Shuswap Network

We have a new website that we are really excited to launch and share with you.

Shuswap Network is a place where people from many communities in this area can communicate for personal and business, buy and sell things through a classifieds section and advertise there business in our business directory. We are essentially creating a one stop shop for all your basic needs to find out whats going on in the Shuswap and communicate with those in your community.

First off, we have developed a private social network catered just for those people who live in these following areas: Salmon Arm, Sicamous, Chase, Enderby, Sorrento, Scotch Creek, Blind Bay, Magna Bay, Canoe, Tappen-Sunnybrae, Turtle Valley, Notch Hill, Lee Creek, St. Ives, Celista, Anglemont, Eagle Bay, White Lake, Seymour Arm and Falkland. Whheeeewwwwhh. That’s alot. We don’t want to leave anyone out and we want everyone to have access to a single easy access and user friendly environment. Your information is securely stored and will never be sold to third parties. This is all about serving you and enhancing the communication in our communities. We want you to have fun, talk and even meet some new people. Don’t wait to read the newspaper to find out whats happening in your community, log in and see whats going on in real time.

Our business directory is unlike any other out there. We have these great feature pages with all kinds of great information about you and your business to let customers know what your all about. We list all your contact info., provide space for a profile pic., and have full bio. But the greatest thing in addition, is that you get all kinds of great keyword tags that will attract searches to your page so people can find you. If you don’t know what a keyword tag is, then don’t worry, we’ve got it all figured out and know which ones best suit each business. They are essentially highly descriptive words that best describe what your business offers and where you are located. We have a large portfolio of .com domains all directed to this site which also greatly enhances searches being directed to you and other businesses, so people can find what they really want. This site is geared for your customers looking for you. When we all help each other prosper we all win and that is what our goal is. We of course offer graphic design and website development as a complimentary service to those who need those services. For those not ready to jump into a full website, this is a perfect solution. Its a very budget conscious solution that is very effective. We want everyone to benefit from the internets powerful and useful capabilities.

Shuswap Network also features a classified ads section for all the areas listed above so you only have to look in one place to buy and sell. Who wants to fish through old newspapers and several of them at that, when you have the instant current access of our seemless clean classifieds.

Shuswap Network is one place where many will meet. Many can advertise. Many can come together and communicate. Together in one place we can build a better Shuswap. Come join us today on our social network and lets get to know each other.

Web design for iPad

With the recent unveiling of Apple’s iPad, there are many questions and many opportunities.

I wonder with its success how iPad will change web design? As a web designer in the Shuswap area, the change may not come as soon here as for bigger centres, but nontheless there may be some changes. The real interesting thing, is that the iPad can be rotated to landscape or portrait viewing to suit the customer. This is where the web design will come into play and changes may be made to accomodate this feature. Although iPad is not a true widescreen it still poses some interesting possibilities for web designers to incorporate features that wouldn’t have worked before.

At this point in time, whether you see it as good or bad, it seems that Safari is the only available operating system for the iPad. It seems natural for Apple to offer Safari, but I wonder how this may effect the masses. I don’t mind Safari, but I happen to use Firefox. As a web developer it would certainly narrow your cross browser usability for creating sites, but still need to think of those on other browsers on traditional laptops and desktops.

At this point, I would have to use the iPad a little to get used to the rotating usage to see more possibilities for creative design elements that would enhance the users experience. I am curious to know how many other web developers are taking a serious look at this opportunity or simply brush it off as an after thought.

This all relates of course the new industry of app creators that is more focused for the iPhone, but is now overlapping into the iPad. There may more and more of this sub-industry popping up as more and more opportunities come up. I wonder if the creation of apps will soon merge with web design as the devices become closer and closer. Apps generally are much simpler than websites and used for a different purpose.

I guess time will tell about the potential for web design concepts for iPad. One thing is for certain. The devices will continue to morph and get more powerful. Change will continue and jumping on this early to develop content for these new users could be lucrative.

Apple users will soon let us know.

Jing is the thing!

Do you have troubles communicating with others? How about a FREE solution that’s easy to use?

There is a great new tool to communicate with friends or business associates or whom ever.

