Articles
Pages
Products
Research Papers
Blogs
Search Engines
Events
Webinar, Seminar, Live Classes
Joshua Simon

Joshua Simon

There are millions of websites on the internet. Here, you'll find everything from CNN.com to YouTube cooking channels. But you might not realize what you're seeing online is only a fraction of what's really out there. Vast networks called the Deep and Dark Web are what's hiding beneath the surface.

You've probably heard about the Dark Web before, but there's a good chance the term "Deep Web" is less familiar to you. It's not as widely discussed as the Dark Web, even though it's much larger. And, the Dark Web sometimes gives the Deep Web a bad name because the two are often mistaken for one another. Click here to see five common myths about the Dark Web.

The Deep Web, however, is everything on the internet that isn't easily accessible to the average internet user. In many cases, you need a special web browser to access its content. In others, the content is hidden behind the firewall and security protection of private networks - typically, small businesses and corporations.

What regular search engines are missing

Nine times out of 10, a regular Google search will suffice and bring back the results you're looking for. However, search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing only have access to information that has been indexed. This means any site that's marked as private can pretty much go undetected.

Just think of all the information that's being shared right under our noses. If you'd like to do a deeper search, these web browsers are what you need.

Deeperweb.com

Easing away from Google is no easy task. We've all become so familiar with how the search engine works, and how it will display our results. So, one of the best places to start is a site called Deeperweb.com. This search engine is powered by Google, so it organizes your results similarly to what you're used to.

Dogpile

This powerful search engine pulls its results from Google, Yahoo, and Yandex, digging specifically through the metasearch engine for the information you need. The benefit to you is that every search engine has its own method and algorithms for searching, and Dogpile uses all of them to pull the most extensive results.

DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo is a solid Google replacement, and it doesn’t track or target your IP address or search history. So, you don’t have to worry about targeted ads or being trapped in a search filter bubble, which actually means you get more results. You can also make DuckDuckGo an extension of your browser and activate more privacy settings to keep your search history as protected as possible. 

Yippy

This Google-type site called Yippy goes beyond producing search results and blocks adult content, including pornography, gambling sites, and other inappropriate websites.

Plus, the site protects your privacy. It will not collect personally identifiable information about you, like your name, telephone number, address or email address. That is, as long as you're in the United States. "Yippy will not track a U.S. citizen for any reason" unless required by court order, subpoena or required by law. If you're not in the U.S., Yippy said you're subject to tracking so that it can comply with government required protocols.

Tor

If you're considering Tor as an option for web browsing, be sure to do your homework. This free software has a dark side. Not the software itself, but the places to where it grants access on the internet. Tor gives you access to the Dark Web, a portion of the internet that is often used for illegal activities. However, there could also be information shared on the Dark Web that isn't shared anywhere else. Reporters often use Tor to uncover new leads or communicate privately with their sources. 

Specialty search engines

When you're hunting for information, sometimes you know exactly what you're looking for, and sometimes you don't. The sites above will help you search through a broad scope of information out there. However, when you need to narrow it down, these are amazing specialty databases you should check out.

  • Archive.org: Non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music and more.
  • Library of Congress: Sift through historical archives from the Civil War, Great Depression, World War I, World War II and other monumental events that shaped our country.
  • Osti.gov: Wondering what the government has been up to with all of its research? This helpful search engine puts that information right at your fingertips.
  • Smithsonian Libraries: Collections covering everything from anthropology to zoology.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica: Remember all of the information held in the Encyclopedia Britannica? It's still available. Here's where you'll find it.
  • Pipl.com: Want to know what's out there on the internet associated with your name, or a loved one? This site will search the Deep Web for that information.

A word of warning

One of the biggest advantages to common search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing, is that they provide a certain level of protection. In the same way, it's less likely for a robbery to take place in broad daylight, it's also less likely for someone to post illegal things out in the open.

For this reason, the Dark Web has become the home to some pretty horrific online activity. Click here and listen to our special podcast explaining the Dark Web, and the things you should avoid.

Source: This article was published on Komando.com by Kelli Uhrich

What do you remember learning at school? Algebra? Shakespeare? Chemistry? Baseball? Chances are, your teachers taught you all sorts of useless stuff, without including any actual life skills. But don’t despair – there’s still plenty of time to learn.

So, what exactly are life skills?

Put simply, life skills are the skills that allow us to live a full and happy life1 Without good life skills, you might struggle through failure after failure, disappointment after disappointment, wondering why you can’t seem to do anything right.

A study which followed 8000 people for 11 years showed that those with good life skills were healthier, happier and richer.  Those without good life skills were more likely to be depressed, isolated and unhealthy.

Want to maximize your chances of being happy, healthy and wealthy? Check out the huge list of life skills below, along with links to helpful learning resources.

It’s never too late to start improving yourself.

Ways to Excel in Learning

How to master a new language

This is a hugely beneficial skill that can give you the edge in your career, and help you make new friends from around the world.

You Need To Know This Science Of Learning Languages To Perfectly Master A Foreign Language

How to train your brain

Keeping your brain in good shape will help you learn faster and think up novel solutions to tricky problems.

8 Ways to Train Your Brain to Learn Faster and Remember More

How to boost your memory

Wish you could remember more? Spend some time learning clever tricks to boost your memory.

13 Simple Tricks To Improve Your Memory

How to enhance your observation skills

Being able to make good observations helps us solve problems, avoid danger, and draw insight from different situations.

Increase Your Powers of Observation

How to use online resources to learn more

The internet is an amazing tool for education, and many resources are completely free.

25 Killer Sites For Free Online Education

How to have fun

Life isn’t all about work. Learn to have fun wherever you are and you’ll and massively boost your health and happiness.

30 Fun Things to Do at Home

Ways to Be Better at Communication

How to negotiate skillfully

Negotiation skills can come in handy when trying to get a higher salary, haggling for a better price at the shops, or dealing with difficult clients. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.

How To Negotiate With People Who Have More Sway Than You

How to talk to a stranger

All friends start off as strangers! Being able to talk to new people without feeling uncomfortable is a great way to make connections in any situation.

How To Start A Conversation With Anyone Without Awkward Silence

How to solve a conflict

People won’t always agree with you, and that’s okay. Being able to peacefully solve conflicts is a great skill for work and relationships.

8 Simple Steps to Resolve Any Conflict Like a Zen Master

How to have an interesting conversation

Good conversation skills can turn dull small talk into a genuine, interesting connection.

 

Have Mindful Conversation in 9 Easy Steps

How to express yourself clearly

People aren’t going to know what you’re thinking unless you tell them. Learning to express yourself clearly and boldly is a key step on the journey to self-confidence.

8 Effective Ways To Be More Assertive

Ways to Raise Your Mental Toughness

How to stop caring what others think

Life is so much easier when you stop worrying about other peoples’ opinions of you.

6 Steps to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You

How to avoid being manipulated

Not everyone in life has your best interests at heart, and you may find yourself being manipulated by others. Stay strong and stand your ground.

8 Ways To Stop Emotional Manipulation

How to be more resilient

Being resilient means being able to deal with whatever life throws at you, rather than being thrown off course when things don’t go your way.

10 Strategies Resilient People Use To Bounce Back When Life Knocks Them Down

How to deal with change

Change is inevitable, and learning to deal with it means you can embrace the ups and downs of life, enjoying every moment.

4 Ways to Deal with Big Life Changes

How to cope with stress

If you’re not prepared, stress can build up to unmanageable levels, damaging your mental and physical health. Learn to deal with it in a healthy, productive way.

30 Easy Ways To Beat Stress Quickly

Ways to stay healthy

How to exercise more

Exercise reduces your chance of illness, improves mental health, and can be a lot of fun.

15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit

How to sleep better

Sleeping well feels good, keeps you healthy, and ensures you can make the most of every day.

11 Sleep Habits of Successful People

How to eat more fruit and vegetables

Get creative when cooking fruits and vegetables to stay healthy.

Top 10 Creative And Healthy Ways Of Cooking Fruits And Vegetables

How to manage your weight

Staying at a healthy weight is a key part of feeling good and avoiding illness.

8 Highly Effective Weight Loss & Muscle Building Tactics

How to improve your mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health, so make sure you don’t neglect it.

5 Easy Tips To Improve Your Mental Health

Ways to make the best use of time

How to stop wasting time on social media

Social media is a great way to keep in touch with friends, but can easily turn into a time sink. Keep your usage minimal.

Managing Your Social Network Addiction

How to be a morning person

Some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs are morning people, and you can be too!

Take These 10 Simple Steps To Make You A Morning Person

How to focus and get more done

Good focus is key to getting things done and achieving big goals.

7 Tips To Improve Your Attention Span And Focus Instantly

How to work faster

Less time working = more time having fun. Learn to work smarter, not harder.

How To Work Faster And Smarter

How to improve your time management

Time management skills are essential to a well-balanced life. No more staying late at work or arriving at meetings way too early.

10 Ways to Improve Your Time Management Skill

Ways to have happy relationships

How to tell someone you love them

Found that special person but aren’t sure how to tell them?

How To Tell Someone You Love Them Subtly Yet Sweetly (100 Ways Provided)

How to manage arguments

Arguments happen in all relationships – it’s how you deal with them that matters.

7 Things Couples Always Fight About (And How To Deal With It)

How to know it’s time to break up

Breaking up isn’t easy, but sometimes it’s necessary. Plan ahead to avoid getting hurt.

Breaking Up is Hard to do – 20 Questions to Help You Know When it’s Time to Let go

How to plan a great date

Fun dates make any relationship better – whether it’s your first meeting or you’ve been together for years.

30 Cheap And Amazing Date Ideas For Couples

How to talk about the future with your partner

Planning for the future is an important part of any healthy relationship.

15 Things To Talk About In A Healthy Relationship

Ways to work towards a goal effectively

How to set goals

Creating sensible goals sets you up for success and helps you avoid failure.

How To Set The Right Direction For You Life And Do What You Want Most

How to stay motivated

Those goals aren’t going to achieve themselves. Learn to stay focused and motivated for best results.

8 Steps To Continuous Self-Motivation

How to stay optimistic

Feeling down because you haven’t hit your goals yet? Learn to stay optimistic about the future.

Become More Optimistic with These Simple Methods

How to avoid burnout

Working too hard can lead to burnout and exhaustion. Make sure you take time out to relax and unwind.

9 Ways To Prevent Burnout

How to stop giving up

You won’t achieve anything if you give up. Learn to keep going, no matter what.

7 Things To Do When You Feel Like Giving Up

Ways to have a satisfying career

How to negotiate salary and get what you want

Don’t settle for low pay – learn to get the wage you want and deserve.

How To Negotiate Salary Skilfully Without Being Pushy

How to plan a career change

Feeling stuck in the wrong career? Make a change before it’s too late.

Motivation To Make A Career Change

How to leave a job

Sometimes it’s time to move on. Learn to leave without burning any professional bridges.

5 Critical Steps to Take Before Quitting Your Job For Good

How to start your own business

Fancy being your own boss. Take a leap of faith and become a successful entrepreneur.

17 Steps To Start Your Own Business Even If You’re Working Full Time

How to enjoy work

Life is a million times easier when you enjoy your job, and it’s not hard to learn how.

15 Ways You Can Enjoy The Job You Hate

Are you ready to start learning the life skills that will turn your life from average to amazing? Start with one small goal right now.

This article was published on lifehack.org by Eloise Best

Tens of thousands of personal and possibly proprietary databases that were left accessible to the public online have just been wiped from the Internet, replaced with ransom notes demanding payment for the return of the files. Adding insult to injury, it appears that virtually none of the victims who have paid the ransom have gotten their files back because multiple fraudsters are now wise to the extortion attempts and are competing to replace each other’s ransom notes.

At the eye of this developing data destruction maelstrom is an online database platform called MongoDB. Tens of thousands of organizations use MongoDB to store data, but it is easy to misconfigure and leave the database exposed online. If installed on a server with the default settings, for example, MongoDB allows anyone to browse the databases, download them, or even write over them and delete them.

Shodan, a specialized search engine designed to find things that probably won't be picked up by Google, lists the number of open, remotely accessible MongDB databases available as of Jan. 10, 2017.

Shodan, a specialized search engine designed to find things that probably won’t be picked up by Google, lists the number of open, remotely accessible MongDB databases available as of Jan. 10, 2017.

This blog has featured several stories over the years about companies accidentally publishing user data via incorrectly configured MongoDB databases. In March 2016, for example, KrebsOnSecurity broke the news that Verizon Enterprise Solutions managed to leak the contact information on some 1.5 million customers because of a publicly accessible MongoDB installation.

Point is, this is a known problem, and almost once a week some security researcher is Tweeting that he’s discovered another huge open MongoDB database. There are simple queries that anyone can run via search engines like Shodan that will point to all of the open MongoDB databases out there at any given time. For example, the latest query via Shodan (see image above) shows that there are more than 52,000 publicly accessible MongoDB databases on the Internet right now. The largest share of open MongoDB databases are here in the United States.

Normally, when one runs a query on Shodan to list all available MongoDB databases, what one gets in return is a list of variously-named databases, and many databases with default filenames like “local.”

But when researcher Victor Gevers ran that same query earlier this week, he noticed that far too many of the database listings returned by the query had names like “readme,” “readnow,” “encrypted” and “readplease.” Inside each of these databases is exactly one file: a database file that includes a contact email address and/or a bitcoin address and a payment demand.

Researcher Niall Merrigan, a solutions architect for French consulting giant Cap Gemini, has been working with Gevers to help victims on his personal time, and to help maintain a public document that’s live-chronicling the damage from the now widespread extortion attack. Merrigan said it seems clear that multiple actors are wise to the scam because if you wait a few minutes after running the Shodan query and then re-run the query, you’ll find the same Internet addresses that showed up in the database listings from the previous query, but you’ll also notice that many now have a different database title and a new ransom note.

