Posts tagged with "online"

Music Notes by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Willow Kayne – I DON’T WANNA KNOW

“Her irreverent lyricism and hip hop-infused beats and emo punk aesthetics make her a splash of cold water to the face as far as the pop landscape is concerned.” – Dazed

“A brilliantly chaotic sound” – i-D

“Gutsy and spiky-edged come to mind when digesting the alt-pop bops of Willow Kayne.” – The Line Of Best Fit

“The Gen Z talent links together huge opposing forces, creating her own potent brand of rebel-pop.” –  Clash 

After capturing imaginations with her rabble-rousing, genre-fluid debut single “Two Seater” back in May, London-via-Bristol superstar in waiting Willow Kayne has returned with a brand new single “I Don’t Wanna Know.”

Teaming up with UK hitmaker Oscar Scheller, “I Don’t Wanna Know” takes all of the attitude Willow has become synonymous with and ramps it up to 11 – taking cues from the old school rave culture that she is obsessed with by sticking a middle finger up to trolls over a drum & bass indebted backing. Inspired by the very real online abuse Willow received on TikTok, it’s a high energy example of just how unpredictable a talent Willow is, and how easy she makes it look; the track is packed with hilarious one-liners that cut those who have bullied her online to size. “I Don’t Wanna Know” is an empowering anthem that deals with real life Gen Z issues with a sense of confidence that feels so refreshing in the landscape of pop today.

Buy/Stream “I Don’t Wanna Know” here.

The track’s visual builds on Willow’s own postmodern sense of creation with a surreal take on the track’s subject matter. Directed by Bedroom (Beabadoobee, Arlo Parks, Sports Team), the video finds Willow falling victim to online trolls (also played by herself) before flying through cyberspace to learn that success is the best revenge, all in Willow’s own cartoonish, singular vision.

The video comes alongside the news that Willow has been nominated for the Rising Star award at this year’s Ivor Novello awards. Alongside the nomination, Willow has been paired in a mentorship scheme with legendary songwriter Nile Rodgers ahead of the ceremony on September 21st 2021.

Watch the “I Don’t Wanna Know” music video here.

A bracingly vivid look into the creative mind of one of 2021’s most fiercely uncompromising pop talents, “I Don’t Wanna Know” is the perfect example of Willow Kayne’s powers. Weaving relatable stories amongst high-energy unpredictable sonics, Willow is still breathing new life into a scene that’s been without anarchy and spontaneity for years, and in her hands, the future of pop will be anything but boring.

illustration by Mina Tocalini for use by 360 Magazine

Digital Transformation | How has technology changed your business? 

The use of technology is providing businesses a myriad of opportunities to connect with customers, educate their client base, promote products and services, track trends using analytics, and extend visibility beyond traditional company websites. This is especially important given the increase in remote working environments as well as the increase in electronic shopping. Customers and clients are reaping the benefits of this digital world and these business leaders are sharing the unique ways technology has changed their businesses. 

1. Zero Carbon Footprint

Brittany Kaiser, Chair of the Board of Directors Gryphon Digital Mining

Technology has made our business possible. At Gryphon Digital Mining, we create the world’s largest fully integrated pure-play Bitcoin miner with zero carbon footprint. Bitcoin mining is the process of creating a new bitcoin by solving a computational puzzle.

Bitcoin mining is necessary to maintain the ledger of transactions upon which Bitcoin is based. We are grateful that technology offers a world of possibilities.

2. Customer Education and Connection

Micheal Fischer, Founder Elite HRT 

Our business has been able to connect physicians with patients much more effectively and easily with online access. On top of that, patient education has been much easier for our Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) treatment plans, in order to ensure patients of their informed decisions. It’s been great to connect people to get them started leading healthier and happier lives. 

3. Refreshing Remote Work Structure

Samantha Charleston, VP Human Resources Newell Brands

For the time being, Newell Brands is continuing our remote work structure for the majority of the office population. A benefit of the new situation is it has given employees an outlet to try new things, think differently, share ideas and find solutions.

4. Business through Webapps

Amber Theurer, Chief Marketing Officer ivee

The ability for us to generate business through a webapp has been very beneficial for us, since apps are usually very user-friendly and virtually everyone is on their phones often enough as it is. By just tapping a few buttons on your phone, we can have a Registered Nurse provide IV treatment and other health and wellness services to you at your home or work in as soon as an hour. Without our platform, the process of being able to set up these appointments, and the subsequent efficiencies gained would not be nearly as impactful.

