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Recent Comments

Recent Comments

"This is a really interesting post, and one a lot of folks should consider when revealing their entire lives to Facebook. I saw this article on Friday May 20th, 2010 - in the Economist magazine. "Executives at Facebook met to decide whether they should simplify the 170 privacy options on the social-networking website amid growing unease about the public availability of users’ personal information." Here is a link to the full article. http://www.economist.com/business-finance/displaystory.cfm?story_id=16167766 " Read more
by Neil on Facebook - Is Your Privacy At Risk?



Posted by: April Ettere on 11/10/2020 | 0 Comments

 I know you’ve seen those little orange thingies on websites. You know, it’s square and looks like it is emitting radio waves. Here is what one looks like:

What is an RSS Feed?

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”. Web feeds benefit publishers by letting them syndicate content automatically (i.e. blog postings, press releases, videos, podcasts, vblogs, etc). They benefit readers who want to subscribe to timely updates from favored websites or to aggregate feeds from many sites into one place. If you are a person who regularly uses the internet to get information you’re probably very familiar with the value of an RSS feed. If you not that familiar.... read on!

Benefits of an RSS feed

Plain and simple - RSS makes it super easy to receive content automatically. The information can comes to you in your Outlook inbox, or in your “RSS Reader” - which may already be built into your web browser. An RSS Feed can streamline your “information gathering”. It can deliver information that is spam-free, and you don't have to provide your email address or personal information. You can also unsubscribe from the RSS Feed at any time. Additionally, the information you receive is the most current, you have total control of what you want to subscribe to and it will save you a huge amount of time surfing the internet.

Here’s an example of how it works

Jane has 10 different websites that she trusts to get factual, up-to-date information about her community, food prices, special sales, community events, etc. She uses this information to make both small and large decisions for her family and to stay “tuned in”. Instead of Jane going to each of those 10 websites individually and getting the information, she can use a Feed Reader. A Feed Reader (or aggregator) will combine multiple RSS Feeds into one browser or web page. MS Outlook, Google, and Web Browsers (like Internet Explorer and Firefox) offer RSS tools integrated right into their programs. Cool, huh? So now all Jane has to do is access her Feed Reader and she has content from all 10 websites in 1 place – and the feed comes in within minutes of being posted. Think of it as having 10 of your favorite magazines or newspapers delivered to your front door step, with ONLY the articles and information you are interested in. And NO ink stains from going through the pages.

Create Your Feed Reader

As mentioned earlier in this blog post, most web browser and email software offer an RSS reader built in or as an “add-on”. If you use Internet Explorer, the feed reader is built in. It can be found on the top menu under View > Explorer Bar > Feeds. In Microsoft Outlook, an RSS Feeds folder can keep all of your feeds in one place and it is located in your Mail folders. Likewise, Firefox has numerous “add ons” like RSS Ticker, Sage, Beatnik and BlogRovr that consolidate all of your feeds. Plus, Safari has an RSS reader built in that can be set up just like readers in Internet Explorer, Outlook and Firefox. If you are having trouble setting up your reader, you can either ask your grandchild for help (for the older crowd) or simply use the help menu.

News aggregation websites

There are many websites that combine news related information for you. Some examples are: Drudge Report, Google News, CNBC, Fox News, etc. It’s possible to find sites that even cater to a certain sector of the population – liberal, conservative, male, female, sports, agriculture, etc. All this being said, can you now see how beneficial a Feed Reader can be?

Are There Drawbacks of Feeds & Readers?

Of course. Some people may prefer to get email updates from their information sources. Sometimes images and graphics don’t get displayed in some Feed Readers. The identity of some RSS Feeds are hard to determine because the url address may not be the same as the website it is coming from. Further, not all websites offer RSS Feeds for their content.

To Feed Read or Not To Feed Read

The choice is yours. The internet and all of the associated applications and websites offer users a multitude of options to access information. Whether you like to read the newspaper or “surf the net”, choices abound that can both be informative and efficient. Your call.

Posted by: April Ettere on 8/20/2020 | 0 Comments

Picture This will be conducting an upgrade to our Core Server on Tuesday, August 22, 2020 – between the hours of 2 am and 3 am EDT. The upgrade will be performed regionally and will include local U.S. and international clients.

