Don’t Break the Internet

This is a great overview of PIPA/SOPA:

Our #1 reason for fighting PIPA/SOPA is its impact on start up businesses. Protecting incumbent businesses (mostly Hollywood, network TV and 6 music companies) at the expense of innovation has never helped our economy. Please take action by contacting your senator or representative and encouraging them to vote against this bill.

Our sites will go dark on Wednesday, January 18th to protest this ill-conceived legislation. For further information, visit Stop American Censorship.

Platform or Person?

Mountain farm along Skyline Drive, Va. (LOC)

I had an email exchange earlier today with a non-technical founder who is annoyed with the platform (a modular content management system) he has built his business on.

Apparently his CMS has crashed a few times, but it also seems to him that it’s harder for him to get support for the platform basics (templates, timely updates, readily available freelance support, creative extensions) and that, perhaps, the code is meaner and leaner on another platform.

I replied that, in fact, perhaps the issue was person related. His site is growing quite rapidly – his page views are up 86% from his previous year, his pages per visit are up over 100% from last year, and his bounce rate on the site has plummeted to just 6% – obviously his visitors are sticking around longer and using more resources from the platform while they’re there. Meanwhile, he’s got the same contract support (a couple of hours per month) and hosting (dedicated box with service) that he’s had for the past year.

In other words, the demand on his platform has changed while his technical support personnel have not. My suggestion to him is to audit the responsibilities currently performed under the existing retainer, then consider what additional responsibilities would improve platform performance. Prioritize those in order of income generation, then ensure his existing talent can rise to the occasion.

Once that is assessed, the platform can then honestly be assessed based on its actual (versus intended) use.

Often its easiest to assume stronger, faster technology is the right solution for every problem. Sometimes, though, the issue is people, not the platform.

Would an assessment checklist be helpful to you? If so, leave me a note in the comments. I have several platform assessment checklists I’d be willing to share if there is interest.

Making Things

Great video about how we are all makers at heart.

There’s a small gap between maker and entrepreneur, and making things that add value to people’s lives is always going to have a place in our economy.

screenshot of Steven Glass Ceramics .com featuring a series of his sanctuary jars.

Maker’s Work

screenshot of Steven Glass Ceramics .com featuring a series of his sanctuary jars.

I’m delighted to introduce you to the works of Steven Glass.

Steven is the Resident Potter at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and one of the founding members of the Cub Creek Foundation. He makes exquisite, playful ceramics that embrace functional use.

The site is built over WordPress using the Traject theme with extensive customization, which allowed us to deliver a great looking site on time and within a craftsman’s budget.

3 Words for 2011

"Backstage" at the "girlie" show at the Vermont state fair, Rutland (LOC)

Lots of interesting folk I read and respect are doing an interesting thing for New Year goal setting. They’re choosing 3 words that speak to their goals for the year ahead.

Generally, I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I’m very fond of goals and the number 3, so I thought I’d share my words for 2011 with you.

Execute: I plan to ship differently in 2011 than I did in 2010. Obviously I’m beholden to what my client needs are, but I’m also thinking about our digital compost as I’m laying out the calendar – there is some rich potential in our pile right now.

Experiment: I have a number of public experiments laid out for 2011, including an array of marketing and donor acquisition campaigns both online and off. I am still looking for two entrepreneurs in the Richmond, VA vicinity for two self employment experiments I have ready to launch – if you’re interested or know someone who might be, please let me know.

Engage: I’m looking forward to sharing more this year. I’ve got reams of data on 2010 campaigns (Facebook, Direct Mail, Email) and some observations on political and end of year donor campaigns that significantly outperformed expectations. This includes my aspiration to document more of our processes so that our experiments can be replicated elsewhere.

What are your words for 2011?

Links for 8-9-2010

Some fun things I stumbled across today:

Links for 7-25-2010

Today’s edition of links is all about women and entrepreneurship, one of my favorite topics: