With word coming from Google that they have now consolidated their storage quota to 15 gigabytes (GB) across Drive, Gmail and Google+ I began to ponder just how much free storage you can get from the various cloud services seeking your digital assets. A cursory review of some of the major services reveals the following amounts of free storage.
Microsoft SkyDrive – 7GB
Amazon Cloud Drive – 5GB
Apple iCloud – 5GB
Dropbox – 2GB
Box - 5GB
The value of a share on the web (aka the sharing economy) is something that has interested me since my early experiences on the Internet and recently I have started thinking about it again while considering the development of another website that I’ve been working on. More specifically I have been thinking about how may shares of a particular link represents a meaningful amount. If I put up a blog post with sharing links is 50 good enough? How about 100? These questions are in aid of determining how well I have done to promote the content on my site.
Speaking of sharing during my early experiences on the web, I highly recommend that you read Andrew Raskin’s E-Diaries that he published on Inc.com circa 2000-2001. Andrew wrote a series of articles that chronicle his quest to build a company around the sharing economy. The company was called Gazooba (later changed to Qbiquity) and the basic premise involved offering rewards for people who shared a website. The company failed but there are some very interesting insights on company building to be had. More relevant to this post is the fact that value of a share may never be substantial enough to build a company on.
About a month ago I wrote a post about RSS being alive in which I wrote the following regarding the impact of Google’s decision to shut down Reader.
Several companies (including Feedly and Digg) have already jumped into the fray to announce their support for new RSS news reading applications. Because while the reader market is small potatoes for Google it represents an opportunity for a much smaller company.
Since then I have tried out a few potential alternatives to Google Reader, including Feedly and Feedbin. If someone asked me which ones were the best alternatives to Google Reader right now I would say that those two are the best options, but for the moment I have chosen Feedbin as my primary RSS reader to consume feeds on a daily basis. I’ll explain why I have made that choice in the paragraphs below.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing and subsequent manhunt for the perpetrators I had some thoughts about how the Internet has affected the flow of news in the dozen years since the 9/11 attacks. I think it’s important to point out that I always bristle when people make grand pronouncements about the impact of a particular service or technology directly on the heels of a major catastrophe so that’s not what I’m trying to do here. Rather, I wanted to highlight the differences between my approach to keeping up with the news following each of those major stories.
On 9/11 I was sitting in an office with my my Internet Explorer browser showing my My Yahoo portal page when a headline appeared that said something like “Plane Strikes World Trade Center.” When I clicked the link it went to a page with just a title and no content. On April 15, 2013 I had just started to walk from my car to an airport terminal when I received a push notification on my iPhone from the Seeking Alpha app. I clicked through the push notification to read the update, which linked to a post on Twitter (by a non-news reporter) with a picture that clearly showed a smoky scene and blood on the ground. So while I was initially confused on 9/11 as to the nature of the incident, I was more aware right away on April 15 that something nefarious had occurred.
Recently it has come to light that automated bots are attacking WordPress sites, in particular those where the person starting the site chose to retain the default admin username. Matt Mullenweg has recommended that WP site owners utilizing the admin username ensure that they have a strong password. If the password is not strong then change it to a strong one. In the video posted below I show you how to do that. As you’ll see it’s a very simple process.
Whether or not a business should maintain their own blog has been a subject of debate for businesses ever since blogging became popularized in the early 2000s. My answer to that issue is, “Yes, of course a business should have its own blog.” After all, your blog is your voice as a business. And if you don’t cultivate your voice then people will listen to other voices (and there will be other voices) that may not represent the best interests of your business. A few years ago I wrote about this very topic in a post called The Importance of a True Voice on the Web and included the paragraph below.
Here are some questions for you to ask. Who are my stakeholders? If you sell a physical product at a minimum you’ll have employees, suppliers, maybe distributors, the local community (or communities) where your business is located. You might have investors who have a pure financial stake in the business. Too many companies focus on the investors and the government and then ignore almost everyone else. Who are your stakeholders? How will you use the web to communicate with all of these critical groups? Will you create a place for news and discussion now or wait til there’s a crisis or big news to share? Will you be able to ramp up fast enough to communicate effectively or will you stumble as you learn the language and find your true voice? Will you punt and throw up a Twitter account and a Facebook page or will you locate the most important information on your own domain? Will you use audio, video and photos to tell your story?
Back in October 2012 Google shut down the Feedburner API, a situation that left many an Internet content publisher scrambling for alternatives to a service that no longer seemed to be a given to continue into the distant future. It’s true that Feedburner is still alive (for now) but the signs of a slow retreat by Google from the feed distribution space (shut down the API, shut down the blog) are there. Given the signs I think it’s a wise move for Internet content publishers to: a) start migrating feeds off of Feedburner; and b) refrain from moving any new feeds over to Feedburner.
As an early Feedburner user (pre acquisition by Google) I thought that it would be helpful to write a post that provides some context by letting people know what Feedburner does for publishers, why they got so popular, what happened after Google acquired them and why Feedburner (and services like it) are no longer necessary (or advisable) for those people who plan to be serious Internet content publishers for a long time to come.