Thursday, December 2, 2010

How did you hear about us?


The world of philanthropy has been something that the wealthy and socially elite have practiced for many years. The layperson or those who simply were not aware of the many different social causes were not active participants. Currently fund raising is $23,000,000,000 business and some of that may be attributed to the introduction of technology and its capabilities in aiding social causes and those who head the events that promote those causes. A whole new world, or rather "virtual world" has evolved and now a greater number of individuals are able to easily be reached through various social networks and websites.

"Grass root" fund raisers to well known non-profit organizations have benefited from this technology exponentially. Social networks such as facebook and MySpace have brought awareness to individual and community events simply by spreading information through a network of friends and relatives. Larger organizations have utilized website enhancement agencies, such as "Tork", to increase their level of visiblity and have ultimately gained more contributory attention due to the ability to make a charitable contribution with just a few clicks. These new capabilities has changed the face of altruism and have made it a more widely practiced activity within our societies. How can that be a bad thing? There will always be someone in need so why not utilize the most effective and effortless techniques available to help them. So I ask again...How did you hear about us?

Guest Blog Author: Dorothy Gotte

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Facebook Email Scam Beware!

A while ago we blogged about a Facebook email scam that talks about a password reset, I just want to make sure people know that it’s still out there and has changed just a little.

I just received an email with the subject line "Facebook Support. Your account is temporarily blocked. ID798" Now if this had to come to my email account that is actually linked to my Facebook account I probably wouldn’t have been suspicious. However, the email account that this email came to is NOT linked to any facebook account.

It looks like the sender was "Facebook Support [managers.nr.296@facebook.com]" and has an attached zip file called "Facebook_document_Nr9198.zip".

DO NOT OPEN THE ATTACHMENT!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Premature "Post"ulation

Yes we have all been there. We get caught up in the moment, all ramped up, and before we can even think about it we do it at the worst possible time. That's right, we post something on facebook, twitter, or our blog when our emotions are on overdrive. It's not until later that we realize the error of our ways and severely regret what we posted prematurely.

We as humans have always had the ability to fly off the handle and say things that we later regret. In the past though we only had to worry about the people in the room hearing our demented rantings. Then with the invention of email and cell phones we needed to worry about sending emails or texts to people we know with our off-the-wall antics. As technology progressed it has given us the opportunity to send these messages around the world in an instant. It's much more difficult to take back or appologize for thoughts that we put out there without thinking them through all the way. This gives all the more reason why we should wait until we cool off before posting our opinions.

That being said, we've all made the mistake of premature "post"ulation. What now? Do we delete the post knowing that half of the free world has already read it and judged us for our heat of the moment opinions? Do we post an explanation of our irrational thinking of our post? Or do you just wait until you run into people and sheepishly explain what happened?

What do you think? What approach have you taken when you've made this mistake?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

HUG2010: Who's your MoFu?

No No we are not trying to be inappropriate. At HubSpot they have coined the term MoFu to represent the middle of the funnel. This session was a discussion on how to take leads and turn them into conversions. I have found this sessions to be the most entertaining session by far. The whole session related lead nurturing to the process of dating. The typical sales funnel takes:

Visitors -> Leads -> Customers

The dating funnel takes:

People you meet -> Dates -> Marriage

At HubSpot they also get very excited about data and statistics, also known as data "porn". For example of people that research products they want to buy 6 months later only 23% of them actually purchased the product. At the same time, 6 months later 67% still plan on purchasing. People that nurture their leads close 20% more of people than those that do no nurture their leads.

What is a lead? It is a person who is interested in your product. Or from a dating perspective it is a phone number given to you on a napkin. Another bit of data is that 78% of sales that started as a web inquiry went to the first responder. That means that it is very crucial to get back to people as soon as possible.

What is a qualified lead? It is a lead that fits the profile of an ideal customer. In the dating world it is a person that you've been on a date with and still like.

Through HubSpot you have the option of create what are called lead nurturing campaigns that allow you to send automated emails in timed intervals if people fill out a specific form on your website. Based on the form filled out you can decide if they should get a different set of information (and create a new lead nurturing campaign) or if they can get the same set of emails as the person who filled out a different form.

How do you send them lead nurturing emails without seeming spammy?
Make sure that your emails are not all sales material talking about you. You want to be sure to send them information that is our could be of value to them. You don't need to use HubSpots lead nurturing campaigns to do this you can do it manually or utilize other tools of your choosing.

What are some lead nurturing email ideas?

Thank you/welcome letter
Tips
FAQs
links or information about online tools
Series of archived blog posts relating to information they requested/downloaded
Product Specs or documentation.

Who should my lead nurturing emails come from?
It depends on who will respond to them or follow up with them if they have questions.

Every person may have a different approach or opinion about lead nurturing. The takeaways are that it's important to respond quickly and make sure that you tailor your lead nurturing to your sales cycle. You don't want to send out emails over a nine month period if you customers usually close within 2 months. Talk to your sales team to be sure you work together to iron out the best process to maximize lead conversion.

Dharmesh Shah - Social Inbox

The jewel of the HubSpot User Group was listening to Dharmesh Shah talk about the new tool that is only in alpha stage of development, "Social Inbox".

Basically the concept is to build a tool that will be able to leverage your facebook, linked in and twitter connections to find business prospects. He led with the question, "Wouldn't it be great if you could wake up every day and have an inbox with possible leads that have been found in your social media connections." Alright, this is not a direct quote - but that was the gist of it.

The Social Inbox can be programmed to find people with specific demographics in the three main social media platforms (LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook), or find people that tweet specific phrases (keywords) that are important to your business, or find people that have specific keywords in their professional title on LinkedIn, facebook... you get the idea. This tool is still being developed and is in no way taking on it's final form - but it seems like an extremely exciting prospect and should be extremely valuable once it is in production.

And best of all it will be included in the HubSpot Subscription - so there will not be any additional costs to be able to use this tool.

Another tool that was mentioned and unfortunately I don't know if it was going to be part of the Social Inbox, is something he calls, "Smart Timing" for Twitter. The idea is to be able to set up a tweet ahead of time and specify a trigger that will release the tweet. An example would be if you created a tweet about John Doe, and you want him to see it - you would be able to create the tweet and have it sent out when John Doe logs into Twitter. That way you would know that he saw the tweet.

HUG2010: How to Create a Blog Factory

It can always be daunting when you are faced with the task of constantly coming up with new blog topics for your website. This session gave suggestions and idea on how to keep the ideas for blog topics flowing.

Brainstorming

It's easy to brainstorm several ideas for a blog post but having enough information and knowledge to actual write a blog post isn't always easy. So taking a large list of ideas and then narrowing it down to which ones you can write about and then from that you can select which topics you actually blog about.

Spin Offs

There is the option to provide more detailed information on previous blog submissions. You can write another blog posting that relates to a current one that utilizes keyword phrases you wished you could use and link between the two blog postings. You can also create a new blog posting that responds to questions or comments that were made on previous postings.

Use Old Content

You can use older case studies or white papers and break them apart into a series of new blog postings to revitalize an interest in the topics. You also have the option to link back to the initial white paper for them to see all the information in one place. It is important to optimize the information for both SEO and for new visitors to make the most of your content.

