Archive for June, 2012


We are at the final day of voting in the Mission Small Business event.  DKemp Designs needs more votes to be in the final running.  Please note; you may vote for more than one business.  Each business must have 250 votes to be reviewed, the votes do not determine the winners.

Please show support for DKemp Designs and any businesses that have less than 250 votes.  We are looking to leverage the power of Social Media for something fantastic.  Up to 12 businesses will have the opportunity to buy goods and services from you and hire some of the great talent currently languishing untapped.  If you want to improve the economy, go vote now.

Login with Facebook, put in the business name and vote.  Please share on your page to get others to vote also.

Thanks to everyone.

Major thanks to those who voted for us so far in the Mission: Small Business challenge;

@FederalGear, PeekabooPictures.Com, Alan Bouda@WildAls, @CowAndLizard, REAL DEAL@REALDEAL7786, Webics Web Design, FamilyMint, Dr. Quinn Weight Loss, Rock Me! Made with love in the USA.  These businesses are using the power of Social Media to improve the economy and their community.  If you haven’t voted yet in this program, please go to Mission: Small Business, sign in with your Facebook login and vote for small business today.

Search by your state and vote for anyone who has less than 250 votes.  While you’re at it, stop by DKemp Designs and vote for us.  Let’s leverage Social Media to change our communities.

Thanks, Techsnoop.

Kismet is a Turkish word meaning fate or destiny.  It usually refers to two or more happenings intersect in a way that seems beneficial.  Right now, Social Media and small business have the opportunity to create kismet for some entrepreneurs.

The great folks at Chase and Living Social are awarding small business grants.  To qualify, a business must be operating for 2 or more years and receive 250 Facebook user votes.

DKemp Designs is in need of all friends to go to Mission Small Business and vote for DKemp Designs, Taylor, Michigan.  You may also vote for other businesses you wish to support.  Please act on this right away, the deadline is June 30, 2012 to get all 250 votes in.

Techsnoop thanks all supporters in advance, and let us know if you are in need of votes also.

Happy Thursday!  Techsnoop doesn’t want you to get rusty so we have gathered up some great tutorials to help you in moving to responsive site building and creating mobile apps.  And, if you need an extra hand, here is a great tutorial on creating a clone of yourself!

Making Responsive CSS for your sites.

Creating Mobile Apps with Adobe CS6

Make Your Own Clone

Techsnoop had the opportunity to get up close and personal with the HTC EVO 4G LTE recently.  The reviews don’t do this phone justice.

It can be argued that the original EVO kicked off the serious smartphone wars.  This phone was worthy competition that put Android on the playing field as a great OS.  Yahoo lists this as one of the best smartphones to buy and it truly is.

Weight; the new EVO is incredibly thin and light, but has a larger screen than the original.  This alone makes it worth changing if, like me, you still have the older model.  It is also very thin, but still feels like it will hold up over time.  Some of the recent thin smartphones seem like they will break if you hold them too tight.

Screen; the screen resolution is so crisp, you feel like you can walk into the picture.  The HTC Sense UI is intuitive and easy to use.  Navigation is speedy and multi-tasking is the whole point of this interface.

Camera; the 8MP camera on the original EVO spoiled me for all others.  The new EVO does not disappoint here.  An 8MP camera that takes HD video and allows rapid fire photo taking while in video mode is a game-changer.  This model also has built in photo filters that allow you to change angles without adding a lens.

Overall, all the things you loved about the original EVO are here on steroids.  Take a look from the Sprint launch event.  And of course, all this comes in an unlimited data package available only from Sprint.

Firefox Logo

copyright Firefox

Web designers and developers have to work smarter and faster to keep up with new technologies.  The more great tools you have, the more efficient your workflow becomes and your productivity soars.  Mozilla’s Firefox keeps the tools coming to help designers keep on top and the latest is a doozie.

Firefox 15 (Nightly) allows you to test out various viewscreen sizes inside the browser window.  This means no more manually resizing your entire browser and losing shortcuts and menus.  Take a look and tell us what you think.

Twitter UnfollowEvery Social Media platform has its own rules and accepted practices.  Some of these are spelled out by the platform owners, but some norms are developed over time by the users.  Once developed, accepted behavior is rewarded by followers and unacceptable behavior gets you labeled annoying or a spammer.

