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3 Ways Technology Lets You Take Learning Into Your Own Hands

 

Do you have a passion for something but you don’t know how to pursue it? Are you curious about a subject, struggling in class and need a little extra help, or need to become proficient in a particular area for your work?

You may not know it, but you have everything you need to get a quality education right at your fingertips. Technology has made it easy to get access to tons of information in many different mediums — and it’s all free for you to obtain.

Below are three examples of great resources for students of all ages.

1. Expand your knowledge with Khan Academy

If you’re looking to master anything, from basic finance to art history to calculus, Khan Academy may have what you need. Their mission is to make education available to everyone, and their library of free videos is constantly growing.

As long as you have the interest and an Internet connection, you can download and view countless hours of information that’s comprehensive and on a par with the kind of education you would get in an actual classroom.

2. Connect with teachers and students from anywhere in the world

Distance learning tools are quickly finding their way into the classroom, and not just in colleges but in high schools, middle schools, and elementary schools.

From using a service like Canvas to check next week’s assignment, to having a Skype call with a classroom on another continent, distance learning tools let people connect and learn from each other in real time, no matter where they are in the world.

3. Learn how to use software with training videos

You’ll find that many companies have tried to combine several different jobs into one position to save money. As a result you could have trouble finding a job that you should be generally qualified for, because you lack experience with a particular type of software.

Any time you’re able to get trained in a new program, you should take the opportunity. But don’t sit around waiting for businesses to give you the chance. Take learning into your own hands with online videos.

You can find training videos in just about any area of technology for any skill level, whether you’re just starting out or trying to expand your current knowledge.

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How Technology and Your Mobile Device Make You More Stylish

Remember when Alicia Silverstone stood in front of her rotating closet and chose her ensembles using her computer in the movie Clueless? Back then the technology was astounding to the rest of the world; it caused women everywhere to dream of a fashionable computer/closet combination.

Today, technology makes fashion a no-brainer. Women don’t even have to do anything but click a few buttons, order a couple of items, and replicate the exact outfits they see using their mobile devices, favorite websites, and the convenience of online shopping.

Websites for fashion

Everyone knows that Pinterest is the hottest website for fashion at the moment. You can build your fashion closet by pinning ideas and items you love, and even click on the links to these items to order them or find out where the original pinner picked them up.

When women need fashion inspiration these days, they often turn to their mobile device to see what Pinterest has to offer in terms of ideas. They follow bloggers who have impeccable taste, and study makeup and hair “pins” to duplicate the looks they find online.

Online shopping

Nothing makes fashion and style easier to achieve than online shopping. Since many people have always resided in rural areas, far away from major shopping hubs, that tended to make staying fashionable difficult. But not anymore: the Internet makes shopping a cinch.

You can order the latest Louis Vuitton handbag and have it in a few days, even if you live hundreds of miles from the nearest Louis Vuitton boutique. In fact, many women with designer items don’t bother to shop in person when it’s something they can do from their phone or electronic tablet.

Access to fashion consultants

Before technology made it so much easier, if you wanted a personal stylist you had to have a deep pocket and the inclination to spend hours at a time in world-famous department stores working with one of the stylists on the floor. Now you can find style consultants online.

If you’re looking for a stylist with a blog you can read for personal tips and tricks, as well as advice on where to shop and what to wear — from the hottest shoes this season to the perfect fall cape to add a finishing touch to any ensemble — it’s simple.

You can use your own personal technology such as your phone or iPad to pull up your favorite stylist websites, blogs, and even emails to see what’s hot and what’s not.

Technology has changed the way the world looks at fashion and style. No longer is it only a dream of everyday women to have a look like their favorite stars, it’s a reality … thanks to the Internet.

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last update: December 22, 2014

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Know Your Clicks

If there’s one thing a business needs to know, it’s the source of its clicks. Without proper information, businesses can end up making horrible decisions based on their online data. Faulty data’s the worst case scenario, and Adobe is here to help. Check out the Adobe Marketing Cloud. They’ve got solutions that will keep owners from making assumptions that could ruin their business.

