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Stop Calling Tablets 'Mobile'

Stop me if you've heard this one: Two guys are sitting in a Starbucks. One is tapping away on his Macbook Air. The guy next to him is busy pecking as well, on a keyboard attached to his iPad.

Yet only one of these two are considered to be on a "mobile" device. 

If this were an isolated incident, you could conclude that yes, sometimes, the way we use tablets and laptops are pretty similar. It's not. Study after study shows that only a small minority of tablet owners connect them to cellular networks. That means most of the time most are employing them within Wi-fi range. Translation: They're using them on their couch, often in a reclining position.

Illogically, tablet activity is usually lumped in with phones anyway. For instance, a report Monday from Forrester Research estimated that U.S. mobile commerce sales will hit $114 billion this year. Of that, $38 billion will come from mobile phones.

That's still a lot, but take tablets out of the equation and the figure is two-thirds less impressive.


Are You Taking Google+ Seriously?

Since Google+ launched a few years ago, the general consensus was that Google+ was not to be taken seriously when compared to the heavyweights of social marketing like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram. Basically, Google+ was treated, and is still treated, as a ghost town in the eyes of many big and small businesses. 

Over time though it has become clearer why businesses, no matter how big or small, should start taking Google+ seriously. There are now over a billion Google accounts that are enabled for Google+ and of these accounts more that 360 million are active Google+ users. The +1 button is now clicked on average 5 billion times each day.

When compared to Facebook which has 1.2 billion monthly active users these stats are not that impressive, but Google+ is still the new guy in town and these numbers are far from ghost town figures. What is important for business owners to realize is that these numbers are growing 30% annually and that means as the momentum builds for this social network, the time to start building a solid foundation on Google+ is now.

If you drag your feet too long, you may find that your competitors have already laid a solid foundation of their own and have built a strong social presence that will be very difficult for your business to overcome. Right now you have a golden opportunity to create a solid social presence for your business on this growing social network that all signs show is going to be the social network powerhouse of the future.


The Hard Truth About Your Online Life

From email to social media, there comes a time in everyone's life when we need to sit up and face the truth about our online selves. And the best way to make us all see the light is with graphs.

Danish artists Mikael Wulff and Anders Morgenthaler created the series "Truth Facts" on their comedy website Kind of Normal. The humorously honest graphs show the hard truths of everyday life — especially online life.

If you're a social media butterfly or just an online procrastinator, these graphs will show you that the online struggle is real. After all, who hasn't wondered about the secret meanings of Facebook RSVPs?


The 15 Best Super Bowl 2014 Commercials

Rating the Big Game’s top ads is an annual rite. From Bud Light’s star-studded best night ever to Ellen’s Beats Music dance party to Audi’s terrifying Doberhuahua, relive the Super Bowl’s most awesome spots.

Bud Light: Ian Up For Whatever

What do you get when you put together a bachelorette party DJed by Reggie Watts, Minka Kelly the stylist, Don Cheadle leading a llama into an elevator, Arnold Schwarzenegger playing ping-pong, a private One Republic concert, and an unsuspecting average guy who’s up for anything? The best night ever.

Budweiser: Puppy Love

In a twist on last year's unbelievably heartwarming ad, Budweiser's famous Clydesdales show us that dog is more than just man's best friend. It's impossible to not get warm and fuzzy with this saga of animal love.

Audi: Doberhuahua

Step aside, liger. There’s a new hybrid beast in town, and this one might be the most terrifying yet. Let’s just be thankful that Sarah McLachlan doesn’t have to sing for the misunderstood Doberhuahua in real life.

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt


5 Biggest Social Media Lessons of 2013

Social media on cell phones - always connectedIt was a big year for social media. Twitter made its successful debut on the stock market while Facebook recovered from its troubled IPO a year earlier. We also saw the launch of Vine, the rise of Snapchat, and the acceptance of social media by the SEC, which said public companies could use these sites to disclose information.

And that was just in the United States.

