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App of the Week - HomeCourt



At the time we’re writing this, March Madness is just winding down, and the NBA season is fully gearing up. That’s good news for basketball fans looking for incredible action on TV or in the stands. But it also got us thinking about our own hoop skills - and trying to find solutions and tools that could help us step up our game, in the Geekiest way possible.

That’s where HomeCourt comes into play.

If you’re looking to improve your basketball game in an easy and stress-free way, HomeCourt could be your new favorite sports-oriented app.

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Gadget of the Week - Marpac Dohm



Whether you’re struggling to fall asleep at night or need a little extra help for a restful midday nap, the Marpac Dohm Classic white noise machine could be the sound solution you’ve been looking for.

This classic white noise machine boasts a dual speed fan and fully adjustable tone and volume settings, to ensure you can create and maintain your own personalized sound environment. The ability to control fan speeds means you’ll be able to test out different levels of noise, all without having to deal with the unwanted cold air that could come from a traditional fan.

Even if you don’t have trouble falling asleep, as Marpac explains, the addition of white noise “works all night long to drown out the random noises that would have woken you up,” which then “means that you sleep more solidly and deeply, and rise feeling more rested and restored.”

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Why Content Marketing and Pay-Per-Click Can Work Together

content marketing and PPC working together

Sometimes, when it comes to digital marketing, businesses and brands adopt the mindset that there’s only one right option for reaching, engaging, and retaining customers.

With this mentality in place, businesses tend to prioritize one digital marketing channel, at the expense of all others. They’ll put all of their emphasis on social media marketing, say, and forego having a responsive and well-designed landing page. They’ll create branded content that focuses on search engine optimization (SEO), but completely neglect to repackage and distribute this content via an email newsletter.

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Spring Cleaning? It's Time to Audit Your Content

Spring Cleaning? It's Time to Audit Your Content (Source: pixabay.com - used as royalty free image)

Spring is in the air in Chicago! And while that may mean plenty of rain and the occasional freezing temperature (or two), it’s still an amazing time to take stock of the good things we have and resolve to make them even better before the long, lazy days of summer settle in.

For many of us, that means taking the time to do a little spring cleaning; dusting, organizing, and generally sprucing up your home is a great way to make sure that your whole life feels as fresh as that crisp spring breeze. And spring cleaning doesn’t stop at your front door. What about your online home?

We’re willing to bet your brand’s website could use a little maintenance and renewal this spring, particularly your content. When was the last time you assessed, or audited, your blog to make sure that it was still guiding leads down your conversion funnel? Getting shares on social media? Ranking well on search engines?

Here’s why now is the right time to take a fresh look at your content marketing strategy, and a few ideas for how you can translate that audit into even greater success next quarter:

The Questions to Ask During Your Content Audit

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Digital Marketing for the Hospitality Industry

Digital Marketing for Hospitality Industry

More than a third of all Americans have plans to travel more than 50 miles from home in 2017, according to AAA. Of all of those people planning to travel, a full thee-fourths "say resting and relaxing is very or extremely important to them,” according to a study from the Associated Press.

And among those travelers, hotels and motels remain the most popular type of accommodation by a wide margin. Despite the rise of short term vacation rentals, 45% of vacationers plan to use hotels, according to the AP.

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How Do 5-Star Reviews Affect Your SEO?

Businesses of all sizes, from across many different industries, can benefit from turning their attention to generating and curating positive reviews, as part of a process that we call online reputation management.

Time and again, studies have highlighted the remarkable power of positive reviews. For instance, did you know that 92% of customers read online reviews, and 68% trust a local business more if it has positive reviews? Or that brands typically see a 5-9% increase in revenue by improving their Yelp rating by just one star?

And one of the most important benefits of cultivating and sharing glowing reviews is (almost) as old as the internet itself. We’re talking about our geeky bread and butter: search engine optimization, or SEO.

What do positive reviews have to do with search engine success? Where do stars and SERPs overlap? How does getting more five-star reviews equate to greater rates of organic traffic – and more conversions – for your business?

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App of the Week - Encrypt.me

If you’ve looked into online privacy over the past few years, then you’ve probably heard the term VPN, or Virtual Private Network. In essence, a VPN is a way to protect your network from invasions and intrusions while you’re working online. In practice, it’s easy to feel like these services are daunting, and too complex to bother with.

