RoboForm is a Great Time Saving Tool

Don’t know why I put off getting RoboForm. I didn’t want to take the time to learn one more thing, set up one more tool. Yet, keeping track of passwords and filling out forms is a royal pain. The more time online, the more places I belong, the more blogs I manage, etc. , the harder it becomes to manager everything.

After watching Ben Fitts use RoboForm in one of his trainings, I decided to check it out. I went ahead and downloaded it today.

I posted on twitter about adding Roboform and got a nice tutorial from Mitch on getting started with Robo Form. Thanks Mitch! Great to read even before you set up and install RoboForm.

RoboForm: Road Rules for the Real World by Mitchell Allen

Skype Gramma

Skype Gramma

“Skype Gamma!”

Skype gramma is not a word you’d expect a 2 year old to be using. That is my grandson. He wasn’t in a hurry to talk, preferred to use sign language. But once he learned how communicating to others his wants got results, he is quickly adding to his vocabulary every day.

“Milk”

“Out”

“Mommy”

“DaDa”

“Train”

“Go”

“Bike”

“Down”

Skype is not a word you’d expect a 2 year old to know, but technology is very much a part of his life. He knows when his grandma is online, there is my picture in gmail’s chat. Christmas time he had great fun using his dad’s touch screen ipod, finding pictures, songs, etc. He loved watching a video of his little cousin, better yet, watching videos of himself.

Times change. I remember when I first took a Basic programming course. I had to go to the computer lab, save my program on a ticker tape looking thing. Feed it back each time I used it. If I made any changes, I had to save and print out another one of those ticker tape things. And if it tore, back to square one. My dad just took his first retirement and was working on his master’s. The computer he used was huge, and we feed it key punch cards.

Think of key punch cards as rectanglar pieces of card stock with holes punched in it to represent one line of code. My dad paid someone to keypunch his program, drove to the college (an hour away), feed the cards to the computer. Error, typo’s and syntax errors would spit out. Those cards would have to be redone. He’d call the lady back, have her type more cards, then hour drive back to school. Repeat. Repeat. Until he got the program right.

My dad was very happy when I took a break from school, as he knew I could key punch cards. (An obsolete skill, one I’ve long forgotten.) I’d go with him, he’d work on his next program while I feed cards to the huge room size computer. Correct any errors, put the cards back in order, and refeed the computer until we got it right.

Today, my little laptop probably does as much as those room size computers. Many choices of ways to save my information. Edit on screen, save. Look where we are today, things my grandson takes for granted. Who else would say “Skype Gamma!”

Why Have Your Own Favicon?

favicons in favoritesFirst for those of you who want to know what the heck is a favicon?

I didn’t know either. I did know that some companies brand their business very well. Look at your bookmark sites. Some urls really stand out and are easy to find. Did you bookmark blogger, facebook, your favorite YouTube video? Easy to find are they not? Your eyes quickly scan looking for the icon.

Those little icons bugged me. Was this some secret the big companies with the big bucks knew how to do, an option not available to small business owners? But if they can do it, surely there is a way we can make one too. Not knowing the answer I decided to ask my son who working on his software engineering degree. “Those are called Favicons” he told me. Makes sense. Little Icons that show up when you add to your list of favorites.

Curious person that I am, I had to find more information on favicons. I wanted one on my sites. So I asked Google.
I found a few tips and how to sites. First, you save a 16 pixels bpy 16 pixels image as an ico file. I use Gimp, so I checked what files it supported, and did a little happy dance when I found .ico as one of my choices. Just had to test, so I pulled up a 16 by 16 blank image screen, and quickly drew a little purple flower, saved as favicon.ico. Uploaded following directions. Then checked out my website.

To my surprise, there was now a little purple flower in the address bar (at least it does in Firefox), tabs, bookmarks. So nice when something works the first time you use it.

Why Have Your Own Favicon?

  • Brands your business with a visual image.
  • Increases your professional image. Puts your website up there with the big boys.
  • Makes it easy to be found in favorites and bookmarked lists.
  • It’s is cool to have your own favicon.

If you’d like an easy way to make your own, check out my “How to Create Your Own Favicon Easily” post.

How to Create Your Own Favicon Easily

Favicons, those cool little icons you see in your browser window, in the address bar, in your bookmarks, can be created easily.

I thought it was cool when I learned I could make favicons using Gimp. In fact I started to make a tutorial how to do such. Then I found a cool favicon website where you just upload the image you want to use and it spits out your favicon.

http://www.html-kit.com/favicon/

I took a logo:

Inventing Women Logo

and cut out the orange flower, saved it, uploaded it to the favicon maker.

And it gave me back a favicon.
Inventing women favicon

Cool! Then I uploaded the ico file to the domain’s directory, more detailed instructions on their website.

The logo was created by my daughter Jessica Sellers of Chrysalis Logos.

Update:
I learn something new everyday. Some of you see the favicon and others of you are getting the dreaded red x. Evidently Firefox will show favicon’s in blog posts, but Internet Explorer will not.
So here is a jpg version for all you IE folks.

Favicon example

Misspelling Words Can Sometimes be a Good Thing

Google knows I can’t spell. Thank goodness for spell check. My kids ask how to spell a word and I’m like take “Type it in an let spell check help you out”.

I will usually spell check each post before submitting to my blog. Other times I will edit and correct a post after I’ve published it. Although it doesn’t catch everything, spellcheck is wonderful. We’ve been taught since grade school to use proper grammar and spelling so we’ll appear professional instead of a grade school drop out.

I tried an experiment a few months back. I wrote a post with keyword text linking back to me and submitted it to a place that posts to several blogs, kind of like article marketing.
Right after I hit submit, I realized that I’d misspelled one keyword in one instance. Drat! I couldn’t go back and change it, a one time submission deal. Double drat! Or was it?

I was getting leads from a lead capture page I use for greeting card services. (If you haven’t tried it, feel free to contact me and I’ll let you test the system by sending out a free card). I still don’t know where these “gifts from google” come from, but a couple made reference to that blog article. Others, searching for what I was offering, would type in that one word and make the same spelling mistake and Google would sent them to me.

Moral: Yes, I do want my posts to look like they were written by a pro, but if an occasional misspelled word shows up, it isn’t the end of the world. Might even bring in additional traffic from the search engines.

Why You Should Always Own Your Own Domain and Host Account

It makes sense to hire someone to build and maintain your business website. Much to learn otherwise and will slow down your growth.

It is easier for your web developer to purchase a domain name for you and host on their reseller account. Less techie stuff to explain to the business owner. BUT. . .

Your domain name is your business. You want to be in control of your business. Even if you use a blogger blog for business purposes, you should own your own domain name, what happens to your traffic if blogger closed your account or your needs changed and you out grew blogger.

Even if you hired great web help, stuff happens. Lets say you have a successful website that is bringing you traffic, income. One day it is down and when you call your webguy you found out he died suddenly months ago, and hosting service ran out. If you don’t even own the domain, you’ve got a mess on your hands. OWN YOUR OWN DOMAIN NAME

What happens when you decide to move your website to a new host, or hire a new web person? You don’t have control of the files. If you own your own hosting account, you have control.

Take ownership of your business, own your own domain and webhost.