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Build Your Brand By Doing Good



Looking for a way to build your brand, do good, and have fun in the process? You can accomplish all those goals by giving to the community you serve.

After all, you don’t want your company to be known as the business that takes and takes, but doesn’t give back anything in return... right?

In this article, let's look at the benefits YOUR BUSINESS can gain by contributing to charitable causes. You may be surprised at the effect your giving can have on the business you receive.
Take a few minutes to consider this seemingly contrarian tactic: Give in order to get.


Contributiong to Charity is Good Marketing 

People want to do business with organizations that serve the members of their community. They want to know you genuinely care about people. They want to know there is common ground between you and them.
By the way... "community" can mean a local or regional area -- but it doesn't have to. A community is a group of people with a common concern or interest.
Fishermen are a community. Dallas Cowboys fans are a community. Take a minute to think about the communities that apply to your customers or clients. Those are the communities where your business wants to be active


Here are some of the marketing benefits you can gain from giving to others:

- Giving generates awareness about your brand within a targeted community
- Giving positions you as a helper, not a taker
- Giving can generate mentions in press releases and news stories
- Giving can get others to promote you online
- Giving can cause other sites to link back to you (SEO value)

Contributing Feels Good: It Raises Your Self Esteem Many non-profit organizations are doing amazing things, but they lack enough funds to scale and make a bigger impact. With help from donors (like you), these organizations can secure the funds needed to build better programs and reach more people.

Do you know sports fans who identify so much with their favorite teams that they are down when their team loses and elated when they win? And you know what they say" WE WON!
They are so identified with the work of others that they vicariously feel as if they were actually participating.

It can be the same way with giving to charitable causes. Their good work can become your good work. When they feed a hungry child, save a whale, or clean up a trashed stream... you have participated.


That not only FEELS GOOD, but it can provide HUGE benefits to your health.


- Giving helps others do great things
- Giving enables you to take part in those efforts
- Giving can cause you to feel better emotionally and physcially
- Giving is an act you can take that you KNOW is important and valuable
- Giving enables you to access a spiritual principle: you reap what you sow 




Contributing Helps With Employee Motivation 

Getting involved in charitable causes allows your employees to get involved in activities that improve their well being, give them a sense of contribution, and make them feel like they are working on something that is bigger than themselves.

Employees are happier when the culture at work is consistent with their values. By having community service and charity ingrained in your work ethic, you encourage employees to develop their own internal clocks.

The result is higher employee morale and a lower turnover rate. Companies who encourage giving simultaneously encourage employees to work harder and get more accomplished.


Sound too good to be true? Try it and see.

- Giving can boost employee morale
- Giving is good for the company culture
- Giving encourages staff to be more conscientious
- Giving can decrease your employee attribution rate
- Giving makes your staff even more proud to work with you Contribiutions Can Get You a Tax 


Deduction

You'll want to check with the IRS or a tax attorney, but it's possible for you to claim a charitable donation tax deduction for your kindness.

Charitable donation tax deduction is normally available to all businesses that have itemized the expenses incurred towards supporting IRS-approved nonprofit organizations.
While this should not be the primary motivation, it is an added benefit that can help you grow the bottom line for your business.


Think about it: Rather than give to the IRS, why not give to one or more of the communities you serve? The benefits to your business can be a whole lot more visible, more trackable, and more effective.


How to Contribute to Nonprofit Organizations 

Here are some of the several paths you can take towards supporting nonprofit organizations:
Involve Your Customers: You can engage your customers by telling them that you’ll match every dollar they donate to a particular cause up to a certain amount. This way, the amount donated is bigger and you can make a bigger impact as you create awareness about the non-profit organization.

Provide Goods and Services: There are nonprofits that could use your goods or services. By giving them your products for free, you are helping them save on the expense they would have incurred securing those goods or services using their own money.

Write a Check: This is the simplest way to help a good cause. There is no set amount to donate. Any amount is good. The main thing is that you jump in and help out.



