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The American government has cited Chinese Internet controls as a trade barrier in a report that comes as Beijing tries to block its public from seeing news online about the finances of leaders’ families.

Chinese filters, which block access to websites including the Google search engine and social media such as Twitter, are a “significant burden” on businesses, the U.S. Trade Representative said in an annual report on trade conditions.

It gave no indication Washington plans to take action but highlights the economic cost of pervasive Chinese censorship that also draws criticism from human rights and pro-democracy activists.

On such issues, Washington is at odds with Beijing, which sees strict control over information as essential to protecting the Communist Party’s monopoly on power.

China restricts access to online materials by requiring traffic to pass through state-controlled gateways linked to the global Internet. Controls have been tightened since President Xi Jinping became party leader in 2012.

The filters, known informally as the Great Firewall of China, are in line with Beijing’s advocacy of “Internet sovereignty,” or allowing governments to impose control on the freewheeling Internet within their borders. Xi called in a speech in December for the creation of a global “governance system” for cyberspace.

This week, Chinese Web users have been blocked from seeing news reports about documents from a law firm in Panama that say relatives of political figures including Xi own offshore companies.

State media have carried brief reports on the revelations but with no mention of Chinese figures.

Chinese regulators block access not just to websites operated by human rights or pro-democracy activists but also to dozens of news, entertainment and social media services that operate freely in other countries.

“Outright blocking of websites appears to have worsened over the past year, with eight of the top 25 most-trafficked global sites now blocked in China,” the USTR says in its National Trade Estimate.

It said much of the blocking appears to be arbitrary, including a home improvement website in the United States.

Asked about the complaint, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said Beijing welcomes foreign investment and protects the rights of foreign companies.

“Polices aimed at attracting foreign investment will not change, nor will policies to protect their lawful rights and interests and to create a good business environment,” said Hong Lei on Friday at a regular briefing. “We hope all countries can respect another nation’s choice of the route for Internet development, Internet management and Internet public policy, as well as its right to participate in regulating the international Internet.”

Foreign and local companies in China that rely on the Internet for sales, accounting and other internal functions complain the filters hinder their operations.

Almost 80 per cent of companies that responded to a survey released in January by the American Chamber of Commerce in China said they were “negatively impacted” by the controls.

More than half said they were blocked from using online tools or accessing information. Only 5 per cent said they were not hindered in any way.

Chinese also complain the filters hamper their ability to interact with customers or business partners abroad or apply to foreign universities. Some get around the filters by using virtual private networks, or VPNs, that route traffic through unblocked websites, but Beijing has begun to block them as well.

“This censorship not only prevents this country’s people from getting information quickly, but it also, bit by bit, isolates China’s Internet companies internationally,” said a posting on the Sina Weibo social media service signed by Bao Beibei, an investment manager for a Beijing technology company.

U.S. officials previously have labeled Beijing’s Internet controls a barrier to business but have yet to file a complaint in the World Trade Organization or take other action.

In 2011, the U.S. trade envoy, Ron Kirk, asked Beijing to explain its controls, citing WTO rules that require member governments to publish details of restrictions that might affect business. Kirk said the filters create “commercial barriers” that hurt U.S. companies.

The USTR never indicated whether Chinese authorities replied.

In 2009, a WTO panel ruled China’s censorship system for movies improperly restricted imports and Beijing promised to change it.

Chinese authorities have released few details of how they pick which online material to block.

When asked about specific incidents, government spokespeople sometimes suggest a technical problem abroad must be to blame. However, researchers have traced some blockages to servers operated by state-owned China Telecom Ltd.

The controls have allowed Chinese Internet services such as search engine Baidu to flourish by blocking or slowing access to foreign competitors such as Google that dominate other global markets.

Source : theglobeandmail

Categorized in Search Engine

Google is often criticized for how it handles spammy links, but columnist Ian Bowden believes this criticism may be unfair. Here, he takes a look at the challenges Google might face in tackling the ongoing issue of paid links.

Prior to the recent arrival of Penguin 4.0, it had been nearly two years since Penguin was last updated. It was expected to roll out at the end of 2015, which then became early 2016. By the summer, some in the industry had given up on Google ever releasing Penguin 4.0. But why did it take so long?

I’d argue that criticism directed at Google is in many cases unjustified, as people often take too simplistic a view of the task at hand for the search engine.

Detecting and dealing with paid links is a lot harder than many people think, and there are likely good reasons why Google took longer than hoped to release the next iteration of Penguin.

Here are some of the challenges Google may have faced in pushing out the most recent Penguin update:

1. It has to be effective at detecting paid links

To run and deploy an effective Penguin update, Google has to have the ability to (algorithmically and at scale) determine which links violate guidelines. It’s not clear the extent to which Google is capable of this; there are plenty of case studies which show that links violating the guidelines continue to work.

However, not all paid links are created equal.

Some paid links are obviously paid for. For instance, they may have certain types of markup around them, or they may be featured within an article clearly denoted as an advertorial.

On the other hand, some links may have no telltale signs on the page that they are paid for, so determining whether or not they are paid links comes through observing patterns.

The reality is that advanced paid linking strategies will be challenging for Google to either devalue or penalize.

Penguin has historically targeted very low-quality web spam, as it is easier to distinguish and qualify, but a level above this is an opportunity. Google has to have confidence in its capability before applying a filter, due to the severity of the outcome.

2. Google is still dependent on links for the best quality search results

Maybe, just maybe, Google is actually capable of detecting paid links but chooses not to devalue all of them.

Most people will be familiar with third-party tools that perform link analyses to assess which links are “toxic” and will potentially be harming search performance. Users know that sometimes these tools get it wrong, but generally they’re pretty good.

I think it is fair to assume that Google has a lot more resources available to do this, so in theory they should be better than third-party tools at detecting paid links.

Google has experimented with removing links from their index with negative consequences for the quality of search results. It would be interesting to see the quality of search results when they vary the spammy link threshold of Penguin.

It’s possible that even though certain links are not compliant with webmaster guidelines, they still assist Google in their number one goal of returning users the best quality search results. For the time being, they might still be of use to Google.

3. Negative SEO remains a reality

If Google is sure that a link has been orchestrated, it is very difficult for the search engine to also be sure whether it was done by the webmaster or by someone else executing a negative SEO campaign.

If a penalty or visibility drop were as easy to incur from a handful of paid links, then in theory, it would be pretty straightforward to perform negative SEO on competitors. The barriers to doing this are quite low, and furthermore, the footprint is minimal.

Google has tried to negate this problem with the introduction of the disavow tool, but it is not realistic to think all webmasters will know of this, let alone use the tool correctly. This is a challenge for Google in tackling paid links.

4. It provides a PR backlash and unwanted attention

When rolling out large algorithm updates, it’s inevitable that there will be false positives or severe punishments for small offenses. After any rollout, there will be a number of “adjustments” as Google measures the impact of the update and attempts to tweak it.

