Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Are You Suffering From the Too Many Browser Tabs Syndrome? It's Not Just You

 How many tabs are open on your browser right now? Go ahead and count them. The number may be embarrassing to admit, but you're not alone in the struggle. In your mind, every tab contains something important. Maybe it has information to help with a future project, or perhaps it's just something you want to read later. No matter the excuse, you have too many tabs open, and your brain may be to blame.

browser tabs

Humans and Multitasking Don't Mix

Opening a ton of browser tabs slows down your computer, and it can slow down your brain, too. Although you may think you're a pro at multitasking, that's really not the case. Unlike a handy online notebook, your mind can't comprehend and organize all those tabs at once. Instead, tab-overload leaves you feeling overwhelmed and frustrated.

Humans mistakenly believe they are multitasking masters. However, the brain works in a much different way than previously thought. Even though you may be able to create the illusion that you're working on several things at once, you're really just quickly switching from one task to the next. Those addicted to the idea of multitasking end up overloading their brain, and many even perform worse on cognitive tests.

Why Do You Keep Opening Tabs?

If human multitasking is a myth, why do so many people keep opening more and more browser tabs? Boredom may play a role. Having constant access to technology makes people feel as if they need to be doing something at all times. As a person begins one project, they may feel the urge to immediately work on someone else. Unfortunately, this often leads to starting too many things without truly finishing anything.

Others may open more tabs to make sure they stay in the social loop. Internet FOMO (fear of missing out) is very much alive and well. It's the reason people check their email every 30 minutes, and it also explains why users continually refresh their Facebook and Twitter profiles. After all, no one wants to be the last person to hear about the latest news and gossip. In many instances, FOMO leads to unwanted anxiety, but you may be able to avoid it by closing some of those tabs.

It's important to note that there are times when it's necessary to open several browser tabs. For example, if a student is writing a term paper, they may have several research sources open at once. Doing so lets them easily gather and compare the information they need to complete the project. However, if the same student tries to write essays for multiple classes at once, having too many browser tabs open will only slow them down.

Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Tabs?

While you may feel accomplished for having a ton of browser tabs open, they're really not doing you any good. Instead of focusing on the project at hand, the extra tabs will just end up short-circuiting your brain. Information is power, but consuming it in an unorganized fashion can leave you feeling stressed out.

What's the best solution? Close all those extra tabs, and avoid jumping from one task to the next. Instead, focus on a single thing at a time before you start browsing the internet for your next project. You'll retain the information better, and your computer will also run faster than ever before.

Sunday, November 1, 2020

How to Upgrade the IT Equipment in Your Business

 You depend on IT to run every part of your business. You need people to access your website for sales, your workers need to get tasks done. Nowadays, you depend on IT to run meetings for your remote teams.

Some estimates show that 1 minute of downtime can cost a business $5600. That’s $336,000 an hour.

If you and your team are running into productivity issues because of technical problems, it’s time to consider upgrading your IT equipment.

Sure, you don’t want to spend money on IT, but it’s going to cost much more if you do nothing about it. Read on to discover when it’s time to upgrade your IT equipment and the steps you need to take to get it done.

old IT equipments


Think Like an Enterprise Architect

An enterprise architect is one of the most valuable positions in an organization. They straddle the line between business strategists and IT experts.

They’re the ones that map out your IT infrastructure to make sure it’s efficient and it supports your business. They see the big picture of the business, rather than focusing on bandages to fix small problems.

That’s because those bandages and hacks will eventually create a dysfunctional IT system.

Your company may not be large enough to need an enterprise architect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them.

The technology exists is to support business goals. Never lose sight of that fact. If you do lose sight of that, then your IT strategy will be all over the place. This is what enterprise architects understand so well and it’s the one thing you can learn from them.

The Goals of the Business

The other lesson to learn from enterprise architects is how to align your IT department with the goals of the business. It’s not easy to do.

The starting point to align your technology and business goals is to know what your business goals are. These should be short term and long term goals.

For example, your short term goals are to reduce operations expenses and increase communication between departments.

In the long term, the business goals are to increase online sales by 20% and website traffic by 50%.

Once you have your goals, go back to your company roots, and read the vision and mission of the business. Do the goals align with them? This is a simple top-down approach that ensures you have the right strategy in place.

How Does Technology Support Your Business?

Where does technology fit in with your business goals? That’s the next question to ask yourself.

Using the examples above, the marketing and sales teams would largely be responsible for website traffic and online sales. You’d want to meet with those teams to find out what tools they need to meet those goals.

