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The internet? It’s a wide place and a varying place. It can do so much for our personal lives, but it can do a lot for our business.

If you’re a business owner and you’re not interested in using the internet to further your business goals, ask yourself why you aren’t using it.

A common answer? Well – there’s too much going on. There’s so much that the internet can offer to our businesses. It’s actually scary how many options are right there, at our fingertips! There are so many options it is overwhelming and with no clear place to start – it can be disheartening even to try. Here’s what you need to know about the internet, what it can do for your business and where you can get started.

So, does your company have a website? If not – why? A website is a tool that can help you network. It can help you promote your business. You can run a marketplace on your website or utilize it as a customer service platform. A website can pretty much give your business some more business! Sites like Squarespace, Wix, and others give you all you need to get started.

If you have a website – consider its age. If it’s been awhile since it was changed or revamped – then you should think about getting in touch with someone, or an agency, who will restore some life to your web presence. The website is where your business will be seen, and it makes a lot of sense to make it appealing to your audience. The better the website looks and works, the better first impression you’re going got make. A good website is going to transform visitors to customers – a bad website that doesn’t work is going to put potential customers off your business and push them away.

If you are contacting an agency, try not to ignore your website because the professionals are handling it. Make sure you educate yourself about your website and understand how it works. That way, you can ask for improvements based on your own knowledge instead of a shot in the dark! Also, you might be able to fix issues if you educate yourself.

The visitors to your website? That’s known as traffic. Your site should be generating traffic, and thus you need to ensure that your site is actually able to track people. There are plenty of ways you can do this, but blogging is the easiest way to start. It also builds content for your website. It’s a great way to bring your target audience to your site, and if you can blog on a regular basis, you’ll make your business look extremely active and on the ball.

Traffic to your site is going to generate data. Google Analytics can be attached to your website and can offer you an enormous amount of demographical information to help you identify your target audience. You might be surprised by the people who are visiting your website, and it may cause you to adjust who exactly you are aiming your business services and products to! This data is worth its weight in gold and can really offer you a true insight into the people interested in your business.

By now, you’ll have an optimized website that is working for your business – you’re selling and gaining data. This is an amazing foundation, but how do you get seen more often.

Let’s talk about search engine optimization – or SEO as it’s commonly known. People don’t rely on old-school directories anymore. Stuff like phone books aren’t really going to bring people to your net presence, are they? Register your company, the details of your business, and the services your company provides across directories on the net. Yelp and Google will suffice at first. This will get you seen in the places people are looking! Being seen is the best reason to use the tools of the web other than using it to sell your goods.

Once your business is in all the online directories it should be in – it’s time to focus on the SEO and search engines. People at this point should be locating your business on the internet when they go looking for it, but what else can you do?

Well, you need to position yourself to become the answer to a question. Think about the reasons why you use search engines. When people search for answers, ideally – they will find your business.

Search engine optimization is the best method of clawing your way to the top of search rankings so that it is your business that is seen before other businesses. Ideally, the higher you are – the more traffic that will pass through your website. If you use certain keywords, you can be found more often by your target audience. Use the data you’ve procured so far and insert the keywords that relate to your target market into the blogs you should be regularly producing. This fresh content should be full of keywords – meaning you’ll always have ways to get keywords into your site. If you’re afraid of pushing yourself too far here – seek help from a company like Hoth SEO – who can boost your SEO game and teach you how to do it all.

SEO and data lead perfectly into generating leads. Leads exist in all sorts of sizes and shapes. For example, a potential new employee is a lead for your recruiting department! Someone who signs up to your newsletter is a lead, people who email your business are leads. A lead is someone or something that expresses interest in your business one way or another.

Leads are another way of gathering data. The more data – the better. For example, people who download items from your site provide their name and email in exchange for the downloaded item which might be a newsletter. This data is used to personalize future information directly to customers and create a ‘human’ interaction. Tailoring communication to leads is a great way to build relationships and is certainly better than cold-calling. Generating leads is going to depend a lot on the infrastructure of your website. The page that visitors land on is key here, and your landing page should include a sort of offer and a form. The offer should entice the visitor to exchange their data for said offer. A ‘call-to-action’ seals the deal here and with a simple click to redeem the offer, the form is sent off – data is provided, and a lead is generated.