Merrigan and Gevers are maintaining a public Google Drive document (read-only) that is tracking the various victims and ransom demands. Merrigan said it appears that at least 29,000 MongoDB databases that were previously published online are now erased. Worse, hardly anyone who’s paid the ransom demands has yet received their files back.

A screen shot of the Google Drive document that Merrigan is maintaining to track the various ransom campaigns. This tab lists victims by industry. As we can see, many have paid the ransom but none have reported receiving their files back.

A screen shot of the Google Drive document that Merrigan is maintaining to track the various ransom campaigns. This tab lists victims by industry. As we can see, many have paid the ransom but none have reported receiving their files back.

“It’s like the kidnappers keep delivering the ransom notes, but you don’t know who has the actual original data,” Merrigan said. “That’s why we’re tracking the notes, so that if we see the [databases] are being exfiltrated by the thieves, we can know the guys who should actually get paid if they want to get their data back.”

For now, Merrigan is advising victims not to pay the ransom. He encouraged those inclined to do so anyway to demand “proof of life” from the extortionists — i.e., request that they share one or two of the deleted files to prove that they can restore the entire cache.

Merrigan said the attackers appear to be following the plan of attack. Use Shodan to scan for open MongoDB databases, connect using anonymous access, and then list all available databases. The attacker may or may not download the data before deleting it, leaving in its place a single database file with the extortionists contact and payment info and ransom note.

Merrigan said it’s unclear what prompted this explosion in extortion attacks on MongoDB users, but he suspects someone developed a “method” for extorting others that was either shared, sold or leaked to other ne’er-do-wells, who then began competing to scam each other — leaving victims in the lurch.

“It’s like the early 1800s gold rush in the United States, everyone is just going west at the same time,” Merrigan said. “The problem is, everyone was sold the same map.”

Zach Wikholm, a research developer at New York City-based security firm Flashpoint said he’s confirmed that at least 20,000 databases have been deleted — possibly permanently.

“You’re looking at over 20,000 databases that have gone from being useful to being encrypted and held for ransom,” Wikholm said. “I’m not sure the Internet as a whole has ever experienced anything like this at one time. The fact that we can pull down the number of databases that have been compromised and are still compromised is not a good sign. It means that most victims are unaware what has happened, or they’re not sure how it’s happened or what to do about it.”

Normally, I don’t have great timing, but yesterday’s posts on Immutable Truths About Data Breaches seems almost prescient given this developing attack. Truth 1: “If you connect it to the Internet, someone will try to hack it.” Truth 2: “If what you put on the Internet has value, someone will invest time and effort to steal it.” Truth 3: “Organizations and individuals unwilling to spend a small fraction of what those assets are worth to secure them against cybercrooks can expect to eventually be relieved of said assets.”

Author: Graham Cluley
Source: https://krebsonsecurity.com/2017/01/extortionists-wipe-thousands-of-databases-victims-who-pay-up-get-stiffed

The holidays are all about tradition and bringing cheer to your family, friends, and clients. For me, that applies to the Google Analytics metrics I have come to know and love when sending my clients their monthly reports. For most of us, the holidays are the all-too-short-lived time where families gather ’round a tree, get and give gifts we may or may not use, and eat a harvest of homemade food. For others, the more data-driven geeks like myself, that slew of holiday treats takes second place to the festive findings of my Google Analytics dashboards.

Whatever you’re looking forward to this holiday season, I’ve got some easy Google Analytics reports for my SEO marketing friends that will make your extra two-and-half days off a little more om. Ahead, find 6 Google Analytics reports that brought me lots of cheer for this year during this cornucopias gourd filled fall season. Hint: You may want to add these to your wishlist!

Before I dive into the details of Google Analytics reports, I wanted to share an overview of factors and metrics I consider before building my report. These vary from person-to-person and brand-to-brand.

Before We Begin

First, what metrics align with your overall business goals? Google Analytics reports give you an overview of your website and business health. What metrics are important to your client? Here is a snapshot of what I take into consideration for the majority of my clients:

  • Organic Traffic tells you the number of users who have visited your site organically (unpaid) whether through Google, Bing, or another search engine.
  • Referral Traffic tells you the number of users who have visited your site outside of search engines. Referral traffic is also a good identifier of how your content and brand visibility is performing off-site.
  • Organic Conversions tells you how your content, landing pages, and user experience are performing.
  • Referral Conversions tells you the sites you are getting the most external traffic from. Yes, you can do this with UTM parameters, but referral conversions give you a wide scoping view.

Next, take a look at the timeframe you want to monitor. For example, I monitor reports on a 28-day period so each month is consistent. And, the same goes for quarterly. I use 90-day period for my quarterly reports.

Lastly, how do you plan to track your SEO growth? I prefer to track my progress week over week to compare a chosen period against the previous year. But, others prefer a snapshot view with no previous history data to compare.

Now, let’s dig in a little deeper to discover what SEO reports I use regularly to track my performance and show proof in SEO value.

1. Year-Over-Year Organic Traffic

How to Build This Report:

1. Go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Organic Search

yoy organic traffic_Google Analytics

2. Click Customize in the top left corner of the screen.

3. Create a new custom report named “Organic by Month.” The Metric Groups should read “Sessions,” “Goal Conversion Rate,” and “Goal Completions.” While “Month of Year” should be selected in Dimension Drilldowns. And, lastly, the Filters should include “Medium” + “Exact” + “Organic.”

yoy organic traffic custom report_Google Analytics

4. You should get a month-over-month (MoM) comparison.

MoM comparison in Google Analytics

5. Export each year to Google Sheets and combine the two sheets.

6. Then, you can create a Google chart to begin identifying trends and patterns year-over-year.

analytics year over year organic search in google sheets

What This Report Tells You:

The loss of organic traffic fear is real, especially when it comes to your personal website or client’s site. Surely, the best practice is to monitor your data regularly, checking real-time data, analyzing new vs. return visitors, or referral traffic. But once you see your organic traffic slowly drip into a downward pattern, are you sure you were monitoring the right data?

Unfortunately, “out of sight, out of mind” does not apply to tracking your organic traffic. Was the drop from seasonality? Or, did a competitor launch a new campaign?

As you can see from the example above, traffic is above the previous year, but it does decrease toward the end of the year. This helps us to normalize traffic each year. And, you can compare this year’s traffic as a percentage of last year’s traffic.

Here’s an example below:

Google Analytics Organic YoY Percentage Reports

The decrease in traffic has its surprise drops; it’s not very regular. There’s a significant decrease in May and again in October, which could be seasonality or SEO visibility. Regarding SEO visibility, this could be a change in J-SON, PPC, or keyword positioning. I’d suggest digging deeper to identify the concerns for your client.

