Don’t Buy Traditional Software Anymore

I’ve been swamped as of late and hope to add a ton of content to the website soon. I actually have a few things half-written. But, I have to take a break from the break and push this out today.

I have two friends who recently asked me which version of Microsoft Office they should buy, the thinking being that they might be able to get by with the “Educational” version (which sells for far less than retail).

Web Design and Marketing Solutions for Business Websites

The following is Part One of a book review. You might want wonder why I’d break up something as seemingly trivial as a book review into two parts. Well, wonder no more. The reason is that I haven’t finished the book, but I already have enough to say for now. I’ll post part two of the review when I’m done. If you’re one of those “must know everything before buying a book” types, you might want to wait until part two. But my recommendation as of now is “buy, buy, buy”. This is an overview plus an in-depth review of Chapters 1 through 7.

Article Series - Web Design and Marketing Solutions for Small Businesses

  1. Web Design and Marketing Solutions for Business Websites

Why the need for part-time Web developers?

I keep seeing ads here and there for “part-time web developers”. I have to confess my ignorance, but I don’t understand these advertisements. Is there a website to develop or not? If so, isn’t it to the client’s benefit that the website be done as quickly as possible?

If a website were a building construction project, what would you think about everyone being asked to work part-time? In the end, the project will still cost the same (since everyone is paid hourly), but it will just take a lot longer now.

What makes a successful website?

I have conversations every day with people about what makes a successful website or blog? Often, these conversations are about potential websites that someone might want to build that are unrelated to an existing business. By this I mean that I’m not referring here to a website for an existing business, but a website for an “idea”.

And I consistently remind these idea-fiends that Content is King, as you hear quite often on the internet. But the “build it and they will come” mentality still exists out there. People are convinced that a good idea alone is somehow worth something. Maybe in 1998 it was. Or even in 2002. Not anymore. Down for a Week and Counting…

No one in the blogosphere seems to have commented, that I’ve been able to find, about the mysterious shutdown of, which hosts the support forums for the popular open source software phpBB, a bulletin board server program (or forum software, as some call it).

Their website says the following:

Ouch! RAID array failure…

We’re sad to announce that during the switch of a failed harddisk to the hot-spare and the planned 2 hours required for the array to re-sync, we’ve been hit by an extremely unexpected double-disk failure which leaves us with a dead array.

Speeding up the Website

There are lots of things you can do to speed up a website. But that is a whole article in and of itself. For now, to make my blog more comfortable for my many new visitors, I removed some of my badges and third-party content on my sidebar. For now, this includes my Traineo badge that details how much weight I’m losing, my Amazon Wishlist, and my music listening profile on Last FM. They aren’t gone forever - you can still see them on my “About Lawrence” page.

Switched to Google Reader, despite earlier review

I reviewed Google reader sometime ago, after its major update, and wasn’t impressed. I had been looking for an online feed reader so I could make use of my time away from my home computer by catching up on the blogs that I read. At the time, I had been using the built-in feed reader of Thunderbird, my email program.

However, after continual frustration with being stuck somewhere, waiting on someone or something, and wishing I could use the twenty minutes to catch up on my blog reading, I finally decided to give Google Reader a more comprehensive try. I’ve been using it for the past two months as my only feed reader.

Which Superhero or Villain are you?

So, I took the same quiz that millions of other netizens are taking and was both pleased and concerned. According to the results, Green Lantern most fits my personality. I’m not surprised. He was one of my favorite superheroes as a kid (below Superman and DareDevil). But I was a little concerned about which villain it said I would be. The Joker? Boy, I always hated him. You know how you can admire, in a strange way, some villains? Like Lex Luthor or the Kingpin? But this basically says that if I ever turn to the dark side, I’ll be a real insane guy. So, don’t make me mad, I guess. I think I was excluded from being Lex or the Kingpin because I answered no to the question, “Are you bald?”. I probably never will be since us Salberg’s tend to keep our hair. Even my grandfather had a pretty decent amount of hair left when he died at 92. But why does that mean I have to wear clown makeup and laugh like a madman? Seems a bit unfair. I’d rather be bald and wear a nice suit.

Inbound Faxing

FaxDigitsI’ve tried for a while to find a faxing service that will just let me get inbound faxes. The vast majority of online faxing services are tied to the idea that a user wants to send out faxes. Certainly, the biggest fax provider, eFax, is setup with this thinking. I’ve looked a few times and then got to busy to keep at it. But I think I found a good one.

Portfolio Link is Great

I recently discovered a great little website called Portfolio Link. It allows you to very easily create a fictitious stock portfolio to see how good of an investor (or day trader) you might be. However, it is unique from other similar sites in some ways.

I initially had my fake portfolio on Yahoo’s Finance. However, there is no way to prove your merit to others with such a portfolio, because, for ease and convenience, Yahoo, like many other sites, allows you to go back in time and make changes to your portfolio. Thus, I could go back to Google’s IPO date and make a large purchase of its stock and then claim I’m a financial genius.

Del.Icio.Us Finally Snagged Me

A few years ago, I heard about the rage of saving your favorites online (or “bookmarks” as Netscape and Firefox calls them). The advantage was that you would have all your bookmarks in one simple place. For those of us who use multiple computers (home, work, laptop, friends, etc), this was certainly an attraction. I couldn’t recall the number of times I would have to “re-Google” something because I was at the wrong computer. I don’t mind re-googling when it is something easy. For instance, I already know that Dreamweaver’s extension list is at and I can just click a few times to get to it. But there is really a better site called…. something about a zone…. No, that’s not it…… no…. ahh, yes.. . Having your bookmarks with you can really save time.

My Goals for this Blog and this Blog Only

Darren Rowse, who runs the monster site,, recently put out this little challenge to have bloggers write about “developing goals for a blog”. Darren occasionally will put out “group writing” offers with the bait that he’ll include a link to your article if it is pretty good. The guy gets so much traffic that it is almost crazy so people tend to covet a link on his blog. I purposely missed the deadline for two main reasons (not counting my lack of direction lately).

7 Efficiency Tools for Small Businesses

If you aren’t using these seven tools, your business is run by fools. Okay, let me try that again. If you want to break some common sense rules, avoid these seven efficiency tools.

So I don’t have the poetic left-brain side up and running today. But, that isn’t why you read my articles. At least I hope you don’t. You could be in for some considerable disappointment. But, this list should be considered a must-have for a small business.

The $39 Experiment

Under the “Why didn’t I think of this?” category, I found about this guy, Tom Locke, who decided to use a roll of stamps and mail letters to 100 different companies asking them for free stuff. He has received all sorts of things back, but what I find typical of mis-managed companies is what some of the companies wrote back in their rejection of his request. Amazing. Tom includes all the text of his letters, each individually tailored to each company he wrote to. My favorite letters of Tom’s are the ones he wrote to Energizer (hysterical), Subway, and Industrial Tool & Die. While some cool companies sent him a few coupons or a free product sample, a special few sent him some big time stuff. Fellowes sent him 4 cans of compressed air! What? I pay through the nose for that stuff. It’s like crack to a techie.

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.