Welcome!

CRM Authors: Xenia von Wedel, Ian Khan, PR.com Newswire, Steve Mordue

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Release Management , CRM

Agile Computing: Article

Danger: Don't Build Your Online Future on Shifting Sand

Be Careful With Your Future

Surely you know the parable. One guy builds his house on rock. It's tough, it's expensive, but the house is secure and it lasts. The other guy constructs his home on sand. Easy, cheap ... but then it slides into the ocean. Everything's lost.

A story to encourage children to work hard? Perhaps. But a surprising number of new businesses are building their online futures on foundations that are just as unstable.

Free ... and worth every penny

Too many otherwise sensible business people see an offer for free web hosting and leap at the "opportunity." Some think that adding a top-level domain name makes it okay: that it hides the underlying weaknesses.

One way or another, they won't stay hidden for long. The host might employ the term "free," but you can be sure it expects to profit. At best, that host will start you for free but the service is so restricted you simply have to pay for "extras."

At worst, you'll get stuck with advertising on your site over which you have no control. Think you're going to sell baby clothes in that kind of environment? An extreme example, perhaps, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

And having inappropriate ads on your website is not the most serious problem; visibility is. While the search engines don't actually penalize free sites simply because they're free, according to Google's own webmaster blog the search engine does downgrade hosts who allow multiple junk sites.

Most free hosts aren't concerned about who builds what -- they actively encourage quantity -- so no matter how good your website is, if it's on a platform that's considered sub-standard, it will inevitably get dragged down.

Why would you take the risk? Professional hosting will cost you $5 a month or less. It used to be more expensive if you wanted to run things like ASP or .NET -- because you needed a Windows server -- but today, specialists such as Accuweb offer the same competitive pricing as you'll find with traditional Linux sites.

It's about as big a no-brainer as you get on the Internet. Professional hosting that will enable you to do pretty much anything you want, without risking the wrath of Google ... and it costs less than a family pizza.

If that's too rich for you, you need to re-evaluate whether you're cut out for online business at all.

The big myth of social media

Social media is huge. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. -- all those places offer you the chance to build a tremendous following for your products and services, and it requires nothing but your time.

Then there's the giant that is Facebook. That's a superb place to promote a business ... and free, too. It may only have been around for ten years but it's got so much critical mass, it'll be with us forever, right?

Tell that to people who previously used Myspace or to Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly paid $580 million for that one in 2005 when it was THE social media site. Back then, MySpace had more daily visits than Google, in excess of 1,500 employees, and a turnover of $800 million. Yet six years later it sold for just $35 million and today ... ?

Through growth can be extraordinary online, so can decline. Nobody is suggesting you shouldn't use social media in your business -- very few can afford to ignore its potential -- but you need to employ it in addition to your other Internet activities.

Building a business presence based solely on social media is a dangerous choice. What popular opinion can build, it can very quickly destroy.

Solid foundations

The immediacy of the Internet and modern media can distract us from core business principles that are as rock-solid now as they always were -- except that today, firm foundations are as easy to construct as those built on sand.

First, establish an Internet presence that you control: one that isn't subject to the vagaries of fashion. Get professional hosting, build a site, and generate content that appeals to the search engines and your human visitors.

Don't ever try to game the system, particularly not Google. Even if it works in the short term, when Google eventually finds out -- and it will -- that means the end of your website. Period.

As you develop your site, foster your social media presence alongside it. Don't just duplicate content; learn what works best for each platform. The result will be a comprehensive strategy that can survive just about anything.

More Stories By Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is a writer, as well as a tech, social media and environmental enthusiast, living in San Francisco. He is a contributing writer at Forbes, Technorati and The Huffington Post.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The deluge of IoT sensor data collected from connected devices and the powerful AI required to make that data actionable are giving rise to a hybrid ecosystem in which cloud, on-prem and edge processes become interweaved. Attendees will learn how emerging composable infrastructure solutions deliver the adaptive architecture needed to manage this new data reality. Machine learning algorithms can better anticipate data storms and automate resources to support surges, including fully scalable GPU-c...
Machine learning has taken residence at our cities' cores and now we can finally have "smart cities." Cities are a collection of buildings made to provide the structure and safety necessary for people to function, create and survive. Buildings are a pool of ever-changing performance data from large automated systems such as heating and cooling to the people that live and work within them. Through machine learning, buildings can optimize performance, reduce costs, and improve occupant comfort by ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
René Bostic is the Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America. Enjoying her career with IBM during the modern millennial technological era, she is an expert in cloud computing, DevOps and emerging cloud technologies such as Blockchain. Her strengths and core competencies include a proven record of accomplishments in consensus building at all levels to assess, plan, and implement enterprise and cloud computing solutions. René is a member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and a m...
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
As IoT continues to increase momentum, so does the associated risk. Secure Device Lifecycle Management (DLM) is ranked as one of the most important technology areas of IoT. Driving this trend is the realization that secure support for IoT devices provides companies the ability to deliver high-quality, reliable, secure offerings faster, create new revenue streams, and reduce support costs, all while building a competitive advantage in their markets. In this session, we will use customer use cases...