Clara Johnson

Clara Johnson

Conventional intelligence, scored as intelligence quotient (IQ), is indicative of cognitive reasoning ability. The countless tests and exams we take through school and college are supposed to give a measure of how smart we are. And while they do this to a certain extent, high academic grades are not the sole measure of success.

Of course, a correlation between academic prowess and career success can easily be established in fields of work that require rational thinking; successful doctors, engineers, and scientists typically do have high IQs. But a high IQ alone is no guarantee of success in a career that involves interacting with others, which is the case for nearly every profession in existence.

Emotional intelligence, scored as emotional quotient (EQ), is touted to be a more accurate indicator of whether a person will go on to be a successful working professional. Here we look at why this is the case.

As mentioned earlier, nearly every profession involves human interaction. Of course, a few exceptions can be made: authors and scientists who work in solitude are freed from the need to master the art of interaction. But, for most of us, interacting with others is a daily ritual. Therein lies the importance of emotional intelligence (EI).

EI is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the capacity to be aware of, control and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Daniel Goleman, a renowned psychologist and the author of several books on EI, explains the five pillars of emotional intelligence and why they correspond to a successful career:


A self-aware person is in control of his or her emotions. Such people can identify shifts in emotion within themselves as well as the triggers, both internal and external, that cause them; criticism from a boss or a personal problem can induce varying emotions which affect our reasoning ability. Persons with high EQs can view such occurrences from a rational standpoint, un-distorted by emotional turmoil, which results in an improved reasoning ability.


Keeping one's emotions in check is vital at a workplace. Every person has to deal with a multitude of emotions on a regular basis and it's essential that they do not dictate your behaviour. The ability to act logically, while resisting impulsive behaviour, is a highly-valued trait for working professionals.


People with a high EQ are self-motivated. They aren't driven by money or job titles though; they weigh the emotional rewards of each action and are fuelled by an inner ambition that is surprisingly resilient to disappointment and failure. Employers have always faced the challenge of motivating their employees and hence, those who don't need to be motivated are highly valuable in the workplace.


Emotionally intelligent people are not only aware of their emotions, but they can sense those of others as well. They have an uncanny ability to view situations from the other person's perspective. Arguments fuelled by anger are easily resolved by people with high EQs because they understand the other person's issue and can genuinely respond to their concerns.

People skills

Due to their mastery of emotions, emotionally intelligent people get along well with others. They find it easier to build rapport and trust with their colleagues. They also steer clear of office politics — things like backstabbing, bad-mouthing, and undermining others — for which they are quick to gain respect and credibility.

In his book Emotional Intelligence, Goleman demarcates the difference between IQ and EQ in the context of career success:

“IQ can show whether you have the cognitive capacity to handle the information and complexities you face in a particular field. But once you are in that field, emotional intelligence emerges as a much stronger predictor of who will be most successful, because it is how we handle ourselves in our relationships that determines how well we do once we are in a given job.”

His reasoning is certainly accurate; scholastic test scores can only get you into a company, but they cease to matter once you begin working there. Traits like being a team-player and a motivated worker are far more important if you want to succeed in a career. Employers won't hesitate to remove an egocentric and conceited intelligent person from their company. On the other hand, a person who can get along well with everyone is always welcomed in an office.

Source: https://yourstory.com/2017/03/emotional-intelligence-career-success/


You’re a savvy digital marketer. You follow Google best practices and read “all the SEO blogs.” You sound like a zookeeper with your extensive knowledge of Pandas, Penguins, Possums and Pigeons. You’re always looking for ways to improve organic search rankings. Instead of investing your time researching some of those gray (or even black) hat tactics that are oh so tempting, I suggest you take a step back and look at the basics of your organic SERP listing.

An area that often gets overlooked by digital marketers is engagement and the click-through rate (CTR) associated with their organic listings. No matter how much you improve your ranking, if your listing itself is not compelling, it’s all for nothing!

Google has not confirmed that CTR is a direct ranking factor, but this slide from a Google engineer at SMX West in March 2016 suggests that click-through rate plays a significant role.


Regardless of Google’s ranking algorithm, all digital marketers strive to make organic listings compelling to searchers and enticing to prospects. These recommendations will help you improve organic search results and drive additional qualified traffic.

Step 1: Identify pages with a relatively low click-through rate

In Google Analytics, navigate to Acquisition > Search Console > Landing Pages and export the data into a CSV or Excel document. Identify pages with high Impressions, a low Average Position and a relatively low CTR based on position.

