Managed WordPress Hosting Upgraded

Here at Seal Island Media we have been working behind the scenes to improve our managed WordPress Hosting.  If your site is on the Seal Island Media Network then there have been some significant changes over the last couple of months. Combined these improvements will increase your websites performance and reliability.

Managed WordPress Hosting

Managed WordPress hosting

Seal Island Media’s Managed WordPress Hosting service has been designed with busy people in mind. We take care of backups, security and updates so you can concentrate on the important things in your business. Hosting on the Seal Island Media Network has been enhanced in the following ways.

UK based hosting

We have moved the network to servers based in London. Response times for UK visitors will be faster. This will benefit all our present clients.

Dedicated IP address

The network now has a dedicated IP address. We can ensure that you will not be sharing this IP address with any sites which will get the IP blacklisted. Or, if one of our clients acts in a way to get the IP blacklisted we will solve the problem and take action to prevent it from happening again. See our terms of service.

Improved memory

The network now runs entirely on Solid State Drives (SSD), which are hundreds of times faster than hard disk drives. This will increase significantly the speed of your site.

Improved handling of traffic spikes

A new virtualization method known as Linux Containers allow a bigger pool of burstable resources and make your websites faster in case of traffic spikes. So you never need fear your cat pictures going viral again.

Improved backups

There is a new backup system which makes backup creation and recovery lighter, faster and more flexible and thus reduces even further, the time for data restore when needed.

What do I need to do?

Nothing, it is all done. Enjoy.

What next?

For those of you hosting in the On-Line Activist Network, we will be upgrading your hosting over the next couple of months.

View Pages Feed – This Changes Everything

I opened Facebook today and life will never be quite the same again. Facebook has installed a ‘ view Pages Feed ‘ on all the business Pages I admin. Now admittedly this may not sound life changing, but it is for a Facebook Page administrator.

We all have a Facebook news feed for our personal accounts. Your news feed is the focal point of your Facebook and where most interactions take place. Any friends, people you follow, Pages you have liked or groups you are in will show up in your news feed. Scrolling through your news feed gives the opportunity to catch up on the days Facebook activity for your account.

Previously I had no ability to see a news feed for Pages I have liked from the business Pages I am an administrator for. This means, as a workaround, I had to like all the business Pages from my personal account, to see their activity in my personal news feed. Not only did this clutter my own news feed, but I often missed relevant Business posts just from the sheer volume of other posts. The other option was to manually search for each Page that I had liked from a business Page to check recent activity which is massively time-consuming.

That was until this View Pages Feed button showed up today.

view Pages feed

View Pages Feed

A few months ago I started to hear rumours that viewing a Page news feed was possible. It seems some people could view Pages Feed by logging in as their Page and clicking on the home button. For me, as it seems for many others, this did not work. It is difficult to find any information about this and -dare I say it, Facebook isn’t always readily available for resolving issues and customer service queries. This thread on the Facebook community forum shows many people with the same issues.

It has been difficult to find a clear idea of exactly when this new button was implemented. The earliest mention I could find was 5 months ago when some people on the Facebook forum reported the view Pages Feed button appearing. Some then reported the button disappearing again. It seems some people still don’t have access to this button, possibly this is due to a slow roll-out of a new function or a glitch in the matrix that is taking some time to fix.

Why does this matter

Consider the huge amount of interactions you make on your personal news feed. Posts can be shared or liked with just a single click. Scrolling down allows you to see the activity of your connections throughout the day. Now with a single button I can view the activity of all the Pages I have liked as my Page, in a news feed. The opportunity this gives for interaction between local businesses and community Pages is huge.

The news feed as a feature was first introduced in 2006, prior to this your Facebook account was essentially a directory page and although you could post on one another’s walls and send messages these actions were mostly discreet. The introduction of the news feed changed all this and initially there was concern about the broadcasting of people’s Facebook activity in such a way. Since then the Facebook news feed has grown to become the focal point of your profile and one of the keys to Facebook’s huge and continued success.

Allowing business Pages to have an independent news feed concentrates all your business activity in one place. Giving extra visibility and focus to other business Pages you follow and making interaction much easier.

feed

This last year has seen an explosion of additional functions to Pages from Facebook. The new insights tab offers many metrics that are invaluable to marketers. Facebook Adverts and the ability to boost business Page posts to a wider audience show how Facebook is attempting to widen the reach and appeal of Facebook for business.

The new view Page Feed button will certainly make a huge difference to the way I manage my Facebook Pages. Enabling much easier connections to, and interactions with, many other local businesses.

 

 

Facebook’s Safety Check Feature

Our deepest sympathies go out to all those affected by the tragic events in Paris on Friday.

Social media has had an increasing role in crisis situations across the World. Often social media is the first forum to carry news of a disaster or an unfolding emergency situation, many millions of people then take to social media to monitor an event.

Social media platforms are responding, and working on ways to help people let loved ones know if they are in the affected area and if they require help, including the Safety Check feature on Facebook.

The events in Paris on Friday are the first time the Safety Check feature has been activated for a non-natural disaster. 4 million people used the Safety Check feature in Paris and more than 380 million people received a notification to tell them someone they knew was safe. In a statement on Facebook yesterday, Alex Schultz, the Vice President of Growth at Facebook said:

We chose to activate Safety Check in Paris because we observed a lot of activity on Facebook as the events were unfolding. In the middle of a complex, uncertain situation affecting many people, Facebook became a place where people were sharing information and looking to understand the condition of their loved ones.

We talked with our employees on the ground, who felt that there was still a need that we could fill. So we made the decision to try something we’ve never done before: activating Safety Check for something other than a natural disaster. There has to be a first time for trying something new, even in complex and sensitive times, and for us that was Paris.

Facebook Safety Check

Facebook first started development towards its Safety Check feature after the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 which affected more than 12.5 million people. Announcing the release of the feature, Facebook said:

Our engineers in Japan took the first step toward creating a product to improve the experience of reconnecting after a disaster. They built the Disaster Message Board to make it easier to communicate with others. They launched a test of the tool a year later and the response was overwhelming.

Unfortunately, these kinds of disasters happen all too frequently. Each time, we see people, relief organizations and first responders turn to Facebook in the aftermath of a major natural disaster.

This screen shot of the Safety Check is from the earthquake in Nepal in April this year, the feature is automatically initiated if Facebook determines you may be affected.

Facebook Safty

Facebook will determine at your location from the address or city you have listed in your profile and the city where you are using the internet, and send you a notification asking if you are safe, if you have registered your mobile phone with Facebook you will receive a text message asking if you are safe, often in disaster areas text messages can get through where other internet access may be slow or unavailable.

If Facebook has inaccurately identified your location you can check a box that says that you are ‘outside the affected area’. If you are in the affected area you can check the box to confirm that you ‘are safe’, Facebook will immediately create a news post on your profile and send a notification to each of your friends to tell them you are safe, you can also check in friends that are with you as safe.

Yesterdays statement from Facebook regarding its use of the Safety Check feature for the first time in a non-natural disaster concludes:

This activation will change our policy around Safety Check and when we activate it for other serious and tragic incidents in the future. We want this tool to be available whenever and wherever it can help. We will learn a lot from feedback on this launch, and we’ll also continue to explore how we can help people show support for the things they care about through their Facebook profiles, which we did in the case for Paris, too.

We create products that we think will help people and we work hard to perfect the solution over time. Safety Check remains a work in progress, but one that has helped many people stay in touch with their friends and family during difficult times. We’re going to continue working to make it better and more useful.

Other social media forums have also played a role in locating loved ones and directing help in major emergencies, on Twitter the hashtag #PorteOuverte was used by residents of Paris, offering help to those in Paris and somewhere to shelter during the mayhem. More than one million tweets using the hashtag had been tweeted in 10 hours, this peaked at 6,900 tweets per minute at around 11.30pm.

It may not be of use in every circumstance, some areas of the world still have poor internet coverage, but where it is available the opportunity social media provides for connecting with loved ones and directing help in an emergency situation is invaluable.

Writing on the day the Safety Check feature was initiated for the Nepal disaster, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg said:

When disasters happen, people need to know their loved ones are safe. It’s moments like this that being able to connect really matters.

Stevenage Food Bank’s New Website

Stevenage Community Food Bank’s website has had a makeover and is now live.

The new design is based on design elements provided by Stevenage Food Bank volunteers. It is responsive so as to be more accessible to the increasing number of users who are accessing the site from mobile devices.

Take a look at the new food bank website.

We added a gallery and redesigned the site to make the important information easier to find.

Seal Island Media provides web design and advice on a pro bono basis as part of our community outreach program. It was great to be working with John Mead again and we hope to continue our support in the future.

Stevenage Food Bank’s Mission

Stevenage Community Food Bank has been set up to provide a safety net for Stevenage residents who find themselves in sudden financial crisis.

If you have more questions about Stevenage Community Food Bank take a look at the  Frequently Asked Questions page on the site.

Stevenage Food Bank 2015

Seal Island Media to Partner with Office Essential

Office EssentialSeal Island Media are delighted to announce their new partnership with Office Essential.

Office Essential provides a one-stop-shop for new businesses attempting to navigate the perils of procuring equipment and services for the first time.

Helping business start-ups succeed

It is a unfortunate fact that 50% of UK start-ups will not survive five years.

One of the reasons for this is that some, if not most small businesses and start-ups operate without paying for services they can do themselves. They take on too much and fail to focus on their unique selling propositions and their customers.

By delegating business requirements to local, experienced professionals like Seal Island Media, time is freed to focus on what is important to the business bottom line. The professionally supplied service is usually superior to a do-it-yourself effort.

It is money well spent.

Web design and social media marketing in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire

Seal Island Media is now Office Essential’s preferred supplier for web design and social media services in North Hertfordshire and East Bedfordshire. This area includes Stevenage, Baldock, Buntingford, Hertford, Hitchin, Knebworth, Letchworth, Royston, Ware, Arlesey, Biggleswade, Henlow, Sandy and Shefford.

Said CEO, Tim Neale:

Office Essential represents a great geographical and strategic fit for Seal Island Media and we look forward to a productive partnership with them.

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