Despite that, a large number of businesses will suffer as a result of these updates. Those who regularly join Google Webmaster Hangouts will be used to business owners, almost in tears, discussing the devastating impact of a recent update and pleading for more information.

While the vast majority of Google users will most likely never be aware of or care about the fallout of algorithm updates, these situations do provide Google with some degree of negative PR. Any noise that points toward Google yielding too much power is unwanted attention.

On a related note, sometimes penalties are just not viable for Google. When someone walks down Main Street, they expect to see certain retailers. It’s exactly the same with search results. Users going to Google expect to see the top brands. The user doesn’t really care if a brand is not appearing because of a penalty. Users will hold it as a reflection on the quality of Google rather than the brand’s non-compliance with guidelines.

To be clear, that’s not to say that Google never penalizes big brands — JCPenneySprintthe BBCand plenty of other large brands have all received high-profile manual penalties in the past. But Google does have to consider the impact on the user experience when choosing how to weight different types of links. If users don’t see the websites they expect in search results, the result could be switching to another search engine.

This is how Google deals with the problem

The above four points highlight some of the challenges Google faces. Fewer things are more important than meeting its objective of returning the most useful results to its users, so it has a massive interest in dealing with paid links.

Here are some ways Google could address the challenges it faces:

1. Prefer to devalue links and issue fewer penalties

Penalties act as a deterrent for violating guidelines, and they serve to improve the quality of search results by demoting results that were artificially boosted. A lot of the risk of “getting it wrong” can simply be mitigated through devaluing links algorithmically, rather than imposing manual penalties.

In the instance of a negative SEO attack, the spammy links, instead of causing a penalty for a website, could simply not be counted. In theory, this is the purpose of a disavow file. Penalties could be saved for only the most egregious offenders.

The fact that Penguin now runs in real time as part of the core ranking algorithm suggests that this is the direction they are heading in: favoring the devaluation of spammy links through “algorithmic” penalties (which websites can now recover from more quickly), and manual penalties only being applied for serious offenses.

2. Do a slow rollout combined with other updates

Slowly rolling out the Penguin 4.0 update provides Google two advantages. First, it softens the blow of the update. There is not one week when suddenly some large profile brands drop visibility, drawing attention to the update.

Second, it allows Google to test the impact of the update and adjust over time. If the update is too harsh, they can adjust the parameters. Penguin 4.0 may take several weeks to roll out.

To add to the confusion and make it more difficult to understand the impact of Penguin 4.0, it is probable Google will roll out some other updates at the same time.

If you cast your memory back two years to the introduction of Panda 4.1 and Penguin 3.0, they were rolled out almost in conjunction. This made it more difficult to understand what their impacts were.

There was a lot of SERP fluctuation this September. It is possible part of this fluctuation can be attributed to Penguin 4.0 testing, but there is no certainty because of the amount of other updates occurring (such as the local update dubbed “Possum“).

3. Encourage a culture of fear

Even if the risk of receiving a penalty is the same now as it was five years ago, the anxiety and fear of receiving one is much greater among brands. High-profile penalties have not only served their function of punishing the offending brand, but they also have provided a great deterrent to anyone else considering such a strategy.

The transition to content marketing and SEO becoming less of a black box assisted in this, but this culture of fear has been a large driver in the reduction of paid link activity.

Final thoughts

Google is often criticized for not doing more to tackle paid links, but I think that criticism is unfair. When one considers the challenges search engines face when tackling paid links, one can be more forgiving.

Now that Google has incorporated Penguin into the core algorithm, webmasters may have an easier time recovering from ranking issues that arise from spammy or paid links, as they will not have to wait until “the next update” (sometimes years) to recover from an algorithmic devaluation.

However, the fact that Penguin now operates in real time will make it more difficult for webmasters to know when a loss in rankings is due to spammy links or something else — so webmasters will need to be vigilant about monitoring the health of their backlink profiles.

I suspect that Google will continue to make tweaks and adjustments to Penguin after the rollout is complete, and I expect to see a continued shift from penalties to devaluing links over time.

Source: Search Engine Land

Categorized in Search Engine

Watch out for weak in-house code, data in the cloud and the Internet of things 

Forward looking IT security pros need to better address known risks, monitor closely the value of shadow IT devices and solve the inherent weaknesses introduced by the internet of things, Gartner says.

The consulting firm has taken a look at five key areas of security concern that businesses face this year and issued predictions on and recommendations about protecting networks and data from threats that will likely arise in each.

The areas are threat and vulnerability management, application and data security, network and mobile security, identity and access management, and Internet of Things security. Gartner’s findings were revealed at its recent Security and Risk Management Summit by analyst Earl Perkins.

One overriding recommendation is that businesses must be aware that delaying security measures in an effort to avoid disrupting business can be a false economy.

He recommends that security pros should make decisions about protecting networks and resources based on the range of risks that known weaknesses represent to the business and its goals. Rather than thinking about their role purely as protecting, they should look at it as facilitating successful business outcomes. 

Here are the predictions and recommendations:

Threat and vulnerability management

Prediction: “Through 2020, 99% of vulnerabilities exploited will continue to be ones known by security and IT professionals for at least one year.”

With attackers looking for vulnerabilities in applications as well as exploitable configurations, it’s important for businesses to patch vulnerabilities in a timely fashion. If they don’t, they stand to lose money through damage to systems and theft of data.

Prediction: “By 2020, a third of successful attacks experienced by enterprises will be on their shadow IT resources.”

An area of growing concern is the introduction of new technologies by business units without vetting by the security team, Perkins says. Avoiding that review and the fact that many of these technologies are new and still contain vulnerabilities makes them susceptible to attacks.

Application and data security

Prediction: “By 2018, the need to prevent data breaches from public clouds will drive 20% of organizations to develop data security governance programs.”

Data security governance will be promoted by insurance companies that will set cyber premiums based on whether businesses have these programs in place. 

Prediction: “By 2020, 40% of enterprises engaged in DevOps will secure developed applications by adopting application security self-testing, self-diagnosing and self-protection technologies.”

Here Perkins looks to maturing technology called runtime application self-protection (RASP) as a way to avoid vulnerabilities in applications that might result from problems overlooked due to the rapid pace at which DevOps teams work. RASP does its work rapidly and accurately to provide protection against vulnerabilities that might be exploited, he says.

Network and Mobile Security

Prediction: “By 2020, 80% of new deals for cloud-based cloud-access security brokers (CASB) will be packaged with network firewall, secure web gateway (SWG) and web application firewall (WAF) platforms.”

Vendors of traditional network security products such as firewalls, SWGs and WAFs want to be in on their customers protecting their SaaS applications, which is effectively accomplished via CASBs, he says. Businesses should evaluate whether CASB services are warranted based on their plans for application deployment, and should consider offers by their current vendors of these traditional technologies, he says.

