Digital Revolution

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Death of the Salesman

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital rotating round tables.

Our special guest this week is an expert in sales, and how new technologies are changing how they are being conducted in both corporate and retail locations.

Curious about the future of sales? Well, stay tuned and enjoy.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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Job Revolution: Recruiting in the Digital Age

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

This week we have a special guest star – Nadine Lamothe, one of the officers here at Planet4IT. She will be joining us today, along with Jim Carlson and Andrew Carlson, to discuss Job Hunting and Recruiting in the Digital Age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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What else can you print?

It’s 2015 and we are well into the manufacturing revolution, or so the media claims. No longer restricted to the realm of science fiction, 3D printing and one off manufacturing are becoming surprisingly commonplace.

From food to computers to cars, 3D printing is rapidly becoming a major component of our lives. I’m not just talking about printing plastic toys or parts – no, 3D printing has evolved! From computers that make themselves, to drivable cars printed in 24 hours, it seems like the only limit to what we can make is self imposed by our own imaginations.

Or by what we saw on Star Trek as kids. You decide.

 

VOLTERA

Building hardware sucks!

I assume. I haven’t so much as built my own computer, let alone built my own computer chips and circuit boards. But I know people who have, and according to them it is not a simple venture.

According to them one of the most dangerous components of any electronics project is the circuit board. It involves experimenting with violable chemicals, or waiting weeks after sending their designs off to a  fabrication house.

In short, building a circuit board had two options – messing with chemicals or waiting for weeks. Kind of a tough choice if you’re in a rush.

The Voltera V-One 3D printer wants to offer a third option.

L: insulating mask being laid down, R: second layer bridging over first layer

The Voltera V-One can create a prototype board right from the comfort of your own home.

Gerber files go in; prototype circuit boards come out.   According to the Kickstarter funding this project, the printer lays down a conductive ink to create the traces and an insulating ink as a mask between layers.

These boards aren’t meant to replace mass manufactured PCBs – this is a one off manufacturing prototype tool that helps you get  there faster. The designers claim that you can now you can quickly test an idea without wasting money or two weeks of your time!

The Kickstarter campaign started for this project around Valentine’s day. Their goal was $70, 000 over the course of the month. As of February 18th they have raised $333, 137 and have over 20 days go to.

Conductive ink dispensing

FOODINI

This one is for those of us who hate to cook. A full meal with the touch of a button – sounds like a dream! Or restricted to the realm of science fiction and Star Trek.

Come on, we’re all thinking it.

Although the Fodini hasn’t reached ‘Replicator’ status yet, it is certainly on its way. The meals are raw, but with the push of a button you can have a fully prepared  meal. All you have to do is cook it.

It isn’t too different from a regular 3D printer, but instead of printing with plastics, it deploys edible ingredients squeezed out of stainless steel capsules:

“It’s the same technology,” says Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Natural Machines, “but with plastics there’s just one melting point, whereas with food it’s different temperatures, consistencies and textures. Also, gravity works a little bit against us, as food doesn’t hold the shape as well as plastic.”

The startup is based out of Barcelona and it is one of a kind. It can print a large selection of foods, from desserts to more savory meals.

The creator,  Natural Machines, points out that it’s designed to take care only of the difficult and time-consuming parts of food preparation that discourage people from cooking at home. Like preparing homemade pasta, or perfectly shaped cookies.

As mentioned before, the device only prints the food, which must be then cooked as usual. But a future model will also cook the preparation and produce it ready to eat.

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And since we live in the Digital Age, everything needs to be connected to the Internet of Things.

“There’s a touchscreen on the front that connects to a recipe site in the cloud, so it’s an internet-of-things,-connected kitchen appliance,” said Kucsma. Users will also be able to control the device remotely using a smartphone, and share their recipes with the community.

Doodler

The Doodler is kind of the odd man out. It is not a 3D printer per se, but it is  an additive manufacturing device.

In other words, it’s a pen that draws in 3D.

There is nothing controlling where the 3Doodler lays down material except for the user. You’re essentially printing in air.

Positioned as something of a toy, and developed by engineers from the toy industry, the 3Doodler helps to bring the concept of additive manufacturing to a new user

 

The Strati

3d-printed-car

With all the talk of those self-driving cars, we can sometimes overlook how those cars are made. Cars are not exempt from 3D printing. In fact, it’s already been done.

ABS plastics is the first to attempt to print an entire car.  They eliminate a car’s “frame” and integrate all exterior and interior features into a drastically parts-reduced automotive creation.

Everything on the car that could be integrated into a single material piece has been printed. This includes the frame, exterior body, and some interior features. The mechanical components of the Strati, like battery, motors, wiring and suspension are sourced from Renault’s Twizy, an electric powered city car.

