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web-design

Do you remember the very first time you ever got online? You might remember the lovely screeching tones of dial-up modems or possibly waiting ages for pages to load, but do you actually remember how the internet looked? (f you don’t, the web site for the movie Space Jam is the closest thing to hopping in a time machine you could ask for.

In an age when online style trends come and go with increasing frequency, it can be easy to forget just how far we’ve come. At the outset of the internet there was no “flat design” or “parallax scrolling.” There weren’t even any images!

In the 25 years since the launch of the World Wide Web we’ve come a long way. The way sites are designed and created has been altered completely to grant designers near infinite freedom with their own webpages, but time has also taught designers that less can be more.

In this infographic, AmeriCommerce explores the exciting history from 1990 to today. You’ll see all the old trends you used to love (and loathe), and you might even learn something new about the technological advances that have facilitated the advancement of the internet to where it is today.

history-web-design-infographic

 

Getting online is only half of the battle to actually expanding your brand via the internet. Once your website and profiles are all set up, you have to start leveraging them to interest and excite your audience. The only way to do this is by actually understand who you are trying to connect with and their habits.

A new study recently released by retail engagement firm Parago offers just that type of insight, as it explores how consumers research and buy across several product categories. The entire report can help you more deeply understand how people buy online and in-person.

Nathan Safran from Search Engine Land also took the study even further, by putting a magnifying glass onto the portion of the study that examined consumer behavior once the buyer is already in purchase mode.

There is a ton to be gained from the full report, and Safran’s work takes it a step further. The findings also break many of the misconceptions held by online marketers, especially when it comes to social media’s role in purchasing.

The graphic below breaks down where people prefer to look for certain types of goods, but it is just the tip of the iceberg contained in Parago’s report.

Source: Paradago

Source: Parago

Despite not being available to the public any time soon, Google Glass has already raised quite a bit of a stir. But, not all of the stories have been good.

Source: WikiCommons

Source: WikiCommons

While plenty of testers or “Google Glass Explorers” have used the technology to engage with the world around them in a new way, there have been concerns about the safety of wearing Glass while driving or doing other activities. There have also been reports of those wearing Google Glass getting into confrontations with others for various reasons surrounding the technology.

Now, Google has released an official list of do’s and don’t’s for Google Glass to help mitigate the more negative stories that keep popping up. If you’re one of the lucky few getting to test drive Google Glass before its public release, you might consider heeding the guidelines they shared for the best experience possible.

The Google Glass Do’s:

  • Explore the world around you. Glass puts you more in control of your technology and frees you to look up and engage with the world around you rather than look down and be distracted from it. Have a hangout with your friends, get walking directions to a fantastic new restaurant, or get an update on that delayed flight.
  • Take advantage of the Glass voice commands. Glass can free your hands up to do other things like golfing, cooking, or juggling flaming torches while balancing on a beach ball (but also see Don’ts #2). This is great for looking up how many ounces in a cup while you cook, or taking a one-of-a-kind photo from your unique perspective.
  • Ask for permission. Standing alone in the corner of a room staring at people while recording them through Glass is not going to win you any friends (see Don’ts #4). The Glass camera function is no different from a cell phone so behave as you would with your phone and ask permission before taking photos or videos of others.
  • Use screen lock. Glass screen lock works like your smartphone’s screen lock: it passcode-protects your device to help prevent others from using it. If you ever lose your device or have it stolen by a budding online resale entrepreneur, you can turn off Glassware and perform a remote wipe (e.g. factory reset) of the device, removing all your information from the device. All you need to do is go to your MyGlass page on your browser, or the MyGlass App on your phone.
  • Be an active and vocal member of the Glass Explorer Community. The Explorer Program was created in order to have a place where our Explorers can give feedback, share content and communicate with the Glass team. It’s been hugely successful over the past year and this is due to our wonderful group of Explorers. They are constantly sharing their worlds with us and with each other, allowing us to hear and work on all the great feedback and stories our Explorers give us (and, wow, do they give us a lot!).

The Google Glass Don’t’s:

  • Glass-out. Glass was built for short bursts of information and interactions that allow you to quickly get back to doing the other things you love. If you find yourself staring off into the prism for long periods of time you’re probably looking pretty weird to the people around you. So don’t read War and Peace on Glass. Things like that are better done on bigger screens.
  • Rock Glass while doing high-impact sports. Glass is a piece of technology, so use common sense. Water skiing, bull riding or cage fighting with Glass are probably not good ideas.
  • Wear it and expect to be ignored. Let’s face it, you’re gonna get some questions. Be patient and explain that Glass has a lot of the same features as a mobile phone (camera, maps, email, etc.). Also, develop your own etiquette. If you’re worried about someone interrupting that romantic dinner at a nice restaurant with a question about Glass, just take it off and put it around the back of your neck or in your bag.
  • Be creepy or rude (aka, a “Glasshole”). Respect others and if they have questions about Glass don’t get snappy. Be polite and explain what Glass does and remember, a quick demo can go a long way. In places where cell phone cameras aren’t allowed, the same rules will apply to Glass. If you’re asked to turn your phone off, turn Glass off as well. Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers.

Looking for your favorite music video? Since MTV hasn’t shown music videos for the past 20 years, you will probably turn to Google. Now, Google is making it easier to find the videos your searching for by giving more prominence to the top playable music video result. So, if you’re searching for “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk, it will be hard to miss the official version of the video at the top of the page.

