Dress Up Your iPad

Tablets are now an important part of life for millions, providing an easy way to access social networks and the Internet while mobile. But these expensive little pieces of kit come unprotected; luckily, you can spruce up your tablet with cases, covers, sleeves and skins.

There are tons of different options of iPad 2 cases available. Whatever your style, you can find something to fit your needs. I’m partial to the faux-leather covers that look like portfolios; your keep your iPad in them all the time; just flip it open when you’re ready to work. But there are other cool options too. My Dad, who has an iPad 3, has the ultra thin, folding style that turns into an iPad stand.

One thing worth noting: I do love a good, hard case. They aren’t heavy (you can get ones that are made of silicone) and they’ll protect your iPad really well. Among my devices I have a hard case for my iPod and a rigid (but soft) case for my Kindle. While I love the softness, I do worry whenever I put my Kindle in my backpack and go travelling. The hard cases feel much more secure to me. YMMV, of course. Some of them are more expensive, like Otterbox, but they are worth it if you beat up your devices. My friend has an Otterbox case, and the salesperson let her throw her phone on the floor to prove how tough it was. He didn’t have to buy her a new phone, so it did work!

Remote Tech Help

At my day job, we have contractors located all over the world (Europe, Seattle, NYC) who are tasked with keeping a large site running smoothly. Even on a stable CMS, we run into dozens of bugs every week, some of which are hard to duplicate in the main office. That’s where software like Proxy Pro 7 could really help us out.

Proxy Pro 7 is a piece of software that gives remote access to other computers. Everything is done through the Internet over 256-bit encryption — the highest in its class — so sensitive data is secure. Troubleshooters can access other systems at any time to collaborate, troubleshoot or move files. I mentioned our locations earlier because this is so key — we have an eight-hour time difference between some of our employees, so the ability to log on and grab an important file while someone is offline is a big deal. This saves days of back-and-forth emailing and waiting, which is typical of businesses that use telecommuters.

The software also works with all the major operating systems: Windows, Mac and Linux, so our Mac-minded main office can still get remote access to our PC-based workers. I’m talking about using it for a company of 20 people, but can you imagine how great this flexibility would be in a school, government or MNC environment? The opportunities are endless.

Starter links for SEO newcomers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the new kid on the web development block. People with SEO skill sets help to build and market your website so that it gets high search engine rankings and maximum traffic; after all, traffic = conversions = profits.

Apogee Search, one of the world’s largest Search Engine Optimization firms, has lots of great resources on their site for both new and seasoned SEO professionals. One of my favourite resources is their very in-depth Search Engine Marketing Glossary. The glossary introduces SEO-specific terms – both technical (301 redirect, alt tag, etc) and non-technical (link farm, keyword density). This portion of the site is extensive, highlighting a few terms that even I’ve never heard of (and SEO is one of my day jobs)! Continue reading

What makes a great plastic surgery website?

Plastic surgeons are one of the few groups of professionals who can, nearly across the board, afford to have an awesome website for their business. So while we’ve all seen sub-standard, FrontPage-crafted sites for mom and pop shops, B&Bs, and other family establishments, there’s no excuse for plastic surgeons.

Here are five features that are essential for a great plastic surgery website, using Dr. Philip Miller (rhinoplasty Manhattan New York) and his excellent website as an example. Follow along on his first-class site as we go through the list. Continue reading

Why don’t more businesses invest in CRMs?

I’ve worked for many companies, from a large subsidiary of Viacom to a suburban mom-and-pop retail shop. The jobs were all sales oriented, to an extent, and relied on relationships with customers to keep the business afloat. Yet strangely, the one thing all of these businesses – the large and the small – had in common was that we never used a CRM.

Why the aversion? Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are great for organising sales information. For example, look at Flightdeck CRM. Their website spells out quite plainly exactly what you can do with a CRM; everything from lead sheets to contact management is fair game. Yet the businesses I’ve worked with have used a variety of other methods to accomplish these goals, from good ole pen and paper to massive Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that were just begging to be corrupted.

So what’s out there in the land of business management software systems? I like the Flightdeck CRM, and their website for that matter. The language on the site does require a certain degree of understanding of business management, but that’s par for the course – you’re talking about high-spec company software here. But what’s great is, although there’s some jargon, the site has a very matter-of-fact approach to their sales pitch. The menus are clearly laid out (and colourful!) in a “Tell me this” way (“Tell me why Flightdeck is different”, “Tell me how Flightdeck can help me”, etc). Plain English is a wonderful thing. Continue reading