My Favorite Screencasting and Screen Sharing Tools

Category : Management, Reviews, Technology

screen casting and screen sharing Screencasts can make the life of a customer support agent a breeze. Well, almost. The most common customer support call by far is the forgotten login credentials. Almost all websites that require a login have an automatic but safe way for the user to get their login credentials. Screencasts will help you with another common customer support task: Teaching your customers how to use what they bought. → Continue Reading This Post

4-Hour Work Week – Elimination

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Category : Management, Reviews, Small Business

Does a 4-hour work week seem like a pie in the sky to you? Not to me. After reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss, I’m convinced it’s possible. Ferris’ unique journey is a compelling read. More importantly, it has increased my efficiency and therefore… profits. → Continue Reading This Post

Protect Your Email From Spammers

Category : Blogs, Software Development, Technology

Spammers are tricky. Spammers pay for the development of “crawlers” that will go through your site (and everyone else’s site) looking for email addresses. Once they find your email address on a page, you’re on their list forever.

Check this site out to protect your email address.

Note: This technique is not by any means a foolproof solution. But this technique will still certainly go a long way towards minimizing your exposure to less capable automated email harvesters.

(ALMOST) 20 Places That You MUST Register Your Website With

Category : Internet Marketing, Small Business

We’ve been getting tons of local (Little Rock) requests for search engine marketing services. We’ve been providing search engine marketing for years but our customers were always large ecommerce web sites. Our customers targeted anyone, anywhere. Our customers didn’t care if you were in New York or Little Rock; if you were looking for widgets, they wanted you to come to their sites.

Internet Marketing for Local Services

But, local companies that only serviced Little Rock Arkansas seemed uninterested. They understood that they needed a web site but didn’t want to spend any money on internet marketing. Slapping the site at the bottom of their business card was “Good Enough.”

Over the last few years, that has changed. They’ve realized that research (whether local or worldwide) starts on the internet google. And we’ve had a lot of luck placing top results for local companies! I think it’s safe to say that it’s easier getting top results for local companies.

The Local Internet Marketing List

Below, I’ve compiled a list of sites that will assist your local internet marketing efforts. Google loves these sites and values their entries. This means that in addition to your information being placed on other sites, your site actually gets ranked higher!

Before you just start submitting your site, do some keyword research, write some optimized descriptions that utilizes those keywords. Good luck and if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Local Directories

  1. Google Local
  2. Yahoo Local
  3. Bing Local

Important Directory Sites

  1. Dmoz.org
  2. Botw.org
  3. MerchantCircle.com
  4. HotFrog.com

Important Yellow Page Sites

  1. YellowPages.com
  2. Superpages.com
  3. Yellowbook.com
  4. DexKnows.com
  5. Local.com
  6. ZoomInfo.com

Important Review Sites

  1. Yelp.com
  2. RateItAll.com
  3. InsiderPages.com
  4. ServiceMagic.com

Important Database Sites

  1. InfoUsa
  2. Localeze

I’m Engaged

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Category : Personal

This weekend was special… not just because it was easter.

It was also special because I got engaged!

Software Checklist for a New Computer

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Category : Personal, Technology

Post a comment and tell me what software I am missing!

I just purchased a new laptop… and NO, it is not a Mac. It’s a Dell E6500.

I have always used a checklist to install new software but recently I have modified it since I’m using more web apps than ever before (namely mint.com and gmail as opposed to quicken and outlook, respectively).

I thought you might be interested in reviewing the software that I personally install and compare/contrast to your installed software.

Required Software – Even If I Wasn’t a Tech Guy

  1. Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and OneNote)
  2. Notepad++
  3. Mozilla Firefox
  4. Skype
  5. Picasa 3
  6. FileZilla (client)
  7. Adobe Reader
  8. Flash Player
  9. 7-Zip
  10. AVG
  11. Latest Windows Updates

Optional Software

  1. PuTTY
  2. TortoiseSVN
  3. KeePass
  4. QuickBooks
  5. Adobe Acrobat
  6. iTunes
  7. KeePass
  8. Hulu Desktop
  9. Google Chrome
  10. uTorrent

Required Firefox Add-ons

  1. Delicious Bookmarks
  2. Firebug
  3. Fullerscreen
  4. LastPass
  5. LogMeIn Remote Access Plugin
  6. StumbleUpon

I didn’t waste your time explaining the application or why I use it, but if you have any questions, comments, complaints or recommendations then just leave a comment.

