Archive for June, 2009

Microsoft extending XP availability to April 2011

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

I read an article first thing this morning that will please business owners running XP on their computers or planning to purchase a new computer in the next year or so.

No doubt you’ve already heard that later this year Microsoft is launching a new Windows operating system to replace the unpopular and user-unfriendly Windows Vista. The long-awaited new operating system, Windows 7, is supposed to far exceed the capabilities of Vista and will be much more user-friendly!

This is wonderful news for small companies planning to purchase a brand new computer before the end of the current tax year or anyone desperate to replace Vista as long as you’re convinced the new operating system will live up to its expectations.

What if you’re not convinced or it’s going to be costly to upgrade?

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How to create successful email campaigns to market your website

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

This morning, at the Guelph-Wellington Business Enterprise Centre’s monthly networking breakfast, I heard an interesting presentation by Shelley Reed of Reed’s Writing Block on how to create a successful email campaign to market your small business.

She gave some great advice and tidbits about maintaining your brand image, who to target, how often to target them and how to avoid your emails ending in the recycle bin or spam box. I thought I would share with you some of what I learnt during Shelley’s presentation.

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A great way to advertise your website

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009
Karen and Joseph at the start of the 2009 Ride to Conquer Cancer

Karen and partner Joseph at the start of the 2009 Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day 200 km bicycle ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of Princess Margaret Hospital. Photograph courtesy of event photographer and friend Edwin Santiago. View more of his fantastic photography at www.edwinsantiago.com.

So, this past weekend I participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer, a 200 km bike ride from Toronto to Niagara Falls in support of the Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. What an awesome experience! Over 3,500 participants raised a record breaking $14.5 million for cancer research. Fantastic!

Now, I’m not an avid cyclist. Actually, I hadn’t been on a bicycle for over seven years until I bought a bike in April, so I only had two months to train. With the inclement weather we had in April, busy work schedule and fundraising every other weekend, I didn’t train as often as I would’ve liked. But, I managed the whole ride, even the hills up the escarpment, albeit very, very slowly.

And, I found the whole experience so inspirational, from seeing an 81-year-old blind man riding tandem to witnessing a young lady with only one leg complete the entire ride on her tricycle, that I plan to do the whole thing again next year. Only this time I will be able to start my training much, much earlier. In fact, I’ll be out on my bike again as soon as my legs have stopped aching!

Why am I telling you this. Because I will be out there wearing the official Ride to Conquer Cancer shirt that I wore on Saturday! And I will be seen by thousands of people during the course of my training! Great advertising for the sponsors on the shirt.

Thousands of potential customers see your logo & website address

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Twitter spam is an escalating problem

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

A news article on Yahoo! Tech news today that I followed from my Technology and Software News page says the problem with Twitter spam is going to get worse before it gets better. And after only a couple of weeks on Twitter, I could see what they meant!

As a newbie to Twitter and with a public profile, I have already noticed a few of my new followers have been purely following me in the hope that I would follow them. However, unlike most new Tweeters, who more than likely reciprocate by following out of politeness, I blocked them instead.

Why? Because when I looked at their profiles and saw their tweets, it was obvious they were only their to market themselves… in a BIG way. This was even more apparent when I saw that the number of Tweeters they were “following” far exceeded the number of “followers” .

It’s already hard to keep up with tweets on a day-to-day basis from just the few Tweeters I’m following. It was obvious these new followers’ only intention was to spam me and I definitely don’t want to be spammed.

So, my advice to newbies like me, is to check out who has started following you before you start following them. If their Twitter page is full of self-promoting tweets (probably automated), and their followers are few and far between but they are following a huge number, block them. Hopefully, this will help prevent your Twitter page from being spammed.

After reading the article on Yahoo! News I followed another link with suggestions on how to banish Twitter spam. It pretty much reiterates what I’m saying here. Take a look, you may find it useful.

Anyone notice the new search engine tool on MSN today?

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

Microsoft launched its new search tool “Bing” today, earlier than expected, and apparently it has refueled the search engine war!

And if you use MSN as your home page you may have noticed the new search bar at the top of the page today. I did, and then later today, I found an interesting article from a link on my Technology and Software News page that talked about the new tool.

What does it mean to us, as small business owners, though?

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