Stories by David Strom

How to tell if your Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn efforts are paying off

As businesses make more use of social networks, the number of engagement, analysis and monitoring tools has exploded. Enterprises are trying to understand their return on social media investments, to find out if their Twitter and Facebook marketing campaigns are actually delivering customers. They want to track social mentions across multiple networks and be responsive to both kudos and complaints.

Single sign-on moves to the cloud

We are awash in passwords, and as the number of Web services increases, things are only going to get worse. Trying to manage all these individual passwords is a major problem for enterprise security. Many end users cope by re-using their passwords, which exposes all sorts of security holes.

Web-based conferencing comes of age

As more people telecommute, having a reliable way to connect via desktop video conferencing takes on greater importance. And for employees working in the office, Web-based meetings are a cheaper and less time consuming alternative to business travel.

How we tested Web-based conferencing services

We set up a variety of meetings on each of the services and then connected via different desktops, browsers, and mobile clients to see how each displayed the meeting content and handled the audio connection.

10 top iPhone apps for IT pros

While the frivolous iPhone apps usually get most of the media attention (yes, there really are over 175 apps that can produce rude bodily noises), there are quite a few apps that can help you do your job as an IT worker. While less notorious, they are worth your time to download and check out.

10 top iPhone apps for IT pros

While the frivolous iPhone apps usually get most of the media attention (yes, there really are over 175 apps that can produce rude bodily noises), there are quite a few apps that can help you do your job as an IT worker. While less notorious, they are worth your time to download and check out.

Master your own (Internet) domain

Seinfeld episodes notwithstanding, buying a domain name may be easy, but managing the domain and making smart technology decisions is another story. Let's take a look at the steps and decisions involved in setting up Web and e-mail hosting accounts for your a domain.

Save time and money with online meeting tools

If you're like me, you probably hate attending business meetings. But a number of useful Internet-based tools have arisen that can help workgroups schedule and run them more effectively. All of the tools here work within most popular Web browsers, and most of them are available for free or for fairly low monthly fees. The challenge is in understanding which tool suits a particular situation, because not every meeting is held under the same circumstances.

How to save money on overseas mobile phone calls

If you travel overseas, here are some ways to cut costs since international mobile calls can be pricey. If you replace the SIM card that came with your phone with a card that works in the country you are visiting, you get several benefits. First, you don't pay roaming charges for local in-country calls, although if you are calling back to your home country, you will pay international long distance charges. Second, if people in-country are trying to reach you, they don't pay for the international calls either. (Some of the networks overseas have the more enlightened method of calling party pays, but we won't go there for now.) You also don't use any minutes on your mobile phone account, which can be good if you have a limited number of minutes - when you travel, you don't think about all the time you are on calls. The trouble is if you are going to several different countries, then you need different SIMs and have to keep track of the numbers too. That gets onerous.

Make Internet fax services work for you

I hate faxes. When I had a fax machine in my office, I would arrive in the morning and see the accumulation of restaurant menus, insurance come-ons, and other junk that arrived during the night. Plus, I was always running out of the special paper or the ink cartridges would dry out because I would so seldom use it. There is a better way, and I want to review your options with how you can connect your email to your faxing needs.

Seven Lessons That SMBs Can Learn from Big IT

Just because you don't have a large enterprise doesn't mean you can't run your IT operation like the big guys. Here are seven ways to help your SMB--a small or medium-size business--implement some of the lessons big IT operations have learned over the years. Using these tips, you should be able to improve productivity, cut costs, and keep your business running smoothly.

Making sense of Microsoft's Azure

Last week, Microsoft announced its cloud-computing effort, called Azure. Fitting between Google's and Amazon.com's current offerings, it represents a very big step toward moving applications off the desktop and out of a corporation's own datacenters. Whether or not it will have any traction with corporate IT developers remains to be seen.

The three business tech risks you don't know about

Business travelers will soon need to carry the name of their corporate lawyer in addition to their passport when traveling to the United States, and they may need to bring with them a different business laptop as well. This is because US Customs can search and confiscate your laptop without any prior cause, according to policies that have been posted online since a Ninth US Circuit Court ruling in April.

[]