3 Ways Bloggers Can Eliminate Distractions and Kick Productivity Into High Gear

Nothing is more frustrating for a blogger than to be held captive by distractions. Unfortunately, the nature of the industry and the flexibility that comes with working remotely is often highly conducive to distractions. Figuring out how to deal with them can make a huge difference.

3 Ways to Beat Common Distractions

As humans, one of our innate weaknesses is our inability to focus on one single task for a long period of time. Evolutionarily speaking, things have gotten worse. You’ve probably heard the statistic that humans now have shorter attention spans than goldfish. Yikes!

The good news is that you’ve also been blessed with a brain that can make choices and implement strategies for self-improvement. If you want to kick productivity into high gear and become a more efficient blogger, you must develop a plan for beating the common distractions that plague you on a daily basis. Here are some suggestions:

1. Ditch Your Smartphone

Your smartphone is a magnet for distraction. As soon as you see it light up or hear it buzz, you’re immediately drawn to it. Sometimes you just pick up your phone to see if a notification has appeared, even if you don’t see or hear any signs of an incoming message.

As a blogger who depends on long, uninterrupted periods of focus, the smartphone can be a death sentence. So here’s a contrarian idea: get rid of it. Nobody is suggesting that you go off the grid, but you could certainly benefit from replacing your smartphone with a more traditional flip phone.

Flip phones – such as the new Samsung Rugby 4 – don’t pose nearly the same level of distraction that today’s iPhones and Androids do with apps, social media, and the like. By using a flip phone during the workday, you can avoid unnecessary distractions. Give it a try and see what you think.

2. Find a Private Place to Work

It may be trendy to bring your laptop to the local coffee shop and spend your day pecking away at your keyboard while a barista brings you a never ending supply of caramel lattes, but public spaces aren’t ideal places to work on a regular basis.

Coffee shops, malls, and even public libraries can be very distracting. They’re great for an occasional change of scenery, but you need a private place to work. Your house or apartment is a good start, but distractions can be present here, too. What you really require is a dedicated room in your home where you can shut the door and be alone.

3. Log Out of Your Email Account

Just like your smartphone, email can be a big distraction. Every time you see an email notification pop up on your desktop, you click it and see what’s going on. Without realizing it in the moment, you’re killing your train of thought.

In order to combat the constant ringing and dinging of your email inbox, go ahead and log out. Instead of being constantly logged in, schedule time in your daily planner to check and respond to email. This might be a 20-minute block in the morning and afternoon. Outside of these blocks, you stay logged out. As a result, you don’t have to deal with going back and forth from writing to checking emails (the vast majority of which aren’t time sensitive).

Don’t Let Distractions Rule Your Day

Distractions can derail you as a blogger – if you let them. Talk to the most successful bloggers in your industry and you’ll discover that they’re masters at time management. They know how to set themselves up for success and rarely fall victim to costly distractions. If you can learn how to do the same, success will become much more attainable.

Original post: 3 Ways Bloggers Can Eliminate Distractions and Kick Productivity Into High Gear

The Best CMS Brands For Small Businesses

Every small business owner trying to establish his or her business online will require the use of a CMS program, regardless of whether it is open source or not. CMS (content management system) will allow you to have full control of your website. The ideal CMS should be easy to use, should have the features you need to add images, video, social media integration and so on. Below you will find 5 heavy contenders in this category. The selection is based on the List of Best CMS Platforms in 2017 post:

#1: WordPress

This is probably the most popular CMS for small businesses. Marketing seems to be the main strength of WordPress. It is a self-hosted open source CMS that you can install on your own host without any issues. WordPress started as an ordinary blogging platform, but provides hundreds of free and premium plugins today that can perform virtually anything. You don’t need any HTML programming language with WordPress and it works with any browser. WordPress is completely free, except for premium themes and plugins that require some little investment.

#2: Concrete 5

Concrete 5 is another CMS for small businesses, known for its ability to provide easy content editing. If your small business has heavy contents or numerous pages with lots of static information, Concrete 5 may be the ideal CMS for you because it provides an easy platform for frequent changes or additions. This is a completely free open source CMS that comes with a tweak of design for easy content management.

#3: Joomla

Joomla is best known for its content customization capabilities. Different users can customize their Joomla platform, and it can be difficult to establish if two users are working on Joomla when they are actually using Joomla – customization transform small business platforms for a unique experience. If your website has lots of contents with numerous YouTube videos, Joomla may be the best option for you because of its settings and tweaking capabilities.

