A brief history of GIFs

It may be a hopelessly outdated, obsolete, low resolution image format, but the way people use GIFs probably encapsulates net culture more than anything else.

From reactions and memes to highbrow art, GIFs have come a long way since 87a.

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 GIFs were originally invented by Steve Wilhite while working at Compuserve as a lossy image format that allowed fairly large images to be downloaded in a relatively short time, even on the painfully slow modems of the time.

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The Trouble with Internet Privacy – Featuring Kevin Spacey!

Internet Privacy

I’ve been doing a bit of reading about Internet Privacy recently and came across the old article on the BBC:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8569750.stm

I know this is mainly down to the big record labels pushing this, but do they really think people wont just find another way around it?

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How To Go Into Business As A Proofreader

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Have you had enough of the nine to five life where you work long hours for little pay? You are not alone. Millions of people are looking for a way to leave their jobs and work from home instead. They face a problem; there aren’t that many jobs that you can do from home and make a proper wage. Perhaps you should consider a career as a self-employed proofreader.

Maybe you enjoy reading, and it would be a case of doing what you love. That is a dream to which most people aspire. It all sounds great in theory, but do you have what it takes? Here is how to go into business as a proofreader.

Register As Self-Employed

Just as any other self-employed person, you must register with your tax collectors. They will ask you to keep accurate records of your income and expenditure throughout the financial year and to submit a tax return when the time comes. They will calculate how much you must pay in tax. If you do plenty of work and your overheads are low, you might pay a substantial amount.

Make A Study

Use a spare bedroom as a study where you can go to sit quietly and do your job. It will need all of the equipment you expect to find in an office these days; here is a list of suggestions.

  • A router with broadband internet access.
  • A desktop computer with at least two monitors. It must be powerful enough to run the latest OCR technology so that you can digitise documents for editing.
  • A scanner for document input.
  • A telephone.
  • A high-quality printer.

There will be other items of equipment, but those will serve you well in the beginning.

Find Clients

You must sell yourself to other companies so that they will make use of your talents. Here are a few marketing ideas that could attract business.

  1. Build a website to detail all of the services you offer. It must look professional and be easy to use. Don’t be afraid to display your prices and even take payment on the website. If you keep it simple, you can attract a lot of business. Maybe it could feature a drop-down list where the client can select the number of pages they need you to proofread and pay for them in advance. It is convenient for them to do business that way; everybody knows where they stand.
  2. Use social media to make others aware of you. It is a flexible way to target your advertising budget. Every business needs a facebook page these days, so seek them out.
  3. You could send letters of introduction to potential customers. Tell them why they need to use your services. Be confident and reasonable to get the best response.

When the work starts to roll in, you must discipline yourself if you are to get it done in a timely manner. Set working hours just as if you were in employment and stick to them as best you can. Be flexible in your approach to business and open yourself to new ideas as they arise. No business, no matter how small, can afford to stand still in a competitive market.

Being a proofreader is a satisfying occupation. You can earn a lot of money if you are good at your job too. Take it from one who knows.

2742504614_b669a8b383_zDavid Goehring

3 Ways Cloud Computing Increases Productivity

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There are many advantages of choosing cloud computing over the traditional option. Not only can your staff access their files and documents from anywhere in the world, but using a solution like this could also increase productivity. If you’re unsure as to how that can happen, you should spend the next couple of minutes reading through all the information below this paragraph. We’re going to present you with three indisputable ways in which cloud computing could help you get work completed in a much faster time.

Hotdesking

While cloud computing means your staff can access their files from home or on the move, it also means they can use varying devices in your office. Presuming one of your team members are training a new recruit, they won’t have to keep walking back to their desk to look at their own files.

File transfers

In the past, your staff will have had to spend time transferring important files whenever they started using a new device or system. That is no longer the case thanks to cloud computing. So long as they remember their login details, they can gain access to their files from any device without the need for transferring anything.

No new equipment

As your company grows, you may have to invest in new computers for your office. However, there is no longer a need to invest in new storage solutions. By keeping everything in the cloud, all you have to do is pay for more space from the data centre.

You should now have a good idea about the mains ways in which cloud computing can increase productivity. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Infographic Design By www.netstar.co.uk

How To Tackle Common Issues Faced By New Online Business Owners

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If you’ve recently started a new online business, you will almost certainly have to deal with a lot of common issues. While you might have thought that coming up with your concept and sourcing funds would be the most complicated element, you will soon discover that was only the beginning. In this post, we’re going to give you a helping hand by highlighting some of the main issues faced by the average online business owner. We’ll also provide you with some simple solutions that could help you to avoid headaches. So, you should get comfortable and pay attention because we’re only going to do this once.

