Networking can feel like a bit of a minefield, especially online. Thankfully, Hays’ Jane McNeill is here to share her top tips.

Not so long ago, networking used to be fairly straightforward. It simply involved navigating a crowded room, business card in hand, while scoping out the best people to speak to and then attempting to start a meaningful conversation.

Of course, this face-to-face networking is still important, and always will be, but there’s also a new kid in town.

The rise of online networks has created real, focused, commercial opportunities to network – but there are rules to this new world, particularly when it comes to leveraging your online connections.

Maximise your presence on LinkedIn

While networking events remain important, most networks are grown today on LinkedIn. But, before you start to network online, start with the basics: optimise your LinkedIn profile.

Add keywords to your headline, summary and experience sections as they are searchable by others; add your LinkedIn URL to your email signature; review LinkedIn’s suggested connections regularly, and join relevant LinkedIn groups. Be proactive in writing recommendations and endorsing skills where appropriate.

If you’re wondering if it matters how many relevant first-degree connections you have, the answer is yes because second- and third-degree connections mean you can be one connection away from potentially millions of people. The key is to make sure your connections are relevant – quality not quantity is vital when building your network.

Get an introduction

This doesn’t mean you can automatically interact with your second- and third-degree connections. If you’d like to touch base with a second-degree connection on LinkedIn, email your first-degree contact to ask for an introduction.

Do not reach out to the second-degree contact independently; not only is it considered poor form, but people are far more likely to respond when being introduced by a mutual connection.

It’s also good etiquette to say thank you to every person who makes an introduction or helps you in some way. A brief InMail, email or phone call takes one minute.

Timing

So, you’ve just met someone who would be a great addition to your network, but you aren’t sure when to send a connection request.

How soon is too soon? Rest assured, it’s perfectly acceptable to send a request once you are back in the office after meeting the person, or immediately following a telephone or email exchange. Be sure to always personalize your connection requests, too.

Just don’t wait too long – it is standard etiquette to follow up within two days. Similarly, if you make a commitment to someone, such as sending a link or making an introduction, delivered within two days. Remember to also accept invitations in a timely manner, and send a follow-up thank you.

It’s not all one-way

Don’t pitch to new contacts as soon as you connect, though. Offer something of value first, such as a link to a relevant article.

When it comes to networking, the general rule is that you should give more than you take. As my colleague, Yvonne Smyth wrote: “Before you need them, help others get what they want first.”

Be active

Effective networking involves staying in touch, so share relevant and engaging content, like and share updates from your connections, and join and contribute to industry groups. If you have a lot of expertise in certain areas, start your own LinkedIn blog.

Be genuine, insightful and authentic; show interest in others; ask questions, and be respectful of people’s time. But don’t over-post, otherwise, your communications could be too diluted.

Finally, introductions via technology can be a good starting point, but professional relationships are usually cemented in person. Take the time to get to know people by attending industry events and joining an association or professional group.

With these online networking etiquette tips, you’re ready to build and leverage your connections in a thoughtful, effective and professional manner.

Jane McNeill is managing director of both New South Wales and Western Australia at Hays Recruitment.

A version of this article previously appeared on Hays’ Viewpoint blogBy Jane McNeill

Categorized in Science & Tech

Since the early days, Google, Bing and Yahoo have supplemented various domains with search results -- or as we know them, the partner search networks.

Over the years, Google has prevented marketers from having the ability to exclude specific domains, or even from operating them in a stand-alone campaign, while Bing is the polar opposite. But a deeper investigation into domains that get supplied search results from the partners reveals an issue that leaves us questioning if we should even opt into the network.

In Bing, referring domain reports have shown a financial service client's ad on a religious bingo Web site, and an adult domain that we can only assume someone lost their job for allowing to happen. At the same time, if you go to conservative Web site Breitbart.com and use their search function and type in ACLU, you will see Google search ads for the ACLU to make donations (oh the irony). The basic assumption: odds are, in Google, that if the advertiser has the option, they probably don’t wish to show on certain Web sites.

