Category Archives: Society

Notification Overload – So Much Streaming So Little Reason

Notification Overload – So Much Streaming So Little Reason

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2016 will likely be remembered as the year that streaming exploded. What started with  Meerkat and Periscope evolved to Facebook Live and Instagram Stories updating their platforms to try to capture the lightning in a bottle of Snapchat. In the progress, we’ve enabled an entire generation to share their world with the world without filter. So, as my notification log fills up with messages about you, you and you “going live” I can’t help but wonder if it’s really a good thing?

Must we go live via streaming to show that we are actually living? This is a question I ask myself regularly as live video stream notifications light up my screen. I’m not simply curious about why everyone’s doing it but also why now? Video isn’t new. Vlogging is the organic heart of Youtube. Before every major media brand got it’s on channels it was person people content that ruled. When Periscope hit from the outside you’d think everyone was using it and the new wave had arrived. Truth be told, only a small % of people actually streamed on Periscope. The majority of people connected to watch others. Periscope links via Twitter so the “sign up” was easy. This is the point that caught my attention and it’s what I think is really at the heart of this “going live” movement.

People that really have invested valuable in their message were saying it before and they got better as the technology improved. They were on Youtube, Blogger, Vimeo, etc……Today, people stream not because they have important things to say or share but because it’s easy. It’s a feature now plugged into spaces they were already active in. You can think of this as the “I do it because I can” crowd. People want the SnapChat effect without having to build a new audience on SnapChat. Don’t get me wrong because there are many who are putting streaming technology to good use and are delivering real information content. You just have to weed it out via the new wave of look-at-me-do-nothing material. Streaming in many ways is just amateur hour cable television. How many shows do you have to cycle through to find the one that makes it worth your time?

Every time something crazy happens to a person folk say, “Man my life needs its own show.” No, it really doesn’t you need to be happy that something worse didn’t happen and try not to end up in that position again. We all don’t need shows about our lives. Like all things in this social media based world the initial hype will fade as the truly committed users continue to push through the masses with their messages.

I my humble view, existence should be measured by how you live life not by how many folks see yours.

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2016 The Year That Changed It All

2016 The Year That Changed It All

Digital Daddy, Social Media Samurai
Is this the end of the Social Media Samurai

Look around. Admittedly things have been a little quieter around here than many of you may be used to. The year 2016 was a monster for many people for a lot of reasons. While the theme of high-profile death has dominated the conversation recently, it’s been a focus on gain and new life that has been the signature of my year. From self-centered to selfless, my life went from 0 -100 with the May 27th arrival of my son, Maximus Xaiver Francis. Nothing was the same since.

Max’s birth came with me relocating to Philadelphia and a drastic shift in how I operated. My networks were changed, my access to certain levels of business were reduced and overall it was if I had just hit a mega reset button on my life. I’ve never been a person that took things and people for granted but the new perspective of my situation immediately made me see my daily New York routine in a different light. The small things that brought balance to my life that were no longer available weighed heavy on me for much of my time away from NY.

What really countered that feeling of displacement was a the beauty and happiness that washes over me everything I saw the innocent smile of my baby boy. Knowing nothing of the insane world around him, he only asks for love and protection. All the cliches’ are true regarding how a child makes you feel and how it changes you. As much as continue to juggle thoughts and feelings around my new status quo, I’ve never once looked at Max with anything but love and pride.

2016 forced me to change. It forced me to prove myself in ways I never thought. Those tests are still ongoing but I feel a renewed power and strength within me for what is to come on many levels. Social Media Samurai is not going anywhere. As I adapt to my new reality the brand will adapt as well. Who I am and what I am about will be revealed more as I expand SMS into new territory. With the growth of my own Tribe I will re-emerge stronger with a determination to get things done no matter what.

The previous 366 days at times knocked me down. There were many moments of doubt and frustration regarding all important aspects of my life, but as the saying goes if you are brought to it then you can make it through it. I’m here and ready to make 2017 a banner year for me and my loved ones. I’m not who I once was yet I’m still me. I’m better. For my son I will never stop evolving.

2017, it’s nice to finally meet you.

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A Social Media Assist For Cyber Monday

A Social Media Assist For Cyber Monday

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It’s that time of year when the holiday shopping season officially opens up! After all the Thanksgiving food has settled and the left overs are put away you turn your attention to the mega savings in your favorite store on and offline. This is also an important time for entrepreneurs. Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday are made for those whose brands operate heavily via digital spaces. That is where I come in. Are you fully maximizing your online activity? How is your engagement with your followers? There are so many thing people often overlook that can make so much difference in the business they generate. Starting today, Cyber Monday and running until Christmas, I’ve cut my most popular service the Social Media Audit by 33% so for $100 I will dive into your online operations to lay out plans and real attainable goals for you and your business. You won’t be disappointed.

