Does Wikipedia Need A Facelift?

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Virtually everyone loves Wikipedia for what it has to offer. It is a gigantic resource that can be used by students, academics, and even doctors to help provide valuable information on perhaps the widest range of topics ever compiled. It is filled with millions of articles, images, and pieces of information in over 280 different languages. It’s also home to around 75,000 dedicated editors who are all a part of a wide ranging community that tries to keep Wikipedia as reliable and helpful as possible. With all these plaudits and accolades, you might think that Wikipedia is free from criticism. Of course, one of the major criticisms against Wikipedia is its design.

Since it was created in 2001, Wikipedia has largely stuck with the familiar white and black color scheme and utilitarian formatting. If you have ever used Wikipedia for anything, then you are probably familiar with the design. There’s nothing really flashy about it, and it’s certainly not winning any graphic design contests, but the design is functional. Over the years, it’s received minor facelifts, but nothing that has been particularly noteworthy.

Wikipedia has also received a number of different proposals for redesign over the years. As one of the most popular websites on the internet, Wikipedia has stayed surprisingly true to its design form. For anyone looking for no-nonsense information, Wikipedia is ideal. But, for creative types, the website can be almost unreadable. Blocks of text aren’t spaced out well, there is too much white space, and the typography in general is out of date. But, again, this is a website with some of the highest traffic rates on the web. Another top-ten website, Yahoo, has seen innumerable changes since it was first unveiled in the 90’s. In fact, the original Yahoo website is almost unrecognizable by comparison.

So, what’s the deal with Wikipedia? For starters, many people at Wikipedia sort of work off the philosophy of, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” For the most part, this rings true. Although Wikipedia can, at times, be difficult to read, it still gets the job done quite well (especially considering it’s got over 30 million pages to deal with). Another reason that Wikipedia has yet to update or streamline its look is because most redesign proposals don’t take into account the complex infrastructure of the Wikipedia community and Wikipedia editing in general. Most redesigns focus purely on the aesthetic aspects of the site on not the functional ones.

There is even an official discussion page on Wikipedia titled “Unsolicited redesigns.” This is a place to lay out the rules for redesigns and talk about why they may or may not be feasible. One of the newest redesign proposals comes from a Swedish design studio called “1910.” The design looks very similar to the current Wikipedia, but it utilizes white space more, separates blocks of text, enlarges images, and effectively makes the website more readable as a whole.

Wikipedia screenshot

Of course, if we’re just talking about aesthetics, most redesign proposals look nicer than the current Wikipedia design. For the most part, however, redesign proposals are largely put on the back burner. It does not look like Wikipedia is going to make a large-scale redesign any time soon, so you might as well get used to the utilitarian functionality of the site.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Image author owned 

Charloette Russell is a graphic designer with an expertise in website layout. She is a graduate of the University of Michigan and still resides in Ann Arbor. Some of her most notable clients include General Motors, Kellogs, and Toyota. Through her education and experience, she has changed the way people see web pages of various companies.

Three Things BlackBerry Has to do to recreate its Former Success

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BlackBerry hasn’t had a good few years, seeing their stocks plummet, their technology fail and their sales diminish. Nobody sees BlackBerry as a ‘go to’ brand like they used to, but we’ve come up with three ways the company could reclaim that former success.

Fix the design
Does a BlackBerry phone have a physical QWERTY phone or not? The company has flipped the keyboard design on and off like a light switch over the past year and the result has been far from successful.

There are very few phones being released which actually have a physical keyboard. Is that a sign of the times? We think so, and BlackBerry isn’t letting the age of the QWERTY keyboard pass, and it is paying for it.

The Canadian company needs to focus on releasing a range of phones with a responsive and vivid touch screen that is reliable. Even with the latest releases, we’ve been given touch screens which aren’t as responsive as other manufacturers, and that flaw is driving people away.

To put it simply, BlackBerry needs to fix the design issues, if it doesn’t, it’s unlikely that the firm will exist this time next year.

Change its Audience
Another thing BlackBerry could do is change its audience. For the past few years BlackBerry has been targeting younger audiences, losing track of where its original success was found: in the business sector.

Instead of trying to focus on the teenage audience, why doesn’t BlackBerry head back to basics and become the business phone manufacturer on the market.
When business people are looking for a new handset, you won’t see them hunting around for the best phone deals, instead, they will know to head straight for a BlackBerry. This is the ideal situation for BlackBerry and what it should be striving to secure.

