Tis the time of year to give to organizations and other less fortunate, and if you were thinking about giving to an organization soon, today is the perfect day to do so. The Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been dubbed Giving Tuesday. Giving is great but you also want to make sure that your donation is going to the right place so we have outlined a few things to keep in mind while you’re giving.
Do your homework – Make sure you have the exact name of the charity that you would like to give to. Name similarities might make things confusing so be sure to double and triple check.
On the spot donations – We have all been caught up by someone holding a clipboard with information while trying to walk to your car. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you, try and get a card from the organization. Go home and check them out online first before you give any monetary donations.
Charities that don’t disclose – Charities have the option to disclose their information to the BBB, and some opt not to. This raises some red flags so make sure you visit give.org to find out if your charity has opted to not disclose.
Don’t let these deter you from giving. The Better Business Bureau states that “charities receive one-third of their annual donations during the holiday season.” Go online, do your research and have a happy #GivingTuesday.
The holidays are a time for family, food, drinks and posting all of it on Instagram, right? And if you don’t post your holiday festivities they might as well not have happened. I cannot recollect a time that I didn’t document my life on social media. At 14 I armed myself with a digital camera and a Myspace profile to give my friends and strangers an all access pass to my life, doing that has never seemed weird or out of place. I dare to say that not doing it seems more strange. In the last 14 years, my choice of social media and technology has changed. I have used the last 6 iPhones, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Vine, Twitter, and Tumblr to document milestones and life. My Facebook account is my longest relationship, Happy 10-year Anniversary to me! While I grew up with a sense of ease and comfort using social media and technology it doesn’t mean that it always came easy. There is a new social media app every year it seems and we all need to learn it to seem relevant. Snapchat was one of those apps for me. Initially, when millennials younger than I caught on to it I immediately dismissed it as some teenage fad and made fun of it. I made fun of it because I didn’t understand it. Snapchat has been around since 2011 but people in my circles didn’t start utilizing it until 2015. I avoided signing up because I didn’t want to ask people how it worked because I didn’t want to appear out of the know and I just didn’t care enough to Google it. I don’t think it was until their filters came out that I signed up. I sucked it up and asked my teenage cousin how it worked, to my dismay he didn’t make fun of me for being out of the loop. Quite the contrary. We sat there for a good 15 minutes bonding and practicing, it was great. My lesson is this, don’t be afraid of the unknown, looking dumb, or asking questions. The only constant in life is change and that includes technology. Be bold, evolve with it.
Google has a multitude of services and it’s hard to keep them all straight most of the time. What’s important to growing your business and what can be put on the back burner until you figure out how it works? A Google service that you should definitely NOT be slipping on is claiming your business. What does claiming your business even mean and why is it important? Google My Business is a free, super easy to use tool for your business. This is another way that you can manage your online presence.
Why it’s Important?
Managing the information that Google users see when they search for your business or products is very important and makes you seem more reputable. When you have claimed your business or products on Google you are able to update pictures of your store front or products, your hours of operation, website, and street address. Interacting with your customers is huge and claiming your business is just another way you are able to do so online. When you claim your business you also have the ability to respond to reviews whether they be positive or negative.
How can not claiming your business be harmful?
Not claiming your business if definitely NOT a good idea. As I mentioned previously an unclaimed page looks bad and not as reputable. It could be displaying the wrong information, or even worse someone could have already claimed it. Having to reclaim you business is super inconvenient and time consuming.
If you would like more information on how to go about claiming your business check out this link. You could also give us a call at 915.351.8440 and we would be happy to point you in the right direction and in the meantime, take a peek at our beautifully claimed business.
Technology definitely is not what it used to be, and thanks to augmented reality the way we play games might never be the same. Recently there has been a game that is utilizing augmented reality and physical activity to get people off the couch and on their feet. If the term augmented reality has you scratching your head, no worries we can break it down for you.
