endless and unique possibilities

In this global village of ours, we are all busily attempting to accomplish great things. To do that, we must work together sharing our imagination, knowledge and talents. While information is the glue that holds us together, common purpose and "a network of beliefs" can make that association really productive.

At New Village Media, we seek to celebrate and interpret the unique possibilities of each of our clients. 

Almost everything you thought you knew about passwords is probably wrong. That's the gist of a Wall Street Journal article describing new recommendations published earlier this summer by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). 

Forget the gibberish of letters, numbers and symbols, say the authors of the new recommendations. Use four words you can remember, but not those that are obvious like "password" or close variations. 

The new NIST recommendations also drop the suggestion that passwords need to be changed on a regular basis. Changes only need to be made when a password may have been stolen.

A report released by the University of Maryland's School of Business estimates the seemingly simple effort of deleting email spam costs U.S. businesses more than $21.6 billion each year. 

According to the report, 78% of online adults receive spam every day (the amazing statistic to me is 22% say they don't receive any spam). In deleting the email spam, online users waste more than 22.9 million hours each week. 

But before you glaze over at the sheer size of the statistics, a little math makes it more relevant for small businesses. The report suggests the average employee, spends 14 minutes per week deleting email spam. If that average employee is paid $1,152 per week (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), the cost per employee averages only $129 per year. However 11% of adults report they spend more than 5 minutes each day deleting spam. Nearly 56% of email was spam in June 2016, down from a high of 71% in April 2014 according to Statista.

Do you email or e-mail? Do you use Webmail or Web mail? Do you write a Weblog, a Web Blog or just a Blog?

As new words are increasingly used on the Internet, how you spell them makes all the difference.

For example, asking about "E-Mail" on Google produces 6.7 billion results. But if you query "Email," the results multiply to 10 billion. "Web mail" produces more than 21 million and “webmail,” 125 million. And is this a Blog (1.5 billion), a Weblog (254 million) or a Webblog (10.6 million)?

Is this more than an exercise in trivia? With millions of companies advertising online, how you spell the words in your message becomes a critically important matter.

I always open my workshops on Blogs with this line: "I believe Blogs are an important communications/marketing tool that should be used by every organization. But, if you start a Blog, make sure you have a purpose firmly in mind and have the time commitment to regularly contribute to it. There are too many Blogs that start with good intentions, only to become dormant. . .and eventually . . . abandoned."

I also add we haven't had a Blog for those reasons. But as we launched this new Website, we're also now launching our own Blog. It's time.  

This Blog will focus on the ways nonprofits and small businesses use the Internet. I like to think of myself as a 'vision-bearer' not a technician. So this Blog will be more about "vision" subjects than technical "how tos." We'll talk about statistics, we'll consider trends, and we'll throw in some current news. I hope you'll find we have something interesting to say.

With all the hoopla surrounding bloggers in the general media -- particularly national in political circles -- I keep assuming most people who use the Internet also use blogs. But as I travel around the country, I find when I mention blogs most people look at me blankly as if I have suggested a Greek formula.

I've concluded the word "blogs" is one of those techy-sounding words used by mainstream media that assumes everyone understands what's being talked about. So as most Americans hear references to blogs, they probably know it is something to do with the Web, but don't want to admit they don't know what it is or how it could benefit their lives.

In a recent workshop with PR consultants describing the effective use of blogs, I was asked who reads and writes blogs. 

Search on the Internet for the answer to that statistic and you’ll find the pro-blogging sites suggest that as many as 77% of Internet viewers read a blog. In fact, according to Pew, the number of viewers reading current event blogs was little changed in 2012 from the results of a 2005 study when 27% of all Internet users said they read blogs. The 2012 study said 17% of people who said they were 40 to 49 years old read blogs while 45% of Americans said they never read blogs. Here's hoping you are not one of the 45%!