Archive for June, 2011

Weekly Tech Roundup – June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Weekly Tech Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for technical things and one for small business things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting tech articles I found this week. Enjoy!

ICANN opens the domain floodgates – There were a ton of articles on the new top-level domains (TLDs) this week. Kind of exciting but not really useful for small businesses. Unless you have $185,000 lying around. And another $25,000 per year to maintain it.

Useful Resources, Tools and Services for Web Designers – An extremely comprehensive list. One of the reasons I love Smashing Magazine!

Five Useful Interactive CSS/jQuery Techniques Deconstructed – The five are: Extruded Text Effect, Animating A Background Image, Mega Dropdown, Animated Slideshow Navigation, and Animated Icons. Complete with explanations, code samples, and demos!

What Kind of Maintenance Do I Need to Do on My Windows PC? and What Kind of Maintenance Do I Need to Do on My Mac? – Great suggestions for both Mac and PC.

Popuload for Adobe Photoshop – This is a really fun idea! Have you ever had to sit and wait for Photoshop to process something? During these times I usually pull up my browser and try to read a quick article. Popuload is an RSS reader for inside Photoshop! Whenever the loading/processing bar appears in PS, Popuload appends a window with your RSS feed content for the duration of the processing time. Only for Mac, so I’ll still have to pull up my browser for now.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Have a great weekend!

Weekly Small Business Roundup – June 24, 2011

Friday, June 24th, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

5 More Handy Web Apps To Save You Time At Work – There are some slick apps here. I have used Dummy Image before and I’m super excited to try out Show Me What’s Wrong. Do you have any nifty apps you can add to the list?

5 Ways to Win on Price – Awesome pricing tips. Pricing can be really hard, especially pricing a service. These suggestions should give you the confidence you need to price accurately and back it up if a customer questions your rate.

How do you know when it’s done? – The shortest and best article all week. I know I needed to hear it this week, particularly this part:

Good enough, for those that seek perfection, is what we call it when it’s sufficient to surpass the standards we’ve set. Anything beyond good enough is called stalling and a waste of time.

Email Etiquette Rules and Twitter Etiquette Rules: Are You Breaking Them? – If you’ve been emailing for 10 or 15 years you may think you’ve got it down. But do you break any of these etiquette rules? They may seem obvious but you’d be surprised! The Twitter etiquette rules are a little less obvious but just as important. A must read if you’re just getting started with Twitter.

77 Percent of Small Business Owners Love What They Do: Do You? – I think this is very true! I know I work harder, longer hours with less monetary reward (for now) but I don’t regret it one bit! Great little article.

The Perfect 7-Step Plan To Boost Daily Productivity – You know I love productivity tips! These are excellent suggestions. Nothing new, but good reminders.

Shift Your Mindset, Save Your Business – Or, 5 steps to turn your business around when revenue slows down. Great tips if you are struggling with your business. They’ll help keep you motivated.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Tech news is up next. Have a great weekend!

Weekly Tech Roundup – June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Weekly Tech Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for technical things and one for small business things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting tech articles I found this week. Enjoy!

Top 10 PIN Codes Picked by iPhone Users – Please, please, please tell me you’re not using any of these codes! And I mean for anything, not just for locking your phone. As the article suggests, there are other ways of securing your phone so as to not make it an easy target.

15 surefire ways to speed up your site – A comprehensive list of tricks for decreasing your website’s load time, complete with examples and resources. All are great techniques.

How to back up your Firefox about:config settings – If you like to tinker with your Firefox settings to get your browser “just so,” you might want to take a look at this article so you can backup your custom configuration. Great if you need to reinstall on your existing machine or a quick and easy way to set up a new machine.

A Comprehensive Website Planning Guide – I still haven’t finished reading this (it’s super long) but I can tell it’s a necessity. It covers why it’s important to plan your website project and all of the things you might possibly need in your website. Okay, I’m sure it doesn’t cover everything but they were extremely thorough, walking through everything from the planning stage to post-launch.

64yourself – A little fun to close the Roundups today. This is a Commodore 64 emulator using HTML5 canvas. Try it out!

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Have a great weekend!

Weekly Small Business Roundup – June 17, 2011

Friday, June 17th, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

Summer vacation eludes many entrepreneurs – Are you planning to take a vacation this summer? I don’t have any plans to but I usually take a few days here and there. My vacations usually involve hockey so my “big” vacations come in the fall or winter. Some interesting stats from the article regarding small business owner vacation time:

  • 46 per cent of U.S. small business owners are planning to take a summer vacation of at least a full week this year
  • 27 per cent say they “feel guilty” for taking a vacation
  • a third […] said they feared clients and customers would not receive the level of service they are used to while the owners were on vacation
  • nearly a quarter felt they would miss an important business opportunity while they were away from the office

Yikes! I hope you’re not neglecting your sanity and health because you think your business can’t survive without you. Even if you are a solopreneur, your clients will understand if you take some time off now and then.

June checkup can help ensure your firm is healthy – It’s time for the mid-year review! How is your business looking so far in 2011? What can you change to increase efficiency and cut costs? This is a great time to take a step back and look at your first half results and adjust your plans (if necessary) for the second half of the year.