Communication

Finding the best ways to converse with your customers and clients can be difficult. You need to make sure you’re accessible and easily reached when they need you most. For that reason, it will make sense for you to look at all the tools available on the market today before coming to your final decision. In most instances, it will be useful for you to have a decent video messaging platform to hand and a live chat option on your website. Skype is probably the best service around today for free or cheap online communication, so you should download it immediately. Including a live chat option on your site will mean you’re able to deal with questions and queries in real-time.

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Computers

You’re going to need the most-reliable computer systems on the market to ensure all your important files are kept safe. It will also make sense to upload your data to a cloud storage solution. Which you choose will depend on your personal preferences, and the amount you’re willing to pay. While there are free cloud storage options to be found online, most of them have limited capacity. So, it’s usually better to pay a subscription.

If you make a schoolboy error and lose all your files due to a computer virus or something similar, there is still hope in sight. Companies like the Data Recovery Hospital specialise in reversing your actions and finding those all important documents on your system.

Promotion

Knowing how to advertise and market your business in essential when operating online. It’s also very simple when you have the right information. Firstly, you need to open multiple social media accounts to help drum up attention for your brand. After you’ve done that, it will be sensible for you to invest in some online banner ads. You can use the Adwords service from Google for that as it’s the best tool at your disposal. Also, you might like to employ the services of a company that specialises in creative content or link building. Both of those endeavours could help you rank in a better position for your chosen keywords on the major search engines.

Now you know how to tackle some of the most-common issues faced by new online business owners today; your operations should begin to run a little more smoothly. If you need extra information about any of the issues we’ve mentioned in this post, you’ll find lots of other articles online that go into each subject in more depth.

Wishing you the best of luck!

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Simple Ways The Digital Revolution Can Benefit Your Business

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While computers might have first reached the market during the 1980s, it wasn’t until very recently that they reached their full potential. There are sure to be many advancements in the future, but computers have now reached the stage of being completely essential for the modern business owner. If you’d like to know more about how the digital revolution has improved the way most companies operate these days, you’ll find lots of useful information in this post. Indeed, you might even spot some ideas you’ve not thought about.

At the end of the day, it’s vital that everyone who owns their own firm keeps updated with all the most-recent advancements in computer technology. Failure to do that could result in competing companies gaining an edge and pushing you out of the marketplace. For that reason, you should give us your full attention for the next couple of minutes. We will highlight some of the mains ways the digital revolution could benefit your business.

Instant communication

While you have been able to communicate with people all over the world using the telephone for many years, that costs a lot of money. So, it’s not viable for most business owners. Thanks to video messaging services like Skype and email providers like Gmail, anyone can now communicate with people on the other side of the planet in seconds. That has helped to improve efficiency and bring us all closer together. If you’re not currently taking advantage of that, you’re seriously missing out.

Simple and effective advertising

Before the internet was around, your options for advertising and marketing were pretty slim. You could either place a promotional piece in your local newspaper or spend thousands on radio or TV spots. Again, that made it almost impossible for small business owners to get ahead. Thanks to Google Adwords and similar services, you can now put your company and products in front of the people who matter. You can do that for phenomenally low prices too. All you have to do is determine who is most likely to be interested in your goods. Once you have that information, the online advertising services will help you to target your efforts accordingly.

Outsourcing operations

Unless you had contacts in specific industries, outsourcing was much more difficult before the internet was big business. Luckily, that has now changed. No matter what job you need doing, there are going to be plenty of people out there willing to take it on. Whether you’re looking for a firm that deals in advanced digital printing technology or anything of that nature, the perfect solution is only a few clicks away. Also, by checking lots of different websites, you can perform price comparison to ensure you get the best deal.

Those were just three of the most-prominent ways the digital revolution can benefit your business, but there are plenty of others too. If you’re not currently using computers or the internet as you should, it might be time to seriously consider adjusting the way your company deals with certain tasks.

We hope you make lots of improvements very soon!

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Laptops Versus Tablets: The Ultimate Showdown

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The decision to upgrade your current laptop can be a tough one. With so much new tech on the market, it can be difficult to know where to start. One of the biggest dilemmas of our thoroughly modern times is whether to invest in a laptop or tablet. Both have amazing benefits and few disadvantages. It is the ultimate dilemma. Of course, whether you choose between a laptop or a tablet depends on various things.

