Website Traffic Boosting

Reading Time: 15 minutes

In the internet world you have the big players like those in the graphic below and you have the small peoples like us. Getting any kind of recognition can be very daunting task to say the least.

Granted, these now mega corporations were not always so mega. A quick look at the website web archive, shows some surprising results of what a web site used to look like. So how did these sites gain such popularity?

It was a combination of luck and marketing.

You see, when these now mega sites first started, the internet itself was just starting or entering into a coming of age phase. Any and everything that had the word internet attached to it was a this glamours-glorious thing that nobody really knew anything about, much less have any access to.

As the personal computer started to enter into a market where there was interest and a thirst to get on this new thing called the internet, slowly and surely, people were buying these very expensive machines, bring them home, connecting a modem to it and getting on a very rudimentary internet.

As time sped forward, more and more companies now mega corporations  were taking notice, buying hardware, programmers and setting up small data centers to display there new web sites in hopes that people would come to visit. You must also keep in mind, the internet was very, very slow! A simple web page could take several minutes to load.

Entering into current times, the keyword for being on the internet is marketing, but even that presents a unique set of challenges to large and small web sites. Marketing has been around since the beginning of time in some form or another and has always presented the challenge of how do I sell to a prospective customer.

With that in mind, selling something to someone else could be anything from snake-oil in the 1920’s and 1930’s, to an Apple Watch, to flowers grown in your own garden, or even selling your own services, the challenge remains the same. How to get someone to buy whatever it is that you are selling.

In today’s highly competitive markets where we have instant everything, the challenge is more so than ever imagined in the past.

Enter a new enterprise: Marketing experts.

These sometimes mega corporations in and of themselves is a whole new industry geared solely toward the internet. After all, it is almost impossible to break into a market when you have instant everything.

For anybody that has started a YouTube channel, TikTok, Instagram, or tried to advertise on Google, Facebook, etc, knows, it’s a tough sell trying to get your name, brand or any kind of brand recognition out to the masses, much less trying to see any kind of Return On Investment (ROI) within the first year or two.

Increasing the challenge is that you have Instagram models flaunting their stuff, major movie stars, whatever the popular music band is for this or that time period also posting on these social media web sites. Even bigger challenge in today’s internet is that the average persons attention span is extremely short, hence why Twitter and TikTok took off like wildfire. A few words or 20 seconds of video and the person has moved on to whatever else has got their attention.

For web site blog’s like this one and so many others, this presents an even further challenge as people will have to spend more than two-five minutes to read an article and if there is something that catches their eye that they might want to discuss, then there is another two-five minutes needed to fill out the form at the bottom of an article.

So how do you grow a YouTube channel or blog?

Well. If you are wealthy, you could hire a marketing company to create a campaign and handle the distribution to mass media or you could hire a move star to tell the population that they need to visit your site or buy whatever it is that you are selling, but if you are not wealthy, you turn to a smaller marking company that will drive traffic to your site, whether it be YouTube or a blog.

With this in mind, lets take a look at some of the ways to get people to come visit you and some of the pitfalls that could cause you a lot of headache to watch out for.

1) Advertise. This one is so obvious, of course. Paid search, social media advertising and display advertising are all excellent ways of attracting visitors, building your brand and getting your site in front of people is the end goal. Just keep in mind that each paid channel has its pros and cons, so think carefully about your objectives before you reach for your credit card. If you’re hoping that more traffic to your site will also result in more sales, you’ll need to target high commercial intent keywords as part of your paid search strategies. Yes, competition for these search terms can be fierce and expensive, but with careful planning, the payoffs can be worth it.

2) Get social. It’s not enough to produce great content and hope that people find it. You are going to have to be constantly proactive. One of the best ways to increase traffic to your website is to use social media channels to promote your content. Twitter is ideal for short links, whereas Google+ promotion can help your site show up in personalized search results and. If you’re a business-to-customer company, you might find you ideal niche with image-heavy social sites like Pinterest and Instagram.

3) Invite others to guest blog or create short videos to post on YouTube. Guesting is a two-way street. In addition to posting content to other blogs or YouTube, invite people in your niche to blog or short videos to post on your own site. They’re likely to share and link to their guest article or video, which could bring new readers to your site. Just be sure that you only post good quality, original content without spammy links, because Google’s search engine is cracking way down on low-quality guest blogging.

4) Interview industry thought leaders. Think interviews are only for the big leagues? You’d be amazed how many people will be willing to talk to you if you just ask them. Send out emails requesting an interview to thought leaders in your industry, and publish the interviews on your blog. Not only will the name recognition boost your credibility and increase traffic to your website, the interviewee will probably share the content too, further expanding its reach.

5) Don’t neglect email marketing. So many businesses are focused on attracting new customers through content marketing that they forget about more traditional methods. Email marketing can be a powerful tool, and even a moderately successful email blast can result in a significant uptick in traffic. Word to the wise. Do n0t bombard people with relentless emails. It’s guaranteed that your email will end up being tossed in the proverbial round file (trash can) or worse yet, get your email server or service black listed, leading to months of headache. An occasional email reminder about a new service or product can help you boost your traffic.

6) Foster a sense of community. People want to speak their minds and weigh in on subjects they feel passionately about, so building a community into your site is a great way to start a conversation and increase traffic to your website. Implement a robust commenting system through third-party solutions such as Facebook comments or Disqus, or create a dedicated forum where visitors can ask questions. Don’t forget to manage your community to ensure that minimum standards of decorum are met.

7) Make yourself heard in comment sections. You probably visit a few sites that are relevant to your blog or YouTube channel on a regular basis, so why not join the conversation?  Commenting doesn’t necessarily provide an immediate boost of referral traffic right away, but making a name for yourself by providing insightful, thought-provoking comments on industry blogs and sites is a great way to get your name out there, which can subsequently result in driving more traffic to your own site. Just remember that, as with guest posting, good composition and grammar is key.

8) Submit your content to aggregator web sites. As mentioned above, don’t spam Reddit and other similar sites hoping to drive referral traffic, because it could easily turn against you. Members of communities like Reddit are extraordinarily savvy to spam disguised as legitimate links, but every now and again, it doesn’t hurt to submit a link that these audiences will find interesting or useful.

9) Last, but not least. Buy traffic. There are a plethora of web sites out there that will promise to send quality traffic to your web site or YouTube channel. Be very leery and be very careful about who you choose to get this service through. The main concern here is that while these sites will send traffic to your site of YouTube, the majority of the time, it’s junk traffic, meaning that the traffic will come come a multitude of different IP addresses, but the traffic is comprised of one hit wonders, meaning that each IP address makes a very quick hit lasting only a microsecond and then it’s gone.

In today’s internet world, web site operators/owners are a lot more savvy than in the past and know that junk traffic is just that. Junk. It serves no purpose and will do you more harm than good for the following reasons:

1) Search engines know what junk traffic looks like and will downgrade your rating as a web site. If you are on YouTube, then chances are, Google will want to have a word with you about their terms of service.

2) Hosting companies and the data centers that they are housed in also know what junk traffic looks like. The main issue you are going to face is that the vast majority of those thousands of servers you see in a data center are being very closely monitored by automation and by humans around the clock. If you send a ton of junk traffic, the automation is going to perceive that traffic as a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

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attack and will quickly (within milliseconds) re-route all traffic destined to your server to a null point and possibly shut down your server till you contact them to explain yourself.

Hopefully, I’ve been able to shed some light and give you some ideas about marketing for your web site or YouTube channel.

How Are Vaccines Made?

Reading Time: 19 minutes

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I received an email this morning asking me about how vaccines are made and are they safe. My first thought was to reply to the email with website links to WHO and CDC�s websites, but quickly realized after reading those websites and a bunch of others, why I was being ask the question in the first place and that there needed to be a more specific answer with more information than the normal buzz of how it works.

To the email sender, a big thank you as I got to learn something � a lot of somethings to be exact � new today and to everyone else, keep those emails coming in. Hit that contact link in the top right or if you�re on a mobile device, hit that menu button in the top right.

First. I thought I was done writing about anything related to COVID back in September (hit that search box and type in COVID to see the rest of the post about it), but it would appear that I would be wrong since there is mention of the COVID situation in this writing. My hope is the next time that I write about it, it will be a piece on the past tense history of it.

On to the good stuff. How is a vaccine made. No matter what the vaccine is, whether it be for a bad year of influenza (which COVID is a family member of) or any of the other multitudes of vaccines that had been made and for the most part, are still being made and stored in case of another out-break of whatever the vaccine was made for.

Vaccines have greatly enhanced our ability to save lives, giving us control, elimination, or near-elimination of many life-threatening diseases. The path to disease prevention � the development of a novel (new) vaccine � is a complex and lengthy process that generally takes 10 to 15 years. As to be expected, COVID is a major out-break, hence, scientist and pharmaceutical companies around the world have been in major overdrive to come up with a solution or a vaccine that can be distributed as quickly as possible to get this out-break brought under some kind of control.

In the US, there are six initial steps needed to create a vaccine. The obvious first would be to identify what the virus is as I wrote about in The New Normal � Part Two

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After the discovery of what it is, then comes the part of finding out what makes it tick. After all of the mountain of data and the spinning eyes of the scientist involved has been compiled, then it is off to the next six steps.

Step 1: Exploratory � Research
Usually, laboratory research is conducted for 2 to 5 years to identify antigens to include in a vaccine.

Step 2: Preclinical � Safety & Efficacy
Researchers conduct testing to assess vaccine candidates� immunogenicity, their ability to elicit the desired immune response. Other areas of focus include short-term toxicology, formulation, and development of a scalable, efficient, and reproducible manufacturing process. This data collection and analysis can take around 2 years.

Step 3: Clinical � Safety & Efficacy in Humans
In the US, an application for an Investigational New Drug (IND) is submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Only with an approval of the IND by the FDA does the potential vaccine proceed through 3 phases of testing in humans.

Phase 1 (2 years) � Typically, less than 100 volunteers are administered the candidate vaccine in a non-blinded study to determine whether it is safe to proceed to Phase 2, and to determine whether a sufficient immune response is provoked.

Phase 2 (2 to 3 years) � A larger group of subjects receive the vaccine candidate; the safety, immunogenicity, doses, immunization schedules, and delivery methods are studied.

Phase 3 (5 to 10 years) � This randomized, placebo-controlled, blinded pivotal study generally involves thousands of people in whom vaccine safety and efficacy are tested. This trial generally includes monitoring potential side effects in subjects, determining whether the vaccine candidate can help to prevent disease, and testing whether it leads to the production of antibodies against the specific pathogen.

Step 4: Regulatory Review & Approval � Licensing
If the candidate vaccine is determined to be safe and effective, a Biologics License Application (BLA) is submitted to the FDA, which may conduct its own testing. The FDA also inspects the production of the vaccine candidate and monitors its potency, safety, and purity; this entire process could take up to 2 years.

Step 5: Production � Scaling Up
Manufacturing scales up production of large quantities of the vaccine, ensuring all product meets the necessary regulatory requirements, including current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP)

Step 6: Quality Control � Performance Review, Post-Marketing
The vaccine is continuously tracked and monitored for its performance, safety, and effectiveness through pharmacovigilance conducted after the product is released into the market.

As you can imagine, because of the severity of this out-break, the time frames mentioned above have kinda been thrown out of the window in an effort to get this virus under control. While the principals and testing will always be the same due to the sensitive nature of the way the human body works, the time frames have been short as much as possible.

To try to answer this next question, we�re going to venture into an unknown, but a very widely and most of the time, a very wildly topic of discussion. �Is it safe?� The quick answer is yes and no. To find out why, you have to look at what is in a vaccine and why it makes some people sick, while others carry-out their day whistling their favor song.

There are many parts to a vaccine and it doesn�t stop at what is in the vial, it also has to do with what the vial that the vaccine came in is made of. You might be thinking �uhhh�it�s glass dummy.� Yes, but not quite.

A refresher about your immune system. The first time your body encounters a germ, it can take several days for your body to produce the army of proteins (and some other things too) needed fight the infection and get that army to the front-lines to kill the infection. After the infection is over, your body�s immune system keeps a few �memory cells� that remember what it learned about how to protect against that disease.

If your body encounters the same virus or bacteria again, it will produce antibodies to attack the germ more quickly and efficiently. In theory, this works wonderfully, but what happens if the virus mutates, spawns itself off as a new virus to fool the immune system.

That is one of the major problems with COVID-19. In some cases, it has been found that it can generate or mutate into another strain, hence why the media has been say that we are all gonna die and further inciting panic by telling the public that the scientist or this or that politician is not doing anything about the virus problem. The media in and of itself has been more of a problem than the virus itself. Well, almost anyway, but you get what I�m referring to.