You’d also want to meet with other departments to find out if they need anything to communicate better. You want to know what’s preventing them from communicating now. It could be cultural issues within the business or they don’t have the right tools to do so.

Audit Current Technologies

There may be IT equipment issues that could prevent those teams from meeting their goals. For instance, a business that wants to increase website traffic and sales needs to have servers that can handle the increase.

Otherwise, the hard work the marketing team does to increase traffic will go to waste. People won’t be able to access the site and make a purchase.

You’ll want to run an IT audit of hardware and software in the business. This is when you go through your entire IT asset inventory and note what you have and the condition of the hardware.

This includes mobile devices, laptops, desktops, and servers. The asset audit is a huge help to your accounting department because it helps them calculate depreciation.

You should list the device, the date of purchase, cost, upgrades, and date of upgrades. You can then determine what devices need to be upgraded and why.

Develop Metrics of Success

You’re going to need to show ROI for your IT equipment upgrades. IT is expensive, and business owners are reluctant to spend money on things that they can’t see the benefits from.

You’ll need to prove the value of the IT purchases by creating success metrics. For example, one server upgrade could speed up

One communication tool can increase communication between departments by 20%. That improves efficiency because employees aren’t waiting for answers over email.

Employees spend roughly 5 hours a day checking business and personal emails.

By proving that your upgrades cut down on this time because the employees get instant answers, the more likely your upgrades will get approved.

Purchasing Upgrades

Are you ready to go shopping for IT equipment? You should already know what your needs are, so it does become easier to purchase upgrades.

Of course, you want to get the most out of your purchases, so you need to know where to shop.

Computer brands like Lenovo are getting ready for the end of year sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Check out the models they have on offer and get more info here.

Plan and Implement the Upgrade

Before you install your new equipment, make a plan to do it seamlessly. Create a rollout plan that details what is being replaced and when.

In small organizations, these changes can be done in one shot. In large organizations, rollouts should happen slowly. This allows you to test for issues before proceeding to the rest of the organization.

You don’t want to create new issues for your workers, so make sure that you have backups of the data on the hardware before you proceed.

Training and Education

After you install the IT upgrades, you’ll need to educate employees. They need to know what the changes are and how they are impacted.

You also want to inform them of the benefits of the IT equipment upgrades. This will get buy-in from employees, especially if it makes work easier.

Software upgrades will require more training because that’s how the employees interact with computers.

You can create ongoing IT training to make the upgrades last as long as possible.

Create a Disaster Plan

About half of all small businesses experienced a cyberattack in the last year. Successful attacks do enough damage to put a company out of business.

You could be hit by malware or there could be a power outage that you have no control over. Without a plan to reduce the impact of these disastrous situations, you will lose a lot more than just downtime.

Recycle Old Technology Responsibly        

Once you wrap up your upgrade, you need to figure out what to do with that old technology. The most responsible thing you can do is recycle it.

The worst thing you can do is to dump it without clearing the data from the devices. That data can be recovered, even if it’s been sitting in the trash. That would put you and your customers at risk.

The other issue with throwing away hardware is that it’s toxic. The toxins can leach into groundwater and cause a lot of damage.

Wipe off the data of your devices and then make a visit to a local electronic recycling center.

Repeat the Cycle

Technology doesn’t sit still. It always evolves and your business has to evolve with it. Doing one upgrade now doesn’t mean that you’re off the hook.

It’s good practice to run an IT audit every 6 months or so. That ensures that you keep your IT infrastructure up to date. You also know that your staff isn’t losing precious minutes on slow technology.

If you do discover that you need to upgrade IT equipment, then run through these steps again.

Set an IT budget for the year that’s large enough to cover these upgrades. How much should you set aside? It depends on your business needs and industry.

The average company spends about 3% - 5% of revenue on IT. This varies by company size and industry, but it’s a good guideline to start with.

IT Equipment That Won’t Let You Down

If you have any hope of having a thriving business, you need to make sure that your IT equipment is fast and efficient. A slow computer or an outdated program could cause a lot of headaches and security risks for your company.

When you look at IT upgrades, you need to start with the goals of the business and make sure that your IT infrastructure supports your IT goals. You can then start the long process to assess your needs, purchase equipment, and install it.

Your IT department has to be vigilant in detecting changing business needs and be ready to adapt at a moment's notice.

To stay up to date on the latest technology news, visit the Tech News section of this site.  

