12 Things to Remember When Building A Franchise Portal

If you’re tasked with building a portal for a franchise, where franchisees will share ideas and information through online collaboration tools, here are five tips to make your deployment smooth and effective. It doesn’t matter which platform you’re using, or if you’re building it from scratch, a franchise portal can be one of the most…

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When programmers write title tags

This is not from a small-time shop, but from a prominent freelance service – and this is on the page where consumers will feel anxiety (money$$). Think nobody reads the title tags? Think again.

The Inc. 500 adopts Social Media

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research conducted a phone survey with 121 of Inc. Magazine’s “Inc. 500” to see if there have been changes in the awareness and use of Social Media techniques (social networking, blogging, message boards, online video, wikis, and podcasting.) It doesn’t say which of the 121 were surveyed.…

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Web Design Wisdom from a 3rd Grade Musician

My 3rd grade daughter offered some good advice the other day when I asked her about school. She’s learning (mastered) to play the recorder in music class. I asked her what she found to be the hardest thing to play and she told me this advice: “The hardest thing about playing the recorder in music…

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Emotional Zooming – The Photograph is the Catalog

I can remember seeing “powers of 10” as a kid on PBS. It started at the atomic level and ended up at the intergalactic scales. I even have one of the original books. This shockwave tool instantly caught my eye. While this works with a pre-set grouping of photos, I would LOVE to see it…

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Spacially Aware Feed Discovery – Mobile Search Thoughts

Here’s the thing. I’ve seen people run into objects trying to dial their mobile phone. So it’s hard for me to imagine millions of people suddenly typing in query after query into mobiles in a crowded airport trying to find the lowest price on rental cars. Now I admit that I’m in the United States,…

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The Jukebox Digital Billboard – Show my message next!

If you want to create a bit of a stir, open up your digital billboard to the masses (may not be SFW) and let them post what they like. Better yet, post 20 of these on your wall. Grab flickr feeds and give each table in your restaurant a unique theme, or pop them up…

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Building a Non-Profit Website in 2007 – Tips To Help

Having a well-executed and simple website can be a great, low-cost extension of your non-profit – or a huge waste of time. As many charities increase their visibility during the holidays, I’m struck by how many have churned away obvious hours into sites that offer little that would help them move towards their stated organizational…

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10 Under-reported SEO and Social Media Stories from 2006

Hacker, Spammer, and Virus Writers’ Motivations Shifting A troubling shift was noted by computer security companies. Motivations for hackers and virus authors shifted from ego to cash, leading to recruitment of a new breed of talented, socially-aware programmers. With money on the line, the sloppy “fire and forget” mentality of previous virus creators is being…

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Too fancy, too fast?

Timberland.com has worked hard on adding lots of features to their website. Lots of neato ajax and drag and drop coolness. It’s such a shame that the entire event can be ruined by a single little 180×120 pixel gray box continually popping up when all I want to do is buy some presents. Object Error.…

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How not to find a good web design firm

I’m truly hopeful that this gentleman finds someone to help him with what looks to be a very ambitious web project. But what I wanted to point out is how they are probably excluding the cream of the crop by their contact technique: using blind carbon copy and a mass-email to god-knows-how-many web firms. This…

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Google Adsense for Billboards Someday?

I’ve been impressed with the improvements lately in digital billboards. They’re very bright and are begining to rival their rolled-on competitors in daylight. Of course at night they have no rival. Lamar has a video out showing off their technology, and it’s pretty impressive. The Outdoor Advertising Association of America estimates there are 500 digital…

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The Twelve Patents of Christmas

And now, brought to you by Google Patents… I present a new twist … (music, please) On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me…… Twelve drummers drumming, (US Patent 361606)Eleven pipers piping, (US Patent 3151517)Ten lords a-leaping, ( US Patent 1513338 ) …(helmet recommended)Nine ladies dancing, (US patent 1374840) …(can you…

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Will Gmail become the new Hotmail?

You don’t need an invitation to get a gmail account now in Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Egypt . If you Google “RIP Gmail” you’ll see my previous post about how incoming spam killed my Gmail Account. And now, with unchecked outbound spam, Gmail is about to become the next hotmail. Seth Godin’s point about…

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Is a blog worth it? Ask Google!

Starting in around 2002, I began suggesting to Kentucky companies that they find a blogger to serve as their voice in the blogosphere. I also wrote about it, twice, as have every major business journal available, but it seems few around me have given it much effort. A couple of my clients wanted to send…

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Dictionary Term: “Bluppet”

bluppet [bluhp-it] -noun 1. a person, goup, government, etc. whose blog, wiki, forum or website whose postings are encourage, prompted or controlled by a commercial or political interest without making said sponsorship immediately clear. Use: “Wal-Mart hired a bluppet for their Public Relations campaign.” “I unsubscribed from his blog, he’s just a Bluppet for that…

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Perceptions Are Everything

There are several consumer concepts that drive the success of every SEM activity I do. 1) Perceived Value. 2) Perceived Ease of Use. 3) Perceived Future Peril When a visitor searches for an item, and they see a search result or a sponsored link, they run through these concepts in a fraction of a second.…

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Sticks and Stones…but domain names can hurt you

Every week I see it, an individual and a company facing off – or one business toe-to-toe with another – over domain names. And it always happens when one or another of them are faced with pressures of site deadlines, launch dates, or other critical in-house problems. The pressures makes everyone grumpy, and what otherwise…

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