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10 Innovations That Have Changed the Online World

10 Innovations That Have Changed the Online World

While the origins of the Internet can be traced back to research that was commissioned by the federal government in the 1960s, it is only in the last two decades that this concept has begun to achieve its full potential. In this time, it has evolved from a disorganized collection of largely specialist academic pages into a global pool of diverse and carefully categorized information, which can be accessed by a network of billions.

Search engine giant Google have played a huge role in overseeing the development of the Internet, especially with regards to how data is categorized and the ease with which it can be accessed. The end result is that the Internet has undergone a number of changes since the start of the 1990s, which have broadened its appeal and the range of tasks that it can be used to undertake on a daily basis.

So what changes have had the most significant impact on the World Wide Web, and how have they influenced business owners, consumers and personal users throughout the world? Consider the following10 innovations that have changed the online realm:

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1. E-Commerce

Arguably one of the most high-impact developments of the last fifteen years, e-commerce has revolutionized the way in which consumers shop, reference goods and purchase products. Despite ongoing concerns regarding cyber theft and the ability of online thieves to compromise your security while shopping online, the annual spend in this sector is continuing to rise substantially and reached an estimated $370 billion globally in 2013. The impact has gone far beyond monetary value alone, however, as it has also delivered the ultimate convenience to consumers while also enabling small business owners to diversify their income stream.

2. Local Search and Real-time Marketing

While online marketing is certainly not a new concept, its constantly changing nature means that businesses must be willing to revise their strategies and what constitutes best practice. One of the most significant developments of recent times is the popularization of local search and real-time marketing trends, which encourage brands to target local customers through a series of promotions that are delivered to digital media and mobile devices. This has not only benefited consumers, but it has also afforded business owners an opportunity to develop a loyal and motivated customer base.

3. Organic Online Marketing Trends

While Google’s most recent Panda update may have caused considerable consternation among marketers and webmasters alike, it is the latest in a long line of algorithm changes that have been designed to cultivate organic online marketing trends. Although this resulted in some businesses and commercial websites being penalized for using supposedly ‘black-hat’ SEO techniques, it has at least begun to improve the quality and relevance of content that can be found on specific web pages.

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4. Social Media and Professional Networking

While it is well known that the advent of social media has made remote communication more accessible than it has ever been before, it is only recently that it has emerged as a professional networking and marketing tool. This should come as no surprise, however, especially when you consider the vast of global nature of social media’s user base and its potential as a vehicle for driving customer engagement. With business owners now able to strategically market their brand and network through sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, they have an opportunity to broaden their customer base and boost profitability on a global scale.

5. Crowdfunding

Historically, funding a business venture was one of the hardest aspects of bringing a creative vision to life. While it remains a challenge for the majority of small business owners, the Great Recession has altered the nature of the lending industry and helped to create a series of flexible financing options. Technology has also been a key driver of this evolution, with crowdfunding a key example of how businesses can seek out finance remotely without offering an equity share to investors.

6. Online Dating

Moving away from the worlds of commerce and business, it is worth noting that the changing nature of the Internet has also had an impact on recreational activities and pastimes. Take the concept of dating, for example, which can now be conducted online through a number of reputable networking sites. Designed to enable busy professionals to find love, they provide a medium through which members can interact and connect with compatible matches. Online dating has become exceedingly popular, and has emerged as a stand-alone industry worth billions.

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7. Skype and Real-time Communication for the Modern Age

Long-distance communication used to pose many difficulties, whether people chose to exchange letters or invest in expensive international calls. The enhancement of remote communication skills has helped to negate these issues, however, and this drive culminated in the development of freemium voice-over-IP services such as Skype. Capable of delivering video phone technology and instant messaging, these services have drastically reduced the cost of making international calls and also the hassle of communicating with traveling friends and loved ones.

8. Electronic Payment Methods

While credit and debit cards have been around for a substantial period of time, they embody the most prominent trends in online and electronic payment methods. Cash is no longer the only currency with which products can be purchased, and this offers considerable convenience to customers while also enabling businesses to boost and diversify their existing income streams. The increased capabilities of mobile technology means that modern-day consumers can even pay for items using their smartphones, negating the need to carry around a wallet or excessive credit cards.

