Monday, August 2, 2010
The holiday was a good event at the time, maybe a break from routine or of moments of the pressures of life, and after the holiday passed and was forgotten, we return to our routine. This expression implies that the holiday was not marked for the future, and its effect did not last for the time that follows. Such regard must not suit the size of the event and meaning of "holiday" in the Hebrew calendar.
One of the purposes of each holiday is to leave a mark, as long as we reach a situation where we continue on our way, after the holiday, with a new charge added to our spiritual building. Indeed, the holiday has concluded, its days have passed, but it left its mark, and now we are equipped with a new addition related to the meaningful lessons of the holiday. Such should be the situation for every holiday.
And what about summer vacation?
Will we mark a check at the end of summer vacation and breathe a sigh of relief? “Another vacation passed. Everyone is healthy and well. We did it." In this case, although you can use the phrase "freedom passed over me" there is an alternative. Turns out that my children will benefit from new learning episodes and experiences that are unique to summer vacation. For example: the importance of planning a day’s events, even when there are no pressures or obligations, the value of keeping the same time frame, the enjoyment of flexibility and lack of commitment, the ability to enjoy doing nothing, the pleasure of learning for learning itself regardless of grades, the necessity or the teachers, the ability to decide on one’s own what to do today and many other unique benefits only to summer vacation, depending on the child and the home.
Summer vacation is not a holiday or commemoration. Its spiritual value is not obvious, but is a result of the investment that we invest in it, both in positive and negative sense. Judaism provides a place for various kinds of "freedom" when the meaning of freedom is not a waste of time but the change of framework. Even the sentence, "sleep on Shabbat is pleasure", is not interpreted literally but rather as "change" – learning experiences on Shabbat are different from those on the weekdays. The differences that take place on Shabbat are pleasurable: learning without the pressure of time, without disturbing daily occupations, and from a place of "great soul." This kind of change has the greatest value.
The choice to view summer vacation as a change of framework having positive value, however, will not necessarily prevent sentences such as: "Mom I'm bored" or the magical wish of all mothers, to shorten the summer vacation, but it is easier for me to deal with and allows me, as a mother, to concentrate on the advantages, rather than the disadvantages, of summer vacation.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
A bit about using the Web
The Web is an inseparable part of the technological revolution that has unfolded over the past decade, and is still unfolding, to this very day, throughout the globe, and mainly in Western countries. Internet usage has been steadily on the increase across the globe, when at the beginning of 2009, the number of Web surfers throughout the globe exceeded one billion. China currently leads in the number of Web surfers. Obviously, the United States ranks second, followed by, in descending order – Japan, Germany and Britain. In recent years, the Web has also entered into relatively new horizons, and has become a part of the daily routine of the local population, even in Arab countries. Internet surfers in all corners of the earth use the Web to cover a very wide range of objectives. Hence, the familiar adage “if you’re not online, you don’t exist”, is very appropriate in this case.
What is a corporate website?
People tend to compare the corporate website to a display window – one that showcases the company to surfers. Just like a display window, the corporate website image must spark a real interest in the company among surfers, encourage them to deepen their acquaintance with the company and its services, and ultimately, to drive a marketing process that will eventually lead to a sale. The corporate website actually describes the company – its activity, products, services, maturity, customers, and any other important information that the company defined as their objective. As such, the corporate website is of tremendous strategic value, and is also crucial in terms of exposure to potential to target audiences. This is why a corporate website has to be professional from all aspects, from the website structure to its design, as well as in maintaining proper content.
Another important aspect related to corporate websites is their uniqueness. Like the image of a display window, the Web is like a virtual shopping mall of huge proportions, which vies for the surfer’s attention, and indirectly competes to keep sales afloat. This is where the website uniqueness comes in, and one of the corporate website objectives’ is to highlight the company’s benefits and advantages compared to its competitors.
Corporate website – what is it comprised of?
Most corporate websites currently contain several standard pages: a Homepage, About the company, Services, or a Catalog of Products, and a Contact Us form. The number of pages on a corporate website is unlimited, and you can always add important information as the need arises. A list of customers, professional articles, a gallery of photos and a corporate movie are today’s standard options. However, it is very important to avoid information overload which makes a website look unprofessional. Additionally, as advised previously, it is very important that a Contact Us form also appear on the website. This form is a basic interactive tool that serves both the company and the surfer to make initial contact.
In conclusion, corporate websites are currently a first rate marketing tool; there are many companies that specialize in building professional corporate websites, including “Daat”. Over the years, Daat has accumulated a wealth of experience in setting up corporate websites with clear marketing objectives – from the initial creation of a work plan through selecting the appropriate platform, to defining and designing the most suitable look and feel.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Is that so?
When I think about vacation, I think about quality time with myself, time to dream, to relax, to be free of harassment. I dream of being with my kids, without emails and phone calls, without concern for order and cleanliness and other hassles that are always squeaking in my head.
This is the 11th year of the summer vacation period that is the busiest time in my work. This year, when I started to think about plans for vacation and check the calendar, I discovered that there simply isn’t opportunity to carry out even 10% of it. Looking back, I have never been able to carry out more than a small part of all the plans I had planned.