Brian Halligan the CEO of HubSpot also had a few suggestions that have helped him over the years. He finds that he thinks of blog topics in his every day activities whether it's going to a ball game or reading the morning paper. Just make a note of ideas when you think of them and you can weed through the good and bad ideas later when you have more time to think about what you want to say.

He also had some suggestions on the best way to brainstorm. He's researched brain function and has found that if you're in a quiet room, not thinking about a specific topic, and let your mind day dream that you can come up with lots of ideas. Just write them down when you think of them and keep on day dreaming. There is bound to be a good idea in there somewhere.

Brian had a suggestion on how to entice people who don't want to blog into blogging. Bring out their competitive side. Give an incentive to the person each week who created the blog with the most pageviews or comments to an article in the last 10 or 30 days. People like to win and this just might work.

Blog topics are always going to be a struggle just try to sit back relax and see what comes to you or hit the books or archives and see what you can repurpose into useful information for your visitors. You won't be sorry.

Small Business Customer Panel

This class focused on a panel of four Hubspot success stories:

Debbie Page - The New Born Baby - Lactation Consultant
Enjoys being able to look at what's happening on her website. Received a lot of help with getting her program up and running. Big increase in traffic 217% increase since February. Most of her referrals are doctor basis, not getting big results from online conversions yet. Now blogs and utilizes facebook religiously. Debbie page Tip: Bring a video camera to conferences that you go to and do short interviews with people in your industry.

Chris Higgins - President Data Guide
Promotional products to other companies to help with brand awareness. Found website grader, then found hubspot, hadn't been too focused on their website. Migrated over to the hubspot CMS. Started with on-page seo. 6 months into starting the first big lead came in... Chris Higgins Tip: Use long tail keywords to build pages on your website.

Scott Crampton - The Murder Mystery Company
Quit job a year ago selling furniture. Started doing murder mystery, got attention. opened small offices in Chicago and Michigan. In November of last year started with hubspot and business has exploded. Now has 217 actors. Only uses Hubspot, google adwords. Scott Crampton Tip: If you have anything fun or exciting that you do at your company, put it up on your website.

Marcus Sheridan - River Pools and Spas
Two years ago business sucked. All outbound marketing (radio, print...). Had no control, had to go through the webmaster to get anything done/changed on the website. Found website grader and got a 17 out of 100. today he's at 97 out of 100. Blog 's like animals, talk to consumers and does 0 outbound marketing. Spent 100k on oubound marketing and 60-70 on google adwords. Now 25-35k on advertising for a 4-5 million dollar business. Hubspot has given them control of their website and they can create / edit pages on their site. Marcus Sheridan Tip: Blog about the problems and complaints with the products and/or services you provide. Tip 2: Keep the sales pitch on your website and use your blog to teach people.

All of the speakers were very interesting to listen to, but if I had to hand out an enthusiasm award it would go to, "Marcus Sheridan"

Give Your Audience the Content They Crave

The speaker, Paul Roetzer, quickly went over several strategies to Content Marketing.

New information for me, was in order to understand your customers better, take a look at the editorial calendar in magazines, trade journals... in your clients industry to see what topics are most likely important to your customers. The editorial calendar is created by people that have a lot of insight into your clients needs.

Taking that same approach, when you are writing content for your website, create your own editorial calendar. And take it a step further and create abstracts for each of your writing topics.

The big decision when getting content on your site, is how to do it. Do you outsource it? Do you do it internally? Doing it internally will require time, but you can draw on all the resources of your company from marketing, sales, executives, and the people in the guts of your operations - the worker bees in the operations department.

When outsourcing your content, it can get expensive. Traditionally content writing was a dollar a word, so for an average 500 word blog post - it could cost $500.00 at that rate. Currently outsourced content writing is like the wild west. There are new companies that desperately want the content writing business and they slash their prices in an effort to grab clients. You also have something called the "Content Flood" which is a group of editors, copywriters..., that are hired at a penny a word to create content on specific topics. While this content can rank well, it is usually not well written, and is what you get at a penny a word.

Regardless of whether you have your content written internally or you outsource it, having an editor is absolutely necessary.

Where is Inbound Marketing Headed? Panel Session

We were lucky enough to have industry superstars available for an open question and answer session to discuss the future of inbound marketing. On the panel were David Meerman, Chris Brogan, Dharmesh Shah, and Ann Handley.

Question: What is the best way to measure ROI?
Dave's Response: When analytics just can't do it it's best to see your area of influence. How many followers do you have, who is talking about you, who is retweeting your posts?

Question: Is it best to keep content on your site or post it in other locations?
Ann's Response: Yes. It should be on both you need to give your content both wings and roots.

Question: What is more important volume or quality of content?
Brian's Response: Both. The more youdo the better you get kind of like running. You start off running 6 telephone polls one day, 8 telephone polls the next day, then you all of the sudden do 12 telephone polls one day when you really shouldn't but you saw a pretty girl and you didn't want her to see you stop running. He thinks the same way about blogging. He just wants a pretty girl to see his blog posts so he keeps posting.

Question: Should you sensor blog comments?
Panel Cumulative Responses: No don't sensor and don't moderate the comments. It can hinder good open conversations and discussions about the topics. If all comments are good people can lose trust in your site that it is being moderated. Brian jokingly recommended hiring people to hate you so you could build trust. If it is a good negative argument that gives another aspect of the topic consider promoting it on twitter or facebook because it can help build trust that you are open to other points of views other than your own.

Question: How should companies/people handle a username that was created while the person was at the company should the time come that they leave or are fired fromt he company?
Panel Cumulative Responses: Well they are followers not sales leads. It mainly depends on whether the username included a tie to the company and the nature in which it was used. The I vs. We decision. If the posts were primarily I oriented meaning "I think ...." then it should stay with the person. If they were primarily We oriented "We think...." then it should stay with the company. It would be much easier if a written agreement is written out prior to the departure or creation of the account to establish ownership of its influence.

Question: Should content be recycled or customized for use in different areas/websites?
Ann's Response: She thinks its good to have a presence everwhere but suggests tweeking the content.
Brian's Response: He hates autofeeding content to several places. He thinks that it disrepects your audience that follows you on several places. You definitely should change it or fluff it up a little before posting in new places.

Question: Should you block your competitors from following you on twitter or your blog?
Panel Cumulative Responses: Let them follow you. If you know it is them making a comment respond to their comment by thanking them for taking the time to follow your blog/twitter account. They shouldn't be able to get any type of trade secrets from your blog or twitter accounts anyway.

They ended up the Q & A session by letting the panel give some parting advice.

Brian: Be a leader not a follower.
Ann: With content, focus on quality to differentiate yourself not quantity.
David: Do what you love.
Dharmesh: Marketing is not just about leads it is about building and asset or a brand so it can be worth something someday.

Overall it was great to get all their different points of views and gave unique input to several industry quandaries.

Hubspot User Group - Introduction

After the fun opening video of the Alanis Morissette remade by Hubspot employees with lyrics made relevant to the Internet Marketing community, the moderator began with Mike Volpe delivered an overview of Hubspot. It was impressive to hear that over 20% of their growth is directly attributed to Hubspot resellers. An interesting statistic was that the audience was an even division of men and women (women represented 49% of the audience and men 51%).

