Blog

Cronycle Topics & Influencer Communities

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Cronycle is an information workflow application powered by Right Relevance (subsidiary of Cronycle), which is a topical information search and relevance platform.

Topics and Influencers (per topic) form the backbone of the search and relevance technology.

  1. Topics (over 50 thousand) including metadata like related topics & semantics like synonyms, acronyms.
  2. Topical influencers (over 2.5M) with score and rank.

Topics are identified by algorithmically mining over 10M unstructured documents on the web and leveraging Wikipedia and Right Relevance topical graph neighborhood techniques. Relationships and semantics are derived from this process with manual corrections and injections for the last mile.

Topical Influencers mining is fully algorithmic and primarily graph based. The methodology leverages ML, semantic analysis and NLP on unstructured data at scale and involves a 2-level proprietary people rank (custom page rank for social graphs):

Stage 1. Global PR to reduce a ~300M nodes graph to ~6M (for now) globally ranked influencers. This is a first level reduction and we don’t expose the scores. It doesn’t have topical context.

Stage 2. Graph partitioning of the ~6M connected nodes from stage 1 across our ~50K structured topic space using unstructured data assigned to each node. This leads to ~50K per topic sub-graphs, where a secondary PR is applied to determine the topic score for each node in each topical sub-graph. This secondary PR score is normalized to calculate the Right Relevance topic score and rank influencers for every structured topic in our platform. 

Our custom PR algorithm is derived from google pagerank but is specialized for social graphs (instead of links/webpages) with many important differences applicable to social networks.

The RightRelevance score of an expert/influencer for a TOPIC represents the authority within the topical community say for e.g. ‘machine learning’ of that influencer. This measure of influence per topic is termed as ‘topical influence’ and the topical communities formed are termed as “Tribes“.

Once we have the scored and ranked influencers’ community for a particular topic (e.g. machine learning, behavioral science, big data, emergency medicine, oil and gas, angularjs,  social media marketing etc.) we mine the web for content. The numeric influence from topics and influencers is inductively applied to this content for measuring relevance and forms a critical part of the search. We download ~600K articles daily from ~2M websites every month. Topical content and information are available in the form of articles, videos and conversations.

Points to note:

  • We dampen followers count, tweet count etc. noisy signals and lay much more focus on the topical network itself.
  • Each influencer can be part of multiple topical sub-graphs aka communities and have a different score, and rank, within each. This is exposed in our apps via scored tags.
  • Other, non structured, topics work via free-form search but the relevance may not be of the same quality. This can be seen by the score ’10’, which, probably poorly done, means we didn’t find a community for the topic.

Both topics and influencer graphs are mined and built algorithmically at scale with ever-increasing quality after every iteration.

Event: mastering information in a Trump Twittersphere

Reading Time: 1 minute

We are hosting an event at the Century Club (61-63 Shaftesbury Ave, London) to discuss how Twitter is gaining importance in financial markets.  We will show you how hedge fund managers and analyst are using Cronycle (www.cronycle.com) and RightRelevance (https://www.rightrelevance.com/search/articles?query=crude%20oil – on crude oil for example) to keep ahead.

Please RSVP at [email protected]

We look forward to seeing you there.

Date:  9 July, 2018

Tine:  6pm onwards

Venue:  Century Club, 61-63 Shaftesbury Avenue

 

 

How Will Mobile Apps Make Business Easier

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The field of mobile apps is growing as we speak, mostly in two different ways. One way is the app development market that employs millions of people globally. The other way mobile apps affect the modern business realm is their use and application (sic!) for various business purposes. As new technologies are being developed, they’re also finding their way to mobile implementation. So, let’s read a bit more about the further potential of mobile apps in the world of AI, AR and other tech innovations.

 

1) Artificial intelligence and mobile apps

Smartphones, tablets, and wearables already function via smart software tools that can learn some of the patterns established by their users. However, this is only the tip of an iceberg. In other words, AI will change the market of mobile apps.

For starters, our living and work habits will be memorized and gathered by the means of AI. In turn, this will enable their creators and mobile providers to prepare various ready-made offers for our daily routines. Since many of our decisions and actions will be anticipated, all these tech innovations should lead to a more productive work day and well-organized free time.

Apart from that, app developers will have a chance to use these AI-collected data to do QA testing. As a result, they’ll save more time that can be invested in solving complex UX and functionality problems. AI features will be here to do the tiring coding tasks and analyze the UX-input gathered from customers.

Nevertheless, all these innovations could have negative effects on our privacy if our private data aren’t collected and stored in accordance with the legal guidelines. That’s why every app developer will need to take into consideration the GDPR act. Still, if you follow these rules, you’ll benefit from these tech innovations, including the AI-features.

 

2) Augmented reality in business apps

The growth of eCommerce industry has taken the global retail market by storm. Most renowned vendors already use apps, in addition to their business websites, to make their products available for shopping on the go.

Things are moving even faster today, especially with the introduction of augmented reality in eCommerce.

The greatest benefit of AR in this context is the ability to use its features to make shopping even simpler and less expensive for customers. For instance, Amazon has introduced AR-features in their app. What you can do here is simply project the item you’d like to buy on this website in the space you’d like to place it.

Similarly, car dealers are also taking the plunge into AR in their everyday work. Car buyers don’t have to go round countless car shops these days. They can simply use AR-features via dealers’ mobile apps to try new vehicles. Read more about these AR-trends in the article on The Drum website.

The downside of AR is that it’s still expensive for many SMBs. However, this will change sooner than we might expect, which will enhance the productivity of smaller business enterprises.

 

3) Accounting benefits of mobile apps

Small business owners often have issues with accounting demands. From their in-house books to bank accounts, to tax returns, more often than not they omit to process some data. These mistakes can result in inaccurate accounting data and financial penalties from the tax authorities.

The good news is that there are literally thousands of accounting mobile apps that will make your business life easier.

Still, this large number of apps calls for caution. Naturally, the best way to avoid any risks in this field is to use the mainstream apps, such as QuickBooks or FreshBooks. Both these tools have top-notch apps, plus they also have distinguished cloud features which makes them perfect for new business owners.

