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In the digital age, it becomes easier and easier to build your business with virtual toolkits filled with software and apps that can help your small business function like big business.

But at the same time, we know that the same technology can change in the blink of an eye and unveil a whole new toolbox of resources that can grow your business.

With 63 million Americans telecommuting by 2016 (Global Workplace), it makes sense to evaluate if your own business is providing the necessary technology to keep current employees happy and prospective employees knocking as the typical workday shifts from office to home.


Crowdfunding Vector

Congratulations, you’ve decided to dive into the world of crowdfunding!

Before you take the plunge, consider creating a companion website to enhance your Kickstarter, Indiegogo, or other crowdfunding campaign. The following must-haves will ensure your project gets off to a great start with a home for telling your story to potential backers, journalists, and other interested parties.

1.  Domain Name
If you don’t have a domain name, that’s the first place to start. The best option is to match your domain name to your company, product, or project. Create a memorable domain name by making sure it’s short, easy to spell, and complementary to your brand. A custom domain name will give your website a professional address that’s easier for customers and backers to remember. Plus, it will provide extra real estate for your project in search engines.


Google Glass

Everyone knows that in order to make an omelet, you have to crack a few eggs. Apparently that old adage is core to Google’s development strategy, according to a company representative speaking about Google Glass at SXSW.

According to Mashable, Astro Teller, head of the Google X division from whence Glass came, told the crowd “if you want to make a ton of progress, you have to make a ton of mistakes.” He was referring, of course, to the somewhat bumpy ride that Google Glass has had since its introduction.


GIF Evolution Cover Photo

Ah, the animated GIF.

Whether it’s a tiny kitten scaring a large dog, or Taylor Swift dancing awkwardly at an awards show, there’s something about seeing a few seconds of time captured in an infinite loop that appeals to us.

Sometimes a situation becomes funnier the longer it plays out, like a Will Ferrell joke; or sometimes we notice details we hadn’t before, and we stare at it for five, or ten, or twenty loops before moving on to the next image.

A GIF can be entrancing and hypnotic when done well (see “Full English” image below) or irritating when done poorly (if the loop is off by a fraction of a second).


Oscars Opening Number Snapshot

Last night, the 87th Annual Academy Awards was more than just a stage for the stars of Hollywood. It became a platform for politics, including (but not limited to) gender equality, race relations, suicide prevention, and immigrant rights.

I felt that this representation for touchy subjects demonstrated how the entertainment industry is ever-evolving.

It’s not always about the glitz and the glamour, but also about making a difference in the world.

Just take a look at one of the movie moments celebrated at the 2015 Oscars: the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music.


Number One Trophy Men Vector

Yesterday was one of the most anticipated events of the year in the United States: The Super Bowl.

Not only were sports fans excited to see their favorite teams (or biggest rivals) play, but marketing enthusiasts everywhere were eager to see what commercials had been produced for the game.

With millions of viewers, airing your commercial during the Super Bowl could be the Holy Grail of your marketing career. You want to be memorable, impactful, and positively surprising.

That’s why it was such a thrilling moment when small business GoldieBlox earned a 30 second spot last year (sponsored by Intuit) to empower girls to take interest in subjects like engineering.


YouGov BrandIndex BestBrand Logo

Each year, research firm YouGov BrandIndex polls millions of people to track the public perceptions of thousands of brands. They release their findings in annual and mid-year BestBrands reports – and 2014’s is out now.

It’s important to keep in mind when looking at the last below, that these are not the most valuable brands – that kind of metric is likely to stay more stable over time (barring ground-breaking innovations or PR nightmares). To put together the list of Best Brands, YouGov asks respondents, “If you’ve heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” This not only measures the respondent’s own awareness of the brand, but also gets at their perception of the perceptions of other people toward a brand.


Examples of clever 404 Errors

Have you ever been browsing the internet and reached a page screaming, “404 Error Page!” and been afraid you had done something terribly wrong to harm your browser and/or computer?

Have no fear! We have all been there.

Good news is that is completely normal for a user to come across a 404 error page, and for your small business website to return one.  Because in the definition of a 404 Error Page (or HTTP 404 for our more technical audience) it describes the error as a web page that simply could not be found when attempting to follow a broken or dead link (or one that you’ve typed in incorrectly).


Still from 'Puppy Love' commercial

One question we get asked a lot is “how can I make my videos go viral?” Well, there is no short answer or magic bullet for viral success on social media. There are lots of factors that can be controlled – like original audience size, distribution channels, content quality – but videos that go viral are more than the sum of these parts. If something is going to take off, there has to be a little bit of magic involved. The right people have to see it at the right time, and share it on the right platforms with the right commentary.


Incubators Cover Photo

It’s been awhile since we discussed one of our favorite topics – startups!

As I’m sure many of you small business owners and entrepreneurs know, to grow a startup involves lot of patience, waiting for the right elements to come together. Finding the right people, getting the right location, and coming up with the right product for the right audience.

And what better way to find the perfect combination than joining an incubator?

If you don’t remember what an incubator is (in this sense, anyway), try refreshing your memory with this in-depth article about Incubators and Accelerators.



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