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Become the Next Joe Rogan: A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Podcast

 The truth is, you don't need much to create your own podcast from home. Starting a podcast can sound exciting at first but quickly seem more daunting than it really is.

If you've been sitting on the sidelines wondering when you should launch your podcast and how to do it, our guide will answer your questions.

Grab a cup of coffee, bookmark this page, and keep reading to find out how you can start podcasting right from your own computer.

Work on Your Podcast Name and Niche

There are three simple naming camps you could follow when starting a podcast:

  • The personal name: Ex: The Joe Rogan Experience, #AskJoe Show
  • The clever/creative name: ForAllMoms
  • The descriptive name: The Content Marketing Show, The Fashionista Show

personal name is something you should avoid unless you've already got an audience. If someone started 'The Rob Johnson Show' and it was about tech trends, people would think, "who is Rob Johnson?" and move on to another podcast.  

If you plan to build a personal brand and host your show yourself, you can incorporate your name into the title with something descriptive, like "All Things Tech with Rob Johnson."

If you are a creative sort of person, go with a clever/creative name and let it reflect in the name you choose. 

It's essential your clever/creative name is related to the topics you will discuss; otherwise, people may have a hard time finding your podcast when searching for information on your topic. Try to also incorporate a description of your show into your clever/creative title or tagline. You can put out great content, but what's the point if nobody can find it?

While a descriptive name is the most searchable, some may argue they're the most boring. If you name your show what your target audience is searching for (a niche, a category, etc.), this strategy could garner more viewers.

If a pilates instructor called her show 'The Pilates Podcast,' you would have very little doubt as to what her show is about. A descriptive name is a great idea, but it can also reduce how memorable and unique it is.

Remember, you're going to need to say your podcast name quite a bit when recording your episodes, so avoid something too long and wordy and make sure it rolls off the tongue.

Get Your Podcast Cover Image

Creating a design guide will help you maintain a consistent look and brand. Each time you upload a new podcast show, your podcast host usually requires you also upload channel art.

When starting a podcast and creating your channel cover art, all you need to do is pick a color template for your channel that will be the core of the rest of your designs like episode cover art or maybe even your merch. If you want to understand what color would be best for your target audience, here's a guide on color psychology.

Get Podcasting Equipment

The bare minimum you need when starting a podcast is a computer with a microphone and access to the internet. Check out this guide if you have a microphone not working on Mac.

You will also need software to record and edit your episodes, podcast hosting, and eventually, you can invest in better equipment. It's important to note that the more limited and lower quality your setup and equipment are, the more limited your podcast's sound quality will be.

Before You Record Your First Podcast

When you're all set with the essential podcast equipment and tools for recording and starting your show, you can move on to the preparation stage. Before you start recording your first podcast, here are a few things to first consider.

Topic Ideas

Be sure you have at least 5-10 episode topic ideas ready. When you launch your show, you should be prepared with at least 3 episode outlines. You can jot down your podcast topics on reliable Google sheets or any other note management app of your choice.

Welcome Message

When you are first starting a podcast, you need to come up with your show's welcome message. This message will be your pitch about who you are and why you matter.

When it comes to scripting and outlining each topic for your show, have these three things ready:

  • The topic
  • A brief and simple outline of the episode
  • The key takeaway of the episode

This planning stage will allow you to have flow with some structure to rely on when recording the show. This also prevents your show from being all over the place.

Record Your First Podcast

Many hosts like to record only one podcast a day, while others prefer recording 3-4 podcasts in one sitting. Choose whichever works best for you, as long as you are following a schedule and sticking to your podcast publishing schedule.

Editing is usually the most time-consuming part, but after your first few episodes, it becomes easier. Here is a format you can use for editing your podcast:

Teaser + Intro + meat + ad + meat + CTA + Meat + Subscription/review reminder + Outro

Promote and Marketing Your Podcast

Not marketing and promoting your podcast is the same as throwing a party and not sending an invite. After releasing your first podcast, make sure you let the world know that your podcast is live.

Announce your podcast on your social media accounts, and be sure to create accounts for your podcast as well! Youtube, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and even Reddit are social media platforms you can promote your show.

It's expected not to get a ton of views on your first few podcasts. But as you continue publishing episodes, listeners will browse your old episodes as well.

joe Rogan guide to starting a podcast


Starting a Podcast: A Beginner's Guide

Starting a podcast can sound exciting at first but quickly seem more daunting than it really is. The truth is, you don't need much to create your own podcast from home. Start podcasting from your own computer with this complete guide to starting a podcast.

