Trending February 2024 # Review: Satechi’s Aluminum Imac Stand Affords Handy, Front # Suggested March 2024 # Top 10 Popular

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Satechi’s Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub is designed to elevate Apple’s all-in-one iMac while providing the added functionality of a hub with front-facing ports. Should you consider it over other iMac stands? Watch our hands-on video review for the details.

Specifications

Aluminum construction

Space saving design

Supports up to 31 pounds

Built-in cable management

SD & Micro SD Card Slots

Audio jack port

3 x USB Type-A ports

1 x USB Type-C port

Price: $89.99

Unboxing and design observations

Unboxing the Satechi Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub (we’ll just call it the Satechi iMac Stand from here on out) is a straightforward affair. A relatively simple cardboard box and some styrofoam to protect its contents is about all you’ll find outside of the product itself.

The majority of the iMac Stand, outside of the hub on the underside, is comprised of a solid piece of aluminum. Underneath the raised legs, which create an elevated shelf-like effect on a desktop surface, you’ll find four rubber feet to keep the Satechi iMac Stand nice and secure on its resting area.

I’m not a fan of how the rubber feet poke through the aluminum to attach to the underside of the stand. It means that you’re constantly subjected to look at the little rubber nibs that stick through the surface for the two front feet. One could say that I’m nitpicking, but I consider it a valid criticism since it’s front and center on your desk.

Satechi Aluminum iMac Stand video review

Special thanks to Skylum, creators of Luminar 3 for sponsoring 9to5Mac on YouTube.

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iMac stand properties

Satechi offers its stand in both space gray and silver aluminum colors. The company sent over its silver model for me to test, which doesn’t look bad when paired with my space gray iMac Pro, but would probably look somewhat better underneath a standard 5K iMac. “Installing” the stand takes only a few seconds, although depending on how much cable mess you have behind your iMac, lifting it and resting it on the stand could prove to be challenging.

The Satechi iMac Stand will provide iMac users with close to two inches of additional height, which could make a big difference in usability considering that the iMac has no built-in vertical adjustment. The added height is nice, if not a bit limited. It’s worth noting that other stands, like Twelve South’s HiRise Pro, provide several different height settings and can raise you iMac significantly higher.

Speaking of the Twelve South HiRise Pro, it features a substantial storage area that can be hidden behind its magnetic front cover. Satechi’s stand also creates a storage area underneath the iMac with about an inch of clearance. This area might be handy for storing small accessories — I use it to store my space gray Magic Trackpad — but it’s not large or accessible enough to provide a lot of extra storage benefits.

Connecting to iMac

Below the top surface of the stand is where you’ll find the location of the 7-port front-facing hub. The hub comes with a permanently attached USB-C uplink cable, and features a cable management area on the underside to store said cable. The uplink can be connected directly to one of the USB-C ports on your iMac, or you have the option of using the included USB-C to USB-A adapter in an effort to keep the iMac’s precious Thunderbolt 3 ports free.

I, of course, opted to use the included adapter, because using the USB-C ports provides no measurable benefit over using USB-A. At the end of the day this is still just a standard USB 3.0 connection (5Gbps), so it makes no sense to use up a Thunderbolt 3 port when a USB-A port can provide the same functionality.

Lots of ports, but limited in scope

One of the best and worst qualities about the iMac is its rear-facing I/O, because you’re provided with a clean front design experience at the expense of easy I/O access. Personally speaking, I think Apple made the right decision to stick with rear-facing I/O, but that doesn’t make it any less annoying when attempting to connect accessories.

Having access to 7 different ports thanks to Satechi’s Hub is nice, but you’ll need to temper your expectations as far as performance is concerned. For starters, the SD Card slot is not UHS-II-enabled, meaning it’s noticeably slower than the built-in SD Card slot on the iMac Pro. For 5K iMac users, this won’t be a big deal.

The USB-C port is also just a USB port, meaning you can’t connect a Thunderbolt 3 accessory to the front-facing I/O and expect it to work. Again, this might seem obvious, but it’s worth noting. Satechi also notes that the USB-C port isn’t intended for charging other devices. In other words, it’s primarily designed around transferring data between your Mac and the connected accessory.

That’s not to say that having quick USB, SD Card, and headphone jack access isn’t nice. In fact, I find myself at times using the SD Card slot on front due to the convenience, even though I know it’ll be slower than the SD Card slot built in to my iMac.

9to5Mac’s Take

At first glance, the $89.99 asking price for the Satechi stand seems a little on the expensive side, but if you price a hub that attaches to the bottom of your iMac for front-facing I/O, along with a basic stand, the price seems reasonable for what you get.

The Satechi Aluminum Monitor Stand Hub for iMac is a good product, and will prove to be useful for those looking to slightly raise their iMac display off the desktop. It’s especially useful for someone like me, who utilizes an adjustable standing desk.

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Owc Envoy Pro Elektron Ssd Review: Handy, Rugged, And Fast

External storage devices – Some use/need it for backups, while some carry it around for extra storage space. Whatever your purpose, the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron SSD, winner of the CES Innovation Award 2023, can fit into everyone’s list of requirements.

The device is compact, easy-to-handle, durable, and offers high-speed data transfer. But should you pick it or skip it? Check out my hands-on review for the answer.

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron SSD: An overview and technical specifications

They call this device, “The fastest, toughest mini-sized USB-C bus-powered SSD enclosure in the universe.”

And I have to agree with them, at most points; it is mini, fast, and tough. Both the exterior and interior of the Envoy Pro Elektron are designed to lend a smooth and convenient experience.

Let’s look at the device’s technical specifications:

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron for Mac: Design and storage

Crafted from aircraft-grade aluminum, Envoy Pro Elektron perfectly matches the silver finish of a MacBook. The pocket-friendly SSD is small enough to fit in my palm and weighs just 85 g.

And despite the dainty profile, there is nothing delicate about it. On the contrary, the all-metal exterior offers waterproof, dustproof, and crushproof protection.

Furthermore, its rubber feet prevent the SSD from slipping and keeps your desk scratch-free. So, whether it sits at your desk at home/office or travels with you across seven seas, the Envoy Pro Elektron is well-suited for all occasions.

As for storage, there is no compromise there as well. Let me put that in perspective by illustrating some examples. My 1TB drive can hold up to:

4.3 million MS Office documents

200,000 photos

200 high-definition movies

41.6 hours of GoPro 4K footage

24+ PS4/Xbox games

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron USB-C SSD: Hardware and performance

OWC packs some of the best technologies currently available. Thanks to the Asmedia ASM-2362 controller and NVMe M.2 interface, Envoy Pro Elektron is roughly twice as fast as compared to previous generations of SSDs.

As per OWC, if all systems are a go, the drive can offer up to 1011MB/s sequential read/write performance. However, it fell a little short on the claim and averaged around 930MB/s read/write speed in our tests.

Notably, that’s definitely not a bad score and at par with its competitors. And with these numbers, you can directly play your favorite game without lag, efficiently edit large videos on the run, and more.

OWC Envoy Pro Elektron SSD: Compatibility 

A great thing about Envoy Pro Elektron is its wide plug and play compatibility, from Big Sur to Sierra, iPadOS to Windows.

Additionally, it accompanies a Type-C cable with a tethered Type-A adaptor to incorporate support for Thunderbolt 3, USB-C, and USB-A devices.

What’s more? You can also boot the device as per your need, from single APFS, HFS+, exFAT, etc.

Envoy Pro Elektron also comes with Acronis True Image OEM software. It enables flexible backup options – weekly, monthly, or non-stop backups, and safeguards from data threats like malware, ransomware, or cryptojackers.

Our verdict: Is OWC Elektron SSD worthy for Mac users?

From the sleek, silver design and Thunderbolt 3 support to high-speed performance and robust build, everything on the OWC Envoy Pro Elektron feature list is on-point for a Mac user.

Pros

Masterfully engineered form factor

3-year warranty

High read and write speed

Free backup and data protection software

Cons

A bit on the expensive side

Speed boost limited to compatible devices

Buy now

Author Profile

Arshmeet

A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.

15 Handy Tools For Hands

Digital marketing tools to support your content marketing

Content can help you to craft a story about your business to help you connect further with your customers and to share your unique values, showcasing the personality of your brand.

It’s not easy to get started with your content marketing strategy.  Before any success story can be realized, a business needs to have the right tools in place to be in a better position to fulfil the business goals. Think in the lines of a marketer or a journalist and create content that is not only informative but interesting as well. You need to keep your audience intrigued so that they can keep on coming back for more.

