Why Every Business Owner Needs Clones

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By Carl Weiss

Say what you will, cloning is alive, well and thriving.  Everything from a sheep (Dolly) to an Indian buffalo (Mahima), to a well-to-do couple’s deceased Labrador Retriever (Sir Lancelot), have been successfully cloned.  One outspoken Harvard geneticist has even claimed that scientists could clone a Neanderthal if they had an “extremely adventurous surrogate mother.”  While scientifically possible, thus far human cloning has remained the stuff of science fiction.  Worst still is the fact that even the mere mention of it brings a firestorm of controversy, with everyone from the scientific establishment to the religious right weighing in on why this is a bad idea.  But putting ethics aside, how many business owners would jump at the chance of having a carbon copy of themselves to help around the office? 

Send in the Clones

Face it, one of the hardest parts of the hiring process is training new employees.  Even once trained, most employees can never attain the same level of competence, motivation and enthusiasm that the boss does.  That’s why most companies spend mountains of time and money training and retraining staffers.  But what if the founder or owner of a business could climb inside a Xerox machine, press a button and spawn one or more clones of him or herself.  When one considers the increased productivity and profitability that would result, do you think they would fret over the ethics of the process?  I for one can think of several prominent billionaires who would leap at the chance.

The problem is that notwithstanding the video below, this technology is not yet available.  But that doesn’t mean that the fundamental motivating factors are not of paramount importance to every business owner and manager on the planet.  Let’s face it, there are never enough hours in a day to accomplish all the tasks we need to get done.  Add to this the fact that the most expensive and limited commodity to the boss is their time.  It doesn’t matter how capable and motivated you are, there are only so many appointments and texts and conference calls that can be performed in any given day.  Add to this the fact that as the boss a percentage of your time is spent dealing not with prospects and clients, but babysitting your staff and putting out the fires that crop up on a regular basis in every business.

But what if there was a mechanism or technology that would allow any business person the opportunity to be in two or more places at the same time.  Plus, what if this same technology could take some of the burden off your back when it comes to training or retraining new hires and existing employees.  Would that put a smile on your face?

The ABC’s of Automation

When most people think of automation they think of robots.  What they don’t realize is that the Internet offers a number of ways to automate tasks that are repetitive .  Take training, for example.  For the most part educating employees about products, services and sales tools is one of those pig-in-a-rut tasks that is repeated at most businesses ad nauseum.  The answer to this situation is to clone the task via video.  Why repeat the same process over and over when you can do the job once, record it and hand it out to employees, prospects and clients like Christmas cookies.  Yes Virginia, you need to train your clients and prospects to buy more products and services.  Whereas in days gone by you would need to create and ship a DVD, today you can email a YouTube or employ a QR code to deliver the lesson.  Mission accomplished.

In today’s content-rich online environment, generating a database that you can send a monthly newsletter to at the push of a button isn’t just good business, it makes good sense since it automates and multiplies your efforts at the click of a mouse.  (It’s also another place to embed those videos.)  Companies today need to stay lean and mean.  So instead of becoming top heavy by taking on more and more employees, you can create a legion of clones using such things as blogs, videos, podcasts, and social posts that will work 24/7 to do your bidding.  As an added bonus, these clones not only have the ability to reach out and touch thousands on prospects and clients, but producing and optimizing them works to help move you up on the search engine’s food chain, since all search engines love content.

Fire up the Factory

What’s not to like about clones?  They never get tired, don’t call in sick and they never ask for a raise.  When you want them to travel to distant points on the globe, they won’t whine about flying coach.  When they get in front of a prospect, they are always daisy fresh and can produce the perfect pitch every time.  So, if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, stop hiring, start cloning and send your top gun in on every pitch.  You’ll thank me later.  All of you.

Carl Weiss is president of W Squared Media Group, a firm that specializes in getting the most out of technology.  You can find him and his cloning machine at http://wsquaredmediagroup.com.  You can also listen to his weekly Working the Web to Win radio show every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern on Blog Talk Radio.  He also owns and operates Jacksonville Video...or is it one of his clones?

It Takes a Team

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By Carl Weiss

For those of you that watched the NFL Playoffs on Sunday, when it comes down to making or breaking a championship season, it all comes down to which team can implement their game plan the best.  When you boil it down, the Internet is also a game played on a local, national and sometimes worldwide playing field.  Like all games, there are winners and there are losers.  The winners are the fortunate few who can be found on page one of the major search engines.  The losers are those firms who are buried so deep that you need a backhoe to unearth their web presence.

