So, now that my business volume is nearly overwhelming, I'm going to have to try so much harder to keep up with advances in technology, while trying to keep so many old computers running for my clients. Old computer today is defined as anything not running Windows 7 - (by my reckoning). Malware writers are making progress too. There have been at least a dozen cases of infections I've had to clean up in the past several months. It is almost not worth it anymore, good computers can be had for around $500 these days. A nasty infection can set you back a couple of hundred dollars and you are still left with an old computer. Data backup is getting better, though, with more choices for taking disk images, so you can get that total restoration of data with programs and settings in place.
I am posting here now, because apparently, you must now have a blog, a facebook page to be found, and a twitter account to be followed; so I am guessing that HTML email newsletters are so "last decade" by now? To me it seems to be a simple choice of push versus pull. If I send you my newsletter via email, you don't have to find my blog, or go to facebook or twitter to see what I've been thinking.
Here is the text of my most recent, as yet, unsent, newsletter. When I figure out how to make my posts more entertaining, I'll add the images and graphics to make these things stickier. Thanks to Linda Jeffers
for the last push I needed to get started here.
____ Newsletter Text Follows _______
Today we will discuss virus protection, contact management, newsletters and SendOutCards. You'll find useful links for all topics, either in the articles or in a list elsewhere on this page.
There have been some particularly nasty viruses going
around lately. Many hours of support time (and expense)
are due to what seems to be an increase in the number of
attacks on Windows workstations.
Contact management, although worth every effort you make
to perfect your lists, can be time consuming and
frustrating at times. We'll look at a few tools,
tips and tricks to help tame this burdensome beast.
Newsletters (like this one) and SendOutCards are
two completely different ideas about maintaining
contact with your clients and prospects. Staying
in touch with the people who keep you in business
and those who will become your new business has
never been more important than it is today.
This link to my website's "Resources" page will
take you to a long list of links to useful information
about all of the above and so much more.
Here are the steps to making sure you have a virus:
• Your computer reports some sort of "malware"
• You panic and click the "Please Save Me" link
• Now you have the virus for sure - AARGGHH!
• Did you just give them your credit card number?!?
• CALL ROUZELL NOW, PLEASE.
The nastiness of the new virus going around is that it reports
that you have a virus. Then, if you believe the hype, you
click on the link that offers to save you and you activate
the infection. Since they have led you to believe that they
are now going to help you solve the problem, you may be willing
to give up the one thing they really want - your credit card
information. By the time you determine that no matter what or
where you click and no matter how long you wait for their "virus
scan and repair" activity to complete, nothing good is happening,
it is already too late. You may want to call your bank or credit
card issuer first. Report the fraudulent activity that may be
coming soon. Then call me.
Free virus protection is available from Microsoft; however,
you may wish to consider a full Internet Security package.
The full package will allow you more flexibility in configuration
and you will definitely learn a bit more about firewalls, and how
many ways you need to protect yourself from the evil-doers out
there in the wilderness of cyberspace. One such full package
vendor - the one I've been using for over 5 years now - is AVG.
Check their website for pricing, then call me for discount pricing
and expert installation and configuration services.
Contact Management - Worth the Effort
How many ways are there to manage this data? I use at least three, Outlook, Cardscan, and online services. OK, that last one was plural, so I use more than three.
With Outlook, you almost can't help but start to learn the importance of managing your contacts. You quickly realize that the more data you put into each item, the more you will get out of your database. Then you discover that there are other places where your contact list might be useful - we'll discuss two of them here, later. After you've typed in the information from several dozen business cards - especially if you've done so many of them in a batch operation - you start to think, "There must be a better way to do this."
Enter CardScan - a handy, somewhat expensive gadget that will read the information from business cards, put the data into the correct fields for you, and build a handy little database on your local computer that you can synchronize with Outlook and your PDA or Smartphone, and it will create an online version of that exact same database; making your contacts available to you from any computer that has internet access! Long sentences are almost a trademark with me. But, in that last case, I wanted to make the point that this little marvel of technology does a whole lot of wonderful things for you.
That's all I am going to say here. Call me for a demo, and I'll show you CardScan and a few things about Outlook. Until you see CardScan in action, no amount of description here can possibly do justice to the wonder of technology that just works for you.