Hubspot seems to be looking more to hear what their customers are saying about both their products and services, and then changing things to meet customer expectations and needs. http://ideas.hubspot.com/ is a website that is dedicated to hearing what their customers would like to see included in the Hubspot platform.

Mike Volpe then introduced Brian Halligan (Grateful Dead enthusiast and co-author of a new book about Grateful Dead book). The great thing about Brian Halligan is that he's not only a co-founder of Hubspot, but he also uses his tool - which really puts him directly in touch with both the strengths and weaknesses of his tools.

Brian Halligan discussed how there is indeed a big press to hear customer feedback and after a large survey four main points were made about the products:
1. New Bugs
2. Old Bugs
3. Usability issues
4. Speed
With every new app created for the hubspot platform one or more bugs are introduced, some of which can be worse than others. As a remedy Hubspot is dedicating time and energy to create a plan to introduce new features to apps, while limiting the number of bugs that can make it into the production version of the application.

There are older bugs that are still in the system, and because of that a lot of version 2 apps will be coming out, that have been retooled without the bugs that were in the first version of the applications.

The are also consolidating and restructuring some of the features of the Hubspot platform, to make the product more usable and less time consuming to find the information that you need.

Several senior product developers have been pulled off of their current projects to focus on improving the speed of the tools over the next few months.

Besides product focused feedback, they also received customer service feedback such as:
1. People are frustrated with success.hubspot.com and due to that a version two of this is being created to make this tool more useful.
2. Communications from Hubspot can take on a "holier than though" feel which turns off the customers. Hubspot is working on reorganizing in order to address this issue and take on a better customer service approach, which also includes reducing the wait time to talk to a Hubspot customer service representative (In june the average wait time was 4 minutes, currently the average wait time is 2 minutes, and the goal is 1 minute. They are not going to try to go under a minute wait time, because they'd rather shift money into Research and Development versus customer service calls).

Monday, October 4, 2010

2010 HubSpot HUG Conference

So I would say that tonights welcome reception was a huge success. It started off with getting great HubSpot gear that included a couple HubSpot t-shirts and an awesome coffee mug. We were then offered a tour of the new HubSpot facility. When you walk into their building there is a great courtyard area with a skylight that during the day i'm sure lets in wonderful sunlight. They have some walls of their office painted with dry erase paint so you can brainstorm, draw, or write whatever you'd like on the walls.

They have several conference rooms of which any hubspot employee can participate in any meeting. Instead of an org chart they have a huge wall that is an influence chart. It not only connects people who work for each other but it also connects people that influence eachother. They have the developers in a more quiet work zone and a different area for their sales marketing team that tends to a bit more noisy and boistrous. They even have a bocce ball area. This is just the tip of the iceburg but needless to say it's an impressive work environment.

Upon going downstairs to the courtyard they were recording a live broadcast of HubSpot TV where Karen and Mike were able to get some of the guests involved with answering and asking some questions. It was a bit hard to hear at times because of a slight echo but I could tell that they were having a great time. Meanwhile as you can imagine some great networking oportunities were developing as all sorts of marketing industry folks were co-mingling and talking about their experiences with HubSpot and raving about their personal representatives. It is really great to see a company that is so involved with their users/clients and seems to appreciate their input as much as HubSpot. I can't wait to see how the conference goes tomorrow!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Nemith Auto Provides Great Customer Service

I strongly recommend Nemith to anyone interested in buying a car.

I just completed the purchase of a 2009 Lincoln MKS from Dave Seacord at Nemith Nissan-Volvo-Lincoln-Mercury in Latham. And it was the best car buying experience I have ever had!! I strongly recommend that you go visit Dave when you are shopping for a newer car!

Dave was very knowledgeable about the different cars on the lot and he was experienced enough to be able to tell what I really wanted before I even knew. If you asked me before if I would buy a Lincoln, I would've told you that Lincoln's are old men cars but now I know they are NOT!

Laura found an older Nissan Altima listed on cars.com and my appointment was to test-drive the Altima. During the test drive, I found that the Altima just didn't have enough power for me. It couldn't handle the curves as fast as I wanted and I slid out the backend a couple of times braking around the corners. This was definitely not the car for me. After that Dave showed me a Volvo S80 which looked very promising but then he said "If you like the Volvo and it's in your price range, then I've got something else to show you." He took Laura and I over to see the Lincoln MKS and it was love at first sight.

So we took it for a drive and that was it - I was hooked! I had to have this car. He gave me an extremely fair price and such a great price for my trade-in that I didn't even bother shopping around. This was Saturday. Even though the dealership closed at 5 p.m., Dave and I were still communicating by cell phone which shows his dedication to his clients. The negotiation process was very low-pressure, easy to handle. I've never negotiated for a newer car so this was my first time. He came in below the window price but I needed him to do a little better. I asked once and he came back with an extremely reasonable offer in the middle.

After that, it was time to meet with the finance guy to finish up the paperwork. The last time I met with a finance person, it was a very uncomfortable situation. She pushed hard for me to buy add-ons, such as DVD player, windshield coating, extended warranty. She wouldn't take no for an answer and it completely ruined the experience for me which is why I didn't return to that particular dealer.

The finance person at Nemith was Bob and he was as great as Dave was. He was thorough and fast. He asked me if I understood everything I was buying. He also asked me if there was anything that was promised to me that I didn't have yet (there wasn't). For those of you in the know, he was also wearing two silly bands!! That was a great conversation starter.

I strongly recommend Nemith to anyone interested in buying a car.

Dave's phone number is 518-937-2840

Friday, May 28, 2010

Time Warner Experience #twcny #tivo

After reading all the reports of problems and phone calls to Time Warner, I expected to have lots of trouble with my new tuning adapter.

What is a tuning adapter?
Let's start with why I need a tuning adapter...
  • Cable technology can only deliver a certain number of channels on the coax line.
  • Old analog channels take up the most room and luckily those are slowly going away.
  • Even still, the number of channels they offer these days exceeds the maximum number that the cable can support.
  • There are many ways to solve this problem, and Time Warner chose to go with a technology called "Switched Digital Video" or SDV (SDV means the channel you are getting down the line "Switches" when you change the channel).
  • In other words, the cable company only sends a limited number of channels down the line.
  • When you change the channel, you might be "requesting" a different set of channels be sent down the line.
That "request" makes SDV a two-way system.
My TiVo Premiere only supports one-way communication, and therefore CANNOT send the necessary request to the cable company. In order for my TiVo Premiere to request the channel, it needs a tuning adapter. The tuning adapter plugs into the TiVo with a USB cable. Of course the coax from the cable company also goes through the tuning adapter and then to the TiVo. When I change the channel with my TiVo, it tells the tuning adapter what channel I want and the tuning adapter sends the necessary request to the cable company.

I have read lots of horror stories about Time Warner resetting something every month. That was causing customers in certain locations to lose all their SDV channels. Those customers would have to call and have them essentially re-activate the equipment every month.
I've also heard similar stories about the initial setup of the tuning adapter. Installers would have to come out and try many different adapters before they would get one to work, etc, etc.

I had to order a tuning adapter from Time Warner Central New York (#TWCNY) because they don't have any on hand. This was my fist signal that things were going to get difficult. Exactly one week from the date I ordered the tuning adapter, I still hadn't received my tuning adapter. I was planning on driving to my local Time Warner office to see if they had any information about my order.
To my surprise, the tuning adapter was waiting for me at the doorstep.

I immediately brought the box inside and opened it up. Not only did it contain EXACT instructions to install the adapter myself, but it also had a very accurate description of why I needed one with my new TiVo (I say accurate because I've read many articles about the topic.)

I followed the directions and plugged everything in. After a little while (probably 30 seconds, but it seemed like an hour), I noticed the green light was still flashing on the tuning adapter. I ran the diagnostics that TiVo provides and it said I didn't have any channels.

I reluctantly called the 800 number that was listed in the instructions, fully expecting to have to order another one or jump through hoops for hours. The representative on the phone said he saw that the tuning adapter was active and authorized on my account already. I suggested that maybe I need to reboot the TiVo.

He agreed and when the TiVo finished booting, I immediately had ALL of the channels coming in for the first time! That was WAY easier than I thought it would be!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Facebook Privacy - Does It Concern You?

There has been a lot of talk about privacy concerns on Facebook, especially with the planned release today of the new "easy" Facebook privacy controls. However, do you know if these issues really affect you and your company? Here's what you need to know:
  1. On a Facebook Company Page, there are very limited privacy options.
  2. Country Restrictions:
    • Entering one or more countries means that only people located in those countries listed will be able to view your Page. This also means that logged out users will not be able to see your Page. If no countries are listed, your Page will be visible to people located in all countries. You understand that you are responsible for setting the proper country restrictions to ensure that the content of your Page is appropriate for the country or countries where you allow it to be visible.
  3. Age Restrictions:
    • Selecting an age restriction means that anyone under the specified age will not be able to find your Page in search or on friends' profiles or view the content in other ways. This also means that logged out users will not be able to see your Page. The Alcohol-Related age restriction sets the minimum age based on the location of the user. Only users in Canada and South Korea who are 19+, in Japan and Paraguay who are 20+, in India who are 25+, and elsewhere (including the US) who are 21+ will be able to view your Page. You understand that the Alcohol-Related age restriction is only for convenience and that Facebook does not represent that by using that setting your Page will be legally compliant in all countries where your Page is visible. You understand that ultimately you are responsible for setting the proper legally compliant age restrictions for each country where your Page is visible.
  4. Published:
    • Published (publicly visible)
    • Unpublished (visible to no one but admins)
  5. Default View for Wall:
    • Posts by Page and Fans
    • Only Posts by Page
  6. Fan Permissions:
    • Fans can write or post content on the wall
      • Fans can post photos
      • Fans can post videos
      • Fans can post links
Keep in mind that according to the Facebook Terms of Service, you are not allowed to create a Profile Page for a brand/product/organization. Profile Pages are for individuals only, and the biggest privacy concerns affect only Profile Pages.

If you are interested in how you can make Facebook work for your company, please contact us!

Monday, May 24, 2010

How will the new GA news affect you?!

There was an email in my Inbox when I got back from vacation that stated:
Say goodbye to search analytics


Google just announced their new secure search beta...the search term is not passed through the referrer, and hence no analytics tool (not even a good old log analyzer) will have any idea of what a visitor searched for to reach your site.
Will this affect you and your website? Do you currently use the search term passed through the referrer string for analytic information on your website? Contact us if you are wondering how this will affect you and your website!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New Features on LinkedIn

Don't forget to update your LinkedIn Company Profile now that the new features are being rolled out!
Questions? Contact us TODAY!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

New TiVo Premiere -- User Experience

I am now the proud owner of a new TiVo Premiere and I thought that I would share that experience with those of you out there thinking about upgrading or jumping into the TiVo world.
 
I bought the TiVo from Weaknees because they let you order one with an upgraded hard drive. Instead of the stock 400 SD / 45 HD hours, I got one with 2,777 SD / 317 HD hours!


I upgraded the drive in my old Series 2 TiVo myself with a kit from Weaknees. I've also used a "do-it-yourself" program to increase the size of the old TiVo, but so far nobody offers a way for users to upgrade the drive in the new TiVo Premiere EXCEPT Weaknees.

The TiVo came in its normal box, like any of the ones you can get at Best Buy or wherever. The only difference was a couple small advertisements for Weaknees inside the box. They included a very small sticker that says "this TiVo was upgraded by Weaknees". The nice part is...
they leave the sticker for the customer to attach.
 They don't just slap their sticker on the back. You can't even tell the TiVo was ever cracked open!

The remote is a little different than the old one. It has a shiny black finish and the bottom has ridges so you can tell immediately if you are holding it upside down. The buttons have been moved around slightly and there are a few additional buttons that only work with the Premiere. I thought it would take a little getting used to, but my thumb seemed to naturally find the right placement. I think the slightly different layout makes sense. The new remote would be perfect if it had the little 1/2 switch like the old ones. I know there is a way to still switch it (hold down a couple buttons, then type the number of the TiVo you want to control), but a simple switch was so much easier.

The new "HD" menus are nice. I have an older model HDTV, so the left side of the new menu gets cut off. I can't really see the different colored dots in front of the shows, so I can't easily tell if something is recording or transferring. I've connected it to another (newer) TV and the HD menus looks great! For now I have switched to the standard SD menus. I'm not at all disappointed to be using the SD menus because they are so fast and it still has a few extra things that the old Series 2 does not (like the option to play a whole folder!) Someday I will upgrade my TV and switch over to the HD menus, but I'm not in a big hurry like I thought I would be.

As with the old Series 2, my new TiVo Premiere lets me transfer videos that I have on my computer. These can be home movies or even recorded programs that were transferred TO the computer (to cut out the commercials for instance.) They advertise that the new TiVo has a faster transfer speed. I couldn't believe how fast they move now! It takes less than 5 minutes to transfer a half hour show! After the first 2 transfers finished I had to check them because I literally thought there must be a problem! The old TiVo transferred at about 1 to 1... a half hour show would take about a half hour to transfer (maybe a little faster.) I can also transfer shows directly between the 2 TiVo's, but only shows that are not marked as "Copy Protected" by the broadcasting station. Of course the transfer can only go as fast as the SLOWEST link in the chain, so transfers from TiVo to TiVo are as slow as the old Series 2 transfers have always been.

One of the common complaints about TiVo is that you can't copy your season passes from one TiVo to another. They have gone to great lengths to make it easy to find shows at least. The new TiVo Premiere goes one step further in making it easy... it supports a USB keyboard. When I purchased the Premiere, I also purchased a fairly cheap wireless USB keyboard. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I only needed to plug it into the USB port on the back, and it was instantly working! The arrow keys are just like the up/down/left/right keys on the remote. Enter is like Select, and some of the function keys map to some nice shortcuts. Oh, and of course, you can TYPE the name of the show you are searching for in the season pass menu!
That feature alone makes it worth the upgrade.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

We've Moved to a New Office!