A month ago I went to a meeting at an unfamiliar address in Tel Aviv. When the taxi stopped, I found myself in front of the promenade. I remembered my unrealized plan for years, sitting in front of the sea during a sunset with a cold drink, and decided that at the end of my meeting, I'll take a vacation for 15 minutes in front of the sea. Two hours later, I set a timer for 15 minutes and started to relax with a bottle of soft drink in one hand, a work portfolio well hidden under a chair. I cleared my head from every thought, I concentrated on the breeze, the warm sun, the smell of salt and nothing else.
20 minutes later, I sat in the taxi on the way back to the Daat office, and realized I was on the way to change. I realized that the secret is doing, not to wait, not for summer vacation and not for a short vacation. To combine the moments of vacation with life itself. To set aside a few hours from time to time and to invest them in myself and in my family. To decide on a vacation day that would be convenient to be taken advantage of on that same day: whether with activity or rest and relaxation. To live the vacation and not to wait for it.
In other words, in order to feel the vacation, we don’t necessarily need an actual vacation.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
At the iPhone Development Center as well as under the New Announcements section on Apple's website, there was an announcement for developers to log into iTunes Connect and submit an iOS4 application so that it would be ready for sale when the iOS 4 application is available to iPhone and iPhone Touch customers. Apple indicated to developers to make sure that they built and tested their appications using iOS 4 and iPhone SDK 4 Golden Master seed available from the iPhone Development Center. Programmers with outdated development software and iPhone OS 4 betas can download updated software.
In addition to the aforementioned downloads, downloads such as the iAd JS and iTunes 9.2, which adds the ability to sync with iPhone 4, organize and sync PDF documents as books, read PDFs with iBooks 1.1 on iPad and any iPhone or iPod touch with iPhone OS 4, organize apps on iPhone OS 4 home screens into folders using iTunes, and more will also be available.
Daat Solutions is now developing iPhone & smartphone applications with a combination of different technologies, including Objective-C. Unlike other types of devices, smartphones use a combination of old and new technology. It’s important to know when to develop an application or a mini-html site, and also when to combine them. With additional assistance from Realcommerce, a certified-developer of Apple products, Daat is able to specialize in the specific requirements necessary for the development of applications on these new devices.
Sunday, June 6, 2010
The new iOS 4 incorporates support for the new iAd program, which will facilitate add support for the iAd banner for developers. The main feature of iAd is a launched HTML5 environment for developers upon clicking a banner. When the ad closes users resort back to the most recently used application instead of returning to an an external website. The intent is more effective and interesting advertising for developers. Instead of focusing on earning ad revenues, Apple plans to use iAd as a program to give incentive to application development.
At Daat, we are now developing iPhone & smartphone applications with a host of different technologies, including Objective-C. Unlike other devices, smartphones use a combination of old and new technology. It’s important to know when to develop an application or a mini-html site, and also when to combine them. With assistance from Realcommerce, a certified-developer of Apple products, Daat is able to specialize in the specific requirements necessary for the development of applications on these new devices.
Sunday, May 2, 2010
This isn't a new topic, but it's one that never gets old or boring. If you ask any working mother, how she does it and how she feels about going into an office while her child is at home being looked after by someone that isn't her, she'll tell you that it isn't easy. In fact, it's very difficult and sometimes it feels awful.
When a mother chooses to work outside the home, she takes many things into account. Sometimes, it's not even a choice, it's a necessity to work outside the home. For me, it was a combination of both.
I began my career as both a mother and the sole provider for my household. For a long time, I knew that I wanted to take advantage of my talents in the field of technology. From a very young age, I knew I wanted to be a programmer. In order to accomplish my professional dream, I studied and received a degree in Computer Science and spent every additional minute learning more about the subject. It was my hobby and it had once been my profession, and I enjoyed it and I didn't want to give it up.
It was important for me, as it is with many women, to find a balance between work and motherhood. There were years I worked fewer hours and years I worked longer hours; years I worked in the home and years I worked outside the home. It wasn't easy and sometimes balancing the two was difficult, but somehow I made it work.
It's clear to me now that my family and I paid some kind of price for having to balance these two things, but it's also clear to me that my family has gained from it as well. My children are more independent than they would have been had I been at home all the time. They've learned how to manage their own time and schedules. They find pleasure in their own hobbies and work. My children also understand that money doesn't grow on trees, and they have the tools to understand where money falls in the grand scheme of things. In addition to everything, there mother was able to be a private instructor for them, teaching them computers, programming, English, and Mathematics. I can't deny that it's nice to see all five of my children wanting careers in technology, but only time will tell if they actually follow through with this.
Because I understand the price a mother and her children pay when working outside the home, it's important for me to try to find an easier way for women to balance work and her family.
Most women who work at Daat are ultra-Orthodox mothers who want to work outside the home and develop technological skills in programming, software testing, and content writing for web development. We provide them with challenging projects and a flexible schedule that respects their needs as well as our customers.
I must note that during the years I've realized that working mothers have some kind of special power that allows them to work exactly the right amount of hours to produce exceptional work, and still they are able to take care of their children. There must be a guardian angel for each woman that helps her be a successful professional and an amazing mother.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
In my opinion, independence is expressed through the right to vote.