Identity and Access Management

Prediction: “By 2019, 40% of identity as a service (IDaaS) implementations will replace on-premises IAM implementations, up from 10% today.”

This increase in use of IDaaS will in part stem from the difficulty and expense of running on-premises IAM infrastructure, and the growing use of other something-as-a-service offerings will make the decision more comfortable. The ongoing introduction of more and more Web and mobile applications will create a natural opportunity for the transition from in-house IAM to IDaaS, he says. 

Prediction: “By 2019, use of passwords and tokens in medium-risk use cases will drop 55%, due to the introduction of recognition technologies.”

With the cost and accuracy of biometrics, they become a good option for continuously authenticating. In combination with use-r and entity-behavior analysis, this technology can make a difference when applied to cases that call for a medium level of trust, Perkins says.

Security for the internet of things (IoT)

Prediction: “Through 2018, over 50% of IoT device manufacturers will not be able to address threats from weak authentication practices.”

IoT devices are still being made without much consideration being given to security, and yet some are located in networks so that, if exploited, they could expose networks to harm and data to breaches, Perkins says. Businesses need a framework for determining the risks each IoT device type represents and the appropriate controls for dealing with them.

Prediction: “By 2020, more than 25% of identified enterprise attacks will involve IoT, though IoT will account for only 10% of IT security budgets.”

Since security pros won’t be able to determine the importance that IoT devices represent to the organization, the business unit that uses them should determine what risk they represent. Security pros should set aside 5% to 10% of IT security spending for monitoring and protecting these devices as needed, he says.

Source  : http://www.networkworld.com/article/3088084/security/gartner-s-top-10-security-predictions.html

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Dubai is in a far corner of the world to set up shop for a business that allows Americans to track their representatives back home.

When you stop and think about it, it’s an equally large feat building an international search engine optimization company after you decide selling scented candles wasn’t showcasing your entire skillset.

Those are just two of the examples of the kinds of things that people who are switching gears and starting new careers online are doing every day.

The Internet isn’t just all about gaming and updating your followers on social media for these forward thinkers; entrepreneurs all across the United States and the world have seen the benefits of panhandling in cyberspace for the online gold that’s waiting there.

They’re making money and satisfying dreams by taking their visions global and many of them have locked the door to a brick-and-mortar store to do it.

A Trend That’s Growing

So the question is, how and why do they do it? First, some numbers that point to the fact those who are moving toward cyberspace to make money belong to a trend that’s growing.

Released last month by the United States Census Bureau, E-Stats 2014: Measuring The Electronic Economy takes an interesting snapshot of all the major sector sales numbers including wholesale trade, manufacturing, and selected service industries. According to these government number crunchers, E-commerce accounted for $3,584.0 billion in 2014, and that’s up 8.1% from the previous year. Statista reports that E-commerce is expected to reach 554.81 billion U.S. in sales this year.

When you consider these same experts say the gross domestic product (GDP) of the USA for 2016 is projected at $18,558.13 billion, it’s easy to see why people like Dana Buchawiecki saw cyberspace as a great platform to start a new business.

Tracks Congress

4US.com is a website that tracks and compares users’ votes with their representatives in Congress. The notion is the brainchild of CEO and Founder Buchawiecki, who’s dissatisfaction with his position at FEMA during Hurricane Katrina prompted him to build a website to track congress. He started the business after leaving the United States for a position in Dubai. Buchawiecki underlined his motivations for starting the enterprise which allows users to track their representatives’ activities and the status of bills.

“The command and control system that was in place for Hurricane Katrina lit the fuse for something bigger,” he said. “It was 2005 in the United States and it took weeks to get things going.”

Quite often, the people who make a go of it online are looking for an outlet for a wider vision or bolder enterprise. Still, they need to put a hodgepodge together of the things that made more traditional businesses work and what clicks online.

Eyes Bigger Than Your Stomach


Making sure your eyes aren’t bigger than your stomach means understanding you still need to have a target market to appeal to. Just because finding the right SEO/Internet marketing company will help you to cast the net wide in cyberspace doesn’t mean you want to.

Knowing where to direct your marketing efforts by finding schools of interested buyers online is done with social media and analytics these days, but you’re still trying to accomplish the same goals those radio and newspaper ads strove for. Finding the folks who will buy what you’ve got to sell is still job one.

Tracking using analytics doesn’t need to be complicated but the reports will help to define the folks who are looking at your site and buying your products. Clicking on the links for the Traffic Report, Keyword Analysis Report, and several others can help flesh out your target market.

Surveying any paying clients you have works wonders too. Asking them who they are and what problem your product helps them to address fills in some blanks.

When you remember that everyone has access to the same technology as you do, you’ll see some of the differences between the old and new ways of doing business aren’t just about hiring online marketers that can flush out your target market.

Whereas having a solid safe and alarm system back in the day let you sleep soundly at night, the modern version of bars on the windows are good cybersecurity practices. If you think keeping your data safe and secure should take a back seat to other more flashy parts of putting together an online empire like building a website and social media presence, consider:

Deloitte’s CFO Insights just struck an ominous chord by publishing the Seven hidden costs of cyber attacks. Loss of revenue and customer relationships are mentioned prominently and those are the very lynchpins of small businesses.

Even the big names in security are aware of how prominent cyber security issues need to be. The FBI has a whole section of their website detailing what they’re doing to combat this evolving threat. In fact, there’s even a Cyber Division at FBI headquarters.

However, no lowly criminal can throw a real entrepreneur off the scent of commercial success. John King is the CEO at Placement SEO and, like a lot of other folks who have taken the road less traveled, he started his career surrounded by four walls working in marketing in a brick-and-mortar store called Bare Necessities.

As someone who’s brought his ability to learn and adapt quickly to the online world, King understands the importance of battening down the hatches with good cybersecurity practices. Beyond making sure everyone uses the most recent in antivirus software and spyware that’s constantly updated, he knows how important it is to make sure all internet connections are properly encrypted with the proper firewalls. All good practices you should follow too if you’re looking to launch in cyberspace.

Pencil and Paper

A Wi-Fi network is as common as a pencil and paper once were for getting things done today, but these modern tools need to have password protected access to their routers. All of these modern day Henry Fords like King and Buchawiecki understand that at least in some ways, the more things change, the more they stay the same. That’s why , while King strongly suggests multifactor authentication that requires more than a password as another piece of a good cybersecurity package, he knows how to foster real wealth online in other ways too.

“I’m a believer that it's important to hire employees smarter than yourself so that you have a continuous stream of new opportunities,” says the SEO guru whose career course has veered abruptly from those early days working to market scented Yankee Candles.