Sort out the OS
If your own system doesn’t run well, it’s unlikely people will buy your phone, simple as that. The BlackBerry 10 operating system wasn’t bad in all fairness, but before that BlackBerry was a much maligned system, thanks to multiple issues from lack of apps to constant crashing.

Windows Phone 8 was released at a similar time to BlackBerry 10, so why has it stuck around when BB10 hasn’t? Because WP8 secured the most important apps, and released the most important updates to its users when BlackBerry didn’t, and now it is stealing away the users BlackBerry once had.

If BlackBerry is to get out of the mess it’s found itself in, it needs to keep improving its OS in an effort to bring more customers in.
If BlackBerry improves its OS further, it could begin to compete effectively against the likes of Windows Phone, Android and Apple, just like the good old days.
If BlackBerry does any one of these three things, it might be able to climb out of this hole it’s stuck in. Hopefully we might just be seeing BlackBerry make a resurgence this year if it gets things right.

What Are the Benefits of Using Dedicated Server Hosting

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Hosting
Almost all companies across the world use hosting services, but dedicated server hosting offers the resources and capabilities of the entire server with the whole server completely devoted to the cause of the company. Dedicated servers are for those who don’t want to share their hosting server with any other hosting partner. This kind of hosting is much easier in comparison to shared server hosting. This is because in this type of server, there is an option for devoted assets like hardware and software. Therefore, a dedicated server web hosting service, a dedicated server, or an organized hosting service is a kind of Internet hosting in which the purchaser leases a whole server, not shared with anyone else. There are many advantages of using a dedicated hosting.

Reliability:
If you share your server with other server hosting clients, you are inviting risks. There is the risk of losing memory or bandwidth of the server as others are using it. Dedicated server web hosting can easily solve those problems by providing you the entire server to your service without the interference of others.

Security:
It is one hundred percent secure with 24×7 day and night support system. Regular system updates and security patches are available. As business across the world is increasing with innumerable companies coming up in the global scenario, no one can afford the luxury of risking security questions. Dedicated server hosting is secure and the data is safe from outside traffic.

Control and Flexibility:
If you share your server with other clients, there are many things you cannot control over the server. But dedicated server hosting provides this opportunity for the growth of your business. It can provide flexibility by managing almost everything for you with your own developers and engineers.

Better performance:
Dedicated hosting, not being shared with any other client, can raise the performance of your server. Whether your server is crowded with web traffic every day or loaded with high-resolution photos and videos, the dedicated server hosting service make your server work smoothly and accurately. As competition across the world is growing with bitter rivalry, better performance in quick succession of time is what the companies require. Dedicated web hosting provides them with the desired quality performance.

Custom configuration:
Many hosting services like the shared hosting service do not provide the opportunity to install or manage any new software of hardware to your server, as being shared by other clients. The traffic is also very dense, affecting the performance of the server a great deal. However, the dedicated web hosting service allows custom configuration of the server by allowing you to install special software or configure the server according to the need of the company’s profile.

Unique IP address:
Most of the shared hosting services use a shared IP address, risking the security of the server but the dedicated server hosting service has its own unique IP address.
Gone are those days when the majority of enterprises chose to host their websites overseas. The United States was the most favored hosting place visited amidst many businesses. Today, thanks to the growing IT sector, countries like India are emerging destinations in the arena of dedicated server hosting.

Ted Garza
About the author: Ted Garza is a professional teacher. He has worked at kindergartens in USA and abroad for most of his professional life. In his free time he likes to write texts and articles on the topics of technology and also its implementation in everyday life for different websites (for example for the Danish UnoEuro server hosting domain campaign. He is always excited to share and comment his views on modernity with other people interested in such discussions.

A round-up of the very best smartphones of 2013

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As 2013 draws to an end, now is the time to look back on the last 12 months and take a closer look at the highlights of the year. For technology fans, this year has been a great one for the smartphone, which has developed even further than many would have believed possible.

Let’s take a look at the very best smartphones of 2013, before we start looking ahead to next year’s new releases.

1. LG G2. LG has outdone the competition with the G2, which boasts high-end features, great performance and exceptional style. The best and most surprising thing about the LG G2, however, is its very affordable price.