American Flag courtesy of The Flagmakers


How to Choose the Best Nonprofit to Support 

Be careful with your donation. Look beyond the hype to the truth of the situation. Don't rely on the name of the organization alone as the criteria.

The marketing supporting the Kars4Kids charity, for example, is fantastic. The organization uses a catchy jingle and a "vacation voucher" to get people to donate cars, boats, real estate and other items.
Commerce watchdogs in Oregon and Pennsylvania, though, fined Kars4Kid for failing to fully disclose that the money didn't go to ALL kids, but to those from a specific religious group... and that the free vacation was really a timeshare offer with "hidden costs."


The moral of the story is this: Be careful.

Websites like Charity Navigator and GuideStar can give you a better picture of where the money actually goes, how much of your donation goes to overhead, and can be a major help in deciding where to get involved.


Conclusion - Build Your Brand By Doing Good Smart giving is a win-win situation for your business AND for the community or communites you serve. If you're not giving, you need to. It simply makes sense.

Here's the final point. We touched on it earlier, but it bears repeating: Be sure to identify the communities most important to your audience.

How can you find out what those communites are? Listen in on social media, pull it from your customer persona info, and ASK your customers or clients.
If you listen to them, they will tell you everything you need to know.
Giving and Marketing seem opposite, but they're not. The author found out years ago that we really do need one another... and none of us can accomplish alone what we can accomplish together. Find out more on Twitter @boomalive.


Featured images:
License: Image author owned
Image courtesy of MyBlogGuest
Image by Smart Photo Stock 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Upthere – A smarter way to keep, find, and share all of your files



Upthere is a smarter way to keep, find, and share all of your files. Instead of syncing your files between devices, which takes up lots of space, Upthere safely and privately stores your files directly in the Upthere cloud.

Upthere Home, the first app for Upthere, is designed to be the one home for all of your photos, videos, music, and documents. Everything is safely and privately stored directly in the Upthere cloud, so you’re not limited by the space on your phone or computer.

Source Upthere

Whistle - Fitbit for dogs






No more lost pets.

Track your pet's location on-demand from your smartphone.



Your pet's location and activity sent directly to your phone.


Whistle GPS Pet Tracker combines the best on-collar GPS tracking device with a simple mobile app, putting your pet’s needs and location right at your fingertips whenever you need it. It’s also the first device and app system to combine location-tracking and smart activity monitoring into one simple experience.




1 in 3 pets will get lost in their lifetime


Whistle GPS Pet Tracker helps make sure your pet always returns home safe. One part superpower, many parts reliable technology, Whistle helps you be the hero your pet thinks you are.


A new era of pet care


Whistle puts the important stats and insights about your dog or cat right into your pocket. We tell you when something’s up and reassure you when everything’s alright.


Source WHISTLE


Create A Home Media Centre With An Old Laptop



Media not landfill for your computer

Your laptop may have been pensioned off; perhaps it’s fallen behind the times and won’t run newer software releases you want to use. Perhaps it’s simply too bulky compared to the new and svelte slimline, lighter designs - or maybe the track pad or screen is broken and it’s not worth the expense of repairs.

Rather than give it away or dispose of it at the local household waste facility, you could repurpose it as a dedicated media centre, so delaying its appointment with landfill.


Popularity of media centres

Being able to house your photos, films and music from one source and maybe share it with others so they can access content on their tablets or computers is an attractive option. It means you don’t have to keep hooking up your computer to the TV or sound system when you want to view some photos in large size or listen to music.

Redeploying that old laptop means you’ll have a cheap and permanent solution; perhaps you don’t have an older laptop but still like the idea of having a low cost, dedicated media centre. If so, purchasing a refurbished laptop is a good option, and the advantage here is being able to buy a machine with the correct specifications and connection options for the type of media set up you wish to create.


Possibilities

Your options range from simply loading your media onto the laptop, deleting other data such as word processing documents and spreadsheets (presumably having already transferred them to your new ‘work’ machine), connecting it to your TV or A/V receiver and leaving it at that.

