Zuk Edge Smartphone Will Be Launched Next Week, Confirms CEO Chang Cheng

Zuk Edge Smartphone Will Be Launched Next Week, Confirms CEO Chang Cheng

Zuk Edge Smartphone Will Be Launched Next Week, Confirms CEO Chang Cheng
HIGHLIGHTS
Smartphone expected to sport 5.5-inch full-HD display
Zuk Edge tipped to pack Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor
Official renders of the smartphone shared by Zuk CEO
There have been several leaks and rumours regarding Lenovo’s upcoming Zuk Edge smartphone but now Zuk’s CEO has himself confirmed that the phone will be launched next week. Even though there is still no confirmation for exact launch date, we now have official renders of both the front and the back of the smartphone along with its packaging.

Former Lenovo VP and current Zuk CEO Chang Cheng on Monday posted the official renders and announced on Chinese social networking website Weibo (via GSMArena) of the company’s upcoming smartphone that it will be launched next week. Earlier this month, the smartphone was allegedly spotted in live images.

Further, Zuk Edge was spotted in a listing at the Chinese certification authority TENAA. As per the listing the Zuk Z2151 aka Zuk Edge sports a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) display and will be powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM. The Chinese publication which posted the live images of the smartphone made claims that the handset will also come with a 6GB of RAM variant.

The smartphone will reportedly be available in 32GB and 64GB storage models. In terms of optics, Zuk Edge is tipped to come with a 13-megapixel rear camera and an 8-megapixel camera at the front. As per the TENAA listing, the Zuk Edge will run Android 6.0 Marshmallow with ZUI 2.0 skin, and will house a 3000mAh battery. The smartphone is tipped to come with a fingerprint scanner as well.

Tags: Lenovo Zuk Edge Launch, Mobiles, Android, Lenovo Zuk CEO, Lenovo Zuk Edge Official Renders

[“Source-Gadgets”]

Oculus Rift Will Get Xbox One Game Streaming Support on December 12

Oculus Rift Will Get Xbox One Game Streaming Support on December 12

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app available December 12
  • While Rift works on Windows 7 and above, the app is for Windows 10 only
  • Titles include Forza Horizon 3 and Gears of War 4

Microsoft has announced that you will soon be able to stream Xbox One games from your console to Oculus Rift on Windows 10 PCs with the help of a new app – Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app.

“The new Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app connects to your Xbox One via your home network,” Kevin Unangst, senior director of global marketing at Xbox, said in an official blog post. “Once connected, your console’s video output is streamed to your Rift headset and projected onto a massive screen in your choice of one of three immersive VR environments: ‘Citadel’, ‘Retreat’ and ‘Dome’.”

If you’re wondering what’s the need for “immersive VR environments”, that’s because your Xbox One games aren’t capable of naturally adapting to Rift’s 360-degree view. Project Scorpio, the confirmed 4K-and-high-end-VR upgrade to the Xbox One, isn’t out until fall 2017, so you’ll have to wait a bit to see if your Rift is supported by Project Scorpio, or Microsoft chooses to build its own native VR hardware. The latter approach would be a shift in how the company is approaching VR headsets for Windows 10, but then again the Xbox division has always built its own hardware.

While a full list of games isn’t available, Microsoft said that you’ll be able to stream the likes of Forza Horizon 3, Gears of War 4, Halo 5: Guardians, “biggest sports games”, “indie darlings”, and even some backward compatible Xbox 360 titles. Microsoft also wants potential Rift buyers to know that every Rift purchase comes with a free Xbox wireless controller – a nudge of sorts towards consumers to pick up an Xbox One S during the holidays if they are jumping onto the VR bandwagon – unlike the Oculus Touch controllers that cost $199 (about Rs. 13,600) on top of the Rift’s own $599 (about Rs. 41,000) price point.The Xbox One Streaming to Oculus Rift app will be available for free in the Oculus Store on December 12, Microsoft said, and more titles will be added in the coming year. Hopefully, someone at Microsoft can use the next two weeks to come up with a better name for the app.

Tags: Oculus Rift, Xbox One, Windows 10
[“source-ndtv”]

10 Top Internet Marketers Who Will Help You Keep Your Competitive Edge

These 10 Top Internet Marketers Will Help You Keep Your Competitive Edge

One of the best ways to stay highly competitive in the online marketing field is to learn from thought-leaders who get results. Those who’ve earned praise from renown clients and respect from their industry are always worth listening to.

