By Cicely Samuels, Content Strategist
When it comes to publishing content, there's (way) more than meets the eye. Brainstorming, for one, can become a deeply extensive paradox if you're not careful. I'm talking hours of focusing on an idea, backtracking, despising yourself for doing this, etc. Realizing that there is a full-on process behind the content we produce is the first step toward productivity and even inspiration in this area. Finding a useful tool that incorporates that process is the second step. We here at Currant Tech have been using DivvyHQ and we love it! Not only does Divvy incorporate the process behind content strategy and creation...it is, essentially, a digital duplicate of it.
Divvy emphasizes the importance of strategizing, ideating, planning, and producing. In their words, they have a "unique focus on the beginning of the content process" rather than the promotional and analytical side (which most of the content platforms we are publishing to already provide). It's user-friendly and has pretty much any organizational feature that you can think of, but I love it because it has everything that I'm working on in one, perfectly methodized, transparent place. It's incredibly easy to see what's on my plate, what's on everybody else's plate, and the method behind the madness. Plus, there really isn't one set, "correct" way to use it. You can use Divvy in whichever way that you want to. Basically, Divvy has made sure that all of the best workplace practices are rolled into one.
With the wonders of DivvyHQ you can:
Organize An Idea
I know that sounds nearly impossible. Divvy can't literally go into your brain and stop it from spinning at 100 mph, but it sure can provide you with a specific place to store all of your wonderful (or not) ideas. They call it the "parking lot". Your idea can either stay there, move into production, or you can scrap it all together. But having a low-pressure area to place your ideas, without referring back to a ratty notebook or scrolling weeks into your inbox, feels like a safety-net of sorts.
Then Get The Ball Rolling
Once you have a content piece that you're ready to develop, you can move it from the parking lot to "planning" and then to "in production". I'm actually writing this post in the production phase. How meta. Here, you can choose a deadline and post it on the calendar, share it with your team members, select a target audience & the category your piece falls under, plus you can even add an entire production schedule. Whilst establishing my content I can also start finding pictures, videos, graphs or links to other content, and store it all right here in Divvy. I love this because I don't have to have a million tabs open.
Coordinate Your Team
In Divvy, there is a wonderful emphasis on team work. Different team members can assign themselves or others specific tasks. You can also invite team members to edit your work, and you can edit others work - but only if they want you to. Everybody has their own title and job description in this digital workplace, much like your in-person office experience. Users can either be an admin, editor, contributor, or an internal reviewer - each of which has different capabilities (and responsibilities). Another important thing to add is the calendar aspect - depending on what kind of work your business is up to, you can have one calendar, 17 calendars, or even a calendar within a calendar - it's totally up to you. That's the best thing about Divvy. If you don't see yourself using a few of the features, you don't have to.
Publish Your Genius
I'm not exaggerating when I say that you can accomplish everything from Divvy. If you're an administrator for your team, you can go into Divvy and connect to all of your social channels so that with the click of a button...your content is published on multiple platforms all at once. Or, you can schedule your content to be sent out into the world at the exact time that you think your audience will be the most susceptible to it. You can also create the image to accompany your post and an enticing blurb that will pop up on the actual social post, convincing your audience to click and read the rest.
And Stop Living Through Email (yay!)
Rejoice! By using Divvy as your content and project management platform, you are seriously reducing the amount of time spent on often confusing email chains. Divvy just stores everything on this one website. I know I've said that a lot here - but it's important and stress-reducing! Also, unless you want it to, Divvy won't send you 89,760 emails a day. No daily progress reports that you won't read, no notifications every time someone types a single word into a template...no problems.
Currant Technology Group firmly recommends DivvyHQ as your go-to platform for content ideation, strategy, production, and publishing. It's easy, it's stress-reducing, freeing, and therefore it's made the content process a truly enjoyable one!
If you’re anything like me - then the notion of a personal data security breach sounds like something out of a James Bond movie. In other words; like something pretty far outside of the realm of possibilities. Luckily, I had the ignorance metaphorically slapped out of me last week at an Arkansas STEM Coalition event. Dr. Rhonda Childress, Chief Technology Officer for IBM Security Services and an IBM Fellow, spoke about many of the ways that people can have their information hacked. Childress informed some of the less aware people (me) that in 2014, data associated with 500 million Yahoo accounts were stolen in one of the largest cybersecurity breaches, ever. That’s terrifying. Hackers are everywhere. Ever taken an embarrassing picture of yourself and immediately deleted it? I know I have. Well - bad news. Somewhere out there, that picture lives on...just waiting to be accessed. And you think a picture is bad? How about literally everything in your email account? That means social security numbers, bank details, credit card numbers, and more. And it gets creepier. Apparently, it’s extremely easy for hackers to access the web-connected cameras on your laptop and cellphone - and your baby monitor. Yikes.
