Blog

Dec 20th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

About a year ago the Building Contractors Association of Otero County approched us needing a new design for their website. They had a big list of requests and a small budget.

The most important feature for their new website was an Account System needed to display their membership. They have several types of members and a wide range of different industries that each member belongs to. They needed their membership searchable so that visitors can find a list of members for each industry. 

They also wanted a new custom design with a Rotator

To accomodate for their small budget we ... Continue Reading

Last night I finally had enough. Every day this week I've had to correct something that some other SEO guru said. All I can say is watch out for the SEO Goblin. 

The SEO Goblin is anyone who knows just enough geeky words to convince you that he knows what he's talking about, but then turns out to be useless or at best lucky. Sure he may play World of Warcraft in his parent's basement, but that doesn't mean he knows anything about websites, search engines or marketing. 

Last night he struck at one of the places I go on a regular ... Continue Reading

Dec 3rd, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Google, Websites

If you have a really good idea on how to get your website to rank higher and it doesn't include developing really good content, I usually steer the conversation in this direction. 

"Google employs thousands of top notch engineers. A significant number of those engineers are devoted to search quality. Outsmarting them isn't very likely." 

It's not that I don't want to hear your idea, it's that 9 times out of 10 it's something like hiding text by making it the same color as the background, or keyword stuffing (things that will get you de-indexed). 

"Well then how do I get ... Continue Reading

Two years ago I helped a political candidate set up and run a Facebook Page. If you've ever set up a page before, you know that it's pretty easy. I convinced him to set up automated posts through Hootsuite. Basically, we went in once a month and loaded Hootsuite up with comments and then scheduled them to come out on a daily basis. Sounds easy, right? 

Guess what, it was easy. Really easy. And back in 2010 I did it a few times with a few different clients. We also helped people set up their blogs to automatically post on ... Continue Reading

Nov 17th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Google, Websites, Mobile

Over the last 10 years we've seen many trends come and go. One that's sticking is mobile marketing. 

People use mobile devices more than ever. Last year more smart phones were sold than personal computers. Tablets are becoming more common. And of the 1 billion active Facebook users, 600 million use mobile devices

So the question isn't whether you're using mobile marketing, but how. If you have a website, you are marketing on mobile devices. So how are you doing? 

Should We Use Apps?

A few years ago the trendy thing was small business apps. The problem with apps is ... Continue Reading

I've said it before, the best Search Engine Optimization starts with a focus on your visitors and providing them with the best website that they can find. Why? Because that's what Google's ultimate goal is. Do that and you'll probably rarely need to worry about SEO. 

Here are 5 ways to make sure you're on the right track:

1. Start with a value proposition. What makes you cool and are you explaining that throughout your site. Are your meta descriptions highlighting what separates you or are they packed with keywords? 

2. Use relevant keywords. Be sure to use keywords that your targets ... Continue Reading

If you still haven't heard of Pinterest you're missing out because it's tons of fun. 

Pinterest is a virtual pinboard where people share and organize all the wonderful things they find online. My wife organizes recipes (and then sends them to me since I'm the cook in the house), decorating ideas, fascinating places to travel to, and just all around fun stuff. In addition to these ideas, I organize ideas for website and graphic design. 

The bottom line is that Pinterest is useful and your business should be utilizing it as a part of your social networking plan. It will ... Continue Reading

When I get asked about Search Engine Optimization I usually start the conversation talking about Google and what their goals are. 

Google's mission is the organize the world's information. And they try to make the best information the most accessible. That's why websites with good content tend do better in search results. That's not to say that bad websites can't trick search engines, but they do so a great expense and won't last long at the top. 

Why? Because Google's goal is to provide consumers with the best search results. That means the websites that you visit ... Continue Reading

Oct 30th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

Kitchen Kraft approached Digital Solutions years ago to help them with their web presence. Since then we've gone through two facelifts of their website. The latest version includes a premium shopping cart that allows users around the world to order directly from this great Las Cruces small business. 

Their shopping cart includes an advanced account system allowing users to save items in their account, create wishlists and rate their items. If you're looking for a cool website to browse for unique home and kitchen accessories, take a look at the new kitchenkrafthome.com.

... Continue Reading

Be careful out there when shopping for a new website.

I got a call yesterday from someone trying to change their website. She bought her website from another company earlier this year and was trying to change the way her photo gallery displayed. She gave up on the company that originally helped her and turned to us to see what we could offer. 

Because the website she purchased was built using WordPress she wasn't able to make the change she wanted and we talked about the value of having a custom website.

When you're shopping for a new website you will have ... Continue Reading

Oct 11th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

Former Police Chief for the City of Las Cruces, Pete Hampton, has gone live with two websites this week. 

