Authors Posts by Kate

Kate

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The internet categorically and unequivocally changed the way we shop forever, but there’s a new player in town when it comes to shopping styles for the 21st Century: social media.

While once upon a time, shopping online was a solitary activity – a stark contrast to the social shopping of yesteryear, thanks to social media, ‘social shopping’ is making a comeback. These infographics show us how:

Meet The Connected Consumer

Meet The Connected Consumer

This clear, colourful, and concise infographic uses percentage statistics to demonstrate who our average connected consumer is (in case you were wondering, ‘connected consumer’ refers to those who have most embraced online shopping).

What do we learn:

  • That despite what most might believe, it’s not the teens and twenty-somethings that shop online most regularly – it’s in fact, women in their forties. Why? While we can’t say for sure, it’s most likely a combination of watching and playing along with the internet as it evolved, and of course, more disposable income at their fingertips.
  • Most ‘connected consumers’ carry more than one portable internet-connected device – in addition to owning a laptop or desktop computer.
  • ‘Connected consumers’ almost unanimously prefer browser based shopping over apps.

Talking To Strangers: How Social Influences Millennials’ Shopping Decisions

Talking To Strangers: How Social Influences Millennials' Shopping Decisions

For those who were wondering, ‘Millennials’ are those born between 1981 and 2000; the ‘children’ of the internet.

It’s this age group that have grown up with the internet and social media and are soon to become the world’s biggest online spenders. This infographic looks at what the Millennials think and how they shop: social brands, listen up – chances are, many Millennials know more about using social media than you.

What do we learn:

  • 84% of Millennials claim to be influenced by user generated content (UGC). Only 70% of Boomers (the generation before) claim the same thing.
  • There are many items that a huge proportion of Millennials claim they will not purchase without referring to UGC; this includes: cars, hotels, credit cards, insurance, and expensive electronic goods.
  • 51% of Millennials claim that they trust the opinions of strangers on websites more than their own friends and family.

How Social Media Affects Holiday Shopping

Talking To Strangers: How Social Influences Millennials' Shopping Decisions

The holidays are a time during which most of us let loose and spend, spend, spend. It’s a vital time for brands to profit, and in a climate where spending throughout the rest of the year is down, many companies report relying entirely upon the Christmas period to see them through.

This infographic looks at how social media affects the biggest shopping period of the year.

What do we learn:

  • 66% of social media users who made a purchase on Black Friday or Cyber Monday did so entirely because of interactions on social media channels.
  • 36% of social media users report trusting brands with a social presence more than those without.
  • 52% of social media consumers said they will pay more for brands they trust.

Social Impact of Facebook for Consumers

Talking To Strangers: How Social Influences Millennials' Shopping Decisions

If there’s one social media channel that’s deserving of the accolade of the social media channel, it’s Facebook. This infographic focuses specifically on the influence Facebook has over consumers’ shopping habits.

What do we learn:

  • That when consumers make a purchase online that they love, the often share it with their friends on Facebook.
  • 62% of social users report reading what their friends share, 75% of those then click on the product link, and a further 53% of those go on to buy the product.
  • 57% of social users are more likely to make a purchase upon seeing their friend’s activity on an ecommerce site.

While there’s a lot of awesome stuff here for the 21st Century brand to consume, easily the most predominant takeaway is that if brands want to succeed in a market that’s gone social they need to be embracing transparency and engaging with their customers.

Brands today can’t hide behind marketing, advertising, and clever PR. The internet and the lines of sharing and communication it’s launched has opened a window into our lives, and if brands want to succeed, they need to be social.

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A parent’s nightmare is often be embodied by a house full of energetic bodies, all longing to head outside but stymied by the cold, wet weather of winter. Lethargy sets in, video games and gadgets become a more intimate part of daily life and everyone looks forward to a time when the sun isn’t hiding by 6 PM.

With spring and summer approaching quickly, consider mixing your children’s outside time with their love of toys and simple technology with these 10 awesome gadgets to get your kids prepared for the changing season:.

1. Grass Sledge

Grass Sledge

Let the sledding fun continue even long after the last of the snow has melted away with the Grass Sledge! Running on tank-like tracks rotating on 204 rollers, the Grass Sledge allows kids to continue to fly down the local hills even in spring and summer. Built from high-quality material to ensure a long life and boasting two brakes, a deep foot well and a well-rounded seat, the Grass Sledge represents an excellent compromise between the adrenaline-pumping action that your children crave and the safety you demand.

2. Moon Shoes

Moon Shoes

They may not literally take you to the moon but the ever-popular Moon Shoes are a sure hit with kids of almost any age, assuming they’re heavy enough to get their bounce on! Moon Shoes strap to a child’s feet, providing an unnatural spring in their step similar to what would be felt in low gravity situations via a series of springs. With sizes ranging high enough to fit the feet of some men, there is a good chance that your kids won’t be the only ones bouncing around the yard!

3. Lego Gadgets

Lego Gadgets

If there is one thing in life that kids of all ages (and not a few adults) love, it’s Lego. From houses to vehicles to those cute little men, Lego has been a mainstay in nearly every kid-friendly household for many years and the brand has now branched out to offer gadgets like cameras and walkie talkies. With outer casing constructed of tried and true Lego blocks and with high-quality electronics to be found inside, this line of toys has proven to be a hit with Lego-loving children young and old.

4. Discovery FRS Walkie Talkie Watch Set

Discovery FRS Walkie Talkie Watch Set

If a walkie talkie made of Lego doesn’t tickle the fancy of the older kids in your life, consider the Discovery FRS Walkie Talkie Watch to bring out their inner spy. Doubling as a pair of digital watches, the set features a long range of more than two kilometers to keep kids connected at a distance.

5. Discovery Butterfly Canopy

Discovery Butterfly Canopy

Witness a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly, up close and very personal, with the Discovery Butterfly Canopy! Able to be reused over and over again, this artificial butterfly habitat sports room enough for foliage along with a built-in feeder and comes with butterfly larvae to easily setup your child’s first experience.

6. Shadow eBike

Shadow eBike

A tad pricey but sure to be well-loved by kids of all ages, the Shadow eBike offers the latest in motorized bicycling with a just-powerful-enough motor and a battery big enough to take them up to 40 KM on the open road.

7. The Numbrella

The Numbrella

The umbrellas of our age are apparently becoming a thing of the past as modern kids are seen sporting the oval shaped Numbrella more and more often. Featuring a sharp dome instead of a large, flat surface area, the Numbrella is a cool, stylish and highly useful way to keep little heads dry during the rainy days of spring.

8. Remote Controlled Flying Cybird

Remote Controlled Flying Cybird

First it was remote controlled cars, then boats, and then helicopters and planes. If these typical forms of RC fun have been left behind by your kids, try them on the Flying Cybird, a remotely controlled bird that really flaps its wings and takes flight!

9. Wicked Wedge

Wicked Wedge

When playtime is winding down and a little backyard break is in order, nothing makes kids more comfortable outdoors than the Wicked Wedge, a back-propping shaped pillow that any parent could also put to luxurious use – if they can find the time!

10. Folding Furniture

Folding Furniture

Bring the interior designer out in your little boy or girl with the Fold Your Own Furniture set! Featuring three pieces to be made (a stool, a chair and a rocker) along with simple, easy to follow instructions, kids will get a kick out of building, tearing down and rebuilding actual, usable furniture!

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Most of the world agrees that Apple’s iPhone is one very cool device, attested to by the sale of millions of the popular smartphone over the past few years. In a world full of iPhones and iPhone owners, the only way to set yourself apart is to focus on cool, funny and otherwise notable accessories.

With that thought and your desire to make you and your loved ones stand out in a crowd in mind, here are seven cool and funny iPhone docks to be considered as your next gift for the iPhone owner in your life, yourself included.

