6 Skills You Can Learn Online for a Lucrative and Productive 2017

6 Skills You Can Learn Online for a Lucrative and Productive 2017

I am so much in love with this era we are in — an era where there is so much information online for self-development. A focused and determined person can learn many skills online and use them to diversify his or her income. With all the advanced, digital technology in this world, no one should give excuses of not having one or two skills to remain relevant and competitive.

In the days of yore, skill acquisition and dissemination were limited to certain geographical locations because of the low level of technological know-how. However, the advent of sophisticated technology — which propelled the development of many apps, software and social media — has made skills and knowledge easily disseminated and accessible.

 

There are countless websites readily available for you to acquire valuable skills and knowledge for free or with little fee for a productive 2017. These skills are:

1. Web design and development.

Web design and development is a highly sought-after skill. This is because we are in a digital transformation age where every business — small, medium and large scale — is extremely interested in showcasing their products and services to the world through their websites.

There are lots of sites that can teach you how to design and develop a website. By acquiring these skills, one is adequately positioned to scramble for millions of small, medium and large scale businesses who are contemplating launching or updating their websites.

2. Statistical data analysis.

Statistical data analysis is another vital skill that is in high demand by companies, entrepreneurs and students. The knowledge of Mini-tab,  Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and E-view, just to name a few, makes a person highly desirable.

As a researcher, I have smiled all the way to the bank numerous times because I have some knowledge of statistical data analytical software. Most students in tertiary institutions need an expert data analyst — companies too, especially when sophisticated software is needed for forecasting market shares, profit and other vital results that will aid managerial decision making.

You can learn these data analytical tools online, and consult an expert for clarification should you encounter some difficulties trying to grasp the calculations and interpretation of results.

3. Fashion designing.

Humans are always in need of food, clothes and shelter. These are three basic necessities of life. Both rich and poor are in need of clothes. In our contemporary world where fashion is always a trending issue, everybody wants to look classic and beautiful. This has made fashion designers kings and queens in their profession.

There are sites that can teach you how to draw fashion or make fashion sketches, and there are lots of online videos that can teach you make dresses. The beauty of having this skill lies in the way customers flock around fashion designers within few hours of setting up an office.

Fashion designing is synonymous to a football match; there is never a dull moment from the blast of the whistle. What do I mean? Even at the apprentice stage, customers are already flocking around you.

 

4. Make-up.

Believe it or not, the makeup business is growing at an incredible rate. There are lots of online videos that can teach you the rudiment of make up. An interview with Ifeoma Agu, the CEO of Ivonmelda Makeova, shocked me. She is an expert in hairstyle but felt she needed a makeup skill to enhance her business growth.

However, since she couldn’t afford the training fees, she decided to download lots of YouTube videos on makeup. The rest is history. She is one of the most sought-after makeup artists in her state as a result of her quality service delivery. Remember, she learned this skill for free. You can do same.

5. Business research.

Many people want to venture into business while those who are already in business are seeking other businesses to invest in. Many companies and investors are actually seeking well-researched business ideas to invest in.

As a business researcher, you can work on your own terms. You decide whether to sell your business ideas or become a partner in the businesses. At the end of the day, you will be surprised to see that you are a co-owner of chains of businesses.

Acquiring this skill is not as difficult as you think. I am saying this because most people are indifferent when it comes to research. All you need is to be patient, focus and determined. Read online articles and journals or watch videos on business research. It’s also a good idea to consult an expert.

6. Own a blog.

You can actually learn how to create and run a blog online. By systematically following the step-by-step instructions on creating a blog, you’ll be acquiring the skill to create more blogs for prospective clients. You can create a blog for your web design and development business, statistical data analysis, fashion designing, makeup and business research businesses.

 

Successful bloggers today started by simply creating a blog. The rest is history. You too can join the leagues of successful bloggers by meticulously following their footsteps.

There is so much to be gained by acquiring one or more skills online. Big organizations looked for people with the talents and skills discussed above in 2016. And 2017 will not be different. Learn a skill online today for a productive year.

 

 

[Source:- Entrepreneur]

 

200 More railways stations to have free Wi-Fi facility by 2017

After the successful completion of the free WiFi project for 100 railway stations, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu wants to have another 200 stations to go WiFi by 2017.

“More trains would also be provided with Wi-Fi next year,” Prabhu said. “The objective is to have Wi-Fi facility in all railway stations in small cities and towns,” he added. The Minister said steps were also on to construct escalators in stations.

