Death isn’t something many people are comfortable talking about, but it’s become more and more evident that planning for it is a wise move. You work hard to be able to live the life you want, and planning for contingencies in this case isn’t daring death to ‘come for you.’ It’s taking the time to pragmatically think things out, and then take control of how your personal, professional, and digital assets can be taken care of. Just in case.
Related article: Disaster Recovery and Your Business
For a quick background context, here are four articles highlighting the issues people have encountered when they lost loved ones:
- Don’t Let Your Husband Take His Passwords to the Grave (Leslie Milk , Washingtonian)
“I told my email provider my husband died. Then they locked me out of our account. “
- What Happens After A Hacker Dies (Patricia Hernandez, Kotaku)
“On December 2014, Michael Hamelin, a hacker and physicist, died in an unfortunate car crash. He is survived by his wife, a scientist named Beth Hamelin—who not only has to deal with the grief that comes with a loved one passing on, but also has to manage the intense security measures that Hamelin left behind.”
- Here is another viewpoint on the same family: Dealing With The Digital Afterlife Of A Hacker (Patrick Howell O’Neill, DailyDot.com)
- Death leaves online lives in limbo (Peter Svensson, USAToday.com)
“When Jerald Spangenberg collapsed and died in the middle of a quest in an online game, his daughter embarked on a quest of her own: to let her father’s gaming friends know that he hadn’t just decided to desert them.”
You have an on-line life as well as an offline life — don’t leave your family or business twisting in the wind by ignoring one in favor of the other, or by sticking your head in the sand. It’s neither good business practice nor well-thought out to do so.With the way we live, things are too interconnected to “just leave it to God” and “hope for the best.” And hope alone has never been a strategy.
Continue reading Afterlife: How To Protect Your Digital Legacy
What’s the difference?
When you back-up your data, that is a different thing from syncing your data. A back-up is a copy used for safety and archiving. It’s not supposed to change. When a glitch, breakdown, or an accident happens, you can revert or refer to a back-up to get the original, un-FUBAR’d copy of whatever it is you lost or was corrupted.
A back-up what you go back to in case something happens to your current set-up. When you have a back-up strategy and keep you back-ups current, if something happens to your data today, you won’t lose much time recreating your data since you have a recent copy close by.
Syncing — keeping multiple copies stored and updated to current versions — is what you do so you can access the same data across computers and/or devices. When you’re synced, you can access the same data wherever you go, whatever you use. This helps people on the move keep their data updated whether they access it at home, on the go, or at work, as long as their devices are online.
Having a reliable back-up means that if you suffer the blue-screen of death or whatever mishap that takes your system down, versioning can help you roll-back to an un-infected or uncorrupted state. Having reliable syncing enabled means you’re updated wherever you are, whatever you use. Continue reading The Difference Between Syncing and Backups
The background issue in running your own business is that it can take over the rest of your life, and even affect your way of looking at the world. Customer fulfillment, logistics, marketing, publicity….the calculating mindset needed to juggle all those things focuses on what gets the most bang for the buck.
When that kind of hyper-focus slowly spills over to the rest of your life, some things drift to the periphery and languish on the sidelines. They don’t seem urgent, they’re not a problem for now, and you got more pressing things to attend to, right? Right. And so you go on.
That is, until the niggling signs surface. Having a touch more irritability. Being a little bit more snappish. But of course, who wouldn’t be, if they woke up with back pain. And maybe achy fingers, too. And the tired eyes? Well, that’s just part of the job, right? And if you want to sleep in on the weekends to recover, your friends and family will understand. You’re tired. You’re not up to seeing them right now.
And so, part of what suffers can be your health and your relationships. Part of that can be the rest of the life you’re living right now. Look at the entire picture, and not just the specific sections that take up your time. We’re talking about taking a 360-degree look-around here — something we need to do every once in a while to recognize our bearings and truly take note of where we are in our lives.
Continue reading Help Yourself: Resources For A Healthier Entrep
Knowledge is power. Data is key to that power. Understanding what the data is showing helps people make better decisions. But when you’re pressed for time focusing on your priorities, who can you trust to give you accurate reports from which you can can make practical plans and take insight-driven action that will guarantee successful goals?
Where can you go to get the data you need to make better decisions for your business? Better yet, where can you access data that has already been driven down into usable key points — saving you the time and trouble of the initial analysis and prediction?
Businesses run by numbers. Big businesses love running big numbers and big data. Even better, there are organizations already in the business of collecting, tracking and analyzing data, and interpreting the results. What you can do is set things up so you can tap these resources when you need them for forecasting, long-term planning, and bench-marking. What else? Just to start:
- Check the latest consumer behaviors across multiple channels and social media platforms.
- Make decisions based on reliable data for presenting investment proposals for marketing.
- Check your performance against your competition in the same niche.
- Check sources to give you an idea on consumer behavior trends in e-commerce and mobile marketing.
Previously we presented five sources at the tail end of “Business By The Numbers: Smartphones.” We’re expounding on some of them here and adding more to the list as well.
Continue reading Get The Numbers: Digital and Mobile Statistics
We are a visually oriented species as a whole. We follow the shiny and we like pictures — the good ones speak a thousand words, after all. Couple that with the internet, and you’ll know that images are an important visual support and design element on websites. They can be the focus of an article. As accompaniment, they can help tell a story– and of course, pictures of products are an excellent way to showcase the goods.
