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Understand Your Users with positionstack

One of the best things about the Internet is that it (mostly) doesn’t care where you are. The person you’re interacting with might be in Rio or Rhode Island, Bahrain or Birmingham. The Internet opens up the world.

But opening up the world doesn’t mean removing it. The geographic independence loved by users can be a real headache for businesses, because nearly all businesses are constrained by geography. For business, having an accurate picture of where your users are means understanding them, understanding your relationship to them, and can mean the difference between an enviable user experience, and a PR disaster.

Geocoding grants you Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction

One option for understanding a user’s location is Geolocation, which allows you to locate a user via their IP address; it’s not perfect because IP addresses are tricky things. Arguably a better option, thanks largely to the accuracy of the starting data, is Geocoding. Greater reliability than Geolocation makes Geocoding a more useful option for UX designers.

Geocoding grants you Sherlock Holmes-like powers of deduction, to seek out rich data about your users. But where do you start? One of the best ways is to integrate your site or app with positionstack.

 

What Are The Benefits of Geocoding?

It’s awesome that you can sell your band’s T-shirt to a fan in Vietnam, or ship a used car part to a mechanic in Siberia, but until 3D printing gets a lot more sophisticated there needs to be a way to move objects from Point A, to Point B; step 1 in that process is figuring out exactly where Points A and B are.

Shipping goods, with all the automatically calculated costs, isn’t the only reason you may want to know someone’s location. For example, it’s good manners to present prices in the local currency, or direct customers to a support line that speaks their language. And unfortunately, there are legal issues to consider: national and international bans exist on trading with some nations, accepting certain orders from some users could land you in hot water.

The key to a great user experience is gathering data about your users and then acting on it

One of the best features of a Geocode API like positionstack is that once your user has disclosed their location you can make an educated-guess at a whole lot more, from their probable first language, to their marketing preferences, and even the time they’re likely to come home from the office.

Imagine you’re offering a callback service on your website. Geocoding not only ensures you can pre-fill the international dialling code in the callback form, but it tells you the user’s timezone—essential if you don’t want to wake them up with a 4am sales pitch.

A user’s location also affects their outlook on the world. Go visit a major international company like Apple, Nike, or Pepsi, change your location on their site, and compare how brands with millions of research dollars pitch their wares differently in North America, France, Indonesia, or New Zealand. The key to a great user experience is gathering data about your users and then acting on it.

 

Why Choose positionstack?

With just a user’s physical address you can determine dozens of different characteristics that allow you to naturalize your site or app for users. Based on an address—even a partial address—positionstack can determine the user’s currency, dialling code, even their hours of daylight.

One of the best features of positionstack is its ability to translate an address into a latitude and longitude, then plot that position on a map that you can easily embed on your site. Nothing builds a connection like showing a user a place they recognize; it builds confidence, increases conversions, and ultimately means higher profits for you.

And that’s not all. positionstack enables both forward, and reverse geocoding. That means as well as finding a global position from an address, it can also find an address from a latitude and longitude. You can even perform batch queries (multiple searches) allowing you to narrow down addresses from an approximate location.

a super-reliable infrastructure, handling over a billion requests per day, with a typical response time of less than 100 milliseconds

As you can probably guess, any Geocoding API is only as useful as the data that underpins it. positionstack is run by apilayer, one of the most trusted names in APIs. It boasts a super-reliable infrastructure, handling over a billion requests per day, with a typical response time of less than 100 milliseconds. positionstack’s API is built on a database of more than two billion global locations, sourced from high-quality data sources, and it’s updated on a daily basis.

positionstack is also exceptionally easy to integrate into a site or app. There are code examples provided in PHP, Python, Nodejs, Go, Ruby, and jQuery—you can even use the service with vanilla JavaScript. Data is returned in XML, JSON, or GeoJSON formats.

Perhaps the most appealing feature of positionstack is that it’s completely free for use up to 10,000 API requests per month. So if you’re running a small site, or just getting started, you can make use of professional-grade data at zero cost. Once you’ve grown large enough to need it, premium subscriptions start at just $9.99 per month.

Head over to positionstack.com today, to get started with Geocoding for free.

 

[– This is a sponsored post on behalf of positionstack –]



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PipelineDeals Is a Powerful Sales CRM That You Can Actually Understand

Building relationships with hundreds or thousands of clients isn’t easy. That pis why every sales team needs a good CRM system. Many of these platforms provide a vast array of features to meet the needs of big business. But trying to understand and navigate these complicated apps can slow you down. PipelineDeals is a sales management system that focuses on ease of use. It provides all the tools you need, without the clutter and confusing vocabulary. Sounds good? Right now, you can try the platform free for 14 days or explore a customized demo.

