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Archive for August, 2009

Useful Tools – Adobe BrowserLab

As a developer working with Mac OS X, I run into the occasional wall when it comes to cross-browser compatibility. It isn’t easy running Internet Explorer in OS X. I’ve tried using Parallels to run Windows and OS X side by side, but the slowdown was unacceptable. Until recently, I had been using the Browsershots website (http://www.browsershots.org) to look at screenshots of our pages in each browser. Browsershots is good – and slow. On average I waited 5 minutes to see a set of screenshots. A CSS discrepancy could take an hour to fix. I needed a faster way of viewing my pages in IE.

Descriptive Language

I’m working on a project at the moment for another artist and I am struck by how easy it is to get a vision for a project when the person I am working for has the ability to put ideas into words I understand. Are artists any different than accountants or salesmen. Why do we use different words? As I thought about it I immediately began recalling all the times I’ve been told that something needs to be different without much explanation to back it up. Every freelancer would agree – this drives us crazy sometimes. So what can we do about it?

How do you reach Alex?

Whether you choose to believe it or not, there is a monumental shift taking place in marketing. Technology and the internet has changed the way people communicate and connect.

Take the case of an average 22 year old – I’ll call him Alex.

Put Your Web Audience Under the Microscope

Market research and consumer studies have for long been the beacons for marketers, offering enlightening information on buying patterns, seasonal highs and lows, effectiveness of retail store layout, factors affecting promotions or discount offers, and so on. With the explosion of online users worldwide, several thousand businesses face the challenge of not knowing what their customers really want, how to anticipate their actions and therefore, how to encourage desired actions, i.e. conversions. The related enigma is how to deliver and meet online customer expectations before and much better than the competition can.

Google Includes Sitelinks for Sites That Are Not Ranked #1

Sitelinks are those extra links that often appear under the Top search in Google. They provide links to other relevent pages for a site. Until recently, Google was only displaying these for the top listings. However, we are now starting to see Sitelinks for mulitple listings below the #1 position.

Get Your Face on Page ONE of Google

Google continues to make changes in their search results and most of the changes are very beneficial to businesses and individuals that are engaged in search engine marketing.

One such change is a recently added a feature to allow you to get your picture on Page One of their search results. Everyone is Googling other people these days – employers, friends, neighbors, prospects, etc. Unfortunately, if you Google yourself you’ll find thousands of results and you’re probably buried on page 10.

Top 13 Things Small Businesses Can Do This Week

A few weeks ago I blogged on social media for small businesses and where to start – read it here. My basic point was to make sure the rest of your house is in order before jumping in. Today, I’m assuming that your business already has a successful web presence and is effectively using email marketing. Now you’re ready to jump on the Social Media bandwagon.

Social Media & Small Business – Where to Start?

At least once a day, someone asks me a question about Social Media. It’s the buzz about business and marketing circles. Social media wasn’t a big deal a few years ago, but it became a hot topic when the masses got on board. Now, the eyeballs are online – people are reading blogs, twittering, stumbling upon stuff and checking their Facebook. There’s no arguing the buzz and rapid growth in social media. Facebook alone has over 175 million users and is growing at an estimated 5 million users per week.

Logo Labor Pains

Here’s the inside story of the evolution one of WSI’s recent logo designs.

Once upon a time (earlier this year), the beautiful Heritage Park Amphitheater was born in Simpsonville, SC. And so, it needed a logo. They showed us some ideas of what they wanted, and we did our research. The venue itself wasn’t built yet, so all we had to go on was renderings of the stage and some words like “colorful”.