AdvancedWebRanking.com has a great study on average CTR by position that you can use as a guide. This analysis will help you create a list of prioritized landing pages to be improved.

Step 2: Find opportunities to expand title tags

One of the best things you can do to increase the CTR for a listing is improve the effectiveness of the Page Title. Back in 2014, Google changed the Title Tag limit to be based on pixel length (estimated to be 512px) which resulted in a significant reduction in organic Title Tag width. In May of this year, SEOs everywhere rejoiced as Google expanded this limit to 600px, a 17 percent increase!

Take advantage of this increased space and the opportunity to include more high-priority keywords (if you haven’t already). An easy way to view your current Meta Tags is to download them from the free Screaming Frog SEO Spider Tool.

The challenge is that the new pixel-based limit is harder to adhere to and more difficult to visualize than a simple character count. For example, a “W” takes up more space than an “l.” It’s all about size now, not number of characters. As you’re improving and expanding your Meta Tags, I recommend using a SERP Preview Tool. This will help you visualize how your listing (URL, Title and Description) will appear on a Google SERP.

After the Google SERP update in May, we noticed that popular SEO tools had not been updated to reflect the new guidelines, so we created our own Google SERP Tool to help SEO experts visualize the new, expanded pixel limits.

Step 3: Make your meta tags more compelling

The best Page Titles are often written like a newspaper headline. They are intriguing, interesting, descriptive, and often evoke emotion. Here is an example of two boring headlines and one compelling/engaging headline that really stands out.


Title Tag tips

It’s still crucial to have target keywords in your Title Tag, but don’t ignore the importance of engaging prospects. Optimize for user intent first, and SEO keywords second. Here are a few proven tips for Title Tags:

  • If your web page provides a list of some sort, state the number of items. For example: 17 Delicious Broccoli Recipes Your Kids Will Love
  • Mention if the page includes a video or a presentation. For instance: 10 Reasons Why The New Macbook Stinks w/Video Review
  • Special characters stand out, but don’t go overboard.
  • Mention pricing or sales numbers.
  • Timely/relevant content is key. Provide a date. Example: The 12 Lightest Laptops Available in November 2017
  • Use a free headline analyzer such as: http://coschedule.com/headline-analyzer

Description tips

Don’t forget to have a compelling and descriptive Meta Description as well. Use your Meta Description to complement and expand upon your Title Tag statement. Be persuasive; encourage an action.

Since Meta Descriptions have no explicit SEO value (other than CTR), don’t be obsessive about forcing keywords into your Description unless they fit naturally. Most of all, inspire curiosity and entice searchers to click.

Step 4: Make your SERP jump off the page with rich snippets

The buzz for structured markup has quieted in the last few years, but this is a powerful strategy that should not be ignored. Rich snippets can really make your SERP jump off the page, increasing your CTR and stealing clicks right out of the hands of your competition.

Using structured markup properly can really make your products stand out. This example below shows powerful information such as star rating, number of reviews, price and if the product is in stock or not. That’s a lot of valuable information in the search engine results!


Using the Recipe structured markup can also be really powerful. In the snapshot below, you can see a large photo and most of the ingredients needed for a recipe. It really jumps off the page as the first result. For the second result, you notice the star rating, number of reviews, time to cook and, of course, a picture! Wow, that’s powerful.

Recipe reviews are so popular that if you’re not using them, you may not make the first page of Google. The good news is that there are a variety of WordPress plugins and free tools to help make implementation very simple.


Some other powerful rich snippets are breadcrumbs, music, (notable) people, video content and events. You can find a rich snippet to improve click-through rate for almost every page imaginable. Google has a great Guide to Structured Markup, a Testing Tool, and even a Data Highlighter to use structured markup from the Google Search Console without having to implement any code. There are no excuses for not using these free features!

Getting back to basics

Once you expand and enhance your Meta Tags, track progress in Google Search Console. Continue to test and improve your organic listing over time.

You might be shocked by the dramatic increase in organic traffic delivered simply by getting back to the basics of writing a unique, compelling and relevant Page Title and Description. Remember, your Meta Tag is the only thing standing between a search result and a visitor!

Author: Jason Decker
Source: http://searchengineland.com/4-steps-make-organic-listings-effective-260192

Some patents seem so way out that you have to wonder if they’re a joke. Such is the case for Amazon’s patent covering an “airborne fulfillment center” that would launch drones to deliver merchandise from above.

