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Staying in Touch

Category: Andy Marken's blog Published on Monday, 19 July 2010

The Web Is Fun But Written Communications Gets Things Done

“Forget about the weapons there mate, it doesn't matter. Forget about the weapons!” – Wikus Van De Merwe, District 9 (Key Creatives – 2009)

If we listen to our kids and all of the glowing reports, the world revolves around social media:

-                       YouTube serves up as many videos as McDonald’s serves burgers…but McDonald’s makes a profit.

-                       Facebook – according to “them” – hosts more videos than YouTube and they also make a profit.

-                       LinkedIn is where professionals meet and profitably exchange business stuff.

-                       More people follow your and my tweets; and no, they don’t make “much” money

-                       With all the content out there, P2P has been replaced by links to great video

-                       New smartphones put everything from everywhere in your hands anytime, anywhere

Our daughter doesn’t understand why we actually look forward to opening our email all the time--especially since most of the stuff in the inbox is SPAM (about 85% WW).

Maybe it’s because we remember using dialup, opening our email and hoping someone on the globe wanted to talk with or exchange an idea with us.

Those were the days!

Open the inbox and there were 10-40 emails from real people who wanted to “talk.”

The number is still about the same.

Of course, now we have to wade through 100-400+ spam messages to find them.   

Actually, the percent of email SPAM WW has gone down, but it’s still a lot … a lot of marketing stuff.  A lot of … well, you know.

Figure 2 – A Lot But – Sure, you still get a lot of SPAM when you open your inbox; but believe it or not, the volume has decreased.   Better use of filters keeps most of it at bay.  Even with the email SPAM, the social sites are more dangerous to navigate because that’s where cybercriminals are focusing so much of their attention.  Source – MessageLabs

sMail Slide
The post office would like to have a lot of that stuff back because their numbers are heading south … fast.

Figure 3 – Digital Mail – With the Internet, people don’t have to worry about rain, sleet, dark of night or even heroic acts.   The message is sent and received almost immediately.  How long it takes to get a response is something else all together.   But the speed and convenience of email has had a significant impact on the volume of correspondence mail services handle around the globe.  Source -- USPS

There was something elegant about a letter.

Something cool about mail service boxes

Figure 4 – Fading Symbol – The old reliable corner mailbox is disappearing from almost every corner in countries around the globe.  In the U.S., mailboxes like this one have gone from a high of 395,000 to about 175,000 in a little over 20 years.  Postal services are raising prices and reducing the number of deliveries during the week, but if it weren’t for holiday fliers, gift catalogs and other direct mail even your home mailbox would be empty most of the time.  Source – USPS

But email is just plain faster than sMail.  And today, business does business at the speed of the iNet … it has to!

When it comes to what is happening to the postal service, we agree with Fundiswa Mhlanga, “He was an honest man, and he didn't deserve any of what happened to him.”

But in today’s world you need the answer BAM!!!

To avoid most of the SPAM, you simply tune your email filters.  You don’t have to be a rocket surgeon to wipe out the garbage.

Only someone really trusting or uninformed:

-                       doesn’t have a complete security package installed (for all the good it does)

-                       doesn’t make certain he/she has all of the OS/security updates installed (yes, Mac too!!!)

-                       believes the too-good-to-believe offer (or “suffers from an IO -- idiot operator – error”)

Web 2.0/3.0 organizations and analysts are positive people spend all their time on the social media sites being entertained, learning more about people/things.

They overlook the fact that people today:

-                       spend 10-12 hours plus a day working –24x7 is a way of life

-                       nearly 50% of companies don’t allow (and even block) access to social net locations

-                       people spill their guts, tell everything about themselves on these social sites – who, what, where, when, why,  how – and we’re very uninterested in them

-                       cybercriminals love social media because they can/do grab and put all that information to use for…themselves

Figure 5 – Identity Fraud – While reported identity fraud has seemingly decreased over the past few years, the cybercriminals have become better and more creative in their efforts.  With their new tools and techniques, they are able to more efficiently and more effectively focus on bigger phish – financial institutions.  Source -- Symantec

So we don’t agree with Wikus Van De Merwe when he said, “You don't need that, man. Only sissies wear that. You don't need that.”

Even though the head of the FBI says he won’t bank online, but it doesn’t bother most folks.

We’re there increasingly (according to “them”) … playing games, looking up product info, reading the news, watching videos/TV, searching for dumb/dumber videos/jokes.

The Nasties
All of these things are great ways to spread your information around for the freelance and mob-hired cybercriminals.

The Web and social media have fostered a business that doesn’t need VC money … H*commerce.

While eCommerce enables people around the globe to buy/sell what they need/want, H*Commerce is a little more off the grid.  It’s usually just a one-way transaction.

When it occurs, one of the MNU Agents steps up and says, “MNU! We're serving eviction notices.”

Whether for business or personal communications – despite the garbage, dangers -- the iNet is still the best communications tool we have.

Figure 6 – One-on-One – While Web 2.0 sites and social media have given us new places to visit for news, information and entertainment, most people go online to exchange information and ideas with someone.  The one-to-one, one-to-a-few communications is the reason for the Internet’s existence and its success.   Everything else is frosting on the cake.  Source – USC Annenberg School Center for the Digital Future

Even with all the other stuff available to them, when our kids want to really find out about something, do something, exchange ideas/information, conduct business … they email.

Figure 7 – Staying in Touch – Today’s teens and ‘tweens have grown up with the Internet/Web at their fingertips.  They may be IMing with someone with their system or smartphone and doing any number of other activities; but no matter what, they also constantly monitor their email … just in case.   Source – Pew Research Center

It’s even more convenient – and addictive – now that they have their smartphones with them … everywhere!

These smaller screens are where the action is!

Every techie worth his/her salt is doing it all with the smartphone.

It’s the bandwidth sucking apps that carriers see improving their bottom lines.

Folks take/send/view a photo/video, send/receive a text message, get directions, play games, you name it.

There’s still a lot of growth potential too because only about eight percent of the devices in use are smartphones.

The rest of the 90 + percent of the units are POPs (plain old phones).  The H*commerce folks can’t wait for that number to get huge.

Sweeping the circuits and phone hacking is so much easier than tapping into your computer.

Symbian, Android, Win Mobile, iPhone’s OS and the others just don’t have a lot of protection for you and your information … yet.

H*commerce folks can bust in virtually anywhere, entice you and get all they need to know.

Like Wikus Van De Merwe said, “This is, this is very illegal, I mean, this is... this is a find.”


It’s a nuisance and a pain in your computer’s inbox, but you’re really gonna’ hate it on your smartphone screen.

OnPhone SPAM
You may have “unlimited” minutes, but when ad/PR tweets and Nigerian/blue pill offers fill your little screen, you are really going to be ticked.

The always available services are neat but dangerous.

As for the fantastic offers that come across the screen, it’s a lot like officer James Hope said “I mean, you can't say they don't look like that, that's what they look like, right? They look like prawns.”

Figure 8 – They Walk Among Us – Unfortunately, cybercriminals don’t look like aliens; they look just like you and the people next to you.  They just want something more out of life … your information.  Source – Key Creatives Hits: 2013

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