Call Ozdachs at 415.347.6479|

About Ozdachs

San Francisco Internet Marketer and web designer gets you on the Internet in a cost-effective, responsible way.

The Bard, 2023 Style

It’s not a Bot, It’s a Bard

Google has released it’s Artificial-Intelligence-driven chatbot named “Bard”.  As poetic as that sounds, the long-awaited Google forray into AI chatbot-ness is more  about facts than flourishes… at least in my first test drive.

Bard FavIcon in browser tab

My first thought was to ask Bard to write what he’d like to see as a blog post from me introiducing him. His suggestion is in the next column.

Hi everyone,

I’m excited to announce that I’m starting the Bard experiment! Bard is a generative AI chatbot that I’m building to help me with my writing.

I’ve been working on Bard for a few months now, and I’m finally ready to share it with the world. Bard is still in its early stages, but I’m really happy with the progress I’ve made so far.

I’m using Bard to help me with a variety of tasks, including brainstorming ideas, writing blog posts, and editing my work. Bard has been a huge help, and I’m really grateful for its help.

I’m still learning how to use Bard, and I’m sure I’ll make mistakes along the way. But I’m excited to see what Bard can do, and I’m confident that it will help me become a better writer.

If you’re interested in trying Bard, you can sign up for the waitlist here. I’ll be sending out invitations to a limited number of people in the coming weeks.

Thanks for reading!

[Your name]

Google is touting Bard as more fact-based than OpenAI’s ChatGPT. So, I was puzzled about

I’ve been working on Bard for a few months now, …

because I just started with Bard yesterday. And the suggestion that I am a developer of Bard is flattering, but…

However,  up until now I have avoided apps that provide AI content but I think any web professional has to playing some with the tools. So, I will!

I have a lot to learn. Like separating the image AI I have heard about from the Chat AI. Bard does not draw!

Apparently I can ask for the words to sound like the style of someone famous (the site I saw picked Donald Trump), or I can pick a technical/grade level for writing, or… who knows what yet.

Bard conversation on images

Click on picture for full-size version

If you would like me to try a Bard request, send me a note. Of course, if you have a Google account, you can respond to your own invitation and be a first-hand tester!

It should be fun to see how Bard and I progress and improve. But, I still think I’ll miss Majel Barrett!

By |2023-03-23T16:11:15-07:00March 23rd, 2023|Tips and Resources|0 Comments

Security Warnings and the Boy Who Cried “Wolf!”

A friend of mine forwarded a link to a winery whose Cabernet we had shared at a party earlier this week. She wanted to let us check out the full selection of wines the company produced. One person on the email list immediately replied that Chrome blocked her from going to the site because the site was dangerous.

When I tried the link, my computer’s security program, BitDefender, declared a security alert and blocked me, too.

Eeek! Danger!!?

I went to the security program’s console and read the details of the alert:

Bitdefender Suspicious Connection warning


BitDefender didn’t really find specific evil on the destination site. Rather, the site’s certificate had a mismatch in the name of the website and the name of the site the certificate was issued for.


Well, certificates are issued by third parties and attest to the genuineness of a website. The certificate also allows a secure, encrypted connection between the website and the user at home.

Firefox Potential Security Risk Warning

These benefits are important if you ever enter sensitive information on a form on the site. You want to make sure that someone who monitors random internet traffic cannot see your credit card information or eavesdrop on your communication. Moreover, the certificate issuer attests to the realness of the website, and scammers supposedly cannot get certificates for fly-by-night sites that you might accidently encounter if you follow links you see or get sent in phishing emails.

There are all sorts of real benefits that come from knowing that your browsing is secure. — Google has many articles describing the benefits of using a secure connection with a certificate.


Some anti-virus programs and browsers often declare a major security emergency for genuine, phishing-free pages when either:

  1. The site’s security certificate is expired.
    You’re supposed to pay a third party every year to say that you’re a real person. If you don’t pay, the certificate expires and Chrome has a fit.
  2. The link you followed for some reason started off https://…. when the site never applied or was issued a security certificate.
    The trailing “s” means that the site is secure and has a security certificate. If the site never bothered to get a security certificate, Chrome has a fit.
    Just retype the link as http://… Without the “s”, and Chrome should mellow!
  3. The name of the website differs from the name of the site in the certificate. This what happened for today’s link to the winery.
    I generally tell the security program to ignore the mismatch and show me the pages. If I was scrolling for sleazy reasons or looking to buy something, I would probably go away from the potential danger. But, if I find the grape leaves and vineyard pictures, I am not going to worry.

Basically, you should check the details of the warning that Firefox, Chrome or whoever is giving.

  • If it’s for an “expired certificate” I personally ignore the warning and go anyway.
  • If the warning is for a missing certificate, I just retype the link without the “s”.
  • If the certificate was issued for another name, I am cautious, but usually proceed. Sometimes a web design company gets a certificate in their name instead of their client’s name, or other innocuous mismatches occur.