Whether you’re just venturing out into the marketing field or you’ve been doing it for over a decade, the following leaders are sure to spark some inspiration! In this list, I’ve included a brief background on each marketer, where to find them online, recommended reading and a notable quote.

One excellent way to use this list is to create a “marketers to learn from” Twitter List and add these marketing leaders to it. Or, maybe you want to focus on following just one or two influencers.

There’s no right or wrong way, as long as you’re learning something new every day.

The following 10 top internet marketers have helped their clients achieve impressive results. They’re trusted by brands and fellow marketers alike, so be sure to start learning from them today!

Introducing the 10 Top Internet Marketers

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is the energetic, over-delivering marketing guru who’s earned accolades from Forbes, Wall Street Journal, and even Barack Obama. He founded Crazy Egg, Kissmetrics, Hello Bar, Quick Sprout

A self-described “digital marketer and analytics junkie,” Neil specializes in SEO, internet marketing, conversion optimization and growth hacking.

Where to Find Neil:

  • Twitter
  • Neil’s Blog

Recommended Reading:

  • LinkedIn Post: The 10 Things People Still Get Wrong About Local SEO
  • Blog post: The Beginner’s Guide to Crafting Interactive Content

Words of Wisdom:

“I want to introduce you to a type of content that’s inherently engaging… Interactive content. You might have seen BuzzFeed quizzes floating in your social media feeds. They are the simplest form of interactive content and they are loved by users.

As per BuzzSumo, an average quiz gets shared 1,900 times. If the results of a quiz shine a positive light on the user, then he will most probably share the result with his friends.” (Source)

Kevan Lee

Kevan is a professional writer, editor and highly-effective storyteller. The director of marketing at content-sharing app Buffer, his areas of expertise include blogging, email marketing and content creation. He’s written for many well-known blogs, including Lifehacker, Entrepreneur, Time, Huffington Post, Fast Company, The Next Web and the Buffer’s blog.

Where to Find Kevan:

  • Twitter
  • Buffer blog
  • Also check out Buffer’s transparent blog board on Trello!

Recommended Reading:

  • Buffer post: How to Get Verified on Twitter (If I can do it, you can too!)
  • Buffer post: How to Curate Content: The Secret Sauce to Getting Noticed, Becoming an Influencer, and Having Fun Online

Words of Wisdom:

“How great is the internet! One of the most impactful, viral, influential services you can perform online is to read stuff and tell people what you like. It’s true! If you’re looking for a competitive edge, a way to establish your authority, a way to get more followers, one of the best, proven paths to online success is content curation. It’s both as simple and as difficult as finding great content and sharing it with your audience.” (Source)

Pam Moore

Pam is the founder, CEO and partner of Marketing Nutz — a social media, digital marketing, experiential branding agency. Recognized as one of the top social media influencers today, she specializes in social branding and conversion optimization. She’s also a dynamic keynote speaker, consultant, trainer, best-selling author and strategist.

Where to Find Pam:

  • Twitter
  • Pam’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: 10 Truths Nobody Told You About Being A Social Media Marketer
  • Blog post: Blogging for Business: 10 Foundational Requirements for Success

Words of Wisdom:

“Social media is not a band-aid for a broken business. If business leaders really want to ignite business results using digital and social marketing, they must do more than hire a social media intern who knows how to get new followers on Instagram, post to Snapchat and do a live video stream on Facebook.” (Source)

John Jantsch

John is the creator of the renowned Duct Tape Marketing System. His methodology is used by hundreds of independent marketing consultants around the world. His blog has been a Forbes favorite for marketing and small business and his podcast is a top ten marketing show on iTunes. Huffington Post has named him one of the top 100 “Must Follow” on Twitter.

Where to Find John:

  • Twitter
  • Duct Tape Marketing blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: How to Give Your Content CPR – Podcast, with guest Laura Belgray
  • Blog post: The Science of Pre-Suasion – Podcast, with guest Dr. Robert Cialdini

Words of Wisdom:

“Instead of jumping right into the look of your website, which is very easy to do based on the visual nature of the medium, make sure your well planned strategy takes center stage … Don’t bury your USP (unique selling proposition) in a glut of other content. Shout it loud, make it known why you do what you do and how you do it best.” (Source)

Peter Shankman

According to the New York Times, Peter is “a public relations all-star who knows everything about new media and then some.” Known as the founder of Help A Reporter Out (HARO), he’s an entrepreneur and speaker with real-world clout. He’s also the author of four books, including the popular “Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans.” Peter founded The Geek Factory, Inc., and ShankMinds: Business Masterminds, a series of small business entrepreneurial-style masterminds in over 25 cities worldwide.