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7 Ways To Make Your Tumblr Look Better

Your website is yours. It says a lot about you. It’s your representation of yourself unto the world.

There are trillions of websites on the searchable world wide web and thousands more being made every month. Some of them were made by people like you, for nothing. Others were made by multi-national conglomerates of marketing and PR firms that charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for building and maintaining them.

No matter who makes your site though, crap is crap. And a lot of people putting stuff together for Tumblr users are making crap and charging you a boatload for it.

It’s 2013. The internet is teeming with a wealth of knowledge to help you do everything from tie your shoes, to building a business and beyond. Use its resources to help you. And to, more specifically, help you adequately represent yourself to the world. Here are some steps to make your Tumblr site look good.

Pay someone to make a theme

There are many ways to skin a cat. The easiest of which is to pay someone else to do your dirty work. When you first make your Tumblr there are a bunch of designs that you can pay for. You can get them for pretty cheap too considering that once you buy you have it forever. Don’t like it? Buy another one.

Buy a theme

You’re a new Tumblr user checking out those pay-to-install Tumblr themes, huh? Well right next to them are a bunch of free ones. A lot of them aren’t as sweet-looking. But they will suffice for what you’re looking to accomplish. But you should look carefully. There are some gems in the bunch.

Build a theme from scratch

If you want to build your own Tumblr from the bottom up, you can do your own coding. Even if you don’t code, there are tutorials online of how to make your Tumblr look exactly how you want.

This is one of many Tumblr pages that will coach you from the bottom up on how to rearrange and design your page to make it good and pretty.

This Tumblr page will show you exactly how to input code to get the look and design you were looking for. Pick it up, play with it and experiment. It will take some time, but at least it doesn’t cost money, right?

Use someone else’s theme

If you don’t have the patience to build your own theme or you don’t want to patrol all the options available for pay or for free just take someone else’s theme. You liked their page and the way it looked? Most all of them will tell you where the them originated. If not, ask the page owner. Go get it. Done.

Make your own graphics

No need to go scouring the web for graphics everywhere. Just take your own pictures and edit them at Pixlr.com. It’s not quite Adobe Photoshop, but it works very very well for most everything you need it for. And your pictures will look professional and unique…which is what you were looking for, right?

Keep it simple, stupid

K.I.S.S. From naming your Tumblr to choosing the posts things work better when you keep them brief and simple. The reason people come to your page isn’t to see you wax on at length about things you do and don’t like. If they did they’d be listening to the radio. Tumblr is a success because of brevity. Learn it. Use it. Love it.

Post every day

The #1 rule to getting eyeballs to your page is getting fresh content up every day. Several times a day if you can. But at least once. Even if you don’t tag your posts correctly. Even if you don’t always keep the focus of your Tumblr specific to why you created it. Posting consistently will bring you attention and establish you within the Tumblr community.

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Are You a Tech Startup? 3 Ways to Make Your Customers Happy

With the cost of building a website falling to the point where it’s almost free of charge, and the ability to have a tech startup running within hours, we’ve entered an era of mass entrepreneurship and competition. If you’re a new tech business, it’s never been so important to understand how to be better than your competition!

Once you understand your company and your competition, you can set out to understand your consumers and make them happy. Here are some tips to make that happen!

1. Understand your position

Knowing your position in the market, and your position in the eyes of the consumer, will require you to create what’s commonly referred to as a positioning statement. It’s easiest to imagine this exercise as one where you simply fill in the blanks in the following statement: [Product or service name] is the best type of [product or service type] for [consumer type] as shown by the [attributes of product or service].

Completing the above statement will require you to understand why you’re the best choice, and for which consumers. Then you can move toward making those customers happy!

2. Ask, listen, ask again, listen again

Great relationships are formed around great conversations and mutual understanding, whether in business or life. The key to having the other person feel good is to listen to the input and opinions and needs from him or her; an even more crucial part is to know what to ask.

