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What are the barriers stopping companies blogging and how can they be encouraged?

I find when I ask in my training workshops, that often only a quarter to a third on the course have a blog. So there must be some serious reasons behind low business adoption of blogs. In the spirit of encouraging more companies to adopt them I’ve summarised here the reasons for and against. But first a poll – thank to those who helped devise the questions via our great Linked In Group discussion on reasons for not having a blog!

Thanks! for voting in our survey where we try to better understand the reasons that stop companies blogging.

The results show 3 main factors are the most important barriers:

1. The senior managers don’t get it – the risks outweigh the benefits for them (23.2%)

2. We don’t have enough to say (19.0%)

3. We don’t see the return (15.8%)

Other was also a popular category where most talked about lack of time or the right specialists to write it – which clearly should have been a question!

Not enough time to write it

People are lazy. Don’t want to put in the effort to keep a blog up.

Competitors finding out too much

Not clear who should own it

Not enough time from contributors or to manage

Not enough time or resources

We don’t have anyone with enough subject knowledge who has the time

Time within the team – we’re stretched to capacity already

Don’t want to start one without a strategy in place for creating content

There no time to write a blog

We don’t have the time!

My “we can’t afford” = don’t have the time resource available

Why blog may be the wrong name

As a starting point for the barriers, I think many companies are put off by the name – it can sound too geeky and maybe customers don’t know what a blog is.

But it can be positioned differently; as a magazine for example. A great example of a blog, powered by the free tool WordPress, which doesn’t appear as blog in the normal sense is the ASDA Online Magazine.

What do you think? I think a customer magazine works better for the company and the customers. I can imagine it would be a lot easier sell to the corporate communications team.

More reasons companies don’t have a blog

1. “What’s the point, where’s the return?”

The return on investment for a blog is certainly hard to prove in a monetary sense. But a big part of the business case is within SEO – where I think a blog is now essential to effective SEO, particularly now Google uses signals from social networks to rank pages.

This survey on blog SEO by The Top Rank Online Marketing Blog found that the vast majority of respondents found it was important to their SEO efforts. The chart shows how blogging helps.

Other key business benefits of a blog to build into the business case are:

Blogs are also dynamic to technology changes – plugins make them easy to extend

2 “We don’t have enough to say?”

The counter argument is that you probably DO have enough to say for an enewsletter or through press releases? These can be repurposed for the blog. You HAVE to find enough to say to keep followers on social networks engaged and the blog provides a hub for this.

3. “People will say bad things about us”

4. “A blog sounds too techie/too geeky?”

In that case maybe position it as a customer magazine – as with the Asda example above. This will sit better with corporate communications teams in a larger organisation.

5. “We can’t afford it”

This is an easy one to argue against. Many of the CMS described above are open source or require a small outlay for a theme. Yes, you will need a designer to update the skin, but total cost could be 100s rather than 1000s. The real cost is the staff time to edit it or to outsource this. That resource does have to be

6. “It’s too complicated, we already have one-many sites and CMS”

This may well be true and I think many who do have a blog have difficulty integrating them – witness the Asda customer magazine again.

7. “The senior managers don’t get it – the risks outweigh the benefits for them”

So that’s the way it looks to me – what do you think are the barriers to more wide use of blogging and how can we encourage more companies to blog?

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Why Silicon Valley Never Dies

The leading indicator of the health of Silicon Valley– how bad the traffic is – tells me that the Valley is back — big time.

This wasn’t supposed to happen. According to Larry Ellison, Dave Troy, Jordan DiPietro, Judy Estrinand many others, who have declared the end of Silicon Valley over the years, the age of rampant innovation and free-flowing capital are supposed to be long gone.

But if that’s true, why does it suddenly take an hour to make a 15-mile commute at rush hour?

Everybody’s talking about the new tech bubble. While some embrace the bubble theory (the growth will end in a crash), others believe in the boom theory (the growth will moderate over time), there’s no question that there’s a lot of money flying around in Silicon Valley.

Fueled by rumors of a failed $6 billion acquisition of Groupon by Google, as well as the ripeness of privately-held social giants like Facebook and Twitterfor IPO or acquisition, the bubble chatter is focused on the big deals by the biggest companies.

