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How to Use Technology to Expand Your Online Presence

There are a variety of ways to draw more traffic and new readers to your website, depending on the technology you are using. Technology has made many industries more efficient, especially if yours relies on the Internet to run the business and generate income. social-media-button

Here are some essential points if you have an online presence and are looking to manage it in the most productive way. Whether you’re talking about a blog, a website, or a social media profile, making recent advances in technology work for you will help you become more productive and increase your overall reach.

Social media

If you have a blog or website, you should try to employ other avenues to increase traffic and awareness. Having a social media site, or even a variety of different sites, will enable potential clients to find you easily.

If you have a site on Facebook or Twitter, customers can follow you and like your content, so it keeps them in the know about whatever new stuff you may be working on. Using Instagram or Vine is a creative way to upload photos and videos, so you can interact with your followers more easily.

No matter what social media platform you use, your goal should be to divert traffic back to your main site. If you can do that, you’ll experience an increase in traffic that will help increase your placement in SEO.

SEO

Speaking of SEO, you may not be clear about why it’s so important. SEO refers to the strategies you can use to raise your rank when a person searches online for the things you do. You want go get your SEO ranking as high as possible, so people will easily find you online.

The higher your site appears in searches, the greater the chance that people who are not specifically looking for you will be directed to your page. SEO can be increased by your overall presence online –- social media platforms contribute to this — and you can also rely on companies that specialize in SEO to help you increase your presence.

The value and importance of SEO can hardly be overstated; it’s something your company should manage constantly to ensure success.

Online presence management

When it comes to SEO and social media, it’s important for you to manage all your content through the technology that’s available to you. Of course, you can use your computer to log in and see how your profiles and pages are doing when you’re at home, but you can also use mobile programs when you’re on the go in order to make sure you don’t miss a beat when managing your content.

The more you can stay on top of things with technology, the more your presence will grow. This means more recognition and more viewers, which will increase the revenue you can generate from your site.

Technology has cleary played a central role in the growth of online businesses. And if you make an effort to maximize your social media presence and SEO rankings, you can increase your power online as well.

Lifestyle:

Will Your Job Be Taken Over By Technology?

Technological advances have brought us a long way, and in a world of convenience and instant benefits or rewards, society has come to expect super-human results from many services. While some jobs require humans to do them, there are many that technology has already replaced. technology1

Many more will be replaced as technology becomes increasingly more advanced and affordable to the masses.

White-collar jobs at risk for replacement

It used to be that white-collar jobs were considered some of the most stable in the country. A few decades ago, they were high-paying office jobs that only a few educated people could fill after having spent years studying business, law, administration, marketing, etc., at a university.

However, partly because recent trends in computer programming have incorporated automated processes into the workplace, to perform such tasks as analyze paperwork, check for plagiarism, and store/find files, these once-affluent jobs are disappearing at an alarming pace.

Administrative assistant, secretarial, and other “middle-class” jobs are going

Twenty years ago offices functioned largely on a ground-up promotion model. A prospective employee would begin by applying for an administrative assistant position or a secretarial position, and perhaps even a job in the mailroom, with the hope that he or she could rise through the ranks of the office to a position of significance and power.

These largely middle-class jobs guaranteed a relatively stable income while also providing on-the-job training and potential for getting ahead. But in today’s business of appointment-reminding apps, computer file storage, e-mail, and e-docs, clerical jobs are being cut by the dozens by companies who are searching for ways to save money and downsize their staff while maintaining operations.

These jobs are seen as expendable by most businesses, and will no longer provide an especially secure employment opportunity.

Tasks performed by doctors will be replaced by technology

While there’s a higher level of stability in becoming a doctor, that may not be quite as true in the future. With the increased use of sensors, scanning systems, etc., diagnostics is becoming an increasingly tech-based and tech-managed process. It’s been estimated that 80 percent of medical tasks that doctors currently perform could be taken over by technology.

This could lead to less time being spent by physicians with each patient. This will allow the doctors to see more people during a shift, and therefore it’s likely that hospitals and other medical facilities will not need to hire as many doctors.

Blue collar jobs are as stable as ever

While technology has certainly helped our society develop better and more efficient ways to build buildings, rewire homes, or fix cars, these are all very specific construction specialties that require a substantial amount of manpower.

The craftsmanship and expertise required for each of these jobs ensures that workers who hone and perfect their trade should be steadily employed for as long as buildings need to be built, cars are being driven, plumbing needs fixing, and so on.

While a computer can read a thousand-page document in a matter of minutes, it’s not able to protect a house from water damage by installing a water-powered sump pump.