Social media is an amazing tool that you can focus on next – it is an absolute must-use tool. Twitter and Facebook will allow you to communicate with every single customer that comes to your business with a query or complaint. You can speak to each customer as an individual and solve their issues almost instantaneously. Social media is a great way of personifying your business and giving a personal touch to what otherwise may look like ‘just another company.’

Twitter, Facebook, Google and Youtube offer great exposure to your company when they are used correctly and will get you noticed! Remember when you registered your business to directories? Well, now it’s time to make your own with a Facebook Page. A well-managed Facebook page allows you to answer questions rapidly, and there’s nothing better to a customer or client than making sure their voice is heard, listened to and their requests acted upon. On top of this, the Facebook page is a great marketing tool.

Twitter is different. It’s a stream of conversations happening in real time. Compare it to a convention you can visit at any time. Insert your company into the right topics, talk to people and your customers and make solid contacts. You can also follow the brands and influencers that are relevant to your business and get your brand out there! Remind yourself of the conversational nature of Twitter and don’t always lay the hard-sell onto your followers. Mask the sell and keep talking.

Youtube offers a completely different service. Sharing videos of your company is a great way to allow people in the beating heart of your company. You can offer help, advice, tips or just show a plain old day in your working office. This content works well with your written blogs and can help promote your business and products.

Finally, the internet is a great way to find people to work for your business. Upwork is a fantastic site to find freelancers, and Indeed can help you list your full-time vacancies.

There is just so – so much that the internet can offer to you and hopefully this has helped break the back of all that. Once you educate yourself on the use of a website, you’ve got the perfect platform to jump off and explore from!

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Student @ Advanced Digital Sciences Center, Singapore. Travelled to 30+ countries, passion for basketball.

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For Enea Angelo Trevisan and Ealixir, better than solving the problem of cyberbullying is preventing it

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One of the most commentated news regarding Instagram for the past weeks was their investigation on whether to ban likes counter on the platform or not, but mostly from the perspective of marketing strategy. It turns out that the social media platform is actually considering this new feature as a means to avoid a much bigger problem: cyberbullying.

A recent studied carried by Pew Research Center showed that fifty-nine percent of teens reported to have experienced at least one of six types of abusive online behavior, cyberbullying included. Another concerning fact brought by the study shows that 16% of these teens were already subject of physical threat of some kind due to incidents in social media.

In addition to that, a report published by the Journal of Abnormal Psychology has highlighted the popularity of smartphones among teenagers – a statistic that only grew during the past seven years. “More U.S. adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” stresses the study’s lead author, Jean Twenge, who also wrote the book iGen, in which he ponders about the influence of smartphones in teenage and child mental health.

Besides hiding how many likes a photo has received, Instagram is also considering another feature: a “nudge” alert that is activated while the user is still writing a comment that is flagged as potentially aggressive. According to the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, this could give an extra incentive for people to think twice before committing to an attack.

“Of all the obnoxious activities that can be carried out on the web, cyberbully is in my opinion the worst”, says Ealixir’s CEO and founder Enea Angelo Trevisan. “Cyberbullying targets those who cannot defend themselves: often minors or minorities. This is why one of our priorities as a company is to invest our technology in the fight against this plague.” In that sense, Ealixir gives support to individuals by making an early detection of offensive and troublesome contents, so they can be immediately erased and monitored to avoid further reloading. 

For Trevisan, the case for cyberbullying starts in schools, and this is the reason why Ealixir is also responsible for organizing sessions with children, so they can be warned about the dangers of the internet. “At this young age, kids think of internet as a huge playground. We teach them not to trust strangers and to think about the consequences of their virtual actions, exactly like in real life,” he explains.