In China, which has the world's biggest population of Internet users, ecommerce giant Alibaba spent $586 million for a stake in Weibo, the country's top microblogging service and a rival to Tencent's popular WeChat instant messaging app. Meanwhile, in the Ukraine, mobile phone operators were expecting a boom in data traffic as protests against the country's president were organized over social networking sites, similar to the Arab Spring of 2011.


Where Did Coca Cola Go? The Answer Will Amaze You.

Where did Coca Cola go?Coca Cola has announced that they will not be spending any money on advertising. Instead, the global company will be spending that money on relief efforts in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan.

"Any committed advertising space will be redirected to the relief and rebuilding efforts for the people in Visayas," Coca-Cola's statement on Tuesday read.

Coca Cola has already donated $2.5 million in cash, nearly $600,000 in bottled water, and $1 million through the American National Red Cross.

"We have a long-standing commitment to extend aid to our affected associates and their families, as well as for our communities locally," said Juan Ramon Felix, Asia Division Director, Coca-Cola FEMSA, "and with our unique capacity to lend a helping hand to these communities, we will ensure that we will continue to provide support through this difficult time."

What other companies have put a great deal of effort and money to give aid to victims of a tragic event? Share your favorite stories below. 

Source: Sunny Skys


Increase Productivity & Creativity by Changing Up Your Work Space

Woman working at her desk.The seasons are changing here in Wisconsin; the leaves are falling and so is the temperature. However, I have decided not to get too gloomy about the coming snow, and instead take a tip from nature. Change is good; it helps keep things fresh and new. With that in mind, I have been trying out some different ideas at the office like changing how I work at my desk.

In an article I read earlier this week about productivity and creativity, they talked about varying your desk setup. Taking that to heart, I tried standing at my desk instead of sitting. Though it was tiring to stand and work, it did make me think differently. I also sat on a yoga ball instead of my office chair and that makes a difference as well. So with those two variations in mind, I decided to make a list of options to change my desk setup/arrangement to boost my creativity and productivity.


Explaining How Hosting, Domain Names, and Websites Work Together

House frameRecently, I was explaining websites to my dad. He had no clue what I was talking about when I brought up hosting and domain names, and why you need them both for your website to work. So, instead of using "tech speak" and throwing out words like server, FTP, and IP Address, I used an analogy that he, as a contractor, would understand. I compared websites, domain names, and hosting to a house.

Compare them to a house? How in the world do those three things share similarities to a house? It’s simple really; when you build a house, you first need to buy the land it’s going to be built on. That land is like your hosting account. Your hosting account (land) is where your website (house) will be built.

After you have your land, you build your house. Your house is like your website; it has many rooms that have different purposes. The many rooms in your house are the different pages in your website. For example, your front door/foyer would be your home page.


Where's the REAL value in Social Media?

Protesting Social MediaEvery business owner wants to know where the real value is in social media. By now, most people know that its importance is growing as the trends lean more towards inbound marketing and online communications, but finding the value is still a gray area. Though there are many aspects of social media that hold value for business owners, I broke it down to four main categories:


The Power of Mornings: An Experiment on Productivity - Part 2

Completed To-Do List

Personally, I’ve never been a morning person. In my college days, anything that started before 9:00am would have to come standard with a latte and a Red Bull. When I started my professional career and an 8:00am start to the workday became the norm, I adapted. But even so, I’ve never been known to start the day by bouncing out of bed (at least not without the latte!).  

But two weeks ago I committed to an experiment (to read part one of my blog The Power of Mornings: An experiment on Productivity, click here). For one week I would begin my work day at 7:00am, approximately one hour before my office opens. I set out to test whether the articles I had read profiling people that began their work day earlier, really did have the satisfaction of a more productive day.

As an Account Executive at The BLU Group - Advertising & Marketing I’m always looking for ways to increase my productivity and work more efficiently, so I was excited to see if this simple change to my schedule would make a difference. After one week of being the first one at the office bright and early, here’s what I discovered: