The voiceless customers shopping on your e-Commerce store

My poor Son has lost his voice this week due to a cold. It is bad enough that he can't talk yet, but to then have his only communication method (shouting/crying) taken from him is a real tragedy. For some reason in the wee hours this morning I had the picture of the casual e-Commerce shopper arriving at your/an online store. On arrival there is no 'contact us', no live chat, no email address and poor usability confronting them. It seems that more and more people believe you can set up an e-Commerce store and leave it thinking the 24/7 nature of the internet will ensure sales. This is a basic failure on the part of any e-Commerce store.

Having customers wanting to connect, communicate and hopefully convert is brilliant. But if their voice is taken from them as they have no communication channel by which to speak through they will without doubt lose confidence, become frustrated and leave.

Sales lost, frustrated customers and bad word of mouth at the next coffee session with friends.

Be online with your customers is my advice. e-Commerce is not set and forget anymore than a bricks and mortar store is.



Year end accounting...

It is that time of year for me. I have no idea when I set my company up why I would choose November as year end. Pretty short sighted in hindsight.

There are only a few things in this world I fail to spend time on and that is year end accounting. Why? I don't see spending time on it as a valuable use of my time. There are a lot of better ways to become more efficient at what I do other than pushing my nose through balance sheets. Don't get me wrong - a sound understanding of what went where and how it can be financially improved is very useful. I am interested in the end result. But having an Accountant pull this information together for me makes sense.

Anyway...enough of that...back to compiling receipts for my Accountant...



Tasty Chops TV

With the upcoming arrival of my Martin OM-28L I am becoming much more guitar aware after a small musical hiatus during the Country move. Mozza has delivered the goods with a new site that answers the needs of any guitarist in Tasty Chops - www.tastychops.tv is a cracking site to absorb all the best Guitar chop videos found online. A personal favourite being Hendrix playing Machine Gun:
http://tastychops.tv/post/260383950/jimi-hendrix-machine-gun

in


Using the 960gs System on Drupal - Does it save time?

Just spent some time watching a video at Nettuts (http://net.tutsplus.com/videos/screencasts/a-detailed-look-at-the-960-cs...) demonstrating the 960gs (http://960.gs) system for rapid CSS development. It is a small framework that offers really quick layout options. The question is, is it worth it for Drupal?

There is a 960gs Drupal theme available (http://drupal.org/project/ninesixty) but personally I think I will stick to Zen for now as I know it so well. It seems a really well developed project though so have a look.

If you are creating CSS layouts from scratch then I definitely recommend looking at the 960gs system.

The sketch sheets and templates really help speed things up and can help all those invested in the site (designers, developers, managers) with understanding how the layout works.



Whitehouse website goes Drupal

I love it when sites like fastcompany and The Economist make business decisions to switch their websites to Drupal, it just warms the ends of my cold wet Vancouver toes. But more than those I love it when the US Government makes decisions to make the www.whitehouse.gov website a Drupal site.

Thumbs up.

in




Xero change pricing structure - but was it worth it?

Xero are making changes. I've talked about kashflow and freshbooks in more detail and I have touched on Xero before in another post.

They seem to have listened to recent complaints about pricing and have created a tiered structure to allow small business and freelancers to use the service for less. If you ask me they should have tried harder. 5 invoices and 5 expenses a month + 20 reconciled statement lines a month. It's not awful and it may suit a lot of freelancers but it isn't enough to make me feel safe. How about 10, 10 and 100. That would be better if you ask me, which no one did but that doesn't matter as this is my blog.

Xero accounting price change



freshbooks - A fresh look at Invoicing, Timesheets and Expense Tracking for your business

freshbooks is really well excuted online invoicing, expense and time tracking software. As a hosted solution it has proved itself over time by consistently improving without becoming over burdened with features and extras you don't need. The creators have intelligently decided two things from my observations. The first is that they have build a solid API that allows others to write plugins. This means they only need to provide a good solid foundation and others can create need specific application add-ons. The second thing is they have listened to their users and reacted accordingly which has improved usability no end.



Google Launches Fast Flip - Read it like a newspaper

Google has launched fast flip which in my opinion is a pretty cool addition to the Google family. Designed with the intention to merge offline and online reading experiences it provides a user experience not dissimilar to reading or scanning a magazine or newspaper.

By providing screen shots of major media sources you can get a quick visual fix with ease. It helps to have a decent size screen resolution in my opinion.

The only way to really get a feel for it is to try it.

http://fastflip.googlelabs.com



Things I did this week that changed (bits of) my life...

From the title you may think I might have made some drastic changes like giving up coffee or exercising but sadly this far too geeky a post for that.

This week I got the Drupal Boost module working. That with the Drupal simpleCDN module means I now have a much faster site (not this one). Boost allows you to serve static pages to anonymous users rather than Drupal loading them all (including views).

Upgraded to Open Atrium (beta2) which is making life much easier for me in relation project management / collaboration and knowledge management. Especially work on jagajum

Got Drupal bubbletimer going (mostly) to allow people to track the time they spend on tasks and similar. Cool module for time tracking/timesheets in Drupal.

in


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