Source : http://www.business.com/careers/changing-gears-how-the-internet-allows-you-to-start-new-careers/ 

Categorized in Others

Editor’s note: The following guest post is written by Shashi Seth, the senior vice president of Search products at Yahoo! Previously, Shashi worked at Google where he developed the monetization strategy for YouTube and was also the product lead for search.

Search is about to change quite radically. For more than a decade, search has been stagnant: the core product has not changed much. Users have changed radically in that time frame. Even though the kind of content users consume is different, search engines are still focused mostly on web pages. Users have become less patient and have less time on hand, while search engines still require users to dig through and extract information from the web pages to find what they’re looking for. In addition, users are spending more and more time on their mobile phones and other connected devices, which require a completely different kind of user experience for search.

When we talk about Search, keep in mind that Search, Discovery, Recommendations, and Serendipity are all essentially the same thing. Why? Well, to start with, one would need a comprehensive index of content for each of these things to work. This gives you a world view, so to speak. How that index is created has changed over time, and what goes into that index has changed. About ten years ago, the index only consisted of HTML pages, but that information has been changing. How the index was created was heavily focused on signals provided by HTML pages, links, consumption, etc.

Today, many social signals are consumed, including how often and how quickly an entity or URL is being embedded elsewhere, whether it is with positive or negative intent and sentiment, and is it trending up or down since last week/month. Search engines have mostly focused on the backend and infrastructure, and rightly so, because search requires a delicate balance between some of the most complex technologies, and a vast amount of infrastructure. Solving today’s user needs requires a different focus: a special blend of science, a finely tuned user experience, cutting-edge design skills, and a slightly different mix of engineering and infrastructure.

The question now is—how do search engines respond to this new world?

The answer, to put it simply, is to re-imagine search. The new landscape for search will likely focus on getting the answers the user needs without requiring the user to interact with a page of traditional blue links. In fact, there may be cases where there are no blue links on a search results page at all.

Search engines will keep assimilating content from many different sources and aim to provide immediate and rich answers. You ask a question and you get answers, nothing else. The user may not even type the full question. Search engines will have to become more and more personal, understand the individual user’s preferences, location, type of content preferred, context from previous search and browse behavior, signals from social graphs, and much more.

Search has been a pull mechanism for information and content, while social sites such as Facebook and Twitter are push. For search to succeed in today’s world, it has to become more push, which is why we at Yahoo! have been so focused on what we call contextual searches. A contextual search is when a user happens to be away from a search box, maybe reading an article on Yahoo! News, and comes across a name, or place that he/she wants more information on, yet they don’t want to spoil the reading experience and leave the page, open a new tab, and do a search.

With Infinite Browse, Yahoo! currently enables users to highlight the term and get a small pop-up search result out of that action, without leaving the page. Yahoo! also identifies and underlines interesting terms/entities on the page, so when the user hovers over the word or words, additional information is provided.

Imagine a future where this information is entirely pushed to you without prompting the search, so engagement with the content you want is immediately at your fingertips. This will prompt more and more searches to happen away from traditional search results pages, and will happen more in context of wherever the user may be—reading a news article and wanting to know more about a topic or entity, accessing information on a commuter train, getting recommendations pushed while writing an email or social conversation on that topic, and much more.

In the near term, innovation in search will provide more in-depth answers. For example, if someone types the name of a Major League Baseball team, they get a search results page with the team’s homepage and likely a couple pieces of recent news. In the next phase of search, you will type the name of that baseball team and without hitting the search button or leaving the search box, you will be presented with an interactive display that includes a link to their homepage, recent news, the results and box score of their last game, their overall record and standing in their division, a schedule of upcoming games, photos, videos, and social media streams.

How about searching for a restaurant? In search today, you find links to the restaurant’s homepage, address, phone number, and rating. In new iterations of search, you will type the name of that restaurant and be provided with its address and map, a view of its menu, the option to reserve then and there via OpenTable, see its ranking on Yelp, CitySearch, Zagat—along with photos, tweets, what your friends have said about it in your private social networks, and a quick and simple way to compare it with other similar restaurants.

The next chapter of search is going to be about providing answers and not just answers from Q&A sites (although Yahoo! Answers hit a billion Q&A last year). We obviously believe in these types of “answers” and leverage it heavily, yet there are plenty of other types of real-time answers.

Most search indexes are in the 10s of billions of URLs, trending towards 100s of billions of URLs. Information is dynamic and changes frequently. For example, the movies running in a theater next to you are changing every week, and the timings may change even more frequently. The San Francisco Giants score changes frequently too, as do the players stats. So, while Q&A sites are really interesting in solving a certain set of needs for users, they are only a piece of the puzzle.

But the rise of Q&A sites across the Web speaks to the underlying need for better answers. A new era in search is just around the corner that will make it easier to access the information, services and answers people are looking for. A list of links just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2011/05/07/search-answers-not-just-links/

Categorized in Search Engine

They’re turning the web into a cesspool of aggression and violence. What watching them is doing to the rest of us may be even worse

This story is not a good idea. Not for society and certainly not for me. Because what trolls feed on is attention. And this little bit–these several thousand words–is like leaving bears a pan of baklava.

It would be smarter to be cautious, because the Internet’s personality has changed. Once it was a geek with lofty ideals about the free flow of information. Now, if you need help improving your upload speeds the web is eager to help with technical details, but if you tell it you’re struggling with depression it will try to goad you into killing yourself. Psychologists call this the online disinhibition effect, in which factors like anonymity, invisibility, a lack of authority and not communicating in real time strip away the mores society spent millennia building. And it’s seeping from our smartphones into every aspect of our lives.

The people who relish this online freedom are called trolls, a term that originally came from a fishing method online thieves use to find victims. It quickly morphed to refer to the monsters who hide in darkness and threaten people. Internet trolls have a manifesto of sorts, which states they are doing it for the “lulz,” or laughs. What trolls do for the lulz ranges from clever pranks to harassment to violent threats. There’s also doxxing–publishing personal data, such as Social Security numbers and bank accounts–and swatting, calling in an emergency to a victim’s house so the SWAT team busts in. When victims do not experience lulz, trolls tell them they have no sense of humor. Trolls are turning social media and comment boards into a giant locker room in a teen movie, with towel-snapping racial epithets and misogyny.

They’ve been steadily upping their game. In 2011, trolls descended on Facebook memorial pages of recently deceased users to mock their deaths. In 2012, after feminist Anita Sarkeesian started a Kickstarter campaign to fund a series of YouTube videos chronicling misogyny in video games, she received bomb threats at speaking engagements, doxxing threats, rape threats and an unwanted starring role in a video game called Beat Up Anita Sarkeesian. In June of this year, Jonathan Weisman, the deputy Washington editor of the New York Times, quit Twitter, on which he had nearly 35,000 followers, after a barrage of anti-Semitic messages. At the end of July, feminist writer Jessica Valenti said she was leaving social media after receiving a rape threat against her daughter, who is 5 years old.

