September 30, 2015

Recap of Google’s Nexus Event!

Photo from Google's blog.
By Nick K. 

For the past of couple years, many technology companies have hosted tech conferences to go over their plans for future products. Apple had their conference this past month, and Google I/O happened back in May. Both tech conferences were successful and many avid Apple and Google fans were excited to see how the next year of technological endeavors will advance. Most recently in the tech industry, a huge Android event happened!

For those non-Android users who have not heard about Google’s September Nexus event that was held yesterday, the Tek Team has put together a quick recap on what you might have missed.

September 29, 2015

Celebrate National Coffee Day with Google Maps and Dunkin’ Donuts

Photo Courtesy of: examiner.com
Happy National Coffee Day! What better way to celebrate than by making a beeline to the coffee shop and buying your favorite cup of Joe? After all, who doesn’t need that morning caffeine fix? For some of us, it’s the only thing that keeps us from hitting the snooze button when that dreaded morning alarm goes off.

New Yorkers are especially known for their strong affinity for coffee. Surviving in the City That Never Sleeps requires that one live a fast-paced, nonstop lifestyle, and New Yorkers use caffeine as their fuel to keep from falling flat on their faces.

September 28, 2015

Google Maps or Apple Maps: Is One Really Better Than The Other?



By Justin H.

A wise man once said, in life, you only get one shot to make a strong first impression. I think it was Socrates or Gandhi. Definitely one of the two.

You know what nobody ever tells you? How you also only get one chance at a strong second impression, as well.

In 2005, Google Maps burst onto the scene as a fancy mapping platform and cornered the market. It has long been a favorite of nearly everyone seeking directions or navigation, even becoming the world’s most popular smartphone app. Nowadays, Maps has expanded to Street View, self-driving cars, and real-time traffic updates.

September 25, 2015

Are You Reaching Your Local Audience in Google Search?

A Google Map snapshot with the text "Local SEO 2015."
Original image from P1 Studios.












By Megan G.
       
Moz released their 2015 Local Search Ranking Factors report yesterday, and it is quite an in-depth study into the SEO aspects of local business rankings.  The report is managed primarily by David Mihm, an accomplished local search optimizer and the Director of Local Search Strategy at Moz. 


The main focus and concern of this year’s Ranking report was the Google Search local pack, or “snack pack.”  This comes as no surprise, since Google caused a stir with local SEOs and business owners when the local pack went from featuring 7 local businesses down to a mere 3.  That means 4 businesses will no longer have immediate visibility in near me and other local searches. 

With such a smaller window for local visibility, what can businesses do to stay on top? 

September 24, 2015

Tek This Out: 5 Grammar Tips for National Punctuation Day!



It’s September 24th, which can only mean one thing. National Punctuation Day, of course!

For the Tek Team, grammar is a way of life. Any avid reader will agree that content without flawless grammar loses an enormous amount of credibility. Even a misused semicolon could be all it takes to drive; readers; away;

In order to celebrate, we are going to provide you with some tips in order to make your writing endeavors free of grammatical errors. Of course, you could also celebrate by making punctuation shirts or apostrophe cookies.

September 23, 2015

Communicating in the Workplace: Dr. Pat Allen

Dr. Pat Allen Speaks with Employees of eGumball, Inc.
By Lauren C.

On Tuesday, September 22nd, eGumball invited a very special guest to give valuable pointers on communication in the workplace. Renowned psychologist and relationship expert, Dr. Pat Allen, gave an hour and a half long presentation on different methods of communicating with clients with different, and often conflicting personality traits than the salesman or customer service rep. Her advice helps employees better understand how to approach certain interpersonal situations effectively, understand tone and body language subtleties, and conduct healthy negotiations.

Dr. Pat Allen has over 42 years of experience in helping men and women express their needs and learn respect both at home and in the workplace. She is a psychologist, addiction specialist, and radio host who has given hundreds of presentations to small and large businesses around the United States. Her focus remains on helping individuals achieve their full potential without compromising their values.

September 22, 2015

Quote of the Month: Sheryl Sandberg

A headshot of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg.
Sheryl Sandberg.  Image from Thinkers 50.






















By Megan G.

“We can each define ambition and progress for ourselves.  The goal is to work toward a world where expectations are not set by the stereotypes that hold us back, but by our personal passion, talents and interests.”

A large part of Sheryl Sandberg’s public presence has been defined by her efforts to establish gender equality in the workplace.  For all the innovation the tech industry has accomplished, its corporate culture is still guided primarily by white, male, and young employees.  Sandberg urges women to “lean in” during important discussions and meetings at work, as opposed to hanging back and letting other employees—i.e. men—lead the flow of ideas. 

While gender equality is a big part of what Sandberg is addressing in this quote, she also speak to another aspect of the business world that is hardly touched upon and often believed unachievable by the general workforce.  With “personal passion, talents and interests,” Sandberg is talking about being able to do what you love for a living and being successful at it.

