How social media is really driving sales

The question of whether or not social media can result in sales is pretty much as old as social media itself. What we’re seeing recently is an increase in social commerce – where both aspects are able to live happily next to each other and companies can track ROI for time and money invested in social media. For a number of reasons people now seem to be more comfortable with their social and purchasing behaviour moving closer together, as social technologies work their way into different platforms instead of just living in social networks themselves. This isn’t necessarily commerce as we know it though. The potential for social commerce to transform the way we purchase our products and services is huge. Just as consumers are now social, the products they buy and the companies they interact with have to be as well. It’s not just about having a presence on Twitter or Facebook, but using this to change the traditional purchasing process.

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4458502219 e44a10497b How social media is really driving salesThe question of whether or not social media can result in sales is pretty much as old as social media itself. What we’re seeing recently is an increase in social commerce – where both aspects are able to live happily next to each other and companies can track ROI for time and money invested in social media. For a number of reasons people now seem to be more comfortable with their social and purchasing behaviour moving closer together, as social technologies work their way into different platforms instead of just living in social networks themselves. This isn’t necessarily commerce as we know it though. The potential for social commerce to transform the way we purchase our products and services is huge. Just as consumers are now social, the products they buy and the companies they interact with have to be as well. It’s not just about having a presence on Twitter or Facebook, but using this to change the traditional purchasing process. Leer más “How social media is really driving sales”

How To Create a Detailed Briefcase Icon in Photoshop


Follow this step by step guide to create a detailed briefcase icon in Photoshop. We’ll build the rough outline with basic shapes, then add depth and definition with various Photoshop layer styles such as Inner Glow and Stroke. To really bring the icon to life we’ll use real photographic textures to give a tactile leather feel to the icon.

Briefcase icon

The icon we’ll be building has that crisp digital appearance popular in icons on the web. The sharp lines really help define what the icon actually depicts, which is important when it’s used at small scales in a web design or web app. What really brings the icon to life is the subtle gradients and textures. These additions don’t stand out when viewing the icon at a whole, but without them the design would appear flat and lifeless. Let’s go through the step by step process of how it’s made in Photoshop. Leer más “How To Create a Detailed Briefcase Icon in Photoshop”

40 Beautiful & Inspiring .Org Websites


The .org domain, being short for “organization”, was originally intended for non-profit groups or organizations of a non-commercial character. Since non-profits and big design budgets aren’t normally associated with one another, it’s refreshing to see such great design in these types of websites. So for this post, we’ve put together a list of .org websites that are beautiful and guaranteed to inspire you.

Spring: Supporting Local Biodiversity

Spring is a funding program of The Sprout Fund. Program support is generously provided by The Pittsburgh Foundation. Complementing Pittsburgh’s status as North American Host City for the United Nations World Environment Day, as well as the International Year of Biodiversity, Spring offers local opportunities for the citizens of Southwestern Pennsylvania to join these global efforts.

orgsites01

1Love

A global cause backed by Bob Marley’s vision of hope and unity.

orgsites02

Participatory Politics Foundation

The Participatory Politics Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to increase civic engagement. PPF develops websites that create new opportunities for engagement with government. Voting is important, but we have a chance to go further and create a political process that is meritocratic, creative, and participatory.

orgsites03 Leer más “40 Beautiful & Inspiring .Org Websites”

How to Web Work Your Way to Success

Home Office Setup

Most of the web workers become web workers to escape from the daily commute and enjoy the freedom of working from home.

Make sure you create your own isolated space in home from where you can work peacefully. Set up your home office like a real office: a chair, a desk, a whiteboard and all that. Don’t use your bedroom as your office. If you do, you’ll find yourself dozing off more often than ever.

Keep your home office clean and tidy. Understand that your home office plays a vital role in your overall productivity as a web worker. A nicely lit and organized home office will make getting your work done easier.
Tools for Productivity

As a web worker, you should hunt for (and use) tools that make you more productive. Try eliminating boring and repetitive tasks through tools and focus on the stuff that really matters.

