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How Does Social Media Affect the Way We Communicate?

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Social-Media-001Can social media impact day to day communication? If so, does it improve it or stall it? The answer is very simple. Studies have shown that we polish our communication skills when we chat online using various social media sites. The online environment can be shaped by the advanced settings found in our social media sites. We decide who gets to talk to us and who doesn’t. We are in control of every piece of information that we wish to share and we can create the image that we want when we try to impress somebody or meet somebody for the very first time.

We can simulate a face to face conversation quite easily, since we can use a webcam and a microphone. If we have a shy personality we can easily overcome that by practicing our conversational skills until we reach a point where we feel a bit more confident about ourselves, feeling more capable of engaging in all sorts of conversations.

Social media websites not only enrich the dialogues that we have with people; we can also get in touch with our long distance friends. We can also get other people informed about noble causes or involve in online projects that will help many people benefit from them. We can also promote our business with much more success, if we know how to properly promote our products or services on social media, so as to get people to talk about them.

Using social media websites is a good way of expressing yourself or revealing a part of your personality that you might find difficult to share during face to face communication. As long as we do not forget that online communication is not enough and cannot be a real substitute for face to face human contact, social media can indeed improve the way we communicate.

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How Mobile Apps Have Changed Our World

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smartphone-appsMobile phones are probably the gadgets we really cannot live without nowadays, especially since smartphones have been invented. All sorts of useful or fun applications can be easily installed on mobile phones, and the good news is that most of them are free. This saves you time and money because you won`t be forced to buy more items just so you can gain access to the desired information or facility. For example, if you install a simple mobile application that provides you with an accurate GPS system, you will be spared of having to buy another gadget and you can save money for something else.

If you want to travel abroad or visit another city, you can connect to satellite maps that will guide you through the streets, step by step. You won`t get lost, you will arrive at the desired location in time (since most applications show you the duration it takes from point A to B by foot or by car), and a major plus is the fact that some applications include a bonus feature that offers you some suggestions, based on your search criteria. This is a good way of discovering and visiting new, interesting places.

There are also social applications such as Instagram which are highly popular among mobile phone users. Other applications monitor your heart rate when you go out jogging, while others can help you with some important calculus if you are an accountant or an engineer.

A lot of applications are for passionate gamers; what better way to kill time at the bus station than to play a game that will calm you down or divert your attention from your worries or from the hectic day you had at work?

Considering that mobile apps can basically do everything for us nowadays, it is no wonder that we feel that we could not survive without our smartphones.

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How Is the Internet Affecting Our Social Lives?

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Social LivesOne of the most famous quotes belonging to Albert Einstein is “I fear the day when technology will surpass human interaction” and, unfortunately, it seems that the day has already come. Remember the times when people got together in the park, mall, restaurants, cafes or pubs just to talk and to enjoy themselves? They are almost gone, because nowadays everybody seems to be absorbed by their PC, phone or tablet, devices that are supposed to keep them connected to the Internet non-stop. Social websites have made people forget that they can have a “real” social life, but they have their advantages too.

Each person is unique, so we all have different ways of interacting with others making friends. Whereas some may be open and friendly in public and when meeting new people, others are shy and tend to surround themselves with walls. This category of people is the one helped the most by social sites – they finally have a place to go to and to meet people with the same interests, to talk and to open themselves to someone. Dating sites are allowing shy people to interact and to get to know each other better before getting ready for the next step and meeting face to face. Thanks to them, people from different parts of the world can find each other in a way that could not be possible without the Internet and such sites.

All in all, it seems that the Internet has both its good and bad sides – all we have to do is to learn how to combine our social life in the real, “offline” world with the time spent on the Internet. Social sites are good, but we have to know when to stop, to lift our heads from the phone or tablet and to just start living the “real life”!

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Is The Cinema Losing the Battle with the Internet?

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MultimediaWe all have great memories about the cinema – maybe a first date, a movie premiere with our favorite actors or just some memorable times that we had with our friends. But ever since the Internet has become so popular and downloading movies or watching the online has become such a common practice, cinemas have become less and less frequented by people, even by the ones who used to be passionate about them.

Besides being more affordable, downloading movies from the Internet is more comfortable for most people – you can stay on the couch with your friends, have as much popcorn as you want for a lot less money than in cinemas, you can pause the movie as many times you want to, you are not disturbed by people who cough, sneeze, talk, or are too tall and do not let you see the screen properly. Unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of reasons why people are disregarding the cinemas and forgetting about the wonders of sitting in front of the huge screen and being among the first people to watch a highly awaited movie.

