This spring Huffington post did a story about how men with iPhones are more likely to get dates. Tim went out and got an iPad to boost his appeal (we are still waiting). But the tables may be turning on the sexiness of smart phones.

To some, the Smart Phone is the ultimate business communication tool, but to others the trendy device is  more obsession and less bling. Many in the mobile generation depend on their smart phones for information, entertainment, even companionship. As Gen-exers pay more attention to their mobile devices than to their sweethearts, we may see a decline in pregnancies.

The savvy are finding a balance between communication and distraction on their  Smart Phones, this group even includes some public schools. For me, the jury is still out on the use of Smart Phones in schools. In the 1970s they brought televisions into inner city class rooms, so we could boost our spelling skills watching Sesame Street and The Electric Company. All I gained was a life-long infatuation with Morgan Freeman. Not necessarily a bad thing…

In the work place, though, the balance brings prosperity. For one of our clients, Bud Kleppe, a thirty-something Realtor in St. Paul, the Smart Phone underscores his success. “He’s more likely to sell a home… if he responds to client e-mails within 20 minutes and to texts instantly.” (Quoted in Our Mobile Lives on CNN.com).

But no matter where you stand on the Smart Phone debate, if your business is online, it must be visible to mobile devices. Engage your audience where it lives! Even if your audience is “over the hill” (according to a recent Nielsen study, 36% of iPhone users are between the ages of 35 and 54), your site must work with mobile devices.

A recent article published on CNN  says :”Most Americans still don’t have smart phones” and goes on to say that 17% of Americans have smart phones. CNN is a glass half empty organization, I mean imagine if 17% of Americans had solar power, or if 17% of Americans ate only organic food. The resulting impacts would end global climate change!

My favorite bumper sticker of all time is “In case of rapture, this boat will be left without a pilot.” It was on a water taxi in the Bahamas. Mobile visibility for your site isn’t that much more expensive and ensures that your site will not be abandoned during the Smart Phone rapture.

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Behaving online – it’s not just about good manners

A Daylight Websites Post in Social Media, by C. Jane Taylor

There have been all kinds of articles about kids and the Internet. Kids are warned about online predators, teens “unlike” their parents on FaceBook, psychologists study the effects of Social Media addiction.

But the news currently is all about the fact that Facebook and other social media have become the latest venue for bullying. Remember the “Urgency of Now” during the Obama campaign? Cyberbullying presents a similar poignant urgency online.

Bullying has become as popular today as bell-bottoms were when we were growing up. And cyberbullying, with the real-time power of social media and the Internet, packs an even bigger punch. It’s not just the “Susie is ugly” posts on Facebook that cause irreparable damage. I’ve seen businesses spend thousands on reputation management. It gets worse…

The recent news about Tyler Clementi brings us to a heightened urgency. Clementi was a Rutgers student who was outed on YoutTube, and subsequently jumped off the George Washington Bridge to his death.

Life online is in the moment. We must live it more responsibly and with care for those around us. It’s not just a matter of good manners, people’s lives are at stake. My grandfather used to say “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” His advice is as good now as it was then.

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Vermont websites and Crunchy Granola

A Daylight Websites Post in Vermont, by C. Jane Taylor

While our web design office is in Vermont, our market is the Internet, which as you know reaches far beyond our lovely little state into the nether regions of the Universe, there are some things we do here in Vermont, however, that tend toward the local. Food is paramount among these.

Vermont Maple Granola - a new Daylight Websites standardTake breakfast at Daylight this morning, for example: cranberry nut granola from Manchester Center, honey crisp apples from Shoreham, and soy milk from Hardwick (OK, you’re right, the Brit had his with ‘arf and ‘arf from Monument Farms Dairy in Weybridge, he doesn’t fancy soy milk, dahling).

The granola and a new office in Maryland inspired this post, But let’s start with food first: the granola is made by the Vermont Maple Granola Company. The balance of sweet to salt in this particular blend is absolutely spectacular. Check it out if you have a chance: they sell it online!