A Pew Research Center survey published two years ago found that 70% of 18-to-24-year-olds who use the Internet had experienced harassment, and 26% of women that age said they’d been stalked online. This is exactly what trolls want. A 2014 study published in the psychology journal Personality and Individual Differences found that the approximately 5% of Internet users who self-identified as trolls scored extremely high in the dark tetrad of personality traits: narcissism, psychopathy, Machiavellianism and, especially, sadism.

But maybe that’s just people who call themselves trolls. And maybe they do only a small percentage of the actual trolling. “Trolls are portrayed as aberrational and antithetical to how normal people converse with each other. And that could not be further from the truth,” says Whitney Phillips, a literature professor at Mercer University and the author of This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things: Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture. “These are mostly normal people who do things that seem fun at the time that have huge implications. You want to say this is the bad guys, but it’s a problem of us.”

A lot of people enjoy the kind of trolling that illuminates the gullibility of the powerful and their willingness to respond. One of the best is Congressman Steve Smith, a Tea Party Republican representing Georgia’s 15th District, which doesn’t exist. For nearly three years Smith has spewed over-the-top conservative blather on Twitter, luring Senator Claire McCaskill, Christiane Amanpour and Rosie O’Donnell into arguments. Surprisingly, the guy behind the GOP-mocking prank, Jeffrey Marty, isn’t a liberal but a Donald Trump supporter angry at the Republican elite, furious at Hillary Clinton and unhappy with Black Lives Matter. A 40-year-old dad and lawyer who lives outside Tampa, he says he has become addicted to the attention. “I was totally ruined when I started this. My ex-wife and I had just separated. She decided to start a new, more exciting life without me,” he says. Then his best friend, who he used to do pranks with as a kid, killed himself. Now he’s got an illness that’s keeping him home.

Marty says his trolling has been empowering. “Let’s say I wrote a letter to the New York Times saying I didn’t like your article about Trump. They throw it in the shredder. On Twitter I communicate directly with the writers. It’s a breakdown of all the institutions,” he says. “I really do think this stuff matters in the election. I have 1.5 million views of my tweets every 28 days. It’s a much bigger audience than I would have gotten if I called people up and said, ‘Did you ever consider Trump for President?'”

Trolling is, overtly, a political fight. Liberals do indeed troll–sex-advice columnist Dan Savage used his followers to make Googling former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum’s last name a blunt lesson in the hygienic challenges of anal sex; the hunter who killed Cecil the lion got it really bad.

But trolling has become the main tool of the alt-right, an Internet-grown reactionary movement that works for men’s rights and against immigration and may have used the computer from Weird Science to fabricate Donald Trump. Not only does Trump share their attitudes, but he’s got mad trolling skills: he doxxed Republican primary opponent Senator Lindsey Graham by giving out his cell-phone number on TV and indirectly got his Twitter followers to attack GOP political strategist Cheri Jacobus so severely that her lawyers sent him a cease-and-desist order.

The alt-right’s favorite insult is to call men who don’t hate feminism “cucks,” as in “cuckold.” Republicans who don’t like Trump are “cuckservatives.” Men who don’t see how feminists are secretly controlling them haven’t “taken the red pill,” a reference to the truth-revealing drug in The Matrix. They derisively call their adversaries “social-justice warriors” and believe that liberal interest groups purposely exploit their weakness to gain pity, which allows them to control the levers of power. Trolling is the alt-right’s version of political activism, and its ranks view any attempt to take it away as a denial of democracy.

In this new culture war, the battle isn’t just over homosexuality, abortion, rap lyrics, drugs or how to greet people at Christmastime. It’s expanded to anything and everything: video games, clothing ads, even remaking a mediocre comedy from the 1980s. In July, trolls who had long been furious that the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters starred four women instead of men harassed the film’s black co-star Leslie Jones so badly on Twitter with racist and sexist threats–including a widely copied photo of her at the film’s premiere that someone splattered semen on–that she considered quitting the service. “I was in my apartment by myself, and I felt trapped,” Jones says. “When you’re reading all these gay and racial slurs, it was like, I can’t fight y’all. I didn’t know what to do. Do you call the police? Then they got my email, and they started sending me threats that they were going to cut off my head and stuff they do to ‘N words.’ It’s not done to express an opinion, it’s done to scare you.”

Because of Jones’ harassment, alt-right leader Milo Yiannopoulos was permanently banned from Twitter. (He is also an editor at Breitbart News, the conservative website whose executive chairman, Stephen Bannon, was hired Aug. 17 to run the Trump campaign.) The service said Yiannopoulos, a critic of the new Ghostbusters who called Jones a “black dude” in a tweet, marshaled many of his more than 300,000 followers to harass her. He not only denies this but says being responsible for your fans is a ridiculous standard. He also thinks Jones is faking hurt for political purposes. “She is one of the stars of a Hollywood blockbuster,” he says. “It takes a certain personality to get there. It’s a politically aware, highly intelligent star using this to get ahead. I think it’s very sad that feminism has turned very successful women into professional victims.”

A gay, 31-year-old Brit with frosted hair, Yiannopoulos has been speaking at college campuses on his Dangerous Faggot tour. He says trolling is a direct response to being told by the left what not to say and what kinds of video games not to play. “Human nature has a need for mischief. We want to thumb our nose at authority and be individuals,” he says. “Trump might not win this election. I might not turn into the media figure I want to. But the space we’re making for others to be bolder in their speech is some of the most important work being done today. The trolls are the only people telling the truth.”

The alt-right was galvanized by Gamergate, a 2014 controversy in which trolls tried to drive critics of misogyny in video games away from their virtual man cave. “In the mid-2000s, Internet culture felt very separate from pop culture,” says Katie Notopoulos, who reports on the web as an editor at BuzzFeed and co-host of the Internet Explorer podcast. “This small group of people are trying to stand their ground that the Internet is dark and scary, and they’re trying to scare people off. There’s such a culture of viciously making fun of each other on their message boards that they have this very thick skin. They’re all trained up.”

Andrew Auernheimer, who calls himself Weev online, is probably the biggest troll in history. He served just over a year in prison for identity fraud and conspiracy. When he was released in 2014, he left the U.S., mostly bouncing around Eastern Europe and the Middle East. Since then he has worked to post anti–Planned Parenthood videos and flooded thousands of university printers in America with instructions to print swastikas–a symbol tattooed on his chest. When I asked if I could fly out and interview him, he agreed, though he warned that he “might not be coming ashore for a while, but we can probably pass close enough to land to have you meet us somewhere in the Adriatic or Ionian.” His email signature: “Eternally your servant in the escalation of entropy and eschaton.”