But all these high-visibility cases involve non-acquisitions – companies that have refused, failed or otherwise opted out of acquisition – which are the opposite of what is actually fueling the boom.

The real cause is a newish phenomenon whereby startups pursue acquisition as a strategy far more than before.

Here’s what’s going on. The pace of innovation continues to accelerate. This makes it more difficult for the big companies to compete with new technology. Big companies are bogged down by silos, politics and bureaucratic processes that make nimble flexibility very difficult. So they buy.

Meanwhile when the recession hit and large companies faced sudden reductions in revenue, they found it necessary to cut spending to make their numbers. Naturally, they slashed research and development budgets.

Now that revenue is picking up again, they find themselves with cash but lacking new technology. So they take their cash and buy technology in the form of a small-company acquisition.

The shift at larger companies from developing to buying new technology has triggered a shift in the strategies of both startups and venture capitalists.

The traditional objective of startups was to grow the technology and business and infrastructure to the point where the company could be self-sustaining, profitable and publicly traded — not necessarily in that order. That was the old vision, and there are still some companies trying to do this.

The new objective is simply to develop the next killer technology, service or business model while remaining “agnostic” about how money will be made. In other words, acquisition has been legitimized as the most likely way to monetize an idea for the inventors.

That actually lowers the risk for VCs. The reason is that, unlike before, a company doesn’t need to excel at all aspects of the business in order for them to recoup their investment. All they need is the right technology, which usually comes with the kind of people.

Who cares if they don’t know how to run a business, can’t sell or have some other failing? The cash rich tech giants don’t care about any of this.

As a result of this lower risk, and higher likelihood of monetization, investing in tech startups has become more appealing. And so the money is really flowing and valuations are through the roof.

There are other benefits to big companies to buying, rather than developing, new technology. Acquisition provides more control. Instead of being stuck with whatever approach is developed internally, big companies can just go shopping for the best one — or the one that’s already been proved in the market.

Why Are Gadget Experts Needed?

With the development of modern technologies, gadgets have “penetrated” into all spheres of life. We use them to send work documents, to find recipes for dinner, and even to order a taxi. But, unfortunately, any technique tends to break down, especially at the most inopportune moment. It is not always convenient to go to an equipment repair service or call a master, and sometimes it is simply impossible. In this case, the optimal solution would be to seek help from an online gadget expert. A specialist can fix phone and Apple Watch issues.

What Can An Expert Gadget Offer?

Efficiency: Gadget experts work around the clock, and seven days a week, so customers can ask for urgent computer help at any time. Specialists are always in touch through chat and by phone. In some cases, on – site assistance is more effective. Just contact the master, and he will tell you exactly what is better.

Fixed prices: Prices for services are listed on the website and will not change during the service process. Gadget experts do not require any additional payments for work.

Remote round-the-clock assistance: You do not need to wait for the master or take the device to the service center. Specialists solve problems with remote access 24/7 even at night.

Professional engineers: Gadget experts are highly qualified specialists who are certified and constantly improve their professional skills. The team is selected by friendly and polite employees who will be able to answer all questions in an accessible way.

Training: The wizards explain in clear language how, for example, to prevent a problem in the future or to set up another device using a similar principle.

Constant contact: It is not uncommon for companies to forget about a client immediately after providing services. Repeated access to the service turns into a standard scheme of communication with a new client. Gadget experts are not lost after consultation or repair. Clients can always contact by phone or messenger with a specialist they have worked with before.

Advantages Of  The Service

Fast and convenient.

Professional help. The expert knows exactly how to detect and solve the problem.

Low prices (since the specialist does not go anywhere and does not waste time).

Assistance can be provided worldwide via the Internet.

Save time. The client does not need to wait for the master to arrive.

What Problems Can An Expert Gadget Solve?

Online troubleshooting. If there are problems with accessing the Internet from the gadget. Then the online wizard will help you find the cause of the problem and quickly fix it.

Problems with the mobile device. The phone has become a familiar gadget that almost everyone knows how to handle. But many users do not know how to repair or configure it. A gadget expert will help solve problems.

Data recovery. Often important data can be accidentally deleted-files, photos, etc. The faster you call, the higher the chances of full data recovery.

Smartwatch troubleshooting. Smart watches have become an indispensable gadget just like a phone. But not all users can immediately set up the device and start working. For example, the watch won’t turn on. The expert will set up the device so that the user can immediately start using it. In addition, the expert will help me understand if I need a smartwatch and how to work with them correctly.

