Archive for December, 2009

Google Software To Consider

Image representing Google Apps as depicted in ...

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There’s only one thing that outpaces hardware in the speed of advancement and that is software. Sometimes the upgrade is warranted, sometimes it’s not. Throw in some office politics and things get even tougher.  Deciding when to change or upgrade existing systems is tough, but it’s getting easier every year. The following will give some general insight for big business and home users on Google offerings that address these problems.

Everything Is Getting Googled

E-mail one of the oldest applications in software and the most problematic. We have all dealt with many types of setups only to be plagued with viruses and unmanageable amounts of documents. Google has fixed the problem, at least the best fix to date. Not only have they fixed that problem, they’ve thrown in a suite of applications that satisfies the vast majority of all basic user’s needs. They did it all for $50 per license.

Home Users

Home users can get Gmail with Google Apps for free. You get it for free because there are ads. If you have not used Gmail you probably spend a lot of time complaining to IT folks that you get viruses and spam all of the time. Gmail is the answer. If you don’t like the ads, $50 buys the Premier addition and they go away. The free Google Apps usually satisfies all of a home user’s needs, yet they still spend money on software due to habits, fear, and bad advice.

Professional Users

The Google Apps story has been an interesting one to follow when it comes to professional uses. As soon as I started hearing about it, I already had the arguments I would hear in my head. Sadly, I was accurate and every hardware person I spoke to held the same opinion that it was all evil and all bad. No exceptions and the same tired arguments. Just in case you don’t care to follow the long explanation, just let me say this, “Go check out Google Apps Premier!”  I wish I did have an advertising connection to this, but I don’t. I just hate to see any company bamboozled and I’m hearing to much bamboozlement about Google Apps.

Read their promotional material and you will find that Google clearly explains their weaknesses. They are few, but they can be critical and they want you to know about them. Your IT department is going to highlight the weaknesses and make up a few of their own. They’re even going to find many web references with false and misleading information for you. Why would your trusted employees do this? They’re scared you’re going to cut their job because Google Apps are so efficient.

Everywhere I worked for the past 11 years, they IT department has used Lotus Notes or Microsoft Exchange server. Lotus Notes was very difficult to use efficiently and Exchange server was constantly plagued with every type of problem. Huge amounts of resources are directed towards these solutions. Google Apps has been adopted successfully by over 60% of the fortune 100 companies and there are over 10 million users to date.

A poor choice of words that is easy to marginalize is “The Cloud”. You don’t want to hear the full explanation of how it all works, your head would hurt and you’d age early if you understood it all. The thing about “The Cloud” is that it works well and there are very few valid complaints against it. The Cloud most certainly is not the right choice for very few applications, but for those that it does fit, the savings are huge. So huge, that when your competitor adopts “The Cloud”, they save enough resources to dominate your operations in other critical areas.

The Cloud does common tasks well. Email, calendars, spreadsheets, word processors, etc. should not be a focus of your strategic edge. Every business has them, they all are about the same, and any time your IT department spends time on them, money is lost. Sure, some employees need the full Microsoft suites, but most don’t and Google knows this and provides solutions.

If you’re a small business, there should be no hesitation to switch unless you are certain Microsoft can perform critical tasks specific to your business. The cost savings are bigger the smaller the business is. Large businesses have a no-risk method to try Google Apps and they can creep into it until they find the exact fit they need.

In Conclusion

Home users, it’s free to try. You only have to learn a few skills and Google provides all the training you need for free.

Businesses, if you’re IT provider scoffs your suggestion to look at Google Apps, it’s a red flag. There is every valid reason in the world to look at the solution for savings. If they’re scoffing at this, get outside help fast to find out what else they may be short-sighting you on. The tired scare tactics will not work here. The idea that Google can “hook you in and stick it to you later”, are not valid. Ask them to show you how this evil plan will unfold. Standardization for the entire company will be ruined? Nonsense. Ask them how this could be when Google fully integrates with Microsoft’s offerings.

IT’s secrets and petty office political players could be costing you. This is no time to waste a single penny and I encourage any business to take another look at how the most standard software pieces are being utilized. The past year has brought forward many cost-cutting, yet innovative solutions.