Moreover, families also need to be aware of their children’s presence on the internet – they should not underestimate the possibilities and dangers of giving a smartphone to a child or a teen. “This is due to the fact that older generations were born and raised without the web, so they struggle to identify with their children. With Ealixir, we try and fill in this gap most of all through prevention, but also actively by deleting offensive contents and/or preventing harassment.

Besides monitoring and removing offensive contents published online, Ealixir also gives support to families and individuals who found themselves victims of cyberbullying by offering contact with specialized lawyers that can handle a case with expertise in the court. However, as much as in the case for health, prevention is the best scenario when coming to cyberbullying too, so internet literacy becomes an important competence to be learned by children for a healthier future of the web.

Sources: https://www.theladders.com/career-advice/how-instagram-plans-to-take-a-stand-against-cyberbullying

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Scaffolding rental now has more options than ever before

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There are many reasons why you might require scaffolding for your project. It is the best way to protect a workforce that needs to work for extended periods at height, without damaging the structure being worked on or using expensive equipment. 

However, every single project is different. There is no one size fits all approach, and in order to get the best results you need to be able to use scaffolding that can be built and adapted for each purpose. If you are running multiple projects, or each project is very different then it is simply not practical to buy the scaffolding yourself. 

This is why for scaffolding rental Houston, USA, has been leading the way by offering to all its clients their scaffolding needs for all types of project, and now that service model is becoming readily available across the EU as well. Here are some of the varieties on offer

Boiler scaffold for maintenance in power plants

For companies that need to work on power plant boilers, there is a definite requirement that the scaffold is as secure as possible. The specialist boiler scaffold is perfect for this, and is made from special materials to resist the extreme conditions of the power plant boiler. It can be difficult to find a bespoke scaffolding installation that is able to be operated in special conditions, but the best providers can do this.  

Special aluminium platforms for aircraft maintenance

Maintenance on aircraft can be hard when it comes to scaffolding. The shape of the airplane is unusual, and there are some quite delicate parts that cannot be damaged in anyway. A good provider like Alufase can provide modules that are specifically designed to be able to work high and close to the machine, but also adaptable for different aircraft types and shapes. 

Scaffolding for any building of any size

By approaching a scaffolding expert you can be sure that they will have the experience and adaptability you need for your project, and a team of expert engineers available to ensure the last on safety and function. Different to traditional scaffolding, it is possible to rent aluminium scaffolding these days that is much lighter and can be transported and assembled much more easily, yet with no reduction in safety and quality standards. 

Intensive work is best handled by rolling towers

For work that requires intensive use and also the ability to move the scaffolding from one location to another on the site, then rolling towers are the best option. You can reduce the risk associated with this by using professionals machines to deliver and build the towers, and make sure that the castors, frames, braces and platforms meet all the safety standards. Then you have the flexibility to move the scaffold as much as you need to. Rolling towers are incredibly useful for construction projects. 

Shipyard scaffolding doesn’t need to be difficult with the right supplier

Another awkward shape with tricky requirements is when scaffolding is required for shipyards. Like with aircraft maintenance, it is not unusual to have to have an elevated working surface, and during boat construction in particular the scaffolding needs to be able to grow as the ship does. 

Scaffolding can also be used to create huge stages

For a temporary stage structure, for example for large outdoor music concerts that are not taking place all year round, then scaffolding is the best way to ensure the safety of the performers and crowd, while elevating the performers to a high level so the crowd can actually see them. This is very different to other types of scaffolding, and the surface area needs to be a lot larger. 

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New photographs of great legends available to buy

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It takes something extremely special about a person for them to become a legend, and continue to inspire generations when they are gone. Ernest Hemingway, Orson Welles, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper are some of those legends whose legacy continues to live on in the art and culture they left behind them, and even now have huge fan bases that admire their heroes. 

