Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Web Secret 460: the Internet health report

Mozilla - the maker of the Firefox browser - just released the first ever Internet health report.

And why should you care?

"The Internet is an ecosystem. A living entity that billions of people depend on for knowledge, livelihood, self-expression, love…. The health of this system relies on – and influences – everyone it touches. Signs of poor health in any part impacts the whole. We’re all connected."

Okay, I get it. But how would you determine the health of the Internet?

You measure five factors:

1. How open is it? “Open” means that anyone can publish or invent online without asking for permission, and that the technologies used to run the Web are transparent and understandable.

2. Who is welcome online? Everyone deserves equal opportunity to access the Internet, and to use it to improve their lives and societies.

3. Who controls the Internet? Decentralization means the Internet is controlled by many. It’s millions of devices linked together in an open network. No one actor can own it, control it, or switch it off for everyone.

4. Is it safe and secure? The safety and security of the Internet impacts us all. We should be able to understand what is happening to our data, and have the ability to control how it is used.

5. Who can succeed online? We need everyone to have the skills to read, write and participate in the digital world, so more people can move beyond consuming to actually creating, shaping and defending the Web.

Party on, Mozilla.

You done good.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Web secret 459: Fiverr

Fiverr is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name. The Fivver taglines are "Everything your business needs, simplified. Talented freelancers, millions of digital services, on budget and on time."

The site is used on the one hand by freelancers who use it to offer their services, and on the other hand by small businesses, private practices and startups to inexpensively create and grow.

Typical services include:

logo creation

article and blog post writing

social media marketing

website building

viral videos

and much, much more.

Fiverr explains the power of getting s**t done in an amusing video.

Freelance services for the lean entrepreneur.

That could be you.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Web Secret 458: the real impact of workplace automation

We have all heard the dire forecast: in about 10 years or so, half of the jobs in existence today will be automated.

Bye bye jobs.

Not so fast.

It's more complicated than that explains James Manyika, a Director at the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI), in his recent article, "Workplace automation: Separating fiction from fact."

The article explains that - astoundingly - back in 1964, US President Lyndon Johnson created a national commission to examine the impact of automation on the economy and employment. At that time, LBJ pointed out that automation should be viewed as an ally, not an enemy:

“If we understand it, if we plan for it, if we apply it well, automation will not be a job destroyer or a family displaced. Instead, it can remove dullness from the work of man and provide him with more than man has ever had before.”

Hard to be that optimistic a half century later, because technology has advanced at breakneck speed. Manyika writes: "...who back then could have imagined the legions of robots at work today in manufacturing... Machines today increasingly match or outperform human performance in a range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities....Will robots replace humans in the workplace? And if so, how quickly?"

Manyika proceeds to quote from a recently published McKinsey Global Institute report on automation and its potential effects on productivity and the global economy.

Among the findings, "...almost half the activities we pay people about $15 trillion in wages to do in the global economy have the potential to be automated using currently demonstrated technology."

Scary, but there is a twist. "More jobs will change than will be automated away in the short to medium term. Only a small proportion of all occupations, about 5%, can be automated entirely using these demonstrated technologies over the coming decade..."

Manyika adds: "As companies deploy automation, we ... need to think more about mass redeployment rather than unemployment, and also ... think about people working alongside machines and the skills that will be needed for the workforce of today and tomorrow... They include capabilities that are inherently human, including managing and developing people, and social and emotional reasoning.

He concludes: "Just because the technical potential to automate a workplace activity exists does not mean that it will happen anytime soon...The pace and extent of automation will depend on a range of factors of which technical feasibility is only one—and there are still some important barriers to overcome, including the ability of computers to generate and understand natural language. Other factors include the dynamics of labor supply and demand. If there is no shortage in the labor market of cooks, it may not make business sense to replace them with an expensive machine."

Turns out that for the near future at least, humans are tech proof.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Web Secret 457: Millenials in the workplace

Working with Millennials can be a challenge.

Here's why...

... As explained by Simon Sinek, a British/American author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant. He is the author of three books including the 2009 best seller, "Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action."

And that is all I am going to write about that topic.

He said it better.

So watch. 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Web Secret 456: Honey

I never buy anything online without using ebates, a browser add on that gives you cash back when you spend money at one of over 1,800 stores.

In addition, I also used to comb sites like for coupons.

Well there is a better way.

Introducing Honey, another browser add-on that automatically applies coupon codes at checkout and, also finds better prices on Amazon for you, immediately.

Here s a 25 second video that tells you everything you need to know:

Happy shopping!