Magento v. osCommerce; Jungledisk v. Mozy

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Category : Small Business, Software Development

As you all know, I recently created an AMI which allows a user to instantly launch a Magento ecommerce site using Amazon’s Cloud Computing Technology. So that brings me to two very different points (I should probably break this into two posts):

The Original MagentoCommerce Amazon AMIPoint 1: Magento Rules the Ecommerce World

Magento is now more popular (at least more visited/searched) than other major open source ecommerce web applications (Checkout Google, Compete). Currently, I believe Magento is leaps and bounds above any other ecommerce system out. If you don’t agree, I urge you to show me a more fully featured, open source ecommerce system.

Magento vs. OS Commerce vs. ZenCart

The Original MagentoCommerce Amazon AMIPoint 2: My Personal Backup is still Jungledisk

I’ve been developing with Amazon’s AWS services for about a year. They’ve really been leading the development of “cloud computing” applications. Their API’s are pretty straight forward and although I have a few complaints, it’s a pretty nice system.

The Amazon S3 Network (which allows you to store data on Amazon’s cloud) has been my latest love. Amazon’s “pay as you go” pricing model makes it competitive even when you compare it to a DIY project.

After checking this out, I wanted to start running my personal backups onto Amazon’s S3 network. I thought I’d have to develop something but then I found JungleDisk. JungleDisk is a Windows and Mac backup system that stores all of your data on Amazon’s S3 network. That means, if someone steals my laptop, all of my data would still be safe. JungleDisk currently costs $20 (one time fee) and Amazon’s S3 network costs me about $6 per month for around 40GB worth of a data.

Amazon S3 Billing Statement

I’m real happy with JungleDisk and I’m proud to recommend them. Its automated, fast, reliable, and cost-effective. But, they have a few things that they should be worried about… They were recently bought out by Rackspace (Amazon’s cloud computing competitor). Although you can choose to use either Amazon or Rackspace, I’m usually scared to commit to a vendor unless I know their future intentions. I hope things aren’t going to change (JungleDisk claims nothing will change), but you never know. Also, JungleDisk has a very strong competitor in Mozy (Bought by EMC which also claims nothing to will change due to their buyout). Although I have used the mozy system, I stuck with JunlgeDisk b/c of it’s performance and the Amazon’s S3 network. But now, Mozy only costs $5.00 per month! For $5.00, its definitely worth trying. I’d love to hear your thoughts on Mozy and Jungledisk.

My recommendation: personally, I don’t care which backup system you use. You can continue to use 3.5″ floppy disks… but please… please… PLEASE BACKUP. I once had a client pay $10,000 for data recovery. Seriously.

The Original Magento Amazon AMI (EC2)

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Category : Business Topics

Check Out the Original Magento Amazon AMI Here!

I wanted to setup a magento store and compare it to a number of competitors. But, to get the thing launched, you need to customize your server. I didn’t want to modify our server because I wasn’t sure if I was going to like magento and I didn’t want to make unneeded changes to the server.

So, I decided to make a new instance on my amazon EC2 account and build a new server.

I spent a ton of time looking for an existing AMI for Magento. After I didn’t find one, I set out to build one. I built an AMI that has Magento 1.2.1.1, CentOS 5.2, PHP 5.2.9, mysql 5.1.

If you want to check it out: download The Original Magento Amazon AMI.

Good luck and let me know if you need anything.

Crisis Boosts the Learning Curve

Category : Business Topics, Speeches

“Crisis Boosts the Learning Curve” on 12/31/2008 by Tom Keene on Bloomberg Radio

Tom was discussing the popularity of news coverage. He discussed that due to the the financial crisis, more people are interested in the news.

After hearing Tom’s statement I really thought about how much I learn during any crisis. I came to the conclusion that this is why so many people say you learn more from failure than success.

In the year and half of law school, I’ve learned (and remembered) more about law when there is some type of crisis than I have in class. In the 7 years of running my own business, I’ve learned more during our “times of crisis” than I ever did by reading a great book or college course.

I learn more about my friends and family when we disagree than when we agree.

Think about it.

A New Year With New Goals

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Category : Business Topics, Sales

I laid out over 18 goals for last year. I accomplished less than half. I tell you that just to let you know that I’ve laid out even more goals for this year. Just because you do not reach your goals, doesn’t mean that you should not make goals.