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  • Jul 10 / 2013
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Articles, Social Media

Are You Suffering From FOMO?

fear-of-missing-outThere’s an epidemic going on. It’s FOMO. Are you a victim of this relentless ailment?





FOMO (fear of missing out) goes hand in hand with social media. Check out, Report: 56% of Social Media Users Suffer From FOMO, below:






“Report: 56% of Social Media Users Suffer From FOMO




We all know that social media can be an addiction, a slippery slope consumed by a syndrome commonly referred to as Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). If you indulge in a few days away from your Inbox or Twitter stream, the emails start to pile up and key news is missed.



As technology enables us to stay more connected than ever, the addiction continues to grow. In fact, a new survey conducted by MyLife.com revealed 56% of people are afraid of missing out on events, news and important status updates if they are away from social networks.



Many would trade other addictions to stay connected this way — about 26% percent said they would trade habits such as smoking cigarettes or reality TV for access to social networking sites.



In the same vein, about 51% of people visit or log on more frequently to social networks than they did just two years ago. And users want their updates first thing in the morning: 



About 27% of participants flock to social sites as soon as they wake up.

About 27% of participants flock to social sites as soon as they wake up.




People are managing more social networking accounts as well. About 42% of study participants have multiple accounts — and the percentage jumps to 61% for those between the ages of 18 and 34. The average person also manages 3.1 email addresses compared with 2.6 from last year.


Although 52% of respondents said they have considered taking a “vacation” from one or more social networks in the past year, only 24% said they will likely follow through. Why? FOMO, of course.



For a full look at how people are using social media and managing the many platforms, check out the infographic below.



Homepage image via iStockphotorudigobbo








Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs. And if this article didn’t convince you that obviously social media marketing is one of the best things out there…then well, it should have.

  • Jul 08 / 2013
  • 0

Dog Days of Summer

funny-dog-face-water-sprinklersBonjour NSquared readers. We thought we’d start your week off with a funny comic portraying what life would be like if humans behaved like dogs.


You may be asking what this has to do with web design or inbound marketing…and folks, the answer is a big, fat NOTHING. But it’s awesome. And here at NSquared, awesome is just what we do.




“What If People Behaved Like Dogs?




There’s no shortage of people who think that animals are people, too, but let’s not forget that people are animals — and some are just dogs.



Leave it to our friends Nitrozac and Snaggy of The Joy of Tech to illustrate this point to us in their characteristically graphic manner.





Really, what if people exhibited classic dog behavior, taken to the extreme?



We can certainly think of lots of things we’d hope they wouldn’t do, but here’s a comic that shows you how a lot of that behavior would be downright goofy, or just plain fun.






Comic illustration provided by The Joy of Tech. Published with permission; all rights reserved.




Contact us for your IT and inbound marketing needs…and don’t forget to wipe your slobber off the Starbucks counter before you leave. Happy Monday!


  • Jul 05 / 2013
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American Inventions that Changed History

swivelFeeling patriotic this week? You will be when you read, 12 Badass American Inventions That Changed History, below:




“12 Badass American Inventions That Changed History




The United States of America has been pumping out badass technology since the 18th century. In honor of Independence Day and the land of opportunity’s 237th birthday, we’ve gathered a small sampling of some of the most important, iconic and overall awesome American inventions throughout history.

From rockets to Roombas, swivel chairs to Macintosh computers, these inventions are not only inspiring, but also show how far we’ve come since 1776.



1. The Transistor

In 1947, the first transistor was created at Bell Labs, and was about the size of your iPod classic. Transistors were a more efficient, compact and stable alternative to the large, hot and unreliable vacuum tube.

Without the invention of the transistor, every modern piece of electronic equipment would be impossible to create, making this tiny little semiconductor the father of all badass technology.



2. Voyager 1

For nearly 36 years, the Voyager 1 spacecraft has been traveling the far reaches of the solar system, taking pictures and transmitting data back to NASA. Voyager 1 is now approximately11.5 billion miles away from Earth and is expected to pass through the boundaries of our solar system within the decade.