Why Do Skyscrapers Melt Things?

Talk about a hazardous parking job. Last Thursday, Martin Lindsay parked his Jaguar XJ across the street from the curvy 37 story, glass-and-steel skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in London, and walked away. When he came back, his car had melted under the brunt of the sunlight reflecting off the still-under-construction building designed by Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly.

Parked in the “hot spot” where concentrated light bouncing off the curve of the building shines, the Jaguar’s paneling and side mirror melted. The developers of the building, nicknamed the “Walkie Talkie” for its distinctive shape, agreed to pay for the damages, which amounted to £946, more than $1,400.

How the heck does a building melt a car?

“Fundamentally it’s reflection,” Chris Shepherd of the Institute of Physics told the BBC. “If a building creates enough of a curve with a series of flat windows, which act like mirrors, the reflections all converge at one point, focusing and concentrating the light.”

A concrete or brick surface diffuses light. Only 10 or 20 percent of the beam of light that hits the building gets reflected, and that light scatters in all directions. By contrast, a glass surface can reflect almost 100 percent of the sunlight that hits it, and can reflect that light back out in one direct beam.

“If you’re a car parked on the street, there are situations where you get both the direct sunlight you would always get [from the sky], plus the reflected light off the building,” John Frederick, a professor of atmospheric science at the University of Chicago, told chúng tôi “That must have been enough to put the temperature in that car over the top.”

Anyone familiar with solar power plants would have been able to tell the Walkie Talkie’s designers that they were going to be generating a lot of chúng tôi basically, the curves of the Walkie Talkie acted like a magnifying glass to concentrate the light on this one spot–right where Lindsay’s car was parked. (Some good pictures of the rays here.) According to Kheir Al-Kodmany, an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, anyone familiar with solar power plants would have been able to tell the Walkie Talkie’s designers that they were going to be generating a lot of heat with a southern-facing, concave facade. “The reflection of sun is getting concentrated to a single point because of the shape,” he says. “We use that exactly to generate power from solar energy.” Since it faces south, on a sunny day, it collects heat all morning and shoots it back at the street below. If it had been a northern-facing facade, it probably wouldn’t have been an issue.

Luckily, London isn’t a very sunny city, so this won’t be as much of a problem as it might be in a desert city like Abu Dhabi. The Walkie Talkie’s developers claim this phenomenon will only last for two to three weeks. “The phenomenon is caused by the current elevation of the sun in the sky,” they said in a statement.

Still, melting luxury cars is pretty bad press, so presumably they might want to take action before the problem resurfaces at this point next year. The AP reports the developers will be erecting a “temporary scaffold screen at street level” to minimize damage, but at some point, they’ll need a more permanent solution. To reduce the glare, Al-Kodmany says that there are coats and films that could still be applied to the glass, though the building might not look the same. “They can still probably retrofit the tower with some of these high tech films that would reduce the glare and reflection,” he says. “Of course, they need to consult the architect for aesthetics–it’s meant to be aesthetically unique.”

Has this been a problem before?

Yes, melted Jaguars are chúng tôi though melted Jaguars are unusual. Not long after Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall opened in Los Angeles in 2003, people began to complain that the sunlight reflecting off the building’s shiny exterior was making the condos across the street unbearably hot, as well as blinding drivers in nearby traffic. A study from the University of Southern California’s School of Architecture noted that on the sidewalk around the building, “freestanding lightweight objects get hot enough to soften plastic.” The offending panels of polished stainless steel were sanded down in 2005 to dull the glare.

In 2010, employees at the Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas dubbed the south-facing, curved tower the “death ray.” Sunlight reflecting off the hotel’s glass panes reportedly can melt disposable cups and singed the hair of at least one visitor. The building’s designer? Rafael Vinoly–the same architect responsible for London’s Walkie Talkie.

More recently, Museum Tower, a condo-filled skyscraper in the arts district of Dallas, has caused major headaches for the art museum across the street with its massive reflection. The Nasher Sculpture Center contends that intense sunlight reflected off Museum Tower is killing the plants in the museum’s sculpture garden and ruining exhibits. The museum removed a Picasso painting from display over concerns that direct sunlight would damage it, and at the request of the artist himself, closed down the James Turrell skyspace exhibit that had been designed with the site’s pre-condo natural light in mind.

