Tag Archives | email

My first post to posterous

Testing this posting out. Seeing what other services it “automatically” posts to by default. May take some tweaking to get this working how I like.

Posted via email from berchman’s posterous


UPDATE: I have noticed that when I email to the default posterous.com address for my account posts show up here automatically. I will be MUCH more prudent about posting via posterous in the future.

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Paying the price. One way or another.

time-is-money

Today I was reflecting upon a common occurrence among people that I talk to with regard to their website(s).

The people I talk to either want a new website or they have one and want to update/add/delete a design or function of the site. These conversations either happen through email or in person and become a dialogue of  back-and-forth brain picking. They ask how they can do “X, Y, and Z” and I then ask questions relating to strategy, objectives, and outcomes. These are great conversations, and I love having them to figure out what it is people are doing, and how I can help them out. Continue Reading →

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Recently Published on BizNik

printing-press

Was just notified that my “Part 2 of 6” series on Internet communications for small business. By small I’m talking less than 10 employees. Perhaps its micro business. Anyhow, here is the scoop.

Breaking Down The Multi-Headed Monster-Email Marketing

Something we all do in the modern business world is email. It is a staple to getting things done. Are you using email marketing as a tool in your marketing mix? If not, you are missing a high-return opportunity.

Here is the article on BizNik.

Looking forward to my new business blogging that will be coming 2009.

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Tactics On Gas Prices

Rack of Gas Pumps

I received an email today relating to subtle techniques to get more “gas” for you gallon that I found interesting. There appears to be some merit to some of what I read. I post it here merely as a share of information. In the interest of full disclosure I do not work for, nor does anyone I know work for, a petroleum company. Furthermore, I edited the original content of the email I received to the essential information.

I paid $3.85 a gallon today (and that is cheap here in Southern California). If you see a dubious fact below, please let me know and I will make edits as needed.

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Information on Fuel (worth reading)

California is presently paying $3.50 – $4.00+ per gallon. Here are some tricks to get more of your money’s worth for every gallon.

Do it in the morning
Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening—your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

Easy on the trigger
When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some other liquid that goes to your tank becom es vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less for your money.

Is the tank half-full, or half-empty?
One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason for this is, the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations every truck that is loaded is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Don’t pump with the big boys
Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up! Most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Hope this will help you get the most value for your money.

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The Story of Stuff

Story of Stuff

The Story of Stuff.

Came across this web site today via an email from a friend. She suggested we show it to our kids. I think everyone needs to see this.

“You cannot run a linear system on a finite planet.”

p.s. Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

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Barack the Brand: Are We ‘Citizens’ or ‘Consumers’?

Screen Shot from the Obama web site

I have been meaning to post about the brand of Barack Obama for a while. Then yesterday my dad emails me a link to a post by Andrew Romano about this very topic with the bonus bit of having interviewed Michael Beirut who is a partner at Pentagram. It’s certainly worth a read for his take on the matter is interesting.

I have been observing, as others have, how Barack Obama has built a brand around his candidacy. Or rather how the branding and design firm his campaign hired has created what is arguably the strongest brand in the history of politics.

It’s more than just the typeface (Gotham) and the clean, uncluttered look of his website and promotional materials—it’s the whole package that is so appealing. As was said by Beirut, “Obama is marketing like Apple, Nike or Starbucks. He’s selling an experience. It’s all done with such skill and finesse that as a professional, I am in absolute awe.â€?

I know that some people will look at this and say that this is politics, we should be focusing on substance of the candidates, not the experience or feeling they give us.

But people we are seen as consumers, not citizens.
As was said by President Bush today in his remarks about the current economy, “I want to thank the members of Congress for quickly passing an economic growth package. And that means there will be $150 billion — or more — sent out to American consumers and incentives inherent in that for American businesses to invest.”

So you see, we are not citizens, we are consumers and we are being marketed to as such.

May the best brand win!

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Slow Re-Start

Tortise

Well this past week was an exercise in getting back to the flow. Back to the flow of the family life—making coffee for my wife in the morning, taking kids to school, changing diapers, making bottles, getting kids to bed, watching movies with my wife. And getting back to the flow of work—turning off vacation messages on phones and email, email, email, and more email. Projects, clients, voicemails and the myriad of things that go along with running your own company all await your upon your return.