Hampton Investigation Service is a civil and criminal investigation organization. The company also conducts pre-employment background screening and skip tracing. Check them out at http://www.hamptoninvestigation.com/

Las Cruces Security Services provides security and investigative services in Las Cruces, as well as, other areas of Southern New Mexico. They have over 92 years of combined experience.

These two organizations are led by one of the most respected people in Las Cruces, Pete Hampton. Pete's resume is extensive, but is well known as the former ... Continue Reading

Oct 4th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

Until recently, here at DS, we weren't exacxtly familiar with the terms Hunting Widows and Trophy Wives. For those of you who still aren't, let me break it down for you.

Hunting Widows are women frequently left behind by husbands who spend countless hours hunting. And these wives love every minute of it!

Trophy Wives are "huntresses" who are equal to the challenge of hunting game during hunting season. 

If you, or your wife, qualifies as one of these, you really ought to check out the most recent website that DS developers went live with: Continue Reading

Sep 13th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

When the Furth Law Firm approached us to create them a new website, it was clear that they wanted the latest design standards incorporated into the new website

We took the content from their old website, modified it for SEO and built this Las Cruces firm a new responsive website. Simply put, responsive websites are mobile friendly. Their underlying structure responds to the size of the browser being used. So if you are using a tablet, phone, or just a down sized browser on your PC, the website responds and becomes more user friendly. 

Take a look ... Continue Reading

Aug 23rd, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

 

The Academy of Music and Dance, located in Las Cruces, New Mexico just launched its new website!

We are very proud to be involved in planning the organization and development of this website. They're the only certified Angelina Ballerina institution in Las Cruces and their website has a really cute video about the certification.

In addition to music and dance classes, The Academy of Music and Dance has a great performing arts preschool called ABC Academy Preschool.

Take a look at the new website (click here) for this great Las Cruces business and let us know ... Continue Reading

Jul 30th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

We've noticed that a lot of special events choose to go with free or cheap websites to promote their event. As an organization committed to helping organize the web, we wish we could do more to explain the importance of a professional website. 

That's why we were excited when First Presbyterian Chuch came to us to help them promote their Renewal 4 Women event in Las Cruces.

If you're looking for an inspirational event, Renewal 4 Women may be just what the doctor ordered. It features local musicians along with the inspirational renewing of your mind. 

Visit their website, Continue Reading

Jul 26th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

A few weeks back we heard the news that Stahmanns closed their candy store. We were pretty disappointed that we have to find a new place for our Thanksgiving Pecan Pie, but everyone should know that this great Southern New Mexico business isn't going away.

Our most recent website www.stahmannpecan.com went live earlier this week. The estate that has been growing pecans in the Mesilla Valley since the 1930s is still growing strong and plans to be here for generations to come. While they have shut down their candy operations, they're still one of the largest pecan growers ... Continue Reading

Would you pay an actor to go to Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce events and pretend to be you? 

Then why would you pay someone to pretend to be you on Facebook. Over the past few years it has become more popular for advertising agencies to try and sell content development plans that include posting comments on your behalf on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or what ever other social network is the flavor of the day. 

Don't get me wrong, I get it. You're busy. Your market share is dropping. Is it the ... Continue Reading

May 7th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Websites

You know how sometimes your work inspires you to dream big? 

While working on Beaverhead Outdoors, we all wondered what it would be like to drop everything and move into the country. Beaverhead Outdoors specializes in selling ranches, hunting and recreational real estate. If Mountain Men were still around and if they bought real estate, this is where they'd go for advice. 

We've been working with the folks at Beaverhead for a few months now. This is the second website we created for them. The first was Beaverhead Outfitters. This is where they promote the guided hunts. Believe ... Continue Reading

May 4th, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Video

Sometimes the word fun isn't silly enough to capture the mood around here while we're working on websites, videos or content development. 

We just completed a project for the Gold Guys where we dressed up one of our employees in this gold suit and shot him in front of our green screen. The video doesn't capture it all because you don't hear all the random comments we were shouting at him while he was dancing... if that counts as dancing. 

The Gold Guys got what they were looking for and we had fun doing it. 

 

 

Need a custom video? ... Continue Reading

When I talk to friends about what I do, they frequently ask "when are businesses going to stop cramming their sales messages down our throats." 

I think the essence is, will there ever be a social network that's about being fun and social, not just another place for the used car salesmen of marketing to make us feel awkward. 

I agree with the essence of the message. While I try to help people understand how social media is used for marketing purposes, I focus my message on the importance of being genuine, social and building relationships. That means most of you shouldn't ... Continue Reading

If I hear one more person complain about Facebook Timeline, my head may explode (go ahead, test that theory in the comments).

It's not that I think Timeline is the greatest thing since Pintrest, but it's the platform that Facebook offers and it isn't that much different than what you had two months ago. I do, however, look forward to seeing the haters petitioning to add a 28 Amendment to the Constitution establishing our right to keep social networks from evolving. 

