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Protect Your Web Site Content Against Plagiarism

September 16th, 2011

A while back, we were introduced to a site that lets you type in your web site’s domain name – or even a specific page URL on your site – to see if the content on your page is being used on any other sites.  We thought this was an interesting concept, so we plugged in our URL and were shocked to find our content was – word for word – being used on a number of other web sites – without our permission, obviously!

To add insult to injury, several of the sites that had outright ripped off our copy were themselves designers. In one case, the person had not only stolen our copy, but images from our portfolio, advertising our work as their own. Imagine being a client of an unscrupulous designer who searches out someone else’s web site to steal content to sell themselves to said client on merits that are not their own.

Needless to say, we were not about to take theft of our copyrighted content and images lying down! We immediately had our legal advisor draft a cease-and-desist message which was sent to the owners of each of the offending sites. Most responded quickly – and apologetically – and complied with our request for removal of our content from their sites. In one case, the owner of a printing company web site told us that the person who developed the site for them provided the copy and he was dumbfounded when we presented him with our claim of plagiarism. That case proved to be the most difficult to resolve, with the developer initially refusing to co-operate. Within a few days, however, it was, thankfully, resolved.


Goal-Setting First Step Towards Success

August 15th, 2011

As obvious as it might seem, actually writing down goals for your company for the coming year is something few people actually take the time to do. In the absence of a set of written goals and a concrete plan of action to attain them, we tend to get less accomplished. The result? What we achieve falls well short of our aspirations.

Much like planning a road trip, before you can determine how to get somewhere, you first have to know where you want to go. Imagine saying to yourself “I want to go somewhere, but I’m not sure where…”, getting in the car and driving aimlessly with no set destination. It wouldn’t take long to realize you’re getting nowhere, fast. With no end point in mind, not only will you be clueless as to how you’ll end up in the right place, you’ll also have no way to know when you HAVE finally arrived.


Tricking Outlook 2010 into Using Custom HTML Template for New Messages, Replies & Forwards

August 11th, 2011

Getting MS Office applications to play nice can be a challenge. It seems that every time a new version comes out, things that worked fine before no longer do. We’ve been hesitant to upgrade to the newest version of Office because of the fact that, in the 2007 version, it did not seem possible to get Outlook to use a custom HTML email template on replies and forwarded messages. For the sake of consistency, it’s preferable to have the same look appear on all outgoing messages, regardless of whether it’s a new conversation or part of an existing one.

So, we set out to find out if the 2010 version of Outlook was any more flexible. At first glance, it seemed that it was similar to 2007 – you could paste an HTML file inside the stationery folder on the hard drive and you could then use that from within the list of “themes” shown. Still, our replies and forwards were left out in the cold, so a solution had to be found.


Mis-Steps with Mailing List Management

June 28th, 2011

If you’re anything like us, your e-mail in-box can get pretty full, pretty quickly. Just when you think you’ve tamed the torrent of incoming messages, you open your mailbox to see it full once again. At times, it can seem like a never-ending battle of wills.

Over the past week, we decided to take determined action to reduce our volume of e-mail, a lot of which consisted of newsletters and mailing lists we signed up for over the years. While a lot of the lists still provide interesting content, the fact of the matter is that many times, the messages would simply be deleted without opening them. So, why keep receiving them only to have to take the time to send them to the trash folder?

One way to manage the clutter of a business e-mail box is to create a separate e-mail account specifically for subscriptions to newsletters and signing up for accounts on various sites. We decided to do this as one part of a two-pronged approach for the accounts we wanted to keep and the newsletters we wanted to continue to receive – all while keeping those messages separate from more important business-related correspondence. The other step would simply be to unsubscribe from the lists we weren’t reading any longer. Sensible (and easy) enough, or so you would think…


5 Ways to Leverage New LinkedIn Features

May 19th, 2010

Mashable wrote a great article on how small businesses can take advantage of some new features being offered on the LinkedIn site. With the addition of a number of Facebook-like features for more easily sharing content, LinkedIn adds more value than ever for its users.


Build Your Twitter Following

May 2nd, 2010

So, you’ve signed up for Twitter and have a few friends on your followers list. Now what? How do you get the word out and build a bigger following? As with any web site, building a following on Twitter takes time – and effort! Part of that effort is getting your site listed on as many other sites as possible to increase your reach and link popularity. There are scores of free directory sites that offer free inclusion for your business or organization.

In this instance, we’re focusing on building a larger following for your Twitter profile. To help you along, we’ve compiled a list of 24 free Twitter directory sites where you can add a free profile or listing.

Check out the Design Groupies web site to read the full article and get the list!

Related Reading:

Twitter Tips, Tricks and Tweets

Social Media 101 for Business Owners

April 17th, 2010

Social Media Explorer has written a great article on the basics of how to start marketing your business using social media. Which sites should you join? How do you keep track of it all? Check out the

full article at the Social Media Explorer web site to learn how to hit the ground running.

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