29 May 2012

WordPress vs. Blogger

At a recent business expo, I overheard someone recommend switching to WordPress from Blogger. As a long time Blogger user, this piqued my interest. After a two-year hiatus, I'm looking to revive my blog, so I want to use the blogging solution that's the best fit. That's why I decided to do my homework and investigate.

Which is better, WordPress or Blogger? The short answer is, neither, or both, depending on what you are trying to do with your blog and your level of expertise. After reading quite a few articles, I will summarize, with a caveat that I don't quite agree, what the theme seems to be: WordPress for serious business and Blogger for beginners or casual Bloggers.

That said, obviously you are reading this on a Blogger blog. I started with Blogger in 2006 and I am a huge fan. I think there is value to using Blogger and I like the service. The ability to customize is excellent, although knowing your HTML is helpful when customizing Blogger.

If you want to do your own research, here is a list of excellent articles reviewing the two:

  1. WordPress Vs Blogger And Their Pro Blogging, SEO And Social Media Advantages And Disadvantages
  2. Blogger vs WordPress vs Tumblr Comparison - 2012
  3. Blogging service shootout: Blogger vs. WordPress
  4. WordPress vs Blogger: It never ends well

15 May 2012

Social Media Icons Courtesy of Cute Little Factory

If you have been looking to add social media icons to your blog or website, a great resource to visit would be Cute Little Factory. The online home of designer and illustrator Andrea Austoni. He hosts a blog of his works, including this page with free icons you can use on your own website.

If you are looking for a unique graphic to drive your site visitors to your social media pages, Andrea provides a very nice selection of social media icon sets to choose from.

UPDATE May 20, 2012:

Since writing this post, I have been on the hunt for the perfect set of icon's for my husband's website. As a result, I have come across many excellent social media network listings, so I am posting them here.

Social media icon websites worth visting:






08 May 2012

Rethinking Your Resume: This Ain't Your Momma's Job Search

The old way: You dusted off your resume, updated a few things, edited past information, fired up your local job website, and maybe emailed a few people you knew.

The new way: You create an attention grabbing resume, an infographic of your background using vizualize.me, share erudite tweets with industry-specific updates, join and contribute to expert groups on LinkedIn.com, and update your subject matter blog with useful posts.

Are you still with me?

If you are still stuck on the resume part, check out Blue Sky Resumes. They offer resume, LinkedIn profile, and other career building services. What makes their website worth a visit are all the great resources, including their blog, which provide a plethora of information and guidance (all gratis) for those embarking on 21st century job search.

I signed up for their free 6 part resume course, which comes via email. I would highly recommend it. If you sign up, let us know what you think in the comments below. And Happy Hunting!

03 May 2012

Blogging and Your Facebook Page in 3 Easy Steps: A Strategy to Drive Traffic to Your Website

If you have a Facebook page for your business, you probably post links to useful information or things that your customers might like to read. That is a great use of your company's page. People want a reason to come back and visit your page or website.

Any company worth their salt on Facebook knows the point is to engage people and build your fan base. But twist try this twist on posting links to help drive traffic to your website, not to other people's:

  1. If you have a company website with a news page or better yet, a blog, why not post the link there? 
  2. Write a 2 or 3 sentence introduction and some commentary on your thoughts about the article. 
  3. Then share the link to the post on YOUR website in your Facebook feed. 
Viola! Instantly you are driving more traffic to your site. (And if you don't have a Facebook page or a website - get cracking, your customers are looking for you online!)

27 April 2012

2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival, April 28th & 29th, Washington, D.C.

If you have some free time this weekend, head over to the 2nd Annual USA Science & Engineering Festival, in Washington, D.C. The best part, besides the super-awesome exhibits? It's free! For details, visit the website at http://www.usasciencefestival.org/. And if you attend? Let us know how what you thought of the Festival.

25 July 2010

The Republic of Facebook - Why Your Business, No Matter How Small, Needs a Facebook Page

facebook-economyFacebook is here to stay. Your son is posting YouTube links, your wife is putting up pictures of the dog, and now, even your mom is on there! Like or not, social media is here to stay and your customers are using it.

The graphic on the right, from the folks at Visual Economics, illustrates the sheer numbers behind the Facebook phenomenon. They illustrate why your business, no matter how small, needs a presence there.

Two of the most eye-popping statistics:

  • Over 500 million users - and growing!
  • 200 million use it daily
It doesn't take much to set up a basic page with your contact information, a link to your website, and provide people a with a way to interact with you, where they already are.

19 July 2010

ThredUp and Save Money on Children's Clothing

Let's face it - kids grow, their clothes don't. You want them to look their best, but you don't have the time or budget to spend your days endlessly shopping. You can always browse yard sales, Goodwill, or other second hand stores. Those however, tend to be hit or miss and you spend a lot of time looking, just to find a few acceptable pieces.

There is a new site that lets you bypass all that searching and brings it to the comfort of your laptop, ThredUp.com. The site allows you to exchange boxes of gently used clothing with other families. Boxes of clothing are listed by size and whether they are tops, bottoms, or mixed. Similar to ebay, members rate previous exchanges, so you know what you are getting. You don't pay for the clothes, but you do pay a $13.00 per box shipping fee.

Right now there are 13,000 members and growing. Joining is free, so why not at least sign up to browse boxes and see if you find something you like? And if you do, let me know what you think.

06 July 2010

Mint.com - worth the time to organize your personal finances

Trying to get a grasp on your finances? Have accounts and loans spread across various banks, credit card companies, credit unions? Then Mint.com is the solution for you! Available on the web or your mobile device (yes, there is the even a iPhone app).

Set-up is pretty quick and painless, as they have data links with most financial institutions in the US. If you already have online access, you just find the company and enter your login information (provided you can remember the answers to those pesky security questions).

Mint.com is like your nagging mother - but without the other personal baggage. It's automated systems will alert you when your spending in one category gets out of hand. Or when your bills or due. Or if you are paying fees that don't seem to make sense.

28 June 2010

Rural Towns, Web Pages, and Google Sites through Swanville.org

I was so annoyed. When would my town ever get a website? Even just a basic one page, here-we-are and this-is-how-you-can-contact-us page. It was not going to happen in my lifetime. Through a generous volunteer policy from my company, and permission from a graduate school professor, I set out to make one myself.

To kick off the project, I did what anyone in a small Maine town wanting to introduce 20th century technology would do (yes, I really mean 20th, not 21st century). I attended the town meeting. I got my father to talk about my project. I got buy-in and even a bit of excitement from the selectmen and town employees. I did not just set up a website and then show it to the town - that would have been disastrous!

To keep it simple and the idea was, to pass it off to the employees, I implemented Google Sites. If you can edit a word doc, you can use Google Sites. Not only was the idea to make it usable for our town employees, but to provide a template for all Maine towns.

The result can be seen at www.swanville.org, a result of constant updating by yours truly. Still working on training the town employees, but the feedback I get via our Facebook page tells me someone out there is paying attention.

Does your town have a website. If so, is it worth your time? Does it provide useful information or just enough so that you know your town exists in the digital world?

If you like the idea of Google Sites, you may be interested in these books:

12 November 2009

Google Sites for Local Governments & Small Businesses

Google apps are an excellent way to get access to some great online, hosted services, that for most small organizations (non-profit, local government, or small businesses) are free. One of these applications is Google Sites, Google's web page creator.

To use Google Sites, or any of their other apps, you will need to create a Google account. But follow the instructions and you will be up and running in no time.

Here is a list of sites I have created using Google Sites: