Squarespace Circle Member

Circles is Squarespace for professionals

Today, I received an invitation to join Squarespace Circle. Of course, I joined immediately. Now I get access to unique perks, expert insights, and optimized support. And, the biggest thing is that it comes with a 6 month trial! This is a big deal for my clients as  we will now be able to build a new site and not have to pay for it until launch... well, as long as the site is ready for launch by that time. :)

The Google Support Team

Another Great Experience

I just can't speak highly enough about how amazing the support is for setting up a Google for Work account. Members of the team are knowledgable, polite, understanding and courteous. After each conversation - during which they seem to have all the time in the world for you -  they send an email with the details of your discussion and links to all the relevant information. On top of that, you are assigned an individual who specializes in the area of your concern and all followup conversations are done with them. They treat you as a friend... even calling you if they haven't heard from you before the case is closed. Unbelievable!

I'm working on behalf of a nonprofit (3 actually) so, considering Google is not making a dime here, it is just overwhelming. Now if Google could just simplify the language surrounding their products... Is it Google for Work, Google for Business, Google Apps, Google Drive? It takes awhile to understand the subtleties and reasons for using Apps vs Drive, etc. 

Also, when you sign up for a Google for Nonprofits, you first apply for a Google for Work Trial account. When the approval came, I thought I was approved for nonprofit status as well so was surprised about the hoopla that followed. That is another story (not quite as flattering) and maybe best for another time.

All in all, I can't speak highly enough about the Google Support Team. I have had 3 individuals assigned to me and each was remarkably very well trained, thorough and friendly. Go Google.

New Drone site Launched today

rohl-drones-home-page.jpg

One of my new clients this fall was Rohl Drones Inc. It has been a great experience learning about their services. What an impressive collection of photos they gave me demonstrating the incredible high definition images of towers, quarries, and agriculture fields which are central to their work. I also had to brush up on my iMovie skills in order to edit 2 videos down to 19 seconds each. I then embedded them into a full size page display. You can check it out at www.rholdrones.com.

Google for Nonprofits

A nightmare with a happy ending

Google for Work (formerly Google Apps for Business) is a suite of cloud computing productivity and collaboration software tools and software offered on a subscription basis by Google.

It includes Google’s popular web applications including Gmail, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, Google Calendar, and Google Docs. These products are available to consumers free of charge so why move to the paid version? 

Google Apps for Work adds business-specific features such as:

  • custom email addresses at your domain (your-name@yourcompany.com)
  • at least 30GB of storage for documents and email
  • 24/7 phone and email support

Yes, 24/7 phone support! Imagine a being able to phone a huge company and talk with a smart, or as Apple would say, "genius" to assist you. And, did I need help. Not only does Google Support have a smart person answer the phone in just a few rings, and, that person will stay with you with followup emails and phone calls that you may need. Yes, throughout the 2 weeks of fixing two problems with 3 or 4 one hour long phone calls, I was able to talk with the same person each time. This really helps speed up the process and eliminate frustration by not having to re-explain everything to a new helper. My guy was Eric. He followed my case throughout and even called me when pending information became available .

 

My First eCommerce Site

Shop online at Blue Moon Furniture

This summer I had the opportunity to add commerce to the Blue Moon Furniture website. Squarespace provides a great set of tools to build a beautiful gallery of items for sale with the ability to add many variations to a single product plus regional taxes and shipping costs.

A Complete Service

Squarespace also helps you make sure you have everything you need for a commerce site:

  • Terms of Service
  • Refund Policy
  • Privacy Policy
  • Opt-in subscription to newsletters
  • Push notifications to Social Media (purchases can be made from the website without leaving Facebook)

Thanks to Sylvia and Leila at Blue Moon Furniture for their patience in developing this aspect of their site as there were a few challenges in meeting expectations with the reality of selling online. I learned a lot and am excited about developing the next eCommerce site.

 

Inspiration for building your dream business

An interesting project by marketing guru, Seth Godin.

SEO advice from Tom Schmitz of Search Engine Land

SEO advice from Tom Schmitz of Search Engine Land

They say the devil is in the details. When it comes to search engine optimization, those details include some important quirks you need to know about.

  • Conforming to search engine behavior

  • Keeping-up with changes in search engine behavior

  • Playing well with other websites to protect your SEO

  • Avoiding common practices that obstruct SEO

Here are nine examples of what I [Tom Schmitz of Search Engine Land] call SEO quirks. See how many you know about.

Image format: Which is best for what?

GIF, JPEG/JPG OR PNG

WHICH FILE FORMAT IS BEST?

Every type of image format has its own advantages and disadvantages.

JPEG

Great for images when you need to keep the size smallGood option for photographsBad for logos, line art, and wide areas of flat color

GIF

Great for animated effectsNice option for clip art, flat graphics, and images that use minimal colors and precise linesGood option for simple logos with blocks of colors

PNG

LosslessExcellent choice when transparency is a must. Good option for logos and line art. Not supported everywhere.


Take your local business online

Video #1 in a series to help build an online presence for your local business. Meet my sister, Marnie, who owns a jewelry store and my cousin, Scott, who works as a realtor. Follow them as we talk about the big changes in the last decade, such as making sure your business can reach customers at work, home, or on-the-go using their mobile phones.

