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5 Benefits Of Shared Community Office Space

One of the up and coming trends in the creative business world is the concept of shared work environments, and these wonderful collaborative spaces are changing the way we view and do our work. For a small monthly membership fee, you can have access to a professional office, take part in social and networking events, and even get deep discounts on classes and other programs to enhance your knowledge and further your career. And the best part of investing in a local co-working group is that you know exactly where the money goes and you know that your neighborhood friends and contacts will benefit from such a powerful collaborative force in the community.

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5 Ways To Boost Your Resume With Adobe Illustrator

Let’s face it- today’s job market is tough. The credentials that would fetch a top-tier position a decade ago are now only delivering an entry-level one. Unemployment and unpaid internships abound, and there is a distinct trend that is emerging from this new market milieu.

Those with the most well rounded resumes are the ones getting hired and promoted. The ambitious and creative few who take the time to flesh out their skill set and tack on certifications are the ones who bring the most usability to the job market. Utilitarianism has taken over, and employers are looking to stretch their new hires over several different professional fields. In this new minimalist market, if you can offer the skills and expertise of three people rolled into one, you’re miles ahead of the pack.

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5 Social Media Platforms To Boost Your Small Business

Today’s world is faced paced and new businesses have to jump in with savvy in order to survive. It doesn’t matter how amazing your product or service is if nobody knows about you and you aren’t making an effort to connect with the public. Here’s where social media platforms come in- the ability to insert yourself into the social sphere and be a part of your customers’ lives, both past and future.

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5 Easy Steps to Get Started Blogging in WordPress

Even though the initial blogging fever of a decade ago has cooled off, it’s never out of style to create a blog of your very own. The great thing is: now it’s easier than ever to get set up and started writing, and there are a variety of platforms out there to launch your musings into the electronic world. WordPress is a classic and established choice, having been around long enough to have fine-tuned the art of the blog, so naturally I wanted to highlight them here. There are only five easy steps between you and your very own professional writing space, so let’s get started!   1. Clarify your purpose I know this isn’t a technical step, but in my opinion, it’s the most important one. Why do you want to blog? Is there a particular subject you are passionate about or have experience with? Is this blog going to be for your business, your family, or just your personal thoughts? Make sure you sit down and brainstorm a clear direction and “theme” before you go through the actual set-up process. Trust me, it will save you a headache later and will increase the likelihood that you’ll stick with it!   2. Decide whether you need WordPress.com or WordPress.org Yep, you have two main choices here and they are quite a bit different in terms of use. To build on the simple graphic above, I highly recommend you do some research on which version will suit your needs the best. There are a variety of articles out there on the web, as well as the pros at the Digital Workshop who can point you in the right direction! But to give you a brief sum up: Choose WordPress.com if you want something that’s free, simple, and requires very little maintenance. This is the best choice if you’re on a budget, don’t care about too much fancy personalization, or are just writing for the fun of it. Choose WordPress.org if you have a business, an established social media following, or want to create revenue off of your writing. This isn’t free (you need to pay for web hosting and domains), but does offer the perks of plugins, customization, and ad sales opportunities.   3. Register Come up with a blog name that you really really like, because you can’t change it later! Whether or not you choose to go with a custom domain (www.bloggingisfun.com) or let WordPress handle that (www.bloggingisfun.wordpress.com), it’s important that you find a name that sums up the results of your brainstorming session from step #1. For example, if you want to blog about sports, choose something like “Rebecca’s RBI Rundown” instead of something like “Rebecca Writes”. Remember, you want to attract readership and most of us navigate through links of related content. If I want to read about cooking, I am going to click on a blog with a clear culinary focus. Once you decide on a name that is available, it’s as simple as clicking on “create blog” and following the instructions sent to your email address. Then you’ll be directed to your very own Dashboard, which will serve as your home base and is the launching point for writing, changing appearance, and viewing comments/statistics.   4. Fine Tune Once you have an official WordPress site, you can choose and activate a theme. There are many to choose from with a variety of colors, patterns and layouts, so pick one that suits your style and content matter. You can change this later (and however often you’d like) so don’t fret too much! If you...

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Top-Visited Sites Reflect Our Increased Web Usage

Looking back at 2012, it’s amazing to think about how much time I spent using technology. The average American spends an hour a day on the computer and almost two hours a day watching television, according to Comscore.com. In fact, according to one study by Education.com, 65 percent of Americans spent more time with their computer than their spouses in 2012. I know I’m well above that average, spending more like five to six hours per day on the computer. I can’t help but think, what was I looking at all this time? Alexa.com releases a list of the top 500 used websites for the year. At the top, there are few surprises. Google, Facebook and YouTube all come in the top three spots, respectively. These sites have become synonymous with the Web during the past several years. Google has even transformed from solely a company name into a verb. “Google it” is a common phrase when searching for information on the Web. Facebook and YouTube are also mainstays in our popular culture. An estimated 45 percent of all Web visitors in the past year made a stop on Facebook, according to Alexa.com. And Youtube actually received more search hits than Google last year, although it may not be as widely used, since Google has much more to offer than just a Web search. Many of the next sites on the list come from Asian and Indian markets, including massive Chinese language search engine sites Baidu.com and QQ.com. Yahoo and Wikipedia also rank among the most-visited sites. Yahoo has been a Web mainstay for years, providing tons of content in a centralized location. Wikipedia.com is a free, user-generated encyclopedia site providing unique content. Its content is sometimes mistaken for pure fact, but instead should always be tempered with the knowledge that the content is posted by users and can sometimes be inaccurate. Other notable sites in the top 20 include Amazon, Twitter, Blogspot, LinkedIn, MSN, ebay, and WordPress. No matter how you spend your time on the Web today, there are limitless possibilities to find the information you need. As new trends emerge, 2013 will provide a new list of top sites and new technologies. As you embrace or ignore what comes next, please remember one basic piece of advice from me: Talk to your spouse more than your computer. You can thank me later. Stu Crair is the owner and lead trainer at The Digital Workshop Center, providing digital arts and computer training instruction in Fort Collins. Reach him at (970) 980-8091 or stu@fcdigital workshop.com. [Originally published in The Coloradoan on...

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