The human spirit must prevail over technology.

– Albert Einstein
smartphoneby Zach Vega via Wikimedia CC By-SA 3.0
I am driven to write about technology because I’m suffering from withdrawal. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve gone through the Five Stages of Grief over the loss of my iPhone. Due to a recent incident I’ve had with the Apple Corporation’s security ─ security that is intended to protect customers.

I was locked out of my Apple ID, which rendered my iPhone unusable. In need of a password reset, my account went into recovery mode. I could no longer access any part of my phone that I had grown dependant on.

I could no longer access my calendar. I had to rely on memory for what I could, and relied on confirmation phone calls to find out the rest (hopefully I didn’t forget anything).

I could not access my contacts. I froze, realizing that I don’t even know my brother’s phone number.

Thankfully my email is available in cloud accounts that I can access separately online.

I even stumbled through the dark bedroom, while my husband slept, wishing I had my trusty flashlight on my phone. Alas, the flashlight won’t even work without an Apple ID.

For the longest time, I avoided technology, preferring to keep an old-fashioned calendar and address book. I didn’t trust technology, after my computer crashed and killed my hard drive. I decided to move to the cloud. Relying on corporate servers and passwords.

So, this Christmas I’m celebrating simplicity without the technology of my Smartphone. At this point I have spent two weeks without access, while Apple’s Account Recovery is in progress. How long? I do not know and neither does anyone in Apple’s support call center.

This experience has me re-thinking technology. I took my son to the library a few weeks ago, and it was a sad sight. Many shelves were bare, yet the computer bank was full of people.

I am reminded of the fact that I can’t work without my internet connection, and I wonder if technology has too much control over our lives. Maybe we need to remember that it only has as much control as we allow it. 


 
 
cover of Twitter for Writers by Rayne Hall
Twitter can be a good, useful tool for writers. It can help writers network, connect with readers, create buzz, and gain insight. Twitter can also be a huge time sucker, since it’s easy to get caught up reading tweets, retweeting, etc. when one could be getting work done. The book "Twitter for Writers" by Rayne Hall is a short, easy read for people new to twitter, and it also has tips for people who are already familiar with Twitter. This book is part of Hall’s "Writer’s Craft" series for writers, and is aimed at book authors, but other writers and bloggers may find the book useful. Hall is an experienced Twitter user and in this book, she offers her advice for optimizing this social media platform.

The book is divided into sections, which make it easy to skip ahead to sections that may be helpful to you — choose basic subheadings if you are a beginner or choose advanced subheadings to get more strategies. The author mentions concentrating on quality followers, rather than the quantity of followers. Among the most helpful offerings of the book are tips to promote your book without annoying your followers. The author lets readers know mistakes that she made, so hopefully the reader can learn things to avoid.

"Twitter for Writers" is available on Amazon.com
. It is a quick read with several ideas about how to use and benefit from Twitter.

The ebook mentioned above was received free, in exchange for an honest review.


 
 
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Your website may be the first place potential customers have contact with your business. Your website is an essential tool to promote your business. It needs to be functional with information that visitors can easily find. It is where the customer or client will determine a lot about your credibility. If your site is out-of-date or not functioning, well it can have a negative impact on your business.
Is your content current?
Up-to-date content is a must. Imagine having outdated information about your business hours, and a customer shows up on Monday morning only to be met by a locked door. Oops, you decided to be closed on Mondays but did not update your website.  The most up-to-date information about your hours is essential to have on your website and any social media pages you have. Also, make sure your contact information is current with your address, phone number, etc.
Why Your Website Needs to be Mobile Optimized
It amazes me that so many websites aren’t, yet, optimized for mobile devices. I’ve seen major business sites that are not mobile optimized, so it’s not just a problem of up & coming, small businesses. In today’s modern world, your site needs to be able to be viewed decently on mobile device’s smaller screens. Many people use mobile devices, and their use is on the rise.  
As a user, I can attest to the frustration of clicking a link and ending up on a web page that is awkward to read.  What happens if a customer or client cannot find what he or she needs on your website? Obviously, they’ll go to someone else’s site to get what they need.

Mobile optimization can increase your traffic, enable you to boost sales, and increase engagement. By having your website optimized for mobile, you can reduce the bounce rate. If the visitor has to struggle to read the site, they may not stay around. Employ the use of  redirects that will notice when a visitor is using a mobile device and redirect to the mobile optimized version of your site.
Use Google's Mobile Friendly Test to check your website.
There are even more problems if your site runs Flash or add-ons that aren’t compatible. Apple products don’t support Flash, and many phones don’t support Java. Mobile uses usually are looking for information quickly, so you site needs to have information readily available in a format that is easily accessible.
Is Your Site Readable
It’s important for your website to be user friendly. Help visitors to find what they are looking for on your site with easy to use navigation. Use headings, subheadings and bulleted lists whenever possible to allow people to quickly find the important points.  Put your contact information, phone number, address, and email, in a prominent spot.



 

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