Nine Tech Terms You Need to Know Before Starting a Business

first_img Enroll Now for Free This hands-on workshop will give you the tools to authentically connect with an increasingly skeptical online audience. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. No matter what kind of small business you’re starting or running, you will be expected to understand the jargon and culture of online information technology. That will be true whether you’re building your website yourself or hiring pricey contractors to lead your business to Internet glory.Full Web fluency is almost never necessary for success. As a busy entrepreneur, you have a million things to do. But a working knowledge of the terms and concepts businesses use online can be critical.Here is a basic guide to online terminology worth learning for business owners of all industries:1. Basic programming languages: There are dozens of programming languages used online, but HTML, HTML 5 and XML are the most common. They are written in short commands that tell a Web browser what to display onscreen. Also important are CSS and CSS3 — short for cascading style sheets — which determine the layout of multiple Web pages at once. Javascript is another, more complex programming language that is used to add interactivity to HTML websites.W3Schools.com can be a useful resource that contains definitions, tutorials and do-it-yourself programming exercises.Related: How to Recruit a Great Programmer as a Partner2. Static Web content: This refers to Web business content that remains more or less the same – such as the main pages on your site, contact information and “About Us” links. Think of these pages as your digital storefront. They have to be perfect, so they’ll take the most up-front investment of time and resources to create. It’s important to know that these pages are the foundation the rest of your online strategy will be built on.Website builders Yola and Wix.com allow you to make your own static content, but can require assistance from programmers if you want a custom site. 3. Dynamic Web content: This refers to Web material produced in real time, such as blogs, tweets, Facebook posts and LinkedIn updates. The point of dynamic content is to be fresh, well-thought out and compelling enough to drive customer awareness. Understanding the difference between static and dynamic Web content, and when each is required, can help you keep your business relevant online. Sophisticated content automation tools that pull in content from around the Web or automatically update social networking accounts can help make your content dynamic and compelling to customers. This includes traffic-boosting tools such as TweetAdder, which can help users quickly identity and interact with potential followers, and more involved content curation services such as Curata, which can aggregate specific content from around the Web for your blog. 4. Software as a service (SaaS): Unlike business applications such as Microsoft Office which are installed directly on your computers, software-as-a-service apps are installed on a computer or server outside your office and are accessed over the Web. Examples include task management tool Basecamp and office applications suites like Google Apps. These products back up information automatically, allow access to data from most any computer connected to the Web, and offer remarkable collaborative features. These applications offer businesses flexibility as employees can use them from anywhere. And because an external third party hosts SaaS applications, they also have the potential to ease the burden on your own I.T. staff. Other related terms for this family of products include “Web services,” “cloud-based app” and “Web app.” When deciding on a SaaS product, you might consider using Get App, an app search tool specially dedicated to businesses looking for software to use in their shops, or Google Marketplace.Related: One Way to Navigate the Business App Marketplace5. Organic search: This is the world of products, content and marketing efforts determined by proprietary algorithms that appear on the left side of results from the major search engines. The trial-and-error processes of “search engine optimization” and “search engine marketing” often require considerable effort and luck. If your business is looking for Web traffic, it’s important to understand the basic ways in which Google and others will direct users to your site. 6. Paid search: These are the sponsored advertisements that appear at the top and along the right side of search pages from search services like Google, Bing and Yahoo. Paid search requires using an ad service such as Google AdWords or Yahoo Advertising Solutions. Businesses bid on relevant search terms they hope will attract customers. Also called pay-per-click advertising, businesses pay only when an ad is actually clicked. Knowing how paid search works is critical to any serious online marketing effort. You might need help to manage the bidding process for a serious paid-search campaign. Consider paid search management tools such as Word Watch or ClickSweeper, which can automate parts of the bid process. Related: How to Run Business Software Between Macs and PCs7. ‘Like’ and ‘Follow’: These terms are the referrals social media services such as Facebook and Twitter can provide to a brand. Businesses often enter into the time-consuming process of creating their own social media content to drive both likes and follows. Companies can also purchase marketing on these platforms and reach potential customers directly.8. Payment gateways: These are the online version of credit-card terminals. They encrypt and connect sales orders on your website to your merchant bank. Examples of major payment gateways include Authorize.net and VeriSign. 9. Point-of-sale: The generic term for technology attached to a checkout location, either online or near an actual cash register. New mobile point-of-sale solutions such as Square and Intuit’s GoPayment use smartphone-attached card readers, so payments can be processed just about anywhere.While this list is by no means exhaustive, mastering these basics can give you a solid foundation upon which to expand your online tech chops.  February 2, 2012 Free Workshop | August 28: Get Better Engagement and Build Trust With Customers Now 5 min readlast_img read more

