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Are You Too Busy To Stay Connected?


Friday October 19, 2012

Reading Time: 4 minutes
too busy to stay connected
Staying connected can be exhausting, even with a ThunderShirt!

Are you too busy to stay connected?

It seems we’ve been too busy. The last time we published a post on this blog was June 12, 2012. There…we admit it. Staying connected should be easy in today’s world. We have so many platforms like FACEBOOK, TWITTER, YouTube and GOOGLE+…but the business of working with our clients has had to be our priority over the past few months. We have added some new clients which included new designs, we’ve worked with some clients with mobile website conversions, there are always updates to be done, staying abreast of SEO and SMO news and we are always coaching our clients on blogging and staying connected. But as they say: “The cobbler’s kids have no shoes and the plumber’s house has leaky pipes.”

Guiding new clients…

The other day a client asked about the best way to stay connected. The first rule is really “just do it!” If you want a FACEBOOK page, then remember very few people are going to “like” your page and stay engaged if you don’t take the time to let them know what is new with your business. Some clients want a full briefing about staying connected in the virtual world, including a history of social media.

Copyblogger comes to the rescue…

Today’s RSS feed included a link to Copyblogger’s latest post: A History of Social Media. And Copyblogger said we could share this history with our own readers. So here goes…be prepared it will take you back 41 years!

history of social media
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

What else keeps us busy?

If the infographic didn’t exhaust you and if you are anything like Webconsuls and our team, then there are probably 50 items on your daily “to do” list. New projects are always fun, it gives us a chance to learn more about our clients and the latest technology.

What’s on your “to do” list today? 

 

 

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Two weeks ago I talked about adding some finishing touches to your Facebook business page. In particular, I urged you to create your business Facebook “cover photo” and to think through what message you wanted to send with that photo. Of late, I used our Webconsuls Facebook page to feature our clients’ Facebook cover photos. All the while, I was working with our Webconsuls’ team members to determine what our cover photo should say about us.

Here is a little of how this process went: We are not a traditional brick and mortar business, so we knew we wouldn’t present a photo of our storefront. We also knew that our team members live in five different states and three time zones, so getting together for a group shot was not going to happen. Additionally, we felt that taking the approach that we use on our Twitter page, that is listing our services, would not really make us unique or tell our story.

So how do we tell Webconsuls’ story? What makes us unique?  I remember when Dick and Dennis first decided to form Webconsuls. They went back and forth about what to name their business, how would they convey their vision.  The good news is they committed this history to a press release and here is what they wrote November 16, 1999.

‘The name Webconsuls was chosen very deliberately. A consul is an official appointed by a government to advance the commercial interest of its citizens in a foreign country. Webconsuls is conceived as describing “a firm which advances the commercial interest of its clients on the World Wide Web.” As Dick Fay recently remarked, “Web sites do not automatically produce dollars. Success is realized when web sites are carefully marketed and targeted, those activities being integrated into a tailored, well–orchestrated business campaign.”‘

And so, between a few emails and phone calls the Webconsuls’ team decided our cover photo should be a collage of the team members. It is not about being techies or understanding all the latest software and tools, but more about being people who work with other people to promote the success of our clients’ businesses. It is a collaborative process and we think that is what our current cover photo says.

webconsuls facebook cover
Webconsuls’ FACEBOOK Cover Photo April 2012 – click on it to enlarge!

What do you think? Notice I said current, because we can refresh it and keep it vital. Like any collage it tells a story…Dennis, Judy and Dick meeting 31 years ago at an ARCO training seminar, Malik’s college graduation and enjoying a California sunset, Heidi receiving her master’s from NYU and “horsing around”, Alycia and Bill celebrating their wedding in Hawaii, Dick supporting his beloved DUKE and the Phillies, Dennis meeting with clients, Daniel working with animals and ‘dressing to the nines’, Keith enjoying life and supporting the Toronto Blue jays…the story goes on.

We look forward to your comments or stop by our FACEBOOK page and “like” us.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Time flies, good times or not. I realized the other day that we have not posted here since November 15, 2011. That’s 90+ days, one quarter of a year or three months! Like many bloggers who take a hiatus, we have plenty of good reasons why we haven’t written lately. Let’s see:

  • Holidays are always a good excuse. In the last 90 days we have celebrated some or all of these holidays: Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, New Years, Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Valentines…
  • Closing out the year-end books for any business can and does take time.
  • Vacations or business trips impact all of our schedules
  • Working with new clients, designing new web sites is always a good way to spend time

I think it is obvious that the above list could go on ad nauseum.  I am also pretty sure you get the point, time is precious and we need to manage our time to accomplish all that we would like to with our blog, personal or business. Isn’t this what we tell our clients? Engage!!!

Let me tell you what really brought this point home to me. Last week one of my favorite bloggers, Julien Smith, posted “A Short Contest”.  He was asking his regular and new readers to tweet a quote from one of his posts.  I was game and here is the quote that I tweeted:

If you aren’t current, you may as well not exist. http://inoveryourhead.net/protip-your-inactive-blog-makes-you-irrelevant/ @julien

Julien’s quote “If you aren’t current, you may as well not exist” isn’t just about social media in general or blogging in particular; it really has to do with all aspects of our lives and the success of our businesses. Be inquisitive, learn about new software, read about new business concepts, dust off the shelves, do an inventory, wash the windows, and don’t cheat yourself or your clients.  And as another blogging friend says: “Don’t cheat on your blog!”

Today I am pushing the reset button on Webconsuls’ blog. I hope you will subscribe and if you want to share some stories about how you “reset” your blog, please leave a comment.

tucson sunset
A Tucson sunset can inspire you to push the reset button!

 

Reading Time: 10 minutes
Window shopping at Simpsons department store. ...Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday there were a number of GOOGLE headlines that went something like this: “Ten Recent Algorithm Changes.”(See links to other articles below) I don’t know about you, but whenever I read the word ‘algorithm’ I start to shudder. So in order to calm myself I try to think of an analogy that I can relate to our clients and help put things into everyday language.

One of GOOGLE’s changes is a new twist on fresh content. They believe that if you are searching for something on the web, then you probably want the “freshest” information. I could argue that a lot of my searches are for historical information, but we will talk about that another time.  The reason I want to talk to you about fresh content is that this is a guideline that Webconsuls’ team discusses with their clients on a regular basis, so now GOOGLE is again validating what all of us have really known for a long, long time.

“If you are trying to sell something, goods or services, you need to think like a window dresser.”