What have been cinemas doing in order to attract more people? They introduced 3D movies that allow you to enter the world depicted in them and to feel like you are interacting with it. How did the Internet and the television industry counteract? By introducing on the market TV sets that can be connected to the Internet, some with huge screens, others with the possibility of viewing 3D movies like the ones in the cinemas.

What will the next step in this multimedia battle be? We do not know, but we are waiting for it, because, in the end, the ones who benefit from the constant competition are the movie lovers!

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How to Use Social Media for Boosting up Your Small Business

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Social Media Besides changing the way we interact and communicate with others, and the way we choose our music playlists, books to read and movies to watch, the Internet has also a great effect on our shopping and service seeking habits.

And who will benefit from that? Anyone who has or wants to start a small business, because, whereas, just a few years ago, only the big and already famous ones could afford to have the proper advertising and marketing campaigns, nowadays anyone can get their business known on the Internet. What is more, social media offers reliable help to people who have just started their business – free advertising and the easiest way of spreading the word around.

How many times have you been invited by a friend to join an online group, community, to share a link or to “like” a page? Depending on the social media website of your choice, you can opt for a lot of different ways of sharing your business with others. Start small by opening your own group and page describing the services that you offer and invite your friends to join. It is easy both for you and for them, because, with just one click of the mouse the first step -and most business people will agree, the most important one – will be taken.

Little by little, or even very fast in some cases, your business will get past your circle of friends, as they invite their friends and friends of friends and so on, thus getting your profile page more and more famous. All that for free! The only thing you have to do is create an eye-catching profile that will attract potential clients and will also thoroughly describe and explain the nature of the services you offer.

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Mobile Apps – Friends or Foes?

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Mobile AppsBack in 2011, about 87% of the population had at least a mobile phone. It seems that, in its fairly short life, this mobile device that allows us to talk to whoever we want to, whenever and wherever has become one of the most important parts of our lives. But how about mobile apps? What are they supposed to do and are they really making our lives easier or just eating our money?

There probably are a lot of people among you who claim that the phone is just for calling and maybe texting too, so it does not need any other fancy apps that can sometimes be quite pricy. Maybe they are right, but just think of all the gadgets and other objects that you are supposed to carry with you all the time in the absence of some simple, useful apps – mp3 player, games, books, maps, and many, many others.

Apps are meant to entertain us but also to make our stressful life easier, and they are doing their job – are you trying to quit smoking or to lose weight? No worries, there is an app for that. Do you want to be up to date with the latest news, books, comics, songs and movies, with what your friends have been doing and posting on social sites? Are you free tonight and you do not know where to find a nice club or a good restaurant close to you? Thanks to mobile apps, you can find anything you want in just a few seconds, wherever you are.

Yes, there are risks related to some mobile apps, as you may have heard, such as unauthorized tracking of the user’s location, or accessing your address book, but it is up to you to do your research and make sure you download only safe, renowned apps. If chosen wisely, mobile applications can surely make your life a lot easier, not to mention more fun.

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How Social Media Has Changed Human Interaction

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Social MediaWe have found different ways to interact via the internet. The online environment has almost replaced body language, face-to-face communication and social gatherings. There are both advantages and disadvantages when using a social media website. If you are abroad and you want to communicate with the people you left behind, you can easily keep in touch by using one of the many social networking platforms that can be found on the internet. If you have a webcam you can also see your family and friends whenever you feel like it. A disadvantage would be that you cannot actually hug the ones you love, and that might make you homesick.

The concept of social media has several implications. It targets your professional career as well as your personal life. If you work in a multinational company and some of your employees are miles away from you, if you multitask at work and you don’t want to bother others by making them come to your office, you can organize a quick video conference to check out their work and exchanging ideas.

On a more personal note, the social media environment has been responsible with uniting many people. It is an easy way of meeting people that share the same things in common with you. A lot of friendships have evolved from a simple chat, and social media platforms bring different cultures closer, the exchange of information being overwhelming.

Even psychologists, anthropologists and sociologists have begun studying this trend, because social media has changed the way in which we communicate with each other, and has even changed the way we are as persons – because we can be a lot more confident online than in “real life”.

Social media sites help you save money (because most of them are free), time and energy. Though they do have their disadvantages, the truth is that they have made our live easier both on personal and professional levels.

