Interactive, Touch Reading

One of the great advantages to publishing digital media, in this case books, is the reading experience.  Unlike traditional, print books, readers are presented with a dynamic platform that can be controlled.

A “click” can take us, for example, from chapter one to forty-seven in an instant whereas in traditional books, we’d have to turn many pages to get there and would need a bookmark to remember where we were.

In electronic publications, readers are given a kind of control they previously did not have.  They are able to interact with the e-publication in a non-static manner.  In a way, the book almost becomes “alive” in their hands.  No longer a series of pages that one must manually turn in order to advance in the story, the book is transformed into one “fluid image of words” whose appearance can instantly change.

The screen

Unlike a print book that we hold in our hands and whose pages we must turn to delve deeper into the story, the e-book is presented on a screen.  It could be found on any one of a series of mobile or stationary devices (e.g., Amazon’s Kindle), yet will needs be a screen.  This means that whereas in print media we come into direct contact with the book in our hands, in the digital version, we are separated by a screen.  The screen, in a way, is therefore both the facilitator of our reading experience as well as its moderator.  It is the medium through or by which we reach our chosen medium (i.e., e-book).

That which prevents us from “touching,” so to speak, the object of our curiosity in the same breath enables us to see it in an unconventional and enhanced manner.  A combination of the screen and touch pad or mouse allows us to read the end of the story before we’ve read the beginning.  Alternatively, we can also instantly hop to the middle and go back to the beginning or end.  The point is that we no longer have to wait to get the information we want.  We can have it effortlessly now.  Past, present and future are seemingly melded into one.

In California, a group of school children were taken to see some older model telephones on display.  One of them finally said, “Oh, I get it!  You have to stick your finger in the hole and turn.”  He was, of course, referring to the plastic, rotating dial on the front of rotary-dial telephones that needed to be turned in order to compose a number.

Although we may read this and chuckle, most of us would never dream of giving up our touch pads or buttons (stationary or mobile), not to speak of our Skype connection.

A certain order

There is a certain order in the evolution of things including things technological.  There is a certain adaptation, too, a certain willingness to evolve along with it that is required on our part.  If we want the effortless ease of the seamless and interactive reading experience, we must adapt to the new model.

400px-Rotarydial

By Dhscommtech at English Wikipedia

SEO for Serif WebPlus X5

SEO

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

The fact that you have a website is great.  In and of itself, though, this is not enough to ensure that your site is properly advertised, optimized and that it receives a steady, targeted stream of visitors.

Great keyword research

The first step in SEO is great keyword research.  You don’t need anything fancy; Google’s Keyword Tool (or, AdWords Keyword Tool) is sufficient.  If you already have a Google AdWords account, login.  Otherwise, go to www.googlekeywordtool.com and verify that you’re human by typing the text presented in the box.

The first step is to minimize the ‘Saved ideas’ on the left.  For a more precise search, deselect ‘Broad’ and select ‘Exact.’  We’ll start with ‘Broad’ and move to ‘Exact’ in this example.

If your website is about digital media, start by typing in ‘digital media’ (without quotes) in the box labeled ‘Word or phrase.’  Now click ‘Search.’  Scrolling down, you’ll see that the results of your search are depicted in several columns called:  ‘Keyword Ideas,’ ‘ Competition,’ ‘Global Monthly Searches’ and ‘Local Monthly Searches.’

The majority of the results in my example are listed as ‘Low’ competition.  This is favorable  because I know that if I use any of the keywords or phrases associated with ‘Low,’ I have a reasonable chance of elevating my website’s ranking (i.e., in Google’s search results) since I won’t be up against strong competition for the same spot.  For example, the phrase ‘digital signage software’ has a ‘High’ competition.  Using this phrase would pit me against strong competitors (who, most likely, bid high for ads), so I’ll avoid it.

I’m highly interested in ‘Global Monthly Searches.’  These numbers tell me how many times per month people will type in a particular keyword or phrase when doing a Google search.  A cursory scan of the results reveals that people type in the phrase ‘what is internet’ 338 million times per month; ‘what is management’ and ‘what is java’ result in over 83 million global searches per month (gsm); and a search for ‘digital’ produces nearly 56 million gsm.

In my example, I’d like to narrow my search to ‘digital media’ and ‘social media.’  An ‘Exact’ search results in the keyword phrase ‘social media’ showing low competition and 201,000 gsm.  This means that I can safely use this phrase to optimize my site.

Now try typing ‘social media’ into the ‘Word or phrase’ box.  Click ‘Search.’  This results in 201,000 gsm with low competition.

It is in this experimental manner  that you will find the best keywords or phrases (sometimes misspelled) to optimize your site.

Great quality content

If you’re going to optimize your digital media website focusing on social media, you want to make sure that you deliver what’s been promised!  Once you drive traffic to your site, visitors have the right to expect top-notch, quality content about digital media and social media in particular.  This includes inserting keywords (often bolded and italicized) within the body of your website’s pages’ text.

Optimize your pages in WebPlus X5

Once you’ve experimented with the Google Keyword/AdWords Tool, it’s time to optimize your website’s pages.

Open your website.  In ‘File,’ select ‘Site Properties.’  In the pop-up box, select ‘Search.’  In the box entitled ‘Enter the description to be displayed when a search engine finds a page on your web’ type in, for example:  ‘E-books about digital media with an emphasis on social media’ (without the quotes).  Note that the first ten words are most important which is why I excluded the preliminary words ‘This website is about….’

