Archive for News

COMDEXvirtual: The Lowdown On Using Social Media For Business

By Jennifer Bosavage, CRN11:00 AM EST Tue. Nov. 16, 2010

When Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, came up with a five-minute way to load Windows XP onto an Apple iPad, he didn’t issue a press release or create a piece of collateral for the company’s press kit. Instead, he posted a video on his Facebook page showing just how he did it.

Sobel related the story during “Social Media, Separating Fact From Fiction,” an on-demand session at COMDEXvirtual, noting that the response he received was enormously positive. COMDEXvirtual is hosted by CRN parent company Everything Channel. The show takes place November 16 – 17, and sessions are available on-demand until May 17, 2011.

It wasn’t just the amount of attention the video received (50,000 hits and 2,000 additional visitors), but rather, the quality of the responses it brought in for the Fairfax, Va.-based solution provider. “Our Web site is designed to track visitors, so we know exactly who’s visiting us, and those people became instant leads. We knew specifically what they were interested in: Our ability to deliver this application on the iPad.”

Sobel joined Marvin DeJean, director of marketing at United Data Technologies (UDT), Miami, Fla.; Jessica DeVita, owner of UberGeekGirl, Inc. a technology consultant in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Josh Gibbs, assistant director of marketing and social media at Everything Channel, Framingham, Mass., in a discussion of how technology businesses use social media to showcase their expertise — and to track down business leads.

For DeVita, using social media has helped her build a network of like-minded individuals. Recently, she worked on a pro bono project for a Los Angeles school ad used Twitter to raise awareness of her business and the work it was doing.

“It’s because of the work I’ve done in social media, that when folks need help in Los Angeles for a client, whether it’s a celebrity or a business, I know that they’ll think of me.”

The main thrust for businesses using social media tools, such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, is to create “Return on Engagement.” UDT uses social media technology to create a feed for the communities it hosts on its Web site — which in turn creates traffic for the company’s Web site and awareness of UDT’s offerings.

NEXT: Picking The Right Platform

DeJean’s goal, was to create a feed for the UDT Web site by putting content on Facebook and Twitter, thereby driving people to communities on the site. UDT has created specific community groups through which participants can share information.

“It lets us really listen to the conversation and know what changes are going on in their industry,” said DeJean. “What are they interested in? What are their thoughts on certain products and solutions?” By plugging in that way, UDT has been able to create sales prospects straight from social media.

Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have offered marketers a powerful means of getting the word out about their products and services. Gibbs coined the term, “cloud marketing,” which refers to the ubiquitous nature of marketing today: “[Taking] everything you have as a marketing resource and putting it out in the cloud.”

Getting employees and customers alike familiar and comfortable with social media is crucial to success, panelists said. “I show them how I use each of these tools, and I give a little demo. What that does is give them a safe way to see how I use these tools … and that really gets them comfortable,” said DeVita. “If they really express an interest, I help them create their own profiles and connect them to people they already know. That gives them a launching pad to see where these tools can take them.”

Finally, a level of commitment is necessary to reap the benefits of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Gibbs advised executives to check in frequently, much as they might look at e-mail. Blog posts and comments need to be shared generally on a regular basis, whether that’s daily or weekly. Also, some campaigns work better on certain platforms.

“Talking to professional organizations, it’s definitely LinkedIn,” said Gibbs. “Twitter is really good for brand recognition. You’re able to push out ideas and establish yourself as an opinion leader. There’s what I call the 80/20 rule on Twitter: 80 percent of the time, you need to push out content that’s interesting. The other 20 percent you can promote yourself … If you want to talk to your customers on a really casual level, use Facebook. You can make a blog, anything you want.”

Identity Theft

Today we were working with a client who has been battling credit card and identity theft.

I felt their frustration as they struggled not only to staunch the bleeding but to regain some sort of control. Additionally they wonder how this could have happened. From an I.T. perspective, I thought of a few things they might do differently. Please note that no one is really safe in my opinion and these are simply a few ideas to make you NOT the easy target. Note that I use almost all of these myself ever since my card was used fraudulently a few months ago.
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“Delivering Happiness” – Zappos.com & Tony Hseih

I belong to a great organization called LA Entrepreneurs and yesterday we had the opportunity to hear Zappos.com CEO and author of Delivering Happiness, Tony Hsieh, speak with Jason Calcanis of Mahalo.com about the culture building process at Zappos.com

I really enjoyed this event because having happy employees and customers is a concept that seems so foreign here in Los Angeles but is near and dear to my heart.

Delivering personalized IT service to ÜberGeekGirl clients and leaving them completely satisfied and thrilled with the service is my passion and calling. In fact, finding and working with happy people who enjoy “happiness” and strive for it in their daily lives is a huge concept and part of the culture at ÜberGeekGirl. It was great to meet Tony and tell him about ÜberGeekGirl.

I am still reading the book, but I am thrilled so far. I encourage you to get a copy and find out what Tony has to say.

The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success.

Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too.

Sound crazy? It’s all standard operating procedure at Zappos.com, the online retailer that’s doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year.

In 2009, Zappos was listed as one of Fortune magazine’s top 25 companies to work for, and was acquired by Amazon later that year in a deal valued at over $1.2 billion on the day of closing.

In his first book, Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life.

Now Offering OpenDNS Enterprise to our valued clients

We are excited to announce our acceptance by OpenDNS for their Managed Service Providers Program! OpenDNS Enterprise, the leading solution for cloud-based Web content filtering and security, is now immediately available from ÜberGeekGirl

• OpenDNS is provider of the world’s leading Internet navigation and security services that make networks safer, faster, smarter and more reliable.

• OpenDNS Enterprise is a cloud-based service; there is no appliance to purchase or software to install on each machine.

• OpenDNS provides comprehensive security for your organization’s network through botnet and malware site protection. OpenDNS blocks known malicious or infected sites from resolving on your network. Since infected sites are prevented from resolving, malicious content is blocked from reaching your network. Fortune 100 companies have chosen OpenDNS Enterprise specifically for its Malware protection.

• In addition to blocking botnets and malware, OpenDNS also protects users from being phished. Phishing websites are sites that spoof well-known brands, in an attempt to gain your sensitive information.

• OpenDNS Enterprise provides more than 50 categories of Web content filtering. Categories include Adult, Social Networking, Proxies/Anonymizers, P2P/Filesharing and more.

• With OpenDNS Enterprise, you can gain insight into Internet activity and usage on your network — both at the DNS and content fi ltering levels. OpenDNS enables you to receive daily detailed reports by email on traffic, blocked sites, and categories of traffic that you can easily forward to colleagues or management.

To receive more information about this service and to signup, just send an email to support AT theubergeekgirl.com with OpenDNS Inquiry as your subject line.

Finally a new MacBook Air!

Today Apple released some great product news!

We’ll soon have the choice between a 13.3 in. screen that weighs 2.9lbs on the larger MacBook Air and an 11.6 in. screen that weighs 2.3 lbs on the smaller version.

I love to follow Gizmodo’s live blog whenever there is a new Apple release. Here are a few photos from the event:


These products are available for order TODAY! I think these will make lovely gifts if you are searching for just the right technology product.

All About Spam

It seems that a lot of people are still struggling with spam in their inboxes. I wanted to write this to help you understand the ins and outs of spam, why you still get it despite spam filters and of course, make sure you’re doing all you can to prevent it.

It’s important to understand that if even 1 out of a million people click on the link in email, then the spammers have made a buck. Do you do a lot of shopping or searching on the internet? Then this is going to make you really mad but – most of the spam you get is because you (yes YOU!) gave some site your email address. They turned around and sold it for a buck.

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Meet The New Tech

My name is Ryan Anding.  I got my start with computers a few years ago as a hobby, building desktop pc’s for friends and family, and I’ve been learning everything I can about computers and technology since then.   I enjoy working with technology and I find it fulfilling to help others better understand their gadgets.  I am new to technology as a profession, but my goal is to help you with all of your technology needs in the best way that I can, and to learn as much as I can every day to help me grow to become a better technician.

