By Shawn McGowan, JobsInME.com
If you have a tech-inclined person, like me, on your holiday gift list, you may be at a loss for what to get them IRL (In Real Life). How about gifts that fuel their tablets and app phones? Ask them some sneaky questions to decipher their favorite subscriptions, services and media and start gifting.
eGift Cards Rock
Whimsically designed glittery gift cards look nice in a fancy holiday card, but then there's the environmental impact and the lack of selection at the grocery store. Many online retailers now also offer gift codes or certificates via email. It's not only "green," it's passing on savings for services people would buy anyway and it makes a perfect last-minute gift.
Apps and Media for the Gadget Guru
Gifting online doesn't have to be expensive. In fact, it can be downright cheap. Here is a list of my favorites:
For Apple fans, the broadest solution would be an iTunes gift card. This credit can be used to add new music, apps, movies, books, and more to their iPad, iPod, iPhone, Mac or PC. To do this, you'll need to log in to your iTunes account or download the application and create a free account if you don't already have one (this takes less than 10 minutes).
Macworld mentions several options in virtual gift giving including: a monthly iTunes allowance and the option to gift specific apps, movies, books, and more.
News and Periodicals
- Zinio, a digital news stand, allows you to purchase digital gift subscriptions for your lucky recipient that they can access from apps that operate on Mac, PC, Android and iOS.
- Give the gift of unlimited access to Wall Street Journal Online.
Online 'Pro Account' Upgrades
- Pandora is an online music discovery application that is free to use, however they also offer a Pandora One pro account for $36 per year. Its benefits? It streams at a higher bit rate, is free of ads, and includes access to a native app for your PC or Mac.
- Flickr, a photo and video hosting and community website, offers its Flickr Pro account with expanded options and storage space for $24 per year. You can also print it out as a cool, customizable card.
- Netflix movies and television is a great gift that keeps giving at $7.99 per month (ongoing charge).
- Hulu Plus offers gift card access to their premier service of online, on-demand television viewing for $7.99 per month as well.
Reference and Education
- For those who love improving their technical knowledge, Lynda Online Training Library ? offers gift cards to access more than 69,000 easy-to-use video tutorials for only $25 per month.
- And, for those interested in their family tree and genealogy, both Ancestry.com and Geni.com Pro Account offer online gift cards.
Today, I can go to a website like Amazon, fill out an online form, enter my payment and the recipient's email address, and I'm done in minutes. The recipient gets a nice little code to punch in and start spending. Have fun shopping!
As a Social Media Marketing Coordinator, Shawn McGowan's passion for brand transparency and over 10 years of sales/customer service experience make him aptly suited for the job. A native of East Millinocket, Maine, Shawn grew up at the foot of Mount Katahdin and graduated from the University of Maine Presque Isle with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). When not writing, editing or immersing himself in the world of social media, he can be found enjoying the outdoors, art, music, tech, humor, Portland's amazing food scene, and all things nerdy. You can reach Shawn at smcgowan (at) JobsInME.com and Twitter.com/shonymac.