If you have been using Google over recent weeks then you may have noticed that the Search Engine giant has been testing various proposed layouts in the hope of making the appearance of the search results interface easier to read. They have done this by increasing the font size and removing the underlines for some of hyperlinked content.
Granite Digital are delighted to be recently awarded the contract to redevelop the Worlchoice Travel website and intranet. It is a very exciting project for our Web Development Team, with the goal of improving collaboration and communications between member agents and trade partners whilst most importantly using technology to deliver bigger profits for all involved.
Robert Carpenter, Director at Granite Digital, described the project as ‘very exciting’, saying it will showcase a ‘world-class digital look and feel’ to Worldchoice’s engagement with both their Irish members and their trade partners, which include Amadeus and Royal Caribbean. The goal is to bring Worldchoice’s intranet portal to life, he said, ‘reinvigorating’ their brand and profile.
Business’s in the west Cork area were left stranded for almost a month and suffered serious disruptions the their daily online business proceedings due to problems with Eircom’s telephone & broadband systems, The problem was mainly within the Skibbereen area and Eircom were slow to accept responsibility.
Granite’s very own chief technical officer Ger O’Shea spent at least three weeks or more tackling the problem with Eircom and also helping some of granites many clients after receiving a constant stream of complaints from the Skibbereen area.
Peter Coppinger & Daniel Mackey founded Digital Crew in 1998 and have made a living building websites, intranets and custom web-based solutions for clients in Cork, Ireland. At this point their company has a good reputation internationally and they sell website components online.
They spent some time reviewing and using project management software and tried several different companies and found many were very expensive, overly complex, and some were lacking basic features, they wanted something intuitive that doesn’t take time to learn and maintain. Something everybody in the company can use – not just the project manager.
So Peter and Dan set about creating their own Project Management software, their mission was simple - to make the world’s most easy-to-use, fastest and best Project Management System.
Today Some 20,000 companies in 147 countries worldwide use TeamworkPM’s business software, which streamlines day-to-day operations. Around 90% of the customer base includes companies like eBay, Microsoft, Oxfam, Forbes, PayPal, Electronic Arts and NBC. The company says sales are set to exceed US$12m by the end of 2015.
Trading under the Domain name of teamworkpm.net, Teamwork have been negotiating for the domain of “teamwork.com” for over 2 years, this is the first time that the domain teamwork.com will actually be used, having remained dormant since it was acquired by the original owner in 1999.
Peter Coppinger said “We are 100% confident that the investment will pay for itself in no time as we expand our product range and improve marketing under the new brand, the company aims to use the new domain name to be a kind of marketplace for its software-as-a-service (SaaS) cloud-based business products, which include CRM, customer support and bookkeeping.”
Here at Granite Digital we are proud to have worked with Teamwork in the transition of their original company and clients; Digital Crew. And we wish them the very best for the future.
We were delighted to be asked by Millstreet Country Park to design and develop a new website for their amazing facility. Being honest, I never even knew the facility was there until we started working with them. The Park was featured on tonight’s “At your Service” with John & Francis Brennan on RTE. We are very proud of what we have produced and I think you’ll agree when you see the ‘Before & After’ shots below that the new site is a much better representation of the Park. I hope we don’t have to tell you which is which
Best wishes for the future to Millstreet Country Park
As the New Year progresses most companies a busy rethinking their digital marketing strategies for the year, as marketers read through article and article trying to figure out the latest or biggest trends for 2014. We must still focus on the main objective, Advertising.
There are three big trends to online advertising this year and we at granite have taken a detailed look into what we think will have the most effect and produce the most conversions for clients in 2014.
1. Native Advertising / Sponsored Advertising
Native advertising is the ability to tuck a brand message into the editorial experience in a seamless and responsible way, creating a story and target audience research is crucial for success. By working with influential and highly skilled individuals you can find, and sponsor content to promote your brand and product.
Native Advertising is probably the hardest style of advertising to master and it takes a lot of imagination and creativity,
To create good Native Advertising there are techniques and pointers to consider before creating a campaign -
- Find influencers that lead not follow. There are thousands of bloggers and media personnel that don’t start the conversation, they follow it. By listening, following you gain a good understanding of what the current topics of targeted audiences are thus allowing to create your own opinion/spin on relevant subjects.You want to work with people that start the conversation not just people who amplify it. They will guide you towards connecting with their readers.
