Category: weblinks


So finally entered the Google + family last week and it does feel good after reading the below:

google + profile

Pooja's google + profile

And you feel more like an excited kiddo with a new toy when you read this:

Google + Trial message

Google + Trial message

Will post more as I dabble into it but a few things don’t go unnoticed.

Google + has aligned almost every feature with the “circles” you create.  Except Photos and Video…..really? Or am I seeing it wrong? Your profile settings get configured, your posts too and not your pics? Hmm……

How do I get people who add me to their lists to not see my profile at all?  You can block but not hide! Privacy hindrance.

But I do love the Post to circles feature. That way, everyone in my circles is not subject to all posts/status updates I make….

Overall I am liking it and yes, I feel the breath of fresh air after Facebook  – something different, you definitely can do so  much more….More later!

On another note, the Plus word now does not bother me anymore…it’s the Buzz (and Google , there is no pun intended here!). After a few frustrating plus sizes (feet and dress included – yes, Pooja is adding another + to her family!), here is a Plus I am so comfortable with.

Here are some useful articles I found:

Thanks Google!
You made my day!

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Buzz words

The internet is full of buzz words. Buzz words like “organic”, “local” are not just associated with produce and sustainability anymore. But Google has incorporated  it in the SEO world as well.

I was reading the SEOmoz blog, http://t.co/rAXKx56, which covered how Google’s makeover of its SERP (Search Engine Results Page) has amalgamated the local results with the organic search. It is an interesting research on how an optimized website can get you far. And if you have a business, promote it online, there are so many avenues, Google Places and Bing Local being some of them. A lot of businesses don’t see the ASAP need to promote their business online besides probably having a website maybe (or two!) and wonder what makes the bigwigs go on top. True, you’re not totally competing with the bigwigs but the baby steps and close monitoring on you SEM strategy does yield measurable results. I particularly paid attention to George’s “Observations” and a lot makes so much sense.  You definitely now need a website rather than want one. and promoting it the right way is the best way to get the top, slowly and steadily.

We discussed another issue with friends (in the same profession, directly, indirectly) about what do you do to convince your boss/client about social media. Here’s a small article on the topic – http://t.co/BHTiga1. We meet this particular group of people (all the time!) who think spending money and time over internet marketing is either a total waste or close to one. There have been a massive conversion of this kind once convinced but as a SEO/SEM/Social media person myself , I still meet the occasional person who does not want to “go that route – just give me a website, we can look at all these SEO things later!!” You can’t just promote these as buzz words, you need to have a substantial reason to do so. One needs to look what the objective behind, the success/failures and what metrics are involved for and against as well. These are well-thought strategies, not buzz words after all!

I keep surfing different blogs regularly and one in particular caught my eye.  The title was catchy and so is the concept.

Do visit  

I’ve seen Mommy blogs before but this one is different and refreshing.  I was introduced to TwitterMoms via this article on Social Times. Founded by Megan Calhoun, it gives you different topics to connect with other moms which is right in the center of the page (I like that!). It is specially for tech-savvy moms who find the time to tweet and blog which catches the unique margin in moms segment(great idea for a target audience). It also provides a variety of regular features of having a forum, events, seeing other mommy blogs, videos, blogs, groups and discussions.

The best part is the The TwitterMoms Seal of Approval which makes a significant impact in the world of social media and online marketing. As quoted by Social Times,

The Seal of Approval reviews are available online as well as on any smartphone, so that curious moms can drill down the review data even at the point of sale. The reviews also come with a QR code – a barcode that can be scanned by a mobile phone – so that products that want to boast about their Seal of Approval can pass on the positive reviews to consumers in-store.

I think the QR code is a wonderful concept and has great potential – one of its good application seen in TwitterMoms, especially with today’s moms shopping  and buying online. A lot of them are looking for actual reviews with a family perspective in mind and appreciate the fact that the products are actually tried and tested by real mommies. Great going, TwitterMoms!

I have finally finished my Capstone Project and consequently the Emory Web Development Certificate program – we got the grades a month back  ( and the certificate too!) – great job Pooja!  I was also personally satisfied with my process and the research I did which I would not have if it was just a professional job. Sometimes we miss the how’s and why’s that get involved as a learning process – after all this is not just a job, I now understand why it has become a passion for some people. The grades confirmed that my efforts were not in vain 😀
I launched Raltec Corp’s official website at http://www.ralteccorp.com/ I also incorporated an SEO/SEM strategy for Raltec Corp website and am working on seeing progress by the day.
As Norman Lear quotes,

Life is made up of small pleasures.
Happiness is made up of those tiny successes.