These are the tools I find indispensable for content marketing. How many do you use?

Tools for content research and discovery

1. Google Trends

With this tool at your disposal, it can go a long way in helping you to track the popularity of keywords in Google Search over a specified period of time. Google Trends also allows you to see the things that are appealing and popular among people.

2. Topsy

An awesome tool when it comes to identifying trending topics and shareable ideas. The tool is available as both a free and paid version to match the needs of its users. Topsy has the ability to search content across links, tweets, videos and photos to address the multiple needs of the users. Besides, in addition to Topsy you may also try such tools as Wefollow and Ritetag.

3. BuzzSumo

This is research a specific keyword to identify the content that is being shared the most relating to the keyword. With these search recommendations, you can then create your own.

4. Alltop

Upon selection of a keyword, Alltop will provide you with an array of articles which you can use to generate ideas for your own content. The results you get are strictly linked to the keyword you input into the tool.

5. HootSuite

Hootesuite is very effective especially when it comes to managing multiple social media accounts. It’s a free tool and this is why I am homing in on it, even though there are an array of automation tools available which are paid services. This platform helps the user to successfully synchronize the different social media accounts. In addition to this, it is also effective in helping on find new topic ideas for your audience.   

Tools for content creation

6. Copyscape

Your content needs to be unique and original. Part of ensuring this is possible is through protecting your online content. Copyscape is designed to help you ensure that the content you create is 100% unique and original. Plagiarism is not tolerated anywhere and with Copyscape, you are guaranteed protection.

7. Google Keyword Planner Tool

8. Portent

The fact that Portent provides you working titles that can help you build content can be seen an effective way of getting you started with your content. In most cases, this is normally seen as the hardest part during content creation. Simply just type in the keyword and the tool will generate titles.

9. Wordcounter

Besides just helping you get the correct count of your words and character, Wordcounter by Essaymama is also capable of identifying words and phrases that are most repeated hence giving you an opportunity to make adjustments.

10. Canva

Content creation also involves images and graphics. In fact, visual content is believed to have carry more weight as compared to non-visual content. Canva is a tool that is designed to help the user generate beautiful graphics without even the need of having a designer’s skills. The program was developed with a very simple interface that allows you to drag and drop content before creating the graphics.

11. ThingLink

This interactive media tool is ideal for creating engaging content. It does this by helping the user to add amazing media links to photos and videos. The program can be used to create interactive news photography, maps, posters, infographics and catalogues amongst other types of media.

12. Piktochart

This stunning tool is designed to offer assistance when it comes to creating infographics. Piktochart comes with well over 100 theme elements that can be used in the process together with images found in the library. You can also opt to upload your own images and use them as you please. In addition to Piktochart you may also want to try Infogra.me.

Tools to help with content planning

13. Sprout Social

This scheduler is designed as a social media monitoring tool that has the ability of allowing its users to schedule messages and posts on the different social media channels including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Besides just queuing posts and cross-post content, Sprout Social can also allow you to integrate RSS feeds for sharing.

14. Gather Content

This involves a simple procedure using site mapping tools to easily consolidate content in a new website or even in the case of redesigning the site. Using the drag and drop technique, you can simply organize the way the content appears in the website, it makes it easier to structure the entire workflow. Planning involves increasing pages, collecting content, uploading the data and finally saving. The project can be managed by assigning pages, creating due dates, deliberating content elements, and establishing status approvals and transferring the contents to the desired CMS.

15. Compendium

Most if not all businesses strive to maintain a consistent message for their brand. Compendium is a program that is specifically designed to help you with that. The tool allows you to easily create and place appealing content both from inside and outside your company.

So those are my 15 recomended tools – how do yours compare – are there others which you would choose instead?

Eu Takes A Stand With Ai Rules

In a revolutionary move, the European Union (EU) has successfully passed The Artificial Intelligence Act, a draft law that seeks to regulate the use of artificial intelligence (AI). This significant development marks a crucial step in establishing guidelines for AI governance and may serve as a global model for policymakers. Let’s delve into the details of this landmark legislation that aims to balance reaping AI’s benefits and safeguarding against potential risks.

