The charitable arm of Google and the UN have teamed up on a new website aimed at helping people better understand the Syrian refugee crisis through the combination of data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) along with satellite imagery, 360 degree photos and stills, videos, stories from refugees, and more. The new site, called “Searching for Syria,” presents this information to visitors in an accessible way – by providing simple but visually immersive answers to questions like “What is happening in Syria?” and even, “what is a refugee?”

Google explained that it’s been able to gauge how much worldwide interest there is on the web from people using its search engine for answers to basic questions about the refugee situation in Syria. “What is happening in Syria?” was among the top trending searches in Germany, France and the U.K. last year, for example, and over tens of millions in 2016 searched for information on the Syria.

The company, including its Google.org arm, partnered with the UNHCR to combine the organization’s annual Global Trends report – which contains facts and figures about refugees, asylum-seekers, migrants and others – with Google’s Search trend data. The idea is to offer web searchers better answers to their ongoing questions, but one that taps into more visual imagery to help paint a picture of the human side of the crisis, and the scale of the situation in the country of Syria.

The site begins with a brief introduction, then takes you pages of questions about Syria, like “What was Syria like before the war?,” “What is going on in Syria?” “Where are Syrian refugees going?” and others.

Questions are answered with short text blurbs relying factual answers and statistics, which are combined with full-screen photos, some of which can be turned 360 degrees for a more immersive viewing of a given place or scene.

For example, one section of the website lets you visit half a dozen UNESCO world heritage sites in 360 degrees, including the ancient cities of Aleppo, Bosra, and Damascus, the ancient villages of Northern Syria, Crac des Chevaliers and Qal’at Salah El-Din and the site of Palmyra. After panning through the beautiful imagery, you scroll down to the next slide and learn that the war in Syria has damaged or destroyed them all.

Visualization in the form of charts and graphs are also sometimes present, along with personal stories from refugees and videos from YouTube.

There are only five questions on the site, but scrolling through all their components takes some time. In reading through and watching the material, visitors are meant to understand the true human toll the war has taken on Syrian lives.

The site also encourages visitors to learn how they can help – by signing the UNHCR’s petition to pledge your support that you stand #WithRefugees, making a donation, or just sharing the website to raise awareness.

Though largely an educational experience, there’s of course a political undertone to Google’s investment in this resource.

The U.S. and some other countries have pushed back against allowing Syrian refugees to cross their borders. This includes Trump’s hardline stance on Syria in general in which the president has proposed cuts to foreign aid, including the U.N. and agencies helping refugees. He has also tried to stop Syrian refugees from entering the country twice – moves that were blocked by courts. Meanwhile, on Sunday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. – seemingly ignoring Trump’s proposed budget – has pledged increased support from the U.S. for the refugees.

This is not Google.org’s first time addressing the crisis – it has already invested more than $20 million in grants supporting solutions to provide over 800,000 refugees with emergency support and access to critical information and education, the company says.

The new site is available here.

Source: This article was published techcrunch.com By Sarah Perez

Categorized in Search Engine
  • Chrome for Android now lets you save entire websites for reading later.
  • It's perfect for folks who want to read where a connection isn't available, like on the subway.
  • It's only available for Android users right now, unfortunately, but iOS users should try "Read it Later" or "Pocket."

Google rolled out a new feature for Android users on Monday that allows them to save entire Websites in Chrome for reading later.

With just one single long press, you can save a site and then read it when you're underground on the subway without a connection, up in a plane,or anywhere else where you're far from a network.

Unlike similar options that allow you to save the text of an article for later, Chrome's feature saves the entire website so that you can view it was meant to be. Here's how.

CNBC Tech: Google download offline
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Next, open up Chrome and head to a website with a list of stories you might want to read later, like CNBC.com.
CNBC Tech: Google download offline 2
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • Long press on any link and tap "Download link" from the popup menu.
CNBC Tech: Google download offline 3
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • The link will download. If you don't have a connection, you can tell Chrome to download the story when you're back online.
CNBC Tech: Google download offline 4
Todd Haselton | CNBC
  • To access your save stories, just view your open tabs or tap the menu button and click "Downloads."

That's it! And don't be bummed if you're on iOS. Apps such as Pocket and Read it Later offer a similar experience. 

Source: This article was published cnbc.com By Todd Haselton

Categorized in Internet Technology

Updating your website involves more than just rearranging words and pictures on the homepage. Changing your website involves implementing new technology behind the scenes, eliminating dot-com domains and using research to optimize pages to capture your audience’s attention. Just think about your website two, five, 10 years ago. Chances are, it looked quite a bit different from the version you have today.

All businesses need to keep up with modern internet technology if they want to maintain their competitive edge. So it’s important to keep an eye on emerging website trends and anticipate how evolving tech will impact the creative direction of your website.

Attention spans are shortening and the amount of content living online is growing exponentially, so expect to see data influence the future of your website’s looks and operating systems. Not sure what trends you should be paying attention to? Here are some examples.

1. Virtual stores in virtual reality

When we think of ecommerce, we typically think of logging on to a website store or using a mobile app to do all of our shopping. But virtual reality could be changing how we shop in the very near future. Imagine putting on a VR headset and instead of browsing a flat website catalogue you could be walking through a virtual store or viewing things around a showroom.

EBay actually launched what it calls the world’s first virtual reality department store, partnering with an Australian-based retailer to bring shoppers an opportunity to shop from home. Though implementing virtual reality on an ecommerce site might take time and money, it could be the way of the future -- and a new way for businesses to gather information on how their customers shop.

2. Clever website names

Finding the best domain name for your new business can be a major challenge. Luckily, website owners are no longer limited to just one or two options to the right of the dot. Businesses, brands and individuals have hundreds of new choices when selecting their digital identities, from "dot-clothing" (.clothing) to "dot-boutique" (.boutique) to "dot-style" (.style) and "dot-shopping" (.shopping).


“Businesses in all industries can pick a domain name that tells the world exactly who they are and what they do,” say Paul Stahura, co-founder and CEO of Donuts Inc., an internet domain registry that operates nearly 200 of these extensions, dubbed “not-com” domain names. “New businesses can stand out from the crowd in a way that was never possible before, and tell the world what business they're in.

For example: No one would know what Driftaway.com is, but www.Driftaway.coffee tells the world that it is a coffee business. Amici.com does not tell the world anything about your business, but www.Amici.catering tells prospective clients that it is a catering business.”

While many small to mid-size businesses are quickly jumping aboard the “not-com” domain train, big enterprises have been trading "dot-com" names for more memorable ones. For example, Lady Gaga’s non-profit organization uses BornThisWay.foundation and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, announced their homepage live at ABC.xyz. Even retail giant Amazon is using domain name endings such as www.Amazon.clothing and www.Amazon.shoes to redirect visitors to the appropriate shopping page on its website, while also enhancing SEO.

3. Increased personalization

Technology is becoming smarter every day and it’s time for businesses, particularly in ecommerce, to include some type of anticipatory artificial intelligence into their websites. A website is more than just a page with pretty pictures and words. Designed properly, a website can relay information about your site visitors and use data on previous customers to predict their needs in the future. More data translates to increased personalization on various websites, which could lead to a more immersive user experience.

Take Amazon for example. The Seattle retailer is working on technology it says is “anticipatory shipping,” a method that will deliver packages before customers even click buy. Not only will anticipatory technology cut down on delivery time and inefficient service, it could also improve customer satisfaction and increase loyalty to a particular brand. Using a customer’s previous order information and shopping habits, data pulled from the Amazon website, Amazon can predict demand based on a variety of factors and begin to show customers more personalized shopping ads based on their past behaviors.

4. Augmented reality

With newer, faster and more powerful smartphones hitting the market, websites are increasingly becoming more mobile. Responsive design is no longer an optional feature for websites -- it’s the difference between keeping your customers and repelling them to your competitors. And now websites need to take their capabilities one step further and begin incorporating augmented reality into their web designs.

Pokémon Go, the hit mobile game, brought augmented reality right into the mainstream and caught the attention of marketers looking for the next big thing. Augmented reality is not the same thing as virtual reality. In AR, users are offered graphical enhancements to the physical environment they’re living in. The eyewear industry incorporates AR into their websites seamlessly. Sites such as Lenscrafters have specific websites that allow customers to virtually try on any eyewear product in the Lenscrafters’ stock.

If you work in the ecommerce space or sell items that need to be tried on prior to purchase, revamping your website to accommodate AR might be good to look into.

Technology is changing rapidly and evolving trends make it difficult for websites to stay static. Companies need a competitive edge and the best way to do so is identifying differentiating factors that help your website stand out. Trends like the “not-com” revolution and the growing presence of virtual reality will result in websites that are about more than just media and content.

Scheduling routine checkups for your website and bringing your pages up to date are great ways to ensure your business won’t get lost in the dark hole of the internet.

Source: This article was published entrepreneur.com By ELENA TITOVA

Categorized in Internet Technology

Back link is one of the most popular method for promoting a website, for it not only bring direct targeted traffic but it also has a big weight for search engine optimization purposes. It is also consider as white hat SEO technique which means that the system is completely legal and acceptable for every body. Back linking is completely free but there are some paid services for link building within reasonable price, once it was created, majority of them stays permanently. Here is some tip that for sure will help your link building campaign.

For an effective link building campaign, only link from reputable website that are related with the niche or topic you promote. If you’re website is all about food or recipe it is much effective to comment from food and recipe blogs. Make sure that the back link is on do follow website which means that search engine spider is allowed to crawl from the link going to your site. Use keywords as an anchor text as it adds value to the website with regards to anchor text keywords. Create one way back link campaign from high PR website which are highly value by google. Avoid linking from link farm to avoid penalty from search engine.

Link to website that offers permanent back link, article submission is one of the best method of making a link by including anchor text link on resource or author box towards your website. With article marketing, it not only give us a chance to make a pre-sell for the product or service that are being promoted but it also helps to optimized our website.

Creating is quality back link are very gruesome especially for a beginner especially if English is not your primary language. But there are a lots of services that are being offered in the web for article writing and submission services with in affordable price. Fiverr.com is highly recommendable for those who wish for services on a reasonable price.

