How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing
Feb12

How The Internet Is Changing Business And Investing

As reliance on the internet grows, people are changing the way they’re finding and starting businesses. While this may make some aspects of starting a new business easier, this new innovation comes with increasing challenges. Innovative Technology Spurs Startups As the internet continues to expand at shocking rates, more people are harnessing the technological capabilities to create businesses entirely online. Previously, 35% of people wouldn’t have discovered a business had it not been for their sign; however, this has been changing in recent years due to the overwhelming presence of digital businesses. Websites like Kickstarter and Patreon are now also enabling individual creators to establish their own brand and earn a living entirely online by creating digital content and receiving payments through the internet. As more people are able to easily start their professional careers online with less capital, more startups are springing onto the scene. This, in turn, is changing how people are investing in various industries. Changes In Investing As the internet changes the professional landscape across the board, people have more options when it comes to investing in different types of businesses. Some more traditional methods remain popular, even among younger generations. In fact, 55% of millennials are interested in investing in real estate, the highest percentage of all demographics questioned. However, with crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and more making startups more common, people are having an easier time contributing to the growth of small businesses. These platforms enable people to invest even small amounts into the start of new businesses. However, this new type of investment is not without its drawbacks. Drawbacks Abound Crowdfunding platforms, as well as many other apps and services, take a few fees and a small cut of profits as part of their agreements with creators and service providers. This is how services like these make their profits, including everything from Instacart to Uber. That means that customers tipping or investing using these platforms might not actually be giving money to their creator or service provider, with those funds instead of being redirected to the platforms and organizers. As the internet grows and expands, more services and apps like these will spring up to help creators and entrepreneurs start up their dream businesses. However, these services will continue to come at a cost to those looking to start their professional lives with the help of the digital world. Will these platforms continue to thrive, or will the costs come back to haunt them? Only time will tell if this digital phenomenon is here to...

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New Research Shows Outdoor Exercise Is Better For Your Health
Jan25

New Research Shows Outdoor Exercise Is Better For Your Health

The new year is officially in full swing, but that doesn’t mean you should throw your resolutions out the window just yet, especially if they’re health-related. In fact, a new study published on January 1revealed that engaging in outdoor activities and enjoying the fresh air is actually better for your health than working out inside. The study was performed by Ian Walker, a student at Memorial University in Newfoundland and Labrador. As an environment and sustainability student, the soon-to-be graduate decided to research the mental and physical benefits of exercising outside rather than working out indoors through a survey. The survey says: everyone loves the outdoors. “People talked about fresh air, getting outside and the mental clarity that comes with exercising outdoors as opposed to indoors,” Walker noted. And if the cold is keeping you at bay, don’t hesitate to bundle up. Another recent study suggests that working out in the cold can make your workouts more effective. According to Healthline, mounting evidence from a variety of sources claims that cold weather helps our bodies burn calories more efficiently. This residual evolutionary trait engages brown fat, the insulating fat that keeps our bodies warm. In even mildly cold temperatures, your brown fat will work hard to keep you warm, burning energy in the process. On top of that, working out in the cold keeps your heart rate down. “Running with a lower heart rate will also make you feel less exhausted so distance running can actually feel easier in the cold weather,” claims trainer Meg Takacs. There’s no better time than the present to get engaged in outdoor activity, even if it is a little too chilly. Here are some healthy hobbies you can engage in to kickstart your new year. Brave the cold Don’t put off starting healthy hobbies until the weather warms up — as mentioned earlier, exercising in the cold is a great way to jumpstart your fitness journey. Whether that means you sign up for skiing lessons, buy a used pair of snowshoes, or simply try taking your dog for a walk in the winter, there are plenty of winter activities that can make you a fitness aficionado all year round. Get the whole family involved Unfortunately, far too many people have a tendency to stay indoors. According to a study performed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average American will spend the majority of their life looking out a window; nearly 93% of our time is spent indoors and this habit is only on the rise. One of the best aspects of outdoor exercise is the ability to get your whole family involved. While you might not tote...