As citizens of this country, we have the right to choose our leaders and influence the social and political processes and all the other state affairs.
The generation living under Turkish rule and the British Mandate lived under the rule that they did not choose. They lived under a different people who ruled them, shaped their lives, and granted or denied their rights.
Women of the previous generation, who already lived in an independent state, had no right to choose their personal lives. Women's employment was not acceptable and legitimate during the years in which my mother’s generation was at the height of its bloom. A woman could work as a teacher or at a daycare or from home as a seamstress. Most other professions were not an option for them.
The right to vote is the cornerstone of Judaism. But this right is limited. The Torah states "See that I gave you today life and death and good and evil…. And you have chosen in life." Every person has the right and the obligation to use the power of foresight, to see life and listen to what they have chosen. This is a call to action. Regarding choice. But, along with granting the right to vote, the Creator commands us to choose live. We need to be guided and commanded in the choosing, because a person is a combination of matter and spirit, body and soul, not always inclined to choose the right path.
Choice in life is not trivial. Choice in life usually not choosing what’s easy, comfortable, habitual, what the environment expects from you to do. Choice in life is a choice that results in thought, individual work, and thorough review.
In our generation the right to vote has been expanded. We elect the government and its employment, each of us can choose between being a housewife or a working woman, too. Almost all professions are open to us, all schools, all options to pursue higher education.
When choosing life, it often becomes necessary to compromise or give up one’s wills, to understand and meet the challenges that our choice brings, sometimes reselect the same choice after further thought and sometimes change direction. Every choice has a price and usually there is no such thing as perfection.
When choosing, we must remember the commandment, and that you have chosen in life. You have to choose what grants a fuller, significant life, life that is comforting and to arrive at a choice that you can live with content.
Monday, April 12, 2010
The Advantages & Disadvantages for Freelancing
Freelance work is the only option for many people these days and it offers both advantages and disadvantages to the freelancers. Freelancing your work can provide you with a steady income. If you are skilled at what you do, chances are that your work will be in demand and you’ll be able to set your own prices based on your own skill. If you are good at what you do, you can pick and choose projects and work the hours that you want to.
On the other hand, if you are one among many skilled workers, you might find it difficult to maintain a steady income. You won’t be able to control your hours and decide when you will and will not work, because you’ll be too focused on being self-sufficient. And you won’t be able to be picky with your projects and companies that you work with, which might force you to do work that you have no interest in.
Working in an Outsourcing Firm
If you are worried about not having set hours or constant money flowing in, there’s always the option of working for an outsourcing firm. Outsourcing firms consist of an entire firm that provides outsourcing services. They hire people for both freelance and in-house work. Outsourcing firms offer services in almost every field, whether it be: Human Resources, Security, Consulting, Accounting, Writing, Computer Programming, Web Development, QA, Technical Support, and the list goes on.
Many companies would rather hire outsourcing firms which guarantee quality services for multiple tasks that the company wants completed, and all for a reasonable price. But that doesn't mean that individual freelancers aren't ready and willing to offer their services as well. In fact, it's possible to be part of an outsourcing firm and freelance on the side. As long as it isn't restricted in your contract, your options are wide open.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
What is the difference between Offshore Outsourcing and Outsourcing?
Offshore Outsourcing is a more specific type of outsourcing in which the services that you contract outside of your business are literally off your shore, in a different country. Now, it’s one thing to outsource within your own country and another to outsource outside your own country. There are both benefits and disadvantages for Offshore Outsourcing.
Offshore Outsourcing is Everywhere
If your company is located in the United States and you sell computers, you’ll want to be able to produce the parts of the computers with the highest quality possible for the lowest price. There’s no doubt that if you were to manufacture your computers in China, it would be a fraction of the cost of manufacturing your computers in the U.S. Offshore outsourcing is just cheaper. That’s why every bowl or cup or t-shirt you look at has “Made in China” written on it. This is also why you end speaking to someone from India every time you call for technical support for a product you bought in the U.S.
Offshore Outsourcing & the Economy
Whether or not offshore outsourcing was an influential component that helped lead our economy into its current situation is debatable. For years Americans were screaming about the effects of closing down the U.S. factories and relocating them to China or Japan or South Korea.
It’s true that people in the U.S. lost their jobs because of offshore outsourcing, but on the other hand many people gained employment in developing countries because of the relocation of factories and services. And let’s not forget how much cheaper it is to outsource offshore. The quality isn’t negatively affected; in fact more often than not the quality of the products and services is better. And as the economy continues to decline, offshore outsourcing is only on the rise and for good reason; companies can’t afford not to use offshore outsourcing.
Remember, when people used to say that it’s not quantity that matters, it’s quality. What if you could have both quantity and quality? With offshore outsourcing you can.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Freedom: Let my people go – and they will work
During Passover we were released by the Pharoah of Egypt, and we went on to live without burdens. And now, instead, we live our lives under the yoke of the Creator.
Why do we define one situation as slavery and another as freedom?
