Category Archives: Technology

Dried Up Twits

I have noticed there are quite a few people who begin tweeting some very useful information. Like many technological marketing schemes they seemed to have gotten bored with the prospect of continuing their campaign (You’ve heard it before: “I tried it and Twitter is useless.”) or perhaps didn’t see the instant benefits of their effort or someone failed to measure their campaign’s success.

No matter what the reason, at any rate they discontinue tweeting and leave quite a wealth of knowledge behind for no one ever to see.

Sometimes, it’s not exactly a wealth of knowledge as much as some very handy tips to point us back to the path of success when we get lost in the muddle of information we get bombarded with elsewhere.

In the interest of saving this information, I have decided to weed out some of the better Twitter tips and put it back into good use via this blog when I happen across such morsels.

I will also add in a few Twitter tips here and there for you to launch or revive your own Twitter campaigns.

The new tag will be called: Dried Up Twits;) all in good fun.

Taking Care of Planet Earth

Where am I on the green scale?

I work with technology every single day. I am entertained by it, I am educated by it, I am comforted by it’s ability to keep me in touch with friends and family, and I am certain that if I was cut off from it I would have no idea what to do with myself for a long time.

The best way I can think of to inspire you to consider your ecological footprint is to share the layout of mine.

Our Greatest Impact

How we use up fossil fuels and other natural resources is a most personal decision that we make every single day. These decisions make up your ecological footprint which is often the biggest legacy you leave behind in the end.

The ecological footprint is a measure of human demand on the Earth’s ecosystems. An ecological footprint is a standard measurement of a unit’s influence on its habitat based on consumption and pollution.

What am I doing right?

On the green living scale (from 1 to 10) I am probably a 4 or a 5.

✓ I recycle paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass.
✓ I teach my kids not to just let the water run while we are brushing our teeth.
✓ I’m the sole owner of a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid that gets more than decent gas mileage.
✓ And we pay for a program called “the Green Power Option” our electric company that provides our house with a percentage of renewable energy sources. We pay for 100% of our energy to come from this source.

But considering how much energy I use on a daily basis, I know that this really isn’t enough.

Are the Changes We Are Making Effective?

An article about how filthy reusable shopping bags are becoming written in November of 2010, Wegmans said that the growing use of reusable shopping bags means the chain uses 25 percent fewer of the plastic bags.

Is this percentage still rising?

What I am going to research is how things like driving hybrids and recycling is helping. (If it is helping.)

Where Do I Think I Could Do Better?

1. Fresh Water Conservation
Water usage is where I fail my environment.

I take showers that are about 20 minutes long (not 5), I have been guilty of forgetting about washed clothes in the washing machine (and then realizing a day or two later that I have to rewash the strange, almost mildewy smell), and I am definitely not one of those people who go by that rule: “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down.” – In fact I think that is really disgusting… ESPECIALLY in public restrooms (which should be avoided at almost any cost.)

Other than being conscious of letting water run while I am not using it, where can I help with the fresh water conservation front? In addition to shortening showers and being more efficient with laundry, I am going to do some serious research this week about how we should immediately start saving our water.

2. Draining Batteries
With a head count of four in our household we go through batteries like crazy. I looked up solar battery chargers out of curiosity to see if it’s possible to use something like that for all of the toys, remote controls, flashlights, etc. It looks like the technology of recharging batteries with renewable energy is still somewhat primitive. (Notice the lack of stars on products at the top of the list from my Google search results.)

I drop off batteries to be recycled at my local post office, but I would love to find an even better solution.

To be continued…

Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend

I’ve been reading the 6th edition of Increase Your Web Traffic in a Weekend and decided I had to write about it because it’s fabulous.

Much of the information in this book has been primarily valuable for me to reinforce and revisit many already well-known SEO and traffic directing practices. However, I was pleasantly surprised by some hot, relevant tips sprinkled throughout this book that I either never heard of or never thought of as a resource.

The book is literally sectioned off by what to do starting Friday evening and ending Sunday afternoon. I don’t want to give away too much information provided by this edition, but here’s a tiny preview of what I meant about some information reinforcing and making sense of what we already know.

    I came across a section about how search engines read your site information and why:

  • iframes
  • scripts thrown in with your HTML vs. residing in a separate file
  • tables
  • and graphics with obscure names like DSNC009.jpg
  • wreak havoc on your website’s indexing potential.

With iframes the search engine’s web spider sees virtually no information other than a reference to another page to index.

Scripts can simply limit your pages’ important data from being indexed since most search engines don’t crawl and cache the full length of all information on every page. So the book recommended simple alternatives to run your java scripts.

The info about how websites index tables also got my attention. It is very important that you know how search engines read them especially if you have tables of subjects with definitions or locations or other information that should be read from left to right.

Of course, the tip about renaming pictures with keywords or using alt tags was another good reminder.

It was published in February of 2011 which is important because I don’t read much of any ever-evolving material like social media or web development that hasn’t been published within the last 12 months. (This book covers both social media and best web development practices.)

I really liked this book. It offers helpful references to places to submit your website and dives head first into the newest rage that’s going to stick around for a while – SMO ( Social Media Optimization ).

Web Content Planning

If Content is King and Quality is Queen then making sure that everything is linked to everything else is that Ace strategy you’ve been waiting for.

The quantity of your content is your credibility and it’s best to keep 80% of your content in one place and 100% of your content (whether it’s from twitter or Facebook or tumblr or whatever) connected to your other content. You need a focal point. For most businesses that’s a custom domain.

Get a Domain Name

Great websites are both:

  • content rich where people are able to spend hours learning about you and your business, and
  • have friendly navigation so anyone can spend two minutes purchasing their product of choice and continue on their way.

You may want to consider a little mind mapping to get an overview of structure for a brand new website.

Consider Starting a Blog

Blogs are a great way to generate constant content and also archive older content. This would be a good place to consolidate all of your old newsletters and e-zine articles. If you want, you can date the posts with the date you sent the newsletter.

You might have newsletter content at Aweber, Vertical Response, ning, Media Temple, ezinearticles.com, mailchimp all of which can be consolidated on your news feed. If you can edit any of the articles to create backlinks to your website do so.

The fact to consider before you do commit to a blog is that it can be difficult to keep your blog alive after the novelty of it all has worn off.

Social Media Marketing is the Place to Create Genuine Connections and Listen

After a clear plan for your websites are established, you have an audience waiting for you to start a Facebook or Twitter or Google Talk campaign.

This isn’t something you want to begin until you are ready to update and check on every single day (at least every other day) . . .

Facebook is even better than twitter because you can share more information like

  • pictures
  • full recipes
  • and videos

SD Card Data Recovery

Last week I was tasked with recovering some data from a faulty SD card. A few years ago I had used some random tool to do the job. I’d been able to recover pics accidentally erased from old floppy disks before. I knew I could do it, I just had to find the right program to do the job. I found a good one so I decided to share the one I liked best.

After browsing around cnet, I downloaded a few program programs but found the best success with one callled Zero Assumption Recovery which promised to be able to recover data from FAT16 file systems like the one on the photo card I was working on. This program worked like a charm!

 

First, I chose Image Recovery (Free).

 

 

Next I chose the Disk I needed to find accidentally deleted photos. You see it highlighted here.

 

 

When you click next you see the the data fragments being searched and interpreted. . . This part didn’t take long for a 2 gig SD card but it recovered.

 

 

It recovered 1024 files. Really, I only needed it to recover the last 50 which had been corrupted by using it in three different cameras creating their own DCIM and MISC folders.

 

 

Chose the right destination and press the “Start copying the selected files” so that the rescued files get copied into the folder.