If we go back to your positioning statement, perhaps you said something like: “Smith Consulting is the best type of advertising service for real estate agents, as shown by our exclusive access to a network of customers who are ready to buy or sell.”

Based on that statement, the questions to ask your customer (the real estate agent who would hire Smith Consulting) might be: “What type of real estate buyer is your ideal prospect? What type of seller? Is there a price range or geographic area, or type of housing that you’d like to specialize in?”

Those types of questions would make your customers happy, because you cared enough to ask, and later, you delivered on their needs!

3. Formalize the feedback process

It’s not always possible to get consistent and statistically significant feedback from customers using a manual, one-on-one methodology. Online surveys are a great tool to automate this process, and there are a few online companies that have the ability to handle this customer-pleasing activity for you!

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5 Critical Mistakes SEO Leaders Must Avoid

Any type of leadership has a series of positive objectives to pursue, and negative consequences to avoid. Unfortunately, a positive objective in one field might be a negative consequence in another, so it can be hard to find leadership advice for the specific industry of search engine optimization (SEO).

The positive outcomes sought by SEO leaders are fairly obvious: rank as highly as possible on the search engines that consumers use, and do it in a way that is deemed successful to your company (or your client, if you’re an agency SEO leader).

The negative outcomes are many, from simple inefficiencies to the worst of all: getting de-listed and banned by a search engine. Most of the negative outcomes, however, can be narrowed down to five general areas where critical mistakes can be committed. Below are the five primary SEO mistakes.

1. Poor problem framing and goal selection

Perhaps the worst mistake to make is to do a great job, but hit the wrong target. It’s important to understand more than the SEO goal.

How does this company make money? How does it drive the various stages of marketing success (awareness, consideration, trial, loyalty)? Who is the target customer? What are they searching for online?

Understanding these questions and their answers will help you avoid the mistake of aiming for the wrong goal.

2. Buying links

Don’t buy inbound links. If anything, you should pay people to create the solid content that readers are looking for. And a lot of it. Search engines will penalize almost everything beyond that.

3. Doing anything in a fast, or linear, or non-human fashion

How would sites normally climb rankings organically, with no professional help? It won’t be linear, and it likely won’t be fast. Search engines know that.

4. Not being social

We’re not talking about happy hours at the end of the work day; we’re talking about social media. It’s becoming widely known that search engine algorithms are utilizing social data to help prove a website is legitimate.

Make sure to utilize content marketing efforts and link generation across the major social media outlets that your product’s target consumers would likely frequent.

5. Losing all your momentum and above-the-board work due to a poor transfer of knowledge

During a transition of responsibilities from one SEO manager to the next, it’s critical to have a clear process of knowledge transfer, to ensure that all the objectives and the best practices are transferred in a way that makes operations safe and relatively seamless.

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4 Reasons Online Foreign Exchange Trading Is Good for You

Trading on the foreign currency market is becoming more popular among home investors. While investing in foreign markets can seem intimidating at first, with a good teacher and some practice, you can find yourself earning a nice supplemental income in your spare time.

Forex trading offers lots of great benefits whether you treat it like a hobby or a profession. Here are four reasons why online foreign exchange trading is good for you.

1. Forex is flexible

The foreign exchange market runs 24 hours a day from Sunday through Friday. Since it’s open much longer than other financial markets, this means it’s easier for you to find time to trade.

You can trade before or after work, or whenever you have some free time during the day. Plus, since the market is closed on weekends, you can use that time to catch up on your research. The flexibility of Forex trading is appealing to many people looking for a way to supplement their income.

2. Forex is educational

If you’re not interested in world events, Forex trading is probably not for you. But if you love keeping up with the news of the world, this can be a great way to turn that interest into real money.

Because the foreign exchange market is based on currency exchange rates, you need to be aware of how the currency of various countries is influenced by world events. For instance, Syria is currently having a large effect on world markets.