At the other end of the scale, you can - if you have some basic practical skill - create a bespoke media centre using the internals of the laptop housed in a new enclosure. There’s scope here to build something aesthetically pleasing such as using a Perspex enclosure or something retro style such as a wood effect case.


Assessing your requirements

You may just want a simple way of playing music from one source only in the room it’s located in, or maybe you’d like to be able to stream music and other content all over the house for other people to benefit from via their own devices. Free software, such as Plex Media Server, allows you to stream media over a home network to smart TVs, computers and other devices.

Much will depend on the capability of the laptop - if it’s a relatively recent model then it may be powerful enough to be accessed by more than one device at a time and serving different content simultaneously. It may also have modern external sockets - for example a digital out (DVI or HDMI) so picture quality will be high through your TV.


Connections - audio and visual

Older machines may use analogue VGA sockets; you can still connect to your digital TV using them but quality may be compromised as your TV will have to convert the analogue signal to digital. More recent DVI or HDMI-equipped laptops make for a better quality signal going to your TV.

For sound, you should ideally use the optical input on your A/V receiver; you’ll probably require a Toslink to optical mini adaptor to connect from the laptop’s ‘audio out’ socket.
If performance is limited, then maybe adding more RAM memory is possible if you’re going to remove the internals of the laptop and put them in a new enclosure.
If the hard drive is too small for the amount of media you want to store, then adding a new one or connecting an external could be possible.


Software

At the basic level an older Windows laptop will likely have some form of Windows Media Centre loaded which would do a job in terms of media playing. Likewise an elderly Apple Mac laptop would probably have iTunes installed which makes for a decent media player (and you can download iTunes to a Windows machine if you’d like to use it).

There are various other media centre software alternatives; some are multi-platform such as Kodi (formerly known as XBMC). Many consider Kodi to be the best media centre software - it can be used on Windows, Linux, Android and Mac OS X and can play most media file types.
Kodi may be a bit daunting for the newcomer as it’s highly configurable. Because it’s an open source software project and designed and developed by a highly technical community, Kodi may not be as obviously user friendly to start with unlike the more mainstream Windows Media Player and iTunes. VLC Player is another popular option for video.


Choosing the right option

It’s certainly possible to create a dedicated media centre at a low cost. Purchasing a laptop especially for media centre purposes is a good value for money option if you don’t have an older laptop no longer in use, or you do but it’s simply too ancient and would need too many replacement parts to make using it as a media centre viable.


Author bio:
Wesley Hawes is director of Black Barn Computers, which specializes in providing the public, small businesses and schools with quality refurbished computers.


Featured images:
License: Image author owned 


Are You Cut Out To Build A Career In SEO?



If you are planning to build a career in search engine optimization, it is not enough to be prepared for the job, you need to know that you will be enjoying your career in SEO as well. Here, we outline some pros and cons of working with SEO so you can determine if you truly want to pursue a career in this field.


SEO Career – Pros

For one, in SEO, there is always something new for you to learn. Change is definitely a constant in the world of SEO and you can expect something to come up every few weeks. It is pretty overwhelming if you think about it, but you don’t have to be an expert right away. You just have to be eager to learn about the updates.

Second, your ideas will always be heard. Like other tech-related fields, SEO allows everyone to share ideas. You don’t have to worry about tenure. If you happen to have an idea which you want to test and measure, speak and you shall be heard.

Third, SEO’s “test and learn” culture provides with some room for error. The important thing is that you are always observing and measuring. As long as you do this, unexpected surprises and setbacks can be tolerated and are even regarded as a path towards improvement.


SEO Career – Cons

One of the cons of an SEO career is the challenge of maintaining work-life balance. It can get pretty easy to get obsessed with SEO and really have no time for anything else. And with the constant changes you need to watch out for, you can easily lose track of time.

Impossible deadlines is another. Being young and new to the field, and seeing how eager you are to learn and gain experience, you might be given some deadlines that are just impossible to meet. Effective time management might help keep you from getting burned out.

