Thursday, May 29, 2008

We've Got It All

OK, if you thought that your idea for a wacky website was just a little too wacky, you can rest assured in the knowledge that you are probably well within the bounds of acceptable practice on the Web.

I am now thoroughly convinced that there is a website for everything. Today I discovered a site called "Stuff on my Cat". It is, as the name suggests, a site where people upload pictures of their feline companions with stuff piled on them. It's too hard to describe, just go check it out.

If this sort of thing tickles you, you might also try "I Can Has Cheezburger?" Of course, those around you might wonder why you are giggling like a nut.

So, what's the wackiest site you've seen on the Web?

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life is Good

Those who actually check on my blog on a periodic basis have undoubtedly noticed a long dry spell here. Part of that, of course, is due to the darling angel who has decided to come live with us -- our delightful daughter, Kaylie. While she does take up some time, though, our life with her is becoming a bit more under control (as much as it can be, at any rate).

What's really taking up my time now is my business, Cyber Data Solutions.

Despite these "challenging economic times", my business is really taking off. I've picked up several new clients over the past few months and a number of former clients have been contacting me for new projects.

My cup runneth over.

Just a rundown on what's happening with CDS:

  • Common Grove. I helped my buddy Blaine Roderique over at Q Ltd set up a carbon footprint calculator tied into a credit card processing system for people to purchase carbon offsets. That site should be going live any day now.
  • IDSC Biotech Network. I met Mark Creswell, IDSC's glorious leader, through my sales training at Marr Sales. He called me in to help him update the content on their site and to do a little tweaking with the layout.
  • Concordia University, Ann Arbor. Through a string of networking contacts which eventually led to being selected as a preferred vendor for Uproar Communications here in Ann Arbor, I got to work with the friendly folks at Concordia University -- I know, kind of ironic, right?). They were running into some technical problems and needed me to help them set up a stop-gap system which would give them time to consider their next big overhaul of their online presence -- guess who might be called in to help with that?
  • Community Housing Network, Inc. Long-time clients, CHN, called me in to work on adding to and updating their existing CMS-based site. There were one or two small housekeeping projects that needed my attention as well.
  • Clear!Blue. I started working on this project late last year with my friends Craig and Matt over at Defrost Design. We've now successfully launched this system. My part in it was to set up an administrative interface which allowed the C!B folks to maintain their own content on the site. Technically, this is a content management system (CMS), but unlike the work I do for CHN above (a general-purpose CMS called Drupal), this is a customized special-fit system designed to fit the customers specific needs.
There were a few other small items that I helped with during this time, but what I've listed were and are the larger jobs. Looking down the road, I've already got two or three more projects in the pipeline. At this rate, I'll have the best year ever with my business.

Now I just need to find a little extra time for some sleep!

So, what are the exciting things going on with your business or company?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Do I Smell Bacon?

A few months ago I wrote a post about a new member in the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce, James Macsay of Radio Free Bacon. Well, after wowing them at the Chamber's networking breakfast, RFB has now started their second season.

For those who aren't familiar, RFB is a local audio variety show -- think "Prairie Home Companion" with an Ann Arbor flair -- performed live at one of Ann Arbor's landmarks, Zingerman's Roadhouse every Sunday from 3-5pm. If you can't make the live performance, you can always tune your radio to 107.1 as they will be broadcasting live. If you aren't local, you can still tune them in as 107.1 has a live streaming feed from their website.

You don't have to take my word for it. Everyone that I've talked with who's seen the show raves about how much fun these folks are. Be sure to check them out if you get a chance.

So, when was the last time you were at a live radio presentation?

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

My Good Name

I had something happen tonight which just irritates the heck out of me. I was checking my email and found some bounced messages. A whole lot of them.

What irritates me is that I didn't send the originals. Some twit harvested my email address (probably from my company website) and used it in the "From" field for his spam-fest. I received around 20 bounced messages for replica watches and "pharmaceuticals". That means a whole lot more made it through to people -- people who now associate my email address with such desultory practices.

This could lead to my email address being placed on the "black lists" for various spam blocking services, which could lead to my messages not getting through to my clients. Nice.

And the worst thing is? There isn't a darned thing I can do about it.


So, have you experienced anyone tainting your good name recently? What did you do?