For this question there are many answers which illustrate the idea that being subjected to the Creator frees us to be enslaved by fashion, sudden whims, and other manmade things. One of the things that this enslavement liberates us from is time. The holiday of Passover is always celebrated in the spring, as the Torah commands us to preserve it, i.e. always making sure that Passover will take place during this season. How important is it that there will be a Passover? Why aren’t we told, for example, to preserve the Sukkot for fall?
The connection between the names for the holiday, "Festival of Freedom" and “Spring Festival"
We live according to planned and predicted schedules. Each person sits and plans what it is that they will do today, tomorrow, and next week; being preoccupied with what to do for days, months, and years, so that they can feel like everything is under control. The desire to control something is a positive desire. The ability to plan and act according to a specific design, allows a person to be in control of one of the most valuable resources- time.
Western ideas allow us to plan all of our activities based on the solar calendar- the Christian calendar. In this calendar everything is known in advance. In contrast, the Jewish world uses a calendar which works opposite to the World’s lunar calendar. This calendar relates only to the renewal and disappearance of the moon and has nothing to do with the seasons. According to this, it’s impossible to plan the future and it actually reflects the complex reality that exhibits both ups and downs, which come not based on people, but on external factors that we can’t control such as fate.
The Jewish calendar is a combination between two boards, specifically the board that keeps the seasons – such as the solar panel/board – and the lunar calendar, which pays special attention to the lunar cycle of natural regeneration.
The written Hebrew calendar is perceived in the same way as the Christian calendar- a fixed calendar which allows us to know specific dates and events in advance. However, with the Hebrew calendar, there is a message that tells us that we can control time and there is another part that concentrates on the development of the months and the year. This is a version of time that controls us and our activities.
Being able to absolutely determine time in advance, gives us the false illusion of control, however it actually causes us to be enslaved. Only someone who pays attention to reality, and knows that they are controlled by the Creator, understands the fact that we are dominated by time. Once a person understands this, they are in fact a free person.
A fundamental part of understanding Daat involves acknowledging that our work is meant to be timely and it involves working fixed hours set up in advance. We have deadlines but the deadlines are not what matter most. We meet our deadlines without having to change our lifestyles or priorities.
Monday, March 22, 2010
- Cost Effective- Outsourcing is much cheaper than having to hire more people within your own company to complete the same task.
- Higher Standard of Quality- Businesses that only provide outsourcing services tend to guarantee high-quality services in-demand.
- More Time for your Core Business- When you don’t have to worry about providing the external services, you can focus more time and effort on your core business.
- Greater Access to Experts- Instead of hiring someone and training them to do a job, you can outsource certain services to experts in the field.
- Increased Efficiency & Productivity- The business that you use to outsource only has to focus on one or two tasks that you have outsourced to them. Because their expertise lies in the area of their services, they are much more efficient and require less time.
- Save Money on Technology- If you outsource your IT, you don’t have to worry about having the latest technology or software.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 7, 2010
Native English speakers in Israel
Whether it comes as a surprise to the general public or not, there are a lot of educated Native English speakers in Israel. Every year more people are immigrating to Israel, mostly from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, but also from Australia, and South Africa. Even though, many new immigrants have trouble learning Hebrew, they still manage to find jobs in a mostly English-speaking environment because there’s a high demand for Native-English speakers to work in call centers or technical support centers for U.S. companies. Native English speakers are also needed for their English writing skills for outsourcing and for Israeli companies that want to be competitive in the global market.
One reason why companies may be wary of offshore outsourcing is the potential for language and communication barriers. Israel is the most-western affiliated country in the Middle East and in much of the Far East. English is the second language of Israel and children begin to study English in elementary school. In order to go to University, students have to know English to pass the Psychometric Entrance Exam, Israel’s version of the SAT. Israeli Children grow up with American music, movies, and TV shows. Each new generation knows more English than the last and with many children that have at least one or two Anglo-parents, it’s impossible to deny their association with Western culture.
Israel is not so different from America after all...
Putting their English skills aside, it’s the workforce that is most similar to the American workforce. Most Israelis work forty-plus hours a week, like Americans do. Israelis are at the forefront of the Hi-Tech world and much of the Research & Development teams for American companies are located in Israel. The top professions fall in Computer Science, IT, Web Development, QA, and Engineering. And the demand for people to work in Hi-Tech is only growing. As all business continues to rely on the use of computers and the Internet, it’s important to keep up with the competition. Whether U.S. firms choose to outsource in Israel because of their highly-skilled workers, their cultural similarities, or simply the lower costs, it really doesn’t matter. The fact is that Israel is the place to outsource for all of these reasons.
Monday, March 1, 2010
For International Women's Day, I decided to examine the issue of women's organizations in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish society.
Although there are several Orthodox women's organizations, these organizations do not define themselves as women's organizations. In this article, I will try to determine why.
An organization is a group working for the realization of a common goal or goals.
These goals represent the underlying reason/s for the organization’s existence.
The Purpose of a non-Orthodox woman’s organizations as opposed to the purpose of an Orthodox woman’s organization, similar or different?
A women’s organization is characterized by the general goal of promoting women’s rights and improving their status in society. The realization of this goal is possible through a variety of activities, from establishing nurseries, working with the elderly, and being active in almost every field and industry.
