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18. Jan, 2017
 

Keep Track of Your Visitors from Social Media with Bit.ly

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Do you have a website or a blog that has started to get some traffic, but you're not sure exactly where the traffic is coming from? Or do you ever wonder which of your blog posts get most views and clicks from social media?

Maybe you're curious or maybe you don't care.

We're all happy to know that visitors are coming to the website that we built with so much love. But knowing where your traffic is coming from will be a huge advantage to you in the long run.

Yes, statistics can be very boring. But think about this. If you don't know whether your traffic is coming from Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest or another social media platform you're using, then you can't know which one to focus on to promote your website. After all, you want to put your time where it will give you the best results.

We all know how important time is. Time that is spent on a social media platform that is not driving traffic to your website is time wasted. On the other hand, time that is spent on the exact social media platforms that are sending you traffic is time very well spent.

Or think about this.

What if you could know which of your pages or blog posts get most clicks? Then you can create even more content like this and your readers will love you for it!

Suggested reading: Use Social Media to Notify Your Readers About New Blog Posts

If you don't already have a website or a blog SimpleSite offers you the opportunity to build an easy-to-edit website that will be free forever unless you decide to upgrade later.

Create a FREE Website or Blog

The Real Question

How can you track the visitors who come to your website from social media? Some people say that this is a difficult or even impossible task. Don't believe them. Tracking those visitors is just a matter of having the correct tool.

Bit.ly is the right tool for you to use.

You may already use bit.ly as a link (URL) shortener. If you only use it to shorten links, though, you're missing out on one of bit.ly's main benefits – its tracking power.

Whenever you use bit.ly to shorten a link, it counts the number of hits on that link and also shows –
  • referral sources
  • social media conversations
  • the country your visitors are from
This information can make it easy to decide which social media platforms to devote more time to and which to let slide for a while. And you can easily see which links get the most visits and thereby know which content performs best.


How to Use Bitly for Statistics

Bit.ly is easy to use and fre. So you have nothing to lose by trying it out.
  1. Sign up for a free bit.ly account – click here.
  2. Click the 'Create Bitlink' button at upper right.
  3. Choose one of your posts or pages that you want to promote. Copy the URL/link (you find it in the address bar of your browser) and paste that URL into the box, and click 'Create' at the bottom.
  4. Copy the bitlink by clicking 'Copy' at the top of the next window.
  5. Start telling the world about your post by using this link on the various social media platforms that you use.
  6. To get your tracking information, go back to bit.ly and sign in. You will see a list of your bitlinks on the left. Click on them one by one to see the statistics about that link's performance.
Suggested reading: Promote Your Blog with Google+ Circles

What is Dark Traffic?

By using the above strategy, you'll be able to know where most of your web traffic comes from. But unfortunately, there is some sharing that takes place under the radar or through secure sites which don't collect user information. This kind of traffic is called 'dark traffic' and can't be attributed to a particular source.

Dark traffic, however, will be a small part of your traffic and shouldn't stop you from tracking the traffic whose source is known. By tracking your visitors, you'll know where to concentrate your efforts, and you won't need to waste time on social media that doesn't produce for you.

So head over to bit.ly and start tracking the visitors to your website.

Are you ready to create your own free SimpleSite website or blog? You can be online just minutes from now.

Create a FREE Website or Blog

Author: Kate Benzin
17. Jan, 2017

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13. Jan, 2017

Metal tools

Continuing improvements led to the furnace and bellows and provided the ability to smelt and forge native metals (naturally occurring in relatively pure form).[37] Gold, copper, silver, and lead, were such early metals. The advantages of copper tools over stone, bone, and wooden tools were quickly apparent to early humans, and native copper was probably used from near the beginning of Neolithic times (about 10 ka).[38] Native copper does not naturally occur in large amounts, but copper ores are quite common and some of them produce metal easily when burned in wood or charcoal fires. Eventually, the working of metals led to the discovery of alloys such as bronze and brass (about 4000 BCE). The first uses of iron alloys such as steel dates to around 1800 BCE.[39][40]

Energy and transport

 
The wheel was invented circa 4000 BCE.
Main article: History of transport

Meanwhile, humans were learning to harness other forms of energy. The earliest known use of wind power is the sailboat; the earliest record of a ship under sail is that of a Nile boat that dates back to the 8th millennium BCE.[41] From prehistoric times, Egyptians probably used the power of the annual flooding of the Nile to irrigate their lands, gradually learning to regulate much of it through purposely built irrigation channels and "catch" basins. Similarly, the early peoples of Mesopotamia, the Sumerians, learned to use the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers for much the same purposes. However, more extensive use of wind and water (and even human) power required another invention.