The internet is basically a very fast way to communicate, and the better we get at telling our stories and sharing what we aim to be valuable content, the more we build value in our products and offerings.
Photographs are easy to come by for anyone with a smartphone and some free image editing software. But when you’re running your own business, how much time to you have to take photos, pick out okay ones, and pump them up a little before posting them within your article? Try: Not that much.
If you’re the kind to need different kinds of pictures for your blog, website, e-books, brochures, or even your mind-mapping board, here are seven free stock photo resources for you.
- 50 new high-quality photos are made available daily, and each month adds some 1,500 hi-res photos from trusted photographers and other sources like Gratisography and Unsplash.
- Has over 10,000 searchable photos already available online.
- All photos licensed under the Creative Commons Zero (CC0) license. This means the pictures are completely free to be used for any legal purpose, for personal or commercial use. You can modify, copy and distribute the photos, with no need for attribution or to link to the source. Each photo provides source links.
Pexels helps designers, bloggers and everyone looking for an image to find great photos that you can use anywhere for free. If you aspire to take and share your own pictures, you can upload them as well. Continue reading Top 7 Sites For Free High Resolution Images
Stress is epidemic, and science has already supported what millions have experienced for themselves under stress. Stress can make people sick, and it can kill. From hypertension to heart attacks, from frayed tempers to burn out, from fuzzy concentration to gnawing back-pain, stress can overload us physically, mentally and emotionally.
Stress is an inescapable part of life, but we don’t have to live helpless before it. There are definitely factors outside of our control when it comes to living with stress, so that just means we can focus on what we can do in order to help ourselves. No one can afford to be ignorant when it comes to self-care about dealing with their stress. When we take accountability at a personal level, we decide for ourselves what no one else can or will, and that action by itself is of great help in getting our strength back.
Knowledge is power, and we need to be more aware of what situations can contribute to stress, and how stress creeps up in and makes us ill. We can use that knowledge to prevent that from happening and be able to take care of our selves when it does.
Stress can come from feeling we have no control, comfort, or choice. By learning about stress, and applying that awareness to action, we take control and open up more choices for ourselves to address the cause and relieve the pressure, creating better situations for ourselves. Continue reading How To Make A Self-Care Program To Combat Stress
The writers of Tripwire Magazine, featured in an earlier resource post , collected over 50 assorted tools and methods to help you present your data visually. Now, lest visions of pie graphs and death by PowerPoint put you off, wait just a bit.
Forged by evolution, we’re a visual race, and living in these modern times we tend to take this aspect of ours for granted, casually ignoring all the in-your-face-advertising and screaming messages that assault our senses every day.
Just like we use filters to weed out spam on-line, we learn very quickly to filter out the thousands of pushy messages we’re targeted with, in sheer mental self-defense.
How do we do this? We zero in and focus in very short blips when we need to.
Results: A forcibly shorter attention span and a generally diffused focus (we usually don’t see anything out of the ordinary, unless a) we pay attention or b) something jumps out and waves at us).
It’s the “Ooh, shiny!” magpie moment. If it doesn’t look interesting, pass on, pass on…It’s the rare person who can take the time to throttle back and take a second (or third), closer look, what with all the stuff competing for their attention. Continue reading Visualizing Your Data
GTD , for those new to the acronym , stands for Getting Things Done. David Allen started the whole GTD craze with his seminal book, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity. Similar books popped up and sites on the subject mushroomed all over the net, each with their own spin on GTD (which Allen trademarked, by the way.).
Leo Babauta of the well-known Zen Habits blog compiled a long list of tools and resources to help you on your way to getting things done.
The list doesn’t go into too much detail. It’s more of a launch-site to other, more comprehensive and targeted resources. The overview section includes the ever-present Wikipedia entry , as well as on-line resources — including an interview with Allen himself (more interviews here ) — like the following:
Over 40 helpful blogs and websites, like 43 Folders and Lifehacker , 25+ on-line tools, 30+ off-line tools ( for Mac and Windows ), recommendations for analogue tools (classic pen and paper), e-tools for mobile phones and PDA’s, plus mailing lists and forums for you to join.
Aside from the mandatory time-suck warning, bear in mind that all the information and resources presented here are just that — data (subject to your own interpretation) and tools (subject to your own application). It’s still your choice and responsibility as the wielder of the tools you pick to move past the planning stage and commit to action. That being said, go and have fun!
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Alertbox: a very informative newsletter on Web Usability. Their bookmark’s tagline:
“Design guidelines for Web and intranet usability, user research summarized, Top-10 mistakes of Web design, how to write for the Web, response time limits, small sites as Web’s killer apps, Web project management.”
You can bookmark Dr. Jakob Nielsen’s site to learn more about usability and accessibility principles that can enhance your website and teach you about the principles behind why we use our computers the way we do. Dr. Nielsen has had extensive and intensive experience in charting the development of the Internet and the evolution of electronic design and usage. He has articles dating back to 1995 that still offer relevant information on how our usage and technological changes influenced each other and the way the internet developed.
For the people hoping for a quick read, he already earmarked his top 2 must-read articles: Usability 101 and Top 10 mistakes of Web design. Continue reading Design and Usability Resources: Oldies but Goodies