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Posted by on in Uncategorized

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I've been asked over the past few weeks about DropBox (www.dropbox.com).  This article will talk about what DropBox is and why you should consider signing up.

Many of us use multiple connected devices during the course of our day.  Maybe you have a desktop computer at home, a smartphone on your hip and an iPad in your briefcase.  If you're like me, there are times when you create a document or note on one device, but really need it on another one.  Here's where a service like DropBox shines.  DropBox is a service where you can store files and share them with your other devices or even with other people.

Here's how it works:

Once you have a DropBox account set up (see below), it will create a folder on your computer for storing files.  With that same account, you can set up DropBox on other devices (IE: Your smartphone) and anything in the DropBox folder (on either device) is automatically replicated to all other devices that are on the account.  You can also log into your account via a web browser and see all of your files.  This is handy when you don't have a computer with you, but still have access to one (for example, at a library or a friend's house)

Another great way to use DropBox is to share files with others.  My tax accountant doesn't mail me my returns.  She also doesn't email them.  She has a DropBox folder for me on her system that she simply shares with me.  Now she can save a copy of my return in the folder and I automatically have a copy on my computer.  If I need to scan in a receipt and get it to her, I can just drop it in that same folder and it is automatically replicated to her machine.  It's very handy for large files that are bigger than email systems like to have as attachments.

What about Security?

DropBox got some bad press a while back when it was claimed that they could read your documents.  While this may be technically true (after all, you are storing files on their servers), it is not practical.  Their privacy policy states that they only look at your usage and do not share anything unless compelled to by a court order.  They also state that they fight "Blanket" orders for data.  Their business relies on having people use the service and store files there...if there was any hint that they were abusing that trust, their service would collapse.  They seem to be very open and proactive with their security.

What does it cost?

For a simple personal account, there is no charge and provides 2 Gig of storage.  If your needs are greater, you can spend about $10/month on their "Pro" version which gives you a Terrabyte (1,000 gigabytes) of storage and some other security features.

The Bottom Line

I have DropBox installed on my home PC, my laptop and my Phone.  I also have a little script that runs every week to copy my most important data to a DropBox folder for backup.  It is a good, simple way to share files with your devices and others without having to carry around a USB stick.

Give it a try.

Posted by on in Uncategorized
SEO, Links and Quality

Much has been written about Search Engine Optimization.  It is a "magic box" to many, but very important to how your site gets found by those who you are trying to reach.  

Everyone wants to be first.  That is, when your customers are looking for your product or service, you want a link to your site to be the first one they see when they search on Google, Bing, Yahoo or one of the many other search engines.  The problem, of course, is everyone else wants the same thing too!  Many tricks have been devised and employed to help boost page rankings, but the most solid and reliable method is information-rich content.

This article from newscientist.com talks about the new ranking system Google will be employing that tries to determine the factual content of a site to rank it.  http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22530102.600-google-wants-to-rank-websites-based-on-facts-not-links.html#.VPIznl1NJhH

Many SEO tricks have been tied to getting links to your site from outside sources that already had "authority", but this is a difficult thing, so a whole business model was created where you could write content on another site and link it to yours, thereby giving you higher authoritative links.  But Google got wise and stared punishing those sites with bad rankings.

No, the best way to see your site get good rankings is to follow a couple of simple rules:

  • Each content page, especially the front page, should have good titles (with H1 tags) and good content.  500-1,000 words per article is a good goal.  This will ensure a lot of words that are meaningful to your topic area for the search engines to digest and index
  • A fair amount of both internal and external links.  This shows relevancy and authority.  If you can link to similar content on other sites and have them link back, then you have a golden situation.  But be careful about having nothing but links and links to the same sites over and over.  The engines will see this as an attempt at gaming the system.
  • Regular updates.  Make sure your content is being updated regularly and the search engines are re-scanning the site regularly to pick up on the changes.
  • Time.  This is not an instant gratification game.  It takes time and patience to see your rankings move up, but it will happen.

 

Tagged in: Ranking SEO

Posted by on in Uncategorized

I sent out an email to our customer list today explaining the change happening with out little practice.  With a recent layoff in my "day job", consulting and helping clients is now my full-time career.  I am still putting in applications and resumes to corporate openings, but my prospects are not great.

But as I said in my letter, this is not bad news, but rather an opportunity.  How many people get to try to live their dream?  My training and experience has focused on figuring out what customers do, what they buy, which products are profitable and which are not and other such analysis.  Now I have the chance to help clients from all sorts of industries see what their businesses look like from a purely analytical viewpoint.

If you are a business owner who would love to see some deep insight into your customers and their impact on our bottom line, let us know and we'll put together a proposal for you.

Tagged in: Analysis Information

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