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Management & Consultation

The Social Media Samurai is always ready to help you. Are you looking for guidance with your digital strategy? Perhaps you need someone to speak to your organization about navigating social media in today’s ever-changing business environment? I can provide that and more. I’ve cut my audit service down for the holidays so it’s even easier to get started on the road to more success.

Contact me via contact@thesocialmediasamurai.com

At the very least make sure you stay connected with me across these Internets.

Hit the various links below to follow me on social media.

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The Sky Fell And We’re Still Here – Election 2016 1 Week Later

The Sky Fell And We’re Still Here [Election 2016 1 Week Later]

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It’s never been my way to rush to comment The bigger the issue the more time I give it so I can digest and really figure out what I’m feeling. Last week most of us were either waking up to news of the elections results or we were waking up wondering if what we witnessed election night was a dream. Nope, I wish I could say it was but 11/8/2016 saw the total shattering of the U.S political system as we know it when majority electoral votes won Donald Trump the U.S Presidency. There are an endless number of fingers to point if the blame game is your thing, but at this point I just want to look at us in terms of what next and what can we do with the cards we’ve been dealt, The rules of the game have been forever changed so it’s time to adjust.

Everyone’s lives are different. How folks exist day-to-day varies so individually there is self assessment of resources, plans and goals that need to be fine tuned. The new players in town aren’t here for us. It’s arguable that most of the old players weren’t here for us either. Making moves outside of the norm is becoming more essential with every passing day. Being able to do more with less has always been a key survival key and even those in steady financial standing should understand that stretching a dollar is good business in any case. We don’t fully know what Trump has in store for us but even now rumors build of tax hits and aid cuts to single mothers and lower-income families. Sharpen your skills and be open to earning opportunities outside the usual channels. Every dollar counts.

While getting the flow of funds in order there are other more immediate results from this election that are already in motion within our society. Trump’s win has put the super charged battery in the back of blatant, no punches pulled ignorance and racism. To say that people have been emboldened would be an understatement. There is already an increase of hate crimes, bullying and assaults and we’d be fooling ourselves to think it’ll get better anytime soon. With that being said I think there may just be an opportunity here for us. It’s been proven that the system is not for us. It never has been so in these times if ever it was essential for true unity and community building it’s now. Be your brother’s keeper, look out for the neighbor, step up when the ignorant and wicked make their presence felt in our space. One of the biggest things about America is that the basic level of comfort so many of us have makes us apathetic and slow to act when it’s most needed.  I honestly think this is the space where we can do the most good in the quickest amount of time. Showing that we will not be bullied, disrespected or violated is essential to the time we’re entering.

I’ve watched many people express their feelings about this election cycle. From the moment of Barack Obama’s 1st election win, Republican forces set on a path of obstruction and racially charged disrespect that America has never seen launched at a President. Unbeknownst to them they were indirectly creating the perfect storm that would eventually destroy their own party. Yet the truth is the neither party has ever really been for us. They pander to us for votes when needed then we sit and watch the same status quo play out. This is a wake up call across the board to the entire system.

If the people are ever going to be heard and felt it will be now as the forces of intolerance and hate mount up to ride over all those that don’t fit the twisted vision they have for this world. What makes this all the more concerning is that Trump truly does not know the role he was stumbled into. It’s one thing to be knowledgeable with negative intentions but to be ignorant on top of that creates the most dangerous of situations.

Disturbing times are here and please understand that we need to be there for each other. There’s no other way that this ends well for us. No matter what Trump attempts I truly believe a united people can overcome. Do we have true unity within us? Only time will time.

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In the mean time, while society is doing what it can, I have my young son to bring up and protect. He is priority 1, 2 & 3 regardless of what administration is in charge. It’s never a dull moment out here but we’re ready for it.

 

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SAMURAI RIDES: DADDY TIME W/ MAX & THE 2017 HYUNDAI SANTA FE LIMITED

SAMURAI RIDES: DADDY TIME W/ MAX & THE 2017 HYUNDAI SANTA FE LIMITED

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I’m always excited to get a look into the newest wheels that are coming to the people. Along with that, being able to share various aspects of my world is great. Now as I navigate the roads of Fatherhood, it makes my #SamurauRide features that much more special when I can share my son in the story. #DigitalDaddy duties got some help this time around from the 2017 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited. Keeping in the realm of crossover SUVs check out this latest from Hyundai!