With more than 300 million websites online and another 130,000 sites being added daily, is it any wonder that it’s getting harder and harder to generate online exposure?  The sad fact is that what used to take a couple of days to generate a page one search engine result, now takes four to six months, even if you are playing the game to win.  Of course, the problem with most businesses is that not only don’t they have a winning formula, they don’t even know how to get onto the playing field.  So, if you absolutely, positively need to devise a game plan that can enable you to work the web to win, you better get your game face on.

The Stadium

Working the web is not a game for wimps.  It takes guts, determination, brains, brawn and staying power.  We’re not talking sandlot ball.  We’re talking the Super Bowl.  With millions of dollars at stake for the victors, this is the kind of no-holds-barred game that played on a worldwide basis is a gold mine for those who know how to play to win.  Just to give you an idea of the scope of the World Wide Web, in 2012:

·         More than ¾ of the world population was online.
·         The US audience alone topped 239 million.
·         Mobile users in the US topped 139 million.
·         There were 106.7 million smartphone users in the US.
·         Some 72.8 million shoppers made purchases using mobile phones and tablets.
·         83.9% of those online made at least 1 online purchase.
·         Holiday ecommerce sales were 42.3 billion, up 14% from 2011.
Needless to say, big businesses dominate the Internet, chiefly due to the fact that they have the manpower and the means to saturation bomb the web.  They can afford to hire a legion of web designers, bloggers, social posters, videographers and online PR specialists that make sure that their products, services and brands all have page one presence.  Seeing this, most small business owners think that there is no way that they can afford to compete with, much less best these corporate leviathans.  But what most don’t realize is that they don’t have to go head to head with multinational corporations, unless they are selling their products and services globally.  With the advent of geotargeting, the game isn’t played exclusively on a global basis.  If you are selling locally, there are a number of ways to generate front page online exposure that can create leads or sales. 

The Team

Rule number one in playing to win online is, “Stop acting like it’s 1999!”  What I mean by that is that the day of the set-it-and-forget-it web presence has come and gone.  If you expect to get on page one simply by sheer presence alone, you’ve got another thing coming.  First of all, where the search engine spiders go, so go web developers.  Sure, back in 1999, there were no such things as blogs, streaming video or social networks.  More importantly, everything a business needed to jump onto page one was present on-site.  Today, only 25% of what the spiders use to grade your site is on-site.  Fully 75% of that which makes you or breaks you online is off-site.

The second make or break factor is frequency.  In other words, not only do the spiders look to see whether you are blogging and posting socially.  They are also grading you on the quality and frequency of your posts.  If you want to get into the game at all, you have to be willing to post a blog on at least a weekly basis and you need to post socially daily.  While this may seem like a lot of work, once you have developed the habit of posting regularly (or are willing to pay someone to do it for you), it only takes about two hours per week altogether.  If you aren’t willing to perform these tasks, then you aren’t even in the game.

Special Teams

Even performing these tasks will not automatically rocket you onto page one.  Depending upon how much traffic and therefore demand is generated by the keywords you seek, it can take four months or more to generate page one performance.  Of course, just as with the NFL, the use of special teams can sometimes score all on their own.  In the case of the web, there are four ways to jump the cue and generate a page one result in 30-days or less.

1.      Pay-Per-Click – You can always buy your way into the game.  For a cost of anywhere from $1 to 25$ per click, you can generate page on results literally overnight.  Before you reach for your credit card, you must realize that all you are going to generate for your money is a click.  Not a signup or a sale. 
2.      YouTube – Since being acquired by Google in 2006, it has been possible for a properly optimized video to jump onto page one of the world’s most popular search engine. 
3.      Google is gaga for blogs – Just as with YouTube, Google also owns its own blog, Blogger.  This means that just as with YouTube, a properly optimized blog can quickly wind up on page one.
4.      Social Networks – Guess what, Google also owns a social network, named Google+.  While many pundits have claimed that G+ is little more than a virtual ghost town, Google shows that more than 100 million active users ply this network monthly.  More importantly, since this social net has the word Google right in the title, what do you think this means to the probability that a properly focused post can wind up on page one?

