Thursday, April 20, 2006

Tech Support LOL

Ever had the fun of trying to call tech in support in India and actually resolve your problem?

Great funny video clip from Conan O'Brien

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Google Analytics Web Hit Statistics

Make sure to sign up for Google Analytics and get on the waiting list. From reviewing the Google Analytics package with clients for whom we have installed their code, the results are extremely detailed and valuable for increasing traffic to your web site and measuring your marketing results. Sign up here:

Once you get your invitation to join Google Analytics we can install the code for you in around 1 - 2 hours depending on how many pages your web site has, and if you need result tracking installed for different pages.

CODiE Awards

Just found this web site with a great listing on software. Looking for a particular tool to manage your business, whether it be CRM, ERP, or even a simple PDF tool? Check out who the Software & Information Industry Association gave their top awards to and it may help you find a good software application.

The 20th Annual SIIA CODiE Awards - 2005

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Web 2.0 How Can I Use It For My Business?

Web 2.0 is a big buzzword being thrown around right now. Basically it is the tools and methodology including:
  • Open framework - allow other sites and people to use information from your web site
  • User generated content - this enables your site to grow, evolve, and engage your user
  • Interactivity - Blogs, forums, wikipedia, chats

  • AJAX technology - allows your web site to act more like a desktop application, including ability to edit HTML, load pictures, and more without reloading the web page.
  • RSS site feeds - feeds from your site can be displayed on other web sites
  • Open API - data from your web site can be interacted with from other software applications

Our Favorite Web 2.0 Web Sites
You Tube: User submitted videos. Easy to share and comment.
Technorati: Pulls posts from many different blogs and rates the top blogs.
Digg: User submitted news articles. Users vote on their favorite articles, and those articles appear higher on the web site.
Tech Crunch: A site that reviews Web 2.0 applications.
Google Maps: Uses AJAX to pull map data without reloading the entire web page.
Google Gmail: Great use of AJAX and RSS feeds of what is in your inbox.
WikiPedia: Free user edited encyclopedia

Getting Real Web Development Methods

Getting Real is a term coined by the web applications company This web development company mainly works on hosted applications like project management, chat, and personal organization. I thought I would share some of the excellent points made in their eBook Getting Real, and how it is benefiting I.T. Web Experts web development company:

  • More features do not make a web site or web application better, they can actually kill it. For every new feature you add, first think: does this feature really make my site more useful? Or might it confuse people?

  • People are always thinking of adding new features, what about removing old features that are not that useful and distract people?

  • Google is an excellent example of simplicity and not adding to many features. When they do add new products, notice that they don't fill up the homepage with all that junk.

  • Use Epicenter Design. What is Epicenter Design? It is designing starting with what is most crucial for your web application. For example, if designing a web calendar, the calendar could still work without email reminders. But it wouldn't be a calendar without the ability to add events to it.

  • Do away with gant charts and useless graphs. Work on actually getting the work done. A good process is sketch > HTML mockup > Final Site. Don't worry about mapping out the backend, start with the front-end first.

  • If you can't meet your project timeline, reduce the number of features or increase the deadline. Don't try and meet the same deadline with the same number of features, or the quality of the project in its entierty will be reduced.

  • Make sure your application has a good blank state. What is blank state? It is when your application has no data in it. Someone might sign up for your application and be confused on what it is actually supposed to look at or do. Putting in blank state example screens of what the data will look like once they enter it will help them visualize what they are doing.

  • Work in small software teams. This reduces the amount of commuication paths.

  • Focus your software on a niche rather than trying to outdo your competion with a thousand more features. Niche software fills needs better than the "do it all" type approach for everyone.

  • Worry about scaling problems later on ("what if we get a million customers?"). Your first problem is getting the number of customers for your web site so that you need to scale, that is the harder chore.
Overall I highly recommend the eBook "Getting Real" by A great read for any web developer or I.T. realted company.

Backpack - Personal Information Organizer

Tired of making to do lists on your notepad? Need to share information simple to do lists or documents? I've really enjoyed using backpack for personal organization. It includes features like to do list, notes, image uploads, links, and a reminder system. Sort of like an online Palm Pilot.

Online File Storage

So with all those online storage solutions out there, which one should you chose? Well, after trying out a few, namely Xdrive,,,, and a few others, here are our reviews:

Top Picks probably your best bet for backing up your business data. Nice solid backup utility that ties in nicely with Microsoft Windows. mainly geared towards media (music, videos, etc) and nice email attachment features, is a great service. They had the largest amount of allowed backup space (25gb free, or if you pay $5/month +, unlimited). Their automated backup features are non-existent though. had the cleanest web interface, and nice reasonable prices. No automated backup software yet, but tech support told me it was coming next week.

Average nice clean interface for the web site uploads. However, their automated backup software leaves something to be desired. Uploads failed, and after reviewing their forums it appears to be a common issue. Also it annoyed me that to cancel my account there is no link on the my account section, you actually have to call them. Oh wait now we know why, when you call in you find out they are owned by AOL ;)