Category Archives for "Business"

Nine ways to calm nerves before a presentation

Public speaking is described as one of the most common phobias around. According to a study, 75% of Americans suffer from anxiety in relation to public speaking, which means that three out of four people would refrain from speaking in public. As a matter of fact, even seasoned veterans may experience speech nervousness. Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Prince Harry, Jennifer Aniston, and Adele are few of the examples of celebrities who feel anxious when facing a crowd. Here are some of the tops to overcome this phobia:


Rehearsing is the biggest key to become a confident speaker. Having an audience of trusted reviewers to give feedback is the most effective way to enhance your presentation skills and feel more confident in front of the crowd. You may also recording yourself and play back the file to identify and weaknesses in your speech.

Drink some water

High anxiety levels can cause dry mouth, which can make it extremely difficult to communicate effectively. Keeping a water bottle along with you when presenting can help you stay hydrated.

Positive visualization

Imagine yourself going on a stage and successfully sharing your message across the audience and receiving a good response from them.. Studies have proved that exercising positive visualization can be highly effective to calm our nerves and boost your confidence.

You may well think of some positive outcomes that can happen but if you are worrying you are almost certainly thinking of a whole range of things that can go wrong. Creating these thoughts in your imagination is like experiencing them in reality and you unconsciously create the exact reaction that you would have if these things really did occur.

Focusing on the best outcome that can happen, or on a range of possible positive outcomes can reduce your anxiety. Try asking yourself the simple question ‘What would I like to happen?’  Just ask yourself that question and imagine what it would be like if that were to happen. Maybe you could create a picture in your mind, or you can imagine what things you would say to yourself and how you would feel. You could also try writing down a description of that outcome. One advantage of doing this is that you can read it back to yourself from time to time if you get anxious again in the future.

Deep breaths

Adrenaline causes breathing to become shallow. Holding the breath in anticipation of what will follow only leads to increase in stress levels. Breathing exercises are a proven method to relax as they provide oxygen to the brain, which allows the body to remain calm and composed.

Some of us will recognise that awful moment when you are standing in front of a group of people and your mind just goes blank. The chances are, if you took a moment to notice, you are probably holding your breath. In fact if you hold your breath right now and try and think, you may find not much comes in! By starving our brain of oxygen, we are effectively preventing ourselves from thinking. If you think of the concept that a new thought = a new breath, thoughts will flood in and the deeper the breath the clearer the message to our subconscious that we are relaxed and confident.

Watch for the adrenaline to show up and don’t let it surprise you. Determine how adrenaline manifests for you—butterflies, palpitations or racing thoughts—and begin to expect these symptoms as a natural prelude to speaking. As soon as the symptoms show up, say to yourself, “Oh, good. My MOJO is here!” It’s true!  When you harness adrenaline, you command the room. Why would you want to resist this power? The challenge is not overcoming nervousness, it is turning fear into energy before you begin over-thinking the process.

Practice body language

Standing straight and holding a strong physical pose makes one feel more confident and creates a sense of self-assurance. Practicing confident body language is an effective way to calm nerves and reduce the levels of anxiety. When your body exhibits confidence in its posture, the mind follows the suit. Also, make sure to maintain a smile during a presentation as it exhibits confidence and enthusiasm.


According to researchers, exercise can ease nervousness and anxiety by releasing endorphins, the feel-good chemicals in the brain. Exercise also increases body temperature, which causes an all-over calming effect. It helps you to reduce anxiety levels and makes you feel more confident.

Arrive early

Arriving early will give you enough time to settle down before the talk as well as adjust to the environment. Spending a certain time in the actual presentation room and practicing there will also increase your comfort level.

Know your topic

Knowing and understanding your topic minimises fear. Your audience is there to listen to the message you want to impart. Having a good command on the subject that you are about to speak will enable you to communicate more effectively, allowing you to remain calm during the presentation.

