Categories
Davin

Why, Apple? Why?

So, it’s cool to be able to say that you have a former Vice President of the United States on your Board, but the news that Apple voted in Al Gore caused my stomach to turn, just a little anway. At least Apple is easier to spell than, ah, potato.

I am, by the way, a die hard Apple fan. I do nearly all of my web production work on one. I also use it to manage my business. The Windows computer I have I use for cross platform testing of web pages as well as for connecting to the occasional remote MS SQL database.

And, Chey is finishing her Masters thesis with the help of her Apple iBook.

Categories
Davin

How To Lead a Rich Life

Okay, honestly, I don’t actually read Fast Company often. But, I was at ephilosopher.com and followed a link to another article on Fast Company.

Anyway, the point is, this is another interesting article “How to Lead a Rich Life.” Scroll down to the end of the article for some interesting tidbits, but really the whole thing is worth reading or skimming at least.

For you readers familiar with biblical principles of wealth and happiness, you’ll probably see research cited in the article that agrees with ago old wisdom. For instance, Proverbs 18:22 (NIV) reads, “He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.” Researchers cited in the article put a $100,000 per year value on being married. That is just one of many such interesting similarities.

Categories
User experience, web, technology

Great Google, Batman!

Fast Company magazine has a nice article on Google and the people and innovation behind it. One of the things that struck me about it was the recurring reference to Google’s respect for the user.

Google understands that its two most important assets are the attention and trust of its users. If it takes too long to deliver results or an additional word of text on the home page is too distracting, Google risks losing people’s attention. If the search results are lousy, or if they are compromised by advertising, it risks losing people’s trust. Attention and trust are sacrosanct.

Great stuff. Read the article.

Categories
Davin

A rather unique blog —

A rather unique blog — thehomelessguy.net
The web log of a man who has been homeless, on and off, for about 20 years. Posts from a public library where there are computers with Internet access. Offers another perspective on the homeless. Thanks to Scott Schopieray for forwarding the web site to me.

Categories
Lila and Eva

Pics from Indiana Here are

Pics from Indiana
Here are a few pics of Lila in Indiana.

Categories
User experience, web, technology

Kudos to Johnson Consulting Network

So as part of a competitive analysis for my company, I searched Google for “web consulting in lansing michigan”. And, the first response is to jcn.com. (Envision Internet Consulting made the 4th site slot) I searched for “internet consulting in lansing michigan”, and jcn.com shows up as the second response. The first is taken by Michtek consulting, whose site happens to be DOWN right now. They have some lame excuse of needing to upgrade their web site because of increased business. Like that’s an excuse to take your site down.

The strange thing is, it seems like most of jcn.com’s business is from providing web hosting services, and not so much from actually working on web sites. Interesting. And, I wonder what the “network” part of Johnson Consulting Network is all about. Guess I’ll ask.

Categories
User experience, web, technology

The web ain’t cheap!

You know, it seems like every time I submit a proposal for web development to a prospect, I feel like I have to apologize for the estimate. I know it is higher than they expect. I have been told that, repeatedly. Part of it is because I generally work with smaller companies and non-profit organizations, and part of it is because every one seems to be feeling the pinch of budget cuts and the economy.

But, the fact is, building a really effective web site isn’t cheap. It takes time, expertise, focus, and funds. Frequently, even relatively small web sites run into five figures.

Anyone can build a web site that sucks. You pay for what you get, I suppose. You want a $1,000 web site? Go somewhere else. I’m through compromising quality. If a prospect can’t afford a web site that accomplishes what they need it to, then they don’t need it bad enough.

For some insight on national trends in cost of web development, see BtoB Online’s Web Price Index. Also look at the chart on trends from last year’s index.

Alright, I’ll stop whining.

Categories
Davin

I am alone.

Okay, so that’s a little dramatic.

Chey and Lila are down in Richmond, Indiana for a week and a half. They are staying with some friends of ours (they also have a two-year old). Chey is on spring break (she teaches at Lansing Community College), and she is taking this opportunity to hole up in our friend’s guest room to compose the remainder of her Masters thesis.

Which leaves me here at home for that period of time. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all the free time. Well, I better plan it before it fills itself up.

Categories
Davin

Tri-state road review

Yesterday I was driving around the area where Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana meet. Some roads were I96 and highway 20 (is that an Ohio highway?). Anyway, my review is that roads in Michigan are, in general, bumpier than in Ohio or Indiana. Not so nice to drive upon.

Why the difference? Is it weather? Funding for road maintenance? I only have guesses.

Categories
User experience, web, technology

A tech company in Okemos? Who’d a thought…

So a few weekends ago I was in the East Lansing Barnes & Noble children’s section with Lila and Chey; we, I mean, Lila was playing with the wooden train set they have. Another couple with a two-year-old train set afficianado came over, and Chey and I started chatting with the couple.

It turns out this lady we met is a product manager at a company called TechSmith in Okemos. They make screen capture software called SnagIt as well as beefed-up screen recording software that they call Camtasia Studio. The software sounds very useful in user-testing. I understand it also sports the ability to record facial expressions via a web cam, and it exports its data as Flash movie files (SWF).