OK, so you have a small icon on your PC or Laptop that says  ‘Get Windows 10’ – have you tried it yet?

I have been following the development of Windows 10 and have been using an ‘Insider Preview’ version for several months. The early versions were, not surprisingly, somewhat shaky and unstable, but the official launch version seems to be OK. My initial impressions are good, with a number of features that many people have commented on that were removed from Windows 8 now restored. One of the ‘Add-ons’ of Windows 10 is a new Internet Browser, called ‘Edge’, and I’m not sure at the moment whether this keeps crashing or whether it is my website design software that’s causing it! I will put some more notes about the changes here under the category ‘Windows Tips and Tricks, so keep a lookout for it. I know there are probably hundreds of ‘reviews of Windows 10’ out there now, and it is up to the reader which ones they actually look at, but I will try and give some useful information about the good, the bad and the ugly!

First – Installation. This is the first time that Microsoft have delivered a major new release via the Update process instead of making people purchase a new disk/download to upgrade. The first indication you will get that Windows 10 may be available is a small icon in the bottom right of your screen (desktops and Laptop PCs) which if you click, gives you a pop-up window display showing the new features and giving instructions on how to reserve your upgrade. They did it this way because they want to schedule the downloads of the files in phases across all the countries/PCs involved in the launch, to manage the load on their servers. You will find that once reserved and scheduled, your download for the Windows 10 upgrade will appear among the other Windows updates. BEWARE – this is a huge file, much bigger than other updates, and depending on the speed of your internet connection, will take a significant time to download and install. On my desktop PC, with a 25MB Internet connection and a 3.5GHz processor with 4GB of RAM, the upgrade still took several hours to complete, so I just left it to it! Be patient, and don’t expect to be able to do anything else with your PC while this is running!

A Business Blog is an incredible on-line marketing tool that saves you thousands of dollars but provides great business opportunities in just one click. Blogs are user-friendly, customized and flexible medium for disseminating useful information for effective positioning of your products in the market.

Companies engaging in business blogging have a definite edge over its competitors. Here are some advantages:

  • Word-of-Mouth. In a survey a few years ago, there were 14 million blogs with 80,000 more being added each day and about 30 percent of the 50 million users are blog readers. Imagine how much gain your company will have, if your products are advertised through blogs. With Internet, information spreads so quickly especially if an impressive write-up goes with your product. Soon your blogs will be passed on to hundreds of possible customers.
  • Awareness and loyalty. Open communication with your customers creates trust and loyalty among them. Being there to respond to their questions and comments make them all the more willing to try your products and services.
  • Feedback. Blogs are good for product research and reviews. It would be easier to improve on your products if you observe your customers’ thinking and behavioral patterns. You can also take immediate action to your customers’ concerns.
  • Community halo-effect. Bloggers are reasonable, friendly and helpful. They are more than willing to create blogosphere of comments regarding your product. The only thing you have to do is embrace and take active part in the culture and your product will surely be considered in their next stop to the supermarket.

For better marketing results, actively promote your business blogs by submitting your blogs to blog search sites and directories. Do not forget to paste in with your blogs, your URL. Be sure that your blogs contain exclusive information with value and are always updated to keep readers popping in, read up your blog, move on to the next and click on again for updates.

A Blog is like a setup booth in the biggest trade show on earth everyday. Marketing possibilities are just around the corner waiting to strike your sale scales up.

The Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds are important too in conjunction with your blogs to get the best benefits. Use effective keyword phrases to generate high ranking status in the search engine traffic. In this way you have better chances of people finding your website leading to your blogs. More traffic means more potential sales.

For this to be successful, you can use RSS for news update feeds which can be read through RSS reader application. This is a very useful tool for business and internet marketers as well.

If you are already convinced with the potentials of business blogs for marketing and targeting sales increase, your company is now ready to start blogging. But first, you have to be in tune with your company’s business objectives and determine if blogging will really help you achieve your goal.

