As we consistently grow in the digital world, it is become very apparent that you should be using social media in a way to advance your presence and make yourself known in your own unique way. With sites like YouNow, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and so many more continuing to grow exponentially each and every year, many young people are taking this initiative in getting their creative juices out there and making their mark on society. That can truthfully be said in many different ways about The Merrell Twins, who have taken their social media fame and brought it to unexpected heights in a short amount of time. [Read more…] about One on One with YouNow Sensations The Merrell Twins!
Gadgets: The Good, The Bad and the Coming Soon
We’re well on our way into 2014, and with each milestone we pass, the future becomes more, well, nerdy. Nerdy, that is, in the sense of existing on a more technology and algorithm-based plane. The planet around us is growing smaller as more and more of our OS and HTML obsessed brains grow just a little bit larger. The tech world grows faster every day, and it shows. The late 2013 is no exception to the rule, having given us many bright new gadgets, as well as many dull ones.
In a nutshell, here are the better, best, and not-so-good #gadgets of 2013, (as well as the rising stars to watch in 2014) including smart phones, tablets, laptops, gaming systems, wearable tech, apps, mobile operating systems, and other miscellaneous gadgets.
Smart Phones 2013
Winner: Apple iPhone 5s
Runner-up: HTC One
Loser: Blackberry Z10
The one to watch in 2014: Motorola Project ARA
Winner: Apple iPad Air
Runner-up: Google Nexus 7
Loser: Microsoft Surface RT
The one to watch in 2014: Amazon Kindle Fire HDX
Winner: Apple MacBook Air 13″
Runner-up: Samsung ATIV Book 9 Plus
Loser: Google Chromebook Pixel
The one to watch in 2014: Asus Taichi
Gaming Systems 2013
Winner: Sony Playstation 4
Runner-up: Microsoft XBox One
The one to watch in 2014: Oculus Rift
Wearable Tech 2013
Winner: Pebble Smartwatch
Runner-up: Misfit Shine
Loser: Samsung Galaxy Gear
The one to watch in 2014: Google Glass
Mobile Apps 2013
Runner-up: Blackberry Messenger
Loser: Twitter #Music
The one to watch in 2014: Tinder
Mobile OS 2013
Winner: Android 4.4 KitKat
Runner-up: Apple iOS 7
Loser: Blackberry BB10
The one to watch in 2014: UBUNTU
Other Gadgets of 2013
Winner: Google Chromecast
Runner-up: NEST Project
Loser: Hapilabs Hapifork
The one to watch in 2014: Leap Motion
All graphics are courtesy Finances Online and designed by Ruby Media Corporation
Is Facebook The New & Improved Biological Clock?
Oh great, you are engaged and just got a promotion. Thanks Facebook!
Even though parts of society seems to change throughout the years, some of it cyclical and some of it changing for the new, one thing remains the same- the pressure to be like the Joneses. What do I mean by that? The simple fact that we are all aspiring to get ourselves to that inevitable checkpoint. To achieve whatever our hearts desire- be it a great job promotion, a marriage, a kid, whatever it takes. So now that social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter is thriving in today’s digital age, is that biological clock of ours that much more magnified because we see it on a daily or even hourly basis?
When you reach a certain age, let’s say 30 for instance, you are expected and almost expect yourself to reach particular life goals. Straight or gay, you may feel like you should be married at this point, have a kid or two, live on your own of course with a pretty profitable job. But what happens if one of those things are missing? Let’s say you are looking for that dream job of yours yet can’t seem to find it. You then open up your Facebook page and see that your friend Jenny or Scott has just achieved that particular promotion or even started to run their own company. Certainly you feel happy for them, but subconsciously you feel like why them and not me? Why can’t it be me getting that great job? I have the qualifications, so what’s the difference here? Hence that feeling of, “Oh shit. I gotta get moving, I gotta do something”.
The biological clock before digital times was just an inherent feeling of my time is running out to do accomplish something, and I don’t want to know how I will feel if I don’t get it done by then. I have a ton of my girlfriends who tell me on a consistent basis that they want love, they want commitment but it is hard to find in such a big city like Manhattan. Then they go on their Facebook page and find that that girl who they had a chemistry class with back in college just got engaged, and then the panicking begins. Shouldn’t this provoke something good and not bad?