Do you know what a window dresser is? You don’t have to live in New York City to understand the importance of the professional window dresser. I am going to venture a guess that in any city, town, village or hamlet the most interestingly dressed store windows get the best traffic and probably can boast the best sales.

Now let’s think about window shopping. Old fashion window shopping is free! Do you see what I mean? The free part is you being able to take yourself or your whole family to a store…like Macys or to a mall and walk around and touch the items, try on the items, dream a little, put something on lay-away…and maybe, just maybe be so pleased by the user experience you will eventually make a purchase. Virtual window shopping is also free, but one can’t “touch” or “try on the goods”, so the content quality needs to be fresh and inviting.

The success of window dressing and window shopping is dependent on fresh content.”

This isn’t rocket science. The word algorithm makes it seem so, but it is really social science. When a person is looking for information, goods, services, they now tend to look on-line. They can buy items from all over the country, continent, or world. So how do you get their attention?  Simple! Be clear about what you are selling (in every sense of the word) and keep your content current and relevant.  Let me tell you a story…

“Some 30+ years ago I lived and worked in Hollywood, CA area. My office was on Vermont Avenue and I lived on Barham Blvd.  There was a wonderful gentleman who lived in my complex and owned a sundry store near the corner of Sunset Blvd and Vermont Avenue. My employer sometimes would ask me to go to the bank to make the daily commercial deposit, so one day as I am walking down Sunset Blvd I notice Sanford’s little store. The window dressings were so old and dusty that I almost didn’t walk in, but I wanted to say hi to my friend. When I got in the store what I saw was more dust, shampoo bottles with contents that had already separated and then I spotted Sandy behind the counter. I started to giggle and picked up one of the shampoo bottles…I asked him who would buy this stuff. He laughed and said: ‘Judy, I am not in the business of selling sundries; I offer a check cashing service for a fee!’ ”

There was no window dressing that said “Check Cashing Service”, in fact you had to creep around the store to discern that this service was the primary business. Do you see the irony in this story? I know you do. You might call this the “sales prevention department!” Again, it isn’t rocket science.

So what can you do to make sure your content is fresh and refreshing?

  1. Review your site for accuracy. Do this on a regular basis. Look for “dust”!
  2. Remember to keep your webmaster informed about new products, locations, staff members, sales.
  3. Take new photos.
  4. Consider publishing press releases.
  5. If you have a blog, check to see when you last published a post.  Remember each post is considered fresh content by GOOGLE.
  6. If you have a business Facebook page, be sure to have it linked to your business website.
  7. Link all of your social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn) to your website.
  8. Make sure your GOOGLE Places page is current. Read your reviews. Respond to your reviews.

And yes, there is this new thing called GOOGLE+ for business page.  I will be back in a few days to give you a primer in this latest way to keep your content fresh.

In the meantime…pretend you are a customer, go window shopping on your website, then pretend you are a window dresser. You may not care about fresh content, but GOOGLE does. What changes would you make? How would you freshen up your virtual storefront?

Reading Time: 4 minutes
Were you ever in a school play, pageant, band, or orchestra? It could have been grammar school, middle school, college, Summer Stock, regional community theatre, or Broadway…do you remember the “director” calling out: “Places, everyone!”  In grammar school it was the Benedictine (O.S.B.) nuns who tried to control me and in high school it was Mr. Van Vleck who taught drama.  I am pretty sure I annoyed him.

Today I saw a Tweet that said something like this: “Google Places just got better!” I was intrigued and I thought I need to write a post about whatever is new at GOOGLE Places, because I keep trying to stress to our clients the importance of GOOGLE Places.  Suddenly, I thought maybe I can get everyone’s attention by calling out “Places, Everyone!” GOOGLE Places, that is.

This is what is new with GOOGLE Places.

‘Starting today [June 13, 2011], Google Maps search results in the U.S. and Great Britain will include some of the phrases which are most frequently used to describe those places. These phrases come from sources all across the web, such as reviews, web pages and other online references, and they can help people quickly identify the characteristics that make a particular place unique. It’s like an opportunity to ask the business owner or its patrons “What’s good here?” or “What do most people get here?” ‘

I also learned that if you want to stay on top of all things about GOOGLE Places, then you can:

  1. Subscribe to the GOOGLE Places Blog
  2. Follow GOOGLE Places on Twitter @GooglePlaces
  3. And if you have even more free time you can review GOOGLES’ Blog Directory and subscribe to other GOOGLE Blogs.

Have you claimed your GOOGLE place? If so, do you update it regularly to keep it interesting?

google places

 

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Reading Time: 11 minutes
GOOGLE makes news every day. If you don’t see the headlines hot off the presses, you may catch them later via a TWITTER feed, a Nightly News program, a cable news program, a co-worker, a client, a FACEBOOK page, or even GOOGLE’s Official Blog. February 2011 was flush with GOOGLE news. News about algorithms, JCPenney and Overstock.com. Each bit of news is vital for you to understand how it relates to your  business efforts regarding search engine optimization and your search results.

Let’s start with algorithms…

Do you know what an algorithm is? According to Wikipedia: “In mathematics and computer science, an algorithm is an effective method expressed as a finite list of well-defined instructions for calculating a function. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.” All you really need to know for this conversation is that GOOGLE uses many algorithms to deliver SEARCH results to those that use the GOOGLE search engine. Oh, and one more thing:  GOOGLE is constantly reviewing and tweaking their SEARCH algorithms.

Everyone dreams of being #1 out of 2 million+ results, or at least everyone dreams about being on page 1. Right?  I am not talking about being #1 for your business name, most businesses can accomplish that feat with a little time, good content and responsible search engine optimization. No, what I am talking about is being #1 or on page 1 for a really competitive, albeit generic, keyword or keyword phrase. The fact is there is a lot of competition for most businesses’ wares and services, unless of course you have a very specific niche with no competition.  I will not belabor this, but instead invite you to read GOOGLE’s entire announcement for their latest algorithm update, that really deals with what they call “content farms”.  Here is an important highlight:

“Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

We can’t make a major improvement without affecting rankings for many sites. It has to be that some sites will go up and some will go down. Google depends on the high-quality content created by wonderful websites around the world, and we do have a responsibility to encourage a healthy web ecosystem. Therefore, it is important for high-quality sites to be rewarded, and that’s exactly what this change does.”

What about GOOGLE and JCPenney?