Now on to business: Daylight is expanding! Tim is moving south and we’re taking an office in the Baltimore, Annapolis, D.C. Area. We will also be keeping our office in Vermont. Daylight Websites South is on the Chesapeake Bay, so I’m sure lunches there will include Maryland fish cakes. Beyond the fish sandwiches and salt breezes, we also look forward to bringing our SEO and WordPress services to the D.C. market, where business is booming.

Internet marketing world dominance, one office at a time…or should I say one meal at a time?

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Sigmund Freud: the father of modern Blogging?

A Daylight Websites Post in Blogging, by C. Jane Taylor

Sigmund Freud the ultimate marketer - image from WikipediaMy son is taking a “Psych” class this year, last night he wrote a paper about Freud. So like any good, somewhat meddlesome, mom, I picked up my Mac and Googled the good doctor. As it turns out, Freud would have been the best blogger. Not only did he invent concepts like “passive aggressive”, he was also a great marketer and the ultimate networker.

I found a goldmine about Freud in a single post, check it out: The Sigmund Freud Guide to Marketing written by Susan Giurleo, a psychologist by day; a marketing superhero by night. She built her tiny solo practice into a powerhouse with an 8-week waiting list. If you are a therapist, you should read her blog. If you are interested in marketing, you should read her blog.

Freud got to be the father of modern psychology by marketing himself.

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Will Google Instant be the death of SEO? Not on your life (and that of your online business). It may well be the end to proper spelling and grammar as we’ve come to know and love it, but content still rules!

As Google continues to cater to the misspelling masses, you and I still need meaningful engagement on our websites. Whether we’re selling luxury real estate or yoga retreats or SEO, our websites still need the traffic that matters most: visitors engaged with our content and our message.

There is still no substitute for good, interesting, well-written, educational, inspiring content. No matter how you spell it.

Of course, the jury is still out on Google Instant (check back for more in the fullness of time). But for now, please join Roger and Tim and I: Meet the new boss; same as the old boss. We won’t get fooled again.

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Aloha Camp, Empowering Young Women, Inspiring Online MarketersHubspot came through again as I was wrapping up a great project with a wonderful client: The Aloha Foundation.

Hubspot is an online marketing company whose blog empowers readers to take online matters into their own hands. The Aloha Foundation is the parent organization of several Vermont summer camps. One of their camps is all about empowering teen-aged girls to become to women they want to be.

Here’s the quote from Hubspot that made the connection for me: Create content that stands for something: ‘Higher purpose content marketing.’ This was in a blog post entitled “60 Proven Ways to Increase Your Online Marketing Influence“.  The project with Aloha allowed me to dive into two of my favorite causes: empowering clients and more importantly empowering young women…Well, I’m not empowering young women directly, but I did help Aloha’s Communications & Alumni Relations Manager make some changes that will bring more girls to the site and to the camp.

Aloha has made great use of Facebook. Like them and let them inspire you. Hubspot publishes the best daily marketing blog. Subscribe and let them inspire you.

I’ll leave you with a quote from Hubspot that seems to have been written for Aloha: Make people around you more successful than you are, and share stories from the heart.

Dontcha just love synchronicity?

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an old Mercedes

The Genuine Article: an old Mercedes. Like good content, it will always get you to the top in the end.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. As technology changes at the speed of light, authentic content remains the only constant. Well… that and change.

At the gas station this morning, a guy said to me “Wow, what an amazing body!” Damn, he was talking about my car, a 1982 Mercedes-Benz 240D. The guy said he’d had one years ago and it was his very favorite car. His had the wonderful incongruity of a pressure treated wood rear bumper. He regaled me with stories of his old car’s amazing hill climbing prowess.

When this Mercedes was first introduced in Europe in 1973, it was priced at four times the cost of the average car. And don’t you wish you’d bought one then? More than 30 years later, the 240D is still considered one of Mercedes-Benz’s most reliable models. Why? This car is the real thing. It was built well in the first place; it’s low-tech and easy to maintain.

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Rampin' it up! Zoe's Race raises funds to help people eliminate obstacles.

I think about how to inspire my clients all the time, especially as I listen to public radio in the car. The other morning I was completely inspired by a story on VPR about Zoe’s Race.