5. Educate and Connect through Blog Posts

Brandon Monaghan, Co-Founder Miracle Brand

Providing customers with more information through our blog has been a game-changer. Through this online community of readers, we have been able to establish a personal connection with our customers and eventual customers. We feel educating people through the blog about our products and providing other helpful tips aids in new and recurring sales from previous customers. 

6. Analytics Platforms for a Better Customer Experience

Benjamin Smith, Founder Disco

Using the vast amount of information available through analytics platforms like Google Analytics or SEMrush is pivotal to understanding how customers are finding and interacting with a website. Tracking behavior, identifying trends and roadblocks, analyzing search terms, and so on can help guide how to go about optimizing for a better customer experience.

7. Remote Business Connection and Productivity  

Joe Parenteau, Co-founder  Fable Home

Fable Home has almost always been a remote working business, with the option to come into the office as needed. Technology has allowed us to smoothly and effectively transition all of our employees to remote roles with success. We are able to communicate with video chatting and quick emails or Slack messages. Technology allows us to constantly stay connected and boost productivity levels!

8. Promote with Social Media using Analytics

Annabel Love, Co-founder & COO Nori Press

Technology has changed the way we promoted our business and got in front of the right customers. With social media, we wanted to target people who were actually interested in using our product, rather than just hoping the advertisements would do their job. Using analytics, we are able to target people who are more likely to be interested and use more optimization to increase sales. 

9. Create an Office Atmosphere at Home with Video Communication

Brittney Dolin, CEO Pocketbook Agency

If it wasn’t for the quick and easy adaptation our company experienced with technology, we would be in a very different place right now. Technology contributed to basic day-to-day practices in addition to assisting us in the trend tracking process. We were able to implement video chatting and Slack communication to help employees create a resemblance of office atmosphere at home. As trends changed, so did our goals! 

10. Track Customer Goals to Meet Needs

Jeff Goodwin, Sr. Director of Performance Marketing and e-Commerce Orgain

Technology has allowed the nutrition industry to skyrocket, as more information becomes publicly available and the interest for higher nutrition increased tenfold in the past decade. We are also able to track more accurately how health and fitness can help people reach their goals, and being able to formulate our products around those needs has become a lot easier. 

11. Attract Prospects from Anywhere without Travel 

Chris Bedi, CIO ServiceNow

Employers will quickly realize that they can start hiring anywhere and attract a whole new set of prospects. And even though there’s a level of Zoom fatigue that’s setting in from nonstop video calls, the travel market is forever changed, he predicts. The concept of getting on a plane for six hours for a two-hour meeting and being jet lagged, people are going to go — why?

The pandemic has changed the way we live life and do business. As Elon Musk says, “Some people don’t like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.” Technology allows you to grow, expand, and elevate your business. With the number of opportunities to incorporate technology into your practice, how can your organization use technology to its advantage today?

12. Increase the Confidence of Customers through Education of Products

Aidan Cole, CEO TatBrow

We have been able to inform and empower the public by adding a “How to Use” section to our website. This gives potential customers confidence in using our product and has been enhanced with the use of video to show TatBrow demos without customers even leaving our site! This makes it convenient for customers to purchase immediately following their exploration of these resources. 

13. Stay on Top of Trends to Increase E-Commerce

Chris Vaughn, Co-founder Saucey

Before the pandemic e-commerce sales were already on the rise. When the pandemic hit and everyone was forced to purchase their essentials through the internet, naturally sales sky-rocketed. The convenience of purchasing products and services shifted from real-time purchases (in-stores) to finding the best product or service (researching and analyzing online), so our technologies also made that shift. We were able to stay on top of trends by effectively tracking them! Quickly, consumers began developing e-commerce habits that significantly helped these businesses track their sales and network. 

14. Promote through Social Media and Web Platforms

Ben Teicher, President/CEO Healthy Directions

Being able to promote our podcasts from our website and on our YouTube channel has been really helpful for our business. Without these digital forms of media, we probably wouldn’t be able to communicate our expertise with the public to the same degree, nor would we be able to allow our prospects and customers to get to know our brand as well. 

15. SEO Marketing

Danielle Callabrese, COO De La Calle

An important component of technology is the work put into search engine optimization. Consumer behaviors have unmistakably changed. They are no longer casually shopping around in stores. Trends have indicated that consumers are researching products they are interested in purchasing before making the trip to their preferred retailer (whether that be in person or online). SEO marketing has been around for some time, but it wasn’t until the global pandemic that we saw this side of marketing truly take off.

statistics illustration via Maria Soloman for use by 360 Magazine

Seven tips that will ensure your website’s calls-to-action get results 

Offering high-quality products or services is great, but it’s not always enough to make a sale. You also need to ensure you have strong calls-to-actions (CTAs) on your website. 

