Passwords explained in one comic.

This is a must read and it will take about 90 seconds, maybe 5 minutes if you are a slow reader and get interrupted, or think about it a lot. Passwords are easy and you’ve been doing it all wrong. It’s not your fault, you were taught to do it wrong.

Click XKCD


Bonus lesson is even shorter. It’s about computer security.

Click XKCD2

About those Pop-Ups

Nothing causes more irritation that website pop ups, apparently. It seems everyone hates them and everyone blocks them. But is this really the case? Do people really hate pop ups?

You see, when we look into it in more detail, and ask people about the circumstances of their intense hatred of these tiresome little creatures, we find out two very interesting truths.

The first truth is :

- People hate irrelevant pop ups

The hate is derived from websites that spawn irrelevant non-targeted advertising pop ups. You may be on a news magazine website, and you’re hit with a pop-up trying to sell vacations. Were you looking for a vacation? Chances are… no. Because the pop up is non-targeted, it is not relevant to you and is therefore annoying.

And the second truth is:

-People hate multiple, spawning pop ups

The type you sometimes find on porn or gambling websites (so I’m reliably informed!) The pop-ups keep coming like a swarm of locusts, as quick as you can swat them or close the window, another appears! So what does all this mean to website and business owners? Well, let’s turn it on it’s head . . .

If people hate irrelevant pop ups, will they like targeted pop ups?  -yes.

Think about it. Pretend you’re a fanatical golfer, Googling away for some ideas on how to improve your game so you can trim your handicap down a bit and beat the annoying district manager at the golf course on his next visit. You find a site in the search results that offers tips on improving your game. When you visit the site, you find a little pop up that announces their new report “Slash your handicap in 30 days” has just been released and is subject to a special 25% discount this week only. Now would you be interested in that?

You bet. It highlights a special offer that is targeted to the visitor. It’s not about dogs, vacations or anything else. It is about the subject of the website.

So how should we use pop ups:

  1. Use them responsibly – no multiple pop ups allowed. Just one pop up per visit maximum. Don’t put them on every page of your website.
  2. Make sure any pops ups are targeted to the content of that webpage. If the site/page is about deep sea diving, the pop up must convey something of vital interest to the visitor.
  3. Make sure they emphasise something different – a special offer, or new piece of news, that the average visitor will be interested in.
  4. Use the new type of “unblock able” pop up code on your page.

That last point is vital, as a massive percentage of internet users have browsers or software that will block the old type of pop up. The new type use layers and javascript to create a pop up that is part of the webpage itself. It is a layer, rather than a new window and so is therefore extremely difficult if not impossible to block.

The easiest way to make a smart, eye-catching pop up (such as a virtual post it note) is to use pop up software. You literally select a template, select the size and type in your message and the program generates the code to insert in your website.

Pop ups have had bad press over the years. But use them responsibly, and they can have a massive positive impact on your website sales or subscriber opt-ins, without alienating your visitors.


What Readers Really Want!

Blogging has become a very popular as more people turn to writing online journals to express their thoughts and interests. Most blog writers have some sort of following by readers, a few choose to keep their blogs private. Even if the blog is designed just for your family or a group of friends, it is important to understand your readers and what they want.

A blog, or weblog, is an online journal or diary where people of all ages and from all over the world can express their thoughts, opinions, interests and maybe just random thoughts. Businesses also use blogs to communicate with their customers and it has proven to be an effective form of communication and marketing. Whether you write a blog for your company or just for other readers, you readers rely on you for updating your blog on a regular basis. Regular posting is a must. Always have content prepared ahead of scheduled publishing date. Something where the content is what we call, “evergreen.” Content that will not grow old with time and always applies to your topic.

“But I can’t write.” You can talk, can’t you? Most modern computers, Mac and Windows have an option where you can dictate into a text document. You can also purchase Dragon Dictation. It’s perhaps the best and there are even mobile versions so you can just talk into your mobile and easily create blog posts on the go! Talk to your readers! What a concept. What you produce will likely be even better than what someone might write!

When you get ready to keep a blog, think about what your readers want from a blog. One important part of keeping readers interested in blogs is to update frequently. If blogs are not updated on a regular basis, they will find another blog to read. It is important to keep your blog current and to provide the updates to your reader. We suggest including a subscription or email option to your blog. When a reader subscribes to your blog, they will automatically receive updates when you add a new entry to your blog. This helps them know when you have new material on your blog and reminds them to visit your blog and hopefully interact, leaving a comment or making a purchase.

Another way to keep your readers coming back to your blog is to target your audience. If you are a pet lover and write about your life with your five dogs, then you need to find others with similar interest. Some groups will not be interested in your story, for instance, parakeet lovers. Find your audience by visiting web groups or communities that have to do with your main subject. Tell everyone you know about what you blog about and provide a link to your writing. If a reader is interested in the subject you are writing about, it is more likely that they will come back and visit often. It is important to remember that there are literally thousands of blogs on the Internet on virtually any topic. You want to grab your reader and keep them coming back.

You are also enticing your readers by coming back for more if you use your blog wisely. If you want to write private thoughts, then do not share your writing with others. If you do want to share, be careful about what you write about. If you embarrass people you know through your writing, then you are not using your blog wisely. Protect the people around you and do not try to get even with people through your blog. Readers that do not know you are not interested in reading your nasty posts to your enemies. Keep your blogs fun and entertaining for anyone who wants to read them.

Also, when you blog, keep your readers interested by having an easy to use blog. Sometimes large pictures or downloads can take up a lot of time and your reader may not want to open large files. If you want to include pictures, links, or downloads make sure they work and will not slow a computer down. You can also make your blog easy to use by using a blog-hosting site that cuts down on advertising and pop-ups. Most of the time, those types of advertising will annoy your reader. When you choose a blog site, check into the types of features that the site can offer. Some of these sites that avoid ads and pop ups may cost, but are worth it if you want your readers to have a good blog experience on your site. WordPress is very common and thought of as easy to use.

You can also ensure that your readers will come back to your blog if you treat your readers with respect. They may not like something you write about and if they leave a negative comment, do not flame your readers. Also, you readers will appreciate your writing more if you leave nice comments to them or even send them a quick email thanking them for visiting your blog. This is a great way to build communication with your readers and will keep them coming back for your blog.