Gaining Access to Lynda.com

lynda

Lynda.com is a fantastic website to help you with anything tech as well a multitude of other subjects. For those who don’t want or have the money to spend on a subscription for Lynda.com, then I have a solution, well rather, your public library does.

Finding Your Local Library

The first step to getting set up with Lynda through a library, is by finding a library nearby you. An easy way to get a comprehensive list of library options is by going to this link. The link will take you to a website called Public Libraries, you can go by state and then find the library that is closest to where you live. You may need to use Google Maps to figure out which is the shortest distance to you.

Getting a Library Card

You can get a library card either at the library or on their website. With my library you can enter your information on their website and you can get your own card. Here is an example of a screen that you may see.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-10-03-pm

Getting on Lynda.com

This may vary slightly depending on the library’s site. For me, as an example, I have a tab at the top of the site called “Learning & Research” and underneath “Technology Skills” I have a direct link to Lynda.com. You can get to Lynda.com from any library website, so you can use the link provided from my library. (It is a link to the page described before and below in the picture.) If you want to go through your library, you should be able to find it through the search bar located usually at the top of the page. Here is a picture of where you can find the site.

lynda_com-guide

Login Screen

Now hopefully everything makes sense and I’m moving a logical order. When you click on the link to Lynda.com you should see this page:

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-20-11-pm

Do not and I will repeat do not click on the cute little blue sign up button in the upper right hand corner. You need to put in the code on the back of your library card, this code will be underneath the bar code, yes the long string of random numbers with possibly a letter or letters. It could have 10 or more numbers. And if your code starts with a letter in front include the letter, upper and lower case matter. Otherwise it is a totally different number for possibly a different person.

Now, the library card PIN means a four digit-depending on the library-code like the password to your library account. When you go to the library this is the code you punch in before you can check out your library books. Now, if you don’t remember the PIN for your library card you should be able to call your library and get it, or you can access your account by logging onto the library site, and clicking the link “Forgot your PIN?” Before you actually log onto your account.

There you go, you can now click the pretty little “Log In” button at the bottom of box shown above.

Choosing a Learning Path

You can choose a learning path that is shown at the top of the page when you first log in. The great thing about Lynda.com is that you can get certified, and this will prove to be a very valuable course to take. For those who stuck around reading this entire post-or not that’s fine to-here is the course that I am taking to learn Photoshop. Seeing as my fellow students in class have to take our industry certification next week for Photoshop this is what I’m watching and practicing to relearn Photoshop.

Course: Photoshop CS6 Essential Training by Julieanne Kost

The course is 10 hours and 30 minutes long. But, she really goes over everything that you will need to know for a beginner in Photoshop. There is also a running transcript for every video on Lynda that tells you exactly what the person is saying during the video. Which is a huge benefit. Here is a picture of the course in case you want to double check that you have the right course.

screen-shot-2016-09-23-at-12-34-57-pm

I hope this helped!

 

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A Human AI Interface

Hey everyone! Sorry I’ve been gone for so long! With the end of my course coming up fast I’ve been really focused on getting everything done. I recently found a very interesting article over on technewsworld.com. I’ll do a quick summary of the article itself and if you want to read more about it then you can head on over to the actual post that I will link at the end of my blog post. Hope you all find it as interesting as I did!

 

Elon Musk has recently launched a startup, Neuralink, which is dedicated to developing technology that will connect human brains directly to a computer. Neuralink is going to develop “neural lace” a technology that could allow small electrodes into the brain for medical purposes.

What this direct connection can actually do has been up for debate.

“The medical imaging sensors and processing power required to figure out how a human brain works to a level of detail that can be used to implant sensor and exciter networks that have specific, precise and deterministic functions is still in its infancy,” said Paul Teich, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

We still have a long way to go before such a complex link directly to the brain ever exists.

The treatment of brain damage perhaps tops the list of reasons to pursue such a connection between the brain and the computer.  However, it is likely to be a long time before anyone can be “plugged” directly to a computer.

“During R&D, there are ethical concerns about human experimentation,” Michael Rogers said, “and when you go to market, there are major hurdles with agencies like the FDA.”

One large concern also is how much privacy that you may have. If a brain-to-computer interface can allow for the uploading of your thoughts, then what happens when those thoughts become data?

“The real worry is that thoughts are truly the definition of private information,” said technology and privacy consultant Frederick Lane. “So when you put your memories in the cloud you have to worry about how they will be protected.”

It’s also conceivable that personal thoughts could get individuals into serious trouble.

“We have a legal system that already wants to punish fantasy,” noted Lane. “This opens the way for thought police–where you think about a potential crime and could be prosecuted for just having that thought.”

There is the potential debate as well on whether this technology, could be the first set toward one staple of science-fiction, the cyborg.

“The most likely positive outcome would be enhanced access to data and knowledge and mind-to-mind communication,” said Glen Hiemstra. However, “the negative possibilities include radically unequal access to the tech, leading to even more radical inequality in human opportunity,”

It may be several decades before we will have to deal with these issues, so thankfully we may be able to come up with answers before then.