#4: Drupal

Drupal is best known for its excellent security features, hence small business owners who need more than a platform to blog, can rely on Drupal for ultimate protection against hacks, malware and some other security threats. Drupal is similar to Joomla in so many ways, but it is more flexible and secured. Most of its plugins and customizable themes are also free, like many other open source. Drupal also comes with numerous paid plugins that provide even richer user experience.

#5: Textpattern

Textpattern is best known for its simplicity and lots of flexibilities. This CMS can be described as a hybrid between Drupal and Concrete 5 because it shares so many features with them. This CMS is very easy to install, however, it requires that you deploy numerous tools for tweaking and customization. You may want to start by creating your own design, before you add your content but that is if you understand codes and programming. If you want to save yourself time and energy, you may want to use the pre- design templates from Textpattern because they come with embedded codes that will simplify your job.

You need to understand your needs first before you go for an ideal open source CMS , and if you can invest a little extra in those close source CMS , you will definitely keep the reward of having more plugins, templates, and themes to use for your small business.

Original post: The Best CMS Brands For Small Businesses

4 Reasons People Don’t Want to Read Your Blog

You can spend hours writing new posts for your blog every single day, but that time doesn’t always translate into readers. If nobody is reading your blog, it’s time to be honest with yourself and get to the heart of the issue. Why is nobody reading your blog, and what can you do to change this?

4 Reasons People Don’t Read Your Blog

If you planted a garden and nothing grew, you’d do a little research to find out why. You’d test the soil, talk with other local gardeners, and look for practical ways you could improve your results during the next planting season.

If you had a retail store and the daily number of customers averaged just 25, compared to 100 the year before, you’d dig to find out what happened. You’d look at both internal and external factors in an attempt to understand and fix the underlying problems.

So if your blog isn’t attracting any readers, it stands to reason that you should find out why. In almost every case, you’ll discover that one or more of the following factors are involved.

1. Lack of Interest

It doesn’t matter if it’s a convenience store or a blog, you can’t be successful if customers aren’t interested in what you’re offering. This is something millionaire entrepreneur Sam Ovens learned early on in his career after multiple failed businesses.

“The big lesson is that you have to sell something that the market actually wants,” Ovens says. “It was painful. But I am glad that it did happen because it really laid the foundation for my success today.”

Are people interested in the topics you’re writing about? If the answer is “no” or “I don’t know,” then something probably needs to change. Do your research and find out exactly what it is that your audience wants to engage with.

2. No SEO Optimization

The search engines must be able to find you in order to present your URLs in their search results. But once again, this is an area where you have to be proactive. While the old days of keyword stuffing are gone, SEO is still very much alive. Today, the best SEO strategies involve publishing relevant content and building links to your pages on high authority websites.

3. Very Little Promotion

More than 2 million blog posts are written and published every day. That means, over the course of a calendar year, roughly 730 million new pieces of content are introduced to internet users. If you’re publishing blog posts without any promotion, the chances of your blog posts being found amid a sea of other posts are slim to none.

Blog promotion plays a major role in getting people to read your blog. You need to be pushing blog posts via social media, building your brand, and connecting with others in your niche. Guest blogging can go a long way towards getting your name (and therefore your blog) in front of people.

4. Poor Writing

No blogger wants to think about this, but is it possible that you simply aren’t a good writer? There’s more to developing a quality blog post than grabbing your keyboard and rambling on until you reach a certain number of words. By improving your writing skills or hiring talented bloggers to develop content, you may see a drastic improvement.

Give Your Blog a Facelift

Do any of the problems outlined in this article sound familiar? While it’s tough to admit that nobody is reading your blog, it’s time to be honest with yourself. By recognizing the underlying issues and making a commitment to overcome them, you should see a noticeable improvement right away.

Original post: 4 Reasons People Don’t Want to Read Your Blog

5 Ways to Make Your Website More Professional

Getting started online is pretty easy. All it takes is a domain name (which costs $10), web hosting (which costs $5 monthly or so) and a content management system like WordPress (which is free). That is why we have million of websites today.

What if you want to grow the audience of your site, transform it into a business, or use it to promote your exiting projects? In this case you will probably need to up your game and make your website look and feel more professional. Below you will find 5 tips for that purpose.

1. Get Fast Web Hosting

While shared web hosting is totally fine for getting started, as soon as you have larger goals for you site, you should consider getting an upgrade. With a shared hosting plan your site will probably be a bit slow, and it might go down occasionally, when other users on your shared server to something wrong. Both of these facts will negatively affect your Google rankings.

