Content moderation - Social media

The impact of content moderation on social media

A significant challenge that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn face today is acting as the custodians of the Internet while at the same time being the center of self-expression and user-generated content.

By allowing millions of users with diverse views to post their opinions day by day, some of which are deemed offensive or harmful, things can get out of their control so easily, without a content moderation plan.

Users demand to freely express their views on ongoing political, social, and economic issues on social media platforms without intervention and without being told their views are “inappropriate.”

So, platforms, in some form or another, need to moderate content to protect individuals and their interests, by removing the unsuitable ones.

How does content moderation work

A team of social media content moderators keep an eye on any type of content and remove any inappropriate or illegal posts, before it becomes viral and visible among a wider group. This happens on a higher scale, as the entire content is automatically removed from all social platforms.

This means that a few social media platforms will allow you to immediately view the content after updating, while few of them send it to moderators to check its category and appropriateness, before publishing.

So, here are the most common types of content moderation.

1. Pre-moderation

Whenever someone submits content to your website, and you have it placed in a queue to be checked by a moderator before it is visible to all, you are pre-moderating.

Pre-moderation has the benefit of verifying that content you deem to be undesirable, particularly libelous content, is kept off from your visible community. It is also a common choice for online communities targeted at children, to pick up on bullying or sexual grooming behavior.

The downside of using pre-moderation is the high cost involved when your community grows, adding to this the number of submissions, making it unmanageable for a smaller team of content moderators.

Pre-moderation is most suitable for communities with a high level of legal risks, such as celebrity-based ones, or even communities where child protection is a must. Basically, if the type of content submitted is not conversational or time-sensitive, it can be easily deployed.

2. Post-moderation

Quite the opposite to the pre-moderation technique, the post-moderation one is a better alternative to it, from a user experience perspective. Meaning, that all the content is displayed on your website, or social media platform immediately after submission, but replicated in a queue for a content moderator to analyze it afterwards.

The main benefit of this type of content moderation is that conversations take place in real time, which makes it more agile and dynamic for the generations to come.

The single downside of post-moderation is strictly related to the size of the community. For example, if the community grows, the costs can become prohibitive.

As well as this, as each piece of content is viewed and approved or rejected, the content moderator legally becomes the publisher of the content, which can prove to be risky, especially if certain communities (gossip ones) attract defamatory submissions.

3. Reactive moderation

Reactive moderation is relying on your community members to flag up content that is either not aligned with your house rules, or that members of our community find it inappropriate.

It goes hand in hand with both pre-and post-moderation as a “safety net” in case anything gets through the moderators, as a normally human mistake.

The process is simple, having a reporting button on each piece of user-generated content, that if clicked, will file an alert and trigger the content moderation team.

However, your brand reputation could be at stake if you are willing to take the risk of letting some undesirable content available on your website, blog or any social media platform for a period of time, relying only on your community members to report it.

4. Distributed moderation

Distributed moderation is a rare type of user generated content method.

It relies on a rating system which members of the community use to vote on whether submissions are either in line with community expectations or within the rules of use. It can control comments or forums posts, usually with guidance from experienced senior moderators.

Expecting the community to self-moderate is a rare direction companies are willing to take, for legal and branding reasons.

For this reason, a distributed content moderation system can also be applied within an organization, using several members of the team to process and aggregate an average score to determine whether content should be allowed to stay public or need to be reviewed.

5. Automated moderation

In addition to all the above, automated moderation is a valuable weapon in any moderator’s life.

It consists in deploying various technical tools to process user-generated content and apply defined rules to reject or approve submissions.

The most typical tool used for this type of content moderation is the word filter, in which a list of banned words is filtered.

A similar tool is the IP ban list. There is also a more sophisticated tool being developed, such the one supplied by Crisp Thinking. Having an engine which automatically adds conversational pattern analytics with relationships.

6. No moderation

Nowadays, it simply can’t be!

I mean, where would we be without any moderations? A total chaos, to be honest.

Maybe you simply don’t have the resources or the finances to take this into account, or you don’t believe this could be a solution for your business and online community. 

Although, from a legal point of view, you might feel that your community is small enough to fly under the radar. Be that as it may, there are tons of benefits of using one of the moderation types covered above.

Engage communities with content moderation

Without some form of moderation, your community will quickly descent into anarchy, and this is not going to do any good to your potential new users, followers, customers, or even future colleagues.

You can also read our latest content moderation article and check the customer experience services that our team can offer to your business.

content moderator

What is a content moderator? The 7 essential skills

A content moderator is a skilled professional who acts as a guardian of your user-generated content, handling all the submissions coming from an online platform.

They must verify if content creators understand the correct way of addressing an online community, by making sure they use proper language, no harmful statements, no copyrighted material, and the most important one – being at all points, legal.

On the other hand, they do block content that might harm different businesses or an entire community of people to make it a safer place for all.

Moving on – you might want to consider the necessary skills (or better called, the minor things which will help you stand out), if you wish to make a switch in your career and become a content moderator.
Here’s what you need to know.

Essential skills for a content moderator

Sharp analytical skills will allow you to determine user behavior in various online forums, such as blog communities or social media pages, and evaluate content performance accordingly. 

Think of the overall community benefit as everyone wants a realistic decision maker within the team, without compromising the quality of the content.  

Content screening can be an effortless task for you, future content moderator, if you have adequate knowledge of various platforms that brands and audiences use.  

Knowing what type of content each forum or platform demands, you could easily improve the overall user experience, by customizing the end-to-end process. Not to forget about the meaningful interactions between multiple users in a safer and more effective interface.  

On the other hand, besides the more technical side of this role, moderating content can be a long process and having patience can help you manage your day-to-day activities, without being stressed about various content issues.

Most companies have a clear way of describing inappropriate behavior on their online platforms or forums, making it easy for you to decide what content or user behavior is acceptable (the so-called terms of service). They often enforce the rules in an unbiased manner, and this requires integrity.

Integrity allows you to stay true to the company values and principles and revise or remove any policies or workflow practices that may not align with the company’s long-term vision and goals. Long story short – maintaining a good work ethic.

Staying open and curious about new content ideas and possibilities for enhancing brand image and transforming the use of user experience is an essential skill for a content moderator to stay ahead of competitors.

This role requires more than just evaluating images, content and videos for businesses. A content moderator needs to have multi-linguistic expertise to monitor the text-based content in various languages that can significantly affect the customers’ buying decision. 

To sum up, the use of social media is vital. As a content moderator, you need to make sure that the content on a company’s social media account is appropriate and follows the company’s guidelines. 

In terms of the way of working, we have a few insights as well.  

Typically, in an office, telecommuting could always be an option. Working full-time, part-time or maybe weekends to keep up with the 24/7 nature of the internet.  

What to expect in the future as a content moderator

In the end, a few predictions on how the content moderation world would operate in the future.  

The growth of digital content is a trend that is having a major impact on the world economy. As more and more people turn to the internet for information, businesses are starting to realize the importance of having quality content on their websites. 

This is where content moderators come in. By being more than just editors, in this ever-changing world of digital content, you need to be able to manage a wide range of tasks, including but not limited to copywriting, research, social media management, SEO optimization and video production.  

In recent years, there has been an increasing trend towards collaboration between teams. This is since many companies now understand the value of cross-team communication, and how it can lead to better results. 

Flutter and mobile IoT applications

Using Flutter to develop mobile IoT applications

The growth of mobile IoT apps

The IoT (Internet of Things) industry has seen a massive growth in the recent years thanks to the advancements in technology. Industries like healthcare, car manufacturing, smart homes have adopted this new trend of interconnected systems. The shift for everyday devices to become smarter, introduced the necessity of an interface to “communicate” between the human factor and the device itself. What’s the easiest available tool who can do this job? The smartphone!

If you want to develop a mobile application in this new IoT world, you may be wondering, which is the most efficient tool for this job? While there is a no clear winner here, in this article I would like to shed a light on a cross platform solution – Flutter, and why it might be a good solution for your next idea. (If you want to read more about Flutter and cross platform framework advantages, you can read more about it in our previous article).

Using Flutter in the smart-home industry

I remember when Ioana, my current manager, messaged me on Slack and asked for a call to present me an opportunity to work on a new mobile IoT application in the smart home industry. As a mobile software engineer, I was thrilled, being able to experience how software on a smartphone interacts with a physical device so I’ve accepted the challenge right away.

After the initial hype faded away, we started to talk more about the project, so one of my first question was:

Luci: “Okay, so we need two separate applications: one for Android using Kotlin/Java and one for iOS using Swift/Objective-C, right?”.

Ioana: “No, Luci, just one for both operating systems. With Flutter and Dart”

What the Flutter?!

Flutter development limitations

While I have always been a Flutter enthusiast, I had my own initial doubts. Until then, my mind was settled on cross platform solutions being a great choice only for building “web-like” apps for mobile devices.

Mobile IoT applications requires more than a communication with a backend server. It usually includes Bluetooth/Wi-Fi functionality, which often results in more operations such as scanning, connecting, reading/writing data to a physical device.

The project required a mobile application which would communicate via Bluetooth with a physical device. Each operating system has its own way of accessing Bluetooth functionality, so my question was: is Flutter going to be a reliable, performant and easy solution for developing such an app?

Developing Bluetooth functionalities using Flutter

Before starting the project, I’ve researched more about the possibilities of utilizing a plugin to solve our issues.

For a bit of context, a plugin is a special package that exposes native functionalities (written with platform specific code) to be easily accessible by Flutter framework.

Knowing that Flutter is heavily supported by open-source community, I was pleased to find that there was an impressive number of plugins that solved the Bluetooth issue.

Later, we learnt that this project already had a native solution in place for specific Bluetooth functionalities with the bridge already created in Flutter. Our task was to extend the Bluetooth component, tailored to our application’s needs.

Because of Flutter’s great documentation, the process went smoothly, and in no time, we had all the functionalities that we needed, and we could focus on other parts of the project.

The benefits of building IoT mobile applications with Flutter

As you can see, not all the time one can go with a plugin and solve all the issues. Sometimes native code is still required, so you may be wondering, why not go with a native solution in the first place? To answer this question, we need to look at the bigger picture.

For that, let’s consider an example, a mobile application that uses Bluetooth to connect and read/write data to a device. Let’s consider that we want a custom solution for Bluetooth functionality, and we opt to write native code for that part.

From an architectural point of view (warning – this is extremely simplified), we can divide the application in the presentation layer – the user interface (UI) and the data layer – the Bluetooth communication.

Flutter IoT development

As we can see, the UI between apps is shared and the data logic is split into Android and iOS implementations. While we can already see a benefit by building the user interface only once, the diagram above is not 100% accurate.

We considered only the communication part, but when it comes to mobile IoT applications, there is more than a connecting to a device and reading data. You would usually analyze that data, present some diagrams, alert the user with notifications, store it locally or it in the cloud and the list can go on. Having said that, a diagram closer to reality would look like this:

IoT mobile applications development

As you can see, the actual code that is shared by using Flutter and Dart is much more than the platform specific code. This translates in less time spent, reduced costs and easier maintenance.

Bonus number 1: writing platform specific code is well documented by the Flutter team and a developer who is familiar with Dart will easily pick up languages such as Kotlin for Android and Swift for iOS. Most of the time, there is no need for in depth knowledge of the whole underlying operating system. (But of course, that can help)

Bonus number 2: creating beautiful and complex UIs in Flutter is a fast and enjoyable developer experience while also maintaining great performance.

So, should you choose Flutter for mobile IoT apps?

There are a lot of great choices for developing mobile applications and is hard to pick the number 1 solution as each project idea is different. But, if you want a mobile application with reduced costs, easy maintenance and with no sacrifices on user experience and performance, Flutter is the right solution for you, even for more demanding applications like the ones in the IoT domain.

rebeldot grundfos

Supporting the biggest water pump manufacturer in the world in their process of digital transformation

Grundfos is a company that connects millions of people, being present in more than 60 countries, ensuring water access and leading the change within some of the world’s biggest agendas on water and energy.

As a large enterprise, Grundfos wanted to scale up its development capabilities by getting on board a technical partner who could help them with their digital development process, building together towards the vision of achieving positive global change.

In this story, we will highlight the power of commitment to company values and the business implications of transparency as part of our way of building digital products.

We’ll be presenting how we got reminded by one of the partners we work with that, while skill can be taught, human connection is what can truly flourish a collaboration and bring to life that “human-centered technology” we all talk about.

The real challenge here was not just about the technical aspects of the project but also the cultural match between Grundfos and us.

It was clear that Grundfos wanted a long-term partner with whom they could build things that last.

So how do you reveal if there is a match between a company of 150+ employees and another one of roughly 20.000? And how can this cultural fit translate into quality work that touches millions of people?

Grundfos digital review

Our approach was straightforward, to say the least.

Reinforcing the values we believe in and owning them as a team.

Simply being true to ourselves.

Like real rebels.

 

We invited people into our house. And our hearts. Visiting our office in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, the team of Grundfos got to know our people a whole lot better, to see what drives us all, what keeps us together and whether being a rebel is something that they themselves identify with or not.

We have exchanged history, discussed values, and glanced together at the core of each of our teams. And we were nervous. Because we were indirectly addressing a network of 20.000 people.

It did help to address People & Culture aspects alongside discussions about tech and past case-studies. Once tech & business fit was validated, we had a traditional BBQ in the backyard, where the people of Grundfos could casually interact with our team, sharing stories and enjoying meaningful conversations about tech, family, culture, and life in general. Basically, kicking off the project with an impromptu team-building.

grundfos rebeldot collaboration

Following this encounter in Transylvania, the Grundfos team figured we’re all on the same page and set the ground for a close partnership between us and their digital division, Grundfos Digital. As an implication of the trust we were given, we allocated two fully functional teams to work on two different projects. 

This, in turn, allowed us to pursue our end-to-end development approach so that we can fully immerse in the business and deliver tailored and tested solutions.

With genuine enthusiasm on both sides, the knowledge gaps were soon taken care of via a learning plan that offered our engineers the necessary skills to work with the Siemens Mindsphere platform and deliver top-notch IoT solutions.

Although Siemens Mindsphere was a completely new technology to our engineers, that didn’t stop us from accepting yet another challenge, learning and eventually embedding it into our vocabulary to deliver the same quality standards.

Believe it or not, this was a priceless way in which our rebel character was reflected - acknowledging our gaps and being visibly eager to acquire new skills.

In a span of 5 months, the Grundfos Digital team scaled our collaboration from 2 to 4 teams working on 4 separate projects to continue delivering thriving digital solutions within the IoT ecosystem.

The key here was being equal partners, assuming full ownership and organically integrating our way of doing things - being there every step of the way, throughout the end-to-end process.

This would not have been possible without the overwhelming level of acceptance that the team of Grundfos welcomed us with. We have been treated as part of their team and were given the chance to actively contribute to their communities, working and growing together.

But to ensure that we understood the impact of our collaboration and the heritage of the devices we were about to augment using technology, Grundfos invited us too into their headquarters.

We spent there (5 days) with our first two teams. While the cultural shock had its say through LEGO houses, actual houses, the Danish hygge and Liquorice, it was fascinating to see just how comfortable we all felt there, talking, and working with a group of nice people whom we just met.

We felt a deep sense of belonging and a refreshing boost of enthusiasm seeing how aligned everyone was at Grundfos, working towards a common goal of, you guessed it, making the world a better place.

The trip to Denmark was nevertheless a motivation impulse to every team member and a confirmation that we were working on something bigger than ourselves. Literally. We got a proper induction into the company culture, went on guided tours through the factory and the museum (talk about heritage) and got to see the huge water pumps, the one evergreen device that stood at the core of the business.

This offered our team the right context to do what we know best and bring to the table our true way of working - not implementors, but consultants who pay undivided attention to every stage of the process, improving and optimizing along the way in each area where there is a need to accelerate and or develop much more efficient processes.

Coincidentally or not, we figured that our development process was similar to Grundfos’ way of working, which was a great starting point for our collaboration.

Green Artificial Intelligence

The power and potential of green artificial intelligence

AI is revolutionizing almost every industry, from video games to insurance. As the tech becomes more widespread, many are turning their attention to the sheer power required to run all of these AI models. It takes a lot of energy and computational costs just to train and deploy AIs, drawing more power from the grid.

Environmental concerns are at the forefront of many businesses’ minds, leading to high demand for “greentech.” Green AI is a great example of greentech. In this post, we’ll try to answer the question, “What is green artificial intelligence?” and explore how it can level up your tech stack without the added environmental impact.

Green artificial intelligence: what is it?

The tech that powers AI has developed so fast that we haven’t had a chance to step back and assess its environmental impact until recently. When we finally uncovered the numbers, there was a huge sense of shock as simply training a single AI can leave a carbon footprint of as much as 284 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Obviously, this is something we need to address — quickly.

Green artificial intelligence is an AI that uses lower computational costs to help reduce carbon emissions. It combines the immense value of artificial intelligence with the green values we need to lower carbon emissions and protect our planet from further climate change.

Green AI is touted as the solution to our carbon-heavy processes. There is hope that it can maximize the positive impact AI can offer us without further damaging the environment. This is done in several ways, including using AI to monitor and manage an intelligent grid system to reduce energy wastage.

Researchers and developers are hard at work creating AI models that consume less energy. When this tech becomes more readily available, businesses will be able to utilize these new, greener models.

Why green artificial intelligence has so much potential?

Businesses need to quickly realize the value of green AI to help combat the rising environmental damage that current tech is producing. Let’s look at why green AI should be the standard everyone aims for.

Reduce energy usage and improve efficiency

While we wait for truly green AI to be readily available, we’re already seeing some major players using AI to help boost their energy conservation efforts.

Google has been using its DeepMind AI to improve the viability of wind farms. The company used DeepMind’s machine learning algorithms to create highly accurate predictions for the output of wind farms.

Using DeepMind has given wind farms a 20% increase in value as it makes wind power more predictable. The company can now schedule set deliveries of energy output, which are more valuable to the grid than standard deliveries.

Help improve product development and design to eliminate waste and pollution

As we saw with Google’s DeepMind, companies can use AI to monitor and improve energy conservation efforts. Green AI can also streamline product development and create responsive and sustainable supply chains. This will help businesses accelerate their decarbonization efforts.

National governments are even focusing their efforts on green AI. The UK Government believes green AI can help address the UK’s Grand Challenges, which are four transformative global trends set out in the UK Industrial Strategy. Efforts include £200 million of funding towards 1,000 new PhD places in the field of AI over the next five years for studying AI, which could make industries more sustainable.

Since the AI Sector Deal was published back in April 2018, partnerships between the UK Government Office for AI, the Open Data Institute, and Innovate UK have supported sustainable initiatives, such as global food waste reduction efforts. These partnerships have also worked on tackling the illegal wildlife trade by using algorithms to classify images of illegal animal products.

In the coming years, we expect to see increased government interest worldwide in applying Green AI.

Regenerating natural resources

Regenerative agriculture is quickly sweeping the agriculture industry thanks to its countless environmental and productivity-related benefits. With green AI, farmers will have access to far more data to help guide their practices and revitalize local environments.

Green AI can also amplify precision farming efforts. Precision farming is a series of strategies and tools that allow farmers to optimize and increase soil quality. Precision farmers can see a generous increase in productivity while still protecting the environment thanks to the introduction of increasingly advanced technologies.

We’re already seeing AI being introduced into regenerative and precision agriculture. Canada’s Precision AI has been building an AI-powered weed-killing drone that can detect and spray only weeds, ensuring crops are protected from the chemicals. This offers farmers a cost-effective way of incorporating tech into their crop maintenance while increasing the effectiveness of weed killers.

Close the loop

Currently, our recycling efforts are less than ideal. There’s a lot of waste still happening, and one of the key goals within the plastics industry is to “close the loop.”

Materials such as aluminum and many plastics can be recycled indefinitely, reducing the need for new raw materials. Closed-loop recycling is the gold standard because it also reduces waste and energy needs in manufacturing new products. You see this in supermarkets where many products use at least some recycled plastic from a closed-loop system.

There is hope that integrating artificial intelligence with other tech can offer the ability to track, aggregate, and close the loop on secondary materials (such as recycled plastic) as it moves through the supply chain. This should help businesses to prevent resource loss and environmental damage.

Help you determine how best to allocate renewable energy

Renewable energy can only be truly effective if it’s used correctly. There is an alarming amount of wastage involved in the green energy sector as renewable energy sources over-produce energy that we can’t direct anywhere. According to an EPA briefing, the United States alone will have 10 million tons of solar waste by 2050.

With green AI, this issue should be a thing of the past. The AI will be able to identify areas of greater need and automatically divert energy to them. This will help ensure all the energy produced actually goes somewhere instead of building up.

Green AI needs to be the future to protect the industry and our planet

As we increase our reliance on AI, we need to seriously consider its environmental impact. Training a single AI model can produce the same carbon footprint as a commercial trans-Atlantic flight, and that’s something we can’t continue to support.

Green AI is a desperately needed upgrade to our current AI technology. Some state that probabilistic programming is the key to environmentally friendly AI as it doesn’t require brute forcing. However, we’re still in the very early stages of green AI as a technology.

For now, we need to continue using AI to adapt our existing processes and behaviors to reduce and even offset our carbon emissions.

Here at RebelDot, we recognize the environmental issues the tech industry faces. Our aim is to fix those problems and improve your digital efforts with the best tech, including green AI. Contact us today to see how easy it can be!

greentech development

What is greentech? Everything businesses should know about the push to make tech more environmentally friendly

Each year, the importance of keeping the environment healthy and in balance becomes clearer and clearer. Everyone (individuals and businesses) needs to do their part to keep the planet healthy.