  1. There are many blogs that are dedicated to teaching people the do’s and don’ts of blogging, READ them! Include in your reading materials blogs that are consumer-based too to give you an idea.
  2. Setup several test blogs right away.

If your initial try out with blogs worked well, you can now start setting up your blogs.

  1. Study blog design. Blog hosting services provide pre-designed templates. But if you opt for paid blog service, you can ask your artist to design and layout your blog site to match the company’s identity and needs.
  2. Choose a topic. Its good to have a line-up of topics you want for your blogs but be sure they are in consonance with your business objectives. This would be a test of your flexibility and open-mindedness since results may be going against the set objectives.
  3. Remember the following safety measures in blogging:
    • legal issues are sometimes involved in blogging; it is safer to include disclaimers and limitations of liabilities;
    • corporate communication and legal department are responsible in educating the senior management on how blogs might affect business;
    • create blogging policies; set limits on who gets to blog and what information are allowed to be made public;
    • avoid outright marketing blog or you will shy away your readers;
    • make content updated, relevant and fresh;
    • reinforce the company’s core values; and,
    • encourage employees to use it.
    • Start blogging and complete 20 posts before going to marketing.
    • Begin marketing.
    • Regularly monitor the coming ins and outs of readers and get updates. Then, measure your results.
    • Adjust if needed. You can always play with your designs in the blog site as long as it remains to match the company’s identity.
    • Strive to be consistent with your topic all the time.
    • Try to have unrelated topics with general and broad appeal.
    • Schedule updates regularly. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday would be best to update blogs.

Once you have done all these things, you can now ultimately enjoy the benefits of business blogging.

Having recently been part of a specialist training program, I thought I would write some thoughts about different ways of computer training, and how they benefit different kinds of people. I have thought about several methods of training, as listed below:

  • Personal Training

    I believe that personal, one-to-one computer training is best, if it can be arranged. Training in the learner’s own home, using the computer they are familiar with, and at their own pace, with time to ask questions when required. The learner feels that the training is tailored just for them, even though the trainer may have covered the topic many times with others.

    The limitation of this method is that the trainer may only be able to cover a small area due to travel limitations, and the trainee may not be available when the trainer is. However, provided these issues are overcome, this is probably the best method for understanding a topic as quickly as possible.

  • Computer training in a group

    Some people prefer to take a group computer training class. This is good as it may be more structured that personal training, and may lead to a recognised qualification which could help with employment. However, sometimes a group class can’t take into account the different skill levels of the students, and the pace may be too fast (or too slow!) for some of them, leading to a loss of motivation.

  • Online videos or Books

    There is a huge selection of videos and books available to teach people about computers and technology (and just about any other subject!!). Videos and books are great to enable the student to be able to go back over a topic until they understand, and may be useful in demonstrating particular operations that the student can then practice. Trouble is, there are so many videos and books on the market, how do you know which is best? There are also lots of ‘reviews’ of training material available on-line, but how do you trust what is said about a particular product? It is best to purchase these products only on the recommendation of a trusted friend of other acquaintance.

  • Personal Coaching

    Very similar to one-to-one training in some ways, personal coaching can be employed, but not necessarily in the student’s home. Coaching can be done in a number of ways, by simple availability for answering questions via email, by personal guidance through structured lessons, with marking of assignments if required, or by wider group coaching. All these techniques have their benefits and disadvantages, but here you are able to make use of the expertise of the coach in just as personal a way as if they were at home with you giving you personal tuition. Group coaching can be just as successful as individual coaching, in that the group momentum can keep people going at roughly the same pace, and group members can help each other, as we have found in the ‘Quick Start Challenge’, but some people will always fall by the wayside if they feel it is not for them.

  • So how do I choose the best training method?