Practice the pause

Anxiety causes people to talk at a much faster rate than they actually do. A good practice is to rehearse pauses in your speech, perhaps to emphasise key messages. Training your mind automatically reminds you to slow down during the presentation and allows the audience time to process the material effectively.

You cannot conquer fear without accepting your fear. Anxiety only intensifies when one keeps wondering if others can notice their apprehension. With these tips, transform your nervous energy into positive enthusiasm.

Do you have a bad boss?

Bad bosses are detrimental to our enjoyment at work and to the business’s they work in. They demotivate people and cause businesses to rack up huge costs as people leave or simply don’t give their best.

 A study by Life Meets Work found that 56% of American workers claim their boss is mildly or highly toxic. A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday.”

Work time should be precious it’s where we can spend most of our time and where we can experience some great highs. Bad bosses are missing out on opportunities to maximise revenue and making a positive impact on our lives. I list 10 signs of a bad boss

1. Lacks Emotional Control

Angry bosses and the ones that are moody one day and happy the next provide employees with an emotional roller coaster.

They don’t realise that they are setting the tone of the day influencing the mood that people can take home with them. Angry bosses have little self-control or awareness of themselves and lack emotional intelligence

It’s bad for them and its bad for you, repeated activation of the stress response takes a toll on the body. Research suggests that chronic stress contributes to high blood pressure, promotes the formation of artery-clogging deposits, and causes brain changes that may contribute to anxiety, depression, and addiction. Recommended Read Daniel Goldman Moods Matter (non promotional)

2. Does Not Know Who You Are

Those that lead can win trust and respect when they genuinely become interested in who they work with. Learning about someone’s life and what motivates them are all key to increasing performance. No one wants to be invisible and feel that they are just another number. Bad bosses don’t engage they lock themselves away almost afraid to speak to their people. What have they got to hide?

3. Does Not Really Understand Your Expertise

It’s a fact that a boss may not understand the detail of the role that you undertake. You are the subject expert and a boss that does not appreciate your point of view and experience is missing out on vital information. Some think they have to demonstrate to their subordinates they possess better knowledge than them in a weird desire to feel superior. A boss who thinks they are experts in everything really winds people up. They are missing out on learning for themselves, will make the wrong decision based on a lack of understanding. We all hate a ‘know it all’ and when it comes to a boss there is no exception.

4. No Flexibility At Work

Is your boss a leader or a manager, bad bosses manage people bean counting and tied up with micro managing detail. They are not a leaders you can identify them by inflexibility. They will refuse to take account that we all have lives outside of work. So when you have a problem that’s stressing you out and your time off is refused it really does get to you. It will be the thing you remember and recall to others. Importantly it serve to change the mindset of a motivated individual. Bad bosses will ignore the fact you may work in your own time or arrive early tied up with the rules.

A great boss is a human being that can offer to help you out and will win your loyalty. They will encourage you to take time away from your computer when you have lunch. They will will want you to take the time off you are entitled too. Bad bosses don’t realise that we all need time off for recuperation and we all need a degree of flexibility for the emergencies that happen in all of our lives.

5. No Positive Feedback

Some bosses only look out for the bad stuff and only highlight your performance when things go wrong. This breeds a culture where everyone is afraid of making a mistake. Naturally that organization will lack innovation and creativity which all have elements of risk.

What about the other times that you did well? Negative Bias bosses suck the enthusiasm out of a team and individuals. Good feedback inspires and helps create the feeling of being appreciated. Some bosses are scared to praise as they think the person will stop working hard? Bad bosses can’t say thanks and its destroying motivation. Bad bosses won’t thank you for great performance as they will feel its your job. Some may just provide a perk or agree to a salary increase not knowing that words from the boss can be just as powerful.

6. Favouritism

Office politics and a boss that plays one person against another is a horrible game. One played by thick skinned bosses who don’t realise what they are doing. You may even come across bosses that use it as a deliberate tactic. Divide and conquer style bosses make life really difficulty and give us feelings of injustice. Favouritism is not against the law but it’s frustrating for everyone, even the one that’s been picked as the favourite! Individuals feel helpless and hard done by and will have a heightened sense of awareness around the people who are the chosen ones.

7.Takes The Glory For Your Hard Work

Bad bosses don’t even realize they are taking all the glory for a job well done. Some see it as they employed you to do the job, which you did well, and so they rightfully have the right to congratulate themselves. How many bosses have gained promotion, been rewarded financially for the hard work of others?

Bad bosses don’t recognize the contribution you have made. When they are basking in the glory it would be so easy to mention your name or dept., it would be so easy to thank you for your contribution. Bad bosses who have zero empathy, they cant see that the next time you may not try so hard. They can turn a star performer into a former employee with no idea on how demotivating this type behaviour can be.

8. Does Not Bother To Explain the ‘Why’

In the past it was good to enough to say “Just do it” without an explanation to why. An entire generation including my own simply followed the orders of the boss, sometimes we were perplexed to the meaning of the task. Asking why it was necessary would be seen as to question authority almost disrespectful. Bad bosses continue with this dinosaur rhetoric replying “Because I said so! This will leave the enquiring mind of the new generations offended demotivated and sometimes lost. Knowing the why can help put you in the bigger picture, motivate you to do a great job and help you feel part of the business.

After-all you may have a suggestion that could really help. Bad bosses will not realise that others are motivated differently and may think differently about there roles.

9. Does Not Recognise Our Need to Grow

Bad bosses are not interested in your personal goal to develop, in fact ambition could be seen as a negative attribute, they see that you may looking to leave or outgrow your existing role. Spending company money on developing an individual is seen by the bad boss as fruitless exercise. They may even see it as threatening as you strive to better yourself with up to date knowledge and qualifications. Good bosses will see that the individual will be in a position to bring new knowledge to the business and have an inspired individual who seeks personal growth

10. Lacks Passion and Vision

People love to follow someone who has a passion and a great vision for the future, they want to feel they are making a difference. Bad bosses will overlook the need to inspire and to motivate. They will see that you are receiving a salary or bonus and that should be enough. Bad bosses are more about carrot and stick and NOT follow me and my dream.

 So What Have I Missed?

Has any of the above resonated with you? I am interested in your experiences it would be great to have some added below (without names of course)

Who is this guy Nick Marr?

 I started my life helping leaders get the best from themselves at the Metropolitan Police Leadership Academy, Scotland Yard. I then went on to run several disruptive businesses; I was featured in the FT and BBC Breakfast for my startups. I accidentally created a social media viral that went global. I have experience as Vice President of Sales and Chief Marketing Officer. 

I coach leaders, help individuals with their startups and speak at events about leadership and diversity.

More at NickMarr.com it would be great to hear from you.

#leadership #leadeshipskills #boss #people #hr #leadershipdevelopment # 

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Nine ways to calm nerves before a presentation

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Crowd Fund Campaign Helps Clients Own The Business

UK property marketplace, TheHouseShop, has opened its doors to investors who are interested in owning a share of the fast-growing, digital property platform.

Since launching in 2016, TheHouseShop have expanded rapidly to create a unique “Amazon-style” marketplace designed to work equally for everyone involved in the market. Co-founders Sebastien Goldenberg and Nick Marr are now looking to raise £500,000 in an equity crowdfunding campaign via Crowdcube, in a bid to take the company to the next level.

UK-based property marketplace, TheHouseShop, have launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube, offering investors a chance to own a stake in the company and join their mission to create a fairer, safer and cheaper way to transact property. Launched in 2016 by ex-MD of CitiGroup, Sebastien Goldenberg, and serial property entrepreneur, Nick Marr, TheHouseShop was created with the aim of bringing the entire property market under one roof.

Unlike the big agent-only portals (Rightmove and Zoopla), TheHouseShop developed a unique inclusive model that allowed them to work with everyone involved in the property market. By allowing both private individuals and estate agents free access to the platform, TheHouseShop have created an “amazon-style” marketplace where private and professional players sit alongside one another.

Unlike the big agent-only portals, we work with both private individuals and professional estate agents. We wanted to make sure that our offering to agents was just as attractive and valuable as our offering to the general public. We believe that traditional estate agents still have a crucial role to play in the market and we want to help agents grow their businesses and reach an alternative audience by working with us.”

The property marketplace has expanded rapidly over the past 2 years and now has over 30 smart services to offer their unique mix of buyers, renters, sellers, landlords and estate agents. With everything from comparison services and professional valuations to reference checks, financial services and a unique rent collection service in partnership with Experian – TheHouseShop have employed the ‘network effect’ to quickly increase their customer base and improve user experience while keeping costs low.

About TheHouseShop:

TheHouseShop is a UK-based property marketplace that offers a one-stop-shop for buyers, sellers, renters, landlords and estate agents. With a unique inclusive model that allows us to work with everyone involved in the property market, we’ve created a platform to make transactions happen faster, safer and cheaper.

  • The only property site that works equally for both private and professional players
  • Over 3.3m properties added since launch
  • More than 30 smart services for buyers, renters, sellers, landlords and agents
  • A one-stop-shop with a suite of money-saving tools and services
  • Tens of thousands of buyers and tenants searching for property each day
  • A unique mix of properties you won’t find anywhere else
  • A new source of leads and instructions for estate agents



Kicking Off Your Start Up The Right Way

The online space is a busy place. There’s just too many things going on at once, with marketers clamouring to get their voice heard, let alone seen. In addition to this, the typical online consumer has an attention span shorter than a goldfish’s- 8 seconds. So how can you stand out? I spoke with business and start up bridging finance experts from UK Bridging Loans about how to do just that.

To get people to listen to you, you need to have an arsenal of digital marketing strategies. Here are 5 digital marketing hacks for Startups to gain a competitive edge over their more established counterparts.

These strategies are not only easy to implement but inexpensive too.

Take advantage of Influencers

Peer and influencer endorsement is becoming more popular and essential for digital marketing growth. Shoppers today, are searching for real voices they can trust. As they get more cynical, recommendations from a trusted peer is more reliable than generic messages from a big brand.

On the vlogging scene, Zoella, YouTube’s beauty and makeup sensation charges brands several pounds to review their products on her channel. Her influence on millennials is so powerful, these brands are willing to work with her. The good news is you don’t have to pay as much- identify inexpensive yet effective influencers in your niche and work with them. Freebies work too!

Make use of email marketing and email reminders

To get the best of email marketing, don’t keep it in a silo, or you would be limiting it’s potential. Incorporate your email marketing campaigns into your marketing campaigns for maximum effect. For example, if you are organising a Facebook competition, increase the number of participants by informing those loyal customers in your email subscriber list.

Email marketing is still an effective means of boosting your marketing campaign. Many businesses have attributed the marked increase in the coupon sales to well-targeted email strategies.

Webinars are important too

Many people are yet to leverage the impact webinars have in generating leads and building loyalty. According to webcast experts, some webinars have been responsible for up to 70% rebound effect mainly from people who viewed the broadcast live, and new visitors. This is because they are more interactive and keep leads or potential customers engaged.

The key is to keep your webinar content rich with relevant material- make sure your target audience need can identify with the topics. It should also be well organised and hosted by someone with a lot of experience conducting webinars.

Don’t forget social media 

If you haven’t been using social media, start today. Social media produces almost twice the marketing leads of trade events, telemarketing and direct mail.

“Social media can be inundating at times, so it is better to start with one social platform first. Make sure it’s one where your audience spend time. It could be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram—establish your presence and begin to grow from there.”

Once you have set up an account, start connecting and interacting with potential customers by producing interesting content. Social media can be tied to your other marketing campaigns, and used to direct traffic to your online store.

Recruit The People Who Buy Into Your Vision

Start up recruitment needs to work and work for you. You won’t have the budget to waste on the wrong people. They will need to have bought into your vision and be on board from day one to
make your company a roaring success. They will need to be very innovative and can work on their own initiative wit ease as the company grows the input from your hired help is going to be invaluable.

Always track your progress

 How else can you measure your performance? If you have no idea of how to track your progress, it will be difficult to improve or change strategies that are not working. There are several analytical tools such as Google Analytics and Hootsuite (for social media) to monitor the growth of your campaign.

Your Startup requires a competitive digital marketing presence. Adopt these five essential tips to create a strong customer database and stay ahead of your competitors.

BIO: Hello I am James also known as FirespinJay I am Graduate from Swansea University who has travelled the Entrepreneurial path to running a company of 10 people. I have also worked both client and agency side and have a passion for helping start-ups. I enjoy eco-living and spinning fire poi!

Reshaping Mayfair

Mayfair has begun the first initial steps to put the health of its area as its top priority. Located in the centre of one of the worlds business and transport hubs it easy to see the challenge that this small borough of central London faces. Behind this campaign are members of the local community, business owners and local council figures who are showing the impact that even in a digital and bureaucratic world, residents and those on the receiving end of new measures can make important decisions in terms of the future of their beloved areas.

As a mainly commercial area, Mayfair has begun its revolution, or more accurately said, return to its residential roots. Years of competing as the leading area for the highest earners and their businesses have left the area in an unenviable state. Figures released in 2017 showed that Mayfair, along with Westminster, was confirmed as having among the worst air quality in Europe. Gases such as nitrogen dioxide regularly exceeded globally agreed acceptable levels.

Air quality is the air most targeted by the reforms put forward by a group known as the Mayfair Forum. The group have proposed a plan that will ensure Mayfair becomes a more people-friendly area of London, looking at available green spaces, new developments and their carbon emissions, as well as public transport routes through the borough.

One of the group’s leaders, Mayfair Estate Agent Peter Wetherell, comments “Creating a more sustainable and healthy environment for all by stressing the importance of sustainability, especially in the property industry, is key to encouraging others. We see ourselves as a leader in this area and believe everyone can follow in our footsteps

Working alongside key targets put in place by the London Plan, the change to transport within the area will see the routes and frequency of buses change drastically to lower emissions through the heart of the residential areas. With the residential revolution that is currently taking hold on the area, including just over 500 new homes before the end of 2023 Mayfair will increase its residential numbers by almost 25%, and the Forum want to ensure the area is ready to cope with this new demand and provide a safe and healthy environment for all.

One of the greatest improvements to the air while by the introduction of Crossrail, which will see the ability for much larger numbers of visitors come to the area. In order to ensure the safety and better the experience of these visitors, cycling routes and on-street cycle parking will be incorporated, along with the widening of footpaths to enable them to cope with the increased foot traffic. To encourage the minimal usage of fossil fuel transport, electrical charging points will be incorporated into the areas parking, taxi ranks, and only zero-emission buses are able to pass through Mayfair. Decreasing the traffic and highlighting the already well known green spaces of the borough such as Berkeley Square through further educated choices on planting further greenery will provide improved air quality and complement the character of the area.

Mayfair continues in its attempts to be at the forefront of positive change in London and working alongside the plans implemented by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, is helping the area keep away from its smog ridden past!


RentScore Make Rent The No.1 Priority

Running an online property business is sometimes all about driving traffic, creating killer products and generating revenue. It’s rare to be able to create a product that will help entrepreneurs and at the same time assist a whole generation in finding their financial feet.

This article introduces RentScore a service that provides new powers to landlords while helping tenants improve their credit history.

As co-founder of TheHouseShop.com I am really proud that we created RENTSCORE! it’s a game changer!

What on earth is Rentscore?

RentScore is effectively a rent collection service for landlords, but instead of just transferring the payment from tenant to landlord, RentScore registers the tenant’s rental payment data with credit reference agency, Experian. The data is then passed through Experian’s Rental Exchange and will be reflected on the tenant’s credit history.This means that landlords using RentScore can help their tenants enhance their credit histories and improve their access to financial products and services, including mortgages. Landlords also benefit from the ability to further incentivise on-time rental payments, due to the fact that a tenant’s credit report could be negatively impacted if they fail to make a payment.