Other inventions from 1977 that haven’t stood the test of time quite as gracefully as the Voyager include the Atari 2600 console and the Commodore PET.



3. The Saturn V Rocket



Standing roughly as tall as a 36-story building (60 feet taller than the Statue of Liberty) and generating 7.6 million pounds of thrust at launch, the Saturn V rocket remains literally theheaviest thing that has ever flown.

That is, unless we discover the fossils of an obese pterodactyl.

Designed under the leadership of two German rocket scientists, the Saturn V first launched in 1967 and facilitated every single NASA Apollo mission to the moon.



4. The Cyclotron Atom-Smasher


The name “atom-smasher” alone nabs this American invention a spot on this list. Weighing in at approximately 220 tons, the cyclotron atom-smasher has been smashing atoms since 1932, when it was used as a source to create high-energy beams.

The cyclotron is a type of particle accelerator, currently used in particle beam cancer treatments, as shown in the video above.



5. The Swivel Chair



Thomas Jefferson is known for two things: being the father of democracy and being the inventor of the swivel chair. It’s unclear for which title he is more universally loved.

Granting the sitter the ability to accomplish a day’s work without standing or moving any of the key muscle groups, swivel chairs are time-tested tools of liberty and justice.



6. The Inflatable Tank


The inflatable tank, though no longer conventionally useful, was a major factor in the allied victory in World War II. The inflatable tanks were a tactical deception and — when coupled with amplified sounds of armored vehicles and infantry units — fooled enemies into believing allied forces to be much larger than they were, saving tens of thousands of lives in the process.



7. The Roomba

Before you laugh, consider this: The Roomba, created by American tech company iRobot in 2002, uses the same navigation algorithm as iRobot’s other line of autonomous vehicles — military grade bomb disposal units.

The fact that a tiny robot many use to cleanse their carpets of Cheeto dust is powered by the same system as a land-mine destruction bot gives the Roomba a noted spot on our list.

This GIF of Cat Shark riding one gives it a noted spot in our hearts as well:






When construction began in 1969 on the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET), which was one of the world’s first digital communications networks, there were only a few powerful research computers scattered throughout the country. Researchers who weren’t living close to one of these computers were at a disadvantage. It’s kind of like when you and your brother used to have to share the house computer. Except instead of a house, imagine a distance of a few hundred miles, and instead of your brother, imagine all of the researchers in the entire nation.

A faster version of ARPANET was soon released, called the National Science Foundation Network (NSFNET), which eventually evolved into the place we go to today for Grumpy Catmemes and articles about Millennials.





9. The Curiosity Mars Rover


After completing its primary mission — to determine if Mars could have once supported life (it could have) — the Curiosity rover now gets to enjoy the sort of retirement fit for only the most famous robotic car: studying dirt samples in Mars’ Gale Crater for the next 20 years.





10. Sketchpad


Ivan Sutherland, then a doctoral student at MIT, created the program Sketchpad in 1963. The program is considered to be the father of modern computer-aided design (CAD), and a predecessor to graphical user interface — found in all computers, phones and MP3 players.

When writing about his invention, Sutherland said, “The ultimate display would, of course, be a room within which the computer can control the existence of matter. A chair displayed in such a room would be good enough to sit in. Handcuffs displayed in such a room would be confining and a bullet displayed in such a room would be fatal.”

That sounds like the Matrix. America invented the Matrix.



11. The Macintosh 128K

This sleek, beige computing marvel was released to the public in 1984 for $2,495. If you can believe it, the amazing thing about the computer was its affordability — the hardware used to create similar graphic capabilities to the Macintosh was priced at around $10,000.

The “thin Mac” came with a one-bit black and white display and a convenient carrying handle, in case users wanted to take their computer to the beach or something.





12. 3D Printing


Quickly proving itself to be one of the most useful and controversial technologies of our time, stereolithography, or 3D printing, was invented by Chuck Hull, founder of 3D Systems. 3D printing seems to have endless potential, having already been used to produce body partsfood,surgical implants and, as the video shows above, weapons.”





