Start of Q4 2017, Final Sprint

The final quarter of year 2017 starts today on 1st October 2017, for some of you folks out there, this is also the final sprint to the end of year 2017, on 31st December 2017. Everyone of us had our own unique and special journeys during the first three quarters of year 2017, yet we might have something in common with the tough and difficult economy and market sentiments.

I am taking this time to write on a number of different topics in one article, I might expand on them that I wrote here today, if my time and research planning permits.

Updates: Running my own photography business

How was your first three quarters of year 2017 been? It had been nothing less than a very tough and challenging journey for the past nine months. Running a photography business, time was spent on building the foundations, networks, systems, marketing, branding, collaborations, partnerships and last but not least, finding the business. We are looking at 80% of time spent on the above and 20% spent on actual photography shoot and post photography shoot.

I never really talked or revealed too much into this area, not just that it is private, most of the time, many people around you don’t understand, don’t want to listen, learn and understand. There are also a handful of people around you that don’t want you to succeed, they want you to fail, sad but true (or they might change their stance and words and said they don’t mean it after they spilled the “wrong words” out from their mouth”)

There are a small group of photographer friends that can and will understand what I am going through. Listening to their own photography business journeys over the years, there is a similarity in my own personal journey. Therefore, I still have to grind my way through and make a breakthrough.

Micro influencers – a bit more differentiation into Mini and Micro influencers groupings?

Recently, there has been quite a lot of debates and discussions on the topic of influencers, from both sides of the equation, the brands/companies, public relations agencies, digital agencies etc on one side and a diverse group of influencers on the other side.

I came across this infographic article on LinkedIN written by Preeti Kumar – 7 Influencer types & How to work with them. Reading and analysing this infographic, I was looking at where I fit into – Key Opinion Leaders: Creatives, partly Micro influencers and product seeders.

On the role of micro influencers, it is probably a bigger area of growth and investment for both sides, let’s put it as demand and supply sides of things. While the quantitative part of micro influencers have been debated, some put 20,000, some put 10,000. Personally, I reckon that it is totally and suitably possible, to differentiate them into Mini and Micro influencers.

Why use Mini and Micro? What are the differences?

I am using the two words from a Forex trading lingo, mini and micro lot.

Standard Lot = 100,000 units

Mini Lot = 10,000 units

Micro Lot = 1,000 units

Translating it into digital marketing side of things

Influencer – Above 100,000 followers

Mini Influencer – Above 10,000 followers

Micro Influencer – 3,000 to 5,000 followers?

This is just something that crossed my mind and got me thinking, I have yet to analyse and put into greater details. It’s still a preliminary stage for me, if the opportunity arises to work with other digital marketers on this, that would be nice. Nevertheless, I hope to continue working on this topic in the future if my timing and commitment allows.

We must go beyond ROI with numbers and statistics, while quantitative is important, influencer marketing has a lot of qualitative, intrinsic and psychological aspects that cannot be measured by numers, revenue, statistics and numbers.

Planning to expand with/in the following areas/collaborations

Although the list above doesn’t directly translate into business for my photography business, they reinforce my networkings, contacts and collaborations on my digital marketing, technology writing and social media.

Over the past three quarters of 2017, I unlocked small achivements for myself when organisations approach me, to have a chat and see where I work together with them from there. All these are small testimonials for myself and everything that I put in for the past 10 years at least through writing, social media and photography.

Of mental health, physical health, emotions, mind and soul

A friend whom I look up upon, a very creative and talanted person in writing, photography and music, Fernando Gros, recently wrote an article titled “Creative Health Part 2 – Your Mind and Your Path”. I saw his tweet, read his article and I am kind of like being “shaken up”. In my reply to his tweet, I posted “After reading your article, it dawned upon me that I am stressed out, not taking care of my mind, body and soul.”

The truth and harsh reality is that it can be really brutally hard at times, we just have to take care of ourselves, going through regular maintenance. Not to mention, even the best engineering devices also wear and break down even with regular maintenance.

In case you missed it, Fernando published this book title “No Missing Tools”, do check out my article and have a read and you would be enlightened and know why I respect his works and views a lot.

Where do I go from here?

The seeds had been planted, watered and being taken care of. While not everyday is sunshine, there were rain, storm, bad weather that hit the growth of the plants. Hopefully, the changes and corrections were in place to make the seedlings grow better and faster, allowing me to harvest the fruits of my labour.

Being thankful and grateful

In this short time frame period of a year, there were those that have happy news while I am fighting pain, hurt and loss. Losing 6 people, 4 were relatives of which 2 of them were very close to me, the others were 1 mentor and 1 uni junior.

I may not have the most happy and joyful time during the past 1 year time frame, one of the toughest time that I went through. It made me reflect a lot and be thankful and grateful for everything that I have, the family, relatives and friends support.

Final thoughts

Technology and disruptions are not going to destroy us, ignorance and complacency are going to destroy us.

We MUST start to make the changes, no matter how painful and difficult it will be or else, we might be in a spiral downfall for the next 1-2 generations.

