Charlotte Hyland

charlottehyland@gmail.com

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My Favorite Podcasts – Just in Case You Care

I dove into the world of podcasts a couple of years ago, ever since my commute to and from work have been much less boring. Here are some of my favorites.

Alt Latino

I love Latin music, and this NPR podcast helps me discover some awesome artists that I probably would not have found otherwise. There is a different theme every week and they have such a great variety of songs across different Latin cultures and genres. Here is one of my favorite episodes: Grown and Sexy Mixtape.

The Rachel Maddow Show

My boyfriend and I only have basic cable, and I don’t always have time to sit and watch the news. I really appreciate that they make a podcast out of the Rachel Maddow show. This is how I know what’s going on in the world. I always listen to the previous night’s episode on my way to work every morning. Rachel is smart, funny, and kind of my liberal lady hero.

The Read

I love how Crissle and Kid Fury tell it like it is in their podcast The Read. Most episodes are broken up into three parts. Part one is the pop culture current events. I am normally not very interested in celebrity gossip and I don’t know who most of the people they’re talking about are, but they are so funny I just can’t skip this part. Part Two is listener questions, where they give advice to a few listener emails who are usually going through some pretty crazy relationship stuff. The third and best part of this podcast are when Crissle and Kid Fury each share their frustrations and cuss out whoever and whatever is being a horrible contribution to society that week. Never has a show made me laugh so hard and cry just as hard in the same episode. Kid Fury and Crissle are so smart, hilarious, and won’t take BS from anyone. It has been especially interesting to get their point of view on all of the crazy racist events that have been going on in our country recently/forever. Every episode is amazing so I would just visit their website and subscribe.

If I Were You

This is the only advice podcast on the internet hosted by comedians Jake and Amir from College Humor. Their tagline ensures you that they do not have any other advice podcast that they’re hiding from you. I think I may be getting a little old to listen to this one, but it’s funny. Lots of bros emailing and asking questions about how they can score more girls on Tinder, or get away with cheating on their girlfriends. Jake and Amir always cuss out the bad guys, and sometimes, you’ll hear some genuinely good advice! I love when they have guests like Ben Schwartz and Thomas Middleditch. Here’s one of my favorite episodes, the first date question is pretty funny: Episode 40 – Sugar Daddy.

Mystery Show

This is the new podcast that just about everyone is listening to. Starlee Kline solving life’s little mysteries. I love the concept, but only like what I’ve heard so far. She has helped friends figure out what happened to the bustling video store that mysteriously closed down & cleared out 24 hours later, how Britney Spears got her hands on a particular book, and finding the owner of a very intricate belt buckle many years later. The belt buckle episode has been my favorite so far. My boyfriend is a chef and we’re involved in the restaurant industry so it was awesome to hear Starlee Kline track down elderly chef Hans Jordy through friends and acquaintances to return his belt buckle to him. I’m hoping for more episodes like this one! Listen to Case #3 Belt Buckle.

Love + Radio

Love + Radio is racy and fascinating. I can’t explain how they do it, but this show is a bit spooky and I love it. Many episodes are just interviews with very interesting people. I like when the interviews are edited in such a way that you don’t hear the question, just the answer, and you use the context of the answer to figure out what the question was. My favorite episode is the Living Room. Ghost Stories is pretty good too.

South Africa Partners Website Launch

I love my job at Sperling Interactive. We work on some awesome websites and are often able to fully flex our creative muscles. With my personal connection and travels to South Africa, it was an honor and so much fun to design and build the new South Africa Partners website. Most of the pages have their own custom designs, it was a welcome challenge trying to figure out how to design each page and utilize the content within the design. This was also a big project in making the custom designs dynamic. What good is a WordPress site if you don’t have access to all (or most) of the content you may need to edit on your own? Also, the photos are great, they really contribute to the design. Custom photos make all the difference on a site, way better than stock photos.

This is definitely one of my personal favorite sites that I’ve ever worked on. South Africa Partners does great work and it was rewarding to collaborate with them and get their new site up and running.