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last update: October 20, 2014

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New Social Network Data Tells Marketers Where to Advertise

As businesses shift their advertising focus from static banner ads to mobile apps and social media, more research is going into finding out how customers respond to these new ad campaigns. While businesses can’t hope to reach their customer bases through traditional marketing alone, they can increase their advertising success by getting to know how customers interact with current platforms.

Social media is a company’s best tool for developing brand recognition with customers. Companies going through a rebranding process can use social media to inform people about upcoming changes and avoid a psychological and emotional backlash from customers who’ve been loyal for years.

Advertising through social media has a dark side, however. Along with the increased customer engagement and intimacy comes the possibility of misusing customer data. People who log into public forums, such as Facebook and Twitter, freely offer their demographic information and preferences when they create and use such accounts.

Fragmentation of social media means uneven advertising

A statistical index is needed to measure customer engagement with social media platforms and the amount of time they spend on each website. Forums such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and WhatsApp tend to occupy a customer’s attention to varying degrees and lengths of time.

Research firm BI Intelligence conducted a survey to measure customer engagement with various social media sites and the amount of time spent on each one. According to the survey:

  • Users spend almost four times as long on Facebook as its closest rival, Instagram

  • Users are more engaged with Facebook than with other platforms

  • Twitter attracts the next highest amount of users, followed by Snapchat and then WhatsApp

  • Users spend more time using social media websites than any other online communication platform, including email or instant messaging

  • More than half of social media users log into a mobile version of their favorite websites

Newcomers such as Tumblr and Pinterest plan to increase their audience engagement in the coming months. The new focus for social media is reaching users through multiple devices.

Social media outlets spread brand awareness

Recently, the German company Siemens AG rebranded itself as Unify after 165 years of existence. To ensure that loyal customers weren’t upset over the change, Siemens turned to Twitter and Facebook to address their concerns.

The marketing campaign raised average monthly Twitter impressions from 2 million to almost 37 million, and monthly Facebook views jumped from around 100,000 to almost 26 million. Along with all this social media activity came customer data in the form of demographic information and user preferences.

Data from Facebook comes at a cost for companies and users, however. Facebook sells user data to advertisers, and many customers have reacted angrily after learning that information about them and their online behavior has been used in advertising to their online friends and acquaintances.

Facebook’s enduring popularity means it can afford to sell data to advertisers. But companies have to be careful not to offend their customer base.

Gadgets:

How to Teach Children the Magic of Photography

 Photography is an exciting art form that has enchanted people of all ages for more than a century. Take, for example, the infamous Cottingley Fairies in the 1920s, when two children mystified the world with their imaginative photography experiment.

While the expense of photography and complexity of the chemical processes once prohibited most children — and even adults — from engaging in photographic experiments, the evolution of technology has made shooting photographs so easy and accessible today that any child who is old enough to hold a camera and push a button reliably is ready take up the hobby.

Cameras are now on the market designed expressly for children, made of rugged materials and featuring easy controls. In addition, once the camera hardware has been purchased, the expense is next to nothing, so long as the basic digital equipment to view the photos is already in the house.

Interesting ways that children are utilizing cameras

It really doesn’t take much encouragement to get kids to take pictures once they have a camera, but giving their interest a little direction can’t hurt. It’s natural for most people to photograph their friends as they smile and wave to the camera, or act silly.

Creativity in photography requires a little more thought, however. One way that you can encourage your children to explores the potentials of photographic technique is to organize picture scavenger hunts. A hunt can go beyond a simple checklist of objects the children have to find and shoot; instead, tell them to find situations or colors that encourage the child to put more thought into composition.

Encourage creativity in the young

Christine Dickson of the Digital Photography School suggests that contests are a great way to encourage and teach children about photography. You can motivate kids initially with the prospect of a piece of candy or trinket to win by competing for it, but once the child experiences the thrill of having other people look at and admire his or her photograph, taking pictures becomes its own reward.

Simple concepts, such as which photo is the most colorful, are easy for young minds to grasp, and help foster the creative process.

Important lessons to teach about photography

Darren Rowse of Digital Photography School suggests the most important thing to teach a child about photography is to experiment. Experimentation helps to expand the mind and encourages children to discover for themselves what works and what doesn’t.

This can mean anything from shooting from different angles, to photographing a subject at different times of the day to capture changing light. The main idea is to let a child explore how these changes affect the ultimate image, and thus avoid the natural impulse to photograph everything in the same way. Experimentation is what keeps photography interesting.

Photography is now such a staple of social existence that it’s become hard to imagine a world without it. Children often take the process and the skill involved for granted. But since photography has become so ubiquitous and commonplace, it’s perhaps even more important to help children understand the magic of picture-taking.