Here are some tools you should be using, regardless of the work you do.

1. Gmail

Gmail is undoubtedly the most robust and feature-rich email application. Using any other tool for handling email could be a serious waste of time.

2. Google Chrome

Chrome is fast and useful. It is fast becoming the preferred web browser for those who spend the majority of their 24 hours online.

3. Evernote

Evernote is an amazing note-taking and organization tool. It can help you capture and organize ideas quickly and efficiently.

4. Skype

Using Skype for talking and conferencing saves money and also ensures that you can hear someone else’s voice apart from your own every day.

There are many more tools, depending upon the kind of work you do online, you could make use of. I’ll talk in detail about some of them in a future article.


Abhijeet Mukherjee | //thenetsetter.com

I am sure most of you would agree that working full-time on the web from home today isn’t as uncommon as it used to be a few years ago. In my last 2 years of full-time web working, I have seen many of my friends ditch their day jobs and take the plunge into this new world of self-employment.

Having said that, web work shouldn’t be misunderstood for the dream job you’ve been waiting for since…forever. I have also seen people returning to a day job after 2 or 3 months of trying to work online. So, as you can see, not everyone can make it through.

Here are some tips on what one could do to survive, thrive and ultimately flourish as a web worker.

Is Web Work Right for You?

The most important question one should ask before taking the plunge is:

Are you really cut out to work online?

That said, very few think about it. The temptation of working from home, being your own boss and creating your own schedule is enough to shun other thoughts.

But it is essential that you do a ruthless analysis of your traits, strengths and weaknesses before you think about working on the web. Sitting alone all day working on your computer isn’t easy. If you are someone who loves being around people and you enjoy professional company, you might fare well in a regular office job rather than as a web worker.

Choose the Right Profession

Once you’ve decided that you want to be a web worker (and you are certain that it aligns with your traits and interests), you need to choose the path you’ll follow.

The coolest thing about the internet is that there are literally thousands of ways to make money doing things that are legitimate. Be it writing, designing or coding – all real-life skills can be put to use to earn money on the internet.

If you’ve always loved writing, you could set up a blog to start with. Even set up a blog business if you can invest the time and resources it needs. If you’ve been playing around with Photoshop, you could start helping people design banners, websites and more. The bottom line is that it is better to go with something you love to do…and do well. Leer más “How to Web Work Your Way to Success”

Speak Up! Women and How they Say Things

Paralinguistic cues can give clues to our stress level, age, height, weight, socio-economic status, anxiety, gender, personality characteristics, and culture. In fact, our voices are so unique voiceprints can be used to identify individuals today in the same way that DNA has been used for forensic purposes. Take, for instance, recent events in the Persian Gulf. The opening salvos of the 2003 War in Iraq were aimed at a bunker complex in which it was believed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was meeting with his sons. When Hussein showed up on television shortly thereafter, there was some belief that a body double was being used to fool the Iraqi population (and the Allied forces) into believing that he was still alive. To verify Hussein’s status, U.S. intelligence began analyzing voiceprints of his speech, comparing them to earlier television addresses. Other nonverbals couldn’t be trusted. One can manipulate the facial hair, expression, or even appearance, but controlling vocal cues is much more difficult!

We make myriad judgments about people based on their vocal cues alone. Studies have found high correlation among listeners regarding the personality traits of speakers.

It’s amazing how much information the voice can carry. It has been shown that from voice alone, listeners can accurately distinguish between female and male speakers. In one study, for instance, listeners who heard twenty speakers pronounce six recorded vowels were able to correctly identify the sex of the speaker 96 percent of the time.

