Author Archives: TGK Admin

Feller US Expands Leland Factory

Feller LLC, a manufacture of power cords for high-tech devices, is expanding its Leland, NC factory.  Feller is a subsidiary of Feller GmbH, an Austrian-based power cord producer with manufacturing in Austria, Hungary, Great Britain and Leland, NC.  Feller produces power cords for electronic equipment that meet a range of international and domestic standards and have application in computer, printing, medical and high voltage usage, such as welding and uninterrupted power supplies.  Customers include HP, IBM, Agilent, GE Medical and Eaton.  According to Gregor Kysely, company president, the Leland factory will be expanding its production line by transferring machinery from the Austrian factory.  “The machinery should leave Austria on December 5th and arrive in the middle of January,” said Kysely.  After the expansion, Feller will be able to produce a complete cord entirely in the U.S; currently, the cord’s plugs come from other Feller facilities and are assembled in the Leland factory.

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Teaching a class on New Technologies for Small Business & Personal Use in January

I am teaching another class in January. More info coming soon. Not sure how much it will cost, but they are usually very affordable or no charge.

Wed. 1/28/09, 6:00 – 8:30 pm. Will be in conjunction with the Burgaw Chamber of Commerce. We will probably hold it at the CFCC Burgaw Campus, 100 E. Industrial Dr. Burgaw, 28425.

‘New Technologies for Small Business & Personal Use’. – Learn about the latest technology, gadgets, web sites, etc. that you can use to improve your business and personal interactions. Topics will include such things as wireless internet, Blackberry technology, Iphone capability, iGoogle, twitter, web site ad placement, etc.

Breakfast Panel on: What Web 2.0 means for a Business

I have attended these events before and they are informative.  Thought people would like to know.

The next Wilmington Area IT Professionals Breakfast Panel will be on Wednesday, December 10 from 7:30 AM to 9:15 AM.  For those of you who have attended prior breakfast panels you know they have been informative and provide time for Q&A from the audience.

Discussion Topic: Web 2.0 concepts and features enable a firm to communicate more effectively as well as cause a firm addition headaches. This panel will feature a discussion of what Web 2.0 is, how your firm may utilize its concepts and demonstrate the use of communication tools for small, medium and large businesses. It will be highly interactive.

To register: http://www.uncw.edu/wilmIT.

October 2008 GWB Technology Column

Local Company to Install Cameras on UNCW Campus

Access Control Consultants (ACC) maybe new to Wilmington, but has just been awarded a contract by the University to install 144 video cameras as part of a project to increase security on campus.   The additional cameras are “part of the continuing safety initiatives that UNCW launched a couple of years ago,” said Cindy Lawson, Assistant to the Chancellor for Marketing and Communications.  “When these enhancements are complete more than half of our residence hall will have cameras.”

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September 2008 GWB Technology Column

WHQR Moves To Digital Signal

Wilmington’s National Public Radio station, WHQR is putting the final touches on their digital transmitter as part of the plan to begin offering High Definition radio programming in addition to traditional FM.  HD radio allows WHQR to broadcast with CD quality sound and provide additional programming on the two available “side bands.”   John Milligan, WHQR General Manager said that “public radio has take a proactive role in HD radio” and that the station is looking to offer a total of three stations in HD.  The primary station will be a HD broadcast of the regular signal with a second channel broadcasting classical music around the clock and another station with a mix of programming to be determined later.  The classical music channel will feature local hosting for part of the day.  The third channel will “talk directly to particular segments,” said Bob Workman, Programming and Music Director, such as “the younger generation, spanish speakers.” This new format has “so much more flexibility for the listeners,” said Workman.

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Multiple domain names pointing to the same site?

I just answered this question for someone on Linked In and thought it would make a good blog post

Question:

Is there an SEO advantage to having multiple domain names pointing to the same sight? (sic)

Answer:

Google will penalize you if you have duplicate content under two or more domain names, but if you have a domain you use for a print or tv campaign, and use Google Analytics or another web analytics program, you can set up to following situation to track the campaign.

www.2nddomainname.com points to a page that forwards to the following link : www.primarydomainname.com/landing_page/?campaign_code  This can be done with a meta refresh, javascript, or apache header, depending on the server technology you are using.

Use the Google URL Builder to create a URL that will work with Google Analytics.

