Articles: General Interest

Checklist for Xmas Break

At this time of the year I do like to remind you of things about your website to be aware of over the break when many of your suppliers etc may be closed.

The things that you should know about your developers, ISP’s and email providers etc.

Following is what we have told you in previous years. Be prepared in case your site has issues. Particularly important if you take bookings through your web site. It needs to be up and running all of the time or you may lose business….

Maybe it is your busy season, or maybe your business closes down like many at this time. Even though you may not close down, your web developer and other key contacts might.

Either way, there are things to plan for during the “silly season” in order to ensure service to your customers is not disrupted.

So here are some things to consider over Xmas:

Do you know what your web developer, hosting company and ISP are doing over Xmas?

Will they have normal services or just skeleton staffing?

Do you know what the arrangements for contacting them are if you have a problem with email, your website or your Internet connections?

What about your IT support person or company – what happens if your system breaks during Xmas and New Year? Will someone be there to fix it?

Will your hosting and ISP accounts etc get paid normally – don’t let one of these lapse because of Xmas disruptions to routines or you may find your web site, email or internet connection stops working.

Will you be checking emails as normal?

If you are going to be extra busy, have you figured out how to ensure that emails and enquiries are not ignored because of lack of time to respond?

If you are going to be away, is someone going to deal with emails and enquiries in your absence? If you are going to be checking them from remote locations, ensure you take all the logins and passwords with you that you might need.

That’s just a few things to get you thinking – there are probably many more things pertinent to your particular business. To ensure things run smoothly over the break, the best advice is of course “be prepared” and anticipate possible issues in advance.

Search Engine Usage

Some statistics from Stats Counter Global show the following search engine usage:

Google 93.6% Bing 4.65%

Poor old Bing! Microsoft won’t be happy with that!

But Net Market Share shows Google at 67% and Bing at 13%. A bit better but a long way behind Mr Google.

http://www.smartinsights.com/search-engine-marketing/search-engine-statistics/

However You Tube is not included in either of these but it is actually one of the most used “search sites”. Just not traditionally thought of as one. About 3 billion searches per month! So if you can, put some video content about your business on YouTube and link it to your site.

How far can you actually trust stats?

Internet of Insecure things

Some time ago we talked about the Internet of Things. That means devices like fridges, air conditioners and heat pumps and other devices that are now wifi and internet enabled. CCTV cameras also fall into this category and there are millions of them around. Greater London has around 500,000 and the whole of the UK is estimated to have 4,200,000! 9 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_surveillance_in_the_United_Kingdom)

These devices may make your life easier and more secure but the proliferation of these is also assisting hackers as they are not secured or using any anti virus or firewall type software.
Continue reading

Update on Google Glass

We were in the USA and it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen anyone wearing and using Google Glasses (remember how Google told us how great they were about 3-4 years ago). So I looked them up to see if they were still being used or sold

It seems they haven’t really gone “mainstream” and been adopted by everyone in the street for daily use.

But they are actually being used for some pretty useful things. Continue reading

Travelling with Technology

We have recently been travelling overseas so it was a good chance for us to see how we would use various technologies while on the road. Sorry Apple users, you have lots of different clever things you can do with Iphones, Ipads etc that we haven’t discussed here.

We travelled with

A small laptop / tablet computer (Windows)
A Samsung S5 mini Phone (Android)
A Kindle Fire 7

What we found is: Continue reading

Users like to Talk to a Human

An article in Accom news talks about how you can capitalise on what people don’t like about OTA’s (Online Travel Agents like Booking.com).

Essentially it says that what people do not like about OTA’s is the lack of personal touch.

And how if you offer that personal touch you are more than likely going to have more people book directly with you (and save that commission most of you hate paying). That may mean by phone or email correspondence. But the experience for the client still needs to be at least adequate, and preferably exceptional. Continue reading

Apps – Can they make you rich?

How much do Apps cost and earn for the developer?

Lots of people like the idea of building an App and selling it to millions of users. So how realistic is that if you have an idea? Seem like a quick way to make a buck? Here’s the reality check!

One survey suggests the average development cost is around $US270,000 and 7 months to a year of development.

Another calculator suggests a basic App can be built for around $20,000. Or a very small one for $3000-$8000.

If you are thinking about building an App to get rich, read the article at http://www.bluecloudsolutions.com/blog/cost-develop-app/

That suggests between $3000 and $250,000 depending on complexity.

But then if you get it right, and find a market, there is money to be made. The makers of Angry Bird made over $1 billion from it – bet that was nice surprise! But there are also loads of Apps that have virtually no downloads (or are offered for free).  One article suggested the average return per download was about $0.18 or less. Do the sums! OK if you get millions of downloads. If!

Don’t start till you have a very clear idea of what the App will do, who will buy it and how you will market it to them. And if you want to share some of your wealth with someone who helped you in the process – call me!