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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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Published on September 20, 2018

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

11 Google Chrome Apps and Features to Help You Get More Done with Less Effort

In today’s fast-paced and never-ending busy world, we are overwhelmed by tasks that need to be completed by tight deadlines. With so much technology it is difficult to find the right tools to help boost our efficiency. And, many tools get obsolete so its essential to stay up-to-date to know when you will have to make adjustments to these tools. Independently of where you work, there’s a good chance that you have to be working on a PC or a laptop.

Do you are feel like you do not have enough time, or cannot accomplish much as of late? It is recommended to take a step back and look at the big picture. Also, you want to explore new and innovative ways to improve productivity.

In this article, I outline 11 features and apps within the Chrome browser that can help you do just that.

Minimizing Tabs

Let’s face it we all have more than a dozen tabs opened on our computers. One neat trick to still keep most of them open is to turn them into pinned tabs. On Google Chrome you can right-click the tab and select “Pin Tab” option. This turns the tab into an icon enabling you to continue multitasking.

Pinning a tab anchors the tabs on the left of your toolbar; a great benefit of the “Pin Tab” feature is that you can’t close these tabs accidentally since the “X” disappears after pinning them.

Incognito Mode

Google Chrome is a very easy-to-use and intuitive. But, Google does collect our browsing data; so to remedy this, you can use Incognito Mode. This feature does not keep your browsing or download history. You can enable or access it in three different ways:

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  1. Press Ctrl/Command+shift+N
  2. Select File Menu and choose New Incognito Window
  3. Download extension New Incognito Window

This feature is very handy if you’d rather not have your browsing history stored and utilized for future advertisement or suggested pages.

Save Webpages as PDF Files

Have you ever browsed interesting or important information and then forgot to bookmark or save it in “favorites”, making it impossible to find again? Chances are you have done this on a number of occasions.

Thankfully, there is an easy solution. You can save webpages as PDF files. On your keyboard, press control/command+p and you will be able to save webpages as PDFs.

Open Recently-closed Tabs

Ever had dozens of tabs opened and all of a sudden your browser shuts down? It has probably happened to all of us. You can easily recover all of your tabs using two approaches. Don’t panic if this happens because there is a workaround and solution for it.

One is by pressing Ctrl/CMD+Shift+T.

The other approach is to click on the three vertical dots on your browser and hover over “History”.

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Solve Mathematical Problems

Google’s Chrome browser doesn’t just search for relevant and updated information. It is also capable of performing some mathematical problems. Within the omnibox (Chrome’s address or URL bar), you can perform mathematical exercises.

For example, if you are struggling with percentages you can search 20 percent of x amount and it will instantly provide a result. Pretty handy, right?!

Play Media Files

Are you frequently met with difficulties when playing or watch a video files? Well, once again Chrome comes to the rescue. You can can listen or play videos from all sorts of movie or music files (mp3, mp4, .mov, .mkv, .ogv, .webm, .wav, etc.) by simply dragging the file into the search bar.

In addition, you can view images, PDF files and Microsoft Office files, too.

Navigate Swiftly Between Tabs

With all of those tabs opened comes great navigation responsibilities. Rather than clicking through every tab, you can use shortcut keys like Ctrl+Tab to navigate all of the different tabs. Also, you are able to navigate to the first tab by pressing Ctrl-1, Ctrl-2, and so on. If you want to switch to the very last tab, press Ctrl-9.

Stay Focus(e)d

Computers nowadays have awesome capabilities.

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Sometimes we like to get work done, but let’s face it, we’re all human. We sometimes procrastinate by visiting a website we really like, or maybe take a break with watching a flick on Netflix, a video on YouTube or browsing Facebook.

With Chrome’s StayFocusd extension, you can truly stay focused and get more done in less time.

This extension naturally helps you stay more productive by limiting the amount of time you spend on websites. You can set the time and it will automatically block those sites after a certain period.

Grammarly for Editing

Grammarly is a must have, and it’s really a complete powerhouse. Grammarly helps you check your grammar and spelling for everything you write online.

You can use it professionally or as a student, which will make the editing process much easier and more efficient. Furthermore, it can automatically check for typos when you send an email, type a Tweet, or post a Facebook comment. It’s like having your own personal copyeditor!

Loom

There are times that words in an email or written text in a chat app will just not convey the right meaning.

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There is a saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, the same is true of videos.

With Loom, you can capture, narrate and immediately share video recordings of your screen, which will help coworkers understand issues you are facing, or to easily convey an explanation on screen. Plus, with video you will be able to easily walk people through a process, and you can use it to create simple how-to videos.

Chrome Calendar Extension

No matter what your level of responsibility is at your job, Google Calendar is another essential resource to have at your fingertips.

Specifically, you can have this extension added as an icon in the toolbar of your browser, which I highly recommend. Once you add the extension to your browser, you can check for upcoming events with a single click without leaving your current page.

Final Thoughts

Google Chrome has definitely evolved from its inception. As you can see you have a very powerful tool that comes as a free installation and is loaded with dozens of capabilities. The above listed Chrome apps can resolve some of the most common obstacles to your time management and productivity.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

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