Techsnoop has recently noted a disturbing trend on Twitter.  The practice of users following a large number of people, then unfollowing them after they follow back.  This seems to be especially true of some small businesses.

Techsnoop has no objection to people or companies not following back when they are followed.  Some followers may not fit into your niche or strategy.  Unfollowing as a means to clean up your feed is also acceptable.  If you don’t engage with some followers you may want to add others that you will engage with.  But following someone just for a follow, then unfollowing them after they follow you is just rude.  If you want new followers, either post interesting content that will get retweeted and gather followers, or be prepared to follow those you engage with a follow first through the long term.

There are several ways to grow your Twitter audience.

  • Have strong and engaging content or offer freebies that others will want to stay up to date with.
  • Buy followers from one of the many, many services on Twitter.  This can backfire as most of the “purchased” followers will not have engaging content and will not care about yours.  Anyone selling their follows is probably not the quality engagement you need.
  • Build steady growth of quality followers by offering engaging content, being interested in those who follow you and seeking out others on Twitter who have the same or compatible interests.

This last method will not gain you 10,000 followers in one week, but your followers will be better quality and engage with you on a higher level.  Slow and steady is also more time consuming, but like anything worth having, is worth the rewards.

Please, please don’t follow/unfollow to gather users.  Not only is it rude, if you gain a reputation for this behavior, it can ruin your Social Cred.

Surf Nicely.

Social Media can be a daunting maze for the new small business owner.  With all the details of starting a business and actually providing service to customers, who has time to learn how to connect on the myriad platforms?

To simplify things, Techsnoop has gathered some basic steps to go over when deciding when, how and how much to jump into the social media pool.

First, develop a social strategy by deciding where your target market will spend the most time.  You can find out general demographic information on the various platforms here

Next, decide what you are willing or able to offer your audience.  People need a compelling reason to follow you.  Great expert content is one reason, but you may not have the time to put this together.  Instead, maybe offer discount codes for newsletter signups or Facebook likes.  Be sure to put an expiration date or time limit on any coupons or discounts.  Also, have an online privacy policy in place with website security.  Whatever you offer, make sure your audience will want it.

Finally, remember that social media is about socializing.  If you don’t interact with followers, they won’t interact with you.  They may not drop you, but they may ignore your content.  Having 200,000 followers or friends is useless if only 3 of them actually read what you are offering.  Ask questions, request feedback and give shout outs to those who help you or provide great content.

It used to be enough to just have a Social Media presence, now you must engage your followers and offer them something they want.  If this post helps your small business, leave a comment.

Stay tuned to Techsnoop for great social media tools to keep you organized.

Now get social!

If you have not heard, LinkedIn was recently hacked and some passwords were posted on a hacker site.  LinkedIn has responded very well, but this is an opportunity to take the time to change all of your social networking passwords.  Additionally, download AVG Linkscanner, a free software that alerts you if a link you click on is a potential threat.

To make your password more secure;

  • Use something you have not used in the past
  • Use a combination of letters and numbers
  • Use a capital letter
  • Use one special character if allowed
  • Don’t share your passwords.
  • Don’t use your name or children or spouse names.

Online security is vital.  One small intrusion can create problems from your computer being used to route spam to depleting your life savings.

Make changing passwords part of your spring cleaning routine.  Or, use daylight savings time changes to cue you to update passwords.  Have one type of password for low level sites such as Facebook and Twitter and a much more complicated password system for online banking or personal information sites.

Surf Safely!

Techsnoop

Techsnoop strikes again with awesome tools for the Graphic Designer.  It is impossible to be successful in this field without continuous learning.  Finding the right resources to quickly learn new tips and tricks is essential.  Here are some great resources and best of all, they are FREE.

My favorite site these days is Video Copilot.  Andrew Kramer rocks as the tutorial King.  While his tutorials assume that you have some idea of the programs, it is possible for even beginners to follow along by using pause and replay.

If you need an e-commerce solution, try out the free, open source Open Cart.  This software takes a little practice to install and configure, but the administration is worth the setup.  Flash is not dead, but who wants to spend a lot of time on a technology that is being phased out?  Try Giotto for Flash effects without coding or pain.

Hope these help you out.  For more freebies, check my site.