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The Benefits eLearning Can Bring for Students and Teachers Alike

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eLearningThere is no age limit when it comes to acquiring new information. The internet is in a perpetual change and all the innovations that come up every day are made for our own benefit. It was just a matter of time before a new concept would be developed in the online environment.

We acknowledge changes, but we sometimes take them with a grain of salt. And we shouldn’t feel bad about it because not all changes are for the better. But if we take a look at the concept that is behind eLearning, we can understand why so many people start choosing this new way of studying and acquiring new information.

As a parent, you might want to start teaching your kid some concepts that cannot be encapsulated within the school curriculum. And since most kids nowadays stay online for many hours, why not teach them to do something productive and study online? There are many online courses that combine the theoretical part with a more practical and interactive approach, making the lessons very attractive.

As a teacher, you might find even more advantages when it comes to eLearning. Every kid is unique, and the way of memorizing lessons differs from kid to kid. You cannot control everybody’s level of education in just two hours’ time at school, provided you have around 15-30 pupils per class. But you can create online courses to fit various categories of students, courses that they can access at home, anytime they wish. If you can come up with attractive online lessons, chances are most of the pupils will show improvements in their grades.

eLearning can also be associated with starting a profitable business online. You can teach all sorts of useful subjects to people that are interested in them, but cannot enroll in regular educational programs due to their hectic schedules.

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The Power of Social Media Marketing – Raising Brand Awareness on Social Media Websites

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Social Media MarketingYou can hear people talking about Social Media Marketing just about everywhere nowadays. This practice involves the heavy use of social networks in order to raise brand awareness and promote products and services. Social media helps businesses expand their online client data base and brings significant other benefits.

In certain regards, SMM is similar to word-of mouth marketing, but it is highly more efficient because it takes advantage of the enormous possibilities offered by the Internet and the popular social platforms.

Social media platforms have changed the way in which brands are built, easing this process and turning it from tedious to interactive and creative. Brand owners use social media platforms to secure their name and spread their message.

Social media websites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube help your clients spread the word about your business easily, help you locate potential clients and help you offer your clients the support they need. Through these websites, you can stay in touch with your clients at all the times, answer their questions, offer them rewards and gain recognition in your field.

Social media websites allow customers to share their views and opinions of various brands, which helps business owners get noticed and be more aware of their customers’ needs. By monitoring discussions and sharing positive responses and useful advice, you can earn your prospective clients’ loyalty and start being seen as an authority in your niche. Also, when you receive negative feedback on social platforms, if you act wisely, you can protect your reputation and even gain new clients.

Consistent blogging and video sharing are just 2 of the social media marketing practices that help business owners get more clients. If done correctly and at a professional level, social media marketing becomes the most powerful tool that businesses have and which they can use to earn recognition and make their voice heard in today’s competitive and ever-changing market.

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eLearning for Businesses and Personal Development

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eLearningThe 21st century has revolutionized technology and, with it, the traditional way that people learn. Nowadays, people have to be able to memorize large volumes of information fast, and companies must find clever ways to train their employees according to the latest technological advances. Companies that are not able to train their employees properly, at the right moment, will not survive the tough competition and will have to sit and watch how their competitors take over.

eLearning is essential for global organizations and for small organizations as well. It is faster and cheaper than the traditional classroom-based training, being also far more effective and appropriate for the way business is developing nowadays. It is the modern, efficient and flexible solution for companies and individuals interested in their self-development.

Regardless of the educational needs and training objectives of a company, the Internet is able to provide the wise solution that will satisfy these needs and meet the set objectives. The advance of technology and the growth of the World Wide Web have made learning available to people around the globe 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Web-based learning products enable instructors to update the courses and distribute materials across the entire network promptly. Then, students are able to retrieve the information whenever necessary, without having to depend on a teacher’s schedule or a classroom’s availability.

Personalized eLearning results in higher retention of content; with eLearning, individual differences in learning styles are exploited to the benefit of the student. Also, since the students receive the content in “chunks” or small units of information, they are able to process it faster and more effectively.

eLearning modules are developed for a wide array of mobile learning platforms, including android, supporting on-the-go learners. The eLearning software is developed according to the needs of the modern learner and it allows organizations to stay focused on their goal and keep up with the latest changes of the market.

