What I’ve Been Reading


I’m constantly on the lookout for information that helps me, help you. Problem is, I don’t share my findings often enough. I plan to do better, so here goes.

Another hacker nightmare. The announcement by LinkedIn that a hacker may have stolen 6 million passwords is a reminder that we all need to change our passwords every few months. Think of it like this; that hacker may not only have access to your confidential information but to your other sites (hackers know that many people use the same password on multiple sites). So it’s time to take action. Follow LinkedIn’s suggestion to make your passwords stronger and avoid ones that match words in a dictionary. For instance, you could take a phrase or song you like and create a password using the first letter of each word.

Facebook will become an industry has-been within 5-8 years. That’s not my prediction but one by an industry analyst. Eric Jackson, founder of Ironfire Capital, said June 5, on CNBC, and his comments were subsequently quoted in ComputerWorld. Facebook won’t disappear though, according to another analyst, Patrick Moorehead, who says there will always be a need for a social home-base where all one’s friends and acquaintances are available. The comments posted online would tend to back up the analyst’s assertions. One reader wrote: “I already put FB into the trash some time ago and haven’t looked back.” And another: “I could see them fading into the background…much like the telephone has faded. You don’t think of it as a hot new thing, but it’s entrenched as a means of communication.”

Airtime video chat. These days, I try to steer clear of most shiny new online toys, but I’m curious about Sean Parker’s new social network Airtime, described as a site like Facebook but with faces. While it’s like Skype, it doesn’t use Skype’s “archaic technology,” Parker told journalists. Other video calling services like FaceTime and Google Hangouts are picking up in popularity, but analysts doubt they’ll all ever be mainstream like texting, emailing or sending instant messages.

Dropbox, a dream. I alternate working from three computers and my i-Phone, and it can be a pain to remember which documents are stored where. That’s how Dropbox comes in. It’s a free, cloud-based service where your saved files are automatically shared to all your Dropbox folders. Think of it as the hub from which all your files and latest versions of documents are distributed and available. If you use more than one computer, give it a test drive.

What I’m no longer reading. We all know time management is critical. One way I’ve found to be more productive is by reducing the number of blogs and newsletters I subscribe to. The number of free subscriptions I have is insane: about 75 blogs and newsletters. Some I never tire of, like PR Daily, three newsletters published by AmEx Open Forum, and Heidi Cohen’s inspiring blogs, each of which arrive daily. Others have lived past their prime. So, I decided to treat my inbox like my closet. Every few months, I toss out clothing I know I’ll never wear again. If I haven’t read a newsletter within a certain time frame, I discard it by unsubscribing. It takes a split second longer than hitting the delete button, but hey, this is all about time management.


About Chris Ruys

Chris Ruys is founder and president of Chris Ruys Communications, Inc., a marketing/public relations firm that specializes in high visibility campaigns using both traditional and social media strategies. Her blog, originally called "Getting Social," was launched in October 2010 as a way to share her progress as a "student" of social media. While she's still learning, Ms. Ruys has broadened the scope to include other aspects of marketing communications and PR, including blogging, email, traditional media and advertising in the blog she now calls "Proactive PR."