Technology terms you should know

On May 25, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

For most us, technology is fairly common in our day-to-day lives. Unfortunately, we often are uncertain about what the terms relating to technology actually mean. This mini glossary of tech terms can help you to understand some of the most common terms.


Cookies are basically what allow websites to recognize you when you revisit them. By allowing cookies, you are allowing your web browser to give the website details such as your username, password and preferences. They can save you a substantial amount of time by preventing you from reentering your information over and over again.

Unfortunately, cookies can also be seen as a privacy issue. Since they store your information and track your activity they make it easier for someone to access your data. Most experts agree, however, that merely limiting the amount of cookies you allow will help protect your online identity.


A URL, or uniform resource locator, is just a web address. It is what you type into the address bar of your browser, usually beginning with “http,” that takes you to the website you wish to visit.


Cloud is one of the tech terms that is most common right now. Everybody is talking about the cloud. The cloud refers to services that are based over the Internet and don’t require additional hardware or software, like Facebook or Google Apps.


Flash is an Adobe-owned platform that lets you view certain things on your computer. Many people install Flash players or plug-ins so that they can watch videos or animation or see dynamic displays on websites. Although Flash has been the longtime leader in its field, HTML5 is rapidly catching up with it.

Knowing the basics of tech terminology is a great way to better understand the technology we interact with.

For more tech terms and their definitions, check out this glossary.


5 social media terms you ought to know

On May 20, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Social media is something that exists in most of our lives, whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, many of us still have no idea what most of the terms surrounding social media mean. This simple guide can reduce some of that uncertainty by explaining some of the more common social media terms.

1. Tag

Tag can refer to several different things, depending on how it is used. Often, in blogs or other content you can attach a keyword to a blog. Those keywords are known as tags. This makes it easier for search engines to register the content you post as relating to a particular topic.

Tag might also pertain to the act of tagging a friend in photos on Facebook. This basically means that you link someone to a photo that they are in. This feature has been around for years but it’s becoming more sophisticated as it now uses facial recognition.

The most recent form of tagging actually refers to mentioning friends in your posts and status updates. Now, if you tag them in your updates, they will be informed of your post and it will show up on their wall for all of their other friends to see.

2. Troll

A troll is somebody who contributes to social networks with the goal of provoking others.  They are the people that become fans of pages or join groups and then make comments that they know will anger other group members.

3. Friend

While we all know what the conventional meaning of friend is, that’s often not the meaning applied to the word friend in the social media world. In social media, to friend a person simply means adding someone to your network.

4. Stream

This is another double-meaning word. Streaming something refers to receiving a constant flow of information, such as a webcast. A stream is what many people call their Twitter or Facebook home pages, where all of the recent information and updates are posted.

5. At mention

An at mention, or @ mention, works on Twitter much like status tags work on Facebook. You can mention someone in your Tweet, precede his or her name with the @ symbol and they will be alerted to your post. This also allows the post to show up in his or her home page.

Although social media terms can often be tough to understand, they usually pertain to simple processes that can be easily recognized. If you’d like to see an even more in-depth guide to social media terms, take a look at this article.


Avoiding employee burnout is simple with these tips

On May 18, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Employee burnout is unbelievably common. Everybody experiences those days when they feel as if they can’t possibly do the same thing one more time. Thankfully, there are a number of simple ways to help combat employee burnout and stop it before it starts.

Avoiding burnout

  • Have fun – Making room for fun can alleviate some stress and help to keep employees motivated when they are on the brink of burnout.
  • Switch it up – Let employees focus on new projects or teams when they’ve been concentrating on one thing for a long time, like Facebook is doing with Hackamonth.
  • Encourage breaks – It’s fantastic to have employees that don’t want to stop working until they get things finished. Sadly, those are the people that are likely to burn out fastest. If you have employees like this, persuade them to take walks or go on a coffee run – anything to keep them from going stir crazy.

For those times when burnout can’t be prevented, there are several things you can do to help ensure that your employees don’t become fed up.

How to cope with burnout

  • Accept it – Burnout isn’t always avoidable so it’s important to be aware of the signs such as lethargy, decreased socializing or irritability.
  • Communicate – Growing businesses often experience changes that leave employees frustrated. Making sure your employees know that they can talk to you is a terrific way to stop burnout before it gets out of control.

While you might not always be able to prevent employee burnout, these tips can help ensure that it doesn’t overwhelm anyone or negatively affect your business or employees.

If you’d like to check out more burnout prevention tips take a look at this article.


3 strategies for better online searches

On May 13, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Each and every one of us knows what it’s like to perform an online search and get results that are not even close to what we were looking for. This can be quite aggravating. Fortunately, there are plenty of simple steps you can take that can ensure more appropriate search results.

Keep it simple

Use the fewest number of words or phrases you can. If you’re looking for Chinese takeout in your town, type in “Chinese food” along with the name of your city or your zip code. That should garner accurate results even if you aren’t sure exactly what you’re looking for.

Learn about Boolean

Whether you know it or not, you are most likely familiar with Boolean searches. This simply refers to using terms like “and,” “not” and “or” in your online searches. This is a smart thing to do when you are more familiar with what you’re searching for and know which terms you wish to include or exclude.