- Create an experience. It’s not just the content. It’s about creating a user experience to draw someone in, piece with video, music, HTML 5, parallax effects, are all features to create a story and experience for the user. By creating a piece with well crafted edits, stunning images, immersive video with text overlay and innovative design to create a magical digital experience. Suddenly it’s hard not to get pulled in and feel something – in a whole new way.
- Don’t compromise quality. Many companies clutter up space and ruin design with too much advertising thinking quantity creates higher conversion rates but this can be the complete opposite and can actually harm conversion rates, quality not quantity wins over in the Native advertising stakes and compromising quality is just as bad. Multimedia skills are what shine in this area a cross platform is essential to create that great user experience, Doesn’t your brand equity get damaged by sponsoring lame content?
- Be transparent – and have fun with it. Work closely with you Native Ad content creator weather it be in-house or external. By fully understanding the goals quality will be produced and if it’s a great experience for the reader, everybody wins.
2. Contextual Advertising
Contextual Advertising is more of a direct root to the source so to say, there are different theories of exactly what contextual Advertising is some say Contextual advertising is designed to align with the media property in which it appears i.e. if you are browsing for cars then the user will see adverts for tyres, oil, crash repair garages content that is related to the page. Another theory is that contextual advertising refers to user behavioural targeting, if a user browsed for a product then went onto facebook that products advert will show up in the users facebook feed.
But there is a down side to contextual advertising and it all depends on the user and what they are doing at the current time
- If the user is in search mode then Contextual Advertising has a positive effect and will provide the user the Answer, solution or product that they are searching for.
- If the user is in browse mode then directing paid adverts at them will not return any conversions and will simple be over looked
Ad words Re-marketing is an action taken by marketers to reintroduce a product or service that a user desired but didn’t take any action at the time. Re-marketing has been steadily growing over the last 12 months and is surprisingly cost effective when compared to other forms of marketing it relies heavily on cookies so be warned Whether you are already doing re-marketing or are looking to start, you need to ensure that you are compliant with the cookie law. When a user views a website or product the user is tracked by cookies as the user continues to browse adverts for the product will be directed to follow the user. This is a very good way to get undecided conversions but re-marketing must be tracked in its self, if your campaign has acquired a conversion that intended user must stop being tracked to avoid irritation with the brand and wasted promotion expenditure.
- All site visitors – Basic re-marketing to increase brand awareness, increase traffic all pages of a website.
- Undecided / Almosts – Physically clicked through or placed items into shopping cart but didn’t convert, here your re-marketing efforts should be aimed at shopping cart / landing pages
- Members - Some websites have log in areas to find out more information on products or services, targeting re-marketing on these pages the user is guaranteed to view adverts of interest.
Cork Independent recently announced that The Deputy Mayor of Cork is pushing for a .cork Domain to help promote local businesses and online sales.
Current Online spending in Ireland is a staggering 4bn a year, but the issue with this is that 75% of it goes to overseas companies and venders. Companies with .com .co.uk, and even .ie can be from abroad, where as .cork if properly regulated can be used to assure the customer the origin of the purchase and the locality of the service.
A domain such as .com is officially known as a gTLD generic Top Level Domain. As domain names have become scarce over the years, a new way of naming domains had to be created. There are currently 22 gTLD’s such as .com .net .gov .ie .eu. ICANN’s (The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) aim is to promote competition, branding, consumer choice, localisation, Digital marketing and innovation while ensuring the security and stability of the Domain name system (DNS) with the new plan for gTLD’s and people wanting to register a unique domain will have to go through an application process.
The application window recently opened on Jan 2012 and a total 1,930 applications for new gTLD’s have been received. By March 2013 we saw the initial results of the process and in Aug 2013 the public saw the new gTDL’s that were deemed “eligible”.
So what are the benefits of unique domains?
The .cork domain will greatly benefit local retail and web development business’s within the Cork area and it will improve on more specific search results. New gTDL’s will also offer the following benefits -
- Entrepreneurship. Create your own business model and establish accessibility policies for your TLD. If your customers want tighter security, make your TLD a high-security zone.
