Categories
Business Internet News

The Dangers of Posting Negative Reviews

Now here is a story for you.

Just imagine that you buy something over the Internet and it never arrives. It happened to me once with a folding bike, and I lost my money. But at least if you use PayPal you have some chance to get your money back. Oh the benefits of hindsight!

So you buy something from a company over the Internet. The object does not turn up. You call the company, no answer, you write to them repeatedly, send them emails, try all the numbers you can find but nobody responds.

What do you do? You go on a review site and you tell the story. Well that is a dangerous game!

Reviews
Reviews

As this article on CNN explains, in 2008 John Palmer bought his wife Christmas gifts off KlearGear.com. The gifts didn’t arrive and he followed the path described above as many of us would.

More than three years later, Mr Palmer received an e-mail appearing to be from KlearGear.com stating that they would be fined $3,500 if the negative review wasn’t taken down within 72 hours.

So as any threatened person would he tried to have it removed. But the review company couldn’t remove it without entering into arbitration, costing money, so the review remained.

What about freedom of speech? Well you might well ask. When you buy something or have any contracted action with a company you might be signing away your freedom of speech. Yes, fine print.

If you look in the terms of sale and you find something like the following “Your acceptance of this sales contract prohibits you from taking any action that negatively impacts KlearGear.com” as in the sale mentioned above, you waive your rights goodbye.

The company can stipulate how much you are liable for as well. Then you have to pay up or go to court, run up huge legal bills and argue that the clause is not legal.

With Christmas just round the corner, Kwanzaa and birthday presents to shop for, holidays and flights to book and many others, what are we going to do? Do we have time to read 10 pages of contractual terms each time we buy something? Would we understand it anyway?

It looks like another form of cyber-bullying to me.

Categories
Business Internet News

Taxes on Internet shopping

Here in the US the Senate just passed the Marketplace Fairness Act, and it is causing a great deal of debate on all sides.

I want you to pay taxes
Pay more taxes on your online goods

In the USA each state can levy its own sales tax. The rate is not equal across the states, for example here in Massachusetts I pay 6.25% sales tax on my new fridge, but if I drive to New Hampshire I do not pay anything. You can check out the differences on this interactive tax map.

The legislation described above aims to make Internet sellers collect the taxes due to the buyer’s state, something they are not currently required to do. At the moment I order my fridge from a New Hampshire based Internet retailer and I don’t pay any tax. In theory I should go and pay the state myself, but with online sales worth billions there is no enforcement and no queues (lines) outside the tax office.

Retail outlets argue that this gives online sellers an unfair advantage, but they in turn argue that the collecting and payment of state taxes under the new proposed regime would be expensive and extremely complicated. If they sell me the fridge here it costs a certain amount, they have to collect the tax and pay it to Massachusetts, but my friend in Florida pays a different amount and the tax is paid to the state there. Now this might not be too complicated a system for Amazon to manage, but a small Internet based retailer might not have the technical expertise or personnel to carry it out.

The proposed bill does exclude traders who sell under a million dollars of goods, but in today’s world that could still be a very small organization.

The technical difficulties of collecting the taxes through any other means seem insurmountable though, and the problem is very much related to the idea that borders can be controlled. States have different laws about selling many things, but if these things can be bought on the Internet and shipped to an individual house I cannot see how these rules can be adequately enforced. Is it a form of smuggling to buy something that you cannot get in your own state?

The result of the bill (if it passes although it does have bi-partisan support) will be that local sales tax will be levied at source and so the fridge will cost more. Maybe this is just and fair, maybe it will choke some smaller businesses, who knows?

What do you think?

Categories
Computers Internet News Search Engines Software Technology

What is Shodan?

EDITOR NOTE: This is Jonny’s 75th post on Technology Bloggers! Jonny was a complete newbie to blogging when he wrote his first post (about prosthetic limbs) but he is now somewhat of an expert – although he probably wouldn’t agree! – note by Christopher

Recently a couple of articles have appeared on large US websites about a type of search engine called Shodan. This search engine has been about for about 3 years, but it is different from Google and its cohorts in many ways. I looked at it and could not understand it at all, so what is it then and why is it causing such concern?

