Choosing a smart password

Image representing Gmail as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

Phishing, a topic that’s been in the news, is unfortunately a common way for hackers to trick you into sharing personal information like your account password. If you suspect you’ve been a victim of a phishing attack, we recommend you immediately change your password, update the security question and secondary address on your account, and make sure you’re using a modern browser with anti-phishing protection turned on. Keep an eye out for the phishing warning Gmail adds to suspicious messages, and be sure to review these tips on how to avoid getting hooked.Creating a new password is often one of the first recommendations you hear when trouble occurs. Even a great password can’t keep you from being scammed, but setting one that’s memorable for you and that’s hard for others to guess is a smart security practice since weak passwords can be easily guessed. Below are a few common problems we’ve seen in the past and suggestions for making your passwords stronger.

You can follow the ‘via’ link to get all of Google’s ideas on creating smart passwords…

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What’s Your Workstyle?

Image representing Gist as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Here at Gist, we have embraced the phrase “connected people change history” as core to our mission and vision.  We believe that technologies are more accessible than ever to the individual and that the more connected we become, the more we are able to do amazing things.  Over the past couple years, we have talked to many smart people, learned a great deal from user feedback, examined how we work as a team, and looked forward to where we believe things are headed in the future leading us to the notion of  the “new workstyle.”

So, what is the “New Workstyle?”

The New Workstyle blends the latest technologies and tools with our daily activities allowing us to accomplish more in both personal and professional endeavors, accelerate ideas of our own, and lead more productive lives.

Unlike workflow which is defined by scripted and static process for everyone to follow, workstyle is unique to the individual who calls upon information, technology, and connections as needed.

This definition along with our understanding of it will evolve as the pace of innovation accelerates and individual “style” is applied to work.  Jason Fried’s great presentation at a TEDx event about “why work doesn’t happen at work” is an exclamation point on our concept.

Go to the source to read the article: blog.gist.com. Oh, and btw, thanks for NOT using Gist — it gives me a competitive advantage over you and your firm! 😀

Why email won’t die anytime soon

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Image via CrunchBase

If you follow the tech media, you’ll know that every few months, some journalist or blogger will start speculating about the imminent demise of email. Headlines along the lines of “Email is Dying” or “The Death of Email” show up in RSS feeds all over the place. You know the drill. This has been going on for years and we’re surprised this argument hasn’t (pardon the pun) died out by now.

Here are some of the points that tend to be be raised:

* People today, especially young people, prefer the immediacy of IM and SMS. So email is dying.

* A variation on the above is that email is old technology (it dates back to the early 1970s) based on the concept of traditional postal mail and doesn’t suit our current needs very well. So email is dying.

* The amount of spam is huge. So email is dying.

One of the more recent claims that email will soon be a thing of the past came from none other than Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook. Incidentally, he said this while launching Facebook’s new messaging system…

Email, however, is most definitely not dying, and here’s why.

via Royal Pingdom » Why email won’t die anytime soon. You can follow the ‘via’ link to go to the source and read the rest of the article if you’d like to dig a little deeper but in the meantime, if you have to use email, use Gmail or Google Apps for Business. Comment, call or use the contact form to connect so we can talk about how this applies to your business…

Email Overload: Download a Free Copy of David Allen's Email Rules

Getting Things Done

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Having problems managing email?

David Allen, author of Getting Things Done and inspiration for a lot of posts ’round these parts, gives away a free four-page PDF at his website that covers his basic principals for keeping email organized. Getting specific without going too in-depth, he explains the ‘two minute rule,’ why action-able emails should be kept separate from others, and why creating your own system—such as Gina’s [Trapani’s] modified ‘Trusted Trio‘. Great reading for GTD neophytes, and a good brush-up for the rest of us.”

Click here to get your copy! If you’re a Gmail user [and I hope you are] there’s more information here on how to use Gina’s system with Gmail or Google Apps mail.

Me personally? I use Gmail and Google Apps mail in conjunction with Remember The Milk [RTM]– the powerful task manager with the equally funny name. RTM gives me special tools to use within Gmail that allows me to convert an email to a task. In all fairness, Google now includes this feature in their task management system, however, it was not available when I built my approach to task management…

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At least 3 reasons why I’m not Buzzing with enthusiasm

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At least two people in the Googleverse are underwhelmed with Buzz; me and internet maven Richard Scoble. Scoble bats first…

“Together with a lot of web workers, I depend on being able to skim through information sources quickly. Services like Google Reader are well-optimized for doing this, especially in List mode. (To turn on List mode, from the “All Items” view, click on “Show: List” in the blue bar at the top right of the screen.)