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Five Trends in Social Media for 2013

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social media2012 is a year when many businesses took the social media plunge, taking advantage of what Twitter, Facebook and other such networks have to offer when it comes to building a strategy. This year, new trends will impact social media that will consequently impact businesses, which can expect expanded returns on their investments as a following. Here are five of these trends:

  • Social media will be used more by means of mobile phones

By the year 2015, mobile Internet use in the U.S.A. will overtake wired use. Where social media is concerned, this shift will happen even faster. The Facebook social network has already made it public that growth in accessing it via mobile outstrips growth in accessing it from PCs. Given this trend, networks such as Instagram, built for mobiles from starters, are at advantage. Traditional ones must focus more on differentiating desktop and mobile experiences.

  • Mobile advertising is more viable

Several networks have faced difficulties in squeezing traditional ads onto small mobile screens. Now, “native ads”, like Sponsored Stories and Promoted Tweets, resemble user-generated content, aside from small disclaimers. They offer a solution for brands to reach their clients on their mobile phones.

  • Social networks become more popular outside the U.S.

Social media growth has slowed in North America, however growth in Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa can compensate for that. Growth will be registered in these regions during 2013, from 12 percent and up to 23 percent, depending on the region. Local networks will have more users, not just the widely popular ones.

  • Apparently, social networks are not just about marketing for a business, but about office productivity also.

According to a report published last year by the McKinsey Global Institute, social media is good for boosting office productivity. It is a tool that can be used by HR departments for streamlining the application process, by sales teams to identify clients, and other such uses.

  • More companies will be able to use data about their clients, data obtained from social networks.

Businesses can have access to precious information about their clients by using social media. It is, however, a large amount of information that has been difficult to manage until now. The good news is that analytical tools and new software emerge so that this can be changed and the available data be put to good use.

Social media is still trendy and actually becoming trendier for use by businesses and individuals alike, with new advantages constantly being under development.

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E-Learning Principles: Management of a Lesson Based on Time Chunks

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elearning

E-learning refers to all learning and teaching that is electronically supported. E-learning applications can be computer or web-based, can include virtual education and digital collaboration. In the following, we will discuss some tips on implementing one important principle that e-learning should be built on, that of managing learning in time chunks. Just like face-to-face teaching relies on managing information in time chunks, online learning should also be constructed on timed activities. Here are some steps recommended in the structure of e-learning:

  • Firstly, it is important to know how to gain attention with each lesson. The idea is to ground the lesson and to motivate.
  • The goal of a lesson should be described from the start. Students should be aware of what they can accomplish through a certain learning process and how they can apply the new knowledge.
  • Encouraging the recall of prior knowledge is important. The students should be reminded of prior info they have learned that is relevant to the current lesson and made aware of how knowledge facts are connected to one another.
  • The material to be learned should be presented using not just text, but also graphics, figures, sound, pictures. In order to avoid memory overload, the information should be chunked.
  • Giving instructions on how to learn can be useful for the students.
  • Practice means can be suggested to the student. The learner should be encouraged to apply the new information and practice the taught skills.
  • While learning, being offered feedback such as on the correctness of a response or a solution to a problem is important.
  • It is important to include in the e-learning process means of assessing performance, of verifying if the lesson has been learned.
  • It is recommended to enhance retention and transfer, for example by making the student aware of similar problems or by placing him in a transfer situation.

Just like face-to-face learning, e-learning should follow certain principles and structuring the lesson in timed steps is one of them.

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MOOC and Learning Management Systems (LMS)

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MOOC and Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Online learning is the way of the future. Universities have started offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) and this has created a need for technology able to host large-scale online education. Stanford’s Class2Go and MIT’s MITx were designed specifically for conducting MOOCs online, but traditional Learning Management Systems (LMSs) such as Moodle are other possibilities when it comes to exploring hosts for a new MOOC.

Requirements for an MOOC Learning Management System

Due to the pure volume of students, the LMS chosen to host a MOOC must have several capabilities that were not previously necessary. For example, the administrator may need to split the course population for assessment purposes, observe a number of group’s movements simultaneously and grade on a large scale. The LMS must also be somewhat interactive for students, as the course may call for self-chosen groups or peer assessment.

SCORM

SCORM stands for ‘Sharable Content Object Reference Model’ and helps companies to create online training resources that are compatible with their peers and competitors, making life easier for everyone. It also sets standards for online learning and training which may be required by the institution hosting the event. SCORM is another factor in deciding which platform a MOOC should be presented from as some LMSs are set up to comply with SCORM standards and others need to have it implemented if required. SCORM is the catalyst for LMS to deploy rapid eLearning content, facilitate course delivery, automate participation tracking, and gathering of all statistics associated to online learning development, delivery and participations.