These are words or phrases, often presented on a button, that tell your customers what to do next. Sometimes, people just need a little bit of a push! 

In this article, we’re going to show you how to optimize your website’s CTAs so you can make more sales. 

Make sure your calls-to-action are bright and bold 

The design of your CTAs is just as important as the wording! You don’t want them to blend in, or readers might not spot them. So, you need to put some thought into how you can make them stand out. 

Typically, CTAs are presented on a clickable button. When choosing the color of yours, try to pick a hue that fits in with your branding, but that will still stand out against the background it’s on. Make sure the button is big enough, too — it should be one of the first page elements people are drawn to when they land on your website. 

Let’s take a look at a few examples for inspiration.

Paramount Plus, a new TV and movie streaming service, has a bright and bold CTA right on their homepage. 

There are two things in particular that stand out: first, the copy says TRY IT FREE. Because Paramount Plus is so new, it’s important that they reel in customers this way — after all, there are a lot of streaming services out there, so people will want to try before they buy. Additionally, the color of the button is a bright and clear blue. Not only does this color work with the company’s branding, but the blue also contrasts well against Spongebob’s yellow, making it even more eye-catching. 

KiwiCo, a kid’s craft subscription service, has a stand-out CTA right on their homepage as well. 

They’ve used a bright and bold green color to ensure their CTA button stands out against the grey background, and they’ve also added a fun light bulb icon that draws the eye. Not only does this help the call-to-action to stand out, but it could also spark a website visitor’s imagination and convince them to click through to “get a crate”. 

Think about how you could ensure your CTAs stand out on your website. What colors would work well, and are there any fun icons you could add for some extra interest? 

Stir up a sense of urgency 

If you create a sense of urgency with your CTAs, you can make your consumers feel like they’ll miss out if they don’t act now. This can lead to more people taking the action you’re looking for right away.

You can help create a sense of urgency with timers that outline when a particular promotion will end, or how much stock you have left, for instance. Let’s take a look at an example of a business that uses this tactic well.

For instance, Amazon likes to let people know when stock of a particular product is running low. They’ll then tell you to “order soon” to avoid missing out on the items you need.

This is a powerful technique that could provide a sense of uncertainty that will be just enough to push people into making a purchase. They even have two different buttons customers can press — one of which says “buy now”, which increases the feeling of urgency. Amazon is the biggest online retailer in the world, so this is clearly a tactic that has served them well. 

Play on your website visitors’ FOMO 

Similarly, fear of missing out, or FOMO, can be a very effective motivator. So, it’s worth playing on this with your calls-to-action. Make your readers feel like people just like them have taken your desired action and are better off because of it!

To provide you with some inspiration for your own CTAs, let’s take a look at a company that does a great job of stirring up a sense of FOMO with theirs. 

Venngage, a company that specializes in helping people to create infographics, makes sure to instil the fear of missing out in their audience in their guide to what infographics are.

Within their article, they promote a webinar they’ll be hosting on the topic, and urge people to “SAVE MY SPOT”. This creates a sense of scarcity, and encourages people to act fast to avoid missing out. Plus, the CTA is presented on a bright green button, which really helps it to stand out. 

If you’re hosting an event or promoting a limited edition product, make sure you make it clear to people that they could miss out if they don’t buy their ticket or item right now. It could just be enough to boost your conversions. 

Provide different calls-to-action for different people

Different people who visit your site might be at different stages of the buying journey. This means it can often be helpful to have different CTAs that correspond to these different stages. For example, you might want to encourage one person to make a purchase, but direct someone else towards giving you a call to get more information about what you do. 

Let’s take a look at some businesses that use this tactic well. 

For instance, you’ll find several different CTAs on Loganix’s link building services page. At the very top of the page, you’ll see a button that urges people to “get started” — this is great for people who have already decided that they would like some help with their link building and that Loganix is their company of choice.

However, people who scroll down the page to find more information will also find a range of other CTAs, such as “learn more” and “read more testimonials”. These target people who aren’t quite sure about this service or want to know more about the company in general. 

This approach is particularly effective for a service-based organization like Loganix. They’re providing something slightly more abstract than a physical product, so people looking to spend money with the business might need more convincing. These different CTAs are sure to point them in the right direction. 

