Is “Free” Really Worth It?

Screenshot_DNP_on_SmartPhoneThis weekend, I’m going to craft an email message to send to my desert networking professionals. With that message, I am going to offer some of my time, “for free” – not that I have free time…. What I would like to do is interview anyone who is interested and write an article that I will post on my blog. This article (if I do it right) will have plenty of opportunities for links back to the affected business website.

I’m not clear on the benefit to me for providing this service, but I’m hoping to understand that at some point. Clearly, the original goal here is to see if anyone will actually accept this offer of free service. Perhaps something that is offered at no cost is also perceived to be of no value.

I’ll keep you posted on the results of this experiment. You will, of course, have to come back to my blog, my Facebook page, or follow me on Twitter, or any of the other places I’ll post about this, to keep up with progress. Maybe that is one of the few benefits I will receive by doing this here.

SlideShare from Darren Rowse

It seems we all may need a bit of advice from time to time. Here, then, for your perusal, is some of that, from one of the best. Thanks to Darren Rowse, of ProBlogger, for helping to light the way!

Focus on the positive, be a good example and be willing to take the next step, one post closer to achieving the goal! Thanks for reading. Now I have to learn and post a SlideShare, so I can help my clients with that, too!

What’s Your Problem?

DNP Brochure

Click the image to see who we are!

Better yet, how do you go about finding solutions? Yes, I avoided saying, “search” there, because that is one way. Search for local help and as a consumer, you are now making the “cold call.” That’s a sales term for not being, or not having, a warm lead. Most people would rather work with someone who comes with a recommendation, right?

But, what if you were handed a bunch of solutions for problems you don’t yet have? That’s what it’s like to get a DNP (Desert Networking Professionals) brochure. If we (DNP members) are doing this right, our clients will get a copy of this well-crafted colorful collateral that details each of the service providers in our tight-knit group.

We have a group of service providers for so many things and you may need none of them at present. However, we still find some way to connect needs we find with people from our group who can fill them. That is the essence of referrals and it is what drives the networking aspect of this group of professionals.

This is a “pay it forward” proposition. Your role in this group is to find business for the other members, with no expectations attached to your kindness. On the flip side, you have to believe that if people have the need your particular service fills, then naturally some new business should come to you as a result. The goal of each member is to provide that exposure by handing a brochure to his or her client, or to show them the website and perhaps even help them bookmark it for future reference.

So, every Wednesday morning, I get up and go to the meeting. It’s always a better meeting when I can think of someone who needs something from one of our members. Writing that referral to one of my fellow members is what makes attendance pay off, for me.

Google Chrome is ending support for FITB

FITB (Fill In The Blank) – Google Chrome is ending support for NPAPI – this includes JAVA and Adobe Flash Player?Adobe Flash Player soon gone in Google Chrome

Recently, I wrote an article detailing the end of support for JAVA in Google Chrome.
http://rouzell.net/2015/05/04/do-you-need-java/

Now, I see Google Chrome is reporting that soon Adobe Flash Player (plugin) will be unsupported.  Adobe Flash Player crashes in Google Chrome
As often as I see Chrome reporting Flash has crashed, I’m almost happy with this development. However, I’m going to have to find some other method for playing the video content on my websites! So, I grow.

SumoMe Email List Building Tool

sumomeFinally, I’m on board with building a list. And, I have chosen SumoMe to help me do this. After years of hearing people say, “The money is in the list”, I’ve decided to go for it. For those of you who like to say, “It’s about time”, yes, I agree.

Go ahead and search: “How to Build an Email List” – with or without the quotes, you’ll have quite a bit to peruse. Heck, there’s even advice from Experian, and I quote:

One of a small business’s best marketing assets is a healthy email list. While proper management and use of your email file will drive revenue immensely, it is often a challenge to create the email list itself.

So, with phrases like, “best marketing assets” and “will drive revenue immensely”, you may have to agree, this is something worth doing. If you agree this may be a challenge for you, call or write!

So, how do we get started? Well, that’s where the big question lies. It depends on what you do, how you do it, and what you plan to share with your subscribers. Yes, it is also driven by which service you use to manage all of this electronic communications traffic.

You may already know some of the big names, like Constant Contact, MailChimp, or Aweber, or maybe even Infusionsoft. They all want to be your provider for email marketing. Each has its features, levels of complexity, and price. How to make that choice is beyond the scope of this article.

I’ve used three of the four (excluding Infusionsoft) in the past and in the present. Currently, I’m focused on MailChimp, for simplicity’s sake.