At a function in Thiruvantapuram, the railway minster said, the target is to “double the number” by next year. He also welcomed the Kerala government’s decision to sign a Joint Venture with Railways for development projects in the state. He stated that the merger would lead to cohesive development in the state. About the resources spent he stated that it would be in addition to the funds earmarked in the railway budget.

Prabhu admitted that there was a lack of railway investment in Kerala, and stated that NDA is rooting to reverse this trend. Referring to remittances to the state from Non-Resident Keralites, he said even they could invest in railway projects. “They can develop a railway station”, he said, adding that the key objective was to join hands for development.

Among the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and G Sudhakaran (PWD minister), Prabhu said that the Railways is also looking into the possibility of converting its hospitals to medical college hospitals.

 
[Source:- Techrader]

 

BlackBerry ‘Mercury’ hands-on: Riding into 2017 on a phone with no name

Under the new direction of TCL, BlackBerry’s smartphone business is poised for a relative revival. It’s no big revelation to say that BlackBerry’s market share and mind share are nowhere near what they were in its prime, but at CES 2017 BlackBerry is hoping to kickstart a new direction by announcing a new phone.

And even though the company won’t actually tell us the specs, price, features, launch date or even the official name, many will recognize this smartphone as the rumored BlackBerry “Mercury.” So in lieu of a proper name, that’s what we’re calling it. The Mercury is real, that much has been established now — it’s a solid metal phone that fits the overall size mold of a modern slab smartphone, but manages to fit in a full hardware keyboard on the bottom without a Priv-like slider.

The incorporation of the fixed keyboard leaves a somewhat-awkward aspect ratio to the screen since it has to be a little shorter in order to make room — but if it wasn’t, the phone would be absurdly tall, like a Priv with its keyboard out. As it stands the Mercury is nearly the same height as the BlackBerry DTEK60, though notably narrower. The Mercury itself isn’t very thin, though the solid metal build with a nicely textured soft touch back are far more important than the actual thickness of the phone.

There’s a full hardware keyboard, but the phone isn’t particularly big or tall because of it.

As a welcomed sight for the BlackBerry faithful who may have been put off by the all-screen DTEK60, the Mercury has a full-featured and gorgeous hardware keyboard. And not only is it good for typing, but it also retains the great capacitive swiping gestures we saw in the Priv — you can swipe on the keyboard to navigate the interface, and swipe up on it during typing to help with word corrections and suggestions. Above the keyboard you’ll notice BlackBerry chose to move back to fixed capacitive navigation keys, which is a tad odd after going with software keys on the Priv and DTEK60.

The rest of the phone hardware really rounds out in a typical layout as if the keyboard wasn’t even there. You get a volume rocker and programmable key on the right edge, a power button the left edge, a headphone jack on the top and USB-C port on the bottom centered between two speaker grilles. Again we don’t know details like the battery capacity, but I was able to confirm that there won’t be wireless charging under that soft touch back.

The biggest thing that stands out about the Mercury is how decidedly BlackBerry the whole design is. After seeing somewhat simple repurposed hardware designs in the DTEK50 and DTEK60, it’s refreshing to see an altogether fresh — yet entirely familiar to BlackBerry fans — hardware design. The phone has a proper heft to it, the keyboard has a trademark clickiness and when you see it on a table you couldn’t mistake it for a phone from any other company.

This is the first BlackBerry with Nougat, and it carries on smoothly from Marshmallow.

The Mercury holds the distinction of being the first BlackBerry to be running Android 7.0 Nougat, though the pre-production software version I was able to see wasn’t final and the company couldn’t commit to much on that front. From what I was able to use it looked very similar to Marshmallow you’ll find today on a modern BlackBerry, including the messaging Hub, DTEK security suite, and productivity-focused launcher tweaks.

So where does this leave us? Well, we’re all going right back into a holding pattern to rely on leaks and speculation about the final details of the BlackBerry Mercury. TCL says that more information will be coming around the same time as Mobile World Congress, which kicks off February 27, but until then you can simply look at the photos and try to decide where this phone will fit in the big world of Android. At the very least, it has us excited about BlackBerry in 2017.

 

 
[Source:- androidcentral]

The best web hosting services of 2017

Whatever size of website you have, this article will help you find the best web hosting services for you as well as the best hosting deals to go for.

The first step is to identify what your needs are – with one eye on future growth of your website – then choose an appropriate plan at the right price. Value for money is not just going for the cheapest. Web hosting companies usually offer three main paid-for tiers of hosting packages.