5 Things You Can Learn From a Poorly Designed Website

first_img Hear from Polar Explorers, ultra marathoners, authors, artists and a range of other unique personalities to better understand the traits that make excellence possible. How Success Happens 3 min read My son has just started middle school, and along with becoming oriented to an unfamiliar school environment, he now has “homework like never before,” and it is not just the amount of homework.His teachers no longer send home printed homework sheets. Students are expected to visit the teachers’ individual websites to download assignments, study guides, and watch lectures. And while going online is not normally a problem for technophile middle schoolers, it becomes a problem when the websites are poorly designed.Visitors come to a website to satisfy goals, to perform tasks, and to get answers to questions. If users cannot find what they’re looking for on a website, they will go elsewhere. But my son can’t go elsewhere. He has no choice but to muddle through the unclear navigation and bad design to find what he needs. It is maddening.Still, you can learn a lot from being forced to use a poorly designed website, including ways to improve your own or a client’s.1. Do everything you can to reduce the number of clicks.From the “Sixth grade homework” page, where he was told all assignments would be linked, he has to click through three pages to reach the math assignments. Those math assignments should be directly linked from the main page. When navigating, site users don’t want to stop and read along the way. They want to keep moving until they find the right link.2. Make the links meaningful.Links should be descriptive. Don’t tell readers to “Read more,” “click here,” or “more.” Tell them what they will read if they click. “Math homework October 6-10” is an example of a descriptive link.3. Make copy easy to scan with subheads and bullets.Lists make information easy to grab and help people skim through the information. If possible, keep lists short. But if your list must be long, use white space to break it up.4. Heading content should be concise and descriptive.It should stand out from the rest of the text. Well-written headings facilitate scanning so users can find exactly what they need. They can also make the information less dense and more readable, allowing users to get a quick overview of the page.5. Keep in mind that less is often more on the Web.Eliminate distracting site features such as flash animation or scrolling text. Use animation where it helps, not just for show. Listen Now October 17, 2014 This story originally appeared on PR Dailylast_img read more