The Importance of Learning Management Systems to MOOC

One of the main selling points for MOOC is accessibility. To reduce effort required to deliver and maintain mass-education, a degree of automation is required. A course provider who presents information without being complimented by automation enabling technology like LMS will soon be left behind. LMSs also have the capability to be community based, linking to forums, blogs, instant messenger and discussions, all designed to compliment online learning delivery. The newer crop of MOOC LMSs seems to keep most of the activity on the course platform.

The Future of Learning Management Systems

It seems that the MOOC movement has started to capture the imagination of the world, so Learning Management Systems are coming under closer scrutiny for public use. It is rumored that the MOOC designed learning environment such as Udacity and Coursera will eventually share their coding for the benefit of the world but this remains to be proven. In the mean time, Open Source LMSs such as Moodle, and commercial large-scale LMSs (such as SAP, SABA, etc) can be used to provide online learning and internet-based training on a mass scale.

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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

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Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

The world is getting ever smaller, thanks in part to remarkable advances in technological communication over the past few decades. One of the most exciting movements to grace the globe is that of MOOC, or in layman’s terms, Massive Open Online Courses.

What is MOOC?

A Massive Online Open Course is a course offered for free by a university or educational institution to anybody with access to the Internet. Although a fee may be required for educational acknowledgement, the MOOC movement is essentially offering free, first-class education from any number of distinguished organisations. A growing amount of well-known schools are jumping on board, including the prestigious Stanford University, who see the advent of their online department as a step in restructuring the face of the university to meet the needs of the imminent future.

Who Started It?

In 2008 Canadian university Professors George Siemens and Stephen Downes created a course called “Connectivism and Connected Knowledge,” which was offered for free to over 2 000 registered online students. Dave Cormier bestowed the term MOOC, and thus this burgeoning trend had begun. However, the event that made the movement really explode onto the world’s front page was the enrolment of over 160 000 students in an online artificial intelligence course offered by Stanford Professor Sebastian Thrun and Google Research Director Peter Norvig.

Participants

The publicity and popularity of the Stanford course mentioned above spawned the creation of two dedicated online course platforms, Coursera and Udacity. MIT responded with MITx, and Harvard released EDx, and the number of online course providers continues to grow. Australia is no small contender in this game; Melbourne University, University of Queensland, and the University of Western Australia now also offer courses for online study. With Australians considered to be some of the most proficient Internet users in the world, this number will only continue to grow.

What it Means for the World

Free online study from distinguished universities makes higher learning available to a whole range of people who once may have found it impossible to fit regular courses into their schedules or budgets. Admittedly, a quick search online would have offered an abundance of options for online study, but the fact that these courses are from renowned
institutions makes them an invaluable product in the eyes of the world. Like any trend, MOOC is catching. As more of the world begins to study online, more of the world will want to study online. Suddenly there is a promise of a future with a more educated and aware global population.

How it Works

Like any university course, MOOC varies depending on the school that is hosting it, but a few factors remain constant. The course is scheduled, and enrollment is necessary before the commencement of term, which usually follows the academic calendar. Some courses offer assessment based on peer reviews and collaboration, while others take a more traditional approach and call for set assessment pieces to be submitted online. One characteristic of the newer MOOC courses is the predominance of a linear model, where students are presented with the course in designed chronology, rather picking and choosing what modules they wish to pursue.

MOOC is a trend that has changed the way the world looks at education. What exactly lies in the future of this relatively young program is hard to tell, but the path forward can only be educational. For many Australians it offers an exciting opportunity for higher education that was previously unavailable.

Watch this space for our next blog in the series, MOOC and Learning Management Systems.

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Mobile Applications, Connecting Businesses with Customers

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Mobile Applications, Connecting Businesses with Customers

Connecting with your customers has never been so easy. Businesses all around are recognising the benefits to be reaped with the forever expanding technology options available:

  • Websites;
  • social media; and of course
  • the ever more increasingly mobile applications.

Smartphone usage within the Australian Market has peaked to 49% with many Australians now using their smart phones to research businesses, products, services, and purchase goods. Australians are also ranked as the most proficient users of mobile banking – as found in recent research conducted by Google and IPSOS.