Also Read: Microsoft Takes the Lead: Urgent Call for AI Rules to Safeguard Our Future

The Artificial Intelligence Act: Establishing Regulatory Boundaries

The EU’s recently passed draft law sets forth a comprehensive framework to govern the utilization of AI. As one of the first regulatory initiatives of its kind, this act is poised to shape the future of AI deployment. By recognizing the potential societal benefits of AI while acknowledging its inherent risks, the EU is taking a proactive stance in ensuring responsible AI development.

Also Read: UK Takes the Lead: Hosting the First Global Summit on Artificial Intelligence

Striving for Balance: Objectives of The AI Act

The proposal emphasizes the EU’s commitment to achieving a balanced approach to AI regulation. The suggested framework aims to address four primary objectives:

Ensuring the safety and compliance of AI systems with existing laws on fundamental rights and Union values.

Providing legal certainty to foster investment and innovation in AI.

Strengthening governance and enforcing laws related to fundamental rights and safety requirements applicable to AI systems.

Promoting the development of a unified market for lawful, safe, and trustworthy AI applications while preventing market fragmentation.

Also Read: OpenAI and DeepMind Collaborate with UK Government to Advance AI Safety and Research

Categorizing AI Applications: Assessing Risk

To effectively manage AI risks, the proposed act categorizes AI applications based on their potential risk levels. Unacceptable risks will be strictly prohibited, including violations of fundamental rights, manipulative techniques, and social scoring. High-risk applications, such as resume-scanning tools prone to bias, will face mandatory requirements and undergo thorough conformity assessments. On the other hand, applications posing low or minimal risks will continue to be permitted without limitations. The bill’s annexes provide additional clarity on the intended applications for each risk category.

Also Read: Google Rolls Out SAIF Framework to Make AI Models Safer

Global Context: AI Governance Around the World

The EU’s decisive action comes amidst a global conversation surrounding regulating AI technologies. China recently passed similar legislation, reflecting the growing recognition of the need for comprehensive AI governance. On a similar front, Italy decided to ban the AI chatbot ChatGPT, while Canada, opened an investigation into the use of the chatbot. Additionally, G-7 world leaders collectively acknowledge the urgency of establishing international standards to effectively regulate AI technology.

Also Read: China’s Proposed AI Regulations Shake the Industry

Our Say

With the passage of The Artificial Intelligence Act, the EU has taken a significant stride toward responsible AI governance. By categorizing AI applications based on risk and establishing clear guidelines, the EU aims to ensure AI systems’ safe, ethical, and beneficial deployment. This groundbreaking legislation sets the stage for other governing bodies worldwide to develop comprehensive AI regulations, ultimately shaping a future where AI thrives in harmony with societal values and fundamental rights.

Related

The Most Popular Build Tools For Front

So, what are build tools, exactly? Well, they’re a set of tools that help you automate repetitive tasks, optimize your code, and improve your workflow. There are three main categories of build tools: task runners, bundlers, and compilers.

Task runners are tools that automate repetitive tasks such as testing, linting, and minifying code. Bundlers allow developers to bundle multiple files into one file, reducing load times and improving performance. Compilers enable developers to write code in one language and compile it into another, such as using TypeScript to write JavaScript code.

Using build tools has several benefits to improve the development workflow, including reducing development time, improving code quality, and streamlining the deployment process.

By automating repetitive tasks, optimizing code, and providing real-time feedback on errors and code quality, build tools help improve the overall developer experience and make development less stressful.

Let’s look at the currently most popular build tools that front-end developers are using:

RankToolDescriptionStars1ViteNext generation frontend tooling. It’s fast!53.4k2TurboIncremental bundler and build system optimized for JavaScript and TypeScript, written in Rust – including Turbopack and Turborepo.19.8k3swcSWC is a super-fast TypeScript / JavaScript compiler written in Rust.26.4k4NxNx is a next generation build system with first class monorepo support and powerful integrations.16.7k5RomeRome is a formatter, linter, bundler, and more for JavaScript, TypeScript, JSON, HTML, Markdown, and CSS.22.6k6esbuildAn extremely fast bundler for the web34.7k7LernaLerna is a fast, modern build system for managing and publishing multiple JavaScript/TypeScript packages from the same repository.34.3k8WebpackWebpack is a module bundler. Its main purpose is to bundle JavaScript files for usage in a browser, yet it is also capable of transforming, bundling, or packaging just about any resource or asset.62.6k9ParcelThe zero configuration build tool for the web.42.1k10RollupNext-generation ES module bundler23kThis data is accurate as of March 2023; it is gathered from numerous surveys and overall GitHub activity for the last 12 months.

