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  1. Millennials are known for their attempts to find flexible jobs and paid holidays, but many companies can’t keep up with these requirements, especially if a freelancer or a contractor is in question. Consequently, a growing number of millennials have become digital nomads, trying to be the ones who get to decide what job they will do. Another reason for this is the fact that traveling across countries and mobility are easier to achieve nowadays, which means many employees are ready to leave their comfort zone and try out something new beyond the borders of their country. As a business owner, maybe you have been wondering if employing a digital nomad will be good for your business. The short answer is: it probably is, and here’s a few reasons why. 1. Negotiation skills Digital nomads are forced to negotiate constantly. From the very beginning, where they need to put themselves on the market to get an online job, moving to closing online deals and bargaining prices, nomads are always improving their negotiation skills. Their constant travel has taught them the cultural differences between countries, which is essential for successfully closing a deal, especially with international stakeholders. 2. Ever-developing experience and skills Digital nomad’s experience is probably much higher than any other employee who spent the same amount of time in the office. Nomads are put into various situations, working numerous different jobs in a short period of time, whether it’s sales, PR, design, marketing, or programming. Another thing is the art of meeting deadlines. Digital nomads are forced to pay attention to different time zones they frequently change, making them masters of punctuality when it comes to performing something on time. This also forced them to correctly prioritize jobs, as they are always under pressure due to time differences and traveling. This results in high effectiveness. Not just that, they are also able to take into consideration many points of view, as they have seen a lot, which makes them perfect for communicating with international partners. 3. Incredible flexibility While your local employees are asleep, your digital nomad employee is probably busy. This allows you to have 24/7 productivity and availability to clients. If they are allowed flexibility, they won’t miss any personal appointment or have to take a paid holiday – they will manage to do it in their own time. A digital nomad living at the other side of the planet can do the same project without you losing any time at all. Freelancers that live in the same time zone are no good for you there. In short, having a digital nomad in the company means never missing a deadline. Techie Ticker Newsletter Join our weekly newsletter and receive hot takes on tech and useful tips delivered straight to your inbox, every Monday. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! 4. Highly self-reliant employees Digital nomads are independent, having to move all the time and organize everything on their own. At the same time, they manage to remain highly motivated and aggressive when it comes to the workload they take on. Their erratic lifestyle only makes them more efficient and inspired, without the employer having to be included that much in their duties and responsibilities. Starting from the workload they’ll agree on and the deadlines that they will set – they don’t need anybody else to help them or make suggestions because they are handling it very well on their own. At the end of the day, you will be surprised when you see their timesheet calculator – it often shows just how effective and capable they are. 5. Affordable workforce Of course, any worker should have fair compensation, depending on their competency and abilities. However, no matter where a digital nomad is from, they are eager to work and they can give you a better deal as they have a lot of competition, which is something they are ok with. Not just that, you can benefit from differences in global economies and wage variations, depending on the nomad’s residence. Final comment If you consider hiring a digital nomad, it could be unclear to you just what benefits it will bring you and your company. You need to be aware that they are professionals as any other worker, only they have survived circumstances many don’t experience throughout their lives and are able to have projects of their own. Their skills are unconventional, making them unique workers. In the end, it is up to you to decide. The post Here’s what you need to know when hiring a digital nomad appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  2. Higher education is notoriously full of essays, reports, research papers, and other grueling writing assignments. But if you’re being assigned these kinds of projects in the present, you’re extremely lucky. You can type! Older generations had to scribble out their multi-page reports by hand. You’re also lucky because you have super helpful apps. To your parents, apps were something they got at a restaurant. Think about it. Speaking of writing apps, we want to share a few with you that we’ve grown to love over the years. These apps can help keep your writing sharp, and help make sure you’re not accidentally copying something to the point where it gets you expelled. Because that would be extremely unfortunate. Let’s get to it. The Hemingway Editor This editor is all about helping you create clear, concise prose. It tells you when your sentences are too long, or when you can replace a longer word with something shorter. It also tells you when you’re using passive voice in your writing. And finally, it lets you know the grade level your writing currently sits at, allowing you to make edits to make things more simple if necessary. Give this one a try. Ulysses Some writing apps can be way too complicated. Those who grew up on Microsoft Word can tell you the toolbars are entirely too full of junk that you probably won’t need to use. Google Docs is a bit more clean, but it still takes up a good chunk of the screen showing you formatting tools. Ulysses aims to provide a streamlined, no-nonsense portal for getting words down on the page. It hides all the tools and advanced functions, helping you focus on what you’re writing. If “less complicated” sounds like your cup of tea, give Ulysses a shot. Bear Bear wants to be your home for all things notes and writing. Whether you’re using it to jot down a grocery list, take notes for a class, or write out the rough draft of your latest book chapter, Bear is designed to accept your text and help you organize it through hashtags. Want to move your Bear creations to other types of software? The app supports the ability to export files to either PDF or Microsoft Word DOCX format. Using these tools can help ensure you’re putting out the best work possible, and keeping your notes and drafts organized. Even if you opt to use an assignment writing service and stick someone else with all your writing work, it’s still a good idea to run the end product through tools like Hemingway Editor to make sure it all reads as it should. Good luck, and happy writing! The post 3 helpful apps for essay and report writing appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  3. If your website lives on a low-cost web host, chances are, you’re paying for a shared hosting plan. This means that your website lives on the same server as many other websites, and they all share the same storage space, computing power, and bandwidth. Don’t get us wrong: these types of plans are great for smaller websites where performance doesn’t matter all that much. But if you want to provide the best experience to your visitors, keep this in mind: on a shared hosting plan, a traffic surge at a totally unrelated website can severely impact your own site, leading to slow load times and other issues. A virtual private server, or VPS, works differently. Instead of sharing space with other websites, you get server space and processing power carved out specifically for your own site. This means your site’s performance isn’t affected at all should another site get hammered with traffic. And the better your site performs, the happier your users are as a result. Today we’re taking a look at a few VPS hosting options — Web hosts you can move to if you’re ready to stop having “roommates” on your Web server and, instead, get your own place. Here they are. Hostwinds Looking for a VPS hosting solution with a whole lot of options? You’ll find it with Hostwinds, a host that appears to have created a package for every possible scenario. Pricing for VPS hosting starts at a quarter under $13 a month, and includes 1 CPU core, 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB of storage space, and 1 TB of bandwidth. Need more? The upper limit of what Hostwinds has to offer reaches $636.74 per month and includes appropriately blown out specs for the price point: 16 CPU cores, 64 GB of RAM, 500 GB of storage, and 9 TB of bandwidth. Hostinger If you’re not looking to break the bank, Hostinger VPS hosting offers plenty of cost-friendly VPS packages for those who are tired of sharing hosting resources with other websites. For just $4.95 a month, customers can secure a server with 2.4 GHz CPUs, 1 GB of RAM, 20 GB of storage space, and 1 TB of bandwidth. On the higher end for Hostinger’s packages, $75.95 per month gets you a 14.4 GHz CPUs, 8 GB of RAM, 160 GB of storage space, and 6 TB of bandwidth. Dreamhost Dreamhost is a fairly well known host, mostly for its shared hosting solutions, but it also offers more premium-tier VPS packages for individuals and businesses. On the lower end at $15 a month, customers can nab a VPS hosting account with 1 GB of RAM, 30 GB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth. Dreamhost also offers enterprise-level VPS plans, providing 8 GB of RAM, 240 GB of storage, and unlimited bandwidth for $120 a month. All of Dreamhost’s VPS packages include the ability to add unlimited domains, which means you can several of your websites through one single account. GoDaddy Remember when GoDaddy was running Super Bowl commercials full of scantily clad women and Kevin Roses? We do too. The company has since cleaned up its act, however, and has become a favorite for those on the hunt for VPS hosting. On the lower end of the spectrum, GoDaddy provides 1 GB of RAM, 40 GB of storage, 3 dedicated IP addresses, and unmetered bandwidth for $17.99 a month. If you need a higher priced, more capable option, you can get 8 GB of memory, 240 GB of storage, 3 dedicated IP addresses, and unmetered bandwidth for $39.99 a month. All GoDaddy VPS plans include 1 free SSL certificate for a year. Bluehost Bluehost, like GoDaddy, has been around for a long, long time. And like GoDaddy, its pricing options for VPS packages trends a bit on the higher side. Bluehost’s cheapest VPS option starts at $19.99 a month, and includes 2 GHz CPU speeds, 30 GB of storage, 2 GB of RAM, and 1 TB of bandwidth. For those in the market for a more capable solution, Bluehost has a $59.99 per month package which includes 4 GHz CPU speeds, 120 GB of storage, 8 GB of RAM, and 3 TB of bandwidth. Bluehost offers a money-back guarantee with all of its packages. HostGator Aside from having the coolest name (and coolest mascot) in Web hosting, HostGator has a long history offering hosting solutions to its customers. VPS hosting is no exception here, and HostGator offers a few simple packages to choose from. HostGator’s budget option starts at $19.95 a month and offers 2 GB of RAM, 2 CPU cores, 120 GB of storage space, and 1.5 TB of bandwidth. HostGator’s more expensive option comes in at $39.95 a month and provides 8 GB of RAM, 4 CPU cores, 240 GB of storage space, and 3 TB of bandwidth. BigRock We’ll give BigRock second place for best mascot, which is a literal big rock. Otherwise, what the company offers in the way of VPS hosting seems right in line with what the rest of the industry is doing. BigRock’s least-expensive plan comes in at $18.19 a month and provides customers a 0.88 GHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 20 GB of storage space, and 500 GB of bandwidth. If that’s not enough for you, BigRock also has a higher-tier VPS hosting option. That package includes a 2.43 GHz CPU, 2 GB of RAM, 80 GB of storage space, and 1.5 TB of bandwidth. The price for that tier? $69.09 a month. 1&1 1&1 is probably best known as a domain registrar — in particular, its ongoing promotion offering dot-com domain registrations for 99 cents. That’s not all 1&1 does, however; the company also offers hosting solutions, and has several VPS hosting packages available for customers who might be looking to keep their domains and their hosting in one place. For $4.99 a month, you can procure a server with 1 Xeon CPU, 512 MB of RAM, 30 GB of SSD storage, and unlimited bandwidth. Need more? The $29.99 a month package gets you 4 Xeon CPUs, 8 GB of RAM, 160 GB of SSD storage, and the same unlimited bandwidth. Have VPS hosting solutions of your own? We’d love to hear about them! The post 8 of the best VPS hosting solutions for your business appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  4. “Everything was going so well until…” Recognize that? If you’re playing the SEO game for a while now, you must have heard this phrase from your fellow webmasters or even from your own thoughts. For some SEO practitioners, a sudden ranking drop can be quite traumatizing. After so much time, energy, and effort put into it, how could it end up so badly? Why did it happen in the first place? Most of us tend to panic. It’s understandable. However, before you bring more agony to the situation, you need to acknowledge and understand that your site’s ranking position in the search engines has a temporary nature. Our emotions, thoughts, and our external environment are temporary. That means that they’ll never stay the same forever. There will be variations – positive ones and negative ones. Perceive your SEO efforts the same way as you perceive your business success – a process, not a result. “Even if we can’t guarantee that our search engine rankings will be perfectly steady and consistent, there’s something that we can and should do to make things better. It’s called SEO recovery, and it’s the practice of analyzing, assessing, and troubleshooting your sudden drop in rankings, with the intention of discovering effective solutions to minimize the damage that has been done.” – Halsey Jones, Marketing Manager at UK Best Essays In today’s post, we’re discussing the main reasons why your search engine rankings might have decreased while exploring the solutions for an easier recovery. Pay attention and apply! 