Where to Find Peter:

  • Twitter
  • Peter’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: The Best Way to Improve Yourself Comes from Never Forgetting You at Your Worst
  • Blog post: How I Wrote 28,482 Words on One Flight

Words of Wisdom:
“Whether it’s business or personal, do the scary thing. If it works, you’ll have an amazing story to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience. If it doesn’t work, you’ll have a story with a lesson to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience. Either way, you’ll have a story to tell, and you’ll be richer for the experience, and in the end, that’s all life really is. Stories and experiences.” (Source)

Amy Porterfield

Amy is a social media strategist who specializes in Facebook marketing. She co-authored “Facebook Marketing All-In-One for Dummies.” She creates educational marketing programs for small businesses and entrepreneurs to help them get more traffic, leads and sales. She also speaks at marketing events, businesses and networking events about the power of social media.

Where to Find Amy:

  • Twitter
  • Amy’s website and blog

Recommended Listening:

  • Podcast: Get Your Content House In Order
  • Podcast: How to Organize & Analyze Your Facebook Ads

Words of Wisdom:

“Entrepreneurs and small business owners tend to make the mistake of considering Facebook a direct selling platform. This mindset is misguided and can lead to frustration and ‘throwing in the towel’ on Facebook. What people need to understand is that Facebook can be a powerfully successful road to making the sale, but it is not the ‘store.’” (Source)

Kim Garst

Kim is a social media expert who’s owned an online business for over 20 years. She’s a leading influencer on digital marketing, especially social selling. Kim discusses the latest social-media marketing strategies on her blog, and curates posts that provide the most value to her readers. She’s also a respected author. Her latest book, “Show Up, Be Authentic, and Prosper in Social Media,” is an international best seller.

Where to Find Kim:

  • Twitter
  • Kim’s blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Blog post: How To Get More Snapchat Followers
  • Blog post: What is Social Proof And Why Do You Need It?

Words of Wisdom:
“Facebook is GIVING reach to those that Facebook Live. Yep, you heard it here. Facebook actually pushes FREE reach to your live-streams and the longer you are live, the more free reach you receive. For example, I can go live and have a reach of over 400,000-500,000 people in less than an hour! That’s insane, right? Oh and here’s the true value … with ZERO ad spend!” (Source)

Lisa Raehsler

Named as a Top 25 Most Influential PPC Expert for three years, Lisa is one of the marketing industry’s most Influential PPC experts. She’s founder and SEM/PPC strategy consultant of Big Click Co Search Engine Marketing Consulting. She specializes in paid search ads, paid social media, display and retargeting. With 17 years of online advertising industry experience, she’s a columnist for SEWatch, SEM Post and ClickZ. She is also a speaker for SES, HeroConf, Pubcon and ClickZ Live.

Where to Find Lisa:

  • Twitter
  • Big Click Co. blog

Recommended Reading:

  • Bing Ads Blog post: Three tips to Bing Ads campaign imports you can’t miss
  • Big Click Co. Blog post: The Art of Remarketing Video

Words of Wisdom:

“Ad extensions are one of the greatest features of Bing Ads. These provide “bonus” information in the form of text and sitelinks, phone numbers and even images. A savvy PPC manager can max out these extensions and gain better CTRs for campaigns.

Ad extensions that Bing Ads supports, will import, saving time in the set-up process. This includes: location, call, sitelinks and app extensions.” (Source)

Ramon Ray

A marketer and small business evangelist at Infusionsoft, Ramon is passionate about helping small business entrepreneurs grow their businesses. He’s the editor and publisher of Smart Hustle Magazine, as well as the editor of smallbiztechnology.com. A bestselling author, Ramon wrote “The Facebook Guide to Small Business Marketing.” He’s also a speaker who’s shared the stage with Seth Godin, Daymond John, Guy Kawasaki, Simon Sinek, JJ Ramberg, Peter Shankman and other celebrity entrepreneurs.

Where to Find Ramon:

  • Twitter
  • Ramon’s website

Recommended Reading:

  • Smallbiztechnology article: What Is Advertisement Re-Targeting And Why Does It Matter?
  • Smart Hustle Magazine article: 5 Tips for Using Facebook Live to Get Closer to Your Customers

Words of Wisdom:

“Many businesses focus their holiday marketing efforts online, relying on tools like social media and paid advertising to reach potential customers. However, local businesses should never underestimate the importance of traditional and tangible marketing materials such a signs, banners and postcards. Customers will be able to see and interact with these elements in real life. They have a more ‘personal’ feel and can also drive word-of-mouth marketing in your local area.” (Source)

Jay Baer

Jay Baer has 23 years’ experience in digital marketing. He founded Convince & Convert, “a strategy consulting firm that helps prominent companies through the smart intersection of technology and customer service.” Besides being a trusted marketer, he’s also a respected business strategist, inspirational speaker and a New York Times bestselling author. He has advised 33 of the FORTUNE 500 companies — including Nike, Caterpillar and Allstate. 

Where to Find Jay:

  • Twitter
  • Social Pros Podcast (hosted by Jay Baer and Adam Brown of Salesforce)
  • Jay’s website

Recommended Reading:
Social Media Examiner interview with Jay: Dealing With Unhappy Customers: What Social Marketers Need to Know

Words of Wisdom:

“Some brands try to bribe customers by offering product discounts to those who interact with them on social media. And while incentives can be an effective way to build a customer base, constantly trying to buy your customers’ love doesn’t build brand loyalty. This ultimately leads to brand failure because a customer without brand loyalty will happily ditch your brand for one offering a better deal.” (Source)

Meeting Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

The Original Diablo Will Be Playable in Diablo 3

The Original Diablo Will Be Playable in Diablo 3
HIGHLIGHTS
The first Diablo game will be playable in Diablo 3 via a patch
It will contain the pixellated graphics of the original
Blizzard will also bring Seasons to consoles
With 2016 marking 20 years of Diablo, Blizzard announced something special for fans of the action role-playing game franchise at BlizzCon 2016. And no it was not Diablo 4.

Rather, it’s a content patch called The Darkening of Tristram for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. This update will bring a 16-level dungeon to the game complete with the four bosses from the original Diablo.

(Also see: Blizzard Announces New Overwatch Character Sombra at BlizzCon 2016)

Along with this, there will be special graphic filters to make the game pixelated and grainy just as it was in its original December 31, 1996 release. Movement will be locked to eight directions as well. It will be available to all current characters in-game although it’s recommended to try it out with a new character.

There’s no release date yet but The Darkening of Tristram patch will be playable via Public Test Realm (PTR) – a service to test patches before release to the general populace, next week.

(Also see: Blizzard and Google DeepMind to Use StarCraft II for AI Research)

In addition to this, two new zones will be added to the game’s Adventure Mode. These include the Shrouded Moors and the Temple of the Firstborn. Also, console owners will get Seasons, an optional competitive game mode that allows players to create and level up a new character from scratch without previous items and currency.

While there was little in the way of an announcement of a new Diablo game or expansion to mark two decades of the series, some fans are holding out, expecting a hint during one of BlizzCon 2016’s many panels. Though it seems unlikely given that the opening presentation would have been the perfect stage for such a reveal.

Tags: Diablo, Diablo 3, Diablo 4, The Darkening of Tristram, BlizzCon, BlizzCon 2016, Blizzard, Diablo 3 Seasons, PS4, Xbox One, PC Games, PC Gaming, Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls

[“source-ndtv”]

Tile Will Find Your Car Keys, Protect Your Computer

100314 tile app

We’ve all experienced it. Misplacing the most important items of daily life can be a real problem making you late for meetings or put important information stored on a mobile device at risk. Keys, a wallet, a smartphone … they all seemingly sprout legs and walk away when we’re not looking.

Or you could truly lose these important items, accidentally or through theft. A phone could easily slip out of pocket. Or a mobile device could disappear in a coffee shop the moment your back is turned.

A new device called Tile has been created to help you recover these important items whether misplaced in a desk drawer or taken from you without your knowledge while out and about. Here’s a closer look at how it works:

Tile can be attached to an essential device like a phone, remote or even a laptop. At just 37-millimeters square and 5 millimeters thick, it can also be stowed inside a wallet or pocketbook. The little device also features a hole in one corner that allows you to attach it to a key ring or other loop or clasp.

Of course, other software, like Lookout Mobile, has been developed to protect specific devices like your phone from theft. But Tile is unique in that it can help locate any item it is attached to.

Tile works by sending out a signal within a 100-foot radius. When you place a Tile on a device or object, a smartphone app helps identify where the object is. So, for instance, if you’ve placed a Tile on a lost set of keys, you can use your phone to help locate the keys using the Tile app.

As you get closer to that lost item, the Tile and the phone communicate with each other. You can even activate an audible alert to make the object easier to find.

But that’s not all. Soon, Tile owners will be able to share their identification information with friends and colleagues via a network that will allow others to help recover lost or stolen items, too.

