2012 was a big year for the Mozy blog. Changes to the back end were made allowing for more reliability and flexibility.
The blog also had a facelift (the old look had been around for 3 years and while it had served well, it was time for a chance), and we also hit milestones for visits and pageviews.
We also added a new commenting system, Disqus to allow for easier commenting and replies.
We’ve compiled the top 10 posts from last year below. For the 3rd year in a row, our Petabyte infographic was the top piece of content, accounting for almost 25% of our page views. Stay tuned for a refresh coming soon!
The Top 10 Most Popular Posts on the Mozy Blog in 2012:
There are approximately 1.5 million non-profit organizations in the United States, according to the National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS). Some of the key components of running a successful non-profit are being able to maintain accurate records, staying on top of the most up-to-date software, and keeping in touch with people within your network, said April Greene, editor for Idealist.org, a non-profit hub that helps to connect people, ideas and resources.
With the growing amount of files, photos, and other documents that need to be kept safe, many non-profit organizations are starting to jump aboard cloud technology, Greene said.
“Non profits are attracted to cloud because it’s cheaper than buying software,” Greene explained. “Plus it offers a whole lot more. A lot of non-profit organization have people working remotely and it makes their lives much easier,” said said, explaining that one of Idealist.org’s managers lives in San Francisco and because of cloud he can access important documents and data in a matter of seconds. “You don’t have to send attachments anymore,” she said. “Everything is central.”
One non-profit using cloud to its advantage is Legacy Counseling in Dallas, Texas, an organization that has 20 years of providing quality mental healthcare, substance abuse treatment, and special care housing services for people challenged with HIV and AIDS. Executive Director Melissa Grove said she found out just how valuable cloud storage was when her computer crashed earlier this year and everything on it was lost. But thankfully she had recently signed up cloud storage and was able to get everything back right away.
“Cloud probably saved me from having to redo about 500 or 600 hours of work,” she said. “We aren’t big enough for an IT staff, and technology keeps changing. Cloud is a wonderful solution and it’s very simple to use.”
Grove said that she signed up for cloud storage about a year ago and it has made her job–and her life–so much easier. “I was able to get rid of all the hard drives and I stopped storing things at home for safety. We now have thousands of photos from events, grant documents, a donor list, and other files right at our fingertips. They are safe and easily accessible for all of our employees.”
If your work is focused on the games people play, the way they protect their information, or how to sell them the things they want to buy, then a new report says there’s good employment news on the horizon.
While several states’ unemployment rates dipped below 7%, the national unemployment hovered at close to 8% at the the start of November 2012. But a recent report by Elance — a company working to connect freelance talent with employers online — indicates that independent skilled professionals are making headway by working for themselves.
The focus, the study shows, is in the gaming, security, and sales/management sectors. Let’s look at what the numbers can tell us.
Sectors in Play: Gaming, Security, Marketing
Who’s reaping rewards from online employment, according to Elance?
— Game-makers for one, and professionals with the skills to implement the gamification that has swept through online consumer-facing online platforms. Game developers have seen an 88% increase in demand for their skills since 2011. Programmers: 76%.
— Protecting valuable information has become a critical concern. News stories continue to impress upon companies and consumers how much there is to lose to hackers and black-hat online operatives. Demand for security engineers increased 448% this year, and analysts have seen a 326% jump in their work opportunities. Managing security for a company’s web operations? Professionals with that skillset experienced an 87% jump in demand during the past 12 months.
— And then, somebody’s got to sell all these ideas and end results. Social-media marketers saw a 157% increase in demand for their talents. Lead generation ticked upward some 136% since 2011. And that’s out in front of demand for IT, a typical front-runner in these kind of metrics.
Explaining the Increase, Measuring the Results
The report, issued on Nov. 14, indicates that even in economically hard-hit areas the numbers are hopeful for these skilled professional workers.
For example, in Carson City, Nevada, unemployment numbers are staggering. U.S. professionals in the area have suffered under 11.6% unemployment during the recession. In Port Saint Lucie, Florida as well, 11.4% unemployment has been the reality.
Online jobs are one answer to the scenario, according to the study.
— In Carson City online-work earnings have grown by 784% in 2012 over 2011, thanks to online work.