1. You Haven’t Respected Google’s Guidelines To rank high in Google, you obviously must play by its rules. More exactly, Google has officially published a list of webmaster guidelines, a document that states some of the rules and practices that webmasters must follow in order for the search crawlers to easily index and rank their sites and pages. There are many secret guidelines and factors that contribute to rankings, however, these are known only by Google itself and by a select few. Search engines are automatically and manually penalizing sites that don’t follow their guidelines, so by consistently assessing your site’s condition, content, and analytics, you’ll have more control and power over your SERP rankings. The first thing you should do is check your Google’s Webmaster Account. Check for missed notifications to see if you received additional information regarding the penalty. When they send you a notification, they’ll also give you the reason. That’s your lesson for the day – learn it, optimize what needs to be optimized, and never repeat the same mistakes again. Once you have figured out what caused the drop of rankings, focus your full attention to fix the errors and optimize the website according to Google’s remarks, or, if you lack concise reasons, according to your instinct and intuition. Lastly, you should consider sending a reconsideration request. You shouldn’t put all your hopes in this letter. It’s often helpful and useful, however, your rankings won’t immediately recover – Google must analyze, decide, and organize your rankings according to many factors, including your competitors’ performance and your recent website changes. 2. Your Site Has Suddenly Lost Important Backlinks Another good reason for your sudden rank-drop could be that you’ve lost important backlinks, signals that were coming from high authority & ranking websites. How could this happen? Three main reasons: The content (or the page) that was hosting your links was replaced, updated, or removed. There may be some issues that Google encounters while trying to connect to your host. The website that was hosting your links has gone offline or it has been severely penalized. What can you do? If the links were extremely important to you and there’s a way to get them back, contact the webmasters who can help you. However, this may not be as effective as focusing on building new, highly qualitative backlinks. Create even better content and pitch to even higher-ranking prospects. Develop an exceptional site and content, make it exceptional for both your audience and the webmasters within your niche, and let the backlinks flow! 3. You Changed the Design or the Content of Your Website Every small change you make may potentially increase or drop your search engine rankings. The truth is, when it comes to design, you can barely predict whether your new moves will bring negatives over positives. It’s a risk that you must take. In case your search engine rankings have suddenly dropped after you’ve changed the design or the content of your site, you got your feedback. It’s negative. Dig deeper and try to understand what specific changes caused the unpleasant happening. Never repeat them again! When it comes to redesigning, you may have forgotten to install the necessary redirects. Whenever you plan to produce significant changes, ensure that you’re planning all your 301 redirects in the proper way. Techie Ticker Newsletter Join our weekly newsletter and receive hot takes on tech and useful tips delivered straight to your inbox, every Monday. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! 4. Your Web Hosting Can No Longer Support Your Traffic If your web hosting plan can no longer support the amount of traffic your website receives on a consistent basis, you’re in big trouble for now. Firstly, most of your visitors will encounter trouble when trying to interact with your page. Your site’s loading speed is an important SEO factor, and without a proper web hosting option, very few visitors will be patient enough to wait annoying seconds for your pages to load. Start by checking your site’s loading speed by accessing several website speed tools. Talk to your web hosting provider and ask for further information. Ask whether they can help you fix the issue. If they can’t, start looking for a new host. 5. Your Competitors Have Outranked You in the SERP SEO is a competition game. All webmasters want to rank higher and higher, yet all of them acknowledge that other webmasters are trying the same thing at the same time. Therefore, whenever your rankings go down, it may not necessarily mean that you’ve done something wrong or that you’ve been penalized. Your competitors might have done better than you, so they have outranked you in the SERP (search engine results page). What you can do now is focus on the solution. First off, assess the website that has outranked you using the SEO competitor analysis tools that suit your needs best. Once you discovered clues and ideas that may justify the outranking, develop a plan. Plan to build X number of backlinks by Y date, plan to improve the social engagement, the website speed, and so on. Basically, decide what you’re going to do next and start working on your SEO even harder than before! Conclusion SEO is a challenging yet extremely rewarding practice. Just like any skill, it can be developed in time. Knowledge and skill, along with a strong will and great planning will do the job. For now, it’s Google that leads the game. In 10 years, it may be something else. Until then, embrace Google for all its goods and its wrongs and learn along the way. Remember – treat your SEO as a journey, not as a result! The post How to recover from search engines ranking drop appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  5. There’s no shortage of games available for mobile platforms like iOS or Android, but finding a game to play isn’t the challenge — finding a good game to play is. The barrier to entry for developing mobile games is extremely low, meaning lazily tossed together titles can appear right alongside games from Nintendo and Square Enix in search results. Unless you’re doing your due diligence to check reviews for every single game, you could waste your time (and data) downloading something that isn’t worth touching. But rejoice! We’ve searched around and found 3 super fun games, available on both iOS and Android, you can download right now and have immediate, unadulterated fun in. They’ll get you hooked — but resist the temptation to spend money on microtransactions. We don’t like those. Agar.io You may recognize the premise behind this game — it’s not all that different from Slither.io, another popular mobile title. It’s easy to pick up and play, difficult to master, and highly addicting. Here’s the deal. You play as a small circle — what looks like a small amoeba — on a quest to devour other circles and grow in size. The smaller you are, the more quickly you move. As you grow, however, you sacrifice speed. Quickness comes in handy when you need to get away from a larger circle, which is essentially the name of the game, because you’ll