Monday, March 20, 2017

Alohomora a Potterhead’s Heart With These Gifts

Potterheads are in the full throes of wonderous Potterverse love again, and all is right with the world. We have a new film, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them that’s finally out. […]

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The Best Anime On Netflix Streaming

The Best Anime On Netflix

In the olden days, getting access to anime was a tremendous pain in the ass. For every series that got dubbed and aired on American television, there were dozens if not hundreds more […]

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Rumplestiltskin Is a Surprisingly Good Dad on Once Upon a Time

Last night’s Once Upon a Time was the rare episode where the flashbacks were more interesting than what was going on in Storybrooke. We went back to the First Ogre War and saw the […]

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Geek deals: iFixit essential electronics toolkit

Gadgets break – it’s an inevitability. Parts wear out, screens crack, and it’s not always a good deal to have someone else fix it. Instead, a small investment in the right tools can […]

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Black, white and a pop of red

carolina engman long bob

COAT Filippa K. TURTLENECK Vince. BAG Kozha Numbers. PANTS Filippa K. MULES Gianvito Rossi

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Genius Magnetic Pedals Keep Your Bike Upright While Parked

A kickstand will keep your bike standing up… well, most of the time, anyway. If you like to keep your bike streamlined and minimal, kickstands probably aren’t your cup of tea. You may […]

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Key Web Development and Design Skills You Should Learn In 2017

In addition to building your client contact list this year, you should be thinking of upgrading your knowledge base in critical areas, especially as competition in the digital economy gets stiffer and opens up wider opportunities for highly skilled web developers and designers.

What exactly should you focus on when expanding your web development skills-set and techniques? There are no all-encompassing answers here, except very, very long ones; but it’s mostly a factor of your area of interest and perspective of what is most important

It’s really a matter of choice, but here are some key fields we think you should investigate and master a few essential principles from if you’re planning to move forward in your web development career through 2017 and onwards.

Key Web Development and Design Skills You Should Learn In 2017

Cloud computing

Cloud computing is the most in-demand specialist web development skill in 2017, as we continue to gravitate to the cutting edge of technology. Cloud computing refers to sharing data and digital resources, rather than housing them individually in local servers; virtual computer resources that are configurable and can be accessed from a control panel.

It is a highly technical field, which is why it is the current most sought-after niche in the web development arena. Companies that want to stay competitive will need to engage a web developer skilled in the technical art of cloud computing.

Related skills that you could pick up along the way are data mining, cloud migration, cloud security, statistical analysis, and cloud application development.

The biggest cloud providers are Azure, Google, and AWS, which between them, have brewed a competitive storm that is thankfully driving down prices and keeping cloud within the budgets of most companies. That means increased opportunities for smart web developers/designers who have invested in learning cloud computing.

Machine learning

Machine learning has grown in significance and popularity in the past 12 months and has come into the mainstream of digital communication technology. It involves analysis of raw data by machines to better understand and predict human behaviour, and consequently improve the way we interact with our mobile devices. Machine learning will certainly play big roles in digital communication technology going forward.

Digital storage systems and management

This skill extends beyond the ability to store and provide access to computer data in the cloud or shared drives. It requires that the professional also has the capacity to manage the data in an organized, secure and easy-to-navigate way.

web development and design skills

Web and mobile app development

The greater number of web users accessing the Internet on their mobile devices has inspired a boom in demand for apps, either for work or personal use.

Apps are the signature of modern web use, as they make websites, web products and indeed life, a little easier, more fun, engaging and interactive. Smart companies are increasingly seeking web development professionals who are skilled in the art of app development, to improve the productivity, efficiency, functionality and the competitiveness of their brands, products or service; while equally saving valuable money.

Domain Name Advisory

Thousands of domain names are registered on a daily basis. With the sheer number of options available when choosing names, registrants tend to get confused about the right name to use. Understanding domain names and having advisory abilities is an important skill, especially at a time when new generic top level domains are released regularly. “We are increasingly being asked to advicse clients on business domain names,” says Brendan from Freeparking. “Our customers want to know about exact match domains, brandable names, dropped domains, and much more. By becoming experts in this area web developers will easily an extra string to their bow, and will have the added income stream of becoming domain and hosting resellers.”

Digital information security

The digital economy has grown so big, as more and more firms key into the vast business terrain and opportunities waiting to be explored. But doing business on the web is not entirely safe, as fraudulent individuals are always on the lookout for any loopholes to steal identities and hack vital information that’ll lead straight to bank accounts.

