Category: And finally


Save time online with LeechBlock

May 17th, 2011 — 1:12pm

This is the typical pattern of events.

I’m looking at Google Analytics, and then all of a sudden a Tweet about running marathons pops up in the corner of my screen. I click on the link and end up on a website reading about a new marathon running technique.

Whilst I’m there I see an advert for a pair of lightweight trainers and click on it to visit the advertiser and check out the shoes.

Having read about them on the site, I then go looking for reviews to find what other runners thing of the shoes.

After reading a few reviews on different websites I then start searching for the best price of those trainers, until I’ve found a few different places to buy them.

For a final check I try eBay and Amazon just to make sure I’m not being ripped off

And then I think: “where did the last half an hour go? What was I doing?” It’s only at that point I see tab for Google Analytics and go back to the original job.

If that pattern of events chimes with you, then here’s a new idea that can save you a bit of time.

LeechBlock

The LeechBlock Firefox browser extension blocks time-wasting websites during the hours you specify. Just type in the website URLs you find hard to resist, and enter the maximum length of time you want to spend on them.

LeechBlock imposes self-discipline by closing your browser when you’ve reached your limit!

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Helping older people to get online

May 4th, 2011 — 3:13pm

In the next couple of weeks (16-20 May) there’s an event called Spring Online Silver Surfers Day.

 

This is a national campaign with the intention of getting older people to use computers and the Internet. There will be thousands of events across the UK.

 

Anyone including businesses, organisations and individuals have been invited to run ‘digital awareness sessions’, to help older people get to grips with the medium.

 

The events can be held anywhere, from people’s homes to school halls to boardrooms or libraries. There’s no fixed agenda for organisers, but each one will be supported with a marketing toolkit. This includes leaflets, appointment cards, and posters.

 

There’s also a cash prize of £1,000 to help with developing future computer learning activities!

 

Want to get involved? If you’d like to run an event, or find out more, follow this link.

 

Happy Birthday Wikipedia

March 30th, 2011 — 2:08pm

Wikipedia, that online encyclopedia of unquestionable truth and veracity, ahem, has made it to 10 years. In Internet terms, that’s an ice age.

The ‘free content’ idea of Wikipedia.org was launched by Jimmy Wales in San Francisco back in 2001.

In his anniversary speech Mr Wales said to “I remember that first day. I clicked on edit and I wrote ‘Hello World’ and that was the beginning of Wikipedia and all the things that have come since then.”

Nupedia

The site concept originally came from online encyclopedia ‘Nupedia’ whose editors didn’t like the idea of letting users add or edit articles. Nupedia bit the dust back in 2003.

Web 2.0

Wikipedia was the very first ‘Web 2.0′ project in the sense that it allowed users to easily add content from their own web browser.

And how has it got on? Well Wikipedia now hosts over 3.5 million articles distributed over 23 million web pages in 270 languages. That’s a big website, and a fast growing one too – there are 1,100 new articles every day.

Despite my earlier comments Wikipedia is generally thought to be accurate, although the nature of user generated content is that some of it is bound – for a time at least – to be less than true.

Wikipedia itself warns: “Some articles on Wikipedia may contain significant factual inaccuracies, IE information that is verifiably wrong.”

Wikipedia has always been – and intends to stay – non-profit.

Do you use Wikipedia? Have you tried adding or editing any articles? Leave us a comment below.

The Internet adds £100bn to the UK bottom line

February 11th, 2011 — 2:10pm

A study by the Boston Consulting group has revealed that the Internet is more than £100bn to the UK economy. Commissioned by Google, the research indicates that the Internet accounts for around 7.2% of the UK’s GDP.

As a sector that makes the Internet the 5th largest in the UK, bigger than construction, transport and utilities.

Around 60% of this £100bn value comes from online shopping, and the price we all pay to connect ourselves – and our websites – to the Internet. The remainder is attributed to spending on IT by the Government, and net exports too.

Not only is this contribution huge, the reports indicate that it is set to grow too, forecast to increase by 10% annually for the next 5 years. The study also showed that the UK is world’s leading nation for e-commerce.

Other top Internet nations include:

• Denmark
• Republic of Korea
• Japan
• Sweden
• Netherlands
• United Kingdom
• Norway
• Finland
• Germany
• Iceland

This economic contribution also involves the generation of around 250,000 jobs.

And what does this show for small business?

Well the good news for WebEden website builders is that those small businesses that actively use the Internet show sales growth that outstrips their reclusive competitors by around four times.

Here’s the comment:

Paul Zwillenberg, partner with BCG commented: “The internet is pervasive in the UK economy today, more so than in most advanced countries.”

“Several industries – including media, travel, insurance and fashion – are being transformed by it.”

Matt Brittin, of Google UK added: “The internet is a central pillar of the UK’s economy.

“The sector has come of age, and with great prospects for further growth the UK internet economy will be vital to the UK’s future prosperity”.

Well then WebEdeners

Give yourself a pat on the back. In part due to your efforts in building and running a website, you’re helping to add to the UK economy and transform it into one that leads the way in online.

Have you seen the benefit from turning to online? What ways has having a website helped your business? Leave us a comment below.

Google unveils Self Drive Cars

January 13th, 2011 — 3:58pm

So, let me see, a list. Search engine. Operating system. Browser. Navigation. Instant Messenger. Voice calls. Email. Advertising. Mobile phones.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to products made by Google. Lots of products, but there’s a theme: the web, information, communication.

So where do ‘driverless cars’, Google’s newest project, fit into all that?! Eric Schmidt, Google CEO confirmed the plans at a recent TechCrunch 50 conference in San Francisco, adding more colour to the previous announcement by Google’s director of the Standford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory Sebastian Thrun.

The idea – apparently – is to free drivers up to do more with the time they would have spent driving. Like searching for products on Google, no doubt.

And this is no pipedream either. Google cars have already covered over 140,000 miles with almost no human control.

“They’ve crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, navigated the Pacific Coast Highway, and even made it all the way around Lake Tahoe”, said Thrun.

The cars are kitted up with video cameras, radar sensors and laser range finders – helping them ‘see’ the road and detect other vehicles. And of course they use the maps created by Google’s own Streetview project.

Pipe-dream, pointless, or a great idea by Google? Leave us a comment below.

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