Augmented Reality is essentially the blending of virtual objects and inserting them into your real life. Pokémon GO is an augmented reality game that has captured our attention, our hearts, and more importantly our data. The game became a huge sensation overnight. I grew up playing Pokémon the very old school way with a deck of cards, then slowly it merged into handheld devices where it lived comfortably until now. Pokémon GO was developed by Niantic for iOS and Android devices. Essentially if you haven’t been living under a rock the game utilizes your phone camera and GPS to capture, battle and train Pokémon. The Pokémon appear on your screen via the camera and appear in your real world. All the characters that you grew up with and loved are literally all in your backyard and your neighborhood. You just have to get up and find them.
This isn’t the first time that we have seen augmented reality being utilized. You see this when you are watching a football game on television. The lines on the field outlining the yards to achieving a touch down, the military uses some AR technology as well to train troops. The difference between Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality are huge, virtual reality creates an entire virtual world for you to see. It has all been created by a computer and you need to wear special goggles or glasses to see the world around you. All that is necessary to view an augmented reality is a smart phone and an app such as Pokémon GO. So what the heck are you waiting for? Get out there and Catch Em All.
Shopping online is fast and super convenient for a lot of people with busy lives . You are able to easily shop for items from the comfort of your home while in your pajamas sipping a cup of your favorite coffee. If you are a frequently buying things online you might has been burned a couple of times by the seller or company that you are purchasing from. It’s unfortunate and a real pain to finally get it worked out. I have narrowed down some tips and ideas to help you stay safe online while purchasing your favorite items.
Familiar Sites Are Key: When shopping online make sure that site you are using is something you are familiar with. Those ads on the right side of your Facebook page look enticing because the prices are good but do we really know who they are or where they are from? Do your research. Also, make sure that site you are looking for is spelled correctly and has the correct suffix. For example if you know the site you are looking for is a .com but you are taken to the .net site that is a clear indication that you are not on the correct page.
Keep Some Things Private: There is no online store that is going to ask you for your social security number. Never give out your social security number. Some sites will ask you for your birthday to sign you up for newsletters but that is up to your discretion to sign up for that or not.
Lock It Up: In a previous article we discussed the difference between HTTP and HTTPS. Remember to always look for the icon of a locked padlock usually in the status bar at the top of your web browser. Remember to never give your credit card information over email.
Look At Your Statements Online: Don’t wait until your statement comes in the mail it might be too late by then. Log in to your account regularly and make sure they have been no fraudulent charges. In the event that you do find something suspicious. Banks usually give you 30 days to notify them,but make sure you address the issue quickly.
Don’t Use Public Computers: Using public computers to purchase items is a really bad idea. However, if you absolutely must make sure that you sign out when you are done. Also, be very aware of your surroundings things such as people standing or sitting a little too close for comfort.
Online shopping isn’t as scary as you think. If you are careful and follow your statements and purchases closely you have a really good shot at catching something right when it happens. Keep this tips in mind and have a safe online experience.
Sara started her journey with Stanton Street by following her heart and the yellow brick road. She threw stereotypes out the window as a little girl when she decided that she wanted to code her life away and make websites her passion. She didn’t let her love for pasta or frequent trips to Johnny Carinos get in the way when she was working toward her degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Before Sara joined our team of top notch performers she was hanging out with Lockheed Martin and Cimarron Software Services whom at the time were working under a NASA contract! Needless to say we cheered hip hip array when we found each other. Sara isn’t just about the behind the scenes of web site making she also enjoys typography, and kicking butt doing DIY Projects.
Sara isn’t a regular web developer, she’s a cool developer, and loves tackling challenges with a belly full of carbs and a face full of contour. Shopping, makeup and user interface design are on her list of things she loves. In her spare time you can catch her hanging with her 3 nieces and nephew, watching YouTube, eating spicy food, and watching The Wizard of Oz. Don’t be fooled by skills that she’s got she’s still Sara from the block.