Facebook originally started the same year I began college back in 2004 really as a social networking site between college kids. It was a mixture of meeting new people on your campus yet keeping in touch with all of your high school friends, sort of a digital Yearbook of sorts. Now, almost ten years later it has developed into such a life that I don’t even think Mark Zuckerberg was really prepared for (IE Snapchat’s 3 Billion Dollar rejection from Facebook itself). It has just designed itself into keeping us up to date with what everyone is doing on a very large scale. Will Facebook represent this quote un quote “Biological Clock” type of atmosphere for a while? Not too sure. It really all depends on how you view your life versus someone else’s life and really how you compare yourself to them.
Do you think Facebook is the new Biological Clock? Sound off!
The Hashtag: The Most Powerful Tool on the Internet
The Hashtag: A word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
It seems, within today’s modern world, the idea of a society which is not completely interconnected and collectively influential is unfathomable and even somewhat frightening. What was the world without internet? What was a day without cell phones or computers? How did people communicate, or meet, or get directions, or stay entertained?
We have adapted to our modern world with ease, familiarizing ourselves with new technologies and social impacts every day. Certain trends have faded into the world of retro-vintage ancient history, while others have stood the test of time. Since the recent dawn of social media, the world has become significantly smaller. And when Twitter introduced the hashtag in 2007, a new trend was born. It was arguably the most powerful tool on the internet, and perhaps still is.
Chris Messina, co-founder of the company BarCamp, was officially the first Twitter user to introduce and to actively “use” the hashtag as a means for guiding conversations among groups of people. The concept was initially frowned upon, both by general consumer consensus and by Twitter founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone themselves. The founders were uncertain of the potential for the emblem’s impact. They didn’t wholly believe it would catch on. “That stuff is never going to catch on,” they said. “We’re going to build algorithms, we’re going to figure it out, and you won’t have to use hashtags at all. We got it covered.” As it turns out, the hashtag proved itself a worthy tool when friend of Messina Nate Ritter used the hashtag to tweet about the spread of 2007 San Diego forest fires. The trend caught on. Rather than simply existing as a social-circle engine, the hashtag became a source of live news coverage. It proved itself.
From there the hashtag only grew, becoming a worldwide phenomenon. The tool was used to collectively have a conversation about what was important to us, or what was popular in the world. The hashtag was certainly not under-appreciated once it became commonplace. Advertisers began to see the massive potential of the tool. Using the hashtag to follow what was popular among consumers was only the beginning. Soon companies began to pay for their hashtags to become viral, hoping to promote their products or services on a grand scale. It worked. The hashtag became a common visual piece on everyone’s texts. Our tweets were retweeted more. Our followers grew. Other companies, such as Instagram and Facebook began to use the hashtag, utilizing to its full potential the powerful keystroke. Television shows present hashtags during airtime, hoping to grab a larger audience. Some websites, like hashtracking.com, even offer services with which you can track the most influential tags at any given time.
What exists today is a sort of new universal language, so-to-speak. Using a hashtag can instantaneously connect you with people on the other side of the world. People can quite literally become famous using a single hashtag. This article itself could go viral just because of the hashtags used in its publication on twitter. It is quite arguably the most powerful tool in mainstream technology today. Governments certainly have begun to use the tool to their advantage as well, be it for the benefit of society, or for other sinister intentions. It’s important to pay attention now, with the strength behind this emblem, to the way we use it. As technology advances further, and the world becomes even smaller, everything we say, and everything we tag, belongs to the entire civilized world.
How I got a job and how you can too
As a person who graduated from university in the heat of the recession (2008), I can safely say I am very familiar with an unsteady job market and making the most out of any opportunity I have come across.
After years of working in a few different positions within in recruitment and staffing, I finally landed my golden opportunity. One might ask, how did you get there and why did it take you so long?
Friends, I have applied thousands of times, went on a plethora of interviews, completed tons of job shadows, and attended numerous volunteer workshops and all I can really say is that the process is equivalent to that of dating. It takes patience. You have to find the right match for yourself and similarly you have to be a solid match for the company as well. This process where we figure it out involves asking the right questions during the interview and really getting to know the company and the folks who would be your team members.