Lifestyle:

The Resurfacing of the U.S. Real Estate Market

It doesn’t seem that long ago that everyone was writing about the supposed death of the real estate market. The housing market appeared to have experienced a complete collapse; the mortgage industry attempted to stop the hemorrhaging of funds through toxic mortgage practices that produced an unprecedented number of defaulted loans.

Despite the common prediction that the industry had gone too far off of the edge for salvage, the market is currently making a powerful comeback and is approaching a stabilizing phase.

An improved scorecard

According to a scorecard produced every month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, home sales are on a steady rise while the increase in prices has begun to slow. This creates the perfect conditions for an even better year in 2014.

According to the scorecard, foreclosures are down. In January, a total of 30,226 homes underwent foreclosure, which was down more than 40 percent from the same month in 2013. New home purchases increased in the month of January as well. Purchases of new homes rose a total of 9.6 percent.

Rise in positive equity

The scorecard also revealed that homeowners’ equity continues to grow, which confirms the predictions of Erin Carlyle of Forbes. Carlyle predicted that not only would positive equity continue to grow, but the ability of potential homeowners to obtain loans would also increase.

She asserted that the projected rate increases will cause the refinance business that many lenders are relying so heavily on right now to recede; which will force lenders to loosen restrictions for new home loans.

A rise in inventory

One of the primary indicators of a stable housing and real estate market is available inventory. When demand is up but inventory is down, the prices tend to soar. This is simply an expression of supply and demand economics.

An article in the Huffington Post suggests that the inventory will reach traditional seasonal levels. This coincides with the data released by HUD. As the inventory continues to increase and potentially reach normal seasonal levels, the rise in prices will gradually slow, which will stabilize the market and encourage more purchase activity.

If and when the increase in home values levels off, the nation is likely to experience a slight decrease in home affordability. The rate of increase should slow dramatically when the rate at which the values are rising begins to slow.

If the market continues to grow, everyone should benefit. Homeowners will certainly experience benefits as they return from beneath the water and achieve positive equity in their homes.

Home sellers should receive significantly more for their properties than they could have anticipated only a couple of years ago. Buyers will be able to find properties that increase in value, and also have a much easier time securing the necessary financing.

For major real estate brokers that handle massive volumes of transactions, such as Keller Williams, this is great news. The market is primed for some rich activity in 2014.

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Mobile:

Cracked Smartphones and Tablets Lead To Repair Dilemmas

Consumers have found that their handheld devices, whether smartphones or tablets, have become critical everyday tools.

But the moment a device cracks, its structural integrity is compromised. Moisture and debris quickly infiltrate even the smallest hairline cracks.

When it comes time to arranges for repairs or replacement, consumers have several options today.

Repair it

A phone may have a simple crack to the front display glass. Most consumers can find replacement parts online, or even in retail stores, to replace the glass themselves.

However, a poorly installed part can lead to even more electronic problems, such as printed circuit board shorts and component failures. However, electronic resellers typically offer a repair service. Consumers pay for parts and labor, and receive their phone back with a brand-new look.

Essentially, you need to weigh the pros and cons of paying for labor versus doing the repair yourself.

Ask for a warranty

If consumers decide to repair their devices on their own, there’s no inherent warranty, unless the repair part is defective. If you rely on a repair shop, its warranty information should be clearly stated on the estimate paperwork.

Read all the pertinent information to stay informed of everyone’s rights and responsibilities. If the device is relatively new, say three months old, send it back to the manufacturer. Depending on the original warranty, the device could be repaired for free.

Rely on insurance

Consumers have the option of purchasing insurance when buying a device. Depending on the policy, you’ll receive a new or refurbished phone in the event of severe damage.

However, it’s critical to understand the deductible amount. With some deductibles as high as $100, the insurance may not be a good deal. A new phone could be purchased fior that amount, rather than placing it toward a deductible for a possibly used device.

Pay for new

If your device fails completely, and it isn’t under the original warranty, a brand-new phone may be your only choice. With contracts typically lasting two years, you could be relegated to paying full price for the device.

Under a contract, consumers pay a partial amount, based on the provider’s stipulations. A phone bought outright under a previous contract is not discounted, unless the provider pro-rates it. Talking to a provider may help you save some money with a discounted phone, especially if the customer is a good-standing account.

Refurbished like new

Consumers shouldn’t discount the value of refurbished devices. The manufacturer usually strips the device down, updates any hardware, and adds new software. It returns as a practically new device at a reasonable price.

Consumers with expensive phones to replace, especially for teenagers, can benefit from a refurbished model, which provides the same access to apps and communications without such a high price tag. The manufacturer has already gotten a profit on the device, so it can offer more movement on pricing compared to newer models.