Back linking strategy is a big factor to achieve success promoting a website, success of any web based business always depend on the quantity and the quality as well. Linking back when created scientifically usually offers a lot of quality traffic, I believe it is a science as back link is not created equally, success of link building campaign always depend on how it is created, we should always bear in our mind that back link is created not just to please our reader (which is very important) but to please search engine which is highly important.

Author: Daisy Espinosa
Source: http://forctr.com/make-search-engine-friendly-website-though-proper-link-building

Categorized in Search Engine

A website for your business is no longer a luxury -- it’s a necessity. But, just because you invested in a website doesn’t mean that it’s effective in connecting with your customers and ultimately improving your sales. While there could be numerous reasons why your website isn’t effective, here are 10 of the most common explanations for website fails.

1. It’s not mobile friendly

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to most of us, but for the first time ever mobile and tablet usage surpassed desktop usage. As the mobile revolution continues to grow around the world, this trend toward “on the go digital,” will continue. In other words, internet consumption is moving away from desktops and into the portable devices territory. This means that your business’s website has to be optimized for mobile users.

Unfortunately, there are still lots of websites that aren’t mobile-friendly. This is just bad for business since it can lead to penalties from the Big G (Google), decrease conversation rates and deliver your customers a poor experience.

To make sure that your site is ready for mobile users, make sure that you use a responsive design, have large buttons and due to your due-diligence on a/b testing, keep your layout simple and again, test it using tools like Google’s Search Console Mobile-Friendly Test.

2. Contains too much jargon

I understand that you’re an expert in your field and that you want to demonstrate your knowledge and authority. But unless you’re talking to directly to your fellow industry experts, your average customer isn’t going to understand the technical language or industry jargon that you use to describe your business throughout your website.

Avoid the jargon and use simple and straight-forward language that your customers can easily understand.

3. Lacks content

Your customers have a problem. And they’re turning to your website to help them solve said-problem. That’s why your website needs to contain fresh and valuable content that answers real-life questions.

Remember, that doesn’t mean that they’re searching for your exact business. For example, our blog contains useful information for freelancers and small business owners. If a person is searching for advice on invoicing and processing payments, they could also land on our site because that’s the type of content we’ve been producing, as well.

In short, start a blog and keep writing awesome content. This will also help boost your SEO and content marketing efforts.

4. Hides essential information

Besides looking for information that will make their lives better, if customers are looking for your specific business, they want to easily locate information like:

  • The address of your business. If you have a brick and mortar business, include a map link.
  • Contact information, specifically a phone number and email address.
  • Social media plugins.
  • Hours, pricing and an “about us” page.

You’d be surprised at how many businesses still don’t have this information on their websites. And, if you’re like me, you may tend to stay from those types of businesses over security or legitimate concerns.

And, there’s really no excuse for forgetting this information. These additions are easy-to-integrate onto your site and usually free as well.

5. Loads too slowly

Customers expect a website to load quickly. In fact, 47 percent of consumers expect a website to load in just 2 seconds or less. And, that’s important to remember because an astounding 79 percent of shoppers who don’t enjoy their website experience less likely to ever return to that site again, nor buy from that site again.

You can test the speed of your site using tools like Pingdom and GTmetrix. These tools provide insights and advice on how to speed your site-up too.

6. Doesn’t have clear calls-to-action

You don’t want to leave your visitors in the dark by making them guess what you want them to do next on your site. So, give them clear instructions by creating a call to action button or hyperlinked text that is front and center.

HubSpot has 31 call-to-action examples that you should review if you need some inspiration. For instance, Dropbox has a blue “Sign up for free,” call-to-action button that stands out from the rest of the page.

Remember, without these buttons, your potential customers won’t move forward with the services or resources that you’re offering. When that happens, you won’t get those all-important business conversions.

7. It’s outdated

Webpages that are maintained and have a current design-build trust and credibility. That doesn’t mean that you need to update your site every month. But, if it’s been years since you’ve had a major website design overhaul, then it’s time to find something more contemporary. The last thing that you want is to have a site that looks like a Geocities page from the late 90s.

8. It’s annoying and cluttered

Believe it or not, that are still businesses that insist on having websites that have music or videos play automatically once you enter the site. Even worse, these sites are also full of banner ads, bright colors and flashy text. These sites are just plain annoying and end-up slowing the page down because it’s so cluttered.

So, how many people are going to ever click on that site again at work -- or anywhere else?

Keep in mind that a bulk of your visitors are browsing your site on mobile devices too. This means that your site should be clean and organized. Keep information to a minimum and use sub-headings, bullet lists and graphic elements so that visitors can digest this info in smaller chunks.

9. Shopping cart or payment platform is broken

Unless you’re relying on a third party payment gateway or shopping cart, then it’s your responsibility to frequently check to make sure that everything is working properly. You won’t be able to make a sale or receive a payment if your cart or payment processor is busted.

10. You don’t guide users to different pages

A lot of businesses send all their traffic to their website’s homepage, as opposed to relevant links that their customers actually want to land on. This could be because service pages and other pages of the site are just an afterthought when designing a website. But, the fact of the matter is that the homepage isn’t as important to general web traffic and the overall design.

