

Click Here to Kill Everybody

Schneier has a brand new book out that goes into the security risks of IoT in depth called, Click Here to Kill Everybody: Security and Survival in a Hyper-connected World.

Here’s how Bruce Schneier describes the IoT threat: 

Everything is a computer. Ovens are computers that make things hot; refrigerators are computers that keep things cold. These computers—from home thermostats to chemical plants—are all online. The Internet, once a virtual abstraction, can now sense and touch the physical world.

As we open our lives to this future, often called the Internet of Things, we are beginning to see its enormous potential in ideas like driverless cars, smart cities, and personal agents equipped with their own behavioral algorithms. But every knife cuts two ways.

All computers can be hacked. And Internet-connected computers are the most vulnerable. Forget data theft: cutting-edge digital attackers can now crash your car, your pacemaker, and the nation’s power grid.

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The Mindset and Insights that Will Bring You Wonderful Things in 2019

Great to see you again after our Thanksgiving holiday! Our Black Friday promotion was great, and the whole team is…

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50 Things You’ll Enjoy Reading over Christmas Break

Today, as the team gets ready to take a few days off for the holiday, we’ve put together a massive buffet of marketing, writing, and strategy advice for you. Monday’s post put the spotlight on our editorial team’s favorite writing, content, and marketing blogs. (As well as one that’s an example of a creator who’s
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Google: Things Looking Good For Mobile First Index

I asked John Mueller of Google yesterday in a Google webmaster hangout at the 23:18 mark into the video how things are going with the mobile first index and if they have any updates for us all…


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Doors Are Open for Certification (and Other Fun Things)

Doors Are Open for Certification (and Other Fun Things)

Remember all the conversations we’ve been having about the Certified Content Marketer program?

Well, the doors are open — and they’re going to be closing again on Monday, June 12. If you’d like to be featured on our list of recommended writers (and get our most advanced content strategy course), this is how you do it.

You can sign up (or learn more) at the link below — and of course, our usual no-hassle 30-day money-back guarantee applies if it’s not a perfect fit for you.

Program Details for Copyblogger’s Content Marketer Certification

Note: If you’re a member of our Authority community, make sure you’re signed in when you click the link — as an Authority member, you get special pricing. :-)

On Monday, I shared our June content and productivity prompts. Each month this year, we’re focusing on two prompts as a community, improving our creative output and our ability to get stuff done.

This month we’re practicing outreach (finding new contacts, clients, or customers) and getting the help of an imaginary friend when it’s time to do the hard stuff.

On Tuesday, Stefanie offered three hands-on ways to improve your content at the most fundamental level. Inconceivable.

And on Wednesday, I gave a quick back-of-the-envelope explanation of what the Certification program is and who it’s for. If you’re commitment-phobic, you can read that before you go to the page with all the details.

On Copyblogger FM, I shared Brian Clark’s four-step process for developing a compelling marketing idea. Because inspiration is fantastic … but even the most inspired idea can be shaped into something better.

That’s it for this week — have a great weekend! And remember — if you want to join our list of recommended writers, Certification closes on Monday.

— Sonia Simone

Chief Content Officer, Rainmaker Digital


Catch up on this week’s content


2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The June Prompts2017 Content Excellence Challenge: The June Prompts

by Sonia Simone


how do you determine if you’ve written a strong sentence or a weak sentence?3 Advanced Ways to Craft Better Sentences

by Stefanie Flaxman


Apply to join Copyblogger’s list of recommended writersWriters: Doors Are Open for the Copyblogger Certification Program (through Monday, June 12)

by Sonia Simone


How to Develop a Compelling Marketing Idea in 4 StepsHow to Develop a Compelling Marketing Idea in 4 Steps

by Sonia Simone


How Award-Winning Author & Educator K.M. Weiland Writes: Part TwoHow Award-Winning Author & Educator K.M. Weiland Writes: Part Two

by Kelton Reid


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Surviving the Social Web: 7 Things You Need to Know

"I've been online so long, I can remember when virtual community was going to save the world." – Sonia Simone

Oh, those idealistic good old days. Back when we truly believed that the global digital community would fact-check lies, make us smarter, and force our institutions to serve the greater good.

As the man said, “How’s that working out for us?”

