Why you must learn about your Twitter followers

On September 26, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

It’s something to have several followers on your company’s Twitter account. But the goal is retweets, mentions as well as other benefits. If you’re not getting these, what’s the point of having all those followers? Luckily for us, the Small Business Trends Web site recently ran a story providing clues about how small businesses can get more from their Twitter followers.

Know Those Followers

The key, according to Small Business Trends, is for companies to learn whatever possible about their Twitter followers. Luckily for us, as the story points out, there are plenty of programs — BirdSong, KnowYourFollowers and SalesForce Marketing Cloud — which provide business owners with valuable info about their Twitter followers.

What They Tell You

Here’s what these programs will tell you: In what state your followers live, what gender they are, their age, what other Twitter accounts they follow and where they work. Valuable information, no?

Why This Matters

If you know more about your followers, you can tailor your Twitter account to better serve their needs. This enables you to post messages and offers that your followers will be more apt to reply to. Which, of course, is the end goal of social media advertising.


Solving the most common printer problems

On September 24, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

We all want to give our printers a good kick every now and again. How many times do you hit the “print” button and then watch as your printer sits quietly, spoiling your day and your productivity? Fortunately, PCMag writer Tony Hoffman understands your pain. He recently wrote a feature story surrounding some of the more common problems and fixes for your printer issues.

It Doesn’t Print

If your printer isn’t printing, Hoffman recommends first that you begin with the obvious: Make sure that your printer is both attached to a power source and plugged into your computer. If it is, the printer driver installed on your computer might be corrupted. In case it is, reinstall it.

Low-Ink Warnings

Printer ink is costly, and it seems like printers drink the stuff by the barrel. But what if your computer tells you that your printer is low on ink but you can still print? Hoffman says keep printing; warning levels vary greatly in accuracy. You may as well suck as much ink out of your printer as you can.


Many printers can print wirelessly through a Wi-Fi network. Sometimes, though, it takes forever for your computer and printer to communicate. You might be able to speed things up by placing your printer as close as possible to your router. Make sure, too, that your router supports 802.11n and offers both the 5GHZ and 2.4GHZ bands.


The quality vs. quantity debate

On September 19, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

It’s long been a difficult tug-of-war: You want your company to thrive. But do you do it by putting out as many goods and services as you can, or do you instead focus on quality, producing a smaller number of items while doing so? ITWorld writer Matthew Mombrea tackles this debate in a recent column.

When Quality Matters

As Mombrea writes, not all products vary much in quality levels. He points to bottled water. But there are some businesses that must offer the highest-quality products possible to gain the trust of buyers. These businesses, Mombrea writes, must focus first on quality and only then on boosting quantity.

What Happened To Quality?

Many consumers aren’t satisfied today. They feel that they’re paying too much for shoddy products and services. And, as Mombrea writes, many of them have every right to feel this way.

Your Task

Businesses, then, that focus on quality over quantity will be more likely to win devoted consumers, Mombrea writes. In a world in which quality is in very low supply, businesses can set themselves apart by offering the highest-quality products and services available.


Is the Xbox One an essential business tool?

On September 18, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

The new Xbox One should be a state-of-the-art video game system capable of amazing graphics and fluid gameplay. So how about making use of it for business? A recent story by PC World writer Christopher Null says that Microsoft is in fact pitching the Xbox One as a great tool for businesses.

A Business Tool?

Null writes that Microsoft officials weren’t joking when they posted on the company’s blog that the Xbox One is an absolutely justifiable expense for businesses. The machine costs $499, just what, exactly, can it do for businesses?

The Tools

First, Null writes, the Xbox One includes Skype, meaning that businesses can use the device to hold online meetings. Additionally, it includes SkyDrive support, so that businesses can use the Xbox One to store and display presentations.

Too Costly?

Still, it’s hard to imagine lots of businesses spending nearly $500 to buy a system that does what the majority of them can already do without it. But how about your business? Will you justify purchasing an Xbox One? Just, don’t let your most gaming-obsessed employees make this decision.