If we look back at the last year, the popularity of Vite has been on the rise and has surpassed its predecessor, Snowpack. Along with Vite, Nx and Turborepo are the rising build tools for monorepo, and Nx has recently taken over the maintenance of Lerna.

Although Babel is still popular, swc and esbuild have been adopted by many projects and meta-frameworks for better build and transpilation performance.

Last year, during the chúng tôi Conf, Vercel announced Turbopack, a new and fast bundler in Rust, and Rome has released its first stable version, including a linter and formatter. The adoption of Rome is currently low, but it could increase in the coming year.

Alright, let’s move on to looking at each tool individually.

Vite is a modern build tool that provides fast and efficient development workflows for web applications. Developed by Evan You, the creator of the popular front-end framework chúng tôi Vite is designed to be flexible and adaptable, with support for a wide range of front-end frameworks and libraries.

Vite offers a number of benefits over traditional build tools like Webpack and Rollup, including faster build times and hot module replacement. Vite achieves these benefits by using a modern development server that leverages native ES modules in the browser. This allows Vite to provide fast and efficient development workflows, with instant updates and live reloading.

Key Features of Vite:

Fast builds

First-party hot module replacement (HMR) integrations for Vue Single File Components and React Fast Refresh

Supports importing multiple modules from the file system

Supports CSS @import inlining via PostCSS plugins

Supports CSS modules

Lazy-loading of matched files via dynamic import

Vite also offers support for a wide range of front-end frameworks and libraries, including chúng tôi React, Angular, and Preact. This makes Vite a great choice for developers who work with multiple frameworks, as it provides a consistent and flexible development workflow.

Turborepo is a high-performance build system designed specifically for TypeScript and JavaScript projects. It offers a range of powerful features, such as fast incremental builds, local and distributed computation caching, local task orchestration, dependency graph visualization, and source code sharing. One of the key features of Turborepo is its ability to adapt and scale incrementally, making it easy to add to an existing codebase in just a few minutes. Turborepo improves task speed through intelligent scheduling, minimizing idle CPU usage.

Remote caching is a vital feature of Turborepo that enables builds to achieve lightning-fast build times by sharing compiled computations and code artifacts on Vercel. This feature allows for efficient sharing of caches among team members and reduces the need for constant re-compiling, re-testing, or re-running of unchanged code.

In addition to remote caching, Turborepo provides support for pruning for all major package managers and supports polyrepo. It also features incremental builds, context-aware hashing, zero runtime overhead, pruned subsets, and integration with Lerna.

SWC (stands for “Speedy Web Compiler”) is a fast and modern JavaScript/TypeScript compiler that provides a faster and more efficient alternative to Babel. Developed by the Rust programming language community, SWC is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Babel, with faster compilation times and better performance.

SWC achieves its fast compilation times by using a Rust-based compiler that is significantly faster than Babel’s JavaScript-based compiler. This allows SWC to provide faster and more efficient builds, with significant improvements in build times and overall performance.

SWC also offers support for a wide range of modern JavaScript and TypeScript features, including async/await, decorators, and class properties. This makes SWC a great choice for developers who work with modern web frameworks and libraries.

Nx is a powerful and extensible set of tools for building monorepo-based applications. Developed by the team behind Angular, Nx provides a number of benefits over traditional build tools, including faster builds, improved code sharing, and better team collaboration.

Nx achieves its faster builds by leveraging the power of monorepos. With Nx, you can organize your code into a single repository that contains all of your applications, libraries, and shared code. This allows Nx to perform incremental builds that only rebuild the parts of your code that have changed, resulting in faster and more efficient builds.

Nx also offers support for a wide range of front-end frameworks and libraries, including Angular, React, and chúng tôi This makes Nx a great choice for developers who work with multiple frameworks and want to share code between them.

In addition, Nx provides a number of tools for improving team collaboration, including dependency graph visualization, code linting, and code formatting. This makes it easier for teams to work together and ensures that code is consistent and maintainable.

Rome is an all-in-one toolchain for building modern JavaScript applications. Developed by the team at Facebook, Rome aims to provide a unified and streamlined approach to building, testing, and deploying JavaScript applications.

