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10 Must-Read Tech Sites to Stay Updated

10 Must-Read Tech Sites to Stay Updated

Are you looking for the most credible voices in technology news? The rise of online publications and blogs has resulted in a flood of information regarding computers, mobile gadgets, software and operating systems. It can be difficult, however, to know which websites you can trust. Here are some of the most trusted websites; these will help you keep up with the constant flow of technological updates.

1. Arstechnica.com

sopa-screenshot-arstechnica-com

    First on the list is Ars Technica, simply because of the date of inception. This site has been around for nearly two decades, a very substantial amount of time. The publication, now owned by Conde Nast, is a go-to for both tech professionals and hobbyists. Ars Technica features a wide range of news and editorials, delving into business, legal ramifications, security, and other consumer interests.

    The dialogue isn’t a one-way street, either. Readers can interact with one another by checking out the Ars Technica forums, which allow for discussions on hardware modifications, operations systems, software and gaming. Ars Technica’s operations are funded primarily by online advertising and it has been a paid subscription service since 2001.

    Interestingly, the website generated much controversy in 2009 when they prevented users who had installed advertisement blocking software from viewing the site. While this stirred some negative reactions, the site continues to be a trusted resource today.

    2. Techcrunch.com

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      Second on the list is TechCrunch, thanks to the website’s more than 50,000 active contributors. If you want to get the scoop on technology startups, then TechCrunch is the news source for you. This publication highlights the business side of tech innovation, covering major acquisitions, funding sources, and product launches. You can browse news based on brand names, such as Google, Apple, or Twitter. You can also sift through news and reviews by tuning into different category channels like Enterprise, Startups, or Mobile.

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      One of the most compelling sections of Tech Crunch is Crunch Base, a vast database of technology companies and startups. Each Crunch Base profile includes financial details for each company, including funding received, headquarters locations, and the names of the founders.

      In 2011, the company was accused of ethical violations and the founder, Michael Arrington, left the company. Fortunately, the company was able to bounce back, and still provides great technological updates for consumers.

      3. Engadget.com

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        Engadget makes number three on our list, because it’s a great multilingual resource. Impressively, this resource has been helping people make informed tech purchasing decisions since 2004. It’s no surprise that the collection of blogs on Engadget have had such success, since it was created by a co-founder of Gizmodo, Peter Rojas.

        Interestingly, the editorial team involved in steering Engadget to fame has moved on to pursue several other successful endeavors. For example, former Engadget editor-in-chief, Joshua Topolsky, went on to create The Verge, followed by an editorial role at Bloomberg.

        4. Thenextweb.com

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          The Next Web makes the next spot on our list, because of their more than 6.5 million unique monthly visitors. This site is constantly looking at the newest gadgets, web app updates, and service features. Get the head start you need on the latest tech updates, and if you are looking to make a new gadget purchase, check out The Next Web first. They will let you know if something better is coming out shortly!

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          Unlike many other tech websites, The Next Web has been able to avoid controversy and continues to thrive drama-free today.

          5. Wired.com

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            We love this website because it came from a popular magazine! Coming in at number five on our list, this website split from Wired Magazine in 1990, when it was purchased by Conde Nast Publishing.

            This publication deals with the popular culture surrounding technology. If you’re looking for an engaging, yet casual read, this website is for you. Wired features entertainment, opinion, business, and security news regarding electronics of all kinds. Furthermore, if you’re interested in an old-school paper and ink experience, you can still buy a copy of Wired magazine on newsstands.

            6. Tomshardware.com

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              Tom’s Hardware makes the next spot on our list of trustworthy websites, because it’s been around since 1996. If you’re looking for a site that can help with projects, then check this one out. Tom’s Hardware features a unique “build your own” section, where you can learn how to build your own computer.

              Anyone who’s replaced a computer part or built a PC will tell you how difficult it is to track reviews, part upgrades, and the latest sales. Furthermore, seasoned hardware tinkerers are faced with a dizzying array of components to choose from.

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              Fortunately, Tom’s Hardware helps you cut through the noise and get sound advice on computer parts, from tower cases to motherboards. As stated above, this is the ultimate resource if you’re thinking about building a computer, particularly for gaming.

              7. Cnet.com

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                Next on the list is CNET, because we like their region-specific and language-specific editions. Early consumers loved CNET because of their enormous library of freeware and software reviews, available through the CNET download section.

                This publication has been around since 1994, and owned by The CBS Corporation since 2008. Reviews make up the majority of content on CNET, helping consumers choose the best hardware, software, and tech services.

                Remember Limewire? CNET has been accused of having a part in the controversial music sharing program, but a lawsuit from 2011 has yet to go anywhere.

                8. 9to5Mac.com

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                  Number eight on the list is 9 to 5 Mac, solely because it was founded only seven short years ago. The website is very impressive, however, and covers more than just Apple products. They provide information on thousands of accessories that are compatible with the Mac OS X and iOS platforms.

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                  This platform is considered one of the most reliable sources for Apple-relevant news, and it’s founding team has been in featured in Business Insider.

                  9. Gizmodo.com

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                    Coming in towards the end of our list because it was founded just a little over a decade ago, Gizmodo is a prime example of how powerful crowd sourced information and blogging can be. This publication is part of the Gawker Media network, a family of blogs that includes Lifehacker, Deadspin, and Jezebel.

                    These blogs are all powered by Kinja, which enables any user, including readers, to contribute to the discussion with their very own blog posts. This blurs the line between bloggers and readers, encouraging more people to contribute their voices to the news feed.

                    10. NewYorkTimes.com

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                      Lastly,we have Bits: The Business of Technology from the New York Times. This newspaper is a leading resource for various information; so it’s no surprise that this long-standing publication has created a blog dedicated to technology!

                      Bits gathers information from every corner of the Internet, and NY Times writers weigh in on new product launches, tech conventions, and upcoming gadget developments. With so many active contributors, and such an impressive host, it’s no wonder why Bits needed to make our list of the top tech websites.

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                      Larry Alton

                      Business Consultant

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                      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

                      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                      11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

                      Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

                      Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

                      Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

                      In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

                      1. ScheduleOnce

                        ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

                        ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

                        ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

                        Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

                        Available on Web

                        2. Calendly

                          Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

                          You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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                          Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

                          3. Assistant.to

                            For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

                            From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

                            While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

                            Available on Web

                            4. Acuityscheduling

                              Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

                              It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

                              Available on Web | iOS | Android

                              5. Pick

                                Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

                                At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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                                Available on Web

                                6. X.ai

                                  For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                                  This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                                  Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                                  Available on Web

                                  7. YouCanBook.me

                                    is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                                    They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                                    Available on Web

                                    8. Doodle

                                      Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                                      It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                                      You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                                      While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                                      Available on Web | iOS | Android

                                      9. WhenAvailable

                                        WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                                        Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                                        Available on Web

                                        10. Rally

                                          Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                                          Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                                          Available on Web

                                          11. NeedtoMeet

                                            Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                                            NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                                            While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                                            Available on Web

                                            Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                                            In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                                            To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                                            Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                                            A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                                            Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                                            If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                                            Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                                            With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                                            The Bottom Line

                                            Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                                            Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                                            Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                                            Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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