      The Quarterback & the Coach

Of course, just as Tom Brady found out on Sunday, just because you come out shooting and score points early, doesn’t mean that you are going to win the game.  If you want to win the big game, you need a formula that can stand the test of time to get you through the entire season.  And you need a quarterback who can march the team down the field week in and week out and who can take a few hits without folding. 

Carl Weiss has been helping companies formulate and execute winning online strategies since 1995.  His company W Squared Media Group offers one stop shopping for all your online marketing needs.  You can also hear Carl’s online radio show, Working the Web to Win, on Blog Talk Radio every Tuesday at 4pm Eastern.  

Email Marketing - The Good, the Bad & the Ugly

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By Carl Weiss

For more than a decade email marketing has gotten a bad reputation due to spamming.  But what many savvy businesspeople fail to grasp is that fact that email marketing can be one of the best tools available to promote their business and reel in the fish. 

The Good: Email = Free Mail

If you are like most business owners, then you spend a considerable amount of time and money trying to create qualified leads for your sales staff.  Having owned, operated and/or managed a number of thriving businesses over the years, I have come to appreciate the fact that many forms of lead generation provide great results. This includes leads generated by newspaper ads, coupons, yellow page ads, and direct mail. While these forms of lead generation systems have proven to be effective  at making our phone ring in the past, they have also proven time consuming, hard to track and expensive. 

Take direct mail, for instance.  With the cost of a first class stamp currently at 46 cents apiece, designing, constructing, stuffing and mailing a single circular from one business to another is going to cost you a minimum of $1.00.  So if you want to send your mailer to 1,000 businesses, this is going to represent a significant financial risk.

Sending the same offer or newsletter via email on the other hand won’t cost you more than the time it takes to craft the offering.  While there is a right way and a wrong way to go about creating a legitimate email database, if you belong to networking groups, attend business functions, or in other ways come into contact with potential customers, getting permission to send them a monthly newsletter is as simple as asking permission.

You can also include forms on your website, landing pages and social networks that allow interested parties to sign up to receive your white paper, e-book or newsletter at the click of a mouse.  Providing a way to let your prospect opt in is just another way of connecting with them.

Opt in data bases are even better than purchased databases because these prospect want to receive your information. You can increase your bottom line by expanding the distribution of your newsletter via email. By automating parts of this process, you can to touch prospects with less effort, lower cost and greater frequency. Best of all your opt in database can also up the ante by getting your existing customers to sign up as well. 

Creating a newsletter is a snap, since there are websites such as constantcontact.com, icontact.com and mailchimp.com that provide a low-cost service that includes everything you need to construct newsletters, invitations and offers, all via their template driven system.  Want to send out a birthday or holiday greeting to those on your mailing list?  Try jibjab.com a website that contains hundreds of customizable e-cards and video cards that you can send to as many people in your database that you would care to, for a flat $9.99 per year.  We recently sent out a series of holiday video cards that were a huge hit because they were humorous and because we added our staff’s headshots into the action. (If you haven’t seen this site you don’t know what you are missing.)

Best of all, all of the above mentioned forms of online promotion are cost effective and spam free.  If anyone receiving your newsletter wants to opt out, all they have to do is click a link on the newsletter to be removed from your mailing list. Of course, that doesn’t mean that spammers do not exist.

The Bad: No End in Sight for Spamming

Anyone who receives email usually receives tens or even hundreds of unsolicited emails every day.  According to cyber security firm Symantec, in 2012 72.89 percent of all email received worldwide was considered spam.  While most of us employ one form or other of spam filter to keep from being buried alive by spam, Symantec recommends a few other ways to reduce the amount of unwanted emails coming your way.

This topic deserves a standalone blog post, so we’ll highlight the most important points only:
1.      Do not give away your primary email address when registering online. Use a secondary or special address for registrations.
2.      Unless you are a salesperson, don’t include your email address in the public profiles visible by everyone.
3.      Choose an email address which is difficult to guess.
4.      Never respond to spam emails such as by asking to unsubscribe – this will confirm your email address validity rather than unsubscribe you.
5.      Use a spam filter on your computer or in your corporate network.
6.      Use the “Report spam” option within your email client so that you never receive emails from this sender again.
7.      Update your anti-viral software on a regular basis.

The problem with spam is that there is no way to legitimately take your name off the spammers email list. 

