New artist in our building

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We are proud to announce that we have a new artist showing here work in the lobby of our building.

EXHIBIT OF RECENT PAINTINGS BY MADELINE TARANTO IN LONG VALLEY

New Jersey artist Madeline Taranto will present an exhibit of her recent works entitled “Pastoral Scenes”. This exhibit will feature oil paintings created en plein air throughout Northwest New Jersey. The show will take place at the Arts Building, 18 Schooleys Mountain Road Long Valley, New Jersey.

Taranto studied at the prestigious Arts Students League of New York where she was awarded two scholarships. Exhibiting across the United States since 1980, she has participated in many juried shows and has received awards from Allied Artists of America, New York, Pen & Brush, New York, and Phillips Mill, New Hope, Pa. . Her paintings are in private and corporate collections.

The exhibition is open to the public beginning Thursday, November 4 through Sunday, November 28. Hours are Thursday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday, 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. The artist will be in attendance at an artist’s reception on Friday, November 12 from 5:00 PM- 9:00 PM, Saturday, November 13 from 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Sunday, November, 14 from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. For further information call 908-399-7655 or visit Taranto’s website at www.madelinetaranto.com .
Contact: Al Esposito , 908-399-7655 , poplarwood.al@comcast.net

New Jersey artist Madeline Taranto in Scottidesigns lobby 18 schooley's Mtn Road Long Valley nj New Jersey artist Madeline Taranto in Scottidesigns lobby 18 schooley's Mtn Road Long Valley nj 07853

More than just websites.

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Internet marketing and websites are what I mostly do but we also have some buildings we rent out. Right now we have a nice 3 bedroom house in Chester for rent next to the Shop. washer/dryer dishwasher. $1500.00 mo. + utilities if anyone is interested Call (908) 376-9321. Thanks!

SEO Not as important as you may think!

scottidesignNews & Updates, SEOLeave a Comment

That’s right I said it, search engine optimization is not as important as you may think to have a successful website.?I have had many clients who spend so much time worrying and “tweaking” their sites to “Improve their SEO” that they miss the point and actually make their site less effective than they could be. I am not saying search engine optimization is not important, it is important, but it is only one aspect of a successful website and it is often over emphasized.

Here is an example: I have a client who does home repair. This client has spent hours reading and researching what are the best tricks and techniques to get better search engines results. He has also subscribed to several services that promise him top ten Google listings. He has spent hours and thousands of dollars to increase his visibility and still never gets any jobs from his website.

He hired Scottidesign and we examined his website, traffic and search engine results. He told us how hard he was working and how he “had to get into the top ten search results for his industry.” What we found was that he was getting 98% of his website traffic from search engines, he was ecstatic, but he was still getting no business through his website.?I felt strongly that having 98% of his traffic come from search engines was his problem. He needed to spend his time increasing traffic from referring sites  and direct traffic from users typing his domain in directly and to stop spending so much time and money on search engines.

A referring site is another website that includes a link to your site. We contacted all of this clients suppliers and any organization that he belong to and ask them to link to his website and almost of them were happy too.

We used a little common sense to get users to go directly to his domain. He had overlooked putting his website on his trucks, yard-signs and advertisements. His newspaper ads had a fax number but not his website or email.

On his website we added a “Free Quote” button and made sure that links to his contact page were in several spots. We made sure his contact page had a form, email addresses, phone numbers and more. We even changed his contact form from having 10 fields to 4 “Name” “Email” “Phone” and “Comments” that all.

In one week had his first job ever from his website. Over the first 6 weeks of our changes he was shocked that he was now getting a steady stream of new customers from his website.

This clients website traffic was now an almost even mix from search engines, referring sites and direct traffic.
Search engines are only a part of your online marketing don’t focus only on SEO and ignore everything else.

New NPR MUSIC iPhone App is a gotta have.

scottidesignCell Phones, MusicLeave a Comment

NPR’s music site is always filled with new and interesting music. It is a great resource to discover new bands and hear live concerts interviews and programs covering a wide range of music. NPR MUSIC finally has an iPhone App and it was worth the wait. This Loads faster than most and is easy to navigate. As always the first thing I do is see what  do they have by Tom Waits and there it was the full “Glitter and Doom” concert right on my iPhone. Artist search, Music categories, Favorites and so much more. Programs like “First listen” and dozens of show from Bonnaroo 2010. If you are interested in discovering new music this is a must have App.

From the iTunes store.
Engage, explore and discover new music of all genres with the NPR Music App. Rock/Pop/Folk, Jazz & Blues, World, Classical and Hip Hop/R&B – you get music programmed by people and the quality storytelling you expect from NPR. You can read music news and reviews while listening to interviews, live concerts or exclusive streams of albums before they’re released. Multitask with the NPR Music app as your guide to new music.

Features
Multi-genre music content, with news, music streams, live concerts and interviews organized by genre.
Live music streams from more than 75 public radio stations, handpicked by the country’s best DJs. Browse by genre and set favorites.
A searchable artist directory of content from over 5,000 bands, musicians and singers, including interviews, reviews, performances, features and news from the NPR Music archives.
Editor picks for top stories in each genre, with tools to share new discoveries and purchase featured music.
Signature programs and popular series, such as All Songs Considered, Mountain Stage, First Listen, Song Of The Day and Marian McPartland’s Piano Jazz. The app directs to a station stream when any given program is on-air.
Updated daily. Hundreds of new music stories added monthly.
Customizable playlist.
Backgrounding* allows users to listen to a stream or playlist while using other functions and applications.

WordPress: A CMS Powerhouse

scottidesignWordPressLeave a Comment

At Scottidesign, we love to tell our clients how easy it is to manage their own website (even though most of time we will end up doing it). The most user friendly, code friendly, and customizable system (in our opinion) is a PHP-based blogging tool called WordPress. So most of the time, if the client wants to update their webpage, that is what we install.

Even though WordPress is a blog application, you can still use it as a CMS (Content Management System). So what is so great about WordPress as a CMS? Pretty much everything.

For the developer its the open source AND paid plugins that allow us to add custom functionally into our projects. This includes shopping carts, image galleries, search functions, and so much more. If you are in need of something, chances are someone has thought of it and created a plugin for it. You can compare it to the Apple’s iPhone anthem “There’s an App for that.”

For the client, its the simplicity of the WordPress UI and ease of adding posts / pages to their website. Clients sometimes struggle at first, being introduced to something new, but once they start getting comfortable with how to add, update, and remove their content it becomes an easy routine.

WordPress: http://www.wordpress.org/

Find out more: http://www.devlounge.net/publishing/things-to-consider-when-using-wordpress-as-a-cms

FREE Networking and Business Mixer

scottidesignNews & UpdatesLeave a Comment

We have scheduled a Business Mixer
on Tuesday, April 27,from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m,
to expand our membership!

Reserve you spot today Call Jeff at 908-333-5871 or email jeff@scottidesign.com for more information.

How to increase Your Bottom Line.
We are one of New Jersey’s most successful business networking
associations. For the past 10 years our members – area professional
and trade companies – have met weekly to learn about each other’s
products and services, and to enhance their bottom line by sharing

their experiences and passing along referrals.
We believe that with more member firms, we can help each other
generate new business and more revenue from our current
customers. Why let potential profits escape the area? Together, we
can keep new revenue opportunities here in central New Jersey.
Find out more about
our upcoming Business Mixer
and about us

Call Jeff at 908-872-1999 or email jeff@scottidesign.com for more information or to reserve your spot.

Protect your face book privacy

scottidesignFacebook, News & Updates, SecurityLeave a Comment

As much fun as Facebook can be, I have always been uncomfortable about going public on line with personal information. Everyone should remember that the world has access to your Facebook pages and the pages of others you post on. I know adults who write letters to the editor in the local newspaper using a pseudonym but tell the world everything about their personal life on Facebook.
There is no need to be paranoid just a little careful, and use common sense. Don’t post you are going out of town for a week and you put your dog in a kennel, post it when you come back. There is no need to remind your college friend, who is now a police officer, of the time he was arrested during spring break 25 years ago.
Facebook is always making changes to their site. Sarah Perez has published an excellent article in the NYTimes to help with your privacy settings

The 3 Facebook Settings Every User Should Check Now

By SARAH PEREZ of ReadWriteWeb
In December, Facebook made a series of bold and controversial changes regarding the nature of its users’ privacy on the social networking site. The company once known for protecting privacy to the point of exclusivity (it began its days as a network for college kids only – no one else even had access), now seemingly wants to compete with more open social networks like the microblogging media darling Twitter.

Those of you who edited your privacy settings prior to December’s change have nothing to worry about – that is, assuming you elected to keep your personalized settings when prompted by Facebook’s “transition tool.” The tool, a dialog box explaining the changes, appeared at the top of Facebook homepages this past month with its own selection of recommended settings. Unfortunately, most Facebook users likely opted for the recommended settings without really understanding what they were agreeing to. If you did so, you may now be surprised to find that you inadvertently gave Facebook the right to publicize your private information including status updates, photos, and shared links.

Want to change things back? Read on to find out how.