Aren’t there some sort of regulations to keep a lid on this?

Not really, according to Duncan Phillips of RWDI, a Canadian engineering consulting firm that has been involved in coming up with solutions to Museum Tower’s reflection problem. “[T]here are no definitive standards,” he told me via email, though some places, like Singapore, have requirements for how reflective a building’s glazing, a shiny coating that can reduce the amount of heat a building absorbs from the sun, can be. But since those requirements usually only take into account the amount of reflection cast at at 90 degree angle from the glass, they don’t control for reflected light at other angles. “[T]he way you can experience this is to look at a plate of glass head on…and then slowly move to the side and eventually you will see a highly reflective surface,” according to Phillips.

Though the reflected light can create major pockets of heat, glassy skyscrapers are usually thought of as environmentally friendly, because reflecting the sunlight a brick surface would absorb keeps the building cool and air-conditioning costs down. Look at the difference in this thermal image of the reflective Freedom Tower (center) versus the buildings around it:

Thermal Skyscrapers

“As we get more shiny, glassy metal buildings, reflected light will become a bigger deal,” Frederick says. “The high reflection is good if you’re inside trying to keep intense sunlight out, but if you’re outside, you’ll be the recipient of that reflected light.” He suspects that though shiny buildings could heat up other buildings and objects in their vicinity, the effect is probably pretty small in terms of creating an urban heat island effect, which is when urban buildings and hard surfaces like asphalt trap heat, making cities hotter than their surroundings.

But it’s hard to tell how much the light bouncing off one building affects another, since that’s not usually something we measure. “The effect of one building on another building in its vicinity is something that never seems to be discussed,” Frederick says.

So, can I still park my car under a glass building?

Does your parking space look like it’s basking in a weirdly bright, ethereal glow? Does the building have a very shiny concave part? If that’s the case, then no, you probably shouldn’t park your nice car (or anything with plastic parts) there, in the gleam of concentrated sunlight reflecting off it. Especially not if it seems unusually warm in that patch of sunlight, and especially not around noon, when the sun is at its strongest.

Even if you wanted to, the city of London has cordoned off three parking spaces around the Walkie Talkie’s death ray to prevent anyone else’s Jag from melting. Still, anyone dumb enough to park their bike on that stretch of sidewalk might be in for a melted seat.

Why Ubuntu’s Donation Model Is Brilliant

I believe most people are quite content using something for free, especially if they think there’s no obligation to pay for it.

This certainly rings true when it comes to various Linux distributions. The mindset appears to be: if it’s open source, there is no need to worry about sustaining it financially.

For some open source projects, perhaps there is a pass to be given here. After all, many projects in the open source space are merely done as student projects or created by hobbyists.

However there are also a number of larger projects, which do indeed need to become “revenue positive” in order for development to continue. One such project needing to be revenue positive is the Ubuntu project.

For years, the primary focus has been to get Ubuntu ready for the masses. And while non-Ubuntu users will likely debate this point, the fact is that Ubuntu is the face of Linux on the desktop these days.

Whether you hate or love it, this is our reality as Linux users. And the face of Linux is seeking to buildup a sustainable revenue model.

Revenue efforts thus far

Today we find Ubuntu presenting a download page that solicits a donation in exchange for access to Ubuntu ISO images. While it’s certainly not mandatory that someone decide to donate to download Ubuntu, clearly the Ubuntu development team is actively seeking direct revenue here.

The recent efforts with Amazon have had and will likely continue to have mixed results. The latest donation page launched by Canonical, however, is brilliant. Allow me to list the reasons why I feel this way, in no particular order.

Reason 1 – Donating to the Ubuntu project is a reasonable request. Considering the vast amount of value that the end user receives from Ubuntu, or any distribution for that matter, asking regular users to spend a few dollars in support of the project is the least that can be done.

Reason 2 – The donation page put together by Canonical for Ubuntu is laid out so that the page visitor feels like they have a say as to where their donation funds go. For example, the page visitor can use the provided slider to set the dollar amount desired. Even better, each slider allows the end user to select how much money goes to which part of the project. What better way to make your voice heard by Canonical!

