No Grace in these Economic Times

It’s the first of the month, and my inbox is stuffed with the routine reminders from the third-party services I use. Today I received a separate email for each domain name registration and hosting service that is expiring during August, September, and October. Quite a pile of email.

Unfortunately, we have to be more careful about these messages than we did just a few months ago.

The services I use are cutting off domain name registration the date after expiration. They are giving no grace period.

If you don’t pay by the date due, your site will disappear. In it’s place will be single page filled with spammy advertisements.

True, the registration service has given multiple warnings that the balance was due. No doubt that they are within their rights to disappear you website.

But, this behavior is new and startling. In the past, the service provide a 30-day grace period. But, not now. Not in these economic times.

Photoshop Done So Well, It Needs a Disclaimer

Roger Arvid Anderson photographic show as envisioned by David Wilson

One of my clients, the sculptor, photographer, and artist Roger Arvid Anderson, had a fun reason to add text to his website recently.

Visitors to his site who were reading a proposal for a Star Spangled photo exhibition were contacting him saying that they liked the photos of his show.

The mock-ups that seemed to show visitors strolling through galleries of Roger’s photographs were being mistaken for actual photos.  So, Roger asked me to add a disclaimer under the first of these Photoshopped pictures to say that the images were digitally manipulated.  Check out all the photos yourself!

Nice to have to such quality work on his site that we needed words to tell people that what their eyes were seeing wasn’t real.

Roger is an art photographer who still uses black and white film. He relied on photographer David Wilson to digitally create  such a realistic gallery.  I have worked with David for a couple of clients, and always appreciate his clear, interesting images. I recommend him whenever you need a professional to capture (or create!) a perfect image.

Updating Multiple Twitters

One side benefit of being a web designer and testing pages in multiple browsers is that I have multiple browser programs available for Twitter. I keep logged in to Twitter:

  • On default browser Firefox for my personal account, Ozdachs
  • On Safari for my CPA clients, SKOCPA
  • On Internet Explorer for my church, UUSF
  • On Opera the Twitters that shows up on the right side of this blog for Ozdachs Consulting

I can start any of the browsers and go to Twitter and start up without logging in.  And, there have been times when I’ve ALT-TABbed between browsers to keep personal and business accounts updated.  But, fortunately, not many times.

Twitterific on my iPhone also allows me to switch among the accounts so I can read and update as needed.

I think I have over-engineered a solution to an activity (Tweeting) which has marginal benefit.

So You Think You Need a Business Blog?

Peer group pressure is getting to many of my clients. They know that it’s great for a business when its owner is a known pundit with lots of people linking to their site.  Besides, all the cool kids are blogging. Friends say that you have to blog, too!

Keyboard KeysMaybe.  But blogging requires a substantial time commitment which may not yield more visibility for you or get more clients for your business.  In fact, blogging can be a sterile time sink.

Moreover, even if you start a successful blog, blogging may not be a good use of your time.  You’re an expert accountant or an expert inn keeper or home builder.  Blogging is time spent away from your core business.

Of course, when clients come to me and ask me about adding a blog to their site I try not to be too much of a wet blanket.  Not only is the customer always right, the customer has  a project in mind which includes spending money on Ozdachs services.  How can I kill enthusiasm for that?

So, when a client asks me to help them start I blog, I encourage them to start one on WordPress.com , maintain it for a couple of months, and then see if they want the blog to be integrated into their marketing plan and their site.

Here’s why: Continue reading “So You Think You Need a Business Blog?”