It turns out that the social media utopia, like other utopias, didn’t end up as rosy as we’d hoped — mainly because it’s made of human beings.

But the social web is still an extraordinary tool. The ability to instantly communicate with thousands of people isn’t to be scoffed at — if you can do it without losing your mind.

I’ve been using social media since 1989. The remarkable thing for me isn’t what’s changed … it’s what’s stayed the same. Here are some of my survival tips from decades in the digital realm.

#1: Watch out for the ant-shakers

Remember ant farms? These were glass cases filled with sand or gel, where you could watch ants building tunnels and carrying things back and forth.

In grade school we all had that one mean friend who would shake it hard, just to destroy the tunnels and watch the ants scurrying around trying to fix the mess.

Every one of those ant-shakers got a Facebook account when they grew up.

Some people just crave chaos — and if they can’t find it, they create it. There’s always a storm brewing around them, some bitter flame war that pits half the community against the other half. It doesn’t seem to occur to them that the pain and anger they cause are real emotions attached to real people. Either they can’t see it or they don’t care.

Keep an eye out for the ant-shakers. A lot of them are attracted to the web, and spend a disproportionate amount of time there. They’re at the center of endless dust-ups, and it may take you some time to realize they’re engineering them.

Putting distance between yourself and the ant-shakers — even if (especially if) you’re related — will calm your social media experience down considerably.

#2: Realize that digital privacy is a lie

When we socialize over the web, we tend to reveal a lot. It can feel like a small, intimate space. After all, we’re sitting there on the sofa with our laptops, and we recognize those names that fly by, even if we might never have met them face to face.

Every day, I see people starting a post with something like — “I’ve never told anyone this before, not even my family” — and they’re sharing in a Facebook group with four million members.

Digital privacy depends on the goodwill of every person who has access to the material. Anyone can screenshot anything. Once they have, you have very little control over what they do with it.

In the real world, that means that digital privacy is a complete illusion.

If you aren’t willing to make it public, don’t share it on the web. Not in a private group, not on Snapchat, not in email.

Rather than trying to make these decisions on the fly, decide in advance what kinds of material you will — and won’t — share. There’s no one set of rules that will suit everyone — it’s really about your own comfort zone.

But it may clarify your thinking to ask yourself how you’ll feel if your mom, your boss, and a professional identity thief can see a particular type of content you’re sharing. Because chances are, eventually, all three of them will.

#3: If you’re in business, act like it

You may not feel particularly social about social media … maybe you’re there to promote a business or product.

Nothing wrong with that, if you handle it well.

A stream of pitches gets obnoxious fast. Trust me, your friends don’t want to buy your essential oils, nutrition shakes, skincare, or whatever the latest thing is. And they desperately wish you would stop trying to push it onto them.

Quit trying to spam your friends (it isn’t working), and start acting like a business.

Get a business account or page. Be clear about your purpose there — to sell something you believe is valuable. Educate yourself about real marketing — the kind that reaches people you didn’t go to high school with. (We have free resources to help with that.)

Promote content at least 10 times as often as you promote a product. “Content” is the stuff that most people are on the social web to look at and share — useful and interesting images, videos, articles, and audio.

Social media is an amazing way to get business-oriented content shared — either for free or for a very moderate cost. You can focus on organic reach, paid advertising, or a mix, depending on the platform and your resources.

#4: Seek (and create) smaller communities

Remember that four-million strong group I mentioned on Facebook? It’s got great energy … and it’s almost completely unmanageable.

The large common spaces on the web can be fascinating, but they’re also exhausting. For a greater sense of community, more useable information, and better connections, look for smaller groups.

Groups that are too small will run out of steam — there’s definitely a point of critical mass. But smallish online groups can be nurturing, delightful little communities.

If there isn’t a group like that in your topic — maybe you’re the right person to start one. It will be a lot of work (and you’ll probably have to manage a few ant-shakers), but it can also be wonderfully rewarding.

#5: Manage your time

Here’s the great, big, gigantic problem with social media — it will eat every minute of your life if you let it.

There’s always another great conversation. And there’s always another opportunity to explain to someone how wrong they are.

I’ve taken a tip from Cal Newport and I schedule my social media time. And because I have no self-control (and I prefer to use what I do have on other things), I use an app to manage that.

