Monthly Archives: July 2015

Buzz Feed and IHeartRadio On Snapchat Discover

The Snapchat discover page is a place where Snapchat has gathered sponsored content and put it all in one place on the app. This sponsored content is the main way that Snapchat is making money. Companies pay to have their content sponsored in the Snapchat discovery page. In a recent update, Snapchat has moved the Sponsored content to the stories page on the app. This increases the money Snapchat can charge to promote the content. The content is from companies such as People Magazine, Comedy Central, Cosmopolitan, ESPN, Food Network, National Geographic, CNN, and Vice. In the most recent update however, there have been two new content providers added to the discover page of Snapchat. Buzz Feed and iHeart Radio are the newest members of the Snapchat discover page.

The Buzz Feed section of the discover page is filled with just random information and facts. It is full of fun graphics that are colorful and eye catching. It Is very similar to the Buzz Feed website, but in a magazine format. I have spoken with many younger users who are actually interested in using this feature on discover because of the addition of Buzz Feed. The other recent addition to the discover page is the iHeart Radio section. This section is full of everything having to do with the music world. With information regarding the upcoming iHeart Music Awards, as well as giving you the latest scoop on any events in the music world. I have found that with these recent additions, I have been finding myself spending more time in the discover section of Snapchat. The random facts and information provided in the new sections have added a lot of new information to the app. These new additions will fit in with Snapchat’s users, which are usually a younger demographic. Check out these new additions and see what is going on in the music world and what random information you can find out about on Buzz Feed.

North Carolina Vs. South Carolina College Football 2015

If you are a Carolina football fan, north or south, you will want to be in Bank of America Stadium on September 3rd, 2015. The University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina (UNC) will face off on a neutral playing field this fall to kick of the 2015-2016 NCAA college football season. It is going to be an interesting match up this year. UNC quarterback Marquise Williams will be entering his senior season with 4983 career passing yards. He will be looking to lead the Tar Heels to an ACC Championship Game this year. South Carolina, however, will be starting quarterback Connor Mitch who has not started a game yet. It will be interesting to see how he preforms on the big stage. This game will feature two different playing styles. UNC runs one of the fastest offenses in college football. UNC averages 72.3 plays per game. South Carolina is a more traditional power running football team. South Carolina running back Mike Davis will have a big game against the Tar Heels. His power will be difficult for the weak UNC defense to stop. UNC does have a new defensive coordinator with a history of success at Auburn, Gene Chizik will be attempting to revamp the UNC defense this season. It will be interesting to see which style comes out on top in this match up, Speed or Power. In the last match up power triumphed and I believe that it will likely repeat. The final score of the last match up was a South Carolina victory 27-10. The South Carolina team this year is not the same team that was on the field two years ago. But the traditional power style of play is still preached by coach Spurrior at South Carolina. This will be a must watch for any college football fans.
As a fan of the Tar Heels I believe this game should be a regularly scheduled rivalry game. I have spoken with fans of South Carolina and they agree; that a annual rivalry game between the two Carolinas would be a great rivalry. A home and home between UNC and South Carolina would generate tons of revenue for the universities and more than likely turn into a rivalry as great as South Carolina Vs. Clemson, or North Carolina Vs. either Duke or North Carolina State.
The game between UNC and South Carolina will take place at six pm on Thursday, Sept. 3rd 2015. It will be one of the first division one match ups of the season. Tickets to this game are going to be expensive. Fans of both programs are going to be clawing at the gates to get into this game. Tickets to this game will cost at least one hundred dollars. So if you want to see it live be ready to pay a little more than usual. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN so if you cannot find your way into Bank of America stadium on Sept. 3rd, it will not be difficult to watch the game at a sports bar, restaurant, or at home.  

How to Create Content That Ranks Front Page Organically on Google

What does it mean to rank organically in Google Search? Ranking organically is ranking without the use of paid ads or other catalysts that take the hard work out of ranking in an Google search. Ranking organically is the best way to rank your content. If you use other methods of improving your rank in search there is a chance that Google will not approve of the methods used and they will punish your site by taking it off of the front page and ranking it somewhere pretty much worthless. To avoid this fate it will be to your advantage to put in the work required to get to the front page and avoid using alternative methods.