Apart from that, you can use modern accounting tools on your phone to simplify the payment procedure. In line with that, it’s wise to keep an online invoice maker at the touch of a finger. Every time you need to cope with larger orders or payments, you can issue an invoice in no time and speed up the purchase.

 

4) Increased productivity with mobile apps

Mobile apps have already improved our work productivity. Take only the accounting apps described in the previous paragraph. If you can use them on your mobile on the go, they enable you to deal with the business paperwork when commuting home from work or when you’re waiting in line in a supermarket.

Moreover, mobile apps enable SMB-owners and their workers to constantly communicate about their projects. What’s more, many project management tools come with mobile apps, as well. So, you have all-in-one solutions for work organization, time management and data share. Now imagine how advanced all these tools will get when AI, AR and other cutting-edge tech features become fully implemented in them.

Also, using mobile apps in various business ventures enables their owners and employees to collaborate remotely. This option opens an immense number of possibilities for employment, cooperation and better connectivity in terms of business productivity and operability. In the future, these features will lead to further improvements when it comes to work conditions and efficiency.

 

Conclusion

The number of mobile users is already counted in billions. The advancements in the production of smart devices and apps will lead to further growth in these figures. The improvements of mobile apps develop simultaneously with the number of mobile users. The combo of these two trends will produce a more engaging and inspiring work environment in the future, which will yield benefits for business owners, their employees, and, finally, the users of their services. That’s why we should all be looking forward to the app-enhanced business future.

 

This blog post was written by our guest,  Mark who is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus which you can also follow on Twitter

Prediction Markets- How Can They Affect Us?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Every time you enter a contract where you have to buy something in the future, you are entering a ‘futures contract.’ Where you agree to sell an item in the future because you think it will be more valuable, that’s a prediction market. Lately, prediction markets have been on the rise in both stocks and cryptocurrencies, and different investors have had divergent opinions.

How Prediction Markets work

In the stocks and commodities industry and even with Bitcoin as well, prediction markets are standardized. Each prediction contract made is specific to all the parameters involved. In a typical prediction market, the contract must specify the following:

  • The unit being traded
  • How the settlement will be made
  • The currency to be used
  • The quality of items being traded and the amount being traded

In the cryptocurrency sector, futures have been changing the way investors approach the cryptocurrency. Prediction markets allow investors to predict Bitcoin’s prices without even owning it. While this may be good news for traders who want to avoid the hassles involved with owning the cryptocurrency, it lowers Bitcoin’s liquidity.

Cryptocurrencies naturally increase in value as their demand goes up. However, if investors are able to invest in a coin without ‘physically’ owning it, this means that Bitcoin is actually not having increased adoption.

Do Prediction Markets Affect Cryptocurrencies Negatively?

Bitcoin prediction markets became popular late in 2017 after the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) introduced the concept on their exchange. One day after the announcement, Bitcoin’s price surged by 10%.

Within two weeks, top cryptocurrency exchanges like GDAX, Kraken, HitBTC, and Bitstamp also introduced prediction markets, driving Bitcoin’s value upwards to hit an all-time high of $19,000. When the futures contracts matured, something expected happened: Bitcoin’s value dropped by 72% within the first two weeks of January 2018, settling at $6,000.

Today, Bitcoin’s price is valued at the same range it was prior to the introduction of futures, $7,700. The introduction of prediction markets may have driven Bitcoin’s value upwards, but the price later underwent a market correction.

Although prediction markets affected Bitcoin’s price and a correction later happened, forces other than futures seems to have more impact on the price of Bitcoin. Read this article to learn more about prediction markets in the cryptocurrency industry.

Effects of Prediction Markets in General

Short-term Rise in Value

One of the most consistent changes noticed after the introduction of prediction markets in any industry is that the value of commodities involved increase suddenly. When gold futures were introduced in 1974, the price surged from less than $300 for a kilo of gold to $400 in just three months. Three months later, gold’s value went down again, probably because people dumped the asset.

In nearly all markets, the introduction of futures almost always leads to more demand for the commodity. However, after investors sell their futures contracts, a market correction occurs.

Demand for Commodities

Prediction markets may be a specialty of the experienced investor, but they always tend to drive demand for commodities to a great extent. Investors love to make predictions, and if they are certain they could make money out of it, they will purchase the commodity involved.

Bitcoin, for example, was valued at just above $7,400 when rumors emerged that the Chicago Board Exchange would introduce Bitcoin futures. Within a week of the rumors, Bitcoin’s value had risen to more than $10,000. Many institutional investors, who previously have always been wary of cryptocurrencies, quickly adopted the cryptocurrency.

High Volatility

With extremely high demand for any product comes a market correction. This has occurred and reoccurred in different stock markets, commodities and with Bitcoin as well. Last year, when Bitcoin moved from just $7000 to $19000 in one month, its price suddenly moved down to $6000 in the next 30 days.

If today a cryptocurrency exchange announces that they will offer prediction markets for a less popular coin like Zcash, its demand will suddenly increase. However, once they buy contracts and they mature, the coin’s value is likely to go back once again, leading to huge profits or losses to those on the wrong side of prediction markets.

Greater Convenience for Investors

Prediction markets are a breath of fresh air for many investors. For one, futures are conducted in the most convenient manner for investors. If the markets are made for commodities like gold, investors only need to sign contracts using their cash. They don’t have to own physical gold to enter futures contracts.

With more investors feeling confident about trading, demand for the commodities definitely increase. In the long term, prediction markets tend to improve the liquidity of commodities and assets. However, as studies have often shown, they don’t have a great impact on any industry on their own. Traditional forces of demand and supply have the biggest impact on the prices of commodities and digital assets.

Disrupting Industries

Like most financial instruments, prediction markets keep on evolving. In sports and casino gambling, it’s now possible to make predictions of live events so that your contract matures within minutes or hours. For example, you can bet the outcome of a basketball game while it happens.

