footballThe 20th Fifa World Cup recently commenced in Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil on the 12th of June. The opening ceremony included acrobatic gymnasts, trampolinists, capoeira performers, stilt walkers and Jenifer Lopez and Olodum performing the tournaments official anthem ‘We are one’. But where the #### do hashtags fit in to this?

 
Hashtags help your posts get found by people who are searching for that particular hashtag. For example, if someone searches for ‘worldcup’, Twitter will mostly come up with #worldcup related results so that people can easily keep up with all the related news on that topic. So you can see it as a way of making the tweets that you had in mind easier to search for. By adding the hashtag symbol (#), it creates a hyperlink which is clickable by users and enables you to find tweets corresponding to that exact phrase.

World Cup Sponsor #Hashtags: There are a number of hashtags for the world cup; if we take the percentage of tweets containing the word ‘worldcup’, the most popular are #worldcup (71.77%), #brazil (31.52%), #fifa (17.22%), #football (17.09%), and #fifa2014 (13.29%) to name a few, with #worldcup2014 (85.15%) at the top with 150,000 mentions.

Twitter have enabled special hashtags called ‘Hashflags’, these were first introduced in 2010 and are used to represent any of the 32football # teams that you might be supporting. All you have to do is enter the ‘#’ and the three letter abbreviation of your team and you’ll have a little flag come up right next to your tweet.

Companies create their own hashtags for events to promote themselves. For example, Adidas created the hashtag ‘#allin’ which had around 25,000 more mentions than other hashtags on the 7th of June, hashtags such as #takeme2brazil (Kia), #worldscup (Coca-Cola Hashtag), #becausefutbol (Hyundai), #onestadium (Sony). The potential reason why #allin works so well is because “all in” includes the person who’s reading it and somewhat satisfies a need to belong that sits within a hierarchy of human needs, like security, food, self-esteem…etc. proposed by the famous psychologist, Abraham Maslow.

 
‘Hashtag strategies’ are an effective form of marketing because, as a recent survey suggests, 58% of people use hashtags on a regular basis, and 70% favour hashtags on mobile devices. If you take this into perspective with a study by Statista, predicting that 5 billion people will use mobile by 2017, it looks like this preference will become a standard. Companies can also track and compare how well their hashtags are doing on websites like Hashtags.org, which gives the amount of mentions each hour, or if you need more information, Talkwater, which takes gender, geographic, and even information of the potential opinion that your tweeting sample has.

11. Email

Whether you’re a Gmail fan or a Hotmail fanatic, emails are stored in the cloud including any attachments you’ve made.

22. Social Media

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, it’s all stored in the cloud and your status is contributing to the internet of things!

33. Streaming

If you’re using Spotify, BBC iPlayer or Netflix, you are streaming content from the cloud!

44. Writing Blogs

Your blog, be it personal or for business, is hosted in the cloud!

55. Sharing files via an email

Maybe you’ve received a file link from dropbox or google drive? This is file sharing in the cloud!

66. Surveys

Have you ever taken an opinion poll or a survey online? You’ve been contributing to data in the cloud!

Alzheimer’s Awareness WeekWe had a fantastic turn out for our Alzheimer’s Awareness Week talk which concluded a week of activities across the UK. Some may have seen the government campaign asking people to sign up as dementia friends.

The talk held at the Cosmic offices within Honiton Business Centre took us through the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and various coping methods which can help us support a friend, relative or neighbour who has or is developing it. It also gave the attendees the opportunity to sign up as a ‘Dementia Friend’.

One of the most important features of the talk was the importance of being patient and calm with people when out and about because dementia could be a contributing factor to frustrating situations. Marion (from the Alzheimer’s Society) explained what happens within the brain for people living with Dementia using a clever analogy based around the human brain being like two bookcases. From the beginning of our lives we will fill up one of our bookcases with books full of memories, the second bookcase is where we store our feelings we felt.

As we grow older the bookcases grow bigger and taller as they fill up with a lifetime of memories and the feelings we felt. However when Dementia strikes, the bookcases become fragile and they begin to break until some books start falling off the shelves. Some of the books get buried in the pile and some from the past are easy to access. This explains why many people suffering from dementia can seem as though they are living in the past or demonstrate strong emotions for something that may seem slightly random; mistaking people for those they have known throughout their life and reliving memories from childhood and early adulthood.

To find out more about the symptoms and diagnosis of Alzheimer’s click here.

The session was enjoyed by all of the attendee’s following the talk attendees were able to get advice from Marion for their own personal experiences. Marion is a volunteer for the Alzheimer’s Society and a Dementia Champion. We’d like to thank her for visiting us and delivering the talk and encourage everyone to take a look at the Alzheimer’s Society’s website to make sure they’re aware of the symptoms and coping methods that can make such a difference to suffers and carers.