Let’s get to the showdown and help you decide.

Laptops

Laptops are perfect for techno-nerds that love power over style. Laptops have such a powerful processing hardware that it allows for a much wider use. If you want to do more than simply browse the net and download apps, the laptop is for you. Laptops are much like women: they are better at multitasking. In short, if you want an all rounder that performs all tasks well, you should be considering purchasing a laptop.

Web browsing, media streaming and gaming is incredibly efficient with a laptop. Of course, these functions can be performed on a tablet, but the graphics and sound quality will be of a lesser quality. Resolution and frame rate cannot be rivalled with a laptop.

Should you want your laptop for other uses, you can perform a multitude of tasks on them. This includes photo editing, video editing and music creation. These tasks are incredibly complex and cannot be undertaken on a tablet.

If you are in need of a serious piece of kit that can assist you with all aspects of your daily life, the choice is obvious. There are some big names too. Samsung, HP and Acer Laptops are all household names. You are sure to find a laptop that you will love.

Tablets

The serious tech-nerds among us will obviously revere innovative technology. That is a given. What is more, tablets are the cutting edge of computer technology. Small. Robust. Easy to fit in your pocket. It’s amazing to think what something so little can do.

The touch screen features of tablets make them an attractive prospect. They are small, yet mighty. The price is appealing for many too. Laptops can be costly. The average Apple Mac can set you back nearly a grand. With that in mind, it is important to note that tablets are becoming more affordable.

Apps have allowed gamers to game in a truly portable way. The graphics are not hampered by a smaller screen. Although it is worth remembering, that the graphics are not as impressive when compared with a laptop.

Brands such as Apple’s iPad, Google Nexus 7 and the Kindle Fire have all paved the way. The tablet is fast-becoming a permanent fixture within people’s homes. The constant regenerations of these devices mean that they can date quite quickly. This can be something of an annoyance to those who have just purchased a new tablet.

They are affordable. What is more, they are intuitive. The sleek, portable design is perfect for many as they can slip the tablet into their pocket. They are the ultimate companion.

In short, if you want something robust and powerful you need to invest in a laptop. For those who want sleek portability, opt for the tablet.

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Image Credit: Liam Dunn

Why SEO Shouldn’t Be Considered Optional

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Image Author: Flickr

Search engine optimisation, commonly shortened to SEO, is a very important online marketing technique for any business with a website. Websites need to be thoroughly optimised for the search engines, otherwise people who are in need of your product/service may never be able to find you! Wouldn’t that be a disaster? Even though SEO is essential, you’ll find that many businesses see it as an optional extra, and don’t bother practicing SEO or hiring somebody to do it for them. This is a FATAL mistake. Read on to learn more about SEO and why it isn’t an optional extra, it’s a must:

It Makes Your Site More Visible and Is Good for Branding

SEO is good for your site visibility and branding. Let’s think about the steps you take when you are looking for a specific product or service online. You don’t simply type in one search term and leave it at that, do you? You type in multiple search terms, amending it each time to make it more accurate for what you’re looking for. If you can show up in all of these instances for the customer, then you get more of a chance having them click through to your site. Make sure you use white hat techniques though! An online marketing company like White Chalk Road could tell you all about this.

Your Business Will Seem More Credible

High search rankings make you more credible, whether a potential customer realises it or not. Having that support from Google instantly makes them trust you more when they see you ranked highly for a search term. Nobody wants to trawl through page after page of listings, so the higher you can get with SEO, the better.

You’ll Get More Traffic

SEO spreads the word about your site quickly, to potential customers who are looking for your product or service. This will instantly get your more traffic. Now, while more traffic won’t get you more sales alone, chances are many of your visitors will become your customers. It’s like the difference between opening a shop on a deserted street and opening one in the middle of a busy town centre!

SEO Has One of the Best ROI’s When it Comes to Advertising

In advertising, especially online advertising, SEO is one of the best methods when it comes to getting a quick return on your investment. This is because you aren’t interrupting a person’s favorite program or showing up before a Youtube video where you aren’t wanted. You’re simply coming forward when they are looking for you. Then all you need to do is convince them that they should buy what they need from you and nobody else!

SEO Can Help you To Learn More About your Customers

Google analytics can give you a fantastic insight into how your visitor’s brains work. You can see how they browse, when they browse, the search terms they use, and much more. This allows you to hone your campaign until it’s virtually perfect!

SEO is a great marketing technique for businesses of all kinds, and will give you fantastic results providing you choose a professional to do it for you!

Why Outsourcing Could Save Your Business Money

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There was a time when everyone had to be in the same office. Every aspect of the job was in-house and few businesses outsourced work. Doing everything in-house may have worked forty years ago, but it is now an outdated way of working.

With such a vast amount of skills needed within any modern business, it is rarely viable to have staff with every skill you need. If you have never considered outsourcing work, perhaps it is time to do so. Begin by working with trusted freelancers and companies to outsource elements of your business. Outsourced projects in no way devalue your business. So long as you work with people who you trust and have a proven track record of high-quality work you should have no problems.

Outsourcing is a fantastic way in which to save your business money in the long run. It means that you do not have to pay salaries to people whose skills you don’t need all the time. Here are a few ways you can save money by outsourcing work.

Work With Freelancers

Many skilled people are now opting to become self-employed. Rather than working for just one company, becoming a freelancer means they can work for many companies.

You can use the current wealth of freelancers to your advantage by picking and choosing the skills you need from them. For instance, if you need a writer for a short-term project, but have no one in-house, then you can consider hiring a freelancer. By hiring a freelance writer it means that you do not need the writer to become a full-time member of staff, yet you can still use them for your projects.

The notion of freelancing is quite modern but allows many advantages to both employer and employee. You can find freelancers by advertising online.

Use Specialist Companies

For more skilled projects, you should consider outsourcing work to a specialist agency or company. Some projects involve specialist skills, such as design and technology-based projects. These projects need experts in the field.

For example, if you are looking for a web designer, Perth, then you can find an agency that will provide you with the right person. Outsourcing work to agencies has added security as it allows you to engage with a business rather than just an individual. You can be sure that this business has employed the most talented experts for the job and so you can trust them.

There is no need to hire a full-time specialist if you just need them on rare occasions. Instead, trust in an expert and use them only when needed.

Commision Ad-hoc Projects

The beauty of using freelancers and outside agencies is that you can commission work on an ad-hoc basis. Doing so allows you the freedom to give someone as much or as little work as you need. This system of hiring people works for both you and the person or agency you hire. They can refuse work, should they not have the time, or take on more work when they do have the time.

With this system, no one’s time or money goes to waste. It is one of the most productive ways of working alongside people and also an ethical way of working. People get paid per project and so provide you with quality work.

Make Great Working Relationships

Throughout this process of hiring freelancers and agencies, you will also meet new contacts. By making new contacts, you expand your professional network. What this expansion means in the long-term is that should you need similar work doing again, you know who you can trust.

Expanding your working relationships allows you the freedom to explore opportunities with other businesses. Doing so can only be beneficial for you and your business. So, whilst you are saving money, you’re also improving your business.

Why Are Wireless Networks The Future For Business?  

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The traditional model of fixed physical cabling is now becoming less appealing for modern businesses that see the many advantages offered by wireless networks, with wi-fi likely to be the preferred communication mode of the future for many companies.

 

Why?

 

Frankly wireless networks are a far more practical solution for businesses that require cost-savings and flexibility.

 

Connection speeds are usually far faster, enabling greater efficiency and higher profits therefore.

 

The majority of devices reaching the market today which find usage in the business world such as smartphones, laptops and tablets are fully-optimised for wireless – people (staff, clients) expect to be able to connect wherever they are in an office: the meeting-room, the canteen, break-out spaces. Having to find a cable and available socket every time a client visits, or a change of room is required, is inconvenient.

 

Going wireless allows for significantly greater scalability – if a business is expanding rapidly, this is likely to be done in stages. Adding new cabling each time would be expensive and disruptive, but wireless networks reduces the hassle to a minimum. Thus business flexibility and cost-saving is attained.

 

Although there have been concerns over network security (cabling is viewed as more secure since it is contained within a building whereas a wireless network can in theory be accessed from some distance away from an office), security measures are now very advanced and are usually effective so long as staff actually use them. And when it comes to detecting rogue access points, this is actually easier than with cabling.

 

Voice-over WLAN communications are easy, enabling staff to stay in touch with their colleagues and clients by a variety of channels, again improving business efficiency.

 

Any business looking to upgrade its technology or move into different premises is naturally going to have wireless communications at the top of its agenda. The potential benefits are far too many to ignore, so this is definitely going to be the future for business. The other important point to consider of course is that we don’t know what technological requirements we will have in 10, 20 years’ time – wireless networks though are much more likely to be able to cope, and are easier to replace if necessary too.