The first upgrade you should consider is getting a VPS, which is faster and more stable, and won’t cost a fortune. It is possible to get decent VPS plans for $30 per month or so.

2. Get a Professional Web Design

Getting a professional website design is paramount. Visitors will usually take only a couple of seconds to decide whether or not they want to stay on your site after visiting it for the first time, and the design and layout will directly impact that decision.

It is important to develop a brand, so pay attention to your logo design, colors, typography and so on.

3. Hire A Professional Writer/Editor

Your content is just as important. Even if people like your design, they will just leave your website if the content is boring, not useful or full of grammatical mistakes.

Hiring professional writers and editors is very easy these days, and it can also be affordable if you look in the right places. Sites like Freelancer.com and Upwork.com, for instance, allow you to post a job and get quotes from hundreds of writers from around the world.

4. Optimize for Mobile Devices

The world is mobile today. The vast majority of sites already get more visitors from mobile devices than from desktop ones. This means that your site needs to be optimized for smartphones and tables.

Google offers a very useful tool you can use to test how mobile friendly your website is. After running the tool, identify the key problems you have and make sure to fix them!

5. List Your Contact Information

Have you noticed how shady and amateur websites almost never have contact information available? On the other hand, have you noticed how business and established sites have a lot of contact information (e.g., phone numbers, address, email, social media accounts, etc)?

Guess what, providing contact information is one of the easiest methods you have to make your website look more professional, so why not do it?

Original post: 5 Ways to Make Your Website More Professional

5 Sites Rocking a .ART Domain

As you probably know, a couple of years ago sponsored top level domains became available. Companies and institutions around the world could purchase and run a top level extension like .google, .club, .pizza and so on. Today we have more than 800 top level domains available, with 2000 or so in the waiting list. Some of these extensions represent a very good opportunity for site owners who can’t find a good .com domain available. We will start running a column featuring the best sponsored top level domains, and examples of successful sites using them.

The first extension we will be covering is the .ART, which is an excellent option for any art related website. Here are the websites:

1. lovewatts.art

Jordan ‘Watts’ Watson, a prominent and controversial urban art authority with over 1,3 million followers on Instagram has never previously owned a website. He chose http://www.lovewatts.art as his official web address, where he showcases his collaborations, sells products and refers other artists.

2. ShantellMartin.art

Shantell Martin is a young British visual artist, whose work explores new models and technologies that are transforming the way art is made and consumed. Her characteristic black and white compositions were reflcted in the design of the webpage.

3. shenwei.art

Hailed as “one of the great artists of our time” (The Washington Times), choreographer, painter, and director Shen Wei is internationally renowned for the breadth and scope of his artistic vision. His website has a concise and clean layout, where the visitor is not distracted from the greatness of the visuals themselves.

4. mai.art

The Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI) explores, supports, and presents performance. MAI encourages collaboration between the arts, science, and the humanities. The website is a sort of vessel, holding the legacy of Marina Abramovic online. The website if full of never-ending videos and photographs, which dominate visual space in accordance with its creator’s aim of having a significant and dedicated online presence.

5. fitzandco.art

FITZ & CO is the leading global strategy firm in communications, integrated marketing, social media, audience engagement and events in the art world. Adopting a .ART domain name represents the company’s forward-looking entrepreneurial attitude and openness to innovation.

Original post: 5 Sites Rocking a .ART Domain

5 Costly Myths New Bloggers Too Often Believe

The Internet can serve as a double-edged sword of sorts. It provides valuable information and makes knowledge easily accessible with only a few swift strokes of the keyboard. But whenever massive knowledge becomes readily available with few if any restrictions or fact-checking mechanisms, it’s easy for false and inaccurate information to circulate.

Perhaps this is especially true when blogging enters the picture. A simple Google search for a basic blog-related topic will often yield millions of results. And although there’s likely plenty of useful truths in most blog posts, there are also lots of poor suggestions.

For example, you’ll readily encounter the following myths … and they can lead a new bloggers astray.

1. Keyword Stuffing is a Good SEO Practice

The tricky part about a lot of misinformation with regard to blogging is that it used to be true. But the people who share the information today don’t necessarily realize how obsolete it’s become. Keyword stuffing is a prime example.

As an article on the Green Residential blog states, “there’s no need to stuff your articles full of keywords. This is an outdated SEO tactic that can actually hurt your search engine rankings rather than help them. Simply using the keywords a couple of times in the article where they fit appropriately will help bring you search traffic.”