find find circles that grow so large, they take up a large portion of the game space. Your goal is to become fat with success, but if your sessions go anything like mine, you’ll be eaten up well before you reach that point. The concept seems a little crazy, but trust me, it’s worth a play. Zynga Poker The word “Zynga” may transport you back in time a bit, conjuring up memories of the days your mom got addicted to FarmVille. And Zynga’s had a rough go of it the past couple of years. But rest assured, the company’s poker product is still as fun and addictive as it was nearly a decade ago. Zynga Poker isn’t a real-world betting app — you won’t be able to spend real money to win real money here. But the game still manages to provide that casino feel by making you value your chips, as accumulating them means you can show off your winnings to your friends on the in-game leaderboard. You can sign into the game via Facebook, which makes finding buddies for the game extremely easy. Granny Smith A rollerskating granny, an apple thief, and cane-powered ziplining — what more could you ask for? Granny Smith is what I’d consider an incredibly underrated mobile game. It doesn’t get thrown in with indie favorites like Monument Valley, but it’s an extremely fun and addicting experience with a lot of replay value. This one’s gonna cost you, but don’t sweat the price — it’s easily worth the $1.99. Just forego a few real life apples for a day or two so you can start collecting digital ones instead. Have some mobile game recommendations of your own? We’d love to hear about them! Feel free to drop your favorites into the comments below. The post 3 mobile games that’ll get you hooked appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  6. You can become an exceptional recruiter without an innate knack for writing compelling emails. You can shatter headcount goals even if you can’t successfully woo every candidate. Often, what sets great talent teams apart from good ones is the creative, time-saving strategies they use. Whether they want to source smarter, close candidates more effectively or interview faster, these teams are using novel problem-solving methods that work better and faster than most. In this post, I want to share 10 top recruiting hacks for 2018. Through working with hundreds of recruiters, I’ve learned these tactics really do generate results. My conviction is they’ll work for you too. The good news? You won’t have to overhaul your entire process or dramatically improve your skill set to put them to use. 1) Roll out a “LinkedIn Profile Revamp” campaign At your next company meeting, carve out time for everyone to dive into their LinkedIn profiles. Begin by having them assess their current profile. What story are they telling about their work, if any? Then, ask your team to consider adding three new elements to their LinkedIn profile: 1. The impact of their role, 2. What they think is special about your team, and 3. Their favorite activities outside of work – whether that’s concerts or chess. Your employees may not feel comfortable with spicing up their LinkedIn language and overall story, so recruit marketing team members to walk around and help them craft it. 2) Customize your careers page with employee spotlights Candidates want to hear from current employees. Why did those team members join? What does their role entail, and why is it fulfilling? Begin by organizing a professional photoshoot that captures employees in their work environment. Take headshots, group photos, and shots of employees in meetings and at their desks. Then, you can feature employee stories along with their individual photos on your careers page – otherwise known as employee spotlights – and include team shots that showcase your company’s dynamic. 3) Use calendar “chunking” for sourcing, phone screens, etc. Tip from Stacy Donovan Zapar, Founder of Tenfold & The Talent Agency Block chunks of time on your calendar for sourcing, phone screens, candidate feedback, hiring manager meetings, and more. If you don’t block the time, it might get booked with other lower priority items (and sourcing should be a daily priority!). Personally, I focus on sourcing first thing in the morning and do my calls and meetings later in the day, but find a system that works best for you. And while you’re at it, include a lunch break for much-needed recharging time. We all need that too! 4) Build rapport with candidates who aren’t right Tip from Tennyson Jones, Recruiting Researcher, Netflix Great people know great people – if I’ve built a great rapport with a candidate who ends up not being right for the job, they almost always have zero problem sending me the names of other great people who may be closer to what I’m looking for. So always ask for referrals if you feel comfortable – this tactic has resulted in a few different success stories of mine. 5) Go through 10 resumes with your hiring manager before kicking off every candidate search Print out a batch of candidate profiles, then meet with your hiring manager and push them to tell you what excites or deflates them about each one. Which experiences and skills are important to them, and why? Do they see red flags on any resumes? Asking these questions will clarify what they’re looking for, help you bring candidates in that match their ideal template, and propel your search forward. 6) Customize each hiring process with interview kits To set your team up for success, it’s important to customize their experience. Some ways to do this include: helping your interviewers come up with strong questions, helping them set up different scorecards for different roles, and communicating additional info for interviewers to keep in mind. You can do all of this through building ‘interview kits’, i.e. interview forms with questions and guidance. Reminder: be sure to give your interview panel complementary questions – that way, your candidate doesn’t have to repeat themselves five times over. 7) Enforce a 24-hour feedback submission deadline Ingrain this rule in your interviewers’ minds during interview training, emphasize it in your ‘interview kit’, and reiterate it during your quarterly check-ins. Timely feedback is a crucial part of your recruiting success – you’ll update candidates faster, move them through your process more smoothly, and ultimately have greater success with them. Techie Ticker Newsletter Join our weekly newsletter and receive hot takes on tech and useful tips delivered straight to your inbox, every Monday. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! 8) Send a welcome email to new employees, GIF included It takes five minutes or less to make a GIF, but they’re incredibly meaningful to candidates. At Lever, our recruiting team sends every new hire an email with a GIF of their future team cheering excitedly. And here’s the bonus: they include the entire company in the email. Then, every Leveroo sends a welcome email of their own – which often feature more hilarious GIFs. But this can be a closing strategy as well! Even if your candidate hasn’t yet said yes, you can still send them an email with a GIF and ask your team members to reply expressing their excitement. 