Luckily for us, Dr. Childress also spoke about the best practices when it come to protecting your personal data. So dig in, folks. Protect yourself.
1.Research Privacy Laws
As of yet, the U.S. doesn’t have any one, centralized, formal legislation at the federal level regarding the issue of data protection. Great! But...our government does insure the privacy and protection of data through the United States Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. First and foremost, Dr. Childress suggests reading up on this legislation in order to know exactly what you’re at risk of.
2.Look At Permissions
Most applications, as we all know, include a list of permissions that you can either choose to allow or ignore upon download. This is not something to be taken lightly. I had no idea, but most applications ask for permission to access things like your camera, microphone, or network for absolutely no reason. Dr. Childress used the Fitbit app as an example. Fitbit (along with many other fitness tracking applications) has nothing stopping it from releasing the personal information that you store there such as your weight and other personal health information. Since the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act was passed back in 1996, technology has outgrown the law. With this in mind...
3.Make A Risk Based Decision
Do you really need a fitbit? Or that random flashlight app? (check this out for more information on that). Dr. Childress suggests figuring out the risk involved in downloading an app, before you actually do it. Something a little more serious to consider is the risk behind filling out a medical form. Do you necessarily have to provide your social security number? Or your spouse’s social security number? Actually, no. You are under no obligation to hand over that information. More on that here. In general, it’s best to put some thought into these decisions and downloads (which are often mindless, in my case).
4.Change Your Passwords (or don't?)
Here is where there’s a little bit of dispute. Dr. Childress told us that she changes all of her passwords, every 30 days. She also has every one of her family members do the same thing. Additionally, Dr. Childress suggested purchasing a password vault which basically stores all of your passwords in one place, offline - so there’s no chance of a hack. This sounds extremely secure to me, especially if your passwords are vastly different every time you change them. However, upon further research, I found out that the Federal Trade Commission’s chief technologist, Lorrie Cranor, discovered that forcing people to change their passwords so often (think office life) actually caused people to come up with easy-to-guess, useless passwords. So I suppose, just come up with an impossible to guess password! Easy.
5.Cover Your Camera
If you don’t already do this, you definitely should. Dr. Childress told us a story about a 10 year old who was asked to hack into someone’s webcam and could do it in under 10 minutes, with zero prior experience. According to Mashable, “Hackers can access these cameras through malware. If you accidentally click a bad link or download the wrong file, that malware could contain executable code to turn on your webcam and send that video feed to a website or save it somewhere else. Worse, often this kind of malware can even disable the camera's LED light, so you'd never know your camera's been hijacked just by looking at it.”
Women in Technology is a phrase we have heard a lot lately. From viral social media campaigns to full-blown initiatives addressing the increase of female representation that we’ve been begging for...we here at Currant Tech are thrilled. To add to this excitement, The NWA Tech Summit (this Friday!) is including a Women in IT panel which, of course, we’ll be front and center for.
Here is each and every #girlboss that we’ll be hearing from at the panel:
Channing Barker, KNWA NEWS, FOX24 News, Senior Reporter – Moderator
If you’re a local, then you you might (definitely) recognize Barker from her nightly news spot on KNWA where she never fails to keep the community up to date on all political and investigative news. Barker got her start with KNWA while she was still in college, as a producer. Knowing that reporting was her calling, Barker gathered public policy experience in both NYC and Washington D.C and took a reporting position with KNWA in 2012. Being a news reporter is not a job to be taken lightly. The days are long and the work can’t always stay at the office. Plus, the stereotype painting female journalists as a lesser facet is ever-present. But Barker defies the odds. Considering the fact that female journalists had difficulty breaking into the news field until the 1970’s, are still very underrepresented (only 36.1% of on camera journalists are female according to the Women’s Media Center), plus female journalists are typically thrown into “soft” news roles, it’s important to acknowledge that NWA has an intelligent female reporting the need-to-know stories and therefore is influencing our community in a very positive way. She’s the perfect person to moderate the Women In Technology panel at the NWA Tech Summit.