Sales Made Simple

Keeping track of prospects is a vital part of winning new business. Using CRM software should make the task straightforward. Unfortunately, many platforms are so complex that leads can get lost somewhere along the line.

PipelineDeals offers a smarter solution. This software provides a clear pathway from initial contact to the done deal. The whole pipeline is easy to manage, and you can work directly from Outlook or Gmail.

To streamline the process further, you can create advanced automations and sync PipelineDeals with your favorite productivity apps. The software even allows you to share deals securely with outside partners.

You can access PipelineDeals in any desktop browser, and work on the move with the iOS and Android apps.

Affordable Pricing

With pricing starting at $25/user/mo, PipelineDeals is scalable and affordable for any sales team. Sign up today to get started with your 14-day free trial or try a custom demo.



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Understand Blockchain and Start Building Apps With This Huge Learning Bundle

Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are all built on blockchain technology. This system allows information to be transferred securely through a decentralized network. Although the technology has been mostly used for digital money so far, many other apps are now being built on blockchain technology. If you want to get ahead of the curve, the Mega Blockchain Mastery Bundle offers 56.5 hours of hands-on training. Right now, you can get the bundle for only $39 at MakeUseOf Deals.

Blockchain Technology

With blockchain, data is spread across thousands of devices. As a result, it’s almost impossible to crash the network or intercept data — great for financial transactions and sharing sensitive data. For obvious reasons, many tech companies are now working on blockchain-based apps. As a result, developers are in demand.

This bundle helps you understand the technology and start building your own blockchain apps. Through 13 in-depth tutorials, you discover how exactly blockchain works and how it can be used. You also learn about cryptocurrencies, smart contracts, and blockchain security.

You should come away with the skills to take advantage of the blockchain revolution — whether that is through working as a developer or investing in cryptocurrencies. When you complete the course, you can even claim a certificate to prove your knowledge.

56.5 Hours of Training for $39

Order now for just $39 to get lifetime access to this blockchain training, worth $1,587.



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5 Tools to Understand Facebook’s Privacy Violations and Defeat It

Facebook is waging a war on many fronts today. It is misleading users into thinking their information is more secure than it is. It is using powerful political lobbies to influence government policies. And you can’t be anywhere on the internet without being tracked by Facebook.

If you don’t know how bad the situation is, you need to find out before it’s too late. These websites and apps explain why Facebook is a security and privacy nightmare


4 Reasons Why Facebook Is a Security and Privacy Nightmare




4 Reasons Why Facebook Is a Security and Privacy Nightmare

Facebook is no longer the king of the social media castle. If you value your anonymity, security, and privacy, here are some great reasons to quit Facebook today.
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, and suggest ways to take back control over your data.

Stop Using FB lists all the reasons you need to quit Facebook

Digital rights activist Joel Hernández wanted a single place where people could understand, in simple words, what Facebook was doing wrong. Stop Using Facebook is the weekend project he put together.

Go through the series of 15 bullet points. You’ll learn about the different ways in which Facebook is being immoral or unethical. Also, you will realize how badly it deals with the responsibility of being the world’s largest social network. These revelations include how Facebook is manipulating your emotions by showing specific content, to how some of its employees openly say they care more about money than ethics.

Each point is ably backed up by a link to a reputed source like news media, analysts, or fact-checkers. Then, Hernández lists “how” you can quit Facebook, providing alternatives to popular Facebook apps as recommended by Ethical.net.

2. Pretty Zucky (Web): Timeline of Facebook’s Privacy Misdeeds

Pretty Zucky is a timeline of Facebook's privacy misdeeds and violations since 2006 when it was formed

If you thought that the problems with Facebook are cropping up just now, you couldn’t be further from the truth. Facebook has always been problematic, as you can see with this timeline of its misdeeds with privacy-related matters.

Pretty Zucky tracks news about the social network from the time Zuckerberg left Harvard to work on it full-time. You’ll see that even back in 2006, users found the News Feed creepy, that Wired pointed out private profiles aren’t private, that it faced a class action suit in 2008, and that it first hired lobbyists back in 2009 to push its privacy agenda.

Each item on the timeline is a placard with a headline, a brief description or extract of the relevant information, and a link to the original source. From November 2005 to June 2019, you’ll see the growth of Facebook and how it pushed the boundaries of privacy.