The Ugly Truth About  Spam

Not only are spammers raking in millions of dollars, so are the companies who sell them their lists.  Add to this the fact that a number of freeware and free apps are being used to collect email address illegitimately. Some are even being used to infect the computers, tablets and Smartphone’s of unsuspecting consumers and business owners worldwide. This ugly truth is becoming more than a nuisance, it’s epidemic.  It is threatening all our livelihoods.  Governments have been woefully inadequate at protecting consumers. They have done a poor job of going after and prosecuting these spammers, hackers and cyber criminals. However, that doesn’t mean that there is nothing you can do to defend yourself.
What can you do about unsolicited commercial e-mail?
Unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE) can come from various organizations, companies or be the product of ‘computer viruses’. Companies or individuals can get your e-mail address from the web. Other sources exist such as marketing lists that you sign up to that often get passed between companies. Unsolicited commercial e-mails generally also come from outside the US. Many of these UCE originate from countries like Ireland and those in European Union. This means that it is quite difficult to stop the occurrence of UCE as it is a global phenomenon. Generally, there is little that you can do to prevent unsolicited commercial e-mails being sent to you.
In the vast bulk of cases of UCE’s  emails, the e-mail headers is not valid.
·         E-mail headers may be forged so replying to the e-mail merely results in you sending UCE to the innocent person whose e-mail address was forged.
·         It is not advised to respond to an e-mail address to "opt-out" of a list unless the address is from a recognized organization. These e-mail addresses may also be false or are used to confirm that the unwanted e-mail was originally sent to a valid and active e-mail account.
·         Responding to a web site that supposedly lets you remove yourself from the list is also not advised. This is because once you access the web site your details are logged. You could also you be exposed to pornography.
It is possible to determine the location (rather than the user or the e-mail address) from where the e-mail was sent. If you are able to look at the e-mail headers, you will then be able to determine the IP address of the Internet Service Provider (ISP) whose services were used to send the e-mail. Finding out exactly where UCE has come from can be difficult and time consuming.
If you have determined the location of the sender of these mails, then it may be possible to send an e-mail to abuse@isp to complain about the e-mail. However, adult e-mails are not illegal in many countries including Ireland. If you do succeed in sending an e-mail complaint to abuse@isp and the material is illegal in the jurisdiction it originated in or in breach of the Acceptable Use Policy of the sender's ISP, the ISP can disconnect the sender. However, it might be unable to tell you the name of the sender due to international data protection regulations. In many cases, the sender just moves to a different ISP and starts the process again.
Just like in the movie, the good, the Bad and the Ugly with Clint Eastwood, email has a way of making you feel good and raising your anger at the same time. Email has save billions of dollars for businesses worldwide. It has also cost billions in return. While email can be a two-edged sword, it can also be a godsend to businesses looking for a way to increase their exposure. It allows you to engage an ever-growing audience and survive the tough financial times that are upon us today.  It can save you money and allow you to touch your clients and prospects and a very cost effective way.  Just bear in mind that the when it comes to working the web, only the good guys play by the rules.
Carl Weiss is one of the good guys who has been helping clients work the web to win since 1995. He is president of WSquared Media Group a digital marketing agency and owner of Jacksonville VideoProduction.  You can speak with him live on the air every Tuesday at 4 pm Eastern on Blog Talk Radio.

Do You YouTube?

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By Carl Weiss

When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Or so the story goes. When it comes to getting going in a tough economy, any advantage you can employ that can boost your business’ visibility would be worth its weight in gold. Particularly if the advantage costs little to produce and nothing to deploy, this is one marketing proposition that should be a no-brainer for every business owner on the planet. What is this magical commodity that can literally transform your business overnight? It’s not the boob tube. It’s YouTube.

800 Million Viewers Can’t All Be Wrong

Having just turned seven years old, you wouldn’t think that a fledgling video portal would wield much clout. And you would be dead wrong. Far from trailing the pack in terms of viewership when compared to television networks that have been around for more than sixty years, YouTube is the most watched channel on the planet, having a worldwide audience in excess of 800 million. And unlike television networks that charge exorbitant fees to air commercials on the air, YouTube not only doesn’t charge a fee for airtime, in many cases they pay their advertisers a fee for providing compelling content to the masses.