Until that happens, let's make due with what we have. And Facebook has now introduced Timeline for Pages. Here ... Continue Reading

 

I know, I know, all of you have already heard of these, used them and have moved on to something much cooler, but a good list must start somewhere. 

Several of my clients have asked me for a list of the resources I use online. I finally decided that sharing ... Continue Reading

We admit it, at Digitial Solutions we spend way too much time on Facebook. I guess that's what you get when following online trends and setting up blogs is part of your job. 

However, when Lerner walked in on me today and said "get off Facebook already," I replied "I'm researching for our next blog!"

So now I have no choice but to write a blog about Facebook. 

The Best Las Cruces Facebook Pages

(Other than Digital Solutions and Scott Krahling is my County Commissioner, or course)

5. Stearns Custom Homes http://www.facebook.com/stearnscustomhomes

A key part of a successful Facebook Page is good content on your ... Continue Reading

Pinterest is the latest and greatest social media site. It is essentially a virtual pin board / bookmarking site, providing a fun and easy way of keeping track of all your photos, recipes, and articles. It also enables you to follow friends and even strangers who share your same interests. Here are some tips for businesses and companies trying to build up their brand:

1. First thing is first, sign up and start building up your boards! The reason Pinterest is become so successful is the visual aspect of the site, this gives the business owner the opportunity to post pictures from ... Continue Reading

 

Content is King and Relationships Freakin' Rule!

And thanks to social media this applies online more today than ever before. If this is a new concept for you then you need to pull your head out of the sand and get moving.

Web marketing is no longer just brochure marketing. You don't just need a website, or just need a Facebook profile. You need to work at it to make it work. Consider your online marketing in the same terms of your Chamber of Commerce membership. You can't just join and expect your membership to deliver. It's what you put in that ... Continue Reading

When a new client comes into my office one of the first questions I ask is: do you have photos.

Most people like photos. They're easy. They're pretty. And how does that old saying go? Oh yeah, they say 1,000 words. If she doesn't have photos then they're even further behind then they realize.

However, photos have even more importance than just looking pretty and showing yourself off. They actually should be driving traffic to your site. Here are two ideas on the subject.

1. Post your photos in multiple locations. Flickr.com is a great example. You post your photos on Flickr ... Continue Reading

Jan 2nd, 2012 By: Scott Krahling
Topics: Marketing, Facebook, Google, Websites

 

To Infinity & Beyond - That's where Buzz Lightyear's going and if you're in business, your marketing ideas better be going there too.

Marketing is evolving and we have to make decisions today without knowing what the future will bring. This is why we need to be educated and prepared based on what has happened leading up to today, but focussed on tomorrow. For fun, let's call this Buzz Lightyear Marketing. 

Continuing trends like newspaper subscriptions are declining and the Internet is growing, forcing your marketing strategy to evolve. I posted a blog a year ago about killing the old cliche that you waste ... Continue Reading

If we don't evolve we fade away into obscurity.

For the last few years we've see social media as the new evolution in marketing but it's hard to pinpoint exactly why or how it works.

It is helpful to think about this evolution in the context of the overall evolution of the economy.

The participatory concept isn't new. It involves having a relationship and interaction in the decision making of the businesses that you work with and it's actually as old as economies themselves.

I recently participated in a webinar with leading marketing specialists about the evolution of marketing and what appears to be ... Continue Reading

Dec 22nd, 2011 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

By Mark Kitanga

Take a moment to compare the two main phone technologies - cellular vs. landline. How have mobile phones in the 2000s alone advanced? When the decade started they finally became mainstream, led by those popular candy bar phones and basic monophonic ringtones. In just one decade, they became full-fledged, all-in-one multimedia devices capable of complex computing and communication. Along the way they acquired the capabilities of text messaging, chirping, color screens, polyphonic ringtones, e-mail, office productivity programs, MP3 music playback, web browsing, photography, video, editing, multi-purpose gaming, touch screens, and sophisticated applications. All that in just 10 years!

Now ... Continue Reading

Feb 24th, 2010 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

From Mashable - Web Faceoff: Adobe Flash vs. HTML5

Every week, we pit two web apps or companies against each other in our web faceoff series. In the past, we've put Android vs. iPhone, Digg vs. Reddit, and Windows 7 vs. Snow Leopard order to see which one was truly the people's choice.

This week, we're tweaking the competitors a bit. Over the last few weeks, you may have heard about a battle brewing between Adobe and Apple. It all started when Apple ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - HOW TO: Deal With Negative Feedback in Social Media

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

We often say that social media is a conversation, and what we mean by that is unlike traditional broadcast and print mediums, which are often one-directional, social media is very much a two-way channel. Not only can businesses communicate with their customers, but their customers can communicate with them and with each other, as well. By and large, ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - How Social Media Is Changing the Super Bowl

2010 is the year social media and the Super Bowl are officially converging.