The patent, which was granted in April, came to light this week in the wake of yet another patented Amazon scheme to ward off hackers as well as bow-and-arrow attacks.

“I just unearthed the Death Star of e-commerce,” Zoe Leavitt, a tech analyst for CB Insights, declared Wednesday in a tweet.

Hilarity ensued.

The scheme calls for having an airship hover over the intended delivery area at an altitude of 45,000 feet, stocked with goodies that can be loaded aboard drones when an order is made.

The wing-equipped drones could glide down, “using little or no power,” and navigate to make the delivery. Then they would make their way to a collection zone, where they’d be loaded aboard a flying replenishment shuttle for return to the airborne fulfillment center, also known as an AFC.

The replenishment shuttles could transport other items to the airship, such as fuel, inventory – even workers. And they could bring down such items as “overstock inventory, transshipments, workers, waste,” Amazon’s engineers say.

According to the patent, such a system would make deliveries more quickly and efficiently than drones flying out of a ground-based fulfillment center – and would be particularly well-suited for big events:

“For example, a temporal event (e.g., a football game) may be expected to produce a demand for certain types of items (e.g., sporting paraphernalia, food products, etc.). In advance of the event, the items may be delivered to the AFC in a quantity sufficient to satisfy the expected demand and the AFC may navigate to a position such that UAVs deployed from the AFC can safely navigate to the location of the event and deliver the items, thereby satisfying the demand. In some implementations, the AFC may navigate to a lower altitude and provide advertising for the temporal event or for other occasions (e.g., product announcements, product releases, sales).”

The fact that the patent was issued in April might lead one to suspect we’re being fooled, but the timing of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision is purely coincidental, right? Besides, the patent application was filed back in December 2014.

Amazon traditionally doesn’t comment on its patents for drone technologies, and there’s no indication that the AFC is part of the company’s plans for drone delivery. But Seeking Alpha’s Bram de Haas said it might not be such a bad idea:

“It makes sense because the drones would be descending while carrying product and getting carried back up by a balloon while also empty. It would probably work better with cheap light drones though.“The one thing that’s flying too high for me is its stock.”

There are lots of practical reasons why an AFC might not work: For example, keeping an airship hovering for long periods of time could be difficult, depending on weather conditions, and weather could also affect the prospects for making deliveries from 45,000 feet. Remember last year’s case of the runaway blimp?

Having shuttles rendezvous regularly with airships would pose an added logistical challenge.

But who knows what direction drone deliveries will take over the years and decades ahead? If, someday, the “Treasure Blimp” descends to drop drones bearing Beast Mode souvenirs when the Seahawks’ Marshawn Lynch-Bot takes the field … you heard it here first.

Author: Alan Boyle
Source: https://www.yahoo.com/tech/drone-delivery-flying-blimp-fulfillment-165934556.html

We have jobs to pay the bills, typically. Some of us are fortunate enough to have jobs that allow for exploration and indulgence in certain passions or to push the boundaries of technology and innovation. But by and large, people go to work because they have to — their jobs earn them money, and with that money, they make a living.

As the modern economy churns and turns, some jobs simply become redundant or less valuable. That can happen for a number of reasons, ranging from automation to an influx of cheaper labor. When it does happen, though, wages drop as the labor market become saturated. When there are more people with similar skill sets as you, odds are there are people out there who are willing to do the same job for less pay.

That’s when you either take a pay cut or lose your job entirely. There are a lot of factors at play, but at the very core of it is a supply-demand dynamic.

As of right now, if you’re a software engineer, this is good news. If you’re in manufacturing? It’s not — and as you’ll see on the following pages, manufacturing specifically is a segment of the economy that is being hit very, very hard by globalization and automation.

Which jobs are experiencing negative wage growth, or at least a very bleak outlook going into 2017? Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, here are 10 you’ll either want to avoid or get out of as soon as possible.

1. Apparel manufacturing

If you’ve noticed that just about all of your clothing is made in Asia or Central America, there’s a reason for that: cheap labor. Apparel manufacturing in the United States is on a steep decline, with wages dropping too for those still in the industry. This is why clothing that is made in America tends to be much more expensive than other options.

2. Tobacco production

The BLS labels this as “tobacco manufacturing,” and it’s another area in the manufacturing and production sector that is seeing jobs disappear and wages go down. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that demand for tobacco is dropping significantly as smoking becomes less and less common.