And that goes without saying, there were some companies who knew right away if they wanted me or if they did not want me; and then there were companies who never responded. I used these obstacles and hurdles as motivation. In my previous job, it took instances of feeling hopeless, where I realized if I could gather the experience I need or want to gain for my next job in my current position, then I would be golden. Simple, right?
Hardly. This did not happen overnight.
1) Find your passion and inject it into your current position. If you can build a solid repertoire WHILE you have employment, you are creating the path that will lead you to your next opportunity.
- Attend volunteer workshops
- Volunteer on projects that push your boundaries and force you to try new things
- Apply to promotional positions
- Ask to shadow your boss or a top-notch employee who has the job that you want
- Don’t give up
2) Build an online presence and use it to assist you. If you are unfamiliar with Linkedin or Twitter or blogging, get your name out there in the social media circles within the fields you hold a particular interest.
- Linkedin is a professional networking super highway – use it to your advantage
- Show of your skills (presentations, photography, writing skills, video editing)
- Be bold and creative, it will show you like to push the limits
- Use social media correctly especially when it comes to talking about yourself. Braggarts are never fun to be around.
3) Talk the talk and walk the walk. Learn the lingo and understand why decisions are made a certain way.
4) Let people come to you. More often than not, new positions are offered to those who are not looking for a position/did not know the position existed or would never have considered themselves qualified. So, you’re probably wondering, how did they apply?
Internal employees or Recruiters will come to you if they see you have what it takes. The best ways to show off yourself is via social media in the form of presentations/blogging/tweeting/photography, etc.
5) Find your niche and stick with it! Good things come to those who are clear and patient.
On a more personal note, I was about to give up on my job search a month ago until I received an anonymous but personalized e-mail and a phone call about a position. It just so happened to be the jobs I just recently landed. I posted a presentation that I had created and inserted it into my profile. All it took was that presentation to lead me to 7 successful interviews and a new opportunity.
I cannot begin to thank those who have supported me, encouraged me and showed me that anything can happen especially when you push yourself out there and reach for what you want. Sure, you don’t always get it but it’s worth a shot.
Anyone can do that or get there. All it takes is some structure, time and patience. It will happen when you least expect but if you can stay focused and remember your deep passions, you will never go wrong.
Beyonce SHUT IT DOWN
Boy oh boy did Beyonce have a lot to live up to last night. After being criticized since her supposed “lip sync” at the Inauguration a couple of weeks back, she knew she had to bring it hardcore to the Super Bowl. So did she accomplish that? From my point of view and several millions of people, she freaking did.
The anticipation built as the 2nd quarter ended. Coming out in a leather, dominatrix type outfit, she blew the stage up with several of her different hits from “Baby Boy” and “Crazy In Love”. It was the only time during the entire show that I actually stood close to the television screen to get a better view as to what was going on. I was HOOKED. The best part of course was when her Destiny’s Child crew, Michelle Williams and Kelly Rowland, popped out of nowhere to do “Bootylicious” and sing on her uber-huge hit “Single Ladies”. Cue to me going ballistic. Everything about the performance in itself was electrifying, as she herself is exactly that kind of an entertainer. There was really no need for a zillion backup dancers, bands, or anything else to distract from what people really wanted to see- her.
This was an improvement by a million miles from the Black Eyed Peas two years ago, and even Madonna a year ago. It seemed to flow a lot better than both of theirs and to silence her critics, she performed the whole damn thing live. That is an arena that is very tough to do so, and she did it. Freaking phenomenal.
According to ABCNews.com, she generated 5.5 million tweets (I made about 1.2 million of those), and many joked she was the one that caused the 34 minute power outage to happen as a result of how great it was. There were also rumors of the triangle finger sign she gave to the camera. Some people thought it meant illuminati (look it up), others thought it was designed for her hubby Jay-Z, who is known to make that kind of a symbol.
People who book the performers at the Super Bowl need to remember a night like tonight. Quite frankly, since the Janet Jackson one back in 2003, and perhaps the Prince show a couple of years back, the halftime shows have been a snore fest based off of what i feel of them afraid to book younger performers. There is nothing wrong with that, and there are several artists now that are an somewhat of a level that Beyonce is on and they can carry that kind of momentum. I wouldn’t mind seeing a repeat of tonight in the years to come, but Beyonce once again proved why she is queen of the castle and will stay that way for a while.