Development of the new device and supporting software is getting plenty of backing. TechCrunch reportsthat Tile has raised more than $13 million so far. That includes a $9.5 million venture capital investment in Series A round funding led by GGV Capital. During its seed round of funding, Tile received $3.5 million, including a large investment from Tencent.

Tile also raised more than $2.6 million in a Selfstarter crowdfunding campaign. But the company came under some fire for failing to ship products it promised to backers, citing production delays. It’s a common problem that has happened more than once with crowdfunded startups.

Outside of recovering lost or stolen items, it’s speculated the technology could have other applications, including some in the world of retail marketing. For instance, a retailer could use the little devices to mark particular items around a store then give access to customers who have the app and offer special promotions on merchandise that has been marked.

Of course, the little devices still have some limitations. Right now, the app is only available for iOS 7 and iOs 8. So it works with iPhone 4S, iPhone 5 and both of the new iPhone 6s. The app also works with a third-generation iPad, a fifth-generation iPod Touch, and the iPad mini, the company says. The app can support up to eight Tile devices.

Tile also announced recently that an Anrdoid version is on the  way.

Image: Tile

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Google’s Standalone Mixed Reality Headset Will Integrate Eye-Tracking: Report

Google's Standalone Mixed Reality Headset Will Integrate Eye-Tracking: Report

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Google’s alleged new headset to include eye-tracking tech
  • The headset is also said to pack sensors
  • The VR headset won’t require any phone

Google has been rumoured to be working on a high-end standalone VR (virtual reality) headset which is said to blur the lines between virtual reality and augmented reality for a while now. Now a latest report claims that Google’s upcoming mixed reality headset will integrate eye-tracking features and both motion and positional awareness.

Engadget citing some people familiar with the matter reports that the new VR headset will also use “algorithms to map out the real-world space in front of a user.” The mixed reality headset from Google will be also able to augment the reality in front of the headset which means it will be capable of showing digital objects, and also use sensors to map out the real world around the user.

The report adds that Movidius is currently providing chips that will help in tracking motion and positional awareness. Notably, Movidius is a machine vision firm in the process of being acquired and also powers Project Tango. The report again stressed that the standalone headset will not require any other hardware including a desktop or mobile to run. The upcoming Google VR headset is said to compete with the likes of HTC Vive and Facebook’s Oculus Rift.

The new report also goes in-line with Google acquiring Eyefluence, which is working to enable eye movements to control digital screens. The new Google-acquired company began its journey in 2013 and worked on coming up with ways to interact with augmented and virtual reality displays. The company is currently working on advanced eye-interaction technology.Earlier this month, Google unveiled the new Daydream View VR headset which it claimed was designed and developed by it and was the company’s first Daydream-ready headset and controller. The Daydream View comes with an auto-alignment system for compatible phones as well. The Daydream View controller sports sensors and is capable of understanding movements and gestures.

Tags: Augmented Reality, Daydream, Google, VR, Wearables
[“source-smallbiztrends”]

GoDaddy Says Its Latest Feature Will Make it Much Easier to Launch Your WordPress Site

The new GoDaddy WordPress Website wizard will enable small businesses to build their own WordPress website more easily then before.

WordPress is used by 26.9 percent of all the websites in the world, and GoDaddy (NYSE:GDDY) just announced a new service called WordPress Website that will make launching more of those websites on WordPress even easier.

The New GoDaddy WordPress Website Wizard

GoDaddy said this will be the easiest way for small businesses to build their own WordPress website. And according to the company, the new exclusive WordPress Quick Start Wizard is what is going to make it possible.

With so many websites being created using the WordPress content management system (CMS) every day, GoDaddy has made an effort to make the integration even easier.  That’s not surprising considering more than 50 percent of the platform’s hosting customers use WordPress.  GoDaddy’s newest feature began with the acquisition of ManageWP, a WordPress site management tool, last month. The combined technologies has made the company a single destination for WordPress site creation, management and hosting.

The WordPress Quick Start Wizard builds on GoDaddy’s existing solution for this CMS so small business owners can create professional websites. It includes free high-quality images for every industry imaginable, professionally built premium themes and a Visual Page Editor for easy drag and drop customization.

Everything your small business needs is readily available to quickly create a blog, photo gallery, contact form or other integrations with the most popular social media sites, the company says. During the tool’s beta release, the average time to publish a site was reduced by 73 percent. And if that wasn’t impressive enough, the number of customers that successfully published a site increased three fold.

Other features include an email signup form integrated with GoDaddy Email Marketing, an SEO Wizard and more.