Instead, start creating specific landing pages for the various types of potential customers you encounter and where they are in the sales funnel.

Source : https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/286430

Categorized in Business Research

Following Google’s major updates in 2011 and 2012, many businesses were dismayed to find their websites were buried in the search results for their major keywords. One of my company’s current clients, for example, discovered too late that the agency they were trusting to get their website to the top of Google had used unsavory tactics, including buying links and had gotten their website blacklisted by Google so that no one could find the firm online.

By now, most businesses are aware of black hat SEO tactics and try to avoid them to keep their sites from being penalized. However, many are unaware of the very real threat of malicious tactics. Known as “negative SEO,” this unethical practice relies on using black hat tactics to purposely get a website penalized. A competitor, or someone with a grudge, can, with a little knowledge of SEO and a lot of malicious intent, destroy years of work on your website and its ability to generate revenue for your business.

Understanding Search Engines and SEO

To try to protect yourself from the threat of negative SEO, you first need to understand how search engines and search engine optimization work. Google uses a complex program called Googlebot to “crawl” billions of websites and “fetch” new and revised pages to add to Google’s index. Driven by algorithms, Googlebot visits chosen websites, fetches pages to add to the index, discovers links on pages and adds the linked pages to the ever-changing list of pages to crawl.

Google’s index includes the words Googlebot has found on web pages, as well as the words’ place on web pages, headings on the page and alternative text written for images. When someone does a Google search, Google’s programs search the index for the pages most relevant to the search term used and display them in order of relevancy. It is this calculation of relevancy that then determines a web page’s position in the search results for a given term.

Relevancy for a search term (or keyword) is based on over 200 elements, including domain characteristics, keyword placement, and frequency, the length of content, the newness of content, relevant multimedia and PageRank, a measure of quality based on inbound links. If the inbound links to a web page come from what Google considers authoritative, high-quality sites, then the page’s rank is positively impacted. If, however, they come from irrelevant or spammy websites, then the page’s rank will be negatively impacted.

Being aware of Google’s ranking factors and using that knowledge to optimize your website for search is very important to your business’s success. If people searching online for a particular product or service do not see your website on the first or possibly the second page of Google results, they will not know you exist. All of the time and money you spend developing and maintaining your site are literally wasted if people can’t find it. 

The Threat of Negative SEO 

The flip side of having a knowledgeable search engine optimizer (SEO) work to improve your site’s ranking in Google through enhancements to the website is having someone who understands how Google’s ranking factors work use his knowledge to get a competitor’s website penalized so that it doesn’t appear on the first few pages of results or is removed from the index altogether. 

Whether you view this negative SEO as unsavory sabotage or cunning competitiveness, the reality is that it can threaten your website and your livelihood. Unfortunately, you can’t do much to prevent someone from attempting to harm your website’s ranking in Google. However, you can take action to protect your website as much as possible and contain the negative impact should your website be attacked. 

Fighting Back Against Negative SEO

The first step in the fight against negative SEO is knowing what you’re looking for. First and foremost is damaging backlinks. With a little time and effort, someone wanting to destroy your website’s authority and rank in Google can, unbeknownst to you, link thousands of spammy web pages to your site. If you regularly check your website’s position in Google’s results for specific keywords, you might notice the negative effects of the links, but you need to use a backlink checker tool (available online) to identify them.

Having identified the spammy backlinks, you can take action by requesting removal. If you know for sure who is responsible, you could try the direct approach and ask them to stop what they’re doing. You could follow up on an unmet request with social media posts identifying them and their malicious intent.

This direct approach might not be feasible, so, if you have numerous harmful backlinks, you can use Google’s disavow process, ostensibly asking Google not to consider specific links when crawling and indexing your website. You can also report the backlinks to Google using their Spam Report Form.

Monitoring Your Website’s Quality

Proactive monitoring of your website’s quality will save you time and money in the long run. Regular use of backlink checker tools or a service that automatically monitors your website and sends you a report on new backlinks could help you discover negative SEO before it damages your website’s page rank in Google.

Another good practice is to monitor the speed of your website since small changes to a page can affect its speed and thereby affect its rank in search. There are numerous tools available to check page speed, including one from Google that analyzes a web page’s content and generates suggestions to improve the speed.

Finally, by all means, set up Google Webmaster Tool alerts. Google will not be able to notify if someone has started using negative SEO to harm your website, but the notifications will help you be aware of issues affecting your site, and you’ll definitely know if the Google robot can’t access your site.

Maintaining a High-Quality Website

The best protection for your website is to ensure its quality from the get-go. That means making sure your website is aligned with Google’s design, technical and quality guidelines; that it provides authoritative, valuable content that is updated regularly; and that it is mobile-friendly.

Google offers many articles and online courses to help you understand its guidelines and improve your website. However, if you’re busy running your business and don’t want to become a Google expert, there are plenty of digital marketing agencies, such as my company, Trighton Interactive, that can help you redesign your website, optimize it for search, monitor its rank in search, regularly update your content and make other improvements to increase your site’s ranking in Google.

Your website is a valuable asset, a powerful marketing tool and an effective means of communicating with prospects and current customers or clients. However, in our highly competitive digital market, your site is only valuable if people can find it and use it. Maintaining a high-quality website, engaging in vigilant monitoring and fighting spam are essential to protect your website from negative SEO and its damaging effects.