Is Bad Grammar Costly in Social Media?

This is a guest post written by Jennifer Birch. Jenni is a British writer who’s passionate about PCs and operating systems. Connect with her through Twitter at @WrittenByJenni


Photo courtesy of DWRL U. Texas via Flickr Creative Commons
Social media has been great for spreading news, bringing the world together, making new friends, business opportunities and more. For every perk there is also a downside though, one of which has become more apparent over the years. Spelling and grammar has taken a significant hit.

Look through your Twitter and Facebook feeds: how many people use correct spelling, punctuation and grammar? Text speech, auto-correct, bad typing and laziness have lead to an increase in poorly written content on the internet, but as Wise Marketing explains, while social media is essential for customer communication, “writing for it can be tricky to master.” They also supported with Busines2Community’s take on the matter. During the promotion of your brand to the world, bad grammar can and will be costly to the cause.

Reflects poorly on you and your business
Spelling mistakes, even tiny ones, give off the impression that you do not care about the subject in discussion over social media. Which in terms of your business can be very damaging for your career. If you were reading a tweet or a news post on a businesses Facebook page, and you spotted several spelling issues throughout, it gives you the wrong impression. If they can’t be bothered to proof a sentence or paragraph, is that how they treat the product they are selling and their potential customers? It doesn’t leave people with confidence in you.
Continue reading Is Bad Grammar Costly in Social Media?

How I Became A Gmail Master // Gmail Tips

Gmail is by far my favorite free email service. Through the years, as I’ve begun working and connecting more with people, my email has been an integral part of my work. I’ve fine-tuned my Gmail experience and through trial and error have optimized and customized Gmail to suit my needs, and I have never been so productive. There are so many options for personalizing and altering Gmail, you can find a way to make it work best for you! I’ve listed some of my favorite Gmail tips and tricks below.


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Episode Alert Review

I am new to the cord-cutting world. My boyfriend and I just moved to a new apartment, and decided not to get cable. With the quality content and stories of today’s TV shows, I had to find new means of watching my favorites, on my own time. When I found that I was getting overwhelmed with keeping track of new episodes in my head, I began my search.

I wanted some sort of system or service that would keep track of my favorite TV shows. I found Episode Alert. This is really a great website. They have almost every TV show from recent years in their database. They keep track of the seasons, episodes, and even have a quick synopsis for each episode. Best of all, I can check off what shows I’ve watched, and keep track of the episodes I need to watch. When a television show goes to the pasture, like Breaking Bad, The Office, and 30 Rock, you can archive them, and they’re moved to a different area of the page, so you can keep old and new shows separated. Only improvement I could envision would be one that would separate shows that are currently playing, and those that are off-season/on break.

I’m kind of embarrassed to say that I watch 23 TV shows religiously, (though I feel better that none of them are reality shows), and without Episode Alert, I would be totally lost.

Click here to visit Episode Alert.

Find me on Google+!

Clipboard History

clipboard history

For me, the most invaluable aspect of my computer is the copy/paste function. I mean, the interwebs are amazing and everything, but seriously, if we didn’t have copy/paste, I’d still be working on my middle school homework. The past couple of months, I was thinking about how awesome it would be to have a copy/paste history, so I could go back and paste something that I copied before. A more robust clipboard history. This was such a novel idea to me, I could only imagine the precious milliseconds of my life that would be saved!

I started doing research, and I found a couple of programs that keep your clipboard history, and have hot keys for easy access. My work is PC based, so I downloaded Clipboard History for work. I love it. I don’t know what I ever did without it! I just hold down the Caps Lock Key, and I see my past copies! So simple, but it has made such a difference in my productivity. You don’t even have to use your mouse, which I love. Just hold down the Caps Lock key, and type in the number associated with the previous copy you want to paste in. Don’t like Caps Lock for your hot keys, you can change it to something else in the settings!