However, keeping your information and data private and secure is one of the most important things you can do - and it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. There are plenty of simple solutions like Encrypt.me out there - simple apps, designed to help prevent hacking and tracking, wherever you may be connected.

Intended for smartphone and laptop users, Encrypt.me’s selling point is its effectiveness in preventing hackers and internet service providers (ISPs) from accessing and reading your data, particularly when you may be out in public.

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Gadget of the Week - Nebula Mars II

Big entertainment deserves the biggest screen possible, right? As all devoted viewers know, streaming even your favorite TV shows and movies can feel lackluster when you’re stuck with  your ordinary laptop screen and tinny speakers.

Ready to “blow up” your expectations and really give your favorite movies and shows the space they deserve? Fortunately, with the portable and easy-to-use Nebula Mars II projector, you can start elevating your movie marathons in no time. This handy gadget makes it a cinch to turn any room into the home theater of your wildest dreams.

A product from Anker, the Nebula Mars II is a convenient projector that you can use to display your favorite content on almost any surface, from a blank wall to a hanging screen. The projector allows you to display clear crystal clear pictures with HD projection (with up to 1280 x 720 resolution), while also offering up cinema-quality sound via dual built-in 10W speakers.

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App of the Week - Letterboxd

Calling all film buffs! Have you tried the social app specially tailored to help you catalog and share your love for all things movies?

Whether you’re already a devoted cinephile or just dipping your toe into the waters of amazing films, Letterboxd will intensify your love for movies, with the fun and unique features offered up by its broad and useful app.

Once you’ve downloaded the app and signed up for an account, you’ll be able to access lists and reviews of hidden gems, total flops, and well-respected new releases. Even better, users can employ Letterboxd as their own personal movie journal, using the app to track their own viewing habits with custom lists, and upload personal reviews as they see new films. The app can also scratch the itch for all of the IMDb lovers out there, since its other useful features include the ability to browse cast and crew details, studios, genres, artwork, scores, trailers, and more.

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Gadget of the Week - BottleLoft

Have you ever opened your refrigerator, only to throw up your hands in frustration because you’re all out of room? It happens, particularly if you love to full up the fridge with tasty bottles of pop, beer, sparkling water, or cider.

The possibility of gaining even a little more fridge space is something it’s easy to get excited about. BottleLoft magnetic strips could help turn this lofty dream into a reality.

According to the gadget’s description on Amazon, BottleLoft bills itself as: “the world's first and patented bottle hanging device to free up space and make your refrigerator cooler!” In short? The BottleLoft helps you attach all those loose beverage bottles to the roof of your fridge, freeing up space on the shelves. It’s a convenient way to create a little bit of extra room - and it looks pretty chic, to boot.

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Jason Finn

Founder & Chief Geek

Jason has nearly 20 years of consulting experience, predominantly in the technology space. Most recently he was the COO and Director of Technology for Rich Casto & Company, a national training and consulting organization in the real estate industry.
As a consultant for IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and Envision Consulting Group (now IMS Health), Jason has served clients of all sizes, including Big Pharma, Fortune 500, and Global 1000 companies:

  • Allstate Insurance Company
  • AOL (America Online)
  • Astellas Pharmaceuticals
  • Eli Lilly and Company
  • Ford Motor Credit
  • Wockhardt USA (formerly Morton Grove Pharmaceuticals)
  • Norwich Union
  • PNC Bank
  • Reynolds and Reynolds

Sarunas Budrikas

Creative Director

Sarunas is a web design and development expert with hundreds of successful projects in his portfolio. He is passionate about delivering extraordinary user experiences for every client and consistently goes above and beyond everyone’s expectations. As an SEO expert and strategist, he can optimize your website, or app, to get the most out of it, day in and day out. Sarunas holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from Kaunas Technology University, in Lithuania. Sarunas now lives in Chicago, and calls it home.

Alexandra Olsavsky

Client Experience Specialist

Alex specializes in content generation and social media promotion for Geek | Chicago clients, helping to solidify their presence in the online community. This includes blog writing, graphic design, co-ordination and design of weekly newsletters, and active engagement on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. Outside of Geek, Alex is a classically-trained soprano who professionally performs around the city of Chicago (most recently with the Chicago Baroque Band, and with the Rolling Stones for their "50 and Counting" tour).