In the blockchain industry, prediction markets are evolving by eliminating the intermediary companies. Instead of making predictions on a website, different investors can predict the outcome of games, events or market prices directly on a blockchain platform. Their funds are held by smart contracts, and winners get their rewards automatically after the outcome of the event is determined.

Information Gathering

One of the most underrated impacts of prediction markets is their ability to influence people’s decisions. If a market asks people to bet against the outcome of a football game and 70% of the investors predict team A will win, other investors are likely to place the same bet.

If 80% of investors make a prediction that certain crypto will drop in value, a lot of investors are likely to short sell the same coin because of the influence of prediction markets. On a broader scale, prediction markets have always been used as the benchmark of making financial decisions by lots of companies, governments, and investors.

In Conclusion

Prediction markets, like any financial instruments, may have an impact on trading markets from time to time. However, on their own, these markets don’t have such a huge impact as to affect the long-term price movements of stocks, assets or commodities.

 

This blog post was written by our guest, Ronny Martelli from Exposureland.com

How AI Can Improve Customer Engagement

Reading Time: 3 minutes

How AI Can Improve Customer Engagement

Success in business can be measured in happy customers. Aside from your product or service offerings, showing consumers you appreciate them, hear them, and are interested in providing them with the best customer service possible, will not only help you retain current customers but also gain new ones. This, in short, is called good “customer engagement”. Various methods and tools have become available in recent years to best optimize customer engagement. The most recent game changer has come in the form of artificial intelligence. Because AI can provide tremendous benefits with minimal effort, businesses of all sizes, in various fields, are taking full advantage of what it has to offer. In fact, according to a Pegasystems survey on customer engagement, one hundred percent of top-performing companies are currently using AI in some fashion. For those interested in following that lead, we’re outlining ways in which AI can improve customer engagement.

Though the general public may not be entirely aware of it, use of AI is already incredibly common. While only thirty-four percent of people think they use AI, the reality is that eighty-four percent of us are interacting with some form of artificial intelligence on a daily basis. This statistic is good news when it comes to placating consumers who fear or negatively view the use of AI in business. Considering the technology can hugely benefit a consumer’s experience, education is key. From better product offers to faster response times and more relevant messaging, AI’s power to anticipate and meet customer needs is a win for us all.

Properly engaging with your customers begins with understanding them. Knowing the answer to a few simple questions such as: who they are, what they want, what they can afford, their pain-points, and what platforms they communicate on; gives you a running start to improved connections. Through machine learning and AI technology companies are capable of collecting and analysing enormous amounts of data that can provide the answers to these questions to create better customer experiences with each interaction.

An increasingly popular tool for bettering customer engagement is the chatbot. These virtual assistants go hand-in-hand with customer service as more and more companies recognize their value and begin implementing them.

Rapid Response

Unlike human customer service representatives, chatbots can work 24/7 and are capable of handling a high volume of requests without the need to spend time searching for answers. This helps reduce service time up to fivefold, improving customer support, and reducing operating costs by as much as sixty six percent.

Proactive Interaction

Typically, companies engage with customers passively, responding to inquiries rather than starting them. Chatbots reopen the gates of communication by beginning conversations on their own, and share useful information with customers. Things like new product offers, blog entries and so on. Over time, this leads to greater personalization as Chatbots take in personal information on a customer, and offer them more targeted suggestions.

Another aspect of improved customer engagement is hyper-personalization. Consumers today want to feel connected to the brands they buy from and you can meet that request by leveraging AI. Capturing data on prospects is nothing new for businesses, however with AI and machine learning marketers can analyze current and historical facts to perfectly structure the most relevant message to each individual. Knowing what customers are thinking and saying about your brand creates opportunities for engaging those consumers on the topics they’re interested in, while communicating through the platform they prefer.

Particularly with a younger audience, positive customer engagement is essential. Well-educated on technology, the younger generations know what businesses are capable of, and because of that, they expect authentic, meaningful, and responsive interactions. AI can help you meet these needs effectively and efficiently resolving complaints and inquiries 24-hours a day.

 

The guest post was written by Sara a.k.a. Digital Diva, Co-founder of Enlightened Digital who you can follow as well on Twitter.

What will be left of Bitcoin when the hype ends

Reading Time: 3 minutes

There is a great deal of real value in some cryptocurrency technology

There are a number of overlapping technologies involved in understanding cryptocurrencies. Currency itself is a concept which people deal with every day but may not have considered more deeply than the level required to transact a purchase. Behind cryptocurrencies lie blockchains, a second level of detail. There are now cryptocurrency phones, which connect to standard phone networks using standard data plans and can help you conduct your next generation currency trading from wherever you happen to be. These things are all happening at the same time as other technological marvels – from The Internet Of Things, to 5G, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and beyond. It can hardly be a surprise when people turn off from considering these things, given the overlapping complexity they present.

Few doubt that much of the talk in the media and industry is based on hype around these new technologies. The question is, where does the real value begin. And sitting underneath Bitcoin and its competitors (the 1500 or so direct alternative cryptocurrencies that Bitcoin has.)

The real value when Bitcoin is done is in Blockchains

A Blockchain is simply a distributed ledger  a list of who owns what asset, which is stored in multiple places – on multiple computers – at once. The distributed nature of the chain is what give them their value. At a principal level, Blockchains serve many of the purposes that banks currently do, they provided a medium both ends of a transaction can trust to act fairly. They also neatly sidestep many of the problematic aspects of banking, however. They can perform a host of useful functions beyond recording who owns what Bitcoin. They are hard to hack, for example – because hacking them would require multiple parallel successful attacks (on every blockchain miner in the system at once.)

Blockchains can have intelligence and decision making built in to them, in a way that current asset ledgers do not. Since they are computer and therefore algorithmically based, ‘IF / THEN’ statements can be built in to them – so called ‘smart contracts’. For example, once a Blockchain received a reliable notification that ‘money has been paid’ and ‘identity is confirmed’, they could transact legal ownership of an asset such as a house. This sort of facility cuts out a collection of middlemen, within the housing chain, and provides transparently reasonable terms, which cannot be interfered with and with which everyone involved can agree, before the process starts.

