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Five Reasons to Avoid Using Maps on Websites

Robert Frost wrote that good fences make good neighbors. Yet when it comes to virtual fences, visualized as maps, I'm not sure there is any way to create "good fences." So many regions around the world are under dispute. And even regions that may appear settled may be anything but. I've long written about the problems of using flags on your website, particularly for navigation. But maps often present a much larger geopolitical challenge. If you can avoid using them, do so. more

Why Did Russia Test an Anti-Satellite Missile and Why Doesn’t China Condemn the Test?

On November 15th, Russia used an anti-satellite missile to destroy COSMOS 1408, a defunct spy satellite. The explosion quickly created over 1,500 pieces of trackable debris and will likely generate hundreds of thousands of smaller pieces. As a precautionary measure, the astronauts on the International Space Station, two of whom are Russians, took shelter in escape shuttles during two orbits. The anti-satellite test was widely criticized, but the Russian defense ministry released a statement saying... more

Numerous Lessons We Can Learn From the Facebook Outage and Its Mistakes

It was only a few weeks back, in July of this year, where I remarked that an Akamai report of an outage was unusual for this industry. It was unusual in that it was informative in detailing their understanding of the root cause of the problem, describing the response that they performed to rectify the immediate problem, the measures being undertaken to prevent a recurrence of this issue, and the longer-term measures to improve the monitoring and alerting processes used within their platform. more

Think Beyond .com: From Country Codes to Internationalized Domain Names

One of the major takeaways from the Web Globalization Report Card is the importance of providing "front doors" to your localized websites. These doors begin with the addresses themselves, which may not include the .com domain. In fact, I'd recommend that most localized websites not use the .com domain, as this is an overloaded domain. This article looks at the many ways brands are creating more localized addresses, beginning with country code top-level domains (ccTLDs). more

SEO Secrets of Keyword-Relevant Domain Extensions

The Domain Name Association (DNA) recently commissioned Web Traffic Advisors, with supporting analysis from Kevin Rowe of Rowe Digital, to do an independent study, Hidden Advantages of Relevant Domain Names, to answer the following question: Can domain name extensions, especially meaningful or relevant domain name extensions (e.g. .Club, .Online, .Rocks, .Today), have the same opportunity as traditional or more generic ones (e.g. traditional .Biz, .Com, .Info, .Org)? more

Digital Culture Wars: Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” and China’s Social Credit System

We are on the cusp of a grave risk where unscrupulous groups with various agendas are using digital technologies to wage cultural war to stamp out dissent and gain control and power. The two most prominent recent examples are Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" (MAGA) and China's Social Credit System (SCS). The following piece was prompted by work on the UDHR and Internet Governance series, for CircleID to deal with UDHR Article 27 and the role of culture, arts, and science in the life of the community.  more

Facebook Is Right to Call the Australian Government Bluff

As mentioned in previous analyses, the way that the Government has approached its battle with the digital giants has been flawed from the beginning. True, its tough stand had made Google pay media companies well above what these companies would have been able to negotiate individually with Google, but the fundamentals of why these battles are taking place are still unchanged. more

Digital in 2021 – Five Predictions for Brand Protection

While smartphones were an integral part of our lives before 2020, now, as a result of the changes associated with COVID, our mobile devices are virtually "super-glued" to our hands. The worldwide pandemic has heavily influenced our lives. Based on our past experiences with digital brand protection and the trends we're currently seeing, we've made five predictions regarding the future of internet usage in 2021. more

WordPress Now Powers 39.5% of the Web

Last month in the annual "State of the Word" presentation for 2020, Automattic CEO and WordPress co-founder Matt Mullenweg announced that WordPress now powered 39% of websites, as measured by W3Techs. The number has actually grown a bit more since that time to 39.5%.1 Perhaps by next month it will pass 40%. What is more remarkable to me is to see that in December 2020, for the first time, the number of sites using WordPress passed the number of sites that were NOT using any form of content management system (CMS). more

Internet Governance and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Part 6: Articles 18-19

Internet Governance, like all governance, needs guiding principles from which policy making, and acceptable behavior, are derived. Identifying the fundamental principles to guide Internet ecosystem policy making around digital citizenship, and around the integrity of digital practices and behavior, can and should start with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, (UDHR). more

The Internet’s Gilded Age

The rise of the Internet has heralded rapid changes in our society. The opportunities presented by a capable and ubiquitous communications system and a global transportation network have taken some corporations from the multinational to the status of truly global mega-corporation. Good examples of these new corporations include Google, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook. There are a handful of large-scale winners in this space and many losers. But this is not the first time we've witnessed a period of rapid technological and social change. more

Beyond the Interweb

Today's Internet is a network of networks and seen through the lens of the web. We need to look beyond the engineering history to see the Internet in the context of the broader vision of JCR Licklider, an acoustic psychologist, and his vision of man/computer symbiosis... JCR Licklider would've been thrilled to see such a powerful man-machine symbiosis becoming so normal and having it work so well. Lick, as he was called, can be considered the grandfather of the Internet. more

Implementing Natural Language Processing in Your SMB Organization: Now or Never!

If you have already adopted AI in your small or mid-size organization, congratulations. If not, the urgency of adopting should be a top priority. You will become a laggard and most likely obsolete given the supercycle of innovation we are currently in. Implementing AI is quite different from other organization-wide strategies because it involves highly specific characteristics and expert resource pools that SMBs might not be able to access. more

Trump Wants to Change the Communications Decency Act

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), says that "No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider." The law was passed in 1996 in order to shield ISPs that transported content or platforms that hosted it from lability. Bloggers were not responsible for comments on their posts, YouTube and Facebook were not responsible for things users posted, etc. more

Why the Pandemic Makes Domain Names More Valuable Than Ever

In the United States, at least 25,000 brick and mortar businesses will close in 2020 due to the Coronavirus (source: Coresight). I believe this will only be the tip of the iceberg. The businesses that fight to stay alive will become 100% dependent on the Internet to generate their revenue. No longer able to rely on foot traffic to their old brick and mortars, the popularity and brand-ability of their websites will solely dictate their ability to survive in the coming years. more