Bonus Tip:

If you want to take your organic traffic year-over-year reports to the next level, upload your data from above into Distilled Forecaster tool. This tool will help you predict future traffic levels based on your historical data. And, it will help you map out your on-site technical SEO recommendations. For example, if you’re planning to redo the metadata in Q1 of next year, your changes may affect the overall site traffic.

Distilled_Forecaster SEO Organic traffic

2. Scroll Depth Tracking

How to Build This Report:

1. Your website must already be connected to Google Tag Manager.

2. Open Google Tag Manager, click “Add a New Tag.”

GTM Add New Tag

3. In Tag Configuration, click “Custom HTML.”

Custom HTML Tag Configuration in GTM

4. Copy and paste this code by Rob Flaherty.

<script>
/*!
 * @preserve
 * jquery.scrolldepth.js | v0.4.1
 * Copyright (c) 2014 Rob Flaherty (@robflaherty)
 * Licensed under the MIT and GPL licenses.
 */
;(function ( $, window, document, undefined ) {
   
  "use strict";
 
  var defaults = {
    elements: [],
    minHeight: 0,
    percentage: true,
    testing: false
  },
 
  $window = $(window),
  cache = [];
 
  /*
   * Plugin
   */
 
  $.scrollDepth = function(options) {
     
    var startTime = +new Date;
 
    options = $.extend({}, defaults, options);
 
    // Return early if document height is too small
    if ( $(document).height() < options.minHeight ) {
      return;
    }
	
     // Get some information about the current page
    var pageTitle = document.title;
	
    // Establish baseline (0% scroll)
    sendEvent(pageTitle,'Baseline');
 
    /*
     * Functions
     */

function sendEvent(action, label, timing) { if (!options.testing) { if (typeof(dataLayer) !== "undefined") { dataLayer.push({'event':'ScrollDistance', 'eventCategory':'Reading', 'eventAction':
action, 'eventLabel': label, 'eventValue': 1, 'eventNonInteraction': true}); if (arguments.length > 2) { dataLayer.push({'event':'ScrollTiming', 'eventCategory':'Reading', 'eventAction':
action, 'eventLabel': label, 'eventTiming': timing}); } } else { if (typeof(ga) !== "undefined") { ga('send', 'event', 'Reading', action, label, 1, {'nonInteraction': 1}); if (arguments.length > 2) { ga('send', 'timing', 'Reading', action, timing, label); } } if (typeof(_gaq) !== "undefined") { _gaq.push(['_trackEvent', 'Reading', action, label, 1, true]); if (arguments.length > 2) { _gaq.push(['_trackTiming', 'Reading', action, timing, label, 100]); } } } } else { $('#console').html(action + ': ' + label); } } function calculateMarks(docHeight) { return { '25%' : parseInt(docHeight * 0.25, 10), '50%' : parseInt(docHeight * 0.50, 10), '75%' : parseInt(docHeight * 0.75, 10), // 1px cushion to trigger 100% event in iOS '100%': docHeight - 1 }; } function checkMarks(marks, scrollDistance, timing) { // Check each active mark $.each(marks, function(key, val) { if ( $.inArray(key, cache) === -1 && scrollDistance >= val ) { sendEvent(pageTitle, key, timing); cache.push(key); } }); } function checkElements(elements, scrollDistance, timing) { $.each(elements, function(index, elem) { if ( $.inArray(elem, cache) === -1 && $(elem).length ) { if ( scrollDistance >= $(elem).offset().top ) { sendEvent('Elements', elem, timing); cache.push(elem); } } }); } /* * Throttle function borrowed from: * Underscore.js 1.5.2 * http://underscorejs.org * (c) 2009-2013 Jeremy Ashkenas, DocumentCloud and Investigative Reporters & Editors * Underscore may be freely distributed under the MIT license. */ function throttle(func, wait) { var context, args, result; var timeout = null; var previous = 0; var later = function() { previous = new Date; timeout = null; result = func.apply(context, args); }; return function() { var now = new Date; if (!previous) previous = now; var remaining = wait - (now - previous); context = this; args = arguments; if (remaining <= 0) { clearTimeout(timeout); timeout = null; previous = now; result = func.apply(context, args); } else if (!timeout) { timeout = setTimeout(later, remaining); } return result; }; } /* * Scroll Event */ $window.on('scroll.scrollDepth', throttle(function() { /* * We calculate document and window height on each scroll event to * account for dynamic DOM changes. */ var docHeight = $(document).height(), winHeight = window.innerHeight ? window.innerHeight : $window.height(), scrollDistance = $window.scrollTop() + winHeight, // Recalculate percentage marks marks = calculateMarks(docHeight), // Timing timing = +new Date - startTime; // If all marks already hit, unbind scroll event if (cache.length >= 4 + options.elements.length) { $window.off('scroll.scrollDepth'); return; } // Check specified DOM elements if (options.elements) { checkElements(options.elements, scrollDistance, timing); } // Check standard marks if (options.percentage) { checkMarks(marks, scrollDistance, timing); } }, 500)); }; })( jQuery, window, document ); jQuery.scrollDepth(); </script>


GitHub has some additional data on coding your scroll depth.

2. Choose how to display your scroll depth. Some users prefer percentages (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, 100%) and others choose labels like Article Loaded, Start Reading, Content Bottom, etc. This particular code uses percentages, but you can change the naming conventions if needed. Here is the scroll tracking code for that by Justin Cutroi:

<script>
jQuery(function($) {
    // Debug flag
    var debugMode = false;

    // Default time delay before checking location
    var callBackTime = 100;

    // # px before tracking a reader
    var readerLocation = 150;

    // Set some flags for tracking & execution
    var timer = 0;
    var scroller = false;
    var endContent = false;
    var didComplete = false;

    // Set some time variables to calculate reading time
    var startTime = new Date();
    var beginning = startTime.getTime();
    var totalTime = 0;
    
    // Get some information about the current page
    var pageTitle = document.title;

    // Track the aticle load
    if (!debugMode) {
        ga('send', 'event', 'Reading', pageTitle,'Article Loaded', {'nonInteraction': 1});
    } else {
        alert('The page has loaded. Woohoo.');    
    }

    // Check the location and track user
    function trackLocation() {
        bottom = $(window).height() + $(window).scrollTop();
        height = $(document).height();