 YouTube Stats 2012 - from 35 Mind Numbing Facts, Figures and Statistics

• 60 hours of video are uploaded every minute, or one hour of video is uploaded to YouTube every second. 
• Over 4 billion videos are viewed a day 
• Over 800 million unique users visit YouTube each month 
• Over 3 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube 
• More video is uploaded to YouTube in one month than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years 
• 70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US 
• YouTube is localized in 39 countries and across 54 languages 
• In 2011, YouTube had more than 1 trillion views 
• In 2011 there were almost 140 views for every person on Earth 

With free advertising to be had, why isn’t every business in the US broadcasting videos by the boatload? Good question. Some businesses lament the fact that they can’t afford the production costs. However, when you consider the fact that every business owner in the US either has access to a webcam or smartphone, there is no reason why every business shouldn’t sport at least an elevator pitch video and several video testimonials on their website. If you are concerned with production value, there are numerous video production companies there that can help shape and shoot a professional video for a reasonable fee. We’re not talking thousands of dollars a pop any more.

What’s even better is the fact that once produced, a YouTube video can be used to put every other form of marketing you are currently employing on steroids. Have a blog. Embed the video. Want to tune up your tweets? Link your YouTube video to Twitter at the click of a mouse. Want to break out of the box? Literally every piece of print advertising and literature that you currently employ for business purposes can be enhanced by the addition of one square inch of ink known as a QR code.

But the best reason to YouTube is the fact that the portal is owned and operated by the world’s most popular search engine: Google. Just like websites, properly optimized videos can jump onto page 1 of Google. Do you think that would help your business prosper? You better believe it. In fact, it has been shown that people are five times as likely to click on a video as a website. Add to this the fact that since there are only one or two videos displayed on a Google search, owning one gives your business the kind of online advantage that's hard to beat.

From YouTube to Boob Tube!

Speaking of television, are you aware that YouTube announced at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show that they’ll be creating Mobile / TV partnerships with Philips, Samsung, Sharp, Toshiba, Vizio, Western Digital and other manufacturers of televisions. This means that in addition to easy access to every PC, laptop, tablet and smartphone on the planet, your business could soon make the leap from YouTube to the boob tube.

 So when you add up all the variables, including low cost of entry, huge audience, enhanced SEO, and cross platform viewership, this is one corporate bailout that every business in the country needs to take advantage of right away.

Carl Weiss is president of W Squared Media Group and owner of Jacksonville Video Production a company that has been helping companies take their online marketing to the next level since 1995. Carl can also be heard weekly on his Working the Web to Win radio show broadcast on Blog talk radio every Tuesday at 4pm eastern.

New Year, New Rules

Listen to internet radio with workingthewebtowin on Blog Talk Radio

By Carl Weiss

Well I hope all of you got your end of the year celebration out of the way, because I’ve got some news for you. Since the world didn’t come to an end in late December, we are all going to have to keep pace with some of the changes that are in the works for the coming year. When it comes to the Internet, don’t expect business as usual in 2013. So if you are in the “Forewarned is forearmed” camp, here are the five online areas you need to stay focused on for the next twelve months.

1. Cyber Security - If you will recall from several previous blogs, 2012 saw the threat of cyber attacks take on a whole new dimension as hacking went from being a nuisance to becoming a clear and present danger to everyone from consumers to business owners and banks. Even governments are being hacked. The criminals have formed collaboratives that have the power to hijack, ransom and deny service to millions of people worldwide.

 A recent blog published on inquisitor.com points out that, “Cyber security is not just a threat to the average person. Even nations are under the gun when it comes to key internet-based security threats. When it comes to national security, the US Department of Defense feels that  cyber warfare is number three on the top ten list of threats to this country.”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently stated that, “Cybersecurity concerns include hackers and criminals. The greater danger is that a cyberattack carried out by nation states or extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack that paralyzed the nation on Sept. 11, 2001.”

 While the government has the money and manpower to meet the threat head on, businesses and individuals as a rule do not. Therefore you need to be cognizant of the following security issues in the coming year:

• 2013 will see a sharp rise in ransomware designed to steal, encrypt and hold data for ransom.
• With the rise in the number of mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones becoming more prevalent and as a rule less secure, look for a rise in malware delivered via free apps, movies and music to become an even more serious threat to security in 2013.
• Cyberwarfare assets will increasingly become reverse engineered by cybercriminals and turned against banks, businesses and individuals.

