The State of Virtual Reality: Where We Are, and What’s to Come in 2019

Throughout 2018, I’ve spent a considerable amount of time thinking and writing about virtual reality (VR).  I’ve attended VR developer conferences, experimented with using different headsets, and have conducted research on public sentiment toward the technology. Now, with VRX — an annual VR industry conference and expo — in session this week, I’ve gotten a glimpse at where things stand with this still-somewhat-emerging technology, and where it could go in the year to come. As 2018 draws to a close, here is the state of VR. The Vocabulary VR doesn’t stand alone as the only technology designed to create an alternative, but somewhat lifelike reality. By definition, Virtual Reality (VR) is the most immersive of the “reality” technologies, and usually involves wearing a headset that creates a 360-degree simulation — virtually placing the user into a digital environment or immersive experience designed to make it feel like he or she is actually there. A few steps back from VR is augmented reality (AR), which essentially overlays a person’s real-life, physical environment with some sort of digital imagery that’s typically generated by a mobile device. One of the more notable examples of AR is the mobile app/game Pokémon GO, which uses the players’ GPS locations to help them “find” and “catch” digital creatures. Mixed Reality (MR) can be thought of as “AR+”. It places digital creatures (or objects) in the same way an AR experience might, only with the ability of those objects to engage with the real, physical world around them — and vice-versa. This one-minute explainer from Microsoft helps to put MR into context.   Finally, there’s extended...

31 Secret Santa Gift Ideas Your Coworkers Will Love

They see you when you’re slacking. They know when you come in late. They know if you’ve been bad or good so be good for your work’s Secret Santa exchange … But that’s not how the song — or the Secret Santa exchange — really goes … You spend all day with your coworkers, but come time for your annual gift exchange, you’re stuck trying to figure out exactly what Suzie will want that’s also in your price range. We want to help, so we’ve compiled a list of awesome Secret Santa gift ideas that are bound to meet all different budgets and personality types. From hot sauce kits to leather mouse pads, this roundup should take some of the stress out of your shopping experience. 31 Secret Santa Gift Ideas for Your Coworkers $10 and Under 1. Engraved Pencil Set Price: $8.00 Whether you type your notes or take them by hand, these hand stamped pencils are just plain cool. The sets come in a variety of different themes — from motivational words to Harry Potter references — and they’re guaranteed to make putting together a to-do list a lot more fun. Willing to chip in a few extra bucks? Pair a set of these pencils with a journal for a thoughtful and practical gift. 2. Toaster Grilled Cheese Bags Price: $9.99 While almost every office has a toaster, few have a stovetop. This rules fresh, delicious grilled cheese off the list of lunch options … or does it? When you give the gift of toaster grilled cheese bags, your recipient can toast up the perfect sandwich in...

13 of the Best SEO Tools for Auditing and Monitoring Website Performance

There’s nothing quite like a sudden Google algorithm update to leave marketers feeling equal parts confused and concerned. It seems like they wait for you to get all of your ducks in a row and then unleash an update that makes your efforts instantly obsolete. Sure, they’re pretty open about that fact that they’re doing this for everyone’s own good — each algorithm tweak brings us one step closer to more relevant search results, after all. However, there is still some secrecy behind exactly how Google evaluates a website and ultimately determines which sites to show for which search queries. That said, there are a number of tools out there — some free, some paid — that help you to look at your own site the way that Google sees it. These tools are critical to your organic search strategy because they allow you to focus on the elements of your site that Google deems important. In this post, we’ll walk through 13 such tools that all help you run a site analysis like a marketer … and a Google bot. SEO Tools Google’s Webmaster Tools Ahrefs HubSpot’s Website Grader Check My Links BuzzStream Moz’s Pro Tools UpCity’s SEO Report Card Woorank SEMrush Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider Found’s SEO Audit Tool Remove’em Varvy’s SEO Overview Tool 1. Google’s Webmaster Tools Cost: Free Purpose: Website Analysis Perhaps the best way to understand the way Google sees your site is to ask Google. Google’s Webmaster Tools are novice-friendly resources that explain the fundamentals of Google search. For example, Google’s Fetch as Google tool allows you to see a particular URL as...

The 15 Best Responsive WordPress Themes in 2019

It’s no secret that modern shoppers are visiting your WordPress website, reading your content, signing up for your services, and purchasing your products from a variety of technological devices including desktop and laptop computers, smartphones, and tablets. That’s why it’s crucial your WordPress website’s theme has a responsive design — so your website visitors can easily browse your site while having an equally pleasant experience from any technological...

The Ultimate Guide to Google Forms

Whether you’re collecting customer feedback or applications for a job opening, Google Forms is undoubtedly one of the best free form tools at your disposal. Google Forms integrates seamlessly with other Google products, such as Sheets, allowing you to make sense of all that data you collect. Additionally, it works well with other platforms like YouTube, enabling you to upload videos without leaving the tool. However, if you’re new to Google Forms or want to undertake a more challenging task than you’re used to within Forms, you might feel overwhelmed and unsure how to get started. Here, we’re going to explore all of Google Forms’ features, tools, and functions to ensure you’re prepared to make any form you need within minutes. To start, let’s take a look at the templates Forms has to offer. How to use Google Forms Go to docs.google.com/forms, then choose a blank form or template from your template gallery. You can use Google Forms to create customer feedback surveys, job applications, RSVP forms, quizzes, order forms, time off requests, and more. Additionally, you can use Google Forms to collect contact information and integrate it with a Google Sheet. Within a form itself, you can adjust almost everything, including title, description, and sections. You can also add images or videos. When you’re ready to use your Google Form, simply click the “Send” button in the top right, and type the email addresses to which you want to send your form. Alternatively, you can embed your form in a blog post or landing page, or send the link itself.  Google Forms Templates Here are a few of...

5 Impressive Resume Objective Examples to Help You Craft Your Own

With only six seconds to grab a recruiter’s attention, conventional wisdom might tell you to cut right to the chase when you write your resume. A lot of people say a resume objective just waste precious space. But if you craft it in a way that highlights your qualifications, skills, and fit for a role, an objective can actually enhance your resume by giving recruiters a sneak peek of your background that prompts them to keep reading.  What’s a resume objective? A resume objective is a brief introduction to your professional prowess. It’s placed at the top of your resume and previews your qualifications and fit for the role you’re applying to, spurring recruiters to read the rest of your resume. How to Write a Resume Objective When recruiters read your resume, they want to know three things about you: Are you qualified for this job? Have you made an impact on your company in your current or previous roles? How will you make an impact on our company in this specific role? If you can give them a clear and concise preview of these three answers within the first few lines of your resume, they’ll start thinking about your potential as an employee at their company. This’ll also give them a positive first impression of you and make them read the rest of your resume to confirm that you’re their best-fit candidate. To show you how to craft a compelling resume objective at any stage of your career, we’ve provided five resume objective examples that anyone from a recent graduate to a proven professional can use. We’ll also...