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5 Major Digital Marketing Trends You’ll See In 2019
Dec13

5 Major Digital Marketing Trends You’ll See In 2019

The digital marketing world is in constant flux, which makes keeping up with the latest trends a big challenge. Luckily for you, we’ve compiled a list of the top digital marketing trends you actually need to know in 2019. We’ve also asked select industry experts to give their two cents on the matter as well. High-Quality, Creative Content Content has long been the backbone of good digital marketing and SEO strategies. That may change one day, but not in 2019. The biggest difference in the new year is that there will be an increasing emphasis on nuance in content, meaning that next year’s content is going to be more sophisticated and targeted towards specific markets. “Hands down the best strategy for SEO in 2019 is to always focus your content with the reader in mind. What is most valuable for them, easy to find on your site and clear and concise. Sure the technical component matters, but great content trumps everything,” said Cinnamon Wolfe, Photo Editor and Business Coach. Not only will quality content attract and engage your target audiences, but it will create valuable backlinks and SEO juice to keep those leads coming. Ronald Dod, CMO and co-founder of Visiture, pointed to the importance of content for the eCommerce industry. “We see more and more eCommerce merchants using content marketing to drive high-quality backlinks, rank for research intent keyword phrases, and help drive customer acquisition through content marketing. This may seem simple to the majority of SEO practitioners but for eCommerce merchants using content marketing is fairly difficult to execute in my professional opinion,” said Dod. Modern Video Content It’s been said before, but we’ll say it again: strong video content is a digital marketing must. About 73% of all Americans engage with YouTube, and platforms like Facebook and Instagram have become popular mediums for showcasing video content, too. Consumers love getting information through engaging videos, and video digital marketing is an effective way to rank on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) in the face of paid ads, as Eric Kronthal, President and Founder of periscopeUP, notes. “Unfortunately we’re likely to see further depletion of organic results on Google in 2019. Just getting to the bottom of page one of Google’s results simply isn’t enough. SEOs must dominate the SERP’s top positions, earn visibility in enhanced results (snippets, answer boxes), optimize for other results in images, maps and video, and look to additional platforms like Amazon,” said Kronthal. Video content, including the relatively new trend of live streaming, is also the perfect opportunity to reach your intended audiences. When you create personal and relatable content, consumers will...

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How to Hate Long Flights a Little Less
Nov06

How to Hate Long Flights a Little Less

More than 81 million cars will be made this year, but sometimes you have to take to the skies. And when you do, even short flights can feel like they last forever. Between checking luggage, standing in line at airport security, and waiting around to board the plane, you’re often tired of flying before you even get to your seat. However, particularly long flights over five or so hours can become the stuff of nightmares. Difficulty sleeping, boredom, hunger, and lack of personal space are just a few of the factors that make long flights torturous for even the most patient travelers. Though a long flight will likely never be a smashing good time, there are strategies that can make extended trips more tolerable. If you’re going to be 3,500 feet in the air for many, many minutes, try these tips to make your flight fly by. Bring as Much Entertainment as You Can One hour can seem like two when you have two feet of personal space and nothing to do. Multiply that by however many hours you’ll be flying, and you’ll have an idea of how much entertainment you need to prepare. Matadornetwork.com recommends to pay the extra cash flights that offer for movies on the plane. If that’s not an option, try to download movies at home to have ready for the flight. Bring an extra travel battery to charge your phone or tablet while you’re watching shows so that you don’t have a boredom emergency. Plan Layovers Beforehand Long flights punctuated by long layovers make for a miserable couple of days. Do yourself a favor and find ways to enjoy your on-the-ground time. Research airports ahead of time to plan out where you’ll eat, freshen up, and where you’ll need to meet your connecting flight. Find the Legroom At any one time, FlightAware estimates that there are about 9,728 planes carrying 1.27 million people in the air. In other words, planes are pretty crowded. If you can, pay the extra cash for seats with more legroom. Smartertravel.com suggests using flyer miles and working with airline companies whenever you can to upgrade during extremely long flights, or else pay the price of a sore body and a head swimming with exhaustion when you land. Though you may not be able to swing first class, some airlines let you pay a fee to choose your seats in advance. Look for seats near exits or along the aisles. Get Cozy At high altitudes, the air is much colder, and even the best-insulated planes can get chilly. If you plan on sleeping at all on the flight, wear something...