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Interesting Finds In Newark, Ohio Websites

A few interesting websites caught my eye this week. These finds caught my because of the photos, how else right?

Newark, Ohio Photos Of Note

My first find was at Arnold Sheehan’s Law Office website. I have walked through the interior of the Licking County Courthouse out of curiosity before, but thankfully, I’ve never had to go into any of the court rooms. It turns out that staying out of the courtroom does mean your missing something! Look at these beautiful photos of artwork and craftsmanship in the courtrooms. I hear that the view from the top of it is nice, but I have no photos of the view.

Newark, Ohio also has a fine young Photographer name Rachel Lauren. She has developed quite a style of her own and a very nice website showcasing her photography. It’s well worth a look.

Newark, Ohio Specialty Woodworking Tools

Beall Tool Company is a maker of fine specialty woodworking tools. Some tools, like their pen wizard, just can’t be found anywhere else. Keeping in line with some of the most unique and useful tools in woodworking, their website is useful as well. It includes many links to good woodworking websites.

Websites similar to these websites can be done for your website with free software and the costs to hire a developer to build and promote them are reasonable. The interesting ideas that make them stand out, that’s up to you.

Enjoy the links!

Newark, Ohio Links Newsletter 27 Dec, 2009

I hope everyone had a great Christmas and I wish you a Happy New Year! 2010 is going to bring economic challenges and your efforts on the Internet are going to be key to getting through the rough spots. I am going to do my part by keeping Newark, Ohio Links up to date with the help of my visitors, RSS feeds, and deep searches for more websites. We are at 609 active and valid links. I’m not as concerned about quantity as I am quality, so if you notice a dead link, e-mail it to me.

Website owners, do you want one more place to get word out about your business? For the month of January, just submit your information and pictures to me and I’ll submit a post for you for free. Just e-mail the information to newarkohiolinks@gmail.com. It’s my late Christmas give to website owners.

This week, I’m going to talk about RSS feeds. RSS feeds are an easy way to see if a website has made updates. You can use any RSS reader and many browsers have bookmark features to all for RSS as well. Readers allow you to quickly scan many websites for posts. This is a big time savings because you do not need to visit the website to find out if there is a new post or scan all of the posts.

If You Own A Website You probably need RSS.

I’ve noticed the majority of Newark, Ohio websites are lacking RSS feeds. RSS is syndication of your content. If you’re using a Content Management system like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla, RSS feeds are used by default. I have seen many websites very concerned with Web 2.0 and they go on to explain how much you need to utilize Twitter, Facebook, etc. This is all very true, but the untold secret is that eventually Twitter, Facebook, and most of the other methods of social networking will fade away. RSS is here to stay.

Why Haven’t I Heard Of RSS?

Many haven’t heard of RSS, don’t understand how to use it, or do not understand the benefits.

RSS benefits you by broadcasting to any website that has linked to your feed that there is an update. You don’t have to contact them and the website linking to you doesn’t have to change anything. It’s all automated syndication.

If your designer hasn’t included an RSS feed, they’ve let you down. They are easy to include and it is a massive advantage to alert many places that you have a message to share with them. Look at it this way, your website is the equivalent of a newspaper article and RSS is the equivalent of a flyer that can be sent out at will for free.  If you’re website doesn’t have RSS, visit Mark Spearman Web Design or any other web service to find out more.

If you’re web designer doesn’t have you using a Content Management System enabling you to add RSS feeds for a minimal cost, fire them or at least get another website going that does.  I’m sorry to say it, but they’re not worth what your paying them if this is the case, even if you have a free website.

Craigslist Event Postings

Housing Ads

Craigslist Jobs

Newark, Ohio Craigslist – For Sale

Business Feeds

The following feeds are provided by local businesses that continually update via RSS syndication.

Mike Brandly Auctioneer Blog

Apple Tree Auction Center

    Glass Doctor News

    River Road Coffee

    An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.

    Pat Guanciale’s Blog (Realtor)

      Chat With The Chamber

      News Feeds

      Weather Channel Forecast

      Newark Advocate Local News




      Church and Worship Feeds

      First Baptist In Heath, Ohio

      An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.

      Narrow Road Community Church

      An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.