We all know JCPenney, the store. Heck, I used to live in a town where the only “department store” was JCPenney. We didn’t have a Macy’s, SEARS, K-Mart, Walmart, Bloomingdales, Nordstroms…somehow we managed and what we couldn’t find in the store itself we purchased from the JCPenney catalog. Did you know it was founded in 1902? That is a lot of merchandising.  But this month the New York Times reported to GOOGLE that JCPenney’s website was violating GOOGLE’s “link scheme” policy. GOOGLE investigated the claim and after finding the claim to be true, then took action against JCPenney.

On Wednesday evening[in early February], Google began what it calls a “manual action” against Penney, essentially demotions specifically aimed at the company.
At 7 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday, J. C. Penney was still the No. 1 result for ‘Samsonite carry on luggage.’
Two hours later, it was at No. 71.
At 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Penney was No. 1 in searches for ‘living room furniture.’
By 9 p.m., it had sunk to No. 68.
In other words, one moment Penney was the most visible online destination for living room furniture in the country.
The next it was essentially buried.
PENNEY reacted to this instant reversal of fortune by, among other things, firing its search engine consulting firm.”

And now about Overstock.com…

I have never bought anything from Overstock.com, but then I am not much of a shopper. How about you?  I see their television ads and I have visited their website a number of times when I was trying to find an obscure item.  This story also has to do with links, but particular link types and how GOOGLE’s algorithm considers .edu links.  The fact is GOOGLE views both .edu and .gov sites as trusted and authoritative. Now it seems that Overstock.com was “gaming the system” and GOOGLE took action.

“The incident, according to Overstock, stemmed in part from its practice of encouraging websites of colleges and universities to post links to Overstock pages so that students and faculty could receive discounts on the shopping site. Overstock said it discontinued the program on Feb. 10, before hearing from Google, but said some university webmasters have been slow to remove the links.”

The bottom line to all of these incidents is that we’d all like to think there was some fairness in the wide world of the World Wide Web. If you own a business it is natural that you want to do well and you probably want to be able to sleep at night. Right?  

My thoughts about GOOGLE’s actions are: A few years ago, I saw a movie, “The Winslow Boy”, and in the closing scene a defense attorney states: “I wept today because right had been done.” When questioned by the defendant’s sister, “Not justice?” to this the attorney replied, “No, not justice. Right. Easy to do ‘justice’. Very hard to do ‘right’.” GOOGLE tries to do right.

My thoughts about businesses that attempt to game the systems:  Mark Twain said it best. “The glory which is built upon a lie soon becomes a most unpleasant encumbrance. How easy it is to make people believe a lie, and how hard it is to undo that work again!”

It would be great to hear from you. What do you think about GOOGLE’s attempt to level the playing field?

 

Reading Time: 4 minutes
I don’t know how many times I have posted about Twitter on this blog. You can search our twitter label and read all of those posts and it will let you see the evolution of this social media tool and our/my approach to it. It is kind of interesting, but today I want to talk about how Twitter is my virtual birdfeeder.

This morning I read a very simple Tweet from @lizstrauss How to change your Facebook Page’s Category. See it explained here.

This caught my interest and I quickly clicked on the link and realized that by “category” this news was about business Facebook pages. And that meant that I needed to really dig into this news. I tweeted back to Liz:

“thank you. I luv twitter 4 items like this. I’m like a dove sitting below a birdfeeder waitin 4 seed droppings.”

From Liz’s Tweet I went over to my personal Facebook page and saw an item from BlogWorld “Facebook Pages Get a Facelift.”  If you have a business Facebook page I hope you will take the time to read this post, Nikki Katz did a great job of summarizing this Facebook news.

In closing I would like to share a photo that I took today (from inside my house looking through a window). You can see our new bird feeder hanging from one of our Palo Verde trees. If you look closely you will see the small colorful wild birds taking seeds from the feeder, but just below you will see the doves and a squirrel enjoying the extra seeds that have fallen to the ground. It is a wonderful symbiotic relationship, not unlike what I enjoy with my Twitter friends.

bird feeder
Bird feeder- click on the photo to enlarge

I’d love to hear what you think about feeding the birds.  How often do you learn helpful hints from simple little tweets?

 

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Reading Time: 5 minutes
aaron helfand
Aaron with his Disney t-shirt 1983

We all have “aha” moments. Or better yet, we smack our forehead and say to our self “Why didn’t I think of that?” This morning I had one of those moments. I passed by the television which at the time was tuned to MSNBC. A promo ad was playing for MSNBC’s Sunday Morning show Your Business highlighting  uBlanket.

It is such a wonderful idea, great gift for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, showers, retirements…the list is endless and it is a functional, cozy memory blanket – a keepsake that tells a story.

I don’t want you to think or assume that uBlanket is our client. They are not (yet), but I love what they do and I think they have a great business model. Plus, I get a kick out of how simple the idea is. Think about it, or better yet, get up from your computer right now and walk over to your clothes closet or dresser (I am assuming you are at home or imagine you are at home). How many of these “memory or souvenir t-shirts or sweatshirts” do you own? I am going to bet dozens to 100s.

Here’s the thing. Yes, this is a great idea, but it is not original. You know how I know?  As I wrote today to Brett Snowden, Co-founder uBlanket.com:

about six years ago I was sorting through “stuff” with my younger son and we came across a bag filled with little t-shirts that had belonged to my older son. You know the kind of souvenir t-shirts that you buy babies and children when you are traveling, etc? Well, the older son stopped by the house and the younger son handed him the bag and told him to “do something with these shirts!” About four months later I received a package in the mail, a t-shirt blanket quilt made with the little t-shirts! Aaron and a friend had created the blanket.”

But you see, an idea doesn’t have to be original to be successful. It has to be acted upon. You have to think it through, plan it out, and do it!  In this case it really seems that Brett Snowden and John Murch are doing it right. They are doing it green and they are helping the homeless, too.  You can follow them on twitter @uBlanket and like them on Facebook.  

Let me know what you think? Do you have an idea you have been thinking about?  Or did you have an idea that you wished you had developed?

blanket
Do you see the Disney T-shirt on Aaron’s Memory blanket?

 

Reading Time: 4 minutes
twitter nest

Twitter announced NewTwitter on September 14, 2010. They referred to it as a Better Twitter and they said it would be “rolled out” or coming soon to a nest near you. Yesterday, ten days into the roll out I received a message on my Twitter page: “Welcome to #NewTwitter!” I was shocked because after all, I only have 263 followers and I only follow 94 people. Come to think about it, maybe Twitter felt I was a good risk…couldn’t screw up too much or impact too many users, not like @corybooker or @chrisbrogan.