You will have to deal with clients and bosses who may have unreasonable expectations. It’s true that some people think that SEO works like magic – that implementing a strategy will result in success overnight. Of course, you will be providing them with adequate information and guidance and will update them of any progress, but these will not guarantee that they will completely understand the process and the logical timeframe that can be expected from you.

A lot of people do not understand how SEO works. While this may make you feel great that you do, ti can actually be a curse. When clients and bosses do not have a good understanding of SEO, it is also likely that they may have misconceptions about the level of expertise required to successfully implement a good SEO campaign and the amount of time it will take to see results.

After reading through these pros and cons, you might have a better feeling of whether this is something that you really want to pursue. And, if the answer is yes, the next thing you will want to do is sign up for online SEO training so that you can be sure that you are equipped with the necessary skills and knowledge to help you succeed in your chosen career.


Author bio:
Michelle Gonzalez has been writing for SMEs across the United States, Canada, Australia and the UK for the last five years. She is a highly-experienced blogger and SEO copywriter, writing business blogs for various industries such as marketing, law, health and wellness, beauty, and education, particularly on creating online courses such as those offered by ClickMinded.com.


Featured images:
License: Creative Commons image source 


ZEEQ Smart Pillow: Stream Music, Stop Snoring, Sleep Smarter



The super comfy pillow that plays your music, monitors and reacts to your snoring, analyzes your sleep and intelligently wakes you up.

Introducing ZEEQ, the world’s most sophisticated pillow. ZEEQ is not just another device or accessory, it is an active participant in your sleep. ZEEQ can play music to help you fall asleep, monitor and react to your snoring, analyze your sleep and intelligently wake you up. Unlike other sleep technology ZEEQ actually responds to the data it collects.
ZEEQ will help you fall asleep by allowing you to listen to music through the pillow and letting you choose music from your favorite sources. You can set a sleep timer in the app so the music will stop automatically - that way you can focus on sleep. We have even created some new relaxing tracks (some even using binaural beats) to help you fall asleep faster and achieve even more restful sleep.

Source Kickstarter 


Create stunning product screenshots in seconds with Smartmockups App



The Smartmockups App gives you the power to design stunning digital mockups, even if you’re not a skilled designer. Simply choose one of our mockup templates, import your images, and the final presentation-ready composition is finished in seconds. It’s that simple.
When we first launced smartmockups.com as a small side project, we never anticipated the overwhelmingly positive response we received from the PH community. As a result, we’ve decided to take things a bit further. 
We wanted something that would enable us to easily create complex mockups with more than just a single photo on a single device. That’s why we've developed the Smartmockups app. 
The Smartmockups app makes creating beautiful product screenshots a breeze, without using Photoshop. It offers over 200 premium mockups for both digital and printed products. It’s loaded with awesome scenes for responsive web designs and cool perspective screen mockups. Additionally, you can easily change background colors and select from a variety of background gradients.

Source  Smartmockups App

How To Create A Simple Task Management System



Making and sticking to your to-do list can be very tedious and difficult to do. To-do lists seem complicated because we have to set due dates and prioritize one task over another depending on what we deem most important at that moment.


Defining Tasks

To start with this topic, we first need to define word “task.” In simple terms, task presents an action that needs to be completed now or later. We describe tasks in many different ways, assigning it to a larger project, with actions that need to be done in order for the task to be completed. Our tasks have abandoned one-sentence rule where we numerically ordered our tasks without specific details. By writing actions that will ultimately lead to the task completion, it is easier for us to trace our progress and gain short-term sense of accomplishment as we get closer to our final goal.


It turns out that task management is extremely important. In today’s world, success comes as a result of a clear goal and action taken towards that goal. If you don’t have a list of tasks, then you cannot take directed action towards your goal.
Tasks are great because they allow us to write our ideas and thoughts that will lead to our goals. Many ideas have been forgotten simply because people didn’t write them down immediately. Once you write down an idea, use actionable words that will create tasks and guarantee your long-term success. This also improves your organizational and time management skills, simply because you’re organizing yourself and your time, which is very challenging.


