Sometimes there are fantastic articles and news about technology.  This is a place to put links with commentary to other articles.  If you hear of good news – technology related stories…let me know.

You will find stories about cool companies, great new technology and computers.  These may be also about changes in the way people use tech items or how companies or schools are adapting to the ever changing world.

Your 2016 Olympics – Breakout Year for Streaming TV

I’m not a full on Olympics nerd like some, but this year I am really excited to watch – its a breakout year for streaming tv.  NBC is turning the 2016 Olympics into a springboard for the masses to adopt the streaming tv.  Its a taste of what we all want – more action from all the sports.  Its streaming sports we want to see it – when we want to see it.  NBC is streaming most events – and allowing us to go back and watch them when we want or as many times as we want.  The onset of set top streaming boxes makes it happen.

History – 2012 Olympics Event Streaming

In 2012, it was hard to get this to work.  You had to get a TV connected to your laptop.  Do you have an HDMI cable on your TV?  Do you have an HDMI out on your laptop?  Oh wait – that’s not HDMI, its a display port.  What’s a display port?  Can I get a converter for that?  Do I have a long enough HDMI cable?  How much is a 25′ HDMI cable?  Grab a kitchen stool and set it up between you and the TV, set the laptop on that.  Now hope it doesn’t fall.

It really was painful – every time you wanted to change the sport, you had to go use the mouse or the track pad.  The sound was crap, if you could get any sound to work at all and then you’d sit back down in the chair to watch and the live stream would hangup.  It was magical…but at the time, it worked – and everyone thought you were the cool.

What did it look like in 2012?

urlThe interface looked good for time, we would laugh at it now – but it worked.  It was streaming TV – the sports we wanted to watch.

You could watch most all sports – anytime.  Most people gave up trying to really watch it on the TV and just went into the den and watched from there.  It worked.  It wasn’t perfect – but it seemed high tech at the time.

The interface allowed you to keep track of the metal count, you could see the events – kind of carnival style and it still looked like a website.

How bad is internet in Australia?

Side note: the Olympics video streaming technically started at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which is kind of funny really – Australia has been known for its slow internet speeds and in 2000 it was worse.

Other Side Note: There were some things rumbling back in 2008 for streaming “regular” TV.  But none has sports yet.

But it wasn’t what we all wanted.  We want all the bells and whistles of the NBC live Olympics show – but the ability to watch the sport we want, when we want to watch it.

2016 Olympics Event Streaming

Hello Roku.  (It works on many streaming players…but I am in love with my Roku 4.)

This is the breakout year for streaming TV - NBC Olympic coverage is the best it has ever been.

streaming_optionsNote:  You’ll need to download the NBC Sports app or go to the NBC website to view it there.

The coverage is amazing.  It could be the breakout year for streaming TV, I mean – you can see what has been on, what is on and what is coming up.  Its what TV can be when you break the mold and try some new things.  Its not perfect – but its really, really good.

I just got done watching women’s table tennis, recapped the 10m air rifle (which I had no idea was even an Olympic sport before now), women’s handball and a whole bunch of swimming events.

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Oh, and also – I can still catch-up on the NBC website too.  While researching this article – I found out the 112th ranked Zambian Judo dude beat the 6th ranked dude.

hakaI also learned what the “Haka” is and that I already knew what it was because of some silly rugby movie I watched 3 years ago, (It was Forever Strong or Invictus) but I didn’t realize the dance had a real name – hey, I’m ignorant.

bballI didn’t learn this, it was more of an expectation…the USA Basketball team was dunking all over china.  And I mean MONSTER dunks…not those other remedial dunks.

Breakout Year for Streaming TV – Thank you Olympics and NBC

The coverage is Amazong.  I have almost watched more Olympics this year than any year ever – and its day 3.  I have been exposed to more sports than ever and I am excited about some of the other, different sports I have an opportunity to see this year.  Its the Olympics my way, on my schedule.

It shows the future of streaming – its the way TV should be.  We don’t need to have Bob Costas tell us everything (but I will say – the informational piece he did with the CDC dude on why the zika virus is not a huge issue to you in Brazil unless your pregnant (if you are pregnant…stay the hell out of Brazil) – but if you are not and are in any water…it probably has poo in it.)

So if you give me what I want…what I really, really want

Compelling, streaming content.  I hope other providers, networks and media types are taking notes.  This is how I want my TV.  The sooner – the better!  I don’t want to mount a dish to my roof, I don’t want to put a TV antenna in my window, I don’t want to pay you $200 a month for the privilege of you spamming the crap out of me and giving me 130 channels I don’t want, so I can get the 7 I do.

Oh, and sports networks.  (Big 10, ACC, SEC, NBA, NFL, MLB (you’ve been trying) – and ahem, ESPN) – this live streaming of TV works great.  LIVE sports is the last mile – its what we all want people.

And, Monday Night Football – what if I could watch any camera feed I WANT.  How about that?  I can still hear the commentary, if I WANT.  Rewind the things I want…but I don’t want to see your repetitive shot.  Why does every football play have to be wide angle croud shot, cut to sideline coach calling in the play on the headset, cut to QB ISO, cut to rear view…make it stop.  Maybe all I want to see if the linemen.  I like watching the ground game – the trenches…let me see that please.

Let me know when this goes down…in the mean time, I’ll be watching the Olympics.  I hear that badminton and modern pentathlon are coming up.  And I need to watch that dude crash into the wall on the bike again.  What the heck…it didn’t even look like he tried to turn at all.  And why didn’t dude in the green shirt take a picture of that?

This Olympic bike crash gives new meaning to "breakout year for streaming TV"

Communication is hard.

Why is it so hard for us to communicate?  Seriously – communication is hard.  We seem to assume everyone has a google search box into our subconscious.  (Which may not be too far away.)

the-insties-emailI was looking at my phone yesterday – and Instagram (I like to call it “the insties“) had updated and the icon changed.  I was kind of surprised as it was a “drastic” change to the logo and I didn’t recognize it at first.  I kind of thought it was odd – but whatever…then, today I received an email from “the insties” and it told me to be on the lookout for the new app and logo.

Not that it really matters…but it I guess it surprised me.  As your “the insties” email probably told you, look for a updated app icon.  That is true – and it is very different…not sure I’m a fan of the gradient, but they didn’t ask me.  And they were making a big deal about how the “rainbow lives on” – I had never associated a rainbow with Instagram…but they did, wonder if they ever communicated that to people?

The email went on to explain how they had really simplified the app design.  I’m not going to lie, I didn’t notice anything except where it looked like they took the background out…if they wouldn’t have said anything, I would have figured Apple made a change…and moved on.

So – I guess what I am saying is this seems like a pretty big deal to “the insties”  – and I am sure a ton of time and energy when into this.  Taken from a guy who has spent no less than 300 hours in meetings about logos over the years…I can only imaging the discussions that happened when they started this process.  Seriously – the probably should have recorded it and broadcast it as reality TV…I would have binge watched that in a heart beat.  Nerds and designers fighting about what color rainbow gradient colors to put in the upper left corner versus the right lower…ha, Oscar stuff.  I am not joking – that would have been killer.  I mean to have a designer go on a tyrant about how that color yellow is too warm and people who use this app are cool yellow lovers and the warm makes it feel too much like San Diego and we are clearly going for a San Francisco yellow crowd vibe.  Stellar.

Everything I know about communication can be wrapped up in one statement – you really cannot communicate enough.  People desire communication and the more time which goes between communication opportunities – the more context is lost.

Good luck – don’t forget to communicate early and often and please call me if you will be discussing nay logo changes.  I’ll get on that conference call any day.

 

The 3-Point Plan For Building Your Brand

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One of the most vital aspects of running a small business is building the brand. There is often much confusion about this, about what brand-building is and how to do it well. In all honesty, there is not so much to it as is often made out. But that is not to say that it is a walk in the park. Like anything worth doing, it takes time and dedication to get right. But there are some tried and tested methods for making your brand a successful one, and it is worth learning them. Ultimately, building a brand is a simple matter of deciding what it is that your company is trying to say – and then saying it. Let’s take a look at the basic process in a little more detail.

Proper Placement

For any brand to be received well by the general public, it needs to be accessible. By this we simply mean that it makes immediate sense to people. To achieve this, it is first necessary to properly identify your brand. You need to know what it is, what it looks like, what it stands for. To get this right, there are some simple steps you can take. One common piece of advice at this stage is to think of your brand as a person. Treat it like you would a personality. How would you describe it to someone who doesn’t know it yet? Practicing this simple exercise can really help you to get a clear idea of what your brand is like. This part of the job is also made easier if you already have a clear vision in place for your business. In this instance, your brand might well be a mirroring of that vision. Once you can identify your brand with ease – and describe it well – you are in a good position to place it. All this means is that you know where it belongs in your target market.

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Consistent Communication

When it comes to the question of how to actually build your brand, communication is the key. For a brand to grow, you need to expose it to lots of people. But more than that, you need to communicate consistently with those people. This is where the hard work really happens. The communication with the public is the actual brand-building in action. There are many tools and tricks to achieve that consistency you are looking for. Many business owners find that it is worthwhile hiring the services of a pr company. If you outsource your communications in this way, you can be sure of the professional consistency your brand needs.