While we planned my trip to “a pretty remote location,” he told me that he no longer does interviews for free and that his rate was two bitcoins (about $1,100) per hour. That’s when one of us started trolling the other, though I’m not sure which:

From: Joel Stein

To: Andrew Auernheimer

I totally understand your position. But TIME, and all the major media outlets, won’t pay people who we interview. There’s a bunch of reasons for that, but I’m sure you know them.

Thanks anyway,

Joel


From: Andrew Auernheimer

To: Joel Stein

I find it hilarious that after your people have stolen years of my life at gunpoint and bulldozed my home, you still expect me to work for free in your interests.

You people belong in a f-cking oven.


From: Joel Stein

To: Andrew Auernheimer

For a guy who doesn’t want to be interviewed for free, you’re giving me a lot of good quotes!


In a later blog post about our emails, Weev clarified that TIME is “trying to destroy white civilization” and that we should “open up your Jew wallets and dump out some of the f-cking geld you’ve stolen from us goys, because what other incentive could I possibly have to work with your poisonous publication?” I found it comforting that the rate for a neo-Nazi to compromise his ideology is just two bitcoins.

Expressing socially unacceptable views like Weev’s is becoming more socially acceptable. Sure, just like there are tiny, weird bookstores where you can buy neo-Nazi pamphlets, there are also tiny, weird white-supremacist sites on the web. But some of the contributors on those sites now go to places like 8chan or 4chan, which have a more diverse crowd of meme creators, gamers, anime lovers and porn enthusiasts. Once accepted there, they move on to Reddit, the ninth most visited site in the U.S., on which users can post links to online articles and comment on them anonymously. Reddit believes in unalloyed free speech; the site only eliminated the comment boards “jailbait,” “creepshots” and “beatingwomen” for legal reasons.

But last summer, Reddit banned five more discussion groups for being distasteful. The one with the largest user base, more than 150,000 subscribers, was “fatpeoplehate.” It was a particularly active community that reveled in finding photos of overweight people looking happy, almost all women, and adding mean captions. Reddit users would then post these images all over the targets’ Facebook pages along with anywhere else on the Internet they could. “What you see on Reddit that is visible is at least 10 times worse behind the scenes,” says Dan McComas, a former Reddit employee. “Imagine two users posting about incest and taking that conversation to their private messages, and that’s where the really terrible things happen. That’s where we saw child porn and abuse and had to do all of our work with law enforcement.”

Jessica Moreno, McComas’ wife, pushed for getting rid of “fatpeoplehate” when she was the company’s head of community. This was not a popular decision with users who really dislike people with a high body mass index. She and her husband had their home address posted online along with suggestions on how to attack them. Eventually they had a police watch on their house. They’ve since moved. Moreno has blurred their house on Google maps and expunged nearly all photos of herself online.

During her time at Reddit, some users who were part of a group that mails secret Santa gifts to one another complained to Moreno that they didn’t want to participate because the person assigned to them made racist or sexist comments on the site. Since these people posted their real names, addresses, ages, jobs and other details for the gifting program, Moreno learned a good deal about them. “The idea of the basement dweller drinking Mountain Dew and eating Doritos isn’t accurate,” she says. “They would be a doctor, a lawyer, an inspirational speaker, a kindergarten teacher. They’d send lovely gifts and be a normal person.” These are real people you might know, Moreno says. There’s no real-life indicator. “It’s more complex than just being good or bad. It’s not all men either; women do take part in it.” The couple quit their jobs and started Imzy, a cruelty-free Reddit. They believe that saving a community is nearly impossible once mores have been established, and that sites like Reddit are permanently lost to the trolls.

When sites are overrun by trolls, they drown out the voices of women, ethnic and religious minorities, gays–anyone who might feel vulnerable. Young people in these groups assume trolling is a normal part of life online and therefore self-censor. An anonymous poll of the writers at TIME found that 80% had avoided discussing a particular topic because they feared the online response. The same percentage consider online harassment a regular part of their jobs. Nearly half the women on staff have considered quitting journalism because of hatred they’ve faced online, although none of the men had. Their comments included “I’ve been raged at with religious slurs, had people track down my parents and call them at home, had my body parts inquired about.” Another wrote, “I’ve had the usual online trolls call me horrible names and say I am biased and stupid and deserve to be raped. I don’t think men realize how normal that is for women on the Internet.”

The alt-right argues that if you can’t handle opprobrium, you should just turn off your computer. But that’s arguing against self-expression, something antithetical to the original values of the Internet. “The question is: How do you stop people from being a–holes not to their face?” says Sam Altman, a venture capitalist who invested early in Reddit and ran the company for eight days in 2014 after one of its many PR crises. “This is exactly what happened when people talked badly about public figures. Now everyone on the Internet is a public figure. The problem is that not everyone can deal with that.” Altman declared on June 15 that he would quit Twitter and his 171,000 followers, saying, “I feel worse after using Twitter … my brain gets polluted here.”

Twitter’s head of trust and safety, Del Harvey, struggles with how to allow criticism but curb abuse. “Categorically to say that all content you don’t like receiving is harassment would be such a broad brush it wouldn’t leave us much content,” she says. Harvey is not her real name, which she gave up long ago when she became a professional troll, posing as underage girls (and occasionally boys) to entrap pedophiles as an administrator for the website Perverted-Justice and later for NBC’s To Catch a Predator. Citing the role of Twitter during the Arab Spring, she says that anonymity has given voice to the oppressed, but that women and minorities are more vulnerable to attacks by the anonymous.

But even those in the alt-right who claim they are “unf-ckwithable” aren’t really. At some point, everyone, no matter how desensitized by their online experience, is liable to get freaked out by a big enough or cruel enough threat. Still, people have vastly different levels of sensitivity. A white male journalist who covers the Middle East might blow off death threats, but a teenage blogger might not be prepared to be told to kill herself because of her “disgusting acne.”

Which are exactly the kinds of messages Em Ford, 27, was receiving en masse last year on her YouTube tutorials on how to cover pimples with makeup. Men claimed to be furious about her physical “trickery,” forcing her to block hundreds of users each week. This year, Ford made a documentary for the BBC called Troll Hunters in which she interviewed online abusers and victims, including a soccer referee who had rape threats posted next to photos of his young daughter on her way home from school. What Ford learned was that the trolls didn’t really hate their victims. “It’s not about the target. If they get blocked, they say, ‘That’s cool,’ and move on to the next person,” she says. Trolls don’t hate people as much as they love the game of hating people.

Troll culture might be affecting the way nontrolls treat one another. A yet-to-be-published study by University of California, Irvine, professor Zeev Kain showed that when people were exposed to reports of good deeds on Facebook, they were 10% more likely to report doing good deeds that day. But the opposite is likely occurring as well. “One can see discourse norms shifting online, and they’re probably linked to behavior norms,” says Susan Benesch, founder of the Dangerous Speech Project and faculty associate at Harvard’s Internet and Society center. “When people think it’s increasingly O.K. to describe a group of people as subhuman or vermin, those same people are likely to think that it’s O.K. to hurt those people.”