Author : Jody Resnick

Source : http://www.business.com/seo-marketing/jody-resnick-attacked-by-negative-seo/

Categorized in Search Engine

When creating a website, we all strive for extraordinary content combined with a responsive, attractive design to offer a user-friendly experience. While this sounds simple in theory, it may not turn out that way in practice. In addition to considering the content you provide and the aesthetics surrounding your website design, a myriad of legal considerations and best practices apply. Taking care not to violate basic “rules” of website creation should be at the top of your list.

After more than a decade in the industry, I can personally attest to how what might seem like minor violations come back to harm not just your business, but potentially your personal reputation and online presence. It's hard to get noticed on the web, and building a website and a brand online is a career-long effort. But don't let these common website violations set you back – or tempt you.

Using copyrighted images without permission. All images found online are not free for the taking. Technology makes it easy to lift photos quite easily: Right-clicking and selecting “save as” or saving the entire HTML page, taking a screenshot, or physically taking a picture of the image are just a few ways online thievery occurs. Not everyone intentionally steals photos; many people accidentally use an image because they are not sure whether it is royalty-free or a public domain image, or the user may have simply forgotten to give credit for the image. Make sure you are not violating copyright laws and that you obtain images by legally paying for them, obtaining permission or using photos that are in the public domain. Giving credit is not the same as getting permission.

Failing to obtain licensure for video usage. As a core part of today’s online landscape, website video usage, like image usage, must be handled with care. As more people and businesses share videos to tell their stories on various digital platforms, adding a video to your website is easier than ever. However, copyright laws do apply to online videos. Website gatekeepers should be aware of best practices to avoid unauthorized use as well as fair use. Publishing unauthorized videos online exposes you and/or your organization to legal liability, as the videos can potentially reach millions of people all over the world. Minimize your risk by obtaining permission before using any video online.

Relying on duplicate content. It might seem like a good practice or easy solution to repeat content throughout your website to beef up the amount of copy, but Google recognizes (and penalizes) duplicate content. If information is repeated word for word, search engines cannot always pinpoint which version is the original and which version is copied. Duplicate content causes site owners to suffer lower ranking and traffic loss, and the search engines provide less relevant results. If you need to include similar content on more than one page, be sure to completely rewrite, reword and reorganize the content in a new way. If you want to use content from another site, be sure to obtain permission or, better yet, write something completely unique to your site.

Touting services with superlatives. Everyone wants to claim that their business is the “best” or that they are the “leading” or “top” person or organization in their field. However, attorneys are required by bar associations to follow specific rules to describe their services in legal content writing. Most states require statements made in attorney advertising (which includes law firm websites) to be objectively verifiable. Since claims that you are “the best” can generally not be objectively verified, they may be deemed misleading and can expose violators to fines and other penalties.

Claims to be an “expert.” An attorney making claims of being an “expert” or “specialist” in the absence of board certification in the specialty is prohibited in many states. Similar to statements claiming that you are “the best,” claims that an attorney is an expert or specialist may be deemed false or misleading. It is a best practice to avoid using the words “expert” and “specialist” altogether.

Neglecting customers with disabilities. Passed in 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was established before the explosion of e-commerce. Now that consumers have moved online, the Department of Justice is redefining how the ADA applies. The release of web accessibility regulations is expected sometime in the near future. Website owners can be proactive by taking measures, such as adding audio descriptions for the blind and text captions for the deaf, as well as enhancing multimedia. Review a full list of proposed requirements.

Taking care to avoid these website legal pitfalls will help to protect you from potential litigation and solidify your reputation as an upstanding member of the online community.

The information provided here is not legal advice and does not purport to be a substitute for advice of counsel on any specific matter. For legal advice, you should consult with an attorney concerning your specific situation.

Author: Peter Boyd
Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/12/27/six-content-discrepancies-to-avoid-committing-on-your-companys-website/#2dd946d84b0b

Categorized in Others

wenty years ago, the experimental poet—and author of the recent Wasting Time on the InternetKenneth Goldsmith set out to create an online archive of concrete poetry, a partially visual art form that had largely fallen into disfavor by the mid-’90s. Such poems were designed to be seen as well as read. They played with typography and page layout—a poem about a train might be shaped like one, for example. As Goldsmith explains it now, he was primarily interested in then-novel ease of presenting images on the web—and in entertaining “my six friends that happen to be interested in concrete poetry.” 

But eventually, Goldsmith’s small website became a massive repository of the forgotten and the unfamiliar. Known as UbuWeb, it now contains everything from contemporary sound art to a 1986 interview with Andy Warhol about his Amiga computer. While a few contemporary artists have submitted their work to the archive, its collections are still largely guided by Goldsmith’s own tastes. You’ll find lectures by the French philosopher critic Roland Barthes, a lengthy dance film by Claire Denis, a digital re-creation of the multimedia magazine Aspen, and much more. 


Ubu offers treasure troves of strange material, but part of its pleasure has always been its simplicity: Throughout the years, UbuWeb’s aesthetic has remained doggedly spare—small red-and-black text on a blank white background. Despite its long history, those design choices make the site feel surprisingly timeless. 