September 21, 2015

eGumball, Inc. Lights the Night for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society!

eGumball's lanterns at the Light the Night!
Photo taken by Social Wiz.
By Nick K.

 eGumball, Inc. was excited to sponsor and participate in the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk. The Light the Night Walk took place this past Saturday, September 19, 2015, at the Angels Stadium of Anaheim. eGumball had a great turnout of employees, and most also brought along family and friends. 


This is the first year eGumball has attended in the Light the Night Walk, and we are looking forward to volunteering with the organization again in future events. eGumball was one of many corporate teams, like Stater Bros., UC Irvine Health Group, and Southern California Edison, who participated and sponsored the Light the Night Walk.

September 18, 2015

Claiming Your Business Listing on Apple Maps, Alongside Google Maps

Photo Courtesy of: Geekaphone.com
By Lauren C.

We all know the benefits of having a business listing on Google Maps. As the most popular digital mapping app, Google Maps will remain the reliable frontrunner in navigation technology for the foreseeable future. 

Hiring a specialized Google Maps marketing company, such as eGumball Inc., can ensure local businesses are indeed found on Google Maps, which in turn helps business owners optimize their overall online presence.

September 17, 2015

Google Maps Street View Goes Trekking with Elephants

Photo courtesy of Google Maps Blog.
By Nick K. 

So far, Google Maps Street View has created several virtual field trips which span across the globe, granting users the ability to travel through the depths of the ocean, zip-line through the Amazon rainforest, and traverse the top 5 U.S. wonders. There is always plenty to do and plenty to see, all from the comfort of your own home.

Google Maps Street View continues to add more awesome adventures for users to partake in. This time around you can embark on an adventure through Kenya to the Samburu National Reserve alongside elephants!

September 16, 2015

Facebook Fights Google For Small Business Attentions



By Megan G.

Google and its rivals never cease to spawn entertaining news stories, as we saw with Lauren’s blog on the Apple Maps-Google Maps battle this past Monday.  However, though powerful and seemingly omniscient, Apple is not the only formidable tech company Google has to allegedly worry about.  There’s also the social media paragon, Facebook. 

The Wall Street Journal blog “Digits” recently featured an interview with two top names of Facebook, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg and Vice President of Small Business Dan Levy.  They spoke about how the social network is emerging as the definitive mobile platform for SMBs.  Does this threaten Google’s high-ranking status in the SMB and search industry?  Let’s take a look.

September 15, 2015

Innovator of the Month: Reid Hoffman

Photo courtesy of: seocustomer.com



By Joseph A.

Who is Reid Hoffman?

Reid Hoffman is one of the original founders of LinkedIn, a business-oriented social network that is primarily used for networking on a professional level. Hoffman has also become known as one of the most prolific and successful “angel investors” due to his background knowledge and appreciation  of startup companies. He was a member of the board of directors of PayPal, which has grown into one of the most reliable electronic money services of today. Prior to his investment career gaining traction, the Oxford graduate worked for Apple and Fujitsu, which jump-started his interest in the tech industry. 

Interestingly enough, Hoffman initiated the business relationship between Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder of Facebook, and Hoffman’s friend, Peter Thiel. The meeting led to a $500,000 investment by Thiel, which helped  Facebook get the initial funding it needed to get off the ground.

September 14, 2015

Can Apple Rely on Navigation-Based Start-Ups to Take on Google Maps?

By Lauren C.

The rivalry between Apple and Google is well documented. The Tek Team has done its part by highlighting the power struggle between the two giants, including their numerous courtroom battles and the two companies’ reluctant partnership fostered from a shared interest in advertisement revenues.

The latest revelation to showcase the ongoing tension between the two is Apple’s shutdown of HopStop, a free mobile app that gives walking, biking, taxi, and transit directions in over 300 worldwide cities. Starting October, 2015, Apple has decided to part ways with this frequently used service. But why?

In 2013, Apple acquired HopStop, telling a publication at the time that-“we (Apple) buy smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans.” Most critics argue that Apple bought the service in order to compete with Google Maps.

September 11, 2015

A Better Way to Pay with Android

Photo courtesy of  Pass Kit Blog



















By Nick K.

Where would we be without our smartphones? These gadgets offer a laundry list of features and upgrades that we can use and control in the palm of our hand. Earlier this year, smartphones were given applications that grant users the ability to pay for real-world item using their smartphones.

Google created Wallet, Apple released Apple Pay, and Samsung had their own version called Samsung Pay. Even though these payment methods have been around for quite some time, the amount of stores that have implemented these smartphone payment technologies is limited. However, a new challenger has entered the growing smartphone payment market, Android Pay.