— In Port Saint Lucie, the report shows 168% growth.
“Demand for sales and marketing talent has actually been surging for the last several months,” says Rich Pearson, chief marketing officer at Elance. ”We believe that it’s a direct result of increased competition for attention online and in mobile.
“The rationale for the growth in game developers and security experts is a little less clear,” he continued. “We believe the latter is driven by an acceleration in businesses using cloud services who want to make sure they are doing so safely.”
As I was preparing to write this blog post, I kept reminding myself that the content that I present not only has to be relevant but like all good lessons – should provide some type of “now you know” element. I refer to the latter because I’m a firm believer in the notion of when you know better, you do better. So, here it goes…
I’ve worked in the software industry for a few years and as such the terms back up, data security, encryption and the cloud are ingrained in my vocabulary. Having said that, I do realize that not everyone has a frame of reference to these terms. However, regardless of where on the “tech savvy” spectrum you fall, it would be devastating to permanently lose family pictures or business critical files. I think that most of us function on the notion that bad things happen to other people.
How do you re-build your life when you have lost everything? Admittedly, I have no reference to Katrina or Sandy-level devastation but I have been forced to evacuate my home, a couple of times.
The first time was as a child growing up in Ethiopia, Africa – a continent where civil unrest and military coupes are all too commonplace. When the rebel militia overtook the capital city, all foreign citizens were forced to flee so we would not get caught up in the fighting, looting and pillaging. I remember so vividly, watching a barrage of planes from other countries landing on the airstrip, loading their citizens, re-fueling and taking off. I remember holding my baby doll under one arm while my other arm was locked in my mother’s grip and we ran through the airport and out to the airstrip to make sure we got to our plane in time. It was definitely a character-defining moment knowing that bad things don’t happen to only “them” but can happen to everyone – especially when you least expect it. Thinking about it events now, as a parent, I can only imagine the terror that my parent felt about not only our lives but also having to leave everything except what we could fit into one suitcase. We had to leave all our pictures and other files. We did end going back once the government had stabilized and our home had not been touched and we were able to keep all our pictures – but what if we hadn’t?
The second evacuation took place this past summer during the height of fire season. The fire by our house had been started by some reckless kids while they were target practicing. Dry scrubs, temps in the upper 90s and thoughtless actions started a fire that quickly got out of hand and spread faster than could be contained. By the time I left work and got to the police barricades, I was told that I had 15 minutes to get what I needed before the police would come looking for me. So I sped home, grabbed my dogs, cat, a box of important documents (passports, birth certificates, etc), clean clothes for one day, our external drive and headed to the designated Command Center. As an adult and a parent – this evacuation forced me to re-evaluate my preparedness level.
While in panic mode, you are faced with having to choose which items are your most prized possessions. Do you grab family pictures off the walls or a box of picture albums? How about all your “life” documents – social security cards, passports, insurance documents, etc.? If you store those critical documents in a safe – is the safe portable?
Speaking from experience, here is my advice on how to safeguard critical documents and files:
Scan, scan…and scan again
Scan documents or pictures to the hard drive of your computer. Scan your social security card, passports, birth certificates, marriage licenses, and insurance certificates…I would even scan a copy of your dog’s rabies certificate! If you think you’ll need to re-build your life, then scan it. So if you ever needed to grab just one thing, you could grab your laptop or computer.
Plan B to your Plan B
Although incorporating an external drive into your overall back up plan is a good start – things can happen to your external drive. Your external drive could melt in a fire or have severe water damage or you could lose it …. then what? So my suggestion is storing all those critical files to a back up solution provider. For a very reasonable price, you can back up files directly from your computer or from your external drive – either way, you will have secured a long-term viable option to backing up family pictures, critical life documents and business-critical documents.
The other day I was on Facebook and saw a post that talked about how we are the last generation to play in the streets, ride our bikes down the street, walk home at night from a friend’s house, etc. That got me thinking about some of the security measures that I think most of us took for granted. But with identity theft, system-corrupting viruses downloaded from emails, online scams…the list goes on and on for the type and kind of threats your data is exposed to on a minute-by-minute basis. Given that we are moving more and more towards a technology-based society – all our critical data is now stored as compressed data in datacenters.
