Nothing says excess like a new mall, throughout the world giant malls and shopping centers are being built up in order for developers and architects to show the mastery of their craft, but I think the malls of today are generally overkill. I love the idea of going to one location in order to purchase everything I need, but I don’t think I need to walk by seven jewelry stores in order to pick up a new pair of jeans. Malls are popping up everywhere and they are by in large all made from the same template, developers place large department stores on each end, throw in every major jeweler available, and sprinkle in a couple of gourmet pretzel stands to entice hungry shoppers to forgo their diets. I guess the best thing about a mall is the fact that there is always familiarity no matter how far from home you get, but I feel as though the sheer amount of malls in one city can have a negative effect on the business owners in the city. I get that malls are convenient, and that they bring plenty of money into their host cities, but there have been at least three newly opened malls within my borough over the last two years, that is an outrageous stat considering the general state of the economy. These newly opened malls have created several low wage jobs, but money must be spent within a mall for it to survive. The proximity of these malls is a threat to the malls, and to the people who work within them. It seems as though the efforts that are currently being made to drive economic growth have a clear expiration date, and it is becoming apparent that malls, while convenient, may just be a bandage on an ever growing wound that needs immediate urgent care.
Click baiting is an extremely annoying marketing tool that was once used exclusively on Internet banner ads, but it has now spread to mainstream media outlets and blogs. The “art” of click baiting involves using an obscure headline as a link, in order to get readers to view a story or posting. Click baiting is a way to drive site views and increase ad revenue, but I can’t stand it, and I know I am not the only person annoyed by this tactic. I have blacklisted several sites due to their insistence on using click bait, and I am probably never going to return to many of them even if they fix the issue. In recent years there has been an increase in slideshow websites, these are sites that draw individuals in with click baiting, then ask readers to click through top ten lists in order to get more individual views. I understand that blogs and companies need to make money, but it gets annoying when the reader has to be subjected to this type of forced advertising. I think a new method of online advertising needs to be created, one that is non intrusive, but still effective in pushing a product such as product integration. Until more people start boycotting the worst offending websites, these sites will continue to trick readers into paying their bills. I know I am just one person but if several million feel as I do and act accordingly, things may change and the Internet will be free from trickery. To clarify my point, I am not against advertisements on websites and blogs since I know that these businesses need money, I am just against the art of tricking people to click a link for a story that doesn’t even exist, solely to earn some money.
Last week I wrote a blog expressing my excitement for the Robinhood stock trading app, well I have been using the app all week and I am very impressed, so I decided to give it a full review. A bit of a side note, as of yesterday Robinhood has officially gone public, this means anyone in the United States who is over 18 years old can trade stocks commission free. The first thing you are greeted with upon opening the Robinhood app on the iPhone 5s, 6 or iPad Air 2 is the touch id notification, which uses your fingerprint to unlock your account. Once your account is unlocked you see a clear black or white screen showing the total value of your assets, the color of the screen denotes whether the stock market is opened or closed. Robinhood is a minimalist app and that’s what I like about it, it puts what you want most in front of you when you want it. In order to purchase stocks within the app you must first tap the search button, then add the company to your “watchlist,” once a company is on your list you can easily view basic stats about the stocks such as 52 week highs and lows, the opening price, and the day’s high and low price. The app is very promising as it shows basic information about the stocks, but the overall search functions and information could use some work. I would consider myself an intermediate stock trader, I like reading up on information about companies I am trading so I can prepare my purchases and sales accordingly, the Robinhood app lacks this stock news. I think the reason Robinhood left out the news is to avoid clutter, but I’m sure they could place a link into the app that shows a newsfeed of customer stocks with little visual interruption. Robinhood is a beautiful application and it is off to a great start, I enjoy the ease of use and the clarity, however the lack of in depth information would leave a more advanced trader feeling dwarfed. Out of a scale of 10, I would have to rate it a 7 since it looks good and works well but has some functionality needs, I hope to see the company implement improvements in the coming months as more users join the service.