1. Shelf iPhone Dock

Shelf iPhone Dock

Minimalists will love the aptly named Shelf iPhone Dock, a simple wall-mounting shelf with iPhone dock embedded. Hidden along the ridges of the shelf are a few extras, including all of the ports necessary to connect to your home theater system and a nifty little remote control.

2. DashLink Harley iPhone Dock

DashLink Harley iPhone Dock

This one is perfect to take on your trip! If you’re looking to provide yourself with the best of your music library while hitting the road on your hog, the DaskLink iPhone Dock for Harleys has you covered. Functioning as a replaceable fuel tank, this roadworthy dock gives you access to both your music and the iPhone’s GPS functions while on your bike, making your ride more enjoyable and more direct than ever!

3. Sinjimoru Sync and Charge Dock Stand

Sinjimoru Sync and Charge Dock Stand

If modern style is on your iPhone dock checklist then the Sinjimoru Sync and Charge Stand is for you. With sleek, curvy design implemented beautifully on a minimalist frame, the Sinjimoru supports an iPhone standing upright or on its side for ease and visual effect.

4. Logitech S715i Speaker Dock

Logitech S715i Speaker Dock

Prices vary wildly where iPhone speaker docks are concerned but a great dollar for dollar value can be found in the Logitech S715i dock. Sporting a sleek, stylish design and featuring true portability (it even has a carrying handle), the S715i offers fantastic sound powered by a rechargable battery offering up to eight hours of playing time. If your dock is meant for music, the S715i is an unbeatable value.

5. Armstar Body Guard iPhone Dock

Armstar Body Guard iPhone Dock

For superhero geeks in general and Batman fans in particular is the Armstar Body Guard, a very unique iPhone dock designed to go where you go, firmly attached to your arm.

With the appearance of something taken directly from the bat cave’s storage room, the Armstar Body Guard not only gives you a spot to dock your iPhone for easy communications (think Leela from Futurama), but also offers real life protection with its Kevlar build, on-board audible alarm and even a built in stun gun. Additional features include an HD camera with video recording capability and a high-powered flash light.

Whether you’re looking to stand out in a crowd or protect yourself when taking the train late at night, the Armstar Body Guard has got you covered.

6. DIY: Retro Gamer’s Dream

DIY: Retro Gamer's Dream

One clever gaming enthusiast has turned a classic Nintendo Entertainment System controller into a very unique iPhone dock. You may not be able to find one of these on a store shelf, but remember: the possibilities are only as limited as the materials available to you!

7. DIY: Lego iPhone Dock

DIY: Lego iPhone Dock

There aren’t many things in this world nearly universally loved by people around the planet but Lego definitely qualifies as one of them. This DIY iPhone dock is a hands-on example of one very sweet way to combine your childhood hobby with your adult love of sleek gadgets!

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Clothing should be three things: stylish, functional and comfortable. But they can also be useful for more than one thing.

People who enjoy economy in their clothes have been looking for items that can serve more than a single purpose for a long time.

This has led to a whole movement of multi-purpose threads and accessories to hit the market.

Here are ten fantastic ideas that do more than just keep you covered.

1. Coat + Tent

Coat + Tent

Coat + Tent

Do you love the outdoors? This fully functional and heavy coat will keep out the chill on long hikes, and serve as a shelter if you find yourself in an emergency situation. It is eco-friendly and useful, while also being attractive. No one would know you were wearing camping gear if you put this jacket on.

There are also two other versions, such as one that transforms into a two-person tent, and another than turns into a sleeping bag.

2. Tie + Pocket

Tie + Pocket

These ties come with a pocket to keep everything from pens and papers, to little keepsakes or change. But the Guatemalan company offers more than that option.

They also have scarves and other neckwear, each with their own pockets for your use. The quality is high and they pride themselves on producing using the best materials, while paying their workers fair income for making them. They are yet another humanity-conscious company to come out of the woodwork in recent years.