I don’t even carry cash with me anymore – any and everything that I purchase is via a debit or credit card. What does this mean to overall security of our data? How do we keep our data safe? And how do we trust that “safe” is not a marketing term used by companies to get you to sign up for an account? Is out of sight the equivalent of out of mind?
For parents out there, think of data security as those instances where your kids are playing in the next room and you don’t hear them….nine times out of ten times it means that there is something destructive happening, so you have to constantly check in to make sure everyone is on the up-and-up. Just because you store your data with a company that says that they are secure and your data is safe, what are they doing on their end to make sure that your data is really safe? Are they like the parent that checks the next room to ensure that everything is fine or do they leave the house for a few hours and not worry about safety?
I would much rather know where my data is being stored and how it’s being used. Who has access to my data? Why do they have access? How are they using it? Who can I trust with my data? Why should I trust them with my data – just because they say so? These are just some questions that I need to consider – do you?
Shash Cates is the Creative Project Manager on the Mozy Marketing team.
The business of trying to make exercise a fun activity is not for the faint of heart. Nintendo tried it with its famous Power Pad accessory back in 1988, but while the game itself was fun, it was hardly the calorie-buster it advertised. From the other end of the spectrum, infomercials have been pushing all kinds of unintentionally hilarious “can’t miss” products, inventions better suited for generating YouTube views than sales.
Smartphone apps look to be the new frontier of making exercise fun. Striiv is the latest innovator attempting to turn exercise into an interactive game, this time for a new generation of technology.
Striiv hopes to avoid the fate of the Hawaii Chair by not trying to re-invent exercise or guarantee a six-pack. Instead, the smartphone app just accurately calculates the exercise you take for granted–like your daily walk from the train to work–and motivates you to do more of it by handing out awards and prizes. It might seem like a challenge to make exercising as addictive as, say, World of Warcraft, but luckily for Striiv, one WoW’s visionaries is part of the team.
Below is an interview with Lexy Franklin and Melanie Joskel, two members of the Striiv’s marketing team:
What is Striiv?
Striiv is a Smart Pedometer that counts every step you take throughout the day and motivates you to walk a lot more. Striiv goes beyond tracking and gets you active with personalized challenges, activity based games, and competitions.
What was the original thought process behind creating a Striiv gadget as opposed to just focusing on an app?
There are many people who prefer a separate, discrete device to carry around with them. Striiv Play lets people track their activity, even when their iPhone isn’t on them. It also has a high-precision altimeter to count stairs and is a great option for people who want to extend the battery life on their phone. The original Striiv Smart Pedometer is a standalone device with its own color touchscreen. It is great for people who want a one-stop solution, no smartphone required.
When was the app launched? How many app downloads have there been?
The app launched on October 16th. We haven’t announced our download totals, but we are very excited about how quickly the community is growing and how engaged Striiv users are.
Who are Striiv’s main competitors?
There are other companies like Fitbit and Nike Fuelband, but they are focused on tracking activity in charts and graphs. Striiv is really different because we go beyond tracking and we focus on motivating you to be more active by making fitness fun and social.
What makes Striiv different?
It really is the Striiv experience that sets it apart. Striiv is unique in that it uses games, your social network, and tailored challenges to inspire you to be more active. We are laser-focused on making fitness as fun as possible. Striiv’s Trumotion technology assures our users that the steps they take everyday are being counted and are real. There are no false steps in the car for example, which you see with many other pedometers.
When look at the landscape of fitness devices and apps, everything is based on just measuring your activity. It’s charts, graphs, and more graphs. At Striiv, we really are the fun guys. We take our background in designing video games to turn every step you take in a part of a game. Our goal is to inspire users to get up from their computers or TVs and walk, not because they feel like they should, but because they are trying to play a game to grow a plant or walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Our mission is to make fitness fun and accessible for millions of people.
What kinds of awards and prizes can Striiv users get? Are there future plans to forge partnerships with mainstream companies for more alluring prizes?
We believe that one of the best ways to motivate people to move is to walk for someone else’s benefit. Striiv’s original Smart Pedometer counts every step taken toward a donation to charity, at no cost to its users. Users can earn real world prizes like Climbing the Eiffel Tower or Burning a Cupcake. They can also compete against their friends’ daily averages and personal best.