In the box titled ‘Enter a list of words for search engines to use to find pages on your Web site…’ insert the series of keywords or phrases you researched with Google’s Keyword/AdWords Tool.  I selected ‘en-us’ for the language code on my website.

Don’t click ‘OK.’  Instead, select ‘Search engine.’  For my website, I selected all available categories setting my page change frequency indicator to ‘Monthly’ with a page priority of ‘0.5’.  I named my search engine sitemap file ‘sitemap.xml’  making sure to upload the special file provided by Google when I registered my website using their Webmaster Tools in my public/html folder.

Don’t click ‘OK’ yet.  Select ‘Analytics.’  Check the box for ‘Enable web analytics.’  In ‘Paste from Clipboard,’ insert the text (i.e., tracking code) that you received when registering your website with Google Analytics.  If you aren’t ready now, you can do this later.

Now select ‘Summary.’  Type your name (or pseudonym) in the ‘Author’ field.  Repeat (or type in a variation on the theme) the keywords or phrases you used when completing ‘Search’ above for ‘Comments’ and ‘Subject.’  Finally, click ‘OK.’

You’ll need to optimize each page.  So, for every page, with the page selected, right-mouse click to select ‘Page Properties’ and, in ‘Navigation’ choose a relevant page name, title and file name making sure to fill in a page-specific description.  For ‘Search’ and ‘Search Engine’ use the information I provide earlier in the article.  Under ‘Indexing,’ do not select ‘Override site search engine settings’ and observe that this section appears dimmed.  That’s because you expressed your preferences in ‘Site Properties’ globally, for the whole site.

Don’t forget to save and publish your newly optimized website to the Internet!

Although I haven’t discussed off-site optimization, schema.org and rich snippets, I hope this brief article on how to do SEO for a WebPlus X5 website helps you.

How to Thrive in the Age of Globalization

Some people like globalization and some don’t.  The fact of the matter, though, is that globalization is.

How can we thrive in globalization?

  1. Cut the fear     The first thing you must do is get rid of fear.  Although so much has changed and so much more will, keep the faith about why people make the decisions they do.
  2. Put all your options on the table     Unhesitatingly put all your options on the table.  Don’t let someone say, What?!  You’re planning to move where?
  3. Believe in interconnectedness     No matter where we’re from or what our life experiences are, we are all interconnected on some level.
  4. Openness breeds opportunities     When we open up to the possibilities afforded by globalization–greater ease of movement, instant digital communication, more porous borders (national and personal)–we open up to opportunities we never dreamed could be possible.
  5. Hold onto your identity     In spite of point 4, it’s vital that we hold onto our personal identities:  the core of what makes us special.
  6. Switch perspectives     Increasing exposure to multiculturalism and multiethnicity makes it mandatory for us to look at things from the perspective of others.  This will help us better understand ourselves and our world.
  7. Factor in ‘invisible strings’     When I studied economics at the University of Illinois, I remember my professor saying that there were certain statistical outcomes that defied explanation if not for ‘invisible strings.’
  8. The world is at your feet     Given the possibilities and the permutations afforded by globalization, the world is at your feet.  Remember this always.
  9. The possibilities are endless     Your success in a globalized world is only limited by the extent of your imagination.
  10. Make it happen     Thriving in the age of globalization means fearlessly taking advantage of the opportunities provided on every level.

Get to the Point: Effective Communication in the Digital Age

In spite of the fact that we literally have a plethora of modern, digital media at our fingertips designed for communicating with one another, we seem to have less and less time in which to do so.  If feels like we’re being ‘crunched,’ ‘crushed,’ or ‘pressed’ for time.  The result of this time ‘pressure’ (real or imagined) is that our communications are moving more and more toward being:  brief, direct, reduced and, not to use the word blunt, devoid of any nuances let alone flourishes.

This is not necessarily bad.  We have tight schedules, tasks to complete and messages to impart.

One of the secrets to my success on the social media site, Facebook (R), is brevity.  Strangely enough, the less I say, the more popular I become.  Although this may appear paradoxical, it is not.

Social media adherents (i.e., people) are pressed for time and want nothing more than for me to stop wasting their time and get to the point.

A platform to meet the times we live in

Although, for proprietary and corporate reasons, we must post, tweet, link and e-mail via separate accounts, I believe that what we’re secretly yearning for is one account.

If we have less and less time to share, then wouldn’t it make much more sense to, instead of having to log into, let’s say, four accounts daily, to merely log into one?  One account.  One password.

Unishare:  The account of the future

Imagine for a moment a dashboard that has four simple words:  POST, TWEET, LINK and E-MAIL.  Although each function is different, each is nevertheless a vital part of our modern lives.  To separate these functions would be like separating legs and arms from our bodies.  Absurd!  We know full well that we need all the parts to work together as one body.  This is the true meaning of optimization.

If I need to publish a brief, press-like announcement, I’ll click on the TWEET function.  If I want to be more casual and perhaps share a digital image, I’ll POST.  When it comes to a more formal, professional communication, I’ll LINK.  Last, but not least, I’ll use the E-MAIL function ‘as usual’ with the exception that Unishare will provide a much more sophisticated way of organizing and prioritizing my mail than exists today.

In spite of the legal, proprietary and corporate obstacles involved in creating such a ‘dream,’ time-saving, cost effective communication platform, I believe that we are inexorably moving in precisely this direction because…brevity is not bad–in the written word as well as in movements.

Let us, therefore, be brief and quickly and easily get to the point.

GET TO THE POINT: EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN THE DIGITAL AGE Copyright © 2013 Luba Rascheff