Clips What Cloud Computing Means

My take on what’s new and what’s hype, along with a slideshow on cloud computing leaders.


What Cloud Computing Means

David F. Carr06.04.10, 06:00 AM EDT

New wave of technologies is the same–only different.


In Pictures: 10 Cloud Computing Leaders

Read the story at

Clips Why Companies Don’t Need Headquarters

Some people are fun to write about.


Why Companies Don’t Need Headquarters

David F. Carr06.03.10, 06:00 AM EDT

Working remotely from home or at a customer’s office can boost your business.

James Sinclair, head of the hospitality industry turnaround firm OnSite Consulting, says one of the biggest challenges his employees have had adapting to the way he runs his business is answering the question, “But where is your company based?”

The answer: Wherever the work needs to be done. “We have 65 people, and we have no office,” Sinclair explains. Headquarters is a post office box; he also has an Internet-based phone and unified communications system.

Read the rest at

Clips Bypassing IT Bottlenecks

Mr. Roy wrote me after this was published to say that when reading the story, “I can hear my frustration being presented with such clarity.” Glad I could be of service.


Bypassing IT Bottlenecks

David F. Carr05.24.10, 06:00 AM EDT

How some firms take charge of their data.

Don’t get between Jay Roy and his data. For an information technology person, that’s a good way to get fired.

Roy is CEO of AWPRx, a Florida company that provides pharmacy benefits management services in workers’ compensation cases. It’s a 25-person firm with about $15 million in revenue, and it runs on data. (Read the rest at

Clips Breaking The ‘Brochureware’ Mindset

This is a little rant I wrote up for my column.


Breaking The ‘Brochureware’ Mindset

David F. Carr05.18.10, 06:00 AM EDT

Seek out opportunities to automate your website.

Is your business website stupider than it needs to be? Or, to put it another way, is it doing everything it could to make you look smart?

The term “brochureware” was coined early in the Web era to refer to business websites that were nothing more than online marketing brochures, typically presented as a set of static pages. If you’re selling online, or using a content management system, you’ve probably gone beyond that initial brochureware stage.

But you still may not be taking advantage of all the power the online world has to offer.

For example, that Web server you’re renting space on can do more than just serve up pages. For one thing, it can tell time. So why do many sites advertise an event that has already occurred, or hawk a special offer that has expired? Because they rely on very manual processes for updating. And if someone doesn’t get around to making the fix, the old information stays up. (read the rest at

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.