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The Future of Cell Phones in Africa

This week due to popular demand, we are returning to our discussion on Cell Phones in Africa. Or more specifically, the future of them.

Okay, Africans do use cell phones for phone calls- we’ve established that. But they use them way less then Canadians.  Why? Because calls cost a lot money.  Remember, there are very are few unlimited phone and text packages here,  and they are generally too expensive for the average Burkinabe.  So they text alot!

But what I found fascinating here – and blame it on the fact that I left Canada about five and a half years ago and I am totally disconnected – is the other use for cell phones.

Many locals use the phone as payment system.

Banking in Burkina

The penetration of the banking system in Burkina Faso is marginal compared Canada . The average Burkinabe does not have a bank account as the average Burkinabe does not work in the formal economic sector. Instead of banks, the cell phone is used to transfer money..  Burkinabe send money to their loves one while in the country – or while working abroad by using their cell phone.

Airtel is the most common used telephone company for transferring money.  Each small village I have been to, and I mean small, has an Airtel kiosk where the person who receives the money can go and get it.  All they need is the verification code and their National Identity card if they have one… but in villages, like small towns, everyone knows everyone so there is not a big problem with stolen identity!

The impact of this service on the population is, you can imagine, tremendous.  There is no longer a need to go to a Western Union, which are usually not found in the small villages and which requires identification documents that many people in these villages don’t have.

Another important benefit to paying with the cell phone is the ability to pay bills at distance, including school fees.  In Côte d’Ivoire, and in Burkina, parents are now able to pay their kids’ school fees by phone.  This means that the mother (normally…) does not have to walk to the school, wait in line for hours and then be subject to the administration for bribery… because of course, parents have to pay the administrator who register their children a little something to make sure that the kids gets registered to the school.

 

So there are many little ways in which the cell phones have changed the lives and culture of their users here.

Burkina Uprising

Like other places in the world, cell phones have also had geopolitical ramifications here as well.

On October 30 and 31st, 2014 the Burkina uprising happened.

Cell phones were instrumental in keeping the population abreast of what was going on and for the opposition to communicate with its members to tell them where the march was going and what to do – or not. The cell phones allowed people to post to social media –   and in spite of the government’s efforts to block internet, thanks for the use of cell phones, we all were apprised of what was going on.

In the end the internet, such as it is, was restored quickly!

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The Internet of Things – Yes you are using it everyday!

 

The Internet of Things in Lynnetalk means less wires.  You probably don’t even realize how many things in your home right now are part of the “IoT” family.  Do you have a wireless printer or one that is connected through your modem so that all your computers and tablets can access it.  How about a smart TV.  Yes – it is part of the IoT.  Basically anything in your home that is connected through wi-fi to the internet is part of the IoT.  My smart meter is one of my favourites – not only can I control it from my phone but so can the Hydro company.  In the summer during a heat wave, they will turn my air conditioning down to help control possible black/brown outs.  (I just thought I was having a hot flash every day at 5 pm).  

Every day the IoT is adding new features and items faster than we can keep up.  The main conduit for the IoT for the everyday person seems to be your phone or tablet.  Some of them we don’t even realize are happening.

 

Hyper-Targeting – A catchy phrase that basically means everything you do on the internet is being tracked and analyzed.  

Do you have a mobile phone or tablet?  Your phone is basically being tracked every time you move.  Yes – every time you move.  A signal is being sent out as you walk through the mall, as you drive your car.  What is this data being used for?  

  1. Retailers will use that data to transmit “Sale of the Day flyers” to your phone as you walk through the mall. 
  2. Restaurants will target customers in walking or driving in a 5 mile area letting them know about specials being served between 5 and 8 pm.  
  3. Advertisers will be able to track your likes and dislikes as your phone travels around the city/world.  They will know where you shop, what you buy, your favourite coffee and then you will be targeted with advertising for your specific likes.  I guess it is better than receiving paper flyers from every box store in your region :).

This is Big Data at its biggest.  Just think every step you take is being recorded.  Every coffee you order, every trip you take, every book you read.  Tick Tick Tick, they are all being counted and a multitude of companies are analyzing this data and selling it to advertisers.  Google and Facebook are the gods of Big Data.
Digital Payments 

We’ve all seen that commercial by CIBC – take a picture of your cheque and deposit it automatically.  Wish I had it today, last thing I want to do is head to the bank when it is -20 outside. 