3. Postal service

Jobs with the postal service aren’t what they used to be, and there are a number of reasons that USPS has been experiencing trouble for several years now. It’s been shedding jobs and funding, and it’s one area in which wages aren’t exactly on the up and up — if you were considering trying to get a job there.

4. Communication equipment manufacturing

This is a pretty broad category, but it’s essentially referring to things like phones, computers, tablets — really any type of device or gadget that we use to communicate. As most people know, almost all of these things are made in other countries to take advantage of cheaper labor costs, and to pass those savings on to American shoppers.

5. Publishing

The digital age has made it tough for traditional publishing companies to survive. Some are, but they’re not printing money like they used to. Jobs are scarcer, and they don’t pay nearly as much as they did in the glory days of publishing.

6. Textile production

“Textile production” is another incredibly vague category, but it’s another area in which we’re seeing jobs either replaced with cheaper foreign labor or automation.

7. A/V equipment manufacturing

Audio and video equipment, like communication equipment, is almost exclusivelly produced in foreign markets. Again, to take advantage of cheap labor. This includes things like your TV, cameras, stereos, etc.

8. Glass manufacturing

Here’s an industry you probably haven’t given much thought to — glass production. Glass is everywhere, but you don’t often think about who is producing it, or where. Well, it’s an industry that is seeing some serious contraction in the U.S., and because of that, the jobs within aren’t paying very well.

9. Paper production

You may not know much about the paper industry other than what you’ve learned from those Dunder Mifflinites on The Office, but as far as production of paper goes, it’s rough out there for workers. Paper mills are contracting, and workers are seeing wages stagnate.

10. Miscellaneous manufacturing

Our final installment is as broad as it gets. The BLS includes “miscellaneous manufacturing” among its “most rapidly declining wage and salary” list. That may or may not include many of the aforementioned industries, but includes many others as well. The point is manufacturing, a former backbone of the American economy, is on the outs. If you’re hoping to make big money, you’ll need to do it in another way.

Source: This article was published on cheatsheet.com by Sam Becker

Automation, quantum computing and the Internet of Things are among the trends that will influence the server market in 2017

1. Automation

According to Spiceworks’ annual IT budget survey, 64% of organisations plan on making no staffing changes to their IT department in 2017. With this in mind, IT managers are going to have to start automating activities in order to keep up with their workload. Automation will also need to ultimately advance from scripting when required towards heuristic evaluation (automation based on data).

2. Remote working and BYOD

BYOD is already commonplace in many work environments and as a growing number of employees are sharing sensitive documents and data between devices and locations, security risks increase. Secure containers are an increasingly popular method of securing sensitive information instead of relying on employees having devices with adequate native security protection.

Secure container applications are available on most mobile devices running on the typical operating systems (Android, iOS, Blackberry, Windows). This can help to save an organisation money too, with some employees preferring to be able to access their personal and work information from one device, providing it is kept separate, making the ‘work phone’ a redundant purchase. Although they can’t replace mobile device management strategies, secure containers certainly have their uses.

3. The Internet of Things

Connected devices are set to take off in a big way in 2017, and with this new way of living comes additional capacity, security and analytical requirements. Many devices classed as IoT will rely on vast amounts of data being stored safely and analysed in real-time. We will be producing more data than ever before and it will have to be stored somewhere.

4. Quantum computing

Although mainstream quantum computing is in a future more distant than 2017, it is something that should definitely be on the minds of IT managers, particularly those at large enterprises. Unsurprisingly, Google aims to be an early adopter of quantum computing, with them announcing in 2016 that they are working on building a ‘quantum computing supremacy’.

5. Software-defined storage

Virtualisation is considered quite a mature concept now, but the emergence of a new buzz term that seems synonymous with the concept has thrown some confusion into the mix. That buzz term is ‘software-defined storage’.

Software-defined storage involves separating the data plane and control plane, so that the control plane can also command other pieces of foreign storage. This allows IT managers to create a respectable storage solution without the need for high-performance hardware.

Unsurprisingly, this is becoming a popular solution with medium-sized businesses that need to scale but lack the budget to purchase high-performance storage solutions.

6. Hyper-converged storage

Hyper-convergence is another term that often gets confused with software-defined storage in the marketplace as they both provide similar storage management features.

Software-defined storage is just storage, whereas hyper-convergence incorporates storage, compute, networking, virtualisation and other technologies into a ‘box’. It may also be referred to as ‘cluster-in-a-box’ or ‘infrastructure-in-a-box’.