It’s no surprise that the convenience of these devices is the driving force of the surge of mobile application usage within the Australian Market place. The accessibility and size are the reasons behind its success. Having the Internet in the palm of your hand is extremely convenient.

The rapid increase in the availability of mobile applications hitting the market place, is due to the demand and popularity among consumers. Mobile Apps are being developed and downloaded by millions across the globe and are quite diverse in their offerings. Mobile Applications are being used for many different reasons and range from; entertainment, marketing, fitness, managing personal finances and the list could go on.

Mobile devices create that instantaneous connection between you and your customers.

Businesses are starting to see the benefits to be gained by tapping into the Mobile Application Market. As it has created the ultimate platform for any business, to reach out to their customers and create that instantaneous connection.

One of the true beauties of mobile apps, is their 24/7 availability and on location with you.

The advantage of having 24/7 accessibility to your customers is not something to be taken lightly. Whatever your business is, the opportunity to connect with your customers has now been magnified. It can be used in many different ways to connect from; simple marketing, or the ease to purchase products and services, or just simply keeping your customers informed.

Customers like being informed, in the know, and what greater way than giving them that complete control and really cementing that bond between your customers and business through mobile applications.

Whether you’re a small coffee shop, or small hardware retailer – there is potential. Potential to generate more business, offer that competitive edge or maintain your customer base.

Imagine, a construction worker on site, who needs a piece of hardware urgently. He could drive to the nearest hardware store only to find they’re out of stock. He could ring around, but that is far too time consuming. But what about that one hardware shop with a mobile app that lists their current inventory and even allowing you to simply put it on order, whilst you jump in your car to go and collect it?

Or how about this scenario,

as you stumble out of bed in the morning, reaching over for your phone, to connect with your local coffee store to place your order to pick up on your way to work – saving you that extra 5 – 10 minutes?

The potential is endless and the essence of what makes or breaks any business is; what can you offer your customer that your competitors aren’t? It is survival of the technologically advanced, and even more so for those small businesses.

Will this change the way we do business? It already has. One only needs to ask themselves, how often they use mobile banking? or how often have you thought; is there an app for that?

The potential of mobile apps is far greater than just engaging and reaching a larger customer base, but also offers opportunities to engage and connect with your staff. They also offer the ability to better streamline processes and can increase business efficiency significantly when implemented correctly.

The successes of mobile app utilisation in any business, is dependant on really understanding and defining your market;

  • Where are you today and where do you want to go?
  • Who is your target audience and what do they want?
  • What is it they need that they are not aware of?

Look out for our subsequent blogs on:

  • Leveraging your market presence with Mobile Apps
  • Connecting your employees with Mobile Apps
  • Improving Business Processes with Mobile Apps

Don’t forget, you can always contact us if you have any question on how to tap into the mobile market. We have helped a lot of businesses solving their digital problems. We’d be happy to help you as well.

 

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Understanding Learning Management Systems, Basic Functions and Benefits

Understanding Learning Management Systems, Basic Functions and Benefits

An LMS is a software that is used for planning, creating, delivering, assessing and tracking eLearning courses, their applications and outcomes.

Typically, an LMS provides instructors with ways for

  • creating and delivering content,
  • monitoring the participation of students, and
  • assessing how students perform.

The LMS may also offer higher level of interactivity in eLearning, like

  • video conferencing,
  • threaded discussions, and
  • discussion forums.

Sponsored by the US Department of Defense, the Advanced Learning Distance group has come up with a set of specifications referred to as SCORM, or Shareable Content Object Reference Model, in order to promote the standardization of the Learning Management System. This is too allow eLearning courses to be integrated with any number of LMS.

At the very base, an LMS should have these features:

  • Centralized and automated administration;
  • Self-guided services;
  • Compile and deliver learning content quickly;
  • Consolidate initiatives for training on a scalable platform for web use;
  • Support standards and portability (SCORM);
  • Customize content and enable the reuse of knowledge; and
  • Deliver webinars and training sessions online.

Most people and employees today spend most of their time on the computer connected to the Internet. So why not take advantage of that connectivity to broaden how the education system can reach anyone who wants to learn. By making learning more accessible, learning becomes easier.

An LMS is usually a web-based software. This allows for learning to expand beyond the four walls of a classroom, making it possible for distance learning to be enjoyed by as many people as possible. This also eliminates the need for physical books and classrooms with you can host supporting learning materials and discussion online.