Sarah Gelbman, Global Technology Sales Manager for Walmart, Oracle
When it comes to generating value for her customers, Gelbman is a professional in every sense of the word. She is an enterprise technology sales executive with 15 years of success under her belt. Currently, Gelbman is the global technology sales manager running Oracle’s Walmart account. Oracle specializes in developing and marketing database software and technology, cloud engineered systems, and enterprise software products - particularly database management systems. Not only is Oracle a highly successful tech organization, but they have a company culture that should be celebrated. In 2006, Oracle founded Oracle Women's Leadership (OWL) which is a professional development program that engages and develops future and current female leaders at Oracle. With over 70 different OWL communities worldwide, Oracle is making a huge difference in the way that people are viewing opportunities in tech. In 2014, OWL hosted 18 women from Tunisia as part of the Women’s Initiative Fellowship Program, which is designed to build women's leadership around the world with an initial focus on women in the Middle East and North Africa. The participants visited Oracle headquarters and heard from Oracle women leaders about career paths and opportunities in the corporate world. How stinkin' cool is that? We are excited to have a female, Oracle ambassador of sorts to touch on this great work alongside her own impressive career.
Jennifer Glasgow, Chief Privacy Officer Emeritus, Acxiom
Jennifer Barrett Glasgow has served as Acxiom Corporation’s Chief Privacy Officer since 1991, developing their global approach to information governance, compliance, consumer affairs, government affairs and related public relations. Now that’s what I call a #girlboss. Glasgow joined Acxiom after receiving a degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Texas and developing a criminal justice highway safety information system for the State of Arkansas. Prior to stepping into the privacy role at Acxiom, she developed marketing systems, managed account services and lead business development activities for the company. Dang. Outside of her extensive work with Acxiom, Glasgow takes part in advising policy makers about the ethical use of information and serves on the U.S. Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors and their Privacy Shield Arbitration Committee. Glasgow has truly challenged the norm by being a female executive officer- did you know that only 14.1 percent of executive officers today are female? Just something to think about.
Bethany Halford, CEO, Whoa Brand
Have you ever had an exchange with a friend that begins with them exclaiming, “wait, that’s from Walmart?”. Well, Bethany Halford has monetized that comment with her microblog, Whoa, Wait. Walmart? By utilizing social media and creativity, Bethany (alongside her partner, Amanda Jenkins) has managed to create and sustain a blog that has captivated one of the largest audiences there is - Walmart shoppers. The concept is simple. Bethany goes digging at Walmart's across NWA for gold in the form of a good product - then posts the product on Instagram and her website. She’s basically a personal shopper for those who are in the market to buy something fabulous, without breaking the bank. In my mind, Bethany has taken the stereotype of stay-at-home-mom-Walmart-shopper and flipped it on it’s head.
Rachel Mushahwar, Head of Americas: Retail, Hospitality & CPG Global Sales & Marketing, Intel
Arriving in NWA all the way from Intel in Phoenix, Arizona - Rachel Mushahwar will have a lot to say on a subject we care deeply for: girls and women in STEM (obviously). Intel has recently launched the Intel Global Girls and Women Initiative which intends to close the gender gap in education access, inspire more women and girls to create technology, and connect them to opportunities via technology access. Music to our ears. Rachel herself is a known transformational global leader with 22 years of experience under her belt in everything from retail to supply chain and consulting. Her focus is on enabling retail, hospitality, and consumer packaged goods companies to realize the value of innovative retail and hospitality offerings that leverage the technology in stores, hotels, casinos, and dining establishments to provide new insights. Phew. Individually, Rachel is an active supporter of STEM education and even cofounded a women’s group when she worked for PetSmart. Hopefully, hearing about the steps that both Rachel and Intel have taken to inspire women and girls in tech will encourage everyone at the NWA Tech Summit to keep doing the same.
Kristen Williams, Senior Director eCommerce, Walmart Technology
If one thing is for sure about Kristen Williams, it's that she is extremely passionate about encouraging young women to seek careers in the STEM field. Go Kristen! As a high-up with Walmart Technology and a board member for Springdale High School Academics, she has the opportunity to do just so. Throughout her time with Walmart Technology, Kristen has held many roles such as Senior Director of Corporate Systems, Senior Director of Global Point of Sale, and many other leadership roles. She is responsible for delivering technology solutions for services such as Walmart Online Pickup (my savior) and Pickup Today. This is truly a lady who knows how to get things done and inspire women and girls along the way.
Tomorrow we get to hear from a well-rounded group of intelligent and successful women, but that doesn't mean the tech industry has an equal playing field. Women make up 50% of the workforce yet...women make up less than 25% of STEM professionals. Are we doing enough to encourage young (and even older) women to pursue a STEM based career? To explore creation through technology? Not, not quite yet. But, with organizations such as the NWA Tech Council making sure that they're recognizing some of the leading women of STEM - we are definitely breaking ground.