Contact us for your IT needs and marketing. Keep the awesome inventing coming fellow Americans. Tootles!



  • Jul 03 / 2013
  • 0

Ring, Ring, Ring





Hey there NSquared readers. We stumbled across this article regarding cellphones and thought you may want to check it out. See, The Meteoric Rise of Cellphones in 1 Chart, below:






“The Meteoric Rise of Cellphones in 1 Chart




According to a new report released by the United Nations, the number of mobile phone subscriptions will reach a projected 6.8 billion by the end of 2013. That means that in only six months, there will be nearly as many mobile phone subscriptions in the world as there are people. (At present the global population is a little more than 7 billion.)

Cellphone usage worldwide

Image courtesy of United Nations






Ninety-one countries already had more cellphones than people in 2011. Latin America already has more than one cellphone per person; Macao and Hong Kong already have more than two cellphones per person. The growth in some emerging economies is eye-popping. In Kuwait, for example, mobile cellular subscriptions have more than quadrupled since 2008. That boosted the ratio of cellphones to people in the country from under 60 per 100 people, to over 200 per 100 people.



The rate of cellphone growth won’t continue to outpace population growth indefinitely. In fact, it has already started to taper. Fast-growing developing countries already account for over 77% of the world’s cellphone subscriptions. Subscription growth rates have slowed to the lowest levels ever — roughly 6% in developing countries and 4% in developed ones.



This article originally published at Quartz here






Give us a ring for your IT needs and inbound marketing!



  • Jul 01 / 2013
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Working From Home Requirements

workfromhomeHave you ever fantasized about waking up, getting your coffee, and going to work…down the hallway? Well you are not alone. However, it isn’t as easy as it sounds. Check out, Do You Have What it Takes to Work From Home?, to see if making the switch is a realistic goal, or if you need to get used to commuting and the break room.






“Do You Have What it Takes to Work From Home?




Most of us, at some point, have fantasized about quitting that 9-to-5 office job to work from the comfort of a couch. I certainly did. After all, I was clocking in four hours daily commuting into work (and sometimes, sadly, it was closer to five). Although I loved my job, I hated the wasted time spent on the train.



So when the opportunity arose to work from home — and doing what I love for a company I respected — I jumped at the chance. I might have even danced the jig.



But, working from home proved to be way more challenging than I imagined. For one thing, it was so quiet. My cubicle at my previous job had been smack-dab in the center of the hallway, where people would stop and chat all day long. I got used to the chatter, the incessant ringing of phones, people slurping their soup — all of it. So, now, being at home (a home that’s surrounded by woods, mind you), the silence was deafening.



I quickly realized that it takes certain skills to work from home. And if you’re considering a telecommuting gig, too, here’s what I learned are the keys to success.





Laser Focus



Who can resist the dinging sound of a new email? You, that’s who, especially if you want to stay on task. And forget about signing into Facebook “just for a minute.” It’s easy to get distracted when you telecommute — unlikely distractions that just don’t exist at work abound at home. At the office, for example, you might visit the company kitchen once in the morning and once in the afternoon for a cup of joe (because that’s what’s appropriate), but at home, you’re hitting the fridge every hour on the hour. Or more.



The way around this is to act like your home office is in the center of an actual office. That means, yes, taking a shower, getting dressed, and being presentable for your workday. Somehow, it switches your mindset, and being preparing to “go” to work (even if it’s just a stroll down the hallway) makes the transition easier. I also schedule specific times to check email, and when I get a Facebook alert, I refrain from logging in until lunch hour.





Mad Organizational Skills



At work, you had to keep your desk neat so that you looked organized — and sure, it’s always helpful to see the top of your desk. But at home, who cares if clutter collects around you?



Well, don’t fall into that trap (especially if video conference calls are part of your routine). While you might miss the building services team, who used to wipe down your crusty keyboard and empty your waste paper baskets every night, it’s ultimately up to you to keep your space spic and span so you can do your best work.



