Category Archives: Technology

Workers in the Tech industry believe they are the most undervalued employees in the UK amastra

Workers in the Tech industry believe they are the most undervalued employees in the UK

It’s safe to say that most of us would agree we’d like more money and a few extra holiday days. So if it were up to us, and not our employers, how much more of each would we give ourselves?

Professional CV writing specialists Purple CV, carried out a survey of 2,500 British workers and found, on average, Brits believe they deserve a not-insignificant 36.8 percent pay increase (£8,500.43 on top of their current average salary).

UK North Easterners believe they are the most undervalued, and should be paid 45.4 percent more per year (£9,700.16). Those who are happiest with their current remuneration are the Welsh – they would be happy with just £6,298.50 (30 percent) extra per year according to the survey.

Workers in the Tech industry believe they are the most undervalued employees in the UK amastra

British workers believe they should receive 8.3 days more holiday per year, but the majority of workers would prefer more pay over extra holiday

The company also surveyed workers by industry. While lawyers get a bad rep as being shark-like, they’re actually the industry who feel they deserve the lowest pay rise, at only a 30 percent increase. While they may not all be pro-bono, it looks like they might not be that unreasonable after all when it comes to pushing up their hourly rates.

Surprisingly, the industry you might think would ask for the least actually asked for more than the lawyers:charityworkers believe they deserve an increase of 32.3 percent! And despite the high salaries of bankers, they’re still not happy, and feel underpaid; deserving 41.4 percent on top of what they currently earn.

However, workers in the tech industry feel they deserve the highest rise. Despite many tech companies being floated on the stock exchange for gazillions of pounds, they still feel they deserve over 50 percent more money: 57.7 percent, in fact. Workers in Law believe they deserve the least (30 percent) increase.

The most burned-out region is Greater London – Londoners would love an extra 9.8 days according to the survey. The Welsh had a different outlook, only wishing for 5.8 more days per year.

Finally respondents were asked whether, given the choice, they would choose more pay or extra holiday days. And instead of choosing more time off, 63.2 percent of us would prefer to take a higher salary. Almost every region across the UK was in agreement, except for East Midlanders where 56 percent would prefer extra holiday time.

So how easy is it to actually negotiate with your employer over salary and holiday days? Purple CV has put together some key tips, below:


Pick the right time to approach your employer. Chances are they are more likely to say no if you don’t pre-warn them first. Set up a meeting and let them know what you would like to discuss in advance, it will give both you and them time to prepare.

Research Market Value

Know your industry and find out your value before asking for a pay rise. Spend some time looking into how much others in similar roles are earning.

Build your case

Employers are going to ask why you deserve the pay rise, so make sure you come to the meeting prepared with examples of where you have exceeded company expectations.

The power of silence

Don’t be too tempted to just accept their first offer; it would be appropriate to say you will get back to them.

Wrap it up

You may not always get the answer you want, but remember ‘no’ doesn’t always mean there isn’t potential for it to be brought up again at later date.

So when you ask your employer for more cash – think of this. Will this extra money make you more happy? or will you continue to push for more and more unattainable salary goals?

‘Digital babysitters’ place younger children at

‘Digital babysitters’ place younger children at risk

Kids are only ever three seconds from online danger at home as parents unintentionally neglect to protect young children

News has emerged  that children as young as eight years old are at risk of emotional damage from social media – prompting a review by MPs into smartphone usage.

However, new Kaspersky Lab research has revealed that children even younger than this are at risk of psychological harm – as the average three-year old spends more than four hours a week with what amounts to a ‘digital babysitter’ and is only ever seconds away from accessing inappropriate content featuring guns, violence and nudity.

Parents are not toddler-proofing their online world, with a huge 87 per cent of parents admitting that they don’t restrict how much time their young children spend online – three-year olds are spending more than four hours a week with these ‘digital babysitters’ and being exposed to potential psychological harm.

The average child spends 40 minutes per day, or 4.6 hours a week, watching online video content on a mobile device. Yet only 13 per cent of parents install online security on their smart phone, laptop or tablet – and 49 per cent have never reviewed the default settings to prevent the child viewing inappropriate material. Examining YouTube’s suggested videos, which sit visibly alongside clips or episodes of popular children’s television programmes such as Peppa Pig, users are just clicks away from content aimed at a more mature audience – featuring violence, guns and nudity.

Young children at high risk of emotional damage from accessing adult content. So how can you protect your family online?

Kaspersky Lab’s top tips for protecting your family online are:

  1. Supervision – This may seem obvious, but supervise your child’s internet use. Encourage them to visit and stay on websites you’re familiar with. If you have any concerns, look at their browsing history. Be sure to know about any password-protected sites they may be accessing and ask them to share their login details with you.
  1. Be open – Encourage your child to be open about what they are doing online and who they are socialising with. Promote a culture of safety within the home and talk about the possible dangers which exist.
  1. Protect your family – Use parental controls to block access to sites you don’t want your child looking at as part of your online security product – it’s an easy way to avoid disaster. Review the default settings on each app that your child uses to ensure that the camera or microphone, for example, aren’t needlessly turned on as these can pose a threat.



Understanding barcodes to find out product origins


Have you ever wondered where your product was actually made? Well looking at the barcode will give you a clue. The first three numbers on a barcode are the country code of the member organisation (although not necessarily where the product was made).  It give you a good idea where that little knick-knack came from

Here are a few of the GS1 listings from Wikipedia



000 – 019 US and Canada
060 – 099 US and Canada
300 – 379 France and Monaco
400 – 440 Germany
489 Hong Kong
500 – 509 UK
690 – 695 China
750 Mexico
754 – 755 Canada
890 India
930 – 939 Australia
940 – 949 New Zealand

The rest of the world is detailed at the Wikipedia listings – but it gives you a great insight into where your purchase came from and a way for you to focus on buying locally if you choose.

