Cell phone as your “Mothership”

This article I read on theverge.com about how Vizio and Google are reportedly building Chromecast features into TV’s got me thinking about an idea I’ve been noodling on for a while how cell phones are becoming the new wallet, but more importantly – they are really becoming the “mothership” of data for our lives.

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Cell Phones – how far we’ve come.

Who would have thought that the old school cell phone would evolve to what we have today?

We have so much information “in” our cell phones.  We no longer remember anyone’s phone number, we can send small messages back and forth via SMS between phones, we can download an app to track our sleep behaviors, the phones wake us up, “sing” us to sleep and now have the ability to pay for items at the checkout.

Pictures – so many of our life’s memories are captured with pictures and videos stored in the phone.  What about all the places we go, all the geolocation data is in the phone.  When we talk, who we communicate to , what we say.  What about when the phone is off…is it listening?  It certainly could be. (iflscience.com article from Feb ’15)

Phones are our “life line” – people do not do minutes without them.  A recent survey from HuffPost UK stated that 42% would rather forget their anniversary than their phone.

But what else CAN we do with them?

A whole lot really – if you think about the TV from the verge article, there is no reason why the display of your cell phone cannot be transmitted to a different screen based on your proximity to the screen and the activity you need to do.  Pretend you have your phone in your pocket – but you want to surf the web or do a google search.  Walk up to a terminal and it will popup a message “Hello vwtom, would you like to connect?”  If I say yes – it will ask my password and hten I can begin.  That screen is my temparary UI for the time being.  I walk away – go to my office, my screen pops up again,

Great – there are a lot of screens around the “world” and if the right sharing takes place then the new phones could talk with the TV too.  They could transfer their screen to the nearest screen with availability.  Then you could be playing angry birds on the big screen right from your phone.  Pretty cool.

It still takes hard work – even if you are a Millennial

This great article on Medium called “An Open Letter to Millennials Like Talia…” by Stefanie Williams.

The first paragraph says it all “I felt it imperative to address your concerns and above all, your obvious need for financial assistance. It sounds like you’ve hit some real post Haitian earthquake style hard times, so maybe some advice will help while you drink the incredibly expensive bourbon you posted on your Instagram account and eat that bag of rice, which was the only other thing you could afford!”  It only gets better.

Stefanie goes on to explain she was let go from her first “real” job which was an office job in one of the worst time, just after the Lehmann Brothers crash, just prior to the serious economic downturn.  She took a job as a hostess, a low paying entry level job and worked her way up.

“All of this was afforded to me not in the first month I was working at a restaurant, but after I put in the hours, made the sacrifices and sucked up my pride in order to make ends meet and figure out what I wanted to do and how to do it. I gave up holidays with my family in order to work extra shifts and make the good tips. I put up with people making rude comments, assuming I was just a wanna-be actress, assuming I didn’t go to college, all to make money. ”

It is a fantastic article of two key points:

  1. I am as guilty as anyone, we are raising a bunch of kids who think they are owed the “niceties” their parents enjoy.  Why are we doing that?  I drive through the school parking lot and a large percentage of the cars driven by the students are nicer than mine, that would be wonderful if they went out and worked hard to buy it, but all too often parents just give it to them.  Why would you do that?  Worse yet – I am sure a good portion thing that a nice, new car is owed to them.  How did we turn the corner to entitlement with our kids?  What happened to earning things…its no wonder Talia from Stefanie’s article is buying high dollar booze and skipping out on her rent payment – its what she knows.

  2. There is something to be learned from any job you have, had or will have.  Its about how you approach the job which is the difference.  With Stefanie’s openness to learn (and the fact that she needed the money) she learned and grew at each stage of employment.  And even though she had to swallow her pride a couple of times – she came out the victor, and in my opinion a better person.

The biggest question to me is how do you instill this type of work-ethic in people.  I know my dad was a workaholic, and I have those tendencies.  Mine is more of a passion and enjoyment of what I do, I love it so much I don’t ever like to stop – slight difference, as my father needed to do it to pay the bills.

I can see the bad work ethics already in my 3 sons and I need to find a way to squelch it – its not good and I can see the future negative aspects of it already.

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?