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How are you doing?
The other week I watched The Social Dilemma, a documentary about the effects social media platforms have on changing our psychology and the wider impact this is having on society.
Spoiler: I now use a banana phone that only does calls and texts.
I already kind of knew these apps were designed to be addictive; however, it’s no longer just a case of keeping your attention so you look at adverts.
The real danger of allowing algorithms (designed by people without our best interests at heart) to feed online content to us is much more subtle. Whether that’s subconsciously influencing who you vote for or creating confusion, anger and division between different groups of people.
Frankly it scared the shit out of me.
It’s unlikely that Zuckerberg and co. are likely to grow a conscience any time soon, however social platforms will continue to be an increasingly integral part of modern life.
On a larger scale, independent regulations are clearly required to reign in the likes of Facebook, Twitter and so in (not forgetting Google, the biggest data miner of all).
However, as individuals there is still a lot we can do to better protect our digital privacy, whether that’s something small like swapping Google Chrome for a more privacy-focussed alternative such as Brave, or deleting your Facebook account.
It’s important for us all to better understand how we, ‘the users’, can try to create a healthier relationship with social technologies.
You can watch The Social Dilemma on the streaming service beginning with N (the one that generates film posters using actors who have the same skin tone as you).
Here’s what you can read about in this month’s newsletter:
* A glimpse into my website review toolbox (full of things you can use as well) (#blog 1)
* Why it’s a good thing to get your website designer and copywriter working together (#Blog 2)
* Spy dog Bo on privacy (#bo’s tips)
* W (#power hour) orking with me (#book me)
Knowing what to look for is one part of a successful website review, but the other is having the right tools to uncover the info you need.
In this new post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/website-review-tools/) , I show you all the top tools I use when I do website reviews (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/website-reviews/) . It covers everything from exactly what to look at on Google Analytics, to a tool you can use to work out the carbon footprint of your site.
Since writing this post I’ve also discovered Blacklight (https://themarkup.org/blacklight) , a tool that scans sites to identify the tracking technologies deployed on a particular site. Great for the privacy conscious among us!
Read the tools post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/website-review-tools/)
If you want your website project to run smoothly, it’s helps to have all the collaborators on the same page.
Becky Thorn of Comma Chameleon (https://commachameleon.co.uk/) agrees, and points out that the sooner you can bring your web designer and copywriter together, the more benefits for you.
She says bringing your copywriter on board at the same time as your web designer will:
1. Tell your story
2. Lead your readers on a seamless journey
3. Get you the best version of what you need
4. Save you time
5. Save you money
6. Get you more than you pay for
Sound good? Becky’s written a whole post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/web-design-and-copywriting-the-dream-team-for-your-website/) explaining how this collaboration can and should work!
Read Becky’s post (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/web-design-and-copywriting-the-dream-team-for-your-website/)
Things have changed in our house since my humans watched The Social Dilemma.
Paul’s changed his phone. He reads books instead of looking at Twitter. When we go for walkies, he takes a paper map. He’s not sent me a Snapchat for weeks.
I think I’m now a spy dog. Here are my top privacy tips.
Switch to a privacy-focused web browser. Brave has a built-in ad blocker, doesn’t track cookies and is pretty speedy.
Move your messages. Facebook owns not only Messenger, but also WhatsApp and Instagram. If you don’t want Zuckerberg and co peeping on your conversations, switch to something like Signal or Telegram.
Alternative email. If you would like end-to-end encryption for your emails, Thunderbird and Proton are good alternatives to Gmail.
Analyse this. Google Analytics aren’t the only show in town if you want to know how people use your site. Fathom Analytics is an ace alternative (as Paul wrote here (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/fathom-analytics-vs-google-analytics/) ).
If you’d like more tips to protect your privacy and that of your clients and site visitors, check out Paul’s blog on the topic (https://pauljardine.co.uk/blog/taking-control-of-your-privacy-online/) .
Jo (the spy hound formerly known as Bo)
If you want my help with launching or revamping your website early in 2021, now is the time to get in touch. I’m available to take on new bookings for website design and development projects from December.
I’m available for consultancy services before then, so if you would like to take advantage of my newest and most accessible service (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/power-hour/) , just reply to this email!
Get the power (hour)! (https://pauljardine.co.uk/services/power-hour/)
Take care until next time,
PS. If you liked this newsletter, please send it onto someone who might find it useful!
Good Websites for Good People
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