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Keep It Simple Stupid

A very wise man once said, "Keep it simple stupid!"  Or if you prefer the same four letter acronym, KISS can be said to stand for "Keep it simple sweetheart."  Which ever definition of the phrase sits best with you, it doesn't really matter.  My basic point here is when designing web interfaces and how they flow to accomplish a given task, you have to keep your primary end user in mind.  When I was a twenty-something software engineer fresh out of college and ready to take on the world, this fact was brought to my attention in a VERY clear and unforgettable way.  Here's how the story goes as I remember it.

This Is Not Your Father's Profession Anymore...

A couple weekends ago, the Arizona Court Reporter's Association (ACRA) invited C2C Consulting, LLC to speak at their annual state-wide convention in Prescott, Arizona.  Randy went prepared to speak about the benefits of a website for those individuals in the court reporting profession, but because of a topic covered at a meeting over lunch, he ended up expounding upon the topic of websites to the value of social media and technology as a whole to their profession.

Small Businesses Must Get In On The Online World - Now!

Everybody's dream is to own a business of their own.  So why then, do some small business owners resist what being "online" means and stick with the former marketing mediums of yesteryear?  The answer, I believe, is lack of understanding coupled with fear, a combination that may be lethal to some businesses.  Read on to understand how today's hippest small businesses are creating boom businesses by using the digital world as their storefront. 

Do Not Track Me Bro!

The Internet has become one huge game of follow the leader.  Companies are spending huge dollars to find out all about your browsing habits.  For example let's say, you are in the market for some new sneakers.  In your quest for the perfect pair of shoes at the right price, you fire up your trusty Internet browser and begin the process of sniffing out your quarry and sizing it up for the kill; with free shipping too!  At this moment unless you take steps to ensure the sneaker manufacturers, distributors, and retail outlets are looking over your shoulder at every dark alley you browse down.  So you say, "How widespread is this?"  Or, perhaps you are thinking, "I didn't even know this was happening."  Now, keep in mind there is nothing even close to scientific about this data, but about two weeks ago I started conducting a survey on the websites I visit regularly (and no I won't name them.)  I found there are between 6 and 12 tracking tools showing up on every site.  Actually, the counts didn't surprise me at all, but the next valid question is just what kinds of tracking are they sites doing.

Doin' The Chores

Having been born and raised in the midwest, I've done my fair share of chores around the barn, some fun, some not so much.  My family raised a small herd of dairy cows when I was a kid, and as most of you from that upbringing know, some of the cows would allow themselves to be milked by machine (the preferred method), and some would not.  Not wanting the milk from those "rebels" to escape the production cycle, we milked those individuals by hand.  One necessary item to complete this feat was the ol' milking stool.  Now to be honest with you it was a complex contraption made by nailing two boards together in the shape of a T, but that tried and true design does not do anything to further the real point of this article, so you'll see my stool has three legs.  Yes; now you can say you actually know a programmer / web-developer that can milk a cow and ride a horse, just in case the internet ever goes away!   One of the most common questions we receive from our small business customers is, "Do I need a Facebook account?"  As with just about everything in the technical world, the true answer is, "That depends."  I do believe there are some common sense steps to follow regarding a company's desire to incorporate social media into their marketing and sales efforts.

Websites Need Facelifts Too!

Recently, one of our large multi-site customers went live with a totally updated and revamped site.  The thought occurred to me that this is a topic that "anyone" responsible for the regular care and feeding of a website needs to have at top of mind.  To the point of sounding like a broken record I'm sure, I remind my clients regularly that websites are very much like real-estate.  The main difference is instead of the mantra being, "Location, location, location.  It is content, content, content."  To be honest, content is only part of a successful formula for creating a site that continually draws traffic and continues to grow your business.  A website is made up of three primary parts:  content, technology, and visual (look and feel), at its simplest level.  All of these foundation bits and pieces needs to be kept current and not looking stale.  Why else do you occasionally put a fresh coat of paint on the old homestead?

Hot Technical News

KeyPoint wants you to try its multilingual smart keyboard for iOS 8

There's soon going to be a glut of custom keyboards for iOS 8, many of which will have word suggestions in multiple languages. However, they might not be as well-versed as KeyPoint Technologies' upcoming Adaptxt for iOS. Besides supporting over 100......

First look: 'Heos by Denon' wireless speakers take Sonos head on

Denon is no stranger to the home audio market. In fact it was making HiFi kit long before home streaming was even a thing. Times change, and new markets get new dominant players. For streaming, that means Sonos -- company Denon is tackling head-on......