I am very glad to be back from my vacation. The vacation was great and I would like to take another break as soon  as I can. However, it is tough coming back from a vacation. Getting back on board takes time. Not the family part, I would not trade that for the world. It’s the coming back to work part. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do and it is great. However, getting coal back in the cold engine and firing up the furnace to get the train moving again is a slow process. It does take me at least one work week to get things up to speed—back on top of email, and projects too.

I took one working day to focus on one aspect. Monday was email, Tuesday was projects and their status, Wednesday was calls and appointments, Thursday was project work, and Friday was a professional development seminar.

So even though I started out the week feeling like the tortise, I ended it feeling like the hare.

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Working Globally

Earth

I have been working globally lately. Everyone has read about the “global economy” and how “outsourcing” is going to be the wake-up call to many a worker. But not everyone has felt direct impact from “outsourcing” or taken part in working the “global economy.” I too was part of that crowd until the past few weeks (or maybe I am just a bumpkin).

I have been busy as of late. The last quarter of 2007 for my business has been the busiest ever. To help with the work flow I have been using the talents of freelance designers, production artists, and programmers. One of the latter is a programmer from Poland (who shall remain nameless to protect his identity) who has made an impact on me and my business. Up until today I only communicated with him by email and instant message.

I have worked and collaborated with many people over my years and this being my first foray into working with someone almost on the other side of the world (he is 10 hours ahead of me) I was curious how it would turn out. I have been more than pleasantly surprised. His work ethic is outstanding, his work is great, he has initiative, he is honest, and his turnaround is very fast. I have been impressed to say the least. Now I know to not be so naive to think that every worker who is not state-side has these traits. There are lazy people everywhere.

What I have come to find is that there are great people to work with across the globe and current technology makes this not only possible, but an easy and efficient way to get things done.

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A long overdue initiative for email

ESP Logo

Today marks the start of the Email Standards Project. A project that is long overdue. For anyone who develops ‘rich’ content for emails can attest, it can be a b*tch to get what you have looking good in Eudora to look good in Lotus Notes 8. In my opinion its worse than the bad old days of the browser wars and before CSS was widely adhered to in browsers at all.

Basically it amounts to this. Designing and coding templates that display lovely formatted emails with images, etc. is very hard because of the wide variety of software not adhering to any sort of standard–hence this great new initiative.

So, if you have the interest or inkling, please help spread the word. Every mention will help.

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Overwhelmed? Me too.

Fire Alarm

Meetings, email, projects, laundry, dinner, kids, cell phone ringing! Don’t pull the alarm yet. They all demand your time and attention many at the same time as each other. No wonder our sleep-deprived lives are fueled by a steady diet of caffeine all the while stumbling around dazed and confused.

I recently read an article in the most recent Oprah magazine titled, “Wait! Stop! It’s All Too Much” by Martha Beck. I don’t typically read Oprah but my wife has a subscription and recently read this article and had to pass it along to me. Why? Because the stuff I complain about on a frequent basis was talked about in this article. The feeling of overwhelm is usually characterized by something called attentional blindness. It’s the feeling you get when presented with too many stimuli. As the article says, ” you sink into a muddled netherworld, like Dorothy in the poppy fields of Oz. Your intentions grow fuzzy. Is it dementia? Is it Alzheimer’s? Sheer cursed laziness? None of the above.” I have had this feeling on more than one occasion and it’s disabling.

A great example.
For a great example of attentional blindness go here and watch this video (It takes a moment to load).

You need to focus on the white team and how many times they pass the ball. Go do this now and then come back and continue reading. Don’t continue to read until you have done this.

Done? Great. Now how many times did they pass the ball? I counted 15. Should be about right. Want to know what is really the trick in that video? About halfway through a person in a gorilla suit walked through, thumped their chest and walked out? Did you see that while you were counting? If not, you just experienced attentional blindness.

You should go and read her full article. She does give a 6-step process for helping train your clogged mind to focus and help strip out the overwhelm. I highly recommend it.

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