As the networks expand, there are three questions that need to be addressed:

  1. What is the editorial review process to get into one of these networks?
  2. Is it worth even being in them?
  3. Why can’t we opt sites out of Google’s network?

While I am not against expanding my search campaign's reach, beyond the owned domains (Google, Bing, Yahoo), the lack of control (specifically in Google), about where ads appear must be taken into consideration. The requirements and approval process of allowing a Web site into the network has always been a bit of a mystery. Or is there even a process at all?

In my experience, we typically see 15% to 25% of total search traffic from the partner network. Front-end metrics are inconsistent and vary from advertiser to advertiser. Opting out of the networks would cause one to lose a noticeable amount of traffic, but would it really hurt your bottom line? Providing you can pull data into the engines from your site analytics partner, assess front-end metrics, site engagement, and post click actions.

The findings may tell you not to change anything, or may tell you that you are wasting ad dollars on inferior traffic sources. This can be a major issue for any advertiser who runs search but was hit with recent bad press, that would be searched on specific domains (politics being the most glaringly obvious).

The partner networks prove beneficial both the Web site and the search engine, so the capability will not go away. But the lack of control on the majority side of Google, and transparency, leads advertisers to make decisions more blindly than they would in Bing, for example.

Partner networks are not a bad thing -- but an advertiser can’t just default into this function for the sake of “traffic,” without doing their due diligence first.

Author : Jonathan Kagan

Source : http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/294774/search-engine-partner-networks-a-questionable-sea.html

Categorized in Search Engine

Blockchain, the technology that underlies digital cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, has acquired a different identity. According to Steve Norton’s article “CIO Explainer: What Is Blockchain?” published in the Wall Street Journal, he explains how the technology is emerging as an alternative way for companies to instantaneously make and verify their network transactions. A considerable number of firms are experimenting with Blockchain technology for different purposes. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is studying the possible implementation of the Blockchain technology as a way of securing sensitive military systems; which could also help in ensuring the safe storage of nuclear weapons.

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The Blockchain technology provides a number of benefits which are the main reasons why it has caused a stir in the technology as well as the business world. Its major benefit is security. Blockchain allows the universal recording of all transactions taking place into “blocks,” which are then chronologically and cryptographically bound together into a “chain.” The security advantage also arises from the one-way nature of the blockchain encryption process which prevents the ledgers from being tampered with. In the case of Bitcoin, it makes sure that all Bitcoins sent from wallet to wallet can be accounted for and tracked.

The transaction ledgers are stored in multiple locations. This distributed nature makes hacking more difficult, unlike when a centralized ledger is used. It makes data secure by making it almost impossible to hide activity by modifying the data since there are multiple copies of the database on different computers across the network.

According to Timothy Booher, the leader of DARPA’s Blockchain implementation efforts, Blockchain makes it difficult to modify or steal system files. Using the analogy of castle defense, he explains that despite the implementation of more and more security policies and measures, hackers can still find a way in; much like people can still get into a castle despite efforts to build high walls and seal cracks. It’s important to know who got in and what activities they carried out while inside. With Blockchain technology, this type of information is securely logged and cannot be altered. The technology can help avoid instances where agencies are not even aware they have been hacked until it’s too late to stop their private data from being made public.

Progress has so far been made in DARPA’s efforts with formal verification being carried out. A computer security firm was contracted by DARPA to test a Blockchain implementation which was provided by a different contractor. This process is carried out to make sure that the technology implemented works as intended. Depending on the findings of the verification, DARPA may implement Blockchain to monitor information integrity in military systems that require high security such the nuclear weapon and satellite surveillance control systems. Such an implementation would enhance security by making it extremely difficult to alter information. It would also make it possible to easily and accurately detect any access or change to any file by providing an immutable record.

Even though bitcoin has previously had some problems and its ability to gain universal acceptance as a substitute for regular money is questioned, the blockchain technology might just change the world, as reported by Extreme Tech.