What’s more, it’s time to get those list-making muscles in working order. Without face-to-face communication, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks, so you’ll need to find ways to be as organized as possible. You might find that you like to write things down in a notebook, or perhaps you prefer calendar notifications. Find what works best for you to keep you organized and on task.





The Ability to Work Alone



When I started to work from home, I missed talking to people. A lot. But I soon found a friend. Every day, I would hear the UPS guy gunning his motor as he drove down my long driveway to deliver my packages. As soon as I would spot him, I’d fly out of the house and chat him up.



And now he leaves the packages by the curb.



Sure, the one big bonus of working from home is that it gets you away from the petty office politics and never-ending gossip. But once you’re in your home office — alone, every day — you might start to miss that collegial camaraderie.



Since the UPS incident, I’ve reached out more to colleagues via IM and will post cute pics of my new puppy for my colleagues to see on Yammer. And when we’re on deadline, we even (gasp!) talk on the phone. It’s helped tremendously to make the disconnect not feel so severe. It’s a good balance between having peace and quiet when you need it and much-needed interaction with others, too.





Excellent Communication Skills



When you work in an office, you can ask your boss about the details of your upcoming presentation when you see her in the company kitchen. But if you telecommute, she’s just a green light on your GChat. From letting her know if you’re going to miss a deadline or getting clarification on an email, you’ll have to be proactive about communicating all aspects of your job and any questions you might have with her.



Also keep in mind that communication with a telecommuting team requires an extra layer of crystal-clear clarity. Since almost everything is done via email (and there are no facial or body clues to read), you’ll need to make sure that you mean what you, um, type. I’ve found that shorter, more succinct sentences go a lot farther than long-winded soliloquies.








Without the fear that your boss could walk in on you playing Candy Crush, your motivation can get foggy when you work from home. So while you might be tempted to throw a load of laundry in the washing machine or start working later than you’re scheduled to, you’ll need to keep yourself motivated.



How? Start by giving yourself daily, weekly, or even hourly goals. Once you start accomplishing them, you’ll feel productive and happy in your career — and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your own work-life balance.



Working from home can be the Holy Grail — but you have to know what you’re getting into. But if you do, and you make a plan to gain these skills, you can make working from home work for you, too.”






Contact us if you could use some IT help or inbound marketing. Have a super sensational Monday! Until next time, keep your laser focus on high heat NSquared readers.

  • Jun 28 / 2013
  • 0

Tech Tantrums…Make Them Stop

temper-tantrumHowdy NSquared readers.


Have you taken a look around lately? If so, you’ve probably noticed the enormous amount of children on iPhones, tablets, and other gadgets. It’s not unlikely to have little ones navigating smart phones before they can even articulate words.


While here at NSquared we think it is fantastic to be tech savvy, it is not cool for kids to be buried in technology constantly and missing out on what some of us remember as a normal childhood (getting dirty outside, reading books made out of paper in a totally rockin’ blanket fort, and riding a bike, etc.).


Check out, 6 Tips for Defusing Tech Tantrums, for some tips on keeping your little techies in line.




“6 Tips for Defusing Tech Tantrums


My daughter had taught herself to swipe open an iPhone before she could walk, and since then, has found a few favorite apps she can navigate to, fiddle with and, occasionally, delete (along with emails, it turns out). She is not yet two years old, but despite our best efforts, she is drawn to the glow of a smartphone or tablet like the proverbial moth to flame. And it is when we try to wrest it from her tiny mitts that we have discovered the modern phenomenon of the tech tantrum.



Go anywhere today and kids are alternately staring with zombie-like glazed eyes at a tablet, or having meltdowns when they’re snatched away — in restaurants, at the mall, on buses and subway and, naturally, on planes.




To put this blossoming trend in context, I’ll share a few numbers. A Nielsen report last year found that in tablet-owning households, seven out of 10 parents let their kids play with their tablets. And a recent Pew study found that tablets are in 30% of U.S. households already, and that smartphones were used by 61% of mobile subscribers. Taken together, most of the 110 million households in the United States likely have at least one smartphone, and a few tens of millions of households have tablets (and some 40% of them are iPads).



