Wednesday, July 28, 2010

1, 2, 3 : Marketing, Websites & Social Media

  1. MARKETING: Create a slogan! Your slogan should be short and unique, therefore memorable! I'll be honest and say that even our slogan "We make your technology work for you" is a little on the long side, but clearly states that we will make YOUR technology work, not hassle you with new shiny toys and unnecessary bills. Consider what makes you stand out...
  2. WEBSITES: Keywords/Keyphrases - good or bad? Neither - it's CRUCIAL! Come up with twenty to thirty keyphrases, two to four words each, that are unique to your company. What product or service do you provide? Who do you provide to (target audience should also include the location/s you serve)? You need to incorporate these phrases in your  < meta >  and  < title >  tags which can be accessed in your code, headings, sub-headings, links,  < alt >  and  < title >  tags on images and links. All search engines have different rules - the more closely you follow them, the safer you are. Keywords/Keyphrases' use is getting tighter and tighter meaning it needs closer attention to work well. When done right, boy does it make a big difference!
  3. SOCIAL MEDIA: Set up your Outlook with Social Media Connector, it's so cool! It works with Outlook 2003, 2007 and 2010. Click here for a PDF to learn more and to help you in the set-up process!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Does My Business Need A Server?

Server (definition):

A computer that is set aside for group use or networking tasks. It “serves” or shares with the other computers connected to it.

What functionality does a server provide in a typical business environment?

1. A server provides a single storage location for a business's important information, easily shared with everyone in the organization, and backed up by a single scheduled backup routine. Manual backups are better than none at all, but they are problematic. Use a server and a backup program with a schedule to safeguard your business’ information assets.

2. A well-configured server employs a RAID configuration to reduce loss of data, even if one disk drive fails.

3. Files stored on a properly configured server are more secure. Keep those preying eyes out of your data.

4. A domain server can also serve as your email server. Why is this beneficial? A domain server that also manages your organization's email keeps all correspondence between your staff private. It never leaves your network.

5. A business server, properly configured, is a better tool for accessing your business data remotely when you are working on the road or from home.

6. What is InfoPathways' preferred small business server operating system? Microsoft's Small Business Server. This operating system provides for operation of a proper domain, sharing data as well as protecting data, email management with Microsoft Exchange, relational database management with Microsoft SQL Server and automated scheduled backups of all your critical data. All in one package.

7. Optionally, printer sharing can be made more functional via a server, rather than overloading a user‘s work station.

How do I know I need a server?

1. Are you using two or more computers in your business? If so, then it may be time for a server. By storing and organizing data in a core location, you can access and share files easily and manage business information more efficiently.

2. Do you have a mobile workforce? Businesses with a mobile workforce (employees who work from home or frequently travel) definitely need a server so that employees can remotely connect to the company network and access information and resources, no matter where they are.

3. Do your employees share documents between multiple computers? If so, there is a significant risk of losing important files and of having multiple versions of vital documents. A server will help keep files managed and provide a centralized location to store and organize important documents, assuring constant access to what you need, when you need it.

4. Can valuable files and data be replaced? A server will protect files from loss and corruption. You can easily back up information and restore files that are accidentally deleted or misplaced, and you'll never have to worry about a crashed hard drive wiping out your system again.

5. Does on (or more) of your work stations seem to be overloaded with shared files, folders and printers? Please talk to us about whether you need a server or how to leverage an existing server more effectively!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Client Appreciation - Night Blooming Primroses

Photography by Kelly Heck - Primrose Time Lapse
On Friday night, InfoPathways hosted their 2nd Annual Client Appreciation event at Doug and Susie Heck's home.

We had a great turnout, enjoying good food and drink as we sat around the Night Blooming Flower Gardens. Susie gave an interesting lecture on Night Blooming Flowers and nightlife as the sun set, ending just in time for the first Primroses to open. The image to the right is of a Primrose in it's first stages of opening, provided by Kelly Heck. Below is the flower totally open - from closed to open, this process can take 3 seconds to four minutes.

Photography by Kelly HeckHoney bees, sphinx and hawk moths joined us as the fragrance of the blooms spread over the gardens. Each group left with their very own primrose to take home and plant in their gardens.

Below are more photos from the evening. Enjoy and hope to see many of you next year!

Photography by Kelly Heck
Photography by Kelly Heck
Photography by Kelly Heck

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Optimize Your Hard Drive

These days we’re all demanding faster service from everything around us. Technology has to move move MOVE and we want the same from our computers. With computers, however, the problem so often is that the hard drive is cluttered with old, unorganized files, unnecessary programs and in most cases, spyware. Below are some helpful methods to clean up and make space on your packed-to-the-max hard drive.

Steps to Organize
Be consistent about where you save your files and how you name them. This will aid your review and clean-up efforts. As you save files, use folders with unique naming strategies to organize your documents. Your file should also be named uniquely. I often use dates at the beginning of certain documents, like contracts, estimates and invoices, to keep track of when it was made. This makes locating and cleaning up so much more efficient.

Steps to Optimize
  • Get Rid of Unnecessary Files (application data for uninstalled software, temporary internet files, cookies, and recent document lists).
  • Run an anti-spyware program like Malware to locate and delete spyware that is taking up space and slowing you down.
  • Run/Automate Windows Updates.
  • Run Compression (compression frees up space but beware that those files will take longer to open and resave).
  • Defragment your Drive(s).
  • Check for Disk Errors (whenever a program crashes or you experience a power outage, your computer may create error and recovery files on the hard disk which over time can slow down your computer).

Hands-On Optimization
  • Back Up Your Files to CDs, DVDs, External Hard Drives, etc.
  • Periodically review files one by one and discard unnecessary documents, images and programs.
  • Clean out your recycle bin (when you delete files, rather than being erased from your hard drive, they relocate to your recycle bin - deleting your files from your recycle bin PERMANENTLY erases the files from your hard drive and finally clears that space). Consider reducing the size of your Recycle Bin - it is automatically 12% of your hard drive (you can do this from the Recycle Bin Properties window).
  • Restart your computer routinely, especially after large projects, to free up un-released memory and work space on your hard drive.
  • Reduce your webpage history to a week or less.
  • Don’t save encrypted webpages (usernames and passwords).

Do NOT...
  • Do NOT delete operating system files.
  • Do NOT delete program files. Rather, use the program’s uninstall option to uninstall and un-register the program.
If you want your computer to run healthy, then do your best to keep it healthy!

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Kelly Heck Photography

The Kelly Heck Photography website was launched July of 2010. This site was designed and developed with the portfolio in mind, keeping the images the main focal point of the site. The features of the gallery include javascript and behaviors for user friendly viewing with right-click disabled for better protection of the portfolio. The scrolling thumnails menu, a javascript feature, is a fun bit of motion to play with, you should check it out. Go to to view this website.