While I like most of what I have seen with the new Twitter I do feel that my quiet little nest is now home to Cuckoo Birds. Do you know about Cuckoo Birds? Many of the cuckoo bird species will not build their own nest, but instead lay their eggs in the nest of another bird species and let the other species raise their young!

What does this have to do with Twitter?  Well, with #OldTwitter if you RT something it is your image that appears in your followers’ Twitter stream; however, with the #NewTwitter it is the original tweeter’s profile avatar which appears in your stream. For example: I follow @johnschannel. He RT’d something from @shamelesshussy and instead of seeing John’s familiar avatar in my stream (which I will read and take note of) I see @shamelesshussy avatar which is a kitten. Imagine a kitten in my Twitter nest.  To tell you the truth, I don’t have time to figure out if I want to read this Tweet now that it does not have John’s avatar. I have to read the small print to know he RT’d it.

So that is why I think my Twitter nest is home to Cuckoo Birds, strangers who have been left there for me to nurture.

 

I would love your input!!! Let me know what you think of #newtwitter.
Reading Time: 9 minutes
living room
How old are you? Do you imagine that you will still be productive when you are 82? Or do you hope to retire before you reach 50 or 60 or 70? I want you to meet my friend Rose. Rose works for The Seaward Inn located in Rockport, MA.You might remember hearing of Rose when I wrote about the Seaward Inn in October 2008.
 
For the record, I have never met Rose in person. I have only talked to her by phone or by e-mail. It was this past May that Rose sent an e-mail concerning a news story about The Seaward Inn that had appeared in the Gloucester Times. She wanted to make sure that the story was used on their website. I wrote Rose and told her it was handled to which she responded:

 “You know Judy, at age 82 I find all this Facebook and Twitter so fascinating. Such a wonderful challenge for me. I love it. Thanks, Rose”

I wrote back to Rose: 

“Rose, You make me giggle.  Why would I ever know or think you are 82!  I love everything you send our way. We so much hope you have a great season.  Judy”

The other day my friend Chris Brogan wrote a blog about “When Novelty Wears Off.”  As usual, he posed some powerful questions about social media like: “What am I doing with XYZ technology? Is it pushing my business forward?” His questions reminded me of my friend Rose. Rose has lived through a lot, she is like Betty White. She is not afraid of new technology, but she knows her main business goal is to assist Nancy Cameron-Gilsey in running The Seaward Inn.
 
Ultimately, I think Chris is trying to caution everyone to keep their eye on the ball. To that end I would like for you to know more about Rose and how, over the years, she has kept her eye on the ball. Here, in her own words, is a little bit about Rose’s career:

 “The only thing older than the Seaward Inn is the Atlantic Ocean and me, believe me I am no prize. I have always loved promoting events, etc. and have had a big appetite for music, all kinds. Love the musicals, Phantom of the Opera being my favorite, but I love the music of Barry White as well. Then there is all the music of the 50’s and 60’s, The Beatles, Peter Paul and Mary and before that the Andrew Sisters ..and of course Elvis. I could go on and on about music. 

Perhaps you remember my coffee shop some 25 yrs. ago,  Rosie’s Coffee Shop Plus in Brown’s Mall. That was put together on a whim, another one of my thinking outside the box ideas…I had fun with it for about three years and then sold it. Took it on when Main Street was dying and the businesses all left the Mall and it had become such a sad establishment. My shop became the heartbeat of the Mall and I tailored my shop to accommodate the clientele like Gloria Stevens …from special menu for dieters to the guys who pumped iron in the exercise club as well as the cops in the Police Station across the street. I’ve been a bookkeeper for years, having studied accounting through a Chrysler Dealership,.. worked at Boley’s back in the 50’s and then for Gloucester Dispatch and did bookkeeping on the side for various small businesses including the Outrigger at Rocky Neck. When the Cameron Sisters took back the Inn from leasing it, I came in to help Nancy start up the books and I’ve been at the Seaward Inn ever since.

I love the Inn, there is something very Special about it and when the economy tanked in Rockport I couldn’t bear to see our beautiful dining rooms empty, so I talked Nancy into bringing in the music …let locals enjoy the view and the Inn. She said we couldn’t afford it but I told her where there is a will there is a way and I asked her to give me a budget and let me give my ideas a try. Well, the rest is history.

Sunday Morning Live has been successful far beyond my expectations. We have had some really great performers at the Inn. I screen all, choose from the best and try to bring as much diversity as possible to the SML Series for the season. It has grown, and with the help of Judy at Webconsuls, our webmaster in Arizona, and other media we are getting the word out there and have quite a following already.

You wanted to know something about me, well there it is, not very interesting, and believe me, you are not missing anything by not meeting me.” 

I don’t know about you, but I am glad I met Rose. She is an inspiration. 


I’ll ask you again: “Do you imagine that you will still be productive when you are 82?” 
 
Here you can enjoy a YouTube video of the Sunday Morning Live Series, 2009.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

People often ask me why I use Twitter. I don’t always have a perfect answer, but this morning when I started scrolling through my Twitter feed I came across a tweet from Rick Klau. Here is what he said:

“Hey @blogger users – check out the new @zemanta gadget, now integrated into Blogger! http://bit.ly/bGPnby”

Now I know that many of our readers/clients might say: “So?” But I want to remind you that last October when I reviewed Blog World Expo BWE09 I said this:

“The exhibitors were varied and engaging. I enjoyed talking to people from all over the world, like the Zemanta team from Slovania (and, yes, I intend to learn more about their product).”

Today I want to give you some pointers on how to get started with this new Zemanta Assistant. Here are the basic steps:

  1. Go to Get Related Content for Your Blog with the Zemanta Gadget
  2. Click on the link that says: Add Zemanta Gadget.
  3. If you are not signed into your Google Account you will be taken to a page where you can sign-in.
  4. If you are already signed in to your Google Account you will be taken to page where you can select your BLOG from a drop-down box and then click on the big orange arrow that says: ADD ZEMANTA
  5. And that is all there is to it, you can start using ZEMANTA. Here is a movie to view which will make it even easier.  LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK! I WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS OR QUESTIONS.

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Reading Time: 4 minutes

Exactly two months ago I wrote a blog about Twitter and the things that I learn from Tweets. That day I made the following observation:

“Here is some other interesting news I picked up by following Rick Klau. On March 11th Blogger announced a new Blogger Template designer. The reviews so far have been very exciting. I am thinking of trying it to create a new personal blog. What do you think of that idea?”

