Robot help for Social Media Burnout

Google Patents Robot help for Social Media Burnout
If maintaining your presence on social media is becoming a burden, Google may be able to help. The search giant has patented plans for software which slowly learns how you react on social networks. The software can mimic your usual responses to updates and messages from friends and relations to help cope with the daily data deluge. The software also analyses continuing interaction and flags messages that demand a more personal response.

“The popularity and use of social networks and other types of electronic communication has grown dramatically in recent years,” wrote Google software engineer Ashish Bhatia in the patent. “It is often difficult for users to keep up with and reply to all the messages they are receiving.”

In a bid to help people cope Mr Bhatia envisions a sophisticated system that collects information about all the different social networks someone has joined. This logs what they do and notes how they respond to the different types of messages, notifications, status changes, videos, images and links sent to them.

The system analyses these responses so it can eventually start making suggestions of its own that, ideally, should be indistinguishable from those of an actual person.

The suggested system should also be flexible enough to cope with many different types of event, use data culled from other interactions with a person and shape the responses to match the style demanded by different social networks. For instance, suggested responses to events on professional social networks should be more formal than those on services where someone interacts with friends and family.

Instead of writing every response individually or clicking buttons to “like” or forward messages, the software would generate suggested responses which a person could simply agree to be posted on their behalf.

Despite its potential sophistication, examples provided in the patent suggest it still needs refinement. In response to learning that an acquaintance called David has changed jobs, the system might suggest: “Hey David, I am fine, You were in ABC corp for 3 years and you recently moved to XYZ corp, how do you feel about the difference, enjoying your new workplace?”

Social media technologist Hadley Beeman said the subtleties of human interaction might undermine the ability of Google’s suggested system to pick out what matters most and flag it appropriately. A calendar appointment for lunch might look unimportant but loom large in someone’s life for reasons the software cannot spot.

“The problem is that the ‘important stuff’ (or the trivial) depends on what our relationship is,” said Ms Beeman. “If I had lunch with you, for example, then your message about hating that terrible sandwich is actually relevant to me.”

Prof Shaun Lawson from the University of Lincoln who studies social computing wondered who would be compelled to use such a service. “Are we really so concerned with posting messages to every friend or follower that we feel compelled to have to automate that process?” he said.

Google’s system seemed to underline the common misconception that social media was reducing contact between people, he said. “The fabulous thing about social media is the reverse,” said Prof Lawson. “It facilitates human-to-human interaction in ways that were impossible even a few years ago.”

SME’s Bogged down with Tax Administration

Company Owners Bogged Down with Tax Administration
Small business owners are losing around 12 days a year keeping on top of their tax administration at a cost of half a billion pounds per year, research finds. A study by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) shows that half of small companies spend between two and eight hours every month understanding, calculating and completing tax forms.

A further 11 per cent spend between two and six days per month, hindering their efforts to grow their businesses, according to the lobbying group.

More than three quarters (77 per cent) say they spend up to £5,000 in addition to their tax bill paying professionals and for software so they can keep up to date with their latest obligations.  Around two thirds of the survey respondents estimate an annual cost of £3,651 spent on tax obligations – accumulatively this means a minimum of £490 million per year is spent in additional costs. Almost a third (30 per cent) of firms say that cash flow problems have prevented them from paying their taxes on time, while one in five (19 per cent) say that difficulty understanding what is required or confusion over payment dates has meant they’ve paid late.

The FSB has long called for a simpler taxation system for small firms making it easier to deal with and less time-consuming as well as encouraging enterprise and growth. The organisation is now calling for the government and the Office for Tax Simplification to build on the cash-based accounting system through creating an ‘enterprise tax’ system which would match the lower corporation tax band of £300,000.

The business group believes extending the current system to this level would lead to a more efficient system meaning more firms will be compliant. It would also mean small firms spend less time dealing with their tax commitments and reduce their considerable outgoings on tax advice.

FSB national chairman John Allan says, ‘There have been long-running issues with complex tax statuses if you’re a sole trader or running an incorporated business. Creating one new tax system, removing the choice will make it simpler. It will free up time for businesses, it will give them the time to grow and contribute further to the prosperity of UK plc.’

Bitcoin Ransom Scam – Warning For Email Users

Bitcoin Ransom Scam – Warning For Email Users
Tens of millions of email users could be targeted in a “mass spamming event” designed to collect people’s financial details. The National Crime Agency (NCA) said small and medium businesses have been receiving the fraudulent messages, which appear to be legitimate communication from banks.

