Computer Repair and Website Development Services Article

Steve was featured in the Business and Technology section of the Danville Advocate Messenger on July 2nd. It was a great article overall!

Danville Kentucky Computer Repair and Web Development Services Announcement

Of course I was listed as being “from” Casey County, while he was listed as being a native of Danville, Kentucky — born and bred.

Yes, I now live in Casey County, Kentucky on my little farm in my little cabin, but that was by choice, not by birth. Since I graduated from Danville High School too, and was also born in the local hospital (Ephraim McDowell), the same as Steve — he gave me crap about being a foreigner. Oh well. At least it amuses him. :)

The article did a great job of articulating our individual work: His work with computer repair services in Central Kentucky and my work developing web content and my copywriting services for clients nationwide. It also covered our mutual work in custom website development and Internet marketing/SEO services which is available to individuals and businesses in our local, central Kentucky region as well as our collaborative work with businesses on each coast and scattered in all states and areas in between.

Thank you, Stephanie Mojica. You did a great job!

3 Cool Email Tools: Google Labs

Google Lab Treats Email Users Right!I love my Google Apps account. Granted, I fret over how much Google knows about me… but I’m beginning to accept that the concept of “privacy” as I knew it growing up no longer exists. With that disclaimer firmly in place at the beginning of this blog, I’ll skip merrily along and share three great finds for email over on Google Labs with you (and a few bonus ones for Google chat users!)

Get Labs Stuff For Yourself

To access Google Lab goodies for your own Google Apps Email account, simply sign into your email, click the “gear” icon in the upper right hand corner and select “settings.” When the settings page appears, go to the FARRRRRR right upper tab and select “Labs.”

Presto, you are there and now you can skip about too — enabling this and that and the other thing to your heart’s content. Personally, I think these are the best options at the moment:

Top Three Wicked Google Labs Picks for Email

Preview Pane – a toggle switch that lets you see the list of emails you have, or a preview pane (a la “outlookish” style).

RIght Side Chat – I burn up my Google chat, but that dancing up and down thing at the bottom of the left hand column makes me nuts. This moves the entire chat window over to the far right column so it’s dance-free. :) (Note: I also use “Pictures in Chat,” “SMS in Chat,” and “Green Robot” to improve my chat experience — the first shows a mugshot of me and my chat partner, the second one lets me send and receive SMS messages from my contacts (so I don’t have to get up from my computer to go find the phone when I need to send one) and the latter lets me know if the people I’m trying to reach are at their computer or on their android device. These aren’t actually “email” labs, but I still wanted to share them.) 

Unread Message Icon – a super simple, really useful add-on that places a number of unread messages on the favicon found on the tab containing my email browser window. At a glance I can tell if any new messages have arrived without all those nasty “pop-up” notification things that make me nuts and interrupt my train of thought.

Let me know if I’ve skipped one that YOU find invaluable! (Comments always make me happy!)

 

My Collection of the Best Twitter Tools

I’ve been collecting a host of twitter tools for a blog entry for some time now. Although this is not an exhaustive list, it may be enough to help expand the usefullness of one of my favorite social media platforms. Check them out for yourself:

Twitter search – Want to look for particular terms (or your own name, brand or competition) on twitter? This is the tool!

Twitter Fan Wiki: Apps – Want to find the best of the twitter platform apps for your own use, check out this exhaustive list.

Twitter alerts: TweetBeep – Would you like an email when someone on twitter mentions you or your products or your company — or even your favorite topic? This is the tool… but beware, too-general terms will overflow your inbox in minutes!

Twitter pictures: TwitPic - Expand the platform from 140 characters to include photos with this service.

Tweet from Firefox: TwitBin – If you love Firefox as much as I do, and would like to twitter directly from there, try this addon.

Tweet-grid – Select a handful of topics you would like to follow and create a browser-based grid to hold them all. I tested this during the election and found it to be quite useful.

Twitter directory – get listed here and find people with similar interests!

