Articles tagged with: blogging

56. Does the Mining Industry Employ Interns?

Over the last year or so I have been working on a side project I founded within the tech industry.   One of the things that recently came to the forefront was the use of interns, unpaid interns, that is.   I know that  interns have been used for years in other industries including legal, politics, journalism, and marketing; however I have never come across the use of interns within the mining industry.
Intern
I was recently speaking with a marketing consultant about how to undertake tech marketing and one of the suggestions she made was to hire an intern to do much of the legwork of finding contacts and making contact with them.  My first question was why would anyone work for free?  I was told there were three reasons:
  1. For credit; as part of a course credit in college or university where an internship is part of the programme requirement.
  2. For experience; one can’t get a real job without experience and so the internship teaches something, builds up experience, and creates a portfolio of work.
  3. Networking; building up network connections can possibly lead to permanent work.
At first I was taken aback at the thought of asking someone to work for me for free.  Are we that cheap?   On the other hand if you are paying someone a salary, the expectation is that they should be relatively skilled at their job.  Giving it some further thought, , I have come to realize that the internship may actually be a win-win for both parties.
The company gets to better know potential employees and also gets some productive service from them at no cost.  The intern grows their employment experience and learns about the realities of the business world.  The students are paying the schools to teach them, and now businesses can help teach them as well, but at no cost.   It’s a win-win.
So how did our intern search go?  We posted a free ad on indeed.ca.  Within 48 hours we received eight replies, of which only 2 came close to meeting the qualifications.  Some of the applicants had no relevant experience at all.   Possibly in today’s job market people are willing to work for free on the chance they can get some experience on their resumes which will hopefully lead to a job in the future.  We’ll maintain the job ad for a couple more weeks and see what the overall response will be.
My bottom line is asking whether the mining industry can make use of interns in the areas of geology, engineering, marketing, graphics, etc?  There may be a lot of young students out there looking for opportunity and willing to do whatever it takes to help advance their careers.   Even if your payroll budget cannot afford the cost of another person, you still may be able to help out someone within the industry.
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54. Windshieldink – New Smartphone App

After the last few years, the downturn in the mining industry has given me time to pursue a few side interests. Writing this blog was one of those interests. The other was developing a new smartphone mobile app called Windshieldink. The tag line is “it’s the new way to leave a note on a windshield”. The website is Windshieldink.com
Windshieldink image
Here is an overview.
Windshieldink’s messaging platform allows anyone to anonymously send messages to vehicle owners registered with Windshieldink using the vehicle license plate number. Registering a license plate with Windshieldink is free. The app provides users the convenience of receiving their messages by e-mail or phone text message. You also have the option of receiving push notifications, attaching contact information, attaching a GPS location within your message, and there is also an in-app chat functionality.
Stats Canada reported 23.9 million motor vehicle registrations in 2015. Based on personal experience, the desire for being reachable via a license plate number was recognized as far back as the mid-1990’s and is becoming even more recognized as new vehicles enter the roadways daily.
The Windshieldink messaging platform is available worldwide, however we are concentrating marketing efforts in North America due to our limited marketing capacity.
The app is now free to download from Google Play Store and App Store and hopefully simple to use.
Here is a video link to how the app works.

Windshieldink logo

 

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33. Blogging and Spam

This is a short non-mining topic but it’s something I found interesting.  Spam and spamming is everywhere.
I started this little WordPress blogging site a few months and enable the readers to comment on each blog.  Well lo and behold it didn’t take long for the spam to start arriving.  The image below shows the typical spam that I would get in the comments section, even though commenting requires one to enter an email address in order to post.  It took a few weeks to start but most recently I would be getting 5 to 10 of these spammed “comments” each day. It’s not like my website has a lot of followers or comments, but it still ended up a target to the bots or spiders or whatever else that is roaming around the web.

 

Example WordPress blog spam

Example of spam sent to blog comment.

The first solution is to turn off automatic commenting to prevent comments from being posted immediately on-line.  I switched to moderated comments whereby each comment needs to be manually approved by the administrator before being posted live.  However after being continually asked to approve a lot of pending spam comments, it got tiresome.  The next solution was implementing the CAPTCHA (see image below).

 

Example of a Captcha

Example Captcha form

WordPress has various plug-ins designed to limit spam.  One of the simpler solutions is to add a “captcha”, which is the little box where you need to type in a word or number.  This is designed to hinder the automated spam-bots.  CAPTCHA is an acronym for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”, a great acronym.
After five days of using the captcha, I have received no new spam and weeks later still none.   However this won’t stop any manual spamming, so that will be the next thing to wait for.   It’s interesting to see how much unproductive technical energy is being expended out there in cyberspace.
What’s the reason for this specific spam that I am getting?  I understand it’s not to install a virus or malware but part of search engine optimization (SEO).  Google search will rank websites higher on the search result if that site has many other websites linking (pointing) to it.   So creating web links for a certain site on various blogs will improve that site’s rank.   I also heard that if Google detects a lot of such phoney links on my site, they will downgrade me as punishment. There is always someone out there looking for a new angle.
 
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