9) Regularly check your conversion rates throughout the process Once a month, step back to look at the percentage of candidates who make it to the screening process, to an onsite, to offer, and to hire. Are your rates changing for better or worse? Where do you lose most candidates? What can you do differently to improve conversions? Once you have the answers to these questions, you can brainstorm to figure out which parts of your process need strengthening. If your onsite to hire ratio is high, for example, that means you’re bringing lots of candidates onsite, but not hiring a high percentage of them. This could mean that your phone screen (or whichever stage is before your onsite) is not effectively discerning which candidates are a fit. 10) Explicitly request a diverse range of referrals When you ask for referrals, challenge your fellow employees to think beyond the obvious – past their three best friends that may or may not be all from the same demographic. Emphasize that diversity requires deliberate effort, and it’s something all employees can help with – by making introductions to great people they know, even if they don’t fit the “traditional” profile. It only makes the team stronger in the long run! Ideally, the hacks above can help you become more productive and goal-crushing in 2018. If you’d like to read through all 103 of the recruiting hacks we catalogued in our recent ebook, download it here. The post 10 recruiting hacks to help you hire better and faster in 2018 appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  7. The meme episode (feat. Jason Wong)

    Welcome to TechieBytes episode 9 titled The meme episode (feat. Jason Wong) Today I spoke with Jason Wong, the founder of Wonghaus Ventures and a Meme Expert. We discussed how to find success as an influencer, tips and tricks to grow your audience, and what marketers should be doing to reach Millennials and Gen-Z online. TechieBytes is also available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket Casts. Subscribe today! The post The meme episode (feat. Jason Wong) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  8. When their high-tech phones don’t work as expected, some people make jokes and say things like, “Smartphone? It seems more like a dumb phone to me!” Some individuals also bring up how their phones have so many features, and they never use all of them. A Brooklyn-based startup called Light capitalized on the idea that perhaps people don’t need phones that are so advanced they’re like computers that fit in the palm of a hand. The company unveiled its first straightforward phone in 2015 on Kickstarter. That version could only make and receive calls. It wasn’t meant to replace smartphones, but the company’s founders wanted to make a point that it’s possible for people to reduce their dependence on gadgets and “go light” by regularly using a phone that was much more basic than all other phones on the market. A Newer Version Arrives People can now pledge on Indiegogo to get the new Light Phone 2. The project’s goal was raising $250,000, but the total is now over $724,000 and rising. You can buy the Light Phone 2 for $250, and there are also sets for couples, families and teams that include more than one phone. This mode is similar to the original option but does a few more things. Besides making calls, it can wake you up in the morning or send text messages. This version also has an e-ink screen that shows black text on a white matte screen for easy reading at a glance. Compared to the Android and iOS operating systems, the platform for the Light Phone 2 is extremely simple. The phone’s creators mentioned whereas most operating systems add features and thereby become more complex with every update, the Light Phone 2 remains low-tech. It also has physical buttons on the side of the phone that you press to scroll up and down the menu. Is Smartphone Addiction a Real Thing? Many people believe it’s possible to get hooked on smartphones and say the number of apps available is partially to blame. There are apps to do almost everything and so many of them available that people often don’t use or even open the apps they have. Plus, individuals often use phones throughout most of their workdays, such as if they depend on specialized dialing platforms for sales calls or other types of contact with clients. The practice of using the phone at work has been common for a while, but something that’s changed due to the popularity of smartphones is the way people often constantly stay on the phone during downtime, too. In fact, various scientific studies point to characteristics that suggest people are addicted to smartphones. Sometimes they even claim to feel phantom vibrations from the device. Dr. Larry Rosen, Ph.D, a psychology researcher associated with California State University, Dominguez Hills, has spent three decades studying over 50,000 people from around the world to see how technology impacts them. He mentions how on average, a person checks a phone 60 times daily and spends 220 minutes using it. Dr. Rosen says an addiction to technology is like any other kind of addictive behavior, meaning problems can result when people find they need more of the activity to feel satisfied. When addiction becomes severe, it can harm relationships and lead to job loss, among other serious consequences. He believes that technological addictions are valid and says it’s not correct to use the terms “addiction” and “obsession” interchangeably because they aren’t the same. Whereas obsession is an anxiety-based disorder that causes people to do activities to relieve unpleasant feelings, people who are addicted do things to experience pleasure. Techie Ticker Newsletter Join our weekly newsletter and receive hot takes on tech and useful tips delivered straight to your inbox, every Monday. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! Some People Aren’t Convinced Others have weighed in and admitted they aren’t universally on board with the idea of being addicted to smartphones. They point out how people can control their smartphone usage by deactivating apps that send push notifications, or parents can restrict how much their kids have access to the devices. Whether the Light Phone 2 curbs your smartphone dependence is probably largely dependent on how you interact with smartphones now. If you’re an app addict, using the Light Phone 2 would almost certainly help because it doesn’t give access to applications at all. There are also other ways to stop using your device as much. You could lock your smartphone in a safe or a drawer to keep it out of sight, which could potentially lead to you not thinking about it. Alternatively, consider setting timers and basing your usage on those segments of minutes. If the Light Phone 2 becomes successful, it may make manufacturers realize there’s a niche market for “dumb phones.” However, it’s not likely the majority of people would ever go back to using stripped-down devices because we’re already too used to them. The post Can ‘dumbphones’ really cure our smartphone addiction? appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  9. Welcome to TechieBytes episode 8 titled How founders should make decisions (feat. Patrick Perini) Today I spoke with Patrick Perini, a serial founder, who is currently the co-founder and VP of Product at Mira. We discussed what he’s currently building at Mira as well as past