Keeping up with the news involves some work, but you’ll become more informed about the world around you. And as your world knowledge grows, so can your portfolio.

3. Forex can be low risk

Even if you don’t make a fortune in foreign exchange trading, you can still make a decent side income … and you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started. Many experts recommend an initial investment of $100.

Picture that $100 as a practice fee: it’s great if you see a return on that investment, but if you don’t, at least you’ve learned about Forex trading and can use that knowledge for the future. Especially if you don’t plan on making trading your primary source of income, Forex trading can be a relatively low-cost way to earn money in your spare time.

The trick is to be a smart, disciplined trader.

4. Forex can broaden your horizons

World events. Foreign Currencies. Finance. Investing.

Foreign currency trading depends on a lot of knowledge across a wide range of subjects. Fortunately, you can develop those skills over time as you trade; just start out trading small so you don’t run much risk.

And there’s plenty of help available. Reputable Forex websites provide a wealth of information, no matter what your experience level may be. You’ll find that, as your portfolio grows, so does your knowledge of the world.

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5 Reasons Outlook May Never Die

Microsoft Outlook is so much more than an email client. In fact, it’s a personal information manager, and it should be viewed as such rather than as just another option in the email client market.

There are numerous reasons why Microsoft Outlook remains superior to other email offerings. Here are five of them.

1. The New Search folder

Some email clients make it difficult for you to filter out the “bad” emails from the good ones. When an inbox becomes cluttered with a lot of new inbound mail, it’s too easy for some of the really important emails to get lost in the clutter.

Microsoft Outlook anticipates this problem and has a feature to resolve it: The New Search folder. This feature enables you to search for email based on sender name, sender address, or text in the actual body of the email. One especially user-friendly component of this feature is that the search is automatically saved.

That way, you don’t need to worry about missing out on important emails in the future.

2. Newslsetter Unsubscribe

Sometimes newsletters and email threads can also clutter up an inbox. In the case of some newsletters, certain ones may have been the result of an accidental subscription. Wouldn’t it be nice to have an easy means of unsubscribing from those unwanted emails? Microsoft Outlook comes to the rescue. It doesn’t require you to unsubscribe manually from a list. Instead, you can simply “mute” the email, and all emails associated with it.

Here’s how it works: you highlight the message in question and then navigate to the “Home” menu. From the “Home” menu, select the “Ignore” option. The application will take care of everything else. You will have to confirm that you in fact no longer want to see anything in the same thread. Once you do that, that message plus all the previous ones in the same thread will be thrown in the trash. Further messages on that thread will not be visible in your inbox.

Be careful with this option. The messages are deleted based on the subject. So if you get another message with the same subject, even if it’s from a different source, it will also be deleted.

3. Space consumption is not a problem

Some email clients let your gathered emails (including the deleted ones) take up precious hard-drive space. Of course, you could go into your deleted mail folder for any of those clients and manually empty what’s in there. But that’s an extra step and one more thing you have to remember.

With Microsoft Outlook, the process of removing the deleted emails is handled automatically for you. From the “File” menu, go to “Options.” Next, select the “Advanced” option and you’ll see a section called “Outlook Start And Exit.” In that section, there is a checkbox that gives you the option to empty the email in the Deleted folder once you quit Outlook. Check that box.

That’s all you need to do. Now, the next time you quit Microsoft Outlook (and every time thereafter), your trash will automatically be emptied.

4. Increased focus on people

With Outlook 2013, you can connect Outlook to social networks. This gives you more online interaction with your email correspondents via social media. It’s a distinct advantage over other email clients, where you only interact with email addresses. Outlook puts the focus on the person behind the email address.

5. An attachment reminder

How often has this happened: You responded to someone in an email, and claimed you were sending an attachment that answered the person’s question/concern, but when you clicked “Send,” you realized that you forgot to add the attachment?

Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook will prompt you with a pleasant reminder when you try to send an email that references an attachment, and you haven’t attached anything. This should prevent you from forgetting to send the attachment.

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