A Blueprint for Writing How-To Guides for Your Site

There are numerous articles on this site about how to increase your website traffic and tips for bringing new visitors to your website.

Source: www.business2community.com

Another gem found by Craig Cardimon. This is a good, basic outline of how to do "how-to-do" documentation. –TechCommGeekMom

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Learning Something New? Remember These 3 Simple Things

I did it. I bought the sewing machine, a dress form, a table—everything. I’m going to teach myself how to sew. The only problem? I have no idea where to start.

Source: blog.pickcrew.com

This is a great article brought to my attention by Craig Cardimon. As someone who knows she is "learning different", and as someone who is about to embark on a new learning odyssey starting next week into a topic she knows next to nothing about, this article rings true for me. I think this is true of any learner, both child but especially adult learners. This is important to keep in mind whether the learning is done as e-learning/m-learning, or done by conventional means. Take a look, and tell me what you think. –techcommgeekmom

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Move over, Google Glass! HoloLens is here!


Photo courtesy of Recode.net

Today, I tuned in to listen to the Windows 10 event that was to promote more about the upcoming new OS that many are anticipating will be a big improvement over Windows 8 and 8.1. While I’m a huge fan of iOS products like iPad and iPhone, when it comes to my laptop, I’m a devoted PC gal who would much rather use the Microsoft operating system and tools. I suppose it’s because this is what I’ve been used to for 20-plus years, and it’s easier for me to adapt those changes, and more of the tools I like to use are available for PC use. Yet, while I’m usually a relatively early adopter with many things, I’ve been very hesitant to adopt Windows 8 or 8.1. There are some improvements with Win 8.1, but when I first encountered Win 8, I balked.  So, time will tell what happens once we all get our free upgrades to Win 10 (which is great–it’s going to be free for the first year of availability to Win 7 users like me, and to Win 8/8.1 users). There was a set of business apps called Surface Hub that looked good that combined OneNote with a digital whiteboard and provided new sharing capabilities for workgroups and meetings. I could see the practical uses for that in my own work right now.  The new browser called “Project Spartan” looks incredibly promising as well, based on some of the new functionality that will be forthcoming.

But what REALLY caught my attention in this event was the introduction of a new device that Microsoft introduced. I think it was a bit of a surprise to see this, but it is a sign that Microsoft means business, and to me, it’s a positive sign.  Microsoft has created a new device called the HoloLens. And from what I could tell, HoloLens is everything that Google Glass wishes it could be. While the viewing apparatus used is certainly more…clunky looking…than Google Glass, everything else about it (and why it’s probably still clunky looking) is what it has going for it. There are no wires, no synching it with your phone–it is an autonomous device unto itself. The connection with today’s Win 10 event is that it will run Win 10, but it showed how people can interact with the world around them, and still use the holographic tools around them to merge reality and virtuality. It’s difficult for me to describe, but the 3D imagery used was fantastic, and they showed several applications of how it could be used more practically with other people–including those who don’t have a HoloLens.

I think the biggest difference of all–other than the fact that this is a device that acts on its own, with its own processors among other things, is that unlike Google Glass that was being promoted as a device that could be used as a tool and for everyday use, HoloLens seems to be promoted solely as a tool. Now, it can be used for gaming and such, but the tool applications were what really made it stand out more than anything. My husband and I were using Skype and exchanging comments while watching the live streaming video, and when we were commenting about the differences between HoloLens and Glass, his comment was, “…but this is built as a tool.. you can see the size. It’s not meant as an accessory.. it’s actually a tool.” He’s exactly right. This isn’t a novelty item with potential for greater capability. It has the greater capability, but it’s not an accessory.

I recommend reading this article by The Verge that includes great video and further description of the product. 

I don’t think this is the type of thing that I need right now, even when it comes out. I don’t have any practical application. But I could see how this could be used in several years once the components do become smaller and I can use it as an accessory. (Give it time!)

What do you think? Do you think this is the next step of merging the virtual world with reality? Sure looks like it to me. Post your comments below.

Update: When I mentioned the new HoloLens to my son, he asked me, “Are you sure they aren’t just ripping off Oculus Rift?” Good question. I don’t think so, because HoloLens lets you see through to what’s actually around you, whereas Oculus Rift is contained in its view. Tell me what you think.

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What to expect from Microsoft’s next Windows 10 event

After taking big swings with Windows 8 and 8.1 — how big a miss they were is open to interpretation — Microsoft’s trying to redefine how we work with c

Source: www.engadget.com

I believe the event might actually be today (21 January 2015). OK, I will admit, while I love my iOS products, even now I still can’t bring myself to go all the way with Apple products when it comes to my main laptop. I just can’t! No matter what research I’ve done between features and what I use on my laptop, I still rest on the side of the Microsoft PC. Now, Microsoft has been a bit disappointing in recent years, and it’s widely known that Win 8 and 8.1 have had…issues. I’m usually an early adopter of a new OS, but not this time. I’m still running on Win 7. So, I’m really looking forward to seeing and hearing what Win 10 is going to offer. I think I’m going to be in the market for a new laptop this year (mine is almost 5 years old), so the timing is good in that respect. I’m really hoping that while Win 10 adapts to mobile, it still retains something for laptop/desktop use as well. 


My husband just got a new MS Surface 3 Pro at work, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to play with it a little more than what I have in a Microsoft store. I don’t know that I’ll get a Surface, as they are rather expensive, and I can get more features that I want on a regular laptop for less money. But this Win 10 release is supposed to be BIG. 


Will Microsoft win me over again, as well as others? We’ll see…


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The Ultimate Content Marketing Tools List

Great blog post at Kim Garst – Social Media for Small Business Owners : You have probably heard the saying ‘it’s all in the tools’, right? This is absolutely the truth in both social media AND content marketing. [..]

Source: kimgarst.com

Thanks to Adam Helweh for finding this gem and sharing it. This has a lot of great resources, some which I’ve heard of (such as ScoopIt which I’m using to post this), and some I haven’t. I’ll have to give some of these a try in the upcoming months! Check these tools out–you might find something that’s helpful to you. 


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Want to go to the 2015 Intelligent Content Conference? Here’s $100 for you!

ICC_Affiliate_300x250I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since I went to the Intelligent Content Conference in San Jose, California at Scott Abel‘s invitation. To say the least, I have to say I had a marvelous time. This is a conference that focuses on content strategy, and all the presentations were loaded with information that either reinforced what I had already learned, or introduced new ideas and concepts on the subject. The thing I liked about it was that it really had something for everyone at all professional levels–even for somebody like me who still considers herself a newbie.  I also met a lot of new professional contacts who specialize in content strategy–a real “who’s who” of content strategy attended. Over the past year, I’ve learned a great amount from each of these experts and have been able to apply much of what I’ve learned to my job. (That’s important!)

This year, the Intelligent Content Conference  (ICC) changed hands from the Rockley Group to the Content Marketing Institute. But fret not! Ann Rockley and Scott Abel are still very much involved with ICC, but now attendees have the added bonus of the know-how of the Content Marketing Institute and the wisdom of Robert Rose and Joe Pulizzi! Joe spoke as a keynote speaker at last year’s ICC, and he was fantastic, presenting the concepts of content marketing to this content strategy crowd. The merging of these two groups will open up new doors connecting content strategists and content marketers, and it should be great!

The Intelligent Content Conference  is in San Francisco, California this year, and will be held on March 23-25, 2015. It looks like it’s going to be a great conference, and a nice time of year in San Francisco, too!

Alas, due to timing, I can’t go. (Awwww.) I’m immensely disappointed, that I can tell you. But, don’t let that stop you from going if you can! I’ve been in contact with the good folks at the Content Marketing Institute, and they let me know that if you click on the image at the top of this post, or use the image on the right sidebar of this blog, and use the code TCGM100, you can get a $100 discount on your registration. How cool is that? “Ka-ching” for you!

So, what are you waiting for? Go click on the image now, and check out what ICC has to offer this year (which is a LOT!), and register now!

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Content strategy – Complete or Done?

Are we giving our customers the right content at the right time or are we giving them an encyclopedia to work through? What’s our content strategy?

Source: www.sharonburton.com

Sharon Burton has written an excellent article here about what content strategy is about. The argument she makes is one that I make often during my work. It’s great to have lots of information available, but if there’s no context or it’s difficult to navigate through to find the specific information you are looking for, it’s worthless. 


Read this article. Sharon articulate this concept brilliantly. 


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