One of the best ways to do this is through greentech. And in this post, we’re going to be exploring how businesses can implement greentech to create a more responsible, sustainable infrastructure throughout their workplace and supply chain.

What is greentech?

First, let’s talk about what greentech is. Sometimes referred to as “cleantech,” greentech is any kind of technology that helps reduce, mitigate, or reverse the impact of human activity on the environment.

If that sounds broad, it’s because it is. Greentech encompasses a broad sector of tech and a pool of solutions that is constantly growing. We’ll look at some specific examples in a minute, but it’s important to recognize that greentech can take many forms.

With that in mind, it’s clear that the importance of greentech isn’t implementing the “right” technologies but also making strides in your own workplace to make a difference. Setting goals, starting small, and making consistent progress matters most.

5 examples of greentech

Fortunately for the planet, there are many real-world examples of greentech out in the world. Below are just a handful of practical cleantech technologies that your business can implement or invest in.

Water filtration

Water filtration removes various chemicals, bacteria, and substances from water to make it safe for drinking, use, or the environment.

Several types of water filtration include membrane filtration, microbial fuel cells, and nanotechnology. None is necessarily better than the other. Instead, it’s about finding the right type of filtration for your needs.

Companies can use water filtration to make the water used in manufacturing safer for disposal, convert it back into drinking water, or reduce the number of plastics and chemicals added to the environment.

Ocean energy

Energy is an entire sector of greentech unto itself. While we already have several practical forms of clean energy, we’re constantly looking for even more ways to harvest energy sustainably.

Ocean energy is a promising new form of sustainable energy. This is the practice of harvesting energy from things like waves, changing tides, and currents.

Ocean energy is useful because it is a passive form of energy generation. Energy collection technology can be implemented along coasts and in the ocean, storing energy with minimal work to sustain the effort.

Non-fossil fuel vehicles

A less passive but more pragmatic form of energy collection and usage is non-fossil fuels in vehicles. Right now, that primarily means replacing fossil fuel-powered vehicles with electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles have little to no emissions, don’t require as many fluids or chemicals to run, and on the whole, present far fewer emissions.

That said, electric vehicles are far from a perfect solution. They still have a big impact on the environment while being manufactured, and they’re often charged with electricity created via fossil fuels, negating some of their positive impacts.

That’s not to say that non-fossil fuel vehicles are the wrong move. Instead, it’s about making them more sustainable, supporting their infrastructure, and steadily migrating the marketplace to be completely fossil-fuel-free.

Solar energy

Similar to ocean energy, solar energy is a passive way to collect and store energy. And unlike ocean energy, it can be implemented across continents. It’s also relatively affordable and, as time goes by, easier to integrate into existing and new energy grid architecture.

Of course, solar energy is not practical in every region. Some areas experience limited sunshine throughout the year, making solar energy implementation much harder.

Besides that, though, solar energy shows a lot of promise. Panels can be placed on top of homes, buildings, and across open fields. Panels can double as shade, cooling the surface beneath them while reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Converting waste to energy

Converting waste to energy is a new frontier for greentech. In the modern, industrialized world, we produce a lot of waste. And while some of it is recyclable and renewable, a lot of it isn’t.

Finding ways to convert that waste into energy could help reduce the footprint of landfills and give our trash more of a purpose. But how can this be done?

Waste generates a lot of energy. It outputs steam, heat, hot water, and electricity. These are all forms of energy we can store for later use. We can sort through the rest of our waste depending on the type of energy it can produce, giving materials a longer lifecycle.

The benefits of greentech for businesses

Not only are there several greentech technologies out in the world, but each of these technologies has unique and powerful benefits for businesses. To help you better understand the positive and practical impact that cleantech can have on your business, here are a few benefits you can expect from investing in it.

1. Operational efficiency

With the growing complexity and unpredictability of global supply chains, improving operational efficiency is a top priority for many businesses. Greentech can be an excellent tool for improving that efficiency.

For instance, optimizing logistics routes is a great way to cut down on fuel usage. And by starting a recycling program, businesses can reduce their dependence on raw materials suppliers. These help the environment while also making companies more independent.

2. Cost-savings

Greentech can also provide cost savings in a variety of ways. In the examples provided above, improved routes and reusing materials can lead to fewer expenses on fuels, drivers, and raw materials. It can also mean less waste, which helps conserve financial resources.

Then there’s the benefit of government incentives. In much of the developed world, implementing specific types of greentech can lead to financial support or rewards from governing bodies, depending on the laws in your region.

3. Increased safety and productivity

Safety and productivity are essential, especially in the manufacturing and construction sectors. Greentech helps improve safety and productivity by reducing the dangers of hazardous environments. Disposing of materials in an eco-friendly way and using environmental monitoring can prevent dangerous situations for workers.

Using greentech doesn’t just benefit the environment but your workers as well.

4. Promoting a circular economy

Cleantech can be used to promote a circular economy. A circular economy is one where waste is reduced or prevented altogether. Materials are used, disposed of, then reused again and again in a cyclical way.

While building the infrastructure and culture around this can take time, the result is better for businesses and individuals alike. It lowers costs, creates less supply chain uncertainty, and keeps businesses running green.

How to incorporate greentech into your business?

So, now that you have an idea of what greentech is, how it’s being used in the world, and how it can benefit your business and customers, let’s explore how you can start incorporating it into your business today.