failures and making tough decisions as a founder. Additionally we also chatted a bit about Patrick’s food podcast called Coarse Ground and why he decided to start it (it’s an interesting/weird story). TechieBytes is also available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket Casts. Subscribe today! The post How founders should make tough decisions (feat. Patrick Perini) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  10. Sharing – that’s what social media marketing is all about. You may have the most entertaining, informative, educational and humorous posts, videos, infographics, and articles in your business niche, but if they are not being shared by those who initially receive them, all of your work is for naught. To make social media work for you, you have to identify those who are in your target market, share with them and then somehow inspire and motivate them to share with all of their networks. This is a tough task, to be sure, but here are some social media marketing tools that might just help in big ways. PageModo: You know that great visuals, contests, and surveys are always appealing to social media subscribers. They see a great photo and want to share it; they read a great story and are compelled to share; they hear about a contest, enter it, and then share that information so that all of their friends can get in on it too; they take a survey and wonder how their friends would respond, so they share it. All of these things you can do through PageModo, and it is so easy, the most unskilled novice can create great stuff! AddThis: Of all of the social media marketing tools, this has to be one of the most important for any entrepreneur who is trying to spread his/her brand. We have all experienced this. We read a news article, for example, and at the end we are given the option to share the article with all of our friends on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Just by clicking a button, the article is shared and the user never has to leave the page s/he is on. AddThis allows you to do this with your blog posts, forum discussions, videos, infographics, and surveys/contests/announcements. The idea here is to make it really easy for a viewer to share, with no inconveniences involved. BuzzSumo: If you are still trying to determine the needs, desires, pains, and issues of your target market, then you will want to use this great tool. Here’s how it works: you enter keywords or keyword phrases that are related to your business niche (e.g., handbags, home improvement, HR consulting, etc.). BuzzSumo combs the web and delivers to you all of the articles, blog posts, forums, videos, etc. that relate to your niche and, even more, tells you how popular they are. Think about what a great amount of information that is. You can read through all that has been delivered and know what is being discussed, what questions your market audience has, what issues are presented – in short, what your target market is talking about. This information will then drive the topics and content venues for all of your social media channels. Techie Ticker Newsletter Join our weekly newsletter and receive hot takes on tech and useful tips delivered straight to your inbox, every Monday. SUBSCRIBE! You have Successfully Subscribed! SproutSocial: How cool is this? With this tool, you can publish anything you write, design or create on a set schedule ad to all of your social media channels from a single place! You also get some great analytics, such as who is viewing your stuff and at what time of day. You can then target your audience more specifically and arrange to publish when that audience is on social media. Snip.ly: You have come across a news article, blog post, video, image, or infographic that is compelling and really engaging. You share it on all of your social media channels and add some type of call to action and a link back to your site. Perhaps you have a related survey you want them to take; perhaps you have a free e-book you want to give them. The point is to get them engaged with what you have posted and then come and visit! Socedo: One of the biggest challenges facing any business is the generation of leads. Socedo is attempting to help somewhat. Here, you can enter keywords, and the tool will generate leads based upon those who are engaged in conversations or commenting on content that relates to our niche. You can then reach out to these potential customers with great content of your own! SocialToaster: Everyone wants a superhero once in a while, and you can create superheroes out of your customers with this tool. You develop a “fan club” from among your customers. In a bit of a competitive atmosphere, you encourage them to sign up for the fan club and earn points each time they share your content with their friends on social media. Those customers who become “superfans” by sharing your content with the largest audience earn specific rewards for doing so. Share as Image: If you have great fresh content to share, you already know that getting a target market to actually read it is quite another thing. Share as Image allows you to create images that will present your content in visual ways, rather than just through text and make them much more attractive and memorable. Of all the tools listed here, this one is the easiest to use – no skills required at all – Share as Image does all the work. TweetDeck: If you have multiple Twitter accounts, you know that managing them all is really challenging. TweetDeck allows you to seem them all at once, to manage them, and to Tweet from any or all of your accounts at a specific time and/or schedule. This tool is limited to Twitter, and it does not support any other social media channels. Picreel: Statistics tell us that the majority of visitors to any given site leave without being converted to customers. Obviously, you would like not to be a part of this statistic, and here is one strategy you can use. Picreel allows you to grab a visitor before s/he leaves your site and make some type of special offer, in order to entice the visitor to stay a bit longer. Research also shows that the longer someone stays on a site, the more apt they are to purchase. The post Social media marketing: here’s 10 of the best tools appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  11. Welcome to TechieBytes episode 7 titled Humanizing a brand’s story (feat. Alexandra Matthiesen) Today I spoke with branding and marketing expert, Alexandra Matthiesen, who is the founder and Creative Director at Westward Creative. She’s worked with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Veritas Technologies to connect their brands with human experiences. We also discussed ways to empower women in the tech industry. TechieBytes is also available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket Casts. Subscribe today! The post The importance of humanizing a brand’s story (feat. Alexandra Matthiesen) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  12. The discovery of motion-picture technology in the late 19th century quite literally changed our perception of the world. Whereas previously visual arts presented objects from the perspective of the human eye, photography and later cinematography allowed for the creation of pictures from infinitely many