Since Orthodox Jewish women are not willing to adopt an ideological line that stands outside the guidelines of the Torah, improving women’s status in society can not serve as the main purpose for these organizations. This is why organizations, made up of religious women, define their activities as the main purpose for the existence of their organizations. Examples of this are seen with the following organizations: Bat Melech, an organization that acts to shelter battered Orthodox women, and Nitza, an organization that helps women that suffer from post-partum depression, among other things.
The goal of these organizations is to help every person as an individual, and like other Orthodox charitable organizations such as Yad Sarah, an organization of volunteers that helps patients, these organizations are open to serving the general public instead of a specific group.
Empowering Women with “Grace”
Orthodox women are not looking for a way out of the system, on the contrary, they want to share what they are able to do within their our communities. This is the reason for the success of Daat, where Orthodox women are able to work in a work environment that considers all of their religious needs. In the eyes of the Orthodox, they think of flying flags for ‘empowerment and equality 'as an unnecessary act and one of externalization.
Orthodox women belonging to Orthodox organizations in general and/or ultra-Orthodox women's organizations in particular, are actually not doing less than non-Orthodox women in organizations. There is no less enthusiasm, dedication, self-fulfillment, or satisfaction; however the underlying theme behind these actions is “grace.”
Sunday, February 21, 2010
After readers contacted me and asked me to write something a bit more personal, I couldn't help but oblige. I've decided to publish a monthly blog with my personal opinions under the title, "The Opinion of Daat." As always feel free to contact me with questions or requests through the site.
From the very beginning: The idea behind Daat
Despite the fact that ultra-Orthodox women are now a significant portion of the workforce in the country, these women are still left with limited options for work. Even today, most training seminars for religious women focus mostly on teaching kindergarten, and they only grant diplomas for teaching in Orthodox institutions. This is why over the years ultra-Orthodox women have sought after teaching positions in Orthodox institutions, and since most of these women are mothers, they must find a profession that is suitable for them as mothers. But when there were no more positions in this field, religious women had to turn to other fields that would work with their religious way of life, positions in which professional training wasn't necessary. Striving for professional development and excellence were not priorities in the lives of ultra-Orthodox women.
Nevertheless, there was still a shortage of jobs for religious women. Due to this stressful situation, many seminars began offering more courses for women including Bachelors' Degrees in Computer Science and Software Engineering, similar to the academic courses of various leading universities in Israel, such as the Technion. Yet, even with enhanced educational and professional knowledge, many ultra-Orthodox women who aspire to find professional success still face a major difficulty that prevents them from entering into positions in the fields that they studied. These women do not have suitable environments to work in, ones that will respect their religious beliefs and their way of life.
No matter how you look at the situation, Orthodox women still need a working environment that matches their lifestyle, their faith- a place which isn't open on Saturday and a predominantly female working space with complete separation from men. Because most Orthodox women are mothers with large families, they need flexible working hours that respect the Jewish holidays, which begin on evenings, in addition to fasting days. All of these aspects are part of a suitable environment.
At Daat, you can find this environment and something special with the intellectual abilities of each employee. Daat is an environment that offers the possibility for women to develop professionally and realize their personal potential.
My personal story is a little different from most ultra-Orthodox Israeli women. I received my professional and technological education in the U.S. I had to learn to adapt and fit into a competitive secular male-driven society. So it is easier for me to now fit into the Hi-Tech world. But I can't help but notice the difficulties that my friends around me face. They are intelligent and educated but they still can't find their place in the work force due to the lack of an appropriate working environment.
These women are extremely talented and we have been able to harness their potential by creating jobs in an ambitious, technological work environment that is appropriate for mothers. Still with all of the challenges that we face, Daat will continue to excel in creating the highest quality of services for our clients.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
For all of you who feel as if you've been left out in the dust, Twitter is a service that allows you to write short messages to friends and other twitter subscribers in "real-time" with a variety of communication devices and networks, including the cell phone.
Twitter as an Educational tool?
It's natural for teachers to be apprehensive about using twitter in the classroom. When people right about their daily aggravations or silly comments about nothing, it's difficult to imagine twitter benefiting a classroom environment.
Nevertheless, David Parry, Assistance Professor of Emerging Media and Communications at the University of Texas at Dallas, decided to experiment with Twitter in the classroom. It started with one assignment as a trial-run, and Parry noticed that the students liked using twitter and it helped them open up communication between each other and between his students and himself. One assignment led to another which led to another and finally Parry wrote some tips about using "Twitter in Academia," which he posted on AcademHack. http://academhack.outsidethetext.com/home/2008/twitter-for-academia/
One benefit from using twitter in class was that it offered a communication service that could be used in class and continued outside of class. A greater feeling of community arose from the constant communication. Parry outlined some of the ways in which one can use twitter in the classroom: in writing assignments, instant feedback, tracking conferences, grammar, following the famous, and more. You can also use Twitter to send messages to your students, reminding them of upcoming deadlines. It's nice not to have to know each individual student's number in order to update your class, and yet they get the same messages on their cell phones or online as long as they subscribe to your Twitter feed.