It's finally official - we're in our new office on Oriskany Boulevard in Whitesboro. After two weeks of renovations (big thanks to Matt Smith), we are enjoying the benefits. Two great big windows that let lots of sunlight in. Door that we can leave open to feel the fresh spring breeze. A beautiful kitchenette with everything we could need. A great living room setup with a couch, loveseat and chair with ottoman - all in front of the TV! We are able to walk to some of the local businesses for lunch and dinner
AND THERE'S A BAR NEXT DOOR.
We haven't brought over our marketing items yet so no signs are up but they will be soon! Also, we are considering opening our office up for MVCoWork so if anyone is interested, please leave a comment so I can contact you when we're ready.

I would've posted the address; however, the lease agreement is in my home office, otherwise known as the dining room. I'll post the street address with directions as soon as possible. Please feel free to stop by and introduce yourself or just say Hi!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Facebook Won't Increase My Income

I was speaking at an assembly this weekend and someone in the audience made this comment:
Facebook won't increase my income (or grow my members)
And, you know what, he was RIGHT!
All I can do, using Facebook among other tools, is bring you leads. I can get you in front of your target audience. I can get you found in the search engines. I can create calls to action that encourage people to contact you. I can design your website to create a clear path for a visitor that leads them to contact you. I can use Twitter to introduce your brand to an audience that has never heard of you. I can do A LOT of things for you; however,
YOU HAVE TO CLOSE THE DEAL!
I can help train your sales people, your customer service department, your engineers, your technicians, even your high-level executives but at the end of the day - they work for YOU! Do you encourage them to close the deal? Do you inspire them by words and actions? Do they want you to succeed? Do they care if you succeed? What's that old saying?
You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
Remember that Internet marketing is an integral PART of your entire sales and marketing umbrella.
So, here are some tips:
  1. Don't answer the phone in a gruff voice and bark HELLO!
  2. Don't hang up on people.
  3. Remember that a disgruntled customer can ruin more than just a single sale for you - think long-term benefit.
  4. Remember that a happy customer can bring you more than just a single sale - think long-term benefit.
When an Internet marketing consultant comes in and starts asking questions about your internal sales process, understand their motives. They are trying to get a feel for the whole picture. They can help you - not just online but as a part of your sales team.

Where have you seen clients/prospective clients lose leads because of internal procedures?

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Twitter is Like Waxing Your Eyebrows

Funny, right? Let's break it down:
  1. Wax above, below and the middle (beware of the dreaded unibrow!)
    1. This can be considered thinning out the herd. With Social Media in general and Twitter specifically, you need to weed through the chatter and get to the conversations.
      Chances are, when you first started experimenting with social media, you went out and followed or connected with a lot of people - some you know and some you don't.
      The first step is to cut that list way down to a more manageable level. Don't forget - you can always follow them again later. Maybe create a Twitter list with users that you are interested in but don't want to follow just yet.
  2. Pluck stragglers
    1. Once you have thinned out the herd, it becomes much easier to fine-tune your social media connections.
      Start using a platform that allows you to manage all of your networks in one place (or as many as possible). Here at Tork Marketing, we use TweetDeck on our laptops and EchoFon on our iPhones. TweetDeck allows us to manage all of our identities on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn in one intuitive platform.
      As you are setting up your profile on the platform of your choice, this will give you another opportunity to thin your list. You'll notice that certain columns tend to fill up quickly, more quickly than you can keep up with them. If that happens, thin out the list by removing them as connections or separating them into Priority A, Priority B and Priority C lists.
  3. Comb them up and cut them across to make them even (and weed out the long ones)
    1. Start organizing your connections into categories: business, personal, family, keyword specific, geo-location specific, client specific, competitor specific, prospect specific, etc.
      Use the columns in TweetDeck to separate your connections into categories that make sense to you. You can even use TweetDeck in conjunction with Twitter Lists so you can still monitor those people that you are interested in but you don't have to follow them yet.
  4. Soothe with calming oil
    1. This is when social media becomes fun, and don't forget about the all important lead.
      Start by getting involved in conversations. Don't just preach about your products or services. Offer helpful advice or links to useful articles. Ask questions and be receptive to answers. Engage people. Allow some of your personality to flow through. Be genuine and transparent. Be polite.
Remember, like everything else in life, Twitter (and Social Media) is what you make of it. Your audience is there, you just have to find them. You'll meet great people that you never would've met elsewhere. You'll have access to experts in all industries. You can be an expert to someone else. Become a part of the community!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Learning Cache Control

Update 3/26/2010 6:50 p.m.
  • The cache-control had been set to private by the host (thank you to http://www.seoconsultants.com/tools/headers for the great tool that I've been using for a few years now)
  • I added <% Response.CacheControl="public" %> to change it to public
  • Then I added <% Response.ExpiresAbsolute="5/31/2010" %>
  • According to the header check
  • #1 Server Response: http://www.uticahousekeeping.com/
    HTTP Status Code: HTTP/1.1 200 OK
    Cache-Control: public
    Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2010 22:45:38 GMT
    Content-Length: 3028
    Content-Type: text/html
    Expires: Mon, 31 May 2010 05:00:00 GMT
    Server: Microsoft-IIS/6.0
    X-Powered-By: ASP.NET
    MicrosoftOfficeWebServer: 5.0_Pub
    Set-Cookie: ASPSESSIONIDQCBDBCQQ=GFGHLLJCGKPEPJHJEJFBPNBG; path=/
But Google's PageSpeed tool still says:
The following resources are missing a cache expiration. Resources that do not specify an expiration may not be cached by browsers. Specify an expiration at least one month in the future for resources that should be cached, and an expiration in the past for resources that should not be cached:
The following cacheable resources have a short freshness lifetime. Specify an expiration at least one month in the future for the following resources:
Non-scoring information
The following resources are explicitly non-cacheable. Consider making them cacheable if possible:

So what am I missing? How do I fix this? Can anybody help me?

According to Google's PageSpeed tool:
The following resources are missing a cache expiration. Resources that do not specify an expiration may not be cached by browsers. Specify an expiration at least one month in the future for resources that should be cached, and an expiration in the past for resources that should not be cached:
The following cacheable resources have a short freshness lifetime. Specify an expiration at least one month in the future for the following resources:
Non-scoring information
The following resources are explicitly non-cacheable. Consider making them cacheable if possible:
So, I've searched and searched and found the following tutorials:

 
Using <% Response.CacheControl="public" %> didn't change the error in PageSpeed
Using <% Response.ExpiresAbsolute=#May 31,1996 13:30:15 GMT# %> caused an ASP error so the page wouldn't show up at all
Using <% Response.Expires=1440 %> didn't change the error in PageSpeed

 
When I contacted my website hosting company, IXWebHosting, their response was:
You are not able to change this value on a shared hosting environment.

 
Not the answer I was looking for...

 
Can anybody help??

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Thank You Page Dos and Don'ts

E-commerce websites should all have a thank-you page which is the last page your online shoppers see after they place an order on your website. What is important to include or not include on this page?

Dos

      Do provide a confirmation of the order.

      Do give customers another chance to review their order to possible spot errors before it is delivered.

      Do give customers the opportunity to sign up for your newsletters, follow you on Twitter, and fan your Facebook page.

      Do provide a reference number for the order.

      Do list your contact information in case of problems.

      Do link to the tracking page for the order.



Don’ts

      Don’t use red fonts to make content stand out unless the customer made an error.