I would hesitate to enter my credit card in a site the browser complains about because the browser won’t establish a secure connection to a site it doesn’t like. But, I am usually comfortable checking out a site with a faulty certificate and I am completely okay looking at a site that never applied for a security certificate.

There are real problems on the Internet with real bad guys trying to trick you. But, too often the warnings about certificates remind me a little boy crying, “Wolf!”

By |2021-08-21T14:08:08-07:00August 21st, 2021|Domain Names, Tips and Resources|0 Comments

I Met Etsy and Survived

One of my clients, Barbara Sebastian, is an artist and she journeys from show to show, displaying her pottery and other works of art. Periodically she sends me updates to her show calendar and I post them to her old tech website. We have done this for several years. But not now in the COVID-19 world!

There aren’t any in-person art shows in California. They’ve been postponed or cancelled.

It’s a scary time for artists who make money showing off their work at live gigs around the state. There are no appreciative crowds wandering through booths on lazy weekend afternoons, impulsively — or studiously — buying an elegant jar, teapot, or mural.

Raven Loves Persimmons Teapot

Raven Loves Persimmons Teapot
by Barbara Sebastian
See it on Etsy

Barbara mentioned that her friends had been suggesting that she open up a store on Etsy. As a dedicated technophobe, she said she had resisted using Etsy.

But, given the lack of live shows she asked if I would set her up online, using the nice photographs she had of 11 of her works.

I happily agreed to get SebastianArtStore up on Etsy.

Elephant on a Jar

Elephant on a Jar
by Barbara Sebastian
See it on Etsy

I typically avoid helping with e-commerce sites, mostly because I don’t want the stress of managing a mission-critical website. (I had enough midnight phone calls and lost weekends when I was programming dispatching systems for police and fire departments.)

But, because Barbara is selling original works on a site designed for arts and handicrafts, I felt that the risk of midnight calls is low.

The good news is that Etsy is fairly easy to use. Slightly editing 11 pictures in Lightroom, uploading them, and entering the descriptions of the artwork itself took only a couple hours.

The screens are repetitive and there are some annoyances. For example you have to select your unit of measure (inches, feet, meters, etc.) for height, width, and length separately from drop down boxes, and you have to do it again for every item — there are no defaults or memory. Yet, when you get to describing the packaging dimensions to estimate shipping costs, the system allows only inches.  And, on the day I was entering the inventory, every time you hit PUBLISH for a new item you got an error message about a field being left out. But, if you hit PUBLISH again, the item went live.

Anomalies like this would probably throw off someone not comfortable with tech, so I am glad I could help Barbara out.

It really wasn’t very difficult, and I think the online presence looks good.

So, if you are an artist or a craftsperson who needs a virtual place to sell in this COVID-19 world, checking out Etsy is reasonable. Give it a shot.

In the meantime, Barbara’s work is great. Check it out!

By |2020-07-25T13:57:09-07:00July 25th, 2020|Client Sites and Actions|0 Comments

Collaborating on a New Website

I was especially happy to do the website because the stories told are important to me. One of the four subjects of the film is a man I have been mentoring since he arrived at the San Francisco airport four years ago, and I make a few brief appearances in the film, mostly as comic relief playing the porter.

What made this website different from a development point of view is that the clients were filmmakers. They’re filmmakers with excellent design sense and ideas of how they wanted the site to look… pretty exact ideas of how they wanted the site to look, in fact!

In our first meeting they had a mock-up of the design they were looking for, a site structure, and ideas for the content on their pages. Most of my clients rely on me to suggest what pages they need and what should be on them. Not filmmakers Tom Shepard and Jen Gilomen.

So, instead of coming up with possible layouts and content for client approval, my task was simplified. I just had to find a way to get the Avada WordPress template I often use to accommodate the client’s desires.

This work reinforced my suspicion that Avada is very flexible. It allowed me to do the layout, color palate, and even the font selection that the filmmakers wanted.

I also learned that filmmakers are right up there with architects in their concern that the website be a spectacular representation of their aesthetics and commitment to quality. They wanted each website page to be as carefully framed as the scenes in their movie. Is the font size too large? Is the image too dark? too light? How far apart should the letters be spaced?

Fortunately, these are kind and calm filmmakers. They worried with good humor and kindness.

And, I didn’t sigh too loudly when they deleted any visibility (Search Engine Optimization) elements… like putting the film title in the page headlines or reiterating the subject of the documentary often enough to clue Google in on what a page was about.

UNSETTLED Subjects Profile Picture

Their site represents the look and feel wanted by the filmmakers. Their iterative updates all focused on getting the pages cleaner, leaner, and completely uncluttered.

From my point of view, this was an easy job. The clients didn’t hem and haw about the look they wanted. They’ve got The Eye. And, they communicated what they wanted clearly.

What do you think? Check out the site and let me know.

And, be sure to see if the film is playing near you. See it!