If you've been sitting on the sidelines wondering when you should launch your podcast and how to do it, we hope our guide answered some of your questions.

Now is the time to start! If you have any helpful tips you would like to share, let us know in the comments below.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

How To Discover Tech Talent That Lasts

 Creative destruction is a concept that has impacted the cycle of job opportunities ever since modern technology was introduced. As old career paths are destroyed by new technologies, new career paths arise to take their place. This is happening even today as companies around the world begin to move their processes online.

Remote work has seen a sharp increase as more and more people are able to complete tasks from home. Many websites report how fields such as finance and accounting are set to be automated and the jobs themselves will look completely different than they do now. Technology pervades every field in the job market and, to that end, identifying tech talent that can help with this transition to the new future of work can help set any company up for success. So, the real question has to do with identifying the fields with the most potential and then sourcing new talent from there.

Tech talents that lasts

Find Web Developers

When it comes to top-notch tech talent that will thrive in the future of work, web developers are up at the top of the list. Responsible for the creation and maintenance of websites, members of this profession are proficient in a variety of skills that will be useful as the job market changes.


Becoming a web developer requires modern problem-solving skills along with technical skills such as knowledge of programming languages and software engineering. Sourcing tech talent from web developers is crucial to ensuring your organization survives in the digital age.


As for where to find web developers, recruiting them out of a trade school is a great method for being sure they have the technical knowledge needed to perform any task they are given. Schools such as Springboard offer intensive courses that get students job-ready in six to nine months. With such a quick and effective turnaround, a steady stream of new web developers can be recruited.

Recruit Data Scientists

When it comes to finding tech talent that lasts, acquiring data scientists is one of the smartest paths to take. As more and more businesses are moved online, the amount of data floating around the Internet is going to increase exponentially. Statista reports 4.57 billion active Internet users as of last month alone. Every one of those people has put some sort of data on the Internet and companies can use data to influence product development and marketing.


A career path that requires this tech talent is data science. People who train to become data scientists use a wide array of skills that allow them to analyze data and make informed business choices based on the data. 


When it comes to recruitment, some of the best data science bootcamps are a great place to turn to. These camps offer small classes and hands-on projects that turn into high employment rates upon graduating. As with trade schools, data science bootcamps are intensive courses that last several months. Data scientists are invaluable to the development of every company and should be sourced to see an increase in business metrics.

Onboard Programmers

It is no secret that programming is a field that is rapidly growing. Ironically, computer programming jobs are on a decline according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, this should not be confused with programming as a skill.


Computer programming is only a specialized job opportunity for programmers and coders. The opportunities presented to those with this skill are endless due to the variety of tasks programmers can complete. From developing new software to building systems for your business, programmers are the future of tech talent. Find a steady supply of capable programmers from the top coding bootcamps and recruit them to streamline all your business processes.  

Conclusion

Discovering new tech talent is important for any company as the world heads towards a tech-dominated workforce. No longer is it enough to fill your team with traditional jobs that require an older skillset. Staying relevant in the future will require unique tech talent that is best sourced from intensive bootcamps. 


Members of the workforce are adapting in impressive ways to become far more versatile than ever before. As new jobs naturally emerge to take over the old, it is imperative that you ensure the members of your team are more than capable of adapting and staying relevant in the new world.


Monday, September 7, 2020

AfricaCom and AfricaTech 2020: Digital Playground - a Key to Connecting the Next Billion in Africa

 Africans aren’t always looking to connect to the digital world for work or health reasons; a significant motivator is leisure, or ‘timepass’, says Aubrey Hruby, who will chair a number of sessions at this year’s virtual Africa Tech Festival.

Africa, with its 54 separate countries, has large swathes of rural vastness, which has made it difficult to get connectivity to certain areas, along with peri-urban areas that are not served by terrestrial infrastructure.  Coupled with the high cost of data and smartphones, it has precluded millions of Africans from going online and missing out on the digital revolution.  But that is all changing, as too the reasons why there is an accelerated uptake of mobile first screen time. 

Aubrey Hruby

Much like their counterparts in other developing economies, such as India and Brazil, key drivers for Africans in countries across the continent  who are seeking access, seem to be ways to pass the time and be entertained, rather than small business development, food security, health and safety, or even education.

“Without doubt leisure activities are contributing to the increased demand for mobile data and streaming services in developing economies, as well as in the developed world…accordingly, many investors  are looking at film, music, gaming, sports industries,” says Aubrey Hruby, who has worked in the VC space and is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council's Africa Center. Hruby will be chairing key sessions on day two of the keynote presentations at this year’s AfricaCom virtual conference.