Google Webmasters YouTube Series

50 Problem Words and Phrases

DailyWritingTips

Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to conceive written communication. So many pairs or trios of words and phrases stymie us with their resemblance to each other. Here’s a quick guide to alleviate (or is it ameliorate?) your suffering:

  1. a while / awhile: “A while” is a noun phrase; awhile is an adverb.
  2. all together / altogether: All together now — “We will refrain from using that two-word phrase to end sentences like this one altogether.”
  3. amend / emend: To amend is to change; to emend is to correct.
  4. amount / number: Amount refers to a mass (“The amount saved is considerable”); number refers to a quantity (“The number of dollars saved is considerable”).
  5. between / among: The distinction is not whether you refer to two people or things or to three or more; it’s whether you refer to one thing and another or to a collective or undefined number — “Walk among the trees,” but “Walk between two trees.”

View more on the DailyWritingTips website.

TWiT's Marketing Mavericks talks about the future of print and digital media

Host Tonya Hall with guests: Jeff Jarvis, Scott Monty, and Brian Reich talk about the leaked New York Times Innovation Report and what it means for New Media.

A few highlights

  1. 6:50 – Should not think of being in the content business rethink we are a service that makes our communities smarter… success is not measure by page views but rather if we help communities do what the community wants to do ... study and practice of engagement. (Jeff Jarvis)
  2. 21:30 – The print product has to become your bi product (Jeff Jarvis)
  3. 23:40 – "Do what you do best and link to the rest” (Jeff Jarvis)
  4. 27:40 – using the content we have from past issues, i.e.. current content referring to old content  (Scott Monty)

Using the hyphen, en-dash and em-dash

 
 

em-dash

Typically used to act as a comma or parenthesis to separate phrases—or even just a word—in a sentence for various reasons (i.e. an appositive).

  • School is based on the three R’s—reading, writing, and ’rithemtic.
  • Against all odds, Pete—the unluckiest man alive—won the lottery.

en-dash

Used to connect values in a range or that are related. A good rule is to use it when you're expressing a "to" relationship.

  • in years 2013–2014
  • pages 10–12
  • Jets won 3–2

hyphen

Used to join words in a compound construction, or separate syllables of a word.

  • pro-Canadian
  • same-sex couples
  • em-dash
  • it's pronounced hos-pi-tal-it-tee

minus sign

  • 4 − 2 = 2.

Typing en & em dashes on a Mac 

  • en-dash: option-hyphen
  • em-dash: option-shift-hyphen

HTML Code

  • en-dash: &ndash
  • em-dash: &mdash
  • minus sign: &minus

Source: English Language & Usage

Note

The Elements of Typographic Style recommends the spaced en dash – like so – and argues that the length and visual magnitude of an em dash "belongs to the padded and corseted aesthetic of Victorian typography."[36] In the United Kingdom, the spaced en dash is the house style for certain major publishers, including the Penguin Group, the Cambridge University Press, and Routledge. But this convention is not universal. The Oxford Guide to Style (2002, section 5.10.10) acknowledges that the spaced en dash is used by "other British publishers", but states that the Oxford University Press—like "most US publishers"—uses the unspaced em dash.

Source: Wikipedia


Creative ways to thank volunteers

creative-ways-to-thank-volunteers.png

A Great Volunteer Is Worth More Than You Think

– From: about.com via Wild Apricot

Here are a variety of ways to recognize volunteers that you can incorporate into your menu of kudos:

  1. Ask for the mayor’s involvement. Get your city’s mayor to bestow some special proclamation for your top volunteer (or volunteers).
  2. VIP parking. It may not sound like much, but on a large campus or an urban location, a special parking spot can be a very appreciated gift. Designate a certain portion of your parking lot for “most dedicated” volunteers or have a handy location earmarked for your “volunteer of the month.”
  3. Send handwritten notes of appreciation. Not creative? In these days of email and texting and cell phones, handwritten notes, sent through the mail, are becoming increasingly rare. So when it happens, it’s noticed and appreciated.
  4. Host an event for the families of your volunteers. Try a picnic, a bowling party, hot air balloon rides, an ice cream social or some other fun-filled day.
  5. Host a “this is your life” event. Host a special recognition event for a longtime, retiring volunteer. Invite fellow volunteers, the volunteer’s family, friends and associates as well as your nonprofit’s employees. Stage brief skits that re-enact milestone events from the volunteer’s life.

For nine more ideas go to: About.com Nonprofit Charitable Orgs

How to keep an abstract random person organized

I'm good at...

I've aways been able to keep my documents and email organized by sorting them into an alphebetized system of folders. This results in folders within folders within folders. I can pretty much find anything in my computer or house for that matter... but it may take some time. I'm also good at creating lists.

I'm not good at...

Yes, I am good at creating lists BUT I have a huge problem in following them. It is a fact that I have created an agenda but forgot to invite people to the meeting!

The biggest problem I had was remembering what needs doing and when. After receiving an email that required me to do something, I did one of the following:  added it to a list, flagged it, marked it as unread, or just let it to sink to the bottom of the pile never to be viewed again until the client called asking why I hadn't completed the task. Sound familiar?

Evernote to the rescue

My favourite feature of Evernote is that it allows you to forward email to Evernote. Not only does the email end up in Evernote, but you can tell it exactly where to go within the system and tag it before you send it.

The how to

Within Evernote, I created tags called "Action" and "Done". In the subject line of the email, add @Inbox (or any notebook's name) and then #action to tag it. In Evernote, I have created a search for "Action minus Done". Obviously, the search finds all the email with the tag "Action" but not any with the tag "Done". Brilliant! There in front of my eyes is a detailed list of all the things I need to do. When completing the job prescribed by the email, I tag it "Done" and it disappears from the list. It is a great feeling.

Here is a video and step by step description on how to send email to Evernote.