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!

 

Ad Injection Malware Removal — Mac

It's not often, but you sometimes see "Warnings" like this.  Once installed into your computer, these software agents can be very, very dangerous.  BEWARE!

It’s not often, but you sometimes see “Warnings” like this. Once installed into your computer, these software agents can be very, very dangerous.
BEWARE!

This has come up several times recently — complaints like:  “I get so many ‘Popup Ads’ I can’t use my computer anymore..”

Visit this link: http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT6506

Ad-injection software is advertising-supported software that can come from third-party download sites. Software you download from such sites may have been customized to install both the software you want and the ad-injection software. If your Mac has ad-injection software installed, you might see pop-up windows, ads, and graphics while surfing the web, even if “Block pop-up windows” is selected in Safari preferences. Ad-injection software might also change your homepage and preferred search engine.

Have you downloaded software from third-party providers lately?

Be careful out there!  If you have questions, it’s always best to phone or email us first.  Our policy is to answer basic questions for free. “Snappy answers to silly questions” (remember the MAD Comic?) are our specialty, and there is no charge.  Why not ask first instead of suffering the consequences later?

URL Redirects – Important links during Web Presence migrations

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management -- and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

New versions of Web Presence engines focus on content management — and are improving the means of adding, adapting and publishing meaningful information to your viewers.

We are in a season of Web Presence upgrades.  For those operating self-hosted sites with WordPress.org, you should be aware of the recent release of the WordPress 4.0 site engine / CSS.

Matt Mullenweg <m@wordpress.org> circulated the following announcement the other day…

Just a few days ago, we released WordPress 4.0 “Benny” which has already been downloaded almost three-and-a-half million times! This release includes major improvements to the plugin directory, a much more pleasant environment to write in, with better embed support and an auto-expanding editor, and finally media has been made more functional and beautiful.

http://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/

The reasons to upgrade are compelling … see those at the link above.

Anyway — if your upgrade means a complete web migration — you’re replacing a legacy site altogether — you’ll have issues with URL’s.  Here are some things to note.

If you have analytics data you should use it to design page titles in your new site.   If you don’t there are some other tools you can use that will help you anticipate the best keywords. (Ask us?)

Designing the page titles is important, but not critical — just realize that you can re-word these things as time passes.

But what about all of the existing SEO results that point to your old pages?  In your new site you should be able to install what are known as URL redirects.  These accept traffic from the old URL and “land” those visitors on the new page.

Be sure you have analytics operating in the new site.  You’ll be able to see which URL’s are being visited, but importantly — you ‘ll also be able to identify old URL’s that you need to provide redirects for.

On preparing ahead … the reality of Hemp industries

Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change.  Is your business positioning itself to benefit?

Government thirst for tax revenue drives political change. Is your business positioning itself to benefit?

Owing to past reflection on the subject of Hemp Business in this blog … it’s perhaps time to assess the process as we watch the required legislative changes taking place.  If you’ve been under a rock the past 24 months, you might not be aware that states (Oregon is one) are moving toward regulation over criminalization.  The ramifications are huge.

Hemp is the Gold Rush of the early 2000’s

In the IT world — we’re not concerned with growing, or refining or distribution or sales / consumption.  But we are excited about the enabling infrastructure and unique high-tech needs the industry will develop.  A few of these:

  • Smart Environmental Controls — being able to adjust lighting, HVAC and other critical components.   These are 24×7 and alerts will flow to Smart Phones where apps will permit tuning the facility on the fly.  These subsystems require everything from cabling and terminations, to Wireless hotspots and monitoring and maintenance, updates and all of the usual “computer” help.
  • Security — Placement of cameras, networks, other sensors and the alerts, responses and documentation that flows from these systems will require servers, storage and cloud services.
  • Marketing — Websites and community forums will emerge, but eventually so also considerable E-Commerce.   We hope Amazon and Ebay get ahead of the curve.

In summary, if your business has a footprint in these areas (and many more) you’re in position to benefit from legislative changes that are on the horizon.   If not, or your politics or “ethics” prevent  your professional consideration of the facts … that legalization is immanent … then that just leaves so much more for the rest of us.

We know that this moves ahead for one simple reason — Government is never without thirst for tax revenue.  If reform is required, politicians will eventually get behind it.

What are your thoughts?  How are you positioning your business to catch some of the wind driving “Sails” in Hemp business?

 

 

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

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.