Dr. Fran Walfish, a Los Angeles-based child and family psychotherapist and author of The Self-Aware Parent (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), said that she regularly deals with issues of toddlers, tech and tantrums in her practice. “We have a lot of 2-year-olds using tablets now, and I see 3- and 4-year-olds that are already addicted,” she said. “It’s mind-blowing and a little scary.”



1. Limit Exposure Time


Though the American Academy of Pediatrics has yet to adopt an official stance when it comes to using these devices, Walfish has adopted their recommendation that toddlers under the age of two not watch any TV programs that endorse the use of tablets or smartphones. For preschoolers, she said parents should limit screen time to about 30 minutes total per day, bumping that up to 45 minutes for kindergartners. Walfish added that kids shouldn’t be left alone to play with tablets or smartphones.



There are several timer-style apps that shut down a device after set periods of use, such as Kid Time ($2.99; iOS), Kaboom (99 cents; iOS) and Kido’Z Play Mode (Free; Android). Keep in mind that older children will figure out how to bypass these apps, so you’ll need to enable passwords to unlock your devices. Devices like the Amazon Kindle Fire HD offer features such as FreeTime, which allows you to set a time limit on tablet use.



2. Control the Content They Use


Kids should be restricted to games and apps you’ve vetted ahead of time. “For preschool kids, it should only be educational apps to help learn numbers, letters, colors and so on — ones which mimic the skills they’re learning,” Walfish said.



With iOS devices you can restrict and password protect the use of specific apps and types of content in the Settings menu, including the ability to add, buy or delete apps, or access movies or music, or access only kid-rated content among others. For Android, you can set up multiple user accounts so that your child has his own account and can only access apps you install. Tablets such as the child-focused Fuhu Nabi 2 come with powerful parental controls, including time-limit settings and app access restrictions.



3. Restrict Access to Stores


With the ability to make in-app purchases, your kid can quickly run up ludicrously high charges on your credit card (in one case, about $2,500 in a few minutes) without even needing a password. Lock down access to app and media stores so that your kid can’t download anything without using a password.



For iOS, you can turn on restrictions in Settings and turn off in-app purchases altogether. Similarly for Android, you can require a password for all downloads, which includes in-app purchases.



4. Use Devices as Motivators, Not Bribes


“Electronics shouldn’t be used as bribery, but they can be effectively used as motivators,” Walfish said. “Parents can say ‘show me you can get in the car seat and buckle your seatbelt and I can let you play on the iPad today when we get home.'” That’s a world different than offering access for not acting poorly. Walfish also pointed out that also doesn’t mean dangling your iPad like a carrot for every little behavior. It should have a role roughly on a par with ice cream.”





Contact us for all of your inbound marketing and IT needs. And don’t forget to get the little ones in your life techin’ it out in moderation. Have a wonderful weekend!

  • Jun 26 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Social Media

A Social Network Dinner

potluck-appHi readers! Are you confused by our blog title? What the heck is a social network dinner?




Well, a new social network website has been launched and released on Tuesday, and we thought we’d share. It’s called…Potluck. (Is the title making sense now?)


Check out, Branch Launches Potluck, a Stress-Free Social Network, below:




“Branch Launches Potluck, a Stress-Free Social Network




Likes. Retweets. Upvotes. Plus ones.

Every social network seems to have a way of quantifying how well the posts you share perform among other users, but one new site is doing away with all that in the hopes of eliminating performance anxiety online.


Potluck, which launched to the public Tuesday, is a pared down social network that simply asks users to share links — no witty comments, no back-and-forth banter, just links. Once the link is shared, it appears in a notifications dashboard on the left side of the page, but unlike traditional news feeds, Potluck won’t show the name of original sharer. Instead, it only displays the name of the link and the number of friends who have left comments on that link.



Potluck was developed by Branch, the New York startup behind the social discussion platform of the same name, which came out of The Obvious Corp — an incubator launched by Twitter co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone.