Not only that, but this car may be on the road within the year. Once the 3D-printed car is cleared by U.S. vehicle rules and regulations, it will be drivable on public roads.

The Strati takes 44 hours to print, with the hopes that they can cut that rate to 24 hours.

With all these printing developments, one question remains – how long until we can 3D print the perfect spouse?

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Rise of the Digital Space

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Who among you would love to work from home. With Digital technologies it’s becoming easier to do. This week the P4Digital executive team examines the rise of the digital space.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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How are jobs and careers changing in the Digital Age?

Welcome to a new edition of the P4Digital Round Tables!

Digital marketing is changing the face and infrastructure of the world. The job of recruiting is not exempt from this. This week, the P4Digital executive team examines how their jobs are changing in this new age.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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What did 2014 bring to the Digital world? P4Digital investigates

Happy New Year listeners and welcome to 2015! In honour of the new year, The P4Digital Executive team will be examining what 2014 brought to the Digital World, and what 2015 might change.

Stay tuned and enjoy

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P4Digital discusses the growth of the in house digital department

The P4Digital Executive team will be discussing the rise of the In House Digital Department this week – and whether or not companies should use them, or continue to outsource their digital work.

Stay tuned.

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Introducing the P4Digital executive team and Round Tables

The P4Digital group is joining in the Podcast community with a series of Round Table discussions piecing together what the Digital revolution means.

This is their first – what Digital means to them and what it means for the world economy.

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The Importance of a Landing Page to an SEM Campaign

In this post we will take a look at how landing pages can save you money on your SEM campaigns.

What is SEM?

Search Engine Marketing describes using the paid advertising services provided by the various search engines.  These ads typically appear at the top and right hand side of a search query.  Often the area is shaded to distinguish the paid advertising section from the organic results.  With Google this means using their Google Adwords software.

What is a Landing Page?

Simply put, a landing page is the page that appears when you click on an SEM ad.  Often, the landing page is the home page of a website, but increasingly advertisers are recognizing the value in creating a landing page that is specifically designed for your ad.

Understanding the Auction

A common misconception when running SEM campaigns, is that the auction used to determine which position your ad appears in, is solely determined by the amount you are willing to pay for a click on your ad.  The reality is that where your ad appears is actually determined by a formula taking into account the “bid” of your (and competitors) ad and the “quality score” of your (and competitors) ad. Google’s chief economist Hal Varian does a good job of simplifying this process in this video.

Quality Score Saves you Money

The important thing to take out of that video is; the higher the Quality Score of your ad the less it costs per click on your ad.

Improving your Quality Score through the use of Landing Pages.

At 2:45 of the above video Mr. Varian goes into the three components of determining Quality Score:  Click through rate, relevance and landing page.  When using a specially created landing page as your landing page rather than your home page as your landing page you can improve all three facets of determining Quality Score. A landing page improves “click through rate” by presenting the consumer with enough information to ensure that they click through to your home page.  This obviously only works if your landing page is good and we will go into what makes for a good landing page in the next post here.A landing page shows relevancy by using the keywords you are using in your ad on the landing page, which typically would not be highlighted on your home page.  For example let’s say you are a dentist and your home page (being used as a landing page) is mostly pictures of your office.  If you are running a SEM campaign and using “dental surgery” and “teeth whitening” as search queries to have your ad appear for, then the pictures of your office do nothing to show search engines that your ad is actually relevant to the queries of the consumer.  By using a landing page that makes note of all your services, such as “dental surgery” and “teeth whitening” search engines understand that your ad is relevant to the queries of the consumer and your Quality Score increases.A landing page increases the landing page portion of Quality Score by the three things Mr. Varian discusses in the video:  Relevant and original content, easily navigable and transparency.  It works best in comparison.  Compare a landing page that states specifically what your business is, what you provide, how you provide it and when you provide it, with a home page that has a minimal amount of information and is more of a portal to the rest of your website.  The home page obviously is going to be a deterrent to your Quality Score because it creates more work for the consumer who clicked on your ad to determine if they have found what they are looking for.  Search Engines want the process of a search returning the results the consumer is looking for to be as easy as possible so that they still use that search engine.

The Importance of a Landing Page to a SEM Campaign

Landing pages, if done correctly, increase your Quality Score.  Increasing your Quality Score decreases the cost per click you pay for someone clicking on your ad.  Saving you money!

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Andrew is one of the newest members of Planet4IT, but he brings with him a fresh new perspective.

With one eye on the job market and the other on the IT world, he’s the man to go to for information on how the latest advancements in Data, Digital Marketing and Social Media are affecting business.

Andrew encourages you to reach out to him through not only telephone or email, but LinkedIn and Twitter as well

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