A photo posted by nightfall914 (@nightfall914) on

The 2015 Santa Fe Sport was my Christmas shopping companion 2 years ago and made a great impression on me. Now getting behind the wheel of the 2017 Limited Edition it felt very familiar and keeps all the features I’ve come to expect from Hyundai’s SUV/Crossover series of vehicles. The Santa Fe is the largest ride within the series. Yet, to be honest with you, in terms of space the Tuscon is equally spacious. The Sante Fe Limited does add a few upgraded elements that really set it apart that I’ll get into shortly.

After a busy week catching up with family and handling major business in New York I returned to Philadelphia to see my son. October is here and while it is officially the Fall season, nature still appears to have a few good weather days left in her. What this means is a great opportunity to hit the city and enjoy some Daddy/Son time.

The level of trust needed in a vehicle and the attention to detail skyrockets once you’re joined by your child. Hyundai’s 2017 Santa Fe is incredibly roomy  for myself as the driver and Max with his car seat. The seat belts and fasteners held him in very firm as we hit the road. Also, the Limited edition Sante Fe gives you 2nd row captain chairs vs your standard passenger bench. With this upgrade Max’s car seat locks that much more firmly into his individual seat with more fear of sliding or shifting.

No shortage of space in the 2016 Santa Fe! #SamuraiRides
No shortage of space in the 2016 Santa Fe! Now let me get Max and his car seat in here. #SamuraiRides

Once Max is good I can take in the rest of the Santa Fe. The large touch screen, audio system, Bluetooth integration, safety alerts, panoramic sun roof and more are all there. Small but vital additions that really impressed me were the number of charging posts in this ride. Seeing a rear 3rd row usb charger was heaven in my eyes. As a social media manager there is time I need to just plug something(s) in and let it charge for the duration of a ride. The front ports are usually engaged with my phone so and 2nd and 3rd row options are clutch.

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Hyundai continues to stand out with its progressive SUV Crossovers.

I’ve always been impressed with how a ride that seats 7 handles as well as this does. I always remember the feel of my old Ford Expedition. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but you knew you were driving a legit truck so you had to handle it a little different. The Santa Fe could have you forgetting the type of car it actually is with how smooth it rides. Smooth enough that it put Max right to sleep in his seat.

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This is the Maximus stamp of approval for automotive comfort.

While Max catches up on some shut-eye, let me share a some images with you from my most recent time with Hyundai.

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For me,, the appeal of crossovers comes from the vehicle ability to be everything you need in any season. Speed and agility for the Summer gives way to size, power and durability for the winter. It can be packed full of riders for a night out, empty so you can enjoy a mind clearing cruise alone or get you around town w/ your child as you run errands. No matter the mission the Santa Fe serves you well.

Hop over to the Hyundai site for more details on the Santa Fe and all it has to offer.

**Check Out My Previous Auto Reviews**

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SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

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It’s been a while since I last interviewed someone so its with great pleasure that I share this latest edition of Samurai Sitdown. I’ve always been about shining light on good people doing work that you may not be ever of or just good people in general. We need a lot more positive energy in these crazy times and this woman’s constant flow of hope filled, encouraging words in the midst of her steady Hip Hop representation are one of the things I look forward to while navigating these Internets. A jewel that’s been tucked away in the Dirty South, let me introduce you to Texas’s own Ms Sandrine.

A video posted by sandrine ✨ (@drineee) on

Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do? 

My name is Sandrine, also known as Drine, or Drineee on all social media platforms for all intents and purposes lol.  I’d like to say I wear many hats, or at least I try to anyway. Since 2011 I’ve transitioned from hip-hop journalist, to record label marketing rep to publicist. Oh, I’m also in finance as well.

It’s a pleasure to finally chop it up with you. Thank you for you time and lets hop right into things. Proper representation of culture and self are a big issue in many spaces right now. What does culture mean to you? In terms of Hip Hop, Nationality and Region?

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Hip Hop culture is one the most powerful forces in our society, period.  It started as a creative outlet and has turned into something way bigger than I think anyone could imagine.  When we saw politicians worrying about what 2Pac had to say, I think that’s when it really resonated that this was way deeper than rap. It’s more than music, it’s a way of life.  There are so many layers to it and I think that’s why we love it so much. 

True. That’s why we love it and why so many before us hate and fear it.

There’s a song for hustling, for your mama, for the come up, for love, for death and for everything else and the best part – it’s all genuine.  It’s easy to make a pop hit but it lasts a year, if that, and if they’re lucky, maybe some years because really, they aren’t talking about shit. When you make music with meaning it’s always going to outlast music for the moment.  