In late November, UbuWeb turned 20. So I called up Goldsmith to discuss how the site has remained constant, even as the internet has grown and changed around it. He also pointed out some of his favorite items in the archive, the artistic roots of the internet itself, and why he tries to keep the site off major search engines. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

UbuWeb’s visual style and organizational structure has always been extraordinarily simple. What was your thinking there? 

Back in ’96 and through the 2000s, the web looked pretty bad. It was pretty cluttered up. I’m an art geek: I wanted to create a space on the web that was free of clutter. I wanted to say, What would a museum look like if it was on the web?The design of UbuWeb hasn’t changed much since then. 

Are there particular artifacts that you’ve come back to over and over again throughout the years? 

I love the weird stuff: The music of Marcel Duchamp. Salvador Dalí’s films. All of the peripheral, strange stuff. We know these people for one thing, but artists also do other things. If you were to ask any of those artists, they’d tell you those productions were as important as their paintings, the things they were making a lot of money off of. 

More specifically, there’s a woman named Vicki Bennett who goes under the name People Like Us, a composer. She’s uploaded 35 of her records to Ubu. And probably an equal number of films. She’s really good. 

If I had to come up with one artifact, it would be a contemporary artist named Sean Landers. You’ve probably never heard of him, but he made the most marvelous sound piece, “The Man Within.” It’s probably my favorite thing on the whole site. 

In its early days, the web was a jagged, surreal, and almost experimental space. Did that inform your decision to curate a collection of jagged, surreal, and often experimental art on it? 

In retrospect, what you’re saying is right. I wasn’t really aware of that at the time. At the time, it was more of a buzz—like self-publishing. I thought, Wow. You can do this for no money! And it’s in color! This is amazing! 

The internet is a lot more mannered today than it was back then. Do you think that changes the importance of UbuWeb at all? 

It’s hard to say. People say that Facebook and Google have colonized the web and taken it over, but that’s just not true. Those sites haven’t impacted UbuWeb one iota. UbuWeb continues as it always has. I actually think it’s possible still to do something really independent on the web. We’ve just forgotten how to do it. 


In Wasting Time on the Internet you talk about the ways that pre-internet artworks—not just high modernism, but also, say, the curatorial practices of Andy Warhol—anticipate the ways that we live online today. Can UbuWeb teach us anything about how to remain independent on the web today? 

I actually think that the web has its roots in Modernism—and disjunction and dream spaces and surrealism. An archive of this stuff on a digital platform feels completely contemporary. It makes Modernism alive again and relevant again. 

It comes back to what Rick Prelinger said, that archiving is the new folk art. That’s a giant thing about UbuWeb: All my collections, they’re just there! It’s this obsessive kind of hoarding and archiving, but it’s a good kind of hoarding, because it doesn’t take anything away from anyone else—especially when you’re talking about avant-garde artifacts, which have almost no commercial value but great historical importance. 

In Duchampian terms, the web is nothing but a bunch of digital readymades. Things are passed around, and fabricated, and slightly altered. A lot of stuff that’s up on UbuWeb isn’t used the way it was intended to be used. Weird DJs from around the world love UbuWeb. I’ve heard dance mixes in São Paulo with Bruce Nauman samples thrown in that they got from UbuWeb. 

The other thing is that UbuWeb breaks copyright. The whole fucking site is illegal. To me, that’s as important as what’s on the site itself. I know the content’s good. The content’s great, but the fact that it’s existed for 20 years without legal trouble is the best part about the site. 

A lot of these artifacts are outliers to contemporary culture. Has that marginal quality protected the site? 

I can put up the audio recordings of Salvador Dalí, but there are no Salvador Dalí paintings on there. The recordings are really interesting. His films are really marvelous, but there’s no commercial value in them. I think most places give us a pass because they couldn’t sell them anyway. Ubu’s found this kind of crazy copyright loophole. 

Is it too late to see more spaces like UbuWeb spring up? Is it just its relative antiquity by internet standards that allows it to persist in the way that it does? 

A lot of young artists want their work up on Ubu, and I always say, Why don’t you make your own UbuWeb? They can never really answer that. I don’t think they know how to write HTML. The 30 videos that I put up the other night are still the exact same HTML templates I used in 1996. 


Isn’t using a HTML template in 2016 a bit like employing an obsolete poetic form? 

It works! HTML is backwardly compatible. It just seems to work. 

But do you think we’ll get to a point where people look at UbuWeb itself as an artwork, as an artifact of a particular moment? 

It’s by far the most important artistic activity I’ve ever done, but I don’t want to claim it as an artwork of mine. Does it sound weird if I say it’s just a community service gesture? I want to make things available for people. It’s a bit utopian. 

Maybe that’s what makes it something of the internet—that communal quality. 

I’ve said this before, but MoMA can’t give any content on their site because they have legal obligations. I sit down on a Thursday evening for two hours with a glass of whiskey and upload 30 films. It’s really outside. 

I try to keep it off of Google. I try to keep it underground. People write books about how to get your search results up on Google. I want to get mine down! 

Why is it so important to you to keep it out of the public view in that way? 

