Is Technology Destroying Social Connections?

stunning Torc waterfall in the Killarney National Park, IrelandLook at a picture of a lovely, green mountain. Clear streams tumble over rocks. Tiny fish dart through the shadows.

Now take a trip to this same mountain. Dip your feet into the clear stream. Reach in and try to touch the tiny fish.

The experience you will have looking at the picture compares to the experience we have texting or using other social media to communicate.

The experience you will have climbing the mountain and feeling the stream compares to the experience we have actually being in the room with people and looking at their faces, hearing their voices, and being able to touch them.

Portrait of young man frying sausages and talking to his son in the countryside at weekendNever connecting with nature is creating a sensory deprivation. Never connecting with individuals outside of technology is also changing the way our brains are wired.

In a an article entitled, “Face-time vs Screen Time” parenting expert and pediatric nurse Denise Daniels is quoted as saying  ”These kids aren’t connecting emotionally. Emails, texts — these lack the emotive qualities of face-to-face interaction.”

Does a friendly emoji replace a hug or even a phone call? Probably not, just as a picture of a mountain doesn’t replace the actual experience of climbing the mountain. Pictures are nice. Emojis are nice. But they don’t take the place of a real experience.

In the same article, Dr. Kate Roberts, a Boston-based school psychologist explains his views of the use of technology to communication. He says people who increasingly rely on technology to communicate are paying a heavy price society is just beginning to understand.

“Families text rather than have conversations. We’re living in a culture of sound bites, and that is not developing our verbal skills or our emotional intelligence,” Roberts said. “We’re down on the interaction time. Right now, at Boston College, there’s a course on how to ask a person out on a date. It’s like we’ve lost the skill of courtship and the ability to make that connection.”

The whole article can be see here, but it reads in part:

“Daniels is talking about neurotransmitters — chemicals in the brain that relay information between nerves. A developing child is born with pathways that expand based on stimulation like a parent’s voice, music, touch and eventually play. They also help children file and organize endless pieces of information gathered as they age. But for children who spend too much time interacting through a screen, something happens, Daniels says.

“Their neural pathways change and different ones are created. It affects concentration, self-esteem, in many cases they don’t have as deeply personal relationships,” Daniels said. “They lose empathy. We’ve seen kids like this that don’t develop those sympathetic and empathetic skills they need.”

Here at Wipple we love technology; however, we want everyone to consider spending face time with important people in your life.

Super Bowl Apps. Consider the Possibilities.

Imagine all of these fans using the same football app.

Imagine all of these fans using the same football app.

If you’re not attending Super Bowl 50 then you probably don’t plan on adding the Super Bowl 50 app. Still just thinking about how far our apps have come is pretty cool.

Before the game, fans can use the app to explore transportation options to the stadium and find out what’s going on at GameDay Fan Plaza Presented by SAP.

One thing the app does is give fans at the stadium a television experience. Here you are sitting in the stadium on tickets you paid in the thousands for and your app will allow you to watch the commercials seen by all those partying and snacking in living rooms across the country. Those in the stadium can also turn to their phones to watch instant replays from four different camera angles and explore interactive stadium maps.

There are also going to be a couple of cameras roaming around looking for celebrities. This celebrity search will have a feed which comes in live to the app. This way all those who downloaded the app are in on the sport of football event, but also the cultural event the Super Bowl has become.

The app will help sports enthusiast find their way through the stadium to their seats. They can order food and foam fingers.

This app is created by VenueNext. The company predicts the app will be used by more people than at any other venue. Right now a Taylor Swift concert from August currently holds the record.

If you aren’t going to the actual stadium, there are still some apps you might want to download in an effort to enhance Super Bowl Sunday. Consider these suggestions from pastemagazine.com.

NFL Mobile (Free) – This is the official NFL app. Verizon customers can watch the Super Bowl live on their phone. Non Verizon customers can get minute by minute scoring and highlights. There will be stats for each team as well as articles.

ESPN (Free) – This app is good for more than just Super Bowl 50. ESPN’s app includes live video and audio streaming from across its networks.

 

Whatever unique foods you need for your Super Bowl party, there's an app to either help you make the snack or order it.

Whatever unique foods you need for your Super Bowl party, there’s an app to either help you make the snack or order it.

GrubHub (Free) – It’s not a real Super Bowl game without snack food. GrubHub is a convenient way of having food brought to your door. Just enter your location, look up what restaurants are offered to you, and decide what you are in the mood for. You can pay either with cash, credit card or PayPal.

Food.com (Free) – For those who want to make their own snacks, Food.com has half a million different recipes. There’s something that’s sure to be ideal for your party.

Wikipanion (Free) – Debating with your friends about stats and past teams is a common past time at the Super Bowl gathering. You can now load up Wikipanion. The app makes it easy to browse through the different categories.

Fancred (Free) – Working as a kind of sporting social network, Fancred gives you a way of communicating with other fans around the world. You can stream live video and view instant scores, but the fun here is that you can also chip in with comments on how things are progressing. It’s not quite the same as being in a sports bar, but it’s a convenient replacement for those not going out.

Keep Your SEO Up To Date With Wipple

More and more individuals will search through voice activation.

More and more individuals will search through voice activation.

We’ve discussed Voice Search in reference to SEO in previous blogs, but we want all our clients and potential clients to understand that this is upmost in our consciousness as we help design websites and manage those websites.

If you are trying to attract web traffic via the words people type, then you are probably seeing an increase in traffic on your site. Even when things are going well, it is always a good idea to plan for the future.   Preparing for the future means attracting web traffic via the words people use to voice activate a search.

More and more mobile users are using the ease of voice search.  Google’s Chrome browser also offers voice searching for desktop users.

Google is promoting their voice activation idea by suggesting these searches have the following advantages:

  • Convenience if you are away from your desk
  • Convenience if your hands are full
  • Useful for longer requests
  • Easier when you’re not sure of a spelling

Your website needs to adapt to verbal search. Consider the following differences:

  • Verbal searches are not usually as succinct as typed searches.
  • Language is more conversational.
  • There may be follow-up questions.

As we help you design or rework your website, you will want to think about what kind of questions might be asked on a voice search.

Voice search is still not as popular as traditional typed search.  That said, we are still looking at what changes we need to help you make from an SEO point of view. We want you to have all the opportunities possible.

Wipple has a lot of options and plans for your website. Call now 1-360-901-1684 or go here to get professional help to set up yours.

Changing Face of SEO

Mobile Phones Apps Smartphone ApplicationsWhen you come to Wipple or any other online web design and internet marketing company, we will want to know all about your business and who your clients are.

Eventually we will discuss what’s known as SEO or Search Engine Optimization.

Search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo rank web pages and other content such as videos or local listings based on what the search engine considers is more relevant to internet users. When your site is optimized, then your customers can find you because you will be ranked on the search engines’ listings.

SEO is changing and there are new search patterns emerging.

Let’s consider why this is happening.

  • Mobile Devices. Mobile devices are doing approximately 60 percent of the internet use. Also consider most smart phone users are spending a huge chunkof their time on “Apps.” So, if internet activity is going mobile and mobile means apps, what is going to happen with the search engines?  Search engine optimization for apps is only in its infancy. As this technology progresses Wipple will incorporate the understanding into every web site we deal with.
  • Social networks are starting to search for content. There will be a need to optimize for Facebook and other social channels.
  • The introduction of Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and Alexa—voice-activated personal assistance has had an enormous impact on our search behavior.  You website will need to take this new development into consideration. One difference in personal assistant searches is how heavily they rely on the searcher’s history. They also more likely to search by location relevancy.

At Wipple we take all these things into consideration when we design a website. Some businesses are very sensitive to these changes, other businesses not quite so much.

Give us a call and we’ll help you determine your best course of action.

Wipple has a lot of options and plans for your website. Call now 1-360-901-1684 or go here to get professional help to set up yours.

Typography is Important. Find An Expert to Help You

Typography matters and at Wipple when we design or redesign websites for businesses, we are very cognizant of the font.

Your website should have a font that communicates your message. This is why attention needs to be given to the typography used on your website. Font. style, size, and spacing changes the way users and potential clients perceive your website and ultimately your business.

Consider the following:

  • Text should be integrated into a website so there is no disconnect between the writing and the design of a website.  With proper typography placement you won’t have odd looking spaces or weird, awkward line breaks.
  • Color and size of logos matter. Readability also matters.

    Color and size of logos matter. Readability also matters.

    The proper typography will distinctly show where the page viewer should start reading. You can have links on your page, even on the top of your page, but the welcome should catch the viewers’ eye first and should establish a clear hierarchy of where to start reading and how to proceed. This can all be done with type faces and size. You can highlight a section of text to attract the eye, but still allow for understandable copy.

  • Sometimes micro typography attracts attention just as much as macro typography does. Large and small and the contrast the sizes provide can be very appealing OR very unsettling depending on use.
  • The type should match the mood of your website.

    The type should match the mood of your website.

    The color of your page and the color of your text is very important. The combinations should not only be visually interesting and engaging, but also easy to read.

  • There should be consistency between your typography across the entire website.
  • It is important for your website to be read on various devices and the size will be increased and decreased by users. Your text needs to accommodate these changes and variations. More and more Baby Boomers are searching the web and a lot of these aging web surfers have their browsers displaying the type large.

Typography is important. Be sure to spend a few minutes with each pike of text. Contact Wipple for help on your website.

Wipple has a lot of options and plans for your website. Call now 1-360-901-1684 or go here to get professional help to set up yours.

Consider Direct Assist When Deciding SEO On Your Website

texas cowboy-875597__340Jerry is a brilliant engineer who has spent his whole working life designing irrigation systems for farmers across Texas. He is good at what he does and local land owners trust him because he is smart, and frankly, he sounds like a Texan.

He talks about the Dallas Cowboys, his horse, how great a state Texas, where to get the best barbecue, and his contempt for the teen who didn’t go to prison after killing four people. Just because Jerry feels so passionate about this subject, I will review quickly for you who have been living under a rock. The boy’s attorneys used the “Affluenza” defense to help their client avoid going to prison. The attorneys argued that the boy didn’t understand consequences because he was raised in such an opulent environment.

Affluenza teen, Ethan Anthony Couch was born April 11, 1997 he was given 10 years’ probation in juvenile court, on four counts of intoxication manslaughter, for recklessly driving drunk on June 15, 2013, in Burleson, Texas. He was illegally driving on a restricted license. He was also speeding when he lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a group of people standing near a disabled SUV.  Four people were killed in the collision; two passengers in Couch’s truck suffered serious bodily injury and a total of nine people were injured.

In December 2013, Judge Jean Hudson Boyd sentenced Couch to ten years of probation.

When Jerry talks about the “rich” boy, I have to listen carefully because of the engineer’s Texas drawl.

If you own a barbecue, you'll want people to find you.

If you own a barbecue, you’ll want people to find you.

When Jerry was driving around a small community in Southern Texas, he asked Siri for directions to the closest BBQ. His nasal West Texas twang confused Siri. She said, “Calling Babes now.”

“No! No! No!,” Jerry yelled at his rental car’s bluetooth. “Find me a place to eat.”

Siri directed the engineer to a Good Feets Store several hundred miles away.

Jerry wasn’t getting very much help from the digital assist. This does not mean millions of other internet users aren’t finding businesses and locations by verbally asking questions.

When you design your website, you need to be aware of this part of the technology. Direct Assist has a slightly different algorithm for deciding the business answers.

Call Wipple. We can help you. Maybe Jerry won’t find your business, but many others will. 360-901-1684.

Click here to see all we have to offer.

A New Start Up for 2016

Here at Wipple, we have seen so many new beginnings. Small business owners, entrepreneurs, and home-based business owners have come to us as they improve their profits, often as a result of improving their online presence.

We love the passion our clients have for growing their business.  We love to help build a website or upgrade a site which not only sales online but also can serve as an extension of the business card.

Over the course of the year we have looked at dozens of sites and helped business owners decide exactly what the purpose of the website should be.

Sometimes business owners simply want to provide more information to potential clients about services and credentials. Sometimes a better plan is to use the website for information about your company and provide articles or information.

This coming year we will continue to focus on helping you decide exactly you want out of your website and online marketing.

Usually when business owners come to us with ideas, we are happy to accommodate them because we love websites and online marketing. Somewhere in the process of working together; we hope to develop a friendship.   We love to see our friends success.

board-1108403_960_720We want to thank all our “friends” and hope we make a lot more in 2016.

