Spin Zone

This weekend I rode out of my comfort zone. I had signed up for a sample indoor cycling class with a group of friends. At first I was reluctant to sign up. I was content doing my regular workout at my gym. I enjoy listening to various podcasts* during my time at the gym instead of being told what to do by a new instructor.

I had several preconceptions about the environment and skills needed to “do it right” at the indoor cycling class. What I actually found was that it was a cool workout space with fun music and quality equipment. The skills needed to get started were not complicated. The one-hour session seemed to go really quickly. In retrospect, most of my initial objections to participating in the class seemed pretty flimsy. Continue reading “Spin Zone”

Content Changeover

Earlier this week I had a conversation about making changes to a small business website. The current website was primarily functional but was showing signs of neglect. Several pages of content were never fully completed. The overall format was not flexible for most smaller devices used today. It turns out that the website is set up in a proprietary system. It was hard to determine if it was a content management system with any similarity to WordPress. The business owner did not seem to be regularly self-updating the website.

The question to me was “what would it take to changeover the website into WordPress”. I am a fan of WordPress so I am happy to facilitate moving from a proprietary system to a more adjustable and expandable platform like WordPress. However, before making the change, I suggested that we contact the manager of the current website system to see if other designs, themes or templates are available that could address the issue of lack of flexibility for smaller devices. Continue reading “Content Changeover”

Alternative FAQ Display with Conductor

I worked on several project recently where the owner requested a page with accordion style Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs). There are plugins that make set up and maintenance of the accordion style FAQ pretty simple.

However, I experimented with an alternative solution to reduce the total overall number of plugins used on a website while I was creating an FAQ page for a different client. The new client website already had an FAQ section set up as a simple page with normal text and headline text which worked reasonably well. There were only a handful of questions. However, the page would likely start to get clumsy as the business expanded and more questions were added.

Because Conductor plugin* was being used to organize and display other areas of the website already, using Conductor for the FAQ section seemed to be a natural fit. Continue reading “Alternative FAQ Display with Conductor”

Milestones

Twenty-five hundred visits to my gym in roughly 9 years. I was pretty impressed with myself early on that icy February morning. I knew this milestone was happening so I had my iphone camera ready to capture the evidence. I had a crazy thought that a parade would kick off or I would get a tiara to wear while I was on the cardio machines. But alas, there was no parade, no tiara so I just listened to episode #13 of Startup Podcast. Naturally, I posted the milestone photo on Facebook to share my good news and I will save the image in my new Evernote YAY notebook. (as suggested by Curtis McHale) Continue reading “Milestones”

Evaluation Overlap

It is rewarding to find overlapping methods in seemingly unrelated professional interests.

  1. I read the Matt Report blog post How to reverse engineer your competition in 10 minutes and listened to the 50 minute companion audio interview of Nathan Wright at the gym this week.
  2. I signed up as a contestant in my Toastmasters club’s annual Evaluation Contest (scheduled later this month).

Matt Report’s tutorial demonstrated how to evaluate the web presence of your competition in 10 minutes. The collaboration tool Trello was used to capture and organize the details about four types of competitor businesses and explained ways to use the collection of details as useful intelligence to improve a client’s business. In the companion interview with Nathan Wright, the step-by-step competitor review process was discussed.

The Toastmasters member experience has multiple dimensions. One of those dimensions is annual competitions among members to highlight strong speakers and to help all members grow their overall communications and leadership skills.
Continue reading “Evaluation Overlap”