To avoid copyright trolls. A lot of people would assume that I’m selling this, that I want to make money. There’s no money. But it’s a lot of work for me every time I have to get into those conversations. It’s easier for me not to have them. 

Back in 2011, you wrote of UbuWeb, “By the time you read this, UbuWeb may be gone.” Why do you think it has stuck around even as the web has changed around it? 


It’s about me. I’m the only person there. It runs on no money. And yet, every time I’m on the verge of giving up, I receive some email from somebody somewhere, and I realize it makes the world, the web, a better place. “I can’t go on, I’ll go on,” as Beckett says. 

Author : Jacob Brogan



Categorized in Online Research

There are so many wonderful websites around, and it is difficult to know each and every one of them. The below list provides some of those websites that I find particularly helpful, even though they are not as famous or as prevalent as some of the big names out there.

1. BugMeNot

Are you bugged constantly to sign up for websites, even though you do not wish to share your email? If yes, then BugMeNot is for you. Instead of creating new logins, BugMeNot has shared logins across thousands of websites which can be used.


2. Get Notify

This nifty little website tracks whether the emails sent by you were opened and read by the receiver. Moreover, it also provides the recipient’s IP Address, location, browser details, and more.


3. Zero Dollar Movies


If you are on a constant lookout of free full length movies, then Zero Dollar movies provides a collection of over 15,000 movies in multiple languages that are available to watch for free on Youtube. It indexes only full length movies and no trailers, or partial uploads. In addition, it has a clean interface, contributing to a good movie watching experience.


4. Livestream

Livestream allows you to watch and broadcast events live to viewers on any platform. For the next time when you want to share your company’s annual CEO speech live to employees who are on remote locations, Livestream serves as a perfect platform.


5. scr.im

scr.im converts your email address into a short custom URLs, that can be shared on public websites. This prevents your email id from getting picked up by spam robots, and email harvesters who are on a constant lookout from your email id.


6. TinEye

TinEye is a Reverse Image search tool which is as accurate as Google’s Reverse Image search tool. As opposed to Google, TinEye provides a set of APIs that can be used for personal and commercial purposes, which makes it very useful for developers.


7. Fax Zero

Fax Zero allows you to send faxes to US and Canada for free. Additionally, it enables you to send faxes to countries outside North America at a fixed pay per use cost.


8. Snopes

Do you believe that fingernails and hair continue to grow after death? Why don’t you check out if this is true, along with thousands of other urban folklore out there, at Snopes?


9. Stickk

Is it difficult for you to stick to goals ? If yes, then let Stickk help you reach your goals. It makes use of commitment contracts to empower you to better your lifestyle.


10. Boxoh

Boxoh can track the status of any shipment package on Google Maps.


11. PicMonkey


PicMonkey is an online Image editor, that allows you to touch up your images. Also, you can apply different effects, fonts, and designs to your images. It is a perfect tool to create pins for Pinterest and  awesome looking Facebook covers.


12. Trello

Trello is a great online tool for organizing just about anything using Kanban style cards. It provides a highly visual way for Online Collaboration, and is a simple free tool for Task and Project Management.


13. Short Reckonings

Short Reckonings is an online tool to keep track of shared expenses. It is deceptively simple, easy to use, and allows you to enter expenses with the fewest possible clicks. A clean, ad-free interface adds to the charm of this simple website.


14. Memrise

Do you fancy learning new things in small byte sized packages? If yes, then Memrise is for you. The additive nature of gaming combined with memory improvement makes this an excellent resource.


15. Instructables

Instructables provides instructions to help you build just about anything you can imagine. It provides a platform for people to explore, document, and share their creations.


16. join.me

In today’s world, where collaboration across multiple stakeholders is key, join.me provides an online platform to share desktop screens. Record audio for meetings conducted with participants not in the same room. In addition, it is a simple tool to share your screen with just about anybody on the web.


17. Sync.in


Sync.in allows multiple people to edit documents and notes in real time. It is a great tool for online collaboration.


18. Privnote

Do you wish to share notes and information that self destructs immediately after it is read ? Privnote does exactly that.


19. ScribbleMaps

Have you ever wanted to place your personal markers, shapes, and scribbles on Google Maps? Even though Google Maps does not allow that, ScribbleMaps does, and it does a great job at it.


20. TripIt

TripIt is a painless way to organize all the details of your vacation or business trip. Forget your flight time? Can’t find the e-mail with your hotel’s address? That won’t happen with TripIt, which keeps your itinerary in one place.


21. Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site, providing instant online comparisons for millions of flights on over a thousand airlines, as well as car hire and hotels.



22. Hostel Bookers

Hostel Bookers is one of the best search engines to search for cheap hostels and hotels while backpacking or traveling around the globe.


23. Fitday

Fitday allows you to track you diet and weight loss through its journal. The personal dietician and free articles on nutrition and weight loss on their site are a great bonus.


24. Endomondo

Endomondo is a mobile app that allows you to track your workouts. The website allows detailed analysis of your training, that makes it a valuable tool to understand and plan your workouts.


25. My Fitness Pal

If counting calories is your main goal, then My Fitness Pal is the best web and mobile application out there. The service has a massive database of meals and exercises to make it easy to accurately count calories.