Daft Punk Get Lucky Google Search

The thumbnail images for the videos look like they would be playable on the page, but in actuality they link back to the page for the video. It’s possible they play icon on the image might hint towards future usability for YouTube videos, or it might just be a little misleading.

Of course, the tool isn’t perfect, and you shouldn’t expect to get the “official” video or a video from the artist’s official account every time. For example, Search Engine Watch highlights a case where searching for “Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre doesn’t pull up a video from the DrDreVEVO account, because that video hasn’t been uploaded to the official account.

Similarly, searching for “I Need a Doctor” by Dr. Dre doesn’t trigger the new large YouTube thumbnails, even though there is an official video uploaded to the account.

dr-dre-i-need-a-doctor-google-search

“This was already available in September 2013 when you searched for an artist and then clicked on a song – you’d see a preview of the music video if it was available to display,” said a Google spokesperson. “Yesterday we made it easier to get to – you can now just search for a song directly and see the video screenshot right away.”

It is notable that the huge thumbnail appears to be exclusive to YouTube. When Google pulls from other sources like Dailymotion, it shows the smaller thumbnail and link layout. For example, the video for “Simply Beautiful” by Queen Latifah looks like this:

simply-beautiful-queen-latifah-google-search

seahawks-vs-broncos-us-bing-searches

No one is calling a clear winner for the Big Game Sunday Night. As numerous sports analysts have pointed out, it is rare that both of the best teams from the past season actually make it to the Super Bowl, but this year the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos match-up should make for a truly exciting game.

While the game will likely be close, Bing says the Seahawks have already been dominating the Broncos online. Bing examined U.S. search volume for both NFL teams, and the Seattle team has taken the lead in 33 states.

Obviously, the Seattle Seahawks absolutely dominated searches from The Evergreen State (95 percent), but they also have a clear lead in Oregon (82 percent), Idaho (79 percent), Alaska (78 percent), Hawaii (73 percent), and California (64 percent).

Of the 17 states where the Broncos held the most search volume, they had a less significant lead. Their home state of Colorado had the most significant difference with 85 percent of searches, while neighboring Wyoming had (77 percent). South Dakota and Indiana brought up the lead with 66 and 64 percent respectively.

In total, Bing users searched for the Seahawks 26 percent more often than the Broncos.
Of course, outside factors could explain the differences in search volume.

As Search Engine Watch points out, searches for the Seahawks spiked across the nation immediately following Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman’s infamous post-game interview. The controversy and excitement surrounding the over-the-top interview made the Seahawks’ search volume jump over 80 percent.

http://youtu.be/PPD_Lgq7IyI

The Broncos have had their own moment of viral fame, with tons of clips compiling Peyton Manning yelling “Omaha”, but the larger focus after the Championship games two weeks ago was easily favoring Sherman. Without his spectacular outburst, search volume would likely have been more even across the country.

http://youtu.be/hBqwWe0S8jw

What are you thoughts? Who are you favoring in Super Bowl 48?

Everyone knows that Google is a fan of hiding little easter eggs throughout their services, especially in Google Maps and Google Earth. Many of the most well known “secrets” of Google Maps involve objects that actually exist in real life, such as the popular giant pink rabbit in Italy. However, Google also creates some fun little tricks on their own. I learned of two such treasures this week and thought I would share them with you.

The first has been around for a few years, but it recently began making the rounds again. Michael Gray on Twitter noticed that Google Maps gives a particularly funny response if you happen to search for walking directions from The Shire to Mordor, as you can see below.

mordor-google-maps-1389877244

It is a good time for the little trick to be popping back up, considering the new The Hobbit film is just now leaving theaters, with one more on the way. Plus, many like me never saw it when it was first discovered in earlier versions of Google Maps.

Tardis-Google-Maps-Street-View-640x333

The other secret Google Maps holds is much newer, but equally (if not more) exciting for the fans of Doctor Who. It seems the Tardis was hiding inconspicuously along Earl’s Court Road in London when the Maps team was in the area, because stepping into the blue police box sitting nearby when using Streetview.

18ww8u61d0w8ijpg

If you click on the double-white arrow, you’ll notice the police box is bigger on the inside, and you can explore the (limited) depths of the Tardis, The Doctor’s infamous time machine. Of course, it doesn’t have the endless new rooms and corridors that often appear in the show, but you get a good look at the controls and interior.

What is your favorite Google Maps easter egg?

Netflix Logo

Source: Wikimedia Commons

Many out there are still enjoying some extra time off thanks to the holiday season. But, chances are most are already worn down by the Christmas shopping period and the surplus time with the extended family. The majority of us will be relaxing and taking comfort in some quiet nights until the the year finally comes to a close.

If you’re a Netflix customer, you might consider spending that extra time to indulge yourself and take in a few great movies before they disappear from the streaming service. When the clock ticks out on 2013 and the New Year has been officially rung in, many titles will be taken off of instant streaming, and there is no telling if or when they will return.

Netflix does their best to keep the expiration dates for their movies a secret, but some especially cunning Reddit users managed to figure out what movies will be going away with the passing of 2013. As Gizmodo points out, you can see the date the license on a film or TV show is up by adding the title to your queue.

So what will be taken off Netflix? Gizmodo has a list of the most notable films that will disappear, but you can also explore the more list compiled by Reddit here.

It should be noted, it is possible some of these films could have their licenses renewed quickly, but why take a chance when there’s still plenty of relaxation time before 2014 gets here? Plus, with all these films’ licenses expiring, there will be plenty of new content to binge on soon.