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Apple Sued For Website Design Deemed Inaccessible For Visually Impaired Internet Users
Oct09

Apple Sued For Website Design Deemed Inaccessible For Visually Impaired Internet Users

In today’s digital world, web design plays an essential role in the internet experience. According to Forbes, 38% of internet users will stop interacting with a website if its layout is unattractive. When pages don’t load quickly enough, we abandon them within a matter of seconds. And if the content is irrelevant, unhelpful, or sparse, we’ll head back to the search results and try again. But many of us take our ability to visually assess the features of these sites for granted. There are plenty of visually impaired web users who rely on coding queues to understand the information provided by websites all over the globe. And when one of the most well-known tech companies ignores the needs of those users, they’re going to be held legally responsible. Around 10% of the world’s population — an estimated 650 million people — live with a disability. According to the World Health Organization, around 253 million people live with some sort of visual impairment; approximately 36 million are blind, while 217 million have moderate to severe vision impairment. The National Federation of the Blind estimates that there are approximately 7.3 million people in the U.S. over the age of 16 who have a visual disability. In the United States, there are pieces of legislation that protect these individuals — namely, the American Disabilities Act — from unequal treatment in many areas. In addition, a web standards organization called W3C published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines in 2008, which provide recommendations and rules for websites to ensure those who are visually impaired can access websites. That’s important to maintain equality for all internet users. Although 83% of all human learning occurs visually, it’s essential for websites to ensure their content is in some way accessible and understandable to those with impairments who cannot rely on sight or sound. Now, one woman has alleged that Apple — one of the foremost innovators in the technological realm — has failed to provide the means for visually impaired web users to understand their website. Although Apple has actually dedicated several of their webpages to “accessibility support” for their actual products, plaintiff Himelda Mendez has filed a lawsuit against Apple for its alleged violation of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mendez claims that Apple’s website actually lacks the alt-text attributes in its coding that will allow screen readers to decipher and convey the description of images and other information. Screen reading software can either translate information into a Braille display or can read information aloud; in order to function properly, websites have to be constructed in certain ways that allow the contents to be read by these readers. The suit explains that Apple.com’s webpages contain empty...

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Fitbit Announces Plans For New Health Care Approach
Oct08

Fitbit Announces Plans For New Health Care Approach

The average adult takes approximately 4,000 to 6,000 steps a day, closer to 10,000 for active individuals. Since Fitbit products and other wearable devices have become so popular in recent years, people are not only taking more steps, but keeping track of them, as well. Now, Fitbit wants to expand beyond the wearable technology market and toward the lucrative health care industry. According to ZD Net, Fitbit has recently launched its new health care platform — Fitbit Care. Fitbit Care will connect health plans, employers, health and systems coaching, and more all to the company’s fitness watches and wearable devices. The new health platform will be available through Fitbit’s business-to-business unit called Fitbit Health Solutions. Humana, a popular health care organization with more than 5 million members, has selected Fitbit Care as its coaching platform. Fitbit Care includes: Wearable devices — Wearables and devices for self tracking of sleep, heart rate, and other activities. This data serves as the basis for personalized care. Digital interventions — These digital interventions can offer support tools, address various challenges, hold private groups, and guided workouts. Fitbit Plus — Fitbit Plus is an app that serves as a health coaching program. This tool connects Fitbit metrics with health care data, mediations, and activity trends. Health coaching and virtual health assistance — Coaches will be able to connect with users via app, phone, and even in-person meetings. Core topics include smoking, weight management, and dealing with depression, diabetes, and heart disease. Fitbit Plus will also feature a much more personalized and human touch to its fitness tracking. The app promises to step beyond algorithmic data by accessing real-life social groups, health coaches, counselors, and other health care professionals. According to Market Watch, as Fitbit announced its new health care plans, the company’s stocks have jumped 4% in early trade. “The fact that we’re able to pull all that together is incredibly valuable,” said John Moore, Fitbit’s medical...

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