Track energy consumption with IoT sensors

IoT sensors are internet-connected devices you can place around your workplace and equipment, providing real-time data on your energy usage.

This data can then be used to start reducing pollutants and reduce the energy you’re consuming. IoT may sound a bit cutting-edge, but it’s easy for most businesses to implement.

Use renewable energy

Another great way to start incorporating greentech into your business is to lean on renewable energy.

There are several ways to go about this. You can invest in solar panels, switch to an energy provider that uses renewable energy, choose supply chain partners that use clean energy, replace fossil-fuel-powered transportation vehicles with green alternatives, and so on.

Go paper-free

A relatively easy change you can make in today’s world is becoming paper-free. We live in a digital world, so it doesn’t make much sense to keep shuffling around paper copies of documents. Keeping your documents digital helps you cut down your company’s carbon footprint and helps you cut down on printing costs.

Work remotely

Working remotely can be a great way to invest in cleantech and reduce your business’s carbon footprint. Switching to a remote or hybrid work environment (partially remote, partially in-person) can be challenging.

But if you can pull it off, you’ll save environmental and financial resources by not transporting employees to work, reducing the size of your offices, and reducing the amount of air conditioning or heating and lighting you pay for at the office. Plus, remote work can help promote a better work-life balance for your whole company.

Take advantage of greentech with RebelDot

We know that embracing greentech in your business is easier said than done. Many businesses are ready to leap but aren’t sure where to start.

For help, reach out to RebelDot today. Our team of experts can provide insights and even help you develop bespoke solutions to get your business on track for a brighter future.

enterprise application management

The strategic benefits of enterprise application management

In a recent post, we explored the basics of application management, a process designed to manage the lifecycle of an app from start to finish.

Today, we will be looking at application management‘s benefits. If your business has ever launched an app, then these are several reasons why you’ll want to be sure to invest in enterprise application management.

5 benefits of enterprise application management

1. Improve your digital transformations

Digital transformation is the process of taking a “traditional” workflow and migrating it to a digital solution.

As you may have put together, this is what the best productivity apps do. They enable us to be more productive, accurate, and flexible. But to enjoy the benefits of digital transformation, you’ll need a strong application management strategy.

Application management improves your digital transformation by forcing you to be more mindful and efficient. You and your team will naturally be more thoughtful when implementing and refining features, you can speed up the process of application development, and you can better ensure that your digital tools have long-term benefits.

2. Create a customized app catalog

Another benefit of enterprise application management is that you can use it to create a customized app catalog. Rather than steadily collecting apps for this and that purpose, you can be more intentional and structured with the combination of apps you and your clients use.

By using the insights gained from application management, your IT department can work to strategically combine various apps for your different departments. This will help reduce spending while also making your teams more effective.

This is just one of the many ways application management can be surprisingly useful across your organization.

3. Offer on-demand support

Everyone has had or heard of app launches where updates continue for a few months, and then eventually, the team moves on to something else and allows the previous app to fall by the wayside.

Generally, this is the result of poor enterprise application management. With proper application management, you and your team can prepare to support your clients and users for a long time. You can better distribute your resources, ensuring that support is always available when needed.

4. Improve your cost efficiency

Another of the natural benefits of application management is that it allows you to increase your cost-efficiency.

Again, this is primarily the natural result of focusing more on your app management.

With more resources devoted to planning and task distribution, you can streamline your operations, cutting costs. Plus, application management allows you to support and promote apps for longer periods, maximizing the investment they represent.

5. Boost your cybersecurity

Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for cybersecurity to be pushed to the wayside. Between managing costs, departments, app stacks, client needs, app launches, and lifecycles, cybersecurity can be blip on your radar.

Fortunately, though, you can change this with proper enterprise application management. It provides you with the space to pay more attention and devote more resources to cybersecurity. This will improve your ability to protect your assets, clients, and users.

Need help with your enterprise application management?

You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy the benefits of application management. You just have to know one. The experts at RebelDot are ready to help give you the support you need to achieve. Reach out to our team today and see how we can help your business succeed!

what is app management

What is app management?

Creating an app can be an exciting process. It can also be a pretty big commitment. Long after you’ve published your app, you may find yourself updating it, maintaining it, adding new features, and so on.

In short, your app development cycle doesn’t stop after launch. You’ll need to engage in app management to keep things running smoothly. And in this post, we’ll cover the basics you need to know for application management.

What is app management?

First, what is it? App management is the process of managing the operation, maintenance, version history, and eventual upgrades of an application throughout its lifecycle. While this is very different from the development process, it is still incredibly important.

Like anything tied to app development, you could, of course, improvise. However, establishing solid application management policies will help you maintain best practices, ensure optimal operation, and help maintain the performance and efficiency of your app.

After all, you don’t need us to tell you that apps age. And if you aren’t managing them properly, they won’t age gracefully. App management ensures that your app stays relevant, modern, and effective for your users.

Who are the key stakeholders in app management?

In application management, there are a handful of important stakeholders. Here are the main ones you should know about.

Application manager and analyst

These are the team members that actually “own” the app management process. It’s their vision that the rest of the team is executing.

Generally speaking, there should be one manager/analyst per application.

There are two reasons for this.

First, it keeps the vision singular. This allows you to make decisions faster, maintain consistency, and create long-term familiarity with your app.

Second, keeping just one app manager/analyst will prevent you from devoting too much attention to an already deployed app. While managing launched apps is essential, your team no doubt has other app projects it wants to pursue. Keeping your resources divided appropriately ensures you have the people-power to produce new products.