When I found SumoMe (by way of a successful Real Estate flipping website in San Antonio, where I did some SEO work), it was a pretty easy sale. Instructions on their website are very straightforward (if you know how to manage your website’s content) and it took about five minutes to install and configure the app. Of course, for me, that’s five minutes times a handful of sites, so I spent the first 20 minutes just dropping code into place. Today, I finally delved into some of the advanced features and other cool things you can do with this tool. It all comes down to one goal, which is to get somebody to give up an email address, so you can send them your stuff. For me, that’s going to be a newsletter, with snippets from my blog articles.

In the interest of brevity, I’m going to wrap this up here. But, you know you can always get in touch with me, if you need more help with email campaigns, newsletters, or a cool tool like SumoMe, to help you get more subscribers and build that list!

 

Run Your Business on Your Second Computer

virus[1]Can you remember when you had only one computer? If your answer is; “What do you mean? I have only one computer now.” You are welcome to stop reading here and start shopping. If you do have a second computer, you are welcome to skip the next two paragraphs, or read them for your edification.

If you need some advice about buying your second computer, here’s something quick and easy. Buy as much processor speed and memory (horsepower) as you can afford. Get a large screen (again – to the limit of your budget.) Excessive horsepower and huge display dimensions translate into satisfaction that lasts a whole lot longer. There’s more to say on this topic, but you are better off running out to buy something now.
So, go. Get something good, and set it up just like your main business computer, same software, same online data storage access, same cloud-based backup system, etc. Yes, there may be exceptions. But, anything you don’t put on this computer now (like, your accounting software, etc.), you’ll have to install later, if disaster strikes.

Assuming we don’t have to go into details about your cloud-based backup plan… You do have that, right? Let’s talk about running your business on the new, “plan B” computer. You really MUST be able to do this, to reap the full benefit of this plan.

If you are wondering what is the point to all of this, I’ll make it for you here. When your main computer fails, you should be able to take it in stride. Or, at least not have it completely ruin your day – given that you can continue to do business on your second computer, while you ponder the cost of repairs to, or replacement of, the original workhorse. Is there an equine theme running through this? Need a break, yet? Now comes the hard part!

You need to make your second computer as close to a clone of your main business computer as possible. Ideally, you would have a second computer in your office that you can simply turn on, if your main computer fails. Yes, that’s pretty difficult to achieve. It can be done, but more likely is the prospect of creating some reasonable facsimile for this purpose. This is where that cloud-based storage comes in handy! If you are not using Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, or even Carbonite, let’s talk soon. Backup is essential to the survival of your business.

With your second computer in place, you must now conduct regular fire drills. That means every once in a while, perhaps as often as once a week, or at least, once a month, you have to fire up the “plan B” computer and work with it for as long as it takes to convince you that you could, indeed, run your business there. Yes, I’m serious. You need to run your email, open some files, do what you do, until you feel pretty confident that you could just keep chugging away at what you do.

Full disclosure: At last count, I think I have ten working computers and I could run my business on at least four of the ten. Three of them have the kind of power and speed I need for my work. And, at least three of them could be substituted for the first three (but, I would curse the lack of performance!) An extreme example, to be sure, but I almost cannot remember when I didn’t have at least two computers. You have to decide if you can live (and work) without your main computer. If your answer is “no”, create “plan B.”

Serious Geek Stuff I Might Never Have Known

buzzfeed_sloths_internet_easter_eggsSometimes, you just have to click, to see what happens. Don’t do this, if they say it’s FREE! Malware is everywhere… But, sometimes, something is written just right. And, you cannot believe it, so you have to try it.

So it goes with Konami Code. Fully skeptical, I went ahead with instructions from this post on Hootsuite. And, would you believe? If you go to Buzzfeed, as they suggest and “type in the Konami code,” as instructed, you really do land on another page. Holy Good Friday and Easter weekend, Batman!

That little PacMan game at the bottom of my Google maps was kind of an annoyance. I never actually thought about Easter Eggs, until I stumbled upon the Hootsuite article, led there by my exploration of Digg. Yes, I’ve been wandering a bit today. Inspired by a Tweet from Melissa Galt, I dropped into Digg, to see what was cooking, there. So, now you have the full backtrack. As Bernie Mac used to say; “Let’s move on.”

A search for Konami Code leads to konamicodesites.com (where you better have learned the code before you arrive.) You’ll have to type in the code when you get there. “Perform the Konami Code to access this website”, is all you’ll see on the page, until you do! Read the right side of the page. I don’t have an iPhone for testing, so please get back to me with details on that.