        // If user starts to scroll send an event
        if (bottom > readerLocation && !scroller) {
            currentTime = new Date();
            scrollStart = currentTime.getTime();
            timeToScroll = Math.round((scrollStart - beginning) / 1000);
            if (!debugMode) {
                ga('send', 'event', 'Reading', pageTitle,'Start Reading', timeToScroll, {'metric1' : 
timeToScroll}); } else { alert('started reading ' + timeToScroll); } scroller = true; } // If user has hit the bottom of the content send an event if (bottom >= $("#authorTemplate").scrollTop() + $("#authorTemplate").innerHeight()
&& !endContent) { currentTime = new Date(); contentScrollEnd = currentTime.getTime(); timeToContentEnd = Math.round((contentScrollEnd - scrollStart) / 1000); if (!debugMode) { if (timeToContentEnd < 60) { ga('set', 'dimension1', 'Scanner'); } else { ga('set', 'dimension1', 'Reader'); } ga('send', 'event', 'Reading',pageTitle,'Content Bottom', timeToContentEnd,
{'metric2' : timeToContentEnd}); } else { alert('end content section '+timeToContentEnd); } endContent = true; } // If user has hit the bottom of page send an event if (bottom >= height && !didComplete) { currentTime = new Date(); end = currentTime.getTime(); totalTime = Math.round((end - scrollStart) / 1000); if (!debugMode) { ga('send', 'event', 'Reading', pageTitle,'Page Bottom', totalTime, {'metric3' : totalTime}); } else { alert('bottom of page '+totalTime); } didComplete = true; } } // Track the scrolling and track location $(window).scroll(function() { if (timer) { clearTimeout(timer); } // Use a buffer so we don't call trackLocation too often. timer = setTimeout(trackLocation, callBackTime); }); }); </script>

3. Choose how you want the scroll depth to work. Do you want to send an event after the user scrolls 200 pixels? You can change the value to whatever works best for you. If you’re comfortable with coding, you can edit this in code in this area above (just be sure to select the remaining areas):

ga('send', 'event', 'Reading', pageTitle,'Article Loaded', {'nonInteraction': 1});


4. Under “Triggers,” add “All Page View.”

GTM triggering for scroll depth tracking
6. Go to Variables > New (under User-Defined Variables) > Data Layer Variable. Then, add eventCategory. And repeat this step for eventAction; eventLabel; eventValue.

GTM variables data layer variable

data layer variable in GTM

7. Head back to the Tags > New > Google Analytics (choose depending on Classic or Universal). It should look something similar to the below:

google analytics tracking code in GTM

9. Under that same Tag, go to Triggers > Custom Event. Then, give it a name.

GTM custom events scroll depth

To make sure your GTM code is firing view, go to Behavior > Events > Top Events > Scroll Tracking in Google Analytics. It should look something like this:

event tracking percentages in Google Analytics

If this sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you, then stick to something like Crazy Egg’s Scrollmap tool.

What This Report Tells You:

Let’s just come out and say it — do you know if people are reading your content? Or, looking at all your products?

Once you add Scroll Depth tracking, you can identify if users are making it to the bottom of your page. Scroll Depth tracking is essential if you have a one-page website or a super long great homepage. Knowing your scroll depth can help structure and prioritize relevant site information at the top if the majority of users aren’t scrolling down. For example, if your higher priced products are at the bottom, you may want to reorganize them to mingle with the lower priced items. Scroll Depth tracking allows you further develop your pages with proper content placement.

Bonus Tip:

You want to pair Scroll Depth tracking with other metrics like advanced click event tracking, pageviews, bounce rate, time on page, and other engagement metrics to track interactions and performance. You can set this up with micro conversions in Google Analytics. Your goal should look something like this:

Now, you can see that every session (or visit) that a user scrolls more than 75% is now recorded as a conversion. This tells me these users are engaged in site design and content.

3. Micro Conversion Tracking

How to Build This Report:

  1. Identify your micro conversions. This is different for every site. I would suggest creating micro conversions if you have downloadable files, a newsletter, create an account or an add to cart function. You may need to create a ‘Thank You’ page to begin tracking these conversions. Here’s an example from SEJ.
  2. Set up goal tracking in Google Analytics. Again, depending on your micro conversion, this process will be different.
  3. Analytics Set Up Goals
  4. Verify your goal and watch the numbers start rolling in.

What This Report Tells You:

Micro conversion tracking shows you the steps a user takes before converting. It will allow you to see patterns that users frequently do before they purchase your product or contact you.

Measuring micro conversions are just as important as measuring macro conversions (the purchase). The more know what the users are doing before they buy, the more you can give them and optimize your site further.

Here are a few examples of micro conversions:

  • Comment on an Instagram post
  • Sign-up for your newsletter
  • Read a blog post
  • Download a size chart

Here are some ideas of macro conversions:

  • Purchasing a product
  • Contacting us

Micro conversions help lead you down the conversion funnel more accurately. Glenn Gabe talks more about conversion goals in Google Analytics.

Bonus Tip:

Once you have a good grasp on micro conversions, start assigning a dollar value to the micro conversions.

For example, if 100 users are signing up for your newsletter and 50 users to watch your product videos, but users who watch your product videos are more likely buy your product, they have a higher conversion rate. Once you have the conversion rate, you can attach an average order value to determine where to spend your budget.

Here’s an example of the formula I would use:

Average value of watching a product video = Revenue generated by users who watched the video / number of videos.

4. Organic Landing Page Traffic

How to Build This Report:

  1. Head over to Google Analytics > Acquisition > Channels > Organic Search.
  2. Add the secondary dimension of “Landing Page.”

google analytics landing page

What This Report Tells You:

When you’re able to match up your keyword terms with your landing pages, you’re able to work around the (not provided) issue. Now, instead of compensating for keyword data, you’re getting a holistic view of how pages on your website are performing. If your click-through rate is low and your bounce rate is high, you may want to consider working with a web designer to update your site. Or, if your bounce rate is high (depending on the site, I’m looking for anything over 75%), then you may want to consider rewriting the page to reflect more accurate search queries.

Bonus Tip:

If you take this a step further by using the “Landing Page” as your primary dimension. Then, add “Page Depth” as your secondary dimension. With this view, you’ll have an even better perception on which pages are driving high-quality traffic. Understanding what pages are pushing users to click around your site more will help you grasp what type of content your users want.

5. Multi-channel Funnels Assisted Conversions

How to Build This Report:

  1. In Google Analytics, go to Conversions > Assisted Conversions.

google analytics assisted conversions
2. Create a new segment including any interaction from Organic Search and excluding the last interaction from Organic Search.

google analytics organic search segment

What This Report Tells You:

Multi-channel Funnel (MCF) reports helping you identify first and last click attribution. In a short version, MCF reports show you what interactions your customers are taking before they complete a goal.

MCF reports are impressive for direct traffic since direct traffic isn’t correctly attributed in the main channel reports. They give you a wider scope of what is happening on your site. As an SEO consultant, I want to know what campaigns are contributing to the success or failure of my client’s website. SEO converts users, but it also assists in conversions, so I want to know what’s working and what’s not, especially for my e-commerce clients. Typically with e-commerce, I won’t see a first-time visitor convert, but with MCF reporting I can more accurately evaluate what channels are working.

When you add the new segment to determine the true value of organic search, you can see the assisted conversions and the assisted conversion value.

Bonus Tip:

It’s important to note that MCF tracking only gives us 30 days while Acquisition reports give you way more data. To fix this, change your default settings to 90 days. It will give you more data to work with and let you look at the bigger picture.