      Don’t use confusing language such as ‘delivery summary’ or ‘acknowledgement’. Make sure that it is clear that they have completed their purchase.

      Don’t post large security logos on your thank you page. The customer has already placed their order so they must not have been worried about the security of your website.

      Don’t be afraid to personalize the page. Thank you pages can sometimes seem too canned and stuffy but make sure you say the most important thing, thank you.

      Don’t try to squeeze too much information onto the page. Stick with what is important. Too much information can make it hard to find the important information.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Testing new Facebook Apps

We are testing a number of new Facebook apps and we can't wait to see which works the best - we'll let you know how it turns out!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Facebook Scam

When a social media site gets as big as Facebook it is inevitable that it will be the focus of scams trying to do you harm. Keep an eye out for any email you receive that says anything about a "Facebook Password Reset". This email looks as though it is from Facebook and tells you that your Facebook password has been reset and you can find your new password in an attached zip file.

So how does the scam work? The zip file installs a password stealer when the user clicks on it. This password stealer can then access any username/password used on that computer. It is not just limited to your Facebook account.

I actually received on of these emails this morning. Just remember if you get one of these DON'T CLICK ON THE ATTACHMENT!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

CableJive: Jive with iPod and iPhone

So I was looking for a very short cable for my iPhone when my husband told me about iStubz. They have great options and I must admit that I bought three things:
duaLink
dualCharge
iStubz Bundle

I couldn't resist and I think it's worth everybody checking out the website - you never know what you might need.

CableJive: Jive with iPod and iPhone

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Google Sitemap Generator, Editor + Keyword Analyzer - XML Sitemaps Online

This is a great tool that I've been using for a few years now. The ability to customize your xml sitemap is extremely important. There are a ton of xml sitemap generators out there and you might already have a favorite - but this one is definitely worth a look.

Google Sitemap Generator, Editor + Keyword Analyzer - XML Sitemaps Online

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tynt Insight: What's being copied from your site?

Our patent pending Tynt Insight technology tracks what’s being copied off your site and automatically adds a link back to your content with every paste.

Tynt Insight: What's being copied from your site?

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Friday, March 5, 2010

MozyHome Free

Get 2 GB of 100% free online backup for your photos, music, and other files. No setup fee, no credit cards, no monthly payments or fees, and no hassle.

Free | Mozy > MozyHome

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

SiteUptime - Website Monitoring Service

I highly recommend SiteUptime to any small business or individual looking to find out how reliable your website hosting company is.

SiteUptime - Website Monitoring Service

Monday, March 1, 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Compendium Blogware - Indium Corporation - Taking Blogging to the Next Level

I have two clients that are using the Compendium Blogware and they are very happy with it. You should definitely check out this product!

Compendium Blogware - Indium Corporation - Taking Blogging to the Next Level

Friday, February 26, 2010

We're a Favorite Place on Google


So there was a little surprise in my mailbox today - a letter from Google maps telling me that Tork Marketing is now a favorite place on Google. They even sent me a great window decal to post for my clients.

"If you've seen a decal that says "We're a Favorite Place on Google" on a window near you, you may wonder how they got it...Google identifies the most popular local businesses based on how many Google users looked for more information about a business, looked for driving directions to the business, and more." says

Thursday, February 25, 2010

5 reasons your press page should lose the PDFs | Blog | Econsultancy

In study after study, 100 percent of journalists - 100 percent - say they use the web to research stories. And something like 80-90 percent of journos writing about businesses visit company websites to dig for information. While there (according to my own approximate calculations), about half are stopped dead in their tracks because companies still insist in making press releases and financial information available only as PDF downloads.

For me, and a plethora of fellow-journalist Facebook friends who thumbed-up a whinge I posted on this topic yesterday, the arguments against PDF press releases are a no-brainer. Like, it's 2010. Web 2.0 has been around for a while (basic HTML even longer). Yet a few befuddled marketers asked what all the fuss is about.

So herewith, five reasons why those PDFs have got to go.

5 reasons your press page should lose the PDFs | Blog | Econsultancy

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Roles of Facebook and Twitter in Social Media Marketing | Brian Solis

If you think that you're ready to take on Twitter and Facebook for your company, please read these tips first. Social media may seem easy but it can be confusing and overwhelming. Make sure you draw out a plan first. Take it one step at a time - don't try to rush and do everything at once. If you're ready to step up to Twitter and Facebook but you want some help, give Tork Marketing a call. We can help you set up your social media marketing plan and show you how to run it in-house.

The Roles of Facebook and Twitter in Social Media Marketing | Brian Solis

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Blogger FTP Info

So this change will be affecting our blog and some of our clients but we're looking forward to it. If your company uses the Blogger FTP path and need help when it comes to the switch, please contact Tork Marketing.

Blogger FTP Info

Friday, February 19, 2010

Run On-Page SEO and Design Diagnostics with SEJ Tools | Search Engine Journal

Remember that you can show up on the first page of Google for all of your important keywords, but yet - NEVER convert that into sales. If you can't figure out why, perhaps you need to take a serious, impartial review of your website design. Remember what you do for a living - are you a professional designer? Do you design websites for a living? No, chances are that you run your company and you do it very well. So why not bring in an Internet marketing company with a professional designer and let them do what they do best. Does it really matter if YOU don't like your website - as long as your website visitors are converting into sales?

If it doesn't matter as long as the website is converting, then contact Tork Marketing for a free analysis of your current search engine rankings and the traffic possibilities for your keywords.

Run On-Page SEO and Design Diagnostics with SEJ Tools | Search Engine Journal

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Top Five Questions to Ask When Hiring an SEO Company

1. Ask for an example of a problem that a previous client had (as it relates to SEO), how they came up with a solution(s) to try, how they tested the results and what action items came out of the test.
2. Ask how much time they spend online in chatrooms and forums (as they relate to SEO). Ask them their top three SEO websites for keeping up on new trends and posting problems.
3. Ask about their experience with websites that are lead generators and experience with websites that are brand management. Each is very specific and needs different types of SEO. A good SEO company/consultant will know the difference and be able to articulate the different types of SEO for each.
4. Ask what they can do besides SEO. They need to understand the big picture. They need to understand development, CSS, PPC, web analytics and social media. They don't need to be experts in everything but they definitely need to understand the big picture.
5. Ask how often they attend industry conferences or seminars. Ask if they contribute to any industry publications. Ask about their turnover rate. Ask about the training that their employees receive.
5a. Ask them what their strategy would be for your website. This should prove a couple of things. Number one - did they take the time to learn anything about you? Number two - do they sound excited talking about their strategy? Number three - Are they willing to share that information or do they want to be paid for it?

We do sign certain clients on a "pay for performance" model. Normally, we charge a standard rate of "xx" per hour. For certain clients, we will drop those rates by 1/3, then as we get each of your keywords on to the first page of Google, our rate goes up and is retroactive. Then for each of the keywords we get into the top five on Google, our rate goes up again moving forward. This is a strong motivator for my team to perform better than they ever have because every success for the client is a success for them.

The reason I say that we sign certain clients is because of the reasons mentioned here. We have to have complete control. We don't run every single thing we do past you for approval. You have to trust that we have your best interests in mind and at heart. We become a part of your company and a part of your team. We control everything from where your website is hosted to all website development to all paid, natural and social media marketing. That doesn't mean that we have to do it all for you. You may have certain capabilities in-house that would make more sense to use but we direct the project.

We start each of our SEO projects with a task list of "foundation" items - such as unique meta tags (don't forget about poor Yahoo), local directories (Google Local, Yahoo and Bing), xml sitemap and DMOZ listings. But all of our contracts are driven by the bottom line - results. If it's a brand management website, then traffic is the key. If it's a lead generation website, then quality becomes much more important than quantity. So, as mentioned by others, our task list is very fluid and changes on a regular basis - but there is always the goal!

Our first step is to talk to the client on the phone, see what their goals are, get an idea of who they think their competitors are and what they think their top keywords should be. Then, when we meet in person (if possible), we go over our initial research which is just some keyword research with traffic numbers and then a competitive ranking report for their website as compared to their competitors.

As for what makes one better than the rest - it can be personal. If you can narrow it down to two or three companies that all meet your criteria when it comes to proving past successes and strategy for your website. Then it can come down to communication - do you feel comfortable talking to them. Do you feel that they are talking down to you? Do you feel that they are listening to you?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Obama White House goes mobile | Blog | Econsultancy

How best to celebrate the first anniversary of the Obama administration? Why, with an app, of course - and a mobile web site, to boot.

Released today, the "The White House" app is so far only available for the iPhone and iPod touch, but more versions are promised soon.

Obama White House goes mobile | Blog | Econsultancy

Monday, February 15, 2010

Dynamic Drive CSS Library- CSS Popup Image Viewer

I was looking for a fast loading, effective, user friendly image gallery with pop-up images and stumbled upon this website. This was very easy to implement and very user-friendly. If you're interested in a photo gallery like this for your website, contact Tork Marketing.

Dynamic Drive CSS Library- CSS Popup Image Viewer

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Bing Gets Ready For 2010 Winter Olympics With New Search Features! | SEO Blog PageTraffic

Bing has announced its new search features for the upcoming 2010 Winter Olympics slated to begin this Friday in Vancouver. The two amazing search features Instant Answers and Visual Galleries on Bing will provide you with all the information on these Winter Olympic Games.

On its official search blog, Bing posted that the NBC Universal has collaborated with it to assure the online and on-demand telecast of the digital coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics. You can now enjoy the exclusive games videos, event recaps, medal counts info, and the direct commentary from the games on Bing, NBCOlympics.com and MSN.

Bing Gets Ready For 2010 Winter Olympics With New Search Features! | SEO Blog PageTraffic

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ten common sense data security tips | Blog | Econsultancy

If you run a website, there's a good chance that you store data that you wouldn't want falling into the wrong hands. At the same time, there's also a good chance that you're increasing the odds of that happening by not following basic security best practices.

Unfortunately, the cost of data breaches is growing every year. A new study released by the PGP Corporation and the Ponemon Institute, the average cost of a data breach incident in 2009 was 6.75 million compared to 6.65 million in 2008. The largest data breach in 2009 cost just under $31m to clean up.

Fortunately, there are a lot of common sense ways to mitigate the risk of a data breach. Here are ten of them:

Ten common sense data security tips | Blog | Econsultancy

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Buzz: Ten Pressing Questions - PCWorld

I'm through with declaring any tech product or service to be a "killer" of any other tech product or service. But I will say this: If Twitter is found dead anytime in the next couple of years, someone's going to need to hide Google Buzz, which debuted this morning, from the police.

Google's Buzz seems to have most all the features that Twitter is missing, and Google is clearly going to take advantage of all the benefits of being Google to make it popular -- most notably the inboxes of unspecified millions of Gmail users who'll get Buzz as a service-within-the-service. My impression is that Google really, really wants this to be the dominant service in the still-evolving category of "that thing that Twitter does that doesn't have a good name yet."


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Google's makes mobile search ads more useful

This week Google has brought marketers one step closer to actually tapping into the holy grail of local, mobile advertising with the simple addition of a hot link. Starting Thursday, Google search ads can include click-to-call links.

The look and feel of the ads won't change much, but letting users click on search results gets them one step closer to spending money at those establishments, which is why local businesses are getting excited about mobile advertising.

Google's makes mobile search ads more useful with the introduction of a link | Blog | Econsultancy

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Google Social Search goes live — without Facebook results | Blog | Econsultancy

In the battle to conquer real-time search, Google has drawn a line in the sand. The search giant today went live with its Social Search feature, which adds relevant results from users' social graph. But one thing is noticeably absent from those results — Facebook content.

Because so much of Facebook's information is private, Google cannot access it. For a social network trying to plant its flag as the curator of personal content online, that could be a problem.

Google Social Search goes live — without Facebook results | Blog | Econsultancy

SEO or Social Media – Is SEO needed now that Social Media has arrived?

Unfortunately, I am also part of the group that normally uses the web as part of my daily work. However, I work with clients that range from being better than myself when it comes to social media to clients that feel like nobody uses the web for major purchases.

In each case, I can show them the amount of traffic available on search engines and on social media networks.

For my clients, it’s usually split – purchasing agents aren’t looking on social media networks so we target them using seo and engineers/techies are looking on social media networks so we target them using LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (among others when necessary).

I think the strongest argument can be made for being in both places. If you ignore one in favor of the other, then you ARE going to miss part of your target audience. And we never want that to happen.

I like your definition of SEO – “any activity that helps to promote your business on a SERP”. I also agree with Brian that for the most part, social media is branding and seo is sales. Another way to say it is social media is customer support and seo is purchasing. A successful company that retains clients will have both departments manned by experienced, skilled employees.

I also like Rick’s question about definitions. With traditional search results being replaced by personalized, social, geo-targeted search results; the traditional way of seo is being updated to include these newer outlets. And for engine, even YouTube is considered a search engine with it’s own trends, insights and keyword research tools. But like you, when we use the term seo in our office, we mean the traditional search engine result pages.

We choose to use the phrase Internet Marketing because anytime a prospective client opens a browser, we want them to think of us. We’ve even installed custom toolbars so they can always see us. Wherever our audience is, we will be there with our clients.

SEO or Social Media – Is SEO needed now that Social Media has arrived?

Friday, February 5, 2010

20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited | Blog | Econsultancy

I try to put as much information as I can into Econsultancy’s Social Media Statistics, which is part of our Stats Compendium (a truly awesome resource) but I find it’s always interesting to go back and review the old against the new.

So, I’ve collected as much as I can from my previous insane snippets of data and benchmarked it against the here and now, alongside rooting out some new stuff for you to mull over.

If six months ago, it wasn’t a compelling case to consider social media in the marketing mix, then this hopefully might change your mind...

20+ mind-blowing social media statistics revisited | Blog | Econsultancy

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to Copy Fonts from your Computer to CD

So, I ran into an issue recently when I tried to copy fonts from a computer onto a CD - it wouldn't let me. No error message - just flat out did nothing. So I looked it up and the answer was interesting.

Don't go to your fonts using the Control Panel, instead go to C:\Windows and copy the Fonts folder to your desktop. From there, you can right-click on it and choose send to CD drive.