3. Block FB (Chrome): Simple Extension to Block Facebook

Block FB is a simple Chrome extension to stop all Facebook activity in the browser

There are some excellent websites and apps to find out what Facebook knows about you and block it


6 Apps to Find What Facebook Knows About You (And How to Block It)




6 Apps to Find What Facebook Knows About You (And How to Block It)

These sites and apps will show you what Facebook knows about you, how it collects data, and what it does with it. Prepare yourself; it’s alarming.
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. Firefox users can grab Mozilla’s own Facebook Container to thwart the social network, but there isn’t a Google Chrome version of it. For now, Block FB is one of the simplest ways for Chrome users to stop Facebook in its tracks.

The extension launches a two-pronged attack on Facebook. First, it blocks common Facebook URLs, such as the homepage, apps, developer pages, and so on. If you try to visit it, it simply won’t work.

Next, it also stops all Facebook tracking through elements like the Share button on a web page. By stopping a Facebook pixel from firing on a third-party’s page, the social network cannot create records of your browsing activity.

Download: Block FB for Chrome (Free)

Replace Facebook by SaaSHub has alternatives for every Facebook app and service

It’s great if you’ve decided to end your dependence on Facebook. But once you see Facebook owns several different services that you depend on, you might wonder if it’s possible to quit Facebook. SaaSHub created a handy page of all major Facebook products and its alternatives.

Each app has at least three alternatives, with their salient features. While the four big ones (Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram) deserve dedicated articles on them, it’s the smaller Facebook apps that matter.

This isn’t a list of privacy-centric apps alone. You will find apps from other companies which aren’t squeaky clean and even some that are as notorious as Facebook. The idea is to give you options and let you choose.

5. SocialVault (Web): Store and Re-Browse Your Facebook Data

SocialVault lets you store and browse all your facebook data even after deleting the account

If you delete your Facebook account, all the data you uploaded on it is going to be gone forever. Facebook lets you download all that data to your computer, but it’s likely going to be a large file and you can’t really browse it easily. SocialVault is a quick-fix solution to these problems.

SocialVault is built on Blockstack, the decentralized internet ecosystem, so you’ll need a Blockstack account to use it. Once you download all your Facebook information, follow SocialVault’s instructions to upload it all to the decentralized Gaia server, which is also automatically encrypted so that the app developer can’t see your data, while you get a backup.

Once the upload is finished, you’ll find an easy interface to browse the history of your Facebook data, such as posts, photos, and so on. There are currently some issues with large files and messages, but the developer intends to fix those soon.

Should You Deactivate or Delete Facebook?

These warnings and advice about Facebook make it clear that using the social network is detrimental to anyone who cares about their privacy and digital activity. If you think you can do away with Facebook entirely, it might be better to cut the cord for good.

But there’s a difference between deactivating and deleting Facebook


What Deactivating or Deleting Facebook Really Means for Privacy




What Deactivating or Deleting Facebook Really Means for Privacy

Thinking about quitting Facebook? Here’s how deleting or deactivating Facebook can improve your online privacy.
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. Deactivating your account still lets Facebook store your personal data on its servers. If you delete your account, that data will be erased after 30 days. But your privacy is still not entirely protected, as the article suggests.



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5 Climate Change Tools to Understand and Fight Global Warming

Climate change is a growing concern across the world. The need of the hour is to act now to reverse its effects. These apps and websites will tell you how you can make a difference, and even point out some truths about global warming.

At this point, the scientific community has largely agreed that man-made factors have resulted in climate change. In fact, you can even see climate change on Google Earth. It seems like you can’t reverse those effects through your efforts alone. But you’d be surprised by how much impact your actions alone can have. In fact, even if you don’t want to do anything, you can pay to offset your carbon footprint.

1. Skeptical Science (Web): Debunk Myths About Climate Change Denial

Skeptical Science is an informative blog that debunks myths about climate change denial

There are a lot of myths and pseudo-scientific claims used to deny the realities of climate change and global warming. Skeptical Science takes the problem head on by busting these denials and skepticism with cold, hard facts.

If you’ve ever read something that made you think climate change is a myth or want to argue with a global warming skeptic, these are the facts and figures you need to realize the reality of the situation. There are almost 200 commonly used myths and arguments against climate change listed in the Arguments section of the portal.

Each of these has a corresponding blog post that goes into the details of what science says about that myth. Plus the website is updated regularly with new findings on climate change and related topics.

Skeptical Science is run by several volunteers but headed by John Cook, a renowned climate change researcher, professor, and author. Cook also designed the free online course Making Sense of Climate Change Denial.

2. ClimateChoice (Web): What You Can Do to Help

ClimateChoice is a one-stop destination to find out how you can change your lifestyle in small ways to fight climate change and global warming

Blog posts scattered across the internet will try to tell you the ways in which you can help fight climate change. But there isn’t one easy central resource. So Steven Hylands decided to make Climate Choice.