My blog restarts my journey in process documentation of the virtual world once again. This time the structure is no certificate program but more of my self-taught/already self-learned endeavors of seeking knowledge of the web world. I hope to have a method to the madness as I had in the ten week Capstone project. It may not be as structured but it does hope to be more info and process friendly.

I am hoping to cover topics like SEO/SEM, CMS, web development, web design, DBMS, latest industry trends, blogs, and other related ideas/articles/seminars.  I hope the Emory faculty incorporate some of these topics in their certificate program.

Wish me good luck .   🙂

We presented our final website last week and it was exciting to see each others’ work. There is always so much to learn and since our Capstone class has a varied bunch, there were a few tips to pick up from each of the website process. There were a variety of websites created, one designed a website for her own PR/marketing firm. Another website featured a contemporary tea house called Tea Fuse. Another colleague based her website on creating a web identity for her artist mom.

Mine was designed for the corporate organization, Raltec Corp offering software & technology solutions. I also incorporated the use of Google Analytics in the website. please visit the following link:

http://www.ralteccorp.com

Cheers to Capstone! We now await for results from the Capstone evaluation team who will be grading us on this ten week project.

We also discussed the below topics in our last visit:

I may have missed other pointers. Feel free to leave your suggestions.

Thank you to all of you that made my Capstone project, a great and enriching experience….truly appreciate it.

This week is testing time. We’ve worked on our website sufficiently enough to give it a test. Also, as Adam noted, we’ve looked at our website enough to get the third person give it a try! Sometimes the third eye helps 🙂

By Adam’s notes, we have to test the website in three areas: accessibility, functionality, and usability. Here are short descriptions of each:

  • Functionality – Does the website’s functionality work? (hyperlinks, images appear, forms can submit, registration or login features function, etc.)
  • Accessibility – Does the site appear correctly on various operating systems, browsers, monitors, etc. that you expect your audience to use?  (I did talk a little on this in one of my previous posts)
  • Usability – Can the website be used by your audience to accomplish their goals? Can they find what they search for? Are there clear answers to questions they are likely to have?

Links from our instructor, Adam:

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/articles/usability_testing.html

http://www.experiencethread.com/articles/documents/article45.pdf

http://techdocs.tamu.edu/webspace/websitetesting/?searchterm=testing%20checklist

I’ve sent the testing plan document out to a variety of people, different backgrounds, different tech backgrounds, different perspectives. Let’s see what the test results bring in.

It’s been a long and ongoing effort learning the ropes on PHP and MySQL. This week  I concentrated on a few aspects of my website.

  • I wanted existing clients to have their a simplified version login
  • I want them to change a form to their most current info – e.g.  company website, phone #, email address, etc.
  • I want them to access their exclusive page to review their in-progress images with a comment box which would send comments right to the company email inbox.
  • And of course I want them to logout.

Like CSS, only more intensive – PHP needs hours of research and implementation. Plus, to preview pages containing server-side code, you have an extra step to specify the server. It was fun to see how other websites used the PHP script. You have a question: the answer is on the web…somewhere!!! You only have to keep looking! 🙂

I am still in the process of tweaking my website but I got the website workable to submit for this week and good enough to get a jumpstart on the tweaks. Hopefully I should be able to get some tweaks done before I hand out the testing plan to my eager testers!

I did mention in one of my previous emails that I would review the book, Build Your Own Database Driven Web Site Using PHP & MySQL, 4th Edition
http://www.sitepoint.com/books/phpmysql4/?historicredirect=phpmysql1

I think it’s a good book if you have some experience with PHP. For beginners, I would recommend Head First PHP & MySQL for some general concepts or techniques (http://www.headfirstlabs.com/books/hfphp/).

The major chunk of learning the language comes by searching codes on the internet and looking through web links, articles and blogs. Below are a few links for PHP/MySQL :

Please feel to add-on if you have links to share.

Have fun celebrating July 4th – have a great long weekend!

I consider weeks 6 and 7 contiguous with the website creation process. Being in the web development track is more challenging. Not only does your website has to have the design aspect (maybe not as much as a design track website) but also the development requirements have to be met.

I separated out the 2 weeks simply by putting design and content in week 6 and the development part in week 7.  This does not mean there won’t be tweaks, but a big chunk of it would be complete. This way, my process would be easier to work with. Week 6 was demanding – I had content but my template had to be worked on sufficient enough to get the child pages ready for content. There are essentially three main parameters to the corporate website design characteristic in the template.