Business unit owners

Business unit owners are your financial stakeholders, such as investors and higher-ups. For these stakeholders, your app’s bottom line is the key factor that they’ll be considering.

This gives your team financial incentive to keep investing in your already-deployed apps. Doing so will bring in a steady stream of new users, keep old users happy, and, importantly, keep the income flowing.

Developers

Developers are the people who have developed the app and will continue upgrading and maintaining it. Their say is valuable because they have the most hands-on experience with the application.

App users

In many respects, application users are your most important stakeholders. And typically, they’ll all be within a single organization or demographic. Keep feedback channels open to them and use their feedback to steer the direction of your app management.

Why is application management important?

Application management is important for several reasons. It helps protect corporate data even when employees use your app on their devices. It prevents security risks, which require you to update your app frequently.

App management helps your team keep your app running as efficiently as possible, so it works properly on all of the latest operating systems. And, finally, it’s important because it maximizes your investment in an app.

As soon as you give up on app management, your app’s success will decline, and with it, all of the resources you initially poured into it.

Learn more about app management with RebelDot!

Interested in learning more about app management and other development topics? Be sure to check out the rest of our blog. And if you’re looking for help with application management, reach out to RebelDot’s expert team!

Code of Practice - Disinformation

The 2022 Code of Practice on Disinformation

To give you more perspective, we are going to create a path of understanding between how it all started, what it means, and how it’s going to affect you as an individual, and your business.

Back in May 2021, a new Code of Practice on Disinformation was established, in order to keep under control and optimized guidance, following players within various industries – media and publicity agencies, fact-checkers, researchers, major online platforms, and even civil society organizations.

"The Commission now has very significant commitments to reduce the impact of disinformation online and much more robust tools to measure how these are implemented across the EU in all countries and in all its languages."

Věra Jourová, vice president for values and transparency at the European Commission, said as part of a press release announcing the new code of practice.

According to the European Commission, the strengthened Code of Practice on Disinformation has been signed and presented on June 16th, 2022, initially signed by 34 parties, including major social media platforms like Meta, Twitter, and TikTok, and tech giants including Adobe, Google, and Microsoft.

The new Code aims to achieve the objectives of the Commission’s Guidance presented in May 2021, by setting a broader range of commitments and measures to counter online disinformation.

What does Code of Practice on Disinformation mean?

Consider the Code of Practice on Disinformation as a tool through which relevant players in the industry agreed, for the first time in 2018, on self-regulatory standards to better fight online disinformation.

The revision process was launched in June 2021 and, after the signature and presentation of the revised Code on June 16th 2022, the new Code will become part of a broader regulatory framework.

This broader regulatory framework will also include the Digital Services Act, a piece of EU legislation that was approved in April 2022 to better protect European users from online disinformation and illegal content, goods, and services.

Moving forward, we are going to further examine and list the benefits of this new regulation.

What are the business benefits of the code of practice on disinformation?

Demonetization - cutting financial incentives for purveyors of disinformation

The new code aims to ensure that the people who sell or deal with specific goods do not benefit from advertising revenues when propelling disinformation.

This means stronger measures to avoid the placement of advertising next to disinformation, as well as spreading, widely, any sort of misleading information.

Transparency of political advertising

Keeping an eye on the importance of political advertising, especially if we are thinking about shaping public opinion and life decisions. A new measure of transparency will be settled, aiming for users to easily recognize political ads, by reading the labels of the initial sponsor, ad spend, and the display period.

Ensuring the integrity of services

One of the most discussed topics and seen as the most effective way to put a stop to it – reducing manipulative behavior. It is commonly used to spread disinformation by creating fake accounts, bot-driven amplification, impersonation, and malicious deep fakes.

Putting together a sort of, so-called, cross-service, for a better understanding of the unpermitted manipulative behavior, in order to spread disinformation, will be also agreed upon among the signatories.

They will also be required to periodically review the list of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) employed by malicious actors, and will implement clear policies, covering the range of behaviors and practices identified.

Empowering users

To prevent disinformation from spreading to various users, specific tools would be able to recognize, understand, and flag, misleading and untrue information.

How so? By being able to access only authoritative sources and media literacy initiatives.

The tools will be adapted to limit the propagation of disinformation.

Empowering researchers

The Code foresees that online platforms provide better support to research on disinformation. Researchers will have finer access to platforms’ data, seeing all the preferable characteristics of non-personal, anonymized, aggregated, or manifestly public data.

Working towards putting in place a governance structure to simplify access to data requiring additional examination.

Empowering the fact-checking community

The new Code establishes extended fact-checking coverage across all EU Member States (and spoken languages in the EU). The online platforms will have to make sure that they have consistent fact-checking practices, including independent fact-checkers.

Given the element of independence in fact-checking, the business model of the online platform will have to ensure a “fair” financial contribution towards this. The platforms will also have to facilitate open access for these fact-checkers to perform their work.

Transparency center and taskforce

When mentioning task force, we are referring to representatives of signatories, the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services, the European Digital Media Observatory, and the European External Action Service which is chaired by the Commission.

With this initiative in place, all the citizens will gain access to an overview of the implementation of new measurements, providing transparency and regular updates of relevant data.

Future-proof and fit-for-purpose, by establishing a forum – inter alia, to review and adjust the commitments in view of technological, societal, market, and legislative developments.

Strengthened monitoring framework

As you already know, there is always a need for precise and relevant frameworks. The new code will come with a strong monitoring framework, including specific service levels with the support of the EU Commission at the Member States level.