Moving right along. There are several components of a vaccine.

1. There is the antigen that has been made to replicate what your immune system will make and send to where the virus is hiding-out in your body. Only in rare cases is the antigen kept at full strength (something like the bubonic plague would be a good example). For the most part, the antigen is diluted significantly during the manufacturing process or is diluted just before the needle goes into you arm.

2. There is a stabilizer that is mixed in with the antigen. This is there to keep the antigen for separating and �clumping.� If you�ve ever spilled sugar on the counter and got it wet, you know that it clumps. This hold true millions of things in our lives that we never give a second thought of. It also keeps the antigen for sticking to the glass of the vial.

3. There is a preservative mixed in with the rest of it and more often than not, this is what makes people feel ill for a few days to a week after getting the shot. Preservatives are also in millions of products that we use or are in our home as we speak. The preservative in this case is a six-membered ring with two heteroatoms, and their fused carbocyclic derivatives. You didn�t think you were going to get off easy in today�s class, did ya?

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2-Phenoxyethanol is widely used in vaccines. Cyclization of phenoxyethanols 203, in the presence of (diacetoxyiodo) benzene and iodine, gave a mixture of 1,4-benzodioxane 13 and 6-iodo-1,4-benzodioxane 204 via alkoxy radicals (Equation 36).

Then, nucleophilic aromatic substitution was applied for the synthesis of 1,2,4,6,7,9-hexafluoro-1,4-dibenzodioxin from 2,3,4,6-tetrafluorophenol in the presence of sodium t-butylate. In a similar way, cyano-1,4-dibenzodioxins and cyano-1,4-dibenzodithiins have been synthesized by fluorine displacement reactions with catechols. In accordance with a similar mechanism, the synthesis of spiro (1,4-benzodioxin-2,4?-piperidines) 205 and spiro (1,4-benzodioxin-2,3?-pyrrolidines) 206 have been developed from alcohols 207 and 208, respectively, both of them being obtained from 2-fluorophenol 210 with the corresponding epoxide 209 (Scheme 18).

Did you just skip that part? I don�t blame you, but I put it there in case any of you wanted to geek-out on how it�s made.

Vaccines administered from multi-dose vials generate several concerns, including contamination risk and potential for waste. PCV13 formulated with 2-phenoxyethanol, a preservative used in other pediatric vaccines, allows expanded vaccine delivery in resource limited settings while meeting strict WHO requirements for antimicrobial suppression. A Phase 3, open-label, randomized controlled trial in Gambian infants assigned participants to receive PCV13 at ages 2, 3, and 4 months from either a multi-dose vial containing 2-phenoxyethanol (n = 245) or a standard single dose syringe (n = 244). Non-inferior immunogenicity of the multi-dose vial formulation was demonstrated for all serotypes according to IgG titers and opsonophagocytic assay. Local and systemic AEs following vaccination were mostly mild and comparable between groups. Local reactions occurred approximately 24-hours post-vaccination and resolved by 72 hours. No participant reported a severe local reaction. Fever rates were low (1.2%�3.6%) and comparable between groups, and no occurrences of fever > 40.0�C were recorded.

Last, but not least and very important as mentioned above, the vials that the vaccine come in.

Borosilicate glass is not like your normal pickle jar or beer bottle, it is still made of sand in a simple term, but the sand is processed differently. Borosilicate glass contains the following properties by mass: Silicon dioxide (SiO2) � 80.8%, Boron oxide (B2O3) � 12.56%, Sodium oxide (Na2O) � 3.98% and Aluminum oxide (Al2O3) � 2.28%. It also has smaller amounts of chlorine, as well as oxides of iron, titanium, zirconium, calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Borosilicate glass originated from the German chemist and glassmaker Friedrich Otto Schott, who invented it in 1897. The company he founded, Schott AG, continues to produce Fiolax borosilicate glass for pharmaceutical uses. Schott and other companies manufacture 50 billion borosilicate glass containers each year to bring vaccines and other medical products to patients.

Like the soda-lime glass found in windowpanes or food and beverage containers, borosilicate glass is made primarily from silicon dioxide, the main constituent of sand. But soda-lime glass contains proportionally more sodium oxide, which is derived from sodium carbonate�also called soda ash�and more calcium oxide, which originates from calcium carbonate�limestone. Borosilicate glass has added boron oxide and other compounds that help stabilize the glass.

