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Internet Communication Tools

Internet Communication Tools

Wiki, Google Reader, Google Docs, LinkedIn, Twitter…and the list goes on. These mediums are all internet communication tools; tools which have become very important, and in some cases necessary to many individuals and companies.

In the video Where Good Ideas Come From by Steven Johnson, he points out the importance of internet communication tools in the formation of good ideas. Or course, good ideas are beneficial not only to the creators/inventors, but also to the persons who use them and to society in general. LinkedIn for example allows hundreds of thousands of users to connect with each other in a professional manner. Benefits of the latter tool include participation in fruitful discussions, meeting new persons and re-connecting with persons in our past, and employment into firms which advertise job openings on LinkedIn and perform background checks using LinkedIn profiles.  

Google Docs is another amazing communication tool – one of my favourites actually. For my first ever online course my group used Google docs to complete our research paper. Because of Google Docs features such as file sharing, concurrent access to editing documents, and chat functionality, my group met NOT once and in the end was able to complete an entire research paper. Of course, there were disadvantages in us using solely Google Docs. We never met each other, had to be very careful with our word selection when typing to each other, and there were persons who hardly used the chat functionality to express their opinions or make suggestions.

Generally though, the use of internet communication tools is now extremely common and in some cases absolutely necessary!

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Beautiful Birdies

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“Not every day is good but there is something good in every day”

“Not every day is good but there is something good in every day”

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Evaluating Social Networking on the Internet

Evaluating Social Networking on the Internet

An evaluation of anything is important. Evaluations are the equivalent of stopping to smell the roses or perhaps stopping to pick the thorns out of the rose bush. Social Networking is a very broad subject area and hence, an evaluation of it could continue into infinity. This blog will play the role of a short evaluation of social networking on the internet.

Social networking has in many ways improved our communication with others in that there are countless ways in which two persons can connect. Regardless of location, persons can stay in touch and even conference in groups if they so please. Most importantly, many of these means of communication are free, widely available, and easy to use. In this current social networking era, the quality of our social networking mediums has certainly improved. For example, video chat quality is better on our computers and hand-held devices, and   multi-tasking while on social media sites has become impressive. However, has social networking really improved the quality of human interactions? For some, the relationship maintained with someone via social networking platforms is completely different from that which is maintained when dealing with someone in person. A conversation may not flow as freely or may perhaps not flow at all! Additionally, constant use of online networks have caused some persons to forget the importance of simple yet important parts of human interaction such as making eye to eye contact, giving a firm handshake, and proper introductions. Social networking on the internet is a wonderful thing, but let us not forget the importance and irreplaceable nature of in-person human interactions!

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Working in a Social Networking Era

Working in a Social Networking Era

Several firms have realized that refusal to hop aboard the social networking train will more than likely prove to be a grave error! Currently a great portion of the company populace has a Facebook page, LinkedIn account, Twitter account, or perhaps even both or all three! Also, branding within firms has evolved to such an extent that companies even include their Twitter and Facebook user names on the packaging of their products. It is not uncommon to note the Twitter username of a manufacturing company on a plastic wrapping while enjoying your favorite cookie! This is the extent to which social networking has permeated our societal fabric.

Now with this in mind, inevitably, it appears it may be becoming a double standard for companies to fully restrict employees’ access to social networking sites. I have been out there in the working world! I know the degree to which some employers chastise workers for spending even short periods of time on social networking sites while “on company hours”. Now sure, I do agree that the decision to allow/restrict access to social networking sites varies with several factors including one’s job description and ranking.  Generally however, I believe there is an inverse relationship between productivity and amount of time spent on social networking sites while at work ONLY when excessive periods of time are spent on such site.

Companies should monitor employee online usage but allow certain degrees of freedom when it comes to using social networking. There are definitely more than ten reasons not to block social networking at work. For example, employees who tweet/post positively about their companies and the latter’s ongoing promotions/deals/business goals can turn their social networking circles into potential clients/customers. Companies can refine this idea by allotting a fixed amount of time during certain time frames for social networking. The impact on productivity, employee retention, employee satisfaction etc could improve tremendously!

All employees should “Use Responsibly!”:

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Social Networking: A Catalyst for Cybercrime?

Social Networking: A Catalyst for Cybercrime?

Users should be very careful of cybercriminals when accessing social networking sites.

After reading 2010: A good year for fighting cybercrime? I am even more aware or the importance of safe-guarding oneself while access various social networking platforms.

Every day, millions of users log in to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and the likes. Some persons may be of the notion that social networking sites are somewhat a safe haven – an isolated entity separate from other dangerous online sites and services. Cybercriminals have picked up on the existence of this mindset and have made the fight against cybercrimes an even more extensive one. Government officials and security services have therefore had to migrate some of their crime-fighting efforts and techniques into the world of social networking. Further, the fight against cybercrime linked to social networking platforms is made even more difficult when users are unaware.

It is very easy for social networking to act as a catalyst for cybercrime. With shortened links being a part of the Twitter culture, cybercriminals may shorten links to sites which once access may compromise a user’s internet security. Perhaps spyware and malware may be spread through clicking such a link or perhaps that link may take users to a fictitious site where their banking / credit card information could be collected. Additionally, cybercriminals take advantage of the fact that a user may trust a “friend” and when a user clicks on friend’s link posted by a rogue application, an unsuspecting user may be the unfortunate victim of phishing.

Of course there are several other ways that cybercriminals can cast their nets to find prey within social networking platforms. The most important thing though is that users are aware that they are not automatically safe when using even the most popular social networking services!

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