By |2019-06-22T14:04:40-07:00June 22nd, 2019|Web Design|1 Comment

So, You Want to “Do” Social Media!

I believe its a great idea for small businesses to participate in social media. Being on Facebook and a few other social media spots is expected by potential clients, and you can get more business by participating online.

Of course, “social media” is a broad category. When a potential clients asks me if I can help them, my first response is, “Yes!”  And, then my expectation setting and question asking begins.

Woman Looking at Social Media Icons

The major caution I have is that like most other things on the Internet, social media participation offers only incremental benefit to most businesses. It can help, a bit.

But, it’s unlikely that your killer Instagram photograph is going to go viral and prompt 100,000 people to call and want to buy your service.

It could happen, but it’s not likely that you’re going to be an international Internet meme. Rather, if you spend a fair amount of effort, you should expect that a few more people are going to feel like they know/trust/understand/want to engage with your business or buy its products.

Once we’ve discussed the most likely impact of social media, we need to talk about what type and how much social media the business wants to set up. These decisions themselves depend on why you decided to start a social media campaign.

A common basic motivation is business credibility. Clients expect you to be on Facebook and other platforms, and you do not want to disappoint and seem like an amateur outfit. Simply setting up accounts on a social media platform or two or three and populating them with basic information about your business could be enough. Maybe you’d even be content with claiming a stake on Facebook or another site without having a commitment to making regular (or any) updates.

More commonly, businesses want to build brand awareness. They want potential clients to discover them from their posts and because others have commented or mentioned the business in their posts. Brand awareness looks for spreading the business image by word of mouth in targeted online groups. For example, a local groomer might do a series of posts hoping that the local long hair dachshund owner’s group will mention the groomer’s services aimed at fluffier dogs.

The most intense purpose to be on social media is to obtain sales. Click here to buy/subscribe/join!

How Much Energy are You Willing to Spend?

Most businesses are focused on providing their services or products to customers. The owners didn’t going into business to do social media. So, one of the first things an owner has to do is to decide much of themselves are they willing to devote to social media/marketing.

  • What is your time commitment?
    How much time per day/week/month are you willing to give over to social media? How much of your staff’s time are you will to assign to social media?

Social Media Content Planning Chart
  • How long are you willing to sustain your initial social media push?
    Be realistic. Do you just want to get online to say you’re there, or will you commit to posting to your chosen platforms daily? weekly? monthly? how often?!

How Much Money are You Willing to Spend?

If you want more involvement on social media than you’re able or willing to do yourself, then what do you need help with and how much social media support is reasonable for you to pay for?

Be strategic… even cautious! 

The benefit from most marketing initiatives, including social media and search engine optimization for websites, provide incremental benefits. If you are a one-person or small-group organization whose product or service isn’t very social-media friendly (say manufacturing screws) and your average customer spends $50, then you may want only limited social media exposure. Keep the cost of acquiring new clients in proportion to the revenue each new client brings to your business.

Here are somethings to decide as you draw up your social media budget.

Where Do You Want Help?

Here are some questions to guide you on whether you, your regular staff, or consultants should take primary responsibility:

  • Are you managing your own posts?
    That is, are you scheduling the frequency of your posts and the topics in them?

  • Are you writing your own posts?

  • Are you taking your own photographs?
    Do you want a local consultant/photographer to take them?
    Do you want to use stock photographs?

  • Are you identifying which third-party blogs/posts/photos you want to share with your followers?

  • What social media management tools are you willing to buy?
    How about:

    • Hootsuite
    • Clearview

Where Do You Want to Be Social?

How many social media platforms do you want to participate in? Each takes some time to curate, and each has a different networking focus. Over time Ozdachs has participated in the ones below…

Here are spots I now suggest considering:

  • Facebook

  • Instagram

  • Linked-in

  • YouTube

  • Your Own Blog

  • Others
    Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo, Snapchat, Yelp, etc., etc.!

There’s a final cautionary note for you when you consider a social media campaign. Of the dozen or so clients I have set up with social media accounts and started their campaigns, maybe one or two kept engaging for a year or more.

Even when the others acquired a reasonable number of followers and could point to clients who found them on social media, most all lost focus and stopped posting. The participation on social media stopped being fun for the owners and the incremental benefits just weren’t worth it.

Of course, even coming and going on social media does have some benefit.  Google and other search engines will continue to credit your business for what you did post. A few potential clients will stumble across your old posts online and contact you. And, for some businesses — especially those that typically make a significant amount of money from each like (like CPA’s, equipment sales people, etc.) — there is a more compelling reason to staying social.

Plus, the work you do to establish social media accounts is a one-time effort. Most social media platforms welcome you back whenever you decide you have more time to participate.

So, my bottom line suggestion is to take the plunge into social media. But, do it after you decide why you’re doing it and what resources you’re committing to the effort.

By |2019-05-10T11:51:10-07:00May 10th, 2019|Blogging, Social Media|0 Comments
Go to Top