These actionable tasks also help us to keep ourselves in check and make sure we’re not creating overwhelming tasks but also that we’re not slacking.
The simplest rule to preent you from creating a complicated and long task list, is to look at your tasks. If any of them can be done in less than two minutes, make sure to do those tasks immediately. Otherwise, it will just clutter your to-do list and make you more anxious once you see the length of your tasks.


This is the part where most people struggle. It is important to recognize what tasks should be completed first. Also, this is the part that is unique to each person. We all have different lives and priorities that other people might not care about. This is why it’s crucial for you to think well about your tasks and the priority of each.

You can organize your tasks by having a variety of task groups. For example, a category named “personal projects” could refer to your current projects within your household. This category can range from “read a book” to “redecorate the master room.” Errands should be in a separate category because these tasks fall into everyday repetitive tasks. Another category could include “private events” where you can place family trips, birthday celebration, special family dinner night, etc. In case if you have a lot more ideas, you can have a category that reflects ideas that are not a priority but you would like to have them completed soon.

Finally, all of the tasks you set for yourself should have a realistic time period for completion. Avoid writing long to-do lists for a short period of time because these lengthy lists are more likely to bring you anxiety rather than productivity. If you have a highly complex task to complete, break it down into smaller tasks. Make sure your task list looks appealing and not cluttered. Use visuals to make your to-do list look more appealing.

Featured images:


License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned
License: Image author owned 


Author bio:
 Amira Chugunova is a tech writer and blogger with an interest in the application of BPM and process excellence, and the use of emergent process design in the creation of workflows.


Tinder Social – A New Way to Plan Your Night



Get ready to roll. Your night just got better. 
Tinder has always been about getting you out of the house to meet someone new. But sometimes you want more than a party of two. Often your best nights are when you’re hanging with friends, someone makes an unexpected connection with someone in another crew, and your two crews have an amazing time together. Maybe you spark a romantic connection. Maybe you make new friends. Either way, a good night out with your friends becomes something better. That’s why we’re launching Tinder Social, a new platform that helps you plan your night out. We first test-launched Tinder Social in Australia, where we learned that people were looking for a better way to plan their night out with friends—tonight. For this launch, we’ve made changes to the feature to deliver a more real-time experience. People can see who’s going out tonight, what they’re up to, and plan their night, easily and efficiently—all on Tinder Social.


SOURCE : Tinder Social


Hit or Miss 3.0 - Daily curated collection of the best trends and fashion



Hi everyone! I'm here to introduce the new version of Hit or Miss.

3.0 is out and we are super excited. We have a whole new look. The featured bloggers have their own section now and it’s super easy to access your profile. We are also very excited to introduce our smart search aka “Ask Us” feature. It’s the first iteration of our shopping assistant bot. You can ask us “Do you have have summer dresses?” and “How about flat summer sandals?”.

I created ‘Hit or Miss’ for time-pressed women who want a one-stop shopping opportunity. By curating the latest style trends and allowing users to rate (hit or miss) products, the app delivers high quality products and entertainment to our users everyday.

Source Hit or Miss 


Intercom Messenger - The messenger for business



The best way to talk directly to your customers in your product and on your website.


Modern


Built with design at the forefront. Free yourself from using out of date, clunky tools with a messenger that is fluid, fast and fun.


Flexible

Choose the perfect type of in-app message for any situation and send it without getting in your customers’ way.


Personal


Show people who you are, and inject life into conversations, to create real connections with your customers.


Multiplatform

A native and seamless experience for your customers wherever they are; web, iOS and Android.





Find your next movie with Hubbos



This is a really neat site. First off, I ❤️ the design. it's BEAUTIFUL!
The idea is pretty simple though.

Find awesome movies.
Find how/where to see them.
Find our about similar movies.
Find collections of movies.
Find info about movies and the people in them
Find all the things!

Really a 💯 site for all the movie lovers 👍.