Guess what? Not one of my Webconsuls’ readers offered any feedback about me creating a personal blog.

Quite unexpectedly on June 5th, I watched the movie Julie and Julia. Have you seen the movie? What I love is that it tells a true story and allows us to eavesdrop on the lives of two couples from different generations struggling with identity and goals.  And of course, it also tells a successful story of a BLOG.  So, as the movie closed, the wheels were spinning in my head. On Sunday June 6th I joined in a #blogchat and the rest is history.

I invite you to visit Judy’s OP-ED blog, particularly the About Judy’s OP-ED page where you learn how #blogchat influenced my decision.

But today I would like our clients to mull over these facts:

  • Webconsuls has many clients and a good number of these clients have great blogs. These blogs have been customized to match their websites. They actively post interesting news about their business or their industry. You can see these clients on our Blogroll (in the left margin.)
  • Many of our clients look for guidance about blogging, both technical and creative guidance
  • Creating a personal blog can serve as a training ground for your business blog, allowing you to get comfortable with the software, adding images, videos, links, etc.
  • A personal blog can be a virtual family scrapbook. You can ‘turn the lens on your family’, involve other family members to participate with comments, be guest bloggers, etc.
  • You can keep your personal blog private, only share it with designated readers.

I want you to know that I built my personal blog by myself. I was tempted to call Malik Moosa-Soomar, but I felt strongely that I needed to learn how to do this by flying solo.

Now I hope you will read it, ask questions, post comments, and join in the fun.

And here for today’s fun is a trailer for Julie and Julia. 

Reading Time: 5 minutes

I remember being bored. I think you know what I mean. It was usually a state of mind that a young adolescent or teenager experienced and felt the need to call out to the nearest parent something like this, “Mom, I’m bored. There is nothing to do.” I don’t know about your mother, but mine would usually come back with: “If you’re bored then go outside, read a book, or I will find something for you to do!” Thinking back on this, I think my mother was tired. But those were the days that we learned to explore the canyons around our neighborhood (before they turned it into a golf course), we found trap-door spiders and brought them home in jars, we went to the library and checked out books to read, we started following certain Soap Operas, we walked to the public pool to swim with our friends, we played street games (kick the can) until well past 10:00PM and one summer I was even invited to be the piano player in a combo band! (Summer 1963,The Finnegan Combo took 1st Prize at the July 4th Fair Talent Show)

You are probably wondering why I am even discussing this topic today. Yesterday I happened to see an interview with James Bennet, Editor-in-Chief of The Atlantic, where he discussed the 3rd annual “Ideas” issue. You will see from the video interview and this essay from Walter Kirn, the 3rd biggest idea of this year is BOREDOM IS EXTINCT.

As Mr. Kirn says: “Thanks to Twitter, iPads, BlackBerrys, voice-activated in-dash navigation systems, and a hundred other technologies that offer distraction anywhere, anytime, boredom has loosened its grip on us at last—that once-crushing “weight” has become, for the most part, a memory.”

Just recently Blog World New Media Expo posted a blog Poll: Should There Be “Gadget Free” Sessions at BlogWorld? You might find it interesting, it doesn’t deal directly with boredom, as such, but with the grip that technology has on all of us, so we can’t seem to sit in a conference session and just listen and learn. This post opens with: “After a member of the BlogWorld Facebook page posted a seemingly innocent comment about having a session at BlogWorld discussing multi-tasking during a gadget free session, the little hamster in my head began spinning her wheel.” (DISCLAIMER: I am the member being referred to in this opening sentence.) I don’t know what will become of this idea, but I will keep you posted.

I need to get back to work, but wouldn’t it be a nice day for a daydream? Your thoughts…

P.S. I just went to check Twitter and it is over capacity. That is your ticket to daydream.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Lately I have been thinking a lot about the bystander effect (syndrome) and how it can be applied to the Internet. I am not referring to the darker side of the Internet, I am talking about a typical website/blog that is designed for commercial e-commerce or business to business (B2B), personal/informational blog, news, government or a non-profit organization promotional site. Our society has been talking about the bystander effect for almost 50 years, and yes I know it is usually applied to life and death emergency situations, not unlike the Good Samaritan that died in New York City on April 18th.

But back to the Internet and the bystander effect. I started down this path about six weeks ago when I saw a tweet from Chris Brogan which said basically: “People of earth, I know my site has been hacked.” I think this was Chris’ urgent way of telling his 135,000+ Twitter followers to stop sending him messages. I am almost positive that Chris really appreciated the first few tweets or emails from his followers, because one might be a fluke but multiple messages validate the condition, and besides I think Chris would do the same if he came across something that was broken (my assumption, but his stated principle to “be helpful”). I think Chris is lucky that so many people want to help him. More often than not, a site viewer will see or come across something that is broken or obviously incorrect and yet they won’t take the time to tell the site owner, whose very livelihood might depend on this “head’s up.”

Let me give you two current examples, both involve $1,000,000:

  1. On May 21, Zappos.com announced that their sister site 6pm.com’s pricing engine capped all prices at $49.95 for six hours. It cost them a loss of $1.6 million dollars. Is it possible that over the course of six hours not one regular returning customer of 6pm.com took the time to send a message to say “Hey, something looks screwy on your site!”? I hope you will read the whole article, because you will see that it was a programming error that resulted from bad code. Read all the comments about pricing engines, 6pm.com took the high road, but I would love to know if they received that one email that alerted them. (I learned about this story from Jodi Henderson’s blog )
  2. On May 29th, I read a tweet from Jorja at Beyond the Pale that said: “RT the lonely world of blogging, comment anyone, anyone, buehler? comment, anyone?” and it linked to Savor the Ride (be sure to read all the eventual comments on this post, it will allow you to see how the story unfolded). I decided to see what this blog was all about. Guess what? The blogger, Ridgely Johnson, was offering $1,000,000 to the first commenter, as her last 20 blogs had received not one comment. A few tweets went back and forth between Jorja and me, finally I sent an email to Ridgely which said: “I happened over to your blog because @beyondpalegal (Jorja) tweeted about you. Not that I expected to win $1,000,000, but I cannot figure out how to leave a comment on any of your posts. I tried in IE8 and FF…no place to comment. Am I missing something, maybe this is why no one is commenting?”Today is Memorial Day. It is a solemn day, but I thought that maybe I could leave you with a scene from the wonderful 1986-1993 television series “Designing Women.” This YouTube video is dedicated to Dixie Carter (Julia) who passed away April 10, 2010. Julia asks the proverbial question: “Why didn’t somebody tell me?” Watch the whole episode, you won’t be disappointed.


