All posts by David Gerhart

Profession: www.davidgerhart.com

Next AoWP Workshop

We’ll be at the Bandon Public Library, 2-4PM Wednesday August 27th.

Agenda includes review of the previous workshops to provide context for “going under the hood” at a free wordpress.com web/blog.

We’ll also discuss some of the meatier aspects of posting, tagging and categorization.

See you there.

To reserve your seats please visit http://cyberlynxoregon.org/current.html

Half Way There Already!

dggerhart:

It’s a blessing to help. Better feedback isn’t possible.

Originally posted on Cleone writes:

Today is a new day. A day for change. With so many ideas and goals, where do we start? We have been advised to start with opening an account on wordpress.com, connect it to Facebook and Twitter. (How about LinkedIn??) They often say getting started is being half way there. So I am announcing that we are now HALF WAY there to reaching our new set of goals! 

What are some of our goals, you may ask. My husband said when we got together eleven years ago (this week!!) that he wanted a partner who was 1. sane and 2. someone who wouldn’t “over-share.” On a personal, relationship level, when we share too much about our pasts, we plant seeds in the other person’s brain that may be hard to erase. When we share too much with the public about what our new professional goals are, we may diffuse the power…

View original 78 more words

Internet.org – Redoubling Efforts

6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.  Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.
6 of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa. Big business has noticed, and understands that getting online will drive product and service sales.

Worth reviewing this weekend…

News about Internet.org creating free network access for users:

PCWorld.com News Article July 31, 2014

The position http://internet.org develops comes from the basic statistic:

Only 1 out of every 3 people can go online.

Why aren’t more people connected?

  • Devices are too expensive.
  • Service plans are too expensive.
  • There’s no mobile network to connect to.
  • Content isn’t available in the local language.
  • Awareness of the value of internet is limited.
  • Availability of power sources is limited.
  • Networks can’t support large amounts of data.

Internet.org urges:

“Together we can remove these barriers and give billions of people the power to connect.”

Next AoWP Workshop Aug. 27th.

Using free to very inexpensive tools online -- organically, following a few simple rules -- will naturally optimize your web presence Search Rankings
Using free to very inexpensive tools online — organically, following a few simple rules — will naturally optimize your web presence Search Rankings

We’ll continue our exploration of various on-board capabilities within the WordPress.com CMS.

Including:

  • Site visibility, sharing and other basic content controls
  • User types and the “Publishing” workflow
  • DNS and EMail Aliases
  • Site Template selection and Customization
  • Making pages, manipulating menus
  • Making posts, proper tagging and categorization
  • Widgets and content navigation menus

Follow developments with us in Google+ or at www.cherryintermedia.com

Congratulations on your new Web Presence! Consider these thoughts.

Going from no Web Presence to a fully meshed site with blog and facebook / twitter feeds can feel like having a brain cramp.  But it can be very disruptive in your space.  We know how to help.
Going from no Web Presence to a fully meshed site with blog and facebook / twitter feeds can feel like having a brain cramp. But it can be very disruptive in your space. We know how to help.

An open letter based on dialogue with an agency we did some volunteer work for recently…

So! You registered a domain and directed traffic to a WordPress or Wix (wherever) website. Perhaps you’ve even built Facebook pages and are thinking about Twitter.

You’ve established a toe-hold in the process… consider these thoughts as you pursue development of your Web Presence.

If you’re an NGO/NPO — you’ll always need to design from the perspective of Succession Planning.  If you use personal tools, it will be clumsy to transition to the next volunteer or director.  Generic identities built upon email forwards and list management tools online like MailChimp.com or EventBrite.com are indispensable.

For an NGO / NPO – the identity of the franchise drives development of all of the web properties and this branding needs to be consistent across all aspects of internet tools.  NOT those of the leader — their personal style and character evaporate after they leave.

    • Facebook will require a bit of fitting before implementation and small bit of effort to connect, and then some instruction on publication / use.  There are some “agency” best practices operating for NGO/NPO — that helps answer the successor issue.  We shouldn’t be using personal page login credentials but be posting as the Page. — I know, confusing.
    • Learning the fundamentals of page and post attributes and using the media library, the CMS, and other page content / menu processes will require effort.
    • Content generation and refinement for the Static pages is not urgent, but it’s critical — long run. If your English isn’t excellent, you’ll want to find a good, fast copy editor.
    • If you’re considering a Twitter feed, same subset of issues as Facebook.
    • A weekly rhythm of posting should begin just prior to site “Launch”

In all these cases and others, the site needs to reflect your vision.

So, these Items require an investment of time.  Put in the hours that will result in a significantly disruptive change for you – something people will notice and be moved to follow.  Bear in mind, you’re moving from never operating a web presence to launching a really good one.

So what, in a nutshell, do you intend to accomplish with your site?  Begin with that clearly in view, and you’ll move the ball forward.

I know your schedule is cramped.  And as site owner, the initiative to push ahead / timeline is yours to manage.   A consultant can help!

Launch: At some point you’ll want to consider what kind of a “Launch” you want.

“soft launch” is normal — just go live (toggle out of sandbox mode) and circulate email.

But also, your launch could be optimized into a full-blown media blitz, with count-down clock culminating in cocktail hour and live event push with a tight focus on snagging followers / subscribers in the moment.  These can be really fun and generate buzz.

  • Embed an EventBrite widget sell tickets to fundraise — the app can be used to manage your email contacts list and capture new ones.
  • A couple of  months is a good planning horizon.

By the way, your launch method can be a combination / some measure of both.