9. Online Trading and Investment

For generations, the fast-paced and often harsh world of financial trading has relied on the communication skills of brokers and international service providers. The advent of online trading has changed this, however, with the result that today’s demographic of investors can execute orders remotely using advanced software programs and free to access accounts. This makes it easier than ever to complete real-time transactions and capitalize on breaking economic trends, which should theoretically enable investors to boost their income levels. Although advanced online trading concepts such as HFT (high frequency trading) have caused controversy and been accused of destabilizing the financial markets, this shouldn’t deflect from the fact that investors have been empowered by the evolution of the World Wide Web.

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10. Online Gaming

Not only has online gaming begun to rival video game platforms in terms of revenue in recent times, but it has also opened up the entire market to a wider social demographic. This is reflected in the fact that women now account for 47% of all gamers in the U.S., while there are also statistics to suggest that online gaming is playing a pivotal role in modern family life.

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Last Updated on May 14, 2019

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

8 Replacements for Google Notebook

Exploring alternatives to Google Notebook? There are more than a few ‘notebooks’ available online these days, although choosing the right one will likely depend on just what you use Google Notebook for.

  1. Zoho Notebook
    If you want to stick with something as close to Google Notebook as possible, Zoho Notebook may just be your best bet. The user interface has some significant changes, but in general, Zoho Notebook has pretty similar features. There is even a Firefox plugin that allows you to highlight content and drop it into your Notebook. You can go a bit further, though, dropping in any spreadsheets or documents you have in Zoho, as well as some applications and all websites — to the point that you can control a desktop remotely if you pare it with something like Zoho Meeting.
  2. Evernote
    The features that Evernote brings to the table are pretty great. In addition to allowing you to capture parts of a website, Evernote has a desktop search tool mobil versions (iPhone and Windows Mobile). It even has an API, if you’ve got any features in mind not currently available. Evernote offers 40 MB for free accounts — if you’ll need more, the premium version is priced at $5 per month or $45 per year. Encryption, size and whether you’ll see ads seem to be the main differences between the free and premium versions.
  3. Net Notes
    If the major allure for Google Notebooks lays in the Firefox extension, Net Notes might be a good alternative. It’s a Firefox extension that allows you to save notes on websites in your bookmarks. You can toggle the Net Notes sidebar and access your notes as you browse. You can also tag websites. Net Notes works with Mozilla Weave if you need to access your notes from multiple computers.
  4. i-Lighter
    You can highlight and save information from any website while you’re browsing with i-Lighter. You can also add notes to your i-Lighted information, as well as email it or send the information to be posted to your blog or Twitter account. Your notes are saved in a notebook on your computer — but they’re also synchronized to the iLighter website. You can log in to the site from any computer.
  5. Clipmarks
    For those browsers interested in sharing what they find with others, Clipmarks provides a tool to select clips of text, images and video and share them with friends. You can easily syndicate your finds to a whole list of sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Digg. You can also easily review your past clips and use them as references through Clipmarks’ website.
  6. UberNote
    If you can think of a way to send notes to UberNote, it can handle it. You can clip material while browsing, email, IM, text message or even visit the UberNote sites to add notes to the information you have saved. You can organize your notes, tag them and even add checkboxes if you want to turn a note into some sort of task list. You can drag and drop information between notes in order to manage them.
  7. iLeonardo
    iLeonardo treats research as a social concern. You can create a notebook on iLeonardo on a particular topic, collecting information online. You can also access other people’s notebooks. It may not necessarily take the place of Google Notebook — I’m pretty sure my notes on some subjects are cryptic — but it’s a pretty cool tool. You can keep notebooks private if you like the interface but don’t want to share a particular project. iLeonardo does allow you to follow fellow notetakers and receive the information they find on a particular topic.
  8. Zotero
    Another Firefox extension, Zotero started life as a citation management tool targeted towards academic researchers. However, it offers notetaking tools, as well as a way to save files to your notebook. If you do a lot of writing in Microsoft Word or Open Office, Zotero might be the tool for you — it’s integrated with both word processing software to allow you to easily move your notes over, as well as several blogging options. Zotero’s interface is also available in more than 30 languages.

I’ve been relying on Google Notebook as a catch-all for blog post ideas — being able to just highlight information and save it is a great tool for a blogger.

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In replacing it, though, I’m starting to lean towards Evernote. I’ve found it handles pretty much everything I want, especially with the voice recording feature. I’m planning to keep trying things out for a while yet — I’m sticking with Google Notebook until the Firefox extension quits working — and if you have any recommendations that I missed when I put together this list, I’d love to hear them — just leave a comment!

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