Shared hosting means youshare a server with other sites and web hosting accounts. The site can often be slower and these plans are for sites that don’t use a lot of bandwidth.

With a dedicated server, you have the entire web server for your own use. Faster performance is pretty much guaranteed.

Virtual Private Servers (VPS) or Cloud Servers enable you to scale resource as and when you need it rather than being restricted by the limitations of a physical server. They draw from a pool of processing power, memory and storage depending on your requirement.

Finally co-located hosting enables you to purchase your own server and, while it will be kept in the vendor’s data centre, you’ll have complete control over it so you can install anything you need onto it.

Some providers arrange their web hosting deals according to business segments (small businesses, e-commerce, artists, resellers), features (WordPress compatibility, email hosting, cloud computing, managed service providers) or platforms (Linux or Windows).

Many packages include a wealth of features that you may or may not place value upon, including control panel, the ability to create online stores easily, easy site builder tools and varying levels of support (either on the phone or live chat).

Our list is made up of UK providers (those with a UK storefront with a UK phone number) as well as some foreign web hosts that comply with several ground rules like having EU data centres, a right to cancel, a cooling period, a full refund policy and/or a free trial period.

So first, we’ve picked out a bunch of deals that are ‘best for WordPress or other features’ followed by a run-down of our favourite deals from the best web hosts.

 

 

[Source:- Techrader]

24 Predictions for Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2017

24 Predictions for Social Media and Social Media Marketing in 2017 | Social Media Today

The end of the year is fast approaching, which means Christmas jingles, New Year’s resolutions and… prediction posts. And while the ever-shifting social landscape eventually renders many such prognostications invalid, it’s still worth analyzing what might be on the horizon as a means of trying to understand where we’re at, and where we’re headed, as we plan for the next 12 months.

Last year, my predictions mostly pointed in the right direction, so again, I’ve decided to get in early and put down a few of my thoughts on where each platform is going, before the upcoming onslaught of ‘looking ahead’ posts.

So here are my 24 predictions for each of the major social platforms in 2017, starting with the big one – Mark Zuckerberg’s ever-expanding giant.

Facebook

2016 has been another huge year for Facebook. They’ve added 197 million more monthly active users and recently crossed a billion mobile only MAU for the first time. The future of the network – as reiterated by Zuckerberg in their most recent earnings call – is video, with more emphasis to be put on live-streaming and 360 content in particular over the next 12 months. And that will cause a significant shift in the platform – here’s what you can expect.

Video first – Facebook’s been refining their focus on video for some time, and you can expect this to continue into next year. Just recently, Facebook announced a trial of a new camera option which Zuckerberg sees as eventually taking over from the text box as the default status update tool. The new camera will be easily accessible from the home screen and will appear with a Snapchat-style interface, including new visual features like masks and other interactive tools.

This new option – the latest in Facebook’s efforts to beat out Snapchat – is currently being trialed in Ireland and will likely be rolled out to all regions early in the new year. And, importantly, as you can see in the above video, it’ll include new visual enhancement features that go beyond those that are currently available on Snapchat.

The impetus here is obvious – Facebook sees that the next generation of users are gravitating towards this ‘camera-first’ style of interaction, and they want to appeal to those users to keep them on Facebook. A big driver in getting new people interested in Snapchat is their cool visual tools like Lenses – if Facebook can provide better, more innovative tools on this front, that might help them keep those users on Facebook instead. After all, most people already have larger established networks of their friends on Facebook, why not just use Facebooks ‘lenses’ instead?

And while this won’t kill Snapchat, it will slow their growth, which will increase the pressure on Evan Spiegel and Co. to innovate faster. And that could be good or bad, depending on how they’re able to execute.

You might not personally be that into selfies and broadcasting yourself, but this will become more and more common on Facebook, advancing the platform’s shift towards becoming ‘mostly video” by 2020.

NOTE: In mid-December, Facebook announced the global launch of new Snapchat-like camera tools for Messenger, continuing their efforts on this front.

Facebook Live – Live has seen major growth in the past year. According to Facebook, the number of people broadcasting via Facebook Live has increased 4X since May, while live videos are drawing significantly more engagement than other types of posts on the network. That said, the real money in live-streaming is likely to come via established broadcasters, as opposed to everyday users.