For my Mac at home, I downloaded CopyClip. For some reason, the hot keys in this program don’t work for me, so to see my clipboard history, I have to click the paperclip in the menu bar at the top of my screen, choose what I want to copy, and paste it into the document. This is not as fast as the PC program Clipboard History I have at work, but it gets the job done.

Happy copying! Check me out on Google Plus, or on Twitter at @hellocharlottey.

Time Planner App Review

I’m pretty late to the online calendar party, but I now say that I’m quite enthusiastic about it! I don’t like the default Calendar app with IOS, and went searching for a calendar app that would work for me. I found Time Planner, and have been using it religiously ever since!

Time Planner is a gorgeous app, where you can categorize your calendar items. The premium version of this plugin is worth the money, being able to create my own categories was key. I have categories for my different jobs, fitness, social time, volunteering time, me time, etc.

The flagship feature of Time Planner is to learn to manage your time better. When you set a start and end time, the app expects you to stick to it, and also has you put in the actual start and end time when you’re done with a particular event. Once you’ve done this enough times, the app gives you stats on how you’re managing your time, if you’re completing tasks when you planned to, that sort of thing. I can’t say that I’ve found this feature so relevant to me. But I only use this app for meetings and appointments and work, I don’t use it for making myself sit down and try out a new hobby, or work on a personal project. I really should start doing that!

I love Time Planner, and am looking forward to a long, organized future with it!

Jessica Christin

Jessica Christin, a friend of a friend, needed a website for her budding health coaching services. She has a ton of really amazing healthy and delicious recipes that she wanted to share on her site, as well as advice and tips she wanted to share via a blog. After designing her logo, and moving onto her website project, I knew WordPress would be a great platform for her new site. We found a theme on Themeforest that we both liked, and got to work!
Continue reading Jessica Christin

Ommwriter

ommwriterI’m writing this post using Ommwriter. For you minimalists out there, or those who just appreciate a clean, beautiful program that helps with productivity when writing, try Ommwriter. This program offers a full screen writing experience, with few distractions! The “tool box” only shows up when you hover over it. You have a choice of 3 different backgrounds, pure white, medium gray, and a white/gray with a sparse tree landscape. Ommwriter also comes with different chill music choices to accompany you while working. I swear, if I had this program in college, I would have finished my papers a lot faster, and would have spent a lot less time on Facebook!
Continue reading Ommwriter

WordCamp Boston!

wordcampI bought my tickets to WordCamp Boston! They’ve recently announced the schedule, and though unfortunately I can only attend on Sunday, it looks like there will be lots of interesting things to learn at this conference. I’m especially looking forward to talks on WordPress security, e-commerce, and blogging tips. I’ve been trying to get more involved in the tech community in Boston, looking forward to attending more conferences like this!

Swell

logoI tried the podcast thing back in the day, it just didn’t do it for me. In theory it is a cool thing, but I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t like listening to the radio, not having control over what I’m listening to, and wasting my time surfing the channels. Needless to say, I’m pretty picky.

Along came Swell! Not sure how I found out about Swell, but I’m happy I did. I hate to compare, but this is like Pandora for podcasts! You choose a category, whatever you want to listen to, news, comedy, business, tech, culture, whatever! If you know of a podcast that you like or want to try, you can even search for it and Swell will play it for you. You can bookmark and thumbs up podcasts, and if you skip a podcast, Swell knows it probably wasn’t your favorite.
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Sila King’s Website

I recently helped my dear friend Sila King make a website for her photography portfolio. Sila knew exactly what she wanted her website to look like. I luckily found a theme that was very similar to what she wanted! We worked pretty closely together on this project, finding the best ways to exhibit her work through her website. I love how minimal this site is! It’s nice to build something simple and beautiful.
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Duolingo

duolingo_300x200

It has been a goal of mine to learn Spanish in the last couple of years. I have tried, become lazy, and failed. I aquired a copy of Rosetta Stone Spanish, and I didn’t even get through 3/4ths of the way through Level 1. I don’t think Rosetta Stone was for me.