In the midst of re-strategising and making changes to my flow, workflow, daily flow, well-being, growth and rest, while embarking on my Final Sprint Q4 2017.

New areas of Tech interest: Big Data, Security, Backup

I have been writing and covering on a few areas of technology inside my personal website/blog here for a number of years. Initially, it was mainly on consumer technology products, however, over the years, I had started venturing into B2B/Enterprise technology coverage, mainly Internet of Things (IoT) in a few areas/brands such as The Next Wave and Trends (from Canon EXPO 2016 Shanghai)AXON by Greenwave Systems, Future Workplace with Dell and Journey to 5G with Singtel. It had been a very interesting technology adventure into the levels of B2B, thankful to those brands/companies who gave me the opportunities to connect, learn, cover and write about them.

Over the past year, I began to discover new areas of technology interest, while it is probably more applicable on a B2B level, it can also be applied at the B2C consumer level too. One of the areas was on big data and analysis, starting with this forum that I attended recently in June 2017 – “F1 Technology and the Impact on Healthcare“. The next few interest technology fields that came up on my radar, following this particular forum that I attended were data protection, cybersecurity and backup.

My tech coverage journey in these few areas were all related together, I was working on building a basic starter personal cloud storage solution for my photography business/photographs storage/digital marketing/social media/documents, I got a WD My Cloud 4TB a few months back too.

Next up was on data protection and backup, Acronis then came into the picture. I saw and read about them around 1-2 years back, initially I didn’t know too much about them. Coincidentally, I got to know about them more in details and what they are doing, most recently with the launch of the Acronis True Image 2018 that I discovered more about their products and services in the areas of data protection and backup.

I am going to work on an article on the Acronis True Image 2018 for my small business, for my photography business/photographs storage and also my other work on digital marketing/social media and also my documents storage. Do keep a lookout and I would update with a link here when it is completed!

During the recent 2017 Singapore GP, I also learned about the partnership between Acronis and Scuderia Torro Rosso Formula 1 Racing Team! They are the FIRST Singapore company to sponsor a F1 racing team! It’s not just about sponsorship, they are using Acronis technology in motorsports! Being a motorsports and F1 fan and also an technology enthusiast myself, it’s like an omen for me to use Acronis technology solutions!

It would be a dream come true, if I can cover more in depth and share on Acronis technology in motorsports! I can bring my camera gears to racing tracks and garages! Motorsports + technology + photography sounds like what I like to do!

Stay tuned, hopefully, I can share more on these areas of technology, big data, data protection, cybersecurity and data backup.

Oh yes, maybe more new areas such Blockchain, Bitcoin.

Acronis True Image 2018

The business world today for working professionals today, the leisure/internet/social media world today for the rest of us, everyone of us are living in a more highly connected with internet and social media era. The number of users on the internet, social media platforms, social media apps and blogging, whether for work or leisure, they are huge and it will only get bigger and wider.

With the vast numbers of people using the internet and social media and this number will only get bigger, this poses a risk for the internet and social media, security and privacy. Cybersecurity (for your works, documents and data) is now an even more important and crucial area that requires immediate attention and action for businesses and also for individuals nowadays. The dangers of ransomware is getting more prevalent recently, anybody and everybody using the internet and social media is a target.

Running a small photography business (with home office as my administrative/back end work base while doing my assignments/projects/works outside), as well as being a social media enthusiast, doing some digital marketing work, an Information Technology (IT) enthusiast, cybersecurity has moved up the ladder on my topics that I am covering and writing more (my other tech interest topics are IoT, 5G networks, IT trends, fin-tech).

Let me tell you a true story, my own personal story on my journey in building up my data protection and backup system for my small photography business + social media + digital marketing + data protection workflow, it took me a bit longer than expected (1 year+), partially procrastinating, partially not knowing where/how to look for and start. My friend HP from Hpility SG (where I currently have a working partnership with him and his blog-portal) introduced me to Acronis, I shared my requirements on what I needed and he mentioned to me their Acronis True Image suits what I need and want for my current setup.

Thereafter, I knew more about Acronis and their Acronis True Image backup software program. I am setting up my Acronis True Image 2018 and I hope to share my stories, experiences in the Acronis True Image 2018 setup with my own personal cloud storage.

Today I am going to share more information and details on the Acronis True Image 2018, for those planning to find a backup and data protection software program for themselves on an individual basis or home office basis:

Press Release – 28th August 2017

Acronis, a global leader in hybrid cloud data protection for business and consumers, today introduced Acronis True Image 2018. The new release includes major updates the program’s backup and recovery capabilities, and is the first personal backup software to incorporate artificial intelligence-based technology designed to actively protect data against ransomware.

“As the first company to offer full image backup for consumers, Acronis pioneered intelligent backup for home use,” said Serguei Beloussov, co-founder, and CEO of Acronis. “Acronis True Image 2018 continues that tradition as the first and only personal backup software that uses artificial intelligence to defend consumers against one of the fastest growing threats to their data.”