There’s no reason to pay for desktop wallpapers

On September 12, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

How long have you been staring at the same desktop wallpaper? If it’s been ages, it could be time for upgrading. Luckily for us, the writers at the lifehacker Web site have listed several of the best places online to find free desktop wallpapers. Read the list so that you’ll have no excuse for sporting a dull desktop.

Unique Art

Want to adorn your screen with original art? Check out the The Fox is Black blog every Wednesday. There you’ll find the Desktop Wallpaper Project, featuring desktop wallpapers designed by actual artists.

Dual Monitor Backgrounds

Do you use two monitors while working? You don’t have to settle for two unrelated wallpapers. Dual Monitor Backgrounds focuses on free desktop wallpapers meant to co-exist together on dual screens.

Getting Social

Ever wonder what a combination of Twitter, Facebook and desktop wallpaper would resemble? Probably something similar to Social Wallpapering. This site lets users to vote on an endless variety of user-submitted wallpapers. It’s a good way to find free wallpapers that have already curried favor among users.


Windows XP refuses to die

On September 11, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

April 8, 2014, is a big — well, bad — day for fans of Microsoft Windows XP. This is when Microsoft will end support for the operating system. Microsoft is reminding users of this, hoping that they will upgrade to a newer version of Windows. But as InformationWeek writer Kevin Casey says in a recent story, many business owners aren’t willing to ditch this system.


There’s a reason for the widespread love of XP. The system works well, is easy to use and isn’t full of bugs. It’s why, as the InformationWeek story says, it’s still being used by about 37 percent of existing PCs.

Still Chugging Along

Despite Microsoft’s wishes, then, many users are refusing to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8. It’s very little surprise that Microsoft is stopping its support of XP. By doing so, the company hopes to encourage more users to make a change.

Your choice

As a business owner, what should you do? If you truly love XP, you may be able to continue using the system. The only concern? You won’t receive any support from Microsoft. A good alternative could be to invest in Windows 7. This operating system has won solid reviews, unlike Windows 8. It might be a good option for XP fans.


Is there really such a thing as a better smartphone?

On September 9, 2013, in Business Technology, by Staff Contributor

There certainly are a great number of smartphones available today. Walk into an electronics store and the options can be overwhelming. But Jesus Diaz, a writer for the lifehacker Web site, says not to let the number of phones throw you. The way he sees it, it doesn’t matter which smartphone you buy.


Diaz says you could move to a new smartphone tomorrow and barely notice a difference. And he brings some persuasive evidence to back up this belief.

A Litany of Same?

There’s some value to this argument. Have a look at apps. The most critical apps today are accessible for all smartphone platforms. Plus the same manufacturers make apps for different phone types. All smartphones allow you to surf the Web, connect to friends through social media and send and receive e-mail messages.

Maybe Not?

But not everybody agrees with Diaz. Even his fellow lifehacker writers wonder. Considering that, many smartphones boast better cameras or batteries with longer lifespans. And there are some apps that are not yet on certain platforms. Price, too, can be a differentiator. As a consumer, you’ll have to decide whether Diaz is right. And if you disagree with him? Then it’s time to research which smartphone is best for you.


The era of the PC isn’t as over as you might think

On September 5, 2013, in Uncategorized, by ZelmaHudson20

You’ve probably heard how the PC is dead. Consumers are buying tablets and smartphones, but they are skipping new desktop computers. Well, ITworld is here to inform you that the rumors of the PC’s death are greatly exaggerated.

Job’s Quote

Those predicting the end of the PC era point out HP’s decision to leave the business as evidence that the PC is on its deathbed. Others quote Steve Jobs who before his death likened PCs to trucks: We needed trucks when we lived a rural lifestyle. But now that more people live in cities, trucks aren’t as important.


But ITworld says that Jobs’ argument is flawed. The best-selling vehicle in the United States remains a truck, the Ford F150 pickup. That’s because people still need trucks to get work done. The same holds true for PCs: People need them to get work done.

The Importance of Work

Tablets are impressive tools. But they can’t compare to a PC when it’s time for you to get work done. Try typing a report on a tablet or creating a PowerPoint. That is what PCs do well. And unless we all plan to stop working, we’ll need those “antiquated” PCs.