Ranking organically takes hard work that may or may not pay off with a ranking on the front page. The best way to do it is to create a resource that is unique and fills a niche that is not yet filled. This means that you need to create unique content that the search engine has never seen before. Google’s algorithm is constantly crawling the web in search of new content to expand and improve their search results. New content can include images that have not been posted before, anywhere on the internet, content that is new to the internet, and new videos that have just been posted. Combining all of these elements will make your content rank much higher. To create a resource that contains all of these elements will require a little extra work. You need to create images and videos that are unique to your resource. Also, you need to create unique content. This means that you have to write the content on your own. Copy and paste will not suffice. You will also need a lot of words in your content to get the best ranking on Google possible. I have found that a minimum of seven hundred words is necessary to achieve a higher ranking.

To rank in Google search, you have to have a search keyword that you would like to appear for. To rank for a specific keyword, or key phrase, you have to mention the word or phrase as many times as possible in your resource. You should also have they word or phrase mentioned in the title of your content. When you mention keywords in your content it shows Google that the content is about whatever your keyword is. Combine that with a unique lengthy post and you are sure to improve your rank in Google search.

Another helpful tip I have to share is intended for those who have just started their resource and are looking to rank front page in Google search for keywords as fast as possible. My tip to you is that you should focus on very specific key phrases that contain keywords that you are interested in ranking front page for in the future. So say you want to rank front page for “Pet shop Chicago” The first thing you are going to want to do is create content titled “Pet Shop Chicago – What to Feed my Dog in the Winter”. It is important to make the title very specific. This will show google that you are posting content that is unique and it will be more likely to rank front page on Google. If you keep posting specific titles with the keyword “Pet Shop Chicago” you will eventually gain Google’s trust and rank front page for that keyword.

How to Facetime on Snapchat – Helpful Tips

 

Image result for snapchat logoIn an update a little over a year ago, in one of the biggest Snapchat updates. The ability to facetime was added to the Snapchat app. This feature allows users to facetime with other snappers that are also using the app. When the update was first made public, many snappers had trouble figuring out how to facetime on Snapchat. It seems a little complicated when you first try it but it once you’ve done it a few times it is extremely simple. To facetime on Snapchat, both participants must be on each others messaging page. You can tell they are on the messaging page as you when the bottom right gallery button turns from yellow to blue.

This button usually allows you to send pictures from your gallery in the Snapchat messenger. When this gallery button turns blue that means that you and the person you are messaging are both on the same screen. When this happens you can hold down the blue button which will start the facetime feature. When you press and hold the button you it will first display a circle containing the view of your front facing camera. As soon as you hold down the blue button the view from your camera will replace the messages on the other users screen. There will be no audio until the other member presses and holds the blue button. Once the other user presses and holds the blue button on their screen. The messages on your screen will be replaced by the view from their front facing camera. The facetime will end when either one of the participants leaves the message page, or both participants remove their finger.
Congratulations, you are now Snapchat facetiming. There are a few little tricks you can do once you have initiated the facetime with your friend. The first one I am going to mention is flipping the camera. To switch between your front facing camera and your regular camera, you have just have to slide your finger to the top half of the screen this will flip the camera from front facing, to normal. To switch it back, you just slide your finger back to the bottom half of the screen. It can be kind of tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it, it will be intuitive. The second little tip I’m going to give you is how to lock the facetime so that you do not have to hold your finger down the whole time you are facetiming. To lock the facetime just slide your finger to either the very top of your screen, or the very bottom of your screen, your circle with the view of your camera will follow your finger to either the top or the bottom. Then just hold your finger, with the circle following it, at the top or bottom of the screen. When you do this a transparent lock symbol will appear. When it does slide your circle to the symbol; this will lock it in place so that you don’t have to hold it there the whole time. This helps greatly if you are sharing live video for an extended period of time.

SNAPCHAT MAIN PAGEĀ 

How to Add a Selfie to Customize Your Snap Code

Image result for snapchatThe July 2015 update for Snapchat had plenty of new additions to the app including: one tap story viewing, and a new snap code option. The new snap code option allows snappers to add a series of selfies that form a GIF. This GIF is then played in the center of your snap code. It is also what is seen by other snappers when you add them. It is pretty much just a profile picture for your Snapchat account. If you do not customize your snap code a random image of the Snapchat ghost with a random facial expression will display instead of your selfie GIF. Customizing your snap code is extremely easy and fun. So don’t be boring, follow the steps below to customize your snap code. It doesn’t take any time at all. 