If you are ready to start something new in 2016, give us a call.

Happy New Years

Deciding Between an Update or an Overhaul for Your Website

Every company, big or small, needs to review their website on a regular basis. Often the question companies must ask themselves is: “should I tweak my current website or go bigger and redesign?”

Web users continue to change how they access your site. Your website will need to accomodate these changes.

Web users continue to change how they access your site. Your website will need to accomodate these changes.

Redesigning the entire website often feels like a big project that many people want to avoid at all costs. Here are a few times when a major redesign might be necessary. 

  • Brand change: If you have changed your product in any significant way, you may now need to be marketing to a different demographic.

If this is the case, you don’t want to redesign in such a way that you alienate or lose your existing clients. To make sure this doesn’t happen, you will want to be relevant to prospective clients.

  • Content organization: If your website has been managed by a variety of individuals, you may find there is wonderful content available in a rather disjointed fashion.
  • Not mobile friendly: If you have a company that is increasingly being accessed by smart phones or other electronic mobile device, you may need to have a website that accommodates these clients.

Creating a website is kind of like trying to take a picture of a roller coaster ride. There is no way to define the ride by one picture. There is no way to define your company by one snap shot. Your website needs to be on a flexible framework which allows for growth and change. 

Contact Wipple for either an overhaul or a bit of tweaking. We can build you the frame work you need for flexability.

 

Websites Invite More People to Love Your Product

Web businessBusinesses will often suggest that their company is a “family” and that a website does not help them build the personal relationships they are looking for with their clients.  While there is something truly special about face to face communication, modern technology allows us to communicate in many ways.  Not only will your website allow you to reach more people, it will allow you to meet people you never would have met had you not drawn them to your business with your website.   

A website is not necessarily an impersonal place to conduct business. In reality it gives you a more potential customers to create a relationship with. More importantly, if internet users don’t find you on the web, they’ll seek out your competitors who have websites.

A website at its basic level gives millions of Internet users the following information:

  • Who you are
  • How you began
  • Past successes
  • What others are saying about you
  • What products and services you offer
  • How to find your physical location
  • How to contact you including phone number, fax and email
  • Additions to your business
  • Special offers
  • Upcoming promotions 

 Your competition is online so being online yourself could cost you.

Go here for any questions you may have. 

We will get our Wipple technology working for you. Let us explain. You know Google and other search engines use “spiders” and “bots” to search websites. These spiders and bots will help determine which websites will be placed on the front page  when internet users search for specific services.

At Wipple we place “wipples” throughout your website to point “spiders” and “bots” to the most important parts of your site. After being placed on your website, other Wipples are released throughout the Internet to point back to your site, giving you legitimacy throughout the Internet.

Christmas Websites for Children Brought to You By a Website Management Company

santa-claus-579113_640Children make the holidays magical because they get so excited.   This extra energy can be exhausting for adults who have been planning for months.Here are some websites to share with your children to help keep them entertained while you finish preparations.

For Holiday crafts head to interactivesites. These are some of the best K-5 online and educational games. Here your child can paint turkeys with the right multiplication number and many other educational activities.

For Christmas activities click here. There are math and word searches in a cute Christmas theme to give them an edge upon returning to school from holiday break.

Click here to play reindeer math and many other educational games.

For more Christmas games, click here!  This website is “santa clause house” and is great for growing minds!

If you love Mahjong, click here for a Christmas mahjong from akidsheart.com.

The North Pole times is a fun website with lots of stories that kids and adults alike will surely enjoy. Join Elvin, Waldo, Timbo, and the rest of the North Pole News Team as they bring you the latest breaking news, the hottest gossip, and more from Santa’s hometown. Click here to join in the fun!

santa-claus-and-his-reindeer-flying-through-the-night-on-christmas-eOn Christmas Eve remember to log on to The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) as they turn their attention from defending North America from air attacks and keeping tabs on man-made objects in space to do something much more important—follow Santa Claus around the globe on Christmas Eve.  It’s a fun site to share with your kids the night before Christmas; even more so if they need a little convincing that Santa Claus is coming to town and they’d better be in bed before he gets there!

 

This website management company is wishing you a happy holiday season! Contact us at WIpple if you need help with any aspect of your online business.