September 10, 2015

Apple: Updates and Endeavors, Including the Pencil

Photo Courtesy of: Petapixel.com 
















By Lauren C.

Apple has made quite a name for itself over the years. Many would argue their largest successes have been the iPhone, iPad, and other “i” products, which have significantly revolutionized the way we communicate.

Apple released several bombshells at the Apple iPhone 6S event which demonstrates their commitment to innovation beyond software development. One noteworthy update was the Apple Pencil, which is a stylus made for graphic designers and editors. Other news from this conference include the new and improved Apple TV, and the iPhone 6 which allows users to make music playlists and create libraries.

Let’s take a look at a few of these in detail:

September 9, 2015

Google Express Continues to Expand

Courtesy of thenextweb.com















By Joseph A.

Google Express -- a same day delivery service for non-perishable items including clothes, toys, electronics, and books -- is now being offered in parts of Central and Western Michigan, giving online shoppers another way to buy items without setting foot in a brick-and-mortar store.

The service, which originated in San Francisco in 2013, has already been made available in Boston, Chicago, New York, San Jose, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. It launched today in smaller Midwest cities including Lansing, Mt. Pleasant, Kalamazoo, and Grand Rapids.

"Our goal with Google Express is to offer a great shopping experience and connect people with their favorite stores helping them get what they need, when they want it,” said Brian Elliott, Google Express' general manager. "Today, we're very excited to be further expanding our efforts and bringing fast delivery to over 25 million people in the Midwest."

September 8, 2015

Customer Question of the Month: What is a Search Algorithm?

A talk bubble with the text "Customer question of the month" surrounded by a bunch of other, colorful talk bubbles.
By Megan G.

Happy Tuesday, Tekkies!  

This month’s customer question brings us back to basics.  While the jargon of search engine optimization (SEO) may be familiar to experts like the members of the Tek Team, the average business owner may not be familiar with terms like Panda, Penguin, and Pirate… 

Well, they might be, but not in the right context.  We’re not talking about adorable animals or seafaring brigands with feathered hats.  We’re talking about algorithms.

This month’s customer query is, simply:  What is a search algorithm?  

September 4, 2015

Street View For Cats is Latest Example of Google's Unparalleled Trail Blazing

Photo courtesy of happi927.com





















By Justin H.



We all know what kind of jaw-dropping photos Google Street View is capable of. Explorers have really pushed the envelope and branched out far beyond the confines of urban America to provide us with countless images that would crush your average Instagram selfie in the proverbial like department.

When Google recently deemed the Street View car unsuitable for their aspirations, Google Trekker was introduced as the next step. Trekker is a device that Google lends out to great causes and foundations who then use the large backpack-camera hybrid to capture stunning imagery in places off the beaten path. 

Google’s Street View car may be able to find reindeer running down the streets of Norway, but would it be able to zip-line through the Amazon Rainforest? I think not.

September 3, 2015

Google Captures Breathtaking Photos by Partnering with Ricoh

Photo Courtesy of dpreview.com
By Lauren C.

Ever wondered what it’s like to stand on the edge of a cliff? If you aren’t adventurous enough to trek the mountains and try it out first hand, there’s still an option available to you. Thanks to Google’s new Street View app for IOS and Android, interested users have the opportunity to stand almost anywhere in the world, without having to make the treacherous hike.

So how does it work? The app is essentially a map that shows pictures, or ‘photospheres” that users have taken from nearby locations. Wired.com describes it as a combination of Street View and Google Earth, with a “mix of Google’s content and shots from regular users.”

September 2, 2015

3 #MapsHack Triumphs on Google Maps

The Internet Map, an example of a Google #MapsHack.  Image from Google Maps.






























By Megan G.

What is a #MapsHack?  Most often, it’s the reworking of Google Maps technology into delightful interactive experiences such as The Internet Map pictured above.  This particular hack showcases the most popular websites in any given country, and it does it with a vibrant, engaging style.

Other past #MapsHacks have included a map of Skyrim from The Elder Scrolls series, a map of Westeros from Game of Thrones, and even a magical tool that summons beautiful, blooming cherry blossoms on any street.

September 1, 2015

Today is Tek Shouts! 1st Birthday

By Nick K.

Tek Shouts! has turned 1 year old! It is hard to believe that it’s already been a year since the Tek Team launched our blog. Time really does fly when you’re having fun. It has been an honor and a real joy working to improve Tek Shouts! while continuously finding ways to grow our audience.  

Since Tek Shouts’ initial launch, it has provided only the most ground-breaking and essential Google news for you or any other avid “tekkies” across the web.  

Tek Shouts! has come a long way since its inception. It all started out with its first blog post about Facebook being the new online superstore for consumers, which sadly had a minimal amount of views. Although the content was unique and enjoyable to read, it just didn’t contain the spunk and pizazz that Tek Shouts! includes in its blog posts today.