Improving the Learning Process
Educause created a PDF article that discusses the use of Twitter in the classroom and how it benefits students and increases their ability to comprehend and learn. The discussion talks about "Metacognition, which is the practice of thinking about and reflecting on your learning -- has been shown to benefit comprehension and retention. As a tool for students or professional colleagues to compare thoughts about a topic, Twitter can be a viable platform for metacognition, forcing users to be brief and to the point -- an important skill in thinking clearly and communicating effectively. In addition, Twitter can provide a simple way for attendees at a conference to share thoughts about particular sessions and activities with others at the event and those unable to attend."
Creative Uses for Twitter
George Mayo, an eighth grade English teacher at Silver Spring International Middle School in Montgomery County, Maryland, decided to use twitter to write a story with his students. But the story didn't just end up being written with his students, it continued with collective tweets from over 100 students in six different countries.
"It was incredibly simple and really amazing," Mayo said. "My students and I would come in, and suddenly kids in China had written a chapter for the book." When the book was finished, Mayo published the book online for his students to download for free.
Paul R. Allison, a teacher at the East Bronx Academy in NY, created a site called Youth Twitter after teachers wanted to have the ability to edit student's tweets. Teachers are now given "administrator" status in which they can alter students' tweets and provide them with better feedback.
Questions? Comments? Ideas? Please contact me via our website.
Monday, February 15, 2010
In the beginning of SEO
In the beginning, there were no online courses or certificates for search marketing, not that there are so much now, but there was nothing. So how did people learn about search marketing? So, people just began to test the waters.
After awhile they started discovering what search marketing tactics worked better than others. These people told friends who then told other friends, but still there were no real firm ideas. Little information was found in books, and the rest was spread through forums and word of mouth. People learned through experience, because there was no other way.
The only way you can really learn search marketing is by understanding how search engines and algorithms work. Each website is different and the methods you use for one might not work for another, so it's best to experiment and see what works for what. Until you know the ins and outs of each website, you can't really consider yourself an expert.
These days there is a plethora of books out there on the subject. Read about search engines, gain some initial knowledge and then gain some experience by testing out the knowledge that you learned. And if one thing doesn't work, don't forget about all the forums out there answering every possible question on the subject.
Adapting to the times
Say you have an excellent resource about Websites written in the 90s. This book answers every question you could possibly have about any website. But when you try to use the tools that you learned, they aren't very effective. Now what's the problem?
The problem is that you are dealing with a system that is continually changing. What worked in the 90s isn't going to work in 2000 and what worked in 2000 isn't going to work in 2009. Search engines are ever-changing, updating and changing their algorithms to make their search engines more user-friendly and accurate. If you want to be part of this field, you have to stay up-to-date that means always learning new tricks and tips and working with the changes in the search engines. You can't just fill in metadata into the HTML format and expect that users are going to automatically be directed to a website.
How can you learn about SEO today? We are lucky that today SEO is popular and it only seems to be growing. More marketing is focused on the web these days and businesses need practitioners to assist them in search engine marketing. There are conferences, workshops, online classes, in-person classes, websites dedicated to SEM, forums, books, and formal courses from various institutes, such as the SEMPO Institute, offering certification in fundamentals and advanced SEM. Your learning doesn't have to begin and end with blind experimentation anymore. But that doesn't mean you don't need to experiment. You can't be an expert in SEO until you have experience working with SEO. Create a website and practice optimizing the site, continue to learn more from the communities around you and your numerous resources and see how far you can get.
Do you want to know more? Please do not hesitate to be in touch via our website.
Monday, February 8, 2010
Life is about connections and the more connections you have the better off you are. You can't always count on nepotism anymore and not everyone has a rich relative who is going to give them the business. You need to make connections with the people that you meet throughout life: in university, from your first job, that fellowship that you were part of when you were 18, your second job, your wife's third job… And now you can establish more connections with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is an online social networking, mainly used to connect professionals throughout the globe. The site has over 50 million users worldwide, over 25 million in the US alone. With LinkedIn, you can create a profile, upload your resume and the site has a handy feature which puts your skills on display, you can connect with any other user, and use it as a general marketing tool.
Some benefits of LinkedIn
The site can be used to find a job and employers list jobs on the sites. Say you find a listing somewhere for a company that you want to apply to. Chances are the managers of that company are on LinkedIn and you can see their network of friends and see if you have any connections to them. You can catch up with people that you have worked with in the past and who you've lost in touch with.
It's also easy to sign up. Just enter your email, register for an account, create a profile, browse the network for your friends, associates, acquaintances, clients, you can also gain friends by uploading your email contact list. Once you have connections and your network continues to grow, you have more chances to enhance your career.
The site also has common-interest groups you can join, an answer section where people can post questions and answers within your network, a job section for listings, a learning center, and an application directory which allows you to link your blogs, twitter, and special interests into your profile.
Even though LinkedIn has a very large community, it still has a professional feel, which affects all aspects of the site. The answer section offers more business-minded answers. The groups link businesses and are more towards career-enhancing than social gathering. They even have groups on SEO. After typing in "SEO" under the group search, there were 977 results. I say, go knock yourself out and see what you can do with the site.