Blockchains then are more useful than cryptocurrencies and are likely to be around long after Bitcoin has been relegated to the bubbles of history. Cryptocurrencies require a Blockchain to survive, but a Blockchain does not require a cryptocurrency to function.

Where could I invest in Blockchains?

Ripple is the most successful Blockchain company in the world at the moment. The publicly traded company has seen its share price grow even more than Bitcoin’s value, following successful trials of their technology. It’s not hard to imagine Ripple, or another Blockchain product being used to store and provide reliable proof of some of the most valuable and currently difficult to manage aspects of our lives.

A Ripple Blockchain could be used, for example, to provide proof of identity with a digital passport, digital birth certificates or digital driving license. Other assets, like car ownership, could also be stored in a Blockchain making them easier to transact and cheaper to administer. Governments will be particularly interested in lowering the cost of overseeing these key life documents.

Blockchains are not, however, a panacea. As they stand have one major drawback – the enormous amount of energy and reasonable amount of time required to transact something through them. Solutions are being worked on.

Bringing it all together

Even Warren Buffet has called Bitcoin ‘Rat poison squared’. Buffet is one of the world’s smartest and most consistently successful investors but he is saying something which is common sense. Cryptocurrencies essentially amount to private companies printing the sovereign currencies of the countries of the world. When Bitcoin sells $3bn of cryptocurrency, they are effectively adding that amount to the money supply. Bitcoins are also much harder to tax than existing currencies. Governments simply will not allow private companies to produce currencies which undermine their ability to usefully influence the

Given the huge profits made by many of the world’s banks, regulators in key countries are closely watching Blockchains to offer some long needed innovation in the field. Long after Bitcoin has crashed, Blockchains will be around and providing real, measurable value, to the economy and us.

 

This guest post was written by Ralf Llanasas from What Phone.

Publishing with Buffer

Reading Time: 2 minutes

We’re very excited about this new partnership integration which we have launched today with Buffer. For those of you know who don’t know Buffer is a social media management platform trusted by 6M+ people worldwide. We listened to our customers feedback about having scheduling content feature built in, but we thought we should link up with experts in their fields. Buffer was also the favourite choice amongst our customers so we didn’t need to look elsewhere.

By publishing and scheduling your content through Buffer, you are able to to do to so on the following social platforms:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook (Profile/ page/ group)
  • Linkedin (Profile/ page)
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • G+ (Profile/ page)

Another speciality of Buffer which is close to our heart and values is, Buffer will only let you publish new content which you know absolutely what our mission as a platform by cutting through the noise and improving the way organisations discover, manage and distribute information and analysis. 

To get discovering, you can find this new feature within your board Publishing settings – Once you have connected your Buffer account, then you can easily manage what you would like to publish, whether it be articles, story arcs or editor approved only. The content will then be automatically added to your queue within Buffer and you can schedule as you normally would.

Feature_Buffer

Please note the feature mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here. In addition, your queued content may vary depending on which Buffer account you have.

 

The Death of Klout is not the end for Influencer Models

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Amongst the General Data Protection Regulation’s (GDPR) first casualties, Klout stands out for the lack of sorrow at its demise. The premise was simple enough: distilling users presence across multiple social media platforms to give a single score. The (almost always) two digit number bears an eerie resemblance to the rather vague and sensationalist descriptions of China’s social credit scheme, Sesame Credit – albeit several years ahead of the Communist Party’s alleged plans.

The premise was flawed for several reasons. For one, there were concerns about the ethics of an opaque system for measuring social media influence, not least one boiling users’ influence down to a couple of numbers. Secondly, and perhaps more pressingly, Klout’s model was (for want of a better word), useless. Rather than showing anything meaningful about social media influencers, it did little more than aggregate scores (often woefully poorly). When a social media score did little more than  Even worse were its descriptions of influencers areas of specialism: as The Drum pointed out, Klout’s view of Pope Francis portrayed him as both an expert theologian and a leader on Marxism, warfare, and Miss Universe. Such profiles did not fill the world of marketing and PR with great hope for Klout, which is winding down on May 25th (the same day as GDPR).

Whilst the regulations undoubtedly played a role in the downfall of Klout (a service which almost certainly didn’t play by regulations in terms of data collection and processing), its failure to make a meaningful service was almost certainly at its core. That’s not to say that studying influencers is worthless for marketers, journalists, and communication professionals – just that smarter ways of studying influence are necessary.

One of these comes from Cronycle’s service. In addition to using Twitter data and network analysis to produce our Insight Reports. Cronycle keeps tabs on influencers across multiple topics through our Right Relevance platform across dozens of topics. Rather than giving users a single score, they receive scores for individual topics and sub-topics – this more granular approach is more valuable since it allows users to narrow down on the specific expert or influencer they want. It also builds up links with related influencers, creating networks which reflect underlying similarities and ties.

An image of top influencers on the topic of GDPR. The sliders on the right allow for users to narrow down on the group they are particularly interested in.

The service extends beyond Klout’s focus on numbers, though. At the broader end of the scale, Croncyle’s service gives a dashboard allowing you to search through topics, compare trending hashtags, look at the top influencers and domains, and see related topics.

The Cronycle Influencer and Topic dashboard for AI

Cronycle users can also search through articles by top influencers on their areas of speciality (as well as through related topics), giving both the tweets by the influencers and their articles. Domain searches are another feature, giving a list of top topics and top influencers for specific sites.

The final aspect is Topic Intel, which allows users to compare a single subject across time – an equally important comparison to that between different subjects.

Topic intel for AI and Machine Learning

Users can easily find how the top spots have changed – or not – for their subjects, as sorted by retweets or mentions (all Twitter activity).

Klout may be dying, but the influencer model is by no means moribund. Holistic approaches, like Cronycle’s, build on Klout’s work of showing influence through a numeric system but seriously ramping up the extra information required to make that useful.