90 days google analytics assisted conversions

6. Organic Traffic Keyword Value

How to Build This Report:

  1. In Google Analytics, go to Behavior > Site Search > Search Terms and export the data. If you have Google Search Console connected, you can also check out Acquisition > Search Console > Queries to connect the dots in your data.
  2. Go to Google Keyword Planner and upload your data under “Get search volume data and trends.”
  3. google keyword search and google analytics
  4. Use the “Suggested bid” to give value to your search terms.

What This Report Tells You:

Giving a dollar value to your keyword terms that are already driving traffic to your site helps your client visualize the worth of your SEO strategy. It’s one thing to tell a client about their domain authority, traffic, and conversions from organic traffic, but it’s a whole other ball game when you can show your blog post positioned around a keyword term brought in the majority of money last month.

Bonus Tip:

To display this data, create a spreadsheet listing impressions, clicks, cost-per-click (from the ‘Suggested bid” above) and total value.

Keyword Organic Value

Your Turn

Okay, you know the drill: It’s the last month before the end of the year, holiday marketing campaigns are rolling in. And yes, this is a thrilling time, but there is a certain level of stress that comes with analyzing the Q4 data. It can be especially stressful for those who aren’t familiar with all the tips and tricks of Google Analytics reporting, which, let’s be honest, was all of us at some point.

These Google Analytics reports are available for free and are perfect for all of my favorite fall holidays. Because, supposedly, holidays are all about giving thanks. From tracking SEO performance to assisted conversions, I am thankful for these Google Analytics reports and all the delicious data they send my way. The reports above are just a few to help you get started.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope that gives you something to be cheerful for this holiday season. I’d love to know what reports and metrics you look at in Google Analytics. What’s important to you? What reports do you clients find most beneficial? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

Pinterest Graphic: 6 Google Analytics Reports That Will Bring Every SEO Lots of Cheer

Author: Anna Crowe
Source: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/google-analytics-reports-holiday/179077

Tuesday, 03 January 2017 13:45

Internet is too slow for most

Perth’s internet speeds are so bad that only 5 per cent of residents consider their home connection “fast”, a poll has revealed.

The survey, taken across eight marginal seats, found 47.4 per cent of Perth locals thought their speed was slow or very slow compared with the small amount who thought they had a fast connection.

Of those polled, 28.2 per cent said their connection was “moderately fast”.

Former iiNet executive Steve Dalby said there were many stories about poor speeds.

“I have friends who can’t get broadband — they’re on dial-up and even their mobile reception is poor,” he said.

“They can’t be a part of modern society, they can’t be a part of the online community in a digital sense, they can’t buy and sell and participate in online activity the way you would expect them to be in the 21st century.”

Mr Dalby said the figures were not surprising because technological expectations were not being met.

“If it’s 5 per cent this year, it will be 4 per cent next year and 3 per cent the year after because as our expectations increase the pace of improvement of broadband technology is appalling,” he said. “Our expectations ought to be met. In 2017, in a wealthy Western country, we should all be having access to the same sort of speeds people in Singapore and other Asian countries are enjoying.”

Mr Dalby also criticised the rollout of the National Broadband Network in WA, saying the State had been at the “tail end” of the exercise.

Ellenbrook resident Troy Wyatt said despite signing up for his service provider’s fastest connection, he and others were now forced to use their smartphones for internet.

“Just about everybody in the area complains about their internet speeds — quite a few of them have dropped and have just been using their mobile phones because it’s quicker,” he said.

“If you’ve got a decent plan and you can get 5GB from your mobile and it’s performing two or three times better than your internet, it sort of becomes ‘Why really have the separate line?’”

The poll, commissioned by Labor-aligned Campaign Capital, polled 876 voters in the electorates of Balcatta, Belmont, Bicton, Forrestfield, Morley, Mt Lawley, Perth and Swan Hills.

Author: Dylan Caporn
Source: https://thewest.com.au/news/wa/internet-is-too-slow-for-most-ng-b88342042z

With all the fake news, toxic speech, and online scams out there, you might be feeling like now is a good time to scale back your online footprint.

There's a new tool that promises to help you do just that — by essentially deleting yourself from the internet.

CBC Radio technology columnist Dan Misener explains how it works.

What is this new online tool?

Think of this as a kind of cleanse for your online life.

It's called Deseat.me, and it does one thing and one thing only — it displays a list of all the online services you've ever signed up for.

So if you had a MySpace account in the early 2000s, it'll probably show up in Deseat. If you created an avatar in Second Life, it's likely to show up as well. And of course, so will things like your Facebook or Twitter accounts.

To use Deseat.me, you first log in using a Google account. Then, once it knows your email address, it can find any accounts that have been linked in any way to that Google account.

Now, it will ask for some things which may sound creepy — it will not only ask to view your email address, but also to view your email messages and settings. Based on my experience, Deseat.me scans through your email archives to find sign-up confirmation messages from various services.

The creators of Deseat.me told the Telegraph they take user privacy seriously, and that the program runs on the user's computer, rather than Deseat.me's servers. They also say they're not storing any of your info, but you'd need to take them at their word on that.

It uses Google's OAuth security protocol — but if you're not comfortable allowing Deseat.me access to your email archives, I wouldn't authorize it.

In my case, it found 216 different accounts, most of which I had entirely forgotten about. For instance, I have an account with the now-defunct social network called Pownce, and an account on something called Microsoft HealthVault that I signed up for in 2007.

So once you have this list of online services and accounts, Deseat.me will — wherever possible — show you a direct link to remove those accounts.

Why is keeping unused accounts risky?

There are a number of reasons, according to Anatoliy Gruzd, a professor at Ryerson University and the Canada research chair in social media data stewardship.

He said we've seen many recent examples of online services being hacked — and there are some dangerous ways hackers can use the information they gather.

More than 412 million adult-website credentials hacked
Zuckerberg hack a cautionary tale about password security
"For example, they can start contacting your old friends or old contacts on those services on your behalf, pretending to be you," Gruzd said.


He also pointed out online services are constantly being bought and sold. So if you have an old, unused account on a website that has been sold to a new owner, you might not ever know who owns your personal data — or how it will be used.

How else can I shut down my accounts?

Some apps and services allow you to sign up without creating a new login. Instead, you can sign in using your existing Facebook, Twitter or Google account. This is what's called "social login." You've probably seen this if a website or app has invited you to "Log in with Facebook."

The good news is that each of those sites — Google, Facebook and Twitter — can show you a list of third-party sites and services you've authorized to use your account. These lists are all in different places, depending on the social network — you can find Google's here, Facebook's here and Twitter's here.

When I checked mine, I found dozens of services I no longer use — services I tried once then forgot about.

Another really great resource is a site called JustDelete.me. It's a huge list of online services and direct links to the page you need to visit to shut down your account. What's more, each service has been rated on a scale from "easy" to "impossible" in terms of how difficult it is to close your account — because not every service makes it easy to leave.

