13 March 2015

Your WordPress Site Not Worth Hacking? Guess again.

Updraftplus Post on WordPress hack attempts
Post by Simba Hosting, UK (13 March 2015) 
Self-serving?  Yes, this post by Simba Hosting is a bit predictable for a firm that sells backup software, but it deserves a wider read. Statistics are not readily available, but it seems a reasonable assumption that most WordPress sites are small and have comparatively little traffic. They may also have relatively weak defenses against attacks. Most likely rely upon hosting companies to patch or notify them of needed updates for WordPress, MySQL or PHP. As the Simba author notes, "WordPress runs around a quarter of all web sites on the internet," and the motivation is money. 

A recommended read.

12 March 2015

Big Companies Absorb & Destroy Tactics

Flip phone (Credit: Sean Davis | Flickr}
It's great news for entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and early start-up employees. The start-up gets acquired by a much larger firm. Cash spills forth.

Things are often not so great for customers. 

Wikipedia tracks many of them. One I was particularly fond of was Meebo, whose flexible instant messaging application and emerging group collaboration tools were purchased by Google. Another was Zimbra. Zimbra was sold to Yahoo, then to VMWare and then to Telligent, which renamed itself to Zimba. For a time no development happened on the product, though reportedly it was restarted in its latest incarnation.

But perhaps the most galling acquisition was Cisco's purchase of Pure Digital's Flip, the genre-creating portable video camera. Cisco spent half a billion dollars to acquire the firm, and in 2011 killed the product line. Writer Brian Chen at Wired opined that it was killed by market conditions (smartphones), lack of socnet interop and an uninspired high end version. 

There was probably another factor: hunger. Maintaining the entrepreneurial hunger in a large firm is notoriously difficult -- especially after an acquisition resulting in newly minted millionaire-engineers. Fast forward to B-school case study, where the potential company- and product-preserving innovations, absent the creative forces inside the start-up, are no longer visible.

The Blogger's Life: Inside a Forbes Blogger

Forbes Blogger Susannah Breslin (2011)
Forbes is a marquis web property. Being a blogger there would, presumably, be a significant boost for a small business. But before embarking down that road, you might want to see how Forbes manages -- i.e., incentivizes -- its bloggers. Getting web traffic is the central objective at Forbes, and according to this blogger, the magazine set "very, very" ambitious traffic levels for bloggers.

As Ms. Breslin wrote in this 2011 post, should illustrate the changing role of online writing for today's market.
These days, it’s not enough to be a good writer online. You have to be a smart marketer, your own content factory, your own publicist. If you can do it all, you are golden. If you cannot, you are screwed.