Posted by: April Ettere on 6/20/2020 | 0 Comments

Does your website have a business blog? Business blogging gives your company a powerful way to communicate to prospects, customers or people who want to learn more information about your company’s products and services. Anyone from the CEO to the Marketing Department to Research and Development can share their expertise, analysis or forecasts with a very large audience on the internet (visualize anyone in the world with a computer and internet access). An RSS feed can be added to your business blog so that someone can subscribe and get current information delivered to their RSS Feed Reader as soon as a new post is added to the blog. See our previous blog posting - What is an RSS Feed, and How Can You Use One to Your Advantage?

Whatever you decide to do, there are numerous ways to “dress up” your blog. Blogging is a great way to build your brand, share your expertise and drive traffic to your website. If you are already business blogging, kudos to you!! What I want to share with you today is to how to put a little “BLING” in your blog.

Let’s start with the design of the template or CSS stylesheet. Make sure your colors are aesthetically pleasing. There are many websites and blog services that have stock templates and CSS stylesheets to choose from for your business blog. If your budget allows, you may consider having a professional graphic designer help with the design. This is very important!! 

 Don’t forget to smile! – adding a smiley face can put a little fun into your blog posting. There are many styles to choose from. Just do a search and use them as you deem necessary. Graphics such as colorful images can be added to give some added effect to your blog. Make sure they are consistent with the content of the blog posting. Edge effects can be added but make sure the placement of the graphic flows with the verbiage. Be cognizant of image’s size and width.

Another technique is using enlarged and colored fonts. Using bold letters will draw people’s eyes immediately as well as writing in Italics. Using different colored fonts is a way of accessorizing your words.

Adding icons, badges and buttons are a good way to show respect for different organizations or groups that your company supports.

Adding a short video into or even a link to a video, can “jazz up” your blog posting by giving it some movement and aesthetic appeal.

Some bloggers have even been known to add a podcast or “audio file” to a blog posting. It’s one thing to read what someone has to write, but listening to the blogger’s voice may be an appealing change of pace from reading a blog post.

Do you want to get a little more mileage for your blog? Add a social bookmarking website link. Consider using this option (occasionally) to only your best blog posts so that anyone who is impressed by the posting can immediately post it to one of the many social bookmarking sites.

There are many to choose from and the link would look something similar to this: you are having trouble coming up with something to blog about, consider using your blog to:

Communicate a new product/service announcement (make sure you are not doing a sales

Mix in a press release about your company

Write about positive feedback from a customer/client

Talk about Charities and Non-Profits that you are passionate about

People overwhelmingly prefer to do business with others they know and like. Keep your business blog professional and avoid topics that may be controversial or ones you wouldn’t discuss at church in a mixed crowd. A business blog will not solve your business problems, make you a millionaire or get you a date with a famous Hollywood actor (unless you are REALLY lucky). However, it will add a new feature to your website, strengthen your overall business strategy and create new relationships with your readers as well as reinforce existing relationships.

So, back to my original point; what is your blog wearing? Does it look like casual, business casual or professional (Think blue jeans, khakis or Italian suit)? Put a little “bling” into whichever type of business blog you have and you may notice increased readership, more comments and even more sales of your products/services. Well, what are you waiting on?

Let the Bling begin!!

Posted by: April Ettere on 6/6/2020 | 0 Comments

The allure and attractiveness of social media rage continues maintain its build up. At a recent meeting of the New York chapter of the Business Marketing Association, the talk was all about extending brand reputation. However, according to our research, only about 20% of marketers and agencies are able to calculate an ROI on the social media investment. Clearly some companies have been able to leverage social media to make significant and dramatic success in selling their products, Best Buys comes to mind. However, for many companies, the jump into Social Media can end-up taking quite a bit of time and investment from a company – and the ROI may not be easily discern able. But, that does not mean that social media activities are not working or beneficial.

While social media should Social Media - Facebook Photo considered as part of the promotional mix, an overall evaluation of a company’s objectives, target audience, staffing and budget needs careful consideration. Interestingly, we recently read that traditional business-to-business ad spending is expected to decline by about 8% in the coming year, but that online ad spending is expected to increase by 5.5% in 2019. In contrast, in 20 online spending had actually dropped 4.6 percent versus the previous year. Bottom line - good research and evaluation of the right “e-business” marketing mix is a must.

Posted by: April Ettere on 3/20/2020 | 0 Comments

 Okay, I can hear you thinking “what is healthy about playing online games”? According to comScore, in the United States alone there are more than 190 million people who play or have played online games. That’s only in the US. Worldwide the number is much higher.

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