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World War “IT” — Are Linux Duffers the “National Guard” of Tech?

BBS MenuOne of the conversations I’m having more often (say in the past 20 months) is “continuity” planning — in the event that “World War IT” breaks out — how are businesses going to continue?

  • If communication utilities are hacked? How will we rebuild B-B and B-C networks if the internet is shaky — fall backs like a BBS might serve as an order processing platform.
  • How to operate in isolation for a while? If we’re not connected to a WAN. Inventory — where is that box?

These dialogues are more often “beer” fueled … and not really actionable but they have a strategic vein. Few I know are actually going to the time/expense to build systems, collecting old bones into unpowered piles that can be used as “bricks” — rebuilding networks that have been damaged. There are some, though…

The challenge we’re facing is sort of on the DHS front and there is a certain symmetry to it.

Think of it like this: Linux IT Duffers are the National Guard of IT.

There is a widening dialogue (Link) within Microsoft and Windows circles particularly – about alternatives that are quick, inexpensive and secure. An essential element is modest hardware requirements. Linux shines on all of those aspects.

If you’re hoarding and/or building systems and storing “IT Bricks” in your closet, let me know.  I’d like to take this temperature — fill in the Poll below?

Poll: WW-IT Preparedness with Linux?

SCAM Alert: “New voicemail from (661) 748-0240 at 10:30 AM”

Be really, ultra careful…

When a phone call comes in on my Google Voice number, if the number isn’t in contacts – I send it to VMail. And the result for this one was … no message (see below.)

But after searching the number online, I read about the SCAM here:

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-security/calls-from-661-748-0240-saying-they-are-microsoft/6f4d9674-7298-40cd-9ae9-0f2c38a74554

The details of how convincing these criminals are is astonishing.

Share it forward, folks.

David G.

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Jan. 28 Live Event Recap — what we learned. Windows 10, awesome.

Originally posted on Anatomy of a Web Presence:

Youtube Live
Live streaming to Youtube via Google Hangout? It’s pretty easy, but you have to build the Youtube channel and make the preparations.

Afterward though, we “unpublished” it (a link embedding it is below.) Why? Pretty seriously dull stuff, otherwise and — not produced with any characteristic titles, etc.

For a more intentional purpose there are a ton of possibilities and some things to rehearse … The crucial bits are a good PC and Camera and of course solid internet access.  In this case: We streamed 123minutes … no hiccups.

Unsure why, but at one point the audio failed.  This has to have been my fault … I think mistakenly clipped the mute button on the Notebook keyboard when I was moving the computer around on the desk.

The Windows 10 Prerelease build was stable — I not only streamed the video over a Logitec USB II HD web cam but, remarkably recorded video !simultaneously! with my…

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Email Marketing

Direct Marketing in the Digital Age – Emailing Client Lists?

Social Media channels afford businesses the opportunity to solicit followers by engaging prospective clients with interesting offers and dialogue on topics of shared interest.  This is great actually, but it’s not the end of the game, just the beginning.

Curves representing email volumes in 2013 versus 2014 during the all-important Holiday Season.

Curves representing email volumes in 2013 versus 2014 during the all-important Holiday Season.

Modern businesses have a plan for how to leverage sending direct email to their customer lists. Operating an opt-in “Newsletter” is one method.  But also — capturing contacts from staff email accounts and driving towards forms of customer relationship management by sending periodic communications to those addresses is absolutely legitimate.

More than legitimate, Direct EMail is critical.

MailChimp.com, a very popular email list management company (they have quite a nice free offer for small clients) reports that mailings this past holiday season through their service rose 72% from December 2013.  View their blog post here.

MailChimp.com is one example of an affordable, easy to use, effective "List Management" service.

MailChimp.com is one example of an affordable (free in many cases), easy to use, effective “List Management” service.

Earlier in my career I worked for a Mail Order clothing company.  Each season came with a huge push to collect current buyer names, merge those with past seasons and blend these with new prospects that matched our demographics. The company invested huge amounts of resources.  And it was effective. It’s still done this way, but with enhancements of course.

In this era, it’s quite a powerful thing to realize that marketing one’s wares isn’t just limited to our Web Presence. Smart operators are marketing directly to email addresses. Something powerful exists in a scenario as simple as having a satisfied client forward an email to a new prospect.

What’s changed is that this applies now to businesses with just a few hundred email addresses in their list. Small is beautiful. Why? Because if only a few responses are obtained, the small operator has the opportunity to personally engage each one uniquely.

It’s a consistent fear among clients we consult that emailing clients will result in being marked as a spammer. This can be true, if you abuse their inbox. But if a business has a relationship with a client, it’s more likely they appreciate knowing you haven’t forgotten them. Further, it keeps the Brand alive in the client’s awareness.

Remember, in the age of Symantec Search and burgeoning databases of information on each one of us — it’s become a “Market of One.”

Wood Sabold Photography

Out with the old… 2015 Year of SM Integration

In much of the consulting we enjoyed with Small Businesses and other clients in 2014 the conversation revolved around developing an updated understanding of how internet marketing and essentially — communication — works nowadays.

Shoreline Community Church integrates their Web Presence to Podcasts at the Apple iTunes Store, Sermon Videos at Utube.com, Twitter and plans to take their "Photography" ministry online at Pinterest.

Shoreline Community Church integrates their Web Presence to Facebook, Podcasts at the Apple iTunes Store, Sermon Videos at Utube.com, Twitter and plans to take their “Photography” ministry online at Pinterest.

Gone, long gone is the age of Email and the Static Website.  These have their place, however, but only as anchoring facets among a symphony of other features.

What do I mean by anchors?

Well, for messaging – a website that is connected to social media channels.  This is where one begins.  Wood Sabold Photography has embarked on this path. (..It’s his image in the header for this post.)

Following on, however are updating aspects of Direct Mail.  If you’re emailing lists of followers or clients from your personal account?  You need to adopt a more mature posture.  We recommend you investigate MailChimp.com.  Start for free, move onto the platform and enjoy the benefits!

The issue isn’t so much one of being able to “program” your web presence as being of a mind to first interconnect to the services your viewers / followers are most likely to use.  Making your content available to them in the channel they most prefer means that you’ll be on their radar with better regularity.  If I see Twitter 20 times per day and Facebook twice? I’d more likely notice your stuff in my Twitter feed.

But don’t fall into the amateur trap of inconsistent branding across SM Channels.  Use the same messages and images / colors to help folks recognize you.  None of this is expensive.  It just takes an awareness at a high level.  On must see the chess board from a high elevation.

An affordable and powerful Web Presence is the best resolution we can offer. Get one!

Deal-A-Story cards by Sue Vidders.  Offered for sale online at RDRPublishers.com new web presence.

Deal-A-Story cards by Sue Vidders. Offered for sale online at RDRPublishers.com new web presence.

 

And one final truth.

As much as one client invested preparing to advertise online (and this is a very worthwhile endeavor) a single properly placed dialogue in social media resulted in 10X sales over a short period of time for a particular offering.

Doubt the power of Social Media to advance your business at your own Risk.

Happy New Year!