A screenshot of the Shodan website
Expose online devices

I have seen Shodan described as “The scariest search engine on the Internet”. This CNN money article explains that Shodan navigates the Internet’s back channels. It’s a kind of “dark” Google, looking for the servers, webcams, printers, routers and all the other stuff that is connected to and makes up the Internet.

What interest could there be in such capability? Well a lot apparently. The system allows an individual to find security cameras, cooling systems and all types of home control systems that we have connected to the Internet. (See Christopher’s series about his British Gas system here).

One serious problem is that many of these systems have little or no security because they are not perceived as threatened. Shodan searchers have however found control systems for a water park, a gas station, a hotel wine cooler and a crematorium. Cybersecurity researchers have even located command and control systems for nuclear power plants and a particle-accelerating cyclotron by using Shodan.

Hacking apart it turns out that the world is full of systems that are attached via router to the office computer and web server, and on to the outside world. Access for anyone who can find them and might like to turn of the refrigeration at the local ice rink, shut down a city’s traffic lights or just turn off a hydroelectric plant.

The Shodan system was designed to help police forces and others who might have legitimate need for such a tool, but what when it gets into the wrong hands. Security is non existent, just get your free account and do a few searches and see what you find.

See this Tech News World article for a further look at the ethical and practical issues that such a freely available product might bring

Regular readers will be aware of my interest in these types of problems through my work at the Bassetti Foundation for Responsible Innovation. I am not sure how the development and marketing of such a tool could be seen as responsible behaviour, but as I have been told on many occasions during interviews there are plenty of other ways of finding out such things. These types of systems are gathering already available information to make it usable, nothing more, so not doing anything wrong.

Do you agree?

Categories
Computers Internet

File Sharing: Is Your Business Getting the Most Out of It?

Has your business ever reached a point where it’s run out of spare capacity for important files on its hard drives? If so, you might wonder what you could do to make sure it never happens again. The same might go for moving large files around, which can be fiddly at the best of times when email accounts cannot cope.

More room

A business can never have enough spare capacity for files. A growing number of businesses throughout the world have turned to cloud computing to help do both for a variety of reasons, which include:
Data servers

  • Being able to store files online in a ‘cloud’, an online space where they can be accessed securely.
  • Being able to share files from the cloud with clients and colleagues – collaboration is also possible.
  • Providing a viable alternative to a traditional server which is far more cost-effective.

While all this is help to make using the cloud palatable, there may be a possibility that businesses aren’t getting what they expect from some cloud storage providers, and that’s where enterprise cloud computing services like Egnyte come in.

Value for money

As with everything else they buy, businesses should make sure they get the most from their cloud storage and online file sharing package. There are a number of pitfalls facing companies who turn to the cloud for some of their IT solutions which they would do well to avoid.

The main one is the limits placed on the amount of file space you have to work with and the size of files which you can share. Many providers have limits in place, so it’s important to get as much space for as little money as possible. Also, consider what your business needs – how big are the files which you share and how much space do your files take up?

As this article states, the way in which your file sharing vendor affects your internet connection is also important. If you have several file sharing accounts, they could slow your internet speed down, so take that into consideration before choosing the right service provider.

Safety first

Another factor that should influence choice of a cloud file sharing provider is the security of their services. Most providers have security software which limits opportunities for accounts to get hacked, while a few have taken extra steps to make users’ accounts practically impervious to even the most sophisticated malware.

Categories
Series Technology

My first impressions of Remote Heating Control

This is the third in a series of articles in which I am exploring Remote Heating Control – a technology of the future. Learn more about this series by reading the introductory article, called stepping into the future of smarter living.

So far in the series, I have introduced Remote Heating Control technology, its capabilities and potential, and discussed the installation process, with specific reference to my installation. In this article I will be sharing with you my experiences and first impressions of using the technology.

Logging In For The First Time

Remote Heating Control really is a technology of the future. Why? How many parts of your home can you currently control via the internet? Probably non. In the future I believe that most of our home will be remotely controllable. Technologies like smart meters and Safe and Secure are all linked to the internet, meaning that you can secure your home or see what electricity you are using remotely. These are two new technologies which will also be making their way into our homes very soon, and are part of the future of smarter living.