Gone are the days that medium-sized businesses need to find somewhere to house their mis-matched pieces of hardware each time they require expansion or upgrade. A converged infrastructure takes up much less floor space.

Some cluster-in-a-box solutions are also designed for people to set up without the specialist need for IT skills, something set to be huge for the server space in 2017.

Author:  Ben Rossi

Source:  http://www.information-age.com/7-changes-facing-enterprise-network-2017-123463512

Are you interested in making your job search more effective moving forward? If so, then it doesn’t hurt to observe what others avoid to boost their effectiveness.

Here are 9 things effective job seekers don’t do in their job searches. Carefully read them. Upon reading them, you’ll know what habits you should avoid or remove for a smarter job hunt.

1. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underrate The Impact of Their Attitudes.

Effective job seekers don’t proceed without attitude reflection daily. Why? Because they know their attitudes matter in their job search processes.

“Maintaining a positive attitude,” says Harry Urschel, Job Search Coach and Writer, in one of his post, “is one of the most difficult yet most important things you can do for a successful job search. It affects every other aspect of your search and will have a dramatic impact on how you are perceived by potential employers.”

So, one of the best things you can do is step back and reflect on your attitude. Are you pushing through positively or negatively? Are you allowing the frustration, associated with looking for a job, get you down?

Please know your decision influences the way you manage your job search. And, if you want to get through this process with your sanity, then you must foster a positive attitude. A few ways to stay positive in a challenging job hunt include: keeping hope alive, moving onward after rejections, and building your skills through activity.

2. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Sacrifice their Health and Well-Being.

Effective job seekers don’t sacrifice their well-being for long hours of job searching. These job seekers know they must take care of themselves, if they want to get through their job hunts effectively.

Without taking care of yourself, you’ll reach the point of exhaustion. And, you’ll stretch yourself too thin.

Several healthy ways to take care of yourself are:

  • Feeding Your Body.
  • Quenching Your Thirst.
  • Getting the Sleep You Need Every Night.
  • Staying Physically Active.
  • Taking Breaks When Necessary.
  • Engaging in a Hobby.

There’s an urgency to land a job, but you must still take care of yourself.

3. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Focus on Full-Time Hours.

You might’ve heard the saying: “looking for a job is a full-time job.” Right? Well, effective job seekers know this isn’t solid advice.

They don’t focus on meeting so many hours a week. They know a full-time (40 hours/week) job search affects your well-being and effectiveness. There’s no way to keep going, in this way, without experiencing burnout, frustration, and inefficiency.

When you don’t set limits in your job hunt, it consumes you. It takes up your full day, if you allow it. This isn’t healthy for someone out of work and already dealing with unemployment.

What you should do instead is: put in a full-time effort as opposed to full-time hours. Designate time, your mornings or your evenings, for example, to job search activities. And, put forth your best efforts throughout this time.

Also, shut your job search down when it’s time. Set and keep time boundaries in place. Hallie Crawford, Career Seekers Coach, says:

“Establishing boundaries with your time can be another way to maintain balance during your {career} transition.”

4. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Break Time.

You might think setting aside a break time is a counterproductive activity. But, effective job seekers know it isn’t.

Nothing’s wrong with taking a break from your job search activities to rest, when you need it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests five minute breaks every hour.

You can do several things doing your break: read inspirational material, take a walk or stretch, recount the good things of the day, or get out of the house for a while.

Breaking is a good way to prevent burnout, stress, and overwhelm in your job search. But, you must be intentional about this time to avoid procrastination.

5. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Blindly Apply and Interview.

Effective job seekers don’t blindly apply and interview for jobs. They don’t walk around thinking:

“I’ll apply to (and interview for) as many jobs as I can to increase my chances of getting a job offer.”

They know better. They know you must be realistic in your job search. They also know time is too precious for wasting on mass job application submissions.

Instead of blindly applying and interviewing, you should bring intentionality into your search. Target your job search. According to Eli Amdur of Amdur Coaching and Advisory Group, a targeted job searchincludes:

  • Identifying the Business or Occupation You’re Interested In.
  • Researching the Leading Companies by Culture, Leadership, Products, and Market Positions.
  • Determining Whether You Can Grow Within Company.
  • Figuring Out Logistical Issues, such as the Commute, Working Hours, and Extra Taxes.
  • Rating Your Potential Happiness at the Targeted Company.