points of view, thanks to the mobility of the camera. This made photographs and films an endless source of fascination, and their mechanical means of reproduction opened them up for far-reaching commercial use as well. People’s fascination with motion-pictures is showing no signs of stopping in the 21st century. If anything, it is becoming something of an obsession thanks to online means of distribution. Modern-day marketing experts were quick to notice the potential of online video for promotional purposes, which explains the upsurge in popularity of video-marketing in recent years. Understanding how to leverage video marketing to promote your brand is essential for any modern business, which is why we have prepared a short primer on the topic which you can find before you. Theory The first question we need to ask is why video marketing works as well as it does? The first piece of the puzzle lies in human physiology. Our perceptual system is focused on visual perception in general, and on the observance of motion in particular. This means that we are hard-wired to pay attention to movements in our environment, whether they are on the screen or in the real world. The second piece can be found in a video as a vehicle for delivering information. A video is simultaneously capable of presenting visual images, their transformation over time into different images, and potentially audio information as well such as sounds and music. This enhanced capacity for holding information allows for relatively seamless embedding of promotional content. The final piece lies in the fact that video content saves on interpretation time. The multi-channel nature means that whichever channel we focus on, the rest will function as a frame of reference for figuring out what we are perceiving. This is what makes videos so easy to consume, digest, and swallow the marketing message in the process. Statistics If you are more practically minded, there are plenty of statistics to back up the claim that video marketing is the way of the future. A cursory glance at the history of TV ads, cartoons as toy commercials, and product placement in movies, should have already clued you in that video marketing is proven to work, but some additional proof wouldn’t hurt. In 2017, online video content accounted for 74% of total web traffic. Data also suggests that there are more than 3.5 billion people browsing online, which gives us an audience of 2.5 billion for video content alone. No other form of content has ever had this amount of reach in history. Video content generates 12x times more shares on social media than textual content and images combined. The potential of a particular video to go viral across the globe is greater than a presidential tweet. Just imagine combining the two. Having video content on a landing page raises the odds of it being the number one result on a relevant SERP by 53%. With the acquisition of YouTube in 2006, Google gave us a hint that online video is going to be huge in the future, and recent statistics show that they were right. Opinions Theory and numbers might not convince you, but the opinions of marketing experts might. In a survey done by Wyzowl, 94% of businesses reported that video is one of the most effective promotional tools at their disposal. 83% of the companies in question also reported that video provides a good return on investment, with 81% of them claiming that they saw an increase in sales. Another study by the Aberdeen Group claims that video marketers get 66% more leads per year, as well as a 54% increase in brand awareness. Testimonials such as these are an indication that the importance of video is being recognized by businesses worldwide. The increased availability of corporate video production services is another sign that industry experts are only starting to explore the full potential of video for marketing purposes. Conclusion Video content has seen a meteoric rise in popularity in recent decades, and the trend is showing no signs of stopping. There is little doubt that video is an effective form of marketing, so the sooner businesses get on with the times and start producing video content, the better their rewards will be in terms of brand awareness, profits, and market dominance. The post Why marketers plan to invest more in video marketing in 2018 (and why you should too) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  13. Millions of people show up at work each day because they have to, not because they want to. But what if you could turn your favorite hobby into a career that would put food on your table, keep clothes on your back, and maintain the roof over your head? If you’ve given that any thought, you’re not alone. Most people would make a career change if they could hammer out the financial details. Maybe – just maybe – with the right persistence, a commitment to staying flexible and a few realistic expectations, you can leave the ranks of the 88 percent of Americans who have no passion for their work. For some people, that means selling goods on Etsy, becoming an individual business owner or offering a local service. Should You Follow Your Passion? There’s a lot to be said for following your passion, especially when you can earn money for doing it. People who love their work live longer, experience lower stress levels and are mentally healthier than those who feel like they’re trapped in a job they don’t enjoy. It’s Enjoyable, But Is It Employable? Before you hand in your resignation letter, make a plan for how to turn your hobby or passion into a paying career. Check out these creative solutions to common hobbies and passions: If you’re into creating art, you might be able to find a way to sell paintings, sculptures and other works on Etsy or your own website. While you could work in a bake shop, there’s likely more money to be made baking custom goods (and while you’re at it, create how-to videos and share recipes on monetized blogs to make even more money). If you’re good at tracking down long-lost ancestors and you don’t mind digging for information, you may be able to become a professional genealogist. If you’ve got a knack for sales but don’t want to warehouse your own goods, being an Amway independent business owner is the perfect choice for you. Skilled with a needle and thread? You could make your living selling your creations online or by repairing and tailoring other people’s clothing. Writing. If you’re naturally talented and brimming with ideas, you could make a living selling your writing services to others. Plenty of companies need experts to convey important information and attract new business. These are only a few ideas – with some creative thinking, there’s a good chance that you can come up with a brilliant business concept. Talk to Someone Who’s Rocking It in Your Dream Career Once you have a plan, find someone who’s succeeding in your dream career and set up a time to take him or her out for coffee or lunch. You can use that time to ask questions like: What drove you to start a career in this field? What’s the best part of your career? What were some of the obstacles you had to overcome to get where you are today? How much work did you have to put in to build the foundation of your business? What sacrifices did you have to make along the