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Using Social Media To Establish Your Brand

Using Social Media To Establish Your Brand

One huge advantage of social networking sites is the ability to establish and promote a personal brand. Establishing a brand and setting yourself or your company up as an expert in your field is time consuming and cannot be accomplished overnight. It is well worth the effort and time it takes though, as being recognized as an expert greatly enhances your chances of success in your field. Let’s look at how we can use social media to establish your brand.

The first step lies in building an online profile that is interesting. One’s goal should be to establish himself/herself as an expert in his/her chosen field. This can be done through a series of steps such as posting comments on blogs that relate to that field. Making connections with movers and shakers in the field of interest can lead to invitations to guest post on their blogs or websites. Extending the same invitations to them to post one your blog or website can lend their credibility to your brand.

If one does not already have one, creating a blog is one excellent method of establishing a brand. Social media sites can be used to direct traffic to the blog if one takes the proper approach. It is important to remember that social networking sites are created for the purpose of creating friendships and groups that share common interests. Any messages that promote one’s particular brand should not take on a self aggrandizing tone.

Following the posts of other experts in your field can create opportunities for educated discourse. If you disagree with something said in one of these blog posts, state your disagreement in a comment on the blog. Do so with a respectful tone that shows that you recognize that person’s expertise by outlining the reasons for your disagreement without stating that the person is wrong. After all, there are many times when people disagree without either one being completely wrong or right.

Engage in conversations with these experts that are open to public viewing. This is especially important if they are already well known and you are just beginning to create a personal brand.

Make posts on social media sites that tell people about you and your brand in an informative and interesting way. It is important to avoid making these posts sound like advertisements. People become resistant when they feel as if they are being pushed into something.

One thing that many business people fail to do that can prove invaluable when trying to establish a network of connections is searching the internet for content that will be interesting to those whose attention one is trying to attract. Pass this information along, even if it means driving traffic to someone else’s website. If you are seen as a source of valuable information, the information you provide about your personal brand will take on its own value.

Using social media to establish your brand can lead to success at a much faster pace than any other method of getting the message out. It also creates a self perpetuating stream of targeted leads of a quality that one would be hard pressed to find using any other media.

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Mobile Solutions, is there a need?

Mobile Solutions, is there a need?

Consumers are using their mobile devices to access the Internet more than ever before – and it’s expected to grow at astonishing rates over the next 12 months and beyond. Here’s some facts:

  • There are approximately 4 BILLION mobile subscribers across the world.
  • Most mobile device users keep their phones within arm’s reach over 90 percent of waking hours.
  • Nielsen predicts that smart phones will account for nearly half of worldwide mobile sales by 2013. This is a clear indication of how much more the Internet will be accessed via mobile devices.
  • People in developed countries today are spending an average of three hours per day on the Internet from their mobile devices.
  • Over the past few years, the shipment of mobile handsets has grown 16% annually – reaching 400 million sold in the last quarter of 2010. Mobile device companies sold a total of 1.39 billion units in 2010.
  • Approximately 30% of U.S. mobile phone users have a smartphone according to Nielsen. This number is expected to grow to approximately 43% by 2015 according to eMarketer.
  • In 2009, approximately half a BILLION people went online using their mobile device. This number is expected to double within the next 5 years.
  • By 2014, mobile Internet usage is expected to exceed desktop Internet usage.
  • According to Nielsen, 70% of mobile users plan to upgrade to 4G service within the next year so they can have faster Internet speed while using their mobile devices.
  • According to founder and CEO of Amazon.com, Jeff Bezos, customers around the world have ordered more than $1 BILLION U.S. dollars from Amazon.com using a mobile device.
  • Gartner also predicts that by 2014, more people will access the internet from their mobile devices than from their PC desktops.
  • According to Facebook official statistics from January 2011, more than 200 million users (out of over 600 million Facebook users) access Facebook using their mobile devices; also, mobile Facebook users are twice as active as non-mobile users.
  • More than 200 million YouTube views occur on mobile devices every day.
  • 86% of mobile Internet usage happens while the users are watching TV.
  • Mobile marketing methods have proven to be effective in acquiring new customers, providing service to existing customers, and driving repeat business through relationship-building.
  • When combined with other marketing methods, mobile marketing has proven to increase conversion rates.
  • Studies show that as time goes on, people will prefer to deal with technology over human interaction.

Now, you know why you should build a mobile compatible website, apps, mLearning or even a mobile eCommerce shop for your business.

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