Extra Expansion

Provided that the above has been carried out properly, you already have a brand on its way to full growth. The next question you will face is how to ensure its continued growth. The answer is quite simple: you need to approach more and more people. A brand only grows if there are more people to become aware of it. For that reason, it is at this stage that your marketing campaign really needs to take an upturn. You should, at this point, be approaching a wider and wider range of the general public. So long as you continue to do this – and as long as you remain consistent – your brand is likely to grow. And that is pretty much the name of the game.

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How To Ace Your Next Business Trade Show

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Have you tried embracing industry trade shows for your business? They are a great way to get your name out there, whatever line of work you do, and whatever industry you serve. Whether you want new leads, more sales, or just want to get more brand exposure, you can get it all – and more – at a trade show. But, given the costs you will incur, you have to get it right if you want to make the most of your investment. Here are a few pointers that will help you ace your day at your next trade show.

Pick the right event

It sounds obvious, but picking the right event for your product or service is vital. Most people – I would hope – would choose a trade fair that is compatible with their business, of course. But, not all trade shows in your industry will be right for your business. The biggest shows are often crammed full of major players, and if you want a stall, you will pay through the nose. Plus, you will often find that smaller companies are often shunted into the corners. So, be realistic about your business’s place at the table, and choose the right show for your size. Regional shows can often work better for smaller companies, for example.

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Have clear goals

Never turn up at a trade show without any idea of what you should be doing. A clear plan and excellent strategy is an absolute must, and you will struggle without one in place. Ask yourself what you want to get out of the trade show, and make every facet of your plan about achieving those goals. Look at the other businesses that are bringing stalls, too, and see what the competition is offering. You may even spot a business that is compatible with yours, who you could strike a deal or two with. The main thing to remember is that trade shows are an excellent networking opportunity. So, bring your friendly faces, and be prepared to put yourself about a little.

Invest in a great stand

People at trade shows are attracted to awesome-looking stands. There’s no getting around it – you just have to make an effort. Ensure that you have a suitable budget arranged at an early stage so that you can order and create your stand as soon as possible. Custom designs might your best bet, according to industry specialists Infinity Exhibits. However, you can also pick up second-hand stalls and create some eye-catching graphics.  

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Bring lots of marketing materials

People also love free stuff – and it’s a great way to remind them of your business when they go home. Trade shows can be overwhelming, and they are exceptionally busy with many stalls vying for attention. But, give something useful to your booth visitors with your name and contact number all on it and they might just remember you.

As you can see, there is a lot to think about if you want a trade show to work for you. Get the right plan in place, and there’s no reason you can’t get the success you need. All the best!

 

The Best Ways to Generate More Sales for Your Business

The way to help your company survive and become a success is through sales. Generating as many of these as you can is the best way of ensuring business success. So, you need to do what you can to secure as many sales for the business as possible. Here are some of the best ways you can achieve that.

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Market Well

The key to a successful business is to make sure you have excellent marketing. This is an area so many businesses fall down on. It’s imperative to make sure you promote your company well because that is what generates interest and draws people to you. So it’s important to have an array of different marketing techniques to choose from. This helps you inject some diversity into your marketing and ensure it will be more effective.

Special Offers

In order to secure sales, you need to attract people to the business. You have to generate a lead and then turn that lead into a sale. And the way to generate a lead is to dangle the carrot for the customer. You can do this in the form of special offers and promotions. These will do a lot to ensure that the business presents a positive image. You want people to take note of your company and have a reason to visit your business. And the best way of doing this is to make sure you have regular promotions and special offers you can use.

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Faster Transactions

The key to generating more sales is faster transactions. It’s not difficult to work out – faster transactions mean more transactions. People hate to be kept waiting, and if you can serve them quickly you will keep them satisfied, and you won’t miss out on sales. The way to do this is to embrace and utilise mobile technology. Make sure all your staff are trained in handling EMV technology in the business. That way you can secure multiple sales and get anyone to complete numerous transactions at any point in the working day. It’s the best way of ensuring that the business gets through as many transactions as possible.

Online Shop

You need to think about how to maximise the sales for the company. Now, a great approach would be to create an online shop. You can attach this to your website, and run it in conjunction with your regular store. The benefit of having an online store is that it makes transactions instantaneous. People can visit your website and make purchases with just the click of a button. This increases the likelihood of repeat business and makes the whole process much quicker.

Your goal when running a business should be trying to generate as many sales as you can. This is done with a combination of new business and repeat custom. So you need to come up with ideas that help you satisfy your existing customers, and attract new clients to the brand. Hopefully, you will find the ideas listed on this post useful in helping you to achieve that.

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