As more trolling occurs, many victims are finding laws insufficient and local police untrained. “Where we run into the problem is the social-media platforms are very hesitant to step on someone’s First Amendment rights,” says Mike Bires, a senior police officer in Southern California who co-founded LawEnforcement.social, a tool for cops to fight on-line crime and use social media to work with their communities. “If they feel like someone’s life is in danger, Twitter and Snapchat are very receptive. But when it comes to someone harassing you online, getting the social-media companies to act can be very frustrating.” Until police are fully caught up, he recommends that victims go to the officer who runs the force’s social-media department.

One counter-trolling strategy now being employed on social media is to flood the victims of abuse with kindness. That’s how many Twitter users have tried to blunt racist and body-shaming attacks on U.S. women’s gymnastics star Gabby Douglas and Mexican gymnast Alexa Moreno during the Summer Olympics in Rio. In 2005, after Emily May co-founded Hollaback!, which posts photos of men who harass women on the street in order to shame them (some might call this trolling), she got a torrent of misogynistic messages. “At first, I thought it was funny. We were making enough impact that these losers were spending their time calling us ‘cunts’ and ‘whores’ and ‘carpet munchers,'” she says. “Long-term exposure to it, though, I found myself not being so active on Twitter and being cautious about what I was saying online. It’s still harassment in public space. It’s just the Internet instead of the street.” This summer May created Heartmob, an app to let people report trolling and receive messages of support from others.

Though everyone knows not to feed the trolls, that can be challenging to the type of people used to expressing their opinions. Writer Lindy West has written about her abortion, hatred of rape jokes and her body image–all of which generated a flood of angry messages. When her father Paul died, a troll quickly started a fake Twitter account called PawWestDonezo, (“donezo” is slang for “done”) with a photo of her dad and the bio “embarrassed father of an idiot.” West reacted by writing about it. Then she heard from her troll, who apologized, explaining that he wasn’t happy with his life and was angry at her for being so pleased with hers.

West says that even though she’s been toughened by all the abuse, she is thinking of writing for TV, where she’s more insulated from online feedback. “I feel genuine fear a lot. Someone threw a rock through my car window the other day, and my immediate thought was it’s someone from the Internet,” she says. “Finally we have a platform that’s democratizing and we can make ourselves heard, and then you’re harassed for advocating for yourself, and that shuts you down again.”

I’ve been a columnist long enough that I got calloused to abuse via threats sent over the U.S. mail. I’m a straight white male, so the trolling is pretty tame, my vulnerabilities less obvious. My only repeat troll is Megan Koester, who has been attacking me on Twitter for a little over two years. Mostly, she just tells me how bad my writing is, always calling me “disgraced former journalist Joel Stein.” Last year, while I was at a restaurant opening, she tweeted that she was there too and that she wanted to take “my one-sided feud with him to the next level.” She followed this immediately with a tweet that said, “Meet me outside Clifton’s in 15 minutes. I wanna kick your ass.” Which shook me a tiny bit. A month later, she tweeted that I should meet her outside a supermarket I often go to: “I’m gonna buy some Ahi poke with EBT and then kick your ass.”

I sent a tweet to Koester asking if I could buy her lunch, figuring she’d say no or, far worse, say yes and bring a switchblade or brass knuckles, since I have no knowledge of feuding outside of West Side Story. Her email back agreeing to meet me was warm and funny. Though she also sent me the script of a short movie she had written (see excerpt, left).

I saw Koester standing outside the restaurant. She was tiny–5 ft. 2 in., with dark hair, wearing black jeans and a Spy magazine T-shirt. She ordered a seitan sandwich, and after I asked the waiter about his life, she looked at me in horror. “Are you a people person?” she asked. As a 32-year-old freelance writer for Vice.com who has never had a full-time job, she lives on a combination of sporadic paychecks and food stamps. My career success seemed, quite correctly, unjust. And I was constantly bragging about it in my column and on Twitter. “You just extruded smarminess that I found off-putting. It’s clear I’m just projecting. The things I hate about you are the things I hate about myself,” she said.

As a feminist stand-up comic with more than 26,000 Twitter followers, Koester has been trolled more than I have. One guy was so furious that she made fun of a 1970s celebrity at an autograph session that he tweeted he was going to rape her and wanted her to die afterward. “So you’d think I’d have some sympathy,” she said about trolling me. “But I never felt bad. I found that column so vile that I thought you didn’t deserve sympathy.”

When I suggested we order wine, she told me she’s a recently recovered alcoholic who was drunk at the restaurant opening when she threatened to beat me up. I asked why she didn’t actually walk up to me that afternoon and, even if she didn’t punch me, at least tell me off. She looked at me like I was an idiot. “Why would I do that?” she said. “The Internet is the realm of the coward. These are people who are all sound and no fury.”

Maybe. But maybe, in the information age, sound is as destructive as fury.

Source :http://time.com/4457110/internet-trolls/ 

Categorized in Internet Privacy

If you really know your way around the web, there are plenty of opportunities for you to work as an Internet researcher. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the job outlook for online researchers is above average through at least 2018. All you need to get started is some research know-how and a high speed Internet connection. It also helps if you have a specialized skill or degree, because companies may be looking for your particular area of expertise.

Who's Hiring

There is a wide range of companies that outsource research projects. Law firms are always hiring, so if you have any sort of legal background, this presents a great opportunity. Political action committees and campaigns need researchers during election years (make sure they're offering pay and not volunteer work). Marketing firms, insurance companies and health care companies are also expected to be offering more Internet researcher jobs in the coming years. These are just a few ideas to get you started.

Work Description

The hours you'll work as an Internet researcher partly depend on your client. In some cases, you'll be given a task with a quick deadline--such as finding case law related auto accidents, or finding the average cost of a product or service in different cities. In others, you'll have a longer amount of time to do the research, but perhaps need to go more in depth on a topic. Some clients will expect you to work during business hours, and others will just want the work to be done on time. You'll also need to be able to compile the research according your clients' needs. This could range from a Word or PDF document to an Excel spreadsheet or a PowerPoint presentation.

How to Land Work

You can apply for work at an Internet research service. The advantage here is that the company that hires you does all the research and marketing to find clients. You could join the national Association of Internet Researchers as another way to find clientele and keep up with the latest advancements in the field. If you set up work as an individual, you'll want to build a web presence for yourself to market your skills, and then start making cold calls to law firms, marketing companies and other sources. You can also bid for projects on various job websites.