Why is it often difficult to close an account?

Gruzd said that's because the personal information you share with them has real value in the marketplace.

"You can sell data. There's a big data market out there with data resellers — a huge advertising market as well," he said.

  • 45% of Canadians willing to sell their digital data

"I think as internet users, we need to demand more transparency from online services [about] how our data is being used and what are our options in terms of completely deleting those accounts."

The old saying is true — if you're not paying for something, you're not the customer: you're the product and are being sold. Or more specifically, your personal data is the product being sold.

What should I do before shutting an account?

Large-scale hacks and data breaches are on the rise, so it's worth spending the time to remove possible attack vectors.

But before you shut down an account, it's worth looking for an export or backup option, so you can save a copy of your personal data before you shut down the account.

And be aware that even if you're successful in deactivating your account, that doesn't necessarily mean the site or service removed all of your information. Depending on the privacy policy and terms of service, your information may be saved in a database indefinitely, and there may not be much you can do about it.

So it's a good idea to spend a few minutes looking at the third-party apps you've authorized through Twitter, Facebook or Google and close down the ones you're not using anymore.

It's good practice from both a security and a privacy perspective, since these accounts are a liability — and might be a interesting cyber-trip down memory lane.

Author: Dan Misener
Source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/deseat-me-deletes-unused-accounts-1.3872537

Everyone has the ability to learn a life-changing skill not just this year, but in the next 6 months.

By life-changing, I mean something that can have a positive impact in your life moving forward, even if it’s something you can’t envision today. Certain skills we can immediately reap the benefits of, while others will be life-changing when we least expect it.

In this article, we’ll share 8 life-changing skills you can learn in 6 months, where you can learn them, and how you can get started today.

1. Speed reading

Bill Gates has been known to state that if he had one superpower, it would be the ability to read faster. What Bill and the rest of the mega-successful understand is that knowledge is power. The ability to process information faster from books, articles, and reports is what will help us learn faster, and therefore improve each aspect of our life faster as well.

Where you can start learning: Speed reading courses are becoming more popular, as more people realize how important it is with the limited time we have. You can check out free courses like Read Speeder or you can start learning how to use Spritzlet, which allows you to speed read articles online with a browser extension.

xl_Spritz

2. Public speaking

Research shows that people fear public speaking more than death itself. There’s something terrifying about being in front of dozens or hundreds of people, and exposing yourself completely. It’s when you’re most vulnerable, but learning how to public speak is a life-changer.

Warren Buffett has given advice to recent graduates that the number one skill you can have to succeed is public speaking skills. Everything from communication, confidence, and sales is developed when you develop your public speaking skills.

Where you can start learning: Luckily, there are great communities out there like Toastmasters that organize local meetups all around the world. You’ll find amazing public speakers that are looking to get to the next level to beginners that are just getting started. Check out Toastmasters’ website here.

ProSolutions National 2006

3. Spanish

As the third most spoken language in the world, the ability to speak Spanish will allow you to reach over 500M people around the world. No matter where you live, knowing how to speak Spanish is becoming increasingly more important, with the Hispanic population and economy spreading quickly worldwide. If you’re living in the US, this is even more important, with over 30% of the population being Hispanic.

Spanish is also on this list, because it’s one of the easiest languages to learn. Sure, Mandarin is an important language to learn, but it’s an incredibly difficult one to learn. If we were to measure the level of importance and the time to learn for all the languages available, Spanish would make it to the top of the list.

One of the biggest reasons why people never reach fluency in any foreign language is: using the wrong method, and lack of time. In this free course on how to learn a new language in 90 days, there’s proven research which points out how humans best learn.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 11.18.25 AM

It turns out that humans retain only 5% of what we learn from lectures, 20% of what we learn from apps (visual cues), and 90% of what we learn from immediate immersion. Yet, how do 90% of learn a new foreign language? Language schools (lectures), books, Duolingo (apps), etc that don’t provide the real-life immersion required for our brains to learn faster.

Where to get started: If you want the most effective way to learn a language, learning from real-life interactions is the best way to do it. There are great websites like Rype, which offers Spanish coaching for busy people, solving the issue of lack of time and bringing real-life immersion to your screen. With Rype, you can book as many lessons as you want, at any time of the day, any day of the week, allowing you to fit it into your schedule, no matter how busy you are.

Rype

4. Accounting

If you’re looking to get into business, accounting is one of the core fundamentals you’ll need to succeed. While you don’t need to be an expert, you definitely should understand the basics.

This skill can also be used to manage your personal finances, to meet your financial goals, and having more control over your life.

Where to get started learning: If you didn’t learn accounting in school, no worries. You can either teach yourself using books, or check out free accounting courses online.

taxes-accounting-business

5. Microsoft Excel

Most people reading this probably have a basic understanding of Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet. While this is a good start, there are so many powerful functionalities that are hidden, which could make your life a lot easier.

Excel is also a great asset to have whenever you’re looking for a job, as many corporations rely on Excel to organize and manage multiple parts of the business.

Where to get started learning: With the popularity of Excel, you can find tons of free resources and videos online to learn. Check out Excel ExposureLynda, and Excel with Business.

6. Blogging/Vlogging

Blogging is a powerful tool if you want to spread your ideas, build your brand, or grow your business. Since it was introduced, blogging has taken on a life of its own, and today there are ~2M blog posts being written on a daily basis.

Where to get started learning: Anyone can start blogging today. All you need is a content-management system like WordPress, which is completely free. Personally, I think the best way to start learning how to blog is to just start writing. There are techniques you can learn on how to promote your blog, but the best way to grow your blog is to write great content.

7. Weight training

Yes, weight training is a skill. It’s not as advanced as learning how to code, nor will it take as long as learning a new language, if you just want to learn the basics.

We’re not promising that you’ll get a body like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but you will see much faster results for whatever goal you have, just by understanding how to workout properly. And of course, when you’re dealing with an activity that involves physical strain, you’ll always want to caution yourself.

Where to get started learning: There are amazing body builders that are sharing all of their secrets for free on Youtube. You can check out Bodybuilding.com’s Youtube channel to get started.

Weight-Training

8. Photo and video editing

In the digital world that we live in, from Youtube, Instagram, and Facebook, there is no avoiding photos and videos. In fact, social media has increasingly gone away from text sharing and almost everything to photo and video editing.

Where to get started learning: For photo editing, you can use Photoshop. For video editing, you can use iMovie or Final Cut Pro. Keep in mind, there are dozens of editing software tools for video and photo editing, but what’s more important are your editing skills, not the tool itself.

Check out education websites like CreativeLIVE or Skillshare, where you can learn from experts themselves on how to best use design and software tools.

photoshop_3d_lights1

Author:  Sean Kim

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/384473/10-life-changing-skills-you-can-learn-less-than-6-months

Google has released 2016 trending results for its search engine. Various categories were created, such as People, Dog Questions, Calorie Counts and Election Moments.