Rome offers a number of benefits over traditional build tools, including faster build times, improved error handling, and better performance. Rome achieves these benefits by using a modern and modular architecture that is designed for performance and scalability.

In addition, Rome provides a number of tools for improving developer productivity, including automated linting, formatting, and testing. This makes it easier for developers to focus on writing high-quality code, rather than worrying about the details of the build process.

esbuild is a blazing-fast JavaScript bundler and minifier that offers significant improvements in build times and overall performance. Developed by Evan Wallace, esbuild aims to be the fastest JavaScript bundler and minifier in the market, with build times that are up to 100 times faster than its competitors.

esbuild achieves its fast build times by using a Go-based compiler that is significantly faster than the JavaScript-based compilers used by other bundlers. This allows esbuild to provide near-instantaneous build times, even for large and complex applications.

esbuild also offers support for a wide range of modern JavaScript features, including JSX, TypeScript, and CSS. This makes esbuild a great choice for developers who work with modern web frameworks and libraries.

In addition, esbuild provides a number of tools for improving developer productivity, including code splitting, tree shaking, and dead code elimination. This makes it easier for developers to focus on writing high-quality code, rather than worrying about the details of the build process.

Lerna is a popular tool for managing multi-package repositories with git and npm. Developed by the team at Babel, Lerna provides a number of benefits for developers working with large codebases, including improved collaboration, better dependency management, and faster release cycles.

Lerna achieves its benefits by providing a number of tools for managing packages within a monorepo, including versioning, publishing, and testing. With Lerna, you can manage your packages as a single entity, with shared dependencies and consistent versioning.

In addition, Lerna provides a number of tools for improving collaboration, including changelogs, release notes, and automated testing. This makes it easier for teams to work together and ensures that code is consistent and maintainable.

One of the key features of Webpack is its ability to handle complex module dependencies. Webpack can dynamically load and manage dependencies, which means that you can import code from other files in a way that is easy to manage and maintain. Additionally, Webpack can analyze your code and create a dependency graph, which can help you identify and manage complex module interdependencies.

Webpack also includes a powerful plugin system that allows you to extend its functionality and customize the build process to suit your specific needs. For example, there are plugins available that can help you optimize your code, minimize the size of your output files, and even generate HTML templates.

Another major benefit of Webpack is its support for modern web development practices. For example, Webpack can handle modern JavaScript features such as ES6 modules, which allows you to write cleaner and more maintainable code. Webpack can also integrate with popular front-end frameworks such as React and chúng tôi which makes it an ideal choice for building modern web applications.

Parcel is an open-source, zero-configuration build tool that aims to eliminate the complexity and configuration required by traditional bundlers like Webpack and Browserify. Parcel uses a multi-core compilation to provide fast and efficient builds, making it an ideal choice for small to medium-sized projects.

Parcel also includes hot module replacement (HMR), which enables developers to make changes to their code and see the results instantly in the browser without refreshing the page. HMR also preserves the state of the application, making it possible to retain user input and other important data during development.

One of the key benefits of using Parcel is its ability to detect and install the necessary dependencies for a project automatically. This means that developers can focus on writing code instead of managing dependencies and configurations. Additionally, Parcel offers a flexible plugin system that allows developers to customize their builds by adding or removing specific features based on their project requirements.

Rollup is a module bundler that allows developers to create smaller and more efficient JavaScript bundles for their web applications. The basic idea behind Rollup is to take a set of input modules, analyze them, and then generate a single output file that includes only the code needed to run the application. This approach can significantly reduce the size of the final JavaScript bundle and improve performance.

One of the key features of Rollup is its ability to perform tree-shaking. This is the process of analyzing the dependencies between modules and removing any code that is not actually used in the application. Tree-shaking can result in significant reductions in file size, as unused code is removed from the final bundle.

Rollup is designed to work well with modern JavaScript modules, such as those written in ES6 or TypeScript. It can also handle CommonJS modules, which are used by many popular libraries and frameworks. Rollup provides a plugin architecture that allows developers to extend its functionality and integrate with other tools and workflows.

Rollup is highly configurable, with many options and settings that can be customized to suit the needs of a particular project. For example, developers can choose to output code in different formats, such as CommonJS, AMD, or ES modules. They can also specify which parts of the code should be treated as external dependencies, and which should be included in the bundle.