According to archaeologists, the wheel was invented around 4000 BCE probably independently and nearly simultaneously in Mesopotamia (in present-day Iraq), the Northern Caucasus (Maykop culture) and Central Europe.[42] Estimates on when this may have occurred range from 5500 to 3000 BCE with most experts putting it closer to 4000 BCE.[43] The oldest artifacts with drawings that depict wheeled carts date from about 3500 BCE;[44] however, the wheel may have been in use for millennia before these drawings were made. There is also evidence from the same period for the use of the potter's wheel. More recently, the oldest-known wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes of Slovenia.[45]

The invention of the wheel revolutionized trade and war. It did not take long to discover that wheeled wagons could be used to carry heavy loads. Fast (rotary) potters' wheels enabled early mass production of pottery, but it was the use of the wheel as a transformer of energy (through water wheels, windmills, and even treadmills) that revolutionized the application of nonhuman power sources.

Medieval and modern history (300 CE – present)

Innovations continued through the Middle Ages with innovations such as silk, the horse collar and horseshoes in the first few hundred years after the fall of the Roman Empire. Medieval technology saw the use of simple machines (such as the lever, the screw, and the pulley) being combined to form more complicated tools, such as the wheelbarrow, windmills and clocks. The Renaissance brought forth many of these innovations, including the printing press (which facilitated the greater communication of knowledge), and technology became increasingly associated with science, beginning a cycle of mutual advancement. The advancements in technology in this era allowed a more steady supply of food, followed by the wider availability of consumer goods.

 
The automobile revolutionized personal transportation.

Starting in the United Kingdom in the 18th century, the Industrial Revolution was a period of great technological discovery, particularly in the areas of agriculture, manufacturing, mining, metallurgy, and transport, driven by the discovery of steam power. Technology took another step in a second industrial revolution with the harnessing of electricity to create such innovations as the electric motor, light bulb, and countless others. Scientific advancement and the discovery of new concepts later allowed for powered flight and advancements in medicine, chemistry, physics, and engineering. The rise in technology has led to skyscrapers and broad urban areas whose inhabitants rely on motors to transport them and their food supply. Communication was also greatly improved with the invention of the telegraph, telephone, radio and television. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw a revolution in transportation with the invention of the airplane and automobile.

 
F-15 and F-16 flying over Kuwaiti oil fires during the Gulf War in 1991.

The 20th century brought a host of innovations. In physics, the discovery of nuclear fission has led to both nuclear weapons and nuclear power. Computers were also invented and later miniaturized utilizing transistors and integrated circuits. Information technology subsequently led to the creation of the Internet, which ushered in the current Information Age. Humans have also been able to explore space with satellites (later used for telecommunication) and in manned missions going all the way to the moon. In medicine, this era brought innovations such as open-heart surgery and later stem cell therapy along with new medications and treatments.

Complex manufacturing and construction techniques and organizations are needed to make and maintain these new technologies, and entire industries have arisen to support and develop succeeding generations of increasingly more complex tools. Modern technology increasingly relies on training and education – their designers, builders, maintainers, and users often require sophisticated general and specific training. Moreover, these technologies have become so complex that entire fields have been created to support them, including engineering, medicine, and computer science, and other fields have been made more complex, such as construction, transportation and architecture.

Philosophy

Technicism

Generally, technicism is the belief in the utility of technology for improving human societies.[46] Taken to an extreme, technicism "reflects a fundamental attitude which seeks to control reality, to resolve all problems with the use of scientific-technological methods and tools."[47] In other words, human beings will someday be able to master all problems and possibly even control the future using technology. Some, such as Stephen V. Monsma,[48] connect these ideas to the abdication of religion as a higher moral authority.

Optimism

See also: Extropianism

Optimistic assumptions are made by proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and singularitarianism, which view technological development as generally having beneficial effects for the society and the human condition. In these ideologies, technological development is morally good.

Transhumanists generally believe that the point of technology is to overcome barriers, and that what we commonly refer to as the human condition is just another barrier to be surpassed.

Singularitarians believe in some sort of "accelerating change"; that the rate of technological progress accelerates as we obtain more technology, and that this will culminate in a "Singularity" after artificial general intelligence is invented in which progress is nearly infinite; hence the term. Estimates for the date of this Singularity vary,[49] but prominent futurist Ray Kurzweil estimates the Singularity will occur in 2045.