By combining the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) based ransomware defense, called Acronis Active Protection™, with a new generation of enhanced backup and recovery capabilities such as active disk cloning and automated WinPE boot media creation, Acronis True Image 2018 represents a new standard of “intelligent backup” for individuals, families and small businesses.

Reliable backup and recovery

During a survey of Acronis customers during July 2017, 95 percent of respondents said they choose and recommend Acronis True Image because the backups are so reliable. The 2018 release improves on those core backup and recovery capabilities even more, with enhancements such as:

  • Active disk cloning: Users can create an exact replica of an active Windows system without stopping and restarting using bootable media, making migration to a faster or larger disk even easier.
  • An updated media builder: Automatically creates boot media for a WinPE environment, so users can quickly resolve driver configuration issues and recover their systems to the same or new hardware.
  • Continuous backup to the cloud: Users can update their backups as they work on files while securely storing an off-site version in the cloud.
  • Virtual drive conversion: Users can test the recoverability of the full image backups, or run their system in a Hyper-V virtual environment to test various applications without risking the primary system, and move complete system image as a virtual drive to another computer.
  • Faster incremental backups: Up to three-times faster with new Changed-Block Tracker technology that tracks image changes in real time.
  • Automatic mobile backup to NAS devices: More than a quarter of Acronis users have network-attached storage (NAS) at home. Now they don’t have to think about backing up a mobile device, since the process starts as soon as the mobile device connects to the same Wi-Fi as the NAS.

Acronis True Image 2018 also addresses the needs of the next generation of users by expanding its support for social media with automatic backups of Instagram accounts, including photos, comments and statistics, such as the number of likes, tags or comments a post gets.

Easy control

A new visual interface addresses the preferences of 83% of Acronis customers who reported that they want more information and insights into their backups. Graphically displaying backup activity and statistics, it allows users to manage their backups at a glance – including how much data they have stored, the types of files in storage, and the status of backups.

Secure data protection

The ability to restore a system or individual files is critical following a ransomware attack. Acronis True Image 2018 not only makes recovery automatic, it takes the initial protection a step further by preventing ransomware from corrupting a user’s data in the first place.

Using machine learning models, Acronis Active Protection recognizes unusual patterns of file access. These models are generated in Acronis’ dedicated Cloud AI infrastructure, which processes data from hundreds of thousands of malicious and legitimate processes to build those models. Those models are incorporated directly into Acronis Active Protection, allowing Acronis True Image 2018 to protect a system’s data independently, without the need for an internet connection.

When Active Protection detects unusual activity, it checks the process using both heuristics analysis as well as those models of expected and unexpected behavior. If the process is identified as potentially malicious, Acronis True Image 2018 alerts the user of the suspicious activity.

With real-time monitoring, Acronis Active Protection verifies all processes so approved activities are allowed to run, while potentially dangerous behavior is detected and stopped. Then, if any files are encrypted during a ransomware attack, Acronis True Image 2018 automatically restores those files from backup.

While cybercriminals increasingly target backup files to keep users from restoring their system without paying the ransom, Acronis’ technology specifically defends backup files as well as the original data. Ransomware damages are expected to top $5 billion this year, and Acronis’ unique self-defense of backup files is Acronis True Image 2018’s way to ensure a user’s data remains untouched.

More than 60 percent of Acronis customers surveyed said they worry about ransomware. A new Security Dashboard gives users complete visibility over Acronis Active Protection so you can be reassured that their data is protected. It lets them track the number of processes that have been flagged as potentially dangerous, see which ones were blocked, and manage a whitelist of trusted applications.

Pricing and Availability

There are three editions of Acronis True Image 2018 available to accommodate customer use and preferences. All versions include Acronis Active Protection against ransomware and cover an unlimited number of mobile devices.

  • Standard is a perpetual license that is offered without any cloud storage or access to cloud-based features for customers who prefer to store their data on local drives only. Pricing starts at 69.99 SGD for one computer.
  • Advanced is a one-year subscription that includes 250 GB of cloud storage and access to all cloud-based features. Pricing starts at 69.99 SGD per year for one computer.
  • Premium is a one-year subscription that includes exclusive blockchain-based data certification and electronic signature capabilities, as well as 1 TB of cloud storage. Pricing starts at $99.99 per year for one computer.

Advanced and Premium subscribers can purchase additional cloud storage within the application. Advanced Licenses can upgrade to a maximum of 500 GB. If more storage is needed, Advanced users can upgrade to a Premium License, which offers cloud storage of up to 5 TB.

Instagram backup launches today in limited markets and will be available worldwide on September 4, 2017

Acronis True Image 2018 is available for purchase at acronis.com/en-us/personal/computer-backup/ and through major software resellers and retail stores worldwide.

NOTE: For small business owners who need to protect more than five computers, or companies that have multiple workstations and servers, Acronis Backup 12.5 scales to protect thousands of computers and provides convenient tools for group management of environments of any complexity. Details are available at acronis.com/en-us/business/backup/.

* Information courtesy of Acronis Asia Pte Ltd *