2. Online Advertising  - In 2013, the rise of push advertising, as opposed to pull, will become the online norm as consumers weary of the constant stream of ads that bombard them on TV, radio, billboards and print media tune into interactive campaigns that speak to them. After recoiling in 2012 after discovering that search engines,  social networks and and other sites were aggregated consumer information on browsing and buying habits, consumers should gradually become more comfortable in receiving personalized content and offers from these entities. The rise of video ads delivered on everything from computers to smartphones will also mark departure from the way in which businesses market themselves online.

 A recent VentureBeat blog states, “As video advertising continues to evolve from a nice-to-have to a must-have, marketers are experimenting with new tools and strategies, and they are demanding more accountability. The end result is positive in that it challenges the players in this space to innovate and evolve. Recent evidence shows that better ad targeting and more diverse ad formats make it possible for advertisers to successfully move beyond simple :15 and :30 second pre-roll spots. As advertisers grow more comfortable with rewards-based, opt-in formats, we think you’ll see a significant increase in long-form ads in 2013".

 3. Etailing - When it comes to buying and selling goods and services online, 2013 will see the continuation of the growth of ecommerce as businesses seeking to grow in these trying economic times search for ways to take local businesses to the masses. With the cost of setting up, promoting and operating an etail establishment no longer a barrier to entry, the number of niche retailers entering the game can only go up. The rise in mobile devices also signals a fundamental change in the ways in which consumers do their shopping. Businesses that take advantage of these changes will see their companies flourish, while those that ignore these trends do so at their own peril.

 4. Social Media - While the big players duked it out over turf while increasing their stranglehold on the market in in 2012, the coming year will likely see even more innovation and consolidation as the wannabes are either gobbled up or cloned by their bigger brothers. As companies like Facebook, Twitter, Google, LinkedIn and even Microsoft continue to test ever more creative ways to advertise on both social networks and mobile devices, the trend to move away from text-based ads to video-enabled advertising could potentially revolutionize the way in which online ads are delivered.

A recent CNet blog states, “Google became a financial juggernaut when it answered the problem of how to drive ad revenue, in part with self-service ads. After pouring $1.16 billion into Twitter, venture capital companies want the microblogging giant to step up its revenue machine. And soon. But how to do that is the question. First of all it could develop easier ways to place ads. One advantage it has over Facebook is that mobile is just as good a platform for advertising on Twitter as the Web.”

 5. Birth of Wearable PCs - As much as tablet computers and smartphones continue to change the nature of the way in which the public, shops, reads and gets entertained, the rise of mobile computing is in for yet another milestone as the birth of wearable computers takes hold in 2013. If you think that tablets have revolutionized the way in which the masses compute on the go, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

 Two of the biggest players in the game, Google and Apple are developing wearable devices that will change fashion as we know it. These devices will not only allow users to accomplish many of the same things that they now get by using tablets and smartphones, these next wave devices also have the potential to go where no computer has gone before.

 From engadgetcom: "It's been an interesting year for Google's most famous side project. After emerging from the company's suitably mysterious X Lab in April, Glass appeared across the roundtable from Charlie Rose, gave conference attendees a skydiver's eye view at Google I/O, strutted down the catwalk at New York Fashion Week and shared the stage with California Governor Jerry Brown as he signed a bill into law allowing self-driving cars on the state's roads. Wearable computing may end up being the next big thing, but it still isn't just one thing. Much of what is actually now winding up in consumers' hands, are devices that are not full-fledged computers, but things like smart watches and fitness monitors, which offer portions of the functionality promised by the wearables of the future.”

 Not wanting to be out done by Google Glass, it is reported that Apple is developing its own wearable device in the form of a smartwatch that would feature a 1.5-inch organic LED screen and be able to communicate with other Apple devices like the iPad or iPhone. As the new year progresses, expect to see even more technology intrude yet further into our ever more wired world, such as personal robots, 3D printers for the masses, smart TVs and even smart homes.

 As with most of the technological innovations that have come and gone in the past couple of decades, it is up to the individual to decide which technologies to embrace and which to leave by the side of the road. But one thing is certain, when it comes to living in an ever more technologically driven world, rule number one is, “Resistance is futile!”

Carl Weiss is president of the digital marketing company W Squared Media Group. He also co-hosts the weekly Working the Web to Win Radio Show on Blog Talk Radio that airs every Tuesday at 2 pm Eastern.