Own a Star-Wars Robot – your own BB-8 Droid

If you are reading this post and you even think for second you don’t want to own a Star Wars BB-8 Droid robot…seriously, just close the browser.  Its all good – I mean, leave…but its cool.  Because this is for the people that know they NEED a robot.

The sphero has been around for awhile – my son picked up the Sphero version 2,0 a while back and absolutely loves it.  But when I saw they had come out with a click here now to buy the BB-8…I was floored.  Firstly, because it looks dead on for the BB-8.

bb-8-app-enabled-droidBB-8 Droid Specs:

  • Real BB-8 like movement.  You move it around with a smartphone or tablet
  • Its voice activated – so it listens, responds and reacts to your voice
  • Create your own virtual holographic videos…why are you still reading – click here now to buy the BB-8.
  • It will basically roll around on its own…LIKE A REAL ROBOT.
  • It learns – each BB-8 has a unique attitude and actions…and it evolve as you use it – LIKE A REAL ROBOT

I’m really not sure what else you want to know – if you are still thinking about this, you may be a bit of a lost cause. It does have a great blue glow when it is charging.

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Netbook Use in Schools – K-12 – Google is taking a lead

Apple has had a firm hold in the academic market for a long time – when Apple came out with the iPad line, things took off even more.  Educators were loving the portability of the devices and app makers were building all kinds of great educational apps.

Apple vs Google – Academic Market “Wars”

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In 2012, Interactive Educational Systems Design reported “More than 80 percent of district technology officials said districts use or plan to use iPads over the next year or two, according to the results released by Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc.”. – source edweek.org

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They also noted, in the same article that “Google Chromebooks came in a distant second, with 31 percent of district officials identifying that tool as the mobile technology they have in place or are planning to adopt. Twenty-seven percent said they are using or will use “mixed technology” supplied by students, as part of bring-your-own-device approaches. Android Tablets were next in line, the choice of 17 percent of respondents.” – source edweek.org

Netbook Use in Schools – Google Use Up

Fast forward to 2015 – the New York Times said “the Chromebook category is fast gaining traction in the United States” and even though Apple shipped over 4 million devices to schools, Chrome was making a run with a huge increase where “3.9 million Chromebooks were shipped in the education sector, an increase in unit sales of more than 310 percent compared with the previous year, IDC said. By contrast, iPad unit sales for education fell last year to 2.7 million devices, compared to 2.9 million in 2013, according to IDC data.”

It does appear apple is feeling some pressure from the netbook market – Bloomberg mentioned “Apple Acquires Education-Tech Startup LearnSprout” – that article mentioned “Apple Inc. said it acquired education-technology startup LearnSprout, which creates software for schools and teachers to track students’ performance.”

And USA Today mentioned “Apple is no longer the undisputed head of the K-12 class. – For the first time, Chromebook sales surpassed 51% in the K-12 market nationwide in the third quarter…The surge reflects a fundamental shift in how American schools are buying tech in bulk and assessing students online, placing an emphasis on low-cost, easy-to-manage machines.”

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In 2015, edweek.org said by the time 2016 hits “mobile devices will be available for 1-to-1 computing for half of the U.S. K-12 student and teacher population”.  (See chart footer to note data represents Notebooks, Netbooks, Chromebooks and Tablets.)

Mobile devices are sometimes a little confusing – these are considered any notebook, netbook, chromebook, tablet or phone.  This gets a little grey – because some of the numbers reflect chrome and apple’s share of markets.  These informational sources revolve around this concept.

Education World posted in January 2016 “Google’s Chromebook Tops Apple in the Education Market” and said “For schools with tight budgets the Chromebooks have been viable options when it comes to bringing blended learning to areas that without less expensive options, may not have had the ability to do so. For schools who want to cut cost and expand their network Chromebooks also prove to be a pretty easy option again due to how low the prices are.”

Also from education world’s post – “It’s a tidal wave: Chrome is the clear U.S. market leader now,” says Mike Fisher, associate director of education technology at Futuresource, according to the report.