The WordPress Websites is available now with three different tiers, starting at $7.99 per month for Basic, $9.99 per month for Business, and $14.99 per month for Ultimate.

Image: Small Business Trends

More in: Breaking News

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Don’t Have a Website? Your Competitors Soon Will

web planning

A majority of small businesses don’t have a website, according to a recent survey.

Specifically, 55 percent of U.S.-based small businesses (59 percent, including all the various countries that participated in the research) don’t have a website, according to a GoDaddy-commissioned global survey.

That percentage stands to shrink, however, as 55 percent of these small businesses voiced an intent to launch an online presence for their small business within two years.

Of the small business owners that have a website up and running, 83 percent believe that they have a competitive advantage over those without an online presence.

Key perceived obstacles for companies that have not yet launched a website have to do with company size, as well as the expense and technical expertise believed to be related to the creation of  the website.

“Some said they believed they were too small for the Web, either in terms of employees or revenue,” Steven Aldrich, GoDaddy’s senior vice president of business applications, told Small Business Trends. Others claimed technical difficulty and the alleged related costs were among the reasons they had not launched a website yet, he added.

None of these concerns holds much weight, Aldrich noted.

“You are never too small to be on the Web. And you don’t need technical expertise; that is no longer a barrier,” he said.

As for cost, Aldrich said that today a business can purchase a website, domain and email address for one year for $1 from GoDaddy.

Companies that plan to roll out an online presence in the next two years tend to be younger. In fact, newer small businesses are nearly twice as likely to have plans to create a website compared to their older counterparts.

Business that dedicate their websites to effectively explaining why they are unique are most likely to see benefits from an online presence, Aldrich said.

“Service businesses do well—such as accountants and consultants,” he said. “They use their websites to tell their story and specifically why they are the best solution for you.”

Focusing the site on telling the company’s story in a compelling way, including highlighting what is unique about the company’s offering, whether it’s a product or a service, is the key to creating an impactful website, Aldrich said.

“You don’t need a lot of widgets and gadgets,” Aldrich said. “Explain why your business is unique.” Businesses with sites that follow this guideline about highlighting differentiation tend to perform better, he added.

One promising statistic in the survey, Aldrich highlighted, is that 84 percent who plan to build a website will ensure its mobile optimized.

“They recognize the power of all those people carrying around smartphones,” he said. “It’s great to see that small businesses realize the importance of the mobile economy.”

GoDaddy commissioned RedShift Research to conduct the study, for which it surveyed 4,009 small businesses (meaning with one to five employees) in June and July of this year. Businesses located in Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Mexico, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States were part of the study. GoDaddy commissioned the research to look at how very small businesses utilize the Internet.

Web Planning Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

9 Things that Will Drive Your Web Designer Nuts

web design

Website development is not easy for the web designer or for the client, but there are things you can do to make things easier for your designer. There are also things that you can do that will make them very agitated and angry.

Because the web development process can be difficult and tedious I am going to tell you about some things to avoid doing so your working relationship with your developer will be better. (Side note: I am fully aware that there are web design companies that drop the ball; perhaps we will touch on that in a different article.)

1) Expecting A Designer to Be at Your Beck and Call

Anyone in the web design or developing business has to have a good number of clients at one time to make a living. Just think about this – you pay half up front and you don’t pay the other half until the site is completed (which could be 3-6 months depending on how long the process takes). The deposit you put down is not going to pay the bills for a web designer for months; they need other clients to pay the bills.

You are not the only client. Because of that, the designer and their team cannot be available every single time you want something. Please understand that they have responsibilities and obligations to many people, not just you. If it takes 24 hours to get a call or email back, that is a respectable time. In the mean time, take notes on all the issues you want to discuss so you can get everything out in one conversation.

Another important note: web designers may work all hours of the day, but that doesn’t mean they are available to talk after working hours or on the weekends just because that is when you are free. They deserve family time like everyone else.

2) Failing to Gather Materials Which Results in Slower Progress

As I mentioned earlier, web designers get a certain amount of money in the beginning. They need to make that money last for a period of time and also finish a website in a certain period of time to receive their final payment or they start to lose money.

Businesses, sometimes, are not in a big rush to finish a website and they are fine with it taking 6-12 months. This is not fair to a designer because they have to keep the job on the books and pay attention to it even if you are not. They are losing money and time and also paying for your site to be on development server. Plus, they deal with your emails consistently which takes a lot of time. The designer is losing time and money. You can’t expect them to be happy about a project if they are losing money.