Everyone from the advertisers and the NFL to fans and athletes are getting in on the social media Super Bowl action like never before.

In fact, we're seeing advertisers play up their controversial Super Bowl spots in social media channels, with online denizens weighing in with their candid thoughts. Of course there are also advertisers who are taking the straight and narrow path via their Facebook Fan Pages, offering fans the ability to share and and participate ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Why Social Media Isn't for Everyone

Joshua-Michele Ross is SVP of Digital Strategy with Fleishman Hillard. He blogs at opposableplanets.com.

Social media has a loyal tribe of disciples. We follow each other on Twitter, connect on Facebook, read each other's blogs and listen to each other at conferences. We provide each other moral support and though we are a minority, we have religion and we are here to change the world (I'm not joking).

Most importantly, we share stories. These stories are all about finding common ground and building a ... Continue Reading

From Mashable -3 Things You Need to Know About Social Media Strategy

B.L. Ochman is a Managing Director of Proof Digital Media; publisher of What's Next Blog, and co-founder of pet site Pawfun.com. Follower her on Twitter at @whatsnext.

Companies large and small are rushing to understand and get involved in social media. But most of the agencies and consultants who are being paid to establish social media campaigns for corporations are afraid to tell their clients three things they don't want to hear.

1. Everyone Must Work Together

In most big companies, IT, digital, ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - The 10 Stages of Social Media Business Integration

Brian Solis is a principal at new media agency FutureWorks. You can connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.

An overnight success ten years in the making, social media is as transformative as it is evolutionary. At last, 2010 is expected to be the year that social media goes mainstream for business. In speaking with many executives and entrepreneurs, I've noticed that the path towards new media enlightenment often hinges on corporate culture and specific marketplace conditions. Full social media ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Are Facebook Users Too Friendly For Their Own Good?

The latest research conducted by IT security firm Sophos shows that it's very easy to convince Facebook users to reveal their personal info to complete strangers.

This is nothing new, mind you - after all, many users see Facebook as a possibility to make new friends - but it is worth noting that simply friending someone you know nothing about can result in identity theft.

Here's ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Mashable's Social Media Guide for Small Businesses

Over the past year, Mashable has written extensively on the value of social media to small businesses. We have also contributed regularly on this topic to the American Express Open Forum.

From the fundamentals of Twitter branding, to the importance of blogging, to getting work done with some great online tools, small businesses face many challenges when trying to understand how to use social media. However, taking the ... Continue Reading

Dec 2nd, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Google

By Mark Kitanga

Imagine falling in a deep sleep and having the following dream:

The phone is constantly ringing because your loyal and growing customer base loves the fantastic product or service you offer. Profits are plentiful, people are happy, and life is good! Then one day, you notice there aren't as many calls. In fact, anytime the phone does ring it only rings once and stops. It gets worse as the days pass. Later, the new phone book comes out and you notice your business isn't listed in the yellow or white pages, even though you've paid for the advertising. Now ... Continue Reading

by Scott Krahling

I think one of the best new marketing opportunities involves the use of Facebook Applications.

These are the Farmville and Mafia Wars of the Facebook world. Think about how many people are using these applications. Even if you don't personally use them, chances are that someone you know does. Don't you get sick of all the updates that you see in your news feed on Facebook? I do. But people are still doing it, and a lot of people are. Imagine if you could consistently capture those users with your marketing message. I bet you can.

Until now I have ... Continue Reading

Social Media, Shmoshal Media - Is It Working for You? - by Scott Krahling

I read a lot about how small businesses are having a hard time realizing the benefit of social media. Even those that have been convinced to spend time working on it are having trouble seeing anything come from it.

The first question to ask is if you fully understand marketing, your brand and your message. If the answer is no, then we need to engage in a deeper conversation. Marketing is the process of finding customers and keeping them by satisfying them. This requires consistent communication ... Continue Reading

Participatory Online Marketing - by Scott Krahling

If we don't evolve we die. I think that's a commonly excepted idea. Today we see social media as the new evolution in our marketing but it's hard to pinpoint exactly why or how it works.

It is helpful to think about this evolution in the context of the overall evolution of the economy.

The participatory concept isn't new. It involves having a relationship and interaction in the decision making of the businesses that you work with and it's actually as old as economies themselves.

I recently participated in a webinar with leading marketing experts about the ... Continue Reading

Check out this video where Troy explains all about social networking.

All About Social Networking from Digital Solutions on Vimeo.


From Mashable - HOW TO: Gather Feedback With Social Media

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

One of the best uses of social media for business is being able to monitor your brand. Services like Twitter search and Facebook search make it easy to see each time someone mentions your company, while third-party applications like TweetDeck and Seesmic Deskt allow you ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - STUDY: Time Spent on Social Networks Has Tripled

Social networking usage by Americans continues to soar. According to a new report from The Nielsen Company, Americans spent 17% of all their Internet time using social networking sites. This was nearly triple the time spent a year ago.