3 out of 4 users dont know Facebook categorizes them for ad

first_imgThe Washington-based Pew Research Center released a report that shares the results of its survey based on Facebook user data, yesterday. The survey was conducted on a sample of Facebook users (963 U.S. Facebook users aged 18 years and above) who were asked to present their opinion on the data collected about them by the platform. The nationally representative survey was conducted by the Pew Institute between September 4, 2018, and October 1, 2018. Respondents of the survey were asked to answer a series of questions related to the content present on the Facebook ad categories page. Facebook allows its users to view a “partial compilation” of how they are classified on its “Your ad preferences” page. All the results of this analysis are based on these self-reported answers. Let’s have a look at the key findings from the survey. 60% of Facebook users are assigned 10+ categories on their ad preferences page The report states that Facebook ad preferences page consists of “your categories” tab i.e. a list of a user’s interests analyzed by Facebook’s algorithm based on content that they have posted, liked, commented on or shared.                                                 Pew Institute survey As per the survey results: 88% of American said that they are assigned categories in this system, while 11% saw a message saying, “You have no behaviours” on the ad preferences page. A large majority of Facebook users have 10 or more categories listed on the page. Six-in-ten Facebook users said that their preferences page had either 10 to 20 (27%) or 21 or more (33%) categories for them. 27% noted that their list had fewer than 10 categories. 40% of users who go on Facebook multiple times a day are listed in 21 or more categories as compared to 16% of the “less-than-daily” Facebook users. Facebook users who have been on the platform for 10 years or longer (44%) have higher chances of being listed in 21 or more categories as compared to those with less than five years of Facebook experience (22%). 74% of Facebook users didn’t know the platform lists their interests for advertisers As per the survey results: Three-quarters of Facebook users (74%) did not know the list of categories existed on Facebook, with 12% saying that they were aware of it. 59% of Facebook users say the list was very (13%) or somewhat (46%) accurate about their interests, while 27% of them found the list not very (22%) or not at all ( 5%) accurate. Pew Institute survey Almost half of the Facebook users (51%) said answered that they were not comfortable with Facebook creating the ‘interests list’. 5% of Facebook users were very comfortable with the list and another 31% said that they are somewhat comfortable. Facebook’s political and ‘racial affinity’ labels don’t necessarily match users’ views Facebook assigns political labels to its users. Users who are assigned a political label are equally divided between “liberal or very liberal (34%)”, “conservative or very conservative “(35%) and “moderate” (29%). Pew Institute survey As per the survey results: Close to three-quarters (73%) of the ones assigned a label says the listing is’ very accurate’ or ‘somewhat accurate’ about their views. However, 27% of those say that label is not very or not at all accurate. Facebook’s algorithm also assigns some of its users to groups by “multicultural affinity,” that are assigned to users whose activities “aligns with” certain cultures. About 21% of the Facebook users say they are assigned such an affinity. 60% of the Facebook users assigned with multicultural affinity say they have a “very” or “somewhat” strong affinity for the group they were assigned, while 37% say they do not have a strong affinity. 57% of the Facebook users assigned a group say they consider themselves a member of that group, with 39% saying they are not members of that group. “We want people to understand how our ad settings and controls work..while we and the rest of the online ad industry need to educate people on how interest-based advertising works and how we protect people’s information, we welcome conversations about transparency and control”, Facebook told The Verge. Check out the official Pew research centre report here. Read Next Private International shares its findings on how popular Android apps send user data to Facebook without user consent NYT says Facebook has been disclosing personal data to Amazon, Microsoft, Apple and other tech giants; Facebook denies claims with obfuscating press release ProPublica shares learnings of its Facebook Political Ad Collector projectlast_img read more

Carnival Imagination heads to drydock for multimillion dollar reno

first_img Thursday, September 1, 2016 MIAMI — Carnival Imagination is scheduled to go into dry dock Sept. 4 – 25 for an extensive multimillion dollar renovation aimed at upgrading the ship’s food and beverage concepts.The new spaces will be added over the course of the three weeks. Following its makeover Carnival Imagination will resume its year-round schedule of three- and four-day Baja cruises from Long Beach, California.The new additions will include:Guy’s Burger Joint, a free-of-charge poolside venue developed in partnership with Food Network personality Guy Fieri serving hand-crafted burgers and fresh-cut fries Travelweek Group RedFrog Rum Bar, a poolside watering hole with Caribbean rum-based frozen drinks and beers, including Carnival’s own private label draught brew, ThirstyFrog Red BlueIguana Tequila Bar, a festive outdoor bar offering a laid-back Mexican-themed atmosphere and tequila-based frozen drinks and beersCherry On Top with bins of bulk candy, fun gifts and novelties, custom apparel and more Posted by Alchemy Bar, a  ‘cocktail pharmacy’-themed lounge where mixologists ‘prescribe’ concoctions from different elixirs and ingredients with creative monikers like Forty is the New Twenty and The Restorative Basil DropMore news:  CIE Tours launches first-ever River Cruise Collection BlueIguana Cantina, a complimentary poolside Mexican eatery where guests can enjoy authentic, freshly made burritos and tacos on homemade tortillas, as well as an elaborate toppings and salsa bar Carnival Imagination heads to drydock for multimillion dollar reno Carnival Imagination already offers a WaterWorks aqua park with a 300-foot Twister slide, the Serenity adults-only retreat and the Seuss at Sea program in partnership with Dr. Seuss Enterprises.“Carnival Imagination provides a convenient, value-packed West Coast cruise option and with these new enhancements we’re making this fantastic ship even better,” said Christine Duffy, president of Carnival Cruise Line. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more