Clips Web Development

Forbes column: Test And Improve Your Website

Here is an excerpt from my latest piece for, this one on the value of website testing.

When you change the layout of a homepage or the design of your “Buy Now!” button, how do you know if sales will go up or down?

Small changes can make a surprisingly big difference. At A Place for Mom, a directory of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, simply changing the color of the text on an inquiry page resulted in a 6% improvement in the number of people who submitted the form.

Some Web owners might have been surprised at the improvement. Not senior product manager Ben Villa. That’s because before making the switch on his entire site, he tested it on a selected fraction of the visitors. By being systematic about this sort of testing, Villa says the website has been able to boost conversions by about 40% overall. (read the rest at

Clips small business SMBs Web Development 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.

Clips Email Marketing Web Development

My column launches on – IT Issues for SMBs

I’m now doing a column for the 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.

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)

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, 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.”

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.

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

Clips InformationWeek

What IT Teams Bring To Green Building Efforts – InformationWeek

Empire State Building

Due for an energy makeover

IT offers network, security, and process skills to buildings management. But IT involvement’s the exception, not the rule.

By David F. Carr

November 13, 2009 03:00 PM (From the November 9, 2009 issue)

People get drawn into information technology work for a lot of reasons, but seldom because they have a passion for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems. However, the extreme power and cooling demands of modern data centers have forced IT pros to build expertise in facilities management, and in some cases that’s helping them move their companies toward greener, smarter buildings.
CIO Magazine Clips

5 Things You Need to Know about Software-as-a-Service Contracts

My latest Feature for CIO Magazine:

5 Things You Need to Know about Software-as-a-Service Contracts
How CIOs can guarantee secure SaaS contracts.

Read it on


Clip: Smarter Search for South Park

My latest piece for Baseline Magazine

Smarter Search for South Park

By David F. Carr

MTV Networks moves to Solr-powered search technology for the websites behind many of its popular shows.

The open source Solr search engine is emerging as the standard for new and revamped websites launched by MTV Networks and is already powering the search on key properties such as,, and