Wednesday, December 15, 2010
The Google juggernaut is an essential tool for many companies who want to find customers looking for goods they sell, and we are no exception in making use of their (expensive) services. Today I recevied a personalized thank you email. How can they make videos for each csutomer? You work it out!
"We want to mark AdWords' 10th birthday by thanking you for advertising with us. We hope you enjoy this small token of our appreciation, a personalized video just for you:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
My love affair with Thanksgiving takes me all the way back to my boyhood days. I had just turned 10 years of age and was in fifth grade at Southmayd Elementary School in East Houston. As I recall, I was still going barefoot to school–and I combed my hair, maybe three times a week. Girls didn’t matter a lot to me when I was 10! It was on a Wednesday, the day before our Thanksgiving holidays began. The year was 1944. Our nation was at war across the Atlantic into Europe as well as in the Pacific and far beyond. Times were simple back then but they were also rugged. Everything was rationed. Framed stars hung proudly in neighborhood windows–and sometimes they were quietly changed to crosses. Everyone I knew was patriotic to the core. Without television, we relied on “newsreels” that were shown at the movies, bold newspaper headlines, and LIFE magazine, which carried photos and moving stories of courage in battle and deaths at sea. Signs were posted inside most stores and on street corners, all of them with the same four words: “Uncle Sam Wants YOU” Draped high across the front of our classroom was a huge American flag with its 48 stars and 13 stripes. We began that Wednesday as we did every other day in school, standing erect beside our desks, repeating the Pledge of Allegiance and then bowing our heads as our teacher led us in prayer. Hanging just below the flag was a large picture of our 32nd president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. She always remembered to pray for him–and our “soldier boys”; who were serving their country in dark, dreary, and dangerous places a half a world away from my fifth-grade class. My teacher had lost her husband on the blood-washed shores of Normandy the previous June. After we had saluted the flag, a hush fell across the room as we bowed our heads together. No one moved. As she began to pray and give thanks, her voice broke and she started to weep. I did too. So did Richard Webb, my best buddy. And Wanda Ragland. Even Charles White and Warren Cook, two tough kids who later played high school football when we were all Milby Buffaloes, wiped back their tears. No one moved as she stumbled and sobbed her way through her prayer, which was filled with some of the most moving expressions of gratitude and praise that I have ever heard emerge from a soul plunged in personal grief and pain. In that epochal moment, time stood still. And I believe it was then–right then–that I fell in love with Thanksgiving. It became, for me, far more than just another holiday; it took on a significance that bordered the sacred. Lost in sympathy and a 10-year-old-boy’s pity for his teacher, I walked home much slower that autumn afternoon. Although only a child, I entertained deep and profound feelings of gratitude for my country, kept free by the bravery and blood of men and women only a few years older than I, most of them fresh out of high school. On that cool afternoon I felt a renewed surge of thankfulness for my mom and dad, my older brother and sister . . . my maternal grandparents . . . my friends . . . for my school . . . my neighborhood . . . my church. Though only a child, I promised God that I would fight to the end to keep this land free from enemies who would take away our liberty and erase America’s distinctives and steal the joys of living in this good land. I have never forgotten that childhood promise. I remembered it at another Thanksgiving, fourteen years later in late November of 1958, when I wore the uniform and silently walked the same beaches of Okinawa where my fellow Marines had sacrificed their lives in the last great battle of the South Pacific in WWII. And as Thanksgiving returns annually, I still pause; I still let the wonder in. Thanksgiving puts steel in our nerves and causes fresh blood to course through our patriotic veins. It reminds us of our great heritage. It carries us back with humbling nostalgia to those first dreadful winters at places like Plymouth and Jamestown, where less than half of those who first landed survived. But what grand men and women those pioneers became–those who pressed on. Reading their names today is like reading a page out of our national heroes’ Hall of Fame. In words taken from Hebrews 11, they were those “of whom the world was not worthy.” At this time every year I pause and remember how thankful I am for each one of them. They had the stuff of which greatness is made."
Time for each of us to give thanks, I believe.......
Friday, November 5, 2010
I like following BusinessKnowhow.com for tips. The latest edition (http://www.businessknowhow.com/internet/web-copy-mistakes.htm) offers hints on effective business communications. Here is an excerpt:
1. Using company-focused language Open your Web site copy with “We’re the largest sock retailer in the Midwest”, and your visitor thinks “Great. So what?”
2. Touting features, not benefits You don’t buy a vacuum cleaner for its powerful motor. You buy it because it cleans your floors and your home. The first one is a feature, and the second is a benefit.
3. Relying on business-speak There are two types of business-speak: jargon, understandable only to those in the industry, and buzzwords, trite words and phrases that lose their impact through constant repetition. Rather than saying a deal creates “synergy”, for example, you can say that the deal combines your supply chain with company x’s worldwide distribution network for next day deliveries.
4. Writing in the passive voice Lively, active verbs make your copy more interesting to read.
5. Writing for the wrong audience If you write your copy as if you’re writing an academic paper, your average reader will click away. When you’re writing for your Web site, write for your customers and prospective customers, not a college professor. Use a conversational tone and avoid complex words that will send your readers to the dictionary.
6. Creating large blocks of text Unlike the printed page, it’s difficult to read large blocks of text on a computer monitor. Limit your paragraphs to just a few sentences. Also, use bulleted lists to make it easy to scan your text and pick out the important thoughts.
7. Publishing before proofreading It’s tempting to publish your copy as soon as you’re finished writing. But make sure you thoroughly proofread it before posting it on your Web site.
8. Misusing quotation marks Many people will put a word in quotation marks to emphasize it. But boldface type or an underline is more effective. Quotation marks should only be used to indicate dialog, a direct quote from another source or irony. If you use quote marks for emphasis, they’re actually read as an ironic statement.
9. Overusing your caps lock button Using initial caps on words for emphasis is another common mistake. Often people will capitalize the first letter of every important noun in a sentence. Again, using boldface or underline would be better than breaking one of the simplest rules of grammar.
10. Mixing metaphors Perhaps one of the most amusing mistakes for readers, mixed metaphors create a jumbled image by combining two unrelated, but common metaphors. For example: “He stepped up to the plate and grabbed the bull by the horns.”
Following these 10 tips can help you focus your text and create a professional impression on your site visitors.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
One of our distributors will be marking a milestone this month. Lorlin Electronics will celebrate 50 years of manufacturing their wide range of standard and custom switching products at electronica 2010 (Munich, Germany – Nov 9-12,2010). Rob Peach, Technical Marketing Manager for Lorlin Electronics comments;”We are looking forward to this year’s electronica, not only to celebrate 50 years of manufacturing rotary switches, but also to showcase our many new products and the flexibility of our design and manufacturing capability.”Lorlin Electronics was established in the UK as a switch manufacturer in 1960 and is one of the largest switch
Designed, manufactured and assembled in Europe, the majority of Lorlin products can be fully customized to meet their customer’s exact requirements avoiding any compromises in the end users equipment. Lorlin offer an extensive range of rotary, rotary coded and lock switches, all of which can be viewed on the Lorlin website www.lorlin.co.uk
Recent new product innovations include the IRL impulsion 16mm miniature lock switch and the IP67 CKS rotary switch family.
The new IRL impulsion key lock switch configuration is capable of dealing with the rugged environments found on vehicles and portable equipment and may also be used in secure re-setting of alarm and control systems, industrial and factory equipment, security gates and shutters, vending machines and many other applications.
The latest CKS rotary switch offers a design solution for switching in harsh and outdoor environments due to its innovative panel sealing properties.