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Foursquare is Ripe For Local Business

Foursquare is a great way to find specials and connect with friends who have visited places you’re checking on your smartphone.

Businesses should get on board now. It doesn’t matter if your customers have Blackberry, Android or iPhone devices–claim your business listing on Foursquare now. When people are staying in town and checking their phones for the best places to eat, sleep or hang out, they check Foursquare. If you’re ready for them, they can find specials or bonuses for checking in, just like on Facebook or Google Places.

Foursquare is much more powerful, though.

Foursquare For Business page and sign up (free!)

I Go Logo

do you know what it means to finally get a real, professional logo? i am so psyched.

i’ve put more thought into this logo than i have with any of my tattoos.

i’ve tried different logos and, if you’ve seen my tattoos, i’ve had a few too many drafts of those.

people who change logos a lot are nuts. i will no longer be a nut.

i’m ready to represent and i’m really thrilled about the woman who agreed to do it for me. i gave her the basic idea and i’m pretty sure i will not be bugging her with revisions.

i won’t reveal her name until i know she likes me.

here’s what i considered before i finally committed to this logo:

it represents movement and transformation;
it implies interaction;
it’s clean and still tactile;
it’s evocative;
it’s memorable.

need help with a logo? have a logo you’re proud of? where does it work best?

What’s a Meta For?

I really had a great time presenting for the RWII panel Thursday evening. Normally, I’m a lousy interviewee, but talking about something I’ve been working on and believe in is a breeze.

Speaking of breezes, I came home and celebrated by creating a little graphic for this site. Can you see it in the address bar?

It works in Firefox, but not in Chrome or Safari (and it goes without saying, but not in IE.)

Elizabeth Barnwell Photography

I’m really excited to present Elizabeth’s latest website. Her photography is amazing and is truly representative of her personal style: straightforward, easy to look at, intimate, dramatic and daring.

You won’t see a lot of fancy stuff; creating a stripped-down website is not always easy for a photographer. There are millions of tools and designs being marketed for photography sites and blogs and it was a lesson in restraint to design a simple, solid, self-managed website. Continue reading Elizabeth Barnwell Photography

Batter Up!

I’m presenting my collaborative work environment idea to a Red Wing Innovation Incubator panel today. I hope I can do right by this proposal; I’m not great at interviews or presentations, but I can show how passionate I am about this idea.

Like all good ideas, the plan to create an integrated business solution for Red Wing is like fireworks display. All I have to do is pack all the right stuff and then light the fuse. I don’t need to describe what happens next. I don’t need to say “ooh and ahh.”

What goes into the package?

Continue reading Batter Up!

Incubator Project Ideas

The beautiful backstages of Red Wing

I want to live here

I have a plan to take over the beautiful unused space in downtown Red Wing.

It’s getting very exciting.

What should it be called?

There are several people who are already steering this thing and we keep playing with names like “CoCoLoCoRoLoRo” and of course, the paradigm that gave me the idea in the first place, CoCo.

So what should it be called?

CoRow? It picks up my idea of making origami boats out of old newspapers.

COrows Nest? It is, after all, an incubator project. And we could happily nestle under a protective wing.

After we pick a name, the rest should just fall into place.


Screaming Frog

Wow. Just wow.

Screaming Frog software is the absolutely best application I’ve found for running reports on the search-ability of your website.

Drop me a line if you want a really, really nice report on the search-friendly state of your website.

Website Updates

Yup, I finally updated my header and logo, just not my favicon. I love my header images because they all are pictures I took in my Ellsworth garden. It’s tough living in Wisconsin. It’s tough living in rural Wisconsin. But it’s glorious living in Ellsworth, Wisconsin in the spring. If you refresh your browser window (and I do hope you’re using Safari, Firefox or Chrome), you can rotate through a whole bunch of images.

Where’d My Business Listing Go?

After a couple of months helping 30 local businesses in Stockholm, Wisconsin submit and verify their Google Places listing, we were excited to see that we’d dominated the Google 10-pack. It felt good. Like a gang of kids staking out the block. This is our place. Don’t try to sell your air conditioning service in our town, pal! All the dots were on the map, all our images were showing up on the first page, there were even some reviews and news!

So all the listings were sitting with all their little A, B and C map bubbles and we were all set to start the summer season.

A month later, they were all gone. Where’d they go? And why? Continue reading Where’d My Business Listing Go?

Meta keyword tags? Nope. Never. Won’t. Don’t. Zip. No.

I spend hours trying to find ways to weave the golden keywords (not “dress” or “slacks” now that JC Penny has pwnd them) into natural sounding copy for my clients. It’s harder than you think. It’s like doing Sudoku with words. Make that competitive Sudoku.

The best place to start optimizing your page is the simple stuff, meta tags: title, description and keywords. There are different approaches to each, like should the title say “Company Name | Subdirectory | Page Name” or “Page Name < Site Name?”

The “description” tag is most important for actual search results, not for Google’s robots looking for sites with the right match for a search term. The description tag is what shows up in the results, so it’s important to use a natural and succinct approach, like “We carry fedoras. We’ve been selling stylish men’s hats for 30 years.”

And the keyword tag? I’ve been using it because I hate to miss an opportunity, but the truth is, Google doesn’t use it.

Continue reading Meta keyword tags? Nope. Never. Won’t. Don’t. Zip. No.