So Remote Heating Control is a technology of the future, as you can now control your heating online.

To login to my heating (I know, at first it sounds a little odd and at the same time cool ‘logging in to your heating‘!) I have to go to this URL: https://myhome.britishgas.co.uk

This URL is British Gas’s myHome homepage, which is the portal that I will log into to change/check my heating. It is also the portal you would visit if you have Safe and Secure technology installed at home.

Basically, myHome could soon be where you go to control your homes heating and security.

British Gas myHome
myHome – where I now go to check and change the temperature of my house

I was given a handy User Guide by Nick (the British Gas engineer who installed my technology) which has been very helpful, as it contains practically everything I need to know about remotely controlling my heating. That said, as I am relatively technical and have found that as the interface is so easy to get to grips with, I have rarely had to refer to the User Guide.

After logging in for the first time, like I explained in my previous post, I had to get the devices to find each other. This is usually all done online, so you don’t need to actually change the device setup at all, the portal just connects to your devices and then synchronises them.

In my case it had been a while since my installation before I got round to setting up my online account. This meant that my smart linked thermostat had fallen out of pairing mode, so the hub was unable to find it. British Gas were more than helpful in getting me up and running, and I was given a personal contact (engineer Steve Plumb) who helped me get my system working. Being a techie, I took the initiative to see if I could get the smart linked thermostat homing again myself, by taking the batteries out, and then putting them back in again – hence restarting the device. It worked. I have no doubt that the phone call I had scheduled with Steve would have helped me solve the issue just as fast, but it felt good to solve it myself.

Tutorial

After all my devices were connected, I was presented with a four step tutorial, which explained how to use the technology.

The first step was a quick guide to the SMS control function. It let me know the commands I would need to control my heating when not in the house, or near an internet connection.

The next step gave me a link to download the app (iPhone and Android) that I can use to control my heating via smartphone.

Step three explained the homepage of the console, what everything meant and how I control my heating instantly – i.e. if I decide to make my house hotter/colder than my scheduled plan.

The final step gave me an explanation of how to set up a heating schedule.

Homepage

When I login to myHome, I am now presented with a very interesting screen, which is filled with data and options. At the top of the screen are some navigation links, and then taking centre stage are two main boxes: temperature and heating.

British Gas Remote Heating Control online homepage
myHome homepage – where I control my Remote Heating Control from

The temperature box lets me know the temperature inside my house at the moment (rounded to the nearest degree) along with the weather and temperature outside too. It also shows me the average temperature in my home today, and this week.

If you look at the image above you will see that my home must be pretty well insulated, as I am yet to have the heating on, and despite it being 17°C outside, inside it is a comfortable 19°C. The average temperature for my house today is 19°C, and in the last week it has been 20°C.

The heating box tells me the exact temperature inside my house right now to one decimal place – the same reading on my smart linked thermometer (18.5°C).

If I click on the temperature box it takes me to a page where I can view diagrams of what the temperature in my house was like over the last day, week and month. Very interesting and handy when setting a schedule

If I click on the heating box I am taken to a page where I can set up a day by day heating schedule. The weather seems to be pretty mild (at least where I live) at the moment, so I haven’t yet set up a heating schedule, as I don’t really need my heating on, so more on this next time.

Overall I am very pleased and impressed with my new online heating portal myHome. It is very well designed, is easy on the eye, and makes me heating seem a lot easier to control. I look forward to using the technology in the next week or so as the weather gets colder.

Next Time

In the fourth post in this series (launching on Friday the 5th of October) I will be exploring how remote the technology really is. I will discuss how to set up a schedule, and how easy or difficult I find that, along with how effective my remote commands are at affecting the temperature of my house, whether programmed via text, app, online or smart linked thermostat.

Categories
Series Technology

Installing Remote Heating Control

This is the second in a series of articles in which I am exploring Remote Heating Control – a technology of the future. Learn more about this series by reading the introductory article, called stepping into the future of smarter living.

In this article, I will be reviewing the installation of the technology I have had fitted in my home: Remote Heating Control.

The Parts

The install involved three main parts: the wireless hub; the wireless receiver; and a new thermostat.

Installation

The wireless receiver was installed first. This was installed near to my boiler, and receives the wireless signal from my new thermostat controller. The wireless receiver is connected to the boiler using a cable.

British Gas Remote Heating Control
My British Gas wireless receiver

After the wireless receiver was connected, Nick (the British Gas engineer who installed my technology) installed my new smart linked thermostat. This looked much more advanced than my previous thermostat controller, and wasn’t just a dial. My new thermostat controller has an LED display and four buttons for programming. Programming can be done via two main methods, on the device itself, or via the online portal. The online portal can be accessed either by smartphone or computer. The easiest way to manage my heating will be online.

British Gas Remote Heating Control
My British Gas smart linked thermostat
British Gas Remote Heating Control
My British Gas wireless hub

Finally, the wireless hub was installed. This is a small device, which plugged into my internet router and the mains – AC power supply. I needed one spare Ethernet port in my internet hub, and a free mains plug socket nearby, which I did. I imagine for most people the mains plug socket shouldn’t be an issue, as the likelyhood is that your router is near a plug socket, so an adapter plug or extension lead can be used. I would also imagine that you will have a spare Ethernet port in your internet hub, however if you are using all the available ports, you may need to buy an extension hub to ensure that you can still have all your devices connected.

How It Works

Here is a brief synopsis of what is now installed in my home, i.e. the technology that makes up Remote Heating Control. My boiler is now connected to a wireless receiver. This wireless receiver ‘talks’ (communicates wirelessly) with my smart linked thermostat, which communicates with my wireless hub. The wireless hub it plugged into my router and sends and receives information to and from the online portal.

To control my heating I can either login to the British Gas portal, online or via a smartphone app, text commands to my heating via SMS, or programme it manually. My new smart linked thermostat which can be used to control the system is wirelessly connected to my boiler. When I change settings on my smart linked thermostat, this affects the behaviour of my boiler, and the information is transmitted to British Gas, which updates the online system.

Opinions

I have a few opinions and thoughts on the installation that I would like to share with you.

The first is that Nick (the engineer) was very friendly, curious and acted professionally. He phoned me before his arrival to check it was okay with me still and let me know his estimated time of arrival.

When installing my wireless hub, Nick asked me to plug it in at the wall, and into my internet router. This is because he didn’t know exactly how my technology worked, and therefore didn’t want to damage it. I have a standard router, however I think it is good that he asked me to do it, yes it removes his liability, but it does mean that I know nothing was broken.

My impression of what British Gas staff (specifically engineers) are like is very good, Nick seem to be no trouble to deal with.

Regarding my smart linked thermostat, it is a little inconvenient that it runs on batteries. My old thermostat was directly wired into my boiler, however this one is wireless and takes two AA batteries. The batteries are no big deal really, I imagine it will get as routine as checking/changing a smoke alarm, however it is a task I had not anticipated I would need to do. That said, it will be easy to know when to change the batteries, as there is battery indicator online!

Online Control

In order to set up my online control I need to log in and get the devices to find each other. It was really easy, and the web based interface gives you a really well explained walk through. Once my devices had been discovered by the system, I was asked to create a four digit pin, which I would have to use when texting heating commands. If you get Remote Heating Control, it would be a good idea to write this down – which I did needless to say!

Next Time

In the next article in the series I will give you my first impressions of using Remote Heating Control for the first time. I will be exploring any issues I encounter, how it helps me, and the potential I believe it has.

Categories
Business How To Guides Technology

Utilising technology to its full business potential

There is no doubt about it. Technology has greatly enhanced how we carry out our businesses today. It’s just one of the beauties of the information age and for this, most of us cannot but thank modern communication technology for the opportunity to work and connect with the whole wide world!

But, think about this…

Is technology really a blessing to your business or you have become so obsessed with it that it has become a curse?

Have you become so engrossed and mesmerized by the tools of information technology that you have quickly forgotten why you bought them in the first place?

Have you forgotten that those tools were to leverage your time and help grow your business?

It’s really unfortunate that many online business entrepreneurs unintentionally have allowed modern technology gadgets and tools to suck the time out of their lives and add needless overhead to their businesses.

As a fellow web entrepreneur interested in your business success, I want to use this article to give you some basic tips on how you can truly make modern day technology a blessing in your online business. My desire is to ensure that you make every cent you will ever spend on your business count. Of course, this may not agree with many but that doesn’t really matter as long as you are able to gain with it. And so, I invite you to read this article all through.

A Japanese and a Texan story

The Story of the Japanese and the Texan

I don’t know if you have heard this story before, but I must say it is one that has a lot of lessons for us as regards what we want to discuss in this article. The story is about a Japanese man and a Texan who were passing through customs at an airport. The Japanese man was said to have with him two large suitcases and the Texan wanting to play the Good Samaritan, offered to help the Japanese move the suitcases toward the customs officers. Just as he was doing this, the Japanese man’s wristwatch started beeping and the man listened to the message and talked through a miniature speaker on the telephone in the wristwatch.

The Texan was amazed and right there offered to purchase the watch for $5,000. But the Japanese declined, saying the watch was not for sale.

The Texan now more interested in the Japanese man continued helping the man to push his heavy bags forward. A few seconds later the watch beeped again and this time the Japanese man opened the watch to receive an email message and then replied same using a small computer contained in the watch. The Texan, awestruck, again offered to purchase the watch but this time for $25,000.

“The watch is not for sale,” the Japanese man again replied.

Now, the Texan could not take the thought of the watch from his mind. To him that wristwatch is just want he wanted right now! And, then as he again helped push the enormous bags forward the watch beeped a third time. This time a long fax came out. The Texan, now more determined to own that watch, offered to purchase it for $300,000.

At this, the Japanese man turned to him and asked if he had the money there. The Texan quickly and eagerly wrote out a check for him. The Japanese man processed the check on the watch and then transferred the money into his Swiss bank account. After this, he took off the watch and handed it to the Texan and walked away.

As he was walking away the Texan realized that the Japanese man had left the enormous bags behind. Turning around he called out to him, “you’re forgetting your bags.”

“Those are not my bags,” the Japanese man shouted back. “They’re the batteries for your watch!”

Lol!

Alright, so how does this story relate to what I want to discuss with you here?

In many ways! Actually the moral of the story is that the Texan got caught on the wrong side of information technology! And so, my point here is that you should be careful that you don’t fall into the same trap.

To help you avoid this trap here a few tips on how you can make technology to work maximally for your online business.

building a successful online business

1. Don’t Invest Your Time Or Money Except If It Adds Value

Every day new and enticing tools and software are being pushed into the market. You must beware that you’re not drawn by them. If you allow yourself to be obsessed or mesmerized, you will end up with gadgets that are nothing but fanciful toys.

Before investing your resources in any tool of technology, ask yourself if it will increase sales, help lower overhead or help in your business effectiveness. If any gadget fails in any of these areas then do not invest your time or money in it.

2. Do Not Become A Slave Of Technology

Many online entrepreneurs have allowed themselves to become slaves of online tools. I’m sure you are very much aware of the distractions we all face every day on the net. Online media, online games, online chatting etc, have become an obsession for many.

As an entrepreneur, you must understand that your time is valuable. You must therefore learn to master these tools so that they do not sabotage your productivity. If possible find ways of automating the use of these tools.

3. Use Inexpensive But Smart Tools Whenever Possible

Why rush to get any technological tool or gadget that hit the market? Do not be deceived, that tool may be the latest right now but with the rate these tools are being turned out, that latest gadget may just be obsolete even before you learn to enjoy its full potentials.

The solution? Decide on what you want done in your business and then go for the tools that will help you with that. The good thing is that there are smart tools that you can pick up online that will help you save both money and time and possibly increase your effectiveness.

4. If You Must Buy It Then Use It To The Fullest

This flows from #3 above. One thing that is clear is that most technological gadgets today can actually perform a whole lot of things. If you must invest your money and time on any of these, then learn to use it to the fullest. There are a hundred and one places online where you can learn about using these tools. There are free tutorials you can access online. Also blogs like the Technology Bloggers, can be of great help.

5. Don’t Get It Before You Need It

As an internet marketer I think I’m progressing in error here but I think your success as an entrepreneur is more important to me than any form of monetary gain.

If you’re subscribed to internet marketing newsletters or you spend a considerable time surfing the net, you will understand that every day new tools and “push button” software are being pushed at us left, right and center by smart internet marketers.

If you’re not focused, you’ll be tempted to believe that if you don’t own that latest tool or software, the world will just be passing you by!

But instead of falling into this trap, ask yourself if you indeed need that tool right now. If not don’t go for it. When you truly do need it, the right tool, and maybe something better, will be available for you!

Conclusion

In a rapidly changing world, technology is essential to effectively compete as a business however, not every tool of technology is worth your time. Spending your time and finance on technology for its sake, will end up as a curse instead of a blessing. Be disciplined and master your use of online tools and gadgets if you want your business to greatly benefit with the latest push button technology.

Over to You: Have you ever invested in a tool or gadget that you later regretted? Are you an online entrepreneur? How are you maximizing your use of technology for your online business? Share your experience with us in the comments below.

Categories
Business

How important is the quality of hosting to online retailers?

This is a sponsored post. To find out more about sponsored content on Technology Bloggers, please visit our Privacy Policy.

With many brick-and-mortar businesses adding an online version of their high-street store to their portfolio, it’s important that firms choose the right web hosting service. With myriad services offering cheap deals, firms ought to be wary regarding offers that appear to be too good to be true – because they usually are.

On the surface, purchasing web hosting that costs £20 a month seems like a steal. In fact, it is a steal. However the only thing that is being nicked is precious uptime for online retailers, as the vast majority of cheap hosts go hand-in-hand with downtime.

Downtime – a retailer’s worst nightmare

For online retailers, downtime is especially important; every second of downtime is potentially a lost sale. Would you rather pay a premium for quality web hosting that is reliable and constantly up, or pay a third of the price for web hosting that keeps going down? In the long-term, it may cost more for firms to pay for cheap, but less reliable hosting.

In addition, utilising the services of a web hosting service in your time zone could be important, especially for smaller firms. Imagine if your store goes down but your hosting service is half-way across the world. This is certainly not ideal for any stores looking to make sales. For example, let’s just say your UK-based store goes down at lunchtime. No amount of calls at 12pm is going to wake a firm located half-way across the world; tucked up in bed at 12am. It’s a nightmare scenario.

SEO

The importance of SEO over the last 10 years has changed the face of the internet. An increasing number of online retailers are producing fresh content in a bid to become a publishing authority in the eyes of search engines.

However, when a cheap hosting company offers dead links, 404 errors and other harmful downtime to a retailer, what are these search engines going to think? Bounced traffic isn’t going to look good in the eyes of Google or Bing.

Technology Bloggers 404 error
Technology Bloggers 404 Page

Eventually, a retailer could slip down the rankings, and get flanked by its competition. It takes a lot of dedication to work up the search rankings, so don’t let a bogus hosting firm ruin your company and its prospects.

Security

In addition, security should be a top priority for online retailers. The amount of hackers roaming cyberspace is vast and make no mistake – they’re ready to capitalise on unprotected websites. By opting for secure web hosting which features STFP and SSL, a business and its clients can feel assured that all sensitive data is kept in safe hands.

As you can see, the quality of web hosting is an absolutely integral part of the foundations of success for online retailers. In an era of cost cutting and tight purse strings, it might be tempting to lump with a cheap web hosting service from the other side of the world, but in the long-term you may end up opening your wallet more often than you think.

Categories
Business How To Guides

How To Climb Up The Online Business Mountain

If you have ever participate in an outdoor activity, especially mountain hiking, you will agree with me that it has a lot in common with the strategic steps we ought to go through before expecting rewarding online business success.

Just like outdoor activities start from recording a list of the necessary gear to use, succeeding in online business also involves a strategic approach of proper self organization, from getting the required working materials to effective time management.

Even while there is already a lot of fun in working from home, it also comes with some time and self management challenges which often keep most of us from climbing up the online business mountain and achieving total control and freedom.

On top of a snow covered mountain
Climb the mountain to online business success

For an effective approach towards achieving online business success, we have to pay attention to the following:

Effective Time Management

This is the most important factor that determines the level we can reach as online business owners. Ineffective time management can ruin our progress and deter us from achieving the great heights. For effective time management, we need to:

Schedule our time: Doing the dishes, laundry, coking and some other household activities are going to steal your business time, if you don’t schedule them wisely.

It is true that these activities are necessary and have to be done, but you will be more productive both at your family duties and at your online business, if you schedule special periods in the day for everything you need to do in the house and for your online business as well.

Once it is the time for each of them, leave every other thing you are doing and focus on them. This will improve your concentration and ensure you accomplish more.

While these activities are inevitable, there are others, like online chats with friends, online videos and their likes are total time-suckers and should be avoided.

Stop procrastination: Once you have fixed activities for the day, don’t shift one to the next minute. If it is time to get something done, get it done. I learn this the hard way, but it is good you know that every minute of the day comes with some needs. Shifting any activity to the future will pile up with loads of other activities and eventually will overwhelm you.

Working place and passion for your job

It is critical to love your work and be able to do it in a nice and cozy place. For effectiveness in online business we need to:

Create a space and keep it organized: Even though you work from home, getting a separate office for your business will make you take it more seriously and ensure that you accomplish something on daily basis. Also, properly organizing your working space will ensure that it doesn’t repel your interest but instead, lure you to work.

Love what you do and let the others be aware too: Tell your family and friends that even though you stay at home, certain periods of the day are dedicated to your online business. They will respect this fact only when they see how bold and serious you are, and how important this is for you; hence you need to show them that commitment.

Measure your success and reward yourself: Most times, many online business owners lose hope and give up when they feel that nothing is working. Even that period is important, because you have found methods that don’t really work and you just need to concentrate to do things differently. However, find a way to measure your success, even if it is the little things you accomplish in your day, and reward yourself for that by taking yourself out, watching your favorite TV series, etc.

With all these been cleared up, you have built a strategic plan and you’re ready to go. Pack your backpack with all these necessary gear and with determination hit the trail to online business success. The path won’t be easy, but you will be prepared.

Categories
Technology

Smart Meters are the future for your home electricity

This is a sponsored post on behalf of British Gas. To find out more about sponsored content on Technology Bloggers, please visit our Privacy Policy.

Smart meters are a clever new technology, that can help to improve the way your energy usage is monitored and recorded, but many people know very little about this new bit of tech.

Smart Meters

Smart meters are a technology that are transforming our understanding of energy, and how we use it. What they allow you to do is to work out how much energy you are using, and on what, much better than ever before.

Smart meters measure gas and electricity usage in your home, by replacing your old electricity and gas meter, with an all new one.

For more information, watch this useful British Gas video about smart meters 🙂

The Benefits

This new energy meter allows you to see much easier how much electricity you are using, due to their handy in-home display, which puts you in control  of your energy.

Thanks to smart meters you can see in real time how much energy you are using. You can check this on its user friendly energy monitor, either online or through our smartphone app. So if you have your kettle and TV on and you are using 1KW, then you know what those appliances use.

According to British Gas this gives you the potential to reduce your bills by around a fantastic 10%!  This is because thanks to smart meters, you can see what energy you are using, and therefore can start to make small changes to use less and save money on your bills.

Another handy thing about smart meters is that they report wireless, so there is no longer a need (or the hassle!) for you or an engineer to take readings. Furthermore, the readings sent will now be 100% accurate, for total piece of mind.

Installation

In the UK British Gas are aiming to provide smart meters in all homes in the near future – meaning that everyone can benefit from this new technology.

British Gas's Corporate LogoThey are starting the roll out now, with 120,000 homes in the UK already having a smart meter. This will grow to around 1.5million by the end of 2012.

Because they are so useful, the UK government has mandated that all households will need to have smart meters installed by 2019.

British Gas have already started to introduce smart meters to homes across the UK, in order to make sure that we are ready in time for 2019.

When your home is ready for an upgrade, British Gas will contact you and their highly trained Smart Energy Experts will change your meters, and explain how to use your energy display and save on your bills.

Head over to British Gas’s website and Facebook page to find out more about smart meters and how you can get yours installed!

What do you think about the new meters which could save you money? Do you have any questions on anything I haven’t covered about smart meters?