Interesting stuff…

Image credit: joelogon

Eileen is a social business and social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Google’s patent filing gives us ultra targeted ads

Google has filed a patent giving it an insight to where we are when we use our mobile phones. 

Ear we go: Adverts could soon be produced according to environmental conditions such as background noise, if Google's patent becomes reality

According to the Mail, this technology could glean information from the background sounds in your environment and use this to deliver more targeted advertising to you

The patent ‘describes using ‘temperature, humidity, light and air composition’ to produced targeted adverts’.  There are some huge possibilities here for advertisers if Google decides to go ahead and develop a sensor from this…

One one hand this could really benefit consumers.  They get ultra targeted ads, relevant to the time of day, weather, humidity, or local conditions.  It could be an ad mans dream.  But there could be other, less desirable outcomes…

According to Ofcom, 22 per cent of adults and 47 per cent of teenagers use our phones in the bathroom. Goodness only knows what sort of ads Google would be sending us based on the data it gathers there…

Certainly one to watch – when – or if it ever makes it off the drawing (patent) board…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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Our smartphone addiction–according to Ofcom

Do you get separation anxiety when you can’ not find your phone?  If so, you are not along.  According to the annual report from Ofcom smartphones are taking over our lives.  Over 27 per cent of adults in the UK now own a smartphone.  The annual report from Offcom highlights some interesting facts about our smartphone use in the UK amongst other things.

We are using our mobile devices more and more. We even use them instead of our landlines and our broadband connections. Mobile voice calls are up 350% and SMS messages are up 2000%.  This has been accompanied by a corresponding decline in fixed line voice calls.  We use mainly contract based plans, with pay as you go usage decreasing to 16%. Getting a contract with a smartphone included in the deal may have facilitated this growth..

Here are some callouts from the report:

Smartphone usage:

We still make more calls from landlines than we do from mobile phones but 81% of us make and receive calls on our mobile every day

59% of our smartphones are less than a year old

37% of adults claim to be addicted to their smartphone

60% of teenagers claim to be addicted to their smartphone – especially teenage girls.  They also send more texts than make calls

Where do we use our phones:

51% say they use it whilst socialising and are not too bothered when asked to turn the device off.  0ver 10% ignore the turn off  demands and continue to use the device anyway

23% use it during a meal with others.  Teenagers use their phones at meal times more than adults

81% of us never turn their phones off

22% use their smartphone in the bathroom and 47% of teenagers claim to use smartphones in the bathroom

Work lives:

30% use their phones at work for personal calls

25% use their phone for work calls when not on duty

24% use their phone for work when on holiday

Internet use:

25% of all UK advertising spend is on the internet, ahead of TV advertising. 

Mobile advertising grew by 121% to reach £83 million

28% of UK adults access internet services on their mobile devices – up from 22%

57% of mobile users access social networking sites. Facebook comes out top at with 97% of users accessing it.  Twitter comes second at 26%, MySpace (13%) and Bebo (10%)

53% send and receive emails

42% use mobile search

Teens use their smartphone for social networking (62%, listening to music (62%) and playing games(50%)

And in the UK, the iPhone is still the dominant device – followed by the BlackBerry..

Smartphone brand choice amongst users: Ofcom report


Some great statistics for marketers to chew over – warning the document runs to 341 pages. There are sections on TV, Radio and internet usage in addition for financial figures and growth.  Well worth a scan through…


Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Will Dropmark be the Dropbox killer?

Dropmark looks like it’s going to be a nice evolution in the move to cloud storage. It has similar features to Dropbox in as much you can Drag and drop files for synchronisation to the web.  You can collaborate with others in file sharing projects.  But the visual enhancements make it look so much nicer.  have a look at this video..

Custom playlists and podcasts, photo slideshows.  Shared collections.  It recognises content from Flickr, Vimeo and YouTube.  you can even upload your iTunes up there.  There’s an RSS feed for notifications when new content is added.

It looks so much nicer than either Dropbox, or the more clunkier skydrive.   I’ll be playing with it to see if it’s as good as the video suggests.

If it is, then I think that Dropbox will start to lose traction unless it re-invents itself with some extra features.  Dropmark appears to have just about everything already…

You can get an early preview if you use this invite code or you can wait till March 1st to get your own.

Let me know what you think Smile

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

Digg loses popularity contest to Reddit

Google Trends shows an interesting decline in the popularity of Digg over the last few years:


Graph from Google Trends

Digg was redesigned recently but I don’t think that the design was entirely down to the new interface.  I think that Digg was already starting to decline and reddit (and stumbleupon) started to take advantage

The linear voting system at Digg was often accused of vote rigging, where like minded members of the community banded together to vote up articles.  The algorithm has changed to avoid the mob mentality of previous Digg implementations

There was no decent Android app for Digg compared to Reddit which has several apps for both Android and iOS

Digg might have grown too big to be Agile. Digg refocused, laying off 37% of staff in October 2010

Digg wasn’t flexible to change with the times compared to Reddit.  In October, the front page was archived to give a clearer page view

I think business agility is key to keeping ahead as social behaviour changes.  Having an effective presence across PC’s tablets and mobile devices keeps your business on all devices.  Having the ability to deliver compelling and interactive applications as the market moves requires dynamism and flexibility.

Facebook have shown that even with a user base of over 800 million, they can still be flexible.  They have changed their security, privacy and user interface several times since Google + was launched in June.  Digg should have taken action earlier – as Reddit started it’s rise. 

But now, it looks like Digg is going the same way as MySpace…and other shiny new things that have lost their lustre…

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

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