As users spend more time on social networks, advertisers are starting to take notice and move their campaigns to social networking sites. According to Nielsen, the online advertising spending on top social networks and blogs ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - 4 Ways Social Media is Changing Business

Soren Gordhamer writes and consults on ways we can more creatively and effectively use the technologies of our age, including social media. He is the author of 'Wisdom 2.0' (HarperOne, 2009). You can follow him on Twitter at @SorenG.

Social media is helping to forge a new era in business transparency and engagement, creating both new challenges and opportunities. Gone are the days when companies could rely on carefully crafted press releases or flashy ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Top 5 Business Blogging Mistakes

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

Business blogging can be exceptionally rewarding. When done correctly, a successful blog can bring attention to your business, can attract new customers, and can turn your current customer base into the type of fans that companies like Apple, Netflix, and Ben and Jerry's have: people who will not only buy your product or service, but evangelize it to their peers. Of ... Continue Reading

Sep 21st, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

Over the last few weeks we've posted several articles claiming that when it comes to your website, content is king. Here's why.

1. Relevance - Your website needs to be interesting with important and up-to-date information.2. Return - If you want your audience to come back, you need to give them a reason by updating your content regularly.3. Reaction - Make an impact by getting your audience to react to what they see. 4. Results - Search engines like it when you add new content and better ranking leads to more traffic.

Accomplish all of the above by adding a blog to ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Social Media Policies from 80+ Organizations

One of the key challenges for modern organizations is to define a social media policy. What's acceptable? What isn't? And how should you go about creating such a document for your workplace?

We've tried to aid with this process at Mashable through articles such as Should Your Company Have a Social Media Policy? and 10 Must-Haves for Your Social Media Policy. We've also published guides like Social Media for ... Continue Reading

Sep 18th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Google

From CIO - Google buys reCAPTCHA to boost book scanning efforts

The acquisition will also strengthen Google's anti-spam technology

Juan Carlos Perez (IDG News Service) 17 September, 2009 05:23:00

Google plans to accelerate its massive efforts to scan tens of millions of books and periodicals with the acquisition on Wednesday of a company called reCAPTCHA.

ReCAPTCHA is a well-known provider of CAPTCHA technology, which is used to prevent spammers from using computers to automatically register for online services, such as Web mail accounts and Web site registrations.

CAPTCHA, which stands for "Completely Automated Public ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Execs and Social Media: Why They Love It, Why They Fear It

A recent survey from eMarketer.com seems to show that U.S. executives are warming up to social media usage in the workplace.

Out of 438 management, marketing and human resources executives polled, 81% saw social media as being useful for both brand-building and enhancing customer or client relationships. Just under 70% see it as a valuable recruitment tool, 64% think social media is useful for customer ... Continue Reading

Sep 10th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Facebook, Websites, Twitter

From Mashable - STATS: Flat Month for Social Media, With Some Surprises

We've reported on the tremendous growth of both Facebook and Twitter month after month in the last year or so, but looking at Compete's stats for August, we've got neither good nor bad news, as the hottest social networks have stagnated when it comes to new visitors.

Part of the reason could merely be the lazy days of summer, which causes a drop in traffic on almost all Internet destinations. ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - 5 Ways to Attract and Empower Your Crowd

Brandon Mendelson is the coordinator for A Million High Fives. Follow @BJMendelson on Twitter () or add him as a friend on Facebook.

Every few days, I get an email asking this question: 'I have this awesome idea to help X, but I'm not sure what direction to take. Do I open things up to the crowd to collaborate and target a mass audience? Or do ... Continue Reading

Sep 1st, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites
Looking for new markets? A microsite could help you reach them. By Melissa Campanelli | URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/ebusiness/ebusinessideas/article160092.html

Gerald Prolman launched OrganicBouquet.com in 2003 to sell sustainably grown flowers that are freshly picked and then gift-wrapped. But as the company grew, he needed a better way to meet the increasing demand from florists, event planners and other whole-salers. So in June, Prolman launched a microsite (www.organicbouquetwholesale.com) to make it easier for these customers to place orders.

A microsite lets you focus on a specific purpose, such as selling clearance or discounted items, ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - 5 Fresh Ideas for Social Media Marketers

Social media may be for narcissists, but it's also proving to be a business utility. Retailers are shifting their marketing dollars such that social media budgets are swelling, and creative contests are popping up all over the web. In case you haven't noticed, social media marketing is big business.

Should you find yourself in a social media marketing lull, we think you can take inspiration from these five innovative ... Continue Reading

Aug 26th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

From Mashable - Clickstreams: What They Are and Why You Should Track Them

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashableegularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

The more information you have about your customers, the better off you are. There's a reason that advertisers will pay generously for detailed demographics on potential shoppers and customers. On the web, we usually gather this information via web analytics platforms ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - LinkedIn Vs. Facebook: Who Profiles Better?