5 Quick Ways To Get Your Creative Juices Flowing – Most people know what gets their creativity flowing. If your usual tricks aren’t working or you want to try something new, check out the suggestions in this article. My top 3 are gardening, a power nap, and washing the dishes. Those seem to give me great ideas or give my brain the break it needs to get back on track. And, of course, we always get great ideas in the shower!

5 Ways to Improve Your Email Newsletter So People Will Read It – Some very interesting tips and insight into improving your newsletter. If you use a service like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or MadMimi, you should have reports and tracking information on how your newsletters perform with your readers. It would be interesting to see if and how implementing these strategies changes your results.

19 apps to boost concentration – A thorough list of tools and apps to help you focus. I use Focus Booster when I need to concentrate on a task and I remember I have it. I might have to give Meditation Timer a try, too.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Next up is tech news. Have a great weekend!

Weekly Tech Roundup – June 10, 2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Weekly Tech Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for technical things and one for small business things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting tech articles I found this week. Enjoy!

10 useful .htaccess snippets to have in your toolbox – If your website runs on the Apache web server, these are some tweaks you can take advantage of. Unless you run your own web server, double-check with your hosting provider before trying to implement any of these. I know a lot of providers have many of these as options in their control panels.

IPv6 Guide for Home Users and Small Business – This is one of the better articles on IPv6 I’ve seen geared toward home and small business users. If you’re still wondering what the heck I’ve been talking about with IPv6 the past couple weeks, this is the article for you. It talks about the areas you need to look at and briefly describes each one (networked devices, website, mail, DNS). Make sure you also check out Test IPv6, linked in the article, to see if you and your Internet provider are ready to go.

Reader Poll: Is your company ready for IPv6? – These results aren’t good. As of this posting, 40.22% of respondents answered “No,” 38.04% “I Don’t Know,” and only 21.74% “Yes.” For the record, my answer was yes. :)

FontDeals – Smashing Magazine said it is like Groupon for Fonts. If you love fonts, this is a great way to get a whole slew of fonts for cheap. The site says they hope to offer 4-6 bundles per year. I didn’t see any fonts I had to have, but I’ll definitely be watching. There are 13 days left on the deal so you have time to decide. No way to sign up for notifications, though.

Bacon Ipsum – Designers and developers that are familiar with “lorem ipsum” will surely get a kick out of this web tool. It’s the same idea, a text generator for placeholder text. But this has an interesting twist: it’s all about meat! Not quite as versatile as some, but you can choose the number of paragraphs to include and if you want “all meat” or “meat and filler.” There’s also an option to start with “Bacon ipsum dolor sit amet…”

About Obsolete Features in HTML5 – A quick article on how obsolete features are handled in HTML5. Might be a relief if you are taking a rather old website and updating it. You don’t have to worry about the pickiness of XHTML.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Have a great weekend!

Weekly Small Business Roundup – June 10, 2011

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Weekly Small Business Roundup

I read a lot of blogs. I subscribe to a lot more blogs than I have time to read. Sound familiar? If you're like me, you don't have time to read everything you want (if you do, please tell me your secret). In an effort to reduce the chaos of life, I do two weekly article roundups: one for small business things and one for technical things.

Here's a roundup of the most interesting small business articles I found this week. Enjoy!

Chris Brogan on How to Build Deeper Relationships With Your Customers Online – I couldn’t have said this better myself. Your website is your “home base” and your social networks are “outposts.” That’s a great way to look at it. I like to think of a website as being the solid foundation holding all of the pieces together. A nice list of tips, but probably the key is to spend 30 minutes a day on your social networks. Most folks can find 30 minutes, especially if it could boost your business.

Internet tax push gains currency – With Dick Durbin’s Main Street Fairness Act, Congress is pushing for an Internet sales tax. It would allow the states (and DC) that currently have a state sales tax to collect from out-of-state retailers. Some states, like Washington, have a use tax for items you buy from outside the state where you did not pay sales tax. Most individuals and companies don’t comply, though. What are your thoughts on an Internet tax?

Building An Effective ‘Coming Soon’ Page For Your Product – This could really go in either Roundup, but I’ve picked Small Business because it’s more about strategy and branding than about the technical aspects of doing. This article talks about why you need a teaser page for a new product or service, how to put one together, and how to spread the word.

Promoting Your Small Business Blog: An OPEN Forum Guide – Your first priority should be really useful content because it won’t matter how many visitors you get if you don’t have anything worth reading. This is a simple, but effective guide to help you boost your blog readership.

How Entrepreneurs Can Conquer Fear of Selling – Back in my early technical support days I was working on a weekend where we had to act as both support and sales. I was on the phone with a new customer, getting them set up, and I commented that while I had very good technical skills I wasn’t a very good sales person. He corrected me and said that I was actually an extremely good sales person because I knew the product inside and out and I had excellent customer service skills. I’ve thought of that often since then because that’s really all sales is! You know your products and services better than anyone, so how are your customer service skills? This article has some tips to help you out.

If you enjoy these Roundups please share with your friends!

Next up is tech news. Have a great weekend!