“We’ve always wanted to design a system that enticed every user to engage,” Josh Miller, co-founder of Branch, wrote in a post introducing Potluck. He described the new product as being a good fit for “lurkers,” meaning people who usually “sit back” and look at what others share rather than share posts themselves (perhaps out of fear of judgment). “It’s incredible that these same users make up the 86% of the internet who have never published a blog post or tweet.”



The hope, according to Miller, is that Potluck can convince this normally hesitant group of users to start sharing by making “‘publishing’ as simple as copy-and-paste.”



Potluck is currently only available on the web, but Miller says it will launch on iOS soon.




Contact us if you could use some IT help or inbound marketing. Happy social networking, folks!

  • Jun 24 / 2013
  • 0

Electronic Gadgets…Keep Them Safe!

waterHowdy folks! Summer time is here, and chances are you’re spending more time near water and/or outside. Check out, 4 Ways to Protect Your Tech This Summer, for some tips on keeping your electronics out of harms way!






“4 Ways to Protect Your Tech This Summer



If you love your tech as much as we do, odds are you want to take your gadgets everywhere. Unfortunately, while you may love the pool and the beach, your cellphone does not. Protect your tech by showing it a little summer lovin’ and keep it safe with these tips.






1. Watch the Temperature



Extremely warm or cold temperatures can have noticeable effects on your phone’s battery, display and synthetic housing components. There’s even a possibility of the ominously named “heat-related death,” which is exactly as horrible as it sounds. Like your skin, the best way to protect your tech is to keep it in the shade. If you do find that your phone has overheated in the sun, let it cool gradually. Do not put it in the refrigerator or freezer.


If your summer vacay involves a parka and snow boots, make sure you keep your phone in an inside pocket, close to your body, to prevent it from freezing or going through frequent temperature changes, which can cause visual distortions in the display. Since cold temperatures are notoriously bad for battery life, you may want to carry a spare battery with you. Just like in the sun, it’s best to let your phone return to room temperature gradually to prevent condensation from building up inside.



Use a cooling pad when you’re working on a laptop outdoors, even if you don’t use one at home. Increased temperatures mean even new laptops could easily overheat in the summer sun. Also,cleaning your laptop fan will ensure it’s running properly and keeping your laptop cooler. Again, the best protection is to keep it in the shade.



2. Use Protection



Another concern is water damage. While your current cellphone case protects against damage from dropping your phone, it will do little to protect your phone from damage caused by liquid, dust or sand. If you want to tote your cell to the shore, you’ll need a little something extra … like phone condoms.


While the concept sounds ridiculous, Smartskin Condoms for Smartphones are thermoplastic sheaths that prevent rain, dust, sand and other debris from getting into the small crevices in your phone and wreaking havoc. Small enough to slip into a wallet and so thin you won’t even know it’s there, your phone is still completely functional through the condom.


There is no laptop-shaped condom, but laptop skins will prevent dust and sand from ruining your keyboard or screen and can be ordered for about $10. This protection is fairly minimal, however, and won’t prevent all damage.



3. Keep It Dry



If you’re looking for a little more protection, say, for boating or swimming, try a waterproof case like one from DryCASE. The “case” is more like a heavy duty Ziploc bag with a few added features, including a buoyant arm band (so it will float if you happen to drop it in the water) and a waterproof headphone jack. The bag is big enough to fit any cellphone, regardless of size, and can be vacuum sealed to conserve space. Bonus: You can still use your phone underwater so you’ll have some awesome Instagrams. Tablet options are also available.


For laptops, cameras and other large items, there is a DryCASE backpack option available, which will keep your tech dry in the event of a thunderstorm, or if you plan to take your SLR on your kayaking trip. If you actually do use your laptop poolside, our best advice is to be verycareful.


If you happen to drop your unprotected phone in the water: Don’t panic. Take out the battery and SIM card, then dry the device in a bag or bowl of white rice overnight to remove excess moisture. You may also want to take your phone to a technician before you completely lose hope.



4. Case by Case



Hikers and backpackers planning to take laptops out into the great outdoors should have a padded bag or case that will support computers over rough terrain. Plastic laptop skins will protect your tech against scratches and other physical damage, but won’t be much help when it comes to small debris and jolting car rides. Either buy a padded sleeve, or opt for a bag or case that has padding all around your computer, not just up against your back, so that the other contents of your bag won’t damage your laptop.

Like always, you should have a case and screen protector on your cellphone or tablet to prevent damage and scratches. If you’re serious about keeping your tech safe, consider getting an Otterbox or other heavy-duty case, as opposed to the more fashionable (but ultimately less effective) hard plastic cases.





Contact us for your IT needs! Stay cool folks, and don’t ruin your super sweet gadgets this summer.   Always use protection.


  • Jun 21 / 2013
  • 0
Articles, Social Media

Texting…Don’t Look Like a Jerk

image‘Sup NSquared readers?



Today we are concluding our week on correct and professional writing habits with a blog on texting.



Check out, 20 Business Texting Tips, and make sure you’re texting professionally. The last thing you want is a business colleague thinking you’re a jerk because of your textings habits…






“20 Business Texting Etiquette Tips




With the advancements in smart phone technology, text messaging is becoming a more popular way to communicate. Commonly referred to as “texting”, this method of communication is simple, efficient and effective. But what’s considered acceptable when texting friends is very different than what is acceptable when texting business contacts. Here are 20 short tips to help you make good decisions.



1.  Don’t send a text, unless it’s urgent.When you send people a text, in most cases you will be interrupting them. The default settings on most mobile phones ring or vibrate when it receives a text message. So if you are going to interrupt someone, make sure you have a good reason.



2.  Don’t send a text message if you can send an email. Every business professional I know checks his or her email at least twice a day and almost all of them prefer communication by e-mail rather than texting. For the most part, their reasons are time management based. People don’t like being interrupted unless it’s urgent and they are more productive if they respond to all their messages during scheduled blocks of time. For most people it’s also more efficient to type messages on a computer rather than on a phone.



3.  Don’t send a text if you should make a call. If you know that the subject of your message will require back and forth communication, either pick up the phone and call the person or if it’s not time sensitive, send an email requesting a specific time to talk. I also want to point out that business relationships are seldom built or strengthened through text messaging, so use it sparingly.



4.  Avoid texting people who don’t text you. According to a Success Magazine survey, only 4% of the business professionals surveyed prefer texting to other forms of communication. If you have never received a text message from someone, consider that they may not like to text.



5.  Don’t text bad news. If you have bad news to share with people, give them the courtesy of a call. Emailing or texting bad news is a cop out.



6.  Don’t type in CAPS. Reading CAPS is harder and is generally referred to as YELLING!



7.  Don’t assume people know what all the acronyms and text slang mean. Not everyone knows that ttyl means “talk to you later” or jk means “just kidding”. Say what you mean and make sure your messages present you as a business professional, rather than a texting junkie.



8.  Don’t text during meetings. If you send or read texts during a meeting, your actions convey that the meeting is not important to you. After all, how can you focus on the discussion that’s taking place if you are texting? It would be just like having a verbal side conversation. Clearly inconsiderate and disrespectful.



9.  Use punctuation. Type your texts using the same punctuation you would use in your emails. Since these are business texts, make sure they present you well.



10.  Don’t text after business hours unless there’s a good reason. If you have something to share with someone after business hours, consider using email. If you want people to respect your family and personal time, respect theirs. You also run the risk of losing your influence if you don’t respect people’s private time.



11.  Proof your messages. Take an extra few seconds and make sure you don’t have any misspellings or improper language. Be proud of the messages you send.



12.  Get to the point. Since a text message is limited to a small number of words, get to the point in your message and keep it from spilling over into another message. If you have a lot to share, consider picking up the phone or sending an email.



13.  Include your name. Unless you are absolutely certain that the recipient of your text has your name plugged into their phone, add your name to the end of the message.



14.  Watch your tone. Make sure you pay close attention to the tone of your message. If you are upset about something, pick up the phone and call the person.



15.  Return text messages. If someone sends you a text, they expect a response in a reasonable period of time. Show that you are a responsible person by returning all messages in a timely manner.



