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10 Aug, 2011

TripAdvisor Unveils Resource Platform And Educational Series For Businesses

1. 5 Home Security Tips During Summer Travel Season

2. Google +1 And The Dark Side Of SEO

3. TripAdvisor Unveils New Resource Platform And Educational Series For Businesses

4. New Movie Probes Psychology And Personality Of Whistleblowers

5. Community Turns Challenging Aging Demographic Into An Asset


1. 5 Home Security Tips During Summer Travel Season

09 August 2011 (PRWeb.com) — Summer months represent an ideal time for family getaways and vacations. This fact is not unfamiliar to criminals as, according to the FBI, July and August have the highest rates of burglaries compared to other months of the year. As a result, summer is an ideal time for homeowners to evaluate the strength and stability of their home security system and whether or not the system is fully leveraging emerging, vital security and monitoring technologies. Alarm.com is making sure homeowners know that smarter, stronger security solutions are at their fingertips.

Just like building a sand castle, it is necessary to use the right tools to ensure the stability of a home. Don’t let a home come crashing down with a weak and unreliable security system. Here are five tips from Alarm.com to make sure a security system is indeed keeping a home safe and secure:

1. Start with the foundation; appraise the underlying platform

Sure, the kids are ready for beach fun with their shovels and pails; however, for the most dependable security when the family is away from home, a security system that runs on wireless GSM/GPRS technology is the most valuable, essential tool. Like a backbone, wireless technology will serve as the underlying structure of a home security system, protecting homes even if the power goes out, the phone line is cut or the Internet is down. Using a security system enabled by wireless technology will makes sure that all alarms and other important events are transmitted quickly to the central monitoring station for immediate response, even if home owners are traveling or on vacation.

2. Protect the outside, and the inside

Instead of calling attention to your home with lots of brightly colored flags, make use of unobtrusive, discretely placed motion sensors for extra protection. Place sensors in places that are important such as the electrical room, children’s bedrooms, the back door or the garage, and then set up customized text and email notifications to find out if activity is detected in those areas. These alerts can be sent even if the security system is disarmed.

3. Make a plan

Just like towers and a moat shield intricate beach creations from damage, protection against “crash and smash” attacks is a necessary layer of security for a home. The first thing intruders generally do when entering a home is head for the security control panel; they then try to destroy it and prevent an alarm signal from being sent. “Crash and smash” detection technology provides an even higher level of security for any property and family. Additionally, this technology facilitates the use of false alarm reduction features, preventing unnecessary dispatches from local emergency responders who often charge large fines for frequent false alarms.

4. Utilize a bridge

In the event of an alarm, a wireless two-way voice solution lets the voice-enabled radio integrated with a home alarm system immediately establish a 2-way voice session with the central station—all without the need for a traditional telephone connection. Through loud and clear voice communication with the customer premises via the security panel speaker and microphone, the operator can reliably verify and respond to an alarm.

5. Don’t stop at basic features

Free security mobile apps, video monitoring and home automation aren’t just frills like seashells and feathers on a sand castle. Whether home, or away from home, these security features can enhance the security at a property. Homeowners can now leverage free home security mobile apps for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry to view a complete event history of activity at a property. Set up video cameras to keep an extra eye on a home when the family is away; or, use the video cameras to check in on guests at a vacation home. Plus, manage lights, locks and thermostats with a home automation and home energy management solution for additional control of the home and also energy bills.

A home is a family’s castle and should be treated like one. Just as waves can quickly destroy a castle when the tide comes up, a savvy intruder can damage a home and its valuable possessions if the home lacks an intelligent and powerful security system. Maintaining a high level of security for a home and family is not just an artistic fantasy—it’s a reality.

2. Google +1 And The Dark Side Of SEO

August 03, 2011 (PRWeb.com)– More and more reports have surfaced on major news outlets stating that +1 represents an excellent opportunity for SEO firms to “cash-in” and sell +1 services to significantly inflate the online visibility of their clients. Kenneth C. Wisnefski, founder and CEO of WebiMax, the search engine optimization firm in the United States and Australia, challenges this by stating “companies are looking to abuse the fundamental principles behind Google’s +1”, and further cautions companies that are offered these services.

As previously discussed, +1 is Google’s version of the Facebook “Like” and Twitter “Tweet” button, where users recommend websites to their online network. Google stated websites that amass many +1’s will be awarded favorable visibility in their search engine results page. These fundamentals, however, are already being misused by SEO firms looking to “cash-in” and unnaturally enhance their client’s online exposure.

“Although +1 is an excellent service that Google has created, it is abundantly clear that the misuse of such an application can have negative effects on the search industry”, states Wisnefski, who founded WebiMax in 2008. “We [in the SEO industry] are well aware of ‘click farms’ that exist, my sole concern is the possibility for them to negatively leverage +1”.

Click-farms are well-known sub-contracted entities that sole purpose is to extort pay-per-click management (PPC) campaigns by clicking as many ads as possible on the internet. This unnatural process negatively affects the advertising company, as costly advertising dollars are wasted on unnecessary (and unnatural) click-throughs. With the rise in the amount of SEO firms that discuss leveraging +1 to their advantage, the idea of click farms is reemerging, not only in PPC, but now in the +1 service.

“We’ve seen time and time again unethical SEO firms cheat the system to give their client’s desired and optimal results. Not only does this eventually get picked up by Google (and other search engine webmasters), the client is sent to the last page of search, and oftentimes, they had no idea their SEO firm was using ‘black-hat’ optimization techniques. This can severely damage the online reputation of the client, in addition to have an effect on their income statement due to the decreased visibility resulting from the ban”, states Wisnefski.

Earlier in 2011, such firms including J.C. Penney, Forbes.com, Overstock.com, and others were impacted by this. Their SEO firms were practicing black-hat optimization to improve their visibility. Although Google has not addressed the impacts of unnatural +1’s, Wisnefski cautions companies to be skeptical of these services if they’re offered.

“Google is the dominant player in the search industry, and regularly updates their algorithms to penalize those who attempt to extort their system to achieve favorable ranking. I would expect them to address the vulnerability and unnatural natures of +1, if it comes to that. A resulting significant decrease in firms online visibility can have lasting effects on their business and reputation”, concludes Wisnefski.

3. TripAdvisor Unveils New Resource Platform And Educational Series For Businesses

August 9, 2011 (PRNewswire.com) — TripAdvisor today announced the launch of a new Management Centre with free resources and content to help hospitality business owners, managers and marketers engage with the TripAdvisor traveller community, drive sales and manage their properties’ reputations online. This resource platform serves as an educational hub with videos, how-to guides and tips, providing owners with crucial strategies for reaching researching travellers on TripAdvisor.

“TripAdvisor has launched the new Management Centre and accompanying educational series to provide hospitality business owners with helpful resources and actionable strategies for increasing bookings,” said Christine Petersen, president of TripAdvisor for Business. “As part of our ongoing efforts to help great businesses thrive, we’re offering the content business owners demand most.”

The new Management Centre includes the following resources and enhancements:

(+) How-to videos: Two-minute clips providing an overview of TripAdvisor’s free tools

(+) How-to guides and tip sheets: Quick overviews and advice on the most effective marketing activities

(+) TripAdvisor for Business blog: Regular updates on TripAdvisor news and resources, property success stories and industry updates

(+) Easy-to-use design: Straightforward, intuitive user interface based on owner feedback

To accompany the launch of the new Management Centre, TripAdvisor has also announced a fresh series of master class events worldwide, and a new array of webinars.

Upcoming Master Classes and Global Events

Master Classes:

Dallas, TX, USA – August 30

Santiago, Chile – October TBD

Buenos Aries, Argentina – October 28

Washington, D.C., USA – November TBD

TripAdvisor will offer additional master classes in Australia, Malaysia and the U.K. later this year, with more details coming soon.


TravelMart Latin America, Florianopolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil – September 11-13, 2011

IFTM Top Resa, Paris – September 20-23, 2011

ABAV Fair of the Americas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – October 19-21, 2011

World Travel Market, London- November 7-10, 2011

Caribbean Marketplace, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas- January 22-24, 2012

For more information, please visit: http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Owners

4. New Movie Probes Psychology And Personality Of Whistleblowers

5 Aug 2011 (PRNewswire.com) — Whistleblowers frequently show up in the news, often capturing our collective attention. Movies or news reports cover their lives. The most recent example of curiosity about whistleblowers is the new independent movie, The Whistleblower, released today amid rumors that it may be nominated for an Oscar.

