Archive for March, 2006

Switching between Tabs in Internet Explorer 7

One of my early frustrations with IE7 is that there is no easy way to switch, as in toggle, between tabs. You can use Ctrl-Tab or Shift-Control-Tab to run up and down the available tabs. However, you must remember which way you are going as this is not a straight forward toggle. Second, unless the two tabs you need to switch back and forth from are immediately adjacent to each other, this is rather cumbersome.

Of course, you can put the other website in a new window (Ctrl-N) and then use the traditional Windows Alt-Tab keyboard shortcut as you always would, but this is yet another step and somewhat defeats the purpose of tabbed browsing. I’m all for learning a new hotkey if the IE team would create one to toggle between two tabs.

‘No Soliciting’ Sign on Business - Not good for business?

I’ve noticed lately a trend on businesses to put a “No Soliciting” sign on their doors. It used to be that this sign was reserved just for very professional upscale offices where an intrusion by an unseemly “solicitor” just as that big shot client was waiting to be served could have an adverse affect.

However, now I see it on hair salons, delis, small insurance offices, and dog grooming stores. Oddly, I’ve noticed that the signs are actually more common in areas that are in older, smaller shopping centers. How do I notice these things? I have the mind of an eagle… or maybe a hawk… whichever one can see the field mouse from a mile away. A falcon?

Is your Email Response Time an indication of you?

It is pretty easy to get an email address these days. Almost too easy. Yahoo, Google’s gmail service, and MSN all offer free email addresses. Almost everyone has one even if they use another one as their primary address. Recently, I’ve dealt with about a half-dozen people, both in my personal and professional lives, who seem to think email is just for receiving. They either let email pile up and respond at a later day, or more often, never respond at all.


Avery Name Badge - Name badge labels - white - 50 pcs.I have a friend who once told me that he knew he had finally “made it” because he no longer had a job where he had to wear a name tag to work. For a long time, that defined for me the essence of “making it” as well.

Top 10 Reasons Small Businesses Need a Website

Wrote an article for another site of mine that I thought I’d share here. Sometimes a small business owner will think, even in 2006, that he or she does not need a website - at all. Here are ten very good reasons why that is never the case - assuming the goal of the business is to prosper and succeed.

“Nowadays a company without a Web site is in loser territory-out of touch.” - John C. Dvorak, PC Magazine columnist, June 5, 2006.

1. Competitive Pressure: Your competition has websites. While this alone may not drive every business decision, knowing what your competition is doing is a healthy part of self-evaluation. Do they know something you don’t? Have they or are they experiencing something you might not yet have realized?

The foibles of Blockbuster’s monthly plans

As we all know, we will be solicited by Blockbuster employees to join a monthly payment plan. The fact that we are in their store, money in hand, checking out videos is no longer good enough for Blockbuster. To offer a monthly payment plan for those who like that sort of thing is understandable. But apparently, the corporate monkeys at the top of the Blockbuster empire have instructed their employee to spare no customer the simplicity of just “checking out”. We are to be harassed. I probably go to Blockbuster over 100 times a year. When I have money. And check out a DVD or two (or more). But in the eyes of Blockbuster corporate, I’m scum. Pond scum. Rebel scum. Here’s why.

For a thousand reasons that I’ll never be able to explain here, I started a forum called I happen to know that there is going to be some interesting discussion going on, but some folks needed a forum, so I created one. There’s probably some other websites on the internet about marriage, dating, and divorce, but I don’t really know where they are - so I just made my own. Plus, mine will be hopefully, a little deeper than those other sites. But as I find them, I’ll link to them on so as they say, “All’s fair in love and war”. I have no idea what that means.

Telephone as a “Satisfaction” Driver

When I worked at Allstate, my first job in the insurance industry, they published something called the Agency Service Standards. Yes, we all made fun of the acronym, too. Anyway, the idea was to publish a set of guidelines that would create a sense of uniformity for customers should they visit different agencies. Like all good ideas, it eventually turned into a bureaucratic monster and we all half-expected them to tell us which way to part our hair.

However, they published some interesting stuff and I’ve kept this one for over a decade. Why? Because when I read it, I immediately noticed how true it was, not only in insurance, but retail and other businesses as well. What continues to amaze me is that in the past ten years I have not yet come across one business that takes this seriously. Here’s in part what Allstate said:

Blog Visits from Other Countries

I happened to check the origin of visitors to my blog and found some very strange results. Besides the United States, visits to my blogs from other countries are ranked in order as follows: Saudi Arabia, The Czech Republic, Canada, and Norway.

While I did spend a great many years growing up in Saudi, I’ve not yet mentioned it on this blog. So someone there must be looking me up, but I don’t recall anyone from Saudi that still actually lives in Saudi. So whoever you are — identify yourself!

I have no idea what’s going on over at the Czech Republic and frankly, I always liked their original name Czechoslovakia. I’m all for democracy, but their old name was way more hip.

7 Tips to Manage your Agency

I wrote this a while back for insurance agency owners, but it may equally apply to your business.

1. Track (religiously) anything that you want changed. Information is power - and not a burden to track when it helps you achieve your goals. If you don’t know, well then, you don’t know. And if it takes you 30 minutes to find out, you won’t access that information very frequently. The old saying is true: What gets tracked, gets done.

2. Don’t rely on your carriers to tell you how you are doing. You are always doing “great” or “terrible” in their eyes… but how are YOU really doing? Can you show it to me in writing in ten minutes with assurance? Can you do it again next week with correct and updated information?

Blogs Doubling every five months?

Dave Sifry, a columnist for Technorati, in his latest report on the blogosphere, claims that the number of blogs is doubling every five and a half months. Back in August 2005, it was every five months. While he acknowledges the rapid ascension of spam blogs (blogs that are essentially void of any real content and just filled with tons of links and google ads), I still find great doubt in these numbers. I read another statistic not too long ago that said that 19 million Americans have a blog. This too, I also greatly doubt.

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done : The Art of Stress-Free ProductivityI am a huge fan of David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”. I’ve been an efficiency expert most of my life and highly adept at getting more done faster. Yet, until David came out with his book, most of the “organizing” books I’ve read (probably over 100) were all variations on a theme. David finally codified what I and others had been thinking for sometime but often unable to put into words.

Internet Explorer, Beta 2, part II

Have had a few other thoughts…

Internet Explorer 7, Beta 2

Downloaded the new IE7 available to the general public. My thoughts: