Archive for May, 2008

CHRCC Site Now Includes 3 Divisions

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

In April of ’08 I wrote a brief announcement about the Cherry Hill Regional Chamber of Commerce (CHRCCnow offering up ads on its home page for chamber members.  Well, this week we launched an updated version of the CHRCC site, which now includes websites for its three divisions: Camden, Gloucester, and the White Horse Pike.

The new website shows why the CHRCC is now one of the five largest chambers in the entire Delaware Valley.  The CHRCC serves businesses in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland with the largest core membership in Camden, Burlington, and Gloucester Counties (NJ).

Adelphia Restaurant Launches New Enhanced Website

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Owned and operated by the Balis Family, Adelphia Restaurant Banquet Facilities and Nightclub has become a destination for families and friends to dine and celebrate together. Adelphia Restaurant has received numerous “Best Of” awards and critical acclaim from the press, local food critics and customers. The Adelphia nightclub showcases the area’s top bands, DJ’s, live radio broadcasts, dance parties, special one-time events and much more. It also hosts weddings, bar mitzvahs, bat mitzvahs, anniversary parties, receptions, corporate functions and other group meetings.

Challenge
The goal with the Adelphia website redesign was to bring the personality and feel of the restaurant into the website itself. The old website certainly didn’t reflect the high-end experience that the Adelphia offers.

Solution
Working closely with the client, WWWC created designs based on actual elements found in the restaurant. Right from the opening, the website uses music and soft animation, capturing architectural elements in a smooth, quiet, complex animation that works hand-in-hand with the music. Adelphia has four distinctive environments, and the site invites visitors to each of these with a combination of sound and imagery that is distinctive and appropriate for each.

Our creative director, Tim Parrotte, explains that we “focused on the use of imagery, not just photography.” Elements included sculptures, wedding cakes, displays and painting styles.

In presenting photography, the website uses a new dynamic photo gallery. The gallery images are displayed on a dynamic layer on the page that includes smooth transitions between photos. Visitors can control their own experience and easily navigate from one gallery to another.

We also developed a menu system that allows visitors to see the actual menus in a PDF viewer, which enhances the user’s experience and facilitates perfect print formatting.

Finally, the website includes our ZipEdit™ CMS, which allows Adelphia to edit content in real time whenever and as often as it wants. ZipEdit™ Content Manager is a simple and convenient way to edit the content in your website. You do not need to learn HTML or any web design software. If you have ever used a word processing program, such as MS Word, you can edit your website with ZipEdit™. The ZipEdit™ Content Manager Component can be used to edit any of the static page content on the website.

The Long Tail of Blogging

Monday, May 12th, 2008

There are literally hundreds (well according to Technorati as of this post about 113 million) blogs out there. So How do you claw your way out of the Long Tail of blogging?

From a recent Q&A…
“I’ve had my blog on business and innovation for 9 months now. It hasn’t been doing badly, but it hasn’t gone viral yet…Are there any smart strategies for clawing out of the long-tail faster than the 1-yard-at-a-time I am able to maintain now? Or is it just a long slog of just keeping at it?”

The simple answer is patience. Start by writing good content – that is the key. Also, link to others with related content and use the trackback links. If you can get a “guest post” with more popular blogs, that will also help.

Many bloggers are not writers, so the content issue usually becomes more challenging over time, typically when you start getting some results with Technorati and Google.

That said, I’ve seen some companies “team blog” (as we are doing here) with several people contributing on a regular basis. This way no single person is burdened with the entire task.

Some additional tips:

1. Personalize your blog – If your blog looks like every other blog out there, some people will assume that you aren’t completely serious about your content. It is definitely worth it to hire a professional to create a custom blog interface. The default templates are overused and stale.

2. Answer every email – Blogs are all about conversation. If someone takes the time to comment on your blog, make sure to continue the conversation and thank the person for the comment.

3. Check Google Analytics for trends – If particular posts on your blog are gaining popularity, continue posting new content about these topics.

4. Be social with your blog – There are a number of plug-ins to help facilitate posts to other sites such as DIGG, Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc. Make sure to go where your community is going.

5. Don’t get tired - I see blogs that start with fire and then fizzle into the night. I think that after 100 posts, you start to develop a habit. If it is too much work, you may not be cut out to blog. At the very least, pick a schedule and be consistent.

6. Schedule posts – I also schedule posts usually at least 5-10 days ahead of time. This way if I have a couple of busy days with no time to post, I still have things going through the air waves to keep the momentum going. Then when I get a chance to catch up, I don’t feel like my readers (all 2 of them) have gotten bored.

Business Intelligence for Small Businesses (Part III)

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Applying Business Rules
Imagine the scenario that you receive an order on January 31st. You ship the item on February 15th. You receive payment on March 2nd. For which month would you ring up the sale? In some companies individuals are left up to their own discretion, which means that everyone has a different number for sales figures.

Documenting standards for applying business rules can help save a great deal of aggravation and confusion. Business rules are a big part of what transforms captured raw data into usable information. The transformation process needs to be defined for everyone within the company.

Business Intelligence for Small Businesses (Part II)

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

Capturing Data
Information is captured in sales systems, customer relation systems and operational systems. There are two standards for capturing this data: uniformity and adherence.

Uniformity basically means having a sameness quality in the data. A good example of uniform data is the use of the same customer number for the same customer in different systems. If you sell widgets to John Doe, Inc. and you record the sale under customer number 25, you’ll want to make sure your shipping system also shows that customer number 25 is John Doe. This helps to insure you can link your data correctly.

Adherence refers to legally required information. If you make a sale, you have to have a method to capture it for sales tax, income tax and perhaps other criteria. By making sure there is a process by which all legally required information is captured in a uniform and cohesive manner, you can save yourself plenty of headaches down the road.