Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category
Many of our sites run wordpress. We loooove wordpress around here. But a common question we hear, is where does the users profile photo come from? In comments, author biographies, etc.
We rely on the Gravatar system created by wordpress. Gravatar, or a “Globally Recognized Avatar” is an image connected to your email address, and is actually used on any site also using the gravatar service.
Head over to gravatar.com, and sign up (free). Here you can connect as many emails as you have, and upload a photo. Now, when ever you administer a site, comment on a blog, etc, if you use one of those emails, it will auto pull your photo. Need to update the photo? great, log back in, and change it. It will globally update all your past articles, comments and profiles.
It’s a great way to give a face to a name, and humanize the internet.
Sometimes we get busy. Sometimes very busy. I can personally attest to this. I’m pretty sure most of March and April flew by me in a blink. Oh I know stuff happened. Projects, birthdays, trips, events, but it’s a blur.
Not sure about you, but when I get busy, I focus in. I skip social networks, networking events, follow up calls, little emails, etc. I’m all about the nose to the screen and get stuff out the door mode. Great from time to time, but if you hang out in this mode too often things suffer. New project leads, relationships, health, the weeds in my front yard, and even creativity. The busier I feel, the worse I sleep, the less Ii work out, the less I enjoy life. It’s a terrible cycle.
So take a moment out of your busy week. Say hi to some friends, thank some past clients, go exercise, spend some time with family, and enjoy life. If you work too hard, you may miss that life you are working so hard for.
P.S. Thanks to my awesome family and friends for putting up with me while I go crazy. We’ll get the life balance thing in order someday right?
Fire the committee. No great website in history has been conceived of by more than three people. Not one. This is a deal breaker. – Seth Godin.
This statement is true in so many aspects. Look at politics, giant companies, churches, and non-profits. The more brilliant people in a room, the more no one can decide a single focus, direction and executable project.
Funny thing in life, Simple almost always wins.
- Myspace was complicated and too many things. Facebook is simple (kind of).
- Blackberry UI is complicated. iPhone is clear.
- Constant contact is deep in menus and pages. Campaign monitor is the good kind of shallow.
The more I use technology, the more I appreciate simple. I have owned way too many high priced bluetooth headsets. Funny thing is that the simple headphones / mic included with my iphone seems to just plain work, clearly, flawlessly, and without a need to keep a battery charged.
Where can you make simple cuts in your life, service, product and delivery.
P.S. Simple, not dumb, or lacking in core function.
People love fun. How can you take your product or service and have a little fun with it? You dont need to down play the power, seriousness, or delivery of the product itself, but the marketing and messaging can really make it that much easier for people to see you stand out out from the competition.
Example: Slick plan. Its a web app that we use to help plan out site navigations (boring right). But check out this email as a great example of having a little fun. Great Job Slickplan!
In recent months both Ryan (business development here at factor1) and I have been training hard. Ryan is training for an ironman and I have been training for a century road race. And as we talk about the process, the weekly plans and the pain, I see a lot of parallels in business as a owner, manager or leader of any organization.
You have to have a plan.
Training for a big event without a plan may realistically kill you. You cant go from the couch to the finish line without some sort of plan. Set some goals and milestones to reach for. They dont have to be money or sales related. Personally, my goal is to be the most efficient i can be, maximizing time, so I can possible spend more time with my family. I have a goal of a 4 day work week by the end of July.
Your plan needs rhythm and growth.
My plan is pretty easy. I ride some easy days, i ride some sprints and high intensity days, and i have pace days. This is true at the office too. Some days are nuts, with way too many things on the to do list, and too many fires to put out. Other days are normal, good, but not chaos, and some days are easy, like fridays after all the hard work is done. You must enjoy, plan and put in the effort to make them all work.
If you want all easy days, you probably need a new plan. One without a big a finish. All high intensity and you will burn out fast.
You need to grow with the plan.
Start small. A few miles at a time, gradually increasing the distance. Same at the office. Push your self to be faster, more efficient and better at your job. As they say, Rome was not built in a day.
All training plans have rest days. Take days off. At least the weekend. Vacations would be great. I’ll let you know what they are like when I get to take one for real someday. One without a laptop and a few hours of working a day. Not sure when that will be.
What did I miss?
See, We told you we have been busy around here. Lots of new projects launching this season. SantaPhotos.com was a very cool project to be working on. Mall Santas are a big deal. Many families want to find the same santa year after year, to provide great tradition, and consistency to their family photos. We needed to build a great site to make managing and finding locations and santas easy.
About the build of this site.
Using WordPress, we wrote about a dozen custom functions to make some magic happen. Custom home slider tools using jquery were built out, custom content types for santas, locations, and home banners were all part of the plan. So now when SantaPhotos admins need to add a location, they simply log in, add a new location, fill in the name, address, url, map link, etc, and we do the heavy lifting. All without any wordpress plugins.
It really turned out amazing. With all the santas, locations, pages and blog posts, managing specific content types is a breeze.
So far traffic is up (300 – 600 unique visitors per day), and SEO key words are already helping the new site showing up in google. The staff at SantaPhotos.com was very excited to see the new site live.
I’m an avid mountain biker, road biker, and cyclist. I ride my bike to the office every day, to church on a regular basis, and anywhere I can. I have been riding a lot for the better part of 7 years. Even spent most of my childhood on a bike. Riding for recreation, exercise, fun, friendship, even racing, I love it all.
Over the years I have been riding with some new riders, and giving a lot of tutorials, tips, tricks, and explaining concepts to better help them as riders on the road or on the trails.
In thinking about these conversations, the ideas and concepts can really be applied to almost anything — Business, ministry, life, and maybe even marriage.
Most artists make their money on concert sales and add ons. T-shirts, stickers, collectibles, etc. Not CD sales. But is this the future of music in a world of digital delivery?
A free CD, with the request of ANY payment? Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead have also tried their hand at the same thing. The Radiohead CD In Rainbows pulled an average of $2.12 per download. 3/5ths of 1.2 million users downloaded the CD for free. The remaining 2/5th paid an average of $6.
So is this the future of music sales? Will this be the future for other industries? books? magazines? Video games? I doubt it, but its worth thinking outside the box on.
How can you do what you enjoy, provide it to as many people as possible, and make up for it on the items that make you the most money?
This is a simple concept, yet I see so many companies fail at this.
Make it easy for customers to move around in your company.
What do I mean by that? When navigating from one part of your site to another, don’t make them log back in. If you ask callers to enter their phone number, find a way for the operator to NOT need to ask for the number again.
There may be more frustrating things in life—sure, but this is such a simple issue that can be fixed. Log in once, and they are in. Ask for their account number once, and they are in.
Connect the dots. Streamline your systems for your customers, and they will thank you for it.