Story arc and publishing

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We mentioned a couple of weeks ago on our blog about our Daily Digest feature rollout that we are introducing new features to help our clients with their enhanced curation needs. This release is packed full of three new features:

1. Adding summary to articles

This is an evolution of a feature that we had. Before you were able to add comments to articles, now you have the ability to add an intro summary to the article of up to 1,000 characters (screenshot below as an example). You will also notice a few other tweaks including up and downvoting change of icons, plus engagement scoring of articles symbolized by ∑.

 

2.  Ability to group articles and create a Story arc

Story arc (defined by Dictionary.com) The principal plot of an ongoing storyline in the episodes of a narrative; thecontinuous progression or line of development in a story

To us, a story arc is a way of grouping together articles/content which create their own theme or story. You can add summary descriptions to these arcs and have several arcs within the same board. We wanted to ensure you as a user, have a more enhanced and customizable experience with the content you have curated and selected. You can easily add to an existing arc or create several new arcs within the same board. In addition, if you want to remove an arc, you can simply delete it and the articles will remain as before on your board.

 

 

3. Publishing modes

Now for the publishing part of the feature – Once you have your story, we developed several different ways for you to get your voice heard:

a) Editor approved publishing mode

You may be working in a team whether it be with a Manager or as collaborators, where other people will have input as to what content you use or publish. This easy way with “editor approval” means the nominated person can approve the content with the tick boxes, which means you can publish the content only, which has been approved.

b) Content-type publishing mode

A different way of thinking about the content you are publishing, you can choose to publish editor approved only or from (and not limited to one) story arcs, articles, uploaded files. This applies for both the purposes of a curated channel and of a curated source.

c) Publishing a Board as a public feed

You may have a company newsletter or professional blog where you would like to have a stream of content for your audience to read. You can share this link wherever you like for external accesses. Articles only will be visible. The same applies, where you can allow your board to be visible to your organisation/ team as a feed, therefore, people will not have edit writes to change anything on your board but have “viewing” rights as such.

Please note some of these features mentioned above are only available with our Pro plan – to find out more about the pricing packages you can see further information here.

GDPR – Just one month to go

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the Europe-wide change to data protection, comes into effect on May 25th. Companies around the world who deal with European citizens’ data will be affected – we’ve already seen tech giants like Facebook and Google scrambling to save their business models, knowing that the fines which can be levied against them through GDPR are too big to ignore. But GDPR isn’t just about penalising the big players who have run roughshod over customers for years: small organisations will also have to become compliant.

Judging by the conversation which Cronycle monitors on Twitter, what being compliant means is still a subject many companies are struggling to work out. GDPR extends a lot of existing data protection regulations, giving provisions for consumers such as asking for their data in a portable format, limiting data hoarding, and attempting to ensure that both data controllers and data processors are kept in check. And we’re still yet to see all the national laws which will come into effect alongside GDPR, adding new levels of restrictions on data processing and handling.

If any of that sounds confusing, Cronycle has you covered. We’ve been monitoring the leaders and trends in the GDPR conversation for the past five months in our Insight Reports: with these, you can find out exactly what people are discussing when it comes to GDPR, and who it’s worth following for advice on the implications. We’ve recently added a new section, top articles, which covers the top 10 most influential GDPR articles for each month – these include news stories on big companies which are falling foul of data protection laws as well as guides and tips on how to stay compliant and on how to make the most of GDPR. We also ran a blog at the start of the year featuring five of the best guides on how to tackle compliance.

We also launched our GDPR Slack channel in February. Subscribers get key content, including both Insight reports and content from the top influencer identified by Cronycle’s algorithm. The channel is highly modular, so you can add on other topics of interest to keep abreast of developments in these areas. Finally, we’re hoping that the Slack channel will act as a community hub, so users can invite colleagues and friends to the channel.

Stronger regulations like the GDPR are key to ensuring that the sort of abuses which Facebook has been found guilty of come to an end – but implementation has to be balanced with a recognition of the risk to small businesses. Stay up to date with all the key points with Cronycle’s coverage.

Daily Digest

Reading Time: 2 minutes

I introduce to you, Cronycle Daily Digest.

Our daily digest may not seem like something revolutionary and new to you, however, this is the start of things to come with new features for us. Previously to this, our Curation team had been pinning articles every day for us to send our daily newsletters, which means although the articles were of interest, they were not dedicated to your subject matter.

DailyDigest

We have worked through and found, what we like to think to be, the perfect combination. Your daily digest will arrive in your inbox around late lunch time (GMT) and will contain the top reads scanned from your feeds that you have within Cronycle. You will receive a daily digest, every working day, so that’s Monday to Friday. We are still working on further customization for the newsletter so please do provide us with any feedback and thoughts you have.

For now, if you choose to opt out of receiving the daily digest or are on a business account and would like to opt in to receive these – you can do so from your profile account settings – “Cronycle Daily Digest“.

Cronycle_AccountSettings

Not to worry, we haven’t made everything machine learning, as we still keeping our weekly Curators Club email, we have just changed the day we send it out, so now you will receive it on a Sunday and renamed it to “Sunday’s best” – little afternoon read with a cup of tea – Hand picked reads from the week from our Curation Team.

If you already have an account with Cronycle then you will automatically receive this (unless you have opted out), if you do not have an account with Cronycle and would like to subscribe, then you can do so here on our website.

SundayBest_Subscribe
On our homepage, you can subscribe to our Curators Sunday Best email

As mentioned, this is the start of email/ newsletter features that we have in the pipeline so be sure to watch our for future updates in the next coming months. In addition, we will be sending out comms in the next few weeks to manage your preferences (if you are currently subscribed) inline with e-Privacy and GDPR.

Is Facebook going the way of Bell? Don’t bet on it

Reading Time: 3 minutes

America’s industrial scene has long been marked by monopolies – and by government, attempts to break them and ensure fair trade. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil, once the world’s largest oil company, found itself facing that economic reality in 1911 when the Senate at last succeeded in an anti-trust lawsuit. With Facebook in the crosshairs from both sides of the political aisle, there have been suggestions that the social media giant might be just be too big to stand as well. As South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham argued to Mark Zuckerberg over his two day hearing on Capitol Hill, Facebook’s spread across apps and platforms makes it feel discomfortingly close to a monopoly (even if Zuckerberg feels otherwise).

