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What do have in common fashion weeks, the Internet and the social media?

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Whoever uses the Internet nowadays knows the importance that influencers have. Not only when it comes to advertise any product with the purpose of selling it but also when it comes to provide more visibility to any brand, idea or business. In fact, it is in these cases where influencers are more and more important since they are a good asset for companies, even an investment.

After all, knowing what other people thinks about a specific product or service is seen as a trust mark, specially if we feel connected to the person who is telling us about all its the features. A connection that has come together with the widespread use of the Internet and the social media, no matter the area we are or the audience we are addressing.

In fact, we can see a good example of this influence in the world of fashion and, in concrete, in the different fashion events, which have seen in these technological means the best way of promotion.

Or at least that is what we can infer from the data of the last report of Launchmetrics and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), Front Row to the Consumer. A report where we can see the impact that the Influential voices of Fashion Weeks have and why these fashion events are still successful even if they are very expensive and last for so little (the average cost of a catwalk show is around 200,000 dollars for a standard time of 10 to 15 minutes).

An influence that corresponds to the big impact the social media and the Internet have on our lives at present, at the so-called “digital era”, where it seems that nobody knows you unless you are on the web.

Fashion, social media and influencers: how do they relate?

As it has already happened in many other businesses and industries, the arrival of the new technologies (and, above all, the arrival of social media and influencers) has supposed a complete change in the way things developed so far.

It is been ages ago (or at least that is what it looks like) since we relied on TV or newspapers adds to know about the different products, services and events we could access to. On the contrary, today, no matter what you are looking for, you will probably end up turning on your computer, opening your browser and googling it. And, what is more important, you will probably find exactly what you are looking for. As fast and easy as it sounds.

In view of this situation, we should not be surprised to hear about all the possibilities this new trend involves for any industry. And much less to hear that in the fashion industry all these changes have been a complete success.

Just think for a moment about the “rules” that guide social media and the role influencers play, where we want to see nice pictures and stories or where we want to buy products that will make our lives easier. And now taking this into account, you may better understand the great relationship that fashion and the new technologies have.

In fact, as we have stated before, the report of Launchmetrics and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) has actually examined all these changes and obtained very interesting data. For example, that the visibility of most of the brands increased during the fashion weeks thanks to the social media (up to 800 % with respect to the rest of the year) or the fact that the Media Impact Value (MIV) of all these fashion brands makes fashion weeks a very good investment.

The influence funnel: are we really free to choose?

When talking about social media and, specially, about the role influencers have, there are many critical voices that speak out to criticize all these changes and the new ways of buying and behaviours we see in consumers.

However, and even if it is true that we all have experienced changes since the Internet became popular and a daily tool, this critics ignore an important fact: we may have changed the means but we have not changed the bottom-line message. Specially if we take into account that advertisement have existed for a long time.

The only difference is that today the way of promoting a product or service is much faster, much more collaborative and much more direct. But it does not mean it is worse. On the contrary, we are heading to a more dynamic world where everybody will be connected and where we will be constantly updated.

And, finally, we are witnessing a change in industry (almost a revolution) that is already making our lives better, even if it means that social media is the new way of communicating with brands.

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Do Video Game Driving Skills Translate To Real Life?

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We’d all love to believe that whatever we do in a video game, we could do in real life. But how does that translate when it comes to playing driving games. Does time spent driving in games like drift hunters offer any real-world value? Can you become a better driver by playing video games?

Or, alternatively, does playing video games make you worse at driving? After all, you probably shouldn’t drive as you might in video games in real life.

Let’s look at the experiments that have been carried out into video games and driving to see whether there is any effect. 

Cognitive Skills and Video Games

There is a considerable amount of evidence already in existence that connects video games and a person’s ability to improve their cognitive skills. Studies show that older adults of around 60-85 could improve their multitasking ability after playing a game called NeuroRacer.

Another study, from the University of Rochester, found that players of action-based games had better decision-making skills and were better able to shut out distractions that occurred around them as they played. 

So, while it is true to say that video games can help you concentrate and multitask, are there any benefits to road users? Let’s find out. 

Video Games and Real Life Driving: An Experiment 

Researchers Maria Rita Ciceri and Daniele Ruscio of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan carried out an experiment that compared the driving skills of people who were gamers against people who were experienced drivers. The experiment’s aim was to whether a video game that is commercially available would be useful for training drivers to spot hazards faster. 

The study had an interest in the effect that video games have on people who are not already experienced as road users. The aim was to see whether gamers and drivers used the same kind of visual search techniques that drivers may use on the road. 

Previous experiments had found that newer drivers will always keep more of a narrow focus with their eyes and that they will also tend to look straight ahead of them, whereas a more experienced driver would scan further afield and spot hazards earlier. 

The skillset needed to scan the road and identify hazards is something that takes a long time to learn and develop. 

The researchers hypothesized that after hours of spending time playing driving games, video gamers would be able to develop the same set of visual search techniques needed to achieve the skill set of an experienced driver. 

To carry out this research, they found 40 male video gamers who each averaged around 10 to 15 hours playing realistic racing or driving games. Half of the gamers would have five years of experience at driving while the other half of the group had never driven a car before. 

All of the test subjects were sat down with a steering wheel and foot pedals. They were then told to follow a series of driving videos and to turn the wheel as though they were actually driving the vehicle. While playing the video a device would track and record each player’s eyes to see where they looked as the game progressed. 

The researchers wanted to see exactly how much attention the non-drivers paid to key safety areas and whether or not they used their mirrors to full use. 

The Results 

After the experiment was over, the outcome was that the drivers with no experience exhibited the same lack of visual search technique as those in the previous experiment who had no driving experience. 