Adrian began his journey to Stanton Street when he was a mere padawan. At the age of 14 years old, he started his college career obtaining an Associates degree within two years. He then enrolled at UTEP during his senior year in high school. Feeling an awakening in the force, we snagged Adrian as soon as he stepped off the graduation stage with his Computer Science degree still clenched in his hand.
The only thing scarier than going to college is not finding a job after graduation to help you pay off all that studentloan debt. It seems a little insane that your college advisers make you chose the course of your life at 18 years old of course you able to always change your major but not without undoing everything you’ve already done. When faced with the decision I went with my passion and didn’t really delve into the statistics or projections of what careers would be hiring in 4-5 years when I graduated. I’m not saying that you should completely change your desires, passions, or path to fit what the world will need in 4-5 years when you graduate. What I am saying is to be mindful of the information. Listed below are the Top 5 degrees, they were narrowed down by forbes.com as the fields in which employers are hiring.
The year is 2015 and every man, woman, child and dog with a laptop, smartphone, and tablet has a blog. I sift through hundreds of blogs daily ranging in subjects. People so often have the same question, how can I make my blog stand out against the backdrop of humdrum bloggyness? The answer may be easier than you thought.
HEADLINES, start with a great headline. You know as well as I do that they can make or break an article. We gravitate towards headlines that catch our attention and leave us hanging. Your headline is just as important as the content of your blog. DO NOT however, compromise the credibility and integrity of your blog by over exaggerating or lying in your headline to get more clicks.
Word Count: Living in the information age we are processing so much information daily that we don’t even have the attention span to sit through more than 300-500 words. We often skim reading material in order to find the answers that we are looking for. Keeping your blog posts within that range will avoid clicking on and then immediately clicking off the page. Also when writing your blog remember to style it in easy to read chunks will also keep the attention of readers. Try separating into paragraphs and breaking it up with bulleted lists ( like this one) or bolding words you think are important and should stand out.
Pictures, Filters, Videos, all of the above. Blog sites like Tumblr are picture heavy for a reason. Keeping with that people are more likely to skim than read, pictures will make up for the words that you are leaving out. If you are doing a blog about dogs people will want to see pictures of your dog in Valencia and X-Pro II dressed up as Donald Trump for Halloween. Pictures add some fun to even the most serious of blogs, and you don’t need a professional camera to do it. Any smartphone with a decent camera will do the trick.
Write with purpose, no matter what you are writing about. Always, always, always have passion and purpose behind what you put in front of your readers. They will see right through gimmicks and posts that you put out that are only for Google ranks.
Tags, SEO, and links. If you are confused by what any of those three mean, don’t fret. I will break it down for you. Tags are words or phrases that you will add on to your blog to let the reader know quickly what the post is about. Keep the tags relevant to what your post is about. These are usually hyperlinked and displayed under the headline of your post. SEO is short for search engine optimization, in a nutshell this means how quickly people are able to find your post organically on the web. Installing an SEO plugin on your blog or filling out the one at the bottom at the page when creating a blog is vital to how people will find your blog. Links, you never want to leave your reader with questions. When adding links to your blog make sure that the reader never leaves your page and when they click their desired link that it opens a new page. There are different plugins for any theme you can install these on your blog to make the links look pretty and not just a URL.
Question, who has two thumbs, a khaki blazer, a cat shirt collection, and just got a promotion? Answer, that guy right there.
Tony Casas has managed to snag a brand spanking new position here at Stanton Street Technology. I give you our new Director of Design and Production. Tony will represent and guide our kick-butt development team, he will set the pace, path and standards for all production activities. He will work closely with the production department , project manager and client services to ensure our projects meet specified requirements, timelines and budgets.
Since Tony has been designing things graphically since he was seventeen and has developed too many sites to count over the last 7.5 years he was an obvious choice. Tony brings his quick wit, eye for design, and a huge smile to work with him everyday. We are oh so very lucky to have him as a part of our team and can’t wait to you to flourish in your new position. Congratulations Mr. Casas, Cheers to you!