Here is the link to the original post: TechNewsWorld

Hope you have a fantastic day!

PayPal

paypal-752x440I’ve been working on learning about e-commerce, but also focusing on PayPal and all that you can do with PayPal. So here are the results of the research that I had conducted today.

Let’s talk about why their Website Payment Standard is fast, easy, and best of all low cost. It’s fast because you can make several types of buttons from PayPal or use pre-made ones, the best thing is that you can just copy-and-paste the HTML code into our site. It’s easy because you can use pre-made buttons and just copy-and-paste as mentioned earlier. There isn’t like an over price to buy the buttons or something like that PayPal takes 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. That is something to keep in mind when making your prices.

The four methods that PayPal accepts would be the PayPal cards that are available, so the credit and debit PayPal cards. There are also your regular debit or credit cards. Then you can do instant transfers from your bank and lastly you can also do e-checks. Options are by no means limited if you want to try payment methods that may work better for you.

You do need a shopping cart for PayPal but there are many different types of shopping carts that you can use. You can use BigCommerce, Wix, shopify, Magento, and Woo Commerce. Woo Commerce you can use the shopping cart on your WordPress site.

There may be some application fees from what I could tell from my research, because you will be using applications that may not be by PayPal, however set-up and termination are nonexistent. Also, monthly fees are a thing of the past if you use PayPal instead of brands.

Storing and securing financial information for customers is something that you won’t have to worry about, PayPal will take care of everything for you. Which as the site brought out, let’s you focus on your business.

Since as mentioned earlier that there is no termination fee to worry about, then we can draw the conclusion that you don’t sign a contract when you make your account. So you can close and reopen as many times as you want to.

Every customer does not need a PayPal account in order to use PayPal on your site. I know this from experience, the customer can check out with a temporary of sorts account.

When the customer reviews their order on PayPal and goes to check out, they can choose whether they want to use their PayPal account (if applicable) or if they will be using another method of payment. The screen will tell the customer to review the review their information to ensure that a mistake hasn’t been made. With an edit link to correct any mistakes that may have occurred. After that they can place their order and they will get a confirmation email.

An added benefit of using PayPal you can have it fitted to match your own site, by adding the colors, or logo. This will help the customer to feel more at ease that they are in the right location when they go to checkout. Which leads to more sales.

Encryption is where information can’t be read with out the password or key to figure out what everything means. PayPal does this for not only your customers information but also for your business’s.

The PayPal transaction fee is 2.9% and $0.30 per transaction. That is the only amount that you will have to pay if you use PayPal.

The simple steps to integrating a PayPal shopping cart into your site is to log into your Premier or Business PayPal account. You will need to find the Merchant Services account, after that you can find the PayPal Shopping Cart Link. Then you give the details of the item that you want to sell, and the site will make you a customized HTML code for the button that you paste into your site.

Some wonderful features of using a PayPal shopping cart would be it’s ease to implement. No upfront costs to have to worry about, and also you can sell with an ease that you won’t have with other sites. And you know that customers have the best buying experience and the trust that their information will not be stolen.

There are many other places that you can use if you don’t want to use PayPal. Some examples are Big Commerce, if you want to have a blog and a store all built into one site. Or you could do Ecwid, it’s a shopping cart that I just recently found out about. From what I can tell it seems to be pretty good.

I hope this helped.

All About SEO

SEO Perfect Company
Piecing Together SEO

SEO may be something that you have heard of but, never knew or bothered to look it up. I personally had no idea what this term was until I was given the chance to delve into the topic. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which to put simply is about how easy it is for search engines like Google, Yahoo!, or Bing to find your content. This is extremely important because if you start a website for your business and your site isn’t search engine friendly, then you can greatly diminish how many people or traffic gets to your site. That could make or break your business from the very beginning.

Web Crawlers

Or web spiders, or robot; those are different terms for the above subheading. Don’t worry, nothing creepy about this. It’s essentially a program made by a search engine to go through your site and test the links and compile everything in your site. This way when someone wants information on a topic in your site, the search engine can pull up your site in the results provided by the search engine.

Meta-Tags

These are tags that the visitor doesn’t see. They typically look like <meta>, this tag is exponentially important for your site. These tags go at the top of your code and it describes and gives key words for your site. That web crawler mentioned earlier, that crawler looks at those and it helps it to gain a better understanding on your site.

Attributes

The keyword attribute is a place where you can put the keywords that will be seen throughout your site. Be careful not to put the same keyword, or variations of the same keyword that is called spamdexing; which will be discussed later.

Description attribute like the keyword attribute is where you would put a 200 or less character description of that site or webpage. This is something to look into, because that short description could be something that your search engine may show to draw people into your site.

A page title isn’t really something that you may think could be important, however, this can also greatly increase chances of being pulled up by a search engine. Be mindful to treat it like a newspaper headline, you want it to be descriptive and short. This will go in the HTML code <title>.