Other ways of learning on the computer have worked for me, Code School for instance. I’ve taken 3 classes with Code School and completed them! I think I love Code School so much because of the UI, the challenges, and that you can share your accomplishments with your social networks. Rosetta Stone just doesn’t really have any of that. I also don’t like talking aloud to my computer, I wish there were a way to alter those challenges so I wouldn’t have to. Now you’re thinking, “well how else are you supposed to utilize most of your new Spanish skills without speaking?” To that I say, you’re right, I know I have to practice speaking, it’s just awkward.

Anyway, I’ve found a solution that may just get me to learn more Spanish someday. Duolingo is a mobile app that’s user intuitive and challenging! I love it. The shorter levels make you feel that you’re accomplishing a lot more quickly, and they also divide up the sections very specifically, something I only could see that Rosetta Stone was lacking as I began using Duolingo. There’s a section for plurals, possessives, food, it goes on and on. I can also do these challenges while on the go! If I’m waiting in line or waiting at a table for my food, I can learn Spanish in the process. Much easier to stop and go with the challenges than Rosetta Stone, it feels like. Duolingo is a great fit for me, and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, someday, I will be somewhat decent in Spanish!

Check me out on Google Plus!

Code School // Journey Into Mobile

At the beginning of the summer, I signed up for Code School Summer Camp. They had this awesome promotion where you got 3 months of their web developing courses and a backpack full of goodies for $99. So worth it! I just finished my third course, Journey into Mobile. This course focused on designing for mobile application of a website. I was more curious about responsive design, but was interested to learn about adaptive design as well. Very proud to show off my new Code School badge! I still haven’t decided what course I’m going to take next!

Check me out on Google Plus!

Back It Up

I got really worried about losing my emails the day that I actually lost one. I am very obsessive about keeping my inbox uncluttered. For instance, I know the maximum amount of emails I can have in my inbox before the fold starts is 16. The folders I move the emails to are hidden, so honestly, I forget about them sometimes. When I remember them, I go on a rampage. Deleting emails older than 6 months old. Then one day recently I realized I deleted the receipt for my new laptop. I need that for my taxes! I had to go through more trouble than you would think to get Apple to send me a new receipt. Enough was enough, I knew I needed to start backing up my emails. I know Google and Gmail aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but one can never be too careful.
Continue reading Back It Up

You Better Belize It

I’m so corny, but so is every item in the touristy stores of Belize…


“UnBelizable!”

“Don’t Stop Belizing!”

“What We Belize In”

“Belize Me…”



Should I stop?



July is vacation time. Stuart and I decided to go to Belize this year. We knew we wanted to go somewhere in or around Central America, where the flight would not be more than 6 hours, because Stuart could only get away for 4 days. We also knew, as vegans, that we had to be aware that certain countries or areas would not cater to us! After an unsuccessful search for a travel agent, and a couple of hours on the internet, we found just the place for us. Orchid Garden Eco-Village has vegetarian and vegan food options! We found our place!



Continue reading You Better Belize It

Tony Bartone Yoga Website

My friend Tony is a fantastic person, as well as a phenomenal yoga teacher! We started working on his website back in January, and it was kind of a lazy work in progress for the both of us. One of those things you work on once in a while during the rare moments when there’s nothing else on your to-do list. Well, we finally are finished, live, up and running. I love this site, I think it will help Tony get to the next level of professional awesomeness.

Love you Tony!

Check it out…www.tonybartone.com

Going Live with CampLink

This is the debut of my newest web design project, CampLink. I built the site in WordPress, which I am really enamored with at the moment. CampLink is the free summer camp referral service run by people who go to summer camp. “We know camp because we go to camp.” These are not camp moms, these guys really know their stuff. One of my old professors connected me with Cory and Frank, the guys who run CampLink. They are a ton of fun and also really great clients. It’s been great working with them and I hope we can collaborate more in the future!

Click here to visit CampLink, and check out their Facebook page.

-Charlotte