Posts Tagged ‘talance’

Three No-Brainers for Website Promotion

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

When going over the designs for his website, a client of mine said, “If we put our newsletter on our website, why do we need to e-mail it to people too?”

My answer: “Because they don’t know it’s there!”

It’s a very common question, and a common misconception. Just because you build a website doesn’t mean that anyone knows it’s there. And it’s not a guarantee they’ll come.

In fact, people are fickle. You have to beat them over the head to make them visit your site, and then you have to make it easy for them to read your site, navigate your site and anticipate what they’re looking for.

All this takes a lot of research into knowing your audience and working with a company that understands the way humans interact with technology, but here are a few tips and tools you can follow to help bring people to your site and help keep them there:

Learn SEO. Make sure you write the copy on your site to attract the most people and the most search engines with search engine optimization (SEO). We’re hosting a free online seminar on this topic on August 5, 2008, so sign up to learn how.

Send a Newsletter. If you didn’t have an electronic newsletter before, get one now. Publishing news regularly gives you a chance to connect with your audience and connect to them while they’re at their computer. That’s the best time for them to click through to your website. We build newsletters into our content management systems, but many independent companies provide powerful newsletter tools, such as Constant Contact.

Advertise Widely and Often. Advertise your site everywhere. On your invoices, business cards, sticky notes, voice mail recordings, newsletters – everywhere. Slap your URL on it. VistaPrint is one of many companies that provides cheap promotional materials that you can use for advertising.

Best Firefox Add-ons for Nonprofits

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Visitors to the Talance website are split 50-50 between Internet Explorer users and Firefox users. I wonder how many of the Firefox users are really using the Web browser to their full potential.

The true benefit of Firefox is the add-on. An add-on is a feature or tool that you can download to work in conjunction with your Firefox web browser. Here’s a nice article from the Boston Globe about how Firefox works.

Here at Talance HQ, we have a million of these installed, but two that we like for nonprofits or any user are:

  • Effortless Good, which donates a bit of your Amazon purchases to needy causes
  • Adblock Plus to suppress annoying web ads
  • Since you’ve supressed annoying commercial ads, you might replace them with openhanded, which replaces standard Gmail ads with charitable ones
  • InFormEnter, which makes web forms easy to fill out

To find more, check out the always interesting and useful ResourceShelf blog has a list of the most useful add-ons to use with Firefox.

And Lifehacker is always running articles on useful Firefox extensions.

Let me know which ones you like best.

Volunteers and Website Management

Friday, March 14th, 2008

Volunteers are a gift to a nonprofit website. The problem is, well, they’re volunteers. You’re counting on them to help out, but you’ve got respect their time and other limitations. A salary is a powerful incentive you can’t use with a volunteer. (Check out 21 Ways Volunteers Can Help with Your Website.)

It’s a chronic limitation for synagogue websites. The webmaster for a New York-based synagogue was talking about this with me the other day. She said, “One of the biggest challenges, of course, is that the site is managed on a fully volunteer basis and there is only so much time I can devote to it.”

We effectively face the same challenge with Talance’s company website – we squeeze in enhancements between other client projects. But knowing that anyone who comes to our website forms judgments on the quality of work we do based on what they see there, we also know it’s vitally important to keep performing upgrades.

My solution is to set up what equates to a project management checklist with a priority number next to each task and put it in a central location. Whenever a team member (including myself) has a bit of free time, we just pick something off the list and do it. Its easier to attack in bite-sized bits, and things do eventually get done.

We have our own project management software we use, but you might look at Google Calendars and Docs and Spreadsheets for hosting a centrally accessible spreadsheet you can use for a tasklist. I think simpler is always better when it comes to tracking a project.

Meet me at Drupalcon 2008

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2008

Let me know if you’ll be in Boston for Drupalcon 2008 – I’d love to meet you. I’m on the planning committee for the event and am helping to organize. If you’ll be in town, let me know, and I’ll be happy to see you there! http://groups.drupal.org/boston2008

Useful Usability Sites

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

[The following article originally appeared in the FreePint Newsletter at http://www.freepint.com.]

My Favourite Tipples
By Peter Maureemootoo

As an expert in how people interact with computers, I always try to think of the simplest way to present information to learners when building and publishing online courses. I turn to these sites time and again for creating a better user experience.

Peter Maureemootoo is president and co-founder of Talance, Inc., <http://www.talance.com/>, a company that publishes and builds online courses and robust, large-scale websites. He has special expertise in creating intuitive and compelling systems for all users.