  • One is the logo & the navigation bar.
  • Second is my right column which marks the important links for potential and existing clients who have visited the page in the past.
  • Third is a separate social media bar where Raltec Corp (the company name for which the website is being designed) is connected and wants to connect with different individuals/organizations virtually.

Week 7 would get the development side of the website in check. I have also been checking my website on different browsers and seeing some subtle differences.

http://browsershots.org/
http://www.browsercam.com/, or
http://browserlab.adobe.com which lets you see your website as viewed in many different web browsers.

It also helps to test your website on different computers. It definitely looks different on different monitor resolutions. For accessibility testing, Adam mentioned about Dreamweaver’s Link Checker, Browser Compatibility Check, and Validation features (all three can be opened from the Window menu) can help.

This week we looked at analyzing Keywords – below are the links for keyword research tools

Free: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal (very useful)
Free: http://tools.seobook.com/keyword-tools/seobook/index.php
Free: http://www.digitalpoint.com/tools/suggestion/
Paid Service: http://www.keyworddiscovery.com/

The challenge was the placement of your keywords in your text content. A fine line between whether you’ve used too many/very little of your keywords. The title tag is your heading provides the additional extra benefit for your keywords from search engine optimization.

Text content: Very relevant, yet cumbersome to gather and even more tough to get those keywords you shortlisted into it.

Her are some fun links I encountered on my adventure of writing my text content:

http://www.clickz.com/3623058

http://www.whydev.com/blog/how-write-good-web-content – This one was very relevant as it talked a little about content, keeping a company website in mind.

It is also important to know how a user read on the web platform, hence the below links:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/9710a.html

http://www.sensible.com/chapter.html

http://websitetext.com/

Generating the text content is slowing putting the pieces of the puzzle together. I have already started designing my template and it now makes sense to sit down and composite the collage – you now have the text, you’ve gather a range of images (you may/may not use) and you have the functional requirement document in front of you. This should be easy, right?  :)

The challenge now lies in design. I have an art background, but my goal is not to have the best looking site here. These are baby steps for me and my objective is to gather my knowledge and make this a workable website – using my web development knowledge and skills. Not that the beautifying does not matter, functional and presentable are the words I am looking for, for the first take. I’m sure I’m going to be tweaking this even after Capstone is done!!!

Hop, skip, …………. JUMP onto Template-Design !!!!!

Times just whizzing by…so much to do and so little time! I’ve been sneaking-a-peek at this book from the library, Build your own database driven website using PHP & MYSQL by Kevin Yank. I am liking what I am reading – the language is simple. It provides what the author quotes, “a hands-on look at what’s involved in building a database driven web site using PHP and MySQL“. I’ll provide updates as I cover more of the book.

More on the articles Adam provided:

http://www.seochat.com/c/a/Choosing-Keywords-Help/Choosing-Keywords-Wisely/

http://www.avangate.com/articles/keyword-research_40.htm

I enjoyed both articles – a special mention to article #2 (16 Rules of Thumb) for how to choose keywords effectively. Today’s world of websites is aiming to use search engines optimization from the beginning, for new websites, especially like mine. It was harder a few years back but with technology like Google AdWords and Analytics, the internet is becoming an easy tool. For the older websites, it’s still a good insight into what recovery measures can be undertaken. SEO is becoming a powerful industry by itself and what made the articles worthwhile were the use of keyword terms like density,  localization, placement, conversion rate and primary & secondary keywords.

I also looked up and tried my keywords in Google Trends. Google Trends also shows how frequently your topics have appeared in Google News stories, and in which geographic regions people have searched for them most. If you have a global market which is also a potential market for my website, it was fun to see what kind of words/terms were used differently in different countries and how that would also help framing my website’s  content.

Coming to the “Content” part – here were the list of articles –

http://www.clickz.com/3617566
http://www.clickz.com/3625220
http://www.alistapart.com/articles/zombiecopy

You would be amazed to think that content does not have to be only thought of from the client’s perspective, but also from an SEO one! Your website is not yours anymore – this is what you get for current trends in internet marketing and globalization…lol. P. J. Fusco, the author of one of the articles quotes:

Good content contributes to a site’s overall visibility on a page-by-page basis. It engages users and provides an optimal path for easy navigation throughout the site. It stays on theme and naturally accrues inbound links over time.

Great content maintains all the essential elements of good content but produces higher conversion rates. It’s action-oriented in that it inspires users to make a purchase, request more information, sign up for a newsletter, make a reservation, or set up an appointment.

It calls for the ability to Analyze, Implement, and Measure content. We also need to keep in mind that people don’t read every word of your content, keeping it concise helps. I really wish I had the skills of a copy-writer, right now 😦

Wish me good luck!