I was introduced to Jessica by a mutual friend and she saw enough potential in me to give me the chance to shadow her for a few days while she made some client visits.  I really enjoyed the work and the experience as a whole; all of her clients were wonderful and graciously welcomed me.  ÜberGeekGirl is a great company to work for.  Jessica and I have fun together and I’m thankful that we met and that I’ve been given this opportunity.

I moved to Los Angeles from Arizona after high school and I studied computers, anthropology, and archaeology in college.  Outside of technology, I spend my time hiking and camping, working on anything with a gasoline engine, and my saltwater fish tank.

You can reach me via email    support AT theubergeekgirl DOT COM  or just call the office (213) 537-8237

The HTC Incredible on Verizon

What is it?

This phone is arguably the most hotly anticipated device release since the iPhone. For the most part, the biggest question people have is “what is android”?  It’s probably easiest to say what it isn’t. It is not iPhone, it is not Blackberry, rather it is Google’s operating system designed for mobile devices. There are “apps” like the iPhone but not as many.

I was excited about the ability to finally use my Google Voice number natively on a device. This handset has that feature built in and I can toggle whether to use Google Voice for all calls, international calls, or prompt before all calls.

Costs: The phone carries a typical smartphone cost of $199 on a 2 year contract. I opted for a 1 year contract and paid $269.

Setup: Within 15 minutes, I had entered my exchange credentials, my facebook and twitter accounts and was generally thrilled. It has a great voice recognition feature and wherever I would normally type, I can just speak and it’s transcribed quickly.

Uh Oh: Fast forward a few days and I have a major problem. The battery lasts about 5 hours. Literally, from the time I unplug it in the morning; I have about 5 hours with even light use! A call to Verizon tech support leaves me wondering if I should just return the phone. Because of all the great features I decide to research the issue to see if I can find an acceptable solution. I came across a great app called “Juice Defender”.

http://www.thegeekengineer.com/juice-defender-how-to-save-battery-of-your-android-phone/

http://www.androlib.com/android.application.com-latedroid-juicedefender-pFAx.aspx

I paid a few dollars for the full version and basically it tweaks quite a few settings and extends the battery to about the next morning. This is again, light use, hourly email checking, 3-5x a day twitter updates/ facebook, etc. I use Bluetooth in the car and wifi at home, so I also use a handy widget that makes these easy to turn on and off.

Must have apps: Advanced Task Killer, ShopSavvy, Goodlink, Remote Desktop, WifiAnalyzer, WordPress, Google Voice, Zendesk and TimeDroid.

I’m really enjoying the vastly improved reception on Verizon so with all the great features and the improvement of the battery life issue, I think I’ll keep this phone (at least for now).

The Why and the How of Cable Management

It never fails. I will come to your home or your office for the first time and 9 times out of 10 I will see how badly neglected your cable management is.  Sometimes I feel like I am the only IT person who gives a darn about ugly cables.

Next I will solve 98% of your computer issues and then I’ll politely ask your permission to spend 30-60 minutes re-doing your cables. Why should you let me do this? Because I’ll sleep better at night. No, really, the real reason is that it IS actually important. You have 16 power strips daisy chained together and that is going to be a problem someday. You’ll unplug or step on the switch in the middle of THE most important work you’ve ever created. Then you’ll curse everything and everyone and that gets you nowhere (Trust me). One thing you’ll never see me using is cable ties though. If your IT person uses cable ties, you should fire them immediately. The best tool for the job is Velcro.

You’ll feel better knowing what plug is what and you won’t trip and fall. The best benefit of all? It just looks better.

Smartphones – Part 3 of 3

Last week I talked about my experiences with the iPhone. Now let’s have a look at a phone few people talk about, at least in the US. The Nokia E71 – unlocked and using on AT&T network in Los Angeles.

Nokia E71

My Thoughts: Nokia sure knows how to build a beautiful, solid device with excellent aesthetics. I get so many compliments and questions about this phone! I ordered this after being frustrated with Blackberry and Apple. Read more