If you’d like to become a Dementia Friend you can take a look here and the Alzheimer’s Society has a vast library of downloadable documents and leaflets which explain everything from diagnosis to making your home safe here.

Leading Towards 2020 BrandingLast week saw the launch of a brand new leadership programme designed and delivered by Cosmic for the managers forum at Yarlington. The programme will provide a range of workshops, events, mentoring support and a very exciting leadership development project.

Facilitating the programme is our own Chief Executive Julie Hawker and we can all tell that she’s got the bit between her teeth on this one already! Julie’s work on previous leadership development programmes has always brought added profile and opportunities for us here at Cosmic, and has also proved ideal for getting the techies in the team on their toes and supporting a non-digital project!

This new programme, “Leading Towards 2020” has been designed to fit very clearly alongside a number of strategic developments for Yarlington over the coming years, including their commitment to developing new services and support for tenants as well as becoming the best employer in the Times 100 list. There will be three separate groups for the programme which will run from now until December 2015, and as well as getting great quality development and support from Julie and the team here, we’re delighted that a range of speakers from partner organisations will also contribute to the programme. This starts in July with Andy Skarzyknski from Mole Valley Farmers, and then Andrew Boomer from Flybe in September.

Cosmic is always keen to hear from other organisations who’d like to know more about our work in leadership and management development (with a difference!).

GoogleGoogle have recently been forced to create a form that was made available on Friday 6th June 2014, giving European Citizens the right to have any requested information about them removed from the search results of EU specific versions of Google.

Google have already received twelve thousand requests for this form on the first day, with up to twenty requests per minute, and with several thousand requests before the form went up. This is a consequence of a ruling by the European Union Court of Justice, where certain users can ask search engines to remove any data about them that is ‘inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed’.

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Google_Plus_900_450_90_s_c1_smart_scale

+11. Why am I adding 1?
A ‘+1’ is a method of showing appreciation for a post on Google+. It’s all about whether you agree with the post and the message it’s giving out. If you like what they’re saying and agree with them then a +1 shows your support for the post. Other people are able to see that you have given the post a +1. In Facebook terms, it’s the equivalent of a ‘like’.
2. What’s a circle?Circles
Think of it as a circle of friends. This is where the concept comes from- you add people you want to connect with to your circle of friends. You don’t have to just create a circle of friends though. You can create a circle of colleagues, a circle of influencers or a circle of employees. What’s more, you can add people to more than one circle so if someone fits within two categories, then put them in both. Think of Google+ as a huge venn diagram of all your connections. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s been a while since we looked back over the past year in websites and showcased some of our projects from that time.

We build websites for all sorts of people, businesses, big and small, community organisations and charities. One such organisation is Somerset Community Foundation. They are a charity dedicated to strengthening local communities, creating opportunities and tackling issues of disadvantage and exclusion. The Foundation’s biggest challenge is getting across the work they do as it is so varied and covers all areas of the community. Of course, a Cosmic website is built so that it is easier to maintain and change the content so that you can keep your users bang up to date with your latest news.

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1. Browser Incompatibility

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One of the most common faults with websites built over the last decade is that they are not cross compatible with browsers and mobile devices. So many people now use Google Chrome, Firefox and other browsers to access the internet as well as mobiles devices of all shapes and sizes. If your website isn’t responsive and cross compatible then getting this fixed should be top of your to do list.

2. Poor Images

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You don’t have to be a big chain to achieve top quality images on your website. Having a professional photographer or photography student to come in and take some pictures of your office, your staff, your products, your shop front, your promotional material and day to day activities can help your customers and give them a visual insight into what you do. You can also use them to create social media content.

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photo 4Friday morning was an early start for the Cosmic team as we were up and out to Plymouth to the UK Digital Skills Group Breakfast which was hosted by Goss. Cosmic proudly sponsored the event and we had a fantastic morning which including taking part in some video interviews with the celebrity who hosted the event. Maggie Philbin (Ex- Tomorrow’s World Presenter and leader of the UK Digital Skills Taskforce) is heading up a report for Ed Miliband with recommendations for the future of digital skills, both for young people and in the workplace. Read the rest of this entry »

Eleanor Yeo Website Build


 

Eleanor yeo website build

Each of the apprentices has been given a pilot business to work for as a way to build their skills and experience; one of the tasks includes a website. My name is Jack and I have been given the job of making the Photoshop designs of the pilot businesses come to life by typing neat sentences in the languages of HTML, CSS, and a Content Management System (CMS). Cosmic build websites using a variety of CMSs. These allow the user to take complete control of the content within the site, so they can edit all the text images and news items. Read the rest of this entry »

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