Each email comes with attachments that look like files such as a voicemail, fax, an invoice or details of a suspicious transaction, but is in fact malicious software that encrypts the user’s computer. The screen will then display a countdown timer that demands the payment of two Bitcoins in ransom, worth around £536, for the decryption key.

Lee Miles, deputy head of the National Cyber Crime Unit (NCCU), said: “The NCA are actively pursuing organised crime groups committing this type of crime. “We are working in cooperation with industry and international partners to identify and bring to justice those responsible and reduce the risk to the public.”

The NCCU is trying to uncover who is sending the emails. Anyone whose computer is infected should report it to www.actionfraud.police.uk.

Experts are advising internet users not to click on any attachments like those described, to update anti-virus software and operating systems, and to back up files. If a computer is infected it should be disconnected from the network and a professional called in to clear the machine.

Basic Guide to Search Engine Friendly Pages

Basic Guide to Search Engine Friendly Pages
There is no point in building a website unless there are visitors coming in. A major source of traffic for most sites on the Internet is search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing and so on. Hence, by designing a search engine friendly site, you will be able to rank easily in search engines and obtain more visitors.

Major search engines use programs called crawlers or robots to index websites to list on their search result pages. They follow links to a page, reads the content of the page and record it in their own database, pulling up the listing as people search for it.

So what a re a few of the basic design issues you should consider when designing a web page?

Firstly, it should always be designed and written for he end user – not the search engines. You will almost certainly have heard the phrase ‘content is king’. Apply this to your webpages.

If you want to make your site indexed easily, you should try to avoid using frames on your website. Frames will only confuse search engine robots and they might even abandon your site because of that. Moreover, frames make it difficult for users to bookmark a specific page on your site without using long, complicated scripts.

Do not present important information in Flash movies or in images. Search engine robots can only read text on your source code so if you present important words in Flash movies and images rather than textual form, your search engine ranking will be affected dramatically.

Use meta tags accordingly on each and every page of your site so that search engine robots know at first glance what that particular page is about and whether or not to index it. By using meta tags, you are making the search engine robot’s job easier so they will crawl and index your site more frequently.

Stop using wrong HTML tags like <font> to style your page. Use CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) instead because they are more effective and efficient. By using CSS, you can eliminate redundant HTML tags and make your pages much lighter and faster to load.

Finally, don’t use any form of ‘Black Hat’ SEO when developing and promoting your website. You may initially gain but sooner rather than later the Search Engines will work out what you are doing!

SEO Services from Direct Submit

Twitter Shares Jump in Market Debut

Twitter Shares Jump 73% in Market Debut
Shares in the micro blogging site Twitter closed at $44.90, up more than 73% from their initial price of $26 each. That means after its first day as a public company, Twitter is now valued at a little over $31bn (£19bn). More than 13 million shares were traded once they became available an hour after the New York Stock Exchange opened.

It is the biggest technology listing since Facebook in 2012.

Twitter floated on the NYSE and not, as some initially expected, the technology-rich Nasdaq exchange, where the likes of Facebook are listed. It was a big win for the NYSE, which decorated its exterior with banners promoting the offering on Thursday.

Twitter has more than 230 million users, but is yet to make a profit.

Shares in newly listed companies are often volatile on their first day of trading. Within minutes, Twitter’s stock price soared more than 80% before closing just below its initial opening price of $45.10 per share. When Facebook launched on the Nasdaq, its shares were priced initially at $38 each. The stock soared within hours of its debut to a high of $45. But its price later slumped. It only recovered those losses by 11 September 2013, when shares again touched $45. Its initial public offering (IPO) was also marred by technological glitches and delays.

To prevent Twitter’s stock sale from having a similar fate, the NYSE ran tests on 26 October using larger-than-normal share volumes.

Twitter is selling 70 million shares, which will raise more than $1.82bn. The company, which invites users to send tweets in 140 characters or less, has 232 million active users. According to its IPO documents, these users send 500 million tweets a day.

Twitter’s financials have been under greater scrutiny since it announced its plan to float, especially given that the company is still loss-making. It lost $69m in the first six months of 2013 on revenues of $254m. About 85% of revenues come from advertising on its site, and more than 75% of Twitter users access the site from their mobile phone.

Mary Jo White, head of US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission, recently warned investors to be cautious of the metrics used by technology companies such as Twitter, noting that investors have become overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of data. “In the absence of a clear description, it can be hard not to think that these big numbers will inevitably translate into big profits for the company,” she said in a speech. “But the connection may not necessarily be there.”

Twitter’s founders saw their paper wealth soar to $4bn in the wake of the stock surge early this morning, although boss Dick Costolo said that none of the founders would immediately be selling their shares.