I recognized the voice of the interviewee: Erika Nestor. She’s a powerhouse and a mom and a runner. Her daughter, Zoe, had a terrible accident 6 years ago that confined her to a wheelchair. Zoe was a little girl who could be easily lifted and carried as necessary. But time happens and she grew.

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Why Nice People Have the Best Websites

A Daylight Websites Post in Internet Business, by C. Jane Taylor

Why do nice people have the best websites? Anger and hostility kill creativity.

A recent exchange with an impatient, overbearing, controlling client reminded me why nice people have the best websites.

During the last five years I did SEO and content development for Union Street Media, a Vermont web developer specializing in real estate websites, and I admit to having favorites. Off the top of my head, I can think of three clients I’d like to have over for dinner: Chip, Vicki and Steve. They are all Realtors and they are all very nice people.

A little encouragement goes a long way...

I did an excellent job of SEO, content development, blog writing and coaching on each of these client real estate websites (North Carolina, Vermont, and New Hampshire respectively). I found great joy in the work I did for them.

The fact remains that nice people are just easier to work with. And maybe it’s unprofessional (even Pollyannaish) of me, but I must confess, I did a slightly better job for them than I did for the mean clients I worked with. It makes sense: terrific people inspire terrific outcomes.

I recently met and am collaborating with Mike McCarney at Legitify and Keri Piatek Crafts at Place Creative. Mike and Keri are both terrific people. They inspire me to do a great job even for my angry, tyrannical client.

This is turning into my dream job.

Spider

Afraid of spiders? Afraid of Social Media?

I am constantly thinking of ways to inspire my clients to embrace social media. Many clients are reluctant. About half of my clients are over 40, some of them are on board with social media; some of them cower in fear.

I recently did an SEO training with Vermont Author, Seth Steinzor, who is on my side of 40. He gets it. His latest book, To Join the Lost, is a modern interpretation of Dante’s Inferno, written in the 1300s. Seth gets it. As a writer, he understands connecting with his audience. He is also willing to work to expand this audience.

But I have worked with all kinds of website owners, from Realtors to comedians to environmentalists, who initially do not want to participate in the online conversation. A lack of understanding or willingness to accept the power of social media may be part of their reluctance. But I know from personal experience that they might be stymied by fear. Fear of pressing the wrong button at the wrong time, fear of sending the wrong message, wasting time, appearing  foolish, fear of the void, etc.

But the Dalai Lama tweets, it cannot be all that bad.

Breakthrough with Tony Robbins

A great NPR program called The Moth Radio Hour inspired me the other night to take Twitter more seriously. The Moth presents stories told live without notes and carries with it a refreshing immediacy – just like Twitter. The phrase that got me was “When you move forward, you’ll intuitively be able to handle what used to baffle you.” from Dan Kennedy’s ‘And How Does That Make you Feel’. Immediately after the program, I took computer in lap and Tweeted, after almost a year of silence.

I found another instructive inspiration in yoga class. My teacher quoted one of my favorite sections of the the Bhagavad Gita: “So with the sword of wisdom, sever the doubts in your heart. Arise, O best of men, take your stand. Be a warrior.” This quote is about Svadharma, meaning our personal path, duty, calling, or place. In taking this yoga message off the mat and into social media, I figure if you really are doing your life’s work, you should be able to share it with others. The internet makes this easy.

And finally Tony Robbins. Tonight is the television debut of his new series “Breakthrough”. I can only imagine as I have not followed Tony Robbins and I do not have a TV. In the trailer, he promises to “make you face things you don’t want to face and do things you don’t want to do” in order to become more successful.

So you don’t have to take it from me…

The Rooster crows!

What people are saying about Daylight Websites:

"You single-handed raised the bar for us!" - Alastair Gracie, Adstrategies Inc

"Whew! It looks awesome - let's launch
this damn thing! ;-)"
- Keri Piatek Crafts, Place Creative

"You and Tim were always so easy to work with and being comfortable with both of you made it so much easier for me to ask the "stupid" questions without being intimidated by your superior technological know-how...." - Vicki Wilson, Hoisington Realty

"Damn you guys are good. I don’t know what Bud will think – and it’s really none of my business. But from an integration standpoint, this is just nuts. Well done, sir."
- Dustin Moore

"Awesome!" - Bud

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