One of the fascinating things about these great legends of the past, is that unlike today there was no social media, and even the traditional media had its limits. This can make it difficult to learn more about their lives, loves and who they were outside of the public mask they wore. Well now it is possible to see a glimpse into their world. Bank photographs of Ernest Hemingway, Orson Wells, Ava Gardner and Gary Cooper during the years that they were living in Spain have been uncovered and the rights to them are available to purchase

Nobel prize winner Ernest Hemingway lived a life of adventure

Ernest Hemingway was a world renowned journalist, novelist and sportsman, who to this day continues to influence writers all over the world, and is credited with being a major influence on all 20th century literature. The works he produced are considered American classics. 

It was not only his writing that drew admiration, but also his lifestyle. Nicknamed ‘Papa’ by those closest to him, he lived life to the full. He loved being outdoors hunting or fishing, and travelled the world for his writing, acting as a war correspondent in both World War II and the Spanish Civil War, after serving himself on the Italian front in World War I. He was also a big drinker and did not believe in life passing him by. 

He had a longstanding love affair with Spain, visiting many times for both work and pleasure. This is how Ernest Hemingway rights photographs in Spain have become available to buy, from the cameras of those who were there at the time. 

This is made even more poignant, as only two short years after some of these photos of Hemingway enjoying the bulls in Pamplona, he was to take his own life. Yet in 1985, ‘A Dangerous Summer’ a book inspired by those days spent in Pamplona was published. Hemingway had travelled to Pamplona between October 1959 and May 1960 on assignment with Life Magazine in order to write a 10,000 piece about the bullfighting and the rivalry between the key matadors. But he could not do it and instead wrote over one hundred thousand words, needing a fellow writer to edit it down. The photographs discovered show this time of his life, made all the more fascinating by the novel that was produced. 

Hemingway and Orson Welles, friends and rivals

Another great who fell in love with Spain was George Orson Welles, contemporary of Hemingway and sometime rival. He was an American actor, director, writer and producer who is considered one of the greatest film directors of all time. He visited Spain many times during the course of his life, and while bullfighting and film-making might be what drew him there, it was the lifestyle, the culture and the women that brought him back time and time again. 

He loved Spain so much, his ashes were interred in the South of Spain, in fact thrown down a well of a close friend and famous matador. For a glimpse into his life the Orson Wells rights photographs in Spain are available, a side not often seen of him. 

Ava Gardner’s love of life and parties in Spain

Another friend and contemporary of Hemingway, who could not resist the draw of Spain with Ava Gardner. She was a well known American actress who discovered Spain when filming in the country. Throughout her life she would go on to earn nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actress, and also BAFTA and Golden Globe nominations for her work. 

The success in her career, was equalled by her love for Spain and also for the Spanish bullfighters. Following the breakdown of her marriage to Frank Sinatra, she moved from Hollywood to Madrid, and spent her evenings creating her legend, with late night parties and drinking. It was during these days that she came to be known as the ‘World’s most beautiful animal’. Hidden away from the paparazzi that had hounded her life in the USA, she could be free to be herself. Only one camera captured these days of hedonism, that of a close personal friend. The Ava Gardner rights photographs in Spain available are from this very camera. 

Some have claimed that the parties she attended with simply urban myths, they were so crazy. However, it was real, only attended by an elite group of the rich, beautiful and artistic high flyers of the 1950’s and 60’s. Despite being in love with Spain, she never managed to learn the language, but instead got her Spanish teacher hooked on gin and tonics. For every drunken night out she would lose jewellery, often expensive, that would be left behind for a lucky finder. 

A real story that created the legend of those days in Spain

These three greats, all had one thing in common. A deep and lasting love for a country that was not their own. They found the place in which they longed to be, and this kept them all coming back again and again. More astonishingly this love affair with a country that inspired films, plays, novels and performances by these great artists was captured on film in a most honest and special way. Not posed photography, but real life, which makes it all the more special and serves to show the world the true story behind the legends. 

They represent a different era. One of adventure, of war and heartbreak, of the hot sun and fiery tempers. It is no wonder that so many are fascinated by the lives of these giants of modern culture

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