Hi folks, yes, it’s been a long time since we’ve updated our little blog here. Truth is, things have been crazy with lots of transition and change and, yes, work. In the meantime, we wanted to share this nice little article done by the find folks at the Vancouver Business Journal. They did a piece on well-designed and branded office spaces and we were one of the main spaces featured!
Thanks for Carma Zarosinski at Carma for Design for her help in making our space stand out!
Workshed’s very own Shannon Van Horn will be on-hand at the CW Chamber’s May Marketing 101 Happy Hour event to answer your questions about web sites, social media, e-mail marketing and advertising. In addition, Heather Acheson, Managing editor of the Post Record will be answering questions about press releases and Yolanda Marrs of Local Ad Systems will be on-hand to answer your questions about Search Engine Optimization.
Event Date and Time: May 28th at the CW Chamber office from 4-5 pm.
Sometimes it’s hard to separate the signal from the noise. We get that. Technology is constantly changing at a rapid pace and what’s this week’s hot new tool for marketing your business may be entirely different than last week’s (or more likely, it’s a different representation of the same thing from last week).
When presented with all of the new hotness that you’re told to use by numerous pundits on all things technically hot, it’s important to look at your business model, your customers and your overall web strategy and decide whether or not it’s a good fit. Sure, Twitter is a great tool for concise and quick updates and sharing of information, but are your customers likely to have Twitter accounts? Are they likely to want to follow you? Have you created a compelling reason for them to follow you?
The new business model as it relates to newer Internet technologies requires a certain amount of transparency with your business, and if you are not prepared to offer up some of that transparency (let your customers get to know you, to see inside, even to take part in making product and service decisions) and also to keep those updates flowing, chances are Twitter may be relegated to your hallway closet, along with that old Thighmaster and those dusty old LPs.
The same goes for social networking platforms like Facebook, MySpace and even LinkedIn. Make sure you are prepared to take on the extra time and labor commitment necessary to keep those profiles updated and keep in touch with your customers.
Your best strategy is to have a strategy for your online presence. Find out about your customers, figure out your business needs and see where they intersect with available web technologies and trends. Taking a broad overview of such needs and capabilities can help you focus your energy and decide what options are most crucial and which ones are as destined for the Goodwill donation pile.
I can speak from experience — we’ve set up several profiles for Workshed, some of which are updated more than others. The other rub of Social Media is that it can take time to quantify the results of one’s efforts. We recently had a new client lead who stated they found us on Facebook. I’ve heard of other people getting some big ticket development jobs via Twitter. But it takes time and dedication to reap the fruits of one’s labors. And patience.
Also, one must decide how much they want to leverage these technologies. Do you want to become at the top of the heap in your industry or market? Or do you want to simply build a stronger bond with your customers? It helps to have a strategy in place so one can build a schedule and guidelines and stick to it.
Oftentimes, when we’re building out web sites, factoring in time for IE6 amounts to a lot of extra time, blood, sweat and tears. Entire societies have crumbled as a result. Financial markets have been thrown into irreparable states of turmoil. Lives have been lost.
We’ve often stated that we’d drop support for IE6 when its browser share drops to 10%, a time for which we have waited with baited breath, anxiously watching Google Analytics reports as they inch ever closer. Alas, it’s been hovering around 20%, which is not yet there.
However, we recently read an article that put it all into perspective for us: IE6 is holding back the progression of the web. There. I said it. IE6 just isn’t a good match for your web site anymore. You see, in order to support IE6 so your web site doesn’t look like a discarded pile of yesterday’s images and text, we have to hack your web site’s code to do things it was never meant to do. Degrading things. Demeaning things. Things your web site will forever regret like the haze of a night on the town gone badly.
The biggest stumbling block is the dreaded Windows 2000, which will not run IE7 or greater. How do we support these users? How do we keep your web site intact when someone using IE6 wants to use it? It’s easy: Warn them that they will have a much better experience with another browser. After all, Firefox is free and it’s fantastic.
All hacks aside, the fact is, the big boys are starting to drop support for it, too. Google, Facebook and 37 Signals have all announced and/or provided lessened user experiences for IE6 users.
This is the beginning of the end for IE6 support, and at Workshed in particular, it is the end. As of April 1 (this is not a joke, either) we will no longer support IE6 for web sites we build without additional hours built into the project budget. There are far too many exciting things happening in the world of Web Development (embeddable fonts!) to have to dumb down the experience for a browser that’s 8 years old and counting.
We recently had a client whose CMS stopped saving data. We knew we hadn’t touched the code on it in at least a year, so it was a very strange situation. After poking around, googling incessantly and debugging a ton, we discovered that another developer who had been working on SEO modifications for them had created a .htaccess file that was wiping out all POST data sent to a index.php file — ANY index.php file. Our app was written in an older version of the Fusebox 3.0 framework for PHP and as such, everything is channeled through the index.php file in the CMS directory.
The fix? Adding a new .htaccess file into the CMS directory that turns off the Rewrite Engine did the trick.
We’ve just been informed that the JGS, Inc.Forward Thinking Museum, which Workshed helped to develop, has been nominated as one of five finalists in the SXSW Web Awards Art category! This is the big one, the hot tamale, the cream of the crop! We’re excited to have been a part of this project along with our friends and partners at MacTechHelp.com.
So everyone close your eyes, begin to chant whatever chant you desire, and think good thoughts for the Forward Thinking Museum. Nam myoho renge kyo… nam myoho renge kyo… nam myoho renge kyo…
Hi All, we’ve had a few reports of difficulty reaching us through our new phone system for Camas businesses and residents. If you have difficulty reaching us at 360-833-2901, please try our toll-free number, which should not cause issues. We are working with our phone system provider to track down the issue and appreciate your understanding.