Source : deepdotweb

Categorized in Science & Tech

It’s surprising the internet works at all, given the age of its core software. The question is, can we catch it before it falls over?A panel of academic experts recently took part in a discussion on the future of the internet, and among other things highlighted its fragility, the ease with which it can be disrupted and its seeming resistance to change.

The weaknesses arise primarily from the fact that the internet comprises protocols for Layer 3 networking in the TCP/IP stack, invented many years ago.“There are a lot of challenges for the internet. We face daily problems,” said Timothy Roscoe, a professor at ETH, Zurich’s science, technology and mathematics university in Zurich.

 

“Most of what we do is at Layer 3, which is what makes the internet the internet.” However, new and incredibly popular services, such as YouTube, Netflix, Twitter and Facebook, have put pressures on these protocols.

 

New age, old protocols

Laurent Vanbever, an assistant professor at ETH, said: “There is a growing expectation by users that they can watch a 4K video on Netflix while someone else in the house is having a Skype call. They expect it to work but the protocols of the internet were designed in the 1970s and 1980s and we are now stretching the boundaries.”

The internet is often described as a network of networks. What makes these networks communicate with one another is BGP, the border gateway protocol. In essence, it’s the routing protocol used by internet service providers (ISP). It makes the internet work.

Roscoe said: “BGP is controlled by 60,000 people, who need to cooperate but also compete.” These people, network engineers at major ISPs, email each other to keep the internet running.

 

Routing for trouble

“When you visit a website, you really don’t know where your internet traffic goes,” said Roscoe. One would assume the route network traffic takes from a user’s computer to the server is the shortest possible.

 

But often, according to Roscoe, this is not the case. “I have seen network packets taking remarkably bizarre paths across the internet,” he said, and added that Pakistan was able to route all YouTube traffic through its servers, blocking the traffic, and effectively taking YouTube offline.Due to the way BGP and other protocols work, he said, there is “very little control over where traffic goes”. The question is why there is so little control.

Mark Handley, a professor of network systems at University College, London, said: “The internet is built out of a set of networks, where the operators have their own desires about what they want their network to do. Internet operators partially hide pricing and routing policy information, while needing to communicate with their neighbours.”

So, there’s a paradox, driven by competition to route traffic, and they [the operators] “are hiding who they will talk to, while trying to talk to each other”, said Handley.More recently, Edward Snowden’s revelations propelled into the public domain the ease with which the internet’s traffic can be routed and moved, highlighting the mass collection of internet data by US government spooks.

 

No need for internal change

Adrian Perrig, a network security professor at ETH Zurich, said his group at the university has been working on a new protocol and trying to tackle the internet’s secure routing challenge, in a way that is also more efficient than existing methods.

He said: “The architecture was started as an academic exercise, but we realised it is not that hard to deploy, as we do not need to change the internals of networks. We only need to change the points where different ISPs touch each other.”

So far, three major ISPs have begun deploying the new protocol along with a few banks ­– who want to gain greater transparency over their network packets. Perrig and his team are attempting to develop a protocol that can easily be deployed.

 

Too complex to change

Matt Brown, site reliability engineering head at Google, said: “A lot of the core protocols of the internet we rely on are very old. There are many improvements that need to be made to give us the level of robustness and security needed for the role the internet has in society.”But, he argued, it is still extremely hard to upgrade these protocols. “With a network you get network effects. You are effectively constrained by the lowest common denominator, like the last person who hasn’t upgraded who holds everybody back.”

For instance, he said the digital subscriber line (DSL) router provided by ISPs to people at home to allow an internet connecting may be four years old, yet it contains critical protocols.

“Getting new functionality to everyone in the world is a huge challenge,” he added. For instance, while the number of available IPv4 addresses has effectively run out, Google recently found that only 10% of the world’s traffic has upgraded to the next version, IPv6.There is a cost for ISPs if they want to make these changes. Moreover, as the slow rollout of IPv6 is revealing, many prefer to stick with old technology, simply because it can be made to work.

Source:  http://www.computerweekly.com/news/450296912/Network-Collapse-Why-the-internet-is-flirting-with-disaster

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categorized in Online Research

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