We are always looking at interesting partnerships that will bring a better or more rewarding experience to our users. We have already begun a great partnership with MyFitnessPal to bring nutrition tracking capabilities to the Striiv experience and we will continue to find partners that can help us motivate our community to get active.
Where do you see Striiv in five years?
In five years, we see Striiv as the platform you go to in order to walk with your friends all over the world. We want empower millions of people, just like you, to feel like the best versions of themselves.
Yesterday Mozy was honored as one of the 25 best companies to work for in the state of Utah. While our headquarters is in Seattle, Mozy maintains a large office in Pleasant Grove, Utah, and also has offices in Boston, Massachusetts, Cork, Ireland, and Shanghai, China. Here are the highlights!
Mozy’s Best Companies to Work For Video
Mozy’s Acceptance Speech:
Utah Business Magazine’s synopsis:
The work environment is enhanced by the office space, up-to-date computer equipment, a fully stocked break room, great parking, paid time off for full-time employees, and contests for quality, knowledge and satisfaction.
Mozy employees love the company’s laid-back work environment that is created by a casual dress policy, free snacks and drinks, a ping-pong table, foosball and an Xbox. The fun is extended to activities like the company’s Mozy Olympics, barbeques, movie showings and inter-department competitions. Once a year, employees are encouraged to attend an annual hike up Mt. Timpanogos.
“I’ve never worked at a company that cared more about the future of its employees than Mozy. Not only are my college classes reimbursed, but my manager assigns projects to me that complement my field of study and give me excellent experience for the future,” says an employee.
This is the fourth year in a row Mozy has been honored with this award. Mozy also won the award in 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Ah, the holidays. That special time of year when we return home to our ancestral stomping grounds and spend a few special days in the company of those closest to us, and all of their devices. From cell phones to game consoles and everything in between, these tiny gadgets have cemented their place in our daily lives. You can’t attend a family party without someone taking pictures on their cell phone or playing some Bing Crosby on their iPod. There will be quite a few kids (and adults, too) falling asleep with visions of tablets and PlayStation 3s dancing in their heads.
More and more of our lives are taking place in the cloud, so the need for devices to access that information has increased as well. This year, as you gather with your family, take some time to be grateful for all that they do for you, and the devices that let them do it.
No one wants to lose their laptop but, with the best will in the world, mistakes happen. And more of them happen at this time of year than any other.
According to new research from Mozy, more items go missing in December than any other month of the year. And 70 per cent of us, the figures show, have lost a data storage device such as a smartphone or laptop.
The research suggested that commuting puts everyone at risk, with 6:00 pm being the peak time of day to lose something and cars and public transport featuring highly on the list of locations where things are mislaid.
For IT managers, that means a flood of requests coming your way for replacement devices. But it’s not just the devices themselves that will be slipping through fingers. Unless it’s properly protected, the data on the devices will be walking out the door with them.
So, if you want to minimise the impact of unintentional loss, make sure that you’re prepared before it happens. It’s easy to insure a laptop but the best insurance for your data is comprehensive backup.
To find out more about how to protect the devices at your company, visit mozy.com/pro.
Or to read more results from Mozy’s research, head over to mozy.com/lost.
Family gatherings, catching up with friends, the school holiday performance … there are so many reasons why we take more pictures with our smartphones in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
But, the memories you’re trying to preserve may not last as long as you’d hoped if your phone doesn’t come home with you at the end of the day.
According to new research from Mozy, Saturday evenings in December is the most dangerous time to lose something, and a smartphone is the most commonly lost item. In fact, 70% of us have lost a gadget such as a smartphone or laptops.
And, if it’s the memories on your phone that you value most, you’re not alone. The majority of people who took part in our survey told us that it was the pictures, contacts and other documents on their phones they missed most.
If you want the peace of mind to snap happy this Christmas, make sure that the stuff on your phone is protected. Sync your phone with the Mozy app and make sure that your laptop is backed up with Mozy. It’s simple, automatic and you can even get a version for free.
To check out Mozy sync and backup, visit mozy.com. Or, for further results from the survey, head over to mozy.com/lost.