Nevertheless, expect Facebook to keep pushing the issue on Live and working to unseat Periscope (if they haven’t already) as the key live-streaming platform. Facebook’s already launched a new advertising push to get more everyday users broadcasting, and that focus will continue to be a priority into 2017. On top of this, expect Facebook to announce more live-streaming partnerships with major broadcasters and move to screen more exclusive content through Facebook. I’ve noted before, it wouldn’t be a surprise to one day see people tuning into the Facebook breakfast show, as opposed to Good Morning America and the like – in the next 12 months, that’s the type of premium content you can expect. Exclusive, Facebook TV broadcasts that draw a larger audience to Live – both in terms of viewers and creators.

But the real win on this front will be reaching people’s home TV screens. While more and more people are consuming content online, the TV set remains the primary viewing device – our homes are constructed around the TV being the key entertainment source. In order to really make Facebook a genuine competitor for traditional TV broadcasters, Facebook needs an easy way for people to connect Facebook to their TV set.

They’re already making moves on this – last month, Facebook released a new and improved way to stream Facebook content to your TV via Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

And that’s a positive first step, but it’s still only reaching a small percentage of the TV viewing audience (there are around 25 million Apple TV units in circulation and 30 million Chromecast devices). In order to really make a splash, Facebook will likely need to provide another alternative that makes it easier to everyone to connect their TV to Facebook.

They’re already working on this – a patent filed last year shows that Facebook is working on their own TV dongle that would act as a conduit between your phone and the TV set.

But that would mean Facebook would need to move into commercial hardware production, something that’s a big step to take. If the payoff is there, however, and it can significantly boost their viewing audience, I’d expect Facebook to do it – I actually wouldn’t be surprised to see the platform provide such connective devices for free, purely to drive future uptake.

If they can do this, that’s the next big threshold for Live, that’s what will take live-streaming to the mainstream in a big way, disrupting all aspects of traditional TV as we know it. It’s big, it’s ambitious, but no one is better placed to pull it off than Zuck and Co. Expect movement on this around the middle of next year.

Virtual Reality – But the next frontier for Facebook is virtual reality, and this will also become the thing everyone’s talking about next year. But don’t expect VR to have an all-consuming entertainment takeover effect right off the bat.

First off, the cost of a fully operative VR-enabled system is still fairly restrictive. An Oculus Rift headset will set you back $US599, and that’s without the Touch controllers – the combo of the two costs $US798, as per the Oculus website. You also need a high-end PC to effectively run Oculus content, so all up you’re looking at upwards of $US1,500 for an Oculus VR set-up, putting it out of the reach for most consumers.

The other element to consider is that while virtual reality will be the next big thing, at present, there’s not a heap of content out there. Anyone who’s ever used a Google Cardboard device knows this – while the experience is great, there’s just not enough good content to keep you engaged – and that’s not even next-level VR material. Because of this, VR is still a while off becoming an essential component, but momentum will continue to build in 2017, with new use-cases and opportunities showcased by Facebook and other providers (and worth noting, Google’s Daydream View headsets go on sale this week).

In order to boost the appeal of VR, however, Facebook will be ramping up those mid-step options, including 360 content. Facebook’s been quietly advancing the presence of 360 videos and photos on the platform, providing the ability for all users to upload 360 photos back in June.

In 2017, expect Facebook to provide more tools to help more users get on the 360 bandwagon, while also giving 360 material a reach boost in the News Feed, providing extra incentive for brands to create 360 content.

But the biggest shift next year, I’m predicting, will be the arrival of at least one 360 movie. That’ll bring 360/VR into the wider public consciousness in a big way, and will get people buzzing about the next level of communication. And Facebook will be right in the middle of it. After that happens – or a similar, significant 360 release – everyday users will be given more ways to create their own 360 content, and that will usher in the next stage of the evolution towards VR.

Also, expect Facebook to add new augmented reality elements to Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and their new camera option, highlighting the future of interacting in the virtual world.

NOTE: In December, Facebook announced the upcoming release of 360 degree video for Facebook Live, another step towards this next stage

Facebook Search – One lesser discussed aspect of Facebook’s evolution has been the growth of on-platform search. As noted by Zuckerberg back in June, Facebook’s now facilitating more than 2 billion on-platform searches every day, with search activity rising 33% in just nine months. The platform’s now working to actively boost this trend, introducing new recommendation and event tools to help users find more of what they’re after, as well as their new marketplace option to facilitate more common on-platform search activities.

This not only helps Facebook boost on-platform engagement, but it also keeps those users away from Google – if Facebook can provide more active options on this front, that’ll help boost their position as the only website users ever need to visit.

