Monday, October 29, 2012

Websites for Writers Promotion


For all you writers out there about to jump into literary abandon with the start of National Novel Writing Month (or “NaNoWriMo” as it's commonly called) just a couple days away, we’ve got a deal for you!  

Starting November 1st, writers participating in NaNoWriMo have until midnight November 30th to write a 50,000 page novel.  Does that sound like fun, or just crazy?  A lot of both, but I think that’s the point!  

So, here at Bizango, we want to do our part in supporting all you lunatic, overcaffeinated writers.  Sign up for our special Website for Writers’ package by December 30th, and we’ll give you $100 off your web design.  

What better way to celebrate your brand new novel, than with a website!  Come on, you know you want it.  

All you have to do is:
  • Register to participate in NaNoWriMo here
  • Write that novel.
  • While procrastinating writing that novel, contact us and sign up for our Website for Writers’ package.  (It will feel productive.)  
  • Finish that novel.
  • Party, because you’ve earned it!
  • Celebrate AGAIN when you launch your book’s awesome new website.  
See, piece of cake.  

A totally unique website can distinguish you from the other million writers out there.  You’ve come this far, laboring day and night over the next great American novel, why stop there?  Its time to promote your writing, get yourself out there, and stand out above the competition. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dangerous Job


Our 5 year old daughter is currently obsessed with anything to do with outer space.  Last weekend, after hours of looking at library books and websites about space, she and my husband spent an entire afternoon building an orrery (a model of the solar system) out of styrofoam balls and paint.  Absolutely adorable, I know.

It was during one of our conversations with her about astronauts, that she became very concerned about the danger of their job.  (It was probably after looking at one of those pictures where the astronaut is floating out in space, tethered to their ship by what looks like an umbilical cord.)  Our response was something like, “Yes, their job is dangerous.  Plenty of jobs can be dangerous...but, maybe not web design”.

Did some of the glory of what we do every day diminish because we admitted to our daughter that our job is not in anyway heroic?  Will this make her think less of what we do?  Is there a way to make web design seem more exciting or glamorous than it really is?  How can Bizango compete with NASA for our daughter’s attention?  Because really, that’s what this is about; I want our daughter to come work for us when she’s of age, not run off to NASA (although I suppose there are worse things).  

This all got me to thinking about what my husband, Mark, and I do for a living.  How did we get into this business, anyway?  

To be honest, neither one of us grew up dreaming of being web designers or even owning our own business.  Heck, I didn’t own a computer until after college!  As adults just starting out, Mark and I had very different career paths.  For Mark, a career in the arts; for me, a career in medicine.  And step by step, the decisions we made along the way brought us here -- to owning our own web design business. 

To me, it makes total sense.  Mark has built a career that perfectly combines his creativity, his passion to communicate effectively and his vast technical knowledge, not to mention his natural ability to run a business.  For myself, my career change was a bit more of a stretch.  But I do feel the skills I used to manage a busy clinic schedule in addition to all the daily extras (prescription refills, lab follow ups, acute triages, provider to provider consults, etc), are similar to the skills I use to manage our business.  My ability to think analytically, organize and prioritize projects complements Mark’s many talents.  

Coming to own this business together has been a process of applying our talents, drawing on our education and past experiences, and following our gut.  Rather than setting out to be a web designer, or business manager, we let our strengths and passion lead us here.  

I guess I could say that we followed our hearts, and it lead us here.  And that’s the message I would want any of our three children to have when it comes to life -- whether its choosing a job, or a partner.  

We may not spend our days looking for evidence of other life forms on Mars, or risk our lives for the betterment of the human race.   Let’s face it; running a web design business is not usually exciting and, thank goodness, never dangerous.  But running this business is something we do well, we do it together, and we love it.  So, take that, NASA.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Social Media Infographic


CLICK TO VIEW FULL SIZE

The world of social media is a confusing place.  Businesses know they should be using facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc, but many people don’t even know where to start.  And, there are so many social media platforms to choose from, its not only hard to know how to use social media, but which one to use.  So, if you’ve ever wondered “Just what the heck is a hashtag?” or  “Which social media platform makes the best use of my time?”,  you’re not alone.  

We recently designed this infographic for one of our clients to help businesses understand social media.  Check it out, Social Media Cheat Sheet; The Top 9 Social Networks for Businesses

We’re really excited about the infographic -- its packed with great information (and the design rocks!), so we thought we would past it along to all our Bizango friends.  Feel free to share it!  

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A New Image Editor; Pixelmator

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m not the technical one around here, but every now and then I’ll try my hand at something technical-ish. So, I’m here to report on a new program I’ve been playing around with, Pixelmator, an image editing app for Macs.

Have you ever had a photo you wanted to doctor up a bit? Have you ever, say, taken a picture of your 3 beautiful children in an embarrassingly messy living room and wished you could just go in and with a swish of a magic wand make that mess in your photo just disappear? Well, Pixelmator, can do just that (or claims to).

Since I don’t do Photoshop, but occasionally have the need to alter a photo, whether its to adjust the lighting, wipe out a blemish, or something more dramatic like swishing away embarrassing clutter, I thought I would try the free 30 day trial of Pixelmator.

For someone who is used to using Photoshop, Pixelmator probably seems pretty easy and straight forward. But, speaking as a total novice to photo editing, I’ve found it overwhelming. Even after watching several of the “beginner” tutorials on how to use the product, I’m still mystified as to how to transform my mediocre photo into a thing of beauty... or at least into something I would want to post on my blog.

The one tool on Pixelmator I do like is the “healing tool”. By clicking on the band-aid icon, I activate the healing power of Pixelmator and can wipe away blemishes or defects or unwanted images on the photo. I have used this tool several times and quite like it. But, as for the rest of the app, I’m not convinced yet. Ultimately, Pixelmator is not intuitive, at least for a beginner.

The free 30 day trial is still going on if any of you out there are interested in trying it for yourself!

Monday, March 12, 2012

New Facebook Fan Pages

Change is coming to Facebook Fan Pages! March 30th, Facebook will be launching their new design for their fan pages.

Some of us have trouble with change. Change means an interruption in my usual routine, that I’m now forced to do or think something different (I like my routine for a reason!). But, change can be good. And in the case of the new Facebook Fan page design, I think its for the better.

The most obvious change of the new design is the bigger, dominant cover image. Think billboard. Its so big, its like finding another room in my 1200 ft sq house! I’m excited just thinking about all the possibilities of how to use that space. You can also insert a smaller, square image in the lower left corner. The dimensions and arrangement of the smaller square isn’t modifiable, but I’m not complaining.

The About Box will now allow you to edit your tag line or marketing message and have it show on your FB homepage (the default is your address and phone). This is a great opportunity to put your message out there up front for all your fans to see.

Another opportunity to highlight your special offerings are the new pages or apps, which used to be called tabs. You can create images for these apps, which can basically act as custom calls to action. Other ways to highlight items is to use the “Pin”, which will post a story to the top of your page, and the “Star”, which highlights an item by spreading it across both left and right columns.

I’m not as all about Facebook as I should be, but maybe this will be the impetus to direct some of my effort there. So, keep a lookout March 30th! You may see a spiffier Facebook Fan page for Bizango. What are your plans for your Facebook page?