Another thing to remember is the www.primarydomain.com and primarydomain.com are different domains in the eyes of Google, so make sure you pick one and stick with it for all your linking, SEO, and other online marketing.  You can also set the primary domain in Google Webmasters tools.

SEO is more than just domain name, so make sure the content of the site is strong and there are lots of high quality incoming links.  Google Webmasters tools are a free way to get some good insight in to your domain.  There are better tools out there, but Google Webmaster tools is a good first start.

Completed the Google Advertising Professionals Certification

After a couple of months of putting it off, I just completed the exam for the Google Advertising Professionals certification.  The online exam was pretty comprehensive and covered some topics I had not anticipated. Most of the questions were about the mechanics of managing accounts, optimizing advertising budgets, choosing keywords and developing a marketing strategy.

In addition to this snazy logo and a link to a page verifying my status, I get access to promotional credits for new clients.  Credits may be applied to a new client account (no more than two weeks old) that I manage. Each $100 credit is good for 1-to-1 dollars worth of free AdWords advertising.

If you are on the fence about Google Adwords advertising, or just want to learn more, you should read the following overview document.  How to get the most out of your ad budget (PDF 944 KB)

Feel free to contact me via email or phone for more information about using a promotional credit or for help managing your online advertising.

Also, if you have not checked out my upcoming free class on search engine optimization and adwords, you really should attend.  It is a short, informative class, that will help you make smart online marketing decisions.

July 2008 GWB Technology Column

Digital TV

For 92% of the five county Wilmington media market, those who watch television via satellite dish or cable, the upcoming September transition to digital broadcast from traditional analog will not even be noticed.    For the approximately 14,000 people who receive a television signal over the air with an antenna a digital converter box will be required to convert the new digital signal.

On September 8th, the Wilmington media market will be the first market in the US to convert to the new digital format as part of a test by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   According to Constance H. Knox, WILM Station Manager, Wilmington was the only one of eight markets chosen by the FCC where all stations agreed to meet the early deadline.   The station managers have held regular conference calls and worked through the small challenges that came up while installing the required new equipment, said Knox.   All the equipment should be installed and ready to broadcast by August well in advance of the September switch.  Knox said she expected to share the information gathered from the early roll out with other broadcasters around the country. Continue reading

Malformed HTML could get you banned from Google

Just a word of warning about the dangers of malformed HTML on your web site.

One of my clients, who shall remain nameless, used a free HTML WYSIWYG editor to make edits to the text of their website.  This editor created a block of text that was improperly wrapped in <MAP> HTML tags.  A MAP tag defines a client-side image-map,  an image with clickable regions.  As a result the text was hidden from the browser.

After a little more than a week, they received this message via email from Google. ( the url has been changed)

Dear site owner or webmaster of ********.com,

While we were indexing your webpages, we detected that some of your pages were using techniques that were outside our quality guidelines, which can be found here: http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html

In order to preserve the quality of our search engine, we have temporarily removed some webpages from our search results. Currently pages from ********.com are scheduled to be removed for at least 30 days.

Specifically, we detected the following practices on your webpages:

* The following hidden text on ********.com:

It then went on to display the text in question.

As a result they were dropped from the organic search results on Google.  This was particullly bad because it was over the weekend prior to the start of national television campaign.  The owner gave me a call on late on Sunday night and we started working on a plan.

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Local companies embrace social web technology.

For almost every company,  a website is a standard component of their public presence and a part of their marketing mix.  New web-based services like weblogs and YouTube  have experienced record growth for non-business and personal uses, but most businesses have not  adopted these technologies as quickly.   Nevertheless, some Wilmington area companies have begun to experiment with marketing through these social media services and have found them to be a successful way to communicate with potential and existing clients.

In contrast to a traditional website, information posted to weblogs or “blogs” is written in a  less formal tone, organized into categories and sorted by publication date.  A weblog can serve as an effective way for potential clients to learn more about a company or vendor and to become familiar with a business or services provided.  “Social media is an exciting new frontier for the marketing industry,” said Debbie Elliott, President of Talk PR, a local public relations and marketing firm.  “We are constantly exploring new ways to expand our clients’ exposure online, and what better way to sharpen our expertise than to experiment with our own brand?  Since launching the Talk blog, we have recommended the use of blogs to many of our clients as an effective way to communicate with their various audiences.”  Talk PR’s weblog was created in 2005 with Google’s Blogger platform and can be found at talkincblog.com.  In May, Talk PR transitioned the site to WordPress to add more customizable, interactive features such as polls, a roll of staff members’ favorite blogs and websites and social networking bookmarks.