The process of customizing your snap code by adding selfies is actually incredibly simple. First you are going to want to open the Snapchat app. Next you will be sent to the camera page of the app by default. There will be a ghost symbol at the top of the page in the center.

Tap the ghost at the top center of the screen, Or just swipe from top to bottom across the screen. You will be presented with this screen:
Your snap code is the yellow box above your username. Your snap code can be snapped by other snappers and it automatically adds you to their friends.  To customize your snap code with a selfie, simply tap on your snap code. When you tap on your snap code it will blow up and the white ghost will turn into your viewfinder for capturing your selfies.

To capture the selfies you just tap the circle underneath your code. The selfies will be captured in a burst of four pictures with a few seconds in between so that you can make another funny face or just adjust. Before the pictures are taken it will say, Ready, Set, Go. After the pictures are taken, they are turned into a GIF and will play in the silhouette  of the ghost. When you request to add people they will be able to see your selfie GIF. If you want to erase your customized snap code and return it to the default white ghost, just tap on your code again and tap the top left button that looks like a ghost with an arrow rotating counter clockwise around it.

Cabin Rental in Bryson City North Carolina

When people think cabin, there are many different images that can pop into a persons head. There are so many different styles, settings, and uses for cabins. There are those cabins that are nestled deep in valleys along a small creek, and those that are on the banks of roaring whitewater rivers. There are those on the open planes, and those in the rugged mountains. Cabins in Bryson City North Carolina offer a variety of styles and settings that can fulfill anyone’s dream of a perfect mountain vacation. Bryson City North Carolina offers very secluded cabins located on the very tops of mountains as well as cabins deep beneath the canopy of the deciduous forest. You have so many options in the area it can be really hard to choose which cabin will offer you the best stay. 
Image result for bryson city ncDepending on the goals of your trip to Bryson City North Carolina, you could either go for a high rent cabin or a low rent cabin. If you are planning on relaxing in your cabin, and not venturing out to explore too much, it would be beneficial to invest in a nicer cabin that will feel much more cozy and provide everything you need to stay there comfortably for a long period of time. Higher rent cabins feature high quality furnishing, entertainment, and views of the great smokey mountain landscape that will drain all the stress from your body. There cabins high up on the tops of mountains will offer breathtaking views with miles of mountain ridges rippling on the horizon, and let me tell you, watching a mountain sunset form a the porch of a mountain cabin should be on everyone’s bucket list. It is one of the most beautiful sites you will ever see. Cabins on streams offer the gentle rush of water cascading over rocks, falling asleep to the sound of a mountain stream should also be a part of every persons bucket list. 

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For those who prefer a cabin that will just be used in the mornings and evenings as a base camp for each day’s adventure, there are some options that are low cost so that you can gear up to partake in some of the many outdoor activities within reach of Bryson City. These typically do not have the spectacular views that hi dollar cabins offer but to me being in the mountains, even if it is just a view of the forest canopy, is the most beautiful thing in the world. If you have the money you can invest in a high dollar cabin and still experience the activities that the Bryson City area has to offer.
Image result for bryson city ncIf you are an outdoors enthusiast I highly recommend giving Bryson City a visit. Bryson City cabin rentals provide cozy rentals that will satisfy anyone who just needs to get away for a night, the weekend, or even a few weeks.
The Bryson City area offers many activities to participate in. Depending on the season you can see the mountains in a completely different light. Bryson City in the summer is an amazing place to get wet and wild on some whitewater streams and rivers. The Nantahala river is a great option for those who want to experience the scenic views but also enjoy some thrills.
 You can also catch a trophy on one of the many world class fly fishing streams in the area. You can hike to a hidden waterfall and have a picnic as you listen to the water crashing down. You can go paddle boarding on Lake Fontana.
 In the fall the mountains around Bryson City explode into a canvas splattered with bright red, orange, green and yellow. It is an incredible sight. On clear winter mornings in Bryson City you can see for miles to see the frosted mountains glisten in the sun. Spring in Bryson City is time for all of the flowers to bloom including the beautiful mountain laurels.
The motto of Bryson City North Carolina is one that I believe could not describe the feel of the town any better. The motto is “Have a big vacation in a small town”. This is exactly what you do there. Give Bryson City a visit and experience one of my favorite destinations. There are tons of rental cabins in Bryson City to choose from, so look around, find one that fits your needs, and get out there.

Rabbit Online Video Chat and Screen Sharing

Online video chatting services are not as exciting and cutting edge as they used to be. Skype and Oovoo were some of the first to offer the ability to call your friends and see their face via your computer and a webcam. Google Hangouts added another cool feature to the video chatting experience. Their service allows users to make their chats live on YouTube for subscribers and followers to watch real time. This was made possible because Google owns a variety of online services that are all intertwined to create an amazing online experience. Recently I found out about an online video chatting service that allows its users to create rooms that anyone can join by just typing in the URL. Even people who don’t have an account can join the video chat room. It is called Rabbit. Rabbit is an online video chatting service that is extremely easy to use. With Rabbit there is no need to sign up for an account unless you want to have control of the chat room. Only the owner of the chat room has to have an account. If you want to join the chat room you simply type in the URL of the room. Don’t worry, the chat room URL’s are extremely simple. It is just rabb.it/username. Except you replace “username” with the username of the person who’s chat room you’d like to join. This feature is great for those who would like to chat with their friends without having to set up accounts and add friends and all of that nonsense. When you first join your room there will be a ‘wall’ with nothing on it and you will see yourself in the bottom bubble. When people join their bubbles will be on the bottom with you. You can pin their bubbles on the wall to blow them up. You can either pin everyone you are talking to or just specific people. If you hover your mouse over someones bubble on the bottom, their image will be blown up on the wall. With Rabbit you can chat with up to fifteen people at a time. This can be helpful if you are trying to present something with a group of friends or study with some classmates. Rabbit also gives users the ability to share screens with everyone who is in the chat room. So if you found a video that you think your friends won’t be able to live without and you want to show them: you can tell them to open your chat room and you can launch You Tube and share it to all of your friends screens. You can share anything online with your friends or classmates. Anyone can join your chat room if they know your username, but if you want to have a private conversation with someone just have them join the room then you can lock the room so that nobody else can join until you unlock it again. You also have the option to kick people who are no longer welcome out of the chat room with the click of a button.  I’ve used Rabbit twice so far and the audio and video quality was great, and it ran extremely smooth. Rabbit is optimized for Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. To use Rabbit on Safari you will have to download a plugin. I will be posting more content regarding how to use Rabbit video chatting service as I tinker around with it some more. Check it out by clicking HERE

Paschal Golf Course Wake Forest North Carolina

Golf is one of the most expensive past times a person can get themselves caught up in. When you add up the cost of clubs, balls, greens fees, and cart fees; you will find golf to be an expensive hobby. Some courses are outrageously expensive while others offer a price better suited for those who are just getting into the sport. Paschal Golf Club in Wake Forest North Carolina is a course that offers a fun course without breaking the bank. It is a nine hole course located off of stadium drive in Wake Forest North Carolina. The address of the course is 555 Stadium Dr. Wake Forest, NC 27587. The pull in is located at the bottom of the hill if you are coming off of Capital blvd. You will see a small wooden sign on the right that simply says: “Paschal Golf Club”. As you pull in their is a creek that runs along the drive on the right. You will pull up to a small building with a gravel parking lot in the front. On your left you will see the fourth hole which is my favorite hole on the course. You tee off at the top of a cliff and try to stick your ball right onto the green. I usually use my eight iron for hole number four. When you go in to pay you will find the rates to be extremely reasonable. Nine holes at Paschal costs $12 walking, and $17 with a cart during the week. On the weekends and holidays it costs $15 to walk, and $20 with a cart. To play eighteen during the week costs $17 walking , and $24 with a cart. Eighteen on the weekends will cost $22 walking, and $30 with a cart. They also offer discounts for students that are between the ages of sixteen and twenty four as well as active military. Juniors also receive a discount. For the price the course is fairly decent. I have played it a few times in the winter and early spring and found the grass cover on the fairways to be very patchy and sandy. This could have been due to the heavy ice that the Wake Forest area received over the past winter. The greens were also patchy. The greens were also very flat which is good for anybody just getting into the sport. These conditions have changed in recent months. I stopped by today to check out the course in mid July and found that the course was in much better condition than when I played. I will definitely be sure to come back and play there once it starts to cool off. I definitely recommend this course to anyone who is interested in playing golf but is on a budget. The course is well worth the price and the owners do a great job with the resources available to them. A fun fact for any Arnold Palmer fans: Arnold Palmer played this course many times when he was a student at Wake Forest University. Again I highly recommend giving this course a try.

