January 24, 2013 archive

TED Video: Shawn Achor on the happy secret to better work

I enjoyed this presentation very much... and it's interesting to think about the processes he describes toward the end that relate to "rewiring our brains" to focus on the positive and to move us toward more happiness:

One Image To Show The Incredible Importance Of Sharing Web Pages Versus PDFs

So you have that report, infographic or other document as a PDF, right? And now you want to get that massively shared out in social media, right? So that everyone can see your document and learn from it?

Do you...

  1. Start distributing the link to the PDF and ask people to share it?
  2. Wrap the PDF in a basic web page, share THAT link and ask people to share it?

If you answered #1, read on for why you should think of #2.

This morning the World Economic Forum (happening this week in Davos, Switzerland) published an excellent infographic about the Internet as "The Innovation Engine" outlining a series of recommendations for leaders with regard to key Internet issues.

The only problem was that they only published the document as a PDF file on their site. The link that was being sent around was just for the PDF.

Links to PDF files do not "share" very well in social media!

Thankfully, someone on our (Internet Society, my employer) Communications team was able to put up a simple web page that provided a nicer link for sharing.

Notice the difference in the image of my Facebook NewsFeed this morning:

Sharing a pdf vs a web page

The first link, from LACNIC, was for the PDF-only link. It has a URL you can't understand and just the domain name listed. No preview image. No title. No text. Sure, I can know from the status update text what the link is about... but the "link preview" doesn't grab me in and make me want to click it.

The second link, from the Internet Society Comms Team, is to the web page wrapping the PDF. Note here it has a preview image. It has a title. It has some descriptive text. This "link preview" provides enough information that I may want to click on it right away without even reading the Facebook status update.

Ultimately, both links bring you to the same PDF file. The difference is that the second link is to a web page that provides enough "meta" information that the social network can use that information to build a "link preview". While my example here shows Facebook, it works similarly on Google+ and probably works the same way on other social networks.

Note, too, that the web page wrapping the PDF is nothing special. It's a very basic page with a preview image of the PDF, a couple paragraphs of text, a title and the link to the PDF.

That's it.

But that's all that's needed to provide a much better sharing experience when that link is passed around in social networks.

Something to think about the next time you are looking to share out a PDF of a image, infographic, report or other document. Wrap it in a simple web page and your sharing will be much more effective!

If you found this post interesting or useful, please consider either:

RFC 6841 Outlines How To Write DNSSEC Policies and Practice Statements

Back in July 2012, we wrote about “How To Write a DNSSEC Practice Statement (DPS)” and referenced an Internet-Draft that explained the process.  We’re very pleased to see that that I-D was just published this month as a formal RFC:

RFC 6841 – A Framework for DNSSEC Policies and DNSSEC Practice Statements

As the abstract says:

This document presents a framework to assist writers of DNS Security Extensions (DNSSEC) Policies and DNSSEC Practice Statements, such as domain managers and zone operators on both the top level and secondary level, who are managing and operating a DNS zone with Security Extensions implemented.

In particular, the framework provides a comprehensive list of topics that should be considered for inclusion into a DNSSEC Policy definition and Practice Statement.

It’s well worth a read not only if you are an operator of a Top-Level-Domain (TLD) or one of the newgTLDs (all of whom are mandated to support DNSSEC), but also if you are with an enterprise/company that is considering hosting all the DNSSEC-signing for your domains yourself.

If you want examples of what these DPS documents look like, we maintain a list of DNSSEC Practice Statements that includes documents from many of the major TLDs.  (And we’re always open to adding more if you have a published DPS online.  Just let us know.)

New “Internet Of Things Consortium” Launched

Earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, a new “Internet of Things Consortium” was announced bringing together 10 companies with the stated goal of fostering and supporting the growth of Internet-connected devices for consumers.  The consortium has a website now visible at iofthings.org.

The term “Internet of Things” has been around for some time (Wikipedia dates the first use to 1999) and is generally used to refer to the networks of devices and objects that we are connecting to the Internet and that are using the Internet for communication.  Sensor networks are an example.  Another is connected homes where lights, appliances and even power outlets might all be connected.  A number of the companies involved with this consortium make game consoles, televisions and other entertainment devices that would be connected to a home network and on out to the public Internet.

All of these devices are ultimately connected to the Internet – and communicating often amongst themselves in so-called “machine-to-machine” or “m2m” connections.

Now, this new Internet Of Things Consortium is not the first or only such consortium out there.  There are other alliances and groups that are working on promoting open standards for connected homes and devices.  But it’s great to see another group of companies working in this space. The CEO of Ube, one of the participants, was quoted in a TechCrunch article as saying in part this:

“The successful adoption of [machine-to-machine] and connected home technologies is dependent on open standards for the provisioning and control of millions of headless devices.”


Here at Deploy360 we’ve been interested in the “Internet of Things” for a long time because to bring all the billions of devices (and power outlets!) onto the Internet, we’re going to need more IP addresses than what we can get with IPv4.  I queried the new consortium about their IPv6 support and the consortium chairman Jason Johnson came back with this response:

We should absolutely support IPv6 – or there won’t be billions of devices with IP addresses.

That’s exactly right… and I look forward to seeing what they do in this regard and helping them if they need it.

Some out there regard the “Internet Of Things” as marketing hype… but the reality is that we are connecting more and more devices to the Internet.  It is happening today – and we’re going to need IPv6 to make it all work!