Eddie Yates, a certified life coach and fitness trainer in Wilmington, said that a potential client from Rhode Island came across his weblog at usinmotion.com and informed him that she “all ready felt like she knew him” from reading the postings.  Yates reports that he  “posts to his weblog when something really strikes [him], but may go a week or so without something worth mentioning.”  Yates believes that the weblog is an important part of his site because it allows readers to understand his business and philosophy, and because it changes regularly, it keeps people coming back to his website.

In the Wilmington, weblogs written by Realtors account for a high percentage of the business weblogs.   A Google search for “Wilmington, NC Blog” returns a majority real estate-related weblogs.  Most of the topics discussed on Wilmington real estate blogs include the current market conditions, new developments and sales techniques.  “I have gotten a few leads from my blog and I am currently working with a customer that read my blog [post] about Short Sales” said  Exit Realty’s Michelle Roberts.  Roberts also can be contacted via SMS message from her website and uses the microblogging platform Twitter.   Twitter allows users to post 140-character messages, called “Tweets,” from a website, mobile device or via instant messaging to a central website.  These updates then can be then included in weblogs or subscribed to by other users called “followers.”  Twitter’s popularity is expanding rapidly and the site is currently used by a number of Wilmington graphic designers, realtors and local churches, in addition to a wide range of  personal users.  While Roberts has not seen any leads from Twitter yet, she admits that she is just starting to use it.

Talk PR also uses Twitter to put out updates on projects and connect with customers.  Twitter allows Talk PR to quickly update its “followers” on events or news happenings within the company, providing a window into a day in the life of Talk PR.  Interested visitors to Talk PR’s blog can click on the Twitter feed in the side bar to view the updates.

In addition to weblogs and other text-based social networking site like Twitter, video sharing  sites such as YouTube are becoming a popular way to connect with customers.  Wilmington, New Bern and Smithfield’s KOA  campground each have a YouTube channel with videos produced by the campground staff.  Local marketing firm Signal envisioned the YouTube project at KOA.  “We created YouTube channels for each of the three campgrounds and provided instructions on how to optimize the content and keywords to help with their search engine optimization efforts. The campground managers shoot a new video every month. We then update the web site and include the video in a monthly e-newsletter that we produce,” said Bryan Kristof, Signal’s Director of Marketing.  While these videos have a smaller reach than the majority of viral marketing sensations,  some of KOA’s videos have had over a thousand views as of the time of this article.

Publishing weblogs and other social media is not without its risks.  According to Nathan Snell, a recent UNCW graduate who blogs about social media at www.thesnell.com, authenticity is critical to the successful implementation of a business weblog.  “Inauthenticity is the probably one of the greatest things for a company to avoid when using social media properties (blogs, youtube, social networks, etc) or even when planning to engage with others on said properties. For example, a company who uses a blog strictly to promote products, events, and so forth is missing the purpose of social media,” said Snell.  Just like using “reply all” in an email, quick postings to Twitter or weblogs can lead to embarrassment if they are not thought out completely.  “On Twitter people accidentally send what was supposed to be a direct message as a tweet to everyone all the time,” said Snell.

In related news, Verizon Wireless recently completed a study comparing the monthly use of text messaging by their clients between 2006 and 2008.  The study found that this April, Wilmington-based Verizon customers sent or received  6,334,002 text messages compared to 112,405 in the same period in 2006.  Charlotte earned the number one spot across the state as the ‘textiest city’ with customers accounting for over 103 million text messages in April of 2008 compared to just fifteen million texts sent and received in April of 2006.   “The Big City Wireless Use study offers North Carolinians an interesting snapshot of how they have come to rely on their cell phones every day to do much more than make phone calls,” said Jerry Fountain, Verizon Wireless President for the Carolinas/Tennessee region.  “This study proves text messaging is a phenomenal way to communicate information quickly and efficiently to stay connected with family and friends, wherever they may be.”