The top overall search terms for the United States were Powerball, Prince, Hurricane Matthew, and Pokemon Go.

In the People category searches for Donald Trump took the lead, followed by Hillary Clinton, Michael Phelps and Bernie Sanders.

The How To questions people searched for included “How to play Pokemon Go?” “How to register to vote?” “How to play Powerball?” “How to make slime?” and “How to move to Canada?”

And on the News front, Olympics, Election, Orlando Shooting, Brexit and Zika virus took the lead.

The full list of Google’s search trends for 2016 can be found here.

 

Author:  Nuala Sawyer

Source:  http://www.sfexaminer.com/google-reports-2016-search-trends-trump-powerball-olympics-taking-lead

While there is merit in adult learning and workplace schemes, the digital skills gap will only be solved if tackled at an earlier stage. ‘As with all career paths, the classroom is the starting block and it is there where the digital skills gap will be reduced’

Technology has evolved at an extremely rapid rate. Thirty years ago, the World Wide Web did not exist. But now traditional industries have been uprooted by innovative and disruptive technology.

In fact, everything from the way we socialise and purchase goods to how we educate students has been affected by technological advancements.

However, as technology has improved, the educated system has struggled to keep apace. While the school curriculum now includes courses in IT and programming, this is only a fairly recent development and technology has largely outstripped the average person, resulting in a digital skills gap.

More than 12.6 million UK adults lack the basic digital skills required for modern-day business, while a quarter of all developers in the UK are self-taught with no university education.

These are worrying statistics. As with all career paths, the classroom is the starting block and it is there where the digital skills gap will be reduced.

But a government report revealed that 22% of IT equipment in schools is ineffective, while only 35% of IT teachers have a relevant qualification for the subject. Clearly these figures have to be improved if the next workforce is to be empowered with the digital skills they need.

There is certainly merit in adult learning and workplace schemes, but instilling the necessary skills to be digitally savvy will undoubtedly produce the best results if tackled at an earlier age.

With this in mind, here are three factors schools need to consider in order to bridge the skills gap.

1. Coding and devices

Firstly, in regards to IT and computing in schools, there have been positive steps that have promoted digital progress. The curriculum now has a more substantial focus on STEM subjects as well as computer science. Alongside this, innovations such as the BBC’s micro:bit are encouraging coding in younger generations.

However, more still needs to be done. In order to improve the situation, a greater number of devices need to be introduced into schools, and the majority of work migrated on to the cloud, to be completed via a tablet or laptop. Otherwise, the way in which students work in school will not be a true reflection of how the modern office operates.

Children need a strong grasp of the basics, including how to handle different devices and primary computing skills, or they will stumble at the first hurdle in the working world.

Of course, providing a device for every student is an expensive endeavour and often doesn’t match up with school budgets. With this in mind, organisations can also look into BYOD policies, which are already common practice in the workplace, allowing the majority of students to work from their own iPads, tablets or laptops – cementing truly transferable skills.

2. Practical necessities

Schools, colleges and universities also need to have the necessary infrastructure to support an increased focus on computing, IT and technology.

As organisations reduce the ratio between students and devices, they need to ensure that their technology infrastructure can support a tech-heavy curriculum. Schools, colleges and universities will be housing dozens – if not hundreds of devices – and they need storage solutions that can cope with accommodating them all.  

To ensure storage is fit for purpose, organisations can assess a number of questions. Can it store the number of devices you need it to? Can it charge a selection of different devices? Does it have a weight limit? And can it scale as more and more devices are introduced and the student-device ratio decreases?

If a solution cannot store the amount of devices needed, charge and sync correctly or scale in the future, it needs to be updated.

Factors such as storage are often overlooked, however, if organisations find they can’t store, sync and charge an increasing number of devices – then it will soon stall digital progress as it can fundamentally disrupt learning.  

3. Preparation is key

Outside of the physical preparations, schools also need to play a bigger role in providing a greater understanding of a student’s working future.

Providing devices and lessons in practical digital skills is an important and necessary step. However, students also need to understand what a digital career entails. Where can digital skills be utilised? What industries are they needed in? These types of questions need to be addressed so that students have a clear vision of where and how they can use the skills they garner from science and technology.

Overall, reducing the digital skills gap will be no easy feat. The government will have to continually readdress the curriculum, while schools will need to invest in devices and a technology infrastructure to support a digital future.

But once educational organisations have the technology and storage solutions in place, they can begin to empower a generation of students with the digital skills needed to push the UK onwards and upwards.

Attributed to Chris Neath, head of product development, LapCabby

Author:  Ben Rossi

Source:  http://www.information-age.com/rise-of-the-it-freelancer-123462180

The Oxford Dictionary defines Emotional Intelligence (EI) as “the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically”.

That said, renowned writer Daniel Goleman describes emotional intelligence as the number one reason for professional success. According to him, Emotional Intelligence is even more important than IQ in some instances. “If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far,” he once said. Other studies have also suggested a direct relationship between employees with a high EI and professional success.

shutter

While IQ is something you are born with, EI is a skill that can be honed and perfected with a little practice. So, do you think you are an emotionally intelligent person? Find out for yourself with these telltale characteristics.

Open-mindedness

People with a high emotional intelligence also have a high level of self-awareness, which makes them listen to others carefully before jumping to conclusions or judgments. They are not quick to dismiss an idea just because it is different from their own. This makes them the number one go-to people for anyone who needs help solving challenges, issues or just a patient hearing. Emotionally intelligent people have a knack for sorting out problems and accepting different ideologies before they present themselves. They tend to become office favorites in no time.

Ability to handle criticism well

As mentioned earlier, a characteristic feature of people with high EI is self-awareness. This essentially means a deep knowledge of what sets them off. It also means that such people can appraise themselves on everything from faults to praise with honesty. So when criticised at the workplace for their mistakes, they do not go on an emotional roller-coaster ride. They try to analyse their mistake, identify the root cause and fix it so they don’t repeat it again.

Self-motivation

Emotionally intelligent individuals are driven and easily motivated to strive for the best and achieve their goals. This is not because they expect a reward but because they simply possess a go-getter attitude. They quickly move from one task to another because their goal is to finish them fast.

Ability to balance well

People with high EI know how to strike a balance, and effectively at that. Prioritising work over other needs can result in unnecessary burnout and stress, which in turn lowers productivity. Compared to others, emotionally intelligent people can balance between the two because they know when to let go and when to plug in.

So are you an emotionally intelligent person?

Author:  SROMONA BHATTACHARYYA

Source:  https://yourstory.com

Page 1 of 6

Get Exclusive Research Tips in Your Inbox

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait
online research banner

airs logo

AIRS is the world's leading community for the Internet Research Specialist and provide a Unified Platform that delivers, Education, Training and Certification for Online Research.

Subscribe to AIRS Newsletter

Receive Great tips via email, enter your email to Subscribe.
Please wait

Follow Us on Social Media