4 technology terms and what they mean

Even though technology is present in all of our daily lives, many of us are still unfamiliar with the terms associated with it.  Fortunately, we’re here to clear up some of the confusion. Read on for an explanation of four common technology-related terms.


Cookies are fundamentally what allow websites to identify you when you revisit them. By allowing cookies, you are allowing your web browser to give the website data such as your username, password and preferences. They can save you a great deal of time by preventing you from reentering your information over and over again.

Unfortunately, cookies can also be seen as a privacy issue. Because they store your information and track your activity they make it easier for someone to access your data. Most experts agree, however, that merely limiting the amount of cookies you allow will help protect your online identity.


A URL, or uniform resource locator, is simply a web address. It is what you type into the address bar of your browser, usually beginning with “http,” that takes you to the website you want to visit.


Cloud is one of the most used terms in tech these days yet it still has many people scratching their heads. The cloud is made up of web-based services that you can use on any computer without buying hardware or installing software. Google Docs and Facebook are among the most common cloud services today.


Flash is a platform owned by Adobe that enables you to view animation and dynamic displays on the Internet. Installing a Flash plug-in on your browser ensures that you can view certain videos and other displays that can’t otherwise be seen. Although Flash has been the leader for a long time, HTML5 is quickly emerging as a competitor.

Technology-related terms may seem overwhelming but understanding the basics can make it all much easier to grasp.

If you’d like to see a more in-depth description of tech terms, take a look at this glossary.

A simple guide to social media terms

Social media is something that exists in most of our lives, whether we like it or not. Unfortunately, many of us still have no clue what most of the terms surrounding social media mean. This simple guide can reduce some of that uncertainty by explaining some of the more common social media terms.

1. Tag

Tag is one of those words that may refer to quite a few different things, depending on how it’s used. Often, a tag refers to the use of a keyword in a blog or other post. These keywords help ensure that search engines relate your post to the relevant topics.

Tag might also be used in reference to tagging someone in, or linking someone to, photos. Facebook photo tagging now utilizes facial recognition software to help you tag friends in photos.

The newest form of tagging actually refers to mentioning friends in your posts and status updates. Now, if you tag them in your updates, they will be notified of your post and it will show up on their wall for all of their other friends to see.

2. Troll

A troll in this situation is a person that uses social media as a way to provoke people. Trolls often make taunting or offensive comments on pages or in groups in order to provoke anger.

3. Friend

While we all know what the traditional meaning of friend is, that’s often not the meaning applied to the word friend in the social media world. In social media, to friend someone simply means adding someone to your network.

4. Stream

This is another double-meaning word. Streaming something pertains to receiving a constant flow of information, such as a webcast. A stream is what most people call their Twitter or Facebook home pages, where all of the recent information and updates are posted.

5. At mention

At mentions, or @ mentions, are used on Twitter and they are really similar to Facebook’s new tagging system for status updates. This allows you to mention someone in your Tweet and notify him or her of your post.

Although social media terms can sometimes be tough to understand, they usually pertain to simple processes that can be easily recognized. If you’d like to see an even more in-depth guide to social media terms, take a look at this article.

Preventing employee burnout

Employee burnout is something that most of us have seen in others or experienced ourselves. Repetitive tasks and overwhelming workloads can easily get the best of us. Luckily, there are plenty of simple ways to both combat and stop employee burnout before anybody reaches his or her breaking point.

Preventing burnout

  • Have fun – Making room for fun can alleviate some stress and help to keep employees motivated when they are on the brink of burnout.
  • Switch it up – Let employees work on new projects or teams when they’ve been concentrating on one thing for a long time, like Facebook is doing with Hackamonth.
  • Encourage breaks – It’s wonderful to have employees that don’t want to quit working until they get things done. Unfortunately, those are the people that are likely to burn out quickest. If you have employees like this, persuade them to take walks or go on a coffee run – anything to keep them from going stir crazy.

For those times when burnout can’t be avoided, there are a couple of things you can do to help ensure that your employees don’t become fed up.

How to cope with burnout

  • Accept it – Burnout isn’t always preventable so it’s essential to pay attention to the signs such as lethargy, decreased socializing or irritability.
  • Communicate – Growing businesses often experience transformations that leave employees frustrated. Making sure your employees know that they can talk to you is a great way to stop burnout before it gets out of hand.

Although employee burnout isn’t always preventable, it’s vital to know what steps you can take to make it less detrimental to your employees and your business. These simple tips can help reduce the effects of burnout and even prevent it when possible.

If you’d like more ideas on fighting employee burnout, take a look at this article.

3 tips for better online searches

Sometimes it seems impossible to locate what you’re looking for when you’re performing an online search. One keyword may lead to thousands of unrelated results. These simple strategies will help you perform stronger searches and get more relevant results.

Keep it simple

Use the fewest number of words or phrases you can. If you’re looking for Chinese takeout in your area, type in “Chinese food” along with the name of your city or your zip code. That should garner accurate results even if you aren’t sure precisely what you’re looking for.

Learn about Boolean

Whether you know it or not, you are probably familiar with Boolean searches. This simply refers to using terms like “and,” “not” and “or” in your online searches. This is a smart thing to do when you are more familiar with what you’re searching for and know which terms you would like to include or exclude.

This concept also works when you use pluses or minuses in your searches. If you want to include a word in your search results, simply type a “ ” before it in your search. If you want to exclude something, precede it with a “-“ when you search.

Be precise

Preciseness can instantly eliminate a great deal of the irrelevant and confusing search results. If the search terms you use are too broad, you are often left with thousands of results that have nothing to do with what you’re looking for.

Quotation marks are typically the international search engine symbol to search for an exact phrase. If you are looking for something specific, using quotation marks can help guarantee that your results are more relevant.

These three strategies can greatly affect the accuracy of your search results. You’ll spend less time sifting through website descriptions and pages of results, and more time getting the information you need.

For even more tips on performing online searches, take a look at this article.

3 simple office fixes to increase productivity

No matter the time of year or the project you’re focusing on, there are always things that can get you off task. Though there is no way to completely eliminate those distractions, there are several ways to minimize them and increase productivity. Here are a couple of them:

Keep a clean office

Clutter often results in distraction. Keeping your office organized and encouraging your employees to do the same can help people to be more focused. Removing those unwanted distractions by cleaning up every once in a while can make a significant difference in employee productivity.

Increase the temperature

In one study, a cooler office was shown to have quite a negative effect on employee productivity. In a slightly warmer office, employees made 44% fewer typing errors and their typing output increased by an incredible 150%. Based on those figures, a bigger heating bill may be well worth it.

Lighten up

One study demonstrated that brighter offices can make a substantial difference in employee productivity. Employees who worked in windowed offices spent 15% more time staying on task than those working in windowless offices.

Not only does this change help to increase productivity, it also can help you save money on your electricity bill by lighting up the office naturally. Because it’s so easy to do, it’s surely in your best interest to open blinds and move employees into offices with windows whenever possible.

These basic office adjustments are extremely easy to make and can make a huge difference in the amount of work that is accomplished.

For even more simple productivity tips check out this article.