Category Archives: Cloud Computing

The Sharing Economy of Things: Buy, Sell, Lend

The internet has no shortage of online stores. There are millions of websites that cater to online shopping, designed for anybody and everybody who may be interested in what they’re offering. Shops and clearing houses usually represent businesses: big name retailers, wholesalers and vendors. But what about typical users like you and me – isn’t there a way we can get in on buying, selling and trading without having to, ya know, own a business?

Even if you aren’t set up to move volume and even if you don’t have a website of your own, you can still use the Internet to move your goods and get things from other people.  Sure, sites like eBay come to mind, and that particular site is a big part of the the peer-to-peer market system.  But thanks to the sharing economy, eBay has become a forerunner in what is now a spectrum of options that let you sell, trade, and even loan out money from your hand to the hand of another person, all thanks to the cloud.

Online Bidding

bid_iconBidding isn’t a new concept for the internet, but it has created a special niche for buyers and sellers. eBay is easily the biggest of the bunch, and it also stands alone as a peer-to-peer site. The rundown (in case you aren’t familiar with online auctions) is straightforward: anyone with things to sell can set up an account on eBay, take some pictures of the item and list it.

Another user can find the item, bid for it and/or buy directly from you. Even if you don’t want to list the item yourself, you can use the eBay service (now called Valet) that allows you to mail the item to an eBay processing center so that they can list it for you. Continue reading

The Sharing Economy and the Cloud: Your Reputation

icon_cloud_trust1In the past, we’ve talked about the fact that everything you put on the internet is there forever. In the good old pre-Internet days, if someone said bad things about you, it was either to your face or to a limited circle of people behind your back.  The Web has provided a way for that limited circle to potentially reach around the globe.  When someone expresses a negative opinion about you or your company, the whole world can see it, and it never goes away completely.

Of course, most people know not to believe everything they read online. But there are also people who think, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” That’s why you need to be aware of your online reputation and know what you can do to protect it, especially if you’re a business owner or professional. When this is the case, your reputation is more than just your face, it’s the face of the bottom line.

icon_cloud_trust3Most reputable websites offer a way to remove false or incorrect information.  But that’s not the issue here. If the post is a non-aggressive opinion or a genuine criticism, there’s often nothing you can do. You can always (and should) do the due diligence: respond to legit criticism and report hate and abuse.  And never ever neglect your online persona, but take the time to create positive posts, blogs, and other data that will push any negative information farther down the search engine food chain.

Of course, that is time; and it is trouble.  That’s why there are companies such as Reputation.com (www.reputation.com) and Cyber Investigation Services (www.cyberinvestigationservices.com) that will help for a fee if you feel that you’ve been defamed online.  And if your pockets aren’t quite that deep, there are several social networking websites that can help you do it yourself.

Continue reading

Need to Know: Log out of Everything at Once

There are great benefits to being able to store information in Cloud accounts, ya know, instead of a local computer or device.  It can save you tons of room on your computer, and you don’t have to lug around portable hard drives to access all of those family photos that you want to share with Grandma. But it also has its drawbacks, even if you’re not a celebrity who stores embarrassing selfies on Instagram.

For example, if you log on from a friend’s device and forget to log out, your friend can access your account at any time. If you are having trouble remembering all of your dozens of passwords, or if you can’t keep track of what’s logged in where, a good way to get a fresh start is to go to each website and use its “Log out of All” feature.

Logging out of Everything at Once

Some of the more popular websites and applications that contain the “Log out of All” feature include Google’s Gmail/Google Drive, Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter.

Logging out of all sessions on G-Mail

1. Log in to Gmail. At the bottom of the screen, you will see a message “Currently being used in n other location(s).” Click Details.

2. Click Last account activity.

3. Click Sign out of all other sessions.

gmail_logout

Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Discovering New Stuff

While you might stumble across a good website when you’re searching for something more specific online, there are many different social media platforms and networks that are specifically dedicated to helping you discover all the emerging and interesting things online.

Many of these networks allow you to make an account and then personalize it for your own style and preferences. Once your preferences are set, you can continue making tweaks, but the information, pictures and messages you see through your networks all reflect your own specific tastes and areas of interest.

Tumblr – Tumblr is a collection of pictures and captions. To use Tumblr, you establish an account and then follow other Tumblr accounts who enjoy the same sorts of things that you do. Usually most “Tumblrs” choose to use an avatar rather than their real personas, and the boards they follow can be from anywhere in the world. Tumblr-news

The more accounts you follow, the wider the variety of things in your feed when you log into your own Tumblr account – all of it the sort of thing you’re likely to enjoy. Continue reading

Social Site Roundup: Micro Blogs and Blogging Micro

The microblog. We get that it’s a short little burst of text, perhaps peppered with images or links. But why have these short bursts of information become so appealing?

The question implies that we have only recently decided that we like short bits of text and updates. This simply is not true. We have always enjoyed skimming headlines. There are far more headline readers in the heyday of newspaper sales than there were folks who read the thing from cover to cover.

We like to grasp the basic idea of something and then either move on or stick around and learn more. The microblog is simply a new way of reading headlines – lots and lots of headlines.

Why People Post and Follow Micro Blogs

You skim the status updates, images and tweets. Some things make you smile, some you flat out ignore and others catch your attention – what is she talking about here? Or perhaps what is he linking to that everyone thinks is so interesting?

Suddenly you’re doing more than skimming headlines. You’re digging deeper into the network. Perhaps you’re following links to read articles or pulling up older posts to get some background information when something catches your eye.

That may explain why headlinewe like to read the microblogs, but why do so many people enjoy writing them?

That part is a bit simpler to explain. The microblog asks you to throw out a quick note, summary or headline. You can then link to more information, but you don’t have to take the time to write everything up in your own words. You can just throw out a quick expression or mention and your job is all but complete. This is often the exact goal in office memos and journalism – making the microblogs a fit in many different areas.

Continue reading