Amazon has a new service for managing payments, named Amazon Wallet

Tried Apple's Passbook and Google's Wallet and not feeling satisfied? Perhaps Amazon's flavor of mobile payment app will strike your fancy. It's also named Wallet, and it arrived in beta form on the Google Play store recently. Like Apple and Google's......

O2 Travel add-on offers unlimited data in Europe for £2 per day

Roaming charges aren't something you should be worrying about on holiday, as most major UK carriers are well aware. Vodafone will let you use your usual call, text and data allowances abroad for as little as £2, while Three lets you do the same for......

Samsung's curved, 105-inch 4K TV can be yours for just $120,000

There were so many TVs on display back at CES, that you'd be forgiven if they all blended together. So allow us to give you a recap: The Samsung UN105S9W was, in the company's own words, the "world's first, largest and most curved 105-inch curved UHD......

Apple 'iTime' patent details a modular smartwatch with sensors in the band

A new Apple patent for smartwatch designs and features is bound to fuel more speculation about an incoming "iWatch," even though such claims often amount to nothing. Still, the patent is interesting on its own merits. One version shows a receptacle......

Google is adding free WiFi to Uber cars in Philadelphia, but only for the summer

We have no scientific data to back this up, but we suspect most of you are not tough enough, not resilient enough, to work on a laptop in a moving vehicle without hurling. If you're that special sort, though -- or if you just like to have your phone......

Retrotechtacular: We’re Gonna Have Manual Transmissions the Way My Old Man Told Me!

Simple machines are wonderful in their own right and serve as the cornerstones of many technological advances. This is certainly true for the humble lever and the role it plays in manual transmissions as evidenced in this week’s Retrotechtacular installment, the Chevrolet Motor Company’s 1936 film, “Spinning Levers”.This...

Social Media News

3 Social Media Tools That Help Marketers Save Time

How much of your day is spent on recurring social media activities? Are small tasks taking up too much of your time? When you know where tools can help you most, you can decide which tools best suit your needs. In this article I’ll address three time-consuming areas and share social media tools to help you [...]This post 3 Social Media Tools That...

Hillary Clinton: Social Media Shouldn't Be Used as a 'Weapon'

Hillary Clinton has high hopes for the future of social media — but we're not there just yetThe former U.S. Secretary of State spoke at Twitter headquarters in San Francisco Monday night, capping off a day in Silicon Valley during which she also visited Facebook and GoogleSee also: 15 Most-Followed Politicians on TwitterClinton was...

Husband Wakes Up to Wife's Sweet Social Media Surprise From Strangers

Gary Hamilton is one lucky man — "the luckiest guy in the world," if you ask himThe seasoned television reporter for the New York Yankees woke up for work Saturday to discover his wife, Jennifer, had orchestrated quite the birthday surprise on social media.See also: How a Facebook Poke Between Strangers Led to a Marriage ProposalHe calls her...

Hillary Clinton Hits Facebook, Twitter HQ for Surprise Q&A Monday

Hillary Clinton knows how to please both sides of the aisle — when it comes to Silicon Valley tech giants, at leastThe former Secretary of State will visit both Facebook and Twitter headquarters on Monday, participating in virtual Q&A conversations at both companiesThe Facebook visit was announced with little fanfare on the page for her...

These 24 Unexpected Photos Will Inspire You to Bend Your Fashion Rules

There's never a bad time to wear something daring. All the style rules — like, less is more when it comes to jewelry, and wearing socks with open-toed shoes is a big no-no — are so often overridden without a problem. After all, fashion is an industry that prides itself on creativity.We partnered with Hewlett-Packard to bring you this...

Facebook Steps Up News Game With Save for Later Feature

Facebook added a new feature Monday that lets users save things they're interested in — but may not have time to check out — for a later date.The new feature, simply called "Save," lets you flag things like links, places, or music and then come back to them when they have more time. Saved items are personal, meaning they won't appear...

Here Comes the Social Networking Bride

Today’s bride is leveraging her social networking skills to make her dream day come true. A quick scroll through your Facebook News Feed and you’ll probably spot her recording every step of the way.It all starts with the engagement status. Within hours of saying “yes,” 28% of brides-to-be update their social media statuses,...

10 Changes to the Facebook Page Layout: What Marketers Need to Know

Have you noticed some big changes in your Facebook Page layout? Do you know where to find everything? Earlier this year, Facebook announced a new design for Facebook Pages. It took a while to roll out, but most Page admins had it by June. In this article you’ll discover 10 changes to your Facebook Page layout. [...]This post 10 Changes to...

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