3. Weight Watcher + Belt

Weight Watcher + Belt

If you are hoping to lose a few pounds, why not go by inches instead? This fascinating fastener works by calculating your measurement while keeping your pants up. You can use it to make sure you are staying trim, or to encourage you to shave a bit off of your waist.

Whatever the use, it is much easier than keeping a separate cloth measuring tape around. Not to mention a great way to show off your progress, and an ice breaker for like minded health freaks.

4. Slippers + Light

Slippers + Light

Turning on the lights at night when you go to use the bathroom or grab some water has two issues: one, it is jarring for you and others to suddenly be flooded with light, and it interrupts sleep.

Two, it wastes energy. These slippers take care of both problems by offering a useful – but gentle – light for you to see your way by.

5. Leggings + Power Generator

Leggings + Power Generator

Get fit, run and get a reward for it. These unbelievably cool running pants use kinetic energy from movement to power an mp3 player.

The more you run, dance or job, the more power you will give your device. It makes you work for your music, which is a great incentive to push it to the limits. One of the best health devices, not to mention environmentally friendly, that I have seen in a long time.

6. Tie + Opener

Tie + Opener

Tie + Opener

There’s nothing like a cold beer after a long day at the office. This accessory dubbed the “After Work Tie” comes with a hidden bottle opener that can open any standard beer or soda bottle you can find.

It is a great conversation piece for the bar or parties, and stylish in a slender, black look. It goes with anything, but with liquor best of all.

7. Scarf + iPod Holder

Scarf + iPod Holder

I am an avid runner, and I love running early in the morning turning the fall and winter months especially. The cold burn of the frigid air in my lungs, the way steam rolls off my body as I heat up, the silence that only seems to come in the colder months… it is amazing.

But I am always freezing when I do my cool down, so I wear a scarf. This is a must have for those like me, who also like to run with music. It holds your iPod or other player for you, and keeps it close so you can more easily change it without reaching down into a pocket.

8. Hat + Fan

Hat + Fan

Do you like safari hats, or are you going on an actual safari in the future? Maybe you just don’t mind what kind of hat you wear as long as it covers your head.

Whatever the case, this is a pretty cool choice for the summer months. They come with a solar panel on the top, which is used to air condition the hat itself. It will keep your head warm naturally and in an environmentally friendly way. Alright, so it will look ridiculous,  but it is still kind of cool.

9. Hat + TV

Hat + TV

Once again, this is fashion for someone who doesn’t mind looking like a complete idiot. But I have seen plenty of people who match that description, so they will love this.

The hat holds an iPod or other device in a drop down section off of the brim, and covers the sides to make it dark. That means you can watch videos from the device from the hat. I guess that is one way to pass the time while waiting at the doctor’s office.

10. Tie + Napkin

Tie + Napkin

Remember those old cartoons, where people would eat and then use their tie as a napkin? Now, you can use your napkin as a tie. This pretty stupid looking but hilarious napkin gives a colored, striped tie on the front.

You can use it for a classy business dinner before throwing on your tuxedo t-shirt and going to a formal event.

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Summer is here and there is nothing quite like kicking back on a hot afternoon with a group of family or friends, enjoying the sunshine and cracking open an ice cold beer.

It is one of life’s simple pleasures, and I am sure I am not the only hops enthusiast to enjoy anything that is related to that little pass time.

As a matter of fact, every year my friends and I exchange drink related gifts that can be used both year round, and during those special occasions where we all gather for a party. Last year I gave my chosen friend a roulette drinking game that we all had great fun breaking in on the Fourth of July. I was given a wine bottle opener with a face that makes it look like the cork is a creature with giant eyes, a nose and buck teeth.

