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How To Build Your Business With WordPress

As you make your foray into the publishing end of the online world, you’ll need to select a publishing platform as the foundation of your online presence. While there are many options available to you to create a website, WordPress is wildly popular for several reasons:

GENTLE LEARNING CURVE – There are numerous other content management systems available for you to choose from. However, almost all of them have a far steeper learning curve than WordPress.

WordPress is the go-to publishing platform for so many online bloggers and businesses because it’s easy so very easy to learn and you can have your site up in as little as a couple of hours.

FEATURES AND FUNCTIONALITY – WordPress offers a wide range of features like tags that help your content get found, insert link functions that let you create hyperlinks, testimonial buttons that let you insert testimonials, and even a stars-rating button that lets you add stars for reviews.

THEME CUSTOMIZATION – WordPress lets you easily change the look and feel of your website by changing themes. This can be done right from the control dashboard, so you don’t even have to use file transfer protocol (FTP) to get the new theme uploaded.

EASE OF USE – Unlike other online-publishing options, you don’t have to muck with HTML, CSS, PHP or any other dreaded acronym when you use WordPress. It’s point and click and pretty much dummy proof. WordPress also lets you easily edit things, as well as lets you preview your changes beforehand to see how it will look.

ABUNDANCE OF TUTORIALS – You only have to know the bare bones to get up and running with WordPress. Any other skill you want to learn is easily found in the array of video and written tutorials that abound on the web. Just search for “WordPress tutorial” + “your problem” and you are sure to find many tutorials addressing your issue.

COMMUNITY – Another great resource, WordPress.org has a wonderful community that can help you if you find you’re struggling with a certain problem that you just can’t overcome. From the existing content in the community forum, to the ability to post new questions and get expert responses, the WordPress community is active and eager to help.

EXTENDABILITY – WordPress lets you expand its capabilities beyond just publishing content by way of plugins. These are additions that you download and activate on your site that let you do things like block spam, optimize your site for SEO, detect bad behavior, check for broken links, and limit login attempts. There are over 23,000 plugins available to help you expand the capabilities of your WordPress site.

These are just a few reasons why WordPress is the go-to platform to publish your content online. For more info: https://websitesetup.org/

Computer tech Support Tips For Newbies

Sooner or later, you may need to call up tech support to fix something. Perhaps one morning you get the blue screen of death, or you get one of those scary error messages on your screen. Or maybe you try to turn your computer on and…nothing. Perhaps it’s not your computer at all, but your website is completely down and you have to make that call to your web designer or web hosting company.

I’ve been on both sides of that panicky call and there are 7 things you can do in order to help make that tech support call just a little less stressful:

1. Don’t panic– This is easier said that done when you’re computer’s on the blink and you’re staring down the barrel of a deadline. But things will be less stressful if you don’t freak out. Chances are the problem is not nearly as bad (or expensive) as you think.

2. Check the obvious before you call– One of the first things that your tech person will have you do is to check for obvious causes of trouble. Like is your computer plugged in? Or is the surge protector your computer’s connected is turned on? Are all of the cables coming out of your computer plugged in tight? Or are entering your password in correctly? Or do you have the “CAPS lock” key on while you’re entering your password? They have you run through this drill because many times the simple stuff is the problem. So run through some of the obvious causes of trouble before you pick up the phone.

3. Get prepared– If you have any warranties or service contracts gather up all of those materials before you call. It will save you a bit of time just in case your tech person requests this information. You may also need the serial number for your computer. These are usually located on a sticker placed on the back, bottom, or side of your computer or they are located in your computer registration paperwork.

4. Be as specific as possible– Simply saying “My computer’s not working” is not that helpful. Tech support already assumes that your computer isn’t working because you wouldn’t call just to say hi. What they need to know is “in what way is your computer not working?”. You need to be as specific as possible. Will your computer not start at all? Is the problem that you can turn the computer on but it won’t go past the startup screen? Perhaps you can get past the startup screen but you can’t open up a particular program? Describe your problem from start to finish; what you were doing when you encountered your problem, what your computer does, and if there are any special situations that seem to coincide with the problem.

