November 18, 2017

Blogging report 2017: better content, well promoted, more professional...

This post is on a study by Orbit Media on the state of blogosphere in 2017 in terms of use of blogging. They have based their findings on the basis of responses from 1377 blogger to 11 questions. Summary of findings:

1. Bloggers now take more time in composing blog posts than before.

The time spent on creating a blog post has been found to be increasing over years since 2014. Now a blogger spends 3 hours 20 minutes on an average in creating a post. In addition, the number of bloggers who spend over 6 hours in composing a post has more than trebled over the last four years and they have said, they get 'strong results' by posting big!

2.  Most bloggers post weekly or around that, and the overall frequency has gone down.

But it is not that the drop in frequency gets good results even when the content is big. Frequency matters in getting good results, bloggers report.

3. More bloggers are using editing support than before.

4. The size of blog posts now averages 1142 words as compared to 808 in 2014. 

Moreover, the number of bloggers writing more than 2000 words has risen very sharply though half still write below 500 words, and those who write big posts say, they get 'strong results'.

5. Bloggers are now using more visual content. 

Those using multiple images per post and using audio have reported to be getting 'strong results'!

6. Guest posting is still popular.

7. Most bloggers (over half of those surveyed) update their old posts, at least some times.

8. Bloggers are more into promotion, especially paid promotions.

Use of social media comes on top when it comes to promoting blogs. Bloggers' attention is rising to use of SEO, paid promotions and reaching out to influencers.

It is found that the less popular ways of promotion, which also need hard work, give the best results (other than paid services). In decreasing levels of effectiveness, these are: influencer outreach > paid promotions > email marketing > SEO > social media.

9. Most bloggers use analytics and refer to it regularly.

10. Blogging is giving results, and better!

One in three responders says, 'the blog delivers strong marketing results' and another half of those surveyed say, 'blog delivers positive results'.

ITB view:
Blogging has become much more professional!

We have been observing, and we've shared it many times before, that the face of blogging has changed greatly from maintaining a web diary and social networking to professional blogging. More and more bloggers are now taking blogging as part-time or full-time vocation. They write more wholesome content and use media to aid it. They use professional tools such as analytics and SEO techniques. They are making investments into it when required, for example hiring content editors, buying themes, optimizing blog for search and paying for promotions. This study once again proves our point.

You can visit here the Orbit Media blog post.

November 13, 2017

Social media, blogging updates: double tweet size, WhatsApp delete, security lapses and vulnerabilities

Tweets finally are double their earlier character length

After a pilot run with 280 character limit for tweets, Twitter has finally implemented it. It shares the behavior of Twitter users during the experiment: people were initially excited and did silly things to bloat their tweets beyond 140 characters, but not many were found using space much beyond this earlier limits. However, it has led to ease in writing tweets and users are likely to spend less time in editing tweets to squeeze them into the tight character limit.  

You can now delete your messages on WhatsApp from others' phones too!

WhatsApp has introduced this long-awaited feature now. You can delete a message sent to an individual or a group within seven minutes of sending it. But for this to work, you and message recipient must have latest version of WhatsApp on their Android, iPhone or Windows Phone.

Hope, this helps reduce the embarrassment or damage that is caused by sending a wrongly worded message, a wrong photo or a message to a wrong recipient. But no luck if the recipient(s) have already seen it before you could delete it, isn't it?

Of course you can delete a message from your own device.

Both these features work when you press and hold the message and get options to delete the message for everyone or only yourself.


How safe are your social media accounts in the hands of the giants?

We generally feel safe when their accounts are with tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Twitter. The thought that comes to mind is that at least for their business and reputation, these biggies would take all cautions so that public information is safe and there is no risk that their information is leaked except legally.

Ok, there are numerous cases, when governments have asked these biggies to pull down an account or share information in that account often with the excuse of an investigation into cases of hate crimes, pornography, drug pedaling, terrorism etc. (One news report later in this very post!)

However, I am talking even of that. What comes as a shock is that Donald Trump's account on Twitter was taken down INTENTIONALLY by a Twitter customer support employee on her last day in that company! It remained unavailable for about 11 minutes on November 2 before being restored. Consider what would happen to our accounts with these giants if a low-level employee could play with the account of someone who is not only the present US President, he is also one of the top Twitter personalities in the world. 

That raises a biggg question: Are internal controls good enough in internet giants, especially Twitter?

Afghanistan bans chat sites, revokes ban after protest

Afghanistan's move to block popular messaging platforms, WhatsApp and Telegram, seems to have backfired.

The ban was enforced early November, for 20 days. First it was said to be for security reasons, and then the concerned ministry explained that the closure 'request' was to improve their services. But in the wake of widespread protests, the government had to take back the ban within four days. Sigh!

Lurking outlaws and social media use by teens

The Australian Psychological Society has found that around 15% of teens are contacted by strangers on a daily basis, on Facebook alone. Ten percent are reported to be 'actively communicating' with strangers. Please remember that friendly-looking strangers can be bad guys out there to goad innocent victims into crimes!

bad guys are lurking in social media
What is equally worrisome is that 60% parents among the 1000 people interviewed said, they never monitored their child's social media accounts.

Shows, once again, the type of threat is lurking on social media and how careless and indifferent the society is towards it.

Source: ABC News

Wordpress plugins can be a big security hazard

Wordpress is so poor without plugins. And there are thousands of plugins available free and on payment, for almost everything that a website or blog can do: SEO, listings, polls, security, displaying images, editing, even e-commerce. However, not all plugins are of high quality, and the issues range from a bloated code to poor execution of code to serious security issues.

In the face of reports of even erstwhile good plugins getting vulnerable to new forms of web attacks, it is recommended that bloggers with plugins on their Wordpress blogs/ websites should apply only reputed plugins and then keep updating them.