My Fitness Pal

26. Fuelly

Fuelly tracks the gas mileage for your cars and helps you to analyze, share, and compare your vehicles fuel consumption.


27. 3-Minute Journal

3 Minute Journal is different than most other Journals out there. This application allows you to track your moods, achievements, failures, and moments of gratitude. In addition, it does great analysis over these parameters.


28. 750 Words

750 Words is based on the idea of “Morning Pages”; that advises aspiring creatives to start each morning with three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing to clear away the mental clutter, leaving you with a clearer mind to face the day.

750 words

29. Kiva

Kiva is a micro finance website, that attempts to leverage the Internet and a worldwide distribution of micro-finance institutions. It alleviates poverty by connecting lenders to people in need.



Do you have other favorite sites that you find incredibly useful?

Author:  Devashish Patel

Source:  http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/30-incredibly-useful-websites-you-wish-you-knew-earlier.html

Categorized in Future Trends

For non-website designers, it is nearly impossible to stay on top of the technological advances and countless new design options emerging almost daily. But you know that your website must be user-friendly and engaging on any device.

As a business owner in the digital marketing space, I often become the translator for designers and coders. Here are five of the most important website design trends to help you engage visitors and achieve your website conversion goals in 2017:

1-Responsive Website Design

Responsive website design is a requirement in today’s mobile society. Users may not know what it takes to make a website design responsive, but they know that without it, they will be looking elsewhere for answers, products or a viewing experience. In short, a mobile responsive website is one that is designed so that it looks the same when viewed on any device. A great source to view some prime examples of responsive website designs can be found at Awwwards.com; browse them and compare on different devices to see the unified effect.

2-Semi-Flat Design

Semi-flat design makes the elements appear as though they exist on a single surface. The widely-used design approach can bring clarity to the website for the viewer, while making transitions appear more unified. While it can be difficult to execute convincingly, when done correctly, semi-flat design makes it easier for website visitors to understand the cues and directions of the website. The result is a more intuitive navigation experience across the entire website.

lat designs from a year or two ago had a lot of problems with their inability to draw users into the site and create a more immersive experience. This was because the images and characters were flat without any shading or differentiation, making it difficult for users to know where to click to navigate the websites. The discovery was chronicled in Windows 8 Usability Tests conducted by the Nielsen Norman Group.

Semi-flat designs overcome those challenges, and the use of the style in both Android’s and Apple’s software releases make it something that many mobile users are used to seeing.

3-Minimalism Paired With Micro-Interactions

It’s all about the mobile experience in 2017 and beyond. Micro-interactions are user enabled interactions that provide control, guidance or rewards, or just impart fun to the experience for the user. Minimalist design means web pages are uncluttered. By combining these semi-flat and minimalist design trends in 2017, websites can deliver great user experiences that take advantage of visitors’ short attention spans and need for instant gratification.

In the last two years, my firm began to discover that even though our clients’ websites had been optimized for mobile, we weren’t always seeing the bumps in conversions or longer visitor interactions that we expected. The biggest challenge was having too much content on the page. Best practice search engine optimization is in our blood, and having at least 200 words on each page tends to improve search engine results. But, in an era when people are looking for faster mobile interactions, users were getting frustrated navigating through too much content per page.

We adjusted by balancing snackable content on scrolling pages, and have seen great results.

4-Parallax Scrolling And Interactivity

Moving different parts of a website page at different speeds (parallax scrolling) is not new, but those who know how to use it innovatively reap the rewards of visitor engagement.

An example of using it innovatively would be applying it to interactive storytelling and interactive assessments. Each engages the user at a deeper level. We’ve all experienced websites with great parallax scrolling where the images and text are highly structured and fold on top of one another as we scroll down through or swipe across the page.

Parallax scrolling enables the user to have a one-touch scrolling experience that engages them, provides an interactive experience, and can tell a story through progressing content and images that they control. They can have the same experience on any device, which helps to enhance their experience as they learn about a brand, a product or a solution.

5-Stronger Use Of Typography

It seems we are always learning about effective fonts and using them in new ways with website design. One of the latest and most enduring trends is to blend fonts that work well together in a single page. This works with both different (but compatible) fonts as well as font sizes. As always, the fonts must match the product, the brand and the target audience, and be web responsive to be effective.

We recently developed a website for a professional services firm that provided services that could be used as part of a package or in an a la carte fashion. How could the client explain all of these services on a single page holistically, while also offering them as a suite of individual services?

We accomplished this with a single graphic element using a short text description and tag line for each service. The individual services were separated by differing bold colors, and different fonts for each group of related services. Optimized for mobile and scrolling, the user can quickly see all the services, differentiate them through color and font, and tap on individual "learn more" buttons to get more in-depth information on each service.


These are website design trends that users can expect to be prevalent in 2017 and beyond. By keeping user needs in mind with the specific messages that will resonate with your target audience, you can choose the right methods for action and conversion on behalf of your intended users.

Author : Sheila Kloefkorn

Source : http://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2016/12/21/the-five-most-important-website-design-trends-that-will-emerge-in-2017/#260f9bb9402a

Categorized in Future Trends
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