What is the Experian Rental Exchange?

The Experian Rental Exchange helps tackle the challenges faced by rental tenants in the UK. The initiative aims to tackle the financial, digital and even social exclusion challenges that rental tenants often face compared to homeowners. By observing rental payment data in the same way that we view mortgage payment data, renters can unlock a range of benefits from credit providers.The Rental Exchange will incorporate a tenant’s payment history in their credit file with no cost to the tenant.

Is Rentscore going to part of the English language?

I can see the day that the word “Rentscore” becomes part of the English language. Landlords may ask ” How good is your RentScore? ‘ Tenants may insist ” Can I have my rental payments recorded by Rentscore etc. The brand RentScore lends itself to conversation I love the name!

End Generation Rent suffering

GENERATION RENT campaigns for professionally managed, secure, decent and affordable private rented homes in sustainable communities. Thousands of young people now feel that property ownership is far beyond their financial capabilities. Not having a financial history compounds this issue

When you apply for credit, lenders check your credit file, which includes a history of bill payments – those made on time make you look more attractive to lenders, giving you a better acceptance chance. The only thing missing today is that tenants who pay the largest proportion of their income to rental payments are not being rewarded with a positive credit history. This, in turn, will make getting a mortgage or a better rental property harder. 

Housing stats showing home ownership

At present, mortgage applicants are unable to rely on rent payment history as proof that they would be safe to lend to when buying a home.The government has said that lenders should consider a range of factors. See BBC report

A debate is being held in Parliament on Monday following a petition which aimed to raise awareness of the issue.

The government has said that lenders should consider a range of factors.

A friends example made me think

I know a family that has been in the rental accommodation for several years, they have paid there rent on time all the time. This financial behaviour is not recognised anywhere and for me its an injustice. Trying to get a mortgage with a credit history that purely shows how they pay their mobile phone bill on time does not help them with a potential mortgage application.

Landlords presently have no power!

Financial institutions from banks to loan companies use the threat of damaging your credit history if you don’t pay back what you owe on time. Private Landlords that are faced with a tenant that is slow in making payments or for example makes half payments did not have the same power until the arrival of RENTSCORE. It effectively gives a DIY landlord the same clout as a bank!

Rentscore ensures that tenants treat the rent as thier no.1 priority

How does credit history affect mortgage applications?

If you have a bad credit score or no credit history, more often than not, you can say goodbye to most mortgage providers. This is especially after the Mortgage Market Review or ‘MMR’ the single biggest shift in mortgage market regulation in recent years. At its core, the MMR will tighten the rules around mortgage affordability. If your application is approved, then your credit will be directly impacted by your monthly payments and subsequently affect your interest rates. It all goes around in circles really.

But if you can’t afford to buy a house, you are still not free from credit checks. Many landlords and letting agents now require credit checks from potential tenants. They want to ensure that tenants are going to frequently pay their rent, otherwise, they are a risk to the landlord’s rental income.

Rewarding on-time payments

The great thing I love about Rentscore is that it’s beneficial to the majority of renters who pay their rent on time every time. It will build positive payment history that will help towards their future financial future. No longer will ‘generation rent’ be victims of a system that did not recognise rent as a part of their financial profile

What is the best way to improve a credit score?

A credit score is a number that reflects your credit risk level, typically with a higher number indicating lower risk. It is generated through statistical models using elements from your credit report. It is typically generated at the time a lender requests your credit report and is then included as part of the report. Its organic always changing according to your monthly payments and history.

Some tips to improve your credit score include:

Check Your Credit Report – Credit score repair begins with your credit report. If you find errors on any of your reports, dispute them with the credit bureau. Read more about Disputing Errors on Your Credit Report

Setup Payment Reminders – Making your credit payments on time is one of the biggest contributing factors to your credit scores. Some banks offer payment reminders through their online banking portals that can send you an email or text message reminding you when a payment is due.