In another move to increase personalized value by mimicking Facebook, LinkedIn has added a few new features to its homepage. LinkedIn has been tweaking its homepage for months now, and most of the updates have been very similar to what we see on Facebook. I'm sure it's common knowledge by now, but everybody is taking cues from Facebook.

This week seems particularly ripe for profile updates, however, with FacebookContinue Reading

From Mashable - TWEET IDEAS: 13 Things to Do on Twitter Besides Tweet

Tired of delivering the typical stream of status updates on Twitter? Why not try some of the following ideas for other things you can do with the service?

Thanks to an open API and a philosophy of interconnectivity, Twitter's vast array of third-party services has you covered on a number of alternative uses for the famed microblogging tool.

Let's take a look at a few ... Continue Reading

Aug 21st, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Facebook

From Mashable - Facebook Connect vs. Sign in with Twitter: Fight!

Twitter has quietly given some developers access to a new feature, Sign in with Twitter, which uses Twitter's new OAuth technology to allow people to log into and access 3rd party websites using their Twitter accounts. Sound familiar?

On the surface, this has striking similarities to Facebook Connect, the Facebook version that allows users to access 3rd party websites using a Facebook ... Continue Reading

From Examiner - LinkedIn groups - are you building relationships for job networking?

By now, many people have had some exposure to social media, and are aware of some of the more popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It's probably safe to say that many professionals, especially job seekers or those in career transition have used LinkedIn to some extent. With the rash of layoffs that began at the end of last year, one beneficiary was job networking site LinkedIn. LinkedIn saw a huge increase in visitors, as posted in the TechCrunch article on February ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - HOW TO: Use Facebook for Professional Networking

Boris Epstein is the CEO and Founder of BINC, a Professional Search Firm that specializes in the Software Marketplace. Boris shares his thoughts about the recruitment industry, job hunting and career advice at AskBinc.com.

Ask anybody why they use Facebook, and most people will respond with reasons like staying in touch with friends, or being able to share pictures. Rarely does one's professional life ever get mentioned when describing the social network. When it ... Continue Reading

Aug 14th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Facebook

From Mashable - Facebook Lite: Facebook Needed a Diet

Late last night [August 11 - Ed], news broke that Facebook was working on a 'Lite' version and had (perhaps accidentally) invited a number of people to try it out. In its own words, Facebook Lite is a 'faster, simpler version of Facebook.'

While it's still unclear exactly what the intended purpose of Facebook Lite might be - an even more direct competitor to Twitter or simply a ... Continue Reading

Aug 13th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Facebook

From Mashable - Facebook Usernames: 50+ Million Claimed and Counting

Do you remember two months ago when Facebook usernames went live? Millions of avid Facebookusers waited on a Friday night for the chance to claim their own custom URL. 200,000 were claimed in 3 minutes, 500,000 in 15 minutes, a million within an hour, and 3 million usernames by the next morning.

Still, that's just a tiny portion of the nearly 300 million users of the world's larger social network. However, it looks as if adoption ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - 10 Creative Contests Powered by Social Media

David Spark (@dspark) is the founder of Spark Media Solutions, specialists in building industry voice through storytelling and social media. He blogs at The Spark Minute and is the author of '14 Successful Techniques for Building Your Industry Voice with Social Media' (PDF).

Traditionally, companies hold contests to get people excited about their brand and to gather names for mailing lists to push even more promotions. ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - The New Search War: Google vs Facebook

It's no coincidence that Facebook launched a new real-time search engine on the same day that it bought FriendFeed and Google announced a new infrastructure project aimed at speeding up its indexing time. Make no mistake about it: people that know search believe that there's gold in real-time and social data, and Facebook's blockbuster acquisition of FriendFeed was a ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - How to Develop a Social Media Plan for Your Business in 5 Steps

Social media can be an incredible tool for your business, providing you with more customer insight, direct communication channels and the ability to measure the effectiveness of these conversations very closely.

But as the proliferation of social media platforms grow, participating can turn into little more than a giant time suck without some sort of structure behind it. With that in mind, we've put together a ... Continue Reading

If you have a Facebook account, Facebook Connect allows you to stroll the web and interact with sites using your Facebook account as your identifier.  In August 2006, Facebook opened its code to allow programmers to develop applications using their API (for more on APIs, check this blog).  In May 2008, Facebook rolled out Facebook Connect as the latest version of their platform that allows users to connect to other popular sites using their Facebook account identity.  This allows users to use a secure connection to comment on blogs, share photos from other sites, and much more with their Facebook ... Continue Reading

From BusinessWeek - Debunking Six Social Media Myths

Using social media to market your business is a good idea. Just don't plan on getting your whiz-kid nephew to do it for free

For companies, resistance to social media is futile. Millions of people are creating content for the social Web. Your competitors are already there. Your customers have been there for a long time. If your business isn't putting itself out there, it ought to be.