    Before answering this question, you need to ask ‘What do I want to learn?’ and ‘How much time have I got?’. You need to understand your own preferences regarding learning, and find out the availability of training in your local area. Answering these questions may eliminate several of the options. If you are a complete beginner with computers it is a waste of time trying to promote on-line training by videos etc., as most beginners will not be accessing your promotions! Most experienced trainers will undertake a ‘training needs assessment’ with you to determine what you need to learn and how best to do your training, so take their advice before deciding.

    I am a computer trainer based in the West Midlands region of the UK, and so my scope is limited when it comes to personal tuition to about a 50-mile radius from my home. However, my scope is much wider when it comes to the other methods of training, and so I offer the different methods to help a much wider group of people, whether they are complete beginners or people looking for more advanced training. Have a look at www.netsurfersacademy.training for more information on the computer training we offer, using all the above training methods as appropriate.

Blogging is a concept that started in late 90s.  It used to be a way to comment on an existing webpage, an opportunity for visitors and readers to react or voice out one’s opinion on the said page.  What started as a single-sentence commentary has evolved into pages of personal take on just about anything and everything under the sun.  As it continues to move forward, online advertising has tapped into the blog’s potential.  Here are 5 reasons why you should use blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

  • Blogging is simple.  The simplest way to get your piece on the net is through blogging.  No skills are necessary… an average adult can read and type, or at least click a mouse.  It’s like having a virtual piece of paper and you just write your ideas, experiences, new products, and hope that the truth behind your articles comes out and entice your reader to also try your product.  If you have a PC and an Internet connection (who doesn’t?) then you can blog and advertise.
  • Blogging is authentic.  In this day and age where advertising saturate our lives, we question the credibility of promoters’ claims.  However, in blogs, real people share their real-life experiences, unscathed by paid advertising.  Reading blogs about first-hand product use is like talking to people about their first-hand experience.  You definitely want to buy a tried and tested product.
  • Blogging is free.  Because blogging is yet to be proven as a mainstream online advertising media, most sites see it as something to augment current marketing tools and thus offer it for free.   Any opportunity for free webtime is definitely a bonus especially to businesses that are starting up.  Needless to say, paid blog pages can generate more income for your seriously growing business.
  • Blogging builds credibility.  As you get more and more into writing your experiences on a particular product or industry, your readers come to realize that they can depend on your posts for their own information needs.  As such, you become an expert on it; as a consequence, more readers visit your site and more bloggers link to your blogs.  As companies and professional organizations notice the growth of your readership base, they may soon get in touch with you for advertising on your blog page, or make you an affiliate, which pays for every referral generated from your blog site.
  • Blogging builds your market.  Unless you are a Hollywood star, chances are, only your Mom reads your posts.  Mom has a lot of friends, so she lets her friends know how interesting your blog site is.  But you need not depend on Mom to increase your readership base.  Look into the following ways to build your market through blogging:
    • By using your e-mail.  Today, blogging is overcoming the e-mail’s popularity in quickly and effectively reaching and expanding a market.  In this age of speed and quick access, logging in and downloading e-mail is simply taking longer than clicking into a blog site.  Let them explore your site by using a short e-mail message as teaser to your blog site.  If your e-mail is on an entirely different subject, use your e-mail signature to give a link to the site.
    • By using subscription.  An easy way to get your readers e-mail is to give them an opportunity to subscribe to your blogsite.  Keep some exclusive information for your subscribers to entice readers to subscribe and give their e-mail address.  Just be responsible in using their e-mail address, as the last thing you want is a comment on your blog that you are a spammer.
    • By understanding your readers.  Conduct a simple survey for your readers to understand their profile and advertising preferences.  Ask consumers to give you feedback on a post, an ad link, or a trial that you shared.  In this way, it is like interviewing your readers without the commitment and intrusion of a face-to-face interview.
    • By joining a blog network –A network of blogs maybe a collection of blog sites that share the same industry, interest, readership base, payment mode, etc.  Consumers find credibility and convenience in clicking one link to several real bloggers about a single subject.  Clearly, more bloggers are better than one.
    • By using RSS. RSS is the fastest growing technology on the Internet today.  As such, having RSS feeds to your blog is definitely another means of generating awareness for your readership base.  Having a variety of feeds can add interest to your blog site.