The data from the eye-tracking device of the gamers that didn’t have driving experience in the real world revealed that they were focused on what was going on directly in front of them on the road rather than in the distance.  Opposite to this, the drivers with experience on the road had much more movement in their eyes. When they were behind the wheel, their eyes moved around meaning they were taking in more of the road. 

It is apparent that playing video games can in fact provide you with skills such as focus, the ability to multitask, and to ignore distractions there is no evidence that it makes you into a better driver. 

Unfortunately, if you want to be a better driver, you’ll have to put down your controller and head out and get behind the wheel of a real car. 

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Keeping Your Home In The Best Shape for As Long As Possible

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For most of us, our homes are our pride and joy. They’re the biggest investment we’re likely to make in our lives. They’re what we work towards day after day. You’re going to want to keep your home in the best shape possible to help maintain the value of your investment. They’re also a space that we can call our own. This is where we’ll let our hair down and relax after work or days out socialising. It’s where we’ll entertain our family and friends and build bonds with our nearest and dearest. So, you’re going to want to keep your home in good shape so it can be a comfortable safe haven for you and a space where you’re proud to bring the closest people in your life. But, just like anything we get good use out of, homes do have a habit of deteriorating. They don’t simply maintain themselves. It’s up to you to make sure that your home stays in the best shape as possible for as long as possible. Here are a few steps that you can take to achieve this.

Survey Your Home

People tend to only carry out surveys on homes in two instances. People who are selling their homes tend to carry out a survey to see what they need to fix about their property to get the highest asking price possible when they put it on the market. People who are buying homes tend to have surveys carried out on prospective properties to ensure that they’re getting their money’s worth and so that they can prepare themselves for any repair work they may be lumbered with if they do go ahead and purchase the property. But why not have a survey carried out on your own home? This will help to alert you to any problems developing within your home that you may need to tackle before issues worsen and genuinely damage your property.

Carry Out Repairs

Many of us ignore things that need to be repaired until they interfere with our lives so much that we can no longer sweep them under the carpet. But this is illogical. Ignoring problems that need to be fixed simply leaves them to get worse and worse, becoming more detrimental to our property and ultimately costing a whole lot more to fix. So, acknowledge issues and tackle them. Whether you need an electrician, plumber, bore drilling services or anything else. It’s much better to get started sooner rather than later!

Decorate Regularly

Many people only decorate when they’re changing the colour scheme or aesthetic of their home. But you should redecorate regularly regardless – even if it means just putting a fresh coat of the same colour paint over the existing coat. A fresh coat will help your home to remain feeling fresh and new. This is something you want to maintain, rather than letting your home become worn down and even dilapidated.

These small steps really can make all the difference. So, make sure to give a few a go!

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What is Hydroponic Gardening and Why Everyone Should Consider Giving it a Try

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Gardening has always been a popular hobby. However, not everyone has a space to convert, while others may be reluctant to turn their little patch of grass into a planting area. This is where hydroponics comes in. Hydroponic gardening is perfect for people living in flats or homes without an outside space. But what is hydroponic gardening? And why should everyone consider giving hydroponic gardening a try?

An Overview of Hydroponic Gardening

Simply put, hydroponics is gardening without soil. Plants don’t actually need soil, but they do need light, water, vital nutrients, and mechanical support. This means you only need a way to deliver the nutrient solution the plants require. You could raise the plants floating in water or sitting in a moist soil substitute.

Now that we know a little more about hydroponic gardening, let’s take a look at some of its benefits.

You Can Raise Plants Almost Anywhere

You don’t have to set up the garden in the only window in the kitchen. Instead, you can set up a hydroponic system wherever you have space or where it is the most convenient. The hydroponics system delivers water and nutrients, and most of them have artificial lights that can replace natural light. That’s why you could raise your herb garden in the closet as well as the corner of the kitchen. You can

The Yield Will Probably Be Much Higher than Traditional Gardening

There are many reasons why hydroponics systems produce much more food than a garden plot. You’re raising the crops indoors, so you can raise herbs and vegetables year-round. You can control the nutrients and light levels, so you can adjust environmental parameters to maximize yield or flavour.

The plants don’t waste resources expanding their roots because everything is delivered directly to the plant. The plants also grow faster, allowing you to get your crop significantly sooner. For example, greens often grow twice as fast in a good hydroponic system as they do in soil, and the average crop is 30% larger.

It Is Less Work

You’re not very likely to find weeds growing in your hydroponics system. Your plants are protected from diseases that require soil to survive. They aren’t exposed to pests crawling on the ground, either. This eliminates the need to spray your crops with pesticides. You only have to pick up organic matter to prevent rotting from occurring near the plants. Furthermore, you can control the nutrients delivered to the plants. This simplifies the process of managing soil pH and eliminates the need to check on plants and add fertiliser. A side benefit of hydroponics systems is that you tend to get higher quality crops each and every time.

However, you have to make sure that you start with the right equipment. Suppliers like ProGrow, for instance, offer a variety of growing systems and kits that allow you to get everything you need in one place, no matter what you want to raise or how much space you have.

You’ll Use Fewer Resources

Most hydroponic gardens recirculate the water. This means they don’t need much water except what is required to replace that taken up by the plant’s roots. There’s very little water lost to evaporation. This is why hydroponics systems typically use less water per kilogram of produce produced than traditional gardening. Plants raised in hydroponic systems need relatively little space, too.

Hydroponics allows everyone to raise their own fresh, healthy food with minimal effort. So, we strongly suggest you start looking into it, and see how it could benefit you and your family.

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