Categories
Clips Forbes.com small business SMBs Web Development

Forbes.com column on technology for small to midsize businesses

The new gig is coming together well, but it’s a lot of work to crank out 2 of these columns a week while trying to keep all the other plates spinning, both other writing assignments and the web consulting business.

Here’s what I’ve written about so far:

There is going to be a continuing emphasis on the Internet and the “cloud” (the latest jargon for Internet native business applications and the technologies that support them). I think it’s important to take time out to address more pedestrian issues like how to keep the books of a company, which is why I did the piece on QuickBooks and hope to do more on small business topics that are down to earth (not up in the clouds).

Suggestions welcome.

Categories
Presentations Social Media Web Development

Web Strategy Workshop Presentation Slides

Thanks to the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce for hosting my workshop, “Is the Web Working for You?” (Workshop Slides). We got just enough people to fill the conference room at the chamber offices, and they seemed to be interested and engaged in what I had to tell them.

Biggest point of confusion seemed to be over the purpose of social networks, particularly Twitter. I’ll have to post some follow up thoughts here about strategies for what social networks to join and how to use them.

I’d also welcome follow up questions from attendees or anyone else who may read this. Knowing your questions is really useful as I look for topics to address in my Forbes.com column on small to midsize business IT issues.

Categories
Clips Email Marketing Forbes.com Web Development

My column launches on Forbes.com – IT Issues for SMBs

I’m now doing a column for the Fobes.com Business Intelligence channel on information technology issues for small to midsize businesses.

First column: Don’t Lose That Web Site on domain ownership problems that plague a lot of small organizations (and some that ought to know better). I’d still like to do an expanded version of this story for another publication, as there were a lot of details I had to leave out. (I also blogged about the topic here: The Danger of Losing Control of Your Internet Domain)

Second column will be for all the QuickBooks users: as your business grows, how do you know when it’s time to graduate to something more sophisticated (and typically more expensive). This will be a twice weekly feature, so I welcome suggestions on story ideas.

Categories
Web Development

Free Workshop: Is the Web Working for You?

I will be presenting this free workshop through the Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce on February 24 at 3:30 p.m.

Is the Web Working for You?

A FREE Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce Workshop

Your website, email marketing, and presence on social media sites like Facebook should bring you business and let you do business more efficiently.

Yet using these tools inappropriately can drive customers away and waste your time and money.

This seminar will show the right way to:

  • Bring customers to your website
  • Make the right impression once they arrive
  • Plan for regular updates and fresh content
  • Leverage email and social media marketing
  • Maximize your use of free resources
  • Learn from the best. How to imitate Amazon and Google, or piggy-back on their services

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
3:30 p.m. at the
Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce

About the Speaker

David F. Carr writes about information technology for small to midsize businesses for Forbes.com. As Technology Editor of Internet World and Baseline Magazine, he researched the inner workings of Google, Yahoo, MySpace, and other Internet giants.

Through Carr Communications, David consults on Internet and communications strategy.

Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce
11805 Heron Bay Blvd
Coral Springs, FL 33076
954-752-4242

Look for the building with the green awning, opposite the Heron Bay Marriott

RSVP to rsvp@cschamber.com or 954-752-4242

David F. Carr can be reached at david@carrcommunications.com or 954-757-5827

Coral Springs Chamber of Commerce

Printable Flyer (PDF)

Categories
Clips South Florida Business Journal

South Florida Business Journal: Chamber panel sees sunny future for cloud computing

Cloud computing is one of the hottest buzzwords in information technology today, but panelists at a Friday’s Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce event on the topic had to spend considerable time trying to define it before they could say anything more about it.

One reason for the confusion is that it refers to several overlapping concepts. Christopher Drumgoole, senior vice president of engineering and product development at Terremark Worldwide Inc., said the shortest explanation is, “it’s I.T. provided as a service.” Terremark hosted the chamber event at its Miami data center.

(read more)

Categories
CIO Magazine Clips

5 Things You Need to Know About Platform as a Service, CIO Magazine

My latest for CIO Magazine: 5 Things You Need to Know About Platform as a Service

Analysis of web-based services that provide a platform for building applications. This is the middle ground between packaged web based applications, such as those from Salesforce.com, and lower-level infrastructure services like web-based data storage services. Platform as a service is more like a bundle of operating system and app development services that lives in the network “cloud.”

Categories
Web Development

Website re-launch: OliveBelcher.com Waterfront & Luxury Real Estate

The olivebelcher.com home page
The olivebelcher.com home page

Carr Communications is proud to announce the re-launch of olivebelcher.com, a website we revamped for Olive Belcher, the leading waterfront and luxury real estate specialist for Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, and surrounding communities.

The new home page design took advantage of some promotional art she had purchased, originally for a postcard mailer, which I was able to modify to work on the web.

Her old site suffered from too many slow-loading pages because of the way images of the different properties were organized and coded. Now, each property has its own distinct web page with its own photo gallery. Putting the properties on individual pages also creates the opportunity for each home she is selling to be indexed by the search engines or promoted with targeted advertising. Each listing also features widgets like a Google Maps display of the location and a mortgage calculator.

The site was created in WordPress using the Shades of Blue theme by StudioPress, the Great Real Estate plug-in, and my own modifications.

Categories
Domain Registration Web Development

The Danger of Losing Control of Your Internet Domain

One thing that many small businesses, nonprofits, and political campaigns I have dealt with fail to pay attention to is ensuring that they have direct control over the Internet domain associated with their website and email accounts. Often, the domain is registered by a web consultant in the name of the consultant or consulting firm. Or sometimes, with nonprofits, it’s a volunteer who handles the registration and who winds up with the domain in his or her name. Unfortunately, this can cause the organization that rightfully should own that domain a lot of grief if the intermediary turns out to be unreliable, incompetent, dishonest, or just unreachable at a critical moment.

This is where your website and business email both go dead one day, seemingly without warning, because you never got the notices that your registration was about to expire. Or, you hire someone else to revamp your website, only to discover that you can’t “turn on” the new and improved version because you don’t have the necessary password and aren’t recognized by the domain registrar as having the right to access the account.

See also: My column for Forbes.com on this topic

Your Internet identity is an important corporate asset for you to protect. Failing to do so is the kind of mistake that seems obvious in retrospect but is easily overlooked by an organization focused on getting up and running on the web.

Categories
Clips GCN

2 Stories on this week’s military simulation conference

A couple of stories I wrote about this week’s Interservice/Industry Training, Simulation and Education Conference in Orlando are just out on the Government Computer News website.

Virtual world technologies aid real world problems

Agencies show growing interest in Second Life and other 3-D environments

Having done a Baseline cover story on “Is Business Ready for Second Life,” I was interested to see how more serious applications of that environment are starting to emerge. But the more important trend was clearly the military’s focus on using simulation as a training tool for ground forces, where in past years simulators were primarily for pilots and tank operators. Also, the interest in more realistically depicting the situation on the ground, whether with more realistic blood and gore in battle scenarios or more complex language and cultural interaction for simulated negotiations with the locals.

Categories
CIO Magazine Clips

Windows 7: 5 Things for CIOs to Consider Before Deployment

My latest piece for CIO Magazine:

Windows 7: 5 Things for CIOs to Consider Before Deployment