- Increased control. You set the rules and the price for those registering your TLD.
- Innovative marketing opportunity. Build better brand definition, brand awareness, brand loyalty and trust by having full control over your own TLD.
- Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs). Increase market reach by making the Internet completely accessible to users whose local languages use non-Latin characters.
- Engage your community. Create a rallying point for supporters of your cause, community or culture to unite with a community-based TLD.
- Bring together your geographic area. Celebrate your local citizens, commerce, activities, and culture with a geographic TLD.
Overall the theory of a .cork is good within itself, but you really have to ask the questions is this just clever P.R to grab the headlines of being on the pulse of web technologies or has this been planned out and will be a serious proposition to localise, unify and benefit the people and city of Cork.
Welcome to our final instalment of our extremely popular blog “Top Ten Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas” thank you to all our loyal followers and your feedback, sorry we couldn’t review all of your suggestions but find some more on our Facebook page and don’t forget to like us!
As we move on to our top 2 gadgets we look at tablets and in at number 2 is the google nexus 7
#2 Google Nexus 7
If you’re looking for a tablet this year then you really should check out Google’s new Nexus 7 . The new Nexus 7 looks very much like the old version it’s slimmer and lighter than the original just 8.7 mm and 290 g. and significantly easier to hold.
The Nexus 7′s best feature is its amazing screen. The tablet still has a 7in IPS display but the resolution has been cranked from 1280 x 800 pixels to 1920 x 1200, giving it a mammoth pixel density of 323 ppi. The display is simply stunning and without a doubt the best of any 7in tablet around at the moment
The Nexus 7 is equipped with a 1.5 GHz Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core Krait processor and the memory has been doubled to 2 GB.
It even boots up quicker than your average tablet. But there’s still no microSD card slot for expansion. It’s one of the only downsides to this tablet
The Nexus 7 comes well equipped with dual-band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and now has two cameras rather than just one and is small enough that using the rear camera for taking photos and video is easy with generally crisp nice looking shots Video can be shot at up to 1080p resolution and looks good if you hold the Nexus 7 nice and steady.
So the top spot on our Top ten Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas is (drum roll)….. The iPad Air
#1 iPad Air
Apple have really out-done themselves with this product it is the smallest, lightest, and most powerful tablet out there. Its amazing size only 7.5mm depth smaller than most smart phones on the market. Apple have streamline everything possible on this tablet and still haven’t lost any of the essential features; in fact everything you find on the iPad 4 you will find on this device including the 9.7 inch screen a 2048-by-1536 resolution and over 3.1 million pixels, photos and videos pop with detail and text looks razor sharp.
The new Apple-designed A7 chip brings 64-bit desktop-class architecture to iPad. That means up to twice the CPU speed and graphics performance for everything you do. And a fantastic battery life up to 10 hours.
But all in all this is a great product as we mentioned in an earlier blog; the battle of the smart phones wasn’t as clear cut any-more with iPhone losing ground to its competitors but in the tablet wars iPad are leading the way. At a RRP of €487 the iPad is clearly the best tablet out there this year and that is why it tops our Top ten Gadgets for Christmas this year.
Thank you for following our blog and we all at Granite Digital wish you all a merry Christmas and look forward to putting out new fresh content for you next year
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Down to number 5 in our list of Top 10 Gadgets for Tech Heads this Christmas and this the one you’ve all been waiting for, Smart Phones. Probably one of the most commonly bought presents for the last few years. But there are so many choices of smart phones out there it can be hard to chose the right one, so in today’s Granite Digital blog we will review gadgets number 5, 4, and 3 respectively.
#5 The iPhone 5s
Once a king always a king?
In the first days of Smartphone’s iPhone rule was undisputed and there was no other smart phone. But iPhones have been In steady decline as of recent, and the apple innovation era has come and gone.
The iPhone is still a good product and are still bringing out some of the newest features to desperately try to cling on to the top spot, but competitors are gaining ground quickly the newest version of the iPhone, the iPhone 5s has many new features but is basically the old iPhone 5 that was only released less than a year ago.