Web-based businesses and top brands with a significant online presence who move a lot of sensitive data or engage in transactions across the web make network and information security a top priority.

User interface design

User interface design is essentially about making the website responsive and intuitive to the site’s visitors and providing them with a richer user experience. This is what the web is all about really. Companies will continue to individuals who can design websites, apps or programmes that are both functional and great looking.

This is just a snapshot of some of the important areas you could consider upskilling in to have a competitive edge over the coming years.

Web Design Tools for Beginners 2017

Author bio: James is a business psychologist and serial entrepreneur, with over a decade working in finance, IT, marketing and recruitment sectors. He has authored numerous books in the management space and is Founder and CEO of


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Why You Should Stop Using The Term “Blog”

Blogs, blogs, and more blogs. They’re in every corner and every pocket of the universe known as the World Wide Web. Everyone – from professionals and teenagers to fictitious characters and even cats – seems to have a blog.

But what are they, what purpose do they serve, and do you really need one?

The blog wasn’t created on purpose

The term Weblog was popularized when Jorn Barger, a highly intelligent programmer and writer, created a website called Robot Wisdom in 1997. He posted his thoughts and ideas about a variety of subjects, creating a scrollable history of his posts on a single page.

At the time, writing about interesting things in the world and publishing it online was a completely new idea. So Barger called it “logging the web.” This was quickly shortened to “weblog.” This new website style became popular and, pretty soon, everyone began sharing their thoughts online like they were writing in a journal.

The real purpose blogs serve today

Whether used as a journal or not, weblogs are simply a method to create and deliver content across the internet in a way that can facilitate discussion and sharing, keeping track of the chronological order in which they’ve been posted.

If you’re like most people, you probably have a blog for yourself or your business. If you’re calling it a blog in your navigation menu, you may want to think twice.

Here’s why:

Titles determine what people click on

Thanks to people who’ve forgotten that content marketing is supposed to provide high quality content and immense value, many blogs have become saturated with content that doesn’t add value to the visitor’s experience.

Because of this, many people expect blogs to be boring, and if they see a link titled “blog,” they may not bother to click on it. It’s best to use a different term that doesn’t come with so much baggage.

While the term is well known, you shouldn’t necessarily be using it if it’s not a match for your content. Try renaming your link to something like “Free Tips,” “News,” or like Dialpad has done, “Resource Library.”

Choosing titles that match your business and make your visitors want to click on the link is the key to presenting your business in a professional manner.

Just be sure that whatever title you give to your content section matches every piece of content you’re going to publish. For example, you don’t want to call it “News” if you’re also posting how-to guides.

You also need to set yourself apart

Years ago, people would give simple titles to their blogs like “Justin’s Blog” or “Sally’s Blog Adventure.” There was no real thought; it was convenient. Times have changed and what you choose to call your content, formerly known as a blog, needs to be memorable, marketable, and unique. This means not just trying to get creative with the word “blog,” but eliminating the word “blog” completely.

There’s nothing unique about the word “blog” and in the marketing world, every word counts. It makes no sense to waste precious web real estate with this word.

Do an honest self-assessment of your content

Look at your website from an objective point of view. Are you passionately posting quality content, or are you just posting mediocre articles for SEO purposes?

If you’re having a hard time coming up with a good title, it might be because your content doesn’t have a purpose outside of gaining SEO rankings. If that’s the case, it’s not too late to turn it around. Just commit yourself to producing quality going forward, and it won’t be so hard for you to come up with a title for your content.

Sometimes the word “blog” appears automatically

Because self-hosted platforms like WordPress were created for the purpose of blogging, you’ll find the word “blog” appear in places you have no front-end control over, like titles and URLs. For example, WordPress is programmed to display all articles under the URL “”

If you’re really serious about giving your website a professional upgrade, you may need to hire a developer to remove or replace all instances of the word “blog.”

You can think about this one while you’re devising ways to increase traffic to your content.

Perception is everything

When blogs reached their peak in the 1990s and websites like LiveJournal took center stage, people spent a good amount of their time posting angry rants and raves with endless opinions and judgments against everything they didn’t like. It’s no secret that some people love to argue, and the internet just makes it easier to do so anonymously.

Online arguments can continue in the comments section of a blog for weeks or even years. The association of blogs with arguments might prevent people from clicking on a link titled “blog.”

Destroy the box

Just as you don’t have to think inside the box, you don’t have to think outside of it, either. In fact, you can shred the box and burn it. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you call the article section of your website, as long as people are clicking on it and receiving the value they expect on the other end of that link.

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