2. iPhone 5s. The iPhone 5s offers everything from speed, a big screen, a lightweight design, amazing high-tech features and jaw-dropping photos and videos. There isn’t much more you could want, except perhaps a couple of hundred knocking off its sizeable price-tag.

3. Samsung Galaxy S4. It may be a bit pricy, but it is hard to beat the Galaxy S4 when it comes to exceptional performance and hardware. It’s an all-round amazing device, one which is not only available on 4G networks but also works with a pay as you go sim card.

4. HTC One X+. If you liked the HTC One, you’ll be blown away with the newer version, which boasts extended battery life and a newer version of Android.

5. Huawei Ascend P6. This device is often mentioned by technology fans as one of the most beautifully designed smartphones around. It offers value for money, has great cameras and a customisable interface, and could only really be improved with 4G access and NFC.

6. Nokia Lumia 720. Like the Nokia Lumia 625, the Lumia 720 is a fantastic mid-range smartphone which makes the very most of Windows Phone 8. If you want good, reliable performance and a well-balanced device, all for a reasonable price, the 720 is the phone to go for.

7. iPhone 5c. Although some have argued that there was no need for the 5c, as it is simply a brighter, funkier version of the hugely popular 5s, there’s no denying that this handset is a really great device (as is the 5s) with the added bonus of being more fun and much more colourful.

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How To Promote Your Small Business Quickly And Cheaply With Technology

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If you want to make your business a success then you need to make sure that people know about it. You could be giving away pure gold, but if you didn’t find a way to make sure people knew about it, then you would find that you didn’t get many customers.

Thankfully self-promotion is easier these days than it has been in the past thanks to the wealth of useful technology that is available to everyone. By using printing, online advertising and social media, it’s possible for even the smallest company to be seen by thousands every day with no need to blow millions on a TV ad campaign.

So what are the quickest and most effective ways to use technology and get your name out there? Read on and you’ll discover how to make your business eminently discoverable with a low budget and a short timescale…

Printing

Every business has a printer these days, so the only investment you need to make to promote your business with print materials is in the ink. And for local companies this is a brilliant and easy strategy – all you need is to outsource the design of a great flier or poster and then to distribute these around your local area by hanging them in shop windows or even handing them out/posting them through letter boxes. This is a great method because it means your potential customers will actually be holding something physical – and that’s much harder to ignore than an e-mail.

PPC

One of the best ways to bring people quickly to your website is with a PPC ad campaign. Essentially this is any advertising campaign where you only pay out when someone clicks on one of your adverts. This in turn means that you don’t waste any money paying for ads that no one sees or responds to.

The most popular form of PPC is ‘AdWords’, which is the main program offered by Google. Using AdWords you can get your text ads to show up as ‘sponsored links’ alongside organic search results. This in turn means that you can pay to show alongside particular search terms, thus allowing you to ‘target’ particular users. Trying to promote a hotel in Sweden? Then you’d target terms like ‘hotel in Sweden’ and perhaps ‘things to do in Sweden’.

SEO

SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and is the system that companies use to get their sites to rank naturally in Google and on other search engines. In other words, by using SEO you can get your site to show up when someone types ‘hotels in Sweden’ as one of the regular results, and of course the main aim here is to get to the top of the list for as many related terms as possible.

SEO is a fantastic tool that is very cost effective and that can bring you long-lasting results. However it is also a relatively slow process and can be complicated to learn at first.

Social Media Marketing

Social media marketing means essentially trying to promote your business through Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter and other social networks. This is a strategy that more and more companies are using, and it’s a great way to spread your brand through a network and to gain a ‘personal’ touch as well.

As an added bonus, social media marketing is also tied closely to SEO. If you can get lots of people to naturally share and like your pages and groups, then Google will see this as a sign that your website is popular and it will help it to rank more highly again in the organic search results.

YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine on the net? And because you can create compelling videos that will grab people’s attention much more than a long article, it can also be more impactful and convincing than other forms of marketing. Create a viral video, or an entertaining channel, then link to your site in the description to bring lots of new traffic to your site.

Featured images:
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Creative Commons image source 
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/print-printer-printing-device-159336/
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/social-network-facebook-network-76532/
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://pixabay.com/en/dress-shop-dresses-clothes-inside-97261/

The contributor of today’s article is Carol Parker. Carol is a freelance blogger currently writing for Excel Toners, leading suppliers of toners and cartridges. Carol is an ardent reader of novels and likes to blog about variety of things that interest her.

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