2. The More You Write, The Better

It used to be that short, 200- to 400-word blog posts were enough to get noticed by search engines. Then algorithms changed and long, 1500-word-plus articles became the norm.

Long posts are still valuable on blogs, but today length isn’t the defining metric for value. Writing more won’t automatically produce better results.

Quality is much preferable to quantity. You’d do better to write three high-quality, 1000-word entries a week than to churn out five low-quality, 1500-word posts every seven days. Focus on becoming a better writer, not on output.

3. Blogs Are Easy to Monetize

Once people realized you could make money from blogging, thousands of wannabe entrepreneurs flocked to this niche. The problem was that monetizing a blog is nowhere near as easy as industry gurus will try to assure you.

It’s certainly possible, but it requires lots of time and hard work. You won’t achieve success by being passive.

Be honest with yourself and acknowledge the challenges involved in developing a monetizing blog. The obstacles are many, and you’ll want to weigh each one before you get started.

4. If You Build it, They Will Come

Another story blogging gurus will tell you is that success is as simple as securing a domain name, using a website builder, and publishing regular content. This is another comforting myth.

It’s not as effortless as writing an online diary and waiting for people to crowd in. You’re going to have to develop a traffic acquisition strategy and work hard to funnel people to your pages, even if they’re good.

If you don’t, you’ll never get the results you want.

5. Traffic is the Most Important Metric

Because traffic acquisition is one of the largest challenges a blogger faces, it can be easy to start obsessing over traffic stats. But traffic, in and of itself, won’t make you successful.

In addition to getting and maintaining high traffic numbers, you need low bounce rates, high average time on site, and high conversion rates. Otherwise you could be doing nothing more than artificially inflating your stats and garnering quick yet worthless exposure.

Pay attention to website traffic, yes, but don’t focus on it at the expense of other vital metrics.

Due Diligence is Critical

If you’re a new blogger, you have to be very careful about whom you trust. Get your coaching only from experts who have firsthand knowledge and experience with blogging. This will ensure you set a strong foundation upon which to build and expand your blog.

Original post: 5 Costly Myths New Bloggers Too Often Believe

6 Ways to Make Each of Your Blog Posts More Engaging

What’s the most fundamental sign of blogging success? Engagement. When your blog is engaging, your readers will share your content, tell their friends, subscribe, and even make purchases. It’s one of the best things you can do for your blog or business.

According to research compiled by Impact Branding & Design, your blog content is the key to success. Marketers who prioritize blogging are 13 times more likely to see a positive ROI result. When your blog posts are highly engaging, you’ll get more shares, likes, comments, and overall brand exposure.

Talking about writing engaging blog posts and actually writing them are two completely different things. If you’re in the market for more engaging content, here are some suggestions.

1. Target a Very Specific Audience

Blog posts can’t be engaging if they aren’t aimed at the right people. If you’re talking about retirement options or opening your own business to a group of teenagers, you won’t have a very captivate audience. Define your audience and direct your content towards them. If you have a specific idea for what you want your content to do, that’s even better.

Consider Nike’s goal to generate more loyal female customers. For several weeks, the majority of their new content distribution was aimed at women. They wrote articles, published news pieces, created videos, and shared memes about how adult women can be powerful and sexy. It was incredibly effective and reached a very narrow niche. Your blog content should do the same.

2. Presents Actionable Tips

The content should also give consumers an action plan. The topic should be unique and action-worthy so that readers know exactly what to do with it when they’re done. It should also provide some kind of value that they can bring into their everyday lives.

As an example of this, consider a blog post from the plumbing and home servicing company Legendary Home Services. It’s called “6 Toilet Hacks – Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger or a Plumber.” It uses multimedia and text to demonstrate six useful tips that the everyday consumer can complete themselves. When someone has a plumbing emergency, they’re much more likely to call a plumber who has proven their expertise in the past.

3. Embed Videos

According to research, videos attract about three times more links than text alone. Consider ways that you can incorporate videos into your blog posts. It’s not necessary that you create your own videos—you can often find useful video content from a non-competing source that will complement your blog posts.

However, if you create a few quality videos, it can help brand you as an expert. Consider the example blog post from Legendary Home Services. They use several videos of their own making to demonstrate different toilet fixes. This makes the post engaging and authoritative.

4. Offer a Comment Section and Engage Often

Many businesses disable the comment section on their blog because they don’t want controversy. However, that may be doing more harm than good. It’s important to let consumers express their opinions so that you know when your content is doing well and when it needs improvement.