Yay!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Website statistics, web analytics, hit counter - HitsLink

I am definitely going to try this 30-day free trial because they've partnered with Hoovers, a Dunn & Bradstreet Company, to offer detailed information about the companies that are visiting my website. I can't wait to try this on my clients!

Website statistics, web analytics, hit counter - HitsLink

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Firefox + Flash Problem

So I've been wrestling with the newest Flash update for Firefox and I finally figured it out! In my case, I had to go to Tools -> Add-ons and Disable the existing Shockwave Flash add-on. Then install the newest update and then enable the add-on again, making sure that it had the 10.0.42.34 version number.

Here are some other websites for tips in case this doesn't work for you:
Last updated 1/13/10 - http://forums.pcworld.com/index.php?/topic/74714-firefox-keeps-asking-to-downlad-flash-player/
Last updated 8/4/09 - https://support.mozilla.com/tiki-view_forum_thread.php?locale=ga-IE&comments_parentId=119000&forumId=1

Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Blog was Hacked!!

It finally happened to me - my blog was hacked!! I love widgets - and everyone who knows me knows that I love widgets. Well, one of the widgets was corrupt. Sad, sad, sad :(

So, after hours of trying to figure out what happened and how my blog was being redirected to a spam website, I stumbled upon this string in the Blogger Help Forums,
my blog site has been hijacked? & redirects to: http://searchinvented.com/?flrdr=yes&nxte=js&dn=smashingfeeds.com&fp=57S

There I was able to find other people that had the same problem, and they clued me in that it was my TweetThis widget that was corrupted. Thanks to these great people, I was able to fix my blog!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hiring Fail – The hard lessons learned hiring & firing over 30 Search Professionals | Seer Interactive SEO Blog

As a professional that has hired and fired my fair share of people, this article was very insightful. We are getting ready to hire two more people for our team and I will be using these guidelines. Thanks for the great article!

Hiring Fail – The hard lessons learned hiring & firing over 30 Search Professionals | Seer Interactive SEO Blog

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Seesmic Look Tries to Take Twitter to the Masses

At this point, just about everyone’s probably heard of Twitter, but as recent stats suggest, far from everyone is using it. Today, Seesmic looks to change that with the launch of a new desktop app dubbed Seesmic Look that comes with Twitter’s blessing, a Microsoft partnership and a bold distribution strategy.

Tweeting’s Not For Everyone

Why don’t some people tweet? Frankly, not everyone has something to say (and many will admit it when asked about Twitter). But with celebrities, media, and brands continuing to flock to Twitter, there’s plenty to watch on the microblogging service. That said, Twitter’s new user experience and interface isn’t the most conducive to an entertainment experience — that’s what Seesmic Look is trying to change.

Seesmic Look Tries to Take Twitter to the Masses

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bill Gates, Social Media's Latest Tech Superstar - Sphere News

Bill Gates is back and bigger than ever, at least on social media. In just the past week he's claimed his space on three of the hottest Web-publishing mediums: Twitter, Facebook and a blog.

The Microsoft founder and former CEO is of course famous for leading his company to unparalleled success during the 1990s with an all-star lineup of PC software: Windows, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Explorer, etc. He might have made some money for himself along the way, too.

Bill Gates, Social Media's Latest Tech Superstar - Sphere News

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Combine and Merge Multiple Documents in Microsoft Office Word 2007 » My Digital Life

I was working on a project and needed to combine 55 Word 2007 documents into one and retain all my formatting. This trick worked perfectly for me - check it out!!

Combine and Merge Multiple Documents in Microsoft Office Word 2007 » My Digital Life

Monday, January 18, 2010

Facebook Allows Users to "Reply by Email" to Comments

If you're like us, you just automatically delete those pesky e-mails that Facebook sends whenever somebody leaves a comment on your Wall. After all, you'll have to log in at the social networking site to reply anyway, right? Not anymore.

Facebook Allows Users to "Reply by Email" to Comments

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Working in 'Wi-Fi' limbo - CNN.com

If you ask Adrian Miller where she works, her answer may depend on where she happens to be standing.

Miller calls her messenger bag "global headquarters." She calls a New York City lobby her "satellite office."

Working in 'Wi-Fi' limbo - CNN.com

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just how does a small agency compete? — New Business Hawk

What a great article about the pros of working with a small Internet Marketing Agency. Thanks to @NewBusinessHawk for writing the article!

Just how does a small agency compete? — New Business Hawk

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

How to attach email notes to Outlook email messages

I am thrilled to have found this add-on for Microsoft Outlook 2007. I leave emails in my inbox until the situation is resolved. Sometimes I look at an email and I can't remember why it's still in my inbox or what I'm waiting for. Then I have to track down the trail of emails that might've gone back and forth regarding the issue. Instead, I can just attach a note to the email in my inbox and list the details. This add-on is fantastic - I can't wait to try out it's other features!!

How to attach email notes to Outlook email messages

Sunday, January 10, 2010

PageOneResults - The Guardian.co.uk Before and After Validating - Website Validation Challenge

Great article from PageOneResults and seoconsultants.com - "I wanted to make a point when it comes to the time and level of complexity involved with validating a document. If I can take the Guardian's home page which had 2,309 Errors and 1,356 Warnings at the time I began my test, and validate it within 1.5 hours, you too can do the same. This is NOT rocket science as they say and can be easily achieved using the correct tools and, using those tools correctly."

The Guardian.co.uk Before and After Validating - Website Validation Challenge

Friday, January 8, 2010

How Can Online Thought Leadership Transform Your Company Into a Trusted Resource? | WebAttract

By David Meerman Scott

An effective online content strategy, artfully executed, drives action. Organizations that use online content well have a clearly defined goal—to sell products, generate leads, or get people to join a community, vote, or donate money—and they deploy a content strategy that directly contributes to reaching that goal.

How Can Online Thought Leadership Transform Your Company Into a Trusted Resource? | WebAttract

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WhatTheFont! « MyFonts

A friend, Anatoly Bondarchuk, told me about this website. I've used other websites to figure out names of fonts but this one lets you upload an image!

WhatTheFont! « MyFonts

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Internet Marketing Consultant

We are honored to welcome Laura Smith on-board as an Internet Marketing Consultant here at Tork Marketing. She is a great addition to our team. Her skills include: Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Pay-Per-Click Management (PPC), Social Media Consulting and Development, Web Analytics Analysis and Online Reputation Management. She received her master's degree in business administration from American Intercontinental University. I have worked with Laura in the past and am very excited to introduce her to our wonderful clients. There will be some great brainstorming sessions starting soon!!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Let’s Try to Find All 200 Parameters in Google Algorithm | Search Engine Journal

This article is from one my favorite bloggers, Ann Smarty.

I am sure Googlers should be enjoying this: hardly can they say a word, there follows a wealth of guessed and speculations. This time Matt Cutts is said to have mentioned that their 200 variables in Google algorithm and already plenty of people started looking for them.

Let’s Try to Find All 200 Parameters in Google Algorithm | Search Engine Journal

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Javascript to write stylesheet for different screen resolutions

So I've been struggling with how to best present our website on different resolutions. I found a number of different solutions and tried each of them. This is the one that worked best for us. I now control three different stylesheets: one for 1024 pixels wide, one for 1280 pixels wide and one for anything higher.

Javascript to write stylesheet for different screen resolutions