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Wearable Technology: How Far Will It Go?

Written by Aaron Charlie – Fri 11 Dec 2015

When did remote-controlled helicopters and pedometers become drones and wearable tech?

Since now. Today. The future, and you're living it. 

But how far will it take us? Where will we end up?

The best way to predict the future is to look at what has already been achieved, and quite a lot has been going on! I'll go through just a few before looking at the predictions being made by experts. 

A piece of well-known wearable tech that made a splash was Google Glass.  Simply put, it is worn on the head like ordinary eyeglasses but displays information like a smartphone. It's mostly handsfree and controlled by voice commands, though there is a tiny touchpad built into the side allowing you to swipe through a timeline-like interface right before your eyes. If the wearer simply says ‘ok glass’ they have access to Google Search, Gmail, video chats, voice only chats, virtual reminders, voice translations and a whole load of other features. My personal favourite is its ability to take photos and record 720p HD video of whatever you are seeing.

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Our Top 10 Christmas & New Year Plugins for Your Wordpress Website

Written by Aaron Charlie – Wed 02 Dec 2015

It’s Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year time once again, and most businesses in town have filled their window displays with festive cheer. You don’t have to miss out just because your business is online. With these 10 Christmas and New Year WordPress plugins, you can make sure your blog looks the part this Holiday season. 

 Learn how to use WordPress to set up and maintain your website or blog on our 2-day WordPress training course in Brighton. WordPress training is taught in small groups and is very hands on, so over the two days you'll learn to use WordPress by actually building a site. You can make a start by downloading our free Setting up a WordPress Site eBook.

#1 Christmas Countdown Plugin

The kids will love this Santa Claus Christmas Coundown widget! Simply add the countdown widget to your site and Santa’s beard will countdown the days until Christmas. You can use a widget or a shortcode to display the countdown anywhere on your site including your sidebar.

Santa Claus Christmas Countdown

Now we’ve got you in the holiday mood we thought we’d mention Google’s Santa Tracker. Use Google Santa Tracker to follow Santa Claus on Google Maps as he makes his journey around the world.

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Google Analytics: Glossary for Beginner’s 2016

Written by Andy Trainer – Tue 01 Dec 2015

You’ve pretty much all heard of Google Analytics, right? But do you understand it? If you are a GA newbie, possibly not. We do run some great one day Google Analytics courses here at Silicon Beach (beginners and advanced), but if you just want to dip your toe in and learn  some of the lingo read on.

Before you get down to the nitty gritty data, graphs and conversion rates, you must first know your Bounce Rate from your Benchmarking.  So we've gathered up all the gobbledygook and it’s meanings to help you get to grips with it. We don’t want you to end up like this cat. So let’s get started…

Google Analytics Cat

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Local SEO tips for Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Written by Aaron Charlie – Fri 27 Nov 2015

Digits ready for the most busy shopping days of the year?  

Is your local business prepared for Black Friday sales?

Local SEO could be your salvation.

Whatever your opinions, news forecasts suggest Black Friday could be the UK's first £1 billion online shopping day as retailers open their doors to bargain hunters. The Centre for Retail Research experts expects tills over the weekend, including Cyber Monday, to take £3.49 billion. So what does this mean for a local small business?

If you really want to be found on Black Friday here are a couple of suggestions for your online marketing strategy...

Black Friday

Photo credit: Reuters

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5 Content Marketing Websites You Should Probably Know About

Written by Aaron Charlie – Thu 19 Nov 2015

Planning a content marketing strategy for 2016?

Looking for useful content marketing guides that hit the marketing spot?

There have been countless blog posts and guides written on the subject, and the list grows daily.  But the problem isn’t a lack of knowledge or how-to information. The problem is finding a content marketing guide that meets your needs at your level of expertise.  And dare I say who’s got the time to trawl through numerous guides. Isn’t it better to just get on with it?

While it’s tempting to get stuck in, one of the key things about content marketing is having a solid plan and editorial calendar. By investing the time to align your content marketing efforts to your business objectives you will reap the rewards - Google absolutely loves quality fresh content. There are loads of comprehensive guides but some are overwhelming for content marketing newbies. With this in mind we’ve produced a round up of the top 5 content marketing guides on the interwebs to save you time in planning your 2016 content marketing plan.  

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Be a Better Street Photographer

Written by Charles Byard – Wed 29 Jul 2015

Most people have the tools available to try their hand at street photography. You can use your phone, or compact, many people have DSLR’s even though many don’t really know how to use the technology that's packed into them. It’s something you can do in your lunchtime, at weekends, or on holiday. It’s not all about the tools though, giving someone a hammer and chisel doesn't make them a sculptor. One thing's for certain though, there are concepts and techniques that people can learn that will improve their street photography, and have fun while learning.

