Thursday, 21 November 2013 22:25

Dig In, Be "Gritty"

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TED--"Riveting talks by remarkable people".

If you haven't added this to your daily (or maybe weekly) perusal of content, please consider it.  Numerous topics, amazing speakers and content that will stick with you beyond typical video content that may be beckoning your attention at any given moment.

This past week, one really caught my attention--perhaps due to being a mom, perhaps in working in an educational sector, and of course, in working in the business sector.

This video is amazing.  Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth discusses predictors of academic and professional success--and guess what?  It's not money, it's not IQ--it's GRIT. Yes--it's the perseverance, passion and stamina, and a somewhat unquantifiable character that truly provide effective indicators.

How does this apply to web/social media?  There are no easy answers and quick passes to 'go'. It takes hard work, knowledge and a passion for conveying your message.

Be inspired....find your path, be gritty.



Photo credit: Dirt Steps by Peter Griffin


Sunday, 08 September 2013 17:09


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Working in technology, we are always tossing around jargon, acronyms and vocabulary that may not be the most user-friendly.  Additionally, some of these terms become "commonplace" prior to them having a broad, market-wide opportunity to make themselves fully known.  On occasion, we'd like to highlight some of these terms....

Software as a service, or SaaS is a distribution model for software in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over the internet. With this distribution model, the software is basically hosted on the cloud. The software is accessed by the users by using a thin client on a web browser. Many business have begun to use software as a service especially office and messaging software, management software, CAD software, accounting, human resource management, and more. By utilizing SaaS, a company can reduce IT support costs by outsourcing their software to the provider of SaaS. In more recent years, sales of SaaS have multiplied and reached the billions. Software as a service is considered to be part of cloud computing.

The software used for SAAS has no need for physical distribution since there are no physical materials. The software can be sent almost immediately since it utilizes cloud computing.  Commonly a monthly fee or a discounted annual fee is used. The initial cost is usually lower than the same enterprise software. SaaS software is usually priced based on the number of people using the application.

Since the cost for setting up a customer is relatively low, many of these applications offer a solution that is an alternative to traditional software. The prices are competitively cheaper and many times provide much better, more reliable applications. SaaS offers many benefits. For one, it has a much easier administration. All updates are automatic, so users don’t have to worry about getting a new version of the software. The software is also universally compatible, as all users have the same version of the software. Also, there is global accessibility--people from all corners of the world can access the software. This type of software is becoming much more prominent and for many people, is the main type of service that many people use. Cloud computing is becoming the wave of the future, and will soon replace physical software.

How does this apply to you? Many of the forms of software that you've grown accustomed to are now cloud based, i.e. Microsoft Office products now have a full line of in the cloud products.  Additionally, Google has had a huge impact on this market with Drive, Docs, etc.  Essentially, you can work from anywhere, from any device, and access all of your files within moments.  Many forms of software that you used to have to pay for outright now are available to you at this monthly subscription fee--which really benefits you as a consumer, as you will always have the most current version of the software, and priced as we stated above, but monthly. 

We work with some of the best networking at IT specialists in the Minneapolis/St. Paul geographic area.  Looking for a reference or to apply some SaaS options?  Let us know....we can point you to some great solutions!


Monday, 03 June 2013 21:46

Finding Your Voice

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"Where do I begin?"
"If you want to know more about.."
"Here’s something we can tell you…"
"You should know…"

Sound familiar?

Beginning a blog can be a daunting task--even more so, when one attempts to integrate that process into the rest of a social media strategy.

We are very fortunate to work with a large number of clients looking to boost both their web and social media presence. Without question, blogging is a key factor leading to success of that strategy. But let’s be real—social media/blogging/fb/twitter has been a layer placed upon already stretched job descriptions. It would truly be unscrupulous of us to suggest, “No worries—you can just post/tweet/hashtag from your car”, “Blog writing is easy”, or “It really takes no time at all!”

The key, in our minds, anyway, is to organically reconstruct what you are currently doing, brick and mortar, face-to-face, person-to-person--that which is authentic and genuine and extend it to your social media vision. You are the only one who knows your mission, your values, and what makes you authentic to your current client base.

So if time is a major constraint (much less multiple other responsibilities, i.e. the job you were actually hired to do..) you may ask, “How can I accomplish this task?” This may be where a content writer comes in, to take the weight off of already exploding schedules. The really, really good content writers sit with you, interview you, and truly grasp that understanding of your business in a way which can eloquently and undeniably be expressed in YOUR VOICE. This is truly a unique talent that very few people possess, and what we believe allows only very few people to adequately claim this title.

Isn’t it ironic, that in finding YOUR VOICE, it may actually take someone else’s words (or time, talent and ability to zero in on your vision) to state more efficiently what may have taken hours at the keyboard? If you love to write, you are in a winning situation, and the world is at the “push of publish”. If not, there is no honor lost in finding those people who can express the creativity and vision within you to effectively communicate your message.  Authenticity wins, no matter which way it is conveyed.

Saturday, 18 May 2013 09:41

Taking Cues from Spring

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Ahhh.  Spring has finally arrived in Minnesota.  And while we say that pretty cautiously knowing that snow could pop up at any time given the relentless winter we had, the season upon us definitely brings a sense of optimism with the signs of new growth around us.

This is a perfect time to take a second look at your website and social media focus.  Here are a few focus points to help carry the growth of the season into the growth of your business, via your website and social media channels:

1.  Where do I need to grow my followers?
Twitter?  Facebook?  Blog?  LinkedIn?

2.  What's is happening around me? 
Have I analyzed my Google Analytics reports lately?  What search terms are bringing new visitors to my site, and which ones have seen a falling off?

3.  Where are my weeds?
Errr............What do I need to clean up, remove or change?

4.  Where should I invest my time, energy and resources?
Is it in my content or design?  Do I need to be more conversational in my social media outreach?  What parts of my website to I want to be noticed or more "sticky", and hopefully bringing users more deeply into my site?

5.  Party time!
Am I taking my glass of wine and sitting in a corner not engaging, or am I talking, conversing and responding via social media channels?

6. Most importantly--am I taking time for the beauty of the season?
Any process of growth takes a long time, and it can feel like forever to get to the next "season".  Am I enjoying what I've already cultivated?

Of course, there's nothing like the joys of Mother Nature--so don't forget to step outside and breathe in deeply of the fresh, floral-infused air!



 Photo credit: Spring Flowers by George Hodan





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