Tech Religion

According to the Feb 13th, 2012 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek, there is a religion founded by an Atheist and based on file sharing. Instead of “thou shalt not steal” this religion believes in “Copy and Seed.” It’s called Kopimism and the founder decided to file the organization as a religion purely on a whim.

As silly as it is to call file sharing a religion, it is a practical behavior to share the software and files we all need to use.

What good is a digital spreadsheet if no one can open the file?

Eventually, the software and music industry will see that sharing what they do only improves the bottom line.

What Web Design Customers Need To Know

If you’ve ever wanted a website or web work done for you, then you may not know enough about it to even know what you’re asking for. A good web person will ask what you’re trying to accomplish, suggest a few options and their costs and benefits and finally, offer a strategic assessment of the best use of the client’s efforts.

This was a job description posted to the Elance website, where you can hire freelance web people to do web work for you. What should this customer have known?

“Elance: I am a network marketer and need a facebook fan page created with SEO because I intend to use ppc. I would also someone to maintain those pages. We will discuss in greater detail via phone. – avg bid $200”

To translate all this into simpler terms:
1. Create a Facebook page and maintain it.
2. It should then rank well in internet searches.
3. The customer intends to use paid internet advertising.
4. They want to pay roughly $200.

To simplify it even further, you can’t do all that at once. It’s not a bad idea to do all these things but this must have been a network marketer who is new to Facebook and Search Engine Optimization. Let’s address a few things you should know if you were this customer.

1. Creating a Facebook page is free and easy. Maintaining it is going to be an ongoing project. A Facebook page should be updated 2-3 times per day AND you would need to chat with customers. As the business owner, if you pay someone else to do this it will cost a lot more than $200. The first week might cost you $200 alone.

2. A Facebook page is not going to rank well in internet searches. Facebook doesn’t get along with Google, who will probably be sending you the most visitors.

Even more than that, Facebook isn’t set up for SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) It doesn’t matter what you post on your Facebook page, the search engines will never see it and send people to it.

By all means, have a Facebook page – it’s just not that valuable for SEO.

3. PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising is what you see when you do a search and all those ads appear on the top or right side of your search results page.

PPC can be a valuable way to bring people to a web page. It can be expensive, depending on what you are bidding on. Each click can be $1 or more… at best, $200 might buy 200-500 visitors and you pay for them even if they don’t buy anything from your website.

Also, PPC is a totally separate thing from SEO. It can help somewhat, but the value of PPC is bringing primed leads to your webpage to buy something.

4. $200 is not going to buy you very much SEO. SEO is an ongoing process and should be revamped monthly, doing more of what works well for your business.

Much depends on what industry you are in, how competitive it is in your location and how wide a reach you want.

Some companies will charge you thousands of dollars per month for this – just for your local area. It’s not unreasonable if you want bigger success – it takes time, research and manpower on an ongoing basis.

Still other companies would take your $200, make a Facebook page for you and then tell you that you are fully optimized and to expect great results.

Again, this customer didn’t want anything crazy. They wanted to have a Facebook page that performs well. However, they just didn’t have an idea what they were asking for and how much it would cost in full.

Facebook Is Being Sued Again and More

It should come as no surprise that Facebook is being sued. But this lawsuit is because Facebook is stealing more from Yahoo than Yahoo is taking from Facebook.

What is this all about? According to the April 9, 2012 issue of Fortune, Facebook is using more technology that Yahoo has patented than Yahoo is using of Facebook’s. And Facebook is using 5 times more of Amazon’s patents than the reverse, so look for another lawsuit on that later. Usually, this ratio between all these companies is 1:1, ensuring that everyone uses each other’s technology with impunity. So where will this all end up? Nowhere. They’ll all trade a little money and get right back to stealing from each other again.

But there’s more Facebook news. Their new Timeline push is getting them in hot water, too. And that’s besides them crying foul on clickjackers while they plan to make even more money off their users. Helpfully, though, you can now be served legal notices via Facebook. Wait… that’s not really helpful, is it?

And then there was that whole fiasco with businesses asking for potential employee’s Facebook passwords. First of all, no. Second, even Facebook didn’t like that idea – no doubt they’ll have some kind of premium business search which will let Facebook charge businesses to see who is complaining about them.

Do you recall GoWalla? Facebook bought them to get into the location sharing market, more or less. In the end, Facebook couldn’t make that technology work financially.

On the upside, Facebook predicts they will top a billion users by August 2012 and Google + is not far behind with 800 million. Wonder why Google and Facebook don’t like each other? It’s all about competition.

Random Bits of Tech News Important to Small Business Owners

Why Are Random Bits of Tech News Important to Small Business Owners?

1. One might think that people use the internet for something besides email and social media, but sometimes one is wrong. What we can learn from this is that you have to be a little entertaining to capture people’s online attention.

That doesn’t mean you have to behave like a clown on Facebook or post jokes on your website. What it means is that your business simply can’t be all business, all the time. That’s the thought behind the latest internet craze, Pinterest. Is Pinterest for your business?

2. A local videographer has taken the time to create some blog posts about local eateries he has worked with. One was a great pub in Schenectady, another was a a restaurant in Utica and yet another in Ballston Spa. You get to see videos about the businesses and a little behind the scenes on his interaction with the business owners.

What we learn here is that your online promotions don’t need to be dull and always focused on your business. If your website is interesting and valuable, you will gain more customers.

3. What about esoteric news stories about how to be promoted by search engines, botnets or how people now get their news online (as opposed to tv or newspapers?)

What we can learn from these disparate items is that the online world is very complex. If you have a local news publication and matching website, it would be encouraging for you to discover the trend that more people get their news online.

Little Guy Creations exists, in part, to help small businesses make the most of the internet. Give us a call at 518-365-8082 and we can help your business.

Do You Speak The Web?

Have you heard about HTML5? You probably don’t follow the news about web languages. That’s okay – you have someone doing web work for you so you don’t have to.

If you will indulge us, there’s this newish-not-yet-completed thing called CSS3 which let’s you use commands to create simple images and movements.

One clever designer has done something truly amazing. Using no pictures, the designer made a walking At-At, complete with shooting laser turrets and walking legs.

Why do we mention this? Sending pictures requires bandwidth, which can be expensive. Sending this same picture using only text is faster and cheaper.

Look for more improvements along these lines as the CSS3 commands are further improved and implemented.