5. Write down error messages– Usually when something goes wrong, you’ll get some kind of error message that attempts to tell you what the problem is. If you can’t make heads or tails of the message, take the time to write it down. It may mean something to the tech person you’re talking to and it might help them diagnose the problem just a bit faster.

6. Make note of any recent changes or incidents– Sometimes the cause of your computer trouble is something that’s changed on your computer or some incident that has happened recently such as: 

  • the addition of new hardware (printer, scanner, hard drive, memory, etc)
  • the addition or deletion of software
  • a power disruption or power surge
  • the addition of deletion of a service
  • software upgrades or security patches

High Tech Product Management Explained

Product Management–what does this mean in a High Tech company? What is the function, and where does it belong? I’ve held permanent positions in a number of high tech concerns, as with PJM Consulting I have worked with many more in a consulting capacity.

Product Management is all over the map in High Tech. Most often it resides in the marketing department. Sometimes, it’s in the engineering/product development department. Occasionally you will see it as it’s own function. And again, what does the term mean in a High Tech company? Sometimes it is used interchangeably with the term “Product Marketing”. In this case, it means responsibility from cradle to grave of the product planning and marketing functions for a particular product or product line. In other words, working with the developers to define the product (product planning), as well as driving the other “3Ps” for the product–setting pricing, distribution strategy and promotional strategy.

In larger companies you will often find this function separated into two distinct jobs: Product Management as the Product Planning portion, and Product Marketing as the function that manages the product once it is released into the market–driving pricing, promotion and distribution. In this case both functions may still reside in the marketing department, or the Product Planning portion is sometimes in the engineering department.

The last variance on this theme that is sometimes seen is that the Product Management resides in the engineering department, but it only vaguely resembles the traditional definition of the term. In this case it is “Product Planning”, but the job and skill set more closely fit the definition of an engineering project manager, with very little weight put on exploring the market to match marketplace needs with engineering capabilities.

In High Tech, the Product Management function is most typically a “matrix” position: lots of responsibility for a product’s success, with very little actual authority to ensure that success. Normally a Product Manager’s success will be decided based upon his/her ability to convince other stakeholders in the organization that the path laid out is the best thing for the company (and the individual stakeholders as well!) People skills are therefore as important as having a technical grasp of the job in a Product Manager’s ultimate success.

In consumer markets, the Product Manager typically holds much more direct power–often much like a mini-GM for his product line. Often product development will even work for him. The term Brand Manager is often used in consumer businesses instead of Product Manager. (In a big High Tech company, a Brand Manager will fulfill more of a Marcom role).

So what’s the best way to structure the Product Management role in your business? Well there really isn’t one best way. It depends upon your business, culture and personnel. But I do have my biases. I believe strongly that most high tech businesses would benefit by structuring the Product Management function to be strong. Tthere is much to gain by putting a strong, experienced Marketer with a strong technical background in a Product Manager role where they are graded and compensated by the results of the P&L of their product line. I wouldn’t go so far as to suggest that Product Development should report to the Product Manager in a High Tech company, but I would give them discretionary budgetary authority on at least a portion of the marketing budget for the product line. I would also make sure they have management backing to deal with the developers from at least an equal position of strength. This lack of product management strength is a huge problem in many High Tech companies, particularly those founded by product developers.

The Product Manager’s mentality should be that of a “mini-CEO” with his product line analogous to the overall company for a real CEO. Too often in technology companies the Product Management/Marketing functions do not have the ability to stand up to Engineering. This leads to a culture of building what suits someone’s fancy, not building what the market will buy–a very dangerous thing in the long term. A strong Product Management function will lead to an advocate for that product line whose sole business “purpose in life” is for his product to succeed. This outlook ensures that the big picture will always been looked out for, eliminating the potential for a product line’s performance to be reduced by turf wars– or sub-optimal tactical moves due to poor inter-department communication. The Product Manager is there to rationalize and orchestrate to ensure the product line has the best chance of success.