Question? Comment? Ideas? Please be in touch via our website.
Monday, February 1, 2010
SEM is popular and is only growing in demand by all types of businesses and organizations: corporate, investors, search engines…. The present and future of advertising is through the web, so why not be a part of it and assure yourself a relatively-steady income (if you're good at it that is). Remember the more skilled you are, the more work you get.
How to reach professional status?
Somehow you need to gain those expert skills that will place you above and beyond all the other people marketing themselves for SEM work. Now how do you become an expert? As far as I know, there aren't any SEO degrees in top universities right now. But that doesn't mean that you can't get trained in the field.
How relevant is training to becoming an SEO professional?
Not everyone wants to sit in classroom setting, whether in person or online. Nevertheless, to gain a basic knowledge of the field, the most effective way is by taking a course. It's possible to gain some skills from blogs and forums, but you have to know what topics you're looking for online to be able to get the fundamentals. Once you understand the fundamentals, then you can look online and improve your skills, but you have to know what you're doing at least at the beginning.
First you need to figure out the best way for you to learn. There are plenty of online classes, in-person classes, seminars, workshops, and more. But you need to know first whether you want to sit in a class, learn on your own, learn with others, stay at hope, and how much money are you willing to spend.
How much certification do you get from being SEM Certified?
As funny as it seems, it is possible to be certified in something that doesn't have any established standards. After completing an SEO course, you can get certified in that area. And of course it looks better on your resume or CV if you are certified in a particular area and it might even help you land a job. Your resume may appear higher on the list if you are certified and another candidate isn't.
Any comments or questions? Please contact me via our website.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Social Media is…
Social media is a means of communication and social interaction by using Internet based-applications. The idea goes beyond the former broadcast communication of one journalist speaking to an audience. With social media, you have a variety of people communicating with a variety of people on the Internet. Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, MySpace, and Twitter are some well-known examples of social media websites.
With social media websites such as these, people are posting as much as or more often than they are reading the sites. People are engaging in conversations, expressing their opinions, imparting their knowledge, making connections, and meeting new friends through these sites.
Social Media as a Marketing Tool
What if you have a great business but you are running low on customers because you're a new startup, people don't understand your services or products, and you haven't been able to get the word out.
An easy way to inform people about your business is by creating a profile for you or your company on one of these social media sites, let's say Facebook for example. Once you have your company profile or business account built, you begin to post to the community you live in or all over the world and gain connections with a whole new network of friends that you can easily gain by the click of a button. The nice thing about facebook is that a business can add their blog, videos, twitter, links to their website, special applications, and more to their page. You can incorporate other social media sites onto this one. It's also great to be able to read people's comments about your business, free and easy feedback that will help you improve the quality of your services.
A list of businesses using social media:
Goodwill, Ikea, HomeGoods, Hyundai, Honda, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Jeep, JCPenny, JetBlue, Johnson & Johnson, KFC, Kleenex, Kia, Kodak, Library of Congress, LG, L'Oreal, McDonalds, Microsoft, MTV, Nike, Nokia, Nissan, Nintendo, Pepsi, Paramount Pictures, Quicken, PUMA, Rubbermaid, and the list continues…
These businesses are blogging, using yahoo groups, facebook, twitter, linked in, or some other means of social media; they are still able to reach a greater audience by taking advantage of the social communities online.
Social Media as an educational tool
You're continuing your education all the time whether you are in school or outside. The web has become a main source of education and even educational institutes have begun to use social media in conjunction with their classroom lessons.
Continuing learning about businesses and services through blogs, forums, news, photos, video, and people's responses to products and ideas.
Any questions? Please do not hesitate to contact me via our website.
Monday, January 18, 2010
Not all forums are the same
Not all forums are the same. The most successful forms aren't about the most interesting topics being discussed, but the people who are discussing the topics. It's important to have an active online community of people reading, addressing topics, asking questions, having debates on the answers. And with SEO it's extremely important that people debate because there is no set standard. The more information you receive about a topic, the better off you'll be.
There are many forums out there, so look around and please make sure you read the rules of the forum before posting so you understand the format of the forum and its community. Also the best forums have a registration at the beginning and it's for the better so that you can avoid the eyesore of spam on the forum.
Webmaster World Forums
For all of your Web needs, you have Webmaster World Forums. They discuss marketing, SEO, and all topics on the WEB. The nice thing about these forums is that you can kill two birds with one stone. If you have a question about SEO and a question about Webhosting or about software issues, you can go to the same place. Their interface design is pretty user-friendly. Some of the topics of their old posts are brought up after awhile to inform new readers and their community is very active.
High Rankings Forums
High Rankings Forum covers everything about SEO. You can learn about tricks of the trade, research, news, and everything else about SEM. The interface design is not too shabby and their logo is nice to look at. The forum is easy to follow, although the site is not as active as one would like. There are posts from today, but also a lot from the earlier in the week.
With a nice design and easy to navigate interface, Sphinn's, "Internet Marketing News & Discussion Forums" site is another great resource for all things on Search Engine Marketing- SEO, PPC, Social Media…. They are up-to-date with the most popular topics being discussed this very moment. The site looks pretty savvy with such subjects under Hot News, Hot or Not, and more.