It’s also a good opportunity for you to connect on a personal level with customers. When they make a comment, respond. It encourages future audience participation and makes individual customers feel valued.

5. Use Truly Great Photos

It might seem like skipping visuals is a great way to save time and money, but it can actually sabotage your content. Study after study shows that blogs need quality photos to drive engagement. About 40 percent of people say they respond better to visual content than plain text. What’s more, people retain 65 percent more information when there’s an image present.

If you can avoid it, don’t go with stock images. Take your own photos or purchase them from a quality photographer. Even if a photo isn’t perfectly edited, it will still get more engagement than a boring, free stock photo.

Buzzfeed’s blog is the perfect example of this. It’s one of the top-ranking blogs in the nation, and it relies on imagery. The images used are not always professionally done, but they aren’t stock photos, and their engagement shows the benefit of this tactic.

6. Practice Your Headlines and Hooks

The headline and first sentence should have the power to reel in the reader with ease. Your words should also be optimized for search to attract more organic attention. However, too many blogs ignore the importance of this step.

Research from Moz shows that 80 percent of readers don’t make it past the headline. What’s more, traffic has a 500 percent variance based on the headline. In other words, if you don’t have a catchy headline, you don’t have the potential to go viral.

Most people read the first paragraph before deciding whether or not they’ll continue. If the first paragraph is engaging, they may read the entire post instead of scanning it.

Scan the headlines of blogs like Buzzfeed, Hubspot, and Kissmetrics for examples of great openers. You can also get ideas from top-trending headlines on Google search. You’ll see the titles that have received the most attention in the past while also ranking for search term relevance. Overall, it’s a great way to improve your writing.

Learning to be a better writer is no easy task, but it’s vital for a strong content marketing strategy. With some time and an updated content strategy, you’ll see increased ROI and a stronger blog platform.

Original post: 6 Ways to Make Each of Your Blog Posts More Engaging

4 Tools and Gadgets Every Blogger Needs to Thrive

You could argue that productivity is the single most important thing to a blogger. If you aren’t able to maximize productivity, then you miss deadlines and squander opportunities to grow your brand. Part of being productive has to do with arming yourself with the best gadgets and devices available. Are you prepared?

The 4 Things You Need on Hand

Everyone is different. Some bloggers like to hole themselves away in a quiet spare bedroom and get work done in the early hours of the morning before the kids wake up. Others like to spend late nights at coffee shops churning out post after post. But regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall, the following tools and gadgets will help immensely.

1. A Mobile Hotspot

Nothing is more important to a blogger than a strong internet connection. And while you may spend most of your time in your home or in coffee shops that have free public Wi-Fi, there are times when internet isn’t readily available. Perhaps in the passenger seat on the way home from a weekend getaway or at the park with your kids.

In situations like these, it can be helpful to have an unlocked mobile hotspot. These devices give you internet access anywhere there’s a GSM network available (which is virtually everywhere). Plus, it’s totally secure!

2. Strategic Productivity Apps

Spend enough time in the App Store and you’ll get distracted by pointless games like Angry Birds and Tetris, but there are also plenty of helpful productivity apps that can help you get more done as a blogger.

Two of the apps you absolutely need are Dropbox and Pocket. You’re most likely familiar with Dropbox, but it simply lets you store files on the cloud so that they can be accessed from any of your devices. Pocket is an app that lets you save articles that you run across on your phone and want to read later. This is helpful when you have those moments where you think, “Where did I read that article?”

3. Noise Cancelling Headphones

Most bloggers need to get in the zone when they write. If there’s a lot of outside noise vying for your attention, then it can be challenging to get anything done. That’s why many bloggers swear by noise cancelling headphones.

The great thing about noise cancelling headphones is they don’t just play music – they actually block out the noise around you. So if you can’t work with music playing, you can simply turn on some white noise or an ambient soundtrack and start writing.

4. A Good Digital Camera

Stock photos are the worst. (Please tell us you don’t use them on your blog?) But if you can’t use stock photos, what are you supposed to do? It’s expensive to pay for images and there aren’t always royalty free images to satisfy your needs.

The best solution is to take your own images. But this means you need your own equipment. While the camera on your iPhone 7 is pretty good, a professional digital camera is even better. You can usually find a good quality camera for less than $750, which shouldn’t totally break the bank. And if you keep good records, you should be able to write it off come tax season.

Are You Prepared to Maximize Productivity?