Prettify your twitter – grab a twitter background to rise above the norm.

Twitter hashtags – a way to group specific keywords/topics when trying to stay on top of twitter speak.

Tweet clouds – ever wonder what you tweet about most often? Find out!

Twitter cost – once you start following some of the bigger names, you may find that you don’t have the time to read all those microposts. Check the guy/gal here before committing to a follow — or do a vanity check on yourself. Are you worth the cost? Are they? (Also shows the political index of any twitter user.)

And, if all this talk of Twitter is like Greek to you, try Jason Hiner’s excellent Twitter article as your intro to this platform. It’s from May of this year, but is a great starting place for those new to twitter or twit-wanna-bes.

I’d welcome any additions to this list, so tell me what you guys use!

(Note: Bluebird photo courtesy of gracey of morguefile.com)

Ubiquity: This tool is better than cloning yourself!

Ubiquity, by definition, means being everywhere (or at least seeming to be everywhere) at once. That’s the dream I’ve tried to fulfill for decades. Now, even though I’m more about “slowing down” and taking life a bit easier — I’m still a stress-monger when I’m online.

When I’m on the web, I always juggle a dozen things (at least) at any given time. So when I find a tool that promises some relief… I’ll take it!

I find that my online workstyle is a bit schizophrenic — I’m so many different people, going in so many different directions. The problem is compounded now that I’m participating in several social networking groups. It’s hard to get all the different versions of me synthesized back into a single entity once my workday is over.

Life seems a bit fractured. Between you and me, carrying an iPhone everywhere doesn’t help, but I won’t eliminate that complication — I’m addicted. :D

A new Foxfire addon, Ubiquity, promises to whittle away at my problem. And the way it does it — by using standard language commands to do a whole slew of tasks online from inside your browser window — is simply awe-inspiring!

With a shortcut command (the standard is alt-space, but you can set it to anything you like), a grease-monkey overlay pops up and you can use plain language to do what you want. Like… “Twitter I’m testing Ubiquity and am loving it!” and it updates your twitter. Ditto for the steps to update Facebook. Other platforms are probably planned for the future.

I’m still just testing this little gem, but so far, I’m loving it. It’s still under development. It’s free. And, it promises to be just one more reason that I’ll never give up Firefox.

The only thing that I don’t like is that it’s still limited to Google Calendar and Google Mail for the quick launch apps (and I’m using Google Apps which doesn’t play the same way.) Learn more on the Ubiquity Wiki. Then download Ubiquity and try it for yourself!

Why Web Entrepreneurs Need Social Networking

Being “sociable” on the web can have huge payoffs. Provider-customer communications have never been more important. In the old face-to-face days, small business owners maintained a manageable number of extremely loyal clients, all of whom were accustomed to seeing the small business owner in person.

If customers had a concern, a question, a request or a problem — the business owner was there, in person, to work it out.

Social networking and web 2.0 (yeah, I know, I’m tired of those phrases too) are high tech tools offering new delivery platforms to achieve this classic caliber of old-time service.

  • Loyal customers develop as a result of good relationships. (Give someone a bad experience when they are buying products or services, without remedy, and they will probably not come back.)
  • If you have a relationship and there is a problem and you FIX the problem personally, they will not only come back, they will love you for going “above and beyond.” This scenario will build loyalty more than a flawless experience.
  • They will talk about you. If you give excellent service or exceedingly poor service, your customers will tell others. That word-of-mouth advertising will make or break your business — especially online.

Social networking helps you to build strong, personal relationships with potential and existing clients, even though you may never meet them “face-to-face.” The new social tools permit personal interaction even before the first sale. It also offers an amazing built-in referral network.

If you aren’t currently participating, consider broadening your horizons. Select one or two platforms from the major players, fill out your profile page and join in the conversation.

Quit being a wall-flower at the Internet dance!

(NOTE: photo courtesy of Clarita at MorgueFile.com)