Snapchat Discover Bar on the Stories Page

The discover page on Snapchat was added a few updates ago. It is a collection of sponsored content from companies. The content ranges from articles to videos and even quizzes. Content is provided by companies such as CNN, People Magazine, ESPN, Food Network and many more. They used to be located on a page labeled ‘Discover’ but have recently made a move many snappers are not happy with. Although the page designated for the discover content is still in its original place, there is a new slide bar that contains all of the discovery content located at the top of the ‘stories’ page. This means that if you want to see the stories of your friends or whoever else you may follow, you have to look underneath the discover content bar. There is also another bar that contains featured stories from events and locations all around the world. These have already been on the stories page; but they would have been mixed in. Now they have a scroll bar at the top below the discover scroll bar. This is a small change that has caused a huge uproar in the snapchat world. Users are very unhappy with the change and want the change to be fixed. Personally, I don’t mind the change because it isn’t that big of a deal to look two rows below to see stories. The real issue is that snapchat is allowing their sponsored content to be put into the users feeds. This could be the first sign that snapchat is going to flood the service with paid advertising. Or, it could be the only move they make. We will never know. If you are wondering why snapchat is placing these ads and sponsored content in the first place, the answer is simple; money. When the discover page was first created it was a way for snapchat to make money off of the companies sponsored there without cluttering users feeds. The companies that are sponsored have paid a lot of money to be sponsored on the page. Snapchat of course is happy to take their money in exchange for an extra page on their app. Now that snapchat has moved the sponsored content into a higher traffic area of their app, they can charge even more for it. It is just like advertising on billboards. The billboard in Times Square is going to have a higher price tag than the billboard out in Montana. Since more eyeballs will look at the stories page than the discover page, snapchat decided to move them their so that they can make more money. Let’s just hope that they don’t get too carried away with advertising. It could get so bad that you will have to watch a five second ad before each snap you open. Don’t worry though because it isn’t that bad yet, but it could come.

Why Social Media Has Gone Mobile

Image result for snapchat updateSocial media is a huge industry that started on desktop computers. AOL was one of the very first social media sites to hit the internet. Since then hundreds of social media sites have been introduced. It has been a dynamic industry that has seen many changes over the years. Social media started out as a way to connect with your “friends” on the computer. As technology has evolved, so has social media. Cellular data allowed phones to connect to the internet which led to the ability for the traditionally desktop social media providers to create mobile versions of their sites. Then applications were developed that made using these sites on a phone or mobile device much more efficient. The social media sites that provide an app that gives a smooth mobile social media experience will thrive. The sites will receive less and less activity as the years go by. Why is this? Let’s face it the population is moving most of their personal life into their mobile devices. The younger generation is obsessed with their phones. It will become more and more rare for people to take the time to log into their accounts through a computer when they can just log in once on the app and just tap the app to view their feed, or upload pictures or whatever else they want to share. Out of the mobile social apps, certain ones will be more successful than others. The apps that allow users to view media as quick as possible will end up being the most successful. Apps like Snapchat, Instagram, and Vine are examples of great mobile social media platforms. Facebook and Twitter also have good mobile apps but Snapchat, Vine, and Instagram are much more simple and will be more successful. Simplicity and ease of use will determine how successful mobile social media is. 

Snapchat offers a service that started out as a way to quickly send pictures to friends that could only be viewed for a set amount of time; usually a few seconds. It has now evolved into instant messaging, a news feed, and even facetime. Instagram provides a feed of captioned pictures and short videos that can be viewed very quickly. Vine does the same thing but with only videos that are even shorter.
The speed that the information can be absorbed is what differentiates these apps from other social experiences. Vine is owned by twitter and instagram is owned by facebook. We will see if Twitter or Facebook get too greedy and try to add too many ads to their apps and ruin them. If they start putting too many ads on the apps it will eventually ruin them. Snapchat has found a clever way to make money off of their free service while still not cluttering users feed with ads. They simply have a section that is out of the way that is full of content from companies such as CNN, ESPN, National Geographic, and many more. They have always had these content links out of view. In the recent update they have moved these content links into users feed which is a terrible mistake. Users immediately complained and I would be surprised if they do not fix this soon.
The ads in feeds cause users to have to take more time to sort through all the content in front of them. This is what caused the migration to mobile social apps. There were no ads to distract users from what they wanted to see. Hopefully social apps will keep ads out of users feeds. If not, social media apps will end up like their desktop predecessors will soon be; left to rot.