The domain name tells a search engine a lot about the content of your site. So, be sure that your domain name truly tells what your site is going to be about.

Spamdexing

The long awaited explanation for such an interesting word. When you break down the word, the definition makes sense. Spam means large quantities of things that aren’t important, and the dexing you can think of it as a shortened word of indexing. Ready for the definition? Spamdexing is when you have a lot of keywords that are the same with minor changes or just large amounts of the exact same keyword. Examples of this would be “keyword, keyword, keyword, keyword, keyword”… etc. Or “Keyword, Key Word, KEYWORD, keyword”… etc. This also goes for a combination of words, it doesn’t have to be only one word, so don’t use combos or keywords more than 7 times. Also, you can do spamdexing by inserting keywords that have nothing to do with your site in random parts of your site.

So, make wise use of your keywords, after all if a search engine believes that you are doing the “black hat SEO” (this will be explained later) or trying to trick the algorithm, then the search engines can and will block your site.

Natural or Organic

Not really words you would think of in relation to the internet, but they are important words. It can be a smidgen difficult to explain the two, since it is widely regarded that the two are synonymous.

Organic is traffic that comes to your site through the use of a search engine. Greater use of keywords and attractive writing can make your site rise higher in the ranking in the search engine.

Natural, however, refers to people who find your site by a referral by someone whether on social media, or otherwise. They can also directly look up your site by the URL.

Both are important, I personally would focus a little more on the organic, simply because while it would take more time. You can build up repeat viewers, those who aren’t going to just take a brief browse and leave, and these are lasting and hopefully loyal future customers. In other words quality and results take time, so please be patient.

Marketing Methods

Pay Per Click or PPC for short, is a method that companies can use to get people to click on their site. Each time a person were to click they would need to pay an amount of money to the search engine. You know those ads that you see at the top or side of the search engine after you look something up? Well, those could be PPC.

Paid inclusion is where you pay for your site to be included on a search engine, however in no way shape or form does this mean you will have a high ranking.

Video search marketing is rapidly becoming a valuable search for your site. This is a way for people to find your site by a video. Things to keep in mind is the quality, duration of video, and the platform (or where you upload that video). You want to make sure that all of that will help to drive traffic to your site.

Sponsored listings is another type of Pay Per Click or PPC that you will see on the top and side of a search engine.

Google-Adsense is the last marketing method that I will bring out under this subheading. This is a wonderful way to not only promote your business by having ads appear on the sites of other people. But, also it can be a way for you to earn money on your site by allowing ads to appear.

Black & White Hats

Such interesting terms SEO is filled with. White hat SEO is the usage of strategies, techniques as well as tactics that give primary focus to the human audience instead of the search engines. This is frequently used by those who make a long-term investment in their website.

Black hat SEO however, is an aggressive use of SEO strategies, techniques, and tactics. The primary focus is only on the search engines instead of the human audience, also it doesn’t obey many of the search engine guidelines. This SEO is typically used by ones who want a quick financial return on their website. Black Hat SEO runs the risk of getting banned from search engines.

Webmaster Guidelines

Google

  • Submit a Sitemap using Google Search Console. Google uses your sitemap to learn about the structure of your site and to increase our coverage of your webpages.
  • Think about the words users would type to find your pages, and make sure that your site actually includes those words within it.
  • Ensure that your elements and alt attributes are descriptive, specific, and accurate.
  • Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. If you must use images for textual content, use the alt attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.
  • Prevent and remove user-generated spam on your site.

Where I found these guidelines is on Google itself. And you can read more about it here.

Bing

  • Provide clear, deep, easy to find content on your website, Bing is more likely to index and show your content in search results.
  • Links help Bing discover new pages on your site.
  • Social media plays a role in today’s effort to rank well in search results. The most obvious part it plays is via influence. If you are influential socially, this leads to your followers sharing your information widely, which in turn results in Bing seeing these positive signals. These positive signals can have an impact on how you rank organically in the long run.
  • Sitemaps often reside at the root of your host, say, http://www.yourdomain.com/sitemap.xml, and contains a list of all of the URLs from your website. Large sites may wish to create an index file containing links to multiple sitemap.xml documents, each containing URLs from the website. Care should be taken to keep these files as clean as possible, so remove old URLs if you take that content off your website.
  • While link schemes may succeed in increasing the number of links pointing to your website, they will fail to bring quality links to your site. Netting no positive gains. In fact, manipulating inbound links to artificially inflate the number of links pointed at a website can even lead to your site being delisted from our index.

Here are the guidelines that I found on Bing.

I hope this really long post may have helped you out!

Web Development, What Do We Do?

web_development_process

This is a question that I have occasionally struggled to answer. Since I am a visual learner, maybe you are as well, I have a video by Ecourse Review. That answer that question, and couple of extra ones as well that I did not even realize that I needed answered. After all if you’re going into this field, it would probably be a good idea to understand what it all entails. Well enough of me rambling, here’s the video.

 

What does a web developer do?