It is really important to remember that designers have families and bills to pay. They need jobs to get done in a reasonable amount of time. Help them do that by sending them the requested documents, content and images they need so they can effectively develop your website. The website getting finished in a timely manner is good for you and the developer.

3) You Disappear for Three Months & Suddenly It Is Urgent That the Site Gets Finished

A web designer is depending on finishing a website to get the money that they need to make a living. Say a business owner disappears and does not respond to emails or phone calls. The web designer then must take on another job to offset the money they will possibly not be receiving. (How do they know if you are coming back?) Other clients are anxious to get the work done and are helping the designer consistently to finish the project(s), so the business owner that disappeared gets put on the back burner. This is logical.

However, the absent business owner suddenly realizes that they need their site, comes to the designer and complains that the site isn’t finished and demands it be finished quickly. Anyone that does this should know that they have essentially killed a good working relationship with the designer. The designer may be polite, but they were screwed financially by the disappearing act and on top of it they are now receiving demands. I highly recommend businesses avoid this.

If you have to disappear tell the designer why. Offer to pay a holding fee monthly to keep the project going or apologize for the disappearing act and ask them what you can do to get the project running again.

4) Giving Content on Paper and Expecting a Designer to Re-Type All Your Content

A developer or designer works very hard on coding and design. Trust me when I say that the coding and design take a lot of hours and require tedious work. When they add content to your website, they also have to format that content so it looks nice and this is also very time consuming work.

Typically copying and pasting content saves some time. When you expect a web designer to re-type your content, it is just rude. They are not being paid to type out content, but to make you something wonderful. Typically with a web design, a business pays for a certain number of hours of work and usually they want to stick to that number and not pay more. If someone insists on a designer re-typing, I can assure you that the designer will deduct some time from other work they needed to do to offset the cost.

Please send them documents where designers can copy and paste. Ask them how they would like the content sent so time and money is saved on both sides.

5) Sending Lots of Images with No Organization

Images are a ton of work. Every image that goes on a site is resized, named and uploaded. An image-intense website can double the cost of a website because the images alone are so much work.

When businesses send a disk or flash drive of images with no organization or names and they expect the web designer to figure out which images go where, they are adding a ton of time to the designer’s already long list of tasks. This drives designers insane. If you have images you want on a certain pages you could organize them into folders that name the page so they designer knows where they go.

You can also label images if you are emailing. No matter how you get images to your designer, I highly recommend you find a way to organize the images so things are easier for the designer. It will save you a ton of time answering questions and it will also save the designer a lot of time. Ask your designer how they would like to receive images from you.

6) Asking 19 Questions in 14 Emails

I already established that web designers have more than one client. So if every client emails many times (and they do), the designer has to spend a lot of time sifting through emails. They often have to go back to each one to make sure each question is addressed and readdressed.

It is wiser to sit and create a list of questions and send them all in one email so the designer only has to look at one email. Often designers have to go back to the email conversation when working because requests are in there. It is a lot easier to look at one email of conversations verses 14 emails with conversations.

Always keep in mind how much time an email or emails take. Do you want your designer spending hours answering emails or do you want those hours spent on your website?

7) Not Trusting the Web Designer

The thing that used to eat me alive the most was the fact that my partner and I would make recommendations based on usability principles, design, SEO and over-all knowledge based on experience and clients would not listen or trust the advice. We had absolutely no reason to offer advice that had no merit, but businesses wanted to ignore the advice and believed their way was better.

If you are given a recommendation don’t dismiss it outright. Ask why the recommendation is being made and really listen to the thoughts you are given. It is perfectly alright to disagree, but at least give the designer and their team the respect to listen to their thoughts.

8) Having a Bad Day and Taking it Out on the Designer by Sending Nasty Emails

We all have bad days and sometimes we take it out on others, but when you have someone killing themselves coding and constantly thinking about what is best for you and your business you want to avoid hurting feelings.

Often the nasty emails that come in are because someone is having a bad day. They are irritated already and they look at something about the website, write a crappy email and somehow forget that the person that receives that email is a human with feelings.

Please try to avoid this in all business dealings. Web designers sit all day and work on code and design. I can’t really explain in words how much that exhausts the brain, but it does. Nasty emails just don’t come across well to people that are mentally exhausted because they are creating something wonderful for you. Also keep in mind that emails don’t show the emotion on your face so the reader can’t tell if you are joking or attacking at times. Be careful how you word things.

9) Allowing Anyone in Your Business to Be Adversarial to the Web Design Team

Sometimes there is one person that just has to say negative things all the time or attack ideas. Some people have an ego problem and sometimes they even do things to slow down the project. This one person can destroy a good working relationship. This one person can make the designers life very un-enjoyable.