Similarly, Best Value Schools have multiple CTAs on their homepage. The website helps prospective students to choose the next step in their education and career, which is always going to be a huge decision. So, they have different calls-to-action to attract people at different stages in their journey. 

They have options to “find your school”, “view all resources”, “view all rankings”, and more. Think about all of the different types of people who could be browsing this website. “Find your school” targets people who already know what kind of path they want to pursue, while the CTAs that urge people to find more information are more suited to people who are earlier in their journey, and who might not even be sure that higher education is for them. There’s a CTA for everyone. 

Consider who’s likely to land on your website, and what they might need in their current stage of the buyer journey. Do they want to make a purchase straight off the bat, or will they need more information? You should add CTAs that cater to everyone. 

Make it very obvious if you’re offering a freebie

If you’re creating a CTA to promote something that won’t require your website visitors to spend any money, be sure to make that very clear. This can work well for free templates, free trials, free consultations, and the like. 

Keep in mind that offering something for free is also a great marketing strategy in general. It shows people what you do, and is likely to lead to them spending money with you in the future.

To provide you with some inspiration, let’s take a look at companies that incorporate freebies into their marketing and CTAs well.

For instance, Bay Property Management Group, a real estate management company with multiple locations across the east coast, promotes their free property management analysis on their Philadelphia location page. 

You can clearly see where you need to click to get a free property management analysis, as the bright blue CTA button really stands out! Just above their freebie call-to-action, they also outline the benefits of clicking through — doing so will help prospective to find their ideal tenants without breaking the bank.

The company is offering a very valuable service for free, and they’ve made that very clear with their CTA. This is sure to lead to a lot of click-throughs and could drive a lot of future business for the company. 

SocialPilot does something similar partway through their guide to Facebook analytics tools.

They provide their own social media platform so, along with outlining the pros and cons of all the different tools out there, they’ve mentioned and promoted their own. Not only that, but they’ve also encouraged people to try it for free.

The bright blue banner really makes this CTA stand out, and they’ve made it very clear that trying out their tool won’t cost the user anything. They’ve mentioned “free” twice and even clarified that they won’t take your credit card details, so you won’t be stung if you forget to cancel at the end of your free trial. This is sure to convince a lot of people to give it a go and could lead to a lot more sales for the company. 

Could you offer something valuable to your prospective customers for free? If so, make it very clear that engaging won’t cost them anything, and it could actually boost your bottom line in the long run. 

Lead with a strong verb 

The whole point of a call-to-action is to convince someone to do something — that means you should always lead with a strong verb. Words and phrases like “sign up” and “submit” might do the job, but they aren’t very powerful, so you’ll want to go with something stronger for the best results. 

Here are some examples of CTAs with strong verbs that you could use: 

  • Download now
  • Get started
  • Create your account
  • Explore now
  • Discover more
  • Schedule an appointment

All of these CTAs are clear, convincing, and make it very obvious what you prospective customers should do next. 

Inject some personality into your calls-to-action 

You want your prospective customers to engage with your CTAs, and injecting them with your personality can really help. To start, you should identify your brand voice, if you haven’t already.

Consider how you want to address your customers, first and foremost. Are you professional? Funny? Playful? Inspirational? Think about who your audience is and how you want to relate to and communicate with them.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of businesses that do a great job of incorporating their brand voice into their CTAs for the best results. 

For example, Express, a clothing retailer, does this well on their homepage. 

When you first visit their site, you’re presented with a banner that urges you to “join the TikTok challenge”. They’re trying to get their customers to post about their lives post-pandemic, and want them to share their outfits (which are hopefully from Express). This CTA wouldn’t work for every business, but it’s effective for Express, which is a young and savvy clothing brand with an audience that is immersed in the online world. This shows the company is engaging, boundary-pushing, and adventurous, which increases the chance of their ideal customers clicking through and jumping on board with their challenge. 

There’s also plenty of personality in the CTAs that the luxury vodka brand Grey Goose uses on its homepage.

One of their most interesting examples is “uncork the truth”. This phrase suggests a few different things about Grey Goose’s personality. First, using a word like “uncork” is fun and relevant, as they are an alcohol distiller. Second, the phrasing shows that they want to be transparent in how they make their products and what ingredients they use. Consider if you can use a similar play on words in your own CTAs to show off your brand personality.

