Last week, Google announced that they would be launching a couple of new devices in the coming weeks – Chromecast and, in conjunction with ASUS, the Nexus 7. Sundar Pichai, the Senior Vice President of Android, Chrome and Apps at Google says that the launch makes it “even more effortless to enjoy the content you care about…wherever you are, across your devices.”
Introducing Chromecast This device has been designed to help you bring your online entertainment to the largest screen in your home – the television. It’s a small device that is simply plugged into your high-definition TV and allows you to use your smartphone, tablet or laptop to ‘cast’ online content onto the screen. You will even be able to multitask whilst enjoying what’s on the TV!
Introducing Nexus 7 This device is, essentially, a newer and better version of the original Nexus 7. The 7-inch tablet features 323 pixels, 9 hours of high-definition video playback and 10 hours of web browsing or reading. It’s also incredibly lightweight and has the addition of stereo speakers and virtual surround sound (thanks to Fraunhofer, the guys who invented the MP3 format).
Customers across the United States will be able to purchase Chromecast for the low price of $35 from July 28, whilst US customers will also be able to purchase the brand new Nexus 7 (starting at $229) from July 30; both devices will be released in other countries in the coming months. Google have also announced that a Lite version of the Nexus 7 is coming soon.
These days, the interest in social media is continuing to grow at exponential rates and it is important that your business is taking advantage of this by making brand-oriented accounts on some of the more popular platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. To help you out, here are some tips that you can use to make your website social media friendly:
Killer Content Have you ever heard the saying ‘content is king’? Whilst this is true of anything that you upload to the internet, it is especially true of social media, as you need to stand out from the crowd. Ordinary content won’t cut it anymore because there is simply too much out there.
Social Buttons Users expect convenience when they browse the web; they want to be able to share things they like or find interesting through their social media channels as easily as possible. This is why your website should include buttons (such as ‘like’ and ‘tweet’) to streamline this.
Social Content Whilst social media platforms are built with the intention of connecting people, you can actually take a similar approach with your website. Why not incorporate a blog section where users can post comments? Or post your advertising material on Facebook to see the reaction?
Titles & Images You need titles that are eye-catching and straight to the point, otherwise users won’t read your content (no matter how interesting or relevant). You also need images that explain the main points of your content in the same kind of tone that you have written in.
Whilst a website does provide you with a foundation for establishing a successful online presence, social media will provide you with an avenue for even wider coverage and more opportunities to connect with your customers. By using the above tips, you can effectively integrate social media with your website and will, hopefully, start to see it working for you soon.
Last week, it was announced that the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) had taken action against search engine giant, Google, in regards to their compliance with the UK Data Protection Act. The ICO have stated that their reasoning for the legal action is because Google has not made it clear how user data will be used in their privacy policies.
The ICO is not the only European data authority that has made complaints; this action is actually the result of a coordinated effort with the 27 other data protection authorities present across the continent. This is also not the first time that Google has fallen foul of European data protection authorities – in 2012, they illegally collected data using their Street View cars.
If Google fail to update their privacy policies to make them more clear about how the user data collected will be used across all of their products, however, the ICO will not hesitate to take formal enforcement action.
Well, you can’t say that you haven’t been warned. After Google announced back in March that they would be closing their RSS service, Google Reader, it was officially shut down on July 1. This decision was due to the fact that the service, which had been in operation since 2005, had seen a decline in usage even though it was one of the most popular RSS readers on the web.
Google Reader operated via the creation of a single feed for individual users that was formed through the aggregation of headlines from a number of different websites into a single place. RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication) is the format that these feeds are stored in, whilst the reader is how they are displayed. Many other RSS readers operate in the same way.
Whilst news of the Google Reader closure has upset many members of the online tech community, it has caused the introduction of a number of alternatives. Digg Reader, for example, was launched a few days ago and offers users fairly basic functionality. AOL Reader, on the other hand, allows users to login using their Google Reader account and to transfer over all their feeds.
The most popular alternative, however, would have to be a service known as Feedly, which is the only one that is believed to be able to completely take over from Google Reader. It offers users more choice in regards to customising the appearance of the feed (such as a ‘magazine mode’) and has a dedicated backend that allows them to sync with other applications.
Even though the announcement has actually seen RSS regain some of its past popularity, there are many who believe that this will be short lived. Darrell Etherington of TechCrunch said that “at some point Google Reader just stopped feeling current enough, fast enough, and comprehensive enough.” It remains to be seen whether Google has made the right decision or not.