The list of sites you can visit there is vast, so consider that fact before you go. Translation, you’ll need some free time, to really enjoy sites like these: http://www.cornify.com/ and http://www.paulirish.com/

That’s all the time I have.

Thanks, again, Kim!

virus[1]

Image from Kim’s website, click for the original article.

Will full attribution to “America’s Digital Goddess”
– I say, “Thank you, so much!” Kim Komando has been at this a lot longer than I have…

After you read the referenced article (on KimKomando.com), you may find a deeper appreciation for the tech guys and gals who can actually work through all of the steps suggested by her advice!

My advice differs, quite a bit, actually. There are several tools we use to restore your computer to working order. If you want to spend a couple of days learning about malware and what it takes to remove it, I suggest: Bleeping Computer or Malwarebytes websites. The punchline is; right there on the home page of Bleeping Computer:

There are 1018 Virus Removal Guides.

But seriously, folks… If you should find yourself at Kim’s last step (of the 3 simple steps…), where the only solution is to wipe your drive clean and re-install your operating system, I really wish you had called me sooner! Also, if you are not backing up your data, we really need to talk.

3. WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS
When a virus won’t go away, or has damaged your computer software past the point of repair, there’s only one solution left. You have to wipe the hard drive and reinstall your operating system.

My next post should be about your second computer. What?
Did you just say you don’t have one? NO-OH-OH! Cringe, heavy sigh.

At Mousehelp, we provide compassionate care for people with computers.
Yes, you can simply search for Palm Desert Computer Repair.
Need help with your online presence? We do SEO, websites and blogs, too!

Whatever you do, DON’T click!

This advice is directly from Kim Komando – in this article. <- This link is safe!

Here’s the first line from page 2… Listen to Kim

The easiest way to protect yourself is to simply not click the link.

See where it says; “Listen to Kim”? Well, listen to me, too! I’m telling you; do not update or install any player from a popup or any link provided on a website. If you need to update Adobe products, figure out how to get on Adobe’s website and find the thing you need for yourself. You’ll probably save time and money, and avoid frustration.
Or, you can call me and I’ll help you do these things.

If you’ve already clicked the link and now have malware on your computer, call me. Mousehelp at Rouzell dot com – I’ll be there as soon as I can.

Screenshots – How To

Screenshot_DNP_on_SmartPhone

Screenshot_DNP_on_Android

This article began with a bit of research on the Meetup.com website. If you don’t know or care what Meetup is, please skip to the bottom of paragraph three, where the benefit begins!

One member of DNP (Desert Networking Professionals) suggested a potential improvement to the way people RSVP for meetings. She said she would like to RSVP for all upcoming meetings, without having to go through the three-click process for each date. I’ll write more on that in another article.

While I do plan to find a way to suggest this change to the good people at Meetup, the subject of this article came about as I was poking around on their “Help” pages. One, in particular, answers a common question, one I’ve answered many times for my clients:
“How do I take a screenshot?”

They should make a few changes on that page. So, now, I have another reason to write to: support@meetup.com – good for me.
Perhaps they’ll hire me as their content editor.

  • For Windows users, it makes better sense to do a window capture (using Alt-PrtScn), rather than their suggested screen capture. After all, they only need to see what’s in the window and not your entire screen…
  • I don’t have a Mac or an iPad in front of me, so I cannot test those instructions. However, I can say their suggestion of command-shift-3 will capture the entire screen.
  • Mac method 1: Since you probably only need the active window: I suggest Command-Shift-4, which produces cross-hairs for a rectangle capture.
  • Mac method 2: Press Command-Shift-4, press the Space bar, move the camera pointer over the window to highlight it, and then click.
  • And, being an Android user, I decided to try those instructions…

Using their method; (they say, “While you’re holding down the Power button, press the Volume Down button”), does nothing but start the Device options and it turns down the volume on my phone! I prefer to do these things one at a time, thank you.

A search for the Android answer yields these instructions (that do work) from Digital Trends:

Pressing the Power and Home buttons at the same time will grab an image of the screen. This can be awkward to get right, so it’s important to remember to press both buttons at the same time, and hold them until the shutter sound is heard. (You need to hold the Power button slightly before pressing the Home button, then hold them both down.)

Read more: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/how-to-take-a-screenshot-on-galaxy-s3-note-2-android/#ixzz3J9XHf1sl

The bottom line – don’t believe everything you read. Even support people who are trying to be helpful sometimes get it wrong.
Check with mousehelp at rouzell dot com, or check out our YouTube channel. If you have questions, send email, call for an appointment, or search for Mousehelp!