Source Hubbos


Business Process Management Drives Innovation In Healthcare



Healthcare is an industry driven by processes. There are processes for patient care such as diagnoses and treatment. Then there are processes on the administrative and management side of the industry in areas such as hospital management or clinical research, as well as legal and regulatory processes that must be followed too. What most of these processes have in common is that they are nearly always being done inefficiently. Healthcare has historically been one of the slowest industries to automate and digitize, but luckily some proactive healthcare organizations are starting to realize the potential for improvements to their existing systems.

A key way through which these innovative organizations have started to realize improvements is through the use of Business Process Management (BPM) principles and adoption of BPM solutions. In using BPM, healthcare organizations are able to document and manage every step of patient care more efficiently. This is done through setting up workflows of the various processes that must be completed in the course of caring for a patient. Some of these processes are necessary for regulatory compliance reasons, and many are administrative. While the processes are important and necessary, they end up taking time and resources away from the most important job of anyone working in healthcare, which is to actually care for the patient.

Healthcare professionals should be able to focus solely on the patient sitting in front of them and not have to waste their time digging through huge patient files, navigating through legacy databases, or dealing with administrative tasks such as scheduling. Using BPM to make all of these processes more efficient allows the healthcare professional to spend more time helping their patients. This leads to increased quality of care as well as decreased costs through elimination of inefficiencies.

Currently, most hospitals and healthcare practices rely on multiple different software and manual systems to perform even basic processes. It isn’t unusual to find healthcare organizations that have multiple systems in place just for the process of checking patients in. Then there are separate systems for scheduling, billing, diagnoses, filling prescriptions, tracking patient progress, etc. The myriad of different systems makes a visit to the doctor less personalized. Doctors are forced to focus too much attention on administrative tasks and regulatory issues, which takes away from their ability to provide the best possible care to their patients.

Healthcare organizations that have implemented BPM solutions are able to more easily recognize areas for process improvements and increased efficiency. For example, they might notice that lengthy patient intake procedures are creating a bottleneck in the workflow which could be mitigated by asking patients to complete intake forms online ahead of time or through reallocating staffing. Not only would a process improvement like that save money for the organization, but it would also lead to increased customer satisfaction as patients wouldn’t have to wait as long to see their provider. BPM makes it possible to notice these types of inefficiencies that otherwise might be overlooked, leading to increased value for the healthcare organization.

Author bio: Jensen Carlylse is a tech writer and blogger with a particular interest in Business Process Management systems, including Lean BPM and enterprise task management tools such as JobTraQ, Wrike, Appian, IBM BlueWorks and so on.


Meetingbird - Supercharge your team's meetings



Meetingbird is a project-based meeting platform that makes teams more transparent and productive.


Project-based meetings

Have lots of related or recurring meetings? Use Meetingbird Projects to group meetings by a common purpose like "Customer Onboarding Meetings" or "Pitch meetings". Anyone on your team can follow a Project to stay informed on meetings they might not attend themselves.


Meetings with accountability

Tired of unproductive meetings? With anonymous feedback built into every meeting, Meetingbird makes it easy to discover the meetings that are working well and the ones that need improvement.


Powerful collaboration

Built from the ground up with real-time collaboration in mind, Meetingbird allows you and your team members to edit meeting content together. And with Meetingbird's powerful sharing features, collaborating with someone outside of your team is as simple as sending them a link.


All of your meeting content in one place

With Meetingbird, all of your organization's meetings notes, agendas, and decisions live in a single, searchable place. Say goodbye to the mess of google docs and emailed notes.

Source Meetingbird


Google Cloud Natural Language API



Google Cloud Natural Language API reveals the structure and meaning of text by offering powerful machine learning models in an easy to use REST API. You can use it to extract information about people, places, events and much more, mentioned in text documents, news articles or blog posts. You can use it to understand sentiment about your product on social media or parse intent from customer conversations happening in a call center or a messaging app. You can analyze text uploaded in your request or integrate with your document storage on Google Cloud Storage.



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