Search Engine Watch Forums
If you want to know anything in regards to search engines, marketing, optimization, any other issue imaginable has been discussed on Search Engine Watch Forums. The site is up-to-date, has user-friendly navigation, and is very active with posts from only an hour or so earlier.
There are plenty of forums out there, much more than discussed. These are a select few that are worth taking a look at it. The nice thing is that with these forums, most of the questions about SEO that you can think of have at some time been discussed, more than once. If you're willing to dig through some forums, you might be able to succeed in learning some important information that will help you out with your SEO skills. And if you don't like one forum, move on to the next.
I’d love to receive your questions and remarks via our website.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Online courses fit around your busy schedule, they are more cost-effective, and you never have to leave the comfort of your home.
Of course, there is always a downside and for online courses it's obvious. There is not enough student-teacher interaction or clarification. You miss out on the classroom setting, the teacher with office hours, who answers every question that pops into your head.
Here are some Online Training Courses for SEO
The SEMPO Institute offers online courses for beginners and experts in the field of Search Marketing. The SEMPO organization originally began offering courses when it saw a greater need for educational opportunities for SEMPO's members. Courses are offered for members and non-members, however it is much more cost-effective for a member to take a course, with discounts up to 30 percent. SEMPO currently offers the following courses: Insiders Guide to Search Marketing, Effective Search Marketing (with specialties in Key Words & Copywriting, or Linking & Brand Management, or Social Media), and Advanced SEO. Prices range from $299-$1399.
Search Engine College
Search Engine College offers a variety of courses, both individual courses, specific classes in Keywords, links, copy writing, as well as offering packages that include certification. Their packages are called "Certificated Pathways and can cost from $695 with their Certified PPC Marketer Pathway and their Certified SEO Pathway, to $1,195 with their Certified Search Engine Marketer Pathway that includes SEO and PPC training. If you go to their website you can see a demo of a course and see the structure of their online classes.
Online Web Training from Search Engine Workshops
Similar to the two options already listed, Search Engine Workshops offers a Beginner SEO Course for $149 and an Advanced SEO Course for $179. If you pay an additional $100, for each course they offer extended help for 32 weeks from an instructor They also offer refresher courses at various locations all over the US or online.
GNC Web Creations
GNC Web Creations offers online course for free! You can access their courses through a variety of Yahoo Groups. After you sign up for a specific group, emails will be sent to you, teaching you about the basic principles of SEO. You can also purchase eBooks on SEO for a reasonable price there.
Computer Geek Books
Students are offered 12 lessons in SEO over a period of six weeks. The course runs from $249-$299, depending on when you start the course.
A Variety of Options
There is a wide variety of online SEO training courses with a wide price range. As with everything that affects your wallet, do a little more research on your own before you decided to take a SEO course and make sure that whatever you choose is suited for your needs.
I’d love to receive your questions and remarks via our website.
Monday, January 4, 2010
Many people have started to worry about the lack of proper training for SEO and SEM writing. People wonder if there even are any legitimate online classes or accredited SEM courses. How can talented, intelligent people work in a field if they don't have the proper training for it?
How long does it take to create an accredited course?
After searching for an obscene amount of hours about the subject, I found that even though SEO and SEM are on the lips of every new business and college student, it is actually rather difficult for a university to establish an accredited course in these areas. The process of creating a new course can take from two to five years. First you need to come up with the idea of the course and then have it approved by various boards and deans, have it verified, checked, validated…and the list goes on.
Though we are dealing with a long and exhausting process, some universities have made a stab at it and have created course modules, not related to any specific degree, although part of internet marketing courses. As of yet, there are no SEM or SEO majors, but one can hope.
Offering SEM Courses with Continuing Education Programs.
Here are some Colleges in the US that have adopted some SEM courses, along with Internet Marketing. They are non-accredited courses, however it's a step in the right direction. If any of the courses are of interest to you, ask your local college with a Continuing Education Program and find out if they offer any of these types of courses. Keep in mind that prices vary.
Glasscock School of Continuing Studies at Rice University
This course was created for students with a wide variety of knowledge and experience in SEO. First students will learn the basics of how a search engine works, how to understand search engine results, how SEO works, and why it is important. Students will learn about how to increase traffic on the internet by editing websites and conversions.
UC Berkley Extension
This workshop is meant for a wide variety of people with knowledge and experience in marketing. The course teaches the basic principles of SEM. Students that take this course will be able to understand the basics of SEM in addition to being able to practice SEM in an economical manner for their own business
Rutgers Continuing Education : PPC or SEM
A greater demand for PPC Marketing specialists has created the need for a Pay Per Click Marketing (PPCM) online course. PPC marketing is a branch of SEM, in which businesses pay the host of the website every time a user clicks on their advertisement. These types of advertisements can be seen on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). If you are a skilled PPC marketer and can manage to get a job in the field, you have a huge amount of flexibility in regards to clients and individual jobs, in addition to a very nice salary. If you're an expert in the field, advertisers will pay a hefty sum to have their advertisements appear on popular search engines such as Yahoo, MSN, or Google.
I’d love to receive your questions and remarks via our website.