Continue reading SAMURAI SIT DOWN W/ HIP HOP PUBLICIST SANDRINE AKA DRINEEE “THE HOPE DEALER”

YMS 2016 Conference Hits New York City

YMS 2016 Conference Hits New York City

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As fast as you can blink there are new apps, new sites and new platforms for communication and social interaction. No one has there fingers on that digital pulse like the 16 to 24 year old portion of our society. Millennial influence on business is what directs and shapes so many industries and last month in Brooklyn, NY, London-based Voxburner launched a 2 day event focused solely on the thoughts, ideas and business desires of that demographic. In addition to that I had the pleasure of being a part of a panel speaking  on the importance of community management in this new digital market.

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There were dozens of companies represented at YMS and professionals across numerous fields sharing their insights on the current climate of business from mainstream media news trends to creative platforms for upcoming artists. Sprinkled about Industry City, YMS provided refreshments, lounge and work space both inside and out. Free headshots could be had while various brands showcased their latest products and services.

 

I was glad to be there representing Nomadness within the Travel industry for the first time.

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There is so much that took place. Voxburner recaps their event here. Check out the images, sponsors and downloadable presentations provided. I’ll be sharing my panel discussion very soon too.

Curious what businesses the youth are responding to? Check out YOUTH 100.
Curious what businesses the youth are responding to? Check out YOUTH 100.

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When The Samurai Speaks – My Journey of Public Speaking

When The Samurai Speaks – My Journey of Public Speaking

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Talking, It’s something we all have done since childhood. It’s our most direct form of communication. We do it without thinking to the point that many of us don’t know when to stop. Generally in a personal one on one or private group setting, there’s no real thought given to speaking and expressing yourself. Now, if you step back from that space, step up on to a stage and try public speaking to a group of strangers who are all there solely to listen you, how would you do.

That’s what swirls through my head every time I prepare to address a group. Class rooms, panels, conference halls, it all comes down to my ability to communicate a story and deliver a message to the people. That message shifts depending on the audience but that story is often the same at its core. How do you connect on a human level. Public speaking for me is generally framed in a business or teaching setting but even with the goal of sharing info and instructing the audience, they still need to connect with me in a way that gives personal value to what I’m sharing with them.

Think back to your youth. How many times did a teacher stand in front of your class with valuable info that never sunk in because it was delivered dry as the Sahara Desert? I’ll never be the guy to do front flips and cartwheels to hold your attention but I bank on the ability to say something that you can personally relate to enough to give me your full attention. After a few class room engagements and panel appearances I put this to my biggest test yet a few weeks ago.

The good folks at Blogger Week approached me as a representative of Nomadness to speak at their annual conference. I had the pleasure of working with B.W a few years ago as an Ambassador so from that interaction I now could take another step in my public speaking career.

It was a hot and humid day in Washington DC but it was a calm and cool setting within the hall’s of Trinity University where the Blogger Week Conference was held. I sat and took in the informative presentations of the speakers before like award-winning teacher Sabrina Kizzie. When it was my turn to speak to the people about entering the world of Travel blogging I was actually pretty relaxed. The crowd was receptive and eager to hear my message. Mixing in a balance of social media based strategies with Nomadness community building, I think I did a pretty good job.

**Click Here For More Info On My Public Speaking**

I’m still within the first full of my public speaker career. Like anything else it takes time to establish your position and patience is something I was always had and understood. From every engagement I look to take away a moment that tells me to keep going forward. The image below is what I’ll remember as the stamp of approval for my words. Might not have been a full house but it’s always quality over quantity in my book!

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Now I’m getting ready for my next appearance which brings me back to NYC as I join a community marketing panel at YMS NYC 2016. This is one of the largest digital marketing conferences today so It’s a massive step in my career. Now I just need to decide what to wear.

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**Click Here For More Info On My Public Speaking**

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New Daddy Adventures with Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FormulaForHappiness #GerberTarget  #CollectiveBias

New Daddy Adventures with Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula

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As your favorite Social Media Samurai shifts into Digital Daddy mode with the recent birth of my son Max, there are a number of new challenges that I’m encountering. At this early stage, feeding has required some creativity at times due to timing and location. I move around a lot and traveling with Max to see my side of the family has been a little difficult regarding adequate milk production while away from his mother. Fortunately, Gerber® Good Start® baby formula serves as a great early supplement when natural breast milk is unavailable.

While preparing for Max’s arrival I knew that there would be periods early on where his mother’s natural milk may have to be supplemented with something. Primarily this was the case when I would take Max to see my side of the family in New York. With finite amount of natural milk that I could bring on the 2 hour ride with me, supplemental options were a must. Over the length of a 2 day visit I wanted to make sure little Max’s needs would be covered.