There are quite a few of these out there that will block certain sites at certain times, so you can be a productive member of human society. I’m partial to Freedom — it’s a paid app, but it has a flexibility I find highly useful.

#6: Mind your manners

This seems like it would be obvious, but we all blow it from time to time.

Be a kind, respectful, and polite person when you’re online. (Offline would be great too, of course.)

Don’t say ugly things you don’t mean. Don’t say ugly things you do mean.

Your extensive collection of racist knock-knock jokes isn’t funny. Never was, isn’t now.

Condescension and the attitude that you are entitled to other people’s time are as unpopular on the web as they are in real life.

Good manners are free, and they can open amazing doors … especially as they become rarer.

#7: Know when you need to back away

I’ve been online so long, I can remember when virtual community was going to save the world.

Now we know better. Over the years, I’ve realized that no one has to be on social media. Even social media managers could presumably find a different way to make a living. If it’s diminishing your life, you can change how you use it. You can also decide to go without it.

Sometimes I need to implement what I call the FFS rule. When I find myself muttering, “Oh FFS” (Google it if you need to), it’s time to log off.

People are irritating, and some of them are mean. Those people consistently get meaner and more irritating on the web.

Block and report trolls. Remember that you don’t have to reply to everything.

Dan Kennedy, of all people, had some rather good advice about this years ago. He wasn’t talking about social media, but he could have been.

“If I wake up three mornings thinking about you, and I’m not having sex with you, you’ve got to go.”

Pretty savvy social media advice from a guy who refuses to use email. Because it turns out, what tends to work well in social media … is what works well in real life.

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Internet of Things to Drive the Fourth Industrial Revolution: Industrie 4.0 — Companies Endorse New Interoperable IIoT Standard

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will be the primary driver of the fourth Industrial Revolution and Cisco and other companies are at the forefront. It’s commonly referred to as Industrie 4.0.

“Industrie 4.0 is not digitization or digitalization of mechanical industry, because this is already there,” said Prof. Dr.-Ing. Peter Gutzmer, Deputy CEO and CTO of Schaeffler AG. “Industrie 4.0 is getting the data real-time information structure in this supply and manufacturing chain.”

“If we use IoT data in a different way we can be more flexible so we can adapt faster and make decisions if something unforeseen happens, even in the cloud and even with cognitive systems,” says Gutzmer.

From the 2013 Siemens video below:

“In intelligent factories machines and products will communicate with each other, cooperatively driving production. Raw materials and machines are interconnected, within an internet of things. The objective, highly flexible individualized and resource friendly mass production. That is the vision for the fourth industrial revolution.”

“The excitement surrounding the fourth industrial revolution or Industrie 4.0 is largely due to the limitless possibilities that come with connecting everything, everywhere, with everyone,” said Martin Dube, Global Manufacturing Leader in the Digital Transformation Group at Cisco, in a blog post today. “The opportunities to improve processes, reduce downtime and increase efficiency through the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is easy to see in manufacturing, an industry heavily reliant on automation and control, core examples of operational technology.”

Connectivity between machines is vital for the success of Industrie 4.0, but it is far from simple. “The manufacturing environment is full of connectivity and communication protocols that are not interconnected and often not interoperable,” notes Dube. “That’s why convergence and interoperability are critical if this revolution is to live up to (huge) expectations.”

Dube explains that convergence is the concept of connecting machines so that communication is possible and interoperability is the use of a standard technology enabling that communcation.

Cisco Announces Interoperable IIoT Standard

Cisco announced today that a number of key tech companies have agreed on an Interoperable IIoT Standard. The group, which includes ABB, BoschRexroth, B&R, Cisco, General Electric, National Instruments, Parker Hannifin, Schneider Electric, SEW Eurodrive and TTTech, is aiming for an open, unified, standards-based and interoperable IIoT solution for communication between industrial controllers and to the cloud, according to Cisco:

ABB, Bosch Rexroth, B&R, CISCO, General Electric, KUKA, National Instruments (NI), Parker Hannifin, Schneider Electric, SEW-EURODRIVE and TTTech are jointly promoting OPC UA over Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) as the unified communication solution between industrial controllers and to the cloud.

Based on open standards, this solution enables industry to use devices from different vendors that are fully interoperable. The participating companies intend to support OPC UA TSN in their future generations of products.

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