1. Who Can See The Things You Share (Status Updates, Photo, Videos, etc.)

Probably the most critical of the “privacy” changes (yes, we mean those quotes sarcastically) was the change made to status updates. Although there’s now a button beneath the status update field that lets you select who can view any particular update, the new Facebook default for this setting is “Everyone.” And by everyone, they mean everyone.

If you accepted the new recommended settings then you voluntarily gave Facebook the right to share the information about the items you post with any user or application on the site. Depending on your search settings, you may have also given Facebook the right to share that information with search engines, too.

To change this setting back to something of a more private nature, do the following:

From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
Click “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
Scroll down to the setting “Posts by Me.” This encompasses anything you post, including status updates, links, notes, photos, and videos.
Change this setting using the drop-down box on the right. We recommend the “Only Friends” setting to ensure that only those people you’ve specifically added as a friend on the network can see the things you post.

2. Who Can See Your Personal Info

Facebook has a section of your profile called “personal info,” but it only includes your interests, activities, and favorites. Other arguably more personal information is not encompassed by the “personal info” setting on Facebook’s Privacy Settings page. That other information includes things like your birthday, your religious and political views, and your relationship status.

After last month’s privacy changes, Facebook set the new defaults for this other information to viewable by either “Everyone” (for family and relationships, aka relationship status) or to “Friends of Friends” (birthday, religious and political views). Depending on your own preferences, you can update each of these fields as you see fit. However, we would bet that many will want to set these to “Only Friends” as well. To do so:

From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
Click “Profile Information” from the list of choices on the next page.
The third, fourth, and fifth item listed on this page are as follows: “birthday,” “religious and political views,” and “family and relationship.” Locking down birthday to “Only Friends” is wise here, especially considering information such as this is often used in identity theft.
Depending on your own personal preferences, you may or may not feel comfortable sharing your relationship status and religious and political views with complete strangers. And keep in mind, any setting besides “Only Friends” is just that – a stranger. While “Friends of Friends” sounds innocuous enough, it refers to everyone your friends have added as friends, a large group containing hundreds if not thousands of people you don’t know. All it takes is one less-than-selective friend in your network to give an unsavory person access to this information.

3. What Google Can See – Keep Your Data Off the Search Engines

When you visit Facebook’s Search Settings page, a warning message pops up. Apparently, Facebook wants to clear the air about what info is being indexed by Google. The message reads:

There have been misleading rumors recently about Facebook indexing all your information on Google. This is not true. Facebook created public search listings in 2007 to enable people to search for your name and see a link to your Facebook profile. They will still only see a basic set of information.

While that may be true to a point, the second setting listed on this Search Settings page refers to exactly what you’re allowing Google to index. If the box next to “Allow” is checked, you’re giving search engines the ability to access and index any information you’ve marked as visible by “Everyone.” As you can see from the settings discussed above, if you had not made some changes to certain fields, you would be sharing quite a bit with the search engines…probably more information than you were comfortable with. To keep your data private and out of the search engines, do the following:

From your Profile page, hover your mouse over the Settings menu at the top right and click “Privacy Settings” from the list that appears.
Click “Search” from the list of choices on the next page.
Click “Close” on the pop-up message that appears.
On this page, uncheck the box labeled “Allow” next to the second setting “Public Search Results.” That keeps all your publicly shared information (items set to viewable by “Everyone”) out of the search engines. If you want to see what the end result looks like, click the “see preview” link in blue underneath this setting.
Take 5 Minutes to Protect Your Privacy

While these three settings are, in our opinion, the most critical, they’re by no means the only privacy settings worth a look. In a previous article (written prior to December’s changes, so now out-of-date), we also looked at things like who can find you via Facebook’s own search, application security, and more.

While you may think these sorts of items aren’t worth your time now, the next time you lose out on a job because the HR manager viewed your questionable Facebook photos or saw something inappropriate a friend posted on your wall, you may have second thoughts. But why wait until something bad happens before you address the issue?

Considering that Facebook itself is no longer looking out for you, it’s time to be proactive about things and look out for yourself instead. Taking a few minutes to run through all the available privacy settings and educating yourself on what they mean could mean the world of difference to you at some later point…That is, unless you agree with Facebook in thinking that the world is becoming more open and therefore you should too.

Note: Other resources on Facebook’s latest changes worth reading include MakeUseOf’s 8 Steps Toward Regaining your Privacy, 17 steps to protect your privacy from Inside Facebook, the ACLU’s article examining the changes, and DotRights.org’s comprehensive analysis of the new settings. If you’re unhappy enough to protest Facebook’s privacy update, you can sign ACLU’s petition. The FTC is also looking into the matter thanks to a complaint filed by a coalition of privacy groups, led by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. You can add your voice to the list of complaints here.

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