Jing is the new great thing that helps you do just this. For businesses like ours where we are constantly discussing changes to website design or other graphic design, this tool is a great way for both customer and business to communicate their ideas very accurately. You can create screen captures or record your screen for up to 5 minutes with audio so you can go through files and discuss options and point out things that you like, dislike or otherwise want to comment about. Techsmith is the lovely company that created this software for us, that allows us to share these files on the web, through email and IM. There are versions for both MAC and PC users.

For the business community especially this can be a real time saver, when different associates may be in different offices in different locations and need to discuss and show project progress and share ideas. Dezifi Media is currently offering this service to talk and share ideas with customers. To us, this is part of a business model that can save our customers money, by spending less time discussing and re-communicating ideas and suggestions that get mixed up. That is what we are striving for, more efficiency and happier customers with value added services that save them money.

Try it out. Have some fun. Jing is the new thing that you really should try out.

It may just add some ching, ching to your businesses bank account.

The Difference Between an Autoresponder and Email Account

Have you ever dialed your phone to call your radio?

Hard it would be. The difference between an email account and an auto repsonder is communication pathways.

An email account is like a telephone. You can pick it up, dial and talk to the other person on the other end and have a conversation. Some email accounts are free and some are not.

An auto responder account is more like a radio station. YOU broadcast your message and people receive it on their radio. They choose to tune into your “autoresponder” station (by an optn form on your website).  They can choose to change the channel (opt-out)  depending on their tuner (personal email account) they may never even receive your broadcast.

There are many types of auto responder services and so far we have found that Icontact is the best one so far! (create link to our affiliatel account).. From many guru’s I have been watching and on their news letter lists I have found that 72% of the emails I receive are from Icontact.

Choosing who you use to create an auto responder also counts. It isn’t just sending out an email it also is the crafted words you choose if they sound spamish that will get you tossed.

Creating an email sequence is a fine art. Deliver quality content that is meant to influence educate and share.

If you would like guidance and help with your auto responder account let us know and we will guide you in the right direction.


Sign Language

Have you ever driven down the highway and noticed a sign on the side of the road that caught your eye, and as you speed you take a glance at it?

The words or image probably jumped out at you. The same way words jump out at you in a magazine or newspaper. Their is a certain amount of psychology that is developed into that message.

One really strong part is those big words or letters that you see. what is it that catches your eye. And more importantly, when you speed by at 100 mph did you get to read those words? Using typography in the correct way and understanding how people see can really help your business. I have seen so many times, small businesses using tiny hard to read signs on the side of a highway that you just can’t read. It really works in a simple equation of your audiences speed and other distractions as the pass by your sign to the relativity of its size. You will notice large companies have huge signs along the highway with very easy and short messages and a simple image to draw your attention. This is a matter of necessity to have a huge basic message sign, because no one has the time or attention span to remember two paragraphs or information written in 20 pt letter size.

If you can’t afford that huge billboard along the highway, then don’t even waste your time putting up a sign. If you want to test your sign, get someone who has never seen your sign or is unfamiliar with your business and drive them by your sign and get them to read the sign back to you. Get as much info back that you can that they were able to get from the sign as you drive by. You may quickly realize how ineffective that sign is. My best advice is, look at what the large corporations and bigger companies in your city or town are doing and do your best to use their techniques. There is a lot to learn from simply looking and analyzing. Large signs at the side of the highway are also alot higher than you may realize as well. If you have ever walked up to a roadside billboard you will see how high they are off the ground. This is a matter of simple geometry. The farther away something is for you to read, the higher and larger it has to be.

This is also a classic mistake people make when creating Garage Sale signs. Even when you are driving a mere 30-40km/h the majority of signs I have seen are written far too small, with far too much information and are far too low to the ground. I would literally have to stop my car, get out and walk directly up to these signs to read the address and the list of items being sold. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. Your simple solution is to make your stake two to three times taller and post your sign as high up on it as possible with one word “SALE” with an arrow to the next street intersection that then points to the next intersection. Keep repeating until its your street. You can have your address on their as well, but remember, less is more and large and ledgible will get you results.

Heres some quick tips for all signage: Use large readable text, use a basic message with not too much writing, use clean appropriate graphics, make the sign large enough for the appropriate space and user to read easily and quickly and have a good contrast in your colours or greyscale ad. You also need to have a call to action for your audience so they know what to do and how to do it. After all, this is why you are showing your message.

One last thought. Be creative and have fun with your signs, your audience will appreciate it.