Facebook has tried to improve their search functionality several times, with Graph Search, then later with their improved, real-time search and discovery tools, which, as evidenced by the above stats, has obviously boosted on-platform search activity, but neither of these options has been able to take optimal advantage of Facebook’s full knowledge graph. On one hand, Facebook don’t want to provide too much data access, as it’s that knowledge graph that fuels their ad targeting system. But on the other, the more traffic they can take from Google the better.

Facebook is no doubt working on new, improved search tools, which will utilize their advanced machine learning to index more content, including images and video, and provide better, automated guidance tools. Expect to see them release something on this in the new year, combining more search capabilities via machine learning, based on what people are typing in their status updates.

You can read more about the potential opportunities of evolving search on Facebook here

Messenger Business – Facebook’s been working to build out Messenger as a new platform for direct connection with brands – Zuckerberg says that Messenger is in stage two of their three tiered app development framework. And while more than 33,000 automated bots are now active on the platform, consumer adoption of Messenger bots has been slow. Part of this is likely due to a perceptual shift – people are used to communicating with friends via Messenger, not brands, and they can browse products or find out information easily via other sources, like Google – the definitive use-case for Messenger business hasn’t yet been proven to the wider audience.

Facebook will continue to push Messenger bots, but in 2017, expect them to start providing more compelling use-cases from the business perspective – i.e. the use of Messenger bots to automate these simple interactions will save you money in labor costs. That may also mean Facebook needs to simplify the bot creation process to appeal to smaller brands who would see the most benefit from such cost reductions. If they can get businesses promoting Messenger and bots on their behalf, that’ll take a lot of pressure off Facebook to do all the pitching, and will lead to more people adopting Messenger for direct engagement with brands, boosting the the platform. The hard part, of course, is simplifying the bot creation process. Expect Facebook to provide a means for businesses to create their own Bot workflow, or provide a cheaper, easier way for smaller brands to work with Facebook and their development partners to do so.

Some of the current use case for bots are interesting – the platform’s recently added eBay and Shopify integrations, adding to what’s on offer via message. But in order to get people using bots, they need to get the businesses themselves advocating as to why people would want to connect in this way. That’ll be the next big push for Messenger bots.

Also, another interesting bot application – diagnosing medical conditions based on users inputting their symptoms. Technical processes like this may also provide compelling examples to drive increased adoption.

Reactions – There’s an interesting question around what becomes of Facebook’s Like alternatives – their expressive ‘Reactions’ emoji-set. Made available to all users back in February, the intention was to provide Facebook with more ways to express their responses more easily, but research has shown that adoption of Reactions thus far has been poor. A recent report found that Likes still make up almost 93% of all such responses on the platform, showing that most users haven’t changed their behaviors despite the new options being present.

Does this mean Reactions is a failure? Facebook has found other ways to spice them up, releasing custom, event-themed Reactions, including one to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek and more recently, a Halloween set.

So while it does seem that Facebook could potentially use Reactions as an advertising tool, and boost interest in the option at the same time, there are additional considerations like this to keep in mind. Given this, it may be better for Facebook to just remove them – but then again, they do provide additional value within Facebook Live broadcasts, giving viewers a wider range of ways to express their appreciation as they watch.

Given this, I’d expect Reactions to remain, and I do expect to see more themed Reactions, including possibly a few promotional tie-ins – you can imagine movie studios would be keen to get in on this. But at the same time, I don’t think Reactions are going to become a significant part of the Facebook experience, nor would I expect them to be providing a new wealth of audience data, as originally expected. Facebook’s got other priorities, and the user response has been pretty clear.

Twitter

No platform’s future has been more discussed that Twitter in 2016. The micro-blog giant has faced all sorts of challenges and problems, and none of them, as yet, have been resolved. So what does Twitter do next? There are a few areas in which we’ll see Twitter increase their focus.

Live-streaming – It’s no secret that Twitter’s placing big bets on live-streaming. The platform recently reiterated this at their “#WhatsNext” event, with COO Adam Bain saying that live is the “purest embodiment” of what the platform is all about, enabling users to be part of what’s happening right now, at any given time.

As such, Twitter’s concentrating on making live content a centrepiece of the Twitter experience – and with research showing that one in two Twitter users are active on the platform while watching TV, that focus makes sense. But with Facebook also working to appeal to that same audience, the challenge is significant.

 

[Source:- Socialmediatoday]