Productivity is something that’s hard to grasp, but you know it when you have it. If you’re failing to maximize input and minimize distractions, then you need a little help. Some of the gadgets and devices highlighted in this article may help.

Give them a try and see what you think.

Original post: 4 Tools and Gadgets Every Blogger Needs to Thrive

4 Ways to Get Traffic To Your Site

Content might be king, as they say, but in that case, promotion is queen! Unless you get people to visit your site, your brilliant content will not get noticed by anyone, let alone read and shared!

Below you will find 4 methods you can use to increase the traffic to your website.

1. Organic Traffic

Search Engine Optimization is a must for any website owner. This involved making sure that both your internal (website structure, permalinks, mobile optimization, etc) and external (backlinks) factors are optimized to make sure that you get a lot of traffic from Google.

If you are new to SEO, start with The Beginners Guide to SEO, published by the folks at MOZ. It will give you all the information you need to understand how search engines work and how you can optimize your site to get good traffic from them.

2. Paid Traffic

Search Engine Optimization is a great long-term strategy, but sometimes you need traffic right now! In that case, purchasing traffic can be a good solution. Another advantage of paid traffic is that it is more flexible. Your SEO work will be attached to a certain website/niche, but with paid traffic you can get visitors today for your fitness website and tomorrow for your cooking site, in case you decide to change strategy!

Check providers like TrafficBot if you want to try this method. Many of them offer free trials, so that you can test the service without risk. Second, costs are not that high. For as low as $10 you can already get a decent amount of visitors to your site.

3. Social Media Traffic

People live in social media these days, so having a presence on those networks can deliver a lot of visitors to your site.

At the very minimum you want to have a presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Other networks you can consider, depending on your niche, are Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn.

Research on Google about the methods and strategies that work on each of these networks, and start appying them to your accounts.

4. Email Traffic

If you are not building an email list, you are wasting time and leaving money at the table! An email list is one of the best resources you can have to generate relevant traffic.

The number of visitors you will get from email marketing might not be as large as the other methods mentioned, but it will be much more relevant and will produce higher conversion rates, because you will have a much more direct and intimate conversation with those subscribers!

Email marketing providers like MailChimp let you host up to 2000 subscribers free of charge, so get started today!

Original post: 4 Ways to Get Traffic To Your Site

Google April Fools’ Day 2017

April Fools’ Day should probably be called Google Fools’ Day, since there are so many Google hoaxes.

Google Japan developed a “bubble wrap” version of the Japanese keyboard. “The Google Japanese input bubble wrap version is a keyboard that realizes ‘I want to press in my mind, I want to keep pressing’,” according to Google Translate.

Another product for your smart home? Meet Google Gnome, “a voice-activated, hands-free tool designed to make backyard living effortless. Need to know what animal is squeaking in your bushes? Stay still and ask Gnome what sound an opossum makes. Running low on birdseed? That’s where Gnome comes in. You can even use Gnome’s proprietary high-intensity lasers to trim your hedges into whatever shape your heart desires.”

The Chrome OS team brings the most popular mobile accessories to the Chromebook, which already blurs the line between mobile and desktop. Chromebook Groupie Stick, Chromebook Cardboard, Chromebook Workout Armband will soon be available in the Google Store. “To take advantage of beautiful, high-resolution displays, as well as great photo editing apps, we’ve carefully engineered the first Chromebook-sized selfie stick. Never again will you miss the perfect groupie.”

Haptic Helpers make VR even more immersive. “We’re taking VR to the next level with Haptic Helpers. Using a modest set of everyday tools, these VR virtuosos can simulate more than 10,000 unique experiences, all from the comfort of your own home. Smell the roses. Listen to the ocean. Feel a fluffy dog!”

You can now play the classic arcade game MS. PAC-MAN in Google Maps. “Avoid Blinky, Pinky, Inky, and Sue as you swerve the streets of real places around the world. But eat the pac-dots fast, because this game will only be around for a little while.” Just go to the Google Maps site or open the Google Maps app for Android or iOS and click or tap MS. PAC-MAN at the bottom.

Google Cloud Platform expands to Mars. “By opening a dedicated extraterrestrial cloud region, we’re bringing the power of Google’s compute, network, and storage to the rest of the solar system, unlocking a plethora of possibilities for astronomy research, exploration of Martian natural resources and interplanetary life sciences. This region will also serve as an important node in an extensive network throughout the solar system. Our first interplanetary data center — affectionately nicknamed ‘Ziggy Stardust’ — will open in 2018,” mentions Google.

… To be continued …