GIRL TALK: THE FEMALE PERSPECTIVE
Women communicate a level of authenticity through the expressive variation of their vocal cues. They can demonstrate real sincerity, show their true feelings, and exhibit empathy in what they say. The variation inherent in the female voice conveys charisma. This is a great asset for public speaking. Women also talk to bond and connect, to fill up the empty space in order to make others feel more comfortable. Indeed, filling the silence can increase the comfort level for everyone, including the women themselves! If we don’t have a good comfort level, we don’t have good communication-our interactions become strained and forced. Women engage in “relationship talk” (classically called “chit-chat”) to help them warm up and ease the conversation into an easy, spontaneous flow.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t always go over well with the men folk. In my own family, my 16-year-old son, Armand, and even Geoff, my significant other, wave me on to speak faster. My son complains that my voicemail messages go on and on. Geoff will cue me to, “Cut to the chase!” Or ask “What’s the bottom line?” Incidentally, both of those expressions are born of male culture, and I believe are a result of men’s need to be goal- rather than process-oriented (“Just the facts, ma’am.”). To a woman, the conveying of the “story” is as important as the story itself, but most men don’t care about the details! They want to get to the bottom of things.

Sad to say, some women can’t tolerate pauses in conversations and will talk to fill up the empty silence. This is often perceived as “gibberish.” Unfortunately, in the process they undermine their credibility. In fact, several other paralinguistic features of women’s nonverbal communication work against them.


He Speaks, She Speaks

A gender communication specialist unravels the mystery of how men and women communicate.
by Audrey Nelson, PhD | //psychologytoday.com

Benjamin Disraeli is credited with having said that there is no index of character so sure as the voice. Indeed, it’s not what we say, but how we say it that’s important. When we open our mouths we reveal all kinds of things about ourselves that have nothing at all to do with the words we are uttering.The importance of this area of nonverbal communication was borne out historically in April 1974 when Richard Nixon sent written transcripts rather than audiotapes of his secret White House conversations to the House Judiciary Committee investigating his possible impeachment. Members of the Committee quite rightly complained that written transcripts could not convey the full and correct meaning of an utterance since they lacked the additional nonverbal cues that one derives from the voice: inflection, stress, context, and other such nuances. They demanded the actual tapes because they contained this vital information. The landmark decision to provide the Committee the tapes eventually led to Nixon’s resignation, but it also legitimized paralinguistic communication-the study of voice and how words are said. Leer más “Speak Up! Women and How they Say Things”

Fring Challenges Skype With $0.01 Per Minute VoIP Calls

The mobile voice over IP (VoIP) service Fring now allows its users to make phone calls to land line and cell phone numbers anywhere in the world with prices starting at one cent per minute. Not all calls will be that cheap. Calls to Canada start at 0.4 cents per minute, and calls to India start at 1.1 cents, for example. But it’s more competition in a very small space currently dominated by Skype and to a lesser extent Google Voice.

You used to be able to make Skype calls using the Fring applications for mobile phones like the iPhone and Android devices, but following the launch of the iPhone 4, Skype and Fring got in a bit of a scuffle and Fring users were left in the cold — no Skype access.

Rather than bridge the gap between the two services, Fring has opted to launch its own service to connect its users with outside phone lines. That service is called fringOut, and it’s hard to miss that it sounds a lot like Skype’s own service for that purpose, SkypeOut.


Samuel Axon | //mashable.com

The mobile voice over IP (VoIP) service Fring now allows its users to make phone calls to land line and cell phone numbers anywhere in the world with prices starting at one cent per minute. Not all calls will be that cheap. Calls to Canada start at 0.4 cents per minute, and calls to India start at 1.1 cents, for example. But it’s more competition in a very small space currently dominated by Skype and to a lesser extent Google Voice.

You used to be able to make Skype calls using the Fring applications for mobile phones like the iPhone and Android devices, but following the launch of the iPhone 4, Skype and Fring got in a bit of a scuffle and Fring users were left in the cold — no Skype access.

Rather than bridge the gap between the two services, Fring has opted to launch its own service to connect its users with outside phone lines. That service is called fringOut, and it’s hard to miss that it sounds a lot like Skype’s own service for that purpose, SkypeOut. Leer más “Fring Challenges Skype With $0.01 Per Minute VoIP Calls”