Designing women season 3 episode 15 by Mixedseries12
If you are having trouble viewing Season 3, Episode 15 “Full Moon,” you can view it here.

Over this Memorial Day weekend, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith have been writing about “frames and assumptions.” The stand out message is this from Julien: “Always be testing. Never stop questioning things you think are true, no matter how solid they may seem.” This, of course, applies to all aspects of our lives, but particularly to our websites/blogs. Things happen, hacking occurs, links break, you hit a wrong button and you disable comments, no one tests your site in varied browsers (can look great on an Apple in Safari, and scream “Help” in IE8). Many bloggers are not technical and they cannot afford on-going technical assistance, so don’t assume they know about a problem with their site. Don’t be a bystander, speak up! Remember this is social media. Be social. Help a “friend.”

I would love to hear your thoughts about all of this.

Reading Time: 5 minutes
books
Judy’s new books to read! Trust Agents and Social Media 101

If you read this blog regularly then you already know that I have written on many occasions about my Twitter sentiments. To help you enjoy my evolution I will link to the related blogs at the end of this post. But today I thought I would take a few minutes and share with you what I gained from tweeting over the past 10 days or so, as I am sure you want to know what’s happening on Twitter. Am I right?

  • I follow Rick Klau. Rick is the manager of BLOGGER. Get it? By following Rick I knew real time when the Blogger migration tool had been released. “rklau FTP Migration tool launching tonight. Details on http://blogger-ftp.blogspot.com/ and in your dashboard later this evening.” I re-tweeted this message so that my Webconsuls’ team members would get the news real time, March 3, 2010, 4:52PM. Why is this important? Many of our customers have blogs and are impacted by this migration tool. We are now working behind the scenes to update their blogs.
  • I told you a while ago I follow Chris Brogan. Both Chris and Rick, and a few others that I follow, are at the SXSW Conference this week. Looks interesting. I would not really know anything about this if I hadn’t been following Chris and Rick. Let me know what you think.
  • The other day Chris Brogan tweeted @chrisbrogan Don’t forget to try the Video Marketing Quiz. Tweet your score, win a prize! #VMQ10. So I took the quiz. Guess what? I won a $20 Amazon Gift Certificate and now eyeview_inc is following me!
  • I think you know that Chris Brogan has written two books. I have been wanting to buy them, but have not gotten around to it. So I decided to take my $20 Amazon gift certificate and buy both books, get free shipping…I only had to chip in $11.30. I tweeted about it and Chris Brogan re-tweeted my tweet and so did EyeView_Inc. Books arrived Saturday, so I am ready to read. Trust Agents and Social Media 101.
  • Here is some other interesting news I picked up by following Rick Klau. On March 11th Blogger announced a new Blogger Template designer. The reviews so far have been very exciting. I am thinking of trying it to create a new personal blog. What do you think of that idea?

So you see, my tweeting has helped our clients, Webconsuls’ team, and me. The more I learn the more I can share.

JUST LIVING is not ENOUGH said THE BUTTERFLY, ONE MUST HAVE SUNSHINE, FREEDOM and a LITTLE FLOWER.”…Hans Christian Andersen.

You can enjoy our March 13th trip to the Tucson Botanical Garden where we met real butterflies and enjoyed some freedom!

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Lately I have been reading a lot on-line about customer service, particularly about social media and customer service. You may have followed a few news stories that covered how someone’s tweets very quickly managed to get the attention of a large company. Then recently Chris Brogan discussed “guest experience design” and he followed up by touching on another new catch phrase “experience facilitators” (you might think “hotel concierge”). All of these discussions really are about marketing: marketing our businesses, marketing ourselves as employees, marketing ideas to our employers, marketing ideas to and for our clients, the list goes on. As I thought about all of this, it occurred to me that I would give you my take on “Guest Experience Design” and it might be fun to look back on some national advertising campaigns and see how effective these have been as “experience facilitators” over the years. This will be a multi-post personal walk down memory lane, because like the Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail” said: “Whatever else anything is, it ought to begin by being personal.”

Disney Resorts and Windows 7
Today I am going to combine two national advertising campaigns: Disney Resorts and Microsoft’s Windows 7. I am a consumer of both and; therefore, an expert of sorts. Have you seen the latest Microsoft Media Campaign? It is “Windows 7 Was My Idea!”

This is a very clever ad campaign, but did you ever think that if Windows 7 is a commercial failure, like Vista was thought to be, Microsoft will have all of us to blame? All of the consumers that submitted suggestions, complaints, ideas, will be doing battle with thst MAC guy! Microsoft is trying to reach the people, the consumers, and thank them for their input on the ultimate guest experience design.

Now you are probably wondering how this campaign ties into Disney Resorts. I like to think that Disney’s Fastpass was my idea. Historically I have been visiting Disneyland in Anaheim, California since 1955. My parents would drive us from San Diego, before Interstate 5 existed, when Orange County was really all orange groves. But there came a time in April 1994 when I visited Disneyland with Dennis (my husband), Aaron and Dan (our sons then 13 and 10) and my mother-in-law (then 82). In those days the Disneyland entrance had a huge sign that said “The Happiest Place on Earth”. As a little girl, as a teen-ager, even as a young adult I never gave those words a second thought, but on April 17, 1994, I knew I was not in the happiest place on earth. The park was so crowded and really congested that one had to wait anywhere from 45-90 minutes to take a ride. In six hours we managed to ride four of the major rides and my children turned to us and said “can we leave now?” When we returned home from our long planned vacation I wrote a letter to the Magic Kingdom. I didn’t yell, scream, or belittle the Disney staff, I didn’t even ask for my money back. I calmly told them my story. I opened with this sentence: “On April 17, 1994, Disneyland was not the happiest place on earth.” I pointed out to them that my mother-in-law was in a wheelchair sitting in the shade of a tree by the Matterhorn, waiting for us to disembark from the Matterhorn, when suddenly a man fell out of the skyway ride and into the shade tree! The day went downhill from there. My overall approach was not to just complain about the crowds, but to offer a solution. I suggested that Disneyland consider controlling the number of tickets sold per day, similar to a National Park (Yosemite) or any concert/special event venue. Then everyone would be able to enjoy that which they had perhaps saved for a lifetime to enjoy. About two weeks later I received a very nice letter from Disneyland. They thanked me for my suggestion and asked me to send them a copy of my receipts for all that we had spent at Disneyland that day. I sent them the receipts, two weeks later I received a gift certificate in the amount of $350 and in 1999 Disney’s virtual queuing Fastpass was introduced. So you see I like to think that the Fastpass was my idea and maybe in some small way my ideas did matter to Disney. I like to think so.

Final thoughts and questions
In today’s world I might have tweeted about my Disney experience in the moment and Disney would probably jumped right on my Tweet. But would they have had the opportunity to think through a resolution that would improve the experience for every potential guest? What do you think? Do you work on your “guest experience design”? Do you facilitate your guests’ experience? Does the design control the guest’s experience or does the guest’s experience control the design?

guest experience design
Daniel, The Beast, and Judy April 17, 1994
Reading Time: 5 minutes

News Flash: I follow Chris Brogan on Twitter. A few months ago I attended Blog World Expo in Las Vegas. I wrote about it. I promised that I would try to apply what I learned. One of the first things I did was to begin following Chris Brogan. Don’t get excited. I am one of 124,385 followers. (To put this in perspective I have 41 followers.) You are probably shaking your head and asking “is Judy nuts?” But to that, I say: “Does me being one of 3,400,000 TIME Magazine weekly subscribers or one of 6,685,684 National Geographic monthly subscribers shock you or make you question why I would even think of “following” these honored publications?” I hope not. I subscribe to these publications, local newspapers, SEO/SMO on-line newsletters for the same reason that I follow Chris Brogan – each opens avenues to useful and timely information that can impact my business, Webconsuls’ clients, and my personal life.

This past week Chris mentored: Don’t Forget the Little Side Streets. Exploring side streets with Chris Brogan is quite a ride. I hope you will take the time to read his post, he offers really good insights and, unlike a few, Chris is optimistic and looks for ways to extend the expiration date for some of these “streets”. For example, when was the last time you:

  • examined your “YELP” reviews
  • verified your Google Local Business Center Map
  • updated your Bing Local Listing Center
  • checked out Yahoo Answers
  • refreshed your Facebook Fan page
  • responded to a Trip Advisor review (negatively or positively)
  • tweeted something of positive value, as opposed to a rant

Navigating and maintaining these “streets” takes time. But the beauty of the Internet in general and social media in particular is the fluidity and vitality that you can manage to. Every time you think you don’t have time I want you to find a business person who can recall the angst of designing and ordering a brochure. Trust me. Before the ink was dry the area code had been split in two, your AAA rating had changed for the better or the beautiful maple tree that graced your front lawn had fallen. Yes, maintaining your “streets” and exploring side streets takes time, but you can do it on your time and make your journey as interesting as you want. There really is nothing like a road trip.

Here is my favorite photo of a real “side” street.

no name street
No Name Street 2000

This post is dedicated to Chris Brogan, thanking him for inspiration.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Web 2.0 and social networking may not be for everyone! Living in a world of “avatars” and mood status updates is not as important to some people as it is others. One finds this out after they have already taken the time to set up detailed accounts about themselves. Thousands of people have found that closing a Facebook, Myspace, or LinkedIn account isn’t the easiest task. Sure you can turn your account off or deactivate it, but all of your personal information and pretty much everything you have typed in is archived somewhere along the vast information highway. Killing one’s virtual self has been quite a burden, almost equal to the burden of living it. So then, how does one commit virtual suicide?

Now, you can use the Web 2.0 suicide machine to completely scrub your Internet presence. The program will use the log in information you provide and go through all your social networking accounts deleting your existence. “Suicide Machine has assisted more than 1,000 virtual deaths, severing more than 80,500 friendships on Facebook and removing some 276,000 tweets from Twitter”, according to TIME Magazine. Suicide Machine is so popular that thousands of people are waiting their turn for their own “cyberoffing”. “Our server is so busy handling the requests,” says Suicide Machine co-creator Walter Langelaar. Whether for a good or bad, there is no turning back or second chances at life; once you have committed to the deletion it will take nothing short of an act from God to reverse the procedure. When the suicide process is complete you’ll receive a “cybermemorial” on the site. “RIP, 2.0. We’ll miss you”.

Facebook, so far is the only social network in up in arms about this new service and feels that the company is breaking the law “citing violation of users privacy”, which is impossible because the individuals voluntarily submit their information to Suicide Machine; LinkedIn, MySpace and Twitter have not yet publicly made a comment about Suicide Machine. Earlier this month Facebook blocked Suicide Machine from accessing its site. However, that has not slowed down Suicide Machine’s creators, the euthanasia goes on. “Compared to the more than 350 million users [on Facebook], we think deleting a few hundred is not very impressive, but they picked up on it as a potential threat”, says Langelaar.

If people are waiting in line to have their Internet lives deleted for good, then it will be interesting to see if the trend continues. So many people open social networking accounts and never once go back online to use them, so then deletion makes sense in that they would no longer want their information out there.

Reading Time: 5 minutes
Wordmark for Twitter logoWordmark for Twitter logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What is it about Twitter? A simple question, a simple program, a complex answer – maybe even unexplainable. If you were to type “twitter” into a Wikipedia field you would find this: “Twitter is a free social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author’s profile page and delivered to the author’s subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS) or external applications”. If you have a basic understanding of the World Wide Web today you probably understand words like blogging, add a micro- to the beginning and you have tiny blog posts, called Tweets. Simple, Right! What isn’t so simple is why one would ever want to broadcast short transmissions about their day-to-day activities; why would I want to ask questions, and take interest in what a total stranger is doing with their life?

Twitter has been around since 2006, it quietly gained steam at first while people figured out its potential and spread the word. Twitter grew exponentially worldwide and although it has slowed down in the last year, its user numbers are in the millions! Twitter is a tool for the 21st century speeding up the flow of information, allowing people to tap literally into the resources of the entire world. Twitter has no time zone, no deadlines; it is not bound by conventionality! We don’t have to check our favorite news websites to know when a story has “dropped” anymore, no more one sentence emails either – Send a Tweet! Web 2.0 is about life, interaction and feeling like the impossible is possible; the World Wide Web is alive and constantly expanding, now it even has a voice.

Can anyone explain why Twitter has been so successful in such a short period of time? Maybe not, but I do know that in general people want to feel like they have a voice; now, everyone can guarantee an audience, hopefully a full house. The fact that Bill Gates signed on board yesterday says a lot. In eight hours he had over a 100,000 followers!