Summary

It’s important to learn build tools even if you’ve never used them before because they are essential tools for modern web development. By automating repetitive tasks and optimizing code, build tools can help you write better code more quickly and efficiently.

Some of the benefits of using build tools include the following:

Automated workflows: Automate repetitive tasks, such as compiling code, compressing files, and optimizing images. This saves time and reduces the risk of human error.

Code quality: Build tools can help ensure that code is formatted correctly, follows best practices, and is optimized for performance.

Modularity and scalability: You can organize code into modules, making it easier to manage and scale projects over time.

Faster development: Build tools can speed up the development process by providing features like live reloading, which automatically refreshes the browser when changes are made to the code.

Compatibility: Build tools can help ensure that code is compatible with different browsers and devices, improving the user experience.

They are also a key part of the development workflow for many companies, so having experience with build tools can be an asset when applying for jobs or working on collaborative projects.

A Front Man For Your Brand: The Community Manager

The makings of the ideal Community Manager

In a recent post on Smart Insights, Steve Kitt laid out some solid reasons why companies should consider having their own online community.  Steve makes a good argument, but even if you have your own community and manager, your brand will be fodder for discussion on other communities you have no control over and that’s why having a community manager (CM) is important for every company.

The reason you need a community manager is not only because you need someone to build or manage your own “walled” community, but because you need someone to represent you in all communities across multiple channels where people are talking about your brand. A company does not have to have its own online forum to have a community manager. A brand’s community stretches across a multitude of channels.

A virtual diplomat

In today`s interactive social media charged world where word-of-mouth is so powerful, your brand really does need a voice and that voice needs to be strong and mellifluous.  By that I mean your community manager (much like a diplomat) must understand what approach to apply depending on the situation at hand.  Or to put it another way, one of the most important skills of a good community manager is knowing that it’s just as important how you say something as what you say. Of course, this gets even trickier when you are bereft of such things as intonation, expression and body language — much like diplomacy, this is more art than science.

A thick skin covering a warm heart Effective communicator externally and internally

A community manager also needs to be able to bundle up their natural enthusiasm and passion and conduct successful campaigns across multiple departmental lines in an organization. You have to know how to talk to different levels of the corporate pyramid and effectively put unfamiliar terms and situations into a comfortable frame of reference for various decision makers. It`s entirely up to the CM to communicate social priorities and situations to the C-suite people in any given company. If these priorities are being overlooked, the first place to look for a problem is in the approach of the CM.

Unlike a social media manager, the CM isn`t responsible for the channels, but the interactions which take place on them and that means one has to be a people person. I might go even further and suggest a good community manager should be someone who`s not just a people watcher, but a committed student of human nature.  That fascination with human nature is something which drives many of the best community managers I know.

A CM has to be both a good listener and a good talker, but be a good listener first and always. Understand the issues and concerns of the communities the brand serves and communicate them clearly to the organization. The CM also has to be good at gathering information and connecting people to solutions, where often those solutions are in the form of other people. The community manager is essentially the host of the cocktail party, making the introductions and keeping things humming.

Community involvement

When your brand does decide to recruit a community manager, make sure you seek someone who understands that they must be part of the communities the company serves to be effective. This means making a sincere effort to understand the community members and most importantly, adding value to the community and not just a sales pitch.

Good results take time

The benefits which come from effective community management are almost never quickly evident. In fact, those positive results may take months to be apparent to stake holders. I know when I was recruited by GetResponse, I made it clear it would take up to a year for them to see results of my work. Just less than a year later and I think I can safely say I`ve shown results for the GetResponse brand.

What`s the trick? There is none. I build relationships through hard work, sincerity, good nature and a sincere desire to help people. Perhaps what I like most about this career is that nice people can actually excel in it. This is one gig where caring and sharing really is important.

The front man profile

Look for a CM candidate who also has that “front man” profile. Someone who thrives at stepping out in front and grabbing that microphone, but also someone who understands they are part of a team. If your rock star doesn’t understand that it’s the whole band that rocks, then they need to have their guitar tuned.

CM is the new PR

Social media is impacting how brands view public relations. Communication is interactive now, so the focus is shifting from telling people what they should think to asking them what they do think and why. This means the community manager role is going to become more and more important to brands who want to be socially relevant.

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