Why is Google Pulling Ahead?

And why does Google seem to be “winning”?  One big reason is the package.  Apple has a fantastic product in the iPad – and the apps which live on the Apple App Store are very good, most better than what you can get on the Chromebook.

But its the “other stuff” which makes it better.  As Apple’s iPad is better suited for elementary education – Google’s infrastructure makes the middle and high school needs a better match.

The San Jose Mercury News mentions in a January of 2016 “Students have their own Google accounts. They work on math problems on chromebooks, file their homework in Google Drive and keep up with their classes through Google Groups.”

This is a great step – and may be why netbooks have taken a firm hold in these types of markets.

The SEO Myths You’re Still Falling For

SEO is one of my favorite aspects of digital marketing. It still has this elusive quality, and very few people understand it properly. The other great thing about SEO is that it is always evolving. Google constantly update their algorithms, meaning we have to stay on our feet. It means coming up with new tricks and techniques. Writing this blog has introduced me to countless new conversations about SEO. And what is striking about it, is that people still get deceived by these 5 SEO myths. It’s time to clear things up, once and for all.

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Well, at least until Google changes its algorithm again…

5 SEO Myths:

Myth 1: SEO is something you do once

I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard this one. Several conversations about SEO have started when a colleague says, “oh, I hired an SEO company once, but it didn’t make a difference.” Of course it didn’t! SEO isn’t something that kicks in overnight. You don’t just flip a magic SEO switch and suddenly dominate Google. No, you take a long-term strategy. You practice SEO techniques with every single piece of content you write. You make changes and stay up to date. SEO never ends.

Myth 2: All you need is one keyword to rank

Wrong. Sure, you can place all your eggs in one basket. But, when has that ever worked? When you hire SEO services, the first thing they do is ask you to write a list of long-tail keywords. That’s not just your main keyword, but everything else around it too. Let’s say you sell skis for a living. Your main keyword is ‘skis’, but that won’t capture everyone in your market. You need to include keywords like ‘ski shop’, ‘ski poles’, ‘snow’, ‘mountains’, ‘ski equipment’, ‘ski blog’. See what I’m getting at? Cover the whole sector with your keywords.

Myth 3: Link building is dead

A Google official recently sent the SEO world into a tailspin by claiming that people should stop building links. Unfortunately, the quote was taken out of context. Link building is still VERY important. It’s the only way to show authority and determine how useful people find your website. What Google meant by its statement was to avoid poor links. Look for natural, high quality, and relevant linking strategies.

Myth 4: It’s all just metadata, right?

No! SEO isn’t just about titles, tags, and URL keywords. Sure, that stuff is all important. Google’s spiders need to see what your site is about. But, there are more important things at play. Quality of content. Authority. Site performance. Web traffic. Think in terms of value; how much value do users get from your site. That’s what Google is looking for.

Myth 5: Social media doesn’t matter

Social media matters. No, Google don’t count your follower numbers or register how many likes you got. But, this social activity leads to more traffic. It leads to more websites linking back to you. It grows your authority and readership. You’re providing value and Google does take notice of that. Don’t ignore social media. It is your launching pad.

Have you heard any other awful SEO myths?

Here Are My Top Tips For Creating A High-Impact WordPress Business Site

We all know that WordPress is the best content management system and blogging platform out there. There are more than 73 million active sites powered by the platform at the time of writing. Best thing of all is it’s free to use and customise! That’s because WordPress is an open-source platform.

It’s quick and easy to set up a new website or blog powered by WordPress. And your Web host will usually offer a one-click installation of it so that you can get up and running in minutes.

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Source: Pixabay

Do you run a business? If so, you’re probably wondering how the software can help you to create a high-impact website. By itself, WordPress won’t do that for you. But, there are plenty of ways you can interact with it to achieve that goal, such as using themes, extensions and multimedia.

Here are my top tips to create a WP-based site that will grab the attention of your visitors:

  • Opt for a clean and easy to navigate theme

    Let’s face it; there are thousands of free and premium themes you can use with on WordPress website. The only trouble is; it can sometimes be hard to find one that’s clean and easy for your visitors to navigate.

