Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, Derek Weeks, AppNeta Blog, SmartBear Blog

Related Topics: Agile Computing, Release Management , CRM

Agile Computing: Article

Danger: Don't Build Your Online Future on Shifting Sand

Be Careful With Your Future

Surely you know the parable. One guy builds his house on rock. It's tough, it's expensive, but the house is secure and it lasts. The other guy constructs his home on sand. Easy, cheap ... but then it slides into the ocean. Everything's lost.

A story to encourage children to work hard? Perhaps. But a surprising number of new businesses are building their online futures on foundations that are just as unstable.

Free ... and worth every penny

Too many otherwise sensible business people see an offer for free web hosting and leap at the "opportunity." Some think that adding a top-level domain name makes it okay: that it hides the underlying weaknesses.

One way or another, they won't stay hidden for long. The host might employ the term "free," but you can be sure it expects to profit. At best, that host will start you for free but the service is so restricted you simply have to pay for "extras."

At worst, you'll get stuck with advertising on your site over which you have no control. Think you're going to sell baby clothes in that kind of environment? An extreme example, perhaps, but I'm sure you understand what I mean.

And having inappropriate ads on your website is not the most serious problem; visibility is. While the search engines don't actually penalize free sites simply because they're free, according to Google's own webmaster blog the search engine does downgrade hosts who allow multiple junk sites.

Most free hosts aren't concerned about who builds what -- they actively encourage quantity -- so no matter how good your website is, if it's on a platform that's considered sub-standard, it will inevitably get dragged down.

Why would you take the risk? Professional hosting will cost you $5 a month or less. It used to be more expensive if you wanted to run things like ASP or .NET -- because you needed a Windows server -- but today, specialists such as Accuweb offer the same competitive pricing as you'll find with traditional Linux sites.

It's about as big a no-brainer as you get on the Internet. Professional hosting that will enable you to do pretty much anything you want, without risking the wrath of Google ... and it costs less than a family pizza.

If that's too rich for you, you need to re-evaluate whether you're cut out for online business at all.

The big myth of social media

Social media is huge. Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. -- all those places offer you the chance to build a tremendous following for your products and services, and it requires nothing but your time.

Then there's the giant that is Facebook. That's a superb place to promote a business ... and free, too. It may only have been around for ten years but it's got so much critical mass, it'll be with us forever, right?

Tell that to people who previously used Myspace or to Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly paid $580 million for that one in 2005 when it was THE social media site. Back then, MySpace had more daily visits than Google, in excess of 1,500 employees, and a turnover of $800 million. Yet six years later it sold for just $35 million and today ... ?

Through growth can be extraordinary online, so can decline. Nobody is suggesting you shouldn't use social media in your business -- very few can afford to ignore its potential -- but you need to employ it in addition to your other Internet activities.

Building a business presence based solely on social media is a dangerous choice. What popular opinion can build, it can very quickly destroy.

Solid foundations

The immediacy of the Internet and modern media can distract us from core business principles that are as rock-solid now as they always were -- except that today, firm foundations are as easy to construct as those built on sand.

First, establish an Internet presence that you control: one that isn't subject to the vagaries of fashion. Get professional hosting, build a site, and generate content that appeals to the search engines and your human visitors.

Don't ever try to game the system, particularly not Google. Even if it works in the short term, when Google eventually finds out -- and it will -- that means the end of your website. Period.

As you develop your site, foster your social media presence alongside it. Don't just duplicate content; learn what works best for each platform. The result will be a comprehensive strategy that can survive just about anything.

More Stories By Drew Hendricks

Drew Hendricks is a writer, as well as a tech, social media and environmental enthusiast, living in San Francisco. He is a contributing writer at Forbes, Technorati and The Huffington Post.

@ThingsExpo Stories
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Amazon has gradually rolled out parts of its IoT offerings in the last year, but these are just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to optimizing their back-end AWS offerings, Amazon is laying the ground work to be a major force in IoT – especially in the connected home and office. Amazon is extending its reach by building on its dominant Cloud IoT platform, its Dash Button strategy, recently announced Replenishment Services, the Echo/Alexa voice recognition control platform, the 6-7 strategic...
Bert Loomis was a visionary. This general session will highlight how Bert Loomis and people like him inspire us to build great things with small inventions. In their general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Harold Hannon, Architect at IBM Bluemix, and Michael O'Neill, Strategic Business Development at Nvidia, discussed the accelerating pace of AI development and how IBM Cloud and NVIDIA are partnering to bring AI capabilities to "every day," on-demand. They also reviewed two "free infrastructure" pr...
Judith Hurwitz is president and CEO of Hurwitz & Associates, a Needham, Mass., research and consulting firm focused on emerging technology, including big data, cognitive computing and governance. She is co-author of the book Cognitive Computing and Big Data Analytics, published in 2015. Her Cloud Expo session, "What Is the Business Imperative for Cognitive Computing?" is scheduled for Wednesday, June 8, at 8:40 a.m. In it, she puts cognitive computing into perspective with its value to the busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi, the leading provider the Internet of Things and Digital Transformation, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., offers an integrated portfolio of services and solutions that enable digital transformation through enhanced data management, governance, mobility and analytics. We help globa...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Financial Technology has become a topic of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 20th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York, June 6-8, 2017, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
The age of Digital Disruption is evolving into the next era – Digital Cohesion, an age in which applications securely self-assemble and deliver predictive services that continuously adapt to user behavior. Information from devices, sensors and applications around us will drive services seamlessly across mobile and fixed devices/infrastructure. This evolution is happening now in software defined services and secure networking. Four key drivers – Performance, Economics, Interoperability and Trust ...
Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the USA and Europe, we work with a variety of customers from emerging startups to Fortune 1000 companies.
Cybersecurity is a critical component of software development in many industries including medical devices. However, code is not always written to be robust or secure from the unknown or the unexpected. This gap can make medical devices susceptible to cybersecurity attacks ranging from compromised personal health information to life-sustaining treatment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Clark Fortney, Software Engineer at Battelle, will discuss how programming oversight using key methods can incre...
Multiple data types are pouring into IoT deployments. Data is coming in small packages as well as enormous files and data streams of many sizes. Widespread use of mobile devices adds to the total. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the tools and environments that are being put to use in IoT deployments, as well as the team skills a modern enterprise IT shop needs to keep things running, get a handle on all this data, and deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Grape Up will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company specializing in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market across the U.S. and Europe, Grape Up works with a variety of customers from emergi...
The Internet of Things is clearly many things: data collection and analytics, wearables, Smart Grids and Smart Cities, the Industrial Internet, and more. Cool platforms like Arduino, Raspberry Pi, Intel's Galileo and Edison, and a diverse world of sensors are making the IoT a great toy box for developers in all these areas. In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists discussed what things are the most important, which will have the most profound e...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Most Influential ‘Smart Cities - IIoT' Account and @BigDataExpo has been named fourteenth by Right Relevance (RR), which provides curated information and intelligence on approximately 50,000 topics. In addition, Right Relevance provides an Insights offering that combines the above Topics and Influencers information with real time conversations to provide actionable intelligence with visualizations to enable decision making. The Insights service is applicable to eve...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/...