Reading Time: 13 minutes

Webconsuls Newsletter, Winter 2009, 4th Quarter

With the holidays upon us, we wanted to take a few minutes to wish all of our clients a happy and healthy New Year. This newsletter will take you down memory lane as Webconsuls turns 10 years old, spotlighting those clients who have been with us for those 10 years, welcoming new clients and sharing some milestones.

Webconsuls turns 10!

Dick and Dennis actually met at an ARCO Business Seminar in June 1981; however, their careers took them on different paths. It was not until October 1999 when Dick and Dennis met again and decided to form Webconsuls.

Dennis likes to recall how Webconsuls came to be…he was recently interviewed by http://www.arcoalumni.com/ and here is their article:

ARCO Alumni Dennis Helfand and Dick Fay built entirely new careers post ARCO. Their focus is to help commercial clients “generate new and/or additional revenues through web presence marketing.” Says Helfand, “We transitioned from a ‘hobby’ to a serious business enterprise very quickly. Webconsuls currently has about 90 clients across the US and a few based in Asia and Europe”.

Having been Director of Public Affairs and Field Operations, at ARCO, Helfand took the 1985 Early Retirement Package at ARCO Alaska, “my wife and I bought a 120-bed country inn resort in New Hampshire’s White Mountains National Forest area, which we operated from 1986 until 1997. In the mid 1990’s, while at the inn, I became interested in learning about marketing the property via the Internet and pursued this activity with great interest. When we sold the inn, we were already realizing quite a bit of revenue from internet-generated leads.”

After relocating to Newport Beach, CA, a number of my former NH-based competitors (friends nonetheless) contacted me to market their facilities over the internet. This became a sort of hobby, earning a few dollars here and there in the process. Then two serendipitous events occurred.

  1. An inn owner and close friend had been trying to sell his property through Realtors. There were very few prospects and not a single serious buyer. I suggested selling his property over the Internet for a “marketing fee.” This was in 1998 and I believe it may have been one of the first commercial property sales via the Internet. Best of all, my web marketing fee amounted to just about one percent of the total sales price!

2.  The second fortuitous event was meeting my former Crude Supply Manager for lunch in 1998. I asked him about Dick Fay (W. Richard Fay) from ARCO Transportation Company. He said Dick recently retired and was looking to do something new and interesting.

The rest is history. Webconsuls.com was established in 1999. We formed an LLC and got serious very quickly. On-Line courses and technical publications gave us new skill sets and we gradually acquired outside specialists to assist us as our business grew. My wife Judy, a business analyst in the information technology field joined Webconsuls in November 2006.

We have seen our business thrive and look forward to continued growth and new experiences.

Clients come and go…
Over the past 10 years Webconsuls’ team has had the privilege to work with over 300 clients in a variety of industries. Each client is unique and that is what makes web design, SEO and SMO so interesting and vital. Judy recently looked back to see which clients started with Webconsuls in the Fall of 1999 and of those which ones are still our clients. Interestingly enough, there are four! They are New Hampshire Campground Association, Motorcars East, Newport Channel Inn and Edna Deeb Law.

Here are some interesting facts from Webconsuls first business quarter: 22 clients, nine California clients, nine New Hampshire clients, four Connecticut clients, 31 invoices!

New Clients round out our base…
We are happy to introduce you to our newest clients and we invite you to check out their websites.

Celebrate a New Life **

Creative Care

Green Clean OC **

Hardline 830 **

Law Office of Carilyn Ibsen **

Promises Foundation

Rockport Inn & Suites

Snap Out of It Now

Surfing Heritage Foundation **

We are also working on either new sites or redesigns for

Savoir Faire Language Institute

Forrest General Healthcare Foundation

Executive Maintenance

Wallace Physical Therapy

Law Office of Salvatore Ciulla

The Internet Grows and Evolves

Dick Fay remembers how when they first started in 2000 Webconsuls could make some small changes to a site and viola! the site would be on the first page of Alta Vista. The number of competitors to most sites was measured in the hundreds, pay per click was in its infancy with something called Overture, Google was an upstart, and no one had heard of Social Marketing. Potential clients were trying to decide if they “needed” a web site. Websites themselves were usually static and straightforward.

Now some clients face thousands or millions of competitors for key terms, Google has about 70% of the search engine marketplace, pay per click is huge and requires expert management to be successful. Clients are deciding when to redesign their web site to keep it up to date with the available technology. Facebook, Twitter, blogs and video are staples of many successful businesses whose owners work hand in hand with Webconsuls to grow their business.

Webconsuls Grows and Evolves

Webconsuls has also grown and evolved over the last 10 years. We have added a third partner, Judy Helfand. The entire team keeps up with the latest in Search Engine Optimization. We have added specialists in web design, pay per click, social media, and link building. We have redesigned our web site several times to reflect our growing business. We have added a blog and links to news feeds on Search Engine Marketing and Social Media. Check them out:

Search Engine Optimization

Social Media Optimization

You can also follow us on Twitter

Let us know if you have a twitter account and would like us to follow you.

Webconsuls’ Team News…

As most of you know Malik Moosa-Soomar, our web development specialist and designer, was married to Zaheen Allibhoy on April 11, 2009. Dennis, Judy, Dick and Fran were happy to attend their wedding celebration in Austin, TX. Speaking of weddings, Dick and Fran were married February 20, 2009. Keith Hansen, our pay-per-click specialist, and his wife, Diana, welcomed a baby boy, Layne, on April 26, 2009.

We are happy to welcome Alycia Kaczuwka as our new Social Media expert. Alycia is working with our clients focusing on brand-building using tools like blogs/RSS, Facebook, Twitter and social bookmarking. She brings her extensive background in audience development and website design to social tools to keep the SMO process in focus as an integrated part of a web-based marketing plan. In addition, Alycia has a comprehensive background in web analytics using Google Analytics and Omniture to measure campaign performance and return on investment.

Happy Holidays

This year rather than send a small gift to our clients we are making donations to the following:

Olive Crest Homes and Services for Abused Children
Since 1973, Olive Crest has transformed the lives of over 50,000 abused, neglected, and at-risk children and their families.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine
The vision of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Midcoast Maine is successful mentoring relationships for youth in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo Counties, contributing to better schools, stronger communities and brighter future.

The Promises Foundation Miriam’s House
The Promises Foundation is committed to restoring hope for families by creating a safe environment for mothers and their children to grow and develop the tools they require to live meaningful and self-sufficient lives.

Sincerely,

Dick, Dennis and Judy

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