Also worth noting for those interested in content marketing, a picture says a thousand words, improving your photography can pay dividends for sprucing up your content and avoiding all those uninspiring and cliche stock images.

Our street photography courses here at Silicon Beach Training are provided by award winning photographer Heather Buckley. We asked her a few questions about how to improve your chances of getting an interesting shot, and some techniques that you could use, not only for street but to improve all of your photography. There are a couple of places left on the next course, but they do fill up quickly, so call if you are interested.

You have provided many photography courses, what are some of the common problems that people have when sent out into the street to take pictures?

Heather: Many people don’t see the interesting potential in what is right in front of them. I am constantly looking for things that can relate to each other.

relationships

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Shiny and Chrome: 10 Essential Apps and Extensions

Written by Aaron Charlie – Thu 11 Jun 2015

In wake of recent controversy surrounding Hola, an incredibly popular Google Chrome VPN extension, facing allegations of functioning as a botnet client – many are looking to better safer, alternatives for their browser addons.

Security is a topic we deliberate heavily on our Social Media and SEO training courses, how can you be sure that what you're signing up for delivers what it promises?

Be sure, these 10 essential apps and extensions have your best intentions in mind. Oh and they also deliver a range of incredible features.

PushBullet

PushBullet connects each of your devices together seamlessly.

Download the phone app, add the chrome extension and never miss a notification again. Transfer files from your phone to your desktop without Dropbox. Even send text messages via your phone from your computer. Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Hangouts are all supported. You pretty much don’t ever have to leave your chair again.

PushBullet

Features aside, I absolutely love the design aesthetic of PushBullet. Hats off to Laurel Deel.

PushBullet supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera,  iOS, Android, Windows and MAC.

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Canva: The Best Tool You've Never Heard Of

Written by Aaron Charlie – Mon 01 Jun 2015

Canva is a free, browser based design tool. Canva's rapid expansion from 500,000 total designs in 2014 to 3.2 million a month gives you some sort of hint at it's serious potential. With the recent addition of ‘infographics’, Canva now does absolutely everything I need it to. There's even an iPad compatible app.

Canva is simple, intuitive and easily the best free design software available today. If the tutorial isn’t enough to get you acquainted then be sure to head over to the Design School.

The Best Tool

I’ve been using Canva for a good few months now, in fact it was recommended to me by our very own Social Media course trainer. Shameless plug aside, let's move onto what makes Canva so good.

Signing up requires an email address and password - nothing revolutionary.

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6 Photoshop Tricks Every Marketer Should Know

Written by Aaron Charlie – Thu 28 May 2015

If you aren’t having sleepless nights over the absurdities of the Polygonal Lasso tool then you’re missing out on modern marketing’s favourite tool.

Photoshop is like skydiving. At first it’s terrifying. Many spend their wholes lives without having done it. Most are too timid to commit to the climb. But minutes in, as you reach the peak of your ascent you feel like you’re flying…

Wait a minute. You are flying? It feels unnatural, you’re in uncharted territory. One glance over the edge and your world as you know it comes crashing down. Chaos, anarchy…elation? The void of uncertainty is overwhelming, there's so much you never knew...

Touchdown. You’ve just had the most incredible marketing revelation of your life; you’re dying to try it again. Soon you’ll be so obsessed with swatches and layers that you’ll find yourself convincing your first born to stop eating play-doh and start designing his graphics in-house. Why can’t everyone else see that smart objects are the best thing since sliced bread?

Have I ever been skydiving? Perhaps not.

Is Photoshop really the best thing since sliced bread? Undeniably.

Is there a company that can provide a quality two-day Photoshop Training course, preferably in the centre of Brighton?

Keep reading and find the six Photoshop techniques every marketer needs to know.

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Livestreaming: Meerkat, Periscope and the Competition

Written by Charles Byard – Wed 13 May 2015

From elections to reflections, let’s have a look at two of the newest major players In the live streaming world and how they’re faring against the competition. Meerkat and Periscope.

Following the NHL’s decision to ban all forms of live streaming from inside National Hockey League venues, many were lead to wonder what prompted such a decision. How is it possible that two apps released little over two months ago have risen to such notoriety in the eyes of an organisation as large as NHL?

Live streaming isn’t anything new, in fact "Severe Tire Damage" were the first perform live on the internet way back in June 1993. Since then the market has become loaded with hundreds of separate live streaming platforms; broadcasting everything from live football to birdcams.

Amazon’s acquisition of video game streaming platform Twitch in August 2014 for a reported $970 (£585m) drew the attention of investors and spectators alike. Twitter’s purchase of Periscope for $100million in late march only reinforced the serious potential of live streaming apps. Meerkat themselves brought in $12m from the likes of Greylock Partners in March 2015. We’re talking about serious money for and industry thats in its infancy.

Meerkat and Periscope

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