You prepare your application materials based on what you learn through research. You’ll also know everything you need to know before your interview.

6. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Submit “One Size Fits All” Resumes and Cover Letters.

This relates to number 4 above, but I must emphasize it here.

Effective job seekers know quality matters in their job searches. They don’t submit a “one size fits all” resume because they know you must speak directly to the needs of the job.

If you don’t tailor your materials for every job, then you don’t show your ability to perform the job.

Instead, consider the targeted job search approach already discussed. And, prepare your resumes and cover letters accordingly.

7. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Let Employment Rejections Halt their Efforts.

The longer your job search, the more rejections you receive. And, while others tell you not to take these rejections personally, I won’t. I can’t. Why? Because I’ve taken them personally in my job search.

There’s no way you can’t, when you’re putting forth your best efforts. However, you shouldn’t let these employment rejections halt your efforts.

Employers reject you, and this rejection stings. But, bounce back from these rejections and move forward. And, when you bounce back, remember the words of Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO of Human Workplace, in her Forbes article:

“You can’t squander it {i.e., your mojo} worrying about whether you’re acceptable to other people, or not. You learned something on each of your interviews and each of your recruiter calls. That’s magnificent. How else would you learn?”

8. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Stop Maturing Mentally.

Effective job seekers don’t stop learning. They use time outside of job search activities to enrich their minds.

They know this is a great investment and do so in many ways: reading books, journals, and (valuable) blogs. Listening to audios and podcasts. Volunteering or freelancing. Taking a class or two.

And, they build skill(s) while job searching. They know these skill(s) are beneficial, professionally and personally.

So to you: how will you keep enriching your mind? What skill(s) are you interested in learning? How will learn?

You make room for learning and skill-building, when you remove those extra hours of job searching. You have time to commit to a project of interest, learn, and apply what you’ve learned.

9. Effective Job Seekers Don’t Forget to Reevaluate Their Strategies Regularly.

Effective job seekers don’t embark on their job searches, without evaluating their strategies regularly. They know they must make improvements when things aren’t working out and do so.

They honestly evaluate their strategies and whether they’re getting any results. Reevaluating your job search approach involves: reviewing your goals, resumes, and activities. And, an effective job search strategy consists of many things discussed here:

  • Defining Your Job Goal with Specifics.
  • Targeting Your Job Search Approach.
  • Tailoring Your Resume and Cover Letter for Every Job.
  • Putting Forth a Full-time Effort vs. Full-Time Hours.


Looking for a job takes time and energy, so effective job searching is vital. Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of what you should avoid while looking for a job. And, it doesn’t hurt to reevaluate your job search and make eliminations, where necessary.

Author:  Priscilla Christopher

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/

You've got a headache - or a nasty cold - so what do you do?

Well, the answer for many people in the modern day era will be "Google".

The search engine, which answers all our queries day in, day out, is regularly used as a source of DIY diagnosis.

But the growing trend can be quite worrying.

Indeed, a new survey for The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) found 43 per cent of people admit to using painkillers that have been prescribed to someone else after diagnosing themselves online.

    And the RPS have issued a stark warning that self diagnosing runs the risk of taking misleading advice or missing key symptoms.

    Of course, in this age of instant access, it’s not surprising that Google is the first port of call for many people with worrying symptoms.

    But there’s a real danger of not receiving timely treatment for potentially serious problems or, at the other end of the scale, of becoming seriously distressed when you self-diagnose a life-threatening condition that you don’t have.

    Hay fever misery as the pollen season starts

      Among the most common symptoms typed into a search engine are nausea, chest pain and tiredness.

      Diarrhoea, child rashes, spots, sore throats and headache are also popular, along with back pain and a cough.

      Robin Berzin, MD, founder of Parsley Health, told Cosmopolitan: "Spending time furiously searching symptoms on your iPhone, then declaring you've got X, Y, or Z can be downright dangerous.

      "First off, it can keep you from getting the help you actually need."

        Highlighting the dangers, the medical expert added: "A lot of times, people read a personal story and they say, Hey, that sounds like me. That's my problem too!' and they get very worked up, and may even take a course of action that isn't actually relevant to them."

        Medical experts say you should always seek the advice of a professional - so no more DIY diagnosing, folks.

        Author:  James Rodger

        Source:  http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/

        Thursday, 17 November 2016 22:22

        The Top 10 Reasons You Need Top 10 Lists

        I still enjoy watching John Oliver’s rant regarding the Journalism industry, and the great spoof at the end about the value of racoon cats. There is a mountain of clickbait and listicles to grab our attention, but not providing any real value!

        However, it does appear that there is distinct value around Top 10 lists. In a recent blog post about the impact or reviews, there is an interesting section that states:

        It strikes me that Google is doing a similar thing in the review space these days by placing numeric callouts from top review platforms front and center in Local Knowledge Panels.

        One way this works at Yelp is that the Top Ten pages pick up significant internal page strength that is then passed on to the local business page. Also I think that Google takes special note of those Top 10 pages and assigns value to the listings in and of themselves.

        This got me thinking about how Top 10 lists can be helpful for a hyperlocal publisher. Without further ado, the clickbait worthy Top 10 reasons that a local publisher needs Top 10 Lists:

        1. SEO benefits – a Top 10 list is a good way to build up page strength that can then be passed on to individual business pages. It’s yet another example of cornerstone content that we’ve repeatedly stressed as extremely important for publishers to create.
        2. Google now giving Top 10 lists more local authority – the post goes on to say that it appears that Google is giving Top 10 lists more authority for “near me” searches given the density of search result terms in them. This may wind up being a short term win, but the point here is that businesses that get more reviews tend to wind up in these lists, so actually another reason to consider a solid review policy.
        3. Helps with Reviews – Similar to #2, the more places a business shows up on your site, the more opportunities for readers to interact with them. And the more reviews a business has, the more visible they are. Synergy!
        4. Gives you links into Business Pages, which make them more visible with search engines – search engines will follow links on high quality pages, which makes businesses on Top 10 lists more visible.
        5. A way to engage your readers – People love to interact with lists. They will complain about their favorite place that was left off a list, or explain in gory detail why a business that made the list is undeserving. In any case, getting readers engaged is the name of the game.
        6. Create regular content people look forward to – Mixing up a little entertainment to go along with local news can be a welcome distraction for readers. Especially since the lists will be content they easily relate to.
        7. Gamify – While the viral success of Pokemon Go has seemed to subside, there’s no dismissing the power of gamifying the local experience. We’ve seen very creative contests and promotions that focus on Top 10 style content.
        8. Flexibility – Top 10 lists don’t have to be limited to local businesses. You could do a “Top 10 read stories this month”, a “Top 10 shared stories” and more. You can focus your efforts on whatever topic you want people to talk about or find good answers for.
        9. Great Search Results – not only do Top 10 lists help with your SEO on popular search engines, but it helps with search within your own site. The more content you have to describe specific businesses, the easier they can be found. Combine the great, targeted local content with curation from the publisher, and there’s no reason the search experience on a local publisher can’t be superior to a search engine.
        10. Backlinks – If your Top 10 content is high quality, a lot of people will link to it. Backlinks are still viewed as one of the top attributes for search engines, and getting more backlinks needs to be a priority of local publishers.

        Top 10 lists are relatively easy to generate, tend to be longer content (which has been shown to help with SEO), and provide a great opportunity to generate links. This should be a regular part of every publisher’s editorial regimen.

        Source:  business2community.com

        Thursday, 17 November 2016 13:27

        Using Online Search Queries to Prevent Suicide

        German researchers are working with search engines to create software that can detect the emotional status of users. The ultimate goal of the project is to more effectively identify users who are at risk of suicide.

        The software will detect high-risk users and automatically provide information on where to find help.

        Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet (LMU) in Munich said that search engine queries not only reveal a lot about the user’s interests and predilections, they also contain information relating to their mood or state of health.

        In response to recommendations by the World Health Organization (WHO), search engines like Google are already responding to search queries containing terms which imply that the user might be contemplating suicide by specifically drawing attention to counseling and other suicide prevention services.

        “The Internet is playing an increasingly significant role in suicide prevention,” said Dr. Florian Arendt of LMU’s Department of Communication Science and Media Research (IfKW).

        Indeed, several studies indicate that suicidal persons can be deterred from taking their lives when reminded of available help resources.

        In collaboration with his colleague Dr. Sebastian Scherr at the IfKW, Arendt has carried out a study on how the algorithms that search engines use to parse queries might be modified so as to ensure that they more effectively target remedial information to those at risk.

        The findings of the study recently appeared in the journal Health Communication.

        In an earlier study, Arendt and Scherr showed that only 25 percent of the queries classified by Google as potentially suicide-related lead to the presentation of the Google “suicide prevention result” as recommended by the WHO.