The newest features and the one Apple are really pushing is the Touch ID feature, a smart finger print recognition home button that can offer the security of safe purchasing and more. as-well as an improved camera and greater CPU power. But has apple killed itself by constantly releasing a new phone and then an “S” version less than a year later?
Apple are basically hoodwinking people with newer features and living of their past-tense status without having to do any re-design of the concept. iPhone used to be king for apps but now almost every app can be released on any platform. Would they not be better off putting out a full powered phone with top specs, and not leave customers feeling they bought the newest phone and all of a sudden its not as good in less than a 12 month period?
#4 Samsung Galaxy S4
A Cat may look at a king
Brought up in the shadow of the iPhone the galaxy strives to knock iPhone of the top spot and recently they achieved this, but the competition is so fierce will its reign be a short lived one?
The Galaxy S4 boasts the largest screen for a Smartphone and has some amazing technology under the hood. Its full screen is clear, sharp, and a breath of fresh air and watching full HD video or intensive 3D gaming is a doddle, and browsing the Internet or multi-tasking a breeze. Scrolling through menus is quick and smooth, with the only very occasional stutter occurring when something is updating while you’re trying to open an app at the same time. It also unfortunately has a slightly inferior camera to others. But one of the Galaxy’s best features is its outstanding battery life. As with the Iphone it can host all types of Apps, Apple used to be the only App machine but now developers make Apps for all platforms this is no longer an issue.
#3 Nokia Lumia 2010 Windows Phone
Rise of the Fallen
Before the era of the smart phone Nokia were kings among men and there greatest feature was their Camera technology the patented “Carl Zeiss” camera, was head and shoulders above any other phone camera out there, but their smart phone technology was sorely lacking and Nokia disappeared faster than you could say “révolution”. Nokia have been testing and trying to re-enter the smart phone market but with no avail. Until now!
The New Windows smart phone has seen Nokia cleverly team up with windows and release a phone unique to the windows 8 design and functionality and corner the market in this niche. But it is still windows 8 and not the “greatest product” windows expected it to be, lacking in App ability and some of the biggest Apps such as Instagram, Vine, and Flipboard are missing (for now).
Nokia are staying with the technology that made them the best all those years ago, the Camera is by far the most superior Photo and Video quality than any other phone on the market and its Video editing tools are great for any person into making movies or photography it has many amazing features to allow the user endless hours of experimenting with settings, effects, zoom, and contrasts to produce some outstanding images or film, and all finished off with a handy upload tool straight to Facebook or Youtube. The loud colour range available make this phone fun and popular with the youth of today. But have Nokia released this phone to soon?
So after reviewing these phones it is hard to define which of them is the best, they all have locked onto a single feature that they think will make them the best seller.
As all other features of phone calls, functionality and apps are generally the same. The Smart phone is now generic and to tell one from another is only done by brand and design none of them have anything different or revolutionary to separate them from one another so buying choice will generally come down to favored product, best price, or contract offers.
The future is here!
Number six of Granite Digital’s Top Ten Best Gifts for Tech Heads this Christmas is defiantly bringing the future to the present (pardon the pun). What used to be in futuristic sci-fi movies is now a reality.
#6 Google Glass
Google Glass is a new device that has been talked about over the past 2 years although not fully established Google Glasses are now available on the market.
We already carry around technology with us everyday in the form of our smart phones or smart watches and we constantly have our heads buried in them, so why not incorporate the use of the glasses at least we can feign interest in other people with eye contact rather than looking down into our smart phones!
The Google Glasses has many great features; as many as a smart phone does and gradually we are being exposed to magazine photo shoots, celebrities, models and journalists using the product as Google begins to build on the reputation of this item
The design itself is just an average pair of glasses you will notice it is thicker on one arm to incorporate the features and touch buttons, it also comes in several different colours and some additional accessories such as a sun-glass cover.
The Features of Google Glass include photo, video, makings calls, face time and voice recording. You will also be able to read emails and browse the Internet.
The Google Glasses are inevitably something that will be popular in the future but why not be one of the first to start the trend now?
Google Glass comes at a hefty price tag of €1000. But this gadget is high on the list of Trend setting Tech Heads.