It is predicted that by the beginning of 2023, signatories will provide the Commission with the first baseline reports on their implementation of the Code.

In addition, every major online platform, as already defined in the DSA Act, will also report every six months, while others within the industry will report on a yearly basis.

The commitment for this new measure is to look toward establishing structural indicators and metrics for interpreting, analyzing, and measuring the real impact of the Code on Disinformation.

Tackling Disinformation in 2023

By the beginning of 2023, the signatories must provide the Commission with their first report after implementation. Until then, they have 6 months to implement the specific measurements and commit to each one as they have signed up.

For a more detailed discussion and our take on the new Code of Practice on Disinformation, feel free to get in touch. Until then, you can read our article on content moderation in coordination with this topic.

Application management

Application Management: What’s in it for you and our approach to it

In the lifecycle process of a software application, there is a characteristic phase where the application undergoes maintenance, upgrades, and version updates. Ideally there is always a process for planning, creating, testing, and deploying.

What is application management?

Application management (AM) is a set of processes, covering how an application operates, and how it is affecting its maintenance, version control, and upgrades. In other words, application management services are like an enterprise-wide endeavor. They provide guidance designed to ensure applications are still running even at peak performance and as efficiently as possible.

The entire cycle goes from the end-user experience to integration with back-office management systems, such as database, ERP, and SaaS cloud functions such as CRM.

However, there are processes such as Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) and Application Performance Management (APM). Withing these two processes, there are various stakeholders that are involved, who need to work in a collaborative manner.

To give more clearance, we are going to explain the meaning of both ALM and APM systems.

The term application performance management (APM) is already making sense from the very beginning, as it has all the necessary details within its name. Aim to deliver any sort of application-facing and performance-related toolset. Whether the tool monitors data centers, containers, cloud services, mobile devices, virtual ecosystems, or networks, application performance system is a hot topic, and every enterprise management vendor should consider it.

On the other hand, application lifecycle management (ALM) is nothing but an ecosystem that allows application managers to manage the application end to end. It is quite commonly known to comprise various stakeholders, as the ALM set of internal tools is managing the application covering every phase during its existence pre and post-launch.

Today we see more enterprises adopting agile methodology over the traditional waterfall model and moving from DevOps to more cloud-based native applications. In parallel, there is also a continuous evolution in application lifecycle management tools and processes. In an enterprise, if there are multiple applications, then the ALM processes and tools for each of them are in sync, they could transition from legacy methods to a more modern and flexible way of working.

The objective is to analyze if building a new application or buying a new one is going to help you succeed. Also, taking into consideration things like – if an application should undergo innovation or should it be replaced, or whether the applications should be on cloud or on-premises.

Key Stakeholders

We all know that specific group of people every organization has. For instance, if an organization needs to change the way it processes applications, the key stakeholders will be involved in early development meetings, explaining to the project leaders precisely what the new process should look like.

We’ve grouped some of the key stakeholders in application management.

Application Analyst

Owning the processes and the entire lifecycle management of the application falls under their responsibility. Usually, in this scenario, there would be a single analyst or a team of analysts for each of the applications.

Business unit owners

Also known as the ones who run the business, from their back seat. Seeing the application and its management from a perspective of bottom-line benefit, revenue impact, and productivity.

Developers

All the tech gurus are bestowed with the responsibility of designing, developing, and implementing the code. They are also responsible for how the integration of the application works, alongside maintenance and last, security.

Users

Using the application for their day-to-day activities. They provide constant feedback on how the application is performing, and more importantly how it’s impacting their productivity. One of the most important aspects of any application for a user is privacy policies and security.

The bottom line for an application management system is to come up with an effective code that will ensure the right performance so that any existing or potential client can attain its objective. These objectives are both technical and managerial by default, and in case of any technical disruptions, they must be detected quickly and resolved as so.

Why is it important to your business?

Application management is considered a key factor in any business’s ability to exceed its expectation and strive for innovation.

By ensuring that enterprises are aware of, and do acknowledge the need for modern applications, internal process solutions can be brought to market more efficiently, quickly, and at a lower total cost. When applications are efficiently managed, you will have time to refocus your IT resources on new business challenges and competitive social responsibility.

Additionally, a well-established application management process is more reliable and less prone to failure. Although, it can reduce the risk of downtime and improve overall business continuity.

By incorporating new features, together with all the feedback received from users, and by and challenging the team to overlook a better UI & UX experience, you are going to enhance the entire end-user experience, which will not only increase productivity but will also help accelerate the adoption of the new features.

The importance of application management to the bottom line is manifold. Efficient management strategies reduce the personal hours spent in meetings, yielding higher productivity.

Application Management & User Experience Management

Users are the most important stakeholders anyone builds the software products. Hence it only comes naturally that they should be counted in the application management processes, both in terms of lifecycle management and performance management.

From our perspective the key elements of a successful application are:

  1. Reliability – the application is available when you need to access it. No downtime.
  2. Quality – the application is fit for purpose and stays so after every update. There is a critical balance between the needs of the users and the view of the product manager which must be gently navigated. To achieve this, you need relevant user feedback.
  3. Speed – there are many factors that can influence the speed of the entire user’s experience, some being outside of your control. We suggest testing the application under different conditions which can be found in real life (for example an unreliable internet connection or a less optimal screen).

We believe in the great power of user experience and are willing to get involved in mapping your user journey and making sure that future updates are based on legitimate feedback and do not impact the critical aspects of the user experience.