Reason 3 – Even if you decide not to donate, the following page presents you with additional options such as cloud storage, Ubuntu help, and their free help solutions as well. So no matter how you look at this, Canonical has structured this page to present you with as many up-sells as possible. And they have managed to do so without being annoying.

Now as great as their donation page is, there are some minor issues that should be addressed. First off, unlike the download pages for Ubuntu server and cloud solutions, the Ubuntu desktop page presents you with access to a donation page before you actually begin to download the Ubuntu ISO image. Another thing I noticed was the missing link to download a torrent file for Ubuntu.

Don’t misunderstand me, you can still find torrent files from chúng tôi even for the latest 12.10 beta. However, for anyone looking to download Ubuntu there after making a donation from the main download page, your only option is to download Ubuntu automatically via your web browser. That’s right – you won’t even be presented with a prompt and you will not find a link to find a torrent alternative.

Mixed messages

I think the idea of Canonical seeking to recover some of the tremendous investment that they’ve put into Ubuntu makes a lot of sense. It’s their approach, however, that has been hit and miss lately. As I mentioned above, their donation wall is a great idea. Yet when you visit their “why is Ubuntu free” page, the message you see there is that Ubuntu is supported through various services – not by direct compensation.

To the individual passing by, new to Ubuntu, the message seems a bit mixed up. First the site says it’s free, but on their download page they want me to “show some love” to Ubuntu with a donation.

Okay, perhaps you could call it “donationware” and then the conflicting definitions might simply take care of themselves. In the meantime, however, I think newcomers are going to be a tiny bit confused.

I don’t dislike Ubuntu

I’m guessing that some of you reading this are thinking I must be “anti-Ubuntu” or somehow merely complaining that Canonical’s trying to earn additional revenue. To put this confusion to rest, allow me to clarify a few things.

Why Iphone Is Costly In India?

It’s no longer a secret that Apple iPhones are always costlier in India than in other parts of the world. I wouldn’t be wrong if I said that India is one of the most expensive places in the world to buy an iPhone. It’s not just the case with the new iPhone X launch; history shows that iPhones have always been the most expensive in India. With demonetization and the introduction of GST across the country, inflation is assumed to decrease. But that’s not the case; so what’s driving the prices of an iPhone to the sky in India? Here’s what we analyzed.

Mainly 4 reasons behind expensive iPhone

Import Duty

However, that’s not the case with Apple. Tim Cook met the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, a couple of times in the past, and they have also agreed to set up a facility in Bangalore to manufacture iPhone SE. But the unit is not yet operational, and iPhones are imported to sell to Indians.

To promote Make in India and demotivate imports, the Government has increased the import duty on phones and their accessories. As Apple doesn’t manufacture its devices, it has to pay hefty import fees, which is directly a cost to the customer.

GST makes iPhone costly in India

GST was recently introduced in India; it didn’t increase the mobile phone tax rate, but the accessories tax rate is either 18% or 28%. It does not directly affect the price of the iPhone, but a user will consider everything before making a purchase. If accessories are costlier, the consumer will likely pass on the offer of buying the iPhone.

Positive thing is that with GST, every Indian state will have close to similar prices, which wasn’t the case earlier.

Passing on the Forex loss

Image Source:

Other Android smartphone companies are importing their devices to India, but they are not costlier. To explain that, let’s forget the import taxes and focus on the forex losses that generally come to act as currency rates fluctuate.

Most smartphone companies absorb these losses and don’t pass them on to the customer. However, that’s not the case with Apple. The Cupertino giant has a strict policy of maintaining the margins. INR has depreciated significantly against USD, and its effect is visible in the latest iPhone price.

Aggressive marketing costs

All these costs are ultimately carried forward on the head of the customer. Apple is no different, it has also entered into the marketing war in India for its flagship devices, but it is nowhere close to penetrating the mid-range market segment other manufacturers have captured. iPhone XR, which was supposed to be a little low in price, is also one of the most expensive phones in India.

Wrapping up

There’s no clear indication of when Indian users will pay prices similar to other countries for their iPhones. Apple’s manufacturing unit in India will make iPhone SE, not the latest devices. Even if that plant operates at its maximum capacity, Indian users will have to pay the premium prices for flagship devices or settle with an older version, the iPhone SE.

Author Profile


Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of chúng tôi who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.

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