Zoom doesn’t need to be so awful. What the future of video chat could learn from the past

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Today we have cloud storage and augmented reality—all on our phones. So why hasn’t video chat evolved at all? I got my first glimpse into the “future” of videoconferencing more than 25 years ago, back in the early days of the World Wide Web and hypertext. I still remember looking over a friend’s shoulder as she chatted with a group of friends on CU-SeeMe . Each participant in her chat was represented by a grainy black-and-white webcam in a grid of boxes on the screen. What I saw that day would be easily recognizable to billions of people trapped on Zoomland today. At the time, I was designing CD-ROMs with Quicktime VR tours of Learjets. Today we have cloud storage and augmented reality—all on our phones. So why hasn’t video chat evolved at all? Read Full Story

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Best Cloud Storage Services

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. A decade ago, clouds were white puffy things we pointed at in the sky. Today, I suppose that’s still true. But “the cloud” means something completely different. It started as a buzzword, but now, it’s not uncommon to hear it in an afternoon conversation over coffee. In fact, it’s an incredibly common occurrence in our everyday lives. And it’s rise in popularity happened for a good reason—cloud storage is safe, affordable, and undoubtedly easy to use. Plus, it has countless uses, from backups and document archiving to team collaboration and file sharing. But choosing the best cloud storage services isn’t always easy, especially since there are so many options on the market. To make your decision a little easier, I looked at dozens of providers and narrowed it down …

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Best Business Phone Systems

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Phone communication plays a critical role in today’s business landscape. Practically every business, regardless of size or industry, needs to have a business phone system. This statement holds true for freelancers and single-member LLCs to Fortune 500 enterprises with thousands of employees across multiple locations. There’s just one problem—finding the best option for your business. With hundreds, if not thousands, of choices to consider, narrowing down the top pick for your business can feel like a daunting task. Fortunately, I’ve handled all the heavy lifting for you. After spending countless hours researching and testing different business phone systems, I’ve picked the top six that I can recommend with conviction. The Top 6 Options For Business Phone Systems Ooma Freshcaller Dialpad RingCentral Line2 Intermedia Unite How to Choose the Best …

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Best Video Conferencing Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Video conferencing software has exploded in popularity over the last year. With people working from home and remote work becoming the new normal, businesses rely on video conferencing services to communicate. But not all video conferencing software is the same. The tools you use to video chat with your friends and family across the across aren’t necessarily the best business communication options. Which video conferencing software is the best for you? I’ll break down my top picks in greater detail below. The Top 6 Options For Video Conferencing Software BlueJeans Cisco Webex Lifesize Whereby RingCentral GlobalMeet by PGI How to Choose the Best Video Conferencing For You As you’re shopping around and evaluating different options, there are certain criteria that must be taken into consideration. Keep these factors in …

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Content Marketing in 2021 and Beyond

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Let’s talk about content marketing. How’s it doing in 2021? Where might it be headed this year and next? Is it still the king? Content marketing continues to flourish for one very simple reason: it’s what the people want. They don’t want intrusive banners, ads, and popups. They don’t want irrelevant messages and products that have nothing to do with them shoved in their face. They don’t want spam clogging their inbox. People want high quality, useful, relevant, and engaging content about things that matter to them. Craig Davis , the former Chief Creative Officer at marketing communications firm J. Walter Thompson, said it best: We need to stop interrupting what people are interested in and be what people are interested in. That’s content marketing in a nutshell. And yes, it’s still king, but it is evolving. Consider: Compared to outbound tactics, content marketing costs 62% less but generates 3x …

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Best Cloud Web Hosting

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. You need a website that’s reliable, flexible, and adapts to your needs. You need to spend your time focusing on your business rather than worrying about your website. Cloud web hosting could be the right choice for you. This is a relatively new kind of hosting that has emerged as an impressive solution for websites that need a stable and efficient, yet adaptable and agile hosting solution. Unlike traditional web hosting, where you purchase a set amount of resources like bandwidth and RAM on a single server, cloud hosting spreads your website’s needs across a massive virtual server that lives on hardware in data centers all over the world. With cloud hosting, it’s incredibly easy to add more resources or cut back as needed, and cloud hosting is much …

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Best Managed WordPress Hosting

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. I don’t want to think about how my WordPress works, I just want it to work. Before companies get managed WordPress hosting, they are on the hook for making sure their sites are up and running. This involves a ton of seemingly trivial technical tasks that add up. If settings, caching, backups, and updates aren’t continuously handled, WordPress can stop working. When a site goes down, they lose revenue, and spend precious time trying to figure out what’s wrong. This is why I and so many other businesses use managed WordPress hosting. All the technical stuff is managed by the provider, the sites are blazing fast, and WordPress never goes down. In the event that there is an issue, it’s resolved quickly by the managed WordPress hosting support team. …

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Best Shared Hosting Companies

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Web hosting comes in all different shapes and sizes. As a whole, these plans can be segmented into four main categories—shared, VPS, cloud, and dedicated. Shared hosting is essentially the entry-level web hosting category. It’s ideal for new websites and smaller websites that don’t have a ton of traffic just yet. Since shared hosting is the first tier of hosting options, it’s always the most cost-effective way to host your website. For those of you starting a new website from scratch, shared hosting will be the best option 99% of the time. These are the top hosting companies for shared plans: The Top 6 Options For Shared Hosting Companies Bluehost A2 Hosting TMDHosting Hostinger DreamHost GreenGeeks How to Choose the Best Shared Hosting Company For You As you’re shopping …

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Best Call Center Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. What would it be like for your business to never miss another call? Nothing scares away new business like hard-to-reach customer service or disorganized sales calls. Adopt the best call center software and you will outfit your teams with the tools they need to communicate effectively. Today, an affordable call center is within reach of any business with an internet connection. Forget about the requirements of a physical office space, infrastructure, or even a business phone system . Modern call center software is all you need to get up and running. You still have the hard work of engaging your customers and clients, but all the heavy lifting associated with maintaining a call center is off your plate. The Top 5 Options For Call Center Software Fi v e9 …

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Adapting to the new normal: Video content strategy after COVID-19

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30-second summary: Video is now ‘the new normal enabler’ connecting brands and customers when offline interactions are still far from reverting to normal. Videos are bridging the gap for informing, educating, engaging, entertaining, and socializing with customers. Low-budget videos are now the it-thing of the video marketing industry – they look nothing like ads or promotional videos customers are likely to skip. Companies are expected to join the global conversation and express what matters to people behind the brand. And videos are a great tool for touching upon this conversation and revealing what the brand stands for as mere “We’re all in this together” message will not cut it. Although not a new trend, the popularity of live streams has soared due to COVID-19. Yes, while WFH, people tend to get distracted with their devices and watch a live stream. Not only stock markets are up – stock footage is …

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Best Live Chat Software

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Disclosure: This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission. Live chat has quickly become an integral part of customer service in the digital era. When a customer or website visitor has a question, complaint, or needs some other type of assistance, they expect to reach your brand via live chat. In addition to the improved customer experience, live chat is also more efficient for your support team. Service reps can’t field more than one phone call simultaneously, but they can handle multiple live chat conversations at the same time. Overall, live chat is fast, effective, and more cost-efficient than any other type of customer communication. In terms of consumer preferences, it ranks higher than phone, email, and social media. Every website needs to have live chat. With that said, there are dozens of different live chat solutions available …

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