The website has easy-to-understand guides on how you can make a positive impact if you can tweak your lifestyle. If you don’t want to read the full guide, there are helpful TL;DRs for each section too.

In each section, you will understand how that choice contributes to climate change. Then the guide advises what you can do right now as well as how much that simple change would help. From paying to offset your carbon footprint to changing how often you employ single-use items, these small steps can have big results.

Take some time and go through the full website, which also links to tools for carbon footprint calculation, local agencies and political representatives that fight climate change, as well as other useful information.

3. Wren (Web): Calculate and Offset Your Carbon Footprint

Project Wren lets you calculate your carbon footprint and fund projects to offset it

There are organizations and projects trying their best to reverse the effects of climate change. If you can’t reduce your carbon footprint easily with lifestyle changes, you can still offset it by financially supporting such projects. That’s where Wren comes in.

When you sign up for Wren, you will first have to add where you live and answer a few more questions to figure out your current carbon footprint. Wren uses data from reliable universities and the World Bank to come up with average points for common lifestyle choices based on your input. You can dive into each section (transportation, natural gas, electricity, diet, goods, services, and home) to further tweak your values precisely.

Once you have your carbon footprint, Wren will suggest a few projects to offset your carbon emissions.

Pick one that you’d like to support, and then add your credit card. It’s like a subscription service for your carbon footprint, and would probably cost less than a Netflix subscription.

There’s another similar service you should check out called Chooose. There isn’t a simple calculator, but there are other CO2-reducing projects you can subscribe to this way.

4. JouleBug (Android, iOS): Tracker for Your Green, Climate-Saving Actions

If you’ve decided to take action towards climate change, try this app. JouleBug will teach you small steps by which you can live a greener lifestyle, along with tracking every good move and letting you compete with friends.

Every time you do something positive towards the Earth, “buzz” the action in JouleBug. Some of the common actions include recycling, turning the lights out when you leave a room, reusing a bottle of water, and volunteering in your community. The actions are spread across categories like seasonal, habits, energy, transportation, office, waste, shopping, etc.

Add up your buzz points to compete with friends who are also living the eco-friendly life. You can also participate in regular JouleBug challenges with other users, gaining bonus points for photos and comments in the community.

Download: JouleBug for Android | iOS (Free)

5. Climate 365 (Web): Easiest Digital Activism for Climate Change

Climate 365 is the easiest digital activism platform for climate change

You don’t have to make dramatic changes or protest in the streets to mark your opposition to climate change to make your voice heard. Climate 365 offers perhaps the simplest method of digital activism.

All you have to do is grant Climate 365 access to your Gmail account. Using that, the app will send emails from you to representatives of the 365 most polluted cities on Earth, organizations with negative environmental impact, and change-makers from different governments. Plus, the developers of the app will also plant a tree in your name.

Each email is unique and personalized for the recipient. The app is a new take on the classic “sign a petition” form of digital activism. If a representative gets hundreds or thousands of emails to affect change, then they just might listen, right?

Other Ways to Go Green

Climate change and global warming is just a smaller part of the larger adverse effects we have on nature. And if you know how to live a greener lifestyle, you could have a positive impact on the environment.

A good place to start is with these free green apps for an eco-friendly lifestyle


Go Green: 8 Free Apps for a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle




Go Green: 8 Free Apps for a More Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

Want to go green? It’s easier than ever to make better choices for the environment with the help of these Android and iPhone apps.
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which suggest best practices for shopping, recycling, and other daily habits.



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Why Do We Procrastinate? 5 Science-Backed Sites to Understand and Overcome It

One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is our tendency to procrastinate tasks. In fact, research shows that some people’s brains are wired to make them procrastinate more than others. What is the science behind procrastination, and how do you scientifically beat it?

The internet, as usual, has all the answers. There are websites that sum up the science and research about procrastination in simple words. There are psychologists who publish articles on how to tackle it. And there are web apps based on these findings and advice. Once you have the knowledge and the tools, you are sure to stop procrastination in its tracks


Stop Procrastination in Its Tracks With 5 Proven Brain Rules




Stop Procrastination in Its Tracks With 5 Proven Brain Rules

Procrastination comes in all forms. Believe it or not, there are several principles in psychology research that can help you stop procrastination in its tracks!
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.

Solving Procrastination explains all the scientific research about procrastination in simple terms

Researchers have been studying procrastination for a long time, and there are several studies published on the topic. Solving Procrastination turns all those years of knowledge into one easy-to-understand guide.