The company’s co-founder Evan Williams has a 10% stake in Twitter, making him its biggest shareholder. That stake is now worth a little over $2bn. Jack Dorsey, another co-founder, also stands to make a fortune from the IPO. His 4% stake is worth more than $1bn. Another co-founder, Biz Stone, is thought to have made millions of dollars by selling share stakes over the past few years.

Big fortunes aside, after the hoopla of the morning it was very quickly was back to work: Twitter employee Melissa Daimler posted a photo of employees at their desks just hours after the NYSE bell was rung.

Introduction to You Tube

YouTube – What Is It?
If you are an active internet user, there is a good chance that you have heard of YouTube before. Despite the popularity of YouTube, there are still a great many individuals who are actually unsure as to what it is.  If you are one of those individuals, it is advised that you start figuring it out.  Otherwise, you could be missing out on one of the (potentially at least) best online experiences, available.

YouTube is what is known as an online video website. Video websites are websites that allow internet users to make, upload, and share their videos with other internet users.  Many of the videos found on YouTube are homemade videos, made by everyday individuals.  The videos are streamed, which allows for the quick loading and playing of them.

Perhaps, what is best about YouTube is that it is a free service. There are a fairly large number of online video sites; all of these sites operate in different ways. When speaking of usage, there are a many online sites that charge you to become a member and others that charge you to watch certain videos. According to their website, YouTube is completely free.  You can not only watch videos made by others, but you can make your own and have access to a number of different YouTube features, without having to pay a thing.

If you are interested in just seeing what YouTube has to offer, you can easily do so by visiting their online website.  That website can be found by visiting www.youtube.com.  Once at YouTube’s main webpage, you can automatically begin searching for videos to watch.  To watch videos, you do not necessarily have to register with the site, but it is advised.  By registering with YouTube, you should be able to save your favorite videos, rate them, leave comments, and much more.  Also, once you register, you should be able to make your own videos and upload them to the site.

When it comes to finding videos to watch on YouTube, you will find that it is not difficult at all.  With a simple keyword search, you should be provided with videos matching the keywords that you searched with.  In addition to performing a standard search, you should also be able to browse through the videos that are hosted on the site.  You can browse through videos by highest rankings, most comments, most views, and most linked. All of these videos are ones that have, most likely, generated the most internet buzz.

While YouTube is a great place to watch all different kinds of videos, it is important to keep one thing in mind.  YouTube is used by a large number of internet users.  In fact, it can easily be considered the most popular online video website. This means that different individuals with different views and beliefs will be posting homemade videos.  YouTube does regulate the videos that are hosted on their site, but it is possible that you may take offense to the videos that you see.  Although it is difficult to determine what a video’s content will be by the video title, you are advised to avoid videos with titles may that cause you some concern.

Remember, if you are interested in seeing what the buzz is all about, you are encouraged to go visit www.youtube.com.  With a wide variety of different videos available and the ability to make your own, you are sure to find something that will make your visit worth while.

Five Ways to Keep Visitors Coming Back

Five Ways to Keep Visitors Coming Back
A lot of successful websites depend on returning visitors to account for a major part of their traffic. Returning visitors are easier to convert into paying customers because the more often they return to a site, the more trust they have in that site. The credibility issue just melts away. Hence, keep your visitors coming back to your site with the following methods:

1) Start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox When you start a forum, chatroom or shoutbox, you are providing your visitors a place to voice their opinions and interact with their peers — all of them are visitors of your site. As conversations build up, a sense of community will also follow and your visitors will come back to your site almost religiously every day.

2) Start a web log (blog) Keep an online journal, or more commonly known as a blog, on your site and keep it updated with latest news about yourself. Human beings are curious creatures and they will keep their eyes glued to the monitor if you post fresh news frequently. You will also build up your credibility as you are proving to them that there is also a real life person behind the website.

3) Carry out polls or surveys Polls and surveys are other forms of interaction that you should definitely consider adding to your site. They provide a quick way for visitors to voice their opinions and to get involved in your website. Be sure to publish polls or surveys that are strongly relevant to the target market of your website to keep them interested to find out about the results.

4) Hold puzzles, quizzes and games Just imagine how many office workers procrastinate at work every day, and you will be able to gauge how many people will keep visiting your site if you provide a very interesting or addicting way of entertainment. You can also hold competitions to award the high score winner to keep people trying continuously to earn the prize.

5) Update frequently with fresh content Update your site frequently with fresh content so that every time your visitors come back, they will have something to read on your site. This is the most widely known and most effective method of attracting returning visitors, but this is also the least carried out one because of the laziness of webmasters. No one will want to browse a site that looks the same over ten years, so keep your site updated with fresh bites!