16.  Don’t send a text after leaving a message. As a general rule, if you call someone, you should always leave a message. After leaving a message, don’t follow up with a text message unless it is URGENT. Consider that your call interrupted them once. You don’t want your text to interrupt them a second time.



17.  Don’t leave people hanging. If you are done with a text conversation, let the person know.



18.  Don’t waste people’s time. Don’t send unnecessary text messages. As an example, when a text conversation is clearly over, don’t send another message. Once again, every text you send is likely to interrupt someone’s activity, meeting or train of thought.



19.  Show respect and courtesy. Whatever you do, consider how it affects those around you. Unless it’s urgent, avoid sending texts when you are spending time with people.



20.  Not while you are driving. While this seems like common sense, I am shocked by the number of people I see sending text messages in cars. Next to drunk drivers, distracted drivers are the second leading cause of fatal automobile accidents.



If you will follow these 20 text-messaging tips, you will be viewed as someone who is professional, considerate and respectful of other people’s time. You may want to consider implementing these same tips in your personal communications. Practicing these texting lessons will certainly bring more peace into your life and allow you to better control your time.”




Don’t be caught looking like a scrud!


Contact us if you could use some IT pros on your side. And we promise…we text politely.




  • Jun 19 / 2013
  • 0

How to Write Properly

keep-calm-and-be-professionalHowdy there NSquared readers. I’m sure you have noticed that this week we are covering writing.



Here are ten tips to make sure the professional emails that you are sending are just that…professional.





Check out, Ten Tips on How to Write a Professional Email, below:




“Ten Tips on How to Write a Professional Email



Email is one of the most common forms of written communication in the business world–and the most commonly abused. Too often email messages snap, growl, and bark–as if beingconcise meant that you had to sound bossy. Not so.



Consider this email message recently sent to all staff members on a large university campus:



It is time to renew your faculty/staff parking decals. New decals are required by Nov. 1. Parking Rules and Regulations require that all vehicles driven on campus must display the current decal.

Slapping a “Hi!” in front of this message doesn’t solve the problem. It only adds a false air of chumminess.


Instead, consider how much nicer and shorter–and probably more effective–the email would be if we simply added a “please” and addressed the reader directly:



Please renew your faculty/staff parking decals by November 1.

Of course, if the author of the email had truly been keeping his readers in mind, he might have included another useful tidbit: a clue as to how and where to renew the decals.




Ten Quick Tips on Writing a Professional Email



1.) Always fill in the subject line with a topic that means something to your reader. Not “Decals” or “Important!” but “Deadline for New Parking Decals.”

2.) Put your main point in the opening sentence. Most readers won’t stick around for a surprise ending.

3.) Never begin a message with a vague “This.” (“This needs to be done by 5:00.”) Always specify what you’re writing about.

4.) Don’t use ALL CAPITALS (no shouting!), or all lower-case letters either (unless you’re e. e. cummings).

5.) As a general rule, PLZ avoid textspeak (abbreviations and acronyms): you may be ROFLOL (rolling on the floor laughing out loud), but your reader may be left wondering WUWT (what’s up with that).

6.) Be brief and polite. If your message runs longer than two or three short paragraphs, consider (a) reducing the message, or (b) providing an attachment. But in any case, don’t snap, growl, or bark.

7.) Remember to say “please” and “thank you.” And mean it. “Thank you for understanding why afternoon breaks have been eliminated” is prissy and petty. It’s not polite.

8.) Add a signature block with appropriate contact information (in most cases, your name, business address, and phone number, along with a legal disclaimer if required by your company). Do you need to clutter the signature block with a clever quotation and artwork? Probably not.

9.) Edit and proofread before hitting “send.” You may think you’re too busy to sweat the small stuff, but unfortunately your reader may think you’re a careless dolt.

10.) Finally, reply promptly to serious messages. If you need more than 24 hours to collect information or make a decision, send a brief response explaining the delay.






Contact us if you need IT help or inbound marketing. Until next time, stay professional (and classy…being classy is always cool).



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