Reduce the Amount of Debt You Owe – This is easier said than done, but reducing the amount that you owe is going to be a far more satisfying achievement than improving your credit score. The first thing you need to do is stop using your credit cards.

Ask your landlord to use Rentscore – let your landlord know that Rentscore can handle all rental payments via direct debit, they are informed when payments are made and early warned when payments are late.

Learn more about Rentscore

TheHouseShop.com team are on hand to speak about Rentscore learn more here 

Business safety: How safe and secure is your data in the cloud?

For the average consumer, the most common way to interact with the cloud is through storage apps like Google Drive, Dropbox, and iCloud. Many users assume their files stored on the cloud are private because they require a password to log into the associated account.

Security does not necessarily equal privacy, however. While files stored on these services are encrypted both during transfer and at rest, the key to decrypting them is held by each respective company. That means measuring privacy depends on how much you trust Google, Apple, and Dropbox not to snoop. In the wake of Edward Snowden’s NSA whistleblowing, this trust was severely damaged.

Problems arise when legal and business interests are placed at odds with user privacy. It’s in Google’s best interests, for example, to collect as much metadata about its users as possible so it can better target them with advertisements. It could, if it were so inclined, snoop on a user’s Google Drive files to learn more about them and collect personal data.

In another instance, Apple has fought the FBI tooth and nail to keep the government out of iPhones. If it were to give in to government coercion or a deal was made behind closed doors, the government would have the means to access users’ iCloud accounts.

Then there’s the threat of hackers. User details for several Dropbox accounts were leaked when an employee’s password was compromised. While no user data was ever at risk, it shows that even big companies have vulnerabilities. When the power to decrypt every account is centralized to a single entity, it’s obviously going to be a bigger target for hackers.

Cloud backup

“Cloud backup differs from cloud storage in that it creates an exact copy of the files and folders stored on a device and puts them on the cloud, as opposed to storing files that may or may not exist on the source device.” – Umbrellar – A Cloud Company Cloud hosting experts

Security standards vary greatly between different backup providers. Some only encrypt the transfer and leave files vulnerable at rest without any encryption at all. Others use the same centralized security authority model as Google Drive and Dropbox. The best ones, however, give users an option to create a private encryption key.

Setting a private encryption key means only the user can decrypt his or her own files. The cloud provider has no way to decrypt them. This also means that if the user loses the password, the files can never be recovered. Deciding between setting a private key or using the provider’s key comes down to how much you trust yourself to keep the key secure (and remember it) versus how much you trust the company. IDrive is highly rated and Crashplan is another excellent option for those who want to back up their devices with a private key.

Client-side encryption

Another option is to utilize client-side encryption. This means users encrypt their data on the local device before uploading to the cloud. Boxcryptor, Cloudfogger, and other apps are free to download and use specifically for this purpose. The downside is that the cloud provider can no longer index files by their contents or metadata, and cloud-based previews won’t work at all. If you use Boxcryptor to encrypt a Word document, for instance, you won’t be able to edit or preview it in Google Drive. You’ll have to download it, decrypt it, and make changes on the local machine.

In the earlier days of cloud computing, many were skeptical about security. Cloud servers are, after all, accessible to anyone with an internet connection and they are often shared between multiple clients. Today, the security of cloud technology is still contested. Public sentiment is leaning more and more in favor of cloud advocates, however, who say data is just as safe in a private data center as it is on the cloud.


So, is cloud storage safe? It largely depends on what precautions you take and with which company you subscribe to. Either setting a private key or using client-side encryption are the safest options by far. Most users won’t have much to worry about from the standards employed by Apple, Google, and Dropbox, but keep in mind that they could in fact access your files if they wanted to or if a government coerces them. Steer clear of any storage or backup providers that don’t encrypt files at rest. Many will claim to use encryption, but really they only encrypt the transfer.