India is a likely barometer for what is likely to happen in African countries, in particular as a result of a lack of digital infrastructure on the ground that enabled Indian citizens to leapfrog direct to mobile connectivity.

“Millions of young Africans are digital natives and have gone mobile first, which follows the trend in India, where mobile-broadband subscription services exploded by over 200% from 2016 to 2018,” adds Hruby.

This staggering growth saw India’s mobile users top half a billion two years ago, and the key to this growth has been incredibly powerful smartphones that are affordable for the mass market… along with timepass content! Phones are now being used to watch video, play games, and socialise in ways that is changing the leisure time and life experience for billions of people in the developing world. It is estimated that around 90% of Facebook’s growth over the next four years will come from the Middle East, Latin America, South-East Asia and Africa. 

Two key factors for the industry to focus on are battery life and access to power to recharge devices, on top of the need to build products, services and advertising relevant to this enormous market. Another great opportunity for tech companies lies in spreading their base.   

This also means there is a requirement to rewrite the telco strategy handbook: What changing market conditions mean for African operators, which will form part of a panel discussion at AfricaCom.

“If you look at Reliance in India, they have added to their already diverse company holdings by creating a mobile network, Jio, that offers very low data prices for its wide range of streaming services,” says Hruby. “Just like Netflix is making a lot of its own exclusive content, so too are companies like Jio building virtual worlds of content and networking that offer ‘timepass’ for mobile phone users.

“There is a big appetite for entertainment and entertainment technologies in the African market, and a lot of serious US players are beginning to invest in the region,” adds Hruby.

When Reliance went up against the multi-national organisations (MNOs) by introducing radically cheaper data, it totally transformed the mobile market, as it became instantly accessible and highly competitive. The amount of data being used exploded in response to prices being slashed by as much as 94%. The market responded with games, video content and social networking platforms to fill the need of their new users, and as a result data consumption increased ten-fold. Indian mobile data usage is now almost three times that of the kings of consumerism, America.

The trend follows through to African countries where, according to research from Google and YouTube, many Nigerians for example, will enjoy watching an entire two-hour Nollywood show on their phones, as the second (and sometimes even first) screen for most African families has also gone handheld.

The Indian scenario is different to Africa in one key area, however - India is one country, while Africa is made up of 54 different nations.

There is no one-size-fits-all policy that will slot easily all across Africa, so piecing the regulations together to ensure smooth transitions is going to be a serious challenge for regulators and the big tech companies to grapple with. Addressing this issue, a panel discussion that delves into the critical role of policy in creating competitive telecoms markets, will take place on Tuesday 10 November.  Some of the topics that will be covered include:

·         How are governments and regulators addressing the biggest challenges in African telecoms: infrastructure, connectivity, inclusion, security, and shifting market patterns

·         Exploring the process of how policy is created, implemented and monitored across African telecoms

·         What potential does intra-African cooperation on policy hold for the continent’s telecoms markets? Are there better ways to work together?

·         Where is the African telecoms market heading and how will this shape the next generation of policy and regulatory challenges?

Other keynotes, presentations and fireside chats that address the issue of Connecting the Next Billion in Africa at AfricaCom 2020 include:

·         Rural connectivity case study: MTN Ghana & Huawei’s RuralStar deployment

·         Panel: Are integrated submarine-fibre-satellite strategies the future of African connectivity?

·         Africa’s Space Race: Can satellite solve the connectivity conundrum?

·         Panel: Universal ICT access by 2030: Africa’s Digital Moonshot Initiative

·         Can high-altitude broadband balloons connect Africa’s underserved rural areas?

·         Adapting spectrum models for rural areas

·         Panel: Public-private partnerships are key to connecting Africa

·         Internet access is key to media and entertainment growth in Africa

·         Fireside Chat: Nigeria’s National Broadband Plan 2020-2025


Virtual Africa Tech Festival, including AfricaCom and AfricaTech, is part of the Informa Tech Connecting Africa event series, now in its 24th year. A vibrant celebration of Africa’s diverse community of tech champions, Africa Tech Festival is the largest tech and digital connectivity conference and exhibition in Africa, attracting 450 exhibitors and 15,000 attendees in 2019. Key themes for 2020 include 4IR for Africa, Connecting the Next Billion, Digital Infrastructure Investment, Tech for Good, ICT Policy and Regulation, the Future of Work and Talent and Skills Development.