Summary

Your CTAs are some of the most important aspects of your website! To get people to do what you want them to do, you have to give them an extra push. In this article, we outlined seven different ways to enhance your CTAs, including using your brand personality, improving your design, using strong verbs, and more. There’s work to be done — get to it!

Author bio & headshot

Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix, which is an SEO fulfillment partner for digital marketing agencies and professionals. The company provides the SEO services that businesses need to grow and achieve their goals. If you enjoyed this article, you can find more SEO guides and templates on the Loganix blog. 

Adam Steele is COO and co-founder of Loganix image for use by 360 magazine
Train illustration by Mina Tocalini

Amtrak USA Rail Pass Relaunch

With the relaunch of its USA Rail Pass, Amtrak is introducing a new and affordable way to take a multi-segment train journey across America. This new offering allows customers to take up to ten rides to see the country and explore sights at many of Amtrak’s 500 destinations. Now through June 22, the USA Rail Pass is available for $299, a savings of $200 off the regular $499 price. Customers taking advantage of this special introductory offer will pay less than $30 per ride for ten travel segments over 30 days.

To make the experience as seamless and touch-free as possible, customers can purchase the USA Rail Pass on Amtrak and start building their itinerary on the website or on the Amtrak app. By leveraging the app, customers can also access their ticket, check train status and get boarding information prior to departure.

“We want to offer customers a truly unique way to travel this summer,” said Amtrak Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Roger Harris. “With the new electronic USA Rail Pass, customers can take advantage of a great value and newly streamlined web and mobile app interfaces to make managing personalized travel plans convenient and easy.”

USA Rail Pass allows up to 10 segments in a 30-day period beginning with the customer’s first trip and is valid for use within 120 days of pass purchase. After purchasing the pass, customers can book and modify their trip itinerary and will receive an electronic ticket for each segment to present to the conductor when boarding.

USA Rail Pass is available for travel in Coach class—featuring wide, reclining seats with a big picture window, ample legroom, and no middle seat. A travel segment occurs when a customer boards and disembarks one of Amtrak’s scheduled services. If the trip involves making a connection, customers will use two segments of the USA Rail Pass. Upgrades to Business Class and private room accommodations are not available at this time. Amtrak Guest Rewards members will earn two points per dollar spent on each USA Rail Pass following travel on the first segment. Additional restrictions, terms and conditions apply. Learn more at Amtrak.

About Amtrak®

For 50 years, Amtrak has connected America and transformed transportation by modernizing train travel and building for the future. Amtrak will continue to play an important role in the national transportation network for the next 50 years and beyond by operating a safe, environmentally efficient and fiscally responsible business by providing travelers with an experience that sets a new standard. Book travel, check train status, access your eTicket and more through the Amtrak app. Learn more at Amtrak and connect with us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and LinkedIn.

The Benefits of Using Online Casinos 

Are you new to online casinos and have no idea if they are actually worth playing at? Have you ever wondered why online casinos have become so incredibly popular when people still have access to good, old traditional casinos?

The benefits of using online casinos have been discussed at length by many people over the years. With hundreds of options to choose form, its easy to get lost in all the choices and feel quite over whelmed. It’s important to know why you should use an online casino, and what are the biggest benefits associated with them. 

In recent years, the online casino industry has grown massively and it is all down to the fact that we are now living in a digital age where people are constantly online on their phones or laptops. People are not going to physical casinos as often as they used to anymore. If you want to start playing at an online casino but are not sure what the benefits might be, here are a few reasons. 

A Lot of Games

One of the biggest perks of playing at an online casino is that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of games available for you to play. When it comes to traditional, physical casinos, there are a limited to the number of games available due to limited space. This is not the case when it comes to online casinos. There is no constraint when it comes to space, meaning that online casinos can have many more games available to players.

Online casinos offer all the regular games that traditional casinos have, and more. An average online casino has around 400-600 games, but most of the casinos that Japan-101 recommends here have much more than that. Not only do they have many games, but also have a bunch of different themes to suite anyone. There are even casino games, similar to video games, in which you have to go on missions and complete levels. There is no chance that players will get bored with this variety. 

Many Bonuses to Choose From

One of the most innovative marketing techniques to come from online casinos is the bonuses. Bonuses are essentially free gameplay that encourages players to start or continue playing at a casino. The most popular bonus at the various different casinos is the welcome bonus. This is how casinos attract masses of new players–by offering them free gameplay. Everyone loves getting things for free. 

Welcome bonuses can come in the form of free spins on the slots, free rounds at tables games, free money to bet on a game of your choice, or even a combination of these. Other bonuses are available for people who are part of a more exclusive of VIP package as a way to encourage them to keep playing; or as incentive for those who are considering upgrading their casino account. These bonuses are a great way for players to play for free and discover the games they like, without having to waste their own money. 

Convenience

One of the best parts about playing at an online casino is how convenient it is. Going to a regular physical casino can take a lot out of your day. You have to dress up fancy, travel to the destination, wait in lines to play, and end up spending a lot of time waiting around for a few minutes of fun.

Online casinos make it so much more convenient to play all the casino games you love with just the click of a button. You can play anywhere, anytime you want because these casinos are available 24/7. All you need is to have a decent internet connection. You can play on your commute to work or even while in bed, if you are trying to pass the time.  

Easy to Get Started

For those new to gambling or casino games, it can be a bit daunting trying to figure out how all of the different games work. At online casinos, all of this worry disappears as there are tutorials on how to play the different games. Online casinos sometimes even offer different tips and tricks to help you win. 

If you need more help, you can easily search for solutions to any problems you may have or look up tutorials for further clarity. 

Why More Young People Are Turning to Online Therapy

Therapy can help with a huge range of mental health complaints from stress and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder and more. There are many reasons to consider therapy, and with the internet now creating new avenues for accessing mental health treatment, it’s no surprise that online therapy has become a popular choice for young people who are seeking mental health support. Due to the COVID19 crisis, online therapy has become an even more popular option over the past year in order to help ensure that people who need additional support for their mental health and wellbeing are able to access it safely when needed. So, why is online therapy becoming a more popular option?

Added Convenience:

Online therapy is usually done from home, meaning that the client has the additional convenience of getting therapy from the comfort of their own place without having to go and visit the therapist at their office. This can be a better option for people who have busy lives or commitments like kids that might be difficult for them to work around when they get professional help. Online therapy can be done from your kitchen or living room, meaning that there’s no need to rush after finishing work for the day or find a sitter for your kids while you go for your appointment. 

Find a Suitable Therapist:

For people who live in remote areas where the choice of therapists available is not always the best, online therapy can be an ideal alternative. Online therapy offers more choice to people who live in remote or rural areas where there are limited mental health resources available to them in the local area. It provides clients with the option of finding a therapist that might be a better fit for them without being confined to the local area only or faced with the need to travel long distances to visit a therapist on a regular basis. 

More Accessible:

Another reason why online therapy is becoming more popular among young people is that it provides more access to these services for people who have physical limitations. People who are housebound or disabled might find it difficult or even impossible to go out and visit a therapist in person, while online therapy can be done from wherever is most comfortable for them. 

Less Overwhelming:

Going to therapy can be a huge step to take for somebody who has been struggling with mental health issues that they struggle to talk about. Often, the internet makes getting therapy easier and more accessible for people in this situation who might feel comfortable talking about physical health issues with family and friends but will struggle to open up about their mental health. Since online therapy can be done from home, or another environment that the client is comfortable and familiar with, it can be easier for clients to overcome the stigma that has long been attached to mental health issues and feel more comfortable asking for help. 

Familiarity:

Today, young people have been born into a world where the internet is used for pretty much anything. From applying for jobs to online grocery shopping, many young people are used to tapping into their phones or laptops when they want to get something done, so it’s no surprise that getting online therapy tends to come naturally to them. In a world where a lot of communication with friends and family is done online and there are more online services than ever before available, it makes sense that young people who are used to this way of doing things would prefer to get mental health support online too. 

What to Consider When Choosing an Online Therapist:

There are several apps that have made finding an online therapist easier, and many therapists that will typically practice from an office or their own home have also started offering online services, many as a result of the COVID19 pandemic. If you are considering online therapy as an option for yourself, there are several things to consider before you start including:

  • The type of therapy that you want – do some research into different types of therapy such as CBT, DBT, and holistic therapy to find one that seems suitable for you. If you are not sure, a good therapist can help by talking through your options and providing you with more information on what might be suitable. 
  • Insurance coverage: Bear in mind that many states don’t allow out-of-state therapists when it comes to insurance coverage, so check the location of the online therapist before you begin since they will need to be licensed in your home state. 
  • Therapist experience: It is important to choose a therapist that is experienced in and knowledgeable about the specific issue that you are looking to get help with. 

Today, online therapy has become a popular and viable way for people to access mental health services more easily and from the comfort and safety of their own home. 