The concept of Boolean searches also is applicable when you use simple pluses and minuses in your queries. This is a faster way to accomplish the goal of Boolean searches. If you want a certain term included in results type a “ ” before the term in your search. If you want to guarantee something doesn’t show up in your results, simple precede it with a “-“ in your search.

Be precise

Preciseness is one of the simplest ways to ensure better search results. Using general phrases can often leave you with thousands of results that have little to nothing to do with what you’re searching for.

Using quotation marks is a good way to ensure better search results. Most search engines recognize that as a request for an exact phrase search. So, if you’re looking for a company and know the exact name, it may be in your best interest to search for it in quotes.

These three strategies can make quite the difference when it comes to relevance of search results. Applying them can almost guarantee that you will spend much less time sifting through results you don’t want.

If you’d like more advice on performing better online searches, check out this article.


Increase productivity with these 3 office fixes

On May 11, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

No matter where you work or what you do, you know how easy it is to get off task every once in a while. While there is no way to totally eliminate distractions, there are several small things you can do to increase productivity overall.

Keep a clean office

Clutter can easily lead to increased stress and decreased productivity. Keeping a neat office and encouraging your employees to clean their workspaces are excellent ways to instantly boost productivity. Getting rid of the distraction of a messy office is a simple way to help your employees focus.

Increase the temperature

A few degrees can make a big difference in productivity. In fact, in one study, increasing the temperature from 68 to 77 degrees decreased typos by 44% and increased typing output by 150% – those figures are nothing to sneeze at. Although your heating bill will increase, it might be worth the expense.

Lighten up

Another study showed that a brighter, better-lit office can help employees stay on task. Employees who worked in offices with windows spent 15% more time concentrated on their work than those in windowless offices.

This trick is excellent not only because it’s a productivity booster, but also because it can cut down on your electricity bill by using natural light as opposed to buzzing fluorescents. With those benefits, there’s really no reason not to open your blinds and place employees near windows whenever possible.

These office adjustments are all quite simple and can make quite a significant difference when it comes to employee productivity. There is truly no reason not to try them out, as they each require minimal effort on your part.

For even more simple productivity tips check out this article.


Tech gifts for Mom

On May 6, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Mother’s Day is just around the corner, and most of us most likely still haven’t gotten Mom a gift yet. If you fit into that category, don’t worry – we have plenty of gift ideas that are perfect for Mom.

Digital picture frame

Every mom loves to relive family memories through pictures. That’s why digital picture frames are so fantastic. They allow your mom to relive a new memory whenever she chooses. If you help her set it up, she can sit back and start admiring the gift right away.

Tech time

Some of our moms love technology but are completely clueless when it comes to using it. If that’s the case in your family, a coupon for some tech TLC might be the perfect gift. You can fix or set up gadgets for your mom, or show her how to use them so she becomes more tech-confident.

Digital magazine or Netflix subscription

Most moms have a particular TV show they can’t miss or a magazine they absolutely have to read every week. If this is the case, your mom will certainly benefit from a digital subscription. This gives your mom the chance to read her monthly magazine without the clutter.

A Netflix subscription will give your mom the opportunity to catch up on her favorite TV shows on her own time. She can also use this to watch that movie that her friends have been discussing for months now. Either way, it’s guaranteed to be a big hit.


A tablet is a fantastic tech gift for Mom – it’s small, lightweight, and rather easy to use. She can use it for practically anything she might need, and take it with her anywhere she goes.

If the iPad is a little too expensive for you consider getting her the Nook Color. It still performs many of the functions that tablets can perform and is more affordable. Your mom is sure to love either one.

Quality time

Many moms feel like they don’t get to see their kids enough. If this is the case in your family, try giving your mom a coupon for video chat sessions with you and your family. This will undoubtedly be a standout gift.

No matter what your mom is like, she is guaranteed to enjoy any one of these gifts. Show her that you care by getting her something she can really use.

For even more Mother’s Day gift ideas, take a look at this Unplggd article.


How to use Prezi

On May 4, 2011, in Uncategorized, by Staff Contributor

Prezi is a name you might have heard once or twice if you’re into presentations. It’s an online presentation tool that’s different than most and, for that reason, has plenty of admirers. What, specifically, makes Prezi so great?


Prezi is a flash-based tool, which makes it easier to create non-linear presentations. Most presentation tools require you to go slide-by-slide and don’t leave much room for creativity aside from clipart. With Prezi, your presentation is more like a thought map than anything else, which makes it flow much more naturally.

You are able to zoom in and out of that map to access different parts of the presentation, and can move between areas. This eliminates the need to have identical slides throughout the presentation. It also prevents you from having to revisit a previous slide if you need to reference it again.


Prezi presentations are built differently than most, which can make it hard to get accustomed to at first. Once you have become familiar with the program, however, it is like second nature. You can create presentations like you would a thought map, which is fantastic for those non-linear thinkers.

If you’re having difficulty adjusting to the Prezi process, you can find a number of tutorials on the Prezi website.

While Prezi is web-based, it permits you to download your presentation once it is complete. This is especially convenient for anyone who worries about the stability of his or her Internet connection during the presentation. The tool can be used for free or purchased for $59/year for additional storage and privacy.

Everybody may not be looking to move away from the linear model of PowerPoint and tools like it. If you are, however, Prezi is a great alternative.