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The Gerber formula line has a few options depending on what it is your child is in need of. From routine feeding of infants to toddlers, to soothing a fussy child or for supplementing, you can definitely cover your needs with the Good Start line.

Max’s mom didn’t have to wait too long before she started producing milk which we were very thankful for. We wanted that to be the primary feed source during this infant period, but we understood that certain circumstances may call for some additional measures. Fortunately all it took was a quick stop by the local Target to pick up the needed Gerber® Good Start® Baby Formula for when I hit the road. It wasn’t hard to locate either.

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The infant section was directly across from the electronic section which is my favorite area in the store. Once I had my Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula, I could prepare for my travel with a much more calm mind.

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Bag packing for the baby care essentials

At this tender age Max essentially is either eating or sleeping with a few periods of conscious activity. If I want those awake time moments to be pleasant for him and everyone around that is so happy to see him, then his food has got to be covered. That’s my biggest appreciation of the Gerber® Good Start® formulas. Gerber® Good Start® Stage 1 Gentle for Supplementing Infant Formula is gentle nutrition for when moms supplement. It is designed to supplement breastmilk with Comfort Proteins® that are small and easy for tiny tummies to digest and probiotics.

The good people at Gerber sent me a nice sample set of formula too. The enabled supplementing option gives flexibility to me as a father that generally would force Max to be attached to his mother 24/7.

As parents we all have different needs, and circumstances vary across the board, but I’d definitely recommend Gerber® Good Start® to new parents in situations similar to mine. My little guy has many miles ahead of him so it’s essential that I do everything to make his travel as comforting and stress free as possible. I mean who would want to upset a face like this?

Click below for a Cartwheel offer available exclusively at Target from 9/4 – 9/17. 

http://cbi.as/53bhg

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Max taking in his first trip to Target.

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The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

The Deep Web – The Area of the Internet You Don’t Know About

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See Full Infographic

I’ve referenced Dark Social before. In short terms that is the social media activity that most analytic systems can’t trace. Most of that activity to linked to mobile usage. In this, instance when I speak of the Deep Web there is truly a deeper, at times more dangerous connotation. The internet that most of us know, Youtube, Facebook, Amazon, etc….really only makes up at most 1% of the actually Web. Researchers are still trying to calculate a more exact figure but much like deep space the web continues to grow.

For moment though let’s think of the Web in terms of the ocean instead of outer space. What we generally navigate is the bare surface of what the web actually is. It is space that we navigate often via search engines. Yahoo, Bing, Google and the like open the doors to a vast array of web pages but they are far more limited than you may think. Their actual search capabilities still leave TRILLIONS of web pages untouched. Here’s an excerpt from CNN that gives some more insight to the matter.

Though the Deep Web is little understood, the concept is quite simple. Think about it in terms of search engines. To give you results, Google (GOOG), Yahoo (YHOO) and Microsoft’s (MSFT) Bing constantly index pages. They do that by following the links between sites, crawling the Web’s threads like a spider. But that only lets them gather static pages, like the one you’re on right now.

What they don’t capture are dynamic pages, like the ones that get generated when you ask an online database a question. Consider the results from a query on the Census Bureau site.

“When the web crawler arrives at a [database], it typically cannot follow links into the deeper content behind the search box,” said Nigel Hamilton, who ran Turbo10, a now-defunct search engine that explored the Deep Web.

Google and others also don’t capture pages behind private networks or standalone pages that connect to nothing at all. These are all part of the Deep Web.

50% of Deep Web Institutional databases and more all create material that are public but generally can’t be reach by standard means. It’s estimated that half of the Deep Web is a seas of reports, databases and study pieces ranging from The Patent and Trademark Office to NASA. Businesses with their own Intranet systems make up another 10-15%. These are spaces you generally would need to pay to access.

That leaves the most dangerous corners of the Web which experts refer to as Tor. Existing within a system of redirected, bouncing signals to avoid tracking, this is where illegal online activity is taking place. Weapons and drugs sales, pirated media and all types of generally banned services and materials can be found here.

While most of what I’ve mentioned today most of you will never see, there is a growing professional push to gain access to more of the web. Various universities are diving into the Deep Web looking to regularly search it’s contents. Stanford, for example, has built a prototype engine called the Hidden Web Exposer, HiWE. Others that are publicly accessible are Infoplease, PubMed and the University of California’s Infomine.

There is also a browser bundle to reach Tor but that is not something I’d share with the masses, but it’s out there. As with most great technological advances, we are always playing catch up. It’s so much bigger then Retweets, SEO and Keywords when you step back and look at the bigger picture. Just keep in mind the how vast the space is we are engaged in daily and be responsible.

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