Click the “Start Here” button to choose between different things you can learn about procrastination, such as the reasons behind it, effective science-backed techniques to stop it, and even a way to counter feeling overwhelmed. The guides take great pains to turn scientific studies into simple English, while at the same time adding clear citations so you can check the original study it is based on.

The first step to tackling any problem is to understand it, and Solving Procrastination is a master at helping you understand why the human brain likes to procrastinate. You can even subscribe to a newsletter that sends you research-based tips on how to beat procrastination.

Why Do I Procrastinate is a web app that puts the Procrastination Equation into a fun quiz

Dr. Piers Steel came up with something he likes to call the Procrastination Equation. The core theory is that Motivation equals expectancy into value divided by impulsiveness into delay. You’ll need to read the book to understand how to measure all of that. Or you can use this handy app.



Procrastination Equation


Procrastination Equation

Buy Now On Amazon
$2.99

Why Do I Procrastinate is a quiz based on Dr. Steel’s Procrastination Equation. The web app, which also works on mobile browsers, presents you a series of statements to determine why you are procrastinating on a specific task. Pick a value from one to five to determine how much you agree with each statement.

Based on your responses, the app determines which of the four factors of the Procrastination Equation (expectancy, value, impulsiveness, or delay) is the core reason behind your dilly-dallying. And it also offers helpful advice on what you can do to counter that factor so you get things done.

3. Procrastination Coach (Web): Psychologist-Approved Free Tools

Procrastination Coach psychologist Christine Li offers free resources to counter procrastination

Clinical psychologist Dr. Christine Li has been studying procrastination for some time. Her findings and advice can be found in one place at the Procrastination Coach, along with some helpful free resources to tackle the problem.

While the site serves as a way for Dr. Li to sell her coaching programs, the blog offers interesting insights into the roots of procrastination, and strategies to overcome it. It isn’t updated regularly but it already has plenty of posts to understand what’s been our need to put things off till later.

You should definitely check out the Free Resources page, which requires you to sign up for an email newsletter. There are 12 tools here for different strategies, including worksheets, task planners, road map guides, brain dump templates, and more. There’s also a free 5-day email course to beat the basics of this productivity killer.

4. Skip Procrastination (Web): Science-Backed App to Make You Act

Skip Procrastination is a science backed web app to make you act when you're stuck or dilly dallying

Skip Procrastination is a webapp to use when you are currently procrastinating on a task but want to get moving on it. Based on scientific findings about the subject, the app takes you through a series of steps whose end result is to make you act.

The steps help your brain turn a task from “I should do this” into “I want to do this.” It also clarifies the benefit of doing the task, as well as how much time it is likely to take. Based on the research that you are more likely to do something if you tell your friends you plan to do it, the app pushes you to tweet your goal. And finally, it adds a 25-minute time limit within which you have to take the first step to start your task.

All of these are principles you will likely learn about while reading about the science behind procrastination. Turning them into a single app, Skip Procrastination is the ideal tool to break out of that unproductive mindset when you are putting off a to-do list item.

5. Dr. Keelan’s Flowchart (Web, Print): Step-by-Step Process to Beat Procrastination

Dr. Patrick Keelan's step by step flowchart to overcome procrastination

Psychologist Dr. Patrick Keelan reckons that the key to beating procrastination is a step-by-step, logical approach. Based on science and his work with clients who struggle with the issue, Dr. Keelan created a flowchart that promises to help you push on.

The flowchart has four basic questions:

  1. Have I made an action plan?
  2. Are the actions in my plan small enough?
  3. Have I used the 5-minute rule when my motivation to take action is low?
  4. Have I addressed any rules driving my procrastination behavior?

It’s important to read the full article explaining the flowchart so that you know the correct approach to complete each of these steps before moving on to the next one. Dr. Keelan recommends using it as an actual flowchart, which means that if the first step gets you over procrastination, forget about the further steps. Otherwise, go in the order of the flowchart, and you will start acting by the final step.

Download: Dr. Patrick Keelan’s Flowchart to Overcome Procrastination (PDF)

Apps Help Beat Procrastination

A recent study by Cornell University found that anti-procrastination apps like focus boosters and distraction blockers are actually useful in beating the malady. Students who used the apps were more productive than those who relied on willpower alone.

With that in mind, try these new productivity apps to beat procrastination


5 New Productivity Apps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Back to Work




5 New Productivity Apps to Stop Procrastinating and Get Back to Work

The trick to staying productive is to always keep changing your system. From Microsoft to small developers who started with an Excel sheet, here are some productivity apps worth trying out.
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. It includes everything from reminders about resuming work to games that make you keep your phone away.

Explore more about: Cool Web Apps, Motivation, Procrastination.



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