Borosilicate glass is a chemically inert material and remains unchanged under all normal environmental circumstances. It is stable and retains its shape at temperatures as high as 500 �C and as low as 0 �C. These properties allow borosilicate vials to store drugs safely and prevent contamination.

Pharmaceutical products really need to interact as little as possible with the packaging. Shifts in pH introduced by packaging can speed up degradation of delicate active ingredients. Metals or other contaminants can leach out of vials or other packaging materials, such as elastomer seals on tiny bottles. For some products, the migration of boron from vials can speed up degradation, meaning that borosilicate glass isn�t the best packaging material for them.

Borosilicate glass can�t rest on its laurels. Corning, maker of the popular Pyrex borosilicate glassware, and other companies are crafting medical vials made from novel materials. They say these materials resist the process of delamination, in which thin bits of glass flake�or spall�off the interior. The tiny chips of glass can interact with the ingredients in a vial, leading to drug degradation.

Regardless of the materials they use for medical vials, manufacturers across the globe are stepping up output to meet demand for packaging COVID-19 vaccines. DWK Life Sciences announced earlier this month that it was expanding and modernizing its facility in Tennessee to double production capacity for its borosilicate glass vials. The company makes products with brand names familiar to those working in laboratories�Duran, Wheaton, and Kimble.

Meanwhile, Italy�s Stevanato Group inked a deal in June with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) to supply 100 million borosilicate glass vials. Each will hold 20 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. CEPI, a partnership founded in 2017 to develop vaccines for future epidemics, has formed a coalition with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the global vaccine alliance Gavi. The coalition, called Covax, intends to distribute 2 billion doses of a COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021.

I�m sure we can all agree on one thing. We just want it to be over with.

KVM vs OpenVZ. Which One Is Better?

Reading Time: 5 minutes

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KVM vs OpenVZ. Which Virtual Private Server Virtualization is Best for You?

There are many Virtualization software’s – VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, Virtuozzo/OpenZV, Parallels, Citrix XenServer, KVM, & SolusVM – out there to choose from, but for this article, we are going to focus on two of the most popular ones that are in use in most production systems.

“KVM vs OpenVZ, which virtualization is better for me” is a question that comes up often when a client is looking into a VPS, Virtual Private Server. Once you have compared RAM and disk space specs, take a look into which virtualization web hosts offer.

OpenVZ vs KVM

First of all, the most basic difference between OpenVZ and KVM is that OpenVZ can only host Linux operating systems, while KVM is more flexible and can host Linux, Windows, and custom OS options.

Both a good and bad of OpenVZ is the complete sharing of resources it allows. OpenVZ uses a shared kernel with a layer of virtualization on top of the actual Linux OS. Since this kernel is shared by all VPS users on the node, the kernel is not customizable. Once you have hit your allocated RAM provided to you by the host, the remaining RAM becomes a free for all for users on the server. This is not a problem if you run small applications, but you may be in trouble if you are running something more resource intensive.

KVM allows you to set maximum and minimum values to your resources, so that you only use the resources your applications need. This is real hardware virtualization, meaning better performance from lower requirements on the hypervisor. 100% of the RAM and disk resources are dedicated to one individual user. KVM provides a more isolated environment and gives users their own kernel.

The risk of overselling has been a recurring problem for some time, but then again, server hardware can get seriously expensive depending on the ordered configuration. Overselling is where a host will over commit resources to certain accounts hoping that not every account uses up all those resources. While everything can be oversold, beware of shady hosting companies over committing OpenVZ systems and putting you on a system with too many containers. KVM can also be oversold, but it’s better isolated. Since OpenVZ hosts are often oversold, OpenVZ servers are typically a cheaper cost than KVM servers.

OpenVZ provides the end user with speed and scaleability, and it’s more affordable. KVM offers private virtualized hardware including network card, disk and graphics adapter, and guaranteed resources for increased reliability and customization. KVM packages are ideal for serious resellers, game servers, small businesses, and medium sized enterprises.

If you are a host selling to your clients, OpenVZ is easier to set-up and maintain properly, while KVM takes much more networking knowledge. OpenVZ and their templates are more beginner friendly in that aspect. If you are simply an end user, don’t worry and go with a managed infrastructure provider.