But before you take the plunge, bear in mind the many myths that surround social media.

1. Social media is cheap, if ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - HOW TO: Build Your Company's Profile on LinkedIn

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business.

LinkedIn, through its networking, question and answer, and application features (which I recently wrote about on OPEN) is already a powerful tool for maintaining and establishing relationships in the ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Social Media for Business: The Dos & Don'ts of Sharing

Sarah Evans is the director of communications at Elgin Community College (ECC) in Elgin, Illinois. She also authors a PR and social media blog and is the founder of #journchat.

It doesn't matter if you're on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr; your online ... Continue Reading

From Mashable

Sharlyn Lauby is the president of Internal Talent Management (ITM) which specializes in employee training and human resources consulting. She authors a blog at hrbartender.com.

Companies are realizing that people are talking about them whether they like it or not. As a result, they're deciding whether they should consider having a social media presence, and hence, a policy. A social media policy outlines for employees the corporate guidelines or principles of communicating in the online world.

Social media is quickly moving from an emerging form of communication to the mainstream. So, just like in the old days ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - 5 Easy Social Media Wins for Your Small BusinessSamir Balwani is a social media marketer who helps businesses create effective web strategies. You can follow him on Twitter and get his newsletter.

One of the biggest misconceptions with online marketing is that social media is only for large brands. Truthfully, a small business that invests its time wisely can improve customer (or client) loyalty and traditional word of mouth marketing efforts.

Social media ... Continue Reading

Jul 23rd, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

From Smashing Magazine - 50 New Beautiful Blog Designs

There are things that can't be showcased too often. For instance, beautiful blog designs. We have presented hundreds of beautiful blog designs in the past and now it's time to provide our readers with a fresh portion of tasty design inspiration.

All blogs listed below have an original, unique design. They aren't based upon some ready-to-be-used WordPress templates, but are the result of a hard, time-consuming work - therefore they deserve respect and admiration. Yes, many of these design are quite ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - Twitter for Beginners: 5 Steps for Better Tweeting

Twitter is immensely useful as a utility for joining in the global conversation and sharing thoughts, opinions, information, and media. But for new users, there's also a fairly steep learning curve. For many people new to Twitter, the site doesn't immediately "make sense" and it can be a bit daunting. But there are things those users can do to make the service more useful from the get go.

Below are five steps for new ... Continue Reading

Jul 20th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Facebook

From BBC NEWS:

Popular social networking site Facebook is breaching Canadian law by holding on to users' personal information indefinitely, a report has concluded.

An investigation by Canada's privacy commission found the US-based website also gave "confusing or incomplete" information to subscribers. Facebook says it is aiming to safeguard users' privacy without compromising their experience of the site. More than 200 million people actively use Facebook.  They include about 12 million in Canada, more than one in three of the population.

'Practical solutions'

Canadian Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart laid out the findings of the report at a news ... Continue Reading

Jul 17th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

This post is part of Mashable's Spark of Genius series, which highlights a unique feature of startups. If you would like to have your startup considered for inclusion, please see the details here. The series is made possible by Microsoft BizSpark.

Name: Sharein

Quick Pitch: Sharein is a simple bookmark tool that helps you to share links to email, Facebook () and Twitter from the browser.

Genius Idea: Whether it's great content, funny videos, or just can't-miss-this web finds, the nature of Twitter and the popularity of retweeting has proven ... Continue Reading

From Mashable - HOW TO: Manage Social Media Goals and Expectations

You have insightful tweets, write amazing blog posts, and can make a viral video like it's nobody's business. So why don't you have 500,000 followers, 50,000 views per video, and your own personal social media army?

People have been setting some strange, unrealistic, and possibly misguided expectations recently in social media. While you might believe that you're only worth something in social media if you have a huge audience, the simple fact is ... Continue Reading

From Mashable -

We've highlighted the problem of malicious links and spam permeating Twitter trends several times before, but the problem is getting worse, fast. If Twitter doesn't fix it soon, Twitter Trends will simply become a huge pile of irrelevant content, spam and links that lead to viruses and spyware.

Case in point: "Bruno" is trending right now. I've clicked the trend to see some early user reviews, but instead I got overwhelmed with spam, pointing to http://stream-onlinemovies.com or http://buffermovies.com/, sites that offer "full movie downloads." Since this is a legitimate trending topic, many of the ... Continue Reading

From Mashable:

July 7th, 2009 | by Stan Schroeder

Analytics company iStrategyLabs has examined the demographics stats from Facebook (Facebook)'s Social Ads platform, and they've reached some very interesting conclusions. Facebook's userbase, as a whole, is getting much older very fast.