Apple Pay is coming to Canada, maybe as early as March 2015.  Get rid of your wallets, now you only need your iPhone6 when you go shopping.  Google Wallet is the android equivalent app.  But don’t leave your credit card at home quite yet, even though more retailers are offering this service it is still quite limited.  

Pixie

How often do you lose your car keys?  Your purse? My eyeglasses at least twice a day.  Well let me introduce Pixie – the Location of Things.  All you have to do is attach “Pixie Points” to things, anything.  Then your mobile phone (yes your mobile phone knows more about you then your mother) can find anything you have pixied.  The other great thing about this app is you can categorize items together – i.e.  do you travel a lot – then pixie your passport, your medications, your travel documents, chargers, etc.  Before you leave check the app to make sure they are all in your bag.  No more “Mom where is my knapsack” just PIXIE it.  

What will the Future bring?

Are you excited about any new innovations?  Do you have an iFit watch?  I would love to hear from you about your favourite IoT or what you think the future will bring.   

 

happyfacehanddrawn Good Luck job huntingguestpostintroductionLynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!

 

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Welcome to the New and Improved Planet4IT

Welcome to 2015!
Planet4IT is thrilled to wish you a Happy New Year.
And to remind you; whatever your employment goals for 2015 are, we’re here to help.

To help make your Planet4IT experience better, we are thrilled to introduce our brand new website!

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As we all know, the Digital Revolution is a fast paced, marathon of technological advancements and changes. Us at P4Digital, Planet4IT and P4Capital not only strive to teach you about these changes, but to teach by example as well!

Let’s take a tour of the new site.

The new Planet4IT has four sections.

Main Page – Planet4IT

Typing in our web address http://www.planet4it.com will take you to the main page of our site. This main page is our catch all – our broad base from which you can navigate to all that we have to offer. Here you can search jobs, sign up for job alerts, submit your resume, or if you are a company, hire us to help you find the perfect employee.

From this page you can also navigate to our other sub pages by clicking on the planet link in the top centre of the page.

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P4Capital

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P4Capital is our site that deals with jobs in the Capital Markets.

 

On this site you will find job postings and a variety of resources to help you find work, employees or just information on Capital Markets, and the current news about them.

To quote our website, P4Capital is: maintaining extensive networks and solid relationships with organizations and people in the Technology, Capital Markets and Wealth Management communities.

P4Digital

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P4Digital, as many of you already know, is our site that deals directly with the Digital Revolution. It’s what this blog has been about since its first post back in early 2014.

Like the new P4Capital site, here you can find jobs, employees and current news surrounding the digital revolution.

To once again quote our site, P4Digital is: maintaining extensive networks and solid relationships with organizations and people in the Technology, Digital Marketing and Data Analytic Communities.

P4Social

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P4Social is the hottest and newest part of our website. (Well, maybe not the hottest but it is certainly my favourite part!)

You’re on it – or its equivalent if you’re reading this on WordPress.com, right now!

Everything that has to do with communication and our brand can be found right here. All of our editorials, Podcasts, Livestreams and Youtube videos can all be found at this new site.

Like this lovely gem from last  year.

From here, you can check out all of our social media feeds from the simplicity of a single site, and that includes Twitter, Facebook, etc.

We will be continuing to Cross Post to WordPress.com for a while, but someone will always be behind the keyboard at P4Social to answer your questions.

So if you want to drop a line, submit a job or a resume, or even just say hi – you  know where to find us.

Thanks and happy 2015!

Amanda

 

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Can Twitter help me find a Job?

Can I tweet my way to a job?  Most definitely.  Can I tweet my way out of a job?  Most Definitely (but that is another post).

Twitter has 284 million “active” users. No real surprises in the top 10 list.  Twitter isn’t allowed in China otherwise they would definitely be on the list.

“Top 10 countries, number of Twitter users: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, France, India, South Africa.”  (Forbes)

TwitterAgeDemographics

As you can see from the graph above – Twitter users are in their prime job hunting age.  54% of Recruiters are now using twitter.

When you join Twitter, be prepared for your network to grow in leaps and bounds.  What next?  Let’s start off with the basics.

Open an Account

  • First you need to open an account and set up a name.  You can use your real name or make up a handle.  Make sure if you use a “handle” that it is professional.  @ilovecats (is probably taken) wouldn’t offend me, but might not present the degree of professionalism you would like.
  • Post a professional picture of yourself or make up a logo based on what type of job you are looking for.  If you are a web developer you could do a cover photo with the different languages you use, i.e. html, java, j2ee, etc.
  • This account should be used for your job hunting only.  If you wouldn’t talk about it in an interview, don’t tweet about it, i.e. don’t be tweeting about how many shooters you did on a Friday night.  Although fun healthy family events present a positive lifestyle, so tweet pictures of your nephews and nieces.
  • Don’t start tweeting until you are finished with your set up, i.e. profile, picture, etc.  First impressions do make a difference.
  • Need help signing up, click here

Hashtags

  • What’s a hashtag?  It is basically a way to put tweets into a category so people can find them.  One of my favourites is #onstorm (oh yeah a hashtag has a “#” in front of it).  Every time there is the threat of a storm I check out #onstorm and find pictures and tracking information about where the storm is.  I’m a storm groupie.  #Leafs, #BlueJays, #cometlanding – there are hashtags for everything from sports teams to current events to traffic and yes the big one for job hunters.
  • The networking capability is massive in Twitter.  Here are top hashtags used for job searches and job openings.  You can also qualify your tweets by your skill, ie #java, #html, #banking, #ongov.  Do a little research to find out the popular ones.  Try one and see what happens.
  • Oh one last thing, maximum of 3 hashtags per tweet.  Do a little research to find out the popular ones.  Best thing is to try and find the one that works the best.

Followers/Following

Now you have to decide who to follow:

  • If you know what companies you would like to work for, then follow them first.  Most of them will post jobs on Twitter.  Try and find out who the hiring managers are, and if they have a Twitter account then follow them.
  • Again what skill are you selling?  Follow groups and people who have the same qualifications/interests.
  • Recruitment companies all have twitter accounts and they all post jobs on Twitter.  Find the ones that are in your area and have expertise in your field.

Tweetchat

Next step is forming a relationship with your followers

  • ENGAGE – yes you have to engage with your followers.  You can start off retweeting their tweets, but it is much better if you actually respond to one of their tweets.  It shows you did actually read their tweet, blog or story.
  • CONTENT CURATION is the process of collecting, organizing and displaying information relevant to a particular topic or area of interest.”  (wiki).  Tweet stories that interest you, retweet breaking news (if you see the subway is closed – tweet it), find blogs about your field and tweet them (with a comment).
  • LISTS – Lists are a way for you to organize all your followers.  CompaniesIwouldliketoworkfor, FavouriteTorontoPeople, TopJavatweeters, etc.  Lists can be public or private.  Followers like to be put on lists so don’t make them all private.
  • CHATS – there are chats for everything you can imagine.  Love gardening there’s a chat, love the Leafs – there’s a chat for that.  Every skill has a chat group from iCloud to BigData to Hadoop to name a few.  There are lots of job hunting chats and recruiter chats offering advice to the job seeker from “how to write your resume” to “how to answer interview questions”.  One of my favourites is #Tchat on Wednesdays – it starts with a podcast and then a 30 minute question period.   Joining a chat and taking part is the easiest and most fulfilling way to actually form relationships.
  • BEWARE – you don’t have to follow everyone back.  Be prepared to receive follows from Twitter accounts who are trying to sell 10,000 followers for $5.  As a job hunter you are using Twitter as a means for job searching not to make yourself look important.  All they do is clutter up your stream.

Twitter is just one of the wonderful networking job hunting social media platforms out there.  Use it to your advantage and enjoy the education, laughs and up-to-date information you will find as you tweet your way to a new position.

happyfacehanddrawn Good luck job hunting

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Lynne Carlson started her career off in administration, moved to Cobol Programming and for the last 14 years worked in all things recruitment.  Absolutely loves social media and excited about all the new innovations appearing every day!