Yet in the tech industry, there’s a better example of a monopoly which escaped the hatchet: Bell Systems, which for over a century held sway over American telephony. Unlike Standard Oil, which had sought to fight the government, Bell was smart enough to ask to be regulated. In return for cutting off parts of their enterprise, they got to maintain their monopoly until 1983. Not bad going, all things considered.

A government-regulated monopoly on Facebook would be beneficial for both parties. Facebook would get to keep on keeping out the competition. The US government would be able to have the peace of mind that they were regulating the biggest source of their citizens’ data outside of their own servers. And that’s not even considering that regulation would almost certainly offer a backdoor for accessing said data for national security purposes.

There’s also that fact that regulation avoids one danger of a break-up: strengthening Chinese tech companies. That was seen as such a trump card that it made its way onto the notes that Zuckerberg brought to the first day of his hearing. It’s a fair point, perfectly played to America’s policymakers with their endless references to Facebook as an ‘American company’. Given the lack of a Western competitor, China’s all-in-one WeChat (artificially grown in a state capitalist vacuum) could have the utility and the clout to take over at least some of Facebook’s roles. For US politicians, the idea of a company with close links to China’s government is probably even less appealing than a company with dubious links to Russia’s.

Of course, Bell was dealing with telephones and telegrams: simpler technology, and far easier for a government to wrap its head around than social media, data protection, leaks, and so on. The level of technical expertise on offer at Zuckerberg’s hearings in the States, in general, has not been the most impressive. What form the regulation would take is also difficult to see: perhaps monitoring of the types of data shared with third parties and available to Facebook employees themselves.

That still leaves the question of political division. Whilst concerns about Facebook are shared across the spectrum, the reasons for those concerns are not. Democratic politicians attacked Zuckerberg largely on Russian interference and the use of the site’s advertising platform for discrimination. Republicans routinely claimed that conservatives were being censored, with live-bloggers Diamond and Silk repeatedly being presented to Zuckerberg as victims of his site’s liberal agenda. Moving towards a consensus – beyond agreeing that Facebook has made a colossal blunder – seems almost inconceivable.

And finally, there’s the fact that this should have been a chance to grill a man in charge of the company which handed over immense amounts of data to dubious researchers and even more shady firms – whilst instead, we got more than a little bonhomie. Between the struggles of lawmakers to actually understand what Facebook does, and the rare cases of tough questioning that didn’t allow Zuckerberg to return to his script, there was far too much bonhomie: asides asking for rural internet, offering top tips for recruiting spots, even the outrageous attempt to curry favour by stating that Zuckerberg’s alma mater in Westchester, New York, was proud of him. In what were nominally occasions in which Mark Zuckerberg was to be cut down to size, America’s politicians made clear Big Tech’s immense staying power. The lure of an industry which offers jobs and money – and re-election – was too big, apparently.

Facebook has, for a long time, not been a product which people show real excitement about. Millennials, the hip generation for platforms, have increasingly voted with their feet or are vocal that they view it as a tool for keeping in touch with family. And yet, despite all the bad press and Silicon Valley screw-ups, the site has continued to hold on and grow. The immense fines from GDPR might hurt it enough to force a rethink of redirection, but don’t expect action from America’s politicians, too in thrall to the seductive power, money, and jobs of Big Tech.

How App Developers Are Planning To Employ AI To Enhance Mobile App Development

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Despite being regarded as an emerging technology, it is quite interesting to see how artificial intelligence (AI) is influencing mobile application development, impacting the way people communicate, affecting the society, and probably changing the world. Obviously, the growth of artificial intelligence is already causing a transformative change in the application development space. No doubt, if everything that this emerging technology development is believed to accomplish turns out to become a reality, then it will surely have a huge impact on human lives.

It’s no secret that despite the giant strides achieved in the mobile industry with app development, Indian app developers are still having a hard time meeting internal demands for building applications. In a bid to effectively streamline programming and meet business needs and demands, several application development teams in India are already augmenting their efforts with co-developers of AI to not only enhance growth and development in the industry but to also ensure effective data cleansing and organization, agile product management, and quality assurance.

As part of efforts to enable Indian app developers to focus on design and development tasks that are more closely related to users’ needs, artificial intelligence co-developers are stepping in to handle low-level routine tasks like infrastructure and other peripheral tasks. However, there is every tendency for this new emerging technology to take on much higher-level work in the nearest future. Here are some common areas of app development in which artificial intelligence (AI) would flourish in years to come.

 

Application development

Just so you know, many Indian app developers are already getting involved with the use of AI to enhance application development. Basically, this new initiative is helping to transform the way and manner most app development companies run their development processes. Though they’ve not gotten there yet, it is obvious that mobile application developers are on the right path to employing AI to automate quality assurance (QA).

This implies that in the nearest future, apps will be able to run tests on themselves, identify bugs and get them fixed with very little direct input from users. Some Indian app developers opine that this new technology will allow apps to be able to modify and run updates that can better suit any changes or updates regularly performed by an operating system (OS). Basically, this will help to cut down costs significantly as such self-optimizing apps will be able to transform themselves to function efficiently with the firmware updates of any mobile device.

 

User Experience (UX)

It may interest you to know that for several years now, artificial intelligence (AI) have been available. However, the technology had not attained the level of impacting lives directly until now. Nevertheless, there is still much to achieve with AI as this is not exactly how it is expected to function. Until it gets to the true next-gen version there is still very much for developers to achieve.

Apart from impacting the development of apps, AI is also affecting user experience. Though at the moment, achieving this is still not close possible, however, there is so much developers can do with AI particularly when it comes transforming user experience (UX). Before now, tech devices such as PCs were designed to work on users’ instruction – i.e. they can only perform based on what they are commanded to do. But when AI begins to identify those things humans want to do and does them without any intrusion then things will begin to turn around.

Imagine an AI-powered app that watches a user’s privacy actively. While it is not overly intrusive or strict, it is capable of monitoring events and actions of other applications on a device and can even get to know when these apps are trying to retrieve the information they do not want to share. In a bid to get other devices in the know as to what services are currently ongoing, artificial intelligence will enable other applications installed on a user’s device to ascertain what the user wants to do such as searching for a location to visit so that push notifications about special destinations and hotels can be necessarily forwarded for consideration.

 

Automation

Since people are more concerned about making a living, automation of jobs has been on the job radar making headlines. With AI, Indian app developers will be able to effectively integrate machine learning into the app development process to automate code preparation, validation, and generation. With this development, developers and designers will spend quality time solving difficult tasks rather than spending time on coding. Basically, it’s all about making smart devices think by getting them integrated with sophisticated artificial intelligence.

No doubt, there seem to be much to expect from artificial intelligence and with such promises, achieving these does not appear any easy for Indian app developers. First and foremost, mobile application developers need to understand clearly what AI-enabled apps have to offer both from the structural and marketing standpoint. In today’s competitive world, it is highly significant for app developers to meet the users’ requirement or demand to ensure adequate compliance. To this end, there is every need for programmers to be highly flexible in developing these apps.

 

What does the future hold?

Though AI can be said to be currently out of the state of infancy, as there is already an overwhelming interest from many companies looking to develop their apps with it, however, it is important for Indian app developers to know that the emerging technology is still on the process of maturing. Programmers can expect the use of chatbots to mature relatively quickly in the coming years as they are better constrained and deal more with text interactions than interactive voice response (IVR) that deals with voice recognition.

Ultimately, it is the dream of every modern app developer to write apps for smart devices with algorithms that adjust based on observed behavior. Though there is still very much work to be done on this, it is good to know that the turning point or point of change is near, as developers are not relenting in any way to create efficient AI-driven apps.

 

This guest post was written by Kenneth Evans from Top App Development CompaniesYou can follow more on Twitter from Kenneth and Top App.

Russia and the West: what is the Endgame?

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In light of the poisoning of the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, and the tit-for-tat expulsions of diplomats by NATO countries and Russia that followed, one might begin to wonder: what exactly is the endgame of this increasing confrontation between Russia and the West?

The number of Russian diplomats that have just been expelled from NATO countries

When Prime Minister Theresa May announced the initial expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats, identified by British authorities as “undeclared intelligence officers”, the mood in the House of Commons was one of apparently sincere moral outrage. How dare Russia carry out such an attack on our soil! How can we punish the Putin regime to the maximum extent? From what most of the MPs had to say, one might conclude that their concerns were solely around the human rights record of Putin’s Russia.

Few would deny that Vladimir Putin is an authoritarian leader with scant regard for human rights, but there is no shortage of such leaders today on the world stage. The United Kingdom happily sells arms to Saudi Arabia, an absolute monarchy carrying out a brutal war on the Houthi rebels in Yemen and inflicting a terrible cost on that country’s civilian population. Britain rolls out the red carpet for Xi Jinping, now likely to be China’s dictator-for-life.

Perhaps the problem is that Putin’s ruthlessness is not confined to Russia’s borders, and extends as far as Britain’s shores. This argument lacks geopolitical perspective, however. Even after assurances were given to the Russians that NATO would not expand any further into what was formerly Russia’s sphere of influence, that organisation, redundant after the fall of Soviet Communism, went on to expand right up to the Russian border with Estonia and Latvia. While both the West and Russia have interfered in Ukraine’s affairs, to the detriment of Ukrainians, it should be obvious that the latter has a much greater interest in what transpires in that country. Even in further-flung Syria, Russia has many military assets as well as a decades-old alliance with the Assad regime. The West, meanwhile, has effectively supported radical Islamist groups in an effort to overthrow Assad, having failed to learn from its mistakes in Iraq and Libya.

The West cannot accuse Russia of playing realpolitik when it does so itself, under the guise of humanitarian intervention or democracy promotion. Put another way, it is not military intervention per se that the Western establishment opposes; it is military intervention by an outside power, in service of its national interest rather than that of “the liberal international order”. Russia as a nation state stubbornly refuses to go quietly into the night and let the “end of history” dawn .

Even the poisoning of the Skripals looks more like a pretext to pursue anti-Russia policies, instead of the real cause. Skripal was a double agent, and spies put their lives on the line. More inexcusable is the careless way in which he was targeted, putting his daughter’s as well as other innocent lives at risk. However, one has to be rather naïve to think that that MI6 has never endangered or harmed any innocent people during its various activities abroad.

What really seems to lie behind the hostility towards Russia is the overblown idea–verging on a conspiracy theory–that without malicious Russian cyber-activity, Brexit, the Trump presidency, Catalan separatism, virtually any unwelcome political development in the West that one cares to name… would not have happened. This is not to deny that Russia tried to interfere in elections by spreading propaganda. The United States has long engaged in similar activity and continues to do so this day, as former CIA director James Woolsey admitted in a recent television interview. The problem, however, is that Russia is blamed disproportionately or even entirely for certain political outcomes that might have come to pass anyway. Russia did not create the economic grievances, social divisions and culture wars that characterise the contemporary West; the most that can be said is that it–along with many other actors–moved to exploit them where possible. In other words, Russia is a scapegoat. The process of scapegoating is driven by sentiment, rather than reason. Unfortunately, this means that the current policy of confrontation with Russia has not been rationally thought out. If it had been, it would have been seen for the madness that it is.

Firstly, it has not in fact been proven that the Salisbury attack was carried out by “the Russian state”. If indeed it was not, and the British government rushed to judgement, this would be highly irresponsible – especially given the stakes of a conflict with Russia. The fact that Jeremy Corbyn has pointed this out does not make it false.

Secondly, if tensions with Russia continue to escalate, it is difficult to see how they will be ratcheted down. One cannot simultaneously believe that Putin is an evil genius and that he will simply back down after the next round of sanctions. The more he is pushed into a corner, the more likely he is to take military action of some kind. And the truth is that the West no longer has much of a stomach for that. If this is true even of a military superpower like the United States, which now does much of its fighting with drones and avoids putting its own citizens in harm’s way, how much more so must it be true of the United Kingdom?