Storing files on a second computer or external hard drive is probably the safest option, especially if it’s password-protected. But the other side of the coin is that these devices are prone to hardware failure, loss, and theft. The beauty of modern cloud services is that your files are usually stored redundantly in multiple locations, so even if a Dropbox datacenter gets hit by lightning, your data is still safe and accessible from another location.

Early Adopters Meet Anchor

Anchor Radio

I am really excited by a new app called Anchor which is a free iPhone app that makes it easy to broadcast short audio clips to a global audience in seconds. Your listeners can talk back, sparking instant group conversations that were never before possible. When not recording, listen to authentic humour, knowledge, inspiration, and debate from Anchor’s global collective of personality.

The joining up process is the slickest I have ever experienced , it feels like you are getting a one to one personal tuition that takes you through the sort steps of setting up.

The first broadcast you make to a global audience is called a #FIRSTWAVE here you simply make a short recording by talking into your phone just how you would normally do. You get a chance to review and accept the recordings. Once I created my first wave I received some welcome messages from other users. I am based in London and I had “welcome Nick” messages from Australia and several people from the USA.

I put the app to work by asking a question regarding #socialmedia I then followed others who has made waves or broadcasts about the same subject. People gave advice and i was surprised by the replies.

How will brands use Anchor?

Anchor FM

It seems to me that brands will use the wave feature to undergo research and to gauge opinion. It will also serve as a great tool to help a message go viral. Each message can be shared on Twitter and you can also ask your entire address book to follow you. This powerful combination along with the fact its new and fun will see messages spread globally.

My Bald Anchor Test

I just recently created a term called #BALDSCAPE this is where a image or video features a scene that will also feature typically the top of a bald head. A bit of fun that will keep me amused and hopefully others when travelling or taking photos with my phone. I asked a question you can see this here


How to Use Anchor

Recording voice in Anchor is incredibly easy; you simply hold your phone up to your ear, just like talking on the telephone. Best of all, anyone can interact and respond, creating instant discussions that were never before possible on the internet. Once published, conversations can be shared as podcasts, and heard all over the web. More at Anchor

and more about #baldscapping

Google Matt Cutts – Should I build links using article directories?

Question – Links from relevant content in article directories – seen as good or bad? eg. I link my beauty website from a cosmetic surgery article on say, Ezine? Would you do that?

So i think over time, article directories have gotten a little bit of a worse name. So just to refresh everybody’s memory, an article directory is, basically, where you write 300, 400, or 500 words of content, and then you’ll include a little bio or some information about you at the bottom of the article, and you might have, say, three links with keyword-rich anchor text at the bottom of that article. And then you’d submit that to a bunch of what are known as article directories, which then anybody can download, or maybe they pay to download them, and they’ll use them on their own website. And the theory behind that is that if somebody finds it useful and puts it on their web page, the you might get a few links. Now, in practice, what we’ve seen is this often tends to be a little bit of lower quality stuff. And in fact, we’ve seen more and more instances where you end up with really spammy content, getting sprayed and syndicated all over the entire web. So in my particular opinion, article directories and just trying to write one article and just syndicating it wildly, or just uploading it to every site in the world and hoping that everybody else will download it and use it on their website, I wouldn’t necessarily count on that being effective. We certainly have some algorithmic things that would mean that it’s probably a little less likely to be successful now compared to a few years ago, for example.So my personal recommendation would be probably not to upload an article like that.

Popular videos – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLwketYHoDPlABzzlREKFSvWUg4-fMAD89

Translation original video (Matt Cutts) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bo75Og4M34Q

How to Rank by Matt Cutts SEO – Keyword density success in Google


We just found this mashup video which Matt Cutts gave out a lot of very funny SEO advice regarding ideal keyword density for ensuring that you achieve a number 1 ranking on search engine Google.com

The video was made by Sam Applegate

However, it is a very good example of a video

I know a lot of people love to hate Matt Cutts, but I’m sure even his detractors would have to admit that Matt would most probably get a good laugh from the video.