Gambling illustrations by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Bolstering Brands and Products Through Innovative Live Productions

These days, even products that have remained largely the same at their core for decades need to explore the ways in which new technology can assist them in connecting to customers. Right now, the tech proving to be a game-changer for brands and products across several industries is live streaming.

Having been widely adopted by the general public through the likes of Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitch, companies now feel comfortable using it as a means to showcase or advance their offering. For the uninitiated, a live stream isn’t much more than a video stream, but when applied correctly, the fact that it’s live makes all of the difference.

From a new way to experience online products to luxury brands offering an innovative way to captivate potential customers, live-streamed productions look to be the way forward.

Making the experience even better

Perhaps the most profound way in which live streaming is being applied is to products that rely a great deal on the experience. When online, people can find just about anything that they want, but for an online-based product to become better, it can build into a live stream, offering real-time engagement with the brand and the product. The best way that this works is when a live stream is a two-way event, with those watching being able to influence or engage with those hosting the stream.

The furthest that live streaming has developed in this sense is in the advancement of online games, specifically online game show and table games. Take live roulette, for example; it’s played in rounds with the players wanting to bet on numbers for each spin. So, the game streams the real table and croupier to the player, with OCR technology set up to read the table while the player bets through the UI on their phone or computer. Suddenly, roulette isn’t a video-simulated online game, it’s real, live, and offers that same bricks ‘n mortar casino experience at the convenience of the users.

The same can be seen in the way that music is evolving its online presence. For decades, aspiring artists have posted their covers on video platforms like YouTube, but now there’s a surge of people staging live shows rather than just offering on-demand content. Data analysis of a popular live music platform has found that not only are viewers overwhelmingly positive about the live-streamed experience, but they’re also very likely to buy into products as a direct result of the live experience.

Building into live commerce

The idea of truly organized and direct live commerce isn’t a concept that’s overly well adopted in western markets. Sure, so-called influencers have been paid to sling promoted items over videos on social media, but in China, the likes of Taobao Live and Baidu have crafted full channels dedicated to shoppable live streams. They work similarly to the influencers, but the streams from the likes of fashion site MOGU are specifically designed to showcase products, help customers, answer questions, and more: offering shopping and entertainment all in one.

Luxury fashion brands are starting to explore the potential of live streams, too. There’s Rihanna’s Fenty Social Club on Instagram, which offered a form of escapism while also raising brand awareness, and even informal meets from Marc Jacobs to connect to consumers. As it stands, live streaming fashion shows is the primary use of the technology at the luxury end, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to see some fast fashion outlets explore the live streaming techniques that have been so successful in China.

There’s so much that companies can do with live streaming, from offering interactive options to live chat windows, that just about any brand can benefit from exploring the technology.

Eyelinerz illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Importance of Eye Contact

THE ALL-IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF MAINTAINING EYE CONTACT DURING VIRTUAL CONVERSATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS

Did you know that we have oxytocin receptors in our eyes? When we make eye contact with someone (researchers say about 30 seconds of maintained connection should do it), the receptors tell the brain to produce the hormone, which travels through the body, hits the internal organs, and ends in the heart. Each time the eye contact is maintained, the reaction repeats. The result? Our breath and heart rate slow down, we feel calmer, we feel… happy. Even better, research shows that this effect is achieved when we make eye contact virtually as well as in person.

The Dangers of Losing Human Connection

Connecting with others doesn’t just make us happy, it can apparently also make us better people. In one study, researchers found that individuals who felt connected to others were more likely to want to volunteer in their community or do kindness for strangers. Researchers are now trying to determine how our wellbeing and connection to others is being impacted by spending so much time distanced from our social groups.

Some studies seem grim. One extensive study out of the UK analyzed over 80 research articles on loneliness indicates that as children experience increasing levels of loneliness due to being away from school and friends, they’re at increasing risk of depression and anxiety.

But the good news is that we are getting really creative (and effective) at keeping our human connection going despite the social distancing.

Connecting Creatively

For children navigating distance learning and time away from friends, doctors from the University of Michigan encouraged parents to see this time as an opportunity to teach children new skills that focus on kindness, resilience, and flexibility, while reminding parents that children are incredibly resilient as long as they are in a supportive and loving environment.

Kids can find social connections in lots of creative ways, from Zoom playdates to video game challenges with friends’ half-way around the world.

Technology also helps adults maintain — or form — meaningful connections. More than ever, meeting online is leading to meaningful, romantic relationships despite (or maybe because of?) couples waiting longer to meet in-person. Apparently, flirting via video chat is incredibly effective, despite the fact that you’re never quite really looking each other in the eye.