Email campaigns – there is a whole range of list management and contact / relationship tools you should begin to incorporate – principally owing to your diligent consideration of successor planning in the NGO/NPO space.  Your personal contacts can’t be readily “handed off” — and retain any sense of history. This is an area you should find some time to address.  A consultant can help.

Conversely, it’s worth mentioning – by realizing these simple facts – that you haven’t spent a great deal of money, and very few even know you’ve begun. Therefore, if the bubble of work required to satisfactorily accomplish an attractive / professional presence isn’t feasible — you’re not harmed so much if you just let things go.

But you could be harmed if your site is launched and is full of errors (text, for instance – nothing is more off-putting to contributors and sponsors than poor use of English.)

In some cases – consultants are asked to use their experience / awareness of your context and best practices in your space to set things up.  Then folks live with it for a few seasons. A consult can be responsive to your needs and will / can continue to do so if you feed content to them, and help iterate improvements so that your vision is reflected.

We strongly suggest you find an intern / volunteer that can assume some or all of the content creation and maintenance aspects. Now is an excellent time to appoint that person into the role. Who within your membership has a son or daughter in HS or fresh out of college?

We hope you hit a home run with your effort.

Best $5 monthly fee we pay – just got better!

GHS - a suite of apps from email, to phone, calendar file share, webs, and multi-media.  Integrated. $5/mo.
GHS – a suite of apps from email, to phone, calendar file share, webs, and multi-media. Integrated. $5/mo.

Our solutions design process builds on free services. If needed we look at paying fees, we always aim for minimal expense.

So,we’ve had a policy — begin with Google Hosted services.

If for some reason clients can identify a legitimate reason the enterprise tools can’t work, or be extended… we’ll start looking at self-hosted or other combinations of services.

Well, in June Google announced that premium features will be added to basic accounts.  These new features go into effect in a few days.

This is the text of the “go live” announcement we received this morning:

Hello Administrators,

As we announced on June 16, the advanced capabilities and admin controls known as Google+ premium features will become standard for our existing business, government, and education customers. This change will take place the week of July 23.

After the change, these controls and capabilities will no longer be called premium features. The premium features setting will also be removed from the Admin console.

If you use Hangouts on Air (HOA), you might’ve noticed that enabling premium features disables HOA. To continue using HOA, just do one of the following:

Before July 23, proactively enable premium features for your domain, then re-enable HOA.

After premium features become the new default, enable HOA.
Visit the Google Apps Help Center to learn more about Google+ premium features.

The fees are minimal. $5/mo per account to start.  Amazing, right?

Okay but here’s something you should consider – Google is advancing the end-to-end messaging security thing.  Right now if you communicate within Google’s servers, your email is secure.  Our understanding is that it’s transparent — but message encryption/decryption is already in place.  That’s a big thing.

So if your enterprise is hosted at GHS, you’re starting from secure.   That’s step one.

Our Position on Oregon Hemp

Pot LeafPlease think about making a small donation to “New Approach Oregon”  (use this link or see the widget in the side bar at right.)

We support reforms that are aimed at regulation over criminalization.

We support policies aimed at treatment and recovery over those that drive incarceration.

We simply have to stop damaging families and lives.

Not users ourselves, but as devoted libertarian thinkers (notice the small “L”?) — we want government to tax and regulate — to cease wasting public treasure in the War on Drugs.  (Which we feel to be the biggest failed domestic policy — well — ever.)

Decriminalize pot and demilitarize our police.

Please don’t hesitate to ask us why we take this position.

Happening Today — Amazon Sumit

If you’re at all interested in “Where things are going”, Amazon is holding it’s AWS Summit in NYC this weekend.

Learn how IT is being removed from the business process — IT is being reshaped in the cloud….  AWS (Amazon Web Services) is a prism through which we can view our collective futures…

90 minutes you’d invest wisely — view the Keynote Address by Amazon.com Chief Technology Officer, Dr. Werner Vogels.

Event registration and resources here

 

 

5 Tips for Mining Your Contact List

Condensed from internet authority Noah Kagan:
A couple months ago John Corcoran, a former Clinton White House Writer, reached out on Twitter, then email, and then email again.

Despite all of the other emails we see asking for time, John cuts right through.

Here’s how he does it.

Five Tips:

1. Grease the Wheels Ahead of Time
2. Be Brief
3. Communicate How You Will Benefit THEM
4. Make It Fun
5. Find Things You Have in Common

InterwestIT agrees. Remaining in touch with your contacts other than by Social Media is essential.

Be the master of prospecting your contacts for new leads by following those rules but also by using a re-mailing service — that has some kind of contact management built-in.

Some of these are MailChimp.com, Constant Contact. Our advice is try the free version. Most will permit you to upload segments of your contact list by ASCII text file. Try them, see what happens.

Social Collaboration in the Agile Age

Engaging collaborators in the Agile Age -- requires fluent Social Media skill
Engaging collaborators in the Agile Age — requires fluent Social Media skill

Read with interest an article published on how Social Media has affected collaboration among Software Developer communities.

It’s being called the “Agile Age.”

What’s interesting to me is that it’s been my experience that the methods used by developers and engineers eventually percolate down to the rest of us.  For instance, in the 80’s as an engineer myself, I was utterly dependent on BBS (Bulletin Board Systems) for support.  And then BBS’s showed up in all sorts of places — Gardening communities, Radio Controlled Model Airplane nuts, every area of interest had one.

And I can see some of this happening again in Social Media– as a consultant, I’m ever more aware that my work depends upon diverse resources, near-instant responses and all of this across a variety of appliances (from desktops to tablets and phones.)

Social Media and Responsive webs are making this all possible.