Give your business a boost by effectively using blogging as an Internet marketing tool.

I want to write today a little about the concept of Blogs, and why they are so important.

If writing is an art, then, blogging is one way of using words to come up with an art. This is because people who are into blogging are the ones who are artistic on their own sense, carefully choosing words that would best describe their feelings, sentiments, wishes, desires, and everything.

Basically, blogs were first introduced as weblogs that refer to a “server’s log file.” It was created when web logging hit the virtual market. Since its inception in the mid-1990s, web logging gradually saturated the virtual community making the Internet a viable source of greater information.

However, with web logging, you still need a web site and domain names, but with blogging, you do not need anything just an account with blog providers. In most cases, these kinds of blogs are free of charge.

With the onset of blogging in the industry, personal journaling had been a common ground for people who wish to be known all over the world. However, not literally famous as this is not a case on being popular or well-known personality.

Generally, blogs are created for personal use. Like a journal, people can write their daily adventures, sentiments, and whatever ideas they want to express online.

Nevertheless, with the advent of the online businesses, blogs had gradually taken the limelight in providing businesses a chance to boost their productivity online. This is where the business blogs have taken the limelight.

Business blogs are, basically, created to advertise the services or products of a certain web site or online business in order to increase online sales.

Moreover, business blogs are also one way of promoting the company so that the other readers will know that a certain company exists online. With blogs, entrepreneurs are able to establish a name in the virtual market through articles that can be very useful in the reader’s life.

From there, you can make money out of blogs by simply syndicating it to your business’ web site. This can be done through the RSS technology.

So, if you are thinking to create a blog, whether for business or for pleasure, you need to know some tips that could help you get through and make your blog one of the interesting blogs online.

Here’s how:

1. Consider your audience

Even if your blog is generally personal, still, it would be better to consider the minds of your readers. You have to think of something that would interest them.

After all, most of the reasons of people who write blogs are not at all confined to their own personal motives. Most of them would love to be “heard” (or read) and would love to be known, in some way or another, even for just a minute. Hence, it is very important to come with a write up that everybody can understand, not necessarily that these people can relate to it but they can understand it.

2. Pictures speaks a thousand words

To make your blogging worth the browsing effort of your readers, it would be extremely nice if you will put some pictures in it. It does not necessarily mean you have to place a picture of yourself. Any photographs will do as long as it does not pose danger or insult to anyone who will be reading your blog.

3. Make constructive and beneficial blogs

Even if you are free to write anything you wan to say to the world, still, it would be better to create some write-ups that would be beneficial to your readers.

After all, its information technology that you have there so better be inclined to provide information rather than sheer quirky entertainment.

4. Avoid making multifaceted and complicated blogs

In order to have an interesting blogs, try not to use some highly technical and highfalutin words. After all, it is not a science discourse or a debate that you are making, so better stick to simple facts and short blogs.

Bear in mind that most people who use the Internet usually do more scanning than scrutinizing each site word for word. Therefore, it would be better to come with blogs that will not bore your readers just because you have these lengthy articles.

5. Make it interactive

As much as possible and if your capacity will allow it, make your blog interactive. You can do this by placing some video or audio clips in your blog.

Set the options to allow comments or for some feedbacks. In this way, you can get some impressions or reactions of other people. Who knows, you might even gain some friends just by making them feel at home in your blog site.

Indeed, blogs are not created just for the mere fun of it. It also has its own purpose in the world of the Internet.
Therefore, for people who wish to harness their craft, as far as writing is concerned, blogs are the best way to do it.

As they say, blogging is the contemporary term of creative and commercial writing.