As the electronics world continues to expand, consumers will be faced with even more choices between repairs and replacements. With smart negotiations and attention to contractual details, you can save money on your favorite devices.

Social:

Google’s Search Results Currently Favor Brands

It’s no secret that most SEO strategies that used to work a few years ago get little or no results since the latest Google algorithm updates. What does Google want? Should you focus solely on social media?

According to Internet marketing experts, Google’s search results favor brands. If you want to get top rankings, you need to establish your brand.

Start by publishing quality content on your site or blog. Stay active on the major social networks and connect with your audience. Create and promote your own products to increase brand awareness and expand your reach.

Building a powerful brand takes time and money, but it’s well worth the effort.

Develop quality links

Marketers can build brand awareness by obtaining quality links. Guest posting, article submission, and press release distribution are some of the best ways to obtain links from highly relevant sites.

To get started, look for authoritative sites and blogs in your niche. The ones you choose should be relevant to your audience and provide excellent value. Focus on websites that your prospects are actually reading.

Approach the owners of those sites and offer to write guest posts for them. Provide fresh content that has not been published before. Always ask yourself: “How can readers benefit from this?”

Every time you publish guest posts, you’ll receive an author box where you can insert a short bio with a link to your site or blog. This is a great way to build your brand and establish your authority online. Guest posting can drive massive traffic to your website and help you get quality links.

Focus on social media

Social media marketing is one of the most powerful branding tools. Choose up to four social networks that are relevant to your audience, build your profile, and share content.

Be consistent and interact with your prospects. Show your human face and give customers a reason to choose your brand. Gather information about your audience and publish substantive content that will improve their lives.

Stay up to date on the latest social media news and use this information to improve your marketing campaign. Remember that brands must provide real value in order to be meaningful.

Take the time to share interesting stories, product reviews, how-to articles, video tutorials, infographics, and other types of content. Publish brand stories that build emotional connections.

Build personal relationships

Connect with other bloggers and let them know about your brand. Use social media sites to interact with your prospects. Leave comments on their posts, reply to their questions, and show how much you care about their opinion.

For example, if you launch a new product, ask your potential clients to share their thoughts. Encourage them to write reviews and testimonials.

Online branding is all about building relationships. Provide real value to your audience and you’ll soon reap the benefits. Write content with your customers in mind, request feedback, and create products that reflect your brand and values.

Reward your visitors with free books, coupons, and special offers. If you want to stand out from the crowd, dare to be different and create a unique brand.

Clean:

4 Technological Advances That Have Transformed Home Improvement

Any homeowner or Pinterest user is probably aware that there are dozens of ways, both large and small, a home or apartment can be improved or revamped. Whether you’re giving your home a makeover to add value as you prepare to sell, or you just want to create some extra comfort and luxury for yourself and your family, remodeling has never been easier.

We largely have recent technological advances to thank for this. People might not readily think about the ways technology affects various industries and their daily activities, but they’ve played an undeniable role.

Here are four pieces of technology that have helped amateur and professional home improvement wizards with their projects.

1. The iPhone

In addition to the hundreds of apps that are available to help you do your home improvement projects, the iPhone also comes standard with a built-in level. Whether you’re putting up some new shelves, trying to get a framed picture hung just right, or want to make sure the bookcase you’re building isn’t going to be crooked, iPhone users can simply use their phone. How cool is that?

2. Instant Messenger

People who are doing home improvement projects to add value to their residence can now turn to a greeter or real estate agent live on most housing websites to consult him or her about which projects will be most productivel.

You can even ask the instant messenger assistant for suggestions on where to go to finish your project on a budget.

3. Green energy power strips

Vampire energy” has been mentioned in the media a lot. This refers to power that’s drawn from your outlets by appliances and electronic devices that are plugged in, but not currently turned on.

Homeowners who want to reduce their electric bill and make their home more environmentally friendly without the hassle of installing solar panels can switch out their regular power strips for higher-tech options that will reduce the amount of power lost to vampire energy.

4. Removable adhesive

Anyone who’s ever moved into a dorm room knows about Command strips and temporary adhesive for hooks. Increasingly, removable adhesive has been incorporated into other great products that are just as useful for home improvement projects, such as picture mountings, decals, and reusable/removable dry erase message boards.

5. Motion sensor technology

Motion sensor technology is one form of technology that can be incorporated into any home to make it greener, safer, and more efficient to live in. Whether it’s seen in motion sensor faucets, or turns up in an outdoor porch light, motion sensor technology is a great way to reduce energy costs in a home or apartment complex.

Technology has been at the forefront of making home improvement projects easier and faster for decades. With today’s advances, updating the look of your home or tackling a more complex project such as making your residence more energy-efficient or increasing its market value has never been easier.

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