Why have a company website?

We all know our company should have a website, and for most small businesses our own website is a second thought, but it could be the cheapest form of advertising we can find. Time is money, but other peoples time is often less effective and more costly. There is always an opportunity cost when time is involved, but spending time on ones own company website and promoting it is vital, especially for web companies!

So, why is a plumbers toilet always broken? why dont we devote as much time to building our business as we do to building our clients. I think the answer lies in the misconception that paid work is more important than internal work.

We also get drawn into becomming too operational and lose sight of the biggest picture - to grow our own business above all else!

A great man once said: ” Are you spending enough time working ON the business, or are you working in the business full time”

I have been thinking about these to paradymes for a while and was refreshed to read this article on self promotion and using the web as a promotion tool.

This tip stood out and it shows how imperative it is for young, web based companies not to lose focus and remain true to themselves. If you are giving all the time to other peoples cause it is important in a way to be selfish and invest in yourself from time to time. And if you are reading this article you are just the person to be doing it.

Go on, treat yourself…

Amnesty Int gets to the point

I came accross this amazing Amnesty International Ad campaign, that I tought was worthwhile sharing. here is the scoop:

Amnesty International in Switzerland broke a new outdoor campaign May 29th that was created by Walker Werbeagentur Zuerich. The campaign uses the tagline “It’s not happening here but it’s happening now”, in various languages, from French to German. Using the transparent billboards, the campaign aims to show people what is going on in the world, even if it’s not happening in front of them at the bus stop. The ads portray issues in countries like Iraq, China, and Sudan.”

Check out the whole photo set here.

I hate Speed Cams

Im sure no one likes them, and I recently got cought doing 84km/h in a 60 km/h zone and it cost me 300 bucks, so I was particularly pleased when i saw these photo’s. It seems people in the UK hate speed cameras more than we do, take a look at these photos that will make any copper cry.

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Prototype Windows

This one is pretty hot. Using Prototype library and some scriptaculous effects you can create windows above your web page. These example are amazing, and the code simple. You can even move/resize and close the windows like you would a normal OS window. The examples all have the mac look, but im sure you could impliment a Windoz effect.

Gmail Hosted

Yesterday Techblog was approved for a gmail hosted domain account, so now I can issue 25 free @techblog.co.za email accounts….Pretty cool, have a look at the login page. The interface for administration is simple but effecting and all you need to do is point the domain MX record to googles servers and away you go. I really like the simplicity of it and the bulk updating from a csv file makes loading a lot of users easy. In terms of the service, its exactly the same as standard gmail except you have control over the domain name. Thats all there is too it, so if anyone else would like a techblog.co.za email address please let me know.

Who Links to Who

This amazing website maps the Google “related links” in a graphical format to show you who links to you, and who you really link too. Its interesting if only for food for thought… check Techblog here and try your own website for a litle fun.

PS. If you read this link back and see how long it takes for you to show up on the map! (gotta try my luck)

PHP 5 benchmarks

PHP 5 requires a bit of a mindset change as you move into a more object orientated approach, but has anyone ever done benchmarks on which loops/random code etc! Well now some one has, check the PHP5 benchmark here, and never code in the dark again.

Another cool JS effect that is taking the web 2.0 world by storm is image reflections, here is a tutorial on how to build them with reflections.js

Reflection.js 1.5 allows you to add reflections to images on your webpages. It uses unobtrusive javascript to keep your code clean.
It works in all the major browsers - Internet Explorer 5.5+, Mozilla Firefox 1.5+, Opera 9+ and Safari. On older browsers, it’ll degrade and your visitors won’t notice a thing. Best of all, it’s under 5KB.”

Here is a pic of Adrian at Futurex with reflection to boot! more pics of the Evenflow stand can be seen here.

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How to rip DVD’s

Before I qualify this statement, let me just say that one would only need this tutorial to make personal backups of legally purchased DVD’s, Right!

Well I recently did need to make a copy of a DVD (Dont worry it was my Wedding DVD, so no legal issues) and found this tutorial helpfull. Obviously you lose the DVD menu etc, but for straight movie rips its great.

I then took it one step further and used Videora to change the format for use on my Ipod Video, which is really cool. Quality is amazing and file size comes down a lot.

Yours in Ripping

~Jack

JavaScript in Motion

Ive been spending a bit of time researching cool Javascript ways of making the web more accesible. Desktop apps have lost their appeal for me, so trying to do things that are easy on a desktop app, on the web is what ive been looking at.

First, I found this cool image uploader that builds on the functionality of Uberuploader (I profiled this earlier). Check out Cake-timer, its great for image galleries etc.
JavaScript motion efferct ala Flash are really cool. Check out this tutorial to make your webpage come alive. I perticularly like the background colour changer, that could be used to signify an action to a user, such as “you are entering a secure site” etc.
The Webdevelopers one page Handbook has also been updated, its worth looking at if you have a few hours to kill.

Skype Wifi Phone

Adrian from Even Flow has just droppped by my desk and handed me the new Edge-Core Skype Wifi Phone. The phone looks awesome and my first impression is that its a winner.

The phone uses the Skype UI and impliments a scaled down version of the desktop Skype software. The phone picks up most wifi networks and supports WEP encryption. Sound quality seems good and the range adequate.

The phone will be launched in South Africa at Futurex in Johannesburg in 2 weeks time, with a live demo available at the Even Flow Distribution stand. Here are a few initial pics of the phone. I will give the phone a full test tonight from home and see if its good enough to replace my Dualphone as my default skype handset.

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