This year I was looking for something special and came across these beer-related ideas that are very interesting. Some are handy, some are hilarious and some make you wonder who would possible buy something so pointless. But all are great fun, so check out these ten fantastic presents for the beer lover you know:

1. Beach Sandals Bottle Opener

Beach Sandals Bottle Opener

You’re on the beach. It is a hot day, full of fun and frolic, and you have just come out of the water to lounge on your towel in the sunlight and kick back. You reach for a bottle of Samuel Adams and…oh no! You don’t have a bottle opener handy! But no worries, because you have your trust sandal.

Yes, this beach footwear comes with a bottle opener stuck right in the arch of the sandal. It is a convenience device you can take anywhere.

2. Booze Belt

Booze Belt

Feel like a (very drunk) cowboy with this fascinating fastener. This belt does more than just keep your pants up over your beer gut, it holds two bottles of alcohol and six shot glasses for all of your friends…proving you have six friends exactly. It can also hold cans, it is just that versatile!

Alright, I might be over selling it a bit, but you have to admit it is kind of cool. Not to mention useful if you are one of those people that forgets where they put the schnapps.

3. USB Cooler

USB Cooler

Geeks know how to have a good time, too. In fact, if you have ever been to a LAN party you know that a lot goes on when a group of computer buffs get together for a crazy night. If your beer lover doesn’t like to go AFK for long, check out this USB cooler.

It takes one can of beer (or soda, if you aren’t a drinker) and keeps it ice cold for when you want it. No more making your raiding party wait you grab a cold one to celebrate a WoW victory. Just crack this bad boy open and enjoy.

4. Beer Bands

Beer Bands

People like to make assumptions about other’s personalities based on their beer choices. But what can you really tell about someone who likes to drink Miller Light (besides the fact that you could piss in their bottle and they wouldn’t know the difference?)

If you really want your liquor to talk, try these beer bands. They wrap around your bottle, can or glass and they let people know what you are thinking or who you are. Great icebreakers, if you are the kind of person who walks around reading the labels off of people’s drinks all night. If so, you need all the help you can get.

5. Beer Bands

Beer Bands

A great engagement ring if your girlfriend happens to be a raging alcoholic, this ring is as functional as it isn’t stylish. Just slip it on your finger or thumb and use it to pop open any bottle you like. Note the way the guy is wearing it in the picture…discreet. You could probably impress all of your friends if they happened to be drunk already.

6. Camouflage

Camouflage

Don’t you wish you could drink at work? After all, having a six pack would really take the edge off of controlling that air traffic. Now you can hide your alcohol problem with these vinyl labels. They wrap around your beer can and make them look like innocent soda drinks.

Of course, the names aren’t exactly right…there is no such drink as ‘Peski’. But they look close to the original logos, and if people look too closely you can tell them it is a cheap knockoff. Just try not to get too near their face or they are sure to smell the Budweiser on your breath.

7. Tie Opener

Tie Opener

Just because you are hammered doesn’t mean you can’t look professional! It is perfectly acceptable to come stumbling out of an elevator at the office if you are wearing a tie, especially one as clever as this.

To all eyes it will look like your average, run of the mill sign of the office worker. But hidden at the end is a metallic bottle opener to use during happy hour. Oh, is it five already?!

8. Beer Blaster

Beer Blaster

I can’t think of anything more fun then standing ten feet away from my friend and letting them shoot beer into my mouth with a modified squirt gun. If this has also been a dream of yours, check out this beer blaster. It holds any standard 12 oz can, and so it will take a soda if you want it. Think of it as a grown up water fight.

9. Glasses

Glasses

Have you ever noticed that the more drunk you were the night before, the harder it is to remember how much you drank? I frequently hear my friends boasting about the liquor they chugged down when I knew for a fact they didn’t have, as they claimed, 14 shots and 3 pints of dark ale, but indeed 6 shots and two half-cans of cheap beer.

Take the guessing out of the equation at a time when you can least spare your mental faculties with these awesome glasses. They measure the alcohol and come in both beer glass and wine glass.