way? You should also ask about the level of effort required from you, as well as what types of sacrifices you’ll need to make. The answers you get will help you figure out whether or not pursuing that type of career is a good choice for you. Flexibility and Persistence It’s crucial that you remain flexible and persistent when you’re turning a hobby or passion into a full-time career. Flexibility is about more than just working a few extra hours; it’s about being able to roll with the punches and getting back up when you get knocked down, which goes hand-in-hand with persistence. You have to be committed to reaching your goal because that’s exactly what it is: your goal. If you give up when you hit a speed bump, you’ll never know what you could have become. Could You Turn Your Hobby into Your Career? Business ownership comes naturally to some people, but even if you’re not a “natural,” you can make it work. The key? Don’t let little obstacles overwhelm you, and keep moving forward – even when things get tough – whether you’re an individual business owner, a freelance writer or an independent musician. It’s not always easy, but turning your hobby or passion into a career can be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done. The post How to turn your passions and hobbies into a career appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  14. Welcome to TechieBytes episode 6 titled It’s all about the polygons: inside game design (feat. Michael Casalino) Today I spoke with Michael Casalino, a gaming industry veteran with 15+ years of experience in game design. He’s currently the CEO and Chief Creative Officer at 5518 Studios. Hear what he has to say about the evolution of the game design industry and how he worked on games like Madden, Where’s My Water, Tron, and more! TechieBytes is also available on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Pocket Casts. Subscribe today! The post It’s all about the polygons: inside game design (feat. Michael Casalino) appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article
  15. The advent of technology has certainly made our lives better. Family and friends get connected, no matter how many miles apart they are from each other. Lots of lives have been saved due to the advancement of medicine. We can go to places conveniently. Communication has never been easier, who would have thought talking to someone at the opposite side of the globe is possible nowadays? There’s no limit when it comes to the wonder that technology brings. On the negative side, should we worry that technology will overrule us and that robots and machines will replace humans? Robots are now widely used in several fields. Some companies find it even more cost-efficient to use robots rather than hire humans. Should this be the reason for us to pack our bags and migrate to Mars or somewhere away from technology and machines? The human species have always been striving to survive. We’re still the most superior race and we can rise above machines and robots. Follow these tips if you want to succeed in a more automated workplace: Equip Yourself with Skills to Make You Indispensable at Work All of us are replaceable. At one point, someone younger, more intelligent, and with more skills will pose a threat to replace us in our current job. To avoid this from happening, make sure that you invest in yourself. Don’t just do your tasks, but do them the best way that you can. Exceed your employer’s expectation by going beyond your duty. Make yourself valuable and indispensable that your boss would be scared to lose you. Take note that having a degree nowadays is no longer enough. You are expected to know more things than what you studied at school. It is more important now to never stop learning and educating yourself. You may even consider enrolling in classes that will make you a multi-skilled individual. Avoid Taking Obsolete Classes There will come a time that robots and machines will eventually replace some human workforce. Some fields will be more affected than others. As scary as this fact is, we have to embrace it and prepare ourselves so that we won’t get smashed when that time comes. It is forecasted that 75% of traffic by 2040 will be with driverless cars. With this being said, lots of worker on the transportation field are at risk of losing their job. They may become obsolete as time will come that cars won’t need drivers anymore. Innovation and change are inevitable. Instead of fighting against it, prepare yourself for it. You don’t want to waste your time and money on something that will eventually become obsolete. Never Lose Your Human Touch What sets us apart from robots and machines is that humans have empathy and affection. A robot may have the skills to take your temperature and even assist in an operation, however it is not capable of asking how you feel or making you feel comfortable. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a skill that you have to master. A person that has high EI will go a long way on his career since he has higher empathy, responsiveness, and self-awareness. The demand for people skill will still be high, regardless of how advanced the technology is. Most of us would still want to deal with someone that is warm, friendly, and high-spirited. Only humans are capable of that. Develop Critical Thinking Having critical and creative thinking skills are invaluable and something your employers seek. When you have critical thinking, you look at a problem from different angles and gather data necessary to find a solution. People with critical thinking often end up solving problems unexpectedly. Problem solving and decision making are skills that only a human can master. By mastering your creative thinking, you open yourself to many possibilities. Having an innovative and creative mind can pave ways to new ideas–ideas that will make your workplace even better and more productive. Because they are capable of making new concepts or ideas, they become indispensable. Learn How to Adapt Let’s face it. We can’t run away from change and innovation. Whether you like it or not, change is happening and it will continue to happen. If we don’t embrace it, it will make our lives worse. Don’t treat technology as if it’s your biggest nemesis. Instead, make use of technology to your advantage. For example, if you work within a finance department, there is procure to pay software that will do a lot of the work for you. Though this can give the department less work, it gives the employees the opportunity to learn different skills. Learn how to adapt and live with technology. Learning computer skills are now a necessity. There are a lot of software and technology that you can use to make you more efficient and productive at work. By using automation tools like inventory software, you free yourself from trivial tasks such as data gathering and entering and focus on your time and energy on more important aspects of your job. The advancement of machines and technology may pose a risk when it comes to our job security, however if you continue to improve yourself and work on your skills and human connection, no number of machines or robots can replace you. The post How to succeed in an automated workplace appeared first on BestTechie. View the full article