Research Tools

The following is a partial list of some of the tools that the top Internet researchers use:

  • Zotero and Wired-Marker (Firefox add-ons)
  • iCyte
  • Similar Web
  • Concierge (Safari plug-in)
  • EagleFiler and Selenium (Mac OS X)
  • SpringNote
  • Google Notebook

Pay Rates for Internet Researchers

The rates of pay for Internet researchers depend on their experience and areas of expertise. Jobs start at around $10 an hour or less if you don't have much of a track record. Once you have some positive testimonials and have proven yourself, you can bump your rates up to the $20 an hour range. If you have a legal or technical background, you can set rates as high as $50 to $75 an hour.

Since you're working from home as an Internet researcher, you have several options for setting up payment plans with clients. PayPal is an easy option, and you can invoice clients based on the hours you work. Once you've established a reputation and have developed long-term clients, you can ask for a retainer fee from clients and get paid up front.

Source: http://www.wahm.com/articles/working-from-home-as-an-internet-researcher.html

Categorized in Work from Home

I found your original ad in the Woman’s World Magazine and have been searching all through the Pinterest ads for work from home jobs. There are so many to go through and some want money and others I am not sure are real jobs but Holly, I LOVE research and would like to start a business doing research, but have no idea how to get started. I thought I would ask if you had any ideas since you are seeking ways of possible employment for people.

I hope you will have some ideas and share them with me as am very eager to get started.

Sincerely, Judy L.

Hi Judy,

Internet Research is a great way for you to work from home! In fact, there are lots of companies who hire freelancers to do their research for them — you just need to know where to look. Law firms, marketing departments, insurance companies, healthcare providers, political groups, even writers, publishers, and college students need researchers. If you have background experience in one of the aforementioned areas, I suggest starting there first, as you’ll have a leg up on your competition.

Here’s where to find the gigs and how to get started.

Online Job Boards.

Indeed is one of my favorite sites to use when searching for telecommuting jobs, here’s why. It’s an aggregated job board, which means their platform pulls job listings from all the other major job board sites. This means you save tons of time, because you don’t have to search each job site individually. While the jobs are not screened for legitimacy, Indeed does requires that all listings contain a company name, location, job title, and complete job description.

To find Internet Research jobs just use the keywords, “work at home” and “internet research”.

FlexJobs is an online job board that caters to flexible working arrangements. Simply use their job search function and enter “Internet Research” or “Internet Researcher”. This will take you to a page that lists all the jobs in this category. While it does cost a small fee to join, it’s well worth it. All jobs are hand screened, so you know that you’re dealing with legit opportunities.

Upwork is freelance jobs board sites that cater to freelancers. Simply register for an account (it’s free), search for Internet Research positions, and submit your bid. If your bid is accepted, you’ll complete the work and get paid through the platform, minus a small fee (usually 10%). While many freelancers complain of the low rates on these sites — it can be a great way for you to establish yourself in the field, and to work with repeat clients.

Also, check out this article from Copyhackers, on how Danny Margulies was able to earn six figures from Elance. He really has a neat strategy!

Answer and Research Questions.

There are a bunch of sites that hire independent contractors to answer questions on various topics. So if you have experience in a certain area that will be extremely helpful when you’re applying. With these opportunities you’re not only researching answers for people, you’re also writing the answers online — so you’ll need to write well.

Experts 123 – Is a revenue sharing platform, so the more popular your answer they more you’ll get paid. Payments are made via PayPal.

Just Answer – Pays 20% – 50% of what the person is willing to pay for the answer (if it’s accepted). Payments are made via PayPal. Has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.

Small Biz Advice – Browse questions and make a bid. Payments are made bi-monthly via PayPal, minus a 5% commission fee.

Web Answers – Incorporates Google Adsense, so you get paid based on how much traffic your answer receives.

Wonder – Hires internet researchers to gather product info, explain trends, gather stats, and determine the size of a market. Researchers are paid per assignment.

Launch Your Own Internet Research Business.

1. Educate yourself on the topic of Internet Research.

There aren’t a lot of books on this topic, but here are a couple:

  • Start & Run an Internet Research Business (Start & Run Business Series)
  • Secrets of Becoming an Internet Research Specialist: How to Surf the Web for Freedom and Profit

2. Get all of your legal and administrative ducks in a row.

Choose your business structure, fill out your DBA (Doing Business As) form, set up a PayPal account, so that you can accept credit card and online payments. You’ll also need to consider things like health insurance, retirement, and taxes. This article explains a lot of what you need to know.

3. Set up shop.

Next set up your website, social media profiles, and email marketing account. These three items will help you market and advertise your new business.

  • 5 Free Email Marketing Services
  • Building a Website

4. Get clients.

There’s a variety of ways to do this, but first start with the job boards I mentioned in this post.

Here are some other ways in which you can get clients.

  • The Way to Find More Clients and Make More Money
  • How to Get More Business Clients and Customers

Good luck with your Internet Research Business and keep me posted on your progress!

http://www.theworkathomewoman.com/internet-research/

Categorized in Work from Home

As bloggers continue to debate the finer points of nothing, yet another entrepreneur has gone out and just built a filtered search engine for Twitter. A couple of days ago Twitority launched (although it appears to be down now). Today, it’s Twithority, by the same guys at Tsavo that created Daymix.

Twithority is notably faster in returning results, and it looks farther back (1,000 results v. 50). It ranks results by rank (highest ranking users first) and time (most recent first) by the top 10,000 Twitter users.

Some people will continue to hate the debate over Twitter authority, but ultimately the market will decide if there’s demand for this kind of product.

Source : https://techcrunch.com/2008/12/29/second-authority-based-twitter-search-engine-launches-twithority/

Categorized in Search Engine

 

CatholicGoogle, a new site based on Google’s custom search, is “striving to provide an easy to use resource to anyone wanting to learn more about Catholicism and provide a safer way for good Catholics to surf the web.” The site uses a permanently-on Google SafeSearch to filter out profanity and pornography, along with a filter for specific topics that floats Catholic-related sites to the top. For example, a search for “birth control” serves up pages on why birth control is viewed as a sin in the Catholic Church as its first results.

The search engine might appeal to some devout Catholics if it actually worked. However, it seems that when it comes to filtering topics beyond the standard “offensive” categories (swear words and sex) , CatholicGoogle only serves to make queries potentially more offensive. A search for “drunk” yields a video of “Drunk Catholic Kids”. Perhaps even more bizarre: a search for “sex” offers an article bashing the Church’s stance on sexuality (they may have included this in the results for a balanced alternative perspective, but I doubt it). It’s as if the site just appends the word “Catholic” to whatever you’re searching for and crosses its fingers.

If this is your sort of thing, you might also be interested in GodTube, the YouTube for Christians or Gospelr (you guessed it – the Twitter for Christians).

https://techcrunch.com/2009/01/02/catholicgoogle-your-search-engine-for-all-things-catholic/

 

Categorized in Search Engine

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