        “In other words, search engines are not optimally using their potential to help those who are at risk,” Scherr said. In their latest paper, the two researchers develop an approach which seeks to make better use of the context in which potentially suicide-related search terms appear.

        Epidemiological studies repeatedly have shown that suicidal behavior is strongly influenced by environmental factors. This is reflected, for example, by the fact that suicide numbers peak at particular times; for example, on certain family holidays as well as on particular weekdays.

        Taking the word “poisoning” as a representative “suicide-related” search term, Arendt and Scherr analyzed temporal patterns of its use in queries submitted to Google. Strikingly, they found that the fraction of queries containing the term peaked exactly on days on which the actual incidence of suicide was particularly high.

        “This suggests that, on these peak days at least, the thresholds for the dispatch of information related to suicide prevention should be reset,” said Scherr.

        The authors go on to propose that the corresponding algorithms should be regularly updated in response to new research findings, in order to take objective factors that increase the risk of suicide more effectively into account.

        By modifying their settings accordingly, Google and other search engines could make an even greater contribution to suicide prevention, the researchers conclude.

        “In this context, providers of search engines have a specific social responsibility,” said Arendt.

        Source : psychcentral.com

        Scientific papers come out with such frequency that keeping up with the literature is practically a full-time job for anyone at the cutting edge of a major field. Semantic Scholar is a search engine that reads the literature on its own, picking out topics and influences, ranking citations, and making it much easier to find both the latest and what you’re looking for.

        If you’re a scientist, you need something like this. And while Google Scholar and PubMed are helpful resources, they aren’t particularly sophisticated when it comes to metadata: how frequently has this author or paper been cited? What organism was this tested on? Does the paper mention this or that confounding variable?

        Semantic Scholar analyzes the full text of the article, looking for key phrases that it knows, from reading a hundred thousand other articles in the field, are important to track. It uses natural language processing so it understands when a paper is discussing its own results or those of another experiment, and from there can extract critical details like methods, materials, animal types or brain regions tested, etc. It pulls figures when it can, attempting to identify the contents so they too can be searched and sorted.


        And because it’s also juggling info from the many other articles on the topic, it can make intelligent judgments on, for example, which related or cited papers are most relevant, or what other work the current paper has helped lead to. Twitter is even linked in so you can go straight to the author or department and DM them or see followup discussion.

        Results are fast, relevant, and easily sorted or drilled down into. For a scientist who frequently consults such articles, this is a huge advance. And millions of searches have been done on the service since it entered beta last year.


        That was strictly in computer science, the first field Semantic Scholar was instructed to consume. But today it was announced that the engine is making its way to the biomedical community, focusing on neuroscience to start. After that, it will ingest the whole of PubMed’s biomedical library during 2017. Of course, there are also plenty of papers behind paywalls, which the likes of Elsevier and Springer seem unlikely to drop. Deals along those lines are under negotiation, however, I was told.

        Semantic Scholar is made by the Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence (AI2), a small operation of several dozen, yet at the same time the largest nonprofit AI research organization in the country. The motto there is “AI for the common good,” meaning a focus on advancing the field with an eye to both pure and more directly socially beneficial research.

        “Medical breakthroughs should not be hindered by the cumbersome process of searching the scientific literature,” said Paul Allen in a press release. “My vision is for Semantic Scholar is to give researchers more powerful tools to comb through millions of academic papers online, to help them keep up with the explosive growth of science.”

        Eventually, explained AI2’s CEO Oren Etzioni, with whom I spoke on the topic while visiting the Institute’s offices in Seattle, the search engine could become a hypothesis engine. Not in any highly insightful way that would put researchers out of work, he added, but rather like that of a department head that sees the big picture and says, “This method was effective on the sensory cortex, but no one has tested it on the motor cortex — maybe we should try that?”

        Etzioni also oversees a handful of other projects bringing AI to bear on other topics, many involving natural language processing. Euclid, for example, understands mathematical queries in ordinary language — “what is the lowest positive number that is the sum of three cubes?” Another is working at taking on standardized testing, reading and solving problems exactly as they’re put to, say, fourth-graders. These are deceptively difficult problems, but interesting ones that could produce useful services — tutoring software, or automated test production.

        You can test out Semantic Scholar right now, though if you’re not in CS or neuroscience you may not find many results to your liking. If you are, however, it might prove a revelatory experience.

        Source : techcrunch

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