A Whistleblower can be an individual who outs or opines practices or actions that are illegal, dishonest or violate the whistleblowers sense of morality or ethics. Whistleblowers of many types have been around for a very long time. However, there are now many new protections to shield the messenger in order to prevent the whistleblower from ending up as the victim.

“The record of many whistleblowers is reflected in the reporting of dishonest or fraudulent acts within their organizations or businesses. There are also people who blow the whistle on individuals or organizations in which they do not work but they are given incentives to report and expose illegal, dishonest or socially unacceptable acts,” said Dr. Bernard Luskin, CEO, Senior Provost, and Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Touro University Worldwide (TUW).

“The False Claims Act encourages whistleblowers to report issues and enables rewarding them with a percentage of monies recovered by the government as an outcome of a legal case. While some people would call whistleblowers courageous or even heroic in instances that uncover and expose an injustice, there is also a risk that a whistleblower may become a target for retaliation,” said attorney James Hirsen, TUW Professor of Professional Ethics.

“I think that many times there is a genetic risk propensity in the brain wiring of a whistleblower. This is especially the case since one obvious risk is the possibility of negative accusations, such as ‘Tattletale.’ Withstanding the possibility of accusations requires a personality that has a willingness to confront adversity. Some examples of famous public whistleblowers showing this characteristic include Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, Jeffrey Wigand and the tobacco industry, Karen Silkwood and the nuclear industry, Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins who exposed Enron, and Julian Assange, the whistleblower who founded WikiLeaks,” Luskin explained.

“My years as psychotherapist in media psychology have led me to the conclusions that the following are typical whistle blower traits. In my view, whistleblowers are:

1. driven by altruism.

2. can overcome insecurity through exhibitionism in order to release information.

3. generally moralistic, becoming committed and even obsessed about a personal belief.

4. have a propensity to rely on moral theories that emphasize rights.

5. strong willed.

6. stubbornly committed and uncompromising.

7. willing to go against social conventions, and

8. have a particular mind set stemming from their personal attitudes and beliefs.

Touro University Worldwide master’s degree programs include various programs and courses that investigate the psychology of whistleblowers and other psychological and personality profiles. Master’s degree programs include Media and Communications Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy.

5. Community Turns Challenging Aging Demographic Into An Asset

09 August 2011 (PRWeb.com) — Sarasota County, Florida, the US’s demographically oldest large county, has turned what many Americans view as a challenge — its aging demographic — into an asset by forming The Institute for the Ages. The Institute positions the county as a global leader in innovation of age-related products, services and policies.

According to statistics from the 2010 U.S. Census, 13 percent of the population in the U.S. is over the age of 65. That number soars to 30 percent in Sarasota County, where nearly half of all homes include someone that age or older. By the year 2050, it is projected that people 65 and older will comprise 21 percent of the U.S. population.

Over the past several years, SCOPE (Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence) engaged 900 Sarasota residents around the issue of aging.

The Institute for the Ages, a nonprofit organization, was incubated from this collaborative community engagement. The Institute has a unique vision of leveraging the County’s older population to create a national test bed for ideas and technologies that will improve lives as the world grows older.

“Global aging is one of the truly disruptive demographics facing the world,” said Tim Dutton, interim president of The Institute for the Ages. “It also makes a compelling case for an Institute that thinks about how this inevitable change is a springboard for innovation.”

The Institute plans to use the demographic as an asset to draw companies, research organizations and international attention to the Sarasota area.

The Sarasota County Board of Commissioners recently approved funding for $1.2 million to support the Institute’s vision. With this funding and support from other individuals and public and private organizations, the Institute now has more than $2 million committed to the development and launch of its programs.

“We are grateful to the county for being so visionary and supportive,” said Dutton. “The Institute can be a major contributor to economic diversification and will keep our community at the leading edge of creative thinking and innovation around this global issue.”

The Institute for the Ages, created in 2010 by SCOPE, is a direct response to the challenges and opportunities of global aging. The institute is a private, nonprofit organization with a unique vision of leveraging Sarasota County’s older population to create a national test bed for ideas and technologies that will improve lives as the world grows older. For more information, http://www.institutefortheages.org.