If Russia is as wicked an adversary as many in the Western elite appear to believe, why antagonise this nuclear power further? How can anyone imagine that embarking on such a course of action will end well?

3 April Update: Gary Aitkenhead, the head of Britain’s military research centre, the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, was “unable yet to say whether the military-grade nerve agent that poisoned a Russian double-agent last month had been produced in Russia.”

Earth Hour 2018 and going green at work

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Started in Sydney, Australia in 2007, 24th March marks the annual event of Earth Hour. Founded by WWF and now a global movement, which brings millions together across the world to call for greater action on climate change. Everyone is asked across the globe to turn off their lights at 8:30pm (local times) for an hour to show they care about the future of our planet. From the Sydney Opera House and the Eiffel Tower to Buckingham Palace and Edinburgh Castle, cities, towns, and communities like yours across the world switched out their lights and came together for an hour, to join a global show of support for action on climate. You can see some of the extraordinary photos and videos captured this year on their hashtag #EarthHour.

This infographic shows the highlights from Earth Hour this year, 2018.

Earth Hour 2018 - Infographic highlights

 

We asked a guest of ours, Barbara Herring to give us some tips to being more environmentally friendly and green in the workplace.

 

10 Effective Tips to Go Green at Work

Over the past couple of years, people have mainly been emphasizing so much about the need to go green mostly at home. Nothing has been said about the offices where most of us spend a good amount of time in. However, in recent times, a new trend is developing.

More and more people are being encouraged to put measures at their workplaces that reduce the carbon footprint. Any typical office is able to provide numerous opportunities for being green. This is something that will be very friendly to the ecosystem.

It could be adjusting the lighting system or using different supplies. There are these and much more. When doing so, you end up saving on operation costs while being more environment-friendly. If you are wondering where to start from, here are 10 tips to go green at work.

 

1. Switch Off Lights Not in Use

The lighting in most offices accounts for a bulk of the total energy consumption. Your workplace should therefore not have lights left on unnecessarily. There is absolutely no point in leaving the lights in the washroom or staffroom on the whole day.

Better still, you could use energy saving bulbs or the LED ones to conserve more energy. During the day, you can as well utilize the natural light by using light colors for the wall paints. These are glossier and reflect more light.

 

2. Use Green Printing Practices

This is one practice that is mostly ignored. If you want to go green in the office, insist on using recycled papers when printing documents that are not very official in nature. Alternatively, always print on both sides of the paper when it is possible to do so.

Another issue you can avoid is printing unnecessarily. If the work can be handled on-screen or online, then do so. Additionally, strive to print more screens per page. This saves on more paper as compared to a single screen. Lastly, if possible, use a multifunction printer that performs other tasks as well.

 

3. Turn Off Any Peripheral Not Being Used

Besides turning off the lights, devices and peripherals also need to be turned off when not in use. Scanners, speakers, video cards, printers, etc. continue to use power when on but not being used. Make it up to you to unplug these so as to save on energy.

Power adaptors, battery chargers all use power even after the devices have completely been charged. For a more efficient switching off and on, you can use a power strip to act as the centralized turn off point.

 

4. Manage the Office Supplies

For your office supplies, purchase green supplies such as pens that can be refilled in place of those that go straight to landfills after use. Another great tip would be to use the so-called staple-less staplers.

If it is possible, buy products made from recycled or post-consumer materials. You also need to eliminate those supplies without any green alternatives. Alternatively, recycle as many supplies as possible.

 

5. Manage Your Computers in a Green Manner

Turning off your computers when you do not need them will not hurt anyone in any way. And if you are not going to use the computer for a while, then you need to ensure they are in a standby mode.

This mode minimizes the power usage while saving you the time of switching them back on. Always strive to keep your computer components up to date with the latest technologies. Monitors that use less power continue to be regularly produced.

 

6. Go Digital When Possible

In the office, you need to ask yourself a couple of questions before producing printouts. Ask yourself this question; is it really necessary to print out copies of the meeting agenda for every member? Not really. Simply incorporate all these in a slideshow.

Or you could simply send it via mail. Manuals and any other materials could be posted online rather than being distributed as hard copies. Generally, strive to make the office paperless.

 

7. Allow for Telecommunication Once in a While

Is there any reason why employees cannot work from home? In the spirit of going digital, employees can have an opportunity to work from home and still be just as productive. Technologies such as video conferencing come in handy here.

By not commuting to work, various environmental benefits are realized. For instance, the air quality will be improved, employees will incur fewer expenses, and the roads end up requiring less maintenance. Alternatively, employees could travel green by avoiding cars and buses, plus the depressing traffic jams.

 

8. Consider Using Renewable Sources of Energy

Solar panels can be a little expensive to set up for your office needs, or they could be insufficient in a number of ways. However, once you have set the panels and the whole system is up, your office will enjoy the benefits of a green and environmentally safe operations.

Renewable energy provides your office with a long-term saving plan, and you will in no time realize returns on your investment. Better still, certain localities provide incentives to solar users as well as being able to sell their excess power to power companies.

 

9. Go Portable with Air Conditioners

In your office’s pursuit to keep temperatures down in summer, most people go for the centralized air conditioning system, which technically uses more power. Instead, you can use less money by saving on power by using the portable alternatives.

These options allow employees to control the temperatures of their workplace to a temperature of their choice. They can as well switch them off when not needed.

 

10. Incorporate Office Plants

Having a plant on your desk does not only make your workstation more appealing, but it also makes your work area greener quite literally. Research has shown that plants absorb pollutants around them and release oxygen into the area.

Office plants will, therefore, help to improve the air quality around you and make you breathe fresher air at work while in your office. This will make you more productive in the process. Just ensure you do not over water these plants, as you would be beating their purpose in the first place.

When choosing a plant, ensure it is office appropriate and would not look awkward after a while.

Conclusion

Going green is very possible in your office, as long as you have everybody in the office on board. The directive does not have to come from the boss. Even as an employee, you can set out and put these measures in place. If you are boss, ensure you get everybody on board and green the universe together.

 

The guest post was written by Barbara Herring, The Flix.