10. 60-Second Chiller

Chiller

I drink a lot of beer slushies. For those who don’t know, a beer slushy is the mess you are left with when you shove a few cans in the freezer to get them cold quick, but forget about them. An hour later you have something that is similar to a frozen drink, but beer flavored. It isn’t as good as it sounds.

This chiller was made to cool multiple beers in just 90 seconds, without the risk of over-frosting a cold one. Very useful, and also works for sodas.

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RSS productsThe way we share information has changed online in the last few years. When it comes to getting updates from websites, it is no longer a matter of signing up for constant emails that from your inbox, or checking through the site a millions times in hopes of finding something new. Instead, you can subscribe to their RSS feed, getting a quick rundown of anything new that might be happening.

We have all grown accustomed to seeing the RSS feed button at the top of a website, or in the bookmarks section of your browser. But how about off the web? For the tech savvy or net obsessed, you can find some cool little projects online that provide you with a fresh, .com kind of look.

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Broken Image productsIt happens to all of us: you are on a blog or website, perhaps perusing the latest self-taken duck face pics of an overly tanned 20-something, a lolcat or whatever the meme of the moment might be (Rebecca Black, anyone?). You are enjoying yourself quite a bit, occasionally snickering into your 24-oz root beer slushie. You read the extra promising title of the next image and….nothing. There is a blank box with a tiny box in the corner.

No, it isn’t a joke you don’t get, it is just the ultra annoyance of all web browsers – a broken image. You cry out in fury, frantically right-clicking and reloading the image. But it is to no avail, the corruption is deep in the upload and there is nothing you can do but wonder what could have been. Or seek out a similar keyword-heavy phrase on Google and take your pick of what you get back.

If, like me, you are a total geek and love interesting products, you will love these pieces inspired by the dreaded broken image icon.

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Super Mario Energy DrinkI think back to my childhood and one thing has always stood out: sitting with my cousin and friends on rainy days in front of a Nintendo game system – at the time, the coolest bit of technology ever created – and playing whatever game we had gotten for Christmas, our birthdays, or rented from the video store. But one game we all had and loved was some incarnation of the infamous Mario Brothers games.

From the early Mario Bros to the more celebrated Super Nintendo versions, the character and his friends were a staple of the gaming industry. That hasn’t changed. With every new version of the console brand, new games have come along to utilize the expansive changes of the graphics and game play of the newer generations.

If you want proof of the continuing popularity, check out these ten fantastic products that have been created to celebrate the Mario world. Some of them are must-haves for any classic console geek.

shopping ipadWho doesn’t love to shop? If you are anything like me, you love it enough that your checking account is barely surviving the fetish. Ever since getting an iPad, this addiction has increased to the point of madness. While I don’t always buy, I have been able to indulge my sweet tooth for sweet deals from my home, the office, or even the bus in ways I never thought I could.

This is due to the creation of dozens of incredible apps that are dedicated to the art of shopping. There are some for nearly any store you could hope for, in every genre. But here are 20 of my favorite free applications for the iPad. You will be sure to love them, too.

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I was looking through my cell phone games the other day for the first time while in the dentist’s waiting room. Nothing really interested me much until I came upon a welcome sight. My mobile had Tetris, which is quite possibly the most long-lasting, entertaining old school console games every created.

Tetris has remained wildly popular, though not in a chic kind of way. It more has to do with the staying power of the game itself, and the comfortable familiarity that puts it on the highest ‘classic’ tier. This has been reflected in the wide number of products inspired by the game that have hit the market in recent years.

Here are a few personal favorites, some of which are available for purchase.

1. Tetris Table

Tetris Table

Who doesn’t love a good meal? Now here is a better question: who doesn’t love a good meal on a set of Tetris blocks? This interesting table was designed and created by Jared Kohn. While it isn’t the most attractive piece of furniture you could own, it is pretty cool. I would recommend it for the ultimate geek-room accessory, wherever you keep models, console or collectables.

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