    I recommend checking out sites like ThemeForest and searching using some select keywords. You can view demo sites that use the themes you’re interested in getting too. That way, you won’t end up buying something that isn’t “fit for purpose.”

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    Source: Pixabay

    Whichever theme you opt for, make sure it’s a responsive one. In other words, it should automatically adapt to the user’s screen size and device type. That means if your visitor uses an iPhone, it should be easy to read in those smaller screens.

  • Keep it simple

    Related to my recommendation of a clean theme is clean content! Don’t stuff your pages with paragraphs of boring text that no-one cares about. Instead, keep your copy simple, short and sweet.

    And, above all, make sure it’s relevant to the topic of the page. Don’t talk about fishing on a page that discusses car engine performance! If your written English is next to useless, hire a copywriter to come up with some attention-grabbing text.

  • Videos say a million words

    If a picture paints a thousand words, a video will probably offer a million! The great thing about 2015 is that we can view embedded videos on any device, regardless of the platform. Services like YouTube and Vimeo also offer hosting for any clips we have.

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    Source: Wikimedia Commons

    As you can imagine, that in itself offers the potential for increasing your brand awareness. But, why are videos such a great idea? Well, they help to give your customers a real-life insight into what you’re talking about.

For example, let’s say you have a page advertising one of your products. Production companies like Tinker Taylor say that their customers get higher conversions if product demo videos are shown online.

After all; if you’re going to spend four or five figure sums on a product, you want to make sure it’s right for you! WordPress is video-friendly; all you have to do is paste in the URL to your YouTube or Vimeo video, and it embeds it for you automatically!

Now that you know the secrets of creating a high-impact WordPress site, it’s time to start cooking and baking an awesome site. Good luck!

How To Run A Successful Company Website Without Being An IT Expert

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Websites are a fundamental part of modern business, and the majority of companies now boast a site of some kind. You’ll already appreciate the vast benefits that this incredible marketing tool offers.

All businesses could benefit from a successful website, but what do you do if you’re not a computer whizz? Hiring a specialised computer department is beyond the remit of most small businesses. Finding an alternative can feel like an almost impossible task.

However, you don’t have to let a lack of expertise stop you from succeeding in this crucial environment. Here’s how:

Make The Design Simple And Clean

When it comes to designing your website, there are two main options. You can either hire a professional, or do it yourself. Even if you aren’t an expert, the latter is still quite easy to master.

Setting up a WordPress site is simple and makes design easy. It might take a little bit of time, but anybody can create a nice looking site using the available resources. Just remember not to overload the page with tons of information as it will turn your audience away.

You may still decide to use a professional web designer. Either way, you don’t need much skill to gain the desired web appearance.

Make It Visible

Your website has the potential to be an extremely powerful tool. But if it’s hidden in World Wide Web obscurity, then it won’t create any impact whatsoever. Generating traffic to a site is a difficult task, even for the big companies. That is why you should seek external help, regardless of your computer skills.

The best way to create a strong presence is to employ a strong SEO strategy. The more computer literate users might be able to get some results by themselves. However, the truth is that this is a job for professionals. Find out about Results First and your company website could soon enjoy a huge boost in traffic.

Aside from SEO, you should also look to use other forms of internet marketing like social media. We all use platforms like Twitter and Facebook on a daily basis, so you should have no trouble working these websites. The only real challenge is thinking of a way to make content that will elicit high levels of audience interaction.

Get Others To Produce Content

It’s not just setting up the website that takes time. Updating it with a regular flow of content can be very time-consuming, especially if your site includes a blog. Don’t spend hours on these tasks. Instead, hire professional content writers to keep things relevant and interesting.

Getting others to produce the work isn’t expensive. In fact, some upcoming writers would probably do it for the experience and a reference. Using this method will give you more time to concentrate on the tasks that drive your business forward in the first place.

There you have it. An easy to follow guide on producing an effective website, without the need to learn new skills or hire full-time staff. Perfect.