Assorted Technical News for Small Business Owners

One thing that small business owners tend to overlook is that the web doesn’t work like they expect. Business owners successfully deal with customers every day and they know what to do (and what results they want to see.) Unfortunately, the web is like the stock market – it makes you money indirectly, you have to do some extra work and appeal to people in order to maximize your returns. Further, things are always changing and you have to be smart about where you invest.

But how can you apply these lessons to your business and it’s web presence?

Unfortunately, you can’t always go directly to a sale on the web. People on the web expect some wining and dining before the hard sell. Some are just looking for something interesting. Some are just looking for specific information about the topic that your business deals with. How can use you use this tendency to your advantage?

That’s why small businesses with websites are encouraged to cover not only the topics that directly deal with their business but also ancillary topics. If you sell shoes but you have a blog post about the best brands of moccassins (which you don’t sell) – well guess what the customer is going to remember about you?

That’s right. They will recall that you are the one to go see when they want any shoes. Even if you don’t sell them, you are a valuable resource within your business. And if you understand that, surely you can see how related but indirect website content can bring people to your business and you’ll see your sales increase.

This is what Google and all the big internet companies do, as well. Google makes its big money off search ads but has lots of other ways (Google News, Google Docs, Google +, Google Images, etc.) to get you on their website. And that’s why Google and Facebook are always buying smaller companies to add to what they offer you – for free, to boot.

Things are in a state of change. Video game companies will eventually have to abandon the computer and console. It will all be on your phone and your home entertainment center – except it will be called something else. Your entertainment center will feed all your TV screens with cable or satellite stations, video games on demand and subscription, your music and your social media, email and all your other computer functions, automatically translated and driven by voice command instead of a keyboard. Naturally, you will be able to access all of this on your phone/PDA/tablet/iPad and whatever other gadget they invent in the meantime. The question is – how will this affect your particular business?

Things change really fast. Some ask if Google and Facebook will even be around in five years. Do you depend on Google to send you traffic? The only way not to be dependent on search engines is to make sure your website is a resource. Promote yourself and your business judiciously and expect to be in it all for the long haul.

They say you have to be a long term investor to make the best use of the stock market. You have to put the work into your website as well. Anyone who tells you different isn’t concerned about your long term results.

What’s A Kill Switch And Why You Should Care

The Feb 20th issue of Bloomberg mentioned that Windows 8 will have a “kill switch.” Microsoft will be able to reach into your computer and change the software, with or without your knowledge. Your cell phone already has such features built in so that malicious code can be removed remotely.

That all seems helpful but that means your home computer will have more ways it can be accessed and is more vulnerable to attacks.

And all of our gadgets are learning to talk to one another. Pretty soon, we’ll use our phones to not only act as our wallets and open our garage doors but also change channels on our TV and start our car.

Hackers can even hack into your car systems remotely. As you know, there are a multitude of sensors and chips in your car… Imagine if some hacker triggered your car’s self parking feature in the middle of the freeway?

Or perhaps a mischievous neighbor could remotely turn your house lights on and off or change your hot water tank temperature?

You can’t get away from it. Every device you have will soon be connected. This has advantages and disadvantages.

Ubiquitous WiFi

There is a super low frequency wi-fi option which could extend a wi-fi hotspot up to 40 miles through rural areas or 2-3 miles in a dense city. Your cell phone would have to be retrofitted to use the signal but newer phones should have the capability in 2014.

Want to know more about this? The WiFi Alliance is working hard to bring you high speed broadband and you can read more about it the March 2012 edition of Popular Science on page 22.

Gadgets and Assorted Tech News

How’d you like a $25 computer?

And you probably liked your new Android phone that you bought. How do we know you bought one? It doesn’t take that long for hundreds of thousands of daily device activations to add up.

Really. Do we really need to shut off our gadgets when planes are taking off? Research says no way.

Microsoft, always helpful, has decided to patent a way to track employee activity by monitoring everything you do on the computer. Perhaps they could roll that out at Microsoft first so that those engineers can create a hack that breaks the program for the rest of us.

Meanwhile, Bing and Yahoo are search equal. You’ll have to forgive us, but they already display exactly the same results…. Shouldn’t they be equal? If anything, they’re double dipping by showing the same thing in two different places.

Microsoft may be forcing an update to your browser. Things may not work right for you after this.

Finally, GoDaddy had a mass exodus of domains due to customer rage. Perhaps that’s why they are raising their domain name prices as of January 15th, 2012.

Canadian Bacon and Spam

Occasionally, we mention some updates about SPAM activity – mostly so you can avoid it.

But this time, we wanted to share this article about Canadian Anti-Spam laws. We want to make sure you stay legal; ignorance won’t protect you from serious trouble.

And we know you’ll join us in encouraging Spammers to stop clogging our inboxes, whether they are from Canada or anywhere else.