As you can see in the chart below, the overall number of users between 18 and 24 years of age has grown only 4.8% between the fourth of January and the fourth of July of 2009. In comparison, the number of users aged 25 - 34 has grown 60.8%; the number of users aged 35 ... Continue Reading

Jul 7th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Google, Websites

From Lifehacker - Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and Talk Leave BetaBy Adam PashGoogle today will finally remove the long-standing beta tag from some of its most popular web applications, most notably its wildly popular email application, Gmail.In addition to the beta-less Gmail, Google Calendar, Docs, and Talk (i.e., the rest of the Google Apps suite) will also shed the beta moniker. Gmail has notoriously worn the beta badge since its initial invite-only launch back in April of 2004. Strangely, as the New York Times points out, Google's reasoning for keeping Gmail and other apps in beta ... Continue Reading

Our own Troy Tudor recently gave a presentation to the Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce about social networking.  Some of his points included:

* Anyone with a message can and should use social networking to spread the word.

* It's like Business After Hours Online.

* Allows a more personal relationship with customers.   People can see the human side of the organization. Turn friends into customers & customers into friends.

* Low to no cost to reach potential & existing customers with your message.

* Can be used to drive traffic to your website aiding in SEO.

If the video does not play, please ... Continue Reading

Jun 1st, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

The simple answer to this question is: as often as you have solid, relevant content.

The more complicated answer involves taking a good, long look at the industry your site is a part of. If your site becomes outdated, customers immediately wonder if you're still in business. If the information in your field is constantly changing and evolving, like with the financial sector or technology, you will want to update your content to reflect the latest changes. That could be every day, if there is enough to write about. On the other hand, if your website is purely to inform the ... Continue Reading

May 14th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

With blogging and microblogging becoming huge mainstream forces for news, many people are realizing that they want a website. People in business realize they need one. The "sticker shock" of how much a well-planned, custom designed and custom programmed website is often sends people searching the internet for a cheaper alternative. There are thousands of sites that offer free templates, free code, free hosting -- and anything else you might need to set up your own website! Free is a magical word. The question that inevitably follows is, "why should I pay when I can get ... Continue Reading

Apr 24th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

49% of American adults (about 112 million people) have high speed internet connections, and 71% of American households have internet access, according to Tom's Guide. Companies are increasingly getting their business on the web to reach customers outside their local area. Why not choose a web company outside your local area? Perhaps you live in a small town or a rural area, one without a web company nearby? You might have no choice but to select a company outside of your local area.

Building a face-to-face relationship with a web company used to be the only way to do ... Continue Reading

Apr 21st, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites

What is a web service? The World Wide Web Consortium (or W3C, as it is commonly known) defines it as, "a software system designed to support interoperable machine-to-machine interaction over a network." Web services are web applications accessed over a network, where the service is hosted on a remote network. Web developers work with the code that the company who owns the web service provides. That code is called an API, or an application programming interface. Programmers who work with APIs are allowed a greater freedom to develop and manipulate existing services to their own needs. APIs are for the ... Continue Reading

Apr 15th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Twitter, Websites

Viral marketing is a term that means "word-of-mouth marketing." Your fans and clients reach out and spread the word about your company, your products, and your services to hundreds or thousands of their friends and acquaintances. These people then do the same, and your company is flooded with hits to your website, and possibly requests for proposals or sales. All at a very low cost to you, the business owner, compared with traditional advertising campaigns. Many companies are turning to viral marketing to increase the visibility of their brand, as well as inspiring people to talk about their company or ... Continue Reading

Mar 25th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

RSS is an acronym for Really Simple Syndication, or sometimes referred to as Rich Site Summary. RSS uses a markup language, usually XML (Extensible Markup Language) or Atom, to deliver the raw data of your feed to a user. Many sites use RSS as a feed to deliver changes in web content to anyone on the web. This is a simple way to let your readers know when you've updated new content, such as a new blog posting, a new product, a special offer, or new real estate listings.

For the readers of a RSS feed, it saves time by only ... Continue Reading

Mar 11th, 2009 By: Digital Soluitons
Topics: Websites, Blog

You might have noticed the tag clouds on our new layout.  Our tag clouds have three colors to differentiate the specific sections - categories, features, and locations. These tag clouds help to break up the amount of links to content we have on our site, so it is more easily found by our visitors. Specifically, a tag cloud - sometimes called a word cloud - is a type of list, just reformatted to be more visually appealing. The content within the tag clouds is defined by the content on your site and helps to describe the content in easy keywords.

With ... Continue Reading

Twitter is a FREE service that lets you communicate to customers, friends, and family using short statements. How short? Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters, which is about the same length as a text message. Once you've registered for an account you can update easily from your own site, mobile phone, or your blog.

Each update is called a "Tweet" and immediately broadcasts your short news blurb to your followers and the Twitter community. This type of quick communication has become known as the "micro-blog." It's a quick and efficient way to get ... Continue Reading