Kurzweil is also known for his history of the universe in six epochs: (1) the physical/chemical epoch, (2) the life epoch, (3) the human/brain epoch, (4) the technology epoch, (5) the artificial intelligence epoch, and (6) the universal colonization epoch. Going from one epoch to the next is a Singularity in its own right, and a period of speeding up precedes it. Each epoch takes a shorter time, which means the whole history of the universe is one giant Singularity event.[50]

Some critics see these ideologies as examples of scientism and techno-utopianism and fear the notion of human enhancement and technological singularity which they support. Some have described Karl Marx as a techno-optimist.[51]

Skepticism and critics

 
Luddites smashing a power loom in 1812

On the somewhat skeptical side are certain philosophers like Herbert Marcuse and John Zerzan, who believe that technological societies are inherently flawed. They suggest that the inevitable result of such a society is to become evermore technological at the cost of freedom and psychological health.

Many, such as the Luddites and prominent philosopher Martin Heidegger, hold serious, although not entirely, deterministic reservations about technology (see "The Question Concerning Technology"[52]). According to Heidegger scholars Hubert Dreyfus and Charles Spinosa, "Heidegger does not oppose technology. He hopes to reveal the essence of technology in a way that 'in no way confines us to a stultified compulsion to push on blindly with technology or, what comes to the same thing, to rebel helplessly against it.' Indeed, he promises that 'when we once open ourselves expressly to the essence of technology, we find ourselves unexpectedly taken into a freeing claim.'[53] What this entails is a more complex relationship to technology than either techno-optimists or techno-pessimists tend to allow."[54]

Some of the most poignant criticisms of technology are found in what are now considered to be dystopian literary classics such as Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange, and George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. In Goethe's Faust, Faust selling his soul to the devil in return for power over the physical world is also often interpreted as a metaphor for the adoption of industrial technology. More recently, modern works of science fiction such as those by Philip K. Dick and William Gibson and films such as Blade Runner and Ghost in the Shell project highly ambivalent or cautionary attitudes toward technology's impact on human society and identity.

The late cultural critic Neil Postman distinguished tool-using societies from technological societies and from what he called "technopolies," societies that are dominated by the ideology of technological and scientific progress to the exclusion or harm of other cultural practices, values and world-views.[55]

Darin Barney has written about technology's impact on practices of citizenship and democratic culture, suggesting that technology can be construed as (1) an object of political debate, (2) a means or medium of discussion, and (3) a setting for democratic deliberation and citizenship. As a setting for democratic culture, Barney suggests that technology tends to make ethical questions, including the question of what a good life consists in, nearly impossible, because they already give an answer to the question: a good life is one that includes the use of more and more technology.[56]

Nikolas Kompridis has also written about the dangers of new technology, such as genetic engineering, nanotechnology, synthetic biology, and robotics. He warns that these technologies introduce unprecedented new challenges to human beings, including the possibility of the permanent alteration of our biological nature. These concerns are shared by other philosophers, scientists and public intellectuals who have written about similar issues (e.g. Francis Fukuyama, Jürgen Habermas, William Joy, and Michael Sandel).[57]

Another prominent critic of technology is Hubert Dreyfus, who has published books such as On the Internet and What Computers Still Can't Do.

A more infamous anti-technological treatise is Industrial Society and Its Future, written by the Unabomber Ted Kaczynski and printed in several major newspapers (and later books) as part of an effort to end his bombing campaign of the techno-industrial infrastructure.

Appropriate technology

The notion of appropriate technology was developed in the 20th century by thinkers such as E. F. Schumacher and Jacques Ellul to describe situations where it was not desirable to use very new technologies or those that required access to some centralized infrastructure or parts or skills imported from elsewhere. The ecovillage movement emerged in part due to this concern.

Optimism and skepticism in the 21st century

This section mainly focuses on American concerns even if it can reasonably be generalized to other Western countries.

In his article, Jared Bernstein, a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,[58] questions the widespread idea that automation, and more broadly, technological advances, have mainly contributed to this growing labor market problem. His thesis appears to be a third way between optimism and skepticism. Essentially, he stands for a neutral approach of the linkage between technology and American issues concerning unemployment and declining wages.

He uses two main arguments to defend his point. First, because of recent technological advances, an increasing number of workers are losing their jobs. Yet, scientific evidence fails to clearly demonstrate that technology has displaced so many workers that it has created more problems than it has solved. Indeed, automation threatens repetitive jobs but higher-end jobs are still necessary because they complement technology and manual jobs that "requires flexibility judgment and common sense"[59] remain hard to replace with machines. Second, studies have not shown clear links between recent technology advances and the wage trends of the last decades.

Therefore, according to Bernstein, instead of focusing on technology and its hypothetical influences on current American increasing unemployment and declining wages, one needs to worry more about "bad policy that fails to offset the imbalances in demand, trade, income and opportunity."[59]

Complex technological systems

Thomas P. Hughes stated that because technology has been considered as a key way to solve problems, we need to be aware of its complex and varied characters to use it more efficiently.[60] What is the difference between a wheel or a compass and cooking machines such as an oven or a gas stove? Can we consider all of them, only a part of them, or none of them as technologies?

Technology is often considered too narrowly; according to Hughes, "Technology is a creative process involving human ingenuity.[61] This definition's emphasis on creativity avoids unbounded definitions that may mistakenly include cooking “technologies," but it also highlights the prominent role of humans and therefore their responsibilities for the use of complex technological systems.

Yet, because technology is everywhere and has dramatically changed landscapes and societies, Hughes argues that engineers, scientists, and managers have often believed that they can use technology to shape the world as they want. They have often supposed that technology is easily controllable and this assumption has to be thoroughly questioned.[60] For instance, Evgeny Morozov particularly challenges two concepts: “Internet-centrism” and “solutionism."[62] Internet-centrism refers to the idea that our society is convinced that the Internet is one of the most stable and coherent forces. Solutionism is the ideology that every social issue can be solved thanks to technology and especially thanks to the internet. In fact, technology intrinsically contains uncertainties and limitations. According to Alexis Madrigal's review of Morozov's theory, to ignore it will lead to “unexpected consequences that could eventually cause more damage than the problems they seek to address."[63] Benjamin R. Cohen and Gwen Ottinger also discussed the multivalent effects of technology.[64]

Therefore, recognition of the limitations of technology, and more broadly, scientific knowledge, is needed – especially in cases dealing with environmental justice and health issues. Ottinger continues this reasoning and argues that the ongoing recognition of the limitations of scientific knowledge goes hand in hand with scientists and engineers’ new comprehension of their role. Such an approach of technology and science "[require] technical professionals to conceive of their roles in the process differently. [They have to consider themselves as] collaborators in research and problem solving rather than simply providers of information and technical solutions."[65]

Competitiveness

Technology is properly defined as any application of science to accomplish a function. The science can be leading edge or well established and the function can have high visibility or be significantly more mundane, but it is all technology, and its exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage.

Technology-based planning is what was used to build the US industrial giants before WWII (e.g., Dow, DuPont, GM) and it is what was used to transform the US into a superpower. It was not economic-based planning.

Project Socrates

In 1983 Project Socrates was initiated in the US intelligence community to determine the source of declining US economic and military competitiveness. Project Socrates concluded that technology exploitation is the foundation of all competitive advantage and that declining US competitiveness was from decision-making in the private and public sectors switching from technology exploitation (technology-based planning) to money exploitation (economic-based planning) at the end of World War II.

Project Socrates determined that to rebuild US competitiveness, decision making throughout the US had to readopt technology-based planning. Project Socrates also determined that countries like China and India had continued executing technology-based (while the US took its detour into economic-based) planning, and as a result had considerably advanced the process and were using it to build themselves into superpowers. To rebuild US competitiveness the US decision-makers needed to adopt a form of technology-based planning that was far more advanced than that used by China and India.

Project Socrates determined that technology-based planning makes an evolutionary leap forward every few hundred years and the next evolutionary leap, the Automated Innovation Revolution, was poised to occur. In the Automated Innovation Revolution the process for determining how to acquire and utilize technology for a competitive advantage (which includes R&D) is automated so that it can be executed with unprecedented speed, efficiency and agility.

Project Socrates developed the means for automated innovation so that the US could lead the Automated Innovation Revolution in order to rebuild and maintain the country's economic competitiveness for many generations.[66][67][68]

Other animal species

 
This adult gorilla uses a branch as a walking stick to gauge the water's depth, an example of technology usage by non-human primates.

The use of basic technology is also a feature of other animal species apart from humans. These include primates such as chimpanzees,[69] some dolphin communities,[70] and crows.[71][72] Considering a more generic perspective of technology as ethology of active environmental conditioning and control, we can also refer to animal examples such as beavers and their dams, or bees and their honeycombs.

The ability to make and use tools was once considered a defining characteristic of the genus Homo.[73] However, the discovery of tool construction among chimpanzees and related primates has discarded the notion of the use of technology as unique to humans. For example, researchers have observed wild chimpanzees utilising tools for foraging: some of the tools used include leaf sponges, termite fishing probes, pestles and levers.[74] West African chimpanzees also use stone hammers and anvils for cracking nuts,[75] as do capuchin monkeys of Boa Vista, Brazil.[76]

Future technology

Main article: Emerging technologies

Theories of technology often attempt to predict the future of technology based on the high technology and science of the time. As with all predictions of the future, however, technology's is uncertain.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil predicts that the future of technology will be mainly consist of an overlapping "GNR Revolution" of Genetics, Nanotechnology, and Robotics, with robotics being the most important of the three.[77]