We are also connecting deeper with our coworkers, as Zoom happy hours have brought socializing into our homes, making for more relaxed conversations. There’s something about seeing your colleagues sipping seltzers from their kid’s playroom that really ups the camaraderie.

Connecting Effectively

Research has shown that the key to virtual connection is the same as it is in person — eye contact. Now we just need to get better at forming that connection during video calls.

The best way to do this is to look into the camera intermittently as you would someone’s eyes when meeting in person. I know, easier said than done! Our instinct is to look at the person’s face on the screen. But one solution to make maintaining eye contact with a camera more natural is having a tool like Eyelinez around your lens. The fun designs will grab your attention and remind you to keep looking into the lens.

What Are Eyelinez?

Maintaining proper eye contact with a camera is not a new challenge.  In fact, the challenge has existed ever since anyone had to stare into a cold dark camera as if they were engaging with a smiling human.  An “eyeline” is where the speaker is looking and Eyelinez is the solution to enable you to maintain a natural and engaging eyeline with the camera.

M F Husain illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Conversation with M F Husain

India’s Newest Museum Allows Conversation With A Dead Artist Via AI

The Museum of Art and Photography and Accenture Labs have collaborated to create India’s first conversational digital persona of the celebrated artist, M F Husain. This unique digital experience was created during Covid 19 lockdowns as a way to feel engaged while experiencing art. 

Husain’s persona gives a glimpse into the life and work of one of India’s most compelling artists. Viewers can simply ask Husain’s digital twin a question regarding his early life, family or career to receive a simulated response from him. While Husain’s voice has been digitally created using speech synthesis software, the questions and answers have been prepared through extensive research on the artist. 

The experience will also be available on web and mobile platforms and as a 3D hologram at the Museum’s physical space which is set to open in December 2021.

To speak with M.F. Husain’s AI counterpart, click here.

For more information, click here.

More about The Museum of Art and Photography:

MAP connects India’s past, present, and future by showcasing historical artifacts alongside modern and contemporary works, folk art, textiles, painting, sculpture and photography. The MAP collection currently has more than 18,000 works ranging from the 12th Century to the present day.

tech illustration by sara davidson for use by 360 Magazine

Lord & Taylor Digital Collective Store

The Saadia Group officially launched the iconic American brand Lord & Taylor as a digital Collective Store. From exclusive collaborations and merchandise to first-class service and unique events, this new chapter promises to bridge the 195-year heritage with a modern, innovative future.

As America’s first and oldest department store, Lord & Taylor has been the favorite store for generations of shoppers and launched the careers of several American designers. Alongside classic favorites, the updated assortment will focus on up-and-coming and emerging brands.

Jack Saadia, Principal and Co-Founder of The Saadia Group said: “The future of retail is fast and agile, mirrored by our team–which has managed to put together a fantastic assortment of merchandise and a website–in record time of less than 120 days. We are deeply committed to continuing the rich legacy of the brand in a progressive way. Today’s unveil is just the beginning.”

The platform is made to fit and evolve with the ever-changing customer. Stay tuned for exclusive collaborations, fresh assortments, new launches across categories and a robust private label offering filling up these limitless digital aisles in the next few weeks.

To learn more about the brand, visit Lord & Taylor’s website, and look out for further updates on the official social channels.

ABOUT THE SAADIA GROUP

The Saadia Group are the leaders in multi-category product manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing. Catering to a diversified portfolio of consumer products across multiple categories targeting all age demographics from Fashion Apparel in Men’s, Women’s & Kids, Footwear, Women’s Handbags, Home Textiles, Furniture/Décor & Tech Accessories and more. Their strategic investments in fashion brands utilizes their broad experience and leverages full complement of resources to grow and expand the business.

Through its Saadia Direct division, branded merchandise is sold exclusively at retail and outlet locations and online at NY and CompanyFashion to FigureLetoteNY and Company ClosetFashion to Figure Closet Lord and TaylorVintage Foundry coThe Chichome StoreXray Jeans, and Hybrid Green Label.

ABOUT LORD & TAYLOR 

Founded in 1826, Lord & Taylor is America’s first and oldest department store. The brand has been the favorite store for generations of shoppers and has a long history in fashion, launching the careers of several American designers. Its former flagship store, built in 1914, is now a landmarked building in New York City. Under Saadia Direct, the iconic American brand will make its digital comeback and will be relaunched as America’s first Collective Store.