If you notice that one person is always being negative about the project or the designer you need to put a stop to it. Pull the negative person off the project or ask them what they problem is. The bottom line is: you need to finish the project and you need the designer to be on your side. There are always things that need to be addressed after a website launches, so you don’t want the designer to launch your website and walk away.

You will need a good working relationship with your designer in the future. Make sure respect is given on both sides.

Conclusion

As someone that has worked with many web design clients, I highly recommend you share this with anyone that is in the process of creating a new website. These 9 issues I have listed are so common, but they also cause a lot of problems for designers and working relationships.

The most important suggestion I have is to make sure everyone’s time and effort is respected. When there are issues, let go of anger and just ask what is going on. Most issues can be resolved if respect is there.

What issues have you seen with either web design clients or web designers?

[“source-ndtv”]

3D Printer Returns: Will MakerBot’s Replicator+ Suit Small Businesses?

Will the new MakerBot Replicator Plus series suit small businesses?

MakerBot started shipping 3D printer kits in 2009, and since then the company has been having its ups and downs as the market continues to define itself. With the DIY market for 3D printing so crowded, MakerBot has decided to change directions by going after the professional and educational segment with the new Replicator+ 3D printers.

This is a great move by MakerBot, because it can now focus on creating high-quality printers specifically designed to give professionals and educators a reliable device that is affordable from an industry leader.

The New Makerbot Replicator Plus Series

The new line of printers called the MakerBot Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ have a more robust construction with features that take into account today’s mobile and connected world, along with many other features. Whether you are a small engineering and design firm or an educator, these printers have the hardware and software to easily integrate into workflows for creating prototypes, one-off items, replacement parts, and more.

According to the company, both units have been completely reengineered with an extensive printer and subsystem testing of more than 380,000 hours during the development phase to ensure reliable, high-quality performance across multiple facilities.

The MakerBot Replicator+ is around 30 percent faster with a build volume that is 25 percent larger, while being 27 percent quieter. As for the Mini, it is 10 percent faster, with a build volume that is 28 percent larger and the noise has been decreased by 58 percent.

MakerBot Smart Extruder+

They both have the swappable MakerBot Smart Extruder+. This extruder has been tested to deliver better performance with a long life. It was tested for more than 160,000 hours, and it is backed by a 6-month warranty.

Being able to swap the extruder reduces downtimes by allowing businesses to quickly change the part if there is a problem. The company sells the extruders separately, which according to MakerBot is the only brand to offer a swappable extruder.

On-Board Camera and Connectivity

The on-board camera lets you monitor your print progress remotely with Wi-Fi, USB stick, USB cable, or Ethernet connectivity.

MakerBot Print and MakerBot Mobile

The MakerBot Print software and MakerBot Mobile applications give you more control by auto-arranging and importing native files from different formats for print preparation. The MakerBot Mobile on the other hand simplifies remote access with an all-new wireless guided setup. And if you have more than one printer, you can control them remotely to begin printing.

MakerBot Slate Gray Tough PLA Filament Bundle

The new filament has been designed so professionals can create durable, high-impact strength prototypes and fixtures. While it is much stronger, it is also designed to flex more before breaking just like ABS filaments. The company said these filaments are especially suitable for functional prototypes and prototyping jigs and fixtures that require threaded and snap fits.

Thingiverse Education

The Thingiverse Education is a platform for educators so they can connect with each other in order to collaborate and learn about 3-D printing best practices. Currently there are more than 100 lesson plans that have been created by other educators that has been thoroughly evaluated by MakerBot’s curriculum and education experts.

As MakerBot Learning Manager, Drew Lentz, said, “We believe that Implementing 3D printing in the classroom can only be successful if the technology complements a teacher’s goals for their students. With a new section of Thingiverse dedicated to educational content, teachers can engage in a rich community of educators to find lesson plans, resources, and to find more ways to use 3D Printing in the classroom than ever before.”

The change in direction by MakerBot to address professionals and educators will help it differentiate itself from the crop of 3D printers currently available in the market place. The price point and quality of the Replicator+ and Replicator Mini+ are well positioned to meet the needs of a growing segment of small businesses that have adopted the technology. However, it is not so expensive that it will price out individual consumers.

The MakerBot Replicator+ and MakerBot Replicator Mini+ have an MSRP of $2,499 and $1,299 respectively, but the company is offering them at an introductory price of $1,999 and $999 until October 31, 2016.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]