The List views in Gmail and Google Reader make it easy to look at the subjects of posts, and scroll through them quickly. Google Buzz, unfortunately, uses the threaded conversation approach of Google Wave, but without the tools for controlling what appears on the screen that Wave has.

I hope that the limitations of Google Buzz’s interface are just growing pains. Maybe the designers of Buzz didn’t anticipate that some posts would generate hundreds of comments. So let’s hope that they’ll give us the tools to use the service efficiently, or, as one commenter suggests, Google Buzz users might give up on it before it’s a week old.” Source: Google Buzz: Not Efficient? – WebWorkerDaily

On his own blog, Scoble goes on to say…

“OK, now I’ve had a bit of time to play with Google Buzz and everywhere I look I see a badly-executed copy of FriendFeed.

With two important exceptions:

1. Google Buzz actually has a lot of users and much better information flowing through its veins. There’s a reason that FriendFeed doesn’t have many users: it has some very anti-user features that retard user adoption (back when I was excited about FriendFeed I kept hoping that FriendFeed was going to fix some of their issues).
2. It has pretty nice location features built in, especially if you use Google Maps on Android.” Source: Google Buzz copied FriendFeed’s worst features, why?

If you want to read the rest of his rant, go to the source. Here’s my random list of pet peeves…

  • I don’t even like to get electronic newsletters because they’re a distraction; email is for email and needs to be segmented from social media…
  • Information comes into Buzz, but it can’t get out; no rss output for the things I want to share
  • Insufficient keyboard shortcuts; what happened to e for email like Reader? Google Reader is perfect for my needs — Buzz is like a fly droning around my head while I’m trying to concentrate…

What do you think?

Facebook Is Offering You an Email Address: Don't Take It For Your Business

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Image via CrunchBase

As you’ve heard by now Facebook will be providing email address to its 500,000+ users.

Read the New York Times news on it here.

If you want to get a Facebook email address for your personal messaging, friends and family, that’s fine.

But please, if you have a REAL business. If you want to GROW your business, don’t start using a Facebook email address.

It hurts me to see hundreds of business owners giving me free Vistaprint business cards with a Yahoo, AOL or Gmail email address. It screams, “I’m not serious and I’m not professional.”

Sure, a free business card is nice and saves you $20 or so. But it costs you about $500 of credibility. Pay the premium to get a nice looking card. I’ve been a long time Vistaprint (paying) customer.

In the same way, a free email address saves you $50 a year or so. But guess what? It costs you hundreds of dollars in lost credibility.

Every business professional needs an email address with their branding as the domain name. Joe@joesbusinessname.com. PERIOD.

Readers of this blog will not be surprised to hear me say “And the best way to accomplish that is with Google Apps for Business”. I covered it well long ago in this post

Now you can get the Gist in Gmail

If you follow this blog at all, you know I’m crazy about a product called Gist [hit the search box if you don’t believe me!]. Gist is easily one of the top 7 tools in my social media toolbox [btw, it’s also in the running as a product of the year in the upcoming first annual ‘e1evation awards’.] Why? Simply put, Gist allows me to easily keep track of all the thought leaders in my inbox by giving me a simple dashboard that aggregates everything they say in one place. Using Gist is a simple way to ‘sit next to the smartest kid in the class’ as I say in my seminars — it brings together all the things they say each day in one place…

Take John Jantsch for example. I could spend all day following John on his blog, on Twitter and in Facebook, but Gist puts it all together for me in one place [click the image for a better view]. Sure, I could probably accomplish this in Google Reader using rss feeds, but Gist adds some really nice touches that make it worthwhile to add this tool to my repertoire. In addition to tracking their blog, their rss feed, their tweets and Facebook posts, it also brings together my calendar, any notes about the person, our correspondence, any attachments, shared contacts — even a Google search with images and text — all in one place. Furthermore, you can send a message to the person and ask them to update their profile for you. If you use the appropriate plugins for Outlook, Google Apps or now Gmail, you’ll also get a quick summary of the people attached to each email along with every message. Finally, if you use an iOS or Android phone, you can get Gist there a well. These are just a couple of reasons for using Gist that pop into my head at 6:16 AM — go to Gist and take the tour for yourself and you’ll see why it has quickly become one of the most important tools in my arsenal in the war against information overload…

If it’s true that social media is about building relationships, you need a tool like Gist to track and manage the thought leaders who are important to you and your business.